An Uncomplicated Life Blog: May 2016

Monday, May 30, 2016

Happy Memorial Day!

Taking the day to remember all those who have lost their lives serving our country today. Today is more than just a day off work, friends. Take a moment and reflect on all those who have served and thank those who have paid the ultimate price in that service.

Happy Memorial Day!

Thursday, May 26, 2016

I Despise Summer Break

Summer break is every student and teacher's favorite time of the year, but for mom's and caregivers, it's the most dreaded and despised

May 16 was the last day of the school year for us. I've actually been thinking about that day since mid-January or so. Not with fondness, day dreaming and making summer plans. But with dread. I know everyone is excited for summer break and most people are making fun vacation plans. Heck, we even have travel plans even with two kids two and under! But I've been spending way too much time dreading the upcoming summer. Summer break just has a different ring to it when you're the caregiver/mom.

You do despise summer break because the kids are always bored and there's not enough to do?
 One of my favorite rituals with Henry is driving him to school in the morning. He's SO EXCITED to go, he actually stands by the door to the garage. If I'm taking too long, he'll grab his backpack and do laps around the dining room table, too antsy with anticipation to sit still. It's adorable! Then on the drive, I listen to the most hysterical morning show and they play the "Mad Minute" - a prank call where one caller tries (successfully) to upset a friend or relative, and they get the DJ's in on it to make it convincing. I'm usually laughing so hard I have tears and Henry starts laughing hard because I am. Or he already has a developed sense of humor, who knows.

Then we get to school and Henry claps his hands in excitement. He sprints in the doors. He says hi to the school pet (a black bunny named Midnight) and doesn't even look back when I drop him off at his classroom. It's so fun to see him so excited about school. And just as fun? The car ride back home SOLO with the tunes cranked up. Or I go to a coffee shop to blog. Sometimes I go out to breakfast or lunch by myself. *Otto is with a nanny, in case you thought I just left him at home unattended*

Henry's school time is my sanity time. It's the only time of day I know for sure I can eat without interruption. It's the only time of day I get to go to the bathroom by myself. Sometimes, it's the only time of the week I can get a shower in. It's definitely the only time I can get a haircut or a pedicure.

That's why I absolutely despise summer break. Summer break robs me of my fun morning ritual, one of my favorite times with my son and usually the only time he and I spend one-on-one time together. If that wasn't bad enough, it robs me of my alone time. Blogging time. Eating time. Showering time.

My kiddos are standard, high energy boys. Which is perfect for me, because I hate sitting around, too! But in Texas in the summer, it's easily triple digit heat by 8 or 9am. So while other moms can plan fun outdoor activities, I'm stuck inside somewhere or said activity has to involve a pool or splash pad. So now we're talking ritual gone, sanity gone and I'm stuck trying to come up with activities for young boys to do to get their energy out! Gahhhh, summer break, you're the WORST!

Last year's 4th of July parade. It was 104 by 10am and we were all sweating buckets and rosy cheeked just sitting there!

I think that's actually the toughest part. The oppressive heat. When we lived in Minnesota, a sense of dread would come over me around my birthday - mid October - because I knew the never ending winter was upon us. It would be painful (no really. It's so cold up there it causes physical pain!) to go outside in anyway, to the point where you don't want to go anywhere, for any reason, ever. In Texas, I start to get that feeling deep in my gut around mid April, knowing the never ending heat is creeping in. I've just flipped seasons and problems. Except, I'll tell you what; it's not painful to step outside here. Just super sweaty. But, the principle is the same. Feeling trapped indoors, cabin fever, whatever you want to call it.

There wasn't really a point to this post beyond me sharing my frustration with summer break. I remember it as a kid and a teen. I worked at a community pool and thought it was the best time ever! But now as an adult, it's the pits. I despise summer break. Here's to hoping I don't go off the deep end with two kids, too few activities and far too much heat. Who's ready for fall with me?!

Monday, May 23, 2016

The Baby Stage Nobody Talks About: The 5th Trimester

Everyone talks about the dreaded 4th trimester and the exhausting new born phase, but there's the 5th trimester that nobody warns you about!

Ahhhh, that 4th trimester. The first three months of your new baby's life. It's sleepless. You're clueless. Everything is brand new and your life has permanently changed. The 4th trimester (called that as an expansion of the three trimesters a baby is in-utero) is known for being a doozy and exceptionally challenging. And it is! But I wish someone would have told me about the 5th trimester too. I thought after those first three months, having a baby would get easier. Nope! Wrong. There's something nobody warns you about and it's the 5th trimester, or months 3-6 of your infant's life.

