fitness

Rise & Grind: This Free Outdoor Fitness Class Is The Lehigh Valley’s Best Kept Secret

LVRISE-Main-1000.jpg

By Stephanie Eckelkamp

Do you smell that? It’s that weirdly intoxicating combination of dirt, new plants, and rain hitting warm pavement. And it can only mean one thing: Spring is coming!

For me, that’s the smell that puts an extra pep in my step after a long winter and what motivates me to get my butt outside -- and far, far away from the stuffy gym.

But, if you’re anything like me, motivating yourself to get up and go on an early morning bike ride or jog can still be difficult, even when the weather is glorious. There’s no one to hold me accountable, so I’m never quite as consistent as I want to be.

That’s why Lehigh Valley Rise & Grind is so awesome. This free outdoor fitness group meets every Wednesday morning (rain, snow, or shine) in Allentown’s scenic Trexler Memorial Park -- and its members seem like they'd be the best accountability partners, cheerleaders, and workout buddies you've ever had.

I chatted with LV Rise & Grind founder Alexa M. Huzela to find out what makes this group so special -- and why you should be a part of it.

SE: What exactly is Lehigh Valley Rise and Grind, and what are the workouts like?  

AH: LV Rise & Grind is a free fitness movement that I started in October 2016. We meet at 5:45 a.m. every Wednesday in the main parking lot of Trexler Park. We started with just seven people and soared from there.

It’s a place where anyone can come to workout for free, have fun, and leave to start their day feeling better about themselves despite what’s going on in their lives.

Our workouts incorporate running and cardio using just your body weight – no props required! Every week the workout is a little different, but many of our workouts include intervals of different moves like these:

Burpees
Planks
Squats
Sit-ups
Jumping jacks
Jogs and sprints
Mountain climbers
Push-ups

LVRISE-Planks-1000.jpg

SE: Do you guys really meet year-round?

AH: We are #WeatherProof! And on the rare occasion that we do need to cancel, it’s announced in advance in the Lehigh Valley Rise & Grind Facebook group.

SE: Do you have a background in fitness?

AH: I've played sports my whole life and I recently got my personal training certificate for extra knowledge and the safety component. 

SE: I have a bad knee. Do you make accommodations for people who have minor injuries or aren't super fit?

AH: We’re open to all age groups and fitness levels. For each workout movement or skill set, a modification is offered. I try to ask before we start if anyone has any injuries or needs modifications so that I can keep an eye on them during the workout. There's also a big focus on stretching to prevent injuries.

LVRISE-Lunge-1000.jpg

SE: What's the vibe? Competitive, supportive, a little of both?

AH: The vibe is definitely supportive! When we do partner workouts, everyone is always encouraging each other; and when we do individual workouts, I make sure to tell everyone that no one cares how fast you are or how quickly you do a burpee – you should only be competing against yourself.

One time we were doing partner sprints and I overheard someone say, “I’m sorry I’m so slow.” I caught it and said, “No one cares how slow you are, you’re out here pushing yourself and doing this for YOU.”

We do throw in a little competition when we do burpees to the Bring Sally Up, Bring Sally Down song. The goal is to stick together as a tribe to complete the challenge. We also do plank challenges.

SE: It can be tough to get any new project off the ground. How did you make your dream a reality?

AH: My inspiration to start LV Rise & Grind came from a similar free fitness group called November Project, which takes place in various cities across the country. They came to Bethlehem two years ago for the Runner’s World Half Marathon & Festival and I attended their 6 a.m. outdoor class.

Afterwards, I thought, I CAN DO THIS! I can start a movement in the Lehigh Valley that is totally free, inclusive, fun, and makes a difference. And now, here we are celebrating almost a year and a half of Lehigh Valley Rise & Grind.

I keep myself motivated from the feedback I get. When people come up to me and say that this one-hour weekly sweat session has changed their lives and their outlook on fitness, or simply helped them form new friendships, it makes me feel amazing. That’s exactly what my goal was, and I can't wait to make an impact on even more lives.

LVRise-Info.jpg

SE: How has starting LV Rise & Grind changed you personally?

AH: It has shown me that I can actually make a difference in other peoples lives. I never thought in a million years that I could create my own workout, stand in front of 35 people, coach them, and be a fun mentor.

It’s also made me so appreciative of our community and the continuous kick-ass turnout that we get each Wednesday. Sometimes I drive there and wonder if anyone will even be there. But sure enough, all of the car headlights turn off, the doors open, and people are ready to sweat and have fun!

