yoga

New Year, Same Old Recap

It's that time of year. The weird week between Christmas and New Years where you're not quite sure what to do with yourself. 

I always want to start planning, plotting, and rolling new things into action - but without wishing away the last week of the old year. It's a tough balance to find and a weird line to walk.

For me, taking time to review what did and didn't work in the previous year helps me chart a course and decipher a plan for the next.

So let's see what went well in 2017:

1. My business, as a whole. I took on more classes, taught more trainings, and created more opportunity than ever before. And it showed. As the year closes, it's pretty neat to see that I literally doubled my revenue from 2016.

2. Yoga retreats! I held my first two wine and yoga retreats in 2017. They were a test. Would anybody even want to go? Would working with my parents be successful? Would I even like leading retreats? Yes, yes, and yes. So in 2018 we welcome on two more retreats (there's ONE space left for the weekend of July 26-29- otherwise they are sold out) and a single day mini retreat (that is all full). And perhaps think about adding a third? A local San Diego option? Hmmmm...

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3. Teacher trainings. I co-lead my first 200 hour yoga teacher training at Spirit Yoga in 2017 and had an amazing experience. Not only did I get to impart my specific knowledge upon some amazing now yoga teachers, but I got to soak in the immense wisdom of my co-leaders. 2018 finds me heading back to Spirit from January to April to co-lead 200 hour teacher training once again (it's not too late to sign up!). I'll also continue to teach the anatomy portions of teacher trainings at other local studios. And I'm in the early stages of discussing hopping on board with co-production of a brand new teacher training with a dear friend (and amazing yoga instructor) for sometime at the end of 2018 or early 2019.

4. Anatomy. Publishing my first book was a huge highlight of 2017. Perhaps even more exciting was teaching the intensive course to yoga instructors here in San Diego. 2018 brings another local intensive (dates TBD), taking the course on the road (hello, Los Angeles in May), and beginning work on a second book and deeper level anatomy training. A large goal of mine is to teach this course outside of California - so any leads on studios that would love to partner to bring Critical Anatomy to their communities would be appreciated.

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5. Balancing personal life with work. We finally got a dog! We put in the love, time, and effort to make sure his first year of life was setting him (and us) up for success. And I think we nailed it. 2018 will bring more adventures with Arlo, bonding trips with Angelo, maximizing the quality of the time we spend together as a family, and making lots and lots of memories. 

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And where to improve...

1. Health and fitness. 2017 was another year spent battling injury. While it had many more highs than the previous year or two, it was still a year with more mornings of "ouch" than I'd like. I'm committed in 2018 to being better rounded - more yoga (my personal practice has been lacking), more strength training (yes, yes, yes it feels so good to be strong), appropriate recovery (hi foam roller), optimal nutrition (for performance, but also life). Because I'm committed to achieving big goals (Boston Marathon, a long trail race of some sort) and to having a year of being healthy.

2. Blogging. From a business standpoint, my weekly blogs, monthly blogs, and occasional in betweeners aren't doing much. And from a personal standpoint it's become something that I honestly am beginning to dread writing. I do not like having to write when I'm not inspired to. It feels less than authentic. So this year I'll be posting blogs when the inspiration strikes, and only when it strikes.

3. Run coaching. As the past two and a half years have led me down a yoga-centered road, I've let my run coaching and run specific teaching take a backseat. And while I had the opportunity to coach a few amazing people in 2017 (Antonette, Jessi, Jenn - to name a few) I want to do more! So in addition to more marketing and making space for more clients, I'll be continuing to teach runner's yoga every week and adding a Run Strong class to my weekly schedule. Plus, stay tuned for hopefully big announcements coming this year about expansion of my Rock Solid Runner programming!

4. Making more time for fun! I get caught up in the feeling that I should always be working. Because if I don't work, my business doesn't grow, and I don't get paid. And while that work ethic is one I appreciate and want to keep I know it is important to sprinkle some fun in. So here's to a year with more time spent with friends, enjoying coffee dates, ice cream scoops, tv shows, movies, reading more books, and playing more games. Also, planning more free events (because those are always fun) through Bodies in Motion. And generally smiling and laughing without holding anything back.

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Lastly, what's coming up immediately in January?

1. I'm keeping my theming going for yoga classes. January's theme is "foundations". It's impossible to build a sturdy house without a strong foundation and it's impossible to attempt or achieve an advanced yoga posture without the same. So we'll be focusing on one foundational aspect of our asana each week and building it up to a peak pose.

Come play: 

Mondays - 12PM at Buddhi Yoga

Tuesdays - 9AM at Spirit Yoga

Wednesdays - 7PM at Spirit Yoga

Fridays - 630AM at Buddhi Yoga and 9AM at Spirit Yoga

Keep up to date with my schedule here. 

2. I'm also keeping up with the small changes to my daily routine that I've coined "Maximize my Month". They may not stick as monthly challenges, but they'll be around. The current challenge? To buy less processed and packaged foods. Yup, grocery shopping is changing. No more browsing the middle aisles for crackers, snacks, cereal, and canned foods. Let's stick to the outsides of the store - produce, fresh protein sources, bulk items - as well as visiting farmers markets. Not only will it be better for us, but it will be much more friendly to the planet. Of course, some packaging will be hard to avoid (eggs are a good example) but the less the better!

