Time for a Change

April 22, 2011 at 5:52 pm | Posted in Other, Yoga | 15 Comments
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The past few days have been a whirlwind for me – stomach flu,  scheduling, last-month-of-classes schoolwork, and just SO much going on lately that I’ve barely had time to sit down and think, let alone relax and unwind.  This weekend is going to be another crazy one, but I’m sure I’ll make it through. 🙂

Although I’m a master (or so I’d like to believe ;)) at prioritizing, that doesn’t mean that I don’t ever get stressed or upset.  In fact, I tend to hold a lot of that in and it creates a lot of tension for me physically and mentally.  As I’m sure you all know, I’m a easygoing, happy, positive, energetic person in general, but even the most positive people can run into moments of stress! 

One major goal I’ve decided to commit to is going to more slower-style yoga classes to hopefully help with tension.  I am a Power Vinyasa Yoga teacher and absolutely love pounding out a hardcore, 90 minute, 90*F, Baptiste-style yoga class for my own practice as well.  That said, there’s something to say about other styles of yoga; each has it’s own benefits and contributes in different ways to our well-being.  I took quite a few slower classes last summer – Slow Flows, Mindful Flows, Gentle Yoga, Yin, Chakra Flows, etc. – along with my normal Power Flows and I really did notice the difference in my overall health!  The variation of focuses (relaxing/restorative vs. strengthening/cardio) was incredible to experience!

It’s going to take some work to fit the slower classes into my schedule and stick to a style that isn’t what I’m used to, but I know the effort will be well worth it and have a very positive, lasting impact! 

  

In other news… this weekend is EASTER!!!  My mom, the present-sending fairy, picked out some very “me” presents:

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Victoria’s Secret PINK sleep shirt and shorts, a sweet card, and an ink cartridge (yes, I’m always running out of these).

She also included the receipt… she knows I’m specific. ;)  But I must say she did an incredible job this time!

 

No big weekend plans for me since I have a lot to get caught up on!  It will feel good to get it all accomplished though!  How are you celebrating Easter, if at all?

 

  

  

Heather

    

    

     

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Yoga Playlists

April 16, 2011 at 6:26 am | Posted in Yoga | 17 Comments
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Being a 200-hour RYT Power Vinyasa Yoga Teacher, I often get asked questions about the playlists I use during my classes.  Surprisingly, I was trained in a studio that didn’t even USE music on a regular basis in class, except for Savasana (the final resting pose).  Although this shocked me when I first started the program, I started to discover how much I enjoyed practicing without the distraction of music in the background.  It made the practice more about me, my body, and my thoughts and allowed me to appreciate the strength and power I had on my own.

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That said, the studio I teach at now is a completely modern, laid-back, upbeat studio that teaches basically all Power Flow classes.  Its target audience is college students, whom I love teaching because they obviously all want a kick-butt workout, and I can definitely give that! :D  Therefore, we DO use music in our classes, and I’ve since learned to enjoy class both ways – with AND without music.

When I do make my playlists, I try to keep with the flow and mood of the sequences; I’m obviously not going to play Lady Gaga or Chris Brown during hip opening, nor will I play Josh Groban or Krishna Das during abs.  I also want songs to make the students feel empowered and have it be another fun part of the experience!
  

I decided to share 2 of my playlists with you guys just to give you an idea of what a “typical” playlist is for me:
  

Playlist #1 – 70 minutes:

Island in the Sun – Weezer
Ganapati – Girish
I Made It (Cash Money Heroes) – Kevin Rudolf, Birdman, Jay Sean & Lil Wayne
Handlebars – Flow Bots
You & Me – Dave Matthews Band
Holiday – Vampire Weekend
I’m Gonna Be (500 miles) – The Proclaimers
If We Ever Meet Again – Timbaland featuring Katy Perry
Thankful – Kelly Clarkson
Mountain Hare Krishna – Krishna Das
Shine – Collective Soul
Pride (In the Name of Love) – U2
Superwoman – Alicia Keys
Thank You For Loving Me – Bon Jovi
Gravity – Sara Bareilles

     
Playlist #2 – 60 minutes:

For the First Time – The Script
Bells of Freedom – Bon Jovi
Dreamgirl – Dave Matthews Band
You’re Beautiful – James Blunt
First Time – Lifehouse
Mysterious Ways – U2
Shut Up and Drive – Rihanna
Seventeen Forever – Metro Station
Airplanes – B.o.B featuring Hayley Williams
Sleeping to Dream – Jason Mraz
We Belong Together – Gavin Degraw
Sweet September – Josh Gracin
Remember When It Rained – Josh Groban

