90 Days of Namaste: Day 16

Word of the Day: Fire

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Oh my goodness, today was a day.  I was supposed to do 30 minutes of cross training for my 10k and of course my yoga, but I was utterly exhausted from working the night shift and then waking up early (side note: I got to sing the National Anthem at the National Archives this morning. Pretty cool!). So I thought, why not kill two birds with one stone and do the hardest, most cardio-driven yoga there is?

And I did. I did a class on YogaGlo called Energizing Flow that I actually quit doing a few days ago because it felt more like bootcamp and not like yoga. But I’m glad I did it today because with jumps and non-stop movement, it definitely qualifies as cross training in my book!

At the end of the video/by the point I was gritting my teeth and grumbling at the difficulty, the instructor Kathryn Budig said “Sometimes we need to create a lot of fire to find peace.”

That really resonated with me. I’m not sure if I can analyze how it affected me yet, but it heightened my awareness, and was sort of a reminder that even when yoga isn’t a fun, calm, experience and even when I feel like I didn’t check everything off my to-do list, that’s part of the process. Getting angry or feeling physical or emotional fire helps me learn how to work with it, and in tune, become warm and toasty, not burned.

Okay, enough with the metaphors. 🙂 Have a great day!

***

Video of the Day: YogaGlo Energizing Flow with Kathryn Budig

90 Days of Namaste: Days 13 & 14

Word of the Day(s): Practice

It was bound to happen.

I missed one day.

Saturday, Day 13 (my unlucky number, I might add), I got swept up with so much going on that I just didn’t do my yoga. I did five minutes and got pulled away.

But that’s totally okay.

I did my yoga today (an amazing flow on YogaGlo called Tap Into Your Divine Energy) and it was perfect and great and challenging. I noticed how the teacher (Elena Brower) kept using the word practice. And that’s how I decided to look back at yesterday.

The whole point of this 90 day journey is that it’s just that: a journey. With ups and downs and twists and turns. It’s a journey for me, and yoga is at its core a practice. Not a performance that’s perfect every time. But a practice. Not every day is going to be exactly what I wanted, but that doesn’t mean I’ve failed. While I can’t say that I did 30 minutes of yoga every day for 90 days, I sure as hell can say, that over the course of three months, I practiced yoga regularly and built a relationship with it so I could better myself.

And that’s more important than fulfilling a certain time requirement I set. Because I know who I am and I know what I’m getting from this, and it’s so much more than checking off some box.

Practice makes perfect, no? 🙂

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Video of the Day: Tap Into Your Divine Energy from YogaGlo

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 9

Word of the Day: Sweat

Exciting news! Along with my 90 Days of Namaste, I am now fulfilling one of my fitness goals and training for a 10k! I’ll be running the St Pat’s 10k on March 1st here in DC. The course goes past all the monuments and training for it has given me a cardio kick. I am so happy with 2015 so far!

But back to yoga. After running my 2.5 miles (part of my 10k training plan), I wanted to do some yoga that felt active as well. Well be careful what you wish for.

Story of my life
Story of my life, except who looks that good after the gym?

I continued with my online YogaGlo practice where I picked a thirty-minute video entitled “Short on Time Flow.” The description reads: “Only have a half hour but want that feeling of a hot and wonderful flow? This one is for you! ” 

The flow definitely felt hot, but wonderful? Not so much. While I loved the instructor (Kathryn Budig) and I definitely got a workout, it felt more like bootcamp than yoga. It was a nonstop vinyasa involving jumping lunges. While I appreciated the cardio blast, I realized that what I love about yoga is really sinking into poses and reaching my limit, especially posture/form wise. I can’t believe I’m actually writing that. What has yoga done to my “I can’t/I don’t want to” voice? Nine days in and feeling fine 🙂

Video of the Day

YogaGlo Short on Time Flow

90 Days of Namaste: Day 8

Word of the Day: Consistency 

Today marks a full calendar week of my doing yoga every day!

Fireworks
Hapyy one whole week!

Even though yesterday was technically my one week mark, it didn’t really feel like it. But now that I’ve done two Mondays of yoga, it does!

I started my free week at the new Core Power Yoga studio a few blocks from my house. The class was Hot Power Fusion, which reminded me of my beloved power yoga class but in 95 degree heat. The teacher was incredible and I had measured success in the class! The big thing: I did crow pose!

crow-pose
This happened today! For like…ten seconds.

My teacher, Kim, kept using the words consistency. How consistency helps our practice and if we can’t do something, be patient because our consistency will make it so. Even though it’s only been one week, being able to have measured success–like doing crow, the hardest pose ever–makes me so happy I started this journey.  Namaste 🙂

Videos of the Day: none! 

90 Days of Namaste: Day 6

Word of the Day: Peace

Found on Pinterest. In a word? Obsessed.
Found on Pinterest. In a word? Obsessed.

I barely eked out my 30 minutes today, but I did it!

I have no idea how I was complaining about yesterday when today (long story short), my purse was taken, then returned, then I was late, lost my phone, found my phone, went to the movies, did yoga.

It was a day that required patience and understanding, so when I realized it was 11:30 PM and I had not done my yoga, I had to be at peace with that. I did Erica’s Yoga for Relaxation and Sleep and it was peaceful and yet challenging.

There were a ton of hip-openers (an area, where I, like many, hold stress and past issues) and since this was a relaxation video, I had to be at peace with it (sensing a theme here, yet?). I could not resist the pain I was feeling in my hips and body. I couldn’t be disgruntled or hate on it because simply, the video wouldn’t let it be so. Erica made me accountable, and I think for the first time in my entire yoga practice, I began to actively let go in a class, physically AND mentally.

I realize that I have a ton of tension in my body that I need to get rid of, and I’m taking steps to do so. This week, I have a body reading with my yoga teacher and I’m starting acupuncture. I know I have pent-up energy in my body and I’m finally willing to let that go. So having to do yoga on a day that could have catapulted me into an emotional tailspin (as anyone who’s ever lost a wallet knows!) was actually the best thing that could have happened. I ended my day at peace by relying on energy that had got me through the day’s earlier stress.

I am letting go and loving it.

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Video of the day:

PsycheTruth Beginners Yoga for Relexation & Sleep (starring Erica Vetra ❤ )

 

90 Days of Namaste: Day 5

Word of the Day: Progress

You know those days where you’re just frustrated? Like little things bug you more than they should? Today was one of those. Starting with yoga: I wanted to go to an hour long class but due to transportation issues, I couldn’t make it. So I knew when I started my online class tonight, it would be interesting.

Found on Buzzfeed...too accurate! I had to share
Found on Buzzfeed…so accurate for me today! I had to share

I decided to go with my girl Erica Vetra because she never lets me down. Unsurprisingly, she did not disappoint. It was level 3 of her “Morning Weight Loss Yoga” and it was all about balance. When I felt shaky during my balance work, Erica said “Thank yourself for challenging your body,” and my perspective totally changed. It was a subtle reminder that I was the one being frustrated about things during my day, no one else. And while that frustration is natural, I can challenge myself to change my attitude. That shift in thinking to me equals progress.

Also I could hold Warrior Three for like two minutes longer! So that’s good! To get my last five minutes of yoga, I did a 5-minute stretch workout, which was nice but not my favorite. As always, Erica gets the gold.  ❤

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Videos of the Day:

Erica’s 25-minute workout

Tara Stiles’ five minute flexibility routine

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?

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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

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!