Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Vegan or Raw Vegan

Simply vegan or fully raw vegan? This is something I have been toying with back and forth for a month or so now. I'm trying to find out what works best for my body so that I can fuel it with the best things. Being raw would give me total control over what I would or would not be missing from my diet. Staying simply vegan would mean I could cook my foods. They would still be nutritious but lacking certain qualities that uncooked food has.

Then there is the idea of being 80% raw, or basically eat raw all day until dinner. Fascinating idea and I can have my food in both worlds. I came upon the whole raw concept back in April I guess and it has intrigued me ever since. You don't cook anything at all BUT you can dehydrate things. Such an interesting concept. I have a few items to get before that would even be feasible. Currently I only have a round dehydrator but would need a square one and that thing looks awesome.

The item pictured above is something I would regret having to give up if I were to go completely raw. I'm not necessarily "addicted" to coffee more so as I'm addicted to the aspect of getting up and fixing a cup and enjoying its warmth and flavor. It doesn't give me a jolt of energy or jitters. I drink it because I love coffee and the act of drinking it. I've tried using green tea in it's place, but it didn't come close to matching the joy I get from a good ole cup of joe!

So my dilemma becomes to go raw and leave coffee behind or 80-20 raw? I think only time will tell really. I plan to go for one week being raw just to see how it goes. I'll report on my findings!

Yours in health!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Wow. It Has Been FOREVER since I've written!!

I was looking at the date and staring in disbelief!! I can't believe it's been since February. My meditation is still crazy bad, and I've digressed in my practice. After opening my studio things went a little crazy and hectic. I should have never opened it really. I should have looked around for a place to teach at BEFORE signing a lease. Now I'm stuck in a lease with no real interest in the yoga.

Heck, I've lost touch with MY practice because I was so busy teaching. I've always been told that teaching yoga and practicing yoga is two totally different things. Guess I should have listened because it is spot on the money. I love practicing way more than teaching. Not to mention, I had someone ask me if I wanted to take something I loved and turn it into work. Too bad they didn't ask me that before I did everything to open my business. I would have reconsidered.

I enjoy teaching, but not at the expense where I see everyone as a dollar sign to help pay bills. I literally don't have enough people to pay my bills and when I lose folks it's like a knife is stuck in my stomach as I think of a way to recreate that money that I just lost. Thankfully, the women that come to my studio have become like family and are doing everything they can to help me out of this mess I've created for myself.

Since February, I have moved, broken my lease for the studio, and am actively coaching for Team Beachbody. I've fell in love with Insanity and Focus T25. They are amazing, fun, and very challenging. I do love a challenge. I'm currently working to get my practice back together from the pieces it is in and I meditate from time to time. I even have a nifty little app on my phone for it ;).

There is so much that I could tell you, but I wouldn't even know where to start. That and I wouldn't want to bore you too much. Thankfully, my husband has a job and I can stay home with my son. It's very lovely and makes for an easy way to plan my day. Sort of. I have to plan around a child haha. Time for me to get up earlier to practice AND workout. My practices will be the modified versions of Ashtanga. I still love that practice the most. I'm partial ;)

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Learning to Meditate

This is definitely a trying task. I am a wiggle worm (much like my son) and so trying to sit still for an extended period of time is almost painful. I am constantly moving, but with my teacher training I am required to meditate at least every day and doing so is difficult for me.

I sit down on my meditation cushion and set my timer, close my eyes and try to focus inward. This lasts for about 3 minutes until I get fidgety. Ugh. I know things take time but for a week now I've not managed longer than 10 minutes for meditation.

How do people manage this for multiple hours? Actually, I know the answer for that.. practice. "Practice, practice, practice... all is coming" I'm impatient though. I guess my gunas are out of balance.

I'll keep practicing and try to get things under control.. or at least manageable.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Short Forms... Ashtanga

One of the things my teacher is having me do is practice David Swenson's Short Forms from his Practice Manual.

So far, it has been helpful in gaining my strength back since being post-partum. It's definitely a whole new experience trying to make my way back into my practice. I have to find my balance again in certain postures and strength in others.

Currently I'm practicing the 30 minute short form but am hoping to work my way up to the 45 minute short form by next week. Of course, I'm not going to push myself since I don't want to rush the process but it's definitely a process of getting back into the groove of things.

