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The diary of an aspiring yogi: My journey

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Good morning all. I would like to apologize for slacking in writing on this blog. Its not because I don’t love you……because I do!!! It is because I am….well….just that. A slacker. In many ways my procrastination gets in the way of my life. Like forgetting to make a dental appointment, for six months. (yes, that actually happened)

Today I wanted to fill you in on how my journey to heath and wellness is progressing. I took a few weeks off from c25k because my knees were absolutely KILLING ME!!!! I mean, not being able to walk across the room killing me. I realized that this was from over extending my i-band (does that sound like a failed apple music label to anyone else?) and not stretching enough. Since starting teacher training and pushing myself to do yoga every day the pain is gone. I am back on to week 8. The last week of my training. I will be easing myself back into it today by taking a 20 minute run followed by a five minute walk and athletic recovery yoga tonight.

Really what I wanted to talk about today was my new journey as an aspiring yogi. I started teacher training on Wednesday, and I have already seen transformations in my life. As a person who suffers from insomnia, depression, and several other crappy things in my body I have found that just meditating for a few minutes a day makes a world of difference on my outlook. I went in to my teacher training with the mentality of perfection. I have to be the perfect yogi in order  to teach others. I have to be able to do a handstand and hold it for an hour in order to teach someone how to live a more full life. THIS IS NOT TRUE!

I went to class Wednesday and Friday and came home feeling more discouraged than I had felt in a long time. Feeling a sense of unworthiness and disappointment in myself. Why was I not further along in my practice? Why could I not do a headstand? Why did I shake in warrior one? Then I went to meditation with Sarah. She led us through a meditation to help start healing something inside of us that was hurting, whether it be emotionally, physically, or spiritually. I focused on my fear. For that thirty minutes I focused on alleviating the fear from my heart. Fear of failure, fear of rejection, fear of disappointing everyone, fear of disappointing myself. I came out of meditation feeling refreshed and a bit sleepy. Then, I went to a beginner yoga class with Story (she has the most soothing voice and sweet demeanor of anyone I have ever met…EVER) her intention for the class was this:

” If you don’t love yourself, you cannot love others. You will not be able to love others. If you have no compassion for yourself then you are not able of developing compassion for others.”

the Dalhi Lama

I don’t know if she understood how important her words were to me. I felt more alive during that yoga class than I had in any of my other practices up till that moment. I was always telling myself to twist further, bend deeper, feel the burn! Today I was telling myself;  “you can do this, and if you can’t I love you anyway. “

On the same note we were all in teacher training focusing on things we could fix in our practices and Patricia, one of the coaches and a sweet sweet woman, told us something wonderful. ” You already have the yoga practice you need in order to teach.” She told us to teach from where we were. If we never had to struggle with difficult poses how would we be able to help a beginner who is straining themselves into up dog? We have to struggle to have compassion on other who struggle.

I feel blessed to be a part of this program, and even more blessed to have the teachers that I have. I crave the positive attention and feedback they are sending my way, and I appreciate the camaraderie of my classmates. Even more I appreciate the practice of yoga for helping put  me on a path to becoming ok with myself. I am on a path to healing and forgiving myself for the things I mess up everyday. My life is on a bright path, and I am going to walk in the sunshine.

Namaste

Lydia

Ps: stay tuned for more updates from the aspiring yogi

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Yoga and Running. The perfect marriage.

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(photo credit- Tumblr.com)

I would like to start by apologizing for neglecting the blog. I know you all have been waiting with bated breath to hear about my newest exploits into the world of fitness. The biggest reason I haven’t written is because I have been applying and waiting for some news on things I will announce today. The other reason is because I tried hot yoga for the first time this weekend and it hurt.

First, the big announcement. I have been given the green light on funding and entrance into yoga teacher training this summer. I will complete a 200 hour course that will certify me to teach power yoga! I am extremely excited. I have been doing yoga for many years and have looked into various teacher training programs, but they were always too far away (like in Bali…) or too expensive. This one just fell into my lap. I was emailed by the employment office on base (I receive their emails because I am job hunting….yay) about a teacher training course that (if you qualify) the military will pay for. I am so glad I found it now because if I had even applied next year we wouldn’t have qualified (it required O-2 and below.) I start on June 7th, and am more than thrilled.

Second, the exercises. I have completed c25k week 6 days one and two this week. As well as several sessions of power yoga (one hot one sculpt, with weights.) If you have never participated in hot yoga you will find it exhausting….I know I did. But afterward, you feel so fresh, so revived, like all the toxins are out of your body and you get to start over. It was the perfect way to start my week. I also got to be taught by the woman who will be the head of teacher training. She was WONDERFUL! So energetic and fun. It will be a joy to be trained by her.

