Thankful for Movement

Happy post-Thanksgiving! My holiday was spent in Moab, Utah with Mike, my mom, sister, brother-in law, niece, nephew, cousin and cousin in law. There was a whole crew of us! We spent our days hiking in Arches National Park, seeing gorgeous natural wonders, magnificent arches, babbling creeks, and huge boulders and jagged rocks. I’ve never seen anything like it in my life and feel so incredibly blessed to have gone to experience it with almost my entire family. There’s nothing like fresh air, family and natural wonders to make a holiday glorious. Our traditional annual Thanksgiving hike landed us at the Delicate Arch – talk about being thankful!

Moab

Unfortunately, a horrible tooth infection kept me down for the count for a good 30+ hours following the hike…coming to the Thanksgiving table for only a brief moment to gingerly nibble on some sweet potatoes, homemade cranberry and cauliflower before heading back to bed. After a trip to the ER the next morning, a dose of antibiotics, and some kombucha to combat the antibiotics screwing with my gut flora, I was on the mend. Our last day, yesterday, arrived and I was feeling so much better, ready to step outside and get a bit of dirt under my feet. My mom and I headed out and ended up hiking two glorious trails, each quite different from the next, both full of incredible sights.

So Day 14 of the Mindful 21 Day challenge has arrived and we are on our way home. An early start to the day hasn’t left time for meditation yet, but I have reflected on the past few days. Being with family is wonderful, but can be challenging if you share different viewpoints on things, have different habits or styles of doing things. That is where mindfulness becomes so crucial. Being mindful of how your actions, words, and behaviors effect those around you becomes so apparent when you’re in close quarters. It’s during these times when taking pause and breathing deeply can make a huge difference. And getting out into the great outdoors, turning off the ipods, video games, tv, means quality time spent in nature.

Family

Tomorrow, Day 15 of the Mindful 21 Day challenge, adds onto the 5 minutes of meditation and meatless meal with movement. Being mindful of our internal state, taking time to calm and center yourself is, I believe, vital for your happy. Taking a proactive approach to what you’re eating and being mindful of how it’s fueling your body is vital to your health. Incorporating movement into your life, feeling the fluidity of your body, adds vitality, energy, longevity to your life. Being mindful of moving your body each day should be a priority – and what better what to move than yoga!

sun salutation

Tomorrow, find time for meditation, a meatless meal, plus movement. Try a 5-10 minute yoga flow or, 10 sun salutations or even splurge and head to the studio. I recently joined Yogaglo, something my girlfriend and cohost Sarah introduced me to, and I am in love! Pick the duration, the teacher, the focus, the body part, the level and do it in the comfort of your own home.

I have some short Yoga videos on my YouTube channel, but there are also a million great FREE Yoga videos out there that will get you moving. Here’s one describing how to do a Sun Salutation. Try something that speaks to you and will work with your practice.

How will you move? Let me know what gets you up and flowing.

Happy movement!

Happy Thanksgiving from Vieques!!!

Happy Thanksgiving from the island of Vieques! No turkey for us this year (although we’re pescatarians anyway!) or catching up with the family. We spent our day in paradise!

Blue Beach
Blue Beach

All of our good intentions set the alarm for 5:45 am to watch the sunrise. All of our vacation intentions shut the alarm off and went back to sleep until 7:30. Doh! Oh well, there’s always tomorrow. At 7:45, we headed down to grab cafe from the only open place (convenient store in the middle of town) and picked up our rental. A red jeep!!! Oh, the memories of Mike and I back in high school, cruising in his red jeep…..

After a short wait (island time means they’re not open exactly at 8) we were off to blue beach in La Chiva. Heading down 997, straight into the Refufugio Nacional de Vidal Silvestre de Vieques (the islands protected park that actually used to be a bombing ground for the US) we found amazingly groomed roads (two years ago we headed to Coasta Rica and talk about bumpy!) and a pristine, private beach with white sand as far as the eye could see and blue skies overhead. Gorgeous!

Post Snorkeling selfie!
Post Snorkeling selfie!

Throwing our chairs in the shade of a palm, our bag in the back of a bush (we’d been warned about petty crime) and hit the turquoise water. It was so much calmer on the Caribbean side of the island, so we could see clear or the bottom. Although we swam and swam and didn’t see much. So, Mike suggested we swim to the small island about a 1/2 mile, give or take, from the shore. Wow, are we glad we ventured out!!! Quite a big reef surrounded the small island so we saw plenty! Small little fish darted in and put of the rocks, while brilliantly colored bigger four eyed butterfly fish glided around and then…..Mike saw a green sea turtle!!! The guy was just chillin among the coral watching us point at him. So cool!

