Category Archives: Passion
As stated in a few of my previous posts, I recently got back into bikram yoga. My goal is to attend classes for 7 days straight; today will mark day 4. After a week of attending classes, I will resume a regular running and weight lifting routine, then head back to bikram yoga for a 3rd full week. I’ve completed this work-out schedule before and I remember being 10 pounds lighter, healthier, fit, and more toned. I figured it was time to get back in the swing of things, especially since Thanksgiving meals and Christmas sweets are quickly approaching.
Here’s a quick history of bikram yoga, for those who don’t know what it is or want to learn more about its benefits:
Bikram Yoga is a system of yoga that Bikram Choudhury synthesized from traditional hatha yoga techniques and popularized beginning in the early 1970s. Bikram Yoga sessions run for exactly 90 minutes and consist of a set series of 26 postures and 2 breathing exercises. Bikram Yoga is ideally practiced in a room heated to 105°F (≈ 40.6°C) with a humidity of 40%,and is the most popular form of hot yoga.
The goal of Bikram Yoga is general health; Bikram Choudhury states that a heated studio helps deeper stretching and injury prevention, while reducing stress and tension. Bikram claims that his system stimulates, and restores health to, every muscle, joint, and organ of the body, while at the same time increasing circulation to all organs in the body. This supposedly helps in the prevention of heart disease and organ failure. According to Choudhury, many people only use up to 50 percent of their lung capacity, and thus the lungs must be stretched in order to withstand holding more air. In a 2007 interview, Choudhury stated that when one is practicing pranayama, he or she will eventually be able to enhance oxygen absorption, as well as improve blood circulation, as in many other forms of cardiovascular activity.
It’s important to switch up your exercise activities. It definitely makes working out more enjoyable when you have multiple activities to partake in. I recommend yoga, bikram yoga, biking, kickboxing, hiking, and running. If you’re more motivated by deadlines, try signing up for a 5K or cycling race. That way, you’ll have a deadline to meet and can create your training schedule accordingly.
Don’t be afraid to try something new! Chances are you’ll enjoy it more than you thought.
Yesterday, I signed up for my first competitive, timed 5K – Susan G. Komen’s Race For The Cure. The race is on October 6th, which is only 3 weeks away. Needless to say, I needed to hop on my training plan right away. I started training yesterday and planned on “easing into things”. But of course, being me, I dove into it head on. I ran the full 3.1 miles yesterday with 2 one-minute walking breaks, for a total time of 33 minutes. I told myself to relax today, but I didn’t. Running is my nirvana. It’s my stress reliever. It’s the only thing that makes me feel really good after a long, busy, productive day at work. Mostly people like to sit in front of the TV and eat junk food. I run 3 miles and then dig my hands into an over-sized bag of carrots. Silly wabbit.
Today was day 2 of training and I’ve already improved my time by 2 minutes (ran straight through, no walking breaks)! Now the time to beat is 31 minutes. I’m taking this very seriously and hope to reach my goal time of 28 minutes. If you want to join me and support the fight against breast cancer, please click on the link below to donate. Even $1 or $5 goes a long way. Think of it as your charitable contribution for the week, month, year, or what not Thank you to my mother for being the first to donate!! Any and all support is greatly appreciated!
Congratulations to the Fab 5 for joining the Fab 7 and taking the gold in the 2012 Olympics for women’s gymnastics. It’s the first time the U.S. has won gold since 1996! If you missed it, head over to NBC for full coverage. You won’t want to miss McKayla Maroney’s flawless vault and Jordan Wieber’s incredible balance beam and floor routine.
Photos via Google
Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.
- Coco Chanel
Gold Sequin Shorts – Lulus.com
Blazer – Zara,
Denim Shirt – Thrifted, Bag – Asos.com
Sandals – Giuseppe Zanotti
Wrapped Snake Bracelet – LastMinuteAccessories.com
Necklace – ShopBelina.com
Bracelets – Planet Blue
Now that it’s officially Spring, I’ve been itching to go shopping. Good thing the issuance of my bonus is right around the corner. Below are a few items I am eager to add to my already full, under-sized closet.
Everything about this screams perfection. Especially the lace skirt.
I don’t wear much pink, but this combo is girly, yet elegant.
The cut-out on this dress is to die for.
The hat, flowy top, and floral shorts = perfect combination of casual, urban, and sweet.
Bohemian Head Scarf. Stylish in every way possible.
So simple, yet so perfect for spring.
Call me crazy, but those shoes are the epitome of comfort. They don’t look so bad either.
Gina Shift Dress, $33. Need this.
Casual & beachy, yet still professional.
As the Bhagavad Gita once said, “Yoga is difficult for the one whose mind is not subdued”.
This could not be more true. As stated in previous posts, I had started to feel complacent, yet simultaneously felt anxious because things had come to a standstill. Non-moving. Static.
