Hi! Happy Sunday! Hope you’re enjoying a wonderful weekend <3

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(with Ashleigh and Kelli!)

I’ve had an amazing time expanding my yoga knowledge and practicing with powerhouse instructors at the Yoga Journal Conference here in San Diego. Just like with any fitness conference, my legs kind of hate me, but my soul and heart are happy. It’s invigorating to be surrounded by such positive and kind energy. 

The yoga clothes and healthy treats at the expo are fun, too 😉

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The day before the conference, I was ready to get in a workout because I’d taken a couple of days off. (The Pilot was gone and I was ready for a rest; usually I have two days off each week, but when they’re two days in a row, the next workout feels extra strong.) I wanted to practice Bodypump, so I did it during naptime with a pair of dumbbells and a kettlebell. Since I obviously didn’t need to set up my barbell in between songs, I did kettlebell swings instead. It ended up being a lot of fun (and a killer workout) but it my best move to head into the conference with sore legs. “Reach down and touch your toes.” I was the one with super bent knees and silently begging my stiff hamstrings not to break in half.

Even though I obviously wished I would have taken it easy the day before so I’d have some semblance of flexibility, here’s the great thing about it: NO ONE CARED.

When I first ventured into yoga, I was intimidated. I practiced with my Rodney Yee DVDs in the safety of my own home, and it wasn’t until I’d practiced on my own for a while that I felt confident enough to attend a live class. The classes on base in Valdosta were my first real yoga classes, and I was surprised and thrilled to learn that it’s such a welcoming atmosphere. Training clients or friends frequently avoid yoga because they “aren’t flexible.” You don’t have to be! You also don’t have to be still all the time; there are so many types of yoga that there truly is a style for everyone. Shiva Rea was one of my first DVD yoga instructors, and I’m so excited that she’s teaching at the conference! Fan girl in 3…2…..


Needless to say, I’ll likely be ready for another off day tomorrow, and in the meantime am relishing in the classes that encourage extra stillness with long stretches.

Do you practice yoga? Were you intimidated at first? What helped you to come out your shell and go for it? 

Before trying yoga, did anyone else have weird visions of constant chanting in conjunction with Cirque du Soleil-esque poses? Maybe I’m not alone haha.

Have a happy Sunday!




Last chance to enter the Summer Shape Up Week 4 giveaway and Friday’s Gymboss giveaway! Winners will be announced in the am.

See ya tonight with some pics from the weekend <3

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  1. Megan @ The Skinny-Life on July 13, 2014 at 8:25 am

    That is so cool your on the cover of yoga mag! Exciting!!! I don’t practice yoga because it is intimidating. I have no idea how to do any of the moves and never feel like I’m getting anything out of it. I’ve always liked the idea of it, but never found a class or instructor that I liked.

  2. Traci on July 13, 2014 at 8:29 am

    People often assume that I do yoga…I don’t know why–because I’m extremely flexible? And just seem like the kind of person who would be into yoga? But I have never taken an official class! I hope to, this year, however. I’m sure I’ll love it. But I barely know where to begin!

  3. Erin Motz on July 13, 2014 at 9:53 am

    Aww, so happy you loved it! Yoga fests are so much fun… the samples and food are always my fave! 😉

    • Fitnessista on July 13, 2014 at 7:25 pm

      i was actually talking to one of the YJ editors about you 🙂 i’ll email ya!

      • Erin Motz on July 13, 2014 at 9:10 pm

        ooo, anxiously awaiting! 😉 <3

  4. Lindsey on July 13, 2014 at 10:45 am

    So I’ve been practicing yoga for about 2 years now, and yesterday morning I went to a vinyasa flow class. It was one of the most powerful classes I’ve ever taken and I actually was in tears during savasana. Yoga is a beautiful thing!

    • Fitnessista on July 13, 2014 at 7:25 pm

      that is the best <3 i cried a little today, too

  5. Fiona @ Get Fit Fiona on July 13, 2014 at 10:53 am

    My favorite studio (and the one I first started going to) is so great for beginners. It’s not pretentious or intimidating at all, which I really think yoga is at it’s core. The teachers always start off class by saying to honor your body in terms of injuries and skip/modify poses as well as each posture looks a little different for everyone. Some people can get their heels on the mat in downward dog with no problem, while others have to bend their knees. It’s a very inclusive environment which I love.

  6. Laura @ She Eats Well on July 13, 2014 at 11:07 am

    So jealous you are at the Yoga Conference in SD!

