Wednesday, June 30, 2010

happy half-year!

Firstly, I'd like to share an amazing post by Eco Yogini on "hot yoga done right" - moksha yoga! Thanks so much for the dedication Lisa, I am so excited to begin my training tomorrow (on Canada Day of all days!) and I've got LOTS to do to prepare for my move to the city for the month. I'm one of those people who works best under pressure (as long as i have a LIST!)

Seeing as some goal check-ins are going around the yoga blogosphere as today marks the end of the first half of the year, I thought I'd do a check in myself. On my "other" blog, I wrote up some goals (which I hesitate to call new years resolutions, because I like to think I'm working on bettering myself year-round). How they've stacked up so far:

-stopped using drive thrus (I've only gone through one, for a friend who REALLY wanted a late-night McFlurry... I was cringing on the inside the whole time)!
-my first 30 day yoga challenge
-varying up my workouts (ran a 10k and now training for a half-marathon)
-give up my grudges. Waste of energy! (I'd say I'm mostly on track with this- I get frustrated but I let it go pretty quickly.)

Not accomplished (yet!)
-Move. Anywhere. (this is more long-term... have to pay off my teacher training and start saving up!)
-make a painting (I'm going to as one of my post-training distance projects!)
-remember to take my vitamins (I'd say, maybe 25% of the time? I've got a horrid memory!)
-learn how to ride a bike (the shame! it will come!)

Bonus achievements
-Got a full-time dental hygiene job for a dentist I love working with, enabling me to leave the office I dread working at.
-Decided to take my Moksha Yoga teacher training and made it happen!

This has nothing to do with my post, but I am going to miss this guy during training!!

As for my personal challenge last month, it kind of tapered down. I actually worked 3 days last week (which sounds laughable, but I've been surviving the past 18 months working between 0-2 days a week on average, hence the still living at home!) and it really made it hard to find the time for yoga! I have a new appreciation for those who don't have loads of time on their hands, like I did. (Which is no more, with the training and then new jobs starting in August!). I don't feel disappointed in myself, though, because I gave it a really good effort and with my solid first two weeks of the challenge, don't feel quite so intimidated by the thought of 12 asana classes a week during my training. I also started my half-marathon training at the same time, and have done I think about 10-12 runs in the past month. So overall, while the 10 workouts a week might not have been all yoga, they got done in one way or another.

My studio had an unofficial 30-day challenge going on in July, and we celebrated last night with the lovely studio owners taking the small group of us out for dinner. It was also somewhat of a "going-away/ pretraining" celebration. I realized that in my excitement for training, I was pushing aside the thought of missing my wonderful yoga community and not to mention family & friends for the month of July. I'm sure the month will be over before I know it- and I will try to blog a little bit of my progress in the little spare time that I have.

Namaste, Callah

Monday, June 28, 2010

Moksha Videos July 2010

Talk about great timing for this green tips video on green cosmetics!

I know eco yogini has done some deeper digging into Lush, so be sure to check out the ingredients before assuming an "eco-friendly" product is good to go! That's a new one- reading cosmetic & body care labels like I do food labels! (talked my mom into buying some Dr. Bronner's soap today.. it passed the test :)

And, the posture video of the month- bridge! Backbends are always tough for me.


Namaste, Callah

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

some great natural finds!

So as mentioned, i hit up the Oakville Organic Farmers Market this past weekend. Lucky for me I was already loaded with produce, because it was all sold out by the time we got there just over one hour after opening!

My finds: Glo: Run vegan (granola) bars from Glo Bakery. (not pictured). This online bakery is actually run out of tiny Campbellville, so technically part of my very own town! Talk about local. Angela, the owner, writes the blog Oh She Glows which is over on my blogroll. -->

These bars were delish and the perfect pre-run snack- especially since I always have a hard time finding the right balance, and (usually) over-eating and subsequently feeling pretty crappy. I will definitely be making another purchase here!

A shampoo bar from Enfleurage Organics. Another local find based out of Oakville. I've reserved this for my yoga bag so I'll be using it about half the time- until I run out my products at home. It is definitely an adjustment, my hair has such a different texture after using this- I guess that's what it feels like to not strip out all the natural oils from your hair! I love the quality and will probably buy some different soaps from this vendor, however there is patchouli in the shampoo bar which has led me to hunt on Etsy for another, non-patchouli scented bar. Any suggestions?

And my last purchase at the market, a lavender skin healing creme. My cousin recently recommended lavender as a natural option for battling pimples, and apparently it's great for all kinds of skin irritations like cuts, bruises etc. It's very light and absorbs quickly, perfect for my oily skin!

