Monday, March 30, 2009

lots of yoga and a yogathought

Tonight I'm teaching my usual Monday yoga class as well as subbing an additional yoga class. I've been off teaching for the past week because of spring break, and I'm definitely looking forward to instructing both classes tonight!

Here is your yogathought for this Monday:

"Being an example of inner peace is an effective way of expressing your desire to offer inspiration to others." --Wayne Dyer


Thursday, March 26, 2009

yoga at noon

I'm about to head out to take a noon yoga class downtown. My "normal" life doesn't allow me to take noon classes or do anything outside of the school building during the day for that matter (until summer, that is). It's always interesting to me when I go out for activities during the day when I'm on vacations, and I see all the people out and about, also. Are they on a vacation, too? Are they able to leave their work during the day? Are they independently wealthy and don't have to work at all? Although I completely love my life, sometimes I think it would be so interesting to experience a typical day in the life of another person...Oprah Winfrey, Seane Corn, Michelle Obama would be the first three on my list!

Off to yoga now...

Here is your yogathought for the day:

"Neurocardiology proves what yoga sage Patanjali prescribed in the second century C.E.: put your attention on wholesome states. Soak in love, compassion, and creativity, and in time the ways of seeing and feeling that produce suffering will fall away and the wholesome state will remain. When you focus on love and appreciation, your 'heart brain' affects your cranial brain; it actually changes your brain structurally, creating new neural pathways that make it easier to feel positive and to return to this positive state more quickly when you are stressed, exhausted, or in pain. Your cortisol levels fall, and your immune system may get a boost--in other words, you physically become what you are feeling!" --Jennifer Louden


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

true confessions of my staycation

This morning I took my pups on a short walk. We didn't finish our usual two-mile route because it was so darn cold outside. I didn't realize it was so chilly out when we left, and my ears and hands were freezing, so we turned around and headed home early. When I got home, I did my Bryan Kest Power Yoga 1 DVD. It felt wonderful! I just adore Kest's teaching style--he's a bit hardcore, yet at the same time, he gives you permission to go at your own pace. I find his instruction pushes me to really challenge myself, yet not get sucked into ego. For those of you already practicing yoga, and looking for some great home videos, Bryan Kest's Power Yoga 1,2, and 3 series is my favorite!

After yoga, I showered and headed to one of my favorite places: down-town Columbia. For lunch, I tried out a new resteraunt: in~gre~di~ent. It was yummy! The food was very fresh and unique. It also had a welcoming, artsy, fun vibe. Here's a little quote (that made me smile) from the menu: "In order to maximize the value you receive from your visit to Ingredient, we do not allow tipping. Instead of tipping, should you feel the need, we recommend one of the following: Give a few dollars to charity...Say Hello to a stranger...Pet a dog...Perform a random act of kindness...Put a quarter in a parking meter you see that is expired...Do something nice for youself!" Now, you just gotta love that!

After lunch, I walked to Starbucks for my grande' decaf nonfat no whip mocha and afternoon reading. Now, I am at Kaldi's coffee having a cup of tea and blogging. Day three of my staycation has been pretty much perfect, so far!

I do, however, have a small confession to make....... I think I'm addicted to Sex and the City. Yes, I realize I'm a few years behind with this, but we don't have HBO and although I watched the movie, I never realized how good the series was. As I mentioned before, Monday I started a Sex and The City marathon at my friend's house...this just might have been a mistake. We watched the first six episodes of season 1. After I left her house, I was still yearning for more. So, yesterday, when it was pouring down rain, after I finished cleaning out my closet, and I found myself a bit bored, I decided it was completely rational and neccessary to head to Target and purchase the complete series for myself. I mean, I am saving money by being on a staycation, right?

