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March Reflections.

relieved that I think the winter is over.

running more outside and loving it.

determined to move towards a cleaner diet.

addicted to coffee.  See above.

loving my costumes in the show.

making time to exercise consistently.

noticing how much I miss Mr. Best Things in the evenings.

thankful we’re both working great jobs right now.

proud of my friend Emily for spending the last year teaching in Dubai and thriving there.

watching episodes of The New Girl and laughing my butt off.

anxious for quick change rehearsals on Saturday.

happy to be here, in this moment.

ready to get crafty again.

working on accepting myself unconditionally right now.

marveling that I’ve been gone from Mr. Best Things for 7 weeks already.

wondering the exact date of our reunion.

changing my attitude towards my body one thought at a time.

I got the inspiration from this post from a blog called Elise Joy.  Please go check it out if you have time, I find it very inspiring…

Love vs. Fear

A lovely lady blogger/real life friend of mine Kelly (from Be Anything But Quiet!) recently posted about this idea of Love vs Fear.  It really got me thinking.  The idea is that we are motivated in everything we do by one or the other.  For example:

Do I go to the gym because I love myself? Because it makes me feel good, strong, healthy?  Because I love the way I feel afterwards?

Or do I go to the gym because I am scared of being fat?  Because I’m scared I won’t get cast in certain parts? Or worst of all, because I am not ENOUGH the way I am?

Deep.

Stick with me here.

In my opinion, fear motivated actions (with regards to fitness) are never going to last.  You can’t hate exercise your way to a healthy body and life.  It has to come from a place of love.  I do really love the feeling of sore muscles after a good workout.  I really love the feeling of sweat dripping off my elbows in hot yoga.  I love the way I feel after working out.  My friend, Alicia, who is a Bikram yoga instructor said in passing to me the other day, “I don’t LOVE yoga.  I love the way it makes me feel”.  She’s right.  Bikram is crazy hard.

I digress.

I was lying on a sweaty mat in a Moksha class last week and these love/fear thoughts were bouncing around with me.  I find yoga is a place that I get all body focused.  I am staring at myself in a mirror, scantily clad, and in a quiet room.  It’s like a pressure cooker sometimes.  I focused on trying to breathe in “love” and breathe out “fear”.  Like a mantra.  Every couple of breaths I would try and think of a specific thing I love (I love how strong my legs are in that pose) and then a couple breaths later I would think of a specific fear that I needed to let go of (I am scared that I’m not good enough to do what I do).  Hippy? Maybe?!  It was pretty deep at the time.  I enjoyed it.

I don’t think that I can honestly say that I have a completely healthy relationship with food and exercise.

I grew up in a bodysuit in front of the mirrors in ballet class.  I watched myself become the chubby kid.  I grew out of that stage, but I was never the “skinny” girl.  My teacher used to tell me that if I turned out properly I’d get rid of my “saddlebags”, from age 13 or so.  Love that double criticism eh?!  I now work in a field where I have to wear whatever they tell me to.  On stage.  In front of hundreds of people.  (When I see all this written out I wonder how I feel as sane as I do).

This all being said…

I want to move away from my fear based self talk.  I want to continue to do what I do, but not beat myself up about stuff that goes wrong.  I want to use this blog as a place to celebrate my accomplishments, share our triumphs, get advice from other healthy, active, positive people.  I really, truly, believe that Love is greater than fear.

Do you feel like you engage in negative, fear based, self talk?

PS- thanks for listening to my self counseling session!

Yoga Challenge: Day Two

Henceforth know as .. “Omg, I remembered why I LOVE yoga!”

Teacher: Kate.  I just loved loved loved her.  She was confident and direct.  Understanding and compassionate.  She commanded the room and lead us through a tradition Moksha class while adding her own flair and surprises.

