You know when you read something profound and it sort of clicks, then you come across several other timely articles and examples and you think, “That’s it. This makes total sense! But now what can I do about it to help?”
Last night I came across this article about the opioid crisis we’re experiencing in BC at the moment. Author Andrew MacLeod examines the many complex factors that contribute to deaths due to opioid addiction amongst middle age men and women, including broken marriages, guilt, shame, past abuse, high housing costs, debt, poverty, mental illness and the weakening of social support groups like churches and service clubs. But the overarching reason for addiction, MacLeod argues (citing retired Simon Fraser University psychology professor, Bruce Alexander), is cultural isolation. “When I talk to addicted people, whether they are addicted to alcohol, drugs, gambling, Internet use, sex, or anything else, I encounter human beings who really do not have a viable social or cultural life. They use their addictions as a way of coping with their dislocation: as an escape, a pain killer, or a kind of substitute for a full life. More and more psychologists and psychiatrists are reporting similar observations. Maybe our fragmented, mobile, ever-changing modern society has produced social and cultural isolation in very large numbers of people, even though their cages are invisible!’
Social and cultural isolation aren’t just catalysts for substance abuse. I feel it’s at the very heart of what’s breaking down our society as a whole right now, even though we have access to more information and knowledge than ever before. You think we’d be so enlightened by now, right? (more…)
Hi friends! With all the summer craziness coming to an end, I thought I should pop back on to the blog to let you know how I’m doing and what’s coming up next now that our wedding has come and gone…
Except, my blog had disappeared.
Since we hosted the wedding at our house, we had a ton of work to do to get everything ready in the six months leading up the day. I was in full wedding planning mode in July and August and missed the emails from my website host, GoDaddy, saying that it was time to renew my managed WordPress site. I guess it expired in early August, and Run. Lift. Yoga. has been offline for almost a month. Whoops!
When I went to log in to write a post, my blog was gone. I called GoDaddy and they wanted just over $300 for me to get my site back up and running again. I briefly thought about just letting it go, but I would have lost four years worth of content. I do want to rebrand next year, but for now Run. Lift. Yoga. stays put. I’m working on a super awesome exciting new side project with my talented bestie Janine that we’re hoping to launch in January, so stay tuned for that!
Hello friends! It’s been awhile so I thought I’d pop back on my blog to share some life updates, since I’ve grown pretty quiet on social media lately.
My silence hasn’t been fully intentional; since January, I’ve been busy with wedding planning, entertaining three dogs, hiking, social events, friends, family, work, and now getting the yard ready for summer. Any free time/downtime I do have is spent reading in the bath or watching Netflix with Matt. And it’s not that I don’t want to write — I just don’t have anything new to say that fits into the categories of running, yoga and lifting for the blog.
I’m still practicing yoga a few times a week at home, strength training four days a week and running 3-5K once a week with Gus.
But I’m not logging miles. I’m not researching my next race. I’m not hashtagging Instagram photos with #yyjrun #running #sweatpink. I’m not spending all my money on running shoes and clothes. And I’m not devising yet another training plan to get my elusive 3:30 time so I can get into Boston. (more…)
So far 2018 has been the year I’ve worked harder than ever at getting my sh*t together.
I made a budget in January and stuck to it. I write everything down I put on my visa so I don’t forget to pay it later. I went through the kitchen and cleaned out the pantry, and put together two huge bags full of non-perishable food items to drop off to the food bank. I sold almost everything I own on VarageSale to pay for all the wedding decor I’ve been amassing. I have a 14-page “Wedding To-Dos” document I update every weekend. I have a wedding budget spreadsheet I also update weekly. I never miss I workout, and I meal prep my workday breakfasts, lunches and snacks every Sunday afternoon.
None of this would be possible if I didn’t write it all down. Not track it in an app on my phone. Not rely on what things I’ve put in my Outlook calendar. No, I’ve come to realize that for things to stick and for me to feel calm and in control, I need to write them down. (more…)
Although my formal yoga teacher training ended at the end of November, I still have one more observation to do, one more written assignment, my practicum, and my certification class to complete before I can actually call myself a yoga teacher. The plan was to do my practicum and certification class this February, but due to unforeseen things taking up my time this coming month and now being in full-blown wedding planning mode, I’ve postponed my practicum, observation and certification class until fall of 2018.
Since I had already started my final written assignment back in November, I thought it might be helpful to post it on the blog for yoga teacher class inspiration 🙂
Yogic Text Assignment: Design a class around a theme from a yogic text
Most of the yoga classes I attended at MokSana incorporate elements of yogic tradition into the asanas, which is important because without weaving yoga’s rich tradition into class in some form — be it chanting, meditating or sharing stories — students are just moving their bodies into various positions and gaining none of the mental and spiritual benefits. Yogic philosophy provides context, and a well-prepared class with a yogic theme that ties in nicely with your poses makes a class feel purposeful and complete. (more…)
Most yogis and anyone who frequents craft fairs and markets on Vancouver Island will be familiar with malas: those long, beautiful necklaces made out of wooden or gemstone beads with either a stone or tassel hanging near the navel. Aside from looking gorgeous on anyone from Salt Spring hippies to New York fashionistas, malas have a much more significant purpose and meaning for the wearer.
