Hump Day Inspiration

our-deepest-fear

During class, I was attempting forearm stand but for whatever reason, I couldn’t pull my mat as close to the wall as I normally do.  I gently kicked my legs up and because I was further away from the wall, which would normally scare the crap out of me, I was able to use my own strength to stabilize myself and stay up.  I thought the only way I could do it was with a wall behind me but in reality, the wall was an unnecessary crutch and my legs would hit the wall before I could fully explore my own strength and balance in the posture.  Lightbulbs went off and I’ve been practicing my handstands now further away from the wall with similar success!

Shortly after this revelation, I came across the quote above posted on the community wall during my yoga for trade shift.  It eloquently summarized what I had been going through with these particular postures, as well as other situations off my mat.  So shine on – we all have the most amazing and best version of ourselves within us just waiting to break through.  See what you’re capable of doing when you let go of the limitations, fears, doubts, and crutches.

Here is the full variation of the Marianne Williamson quote:

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.  Our deepest fear is that we powerful beyond measure.  It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.  Your playing small does no serve the world.  There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.  We are all meant to shine as children do.  It’s not just in some of us; it is in everyone.  And as we let our own lights shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.  As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

My Extra Cute Alo Top

I just had to share a ridiculous deal I got on a yoga top last week. While waiting to be checked in for class at CorePower Yoga, I browsed the sale rack next to me. I came across this Alo Harmony tank top and thought it was cute. And then I came across the discount sticker and the top became extra cute. I paid a whopping $15 for it!! I wore it to class for the first time yesterday and overall, the top fit fine. The inserts in the shelf bra are on the bigger side and extends past the bra line a bit on me. Also everytime I twisted, there was a little gapping and I had to keep pulling up my top to make sure nothing was showing. I’m not sure if anything was actually visible or if I was just being paranoid – I’ve seen my fair share of body parts I’m not supposed to see in a yoga class and I didn’t want to accidentally flash someone. The top was great at wicking sweat and dried quickly after class. Overall, a pretty great top made even better with a freaking good deal. So check out your local studio and see what sort of gems you can find. Patience will eventually reward you!

alo_tank_sale

Terrible and Wonderful Reasons to Run Long Distances

the oatmeal

“Maybe it’s superficial. Maybe it’s just adrenaline and endorphins and serotonin flooding my brain. But I don’t care. I run very fast because I desperately want to stand very still. I run to seek a void…Demons are forgotten, Krakens are slain, and Blerches are silenced.”

As much as I love yoga, running is my main form of self-regulation and has probably saved me from years of future therapy. The Oatmeal recently posted a brilliant and of course, hilarious, comic on the reasons why the author runs long distances.  Whether or not you run, just check it out.

Free Yoga with Some Big Name Teachers

budig

Well, at least free for those living in or visiting Los Angeles.  While I was only focusing on the online course offerings/membership option for Yogaglo, I’m not sure how I missed this HUGE part about them – you can attend almost all of the filmed classes in their Santa Monica studio for FREE.  You heard right.  Kathryn Budig posted on her Facebook page that she will be teaching there next Monday – Wednesday, July 15-17 and all her classes are free if you can make it.  The rest of July looks quiet but there are a good amount of classes from August through November that you can take advantage of with some other big name yoga teachers.  Check out the Yogaglo calendar and hopefully some of you will be able to take advantage of this great offering.  Contact them before heading to class just to make sure.

Sigh…all the great things I discover AFTER leaving Los Angeles.

Humpday Inspiration

challenge

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could all just flow through life without any problems or adversity?  While it currently sounds awesome, life might be pretty boring.  For me, my biggest challenge at the moment is finding a job but challenges can apply to anything – a difficult asana, training for your first race, or a big life change.  How are you dealing with the setbacks?  The frustration?  Perhaps even the pain?  The journey through your challenge and coming out on the other side is what helps you grow and makes you stronger.  You learn more about who you are and what you are capable of doing.  So if you are currently in the middle of some difficulties, just know there is light and a more empowered version of yourself standing at the end of the tunnel.

Ratatouille – If You Don’t Mind Some Prep Work

ratatouille

One of the reasons I don’t eat enough veggies is that most of them require some amount of preparation before you can eat them, which means my veggie consumption usually consists of baby carrots.  I definitely love vegetables and if someone is making it for me, I’m inhaling it.  But I’m pretty lazy when it comes to cooking them for myself.

So, here’s a delicious, nutritious, and of course, very budget friendly vegetable stew recipe that requires a little bit of prep and a little bit of patience… at least for me.

