Thursday, January 31, 2013

Almost Certified

Last night I took the final exam for my yoga teacher training program. I feel like I was studying forever - cramming every sanskrit name and yoga sutra into my brain like a mad person. Ok, that's a lie. I didn't even know how to study the yoga sutras. There were too many of them and I didn't have a way to cram a basic summary into my brain, like I did with everything else.

Not important.

Here's the meat: I've since changed it, but on my "about me" page, I used to have a semi lengthy little blurb about being in a transition period and getting out of bad stuff so I can do things that make me happy. It was hard for me to write initially because seeing it written out as a 28 year old who was still searching for herself made me feel like a little bit of a failure. It's been a journey on it's own learning to feel like no matter where I am or what I'm doing, I'm still a success and I still have a ton of things going for me.

Getting my yoga teacher certification is the first thing I've done that makes me feel like I'm doing something right. It's the first career based decision I've made since graduating college that I haven't constantly second guessed. As soon as I finish my outside hours and turn them in, I'll get a little certificate that allows me to walk into gyms and yoga studios and ask them to hire me.

Anyway, I think that's pretty amazing.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Posing on Tuesday; Cobra/Updog/Sphinx

The pose I chose for this week was Cobra because it's the next step in a vinyasa, but then I thought, "how can I do a post about Cobra without also showing you guys sphinx and updog?" The people need options!
I'm sorry about the picture quality again. I was up studying all last night and by the time I remembered to take the pictures I was in my pajamas and my air was everywhere and it just wasn't going to happen. So, please take a second to appreciate that - in addition to the low quality of the images - I am wearing jeans and my undershirt for the day.


So, let's pick up where we left off, shall we? From chutarunga...

Monday, January 28, 2013

Kitchen Adventures; Coconut Mango Muffins

A little while back, mangos were on sale at Sprouts. I love mango, so we bought some, but the weather had been cold, so my usual go to mango recipe for froyo wasn't sounding like such a good idea.
It needed to be something hot to counter this cold and raininess. 

Pinterest was inspiring, but I didn't find any recipes that sounded amazing. In the end, I resorted to Google and found this recipe. I made some slight alterations to suite myself and got baking.

First, I feel like I should just tell you these muffins are AMAZING. The mango is not overwhelming and there us a beautiful hint of coconut, highlighted when you sprinkle a little bit on top. So yummy.
This is what I did...

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Seven Days of Yoga; Week 4

Sunday 1/20 started off with Power Yoga. I don't know if it was just because I had not taken many classes the week before, but class was SO TOUGH. Long holds in everything from plank to down dog to three-legged plank to side angle pose. It was BRUTAL. I knew I'd have to practice every day for the rest of the week if I was going to get back to feeling good after practice instead of just feeling tired.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Week 3 HAH Update

This week a bunch of the Be Happy crew is at Alt. I know they're having an amazing time and I am with them in spirit. I can't wait to hear about all the Alt Summit adventures and things that they've learned.
I am home this week, and since I'm home - enjoying my space that, though messy, I love - I thought I would give you a little update into how I'm doing with my Happy at Home project.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Posing on Tuesday; Chutarunga

(Chutarunga Dandasana)

I chose to focus on Chutarunga today because it's essential for any Vinyasa flow class. If somebody says, "Take a vinyasa", you have to go through chuttarunga to get into Cobra, Sphinx, or Updog, AND we spent a good part of this weekend's class breaking down the nitty gritty details of this pose. What better time to break it down for you than when its all super fresh in my brain?! :)

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Seven Days of Yoga; Week 3

Sunday 1/13 I practiced Power Yoga in the morning like I usually do before teaching training goes full force. This class ended up being kind of an arm balance workshop. Dang, arm balances are tough. I can still only do Crow. I'm working on the others, but the key for each of them is to pin the elbow into the ribs and I end up hurting my shoulder every time I try to do that. I feel like I have super short limbs or something. Erg.

Monday 1/14 I took the night off from practice to get some assisting hours in and from 6 to 730, I walked around class and helped people get into their best version of the poses. It was a little awkward because the music was really kind of quiet and calming, so I felt uncomfortable asking people if they wanted blocks or if they could turn their foot in a little more - because if I asked too loud, it would be distracting for other students.

Tuesday 1/15 was another night off. Don't judge me. I ran errands and Skype'd with the hubs, who was away on business. I also managed to cook myself a very healthy dinner (hoorah) I made fish for the first time EVER and a giant plate of broccoli and brussel spouts. I was pretty pleased with myself.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Bhakti - Yoga of Devotion

As I write this, I have competing thoughts running through my mind - repeating mantras from Sunday night's Kirtan and the This American Life Doppelganger podcast. Both things are overwhelming and staggering, but in totally different ways. I'm not going to write about the Doppelgangers. You can listen if you like. Calamari, man...

