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Super Flow and Second Series Saturday

Happy weekend! I’m in the midst of trying to survive yoga teacher training – weekend 5 of 8. I seriously mean it when I say, “trying to survive.” I really don’t remember the last time I was this sore!

This weekend starts the change in focus of our training from ashtanga to power yoga. We kicked off the weekend on Friday with a hot power yoga class. I went into the class feeling sore from teaching BodyPump on Thursday evening (I went heavy on weight) but it felt really good to flow. I haven’t done a power class in several weeks since I’ve been focusing so much on ashtanga.

After our practice we watched Enlighten Up. Here is the trailer.

Enlighten Up is a documentary about a skeptic’s journey into the world of yoga. I really enjoyed this film and recommend it to my fellow yogis or documentary lovers.

We had leftover Chicken Tikka Masala for dinner when I got home at 9:30 p.m. and I promptly crashed in preparation for today’s early morning. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the best night of sleep. I tossed, turned and woke up frequently. I think it was due to the late yoga practice since my body is so accustomed to practicing early in the morning.

I was up at 6:15 this morning to make a 7:30 super flow. I knew I needed something in my system to make it through the class.

I went with an old favorite that I knew my body would handle well. Peanut butter, honey and banana on whole wheat with black coffee.

Super flow is the most challenging class that my yoga studio offers and we were required to attend this morning as part of teacher training. It’s a 90-minute practice in which you repeat a long flow sequence three times through (in normal classes you repeat the flow twice). Oh and the room is also heated like a normal hot class (100ish degrees) so the heat adds even more intensity. Luckily, Sarah agreed to meet me for class this morning and it was so encouraging to have her practicing next to me.

After class, all of the teacher trainees immediately gathered to start our day with a meditation practice. Let’s be honest here…I don’t meditate so this was new ground for me. We were instructed to focus on our breath, dismiss our thoughts and just feel the breath leaving our nostrils. Eh…that worked for all of two minutes for me. My mind was all over the place. I finally just surrendered and decided that I was just happy that I was able to sit still for 20 minutes! Baby steps, right? 😉

After our meditation practice we had our final Sanskrit lesson. Let’s just say I have lots of practicing to do before I go blurting out the Sanskrit names of the poses when I teach. I think I’ll be sticking with English translations for a while! I am really grateful that our teachers included Sanskrit in our curriculum though.

When we broke for lunch we learned that we wouldn’t be meeting back at the studio that afternoon but at a different studio for an ashtanga second series practice that our teacher was leading. To say that we were surprised is an understatement. No one was expecting to spend the afternoon experiencing the craziness of the ashtanga second series!

I was starving but knew that I couldn’t eat before practice so I came home and made a smoothie.

Green Monster! Crushed ice cubes, spinach, vanilla protein powder, blueberries, banana, chia seeds and almond milk. This did a great job of holding me over.

I’ve been dabbling in second series the past few weeks but haven’t made it very far in. This afternoon was a huuugggeee wake up call. It’s like I’m starting all over again with ashtanga. So many new ways to challenge my body! It’s crazy to imagine that I’ll ever be able to do some of these poses but I know with (lots of) practice, they will come.

Ahem, case in point.

One day!?

I left this afternoon’s workshop completely exhausted after three and a half hours of physically challenging practice in one day. For those of you who are lost on all my yoga speak…let me give you this comparison. It was like getting a really hard speed or tempo run in (super flow) and then finding out I had to do my long run the same day (ashtanga second series).

I had a Peanut Butter Cookie Larabar in the car on the drive home.

I AM SO SORE! I spent time on the foam roller when I got home and I’m not going to lie…there were many groans and expletives involved!

I had an awesome dinner to look forward to. Brandon spent all afternoon slow-cooking baby back ribs on his Big Green Egg. I took care of the sides.

My very favorite macaroni and cheese ever! I also made collards.

Southern home cooking at its best!

Off to bed…it is late and I need some serious sleep before I tackle another yoga practice tomorrow morning!

{ 22 comments… add one }
  • Claudie February 27, 2011, 12:09 am

    Gosh. How do you do it?! Your schedule is crazy. You are sore? Well, if you weren’t I’d say you are not human, because those are some extremely intensive workouts.
    Anyway, keep up! The fact that you are still having the courage to update your blog after such a tough day shows you’ve got the dedication. Also, from my understanding, being weekend 5 of 8, you are now over half way done!
    Do you have anything else you must participate in after those 8 weekends? Or will you be completely done?

    • Jen March 2, 2011, 11:13 am

      Claudie – sometimes I’m not sure how I do everything that I do but I love it all and don’t want to give anything up so for now I’m just making do and trying not to add anything else to my plate! (Like another marathon! :))

      After I reach 200-hours (the end of eight weekends), I will be totally done! I’m so excited to teach!

  • Emma (Sweet Tooth Runner) February 27, 2011, 7:49 am

    Wow you are SO amazing Jen, and I have no doubt you’ll be able to do that crazy pose soon! And this is so exciting…more than halfway there!!

    By the way, that documentary looks GREAT and funny too! “When you say it’s better than sex, what do you mean?!” LOL!! 😀

    • Jen March 2, 2011, 11:11 am

      Thank you so much, Emma! It might take me quite a while to get open enough to do that pose but I love having something to work towards. I should take pictures of myself in those poses now so that I can track my progress!

