No, I am not particularly fond of insects, I just think it’s a cute name (for a bug that is anything but cute!)
June was a great month, as it was my third 30 day yoga challenge! I can’t believe the “Do yoga every day for a week” goal on my list of 101 things to do in 1001 days turned into three month long challenges! Amazing.
June was such a busy month, I didn’t blog about my challenge as much as I thought I would. I didn’t take many pictures either. The thing is, it felt less like a challenge (for the first half, anyways). I was going to yoga three to four times a week anyways, so going everyday wasn’t quite as difficult as you would think. The second half happened at the same time as report cards, field trips and end-of-the-year crazyness, so it was a little tougher to motivate myself to go to class, but I think all the yoga helped me deal with everything.
Now, on to the best moments of my month caught in pictures!
This has been a really great weekend for several reasons. Wine and friends on a patio Friday night, then a beach day with those same awesome girls on Saturday (we didn’t go in the water, it was too cold!) and a mini-break from my 30 day yoga challenge.
I didn’t want to skip a day in my challenge, so last Wednesday, I did two classes and got to spend today, father’s day, with my dad.
Sometimes, I hear people say how they’ve become like their parents, and they’re horrified, like it’s the worse thing that could ever happen to them. I don’t get it. My parents are awesome.
I am my father’s daughter and I couldn’t be happier. He’s funny and smart and the nicest person you could possibly meet. He’s kind. He loves kids. Once, when my sister was younger, her friends came over to ask my dad to help get someone out of a tree. My sister wasn’t home, but those kids knew my dad would be more than happy to help.
When my dad is interested in something, he likes to learn everything there is about it. When I was little, he knew more about fishing than anyone I’d ever met. He’s the best poker player I know (he taught me how to play, and I play well enough not to embarrass myself!) When I decided to sign up for yoga teacher training, wanting to know more about this practice I love so much, my mom said I was just like my dad. She’s right. When I love something, I give it all I’ve got. It makes me happy and I’m grateful to my dad for giving me that.
This mini-break from my yoga challenge has given me time to relax and focus on other things I love, like my family.
Today, I took the day off (which, when you’re a teacher and it’s June, basically means “I took a sick day to work on report cards” It’s the teacher version of working from home.)
I decided to start my day off right with a yoga class. I didn’t make it to yoga last night, as my students were the oompa loompa’s in another class’ Willy Wonka and the chocolate factory play and I was busy with orange face paint and green wigs. (They were adorable, by the way.) Since I’m doing a 30 day yoga challenge, I can’t afford to miss too many days. Last Friday, I did two classes, so I didn’t fall behind even though I missed last night’s class.
I made it to the studio for the 9:30 class this morning. It was with Mike, and I’ve never done any of his classes because I usually work during the week. It was a yin class and he started off by saying “Welcome to the studio’s most mellow class” and then had us relax is supported fish for ten minutes. Every day should start with ten minutes of supported fish. Pure bliss!
The rest of class was a mix of super relaxing poses, like twists and wide knee child’s pose, and a few more active poses like gecko (yuck) and core stuff.
I’m planning on going to another class tonight, because it’s taught by my friend Ichih and I love her and her classes! It’s another yin class, so I’m declaring today my mellow yoga day. I love flow and power classes, but for a 30 day challenge, it’s good to have a balance between both.
So far, this challenge is going really well. Maybe it’s because I’ve taken a couple of days off from work to keep from feeling rushed all the time, or maybe it’s just because, even before the challenge, I was practicing so often, it’s become my normal. Whatever the reason, I’m enjoying my practice and my challenge very much and I can’t wait until July to start my yoga teacher training!
I don’t have a very strong core. I have strong legs and arms, but not my core. That’s ok, because I can work on it and get stronger. The thing is, I don’t like working on my core. I don’t like planks and dolphin push ups and a million boat poses. I don’t need a six pack. The other thing, however, is that I really, really want to do a headstand, a handstand, a forearm stand, and any other inversion. You need a strong core for that.
