January 31, 2014

Running to Yoga and Back

I'm really enjoying my resolution of running at least 3 miles each week. It keeps me focused on the week (it's amazing how fast they're flying by now) and it keeps my running fitness in check. Ever since Christmas break in Dallas, however, I've tackled all my runs on the treadmill. I've been itching to run outside, but only in the right conditions and on the right roads.

"The Right Roads" - let me explain. While I was training for the marathon, I felt like I was constantly running the same routes over and over again. Especially when I was running downtown and not on the trail (which got equally as monotonous), I could only run on certain roads because I knew they didn't end in a massive hill. There's nothing more discouraging than trying to run freely (without thinking where you're going), and then seeing a massive hill approach. In Bellevue, they're everywhere! They're sneaky. And there's that moment when you have to decide to tackle it and wreck your legs, or just turn around and try and find somewhere else to run. The latter is the most discouraging, and when it takes a lot of out of me just to get out the door, even the lowest bit of discouragement is enough to make me want to end the run right there.

A massive hill I decided to tackle on a random run last year. This one rose 200ft in .5 miles. MASSIVE.
The other day, as I was driving home from yoga, I decided to take a different way. Suddenly I realized that I wasn't passing over any hills at all. This was a miracle!! Where the hell was I?! It turned out that I was just a little farther north than I usually ran, and this particular stretch of road barely had any hills at all. I made a mental note: this would be my next outside run, once the weather decided to cooperate.

Of course, it's been gross and rainy all week. Even this morning, I woke up and it was so so gross, just cold and rainy and grey on my way to yoga. And yoga KILLED me. My arms are still sore. My poor, undeveloped biceps. But after I came home, had a few hours to rest, the sky started to look wonderful.

I just felt the itch to run so I change clothes, filled up my water bottle, ate an old Clif Shot Blok (ick), and went outside, determined to explore the new street. Well friends, I ended up running all the way to my yoga studio and back, right at 6 miles. Damn.

I could definitely feel my legs struggling - plus the arm holding my water bottle was getting pretty tired just because of the added weight. But I just kept going. I could have stopped and turned around after about a mile and a half - but I wanted to keep going. I wanted to keep exploring. So I just trucked along, with no idea how much farther I was going to go, and no idea how much time I was taking to do it.

It really does make such a difference when the weather is nice. I could have taken a couple more pictures when I was running across the overpass of the highway, because you could see the mountains in the distance - but I was getting annoyed at how much I had to stop because of all the stoplights. Damn city. Sometimes I just want to live in the country, you know?

Almost halfway through
The other bad thing about running through uncharted territory is that there's no telling if there will be a sidewalk. I ended up running in the street for about a half a mile, as close to the edge as I could manage, which forced my right foot to be higher than my left foot because of the sloping. Now my leg kind of really hurts. Oh well.

I am so, so surprised by this pace! I mean when I think about it, it really didn't take 54:30 because of the amount I was pausing the workout (you can see midst the green that there are splotches of red and yellow where I slowed down for the lights), it honestly took almost an hour and twenty minutes I would say, but oh well. That pace is awesome and I'm really proud of it, after having done a month of treadmill runs.

Pretty even pacing- I guess I was really ready for the run to be over with after Mile 5, but I'm so pleased to see that my first mile was the slowest and the last mile was the fastest. That's always my goal. I always feel the push to go fast in that first mile, but the rest of my run suffers if I succumb to those urges. You have to start slow to become fast! Warm up is the most important part!!

I'm so happy to be running again and it really reminded me that I need to do it more than once a week, and I need to do it outside. Whenever I see the sun, I just need to go and run - even if it's just a miles or two.

Have you been running outside recently?

The Yoga Mindset

Yesterday my friend Sam posted an article on her Facebook and tagged me in it, asking me what I thought. The article in question is about a girl that goes to a pay-what-you-can yoga studio, and how she felt that only skinny, white people attended class, and the plight that a "heavy-set" black woman who, in the author's eyes, "tried" to take class must have felt. Basically it was an extremely condescending and presumptuous article with traces of racism subtly woven through. But I digress--that's not really what I wanted to talk about.

