Tonight I went to my first ever Yoga Sculpt class at Core Power Yoga. I actually think that the only parts of my body that I will be able to move tomorrow will be my fingers; and even that isn’t for sure. To say that this class was intense is an understatement.
Let me explain a little bit about what I was expecting and what actually happened. I thought it was going to be a yoga class with a few hand weights thrown in at opportune times. This is not what it was at all. Class started out with jammin’ fast tunes, push-ups, squats, mountain climbers, yogi-jacks and about 10 more cardio activities. In between the gasping for air we managed to work in a handful of vinyasa flows while holding 5 lb free-weights. At one point I had to pull my shirt up and wipe the sweat out of my eyes and show the world my thanksgiving belly (you are so welcome fellow class-goers). OH and I didn’t even mention the best part- it was 98 degrees in the room!
Even though it sounds like I am complaining, I am not in the slightest. This class was unreal awesome and I am hoping it will give me those bride arms that I have been dreaming of! Just do not go expecting yoga or you’ll end up being more confused than Snooki on a Sunday morning.
*I took a picture of my (soaked) self after class to post, but it turned out looking like a bald ghost with a few acne scars. I could not bring myself to release that to the world. Maybe next year on Halloween!
Today I went hiking in Boulder with my friend Devon. She was one of those people that I instantly connected with the first time that I met her a few months ago. Her love for life is overwhelming contagious and she has a sense of adventure that is so much fun to be around. Finding friends like her make moving seem like an easy thing to do!
Before we started off on the trail we walked into the information station at the bottom of Chataqua Park for guidance. My Indiana University sweatshirt was greeted with a cheerful, “hello, fellow Hoosier!” and a story about the cheery parks’ man living in a teepee outside of IU for his senior year in college. I bet he has crazier stories than Harry Caray! Since the winds in Boulder were ridiculous today he showed us a trail that might block some of the wind and also be scenic. We ended up hiking a little over three miles and took lots of fun pictures along the way. I am still baffled by the lack of snow in the foothills and the exceptionally warm days as we head into December.
I am definitely not complaining, I am just hoping this is not going to affect the ski days that will (hopefully) take up lots of my workout days! Bring on the snow dance….
First off, I want to stress what a wonderful, handsome, smart, funny and loving fiance I have. I could not build a better man if I tried, seriously. Everyday I wake up loving him more than I loved him the day before and all of this is happening while he’s on the other side of the world! I cannot even imagine how deeply happy we will be once we are physically living together again.
With that said, I want to share something with all of the single ladies looking to mingle (outside of a bar atmosphere). At four o’clock today I ran two loops around Washington Park and was floored by the amount of men running, playing lacrosse/tennis, starting up soccer games, walking their dogs; all without women anywhere to be seen. I was confused why women are not flocking here like the millions of geese taking over (they clearly are female geese). Of course, not one of them could even hold the tiniest of flames to Michael and I truly mean that. I figured I would do the women of Denver a solid and let them in on (what could be) a potential single hot spot.
So single ladies, do yourself a huge favor and put on some killer workout gear (lululemon will do just fine!) and grab a friend, dog, running shoes, lacrosse stick, tennis racket, bottle of Jack…whatever your poison and head to Washington Park. Just bring a stack of cards with your digits on them because trust me, you will need them.
This morning’s practice at Karma Yoga started out with our instructor, Katrina, asking us to cleanse our chakras by taking slow deep breaths. She then asked us to pay special attention to a chakra that was calling out to us- mine was my throat, the chakra that tends to take a bluish tone, which is relatable to peace. Katrina then asked us to dedicate our practice to the word that came up in relation to the attention needing chakra, my word was “peace.” We were then to chant our chosen word over and over again in our mind and use this word as our dedicated intention for our practice.
This class was slow, strong and spiritual. It was the type of class that made me remember why I love yoga so much. Later on in class Katrina asked us to think of our favorite pet name we have ever been called by a significant other, then choose a word even more loving than that because, “we should learn to be as loving to ourselves as others are to us.” I chose the word “beautiful,” because I want that to be the word that I radiate to the world with my soul. The two words peace and beautiful led my heart through practice and helped me set a strong tone for my day.
My friend Sangeeta came to Karma with me today and agreed that this is not just a beautiful studio- it’s a beautiful old home turned into a studio, decorated beautifully with a hindu touch and filled with instructors that teach yoga with their hearts. It’s a hidden gem in Denver. Yoga perfection.
I ran 4.5 miles today and felt like I had a 10 lb weight belt strapped around my belly from yesterday’s feast. My run was slow as was my heart from all of the creamy amazing food that in still running through my system.
I am looking forward to tomorrow once it feels like it has left my body and I will be back to green smoothies and tofurky.
*I am terrified of running through the massive amounts of geese at Wash Park.