As for my two days of running. The first I did with Brett. We went trail running on a path he found near our house. It ended up taking us just over an hour to run 5k, and I whined the entire way. It was horribly embarrassing. After two yoga sessions in one day I was incredibly sore, so my running was a bit stunted. I am getting back into it. Today went quite well, and I look forward to yoga tonight and tomorrow, with some running thrown in on Sunday.

Hopefully you wont get too annoyed when this blog starts transforming from my running journey to my journey into yoga teaching. I will keep running, but yoga will start to be my main focus. Also, come Sept I will be so busy with finishing school on time that I will truly have to work to fit in my work outs.

Do you have any tips on how to balance work, school, family, and fitness?

Namaste

Lydia

 

These are a few of my favorite things.

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C25k week 5 complete! The significance of this is HUGE! Today was the day where you jump out of your comfort zone of walking breaks. Today I ran 20 minutes straight….NO WALKING! I did it incredibly slowly, but I did it. And my friends that is all that counts.

I promised you a lovely talk on nutrition today. So, here it goes. (Disclaimer: I am in no way a dietician, nutritionist, or health expert. I have however logged considerable hours in research in preparation for a more healthly lifestyle. ) I mainly wanted to share with you my findings. I have discovered some of the best foods for staying healthly, keeping up energy, and feeling great.

One of the best foods I now rave about and eat almost every day is Oatmeal. I vary from steel cut to instant. I sometimes put berries and milk, honey and almonds, or a little sugar and plumbs. Oatmeal is a complex carbohydrate that gives you energy that will sustain you throughout a longer run, keeping you full longer. I try to stay away from most oatmeal bars unless I have checked them because they are FULL OF SUGAR!

Another of my new favorite foods is almonds. Almonds are pretty much the perfect snack. They have good fats, phytochemicals, vitamin E, and some contain a lovely little thing called rhizveritrol which is an anti-inflammatory. They have been known to decrease the risk of heart attacks, lower cholesterol, and prevent cancer. They are a wonderfood. Also, they are delicious. Just make sure you get the unsalted kind or you may be adding more sodium than you think to your diet.

The last food I am going to talk about today is Spinach. Now I am no popeye but I have always loved my spinach. I have been eating the canned stuff since I was a little girl. But only recently have I discovered the plain raw spinach. In addition to it having almost zero calories (yes I said ZERO) it is packed full of zinc, vitamins A C and K, Calcium, magnesium, and (my favorite) FIBER! ( You may not think that constipation is a big deal now, but when it hits you bad on a long road trip you are going to wish you had more fiber in your diet. ) (ps: Oatmeal is also full of fiber!) I throw spinach in everything from a morning omlette, chicken soup, to my lunchtime salad. Dress it up with a little homemade vinaigrette and some strawberries and you cannot go wrong. Just make sure you wash it very well. Spinach is grown underground so it is chock full of dirt. May I recommend a salad spinner?

I hope that gives you some good ideas for additions to your favorite meals. Some simple additions can give you great health benifits.

 

What are your favorite running foods?

-Lydia

Running in the snow.

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Good morning everyone. How was your weekend? Mine was wonderful. Full of knitting, reading a new book, bubble baths and hiking. As I woke up this morning though the sun had been swept away by a gloomy snowy sky and 40 degree weather. As I ate my breakfast the temp kept dropping. I decided (with some encouragement from facebook friends) to go ahead and run. 

Today I was running c25k week 5 day 2. It consisted of run 8 minutes walk 5 repeat. At first I was worried, and it was hard. But as I got to minute 7 of the first set I was bounding like a puppy who had just been let off of her leash. It was freeing and entrancing. It truly was a wonderful run. My fear is mostly gone about Wednesdays 20 minute (NO WALKING!) run. (mostly gone….) As for now I am going to concentrate on how well I did today. The fact that I have worked my way up to doing heaps of pushups, (I went from not even 10 to 50 in rapid succesion) I am stronger, faster, and I have energy. Something that could not be said about me before I started this process. 

I have some serious knitting and cooking to do this afternoon, but tune in tomorrow when we will be having a discussion on nutrition and the pros and cons of dieting.  For now I am going to enjoy my green tea as it warms up my body.