I wanted to talk about what I'll call the Yoga Mindset. This is something that I imagine being at the ultimate peace with yourself and others - something that I'm sure everyone strives for, practicing yoga or not. Who knows if I'll ever achieve this kind of zen, or if anybody ever really does, but for the purpose me talking about it, that's what I think it is.

Get Zen Hot Yoga has been an awesome experience so far. The studio and the teachers are really great, the classes are wonderful, and I'm always a sweaty mess afterwards. I always leave with a good feeling of accomplishment. The studio is growing - with the combination of New Year's Resolutions and Groupons, I'd say the attendance size just about doubled in the last month. Now, this is both bad and good. Good: Lots of energy to feed off of, you can fade into the background if you want, and the room is always nice and warm because of all the body heat. Bad: It's super crowded in class, filled with people who don't quite know what they're doing.

A crowded class - can you find me?*
I understand that there are beginners and we all have to start somewhere - that's not what this is about. But, being a beginner means that you don't necessarily know the rules right off the bat. That's fine. That's why the teachers encourage you to ask questions and to read the little signs printed outside the two entrances to the Hot Room. Most of the rules are common sense (bring a towel, yoga mat, and water; don't leave class before it ends), but maybe not to the newbies who have never taken a hot yoga class before. That's fine! Just... read the rules before you start something new. Follow directions. Be respectful.

Last night, I went to Yoga Sculpt. This class is a different animal entirely, as it's more of a body pump class than a yoga flow (vinyasa) class, and it involves weights. At Get Zen Hot Yoga, they use upbeat music during their Vinyasa classes- and naturally, the Yoga Sculpt class follows suit. If Yoga Sculpt happened to be your very first class at Get Zen Hot Yoga, I could understand that maybe you thought it was a different kind of class altogether - not a "normal" yoga class that you think of when you think of the word "yoga" (meditation, "ohms", no weights/loud music, etc.), so you thought that maybe the regular yoga rules wouldn't apply to this class?

Back to my point.. so I went to class and it was really crowded, which I was prepared for. I unrolled my mat and set my water bottle down in the front row, and then left the room to put the rest of my clothes with my stuff outside. I came back just as someone was laying down his mat next to mine. This wouldn't be of interest, except for the fact that it was SO CLOSE to mine that it was almost comical. And there were plenty of other spots in the room. It completely baffled me why he would set his mat SO close to someone elses... I realized he probably must be new. Fine. So, I moved my mat farther away from his and it was fine. A small hiccup.

As I was sitting down, I noticed that there were two distinct groups of people chatting... inside the Hot Room. Most of the time I think some quiet greetings are okay, but these were full blown un-hushed conversations that I could hear every detail of. I mean, what?! I was annoyed, to say the least. I just wanna get my yoga on and zone out, I don't really want to hear about how your mundane day went. So, I just laid down like I usually do before class, closed my eyes, and tried to tune them out.

Then one of the ladies snickered, "Oooh...whoops. I guess we're supposed to be meditating," in what I can only assume was in response to seeing me trying to relax before class. And that just made my blood boil. She had the gall to make fun of me (because I can only assume that's what she was doing!) for doing exactly what I was supposed to be doing - not talking - while she was doing exactly what she wasn't supposed to be doing - talking. And devaluing my yoga practice in the process. How dare she?!

I understand that people can take out their insecurities in different ways. I'm pretty sure this was one of her first classes - she was in the back row, and I mean, the incessant talking at the beginning of class showed a clear desire to not be focused for the class ahead. I've done that kind of stuff before - trying to distract myself from a huge looming commitment. I see now that she was clearly nervous about the class and took out her anxiety on seeing me trying to focus. And of course now I'm not irritated anymore. But damn. When will people learn that their words and actions affect others??

