Spring Cleaning for Yogis

A couple of weekends ago my friend and yoga teaching mentor, Chrissy Carter, held a three hour workshop at my neighborhood YogaWorks to clean up our standing poses. I remember having my mind blown when I learned in teacher training back in January that our pelvis wasn’t supposed to be squared to the side in trikonasana (triangle). BOOM. I’d been taught early in my yoga career to “pretend you’re in between two panes of glass” so I’d always been squaring my hips to the side. Same for ardha chandrasana (half moon). So, at the last minute, I decided to get up and go down to the studio for a reminder about these seemingly “basic” poses and two my teacher trainee friends showed up, too.

Here’s some of what I was reminded of:

Trikonasana:

  • Let your greater trochanter turn in a little bit – otherwise your femur is going to be running into your pelvis and you won’t be able to tilt your pelvis.
  • If you hinge your pelvis too far, you’ll be sinking your great trochanter into your hip joint. Ow.
  • Key actions include: front thigh turning out, back hip point rolls forward, rotate your torso to the sky.

Virabhadrasana 2: 

  • Your pelvis should be level. You can achieve this by swiping your front great trochanter downwards.
  • The back frontal hip point rolls forward so you can align your knee over your ankle.
  • The back leg appears to be internally rotating, but it’s neutral.
  • Key actions include: Back thigh rolling out while hip point keep rolling forward,  keep lifting your back thigh upwards, the weight in your front leg should be in the heel, not the toes.

Virabhadrasana 1:

  • It’s a neutral standing pose (because the front leg is neutral, duh).
  • The pelvis is in external rotation; it will never be squared forward.
  • Your back leg is externally rotated just a bit.
  • Key actions: Press the back thigh back by lifting your back inner arch while keeping your front knee over your front ankle; roll the back ribs forward.

Parivrtta Trikonasana:

  • Your pelvis IS squared forward in this pose because the stance is shorter so the stretch on your quad is less intense.
  • You can let your back thigh drop just a tiny bit.
  • But like the last two poses, aim to keep your back thigh bone moving backwards the entire time.

That’s just some of what we spent 3 hours on a Saturday reviewing. The whole concept of your back frontal hip point rolling forward while your back leg is externally rotating is still a mind blow for me, but I’m working on it.

Just fucking write.

So, in the last couple of weeks I’ve sucked at blogging. Things have been busy and I started a new job that’s amazing and came to me in a totally roundabout way and it’s great. I’ve also started to not like Tumblr. None of my friends actually write on theirs anymore, so I don’t like scrolling through my feed. But I never actually sit down at my laptop to actually fucking write either.

And I’m a little bit annoyed about it. With myself for not just writing. So, I thought I’d post a list of the blogs that are not on Tumblr that I read on an almost daily basis:

Laurie Ruettiman – Love this chick. She’s an HR pro-turned-pro HR writer. She’s a really cool person IRL (or at least on Slack) and she’s a badass. And she has, like, 5 cats. So, she’s basically living my dream life. 

H(OM)E – The lifestyle/yoga/food/whatever blog that my yoga teacher Chrissy writes. She just re-designed her entire site and it’s awesome. And she’s awesome. If you like food or yoga or just good writing, it’s a good place to be. 

Inspiralized – I love my Inspiralizer and I love reading Ali’s daily blog posts about recipes, and eating healthy in general. I also like her lifestyle blog a lot, too. 

The Balanced Blonde – Written by Jordan Younger, who used to be The Blonde Vegan, is super cool. She recently finished up her 500 hours with YogaWorks in California and she’s an awesome, verbose writer. She’s teaching at PureYoga one day in April and I have my ticket ready to go. Super psyched. 

Diary of a Yoga Teacher Trainee – I actually happened upon this lady in the comments section of the above blog. She’s going through the same intensive training at YogaWorks that I went through, although with a different teacher. She’s from England and she’s a great writer. 

Ramshackle Glam – I’ve been reading Jordan Reid’s blog since she started in 2009. I love some of her stuff and some of it not so much (style posts?! Nahhhh).  

Melanie Murphy – I follow ONE YouTuber in the entire world and it’s this lady. Does that count as a blog? It’s a vlog, so YES. I have no idea how I found her channel but she’s hilarious and insightful and lives in Ireland. I’m a fan. 