So far things are going good though. I've been trying to practice in the mornings but with my son sometimes sleeping well and then not fine other nights, it's hard to maintain a schedule. So, I'm just rolling with the flow and practicing when I can and not being upset by it. I just have the mentality of "at least I'm practicing now" :).

"Everything is in perfect order, even when it's a perfect mess" - My teacher

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Post Training :)

This past weekend was a bunch of bad, good, and great all wrapped in one!

The bad came in to play when there was snow on the ground and it began to ice UNDER the snow and I ended up sliding down a small hill into the rear end of a vehicle coming from the left. It was horrible!! All I could do was watch it play out in front of me because I couldn't stop my car. Everyone was ok, nothing really hurt except my pride. Bragging isn't a good thing and I was just talking before this accident that I was adept at driving in the snow (I didn't say ice though).

The good came from my teacher and her husband coming to my rescue and my teacher riding with me back to her place that morning. It was a relief to have someone ride with me after that little bump.

The great was the training!! Even though it was only Orientation, "What is Yoga?", and Anatomy discussion this weekend it was pretty awesome. Granted I have a lot of studying to do before next weekend! So I have to get on that! :)


Thursday, January 31, 2013

HOLY cow!!

After the studio, where I was originally enrolled for a teacher training, canceled their course due to a lack of people signing up I scrambled to find a new place to receive training. I was so nervous I wouldn't find a suitable course that I both liked and would enjoy. I even considered going out of state far away for a month... which would put me away from my son for that length of time. I was heartbroken.

HOWEVER, things have changed drastically! I found a woman who conducts one-on-one trainings. Most of you might think it odd that she conducts one-on-one trainings but I find it quite reassuring. I love that there will be more personal training for me. She has people she works with at a studio in Franklin, Tn act as class members for me to teach to get hands on and I will also be "interning" in classes that she leads. :) I'm really excited.

She's had training in numerous different aspects of yoga (Ayurveda, thai yoga massage, yoga for soldiers, cancer patients, yoga as therapy, etc). She's deeply sincere about her practice and helping others achieve a meaningful and well balanced practice.

I start this weekend after I drove 5 hours north of my house to meet with her for an hour and then drive 5 hours back south to my house. It was a good meeting and I felt immediately at ease around her!! :)

Monday, January 21, 2013

Unsure with myself...

I think I'm losing myself with my impatience as I wait for the declaration of whether I'll be attending the teacher training or not. While my practice is getting "stronger" my mind is beginning to wander some.

Have any of you heard of It's Yoga? They are Ashtanga "based".. meaning they use the Primary and Intermediate series to form their own set sequences. It's actually quite intriguing. They have what's called Rocket and it's basically supposed to get you through the series "faster". While I don't exactly agree with that mind frame; it is nevertheless an interesting theory that I would like information on.

In regards to TurboFire, I think I'm losing interest slowly...

Friday, January 18, 2013


Much like my practices these days......

What are your feelings on Hot Yoga in the lineage of Bishnu Ghosh, but not exactly through Chouhdury?

Just found out that my teacher training may be canceled if they don't find 3 more folks. I'm quite saddened by this finding. I was ready to dive in come February, and still may, but only time will tell. :/

I'm looking for alternatives and found a Hot Yoga training but am skeptical.....

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


I think... and this is a big think..

I think I'm going to start videoing myself during practice. I want to document how I am progressing and well video seem like the way to go. I'm sort of skeptical though. I am not in the best of shape at the moment. (still have a bit of baby weight that has refused to go away)

At the moment the only thing that I can use to video myself practicing is my laptop.. not sure how well this will work but I'm willing to give it a go. Once I've amassed enough videos I may post a chopped version of it on here to show how far I've regressed and how far I want to go.

I have approximately two weeks until my teacher training and am trying to gain a bit of my flexibility and strength back. I've postponed my Ashtanga practice for the moment because my teacher, whom I'm receiving my training from, advised me to branch out just for now since the training is in Vinyasa style versus Ashtanga. So, I've been using YogaGlo for practicing and am liking what I've been practicing so far.

