Tonight my friend and I went to Karma Yoga for a Vinyasa flow class. The instructor, Alyssa, played the song “Forever” by Ben Harper. I could not find an actual music video for the song, so instead I am sharing a YouTube link to the song with just a picture of Ben Harp http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pHzAVDg4m1Q I loved this song when I was in college. It renewed my sense of faith in love before I really understood the depths that it could go. Tonight in savasana, it made me cry tears of happiness for the love that I have in my life and the love that will physically be with me again in ten short days.
Just 10 short days ago my dear friend Jenny did a guest blog about completing 10 days of two-a-day workouts. Welp, my wonderful readers, she’s back to tell you about how this huge undertaking went (during some of the busiest days of the year!):
10 days and 17 workouts later, I am so happy to be done with a challenge that stretched my time management skills and confirmed my need for 8 hours of sleep each night. I was striving for 20 out of 20 but I am happy with my 17 . . . a B average, shooting in the 70’s or about a 0.288 in the baseball world. . . I can handle that.
I have a new-found admiration for Betsy and her 365 challenge! The past 10 days took me back to my college preseasons with the very important missing components of coaches to push me and teammates to support me through the “don’t think just do” days. Without anyone but yourself to guide you through, you start to accept that this is not only a physical but mental challenge. An opportunity to explore what you are really made of and (as getting a little older had proven) to know your limits and how to pace yourself. Gone are the days when I could work to exhaustion and nap until my afternoon class/practice with a slurpee as fuel. These days, there are actual adult tasks that need to be done- ugh!
I’m not going to say that all 17 workouts were speed training runs followed by work to fatigue circuit training sessions. There were definitely some elliptical machine times (the “I am going to pretend to exercise” machine) sprinkled with yoga and stretch. Overall, it was an inspirational time that I am glad I tackled with optimism and a drive to explore my boundaries. I am hoping to carry this positive outlook into 2012!
Betsy is a true inspiration and saying that I admire her chutzpa isn’t even in the ballpark of praise! However, after a small taste of her 365 days of workouts, cheerleader and class buddy are more in my wheelhouse. I will work on improving my B to a B+ but with a bit more balance heading into the New Year.
Thanks for holding me accountable and sharing this journey with all of us Bets. You’ve got this!
Friends + Yoga = Froga! If you’re interested in buying this clever word from me then please contact me ASAP, as I’m sure there will be lots of other captivated buyers.
Today an old pal from my college days at Indiana University was in town with her fiance and wanted to try out some Denver yoga. So we froga’d at Core Power on Grant for a CY 1.5 level class. My friend Lauryn is one of those people who is up for anything at anytime, even if she is not too sure about it. In class today the instructor had us go from three-legged dog to a flipped dog (basically a wheel with one arm up) and Lauryn turns to me and says, “uhh, can you do that?” I said, “yes, and so can you!” Within ten seconds I look over and Lauryn is “flipping her dog” with a huge smile on her face.
No matter how long Lauryn and I are friends, whenever I think of her from here on out I will imagine that upside down smile with a look of victory in her eyes. It’s so nice to know that friends made at age 19 can still be great friends at age 28, regardless of how many miles there are between us. Hopefully at age 65 we will still be froga’ing together around cities all over the US.
A co-worker of mine at lululemon is a yoga instructor at Core Power Yoga and this morning she was teaching a yoga sculpt class that I have been hearing so much about. Caitlin is known for her ball busting and hilarious personality during her classes. She even memorizes everyone’s name so that she can call them out if they do something wrong. Apparently her awesomeness has really caught on because this class was packed mat-to-mat (even on a day where there was six inches of fresh snow and bad driving conditions!).
Before Caitlin even closed the door to the studio she was telling us to do 10 push-ups, followed by push-up pulses and then planks. I think we repeated this four times and then moved into some flowing, followed by some intense cardio (who knew cardio on a yoga mat could be hard?) and rounded it out with powerful abdominal work.
This was the hardest workout I have had since I started this challenge and I loved every second of it. Before I even realized that I was slacking Caitlin was yelling my name or tapping a body part to remind me to shape-up. At one point she even made a joke about me working harder to transform my no-butt into a real-butt. Not only was it hard, but it was so much fun! Three of my other co-workers were also in the class laughing and sweating with me.
I look forward to the day that I can get a membership to a gym that Caitlin owns and workout with her (or by the people she has personally trained) everyday.
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!
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.
This was my second class at Karma Yoga and I fell in love with the studio all over again.