I’m on day 5 of my 30 day yoga challenge, and the only class I could fit it yesterday, on day 4, was a core flow class. I usually avoid this class, although I love the teacher (hi Amber!). I go to her other classes, but not this one. Except for yesterday. I thought I would put together a helpful little list for anyone who might not know what they’re getting into.
1. Don’t go.
2. See step one.
3. Ok fine. If you’re going, don’t take it too seriously.
4. Ask the teacher to go easy on the core work.
5. When the teacher says “Take it easy, you don’t want to tire yourself out in the first 10 minutes”, listen to her! Also, don’t yell out “What?! It’s only been 10 minutes?!”
6. Do dolphin pose. Do one dolphin pose push up to see what it feels like. Forever avoid dolphin pushups.
7. When you do side plank on your forearm, you can’t adjust your arm without falling down, it’s kind of holding you up. Not that I fell or anything.
8. During the 24 minute plank pose, just hang out on your mat like you’re at the beach and tell yourself everyone is so busy not passing out that nobody will notice.
9. After class, don’t ask your teacher if she noticed you wimped out on most of the poses, because when she says she didn’t notice, you can’t really laugh and say “Haha, just kidding, I did it all!” She won’t believe you.
10. Your abs will hurt the next day when you laugh, even if you only did a third of the planks (that’s still like 32).
11. Go out for dinner with your girlfriends to reward yourself for all your hard work.
Today I went to yin, because there was no way I was doing a power class! I think tomorrow might be a yin-day as well.
I’ve been wearing dresses for my week long dress challenge too. It’s so much easier to wear dresses than to do a core class!
Today was day three of my 30 day yoga challenge. Two of my friends from work are also doing the challenge, and today we realized we all planned to go to the same class, so we had ourselves a little post-work yoga party!
The class was prana vinyasa and it was led by Megan. There’s something special about her classes. The way she puts everything together, the pace of the class, I always work hard, but I don’t need to take a lot of breaks.
Towards the end of class, when I was good and sweaty, she led us into a twist, then offered different stages of the pose. By this point, I was feeling a little tired, but one of the options was an arm balance, and I never turn down an arm balance! I tried on one side, but I was so sweaty my foot slipped right off my arm and I fell down. Then, on the other side, I decided to try again. Megan was beside me and she guided me into it, and I did it! It only lasted half a second before I fell, but I still did it!
The pose is parsva bhuja dandasana, also called bird with a broken wing (I’ve heard it called firefly or grasshopper too.)
I tried to do it again when I got home, so I could take a picture, but it was hard! These are the best I got. I need to bring my foot up a little higher on my arm, but it makes me happy to have a new pose to work on!
Today was also day three of my week-long dress challenge. I’ve had this dress for a few years, and I’m still not sick of it!
I’ve recently become obsessed with Zooey Deschanel. Ok, maybe not obsessed, but that girl has some serious style! Not to mention talent as well. Let’s just say she influenced part of this post, which is all about dresses, books and yoga. How fabulous is that combination?
Earlier in the week, I posted a teaser of a dress I bought. I originally saw it at Winners, but they didn’t have it in my size, so I went to another Winners. Again, no luck. It was perfect, but I was resigned to not having it. Then, I went to Marshall’s with my friend Suzanne and she said “Look at this pretty dress.” It was my dress! And in my size! It was fate I tell you, fate.
The very same day, I saw a cd at Starbucks from a duo called She and Him. It was Zooey Deschanel and a guy (I’m sorry, I don’t remember his name.). I didn’t even know she sang. When I got home, I looked it up. Not only does she sing, she writes her own songs. Plus, my new dress could totally be in her video for I could have been your girl.
I’ve been listening to the cd all week. I love it!
Back in December, I participated in Dressember, which was a challenge to wear a dress every day for the whole month. The Dressember creator decided to have a summer challenge so we could show off our pretty summer dresses. It’s only for a week this time, but I was super excited to wear my new dress in a Zooey-inspired style!
That was day one of the dress challenge. Today was day two and it was very grey and gloomy this morning, so I went with bright colours to balance it out.
I’ve already got my dress picked out for tomorrow!
