Tag Archives: venting

Shake Your Soul Dance Yoga

Hey guys! How was your weekend? I spent mine continuing to smile thanks to your support. It really helped me to have all those new mantras and the abundance of encouragement as I went into the weekend! I’m also pleased to announce that I had the last day of my double-weekend summer class yesterday, and have banged out three credits! Just three more to go this summer!

I’m trying to be optimistic because this morning, I have a REALLY bad case of the Mondays. At first the fact that my alarm was accompanied by a clap of thunder made me happy – I love thunderstorms, especially morning ones, because they are always a surprise. But once the rain came down during my commute, I realized it wasn’t an ideal time to have a thunderstorm. Hello, traffic! I also had to pull over to refill my tank at a Shell station, and as I got to work putting my credit card in the pump, the clouds decided to dump a Six Flags water park-sized bucket of rain from the skies. Then the pump decided to decline my card twice (there was no reason for it to do so).

Not as psyched as these fine folks. Source.

I dashed back into my car now soaked to the bone, and ready to burst into tears. Instead I took a deep breath, pulled out my umbrella, and pumped my gas using a different credit card. And it worked. And now I’m drinking black Mudslide coffee from Peaberry’s and trying to keep calm and carry on, as they say. At least I have this blog as an outlet.

But I want to share my thoughts on the new fitness class I mentioned that I was trying on Friday, Shake Your Soul dance yoga! The class was held at Granby Yoga in Granby, CT (I highly recommend this studio for any local readers, the Wednesday power class with Laura is amazing) and was full before the day of the event even arrived. It was only $22, which I felt was totally worth it to try such a unique class that combined two of the things I love, dancing and yoga. The instructor, Jayne Dean, is a Certified Expressive Movement Therapist and certified by the creators of Shake Your Soul, the Levin Institute.

Some examples of benefits of Shake Your Soul include:

  • release of body tensions and movement of body fluids
  • learning to trust the body’s “intrinsic ability to dance” (I love that!) and feeling more comfortable in your ski
  • cardio workout and strengthening of core and lower body

I definitely have to say that I felt all those benefits during the class. Usually on Fridays I go to Group Step and sweat my face off, but I still got a bit sweaty during dance yoga. More importantly, I also had FUN. I’m a huge fan of dancing (anyone who saw me doing Ilyse Baker‘s cardio dance at Reebok knows this) and my favorite songs were the hip hop ones (I recognized Black Eyed Peas and Talib Kweli), especially since Jayne gave us the chance during that part of the class to just freestyle and dance as we wished. We also did group and partner dances, line dancing, and African dance!

Our teacher, Jayne, in action. Source

I have to admit that I felt a bit guilty about doing a workout that was “less intense” than my typical Friday fitness class, but I did something new and something that I love, so I was trying to and still am trying to reflect on that fact and feel proud of myself for going outside my box and breaking routine. It’s not easy for me to do that! I danced my hardest and tried to make each “move” as intense as my body felt comfortable with. My quads were DEFINITELY burning during the plie squats and lunges we did. Many of the moves also combined cardio and strength because not only were they quick with lots of arm movements (cardio), but they required us to stay low in our legs (strength). And if you think about it, that makes perfect sense since dance is one of my favorite ways to get cardio in and yoga is a great way to strengthen the body.

Jayne does other classes around CT, and Granby Yoga wants to have the class again, so I hope I get to do Shake Your Soul again soon. You can look for a teacher in your area here! And I’ll be sure to mention when I’m going again, in case any local readers want to join 🙂

If you want to see examples of Shake Your Soul dancing and student perspectives, check out this cool video from Kripalu! I wish I had videos or photos from my event…maybe next time I can ask Jayne to snap some shots for me!

After the class, I went to a friend‘s birthday dinner at my favorite restaurant, J. Gilbert’s, and got a dish there that I’d never tried, the Lobster Cobb Salad! I also enjoyed a couple glasses of red wine. Again, I felt a bit guilty getting the wine after doing a less intense cardio workout for the day (and I’d taken a rest day the day before), but once I was with my friends I relaxed a bit. I also talked to my mom before dinner, and as usual she had plenty of encouragement for me. She also told me she was proud of me for skipping Step in favor of something new and unique. Hearing that really perked me up and helped wipe my mind of annoying guilty thoughts so that I could enjoy dinner!

