Tag Archives: karma yoga

Day 365: It’s a Done Deal!

Day 365:  Day 365 is here!   I cannot thank everyone enough for all of the love, support and encouragement this past year.  It has meant more to me than I thought possible.  A simple note from a stranger was enough to keep me going for a week, so thank you, thank you, thank you.  A really special thank you goes out to my loving husband who cheered me on every day.  Without him, there were times that I was not sure I would have been able to make it through.

I chose to end my year of working out the exact same way that I started this madness one year ago– except with more people there to love on me.  Mike and I ran 3 miles in Washington Park and then he dropped me off at Karma Yoga for a 75 minute Anusara yoga class with three of my friends.  I know that the instructor was great, but I was not able to concentrate on the words of wisdom that she was sending out due to overwhelming excitement of a goal coming to fruition.

After the class Michael was waiting for me in the car with flowers, a card and a donut (he knows the way to my heart).  We kissed, he told me how proud he is and then we talked about the last year over a cup of coffee at a nearby coffee shop.  It was the perfect way to end a year of lots of sweat, some tears and an overwhelming amount of love.

Here I am today, 365 days later, with a huge accomplishment under my belt and a lot less fat.   I thought it would be a good time to answer the questions that I have been asked over and over again in the last year, “Do you feel different?  Are you going to keep up with it?  Have you lost weight?  What are you going to do on your first day off?  What did you learn?  What are you going to do next?”

Now that I’ve had a year to reflect on all of these questions, I’d like to answer them as honestly as possible.

Do you feel different?  Yes, I do.  My body now physically craves working out on a daily basis.  Even more importantly, so does my being.  I know that it is the best way to elevate my day into a more blissed out state.  If I’m in a funk, it pulls me out.  If I’m not, it makes me feel better.  Almost every time.  I think that makes it all worth it.  Not to mention that every time I choose to workout over not working out, I am choosing to love myself more by making my health a priority.  If that’s not motivation, I’m not sure what is.

If you’re wondering if my body feels different, then I am also happy to report that yes, it does feel different.  Everything feels tighter and in a better place.  My arms and love handles have shrunk down (aka my “bad” spots).   Again, the mental piece plays a bigger role than the physical here.  I feel self-assured in a way that I have never felt before.  Regardless of what my body looks like I know that it is capable of far more than I ever would have imagined.

Are you going to keep up with it?  Yes and no.  There were days that I had to wakeup at 3 a.m. to workout or complete a workout that I was not fond of just to try to fit it into my day.  Those are the types of workouts that I usually do not support.  If doing it makes me upset and it feels unnatural (physically or with my schedule), then I’d rather save up my energy for a great workout the next day.

However I will make the time do it the majority of the week.  I’d like to say that I will stick with working out six days per week.  I know how important working out is to my state of being now and I’ll continue it in a way that feels natural to me.  With a lot less writing and more time sweating!

Also, by no means do I recommend this for everyone.  Potentially it could turn you off from working out and make you run away from your fitness goals.  Rather, set a goal for yourself that is attainable.  Once you attain it, reach higher and then higher….you’ll get to your own 365 days before you know it.

Have you lost weight?  This is the question that I receive the most from strangers.  I think it’s interesting that people care so much about the weight side of it.  From the very beginning of this I have stressed that it has nothing to do with weight and everything to do with a commitment to myself.   Since there is a lot of interest in this, I will answer it honestly.  I have lost 9 lbs over the course of the year.   I was happy with my weight 9 lbs ago and I am just as happy as I am right now.

What will you do on your first day off?   I was not thinking that I would take tomorrow off, but as I type away in my pretty new office my mind keeps drifting to a day filled with movies, a fluffy robe, a hot bath and perhaps a manicure and pedicure.  But those are just some ideas…

What did you learn?   I cannot sum up what I have learned in one paragraph or even in ten pages.  What I can tell you is what I think is the most important thing I learned;  listen to your body, it knows the answers to whatever you are seeking.   If you’ve been reading this blog, then I am sure you are not surprised to hear me say that.