Our motto is #JustShowUp!

***

For more information on Lehigh Valley Rise & Grind, request to join their Facebook group. Or you could #JustShowUp and see what happens :) 

 

11 Things You Should Do This Week in the Lehigh Valley (10/23 – 10/29)

freestocks-org-155624.jpg

By Siobhan DeRemer

It's a spooky week ahead and it'll be even spookier if you miss out on any of these awesome events happening right in our backyards! We've got glow-filled rides, scuba adventures, and even a chance to strap on some roller skates. Mark your calendars and fill your week with fun on top of fright! 

MONDAY

Walk-In Reiki Mini Sessions at Beleno Healing Center (4pm - 7pm/ $25)
Have you always wanted to check out what Reiki is all about but never had the time? Come swing by Beleno and learn about what this healing practice can bring to you (or, if you’re a seasoned enjoyer of Reiki, come on in and get 15 minutes just for you). This is the final evening of these mini sessions for the season so start your week with some relaxation before the holiday prep really kicks off. More info here.

Yoga Happy Hour at Triple Sun Spirits (6pm - 8pm/ $15)
Get your flow on to start your week and then enjoy a delicious crafted cocktail from Triple Sun’s quality spirits. Ticket includes mat and block rental and a class taught by Jennifer Rhoades. Grab your (half price!) admission and more info here.

TUESDAY

Glow Rides at ND Wheelhouse (various times/ $10 drop-in)
Get your glow on for Halloween at ND Wheelhouse’s glow rides this week! Black lights, glow sticks, and glow paint will be on display during the Tuesday & Thursday 6pm classes and Saturday 9:15 & Sunday 9am. Grab your neon gear and reserve your bike here.

WEDNESDAY

Halloween Story Time at the Moravian Book Shop, Bethlehem (10:30am - 11:30am/ Free)
Come decked out in your favorite costume at this event geared toward PreK and younger children. The themed story time will end with a costume parade around the shop. A perfect way to get younger kids ready for the spooky season! More info here.

Skate Away Your Stress at Bethlehem Skateaway (6pm - 8:30pm/ Cost varies)
Send your kids (or friends) out onto the rink and enjoy a massage/aromatherapy session! Chair massage sessions are being offered at 10-15 lengths for $1/minute. Grab your skates and come relax before the trick-or-treating insanity starts. More info here.

THURSDAY

Massage Happy Hour at Sleepy Cat Urban Winery (5pm - 7pm/ Free)
Who else is psyched about this new massage happy hour trend?? I know we are. Not much is more relaxing than a good massage...except maybe a glass of wine! Sleepy Cat Urban Winery in the West End/Theater District of Allentown is offering their happy hour deals with a side of muscle-relaxing massage from the experts at Elements Massage. Try one of their 20+ wines and wind down your week. More info here.

FRIDAY

Essential Oils 101 at Greenmouth, Easton (5pm - 6:30pm/ Free)
Are you interested in how essential oils can fit into your life and why they’re so great and easy to use? Check out this happy hour information session complete with giveaways (and delicious Greenmouth goodies!). More info here.

SATURDAY

Ayurveda 101 at Easton Yoga (11am-2pm/ $50-60)
Ayurveda is a holistic healing system designed to get your body and spirit in line and improve your health and well-being. Come find out more about this ancient practice and the unique needs it can fulfill for you in this comprehensive workshop offered by Easton Yoga. To sign up and find out more about pricing, go here.

Halloween Scuba Weekend at Dutch Springs
Come dive this weekend in honor of Halloween and you can compete in an underwater pumpkin carving contest or learn how to survive the zombie onslaught at Dutch Springs in Bethlehem. You must be certified, but these classes count toward your Master Scuba Diver rating! Times vary, so check for more info here or contact Dutch Springs directly.

SUNDAY

Pints for Paws at Lost Tavern Brewing (12pm - 4pm/ Free)
Pups and great local beer in fall weather? Sign us up! Bring your furry friend and meet other (adoptable!) at this event benefitting The Center of Animal Health and Welfare of Easton. Grab a delicious pint and just try not to adopt all the sweet animals that you see! More info here.

Wisdom Workshop at West End Yoga (1pm - 3pm/ $25)
Philosophy and yoga collide in this workshop with a gentle practice included. Come discuss the spiritual teachings behind the physical practice of yoga. This Sunday’s program is titled “Who Am I? Exploring Consciousness and Ego.” Check out other programs this fall and book your spot here.

*Got an event we should list in upcoming weeks? Shoot us an email here or leave a comment to be considered. We have final approval for all listings, but we love suggestions!

