Weekend Round Up

This past weekend was great.  Friday was a busy day of gym going, running errands and getting ready for my Rock N’ Roll yoga class on Saturday.   All of this had me a bit worn out and I was ready to call it in early and get a nice long sleep in to get me ready for the rest of my weekend.

Saturday morning I was up bright and early and headed over to the gym to get a bit of a sweat on before my yoga class and the rest of the fun planned.   Saturday’s Rock N’ Roll yoga class was great, I had the opportunity to give a bit more attention to my student and to modify the class on the fly to accommodate my pregnant student.  It was a ton of fun and a great learning experience for me.

After yoga my girlfriend and I headed out for some tea and chats. It is always nice when we take the time to sit down the two of us and get to catch up on everything that is going on in each other’s lives.   It was a perfect little Saturday afternoon.

After yoga and tea it was time to head home to get ready to celebrate our good friend’s 30th birthday.   Earlier that day I had gone to a party store and purchased some ridiculously large helium ballons to add a little something to the wrapping of his gift.  Still days later looking at the size of the balloons makes me giggle.

20140202-164247.jpgAfter we gave him his gift his fiance gave him his big surprise and it was such an awesome gift.
20140202-164210.jpgThey opened the fridge together to a beautiful of 30 beers from around the world. She had gone and with the help of the liquor store clerk she selected 30 of some of the best beers from around the world, one for every year of his life.  Then she took the time wrapping each bottle separately.  It was such a thoughtful and surprising gift.

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Once all the presents were exchanged we went out for a delicious meal and celebrated with some champagne.  It was a great evening and it is always so fun celebrating your good friends…especially if they are older than you, gives you the chance to feel young for just a bit longer.

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Sunday was football, but I am not much of a football fan so I decided to spend my day relaxing at home and having some Brittany time.  Just did some reading, relaxing and chilling out with my kittens. It was a great way to finish off the weekend.

Now it is back to the grind. Happy Monday everyone! 

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Weekend Round Up

So this weekend was a pretty mellow laid back kind of time.  With it being my last weekend before I officially return to working in a cubical full time so it was nice to get out an about and relax a little before falling back into the daily grind.

Besides doing some maxing and relaxing this weekend I also taught my first official yoga class in fancy new pants that were given to me as a Christmas/graduation/I have awesome friends present.   It was a small class of friends and it was definitely nice to be back in the saddle practicing out my teaching abilities.  There is something so rewarding about being able to guide others in their yoga practice.  I felt a little rusty but I can only go up from here right?

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Besides teaching my first yoga class, Sunday turned out to be one of my most productive days I have had in a long time.  The day started off with a breakfast with a friend I hadn’t seen in a while to talk yoga and catch up.  Then I did a little shopping, Ottawa has gotten a couple new store since I left for Costa Rica so I went and checked them out to see what types of January sales were going on.

After all my running around outside of the house I set myself up for some food prep for the week.  I find this time of the year it is the most important for me to spend a little extra time doing my food prep for the week.

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I find it so important this time of the year because generally speaking I give myself a substantial amount of slack over the holidays. Allowing myself to enjoy the food prepared by family and not so much working about the health impacts of eating as much cheeses as I can stuff in my face.  So come January I take a bit of extra care to clean up my diet.

I hope you all had great weekends, and had a blast welcoming in the new year and had a chance to spend time with your family.

Happy Monday!

Home Stretch

So I am sliding into home plate. Wednesday afternoon marked the first yoga class I ever taught and it was a fantastic experience.

20131128-102206.jpgStomach full of butterflies, dressed in my favorite yoga clothing (some of the items gifts from my wonderful friends) I pumped out some jams by Pitbull to psyche myself up and prepared myself to lead a 90 minute class.

20131128-101345.jpgAs my students/group mates slowly started to line into the studio my heart began to race and it took everything in me to remember to just breath.

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As everyone found their seat and began to settle in we opened the class up with a little meditation,and then got right into it a vigorous vinyasa. After about 10 minutes I forgot that I was leading the session and everything it felt as, though the class took care of itself.   It was such and amazing experience being surrounded by such supportive classmates and faculty.