Greens, balsamic vinaigrette, lobster, sweet potato straws, avocado, hard-boiled egg, corn nuts, black beans, corn, tomatoes, and mango salsa. Boo flash.

Started with a glass of Syrah! Like my post-yoga-dance look?

Had to embarrass Jeff with this photographic evidence of his death grip on my shoulder.

Is it hard for you to try a new fitness class (and break your normal routine)?

Have you ever done some kind of dance yoga workout?

What was the best dinner you had this past weekend?

Who are your sources for support if you are struggling with food and/or exercise-related guilt?

What’s the worst case of the Mondays you’ve ever had? How’d the Monday turn out?

Struggling to Rest and Johnny Longboat’s

Make sure you read my preview of the Mohegan SunWine Fest, an epic event that I’ll be attending this Sunday!

TGIF, friends! I finally get to do some cardio after work today a-la Group Step, and I can’t wait. Haven’t done cardio since Step on Sunday and I’m feeling pretty restless. Vent time…

This is me, needing to vent. And sorry about this pic, Lidia.

Already I’m having trouble with my classes starting back up for the semester. I go from work to class on Tuesdays/Thursdays and it’s a very long day, so I’ve taken those two days as rest days this week. I’m honestly not used to that – it’s been a struggle for me the last couple of years to take the rest days  I should. Since my last semester ended I’ve honestly been doing SOMETHING (even if it’s just yoga) every single day, so now I’m breaking out of that trend and it’s feeling uncomfortable. I’m going to try to focus on my goals and tell myself that rest does a body good, but any words of wisdom or advice on getting used to a less intense workout schedule would be great! I could wake up at 5AM to hit the gym or be there until 8:30 or 9PM on Tuesday/Thursdays…but I honestly don’t want to. I’d rather hang with a friend after class, and I usually feel like crap working out before 7AM. I know that I could probably get used to it, but I don’t want to force anything – I’ve done that for too long in the past and I really think I should focus on the fitness that I find fun. So, what do you guys think? Any tips or mantras for me to keep in mind on days I don’t have time to work out?

Let’s get back to the food, shall we? I still haven’t finished recapping the restaurants I went to last month in Florida, and I don’t want you guys to miss out on the photos in this post, so without further ado…

Last month while on vacation in Florida, my dad, sister, grandma, and I enjoyed several tasty restaurants on the beach at lunchtime. One of those was Johnny Longboat’s, a place I’d been to before during spring break of my senior year, with my best friend Lidia.

Lidia and I at Johnny Longboat's last year, along with our sunburns.

Our meals were delicious then (I had mahi mahi with black beans and plantains, and Lidia had clams), so I suggested to my dad and sister, who hadn’t tried the place yet, that we should go there for lunch instead of another trip to Two Drunken Goats. I like to experience as much variety as I can while on vacation!

Lidia's clams, and a strawberry daiquiri, which she said made it a "grown-up lunch". Also, this is clearly before my camera upgrade.

Most of the restaurant is “open air”, except if you sit in the back. We sat in a nice portion that wasn’t quite on the deck, but pretty much made us feel like we were outside.

Dad and Hannah hanging out.

The decor was so fun and beachy. It reminded me a bit of Margaritaville, only more authentic.

I noticed this hilarious take on what my grandma likes to call “the rip-off machine” (AKA the claw machines – was anyone else completely obsessed with playing those as a kid?). This machine dispensed LOBSTERS instead of stuffed animals! And then they’d cook your hand-caught lobster! Seeing this tank reminded me of being little and going with my mom to Publix, back when we lived in Florida. I have many memories of grocery store trips, including trips to the bakery for my free kid’s cookie (another reason why Publix is the very best grocery store in the world).

Oops, went off on a bit of a tangent there, but that’s what Publix will do to you. Bethany knows what I’m talking about.

I decided to keep up with my salad-and-seafood lunch trend and get a Greek spinach salad. This time, my seafood topper of choice was the scallop, or shall I say, scallopS. They were grilled and EXCELLENT. This salad was even better than the one I had at Two Drunken Goats with the crabmeat. Crab is good and all, but once seafood gets grilled, it’s a whole other ball game in my opinion.


Grannan kept it classy and had some chardonnay and oysters. I don’t think it’s ever really possible for oysters to have a pretty presentation, because I think ice is ugly. Is that weird?

My dad was so torn over what to order, but opted for the hot dog, which should have been labeled the foot-long hot dog. Holy! This was NOT your typical “8-inch-footlong-hotdog”.

