lululemon THE mat

Okay, so today after work I had a choice. I could either go to Ashley P. 5:30 Sculpt at CorePowerYoga on Wilshire, or try a new teacher Inanna at 6pm for a C2 class. The pro of 5:30 was that I know Ashley is great, I love her sculpt classes and she is really motivating. Her music rocks. Buttt I recently have been trying to move more towards doing weights twice per week in the actual gym and leaving the weights out of my yoga practice. I was texting my yoga buddies to see if anyone had a review on Inanna but none did. I was torn. I really have a strong preference for great music when I flow, and I wasn’t sure if the risks were too high.

It was 5:20 and I was about to turn into the CPY lot when I instead went straight. Straight to Lululemon. I walked in and had 20 minutes to make some moves before I had to be back at the studio. I had to get the mat. It took me a while to decide between mint, lemon-lime, purple and pink because I reallly have been loving the mint (at least online) but its basically white so I knew it could get filthy. I texted my friends and asked the employees but none could help. Finally I put them on the floor and realized the lemon-lime motivated me more. It was fun and bright and when I put the two side by side (mint and lime) I realized the mint was kind of dull. 

So I did it. I bought the mat and ran to yoga class.

And Innana was amazing. She played Disclosure and had a super hard flow. Everyone in the class was part of that yoga elite group – you know the yogis who handstand every time they chataranga and all have toned up bodies and serious faces. I was in heaven. I struggled to keep up but the mat was so inspirational. 

With my old Gaiam mat, after 3 years the floor was more slip resistant. With THE mat, I could flow from standing tadasana to crescent in one swift movement. I didn’t doubt my feet when doing exalted warrior (is that the name when you lean back in crescent) and felt strong and powerful. 

I’m obsessed and never going back. I also love Inanna and can’t wait to keep going to her classes. When I got home I downloaded self timer on my phone and went crazy.

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Being Super Serious in Down Dog

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Almoooost there

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TADA!!!! But not perfect yet

Running on empty

Last night I got less than 6 hours of sleep which is usually a huge problem for me. After class this morning I was feeling totally off so figured I might as well go to the gym and run it off.
I ran the perimeter which is a 4 mile loop around campus. One direction is notoriously hard with two major uphill efforts (at least 5 minutes each). I decided to just go for it. I was feeling awesome at first but halfway through ran put of steam. Figures for no sleep.
I tried to finish out strong and when I got back to the gym I did an arms circuit with free weights and some assisted pull-ups. Now on the way back home I feel awesome and am so happy I went for it.
Here’s hoping I don’t crash in class. Uhoh

Update: lunch break with my favorite magazine which basically repeats information every month but keeps me motivated 🙂

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Delicious stir fry

1/4 cup (dry) of tricolor quinoa
Broccolini
Yellow pepper
2 baby carrots
Onion
1/2 baby zucchini
1 brussel sprout (about to go bad :))
Crimini mushrooms

Sprinkle of sesame
Big dash of curry powder
Black pepper
Lemon garlic seasoning
A little touch of soyaki
A big touch of sambal oelek (chili garlic sauce)

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First days of February

Wow. It’s been a whirlwind beginning to the month but I’m pretty excited about this one. I’ve been feeling a little out of balance recently and think February’s gonna be a good one.
Friday after work I was exhausted but forced myself to go to core power because I knew I should start the weekend out strong. Marxel was subbing for the usual Friday night teacher and the class was amazing. I have only taken his Pilates and sculpt classes, and having him for C2 was great. He is always so motivating. Played some great music and threw in some really challenging flows. I love his ukitasanas because they last several minutes and I always feel very proud of myself being one of the last ones standing. After yoga I was feeling great and full of energy. Me and Becky grilled shrimp and veggies and made sweet potato fries on the side. Amazing, especially with a glass of wine to complement.

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Saturday morning I woke up feeling awesome and ran 6 miles with Ryan. It was one of our quickest runs. He has been running a lot and weight training (he signed up for yoga) and is definitely getting into some serious shape. He looks and feels fantastic.

Saturday afternoon and night I hung out with my man, went out to dinner and out with his friends. We went out on a double date with his roommate, and I found this tapas/small plates restaurant on Yelp in Santa Monica. When we arrived at the address and realized it was inside Nordstroms we were skeptical. But it was surprisingly really good. My favorite was the butternut squash and brussel sprouts. Super delicious, but definitely super-sauteed, typical restaurant style. But, it was still really fun. Sunday Super Bowl wasn’t an exercise day (or a healthy one) but I loved destinys child along with every other female born in the ’90s and every guy with a huge crush on Beyonce.

Last night after work I went to another awesome yoga class but this time with Mary. I’ve been planning on investing in a new yoga mat but still haven’t taken the plunge to drop the $68 on The Mat. My Gaiam one that I bought 3 years ago has lasted me a long time, but not very well. It probably cost about $25, and has been completely worn down. Yesterday, the studio manager let me try out her Lululemon The Mat for the class. It was awesome. Definitely slip proof and made me feel alot more confident and stable. I can’t wait to buy my own after midterms! I will dedicate an entire post to that once it happens. For dinner we made little scallops (big sale at whole foods) with Brussels and sweet potatoes of course. They were really delicious and tasted like the big ones that I usually eat.

