Hump Day Inspiration

gabbybernstein

Just a little something that I found to be very relevant to this blog.  Gabrielle Bernstein is a life coach, author, motivational speaker, etc.  I follow her instagram page and it’s full of affirmations so check it out to find your inspiration on a daily basis.

Also, tonight is the last night to enter the online yoga membership giveaway!  I will be choosing two winners tomorrow at 9 am PST so get your entries in before that time!

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Online Yoga Membership Giveaway!

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I was contacted by MyVirtualYoga.com recently and was offered a gift membership to their online yoga community.  Here was the blurb they sent me:

We are the first bilingual online yoga community offering high-definition streaming videos in English and French.   MyVirtualYoga has a growing library of practices that explore various yoga traditions: Vinyasa, Ashtanga, Hatha, Yin, Restorative, Kundalini, Pranayama, Meditation, and more.  On top of the videos, we also feature a wide range of wellness information related to natural health surrounding yoga (nutrition, internal retreats, Ayurveda, meditation, Pranayama, herbalism, aromatherapy, etc.).

The thing that caught my eye first was that they had videos in French!  I studied French for a long time and it’s also been a long time since I’ve used it but I can still speak/understand a few things here and there.  I may try to take a class in French and see how I do!  I just signed up for my membership and am excited to try it out.

MyVirtualYoga.com has also generously offered you broke-ass readers a free gift membership as well!  I am able to give away two 3-month online memberships to the site!  This is valued at $57 each and is not redeemable for cash.

It’s easy to enter.  Just list three words that describe your yoga practice in the comments section below and I’ll pick two winners at random next Thursday morning (January 30).  So if you are looking to try yoga, start a home practice, expand on your yoga related health and wellness knowledge, supplement your gym membership, or whatever your reason, enter now!

In the meantime, if you wish to follow MyVirtualYoga.com via their social media outlets:

Facebook: My Virtual Yoga
Twitter: @myvirtualyoga
Pinterest: My Virtual Yoga

Good luck!

And…More Online Yoga Resources

YJ Online Classes

At some point, I’m thinking I might need to compile all of these resources onto a master list – perhaps on the blog?

A site like Yoga Journal has so many resources – it’s great but it leads to me being overwhelmed and overlooking all that the site has to offer.  Thanks to the most recent issue of the magazine, I caught part of an article that mentioned their online classes.  There are audio and video options – all the guided meditations are audio files. The videos can be filtered by type, level, teacher, and wellness focus.  There are a TON of videos under 5 minutes that break down poses, which has been personally so helpful for me.  BTW, Yogaglo has this too and it’s free as well.  The videos at most are 35 minutes long so it’s great for those looking for shorter practices, whether it’s to focus on a specific part of the body or building up to a peak posture.  I have definitely used these videos to help me understand poses better and get sequencing ideas for my own classes.  Many of the classes are designed by well known instructors so if you want to take advantage of their knowledge for free, check it out.

There is an abundance of online yoga resources.  And I have a giveaway for a new online yoga company to share with all of you on Friday – stay tuned!

Freebies at the Yoga Journal Conference

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If you think the registration fee for the Yoga Journal Conference is a tad obscene, you can still experience parts of the event for free.  I’m not sure how I missed this the first time around when I did my post on the work-exchange program.

I really wanted to go this year since I actually live in SF now but I already had a trip planned with friends and couldn’t take more time off of work.  I did find out that one of my former teachers in San Diego was attending and met up with her on Sunday for lunch and a walk around Chinatown.  She had just done her last morning session and had the conference program with her.  She invited me to attend a panel with her after our lunch and mentioned it was open and free to the public.  I was hesitant but she showed me the program and there it was – a few pages in the back  of the free events throughout the weekend (or events that were open to the public with a fee), including community classes, guided meditations, film screenings, information sessions, demos, and music.  Also in the program was a partnership page featuring local studios.  Next to some of the studio names are stars and if you bring the ad to any of those studios, your first class with them is free.  Not bad!  I ended up attending a panel discussion with Jason Crandell, Baxter Bell, Stephanie Snyder, and Maty Ezraty on the risks of yoga and how we as teachers and practitioners can create a safer environment.  Lots of good viewpoints…and it was free.

Outside of the classes and lectures, you are surrounded by the yoga marketplace.  This is also free and open to the public.  The closest thing I can equate this to is a running expo.  There are a ton of vendors and sponsors there selling yoga apparel and accessories, health and beauty products, healthy living and nutrition services, jewelry, and information on yoga studios and retreats.  Like expos, there are freebies and samples given away.  I limited myself on the food products but did walk away with a mini bottle of Manduka’s Mat Renew – score!  I even found a promo code for a yoga exhibit that is coming to the Asian Art Museum in February.  Hint: it’s the name of the yoga magazine that puts the conference on – all one word!

So if you can’t afford the month’s salary to attend this conference, there are still a lot of free things that you can do and as I mentioned, still get to experience the conference and the hundreds of yogis walking around barefoot (unless you are practicing, this is actually gross to me).  So New York, San Diego, Colorado, and Florida – you guys are up next.  If you are broke like me, you have some options!

HUGE Discount on Target’s C9 Fitness Apparel!

