Browsing articles in "Yoga"

it’s like christmas in august

Aug 24, 2011   //   by Yoga Lisa DC   //   Art Journaling, Blog, creativity, self-care, Yoga  //  9 Comments

I had a grand plan this evening to update everyone on the status of my 30-day challenge that became 21 days, and then I came home to a package from my mom full of tons of my scrapbooking turned art journaling supplies. It feels like christmas in August. Given that my birthday was last week, today’s package was not the only one I received this month. The birthday treats that I got were awesome (and delicious). I shared the little chocolate bundt birthday cake (not pictured below) with my colleagues on my birthday.

my birthday surprise from my sister, brother-in-law, & nephews by Cheryl's

some of what was inside my birthday surprise

And then today, all of my art journaling supplies arrived. I had almost as much fun taking pictures of them, as I did opening the box and seeing what was inside.

art journaling supplies: scrap packs, ribbons, mounting squares, whole punch

art journaling supplies: cards & envelopes, stencils

art journaling supplies: multi-colored cardstock, cards & envelopes, stencils

These will be put to good use when I meet up with Valerie from CityLifeEats over Labor Day weekend for an afternoon of art journaling fun. It always feels like christmas when you get fun packages in the mail; maybe since it’s still august, I should really feel like my birthday has been extended a bit.

Have you gotten any surprises lately that have made it feel like an extended birthday or christmas in august? What have you done with those surprises?

*****

And for those of you interested, my challenge update: in the last 15 days, I’ve taken 9 yoga classes, I’ve taught a bunch of yoga classes, I spent time with friends and family, I rested and took care of myself. I haven’t come to my mat for a physical yoga practice every day for the last 15 days, but that’s because I’ve made choices. I chose to spend time with my friends and family and to rest when I was rundown. And these choices were probably more aligned with practicing yoga and being true to myself than had I come to my mat everyday. A fuller challenge update coming later this week. Thanks for all of the support… 7 days to go!

Today’s earthquake… my opportunity for self-care

Aug 23, 2011   //   by Yoga Lisa DC   //   Blog, self-care, Yoga  //  No Comments

DC was hit by a 5.8 magnitude earthquake today and I decided to turn it into an opportunity to take care of myself. It was kind of crazy. I was sitting at my computer at work, typing away, when all of a sudden everything started to shake. After a few minutes of shaking and trembling, the department leader was walking around saying, that we were all evacuating the building. And our department, the rest of the building, and what seemed like every building in downtown DC had been evacuated. After about 40 minutes outside, an announcement was made that the building was closed and we could re-enter to collect personal belongings. A quick stop inside to grab my vibrams and change into my yoga clothes (quite appropriate for my walk home) was followed by a 5ish mile walk home. Metro was running extreme delays and had more than over-crowded platforms at 3 PM, so walking seemed like the best thing to do on this beautiful DC day.

The walk home was incredible and seemed to be exactly what I needed today. The time outside helped me to clear my head and to relax, and my headache and any lingering body-aches seemed to disappear. The hills along the way resulted in some slightly tight calves, but they were well worth all the time I got to spend outside today. The walk has become part of a some much needed self-care. We tend to spend so much time taking care of everyone and everything else, that we forget that it’s equally important to take care of ourselves.

While I have discovered that coming to my mat is a great form of self-care, it isn’t always what I need. Today, I needed relaxation in a different form. The long walk was a great opportunity to be outside in the fresh air. And after settling in at home for a bit, I decided to use this as an opportunity to take care of myself further. I got a manicure and pedicure. A mani/pedi does for me what a massage does for others, it relaxes me and helps me to let go of tension, with an added perk of pretty finger and toe nails when it’s all done. After an awesome weekend of advanced teacher training and a day home in bed with a migraine yesterday, a little bit of self-care seemed to be exactly what I needed to help make me feel more like myself again.

