Tag Archives: yoga

Love Your Length

23 Aug

Yesterday, I did a wicked good (I’m in Massachusetts right now :D) power flow yoga class with my friend, Amanda. I always like to get out of my usual NYC yoga studio and stretch my horizons a little (or a lot, like in Anti-Gravity Yoga), so this class was a treat.

The yoga instructor, Annie, brought incredible energy to the class. I honestly felt challenged throughout the entire 75 minutes.

Annie also helped me make some really great adjustments. At one point, she (gently) pulled my neck out of my body, just like a turtle 😀

I want to share with you a few of Annie’s adjustments, because with any luck, they might make a difference in your next yoga class…

3 Tricks for Tricky Poses

1. Downward Facing Dog

Turns out, it’s not so much about down, as much as it’s about up. Annie pulled my hips up, into the air, and… WOW! This simple change displaced a great deal of weight from my arms to my legs. My arms were thrilled to have some relief, and the back of my legs got a deep stretch 😀

So, try to lift your hips straight into the air. If that doesn’t work, there’s always this option… 😀

2. Pigeon Pose

For pigeon pose, the trick is in the set-up: If you start in upper push-up plank and bend your leg just under your elbows (see below), you should do 3 push-ups there. Then, you simply lower your body from upper to lower push-up plank and BAM– you’re in your perfect pigeon pose! No twitching of the legs, no child birth pain in the hips, just a thorough stretch… for lack of a better word 😀

This guy has the right idea, but his legs are too high in the air. Of course, if you can do that,  all the power to ya!

3. “Love Your Length”

This is Annie’s mantra, and I used it the whole class! I am convinced it can be applied to every single yoga pose… unless you can prove me wrong 😀

When I took Annie’s advice and concentrated on lengthening my poses, I found that my practice became mentally easier and physically deeper. Love your length–this mantra is definitely a keeper 😀

Smile out loud,

Rachel

Confessions of a 21-Day-Old Yogini

21 Aug
I’m on day 21 of 31 Days of Yoga, my project to practice yoga everyday for the month of August, and I have a few confessions to share:

Day 1: I realized it would have been smarter to do 31 days of yoga in a month that was not so humid– December or January would be perfect 😀
Day 3: My hips were so tight that pigeon pose made me want to scream like I was giving birth.
Day 5: A lovely purple towel by Yogitoes moved to the top of my wish list. On July 31st, I would have said there was no good reason whatsoever to spend money on a “yoga mat towel.”
Day 6: My thumbs, wrists, biceps, shoulders, hips, hamstrings, Achilles tendon, and toes agreed on the fact that downward facing dog will simply never be a natural position for me!

Day 7: I got so annoyed with slipping on my yoga mat that I sold it on craigslist that night.  I’m much happier with an old yoga mat from my closet that says Jet Blue all over it. Not to mention that I’m $20 closer to being a billionaire (dream big) 😀
Day 10: Someone in yoga class complimented me on my Natarajasana, dancer’s pose, and it made me smile. However, the truth is, I’ve had a few years of ballet training…

Day 11: Jamie and her series on Confessions of a Yogini inspired me to write this post 😀 Thank you, Jamie!
Day 12: I learned I can look up and let my back fall right into camel pose. 5 hours later: My spine informs me that this was not a good idea.
Day 13: I felt like a force to be reckoned with in Warrior II 😀
Day 15: I skipped two days of yoga in a row due to traveling… poor life choice!
Day 17: After two double-headers in 2 days, I began to hear “Now, move through your flow sequence” in my sleep… I may be taking a break from vinyasa after these 31 days.
Day 21: Even though my arms are starting to look more muscle-man than yoga-goddess, I really love having a regular yoga practice 😀
Smile out loud,
Rachel

Yoga Super Granny

18 Aug

When I grow up, I want to be this woman:

She looks like she’s done one or two yoga classes before 😀

But, seriously…

I noticed in yoga class tonight that I rarely ever see anyone over the age of 35 years old in classes with me. At first, I couldn’t figure out the reason for this, but then I realized it bothers me–because I want to be in yoga class when I’m older. Moreover, I hope that I’m still doing yoga when I’m really old!

After all, being Yoga Super Granny would make for one pretty cool grandma, if you ask me 😀

Anyway…

31 Days of Yoga is almost over, and I believe that getting into the habit of going to yoga class everyday has made a world of difference for my practice. This challenge has forced me to re-prioritize my yoga practice, and I am so glad I finally did 😀 I learned that, sometimes, I just need to take the leap in order to get where I want to be… whether I’m ready or not!

Is there a leap you’ve been waiting to take?

Smile out loud,

Rachel

My Doubleheader and Asparagus “Sausages”

12 Aug

This is how I felt tonight, after I finished my doubleheader (of yoga classes, not baseball :D):

A picture is worth a thousand words, right? ‘Nuff said 😀

On to the food!

