Category Archives: Yoga

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

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.

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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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Filed under about me, Goals, new things!, Yoga

Beginning the Odd Year: 2015

The great thing about ending the year coming off of an injury is that everything just seems pretty great, because you’re hopping back to it! Sure, there’s endless paranoia and restless heart beats and a grumpy ego, but they’ll come around soon enough. Ending those two months of idleness in a place like this wasn’t so bad, either…

2014-12-29 10.41.00-1

The go just sat back in awe and let the island do the talking.

For the first time in months, I was active without  a schedule. I had a few guidelines (“keep it easy – do what makes you happy!”), the first of which was quietly overlooked. We stayed in Kailua, which is resort-free and full of trails, stunning shores and perfectly flat running roads. We ran to, and then up, the “Bunker Trail” (aka Pill Box Trail) multiple times. We slipped and slided our way to Mauanwili Falls (this is no joke; be ready to hose yourself down!), we kayaked the Pacific, and we chased two shockingly-quick toddlers in the sand.

2014-12-30 07.48.19 2015-01-01 16.38.07 2015-01-01 17.29.20
2014-12-29 11.10.20

One day I ran for an hour, passing the Obama’s vacation home (NBD), and thinking “this may have been a little too long, too soon”, but not really caring enough to stop. {Insert the foolish-injured-runner’s-hand-raised!}
60 minute milestone: check!

 2015-01-01 11.22.27

And so begins the Odd year. I’ve noticed that I swing pretty far on the pendulum of goals achieved and actions taken every other year. I do just enough one year to keep myself sane and feel comfortable – traveling, running, indulging and enjoying. Then I get sick of feeling sane and comfortable (and slightly hung-over), and almost overcompensate.

The odd years stand out for the latter, and this one is throwing down a cannon-ball splash right away:

After today, I’ll be 5 hours into the 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training (YTT).
Next weekend I’ll visit Austin, TX for the first time with two of my favorite gals.
In
8 weeks I’ll have a new last name.
By May we’ll have run two goal races (13.1, 26.2).

By June we’ll be starting to plan a 200+ mile hike in the Sierras.

And that’s all we know for now. I have no goals or resolutions, but there are plenty of ways I’ve committed to keeping all systems active, engaged and happily exhausted!

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Filed under challenges, new things!, running, Yoga

One Thing a Day: Teaching Yoga

If I had to pick one quote that has completely transformed the way I think, approach situations and make decisions, it would undoubtedly be this:

doonethingeverydaythatscaresyou

Eleanor & Chip are onto something…

If it doesn’t scare you, it doesn’t change you. If it’s not challenging, you’re not growing. If you’re never willing to step out of your comfort zone, you’ll never know what you’re missing!

Am I certified to teach yoga? Not yet. But when the door opens…

Thanks to a few Twitter interactions, Alana got in touch with me last week in regards to leading her & a crew of “Socialites” for a 5k morning run this week. All 20 Socialites were traveling to DC for two full days of training, so why not start the day off with some movement*? I’ve done things like this before for conferences downtown, and of course I  was in!

I mapped out our route, ran it once with Kate before we started (yep, all roads are clear and sidewalks are safe: check!). Starting at 7am, we ran with an impressively energetic crew of 11.

DoubleTre 5K run Group

Thanks to Kate & Elyse (far right) for joining!

Alana also thought it would be great to do a yoga class Thursday morning. I reached out to some local yoga teachers with no luck (short-notice, early morning, Pentagon City, etc.). We did have a yoga-mat donation from lululemon Georgetown, so there was that.

Would I be willing to teach it? Well, YES, but, um, I’m not certified…I have no formal training to do so…again, I am not certified to teach yoga!

But, could/would I?

Absolutely!

do those things quote

With my fresh mats from lululemon (Georgetown store, I heart you!), a beginner-friendly sequence typed up straight from my head and a successful practice class done (thanks to my roommates!), it was all-systems-GO.

DoubleTree Yoga Mats

I wasn’t nervous, and everything about it felt like I had done it before. Come to a comfortable seat at the top of your mat, place your palms open on top of your knees and close your eyes. Relax. And enjoy the next 45 minutes!

DoubleTree Yoga Class

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I know there is a “formal training” in my near future – once my budget agrees with it – but in the meantime, this box is checked and waiting for more! I would teach anytime, anywhere, for anyone. I would actually really love to teach something advanced – to challenge people and bring them out of those boxes – but beginners are refreshing. We were all on the same page!

Thanks to the DT-Socialites for practicing with me!

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*If you’re going to a conference or training, request some sponsored workouts! Get moving before your day starts & rope in your crew – it’s a great way to meet people there with you and a great way to see the city you’re in. I’m taking on more opportunities to do this in DC & find it to be right in line with our WCS healthy-on-the-job mission.

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Filed under challenges, DC, Goals, Lululemon, new things!, running, Yoga