We live such incredibly busy lives and there seems to be little to no opportunity for downtime (which has been more than true for me these last few months). We seem to always take care of everyone and everything else before we look to take care of ourselves. Finding or making the time to take care of ourselves opens the door for us to be better for everyone and everything else. By not running ourselves into the ground and making this time, we regain our vibrancy and positive energy. Lately, I’ve been finding it hard to find/make the time to take care of myself. Making myself a priority these last couple days (staying home yesterday; mani/pedi and walk home today) has definitely helped me to regain some of my positive energy. It’s too bad that it took an earthquake to help me make the time.

What’s your self-care regimen? When was the last time you made yourself a priority? If it wasn’t recently, I hope that you’ll be able to find/make the time for self-care soon and that, unlike me, you don’t need an earthquake, hurricane, or snowstorm to find/make it.

Finding a comfortable seat

Aug 20, 2011   //   by Yoga Lisa DC   //   Blog, meditation, Yoga  //  1 Comment

The first night of advanced yoga teacher training (“ATT”) has come and gone, and now I’m preparing for the start of a new day of learning. Last night, we spent part of our evening “finding a comfortable seat”.

folding chair

Sounds like an odd and easy task for a yoga teacher training, it’s almost like pulling up a chair and sitting on it. Our purpose for finding a comfortable seat was not for the purposes of hanging out, but for the purposes of bringing stillness to the body to enable us to bring stillness and awareness to the mind.

Last night, we explored a form of meditation called samatha or mindfulness meditation. Before we could begin our meditation practice, we needed to find a comfortable seat, where our body could be relaxed with the spine long, shoulders broad, legs comfortable, and palms resting gently on our thighs. This is a much more challenging task than it sounds. We explored two options for set up: a cross-legged seat (sukhasana or siddhasana) and a kneeling pose (modified virasana).

set up for cross-legged; rolled blankets can be placed under the knees on both sides of the body for comfort

set up for kneeling; ankles lay over a rolled blanket (adjusted for the height of your ankles), knees align next to one another

Settling into the comfortable seat, the crown of the head reaches towards the ceiling, while the spine remains neutral. The gaze is slightly in front of you and generally down towards the floor. And for this type of meditation, the eyes remain soft and open.

The purpose of samatha meditation is to enhance awareness. It is often referred to as a “thinking” meditation, for as you become aware of your breath, you label thoughts that come to you as “thinking”. This is acknowledging the thought without the thought taking control of your mind. Although this is a type of Buddhist meditation, anyone can practice this. It is not a religious practice; it is a practice of spirituality which can help you become more aware of yourself, your connection with the universe, and your relationship to your spiritual being (e.g. god, Jesus, Buddha, Mohammed).

We found our comfortable seats (I prefer the cross-legged set-up as it is easier on my knees) and we began to meditate. Our first practice was for 10 minutes. I sat focusing on my breath, breathing in and out through my nose, gazing on a spot on the floor (trying really hard to keep my eyes soft, as I felt an overwhelming urge for them to close as my contacts got dry). I allowed myself to settle into the space. I found that my mind was relatively still and my bigger challenge was maintaining stillness in my body. I have come so far over the last year as my mind was able to focus on my breath, acknowledge what was happening around me, and then let it go. My mind wasn’t raising. My body, which I couldn’t keep still before we started our session, settled down and calmed. And at the 10 minute mark like clockwork, my right foot fell asleep.

Samatha translates as “calm abiding”. The calmness that the body feels after practicing this type of meditation is a pleasant side effect of the increased awareness, but it’s not the sole purpose for practicing this type of meditation. And my body definitely felt more calm and relaxed afterwards. For many years, when I’ve practiced this type of meditation, I’ve done it for the purpose of calming my body and my mind; now, I will do this to become more aware of my body and my mind.

Samatha is one of a variety of meditation techniques that we will work with over the next year in this ATT. I am excited to work with more and feel more confident now that I can guide a short meditation practice, at least guiding this style of meditation. If you haven’t tried this kind of meditation, I encourage you to find a comfortable seat, set a timer for 2, 5, 10 minutes, and give this mindfulness/awareness meditation a try. And when you are done, journal about your experience or share your experience here.

