Thursday, October 23, 2014

Exercise for Beginners

Are you ready to start exercising regularly? Or maybe you've fallen off your exercise plan and need a boost getting back to the gym. Follow this 20 day sequence to help you start, or start again. Starting with day 1, only progress to the next day once you complete the previous. If you miss a day return the the day before you missed.

Credit: downtown.tumblr.com

Things to remember

  • Don't skip your break days: they are important to protect your muscles.
  • Stretch properly beforehand.
  • Keep yourself hydrated.
  • Push yourself but not to the point of injury. Be mindful of your body.
  • Have fun!

Workout Terms Glossary


Jumping Jacks
Starting standing with feet together and arms straight by your sides. Jump up and spread your arms and legs wide as you land. Jump up again to return to center.

Leg Lift/Raise
Lay down on your side, hip on the floor, and prop yourself up on your forearm. Lift your top leg straight up into the air. Lower it back down without touching your bottom leg. Repeat.

Lunge
Take a big step forward with your left foot, bend your knees and lower your body until both legs form 90-degree angles. Push off with your left foot and stand back up. Do reps, and then repeat on other leg.

Crunch
Lay flat on your back. Place your hands behind your head, and your feet flat on the floor. Pull your shoulders away from the mat. Make sure you don’t pull your head forward with your arms but rather keep your gaze upward and use your hand for neck support only. Lower yourself back to the mat.

Sit-ups
Start by lying on your back on the floor, cross your arms over your chest or place hands behind head or neck. With feet flat against the floor and knees bent, lift upper and lower vertebrae from the floor. Lower back to the floor with control. That’s one rep.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Doors

In an effort to add a little more color and beauty into the world, every week on Pinterest I pick one of my favorite things and create a a new board to house all the images I find. On Tuesdays I make a blog post devoted to the theme.


Doors

When ever one door closes another one opens.

Doors can represent many things, hope, opportunity, transition from one state or position to another and metamorphosis. 

  • In Christian traditions the three doors of a cathedral or church symbolize faith, hope and chairty. 
  • In Hinduism divinities are carved on door jambs to indicate the deity through which man enters the Supreme Presence. 
  • Janus is the Roman god of doorways and hold the key to the power of opening and closing. 
  • Zodiacal symbolism holds Cancer, the sign of the summer solstice, as the door of men and represents the dying power and descent of the sun. Capricorn, the sign of the winter solstice, is the door of gods, and represent the ascent and rising power of the sun.
  • The door of an Egyptian temple was seen as giving access to the “Amenta, where the soul was united with the immortal spirit and where, from then on, it remained.”
  • The Sumerian goddess Inanna's passed through seven doors to arrive before the seven judges of the under world
  • Masonic lodges contain three doors, which represent the qualities acquired successively through the stages crossed: discrimination, absence of desires, self-control.



Have a terrific Tuesday!

Monday, October 20, 2014

DIY Yoga Mat Tote

I've been going a little yarn crazy recently. In the past month I finished two baby blankets, a full-sized blanket, a dog sweater, two hats, three ear warmers, two pairs of bunny slippers, and two yoga mat totes. I suppose the falling leaves, the cooler weather and the cinnamon scent in the air put me in a cozy, crafty mood.

This is a guide for you to make a yoga mat tote for yourself. I also sell them on Etsy if you are not familiar with crochet or don't have the time.

I made one for myself...


...and one for my roommate, Alyssa...


We recently started going to yoga classes together so it's only fitting that we have matching totes.

Material:


  • G-hook
  • Worsted Weight (4) Yarn
  • Yarn Needle

Stitches:

  • Double Crochet
  • Slip Stitch
  • Chain Stitch
  • Single Crochet
Note: after every round do another round of slip stitches to help the tote bag keep it's shape and give it a bit more strength.

Pattern:

Drawstring
Slip knot, then chain 40. Fasten off. Tie on pompoms if desired

Round Base
Slip knot then chain 4, join to first chain with a slip stitch.
Round 1 - Chain 3 (counts as one double crochet), 19 dc into center of loop. ss into top of chain 3. You should have a total of 20 stitches.
Round 2 - Chain 3, *2 dc into next stitch, 1 dc into next stitch, repeat from * ss into top of chain 3. You should have 30 stitches.
Round 3 - Chain 3, *2 dc into next stitch, 1 dc into next stitch, repeat from * ss into top of chain 3. You should have 45 stitches.
Round 4 - Chain 1, 1 single crochet into each stitch, ss into top of chain 1.

Tote Body
Round 5-28 - Chain 3, 1 dc into each stitch, ss into top of chain 3.

Top
Round 29 - Chain 1, 1 sc into each stitch, ss into top of chain 1.
Round 30 - Chain 3, *dc2tog, dc into the next stitch, repeat from * ss into top of chain 3. You should have 30 stitches.
Round 31 - We want your drawstring to be on the opposite side of the bag from the seam. Hold the center of your draw string against the top of the previous rounds seam and do the following round around the drawstring (as if you are crocheting over ends). Chain 3, 1 dc into each of the next 13 stitches. When you reach the 14th stitch stop crocheting around the drawstring and dc into the next four stitches. On the 18th stitch pick up the drawstring from the opposite end and start crocheting around it again, dc into the next 12 stitches. Ss into the top of the chain 3 for a total of 30 dc around.
Round 32 and 33 - Chain 3, 1 dc into each stitch, ss into top of chain 3.

Strap
Slip knot, chain 62, *turn work, sc into 2nd chain from hook, sc into each stitch until the end* chain 1. Repeat between the *s for 4 or 5 rows, sew onto tote along the seam at about the 8th round and the 26th round.

For mine I was using up a bunch of yarn from my sc blanket. I was also figuring out the pattern. By the time I made Alyssa's I had perfected the design (which I am sharing with you here). I recommend using one color for the rounds 1-8 and for rounds 26-33 and for the strap for a more cohesive design. Of course I always encourage taking creative liberty. That's one of the many reasons DIY rocks, you can make it exactly fit your style and needs. Enjoy!