So, I'd say the market was a definite success. It's nice to see there are actually natural and eco-friendly options out there if you just look! I can't wait to phase out all my chemical-laden and plastic-packaged products.

And I was also excited to receive my order from Five Seed yesterday :) I got two lips balms (Orange Cocoa and Cocoa Love, which is vegan and will be gifted!) and a Sankalpa scent (in Amelie). They arrived in cute tins and smell divine. I can't stop applying the lip balm! I would definitely recommend her etsy shop for these fantastic all-natural products, and you can also check out here other blog, A Green Spell, which is also on the blogroll. You also may win some cool prizes if you join the facebook group!

So, that's me loaded up on some exciting new products for now.

As for my personal challenge, this is the last week! As mentioned previously I have been slacking a bit, but I am sticking to my half-marathon training at 3 runs a week. I took one class on Monday evening, and a double yesterday. I was excited to hear about a new Runner's Yoga class in town so I will be checking that out on Monday. Tonight was run club night and wow was it HOT- 37C with the humidex! Wouldn't you know it, the heat didn't bother me that much. I guess it's a pleasant side effect of hot yoga :) I just need to learn to pace myself better so I don't crash during cooldown! (I'm just noticing I am excessive user of exclamation marks... oh well!)

So, what are your favourite natural products? (Especially for skincare... I definitely have some minor acne issues on my jawline!)

Namaste, Callah

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day! and corporate frustration

So, I have to admit this week I've been slacking on my personal challenge! My visit to Toronto ended up being a bit of a mess, and while I did get in an amazing flow class, I was way too tired out to do an evening practice as well. I did double up on Friday, and I can honestly say I don't think I have ever done so many sun salutations in one class before! Unfortunately, that makes for tendonitis flaring up in my wrist yesterday - you know it's time to rest when stirring up potato salad causes pain :( Kids yoga class wasn't that bad today however, so I'm going to check  out My Yoga Online or perhaps my borrowed Shiva Rae DVD before bed, depending on how much energy I have!

So, the potato salad! Our family has an annual father's day BBQ, and I found the perfect use for my garlic scapes! Check out the Garlic Scapes and Potato Salad recipe. It's so delicious, I love dill. (And on that note, if there are any male readers out there... Happy Father's Day!)

(Licks Veggie Burger, my mom's pasta salad in the back, and my garlic scapes & potato salad in the front)
Excuse my finger!

As for the majority of the greens, since I'm not much of a cook, I figured, when in doubt, roast!

Would you believe I've never cooked asparagus before? So tasty with olive oil, minced garlic, sea salt and pepper! A perfect accompaniment to pasta.

Yesterday, I went to the Oakville Organic Farmer's Market. So great finds which I will be sharing shortly- I have slowly been buying natural, organic beauty products and the market was no exception!

And a major frustration... at Starbucks today, I watched as they used a disposable cup to measure out the soy milk in my frapp, when I brought in a reusable cold drink mug... from their very store! I actually commented on it to the barista, who informed me the new frapp recipes call for a different measure line than printed on the apparently now-outdated reusable cold mugs. So, my purchase actually wouldn't reduce waste at all! What a sham, cue strongly worded email to Starbucks. I also plan to have the baristas mark the mug with a Sharpie for future reference- I was so disappointed!!

How did you celebrate Father's Day, or whatever you celebrate today?

Namaste, Callah

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

and the CSA boxes begin :)

So, after my "discovery" of CSA boxes on the weekend, I got right down to it convincing my parents why it was a good way to spend their money :-P
I signed up with plan b organic farms, which has a delivery location right in town where you pick up- conveniently right by Starbucks where I was having a friend coffee date with my new reusable cold drink mug :) Looks like I'll have to get a lot more creative with my cooking to use everything up!

The first delivery included:

-garlic scapes (which I only knew what they were from the post on Oh She Glows where I first read about CSA boxes!)
-spring onions
-4 apples
-head of lettuce
and all are organic and locally sourced! Also, the website says the are harvested the day before delivery- fresh!!
(greens now bursting out of my fridge!)

Yum, plain yogurt loaded with fresh berries!

I was also super-excited to read over at Suburban Yogini that EVERYONE was a winner for her My Yoga Online contest! A great surprise :)

As for the challenge, this week I did one class on Monday, two yesterday (spread out, much nicer!) and am planning a short restorative home practice before bed, after my first run club tonight. It was great, everyone seems really nice and supportive which is nice when you're the slowest runner! Looks like my training next month with 11-12 classes per week isn't going to get me out of 2-3 runs per week, darn! Tomorrow I am hopping on the bus to Toronto to take a class at Milton's "sister studio", and lunch, before another evening class. A busy weekend ahead! I think 10 was perhaps a lofty goal including running, but I'll keep doing my best!

