I can’t get down with Downward Dog

I’ve been trying for a while to get into yoga. I know all about the benefits of it- the stretching, the stress release, the relaxation, the meditation, the “glow”, and I really want to be a part of all that! I want the relaxed vibe, the accepting and understanding attitude, the glow, the inner kunahayshsha or whatever those people have. But I just don’t. It’s not happening.

Last night, Lululemon hosted their first portion of Uncommon Yoga, which is a 5 week series of free outdoor yoga classes. They feature kick ass instructors from all over Boston every week, as well as bumpin’ music. They also did this a few months back for the big kick off of their Newbury Street store, and it was amazing.

It was a gorgeous night last night- a little hot, but breezy. Music was bumpin’, there was a great crowd, and both instructors, Goldie and Caitlyn, were really motivating and inspiring. They were also really clear in their directions, which was very helpful for a non yogi like me.

Here’s my problem with yoga (and this is my personal problem, not a problem with the practice at all!): It doesn’t relax me. It almost gives me too much time to think. During each pose, I’m thinking to myself “How much longer are we going to hold this? What are we going to do next? I can’t remember the next step in the Vinyasa. Am I going to fall over? I think I’m going to fall over. How is that girl standing on her head? Oh shit, we’re on the next pose. Am I breathing right? Was I supposed to be inhaling or exhaling? Why is breathing so hard now? Why am I overanalyzing breathing in through my nose and out through my mouth? Is my belly button connected to my spine? How does that even happen? Is my stomach supposed to expand when I inhale, or exhale? I’ve been fucking breathing since I was born, why can’t I remember? Emily, get your shit together. Oh, down dog again? Guess I’m getting up close and personal with the ass in front of me again” 

I mean, I can get through the poses alright (albeit a little wobbly), but I just can’t help over-thinking everything. And then the relaxation period at the end… man, that is actually the hardest part for me. First of all- I hate naps. They stress me out. I spend about 30 minutes worrying if I’m actually going to fall asleep, and if I do fall asleep, that I’ll just be even more tired when I wake up. And then I start thinking about all the other things I COULD be doing instead of napping. I understand that I’m a crazy person. I get the exact same anxiety and stress during Savasana. I don’t want to let myself relax- I’d just rather wait until I went to sleep. Does that make sense? I know you’re not supposed to fall asleep during Savasana, you’re just supposed to let your mind go.. but I still can’t even do that. I just start thinking about getting home, when is the next bus coming, will I have time to make dinner, do I need to do laundry, should I shower, etc. At the end, I’m also left wondering “Did I really just get a workout?” I DO always feel great after, well stretched and light, but I have a really hard time actually motivating myself to GO to a yoga class. I’m used to a more intense workout where I leave drenched in sweat. And to be honest, I actually feel more relaxed after a killer spin class, or a CrossFit WOD, or a long circuit. There’s something about totally going balls to the wall and releasing all of your energy and your stress by giving yourself a ridiculous ass kicking that makes me go “ahhhhhh!” I walk away knowing that I gave it 110% and that I let all my stress out on the bike and that I’ll sleep like a baby that night.

But, I haven’t given up on yoga yet! I’m going to try Bikram yoga out next week. It’s come highly recommended to me from a few people that know me and my psychotic workout tendencies (compliment?). I’m a little nervous about the heat aspect, but I think I’ll enjoy holding the poses and getting more of a strength workout vs a flow workout. I’m taking my first class on Monday and am excited to report back (if I don’t die…!)

How do you guys feel about yoga? Does it stress you out like it stresses me out, or am I the only crazy person out there? Do you prefer high intensity workouts vs yoga? Ever tried Bikram? Can I ask any more questions?

Namaste, betches.

-Emily

 

 

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Party, Yoga, Love, Neon

In honor of opening their new store in Newbury Street in Boston, Lululemon hosted a huge outdoor yoga party in Copley Square on Friday night. I’m not a huge yogi, but wanted to go and support because a) I’m slightly obsessed with Lulu and b) two of my kickass friends, Aly and Lisa, were involved in promoting and organizing the event. I’m trying to find the words to describe how incredible it was..

