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Thursday, December 30, 2010

moksha videos January

So, I've been both enjoying my holidays and madly busy, thus equalling a negligent blogger. I hope you've been enjoying the holidays too much to mind!

I'm back! Enjoy some Moksha vids to start off your new year. The ever challenging Savasana... I've got a 30-day savasana challenge coming up! One of our projects involves 30 days of a 20-minute savasana. It's not due quite yet but I'm a keener so I want to get it out of the way so I can focus on getting in my asana practice hours! My fellow Milton teacher Shan shows you how to get your body just right so you can focus on the challenging part... the monkey mind!



lots of great little tips for the green tips of the month! I never would have thought about all of the trees it takes to make chopsticks... time to invest in some to-go ware for my purse, i think!



Wishing you all the most fantastic new year.

Namaste,
Callah
article and personal photos copyright of Callah at callahyoga.blogspot.com

Thursday, December 23, 2010

happy holidays... don't lose your shit!

This video is doing the rounds with my facebook yogi friends, and it definitely seems appropriate to share here. I won't lie, I've got a few gifts waiting for me under the tree (wrapped in re-used packing paper, though!). But, I've cut my gift-giving to a minimum, eliminated paper holiday cards, and hand-made gifts for my friends. I haven't forgot about the "giving" part of the season, either. All in moderation and balance, right?



I hope everyone has an amazingly wonderful holiday, whatever you celebrate (or don't). Enjoy any time off you may have, and like I said in one of my classes this morning... remember any calm energy you cultivate in your asana practice, and take it with you... whenever you are feeling stressed out, remember that feeling... and BREATHE!


Happy holidays :) 
Namaste,
Callah
article and personal photos copyright of Callah at callahyoga.blogspot.com

Saturday, December 18, 2010

try

I definitely have new appreciation for daily bloggers. Even with the topics being given to me, I just don't have the time to write every single day! A lot has been going on with the holidays (and my new mala-making hobby :) ) and I'm content to post every few days. It's much more realistic. Also, while I've reflected on a few, they aren't posted as I feel they're pretty personal to be putting out there in the blogging world... not quite ready for that yet!
________________________________________
December 18 – Try What do you want to try next year? Is there something you wanted to try in 2010? What happened when you did / didn’t go for it? (Author: Kaileen Elise)
In 2010, I wanted to try to learn how to ride a bike. For realsies. For some reason I just didn't get around to it. What happened? Well, I didn't learn how to ride a bike! I also realized I can be pretty lazy sometimes. And sometimes, you need to prioritize other resolutions. Like running a half marathon.

For 2011... I want to try to learn how to bike-ride! Haha. Also, I'd like to keep up with this creative thing I have going on. I am really enjoying it. In addition to the malas I've been dabbling in medium format photography. It's so much fun! Check out my first roll on flickr!

the fence

Namaste,
Callah
article and personal photos copyright of Callah at callahyoga.blogspot.com

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

appreciate. remember.


December 14 – Appreciate What’s the one thing you have come to appreciate most in the past year? How do you express gratitude for it? (Author: Victoria Klein)
My body. While I have my ups and downs in regards to positive thinking, I am always grateful for it's existence, and what it does for me! it allows me to run (slash - walk!) 21.1 kilometres at a time. It sweats through 60-90 minutes of yoga (sometimes twice in a day). It expresses my creativity. It's my livelihood. 
I'm going to start expressing my gratitude better- more sleep! less junk! as previously outlined in  my action plan
December 15 – 5 Minutes Imagine you will completely lose your memory of 2010 in five minutes. Set an alarm for five minutes and capture the things you most want to remember about 2010. (Author: Patti Digh)

London. Photographing amazingly old buildings, the gorgeous architecture, and being surrounded by those British accents.
Vancouver. The crowds. The Canadian flags. The instant friendships, and re-connected old ones. The pride. The cold. The excitement. The joy. The memory of watching Canada's final, gold-medal winning gold in the air en route to my home, and the whole plane-ful of passengers erupting in cheers.
The moment I decided to take my YTT.
The moment I read the email in my inbox being accepted to YTT.
The entire month of July. Amazing sangha. Amazing, so many emotions surfacing I didn't even know I had.
Good times with friends- just being. 
Everything clicking into place. 2 jobs in the span of a few weeks,
Teaching my first full yoga class on the beach. Bliss.
Finally unleashing my creativity.
Photography.
Family.
Self acceptance.
LOVE. 