I am easily able to multitask and focus on numerous things at one time. I’ve come to find that the problem with this is that I am never absolutely focused on one single task. They float around in my head and I focus on one, move to another, shuffle back to the previous one, and jump to the third. While this helps me get things done at an incredibly fast pace, it’s completely and utterly exhausting. I end my days feeling tired, grouchy, and restless- restless because I haven’t given my mind the opportunity to be still. To be silent.
I have finally discovered how to rid my restlessness and feel calm again- through bikram yoga. I’ve taken a few 90 minute sessions, and I can honestly say it gets better each go-around. Yesterday I arrived at YogaOne studio earlier than usual. I unrolled my yoga mat and laid in shavasana. I laid there for about 15 minutes before class began. I felt my body temperature rise, matching the temperature in the room, and found that my breathing had become long and deep.
About 30 minutes in, I was sweating more than I ever had in my life. Every square inch, every follicle of my body was covered with beads of sweat. I could feel these beads running from my hairline, along the side of my face, to my jawline and finally dropping all the way to the floor. Usually this would gross me out and I would towel off immediately. But not this time… something was holding me back.
I could finally feel every feeling in my body. I could feel the tingling in my toes, the looseness of my calves, the strength in my back, the struggle in my arms, and the heat radiating from my neck. I was able to focus on one single thing -how I felt. It didn’t matter that I was dripping with sweat. It didn’t matter that my hair was matted and stuck to my neck and side of my face. It didn’t matter that my eyes were dry and warm. All that mattered at that point in time was feeling, and I felt everything.
We finally moved into Lord of the Dance, a section many find difficult. I was amazed at my focus and strength throughout this exercise because I was able to complete it fully, which I can honestly say I have not done before. I felt all inner stress melt away, and I was able to close my eyes and maintain my balance. Powerful. Unimaginable. Serene.
My body, mind, and soul finally feel as though they are one.
Always moving together.
Always facing forward.
My best friend sparked a wonderful idea one evening over Skype. This week (and future weeks) will be about stepping out of my comfort zone. (I owe you a lot, Ry. Thank you)
First, a little bit of background. I recently found myself becoming complacent. Every day was the same. Wake up. Go to work. Drive home from work. Cook dinner. Watch TV. Go to bed. Repeat. I knew something needed to change. I never used to be this way. I was the girl who always had something to do, whether it was a sorority event, a dinner, a night out with friends, or an extracurricular activity. Work can drain so much energy and time from our day, causing us to forget to do the things we actually enjoy. Hell, I didn’t even feel like running. And we all know how much I love to run. Clearly, something was wrong.
I started this week off going to the gym after work. I actually ended up running 3 miles each session, so it was easy to transition back into. In my heart though, I knew this wasn’t enough.
My best friend challenged me to do something I had always wanted to do since I moved to Houston, but never found the time or energy for: Pinot’s Palette. Pinot’s Palette is an art studio where you can sign up for a class (for only $35-$45), bring your own bottle of wine or two, and paint a picture with guidance from wonderful artists. I signed up immediately for the next day’s session.
Pinot’s Palette was amazing. It was everything I had hoped for and more. I’ve always thought of myself as having absolutely no artistic ability. I went into the class with an open mind, which is hard to do after a long day of work. But as soon as I started painting, I found myself completely relaxed and focused. For once in my life, I was actually able to focus on one thing, and one thing only: the smooth strokes of paint gliding across my canvas. A wave of emotions washed over me from relaxed and relieved to giddy and proud. When the class ended, my jaw dropped. I looked at this piece of art in front of me and realized… I created this. I felt so proud and accomplished that I promised myself I would sign up for a class at least once a month.
The next day I went to work, still floating on clouds from my painting rendezvous the day before. I suddenly remembered I had purchased a Groupon awhile ago for 10 sessions of bikram yoga. I hastily pulled the Groupon out of my planner and checked for an expiration date. March 26, 2012. Perfect. I had over a month to use it.
I bopped over to yogaOne studio after work that day and completed my first 90 minute bikram yoga session. Yes, it was tough. Yes, I had buckets of sweat pouring out of me. And yes, I was completely and utterly exhausted. My legs and arms were shaking and fatigued. My contacts were dry and stuck to my eyes. My breath was shallow and my skin was covered in thick, sticky sweat. But I felt so healthy, powerful, and focused within my mind and soul, that it didn’t matter. I had found the old Kristen, and that was worth everything I had just put myself through.
I know it may be frightening to step out of your comfort zone. Maybe there is a fear of doing something alone, or an uncertainty of what lies ahead. Maybe you don’t know what kinds of things you want to experience or even where to start. All I can say is once you begin, it’s impossible not to continue. And that’s the best part.