What does “mala” mean?
A mala, which means “garland” in Sanskrit, is pronounced mall-laa with a long A—not to be confused with mālā with a short A, which actually means poop (like the malasana yoga pose, or pooping pose, commonly misinterpreted as garland pose). Malas are strands of beads traditionally used to count the number of times a mantra is recited during meditation. They usually consists of 108 beads made out of ‘Bodhi seeds’, which come from the Rudraksha tree in India. In Hinduism, Rudraksha seeds are said to be the crystallized tears of Shiva, who cried tear of compassion for the welfare of mankind. (more…)
After attending 16 yoga classes, doing 3 class observations, spending 172 hours with my yogi cohort (or kula, as it’s referred to in yoga) on weekends over 10 weeks, spending 35-ish hours reading textbooks, working on research assignments and writing blog posts, and after having many eye-opening, ah-ha and emotional self-discovery moments, I’ve completed the in-class portion of yoga teacher training at MokSana Yoga Center. And it was worth every second.
I still have one more observation to do as well as my practicum, which involves shadowing the teacher, assisting by handing out props and then teaching the warm up over three consecutive Foundations classes before I take my final certification class. I’ve scheduled my certification class for February 18, so I have lots of time to practice my cues. (more…)
Even though I’ve spent almost 190 hours over the past month and a bit at MokSana learning about asanas, yogic philosophy and western anatomy—as well as practicing yoga almost every day—I feel like I’ve barely scratched the surface on what it means to be a yogi, let alone be prepared to teach the physical practice of yoga to other people.
But like any new skill, I know it will take many MANY more hours until I feel like I come close to understanding it all and feeling comfortable as a teacher. As our teacher Misha explained to us, “just when you come close to your 10,000 hours of practice and think you know all there is to know about yoga, you’ll discover something new and think, oh my god, I’ll never be an experienced teacher!”
I guess that’s why we refer to yoga as a practice; it’s something you’ll most likely be practicing for the rest of your life! (more…)
As part of my yoga teacher training program at MokSana, I’m required to prepare a written assignment comparing and contrasting two different styles of yoga. Since there are probably close to 20+ styles of yoga out there nowadays and because I come from running and strength training background, I thought it would be useful to look at two styles that endurance athletes could benefit from the most and share it here on the blog 🙂
Although pretty much every style of yoga is beneficial for athletes since most involve static stretching, functional movement, isometric strength, deep breathing and some form of meditation or mindfulness, two styles in particular stand out to me as being great for endurance athletes: vinyasa flow and yin yoga.
Vinyasa flow and yin yoga are fairly opposite of each other in terms of the pace and energy of the practice (perhaps vinyasa should be called yang yoga!), but complement each other and are particularly beneficial for athletes who do impactful, fast and repetitive activities like running and cycling. (more…)
I got up into a handstand all by myself in class this week!
After proper instruction and assistance from Ida to feel confident going upside down on my hands, I was able to hop up into adho mukha vrksasana (adho = downward, mukha = face, vrksa = tree, asana = pose), or handstand, on my next try.
It felt amazing. I could have hung out upside down longer if it wasn’t for all the mucus from my impending head cold stuffing up my face yesterday. (more…)
If you have a regular practice or certain habits that help you live with less stress, more sleep, more mindfulness, more empathy, better nutrition and more movement, you might have a sattvic practice. Sattvic come from the Sanskrit word sattva, which means quality of positivity, truth, wholesomeness, serenity, balance, lightness, peacefulness, and virtuousness. Sattva is one of the three guṇas (tendencies, qualities and attributes), a complex philosophical and psychological concept developed by the Samkhya school of Hindu philosophy.
One of my homework assignments last week for yoga teacher training was to come up with my own sattvic program – habits or practices I can do each day to bring myself closer to a state of sattva. Traditionally, some of these practices might include: (more…)
I started publicly sharing my goals back in 2012 as a way to keep myself accountable, but also so I could look back and see where I was at the time fitness-wise, professionally and personally.
My 2012 and 2013 years were tough professionally and personally, as I was leaving one long-term relationship and moving into another, and transitioning from a tough contract job into a government position. In 2011 I completed my first triathlon and was a running machine, signing up for almost every local race I could afford. But in 2013 my focus shifted, and for some reason I made it my goal to “have abs” in 2013. I’m glad I decided to run my first ultra instead. That’s a much more bad-ass goal. (more…)