Sunday, July 28, 2013

Week 30


We took a trip to 5 Pointz this afternoon and saw some amazing street art. I’ve seen this building every time I take the 7 train and today I finally got to see it up close. Beautiful and inspiring. 

Jon and I are taking a portrait a week for a year. You can view our entire set of portraits here.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Outdoor Movie Life

When summer hits there are a plethora of outdoor movie screenings all over New York City. I'm lucky to live within walking distance to the Wednesday night movies courtesy of Summerscreen.
My girlfriends and I spread out our blankets and joined hundreds of people to wait for the sun to go down and The Craft to begin. There were numerous food, beer and wine vendors along the periphery as well as free cotton candy!
Clearly I was excited about that. As the darkness crept in the film started and I felt like I was looking at a snapshot of my high school years - not the witchy magic stuff (although I always had a penchant for wearing black even in those teenage years) but the glorious and ridiculous teen culture of the 90's. I loved every minute.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Lately

Summer is in full swing and in between balancing my work schedule and Jon's insane work schedule and making time for our friends and ourselves there's been little time to blog.

We've managed to have some time to walk the city and go rock climbing. I've continued on my 30 day yoga challenge for July and I've been keeping track over at Go Mighty.

I have several things that I want to do before the summer is over and am hoping that we manage to do them soon. We are only two weeks from August already!

How are you spending your summer?

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Day 8 of 30

I tried a podcast for yesterday's yoga session. This guy has a bunch and and it sounds like they are recordings of his classes. There are various levels available to follow but I wasn't feeling it. It wasn't the podcast (I think this is going to be what I use for the rest of my home yoga sessions) but it was how my body felt. I started feeling nauseated at the beginning of the vinyasas and hanging out in downward dog was making me feel worse and worse. I think my body was tired from pushing it the day before with my usual Sunday morning boot camp class and needed some time to recover. I made it a third of the way through a 90 minute podcast before having to stop for fear of getting sick.

I listened to my body and decided to rest for the remainder of the evening. Isn't that part of what yoga is about anyhow? Being attentive to how you are feeling and stopping if you need to? I am going to say yes.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Week 27

After a morning of rock climbing Jon joined me for some acro yoga. So much fun!

Jon and I are taking a portrait a week for a year. You can view our entire set of portraits here. 

Friday, July 5, 2013

Five Days In

I just finished up the 5th day of yoga and am already missing my old HIIT workouts. I think I have to figure out a way to make room for both.

I've been keeping track of my daily yoga over at Go Mighty. This weekend I'm planning on rock climbing and a kettlebell boot camp class with Jon and a whole lot of relaxing. More soon.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

The Beginning

Sunday I had woken up with the beginnings of a cold - sore throat, throbbing sinuses and a lot of fatigue. I went to bed early hoping that the following morning I would feel back to normal but alas, the sore throat and congestion was still there. I had planned on going to my yoga studio for a class but decided to stay home and yoga it up following a session specifically for having a cold that my friend had sent along to me.
My day had been a trying one. There are some days when you absolutely love New York City and feel lucky to live here. There are other days when you hate the city with your entire being. Today was one of those for me. It's been overcast and rainy so perhaps that has something to do with my mood. It could also have been how my day had started. While walking to my subway stop I caught a guy in a semi stopped at a light staring at me. I stared him down but he wouldn't look away and eventually I got so frustrated I stopped walking, threw my arms up at him and flipped him the bird. As I walked by he said something to me but I kept walking and made my way to work. At the end of the day on the way home I was walking through the subway station to my transfer and from behind me I heard a very quiet "Sexy..." I kept walking and I heard it again and I looked over to see a short man with an enormous grin who kept saying it over and over again. I was furious and kept walking but yelled at him, asking him why he thinks it's OK to harass a woman who is just walking home from work. He kept up with me and said "It's a free country! It's a free country!" I kept yelling at him because I wanted everyone to know what he was doing. He finally walked in a different direction and parted with a "You know, you're not very nice..." I kept walking, seething inside and felt like I had during my college days when frat boys would harass me and my girlfriends as we walked down the street (Anyone go to The Ohio State University and experience that while walking down High Street? That's when I learned how to yell back). I made it to my train and sat down, glad for some time to read my book before my stop but I couldn't concentrate on the words. I was so angry. 
I have always wished that I could be the kind of person who can let these things go, someone who doesn't dwell and doesn't let things like this affect my mood, but even as I approach my mid-thirties it's still a challenge. On the train I kept going over and over what had just happened and thought about how I could have handled it differently. Could I have ignored the guy? Sure, I could have but in this case I felt like being silent and passive would have been construed as permission for him to continue his harassment. I wanted to let him know that what he was doing was not acceptable. 
When I got home tonight I changed and rolled my mat out onto the floor of my little living room. I started with a deep forward bend, closed my eyes and started to breathe. I focused on my breathing while checking in with my body, feeling where my muscles were tense and then focused on making those muscles release. I went slowly through the different poses, all the while concentrating on my breathing. If my mind started to focus on the events that happened today I forced myself to focus on my breath and on how my body felt. At the end of it I felt calmer. I wasn't angry or hurt anymore. Clearly, I was meant to have tonight's session be private and something that I had to do completely on my own. 
I feel like I've learned a little bit about how I can release those angry thoughts and hurt feelings. I've never thought to take a moment to just breathe before opening my mouth in those situations. I can definitely say that it is going to take a lot more practice. 

Monday, July 1, 2013

Another 30 Day Challenge

I’ve taken yoga classes sporadically in the last few years but it’s never become a regular thing. I’ve always appreciated how relaxed I felt at the end of the classes but due to my natural flexibility and general upper body strength I have never felt really challenged or worked out at the end of a session. I thought of yoga as a time for deep stretching and meditation, not for cardio and muscle toning. Well, after last week I can see that I was totally wrong. I was just taking the wrong classes.
A good friend of mine convinced me to meet her for a yoga class. She’s been going to this studio in Williamsburg for the last few years and has been yoga-ing it up since she was a teenager. I stepped into the classroom a little nervous because I didn’t know what to expect. It had been well over a year since my last yoga class and this one was supposed to be an hour and a half long. The class started with the usual focused breathing and some oms but then the intructor started singing and the class sang back to her. That was definitely new to me. I didn’t sing because I didn’t know what the hell was going on. After the singing we started the class. At the end of that session I was drenched in sweat. The next day my arms, thighs and butt were sore, something I’ve only experienced with my normal cardio and HIIT workouts. I went to another class the following week and again, my body felt totally worked at the end of class.
I ended up buying a 16 class pass and have 14 classes left. I’ve decided that I will get to the studio at least twice a week and the rest of the time I will follow a podcast or video for yoga at home. I’m choosing to try this every day for 30 days because I’m curious to see what happens to me, not just at the end of the 30 days but throughout the entire exercise. Will I become more mindful? Will I continue to feel challenged physically or will I feel the need to supplement my yoga sessions with my regular body weight exercises and running?
I’m starting this 30 day yoga challenge today. Other than doing yoga every single day I want to make sure that each session is at least half an hour long. I’ll be shooting for an hour every day but let’s be real here – with my schedule as it is an hour every single day for yoga is not feasible. It’s a good goal to shoot for but if I can only get half an hour in I’ll be happy.