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When teaching my prenatal yoga classes, I always give the same schpiel when I first bring my class into child's pose.  I let them know they can come to this pose at any time throughout class for any reason if they need a break, even if I don't guide them there; that it's a chance to hit the reset button and come back to their steady breath, their intention, and to completely relax their body; and I say that it's just as important if not more important to learn how to tap into that relaxation and release as it is to master the more physically challenging poses of class.  I talk about that intention - something they are to keep their mind focused on throughout class with the expectation that the mind will 100% wander off and get distracted - and how each child's pose is a chance to come back to it, no matter how far off you veered, without judgement.

In labor, the body gives you a break in between contractions.  The body is designed to give you that rest and release …

Spontaneous Sunday!

For someone who likes schedules and plans and preparation, I can be extremely impulsive.  When I get excited about an idea, I often leap forward full speed ahead without a ton of deep forethought, stubbornly convinced it's a good thing to do.  This is occasionally a huge fault, and occasionally a huge asset.  I'm pretty sure this time it's an asset, but with all of my spontaneous decisions, only time will tell.

Last night (so I guess on Spontaneous Saturday...) I read my first issue of Runner's World in a really long time - probably not since shortly after I got injured after the marathon in January 2014.  My subscription inexplicably ran out and since I couldn't run and felt depressed about it, I didn't renew.  It's an excellent magazine and I forgot how every single time I read it I get a massive burst of inspiration and excitement.  As a result, before I had even read the last page, I had decided to register for and run the NYC Half Marathon in March of …

Hashtag Blessed

Not being of any religious persuasion, I've never really felt compelled to wish someone a "blessed day" or to use the word blessing too often in describing my own life or someone else's situation.  (Also, my mom would look at me like I had 3 heads if she heard me wishing someone a blessed day.  She has a funny thing about it...)

The older I get, though...Between two of my best friends on this planet earth being devout and Christ-like Christians, my deep foray into the "Slumber Party Theology" (to crib a term Elizabeth Gilbert references in Eat, Pray, Love - which I'm falling back in love with, but that's another story) that is being a yogi in this day and time and place, and between my work and my life circumstances taking the direction that it has been taking...damn.  I feel the need to throw myself on the floor in gratitude sometimes for how ever-lovingly blessed I feel.  I feel the word cross my mind and on my lips more and more as the years go b…

August is the new January

Oh, hello.  This old thing.

Six weeks!  Has it been six weeks?  That's probably the longest I've gone without updating this guy.  It's of course been near the bottom of my to-do list for probably about the last 3 of these weeks, and with every passing day that I don't write, I get more and more in my head about what I should write and why do I still have this blog when I feel like it had much more purpose and structure and direction when I started it five years ago, and no one really reads it anyway, and the last thing the Internet needs is one more blog about yoga or whatever the hell this blog is about now - blah de blah.

So, with no clear direction or easily boxed-in-able topic, I'm writing again!  The Whole30 was an excellent way to get me back on the blogging horse, but it has long since passed - but not without leaving a seriously lasting impact.  Plenty of programs say that they will change your life, and I often find it not to be the case, but the Whole30 r…

Whole30 DONE

It's my I DID IT! post!  And I did it!  Hooray!

I finished the Whole30, and while I'm proud of myself for doing it, I'm more proud (and surprised!) by how easy it was.  I thought it was going to be a form of self-torture, but...it was not that hard.  There were challenging moments, but I was never holding a bag of tortilla chips and weeping because I couldn't eat them.  I just ate something else instead...and then felt good about my choice and moved on to more important things in my day then my food choices.

As they say in the Whole30 rules:

It is not hard. Don’t you dare tell us this is hard. Beating cancer is hard. Birthing a baby is hard. Losing a parent is hard. Drinking your coffee black. Is. Not. Hard. You’ve done harder things than this, and you have no excuse not to complete the program as written. It’s only thirty days, and it’s for the most important health cause on earth – the only physical body you will ever have in this lifetime. - See more at: http://whole…

