The Adventures of Now

exploring the mix of fun, fitness & health…as a diabetic

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Monday Night Yoga: Free time to Exhale

 So I had grand plans that if we were given the week off between Christmas & New Years I would take full advantage of all the fitness classes my gym offers which I don’t usually get to go to,  as well as finally use passes to Pure Yoga and my gift certificate to Exhale.

Sometimes too many options and too much time leads to little action. 

But I did get to 2 Exhale classes. Both Slow Flow – aiming for a restorative approach and working on the whole knee/hip/groin thing.


I went Saturday to the UES 12:15 with Diana Rilov. I went to the gym for a quick 30 min cardio warm up first and since I’m awful with timing and estimating how long it takes to get some place (and thinking the studio was closer to the gym than it was) I had to hustle – when it started to rain – wtf anyone else get caught in that quick shower? I snuck into class (luckily I wasn’t the only one so I wasn’t completely disruptive). Maybe it was because I jumped in but I was out of synch with the instructor. It was also my first time in that location and it’s a lot brighter. In a true NYC moment there was a fight between two women that involved a (barking) dog. Channel that Zen! At one point we went into that 1/2 table top 1/2 wheel pose. I actually have no idea what it’s called – I’d go with reaching table – but when someone asked the instructor her reply was “I don’t know but we just do it because it’s fun!” At first I thought she was a little batty but as she kept on exclaiming “it’s fun!” I realized that sometimes being on the mat isn’t only about letting it go to find that center point – sometimes it’s just about letting go and not any deeper than that.

{urban yoga girl via pin}

Since I jumped straight into the practice I also didn’t really see who I was practicing with until 1/2 way through the class. I was the youngest one there which is how I started out but far different from my usual gym class. It’s actually easier for me to not compare / judge / be competitive in that environment.


Just as I ended the previous year, I started the new one off with another Exhale class. This time at the Central Park South location where I’ve been previously. This location is to me a more traditional studio – darker & quieter. The instructor was Danielle Lee and her style was what I needed – she focused on legs & alignment.


It’s cliché & all zen sounding but it’s true : there’s something to learn from each class. Whether it’s more mind focused like in Saturday’s class or deepening a pose like Sunday or testing your strength like often in Monday night classes.

Which I didn’t go to this week. Again. Having the day off, I went to the gym mid day and the idea of having an early night was too alluring and a rare chance.

Since both my snooze button & blood-sugars won this morning over the gym I’m going to attempt a yoga class at the gym – we’ll see how that battle goes against work.


Your turn:

Any yoga goals for the new year?

Do you prefer a certain type of environment / studio ? 


Favorite Finds

The cost (time & money) of becoming a yoga instructor (of which there are over 50,000 of in the US). {yoga journal}

I’m pretty sure my liver is healthy (that whole not drinking thing…) but here are some yoga poses to help detox from the holidays. {blisstree}

I have to say that tweens was the hardest age group I’ve taught yoga to. 3-6 was my  target audience and that one summer I taught high schoolers I had only graduated a year before but it was in a library vs. a camp so I had better control. Still traumatized by the girls who sat Macrame-ing on the mat ignoring yoga time. Maybe because I never had my camp experience? Anywayssss, I totally would have checked out this video for guidance Bendigirl Yoga for Girls  , {fitbottom mamas}

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Monday Night Yoga: When I need it the most, I neglect it the most

I didn’t go. again.
I’ve been whining (mostly to myself) about my knee, hip and IT Band.
They’re all a tight mess.
And then I roll my eyes at myself
(no? ok I sigh).
I know what the problem is.
I need to stretch. And strength train.
Just under a year ago I was in PT, benched from any activity and looking forward to simply adding a new stretch to the routine.
I made time for foam rolling – because that was the only thing I could do.
And while strength training is going to require some better discipline
(foreshadow 2012 goals…), stretching should be a cinch.
I’m the girl that stretches at the bus stop. On the bus. At my desk. While brushing my teeth.

But what I really need is to keep up with is the yoga.
I’ve missed two weeks of Monday night classes – my most consistent one.
And I feel it.

My body feels it. And my mind does too.

Plus I like it.

Though, I’ve developed the new habit of rocking out (ok Pandora shuffle) to yoga music to calm the nerves.

The kicker?  Many often get into a “rut” or “fall off the wagon” during this time of year with holiday festivities.
I can’t even call that my excuse. Primarily work. And working on that 11/11/11 wish.

Same old, same old.

Here’s hoping for a recharge during the holidays!


You’re turn:

Do you struggle to work out during the holidays? 