Sunday we had some special guests in teacher training. Jeff and Stella spent the afternoon with us, getting to know us, and teaching us about Bhakti yoga. That's Jeff on the far left in white, and Stella is right in the middle with the tambourine.

I guess the first thing to understand about Bhakti is it is not "yoga" in the way you're probably thinking. There are no asanas - no physical practice. Bhakti yoga is about spirituality and awareness.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Posing On Tuesday; Down Dog

What can I say, I'm on a new series kick. It must be the new year! I've decided to start a series to explore yoga postures. It will help me memorize all this info I need to cram into my yoga brain, and maybe it will help you understand some of the more amazing functions of yoga. I'll explore the correct form for the pose, its benefits, a few modifications, and some ways to push yourself to the next level.
I apologize for the less than awesome photos. Most of these are screenshots of a video I took on my iphone. I'll do better next time - maybe use a real camera. :)

The first pose of my magical new series is...

(Adho Mukha Svanasana)

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Seven Days of Yoga; Week 2

Week 2, y'all! This is kinda fun!

Sunday 1/6 - First Sunday back at YTT post holiday break. Going into it, I was feeling kind of weird about it - like I didn't remember anything and what was I going to do without that extra day off every weekend - but as soon as we got into it, I was happy to be there. I am always enlightened when I get home from a day of YTT, so I felt pretty silly at the end of the day. My practice that morning was Wayne's Power Yoga class. He had some of my peers assisting him throughout the class. The flow of the class was a little odd with 4 different teachers, but I'm so proud of my classmates. I can't wait to get my chance to do that too!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Week One HAH Update

The acronym for Happy at Home is HAH. I think that's wonderful. It makes me giggle a little bit.

So much has happened this week, and so much of it has had to do with my Happy at Home project from Apartment Therapy.

1. Make your bed. I did this for the first time today! Since last week, I've been throwing the blankets back into place, but this morning I took the time to go around the bed and tuck everything in. Just doing it made me feel happier - like I'd accomplished something new. It's silly, I know, but so far, it's working. I'll take it.

2. Bring every room back to "ready." I really should have shared some kind of photo of the disastrous state of our living room post Christmas - gift wrap, boxes, dog toys, stuffing, socks, empty yogurt containers (we let the dog clean them out after we finish), tubs upon tubs of the stuff from Tim's parents we needed to go through. I'd tried sorting through most of it, but it was still blocking most of the walkway around and behind the couch. This room had not been "ready" in over a month. So, Monday I stayed home from work and a focused all my energy on this room. I put on some of my DVR'd favorites, made sure everything that needed to be in a box was in a box, everything that needed to be in the trash was in the trash, took down the Christmas tree, pressed start on the Roomba (oh, how I heart you, Roomba), and restored this room to its former glory. I FEEL SO MUCH BETTER!!!! HOLY MOLY! It's more than a huge weight has been lifted - it's like I can see my home again. I can snuggle up on the couch and not be thinking about this random pile of picture frames I always seem to accidentally hit my shin on - they've now been donated, btw. On a more serious note, I forgot that we ever had a clean living room. I started to have weird panic attacks. It was bad. All of that is gone now, and I feel so much better having resolved to myself to never let the room get to that state ever EVER again.

Monday, January 7, 2013

30 x 30; Headstand

This morning, I did a headstand. 

Sunday in teacher training, we did inversions - headstand, handstand, forearm handstand, scorpion. As you may know, one of my 30 by 30 goals has been to get into a headstand away from the wall without a spotter. It's been slow, hard work, but yesterday I did it!

I was up next to the the wall, but I tried my very hardest not to use it to stabilize myself. The first try, my tush touched the wall. On the second, my feet, but on the third try, I made it all the way up without touching the wall at all. Linda came over to help me get my legs in the right position so that staying up would be easier. So I focused and I stayed and it was AMAZING. 

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Seven Days of Yoga; Week 1

I've decided to start a new series. Maybe you'll like it, maybe you won't, but like most things on this blog (sorry, y'all) I'm doing it for me. I've slacked off in terms of tracking my workouts and progress, and since it's a new year (YAY 2013!), there is no better time than now to introduce a yoga/workout wrap-up on my blog. I'm pumped! Let's do this...

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Happy at Home

Happy New Year! Happy First linkup of 2013!
Last week I found (and by found I mean, someone shared it) this list of 10 ways to be happier at home and I just about died. Everything they suggested sounded amazing.
You know what makes it better? Most of their sourcing comes from Gretchen Rubin, the Happiness Project guru.
I was so inspired by this list that I've decided to go through it and makes some notes on how I could apply these 10 suggestions to my home.