Let A Down-Dog Help Lift You Up In The Mornings

Let A Down-Dog Help Lift You Up In The Mornings

Spice up your workout routine by adding some ohmmm.

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If you are anything like me, you spend hours looking at Instagram models who seem to have the picture-perfect bodies. You then proceed to tell yourself you are going on an all-plant diet and will wake up at 6 AM every day for a breezy morning jog, followed by an overflowing bowl of acai. Well, I'll be the first to admit, there is a slim chance of me sticking to that for more than two days. I always seemed to be at square one when it came to healthy, active lifestyles. One thing that helped me to combat this constant inner-struggle, was yoga.

As the summer began, I decided I was going to start becoming a frequent customer at the local yoga studio. I decided I would commit myself by paying for all my classes upfront; therefore, forcing me to go in order to not lose money. This tactic, I will admit, worked quite well. After my first session of classes was over, I immediately signed up for more. Not convinced yet? Well, allow me a few more minutes and I'll get down to the nitty-gritty of why hot yoga is so great.

When you walk into the studio you immediately feel a burst of heat: at first, this can be alarming, but I promise that hot yoga is the only way to go. Within 10 minutes of class beginning, you can already feel sweat dripping down every part of your body: elbows, nose, back, you name it. In an hour-long class, you go through many different 'flows' which test your balance, strength, and endurance. There is a variety of classes, some tailored to abs, some to legs, etc. No matter what the class, you leave drenched in sweat and feeling good about yourself.

Not only is yoga great for strengthening mind and body, but if you decide to start Bikram or Hot Yoga, it can be an excellent tool for weight loss, due to the crazy amount of sweat you produce. I have found that a yoga class in the morning kick-starts my day and makes me think twice about the foods I put into my body that day and encourages me to make healthier choices all day long.

Yoga is also the ideal workout for all you folks who hate running just about as much as me. I know that forcing myself to go on a run, dragging myself to the finish line will never be an enjoyable workout for me. When I do things like pilates, yoga, or dance, I seem to forget I am even working out. The hour passes by so fast, that when the class is over I can't believe it! By the end of the hour I leave feeling refreshed and knowing that I have burned hundreds of calories, I am ready to tackle my day!

For any skeptics who wake up dreading the gym, I urge you to test out a yoga session. It is worth the hype… and the soaking wet workout gear afterward!

Cover Image Credit:

Pexels.com

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Bailey Posted A Racist Tweet, But That Does NOT Mean She Deserves To Be Fat Shamed

As a certified racist, does she deserve to be fat shamed?
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This morning, I was scrolling though my phone, rotating between Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube and Snapchat again, ignoring everyone's snaps but going through all the Snapchat subscription stories before stumbling on a Daily Mail article that piqued my interest. The article was one about a teen, Bailey, who was bullied for her figure, as seen on the snap below and the text exchange between Bailey and her mother, in which she begged for a change of clothes because people were making fun of her and taking pictures.

Like all viral things, quickly after her text pictures and harassing snaps surfaced, people internet stalked her social media. But, after some digging, it was found that Bailey had tweeted some racist remark.

Now, some are saying that because Bailey was clearly racist, she is undeserving of empathy and deserves to be fat-shamed. But does she? All humans, no matter how we try, are prejudiced in one way or another. If you can honestly tell me that you treat everyone with an equal amount of respect after a brief first impression, regardless of the state of their physical hygiene or the words that come out of their mouth, either you're a liar, or you're actually God. Yes, she tweeted some racist stuff. But does that mean that all hate she receives in all aspects of her life are justified?

On the other hand, Bailey was racist. And what comes around goes around. There was one user on Twitter who pointed out that as a racist, Bailey was a bully herself. And, quite honestly, everyone loves the downfall of the bully. The moment the bullies' victims stop cowering from fear and discover that they, too, have claws is the moment when the onlookers turn the tables and start jeering the bully instead. This is the moment the bully completely and utterly breaks, feeling the pain of their victims for the first time, and for the victims, the bully's demise is satisfying to watch.

While we'd all like to believe that the ideal is somewhere in between, in a happy medium where her racism is penalized but she also gets sympathy for being fat shamed, the reality is that the ideal is to be entirely empathetic. Help her through her tough time, with no backlash.

Bullies bully to dominate and to feel powerful. If we tell her that she's undeserving of any good in life because she tweeted some racist stuff, she will feel stifled and insignificant and awful. Maybe she'll also want to make someone else to feel as awful as she did for some random physical characteristic she has. Maybe, we might dehumanize her to the point where we feel that she's undeserving of anything, and she might forget the preciousness of life. Either one of the outcomes is unpleasant and disturbing and will not promote healthy tendencies within a person.

Instead, we should make her feel supported. We all have bad traits about ourselves, but they shouldn't define us. Maybe, through this experience, she'll realize how it feels to be prejudiced against based off physical characteristics. After all, it is our lowest points, our most desperate points in life, that provide us with another perspective to use while evaluating the world and everyone in it.

Cover Image Credit: Twitter / Bailey

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Cross-Country Running Turned Me Into Superwoman

Running pulled me out of my everyday funk.

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Before I found the key to my personal success, waking up each morning was a drag. I did not know how to change my negativity. Early every morning my alarm clock would scream at its highest pitch and loudest volume to scold me for existing.

Breakfast (the most important meal of the day) was bland, lifeless, or even just skipped completely. There seemed no point in fueling a broken, run-down engine.

Packing up my heavy, oversized backpack was an everyday annoyance. I would swing my worthless school textbooks over my shoulder, beginning another exhausting day.

I destroyed this negative mindset when I found cross-country running. Introduced to me by a close friend, I had no idea that the sport would soon ameliorate my life.

Today, I wake up before my alarm clock even needs to tell me that it is time to start a new and exciting day of learning and improvement.

Breakfast is of utmost importance. A vigorous, motivated running machine needs nutrients for fuel. I look at myself in the mirror as I tie my hair back; I feel beautiful and capable. Most importantly, I know I can take on anything.

With my running shoes tied tight and my muscles thoroughly stretched and warmed up, I burst out of the door. I hold my head up high and roll my shoulders back, assuming the posture of a powerful superhero. With each stride I beat down upon the ground, leaving clouds of dust behind. My heartbeat is jolted as my legs push forward with power; straining my body. Cramps crawl up my sides, begging me to slow down or stop. They tighten their grip when I refuse to abandon my mission. I feel my overexerted heartbeat burst through my clenching ribcage while my laboring lungs wheeze.

When I put all my energy into keeping the steady rhythm of my feet launching off from the ground, when my breath flows deeply and steadily, then and only then am I able to become greater than any issue or shortcoming. I no longer need to rely on anyone; I just need my running shoes, my body, and my motivation.

This endorphin and adrenaline releasing exercise put me in a positive mindset, motivating me to make other self-improvements. I know I can focus all my energy into running dexterously; holding my pace for over an hour with great confidence. Therefore, I know I must have the ability to sit down for an hour and focus on understanding my calculus homework, on discovering the meaning of life, on writing a book powerful enough to change the world, on finding the answer to world peace or writing my first article for Odyssey.

I hold the same mantra: just keep going, focus your energy, you can and will achieve.

Running has taught me how to focus the entirety of my energy into one task - to not worry how long it takes to accomplish, but rather how well the task is being done. Being proficient in this skill helps me absorb more knowledge from everyday classes.

This life-enhancing sport has truly changed my overall mood and feeling towards the world around me. I look forward to finding myself completely immersed in challenging college courses, discovering fields that captivate me, and continuing to write for Odyssey. Running has taught me that this goal will be achievable.

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