Well, days 6-10 were much, much better than days 1-5. I got most of the grumpiness out of my system and have accepted I’m in this for the long haul. It probably also helps that I’m not doing power power power power anymore, but actually allowing myself to slow down.
Clearly, I need more photos of me doing yoga.
On Day 6 (Thursday), I was exhausted from the killer morning hot hour class the morning before. I opted to do a hatha flow class at The Yoga Sanctuary I had never tried before. Now, normally, hatha is not my thing. When I work out, I need to be working in order for it to feel like it worth my time. But this class provided a great opportunity to reflect on why I include yoga in my work-out regime and why I’m doing this 30 day challenge. It also gave my very tired arms a break.
Day 7 (Friday) was Power Hour at Kula! I don’t know if it was the combination of spring sunlight, the long weekend among us for Christ-an’s amazing music mix, but I loved every second of this class. (Except chair pose. Because I will never love chair pose). It was a great way to kick off my weekend and get me back into a “yoga is great!” headspace. (If you missed it, JK agreed. Clearly, Christi-an is magic)
Day 8 (Saturday) was Moksha Music. I’m usually “meh” on moksha, but I make an exception for Jackie’s Moksha Music. She makes her flow sequences interesting and challenging, but not overwhelming. It was a tiring class, though, so I was glad it was the weekend. A regime of write yoga write yoga was exactly what I needed. Oh, and I ran 7.5km this morning. The run was awesome: perfect weather, lots of great friends. I miss running. A lot. This is an unexpected development.
Day 9 (Sunday) was Live Music Flow with JK and Jen Slade. It was fine. I enjoyed the challenges of some of the poses, but was getting tired. So tired.
Day 10 (Monday), I bailed on my pal B (sorry B!) due to a combo of “too much to do and oh, my cousin is in town?!” We were going to do Moksha together. Instead, I opted for the exact opposite of Moksha: restorative. Conclusion? I’m not a restorative fan. I think I’ll bail on the restorative for now (although I still need to give Reiki a shot) and just incorporate the poses that work for me into my practice outside of class. Because I may hate folding over a bolster, I love lying back on a block.
I think I’m out of the painful phase of this project. Now it’s about managing my energy levels and my time.
This time last year Moksha Yoga introduced the Living Your Moksha Challenge to the yoga world. Me, being a trade at Moksha Downtown, saw the posters and wondered, “How can anyone do yoga for 7 weeks straight?” 30 days seemed hard enough. 7 weeks is beyond crazy.
Mind you, this was fresh off my very unsuccessful first attempt at a 30 day challenge (the unplanned 30 days was successful attempt number two), so my perception of this particular challenge was a little skewed. I completely boycotted the idea of any yoga challenge — yes, I do tend to be a tad extreme when I don’t complete something after the first time trying it — I didn’t want to be a failure again, and so I didn’t pay any attention to this living your yoga business.
No, you do not do yoga for 7 weeks straight. I found this out a year later. A few weeks ago to be exact when an email was sent out to all the Downtown trades about the upcoming challenge. Erin (not our Erin, but Erin my studio manager) outlined the 7 pillars behind the challenge and explained what the challenge actually was. I felt rather silly after this.
Here’s a quick video about LYM, the real deal:
So think of this as a yoga challenge off your mat. Taking the feelings yoga gives you, the foundation you build on in class, and the idea of inner peace to your everyday life. Sounds easy, right? It is April after all, a time for spring cleaning and new beginnings. I feel as though a major change needs to happen in my life and I’m ready to commit myself to this. That or it’s Costa Rica withdrawal. I need that post yoga retreat high on life and zen outlook to everything, I want to eat insanely well again and fell great. I want this all again! And I wouldn’t mind both the sun and surfers too, while I’m at it.
So here I go. Starting May 1st, I accepted this Living Your Moksha challenge. It could very well be just what I need to rethink and refuel for summer. I have a horrible feeling parts are going to be terrible, as I’m starting a 10 day detoxifying cleanse as part of the “Be Healthy” pillar lead by Dr. Allison Creech. You may remember her from the voice that puts me to sleep, the Costa Rica voice of reason. But hopefully the community behind LYM and my fellow yogis at Downtown will be there to help me when I’m ready to punch something because I can’t have my morning coffee. Hey, I can do anything now! I climbed the CN Tower!