Everyone knows the "4th trimester" when your baby is a newborn is tough, but the next trimester isn't talked about and is just as challenging!

Here's the real deal: Yes, that 4th trimester is tough. But your baby is brand new! You can't get enough snuggles! You're happy to be at home cuddling, posted up on the couch for hours on end. Your body is healing and you're welcoming a slower pace of life. Plus, your baby is a newborn so s/he is sleeping most the day (although probably not most the night...) That means you can get stuff done or nap when the baby is napping.

Unless you're like me and have a toddler/other children. Then, no naps for you!

Likely by the time you get close to the three month mark, you're getting more sleep at night. You've established some sort of nap routine. You've got the feeding schedule down! So how is it that things can actually get HARDER?

Oh, they sure can. And they do.

Around the 4 month mark, we hit a massive sleep regression with Otto. He was up for hours and hours on end. He'd get up some time around 1-2am and stay awake until 4 or 5am. Not screaming, not crying, but just fussing enough so that I'd have to continuously put a paci in his mouth or rock him. I spent more than a few nights in the boys' nursery, attempting to doze off in between paci re-insertions. Keep in mind, I have a toddler too, so while the baby would sleep until 8am, I'd have to be up at 6 for Henry, even though I'd have been up from 1-4 most nights. I was indeed getting less sleep than when Otto was a newborn!

Baby boredom equals fussy baby

The 5th trimester marks important brain developments. They're starting to mature, but not yet able to be self sufficient. They're just learning how to self soothe. This means that YOU have to teach them these things. And it takes time. And patience. And a newfound re-found lack of sleep. Otto's sleep regression lasted an entire month! He now falls asleep with a paci but has learned to suck his thumb after the paci inevitably falls out in his slumber.

It's not just at night, either. Babies in the 5th trimester need more stimulation. They're watching and learning and interested. They've discovered their hands but don't yet know how to control them. They're just starting to find their toes, but don't understand where they go when they let go of them. They see toys and hold on to them, but regularly drop them and don't have the ability to pick them up. This means YOU have to entertain your baby and teach him these things while he's awake. Which, by the way, is for much longer stretches now that his sleep routine is getting established. So while at one point you were able to cook dinner or do laundry or work from home while the baby coo'd in the bassinet beside you, you now need to actively play with him and teach him how to play with the things around him.

There went your free time. There went your ability to get nearly anything done!

Babies are just starting to learn how to sit up at this point, too. You might be lucky and get an early sitter, at 5 or 6 months! Oh, to be so lucky. Babies get dramatically easier when they can sit on their own. But until then, you have to practice practice practice. You have to push through the cries and know when to stop when baby is over tired.

Teething starts!

Additionally, the ease of tummy time wears off by 3-4 months. Both of my kids HATE (and I mean H-A-T-E) tummy time. As newborns they tolerated it and usually fell asleep but at the beginning of the 5th trimester, it turns into a scream fest. Henry would scream for hours afterwards and Otto seems to be following suit. Tummy time is not fun around these parts. Everyone is miserable. After they can sit on their own, it becomes fun again for them because they work on crawling, but this 5th trimester tummy time puts just about everyone in tears. I think it's because mentally, they want to move but they're not physically strong enough, and that disconnect makes them frustrated. A frustrated baby is a screaming one. A screaming baby is a stressed out mama.

Teething usually starts about now too. I have two early teethers - Henry got his first two teeth at 5 months and I can feel two about to cut on Otto, who just turned 5 months. The amount of drool that a teething baby can produce is ridiculous, and you better believe all that drool is going right on your shirt, moms. Don't even bother trying to look nice in this drooly 5th trimester, it won't last longer than 5 minutes!

Finally, you have to start to think about introducing solids. Most pediatricians recommend introducing solids between 4-6 months (hey, 5th trimester!) and this means you need to spend even more time teaching your infant some skills. Introducing solids is a slow, messy, painstaking task. Feedings, which took 20-25 minutes in the 3rd trimester, now can take up to an hour each! Make a little bit of food, get it spit on you and baby, clean up the table, yourself and baby and then follow with a bottle/breast feed... Jeez! Between introducing solids and feeding a toddler, it's like we're a 24 hour Denny's around here, dishing out food nonstop all day.

