So I have a new goal and in true Finding Tiffanys fashion, I’m declaring it here to hold me to it.
In two years I want to be starting Yoga Teacher Training.
I love yoga. It’s had a large impact on my life and I’d love to spread that joy through teaching. I don’t intend for it to be my full time gig (plus, I don’t know that I’ll ever be able to do the splits!) but I think it’d be a blast to have one or two classes a week.
The thing is, it costs about $2,500 and 10 weeks of intensive training to get there. Yikes! My hope is that in two years as I continue building my savings and investments, I can also save to put myself through training. Furthermore, I’ve been doing yoga religiously for about a year. And I think in two years I’ll be experienced enough to have the foundation to start training.
So there you have it. Two years, Lydia as a yoga teacher. I’m really excited about this one! I think it’s going to be a fantastic adventure, and one I never would have thought would interest me one or two years ago. I love how goals and interests change constantly over the years. Who knows, maybe I’ll become a cross-fitter instead?
Anyhoo wish me, my bank account and my hips (and my back) luck!
Instead of buying a card case, and well anything else likely for the next month, I ended up making a fantastic investment into my health and wellness. I, bought a baby – I mean yoga mat. I’ve heard tale tales of people who have a strange attachment to their yoga mats. Something about the fact that your time on your yoga mat is your time. A time to be inward focused, to forget the world. It’s just you and your mat. So, naturally, you want your mat to be a happy place to sweat on for a few hours. I, Lydia, am now one of them. There was no ceremonious introduction or even a cocktail hour, just a big bill. You see, I’ve been stalking and researching “The Mat” by LuluLemon for quite some time. I’ve even been known for just stopping in the store just to look and touch it. I’ve been in about 5 times to look at it and have talked to several sales people. My first interaction went something like this..
“Have you heard anything about The Mat?” – attractive, in shape, happy and overall likely good person sales guy
“Well..only that…I should have it.” – Pushover, no poker face, Lydia
“Ha yeah, that’s about right” – attractive, now funny, in shape, happy and overall likely a good person sales guy
And that’s how it usually goes when I go in the store.
Before this weekend, I owned exactly two things from LuluLemon. A pair of pants that were a present (in high school, and they are still the best, comfiest sweat pants ever) and a headband. They’re stuff is expensive. I simply can’t bring myself to splurge $60 on a yoga top when I can buy one at TJ Maxx or Old Navy for $10-15. Just can’t.
The problem with that place though is that the environment has to be the happiest place in any mall. The salespeople are all super friendly, talkative and are genuinely are interested in your fitness routine because they themselves are so passionate about it. Each time I go there, I am asked where I practice yoga. And I almost always end up talking to someone who has been or currently attends the same place I do. They also make no attempt to pressure me into anything. They don’t make obvious comments like “Oh well we just got these new shirts in…” Instead, I feel as though these sales people are my friends who really want me to make a good purchase that I’m happy with. Which is ultimately why I took the plunge this weekend.
It started as a quick stop in to get a new headband. Innocent enough. But then my boyfriend took a seat in the store and I was free to not-so-aimlessly wander. I sneaked over to the yoga mats and held one on in my hand. I talked to two salespeople who swear by The Mat and we started talking about where I go, why I want The Mat and what I use now. All of a sudden it was no longer, should I get it? It was, yeah but what color? I picked out my Mat (purple, by the way), told the boyfriend I was doing it, he applauded my investment, and I made my way to the register. There I started talking to the cashier who regularly attends Gaia Flow Yoga and how much he loves it and the instructors and said I should attend a certain class on Sundays. I, naturally, plan to join in on this class next weekend. And then the other sales guy up front started giving me some tips and tricks on how to care for my mat. So in the end, it took four Lululemon-ers to get me out the door with my giant shopping bag. They’re SO good at that.
In the end, I am so excited for my purchase! Making investments into your exercise routine feels so good. I’m not necessarily saying you should go drop a few hundos on work out clothes, but just noting how impressed I am with this brand. Each person there fully epitomized what I think of when I think Lulu. The brand encourages a happy, healthy lifestyle. They advertise this through their communications, their products and their people. If you’re ever near a store, I invite you to stop in just to check it out if you haven’t already. The positive experience I had there could easily convince me to shop there all the time, if it weren’t for that pesky thing called money. So, I’ve joined the Lulu bandwagon. Feels pretty good though.
At Gaia Flow they always emphasize focusing on your own practice and not looking at your neighbor and try to do their practice. To not go further than you can. To not strive to go somewhere your body isn’t ready for.
