Thursday, February 28, 2013

Inspiration & Awkwardness

I called the studio on Tuesday to reserve an hour timeslot for my usual class on Saturday and, to my surprise, the girl said she had actually been meaning to call me.

She wanted to confirm that I was taking over the Thursday night class... because they had already put me on the schedule. Whoa.

and once I confirmed, she asked if I could send her my bio and a photo - "just a nice one where you can see your face. poses are nice, but it can be hard to see your face"...



I mean... I knew I was officially being put on the schedule, but that's oh-so-very different from getting an official fancy pants instructor bio, and... wait. Now I needed to write a bio, and she wanted it by Friday.

Lucky for my, the weather was beautiful on Wednesday, so I spend about 20 minutes in the afternoon running around Malibu taking pictures of myself.

Yep. I was that girl. That's how the lovely above collage was made. So awkward. I am not a huge fan of photos of myself solo. I like group shots and usually find myself saying, "oh, hey, I look nice in that one", but solos are not my thing. Smiles get awkward. One eye opens wider than the other. One corner of the mouth is pointier than the other.

Actually sitting down and writing my bio was one of the hardest things. I love to write, but now I had to take 12 years of yoga and turn it into a sales pitchy blurb about how yoga has changed my life and how awesome I am. A BLURB! I could write a 20 page essay on how yoga has changed my life - probably more - and getting me to write about what makes me awesome was like pulling teeth. I kept giving it to T to review and he kept telling me it wasn't positive enough.

Later in the afternoon, a few favorite photos were instagramed (bc I don't have photoshop), shared with husband, bff, sisters, and mom for their favorites, and then packaged up with my bio in an email to the studio.

Less than an hour later, I got an email back.

"You're live on the website!"

and there I was. It hasn't even been up a day, but it is still so incredibly surreal.

This is a linkup! Make sure you follow the links below to some amazing ladies' blogs and read about their happiness projects!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Kitchen Adventures; Big Beautiful Blueberry Muffins

We were at Sprouts last week and I saw this giant box of blueberries and I knew I had to have it. I don't even really like eating blueberries right out of the box, so when I bought them, I was basically just making an excuse for myself to bake.

Ergo, I win at life.

A moment re: my frustration - apparently plain blueberry muffins are no longer a thing. Everybody's adding poppy seeds (which I love) and lemon (which I also love) and goat cheese (oh, wait, I love all these things), but in all honesty, I did not have any of these exciting things in my house, AND I wasn't really in the mood for them. I wanted some good old fashioned blueberry muffins.

Seven Days of Yoga; Week 8

SUNDAY! I think I need to start all these posts with all caps so we can all get excited. :) Sunday morning I got up early for Sankalpa Shakti yoga. There was a sub. It was fine, but I was the only one in the class who showed up to yoga to be challenged (out of 4 people), so it was a really easy class.
Later that afternoon, T accompanied me to a partner yoga/valentine's workshop. I thought it would be more about partner asana. While we did do some neat asana stuff, it was a lot of mushy Valentine-y stuff too. We had fun though. There was a lot of giggling happening in our corner of the room. We're mature like that. 

Monday I worked a little late - it's tax season, y'all - so I knew I wasn't going to make it to any classes. I decided I would make a playlist to accompany me on my treadmill jog - one that would get me past the 1 mile mark. (Links will take you to my tweets from yesterday) By the way, I'm only embarrassed of two artists on my playlist. It doesn't matter anyway, because that playlist helped me RUN 3 MILES! YESSSSSSSSS! I'm not gonna lie. It was tough. I am not entirely over my funk and I still plan to take the run outdoors, but this is a HUGE step in the right directions. WAHOO!

Tuesday night I went to Power Yoga and it was amazing. It was only my second time taking with this teacher and it is pretty awesome to get a different perspective and different tips and tricks from a new person.

Wednesday night - MORE POWER YOGA. I made time for it this week. I also got a pretty amazing phone call on Wednesday morning. I'll have a whole separate post dedicated to that, BUT I am a real yoga teacher now. Pretty. freaking. amazing. Class Wednesday night was totally awesome. My quads were totally screaming at me all day on Thursday because we stayed in Warrior 2 stance for soooooo long. I left feeling strong and also very very tired.

Thursday night I taught. I thought I might work out once I got home, but that didn't end up happening.

Friday night I cleaned the house.

Saturday I took yoga at the gym and then followed it up with some of my own practice.

Sorry I got kinda lazy at the end there. :/ ... and there aren't even any pictures in this post. 

