Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Thursday, December 03, 2009
Our monthly desktop wallpaper features a holiday greeting rather than a calendar. If you would like to download the full size image to use as your desktop wallpaper, just click on the image above and a larger image will open in a new window. Right click on that larger image and choose "Set As Background" from the menu list.
Tuesday, December 01, 2009
From now until Christmas YogaDudes is offering free shipping on any orders over $50. This offer is only good for orders being shipped within the United States. No special coupon code is needed. Your shopping cart will automatically adjust for the free shipping when your total reaches $50.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Monday, November 23, 2009
Sunday, November 22, 2009
After working so hard to get my yoga teaching certification I landed my first teaching gig. Several people in my town have expressed interest in yoga classes led by our parks and recreation department. The rec commission asked me to teach and I, of course, was thrilled. But now we are looking for space to hold the class and so far both churches in town have blatantly turned us down due to the “conflict with Christianity.”
I understand that the practice of yoga originally came from India and was originated by Buddhists, but people . . . let’s MOVE ON. Perhaps the people that are so against this evil thing called yoga should open their minds and maybe learn a little bit more about what goes on behind the closed doors of a yoga studio before they judge. And how Christian is it anyway to judge people and cast them aside if they don’t conform perfectly to their ideals? I wish they would understand that practicing yoga makes people more patient and better balanced. Wouldn’t the whole world be a better place if more people practiced yoga regularly?
Monday, November 16, 2009
We just added these holiday cards to the YogaDudes shop. Like the original holiday cards, these are actually postcards that have a simple “Happy Holidays” greeting on the back and come packaged in groups of 10 with envelopes. What a great way to extend your holiday wishes to your yoga students, teachers, and yogi friends.
And the best news is that we are running a special from now until Christmas. These cards have been marked down to just $5.50 per pack. Now is the time to stock up. Buy one design for this year and the other design for next year. Ho ho ho.
Shop for both card designs here.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Do you have any yogis on your holiday card mailing list? Are you an instructor that would like to wish your students Happy Holidays? What could be better than giving each of them one of these adorable cards by YogaDudes?
These cards are available in packs of 10 with envelopes. You can find them in the YogaDudes shop here.
Thursday, November 05, 2009
In preparation for my last trip I went searching for some free yoga mp3s that I could download to my phone or iPod. I find that even when I use yoga DVDs I often don’t need to look at the screen. It is sometimes awkward and difficult to do so. So finding audio only yoga routines seems like the a terrific idea.
I was delighted to find a very useful website called YogaDownload.com. Not only do they offer free 20 minute yoga routines for download, but they have boatloads of options if you are willing to pay a few bucks. Each class can be downloaded in a 20 minute, 30 minute, 60 minute, or sometimes even longer versions. And each class, despite its duration, also comes with a pose guide sheet in PDF format. This is just sheer brilliance.
And speaking of brilliance, I noticed one option was to build your own custom routine. All the different segments of a good yoga routine are broken into approximately 5 -10 minute sections. You can mix and match, pick and choose, and build your own custom routine. Each segment only costs $.50. That wasn’t a typo . . . 50 cents! And you also get the pose guides for each segment. Click here to view their customization page.
Not only will I use this site for my own personal practice, but it will become an excellent resource for building my first yoga classes. As a brand new instructor, I feel as though I struck gold! Up until finding this website, I was apprehensive and scared to teach my first class, but now I feel like I have years of yoga knowledge and guidance right at my fingertips. Thank you YogaDownload.
Sunday, November 01, 2009
Since I recently wrote on the topic of gratitude, I decided to make the YogaDudes November desktop calendar a reminder to be grateful for all your blessings. Just click on the image above to bring up the full-size version. Then right-click on it and "Save as Desktop."
Last month I experienced an excellent lesson on gratitude. My husband and I were on vacation for a couple of weeks in Europe. That alone should be grounds for plenty of gratitude, especially during these times of a suffering economy. But still, we managed to slip into the greedy mindset that so easily can take over. You see, we were driving in Northern Italy (outside of Milan, which is a very overcrowded and stressful big city). It was a Saturday evening and we were about 50 miles from our hotel when the traffic on the highway came to a near stand still. With each passing minute the tension level in the car got greater and my husband’s patience for Italian traffic dwindled rapidly. Because his mood (and stress level) directly impacts my mood (and stress level) I knew I needed to calm him down. I tried to come up with rationalization for why the traffic was so heavy and made guesses that perhaps it wouldn’t be this bad all the way back. My husband didn’t seem to fall for that wishful thinking. That was when I told him that the traffic couldn’t possibly be this heavy, this far from Milan city center and that there was likely an accident not too far in front of us. That is when I told him that our situation could have been much worse. After all, we could have been the unfortunate souls in the accident, rather than the ones being slightly inconvenienced by it. The more we thought about the consequences of getting into an accident, the potential to be seriously hurt (or worse), never mind the complications with insurance and health care in a foreign country. We both sat in silence for a few moments and realized how stupid and selfish we were being with our impatience. My husband reached over and grabbed my hand and said, “You’re completely right. We are so fortunate.”
