bringing community to (yoga) class

have you ever felt uncomfortable or intimidated at a yoga studio?  well jacoby ballard has. and from that experience a new studio was born. 

i always love hearing the reason’s behind someone’s practice.  why does someone choose the studio they do?  how did a person begin practicing?  what does a person gain from asana?  it’s always unique and interesting to me.

this brooklyn studio is really focused on serving their community with innovative classes and encouraging people to get to know their fellow yogis when on the mat.  and it seems people are diggin’ it.  i know saying our names and introducing ourselves prior to class can sometimes dredge up memories of freshman year on our first day of high school, but i can appreciate the intention.  when i was just starting out in my practice, i didn’t really interact with anyone in class.  i kind of came and went and left my practice on the mat.  now i really love saying hi to familiar faces at the studio, grabbing a cup of coffee green tea with other yogis post- class and bringing that sense of community into other areas of my life.  it’s also a pretty cool way to find out if you mesh with a particular studio/teacher/class.  my classes are lighthearted and you can see it with my students.  i encourage talking to each other (before or after class😉 ) laughing and enjoying the moment.  i really strive to have people connect with their practice, and to themselves, and promoting that sense of community can enhance that experience. 

what do you think?  what draws you to a certain studio or class?  do you love to make friends in class or do you come, flow and go?


asana and anxiety

it’s no secret that i started practicing yoga, and ultimately decided to get my certification to teach, because i was dealing with an overwhelming anxiety disorder.  even though i know how yoga makes me feel, i know there are still some skeptics out there.  yoga helping to alleviate anxiety?  yeah, right. 

well here’s proof thanks to a Yoga Dork piece that i came across while doing some research.

what do you turn to yoga for?  post-workout stretches?  shoulder openers?  happy hips?  headache relief?  i kinda love that yoga can help everything from hang nails to hangovers.

10 ways i’m un-yogic

i recently read this funny article about an unconventional yoga teacher. in the past few months there’s been lots of buzz about what makes a yoga teacher a yoga teacher.  is it using sanskrit in class or having amazing backbends? is it the ability to spout off the sutras with as much passion as your co-worker rehashes the latest drama on the bachelorette? 

it got me reflecting on myself as an instructor.  do i fit the stereotype of your “typical” yogi?  definitely not.  and call me crazy, but i think some of the best instructors i’ve ever had have known who they are and own it no matter what.  hey, we’re all students, right?  we can always find something to learn- even from the most eccentric yogis.

so in honor of following your own path, here’s 10 ways in which i can be un-yogic:

1) i enjoy a martini as much as a cup of green tea

2) i’m obsessed with goal setting, to-do lists and planning out my entire day (sometimes down to the hour)

3) i think cheetos should be a food group

4) i can hold a grudge like a champ

5) there are days i could spend hours watching bad reality tv

6) i need to be in control… of everything

7) i have a competitive side

8 ) i know way too much about designer handbags

9) when my sarcasm is stifled, i can feel incomplete

10) i can’t wrap myself into a pretzel

so tell me, how are you un-yogic??

happy august and goal reviews

happy august wellness mavens!

i worked yesterday and then led a yoga class so i waited until today to sit down with my journal and review my monthly goals. 


here were my july goals:

1) run 3x/week  still working on this, i’m up to about 2-3x/week

2) yoga 2x/week  this was going strong except in these past 2 weeks when the move has pretty much taken up all spare time

3) long runs at 5 miles by end of month  done!

4) complete 1,5,10 year goals for work  done!

5) become education expert at work   super close to this

6) actively blog 3-4x/week   done!

7) volunteer at animal shelter   all i need to do is orientation but, alas moving has also taken over in this department

8 ) daily TO DO lists   done!

9) review brian tracey life planning/goal setting   in progress (there’s lots of info here!)

10) read 2 new books  done! (i’m actually on my 5th for the month)

11) date nights with Hubby P   done! and still in progress😉

i just started working on my august monthly goals- markers, magazines, glitter and glue all ready to go!  i’ve started to make my goal setting time into a small-scale event🙂

after doing my 1, 5, 10 year goal planning i broke down my 1 year goals into monthly sections and then i started writing out a TO DO list every day in order to accomplish those monthly goals. so ideally, if i break down my monthly goals into totally do-able actions, i’ll have no problem getting all my goals within reach! 

do you goal set? write out daily to do lists? if you do, how’s it going? how do you keep track of your successes?

mover and shaker

hey there lovely ones!

