Author Archives: Heather

Out of the Woods, Into the Canyon

I’d be lying if I said this wasn’t written-while-jamming-to Tay. Converted. Not ashamed.

The MLK-weekend trip to Austin with my sister + SIL and was a grand ol’ time. It’s a quirky city with a lot to offer the outdoor enthusiast, foodie and music lover – or any combination of. We had some great recommendations for lodging, eats and walking/running trails that kept us busy for the 72-hour trip.

2015-01-17 11.06.57  2015-01-17 14.49.36

The flight back to SFO on Monday afternoon marked my last airplane experience until the end of March, and my 14th flight in 15 weeks. So, yeah, I’m pretty f-ing pumped to be grounded for a little while.

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NOW, for the first time in a few months, my Training Peaks schedule is filled with 7 days of real workouts. Not every run is “easy” with a side of “see how things feel” and a large dose of mental paranoia {about my knee}. Instead, I spend those 45-60 minutes more concerned about my heart rate and the prescribed workout for the day. It’s an odd bliss, I know. My brain remembers what it’s like to just run again. Maybe not entirely, ever, but for the most part, we’re out of the woods.

I am patient.
I am okay with going slow & steady, for now. (Rinse. Repeat.)

Adios, forest de injury! You’re not so fun to navigate, but you’re extremely satisfying to leave.

Now, I’m training to get back some fitness and prep for the Canyonlands Half-Marathon. We registered because it’s an excuse to travel through southern Utah (which needs no excuse) and some of the team will be there, too. Win, win!

What spring race(s) is/are on your agenda / radar?

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Calm, to the Sun & Back

I’m working my way through the YTT readings this week, found myself happily saluting the sun in the SFO yoga room an hour ago, and just had a conference call about a Mindfulness project (for work). To say I’m feeling pretty calm, cool and collected (+ caffeinated) seems accurate.

steaming coffee_DOTR

Not something you hear often from people sitting and working in an airport, but there are many players here! First of all: hats off to you, SFO. The yoga room? Superb. It’s pretty small and serene, quietly situated between two terminals, so you don’t hear very much. Etiquette is posted on the outside (“Remove shoes”, etc) and mats are nicely rolled up and waiting for you to let them loose.

yoga room_SFO_DOTR

A few sun salutations and hip-openers later, I’m all ready for the {travel} day. Simple as that.

And last, but not least, my boss just nonchalantly mentionedCalm.com – which sounds like something a Gen-X/Y-er would say to describe their current state of affairs, but is actually a website + app. And very literal. Go there, let it be the soundtrack of your day, and man, you’re all set.

With that, I’m off to enjoy a long weekend in Texas’ oasis with two of my favorite gals. My sis has her cowgirl boots shined n’ ready for some two-stepping and Austin adventuring. Enjoy all of the above and remember it never hurts to tone it down a notch! 

Namaste, y’all.

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Filed under about me, health, meditation, new things!, Yoga

Eggplant Apple & Kale Salad Recipe

While I spent hours on end being a yogi last weekend, he went to town in the kitchen. We had grabbed groceries together on Sunday morning, and by 6pm half of the veggies had been chopped and/or roasted to perfection. And in a new twist, so had one of the fruits.

Aside from the occasional banana-soft-serve treat, or summer-grilled peach, we rarely consume fruit any way but raw. If you’re more adventurous, you’ll already know this: heat the sugars out of any fruit and you’ll never again question that its nature’s candy. Apples included.

All of that to say, that to get this salad party started you do this:

Heat the oven to 350*.
– Chop 2 medium apples (of your choice) and 1/2 purple onion
– Toss with cinnamon on a baking sheet.
-Bake for 20-30 minutes (depending on how tiny those chopped pieces are – less if they’re smaller, more if they’re big)

– Slice 1 eggplant into discs (about 1” thick)
– Drizzle with oil, sea salt & cumin (and/or cayenne pepper)
– Roast for 20-30 minutes, until softened

Both of these could be used for a lot of things, but my first thought was my lunch salad the next day. And sautéed kale, which seems to pair well with pretty much anything.

eggplant apple salad

Eggplant Apple & Kale Salad

~2/3 cup Chilled roasted apple-onion mix (see above)
2 roasted eggplant discs (reheated)
2 cups kale, sautéed in EVOO
1 Tbsp pumpkin seeds
(….if you’re like me: salt to taste.)

