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Showing posts from 2013

The Big 2-0

It's done - the pinnacle of of my marathon training, the big 20 mile long run that so intimidated and terrified me is behind me.  It's still hard to believe, but it's a little easier when I just feel how much everything below my waist freaking hurts.  Butt, hips, thighs, knees, shins, calves, ankles, feet, toes.  It all hurts.

Luckily, the amazing Exhale Spa offers anyone who has ever taken a class there 50% off of a spa treatment for their birthday month.  For the past three years (this'll be the 3rd), an hour long massage there has been my present to myself, and dear god it was never more needed (or deserved) than today!  I'm leaving for that shortly and debating whether to take a brief ice bath before since it's the only chance I'll have to squeeze it in.

Anyway!  Running more than 15 miles makes me incredibly spacey, so forgive the inevitable tangents.  I just wanted to write about the experience while it's still (painfully) fresh.

This really does …

Last Day of 28

Or an alternate title:  12 on 12/12.

I can already tell this is going to be a bit of an all-over-the-place blog today.  I've run out of steam and brain cells for the day and am well past the point where I just need to put my legs up the wall, put on a knee brace, and foam roll today's miles out of my legs!  I'm feeling very happy, but I notice on long run days I tend to lose quite a few brain cells.  I'll have to work on that...

Maybe I'm also feeling loopy because of the day.  I ran 12 miles on 12/12/13 - which also happens to be my last day as a 28-year-old.  Tomorrow starts the concluding year of my 20's, and when I think about the distance I've travelled in that decade as a person...it's staggering.  And also makes me wince a little to think of me at 20.  (She wasn't terribly happy or healthy)

I was talking about this to my awesome boss, who was replaying what 29 was like for her - it was a great year in her life and a lot of amazing things happ…

Take My Classes!

Happy Thanksgiving, blogverse!  I had an amazing time with my family.  Just Mom, Megan, and our guys.  It's our first time having such a close-knit, immediate family only Thanksgiving and it was the best one I've ever had.

Shortly before Thanksgiving, though, something incredibly exciting launched at Karma Kids Yoga.  So often my pregnant friends are old friends from high school or college who live in Virginia or Texas and say they wish they could take the classes I always promote on facebook.  Now anyone can take not just my classes but the classes of some of my stunningly talented fellow Karma Kids Pre and Postnatal teachers!

StudioLiveTV has been working with us the past few months to film select yoga and Pilates classes and have launched a diverse library of classes available for purchase.  Even if you're 6 weeks along, if you're 40 weeks and counting, if you're not pregnant, even if you had your baby 20 years ago - and heck, even if you're a guy - these cla…

Talk, Don't Listen

This morning, from around 8:30 until around 11:30, I ran 16 miles.  By myself.  In beautiful, cold, sunny Central Park.  And it was awesome.

My longest training run before today was 12, and my longest run ever was 13.1 with the help of race day adrenaline, crowds, and either my sister or my husband, to cheer me on, distract me, and make it seem almost easy.

Needless to say, I am incredibly proud and incredibly excited that I not only did it, but I genuinely enjoyed it.  I was able to make my last mile my fastest, which I still can't believe, and I had a good balance of running with only the thoughts in my head, with my beloved Gomers, and briefly with my lovely husband on the phone.  I'm particularly proud of the miles I ran without anything at all in my earphones, particularly when I paused my podcast because I just needed to be in my own head and talk myself through.  I needed to be more present with myself.

Both my memory and Google have failed me in getting the source of m…

Marathon Fever

There's so much I could write about and so much I could say about these past two weeks!  I gave my blog the week off last week (and will likely do so again next week) due to visiting Marc in gorgeous, gorgeous Pennsylvania while he performs in Pride and Prejudice at the lovely Bristol Riverside Theatre.  (Featuring fabulous reviews that single him out here.  And here.)  It hasn't been fun having him gone, but it's been awesome to have these mini-vacations to look forward to - as I say in my yoga adventures with my kiddies, it's so great to get out of the city for a little while!

The big headline in my life over these past two weeks, though, is something that is just going to keep taking more and more of my time, energy, and passion for the next 61 (!!) days - RUNNING!  Specifically, marathon running.

It's been a rough training start for me so far - I've had lost of aches and pains in my knee, my feet, and struggles finding the right new shoes.  I've had to …

The Sound of Music

Tempting though it is, this isn't a blog post about one of the greatest films of all time, The Sound of Music.