Whole30, Day 24 Update

Holy moly.  If last week's lesson was to take me out of constantly thinking about me and food and how it's all affecting me, this week's is a big smack in the face (or in my left arm) to remind me that life is random and no matter how good a handle you may think you have on your health - we are ultimately not in control.
(Ironically, not being in control is also a theme expounded upon during Jurassic World.  Which despite being depressingly non-feminist, was super fun)
So this week's adventure: I got bursitis in my elbow and it got infected.  Lord only knows how on earth this happened.  I didn't even know what bursitis was (it's this), and then suddenly my left ( and dominant, of course) arm was in excruciating pain and I could no longer bend it.
But what?  This diet is supposed to REDUCE inflammation in my body!  WTF!  Also, this apparently happens mainly to elderly people...and I'm 30.
My sister's wise answer:  "Bodies do weird things sometimes.&…

Whole30, Day 18 Update

Just barely squeaking this into Week 3.  It's been a crazy one.  One of my two doula clients for this month had her baby on Tuesday, and it was an extremely intense almost-24 hours.  I stayed on track, Whole30 wise, but the circumstances surrounding the birth and everything else has shot Whole30 firmly into the backseat of my priorities!

I've been a little disoriented and my sleep has gotten off track a bit as a result.  I'm supposed to be in the "Tiger Blood" phase of feeling amazing, and I'm sure I will be once I feel like I'm back to normal.

I also just don't feel right writing about my little Whole30 adventure when just 48 hours ago I was in the midst of a much more intense life event for my wonderful client and her amazing family.  It feels quite small by comparison, but out of respect for her privacy I can't go into any details about the birth or how I've been processing it (let alone how she's been).

For now, I'm just happy to h…

Whole30, Day 9 Update

Hello hello!  I'm actually writing a blog post within a week of my last one - will wonders never cease.  I'm hoping to finally jump back on board to consistency with this thing.
Consistency is actually one of the biggest gifts I think I've gotten from the Whole30 so far.  Strangely, I don't feel compelled to blog much about food - although I will obviously mention it!  Maybe that's where I should start:
First of all, I do not feel deprived - generally speaking.  The food I'm eating is so delicious and because I absolutely love to cook, I'm still feeling excited about the program because I'm learning so many new recipes and having to get much more creative than usual.  According to the Whole30 Timeline, I'm encroaching on the point where a lot of people have to really fight temptation to quit.  A big cause is often food boredom.  I'm feeling incredibly grateful that I'm not falling into that category!  The Whole30 book and their awesome reci…

Whole30: Day 1

First of all, I can't believe it's been a month since I've written.  For shame!

The good news is, May was a pretty awesome month overall.  I bought a one month unlimited new student special at Y7, a fabulous hot yoga studio just upstairs from Karma Kids Yoga.  (Can't beat that for convenience!)  Extra yoga, more running with my physical therapist and on my own, a race to look forward to at the end of June (my first in over 18 months!!!) and a gloriously long Memorial Day weekend in PA to visit Marc - I can't find much to complain about!

Except...

Like every other person in this country, I have a funny relationship with food.  I was a deeply, deeply picky eater (my poor mother) as a kid.  Although I also had allergy testing as a tween that revealed some strong allergic reactions to corn, wheat, milk - you name it - I never made an effort to cut any of these foods out.  I honestly would have subsisted only on carrots and celery if I had done that because I was just s…

Au Naturel

(No, this post is not about nudity.  Sorry.)

I've had sensitive skin forever and a day.  I still have eczema, though it's less severe than when I was a child, thank god, and growing up I suffered from a tremendous amount of allergies.  A few years ago, when I started falling into the yoga scene and learning what organic meant, I started to get interested in a more natural approach to my skin care, cosmetics, and housecleaning.  This essentially led to me spending an insane amount of money on boutique organic brands of all manner of products, and then years later realizing I couldn't afford it and then going to back to good ol' reliable Dove and Clorox.

Although I knew there was an alternative to that, I think it was a healthy combination of intimidation and laziness that kept me from exploring it - homemade!

Yes, I know DIY is so five-years-ago.  (Or maybe ten)  But sometimes I'm slow to catch on.

My older sister paved the way for me when she started exploring home…

Shoutout (aka - five years!)

I've been mulling over and over in my head what to write about in the four weeks since I've last written.  Actually - make that the last two weeks since I got back from being Annie the Nanny to my sister's twins for a week.  Prior to that, those two chubby faces were all that was on my mind!

My last entry was all about slowly easing back into my own yoga practiced.  That hasn't stopped by any means, and I'm very grateful for it.  My busy schedule doesn't always allow for classes, but when it does I've been much more proactive about where and how I spend my time, and it's really been helping me.