Now this may sound like a good fiction story, but within minutes the traffic started to flow smoothly again. We never did see an accident, but for some unknown reason the traffic jam subsided and we effortlessly breezed right back to our hotel outside of Milan. The rest of the drive was incredible. We held hands and remembered the times, many years ago, when we would have done anything to just be together for a few hours. How easy it is to completely take each other, and our time together, for granted. It was such an awesome reminder about how important it is to be grateful for your blessings every day—not just on Thanksgiving.
Saturday, October 03, 2009
For the past month I've been laying low and not exercising much. I'm almost in constant pain and sitting still doesn't seem to help. I stayed away from biking for weeks because I couldn't raise my neck to see the road (this is on a road bike, of course). The only exercise that I could manage was, strangely enough, kayaking. One would think this would be the hardest with a sore shoulder, but the constant movement seemed to be the only thing that helped. I felt great paddling. It was stopping that was the problem. Too bad I can't just kayak all day long.
I attempted yoga two weeks ago and it was dreadful. I could do some of the moves (like down dog) but others (like corbra and updog) sent lighten bolts of pain searing through my neck, shoulder and back. I got so frustrated and so depressed that it stressed me even more and, if anything, made me worse. All the heating pads and Ben Gay in the world didn't seem to be helping.
But today I decided that I couldn't take another day of not working out. No matter how much it hurt I was going to get some exercise in. I started the day with Tony Horton's 10 Minute Trainer. I did the Cardio one, followed by the Yoga one. It's funny how I HATED the P90X Yoga because I thought it was too long and hard, and yet I also didn't like the 10 Minute Trainer Yoga because I thought it was too short and easy. I guess I'm hard to please. Anyway, after 10 minutes of jumping around doing the Cardio I could already feel the pain subsiding in my shoulder. The natural heat of my muscles warming up immediately gave me relief. By the time I got to the yoga portion I already felt better. And this yoga session is so much easier and more gentle than my normal vinyasa routine. What a concept. I did yoga for the stretching and stress relief instead of for the pure sport and challenge of it. Today was the best I've felt in over a month. And all I can say to myself is 'DUH' . . . some yoga instructor I am. You are never too old to learn. The worst thing you can do for some injuries is NOT moving. I have to make a point to keep on keeping on, despite the pain. In the long run working through the pain (in this case) is just what I need.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
For the entire month of September YogaDudes is offering free shipping on orders of $25 and more. Just use the coupon code FREESHIPSEPT at checkout.
Go shopping now.
Tuesday, September 08, 2009
Monday, August 31, 2009
We have another yoga-inspired desktop calendar this month. The September graphic is now ready for download. Just click on the image above to bring up the full-size version. Then right-click on it and "Save as Desktop."
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
HypnoYogaOnline.com offers interactive group yoga classes via multi-cam video conferencing. Thanks to web technology that allows multiple people to enter and participate in a live video studio, participants from around the world can watch as founder Page Turner (a certified Yoga instructor and Hypnotherapist) demonstrates poses, as well as receive personalized directives in real time. The hour-long classes are more affordable than most studios, and more sustainable too.
Interactive group classes are held every weekday at 6pm Pacific (GMT -8). All levels from beginner to master can join in, as her sessions range from relaxing meditations to kick butt workouts. Clients can reserve a spot in the virtual studio by logging on to www.HypnoYogaOnline.com, as well as receive privileges to the free video library, which includes tutorials, meditations and yoga workouts.
Page has generously offered a free class to one interested YogaDudes blog reader. Just leave a comment on this posting and one name will be randomly drawn for the free class. Be sure to include your email address so we can notify you if you won. The winner will be selected on Monday, August 24th.
Monday, August 17, 2009
You Are the Tree Pose
You are a well grounded, down to earth person. Not much shakes you.
You can remain steady through a crisis - and other people lean on you.
You have high standards and morals. You easily rise above pettiness.