My dad also said it was the best hot dog he’d ever had! And this is coming from a man who’d eaten one a week before on the streets of NYC!

Caught in the act.

No photo, but my sister got a spinach salad with steak and strawberries. It looked excellent, but she said it had way too many greens. She ate all the good stuff (AKA steak and fruit) and some spinach, but left a little pile behind. I on the other hand housed my salad.

Overall we really liked Johnny Longboat’s. In fact, I don’t think we’re sure which we liked more, that or Two Drunken Goats! Good thing we can always go to both 🙂

Did anyone else have a fascination with the “rip-off” machine aka the claw machine?

Does anyone else think ice is ugly?

Have you ever struggled with taking rest days?

Agave Grill

I was in a Mood last night. I came home from work after getting out late, which hence caused me to be late for an appointment, which I ended up feeling like I wasted money on since it ended up being cut short due to my late-ness.

Bad mood face?

I picked up an extremely disappointing take-out meal from a local Mexican place I had a Groupon to, Three Amigos. It was set up just like a Chipotle or Moe’s, but the food was SO greasy. Probably explains why the prices were so much cheaper. I ended up throwing out most of what I brought home and eating leftovers.

The cherry on top was that lately I have been coming home and just not felt like talking to my parents. I pretty much just crave me-time at night and even telling them about my day politely when they ask feels like a chore, though I know it’s not and I sound like I’m 12 right now, not 22. But I need to vent – I can tell they’re getting sick of me acting rude sometimes, and I can tell when I’m being short with them. But it’s times like lately when I really do wish I lived alone. Still, the money I’m saving by living at home is too much to ignore.

That turned into a longer rant than I intended. So I started yesterday feeling pretty good, and ended it feeling like a highly irrational person. I guess it happens to everyone. Can anyone else relate to any of this?

I wanted to quickly review and recap a meal I had this past weekend (Saturday’s dinner), in which I used a LivingSocial deal to Agave Grill. Now this Mexican meal was much more satisfying and of higher quality (and obviously, more expensive, but the daily deal cut us a good bargain).

Image courtesy of agavehartford.com

My mom and I called ahead, and still had to wait about 20 minutes, because this place is both popular and small. That combo can be lethal, so if any CT locals plan to visit Agave, I highly recommend you call ahead because they only take reservations for parties of 6 or more! It does stink when restaurants do that, but there really aren’t that many tables at Agave and I’m pretty sure that if they took reservations for all, they’d essentially be reservation-only like J. Gilbert’s ends up being on weekends (just because they fill up). It’s nice that they give anyone out in the city who decides to go out to a spontaneous meal a chance to dine at their restaurant.

Waiting to sit!

We expected a wait and settled back with drinks by the bar, me with a glass of red and my mom with a Dos Equis. It took me awhile to decide to have some wine but I was craving a nice glass and it ended up doing a good job keeping me company while we waited!

We were served warm chips and salsa right away. Both were great, but I do wish the salsa was the chunky type. That’s my favorite!

The specials looked really tasty, and I almost went with appetizer special of Ceviche Mixto, but then something fancier caught my eye…

Why hello, lobster enchiladas with black beans and grilled veggies! You were AWESOME.

Seriously, these enchiladas were stuffed with fresh lobster meat, no gloppy mayo or sour cream hiding its pure lobster taste. Mixed in the enchiladas’ filling was a corn and black bean salsa that was also to die for. I dumped a ton of the chip salsa into my black beans after this photo was taken. The grilled veggies were a little oily, but nothing too heavy!

My mom ordered a grilled veggie quesadilla, which I helped her finish. I agreed with her opinion that it was quite amazing, though still not as amazing as a Loco Perro quesadilla.

Woke up this morning and had time to finally try the P90X Ab Ripper video. Quick and dirty, perfect! Dirty as in effective…

In other news, I’m going out for lunch today to use a SaveNowCT deal to a local sushi place, Sakimura. This is a big deal for me because I ALWAYS pack my lunch each day and it’ll be my first time since starting my job that I haven’t! But for a soon-expiring daily deal, I think I can make an exception 😉 we’ll see how this lunch is!

Do you ever get into random moods – how do you deal with it? Any good Mexican meals to share? Ever tried the P90X Ab Ripper? Do you pack your lunch each day, go out, or mix it up?