Music to Inspire your Practice or Work Day

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Lately I’ve been inspired by music.  I’m looking forward to creating my first yoga sequence for my classes, and have come up with the below music line-up.  I’ve tried to sequence them in such a way to build the energy up then bring it back down (to sync up with my work out).  I’ve also realized these songs are great to get me through the work day :p  Click on the pics below to take you to the songs on youtube!  Enjoyy!

Breathe- Telepopmusik

Make It Bun Dem- Skrillex & Damian Jr Gong Marley

 

Love Generation- Bob Sinclair

 

Gotta Get Thru This- Daniel Bedingfield

 

A Little Less Conversation ( JXL remix)- Elvis

 

Pennies From Heaven (Cout De Money Remix)- Billie Holiday

D

iamonds on the Inside- Ben Harper

 

I Won’t Give Up- Jason Mraz

LuLuLemon Sale and Review

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One of my favorite lululemon yoga tops is on sale and I had to share.  It’s on sale for $49 from $64.  Love, love, love this top.  The material is light weight and airy.  Great for hot yoga classes since it is so light and open on the sides and back, however I don’t sugget it for Bikram since it can get a little heavy and “bathing suit” like if it gets too wet (clingy).  I have this in a size 4 in orange.  If you are on the busty end, you may want to consider getting a size up since it is a little snug on top.  Click the pic below to go to the lulu site and shop, enjoy!

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Take Your Practice Mobile

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While at Starbucks today, I found this neat advertisement from Apple.  The Pocket Yoga Practice Builder App.  I don’t have an iphone so I can’t give you a review of it, but if you click the photo below it will take you to the App Store where you can read more about it.  The App gives you the ability to create a sequence from a list of 140 poses.  It even allows you to select the duration of holding the pose (seconds or breaths) as well as ables you to sync up your own music, or choose from a selection of preset music, with your routine!  You can also send or share your routine in a variety ways (ie. e-mail, pdf, etc).  I’m not sure if you are able to share your routine with other users through the ap, but if you can that would be a plus.  As a beginner yoga instructor, this may be nice to keep with you during your classes incase you forget what’s next!  Let me know what you think 🙂

Headstanding It

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Well I’m back, after some gentle nagging from my fellow blogger, believeinbliss!  First let me give an update on my “30 Day Yoga Challenge.”  Oh no, I failed miserably.  The following day after I challenged myself, Dewey beach happened.  That was the first hurdle, and quite frankly, I hit that hurdle hard, face planted, turned around, and ran the other way.  I couldn’t (subjective) do yoga at Dewey and the next day I relaxed and chose not to do yoga again.  Basically, that turned into two days of yoga practice for the week, resulting in the use of a “yoga vacation week” for my teacher training.  Not to worry, I came back strong and have completed 4 yoga practices a week since then.  Not my goal of 7, but hey, I’ll get there.  Life lesson: Let go.  “There are no failures, just experiences and your reactions to them.” –Tom Krause

Actually by letting go, I have made some personal progress in my yoga practice.  I have found that I always make poses harder than they should be.  After speaking with believeinbliss this morning, I realized I always push myself for the most advanced, perfect form of the pose, often forgetting the basics and the details.  I’m in such a rush to be the strongest or most flexible in the class, that I get easily frustrated when I am not.  So not yogi, and newsflash we can’t be the best at everything in life, but we can always work on improving ourselves!  So for the last three months, I could not get my headstand, without the use of a wall.  I was so determined and frustrated that everyone else in the class could do it, that I would eagerly kick up into the air with too much momentum, flipping myself over, or straining everything in my body to hold the “egg” position (see figure 32 below) before I pushed up.

ImageClick the photo to learn how to do headstand!

In class last night, I decided to let go.  If I did it, great, if not, I’d come back and try the next class.  I took my time, breathed, and slowly lifted my legs into the egg.  It was actually much easier since I wasn’t staining so much, and it clicked “this is the pose.”  I slowly lifted my legs, and boom, I was in headstand all by myself.  Sure you can argue I’ve gained more muscle and have become stronger in the last three months, but I think the real progress came when I let go.  The pose, which only yesterday, felt exhausting and impossible, somehow became effortless and easy.  It was an amazing feeling and I continued to “let go” of the rest of my practice.  I backed off, focused on the basic details, and found that in each pose I was able to position my hands or feet a little better, ultimately getting into my poses a little deeper.  I won’t ever approach my practice so competitively again after all I was able to accomplish last night by just letting go.

