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The goal of this past week: stretching. Z and I made it a point to do a quick yoga stretch every morning when we got out of bed. It’s such a great way to loosen up, get moving and start the day.

We’ve tried others but Tara Stiles by far has the best videos. We went through and did a different one each day.


Starting off the week right: roll out of bed and streeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeetch.

Yoga for stretching

Monday- Stretch & Dive

Good morning, Tara.

Morning Routine

Good thing I was nice and stretched because I had 40 minutes of diving ahead of me at work. It was intense. I didn’t know it was possible to sweat inside a wetsuit, but I’m pretty sure I did.

Tuesday- Total Body Circuit

This stretch is perfect for the morning…nothing intense.

Gentle stretching to get you moving.

When I got home from work it was Tone It Up time! This routine was another total body circuit using combination moves…working multiple muscles at a time. Love “more bang for your buck” types of workouts.

Click the image below for the workout:


I went through the routine two times and was definitely feeling it in my arms the next day.

Wednesday- Dance

The morning started with Tara Stiles. Soooo good.

Yoga for Flexibility

That evening when I walked into dance they were passing out leftover cupcakes and cheesecakes. Desserts before dancing? Seems counterintuitive. I declined and was thankful I did when it came to the abs portion of the warm-up.

One of the most challenging moves we did was the v-sit with leg circles. I couldn’t find an exact video, but it was like the one below except holding the arms out to the side. It’s a killer!

V-Sit with Leg Circles

The evening’s choreography was a swing dance inspired piece that involved some partner work. I was lifted like this:

swing dance - author with Heather Carlsen


Next week there will be even more of it!



This time Tara was in the Caribbean. Unfortunately we were not. In fact it snowed mid-day. Happy spring….

Bend it like Tara!


Friday- Jillian Michael’s

From the Caribbean to the pool! Friday morning started off with…

After a day full of errands I popped in Jillian Michael’s “Shred it with Weights” DVD that had arrived in the mail courtesy of Netflix. https://i1.wp.com/ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51o2uHtkzUL._SY300_.jpg

The workout is intended to be done with a kettle bell, but she also shows variations that can be done with a dumbbell. I started with Level 1, not sure what to expect. It was fun! Fast-paced, working the entire body. I’ll have to see what Level 2 has in store before I send it back.

Saturday- Run

Our last and final morning yoga:

A week of Tara Stiles comes to a close!

We skipped our 8K training group in favor of a 4 mile run around the Inner Harbor. I kept it at a slower pace because I knew we were going to be increasing distance and that seemed to work for me. I felt great (besides the cold wind blowing in my face) and enjoyed the change of scenery and tourist dodging.


Whew. What a week! So much stretching! I hope we can continue making it part of our morning routine.

I want to know…

Do you have any YouTube workout/yoga/stretching video favorites/recommendations?