Blissful Yoga

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As I sit here getting a much needed rest day in, I thought it would be a good time to write about my yoga journey. I have spent the last 5 months in a 200 hour certified yoga training program. There’s been late nights and long weekends spent practicing and learning the anatomy of yoga poses. I only have 5 more classes left until I graduate December 15th and I couldn’t be more excited. I finally get my life back and all my Saturday’s will be dedicated to running again. Don’t get me wrong, I have learned a lot and it has been a good experience for me. I have grown a lot over the last several months and I’m beginning to establish my own teaching style. At the beginning of the training I was intimidated by all the dancers and senior yogis who have been doing this for a lot longer then I have been. When I would teach, I wouldn’t apply what I knew because I didn’t want to say the wrong thing in front of a group who already knew more then I did. Once I got over the intimidation factor, I began to be more confident in my ability to teach just like the rest. I have seen just how much my teaching has improved once I stopped worrying about messing up. I also learned that using notes messes me up, so the day I lost the notes is the day I really saw that I could be an awesome yoga teacher. I was able to teach last weekend to a large group for the first time and I did so good. It was friends and family day at the studio and my sweet friend came to support me. That was the first time I actually taught in a class setting. I have one more large class teaching session on December 9th before we graduate. The studio is combining us with the year long training group and we are teaching them a sequence.

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I’ve had a lot of people ask me what we do in training for 6-10 hours straight. Therefore, I thought I would tell you guys what training consist of. We practice for a few hours, we build class sequences to teach, we learn anatomy,  the history of yoga, breathing techniques, and learn the wording of yoga poses. We don’t get any breaks and we have to eat as we are working on book work. Every hour we are there has to be used for training.

With all the stuff I have going on and trying to finish training and college classes, I haven’t been able to write that often. I’m slowly getting ready to begin teaching as a instructor in January. My new yoga adventure is called Blissful Yoga. Blissful Yoga is dedicated to empowering students through challenging poses, stretches, and relaxation. My practice is built around exercise and strengthening the body. With that said, my classes are open to everyone and I will work closely with you to establish a practice that fits your body. Everyone is built differently and we all have different limitations. As someone who has a bad right side, I understand the challenges some will face when it comes to certain poses. Due to my tight hamstrings and my right hip, there are certain poses I can’t do myself. I have to have support even just sitting during a breathing exercise. Therefore, at Blissful Yoga, I plan to offer the support and adjustments needed so anyone can participate in the classes. I am very passionate about helping people who have physical limitations. At Blissful Yoga, I will make everyone feel right at home no matter what their limitation may be.

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Looking ahead, I hope to build Blissful Yoga in to a traveling yoga studio. I don’t want to be stuck in a single location. As most of you know, I am always on the road, therefore I hope to take yoga with me to different counties and festivals across North Georgia. I’m not sure where this idea is going to go, but come see me in January at Athens Tech. This will be my first stop. A new city announcement will come once warmer weather hits. I have something in the works!

Thanks to everyone who has supported me along this journey! You guys are the best!

A Yogi Filled Week + A Runderful Weekend

Last week was marathon training week at Yoga. Three nights and one day long training equals a very tired runner. Only 5 more weeks of Yoga training and then I get some rest before I start teaching on my own. I am super excited about teaching on my own. I have had a lot of people approach me about it who are interested in coming to my classes. I will write a separate post about this in more detail but my classes will be filled with stretching and focusing on Yoga as a form of exercise. My beginners classes will be very relaxed and I will spend the majority of the time explaining the poses and their benefits so no one is lost. I want my classes to be fun and relaxing. I promise I will not sing to you at the end of the workout. I say this because I had a girl sing to my training class this weekend and I found it to be extremely weird. The song was about autumn and birds. Anyone who knows me knows this is not my style. Unless you want me to sing, in the case it will be a country song and will be very pitchy. HA! Look for more information soon, I can’t wait to have all of my friends in one place!