Back to The Yoga Mindset and that article. This is the response that I wrote:
"i really dislike the assumptions the author makes in this article about the woman in question. what if she was just having a bad day/was sick/just came back from vacay and wanted to relax in a hot room with awesome energy all around her? who is the author to say that she was "glancing around anxiously, [...] looking wide-eyed and nervous"? has she never heard of Bitchy Resting Face? sometimes our faces echo feelings that our brain doesn't feel. and i don't know about her, but i spend a good 30 seconds adjusting my clothes before class starts to make sure everything is straightened out before i'm drenched in sweat. "I watched as her despair turned into resentment and then contempt. I felt it all directed toward me and my body." well yeah, she could probably feel you staring at her for the last hour, how would you feel?! regardless of size, shape, color, level.... just respect the person next to you (this applies to y'know, life as well), whether they spend the entire class in child's pose or whether they're doing all the crazy modifications. it doesn't mean they're tired, it doesn't mean they're showing off. just let them be and focus on YOU."
One of my favorite ideas is "you do you, and I'll do me". As long as you're not hurting someone else, I can respect whatever you do/believe, as long as you also respect what I'm doing/believing. If I want to lay on my mat and close my eyes for a few minutes before an hour of Yoga Sculpt, respect that decision. If I look over and see you in child's pose for 30 minutes out of 60, I will respect that decision and not judge you any further. Who knows what you wanted out of class that day... maybe that's what you came to do. Who am I to decide? Why is it any of my business? Who really cares?

The Yoga Mindset, something I strive for and hope that everyone else strives for, is just this kind of thinking - I'll do me, and you'll do you, and we'll respect each other and love each other for it. And that'll be that. No conflict, no disrespect. Mutual respect. No idea why that's so hard for people to recognize.

Rant over!

*You can see me in the top left of the picture, front row, through the mirror. I have a blue water bottle next to me. :)

January 29, 2014

Admission Wednesday: Weights On and Off My Shoulders

I admit... My diet has not been going well. Wedding Stress has lead to bowls of ice cream, desserts at restaurants, pastries at Starbucks, and wine. I'm trying to get my nutrition back to what it was in December (though not as strict as South Beach), but moderation is sometimes a hard pill to swallow for me. I frequently think "Go Big or Go Home", and need to separate myself from that mindset.

I admit... I watched all 3 Lord of the Rings movies with the cast commentary while I addressed envelopes last week, and I will never get bored of that trilogy. Even though I binge-watched it with my Dallas friends for 12 hours at the beginning of this month, I'm still not sick of it. Never ever.

I admit... When I sent off my Save The Dates on Monday, I felt a huge wave of relief... immediately followed by the next weight on my shoulders, The Invitations. Ack.

I admit... Speaking of weights, Yoga Sculpt is one of the hardest things I've done in a long, long time. We spend most of the time in a squat (chair pose) while we do various arm exercises (with weights), and then kill our legs even more by doing squat pulses and lunges. My whole body is always on fire after that class, and I take it only twice a week.

I admit... Leaving my apartment is the hardest thing about going to yoga. Even though I know in my heart that it always makes me feel better. Even though I seem to have some kind of injury every time I write these posts (this time my lower back kind of hurts, though my jaw and shoulder from previous Admission Wednesdays have totally healed). I have to remind myself I really do feel better overall.

I admit... I made a fool of myself yesterday in class trying to do a handstand against the wall and never nailed it. On Monday, the teacher helped me with it and I held it for a few seconds, so I guess that's something?

I admit... I'm getting really excited about our honeymoon! We met with a travel agency yesterday and talked all about it, and should be booking soon. And I don't even care that it's probably going to be at some all-inclusive resort that thousands of couples have been on, I'm just excited that it'll be someplace warm, tropical, and romantic. Less of this weather would be great:

I admit... Seeing friends always makes me happy and I should do it more often. I love our group. We're all gonna get together for the Superbowl and it's gonna be awesome!! It hasn't been since like, 1995 or something that my city's team has been in the game (poor Cowboys...).