Not sure if I'll maintain a Vinyasa based practice once this is all said and done but we'll see. I still have strong feelings for my Ashtanga practice and hope that by building back strength and flexibility through these practices I will be able to dive back into Ashtanga and take my practice back to where it was. We'll see though.

For now I'm reading and trying to learn a few things.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Committing a yogic sin?

Today.....today. I committed a sin against Ashtanga yoga. Rather than complete my normal practice, I did a flow sequence. I found one taught by Seane Corn on YogaGlo and decided to press play.

WOW! That was not what I'm used to but..... It was invigorating. Would it be wrong to complete three days of Ashtanga and three days of flow? I mean obviously my Ashtanga practice wouldn't be as strong, but I'm tempted to try it for a few weeks.

I think my urge to branch out stems from the fact that I'm stuck at the Fundamental section of the Primary series. Sure, I could modify my way through the practice, but the correct way is to go only as far as you can. Only moving forward when you're ready. And I'm not ready to go past the fundamentals. Or well, not past utthita hasta padangusthasana at least. I tend to fall out of that one a bit.

Should I feel guilty? Or should I maybe combine practices since my Ashtanga practice isn't quite up to par yet?

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Vegan or Vegetarian?

I'm going through an internal debate as of late about whether to go straight vegan (plant based diet) or just being a vegetarian. This is a hard decision for me to make because my family is pretty devout on the meat eating. Heck my father-in-law basically said that going vegan/vegetarian is retarded (basically in a nut shell).

It's hard to consider any real change to a lifestyle when everyone around you makes you feel like it's the worst choice you could ever make. I say everyone but really mean nine out of ten folks. It also doesn't help that I live in a rural area and our grocery stores don't exactly get the best quality produce, or much produce at all for that matter.

Hopefully, next year I'll have a garden (maybe depending on circumstances) that way I can grow my own veggies to have an ample supply for my feasting. Fresh veggies are definitely more delectable than store bought.

The hardest thing for me to give up, I think, will be cheese and most definitely Potato Soup. I L-O-V-E POTATO SOUP!!! However, it has butter, milk, sour cream, and topped with cheese... therefore not exactly vegan friendly.

I'll be slowly removing things from my diet until I'm satisfied. Right now I've cut out meats (all but fish at least) and milk... I am hoping to gradually step forward and remove something else. Not sure what yet though.

What are your experiences with either being or becoming vegan/vegetarian? I could sure use some insight.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Cardio... Before or After Ashtanga?

I had an internal debate about whether I would continue working out with TurboFire while practicing Ashtanga. However, I think I'm going to continue as I'm going now. I've learned that if I start my Ashtanga practice AFTER my TurboFire practice my legs aren't as tight and I'm not sore the next day (unless I use muscles that aren't stretched in my Ashtanga practice).

It's quite exhilarating to workout and then practice. My body is warmed up and my muscles aren't stiff. I feel like I get a deeper stretch and my muscles aren't battling against me. However, I'm not sure I'll keep up the routine once I start getting up early for practice.

I reckon, if I wanted I could get up early and workout and THEN practice but I'm not sure how well that would work. I could definitely get my shower in before practice if that were the case though. Mostly because I'm sweating buckets after my TurboFire workout. I dripped all over my mat today after working out.

I've also been continuing my exploration of the Sutras, as well as, Teaching Yoga. I'm prepping for my teacher training that begins on Feb 1. I'm getting excited/nervous about it. I feel as if my postures aren't where they should be but I can't back out now because I'd lose my money. The best thing I can do is go into the training (which is over 4 months) and work on my postures, while also diving into the history and applications of teaching.

I haven't really dove too deep into the Teaching Yoga book but I'm getting there slowly. Lots of good information. One of my goals for this year is to start adding a 10-20 minute mediation at the end of my practice.. if not meditation then at least a reflection. For some reason, I think I remember reading that meditation shouldn't be practiced before asana is mastered and then pranayama shouldn't be practiced until meditation is mastered... or maybe I've got pranayama and meditation backwards. I need to read again what I read before concerning pranayama and meditation. I think I read about it in both Pranayama by Maehle and also Light on Yoga by BKS Iyengar.

Alas, more on my progress later :).

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Daily Routines... are they necessary?