Check out this article (recommended by my teacher) to find simple instructions for performing samatha meditation: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-nichtern/taking-your-seat-simple-m_b_410303.html.

The 30 day yoga challenge that became 21

Aug 11, 2011   //   by Yoga Lisa DC   //   Blog, Yoga  //  No Comments

I like doing things that benefit local charities and I like doing yoga (but you’ve figured that one out already). So, I registered for a Citizen Effect 30-day yoga challenge, which runs August 1st to 31st to benefit Becky’s Fund, a local DC charity that seeks to end domestic violence. Well, it took me the first 10 days of the month to really get myself geared up. I finally sent out an e-mail to my family and friends, asking for support and have committed to practicing yoga, at home or in the studio everyday for the remainder of the month. So, my 30-day yoga challenge has become another 21-day yoga challenge, which I am totally up for. I completed the Tranquil Space June 2011 21-day challenge, so I know that this is feasible and something that I can do.

Now that I’m committed, the next step is to get myself onto my mat for that much needed me-time every day. And I’ve committed to periodically blogging about the challenge over the remainder of the month. So, let’s say that I kicked off my challenge on August 10 and over the course of the next 21-day days, I will be on my mat taking care of me and helping benefit others all at the same time. Last night was day 1, and on day 1, I took a really great 75-minute all-levels vinyasa class at the yoga studio and then I taught the 60 minute members all-levels vinyasa class there. I had fun, unwound and relaxed, completely relieving the tension throughout my upper back that I’d been feeling nearly all week. It was the way a Wednesday night should be. Tonight, day 2, I went to a really great yoga 1 class, experiencing another teacher’s yoga 1 to help me as I develop my yoga 1 teaching style (developing my yoga teaching style – definitely a topic to be explored another time). It felt great and was just what i needed.

I am excited and amped to complete this 21 day challenge – taking care of myself, while helping others. At the end, hopefully I will have raised at least $250 to help end domestic violence, practiced yoga 21 times (between classes and home practice), and be back on track with my personal yoga practice. These kind of challenges provide me extra incentive to come to my mat when I’m having trouble motivating myself (even teachers sometimes need help being motivated to come to the mat). I’m so excited to be on the path to completing this challenge and on the path to restoring my personal yoga practice, as I build my yoga teaching practice (restoring my personal yoga practice, as I build my yoga teaching practice – another topic to be explored another time). Can’t wait to share my progress and my practice!

Happy Thursday!

Sunrise Yoga – Day 4 and final

Jul 30, 2011   //   by Yoga Lisa DC   //   Blog, Events, Yoga  //  2 Comments

"y" is for yoga - the glasses on our water station

I’ve been having such a blast this week sharing yoga with my fraternity brothers. This morning’s class was a last minute addition to our convention program based on the demand to have a class today and we had 10 yogis come out for class. It was a great way for me to kick-off the last day of the convention activities, and honestly, given that last night was a huge night out for our brothers, I am still so happy with our turnout.

I’m going to use this post as an opportunity to thank all of my brothers and friends who came out this week to join me for sunrise yoga classes (and for those who didn’t come out but showed such incredible support for this). Thanks for supporting me as one of your brothers and for allowing me to share yoga with you. I’ve definitely had a blast (if you can’t tell by my excitement each day) and I hope that I’ll be able to share yoga with you again sometime. I hope that your last day here at the 2011 AKPsi Convention – An Oasis of Brotherhood is amazing. I look forward to seeing you around throughout the day today and at future events. And of course, I hope to see you at the 2013 convention in New Orleans.

Happy Saturday!

