My first #thinkingoutloud Thursday: why I love yoga!

Happy Thursday to all! I’m super pumped to be linking up with Amanda for my very first #thinkingoutloud Thursday.

Check out Amanda’s awesome blog at!

I want take a minute to tell you about my yoga class last week. It was one of the best I’ve ever been to.

It was, at times, gut-wrenching (both literally and figuratively), volatile, joyful, insurmountably difficult, and supremely tranquil.

In the course of 90 minutes, I felt:

  • Strong and confident: I got this, easy peasy lemon sqeezy. I’m the queen of the yoga mat and quite possibly also the entire world. Almost immediately followed by…
  • Humble: I’m trying to do something I never in a million years thought I could even attempt. I’m no where near being able to do it. But then I was…
  • Elated: I just did something incredibly challenging for the first time. It was terrifying, but I overcame my own fear. And I never could have done it if I wasn’t…
  • Utterly supported: I don’t just mean supported by my teacher’s hands, I mean supported by a room full of people who want each other to succeed. Strangers and friends alike. Even though at times I couldn’t help but be…
  • Disappointed: There are things that just weren’t going to happen yesterday. I couldn’t be more proud that I tried them, but they weren’t in the cards. So I had to practice some…
  • Acceptance and forgiveness: Which led me to the end of class. An extra long shavasana, during which I felt…
  • At peace: Utterly, totally, and completely. With myself–what I did, what I didn’t do, and the limitless bounty that is what I have yet to learn.

    Doing mountain post on a mountain! Ommm.
    Doing mountain pose on a mountain! Ommm.

I have a lot of competing demands in my life right now, and every day is a little obstacle course of challenges. I have moments when I feel (and swing wildly between) these emotions every single day. And that, ladies and gents, is why I love yoga. It teaches me to feel deeply, forgive readily, and move forward with courage and resolve.

What makes you love (or hate) yoga? Does your exercise routine help keep the rest of your routine in check? As always, I would love your thoughts and feedback!



On music and exercise

A huge part of my healthy gluten free lifestyle is keeping myself fit and happy from the inside out and from the outside in. For me, this means exercising 5-6 days a week. If you asked me six years ago if exercise was an important part of my life, I probably would have laughed in your face. I was hitting the gym once or twice a week, where I’d cruise on the elliptical or struggle through a pilates class. And I’d follow that class up with a couple of gluten-full beers and a plate of pasta from the dining hall. No wonder I wasn’t feeling great! Today, I’ve run six half marathons and I get cranky if I don’t get to the yoga studio 2-3 times a week. I feel amazing, and as a bonus, I finally lost that lingering college weight!

Side plank by the lake! #yogaeverywhere
Side plank by the lake! #yogaeverywhere

Part of what helped me make exercise a real part of my life was canceling my gym membership. I’m not anti-gym, but I am anti-exercise-that-isn’t-fun-and-doesn’t-make-you-happy. (I’m also anti anyone who is anti trying new things, so please don’t tell me you “can’t run” or “can’t do yoga” if you haven’t given it a fair chance.)


Personally, I plain old didn’t like going to the gym. I do enjoy yoga, and as it turns out, I really really like being outside. Whether I’m hiking, walking, running, x-c skiing, or downhill skiing, give me someone to chitchat with and some fresh New England air and I’m a happy camper.

On top of the world
On top of the world

As easy and breezy as that sounds now, it has taken me a while to get to this point–and I’m not ashamed to say that music is one of my biggest motivators. I love popping in my headphones and cruising down the Charles River bike path with my Spotify playlists blasting. I also learned to love yoga to the beats of Erica and Caitlyn’s fabulous hip hop yoga yoga classes at Back Bay Yoga. Nothing distracts you from the sweat dripping down your face 65 minutes into a killer vinyasa class like Jay Z,  #amiright?

Something funny happened recently, though–I started to find the music distracting. And not in that fabulous, makes-the-time-fly-by kind of way, but in the irritating, I-can’t-find-my-rhythm kind of way. Both during my yoga practice and my runs, I’m starting to work on dropping into the groove and listening to my body and breath instead of the music. It’s a funny mindset switch for me. I LIKE listening to music while I work out–I know lots of hardcore runners and yogis who are morally opposed, and I have no such problem. But I also like that I’m at a place where I’m not using the music as a crutch. Also, I’m hoping this will help me pace my runs a little bit better and work on running not just farther, but faster. Maybe even a full marathon someday. I still let loose with the occasional hip hop yoga class, and I’ll likely plug in for my longer runs, but in the meantime I’m going to work on listening to my body, my breath, and the sounds of my favorite city. I’m pretty excited about it.

Crossing the finish line of my first half marathon without headphones!
Crossing the finish line of my first half marathon without headphones!

Do you run with headphones in? What kind of music gets you through your toughest workouts? What’s your stance–is music a crutch, a necessity, or a nice added bonus?

Six ways to save money on yoga in Boston

Confession time: I have a little bit of a yoga addiction. Lots of people ask me how I have the… shall we say, resources… to practice so much yoga. If you pay full price for a la carte for yoga classes around Boston, they’ll run you around $15-$20 a class. Not cheap. So with further ado, here are my money-saving tips for you frugal yogis.


1. Keep an eye out for deals: Yes, I hate a clogged inbox as much as anyone else, but it’s worth it to sign up for email newsletters and watch for online deals. Groupon and Gilt City are the best sites for yoga in my experience, but Livingsocial features some good local deals as well. Some studios also offer promotions via their own mailing lists and social media channels, so sign up for e-newsletters and be sure to “like” your favorites on Facebook.

2. Keep track of your deals: Yoga deals tend to have short expiration periods, and it’s easy to let them expire without using all of the classes. I have a very low-tech system for keeping track of my deals–I keep a post-it on my desk at work and cross off classes when I use them. I also use google calendar alerts for expiration reminders. Find a system that works for you and use it. You want to be sure you’re getting your money’s worth!


3. Read the fine print: Yoga studios mainly use online coupons to entice people to try and hopefully fall in love with their classes. For this reason, some studios only offer their deals to brand new students (aka if you’ve been there before, no dice). I happen to think this is a terrible practice–where’s the consumer loyalty in that?? Super big ups to Back Bay Yoga for offering ALL of their fabulous deals to ALL yogis–like this one! $35 for 5 classes, which you have until December to use.  Talk about making me a happy repeat customer. Be sure to double check whether you are eligible for deals before you purchase.

4. New student deals: Most studios offer fantastic deals for first-time students, usually along the lines of $30 for your first 30 days unlimited. This is a wonderful way to give lots of different teachers a try without feeling cheated if you take a class you don’t like.

Eyes on the prize!
Eyes on the prize!

5. Try a new studio: Hit up some of the more affordable studios in the city, like Sweat and Soul Yoga (all classes are $10 cash) and Karma Revolution (pay by donation).

6. Use your discounts: If you’re a student, lots of studios have significantly discounted student rates. More to come on this when I start grad school in the fall!

All in all, on average I probably pay around $7 a class–and sometimes even less. Much more reasonable, if I do say so myself. What are your tips to save dough on yoga in Boston?