I have often heard people describe their daily routines in great length. Most have stated that without their routine they would feel lost throughout the day. ON the other hand, I have never been a "routine" kind of gal. Usually, I get up when it's convenient to me and go about my day on a whim. Lately, I have been craving routine. Craving some sort of guidance for my day.

Currently I'm going through a 30-Day Challenge created by Chalene Johnson as a way to better organize my life and I am finding that my life is pretty erratic at the moment. Having a 9 week old son doesn't help the matter either. Nevertheless, Chalene takes you through a step-by-step process in an attempt to gain some sort of foothold on your life. I'm currently on Day 6 of the challenge and we are going over To-Do lists. I am HORRIBLE at To-Do lists but she claims that she can turn anyone into a master list maker. So I'm hoping she's right.

Anyway, this got me thinking about routines. I need to get my morning routine under control before I even think about tackling anything else during the day (routine wise). And with this thought it made me think of a post that a woman named Claudia wrote titled "7 Morning Habits For a Great Yoga Practice" and in this article she describes 7 things (obviously) that are necessity for morning routines. Her #2 would be my #1 because I have a big problem with it.

Anyways, here is her list of 7:
1. Silence, gratitude and question
3. Reading
4. Making Lists (see even she makes lists!!)
5. Coffee, yoga room setup and shower (Yes she showers BEFORE she practices--it's an Ashtanga thing)
6. Practice
AND last but not least......
7. Breakfast, shower and off to the day!

So for me my list would be the same except #'s 1 and 2 would be reverse... simply because I need to keep myself from my computer/phone/TV/email/etc in the mornings or I will be useless as I'm drawn into the fold of electronic networks. It's a very luring thing. Not to mention it lurks in my mind upon waking; "hm I wonder what's going on.. did I miss something.. etc" It's horrible to say but true. We've been come an age of computers and they dominate our lives.

My main objective with this 30-Day challenge is going to be to break my habits of habitually checking my phone and Facebook in the mornings before my practice and breakfast. Meaning that everything above "Breakfast, shower and off to the day" needs to be completed BEFORE I touch anything electronic.

Do you have a daily routine? I'd love to see what yours is.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Cardio and Yoga

Lately (or at least the past two weeks), I've been combining a cardio workout called TurboFire and my Ashtanga practice and am not sure how I like the combination yet. I began TurboFire to shed the baby weight I gained during pregnancy but am unsure of what will/would happen if I quit using the home workout DVDs.

I'm hoping that I can scale back on the workouts to about 3 times a week once I get down to the size I want to be at and then to further sculpt my muscles.

My only concern is that I'll also tighten them during the cardio and inhibit my Ashtanga practice. I would imagine it wouldn't affect it too bad, but my left shoulder is getting tight. Of course, that could also be from bad form during my workout.

I'm going to keep at it though. Trying to drop back into my pre-pregnancy jeans (if not smaller). I want to get into the best shape of my life. Mostly so I can chase my son around the pasture when he's older, because I'm quite positive that this little boy is going to try to out run me. He's stubborn just like his father ;).

On another note..... I made it all the way up to utthita hasta padangusthasana in practice this morning :). I was definitely wobbly but excited to make it to another pose. I've adjusted my goal though... I'm aiming for navasana by the end of January. I figure, I might as well go slow that way I don't hurt myself in the process of making my way through the Primary Series.

Thursday, January 3, 2013


Lately I've been working out with TurboFire and going over the nutritional guide. In the guide it states to eat 3 meals a day along with 2 snacks that follow a caloric guideline. Now, usually I would follow this but I'm finding it difficult.

I've read that Ayurveda guides people to eat 3 meals a day with lunch being the largest meal because your metabolism is strongest at this time.

How does one figure out which is the correct guidance?

I don't know if I should be eating 5-6 times a day or three meals a day. I feel more drawn to the idea of three meals a day but am.... torn.

Ultimately, I emailed a Ayurvedic Consultant to ask my questions and hope for some answers. At least describing why Ayurveda prescribes three meals and why the 5-6 meals would be wrong. I feel more inclined to follow the Ayurvedic traditions since it lines up more with yoga than Western theories.

On a good note... my practice is coming along nicely. :)