Happy New Year

I joined a gym in June 2007 and have been a regular since.

When I joined Weight Watchers in October 2006 it was advised that exercise didn’t start immediately. First reduce the food portions, make healthier and more filling choices, drink more water, etc.

I can’t remember how long it was recommended that you first work on losing weight with food and then introduce exercise.

I know I took that advisement for longer than was given.

I started exercising in the mini-gym at work in March 2007. And eventually I joined a gym in June 2007. I quickly figured out that classes were better for me to keep me motivated and help me exercise harder and better than on my own.

As a teacher of yoga and cycling in gyms and at a studio I have joked with my students about New Year’s Resolutioners. There may be someone on your bike, in your yoga spot or in your spot at any other class you may take.

I’ve told my students to smile, wave and maybe make new friends with this person. Maybe they will only be around a few months. Maybe they are here for years. But we should make them … Continue reading

My new teaching gig … at Turtles

About two weeks after moving to Portland I subbed my first yoga class at the fitness center in our town home community (free yoga classes where we live!) and a couple of days after that at a gym near me called The Xtreme Edge.

Six weeks after moving to Portland I started teaching at LA Fitness for both yoga and indoor cycling.

I teach six regular classes a week at LA Fitness and one at 24 Hour Fitness with sub classes (mostly yoga) sprinkled in just about every week.

On Saturday I am teaching a special class at Turtles Yoga & Wellness, which opens at the end of this month. My class on Saturday is from 11 a.m.-noon.

At the end of this month I will start teaching two regular yoga classes at Turtles and have one shift a week at the front desk … to learn the business.

I will be teaching Wednesday mornings from 10-11:15 a.m. and Thursday evenings from 7-8:15 p.m.

My bio (scroll down a bit) has been posted. And the full Turtles class schedule should be posted very soon.

To view a schedule of all my classes, go to GFG’s my classes tab.

I am really … Continue reading

And GFG! is back

I’m baaaack!

Years ago Curt and I were in the Philly area visiting his brother and family along with Curt’s parents and grandma. Some of the family went on a canoe outing. Our nephew James was about 4 at the time. As we got closer to the canoe spot James started to recognize it as he had been there with his dad before. We walked into the place to rent our canoes and James slams the screen door open and says, I’m baaaack!

And so is GFG!

What a whirlwind the move has been. All went well. Movers packed the truck up in three hours and were gone sooner than I had planned. Curt and I took off soon after the truck left and got a few hours on the road.

The following day, which was a Friday, we made the rest of trek to Portland.

For a few days it was like we were on a mini vacation.

The movers arrived last Tuesday. They unloaded our stuff in about three hours. Right after they left the unpacking frenzy began.

Except for pictures hanging on the walls and the books on the bookshelf we are pretty much moved in.

I love … Continue reading

Pursuing happiness

You want to know the real reason I quit my job?

I wasn’t happy.

I was also becoming a person I didn’t like.

And that definitely needed to change.

When I started my yoga teacher training about a year ago (can’t believe that was a year ago) it wasn’t my intention to quit my job and solely be a yoga teacher.

I planned to teach on the side and maybe eventually move more full time into health and wellness, which would include being a yoga teacher and blogger (and maybe a few other things I have up my sleeve), but like everything in life, things changed.

I have many things to do on my to do list. But the No. 1 item is to be happy.

I can’t be the best me if I am not happy and good to myself.

A few friends have asked me: Are you teaching full time? Where are you teaching?

No to the first question. Keep reading for an answer to the second question.

First, yoga teachers can’t possibly work 40 hours a week as a yoga teacher. Most teachers have to travel to multiple studios (or gyms) for classes, teaching can be emotionally and physically … Continue reading

Celebrating community

Yoga has given me the opportunity to meet so many great people and make some amazing friends.

I regularly take classes at two yoga studios in Oakland/Berkeley.

One of the studios, Namaste, which has a total of three studios in Oakland and Berkeley, celebrated its 10th anniversary. And Namaste threw a big party today.

There was music played by Adrienne Shamszad; dancing by Nubia Teixeira; and the night ended with Jai Uttal and band playing some amazing Kirtan

One of the great things about being a part of yoga studios and classes is that you become part of a community. 

Even though I didn’t know a lot of people there I saw so many friendly faces. And I did get to spend the evening with one of my favorite people who is a great friend and an amazing yoga teacher along with another super fun yoga teacher and friend.

We had so much fun dancing and singing. It was great to see so many sharing such a fun time. It truly was a community dancing, singing and celebrating.

What is Restorative Yoga?

This is what my friend Pam asked Monica and me yesterday before spin class as Monica and I were discussing the The Gift of Restorative Yoga workshop we attended today with Vickie.