This face sums up our sentiments on the 5th trimester

Look, the 4rd trimester is certainly hard. It's hard because there's so much adjustment and learning on your end. But the 5th trimester is even more challenging, in my opinion. And nobody seems to be talking about it! You're transitioning from you learning to teaching your baby to learn. It's slow going. It's time consuming. It's messy. But the good news is, after the 5th trimester, it DOES get easier! Once that little baby can sit on her own and grab/play with toys independently, rest assured you're entering the FUN stage of babies.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Happy 2nd Birthday Henry

Today is Henry's second birthday. Two whole years have gone by since since that Friday afternoon in May when my water broke. He was supposed to be a June baby. He was supposed to be born at a birth center with midwives. Instead, he did things his way and came way early and via an emergency c section at a hospital. He hasn't stopped doing things his way since!

Oh my, sweet little 5 pound 12 oz, 36 week baby, how I wanted to nurse you! I made breast feeding a goal of mine. I planned on doing a whole year of EBF (exclusively breast feeding). Everyone told me, a first time (read: clueless) mom how much better breast milk is. Well, you wanted a lot of it. Every two hours, around the clock. After a month, I waved my white flag and introduced formula. By 12 weeks, I was entirely done with breastfeeding. I stopped and became much happier for it. You didn't mind either way - you eagerly sucked down whatever was given to you at what ever temperature it was delivered at in whatever bottle was placed in your mouth!

The day we brought Henry home from the hospital

By 6 months you had soared up the charts. Despite being a month early, you had spouted to the 90th percentile for height. You basically ate your way to the top! You were a chunk too, hitting the 80 percentile for weight. So much for that little peanut I gave birth to, you quickly became the big boy your genes determined you to be!

"Ma! More milk! Stat!"

We had some health challenges along the way. You had severe torticollis from being breech and you needed a year of physical therapy. Even at two, you still get a tilt in your neck when  you don't feel good. (Specifically, when you're about to puke. I'm actually a huge fan of this warning sign, as I've caught it every time and got you to a place where it's easy to clean up!) We faithfully went to PT twice a week for a year, and got you a helmet (with a sweet dragon on it!) to reshape the flat spot on the back of your head. The plan was to have you in that helmet for 12 weeks. But since you were too busy doing things your way (and growing so fast!) you only lasted 9 weeks in it. You still have a nearly indistinguishable flat spot on your head, but your thick blonde hair covers it right up.

Helmet Henry!

I'm envious of your hair, sweet boy. No mama should be envious of her son's hair. But you got some amazing hair genes, and they didn't come from me! Outside of the color, of course.

You developed an infatuation with balls early. From the time you could sit up, you were throwing balls to the dogs. When your daddy would travel and we would have long, long days together, our oldest dog Baxter would help me out by bringing you the ball when you'd hit your "witching hour" in the late afternoons. I could sit on the couch with a glass of wine and you two would play fetch for at least a half hour. You loved it! In fact, your first word was puppy. I loved it too. It was just enough of a break for me during those long 96 hour shifts I'd pull as a single married mommy.

Hungry Henry!

You were the last baby in my mom group to start walking at 15 months. I was worried we would have to return to physical therapy, but right as I was about to make an appointment for a consultation, you walked! This wasn't the first time you hit a milestone right as I was about to schedule a specialist for you. You refused to feed yourself until 12 months. Now, I can't get you to stop! You never really crawled, but you sure loved to scoot all over the place! You just love to do things when YOU want to do them, at your own pace and on your own schedule.

Scootin' Henry!

Now at two, I have no worries about you or your development! You talk more than any other two year old I know and just learned how to say, "I love you mama." It melts my heart! You kiss daddy and me on the lips goodnight. You dribble a basketball for HOURS and we just got you your first hoop - soon I'll be registering you to play on a team I'm sure! If basketball comes on the TV, you stop what you're doing and scream, "Ball ball! Ball ball!" and start wildly clapping your hands. You're currently the height of an average four year old, so this basketball love of yours was a good choice.

Dressing like dad at the pumpkin patch Henry!

You are a sweet soul, Henry. You've adored your little brother since the day he was born. When I pick you up from preschool, the first thing you do is kiss his feet! You're such a helper with him too, bringing me burp cloths and diapers and throwing away any trash for me when I'm busy with him. You bring him toys and pat him on the back. If he starts to cry, you look at him and say, "No cry, Otto! No crying!" While you can't say your own name yet, Otto was one of your first distinguishable and well pronounced words.