While people sometimes accuse you of being stubborn, you are able to shift focus when you need to.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Saturday, August 01, 2009
I might have overdone it a bit in the gym on Friday and as a result I woke up this morning with sore triceps, shoulders, and sore neck. These things do not make for a good bike ride (on a road bike), but I didn't want to miss out on our weekend 40-mile loop so I sucked it up. While pedalling along I decided to try to make some slight alterations by shifting my weight around. I was thinking about yoga and how I marvel at how sometimes what seems like the slightest adjustment of weight can completely change the way a pose feels. It seems like magic when the instructor comes over and barely moves you, yet everything just feels better. I tried to imagine a floating yoga instructor observing me as I rode and how this imaginary instructor might adjust my riding position. Since I was feeling pain in my neck, shoulders and triceps I tried shifting my weight back more into my saddle and legs, and less on my arms. I'll be darned. I worked! I felt instant relief. What a concept. Maybe I am ready to teach yoga after all.
Friday, July 31, 2009
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Monday, July 27, 2009
A couple of weeks ago my bike computer (the little device that tracks my speed, distance, time, etc) died and needed its battery replaced. Somehow in changing the battery I accidentally reset the default unit of measure from miles to kilometers. There I was biking along the flats, looking down at my speedometer (which was reading in the low to mid 30s) and I was feeling pretty darn good about my cycling. I guess it didn't take me too long to figure out I was looking at k.p.h rather than m.p.h. Well I liked it so much I left it that way. Somehow seeing my max speed reaching close to 60 and my average always over 25 just plain makes me feel good :-) So if you're a biker, do yourself a favor and switch your cyclometer, even for just one ride, and feel the rush. Close your eyes and imagine yourself in the peleton, if just for a moment.
I should add one little disclaimer . . . I nearly crashed this past weekend due to the fact that I was fixating on my odometer, trying to do the math conversion from clicks (as my European husbands calls them) to miles. So please be careful and just enjoy the high numbers without trying to do the math while riding.
Pedal on . . .
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Last month I took a wonderful stress-free vacation, during which time I ate foods (red meats, real ice cream, etc.) and drank drinks (alcohol) not normally in my diet. Every night I went to bed thinking, "Uh oh, I’m going to pay for this" and yet I managed to get through a good solid week with no stomach aches. This is practically an impossible feat for me as I normally suffer with stomach aches a couple times per week, minimum. I have become so accustomed to stomach problems that it has just become a fact of life.
Years ago I went to see different gastro-intestinal specialists and was diagnosed with a clear case of IBS (irritable bowel syndrome). I can't really speak for my bowels, but for sure I was become irritable. It's just no fun to live with constant stomach aches and a restricted diet, but over the years I've learned to live with it. I learned what I can and can not safely eat. But I still wondered how it was possible to be stomach ache free throughout my vacation. It was likely a mixture of several things: no stress, smaller portions, and a much slower eating pace. So maybe, just maybe with a little work I could change my evil ways and cure my stomach issues.
When I got home I found a product called Better Digestion. These pills are a natural daily supplements that promise to restore balance to the digestive system through a combination of probiotics, herbal extracts, and enzymes. I'm not exactly sure what all those things are, but I knew I could use more balance in my life so I gave them a shot.
During my years of research with treating IBS I found that the best results were gotten via herbal remedies. I've learned that things that ginger root and chamomile are sure stomach soothers so when I saw that Better Digestion included these things (and many others) I had high hopes. Another thing that caught my eye was 'Amylase' which, according to the literature, is a powerful enzyme that reduces the amount of stress on the digestive system to help break down food. Now I knew I could use that.
So far I've taken one pill a day and I must say, I've been doing great in the stomach ache department. Ok, there was that one night that I completely indulged on the richest, most decadent European layer cake, but that was my own fault. I am happy with the results and will continue my new good habit of being nicer to my digestive system.
Monday, July 20, 2009
Well, it didn't take long. I mailed all of my papers (final exam and essay) along with the DVD of me teaching my one hour class and within a week I got the good news. My certificate arrived in the mail on Saturday. I am now officially certified to teach yoga! No idea if I will ever really teach, but it feels so good to have the credentials and to have gained all that wonderful knowledge. My instructor told me that I don't realize my potential and that certainly gave me a little more confidence. Who knows, maybe I will get the guts to teach a real class some day. But for now I'm just going to bask in the glory that I finally made a dream come true. Namaste
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Friday, July 10, 2009
I finally did it! I videotaped myself teaching my one-hour yoga class for my final teacher training certification exam. There are no words to describe how excited and relieved I was to have it behind me. But now the stress of waiting and hoping that I passed begins.
