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Grab a Friend & Take it Outside

Happy New Year! May you plan on making 2017 your Happiest, Healthiest and Best Year yet! I've always thought of Spring time as a time of growth, renewal and opportunity to change for the better. Socrates aptly stated "the secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new." I strongly agree, so in 2017 I will focus on building the new.

One of my favorite past times when visiting my parents in South Texas, is exercising outdoors with my Dad. He is 68 years old, lives in a city whose temperature is above 85 degrees ninety percent of the year and he is committed to his outdoor workout regimen. In the New Year, I plan to follow his lead, become more dedicated to my workouts and take more of them outside to catch those amazing UV rays. After all, we burn way more calories when we exercise outside.

I also vow to spend more time exercising with my friends in the New Year. We are always sharing exercise tips and stories, why not workout together? It's always more FUN to share an experience with a friend, and a key element in forming a lifestyle habit is FUN! We tend to get more out of a workout with a friend, we are all competitive beings, therefore we work out a bit harder when with a partner.

With longer days upon us, and amazing weather in Dallas (which can change at ANY MOMENT), I am very excited to start enjoying more time outside. One of both Pilates (my favorite exercise) and Yoga's many beauties is they can literally be done anywhere. Over the holidays, we were blessed with beautiful weather and I was able to enjoy an impromptu day at Klyde Warren Park with my sister, so naturally we busted out our mats for a little bit of both. Before we knew it, we had about ten kids surrounding us and following along.

It was amazing! Nature enhances your practice in an entirely different way than a studio does. When you leave the four walls of the studio, all of your senses wake up- especially site, scent and touch. Your senses activate parts of the brain that make you more present, with fresh air heightening breath awareness. You are able to feel oxygen flowing through you, which allows you to clear your mind. The beautiful scenery at the park allowed us to release endorphins, while the slightly uneven park surface and kids runnings around helped us to engage and strengthen our cores much more.

I admit, stepping out of our comfort zones and assuming positions at the park was awkward at first, but it was extremely energizing overall. A large part of yoga and meditation is grounding, if all you have is a mat separating you and this wonderful Earth, you'll feel more grounded than ever. After all Buddha wasn't in a meditation hall, he was outdoors. I encourage you to Grab a Friend and head outside for your next workout, you will not regret it! See you on the Mat. XOXO~Alicia

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