Nov 222012
 


Sometimes I don’t want to work out for a day. Which isn’t unreasonable; a rest day here and there is good for you. Plus, a bed can be really tempting on a Saturday morning, especially if you have been out late or whatever. Also, sometimes I just have lazy spells. I can lack the discipline for weeks, just like everybody else (until at one point I’m so miserable I drag myself to the yoga studio to get out of my funk and that’s kind of the point of this whole article).

But I know that I function best when I exercise. A lot. Preferably every day, but practicality (and let’s be honest, laziness) often end up making it four-five days a week; A busy schedule, lots of (incompatible) appointments and my own mindfuckery can get in the way.

But I know I always come back to it. To lots of yoga, sweaty towels in the washing machine and deliciously sore muscles; just enough to feel it, but in a good way. To me, this makes it okay to take a break here and there: it helps me be more appreciative of my body and my work-outs when I jump back in. It’s comforting to know I automatically will gravitate towards my natural exercise regime.

When I started practicing yoga every day in April 2011, I was already pretty happy — Things were good. And still, with every work-out I started to feel better. Significantly so. Even when I thought I had reached my ceiling of happiness for that day, the work-out made me break right through it. Exercising still made a world of difference.

No matter who you are, no matter how great your life already is, exercising will still make you feel better. Even if you think you can’t possibly feel any happier, healthier or right in your own skin? You’re wrong. If you’re not already working out, exercise will still make you feel more amazing. More than you can even imagine now. I’m sure of it.

Some will fare best with a more strenuous or more relaxed routine, with more or less, but I do believe that exercising, whatever way and however often, is part of how you create a better life and a better self.
Nov 122012
 

Sometimes you just have these days or weeks that take their toll. You have to cram several different deadlines and appointments into a short period of time. Whether it’s work, exams, both or family duties, there is just a lot of obligations you have to juggle. While trying to work-out, eat right and occasionally kiss your boyfriend on the mouth instead of accidentally hitting him in the eye when you crawl into bed at night.

…Not that I’m talking out of experience or anything.

I do have some experience with crazy weeks like that. And sometimes, I need an extra bit of mental magic to power through. Giving yourself that is actually pretty easy. This little trick for example can work wonders. It makes those type of days or weeks easier for me:

I think of myself as Superwoman. Or at least the Superhero version of myself. I just go “okay, sweetie*, I know there’s a lot going on but you can do it. Turn on the superhero-ness. Activate Superwoman Mode. Start kicking ass.”

And then I envision this cute supergirl emblem under my regular clothes. Occasionally with a little neon. It’s silly, I know, but it’s a fun little thing that gives me some extra energy. It helps me do what I gotta do; it’s cute, it motivates me and makes me smile at the same time.

So dearies, on this Monday, or on any other crazy day or week ahead of you, this might be a little help to you too. Access your superhero side. Just to help with your day to day lives, the deadlines and the potential drama we all encounter from time to time, transform a little into your superhero to deal with it all.

*I call myself sweetie. We’re on pretty good terms.

Aug 072012
 

(Getting out of the water this sexily seems a work-out in itself)

I’m not very high-maintenance when it comes to holidays: I just want to be somewhere where it’s sunny and where I can draw penises on my boyfriend’s back with sun lotion.

I also want to get a work-out in here and there. Whereas I spend a lot of my vacation on my ass, floating in water or lounging on a beach towel, I also incorporate some exercise in my holidays. Vacation is about feeling good and having a great time (preferably with a lot of sun and without major insects crawling in my bed or on various body parts). Exercise is one of the easiest ways to get in a great mood, burn some calories, work your muscles and get tanned in the process.

I like to feel fit and working out is one of my best ways to feel (and keep) fit while I’m in a different country, enjoying my vacation. These are the ways I plan to exercise this holiday:

Running. That’s right, babies. Two weeks before my vacation I dusted off my Nikes! I didn’t want to start running from scratch in a country with crazy hills and high temperatures so I figured I’d run to warm up a little. Amazingly, I could still run a five km, after zip running this entire year. Sure I run slowly, but at a steady pace and I really enjoy it. Therefore, I plan to get a few runs in, especially in the morning when boyfriend is still comatose (he’s not a morning person).