My biggest fear is that the fact that I didn’t offer suggested alternate poses for students that may have either been pregnant or have high blood pressure. The truth is that I forgot that I was supposed to do this and after the complete elation of being DONE, there was no way I wanted to go back and do it all over again. But after giving it more thought I realized that even if I did want to go back and tape it all over again I’m not sure how I would offer these alternate poses. My session was very much a ‘power’ vinyasa routine. How could you offer non-inverted alternates to a routine that has you doing so many down dogs that your head feels as though it might explode? I’m really confused with this dilemma. Maybe this shows that I’m really not ready to teach. I guess I just feel that a person that was pregnant or had high blood pressure just wouldn’t be attending a power yoga class. This is really my fault for building a power routine for my final exam. I should have built a beginners’ yoga class that would have allowed me more flexibility. Darn. Too late now. I hope I don’t fail. I just wanted to challenge myself to building a kick-booty class that I, myself, would enjoy doing regularly.
If there are any instructors out there that can shed some light on how I could have designed my dream power class and still incorporated these alternate poses, please do share. I may need the insight to save myself from failing!
Thursday, July 02, 2009
Best Deal Magazines Deal of the Day
Wednesday, July 01, 2009
Today was another dreary, rainy, stormy low pressure day here in CT. It's getting to be the norm around here and I'm getting so used to feeling terrible that I almost forget what it feels like to not have a headache and an all over 'icky' feeling. I start off feeling pretty good in the morning, but as the day goes on I feel worse and worse. The 30 minute commute home from work always makes me feel even worse. By the time I get home all I want to do is sleep and today was one of those days. What a great time to test out this new neti pot.
I have to admit the thought of sticking this thing up my nose was a bit scary. I had no idea what to expect and I knew the first time was going to be the hardest. I survived it OK. During my first go of it I did have that moment of wanting to gag when the salty water touched my throat. But I quickly realized that I was holding my breath; exactly what the directions said not to do. So for the next side of my nose I made a better effort to breathe. Actually exhaling seem to do the trick.
The whole process only took about a minute and I have to say . . . I felt so . . . different. I am having a hard time trying to describe the experience. I really and truly felt 'cleaned out' and lighter. It was amazing and I can't wait to do it again tomorrow. What have I been waiting for all this time without one?
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
So this morning I went looking for some muscle rub, even though I wasn’t sure it was a muscle problem. Seemed like it could also be a joint problem. When I looked into my drawer I noticed my tube of neglected Arnica. I can’t remember the last time I used it. Now seemed to be the perfect time to give it a try because Arnica is really for pain relief, not just soothing sore muscles. So I slathered it all over my elbow. Then the thought occurred to me that I also had little Arnica tablets that are taken internally. Well, that couldn’t hurt so I took those too and I’ll be darned. By noon the pain was almost completely gone. I won’t forget about my new best friend the next time I’m experiencing any sort of joint or muscle pain. This stuff really works!
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Friday, June 05, 2009
Sunday, May 17, 2009
Monday, May 11, 2009
The only parts that I found uncomfortable and difficult were the hanging moves. I did the first 3 or 4 sets with no gloves, which was unbearable. I don't have a nice cushiony bar like the folks on the video and my already-sore painting hands were being shredded. So I threw on some gloves for the remaining hanging sessions, but I still couldn't figure out how not to swing. I must have the wrong technique because my body seemed to swing much more than it should. I'll have to work on that.
Overall the video was excellent. The moves are all one minute each with no idle chatter in between. You just flow from one move right to the next without wasting any time. The 20 minutes flew by and I was pleasantly surprised at how well I did. I can say, without a doubt, that it's yoga that has keep my abs and core in tip top shape. Many of the moves involved balancing and I found them easy as can be. Yoga is solely responsible for my balance and stability. I will definitely add this video to my normal weekly routine.
Sunday, May 10, 2009
But much more often it is because of your bone structure. Literally one bone is hitting another which is called compression. In this case, no matter how much yoga you do, or how much you stretch, you're just never going to be able to move any further. This made me feel so much better about my yoga inadequacies. The instructor said repeatedly, "you either have it or you don't" meaning great flexibility. He also explained how everyone is built differently and how you could really hurt yourself if you don't understand this concept. The best part was watching him move a skeleton around to really understand what bones where hitting and how.
So that left me feeling much better about myself and what I can and can not do. However, it completely terrified me as far as instructing students through a class. How on earth will I know if they are hitting tension or compression? When you see a student not doing a pose 'properly' how do you know if you should try to make an adjustment or just assume they can't bend any more than they are already bending? I will be very happy to get my certification and I am really enjoying all this knowledge that I'm gaining, but I'm still not sure if I will ever be brave enough to put my certification to use. I have a whole new admiration for all you yoga instructors out there!