No, on this day off from running (I'm calling it a "knee-hab" day because that's how I roll), I'm doing a lot to keep myself otherwise occupied - foam rolling, cross training, gentle yoga, cleaning the apartment, cooking, running errands...and continuing the slow process of outfitting my brand new iPhone with all the playlists I need in my yoga teaching (and running, etc) life.

I used to have a little ol' iPod packed with music from, as you would assume, my very own iTunes account of purchased music and burned CD's.  After the untimely death of my dear, loyal Macbook Max, and the many almost-deaths of my iPod, I've been using my iPhone 4 and Marc's iTunes and music library along with some of my old purchases.

It's been interesting dipping back and forth - there is some overlap for sure, but with this new phone I've been able t…

In Search of Sadhana

I've written a lot (a lot - I know) lately about how I've struggled to find a steady practice on my own.  Whether it's just not wanting to give my brain a chance to quiet, becoming frustrated that it just won't, or dealing with finding the time to fit it in, I've bounced back and forth quite a bit.

One thing that's also been an issue is that I know I'll do better in a seated meditation if I've done something physical beforehand.  That could be breathing techniques (pranayama) or, ideally, some more physical practice along with that.

I've finally identified the big issue with finding a full daily practice that suits me:

I don't need to be doing anymore yoga poses than I already am.

Some days, like yesterday, I'll teach as many as 7 kids classes.  On Saturdays I teach 3 prenatal classes.  Fridays are a wild card - one mom & baby class, one toddler class, Storytime yoga (basically to toddlers), and a teen yoga class.  Not to mention all the…

Bird by Bird

Yesterday I was chatting with one of my best friends, kids yoga teacher and actress extraordinaire, Laura Frye, about the awesome upcoming production of A Midsummer Night's Dream she's in.  (Directed by her super talented hubby Lenny - Check it out and get your tickets, NY'ers!)  One of her castmates is an avid runner and marathoner who likened the experience of their incredibly unusual and challenging take on the play with running a marathon.  Quick summary of the show's conceit:  Puck is played by one actor who draws names out of a hat to determine which roles the other 9 actors will play.  Every night.  This means that the entire cast needs to know the entire play and be able to effortlessly ease in to each role on a millisecond's notice.

Just a touch intimidating, yes?

This castmate of hers, however, likened tackling this challenge to running a marathon - if you look at the big picture of having to run 26.2 miles, it can be way too much to process and self doub…

The Art of Self Soothing

We all have people we turn to in times of crisis - people we might refer to as our "rocks," close friends or spouses or family that we rely on to help bolster us when we're down, calm us when we're stressed, and tell us things will be okay when we can't seem to say it to ourselves.

As all-important as those people are, it's just as - if not more - important to have some tools in your mental/emotional toolbox to soothe yourself.  This is something I've thought about a lot at different points in my life, usually when a friendship unexpectedly implodes, or when I've been far from my family and feeling alone.  Now, a few days out from when Marc will be off on his first regional gig - yay! - I'm faced with forging ahead without my rock to give me a squeeze at the end of a hard day.

Not to exaggerate things, of course - with the magic of technology, we'll be able to stay in touch as often as we please, and since he's not going that far from the …

Honeymooners

If only I had the shot of me doing a yoga pose on top of a mountain in Italy's Cinque Terre, I could post that and call it a day with the blog!  Alas, we need a special connector cord before we can download Marc's 1,000 pictures from the honeymoon so I'll have to think of something to say instead.

It's been a week since Marc and I got back from an absolutely spectacular honeymoon, and it feels like a lot longer.  It's been disorienting shaking the jet lag (which I believe we finally have) and not just going back to work, but going back to work at the kick-off of one of the busiest times of the year for Karma Kids Yoga - back to school!  Add in to the mix my new job of assistant manager bringing with it way more responsibilities than were on my plate this time last year, plus the start of marathon training (completed my first week's worth of training runs today with a slow 5 miler!) and things are more than a little nuts.

Going from the warm, sunny, stunning Fren…

Saturday Sadhana & Refreshing Honesty

Normally on a Saturday morning I'd be at Karma Kids Yoga's Peace In Studio, teaching the coolest group of pregnant ladies ever some prenatal yoga and prenatal Pilates.  Being the holiday weekend, however, we're closed!  So instead of sleeping in (I made it to 7:50!) I decided to get up and do something I haven't done in way longer than I want to admit - I practiced yoga and meditated here in my own apartment.