Prior to my Wonderlust 2013, I assumed this didn’t apply to me and I jumped right into their hardest level courses just as fast as I can. It’s not that I’m an overly competitive person, it’s that I saw people doing amazing poses and was just like “Yep, that. I want to do that. Now. Right now.”
But now we’re post euro trip. As I’ve said before, I had to start back in the easier classes. The more I’ve stuck with these so called “easier” classes it the more I realized how I was becoming more flexible and more graceful in moving from pose to pose. It’s been kind of an amazing thing to be a part of. I’ve really changed my outlook on my yoga strategy and am looking forward to mastering those foundational poses and improving my practice. One of the girls whom I I have yogi envy of, stated that she has been practicing for 8 years. I, on the other hand, am going on 8 months. So can I really expect to be at her level? Hell to the absolute no. But the improvements I’ve seen in my practice just make me so excited to continue my yoga journey, one downward facing dog at a time.
The other reason that my yoga week has been so amazing, is that we are working on practicing Ahimsa this week. Ahimsa is practicing nonviolence. Do no harm to yourself or to others. Or as the image above states, peace with yourself, peace with the world. If you have love for yourself, you’ll spread that love into the universe. Every class you go to the instructor may have a different perspective, anecdote or suggestion on how to bring this into your life. I believe that taking my yoga practice a little slower is just one way to practice Ahimsa, but that’s just on my mat. The beauty and the goal of Gaia Flow Yoga is what you bring from your mat to your life. So one of my instructor’s provided us with this little nugget:
If you truly love yourself, you could never hurt another.
I just loved this and really connected with it. Because truly, if you love yourself, you know how important happiness and love truly is. So you would never want to steal that away from someone. Whether it’s a stranger, a close friend or a family member. I think this is just amazing inspiration and a great goal for yogis and non yogis alike. I plan on bringing this into my everyday life. Although I do believe I never purposely cause pain or harm to those close to me, what about those strangers you pass on the street or the barista at your local coffee shop? I wouldn’t say I’m ever openly rude to them, but why not smile, ask how they are, and actually care about their response? In the end, they’ll feel great and you’ll feel great. (The practice of ahimsa also might explain why yogis are just so happy and nice all the time)
All that to say, my yoga practice and my instructors at Gaia Flow were such an inspiration for me this week. Now excuse me why I go drink a gallon of water to recover from last night’s sweat fest on my mat. TMI?
When Lydia and I first started this blog, the first topic was obvious: What does Finding Tiffany’s even mean for us? Figuring out what my goals were and where my dreams lay took a lot of soul-searching, but I eventually settled on a version of my life “to do list”. Some of those dreams and priorities have shifted a little since, but it has still been a great diagnostic to hold myself accountable for making forward momentum in my life.
One of those goals involved more yoga, but not just any yoga anywhere. For months turning into years I longed to try yoga at Super Yoga Palace near downtown Dallas. After researching Dallas’ yoga offerings, everything I found about this place seemed like just what I was looking for – a casual environment that embraces the yogi lifestyle with a variety of classes that really teach every aspect, not just lead. It’s also aesthetically pleasing with a huge mural and indie music I’d listen to outside of yoga class. In addition to a happy hour after Friday’s class, they even have a class where everyone brings their favorite vinyls to play during the practice. Sold.
This morning I had my second class. Nothing like starting your day feeling physically accomplished, mentally (and literally) stretched and emotionally rested!
Not only is this a check on the to do list, but it has also inspired a new goal. I’ll be making this a weekly affair, hopefully even trying out another class or two. I’m excited to see how my practice improves and hey, the stress-reducing / fitness benefits don’t hurt either!
I had a ridiculous lazy time last week and like Sarah, finished an entire box of Mac ‘n Cheese all on my own. In my defense, it was Annie’s – practically healthy right?
Win at phone tag. While blissfully signing my adorable Valentines last week, I realized that several of these long distance friendships that I cherish hadn’t been receiving much TLC as of late. I’m not much of a phone talker. And the fact that my iPhone is on the fritz and the screen doesn’t lock when I hold it up to my cheek certainly isn’t doing me any favors. I prefer to do all my phone catch ups while I’m driving (dangerous) or walking my dog (windy). I absolutely hate talking on the phone in my apartment, unable to accomplish anything else on my to do list. This week I need to just get over it. Good friends are hard to find and hard to keep if you don’t make a valiant effort to reach out. So get ready AT&T, I’m actually going to use all those minutes you give me.