Can you believe that was only 4 minutes? It's pretty chronological :)

Also - I've listed my very first item for sale on etsy. ---------> Perfect for your meditation practice, perhaps? :-p




Namaste,
Callah
article and personal photos copyright of Callah at callahyoga.blogspot.com

Monday, December 13, 2010

action

December 13 – Action When it comes to aspirations, it’s not about ideas. It’s about making ideas happen. What’s your next step? (Author: Scott Belsky)

~ Reduce unnecessary spending so I can save up enough to buy my own place.
~ Turn off my computer at midnight so I can get to sleep at a decent hour... on a regular basis. (Teaching 2 yoga classes and working an 8-hour day at the dental office on 4.5 hours sleep... so not cool).
~ eat more salad!
~ focus on the big picture :)

Namaste,
Callah
article and personal photos copyright of Callah at callahyoga.blogspot.com

Sunday, December 12, 2010

reverb catchup!

A week and a half in and I'm already slacking! Sigh, typical me!

December 10 – Wisdom. What was the wisest decision you made this year, and how did it play out? (Author: Susannah Conway)
You know, I don't know. Perhaps it was taking my YTT in Toronto vs. Montreal. Absolutely love my sangha and it's hard to imagine having that experience with a different group of people! Also enjoyed housesitting in the city for the month - contemplating moving there! 
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December 11 – 11 Things What are 11 things your life doesn’t need in 2011? How will you go about eliminating them? How will getting rid of these 11 things change your life? (Author: Sam Davidson)


procrastination ~ constantly staying up too late ~ self-negativity ~ over-the-top consumerism ~ animal products (trying out veganism in the new year!) ~ wasteful spending ~ too much junk food ~ more shoes ~ clutter ~ my closets overfilled to flowing ~ dust!


Notice a theme? I definitely need to let go of my need for "things", to de-clutter my life. I think letting go of the need for physical objects will be freeing mentally, as well. (and while I have been better to an extent lately, ever so often I fall off the "non-consumerism bandwagon" and go a little nuts). I also just want to be healthier and give up all the crap that isn't serving my body. 2011, here I come!
_______________________________________


December 12 – Body Integration This year, when did you feel the most integrated with your body? Did you have a moment where there wasn’t mind and body, but simply a cohesive YOU, alive and present? (Author: Patrick Reynolds)


I think this could be the moment I crossed the finish line at my half-marathon in October. The last 6km were pretty much hell, but for that brief moment there was no pain- only pure joy!


almost there!



Namaste,
Callah
article and personal photos copyright of Callah at callahyoga.blogspot.com

Thursday, December 9, 2010

a beautifully different... party!

First, I wanted to share this video with you... 

This story makes me want to be a better person. How amazing is he?


December 8 (happy birthday to me!)– Beautifully Different. Think about what makes you different and what you do that lights people up. Reflect on all the things that make you different – you’ll find they’re what make you beautiful. (Author: Karen Walrond)


Of course the prompt for my day of birth is the most challenging thus far, only because it unusual for me to look at myself in such a way. Why is it that it's so difficult to put into words the things that make you you


Hmm... one thing that gets pointed out is how laid back am I. I am definitely NOT a drama queen. I'm up for adventure (to the tune of backpacking solo for 18 months). I'm independant and I usually rock at whatever I do when I set my mind to it. There's my little bit of self-love for the day! 
______________________________________________________________________


December 9 – Party Prompt: Party. What social gathering rocked your socks off in 2010? Describe the people, music, food, drink, clothes, shenanigans. (Author: Shauna Reid)


This one doesn't need many words: (again) Van 2010 olympics. Let me show you...



Namaste,
Callah
article and personal photos copyright of Callah at callahyoga.blogspot.com

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

community

December 7 – Community Prompt: Community. Where have you discovered community, online or otherwise, in 2010? What community would you like to join, create or more deeply connect with in 2011? (Author: Cali Harris)


I've had a lot of awesome community-ness this year. First up, the Moksha yoga family! It was one thing becoming part of my local studio community (I first started energy exchanging there in Nov 2009). It wasn't until the new year, however, that I really started connecting to the point where I decided to take the plunge and head off to teacher training in July 2010. There, the sense of community evolved- my fellow Mokshies became my sangha! We forged a connection that can never be replicated. I guess that'll happen to you after spending 6 days a week, 13 hours a day, going through the most emotional times of your life (and have more breakdowns than you thought possible!). I made some incredible connections during that month that I am so grateful for.



