Sunday, January 24, 2010

where did the weekend go??

how was your weekend? hopefully good! mine was jam packed and i loved it. saturday was NATIONAL YOGA DAY and i spent the morning at a yoga studio helping set up and giving two mini workshops - one on vinyasa and one on stress relief! you know me... i heart sharing yoga tips for stress relief! it was so much fun and the place was packed out! yogis and sticky mats everywhere! i thrive on energy like that. did you celebrate national yoga day this year? any studios by you do anything special?

sunday i picked up some stuff for our upcoming jaunt to new orleans (YAY!)and finally began to think about what i'd like to pack/bring. this is usually the most trying part of any trip for me because i always wind up bringing close to everything i own. a holdover from my anxious days when i obsessed endlessly about things i may have forgotten (but usually didn't) and things i thought i needed (even though i didn't). so that's the big thing i'm looking forward to this week. much needed quality time with hubby and warm weather. bliss.

i also kicked off my first of (hopefully) many sunday group workouts. i recruited a girlfriend to join me in the park where we ran a mile warm up and then did a mile of training that included everything from walking lunges to traveling push ups to sprints. it was great to get outside, even though it was chilly. and i always adore working out with a friend. we chatted about her upcoming nuptials and torched some calories... awesome. i did miss my hot yoga class, but am totally planning on hitting it up on wednesday after running more last minute travel errands.

i'm finishing up my weekend treating myself to frozen yogurt and catching both football games! bummed the Jets are out, but am pumped for the super bowl. i didn't get to experiment with a lot of raw food this weekend but i did manage to whip up one awesome raw dinner - zucchini pasta and 'peanut sauce' ((totally check out averie's for the awesome recipe!) all raw. all delicious. i finally got my spiralizer and definitely wanted to put it to good use. i've always been the kid that gets something new and breaks it out ASAP. i'm an instant gratification kinda chick. but i will admit... after one botched attempt at the raw peanut sauce i was kind of frustrated, but i figured it out and hubby said it was my best raw dinner yet. so all's well that ends well!

tomorrow i'm back to craziness with yoga classes and clients, fitting in workouts and planning for my trip. hope your weekend was awesome! i think i'm needing some Legs Up The Wall tonight before passing out in bed. Ahhhhh.

PS - anyone check out Bonda Yoga and my upcoming Present Moment Workshop next month?? Feb 21st loves! come join me and get your RELAX on!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

face it or fear it?

i believe i fit into that group of people that is expertly skilled at finding ways to avoid doing what you fear. i spent a huge amount of time crafting endless reasons and excuses as to why i couldn't do this or why i couldn't go there. if i felt anxious at the thought of it... i definitely wasn't going to do it! i would do anything to avoid a panic attack and the exhaustion that followed an anxious episode. i was a master at it.

however, as times began to change and i began to get a hold of my anxiety i began to slowly face my fears. little by little i would step out of my comfort zone and test my ability to remain calm and in control of my emotions and feelings when i felt scared or unsure of something. of course it helped that i had opened up to people about what i was dealing with, so i was vocal about how i felt each time i took a leap into the unknown. and the unknown ranged from going to the movies to taking a road trip.... anything that was a potential trigger for me.

recently i was given the opportunity to face a situation or fear it. i was offered some very early morning classes to teach a couple of times a week. now for me, the early morning is a very anxious time. its subsided to almost non-existent, but every now and then i'll have those anxious feelings if i'm up early to do something. when the opportunity came up for the classes, i expressed my concern with my husband. "should i, shouldn't i?" came up so many times it made my head spin. but i ultimately decided to take them because i didn't want to make a decision with my anxiety fueling the choice. so i faced it. i took 'em on! and i love them!

there have definitely been a few bumps in the road. remember that stomach virus i mentioned? well it hit me early in the morning as i was getting ready for that class. i was sick as a dog with something that reminded me of my worst anxious episodes and i truly felt like crying. i thought i made a horribly wrong decision because at the time i didn't know it was a virus... my mind automatically thought it was anxiety. i guess its easy to fall into old patterns. but the important thing is that i recognized it for what it was, i STILL went to the class and i didn't give up on myself. i thought of this again today as i headed to the class without a stitch of concern of anxiety. i felt awesome! i had a great class! i felt so strong i thought i could jump over buildings! that's how powerful being anxiety-free is! so needless to say, i'm sticking with this. i am facing this head on. and i know there will be times when i feel less than amazing in the morning, but it'll all be ok. and the more i face my fears, the stronger i'll become.

