90 Days of Namaste: Day 37: Refreshed

Word of the Day: Refreshed!

I love this city and love this photo!
I love this city and love this photo!

Today I had a bit of a fragmented day, so YogaGlo provided me with the perfect practice. After running around all morning,  I did a class called “Amy’s Anytime Refresher,” (side note, OBSESSED with the teacher) and it was great! It really gave me a quick, enjoyable yoga practice, and immediately lifted my mood (which was in a good place to begin with!). I was happy to see how I could “sink in” quicker– it was easier to take deep breaths and focus than it has in the past.

On to another day of Namaste!

***

Video of the Day: Amy’s Anytime Refresher by Amy Ippoliti 

90 Days of Namaste: Days 21 & 22

Word of the Day(s): Process
Mixed Bag

I’m processing a lot right now (all good, I swear!), so I’m not being intentionally vague. I’ve just decided to keep this ever so brief until I feel like a narrative post fits my current state. So, I wrote a haiku for today 🙂

***

Yoga every day.

Details change, yet my heart grows.

Wholeness is coming.

***

Video of the Day: Love Your Body from YogaGlo

90 Days of Namaste: Days 18 & 19

Word of the Day(s): Health

Yesterday, I had a great but busy day, but at the end of it, I felt a bug coming on. So I did not practice yoga. I woke up today feeling sinus-y, congested, etc, and I realized I needed to rest. So I did.

At the end of the day, I started to feel so much better. So much so that I decided to try some light yoga! I did a video on YouTube entitled “Yoga for when you are SICK” (caps intended) so I figured it was perfect. It was by Yoga with Adriene, a popular user with over 380,000 subscribers! She’s not Erica, but I liked her class! It was gentle, light, and I am happy I did it. Was it my favorite class ever? No. But am I proud of myself for listening to my body and knowing when and when not to exercise? Yes.

Again, this 90 Day Journey has become so much more than just yoga. It’s a lifestyle change, not a fad diet, and with that comes nuance. I don’t feel guilty for missing a day of exercise, and I’m actually letting myself rest. And lo and behold, I’m recovering quicker. I’m learning to stop being so particular about things and ease into life. And for that, I’m grateful.

One day I will take a photo like this!
One day I will take a photo like this!

***

Video of the Day: Yoga for when you are SICK

90 Days of Namaste: Day 10

Word of the Day: Qi

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Today, I had my first acupuncture session. The treatment itself was exactly what I expected, but the after effects? Not so much.

But let’s rewind. I attended my weekly Wednesday vinyasa class (which was PACKED), and it felt harder than usual. I couldn’t figure out an intention for the class (a common problem), and I felt easily fatigued. But I decided to be patient with myself, realizing that yoga is also about listening to your body. So I took a lot of child’s poses but I also felt stronger and straighter in postures! Maybe this whole “be good to your body” thing is something.

Which leads us to acupuncture. I’ve always wanted to get it done to work on my chronic shoulder pain. My mother and I are big believers in Eastern medicine, so when there was  Groupon for 5 acupuncture sessions for $90, I had to jump.

The treatment was great. She talked a lot about my “qi” (energy) being stagnated and working on that. I realized that that qi is what felt different in yoga too. My presence is shifting from teeth-gritted, mentally-exhausted to patient and welcoming. I still have serious goals and get frustrated sometimes, but I’m less frantic about them, which I hypothesize will make me actually stick to my routine. In the past I would go hard on a workout plan and then burn out. I’m hoping yoga will be different.

After acupuncture, I was really worn out and had a terrible headache. But as the day wore on, my energy–my qi–could change quickly. I could jump from being sluggish to being active, or being frustrated to being sympathetic. I wonder if the pain–in yoga, in acupuncture–is a way of pushing out past habits and finding my new qi.

New qi, new me? 🙂

90 Days of Namaste: Day 4


Word of the Day: Judgement

Marlen Esparza, Olympic Bronze medalist & Boxing queen
Marlen Esparza, Olympic Bronze medalist & Boxing queen

I’ll keep this one short.

I started my day with my favorite kickboxing class, which usually makes me feel like such a boss. But today, I don’t know if it’s because I was tired or what was dogging me mentally, but I felt weak.

Then I came home and made myself do core-strength yoga videos because again, I felt weak. But anyway, back to my yoga experience: as I finished the video, I realized that the only person thinking I was weak was me. My kickboxing teacher kept saying how awesome we were–and I did push myself to my limits–and the yoga video instructors were all about the process, not the results.