Monday, May 04, 2009
This was too good to be true. For the past 3 months I've been using Netflix approximately 3 times a week during my lunch break. Within just a few minutes I can natigate straight to my choice of workout. I shut my office door and have a great little workout. Sometimes I'll watch the full video, but other times I'll just pick my favorite parts. The more I do the different workouts the more familiar I'm getting, allowing me to scrub right to the section that I want to do. These have been a great supplement to my P90X evening workouts. And I have to say, and I'm not sure if I'm embarrassed to admit this, some of those Crunch workouts leave me sore every time. I'm hooked. For $8 a month I watch a current movie every weekend, I stream older movies and some TV shows at home, and now I'm doing free yoga, pilates, and more in my office. I love it and I highly recommend checking out Netflix for an inexpensive gym alternative.
Thursday, April 30, 2009
The April showers have brought us the May flowers. This months free YogaDudes desktop calendar features some of those May flowers. Just click here for a larger image of the calendar. When this bigger image appears, right-click on it and "Set as Background."
Happy Spring to all.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Lower your water-heater temperature 25 degrees and you can save up to $50 a year.
On the Web
Go to the free website www.catalogchoice.org and unsubscribe from catalogs you don't need. Your house will be less cluttered and you'll be doing your part to preserve the forests.
In the Car
Drive 10 MPH slower and you'll increase your fuel efficiency by about 15%. Unless you drive a MINI, in which case you're getting great gas mileage to begin with and that car just shouldn't be driven slowly. (Sorry, I couldn't resist.)
Thursday, April 16, 2009
I found Kenpo Plus, on the other hand, to be an annoyingly cumbersome work-out. I thought most of the moves were clumsy and awkward. Ok, maybe it was just me being clumsy and awkward, but why did it have to be so difficult? And by difficult, I don't mean physically challenging. In fact, I think it was a big waste of my time tonight. I wish I did anything else in place of this work-out. I couldn't give it my all and really put the needed uuumph into the moves because I was struggling to catch on and never felt well grounded. The traditional Kenpo is a million times better. It's controlled and precise and timed just right. I get a total body (including back and core) work-out with it. This Kenpo Plus was a joke to me. I am so not impressed and will very likely never try it again. My first P90X disappointment :-(
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Granted, I only tried one video and it was Interval. Actually, it was an accident too because I intended to do Total Body, but put in the wrong DVD. Since I don't yet know one from the other, it made no difference. Interval was an interesting approach. I think there are approximately 15 different exercises and you perform them at three different 20 second intervals. You start off at a nice manageable pace, then you move up to a little higher intensity, followed by (of course) 20 seconds of butt-kicking hard work.
I made it through the entire first half and was feeling pretty good about myself. But when Tony said that we were going to repeat the exact same sequence I think I cried. I was so not ready for that. I got through another 4 or 5 exercises, but with much less umph than I did the first time around. I think I was suffering from my typical problem. I didn't have my work-out buddy and I'm just not as driven when I work-out alone. Nobody's looking so I'm gonna cheat. But I still feel good, none-the-less, that I even attempted it. And based on the fact that I was sweating when I was done, I obviously worked hard. Most of the regular P90X sessions didn't make me sweat at all.
I am curious to see what the rest of the videos are like and will, no doubt, be checking them out shortly.
Saturday, April 11, 2009
I was very excited to have been interviewed by The New York Times for an article about Doga. After all, how on earth did the NYT find me and YogaDudes? After 15 minutes on the phone with the most delightful writer I really looked forward to seeing the article in print. But I have to say, I was a little disappointed.
The article made me sound much more negative than I really was. To recap, I did agree that calling the activity "yoga for dogs" was ridiculous. Being a firm believer in the very real art and science of yoga I do find it degrading and fad like to try to involve a pet. However, with that said, there was nothing wrong with a group of dog lovers getting together on a sunny afternoon to socialize their dogs. I believe that all the participants had a good time and enjoyed the hour of 'doga.' I guess I would feel better about it if 1) they called it something else that had no connection to yoga, and 2) the organizers didn't charge $15 per class. That just seems outrageous to me. After all, anybody without real yoga training could lead a doga class. I think it would make much more sense if a group of dog lovers got together and a fellow dog lover led a session on a voluntary basis. Then it would be all about the social aspect and the love of dogs and less about making an easy buck.