    Even though I danced for years, I was intimidated by yoga because it was new to me. However, once I found the teachers and studio I liked (which is KEY in my opinion), I’ve never looked back. For the past 6 years I’ve been practicing regularly and it’s my favorite ‘workout’ – mentally and physically! The most important thing I’ve learned over the years is to laugh at myself when I fall or slip – it’s totally fine! That’s been especially helpful while working on my handstand ha.

    • Fitnessista on July 13, 2014 at 7:24 pm

      totally agree that finding instructors you love is the key

  7. purelytwins on July 13, 2014 at 11:15 am

    We started off with a lot of his yoga dvds too! And love Shiva Rea!! We are trying hard to get back into yoga, we tend to go through periods of doing it then we get off course. You have inspired us to get back into it!

    • Fitnessista on July 13, 2014 at 7:24 pm

      i miss our okc yoga dates 🙂 xoxo

  8. Megan on July 13, 2014 at 11:23 am

    I’ve only done yoga a few times and I really want to start doing it regularly. There are so many yoga studios near my new home that I can’t wait to try out… especially a core power studio!

  9. Danielle on July 13, 2014 at 11:36 am

    A yoga conference?? That sounds AMAZING. I’ve always been into it, but didn’t fall in love with it until this year. I had never been to a group class and didn’t know what to expect, but it was low-key and fun. No chanting or strange things! haha

  10. Mari on July 13, 2014 at 1:22 pm

    A few months ago, I consistently started going to yoga 2-3 times a week. I was hesitant at first because I didn’t think it would be that effective but I tried it since so many people say such good things about it. Luckily at my gym, the 2 instructors are amazing. After only a few months, I feel happier, calmer, stronger, and my balance has improved significantly. I still sit in the back since I’m still a little intimidated but the classes I go to make everyone feel super comfortable, no matter what level they’re at. I now recommend yoga to all my friends – if anything, it helps you center yourself and better handle stress.

  11. Jennifer on July 13, 2014 at 1:26 pm

    Congratulations on being in Yoga mag! You look so strong and pretty in the photo 🙂
    I practice yoga maybe 3 times a year, I hope to be better at it one day, I have a hard time being still.
    Enjoy your well deserved rest 🙂

  12. Tracy on July 13, 2014 at 1:30 pm

    I started yoga with a once a week “fitness yoga” at my gym (Lifetime). I then added practice at home. Needless to say it’s not the yoga I practice today!!! LOL. It was enough of an intro that I am now in LOVE with yoga and practice almost every day 🙂 I would love to attend a yoga conference!

    Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

    • Fitnessista on July 13, 2014 at 7:23 pm

      my experience was very similar! 🙂 hope you had a great weekend, too

  13. Livi @ Eat, Pray, Work It Out on July 13, 2014 at 2:38 pm

    I’m so bad about keeping up with yoga but I’m getting more into it lately!

  14. Jodie on July 13, 2014 at 2:59 pm

    Love the leggings!! I know you hear this all the time but I absolutely adore your blog. You keep it real! Have a great Sunday!

    • Fitnessista on July 13, 2014 at 7:21 pm

      thank you so much, jodie!

  15. Yaara Leve on July 13, 2014 at 4:26 pm

    I found yoga when I was in college and it was the best thing for me!! After coming from a background of severe judgmental bullshit in the dance world and figure skating world yoga was a special oasis! After I developed a practice at studios–I try to develop my own practice–but I love how it’s a constantly evolving and growing practice. I can’t wait to hear about your experience with the YJ conference. I actually took workshop with Shiva Really several years ago. While I was in NYC for college–she came to one of the studios I was practicing at and gave a workshop! It was really unique and fun! I love how she incorporates energy and dance and rhythm into her asanas. Who else are you taking classes from? I’m jelly–lol. I looked at the schedule and looks like big great lineup this year. Are you taking with Katherine Budig by any chance? I’ve also done a workshop with her. Oh–and Maty Ezraty is amaze!!!

    • Fitnessista on July 13, 2014 at 7:19 pm

      i totally hear you on the dance stuff. luckily my studio wasn’t like that at all, but i still experienced it!
      that’s amazing you’ve taken a workshop with shiva rea. i didn’t end up getting to see her this weekend! MATY EZRATY was beyond amazing

      • Yaara Leve on July 13, 2014 at 7:29 pm

        Eee! So glad you got a chance to take from her! I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on her! There’s really none other like her! I remember she had a really powerful and silent presence.