RATATOUILLE!  Like most, I think watching the movie inspired me to figure out what made this dish so amazing.  I came across a ratatouille recipe by Alice Waters, who I’m a huge fan of.  She is one of the leaders in the movement away from processed/fast food crap to eating real, local, and organic food.  I’m hoping to someday dine at her restaurant, Chez Panisse, in Berkeley, CA.  Anyhoo, I made this recipe a couple of years ago and it came out so-so.  But last week, I went home for an interview and stayed with my mom.  She had eggplant growing in her backyard and gave me a few.  The only thing I could think of making was ratatouille so I set my mind to try this again.  I already had the eggplant, basil from a house plant, and the pantry items.  All I needed were onions, peppers, squash, and tomatoes – all pretty inexpensive items.  All the ingredients cost me around $6 and I got 4 heaping bowls worth of delicious goodness.  One of the things I did differently this time was to lightly salt with each layer of veggies being added to the pot.  Then as a final touch, I added some herbes de provence just because.  My fiance kept raving about it, even the next day when we were eating leftovers.  I thought it was pretty delish, myself.

This is the not same ratatouille from the movie.  Thomas Keller (owner of the French Laundry – another pricey restaurant I would die to go to) actually taught the movie team how to create the ratatouille while they filmed his every movie.  The version he created in his kitchen is the exact one used in the movie.  I imagine it’s pretty damn good since it’s Thomas Keller, so here is ratatouille recipe from the film if you want to make this one instead.

Bon Appetit!

Gear Review: GRID Foam Roller

GRID

If you are broke and active, you probably can’t afford regular massages to keep your muscles limber and relaxed.  Self-massage in the form of a foam roller is your answer.  I used to think foam rollers were torture devices, especially when I first started using it to massage out a tight IT band.  But the more I used it, the less painful it became.  Here is an okay deal on a wonderful foam roller so you can massage out the kinks in all areas of your body!

I bought the GRID foam roller a couple of years ago and I love it and still use it regularly.  Most foam rollers start to break down and you have these weird dents that you have to start working around but not this one.  It’s designed for repeated use and won’t break down the way regular foam rollers do – at least it hasn’t for me (the site claims this thing can handle up to 500  pounds).  The center is hollow, meaning it is more eco-friendly since it cuts down on materials needed to create the foam roller.  And since you can use it for what seems like forever, you won’t have to buy another one and add to the landfill.  The GRID foam roller is broken down into areas that act like fingertips, fingers, and palms, depending on what your needs are and what part of the body you are working.  Although to be honest, I would try and use these different areas of the GRID at the beginning but now end up just popping on – I normally use it on my legs and back so I don’t feel/notice the different areas.  The GRID can act as a core workout tool as well -when I massage my calves, quads, or hammies, I can feel my abs firing up.

I highly recommend using a foam roller, and specifically the GRID, especially if you are a runner.  If you have never used a foam roller, this one comes with an instruction manual to help you out.  Groupon is currently having a deal where you can get it for $30 vs the regular cost of $40.  You can also go to Amazon and get the same deal for the black one.  So if for some reason you are dying to get the camo-colored one, jump on the Groupon deal and I’ll try not to judge you.

Hump Day Inspiration

So today’s hump day inspiration is more of a reminder for me as I make some pretty big transitions in my life. I’m moving to San Francisco in about 6 weeks (one of the most expensive cities in the US), I’m still unemployed, and recently got engaged. I had a bit of a freak out session and imagined the worse possible case scenario and let it play out in my head over and over again. Clearly, this scenario is made up and unlikely to happen but I couldn’t help myself.

I came across this Yoga Journal blog posting yesterday and felt it was very fitting for all the stress I’ve been putting myself through. I’ve heard and read that all your emotions are rooted in two basic emotions – love and fear. And deep down, I’m definitely fearful. Habits we have in life are definitely cultivated on our mats. Whether it’s a new pose or a change in your life, yoga can teach you a lot about how to navigate your fears. For instance, I’m fearful of allowing myself to reach my full potential. I will never try handstand unless I’m up against a wall. I have a pretty decent control over kicking my legs up but I just won’t do it if I’m not next to something that will catch me. Perhaps my fears of being unemployed for so long are causing me to doubt myself. I feel this is preventing me from seeking out jobs where I can cultivate my full potential and instead am looking for something below my qualifications, thereby limiting the amount of jobs I’m applying to.

This short article has some great tips to help you manage your fears through yoga. Hopefully, I can start incorporating this into my practice as well as off the mat during these big transitions in my life.