Week 1 in the books! 7 more to go!
I thought it would be fun to share with you all my journey though yoga training each week. What I am learning, how I am feeling, what it is like, and how I am surviving through the week. Also, at the end of post I thought I would share with you things that are getting me through the week- favorite songs, new favorite blogger, food obsession, snack recipe, workout gear, beauty products, sleeping aide (kidding!!.. talk to me at week 6 though)- kind of like a weekly round up - a rapid fire list - of what is getting me through the week and training!
Before training started the leads asked us to write a one page paper answering the question, "What is Yoga and Why do I Practice?" I thought that I would share with you what I wrote for class. To be honest, it was harder than I thought. I know why I practice and I know what yoga is, but I it wasn't until being asked to dive a little deeper into the question did it make me think of a less superficial answer. Here goes:
Yoga is the constant in my life. It has been the support system in times of need; it is a place where I can feel selfish about carving out time for myself yet not feel guilty about doing so. It is a place where I’ve learned to be non-judgmental of others, the space around me, and most importantly myself. I practice yoga because it allows me to let go of my day and start brand new. Forget the past, the stress of daily life, and move on from what happened before. Yoga is where I can be in the moment and truly move at my own pace no matter what is happening around me. Practicing yoga allows me to express my thoughts and feelings through movement, giving me a peace of mind and finding solitude that I often crave even if it is just for a few short moments. This found solitude allows me to listen and address my internal thoughts, quiet them, and rid my mind of the negative ones; a practice that I am constantly working at whether I am on or off my mat. For so long my mind and body were disconnected. My mind would critique, judge, and be pessimistic towards myself and my body would reject in ways of feeling overworked, sluggish, tired, anxious, and run down. Yoga was the missing link that helped piece the two to work together in sync and harmony. It took me a while to come to this revelation and it didn’t happen over night, but gradually as I continued to deepen my practice, and consistently show up to my mat every day. I felt as if I had this “ah ha!” moment and I remember it exactly. I didn’t look at yoga as a chore and something I needed to do to look a certain way, but I started to see the affects it was having on my attitude towards the way I perceived the world and how I treated others, including myself. Practicing yoga has made me a better person, but each time I show up to class, whether it is the same teacher or not, I find that I learn something new about myself or realize that there is still plenty of room for growth. I practice yoga because it has taught me to become more vulnerable and open to new experiences and people. Yoga is a place where I can be my true authentic self and feel safe about it, a place where I feel I fit in and belong. I practice yoga because it makes me feel good about myself. Yoga makes me feel happy, strong, alive, and gives me energy. I practice yoga because there is no better feeling than the feeling you feel after class, whether you nailed a pose or you didn’t, the music was your style or not, the teacher said all the right words or fell short to what you were expecting, or the feeling of sweat dripping from your entire body, it was just always worth going no matter what and you always, always leave class better than before you started.
How am I feeling? I am tired, mentally and physically. Practicing yoga 5 to 6 days a week on top of training, working full time, trying to blog, sleep, eat, breathe, and try to find the time to talk to someone else besides the TV, is draining, but it would be draining on anyone. So far I am loving it. No complaints at all! I have actually found that my practice has become better; I am focusing more on myself, fine tuning different poses, and taking both risks and modifications when my body calls for it. One thing I am learning is, I will need to figure out how to adjust is to develop a teacher mindset. Since I have always been the student in class, the poses have always come natural in the sense I didn't have to stop and think as to why I was moving a certain way and linking my breathe to movement was robotic, inhaling/exhaling naturally. Now, once we have begun to break down the poses, the cues, breathe, postures, and correct alignment it almost feels foreign to me as if I am learning and stepping foot into a yoga studio for the first time in my life. Yoga class was always a space for me to come to zone out, not think, just flow. I didn't realize how much behind the scenes there was to each pose, move, cue, assist, adjust made or said in class. It'll be something I will have to learn to adjust to as well as finding time to take more classes, do doubles, find the time to rest my body and work full time...but I will manage! One day at a time and on to the next week we go!
Ok, now to the good part:
Here are some of my favorite things that have been getting me through the week:
1. Have you seen these Chocolate Chip Coconut Oat Bars by @wifemamafoodie ?! They look absolutely delicious, gooey, chocolatey, and best part free of refined sugars! These are on my to do list to bake ahead of time for week two of training for those late nights!
2. It is winter people! Working all day, taking class, going to training, taking a class during a training, sweating a ton, showering a ton, and constantly wearing yoga clothing, I need to make sure I am taking extra care of my skin these days. I am loving these plant based, cruelty free, all natural body scrubs from Franklin and Whitman. My favorite one? The Turbinado Sugar Fair Trade Coffee and Vanilla Scrub. It has such a strong coffee smell, but who doesn't love coffee? Not only do the scrubs smell amazing and make your skin feel brand new, but with every purchase 5% of the sales goes to helping dogs in need!
3. My go to snack that has been a lifesaver in between work, taking classes, and training this week? Chocolate Peanut Butter Squarebars. I have one around 3 - 4 PM, take a heated yoga or sculpt class around 5:30 PM, start training around 7:30PM and am ready for dinner at 8. They keep me full, energized, taste like candy (!!) and love that they are dairy free, soy free, and gluten free.
5. Really late nights and super early mornings means I have to meal prep on the weekends, lately I have been all about overnight oats for those grab and go breakfasts. You can make 5 of them every Sunday and have breakfast ready for you each morning. Currently in love with these carrot cake overnight oats from my girl Rach (@rachlmansfield) Tastes like dessert, but they are healthy and the best part? You are sneaking in some veggies in before you've even had your morning coffee.
6. Chocolate delivered to your door. Yes you read that right. I am not just talking about any chocolate- handmade, high quality chocolate- delivered to your door each month. They have have 200 bars in their product list which keeps you happy, satisfied, and surprised each time when your box arrives with exciting new flavors to try! They work with small makers from around the world to provide us with the highest quality we can find! It is all fairly traded and the beans used to make these bars are sourced from farmers who are paid a premium for their crops. In my box I received 4 different chocolate brands and flavors, (Toasted Coconut from Madecasse, Mint & Nibs from Raaka, Black Fig from Dick Taylor and just to name a few!) It was amazing to be able to try a few different flavors and brands, especially ones I have never heard of before! [@cocoacouriers]