According to Namaste’s workshop link, Restorative Yoga uses props to support the body, allowing for expansiveness and ease while stimulating the body’s innate healing abilities. This workshop will enable us to explore the benefits of bringing awareness and balance to the body- mind.

This is a direct description from Namaste’s class description of Restorative Yoga: Gentle yoga and passive restorative postures to open the body, quiet the mind and move into a deep sense of relaxation. A meditative time to cultivate awareness of body breath and mind, this class is recommended for those experiencing stress, recovering from injury or illness, and anyone seeking a gentle class to unwind, relax and renew.

I try to practice Restorative Yoga as often as my schedule allows. It is relaxing and makes me really try to calm my mind and bring down my stress.

Today Vickie talked about our vata, which according to Yoga Journal website, it governs all movement in the body and mind. (The Sanskrit translation of the word is “that … Continue reading

Just me, just you … trying to survive life

As I mentioned last week, I recently attended my 20-year high school reunion in my beautiful hometown.

As a Badger alumni I had the option to be a sponsor for the reunion. So Go Fit Girl! was a sponsor along with a few others.

With my sponsorship I received an acknowledgement on a banner, in the pamphlet in the goodie bag, my business card in the goodie bag and a mention at the dinner/dance that Saturday night.

There were four Badger business owners who sponsored and a few other local business who also sponsored.

During Pat’s shout out (she was the head of the Reunion Planning Committee) to those who sponsored the reunion she mentioned Go Fit Girl! and that everyone should read the blog for tips, like the one where  you can drink good beer and still maintain a healthy lifestyle.

My goal for myself is to maintain the healthiest and most realistic lifestyle I can for me. I believe in moderation. I like to eat and I like to drink. But I also want to be, look and feel healthy.

I am not a Denise Austin, Jillian Michaels or that P90X dude. I am Ann (aka Go … Continue reading

If you are in Tucson you gotta visit Mindful Yoga Studio

Mindful Yoga Studio, Tucson, Ariz.

1101 N. Wilmot (Speedway and Wilmot, next to Trader Joe’s)

Click here for map

My dad’s wife, Hilda, opened a yoga studio recently.

While in Tucson for my high school reunion I was able to visit the studio and take a class from Hilda.

I am used to attending classes at a small studio in my neighborhood with spendy classes. There are great teachers and classes and I love it.

Mindful Yoga studio in Tucson has two studios, a nice lobby area, a tea area, two bathrooms (and even a shower).

I took an 8 a.m. Morning Mellow Stretch class with Hilda. It was just what I needed.

The Morning Mellow Stretch is described like this: Good for beginners/continuing students and anyone desiring a gentle way to wake up the body. Incorporates slow sun salutations, with soft openings and mind-body awareness into a slow, meditative, calm practice. Perfect for beginners or even advanced practitioners wishing to slow down.

The day before I had traveled via plane, got into Tucson late, went to bed later than normal and didn’t sleep so great.

After class my back no longer hurt … Continue reading

Let’s celebrate National Yoga Month

September is National Yoga Month. I know that. But the weird thing is I am having a hard time finding a lot of current information on this.

In honor of of this month I thought I would FINALLY respond to a request from my friend Rosie.

Months ago she asked me for advice for someone who wanted to start practicing yoga.

When I started regularly practicing yoga a little more than five years ago I first started practicing at the gym. For me I was lucky, those classes were good beginner classes. And the instructors were well-experienced teachers as well.

When I started at Namaste I felt lucky then as well, too. All the teachers are pretty amazing and experienced and versatile. I have practiced with many yoga instructors, personalities, styles, types of yoga, class sizes, etc.

So here is my advice to Rosie and anyone else who wants it:

I suggest finding a yoga studio in your area and doing a little research on the instructors who teach at the studio. (You could do the same research on the yoga instructors at your gym.) The yoga studio website should have bios on the teachers and subs. And … Continue reading

It’s time to exercise

So you have made the decision to start exercising (or maybe you haven’t but this post may just motivate you). Now where to begin?

I recommend starting slow. You don’t want to hurt yourself or do something unpleasant that makes you never want to exercise ever again.

When I started exercising seriously (believe me I joined gyms in the past and half-assed the workouts in the past) about 5 1/2 years ago I walked at least three times a week. Going from absolutely nothing to walking around 30 minutes three times a week was a big deal. I did this for about a month.

The next month I started the run/walk practice. Just a few days into the addition of running I hurt my knee. I was able to rehab myself. After that I reevaluated my exercise program.

Running is easy cardio and can be done anywhere–the only equipment needed are running shoes and your legs.

But I hate running. And I hurt myself doing it. So I quit the running and started exercising on the elliptical.

A couple of months after that I joined a gym. Previously I had been exercising at the little gym in my work building.

Continue reading