Category Archives: 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

Ending the “I Know I Should…” Conversation

So, now you know how to be SMART!  Let’s keep that conversation going…

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Between my work with Wellness Corporate Solutions and my own clients, I wish I had a dime for every time I hear the words “I know I should…”. And if I had a quarter for every time I’ve said them? Well, I’d send us all on a retreat to shut us up and enjoy some “Do it Now!” moments instead.

Rock-climbing in Thailand? Yoga in Costa Rica? Hiking in Peru?
We have some options!

who you want to be

There is more information “out there” circling the web than any of us need – we can self-diagnose on WebMD, for better or worse, and we can look up nutrition facts and track our intake, exercise, sleep habits and stress levels on a lot of different platforms. There are pages that tell us how much money we should be saving, or where we should be in a career by now, or all the ways that someone else has failed and succeeded in ways that we may never be able, or want, to imagine.

We end up with a lot of “I Know I SHOULD…” thoughts,
and not a lot of action.

Goals usually come from a place of that “should” attitude, and part of the achievement process is getting to that “will”…

Truth be told, you can’t replace that “should” with “will” until you’re ready and prepared and already past the mental point where that change is exciting, not just daunting. Then, you just have to start.

We often tell clients to think ahead
How do you want to feel
one year from now?

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What works for me? Well, I get a great slap of reality every time I coach someone to make a change, and consequently go through the process with them. I’m reminded of the things I’m thinking I should be doing. I’m lucky that my work, life and passions have intertwined themselves like that.

But outside of coaching, the things that go from should –> will are the ones we put out there. TELL SOMEBODY WHAT YOU SHOULD/WANT TO DO.

Clearly I feel pretty strongly about that, but it makes all the difference in the world. Welcome to the Law of Attraction – put your ideas out there, telling as many people as is appropriate as often as you think about it. (Warning: friends and family, repeat conversations to follow.) The ways and means will follow.

“The truth will follow us and poke at us
until we acknowledge it.” 
-Baron Baptiste

I want to/should/will get a fitness coaching certification, so a friend started sending me updates on workshops available and my coworkers have offered help with the ACSM courses.

I want to/should/will travel abroad this year, so experienced people have offered up tips on places to go, where to stay, and helpful travel sites to bookmark. 

I want to/should/will do yoga teacher training – I got called out (ahem, tagged) on Facebook recently as a friend kindly posted that there’s an upcoming info session at our favorite studio.

NOTED, world. I hear you & I’m listening.

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End the internal monologue. Know the difference between the shoulds you want and those you don’t – put the good-for-you ones out there, be ready, and watch the world work its magic.

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Filed under about me, Goals, learning, motivation, Yoga

EPIC Yoga: Barres, Space & cOMMunity

If you’re a DC yogi and haven’t had an EPIC class yet, you’re missing out. I met Emma back in June at our old-school-style lululemon Ambassador camp, and have no idea how I managed to let almost 7 months slip by before finally joining her on the mat.

EPIC yoga Dupont DCEPIC yoga lobby

First, we’re gonna need to take a minute and admire this lobby.  You could probably skip the class thing and just hang out here for some peace, quiet, relaxation and who is the genius behind this place?! pondering.

It is gorgeous in here.

The whole place follows suit. This is easily one of the biggest studios in DC, and the space complete captures you and allows you to forget that just outside of those windows exists a bustling, loud, and jam-packed Connecticut Avenue.

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There are actually three separate studiosBarre, Yoga/Misc. & Hot Yoga – combined by “community rooms” with a cozy fireplace and plenty of space to just hang around (maybe bring a book and camp out?).

EPIC yoga barre 1

_MG_0094_tonemapped
_MG_0081_tonemapped
Bottom two, photo source: Epicyogadc.com

THE PERKS: complimentary mats, towels & lockers! In Emma’s words, this keeps with the “full-service yoga vibe”.

In DC? This is a rare treat.

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My first EPIC date: Anne & I joined Emma for some Barre-Yoga love.

This isn’t a norm in my routine, but I love the mix of ballet & yoga – this is what Emma does best, if anything she is a dancer through & through.

EPIC Barre yoga 2
emma saal EPIC barre yoga

Photo credit: Jonathan Thorpe | lululemon ambassador photographer

A ballerina I am not, but it was a test of balance, grace and committing to keeping a steady eye on Emma while trying to remember classic training from years ago. An hour later each muscle group was worked, a little shaky and a notch-up on the flexibility scale.

I quickly came back for a Sunday morning Community class*, joined by a room full of early-risers. It was a beginner-focused hour that allowed some room for experimenting (crow & headstand), relaxing and stretching.

EPIC yoga class 2

*This 11 a.m. Sunday morning class at EPIC will be the weekly (free) lululemon Logan Circle community class. Come join, February – May!

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I have another 9 classes to use on my pass – a good excuse to try out some new-to-me yoga styles, a heated hour or two, and another dance with the barre. I am purely smitten with EPIC and would recommend it to yogis of any level in the District (or visiting!).

What’s your must-have list for a studio / gym? What studio would you send me to in your city? (Might as well get that traveling list started…)

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Filed under DC, Lululemon, things that make me Happy, Yoga

Fit Gear: On the Step, Run & Mat

The types of gear and gadgets that you can acquire as a fitness junkie fills a long list – I’ve had the epiphany on-the-run before that the total value of the clothes + technology on me was way more than I’d feel comfortable pulling out of my bank account at any given moment. Problem? Maybe. But this gear makes fitness fun, and isn’t always at the cost of your total life savings.