Photo Taken by Sam's awesome phone :)

Happy Birthday, Aaron!
I admit... I need to think positive more often.

Previous Admission Wednesdays:

January 22: Yoga and A Bunch of Wedding Feelings
January 15: Yoga and Pain

January 27, 2014

Awesome Weather, No Outside Running

Friday must be my day to run, because I took to the treadmill again last Friday and pounded out 4 miles.

I really hate the treadmill because I feel like it's making my Nike+ misrecord my actual time. Google is telling me that misrecord isn't an actual word but whatever. According to the treadmill, 4.25 miles in 42 minutes and 31 seconds is an Average Pace of 10 minutes a mile, almost to the dot. But that's of course after I had already slowed down. But, according to Nike+, I ran a 10'11" mile. Not accurate!! I feel anal about it because it's messing up my totals, haha!

Even though we've had some awesome, AWESOME weather this past week, I still can't force myself to go outside and run. I've grown so tired of running around downtown, even though the last time I did it was back in November.

There's just something about running around the same buildings, getting caught by the same red lights, dodging around the same smokers, that really just makes me tired even before I walk out the door.

But damn, you really can't beat those views!

Yoga is going well - I've been every day (sometimes twice a day) since I started on January 13, for a total of 16 classes so far. I'm doing good and can feel myself getting stronger! Makes me SUPER sweaty though...

Ick- practically see through!
I know you wanted to see that!

How are your workouts going?

January 22, 2014

Admission Wednesday: Yoga and A Bunch of Wedding Feelings

I admit... I tweaked my shoulder from doing too many chaturangas this week. I go too far down, to where my shoulders are lower than my elbows, which is apparently terrible technique. In class yesterday, a teacher I had never taken before took the time to show us how to correctly perform the chaturanga dandasana, which is to only go so far down as to where your elbows are in line with your shoulders, then push up to updog without touching the floor. I had always been going all the way down, touching the floor, and then lifting everything for updog. Totally wrong technique!!

This is my current state:
An icepack under the robe :(
I admit... I am absolutely dreading addressing all these Save The Dates that arrived yesterday. Even though I said yesterday that I was excited to get this done... I mean, who really wants to address these things all day?

I admit... I'm also at a total loss as to who to send these to. My mom says to send them to people who we really want to come to the wedding, and family. I mean.. okay. That's our whole invite list. Why would we invite anyone we wouldn't really want to be there? JW says to just start addressing and seeing where we end up. I'm just worried that I'm going to screw something up and offend somebody.

Soooo many to address...
I admit... I'm getting frustrated about my bachelorette party. We're planning a getaway to La Jolla, CA to tour some wineries there and generally just have a little mini vacation in March. I sent out a feeler e-mail to all of my 15 prospective guests to see if that would be something they would be able to do money-wise, and most of them responded with enthusiasm that they couldn't wait and it sounded awesome. So my sister and I went ahead and rented a house to cut down on hotel costs (of course that's dependent on how many people come)... and now I've only gotten 5 Yes RSVP's. All the other responses have been no, for money issues. This would have been okay if people hadn't initially said that they were totally excited to go! Now the house is going to be twice as expensive for the people that can go.... Ugh. /rant

I admit... I sound really whiny sometimes. I promise I'm so grateful for the friends that are willing to fly to another state to meet me and celebrate me becoming a Mrs. I'm so grateful that I have that opportunity as well. I really am extremely understanding of all my other friends that can't come because of other obligations or money issues... I promise I understand, I do. Even though I'm admitting to a feeling of frustration over things I can't control (because that's really the issue here), that doesn't mean that it's merited. Just being honest.

A building being demolished outside our apartment today. Random but oddly relevant... metaphor for being honest and chipping away at my "tough" exterior??