2 year old reading Henry!

Your favorite food is cheese and crackers and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Your favorite things are basketball, the dogs and your brother. Playing outside is your favorite past time. You'd rather pour out the bubble solution than actually blow bubbles with it. You love to mimic whatever I'm doing, whether that's cooking, dancing or sitting in an adult's chair. Everyday you get more and more fun as your personality develops more and more. I love you sweet boy! Happy 2nd birthday Henry.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Going Commando In Your Yoga Pants

Do you Go Commando in your yoga pants? Here's why I do, and why I'd love to Go Commando at Wanderlust 108 in San Diego 

Yoga people are a funny thing. We each have our preferences on what style we like to practice, music our practices is set to, brand(s) of clothes we prefer to practice in and... If we go commando under those clothes! I know, I know. Going commando is a strange thing to talk about. Makes people uncomfortable. So obvi, you know that's just the topic I like to discuss! I don't get the ladies I see at the studio in yoga pants and panties. Here's why I go commando in my yoga pants:

This post is so funny, but it's so true! Panty lines with yoga pants are not a good look

Okay, for starters, how on earth is that thong comfortable when you're hanging out in down dog? Let's get real here. There's NO WAY you can tell me that after a few sun salutations and bending over, reverse swan diving up and floating back down again, that thing isn't riding all kinds of up your bum. Tell me it isn't and I'll call your bluff! Also, thong wearers, you do know it's visible to all of us in the studio, correct? Best case senairio I'm only seeing the outline through your yoga pants. Worst case, your pants don't stay put and your T strap is flying higher than your pigeon pose, waving "Hi!" for the whole class to see.

It's not a good look, that one.

Then there's the brief wearing gals. These just really get me! All your lines are hangin' and flangin' and odds are, one side is riding higher than the other. I kinda want to whisper in your ear, "It's ok... Just pick that wedgie real quick. Everyone can see that you have one so just go ahead and pick it." I mean, seriously. Why even bother! The compression of your yoga pants is going to make that brief go all over the place, and you don't need your undies distracting you (um... and others!) during your yoga practice!

That leaves me with my type of ladies: the go commando squad! We don't have to worry about thongs popping out mid-down-dog. We don't worry about a wedgie that everyone at Wanderlust, an AMAZING yoga festival, can see. The compression of your yoga pants holds everything in place and you're just free to practice freely! Oh, you're concerned you're not "clean enough" to go commando? Don't be silly! Cottonelle® is the only brand with CleanRipple Texture that easily fits into your zen lifestyle and your "clean routine"! It's specifically designed to clean you better, so you can go commando in your yoga pants.

Let's face it - undies are the last thing you need to get in your way during your headstand attempts. Cottonelle® CleanRipple Texture gets you so clean, you can remove your safety net (that dumb thong and unsightly briefs!) and go for advanced pose. And as far as yoga festivals go, Wanderlust San Diego was May 8 - who was there!? Did you go commando? Don't worry, you have another chance! You can enter the Cottonelle® sweepstakes for a chance to win an all-inclusive trip to Wanderlust Miami on Oct. 22! Click here to enter.

Cottonelle® Stylist Kit ($50 ARV).

Each kit will include a selection of fabulous fitness "must haves” -- Cottonelle® Flushable Cleansing Cloths, Benefit mascara, Dose of Colors lip gloss, Klorane dry shampoo, Emi Jay hair ties, and a plain black baseball cap.

Also! The folks at Cottonelle® have curated a Stylist Kit featuring these wonderful items! The dry shampoo is quite honestly the best dry shampoo I've ever used, and as a mom of two under two, I like to think I know a thing (or 30) about dry shampoos! Enter to win your via the rafflecopter tool:

a Rafflecoptergiveaway
I know talking panties makes people uncomfortable. But not nearly as uncomfortable as actually wearing them in your yoga pants! Free yourselves. Go commando in those yoga pants.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Too Scared To Sneeze

Moms and women who have LBL, are you too scared to sneeze? Let Poise Liners make more moments in your life matter - and make them less scary!

Real talk: Having kids changes everything. But not just your life. They also change your lifestyle! Prior to having kids, I wouldn't have ever thought twice about sneezing. In fact, I *think* I remember liking the sensation. I mean, is there anything worse than having to sneeze but not being able to?! Sure there is. But not for the sake of this argument, ok? Anywhoo, I actually truly hadn't thought about sneezing this much at ALL before kids. And then I had Henry by c section and still didn't have to think about it. And then I had Otto via VBAC and you know what? I'm now too scared to let out a good sneeze!

