Tuesday, April 8, 2014

NH Yoga for Peace Day!







karlene murphy kama fitness yoga new hampshire manchester workshop arm balance


I am SO excited to announce our yoga celebration for 2014's New Hampshire Yoga for Peace Day!

My yogi friends and I have been working hard all year in our 200 hour RYT at Riverflow Yoga Studio in Manchester, NH - and upon our graduation we will be offering ANYONE in Southern New Hampshire who wishes to try out a FREE yoga class! 

Whether you have never practiced yoga before, or are an advanced yogini, we invite you to come to Riverflow Yoga on Saturday, May 10 to try out our free classes we will be giving from 8:00am to 4:00pm. Classes are donation based, and all proceeds go to Yoga Caps, Inc., a non-profit group that offers free yoga to special populations through out New Hampshire. 

Classes offered will vary from traditional Vinyasa Flow Yoga, to Yin Yoga and Power Yoga. 

I will be teaching a free Intro to Arm Balances class at 2:00 - this class will be appropriate for anyone who has been interested in learning how to get themselves off the ground and flying into crow pose**. 

We will work on building a solid foundation in the wrists and feet, along with strengthening the core  to assist you to fly! This class is appropriate for beginners as well as experienced yogis!


This class will benefit anyone who wishes to learn arm balances for the first time, or looking to refine your practice.

For more information, you can contact me at KickstartPT@gmail.com or call (603) 702- 3737. 



Yoga for Peace Day - Schedule: 




**If you have wrist or shoulder injuries, arm balances are NOT recommended. 




Monday, March 31, 2014

Why Yoga is Awesome






kickstart fitness karlene murphy yoga new hampshire



Warning: I don't usually get super personal on my blog posts. I typically stick to healthy recipes, workouts, motivation and fitness tips. This post will be nothing like that. 

This post is about why I came to Yoga, and decided to sign up for a 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training program. 

This year has had so many positives, but it was by no means an easy year. I had a lot of personal changes and conflicts come my way. A lot of huge decisions had to be made. And I had to come face to face with a few traumatic experiences, which included me living in a hospital for almost 4 weeks. 

Naturally, my workouts and nutrition suffered. My stress was through the roof. There were days where all I wanted to do was lay on the floor and just breath. I would dig my hands into the ground to keep myself from going crazy. There was something comforting about planting myself  in the ground. 

I never cried in front of anyone. I held myself together whenever I was around people, and tried to look strong. I never referred to any of my problems online or my blog. I guess I can be an introvert that way. 

I had no desire to run, lift weights or cook meals for myself. Because I had almost lost the most important person in my life, my focus was on other matters. It wasn't until I came to the mat and began doing Yoga that I found some happiness again. 


kickstart fitness karlene murphy yoga new hampshire



If you had told me 5 years ago that I would be training to become a Yoga instructor, I would have laughed at you. I had always thought Yoga was boring or the movements too slow. I didn't see any challenge in it. 

Yoga came into my life as a saving grace - it allowed me to explore myself mentally and physically without pressure. One of the core concepts behind Yoga is becoming still, quieting the mind, and complete focus when faced with challenging situations (from crow pose to watching a love one become sick).

Little did I know that going into headstand or holding Warrior II was a way to quiet my mind when it had so much to think about. Holding an arm balance or flying upside down gave me the opportunity to turn my focus inward and take a moment out of my stress. 

I am so blessed to have found Yoga at just the right time. I have the opportunity to study under New Hampshire's very best yoga instructors - Elizabeth Vlangas and Karen Kenney. With their guidance, and the love and support of countless friends - I have become myself again and was able to heal. 

If you doubt the awesome-ness of Yoga, it may not be the right time for you. And that's totally cool. Yoga is traditionally seen in America as a form of exercise to increase flexibility and strength, but I had the opportunity to learn the amazing healing power Yoga can have on your life. 

What about you - have your ever used exercise to heal? 


kickstart fitness karlene murphy yoga new hampshire





Thursday, March 27, 2014

Aerial Fitness at New Perspectives in Manchester, NH!







karlene murphy kickstart fitness aerial



Shannon Sullivan is the super flexible and talented aerial instructor at New Perspectives. She has over 5 years in aerial training, in addition to studying dance for over 20! Her aerial background is impressive- she has received training from UNH where she does aerial performances today, along with working under the guidance of internationally known aerialist Dreya Weber (the same choreographer who designed Cher, Pink and Madonna's aerial performances, and  Dreya stars in p90x and several Hollywood films). 


