Welcome to Friday’s For The Love of Food, Summer Tomato’s weekly link roundup. Next week’s Mindful Meal Challenge will start again on Monday. Sign up now to join us! This week wanting more willpower undermines your willpower, exercise trumps genetics, and a comprehensive gut primer. Too busy to read them all? Try this awesome free speed […]Read More »
FOR THE LOVE OF FOOD: Willpower is obsolete, running extends your life, and banning trans fat saves lives
Welcome to Friday’s For The Love of Food, Summer Tomato’s weekly link roundup. Next week’s Mindful Meal Challenge will start again on Monday. Sign up now to join us! This week willpower is obsolete, running extends your life, and banning trans fat saves lives. Too busy to read them all? Try this awesome free speed reading app to […]Read More »
FOR THE LOVE OF FOOD: Why big goals lead to failure, how friends sabotage your health, and why vegetables are the best path to weight loss
Welcome to Friday’s For The Love of Food, Summer Tomato’s weekly link roundup. A quick heads up that starting next week I’ll be traveling until early March (Kevin is turning 40!), so I won’t be posting Friday links. The podcast will continue as normal. Next week’s Mindful Meal Challenge will start again on Monday. Sign up now […]Read More »
If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you've probably seen some of my yoga posts. I graduated from the Yoga Shanit NYC training last year, and started teaching in early 2016. My classes are a combination of flow and alignment and you'll leave feeling like you worked hard but also relaxed your nervous system. This summer, you have a few opportunities to practice yoga with me - details below!
Push Through Your Fears, It Gets Easier
I was so nervous when I first started teaching, it would make me feel sick to my stomach with stress. I remember talking to my husband about it and saying, I know I have to just push through this, I know it will get easier and everyone feels like this, but this is so hard!
As the months have gone on, I've completely fallen in love with teaching. I kind of feel like it's my calling. That's a scary thing to write.
I was pleasantly surprised at how much my training at Yoga Shanti prepared me and how quickly I've gotten comfortable stepping into the teacher role. I love planning classes, tweaking them throughout the week, and then adjusting them for my students on the fly. I'm still nervous when I teach in new places but I love the energy of the classes and getting to know my students so I can support them to tap into their bodies and find what makes them strong. I'm also proud to help them deepen their practices and try new things as they build strength, all while maintaining a proper foundation and alignment so they don't go to far and wind up hurt.
Yoga Every Damn Day
I found for me it was vital that I know the sequence I teach inside and out in my own body so that I can explain the mechanisms of the poses from a grounded place to my students. I practice almost daily and it's made me so much more aware of how I'm feeling in the poses. I used to injury myself all the time but now my joints feel great, I feel like my skin in glowing, and I'm sleeping better. Yoga is the thing I turn to in times of happiness and in times of stress, it's universally uplifting and beneficial.
Wait...But First, Yoga!
Life is crazy, but taking time to do yoga as often as possible, or #yogaeverydamnday makes a huge impact on the way you think and feel. When you are deciding if you can make yoga work into your busy day, just start with this thought: WAIT...BUT FIRST, YOGA.
If you'd like to practice with me, you now have a few weekend options on both sides of the Hudson.
Practice Yoga With Me: Summer Class Schedule And Studios
Saturday's at Elan Elite Yoga, Rye NY:
8:30am - Elan Flow
10am - Open level
Blooming Hill Farm, Blooming Grove NY: (donation based community class)
Sunday May 29th, 10am
Sunday June 5th, 10am
Sunday June 12th, 10am
I may continue teaching yoga at the farm every other Sunday in July and August depending on the turnout. If you want to attend just bring a mat and plan to check out their unbelievable brunch after!
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For me the key hasn't been stepping it up, it's been finding balance.
My number one form of exercise is yoga. I need it to help me find center and calm down. I do yoga most days of the week and vary the routines. I used to only do vinyasa yoga (my mindset was sweat or what's the point) but now I also do restorative classes and strength building classes. Sometimes, I put on pop hits and dance around my yoga room before I get on the mat, then my tunes change and Bob Dylan filters through my speakers as I start my practice.
Since the weather has improved, I've added cardio to the mix. I crave the outdoors after being cooped up over the winter, so I've moved my activity outside and I'm walking, biking, and swimming. I'm always more active in the spring and summer months because it's so nice out and that gives me more energy.
For me, yoga and swimming are similar types of activity because they bring focus. When I do yoga I concentrate on counting my breath, and the actions of my body parts as I hold the poses. When I swim I count my strokes, swim in patterns and focus on the extension of my limbs. Both help me really tune out the chatter in my mind.
When I walk or bike, I let my mind wander. I need that too, it's where I sort things out. I read an article recently that I'm not alone, many successful people like Steve Jobs and Einstein for instance, were known to take long walks when they were stumped and needed to work out problems or think things through.
Yoga emphasizes calming the mental chatter and learning how to tune out the outside world. Most of us are constantly overstimulated so tuning into our selves is a foreign concept and doesn't come naturally. If this sounds like you, yoga may be just the prescription.