we know i'm a big believer in the fact that we'll always have times when we feel anxious. it's an emotion. we can't relieve the feeling of anxiety any more than we can relieve the feeling of happiness or sadness. but what i believe strongly is that we can heal from anxiety being debilitating or life altering. when i went into the city to the museum of modern art over this past weekend (to see an AWESOME tim burton exhibit!) i chatted with my husband about how far i continue to come. i never used to feel comfy during car trips and if i HAD to do one, i insisted on driving so that i was in control. i wouldn't eat or drink so that i could avoid any potential stomach/nausea issues. but here i was, on a 45 min car drive, as a passenger and we went to the museum and grabbed lunch to boot! and i was feeling fine!

so the eternal question.... to face it or fear it? if you know your triggers its important to begin exposing yourself to them little by little so you know you'll be ok. however, i do think that its crucial to have relaxation and calming behaviors you can call on (and that you know will work!) before facing the fears. because if you don't have those tools or understanding... you can't really ease the anxiety you'll be facing. so commit to stress busters that work for you and go out and start facing your fears! one step at a time!

Monday, January 18, 2010

[insert bliss here!]

how can we insert bliss into our lives?

*unroll the yoga mat and rock out some sun salutations

*play jazz music


*get in a walk or run... any exerise that clears your head

*bake cookies (or experiment with a raw recipe!)

*grab a good book

*take a bubble bath

*start a blog

*read a blog

*call a friend

*enjoy a movie

*sip wine

*sip tea

*spend time with loved ones

how do you bliss out?

Friday, January 15, 2010

where did the week go?

since i'm officially back to real, solid food (woo-hoo!) i am really looking forward to the weekend. i was getting nervous that i'd still be sick for it and hubby and i have fun plans. sunday we're heading into the city to the museum of modern art to check out a tim burton exhibit. totally looking forward to the creativity and eye candy. plus, i love the city. there's just something really invigorating about it. i think i'm an urban girl at heart.

so my stomach virus is finally gone and my energy level is slowly returning back to normal. stomach ailments are particularly hard for me to deal with as it makes me launch right back into those moments when i experienced nothing but pure panic attacks for hours at a time.

my biggest symptom of anxiety was stomach trouble. i would feel ill, nauseous and have an overwhelming fear of panic if i wasn't within a 30 second distance to a bathroom so that if i did get sick at least i could try to hide it.

needless to say, pushing through my week of classes, clients and events (getting by with the help of copious amounts of stomach soothing OTCs) was pretty challenging. it made me anxious. it made me remember what it felt like to live in the grips of anxiety once again.

once i began to feel better, the anxiety of getting sick again launched me into a mini-panic. but i went on with my days, my classes, my work and my life as i wanted to. i refused to let the fear of a stomach virus or stomach problem hold me back. and i'm glad i didn't. i could've stayed curled up in bed for days "just to make sure" that i was perfectly healthy before venturing out, but i didn't. i couldn't. and i wouldn't let my mind get the best of me. if i felt anxious when heading out for a class i turned to my deep, three part breath. i did quick forward folds to get a stress-relieving asana in. and i made sure to monitor my food and diet to guarantee i was eating the best food for my body i possibly could.

it just shows that anxiety never really goes away. but what does go away are the heart pounding anxiety attacks or panic moments. what do you have in your "anti-anxiety" tool belt? what do you turn to in times of stress or anxiety? what are your triggers (my stomach is my sore spot!)? do you have a relaxation ritual?

as you relieve your stress and anxiety, learn what works for you and what doesn't. know what kinds of situations heighten your stress levels. anxiety is an emotion we're bound to feel, but panic attacks don't have to be!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

weekend recap: Krishna Das Fundraising Event!

i've been a little absent from the blogging world lately. here's my list of excuses:
1) last week was consumed with an insane class schedule and last minute prep work for the upcoming Discover and Recover Krishna Das fundraiser
2) the weekend was a blur of KD event things, bridesmaid duties and an on-coming stomach virus
3) full blown stomach virus


while the rest has past, the stomach bug is here to stay. i feel like i've been battling this for awhile now and since i adamantly refused to take any time off, i'm paying for it now. and unfortunately, so is my hubby that woke up with stomach bug symptoms this morning.