I also have a new blog email- callah.yogalife(at)gmail(dot)com!

What are your favourite veggies to cook with?

Namaste, Callah

Sunday, June 13, 2010

more on local eating

So, after reading about CSAs on a few blogs, I had to google it. I found this awesome guide to Ontario CSAs. I'm hoping a) it's not too late to start and b) my parents will pay for it :-P (i MAY have full time dental hygiene work coming this fall, fingers crossed! And I can still teach part time after my certification! But until then... broke!)
Anyhow, CSAs sound amazing. If you haven't heard of them before either (maybe it's just me!) it's Community Supported Agriculture, and you pay up front for weekly shares of their veg- so you know it's local, fresh, and exactly where it's coming from! How have I not heard about this?

Anyways, while on the site I also found this preview for "Food, Inc." Have you seen it?

As for my challenge update, I kept thinking throughout the week there was no way I would meet my goal (especially with 2-3 runs for my running clinic). Well, I fared pretty well! I doubled up on Friday night to support an energy exchanger at the Karma class, who is going to Africa with Habitat for Humanity. I'm kind of cheating and counting the two kids classes I taught today as one practice- we did a LOT of sun salutations haha! I will finish off the week to make it "10" with a home pratice- my friend lent me a Shiva Rae DVD I'm going to test out!

So, I made it. After all my rest last weekend, I am feeling quite good actually! I think I'll manage to live during my training :)

Those of you who have heard of CSAs already- where did you learn about them?
Namaste, Callah

Thursday, June 10, 2010


And now, for something a bit silly!
My mom has agreed to buy me (in exchange for lots of homecooked meals on my behalf!), for training, either:
A) a meditation cushion

B) the super-cool KOR "hydration vessel" I've been drooling over since I saw it.

The arguments: 
The meditation pillow will get used like crazy for the month my training, however my home studio has agreed to let me borrow one. I'm not sure I'll actually use it at home post-training, but you never know if I'll fall madly in love with seated meditation vs. savasana! 
The water bottle will get used like crazy... always. $5 of the sale goes to a great cause. And it's super cool, and as Lisa pointed out, it was in Iron-Man 2. Haha!
Let me know what you think! Which would you choose? I'll probably make the tough decision this weekend!

Namaste, Callah

chicobag winner, and some foodie updates!

And the winner (via random number generator) is... Jamie at On the Mat! I'll be contacting you to confirm shipping details shortly! Thanks to all who entered :)

So, I posted that Hellman's ad on facebook yesterday and it drew a little bit of controversy! Some people argued it's not possible for a country in our climate to be self-sufficient. I guess not everyone is prepared to eat seasonally (and even I admit I'm not at that point yet!) I guess the point of the ad, to me, is that why eat something that has been imported when it is in season, and available locally? It's amazing how much debate your diet can stir up! My speaking topic for my teacher training next month is, "Change yourself, change the world". I realize there are a ton of non-eco, non-food related arguments for that topic, but I have to admit those are the biggest ones for me! The video that EcoYogini posted not too long ago really proves the point.

Also, in other food news, I tried my first Green Monster yesterday! And wouldn't you know it, while at the supermarket probably 60% of the food I bought was from other countries, with no other possibility. (Juliana- is it Del Monte or Dole bananas to avoid? Or both?) Anyways, this baby has flax seeds, spinach, banana, almond milk and a few blueberries I had kicking around. Despite the initially offputting green colour, it was delish! Great to get the old blender out, and an easy (and almost sneaky) way to get a few veg servings, and my fruit for the day!

my first green monster!

Lastly, my challenge update! Every so often I get completely wiped out and just have to SLEEP! Sunday & Monday were those days. On Monday I took it easy with a "Mindfulness" sequence from Mindfulness Yoga, did a double Tuesday (including the level 2 class which really pushed my boundaries and gave my hip flexors a crazy workout!), yesterday I did one class, and run once the rain stopped. I'll have to kick it into gear the rest of the week to fit everything in. I have a feeling thanks to sore hip flexors I might not be able to walk tomorrow!

Namaste, Callah

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

eating local

Just saw this great video about the importance of eating locally. (It's Canadian, but I'm sure the message applies everywhere!) I'm definitely going to make it more of a priority.

Don't forget, today is the last day to enter the chicobag draw! The winner will be posted tomorrow morning so be sure to check back :)
Namaste, Callah

Sunday, June 6, 2010

challenge week one wrap up!

