Tag Archives: Happiness

half a year of happiness

Standard

Last year, as I’ve mentioned several times, I began a regular yoga practice.  I had dabbled a few times with yoga in 2011 and 2010, but never really found a place for it in my life on a regular basis.

I’m proud to report that I attended 184 yoga classes in  2012. (yes, I kept track–and you should too!)  If my calculations add up correctly, that’s a tiny bit more than half of the days in the year.  So ultimately,  I went to a studio, learned about the yoga practice and of myself, every other day last year.   How cool is that? I’m not sure I’ve done anything that regularly, ever(!)…except go to work/school, but that’s not as cool as going to yoga half of the year.  :)

These are the studios where I practiced in 2012;

Some of my favorite/trusty yoga products this past year have been,

The Mat by Luluelemon This mat is amazing.  Since most of my yoga practices are in a heated studio, sweat is abundant. The Mat soaks up the sweat leaving me  stable during my practice without feeling like I’m on a slip and slide.  Some people opt for a towel over their expensive mats, but, I think it’s better to just buy “The Mat” and only carry one item around.

 Prism Pants by Prana As soon as these pants come out of the dryer, they are on.  They have a nice rise to the waist band, and the crop sits nicely below my calves.

 Cool Racerback tank by Lululemon  I have this tank in several different colors.  I’m able to move freely without the tank rising up or down, depending on the position I’m in. The luon fabric is also really nice as it wicks away moisture.

Water bottle by Camelbak  Gotta stay hydrated! My water consumption increased significantly once I purchased these water bottles.

 Headband by Bondi Band Keeps the sweat and hair out of my eyes—I know I don’t look fantastic wearing one of these with my short hair, but it’s yoga, we are (or at least should be) in a judgment free zone.

Here’s to another year of happiness!

Advertisements

Goodbye, 2012!

Standard

2012 highlights

January– I visited my sister for a mini ski vacation.

Vail in Jan

Vail in Jan

February– Went to Rob’s cousin wedding. It was another excuse to purchase a new dress!

Wedding in Feb

Wedding in Feb

March-We became Godparents!.

Godparents in March

Godparents in March

April– Rob went to visit my sister and learned to ski, in Vail—while I stayed at home and worked.

Skiing/working in April

Skiing/working in April

May– 10.5” of my hair was donated to Locks of Love and I became a “pixie”—my ballet production team performed their last time to Hoppipolla, a 4 minute ballet I choreographed, of which I’m really proud of!

Ballerinas

Ballerinas

Hoppipolla Ballet   (I’m working on getting this video so you can see)

June– Ran a ½ marathon in Milwaukee with my buddy, Maria! Celebrated 2 years of marriage in Door County, WI. Had a great visit from some of my MI friends.

half marathon

half marathon

anniversary

anniversary

July– Packed up the house, danced at Jenny’s wedding, and celebrated in Chicago for Kristen’s Bachelorette party.

Party

Party

August– We moved me and our stuff to Ithaca, NY…

moving!

moving!

September– Rob became Dr. Rob and joined me in NY and my parents visited!

Rob's Defense!

Rob’s Defense!

parents visit!

parents visit!

October– I stood up in my friend, Kristen and Ryan’s wedding and was able to dance the night away with my sister and her surprise (to me) attendance at the wedding.

Oct. Wedding

Oct. Wedding

mac and me dancing

mac and me dancing

November-Hosted our first Thanksgiving, even with a broken oven!

thanksgiving

thanksgiving

December– Celebrated a super wonderful Christmas in the Pacific Northwest with lots of smiles.

PNW Christmas

PNW Christmas

2012 brought us many adventures of which, we were able to spend time with loved ones and create new relationships to cultivate in 2013.  We’re ready for the next 365 days to see what brings smiles our way.

Namaste.

Standard

During the fall semester I didn’t make time for myself. My schedule was very strict. It looked like this:

Work 7:30-Noon…drive to school—School 12:30-:120 or 3:30 depending on the day…drive back to work—Work 1:45 or 3:45-5:30…drive home Make dinner and write papers/study/sleep, repeat. And on Thursdays I taught ballet until 9:15pm so I didn’t get any school work done. I was falling apart, I didn’t have any outlets or time for myself and I knew I had to change something before the spring semester started.

After trying out almost all of the yoga studios in Madison, I had purchased a Groupon deal for The Studio. It was a new hot yoga studio in town and about a mile from our apartment, so why not try it out over winter break?

I loved those 5 classes I took over break and how I felt in result of those classes. After hemming and hawing on whether or not I should become a member for unlimited classes per month, I joined. But not after asking these questions;  could I make time for myself over the spring semester? Can we afford it? What conflict will arise with my crazy schedule/Rob’s schedule/Meiko’s schedule? Rob was behind me joining 100%–he could tell how complete I felt when I came home from those first 5 classes and knew this is something I should do. We made it work in our budget and in our schedules. I mean, how could I not join..look at this place!