How cool is that? 


Shannon shares air space with Juel Sheridan in their awesome fitness studio located in downtown Manchester, New Hampshire. While Juel teaches pole fitness which I tried out last weekend with my friends from Blog and Tweet,  Shannon instructs aerial classes on the aerial silks and lyra (think a giant hula hoop): 



karlene murphy kickstart fitness aerial



As you can tell, I may have had a good time. 


Aerial fitness is a great avenue for me right now - as I have been a weight lifter/runner/pilates/martial arts girl for the last 10 years. And while I LOVE my fitness lifestyle, it is fun to mix things up. If you've been following me on Instagram or Facebook, you can tell Yoga and Aerial Yoga have been my newest interests. 

I LOVE trying out new ways to workout and move my body - and Yoga has complimented my weight training and running lifestyle beautifully. Aerial Yoga has been a great way to improve my flexibility and agility. Aerial Fitness with Shannon takes it to a whole other level. 


karlene murphy kickstart fitness aerial
Shannon having some fun. 

The aerial silk requires lots of gripping and moving your body via the core, shoulders and back. This is no easy task. 
While yoga and aerial yoga have helped me develop deeper flexibility and upper body strength, I was not prepared for the coordination required to tie my body up in silks. And trust in Shannon that I wasn't going to fall on my face. Her patience was amazing. 


karlene murphy kickstart fitness aerial


Shannon let me try out some yogic-like poses like this inverted pigeon. It was awesome to feel the difference between my traditional aerial yoga hammock compared to the aerial silk. 


karlene murphy kickstart fitness aerial



But Shannon's aerial magic doesn't end here. Half the class was on the silks, and the other took place on the lyra hoop. Shannon gracefully jumped on and began showing me and my workout buddy some basic movements and tricks that can be done on the hoop. 


karlene murphy kickstart fitness aerial


By the end of the class, my forearms were rock hard and my hands were tired from gripping the fabric and hoop. I am writing this two days after the class, and my upper back, abs and shoulders are STILL sore. I thought I was strong, but aerial fitness whoops your butt! 

If you want a challenging and fun way to take your workout up a notch, I highly recommend checking out Juel and Shannon at New Perspectives Pole and Aerial. They are both incredibly gifted athletes, performers, and have extensive training and impressive backgrounds in the aerial arts. Bring a friend and have an amazing workout and a few good laughs. 


karlene murphy kickstart fitness aerial

My aerial partner- Kasey! 



karlene murphy kickstart fitness aerial

Getting there.... 



karlene murphy kickstart fitness aerial

Shannon showing off her skills. 







Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Break Through a Weight Loss Plateau!





If you feel the weight not coming off after all your hard work- no worries! Here are my favorite methods of breaking through the weight loss slump. 






Feeling like you're eating healthy, your workouts are spot on, and you STILL can't seem to make your body budge? 

We've all hit a weight loss plateau at some point. Here are my tried and true methods of how to break through a weight loss plateau and get your goals back on target!

Interval Cardio is AWESOME! If you are sick of running, biking, stair climbing, elliptical-ing for DAYS- Please Stop. Just stop. Switch up the rhythm - try going all out energy for 20-30 seconds, and going easy for 30-40 seconds. Repeat this for 15-20 minutes, and end with a 10 minute cool down. Trust me - if you're doing this right, your body will be DONE at 20 minutes. You can also mix in cardio with weight bearing exercises like this AMAZING interval cardio workout here. 


Calorie Cycling involves paying attention to eating less calories on easy, restful days, and consuming more calories on heavy workout days. i won't go into great detail about it here - but you can read this short article on my blog or check out how to do it for yourself in my eBook Training for Life


Add in an Extra Set of Reps for each weight lifting exercise. For example, if you normally do 3 sets of 10 reps for biceps curls, simply complete 4 sets of 10 reps. These extra sets add up fast, pushing you to burn more calories and build more muscle. 