11 Things You Should Do This Week In The Lehigh Valley (10/16 - 10/22)

PoundAndPour.jpg

By Stephanie Eckelkamp

Guys, this week is pretty awesome: We've got a kick ass drumming workout, a food truck fest, haunted ghost tours, running races, healthy cooking demos, and a lot more. Check out our weekly curated events list and mark your freakin' calendars. You won't be disappointed. 

MONDAY

Live Music at Playa Bowls in Bethlehem (4 - 7pm/ Free)
Have you checked out Bethlehem’s newest and trendiest destination for healthy eats? If not, get your butt to Playa Bowls, home of some magnificently kick-ass smoothie bowls, on Monday night and listen to some sweet acoustic tunes from musical guest John Rodden. More info here

TUESDAY

Guided Nature Walk in Easton (9am - 12pm/ Free, registration required) 
Got the day off from work? Or want just want to play hookie? Then we’ve got just the thing: A guided nature walk through the Mariton Wildlife Sanctuary in Easton, where you’ll search for birds, flowers, butterflies, and other autumn wonders. Register here.

Sip and Sculpt Party at Bethlehem Brew Works (6:30 - 9:30pm / $45)
If you can't possibly go to another paint and sip party, Glossy Stones is taking over the Bethlehem Brew Works for a new kind of inebriated craft time. If you're conjuring up images of Ghost, don't worry—you'll be using air dry clay to craft ornaments, trinkets, or whatever your creative side(or favorite Pinterest board) can think of. $45 gets you all your supplies, instruction, personalized kit, goodie bag, appetizers, and a complimentary beverage. Get your tickets here.

WEDNESDAY

Healthy Cooking Demo by Two Local Nutritionists at Easton Public Market (2 - 3pm/ Free)
This is the perfect event for anyone who wants to eat healthier and reduce their intake of refined carbs. Alison Unger and Carissa Hrichak, nutritionists from Easton Hospital, will offer tips and techniques for packing healthy lunches, and recipes for low calorie/low carb lunch options, including apple chicken salad lettuce wraps. YUM! More info here

THURSDAY

Tre Locally Sourced Food Truck at Hop Hill Brewing in Bethlehem (5 - 8:30pm/ Free)
Have you been to Hop Hill? It’s an awesome tasting room (with giant Jenga!) that’s just a little bit off the beaten path, but totally worth a visit. Especially this Thursday, since Tre Locally Sourced Food Truck, a new-ish food truck focused on (you guessed it) seasonal-inspired cuisine that is regionally grown and raised. We can get behind that! More info here

FRIDAY

Haunted Walking Tours in Easton and Bethlehem (Times and prices vary)
Since it’s Halloween and all, you might as well do something a little on the spooky side this week (and hike up that step count while you’re at it!). That’s why we fully support a haunted walking tour. Lucky for you, there are loads of options: the 14th Annual Haunted Easton Walking Tour on Friday night from 8pm-9pm, and loads of options this week in Bethlehem from the Moravian Book Shop starting at 6pm. More info on Easton tours here, and Bethlehem tours here.
 

Runner’s World Half Marathon and Festival (All weekend) 
The Runner’s World Half and Festival kicks off tonight and features loads of races (5k, 10k, half marathon, kids races, dog races, and more) and festivities. Best part? There’s still time to register! Registration information here.

SATURDAY

Lehigh Valley Cider and Wine Festival at Coca Cola Park (12pm - 10pm/ $35)
Helloooo! This is were ⅔ of the Live Well Lehigh Valley crew will be this Saturday. Want to join us? Buy your ticket NOW. We’ll be sipping on local wines and ciders, and noshing on some delicious food truck fare, and jamming out to the musical stylings of Tim Harakal (swoon!). Buy tickets here
 

Free Mini Consultations with Herbalist at Nature’s Way in Easton (1pm - 3pm/ Free) 
How cool is this? Every Saturday, you can head to Nature’s Way (an amazing health food and supplement store) for a quick consultation with herbalist Cheryl Karcher to see what natural remedies might suit your lifestyle. More info here

SUNDAY

Pound and Pour at Allentown Brewworks (2 - 2:45pm/ $20)
This Sunday, you can experience POUND, an alternative group fitness class inspired by drumming, at Brewworks. By using lightly weighted drumsticks while completing cardio and strength exercises, this workout transforms drumming into an intense and insanely fun exercise. Plus, it just looks pretty damn cool (see pic above) AND you get a free beer after the class. What more could you want? More info on how to register here….we advise you do so ASAP.  
 

