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Archive for December, 2011


30 Days of Yoga- Day 5

Power Yoga with Fiona So

Language barriers can be challenging, but despite being occasionally confused when Fiona asked for “top up” instead of “half lift”, today, a foreign accent actually opened my mind and practice to a new way of experiencing shavasana (…and in no way whatsoever did the foreign accent detract me from getting my sweat on).

“Let your feet be happy. Let your legs be happy. Let your back be happy. Let your arms be happy. Let your head be happy.” I relaxed my body into a state of happiness, letting myself relax completely, open up, become light while also grounding deeply into the earth. Then I realized that she was saying “heavy”. That made more sense, but I like my happy body in shavasana even better. :)


30 Days of Yoga- Day 4

Hour of Power with Tracy Gulbransen

Holy bootcamp. Maybe I have just forgotten how challenging power yoga is, but this class felt more like “preparation for deployment to Afghanistan” than the average “mid-day power yoga for stressed out (but very fit) housewives”. Less than 10 minutes into the class, I was sweating like than a fat man in a sauna suit (sorry for the visual) and things never really calmed down… not even in shavasana.

As Tracy told us to sink lower into the pose, push harder, hold longer, I remembered back to the reasons I was on my mat in the first place. I was there to let go. To be happy with my body for what it is and where it is. To challenge myself without pushing myself to a breaking point. As others obliged to Tracy’s requests, I listened to my body, sometimes sinking deeper, sometimes staying right where I was, and sometimes skipping the pose altogether.

I still got one hell of a great workout, but I’m pretty proud of myself for listening to my body foremost and the instructor second, for challenging myself without pushing too far, and for holding a pretty fricken baller handstand during free inversion time.

Day four. A sweaty success.


30 Days of Yoga- Day 3

Hour of Power with Matt Sharpe

Newsflash of the century: I’m not good at getting out of bed. Every time I set my alarm for any time earlier than “natural wake up”, upon hearing my alarm I think, is what I planned to do this morning really more important than a few more blissful minutes/hours of sleep? Usually the answer is no (like for most of my pre 11am classes senior year at Cornell). This morning, at 6:55am, my answer was no. But at 7am, when I forced my eyes open once again, I suddenly felt awake. And if I was awake, I figured I might as well be doing yoga!

Early morning yoga may be against my 9 hour/night religion, but this morning, it was definitely worth it! Day three? Done and done.


30 Days of Yoga- Day 2

Random Pilates/Yoga Throw Together with Jaime from Google

The first step toward accomplishing a longterm goal is exciting. By the second step, I remember that it’s never as easy as I had hoped and things often don’t go as planned.

This morning, when the alarm went off at o’dark:30 after a late evening of (let’s just say) non-zenness, I seriously considered breaking up with my goal and reuniting with my pillow. Instead, I popped out of bed, threw on my Luon, and headed to the yoga studio.

I was the first there, but people slowly started trickling in. We all warmed up in our own way on our own mats until 7am. No teacher. 7:10. No teacher. 7:15. Still no teacher. Slightly panicked that I would break the 30 days despite the fact that I dragged myself out of bed, I did a few half-hearted sun salutations hoping no one was judging me. Then came the 30 days of yoga savior– Jaime, a pilates instructor, offered to teach the class.

We only yogalates-ed for about forty minutes all said and done, but it was a great workout and a sad reminder of how much range of motion and flexibility I have lost in the past month since my bronchitis. My core and glutes will be feeling this tomorrow!

Day two… check!


30 Days of Yoga- Day 1

Hour of Power with Barbara West

Ahh… glorious heat! Fluctuating between 85-95 degrees for an hour of flow, my hamstrings could finally open up and BREATHE! I wasn’t surrounded by a room full of Type-A’s in class today (a regular feature of every power class I’ve ever attended), and I had a spot with no mirror view, so I could truly focus on practicing yoga for myself based on how my own body felt, not how cool my neighbor looked. A couple of fun arm balances would’ve added just the right amount of challenge for my first class back, but taking it easy is a good practice too.

Chalk day one up as a success!


30 Days of Yoga

It’s been a whirlwind 2011 filled with world travels (my ABCs: Australia, Argentina, Brazil, and Canada), four fun issues of Equestrian Vaulting magazine (with another on the near horizon), two new jobs (the current one at McAfee), and way way way too much time sitting in front of a computer, allowing my body to crumble into its current, stiff, sad state– like a poorly oiled tin man.

I’m back with a mission: 30 days of yoga to get my body feeling like it should again. If that body should lead me to another year of competitive vaulting and equestrian performances (as a pas de deux or an individual or both), fabulous. If instead I turn into a zen yoga addict with long armpit hair and a propensity to ujjayi both on and off my mat, well, I guess that’d be a pretty pleasant existence too… minus the armpit hair.

I’m armed with my 30 days for $40 at Yoga Belly in Mountain View, my mat, Lulu, infinite sweat rags, and hopefully enough self-discipline to wake up before 7 to get my om on. I’ll let you know how it goes.