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A runner with an appetite for adventure!

How Prenatal Yoga Changed my Life August 28, 2012

Filed under: Baby,Workout — Kelocity @ 5:51 am
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Before I got pregnant, I had almost no experience with yoga. I had always preferred running or walking as my form of exercise. I always felt I didn’t have enough patience for yoga or that it wasn’t enough of a workout. But when I was 18 weeks pregnant, I decided to try Yoga for the first time. The primary draw for me was the social aspect. I was looking forward to meeting other mamas-to-be and potentially making friends.

As soon as I entered the studio, I felt at home. Within the first 10 minutes of the class, I was hooked. I knew I made the right decision. Each class starts with brief introductions and conversation about pregnancy and motherhood (this is actually my favorite part!) I loved hearing what the other women were feeling and being able to compare notes with them. It was so nice to have a venue for asking questions and hear advice from Jessica (my fearless instructor) and the other pregnant mamas. I learned that everyone else had aching hips, heartburn and insomnia too. I was in good company.

The class itself was more challenging than I initially gave it credit for going in. It was gentle enough that my pregnant body could handle it, but I appreciated the burn my body got after an hour of planks, Warriors and Down Dogs. I left that first class feeling slightly like Jell-o, but stronger than I had ever before. I had endorphins running through me all week and I couldn’t wait to go back.

22 Weeks (3)

I attended the yoga classes regularly for the next five months. It became the highlight of my week, and the most enjoyable part of my pregnancy. It was dedicated time set aside just for me. It was exactly what my mind, body and baby needed to prepare for childbirth and motherhood. It’s a nice reprieve from the demands of work, house chores, social obligations and my inner dialog. It was a safe environment to clear my head and leave all the other baggage at the door — even it was just for an hour.

Yoga became such a great way for me to communicate with my baby. I knew I was sending positive energy to her from inside. She’d reward me with little kicks throughout to let me know she was enjoying it too. I loved doing Down Dogs and hearing Jessica tell us to "look down and say hi to baby!" This made me smile every time. Hi Baby! It was such a fun reminder of the little person growing inside and how important staying healthy was for her.

As the weeks ticked by, I could see my body getting stronger. I could hold my poses just a few beats longer… breathe a little deeper… stretch a little further. I enjoyed feeling how strong my body could be, even with the demands of pregnancy. As my belly grew, I thought my body would slow down, but I discovered that it actually felt stronger each week. This boosted my confidence, helped me sleep better and prepared me for giving birth.

Pregnant Yoga (2)

I loved that yoga helped me set the stage for a whole week of healthy habits. I noticed I started to eat better, drink more water and pay attention to what I was putting into my body. It gave me motivation to walk almost every day, and gave me the tools I needed to stretch and do a few poses every night before bed. It laid the foundation for me to maintain a healthier lifestyle. And that made me feel great. I was in a healthy cycle.

I was impressed at how fun yoga was for me. Especially since I went into it thinking it would be boring and easy. After one class in particular, we had just finished our final Om and I opened my eyes and said "I just feel like clapping wildly!" The surge of energy I got after each class concluded was something I’d never felt before. I can’t explain how excited and proud I was to do a wall handstand for the first time. I had no idea I could do something like that — and 9 months pregnant to boot! My other friends were shocked when I told them that I did it!

Pregnant Yoga (3)

The real test came when it was time to give birth. The breathing techniques I had learned through yoga helped me to dig deep into myself when I needed strength. I was able to push my body further than it might have went without that training. It helped my mind to relax when I needed to separate from the pain. But most important was the faith I had in my body and confidence that I could deliver a baby.

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I am so thankful for my experience with yoga and I am so excited to continue my practice now that my baby is here. I loved the community it provided and the space for which I could relax. I love having dedicated ‘me time’ in the calendar. Yoga definitely changed my life. I am more at peace with myself now than I ever have been before. I learned to appreciate my body and all that is capable of. Surrounding myself with that positive energy reminds me weekly of all the wonderful people and things in the world.