Favorite Finds
Apparently I’m a Downward Facing Dog >> Which Yoga Pose Are You?  | Fitness Magazine
Yoga for Small Spaces ….hmmm Christmas wish-list? I see these coming in handing when trying to do yoga in a snowed in apartment this winter… | Fit Bottomed Girls
Tips for Chair pose | Fit Sugar


Monday Night Yoga: Slow & steady like a Tortoise




With a groin injury, knee flare up & pinched neck/shoulder (I think ?) this was soooo not my pose. Hell, my knee wasn’t even liking lunges last night.

This most definitely didn’t happen.


  There was 0.02 seconds where I tried but then realized it was not going to even come close – and that’s ok.

Nothing about that pose was in my cards for the night so I’ll accept how far I got.

Not my best class – things hurt. But that’s what being on your mat is all about – listening to your body. After changing, I had 15 minutes before class – that rules out any cardio warm up since the class gets so crowded. Last night was the first time I felt the difference. I didn’t break a sweat (a rare occasion), even though cold air was drafting in I wore more clothes than I did during my morning run.  My body missed the warm up and every move felt more disconnected & as if I was playing a game “what hurts.”


Your turn:

What’s a fitness move / yoga pose that you think is “easy” but your body just goes “nah, not gonna happen”?

Are you more frustrated when you can’t get into an easy pose even though you’ve done it before or you can’t do a new harder pose?


Favorite Finds:

Yoga Cookie Cutters | via Fit Sugar

My step-mom got yoga cookies from a student one year that were awesome, I couldn’t find them the following year – but how much fun would it be to make you own yoga class out of cookies? I would totally have a yoga cookie party if I was still teaching! 

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Monday Night Yoga: Core Strength & Exhale


Exhale Slow Flow {taught by Stefanie Eris}

This class is perfect for you if you are just starting out or want to work on improving form and positioning. Exhale slow flow is a dynamic series that will breakdown yoga postures and focus on alignment. Enjoy an experience that can help to deepen your practice, build strength and flexibility, and at a level of challenge that will be determined by you.

I forgot what it’s like to do yoga in a studio.
Dark. Soothing. Quiet.
After spending so much time away from a studio I was intimidated by Exhale, it’s poshness, advanced classes and the devoted cries from Core Fusion.
Convincing a co-worker of mine to come to a class, the 1x yogi  & I opted for the slow gentle class over Core Fusion.
Even though, I’ve long ago over come any intimidation or self-doubt in yoga practice  (what’s going on on my mat is my situation – what’s going on on yours is yours) I still needed someone to walk through the door with.

One thing I couldn’t figure out : Do you bring a mat or is one provided? And not in the rent a mat for $2  type way. Answer: They have everything you could need  – props, water cooler, mat, locker room – all provided.

Already tight from skipping the past two weeks and my morning run, I was ready to sink into my muscles and feel the deeper stretch. Oh boy. I forgot how studio instructors will help make adjustments to your positioning. Some people may feel that as invasion of space – I think of it as close to a massage as I’m going to get as they help me reach deeper into the pose.

Lots of hip openers. I’m so use to my IT bands being the cause of attention to my legs. This week it has been every other muscles.

 I should be aiming at one class per week at Exhale.

 So despite the fact that I winced in that #hurtssogood kind of way all Monday morning, I knew more yoga would only make it better.

Lucky for me it was all about the core.

Boat Pose Yoga Journal{source

When I saw that the pose of the day was Boat Pose I sighed with relief, yay nothing crazy for when I was already hobbling. 

Again, little did I know. 

Hello abs, I know you’ve been a little neglected, time to get worked.

Early into the class we were holding planks and the instructor calls out “push through it” only to walk over and play some 80s hip hop “push through it song.” Planks are hard. Planks while laughing are harder. 

And my yoga adventures continue as I have another Urban Girl Squad event at Pure Yoga tomorrow night with a former co-worker.


Your Turn:


 Have you ever been intimidated to take a group class? 

Are you a studio or gym yogi?


Favorite Finds

The Domino Effect | Blog Her
Your actions have impact on others – no matter how small they are. 
Co-workers facing burnout | The Grindstone
 Oh boy have I seen this from all angles. all angles. 

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Monday Night Yoga: Breathing, Balancing & Boys

Tonights we took a break from planks and strength poses and focused on balance and breathing.

I’ve learned to carry over yoga breathing into everyday stressful situations (ie: work) – like how some people count to 10 – as a pause button. But I haven’t fully developed my breathing practice on the mat. I’m often out of sync, thinking about other things, or aim my attention at the poses …. I know, I know, that’s missing a big focus of yoga.

