more than halfway there …

Training has gone by so fast. Can’t believe there’s only 8 weeks left before Marathon Sunday! I am more than halfway there, in regards to training as well as in miles – a couple of weeks ago I ran my first half marathon run. Since then the miles have and will just increase, last week was 15 miles and this upcoming long run will be a sweet 16 miles.

13.1 mile route around queens

13.1 mile route around queens

To be honest, I had my doubts that I would be able to withstand the long distances. I credit yoga to giving me the mental strength to be able to fight thru whatever is going on in the body and mind during my runs, allowing me to complete the planned distances. I also just keep reminding myself of the reasons why I am running the marathon – in remembrance of my father and aunt who were taken way too soon from cancer, as well as everyone else I know that have been affected by the disease. I am so grateful to have the support of my team – Pure Runners – to keep pushing me and supporting me throughout the training so far.

I have a feeling that the next 8 weeks of training are going to be the toughest yet. My body, mostly my legs are starting to feel the buildup of all the runs and are forever sore. I am mindful not to push it too hard, as my goal for the marathon is not finishing in any particular time, but to just finish strong and feel good throughout the whole race. I want to enjoy running through the streets of New York City, the city I grew up in and the city I love so much.

Please take a moment to visit my official Fred’s Team page and consider donating in support of my run as well as for lifesaving cancer research led by Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Every dollar makes a difference in the fight against cancer!

Thank you so much for your generous donations – Kathy, Pat, Linda, David, Adam, Jillkerry ❤

becoming a runner .. it is happening !!

I am six weeks into marathon training and although I feel there is so much more about running that I have yet to experience and learn, I am at least getting comfortable in the routine of running. It all began when I went to get my gear at Jack Rabbit .. so yes I had all the essentials but what was I to do with it all. My first run was only 2 miles but at that point it seemed like 100 miles! There have been a bunch of mishaps along the way like not setting up the garmin to track my run to forgetting my running sneakers, however I am pretty much in a running routine now and got it down. Hence, that feeling of becoming a runner 🙂

Part of that feeling is also the fact that my routine has taken to icing and salt soaks. All the runs have slowly done some wear on my left foot and on some days it has not been pretty with major swelling. But that is how I view training for the marathon as a whole, it is not easy .. it is super tough .. but the feeling of accomplishment that I am already getting and I’m not even halfway thru training is what makes it all so worth it. To think of how far I have come as a runner in such a short period of time amazes me, I thought I would for sure get bored once the miles starting picking up, however last week’s 10 mile run I found myself running alone in Saratoga. Successfully completing that run solo has definitely boosted my confidence that I can do 26.2 miles and run the marathon come November. This is getting real 🙂

Don’t forget to visit my official Fred’s Team page to donate and support my run. Imagine a world without cancer!

Special thanks to Aaron and Ben ❤

26.2 miles?!? .. one training run at a time

It’s almost one month ago that I decided to run the TCS NYC Marathon this year. An event that is so daunting for anyone even avid runners. So what was I thinking? I have never run a day in my life! I dabbled in one race  – the midnight run in Central Park a few years ago, but that was to celebrate the New Year, as I ran with my sister and friends (Kristin and Dan) – and the result was a super sore body for weeks. So let’s just say running was not on the top of my to-do list! However, even with that in mind I signed up with the team at my yoga studio. (GO team Pure Runners!) I am so excited to be running with such a great group and look forward to the experience along our training journeys. We are running as part of Fred’s team to raise money for Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Research.

Last week was the official start of my 18 week training program, as I am following Hal Higdon Novice 1. To be honest, it was not as bad as I had hyped it up to be. Looking at the schedule, the longer runs are always on Saturday and the smaller ones during the week. This week culminated with a 6 mile run, which is by far the longest run I have ever done. The two weeks prior I slowly began preparing, running 2-4 mile runs. As the training continues each week the mileage will begin to increase, so I will spare you all the – this is my longest run ever! – comment every week, well until November 1st when I cross that finish line because I do not foresee myself ever running more than 26.2 miles at a time.

I will continue to update you on my progress, the ups and the downs and everything and anything that has to do with me doing this run. Follow me on twitter and instagram for daily updates on my runs.  I look forward to sharing it all with each and every one of you!

Getting my running gear in preparation for training

Getting my running gear in preparation for training

As mentioned above, my team is running to raise money for cancer research. Please visit my official Fred’s Team page to read a little more about the cause and why I am running, as well as consider to donate and support my run.

