Workouts

Yoga Bombing

Yoga Bombing 2

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How to disrupt an uber serious hot yoga class in 15 easy steps:

1. Purchase a Groupon for twenty classes at a studio outside of Minneapolis. Sure, it’s 150 miles away, but you can use it every time you make a pilgrimage to the glorious, Costco-filled suburbs!

2. Make a pilgrimage to the glorious, Costco-filled suburbs and forget to bring workout clothes.

3. Stop by Marshall’s and pick up a super cheap sports bra and pair of booty shorts. Sure, it’s skimpy…but it’s twelve dollars cheaper than the more modest alternative. More fabric = more expensive!

4. Purchase a $9.99 yoga mat positioned strategically in front of the checkout area in order to avoid renting one from the studio.

5. Walk through the parking lot and into the studio completely barefoot, tracking in a significant amount of gravel in the process. (I wasn’t about to leave my fancy pair of TOMS in an unattended cubby hole for one of the yoga MILFs to steal while I was getting my zen on…)

6. Enter the yoga room at the last-minute possible, creating a very un-zen raucous while settling in a little too close between two disturbingly muscular grandmothers.

7. Realize you are the only person in the class who isn’t wearing long pants and a modest Midwestern tank top and start to self-consciously giggle. Loudly.

8. Unroll your brand new yoga mat, which takes a good thirty seconds and makes an incredibly annoying squeaky sound. Bonus? It has a potent “made in China” paint thinner smell that overwhelms the room and will probably give everyone cancer.

9.  Start sneezing uncontrollably as a result of the toxic yoga mat.

10. Knock over an entire bottle of Dasani during the first Vinyasa flow.

11. Blow your nose (loudly) into your towel out of sheer desperation.

12. Mistakenly smack your neighbor’s shoulder during tree pose.

13. Start sweating profusely onto the stinky, made in China yoga mat. For some reason beyond any explanation, excessive perspiration mixed with poisonous yoga mat fumes smells eerily similar to marijuana. Pretend not to notice as the disturbingly muscular grandmothers shoot you dirty looks. (Although you could swear the dude with the ponytail is winking at you.)

14. Slip during the balance poses, which results in a violent crash to the ground, splashing of sweat, and possibly a swear word that the instructor would describe as “full of negative energy”.

15. Almost back into one of the disturbingly muscular grandmothers on your way out of the parking lot.

*******

Namaste, Heat Yoga of Maple Grove. My sports bra and I will be back. (But only after we’ve adequately aired out our toxic Chinese yoga mat.)

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We Have a Jumper: Part One

We Have a Jumper: Part One 0

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As we prepared to move into our new lake house, I fantasized about many of the things our new life would entail.

Be it space for a vegetable garden, finally being able to purchase furniture from somewhere other than IKEA, or not having to worry about disturbing the neighbors during my impromptu at-home Turbo Kick sessions, my pretty little head was filled with dreams and possibilities. One dream in particular seemed to stand out above the rest.

I wanted to ride a stand up paddle board.

With my dogs.

I’d seen plenty of beach dogs surfing the waves via SUP in Washington’s Puget Sound and while on vacation in Hawaii. I would gaze on with envy, longing for the day when Jolie would finally be able to hang ten like the cool, outdoorsy pooch she truly is.

Before we knew it, Penny trotted her way into our lives.

Let’s face it — the only thing cuter than a dog riding along on a stand up paddle board is, well, two dogs riding along on a stand up paddle board.

Thankfully, Scott shared my dream of teaching the girls to surf. One of our first purchases for the new place was a used SUP Scott found at a rental shop in a nearby town. (Huge thanks to my friend Jackie, a native of Hawaii and current Seattle SUP-er for giving us the used rental idea. Homegirl shuddered when I informed her we were thinking of ordering one of the foam ones from Costco!)

And so, on our first weekend at the new place, I set out to paddle across the lake with the girls in tow.

I’d never been on a paddleboard, but it was surprisingly simple. It certainly requires some core strength and balance, but pretty much anyone can do it. Unless your navigating some seriously choppy water, those things are ridiculously hard to fall off of.

The girls did fairly well. Sure, there was some shaking and whimpering on Jolie’s part, but I beamed with satisfaction regardless – – I had finally become the dog surfer girl I’d always dreamed of!

And Jolie would surely get better with practice, right?

Wrong.

Before continuing with this story, I should inform you that Scott has been taking advantage of the fact that I don’t want him to die a horrible death in the lake.

After breaking his neck over two years ago, swimming has become Scott’s workout of choice. He’s a fantastic swimmer who logs at least a mile in the water every evening. Since moving to the lake, our backyard has become his new pool. The problem? Swimming long distances in open water is dangerous, particularly when those traversing the water in boats and jet-skis fail to see your little black swim cap bobbing up and down.

