Keep on Dancing! {My Journey through RKY Training}

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I can’t believe it took me this long to get around to writing this post, but I wanted to make sure that I had the time to really think and reflect on my experience in New York.  This opportunity came Wednesday night when I found myself walking in the door at 6pm.  Me…home by 6pm on a weeknight when I’ve already gotten in my run (30 minutes early in the morning) and it’s raining so I can’t fit in a bike ride…what’s a girl to do?

 

Well, I’ll tell you…

I spent some extra time loving and brushing Cooper, got started on making dinner, and then sat down to begin Sherlock Season III and blog a bit.  But I never blogged a bit and then the rest of the week got away from me.  Better late than never…right?!

 

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#nofilter

 

A little history…

I have been practicing yoga for over 10 years.  I took my first class my senior year of college (don’t do the math) and was forever changed.  Over the past 10 years, yoga has served many purposes in my life.  There have been times when my practice is more consistent than others, but I have never strayed far from my mat.

 

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In my job as a pediatric physical therapist, there has been plenty of room for yoga.  It is something that I have often recommended to my patients of all ages and abilities.  Even at my first job, I was this close (my fingers are very close) to taking a kids yoga certification.  Over the past few years, I’ve struggled to find the right place to refer my clients.  This became especially obvious when I started my new job in December.  It was during an inspiring yoga class downtown that it occurred to me that I should be teaching kids yoga.

 

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My next step was to talk to the professionals and research some opportunities.  I didn’t take it lightly and spent way more time than I care to admit looking for yoga certification courses.  I really wanted an affordable, weekend course that I would walk away from with ideas that I could use immediately.  After much thought, I registered for the Rainbow Yoga Kids course in Brooklyn.  The course was coming to Chicago, but not until December and I was eager to take the class before summer in hopes of starting some yoga classes at work.

 

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I am so grateful to have family in NY along with a close friend from junior high, and I knew Brooklyn would be an awesome place to explore my inner yogi.  I flew in Thursday morning and spent the entire day catching up with my cousins and playing in Manhattan.  Friday morning, I woke up early to take the train from Washington Heights to Brooklyn.

 

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I was the first to arrive at Scared Yoga and was greeted warmly.  I was early enough to grab an iced tea before beginning my first day of training.  I had no idea what to expect and the first day impressed and surprised me!

 

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There was playing, dancing, bonding, and fun.  At the end of the day, I was eager to see what the rest of the weekend had in store.

 

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One of my favorite things about doing my training in New York was walking to and from the studio each day.  I walked 2 miles through the most interesting and eclectic neighborhoods and LOVED the fresh air and exercise.

 

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Day 2, I was again one of the first to arrive.  There was a lot more fun as we mastered the steam roller…

 

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And other games, acrobatics, and play ideas.  We did more dancing too!

 

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And we got through all of that before lunch…

 

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A group of us went to a local pizza joint.  You didn’t think I’d go to New York for a weekend without eating pizza did you?!  After lunch, there was more games, dancing, meditation, and plenty of ideas to bring back to the clinic with me!

 

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At the end of the day, we offered a community class for local families.  It was profound to see the impact yoga could have on everyone, especially the cutest 2 year old that you ever did see massaging my feet during our relaxation.  That night, I walked back to my friend’s house, showered, and began exploring Williamsburg.  There are tons of adorable boutiques and delicious restaurants.  We had a great night with more incredible food and catching up!

 

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Sunday morning, it was back to the yoga studio for my last day of class.  Now that I kind of was getting a feel for the area, I knew where to stop for a chai tea latte on the way.  The instructors plan was to not give us our manuals until the last day.  Although it was tough not to have everything written out during the first 2 days, it really forced us to live in the moment and learn through movement. 

 

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Sunday started with a creative and unique obstacle course complete with…well, everything!

 

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Then we had a snack and a chat…by day 3, I’d say we were all pretty close and eager to share stories and ideas!

 

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It was good to have the energy since we then moved on to the yoga gym and acrobatics.

 

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As an ex gymnast, this was right up my alley and I’ve already tried some of these moves with the kids, which they love.  For my last lunch, I went to my new favorite place in Brooklyn, called Scratch Bread.