 

Handstand: The Proof! May 1, 2012

Filed under: Baby,Workout — Kelocity @ 9:07 pm
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I know it seems totally ridiculous to want to bring a camera to a yoga class… but it’s been such an important part of my pregnancy that I just have to start capturing some of it so I remember it. I seriously recommend yoga to any pregnant mama, even if you think you don’t like yoga (like I did!) It’s amazing!
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I’m still working on my form, but here’s a few pictures of my handstand this week!!!
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Wheeee!! Baby loves being upside down!!!

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Takeaway from class this week: Although we are concerned about the life beginning inside of us… we have to pay attention to the birth that is happening TO us as well! We’re being born into mothers and we have to celebrate the outside just as much as the inside!

Five(ish) more weeks until I become a mother!!!

 

A Pregnant Handstand! April 27, 2012

Filed under: Baby,Workout — Kelocity @ 4:28 pm
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My yoga studio recently changed locations and their new space is 10x more awesome than before. Besides a bigger space and a cooler building, the biggest change is that the new studio has wall space! (The old one had couches and cabinets lining the walls to save room).

This may not sound like a big deal… but that means we could try out new moves that involved the wall! And it was pretty awesome and I wanted to share some! The first thing we did was a simple wall squat like this:
[source]

We did it three times in a row. The first time was to hold it as long as we could (my thighs were burning!) The second time, we did it by adding long breaths in and out. The point was to get us to focus on our breathing instead of the pain (good practice for childbirth!) And the third time, we did deep breathing and added a “Hmmm” sound to it. When you tone your voice, your muscles vibrate a bit and it helps your body relax. I hope I can remember all of this when I’m in labor, it is so fun to practice!

And later, I did a handstand! Well, an L-Shaped handstand. We started in Down-Dog and then walked our feet up the wall so we ended up looking like this:

[source]

It was so exhilarating to be upside down, especially with a big belly in the way. It took so much pressure off my joints and gave the baby so much room! And since my baby has been head down for months now, it probably felt pretty cool in there for him/her to be ‘upright’ for a bit. We did this move with assistance, but I’m dying to try it again. I wonder if Irving would be a willing volunteer to help me. (Irving, yes?) =)

 

I might be a total dork and bring my camera to my class next week so I can get a few pictures of me doing these moves. I have fallen completely in love with Yoga during the past eight months and I just renewed my membership for another 10 classes. For those who are counting, I only have 6 weeks of pregnancy left, but I’ll carry over my remaining classes to the ‘Mommy and Baby’ sessions post partum. I am SO excited!

 

Kick Off the Holiday Weekend May 27, 2011

Filed under: Food,Walking,Workout — Kelocity @ 8:22 pm
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Los Angeles is notorious for really bad traffic. And it just gets exponentially worse during holiday weekends. Everyone gets off work early and gets on the road to get wherever they’re going. I live in “the valley” and don’t really leave my neighborhood much unless I really really have to. I just really hate traffic. But today, I had fun plans that I deemed worth driving over the hill for.

First up was lunch with my mother-in-law who was in town for a New York Los Angeles minute. We grabbed lunch at Chicken Dijon which was really good. I ordered a chicken gyro…without the chicken. hee hee It was lettuce, tomato, onion and tzatziki sauce. Delish!

And then I had yoga plans with the lovely Katherine in Santa Monica. And it took me almost an hour to drive from LAX to the promenade (it’s only 14 miles). And as I was driving down Pacific Coast Highway I was cursing the traffic and the slow red lights, and I looked to my left to see the Ocean. Um, how can I complain when I have gorgeous beaches to look at. It really is fun to live in California, and I really do love it.
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We did a 75 yoga class that was geared towards beginners, but was still very challenging. This was the first class that I’ve ever taken where I actually felt like I could somewhat keep up. I only went into cat’s pose once. I was dripping sweat by the end. I couldn’t figure out why it was so hot in there. Why don’t they turn the AC on or open a window and let that nice ocean breeze come in? Then I looked up and noticed the HEATERS were on! I never thought in my whole life I’d ever do hot yoga. I. Hate. The. Heat. But it wasn’t that bad.
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I did feel quite dehydrated at the end though, so Katherine and I went to Starbucks to grab some refreshments. I got an unsweetened plain iced tea, and wolfed it down in 10 seconds.
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For dinner, I kept it light with some Trader Joe’s butternut squash risotto and a spinach salad with a drizzle of honey.
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I don’t eat enough protein. It is something I’ve always struggled with. I need to learn more about beans and other non-meat proteins because I do realize I should probably have more.