So, on my rainy staycation day, I completely vegged out, and watched the rest of season 1 and have one more episode of Season 2 to watch. Truly, it is almost as addicting as reading Twilight, which I must mention, I've gotten my Mom (who is not an avid lover of books and reading) completely addicted to, also. I will be loaning her Sex and The City next! :) Sometimes it can be incredibly nourishing for the spirit to veg out, escape reality and laugh, laugh, laugh!

Here is your yogathought for the day:
"Give a few dollars to charity...Say hello to a stranger...Pet a dog...Perform a random act of kindness...Put a quarter in a parking meter you see that is expired...Do something nice for yourself!"--Ingredient menu


Monday, March 23, 2009

girlfriends and homemade puppy treats

I just finished taking my pups on a 2 mile walk and doing this yoga video with Baron Baptiste: . I feel yummy! I will shortly be showering and heading to a girlfriend's house (who is on bedrest) to have a Sex and The City marathon day. Speaking of girlfriends, this past weekend I went to a baby shower of another friend who is pregnant and got to see a few of my old friends from high school. We will be getting together again in July to have a girlfriend's weekend which I am already looking forward to!

Last night, for the first time ever, I made homemade puppy treats for my two pups. They were a gift from a good friend of mine--Thanks, Hayley. Ziggy (who was recently groomed) was already anxiously awaiting the treats as I was making them. He even jumped up and took one right off the cookie sheet before I'd put them in the oven. Thankfully, I was able to quickly confiscate it. After baking, the treats had to sit in the oven over night, so he didn't get his treat until this morning, and both he and Olivia seemed to like them. It's amazing to me that Zig will do whatever I tell him if there is a treat involved, but if not, he decides if he wants to listen to me. Oh, how I love my little furry family! Seriously, the life, energy, and love animals can bring to a home is priceless!
Hope your week has started off well! Here is a yogathought for the day:
"Grant yourself buoyant freedom from shoulds and have-tos, since nothing clouds inner knowing as thoroughly as inner hectoring." --Jennifer Louden

Sunday, March 22, 2009

spring break

This week flew by. I finished up the raw foods/juicing cleanse. I definitely recommend trying it. I always feel so much cleaner and lighter after I eat this way. The last time I did a cleanse--I didn't do raw, I just ate clean--it was for 14 days. I would say it's probably a better bet to try it for 2-3 days rather than a full 2 weeks your first time, at least. I plan to try to do a raw food/juicing cleanse every three months or so.

I'm on a much needed spring break this upcoming week, and I'm so excited to have a full week to do with as I please. Don't get me wrong, I would love to be going on an island get-away, but because my husband doesn't have the same spring break as me and in order to save money, I'm just going to have a little staycation. I will have loads of time to read, do yoga, browse book stores, get creative, walk my pups, and take my laptop to coffee shops to surf the internet and write. It is so important to balance working hard with relaxing and rejuvinating, and that is exacty what I plan to do this week!

Here is your yogathought for the day:

"Once you accept that it is natural to create, you can begin to accept a second idea--that the creator will hand you whatever you need for the project. The minute you are willing to accept the help of this collaborator, you will see useful bits of help everywhere in your life. Be alert: there is a second voice, a higher harmonic, adding to and augmenting your inner creative voice. This voice frequently shows itself in synchronicity....Expect the universe to support your dream. It will." --Julia Cameron


Monday, March 16, 2009

ring of fire

Ring of fire is dinner for me tonight. It's a juice from the local organic cafe and juice bar, The Main Squeeze. The juice is a mixture of apples, oranges, organic beats, and ginger...not too bad, if I do say so myself. It smells a bit like dirt, but definitely tastes a lot better! The ginger adds a bit of a bite, which I like. I'm drinking it from a wine glass which I think is fun (yes, little details like this make me happy!).

Day one of my raw foods and juicing cleanse is almost done. I must admit as I drove around town today I did notice every single fast food restaurant and the food items they were advertising. It was like they were blinking lights saying, "Look at me...Look at me"...Biscuit breakfast sandwiches at Hardee's, Chalupas at Taco Bell, Big Macs at McDonalds. I find this interesting since I normally just drive right by without noticing them. Anyway, back to much more healthy topics: Thanks for the juicing and smoothy recipes and recommendations. Keep them coming!

