Sunday, October 23, 2011

Body. Mind. Spirit. Are you ready?

Three weeks into my 30 day hot yoga challenge. Loving it! With one week left in the challenge I know I can't just stop after the 30 days is over. So I've decided I want to keep going ... incorporate it into my regular exercise regime. I made some other decisions too. I decided I won't be competing next year (or maybe ever ... but never say never). My body, mind, and spirit are not ready ... They're screaming for a break from that kind of training and that kind of dieting. I'm not abandoning my healthy lifestyle at all. I'm still going to exercise ... full body workouts a few times a week ... Yoga at least 3 times a week ... And probably hit a boot camp or two. I'm still going to eat healthy. My eating will be an experiment involving vegetarian meals and raw food ... not a complete change ... just an experiment.

Yes! That's my decision and I'm sticking to it!

So why am I thinking about getting on stage again next year? Sigh. It's probably because I went to a competition this weekend. Seeing all the athletes on stage got me excited. I wanted to be up there. Of course I always end up running into fellow competitors from previous shows or trainers asking me when I'll be on stage again. When I say "I don't know" ... all I hear is "See you on stage in 2012!" or "Come on! You love it! You have fun up there!" Or "Thought you'd be on stage tonight" or "You get better every year!" Comments that have the potential to sway me from my decision to NOT compete next year (or maybe ever ... but never say never). But ... it's not going to happen. My mind is made up. As much as I think I want to be on stage next year I know my body, mind, and spirit are not ready.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

L.O.V.E. Yourself

I don't know what happened. I'm not sure what turned things around for me during my 30 day hot yoga challenge. Last week I was going into my hot yoga classes and ending up frustrated and unable to focus. This week, I'm leaving the ego behind and doing my best at staying in the moment. I think I'm just starting to understand a little more of what yoga is all about. The messages from each instructor are starting to sink in ever so slowly. One message that stood out for me this week ... Love Yourself. So simple yet for some it's a difficult task. As the instructor read a passage about loving yourself, I took it all in. I was smiling a little bit ... knowing that I was loving myself. (I do admit that some days I don't like me). It's so true what they say ... only when you love yourself can you truly love others. And when you love yourself, you attract love. Well, I received love before I even left the yoga studio that day. A woman took the time to tell me that she loved watching me on TV. How nice! Then another woman also with the same message a short time later. In fact, we talked for about 20 minutes after class about fitness, working out, yoga, organic food, clean eating and more. I was feeling the love. Then I started to think back to all the loving moments in these past couple of weeks. A get together with some awesome girlfriends. Downtime with my sweetie. Thanksgiving dinner with his family. And I can't forget all the girlfriends who joined me in a hot yoga class since I started my 30 day challenge. And I'm sure if I took the time, I could come up with more. So you see how making the decision to love yourself UNCONDITIONALLY can open your eyes to all the love that's flowing (or trying to flow) into your life? When you've made that decision take a few moments ... even if it's just 10 minutes ... and think of all the L.O.V.E. in your life.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

No Sugar Coating ... Keeping it Real

30 Day Hot Yoga Challenge ... Day 4 Observations

*I wanted to make friendly eye contact ... a connection ... with someone before class. Shouldn't everyone be smiling at a yoga studio? I feel like the new girl in school.

*I was obsessed with how my body looked in the mirror. Hips looked wide. Wish my core was tighter. The "girls" are sagging way too much.

*I'm frustrated ... the instructor is going too fast. No where near ready for these intermediate or advanced moves. Am I doing this right?

*I should have eaten more and had more water today. Dizzy.

*Emotions? ... a mixture of sad and mad at the end of class. Neither emotion was really strong. Just a sprinkle of both.

Yes I realize these are mostly negative ... That's just how it was today. No sugar coating. Keeping it real.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Vinyasa Flow? Vinyasa ... Whoa!

Andrea warned me. She's one of many inspirational women I trust and admire for her honesty, spirit, and her brains. In fact it was about 3 years ago that she suggested I take a month off of everything. Real rest. Back then I lasted a week. Now I'm supposed to be resting because of my foot mainly ... and because I'm a bit burnt out ... and instead I decided to do a 30-day yoga challenge. Yes I realize that's not resting. Restorative yoga was my original goal but I couldn't always make it to those classes. Anyway, I told Andrea yesterday that I was doing this hot yoga challenge while "resting". This is exactly what she said "Rest my ass! Hot yoga will kick your ass!" That it did today. Vinyasa flow turned into Vinyasa ... whoa! This is how they describe it at the studio: "The practice is a combination of different traditions of yoga that come together for a dynamic mix of sweat and spirit. It will tone your body and electrify your mind." I couldn't have said it better myself. It was a tough class ... but at the beginning the instructor told us to set our intention for the class. My intention was to do my best to finish the class and do the postures to the best of my ability. She also told us to leave our egos outside ... I couldn't help but smile. That word has been haunting me for the last few weeks. Probably because I've got some work to do on scaling back my own ego.. And today's kick-ass class was a great reminder. Namaste.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Unexpected Emotions

Apparently hot yoga isn't "resting" but I'm doing it anyway. Someone suggested I do some yoga while I'm taking a break from teaching fitness classes. Since I like hot yoga I went to a nearby hot yoga studio. It just so happens that it was the first day of the studio's 30-day challenge. Did someone say "challenge"? Okay! It didn't take long to convince me to do it. After all, I may be out of the teaching game for over 3 weeks.

What a shocker in my second hot yoga class. I experienced some unexpected emotions. I was in a restorative yoga class. This class is for those recovering from injuries or illness as well as those looking to relax and unwind. Yep. Sounds like a perfect class for me right now. After a little guided mediation the instructor asked a select few what they wanted to work on. I was hoping she would ask me and she did! I suggested hips ... a sore and tight spot for me. So here we went into a pose to open up the hips. Starting with the right side, I noticed it was very tight and uncomfortable as I went into the stretch. Nothing new. *Breathe!* But as the instructor started to explain a little about the hips, all she had to say was " ... this is where we carry a lot of our emotions ... " and I had this urge to cry. What the ...? What's going on? I focused on my breath ... trying to hold back the tears ... but at the same time trying to let them flow. I was on the verge of sobbing. I've heard that this can happen to those who practice yoga ... but I never, ever thought it would happen to me. What an experience to have on day 2. It may never happen again or it may happen several more times! Needless to say, this 30 day hot yoga challenge will be an interesting journey.