First of all, we couldn’t have asked for better weather. The yoga was taking place from 7-8 on Friday night, but tons of people showed up around 5:30 to bask in the late afternoon sun. The temperature was perfect- high 60’s, slight breeze, perfectly blue sky at dusk. As hundreds of yogis began gathering, the event coordinators had to ditch the plan of giving out headphones because they only had 500 sets. So the DJ went into full effect, bumpin’ beats as everyone started warming up and settling into their mats. I went with a few coworkers, and it was incredible to watch what some of these yogis could do. I mean, I give myself a pat on the back for being able to touch my toes.

Oh you know, just hangin out..

The whole night was amazing. Not to sound like a total cheeseball, but there was so much energy and positivity flowing through Copley Square (did I just sound like a total yogi or what?? Wow..) Having this really upbeat music blasting and reverberating off the walls of the Hancock tower was pretty cool, and it was amazing being outside, surrounding by hundreds of other people all doing the same motions (some more gracefully than others.. what’s up almost falling onto my face 5 times) Not only was this a huge homage to Lululemon and the yoga practice, but it was a huge tribute to Boston. I truly love being part of a city that is home to so many health conscious people, there’s literally inspiration everywhere. I wish we could do this every week! Here are a few pics from the event from me and from the Lululemon Newbury Street Facebook page 

I’m in the green headband.. pretending I know what I’m doing..
Photos via John Reardon

Overall, an incredible experience. Thanks so much to Lululemon for putting it all together and to the people of Boston for being wicked awesome 🙂

-ES

Product Review: Lululemon Crops & Tops

I’ve been spinning my butt off lately (well, no actually, I think it’s making it bigger but thats okay) and realized I was in desperate need of new workout gear. I have some crops from Victoria’s Secret that I love, but they slide around too much when I spin, and the last thing my neighbor behind me wants to see is some plumber action happening. Solution: Making my first trek into Lululemon.
Not going to lie, I’ve always been turned off by Lulu (evidence: here). I had never shopped there, but knew it was really expensive and knew that I almost had a conniption every time I saw a woman carrying one of those bags, so I just never bothered going in. But recently, I’ve met some pretty kick ass people who are all about Lulu, so I decided to put aside my judgements and take the plunge into the Lululemon world.

First impression upon walking into Lulu was how amazing the staff was. Within 1 minute of being in the store, someone was helping me. Even as I was trying stuff on, they wanted to see everything, help me with the fit, get my opinion, and genuinely wanted to see me with something I loved and felt comfortable in. They even had me do jumping jacks in the dressing room and touch my toes to ensure that I was getting the best fit. I mean, I wasn’t planning on getting an aerobic workout and doing face down, ass up for strangers while trying on clothes, but it’s coo.
I got 2 pairs of the Inspire Crop II’s. It says they’re for running, but bitch please, I’m wearing these for spinning! And they are AMAZING. I’ve never spun without pants on, but if I did, I imagine this is what it would feel like (with way less chafing). They’re SO comfortable, and don’t move or slide at all while I’m jumping around on the bike. They also have an adjustable strap to make them tighter or looser. I wasn’t used to wearing something this tight, but I quickly got used to it once I realized how much better I felt riding. They also have mesh going up the side, which provided great ventilation. At $86/pair, they’re a little pricey, but I figured- I work out 5-6 days a week, and if I’m willing to spend $200 on jeans that I wear 3-4 times a week and not think twice about it, then spending $86 on pants that I’ll wear more than jeans is justified. Right? Am I right? (go with me on this one..)

Next up: the No Limit Tank. I instantly fell in love when I tried this top on. I usually don’t wear loose tops when working out, but loved how this one was a combo of loose and tight. The bra definitely provides enough support (not like I have a whole lot to support anyways..) and the outer flowy top feels like you don’t have anything on at all (yet spares fellow rides from seeing your muffin top). Overall, it provides awesome ventilation and doesn’t cling to your body when you’re riding. This was also kind of pricey at $64, but again, going off the justification that I’m going to be wearing them a lot (I bought 2). I will definitely be transitioning into trying to buy as many of my workout clothes here as possible. I finally caught onto the Lululemon obsession, and think the price is definitely worth it for the quality product you’re getting.
Another perk- I didn’t get an ugly shopping bag! I was bummed I missed out on the limited edition John Galt one, but they did have some new sleek white ones that’s only design was a red happy smile on the inside. Definitely a plus. Maybe they saw my rant and decided to stop plastering cheesy quotes all over everything…?

I’ll be back, Lulu, I’ll be back
-ES