Being a gym yoga teacher sub

At the end of October I will be taking over yoga classes at a gym in Alameda where the regular teacher will be going on maternity leave.

She recently went on vacation, which gave me an opportunity to be the yoga sub for four classes at Alameda Athletic Club.

I taught a Thursday evening, a Sunday late morning, a Tuesday evening and another Thursday evening while the regular teacher was on vacation.

My first class I felt a little unprepared for things that were out of my control. But I reminded myself to breathe and it would be OK. I felt the class went well and the students were responsive.

Sunday late morning I had about 10 students. I had time to chat with a few of them before class and after class as well.

Two students who were there for my first class came back on Sunday. My Sunday students were very receptive and complimented me. Many told me that they really enjoyed the class. Some told me they planned to tell the front desk and general manager about me.

Someone else said I was one of the best teachers they have ever had. I’m flattered. They were impressed with … Continue reading

July Monthly Challenge: Say no to sugar and yes to planks

Go Fit Girl’s July Monthly Challenge is brought to you by your fellow GFG! readers and Challengers. (A recent Comment Contest Tuesday got all kinds of ideas for many Monthly Challenges, including July’s.)

Thanks for the ideas, ladies.

Nutrition: Reduce sugar intake. Reducing refined sugars would be even better. But I realize that is difficult.

With it being summer there are lots of yummy fruits and vegetables available.

Try to find ways to not use processed foods–that’s where a lot of that refined sugar hides. Start reading labels.

A simple change: make dessert fresh fruit and plain greek yogurt or just fresh fruit. Instead of eating a cookie have an apple instead.

A Livestrong article credits FamilyEducation.com as saying, more than two-thirds of the refined sugar used in the United States is added to processed or manufactured foods.

Exercise: Let’s do a plank challenge this month. A few people have asked for one. So let’s go for it. Let’s make our goal to get to a 2-minute plank over the month. At work we did a 4-minute plank challenge. I dropped out of the challenge once we hit 3:30. It was bad for my back and I felt … Continue reading

Comment Contest Tuesday winner announced

The most recent Comment Contest Tuesday asked Go Fit Girl!’s readers to come up with challenges to help fuel some ideas for future Monthly Challenges.

The responses were great. And most, if not all, will be used in the future. Thank you so much for helping me come up with ideas. These should keep us going for some time. At least through 2013 and possibly longer.

Alicia was the GFG! reader who won the random drawing. And in case you want to know what she is getting. She is getting this and a Starbucks gift card.

Here are some of the things Alicia gave input on for possible future challenges: Take a recipe and modify it to make it healthier. And for exercise, she said, since summer is upon us we could challenge ourselves to outdoor activities such as walking and running in the park, playing volleyball at the beach, playing tennis, or going to the playground and playing on the swings. (LOVE the swing idea. So fun!)

GFG! readers had all kinds of great comments and ideas. These are some of the ideas GFG! readers had:

Andrea: How about 30 minutes of physical activity a day for … Continue reading

Challenge yourself

Don’t let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.

I stole that quote from my friend Nicole’s Facebook status. She was quoting her kid’s basketball coach. She said it was inspiring for her yoga practice.

Lately I have tried to be more open minded with myself when it comes to exercise. There are yoga poses I know I can’t do–like handstand or headstand. (A bum shoulder keeps me from attempting the full pose.) But I can work toward them. There are other poses I don’t think I can do but instead of just saying to myself, no way, I now will at least try.

Same thing with planks. We do them in yoga and body conditioning and abs classes. Whenever it is announced that we are going to do a 1-minute plank I complain and convince myself that I can’t do it.

In my Friday morning body conditioning class (which is actually called Muscle Blast) the instructor recently had us hold a 1-minute plank. I, of course, announced to him that there was no way I could do that. He, of course, told me I could. We got into position and I asked him to … Continue reading

March Monthly Challenge: Greens and push-ups

Go Fit Girl!’s March Monthly Challenge comes to you from your fellow readers.

I asked for input from my readers on the February Monthly Challenge Facebook event page and got some great comments and ideas.

It’s March and that means St. Patrick’s Day and March Madness. (Go Cats! Grrrooowwwwllll!)

Nutrition: Going with a mixture of the two “holidays” that take place in March, we are gonna call the nutrition challenge the Getting in your Leafy Greens March Madness.

According to the Healthy Eating page on the San Francisco Chronicle website, sfgate.com, we should eat at least three to four servings of dark green leafy vegetables each week. The article lists some green leafy vegetables: spinach, romaine lettuce, broccoli, collard greens, kale, mustard greens, bok choy, turnip greens, dark green leafy lettuce, watercress and mesclun.

Green leafy vegetables have a number of essential nutrients, including fiber, calcium, iron, vitamins A and C and folate, and may lower your risk for chronic health issues.

If the green leafy is raw a serving is 1 cup, if it is cooked a serving is 1/2 cup.

When doing my research I saw a lot of hits stating that eating green leafy veggies can … Continue reading

Minus 1 drink, abs/core work are featured in this Monthly Challenge

The first Go Fit Girl! Monthly Challenge seemed successful. Trying to increase or get your water intake to at least 48-64 ounces a day and either trying yoga for the first time or if a regular yogi, trying a new teacher or new kind of class/practice.

Today launches Go Fit Girl’s October Monthly Challenge.

And the challenges are:

Nutrition: Minus 1.

Do you drink more than one cup of coffee a day, how about numerous Diet Cokes? Do you have more than one glass of wine or beer when you get home at night?

If you are a regular soda drinker, whether regular or diet (I know there are a bunch of Diet Coke heads out there) or caffeine or booze … try to eliminated just one a day every day this month. If you want to cut the amount down by more feel free.

If you normally drink 10 Diet Cokes a day, try to just have nine. If you have three cups of coffee each morning, try to just have two. For booze, either try to just drink on the weekends (my normal alcohol intake is Friday through Sunday) or if you regularly drink during the week … Continue reading

Deep Flow

I had a training in the city today. I wasn’t sure what time I would be back in the East Bay. Though I knew I would be back in plenty of time for the 7:30 p.m. yoga class. I am not a huge fan of that class and I knew I might convince myself not to go.

I got home at 5:50. And the class I wanted to try to go to started at 6. Luckily I had my yoga clothes laying out. I quickly changed, powdered my nose and filled up my water bottle and out the door I went.

I got to the class about a minute before it started.

It is a new class in that time slot called Deep Flow.

We started off in savasana. OK, if we are starting off in corpse pose then it has to be a great class, right?

It was a pretty good class. We focused on shoulders. I would have liked a little more active flow.

For part of the class we kept a block between our thighs. It was a great way to focus your body on the strength of your legs. We did this in Downward Facing … Continue reading

Taking care of my back with support

I have back pain. I have for years. When I was in my early 20s I went to the doctor because of my bad posture and almost constant aching pain in my lower back.

My doctor sent me to an orthopedic surgeon who told me that I have a mild form of kyphosis. The simple way to explain: I have slight scoliosis.

I went to physical therapy and most of my back pain has disappeared. I still have it at times. But nowhere near as painful as it was more than 10 years ago.

The past week or two my middle to upper back has been sore. But not really back pain. More like sore muscles. Maybe because I am trying to do more weights and abs? Not really sure.

Yesterday in yoga we did bridge pose. We also had the option to do wheel, which I can do, but I decided to stick with bridge two of the three times we inverted. The third time I went with a supported bridge pose, which is pictured above and provided by Do … Continue reading