Today was one of my favourite book-related days of the year. The library book fair! Woohoo! (I know. I’m a nerd.) They sell old books and you pay by weight. I didn’t actually notice what the price per kilogram was, but it wasn’t very much. There were a lot of people and it was muggy in there, so I didn’t stay very long, but I was so happy I got to go!
They also sell really, really old books. Last year, I bought a 100 year old book for my sister for 50 cents. No such luck this year though.
I got some great stuff for me and for my classroom. I got eight books for the kids and it cost me 12$. You can barely get one book for that price! They’re all in really good shape too. I got four books for myself and it cost me 5$ Not quite as amazing as the 25 cent books I got last week, but still a good price for someone who buys more books than, well, than anything else really!
Today was day two of my 30 day yoga challenge. I usually go to yoga on Sunday morning, not afternoon, but today I was busy with the books, so I went to a beginner class in the afternoon. It’s nice to take an intro class every now and then. You really get into the foundation of the poses and you don’t just flow through them. It’s not as easy as you would expect because we get used to moving to a certain rythm and when you break a pose down into pieces, it takes more focus to get into it.
It was a good thing I didn’t go to a power class because I had a headache and every time I put my head down in downward dog, it hurt more. I think it’s my fault. I didn’t drink enough water today. Oops!
After class, I got my sticker! The girls made a sticker board where all the challengers can track their progress. It might seem silly, but getting that sticker is a great motivation!
So that was my day as a Sunday girl, which is the title of one of the songs off She and Him, Volume 3. Here’s the video that inspired my look. I would have loved a crinoline and a bow, but I didn’t have either. I’ll definitely find a bow for next time I wear my dress!
Today was the first day of my third 30 day yoga challenge. The first one was a personnal challenge I did with my friend Julie and the second was a fundraising challenge. This one is a studio challenge. Pure Yoga Ottawa, my home away from home, is hosting this amazing 30 day awesome-fest.
To make the rest of my challenge feel easier, I started off with the hardest yoga class ever. Ever. Ok, maybe it wasn’t that hard, but I haven’t done yoga in weeks because I was sick, and it was super humid on top of being hot, so it probably felt harder than it was.
Anyone who thinks yoga can’t be a cardio workout should talk to Amber. We did about a million warrior one-chaturanga-updog-downdogs, quite fast and timed to some awesome upbeat music. If it wasn’t for the music and the fact that there were other people around, I might have curled up in a little ball and passed out.
After class, there was a little presentation for all the challengers. We got to hear a naturopathic doctor speak about nutrition and how to stay healthy and hydrated during the challenge. She also gave us a gift certificate for either a naturapathic visit or a massage/salt scrub/acupuncture combo. I’m probably going to go with the massage combo, it sounds amazing!
We also had a massage therapist talk to us about how to assess our bodies and prevent injury. It was all great information. Then we all took a picture together. I’m in the front row, third from the left.
Amber and Jen, the owners of the studio, gave all us challengers awesome goody bags! There was a tank with “evolve your practice” which is the studio’s new tagline. Also, a water bottle, some electrolyte drinks, a power bar, a lululemon headband, a voucher for free tea, yoga tune up balls, mat cleaner and other fantastic goodies!
All in all, it was a great start to a 30 day challenge! I’m looking forward to the next 29 days!
If you’ve been reading my blog at all, you know how much I love yoga. I love it so much, I did a 30 day yoga challenge twice.
And guess what?
I’m doing it again!
Today, I signed up for a 30 day challenge hosted by my favourite studio and one of my most favorite places to be, Pure Yoga Ottawa. It starts on June 1st. I’m not sure how it’s going to go, because June is a crazy month at work, but then again, there is never a perfect time for a challenge like this one. You just have to jump in, do your best and not take it too seriously.
I started the school year with a challenge for the month of September, and I’ll be ending the year the same way. It’s a good thing I had yoga this year. My class is a lot of fun, but they’re very high-energy, busy little people that require lots and lots of patience. Enter lots and lots of yoga.
Then, in July, I’m doing my yoga teacher training! Two months of blissful yoga. I can’t wait!