  
I currently have 20 playlists on my iTunes, but I’ll come up with a new one and update old ones about once a month.  I always like to have something fresh to switch things up!  I do realize these playlists are pretty “modern” and might not work for every teacher/studio, but they are perfect for my classes and end up all being songs that I personally LOVE and relate to; my hope is that my students can do the same! 🙂

  

   

  

Heather

   

    

    

       

Right on Track

March 21, 2011 at 12:19 pm | Posted in Dinner | 5 Comments
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Last night was a busy end to my Spring Break, but I wouldn’t have it any other way!

Before getting started on my evening, I put together a quick classic for dinner since I wanted to try out the new bread and peanut butter I had bought at Trader Joe’s when I went shopping.

Oddly enough, I was surprised when I discovered the peanut butter was chunky.  You would have thought the jar would have given me a clue.  Way to be observant… 😉

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I love chunky almost as much as smooth, so I was still in nut-butter heaven!

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Two slices of Trader Joe’s Organic Honey Sweet Whole Wheat bread topped with Trader Joe’s Organic Chunky Peanut Butter, organic carrots, and a glass of unsweetened almond milk.

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The bread was fantastic!  Loved the taste, and it was especially soft and chewy in the best way possible.  The peanut butter was decent, but I think the flavor was a little off.  I’ve had better, but there’s no question I’ll easily use it up!
  

After dinner, I got my Yoga-ness on!  I did a podcast myself, then headed to the studio to teach a Hot Power Flow class.  The Sunday night energy is always high, especially when you live in a college city like Madison!
 

If you follow me on Twitter, you heard my big news for this morning that I am now officially a Pre-Dietetic student at UW Madison.  For those of you who don’t know, I’m pursuing a double major in Dietetics and Communication Arts.  This is not an easy task given the tough load and time commitment that goes along with Dietetics, but I am taking two summer courses this summer to make sure I get everything completed in time to graduate in 4 years.

This morning I met with the Dean-on-call and submitted all the paperwork for my Dietetics program.  This is just the beginning, but it feels so good to have a clear goal and focus!

  

Hope everyone is off to a great start on their week!

  

  

  

Heather

  

   

    

Lesson 1: Learn to Prioritize

March 13, 2011 at 10:16 pm | Posted in Other | 2 Comments
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In high school, I was your typical overachiever who always went above and beyond what was expected and did all the extra credit and then some.  I was a self-proclaimed perfectionist and actually got a lot of satisfaction from seeing my effort appreciated with straight A+’s.  When I got to college, I figured everything was going to be SO much more difficult and I would be extremely challenged by the work.  What I’ve found, however, is that it’s not the work itself that’s so difficult, it’s the AMOUNT of work that can seem unbearable at times. 

This semester, I have 5 academic classes that are all legitimate courses (meaning no Self-Defense gym class like last semester ;)) and the workload can feel overwhelming when every class has an exam and assignment due within a few days of each other.  Take into account that I’m teaching at least 4 yoga classes per week, at that’s a packed schedule!  Therefore, I’ve had to learn to prioritize and ensure that I’m keeping my own well-being in check while still maintaining my school load. 

Exhibit A:  Pile of required books that I have never, and will never, crack open.

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It’s a well known fact that professors will require you to buy multiple books for a course which they will never actually use during the semester.  They say it’s “required” when in reality it’s more like “recommended for your own enrichment.”  To me, that means “maybe in another lifetime.”

Instead, I tend to focus on this pile in my spare time…

Exhibit B:  My yoga gear.

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My well-being is the most important thing in my life. If I’m not mentally well, I won’t be physically well or doing academically well. I often times need to force myself to set the books aside and go to a yoga class, head to gym, grab coffee with a friend, call my mom or brothers, text a friend just to say hi, or whatever it might be to keep myself happy and distracted. 

There is no humanly possible way that I could do EVERYTHING that is assigned to me in college.  I have to lay out my priorities and set up a schedule so I know that I will maintain my mental well-being, and still do my best in school.  It’s a balance that’s not always easy, but I know it’s a skill that I’m going to need for the rest of my life!

How do you stay balanced in your life?

   

      

   

Heather

       

       

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