WOW is Coming Back

It’s Wednesday of this week already and the rain is keeping me down. We’re watching our friend’s dog, hosting a meal train for a friend who had a baby, and preschool starts this week. On top of all of that I traveled last weekend to Asheville for a NETA Yoga Foundations workshop with a wonderful group of women and I’m all out of whack on my training. Oh, and did I mention that my dryer is currently out of commission?

One thing that has also been lacking on the blog lately (and I know I skipped Meditation Monday this week) is WORKOUT WEDNESDAY! It’s been a hot minute since I posted a video or information on a yoga pose (since April!) and part of the reason has been SUMMER and job transition and life.

This week in particular is bad because of everything I listed above, plus my training partner is out of town and it’s hard for me to stay motivated to workout in the rain when I don’t have anyone to run with…..I’m an Obliger. But, the drive is still there, deep inside of me, wanting to come out. And because I’m switching jobs and won’t be teaching yoga on the regular, Workout Wednesday posts are going to help me maintain my rhythm in that practice. Starting next week I will be posting a small series of poses each week and eventually building up to a longer class. It’s going to be sort of the same way that I was teaching Yoga I and Yoga II at CFCC.

Next Wednesday we’ll be starting at the beginning….Awakening Poses. If you’ve done them before, it’ll be review and a great way to wake up for the day. If you’ve never done them before, come check them out! I promise you won’t be disappointed!

Other things to look for from the blog include the return of Guest Yoga Stories on Thursdays (starting tomorrow), continued Meditation Monday (back on Monday), more Fave Reads Friday (working on my Gretchen), and the random thoughts I have popping in from time to time. So, take a deep breath, keep calm, and OM!

I Need More Gretchen! – The Call to Self-Care

So, a few of weeks ago I read/listened to a pair of posts/podcasts by Gretchen Rubin:

A Little Happier: More Advice about How to Be Successful–Check Every Box.

A Little Happier: Don’t Check Every Box.

I know that just looking at the title of each of those seems like a major contradiction, but Gretchen Rubin has these “Secrets of Adulthood” that she lives by and one of those is

The opposite of a profound truth is also true.

Her two podcasts are about being successful and applying for a job, but I took the idea to heart in regards to self-care. It draws back to the topic I was writing about last week in my course review of the Inclusivity Training I did where Chelsea reminded us over and over again to

Drink as you pour.

If I am to take care of myself I need to check all of the boxes and make myself into the person I want to be; this will help me to be happy and is the only thing I truly have control over. I need to meet my own expectations. I need to push myself to be the best that I can. I need to think positively about myself and my own capabilities.

But, I also don’t need to check all of the boxes for anyone else, or even, sometimes myself. Sometimes it’s okay to spend the entire day in my pajamas lounging on the couch and watching tv with my kids. Sometimes it’s okay to eat pancakes from the fridge in the middle of the day. Sometimes it’s okay to say no to a workout.

The key is balance. I’m in the middle of a big project in my life and some of that means checking the boxes off to meet a goal I have. This would include

  • Getting in my 4 runs each week
  • Trying to be active each day
  • Avoiding eating as many animal products as possible
  • Choosing to eat less processed food
  • Making time to breathe and to meditate
  • Reading more
  • Writing more
  • Spending more time playing with my children
  • Taking care of myself when I need it

This is all part of My Best Body Happiness Project that was inspired by reading Rubin’s first book. I think that something inside of me has been trying to get back to this idea of balance lately. I will be writing on Thursday about where I am in my project and Friday will be a book review from the last book I read.

Currently though, Gretchen Rubin is helping me again as the next book on my reading list was Better than Before, her book about habits that introduces the Four Tendencies (I’m an Obliger). There will be a lot more self-care going on, a lot more meditation/reflection, and I’m sure that I’ll learn a lot more about myself and my habits as I go through this new book.

Have you read Better than Before?

What do you do for self-care?

What boxes do you not check?

Finding a Rhythm – Obliging Myself

I’m sitting at the Charlotte airport again. I had a lovely and brief weekend in New Jersey at the Fanwood-Scotch Plains YMCA teaching the NETA PT Workshop. It was one of the best groups I’ve had in awhile, so I’m glad that I got to share that time with them.

The trip was a little precarious in that I got in late on Friday night and had to navigate Newark and the surrounding highways in the dark. Let me just tell you…..I’m not used to New England drivers and being just over a month out from my accident it was an added challenge! I even felt my left arm going numb at times and worried I was having a heart attack. Some good Ujjaii breathing helped me calm down, but it didn’t help that I had chosen the Toyota Yaris from Hertz that had no cruise control. Yikes!