        • Fitnessista on July 14, 2014 at 12:22 am

          she was INCREDIBLE

  16. Bethann on July 13, 2014 at 5:13 pm

    I am yoga OBSESSED but have never been to a yoga conference. It seems they are always having some kind of conference near by, perhaps I should check it out! Awesome photos of you and the gals on the cover! xo, BA

    • Fitnessista on July 13, 2014 at 7:18 pm

      thank you lovely! hope you all had a great weekend <3

  17. shaina on July 13, 2014 at 6:49 pm

    Shiva Rea is amazing! I had the opportunity to attend one of her practices in DC at a lululemon event and it was awesome. I have her prenatal dvd too, but I learned that prenatal yoga isn’t my thing. I was a big time Bikram girl just because I like the challenge and the heat, but I don’t love the time commitment and would rather switch things up (now), so I might check out Core Power after the baby comes. I’ve been before in SD, but it was like social hour in the practice space and I didn’t love that…but every studio is different so who knows.

  18. Samantha on July 13, 2014 at 7:43 pm

    So exciting you got to attend YJ Conference! You’re in such a great area to learn from the greats. Check you YogaGlo’s studio and Stephanie Snyder , you won’t regret it.

    Please, please, from a yoga instructor to a soon to be YT, check your alignment in vrksasana (tree pose). You often post pics in this pose and your sole is always on your knee which is very dangerous to the knee joint!

    We just got orders to PCS from Japan to WA state. I’m excited to travel and learn with Amy Ippoliti (out of Boulder) and Noah Maze (out of CA). I’ve taken trainings with them both online, so I know the location trainings will be outstanding!

    • Fitnessista on July 14, 2014 at 12:22 am

      i had a feeling someone was going to point that out– the leggings are a little slippery. in the photo i’m sharing tomorrow, my foot placement is correct.

      • Samantha on July 14, 2014 at 6:53 pm

        Definitely not trying to be critical! I know you teach teach proper and placement and alignment to keep everyone who does your workouts safe. Just want to see yogis and yoginis is take care of their bodies!

  19. Michelle on July 13, 2014 at 8:15 pm

    That conference seems so cool!

    When I first started yoga, I was nervous because I was recovering from an ED and was really uncomfortable in my body. It was a hot yoga class with a bunch of mirrors everywhere and I absolutely hated it. I stayed away for a while, and then gave it another chance at a new studio. There were no mirrors, and the instructor lead a great flow class that was physically challenging, but filled with variations for beginners or people who needed it. The new studio totally changed my perspective and I really enjoy yoga now. It teaches me to not be so critical of myself and be in the moment.

  20. Nour @ GreenShushi on July 13, 2014 at 9:19 pm

    Looove yoga! I did the teacher training last year just before getting pregnant. Even the chanting grew on me!! It became a sort of meditation for me. Now I’m trying to get all my muscles back post labour via yoga, HIIT, and running. One day at a time…

    • Fitnessista on July 14, 2014 at 12:20 am

      (i like the chanting, too) 🙂

  21. Jen on July 13, 2014 at 9:33 pm

    I bought a groupon for 5 yoga classes about 4 months ago and have been too intimidated to go. :/ It expires next month.

  22. Julie on July 13, 2014 at 11:37 pm

    I’m such a big fan of yoga and never thought it was too strange of a practice.

  23. Andrea on July 13, 2014 at 11:38 pm

    I love yoga! I had a couple of dvd’s that I used at home, but when I first went to classes, I was super intimidated. I felt like I didn’t really get the full experience because I was so self-conscious
    and worried about what others thought. A lady who lives in my neighborhood opened a yoga studio in town a few years ago and started offering a beginner’s foundation series. Even though I had some experience, I signed up and it was awesome. It was six weeks of both learning about yoga theory and practice. The workshop also introduced meditation. I found an instructor that I really liked, plus, it helped me to learn that yoga really is a nonjudgmental environment. Totally worth the 6 week investment!

  24. Ali on July 14, 2014 at 12:28 am

    Yoga saved my life 🙂 I think everyone should do it! I am happy you had a good time at the conference! It looks like a great tim 🙂

  25. Nicole on July 14, 2014 at 10:52 am

    I practice yoga a lot at home. I used to go to a studio when I lived in Boston. I moved from Boston to New York about a year ago and have yet to find a studio here, mainly because I’m intimidated by the sheer volume of places to go to and the uncertainty about the clientele at each place. Any advice on how to find a welcoming, no-judgement studio in a big city?

    • Fitnessista on July 14, 2014 at 11:18 am

      i think lululemon is an incredible resource for finding great classes. i’d stop by in one of the stores and ask the girls and guys working there. they’ll help you find an awesome place. uplift studios is in NY (AMAZING; they have a great mix of classes) and P57, but i’m not super sure about yoga. are you in midtown, or another area?

      • Nicole on July 14, 2014 at 12:00 pm

        I will have to look into both of those! I work on the Upper West Side and live on the Upper East Side. It looks like there’s a P57 close to work!

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