Having not eaten breakfast (too much to see and do for that!) we swam in from an awesome snorkeling adventure and chatted about where to eat over a few Modellas. Esperanza was uncharted territory, so we packed up our beach goods and headed out. Along the way we saw a ton of wild horses, which is so cool to see!

Belly Buttons in Esperanza!
Belly Buttons in Esperanza!

About 15 minutes later, we arrived in the town. The main drag sat right on the ocean and the beaches here….well think I know this side of the island’s claim to fame! Absolutely stunning. I had read decent things about Belly Buttons, so we found it easily, ordered some boat drinks, and sat and relaxed. Turns out, the owner Tom is from Philly and we chatted about the Birds and the Phils. Such a small world!

Our bellies full, we headed towards the ocean to explore and wandered down a haphazard pier that lead out to quite a beautiful spot. Why not jump off!? So, we did! Dives, flips, splashes….and a spotted ray was spotted! An awesome, playful afternoon. Next on the list: more snorleking!

Drinks & view at the W resort
Drinks & view at the W resort

Rompeolas Mosquito pier, just passed the airport, proved to be a warm, fun, popular snorkeling spot. Many black sea urchins, trumpet fish, fairy basslets, a whole slew of tiny fish were seen! A slight rain shower sprung up just as we were calling it quits. A perfect afternoon. One stop at the W resort on Vieques for glorious drinks on the veranda (a banana daiquiri for me, a monitor for Mike). Among the hotel guests, who all lounged in the lobby for some reason, we chatted amongst ourselves about the fiscal comparison between the setup we went with (rented a car for $75 a day, apartment for $75) and the beautiful W resort (rooms run from $275+). Makes one wonder….

Ceviche!
Ceviche!

The night tapped out with a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner below our apartment stairs on the main drag at a place called Bieke’s Bistro. Amazing ceviche, seafood, and service! Mike and I spoke of how thankful we were for our wonderful life, our families and what the future holds. Being grateful for our vacation and the good fortune we have had in our new Colorado home. A perfect nightcap to a busy, busy island day and a Thanksgiving for the books!

Happy & Thankful on Thanksgiving
Happy & Thankful on Thanksgiving

 

Hope everyone had a healthy & Happy Thanksgiving!

 

The Two-Week #thankfulforvacation Challenge

Vieques

In Exactly two weeks, I will be leaving for the sunny beaches of Vieques, a small island off the coast of Puerto Rico. Mike and I couldn’t be more excited! The past few months have been packed – filled with family visitors, yoga challenges, Denver flip projects, Breckenridge window jobs, work travel and conferences….we’re ready for a vacation!

I’ve been researching Vieques, finding the cool, fun and Must-do’s while on the island and then I suddenly realized I would like to take a moment, each day, to be thankful for the hard work we’ve put in and even more thankful for this upcoming break. And how can I do this?! Through a daily two-week challenge of course!

For the next two weeks, I’ll be kicking my workouts into high gear (I’m going to need to be in a bathing suit!), incorporating high intensity moves into my yoga routines, committing to a morning workout (which has been difficult for me!) eating as clean and mindful as possible, and most importantly giving thanks for the opportunity to travel, with my love, to go explore a new part of the world. I feel so lucky, blessed, happy that I am able to break from my wonderful life to do so.

Thanksgiving is right around the corner as well, always a good time to pause and give thanks to all that has come to fruition throughout the year, give thanks to those you love in your life, and take into account the daily beauty that we can often take for granted. A perfect time to reflect and join in on this challenge!

I’m going to break thins #thankfulforvacation challenge into 3 daily parts: morning, afternoon & evening. It’s a lot, but two weeks will fly by (before I actually fly!) so commit with me! Follow me on Instagram (@clawrencester) & subscribe to my Youtube channel, where I’ll post workouts, meals, and things I’m thankful for. My goals for this challenge are not to lose weight, but to tighten, firm, tone my body & mind in preparation for pure relaxation and release. To be mindful of what I have and the work I put in for what I want.

For Day 1, I’m committing to this challenge, setting my goals up, capturing where I am and visualizing where I want to be in two weeks…besides on a beach! Do the same! I’ll post a workout later on Instagram & Youtube, so if you’re joining me check it out.

Day 1 picture
Day 1 picture

Join me on this thankful journey and give thanks to your body, mind and spirit!

Ready, Set, Happy Challenge!!