That’s about it. That’s most of what takes up my time. I can’t be bothered with Facebook anymore as everyone is running around, screaming like deranged child on it about how the world is ending, and nobody got time for that. I’m also really contemplating hiring help to switch my blog over to WordPress to get off Tumblr because that’s what all the cool kids are doing these days. Thoughts? 

Is there an awesome blog that I’m not reading? Let me know!

Tiny Wins

Today was most people’s first day back to work after a most likely stupidly long break for the holidays and such. I still have a week until yoga teacher training starts though, so I slept stupidly late today (for me, which is 9:40am) because Playbill wouldn’t stop meowing around 7am. Anyways, I had a series of small wins today and I wanted to log them here and hope it inspires you guys to log your own tiny wins:

AM Pilates Session: Last week I used Perkville points to book a 30 minute private pilates session and today was the day. It was my first time using pilates equipment and it was pretty interesting. I still like yoga better but I think I need to incorporate pilates at least once a week into my regimen. 

Sushi Lunch: Is sushi healthy? I caught up with an old work friend that I hadn’t seen in a month or more. We’re not super close, but it was good to see her. We went to Sushi Yusaka on 72nd street and it was really good. You know it’s going to be good when they haven’t opened the doors yet and there are already 20 people outside waiting to get in. I didn’t get any tempura rolls, so that’s a win for healthy eating right there.

To Do Lists: I combined my two different to-do list apps into one. And added a bunch of additional things “to do.”

Dairy Free: Another day dairy free! Note: I was not meat-free. Just giving myself a week off from consuming dairy. Second note: I’ve been way less bloated since Sunday!

Meditated Twice: Morning meditations are easy. I get up, I pee, I meditate. It’s the afternoon ones that I’ve been struggling to remember to do (mostly because it was the holidays, but whatever), but today I managed to sit for a second time.

Cooked: I made some kind of risotto and I’m about to make a big bowl of tabouli. I’ll also spiralize a bunch of vegetables to have on hand.  

Cleaned Up: I went through a couple of boxes that’ve been hiding under my bed and filed or threw away a big pile of papers. #declutteringFTW

Emails: In a moment of What’s Next panic last night, I sent a bunch of emails to a few recruiters that I know and a few contacts in the entertainment industry about any possible jobs. I received responses from all of my entertainment industry peeps and that made me feel really good. I made a couple of appointments with two recruiters this week, just so I’m at a good place when training is over, should I decide to take on a FT role again (as opposed to working several different part-time gigs, etc.).

Reading: I finished Breaking Vegan after only 2 days. It’s super inspiring and I truly believe that Jordan Younger is an actually fantastic person (this is just an assumption as I’ve not met her in person!). I’m not vegan, and never plan on being vegan, but this was a great read regardless. Next up: Better Than Before, by Gretchen Rubin. I’ve read her other two books so I’m looking forward to reading this one, too.

Controlling Your Thoughts

I need to meditate more. Because my anxiety is brutal lately.

I’d bought an amethyst crystal bracelet at Rock Star Crystals last week for “calm” and I thought it’d been working.  

Then I left a beautiful yoga class at Yoga Shanti, a studio across the street from my office that’s absolutely beautiful, last night and saw a Slack message from my boss and absolutely lost my shit. It was just a simple question but I made it mean that I did something wrong, when I’m 99.9% sure, I did not. I immediately text my boyfriend and began stressing him out. I felt really bad. I responded to the message when I got home and spent the rest of the night watching Orange is the New Black

I’m feeling like I need to tune back in and sit in quiet stillness more often. I have a meditation MP3 from from Kris Carr that is 14 minutes long.  It’s mostly just soothing music and Kris Carr reminding you every few minutes to keep counting your breath. I sat through it last night for the first time and it was Hard with a capital H. This means I need to do be doing it regularly

A year ago this would’ve been easy. I would’ve been going to the Be Society on a weekly basis and I probably would’ve gone to The Big Quiet at least twice by now. 

I made plans to go to the next Big Quiet in July with one of my yoga teacher friends. And I emailed a teacher of Transcendental Meditation who I’ve practiced with a few times in the past and signed up for his August TM course. It’s time to finally get serious with my TM training. Everyone swears by it. Oh, and I’m going on my first yoga retreat in July. Which I’m so excited for.

I need to journal more and not rely on others to talk me down off my Stress Cliffs of Death. I want to go take a Reki healing class too because those are always fun, too. 

I don’t think I need meds. I don’t want to take meds. I think meds are great for people who really, really need them, but I don’t want them yet. I want to continue to learn how to control my mind.