As a tease, here is some pillars you can expect to see in the 7 weeks;
1. Be Healthy: Practice yoga daily for one week (piece of cake, I did 30 in a row!) 2. Live Green: Green your plate – 7 days of vegetarian/vegan delicious food eating (I’m already a vegetarian, easy!) 3. Be Peace: Extra long savasana each day (I pass out during every savasana, is this really on the list?!)
4. Sign up now and you can join me in this crazy yoga challenge!
Maybe this whole challenge thing won’t be as bad as I think.
Yes, it is true I was crazy enough to do three yoga classes on my birthday. Who does this?!? Well, I did and my original plan was to do four classes. Now you can call me really crazy.
The dream of taking on this city wide yoga challenge began three birthdays ago when my boss Kelly at Fashion Takes Action treated me to a yoga and lunch date for my birthday – we actually celebrated a day early because she was tried up with meetings on my real birthday. We took class at Moksha Danforth (Kelly’s regular yoga spot) and this is where I discovered you get a free class on your birthday. The girl at the front desk suggested I come back the next day because class would be free! I didn’t go the next day and have regretted it ever since. And from this very day on I’ve been determined to find out: what other studios in the city are kind enough to give free classes on birthdays?
Last year my birthday was on a Friday and I couldn’t do yoga all day on a work day. Well, I could have…
So, this was the year, my birthday fell on a Saturday and I was determined to squeeze four classes in one day: one at 889, Moksha Uptown, Moksha Danforth and I am Yoga. This was the tentitive plan. I wasn’t sure if Moksha Uptown or I am Yoga would comp my class but I really wanted to do Jock Yoga and Ballet Sculpt. I brought my Passport to Prana just in case, although I would have had a strong case for letting me take class (or, I think so anyway). This was until Erin’s friend Jen told me Kula gives free classes and she would join happily me for bithday yoga. I was totally in, considering Erin bailed on me for her monthly Pubruns. I needed someone to take a class with me!
Then sadly, my four classes became three when I discovered a George Brown friend was in town and wanted to treat me to birthday coffee. At first, this was perfect I would take the 8am at Moksha Danforth then meet her for coffee at 10am, then take the 12pm Hot Hour at Kula with Jen. But brithday coffees turned into birthday brunch when another friend joined us and I couldn’t skip out on meeting my George Brown buddies! My morning class would suffer, not my belly.
First class of the day was awesome, a much better Kula experience than my last. Thank you Jen!! I then hopped on the subway to catch the 2pm at Moksha Danforth because I knew a free class would be waiting for me there. But with all these different studios and times (and somewhat last minute planning, oops) I mixed up my schedule and class was at 3pm not 2pm. Oh man, I thought a yin class would have been a good choice at some point in the day, but that didn’t happen. Another bump in my challenge.
But not to fear Moksha Downtown would treat me to a free class, obviously, so I booked it to the 6pm music class. Which may have been birthday fate because who do I see that morning at brunch was none other than Peter Ward himself. I left Moksha Danforth feeling very sweaty and great I also saw another Moksha teacher Leah Von Zuben as I was leaving the studio. All this yogi love, I could have burst!
I couldn’t have asked for a better way to end this amazing day of birthday yoga when Peter Ward sang “Happy Birthday” to me in class! Hey, it was a music class atfer all and I did request a special birthday shout-out or birthday pose. I was not expecting a birthday chant with our “Oms”. After this class Erin treated me to birthday dinner and tickets to a Spice Girls tribute concert (totally made up for missing yoga with me). Then I had to pack for Costa Rica! Best birthday ever.
For anyone looking to do some yoga (or lots of yoga) on your next birthday Kula and Moksha Danforth will happily comp your class. I promise to discover more places next March 3rd. It will be a Sunday and I have a year to plan my schedule.
And for your pleasure, Wannaba, the Spice Girls tribute band. I know you’re jealous.
You may have noticed that Two Fit Girls was pretty quiet in late January and early February. I don’t know what Jill’s excuse was (*ahem*), but I had the biggest work event of the year coming up. This meant long hours, complete exhaustion and not a lot of running. (People who manage to keep up a work-out schedule during times like this amaze me. I’m looking at you, co-worker David. How do you do it?)
I am making up for this with week 7, but I am so sore. Amping up the miles this quickly probably wasn’t the best idea, but Around the Bay is soooooooo close.