First, here’s a quick background story for you: On the first day of my internship this summer, I handed my college I.D. to the office building’s security guard for identification. Then, the person behind me also handed over her college I.D., at which point we realized we both go to the same college! We’d never met before that day, but we got to know each other over this summer and she is a very cool person! Coincidentally, she looks exactly like one of my cousins and it still surprises me every time I see her…

Anyway, today was the last day of her summer internship (at a firm 12 floors below mine) and tomorrow is her birthday. If this situation doesn’t qualify for a celebratory lunch, I don’t know what does 😀

She chose a restaurant for us called Dogmatic that specializes in sausage dogs. However, we are not talking about your average dogs. These sausages are free of hormones, antibiotics, and nitrates, and naturally low in fat?! That sounds like some sort of scientific breakthrough to me, but I wasn’t sure my stomach was quite up to the challenge of a sausage for lunch. Instead, I opted for “the sausage of vegetables.”

I loved it, and I don’t even like asparagus very much! So, if you’re looking for something different to have at your next backyard barbeque, stick a couple of asparagus spears in a hot dog bun. A vegetarian will thank you 😀

That’s all I got tonight! See you tomorrow 😀

Yoga Mat = Slip ‘n Slide

10 Aug

Today was day 10 of 31 Days of Yoga. There was some light rain this afternoon, so no yoga on the roof tonight! Instead, we were inside the studio, and, let me tell you, it felt like the most humid day of the summer so far. My yoga mat just about turned into a slip ‘n slide!

Luckily, 3 of my friends were at class as well, so the heat and (a whole lot of) sweat were slightly more bearable… Yoga buddies are the best 😀 Here’s a photo of one of my favorite yogini-friends from another yoga class we attended this summer (coincidentally, I was wearing the same shirt today!):

After yoga, we went to the movie theater to see Inception–have you seen it yet? I’m not a movie expert by any means (it’s a miracle if I stay awake through an entire movie :D), but I thought it was fantastic. It was definitely worth 2 hours of your time, if you’ve got any to spare 😀

When I got home tonight, there was a package at my (apartment building) doorstep. I had completely forgotten that I got lucky recently and won a giveaway on Suburban Yogini–an awesome blog, also written by a Rachel 😀 It took over a month to ship, because Rachel lives in the UK! So cool, right? I’ve never been there but I want to live in London after grad school, at least for a couple of years. Back to reality…

The prize contains a variety of flavors of Ultima Replenisher, “the balanced electrolyte drink.” However, the box is sitting unopened on my kitchen counter, because I got home so late tonight. I’ll let you know how it tastes in the next few days!

Now, it’s bedtime for me. Sweet dreams, everyone 😀

Yoga on the Roof

9 Aug

Tonight I left my apartment way too late to get to a 7:30 PM yoga class.

So, I sprinted (notice a pattern lately? :D) all the way to yoga in St. Marks Place. I arrived just in time (ok, 2 minutes late) for class and when I walked in the front entrance, the yoga sorter (designated person on floor 1 who decides what floor you will take class on) sent me straight to the top floor of the building. And by “the top floor,” I mean the roof 😀

The weather was so gorgeous out tonight–definitely hot and humid, but still breezy. Outdoors makes for the perfect yoga studio. Nothing beats a view of the city while doing a downward facing dog 😀

Have a good night, lovelies!

Perfect Weekend: Friends + Yoga + NYC Restaurants

8 Aug

Salutation Nation by lululemon was yesterday morning! My friends were here from out of town, so we dragged our inner yogini’s out of bed and into Bryant Park for class with Matt & Dechen, who were hilarious, by the way 😀

It was so great to spend some time with friends and to experience NYC, which includes trying new restaurants, of course 😀 Here’s the recap:

Friday dinner: We went to South Street Seaport for the YACHT concert, and Pacific Grill. I got this:

“Black & White Sesame Coated Yellow Pink Ahi Tuna served with tossed market greens, julienne peppers, onion, tomato served with asian ginger soy dressing.”

Saturday breakfast: We had built up an appetite during yoga, so afterwards, we went straight to Keko Cafe (midtown east). I got a crepe with smoked salmon inside. DELISH 😀

Saturday dinner: We went to California Pizza Kitchen, because it was convenient and oh, so, good 😀 We were shocked by the (exorbitantly high) calories listed on the menu, but too hungry to care… We walked (and shopped) all day, so, whatever. Right?

Sunday breakfast: Tick Tock Diner… not exactly healthy, per se, but–wow–who knew their pumpkin pancakes were AMAZING???

Now my friends are traveling home, and I’m off to candlelit yoga tonight. Since I’m following Angela‘s rule of only eating restaurant foods that I can make in my own kitchen, it looks like I have a few recipes to add to my list!

Hope you all had a great weekend, too 😀