I admit... I don't feel very much like a ~*Bride*~. Maybe no bride really does? But I feel like everything is super stressful and I'm freaking out about everything and I have to go out of my way to get things done. Aren't things supposed to be done... for me? It sounds completely selfish but I mean, just like birthdays, this is the only time in my life I can be really, really selfish and picky and everybody understands. Maybe it's because I don't have a wedding planner (who wants to pay for that?!), but lots of responsibilities are being placed on my shoulders, where I feel like they shouldn't be. I don't mean to discredit my mom and my sister - they are doing so much for me and I am so grateful - but.. I don't know. There's a general feeling of stress and worry that I'm carrying that probably won't go away until after the wedding is over, that I feel should not be there.

Chocolate, the ultimate healer (Chocolate Martini from Dilettante in Seattle)
I admit... I want to care about the wedding day, and I want it to be perfect. But the amount of effort, planning, and money it would take to make it "perfect" makes me want to not care about the wedding. And then I get a little depressed about it - because, isn't this time in my life supposed to be magical and what I've always been dreaming about since I was a little girl? Shouldn't every aspect of it be meticulous? Shouldn't I bask in the engagement phase and treasure this time? Well, if I'm supposed to, I'm not - I'm just anxious for it to be over, really. I feel isolated out here, so far away from my family as well as where the wedding will take place, and I feel so displaced sometimes.

Seattle: Wet Streets and Sunlight (go figure)
I admit... Despite all of the above, I am happy, and I am in love with the best and most supportive man I have ever known, and I cannot wait to call him my husband.

Silly guy.
Trying to end on a positive note.. got any wedding planning advice?? :)

Previous Admission Wednesdays:

January 15: Yoga and Pain

January 21, 2014

Treadmill Miles Lately

I've ran on the treadmill three times since I last posted about running, so I decided to bunch them all in the same post. Honestly it's nothing of consequence - just some speed runs, to make sure my running fitness stays the same.

Once I started daily yoga on the 13th, I hadn't touched the treadmill. 6 days total! It had almost been a whole week of no running, but because of my new resolution, I forced myself to go to the gym:

For this workout, I started at 6.0 and went up in .5 increments every .5 miles.

Mile 0-0.5: 6.0 mph
Mile 0.5-1: 6.5 mph
Mile 1-1.5: 7.0 mph
Mile 1.5-2: 7.5 mph
Mile 2-2.5: 7.0 mph
Mile 2.5-3: 6.5 mph

My pretty face after all this was done:

Yumm, the taste of sweat.
Yoga's been going really well - I went to two classes yesterday, Hatha and Power, 6 hours apart from each other. It felt great. I can tell that I'm getting more flexible, my jaw pain is gone, and it's slowly etching away at all the stress that's accumulated in my brain from all the wedding stuff.

Wedding To-Dos For January: 
Finish Registering (We spent 3 hours at Macy's on Saturday... still not even halfway done!)
Find a Florist (nobody is e-mailing me back!)
Find Speakers/Sound Board for Reception
Book Honeymoon! (this is a HUGE stress)
Talk with our officiant 
Address and Send out Save The Dates (these should be coming in tomorrow! Can't wait to get this done..)

How are your work-outs going?

January 16, 2014

Revised Resolutions

We've just past the halfway point of January, and I'm betting that a lot of us are giving up on our 2014 Resolutions. If we haven't yet, we're about to. That's kind of how I'm feeling with my resolutions - I haven't really been running, so my previous goal to run more miles than I did last year is fading farther and farther away. I've also signed on for a year of yoga, which is different.