So let go of the outcomes and your frustrations, and see what you can accomplish.  Namaste! 🙂

30 Day Yoga Challenge: Day 1

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Good Morning, Good Morning!  Starting today, I will be embarking on a 30 day yoga challenge, challenged by…myself.  Wondering why I’m starting in August, and not the beginning of summer to get that “bikini bod?”  Well, in 30 days, on September 10th, I will be turning…24.  Still young, I know, but still a little hesitant to be so quickly approaching my quarter life crisis, I mean, milestone.  23 has been a pretty great year in my life. I started a great new job,

met my amazing boyfriend,

and began my yoga teacher training.

I want to start 24 out just as great, so what better way for me than 30 straight days of yoga to get myself physically and mentally in shape?

Now for the RULES I will be setting for myself.  I know there is at least one day I will be at the beach or doing other things away from home, but I still intend on having a personal practice at home.  I will blog what I do on those days to keep me motivated.  I’m allowing myself meditation class on Sundays to count as a day of yoga as well as any beginner or restorative classes.  This will keep me going if I ever feel too exhausted to go to yoga.  The last day of my yoga challenge will be September 9th, so I can wake up September 10th with my first accomplished goal of 24!  I have to remember to be compassionate with myself and that there is no gold medal waiting for me at the end, just myself and my own personal benefits, but hey maybe I’ll buy myself a nice birthday present if I complete this! 😉


Today being Day Uno,  I will be going to the Under Armour Yoga Studio Rave with a couple friends, including believeinbliss!  The event is hosted by Under Armour at their global headquarters in downtown Baltimore and Charm City will be teaching a yoga class right there on the harbor!  There will be a DJ, and I’m going to guess neon lights/paint to accompany their “Rave” theme.  It’s from 8-10 and totally free so come check it out!  Pictures to come!  Side note- check out my pic on charm city’s fb page, I entered a contest to win free Silopanna tickets for tomorrow, wish me luck!
Stay tuned for the next 30 days, all motivation welcome, oh god what did I get myself into… 😉

Good Deals for an Expensive Hobby

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Prana, one of my favorite fitness lines, is having a 40% off garage sale through August 12th.  It’s nice to stock up on some quality yoga gear when this stuff goes on sale, because let’s face it, yoga is not a cheap hobby!!  Feel free to buy me something (size xs 😉 ) as I am trying to save for a house, sighh.  Happy spending 🙂

http://www.prana.com/

The ROI in Yourself: Applying Business Practices to Your Mind, Body, and Soul

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Now, I am very excited to share this blog, it combines two of my interests, finance and yoga!  To start, here’s a little house keeping to explain exactly what a ROI is and how it is used.  Bare with me, I promise the post will get better 🙂 ROI is a financial term used in business to calculate the return, or benefit, of an investment.  If you want to be technical the formula is Gain from Investment minus Cost of Investment divided by the cost of the investment.  For example, if a company is beginning a project it may use this calculation to figure out if the investment will be profitable or not.  Want to know more!?  Sure you do:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rate_of_return

Businesses and governments that run efficiently and effectively are the most successful.  The basic rules are make more than you spend and invest in things that are profitable long-term (just to name a couple of several hundred more!).  I propose we take these business tactics into our own lives to make our mind, body, and soul more profitable.  The more profitable aspects of life we invest in, the higher our return in life will be.  What if we invested in partying, drinking, and over-indulging, for the gain of our enjoyment, and at the expense of our bodies, then what would be our return?  Naturally, our initial return would be fun and pleasure, but these are all “false refugees.”  They give us an immediate sense of happiness and pleasure, but once they are over we are left with a physical and emotional deficit.  We have spent our savings.  Our bodies are not as effective, our minds may feel a sense of guilt, not to mention our wallets may hurt!  We may get a short gain in “happiness” and fun, but I think we should really be after the long term profits and true happiness, not just pleasure.

So what are the long term profitable aspects of life and happiness?  I believe those are family, friends, spouses, our health, spirituality, and souls.  Aren’t these the things that really matter?  If we focus our time and energy on these things, we will have enormous long-term gains.  Just like growing your bank account, company, or career takes lots of time and work, so does growing those profitable aspects of life and happiness.  It is not an overnight process with immediate results.  Where false refuges are pleasurable at first (drinking, eating junk food), the long term effects are not so pleasurable (hang over, indigestion), but it is the opposite with true happiness.  It may hurt a little to wake up at 6am to make that 2 mile jog, but the profits your body gains will by far surpass the expense of waking up early.  It may hurt a little to make it to church or meditation class on Sundays, but again the profits your soul gains will make you successful in deed.  If we spend more time with our friends and families and really develop those relationships, we will have them for life.  These are all wonderful long-term accomplishments that help achieve happiness.