The weekend was a success in that I tried to spend a little time thinking about why I’m away from the blog so much at this time. I thought about my training routine lately (or lack there of) and my general situation in life. I came up with a few things that I’ve been meaning to write about while seeing beautiful deer grazing in someone’s yard this morning. It almost made me consider moving to New Jersey….but don’t jump for joy yet Tina!

So, I’m an OBLIGER. This is something I discovered in my research on Gretchen Rubin’s work and Happiness Projects. What does it mean exactly? It means, something that I’ve kind of known all along, that it’s much easier for me to commit to something if the outcome is for someone else.

In what ways am I an obliger? With my kids, especially. If something is necessary for one of them, it’s going to get done at my own sacrifice. For work I’m pretty good at making sure the work is done (maybe not always in the time frame I’d planned, but always before the deadline).

In which areas of my life do I not oblige? Ugh, I’m probably not the best obliger in my relationships…..

I read this interesting article on NBCNews.com the other day about why it’s so much harder to be married in 2017 than it was before. One thing that I hit on was the whole “getting married later” and “finding it easier to be single”. I was married once before and while I liked being married both then and now, find it harder this time around. I didn’t spend long being “single” (about a year), but the independence that came at that time in my life was refreshing in a way I didn’t know it could be. There are still times in which I wish I could have things only MY way (not a very Yogi Attitude).

In my friendships I’m probably a decent obliger and currently more so with one friend than others. I am training with a friend for an 8k in September. My 2017 birthday present to myself. And that’s probably where I’m the worst obliger….in my own yoga practice and fitness (especially right now).

I can get up at 530am twice a week to go and teach yoga to others. I can make my body do 4 or more classes per day. I can run 6 miles with a friend. I can’t seem to find the rhythm that keeps me going on my own.

You may say, with all that other activity, why would it matter? It does. It matters a lot to a fitness professional. I understand, after many failures in life, how hard it is for people to create behavior change. I understand the struggle to “stay healthy”, to “get in shape”, to “be fit”. I understand the ups and downs of this journey more than a lot of other fitness professionals. I feel like Obligers are not often found in the fitness realm. My colleagues tend to be highly driven toward working out for themselves and, while I’ve had those moments in my life, I’m finding it easier to commit to others and their needs right now than my own.

One thing that used to help me was my schedule. My planner set the rhythm of my life….10 lines for each day dedicated to what I wanted/needed to do. I put in exercise as a priority, play dates with friends, intentions to catch up with people, dates, household obligations, and work commitments. However, I haven’t used my planner since the beginning of May and it shows in many areas of my life. I am surprised by how many ways the accident has impacted my life. So, today, on my flight from Newark I busted out the planner and started writing in it. I made a list for this week of all that I’d like to accomplish, but didn’t put exercise on it. Why? Doesn’t that seem counter productive to my goals and my Happiness Project? Yes, but it’s also more productive for me to find my way back to exercising on my own organically.

I have this big fitness goal that I’d like to achieve this summer….108 Sun Salutations. I was inspired by Tracy at Fit is a Feminist Issue awhile back, but haven’t found the way to commit to it yet. I even tried to wrangle my friend I’m running with into it. But I don’t think she was exactly game. I’m going to keep running with her twice a week and see what happens. I finish teaching for the summer on June 29th and then it will be all on me. Fingers crossed that I pick up again before then!

Have you been over to the quiz yet to find your tendency?

Have you been to New Jersey before?

What is your summer fitness goal?

What keeps you in your rhythm?

Breaking Down

I’m getting ready to leave on a trip this weekend, but before my Happiness Project post FINALLY goes up tomorrow, I wanted to write a short post about why I haven’t been writing posts. A couple of weeks ago I wrote about my car accident. That was the start of my break down…..

Since May 2nd I’ve had a hard time running on my own, exercising other than running on my own, meditating, working, and in general….living. Last weekend I was supposed to attend the Roots of Love Yoga Festival and got in my car to drive up there only to have to turn back around. While stopped at a stop light a large truck came to a screeching stop behind me and almost rear-ended me. When I rear-ended the other car the girl in the passenger seat had said that she had rear-ended someone 5 days earlier. Since that time I have been waiting for my “pay back”.

I came home and cried.

I am set to go out this weekend for work and my family is coming with me to help me make the drive. Driving for me is still a challenge, but I never expected the accident to effect my life in so many ways. I find myself less focused right now and more tentative. I broke down during a run with my friend the other day…..actually twice now. I am usually the one pushing her and I found myself being the one falling back and needing breaks.

