I don’t think I can, I know it!

Yesterday, my friend Dominique, who is participating in the same 30-day yoga challenge, asked me “How did you do a full 30 days of yoga last time? It’s only day 5 and day 30 seems so far away.” That’s a great question, and something I asked myself many, many times during my last challenge. I don’t have the perfect answer. I think it depends on a lot of things: why you’re doing it, how you manage your time, what you’re willing to let go of during the challenge (I vote for housework).

I realized I have an advantage here. I’ve done this before. I know I can do it! That’s not to say it’s going to be easy. Combining back to school with 30 days of yoga is not perfect timing. Then again, there is no perfect time. If you wait for everything to fall into place before making a change, you’ll never do anything.

One of the many things I love about this challenge is the e-mail I receive every morning. It’s got yoga options for home practice, nutrition tips and challenges and info about holistic healing. The first thing I do every morning is check my e-mails. It starts my day off right.

This morning, there was a little comic in the e-mail that really made me smile. I wanted to be on that top step.

Today was day 6 and I was headed to a power flow class with Jen. I told her I was a little tired and to take it easy on me and just have us do tree pose. I also whined to her and Amber about all the dragon and gecko pose stuff going in their studio. They didn’t seem too alarmed. Jen and I decided to take a picture before class, to avoid the sweaty yoga hair look.

Jen asked me if I wanted us to start on our fronts or our backs. I said on our backs because I really enjoy butterfly pose. I even know the sanskrit name, supta baddha konasana. I did have to google the spelling though.

I wasn’t really as tired as I thought, because class rocked! The intention I set for myself was to have fun with it, and I did! We did  tree pose, and lots of flowing. Then, we did dragon pose! That thing is following me around! I know it was part of the sequence we were doing and that Jen didn’t just throw it in there to mess with me, but still, yuck. The first thing she said to me after class was “Sorry!” It’s ok Jen, I forgive you.

One good thing did come out of this dragon catastrophy, however. We did a pose I’ve been calling flying crow, but from my googling, I’ve found might be called scissors or simply one-legged arm balance. I fell over many, many times, adding to the fun aspect of yoga. Then, I held it for about 2 seconds. Success! I had been working on this pose early in the summer, trying to do it every day. Maybe I’ll try that again.

This is not me. One day it will be.

After class I hung out with Jen until she had to teach her next class. That’s another thing I love: combining yoga with being social. I’m not going to be going out quite as much during this challenge, but it doesn’t mean I can’t spend time with friends. For some people, yoga is very personnal and quiet. For me, it’s about laughing and having a good time, among other things of course!

If you’re thinking about doing a yoga challenge, or any kind of challenge, tell yourself you can do it until you believe it. It works like magic! (But please, teacher me is asking you to spell correctly!)

Positive motivation, from me to you!

Yesterday I came across some very disturbing pictures and messages online. I’d heard of thinspo, short for thinspiration, but I had no idea how awful it really was. Girls are posting and liking pictures of emaciated young women as their inspiration. This is what they aim to look like. I refuse to post any of the pictures I saw, but some of them had messages like “I only feel beautiful when I’m hungry”, “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels” and “Your stomach is not growling, it’s applauding”.

When I started this blog, I decided it would be my happy place. I could go on about how horrible and dangerous these thinspo photos are, and how damaging they are to young and not so young girls everywhere, but I won’t. Instead of adding to the negativity, I decided to create my own form of inspiration. Let’s call it Blisspo. I know that word makes no sense. That’s not the point.

What is the point? I think it’s about balance. I try to eat right and excercise, but I also like brownies and watching tv. Sometimes I think it would be nice to be a little slimmer, usually when I wear a bathing suit, but I work out to be healthy, not to be skinny.

So here is the first ever collection of Blisspo photos I created just for you. Enjoy and don’t take it too seriously!

Frog feet

After dinner I went for what was supposed to be a run, but turned out to be just a walk. My ankle has been hurting lately, making me think maybe I need to look into those weird shoes with the toes that make your feet look like frog feet. From what I’ve heard, people who had all kinds of aches and pains while running don’t have them with these funny looking toe-shoes.

I don’t see a difference.

I’ve been finding it very hard to motivate myself lately. I’m tired after work and all I want to do is sit on the couch and watch the food network. Maybe if I had new running shoes…

After I finally got my butt out of it’s groove on the couch, I went to Leamy Lake, which is just a 5 minute drive from my place. I thought it might rain, because it was really windy and the leaves were turning, but it was fine.