Of course, once we have maxed out our 401k investment in life and happiness, we may still have some extra funds to “splurge” with.  Go on a shopping spree, have a margarita, eat that cheeseburger, just don’t spend all your extra money in one place.

Namaste financial yogis 🙂

Yoga with Weights- Why Not?

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I have a weak spot for Martha Stewart, if you haven’t already noticed from my most recent blog.  I decided to see what her site had to offer to the common yogi, and to my surprise, she delivered!  I found a particular blurb regarding “Half Moon with Weights,” and thought what a great idea for those looking to add more strength and cardio to their yoga routines.  Granted, you will be straying from the traditional practice, but yoga is an organic, living, and changing practice in today’s culture, and what a wonderful way to tweak the practice for different benefits.  Check out some of the other ideas such as “Mountain pose with dumbells over heart,” “Eagle pose with Fly and Tricep Extension,” and “Side Angle Lunge with Concentration Curl!”  I would love to teach an athletic yoga class at a gym, where I could introduce my clients to yoga in this fun and familiar way!

http://www.wholeliving.com/134730/half-moon-weights

Becoming a Thoughtful Eater

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Happy Tuesday Yoginis!  Welcome back from a fabulous weekend!  There is no super thoughtful philosophical post today (give me a break my brain is fried from all the sun this weekend :p)!  My boyfriend and I spent our weekend at Long Beach Island, New Jersey, where we went kayaking, swimming, boogey boarding, and ate lots and lots of ice cream.  Needless to say I will be spending the majority of this week and weekend getting back into yogi shape and melting away all those ice cream pounds!  As part of my blog, I would like to take a yoga pose picture at each place I visit.  Naturally, I forgot to do this this weekend so here is a neat one of dancer pose on Dobbin Island about a month back 🙂

Speaking of ice cream, my next yoga teacher training assignment is to read Conscious Eating, by Gabriel Cousens.  More to come as I read the book, however I do know that the book touches on how to be a thoughtful eater.  I am very guilty, along with the rest of the population, of going through spurts of health conscious eating followed by a weekend of pizza and soda.  After reading this book, I hope to slowly eliminate these toxins from my diet and maybe only enjoy them in moderation.  Back in January, I cut out caffeine from my diet for about 2-3 months and was shocked at the amount of natural energy I seemed to have.  I woke up easier, had sustained energy throughout the day, was more productive, and fell asleep easier in the evenings.  Since I’ve started yoga, I’ve seen such a profound difference in my body physically and mentally, and I’m excited to begin my diet cleanse and see the results it has on both my physical and mental body as well.  We will also be fasting in October for my yoga teacher training weekend, so more to come on everything I learn!  So I thought a fun way to kick off my reading assignment would be to post a delicious, healthy recipe.  I made my first trip to the Annapolis farmers market two weeks back, and am officially addicted.  I can’t imagine buying fruits and vegetables anywhere else!  Here’s a great no-bake summer lasagna recipe you can use when cooking those farmer market veggies.  Thanks Martha! (I want to make every recipe on here!):

http://www.marthastewart.com/334102/no-bake-summer-lasagna?czone=food/produce-guide-cnt/summer-produce-recipes&center=276955&gallery=274270&slide=332288

  • Prep Time 25 minutes
  • Total Time 25 minutes
  • Yield Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup ricotta
  • 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan
  • 3 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 8 lasagna noodles, broken in half crosswise
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • 2 pints grape tomatoes, halved
  • 2 zucchini (about 1 pound total), halved if large and thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon torn fresh basil leaves, plus more for serving

Directions

  1. In a small bowl, combine ricotta, Parmesan, and 2 teaspoons oil; season with salt and pepper. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook noodles according to package instructions; drain.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high. Add garlic and tomatoes; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until slightly broken down, about 3 minutes. Transfer tomatoes to a bowl. Add 1 tablespoon oil and zucchini to skillet; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until zucchini are tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer to another bowl and stir in basil.
  3. Place some tomatoes on four plates; top with a noodle and small spoonfuls ricotta, zucchini, and more tomatoes. Repeat layering twice, then top with remaining noodles and tomatoes. Garnish with basil.