Browsing Tag

finals week

Fall 2018

5 Yoga Poses to Help Reduce Stress

I don’t know about all of you, but with the semester coming to a close and Finals Week upon us, I am getting pretty stressed! I’ve tried lots of different stress relievers, from lavender tea to taking long walks by the river (weather permitting!), but I can say for sure that Yoga has been super helpful for me. So today I thought I would share with all of you some of the poses I find most calming through my own practice. I’ve chosen to discuss some easier poses so that anyone can practice, regardless of skill level!

**Disclaimer! I am not a certified Yoga instructor, I just love stretching out to focus on my mindfulness and to de-stress 🙂

1. Standing Forward Bend (Uttanasana)

This one is really straightforward, but it can be a great way to stretch out your back and legs and focus on your breathing. Start standing straight, with feet shoulder length apart. Take a slow, warm breath in through your lungs, and on the exhale, fold your upper body down toward your legs, one vertebra at a time. Allow your arms to hang, and if you can, touch your fingers to your feet. If you can’t bend down all the way, it’s ok! Focus on taking slow, deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth and allow your body to sink into the pose. When you feel ready, wait for an inhale, and slowly unfold your body to come back up to standing, one vertebra at a time.

Prep for standing foward bend

standing forward bend

2. Child’s Pose (Balasana)

Child’s Pose is one of my absolute favorites. It’s a great stretch for your back, and it can be a perfect resting pose too! To start, kneel on the floor, feet together. Allow your knees to widen out to align with your hips. Take a low warm breath, and on the exhale, stretch your arms out in front of you, so that your forehead is to the ground. While in this pose, it is good to focus on keeping your shoulders wide and your spine aligned. Let yourself sink into your hips and take a few slow, deep breaths, focusing on the expansion of your chest and stomach. If you want, you can walk your hands to the right and left to accentuate the stretch in your ribs.

child's pose- center

child's pose- right

     child's pose-left

3. Cat/Cow Pose (Marjaryasana / Bitilasana)

Cat/Cow Pose is another great back stretch and does wonders for alignment. I usually go into this straight from Child’s Pose. Start on hands and knees with a neutral back. On an inhale, slowly arch your back and raise your head and shoulders to the ceiling. From here, take the next exhale, bring your belly into your spine, and bring your back toward the ceiling. This stretch helps with flexibility in the back and helps bring your awareness to posture and balance.

cat/cow neutral

cat/cow cow

 cat/cow cat

 4. Downward Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)

Of course I had to do the one that we all think of when we are talking about Yoga! Downward Dog is such a standard in Yoga, and it’s because the pose is relatively simple and reaps a lot of benefits. Start in neutral hands and knees. Take a deep breath, and on the exhale, straighten your legs to balance on your toes and push your bottom into the air. In this pose, you want to focus on drawing your belly into your spine and extending your energy through your arms. If you can’t keep your legs straight, that’s ok! It’s better to keep your back and arms in line than to have perfectly straight legs. As an inversion pose, Downward Dog can provide many benefits, including relief from migraines, fatigue, and stress. It can also be a great energizer!

cat/cow neutral

downward dog

5. Supported Shoulder Stand (Salamba Sarvangasana) or Plow Pose (Halasana)

The Supported Shoulder Stand is one of my absolute favorites. Like Downward Dog, this pose is an inversion, which means that your heart is above your head. This means that you get the same sort of benefits that you would get from Downward Dog. To start, lie down on your back. On an inhale, use your abs and pull your legs up into the air. If you need to, start by bringing the knees to the chest and then extending them straight above you. Plant your elbows on your sides, and place your hands under your hips for support. You want to focus on spinal alignment here.

**If you are feeling particularly flexible, you can turn this into Plow Pose. All you need to do is bring your legs down so that your knees are pointing toward your face. This allows for a little extra stretch and practice with balance. These poses are also both great for your abs!

supported shoulder stand

plow pose

***I have a little injury, so my posture and alignment in the Supported Shoulder Stand and Plow Pose are not a great example. Make sure that you focus on keeping your legs and spine aligned perpendicular to the ground.

I hope you can find these poses useful, especially with all the stress that comes with finals week! Remember, it’s ok if you can’t do all of these perfectly, everything takes practice. As long as you are allowing your body to stretch, breathe, and relax, you’ll be doing a great job!

Fall 2017

Let’s Talk About Athleisure, Baby

Here at Trendsetters at the U, we are all about being comfortable and practical, as well as stylish. With the rise in popularity of athletic/lounge clothing on college campuses across the globe, the Trendsetters absolutely geek out about the style of dressing famously known as athleisure.

Nancy

Athleisure. Finally a word for “wearing clothes meant for working out while doing everything EXCEPT working out”. On a college campuses all over the nation, this is the uniform of us students. While you’ll rarely find me in a gym, I actually do wear work out clothes to dance and rehearse in at least a few times a week. I like to find athleisure pieces that are comfortable and mobile, but also acceptable in a business class or at work.

For this shoot, I wore all of my very favorite athletic clothing. My mauve or “millennial punk” jacket is a more recent find, purchased this September at Victoria’s Secret. I love that it’s lightweight and comfortable. The best part is the little bow detail on the back! It’s practical, because I can tighten the hem if I want, and adds a cute uniqueness to the jacket. I paired it with my favorite sports bra, which is the only thing I own from Lulu Lemon. It’s super high quality and has the cutest wrap effect on the front and fun straps on the back.