how has your friday been treating you?  i’ve been a mover and shaker today, even though i’ve barely left the house!  hubby p and i are busily prepping for our move and since i work most weekends, he’s been rocking it with the paint brush. only 2 more rooms to go!  i’ve been spending my time cleaning, sorting, boxing and bubble wrapping.  our little apartment is slowly becoming overwhelmed with boxes, as are its inhabitants (eek!), but i know it’ll be worth it come move day and i’m way ahead of the game in the packing department.


so as i sit here, surrounded by boxes, i feel accomplished. my morning run was rained out so once hubby p gets home he’s going to finish up some work and then we’re gonna go pound the pavement for a few miles. the rain didn’t kill off the humidity so hopefully by the time we get out there, it’ll have cooled down a bit more. i got the new runner\’s world magazine in the mail today and they have an article on training in the heat. along with tips on staying hydrated and safe out there, it also mentions how training in hot weather can actually improve your runs in cooler weather.  score!  there’s also some cool advice on mentally training for runs as well.  i think that’s still the toughest part for me.  my head swirls with negative chatter before a run… “you’re not a runner”, “you’re so slow”, “you’ll never be able to do this for 13.1 miles”, etc. so i think i’m going to start gettin’ a little yogi on my runs and just stay present.  concentrate on each run as it comes.  last sunday morning i rocked 5 miles in 1:01:52.  i know i can do this!  i just have to remember that when i’m actually out there😉

how do you get through tough challenges?  do you have a mantra or a favorite song that helps get you back on track and staying positive?  



finally there’s a cook in the kitchen!

hey there, how’s your night going? 🙂

spin class was crazy fun tonight!  i came home still pumped from the energy and whipped up a super simple soup and salad combo that totally hit the spot. one of my 1 year goals is to cook healthy meals 5x a week. i gave a due date of october 2011.  this is a goal i have to actively work on every day because i’ve been known to play the “i’m beat” card and grab delicious take out for dinner. and i’ve certaintly made my fair share of lunch break trips to jamba juice😉


here was dinner- made in 10 minutes flat!



arugula salad with walnuts, flax seeds and basil olive oil

i’m off to snack on some fresh organic strawberries i picked up at trader joe’s (which may or may not be accompanied by a little whipped cream😉 )

have a great night!

vixen worthy spin tunes

i just finished making a big batch of quinoa and i’m doing some last-minute errands before heading off to teach a super sweaty spin class.


tonight’s theme is all about endurance.  it’s packed with killer hills, climbing sprints and a super secret move that leaves our legs like jello!  i’m diggin’ the tunes and wanted to share🙂 – check it out:

Drumming Song- Florence + The Machine  warm up

Last Friday Night- Katy Perry  moderate ride with sprints

Hang Me Up To Dry- Cold War Kids  2nd position ride, heavy resistance

Black Sheep- Metric  3rd position, full on climb

Give Me Everything- Pitbull  seated recovery 

Heartless- Dia Frampton  3rd position climb with sprints

F’**kin Perfect- P!nk  2nd position climb with sprints

Waiting for the End- Linkin Park  seated climb, bad ass resistance

Memories- Weezer  seated recovery

Standing Outside a Broken Phone Booth w/ Money in my Hand- Primitive Radio Gods  3rd position climb with sprints

Alice- Moby  2nd position climb with sprints

The Climb- No Doubt  seated climb, bad ass resistance

Dissolved Girl- Massive Attack  3rd position, heavy resistance, super secret leg move

Price Tag- Jessie J  cool down

and on that note, i’m off to get my sweat on!

♥peace out♥

*always consult a physician before starting a new exercise routine and modify to accommodate your fitness level/needs 

Tips on Yoga Teacher Training

hey, hey!  happy weekend!

when i meet new people and they find out i’m a yoga instructor i’m often asked the question “how did you get into that?”

to be honest, the universe pointing me in the right direction helped a lot. i was working in PR and dealing with an anxiety disorder that was slowly becoming too overwhelming to deal with.  i was googling ‘holistic healing for anxiety’ and other variations of that topic and a website for a local yoga studio offering teacher trainings popped up on my screen. the hours of training fit into my already full-time schedule and i figured going through a training would really help me create a practice that i needed during times of high anxiety when classes aren’t always available to me.  so after visiting the studio, numerous hours of practice and 4 months of balancing this training on top of my regular job,  i was proudly a certified yoga instructor. 

i started out slowly… teaching classes at the studio i graduated from and practicing on friends and family. and then i realized i loved sharing yoga so much that after a few weeks i made the leap into full-time teaching. since then i also got certified in spin and kickboxing.  i totally dig the fitness and yoga community and have never regretted my choice to immerse myself in it completely. 

so where do you start when you know you want to take a training, but don’t know which one would work best for you?  here’s some tips to help you out:

1) know what kind of training you want to get

are you interested in a comprehensive 200 hour or 500 hour certification? would you prefer to get certified under a specific style of yoga such as Anusara or Bikram?  each training offers something unique so take some time to think about what would fulfill you the most.