This is a hilarious post! So true. Moms, read this!

It doesn't happen every time. It doesn't even happen most of the time. But sometimes, just sometimes, a sneeze comes out of left field. I don't have time to prepare myself for it. And by prepare myself, I mean tighten my kegal muscles. Mamas, I know you know exactly what I'm talking about! Ladies who are planning their families, look what you have to look forward to! This is your future, gals.

So that sneeze comes out of nowhere. And I pee myself a little. More class-ily, it's known as LBL or light bladder leakage. It wont ruin your day, but dang it's super annoying. The super quick fix is to throw on a liner and call it a day. But you know what? Panty liners weren't built for that. Poise liners were. I thought, "a liner is a liner." In fact, real talk version 2.0, it was a nurse at the hospital that told me to stock up on these, and handed me a few. If it hadn't been for her, I don't think I ever would have tried them! Low and behold, a liner is NOT just a liner. These are cotton-y and feel like your undies. Not a liner.

This post is so funny! Every mom can identify with it. Moms, check this out!

When it feels like you're just wearing your undies, you'll wear them everyday. When you're wearing them everyday, you'll be protected for that one-off, random sneeze. When you're protected against that one off, random sneeze you can enjoy your life without having to think about things. Like peeing your pants LBL. You following me? Good.

The best part for moms who are busy (is there a mom who isn't busy? If so, I want to meet her. And learn all her secrets) is that these liners are available at Walmart. So you can throw them in your cart when you're on your weekly shopping trip - no additional stops necessary! Get your diapers for your kid(s), get your liners for yourself, dry bums for all! Now if you live in a state where you can also pick up a bottle of a beverage that starts in a W and ends in an E and sounds a lot like whine, you're really winning the mom game.

Ladies, life is too short to be too scared to sneeze. You're missing out on the little moments that make motherhood worth it! Get yourself some Poise liners, see the difference, and start living life to the fullest again.

This post was sponsored by Poise but all thoughts, opinions and content is my own #PosieLinerLove

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Greek Chicken Burgers So Good, Even Toddlers Eat Them!

If you have a picky eater in your family, try these Greek chicken burgers that pack a protein punch and hide veggies!

I talked on Facebook a few weeks ago how before I had kids, I thought parents were responsible for the pickiness of their toddler's eating habits. And how, despite my best efforts, I have a picky eater toddler. Hey karma, nice to meet you. Henry is a healthy eater, but nearly a strict vegetarian and if something even looks like meat (I've tried to get him to eat "chik'n nuggets" and that's a firm nope on his end) he won't touch it. Enter the Greek Chicken Burgers I tried several months ago, and have made on repeat since: My picky toddler will eat them (I think because they're loaded with veggies) and my non-vegetable-loving husband requests them weekly. Winning! These burgers are good, y'all.

Greek Chicken Burger
- 1lbs ground chicken breast (much better if you get thigh meat)
- 1/2 red bell pepper, diced into small pieces
- 1/2 red onion; 1/4 diced into small pieces, 1/4 left as rings
- 1 egg
- 1/2 to 3/4 C bread crumbs. Start with a half a cup but be ready to add more to get a texture that will hold a burger shape
- 2T chopped fresh mint
- 2T chopped fresh parsley
- Thinly sliced cucumbers
- 3/4 C apple cider vinegar
- 1T dried dill
- juice of half a lemon
- salt and pepper to taste
- 3-4T olive oil
- 4T feta cheese

Yogurt Sauce
- 1C whole milk plain Greek yogurt (don't even bother with skim/fat free yogurt. You know dairy fat doesn't kill you right? But the chemicals they put in the nonfat dairy to preserve it and dye it might.)
- juice of half a lemon
- 4T chopped fresh mint
- 4T chopped fresh parsley
- salt and pepper to taste

Place the ground chicken and egg into a large mixing bowl and set aside on the counter to bring it to room temp. Saute the bell pepper and onion in a medium sized skillet and a small amount of olive oil; allow to cool before adding it to the ground meat. Add the fresh herbs (minus the dill) and breadcrumbs to the meat and veggies, add salt and pepper. Mix together enough to incorporate the breadcrumbs and distribute the egg throughout. Do NOT over-mix! Form burger patties.