On another note, it was a beautiful day with spring-like temperatures and lots of sunshine. I'm actually blogging outside on my back patio. Life doesn't get much better than this!


raw diet cleanse

Today I'm starting my 3 day raw/juicing cleanse. I started this morning with a cup of decaf detox tea and a fruit smoothie. My smoothie has a banana, blueberries, strawberries, whey protein, and a shot of soy milk in it. It is tasty. I've got a banana and peanut butter (from ground up peanuts) packed for a snack and hummus with cucumber, red pepper, and tomatoes for lunch. Not sure about dinner just yet!

I think I've decided to purchase a Breville juicer off of ebay sometime soon. It seems Breville makes good juicers that aren't too terribly expensive. Hopefully I'll find a lightly used one and get a really good deal!

Keep the juicing recipes coming, if you have them. I really appreciate it!


Sunday, March 15, 2009

homemade hummus

I was delighted to find out recently that my school cafeteria has hummus plates available on Tuesdays and Thursdays. (I usually bring my own food for lunch at work since the cafeteria food isn't healthy and is loaded with preservatives and fat.) My co-workers and I had a conversation on Thur. about hummus, and they were saying how easy it is to make. So, this morning I made hummus for the first time ever, and it's very yummy, if I do say so myself! Hummus is one of those foods I never ate growing up. In m family we ate primarily mid-western/American type food...lots of meat and potatoes. My husband and I now eat a wide variety of foods. Here are a few other foods, I now love, and never had growing up:

***sushi (california rolls and volcanoe rolls are my favorite)
*** feta cheese
***lentil soup
*** grilled portobella mushrooms
***pad thai

On the topic of foods, I'm considering doing a 3 day juicing cleanse. Last night I was researching juicers and found many of them to be incredibly costly. I don't want to invest in one until I know I will use it regularly. I may just use the good old blender this time around. I'd love to hear from anyone who has juicing, best juicers, overall thoughts, etc.

Here's your yogathought for the day:

"It is our practice (of yoga) that helps us to see on a day-to-day level how we create what happens to us by what we allow our minds to engage in, where we let them wander off to, and what we give our energy to. In order to change what is happening to you, you have to be able to get outside yourself and see this process." --Beryl Bender Birch


Saturday, March 14, 2009

why do yoga

Here are just a few of the many reasons to get your yoga on...

***improves muscle tone, strength, flexibility, balance, and stamina
***reduces stress and tension
***improves circulation
***creates stability of mind and body
***stimulates the immune system
***creates a sense of well-being and calm
***helps develop mental focus and inner peace

It's never to late to start!


Friday, March 13, 2009

heavenly scents and guilty pleasures

I was delighted to find that Bath and Body Works had their wallflowers on sale for $6.00 today and they have a new heavenly scent: pineapple orchid. I plugged them all in earlier this afternoon and my house now smells heavenly!

Purchasing all things smelling good--wallflowers, candles, body lotions, perfumes--is one of my most guilty pleasures. Here are a few others:

***reading PEOPLE magazine (I will say I no longer subscribe, but I find myself flipping through it regularly at Barnes and Noble bookstores)

***a monthly pedicure

***grande, decaf, nonfat, no-whip mochas from starbucks

***handbags, scarves, and sunglasses

***taking a very needed break during the summer months and spending many days lounging by
the pool reading! (I can't wait for this one!)

What are your most guilty pleasures?