Yoga. Thanks to the different yoga classes I’ve been taking this summer, I now know that sun salutations come in different varieties (A & B! It’s like a short version of Sesame Street, really!) I can do a couple of those in the morning along with some Bikram and Asthanga poses. I think I’ll mostly do backbends and standing bows, because you know what? It’s my holiday and I can totally play favorites.

Hooping. Although completely new to this way of exercising, the ginormous Fun-Factor and that you can do it anytime and anywhere makes it a Vacation Favorite. I want to be able to dance around a little while hooping, so that’s basically all I’m going to be doing when I’m hooping on my holiday. I hoop to the most poppy songs like Jessie J, Rihanna, some old-school J.Lo and even Britney as well as Robyn, Michael Jackson and Cari Lekebusch — techno for the win.

Swimming. Obviously! When I have a swimming pool (or a big salty version of that) at my disposal, I love going for a swim. To cool off and move my muscles. It’s a very relaxed way of exercising, very easy on the body. Slap on a cute bandeau bikini and it’s all good.

The rest of the time I’ll probably be chasing my boyfriend around our campsite, moving food into mouth and burn a lot of calories by reading. Sounds like a pretty sweet deal to me.

Jul 302012
 

There are a lot of reasons to go hooping. I certainly started hearing more and more people rave about it over the last couple of months. Apparently, it’s a great work-out, it’s super-fun, and some people say it makes you feel more connected to your body and the Universe – like a 95cm diameter three-way call app.

Lin and I decided to give it a shot and did a two-hour workshop by Circe Lubbers in a cute flamingo dance studio. Spoiler alert: The bruised hips are worth it, it’s mega-fun&addictive and Lin & I both got ourselves a hoop.

There were five of us, all dressed in comfy work-out clothes while hooping to a nice loud remix of all sorts of dance hits. Circe taught us the basic techniques as well as some little steps like walking and spinning while hooping (which I can’t do without either getting dizzy or losing my hoop in the process) and spinning the hoop over our heads.

I was absolutely dreadful at first. You just gotta call shit what it’s called: I sucked. I was the worst one of the group. While everyone around me was keeping their hoops up on their waist I was repeatedly watching mine circle down to my ankles after a few seconds. Not good for the Frustration Factor of it all, but I knew I had to push through the ‘ARGH!’s I kept hearing in my head and just go with it. So, deep breaths and hoop it away.

Sure enough, I started to suck a little less with every time I tried. Circe was awesome, giving exactly the right tips and encouragement a newbie-suckie hooper like myself could have hoped for. By the end of class I actually managed to keep the damn thing up. I could also vary a tiny bit with up and down, slow and fast and it was so fun! I couldn’t stop!

 See that? That’s me at the end of class, with my own hoop. I immediately knew I wanted to take a hoop with me on vacation so I can hoop in front of our tent (and thoroughly entertain my boyfriend, probably). Since I’m leaving this Friday, no time to order or go to Amsterdam to buy one. Not that I really wanted that: It was love at first sight for me and the Silver-Blue hoop I got to use during the workshop. I don’t mean to sound slutty, but I took him home.

And even though my hips are a little bruised and my abs are killing me, I’m taking my hoop out for a quick spin  in the park before my yoga class. What can I say? It’s just fun, especially with a few good songs.

So: If you ever want to do anything new and fun in terms of exercise…go hooping. The Self Help Hooping Hipster highly recommends.

Apr 092012
 

It’s nice to have all these theories about improving your life, non? But how about filling out some paperwork? ;) And believe me, it’s not at all boring, difficult or tiring; it’s actually really fun, inspiring and invigorating! Whether it’s Law of Attraction, Radical Self Love, Gratitude, Manifesting, anything else: why not put your pen on paper after reading all about it? How about doing some fun worksheets?