The other community i'm happy to call myself a part of is the yoga-bloggers community! I started my blog back in March of this year, as a way to keep a collection of my yoga-related thoughts and findings. Little did I realize how accepting this community is, and how many awesome people I would "meet"! 

The journeys are only beginning :)

Tomorrow is my bday and I'm working ALL day and then going out for dinner... so I'll catch up on reverb Thursday!


Namaste,
Callah
article and personal photos copyright of Callah at callahyoga.blogspot.com

Monday, December 6, 2010

make

December 6 – Make. What was the last thing you made? What materials did you use? Is there something you want to make, but you need to clear some time for it? (Author: Gretchen Rubin)


This one is easy. I'm a fairly creative person (I think that is one reason I love blogging so much), and I've been exploring a lot of different things this year. I crossed an item off the "die list" (also known as a bucket list) by making a painting! It's for one of my yoga projects and one day I will scan it into the computer and show it to the world. 


As for the most recent thing I've made, well it doesn't get more recent than this!
I made this mala for my friend about an hour ago. It's African turquoise, with black onyx and rudraksha beads. 

There is still a lot of things I'd love to do that I need to clear time for. I want to continue painting with the yoga theme - I'm seeing om symbols and the tree of life! And more yoga jewelry- keep posted to this space for an etsy shop opening soon :) I definitely love to create - it's just hard to find the time in my busy life.

What would you make if you had the time?

Namaste,
Callah
article and personal photos copyright of Callah at callahyoga.blogspot.com

Sunday, December 5, 2010

let go

December 5 – Let Go. What (or whom) did you let go of this year? Why? (Author: Alice Bradley)


I'm going to say this one is still a work in progress. I've been working on letting go of negative self-thoughts. Telling myself I'm not good enough, not deserving enough, can't do it. I think it's really easy in today's culture to get caught up in what we "should" be like, how we can fit in to the cookie cutter mold. It's time to break the mold and love ourselves for who we are! 


I stopped feeling the need to hang out with people for the sake of it. I'd rather spend time with myself than some certain people! 


One more thing that I'm working towards is letting go of negative thoughts in general. Similar to the idea of, "if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all" - if you don't have anything nice to THINK, don't think it at all! I believe lulu summarizes this best when they say, "the conscious mind can only hold one thought at a time. Choose a positive one". 





Namaste,
Callah
article and personal photos copyright of Callah at callahyoga.blogspot.com

Saturday, December 4, 2010

wonder

December 4 – Wonder. How did you cultivate a sense of wonder in your life this year? (Author: Jeffrey Davis)


I'm an explorer, and a traveler at heart. I love to not only visit new places, but read about them too. I can devour travel guides as if they were novels, and I can never be still for too long- I'm always learning. I'm slowly adding to my knowledge bank by chipping away at my goal of a university degree (currently have a college diploma and so close to finishing my 8th credit out of 15 i can taste it).


So, I cultivate wonder by learning and exploring, and never letting my mind go stagnant. 




How do you cultivate wonder?

Namaste,
Callah
article and personal photos copyright of Callah at callahyoga.blogspot.com

Friday, December 3, 2010

writing & moments

December 2 – Writing. What do you do each day that doesn’t contribute to your writing — and can you eliminate it? (Author: Leo Babauta)


Well, my very first thought was, "I'm not a writer, this doesn't apply to me!" So perhaps self doubt that I'm even a "writer" is something that holds me back. I have never thought of myself in that light before, despite being a blogger... I think I am underestimating my value! By starting to think as a writer I will be more confident, and willing to put more of myself out there.


Secondly, and I think this is a big one for anyone... procrastination. Particularly facebook!
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December 3 – Moment. Pick one moment during which you felt most alive this year. Describe it in vivid detail (texture, smells, voices, noises, colors). (Author: Ali Edwards)


It's challenging to pick just one moment... like i wrote about on day one, i've experienced a lot of moments this year where i've felt so happy i could burst. And that is definitely when I feel most alive. But the moment I'm going to choose is experiencing "O'Canada" with the flag going up at the victory ceremony during Van 2010. 