By physically being connected to my body this past year I have been able to listen to what it wants me to do.  I am a firm believer that the body knows the answer to things more so than the mind.  The mind can get clouded by what society wants us to do/not do, look like/not look like.  But the body?  Oh it knows what it craves, you just have to learn how to tune into that.  If you want to learn how to do that more, send me an email, I’d be happy to walk you through some insider tips.

What are you going to do next?  I am going to keep this blog as a way to connect with the community that has been created in the last year.  I will update it every so often with workouts that I think should be shared, recipes, quotes, guest writers and coaching advice.  However, the majority of time and energy will be spent creating my new coaching website that will have its own blog.  It is in the works right now and I will make sure to share it with you when it’s launched in the next few weeks.

As a closing statement I want to reiterate how grateful that I am for you.  Your love and encouragement led me on groggy runs, pushed me through sweaty sculpt classes and told me to keep going everyday.  You’re the voice I will continue to hear when I feel like giving up and for that, I am ever grateful.

Days 353-357: Suburbia Blur

Day 353:  As my last few days as a city girl were approaching, nostalgia hit like a ton of bricks with every city block I crossed.  With all of my reflecting I realized that most of my favorite city things involve working out- Washington Park, Karma Yoga, Wash Perk coffee house (which I go to as a treat after I sweat) and Cherry Creek Trail.  For my loving city farewell I decided to take advantage of all of those things and some of my newer budding friendships.

Thursday I met up with an old friend, Katie, and a new friend, Jessica for a 90 minute flow at Karma Yoga.  With an old friend and a new friend (who both happen to be beautiful yoga instructors) practicing so close I realized how yoga has helped me cultivate some of the greatest friendships in my life.  For that, this city gal is ever grateful.

Day 354: Friday was closing day on the house!  I got up at 6:30 and ran to and around Washington Park for a total of 5.5 miles.  I could talk about how at every turn I said “ahh, this is my last time taking this turn while living in the city,” but I won’t bore you with that.

Day 355:  Moving Day!!  Mike and I got up at 5:30 a.m to pack, pick up a moving truck, load up our storage unit, then load up our apartment, stop for a pizza break with our saint friends who helped us all day, and finally unloaded everything at the new digs.  Throughout the day I think the moving team got really sick of me saying “this is what real crossfit is baby!”  Seriously, I said it a lot and nobody ever laughed.*

*Not even when I was doing “wall balls” with bags of pillows and throwing them in the truck.  Shocking…really.

Day 356:  Unpack, unpack, unpack and cleaned the old apartment from floorboards to the ceiling.  I was one stinky kid.  Again, “this is what real crossfit is baby!”  Did you laugh the second time?

Day 357:  Although the house is still not done, I decided I needed to take a real workout break this morning.  I laced up my kicks and headed out for my first suburbia run.  It’s definitely different.  No panhandlers, just kids.  Lots of speed walkers and very few runners.  Bunny rabbits every where I look and no stray cat to greet me at the door…just my own blissed out Jack.  After my run I went to my basement and setup my “home gym,” that will probably get a lot of use this winter.  Life really is different, but I think I’m going to like these rabbits and lots of sunlight that fills the entire house all day long.

Days 265-267: Yogs and Boards

Day 265:  On Sunday I went to Karma Yoga with my regular yoga friend, Sangeeta.  We flowed for an hour and worked on hip openers like it was our job.  Walking out, my body felt like jelly.  It was perfect.

Day 266:  Less than 100 days left!!  Time has flown by.  These next few weeks leading up to the wedding I will be ramping up the workouts, possibly throwing in two-a-days if my schedule allows.  Mike and I are working on a wedding diet as well, to make sure we are feeling our best for the big day.  This is my absolute favorite summer salad that will be making a regular appearance in our diets:

-3 cups mixed greens, 3 oz teriyaki tofu and a mixture of these fixin’s: almonds, scallions, sesame sticks, avocado, blueberries and dried figs

Yesterday I walked to the closest Core Power for a sculpt class.   I thought those classes were always hard, but add a 100 plus degree day and it takes t to a whole new level of difficult.  Regardless of how I was feeling I pushed through it and managed to make a friend as we left and walked back to our homes together.  Just two neighbors, walking on Broadway, soaked in sweat, talking about life and bonding over sculpting yoga.  It was the great end to a brutally hot class.

