My One Month Of Yoga!

At the LIC Yoga Room

I've been dreaming about this challenge for months now. Anticipating my move from the island of Manhattan to Long Island City (LIC) and scheming in my head: making plans for myself, thinking of self-challenges and workout goals.

I've known for quite awhile that I need to do more yoga.

I used to be a yoga-once-a-month-kind of girl, vaguely knowing when the classes at Equinox were, making a half-hearted effort to go. It was always the first thing to get kicked off my list. I always made bootcamps and my personal trainer and my running groups a priority. 

But yoga? MEH, it "wasn't a real workout!"

I knew the recovery aspects were huge, but hey, I was 26 years old and my body could bounce back from anything. 

Now, not that I'm not much older, but I am turning 30 on May 5th and I thought, what better way to celebrate and get on track with a big goal of mine, than with 30 days of Yoga?

 I'm obsessed with my new   Zen Again shirt from Sub_Urban Riot.   It's super soft and makes me happy every time I glimpse it in the mirror. From Amazon Prime! 

I'm obsessed with my new Zen Again shirt from Sub_Urban Riot. It's super soft and makes me happy every time I glimpse it in the mirror. From Amazon Prime! 

 

Feeling Tightness in Your Body?

Yup, I am. I've felt tension and tightness in my torso for a couple years now.

At first it was linked to breathing and now I have overactive lat muscles and tight Serratus Anterior. I'm using this 30 days to really open up my muscles that protect my rib cage AND massage my internal organs. I'm not super knowledgeable when it comes to Eastern Medicine, but I do know that everything is linked and tightness in your torso can lead to slower digestion, holding stress in your body and generally throwing things a bit out of whack.

Feeling Tightness in Your Mind?

OK, sort of yes too! I've unwound big time from my days in finance, but I'm still on the path to managing my stress levels.

For example, when I just wrote that above paragraph, I noticed I was holding my breath. What?! I'm writing about YOGA for godsake! But yes, when I write certain emails or try to choose my words carefully, I hold my breath. 

30 days of Yoga is definitely going to help loosen some of these old patterns and work on my mind-body connection.

 The Lavender Room at Yoga Room LIC - how ZEN!

The Lavender Room at Yoga Room LIC - how ZEN!

What's the Game Plan? 

On Monday, May 2nd I signed up and committed for one month of unlimited yoga at The Yoga Room in LIC.

Here's the details in case you're curious about creating your own personal challenge and also crunching the numbers in your head.

I paid $130 + tax ($5.80) for a total cost of $135.80 a month and locked in to a 3 month commitment. My plan is to go 20 times over the month (5 days a week), so that would bring my cost down to $6.80 a class. Yes, if I went 30 times that would be super cool, but I am TRYING not to stress myself out and be a perfectionist these days! 20 times in one month is going to be good enough sweetie! 

The unlimited membership includes free mat storage (or a free mat at every class if for some reason I don't feel like using my own stored mat, I can use one of theirs and they'll take care of cleaning it) and free towels. I did pay an extra $3 on Day One for a fancy alkalinized water bottle! 

 OK, i couldn't figure out how to shrink this picture, but that makes sense because this Alkaline water is also the size of my head. Totally worth the $3 for the Hot Yoga classes in my opinion. 

OK, i couldn't figure out how to shrink this picture, but that makes sense because this Alkaline water is also the size of my head. Totally worth the $3 for the Hot Yoga classes in my opinion. 

I'll post in reverse order about my journey. And I hope this inspires YOU to pursue your own yoga dreams, or workout dreams or some kooky challenge you've always wanted to do. Above all, listen to your body, because it has more knowledge than we'll ever really know. 

I'm going to start documenting some more actual yoga photos in my next post, once my cute yoga clothes go through the laundry (and I find them in all the boxes!) after our big move to this new area of town! 

 Blissing out in the sun before 4:30pm class on Wednesday. This "island living" AHEM Long Island, is going to be good. 

Blissing out in the sun before 4:30pm class on Wednesday. This "island living" AHEM Long Island, is going to be good. 

HINT: STart Reading at the BOTTOM for DAY #1. Mwah!

 

DAY SEVEN: May 11th: Vinyasa Yoga with Victoria G.

Wow, I've made it this far! I let myself take a break on Tuesday to spend the evening making and eating dinner with my man.

After an early start teaching my 8am Equinox Treadmill Class in Flatiron today, I wrapped up my last client call today at 3:30pm and decided to head out in to the sunshine. I lounged and soaked up the sun for 20 minutes and was happy that my feet lead me to the 4:30pm yoga class. [Um, those of you who know me well, know that I'm obsessed with planning, so I'd been checking out the schedule quite religiously to make sure I can fit in these classes!]. 

I was hesitant to step inside on such a beautiful day, but I'm so glad I did.

This class was lead again by the British beauty from Day 3, Victoria G. She taught such a unique and energizing class. It wasn't dripping with sweat yoga, nor was it hot yoga, and thankfully I was totally fine keeping my pants today. (See Day #4).

She told us to make the moves "Easy Like Sunday Morning," keep breathing and flow in to the movements. And then - get this - she led us in to an "advanced pose" called Firefly and asked us to be brave. I'd never ever tried this in my life and I DID IT. OMG, I looked nothing like these photos on google, but I still did it. 

Finally, Victoria told us that "falling is progress." Just think about how that can apply to so many areas of your life. Mess up and have too much booze and brownie sundaes and wake up with a killer stomachache? That's falling, you learn, you forgive yourself, you move on, you know better next time. Progress! 

Day SIX: May 9th: Vinyasa Yoga with Elizabeth B.