C9 deal

Target is offering a ridiculously huge discount on their C9 by Champion fitness apparel and accessories – 40%.  But it’s just for today only.  If you don’t have it, and don’t mind another method of them tracking your purchases, you will need to download their Cartwheel application on your smartphone/computer.  They have tons of categories and discounts that you can add to your list, including this one-day 40% off coupon.  When you get to checkout, all you have to is display the Cartwheel barcode with your smartphone or the printout from home and everything that you’ve added to your list that was in your cart for the day will automatically get that discount.  Sometimes the discounts are small for the everyday items you purchase but a discount is still a discount, right?  Happy shopping all!

Reflections. Not Resolutions.

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Ok, I’m not perfect. But I’m pretty damn close.

In our busy lives, the new year can be a great time to pause and reflect on the previous year.  For many people, resolutions tend to follow those reflections.  Every year however, my resolution continues to be to not make resolutions.  I’ve been not making resolutions for a long time now and things seem to be working fine for me.  For me, if I wanted to change something badly enough, I put it in place as soon as I realize I want change to happen.  I feel like you are setting yourself up for failure by assigning an arbitrary date to create goals – why is it that so many resolutions don’t make it make it past February?  Or why is it that the resolutions tend to be same year after year?

I’m not suggesting that you never make resolutions again but perhaps think about the types of goals you are setting for yourself, especially those health related ones.  Are they too broad/generic (“I want to lose weight”)?  Do you share your goals with those around to keep you accountable?  Does the goal make sense for you (I know people that say they should start running to lose weight but they hate running!?)?  I think many people are familiar with the concept of a S.M.A.R.T. goal and if you are not, here is a pretty good guide to create S.M.A.R.T. goals for yourself.  So if you do have resolutions, hopefully this will help you be more successful in reaching them!  Also if you have health related resolutions, be sure to check out local deals with fitness centers, groupon, living social, etc. to help you financially in reaching those goals!

Since I don’t make resolutions, I like to reflect.  Here are some of my health reflections for this past year:

  • I’m incredibly grateful for the support of my fiance this past year.  Without his patience, love, and encouragement, I would not have experienced yoga teacher training.  It was amazing to be able to dive deeper into my practice and be given the basic skill sets to share my love of yoga with others.  My friends have been the most wonderful and patient guinea pigs and after a few months of moving to SF, I am now teaching yoga at 24 Hour Fitness (look me up if you are reading from the city!).
  • I’m also incredibly grateful for yoga teacher training since it has helped me check my ego!  I used to over exert myself in class and try every single pose and do everything that was asked of me to prove something to myself, even if my body wasn’t feeling it.  I definitely paid for that with injuries that sidelined my practice.  Yoga teacher training has made me more mindful and aware of what my body needs and what I personally need to do to take care of it.  I don’t always have to be the best at every pose or be the fastest runner or run the longest distances.  I need to do what works for me.
  • Through running, I am reminding myself that where I am in my life is exactly where I need to be.  I took over a year off from running to focus on yoga.  Now that I’m getting back into it, I’ve been hard on myself at times and have been frustrated that I’m not as fast or I can’t run as far with the ease I used to have.  It’s so easy to compare ourselves to others or to past experiences but this struggle is where I’m at and the easier I can accept this, the easier it will be for me to move beyond the frustration and actually enjoy running again.
  • I have always believed that exercise is good for your mental health.  And this past year, I experienced those benefits when I needed it the most.  Being unemployed put me in a terrible, dark place and I was severely depressed.  Of all the times in my life when I could have used therapy, this was it.  Yoga probably saved me from losing it completely, even if it was just for a couple of hours each day.  No matter how I felt going into a class, I always left feeling a little lighter.  A lot of extra gratitude for the amazing yoga teachers/friends in San Diego!

This past year has helped me grow in so many ways and I’m grateful for everything that contributed to that (Damn it, I’m lying.  I’m not so grateful for the unemployment part but I’m thankful for the experiences and people that added to my resiliency).  So here we go – another year, another opportunity to experience everything life throws at you.  Cheers to a year full of budget-friendly health adventures!

Hump Day Inspiration: Power Poses

So for today’s hump day inspiration, I thought I would share some actual tools that you can use to feel more confident and hopefully translates to success in other areas of your life outside of your fitness world.  And in line with the theme of my blog, this tool is very budget friendly – free!

So how can Warrior 2 help you feel more confident in everyday life, nail that job interview, or affect other people’s perception of you?  I first came across power posing when watching this great TED talk with Amy Cuddy.  This idea completely resonated with me since I have to feel good about something in my body before it becomes truth in my mind.  This was particularly true when I was unemployed for about 6 months.  I kept telling myself positive thoughts and repeated mantras in my mind but deep down, I felt horrible about myself and looking back, it probably affected what types of jobs I went for and my relationship with friends, especially with my fiance.  I practiced daily thoughts of gratitude but it wasn’t particularly helpful for me.  Yoga made me feel good and there were more positive thoughts and energy that was happening, even if it was just for a couple of hours during and after my practice.

I had seen this video prior to interviewing for where I work now.  I was in the car and put my hands on my hips and sat up tall for about 2 minutes prior to the two interviews I had (I did it sitting down in my car since I didn’t want one of the staff members looking out the window and happen to see my crazy antics!).   It could be the power of suggestion but I felt more calm and whether or not it actually increased my confidence level, I ended up getting the job.  I keep this tool in the back of my head and bust it out when I feel I need a confidence boost such as before teaching a yoga class.  Why not practice Warrior 2 before teaching it?

Has anyone else tried it?  Does it work for you?