 

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It has the most delicious food (thinking about the grit bowl has my mouth watering as we speak) and I became addicted to this ‘tonic’, which consisted of citrus, carrots, and ginger.  It was so refreshing and perfect for eating lunch out in the hot sun after a morning of yoga fun.

 

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Although I had learned a lot, I still felt like there was more to fit into the last afternoon and I knew that I needed to leave a little early to make it to the airport on time.

 

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The afternoon involved creating poses, vinyasa flows, and stories.  It was also our chance to put together a short sample class.

 

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We took our graduation picture and parted ways with intentions to continue on our yoga journey and keep sharing ideas and energy as we grow!  I found myself sad to leave Brooklyn, Sacred studio, my friends (old and new) and family…wishing that I had just a few more days to explore, walk, dance, and play!

 

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#rkybrooklyn

 

 

So after all of the pictures, I’m sure you can already tell,…

What were my overall thoughts of RKY training?

I loved it!  I loved spending the weekend in New York and immersing myself in the Brooklyn and yogi lifestyle!  It was special to spend a weekend with like minded people soaking up their energy and creativity.  The training itself was practical, functional, and fun.  I returned back to the clinic with more than enough ideas to plan the 6 week yoga session we were offering for my youngest two age groups.  I did not feel that I got as many ideas for the high school aged group.  And the weekend focused more on movement and games than it did on instructing kids into the basic poses (ie Warrior I).  I got more than I anticipated out of the weekend and have already found some other trainings that can fill the knowledge gap with the older groups that I am hoping to take soon.  We packed a lot into 3 days that takes you through a slew of emotions.  For some, this journey was more emotional while others purely educational, but either way it was a life altering weekend and the start to an exciting road ahead.

 

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Namaste!

#I Miss NYC!

I am back, exhausted, and already missing my long weekend in NYC!

 

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I flew home late last night and worked all day today, so I’ll just give you a quick recap.  I was in downtown Manhattan before 11am on Thursday morning.  I walked down to the Met.  Despite all of my trips to New York, I have never been to the museum before.

 

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It was incredible and because I was traveling by myself, it was a selfie kind of day.

 

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All of the art work and antiques were gorgeous, but the most breath taking view was from the rooftop garden.

 

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It was so picture perfect with the clear blue sky and famous skyline…no editing was needed!

 

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I spent my first night in Manhattan with family and then took the train down to Brooklyn on Friday morning for my first day of Rainbow Kids Yoga Training.

 

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#SacredBrooklyn

 

My Rainbow Kids Yoga Training was nothing shy of incredible!  I feel like it may deserve a post of it’s own, but here are a few highlights…

 

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#rkybrookyln2014

 

Spending time in Brooklyn, commuting by foot, and eating well just completed my experience.

 

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#ScratchAddiction

 

I was super sad to say goodbye to all my new friends and leave this eclectic city!

But I know that I will be back REAL soon!

 

 

What is your favorite part of NYC?

If We Were Having a Cocktail Right Now…

So I’ve seen a bunch of posts titled If We Were Having Coffee Right Now…and I love the concept.  However, it’s way too late for me to drink caffeine (I’m just old like that), but if we were having a cocktail right now, I’d probably confess to you that…

 

I lost my record locator for my trip to New York and had no idea what time my flight was all week.  Good thing that I found it because it’s 6:40am, not 9:40am tomorrow morning.

 

I just bought new glasses that are way trendier than I am.

 

I am craving an NYC street pretzel.

 

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I have not been getting my usual 8 hours of sleep per night.

 

I booked a cheap flight to Memphis today!

 

Sometimes I forget to do my side planks at night per the LC Challenge.

 

I did buy my cat a kong (to fill with almond butter) so that I can eat my dinner in peace.

 

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I am not even close to packed for my trip tomorrow (but do have 3 cute yoga outfits picked out).

 

I’m addicted to the Billy Joel station on Sirius Radio.

 

I should be doing paperwork right now.

 

I have awesome friends in Australia!

 

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I already did have a few drinks tonight : )

 

And Dairy Queen!

 

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And really do need to get packing…

 

 

What is your midweek confession?