I don’t know if it’s emotional or physical, but I do know that I am 11 days past when I was supposed to update my Happiness Project and I am not feeling stronger in any way due to these lapses. I do know that this is nothing new for me and will be something that I address in the course of this project. I’m just ready to feel normal again and I have some strategies in place for that.nOne thing in particular (and I have a full post coming on that) is to play into my tendency of being an Obliger.

For now……it’s just one day at a time, one foot in front of the other, and breathe!

Q1 Performance Report 2017

The other day in my inbox I received this from MapMyRun

It was both saddening and motivating. See, it’s not totally reflective of all the “activity” I’ve done so far this year. I no longer track my yoga teaching or practice, my HIIT workouts, my Pilates, nor anything I do outside of walking and running here. However, it was motivating because it meant that I hadn’t totally quit walking and running this year.

In the past few years I have struggled to hit the mythical 500 miles/year mark. This year may be no exception, but I’m still trying. I use MapMyRun because it’s free and I can mark my own routes pretty easily. There’s an app for the phone, but I don’t use it because I don’t have a lot of data. I am not a brand ambassador nor paid for my reviews of the site and the one thing I wish they’d eliminate is the calorie counter. But, I am a loyal user and I love being able to track my mileage, write how I felt about each session, see my pacing change on routes over time, and also to track the mileage on my shoes.

This year I am running with a friend 2x/week. We are planning on doing an 8k in September as my birthday present to myself this year. I am guaranteed to run at least twice a week with someone and lately it’s been about 4 miles of jog/walk as she builds up her endurance and speed. I enjoy this because it also means that I will be doing the mileage. Today is my lone run day and I am gearing up for a nice, stretch my legs run, at my own pace. I’m curious to see how my 2nd quarter performance will be now that we’ve started running together.

Do you like to run together or alone?

How do you track?

What do you track?

Would 54 miles in the first three months be a disappointment or motivating for you?

Coming Down

It’s been awhile since I’ve written on the blog….a little over a week. On Monday I had every intention of posting about how wonderful it was to have taken my last dose of Prednisone, but the truth is that this week has been a little of ups and downs. In my health journal I have seen my first smile on Tuesday when I went for a run with a friend and didn’t have to take the meds, but also my first frown because Wednesday I was so fatigued and couldn’t get off the couch to go exercise.

I am pretty okay with the neutral face days because that means that I’m still getting life done. I had another smile on Thursday while getting to experience Goddess Yoga as taught by a former student of mine. Things are looking up, but coming down from the Prednisone has meant that I’m more tired, my mind has slowed down, and I’m adjusting to the old eating patterns again.

And today? Today gets another smile! Today I am in Rochester, New York at one of my favorite workshop sites (Rochester Athletic Club for Women) teaching the NETA Pilates Specialty Certification. I love this place because the women are amazing, the facility is super clean, and the host, Nikki, is fabulous! I would work for her if I lived in this area.

I’m also getting the opportunity to eat at one of my favorite restaurants….Root 31. Today I had their Mediterranean Flatbread for lunch and it was so good that I ate it before I could snag a photo for you. For dinner I had to indulge in my go to Beets and Sweets salad. At first I thought it was a little smaller than last year, but it still hit the spot after my 4 mile walk on the treadmill. I wanted to run, but seriously….the treadmill is so close to the ceiling at this hotel that I was afraid of going through the roof!

Now I’m just prepping for another great day of Pilates training, one last meal at Root 31, my trip home, and a better week ahead. Check in with me on Monday for a full recap of my weekend away plus the start of a new Meditation series (think How to Meditate); Wednesday we’ll be breathing together in a different way; and Saturday I’m back doing another race for RTE.

How is your health holding up?

What is on your agenda for the week ahead?

What was the best part of your weekend?

TOLT: But I Won’t Do That!

You all remember the Meatloaf jam from back in your middle school days…..I will do anything for love…..but I won’t do that!

Well, welcome to another TOLT hosted by Amanda at Running With Spoons. Today I want to expand off of my post from Monday and continue with a series on my own Happiness Project: MY BEST BODY.

I’ve spent a little more time considering my post and my goal and what I will do moving forward and I’ve come up with only three things so far that I promise not to do:

  1. Take before and after photos
  2. Go on a diet
  3. Use exercise as punishment or food as a reward

These are three things that align pretty well with my own living principles as well as some of the tenets of yoga.

Ahimsa – Cause no harm

I, as a fitness professional, know that dieting is harmful to the body. I hate the fact that this simple little four letter word that means all of the food you eat has become something so vile and negative that I have to make a statement about how I won’t go on one. Technically we’re all on a diet…..we all eat. I decided not to harm myself in other ways during this adventure by being mindful of my workouts, checking in with myself on the regular through meditation, and keeping in mind that this is a journey of my whole body getting well….not just trying to get thin.