Saturday night I rushed home from training to get changed for the Spooktacular Sprint 5K. I ran this race last year and it was a cool run even though the course was long. This year they had the course mapped out correctly. This run goes along a paved trail through the woods. If you don’t have lights, you are in trouble because it’s extremely dark. We all know I ran as fast as I could through the woods so bigfoot didn’t get me. haha. With that said, I finished in 34:54 and placed first in my age group. If you are looking for a night Halloween run in October, check this one out, they have medals!

Sunday afternoon, I ran the Run Your Tail Off 5K for the dogs. I will run any race if it benefits dogs. I LOVE dogs, they are so cute! This race was ran at the same place where I train through the week. I know the course very well and it’s out and back but it is an awful course. It doesn’t appear to be hilly but it’s not flat. There is a little bit of incline that you don’t notice until you cross the finish line and your time is all wrong. It’s also very hot every year at this race. I have ran this race for several years and have never been able to place at it. Number 1 it’s hot and number 2 the course is not the best out there. I finished in 37:05 and placed 4th in my age group. It doesn’t matter that I never place, I just run to help the puppies!

This coming weekend, I will be running my 5th half marathon, the AthHalf! I hope the cooler weather kicks in Sunday morning so I’m not dying the entire way. I heard there will be live music throughout the course which should be really cool. Look for a recap next week!

 

 

Power Of Relaxation

I’m the kind of person who can’t sit still no matter what. I can be at work, at a restaurant, or at a friend’s house and if I sit longer then thirty minutes I will about come out of my skin. I’m not sure why I am like this but I can’t control it, I have to move. As you can imagine, a day long Yoga class just about kills me. It takes everything I have to stay there all day. Saturday training classes are from 8-6, so when they say we can go I am the first one out the door every time. I have noticed something though, I do relax when we practice Savasana which is the pose of total relaxation. You are basically in a corpse’s position on the floor. Typically you can place your head on a blanket and your legs over a bolster, then you lay there and release all the tension in your body. I manage to stay still (or mostly still) for the ten to fifteen minutes in the pose. I also noticed this has helped me release the stress I get from my job and school. Needless to say, Savasana will be an essential component at the end of my classes when I begin teaching.

I had my Yoga training classes back to back this week. Class Friday night from 5:30-9 and then again all day Saturday. I was able to teach for a few minutes Saturday morning and received awesome feedback. Apparently my speed of calling out the poses and how long I give in between each pose is perfect. I felt like I was speeding through the poses but it feels longer to the student’s actually doing the poses then it does to me teaching. I can tell already I am going to enjoy teaching my own class one day!

I was super excited yesterday because I did a handstand against the wall. I was like heck yea all this strength training is paying off. I did it a second time and my right arm gave out and I collapsed on my neck. I am a little sore today in my shoulders and back but no time for that because I gotta get right back at it tomorrow at the gym. I keep looking at my arms and flexing and hoping those biceps will magically form. I swear I have a baby bicep forming so we will role with that for now!

I get to run a 5K this coming weekend and I am so excited! We will be in Winder for the Summer’s End 10K/5K. Hope to see all my lovely friends there!

Hugs & Blessings
~Queen Beast Fitness

Yogi in Trainee

When I started my Yoga teacher training classes at the end of June, I did not realize how much I was going to learn in only a few short weeks. I went to my first class thinking I was going to learn how to teach an exercise but I’m realizing there is more to Yoga then teaching someone to stretch or practice a pose. There is hours and hours of book work, studying anatomy, and spending 6 or more hours in a studio a few days a week. The teacher training also teaches us mental and spiritual strategies to implement in to our daily lives and the lives of our students.