Big thanks to Katie & Gregg, Vicki, Jen and Donny! ❤

‘pick your yoga practice’ book review

One of the things I love the most about yoga is that there is always more to learn, whether it is in my asana practice or in the more philosophical sense with the sutras and history of yoga. I have to admit that I do pay a lot more attention to my asana practice, than my general knowledge of the sutras and such. I always tell myself that I will re-read them as well as other yoga must reads when I have time, but time is so precious and reading has never been my favorite pastime. Alas, I came across Meagan McCrary’s book – ‘Pick Your Yoga Practice’, and I was hooked in. It is everything you need to know about yoga all in one book. The first few chapters explain yoga, its history and philosophical foundations, then it delves into the myriad of styles of yoga. My personal practice as well as teachings is in the style of Ashtanga and Vinyasa. I have taken and tried other styles of yoga but never could quite grasp what it was all about. It was great to know the background and meanings of the other styles more in depth than a brief class description at the studios. I highly recommend this book for yogis to get a better understanding of yoga, and for non-yogis to find a newfound interest. Maybe I am a little biased with my obvious love for yoga but I truly believe that there is a yogi in all of us, and this book might just unveil it.

check out more about the author at http://www.meaganmccrary.com

Guest Blog: Doing Yoga With Your Kids (Balini Sports)

Yes, because yoga can be for kids too. Children are natural yogis and yoginis. Though many people will think that kids doesn’t need the breathing exercises, we fail to remember that kids do also have their own kind of stress that steams from school, sports, lessons, etc.

balini kids

image credit by: yogawellbeing.com

Yoga isn’t just for grownups! These may be the reasons you can rank on to jumpstart that yoga classes for your kids. Yoga poses are natural with kids; they do and exhibit it when they play around. When doing yoga, there are things you can incorporate to make it more meaningful and enjoyable for them.

Tips for a Fun Yoga
1. Incorporate play with yoga. While kids do poses, you can ask them to for various animals pose. You can also ask them to accompany it with sounds, animal sounds at that.
2. Practice 1, 2, 3’s in their poses. Let them do the counting while posing. It keeps them practicing plus they are holding their own time during the session.
3. Narrate A, B, C’s as well. The alphabet can be a good idea to incorporate in classes. Narrate them while holding poses.
4. Talk about benefits as well as the principle of non-harming if doing it with other kids.
5. Break down classes into shorts span. Because kids are naturally having short attention span, make sure that you are offering different things after some time.
6. Focus on balancing techniques. Do it gradually and according to the kids pace.
7. Play games like name a yoga pose. This is for advance practice already when kids are already familiar with poses and has long yoga practice at hand already.
8. Tyr some fun music in the background as well.
9. Emphasize on the importance of breathing.
10. It is best to do it at home together with you as a parent and with the instructor.

Things to Remember for Parents and Instructors
• Do not impose on kids. They are just children after all.
• Just have it as a fun experience, do not expect too much.
• Provide them with comfortable hot yoga clothes
• Enjoy it yourself.
• Explain to kids the rules and things to remember prior the session.
• Have them wear comfortable clothes.
• Keep them responsible for their action.
• Be there to guide and never let them feel inadequate.
• Be careful, be quick and be always there to avoid injuries.

Now, pretty good right? If you have kids, channeling the benefits of yoga from you to them is the most fulfilling thing to do. Knowing that they will have the advantage of the practice is rewarding even more than achieving your own personal goal.

So check out kids’ yoga now, start the practice, begin to teach them to live the yoga lifestyle, love this life even more and prepare them for life!

Namaste,
BaliniSports Team
http://www.BaliniSports.com

yoga got me thru and out of unemployment

It was a little over  year ago when I fell victim to unemployment. I was determined not to get depressed that I had no job or get lazy by having all this extra time in the day, so I turned to yoga. It was kind of nice being able to go to all those morning classes that I wasn’t able to attend due to work. On the other hand I had a feeling of guilt, as if I were cheating on my regularly scheduled yoga classes. So…I found myself going to class 2-3 times a day. Yoga was slowly becoming my life.

I continued to look for a job. However, all these thoughts kept running thru my head. Do I really want to be an interior designer? After all it is what I majored in at college, so isn’t it what I should be doing. BUT, do I really want to go back to the corporate world? That was a definite NO, my last job left me with such bitterness, it was the first time ever where work was work. I felt like I was punching in the hours. They took my passion for design away from me, but thru it all I found my true passion – yoga. It was then that I told myself, ‘yoga will become my life’.

I finally took the advice of my best friend, and went thru with yoga teacher training. It was the best thing I have ever done in my life. Yoga gives me an overwhelming sense of joy, and to be able to share it with others is bliss. I just love the endless possibilities of yoga, there is always more to learn, which in turn – more for me to teach. YOGA is now my LIFE! 🙂