I just taught my first yoga class…

And I survived. Oh, and so did the students hah.

I didn’t go into my class tonight expecting to be this amazing teacher right out of training. I went in understanding that not every teacher is perfect because perfection is impossible, and that every teacher gets better with every class they teach. I knew that I was probably going to make a mistake or six, but that each mistake would make me a better teacher. I was okay with knowing that I might mess up my sequence that I had planned, and that I might mix up my lefts and my rights (I did). And I was actually okay with showing my vulnerability to these people I didn’t know, because it takes a considerable amount of courage to stand up in front of a class and pour your heart and soul into a class. I knew that showing this side of me would possibly allow me to connect with a student on a deeper level, and that’s what I really wanted. I didn’t expect to make this huge impact on every single person I taught, just to someone who might have needed it the most tonight.

All that being said, I was still a nervous wreck all day knowing that I was going to stand in front of a group of people tonight and ask them to do all kinds of crazy things with their bodies. And even though I tried my hardest not to put this pressure on myself, that’s definitely an easier said then done task. It’s terrifying to stand in front of people and try to connect with them on a physical and mental level. Add to that how much goes behind actually teaching a class it’s no wonder why you truly have to be passionate about yoga to be a teacher; there’s coming up with a class that flows and opens up the body in it’s sequential order (so you don’t injure anyone), there’s spiritual theme-ing, controlling your voice, making sure the heat is not too hot or too cold, creating a playlist that matches the flow of your class, ensuring you’re assisting properly in the right areas, making sure you’re calling the right poses and cuing them effectively, accommodating the various levels of practitioners in your class, demonstrating while trying to talk at the same time…the list goes on and on!

Not to mention that I am almost 6 months pregnant and I had to constantly check my ego not to beat myself up because I can’t hold certain poses or get into poses as gracefully while teaching at the same time. The pressure, guys, it’s insane 😉

But I’m really not trying to make this sound like the hardest job ever. I just wish I would have known about supplements called nootropics that can combat these nerves I was experiencing. Nootropic supplements like Phenibut, Aniracetam, and Noopept are all great for easing anxiety, and the best part is they have other great benefits too.  In the end my class turned out great, but I bet these nootropic supplements would have put me at ease and minimized all the worrying!

Teaching just happens to be an organic, overwhelming process. There is SO much more to teaching than standing in front of a class, asking them to do poses that come naturally to you. Especially when you’re so emotionally invested in yoga, teaching is not something that you take lightly. I never realized how much went behind a class until I attended training but now my mind has been blown with how much time and effort goes behind a class. When your teacher stands in front of you, she or he is pouring their heart out to you with something they’re so passionate about.

And that’s why I worked up so much emotion going my first yoga class tonight.

As for the actual class, it wasn’t bad considering how my day started with a 5 hour trip to the ER since Caleb has been dealing with croup and bronchilitis this week. My mind and emotions were completely taxed by the time I left for my class and on the drive there, I could not shut my mind off about today’s events. I tried a few breathing exercises to no avail so I did the next best thing…I turned up Macklemore’s Thrift Shop song full blast and repeated to myself “this is fuken awesome” the rest of the drive. I guess that could be considered my mantra for the evening because it worked, I had myself convinced that tonight was going to be “fuken awesome”. And it was!

Since it was a warm candlelit vinyasa class, I tried to keep the class somewhat relaxing but I will admit that I made the students hold planks, chatarungas and a few warriors for quite some time so hopefully no one hates me too much tomorrow.

Again, I mixed up my lefts and rights a few times but not as much as I thought I would. A few times I caught myself saying something ridiculous like “Raise your hips to your heels” but I let a little personality through by sarcastically following up with “oh wait, because that’s totally possible…just kidding, don’t actually do that”. I got a few chuckles out of it so I guess it really doesn’t hurt to incorporate a little personality into your class, haha.

I ended up skipping a lot of the back bending poses I had planned, and even messed up the order of some poses but I’m pretty sure no one could tell but me. Or at least I’m hoping no one could tell. And surprisingly, I didn’t stay on my mat the entire time, I found myself walking around cue-ing poses and assisting students. My confidence in getting off my mat really shocked me since my mat is my crutch and I thought I would be glued to it.

At the beginning of the class, I thought to myself, how the hell am I going to get through an hour of this class? But the class actually went by faster than I thought since I was in such a haze of nerves. Then towards the end of the class when I started to feel my stride and my confidence grew, I actually wished I had more time. Cuh-ray-zay!

The best part of tonight was watching the bodies melt into complete relaxation during savasana, and I even had a student whisper “thank you” when I placed a lavender soaked towel over her eyes. That little “thank you” made me smile ear to ear and etched in my mind that at the very least I’m doing something right for someone. It was also so amazing seeing these students actually doing what I was telling them to do, I couldn’t believe they understood my words (well, most of them) and that they were sweating, breathing, and enjoying themselves. I did that! Holy balls!

The icing on the cake was how several students were shocked when I told them that I was six months pregnant and had no idea that this was my first class. One student even came up to me to express how happy and excited she was that we practiced inversion preps and inversions. Getting such a wonderfully specific compliment like that just blew my mind because the entire time there was this tiny voice in my head that kept telling me that my class was a disaster. But hearing that compliment just shut that pesky voice the hell right up! I wanted to squeeze her and ask her to “tell me more girlfriend!” haha.

So that’s how my first class went! After all of the heartache, intensive training, and this exhilarating experience of teaching for the first time, I am now officially a bona fide yoga teacher. I was a glass case of emotions today but it still ended up being an experience of pure thrill for me.

