more yoga, please.


hi loves. Happy Monday to ya! How was your weekend!? Adam's birthday was last Thursday so I spoiled him all the love + dinner at one of our favorite spots, Barringtons. Friday was another fun night out at Stagioni and by the time Saturday rolled around, all we wanted to do was stay in and cook. Do you ever just crave a good & healthy, home cooked meal!? Going out is fun and all, but staying in and cooking up a delicious meal is just the best! Sunday was a family dinner - my mom made her famous ribs - SO GOOD!

So now that we're all caught up...
I feel like my body is talking to me and "more yoga" is coming in loud & clear! I've been going really hard for the past year and I feel like my body is starting to be like, woah Lauren, pump the brakes.
Pretty much every part of me has been hurting lately - my hips & glutes, my neck & shoulders, my back is tight and even my (flat) feet hurt! If you follow along regularly, you know that I've been pushing myself to run more and I think its taken its toll on me. Running + boxing + HIIT strength circuits + practically no time in the yoga studio have left me feeling all achy and old or something. 
 Last week, I went to yoga 3x and let me tell it could not have felt better! I honestly do not remember the last time I got on my mat 3x in one week. The plan was to go 5x, but my work schedule just didn't allow. I started off this brand new week & new month with the sweatiest yoga practice at Charlotte Yoga with one of my favorite instructors Rian Harris. {P.S. The 4 o'clock classes at Charlotte Yoga are only 10 bucks}
I feel like my body has let out this huge sigh of relief all in just 4 practices. I can already notice such a difference in every way - mind & body. My tight hips feel more open and my hurried mind feels more calm. 

Rather than feeling all tight and locked up, as I often have when randomly popping into a yoga class, today's practice felt like it did when I used to spend 6 days (and sometimes 2x a day) a week in the studio. Today's practice felt the way a yoga practice should be - a beautiful, rhythmic dance between movement and breath. 

do more yoga. 

xx
 

The Perfect Week: Movement

When it comes to health & fitness, I can't stress enough about finding a balance that works for YOU. Really tuning into [your] body....how do you feel when eating certain foods? How does your body respond to different types of movement? yoga, walking, strength training, running, swimming, pilates, rest days... fine-tuning that balance of movement is truly invaluable. When you find what makes you tick, so to speak, well...it feels pretty damn good. And I feel like I've found my sweet spot as I've moved thru 2016. 

Naturally, routines (and relationships) ebb & flow. In 2015, I found myself ebbing more than flowing when it came to my workouts. And, its taken the better part of this year to get back to a solid routine + looking & feeling my best! But not to get off track, because I have a separate post planned for that. 

I've been thinking up this post for the last few weeks and am happy to finally be sitting down to write it in hopes of inspiring whoever is reading to work on finding a balance that works for you, for your body and your overall health, well-being and something I'm quite frankly obsessed with - longevity. 

In the past, I have struggled with taking those much needed rest days - not physically, but mentally. I've finally gotten to a place where I actually respect my rest days and don't beat myself up or have an inner dialogue going on, where my mind is telling me I NEED to workout while my body just totally isn't feeling it. 

If you follow along on my health & fitness Instagram account @ls_fitlife or on Snapchat @ laurenschwaiger you see that my week is full of many different types of m o v e m e n t - boxing, every type of cardio you can think of, strength training, yoga, bike rides & my absolute favorite thing to do...super long, leisurely walks with Adam. I've cultivated this really awesome balance that leaves me feeling strong, fit, healthy & energized come the end of the week rather than overtrained, burnt out or feeling like I have nothing left to give.  

A sample week of workouts looks like this...

MONDAY
Cardio + Full Body Strength Circuit
(think: push ups, squats, lunges, chest press, tricep & bicep work, shoulder raises, pull-ups)
TUESDAY
 LISS Cardio 45-60 minutes / typically a mix of stair master, treadmill and precore AMT
WEDNESDAY
Boxing
THURSDAY
Active Rest Day
2-3 mile walk outside or yoga, just depending on the day/my schedule
FRIDAY
HIIT cardio sesh on the treadmill + core & booty exercises
SATURDAY
 Boxing Bootcamp
SUNDAY
Active Rest Day
long walk, typically 5+ miles all over uptown or a yoga class with Adam

Years ago, I felt this need to constantly push myself as hard as possible. This left me completely fatigued & burnt out. Now, in my 30's, I don't recover as quickly as I used to + a family history of shitty knees & hips already has me modifying things I used to do in my 20's. Its taken some time but I've gotten into this rhythm that as you can see by the title of this post, is The Perfect Week of Movement. So what is this Perfect Week, you ask?


2-3 DAYS A WEEK: HIGH INTENSITY TRAINING
(boxing, sprint work, plyometircs, timed exercises)
+
1-2 DAYS A WEEK: MODERATE INTENSITY
(long cardio sessions such as stair master, power incline walking, jogging)
+
2 DAYS A WEEK: LOW INTENSITY AND/OR RECOVERY TECHNIQUES

(yoga class, bike rides, long walk outside, stretching, foam rolling, massage, bath + epsom salts, legs up the wall, etc...)

You'll notice I gave a range of days, 2-3 / 1-2 days for high & moderate intensity workouts...every day/week/month is different and I always listen to how my body is feeling on any given day. Some weeks for example, maybe I'm only feeling 2 ass kicking workouts or maybe I have 3 in me! Obviously, this is what works for me and every single body is different so weekly check-in's are a beautiful thing...take note of what you've had going on & find your weekly flow based on how your feeling.
Good sleep or lack thereof? Hormones? Did you have a little too much fun over the weekend?
 Hydrated/dehydrated? Stressed to the max? Constipated? Are you fueling your body with the proper foods - protein, healthy fats, complex carbs, greens & colorful veggies? 
All of the above plays a role in what your body may need. 