Well this was a treat! Year over year, I'm becoming progressively more hippie and this hit the spot. Elizabeth opened class with a type of piano chanting (OK, you real yogis are going to have to correct me here, because I wasn't entirely sure what I was doing, but it was beautiful to sing along at the start of the practice and unwind from the day during the 4:30pm class).

Elizabeth told us "we're so used to feeling like we should always feel comfortable. How about you get comfortable with feeling some discomfort?" That was interesting to me and I completely agree. This extends to feelings, and physicality. Like holding the chair pose in yoga (always super tough) or feeling sad one day. They are both OK! We don't need to be happy all the time. Permission granted. 

 Me, happy after Monday afternoon yoga. This is pretty much my ideal outfit: spandex, running sneaks, navy blue KALE sweatshirt, J.Crew vest, aviators and ponytail. 

Me, happy after Monday afternoon yoga. This is pretty much my ideal outfit: spandex, running sneaks, navy blue KALE sweatshirt, J.Crew vest, aviators and ponytail. 

Day Five: May 8th: Restorative YIN Yoga with JENNIFER B.

This was exactly what I needed. Exactly. Last night I celebrated my 30th birthday with friends, guacamole, chips and more chips, sombreros and lots of booze. Oops! I mean, you only turn 30 once right? 

I knew I could handle today's class and in fact, I walked out of it feeling incredibly zen, and well, restored. Jennifer was such a doll and sang to us at the end of class. I immediately went from feeling 30 --> to 3 years old and it was a welcome comfort. 

In restorative yoga, you pretty much snuggle up on big pillows called "boosters", settle in to a position, breath and sort of doze off until the teacher tells you to switch to the next pose. It's incredibly calming for the nervous system and without being an expert, it's delicious for hangovers. 

Day Four: May 7th: Vinyasa Flow with Steph

Saturday AM Yoga! I must say, I was super proud of myself for 1) getting myself out of bed by 7:30am to enjoy coffee and my breakfast and 2) leaving for Yoga at 8:45am. All while my BF was still sleeping! I felt like "one of those yogis" that does yoga before everyone else wakes up. 

By now, I've left my favorite mat for the studio to store and I get two free clean towels when I arrive. It makes it much easier to roll out the door with only keys and sometimes some cash. I try to leave my cell phone at home {but I brought it along to take pictures today, to share with you all}. 

I was surprised that today's yoga was in the small room of the studio's three spaces. It was definitely tight for the Saturday morning crew. Everyone was gracious and moved around to fit in the last few people and I was fine with lining up my mat next to my fellow participant. I mean, that's what Yogis do on Saturday AM right? 

Anyways, the class was good, totally solid. This was the first class that was NOT hot yoga, but I did glance at the thermometer and it was a solid 79* and boy, did I dress incorrectly!

I LOVE with a capital L my Lululemon Herringbone long tights, but all I wanted to do during the entire class was take off my pants. Yup, you read that right. All I could think about was how many more minutes until I can GET THESE OFF OF ME. I hate feeling sticky and claustrophobic around my legs. I'm all about shorts when I can rock them! In fact, I try not to wear pants, EVER, from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Note to self: next time, wear shorts. 

 How much do you love their water fountain? I make it a point to refill my water bottle after class, before I hit the road! 

How much do you love their water fountain? I make it a point to refill my water bottle after class, before I hit the road! 

 

>>>> Update! Ok, after three days in a row of sweaty Hot Yoga my rib cage is no longer tight and I feel such lightness in my torso. I'm on to something! PS: Your body knows what it needs to heal. You've just got to learn to listen to it. <<<<

 

Day Three: May 4th: Hot Yoga with Victoria G. 

A yoga instructor with a British accent! What a treat! She really cranked up the heat. We were sweating through 104* temps and I was so thankful I brought flip flops to jump and rinse off in the shower after.

At one point during a balancing section of class, Victoria told us to look in the mirror and stare directly in to our own eyes to find balance, and how this could be scary because we'd have to confront ourselves and anything we may be trying to hide. Wow! I'm eager to lose 5 pounds I've gained since February (was in a total funk for a couple months) and I definitely had an emotional moment "confronting my own eyes" and THEN Frou Frou's "Let Go, Beauty in the Breakdown" song came on and I had my cathartic moment.

That's a ramble: bottom line. I was tired on Day 3 of Hot Yoga and feeling emo. Which I think is beautiful! 

Day Two: May 3rd: Hot Yoga with Caitlyn

This was a lovely 60 minutes. A bit less flow than Vinyasa, but totally sweat it all out and continued to open up my tight upper torso and rib cage. I keep pressing my fingers down and finding new trigger points on my sides and around my lower rib cage -- has this ever happened to any of you?! Please share! Oh and Caitlyn was a doll and we chatted after class about the silence of LIC versus NYC. Its golden. This 11am class will fit perfectly in to my weekly schedule and I think I'll be a regular! 

Day One: May 2nd: Hot VINYASA Yoga with Shevy

Mmmmm hot yoga, my favorite! I've been doing the 75 minute Hot Vinyasa Yoga Classes for the last six months when I found myself in the 'hood on a Saturday or Sunday, but now it's time to really dive in. 

I love that they heat the room to 97*-105* and we flow through various Vinyasa movements. This does feel like a workout! It's not nearly as hot as Bikram (115*) and I love moving through the postures. 

I felt a bit poofy this morning after celebrating my brother's birthday yesterday afternoon with beers and BBQ, so a hot yoga class was ideal for sweating it out and kicking off my challenge with a fresh start. 

I loved how the instructor told us to breath and make any sounds we wanted during class, so I let out a bunch of loud sighs and really got that oxygen flowing through my body. If you haven't tried Hot Yoga, I'd definitely recommend it! It's a great way to get a deeper stretch and feel like you're getting more out of the class than traditional Vinyasa.