so since i'm house-bound i thought i'd recap the awesome krishna das event! as you know i'm VP for discover & recover and have been psyched about this event since its planning stages way back when. i knew i wanted to spend more time raising money and volunteering for things i'm passionate about and this was my first super big opportunity! we held the event on long island and it drew in a crowd of over 300 people! up until saturday i was helping with making signs, printing guest lists, writing press releases and pitches for the event and contacting news outlets.

the actual event was powerful. KD sounds just like he does on his albums. and he's got an amazing sense of humor.. definitely had the crowd laughing more than once! as he went through his chants, more and more people got up and began to sway, move, jump and dance in the aisles. i began to clap and get lost in the music myself!

by the time the whole night ended i was totally beat. hubby and i hit up a diner for a quick bite and crawled into bed exhausted from all the excitement.

then [cue ominous, foreboding music] i awoke with a horrible stomach virus. i had been fighting it since friday and had to cancel some classes, but i think i pushed too much on saturday and got myself worse. so today is all about resting and getting better because my schedule load isn't slowing down anytime soon... and neither am i!

i hope your weekend was amazing!
leaving you with the only pics i have from the event...

Monday, January 4, 2010


hey loves, i wanted to announce that next month i'll be giving my Present Moment Workshop at Bonda Yoga in Great Neck, NY.

quick details:

What: Present Moment Workshop
Bonda Yog

Time: 1:30pm

The Present Moment Workshop is a workshop that focuses on teaching people how to utilize breathing techniques and yoga poses to aid in stress and anxiety management. you'll understand a little more about how anxiety impacts your mind and body and how yoga can help. introduction to postures and open discussion about stress and anxiety. all levels welcome!!

hope to see you there!!!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

what's with all the raw food and running?

i'm sure at one point you may have wondered that. how did a girl that blogs about adventures with anxiety get so hung up on running, raw food and all the things that go with it? i know sometimes i tend to post a lot about working out, running, bikram yoga and raw/vegan food and there seems like there's no connection. well, i think i'm so into these things because by trying them i've experienced the connection first hand. i never used to care about my health... case in point - i used to smoke to deal with my anxiety because i believed it calmed me down. i found nothing wrong with knocking back cocktails and nursing stomach aches with boatloads of funky colored meds like pepto. but that only masked my issues - never addressed them. and it definitely never helped me understand what i was going through.

enter health obsession. yoga was first for the obvious reason that it connects the mind and body and helps to ease tension and stress in the body. i needed more depth than a basic class at my gym so i went through the certification process and was so empowered by the mental changes i underwent that i jumped into teaching. and while most people find restorative totally bliss-inducing, i sometimes found that my mind needed a more active practice to get me in the moment. here is where bikram and vinyasa and power yoga come in. for me, i tend to gravitate towards toughing it out on the mat because that's when i find i get most lost in the present moment and feel the most connected to myself. don't get me wrong, i often turn to legs up the wall when i need a quick stress reliever, but i need a combo of the two practices to keep me feeling grounded. its not solely for the purposes of sweating. i just find myself connecting more to these practices at this time in my life. so even though i talk a lot about yoga that doesn't sound relaxing... for me it totally is! and stress busting!

running is the same thing. when i first started running i used to imagine my problems and anxieties as little monsters chasing behind me (please don't stop reading, i promise i didn't lose my mind!) and the more i ran the more i left them behind. one of the main reasons i had a lot of anxiety is because i had a ton of pent up energy and it was filtering out in very negative ways. it took me a long time to realize that and learn how to channel it into better things. running does that for me. so while it may, once again, not seem to have a connection to anxiety.... it absolutely does. and even if running isn't your bag, i always recommend clients get some sort of exercise suitable for them... even 30 mins a day works! a walk, run, cardio class, jumping rope, playing ball with your dog... doesn't matter what it is because for each person it's different. anxious people tend to have a lot of energy and they need to release it in ways that positively work for them.

and finally the raw food. i'm not just into raw food. i'm into health food. i've been veggie for quite a few years so i didn't just jump into raw/vegan food. it's been a natural and slow transition. and it's one that i don't know will always work for me. but after experimenting with numerous dietary lifestyle changes, raw/vegan made me feel the best. energetic, alert, grounded, strong and best of all it helped alleviate unnecessary stomach aches caused by excesses of caffeine and processed food. stomach aches, as you know, were my biggest anxious trigger so every time i self-induced one by eating food i knew i shouldn't , it was like causing me to have a panic attack on the button. NO FUN. so there is a connection to raw/vegan food for me and anxiety. and even if raw food sounds as appealing as a root canal to you, health food shouldn't. the more toxic food we put in our bodies the more toxic we feel. i've had clients feel better just by cutting out (ok, or cutting down) sugar and caffeine, because what do they do? cause excesses of energy that cause shakiness, racing thoughts and racing hearts... very common symptoms of anxiety. so someone would drink a cup of coffee, experience these symptoms, and ultimately give himself or herself a panic attack. for coffee? no thanks!

