Category Archives: 30 Before 30

The End of an Era

(Glacier National Park, Montana)

It’s almost time to kiss the roaring 20’s goodbye… I have one week left until my 30th birthday and quite a few things left on my overly ambitious list (created on August 5th). My ego is slightly disappointed I can’t put a pretty line through each and every item, but my sympathetic side understands that six months may have been cutting it short to complete the list in its entirety. Overall I’m thrilled about turning 30 because I truly believe that happiness multiplies exponentially with age. I’m not crumpling up the list, just giving myself a bit of an extension.

30 Before 30

  1. Run a 5k (I started jogging in the fall before the excuses set it…it’s too cold and running is just plain boring)
  2. Simplify my living space and clear out the clutter (a constant work in progress)
  3. Eat local for one week (I plan to resume this in the spring with the abundance of farmers’ markets)
  4. Do a headstand without the wall
  5. Go one full day without talking, texting, emailing, or facebook
  6. Complete 21 days of meditation (tried and failed, plan to try again)
  7. Travel without a plan (what if the plan is to avoid the Costa Rican police?)
  8. Attend a kirtan
  9. Do a cleanse
  10. Learn how to change a tire
  11. Work on a farm for a day (postponed until warmer days)
  12. Become CPR certified
  13. Learn how to make one kick-ass vegan recipe to bring to parties (this yummy dip is picky-kid-tested and approved!)
  14. Find a charity to believe in and support
  15. Eat in for one week
  16. Learn more about prenatal yoga
  17. Sew an article of clothing and wear it (I started with homemade Christmas cards)
  18. Try zumba
  19. Go on a 15+ mile bike ride
  20. Attend a yoga festival
  21. Eat vegan for one week
  22. Read another translation of the Yoga Sutras
  23. Study Spanish and stick with it
  24. Hold crow pose for five breaths
  25. Write a handwritten heartfelt letter once a week for 10 weeks
  26. Master a homemade chai recipe (still working on this one)
  27. Go on a solo hike
  28. Celebrate the seasons
  29. Attend a kundalini yoga class
  30. Make my own beauty products

I’m giving myself a C+. Most of the crossed-off items were well worth the time and a few were life changing. (Grand total: 14 checked off and 7 in progress.)

I felt most accomplished after:

Olivia’s Overlook near Kripalu

Lasting changes happened after:

  • #21 eat vegan for a week (I’m not vegan, but I realized just how wonderful I felt without dairy)
  • #30 make my own beauty products (goodbye loads of money to Sephora, hello essential oils and edible ingredients)

Homemade lip balm

I can’t believe I did it:

Two days of an Ayurvedic monodiet followed by freshly pressed juice

I promise I’ll do it this spring:

  • #3 eat local for a week
  • #10 learn how to change a tire
  • #11 work on a farm for a day

I can’t wait to do it again:

Summer strawberries

Fall harvest

Winter woods

Are you celebrating any milestones? Or have you celebrated lately? Are you moving forward with happiness, nervousness, disappointment or any other feelings?

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Santa Barbara Kundalini

Clouds along the coast of Santa Barbara

You may have read the title of this post and wondered…what the heck is kundalini? Well, it’s a type of yoga, and it may just be the most new age-yish thing I’ve ever done (I say that in a loving way!). While in Cali for a few days M and I drove two hours up the coast from L.A. to the charming little towns of Montecito and Santa Barbara. He had to take care of some business for a few hours, which left me free time to visit the Santa Barbara Yoga Center. I happily signed up for back-to-back yoga classes: kundalini and anusara.

Borrowed pic, gorgeous space

Kundalini focuses on the breath and more subtle energy than a regular vinyasa style yoga class. It’s a little less sweating, but it’s not exactly easy. The class I attended focused on the immune system so there were plenty of exercises targeting the chest. It’s hard to describe and feels a little weird at first, but it’s relaxing and made me feel great in the end. Next up was anusara yoga. It’s a style that focuses on proper alignment, yoga philosophy and heart-opening poses. The teacher helped me get into my biggest backbend ever:

One legged wheel pose

That’s not me in the photo, but it’s a pic of a new pose I tried out. It was scary at first, but Merideth was supportive and encouraging (and by supportive, I mean she literally held my back). It felt great and I’ve been addicted ever since!

Have you tried anything new lately?

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Filed under 30 Before 30, Yoga

Christmas Stitches

I kind of forgot about my 30 Before 30 List for a while, but now I’m back and kickin through. I finished a second translation of the Yoga Sutras (# 22 on the list. I read this one during yoga teacher training and this version during the past few months). By the way for those that have never heard of it, The Yoga Sutras is yoga’s oldest text. It’s the basis for everything yoga and it’s a fascinating read. The first translation I mentioned is the quickest and easiest to digest. The second gives a little more detail. They’re both great!

#17 on The List is to sew an article of clothing and wear it. I inherited a sewing machine about 10 years ago and every year since I’ve told my mom that I’m going to learn how to use it. Having a list gave me the little kick in the pants I needed. I haven’t quite made clothes yet, but I’m pretty proud of this year’s Christmas cards (made with the help of mom of course).

I got the idea from my current obsession: Design Sponge. *Disclaimer: I fully admit that I don’t have any artistic talent. Luckily my loved ones won’t care…it’s not like it’s a sweater they’ll have to wear.

Merry Christmas!

