90 Days of Namaste: Day 32 = Just Keep Swimming

Phrase of the Day: Just Keep Swimming

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Today was one of those days that wasn’t anything special (yoga wise). I was really annoyed because I called my acupuncture clinic to confirm my appointment, was told that I didn’t have an appointment, but then called 20 minutes after my appointment time to ask where I was. It bothered me because I totally would have been there– I was really looking forward to it! But I have to let it go.

Letting it go may seem opposite from my “phrase of the day,” but I have a point, I swear. My class was nothing too spectacular, I completed my daily 10k training but didn’t feel so hot about it, but on both counts, I am glad I did it. I pride myself on being committed (maybe this is why the acupuncturist miscommunication was so upsetting to me), so I’m happy I made it to the mat. Today was a reminder that even though every day will not be amazing or epiphany-laden, it’s still worth completing.  On to tomorrow!

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Video of the Day: None! (in person class)

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!

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Video of the Day: YogaGlo Energizing Flow with Kathryn Budig

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.

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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 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!

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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!