At a family gathering last week, Scott’s father pulled me aside. “You cannot let him swim out there by himself, Katrina.” he urged me. “It’s only a matter of time before one of those boats runs into him and kills him. You’ve got to make sure he’s never out there without someone paddling along by his side.”

I nodded solemnly. I would become Scott’s swim guardian. It was my wifely duty.

My excitement for serving as Scott’s open water escort has quickly dwindled. The issue? He never wants to go swim until I’ve settled in with a microwaved corn dog and Game of Thrones episode on my iPad. At 8:30pm I’m expected to drop everything and accompany him on the SUP while he swims for an hour.

“Can we just do it tomorrow?” I’ll plea. “I wouldn’t have minded going a couple of hours ago, but it’s getting dark and all the bugs are out!”

“It’s okay,” he’ll respond dramatically, “I’ll just go by myself. I sure hope there aren’t any boats out on the water…”

That, ladies and gentlemen, is exactly how I get suckered into abandoning Tyrion Lannister for a late-night paddle board session each evening. And I’m not the only one forced out on the lake during prime mosquito hour–Jolie and Penny have also fallen victim to Scott’s late night swim sessions.

I’m sure it comes as no surprise that this has quickly become a disaster of epic proportions. Some might even call it a “hot mess”.

Come back tomorrow to find out why…

(Hint: It involves poop. And goggles. )

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Best Week Ever

Best Week Ever 13

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Nope…I’m not talking about everyone’s favorite pop culture round-up on VH1.

(Although I do love me some sarcastic commentary on the latest Pretty Little Liars shenanigans.)

The title of this post is actually referring to life here in Smalltown–I’ve been fortunate enough to experience five wonderful days of change, surprises, excitement, and bodysuits.

Yes, bodysuits.

(In other words, my Beyonce outfit arrived yesterday. Imagine me twerking by the mailbox in celebration as our new neighbors looked on in confusion.)

Summer is here, we closed and moved into our new house, and the $2,600 couch I blindly ordered off the internet turned out to be a complete success.

AND I made a pretty amazing key lime cheesecake from scratch last night, thankyouverymuch.

But there was one major surprise that even trumped moving into our brand new home. Remember this video I shared a few weeks ago?

Well, it sorta, kinda won Kayla and I a FREAKING TRIP TO AUSTRALIA WITH CONTIKI TOURS.

Naturally, Papa Mark — the king of winning things — was the first person I called.

His response?

“I’m proud of you sweetheart. You’re a winner!”

(It’s encouragement like this that is undoubtedly responsible for my disproportionately large amount of self-esteem.)

Karena and Katrina, founders of Tone It Up, emailed us two days ago to let us know they wanted to ask a few more questions about our #BikiniSeries entry over Skype. While Kayla and I were hopefull, we were also incredibly nervous! What if we didn’t make the cut? What if they didn’t like our answers? And even worse…what if they didn’t like our hair?!

Kayla came over after work, and we immediately began primping. It was a nervous cloud of bronzer, sea-salt spray, and self-conscious giggling.

(I may or may not have applied false eyelashes.)

And then…before we knew it…we were chatting on Skype with K+K.

skype

Yup. Totally took a screenshot so I could prove it actually happened.

Karena and Katrina were every bit as sweet as you would imagine. I’ve followed their fitness community for years, and having an actual conversation with them was incredibly surreal. I felt like we were friends that had known each other for years!

I also feel like they may think I’m borderline crazy. You see..when I get nervous, I tend to talk.

A lot.

About pretty much anything that crosses my mind.

(Kind of like a Virginia Woolf stream of consciousness type of thing, but with more references to spray tanning and dog clothes.)

I bulldozed through the entire interview and am somewhat surprised Kayla didn’t kick me under the table so she could get a word in. (Sorry Kayla.) Thankfully, my excessive chatter about quitting diet soda, and my somewhat inappropriate false eyelashes didn’t deter them. In lieu of a final question, they cheered “You’re going to Australia!!!!!”

There was so much flailing, I nearly lost an eyelash.

All I remember is copious amounts of screaming, hugging, sweating, and hair flying everywhere. Followed by a celebratory champagne toast at the lake, of course.

we-won

I’m still pinching myself. Kayla and I both believed we could do it — and having it actually happen is beyond incredible. We are so grateful to Karena and Katrina, and everyone in the Tone It Up community who motivated us and cheered us on. It’s an amazing community of women–I highly suggest you check it out.

More details to come, but for the time being, I’m off to Google photos of koala bears.

Fine.

And photos of Aussie surfer boys.

(Sorry, Scott.)

***

Want to see the official announcement and meet the other winners? I thought you might…!

 

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Making peace with yoga

Making peace with yoga 5

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Yesterday afternoon, my friend Kayla invited me to join her for an evening yoga class.

