Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Challenging Yourself

If you feel stuck in your practice, try something completely different. My friend Carla started doing an improv class at Rudramandir in Berkeley to add some diversity to yoga and lifestyle.
Several things I have done to break out of my box:

1) And most amazing was working with my father and Stephanie at Beyond Soccer in Lawrence, MA. This city is in extreme struggle. The drop out rate in Lawrence High is 60%, the city is ridiculously poor, and crime/gangs infiltrates the community. Ironically, this city borders one of the wealthiest and affluent neighborhoods in Massachusetts- my home town of Andover. I worked at the Boys and Girls Club in Lawrence during high school to connect with the community, which was an amazing experience. However, I am MOST impressed with what my father started with Beyond Soccer (on facebook and website is This program takes kids off the streets and onto the field to learn the skills of the game, run hard, laugh and play. The kids LOVE it. If you are in the Boston area they are always looking for help, and this is a great way to take your yoga off the mat!
2) I took an Anusara yoga class yesterday with Pamela Marshall at Union Yoga in Andover. Fabulous! Loved the sequence; focused on heart opening/backbends. The peak posture was urdvha dhanurasana with the option to put elbows on the ground (anyone know the name of this pose?). My low back felt awesome after this class, and it usually feels a bit sore after backbends. Remember to elongate before pressing up into full wheel so to not pinch your L5 S1, and to take some time in bridge to prep. We also did dhanurasana as the pose prior, which felt like a great prep to get the alignment in the legs- flex your feet and hold ankles knees hip width. There is a really cute anusara community in the northeast.
3) I started running again- have to do it in the morning or night because the humidity is ridiculous. My dog was trailing a bit in the end because of the weather, make sure to take extra notice on your pup if he is going on a run with you. They get dehydrated easily.
4) The most intense in a while- spin class at Spin City in Andover this morning. Wow. Dan Fyfe was the teacher, a really tall and fit dude who is so nice but totally kicks your butt. Encouraging and a bit like boot camp in the words to get you moving, but absolutely necessary to get my bum off the seat and my legs moving. Loved that he focused on form and alignment for the back. Very different from the Real Ryder bikes at Corepower (which are also great!). Spinning focuses on interval training with sprints and there are 2 positions to switch between. It was an awesome workout, will definitely be going back. $15 drop ins, I may do their 2 months for $90... I can feel it in my abs. Make SURE you wear padded shorts- I didn't and it was painful by the end of the 45 minutes.

To Worcester today to visit some family... maybe a yoga class in the evening. Much love!

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