Last night I took my second heated vinyasa yoga class since signing up for 10 of them last week (thanks, Groupon!), and I feel amazing.

Have any of you ever done hot yoga before?  Let me paint you a picture.

We’re in a small, clean studio, with a big multi-paned window on one side, opening the studio to the lively Thayer Street below.  Yogis contort on sweaty mats, the smell of incense in the air.  Bright, penetrating heat lamps reach down, tickling our bodies with the salty drops of sweat they gift us with.  With the gentle voice of our instructor captaining us through, our breaths begin to match up, raising our bellies up to the sky, and sinking them down past our spines and into our slippery mats.  The room gradually fills up with our air, until it seems every molecule floating around us has made the journey through at least one set of lungs.  As the practice progresses, the room melts together, becoming one mass of contracting and releasing muscle.  We work hard.  We feel good.

By the end of class, the lump of muscle and sweat crumbles into distinct bodies, laying flat and calm, surrendering to the silence of the room and the renewed energy in their palms.  Three tolls of a bell and my human mind reenters my body.  Class is over.  I am sweaty- and I mean dripping.

It feels so good.

thoughts on running

I used to claim I’d never enjoy running.  Being a dancer, my joints are very dear to me, and the negative effect running can have on them was just never worth the risk.  This summer, however, that changed.

I decided to try interval running, a technique where you run for a few minutes, then walk for a few minutes, and alternate the two speeds throughout your entire distance.  I am SO glad to have finally realized the beauty that is interval running.  It allows me to rest my joints and feet for a bit between spurts, while still keeping my heart rate elevated for the duration of the workout.  That is what you call the best of both worlds, folks!

Now, I can proudly say I am a changed woman.  While I can’t yet claim to ever actually look forward to running (constant heavy breathing, hair stuck to my forehead with sweat, aching feet, and I don’t even get to wear a tutu? hard to see the bright side here…), I have finally found a way to make running accessible to me.  I even went out running in the pouring rain the other day, just to get in a good sweat and clear my mind!  This may not seem like an accomplishment to most, but I am pretty darn proud.{spotted: raindrops on roses during my rainy run}

Let’s Get Physical

As the end of 2011 becomes eminent and the new year quickly approaches, the universal process of creating resolutions for the year ahead begins.  Because my Christmas celebrations always seem to revolve around eating, consequently each January my new year’s resolutions include promises to “stick to that diet!” and “sweat daily”.  Since the holiday celebrations proved to be especially glutenous this season (mmmm apple pie and mashed potatoes…ew no, not at the same time), I’ve decided to start following some resolutions a little early this year.  For a little inspiration…