D.C. Yoga Week & my plan to get in tip-top yogi shape

OK. I have one confession and one announcement and bit of news.

The confession first…

I have been a bad yogi this year. A very, very bad yogi.

First, a little back story about me. I started getting into yoga my freshman year of college. I really found my groove at the Bikram studio in Tenley, which I loved and still do. Yoga was a hugely important part of my life. I worked at the studio to get free classes and really felt a part of something there. Then, I went abroad to study in Australia. And while I was there I bought a gym membership so I didn’t gain a thousand pounds eating out all the time and having the “I’m on vacation” mentality and what not, and it sort of worked for a little while. I was feeling pretty good.

And then, one April morning, I got hit by a car while crossing a street near my apartment. The driver didn’t see me, he was rounding a corner to make a left-hand turn, and I didn’t see him–I ended up with a tooth knocked out, a fractured sternum and lots of cuts and bruises. I don’t think I have ever mentioned that on this blog, but yeah, I got hit by a car while I was studying abroad in Australia. What luck! Getting hit by a car was obviously physically painful, sort of emotionally draining and worse yet because I turned into a paranoid ball of nerves for a month or two after. Only recently have I noticed I’ve let my super extra guard down when crossing streets; I was pretty cautious about it both in Australia and in America after. I guess there are some things worth being cautious about though. Anyhow, after the accident and during all the legal, medical and dental hullabaloo after, I got really bad about working out. I obviously couldn’t exercise for about 3-4 weeks after because I couldn’t even lay down at night and breathe without being in excruciating chest pain. Don’t even think about coughing or sneezing or laughing (yikes. thinking about it now is making me cringe.) After my sternum healed, I was basically able to return to normal, but for whatever reason I never really kicked into high gear again. I was in a fitness rut. I did yoga occasionally, which helped to calm me, and got sort of into a spinning class at my uni’s gym, but generally, I sort of fell out of shape.

On my way home, I did a stopover trip to Fiji and had the opportunity to finally get my open-water certification (a task that had been put on hold after the accident because of my breathing difficulties). While it was hands-down the best experience of my life, there were times I thought to myself, “I wish I was stronger so this equipment wasn’t so impossibly heavy.” I know, it’s supposed to be heavy, but I was also very weak and got the sense that I was struggling diving much more than I would if I were in stronger shape. When I returned to the States, I stepped on a scale at my parents’ house and was like, “Oh-em-gee.” I mean, I don’t ever really weigh myself anymore, because I have a past of being really obsessive about it, to a dangerous level. I should also clarify, it was never actually about the weight, however seeing that “evidence” did help to motivate me, in a healthy way. But when it came down to it, it was about how I felt physically, which was pretty awful.

So, I started running every day in the time between coming back home and starting up school again. And I shocked myself with how I was able to actually run a mile straight without dying. And pretty soon it was three miles straight. But, just like everything, if you don’t keep up a routine, you easily can slip back to square one, and that is what happened once schoolwork piled up and the weather got cooler. Meanwhile, I was writing the health column for my school’s newspaper, but sometimes would feel like a fraud, because I wasn’t really being quite the shining example I wanted to be. I had way too much on my plate this year and I can realize this now. Everything worked out as far as me being able to get through it all, but not really, because I let my fitness suffer.

and the announcement…

OK, so what does this have to do with yoga? Throughout the past year, I have gone through various yoga “phases.” I would get really into it for a couple weeks, then get really busy with school or just get lazy or ditch it for running for a week or it was too expensive or there were three feet of snow on the ground keeping me from getting to the studio, or whatever. I ended up writing my last health column on different yoga studios around my campus, which got me to try a few new styles, and it was awesome. I hadn’t forced my body to do most of that work for so long and it felt great. I decided after that I really need to make yoga a priority in my life and now that school is over, I have basically no responsibilities to speak of aside from bringing home the bacon and dealing with day-to-day life stuff. I have been told that this time after graduation is very strange because you find you have so much free time, and I want to use my free time in the smartest way possible.