The Studio

The Studio–Pretty, eh?
*I did take this photo from their website

I became a member in January and started to attend classes every Sun/Mon/Tues/Wed with the occasional Fri/Sat class thrown in there. Having a 5+ class practice each week (I take 2 classes on Sundays) was just what my body needed over the spring semester. Because I became devoted to my yoga practice, I have much healthier habits as well. I drink A LOT more water, I eat healthier (it would be pretty embarrassing to be in class doing a forward fold after having Chipotle for lunch,) and I am a bit more patient. My yoga practice has transformed from just getting into the poses to exploring what muscles and structures in the body need to work properly and in conjunction with each other to get the most out of each pose.

A little about The Studio and why I love it…I kid you not, just walking through the entrance door I instantly fell in LOVE with The Studio — everything about this place is amazing. It has a fantastic atmosphere with wood floors, exposed brick walls, high ceilings, and beautiful windows overlooking either the water or the neighborhood below, depending on what room you are in. The staff is wonderful! They get to know you, are very knowledgeable in what each instructor brings to the table, and they really want to make sure you feel comfortable and welcome. Now, let’s talk about the incredible instructors. The Studio brings such talented and thoughtful instructors to its space. I’ve never been to another yoga studio where the instructors make sure you know what you are doing. Many places I’ve been to, I felt like I wasn’t welcomed or worthy of the instructors time because of my flexibility limitations/knowledge of poses/etc…not at The Studio. I never once felt inadequate at The Studio.  Of the 125 +/- classes I’ve attended this year, no two have been the same. Sure, we usually start in child’s pose and end in Shavasana but everything in between is a new experience and exploration.  It is because of the instructors here that I want to learn more about what my body is capable of and enroll in a RYS 200 hour teacher training. I want to soak it all in. I am still unsure if I want to become a yoga instructor or not, but I do know that I want to lean more.

Something that I learned over the spring semester is, when something is important enough to you, you make time for it. I was able to find an extra hour and a half to give myself a gift of happiness and health. This in turn made me much more productive in writing my 55 papers because I only had a small amount of time each night to work on them. My Dad always says “give the busy person the work to do, they’ll find time.” It’s true; by adding my yoga practice I accomplished a lot more each day and had the same schedule as the fall semester.

Ithaca does have a few yoga studios where I’ll be able to practice but I am really, really, really going to miss the space that made me “me” again when we move across the country. I’m also going to miss the people and instructors The Studio has introduced me to. Fortunately, I have a month and a half left to sweat a bunch and continue my growing practice at The Studio with the empowering instructors and friendly yogis and yoginis.

Namaste :)

PS. This is a funny video of “shit yogi’s say”…I found myself sounding like this after a short while of a somewhat daily practice…

A Better Me Indeed!

Standard

Remember the post I wrote in the beginning of the year saying  it\’s time for a better me oh yea, I’m getting there!   Today I hopped on the scale after my box blast class and who’s 14 lbs lighter? ME!

Just to show off my hard work, here are two photos of me in a bridesmaid dress I’ll be wearing in August. The dress will be in black but the store didn’t have a sample size in that color.  Here was my first trip at the end of January…

the before photo

the before photo

and here is a photo of me in the dress size that I ordered on Friday… 2 WHOLE DRESS SIZES SMALLER!!!

the after photo

I didn’t really have a target goal weight because I just want to be healthier in general.

So, what have I done? Well… I’ve stuck with a good workout plan and have been eating healthier…while still enjoying an ice cream cone or shake every once in a while!

During the semester I would kick start my week by attending the group strength class on Monday nights—I absolutely loooooove this class, we start the hour long class with a quick warm up and then used free weights while doing squats, lunges, chest presses, etc. it is a total workout.  The rest of the week I would hit the cardio room and then use the skills I learned in group strength in the weight room.  If I wasn’t able to make it to group strength (I only missed 3!) I wouldn’t be as diligent to my workout regime or eating habits….so it paid to start my week out with my class.

Now that it’s summer, the class schedule has changed so now I take a class called Box Blast on Monday nights and since the dance studio is on break until the very end of June I’m able to make it to a few more workout classes during the week. I fully plan on continuing these classes and my life style of being a better me after the wedding.

For the next 3.5 weeks, I really can’t lose any more weight otherwise my pretty white dress won’t fit!  So, for now, I just want to continue to tone my arms.  :)

Chihuly = Happiness.

Standard

I was “getting inspiration?” while at work today and came across this Brooch, online.

Brooch
Brooch

It made me think of how Dale Chihuly‘s work makes me smile. During his design process he splatters paint around, on paper, before he gets started on the glass blowing.

Aren't they lovely?

Aren't they Lovely?

Each one of those drawings will turn into something beautiful, like the photo below. Take a look around Chihulys Website. It’s impossible to be unhappy while looking at his creations.

Bridge of Glass

Bridge of Glass