Day 267: Today Mike, my friend Jenny and I went to Avon at Nottingham Lake for our first standup paddleboarding experience ever.  We bought the groupons a few months back and decided we should use them before it gets too hot in the mountains.  Unfortunately, we had to use the inflatable paddleboards because the others were too big to fit on our cars (to bring to the lake).   Within the first few minutes of shoving off the land all three of us were in the water.  A few minutes later we had it down.  Well, Jenny and Mike really had it down, I had it down until I fell every three minutes.  I blame it on my lack of ability to focus on one thing at a time…and believe me, you need to focus on only balance or you are in the lake (every three minutes).

After two hours of paddleboarding Mike and I came home and went for a run a Washington Park.  It felt good to get in some more cardio after a day of semi-relaxing on the water.  Happy 4th everyone, I hope you find some time to sweat while celebrating our country’s independence with your friends and family!

Days 217-219: Asana’s and Rattlesnakes

Day 217:  On Tuesday I went for a 90 minute walk, while trying my best to catch up on phone conversations with friends and family. Although the catching up was not very successful, the 80 degree weather was incredibly successful in helping me sweat.

Day 218: Yesterday my friend Jenny and I went to Karma Yoga for the all levels vinyasa flow.  The instructor, Uma, had us dedicate our three opening “om’s” to ourselves, a friend and something in our community.  It helped me feel grounded to think of all the things in my life that I not only love, but feel gratitude for every single day.

Day 219: Today Mike and I rode our bikes 20 miles to the Cherry Creek Reservoir.   We averaged a pace of 14 mph going uphill the way there and 17 mph going downhill on the way home.  At one point we saw a man in the middle of the trail who had gotten off of his bike and was taking pictures.  Naturally, we slowed down to see what was so fascinating.  He was taking pictures of the longest and fattest snake I have seen in the wild.  It. Was. Huge. and Scary.  I am pretty sure I yelled, “oh hell no,” before my bike hit 22 mph to get out of there.  After we were a safe distance away I asked Mike if it was a rattle snake and he said it very well could have been.  I googled some pictures when I got home and I’m convinced that it was and am really hoping that I am able to calm that new-found snake fear before I head out for my next solo ride.


Days 205-208: Flowing Freely

Day 205:  On Thursday I thought that all of my post ten-mile run soreness had been rested away- I was just a little bit wrong.  I ran a mile, walked for a minute, stretched a bit, ran a block, walked, stretched  and continued this pattern for the next 40 minutes.  It was a meek attempt to run, but I tried my darndest and clocked my daily sweat time.

Day 206:  Friday morning, I yoga’d at Karma Yoga for 90 blissful minutes.  The instructor had a way of helping me lose my thoughts and dive into my body.  I wish that was a place I could get to on my own.  I suppose that’s why they call yoga a practice.  It takes time…much, much time.

Day 207:  Yesterday I picked up my friend Sarah for an impromptu hike.  I grabbed my Denver hiking book and found a trail in Mount Falcon Park by  Morrison that was said to have breathtaking views.   We set out to complete a 80 minute hike and instead, ended up a bit lost and it turned into a 130 minute hike.  Around 75 minutes in we asked a fellow hiker how to get back to where we started, he chuckled and said “you guys must have been booking it down here because you are really far away.”  After that, we got a little nervous and picked up our pace a bit more and headed back the same way we came- giving up on the trail we were originally searching for.

Almost at the end of our hike we ran into three female deer.  They stopped eating grass to stare at us, the same way we were staring at them.  I happen to think that deer are one of the most beautiful animals because of how peaceful they always seem.  Being so close to them and nature literally took my breath away.  Two hours prior to that I was in the heart of the city and worrying about traffic and dinner and at that exact moment my only thought was how glorious nature truly is.  I am humbled to be able to live somewhere that allows such easy access to places that allow me to escape.