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The playlist from this morning’s class (60 minutes)

Title Artist Album
1 Sun Island Soundscapes Relaxing Music Soundscapes Relaxing Music: Ocean Waves
2 Breathe (2AM) Anna Nalick Breathe (2AM) – Single
3 Don’t Stop Believin’ (Glee Cast Version) Glee Cast Glee: The Music, Vol. 1
4 It’s My Life Bon Jovi One Wild Night: Live 1985-2001
5 Cowboy Take Me Away Dixie Chicks Fly
6 Om Namah Shivaya (feat. Bhagavan Das) MC Yogi Elephant Power
7 Summertime Bon Jovi Lost Highway
8 Fireflies Owl City Ocean Eyes
9 Photograph Nickelback All the Right Reasons
10 Hallelujah Rufus Wainwright Hallelujah – Single
11 Sanctuary Donna De Lory Sanctuary
12 The Night Starts Here Stars In Our Bedroom After the War
13 Sarasangi (Relaxing Into the Breath) Music for Deep Relaxation Classical Indian Flute & Violin (With Virtuoso Brothers V.K. Raman and Mysore V. Srikanth)

Sunrise Yoga – Day 3

Jul 29, 2011   //   by Yoga Lisa DC   //   Blog, Events, Yoga  //  No Comments

Today was another awesome day of sunrise yoga at the 2011 AKPsi Convention in Phoenix. 22 of my fraternity brothers got up early and shared a fun, vigorous, and challenging vinyasa practice. I couldn’t be more excited. The response has been so great that we’ve added a fourth and final session for tomorrow (Saturday). I really truly couldn’t be happier.

this morning's final relaxation - a few extra minutes of "me" time for all the yogis - everyone looks so peaceful

I’ve been so happy about the response. We’ve done a lot of cooling forward folds and detoxifying twists. We grew our trees, became boats, and relaxed like a “happy baby”. I don’t think it could have been better. As I do in all of my classes, I offered that all the yogis could set an intention or dedication for their practice. And that the intention might relate to being present in the moment, being in the now. Almost every time I come to my mat, that is half of my intention – to be present and to let go. We’ll talk about letting go on a different day.

After class, I had the pleasure of relaxing and catching up with some of the brothers (in my fraternity – which is coed – we are all called brothers) who had come to class and we talked a bit about this idea of being present. The reading I did today, from The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff concluded by reminding us to “mak[e] use of what is right in front of [us]“. So many times we focus on what will happen tomorrow or what did happen yesterday, that we forget about where we are today, where we are now.

Our practice of yoga helps us to focus on being present, partially because if we aren’t present while on our mats, we could injure ourselves. Also though, it reminds us that every day is a new day and every practice is a new practice. Over time, there are certain asanas (poses) that we can do with ease each time we come to the mat; however, there are times where we might do an almost perfect expression of a pose one day and the next, we might just barely be able to get into the asana. I find this especially true with certain arm balances. As I’ve gotten stronger, have more core control, and my spine opens that I am able to twist deeper, some come to me quite easily. For example, astavakrasana (8 angle pose) and bakasana (crow pose), I can come into virtually every time I get on my mat.

astavakrasana (photo credit: Alexander T. Sultan)

 

bakasana (photo credit: Alexander T. Sultan)

There are other asanas that how well I express them is a function of what day it is. Like parsva bakasana (side crow), some days the full expression comes easy and other days that the full expression is simply a struggle.

parsva bakasana - this isn't the fullest or best expression of the pose that I've ever done, but it was all I could do that day.

Having these experiences on the mat has taught me how to be present and to appreciate where I am at any given moment. This has helped me in my life off the mat, when things feel like a struggle one day and a walk in the park the next. Not dwelling in yesterday or tomorrow (and yes, there are times when I do dwell, I am human) helps me to focus on where I am now, in the present. This ability to be in the present can also help you when you want to let things go. Not dwelling in the past can make it a lot easier to let go of old grudges, feelings of anger or hurt, and former expectations of yourself. It also can help you to not dwell on what will happen and when it will happen in the future – when will I find my soulmate? when will I find the perfect job? It allows us to find the best and, sometimes, the worst in each moment and then let that go, as we move onto the next.

I intend to be present today and to appreciate all that I have. This week, I’ve been appreciating all of my fraternity brothers and having this opportunity to spend time with them and the opportunity to share yoga with them. It may sound cliche, but it is the little things. I hope that you can find the present moment and something new and special to appreciate in it.

Namaste.

