Everything in Moderation

Remember when we chatted about the yamas and niyamas of yoga? One I’ve been thinking about lately is brahmacharya – the practice of moderation.

Brahmacharya (moderation, non-excess): Brahmacharya teaches us to recognize that moment of “just enough” so we don’t move past it into uncomfortable excess. Maybe it’s by pushing away the plate of french fries or using our pent-up energy for a run. By focusing inward, we keep our bodies healthy and energetic. (Lululemon)

Is there anywhere in your life where you’d like to practice a little more brahmacharya? With my recent life changes I’ve been trying to find more balance, and brahmacharya certainly plays a role here. Currently I’m learning to balance the following:

  • Running
  • Yoga Practice & Teacher Training
  • Work (post to come – but I’m officially a Lululemon Educator!)
  • Cooking & Food Planning
  • Friends & Family
  • Time with Hubs
  • Training Pup Dog
  • Blogging!

I feel so blessed to have the time and energy to devote to these pursuits. Now my goal is to continue finding balance and practice moderation in all areas.

Is there anywhere in your life where you’d like to practice balance or moderation? I should probably take a closer look at my chocolate consumption ;)

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Let Your Inner Light Shine

Yoga teacher training is an incredible experience! Yoga is so much more than the physical movement, and it’s been exciting learning about the eightfold path of yoga and how to extend my yoga practice off the mat.

I find the below definition of the eightfold path from Yoga Journal to be insightful:

“In Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra, the eightfold path is called ashtanga, which literally means “eight limbs” (ashta=eight, anga=limb). These eight steps basically act as guidelines on how to live a meaningful and purposeful life. They serve as a prescription for moral and ethical conduct and self-discipline; they direct attention toward one’s health; and they help us to acknowledge the spiritual aspects of our nature.”
- Yoga Journal

This week in teacher training we studied the yamas and niyamas, the first and second limbs of yoga. Yamas are external and focus on how we conduct ourselves within the world. Niyamas focus on self-discipline and are inwardly focused. I feel the below quote really sums up this week’s lesson!

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The beautiful thing about teaching yoga is that it’s a lifelong learning experience, and I’m thrilled to be starting this journey!

Drink Your Veggies

I have a confession. I haven’t always been a vegetable lover. I still don’t like peas, and I’m not sure if that will ever change, but I’ve recently discovered a new way to eat veggies – and that’s to drink them!

Hubs and I invested in an Omega juicer this summer, and gosh do I love this machine. I make 4-5 different juices each week which we pair with breakfast or as a midday snack. I feel so refreshed after drinking juice!

We're juicing machines now!

We’re juicing machines now!

I have another confession. I’m a Netflix documentary junkie. Apparently it runs in our family, because my sister and I could talk about recent documentaries we’ve watched for hours on end. It’s not my fault, it’s genetic!

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Check out this documentary on Netflix. You won’t regret it!

I was first introduced to juicing when I watched Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead featuring Joe Cross. The documentary follows Joe through a 60-day juice fast. Under the care of a physician he lost 100 pounds and was able to discontinue all of his medications which he needed to combat an autoimmune disorder. After the fast he no longer needed the medication because he was healthy for the first time in years, and he’s kept the weight off and has maintained a healthy lifestyle ever since. If you haven’t watched this documentary yet I’d highly recommend it. I find it really inspirational!

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While I don’t plan on executing a 60-day juice fast, I have really enjoyed adding a glass of juice to my daily routine. Two of my favorite recipes are Beets and Treats and Green Aid.  It’s funny, because I was never a fan of beets before juicing…but now I can’t get enough of them! You just want to make sure you wash your hands and the countertop immediately after chopping and juicing – otherwise your hands are pink and so is the cheap, beige linoleum countertop in our apartment. Whoops!

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Millie also likes juicing. Or at the very least she likes to keep my company in the kitchen. She’s just too cute. She’ll lay down on the floor, and I know she’s behind me because from time to time she kisses my feet. I’m glad she does this so I don’t accidentally trip over her (although I have a feeling that day will come!).

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Have you tried juicing? If so, what do you think of it?

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Quote

Follow Your Heart

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

- Steve Jobs

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Chicago Half Marathon

This Sunday I completed my third Chicago Half Marathon! This race has a special place in my heart because it was my very first half marathon in 2011. Since then I’ve completed six half-marathons, and I’m totally hooked.

After my first half marathon in 2011. It was a warm one! But I made a crucial mistake here, I sat down. Getting back up was tricky!

After my first half marathon in 2011. It was a warm one! But I made a crucial mistake here, I sat down. Getting back up was tricky!

I’ve learned that I prefer smaller races with fewer participants, but since this half is held on Chicago’s highways there’s space for runners to spread out (within reason). The weather was beautiful and started off nice and cool. But around mile 8.5 the sun was out in full force and I started walking through water stations so I could drink one cup and pour the other on my head (with plenty of care not to get my earbuds/ears wet – learned that one the hard way!). I was excited to see that they broke out the sprinklers near the end of the course too, ahhhh!

My goal for this race was just to complete it. I didn’t have any time expectations since I’ve been marathon training, which is slower than my half marathon training pace so I was pretty sure a PR was out of the question. I finished in 2:26:28 and was really happy with it :) Mostly I’m just glad I didn’t melt in those final miles!

Hubs is the best support team at races, and he drove us into the city at 4 am so we could make our shuttle and get to the race with plenty of time to spare. He’s also a great photographer!

Packet Pick Up at Navy Pier - I love the expo! I bought a new visor and a shirt that says, "My Running Partner has Four Legs" - love it!

Packet Pick Up at Navy Pier – I love the expo! I bought a new running hat and a shirt that says, “My Running Partner has Four Legs” – love it!

Carbo loading at Eataly - So delicious!

Carbo loading at Eataly – So delicious!

And of course while we were downtown I had to breakout my #balancebasics. This day's pose was chair pose.

And of course while we were downtown I had to breakout my #balancebasics. This day’s pose was chair pose.

And who doesn't love a good spot to burst out some #publicdisplayofasana?!

And who doesn’t love a good view to burst out some #publicdisplayofasana?!

Pre-Race with the best Hubs around!

Pre-Race with the best Hubs around!

Here's a pic from later in the race. Boy was it warm, but I was trying to make the best of it and maintain good form - and smile of course!

Here’s a pic from later in the race. Boy was it warm, but I was trying to make the best of it and maintain good form – and smile of course!

Crossing the finish line felt so good. I like to throw my arms up in the air, but I always double check to make sure I don't accidentally elbow someone!

Crossing the finish line felt so good. I like to throw my arms up in the air, but I always double check to make sure I don’t accidentally elbow someone!

Celebrating at The Bean

Celebrating at The Bean

Hubs took photos and video at the finish line. Boy is he talented!