      You should check out the documentary! Entertaining and interesting!

  • Kelly February 27, 2011, 8:39 am

    I am so impressed with your commitment to yoga. You have such a passion for it and are going to be an awesome instructor. I can’t wait to take one of your classes!

    • Jen March 2, 2011, 11:08 am

      Thank you so much, Kelly. I can’t wait to teach and share my love for yoga with everyone else! Watch out! 😀

  • Kristy@RunTheLongRoad February 27, 2011, 10:02 am

    Ouch! Sounds like a rough Saturday! And I have no idea how that guy gets his head all the way through his legs?!?! Amazing!

    I’m adding Enlighten Up to Netflix. I love documentaries and yoga so this should be a good one!

    • Jen March 2, 2011, 11:07 am

      I have no idea either. You should see my version of that pose. It looks nothing like that!!! It requires a level of openness that is totally lost on me!

  • Sarah February 27, 2011, 10:13 am

    Girl, I love practicing next to you. You always bring it!

    Side note, how could you NOT enjoy Ke$ha singing “throw some glitter make it rain” at 7:30 AM?

  • Alaina February 27, 2011, 9:35 pm

    Wow, that is an intense pose right there! Good luck! 😉

    And I have GOT to make that mac and cheese too.

    • Jen March 2, 2011, 11:06 am

      The mac and cheese recipe is hands down my all-time favorite. Side note, I did use all 1% milk this time instead of whole milk and cream and it still turned out great!

  • erin February 28, 2011, 8:33 am

    I’m exhausted just from reading your post 🙂 I’ve said it before, but your commitment to your yoga practice is inspiring. You should be very proud of yourself.

    • Jen March 2, 2011, 11:05 am

      Thank you so much Erin!!! I love it so much and hope that my passion for it shines through to others! 😀

  • Rhona February 28, 2011, 9:59 am

    The second series looks terrifying! I am always worrying about over stretching my knees at yoga; some of the positions in that make my knees hurt just by looking at them!

    • Jen March 2, 2011, 11:05 am

      Rhona – ahstanga is pretty intense on the knees. Lots of lotus positions that really get into them. The good thing is that if you’re patient and don’t push too hard, it will end up making the knees so much stronger in the long run!

  • Kim February 28, 2011, 12:57 pm

    Love your blog! You are a motivator to just get out and move! Wondering if you can recommend any yoga videos? I love running but would like to add a regular yoga practice to my routine. I’m a mom to a 3 and 1 year old and haven’t been able to find a studio that offers classes when I could attend. So much easier to just lace up a pair of running shoes and head outside! Thanks for your advice.

    • Jen March 2, 2011, 11:03 am

      Hi Kim – I agree that it’s much easier to head outside and run, especially when you’re busy.

      I know this is terrible but I really don’t have any video recommendations. I have not reviewed any and I hesitate to recommend something that I haven’t tried.

      I can recommend Yoga Download – http://www.yogadownload.com. They offer a wide range of styles and levels of yoga. You can try some things out and see what works for you. They have some free material and some available through membership.

      Let me know if you have any other specific questions.

      Hope that helps!

  • Robyn February 28, 2011, 3:14 pm

    That trailer is fantastic! Where did you find the documentary? I want to watch it! Just stumbled across your blog… it’s great!

    • Jen March 2, 2011, 11:01 am

      Hi Robyn – we watched it as part of our teacher training. I know you can order the DVD on Netflix or buy it on Amazon. It’s great! I recommend it!

      Thanks for checking out my blog!

  • Sarah February 28, 2011, 6:20 pm

    Your workout schedule makes me tired just reading it!

    Do you have a recipe for Brandon’s ribs on your other blog? I have a BGE, but the few times I’ve tried to make ribs on it were rather unsuccessful. I’d love a few pointers.


    • Brandon March 2, 2011, 10:47 am

      Hey Sarah. I love cooking ribs on the BGE bc of the time of the cook. Doesn’t take all day but is a longer cook than most. I make sure there is plenty of charcoal in the egg, and mix in a few handfuls of wood chips into the top few inches of the coals. I use a BGE plate setter to get indirect heat.

      Light and get the temp stabilized around 215. Coat the ribs in olive oil and cover liberally with a dry rub. I love Dizzy Pig Raging River. Grill for 3 hours. (I put mine in a rib rack so that the ribs are a little higher from the heat.)

      Remove from grill and wrap the ribs in aluminum foil. I like to add a half cup of apple juice or vinegar based N.C. style bbq sauce into the foil and seal. Cook for 1 hour with foil on. Take off the foil and place ribs back on the grill for 1 last hour.

      If you like you can slather the ribs with bbq sauce about 30 minutes before pulling them off. Total cook time 5 hours.

      Hope this helps. Ours usually turn out pretty delicious and the meat will fall of the bone.

  • Sarah March 2, 2011, 11:17 am

    Hi Brandon and Jen! Thank you for the BGE pointers. I will definitely be trying your rib recipe out… hopefully this weekend!

    I’ll let you know how it goes.

    Thanks again, and I may have more BGE questions in the future.


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