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The playlist from this morning’s sunrise yoga class (about 65 minutes)

 

Title Artist Album
1 One Day Matisyahu Light (Bonus Track Version)
2 Islands The xx XX (Bonus Track Version)
3 Firework (Glee Cast Version) Glee Cast Firework (Glee Cast Version) – Single
4 Teenage Dream (Glee Cast Version) Glee Cast Glee: The Music, Vol. 4
5 Singing In the Rain / Umbrella (feat. Gwyneth Paltrow) [Glee Cast Version] Glee Cast Singing In the Rain / Umbrella (feat. Gwyneth Paltrow) [Glee Cast Version] – Single
6 Lucky 4 You (Tonight I’m Just Me) SHeDAISY The Best of SHeDAISY
7 1985 Bowling for Soup A Hangover You Don’t Deserve
8 Welcome to the Future Brad Paisley American Saturday Night (Bonus Track Version)
9 Landslide Dixie Chicks Home
10 Get It Right (Glee Cast Version) Glee Cast Get It Right (Glee Cast Version) – Single
11 What About Now (Idol Gives Back Performance) Daughtry What About Now (Idol Gives Back Performance) – Single
12 Fireflies Owl City Ocean Eyes
13 You’ll Be In My Heart Usher Disney Mania
14 Hallelujah Rufus Wainwright Hallelujah – Single
15 The Night Starts Here Stars In Our Bedroom After the War
16 True Colors (Glee Cast Version) Glee Cast Glee: The Music, Vol. 2


Sunrise Yoga – Day 2

Jul 28, 2011   //   by Yoga Lisa DC   //   Blog, Events, Yoga  //  2 Comments

Yesterday, I wrote about my first sunrise yoga class at the 2011 Alpha Kappa Psi Convention. Today was my second class at convention, which was awesome – had 13 yogis come (4 missed savasana to be on time for their committee meetings). I’m looking forward to our last sunrise yoga class tomorrow morning.

this morning's savasana, relaxing to Somewhere Over the Rainbow

After class today, we were discussing why it’s so great to practice yoga outside. I practiced yoga outside for the first time in 2010 at Yoga on the Mall, the kick-off to DC Yoga Week. Then that summer I went to Yoga in the Park a few times, and most recently, I’ve started practicing yoga at home on the balcony of my apartment. Even practicing yoga outside in the city, I’ve found that there is some amazing connection to nature and the universe that happens when practicing outside. It’s a different energy, a different set of distractions, and ultimately, a different connection with the world at-large. I’ve found that there is a certain inner peace that I can find when I practice outside, that I can’t always get when I’m inside a studio.

I love feeling a warm breeze or the natural heat that comes with being outside. It’s also powerful when you look up and see the sky, rather than the studio ceiling; the sky which is infinite and seems to help you feel that there are infinite possibilities. Somehow, I feel a little more like I’m a kid playing outside, looking up at the sky and finding “things” in the clouds. When was the last time that you did that? the last time that you let yourself just feel free without a care in the world? Practicing yoga outside creates that freedom for me. Coming out of a final relaxation and seeing the sky or a canopy of trees or the moon helps me to open up and begin to appreciate even more what we’ve been given and how amazing nature is.

If you haven’t practiced outside or if you have and you loved it, I highly recommend finding your way to a Yoga in the Park event in your city or town or trying a few sun salutations in your own backyard. You may find that it can be what you need to invigorate yourself and your practice. And besides, who can’t use more excuses to spend time outside?

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The playlist from today’s practice (it runs about 65 minutes):

 

