“Delight the World with Compassion, Kindness, and Grace”

Greetings! The quote above is another wonderful neat quote from my Yogi ginger tea. Digestion aid + feel good sayings = a win if I do say so myself. So for more random stuff: (this is me honestly trying to keep up with this blog more. This is as good as it’s going to get for a bit)

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New training sneakers! I popped into a City Sports for the first time ever and oh my goodness. Magical yet extremely dangerous for my bank account. I got these New Balance sneakers (yay for a local Boston company!), and other goodies all with a 10% student discount! I have unfortunately yet to use them because I got sick and didn’t make it to Crossfit last week. On that note:

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I got sick last week for an entire week. (Still recovering actually). I was all congested with a head cold and I tried neti pot for the first time ever. It was weird yet awesome and cleared me right up! Definitely a repeat. (Told ya this was a random post)

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I made dinner and real food for the first time in over a week (I just ate out a ton [and ate a ton of bad food] while I was sick. But no more excuses!) I bought a brown rice medley from Trader Joe’s (I love that place), sauteed some zucchini with lemon pepper, and made this miso/Dijon mustard/soy sauce/honey marinade. It was good but I had some leftovers for lunch today and it got really salty overnight. Tonight, I cooked up a spicy beef and broccoli frozen dinner thing from Trader Joe’s (hey, still better than take out, don’t judge!)

Last but not least, I threw myself back into working out with TWO workouts yesterday (probably why my body hates me and gives up on me at least twice a year with a sickness) . I went to Jennifer Phelan’s Pilates Fusion hosted at Lululemon Prudential (so many free opportunities to work out with her throughout Boston! I love it!! Come join me this Saturday for free Pilates Bootcamp at Faneuil Hall at 9:15. Bring your own mat!) in the morning. Went food shopping at Trader Joe’s, and then I went to my final Ryde class at BTone Fitness. I love and miss spin so much! I never really got into it and I’ve still done it probably less than 10 times, but it’s grown on me so much.

This morning and all today, I felt a really tight soreness in my hips from spin (especially my right hip!) So I at the last minute, decided to go to a yoga class. Mind you, I haven’t done yoga in weeks (probably actually an entire month) so it was much needed.

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I had tried this place out with a Groupon this past winter with a friend (who am I kidding, it’s still winter here. I’m talking to you forecast-for-more-snow-tomorrow) and I love this place. It is a small 1 room studio, so it has such a great intimate feel, and the interior decorating is fantastic (they have mats available and all the other equipment that you would need). The instructors are super friendly, really try to learn your name and help you grow in your practice. I’ve only been to a handful of classes at the South End location, but each of the instructors I had were fantastic and brought their own unique flavor to the table. They are typically heated rooms during the class, but nowhere near as hot or humid as a typical Bikram/hot yoga class, and they turn it down towards the end. Today, I had the most princess-pink flush after class (it matched my brand new pink power-up tank from Lululemon!) In almost every class I’ve been to, the instructors like to do hands-on assist (my fave!), and we almost always practice inversions at the end (which are super fun to do!) They have a sweet drop-in price for students (which allowed me to decide to pop in last minute), and they seem to always have room for drop-ins no matter what class time you go! I really love this private, local yoga studio. I feel it is such a hidden gem in a city such as Boston where there are many large yoga studios and practices. They hold very true to the traditional practice so you will always find true, devoted yogis here. I am actually moving to a 1 bedroom next year in Back Bay just a couple of blocks from this studio, so I’m sure I will be going a good amount next year. I can’t wait to grow in my practice, and I did manage to touch my toes once or twice tonight thanks to the class 😉

Comment below ways in which you sweat, what you’ve savored, and/or what made you smile recently!

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“If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you”

So this quote has been a recurring theme throughout the week. It came up on instagram Monday, and I kept it close to me throughout the week whenever I went through something difficult. It applied a lot when I took my first hip hop yoga class Tuesday at 2 PM at Back Bay Yoga.