I feel like I can ramble on & on about all of this, but I'll wrap it up by saying...
just tune in & cultivate a deeper connection with your body.
I hope you find this post helpful in figuring out what makes you feel your best, happiest, healthiest, strongest, most confident & beautiful self! xx

Much Love, 

Workouts This Week: 9.26 - 10.3

Hi Hi, loves! Happy Sunday! Sharing what workouts have looked like over the last week. Feeling so good & strong & still keeping a nice balance of cardio, strength & yoga. I'm really trying to get in at least 2 yoga practices a week, which doesn't sound like a hard thing to do, but with everything else sometimes it just isn't easy to get to yoga, to keep my body in balance. Its kinda crazy but I seriously just feel...off, when I don't have my yoga. My body feels fatigued and I just feel blocked physically, mentally & digestively.  

Saturday. 9.26. 
90 minutes, yoga  fusion @ Laughing Buddha

insanely sweaty & amazing yoga fusion. Felt so awesome!!
Hadn't taken this class in a while. I was feeling it on Sunday, for sure!

Sunday. 9.27.
sore, rest & Sunday Funday with the girls

Monday. 9.28.
Power Incline Walk. 30 minutes
Hot Yoga. 60 minutes

Tuesday. 9.29.
CARDIO / 35 minutes

PreCore AMT. 20 minutes
StairMaster. 15 minutes
Super busy day. I had about 45 minutes to squeeze in a workout. I did 5 minute blocks on the stair master on Level 11, hopping off every 5 to pop out 25 push ups. It was a quick & killer workout! felt.so.good.

Wednesday. 9.30.
Hot Yoga. 60 minutes

Thursday. 10.1
rest day, loads of errands & travel day to RVA <3

Friday. 10.2
Treadmill. 50 minutes / 4 miles / 400+ cals
power/incline walk, 15 minutes (1 mile)
60 sec sprint/60 sec recover, 20 minutes
power/incline walk, 15 minutes

Saturday. 10.3 Cardio + Strength (Happy Birthday, to mee! lol )
CARDIO / 30 minutes
Treadmill. 15 minutes (1 mile)
Bike. 15 minutes

STRENGTH / Full Body Circuit
hammer curl / neutral grip shoulder press: 15 x 3
incline db chest press: 20 x 3
overhead db triceps extensions:
15 x 3
squat/upright row combo (using db's) 20 x 3
Stretch & Foam Roll

Sunday: 10.4.
Rest Day
 

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!! xx

Much Love, 

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60 Minute Vinyasa Yoga Playlist // No. 1

Hello Yogis & Music Lovers! 

Sharing one of my most recent yoga playlists that I've used to teach my weekly 60 minute Vinyasa "Power Hour" class and have gotten a lot of compliments on my song selections. 
One of my favorite parts about teaching yoga is preparing my playlist -- picking songs that I love and hope my yogis will love & connect to. Music helps to create & elevate the energy in the yoga studio, deepen your practice & just help you...feel. 
This playlist takes you from child's pose, thru a strong vinyasa practice, some floor stretches & into the best part of your practice, savasana. Ahhh... 

Hope you enjoy! xx

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Five Minute Savasana

If I had it my way, no one would ever skip out on Savasana.
1) this is disruptive to the rest of the room enjoying their well earned rest
2) when, in any part of your day-to-day, do you take 5 full minutes to just...be?

The idea for this post came about at the end of my Tuesday night yoga class, as I watched nearly half the room moving about, fidgeting, twisting & turning on their mat, eyes open, and simply just could not ahhh... for 5 freakin' minutes. I notice this often, but for whatever reason, I guess it just resonated with me a bit deeper on this day. I like to reserve a full 5 minutes for Savasana at the end of each class. 5 whole, delicious minutes of peaceful, quiet, calm, stillness to completely rest your mind, body & soul. 

Savasana, just like any other posture, IS an asana, and can take a bit of time to really tap into...expeically, for the newbie yogi. Savasana is your "reward" for working so hard during your  yoga practice. I totally admit that in the past, I have gotten up and left before Savasana many, many times. Mostly, because I was legitimately short on time and needed to get in that locker room to shower before it was a madhouse! lol  But, over the last few years, I've come to appreciate those precious, rejuvenating moments -- body heavy, heart & mind light -- {melting} into my mat after a hot & tough practice. Keeping in mind that everyday is different -- how we feel emotionally, physically, mentally -- personally, no two Savasana Sessions feel the same. Some days I lay there on my mat dead - like lifeless, as if I haven't slept in a year, like can someone please peel me off of this mat??, without a single thought entering my mind. Other times, I feel antsy, and can't stop thinking about what I need to be doing. 

Benefits of Savasana

 deeply relaxes the mind & body
allows the effects of your yoga practice to sink in
relieves stress
improves quality of sleep
can help to reduce blood pressure & anxiety
helps to calm your nerves + ease tension in the body

The next time you think about rolling up your mat and bailing before Savasana, perhaps you'll think about just how beneficial those five minutes of rest are to your body, your mind, and your general wellbeing. Savasana can definitely be one of the most challenging postures to master - many people find it difficult to lay there on the mat, be still and let your thoughts go. Perhaps you might want to think about the WHY of this...
why aren't you able to simply lay there with yourself, in yourself, and just be? 



Finding peace, self-love & contentment from deep within are some pretty incredible, empowering feelings. My yoga practice has no doubt helped me find all of these feelings and more -- this also includes the Asana of Savasana ;) xx

so much love,

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