Monday: Yin yoga 1:00
As per Jill’s suggestion, I tried to squeeze in some yoga at home. It wasn’t awesome: between the cats climbing all over me, the junk everywhere (Matt and I are total clutterbugs), and just the lack of soothing space, it didn’t work. I’ll give it a go again in the summer, when I can use my backyard for such purposes (the condo-dwellers next door will loooove that), but until I completely overhaul my approach to making a home, this isn’t for me.
Tuesday: 7.4km; Hot Hour @Kula
My regular Tuesday night date with Linseed and JK! Thanks to the bananas that was my schedule this week, I left straight from work and ran to yoga. I need to get more run-commuting in my life. Efficiency. Living 3k from work is amazing in every other capacity. Except this one.
Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday: Rest
Oops. This wasn’t really planned, I just didn’t schedule smartly. And the two or three occasions I could have squeezed in a run, I was exhausted. I need to take more B12. Or build a suit of iron.
This run should probably have been longer, but I needed to be at work in the am. Kendal kindly agreed to set our running date for 9:30am, allowing us to be first in line at 10am for PWYC soup. French onion soup for breakfast: not the worst thing in the world.
Well, if week 5 was bad fitness-wise, week 6 was worse. Unlike week 5, I knew this week would happen. And it’s okay.
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday: rest
Sure, the DailyMile chart says rest, but these were looooong, demanding days, spent running around, wearing a headset and generally feeling more important than I actually am. In my head, I am totally counting them as exercise.
Saturday: Hot Hour @ Kula
After not running for a week, I didn’t want to go and hurt myself by launching into a series of long runs. Easing back into it with a yoga class seemed like the perfect thing to do. It also meant I could hang with JK and make some awesome post-work-out book review videos. (See the latest example below. Don’t you love our healthy glow?)
Sunday: 11km, 90 minute yin @ Moksha
I needed to get a long run in, and Jill and I agreed to do yin together, then have a Grammy viewing party. (Chris Brown is still a total scumbag). I planned for 18k but, being the moron I am, I completely mis-timed how long that would take me and realized I’d never make it if I kept running. I hopped on a streetcar, made it just in time and was so relieved to be doing a much lower intensity work-out.
And here’s where things got back on track. Monday: 11km
I didn’t mean to run this long, but 1) I got a little lost and 2) I was feeling pretty good, so I went with it. It felt like I was making up for botching the long run the day before.
It was rainy, and I was exhausted from back-to-back 11k runs. I forced myself through 5k, came home, and did a lot of whining.
After working out four days in a row, I was tired. I decided to give my body a break and finish the week strong.
So, on Thursday, I got it in my head I could hit 60k this week if I really, really tried. I added a few kms to my planned 8k run, and began to believe I was invincible.
On Friday, I felt less invincible. I did, however, do a few hill repeats on this run. I need more hill work-outs in my life. Not because I liked it. (I did not!) but because ATB and Goodlife both have their fair share of hills. And I don’t want to be the person gasping on the side of the route, begging to be put out of my misery. I will go there if I need to. I am not classy.
Saturday: Music Mix @ Moksha 1:15
In order to hit 60k for the week, I needed to run 6k this day. As you can tell, that did not happen. Pro tip: hill work-outs hurt your bum. A lot. Matt and I also visited our much-more-sophisticated neighbours the evening before, where we did things like ooh and aah over their baseboards and at-home yoga space and drank excessive amounts of scotch. Scotch is not my friend. After much contemplation (aka whining), I decided to bail on my run (I wanted my Sunday long-run to be kick-ass and not a march to my death) and go to yoga instead.
The longest long run yet! Yay me! ATB buddy B and I agreed to meet up for an 8k run (we did the PubRuns Rosedale loop). I sandwiched this between 3k before and 10k after to make it a long run. Breaking it up this way was nice. Runs with B go by so fast. The weather was lovely and I felt really strong the first 16k of this run. I started to break down when I headed back home at Queen and Woodbine — the legs began to act less like muscle and more like rubber–, but managed to power through.
So, we’re all caught up now. I think I can hit 60k in week 8. I just need to give up any semblance of a social life. I am okay with that, though. Considering all my conversations these days consist of me complaining about not working out enough or complaining from being sore from working out too much, I’m not very fun to talk to. Just ask Matt.