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I’ve actually kept up with a weekly yoga practice for a couple of months now. Honestly, I’ve never really loved yoga and it’s very difficult for me most of the time because I am extremely not flexible. And no, I am one of those people who exaggerate and claim to not be flexible, yet still be able to touch my toes. I cannot touch my toes to save my life. I think I have a straight lower spine and/or really immobile lower back muscles issue + tight hamstrings + tight hips, a deadly combo. I tried out hot yoga for 2 months one summer a number of years ago, and it definitely improved my flexibility, especially going everyday, but I still cannot ever touch my toes. Whenever I am in a yoga class, I listen to my body and only go to my limits. I know I will never be able to do some beautiful yoga poses due to my limited flexibility, and I’m okay with that. I have actually seen quite an improvement in my practice, especially the mental part where I fight through and try to hold a really difficult pose, going way past my comfort zone. In the past, I usually wimped out and went straight into child’s pose whenever something was hard, but nowadays I really see myself trying to hold on and stay with the class.

Back to Hip Hop Yoga. I had heard about this new Hip Hop Yoga craze going around Boston, and I had been wanting to try it out for some time. I saw that Back Bay yoga hosts a 2 PM Community Class every day for $5 cash. It was a great deal, and thanks to my exam schedule, I had the opportunity to go check it out (I usually have class from 9-4 or 8-4 every day so I normally wouldn’t be able to go). I thought it would be a nice, fun and interesting class and that it would count towards being more of an active rest day in between my Crossfit classes on Monday and Wednesday. Boy, was I wrong. It was actually held in a heated room, and some of the poses we had to hold were a lot more difficult that I had anticipated (I’m talking to you runner’s lunge). My yoga mat was also quite slippery and I was slipping like crazy during downward dog (my most hated pose in yoga), so I had to eventually use a stretch band on my mat to hold it. My hands and feet sweat like crazy during any yoga class and so it’s extremely hard for me to hold downward dog for a long time. The instructor was Kimberly Rajotte. She was great as she really took the time and made sure to ask about any injuries in the beginning of class. She walked around the room the entire time, but she didn’t do any hands-on adjustments for anybody. I personally am a fan of when instructors do that, but I understand that it’s not everybody’s cup of tea so it’s not a big deal that she didn’t. At the end during our savasana meditation, I’m pretty sure I fell asleep and woke up because I snored really loudly. Embarrassing… 😛

Every time I think yoga on a particular day is going to be nice and easy, it always ends up being the most challenging class. It’s probably also because I am always doing high intensity workouts usually a day or two before. So I would definitely consider yoga a workout as it manages to constantly surprise me with how challenging it is.

A number of weeks ago, I also managed to go to BeWell’s “Speaking Sam’s-crit” waterfront yoga class with a few friends from class. The instructor was Joanna Benevides and I personally loved her!

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Her class was structured extremely well and flowed very smoothly. I was again very tired and sore from Crossfit and pole classes (more on that later) from the week before, but I was inspired to push myself thanks to Joanna.

So thanks to many different stores and programs throughout Boston, there are always a ton of free yoga classes available throughout the city and I am grateful for it, as it is giving me the opportunity to have a consistent yoga practice going, and it’s opening my eyes more to how beneficial yoga is to all aspects of your life. And it also helps me work out in a different way and allows me to get a good stretch in between all the other types of workouts that I do.

For more information about all the many different free fitness classes offered throughout Boston, check out Jess’ blog Little Miss Runshine and look under Fitness – Free Bos Fitness. I love that she has organized all the different classes offered and I can go to one page to keep track of it all! She was also one of my inspirations to start a blog, so thank you Jess!

So again, I challenge you to step out of your comfort zone, out of your box, and try something challenging or scary to you. It’s a great way to grow!

Happy snow day to those in the New England area! Stay safe and warm out there.