I'm really bad remembering specific details but I do remember that feeling of thinking I might burst open, from pride this time. So proud of being Canadian and experiencing that moment in "our home and native land". The feeling, the vibrations in my chest as thousands and thousands of people sang along. That whole week was just a major high, constant adrenaline. 

Namaste,
Callah
article and personal photos copyright of Callah at callahyoga.blogspot.com

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Moksha Vids- December

For your viewing pleasure, the Moksha Green Tips & Posture videos of the month! and they're good ones :)

Green tips - Babies! Definitely a lot of great tips- I'll be sharing this with all of my friends!



And for the posture tip, thread the needle... one of my personal favourites! Especially post-run.



Do you have any more eco-baby tips to share?

Namaste,
Callah
article and personal photos copyright of Callah at callahyoga.blogspot.com


P.S. I'll be consolidating some of my reverberations so I can post other stuff as well! Check back tomorrow with a two-in-one #reverb10

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

one word

December 1 One Word.
Encapsulate the year 2010 in one word. Explain why you’re choosing that word. Now, imagine it’s one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2011 for you?
(Author: Gwen Bell)



2010: transform. So many amazing experiences (including Vancouver 2010 olympics) and deciding to listen to my calling to take a YTT in July 2010. I joined a running group and ran my first 10k and first half-marathon this year. I have met so many amazing people and achieved so many goals. Everything just seemed to "click"" this year. 


2011: growth. I want to continue this amazing journey i'm on. 

Namaste,
Callah
article and personal photos copyright of Callah at callahyoga.blogspot.com

P.S. The winner of the mala bracelet is Aruna at Young Yoga Masters (where I took my kids yoga training!) Congrats :)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

reverberations

There is something about the final stretch of the year that is so exciting... especially in bloglandia.

I was super-excited to get an email yesterday from Emily - I've been selected as a top yoga blogger along with many of my fave yoga reads! Wow!

Next up, I read about the #reverb10 project on it's all yoga, baby.
What is it?


Reverb 10 is an annual event and online initiative to reflect on your year and manifest what’s next. The end of the year is an opportunity to reflect on what's happened, and to send out reverberations for the year ahead. With Reverb 10, we'll do both.

This December we invite you to share your story and join us in reflection.
How to participate
Prompt Starting December 1, check in for daily creative prompts (some of which will be from published authors). You can also subscribe for complimentary inbox delivery, and watch for updates on Twitter.
Create Respond to the prompt. In a post on your blog, through a tweet, with photography, or however else you desire.
Share Participate and share your reverberations using the #reverb10 hashtag (on Twitter, Delicious or Flickr). Learn from the reverberations of fellow participants.

Sign up & follow on twitter!

Who's going to reflect and manifest with me?

Namaste,
Callah
article and personal photos copyright of Callah at callahyoga.blogspot.com

P.S. don't forget to enter the mala giveaway by Dec 1! If you're following on twitter or have re-posted, don't forget you need a separate comment for each entry!! 

Monday, November 29, 2010

I've got Wanderlust

I was so excited to see this post on Daily Cup of Yoga - all about Wanderlust 2011. Check out the highlights from the 2010 event.



The best part? There is going to be an event in Vermont as well... definitely driveable! I feel a road trip coming on... and the weekend is already booked off. So excited to take part in this... now I just have to wait for tickets to go on sale :)

See you there!

Namaste,
Callah
article and personal photos copyright of Callah at callahyoga.blogspot.com


P.S. don't forget to enter the mala giveaway by Dec 1! Don't forget to comment separately for each entry to count!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

plastic state of mind

I can't remember where I stumbled upon this video yesterday - possibly my facebook feed? Anyways, it's great - particularly at the holidays. I'm notorious for forgetting my reusable bags, so I walk out of stores with my hands overflowing because I am a little nutty about refusing plastic. (Definitely need more chicobags, I think!)



Yesterday we celebrated American thanksgiving - I was on "veggie tray" duty. I opted to skip the prepackaged tray and put some effort into it- using organic veggies was not only cheaper, it yielded way more (there was a second platter full!), was healthier, and not to mention prettier!


