Friday, February 26, 2016

Five Friday Favorites 2/26/16


I got back from vacation last week and hit the ground running! After work on Friday, I had dinner with a friend, met up with the group for drinks, and then saw Diane Coffee at Bunk Bar. Saturday night was spent with some good ole fashioned family fun at the bowling alley! I made the decision not to bowl so I wouldn't throw my rib out again, but it was awesome hanging with some of my favorites and watching Caitlin get bowling advice from a 6 year old! Caitlin and I then went to see the Cave Singers Sunday night at Doug Fir, a band we saw in Astoria almost a year ago. So so so amazing!


I took my second yoga class since my rib on Saturday with Jessica at Flex & Flow. Man did it kick my butt! I still didn't do everything I normally would have (as in, I did take every vinyasa, but didn't add in any arm balances or inversions to them), but I did decide to play a bit with handstand afterward! I don't know if I should have or not, and I felt pretty weak up there, but it made my soul oh-so-happy! The rest of the week with yoga was great! I was able to walk again (hah) and have continued to return to my practice more and more each day!


My badass bootcamp bitch / #yogawithfriends partner in crime Jamie ran AND FINISHED the Orcas 100 race this weekend! Basically she ran for 29+ hours, through intense muddy and mountainous terrain with 26,000' vert, for a grand total of 100.8 miles. Dayum is she inspiring!


The event at Flex & Flow I've been working on for a few weeks happened last night, and it was so much fun! We figured what could possibly make sweating with an awesome group of people any better? WINE! So we coordinated with the wine bar next door to the studio to go over there with our group from bootcamp. Knowing that we're definitely not the only ones that love to get our Sip 'n' Sweat on, we turned it into a virtual date for the whole of the Sweat Pink community too! We laughed, we cried sweated, we toasted. All in all, a wonderful evening with a wonderful group of people!


We've had some amazing weather this week in Portland. It's got to get cold and rainy again, for sure, but for now I know I'm definitely enjoying the hint of springtime. It's been great to be able to get out running in it for the first time since my rib! I even went out running in a tank top the other day! Building pace and miles back up has been going well in the first few runs back, so hopefully I can keep trucking along and be ready to hit the trails when they dry up a bit and get back to attempting to keep up with Jamie soon.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Five Friday Favorites 2/19/16

Totally forgot to publish this on Friday. Woops! My first Friday Favorites will just have to be a #SundayFunday recap!

Who doesn't love talking about things they love?! This idea of summing up the week with 5 awesome things is just amazing! Here we go...


For the last ten days I was in Park City, UT with my dad. He just retired two weeks ago and in celebration is going on two 3-week ski trips and then to the beach for three months with my mom! Yeah, he's pretty stoked on life right now. So it was back to Utah for the first time in probably 10 years. I grew up skiing at Snowbird, so this was familiar in so many ways, and yet awesome to be exploring a new ski town and mountain! We didn't have any powder dumps while we were there, but enjoyed the adventure of finding good snow, getting back into (ski) shape, getting new boots (waaaaay overdue! Mine were 12 years old and disintegrating!), and finding our groove in a new ski town. It's amazing how even though I'd never been there before, I fell right back into that lifestyle! It was a great "homecoming!"


A great example of why social media rocks. I posted a picture from the Salt Lake City airport before boarding. Becky, my co-worker at Sweat Pink, saw it and commented that she too was at SLC. We were both preparing to board our separate flights, and thought we wouldn't have time to meet up. As I was standing in the boarding line, she was walking back to her gate and spotted me. Keep in mind, we've never met in person before. OMG the amazingness of this!


I was pretty nervous about this ski trip, due to being injured only the week before. Luckily my amazing chiropractor got me mostly patched back together just in time! After weeks of self-care, aka laying prone in my pillow fort on the couch, I was stoked but nervous to get back on the hill! I eased into it, or as much as I'm capable of easing into things, and was surprised at how well I did! I even went to a yoga class while I was there (Christa at Tadasana Yoga Studio is awesome!)! I did attempt a handstand, though didn't push it. The wall was funky and the sky was blue, so I couldn't resist. But it didn't feel super awesome, so I haven't attempted again since. I'm pretty sore and ready to see my chiropractor for a session, but am so excited to be getting back to normal!


While away on vacation, my good friend gave birth to her little baby girl, JG! I can't wait to get some baby snuggles in! I love being an auntie!


Not only did I get to ski a bunch with my dad last week, but I got to return to skinning frequently! It started as a substitute for running or the gym in the winter, but this activity quickly became one of my all-time favorite things! Dripping sweat, huffing and puffing, legs feeling like lead, sometimes having to get up in the pitch dark and cold, it's all worth it! It's truly moving meditation for me! 