Santosha – Contentment

I need to remain content as I travel this path. It’s okay that right now I am battling my body, this too will get better. It’s okay that I will never again be a size 2 Juniors. I’m 36 and have two children and care more about being able to someday do a pull-up than to bare my midriff for attention. This is a project and a process, I have to be ready each day to face the challenges with an air of contentment: I AM.

Svadhyaya/Satya: Self-Study and Honesty

I paired these two together because they both also encompass the idea of non-judgement of myself and others by living who I am and by learning about that. This is why I don’t need before and after photos…..I have before and during and after blog posts. I have my meditation journals. I can track my fitness and all of the other measurements I will use along the way. However, as I track I need to go back to Santosha and remember to be content with the progress that does and doesn’t come.

NUMBER THREE

On a side note, I found myself trying to do number three a lot this week. Yesterday I ate a snack with my little guy. I had a super hungry moment (most likely fueled by the Prednisone) in which I ate the snack so mindlessly and then had the thought pop into my head “Thank goodness I’m going for a run now”. Bad me! But I also need to be kind with myself in my thoughts…..I need to avoid falling into the disordered eating traps of rewards and punishments that come with food and exercise. This project needs to be about me being well and functioning.

I can’t guarantee that this is going to work and I’m still in the process of defining my plan, but this was the next step.

Have you ever entered into a Happiness Project?

How do you incorporate the yoga principles into your life challenges?

What won’t you do?

One Day to Go – Looking Forward to 2017

The past two days I’ve been on a posting frenzy! Well, 2/2 that is. So, I thought I’d make a run for it with 3/3 today. I’m already aware of the fact that I WON’T be posting on Sunday. It’s New Year’s Day in this country and I’m having a party. You’re welcome to join us, but not really because I can only cook so much in my slow cooker. But come in spirit….take the day off from the online world and revel in your IRL friends (if people even still use that sort of speak).

So, I only have a brief post for you today about looking forward to 2017. Continue reading “One Day to Go – Looking Forward to 2017”

Five Yamas Friday #5 – Living Them

Another Friday, another reflection on my Yoga Life…..

How has your week been? Mine has felt like catch-up due to late flights and sick kids. I have skipped all of my workouts so far and this has added to a feeling of unease and chaos.

What’s going well? I’ve been on task this week when it has come to work, I feel a little bit better about my future, and I am starting to live the Yamas so well that they feel like part of me instead of just something I’m having to make a conscious effort to exude.

Nonviolence

Honesty

Nonstealing 

Moderation

Nonhoarding

This week I had two moments that bookended my week of Yamas. They were moments in which I felt like I lived my true self and maintained an authentic practice of the Yamas.

The first was during an argument when I realized and stated outloud that one of the worst things I have been doing in life is spouting angry words toward others during fights as a defense mechanism. I don’t like to say hurtful things, it hurts me to say them and it doesn’t feel like me at all. If I am mad, I want to be heard for the honest expression of my feelings instead of feeling forced into a corner and made to fight like an animal with words as my claws. I am a nonviolent person; I feel that in my soul. I am choosing from now on to practice the nonviolence that my heart aims for.

The second time was during class today. I was expressing honesty to my students and told them that it is easy for me to be kindhearted toward and accepting of others far more than myself. I know, because we’ve all heard it before, that the hard work is supposed to come from inside first. It just hasn’t worked this way for me. For me, it’s been easier to find ways to be more accepting of others and then, slowly, turning those skills inward.

I am trying hard not to hoard, any longer, ideals about myself that do not fit who I am. I am trying hard to shed those same images that others may have of me. I am embracing aging this week as a tactic to stop judging myself. I haven’t pulled a single gray hair out all week. That might seem superficial to someone else, but it’s one way that I can accept who I am and how I am in this moment. By doing this I am not stealing the experience of life….of the present.

My yamas are becoming more and more a part of my daily life….

How are they doing in yours?

Meditation Monday #22 – Love that Moves the Sun

The publication of this post was delayed due to my poor scheduling habits and stomach flu suffered by my children. I’m behind again, but I’m taking a different stab at it this time around….I’m not stressing and I’m moving through my list as it was written instead of jumping around and falling further behind.  Without further ado…..Expanded Meditation Monday, this time on Thursday!

I’ve been trying to figure out what to write about my meditation on Santosha this month, and then the thing happened last week and I wrote something and my meditation changed. It changed in two ways. First it stopped and then my perspective shifted. Continue reading “Meditation Monday #22 – Love that Moves the Sun”