It’s just not my favorite part which is why I steer clear of Kundalini classes.

[ Funny note: I was trained in the Kundalini method for teaching kids – some how when you get to imagine colors & bubbles & fire-breathing dragons it’s more fun.]

After some alternate nostril breathing (by the way – 16 counts is long!) we moved on to balancing.

The class was crowded and I definitely felt that having limited space and being so close to people added a challenge.

The pose of the day was lord of the dance.

lord of the dance , natarajasana


At first glance this seemed super easy in comparison to the recent challenges, this is something that I do variations of while waiting for the subway or at the office.  One of those “stretch while you brush your teeth” poses.

But what’s nice about doing a “simpler pose” is digging a little deeper and really finding the right alignment . And sometimes even taking it a step farther

 and it goes even further. But we didn’t go there  – I had trouble even grasping my foot in both hands so I just worked on the details of the basic version.

mens yoga{source: not my dad, wasn’t in my class either but find out what a man should wear to yoga}

My dad was the one to introduce me to yoga so while I know yoga can be perceived as girly, I also know that real men do yoga too. My favorite instructor is male.

But that said, I do have to agree that  majority of my classes are filled with women.

Sometimes I see guys with girlfriends or girl friends.

Last night, next to me were a group of guys. I couldn’t tell if they were completely new or just starting out.

In my anthropological nature, I found it interesting to see how these guys handled the challenges. To me there’s something almost more impressive with someone wobbling through a pose but figuring themselves out  than a person who effortlessly & beautifully transforms.


Your turn:

Do you find balance or strength poses more challenging ?

Do you enjoy breathing exercises?

 Is your yoga class pretty balanced in gender?


Favorite Finds:

5 reasons you can’t do a headstand yet | Fit Sugar

Yoga proven to relive back pain | Fit Sugar

My first yoga poses were for back pain – my dad taught me stretches to counteract the heavy weight of my books & backpack. 

6 things to know before buying your first yoga mat | Fit Sugar

ok ok, maybe you should just go check out Fit Sugar because they have tons of great features.

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Monday Night Yoga : Holy Binds & finding a new goal

I think my yoga teacher somehow got the notice that I need to build arm strength.

There has been a lot of planks lately!

And arm balances.

And binds.


{yoga journal}

My ribs hurt on Tuesday, in that I didn’t know I even had those muscles kind of way.

But! What needs to go in bold is that I held this pose…only for a max of 2 seconds but feet were off the ground!

Take that arms.

Actually while doing the pose, there was a lot of sighing from the class and giving up but I didn’t feel defeated because I actually got closer to it than I thought I would. I realized that step of finding support on your triceps is crucial, once you’re comfortable there it’s easier to complete the movements.

Crow has been one of the poses I like to challenge myself the most with, I think this will also become one of my new goals.


Your turn:

Do you have a goal pose? 


Favorite Finds:

While none of these really fit my daily routine, here’s 26 ways to reuse an old yoga mat  | fit sugar

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Monday Night Yoga: Planks, Handstands & Newbies

I lied last week when I said there was a ton of planks. I didn’t know what I was talking about. Tonight had a ton of planks.  Like before we even got into some downward dogs. My shoulder was not a fan of this idea but I was determined to give it a worthy try. I knew that even  aside from the shoulder – my arm strength is nowhere near handstand level (goal?).  But! But that didn’t mean I wasn’t going to try. You’re never going to get anywhere if you don’t practice right? Isn’t that what they say?

Yoga Journal: Adho Mukha Vrksasana

I got as far as donkey kicks {what? I used to teach kids, they will always be donkey kicks to me}

Some other things I noticed in tonight’s class:

The girl next to me was wearing socks.

I also think she’s a beginner – I’m not judging I’m just saying that was a hard class to walk into & I hope it didn’t discourage her (b/c have I mentioned I love the instructor?)

There were two girls who were chatting before class that seemed knew as well – kind of that “what should we expect / what are we getting into” vibe – it made me smile – like welcome to the club.

{gah, sound pretentious much?}

Since last week was crazy packed, tonight when I got to the gym 25-20 minutes before class I decided to forgo cardio so that I could properly line up 15 min before hand.

Go figure, it was a 1/3 crowded.


Your turn:

Have you ever worn socks during a yoga class?

Have you ever wanted to encourage someone next to you during a class?

What’s your favorite arm toning pose ?