Monday, April 06, 2009
Last season we started P90X later in the year and ended up stuck inside when the weather was really getting nice. This year we started on January 1st to ensure we would be done before Spring really sprung in New England. It sort of backfired because the weather is still pretty darn crappy here and the streets are still filled with sand, making road biking undesirable. So now we have to continue with P90X until all the conditions are just right to go outside and play. sigh
With the big P90X commitment behind me, it's time to put more focus on yoga. I've set a goal to have my one-hour class rehearsed and performed by the end of May. And the clock is ticking—gulp!
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Since I couldn't think of a good April Fool's joke, I'm sharing a new April wallpaper desktop calendar. Just click here for the larger image. Once it appears in your browser, right-click on it and "Set as Background."
Sunday, March 29, 2009
I really need to shift my focus over to yoga starting next weekend. This whole P90X thing has really gotten in the way of my yoga teacher training. I've done a good job with the book portion of my training, but now I'm to the point where I have to create and practice my first lesson. I have it on paper (seems the paper portion is much easier for me) and now I have to commit it to memory. My goal is to practice my own lesson plan every day next week and perform on tape by May. If all goes well, I'll have my certificate by my birthday in early July. That's the goal anyway. I need to hop to it.
Friday, March 13, 2009
First of all, the bottles are so darn cute I almost have a hard time tossing them in the recycling bin. I’m constantly trying to come up with a craft project to re-purpose them. At first I thought the bottles were so little that I would need to drink 3 of them after a workout, making them just as expensive. But there are a couple of reasons why that is not the case. First, you only need 8 ounces of this wonder juice to reap the healthy benefits of it. And secondly, I discovered that mixing the juice with my favorite pomegranate-seltzer is a real treat. I compare drinking the straight juice to a glass of Merlot; strong and bold. But mixing it with seltzer gives it a lighter and yummy twist. Perfect for an after workout guzzle.
And speaking of red wine, tests found that ounce for ounce, pomegranate juice has 17% more polyphenol antioxidants than red wine. With incredibly high levels of very potent, naturally occurring polyphenol antioxidants, POM Wonderful Pomegranate Juice is truly the antioxidant superpower. And I don’t know about you, but guzzling red wine really puts a damper on the rest of the day.
Scientists believe that antioxidants may help protect the body from free radical damage. It makes sense that exercising regularly and eating a healthy diet full of fruits and vegetables including antioxidant-rich POM Wonderful Pomegranate Juice may help you stay young. It’s cheaper and more pleasant than Botox so I’m willing to give it a try.
Monday, March 09, 2009
As part of the Well-Being Initiative, the Urban Zen Foundation has launched two new programs in 2009 featuring instruction by Rodney Yee:
The Urban Zen Yoga Teacher Training Program is an in-depth 200-hour yoga teacher training program that can be completed on its own or taken as a suggested pre-requisite for the Urban Zen Integrative Therapist program. This program begins March 13, 2009, in New York City, and will run through September 2009, one weekend a month, with a break in July.
The Urban Zen Integrative Therapist (UZIT) Program is a 500-hour advanced program focused on integrating multiple therapies into patient care. The current year-long program started in NYC in January 2009 and the next training will start in January 2010.
For more information visit www.urbanzen.org
Monday, March 02, 2009
- 50 question written test -- DONE
- 3 page essay on yoga and health -- DONE
- 1 hour lesson plan for my first yoga class -- not even close
I have to admit, I'm completely intimidated with building my first lesson plan. This is the class that I will need to lead in order to achieve my certification. It needs to be perfect. It needs to address all the different aspects of a well-rounded yoga class. It needs to take into consideration the different issues of special needs students. It needs to include only poses that I CAN DO. It needs to be an hour long. And most importantly, it needs me to be serious and on track for the duration. That will be the biggest challenge. My mind has a tendency to drift . . . . Where was I? Oh yes, worrying about how I will lead my first one hour class with the stress of a camera rolling the entire time. Yikes.
To help me prepare my class I'm reading one of the text books provided in my training kit. It's called "The Sivananda Companion to Yoga" and it is a wonderful book. I just love it. It is beautifully illustrated and well laid out. My biggest gripes with my other text books were the cheesy illustrations and the horrific pictures. But this book is simply lovely and will be an invaluable source of information as plan my lesson.
After reading a few chapters and watching a long DVD of instructor tips I thought I was ready to use my husband as a crash test dummy and lead a little yoga class at home. I did positively no planning and tried to just wing it with my newly gained knowledge fresh in my head. Well, it didn't go too good. We both ended up silly and laughing. How on earth will I pull off this taping?