My initial response?

Hell to the no.

No because I had already taught a group exercise class that morning and my body was wiped.

No because we had arrived home at midnight from our trip to Iowa the night before, and I was exhausted.

No because it was still freaking snowing outside, and the last thing I wanted to do was leave my warm, comfy house.

But perhaps most importantly, no because I am absolutely terrible at yoga.  Seriously, if you watch this video my friend Streeter made, you’ll get the idea. Just imagine I’m the phantom, and it will be a hauntingly accurate representation of my past “practices”.

While I’d like to think I’m a generally fit person, yoga just isn’t my jam. I prefer my workouts to be infused with lots of  loud music, yelling, and jumping around. Yoga’s too calm for my taste, not to mention the fact that I can’t seem to keep track of the dozens of social guidelines attending a class requires. (Apparently giggling is not okay. Same goes for walking in ten minutes late.)

In Seattle, yoga is practically a religious sect. Our Ballard condo was within walking distance of three different studios, which prompted me to abandon all reason one Saturday morning and try my hand at Bikram. I’d heard fantastic things about hot yoga, and figured adding intense heat to the mix might make the workout a little more interesting.

I was correct, if disrupting the class no more than four times by slipping in my own sweat and crashing violently on the floor qualifies as interesting. And no, ‘violently’ is not an exaggeration. I landed so hard, the three people next to me were sprayed with droplets of perspiration as a result of my body’s not-so-graceful swan dives into its own sweat puddle.

To be fair, it’s really difficult to remain upright on foam yoga blocks in a 100 degree room when you boast a pretty serious sweating problem.

Also really difficult? Not snickering at the woman next to you who is moaning as if she’s about to…well…you get the idea.

While I wasn’t asked to leave, the passive-aggressive yoga glares from all of my neighbors made it abundantly clear I was disrupting their inner ‘shanti’. Even if it was moaning inappropriately.

A few months later, I learned I’m capable of disturbing a yoga class without even being in attendance. It was a gorgeous spring Sunday, and Scott and I were engaging in one of our favorite weekend traditions — the Ballard Farmer’s Market. While Scott and Jolie partook in some smoked salmon samples, I found myself wandering to a small yoga studio located on the edge of the market. The storefront was constructed entirely of windows, and I was able to peer right through and observe a dozen or so women participating in what was clearly a prenatal yoga class. I gazed in wonder at the collection of graceful bodies, flawlessly executing every single pose, despite their swollen, pregnant bellies. It was strange yet inspiring, not to mention a blatant reminder that I am a complete and utter yoga failure. (Seriously…these prego mama’s could have schooled me in Vinyasa.)

Moments later, a young boy and his father walked past me. “Look, Daddy!” the boy exclaimed, “It’s fat people yoga!”

The father scolded his son, explaining the women were pregnant, not fat, and dragged him along to the gluten-free bread booth. I simply stood there, guffawing shamelessly at the boy’s astute observation. Unfortunately, it was at this precise moment the instructor looked up at the window to witness me, standing all alone, laughing hysterically at her prenatal yoga class. She stomped over to the windows, shot me an angry (yet totally centered) glare, and promptly closed the blinds.

Yep. I was that girl.

These are just a few examples of why yoga and I don’t get along. I let out a sigh of defeat and texted Kayla, explaining I was just too tired to join her for class.

And then I remembered Kayla had purchased a new car over the weekend.

A new car that I was dying to see.

I swiftly texted back that I would come to class, so long as she picked me up in her pimped out new ride.

And that’s how I found myself in the front row of a YMCA yoga class at 6:30 pm last night.

As we rolled out our mats and settled into downward dog position, I felt nervous. Nervous that I would giggle at an inappropriate time. Nervous that I would break wind in the middle of our sun salutations. Nervous that I would lose my footing during the balance poses, knock someone else over during my clumsy descent, and end up needing a yoga injury lawyer.

But mostly nervous that I had chosen to clad myself in a pair of yoga pants that Scott had recently mended for me. What if his suturing skills weren’t as strong as I had assumed them to be? As we extended our right legs into three-legged dog, I feared the three-inch crotch-hole my husband had so kindly hand stitched would give way at any second, turning my three-legged dog into a three-legged {insert animal euphemism of choice here}.

Thankfully, three years of stitching up people’s skin have served Scott well. My leggings held strong through 60 minutes of poses.

The most shocking part? I actually enjoyed the entire hour-long class. So much so that five minutes in, I had completely forgotten about my potentially disastrous leggings. Our instructor was encouraging without being too hippie-dippie. I was able to relax, but also felt challenged. The playlist was incredible and the entire experience was very…well…zen.

In other words, I’m coming back next week.

(But I’m not making any promises about controlling my giggling during the whole “namaste” head bow thing at the end.)

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