How do you cut back on plastic?

Namaste,
Callah
article and personal photos copyright of Callah at callahyoga.blogspot.com


P.S. don't forget to enter the mala giveaway by Dec 1! Don't forget to comment separately for each entry to count!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

mala bracelet giveaway!

In light of all my meditation talk lately, I've decided to fashion a mala bracelet for one of my readers.



I also decided to join Twitter (gasp!)

So, to enter, (you can choose one or all ways to enter!)
1)just comment on this post if you would prefer the turquoise drop pendant or the Om charm (since I'm going to re-string it... I forgot a spacer and I'm a tiny bit of a perfectionist!)
2) follow me on twitter (@heartcallah) and leave another comment on the post with your twitter username! also comment if you're already following :)
3) And finally, if you re-blog, tweet or facebook this giveaway leave another comment. You can do all three, each one counts! Make sure each entry is a separate comment.

Winner will be determined by a random number generator on Dec 1!

The bracelet is made of rudraksha and magnesite (imitation) turquoise beads, with either a turquoise or rhodium plated om pendant.

Namaste,
Callah
article and personal photos copyright of Callah at callahyoga.blogspot.com

Monday, November 22, 2010

getting your meditation started

I know lulu can be controversial in the yoga world, but I love reading their blog posts- there are a lot of hidden gems to be found there. One of the bloggers recently posted about finding your inner space - including a lot of great tips on starting up a personal meditation practice. It seems perfect timing, given my recent goal to start a regular meditation. (This compounded by the fact that one of my projects for teacher training involves a 30-day "savasana challenge"). Here are the tips on how to get started on your own meditation practice.

  • Commit yourself to 5 minutes a day for a week, adding on 5 minutes per week until you reach 20.
  • Be patient with yourself. No one is able to run a marathon without training, and your brain is the most difficult part of your body to train.
  • Start by sitting up straight.
  • Some people like to have an icon to focus upon, with eyes closed or slightly open. Choose what works for you.
  • Find a comfortable seat.
  • While practicing, own it and commit to it.
  • Fight the urge to get off your cushion or mat to check your phone or jot down ideas.
I'll add that I found journaling a great way for me to commit. It seemed more concrete when I jotted down a few struggles or successes at the end of each session. I also made myself a rose quartz rudraksha mala - it's so beautiful that I want to wear it, which in turn makes me want to meditate. I'm debating making a few to sell on etsy - what do you think?



Namaste,
Callah
article and personal photos copyright of Callah at callahyoga.blogspot.com

Sunday, November 21, 2010

inspiration

A few weeks ago, our running group was lucky to have Sylvia Ruegger in to speak to us. Sylvia competed in the very first women's marathon at the L.A. Olympics in '84, and still holds the Canadian female record for a marathon at 2:28:36. (I can't even imagine!)


Her dream started out with a goal wirtten and hidden under her floorboards (seen in the picture below). Thanks to my slacking blogger ways, I can't remember a lot of the specifics, but Sylvia was such an inspiration to hear speak - it went so much further than running! It really hit home as I was just a few days past completing my half marathon, which was one of my own goals that seemed really far-fetched at some points.


I woke up to the first snowfall of the year here in my town. It feels like the start of something new and exciting - the perfect time to set new goals. Why wait for the new year? Sylvia had a lot of great quotes - the one she wrote to me was, "How few of us are as brave as our dreams - you are, go after them!"

What are your biggest goals?

Namaste,
Callah

article and personal photos copyright of Callah at callahyoga.blogspot.com

Thursday, November 11, 2010

remembering through meditation

Remember how I talked about giving the meditation challenge a second chance?
Well, I did and never updated you! Life has been busy.
I actually did quite well the second week... I think I managed to sit 6/7 days. I even upped it to 10 minutes one day, just to try it out. I found that, at night, the only real difference between 5 and 10 minutes is that I can actually start to nod off... sitting up! Yes, it's true. So, I'll say that the challenge was relatively successful. It helped to spend a few minutes journaling post-sit, just to take stock of any particular struggles or revelations I came across.

After the week however, I completely let it slide! I decided today was the perfect day to start again... and perhaps make it a daily, ongoing goal. I'm not going to beat myself up if I forget, but I don't think busyness can count as an excuse... 5 minutes really isn't all that hard to squeeze in.