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
What is it about a fitness program that makes me so addicted? All I can think about now is, “What do I do from here?” Should I do Legs & Back tomorrow or should I do Kenpo, which is our normal Thursday work out? The best scenario would be to skip our Friday rest day and do both workouts this week. Only problem is that my husband and I have a date planned for Friday. Is it bad that I’m sitting here wondering if he would be mad if we postponed our date so we can get our full P90 week in? Oh God, I’m sick. This addiction must stop. Why can’t I be like normal people and not give slacking a second thought?
Problem solved. I just devised a plan. I will use my lunch break tomorrow to work out my legs and then do our regularly scheduled Kenpo after work. Phew. I feel much better now. I can finally relax for the rest of the night.
Monday, February 23, 2009
Once this step is complete it will be time for me to devise my own one-hour class routine. This is the part that scares me the most. I know I can happily do yoga by myself for an hour and cover all of my favorite asanas. But my ‘test class’ must be in the proper order and must address every group of poses, making sure to make special modifications for special needs students. This is the part of distance learning that is the most challenging. Nothing beats have the instructors in front of you showing you the proper moves. I have some videos to watch and I’m hoping I’ll get enough out of them. But maybe I should just focus on one step at a time. It’s time to start my restorative yoga research . . .
Monday, February 16, 2009
I’m not sure if it’s because I know what to expect, or my body is still stronger from last year, but I haven’t had one day of dreading my workout or feeling as though it was too hard–and I’m a year older now! Is it possible that the conditioning I got last year is still paying off? That would be amazing, but it just may be.
Some random observations after starting Phase 2 include:
- My flexibility has improved. My down dogs are near perfect and I feel very strong in the position. I can also reach the floor on all the stretching moves.
- I finally figured out the real way to do the Drya rolls. Suddenly it just clicked and I found myself flying up without having to push with my hands. That felt great.
- My steam engines improved greatly. My knees are now flying up much higher and much easier than they were at the beginning of Phase 1.
- Unfortunately I’m not as strong with the push-ups or pull-ups as I was last year because I have not been supplementing with weight lifting sessions outside of P90X. This time whatever strength I build, I’m building solely from P90.
Tuesday, February 03, 2009
Please answer my simple question, “Why should I become a yoga teacher?” by leaving a comment in the Comments Section below. Please be sure to include your email address in the comment. A winner will be selected on Valentines Day and notified via email.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
This just proves the power of the human mind and the theory of meeting the expectations that you set. If you expect something to be hard and grueling it typically is. If you expect a bad day, chances are you will get it. From now on I am expecting to enjoy my P90X Yoga routines.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
The more I read about the physiological effects of yoga on the human body, the more I think that yoga is the true ‘Secret’ to human kind. How could anybody read these textbooks and not embrace yoga with both arms so tight and never let it go?
This weekend I saw a report on 60 Minutes about a new drug called Resveratrol that is supposedly going to slow down the aging process in humans. The report went on to explain the different studies, like calorie restriction, and its affect on mice. I kept finding myself saying, “That’s what the yogis do.” No Resveratrol needed and these yogis seem to have figured out the natural way to reduce the speed of the aging process. I’m sold. Of course this doesn’t mean that I won’t be first in line once they release Resveratrol! Taking that supplement AND doing yoga should keep my young forever.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Today was the dreaded yoga day and I ran out of excuses for not doing the real thing. I only had time for 45 minutes of it and it kicked my butt. Not only did it drain my strength, but it drained my spirit. I hate swallowing the fact that I lost most of the strength that I spent months building last year. But even harder to swallow was the fact that 15 minutes into today’s session I was cursing yoga. I mean I think I really hated it. It was just too hard. This past weekend I read an important part of my yoga text book. It clearly stated that a good yoga program ‘should not go to the point of fatigue.’ Well, that means that I shouldn’t go past the first 10 minutes of P90X. It’s such a double-edged sword. If I lift weights and don’t feel sore the next day I’m disappointed and feel as though I didn’t work hard enough. I know that if I attempted a yoga session that didn’t hurt and pose a big challenge I wouldn’t be satisfied. Yet I long for a yoga session that I really enjoy; one that leaves me feeling refreshed and mentally renewed instead of drained and depressed.
Doing the P90X yoga is definitely not good for my dream of becoming a yoga teacher and it’s going to be hard to maintain my passion and love for yoga during the next 90 days. Maybe I should go back to my plan of substituting yoga that I actually like in place of the dreaded program. I have to keep reminding myself that yoga is about more than just the challenging poses. Maybe I should type that 100 times over to get it through my head.