Favorite Finds:

Speaking of kid’s yoga : The Value of Kids Yoga Classes | NY Wellness Guide

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Monday Night Yoga: Crowded Shoulder Stands

I know I say this often but : I love my Monday night yoga class, and I’m not alone.  I was in line 10 minutes before class which got me one of the last mats & a make shift spot. And people squeezed in after. Short of being mat-to-mat, I think that may have been the most crowded class yet.

source: yoga journal


The pose of the day [I never paid attention to this but my teacher is now on twitter and has made official poses of the day] was shoulder stand. Boy did we work our way up. LOTS of chaturangas and upward dog. Despite the crowd , it was a great class; I felt strong, built up a sweat and worked my arms.


Your turn:

Do you walk out of a crowded class or squeeze into a spot?

Do you know the longest you’ve ever held a shoulder stand?

The instructor mentioned how 15 minutes was recommended from Light on Yoga


Favorite Finds: 

There’s a great article in the October issue of SELF magazine : The trials of a chubby yogi.

 Having been the kid in an adult class from the start I learned not to compare myself. But now more among peers, I can’t help notice at times that I’m often the line-backer of the class: a head taller and far from the slimmest & most graceful of the bunch.  Thought the article was a refreshing perspective. 


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{Weekend Recap}: School Night Adventures

I usually play it low-key during the week. If I’m not working or at the gym I grab the chance to relax at home / work on things at home. Last week I changed it up a bit meeting up with various friends & trying out new restaurants. No guilt, no concerns, no stress. Living in the moment. It’s been awhile …need to try it more often! 

    My hamstrings are still sore a week later. And I didn’t come anywhere near reaching that pose …..but it was still a great class and much need.

    Thai food. It’s always a great atmosphere, good food, fairly healthy & a good price.

  Major fail on my part for not knowing what the book signing was for before going – I was just meeting up with friends. When I learned afterwards I realized I actually want to read the book!

Afterwards we went to grab a bite to eat, with two Italians you’re bound to end up at an Italian restaurant:

I don’t eat pasta very often (like at all) so when I do it’s usually prepared by someone else and has to be pretty enticing. Pumpkin Ravioli definitely was worth it. It kicked off my fall flavors …. I had soup {which I also never eat} the next day – butternut squash.

I went low after work. One of those hit-you-hard-have-you-curled-up-in-a-ball-wanting-sugar-all-night-to-feel-better lows. So when a friend’s delay in setting plans came to be 9pm I was done for the night, PJs were on, Hulu was in motion.  Of course I over treated & woke up with a high blood-sugar – killing plans for a morning run.

I had a light meal of steamed sushi dumplings & a cucumber roll for dinner b/c the main event was dessert (duh). Pretending I wasn’t a diabetic for a moment: I splurged – Cookie Dough Apple Cobbler. Oh my goodness – is this what I miss out on ?? Some extra units of insulin was well worth it (don’t judge). I actually over compensated & needed a snack by the time I got home. oof. Full.

I should have worn green. Or at least known who the game was against before hand. But it was fun to get caught up in team spirit & catch up with friends. 

Your turn:
Do you follow sports teams? 
What’s your favorite meal out? 
Are you more of a Friday night out or Saturday or both? 
My co-workers did the Tough Mudder race – anyone else ? 

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Monday Night Yoga : I made a friend!

I made a friend last night!

Ok, it might be a little creepy/premature to pull out such labels but anyways…

While I’d like to think I’m friendly at the gym, I usually stay in my zone 

with my headphones on & nothing more than a smile or a nod.

Tonight, after a quick boost on the elliptical, as I was waiting in line for Yoga the girl in front of me & I started to chat. She was just starting her practice again after a long break, I’ve come & gone to this class for over a year now. After some talking I realized she was new to the gym & still figuring out what classes she liked. We bonded over mutual fear of spinning.

After class, we walked out together swapping gym preferences & small talk. We even built up a little networking, showing appreciation for each other’s industry & how we could help one another. A possible future gym buddy & someone to talk business with? Score!

Oh and Yoga tonight?

I packed a long sleeve pullover, a pair of shorts, a pair of capris and a t-shirt. ….. No sports bra. And I was wearing my worst strapless. Fail. Forget support (not much required)…I just feared it falling down… so needless to say, I was a little preoccupied during class & didn’t really get into the poses. Also, my hips and knees decided they weren’t quite ready for all the chair poses and my arms & core were definitely not ready for this:

Flying Crow


Your turn:

Do you make friends at the gym / in a fitness class easily ?

What’s the most challenging pose / move that you’ve done recently?

Favorite Finds:

Did you know that Pop-tarts was one of the top foods purchased for the hurricane?

According to Hungry Girl, today is National Toasted Marshmallow Day …should have had this for breakfast