 

What I'm Into Wednesday - The Most Wonderful Time...

Well, it's officially December - which means we are officially into holiday season. Thank you to the lovely humans who officially waited until December hit in order to decorate, blast Christmas music, and get extra festive. I appreciate it, November is far too early. 

So, in honor of embracing the holidays, here we go - let the holiday themed blogs begin!

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This Sunday I had the honor of being the speaker during an event to celebrate the grand opening of Saje Wellness in the La Jolla UTC mall. The theme was talking about community wellness, and how the path to bringing wellness to your community has to start with bringing wellness to your own life. It was an amazing experience (and kind of emotional) to recount my path, my journey, through adolescence, high school, college, and my twenties to where I am today. 

I was so happy with the turnout (such an amazing group of women who came out) and with the space! If you haven't actually been into a Saje store - find one near you. They nail the in store experience and you will immediately feel your wellness improve just by stepping in. 

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We are in the first week of the #Top20of2017 giveaway - and it is a blast! We know that it's always fun to give gifts and presents away to people and this is no different! It's been so enjoyable to play Santa Claus and shower giveaway prizes and gifts - on people I both know and don't know. 

People would be lying if they said they don't love free stuff, especially free stuff that they win. Are you playing along? Follow me on IG @thelpinsd and follow each day's instructions!

SMELL

Winter means Crockpot season. And Crockpot season means SOUP! This week I made a chicken sausage/lentil/couscous concoction - spicy andouille chicken sausage, lentils, couscous, tomatoes, spinach, bell peppers and chicken bone broth. So tasty, very healthy, and surprisingly filling. 

Any suggestions for other soup recipes to try out?

HEAR

Last week I started a new end of yoga class tradition - seated meditation. You're probably saying, "what"? That's definitely not new. True, but a consistent seated meditation isn't something I've been doing at the end of every one of my yoga classes and it's something I've been wanting to incorporate.

So last week we started with 60 seconds. This week we're up to two minutes. As I said last week, 60 seconds simultaneously isn't a long time and is also a really long time. In this busy season it can be challenging to find 60 minutes to spend on your mat or 20 minutes to meditate - but you can always find 60 seconds to sit somewhere quiet and listen to your breath. Try it out. It's powerful.

TASTE

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Okay, it's time to confess: cookies are my absolute weakness this time of year. I love love love holiday cookies - gingerbread, shortbread, pepperminty chocolate things. Basically everything in the Trader Joe's cookie aisle. And I'm also okay with indulging. So I bought my first box of holiday cookies from TJs last week - glazed Lebkuchen. These soft, chewy, spiced molasses cookies disappeared real fast. And they were delish!

Best part of holiday cookies? Doing a cookie exchange with friends. What should I make??

What I'm Into Wednesday

Prior to beginning this post, I had a running list of what was going to be included this week and a general idea of what I was going to talk about. And while much of that running list has stayed the same, I want to start in a different fashion than I had originally planned.

I'm just going to open this post with a plea. To be smart (and to practice what you preach). Listen to your body. It knows what it wants. And sometimes it doesn't want to run a 50k. So why run it? 50k or not, you have nothing to prove to anyone besides yourself. And as my friend Mike so eloquently put it the other day, we all do this "fitness" thing to feel good - mentally, physically, about ourselves. If it stops feeling good, why are we still doing it that way?

So, 50k out - trail marathon in. And I'm feeling better already.

Onward.

SEE

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A couple of years ago I was introduced to a local San Diego sunglasses brand, Knockaround. We all know how it goes: buy super cheap and ugly sunglasses and they'll last you years but splurge on a fancy pair and you'll break or lose them within weeks. Knockaround solves that conundrum. Make super cool, unique sunglasses at a price that is easy on your wallet and that won't make you sad for days if something happens to them. Their stuff is the shit. Great colors, a few classic shapes, and fun designs. AND they're into community - they'll be throwing shades my direction for my 2018 retreat attendees!

SMELL

Again and again, the smell of coffee is one of my favorite things. Even coffee that is spilled allllll over the table, chairs, and floor in my living room. And it wasn't just any coffee. It was Four Sigmatic Mushroom Coffee. What? Yup. Tim Ferriss is my guy and a few months ago I finally got around to trying this superfood coffee that sponsors his podcast. They have two coffee variations - chaga and cordyceps and lion's mane and chaga. Cordyceps and chaga is their "stay awake" varietal while the lion's mane and chaga is their "think" varietal. They each only have 40mg of caffeine (way less than coffee) but keep me awake and focused without any caffeine headache or energy drop. A serving is less than $2 - well worth trying out, at least. I'm sold.

TASTE

Let's just stick with coffee. I'm on a neverending search for the best almond milk vanilla latte in San Diego (and the world). After a fantastic Sunday morning (more on that below) a group of us went to Copa Vida in East Village for coffee and brunch. My first time there and this fancy ass coffee spot did not disappoint, despite somehow completely losing/forgetting our order. When the AMVL finally did show up, it was one of the best yet. It's moved to top three in San Diego for me!