Yoga is about more than just the challenging poses.
Yoga is about more than just the challenging poses.
Yoga is about more than just the challenging poses.
Yoga is about more than just the challenging poses.
Yoga is about more than just the challenging poses.
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Armed with this new knowledge that I’ve been decaying for 5 years now, I decided to take some of my free time away from reading books and put some time into getting back in shape. Enough with the books; I was ready to get physical. For the past 15 years of my life I managed to stay extremely fit and active. I’m the type of person that actually feels guilty if I don’t exercise every day. But, like most people I managed to collect a few excuses over the past few months. It all started with a rib injury that completely knocked me out of any physical activity for 4+ weeks. That was torture. From there I entered the crazy holiday season and why start working out then?
So here I am slipping into greater decay. What can I do to get into great shape and fast? I knew the answer to that question . . . P90X. I completed this awesome work out last year and I know exactly what the results can be. Now let me preface this by saying that I was already in good shape when I started this program last year. I was lifting weights 4X a week and trail running 3X a week. When I made the decision to start P90X last weekend I had a sinking feeling that I would never make it through the first video. Here I was starting after doing no working out for over 3 months. Very scary.
I completed the first video which was Core Synergistics and although it was challenging, I was able to do it all, and do it better than I did the first time last year. As a matter of fact, tonight completes my first week of P90X and I was surprised at how easy I got through it. I set my expectations for trouble with my 40 year decaying body, but I proved myself wrong. How can this be? How can I still be in good shape without the constant weight lifting and cardio? I truly believe that yoga is the key to maintaining a strong, youthful body. There is no doubt that P90X whipped me into great shape, but it was yoga that kept me there.
Wednesday, January 07, 2009
What’s interesting about this book is the emphasis on mindfulness which involves being in the present moment. My experience is that many yoga classes are not mindful. A lot of teachers are still stuck in the old fitness mentality where the Asanas or postures simply replace push-ups. Mindful exercise offers a workout and a “work-in” experience, which cultivates moment-to-moment awareness through the breath and movement. During Mindful exercise we practice paying attention to sensations, thoughts, and feelings. We move the body with compassion, gratitude, and honor for the capabilities of the body as they are in the present moment. Mindful Exercise presents seven spiritual practices, one for each day of the week, with illustrations of their corresponding exercise trios. A specific format for this twenty-minute practice is also presented, and an audio CD is enclosed that guides you through each meditation or movement experience. Cheryl’s book/CD is the perfect tool for beginners and for seasoned yoga teachers who wish to bring greater awareness to their teaching. Mindful Exercise sells for $20.95 and you can order this book/CD at www.themindfulpath.com.
Monday, January 05, 2009
Here I am two weeks later loving the darn book. I’m on page 266—probably more pages than I ever read in a two week stretch— and I’m completely fascinated. I have been doing yoga as nothing more than an exercise for over 7 years. I like the challenge of the physical exertion and just about all I know of yoga is the different poses. I was very naive to think that teacher training was all about memorizing the different postures. There is so much more to yoga and I’m so excited to dive in and soak it all up.
My text book is divided into three sections and it only took me three minutes to figure out that this is what yoga is really about: Beathing, Posture, and Meditation. I have a pretty good grip on the postures part, but I really know nothing about the breathing and the meditation. I still have a hard time believing that I could read nearly a hundred pages about something as simple as breathing and be fascinated by it all. Non-yogis probably think we are all nuts. After all, what can be so complicated about the simple act of breathing? They have no idea . . .
One of the most interesting parts of this first part of the book was the exploration of the extraordinary feats that very experienced yogis can perform. Now, when I say “experienced yogis” I mean Buddhist monks that dedicate their lives to meditation. But still, the fact that humans can put their bodies into such a relaxed state that they can be buried alive for several hours, or even days, is positively amazing. It proves that the power of any human being’s mind is limitless.
Another extraordinary feat that particularly interested me is Tumo, engendering body heat at will. By combining advanced breath control, concentration, and imagination naked or skimpily-clad yogis can sit immobile and meditate for hours on exposed mountain tops in sub-zero temperatures. I can barely stand to be more than 6 feet away from our wood stove in CT without complaining that I’m freezing. Some good breath control and meditation can do me a world of good.
I’m now in the middle of reading about all the different postures. This is probably my least favorite part of the book. As a graphic designer, I’m a very visual person and I’m having a hard time reading every little nuance of each pose. I would much rather WATCH it than read about it, but none-the-less I’m very much enjoying stage one of my remote yoga teacher training.