 

-Lydia

15 POSTS???

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Oh my……I have posted on a blog 15 times. I think that is a new record,…..for me anyway. Well, where do I begin? I finished week 5 day 1 today (Run 5 minutes walk 3, repeat 3x.) It went quite well. I ran a bit slow to begin with then picked up my pace a little. I feel that I am getting stronger because the pain in my calves is starting to go away. Also, because I did 50 pushups rapidly (military style….yes they were girly pushups…I’m working on it.) I was highly impressed with myself.

Lets talk about confidence for a moment. I know we have spoken about it a little bit before but it is important. I am reading a book called Run like a girl (where my blog title came from.)It is about the positive effect that sports have in girls lives. They are more confident, driven, and most of the time harder workers. I wasn’t involved in a lot of sports past jr high (because I wasn’t very good….) but I am realizing the truth in those studies. I am finding myself more confident and more driven then ever before. I attribute a lot of that to the training I am engaging in and the goals I keep meeting. When I meet a goal it is like a rush for me. I get to check something important off of my checklist. That is an amazing feeling. Sports, running, excercising just gives you this boost of self confidence that I have always needed.

I was always taught that pride is sinful. Don’t be proud of yourself. Don’t boast. Don’t show off your achievements. I have a very big problem with self esteem, and not being proud of anything I do is a bit of a killer. I have only learned in the year or so that I am allowed to be proud of my achievements. People are allowed to be proud of me, because I know God is. Now, I’m not saying I am going to go bragging about every little thing I do, but being able to accept praise, accept accolades, accept the love that comes with it, that is a huge boost for me.

Be proud of what you have done, and what you are going to do. I am proud of you!

-Lydia

Refusal to settle

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I would like to apologize for not posting on Monday. I did indeed run and complete day 2 of week four. My problem was that I wrote my post three times and it deleted it EVERY TIME!!!!!! So today you get a double post!  Monday was all about positive reinforcement. I had wonderful things to say to myself:

“You are the best runner.” 

” You are the smartest of all the runners.”

” You are the most beautiful girl in the…..room….in the whole wide room.” (thank you Flight of the Conchords)

” You can do this.”

And other such platitudes were said….possibly out loud…to myself…in the middle of the street. Don’t judge. You have quirks too. 

If Monday was about positive reinforcement, today was about goal reinforcement. I have been having a lot of problems thinking about the future, worrying about the future, and basically stressing myself sick about the future. As a military wife my future is not exactly secure. It is as flexible as all get out. My problem is that I really really like to plan things. I make lists for everything. The fact that I can’t see even two years into the future is terrifying to me. So, my solution is to try and get through the immediate and make some goals that are basically my bucket list for my twenties.

A blogger whom I follow is working on her 30 before 30. It was my 25th birthday a few weeks ago, and I was reminded how close I really am to that landmark. I sat down Monday and started my 30 before 30 list. Here is an excerpt of it.

30 before 30

1 Run a marathon
2 Climb a 14er
3 Visit at least 2 more national parks
4 Become a mommy
5 Sell something on Etsy
6 Backpack at least once a year
7 Have something published
8 Start Masters degree
9 Knit a sweater
10 Sing onstage again
11- Be the lead in a musical
12 Write and edit a full novel

13- Spend a summer in missions (again)
 
I find that being an oldest child raised in an achievement oriented society that goals and dreams are very important things to me. If I don’t have goals I don’t have anything to shoot for, and I will settle for mediocracy. I refuse to settle. I will meet all of these goals (plus 27 more) in my five year window. 
 
What are some of your goals? What do you dream of achieving?
 
-Lydia
 
Ps: C25k Week four COMPLETED!!!!!!!!

You can feel sorry for yourself tomorrow. Today we run!

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I had a mantra today.

“You are not a wimp!”

I repeated it to myself over and over. I repeated it until I got the flipping message.

When I started my warm up walking today (c25k week 3 day 2) I had a dull ache in my calves. By the middle of my workout it had escalated from a dull ache to a roar of pain. Pain that was radiating from my legs. If it were a cartoon they would have been red and steamy hot with little squiggle lines emanating from them. I considered quitting. I considered it quite seriously, but when that little phone told me to start running, for some reason, I took off running.

I don’t know if its the submissive in me, or if it was just sheer force of will. When told to I ran.

I am now doing research as to why my legs hurt so badly. Its not shin splints, because its in the back and outer edges of my legs. It might be muscle strain, or lack of hydration, or improper stretching. At any rate. I have taken some ibuprofen, drunk copious amounts of water, and will now ice down my calves until they decide that they would like to rejoin the party as considerate citizens.

As for me feeling sorry for myself.

I can always do that tomorrow.

Today, I ran!

-Lydia
photo via :pintrest.com/weheartit