Easton Food Truck Festival (12 - 6pm/ Free) 
YASSS! What’s better than a crap load of food trucks in one place? Literally nothing….well, maybe if it was a food truck and puppy fest, but we’ll settle for this. The invite promises lot's of delicious food, drinks, craft beer, and live music. We’re sold. More info here
 

Yoga and Brunch at Easton Public Market (8 – 9:30 am/ Cost: $18)
Enjoy a one-hour gentle morning flow guided by an Easton Yoga instructor to wake your body up followed by a nutritious breakfast from Greenmouth Table. Talk about a healthy start to your Sunday! More info here.

 

*Got an event we should list in upcoming weeks? Shoot us an email here or leave a comment to be considered. We have final approval for all listings, but we love suggestions!

13 Things You Should Do This Week In The Lehigh Valley (9/11 - 9/17)

dominik-wycislo-122568.jpg

By: Stephanie Eckelkamp

How many of you just had an awesome weekend? You went to an outdoor yoga class, took a night club inspired spinning class at ND Wheelhouse, checked out Hardball Cider's new tasting room, or even hit up Brew at the Zoo.

Or maybe the weekend caught you by surprise. You had no idea what awesome events were going on in your area, and you kind of just let it get filled up with random errands and Netflix. It's cool, happens to the best of us. But it doesn't have to. 

That's why Live Well Lehigh Valley is starting weekly events roundups, highlighting a curated list of LV events focused on fitness, food, and general mental and physical wellness. There's a little something for everyone!  

MONDAY

Downtown Allentown Restaurant Week (now - 9/16)

If you’ve been meaning to hit up downtown Allentown to check out the mouthwatering meals and drinks from trendy spots like The Hamilton Kitchen & Bar, Grain, Centro, Bell Hall, The Dime, and Queen City BBQ—there’s no better time than now! Restaurant week runs today through Saturday Sept. 16th and features gourmet prix-fixe menus ranging from $15 to $40 for brunch, lunch, and dinner. Here, check out the list of participating restaurants and their pricing.

TUESDAY

Doggie "Yappy" Hour for Charity at Fegley’s Allentown Brew Works (5:30 pm – 8:30 pm)

Animal lovers, you can now justify tipping back a few on a Tuesday! Every week, Fegley’s Allentown Brew Works hosts a “yappy” hour with proceeds from select drinks benefitting a different dog charity (this week: The American Bulldog Rescue).  And yes, there will be pups in attendance. More info here

WEDNESDAY

Bethlehem Food Co-op Main Street Mingle (5:30 pm - 7:30 pm/ Cost: Free)

Whether you're thinking of joining the Bethlehem Food Co-op or not, this event located at the Main Street Commons is an awesome way to get to know some wellness-minded LV locals and explore a few Bethlehem-based businesses. Brew Works will be offering beer tastings, Franklin Hill Vineyards will supply the wine, there will be some delicious appetizers from Social Still, and you'll get to tour a few of Captured Lehigh Valley Escape Room's spaces. Bonus: free chair massages from Rockin' Good Health! More info here

THURSDAY

Barre3 at The House and Barn (5:45 pm – 6:30 pm/ Cost: Free)

Want to hang out with us this week? Chances are at least one of the three Live Well ladies will be getting our sweat on at the free Barre3 community class at House and Barn in Emmaus. Snacks and sips to follow. Bring a yoga mat, water bottle, and (if you’re anything like me) a sizeable sweat towel. More info here.

Outdoor Yoga at Allentown ArtsWalk + After Party at Queen City BBQ (6pm – 7pm/ Cost: $8)

If barre workouts aren’t your jam, here’s another kick-ass way to spend your Thursday night. Really, what’s better than a little outdoor yoga in the crisp almost-fall air followed by happy hour specials and some amazing pulled pork? Nothing, absolutely nothing. More info here.

FRIDAY

BYOB Painting Class at Paint on Main (6:45pm – 8:45 pm/ Cost: $35)

Skip happy hour and tap into your artistic side—with a little help from your good friend pinot noir—at Paint on Main in Emmaus. Bonus: No experience is needed! Local artists will guide you step by step to create your masterpiece. Check out upcoming classes and sign up here.

SATURDAY

Organic Apple Festival at Rodale Institute (10 am – 4 pm/ Cost: $10 for parking)

Pick organic apples at the Rodale Institute, shop from a variety of organic vendors, enjoy organic food and beverages, listen to live music, and hop on a wagon for a tour of the property. And if you’re into running, be sure to sign up for the An Apple a Day 5k, which takes place at 9 am. More info on the festival here.  

