Physical Activity Articles

I’m Terrified of Yoga Inversions (& Other Random Confessions)

Thursday, October 30th, 2014

As a practicing yogi, you’d think I’d at least try to embrace all challenges that come my way. After all, among many other things, yoga is all about centering oneself—finding peace and balance both on and off the mat.

Yet, when my yoga instructors suggest headstands, handstands, and other yoga inversion poses, I’m ready to run screaming for the door.

I start feeling panic and anxiety, and later I’m a little depressed that I didn’t give it a try—three emotions yoga intends to reduce, not encourage.


Open Forum for Yoga Teachers: What Made YOU Decide to Teach Yoga?

Thursday, September 18th, 2014

Several times over the past couple of years, I’ve considered getting my RYT 200, i.e. 200 hours of yoga teacher training so I can become a Registered Yoga Teacher. During 2013, I seriously considered it, going so far as to complete the application and start browsing the books I needed to purchase.

Alas, my father began and lost his battle with cancer right before classes started and I wasn’t able to devote the time or money.

Yesterday, I received an email from my favorite yoga studio letting me know they were hosting a 200-hour yoga teacher training starting January 2015.

Naturally, my interest was piqued all over again.

Also naturally, I have my doubts.


Why Couldn’t I Have Fun by Myself?

Friday, September 12th, 2014
Copyright: Alicia Sparks

Copyright: Alicia Sparks

I have a confession to make: I might have seriously flaked out last weekend.

Actually, I DID seriously flake out last weekend.

You see, last summer I participated in The Color Run (pictured above). It was A BLAST. I got together a big group of friends and formed a team and we had so. much. fun.


POLL: Are Yoga Apps Replacing Mats in Classes?

Thursday, August 21st, 2014

Years ago, I used to call myself “doing yoga” when I’d pop in a DVD and breathe and bend when the instructor told me.

These days, I prefer practicing yoga in a class. Sure, I have enough knowledge of certain yoga poses and yoga sequences that I can (and do) practice at home, but overall I make sure to get to a class or two each week.


Robin Williams and Death: Dealing With the Physical and Mental Pain

Friday, August 15th, 2014

Robin Williams committed suicide earlier this week.

Say that again, out loud.

Robin Williams — one of the world’s funniest and, despite suffering from depression, seemingly happiest men on earth — committed suicide.


I Hocked My First Loogie While Running (and Why You Should Care)

Friday, August 8th, 2014
I swear it looked just like this.

I swear it looked just like this.

OK, let’s just get this out in the open: I hocked my first loogie ever (like, ever ever).

A few weeks ago, I ran my first 5k of 2014. Some of you will remember because I was trying hard not to be a little whining baby about having not trained in, like, a year.

(That, and that my beau basically told me to shut it and get out there.)

Well, I got out there. I didn’t beat my personal record (I was actually a few minutes off — whaaa), but I got out there and ran and jogged and walked and sweated my bum off and laughed with other runners and…

…hocked a big ol’ loogie.


Monthly Meditation: From Where Does the Joy Come?

Friday, August 1st, 2014

As I mentioned before, I’ve had a little trouble getting back into serious running lately.

I’ve had various conversations about this. Some people say, “Just get out there and do it.” Others say, “Just be patient; it’ll come back to you.”

Others still say, “Maybe you just don’t want to run anymore.”

However, the funniest conversation I had about running (or, not running) was with a friend a few days ago. We were talking about how great it feels after the run, but how we’re kind of literally cussing out the run while it’s happening!

I’m guessing I’ll figure it out eventually, but in the meantime I just keep trudging running along.

Isn’t that how it goes in life sometimes? You do things you think you want to do, and find out you don’t actually want to do them. Or, you don’t do things that, if you did do them, you’d actually enjoy?

What are some things YOU could stop doing that, by stopping, you’d actually gain some joy? On the other hand, what are some things you could START or KEEP doing that would keep the joy rolling in — even if you have to tough it out a little to get there?

Miss last month’s Monthly Meditation? Head over to Monthly Meditation: Declare Your Independence.


Best Yoga Music: 20 (Non-Traditional) Yoga Songs to Get Your Downward Dog On

Friday, July 18th, 2014

I recently fell in love with Sean Johnson and the Wild Lotus Band. My favorite yoga instructor plays them during every one of my favorite yoga classes, and eventually I started playing them at home while I practice (or work, or clean, or whatever — like I said, I fell in love with them!).

However, there are several other bands I like to listen to as I get my Chaturanga on, and…

…most of them are fairly…eh, I don’t want to say “commercial,” but they’re definitely more commonly heard on the radio than Sean Johnson.

So, given how easy it is to “discover” an old song and give it new purpose, I thought I’d share with you some of my best yoga music! Here are 15 artists I like to play while practicing yoga.

(I’ll even throw in a song or two to get you started ;) )


Why My Boyfriend Told Me to “Just Go!”

Friday, July 11th, 2014

I’m running a 5k tomorrow and I’m extremely nervous about it.

Maybe “nervous” isn’t the word. Maybe “anxious” is better.

So, I’m extremely anxious about it.


Shaking That Booty: 12 Great Quotes About Dancing

Friday, June 27th, 2014

belly-dance

Happy Friday, dear readers!

Indeed, it’s a happy one for me, because as you read this I’m packing for my first Dave Matthews Band show of 2014.

(Or, depending on when you read this, I’m coming down from my DMB rush!)

When I ordered my tickets for this show, I went with regular lawn seating.

Over the years, I’ve had tickets in the lawn, I’ve had tickets for seats (some good seats, some not-so-good seats) and even tickets in the pit. However, I’ve found some of my favorite shows have been those during which I didn’t have seats.

Why?

Because I don’t like to sit during the shows.

I like to dance.


 

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Recent Comments
  • Alicia Sparks: Indeed they will! Cherish them forever!
  • Pam: Beautiful memories will always be with you!
  • Alicia Sparks: Thank you :) I hope it brought back happy memories for you.
  • Evanston Psychologist: Alicia, wonderful post, it was deep and moving. It made me think of my own father.
  • Alicia Sparks: Thank you, John, and thank you for taking the time to read it. I sincerely appreciate it. :)
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