Quick pickled red onions
 Meanwhile, put the apple cider vinegar in a bowl with the dill. Put the onion rings in the mixture and set aside for a "quick pickle." Start your yogurt sauce by combining all the ingredients into a bowl and mixing well. Place back in the fridge to allow it to set and the flavors to combine.

Yogurt sauce
 Heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add the burgers. I like to use the same pan I sauteed the veggies in, because heyyyyyy reduced dishes! Cook on medium high heat, about 4-5 mins per side. After finishing the second side, add 1T of feta cheese on the top of each burger.

Place yogurt sauce on both sides of bun (go big or go home, right?!) and add the pickled onion and cucumbers. Squeeze lemon juice over the burgers before placing on the bun.

My toddler loves the yogurt sauce and totally eats these delicious Greek Chicken Burgers. We make them every other week at our house. Enjoy!

Monday, May 2, 2016

Easy To Follow At Home Yoga Flow

Get ready to face the day with this easy to follow at home yoga flow!

Have you ever had 10-15 minutes to get a workout in and thought, dang. That's not enough time to run, walking isn't effective enough for a measly 10 minutes, clearly I can't make it to the gym, but I'd love to do SOMETHING today! Yup, me too. I might get 10 or 15 minutes of quiet time out of both my kiddos and need to do something quick! Pull this easy to follow at home yoga flow to get your heart rate up and muscles firing and stretched out for the day!

An at-home yoga flow for all levels!

Start in child's pose. I love starting here and taking a few deep breaths. It stretches your arms, shoulders, hips and the tops of your feet. Plus there's something grounding about having your head on the ground, it really helps you focus on this moment, right now. How often do you do that in your day?! Not often enough, I bet.

Once you've taken a few deep breaths and fully felt the stretch of the pose, build some heat with Sun Salutation A. Don't know how to do Sun A? I've got it covered in this post! I also talked about how to properly do the most challenging yoga pose of all time - chatturanga. Dang that one's hard, isn't it? Make sure you're using proper form so you don't hurt yourself! Do five rounds of sun salutation A.

Ok, now you're breathing harder and getting good and warm! Move on to Sun Salutation B. Sun B goes like this:

Warrior 1 on the right side(don't know how to do warrior 1? Ive got you covered here!)
Chair pose
Warrior 1 on the left side
Chair pose - and repeat the cycle!

Your arms will be firing with all the chatturangas! I like to do this three times, then I like to hold my chair pose with a twist to rinse my spine and increase mobility. Spinal mobility is essential for body movement, good posture and overall good health, so make sure to add a few twists in on rounds 4 and 5 of your Sun Salutation B!

Now your arms are burnt out from chatturanga, so let's do some standing poses . After you've walked or jumped to the top of your mat from your last Sun B, move into tree pose. Your standing leg should be active (read: all muscles contracting) and you can move your arms into whatever position you're comfortable with. Take a few moments and regain your breath from all those sun salutations!

While you're still standing on the same leg, move your foot into figure 4 pose. Get low to feel the stretch in your hip and the burn in your quad. Stay here for three deep breaths. If you're an advanced yogi, move into the arm balance: flying pigeon! If you're not, still play around with it and see what happens. You never know until you try, right? So what if you fall on your face. You're at home - nobody can see you!

I find the key to this arm balance is hooking my foot firmly to the outside of my triceps. Really wrap it around there firmly and get a good grip with putting your body weight into your arm muscle. Have your arms bent in a shelf-like position to make it easier for you. Then lean forward until you're balanced on your arms. Don't be afraid of falling on your face - you don't have far to fall and will never get the balance if you don't try! If you're feeling fancy, lift your back leg up and fly.

Flying piegon arm balance
See how my foot is hooked around my triceps? That's the key to this arm balance

Do a chatturanga to clear out that side, then repeat the tree - figure 4 - arm balance on your other side.

Finally, when I'm tight for time, I like to wrap my closing pose in with a stretching pose. So I skip savasana and instead take cow face pose. This is an amazing hip stretch, and if you're an office worker, odds are good you've got tight hips! Line your knees up over one another. Flex your feet to protect your knees. If your hips are so tight that this is uncomfortable for you, sit cross legged. Close down your eyes and breath, being present in the moment  for one final time in your practice.

Boom! You've just raised your heart rate, built some muscle mass, stretched your hips, hip flexors, & shoulders, and worked on your spinal mobility - all in one easy to follow at home yoga flow! If you've got more time, do more sun salutations or hold the poses for longer - or both! Namaste.