Switch Up Your Cardio Routine - This is my personal favorite tip. Ever get bored of running for miles? Sick of watching reruns of the Kardashians while mindlessly pedaling on the elliptical? Switch things up and keep yourself interested by trying out a new cardio workout - like Booty Barre, Aerial Yoga or Pole Fitness! You can also try out different workout circuits like my favorite - The Dirty Thirty HIIT


Keep a Food Diary to help you stay on target with your goals. Having to take the extra 10 minutes or so to track what you eat can be worth it when it comes to achieving your fitness goals. If you mindlessly eat every day, you may not realize how much you are actually consuming until you look things over each day. 

Cut Out Carbs after 4pm - this one is a little more extreme, but worth consideration. Try to avoid carbs from breads, fruits, and starchy items like oats, pasta  and white rice. Save these foods for earlier in the day, like breakfast or right after a workout, so that your body will use them for energy and not storage. 

Take a Break- sometimes we all need to hit the reset button. Your body may not be responding anymore because it needs to rest. Take a few days off, reevaluate your goals, and come back to your healthy lifestyle with a positive, refreshed mind.  Sleep and letting your body recover can do wonders for getting your body to respond. 

Take Short Breaks between Sets when working out. To bring up the intensity and calorie burn in your workouts, reduce your breaks between weight training or cardio sets. So, if you take about 1 minute between biceps curls, reduce it to 30 seconds. You may be surprised at how this simple change can bring your workouts up a level. 


Hope these help! Try them out, and let me know your thoughts. What do YOU do when you hit a weight loss plateau? 






**Please note these are my opinion, and should not be taken as medical professional advice. 



Monday, March 24, 2014

Pole Fitness at New Perspectives Pole and Aerial





This weekend I was so excited to finally try out one of the newest fitness trends - Pole Fitness! 

I have seen so many beautiful pictures of people doing amazing poses in pole studios, that I was anxious to finally try it out for myself. And let me tell you, I thought I was in good shape until I met the owner and instructor of Manchester's first pole and aerial studio, New Perspectives - with Juel Sheridan. 





Juel is an amazingly gifted athlete - with an extensive background in competitive gymnastics, quads that could out-squeeze a python, and a certified personal trainer when she's not busy dancing in the air, in addition to competing in pole fitness competitions around the country. 




With my current love of Aerial Yoga, I felt ready to try out swinging from a pole instead of fabric for a little while. I have to admit - I was excited and nervous about all the bruises I was told I was going to get. Luckily, no bruises happened (it was only my first class!) but, I definitely am feeling it the day after. My shoulders and forearms are tired- and we only did a few "basic" moves!



The warm up was fun - we began on the floor with hip rolls and warming up our limbs. If you want to see the awesome videos, check me out on Instagram - they're sure to give you a good laugh! 

Next, Juel got us on the poles and alternated between movements that focused on the upper body, then the lower body. 



My Yoga girl Nicole from Yoga Rebelution trying out some of the floor work. 






Juel giving some hands on instruction.






And me working on my sweet skills of holding on. 



Needless to say, we all had a blast! Located in the beautiful mills by the Merrimack River, New Perspectives is in an awesome studio setting with high ceilings and refurbished wood floors. 

I highly recommend Juel as the premier pole fitness instructor in Manchester, New Hampshire - she definitely has the skills and natural teaching ability to give you and your girlfriends an amazing time! Later this week I'll be trying out Juel's aerial silks program - stay tuned for my experience there! 

By the Way!! New Perspectives is holding an Open House you won't want to miss - plus they also offer Pole Parties - a great idea for a Birthday or Bachelorette! Check them out on Facebook here. 


Beast. 




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Hi! I 'm Karlene Murphy. A lover of food (especially if it's gluten and dairy free!), getting outdoors, lifting weights, travel, writing, and snuggling with my two puppies. My addictions include chocolate, coffee, cookies, and sharing my love of being HAPPY and HEALTHY! My passion is educating others - whether at my full time job as a high school Psychology teacher, or with YOU my readers. I have been in the fitness wold for almost 10 years, and currently am an Online Fitness Coach, Fitness Instructor, Pilates and Yoga Instructor in Southern New Hampshire. Contact Me if you need help with designing your own fitness and nutrition program.

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