Friday, February 22, 2013

30 x 30; Get Paid to Teach Yoga

Wednesday morning on my drive to work, I got a phone call from a number I didn't recognize. I didn't answer... because someone had thought it would be awesome to call my phone SEVEN TIMES at one in the morning the night before. I was not in the mood for a day of wrong numbers or people who call SEVEN FREAKING TIMES because they didn't listen to the outgoing message on my phone the first six times and realize that I was not the person they were trying to call.

Not important.

When the phone rang on my way to work I should have picked up the phone. Lucky for me, they left a message. It was the woman who owns the studio and helped teach me to be a teacher. No details in the message. Just wanted to chat and I should call her back.

As soon as I parked, I pressed the green button to call her back. We went through the pleasantries and then... she asked me if I would be interested in taking over the Thursday night Intro class and seeing how it goes.

I barely remember the rest of the phone call after that, I was so excited. I danced up the steps to my office and screamed in all caps into Gchat so T would know just how thrilled I was. Not only was I now a real yoga instructor...

I have my own class. 

My first class was the next night.
I had two students. One of them was my husband. It's cool. It's a notoriously small class.

It's so surreal now. I was in college the first time I thought I would like to teach a yoga class. I was in the middle of my practice at the UA Rec and I thought what a great part time job this would be and wished I had gotten certified before I moved out there.

From then on, every yoga class I took, I thought "I could do this. Why am I not doing this?" Last fall, I finally stopped asking that question and I "did this". I did the course work. I put in my hours. I took the final and practiced teaching with my guinea pigs.

I have no reason to be anything but happy about this amazing, incredible step on my personal journey to wherever I'm going. It's pretty effing fantastic, and... one more item off my 30 x 30. ;)

Want more happiness in your day? Follow the links to read about the happiness projects of some amazing bloggers.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Posing on Tuesday; Warrior II

I'm kind of excited about this week. Part of why it's so frustrating that I couldn't get my sh*t together yesterday and get this post up early is because this is the first part of the dancing warrior series, and I LOOOOOOVE me some dancing warrior.

We did Warrior 1 last week, so it's only appropriate that this week we talk about

(Virabhadrasana II)

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Seven Days of Yoga; Week 7

SUNDAY! Sunday I joined a group of fellow yoga instructors for a Satsong. It was more of a meeting/discussion session, but we did manage to get some asana in there for a short Yin Yoga practice. I carpooled with my mom and one of the women from my teacher training, and on the way home we talked about things we liked and didn't like about the meeting. The general consensus was "Yin practice is good", "Satsong overall should be a more collaborative discussion, less of a lesson"

Monday night I decided I would get in some Power Yoga practice. I ran into a couple of my fellow teacher trainees and they have completed their hours and gotten everything turned in. I don't have much left to do, but now I am feeling behind the curve. Class was great though. The room just had a totally awesome vibe and were all moving in the same space. It's pretty rare to have a class like that. Always awesome when it happens.

Tuesday I had a killer headache. I did manage to get to the studio and complete my observation hours (yay!), but the extent of my exercise was 25 pushups and a 2 minute plank. Better than nothing, I guess.

Wednesday was weird. Because of V-day, we moved our normal Thursday night class to Wednesday. T got out of work pretty late and I couldn't get home to Panda until after yoga, but I also needed to do some grocery shopping, so we did some pretty mellow yoga at my moms and then I ran off to the store and home, where I made some risotto (it was only okay), and sat down on the couch, where the cold got the better of me until 10:15pm, when I wandered up to the dining room, rolled out my mat, and did a more intense yoga flow on my own - the only music was the sound of whatever movie T was watching downstairs.
Oh! By some miracle, I was able to take my feet away from the wall in pincha mayurasana for about 2 seconds. I think because I hadn't worked very hard yet and was feeling strong and not fatigued.

VALENTINE'S DAY! Thursday night we went to the gym together. I wore my bright pink pants in honor of the holiday, and did some deadlift/sweep/press/squats, lat pulldowns, and then stability ball plank crunches (which are pretty much my favorite thing ever). Then we went home and gorged ourselves on Valentine's pizza and banana pudding.

Friday I finally got back to Combat Cardio at the WHAC! I've been telling myself I would go almost every Friday for weeks, and this week I finally went! On the way there I felt like crap. I was cranky, frustrated, finally feeling fat/bloated from the last two weeks of terrible eating and exercise - pretty much everything pissed me off. I was trying my best to snap out of it, but it wasn't happening. By the end of class, I felt just about a thousand times better. I even felt like I had the energy to work out more! I wanted to run, lift weights, do more abs, but we just went home. I made a healthy dinner, and watched The King's Speech.