This week, my new fave Vinyasa yoga studio in my fave day-time neighborhood in D.C., Dupont, opened up a new location. They kicked off their first week with free classes and I went everyday. I love the instructors there (Katja is my fave). The best part is that their regular prices, even for non-students, are pretty fabulous. Also, they are totally wind-powered, don’t sell bottled water, clean with environmentally friendly supplies, etc. Basically, I love them. And, the studio is right near where I will be interning for the next couple months, so it’s just darn perfect.

Further, starting today and going all week is D.C. Yoga Week! Today from 1-5pm, there is Yoga on the Mall, and I am going to try to get there for at least the tail end of that. But regardless, I am really going to use this opportunity to get myself back in the yogi routine. I am excited to start fresh. I am already feeling better and stronger (and sore!) after just one week.

So I was wondering, have you ever had an injury that threw you off track? How did you deal with it? Do you like to switch up your yoga styles or just concentrate on one (Bikram, vinyasa, ashtanga, etc.)?

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone.

10 responses to this post.

  1. I’m happy that Serenity opened a location in Dupont- I’ve always wanted to try them (because I pretty much hate all other yoga studios in DC…) but AdMo was a little too far. I can’t wait to try it next fall- glad to hear it’s a good one!

    I got really bad shin splints in high school and was barred from any weight-bearing exercise for 3 months. I cried. then I started swimming. I swam almost every day for 3 months and now the smell of chlorine makes me gag. Haha. A swimmer I was never meant to be.

    As for my yoga styles, I pretty much just stick to power yoga/vinyasa. I’m happy to be able to go to my home studio now that I’m back in Massachusetts.


    • I am too, I had never tried the studio in Adams Morgan because it’s such a pain to get out there, I couldn’t imagine making that trek (although there’s buses that get there but still…) regularly.

      I’m glad you are back home, tell Mass. hi for me! =)


  2. I’m so sorry that you experienced such a terrible accident! I can’t even imagine! I’ve never been through an injury like that (knock on wood), but I do find that I go through “phases” with yoga. Unfortunately right now I’m in the no-yoga-at-all phase, which is a shame b/c I love it! Definitely need to start up again!


    • Thanks and I hope so too although I really was very lucky in the end, it could have been much much worse and I am thankful for that everyday.

      It’s ok to be in the no yoga-at-all phase! But if you crave it I say go for it, and I defintiely was craving it. Haha I guess my question was pretty presumptuous that everyone does yoga when in fact, it’s just not for a lot of people, or like you said, it’s something to switch on and off.


  3. Hey! I just started to read your blog! Boy am I glad to hear that you were ok! We all fall into ruts and it does take something special to bring us all back out!!


  4. Love the new blog look! Thanks for sharing this story. I can’t imagine what you went through, wow! I know how hard it is when you fall off the workout routine for awhile…I’m finally back on and back on strong. In grad school for 2 years I was basically on workout hiatus, which still astonishes me. Somehow I didn’t gain weight. It must have been from constantly being on the GO. Good luck getting back in the swing of things! Also, I love vinyasa yoga!! It’s really the only style I’ve done for any length of time but I love it. I used to go to a great studio in Charlotte before we moved. I’m doing so many other things, that I can’t afford a yoga membership right now too. I still try to do yoga-downloads every few days though! It makes such a difference. =) Take care girl!


  5. I am so sorry about your injury!

    I have never tried yoga before, but I want to.

    I haven’t had any major injuries … just minor shin splints.


  6. Regarding your comment on my blog:

    Yes, I think it is caraway that tastes like black liquorice – yuck!!

    Cilantro tastes a bit like lime, and a bit like soap to me 🙂 (When I say soap, I mean it in the “Thrills Gum” sort of way – the good way … hehe).


  7. I’m sorry you had to deal with that! I injured my knee running years ago and I have never been able to get back to it.


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