So, at 11:06 this morning I began by 5 minute meditation... ending at 11:11. Today, rather than clearing my mind I focused on remembering. Remembering what the world has faced in the past, and sending gratitude to all those who have sacrificed for us to be here today. While I'm not getting into any kind of politics, regardless of my beliefs I am truly grateful for my freedom. And that is the perfect reason to spend 5 minutes in silence, enduring a touch of chilliness, taking note of how uncomfortable my block felt to sit on today... and realizing how tiny those annoyances really are.

Remember.

Namaste,
Callah
article and personal photos copyright of Callah at callahyoga.blogspot.com

Friday, November 5, 2010

moksha November vids

Here are the moksha videos for this month! I particularly love the green tips topic- travel. I've been making a more concentrated effort not to stuff my suitcase full just because I can!





How do you green your travel?

Namaste,
Callah
article and personal photos copyright of Callah at callahyoga.blogspot.com

Monday, November 1, 2010

threads for thought

So, I have drastically reduced the amount of clothing I've purchased since my yoga training, but a line of clothing at the new studio I'm teaching at in hamilton caught my eye yesterday... threads for thought.
Style is an attitude; it is more than what we wear.
At Threads for Thought we use sustainable fabrics such as organic cotton and polyester recycled from plastic water bottles to create clothing that is comfortable, beautiful, and socially conscious; then we donate a portion of our proceeds to charity. What we wear is as important as what our clothes are made of, and where and how they are put together.

So, with that in mind, I was excited to make this purchase! With a lot of my clothes becoming baggier, I am excited to have a reason to purchase a few more things from them in the future.

my new purchase!

I love the fact that the clothing is stylish enough while still being eco-friendly. Sweet!

Namaste,
Callah
article and personal photos copyright of Callah at callahyoga.blogspot.com

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

green silence

I discovered tonight that there is such a thing as eco-friendly running shoes.
the Brooks Green Silence- read a review here.

Standard running shoe midsoles take roughly 1000 years- seriously- to biodegrade in a landfill. All Brooks models now have been formulated with soy, which, when combined with the anaerobic & warm environment of a landfill, causes their midsoles to break down in just 25 years. Still seemingly a lot, but when compared to 1000 years... WOW.

Check out the green elements found in the green silence shoe:

  • BioMoGo, the world's first-ever biodegradable midsole for running shoes.
  • 75% of the shoe’s materials are post-consumer recycled.
  • Biodegradable insole and collar foams.
  • Laces, gillies, and reinforced webbing are 100% post-consumer recycled. 
  • Water-based adhesives are used throughout. 
  • All dyes and colorants are non-toxic.
  • Packaging is 100% post-consumer recycled.

I really hope this shoe fits! Unfortunately I have hard-to-fit feet so we shall see. I was just so excited to hear about eco-friendly shoe option I had to share. We need all companies, especially big ones, to take note of this kind of initiative.

Namaste,
Callah
article and personal photos copyright of Callah at callahyoga.blogspot.com

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

race recap- Niagara Falls Half Marathon

So, on Sunday Oct 24, 2010, I completed my first half marathon! I didn't take many snaps at all, so here are the few I did manage.

Spotted at the race expo- not sure how politically correct this is, but it made me chuckle.


What awaited us at the finish line! If you haven't been to Niagara Falls before, this is the view from Table Rock- the edge of the Horseshoe Falls, aka the "Canadian Falls".
I was a little upset that we were so rushed to leave (and find the girl that "ran" with me- aka ran nearly a full hour faster than me, wow!!) that I didn't even get a pic with my medal and the falls as the backdrop. I'm waiting for the professional photos and praying they aren't too horrible... I'll explain why below!

My (self personalized) bib & finishers medal! I wrote my name on because I know at a lot of bigger races people will cheer for you if they see your name- except in Niagara Falls, apparently, because no one else had their name written and no one said mine haha!



So, the race review. Keep in mind I'm slow, and ok with it! My goal was to run sub 3 hours (well, and finish!)

It was great because it was a 10am start time, so I woke up at 7am to have my plain bagel with PB. We hung around preparing for the race a bit before driving to the start where my sister dropped us off. We got there about 1/2 hour before race time, and were in line for the porta potty the whole time! I was actually still in line when the gun went off! But I figured the chip would do it's job- better to get the bathroom break out of the way before getting on the course and adding to the race time.