Whirlwind Weekend Continues in NYC

The whirlwind weekend continued when my brother, his girlfriend, and I drove into NYC Friday after Thanksgiving.  The plan was to meet up with my cousins up north and then train down towards the High Line.  This stunning ped path has been on my brother’s ‘to see’ list and he was excited to check it out.  We planned to stop for lunch first and somehow stumbled upon this legit German beer garden in the meat packing district.

 

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We snacked on pretzels and beer and played a little ping pong.

 

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Then made our way to the High Line.  The path was busy as the sun was just starting to set.

 

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There is some interesting art work, unique architecture, and beautiful 360 degree views along the path.  We all remarked how neat it would be to live so close to such a cool place!

 

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It was a chilly but fun way to spend the afternoon!

 

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When we started to feel cold, we popped back into a local bar for some mulled cider and a pre dinner snack.  Then made our way back along the High Line after sunset, which was remarkable!

 

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We ate dinner at posh restaurant near the start of the High Line passing Cameron Diaz (we think, maybe) on our way out the door.  My cousin’s wife and son headed back home while the 4 of us embarked on what can only be described as an impromptu bar crawl.  We found some life music, the oldest pub in Manhattan, and ski ball (which apparently I rock at!).

 

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And then the evening ended at the BOY’s all time favorite place in all of New York!

 

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You can guarantee that I sent him this picture as he was studying for finals back home in Chicago and jealous doesn’t even begin to describe it!  He called requesting I bring him home some pastrami, and this picture has become the new background of his phone.

 

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BTW, I would be willing to bet that in at least one photo on this blog has the BOY sporting his Katz’s Deli shirt because he travels with it EVERYWHERE.  I am a huge fan of New York and love spending time in NYC.  Getting to spend some QT with my cousin and his family along with my brother and girlfriend was memorable!  It definitely took us me some time and sleep to recover for our adventure, but it was well worth it!

 

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We had one last day in New York/New Jersey to catch up with some old friends of my parents and celebrate another night of Hanukkah with my family.  Everyone is already looking forward to coming to Chicago for my brother’s wedding next summer and many more Thanksgiving traditions have been started!

 

Who has been to the High Line?

Have you ever eaten at Katz’s Deli?

Whirlwind Weekend

It all began last Tuesday night…

After work, I drove to my parents, changed into comfy clothes, piled into the backseat of my parents car, drove to the city to pick up my brother, and the four of us headed east for Thanksgiving. 

 

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I slept through the night crammed into the back seat with plenty of pillows and blankets.  We hit some snow and ice in Indiana, but for the most part, made great time.  We arrived in New Jersey Wednesday morning just in time to go pick up my cousin’s adorable kids from school.

 

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First (of many) vacation selfie

 

My cousins live in an awesome town in New Jersey and our first stop (after lunch) was downtown for some tax free pre Thanksgiving shopping and Starbucks.  When we got back home, everyone sat around the dinner table to catch up on life.

 

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After dinner, it was back to the kitchen for Thanksgiving prep.  It was a team effort pulling together homemade stuffing and mashed potatoes before crashing for an early evening.  Thursday morning, we were up WAY before the sun for parade day.

 

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We drove into the city and found a parking spot within walking distance of our location on 68th.  A few of us went off to Starbucks for a warm beverage and a bathroom.  The line was outrageous, but thankfully Magnolia Bakery opened up at 7am with warm coffee and tea and incredible pastries.

 

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We had over an hour before the start of the parade, so a simple game of I Spy kept us all busy!

 

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When the clowns came skating down the street, we knew the parade would be right behind!

 

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Two years ago when we went to the parade, I took tons of pictures, so I tried to get some different snap shots this year.  There were some old favorites and a few new faces along the route, plus a local Chicago marching band.  As you can see, despite the threat of heavy winds, it was a gorgeous day!

 

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After Santa’s arrival (signifying the end of the parade), we followed the masses back to our car.

 

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We drove up to northern Manhattan to pick up some family members who opted out of the parade and then drove out to Rockland county where my cousin and his wife were hosting this year’s Thanksgiving.

 

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It was a beautiful feast and the house rang with chatter and laughter (from the adults as much as the kids) from the moment we arrived until the last person fell asleep!