and ultimately my obsession with health also runs a bit deeper. while my anxieties didn't center on this, a lot of people's anxieties do - being sick. two stressors happen here: 1) people get anxious about needles, doc visits, hospitals, vomiting, diarrhea, etc; and 2) illness, mysterious symptoms, death, heart attack, etc.

so keeping healthy helps to alleviate some of these stressors. if you amp up your health habits and get sick less, there's less doc visits, meds, shots and all those other unpleasant symptoms that go along with being sick. and also, being healthy helps get rid of some feelings like headaches, fatigue, and nausea which some people could be causing by lifestyle choices and misinterpret as something else.... much like i misinterpreted the effects my food choices were having on me. i thought i was having panic attacks when it was more like caffeine overload.

this is really just from my point of view of what has worked for me, people i know and clients. there isn't just one cure-all for anxiety because most people need different things in their lives to cope and heal. but i like to offer things that work for me so you can know about them and maybe they'll work for you and maybe they won't. and from there you can keep the change or tweak it to help you. so if sometimes it seems like i go off on tangents about all sorts of things that don't seem related to anxiety.... they are.

i'd love to hear about the things that work for you!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

renew your restorative practice

so we all know i'm a big fan of rolling out the yoga mat when anxiety rears its ugly head, but what to do once you step on it... that's the million dollar question. depending on my mood, situation and stressor i sometimes turn to restorative. if restorative is your choice du jour, you might be looking to fuse some new moves into your practice.

here's some poses to help you bliss out:

Supported Puppy Pose

Supported Bridge Pose

Supported Childs Pose

So grab some blankets, a block and an eye pillow (ok, so the last isn't a necessity, but it sure amps up the bliss factor!) and enjoy!

images: do restorative yoga

Friday, January 1, 2010

greeting 2010 with open arms

happy new year loves!

now i know that every new day offers us the opportunity for growth and movement within our journey, but there is just something so magical to me about new years eve. something special about watching that sparkling ball fall in beloved times square. something inspiring about knowing that i'm going to wake up to a whole new year. a year filled with promise and adventure, personal growth and fresh aspirations. just writing about it makes me smile!

yesterday i spent a lot of time pondering my 2009 journey and today i'd like to spend time creating my 2010 journey.

here are some of my goals & aspirations:

* complete a 10k
*train for disney half marathon for jan 2011
*do something physically challenging everyday to remind myself that i'm capable of anything
*experiment a lot more with raw foodism, hopefully being 65-75% raw by next year
*commit more time to growing friendships and appreciate all the people i'm blessed with having in my life
*put together a fundraising walk for Discover & Recover
*stay true to my perception of yoga and my practice
*share yoga with everyone i can!!
*make more time for personal reflection time: journaling, collages, blogging, reading, getting inspired
*reminding myself daily to release self doubt, grudges, judgement and negativity
*start a morning gratitude ritual
*keep space in my life on and off the mat- be wary of over scheduling and over stressing.
*strive to be the best me i can be for everyone around me
*travel to another country
*travel as much as i can

ok so after listing that all out i feel like maybe one year isn't enough! some of these are 'outside' goals like running accomplishments and taking as many yoga classes as i can and booking lots of fun trips. and i definitely made sure to have 'inside' goals like letting go of my grudges, working on being a positive force for those around me and keeping my anxiety and stress in check (a constant for me).

i'm sure this list will change as the year progresses - which is cool because i totally obtain the right to change my mind at any given time (haha) ! - but that's what makes it fun. it's the adventure of it all. and hey, maybe that's a goal too. APPRECIATE THE ADVENTURE OF IT ALL. i've spent waaaay to much of my life stressing it away. i was doom 'n gloom girl more often than i care to admit. every day i break free a little more and i'm so thankful for that.... and yoga (which who knows where i'd be had this gift not come into my life).

what are some of your aspirations and intentions for 2010? how will you appreciate your adventure?

and, in the spirit of goals and aspirations, i'd like to do one right now - gratitude!

i love all of you! i thank you for sharing in my journey, i thank you for supporting me, i thank you for feedback and just being YOU! THANK YOU!