But, I also think paying attention to what is going on outside of us, like the birds chirping, the shape of the clouds, the colors of the trees, are important too. These are the things I notice when I walk. These details are often overlooked, we are too busy to take them in, and slowing down enough to let things take shape is equally as needed as learning to tune it all out. Both bring moments of peace and inspiration.
It's the balance of the ability to focus and the ability to let my mind go that has me feeling like I've found my exercise sweet spot.
What type of exercise do you enjoy? Have you ever thought about how your exercise can support your energetically and emotionally like this?
I'd love to hear from you in the comments below!Read More »
I just finished the third weekend in my yoga teacher training and while my hips are sore and my body is tired, my mind is very much alive. I'm sitting here in West Elm Market at Brooklyn Roasting Company's cafe drinking a coffee and having a Dough donut treat as I write this so I'm feeling very Blogger-ish and cool. The best part? They allow dogs so Bella is on my lap, it's funny that wherever we go, she gets way more attention than I do. :)Over the past few weekends I've learned about what yoga is not just on the physical level but on the life and spiritual level. I've learned about sequencing, ways to find balance in the poses for the body, and ways to start assisting. I've also done a shit ton of yoga, day in and day out, yoga and relaxation and meditation have been built into my life.
This past weekend we had a discussion on Pema Chodrin's When Things Fall Apart one of the books on our reading list. Like most of the things I've been reading and practicing while at home, it's the group discussions that bring illumination to it. I realized in the discussion just how many people connect with her ideas and could use some help coming to terms with the fact that everything, both the good and bad, it's all okay. She gives you permission to not feel like you need to fix things, but just live in the moment. It's one of those books you can read at any time and find something to relate to, for me it was the perfect book at the perfect time in my life; let me tell you why.I'm injured. The week before training started, my right wrist started really hurting. If I'm being honest, it started hurting about a month before that but I ignored the whispers until it full on shouted at me to lay the hell off. So I did, for a few weeks, then when it wasn't really healing, I went right back to practicing, thinking fuck it, I'm not letting this hold me back. Guess what? It started getting worse, no surprise there, but worse to the point that even double wrapped with support my arm was shaking whenever I was in plank or push up pose. Needless to say, it was time for a doctor, and the orthopedic specialist I saw let me know that I need to stop thinking I can "walk on my hands", told me to rest it for a few weeks and gave me a really annoying immobilizing sling brace that was specially fitted. Ligament issues, ugh. The good news, my wrist is still fine, so long as I lay off, stop trying be to a tough girl, and let my body heal itself.
After the doctors appointment, I broke down, called my mom and started crying on the streets of NYC. Really classy. It was a breaking point for me though. There is an aweful lot going on in my life right now (that I haven't even written about yet), and this brace, the order to stay off my hand, it was like the icing on the cake. All I could think about was how unfair it was when I've waited 3 years to do a yoga teacher training and now I couldn't even fully participate. Then this weekend, when we started talking about the book, I realized this too shall pass. All the overwhelm, all the feelings of everything happening good and bad at the same time, it would pass. And guess what? I'm not the only one who was injured this weekend. We yoga people have this tendency to push when we should pull back. So the teachers directed us to really slow it down, give 25 % instead of 125% how does that feel? Listen to the whispers. I could try to make my injury a good thing and recognize it as an opportunity to learn how to modify and how to take care of myself, to really get to the essence of the pose since I'm not in the thick of it. But that's not the point, the point isn't to try to make something better, it's just to acknowledge it for what it is.Here is the other thing the book and consequent discussion made me realize. All feelings are okay. We don't need to brush anything under the rug. It's okay to feel the way you feel, whether good or bad. I've been stressing about a lot of the changes happening with my job, with where I'm living, with having every waking minute filled up with classwork, mental work, and physical work. The people I talk to about this keep stressing that it's all for good stuff so I shouldn't let the stress get to me. Okay yes, it's all for good reason so then I feel guilty for complaining about the stress. But after this weekend I realized that those comments were actually making me feel like my feelings were unacceptable. I felt like I was being invalidated. Though the book I realized that all the feelings, whether good or bad, are okay. It's natural to feel that way and that too shall pass.
When I was at the doctors, waiting to check out, the receptionist came up to me and saw I was reading. She asked me with a huge smile, "are you reading anything good?" I showed her the book, not thinking anything of it (hello the title is When Things Fall Apart Heart Advice for Difficult Times) her expression immediately changed, she did a double take, a look of concern coming across her face and blurted "well is it helping?" I didn't know what she meant for a second, I thought the book was pretty cool, but then I realized oh god, she thinks I'm depressed I have to fix this. I explained that I had to read it for a training, nothing wrong here. Then I proceeded to cry on the street. See the problem there? Denying what you need, denying what you are feeling, means living inauthentically. Caring so much about what others think that you invalidate your own feelings and feel bad about yourself? No Bueno. Change takes time, relearning patterns and habits takes time. But me, I'm intrigued, and a book like this, it came at the perfect time into my life to help me accept just where I am, in this moment. Do any of these ideas resonate with you?Read More »