Saturday morning I got up early for some Power Yoga. My quads were a little sore from the night before, but I was able to power through it. It was great. Sometimes it's just so nice to roll out my mat and have someone tell me what to do. Then I stayed for the last of my required assisting hours. Linda told me I did an excellent job being hands on and assisting in the class, and that I should continue assisting because it will be great experience for when I have my own classes. I'm also officially on the sub list to teach classes at the studio. Squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

How was your week?

Friday, February 15, 2013

Kitchen Adventures; Banana Pudding

Growing up, I was never a fan of bananas. I would even say I had an aversion to them. The flavor was "meh". The texture was mealy and slimy at the same time. No bananas for me.

But then, in the summer of 2007, I was lucky enough to travel to Italy to study art history. It was incredible, to say the least. On the weekends, we would take short trips out of Tuscany to see other parts of this beautiful country. One weekend, we hiked along the shore at Cinque Terre.

 Aside from the absolutely stunning views, this 6 mile hike left us with major leg cramps- only one in our group was a regular at the gym. The girls I was with stopped at a stand to buy bananas - the potassium would help with the cramping. I was hesitant, but I didn't want to be the only one with leg cramps all night, so I bought a couple... and they weren't half bad. WHAAAAT? I didn't hate them. I wasn't grossed out. Now, I also didn't looooooove them, but it seemed like my relationship with bananas was on the up & up.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Be Present

Happy Valentine's Day, y'all!

First couple picture of A & T

Today I am taking a yogic principle and applying it to relationships. This weekend at the Satsong I attended, we spent a little bit of time talking about Ganesh, the remover of obstacles. I took some extra time to myself to ponder what about Ganesh enables him to remove obstacles. For anyone unfamiliar, Ganesh is a man with an elephant's head. He has a wikipedia page, where you can learn more about him and his story.
According to lore, they mean very literally that elephants clear the obstacles by smashing the ground with their giant trampling feet.

While this interpretation of the elephant symbolism is fine - not my favorite, but fine - I have chosen a different path for interpreting Ganesha's elephant features to remove my own obstacles (especially since Ganesha doesn't have elephant feet. Flawed argumentation.)

Back on track...

How can I embrace the traits of Ganesh to remove obstacles in my life? I can listen with my giant elephant ears, and I can be present in my giant elephant mind.  What do I mean "be present"? I mean, think about right now. I mean, don't let your mind wander. Don't think about yesterday or tomorrow. Be in the moment. Only here, only now.

I took it one step further and applied it to life and love and relationships.

I can remove obstacles in my relationships by being present and mindful - by listening, removing judgement, and understanding. 

That's my be happy Valentine's day message for you. Be Present. Love.

AAAAAAND, totally separate side note since it's love day and there's so much be happy love in the air this morning, I just wanted to throw a big thank you out into the universe to the be happy crew. You are all so amazing and inspire me every week! Happy Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

30 x 30; Run 100 miles (Progress Report)

I am a wimp.

Maybe that's not entirely true, but for some reason, I am a majorly wimpy runner.

I go through phases. Once I ran a 10k. While I was training for said 10k, I ran 5 miles at a steady pace on the treadmill without getting bored. I found a loop around my neighborhood that is exactly 5k.

And sometimes, I run a half a mile and completely cop out, like, it just sucks so badly. I am so bored and all I can think about is this more annoying than painful cramp in my right ribs.

When I set this goal for myself, I never ever ever intended to run 100 miles all at once. Sorry if I was misleading. I didn't want my post title to be a run on sentence, but I also didn't see myself being less than 6 months in and having zero motivation to run anymore.

But I'm not writing this to announce that I've given up... because I don't want to give up. I bought myself new running shoes last month and I love them.

As of this moment, I have run 15.3 miles towards my goal of 100. I still have almost a year and a half to get to the remaining 85 miles in, but - forgive the pun - I need to pick up the pace.

How will I do this? Here are a couple of ways I plan to up my running motivation and overall enjoyment.

1) Take the jog back outdoors.  - I've always had a kind of off and on relationship with the treadmill. Like that one miracle time I ran 5 miles without getting bored or giving up. Usually though, unless I have a TV or some awesome tunes, it gets tedious and boring. There's also the whole stationary element of the treadmill. You can quite literally just stop wherever you are and be done with your run. If you go outside and run 2 miles away from your house, you really can't just stop and be done with it. Somehow, you've got to get back to point A. Even if you're walking back, you've still got to do the work. And there's an actual endpoint - not just some abstract, arbitrary number you've chosen for yourself.