2) what studio/school feels good to you?

if you’re taking your training at a studio, get to know the person conducting the training so you know you feel comfortable. if you’re going away for the training make sure to visit the location and get a feel for the place. take some classes with the teachers at the studio or school and see if you jive with the atmosphere.

3) what kind of committment can you offer?

do you need to stay local or can you take some time to travel to kripalu?  maybe you need a condensed version (some studios offer summer schedules that allow you to cover the 200 hours in a matter of months) or perhaps you can fly off to an exotic place like Thailand for an immersion training/retreat.

4) cost

this is definitely something to think about. depending on how much you’d like to spend on your training (whether you travel to a far off place, stay local or stick to 200 hours instead of 500) plays a part on which training will fit best into your life. some places may offer scholarships or early sign up specials.

5) pick your teachers’ brains

you practice with them every week, are inspired by their class themes and philosophies and trust in their adjustments. ask them where they went. find out what their experiences were and get their advice on how you can approach this new journey in your life.

6) make sure the school is recognized by yoga alliance

this helps ensure proper training curriculum standards.



if you find yourself interested in taking a training, go for it! it can be a life-changing experience.  i hope you find these tips helpful! and if you’re already an instructor, please feel free to add some of your tips and experiences too🙂

♥peace out♥

*friday favorites*

happy friday beautiful people!

its hot and humid here so Hubby P and i started the day off with a 6am run to try and beat the heat. it didn’t work… it was a sweaty 2.5 miles!  but it did feel amazing to be done with my workout by 7am. one of my monthly goals for july was to increase my training runs to 3x a week in order to accomplish my bigger 1 year goal of rockin’ out a half marathon (which is DECEMBER 4th!).  so far, its looking good that i’ll get to check that goal off my list :)  after completing this goal, i think i’m going to make milage goals for the following months- i’d like to add 2 miles to my long runs by the end of every month so i’m always striving to increase my base.

anyway, on to FRIDAY FAVORITES!

here’s some things i’ve been diggin’ lately:

a fun and flirty read


pink bubbly



sipping wine

what are some of your favorite things this week?
♥peace out♥

and now…back to regularly scheduled blogging

hi loves! how are you all?  i’ve been MIA from the blogosphere lately, but i promise, it’s for all good reasons🙂

ever notice how something happens and kind of acts like a catalyst for many other changes?  well that kind of happened with my little vegan experiment. i went vegan on april 19th. and i stuck with it… for just under 2 months. now i had grand plans of staying vegan because i was really enjoying it. i got into home cooked meals and sharing my experiences with friends and family. however, after about 3 weeks in, i caught a nasty stomach flu. it knocked me out for almost a solid week. i barely ate and definitely didn’t work out. once i felt better i spent a week regaining energy and going back to teaching my classes. then a week later, the stomach flu came back with a vengeance. after consulting with a nutritionist, i began to incorporate more probiotics into my diet, as well as heaps of ginger and chamomile tea. i also practically lived on green smoothies and juices to help fight the virus. i eventually got better and had a wonderful week of health. and then, ONCE AGAIN, i was knocked on my butt by a virus so bad i couldn’t even keep water down. i got severely dehydrated and slept for hours on end. after being sick 3 times in 2 months i chucked the vegan diet and laid off the green juices for a while. i know they probably aren’t really related, but it freaked me out enough to go back to my regular veg diet and just dabble in being a part-time vegan. i lost a total of 17lbs without even stepping foot in a gym. by the time i got back to running i could barely push out a mile. yeah… it was no beuno.

so here i am. back to my regular eating routine and happily working out again! in the middle of all that craziness, i started working at lululemon. i’m loving it! i’ve already been to multiple yoga classes and even a spin class with the lulu girls. i love the feeling of community and family and like-mindedness.  it was exactly what i was craving! so i now work there full-time, teach yoga and spin classes part-time and now am back to blogging :)  YAY.  oh, and we’re getting ready for a move to boot!

here’s how i’ve been keeping calm during all this transition:

heaps of yoga and meditation

sipping wine

taking time to see friends

writing and journaling

revising my goals – to keep me focused on why i’m bringing about all this change

early morning runs with Hubby P

on that note, i’m off to start my crazy busy day! i’m totally looking forward to a post-yoga dinner date with a girlfriend. yay for work AND play!

peace out,



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