Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Jonny Kest And Some Tea

    Tonight I went to a special yoga class at my gym with Jonny Kest. They closed the entire gym from 4-10pm tonight and cancelled all other wednesday night classes for this yoga event, needless to say, the yoga event was amazing! I got there at 6pm for the yoga class and there were candles lining the whole gym and as I came in, I was able to pick a scent to spray on me to help calm me. Rows and rows of yoga mats and people were in the gym ready to practice yoga together.
    We started with a very long warm up. At first I thought the class was going to be a full 2 hours, but it ended up being around an hour and a half. We did some breathing exercises to start and then a few vinyasas to warm us up. About 40 minutes in and many vinyasas and up and down dogs, Jonny says "alright we should probably start the class now, that was just the warm up." The warm up? What do you mean that was just the warm up? I was thinking to myself, as I was already sweating.
   So for the actual class as Jonny referred to it, we did another flowing series of poses. Starting in chair pose then twisting to the right, then forward fold, monkey, forward fold, vinyasa to downward dog, high lunge, warrior 1, warrior 2, turn around, warrior 3, half squat, sit down and twist, then stand back up and standing splits and repeat on left side. We did a few rounds of this and it was quite the challenge. I loved it though! I love learning different flow series to do on my own!
   After that, we relaxed...ok not really, we went into boat pose and holding that for a long time is quite the ab workout! Eventually, we got to relaxing, or really more stretching, in the splits position. We then went to frog pose for a while and finally moved onto our backs and relaxed.
    Class ended and it was time for tea. I picked a chocolate mint tea, which was very delicious. It was nice to also have something warm in my hands as I walked to my car. What a perfect Wednesday evening! I absolutely love this 30 day yoga challenge!! If I wasn't in love with yoga before, I am now. :)

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Are you ready to WERQ?!

      Today I went to the gym twice! Yes I love the gym, in case you didn't already know. I went for yoga this morning as I continue my 30 days of yoga challenge. So far it is going well and I think I am more in love with yoga than ever before. My arms really get a great workout from vinyasas and asanas (poses). I used to stare at the clock sometimes in yoga, wondering when the class would be over, because I was tired already, but now I'm like "wow that hour went by quickly."
      After yoga, I went home and ate some lunch before heading back to the gym around noon for a WERQ class. Werq is a dance fitness class, different from zumba though as it is more pop and rock music. I also thought the dance moves were easier to follow than some zumba moves. I was sweating so much after just a few songs. It was tons of fun though. I also had no idea this was a regular weekly class at my gym. I signed up online for this special Werq class taught by Haley Stone who is one of the founders of Werq fitness. There were also quite a few instructors there who were planning to attend a workshop after the class to become Werq instructors. That would be really cool to have more instructors and more classes available. Right now the only class I could attend is on Sunday, but it's at the same time as yoga, so until I'm done with my 30 days of yoga, I won't be able to attend, but hopefully afterwards I can go to a few of the classes for some dancing fun. I also bought a WERQ tank top, because I wanted one and I thought it would be a good workout shirt. I always need more of those with how much I go to the gym :)

     Once I returned from the gym after round 2, it was time to shower and just relax for the rest of the afternoon. I also got a bit of studying done for the GMAT I'm planning to take in a few months. I've actually been so excited about studying for the GMAT until I do the practice questions and see how many I got wrong and over thought about...but I think I'm learning the strategies and hopefully I'll do well when I take it at the end of April.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

30 Day Yoga Challenge

The Mat       To start off the new year right, my gym is doing a 30 day yoga challenge. Since I enjoy yoga and go to a couple classes a week already, I thought I'd try the challenge. It has given me the opportunity to experience other yoga classes and different teachers. Of course I have my favorite teachers already, but sometimes it's nice to mix it up a bit. Today is day 6 of the challenge and so far I've been successful. Yesterday, I invested in a new yoga mat from Lululemon. My first purchase I've ever made there actually, though I've been in the store so many times, often for their free yoga classes on Sundays. As expensive as this mat is, I actually think it was a really good purchase for me, especially since I'll be using it for the next 24 days and probably at least twice a week after that. This mat is great because I don't slip as easily as I did on my other thin worn yoga mat. I used to not like downward dog, a main pose in yoga, mostly because my hands and feet would slip from beneath me and I helped that a bit by keeping a towel under my hands, but with this mat, it is thicker and I seem to stick to it better, so no more slipping!

      Since starting this 30 day challenge, despite being a bit sore constantly, I also feel a bit more relaxed and I feel like my arms and core are getting stronger. It must be all those planks and downward dogs. I have enjoyed my 1 hr of yoga a day at the gym to relax after work. Though I have also been happier since starting a new position in the accounting department at work. I still have a lot to learn, but so far it has been pretty good. I also changed my work hours so that I get out at 4:30 instead of 5pm. That half hour difference saves me a half hour of driving in 5 o'clock traffic. It now only takes me 40 minutes to get home instead of the hour and 15 minutes in traffic (hence the reason I would usually go to the gym down the road after work to try to save time driving as well).
    So I will be continuing with this yoga challenge until Feb 14. I know this challenge will also really help me decide if I want to train to be a yoga teacher someday.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Bowling and Dinner

     Yesterday night I went to Pinstripes, which is a really cool bowling, bocce and dinner place. I went with some family friends as a late graduation celebration dinner. We played two games, I improved in my second game, but unfortunately got a gutter ball on the last frame which wasn't good or I could have scored over 100 points, I was so close. We talked about my job and everything and enjoyed bowling and none of us were that good, but it was fun. I wish there was a bowling place closer to my house, but it's really not too far, only like a 20 minute drive at least. For dinner, I ordered a chicken avacado flatbread, which is like a pizza. It was delicious! Actually all of their food was really good, so I highly recommend the place.
this was actually taken before I bowled one of my few strikes

bowling a strike

my dad bowling
my sister bowling, she makes weird faces

    So I told my family friends about my blog and how I started doing bridges everywhere, so they wanted me to do one on the bowling lanes. So I now have a new addition to my bridge photo collection :)

bridge with a bowling ball underneath me...rolling away

most of us, missing Stephanie who is taking the photo

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Commitment Day 2013

         2012 was quite a year, graduating college, finding my first full time job, celebrating 3 years with my amazing boyfriend and meeting people at work.
         Last night I had a wonderful New Year's Eve hanging out with my friend at my house and watching netflix and playing games. I then woke up early this morning for a 5K. I know I'm crazy! I only walked the 5K though, because I have not run/prepared enough to actually run a 5K. I can't even run a full mile. Walking fast has always been better than running for me. I do hope I can change that this year. I hope to do more 5Ks in the spring/summer months, as it is a bit warmer then. It was a cold morning in Chicago, but at least the sun was out and it's always good to get some fresh air. So my dad and I went for a 5K walk and it took us 47 minutes. Along the walk, I took a few pictures of the lake. It was not a race by any means, the walk was not even timed, it was really just to have people get out and make a commitment to a healthy lifestyle this year.

getting ready at home

all bundled up (almost at the 2 mile mark)

        So Happy New Years! Here's to a healthy, happy year!!