Enter… my protein packed dessert.
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I blended up some skim milk, 1 frozen banana, 1 cup of frozen blueberries, large handful of raw spinach and 1 scoop of chocolate protein powder. It was SO good! I also added in a handful of raw oats too. I LOVED the texture. It really did taste like ice-cream, but still had over 25g of protein. I will definitely be making this again. And no, you can’t taste the spinach.

Even though I’m completely exhausted from this week and did 75 minutes of yoga tonight, I still made myself go out on my daily walk and crank out 3.6 miles in one hour while chatting on the phone with Irving. (I love when we talk on the phone, it makes me feel like we’re dating or something. “you hang up first, no you hang up first… wait, you didn’t hang up”. HAHA, I miss puppy love!)

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In three days, I’ve walked over 11 miles and burned over 1,000 calories… just by walking ALONE. I’m really psyched that I’m sticking to this so far.
Here’s to a great three day weekend!

 

Monday Yoga January 31, 2011

Filed under: Friends,Workout — Kelocity @ 9:07 pm
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I’ve never really enjoyed Yoga. I’m not the ‘slow down, breathe deep and close your eyes’ type of girl. I prefer to go outside and run with loud music. It’s just who I am. Perhaps I’m naïve and don’t fully appreciate the peace that Yoga can bring to mind and body. I feel like I’m going to offend the blog world by admitting I Just. Don’t. Like. It. But there, I said it. I bought a three-class pass, and I still have one more left.

Tonight’s class was called ‘Shadow Yoga’. The description of the class is:

Shadow Yoga is a modern school of yoga rooted in classical Hatha yoga. This is a slow-moving class, exploring basic poses and breath work. It combines traditional yoga, martial arts and Ayurvedic healing. This class helps to release our "shadows" where we are blocked or stuck in emotional, energetic or behavioral patterns. This is an awesome class. Everyone welcome.

There was a lot of slow movements and long poses. It definitely loosened up some tight muscles I had, but I was pretty bored. It frustrates me. Instead of feeling strong and empowered, I feel weak and defeated because I can’t hold some of the poses everyone else can. Then my eyes just start wandering around the room waiting for inspiration to strike me. My favorite part was the last ten minutes. All the lights go out and we lay down in total darkness. It felt nice to lay down, close my eyes, and know that there is nothing else I had to do in those ten minutes. No guilt. No pressure. No to-do list. Just relaxing. That part was nice. Letting go of guilt is something we could all use.

I know, I’m a self-proclaimed Yoga Pessimist. All in all, this class really wasn’t for me, and it made me appreciate the Lo-Flo class from the other night. I might go back again and do that one soon. People tell me that the more you do Yoga, the more you like it. Maybe that’s the case, I’ll let you know if I change my mind after one more class.

The highlight of the evening was taking the class with two of my favorite People! Janet and Chely! It was so nice to see them all together again. We’re all Team in Training Alumni. Friends who run and do yoga together, stay together.

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In other news, I’ve been working on updating some of my pages within the blog. Check out the Traveling Gnome page!

 

Today I did Yoga… January 25, 2011

Filed under: Workout — Kelocity @ 8:26 pm
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The title pretty much sums it up. I bought a three-session pass for InYoga through LivingSocial last fall and it is expiring soon. So tonight, I went to the first of three classes. It was the ‘Lo-Flo- class, which was a slow moving class, with a little ‘flow’ and a lot of meditation, stretching and relaxing. The lights were turned off and we just had a little candlelight, so I was definitely able to let everything go and enjoy it. Just when I thought 90 minutes was too long, the class was ending. It was the perfect way to spend a Tuesday night.

Namaste!
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[photo from 2008]

 

 
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