Day 208:  Today I was L.A.Z.Y.  I cooked, cleaned, grocery shopped and read…a lot.  That last thing I wanted to do was get off my rear, put down my salacious book and start to sweat.  Alas, it had to be done!  I threw on some Bob Marley, grabbed my yoga mat and flowed to my own breath for an hour.  I tried to lose myself a bit like I had the two previous days, but I kept being brought back into my life.  My cat rubbing on my feet (and face, hands, calves, etc), the oven timer going off telling me that my dinner was done, my phone vibrating, neighbors laughing, car doors slamming….I just could not get out of my life.

That’s when it struck me, sometimes my life is just perfect and being it in so fully is all I need to feel happy.  Life is about the ebb and flow, being able to disconnect some days is wonderful and being 100% immersed other days is also perfection.  Learning to be content with the variety and present in the moment is the challenge.

194-197: Writing Lull

Do you ever have those days that writing feels like work?  It’s felt like that the last few days, hence the writing hiatus.  I will get my creative mojo back soon.  Until then, bare with me and know that I’m continuing to sweat through the lull!

Day 194:  On Sunday morning I went to a hot vinyasa flow at Core Power Yoga.  The class was filled with

Day 195:  One hour walk to work and around Cherry Creek.

Day 196:  One hour walk.

Day 197:  30 minute run around my ‘hood.


Days 167-169: Happy Sweats

Day 167:  In 2008 I went to my first yoga class with a new friend, Katie.  I have a memory of us at the studio in Pura Vida, trying desperately to complete crow pose and both of us falling on our faces.  Four and a half years later we had the chance to practice together again at Karma Yoga.  Katie is now an instructor whose practice I couldn’t take my eyes off of and who I am guessing, can complete a strong crow without any head bangups.

During our 75 minute class I was reminded of how far I have come in the past few years of consistent practice.  Four years ago I was terrified of yoga and what I thought it represented.  During class the instructor, Katrina, said hundreds of insightful things that I loved in the moment.  Three days later, I am at a loss for what she said, but am reminded of how looking fear square in the face is the best way to conquer it.  What’s the worst that can happen?  Falling out of crow? Finding a new passion?   Making a lifelong friend while laughing over a face plant?  Same thing goes with your biggest fears.  No matter how big the fear, it’s just a feeling of being scared.   Test them out, thank yourself later.

Day 168:   Yesterday my brother, sister-in-law and fiance went to Ft. Collins for a tour of New Belgium Brewing Company.   The tour lasted 90 minutes and they gave out six samples of their delicious beers.  If you live anywhere near Ft. Collins and haven’t been to the brewery, then I highly suggest checking it out:  www.newbelgium.com    After our tour we wandered around the city for about an hour to let the beer run its course in our bodies and then made our way back to Denver.

Despite our headaches from day beers, we decided to go on a group ride to REI and back.  Afterwards, we all downed our water bottles and collectively felt better after a 10 mile sweat session.

Day 169: 45 minute TRX workout at home….while watching the season premiere of Mad Men.  That really tested my multi-tasking abilities.

Days 160-162: Self-love

Day 160:  On Monday I went to Karma Yoga with a pal and her husband.  Our favorite instructor was out for the day and we had a sub teacher instead, unfortunately my om’d out yoga mind slipped on her name.  It was as if this wonderful instructor listened in all the conversations that I’ve been having with my clients lately.   She said that “the root of all love begins with self-love.”  Simply and beautifully said.  Where do you get without loving yourself?  Some days that may feel like a challenge, but once you figure out how, I promise that you will leave self-loathing far behind.  Her delivery of that statement made me give her a thumbs up during child’s pose and then I allowed that thought to settle deep down in.

Day 161:  Yesterday was one of the colder days we’ve had in Denver for a while and the chilly air forced me to stay inside and play with our TRX.  I completed a fourty minute workout and tried to coax my inner cross-fitter to the surface.  It felt great while doing it, but left my body feeling sore and abused afterwards.

