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On Fitness

mat | shirt | shorts | shoes

The last time I wrote about fitness the whole post was kind of a downer, despite positive highlights. That was almost two years ago though and I'm happy to say that lately, I've been in a much better mental state about my body and fitness in general. Part of that is because, despite my love of alcohol and salty foods, I'm the healthiest I've been in years. Another (big) part of that is because I've been embracing positive thoughts and having a positive attitude has seeped into every aspect of my life. I've been taking each day, each week as it comes. Some days are self-proclaimed lazy overly-indulgent days, and that's okay! I also work a fairly physically grueling job, where I'm on my feet for 8-9 hours a day, running up and down stairs at least 20 times a day (I've never actually counted), and lifting up to 50 pounds some days, so if I don't do anything but that most days, that's okay too!

But actually, I've been wanting to write this post because my exercise "routine" has been pretty on point lately. One of my friends & colleague moved into our neighborhood three months ago and she and I have been running 2-3 days a week together. She comes from a family of runners and has the endurance of a cheetah, whereas I struggle to run half a mile without getting out of breath (but that's okay!). It has been a really fun two months so far though, and I've seen my endurance improve dramatically. Our runs are usually about 2.5 miles long and last about 20 - 25 minutes, but I can now run 1.5 miles without stopping to walk or get out of breath! The goal is to get to the point where we're running 5k (3.1 miles) every time we go out for a run. It feels really great to have some cardio back in my life, and it has been a nice contrast to my other physical activity - yoga.

I've had an on-and-off relationship with yoga for the past eight years. The short story is, my mom introduced me to it back in 2008 and I fell in love with the practice, though it was mainly just a way to exercise at that point in my life. Then Shawn and I moved to Philadelphia in 2010 and I had a hard time finding a studio that I liked... when I finally found one, they closed their doors a few months later. I tried practicing at home but we've never had an apartment that has been conducive to it (that and, cats + yoga mat = trouble, right?). So I kind of forgot about yoga for a while, even though I still really wanted to do it. Then in 2014 I finally found a studio with great teachers and my yoga practice began once more. Over the past year and a half, yoga has become so much more than a physical exercise for me; it has made it's way into my mind and into my spirit. I've been taking things I learn on the mat and finding ways that they apply to my life off the mat. I've never felt more connected to myself, and the world around me!

Doing a yoga teacher training has been a thought dream of mine for a few years now, but it was always too expensive, or the schedule too inconvenient... and then I realized that maybe those were just excuses and the reality was that I just wasn't mentally or spiritually ready to start one. Like everything else in my life, my practice had to evolve to a point where what I want is just the logical next step. (There's my life philosophy...) And so, now eight years into my relationship with yoga, I'm finally doing a yoga teacher training! I followed one of my favorite teachers to a new studio this year, and when they announced their first ever teacher training program, I knew I had to be a part of it. Everything just felt right. It finally felt like the logical next step. The last studio I went to was very alignment-focused, and I learned a lot from them. This studio is more about spirituality and that's more in line with where I am in my life currently. It's a 10-month long training (one weekend every month from May - February; that's how I'm able to fit it into my work schedule), and this weekend is the first weekend. I'm so excited!!! And nervous. But mostly excited! I really just can't wait to see how this training transforms my practice, in all aspects.

So be prepared for a few yoga-centric posts in the next year (maybe). It's just another aspect of my life I want to share with you guys. Hopefully I'll have some very introspective things to say.... and if not, well at least I can share a few simple poses that you can all incorporate into your daily lives. I worry sometimes about being a "yoga-pusher", but really, I just love to share my enthusiasm for it. It's something we can all benefit from, whether physically, mentally, or spiritually, so I really encourage everyone to tap into their personal yoga.

Annnnnnnnd here's a gratuitous shot of Sylvester saying "Mama, don't go to yoga tonight!" :)