sarah recovers from back surgery and starts the 21 day cleanse!

Written by Sarah on February 22nd…

On January 27, I had surgery on my lower back (a minimally invasive discectomy to remove part of a herniated disc that was pressing on my sciatic nerve).  It’s been almost a month now and I’m feeling better than I’ve felt in over 2 years.  I am not in constant pain!  I am currently in physical therapy and I am not yet allowed to do any exercise except for walking.  I am hoping to be back doing yoga & pilates in April.  My next follow up with the surgeon is in early April so we’ll see what he says.  I can’t believe I endured such terrible back and leg pain for so long.  Doing yoga and stretching really did help with pain management but I am looking forward to enjoying doing yoga without having to ice my back afterwards.  I am also excited that I will have a greater range of motion going forward so I may be able to get deeper in to poses and stretches.  

Living with back pain is awful.  It just hurt to do much of anything and I felt sad constantly.    If you combine that with the pandemic, my eating habits were awful.  I didn’t just fall off the wagon, the wagon backed up and ran me over twice.  It was bad.  I knew I needed to change my habits. I knew I needed to lose weight, but I was lacking the motivation to take action.  

So, I joined in the 21 day cleanse in February and it’s been awesome.  I am a week behind everyone else (to allow an extra week of healing from surgery) so I still have 6 days to go as of today.  If you didn’t sign up for this in February, you should definitely join in March.  In the first week, I lost just under 5 lbs.  I haven’t been eating sugar, haven’t been drinking soda, haven’t been eating cheese, butter or any of the junk I have been eating for so long.  I don’t drink coffee in the morning, so I was drinking Crystal Light with caffeine every day (which is probably horrible for me).  I have replaced that with a cup of green tea every morning. 

Everyone in the group is very supportive and shares recipes.  There is something about being in a group of people that makes it more fun and more encouraging. Don’t let the word “cleanse” scare you!  It is amazing.  You get to eat plenty of food and you will have so much energy.   When the 21 days ends, I may just turn around and do it again!  

Stay well!   Sarah

Sarah gets a birthday cake in warm slow yoga! she lets go, then lets go more!

Written by Sarah on January 26th, 2021

In the past week, I have only been to Happy Hour a couple of times.  On January 21, I took Warm Slow & Let Go.  I loved so many things about that class.  There’s always amazing, positive energy in every class at Happy Hour but this one was especially awesome because it was my birthday.  Nancy made me a birthday cake out of a yoga block and tealights and then everyone sang to me at the end of class.  It made this particular class even more awesome than usual.  I love Warm Slow & Let Go for many reasons.  The first is that it’s warm in the studio.  It’s not hot yoga, it’s warm.  I think it’s maybe 83 degrees at the hottest point.  It feels so incredible especially on a cold, blustery day.  I love that it’s slow yoga for the first half so we go through some sun salutations and poses but then the last 30 minutes is “Let Go” which is yin yoga.  I love yin because we hold stretchy poses and it feels wonderful.   

Right before my birthday, I took Let Go More on the reformer.  It’s like yin yoga on the reformer so you’re stretching and holding poses on the reformer machine.  It feels amazing.  The room is dim, the music is quiet, honestly it’d be easy to doze off at the end of class.  Jennifer subbed for Nancy for this class and I had not met her yet.  I really enjoyed her style and look forward to taking a reformer class with her someday soon.

I’m absolutely loving the online beginner yoga class that Nancy is teaching.  We are in the home stretch now.  We’ve learned about meditation, we’ve learned about logs (which honestly I thought was going to be like a journal…LOL)  Coming up soon we have Fast yoga, Nidra and Let Go and then an in person class at the end of the month.  I’ve taken classes at Happy Hour but I wish I could be there for this in person class with this group because it would be so magical to be there together with everyone from the group.  I’m having back surgery so that will prevent me from coming in person.  I love that Nancy has done this beginner class and taken the time every day to teach something new so that maybe a few people who were a little afraid of taking a yoga class will now feel more comfortable about going.  I know that yoga has done so much for me and I hope other people feel the same way. 

I also am going to sign up for the cleanse with Vicki that starts on February 1st. (There’s another one starting in March. join here)  I’m kicking myself for not doing it in January when Nancy first did it.  I was afraid of the word “cleanse”.  After hearing Nancy talk about it, I think it sounds like something I could do!  I would love to lose a few pounds while I’m recovering from my surgery instead of gaining 10 more while I sit around.  

My next entry will be post surgery.  Here’s hoping it helps relieve my back pain so I can get back to doing more yoga!! 
Stay well,Sarah 

sarah quiets her mind with meditation and gives ashtanga a try!

Written on January 16th, 2021

This past week, I have learned so much in the Happy Hour Beginner Yoga group.  Nancy talked about Metta meditation which I loved learning about.  We had learned about Anapana meditation earlier in the group.  Previous to this, I had never tried any kind of meditation and whenever I would sit quietly at the beginning of yoga class or during savasana, my mind would wander.  I would think about what I had to do later, I would think about the person who cut me off during my drive to class and most recently I would think about what on my body was hurting at the moment.  Now, after learning more about meditation, I am learning to quiet my thoughts and have nearly dozed off the past few classes during savasana because I’m relaxed and calm.   