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

rest, retail therapy, & piercing

I slept a good 4+ hours today, and I am feeling better. I'm definitely feeling good about the decision to stay home--as I've written about before, I used to feel guilty about taking sick days when they were actually needed. (I know this sounds a bit silly, and I am pretty much over the guilty feelings I used to have!) My body obviously needed some rest since this cold I have has worn me down. I am definitely looking forward to feeling 100% again!
Other than sleeping, I've just been chilling on the sofa surfing the internet. I discovered a wonderful, creative soul on etsy (treehouse28--check her out! Lots of beautiful, comfy, fun clothing and accessories!) and couldn't help but purchase the funky and fun arm warmers and scarf in the pictures above. Can't wait to get them!
In other news, I got my nose pierced this past weekend. I've actually been wanting to do this for a very, very long time, but hadn't done it for a few different reasons: 1. I'd watched youtube videos on it, and it looked a little scary. 2. I have never loved my nose and wasn't sure I wanted to adorn it with jewelry. However, in the middle of teaching yoga Saturday morning, I got this gut feeling that I should do it that day. So, I did...for multiple reasons: 1. I love jewelry and like the idea of having a cute little stone shining on my face. 2. I decided the little stud would be a symbolic reminder that I can love and accept my nose just as it is! 3. I have a very funky, creative side that I don't feel like I get to express as often as I'd like, and this is one more way to express that side of myself.
Hope you are having a wonderful week!

Monday, March 9, 2009

feeling under the weather

I am officially sick. My sweet husband was ill last week, and I really thought I was going to avoid catching what he had; however, I was wrong. I can't breathe and my head is pounding. I will be resting this evening, and most likely all day tomorrow, if I don't feel significantly better in the morning. Husband had a fever, but I'm still hopeful I'll avoid that!

Hope everyone else is having a healthy start to their week!


Friday, March 6, 2009

yogathought for friday

"Living your epitaph may be the most important ingredient for inner peace and serenity. When you actively align your choices with your life's pupose and goals, you live more honestly, more couragaously, and with greater integrity, and these virtues bring with them a powerful kind of freedom." --Zoe Weil


Wednesday, March 4, 2009

what are your strengths

In the past two days, I've met with 70+ 15 and 16 year old students individually to talk about graduation requirements, course selections, and future plans. With each one of them, I've asked them to tell me their strengths. It is so interesting to hear their responses. Some actually stared at me blankly or blushed and said they didn't have any. How sad! If this was their response, we talked until they were able to tell me at least 3-4 strengths. It was so good to see the relief on their faces when they realize they did indeed have strengths to talk about! This is a conversation I believe parents should be having regularly with their children. Kids need to know what they are good at and what positive attributes they have to contribute to the world!

I went on to tell them everyone has strengths and it was important for them to really dig deep, focus in on those things they are good at and the good within them. Then, as they get to know themselves over the next few years, they should explore career paths and jobs that will allow them to use a majority of their strengths on a regular basis. I firmly believe those happiest and most fulfilled in their jobs and life in general are those who get to use their strengths/gifts/talents regularly!

I truly hope that with these conversations I've planted the seed to help each one of them begin to grow into the person they were meant to be!

Instead of a yogathought for the day, here are 3 questions of the day for you:

1. What are your strengths? (Don't be shy--list them all!)
2. Do you get to use the majority of your strengths on a regular basis?
3. If not, how can you incorporate more opportunities in your life to use your strengths and talents--both personally and professionally?


Sunday, March 1, 2009

short getaway

Off today for an educational conference that focuses on working with at-risk students. This will be an interesting experience in that it is the first conference ever my sweet husband and I have attended together. It will be nice for us to get away together for a night.

My mom and step-dad will be pup-sitting while we are gone. This is interesting because my mother is so not a dog-in-the-house-type person. I think she may just change her mind after getting some lovey dog time with our two pups!

Here is your yogathought for the day from Meditations from the Mat by Rolf Gates:

"As we take right action--as we pay the bill, delay the gratification, make the tough phone call, take the vacation, don't take the vacation, say yes, say no, show up for life--we accrue more energy. And each right action infuses us with the energy and the ability to take the next right action."