So, I ended up being one of the last people to cross the start line, behind all the walkers. it wasn't too bad though, just under 3000 people participating in the half, so it was fairly light weaving through people. (I usually run Ottawa each year, with 8,000-10,000 runners hence 3000 seeming "light").

I started off quite strong, my first 3km averaging just over 6m per km which is quite speedy for me. It was actually really warm, and within a few minutes had taken off my earwarmer and rolled up my sleeves. I reached 8k at about 58:30, shaving a minute and a half off my average time these past few months. I hit 10k at 1 (hour):15, which I was pleased with- in Ottawa, due to both poor pacing and lack of training, my 10k took 1:22. Big difference in 5 months! 11k was around 1:22- I was feeling good and thinking I might even be able to beat my secondary goal of 2:45.

Roll around to just before km 15- my sister was waiting for me at the water station to run the final 4 miles (roughly 6.5km). At this exact point I started experiencing extreme muscle cramping first in my calves, then my toes, and finally in my right inner quad.I'm suspecting sodium depletion. I would attempt running for about 50-100 metres and just seriously could not do it. I had to pause for a stretch out, and made the decision that the final 6kms had to be speed-walked - running was just not happening. I had been taking water and energy gels (Clif- 90% organic), but avoiding the sports drinks because I try to avoid artificial icky stuff. I was just losing more sodium than I was taking in. My sister jogged slowly beside me, since my walk is actually not much slower than my run (THAT's how slow I am, haha!). I kept checking my Nike+ sportsband to ensure I was on pace for my goal, and everything looked all good.

As we neared the last km, we could see the mist rising in the distance over the river from the falls- that's how I knew we were close! We rounded the last corner and could see the finish line. I gave my iPhone (slash music player!) to my sister, and she jumped off the course. I had about 150m to go and decided screw the pain, I am running! I started up again, tried to smile for the first photog through gritted teeth, and then i could taste it! There were 2 people ahead of me and I sprinted past them, pain with every step in every muscle of my legs, ignoring the finish line photographer and probably looking totally ridiculous for the final pictures, and crossed the finish line to the announcer shouting my name and cheers of random people! The clock read 3:00:30, but my chip time was 2:55:59. Yay for the final sprint getting me in just below!

After 20 minutes I finally found my friend, and we hopped in the car for the ride home (for a bridal shower my sister didn't even end up going to). I took an ice bath, which I definitely think saved me a lot of soreness! After a warm shower I did a few yin poses to stretch out. I feel it the most in my lower back, and a little bit in my calves, achilles, right quad, and hip flexors. I am looking forward to a 90m full body massage tomorrow. It is much needed :)

goofing around at the motel before the race - I really hope this is not my best picture!!

Namaste,
Callah
article and personal photos copyright of Callah at callahyoga.blogspot.com

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

meditation challenge

So, I had set last Tuesday as the beginning of my one-week meditation challenge. I want to call it a "failure", although I think that is a very un-yogic term! Let's just say I need a bit more work on my dedication. I sat 3 of the 7 days. 

Isn't it funny how a 30-day yoga challenge can seem so easy compared to 7 days of just 5 minutes meditation? I seem to have a horrible memory. Thoughts will flutter into my brain - "do this! Tell so-and-so that!"- and if I'm not able to act upon them right away, they just float away. Too bad I can't do that with all the unproductive thoughts- how much simpler life would be!

Meditating amongst the trash- if you can't see it, does it mean its not there?

As for the meditation itself, no problem! Of course I have "monkey mind", but sitting for 5 minutes is not such the challenge I made it up to be in my mind. I guess it is just like a long savasana, except seated.

So, I'm renewing the challenge. And hoping that I can act upon the thought to go do it instead of letting it float away!

This week is a busy one for me- the half marathon is approaching quickly! Only 5 days away. Of course, one of my school assignments is due the same day, and my schedule is so constantly packed that I never get a chance to work ahead for assignments. (This is why I need meditation!)

When you do meditate, do you prefer seated or in savasana? I'm still deciding!