2) Get off Pandora and make some playlists.  - Seriously, Pandora does not know what is going to keep me entertained while I run. Sometimes I'll plug in an artist that has a few songs that really pump me up and then a quarter mile in, it will pick mellow songs by similar artists. This kills me. Sometimes I even intentionally choose genres that I'm mediocre about because I think the beats can keep me going, but I am ultimately disappointed. Something I don't like always manages to creep in there. Having to stop, unlock my phone, and figure out what the heck is happening with the music always kills my running mojo.

3) Wake up earlier and run in the morning. - I am always so happy on weekend morning jogs. I don't ever look at how fast I'm running or how long I've been going until I am back home. I was so happy when I discovered that one of my jogs was a perfect 5k - totally serendipitous. Also, the last thing I want to do when I get home from work and it's dark and cold, is put on my running clothes and be freezing for the first part of my run because I will inevitably be stupidly hot by the end, and put myself in danger because the largest street by our house makes people forget to look directly front of them when they turn right. THERESACROSSWALKANDIAMINIT! Grr.

Are you a runner? Have you had lulls like I'm having? How did you get your motivation back up?

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Posing on Tuesday; Warrior I

Panda needs to be around for everything.
Last week, I did a pose breakdown for crescent and I mentioned it's one of my all time favorite postures because its such an amazing stretch and it engages pretty much every muscle in your entire body. This week, I'm focusing on a similar, but oh-so-very-different pose, Warrior 1.

(Virabhadrasana I)

If given the choice between WI and Crescent during a flow class, I will almost always choose Crescent - not because WI is difficult or I don't like it, but it takes time to get into. It takes checking to make sure everything is aligned the way it should be.
Warrior 1 is one of the most challenging standing yoga postures. A lot of people get into warrior 1 and think, "this is easy. what's the big deal?" There is so much subtle nuance to warrior 1, and finding exactly where your body should be in this pose, that people end up doing it wrong.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Seven Days of Yoga; Week 6

Buttons would like to come inside, please, Panda. 

Sorry I'm later than usual getting this post up. This weekend was a little bit of madness, but no excuses. It is what it is.

Sunday was a crazy busy day - with the superbowl and having people over - but I got myself up early to observe Tracee's class at 8:30am. When I got there, there was no Tracee, but rather, a sub named Ania - who I'm still not sure gets us credit for observation - and two of my fellow trainees trying to get their hours in.  There was a big misunderstanding between Ania and the studio. She thought the class was 8-930 and they scheduled it from 830-10, so now she was going to have to leave early, SO, she had us teach the last 30 or so minutes of class. We took turns, each teaching 2 or 3 poses before I took them into savasana. It was great to teach a real class - and kind of on a whim too. Pretty awesome. Then I took Wayne's Power Yoga class. It was really alignment based and a lot of shoulder work, which made getting into handstand at the end of class all the more difficult. It's so nice to be getting back on my mat though. My goodness, last week with hardly any exercise killed me!

Monday night I assisted, got home a little late and lost my motivation to practice at home. Sad pants.

Tuesday night. Much needed catchup dinner with a friend and a trip to target meant no time for exercise. As I wrote this out earlier in the week, I started to get depressed.

Wednesday night I had a chiropractor appointment. I knew I would miss the 6pm power yoga class, so I almost resigned myself to another night off. I could have gone to the gym with Tim, but nothing there sounded good. I didn't want to try to run on the treadmill or elliptical for a half hour. But finally, around 8, I rolled out my mat and put in my P90X2 yoga DVD.

Thursday we were back at my mom's for yoga. I wrote a little about my plans for this night in my endorphins post. I didn't end up going on a jog afterward because it was kinda late, but I did get to do some yoga and that was lovely.

Friday night T and I put on our lazy pants and didn't want to get in the car to go to the gym. After about an hour of lazing about on the couch, I put in my X2 core DVD and got going. Since I hadn't done it in ages, it was pretty tough, but awesome nonetheless. 

Saturday morning I got up early for some Power Yoga. It felt pretty amazing after all was said and done. We did ardha chandrasana at the wall to work on our form without compromising balance. I liked it so much, I had my class do it later that afternoon. That's the 5th class I've taught ever, by the way.

I have been especially thankful for P90X2 this week - those nights that I couldn't be bothered to leave the house, walking up to the dining room and putting in a DVD saved me.

How was your week of exercise? How do you feel about it?

Thursday, February 7, 2013


As I write this, I'm sitting in the waiting room at the dentists office - tapping away on my iPhone with my index finger.

I realized on my drive out this morning that the only thing I could think to write about was a resolution to myself to work out more and harder.

It's been a strange few weeks. Ever since I started studying for my yoga final, I've had a hard time staying consistent with my workout routine. The pup got sick and then Super Bowl Sunday. I can't even make sense of it. I just feel like I've been slacking off, and I've come to realize how much my personal happiness relies on the endorphins I get through exercise. Because, if we're all being honest here, I've been feeling downright crummy the last few days.