Day 162:  I just got back from a C2 class at Core Power Yoga and had a seriously fantastic instructor, Haylee*.  She had us in crow pose three different times and in headstands twice.  It was the type of class that made my body quiver from intensity and in return, that was able to quiet my mind.  Killer combo, happy body and even happier chilled out mind.

*I love almost every yoga instructor out there because they teach with their hearts and that’s one beautiful thing.

Days 154-156: The Sunny Life

Day 154:  Mother Nature has been smiling on Denver and gracing us with the most beautiful warm spring weather.  On Monday I went for an hour walk while soaking up the 70 degree warmth onto my cold winter skin.

Day 155:  Yesterday I dedicated my day to working on my coaching business and working out.  I spent five-hours at Wash Perk Coffee emailing, strategizing and organizing….all while decked out in my favorite run outfit.  After I closed my laptop for the day, I jogged the few blocks to Wash Park’s perimeter and ran 30 minutes while listening to some throw back rap music from college (fitting since it is spring break week at my alma mater, Indiana University).

After my run, I went home, grabbed my yoga mat and met my friend at Karma Yoga for some serious stretching.  Insiders tip:  yoga after a run is a lot more challenging. In my mind, this means that the combination of workouts are doing wonders for the body.  The instructor, Katrina, talked about lots of things that touched me throughout the 75 minute class.  But one thing she said took my breath away, “it’s not the lack in life that causes us pain, it’s the greed.”   Think about that for a second.

Are you thinking about it?  How is that true in your life?  I know it’s true in mine in almost every facet.  I consider myself full of gratitude and far from greedy, however,  sometimes I can’t help but wish that my life was somehow  different.  Which is where the greed comes in.  That was the reminder that I needed to remember that I am exactly where I need to be.  You are exactly where you are meant to be.  Together, we are doing what we are supposed to be doing.  Sigh, doesn’t that thought just take away some of that stress and greed?  If it doesn’t, what thought could you play with to make you feel more grateful?

Day 156:  I have a huge confession to make; I am not perfect with my working out.  I have been absolutely horrible since Mike came home at keeping early morning yoga dates with myself.  Lately when my alarm goes off at 5 a.m., my first thought is “I could probably find another class today to go to instead of having to wake up now.”  Insert a quick “dismiss” of the alarm and back to sleep I go for another hour or two.  This morning I was determined to get my early morning class groove back.  So I did.  I  got up at 5 a.m. to go to a C2 class at Core Power Yoga with my friend Cassidy.   Together we sweat enough to fill a baby pool and individually, I completed a 20 second wheel when all I wanted to do was fall into child’s pose.   Afterwards, I felt spent.  I gave every ounce that I had at 6 a.m. and that my friends, is what morning flow is all about.

Day 113: Letting Go

There is something about the thought of doing my tax returns that makes me anxious and tense.  Overall,my taxes are pretty painless, so I am not sure why I have overwhelming feelings about them.  After an hour of working on them today I decided I needed a relaxing yoga class to unwind myself a bit.

My friend Sangeeta and I decided on a vinyasa flow class at Karma Yoga in Washington Park.  It was my first time having Robin instruct and boy, did she take my breath away (literally and figuratively).  Her class was physically challenging, which is always welcome and the mentally challenging piece was a great surprise.  She started out having us do a quick sort of meditation and talked us through the importance of erradicating negative thoughts.  Since this is comparable to what I help my clients with, I was all ears.  She simply said that we have to work hard to rid ourselves of negative thoughts.  If you continue to suppress them, they will always be there- even if they hide for a bit, they’ll find their way back.  I chose my most consistent negative thought and devoted my practice to nurturing it.

At the end of practice my body and mind felt tired yet rejuvenated.  The class was a great reminder of how important thought work can be in everyday life.  I will continue to work on my negative thoughts until they’re all blasted to pieces and sent far away from me.  Until then, my coaching self is always looking for more ways to work on these.  Fill me in!  How do you tackle your negative feelings and painful thoughts?  What works/what doesn’t?   Let a sista’ know…