Happy weekend, y'all! 

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Progress toward more self care #prAnastyle #poseoftheday

Yesterday for prAna and Fit Approach's #poseoftheday challenge, we of course had to talk about #transformationtuesday. I love this theme. It's so easy to get frustrated about where you still want to go that it's nice to remember how far you've come.

There's always going to be postures I'm working on. That's nothing new. What is new-ish is the idea that the progress I'm working to focus on is self care and moderation. I'm always so focused on pushing my edge, until I can't. The fall and winter has been full of injury for me. There was the light ankle sprain in August, neck and shoulder spasms in September, the bad ankle sprain in November, and now I have a displaced rib. 

Last Monday I did three yoga classes and ran. Tuesday I taught 2 yoga classes, ran to bootcamp, and had my first bootcamp in two months (so many burpees...). I woke up Wednesday sore, but feeling good. I reached up to stretch and bam! Rib out and spams like whoa. I've found a chiropractor, whom I love, that has told me that even though the pain is manifesting in my rib, the root of the problem is in pelvic imbalance. Through an imbalance in my hips and my continued intense activity, the compensation has worked it's way up my spine and into my rib. And that last stretch was just the straw that broke the camels's back. So yes, I most likely overdid it last week, and for the weeks before that. But it wasn't just a simple stretch overhead that knocked a rib out. It was likely a culmination of stress, over activity, walking funkily while healing from my sprained ankle... It's never just one thing. 

Top Left: pre-bad ankle sprain; Top Right: pre-rib displacement
Bottom: yesterday... Sometimes progress doesn't always go forward.
It's easy for me to tell myself and sit here and write that I know I need more yin and moderation in my life. It's quite another to practice it. I have written that I need to work on moderation and balance, and practicing what I preach. The trick is now retraining my brain and habits. If I know I'm going to take two yoga classes later in the day, maybe I don't practice with my students in the morning. Maybe I don't take every vinyasa in every class. Maybe I don't add a handstand in to every vinyasa. Maybe I only do 1 handstand session every day instead of 5. Maybe I don't wait until I'm injured to get body work done. Maybe I don't run 5 days in a row when I'm trying to get back into running shape after an injury. 

All of these ideas are smart and logical, but it's so hard for me to put into practice. I love going full throttle and being active all day every day. It didn't seem crazy to me to go to three yoga classes and then run. And 5 days in a row of intense activity is the norm for me. I won't touch on what a friend and I talked about yesterday about our personal identities being tied up in our physical abilities... But I need to remind myself that I'm 26. Yes, I'm in the physical prime of my life, but I also want my body to last me for another 80 years or so. I want the marathon rather than the sprint for my physical health and abilities. Running and yoga (exercise in general) is my outlet for stress and emotion, and to not be able to turn to that sucks. To not be able to demo postures for my students sucks. To not feel good about my body because I've had to stay in my pillow fort on the couch sucks. Not to mention being in pain sucks! 

So here's yet another commitment to self care. To make the effort to check in with my body and take care of it rather than getting so caught up in the push. To keep in mind that I want to be running, skiing, handstanding forever!

Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by prAna, and any opinions are my own. I truly appreciate all of the brands that support the Sweat Pink community.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Funky #ForearmFriday! #poseoftheday

Happy #ForearmFriday, sweaties! Today for #sweatpink's #poseoftheday, we're talking Funky Pincha (Option 1 is Tripod Headstand).

This pose used to be incredibly awkward for me! I had a regular Tripod and Forearmstand practice, but every time I tried to kick up into this hybrid inversion, I was at a loss. I felt lopsided. I didn't know how I was supposed to hold it when my balance wasn't centered.

But that's the yoga. (Oh boy, that's a discussion for another time...)

I've established my affinity for trying postures that scare me on the beach. There's no fear of falling in the sand. So after not attempting this pose for a while, I tried it out on the beach a few years ago when it was a pose-of-the-day for another challenge. It was awkward, hard, and unnatural, but I got up there. And got some hang time!

The theme for the day back in October of 2013 was a pose that felt impossible. I'd been really focusing on my forearmstand (this was the same trip I tried handstand away from the wall out on the beach and again surprised myself!). I knew I could hold forearmstand AND tripod headstand, so this was in fact physically possible for me. I just had to try, and try, and try again. 

Holding it long enough for my mom to capture a shot was the motivation. I knew I could get there, so now I just needed to keep working and progressing. It's not a super regular part of my practice, so when again it was a pose-of-the-day a while later, I was reminded that I hadn't been including this in my flow (well, handstand really eclipsed so much of my practice....hello, #handstand365). Because I had been training so hard for handstand, I had the core strength to float right up into this funky pose. I was shocked! 