Sorry for the coles notes version of my teacher experience but I am off to class, I have another two days before I am officially on vacation for a week. Once I get back to Canada I will be back tracking a bit to fill you all in on the wondrous adventures of yoga teacher training.

Happy Thursday everyone!

Weekends Please Never End

When this weekend started, so Friday at 3:01pm for me, I decided that I was going to give myself a break/ free pass from exercise. My training sessions with Alannah at Epic were pretty kick you in the pants this week so I figured I was allowed to skip a yoga day.

20130114-055002.jpgSetting out with that mind set I turned off my Saturday morning alarm and hunkered in for the sleep-in of all sleep-ins. Well then 8 am rolled around (which I guess is considered sleeping in for me) and I was wide awake, so it was difficult to find any convincing argument to commit to skipping my yoga class.  So I got myself ready, fed the cats and headed over to the yoga studio for the 9 am Hatha Flow.   Once the class started my brain and body were both pretty happy that I had taken the time to make it to the class, my body was in serious need of a good stretch.

After yoga I rewarded myself with the only thing I like at Starbucks their Orange Blossom green tea, this is when I got the bad news, they were discounting the tea because it isn’t “popular” enough. Boo Starbucks boo! I would stock up on the tea for at home use but I am totally convinced the bags for at home use are half the size therefore half the flavour and just not worth it. I guess it just means I am going to need to find a new tea, and I am open to suggestions, so please send some my way!

After this it was time to get some Gingersneezes anniversary party and baby shower present running around done. So I headed on over to Terra 20 to get some earth friendly baby products for our friends and soon to be parents, and then headed on over to Michael’s to stock up on craft supplies.

While getting some supplies for the upcoming anniversary party I thought I had found the mother-load when I had found some lettering stencils (hand drawn letters is definitely not one of my strong suits) only to discover that the “actual size” advertisement actually meant “no where near the actual size”. Although slightly frustrating it was mostly hilarious and everything worked out regardless.

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So all in all the weekend was great, some crafting, some celebrating and a nice mix of relaxing and working out.  I hope everyone had a great weekend is ready for Monday!

Happy Monday, hope the sun is shining where you are. 

Dealing with Bum Knees

So since my last little bout with injuries I have been in good form. Performing my physio for  building strength in my hips and ankles, working it out with Insanity, and shortened runs to give my knees a bit of a break, and always making sure to stretch it out with at least one solid yoga class a week.

I felt as thought I was back on track! Getting back to where I had been and feeling completely awesome! And then POP, literally. In the middle of a push-up jack my patella (knee cap) decided to jump out of place for a bit.  Now my knees crackle, pop and crunch, on a regular basis but this one was a bit different, seeing how I couldn’t move for about 20minutes.

After some light convincing I went to the doctor that afternoon and was happy to find out that nothing major happened, just a bit of displacement to my knee cap and it seemed to be back in place.  With instructions to ice and take it easy for the next couple of days, I was sure to ask about types of activity that I am able to do, and if I would be in good shape for my September runs.  I was advised that biking was the way to go and if in extreme need of a run to give water running a go.  I was also assured that if I take care of it now I will be better than good for my runs.
foam rollerSo my plan of action: Get on the foam roller train!!! After speaking with my doctor, in addition to speaking with friends who have similar issues and some general reading I am totally sold on it.  Not that I was skeptical before but mostly I figured I was doing my  exercises and just didn’t feel a 30 dollar piece of foam would add anything to my routine.
itband.2.anatAs it turns out a super tight IT band can contribute to knee issues, especially things like um, I don’t know, your knee cap popping out. After a quick and painful examination of my knees, the only thing that jumped out at my physician was how tight my IT band on my right leg was, to the point where when she applied the slightest amount of pressure tears started pouring from my eyes. So here it goes, time to try out the foam roller, I ordered one on amazon.ca so hopefully it will be here by the end of the week so I get can started on properly caring for my pain in the butt knees.

Hope everyone is doing well and your joints are treating you well or you are treating them well I guess.

It’s Finally Over!