So tonight I'm taking a relatively low key yoga class. And I'm considering going for a short run afterward.

Then a super healthy dinner. Because no one feels good after 3 meals in a row of spaghetti and meat sauce.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Kitchen Adventures; Raspberry Pecan Blondies

Monday night.

Tim stuck at work crazy late.

I sit on the couch drinking wine, inhaling gummi bears, and gathering my thoughts on my post for the next morning. Still no word on when T will be home. I put on the DVD my mom left for me on Super Bowl Sunday and tweet for baking suggestions. I'm definitely in the mood for something with raspberries. Blondies are suggested. Deal. I've never made or even eaten blondies. What better time than this glorious television filled Monday night? No better time.

Pinterest worked for me this time. More than half the raspberry blondie recipes had white chocolate in them. I didn't/don't have any white chocolate. The search continued. These looked good. And they had pecans. Winner.

Turns out, they were freaking amazing. I even had them for breakfast the next morning. No regrets.

How had I never made blondies before? This seemed downright blasphemous.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Posing on Tuesday; Crescent

I think this photo is an accurate depiction of how I was feeling last night post gorging myself on leftover potato salad, wine, and gummi bears - all of which were delicious, by the way.

But I had a plan to stick to, and by golly, just because my husband couldn't be home to help take pictures of me in crescent pose didn't mean I didn't have to find a way to get some. In case you didn't know, the above "pose" is not crescent. It's nothing - unless you want to call it half wide leg forward fold with lion face.

(High lunge, variation - no sanskrit name)

Sorry my head and arms are cut off. You'll see more of them later.

Crescent is one of my favoritey favorite favorites. Done correctly, it engages every single muscle in your entire body - both legs, core, shoulders, everything.

So, shall we begin with the easiest way to get into the pose? Yes! Let's!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Seven Days of Yoga; Week 5

Panda helping me study

This weekend was kind of hectic with yoga all day on Saturday and the Super Bowl Sunday, so - as you can see - this post is a little late. I'm thinking I'll move future weekly recaps to Sunday night/Monday from here on out. It's kind of a pain to get a post up on Saturday afternoon (and hardly anyone reads them then anyway).

Still so surreal that this was the last week of my teacher training. I had (and still have) a lot of hours to accumulate, so I spent a lot of evenings assisting and observing instead of practicing and tried to get to the gym with Tim on my nights off.

Sunday was my last full day of class. Since we can't use the 10:15-11:45 Power Yoga class for assisting or observation credit, I always use it for my own practice. Class was packed, and the teacher trainees were all over in one part of the room. It created a neat vibe in the room. It was a hard class, but it had a really great energy, so I didn't feel like death was class was over. My glutes were majorly sore the next day, but I think that's a good thing.

Monday I had plans to assist in the 6pm Power Yoga class, but Panda had an accident on the living room carpet. I took her to the vet the next morning. Turns out she had a bladder infection, so now we have her on antibiotics. Anyway, I had to clean up the mess, so I didn't make it out in time for the 6pm class. I ended up going to the gym with Tim, getting complimented on how strong I am while doing 1 arm press with 30s, and then a half hour on the elliptical. No yoga. Sad face.

Tuesday night I stayed home, studied, and ate too many gummi bears. I feel good about that.

WEDNESDAY WAS MY FINAL! so weird. I assisted in Power Yoga from 6-730 then took the final at 745. It took me about an hour and I still hadn't gotten any exercise, so I met Tim at the gym for a half hour of cardio.

Thursday night I went home to get my head on straight so I could teach strangers for the first time in Intro to Yoga. I felt like I was fumbling and stumbling all over the place, but one of the girls said it was great and thanked me. I got a weird vibe from the class in general, but it was a great learning experience for me. I need to relax though. Seriously.

Friday Tim got some good news at work, so we went out that night to celebrate. :)

Saturday was my first day back practicing since Sunday! I observed the early class and then took an extremely tough Power Yoga class. OMYGOSHITWASSOHARD - especially since I'd taken almost a week off. Everything ached, but at the end of class I was exhausted and felt amazing.
After lunch, Tim and placed tennis together for the first time in months. I was worn out from my class earlier, but we still got a good little volley going. Then I taught my 4pm class at the studio. I had five students - my mom, big sister, aunt, aunt's friend & her daughter. I felt so much better about that class than I did about the one I'd taught on Thursday. I just need to get comfortable - confident. Sheesh.

So, that's it. Kinda a wonky week because of all the studying and teaching, but things is how they is.