Yes, I know how it all interrelates, but it was still amazing to me. The awkward weight distribution between a hand and a forearm wasn't a factor. The focus of getting my hips up over my shoulders without losing the integrity of my spinal alignment within handstand completely translates across to all of our favorite inversions

Don't you just love that sensation of when you surprise yourself with what you can do?! When you drop the expectations and give something a go just for the hell of it?! That happened to me over the summer with another forearmstand variation: palms touching. This always seemed impossible too. And then I gave it another go. 

Have fun with funky forearmstand (or any variation or Tripod Headstand) today, sweaties! Show us your variations! #sweatpink #flexandflow #poseoftheday #stopdropandyoga #yogaeverydamnday @FitApproach @Lizwilsonyoga

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Get Upside Down Today! #poseoftheday

Today for #sweatpink we're talking inversions. There isn't much to say that I haven't already about getting my feet up in the air. There are so many ways to invert, and I love them all!


This one gets a big fat, "DUH!" I think I've well-established my love of handstand...

#handstand365 - My daily handstand challenge, 1 year down!

#harderthanitlooks - The documentation of my attempt at handstand (and headstand) on a SUP board.

Handy Tips from a Handstand Addict - 5 tips for working handstand


We've also established my love affair with pinchamayurasana, aka forearmstand...

#forearmfriday - 7 steps to forearmstand

Photo by Stark Photography


This is a new one for me! After some coaching from Jamie to remove the blocks under my shoulders, adding some padding under my chin, and a few kick-up attempts... Voila! I still see a lot I need to work on, but it's now a regular part of my vinyasa practice. 


Playing with variations of and transitions into and out of tripod headstand is definitely fun. But classic supported headstand will always be a favorite...


The closest I have to a shoulderstand picture. I don't practice this nearly enough!



Gotta love weird hybrid postures! 

Join in on the fun! How do you love to invert?! #sweatpink #flexandflow #poseoftheday #yogaeverydamnday #stopdropandyoga @FitApproach

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Hump Day Camel Pose

Today for the #sweatpink #poseofthday challenge, camel pose (ustrasana) and pigeon pose (kapotasana) are being featured. Yay!

Now I say, "yay." I used to hate camel pose. I always have had a tight lower back. I accept that I'll never have a bendy, accordion back. A lot of that is just plain anatomy. But by focusing on backbends lately, and making sure my alignment is safe, I've come to love them! Let's break these poses down (definitely make sure you warm up for these!):

Camel Pose (Ustrasana)

Maybe you get a little funky with it... ;)
Start kneeling, maybe with your mat rolled up under your knees for some padding. Bring your hips up so they are in line over your knees and your hands to your low back (I prefer my fingers pointing down). Press down with your hands to guide your tailbone to tuck towards the floor. This encourages your low back to lengthen. Lift your heart up towards the ceiling, lengthening your upper back. Keep all of your newfound space as you start to extend your heart toward the wall behind you. Your head can dip back, just make sure your neck is happy. A sign that your neck is ok is if you can swallow. If you're low back is doing ok (aka, not feeling any twinging, sharp, or shooting pain), you can lower your hands to your heels. Toes can be tucked under to help you out with a few inches, or untucked to challenge the depth of the pose more.

Pigeon Pose (Kapotasana)

Every time I saw this pose, I wrote it off immediately saying that my back wasn't flexible enough for it. A year ago I finally read some instructions and realized that it's not about having an accordion back, but having quad strength! Start the same way as with camel: kneeling, hands on your hips, find length in your lower and upper back, and start to reach your heart behind you. Now bring your hands together at heart center or extend then to your heels or knees. Start to lean your hips back. Your quads will fire BIG TIME, and will limit how far back you'll be able to lean. It feels so different, right?!

Backbends are awesome because they're energizing! So they're great poses to do earlier in the day. You'll also realize they tie in with so many other poses, like I did when shifting some of my practice focus to handstand. (Read more about how this happened here.) You might feel extra tight or closed off in these types of poses when feeling emotional, sad, or stressed. Mind-body connection is a beautiful and complicated thing. By working to open our physical heart space, we work to open our emotional heart space as well: #openheartopenmind.

Question for you: What's your favorite backbend and why?

Join in on our #poseoftheday fun! Check details on the Fit Approach challenge page, watch for the daily posts announcing the surprise pose on @fitapproach on Instagram, and check out my Insta to see what, where, and how I busted my move!

Disclaimer: This pose was sponsored by Fit Approach. Any and all opinions are my own.

Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional, nor am I your personal yoga instructor or trainer. Please listen to your body and it's limitations.