So I thought that called for some revised resolutions.
  • Run at least 3 miles a week. Very very different from my initial resolution of running 950 miles this year... but I'm keeping this a low-commitment resolution because I should still keep running, just not as intensely as I was when I was marathon training. That's not to say that I won't complete another marathon this year, and that's not to say that I'll still surpass my mileage from last year. I'm just taking a little bit of the pressure off.
  • Go to 300 classes of yoga by the end of the year. With all the traveling I'll be doing this year, it'll be hard to go every day. But if I have it in my head to go to the Power/Restore combo each week, that's extra classes already if I go every day that I can. Basically I'm going to try and go as much as I can, and putting a number next to it is helpful for me. 
  • Say "Yes" more. Sometimes I shy away from invitations to go out in favor of comfort, but there's really no reason I should. I always have fun and am always glad I went, so I shouldn't question it - I should just go!
  • More positive thinking. This goes without saying and is pretty self explanatory.
  • Get out of bed before 10am every day. If I don't, my sleep schedule is immediately thrown off and I feel like I've wasted half the day. 
Today I'm going to my very first Yoga Sculpt class at Get Zen - wish me luck!

Any revised resolutions? 

January 15, 2014

Admission Wednesday: Yoga and Pain

Rather than these "Confession" posts I've been seeing around blogs, I decided to add my own little twist and call it "Admission Wednesdays" because I feel like it, hah!

I admit... that I've taken three yoga class in the past two days and it's been really wonderful. Two Power classes, and one Restore class!

I admit... I must have been clenching my jaw the whole time during the 1 hour Power class followed by the 1 hour Restore class, because I left with this terrible jaw pain on my right side. Not really TMJ (or maybe it is, I'm no doctor), but more like under the jaw, along the neck area.  I can't really yawn or chew without this annoying twinge...

I admit... I think it's really weird to leave a relaxing yoga class with tension pain since that's kind of the whole point. Oh well.

I admit... I slept on an ice back on one side of my face rather than a pillow last night. It wasn't that comfortable.

I admit... I'm putting off going back to yoga until later tonight to give myself a bit of a break.

I admit... that despite all of the above, I've really been enjoying the yoga classes and the teachers, and I feel really strong! I got my headstand back!

Any "admissions" of your own?

January 13, 2014

A Year of Yoga and some Wedding Plans

Well... I did it. I bought an unlimited membership at Get Zen Hot Yoga for one full year. It expires on January 12, 2015 and that's so far into the future that I can't even think about it!

Out of the three Bellevue yoga studios that I've tried, Get Zen Hot Yoga has been my favorite. It doesn't sound like a lot of studios, but since each had their own introductory offers with their own pricing, it added up over time. Bikram Yoga Bellevue was way too intense, and I didn't really like the teachers. Hot Yoga, Inc. was wayyyy too hot, though the teachers were okay, I didn't get much out of the classes except a bunch of my own sweat.

Get Zen is the perfect amount of heat, and I absolutely love all the teachers at the studio. I took my first class today - Power - and loved it! I'm working on my headstand because I can't seem to do it even after all those times during Christmas break.

Wedding Update:
We've got our cake baker! I also had my first fitting done, so I got my shoes. Still on the fence about those... We still need to find a florist, wedding rings, and bridesmaid dresses.. eek. So much to do!!

January 11, 2014

Hot Yoga, Inc.

I decided to tackle a different yoga studio, Hot Yoga, Inc., which is within walking distance from my apartment.  I really enjoyed my time at Get Zen Yoga, and I was really missing it, so I figured why not?

They have a deal going on that's 10 classes for $10, so I figured even if I hated it, it would be money well spent. Today was Hatha, which really isn't my favorite, but I had mentally prepared myself to just get through it and try and enjoy the class.

Class #1: It was an odd experience. I walked into the studio and wasn't greeted warmly - it was almost with, dare I say it, annoyance? - and hastily shuffled through the sign-up process on the iPad they had set up. UP being the operative word - it was standing upright, not flat on the table. The iPad was really annoying - I would rather type in my information on a keyboard than chicken-peck my way through typing all my info, all on a surface that was standing upright, no less! Ugh.

After I signed in, I had to ask where the changing rooms were and where I could put my stuff. The guy was like, "oh yeah... it's around the corner..." Idk y'all it was just super unfriendly and unwelcoming. But I brushed it aside and figured the dude was in a funk or something. I changed, and then went into the hot room.