Class: Straight up Moksha.  Which is just the patented series of poses that Moksha Yoga endorses.  But because the class was only an hour, the whole series cannot be completed in its entirety.  Which means the teacher can do as they wish.  Adding and taking away poses to make up the hour class.  We did a lot of “flowing” today.  Which meant instead of standing in Warrior II pose for 30 seconds, we bent our front knee as we exhaled and straightened as we inhaled for a couple of breaths.  Still really challenging, but I find it helps when we focus on the breath.

Length: One hour.  Went by really fast.

Thoughts:  My favourite thing we did today was this calf opener.  From table top (hands and knees, all fours) you place your right knee on top of your left calf and push down, making circles or running it up and down.  O.My.God. Did it ever burn!  But it felt so so so good to release those tight calf muscles from dancing in heels all the time.

So guess what?  I’ve signed up for a 30 day challenge that my studio is hosting that starts on Monday, May 23rd.  Perhaps a sweep of madness came over me in my post yoga high.  But it’s done.  30 classes in 30 days.  Starting on Monday.  Which means my own personal 7 day challenge won’t have been finished yet.  I intend to continue with my personal challenge, reward myself when those 7 days have passed with perhaps a Lululemon purchase(!!!), and then just keep on keeping on with the remainder of the 30 day challenge.  I will keep you updated here on the blog about my trials and tribulations during the challenge!  Do any of you guys want to join in the yoga challenge?

Yoga Challenge: Day One

Henceforth known as.. “Oh dear god Yoga is hard when you haven’t done it in nearly three weeks.”

Ready to get my ass handed to me

I have lots of excuses for falling so epically off the yoga bandwagon: Studio across the street was closed for renos, stomach flu (turns out I was one stomach flu away from my goal weight.. joking.. devil wears prada anyone?), visiting Mr. Best Things out of town.  But the thing about yoga is, it’s always there. Patiently waiting.  Like your best friend from childhood.  Never judging you for however long you’ve been gone.  Just ready to accept you back and happy to see you finally there.  And then they get drunk and tell you that you need to call more.  Well, that’s what the BFF at home does.  Yoga just hands your ass back to you and says, “hurts, don’t it?”.  Yoga is a bitch sometimes.

So that was me.  All Lulu-ed out and ready to face the heat.  I even went on the “cool” side of the 40 degree studio.  Didn’t help.

Here come the stats…

Teacher: Alice (taken her class before.  Super knowledgeable.  Really focused on technique which is good but can get frustrating when you want to pretend to not hear her corrections because yoga is hard enough..)

Class: Hot Fusion.. aka whatever the teacher feels like killing you with today.  So it’s hit or miss for me.  I cut my yoga teeth with the Bikram method where you do the same 26 postures two times each in the same order every time.  The official Moksha series is a little like that too.  I enjoy knowing what’s coming next.  I blame it on years of standing at the ballet barre doing the same thing over and over.

Length: One hour (felt like 2).  One of the shorter ones, but I’m glad I did this one first.

Thoughts: We focused on this idea of rotating your pelvis back and forwards.  It’s something that’s kind of a big deal in ballet so I was used to thinking about it.  It’s as simple as thinking of sticking your butt out and letting your lower back sway like a little kid with a buddha belly, or tucking your butt under and trying to flatten it towards the floor and tightening your abs in and pulling up (this is the ballet way).  True to form, the yogis say it in a way that makes no sense to my ballet mind.  She talked about inner thighs the whole class going out and back or “rooting”.  I can see what she was trying to get at though.  Flexibility and Stability all at once.  Not something I’m great at.  From over stretching since I was a kid, I have some very flexible body parts and some very strong ones, but not a great amount of symmetry throughout.  Yoga will help me even out.  Having an overly flexible back or hamstrings put stress on your body in ways you can’t even imagine.  I need to create the strong foundation on top of which I can stretch things out.  Otherwise I end up with stupid, nagging injuries that could have been prevented.

I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s class.  I’m going to try and take the straight up Moksha and get back to basics.  So far, this  challenge has been fun and easy.  The real issue for me is not getting to the first class, it’s getting to the next 6 in a row.  Here goes nothing!

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