Read, dangit. Like Sarah, I have a book that’s been hanging over my head for months. With several books in the pipeline, I need to hunker down and actually read the thing. I mean, it’s a great book! But I so easily get distracted by emails, blogs and Gawker (guilty pleasure) that by the time my head hits that pillow, it’s lights out for me.
Speaking of lights out. Last week I put myself through a terrible sleep cycle with going to bed after midnight and waking up between 4 and 5 AM. Luckily, I love coffee and will take an excuse to drink more of it, but I know this isn’t good for my mental or physical health. Plus, I was so pooped by Friday night I stayed in with just The Avengers and my pup (oh, and my mac and cheese). So this week I want to work on getting in bed at a reasonable hour. Hopefully this will play into the reading goal as well!
Make it into a headstand. As you may or may not know, I’m a yoga addict. They have me hooked. And I am SO close to being able to get that handstand! All I can really do is try my absolute hardest and practice focus. I also plan on staying super hydrated all week in preparation for Saturday’s workshop class where I get to do some handstand practice. Wish me luck!
The tulips featured above, by the way, have absolutely nothing to do with this post. In the community I live in though, the city is planting them EVERYWHERE and I am loving it! They’re so cute how they open during the day, face towards the sun, and close up at night. The added array of colors is like a real live rainbow everyday of the week. I just can’t get over them!
This week at Gaia Flow Yoga (you should know upfront, I drank the punch and am addicted to everything about this place), our yogi practice was focused on tapas; fiery discipline. So far this has been my favorite niyama we’ve had and I worked to apply it to my week. When I made my inspiration list this week, I realized that tapas played a big role in the three people I listed as inspiring me this week. My role models tend to be creative people with the initiative and drive to make their vision happen. And to follow in their footsteps, I think practicing fiery discipline every week is the first step.
I saw him in concert almost by accident last weekend and am fully obsessed. Into Americana? You’ll be into him. He’s also pretty funny and a fellow Okla-homie. So now when he becomes huge, you can be like “Oh I knew him way back when.”
About two months ago I started yoga at Gaia Flow Yoga, a hot yoga studio in Addison. It’s been quite the amazing journey thus far. At Gaia, they practice with love. This means that we occasionally turn to our neighbors and say “I love you”..which really can feel a little ridiculous at times. But yoga is all about letting go, and letting go of feeling silly is certainly one of them. We are also taught to act with love and kindness, and to love ourselves. Love where you are today in your practice and love where it will take you tomorrow. When you walk into the room, you let everything go. To be distracted by work, friends or anything else is taking away from your practice. Each class is a gift you are giving yourself, and you should enjoy that gift. And it’s so unbelievably true. When I leave any of the five classes, I feel fantastic.
The overall point of practicing love is that the things you practice on your mat are to transcend into your day to day life. Every week there is something new for you to focus on during your practice and during your week, called Sadhanas (yamas or niyamas). For instance, one week was to not be greedy, called Aparigraha. Each class I went to that week, the different instructor had a different interpretation as to how to practice it that week. It went beyond the typical money greed, and into bigger things. Perhaps to you it meant greedy with your time when you should be spending time cultivating your friendships and family relationships. Speaking of the instructors, they are all amazing and lovely people to be around. Really, everyone who attends the classes are in general, happy and nice people. But I mean, I guess we are all yogis, so how unhappy could we possibly be?
We are also a sweaty bunch. And I mean sweat – y. Oh my lanta. You leave completely drenched and your body begging for a nap. As I begin dipping my toe into more difficult classes, I am learning how weak I actually am. I’ve always had what I oh so affectionally refer to as “man arms” but despite the proud biceps and triceps definition I have gained from doing weights all year, those suckers aren’t getting me into a handstand. It’s all new muscles being worked, toned and pushed to their sweaty physical limit.
Practicing yoga has also had other affects on me outside the Gaia Flow room. I am even more interested than before in learning about other religions. Often when the yoga instructors mention a God they say “your god or my god.” I find this fascinating as it pulls religion into your practice without constricting your beliefs. I also find myself taking deep breathes when I get stressed, overwhelmed or upset. Taking a few breathes, remembering my practice, have taken helped ease stress in my day-to-day life. Another take away from Gaia Flow is they always say when we start warming up to notice the slight pains, any tightness or anything else out of the ordinary. Notice it and accept it. And then breathe into it. To not get frustrated with things you cannot change is huge for me. To not get frustrated but continue striving for more. I have also improved my diet since kicking up my yoga practice. You develop a natural desire to treat your body better (and being around super yogis twisting in all directions is definitely encouragement).