The first class I went to, the instructors had us sit in a circle and told us to bring our hands to heart center. They told us to breathe in, and get ready for the sacred sound of Aum. All of these people started Auming and being the girl I am, I popped my eyes open and looked around at all of them like they were insane. This is when I realized there are several different practices to Yoga. The next night, they sat us in a group and discussed how Yoga can be a spiritual practice. Some of the girls began to question if practicing Yoga is the religious thing to do. I gotta say, I was questing what the heck I got myself in to after hearing all of this. I didn’t recognize the fact that people look down on Yoga for various reasons until I sat in this circle. At this point in the training, I am already forming my opinions of how I will practice and teach Yoga. I am going to be honest here, I will not be practicing any aum’s or spiritual ways nor will I teach it. I will teach Yoga as a form of exercise and when student’s pay to come to my class, I will put them to work. Therefore, when they walk out of my door, they feel like they have accomplished something and feel like they have gotten a great workout.  Kind of like boot camp for Yoga. That’s not to say, that I won’t start with some breathing exercises or end the night with a little meditation but my classes will not focus on that.

Yoga is also making me realize it’s ok to be who you are and to be ok with where you are in life. Let me try to explain this a little better. It wasn’t until I started taking Yoga lessons, did I recognize the fact that my body does not bend and stretch the way some people’s do. I have very tight hamstrings and very tight shoulders. Therefore, I cannot touch my toes or place my hips on the floor in a seated position. I also walk like a duck and many of my poses have my feet sticking out because I cannot turn them in. Last night, was the first time I truly got frustrated with myself during the training class. The instructor told us to stretch and grab our feet but I couldn’t stretch that far and I looked around at everyone else who could grab their feet and just shook my head. The instructor saw me and came over to tell me its ok to be where I am in this journey and to learn to be ok with the things I can’t do at the moment. I thought a lot about what she said and I am coming to terms with not worrying about what I can’t do but what I can do. I may not be able to touch my toes, but I have some killer balancing techniques. I do the tree pose on one leg like a champ, I don’t even shake. I stand like a tree that is not being blown by the wind. I also have a nice little plank and with the help of my weight training, I no longer shake like I’m freezing cold!

We got a little taste of teaching last night. I have a lot of work to do to learn how to verbalize what needs to happen in order for people to learn the poses the correct way. I can’t wait until I can actually teach! My classes are going to be lots of work but I promise they will be fun and relaxing.

I will try to post after each of my classes so you all can follow my Yoga journey of becoming a teacher. The fall is fast approaching us! Hope everyone has enjoyed their summer!

Hugs & Blessings!
~Queen Beast Fitness

The Power Of A Yoga Pose

I believe everyone has that one thing they are just naturally good at. The one thing that comes easy and you don’t have to work extra hard to make it happen. I found out last night I am naturally good at Yoga, it comes easy for me. I still get a great workout but I don’t have to fight my body to make it happen. With running, I have to strain my body to get a certain clock time. Honestly, I have to grit my teeth in order to go sometimes because my body is screaming at me to stop. With Yoga, I just simply do, I don’t have to force myself in to the poses. I have dabbled with Yoga in previous years but never stuck with it. I knew it came easy for me, but I always thought Yoga was a weird form of exercise. That’s when I picked up running and I never looked back at continuing the one thing I could manage very well. Last night I started doing Yoga again and I realized how relaxing it is for not only the mind but the body as well. There is a sense of peace that I don’t get with running. It also helps my mind to focus. I am always on the go and I hardly ever sit down therefore my mind is always in overdrive. I found last night that I didn’t really think during the hour of doing Yoga. I was too busy concentrating on making sure I did the poses just right. For that hour, I didn’t think about all of the stuff I have to do or all the stuff I have coming up. I just felt at peace without anything pressing me for attention or worry.

My class began with some basic breathing techniques leading into a few stretching exercises to prepare me for the hour long workout ahead.  After the warm up, everything just fell into place, and I could feel my body and mind begin to relax.  Just as relaxation was taking hold, the real workout began – downward dogs to planks – which really worked on my upper body, followed up by Warrior one and two poses which worked my lower.  I was truly surprised by how hard the workout was and how much it made me sweat!  I’m looking forward to next week when I’ll build off of this week’s poses.  Hopefully, it will help strengthen my body and also help stretch those areas which are tight.

I’m still running and I won’t be giving up on it, but I’m also trying to strengthen my entire body and get this Running Queen fit!