The Perils of Yoga at Home

I really want to be good at yoga.

I want to be stretchy and limber and zen, relaxed and mellow and meditative. And look like a girl in the Athleta catalogue.

from athleta.com

(I’m well aware that they don’t those bodies by doing yoga alone).

But nonetheless, I want to be good at yoga.

There are a couple of things holding me back, the biggest one being I’m clumsy. Tree pose often becomes pick-myself-up-off-the-floor pose. I once had a yoga instructor pat me on the shoulder kindly and say, “maybe you should stick to running.”

I haven’t found the right class for me since we moved, so I’ve been trying really hard to get into a regular yoga practice here at home. I’ve set aside time for myself each day to do it, and I’m armed with my pretty purple yoga mat, my blue yoga block that I really only know how to use in one move, an app from Gaiam, and Yoga Girl by Rachel Brathen.

   
 

If you’re a yoga fan and you’re not familiar with Rachel, I highly recommend her book. It’s part autobiography, part practical guide, and my favorite part about the book is how she writes out intentions/mantras. She also has an awesome Instagram account!

  
So obviously, with these items and all the reading & research I’ve done on the practice of yoga, I should be looking like I belong on the pages of Athleta any day now, right? Yeah…not so much.

 

yoga reality: my kid and his minion “help” me
 
I’m enjoying the challenge that yoga is presenting. I really do feel better after an hour of contorting myself into weird positions and I think it is really helping my core strength. This is the pose I’m currently working on:

  
Right now I put my knees down…and instead of lowering my chest and chin down, my whole upper body sort of thumps to the floor. It’s a work in progress.

Do you like yoga? When you’re trying to learn something, do you look for a class or give it a shot at home on your own?

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TotR: My Worst Race (and the Lessons I Learned)

Welcome back to another Tuesday on the Run with Run the Great Wide Somewhere, MCM Mama Runs and My No-Guilt Life! Today’s topic: your worst race.

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Sometimes runs don’t go as planned…

I’ve been really lucky when it comes to races–for the most part, the races I’ve run in have been well-organized. I can only think of two races that I’ve really had a bad time with. One was an event with multiple distances and although I’d signed up for the 10K, my bib color marked me for the 20K distance. The course wasn’t marked, but they had volunteers sending runners in the direction they were supposed to go based on bib color. I thought there was something wrong with my running app when it told me I was almost 10 miles into what was supposed to be 6.2. Lesson learned: always double-check your registration.

But my very worst race was a 5K that shall remain nameless. It was a little neighborhood 5K, organized by a church. It wasn’t my neighborhood, but I decided to run it because they were supporting a charity I like (and the shirt was cute).

I loaded up my then 3-year-old and headed out on the residential course. As a stroller runner, I started in the back–which wasn’t a big deal until one of my stroller tires went flat. Completely and totally flat. So out came my son, who walked awhile…and then he got tired. So I carried him, while pushing the gimpy stroller. We fell so far behind that the cones showing the course were removed. Oh, did I mention the cell service was terrible and I couldn’t call for help or GPS my way back on track?

Luckily it was a safe neighborhood and I finally found some nice old ladies who were out gardening who directed me back to the church and my car. We crossed the finish line as they were putting it away, and that race will always hold what I call my 5K un-PR at a little over two hours.

Lesson learned: now I always snap a screenshot of the course map with my phone and, if it’s a small race, give my husband my estimated pace so he’ll know if I’m way off track.¬†

Have you ever gotten lost during a race?

January Food & Fitness Goals

I’m trying to break my goals down into manageable chunks this year. I think part of my problem in 2014 was that I WAY over planned in January and felt burned out by early spring, and when things didn’t go exactly to plan by the summer I’d thrown up my hands and given up. So this year I’m taking it step by step and making small monthly goals for each month. That way, if life throws me a curve ball I can repeat the goal the following month instead of losing steam entirely.

First, food.

I know food is the biggest reason I’ve been putting on weight. I have terrible eating habits. I’m picky to the extreme, I have a mild Pepsi addiction and a giant bowl of pasta is my happy place. I know this has to change or all the work I do at the gym is just wasted time.

can'toutrunyourfork

January goals: less eating out and less processed foods.

I feel like one will lend to the other…if I’m eating out less, it means I’m cooking at home, and (hopefully) that means I’ll be eating more whole foods.

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Some of my favorite recipes so far this month! At the end of January, I’ll be doing a recipe round up.

Second, fitness.

January goals: make fitness a priority.

When I’m stressed out or things don’t go as planned, my exercise is the first thing to go. That needs to stop. I know people who are at the gym on their certain days, rain or shine, sleep or no sleep. I WANT TO BE ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE. Maybe not necessarily in the gym, but doing whatever workout I have planned for the day.

Since that’s kind of a vague goal, I had to specify a little for myself: 30 minutes of exercise weekdays, and something–anything–active on weekends. 30 minutes a day should be doable. It should be easy. I spend that much time on social media in them mornings alone (at least!). Maybe I need to tell myself that the only time I’m allowed on Pinterest is while I’m on a stationary bike…

What goals do you have for January?