So, today is the end of my first week of my crazy personal challenge!
After the doubles at the beginning of the week, I eased up on my practicing with one hot class per day, and on Thursday a home practice (which isn't the easiest with chatty family members around!). I actually haven't "properly" practiced yet today (I taught a kids class), as I'm totally exhausted. I usually am on Sundays, so I'm not quite sure if it's regular exhaustion or from a hot class overload! So, my total (so far- I will try and do a short, relaxing practice before bed!) for the week is 9 classes. Not bad!

Camel, a few weeks ago. It was odd actually seeing what I look like in camel pose! Especially since I used to hate it!

Tomorrow is a new day, and I'm hoping that today's rest day will rejuvenate me for tomorrow! I'm probably heading to Toronto on Tuesday to meet the woman whom I'll be house-sitting for during my training in July, and check out the house. I'm also hoping to check out Moksha Yoga Bloor West, which is where my training will take place. The plan is to take a level 2 Moksha class, which I'm really excited about since the regular Moksha series doesn't have many alterations from class to class- so it will be great to really deepen my practice and explore a few new postures hopefully! 

Don't forget to enter the chicobag giveaway

Namaste, Callah

Saturday, June 5, 2010

running pics :)

Got the pics today from the Ottawa Race Weekend 10k. Normally they are all hideous, but Stephanie (my sister) & I purposely sought out the photogs for post-race snaps.

(My actual time was 1:22:07- still slow, but the clock is even slower- it took about 8 minutes to get to the starting line!!)
I'm the one in purple :)

Namaste, Callah

Friday, June 4, 2010

chicobag giveaway!

Alas, the long-awaited (or not!) my yoga life giveaway!
Up for grabs: a "live green" Moksha yoga chicobag reusable shopper (complete with a little carabiner clip)!
(haha, I just noticed my foot  in the photo!)

Packs up super-small, so it's perfect to keep in your bag for just about anything... and if you're into hot yoga, your sweaty clothes perhaps!
To enter, just leave a comment about how you'll use your reusable shopping this summer :)
A name will be randomly drawn on Wednesday, June 9! (I'm feeling you'll all have a good chance!)

Namaste, Callah

speaking of water...

I stumbled upon these KOR special edition hydration vessels (fancy name, huh?) and I am now practicing non-greed. If the shipping to Canada weren't so ridiculous, I would probably shell out the equally ridiculous amount just to own this gorgeous, BPA-free bottle that is manufactured in an environmentally-friendly manner.

Each special edition sale donates $5 to a different eco-cause, so if you're interested you can take advantage of this 15% off coupon with the code KWS-12471.
Perhaps one day I'll treat myself!

Namaste, Callah

Thursday, June 3, 2010

a challenge

In exactly four weeks, my Moksha training commences! To prepare, I've set myself a goal- 10 yoga classes (a home practice counting here or there for sanity's sake!) per week, for the next four weeks (I started Monday). I'm lucky (well, unlucky financially) that I have a LOT of free time on my hands, so it makes it fairly manageable. Every few days, I'll blog about my progress, and also use it as a way to track my challenge for myself as well!

(Today's "x" for illustration purposes only!)

On Monday I did a double, with 75 minutes in between for recovery. On Tuesday, another double but with only 30 minutes in between classes. I noticed a huge difference in my performance in the second class with the shorter break in between- I was completely zapped of energy! It was also especially hot that night, so I took plenty of breaks. I can't imagine how some of the full time teachers can teach 4-5 hot classes in one day! I guess you quickly learn to adjust your teaching style to be less physical.

Yesterday ended up being a bit of a break for me. I took one class, and had intended on starting the running clinic in the evening, but it was pouring rain so they postponed it til next week. I then fully intended on a treadmill run, but Alice in Wonderland and chocolate covered almonds distracted me instead, oops!

One major difference i'm noting compared to my last 30 day challenge is that with the doubles, I'm getting sore much quicker! The classes turn into love/hate relationship with the postures, where the stretching feels AMAZING, but the standing strength poses and vinyasa flows require extra loud Ujiyi breath to get me through it!

Although working this weekend will make it a bit more challenging to fit in doubles and a run or two, I'm looking forward to continuing this challenge. My training involves 2 classes, 6 days a week, so I'll feel a lot more confident going in (especially since I'm probably going to be one of the curvier, less skinny trainees!) knowing I've completed this challenge I've laid out for myself. It helps to have the support of my studio friends and of course my bloggy readers :)

Stay tuned for a giveaway (yes, after always getting excited to see blog giveaways- even though I never win myself :-p - I thought I could create some excitement of my own!), and many more, possibly boring, challenge related blog posts!

Namaste, Callah