I also tried my first Ashtanga class this past week!  I am not sure why but I had been hesitant to try Ashtanga.  Maybe because the description said it’s the same poses every class.  In my head, I was in a room full of yogis who knew it by heart and I fell way behind but in reality, it was incredible.  Of course Nancy guided us through it and of course I did just fine.  Silly me for waiting to take this class.  Nancy counts breaths in Sanskrit in this class (not every single time) but I think my favorite is four (chatvaari), just has a fun ring to it.  

Speaking of Sanskrit, the more classes I take and the more beginner classes of Nancy’s I follow along with online, the more I’m learning the Sanskrit names for poses.  I should elaborate on that… when she does the pose and says the name, I am beginning to correlate the two.  If I was alone in a room and you said Parsvottanasana, I would stare at you blankly.  (That’s Pyramid Pose and I looked it up.)  

I am signing up for Vicki’s cleanse in February and I’m looking forward to detoxing and losing a few pounds.  My surgery is January, 27 so doing a cleanse while I’m healing will keep me from gaining an extra 10 lbs while I’m a couch potato.  You should sign up for it too!  Things like this are more fun with a group of friends.  

I am sad that I am not able to take a beginner pilates class now because it’s too close to my surgery date.  I have to keep my distance from folks that close to the big day.  I would love to learn more about the equipment like how to adjust the straps but someday I will get there!  

Happy Hour is making me a happier person for sure.  Stay well!! Sarah 

sarah takes beginner yoga and beginner pilates at happy hour!

Originally written on January 8th, 2021…

I have been going to yoga classes for a few years, off and on.  I never really learned much about it, I learned poses from watching others and remembered what they were called but if I was in a room by myself and someone told me what pose to do, I would have no idea what they were talking about.  On January 1, Nancy started a beginner yoga class group on Facebook.  I am so glad that I joined that group.  She has taught me so much in the past week.  I am looking forward to understanding more about the breathing, the poses and proper form.  We have learned about meditation, Sun Salutations and Yin Yoga so far. I am not a great sleeper and I am terrible at relaxing.  I’m not talking laying on the couch watching tv because I am a pro at that.  I am talking clearing my mind and truly letting go.  Nancy led us on a guided meditation the other night and I felt like I was floating, I was so relaxed.  During that meditation, my back didn’t hurt and my sciatic pain didn’t bother me.  It was absolutely amazing.   

This past week, I took Let Go and Flow on Thursday evening.  I was almost late for class and was in the front of the room.  A few months ago, being in the front would have given me terrible anxiety but this time, it was only minor anxiety and it only lasted a minute.  Once I was settled on my mat, I focused on my breath and closed my eyes.  That class was amazing.  Nancy’s calm voice and focusing on breathing made me forget that I was even in a room with other people.  During savasana, someone was snoring…it’s THAT good.  I’m telling you, every time I think I have a favorite class, I find another favorite.  

I’ve taken a couple of reformer classes this past week and am loving it.  I signed up for a beginner reformer class in January so I can learn more about the machine itself.  If you haven’t taken a reformer class, please don’t be intimidated by the equipment.  Sign up for a beginner class!   I am sorry that I didn’t try this one out much sooner.  You work your core, arms, legs, booty…..everything!   There are a couple of beginner classes on the schedule for January, I encourage you to give it a try.  

In the last week or so, I have been really paying attention to my food intake.  I’ve been eating more vegetables, lean meat and less carbs.  I’ve been paying close attention to the amount of water I drink daily.  I am pleased to say I’ve actually lost 2 pounds.  I am not setting a weight loss goal for myself because I find that to be stressful personally.  I am just taking it one day at a time.  I want to make healthy habits that stick with me even after my surgery at the end of the month when I won’t be able to exercise for a few weeks.  
Thank you Nancy for being a great teacher and let’s just add life coach to your title.  
Stay well everyone….Sarah 

Beginners Yoga on Facebook

Sarah’s New Year at Happy Hour Yoga

I don’t usually make New Year’s resolutions.  I am terrible at sticking with them so I don’t typically even bother.  I think this year is different.  Clearly, 2020 has been a meh year for nearly everyone.  If you have had an amazing year, that’s awesome!  My resolutions for 2021 are the usual…eat better, get in shape, lose weight.  I am also adding to truly “invest in myself”.     I have been doing more yoga lately which has really made me feel better physically and has put me in a better place mentally.   I am super excited for the Happy Hour at Home Beginner Yoga classes starting in January.  I love yoga but there are some poses that I don’t know and some things that I still just don’t quite get.  I would love to fully understand the poses, the breathing, etc.  

I am having surgery on my lower back at the end of January (to fix a herniated disc) and I’m hopeful that once I’m healed from that, I can do more without pain and can kick my workouts in to high gear.  I don’t want to fall in to a slump while I’m healing where I eat a bunch of junk food and feel sorry for myself.  That is basically what I’ve done for most of this year already.  

I think that doing yoga regularly, eating better and getting my back fixed up (finally) will combine to make 2021 an amazing year.  I’m looking forward to feeling better and having more energy.   I am also a little giddy about the spin bike that my husband bought me for Christmas.  I’m hoping I can use it sometime before Summer.  

I’m happy to have made friends at Happy Hour that I know will help to motivate me and cheer me on during my journey and hope that I can do the same for them.  

Nancy, I truly appreciate you doing this beginner yoga “course”.  I’m really excited to learn more!!

Happy New Year everyone.  Cheers to a great year!!!