No Exercise TV? No problem

Two weeks ago, I lamented about the fact that Exercise TV was no longer on air and my workout routine had been left hanging.  Well, I am happy to report that I have figured out a solution, it just took a leap of faith. In myself, that is…

During that first week, I scoured my cable tv channels, trying to find a replacement program for my morning yoga. The ones I found were either too fast-paced and complicated, or I didn’t like the harsh, aggressive voices of the instructors. I do my yoga to stretch, relax and clear my mind- not to get pushed to achieve some momentous pose for an unnatural amount of time. So my next move was to check on Amazon for the exact routine I had been following, 10lb slimdown yoga, on dvd. They had it, but by the time I paid for shipping, I would have been out 20 bucks- and I didn’t want the whole dvd, just the yoga part. That is why I decided to take matters into my own hands.   

My cable tv has an ambient channel. I used it for the soothing, zen-like background music and an inspiring series of still shots in tropical paradise. Nothing like yoga on the beach, right?

          

On the first day I tried it, I relaxed my mind and let my body walk me through the moves. It knew what to do, I just had to trust it. Kneeling position, cat stretch, downward dog, vinyasa flow; it all came back. Instead of listening to an instructor, I listened to my breathing. I was able to better time my moves to my body rhythms.

   

If I felt like holding a pose longer or shorter, I was in control: no more moving under orders. After a week, I had solidified my confidence enough to draw on other moves I remembered, like spinal twist or screaming pigeon (I know that doesn’t sound relaxing, but it’s a great stretch). Now instead of ending in seated position, I always rise to do several sun salutations. It feels so good to move my whole body at the end.           

If you have lost a favorite routine due to Exercise TV being cancelled, I encourage you to try what I did. Find some favorite music that inspires or motivates you, either on tv or on your iPod. Let your body talk you through your routine. Whether it is yoga or cardio, trust yourself. If it is cardio, start by jogging in place. Eventually you will find yourself improvising and adding  leg lifts or jumps. I think we all have it in us, we just have to find it. We don’t need to rely on corporations to exercise. If you think you lack motivation, how about this…  I saved myself $20 and I created my own routine, which is far more enjoyable and I can be proud of myself. I am sure you can do it too.

Even if Exercise TV comes back, I don’t see myself returning. I am much happier doing it my way.

Cancelling Netflix: A Lesson for my Kids

Yesterday I made the decision to cancel Netflix. I have loved receiving those red envelopes for the last 6 years, but, as you probably heard they raised their rates an outrageous amount and I was mad. Before I made the decision, I discussed it with my family. My husband and I rarely sit down to watch movies, so he had no great attachment. The kids were another story, however.
    They not only enjoy ordering the dvds, they take advantage of the instant streaming of tv shows too. My son has probably watched every episode of South Park and my daughter followed all of Glee. Needless to say, they were not happy.
    Being a teacher at heart, I had to turn this into a life lesson. I didn’t go into the comparison of today’s media versus the “good old days”. You know, the days when we all sat around the one family tv to watch the much anticipated annual run of The Sound of Music, The Wizard of Oz or The Great Pumpkin. If you missed it, it wouldn’t be on again until next year. Nothing like the instant gratification of today’s media.

Instead, I talked to them about principles and “putting your money where your mouth is”. Teenagers are at the age where their money starts to mean something. The amount they spend on clothes, make up, electronics and entertainment gives them more power than they realize, as long as they don’t get roped in by bad deals. I showed them the amount of money we would be charged above our current plan and we discussed what we could get for that amount instead. We figured out other ways to get free movies and shows streamed to our tv and checked out the supply of dvds at the library. With the money we saved, we could probably even get a few pay per views each month.

They still weren’t thrilled with the decision to drop Netflix, but at least they understood the reasons why and that we had the right to explore other options. As for Netflix, I hope this doesn’t turn out to be a lesson in bad business, but I’m sure my kids will be checking out the stories online to see if our form of protest had any impact. And that would be a better real life lesson than anything they learned in their history books.