Snip N Sip Flower Arranging at Easton Public Market (10am – 11pm/ Cost: $40)

We’re pumped about this new flower arranging class (with refreshments!) at Easton Public Market in which you get to create a beautiful bouquet of hydrangea, red roses, orange roses, yellow roses, mint leaves, chili peppers, and more. Bonus: Creating something with your hands requires you to be mindful and in the moment—serving as a form of meditation. More info here.

West End World of Food Festival (11 am – 10 pm/ Cost: Free)

Located at 19th and Liberty Streets in Allentown, the 3rd annual West End World of Food Festival has something for everyone – music, crafts, childrens’ activities, beer, wine and, of course, a wide variety of food to enjoy. Fingers crossed that Hai Street Kitchen, makers of the ridiculously amazing sushi burrito, will be in attendance again this year. More info here.   

SUNDAY

Barre3 at the Library (9am -10am/ Cost: Free)

If you missed Thursday’s free Barre3 class, there’s another chance to get in on all the muscle-quivering action at the Bethlehem Area Public Library. Be sure to bring your own mat! More info here.

Yoga and Brunch at Easton Public Market (8 am – 9:30 am/ Cost: $18)

Enjoy a one-hour gentle morning flow guided by an Easton Yoga instructor to wake your body up followed by a nutritious breakfast from Greenmouth Table. Talk about a healthy start to your Sunday! More info here.

Run Brunch at Union & Finch (9:30 am/ Cost: Free)

If you run to eat, join Run Happy Lehigh Valley for their monthly run brunch! Meet at Union and Finch in Allentown, run (or walk) 1.5 miles out and back, then return to U&F for some delicious food and beverages. Runners of all speeds welcome. More info here.

Yoga at Easton Riverside Festival of the Arts (9:30 am – 10:45 am/ Cost: Free)

If you’re planning to attend the Easton Riverside Festival of the Arts and all of its amazingness (food trucks, libations, stilt performers, hands-on workshops, and loads of local art), you might as well hit up the free yoga class in Scott Park. Bring your own mat. More info here.

 

*Got an event we should list in upcoming weeks? Shoot us an email here or leave a comment to be considered. We have final approval for all listings, but we love suggestions!

6 Summer Events That Combine Fitness, Booze, And Awesome Food In The Lehigh Valley

yoga + beer.png

by Stephanie Eckelkamp

Sure, we all love how we feel after a great workout, but sometimes getting our butts out of bed and into gym clothes requires a little extra motivation. And if that motivation includes a strong cocktail or some killer farm fresh food, then you bet your ass we’ll be squeezing into our most flattering yoga pants faster than you can say mimosa. 

Lucky for all of us, local Lehigh Valley businesses have fully embraced trend of combining fitness classes (think: yoga, barre, crossfit) and a stiff drink, beer, or tasty nibbles. Squats and sangria, anyone? Burpees and beer? Pigeon and pinot grigio? I could go on...

Here, we’ve rounded up some awesome ways to detox and retox that are happening soon.

 

1) Sunday Morning Sweat: CrossFit at Weyerbacher
When: Sundays, June 25th, July 23rd, and August 20th, 10am
Where: Weyerbacher Brewery
Price: $10

Join South Mountain CrossFit instructors for a fun and interactive intro to CrossFit followed by a nice, cold 12 oz glass of the best recovery drink we can think of: beer! Haven’t mastered the art of the deadlift or the burpee? That’s fine. This event is perfectly suitable for CrossFit newbies. For more info and to purchase tickets, click here

2) Barre3 in the Vineyard
When: Sundays, July 2nd and August 6th, 9am
Where: Vynecrest Vineyards & Winery
Price: Free

Grab your yoga mat and a friend and join Barre3 instructors for a complementary sweat session followed by delicious mimosas and food by BlendLife Food Truck. No need to register; just show up! Want more details? Click here for the July event and here for the August event.

3) Yoga Happy Hour at Triple Sun Spirits
When: Wednesday, July 12th, 6pm
Where: Triple Sun Spirits
Price: $20

Work got you feeling blah? Grab a fellow disgruntled coworker and bust through the mid-week blues with an invigorating yoga flow followed by a hand made Triple Sun Spirits cocktail. To purchase tickets, click here

4) Farm Food Flow
When: Saturdays, July 15th and August 19th, 5-8pm
Where: Kreeky Tree Farm
Price: $75

Join yoga instructors Melanie Smith and Britt Tag for an outdoor vinyasa yoga class at Kreeky Tree Farm followed by a cooking demo and tasting with ingredients grown/raised on site by owners Allan Schanbacher and Chris Gangi. Bonus: You get to hang out with loads of cute farm animals while you’re there, including goats, donkeys, horses, chickens, and ducks. To enroll, email kreekytreefarm@gmail.com or call 610-442-2719. Click here for more details. 