OH dear lord. It was so SO SOOOO hot. Get Zen Yoga must be operating at lower temperatures, because Hot Yoga Inc felt just like The Yoga Element (formerly Bikram Yoga Bellevue) did. I felt like I almost couldn't breathe, it was so intense. And the floor was this weird texture, that absorbed the heat - so it got so hot that as I was walking on it, I was almost uncomfortable - it felt like hot coals. Like, what. Who does that. Ow.

The hot room was enormous, which was great - lots of room to spread out. But, once the teacher started talking, it was so echo-y in the room that it was sometimes hard to understand him. Fortunately I was in the center so I was near him most of the time, but still, it was distracting.

Hatha sucks, end of story. I had to sit down several times because of the heat, and I felt shaky at the end, even though I had drunk plenty of water.

When class ended, I got out of there as quickly as possible. They had benches outside, which was nice, so I went in my yoga clothes to sit outside to try and calm down. I looked down and saw that the surface of my skin was literally steaming. Steaming!

Class #2: I walked in and after I wrote down my name and phone number, and then told them my phone number (annoying - at Get Zen you just type it in), I was immediately held to the desk by the girl sitting behind it trying to upsell me. I swear she threw like 17 different figures in my face... so much information for someone who's trying to like, relax enough to endure the 132834 degree temperature room. I kept trying to inch away and say "Good to know!" but she just kept talking. She asked me how yesterday's session went, and I just said, "Hot." and she said, "Yeah?? Challenging, right?" with this smile that made me just want to smack her in the face.

So annoying - I hate it when people try to upsell me. If your product is good enough, I'll ask about it, you know?? (I know it's their job. I've worked in a job where it was my job to upsell, so I understand. I still don't like it.)

It was a little more tolerable today than it was yesterday, but still really hot. Today was Power, which I think I just enjoy better than Hatha/Bikram. However, for the poses that required to put your foot somewhat off the mat, I couldn't - my feet were BURNING anytime they were off the mat. At one point, even my towel was too hot and I had to sprinkle some of my much-needed water on it. Like, what the hell?

There was a lady next to me who was just doing her own damn thing. Bird of Paradise when we were in Child's Pose, doing an arm balance while we were in Crescent Lunge... like, what? And then she left early. And was talking to the front desk for a loonngg time afterward. I think she didn't feel well or something, and I kind of wanted to be like, well duh, you didn't listen to the teacher at all and just had your own little class there, didn't cha?

Class #3: I decided to give myself a rest day. I had a lot of errands to run today and I really wanted to get the class out of the way, so I bit the bullet and woke up at 5:20 to go to the 6am Power class. The fact that it was Power really motivated me to go, because I just like Power better.

I'm not sure if it was because everyone is half asleep or the types of people that teach/come to class are different, but this was a much better class. When I walked in, the instructor said hello and after I told him my phone number, he said my name and then told me to have a great class. My kind of guy! During class, he seemed to know what he was doing (though he messed up and forgot one thing on the left side of one of the asanas - so minor, though) and was loud enough so I could hear him. The music was the back-beat of all my favorite songs - Coldplay, Lana Del Ray, you name it. So I just sung along in my head and it made the time pass much faster.

I still had to sit down a bunch of times and I still think the heat is a bit too much and they would do well to turn it down. But I had a much more positive experience today than I had the previous two classes. I went outside again to sit down, except this time I didn't put my shoes on before I left - YIKES concrete is cold when it's 40 degrees! Such a difference between feeling like I'm walking on coals to feeling like I'm walking on ice! My poor, poor feet.

Two dudes absolutely wiped (sorry, dudes)- can you see the steam coming off the guy closest to me?
Wasn't completely miserable, so this was the most subtle silly face I could muster
Dark as night at 7am
Class #4: Soooooo so much better than previous experiences. Took 4 days off. The annoying front desk girl greeted me again, this time only with questions of how my classes were going. (What does she expect me to say?) But other than that, the environment was great. I really like this teacher - she taught the noon Power class I took on Day 2. This was the 9:30 Hatha (Bikram) class, and I didn't have to sit down during any of it! I was so proud of myself, and I felt really strong.