I've been very disconnected from my own practice lately, as I've written about here and there the last almost-year, and which is probably evident in my lack of inspiration of blog posts a lot this summer.  I've been getting caught up so much in my job of yoga (and managing) that I've lost touch with my practice of yoga - it's been hard to distinguish the two.  Usually when you get home from work, even if you love your job, you seek a respite from it.  I was finding the yoga of work and the yoga of home too similar to remember what it was to get…

Fly like an Eagle

First of all, I apologize to everyone for getting that song stuck in your head.  However, it's the first thing that popped into mine for a title because today I'd like to talk about Eagle Pose - aka Garudasana.  This pose is translated in English to "eagle" but according to almighty yogajournal.com, it literally means "devourer."  Garuda was the vehicle of the god Vishnu, which was purportedly identified with the, "all consuming fires of the sun's rays."  You learn something new every day!

It's easy to see why this pose is associated with something all-consuming, though.  You're double-wrapping your legs and arms around each other, and in advanced variations, folding over on yourself.  For some, it's an extremely challenging pose.  Aside from having to balance on one foot, and remember which is right and which is left long enough to get the correct knee and elbow stacked on top of the other, this tremendously challenges the flexibil…

Moms & Babies!

Happy gorgeous gorgeous Wednesday everyone!  A short entry today - again.  I have to admit, I haven't been feeling very inspired to blog the way I always thought I "should" be blogging.  When I started this a few years ago I had a very definitive idea that I'd have brilliant musings and insights on all things yoga every single week and that I'd be brimming with ideas and creativity...and yes, there are times when I have more ideas than I have time to write.  Everything comes and goes in waves, though, and I'm just having more of a fallow season I guess!

The good news is that I have something awesome to share on the blog today!  ABC News came to Karma Kids a couple of weeks ago to film one of Shari's Mom & Baby classes and their story is now up and available for viewing here.

I happened to just come from teaching a Mom & Baby class at The Yoga Room in Long Island City this afternoon.  Today most of my regular moms weren't there but I had a whol…

It's Science

Big shoutout to the lovely Cassie Naatkgeboren for not only having the coolest last name ever, but for providing me with a link for today's blog!  Also, bonus points to anyone who can tell me the preceding sentence to the Anchorman quote ending in, "It's science" that inspired this post title...

I had planned a big, contemplate-y post about the amazing Orange is the New Black (but I'm only on episode 4, so no spoilers!) and the character of Yoga Jones.  She says some really interesting things about impermanence in the first episode, but alas, as is wont to happen to me these days, time has gotten away from me.  How is this happening - it's August, for goodness sakes!  Time is supposed to be growing on trees.  Oh well - just got to go with the flow, I suppose.

What's really cool about this link is that instead of just being written by any old schmo with a blog (like yours truly) there are some really fantastic scientifically based images and explanations a…

My Prenatal Guru

This brilliant woman has been one of my heroes since I started my yogic journey - specifically when I started teaching Prenatal Yoga.

In honor of my 4 Prenatal classes I'm teaching tomorrow, I'd love to share some of her wisdom with you.  Ina May Gaskin is repeatedly described as the "mother of modern midwifery," and she truly is.  She's the author of several life changing (to me) books (my favorite being Ina May's Guide to Childbirth; her latest is Birth Matters which is an unbelievably important read!) and helped found The Farm Midwifery Center, which is the place where if I had my druthers, I'd have all my future babies!

There's so much I love about Ina May, but one of the main things is her dogged determination to quell fear and ignorance with knowledge and humor.  Birth is a wonderful, horrible, peaceful, excruciating experience depending on who you are and what your experiences are (sometimes all of those things at once!).  The more you know abo…

Mala Madness!

I've written in the past about malas and about a japa meditation practice - a mala is typically a necklace of 108 beads used for meditation practice.  You choose a mantra, sit in your meditation posture, and thumb through each bead, repeating the mantra silently or aloud 108 times.  It's an ancient practice, and one very common among yogis.

One of our former teachers (and hopefully future...?) at Karma Kids, the lovely Camy Zachofsky, started making her own malas a few years ago after feeling like there wasn't a lot of variety or personality in many of the malas she was seeing at various studios and stores.  Camy has put a tremendous amount of thought into her designs, work into finding the best materials, and care in creating malas designed to support certain chakras, or energy centers, and different intentions for the person who will inevitably use that mala for a japa practice.

We had an incredibly fun workshop with Camy last week - Mala Madness, also the name of her co…

Love Where You Are

I didn't write an entry last week as it was a semi-vacation week.  I worked every day except for the actual 4th of July, but I had an overall lighter schedule than usual and took full advantage of the time I wasn't working!