19221621_1330508077065919_5945872879340807180_o.jpg

5) Yoga + Brunch with Greenmouth Table and Easton Yoga
When: Sunday, July 16th, 8am
Where: Easton Public Market
Price: $18

Join Alicia Rambo Wozniak of Easton Yoga and Sarah Hinsch of Greenmouth Table at the Easton Public Market for a healthy and delicious start to your Sunday. Alicia will guide a one-hour gentle morning flow to wake your body up and Sarah will prepare a nutritious breakfast to enjoy at the end of class. To register, click here

6) Pints and Poses: Yoga at Weyerbacher Brewery
When: Sunday, July 16th, August 6th, 10am
Where: Weyerbacher Brewery
Price: $20

Grab a mat and join guest instructor Stephanie Riggs in front of the brewhouse for a fun, adventurous sequence linking basic and advanced yoga poses, followed by a beer cocktail and some tasty snacks. To purchase tickets, click here

Got an event we should add? Holler at us below and we'll be sure to include it!

Moving Well in 2017

By Siobhan DeRemer

This is the first in a series of our individual promises and journeys for Living Well in 2017 from all of us at Live Well Lehigh Valley. Stay tuned for updates to this and other journeys from Steph and Nina as we continue to commit to Living Well in 2017 (follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for pictures, too!) and be sure to let us know what steps you’re taking to move into the new year with intention and purpose. Perhaps you want to shop locally more, join a CSA or a yoga studio, or even just keep on being your amazing self—we can help you do all of those things (and we’ll cheer you on, too)!

Shout-out to all my desk-job workers out there! Full disclosure: I am actually standing at work while I write this. If you have a desk job and even have the remote ability to request or use a standing desk, I highly recommend it. It really keeps you accountable and even though I still do a fair amount of sitting throughout the day, I love having the option to get up and stretch without missing an email (though let’s be fair, a break from email isn’t a bad thing!).

Even with my standing desk, at the end of 2016 I was feeling like a lazy bum. The holidays just have that way of reminding you that there are 500 things to do and your motivation just struggles to keep up (you know, and that cookies are basically the best therapy when you put off wrapping presents for the 1,000th time). My days are usually filled with 8-9 hours (or more) of work and time with my cat, husband, friends, and our vast collection of board games. I am perhaps what you’d call a fairweather exerciser. I have dabbled in strength-training programs, yoga, Pilates, taken a barre class or two (see my adventures with that here)—but none of them on a regular basis. I’d hit up a yoga class every 3 weeks or go to the gym at work once every month...and then when winter hit, I just stopped altogether. I knew I needed a change and so, as many people do, I decided to make a promise to myself for 2017: I’d integrate at least 30 minutes of movement into my day. Every day. Not for weight loss, not even really for the perfect beach body come summer (though if it works out, awesome), but because I just know my body is aching to move and DO something. And the extra energy that comes with moving regularly could be a bonus, too.

So we’re only 11 days into 2017 and I’ve basically turned this into a yoga challenge since that’s the easiest movement I can manage at home when it’s freezing outside. This might change come spring and I’m desperate for fresh air, which is why I made this about movement and not any one exercise—it’s all about freedom and giving myself the options so I won’t make excuses. Right now, I make time at the end of the day (or the morning if I’m brave) to get to my mat and move for about 25-30 minutes. I’m not new to yoga, but so far I’ve noticed muscles I haven’t used in a while waking up and my love for yoga reinvigorated (not to mention my digestion is totally on track. TMI?). The practice can be anything you make it: soothing, energizing, meditative. I’m certainly not a yoga master, but I love that I can feel any type of way and bring that to my practice. I’m also waking up in the morning with more drive and feel a bit less in need of caffeine in the afternoon (except that’s not going anywhere; I’m trying move, not lose my sanity). Maybe I falter a little on my Standing Split (or fall down completely, it happens!) or I roll my eyes at that 10th Chaturanga or I completely cry out with joy when we get to Pigeon—no matter what, I’m there. Moving into 2017. Maybe moving with grace will come in 2018…