Title Artist Album
1 Sunrise In Injumbakam (Pathaan’s Tribute Remix) Pathaan A New Day Laya Project Remixed
2 (Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay Otis Redding The Very Best of Otis Redding
3 Beautiful Sunday DANIEL BOONE The Sunshine Collection
4 Summer Nights Rascal Flatts Unstoppable
5 Brighter Than the Sun Colbie Caillat All of You
6 Radio Nowhere (Album Version) Bruce Springsteen Radio Nowhere – Single
7 Desert Rose Sting Brand New Day
8 We Weren’t Born to Follow Bon Jovi The Circle (Bonus Track Version)
9 Summertime New Kids On the Block The Block (Deluxe Version)
10 Go Your Own Way (Glee Cast Version) Glee Cast Go Your Own Way (Glee Cast Version) – Single
11 Sweet Home Alabama Lynyrd Skynyrd The Essential Lynyrd Skynyrd
12 Better Days Bruce Springsteen Greatest Hits
13 Unwritten Natasha Bedingfield Unwritten
14 Wide Open Spaces Dixie Chicks Wide Open Spaces
15 I Run to You Lady Antebellum Lady Antebellum
16 Somewhere Over the Rainbow Matthew Morrison & Gwyneth Paltrow Somewhere Over the Rainbow – Single


Sunrise Yoga

Jul 28, 2011   //   by Yoga Lisa DC   //   Blog, Yoga  //  2 Comments

About six months ago, I approached the convention chair of my fraternity, Alpha Kappa Psi, and asked if there might be an opportunity for me to share yoga with my fraternity brothers at our biennial convention in Phoenix. I wanted to share my passion for yoga with my fraternity brothers. I wasn’t sure if it would happen, but the idea was well received and about a month ago, I found out that it would definitely happen. Our conference center was awesome and provided us with a great outdoor space for our use in the mornings.

Cottage Court - our practice space

They also agreed to provide us with bath towels to use in lieu of mats, hand towels, and a water station.

our "mat", towel, and water station

This morning was the first of three sunrise yoga practices that I’ll be teaching at convention and it was great. There were ten yogis, many of which had never done yoga before and wanted to try it and support me. Given that the official start of convention wasn’t until later in the afternoon, having ten people show up made me incredibly happy. I arrived early, set up my teacher’s mat, and prepared for class.

preparing for class with half sun salutations

I had such a great time teaching my fraternity brothers. The class level was a yoga 0/1, pacing the class as a more gentle but moving vinyasa. We did step-back sun salutations, some warriors, a little bit of twisting, and a lot of forward folds (standing and seated – as they are said to be very cooling). We took a water and towel break (not traditional for a yoga class, but it seemed the right thing to do in this class). And we closed class with a final relaxation and a reading from The Tao of Pooh. Practice ended up being about 65 minutes. I played one of my favorite playlists, too:

Title Artist Album
1 To the Architect Mychael Danna & Rob Simonsen The Score from the Motion Picture (500) Days of Summer
2 One Particular Harbour Jimmy Buffett Meet Me In Margaritaville: The Ultimate Collection
3 Summertime Bon Jovi Lost Highway
4 Summer Of ’69 Bryan Adams So Far So Good
5 Firework Katy Perry Teenage Dream
6 Surfin’ U.S.A. The Beach Boys The Greatest Hits Vol 1
7 Welcome to the Future Brad Paisley American Saturday Night (Bonus Track Version)
8 Born In The U.S.A Bruce Springsteen Greatest Hits
9 Long Day Matchbox Twenty Yourself Or Someone Like You
10 Steal My Sunshine Len You Can’t Stop the Bum Rush
11 Underneath the Sycamore Death Cab for Cutie Underneath the Sycamore – Single
12 Ants Marching Dave Matthews Band Under The Table And Dreaming
13 What Do You Got? Bon Jovi Songs for Japan
14 Summer Nights John Travolta, Olivia Newton-John & Cast Grease
15 Kokomo The Beach Boys The Greatest Hits Vol 1
16 Margaritaville Jimmy Buffett Meet Me In Margaritaville: The Ultimate Collection
17 40 Winks Marla 40 Winks – Single
18 The Wave Soundscapes Relaxing Music Soundscapes Relaxing Music: Ocean Waves

I’m looking forward to seeing how tomorrow’s sunrise yoga class (happening in about 8 hours) goes, now that the convention is officially underway. And a special thanks to my fraternity brothers that came out today for the first convention sunrise yoga class. Convention is always a fun experience for me; being able to share yoga this convention is making it even better.

Namaste.