Blogging on the other hand...I've just felt flat-out uninspired lately.  I'm not sure exactly what the reason is or how to climb out of it.  I think part of it has to do with the fact that I have just felt over saturated in general - inundated via my lovely Facebook friends with endless articles that might catch my fancy on yoga, on pregnancy, on parentho…

Starting Home

I've been distant lately, not just from the blog but from so much of what it represents in terms of my connection to a spiritual practice, a physical practice, my health - all that beautiful stuff I started this blog to explore and blather on about.

Since last January, after the marathon led to my hamstring, my foot, then my hamstring again being injured, I've been slowly retreating further and further from running, yoga, and any other type of physical activity.  I didn't want to in the least, but I found I had to.  It's been very frustrating, and I've written a lot about it.  I started the amazing journey with my physical therapist back in late September to try to get me all fixed, and while I'm not 100%, I'm so much better.  I haven't done much running aside from some glorious barefoot 5-minutes-at-a-time sessions back in October and November - before the polar vortex came to stay - but those little sessions were amazing and so different from what I&#…

Saucha: Next to Godliness

February was a whirlwind.  The first half felt like nonstop teaching, and the second half felt like nonstop struggling to teach nonstop while losing my voice and being on call for my first doula client.  Now that my voice is back, a beautiful baby girl was born last week (in one of the most unbelievably awe-inspiring moments I've ever experienced!)  and I'm more grounded, I feel like I'm coming up for air, and I'm overjoyed to find that it's finally March...despite the layer of snow and ice currently dropping on the ground.

Despite the snow, when I hear "March," my brain says, "SPRING!"  Now that I've had a day off where I've felt up to doing more than laying on the couch binge-watching The Mindy Project and recouping my energy, I've been indulging in one of my favorite nerdy housewife-y things - Spring Cleaning.  It made me smile, knowing this was my plan for today, to get the March newsletter for my wonderful neighborhood yoga stud…

"Lent" for the Yogi

Holy moly - how on planet earth has it been a month since I've written?  I have no other excuse to offer but that most ubiquitous and obnoxious of NYC reasons - I've been crazybusy.  (Is that exclusive to NYC or does pretty much everyone everywhere blame things on that?)

I want to just write a brief entry - sort of about Lent, and sort of not.  I'm not Catholic, or even Christian, but I'm a sucker for anything resembling a resolution, or a finite amount of time in which to try something, give something up, or better yourself.  I certainly don't want to offend anyone who is devout and takes their practice seriously - I am not trying to trivialize your religious practice by any means, merely taking inspiration from it as I go on my own continuing journey.

A few years ago, I started my year off - literally starting January 1st - with a 40-day meditation with my mala beads, chanting the same thing each and every day.  It was pretty fabulous and grounding and I learned …

The Updated & Improved YoginiAnnie.com

Hello hello, kind readers of my blog!

Today is my only day (and it's really a half day) at home to get myself situated before the hubs and I head down south to Costa Rica for a week (!!!).  In between following up on doula to-do's, cleaning the apartment, watching the videos and doing the homework my physical therapist has assigned me, juicing, following up on bills, and making sure we aren't broke - I have a very exciting announcement!

After nearly five years, I finally got my website updated!  My wonderful friend Billy Griffin built this site for me back in March of 2010, and then we both took forever and a day to get it to the point where I could update it myself.  He put me in touch with a fantastic web guy, Kyle Walters who helped me get it to where it is right now.

To get an idea of how badly this website needed updating - I had never even heard of kids yoga, let alone Karma Kids, back in March of 2010.  I had taken only one introductory course of Thai Yoga Massage. …

Inward & Onward!

Happy 2015!  As I and every other person who writes a blog on earth am wont to do in early January, I want to write just a little bit about my resolution/word/phrase for 2015.

I'm a huge New Year's nerd - the countdown to midnight, the black eyed peas for dinner New Year's Day, and the reflection.  Oh, the endless reflection and journaling and yoga-ing!  It's one of my favorite holidays by far.  Thanksgiving and Christmas are so much about being around loved ones and traveling to see family and celebrating with them, which is priceless and which I wouldn't trade for the world.  But for a reflective introvert, New Year's Day is a damn close second.

I tend to overdo resolutions, and like everyone else in the world, tend to see certain resolutions pop up again and again and again, year after year.  After awhile, it gets a little disheartening, but I love New Year's and resolutions way too much to become jaded and just give it up.  Instead, I've changed my …