 

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After dinner, the kids were super excited to celebrate the second night of Hanukkah!  I should tell you that the BOY and I do our own Hanukkah celebration, but it is WAY more fun celebrating with family, especially this enthusiastic crowd.  Friday morning, I woke up to an adorable girl in pink plopping into my bed and asking if I wanted to see what was in her purse.   How sweet is that???

 

I have so much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving, but 4 days surrounded by amazing family is definitely top on my list!

Babycakes NYC

I would never eat at Babycakes NYC without taking extra pictures to share with you!  I should state that I did try to fit these pictures into my NYC post, but there were just too many mouth watering pictures for one post.  And let’s be honest…cupcakes ALWAYS deserve a post of their own!

 

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I’m not exactly sure where I discovered the Babycakes cookbook.  Even though I am do not eat gluten-free or vegan, I found their recipes to be inspiring and I immediately wanted the book.  Since then, I have seen Babycakes name popping up everywhere (they just made Anne Hathaway’s wedding cake), and I was eager to try these sensational sweets for myself.  I really wanted to come when we were visiting over Thanksgiving, but it didn’t fit into our plans, so I mentioned it early on in our vacation planning to my mom, who although she had never heard of the shop, was ON BOARD! 

 

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We found the bakery on adorable Broome Street located in Manhattan’s lower east side.

 

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We stepped in the front door of this famous bakery not knowing what to expect…do you think it is normal to feel star struck walking into a bakery???

 

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But upon entering, everything looked amazing!  My mom and I quickly scanned the glass case, mouths watering, and talking about what we should order.  We decided that we wanted one of everything for lunch, and ordered an assortment of sweets!

 

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We took our pastries to go and enjoyed our first tastes standing on the street the second we walked out the door.

 

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I immediately dug into a brownie cupcake with mint frosting.

 

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And it was… (insert adjective to describe tasty, yet not to sweet, fresh and satisfying HERE)!  My mom was a big fan too and the cupcake was gone before we even had time to discuss it : )

 

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We also ordered some cupcake tops (what an amazing idea combing the best parts of the cupcake into this perfectly sized treat!).  We had carrot, lemon, and chocolate.

 

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I think the carrot was my favorite, and I dug right in pausing only for a moment to snap a picture!  Then, handed it to my mom to sample the next cake in the pile.

 

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We packaged up our remaining goodies (you can’t really eat two containers full of sweets for lunch, even if you wanted to) and saved them for the flight home.  We pulled out the cookie sandwich shortly after takeoff and I must say that may have been my favorite of them all (either that or the brownie mint cupcake).

 

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Even my dad was highly impressed with these desserts and of course, we didn’t bother to mention that they were vegan, gluten-free, or low in sugar.  Sad to say, we only had crumbs remaining when we landed back in Chicago.  We decided that Babycakes should ship to Chicago (if not open up a bakery here soon), and we will be adding it to our list of places to visit the next time we are in New York!

 

 

Have you been to Babycakes?

What is the best Bakery in your town?

Under the Bridge

It has been a busy week here in suburbia with the start of our summer schedule and a change in my work days.  That being said, I am a little slow on getting all my travel posts up and organized.  So here we go…back to NYC!

 

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After a lovely Sunday morning spent with the whole clan, my mom and I caught a ride to NYC with my cousin, his wife, and their son.  There is a light house under the GW Bridge that I have heard about but never visited.  It was a beautiful afternoon and we decided to take a walk down to the bridge.  Mother Nature was fairly indecisive and the weather alternated between drizzling, rain, and sunshine.  We braved the rain for the beautiful views of the river and bridge.  By the time we walked down to the light house, the rain was coming strong, but I was still able to snap a few photos.  After our walk, we stopped by a local pub for a beer and some dinner before heading back home.  It was such an incredible day…I soaked up every special moment and was happy to have my camera to capture the memories from under the bridge.

 

By the way, it is possible that you have never seen so many pictures of one bridge : ) Enjoy!

 

 

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We capped off our day with an unbelievable sunset view from my cousin’s window

 

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There is an adorable children’s book about the lighthouse that you can check out HERE, and if you ever find yourself at the north top of Manhattan, make sure you walk down to find the lighthouse.

 

Here are a few more photo crazy NYC posts…

 

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

Shopping in NYC

The High Line Tour

Shopping Some More in NYC