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This week is going to be a busy one. I have midterms starting Thursday, and will have to spend the weekend studying. I’m definitely going to need to try and find some effective, short workouts because I won’t have time for anything longer than 30-45 minutes. I’ll post some reviews of new stuff I try. I’m also going to test my theory that a clean diet is most important. If I only have time for short cardio bursts and am eating clean, I bet I can finish midterms feeling good.

On another note… last week one of my girlfriends surprised me with a new pair of Lululemon Boogie shorts – they are perfect for hot yoga. Short, snug and with a perfect rise. Definitely in with my favorite exercise articles of clothing. Another post on those coming up! Just got to finalize the list 🙂

January Exercise Summed Up

My dad writes down every workout he does in this little calendar, and loves to total it up at the end of the month. I tried it out this month and loved it – I knew when I should be taking rest days, and could easily see what I should be doing more/less of:

15 yoga classes

10 cardio workouts

7 weights workouts

9 days off!!! Seems like a lot huh 

A little more breakdown:

of the cardio I ran stairs 3 times and ran outside 5 times (21 miles) and 4/7 weights workouts were yoga sculpt (yoga with weights) so doesn’t really count.

I feel like I exercise a ton, but when I lay it all out, it doesn’t feel like very much.

For February I’m going to aim for this:

In 28 days, I want to run 8 times. Practice yoga 20 times. Lift weights 6 times. And do stairs 4 times. I want to take 5-7 days off of exercise.

This is the goal! Let’s see if I can do it

Food From Yesterday

I had a full day on campus yesterday and tried to plan ahead, but spent the whole day rushing. Went to a 7am Yoga Sculpt class and drank half of this Vita Coco orange (new favorite) before class while I prepared my lunch. I’m so happy I made food before yoga, or else I would have had no time for anything and would’ve had to resort to buying a mediocre salad on campus.

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For lunch I used some of the rainbow kale, and made a salad with spinach, cherry tomatoes, red peppers, sunflower seeds and craisins. I brought along some balsamic vinegar and olive oil and also put some cracked pepper on the leaves. I chopped up a Gala apple, brought carrots and some edamame for protein. So good. One of my classmates told me she was “so jealous” of how healthy I ate! I told her she could do it toooo

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Second coconut water of the day – the Coco Cafe, which is coconut water with an espresso shot and a splash of milk. Absolutely amazing. My neighbor works for VitaCoco and delivers cases on the reg. We have tried almost all the different flavors of fruity ones (best would be pineapple and orange) and this Cafe is perfect coffee replacement.

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After class, came home and made the rest of the cajun salmon We don’t eat a lot of salmon with every meal because we would rather eat it more than once instead of more at once, so it tends to look pretty measly on the plate. We tried something new with the butternut squash – roasted it with olive oil, pepper and garlic (NO salt) and then sautéed it with some spinach and cranberries. Soo good. This one will definitely be coming back!

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Unpredictability

Two unpredictable things happened yesterday which got me thinking a lot about how I approach exercise. In high school, I used to go on the elliptical for 45-60 minutes a couple times every week, lift some weights and go to the same yoga class every week. Nothing ever changed except for my playlist. If I switched back to that same schedule now I would be bored and getting out of bed would be such a drag.

I have 4 or 5 running routes around campus and take different runs depending on how much time I have (or how far I want to go) or whether I have done the same one too many times recently and am bored of it. All of them are hilly and I like to know exactly how long I will be running flat, when I’ve gotta hoof it up a hill and where the biggest one is and also when I get to run down. It’s comforting and fun. Yesterday, I only had time to run 3 and Becky explained one of her favorite routes. I had no idea what to expect and finished feeling challenged and successful. I ran the whole thing and when I would over think the small stuff like when I would finally reach the top and when the next turn was, it was useless. I was able to focus on continuing and taking in this completely new neighborhood.

At Core Power I go to a couple different teachers throughout the week who all have distinct styles and I like their different classes for different reasons – cardio party with pumping music or spiritual classes with lots of stretching and feel like I get a lot of variety in the classes and in my practice. But at the same time, I know in each teacher when we will hit the mat to do some abs, how many sequences we will do of each flow and when we wind down for final corpse pose. Yesterday, I was heading to one of my favorite teacher’s classes and was shocked when I saw someone else checking students in. When class started up, you could feel the skepticism in the room. Everyone else was doubting her too. As we settled into child’s pose, she broke the tension: “Don’t worry, I know what I’m doing”. As the xx began playing I sighed with relief. The next hour was awesome. I didn’t know what to expect and her style was unique and challenging. In my regular classes, I know when and if we will launch from one pose to the next. In this new class, each next step was a surprise and I found myself being able to hold poses I usually cannot and take more complicated variations. I couldn’t over think anything.

This morning I went to one of the regular Yoga Sculpt (weights) classes I go too and liked the challenge, but it was different than the challenges yesterday. My workout schedule has variation but is pretty predictable. I think that continuing to try new classes and new routes will help me take my practice and running to the next level. I’ll keep you posted on how it goes!