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Progress Report

30 Before 30

I created this list of goals in August. My 30th birthday is coming up on February 28, 2012 and I thought it would be fun to accomplish something by then. Or at least try a few new things. Some items on the list were easy to check off (See numbers 8 and 18). Others have been challenging (like 9 and 19) and then there are the ones that take some commitment. I have issues with commitment (just to clarify, not when it comes to relationships…but when it comes to sticking with a personal goal, making time, things like that). Like #6. I started with good intentions. I set my alarm to go off twice a day to remind me to meditate. I wanted to meditate five minutes in the morning and five minutes in the afternoon. I think I lasted three days until the alarm kept going off while I was in the car or at work or shopping. I’d hit snooze with the intention to do it later. Of course later never came. I’m not giving up, I still have a few months left to try again. Same thing happened with the letters (#25). I could easily write ten letters to all of my loved ones in one sitting, however when it comes to committing time each week, well that’s another story.

  #27 My solo hike in the Berkshire Hills, Massachusetts

#9 Cleansing with two days of mung beans and rice followed by one day of raw fruit and veggies

 #19 Fifteen miles of biking from Center City Philadelphia to Wissahickon Valley Park

 

 The List: 30 Before 30

  1. Run a 5k
  2. Simplify my living space and clear out the clutter
  3. Eat local for one week
  4. Do a headstand without the wall
  5. Go one full day without talking, texting, emailing, or facebook
  6. Complete 21 days of meditation
  7. Travel without a plan
  8. Attend a kirtan
  9. Do a cleanse
  10. Learn how to change a tire
  11. Work on a farm for a day
  12. Become CPR certified
  13. Learn how to make one kick-ass vegan recipe to bring to parties
  14. Find a charity to believe in and support
  15. Eat in for one week
  16. Learn more about prenatal yoga
  17. Sew an article of clothing and wear it
  18. Try zumba
  19. Go on a 15+ mile bike ride
  20. Attend a yoga festival
  21. Eat vegan for one week
  22. Read another translation of the Yoga Sutras
  23. Study Spanish and stick with it
  24. Hold crow pose for five breaths
  25. Write a handwritten heartfelt letter once a week for 10 weeks
  26. Master a homemade chai recipe
  27. Go on a solo hike
  28. Celebrate the seasons
  29. Attend a kundalini yoga class
  30. Make my own beauty products

Things I’m currently working on: mastering homemade chai, reading another version of the Yoga Sutras and clearing out clutter. Things I need to ahem, get serious about (because they can’t really be pulled off at the last minute): study Spanish and run a 5k.

Do you stick with a plan? Or is it difficult for you to commit to things?

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Filed under 30 Before 30, Happiness

Do Yoga Philly

This weekend was the Do Yoga Philly 3.0 Yoga Festival at Dhyana Yoga. I can now happily check off two items from my 30 before 30 list: #20 attend a yoga festival and #24 hold crow pose for five breaths.

For those that have never attended one, a yoga festival is when teachers from different places/studios get together and offer a variety of workshops and classes. At this particular festival you could pay per class or buy a day pass (good karma bonus- the money went to charity).

I bought a day pass on Friday to attend Wall Yoga Vinyasa, Manifestation Yoga and a kirtan (read all about my first experience at a kirtan here).

Wall yoga was a challenging class taught by Erica and Julie from Jai Yoga in Haverford, PA. We did crazy stuff like downward facing dog with our feet climbing up the wall. My arms were shaking and sweat poured out of my body, but somewhere along the way I actually broke out into giggles.

During manifestation yoga we were instructed to focus on something we really wanted and were willing to work for (no, it wasn’t a Marc Jacobs purse for me as my boyfriend suggested). I chose patience and ironically it was while focusing on that I was able to hold myself in crow for five breaths.

Borrowed picture of my friend Alissa in crow pose

(I brought my camara but didn’t end up snapping any pics)

The night ended with cheerful chanting. The festival was tons of fun and it gave me a chance to try new things. Yay for Do Yoga Philly and getting out of my comfort zone.

What have you done lately to challenge yourself?

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Chai: Take 2

I have a little list of goals I’m working on, and mastering the perfect chai is #26. (Read why and about my first attempt here.)

Pretty darn close

I wanted to kick up the flavor a notch or two this time, so I doubled the amount of a few spices. I got a basic recipe for spiced chai concentrate here.

Organic spices found in Reading Terminal, Philadelphia

Star Anise

Cloves

Cardamom

Almond milk wasn’t creamy enough for my taste so I tried a new ingredient: coconut creamer. Two spoonfuls of maple syrup and this was almost the perfect chai latte.

Sweet and spicy dreaminess

Is there anything you make at home because it’s just too expensive to buy all the time? Or because you don’t like the ingredients it’s made from?

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Filed under 30 Before 30, Dining in

Jogging into Fall

Number 1 on my 30 Before 30 list is run a 5k. Uggh. Why did I write that? I was never athletic when I was younger. I did belong to the swim team, which I chose based on the fact that it’s an individual sport so I wouldn’t be letting my team down if I didn’t perform well. I couldn’t even run a mile in gym class without stopping. Now I’m into yoga and walking, with the occasional gym class or jog.

I like (well, like is a strong word. I like the feeling that comes after…and all the effects from) jogging because it’s simple and I don’t need anything besides a good sports bra and sneakers. It’s also a nice way to see a new place or get outside and forget about everything else.

In order to meet my goal of running jogging a 5k before I turn 30 I need to start training now. My birthday is in February and I live in New Jersey where it’s going to get cold fast. On the plus side, this is a gorgeous time of year to be outside.

My South Jersey suburban running trail (taken with iPhone camara)

I started easy with 4 minutes jogging/1 minute walking four times. Pandora‘s hip-hop station kept me going and I plan to add a few more minutes next time.

Cool air and changing colors = smiles

How do you feel about jogging?

Do you set goals for yourself, fitness or otherwise?

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