Because the veggies were roasted with seasonings, and the kale was shining in all of its oil-sauté glory, this needed no dressing or extras. And since everything was already roasted and ready, this came together in approximately 5 minutes.

Bon appetit!

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Filed under food, Nutrition, recipes, vegetarian

29 hours in: 200 Hour YTT {Embodiment Project}

As of Sunday evening, we’ve logged 29 of our 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training (YTT), and completed the first full weekend of everything yoga! My “weekend”, as I typically know it, didn’t exist. Instead it was spent with 15 gals on the same adventure, led and inspired by Coral Brown (via Om Oasis Studio). From Thursday to Sunday evening my mind dipped in, swam around a bit and then fully dove into the heart of a practice that, so far, has only been asanas and Oms to me.

Completing a 200-hour training is akin to kayaking out to that tiny island that looks close enough to swim to, but is actually miles away (like whoa, depth perception!). You’re wading through much deeper water than you probably anticipated – there’s so much more to know and digest. It’s the first giant leap to your initial destination; you can stand on solid ground again, but then you have to decide whether to stay comfy sun-bathing on the beach, or getting dirty exploring various trails.

I’m much more of a hiker than a beach baby.

This weekend was a lot of history and introductions, and a little bit of moving around! For one of our first Omwork assignments, we took pictures for the Embodiment Project –  a list of poses to document now, and again at hour 200. “No retakes, or omg-these-pants-suck!, or let-me-fix-my-hips” – just pose-and-shoot, fashion choices of the day be damned. These are straight-up stage 1, how things are looking ~15% of the way in:

tadasana_HC utkatasana_HC

Utasana_HC downward facing dog_HC

chataranga_HC

upward facing dog_HC

warrior 1_HC warrior 2_HC

reverse warrior_HC - Copy side angle pose_HC - Copy low lunge_HC  twisted high lunge_HC

wheel pose_HC 
Our training didn’t happen to be outside perfectly situated in the direct sunlight, but these pictures got lucky.

—–

And that’s that! I couldn’t begin to sum up what we learned in a short 29 hours with one blog post, my brain is still busy doing that for itself. But this photo journal will be one of very few objective benchmarks, along with the hours counting up to the first 200.

Questions? Thoughts on YTT, or yoga in general? If you want to do your own little journey along the way with these poses, hop on in! The next round won’t be until May, so we have plenty of time to strengthen, root down and rise up.

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Filed under balance, Goals, motivation, training, Yoga

5 Down: 200 Hour YTT

My research began long before we physically arrived in Monterey. Yoga Teacher Training (YTT) has been on my mind for years; as with many major life goals, there will be a lot of things that seemingly keep you from checking the box (really, you just stubbornly stand in your own way). But this little break from DC life seemed too perfect an opportunity to pass up. I found a studio, found their training schedule, and kept it bookmarked for months.

I barely mailed my deposit in on time, as the ghost of resistance finally faded with moments to spare. Adios, yo. We’re gonna do this.

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We’ll have seven weekends of Thursday – Sunday trainings over the next four months. We’ll complete at least 180 hours of training, 15+ classes of Prana yoga, and multiple other projects and observations. Last night got the process started – 5 hours in a small room with 15 other anxious yogis. In the 5 minutes spent sitting in silence, waiting, transitioning from student to teacher-in-training, my brain flipped through every yoga moment I can remember from the past 5 years. It also sat there being like “Do you have everything you’re supposed to? {Nope, not yet…} Don’t forget to bring a check tomorrow. 8 hours is a long time in one room. I wonder if it’ll be sunny this weekend…”, reveling in the last 5 minutes of the unknown, I s’pose.

Ytt_Day1

We completed a 90-minute heated class in the middle, sweating out any lingering nerves, doubts, annoying to-do lists or fears. We have 5 hours in, and endless asanas to go. This is exactly where each of us are meant to be, right now.

Ommmm, y’all.

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