When I walked in I heard someone say, “my name is Betsy,” which immediately made the two of us strike up a conversation. Five minutes later another person walked in and the instructor said, “hi Betsy!” Three Betsy’s in one yoga class with only seven people in it! With this many Betsy’s, I knew it was going to be a great class. We also had a man sitting in the front of the studio with drums and a guitar, who asked if we would be ok starting off with chants. I have never done this, but I am up for anything. We did two different chants (not a clue what I was saying) for about ten it was such a peaceful way to start off class. The instructor then led us through a 75 minute vinyasa flow.
During the last ten minutes of class when we are all winding down our practice, the instructor had us in a sideways twist. She kept asking us to relax our leg muscles and the guy next to me took that way too literally and let up a loud fart. I was in such a quite mind space, but there is not a place in the world where I will not laugh when I hear flatulence. I initially let out a chuckle and immediately tried to reel in my laughter. There was still a good few minutes left in class and I could not stop smiling, chuckling and starting to snort back bellows. It was just as bad as being in church and trying not to laugh.
This was one of my favorite spiritual classes of all time. It was unique, fun and full of Betsy’s. The only thing I would have changed was the tooter in the corner. At least it wasn’t me, it could have been way worse.
I typically decide my workouts a few days before I complete them. Today’s workout was chosen four days ago when I realized how much I missed my yoga routine while I was out of town. I chose a class at the closest Core Power Yoga studio to my house and found a time that worked for me. Little did I know that the class that I had chosen, “yoga fusion” actually meant “our style of Bikram.”
I walked into the studio, wanting more than anything to have a nice vinyasa practice. I was so excited about it that I fell asleep waiting for class to start (this is happening a lot lately, uhh?)! When the instructor came in and asked us to start out with the Bikram style breathing exercises I felt defeated. I woke up for my slumber on my mat for this?
After my first experience at a true Bikram studio a few weeks back, (see: Day Three & Four: Too Hot To Handle) I had sworn off trying it again. However, the yoga guardian angel that is watching my back (primarily when I’m in wheel) must have had a different plan. To me, giving up after trying something once is a lot like just giving up. Giving up after trying something twice means, “I stayed open to it and tried it again.” So after deciding that there was no way I was walking out of a class as it started, I gave it a second try. I enjoyed it a lot more this time around. I also realized that I happen to love everything about a vinyasa style class, this just might not be my dig….and that’s ok.
This morning I was going to use the stationary bike in my Dad’s basement for my workout. That did not workout the way that I wanted. I could not adjust the bikes resistance, which would have resulted in a poor workout. So I moved on to the elliptical. I got on, pedaled twice and hit my head on the ceiling. Fail times two.
Third up? The rowing machine. I did this for 15 minutes and then I got an idea, “this is going to be a workout to eradicate back fat.” I got off the ergometer, grabbed some weights and did about ten different random sets. I was confused. Fourty minutes had gone by and I had zero clue what I did. I was ALL OVER THE PLACE.
This workout reminded me of something I frequently ask my life coaching clients, “are you clear on what you want?” If you’re not clear on what you want, then how are you going to get it? The same thing applies to working out. I can’t just go wing it and expect a great workout (unless of course, I am at a fully equipped gym). Emotionally, a fully equipped gym looks a lot like being clear on what you want and building it over time.
Even though today’s workout was chaotic and made zero sense, I gave myself a huge acknowledgement for realizing only 15 days in that for 350 more days I need to have more clarity. Clarity for what I want that day and for this entire challenge. So here are my questions for you: What do you want? What are you doing to get it? How will you continue to better it? Just a little food for thought on a day that might be just as confusing to you as it is to me.
Day fourteen started off with my Dad waking me up after coming home very late from the wedding last night and me saying, “I think I’m hungover.” What I really meant was, “the wedding last night was fantastic and I can’t wait to go to the Anchor Bar and get buffalo wings.”
Which it was and we did. I ate lots of wings and am eternally grateful for Mother Teressa (the creator of the original “buffalo wing” in 1964). After a snooze on the way home from Buffalo, I thought it would be a good time to workout.
My workout consisted of a 70 minute walk around my Dad’s beautiful town. I got passed by a tractor carrying hay and saw four deer running around in a meadow. It was really a beautiful day that made me reflect on how grateful I am for everything in my life.
Three weeks ago I never would have made an attempt to do anything that required moving today. However, two weeks into the challenge and I did not even question whether or not I would get moving today. Hopefully I will feel the same way after my wedding day in ten months.