I suppose yoga isn’t for everyone, but I bet you’d be an easy convert. An activity that is physically challenging, emotionally enlightening and full of awesome people? No elliptical can quite give you that satisfaction in your workout and in your life. Well, now I must be off to my weekend warrior class to be impressed by those pretzels around me and to hopefully finally get into a headstand!
The divine light in me sees the divine light in you. All my love, namaste.
(see? I’m practically a natural.. okay so maybe I’m still mastering that downward facing dog..but no matter)
I’ve never been one for New Year’s resolutions, but clearly we’re goal driven people around Finding Tiffany’s. I do believe in striving to my best self every day, and I’m excited to continue learning and growing in the year ahead. The new year holds exciting opportunities at work, plenty of occasions in the works to play hostess for people I care about and travel sights set on D.C. and Chicago.
2012 was the year of…
Career. I launched my first blog and received two job offers to start my first “real” job.
Travel. New York City, Austin (twice), Atlanta, Fayetteville, Boston, Norman (three times) and New Mexico.
Community. A best friend moved back, I met two roommates, bonded with coworkers, joined a bible study with 20 amazing women and reconnected with some old friends in the area.
Independence. My own apartment, a new car and bills…all paid by yours truly.
2013 will focus on…
Health. Commit to yoga, run, eat (way) less sugar and finally follow through on some long-postponed healthcare appointments.
Relationships. Practice intentionality by actually responding to Facebook messages and in a timely manner, remembering birthdays and embracing snail mail for cards and notes.
Creativity. Learn photography with my new DSLR, dedicate more time to watching documentaries and independent film again and continue writing and blogging.
What do you think about resolutions? Have you set any goals or themes for the new year?
Seriously, how is it already November? Lately I’ve caught myself saying, “I’d like to finish that by the end of the year,” as it seems just around the corner. But I’m a dreamer that, ironically enough, likes to plan, so sometimes I need to rein myself in and ask, but what can I do now? So here’s a couple things I’m focusing on this month:
1. Wake Up Early. There’s something to be said for spending time each morning to get ready emotionally and mentally for the day (not to mention physically, doing more than haphazardly throwing together some clothes and a bun before running out the door, brushing on some makeup in the car and being late to work anyways). 6 a.m. here I come.
2. Research Cameras. To pursue one of my overall goals, I’ve been looking into investing in a good camera soon, something I can take quality photos and video with…along with a much needed photography class to make the most of it. I’d love any suggestions for equipment and Dallas photography classes!
3. Start (& Finish) Sewing Projects. Plans for a white ruffle duvet cover and some minor clothing updates have been sitting in a pile right next to my sewing machine. It’s time to take these off my to do list and start enjoying the finished products.
Like Lydia, I’ve been eyeballing the Klyde Warren Park calendar of free events so I might throw in a few free yoga, boot camp and SWING DANCING classes as well. If you can’t tell, I’m really excited about the potential for swing dancing.
Klyde Warren Park just had its big grand opening last weekend in Dallas. The “Central Park” of Dallas it’s not (as it tries to market itself), but definitely is a really neat addition to Dallas’ ever growing urban-ness. I attended the free yoga last weekend and had a blast. I had just come straight from a 10 mile run, so to say I was stiff, sore, and tired would be an understatement. The park was super crowded, so I was a little nervous throwing my mat down in the middle of a crowd and doing a downward dog for the cameras. Westley came a long with me and couldn’t have been more perfect. He was tired from the run as well, and sat patiently while I embarrassed myself in warrior 1. He was a crowd and photographer favorite. Unforunatley I have been fruitless in my efforts to find some of the shots taken of him. Such a bummer. He totally posed.
Klyde Warren Park will be offering this free yoga class every Saturday at 10 AM by Dallas Yoga Center and a Boot Camp at 9 AM by Andrew Odell. I vote go to both. I will be! I think I’ll be altering my running routine so that I can attend! My next big workout plan is going to contain hot yoga and free/at home workouts – so this fits into that plan so perfectly! AND free dog training at 1 PM each day. It’s everything I love, right in the middle of Dallas. And over a highway. The yoga should be really neat. There’s nothing like focusing on your body and breathing in the middle of a bustling city in some green grass.
I already loved the Dallas Arts District before this park, but now it’s really becoming a unique place to be. It’s exciting to be in Dallas while all these great changes are coming our way.
Hats off to you, Dallas. Maybe all of us New York, Austin, Chicago and L.A. bound Texans will stick around a little longer.