Time to bend yourself back in shape!


I am a runner who respects yoga and the benefits that it brings to all levels of athleticism.  I am no expert at yoga but the more I learn, the more I will share.  What I do know...yoga is a great low-impact exercise that can definitely realign your body, rest your mind and energize your soul.  If you have not experienced yoga, I highly recommend adding a yoga class to your workout plan.

YOGA is defined as an ancient Indian body of language that unionizes the body, mind and spirt through breathing, meditation and yoga postures. It is believed that yoga has been around for over 5000 years.  Yoga has transformed into different forms and techniques helping people connect with their bodies, as well as their environment. 

Runners, tri-athletes, cyclist and the guy behind the computer are all flocking to their next yoga class. Yoga really is for everyone. Yoga moves can be simple or extremely complex depending on what you are looking for in yoga workout. There are different types of yoga for different needs, such as Bikram Yoga, Kripalu Yoga and Power Yoga. Each practice of yoga provides different benefits to satisfy different lifestyles.

I noticed through my latest fitness research, yoga is IT! It seems like everyone is posting "a pose a day". Athletic wear companies are catering more to the yoga world than ever before and I think yogis have become the new rock stars of modern day exercise! Why?

Benefits of Yoga

  • Helps prevent injuries
  • Relaxes the mind
  • Realigns the body and elongates muscle
  • Yoga is low-impact, yet challenging and can be part of anyone's workout plan  

As a fitness trainer, it's great to see clients get stronger, build lean muscle and improve their endurance but I also want them to be safe. When I put together their workout plan, I always encourage them to include a yoga class.  Many times. . .MANY TIMES when a person makes the decision to workout everyday, they only focus the workout and will not stretch after their workout.  They are usually in a hurry. So, I will always suggest adding yoga to help keep them on track.

Every morning when I wake up, there are 5 yoga poses that I HAVE to do in order to move efficiently throughout the day.

  • Cat Cow
  • Downward facing dog
  • Pigeon Pose
  • Standing Forward Bend and
  • Low Lunge (right and left leg)

Even though I am extremely active and still consider myself a high performing athlete, I live with lower back pain.  For the most part, I take care of myself but from time to time, my lower back will get the best of me.  So, to all you YOGIS out there. . .YOU ROCK!

If you want to learn more about yoga and adopt different yoga poses go to realign your body go to


Nicol Hodges

Nicol Hodges aka "Nic" is fitness professional (NASM, CPT/PES) and product designer living in San Diego, CA. Nicol's athletic background started in her hometown of St. Charles, MO where she earned her 400m state ranking 3 years in a row. Later, at the University of MO, Columbia she earned 8-Big 12 Track and Field titles and a championship title. Nicol currently continues her love for running by competing in local and national running events. 

WANDERLUST. Run. Yoga. Meditation.

  WANDERLUST  is a wellness event that includes Running, Yoga and Meditation.  Click 2 Register

WANDERLUST is a wellness event that includes Running, Yoga and Meditation. Click 2 Register

In the past 2 years, my life has completely changed due to a divorce and one girl off to college. In my head, I understand that change happens but when it's quick, harsh and life changing it can definitely blindside you. For me, it was like ripping a band-aid off an open sore that was too big for the band-aid to begin with. OUCH!

Well, I made it to the other side, so-to-speak, and there were three things that got me through it all...running, yoga and meditation, in that order. When I heard about this Wanderlust event, I signed up right away! This is one triathlon I will definitely participate in! 

I am excited to meet new people, see new faces and learn from each experience. You can register today at WANDERLUST-SanDiego . It's easy and there are various packages you can purchase that fit your budget. Wanderlust is happening on Saturday, April 14th starting at 7:30AM.

Running. I have been running for nearly 30+ years and one thing I know for sure, running is therapy.

  • Running has helped me organize thoughts, ideas and situations in my life.
  • Running has fueled my self-confidence.
  • Running has also kept me from doing or saying things that I would regret later...for the most part.
  • All-in-all, running has kept me in the best shape of my life before, during and after children. 

Yoga. I have been doing yoga off and on for nearly 8 years. For me, yoga always comes around when I really need it.

  • Hot yoga helps me focus on the present. I am so afraid I will not make it through the heat, I am paying close attention to how much my body can tolerate in 90+ degree temperature for more than an hour.
  • Yoga keep me flexible. Yoga moves are the best moves to after a nice long run. Yoga is also know to relief back pain and prevent future injuries if done correctly. 
  • Yoga centers me. Yoga, mentally for me, is like running. Your brain tends to talk to your body and vice versa. Yoga centers my mind, body and soul. Running is very straight forward. Yoga is challenging and helps you embrace the functionality of the human body. 

Meditation. I have been meditating for about a month or so now. Mediation is changing my life.

  • My brother introduced me to meditation. I was skeptical but found an app that I use daily. 10% Happier by Dan Harris. You can do 5 minutes or try 60 minutes of meditation. 
  • Meditation calms the voices and running thoughts in my head. Voices and running thoughts are a consistent in my head. I have so many ideas, things I want to do and plans I am trying to make. Meditation helps me slow things down and find quiet, even for a few minutes.
  • Meditation allows me to approach challenges differently. Now don't get me wrong, I can still get worked up over some things but not as much as I did a few months ago. I can't explain it but I hear something that would trigger a feeling and it's just not there any more. TRY MEDITATING no matter how busy you are. 



Ok, so you know how you decide you are going to do something, you get started and three days into it, you really think "I am really doing something here!"? That's where I'm at right now. I am so excited to start this new strength training program. I am only doing basic stuff but MAN, I didn't realize how weak I was until I started to throw some real weight around. It's been a minute!

This past week, I have been consistently running, biking (eh?) and strength training. The duathlon season starts next month and I want to be ready.

So, for the next 2 weeks, I will be working on the following...

  • strength
  • endurance 
  • core
  • flexibility

I have completed 4 weeks of functional training with light weights. Now I am in the strength training phase for the few weeks before I graduate to power training. 

When adding strength training to your workout, make sure you stretch, take days off from weight training, eat the right foods and drink plenty of water. Building muscle can be fun but you have to take care of yourself along the way. Meet with a nutritionist who can help you with the right foods to eat before and after a workout. In the upcoming weeks, I will share with you what works for me and as a trainer, suggest meals and snacks to eat as well!

Whether you are a brand new athlete or a seasoned runner, let's keep each other motivated to keep pushing forward!