Day #5: Took 2 days off. As soon as I walked into this 10:00 Saturday Power class, I knew I would hate it - the whole studio was permeated with the stank of 1000 sweaty bros who hadn't showered in years. The whole. studio. Oh my god, it was SUCH a bad smell I wondered if I could endure it for a whole hour. The actual hot room wasn't much better - seriously, a bunch of dudes (because only a guy could emit that kind of smell) must have worked for a week on the farm and not taken a shower and then did Hot Yoga. SO. So. bad.

The class itself was okay - I had to sit down a few times, but it wasn't as positive as class #4. I was happy when it was over.

I'm halfway through my classes, so I've paid $2 for each class and I kind of feel okay with that. I really really don't like this studio. I have until Jan 10th to take 5 more classes if I really want to, but I feel like I won't.

Day #6: Well, after two and a half weeks of a break from this studio, and gorging myself on every Christmas dessert there was, I returned. I went back to my very last eligible class on my very last day just so I could do a little more than 5 classes. When I came in, I asked if tomorrow (the 9th) would be my last day, or if January 10th would be my last day, since I had started December 10th. I was told that it wasn't "a month" of classes, but 30 days of classes - and since December has 31 days, today (the 8th) was actually my last class. OH DARN.

I went in, and it was still just as hot as it had been, but thankfully it didn't stink to high heaven. This was a power class, and I had taken the teacher before, so I was ready to just sweat it out. It was a pretty good class - lots of hamstring stretches and different arm balances that I had never tried before. It was challenging and I didn't have to sit down, which I was very proud of! I even stayed up all the way for the forearm plank hold for 1 minute.

I was proud of myself and recognized that I had gotten stronger, but ultimately I decided that the studio was just not right for me. More negative thoughts entered my mind than positive and that's not what I'm after.

I forgot to mention that during the 30 days, they called me 3 separate times to try and get me on as a member. Annoying.

Well, hopefully someone looking up reviews for Hot Yoga Inc will read these and realize that the Bellevue location is really really REALLY hot and is kind of just unpleasant in general. Onto the next yoga studio!

January 10, 2014

January is Hard, and More Resolutions

There's something about January that makes goals so much harder to achieve for me. Sure, it's the month of all the resolutions and getting a great start to the new year, but I guess it's because I'm still stubbornly clinging to the relaxing vibe of the holiday season. I don't want it to end!

Unfortunately, it has to end sometime. That's what makes it so special, right?

I'm back in Seattle now, but here are my workouts since I last posted:

30 degrees!!!

3 Miles by myself on January 6th. Something really bad almost happened - I was adjusting my Flipbelt and wasn't really looking where I was going, and then found myself running on a sheet of ice:

Not cool!!
The bottom right side of the screen is their neighbor's dry yard
Frozen bushes
There's something so unsettling about losing your footing while running. The house had a For Sale sign in the front, so clearly they had left the sprinklers on a cycle while it was freezing which resulted in the above. I had a few moments of panic - also the sidewalk goes in a downward slope- and I was convinced I was about to bite it just like I did the week before. Thankfully I just kind of hopped quickly over to the main part of the street so I was off the sidewalk and had enough friction to stop. Whew!

That night, I had a great night with a few of my friends from Dallas.

The next day, I ran two miles with my dog:

He was a little sassy about it.

And then I left for Seattle that night. I've since come up with a better resolution for 2014: Say YES. 

I need to say YES to more opportunities and jobs, more trips to Seattle, more bonding moments with friends. If someone asks me to go somewhere, I will say YES (as long as it doesn't interfere with something that's already been scheduled). It's been going great so far!

How are your resolutions going?