All about relaxation part 1 (a bit of a travel journal)

Jul 25, 2011   //   by Yoga Lisa DC   //   Blog, Events, food, vacation, Yoga  //  No Comments

After much planning and a lot of expectation, I find myself in an oasis, where I’ll find friends, brotherhood, yoga, food, pool time, and relaxation – not necessarily in that order. Yesterday was an incredible first day. After what is probably one of the smoothest first travel days of a vacation I’ve ever had, I ran into some friends, grabbed lunch, and unpacked, before the planned highlight of day 1 – a manicure and pedicure at the spa’s salon.

My toes in Marley by ZOYA

The salon was like a normal salon, but my nail technician was amazing. I had a 50 minute manicure, followed by a 50 minute pedicure, which included a full hand and foot massage (respectively), mask on my forearms and calves, and some nice conversation about this local. It was so good that I decided that a massage was in order for today. I get manicures and pedicures pretty frequently, but there was something about it after flying that made it that much more needed. And it really was great.

After the relaxation, I got to spend some time in the pool and hot tub, just relaxing and enjoying being on vacation. Got to catch up with friends before realizing it was time to go to get some food. And I have to say, I wish the restaurant we went to was in the DC area:

True Food Kitchen – Biltmore Fashion Park

True Food Kitchen is a dream for anyone who is vegan, vegetarian, or on a gluten free diet. The menu items are labelled and there are multiple options in each category. I started my meal with a Cucumber Refresher. It is almost exactly like the Cucumber Lemonade that I love from Sweetgreen in DC. It was so refreshing and definitely nice after a late afternoon outside by the pool.

Me & my Cucumber Refresher, a cucumber and honey lemonade

And then, because I just can’t seem to stay away from pizza, I had to have one of True Food Kitchen’s vegetarian pizzas. It had all my favorite things on top, plus a bit of a surprise – Kale Pesto. It was delicious, the flavor combination (sundried tomatoes, kalamata olives, pesto, mozzarella, and touches of olive oil) was fantastic. I did almost completely clean my plate. Everything was so fresh, and the crust was perfect, thin under the toppings and thick around the edges for holding. The flavors were absolutely incredible. I think I might try making a kale pesto when I get home. If I have a chance to get back to True Food Kitchen before my trip ends, I can’t wait to try something else.

Sundried Tomato & Olive Pizza w/ Kale Pesto & Fresh Mozzarella

It was a great meal, preceding an incredible light show, – a.k.a. thunder and lightening storm. Happily, the storm put me in bed around a normal local time, so that I could be up after 7 hours of sleep (a full night sleep by my book, even if that meant being up at 6:00 AM). Waking up to a gorgeous, warm, and relatively dry morning, I rolled out my yoga mat on my patio for a 60 minute yoga practice.

mat, towel, block, strap, and some new readings
the view for most of the practice
the view while looking up in trikonasana (triangle pose)

It was a wonderful practice. There’s just something about practicing outside, the energy that comes from being in nature, even if it’s a manmade oasis. I put on a little music, listened to the fountain from the pool next to the patio, and allowed myself to flow. I played with some different standing flows and who knows, they might make an appearance in a yoga class sometime soon. It was great to just let go and not have any expectations of myself.  And as I sit here and type this, I’m happy to share these first experiences of my relaxation – making time for some self-care, enjoying good food with friends, and taking time out for my practice. It’s the first full day of relaxation, which is off to a great start. Now time to get out and start the day.

Happy Monday! Namaste.

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About Lisa

Auntie to two adorable little boys and a beautiful little girl. Sister. Friend. Yogini. Yoga teacher. Accountant. Knitter. Amateur photographer. Very amateur golfer.

Where to Find Lisa

Wednesdays, 8:30 p.m.
Yoga 1 (1 hour)*
Tranquil Space Arlington

Thursdays, 5:30 p.m. Yoga On-the-Go*
Thursdays, 7:00 p.m. Yoga 1*
Tranquil Space Arlington

Substitute Teach, As Needed*
Tranquil Space Arlington and Dupont

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