As of the 2012 holiday season, this list represents the new toys in my collection. Yes I could get my sweat on without them, but for now they’re joining in the fun:

1) Garmin Forerunner 10 – the baby G!

My G-405 crashed and burned, hard, over the summer. It started with a less-sensitive bezel, lead to a nonfunctioning clock and eventually a watch that wouldn’t hold a charge, find a satellite or run with me. Sad day.

After 3.5 years of running with G, I figured a little (training-cycle) break would probably do more good than harm. I snatched D’s Nike stopwatch and ran with that. I learned the run-by-effort skill and went with it. Mission accomplished.

Garmin Forerunner 10 1Garmin forerunner 10 run

Moving on! This little guy was on my Christmas list and he’s here and we’re still in the get-to-know-you phase. I can’t say it finds a signal as quickly, or has really cooperated much at all, yet….but, I trust Garmin. I’m giving him a few strikes mostly because he’s so small and convenient and looks like a real watch instead of a mini-computer on my wrist. If it ends up just being a fancy stopwatch, well, maybe him & his green outfit can get away with that.

2) Fitbit – thanks to the WCS team (holiday office gift)!

fitbit count 1

There’s an upcoming WCS office step-challenge. I never thought I would care much about step count – (see above: Garmin-free running phase) – but it traps you! It has a smiley face that gets excited when you get a lot of steps in a short amount of time (e.g. run) and that smile flattens out pretty quickly when you’ve been sitting/standing at a desk all day.  I know, Fitbit, but we have work to do!

I’m working on a balance. No need for a fitbit clipped-on in yoga, or while getting ready around a tiny apartment. Strap that thing on when walking around DC on a nice day/night, though, and bam! City living wins.

3) lululemon: the MAT – keeping sweaty heads & feet happy by the hot minute.

When I worked for lululemon I sold this mat like it was my job. (Yes, it was.) Whether I was working or not, I told people how amazing this mat is – do you do hot yoga, EVER? do you sweat a lot? do your fear slipping right into the splits when you’re in a lunge? Yes, yes and please-don’t-ever-happen YES. You must have this. Right now. – and couldn’t be happier for them when they were like AH, FINALLY.

I bought the Manduka before realizing all of the above, and I love that purple mat equally as much. But, when sweat comes to crash the party, nothing works better than this dude:

lulu run. the mat
lululemon the mat

No mat-towel needed, no slipping, no frustration. This mat works magic.

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What’s on your fit-gear love list?

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Filed under Lululemon, running gear, things I Love, Yoga

Marathon Recovery Week: Rest & Routine

Well, if there’s one thing that will make sure you stay in and rest after a marathon it is a hurricane warning! Thanks, Sandy.

We lucked out for the marathon on Sunday, with nearly perfect conditions (save for some windy miles), and that luck continued. The storm passed over us resulting in two days working from home and a few without power in the area. But in the District we saw little other than rain, wind, and sacrificed leaves, branches and public transportation.

NY & up the coast – we’re all pulling for your recovery. Come to DC if you need an escape – we’re welcoming!

So, with that, recovery week has been easy (as it should be)!

No running – duh. I take one full week off after a marathon; usually I’m stir-crazy by day 3 and really ready to go by day 5. This week? We’re at day 4 and I have zero desire to test anything out and am still feeling tight up and down the legs. I went for a walk today, which is the closest I’ll get to a “stride” for at least another few days.

Yoga, please! I bought a yoga pass last week with every intention to use it all up during my post-race refrain-from-running phase. In an effort to ease back in, I went to Sunrise Yoga on Wednesday morning. The instructor, recognizing most of us in the class, almost decided that since we were all ‘experienced’ it could be a tough class! Then she saw our 6:30 am reaction and said, “What, did you guys run a marathon or something?

MCM recovery yoga

Seriously.

Luckily I wasn’t alone –another racer + run-group friend was there, too. Well, um, we did, actually…take it easy on us!

Fuel me up! Refueling on Sunday was rough. I could barely stomach brunch – more salty potatoes, please! – and tried hard to eat in response to cravings for the rest of the day.

What’s a marathoners best friend? Take-out! My instagram words: “amazingly convenient when your legs don’t want to move. #hungryrunner”

Takeout dinner

The rest of the week has been an effort to fuel the bottomless pit that is my stomach. Homemade pizzas, quinoa, chips, hummus, veggies, pumpkin, etc…

homemade gf pizzaspumpkin cooking

Hydrate & replenish: the drinks of choice have been water and coffee, but yes there’s been a glass of vino & a beer with that pizza.

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This race rocked me up and down – my abs hurt to laugh on Monday, and my back was stiff until Wednesday. The soreness is still lingering and that makes me happy in a masochistic way. I left everything in those miles, and I wouldn’t have it any other way!

This month will be one of deep rest, as Katie puts it. I have one race on the agenda – the Run for Shelter 10K on 11/17 – and a lot of yoga in mind. Otherwise, I’ll run easy when I feel like it and try to stick with a loose routine so I can start fresh when I’m ready to.

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What is/are your preferred recovery method/s? I’m 2-for-3 in effective 26.2 rest and rejuvenation, and always learning.

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Filed under doin things My way, health, learning, marathon, running, Yoga