This coming week is much busier with both work and play - Marc's show opens on Thursday (Buy your tickets now and come see him!  Tickets are selling so fast!) and my wonderful in-laws are coming into town on Friday to see his awesome work as Macbeth.  I'm also doing a refresher course on Prenatal Pilates on Sunday, taking up what's often my day off.  I'm incredibly excited for it, but definitely hunkering down today and preparing for a crazy and hopefully please lord slightly less hot week.

Today's entry, at the bridge between last week and this week, will serve as the entry for both, and I want to share the little phrase that started rolling around in my head at the start of last week and has become my July mantra:

"Love where you a…

Easier said than done

A short and sweet entry today, because someone else took the thoughts from my brain and put them down much more simply and succinctly than I think I am capable of!

Thanks to the lovely Lisa Feuer, of Yogini and Bambini, for sharing the link I'm going to share with you all today.  It's a list of things to give up "in exchange for" happiness.  I like that the title is "in exchange for" rather than "to find" happiness.  Every single thing on this list is easier said that done, but man are they worth doing. These concepts are often common knowledge, but they actually work if you're able to put them into practice.  The trick is to recommit every day and know that you are going to fail - a lot!  It's just about being mindful, having the intention to live well and give yourself a break, and pick yourself back up from one moment to the next.

Okay - enough vagueness from me.  Enjoy a nice "top 10" style blog from Tamara Star!

10 Things to …

Yin (Yoga) and Yang

From my personal life to my professional life, this past week has been an absolute doozy - in a great way!  But as I've said many times on the blog, however, even positive stress still counts as stress.  If you're flying high for a couple of days, you're bound to feel a let-down - physically, emotionally, or both in the following days.  It's just how we work as human beings.  Consciously or unconsciously, we're always striving for balance.

A week ago today I was promoted to Assistant Manager at Karma Kids, which I'll start July 1st.  I'll have some big shoes to fill as we bid our current Assistant Manager bon voyage as she starts an exciting new adventure in Portland, OR, but I am so excited and feel ready for the challenge.

Then on Saturday, I finally told my sister how I'd been mulling over and toying with the idea of running a full marathon.  Between running my first half, what happened with Sandy and this year's New York Marathon, the Boston bo…

Guest Blogger!

Hi friends and followers!  I am super excited and humbled to announce that today's blog is going to be written by a guest blogger!  This couldn't have come at a more perfect time, as I was just telling my husband I had no idea what I was going to write about this week.  Lo and behold, I got an email from the lovely Caitlin Hudson (@HealthyHudson on Twitter) saying that she likes the blog and is interested in writing a guest entry!  Caitlin is in the process of starting up her own blog, and I'm very happy to help get her name and writing out there.  So without further ado, here she is!


Hi all, I'm Caitlin Hudson, a full-time mommy, nature lover, writer and health nut! I am in the process of starting my own blog, but in the meantime, Annie is so kindly letting me guest post on her blog. Today, I'd like to share with you some of my tips for maintaining a healthy lifestyle, even when life is hectic!


Maintaining a healthy lifestyle While many today are under the impressio…

Inspiration

Inspiration is a big part of what I've been writing about lately.  I want to feel inspired by the practice of yoga as I did when I first discovered it, and when I first dove headfirst into my teacher training at Sonic back in the fall of 2009.

This week has been full of it - I started practicing at Laughing Lotus which I've thoroughly enjoyed, although the first class was jarring because I wasn't used to their fast-paced asana style.  I've since relaxed into it and really enjoyed the studio and it's philosophy for its fun-loving and unabashedly devotional, silly, loud self.  I think it's the kind of lighthearted yet intense approach that's perfect for what I'm seeking right now.  I've also rededicated myself to my personal meditation practice, very slowly building myself back up.

Most importantly, though, I've been inspired by my oldest friend, who lives across the pond in London.  We're very different people - different from each other and …

Back to basics

Happy almost-June!  As May comes to a close and June with its promise of gloriously long and sunny (and stormy) summer days quickly approaches, it feels like a lot of things in my life are coming to a close and a lot of space is opening up.

From the wedding, I dove headfirst into a very fast and furious half marathon training.  From there, taking care of more newlywed business (this whole name change thing is a chore and a half in New York State!!), and then culminating this weekend, Marc and I tackled a massive spring cleaning of our apartment that was easily 3 years in the making.  It's been on the agenda probably since the winter - knowing that we needed a big spring clean/purge/reorganization - and we always put it off until that generic time, "after the wedding."

We spent all day Sunday and all day Monday under the bed, way back in closets, vacuuming places that hadn't seen the light of day in lord knows how long, dropping off trash bags of clothing and more at …