Please take a minute to watch my video! It’s a contest and I could win half the cost of my teacher training tuition. You can view it every day until May 31st. Thanks!
When I started this 30 day challenge on September 1st, I was in it for the yoga. When I heard about a challenge happening at Pure Yoga Ottawa, my favourite studio, I jumped on the chance to participate. I was pleasantly surprised to find out there was more to it than doing yoga every day.
I received daily e-mails filled with motivational quotes and messages from Megan, the creator of this amazing challenge, videos and tips for at-home practice from Megan and Mike, another teacher. There were nutrition tips and delicious recipes. I discovered new ways to prepare old ingredients and new foods to try. There was information about holistic healing. This was new, and interesting to read about.
I’ve mentioned in previous posts that my body is tired and needs a rest from daily practice, at least for a while. However, my mind and spirit will miss the daily motivation and encouragement. For this, I am sad to see the challenge end.
This challenge coincided with going back to work. Last year, I found the back to school period to be very difficult. I felt like there was always something more to do. I never had enough time to do it all. Once I realized I couldn’t do it all, I relaxed and enjoyed my work a lot more. This year, I was afraid of falling into the same trap. I was happy to have a reason to leave work at a reasonable hour, to take some time for myself and to have a way to find peace every day.
I realized one of the things I love the most about yoga is the quiet moment that comes after giving all I’ve got. Taking child’s pose anytime feels good, but taking child’s pose after going through several flows, side planks and chair pose is bliss. I was thinking about this during class today, when Megan said something that struck a chord with me. She said The vinyasa of our practice mirrors the vinyasa of our lives.
During a class, I might feel happy, frustrated, proud, discouraged, tired, curious, scared and blissed out. I feel these same emotions during my daily life. I try to approach challenges in my practice with an open mind and lots of laughter. I am trying to do the same with the challenges in my life. This is the change I did not know I was looking for. So yes, to answer my own question, I think I have been the change.
Today was day 30. It was the last class. I went to Megan’s class, which was perfect, because I started this challenge with one of her classes and also because without her, there wouldn’t be a challenge. I was very proud of myself for seeing this through all the way to the end. I got all 30 stickers on the board! Yes, they’re all pink.
I was also very happy to do this class with Jacynthe and Dominique, who are both collegues and friends. We did this challenge together and it definitely contributed to the motivation to make it to class every day!
And finally, it was great to meet some of the other challengers. We have become a community, linked by our desire to be the change. Thanks so much Megan for giving us the chance to find the best in ourselves. Namaste.
My 30-day yoga challenge is coming to an end, and I’ve learned two very important things. More than two things, actually. But here are two of them.
1. I love yoga (I knew this, but now it’s reaffirmed. Again.)
2. I love other things too. I love running, reading, baking, my friends, my family. I haven’t had much time for any of these things for most of September.
This past week has been the most challenging. Motivation was down and grumpiness was up. Last night’s class was a perfect example of the low-energy practice that has been annoying me. On my way home, I told myself to suck it up. There were only three days left to the challenge and I had two choices: finish kicking and screaming (ok, more like whining and dragging my feet) or give it all I’ve got left.
I chose option 2. (Not finishing was never an option.)
With this new determination to just enjoy myself and make the most of it, I went to a power class with Laurie after work. I love Laurie’s classes.
When we did crow pose, she said we could bring our head down and stand in tripod. Then we could bring our legs up into a tripod headstand. My first reaction was “No way! I’ll smash my head into the floor and that will not go well with the whole fun vibe I’ve got going on here.”
I hesitated for just a second, then I went for it. It looked something like this. (The placement of my legs on my arms is a little off, but I took these pictures when I came home and I was trying to do it fast so I could shower and eat. I was starving!)
Then teddy bear headstand. How cute is that? (The name, not my butt up in the air.)
I’m actually a little disappointed in this picture, because it looks nowhere near as awesome as it felt. During my pity-party practice last night, I had an Eeyore moment during standing splits where I thought “I’ll never do a headstand.” This pose made me realize that I’ll get there one day. I tried lifting my legs up off my arms, but they were not moving. One step at a time!