I teach again this Saturday and I know I’ll probably falter a few more times here and there, but I’m completely willing to learn from my errors. I want to keep going and going until I become a better teacher and I fully accept that no matter how hard I try, not everyone is going to accept me. But as long as I can reach out to one person, I’ll know that I’ve done my job successfully. And what an exciting, fulfilling job it will be.

Can’t wait to see a few of you on Saturday!

GNC Total Lean Review and Warm Flow Yoga

Oh. My. God. My body. Touch my body! It hurts all over. And yet it feels SO good.

Okay yeah, because that whole first line wasn’t creepy at all. So anyway, last night I checked out Warm Yoga flow with some super sexy girlfriends of mine and HOLY AMAZING BODYGASM (there I go again with the creepiness)….that class felt amazing. I realize I say amazing a lot but let’s be real here, I’m not pretending to be a literary genius with my words. Fine, it was incredibly stupefying (yeah, I totally didn’t use a thesaurus for that one). See, it’s better if I stick with what I know.

Back to warm flow yoga. We walked into a heated room, not bikram heated, because I won’t be doing any bikram while pregnant, but just enough heat that hits you when you walk in from the cold and you’re like “whoah momma”. That’s literally what I said when I walked in. Then we went through a series of intermediate to advanced poses all the while sweating our ass-anas off and trying not to fall and break our noses. There was incense burning, candles burning in the background, beautiful music, and basically a lot of muscle burning. The heat challenged my knocked up self, and my favorite instructor pushed us through various arm balances and inversions. At the end of the class, we were rewarded with the usual savasana where she walks around the class massaging our shoulders, giving us pillows if we needed them, and placing eye pads on us if we requested them.

It was such a sweet, sweet finish to a tough class, I just had to gush about the experience and recommend for all of you local peeps who want to get your yoga on, you MUST check out Sandra at Embrace.

You can thank me later 😉

We ended the night with some delicious hot chocolate, and girl talk while scaring the men sitting near us away. Last night was just what I needed after being cooped up all day. Hence my awesome mood this morning.

hot chocolate

But enough about my awesome night with girlfriends. We need to talk about something else. Specifically, these delicious Total Lean Protein shakes, Breakfast bars, and SafSlim I was sent by the generous folks of GNC. It’s taken me awhile to get this review up because well, I actually wanted to try the products first.

Imagine that, trying a product before reviewing. I am so cool.

So the first thing I tried was the SafSlim. If you’re wondering what the heck I’m talking about, here is the product description from their website:

A revolutionary breakthrough in targeted belly fat science. SafSlim™, powered by SAFActive78™, is the first-ever solution to target unsightly and health-threatening OMENTUM fat, the fat that accumulates around the belly region.*
This patent-pending formula features a proprietary blend of non-GMO, expeller pressed, high-linoleic safflower oil. In a major university study on obese, diabetic women, the active ingredient in SafSlim significantly reduced belly fat – 6.3% on average – in just 16 weeks.*
This “belly fat omega” has been shown to activate hormones, such as adiponectin, to help mobilize stubborn dormant midsection fat, curb appetite and improve insulin sensitivity.*
Emulsified and “body-ready” for maximum absorption, SafSlim is the easiest and most effective way to transform your belly and ab flab… naturally.*
* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Simply put, it’s supposed to really help with the spare tire I have from eating one to many donuts. Yes, I really have a fixation with donuts.

In the two and half weeks I tried the SafSlim, I actually LOVED it. The flavor was delicious, tasted almost like orange sherbert ice cream, and I liked that it was just a spoonful to take. Easy to take, and easy to go down. I also noticed results pretty quickly. My stomach felt tighter, less bloated, and my ab definition definitely improved. I don’t know if it’s because of the SafSlim itself, or if because it was coupled with a clean diet (with the exception of original glazed donuts) and intense exercise but I will assure you that I absolutely loved the results. Admittedly, I was surprised, but very impressed.

I stopped taking it when I found I was pregnant for obvious reasons. But once I pop this sucker out, I will definitely be trying another delicious bottle of SafSlim.


GNC Total Lean Reviews

As for the breakfast protein bars, I was sent Oatmeal chocolate chip and Strawberry cream. Normally I’m not a fan of these kinds of bars because I prefer to make my own food. But the flavor of both of the bars were too delicious to pass up and I started using the bars before my runs in the morning. They kept me full, but not disgustingly so, and did I mention they tasted like heaven in a bar? Yeah, they tasted like heaven in a bar. Oh, and they have 12gs of protein in each individually wrapped bar. Pretty awesome for such a tasty treat, if you ask me.

Finally, the lean shakes were the last thing I tried. First, I was completely enamored with the details:

GNC Total Lean Shake Nutrition

  • Healthy meal replacement or snack
  • 25 grams of high quality protein
  • 170 calories
  • 24 vitamins and minerals
  • Lactose Free

And then I tried the swiss chocolate flavor and tried to marry the bottle. Anything chocolate is delicious to me but this particular chocolate flavor had me crooning. It was delicious, kept me even more full then the bars, and I loved the convenience of having a bottle ready to go after my workout. I didn’t use the bottle as a meal replacement because, um, that’s not how I roll, but I can see why it’s advertised that way. These babies satisfy you for hours. Yeah, baby. Oh yeah. Don’t stop.

I’ll end the creepy blog post and review here though. I hope I still have readers. Hello? Anyone there? I am just in an EXCELLENT mood. But perhaps I should refrain from doing reviews when I’m this high off life? Eff it, GNC is awesome. Yoga! Hot chocolate! I need to get out more! Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Protein bars! Balls! Life!

And guess what I’m going to blog about next!? My mother effing homeland KOREA! Why? Because KOREA IS THE SHIT!

Off to bounce off walls now (run). Goodbye.