On the bottom I chose my grey high waisted Athleta leggings. I’m obsessed with these because they have POCKETS! Real pockets that mimic real pants. I also love the thick stretchy fabric these are made of that keeps everything tight and looking good.  Lastly, I wore my TOMS sneakers. They’re super unathletic actually, actually, but very comfortable for day to day activities. They’re made of canvas and have a little bit of sparkle to them.

So whether you’re going to the gym, class or watching Netflix, I hope you feel inspired to step up yourathleisure game! I find myself wearing more and more “athleisure” (leggings with everything) the closer we get to finals.

Mackenzie

Another day another pair of leggings. I am very glad that athleisure is in because I rock it at least three times a week. Sometimes no matter how fashion forward my outfit may be, it is never as comfy as a pair of leggings that suck everything in and a nice soft shirt. I dress often like I am about to attend a funeral with my black on black on black attire, but it is something I do so I never have to think about what I am going to wear. Black is also in my top five favorite colors.

Today I started with my favorite leggings ever! They are the brand Matty M and I’m not even kidding when I say that I get them at Costco and they are $15! They are incredibly thick and have a large waist band. These leggings come in a ton of different colors and I can get 7 pairs of Matty M’s for 1 pair of LuLuLemons and I’d call that a major win.

I really love this long sleeve hoodie. It is pretty thin so if I choose to workout in it at the end of the day, I’m not dying of heat. It is really soft and pretty affordable at T.J. Maxx for just under $10. My vest was thrifted for nine whole dollars at GoodWill. It is one of my best thrifted pieces. I am so proud of this find. For my shoes I often wear my Nike running shoes, but let’s be honest about problems beings the only thing I actually run from.

Thea

I don’t really consider myself someone who hasn’t very attractive workout clothes. In my general wardrobe, I will usually choose comfort over style, so this is only exacerbated in my athletic wardrobe. Because of this, I chose to wear an outfit for this shoot that I wouldn’t work out in, but I would wear when I wanted to be leisurely while also feeling put together.

Baseball hats are one of my favorite go-to’s. I love the way they look on me and I just feel like they have a way of pulling a look together. The hat I’m wearing in this shoot is my current favorite. I acquired it when I studied abroad in England from a store called Jack Wills that I completely fell head-over-heels-in-love with when I was over there.

My black shirt is from Target – I think this shirt is just about the perfect T-shirt. I love the way it hangs and I own it in 2 other colors! My pants are from American Eagle. Originally they weren’t skinny pants, but my brother helped me tailor them because I thought the pant legs were a lot more flattering as skinny pant legs.

I really wish I owned a plain or neutral pair of sneakers, but all I currently own are these Nikes, which I affectionately refer to as my “dinosaur shoes”. I was initially worried because I didn’t want to wear any of my not-so-attractive workout wear for this photoshoot, but in the end, I was really pleased with the way this outfit came together!

Dina

If you want to have simple style, don’t really want to look fancy day-to-day, but still really want to look nice and cool, rocking athleisure is one of best ways to do it!

When people hear the word “atleisure,” they might think about gymnastic or something else related to  athletics. That’s what I thought the first time I heard about athleisure anyway. However, I was wrong about that. Athleisure style is not just for athletics or for people who love sports. Athleisure style is for everyone, and can be dressed up or down too. 

Athleisure style and activewear are also nice to wear year-round. For summer, you can wear shorts, a sport bra, a jacket layered over the top, and finish it off with sneakers or any others sport shoes. Simple, but a nice look, right ? For cold weather like fall, winter and spring, I suggest you guys get some leggings. I really love leggings because they are so comfortable. You can also definitely wear leggings for both cold and warm weather. Pairing a bomber jacket with a pair of leggings looks super cool, and is also a great way to layer athleisure in colder weather. 

These camo leggings and my crop top are from H&M. H&M is one of my favorite places to shop, and I think it’s a good place for most college students to shop as well. Lastly, I’m finishing my look off with a pair of white, silver and blue Nikes. I would usually wear this kind of active wear during the summer, but you can definitely add layers over the top throughout the colder months.

Bailey

Forreal I haven’t been this excited for a shoot since I joined Trendsetters back when I was a wee little sophomore!  Anyone who knows me knows that athleisure is basically my life on a daily basis.  As a nutrition major, fitness is a huge part of my lifestyle so I’m always on the go sportin’ athletic clothes on my way between the gym and class! (Check out my nutrition insta @baileysplate for some inspo!)  For most of my gym outfits, I prefer to wear crop tops, they’re the most comfy and don’t get in the way when you’re getting your sweat on. 

This crop top specifically I got from H&M for about five dollars!  I paired it with a simple pair of comfy blue joggers from Target cuz the jogger life is a good life my friends.  Ninety nine percent of the time you can catch me sportin’ a pair of Chuck Taylors or Nikes, so for this outfit I went with a classic black pair of Converse to match the crop top.  

A lot of times, to add a little something extra, I like to throw on a matching cap – it may or may not also be due to the fact my hair can sometimes be a mess lol.  I also added a flannel to tie in with the joggers (no pun intended). Flannels are my fav cuz they’re super cute and are also a great way to add another layer in case it get chilly!  Overall, this outfit has me ready for my day whether that includes a shoulder workout or an Anatomy lecture – and I still feel cute while doin’ it!

Photography by Jazzer-Rae Engel | @skeletonxsmiles