So it has finally happened. After having recently developing an aversion to hot yoga getting through my ten class pass felt like the hardest thing to do in the world. I recently found out I had one class left, that is right just one more class till I was free of those stuffed over heated rooms.

So yesterday morning in honour of this day I signed myself up for the 730am Power yoga class and I got it over with.

I still very much love yoga, it was just the thought of the heat that made my skin crawl. But now that’s over and during this struggle I got to learn some things about myself. Most of which I knew but it is always nice to have experiences which solidify things like that for you.

The biggest lesson learnt here for me is that I do not like being told what to do. Having to constantly be a part of the hot of these hot yoga classes felt like someone was dictating
my yoga practice to me, and made me resentful of having to be in that hot room.

Don’t get me wrong it wasn’t all bad. I had the same joy performing the sequences, and the same calming results at the end of each class. I mostly just had a problem with knowing that it was going to be the same 32degrees when I went to the class and to me it just didn’t feel natural.

But all of this just to say I’m free! I am finally free! it feels good to be liberated and to now have the option of finding a new Yoga Studio that offers different classes in different temperatures. Hatha classes in an non-heated room here I come!
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Have a wonderful Saturday. Don’t forget it is earth hour tonight, so break out the candles and boardgames.

Slowing Down

Meditation has been around for what seems like ever, as far back as 15th century BCE there is mention of the practice. It is a practice that goes across many different religiouions and has been adapted by the western world and moulded into “New Age” type practices (mostly pulling from Buddhism and Hinduism). Meditation is an inward personal practice (despite often being practiced in groups) in order to realize some benefit, may it be enlightenment, relaxation, stress management, personal time, what have you.
buddhism and hinduism I have attempted to add some Zen back in my life through meditation, as I was having a difficult time making it to the yoga studio. I started out with an 11 minute meditation, to help focus my mind, and relax my body from the impending stresses of planning a wedding, working 5 days a week, and managing a social life. My first couple attempts were alright. I was able to sit still for about 9-10minutes, but never quiet able to make it through the full 11minutes of guided meditation.

After my first few failed attempts I primarily blamed my inability to sit there on the podcast I had found. It seriously isn’t the greatest, and at this point I now find the man’s voice utterly annoying. But upon reflection I have realized it has nothing to do with the poor quality of the meditation podcast, nor with the man’s wanna be soothing voice. It was me.

So under the advisement of my sister I started to attempt walking meditation. I read up on it a little on the internet, and I remembered it from some books I had read and I thought, surely it would be so much easier than sitting there for 11minutes. I could even incorporate it into my walks home after work. WRONG! I tried soothing music to help block out distractions. I tried Mantras I had learnt from one of my favourit yoga teachers, but walking meditation seemed even more futile than sitting meditation.

Then the second I get on my mat in a yoga class, everything just seems so easy. the moving postures (Asanas) just melt anything else away. I can focus and clear my mind and think about almost nothing besides what is going on on my mat. This isn’t to say that at the end of the class I don’t often trail off about what I am going to make for supper, but I am able do it for more than 11minutes, without feeling like my skin is about to crawl off my body.
yogaSo as it turns out yoga is the best way for me to meditate. By doing something I can forget and clear my mind of other things that are happening in my life. Now for the problem…realizing this doesn’t change the fact that gym yoga sucks and that the yoga studio I currently have some passes with doesn’t really sync up with my schedule. But with most things in life you just have to rely on a little help from some friends! A good friend of mine had lent me a book a while back, and I had been a little slow in getting to it, but flipping through the pages the other day I realized that it has outlines for personal yoga practices, there are 30, 60 and 90minutes personal practices

Now I have a history of being notoriously bad at sticking to at home self guided things (workout dvd’s and the like). But I figured there is no harm in giving this ago. I mean I was making myself sit still for 11minutes a day for a couple of weeks. I am sure I can get myself to do something I love to do for 30-90 minutes a day and heck if it doesn’t workout I still have my regular yoga classes, and at least I tried right. Today will be day one of the at home yoga attempt, I will report back on how it goes.

Have you ever attempted something at home? How successful were you?