HEAR

My wonderful friend Amanda makes quite a few appearances in this blog and today is no different. She's (perhaps) the biggest Vulfpeck fan on the planet. Don't know who Vulfpeck is? You should listen to their Spotify immediately. And then specifically listen to their new release, Baby I Don't Know Oh Oh. They're magic. 

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Bodies. In. Motion. The end. It really was the most fun. Here's the simple concept that Angelo and I have developed for BIM: bring people together, out of their comfort zones, to get their minds active and their bodies moving, in creative and unique ways, in new places in their cities, with people they don't know. It's a simple idea of comm-UNITY. And Sunday's re-kickoff to more regular events couldn't have been more perfect. 60+ people ran, rode bikes, or rolled on blades along the waterfront to a top secret location to practice yoga. They ended up under one of my favorite public art pieces in San Diego, Roman DeSalvo's Riparium in Ruocco Park. The morning couldn't have been a better launch to all of the amazing events to come. Follow on Instagram to make sure you don't miss out!

What I'm Into Wednesday - Trail Adventures

Have you ever made plans with friends and been equally excited and scared at the same time? This was my set of emotions going into my long run on Saturday. A few friends and I decided to try out the 5 Peaks Challenge in Mission Trails. This is something I've wanted to do for a while but haven't felt confident enough in my running abilities/injury status to attempt. So Saturday was a big day. And it was awesome.

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Let's just start with the challenge itself: run/hike up all 5 peaks in Mission Trails in one day. Cowles Mountain, Pyles Peak, Kwaay Paay, North Fortuna, and South Fortuna. All on foot. No driving. There are a few routes of differing lengths that will take you up all 5. We chose the longest route we could find. We started at 5:30am with headlamps in the rain, vests packed full of hydration and snacks, and ended a bunch of hours later with hungry stomachs, thirst, and sunburns. In total we hit 18.7 miles, almost 4800 feet of climbing, in right about 4 hours of moving time. It was an epic adventure that I'd gladly do again (and again and again). If you're a Strava junkie, you can check our course out here!

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Post run all I wanted to do was nap and watch something. I logged onto Netflix and came across GLOW. The premise: it's 1985 and Ruth is a broke actress trying to make it in LA. She finds herself auditioning for a women's wrestling show called GLOW (Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling) alongside an amazing cast of characters (including her former BFF - there's serious drama there). It's smart, hilarious, visually stunning in all it's 80s glory, has a fantastic soundtrack, and will hook you. Bonus: Marc Maron plays the director, and he's funny AF.

 

HEAR

In preparation for Saturday's adventure, I took a Friday night yoga class. I (try to) take Nikki Krause's 5PM class at Core Power in North Park (this is an open invite) every Friday. She's a gem. Smart sequencing, great music, and perfect theming. This week she talked about how we are our own best teacher. We have an inner wisdom that exists inside us all and sometimes our work is in quieting the outside world and listening more closely to ourselves. I loved that thought.

 

SMELL

Have you ever smelled a freshly prepared burrito after a 18 mile run? No? Well it's the most delicious smell ever. I hit up Panchita's in North Park for a vegan burrito post peaks. What's in it, you ask? Potatoes, soy chorizo, avocado, tomato, cabbage, peppers, and beans. And it was bomb diggity.

 

TASTE

This is a weird one. Have you ever tried Nutritional Yeast? It's like the best kept secret of the vegan world. My pre-race or pre-long run meal is always pizza, but I've been off of the dairy for a while now. So I went with an Amy's Vegan Margherita pizza with non-dairy Daiya cheese on Friday night. Sprinkle a little nutritional yeast on that bad boy and it gave it the salty/savory quality of parmesan. I mean, nothing replaces the real deal, but it was close! My current brand? Trader Joes. 

Maximize My Month - September, 2017

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September is here. Kids are back in school, tourists from Arizona have gone home, and it's still feeling hot as ever in San Diego. With a new month comes a new challenge. And this is a simple one, but one I'm excited about. 

However, first we review August. The goal for August was to be more present: meditate daily, practice more yoga (even if just at home), and leave my phone while doing things like walking Arlo. I'm pretty pumped to say that I knocked this month out of the park. 

I made time to meditate (thanks Headspace!), I had the honor of leading my second retreat of the year (all about yoga and meditation - and a little wine), I spent lots of QT with Arlo, and I practiced more yoga (mostly at home). It feels great and this is a kick I will not come off of any time soon.

So on to September...

A few weeks ago I ran a 15 miler with some trail running friends (hi Lou, Megan, and John!) and we got in a convo about hydration. I fessed up that I'm terrible with drinking water before bed and in the morning. And that I felt like it might be inhibiting my exercise abilities to start my day off dehydrated. 

So this month I pledge to drink a glass of water before bed every night and one first thing upon awakening. I started this a few days early (overachiever, I know). I already feel better and even though I've been waking up once during the night to pee, I think it's totally worth it. 

So join me? Let's fight dehydration together!

PS John Nagib, this one's for you. I know you're in.