The first thing I saw when I got there were Canada geese. They even had baby geese! Goslings, I think. I got as close as I dared to take a picture, but those are scary animals, all beaks and long necks and weird honking noises. You don’t want to mess with them. They’re not very smart either. Once, I had to stop on the highway because one genius decided to walk across 4 lanes. He was in no hurry, just slowly making his way to the other side.

After the excitement with the geese, I walked around the lake. It’s really a bike path, so there are all these kids on skateboards zooming around and making me freak out because I think they’re going to fly off their skateboard, hit their head on a tree and fall into the lake. Then I’ll have to go in to save them, and it’s swampy and gross. None of them wear helmets. Makes me feel old.

Lovely bike path/dangerous skateboard accident waiting to happen.

Any tips on the frog feet shoes? Yes? No? Have they changed your life? Made you feel like you were a frog who can run? (Because really, I don’t think frogs run. They hop. Or climb trees. Or swim.) Thanks!

Why I run

Today is a cloudy, almost rainy day. Instead of going for a run, I figured I would just blog about running. That’s kind of the same thing, right?

Sometimes, I feel like I’m cheating by calling myself a runner. Runners are athletic people. They run marathons. They eat (or drink?) those little gel packet things. They have weird running shoes with toes. A 5k run is a breeze.

I have to train to run a 5k. But, I’m guessing even the runners had to start somewhere. They must have trained for a 5k at some point. What I wonder is, what motivates someone to run a marathon? Those things can kill you. My reasons for running seem to be very different from other people. Then again, I’ve never asked anyone why they run.

This is why I run:

– To run away from a bad day.

– Because I can.

– I like the sound my feet make on the pavement.

– I enjoy the adrenaline rush.

– Runners are cool.

– Because I love it. I can’t explain it, it’s just fun.

– It’s more exciting than going for a walk.

– Sometimes, because I over did it on the brownies.

– When I’m running, nothing else matters.

– After a run, I feel like I’ve accomplished something amazing.

Actually, those seem like pretty good reasons to run, now that I’ve written them down. I think I’ve actually managed to motivate myself to go running. Yay me!

What are your reasons for running?

Why yoginis should paint their toenails

Maybe you’re one of those people who has this great motivation that comes from within. You like getting up at 5:30 to go running and going to the gym “is fun!” If so, good for you! I mean it, that’s wonderful. I’m not one of those people. I like to sleep. I am not a morning person. I enjoy watching television.

I like running, I love to dance, yoga is becoming an addiction, but that doesn’t mean I am always motivated. Sometimes, I think of how nice it would be to just sit on the couch and watch a movie. I know I would not be happy with myself afterwards, and so I get myself to the gym or the studio or I go for a run. Once I’m doing whatever it is I was trying to justify avoiding, I feel great!

I’ve found that little things help motivate me, like painting my toenails. If I’m going to be doing 73 forward bends, at least I’ll have something nice to look at!

Shaving my legs works too. There’s nothing like reaching for your ankle and feeling smoothness instead of prickly skin, especially if it’s hot yoga and you’re all sweaty.

Promising myself a treat also does wonders. “After this, you can go to Booster Juice!”

I know this is silly, but for the days when the couch is calling, I take whatever motivation I can find!

What motivates you?

How to go for a run

The awesome weather we’ve been having is motivating me to go running. This is great, because I usually start enjoying my run when I’m at least 10 minutes in. The actual getting out the door and getting started is not my favorite part. I know I’ll feel good about it later, but I usually have to bribe myself with something like this.

My getting ready goes something like this:

Check the weather.

Look for blue t-shirt.

Find only green t-shirt.

Keep looking.

Find blue t-shirt in gym bag.

Sniff for freshness.

Put on blue t-shirt.

Put on pink hoodie that completely covers blue t-shirt.

Check the weather.

Drink some water.

Find ipod.

Wonder if earbuds fall out of everyone’s ears.

Stretch.

Find keys.

Check the weather.

Go outside.

Lock door.

Go back in for sunglasses.

5 minute warm-up walk.

Ok, 10 minutes.

Find good song to start running to.

Think about getting some new music.

Start running.

Huff, puff.

Think about sore knees.

Think about bad ankle.

Stop thinking.

Run.

Run.

Run.

Breathe.

Enjoy.

Come home.

Eat a cookie.

Last fall I ran a 5k with one of my students. There was no way I was letting a 7 year old be tougher than me. How’s that for motivation? I wonder if she’ll do a 10k with me?

What’s your motivation?