Since this is Thanksgiving, I will keep this short so that you can go back to your friends, family, laughter and third round of pie.
My family is spread all over the world, luckily, I have a wonderful friend, Micha, who invited me to spend today with her big Texas family in Colorado Springs. We started the day with a 5k Turkey Trot that overlooked the snowy mountains, while we warmed our bodies in the (almost) 70 degree weather.
Although my daily workout was running, I spent the day swimming in Texas style family love and an abundance of gratitude. Happy Thanksgiving!
This morning I went to CPY’s 6 a.m. level 2 class. It was one of those morning where my poses were just going right and I was able to concentrate on my practice. Or at least that was true until the instructor asked us to go into head stand. Even as I was setting up for it I knew that something was off. I could not get my head at the right angle and my hands were not cupping the back of my head in the proper way….
I thought I was just being overly suspicious of my ability to setup a head stand, until I kicked too hard and fell the opposite way, did a half somersault, knocked over my block and my water bottle and let out a laugh. I am pretty sure it disrupted everyone around me. Just so everyone knows, in those situations it’s ok to smile and laugh at the person who tumbled (at least it’s ok if you ever see me do it). Not laughing and smiling just makes me feel even more awkward that I caused a scene. So next time this happens to me or to anyone else, shoot them that “I know you’re better than that smile,” it will ease the embarrassment!
In the last ten years I have lived in fifteen different places (please excuse me if I have already mentioned that in a previous blog-it blows my mind)! Out of all of the places I have lived, Denver is the place that feels the most like home. The day I moved back here I felt the roots starting to grow out of my feet and into the earth. Once Michael comes home, I know those roots will just go deeper and deeper into the ground until our roots are completely tangled in the Colorado soil.
Today I ran the six-mile path from my house to Washington Park and home. During my run I realized how familiar the streets, houses, paths, geese, sunshine and snow-capped mountains are becoming to me. It’s a feeling that I have longed to recreate for the past two and a half years since I have been gone from Denver. It’s the feeling of knowing you are home. Today’s run is the same run I will be doing in ten months and that’s one of the most beautiful things I could ask for. Monotony can be boring to some, but at this moment in my life, I have never craved anything more.
My fiance, Michael, has been deployed for 288 days and finally comes home in 37 days! We are on the tail-end of our time apart and I could not be happier. At least that’s what I have been telling myself these past few weeks. Since we are spending our first year as an engaged couple apart, the holidays seem especially hard. I tell myself everyday that “we are almost there, stay positive,” it just seems extra hard around a time that is meant to be shared with loved ones. Sometimes the sadness knocks the wind out of my sails when I least expect it. This morning was one of those times. I woke up, put on my running gear and kept finding every excuse not to go run. It was not until I saw a glimmer of sun outside that I finally laced up my Saucony’s (seven hours after I put on my sports bra).
Randomly, three out of the first six songs I heard on my iPod were songs that we want to have in our wedding. The songs immediately lightened my heart and took away some of the alone-ness I was feeling. By the time I was done with my four miles I felt like my normal self. This was the reminder that I needed that I do not need physically need Mike here to be happy, he’s always with me. On my way home from the park I realized that I might actually need the working out for peace of mind right now, it’s helping me more than I ever thought possible. This got me to thinking, what if whenever I feel sad I make myself do something physical? It tends to be the best cure for me.
When I got home from my run there was a package sitting on my doormat from my best friend, Amber. She sent me a Thanksgiving care package for my “last holiday being alone,” filled with a funny book, trail mixes, comfy pajama pants, a candle named after her (seriously, it’s called “vanilla amber”) and a creepy card calling me her sweet potato. This package just filled my holiday week with a little more love. Not only do I have an amazing fiance that I get to talk to everyday; I’ve got best friends, an amazing family, an overly needy cat, long runs and relaxing yoga to get me through the next 37 days.
Day 41: Yesterday was one of those days that I was so busy that I am surprised that I remembered to brush my teeth. I had a friend coming over in the evening and I wanted my house to look clean, so I woke up early to breakout a sweat and bleach the tub. During my 90 minute cleaning frenzy I worked in 100 push-ups, 100 crunches and 100 squats. I had a little guilt thinking this did not count as a workout, but I was sweating like crazy, grooving to tunes and slightly out of breathe. This definitely counted.
Day 42: Trusty old Core Power Yoga- level 2 yoga class tonight. My stomach is still slightly having issues, so I felt a little off in class. I had to keep clearing my mind of painful belly thoughts to help me get deeper in my poses. It was a challenging class and definitely one of those days that I did not have an overwhelming desire to workout. But of course, I left the class feeling ten times more centered and peaceful than when I walked in. Some days it is just about pushing myself further than I thought possible- today was one of those days!