All my favorite worksheets come from Jessica Mullen. Jessica is a professional lifestreamer: someone who manifests her life completely according to her mindset. I love her ideas and tricks, and my favorite thing about her website are the worksheets. They are absolutely brilliant. With them, you put what you know to such perfect practical use you get surged right into the right mindset and manifesting. I love doing them, they’re one of my favorite fun ways to work with all the magic of the Law of Attraction and all that. Here are my favorites.

60 Things I Love About …: On this worksheet you write down 60 reasons you love something. The best thing (and people don’t realize this nearly enough) is you can do this about anything. Not just about people, but about places, events. Your mother, but also your great fitness studio, the language you’re learning, the new job you want or have, anything! And the more you find to love about a thing, the better! I’ve done this one about my best friend, who keeps it in her planner wherever she goes. I’ve also done this about the apartment that I loved, where I now live. The more love you feel, about whatever you can, the more your life will benefit, and with this worksheet, you will definitely feel the love.

Daily Self Love: An all-round fun worksheet to do every day to stay in tune with self-love, gratitude and working towards what you want. It reminds you of the things you love about your life, about you, the things you want to treat yourself to. It’s such a good thing to do if you want to get a stronger, more positive outlook on life.

Financial Abundance:  This is a very special one in my opinion, because it focuses solely on the positive and fun aspects of attracting financial wealth, prosperity and abundance. I think this is so great because manifesting money can be incredibly difficult because of all our fixed (and often screwed up) beliefs we have about money, rich people and how we are supposed to make our money. By making yourself feel abundant through this worksheet, you’re working through all of that and coming closer to creating that prosperity in your life.

Now/Daily/Weekly/Monthly: Jessica made this one as a reminder to herself of the things she loves to do, things that make her feel good.By turning it into little lists like this they become ‘Scavenger Hunts’: once you’ve done a few, you kind of want to collect them all. I really like this one too, it’s very simplistic but strong.

Gathering Momentum: This one is probably my favorite. It integrates so many things of a positive lifestyle where gratitude, manifesting and intuition play a big role. During the summer I did these sheets probably every other day and they made me so focused and happy. Definitely a top recommendation.

If you click here, you will be directed to her website with the worksheet tag: you can download the worksheets, read her theories and articles about them. There are a few other sheets, such as an Universal Grocery List (sound familiar?) and a Solution To Your Problem Thing, so go browse and feel free to tell her I sent you. I hope you love her worksheets as much as I do!

Mar 262012
 

Our energy levels can be all over the place. They are under the influence of many factors: diet, sleep, medication, drug (ab)use, emotional turmoil, life events, season, stand of the moon, whether or not we have been abducted by aliens. Over some factors we have zerozip control, but we can exercise a lot of personal power over most.

The higher your energy levels, the better you’ll feel. You’ll be more active and productive, happier and less irritable. You won’t feel wiped out quickly and you’ll take better care of yourself all together.

Energy will be increased by good food, good exercise, good sleep and a happy, fulfilled life, obviously. I’m not going to go into that today. Instead, I wanted to share a few cute and interesting exercises Serge Kahili King has written about in his book to tap into the Energy Supply of Universe. Just reading them made me happy, and I wanted to give you a happy Monday too!

The Exercises: 

  • “Imagine that you are taking a shower in a waterfall of pure, tingling energy that soaks into every cell of your body.”
  • “Imagine that ther are lines of light connecting you with all the stars and galaxies. Then imagine that on your command, all that energy comes from them to you in waves of light.”
  • “Chant a power phrase, like Om”
  • “Repeated suggestion that you are being filled with unlimited universal energy.”
  • “Listen completely to powerful music.”
  • “Breathe very slowly and deeply, until you feel highly energized.”
  • “Do some vigorous exercise or movements and get very emotionally excited in a positive way.”
  • “Imagine that you’re achieving something that you want very much; affirm that you have unlimited power and energy to do it; get emotionally enthusiastic about doing it and about the benefits of doing it; consciously and strongly intend that it shall be done.”

What do you do to feel more energetic? Don’t say drugs, just say no!