I am the only person judging me, and while it’s not easy for me to stop, I can make it part of my practice to try. Isn’t that what yoga is all about?

***

Videos of the Day: I did two, both from PsycheTruth, because I couldn’t find a 30-min core strength video. One was 20 minutes and the other was 10. And I loved the second instructor. Will definitely be going back to her! 

 

90 Days of Namaste: Day 3

Word of the Day: Steady

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Today I took my local gym’s vinyasa class which is the total opposite of my Monday Power Yoga. It’s quick, it’s full of balance poses and it makes you sweat!

I was grateful for the cardio blast but frustrated in my balance poses. I’m always weak on that point and that never feels good. But during one such pose, my teacher said  to the class:

“Find yourself steady and secure.”

That immediately made me think of the tortoise and the hare, with (of course) the adage: Slow and steady wins the race. For the rest of the class, I felt much more patient with myself, because I was consciously remembering that this is a process. Rome wasn’t built in a day so my yoga progress certainly won’t be, hence my 90 day journey.

As always, I’m so glad I attended class, and, as always, I can’t wait for the next one.

90 Days of Namaste: Day 2

Word of the Day: Integration

DC looks like a winter wonderland outside, but the roads have been taken over by snow-mageddon. I wanted to try this new yoga studio close to my house, but bad weather equates bad traffic equates bad accidents…you get the picture.

So what better day to do online yoga and try the next video in my favorite  series, Psyche Truth!

Screen Shot 2015-01-06 at 12.31.42 PM
YouTube Yoga with Erica Vetra–my favorite!

I am obsessed with Erica Vetra. She is spunky, encouraging but also gives you a heck of a workout. Today I did Level 2 in her Yoga for Weight Loss series and I highly recommend it. It’s only 30 minutes long but man does it make you sweat. It’s a mixture of vinyasa and core work, which for me was exactly what I needed.

I was so touched by the outpouring of positivity I received yesterday after I launched this 90 day journey. So today, I felt compelled to push myself. In every pose I focused intensely on my posture and in return felt more clarity than ever before. I know it’s only been 2 days, but my new approach to my practice (i.e. making it a daily commitment for growth rather than a sporadic pleasure) has given me a new attitude on my body and my practice, which feels great 🙂

At the end of the video, Erica said, “Let the work that you do integrate into your body.” That really hit home. Just like my daily stress impacts my body, yoga will too, but in a restorative, positive way. I can’t wait to see what’s next.

More tomorrow!

90 Days of Namaste

For the record, I never blog.

That’s an exaggeration. Obviously, I have written blogs, but I have never been a blogger per se. I couldn’t even keep a diary even after I bought a super adorable Lisa Frank golden retriever journal with matching locket in 2nd grade. And if that can’t make you write regularly, what can, I ask?

Yoga.

Not to continue this blog on a “I’ve never” note, but I’ve also never been one to make New Year’s Resolutions. Seriously. In my 23 years on this earth, I’ve never made a resolution. But this year is different. Since I no longer have a schedule that constantly changes due to school, l felt the need to create my own catalyst for change.

Which brings us to my 2015 New Year’s project: 90 Days of Namaste.

Here’s how it works:

Starting today, I will do yoga every single day for three months. No exceptions. It can be any type of yoga (hatha, vinyasa, bikram, etc), but it has to be at least 30 minutes long and has to be part of an actual class (online or in person) so I’m not just mildly stretching in my room and calling it good.

To keep myself accountable (and, I suspect, introduce me to some pretty interesting people along the way), I will be blogging about it on a daily basis. Nothing necessarily long, just a way for me to check in and monitor my progress.

Why yoga, you ask? Through sweat and sometimes literal tears, yoga makes me feel like the best version of myself. It’s incredibly f***ing hard challenging for me, but every time I finish a class, I feel rejuvenated and more in tune with my body. I’ve always wanted to be strong, toned and flexible, and I have a feeling doing yoga for 90 days will change me in ways I can’t even imagine.

If you’re interested in following along, check back here daily or use the hashtag #90DayNamaste. Here we go.

This is not me, but I hope it is one day. Beach Yoga is on my bucket list
This is not me, but I hope it is one day. Yoga on the beach = On the Bucket List

Day 1: Power Yoga

I’ll keep this short since I just wrote this intro. I kicked off this project with Power Yoga, a class I take at my local gym. It involves holding positions for a long amount of time, and my muscles literally shake every time I do it. Today was particularly challenging, which I took as a sign that I needed this 90 day commitment more than ever. This class kicks my ass, but after doing it, I feel better than I did all week. Day one, done!