Happy Friday! As I write this I am not exactly the pinnacle of wellness (I just ate the most delicious cheese roll from a bakery here in Cartagena and it was EVERYTHING) and I only logged four workouts this week but I’m not obsessing… I’m on vacation!!
Okay as promised, I am going to tell you all about my acupressure mat… now that I’ve had it for a few weeks. All our usual wellness stuff is down below (my workouts, something new, healthy links) at the bottom of the post, so keep on reading for that!!! (Note – I bought this exact acupressure mat but then had to order the pillow separately. The pillow is amazing, so just get the set!)
What is it!?: An acupressure mat is basically a little bed of plastic “nails” which stimulate all of your pressure points, mimicking the effects of acupuncture; without needles.
How to use it: I like to lay on it for 20 minutes (you can do it for just a few minutes if you’re new, or as much as an hour if you have been doing it a while – you work up to it… the first time I tried it, I only lasted five minutes!) For best results, it’s better to have skin to mat, so I will do it in my bra and underwear… or with just a very thin t-shirt. You can also stand on it barefoot (they recommend doing this for ten minutes – I can only manage one or two minutes, it’s really hard!!!). After twenty minutes of laying on it I like to roll my hips over it a few times to really get into that part of my low back as it gets so tight. I also love using the pillow at night before bed. It relaxes me and makes me really sleepy.
When to do it: There’s no “right” time to do it. A lot of people swear by doing it in the morning as it releases endorphins, but I typically use it when I get home from the gym in the morning. I’ll lay down on it, and spend 20 minutes answering comments / responding to DMs on Instagram. I also use it when I’m watching TV at night as I love to multitask. And I like the pillow at night before bed when I’m reading.
What it does: I noticed an immediate benefit of more relaxed shoulders, neck, and hips. It is SO good for relieving muscle tension. I get SO tight so that is a game changer for me. It also helps quite a bit with stress relief and I always feel energized after using it. It helps with circulation, anxiety… the works. But for me, the reason I use it is because it alleviates back, shoulder, and neck pain BIG TIME.
Like I said, it does take some getting used to. I mean, look at that detail shot below… ouch! I swear, it’s scarier looking than it actually is. And after a few minutes of laying on it, your body adapts. Just trust me on this one!
A couple other things about this week…
* This may sound nuts but I purposely enabled text message read receipts on my iPhone. This might sound crazy but I did it for a few reasons. First of all, I’m pretty conscientious about replying to text messages in a timely manner. BUT I have been working hard at being off of/away from my phone as much as possible. I thought this would be a nice way to show my friends I just haven’t seen their messages yet. We’ll see how it goes.
* My friend Hitha taught me a clever little trick that I have been doing and thought I’d share here. On laundry day, she takes all of her clean workout clothes, pairs them together (think tank top, sports bra, leggings… even socks if you are ambitious), and rolls up each individual outfit so that when she’s getting ready for the gym in the morning everything matches. Genius!
This week’s something new: I tried a new yoga studio – taking a class at Laughing Lotus. I’m going to be really honest here – I absolutely hated it. It was a great workout. I got sweaty, got a good stretch, and felt good… but there were a few things that bothered me. The first thing is my own fault – taking a class with live music sounded so cool. But it was live blues music the poses and flows just don’t “go” with the music. It just felt weird and off… to me, the music should complement the poses. The other part. UGH. The instructor made us do this really dumb (in my opinion, everything is subjective) choreography of stepping + curtsies in between the flows… the poses had silly names like “One Love,” “OMG,” and “Raise the Roof,” and I found them pointless + distracting. I won’t be going back! The class was packed, so it definitely has a following – it’s just not for me. I think I’m a purist – one of the reasons I love yoga is the flow and I was really annoyed by their additions.
Friday – REST. As I mentioned in last week’s challenge my body was starting to feel a little broken so I took two days in a row off. This was amazing as my body needed it but also awful as I’ve really come to love working out (things I thought I’d never say!) I felt really restless and irritable!
Saturday – 75 Minute Get Up and Flow Yoga Class at Equinox. I love, love, love this class – it’s my favorite way to start out the weekend.
Sunday– 75 minute class at Laughing Lotus
Monday – 30 minute incline walk on the treadmill at Equinox, 60 minute yoga class at Sky Ting Yoga.
Tuesday – 60 minute yoga class at Sky Ting.
Wednesday – Travel Day
Thursday – If by exercise, you mean margaritas, then yes! I had high hopes of getting up early to do yoga but opted for sleep. #vacation
This Week’s Healthy Links:
- These look really, really good: Fifteen healthy dinners you can meal prep on Sunday!
- This feature on Mia Rigden is packed full of interesting wellness advice. Do I need a tongue scraper!?
- Do these workouts on busy mornings.
- Liz has a fun post about staying motivated, and I always love her workout playlists.
- Looooved Carly’s post about meditating for a year. I hope I can be in a similar place one year from now!
Don’t forget to share your progress this week in the comments!
photography by Trent Bailey.