Namaste,
Callah
article and personal photos copyright of Callah at callahyoga.blogspot.com

Saturday, October 9, 2010

aux vivres

So, I've been spending (Canadian) thanksgiving weekend in Montreal catching up with friends. I dropped in on one of the lectures at the Montreal moksha YTT, to hear Frank Jude Boccio speak again- he was one of my faves in July.

After a great lecture with fresh, untired ears that I may not have experienced during my own training (thanks to sheer exhaustion), and a meditation session, I decided to recommit to (or, rather, START) a home meditation practice. I was so gung-ho to start a practice post-training, and it just never materialized. Starting Tuesday (post-holiday!) I am going to start with a mini-challenge, 5 minutes of meditation for one week. I know its a small challenge, but they say to break big goals into small, manageable chunks!

Post-lecture, two of my friends from training took me to Aux Vivres, a vegan restaurant on St. Laurent. The "B"LT was highly recommended, so I decided to heed their advice.

My mind was blown.

(photo borrowed from this blog, i forgot to take one before chowing down!)

The "bacon" is comprised of flavoured baked coconut, along with tomatoes, lettuce and an amazing "mayo" in a chapati wrap. I can honestly say it was one of the best meals I have ever eaten. I can't believe it was vegan! If i had an aux vivres cook, my journey to veganism would be so simple (more on that later). We followed up with "Gateax Fauxmage" (uncheesecake) but nothing could top the amazingness of that coconut bacon. I'm going to try to replicate it one day, I will let you know how it goes.

So, there you have it. If you ever visit Montreal, definitely check out Aux Vivres- even if you're a meat eater. And happy thanksgiving!

How many of you have a regular meditation practice?

Namaste,
Callah
article and personal photos copyright of Callah at callahyoga.blogspot.com

Sunday, October 3, 2010

flowing it out

This isn't an informative post or anything, I just wanted to share my excitement with my amazing readers. After intermittent classes throughout September, I have been lucky enough to be scheduled FOUR classes this weekend! (I still have one more to go in an hour- breaking at Starbucks to do some homework!)

It's amazing how teaching a bit more frequently really makes all the difference in the world in your comfort level. I finally seem to be conquering the challenge that is my monotone voice (although I'm not sure how students perceive it, it sounds a lot more varied to me anyways!). I even managed to keep my cool as I attempted to get a spider out of the hot room today. Normally, I hate spiders, but I was so focused on "saving" the class (and not killing the spider, since that would be a poor example of ahimsa!), that I was attempting to pick it up with my hands! Luckily, the student whose mat spidey was visiting was an energy exchanger with no fear of spiders. The guy did NOT want to be picked up so she shooed him out of class, where he was brought outdoors by another fearless energy exchanger. Normally my eradicating spiders involves paper and a cup- never my hands! Crazy. I was just so focused!

Also, I taught my very first "flow" class today! The regular Moksha series, if you've never done it, is 40 poses, starting with a standing series, then a middle savasana, ending with the floor series- there are a few vinyasa flows introduced in the second half of class. The flow class incorporates sun sals between all of the standing poses in the first half of class. I'm sure it's run of the mill for most experienced teachers, but I was definitely a little nervous going in! With a few minor hiccups, I think I rocked it! Great feedback from our regulars as well. I feel a lot more confident going into the next one, knowing what I need to tweak.

So, basically... I'm feeling good! I know I have a long way to go, but it is great to realize that I can do this!


If you teach, when did you realize that it was meant to be?

Namaste,
Callah
article and personal photos copyright of Callah at callahyoga.blogspot.com

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

moksha vids - october


A forward-folding posture tip video for you!



Offices... wow. The facts about recycling paper cups are staggering- I make a point to tote those cups home to my compost if I have to give in when I've forgotten my reusable mug.

In my dental office, I have such a hard time reconciling my "green" way of living with all the waste we generate- but I'm doing my best. Turning the x-ray machine on only when I need it, rather than leaving it on all day. Using bulk containers of polishing paste rather than individual cups. Wriggling out of my gloves when I need to grab something from the drawer so I can put them back on rather than use a new pair. There is still loads of waste generated, but I know these small changes will add up- especially if I can get everyone else in the office on board, which I am slowly doing as I get more comfortable as part of the team!

What changes can you make at your office or place of work?

Namaste,
Callah
article and personal photos copyright of Callah at callahyoga.blogspot.com