Tips for Yoga Teachers

Sometimes as teachers, we get hung up on what we do in our own practices, rather than what the students in our classes need. As a teacher, I think it’s important to read the room and assess your students needs so that you can be mindful about what and how you’re teaching, and the impact it may be having on the class.

I recently went to a class where the teacher stopped the class constantly to show a pose or to point out faults. This really interrupted the flow.   As a teacher, I know that I can sometimes talk a lot and I’ve stopped the class before, mostly to ensure everyone was moving safely, but I think we need to be aware of what we are doing and why we are doing it. I think it’s important to teach with intention and purpose and allow students the time and opportunity to explore their bodies and breathe in their own way through the practice.  

Things to consider when you’re teaching a class:

Don’t forget to look at your students: I hate going to classes where a teacher stays on their mat and practices in the front or when he/she sits in the front and just stares off into space. Be sure you’re walking around and looking at the students during the practice. Make eye contact, smile, check their alignment, or make an adjustment if you need to. Stay in the moment of your teaching. Remember this is about the students, not you.

 Find the talking balance: Sometimes students need cues and sometimes they don’t. Sometimes teachers call cues that are unnecessary because they think they need to talk throughout the class.  Sometimes the cues can be bad enough that the students have no idea what the teacher is asking you to do.  Choose your words wisely, briefly model if you need to, but cue and make adjustments as you go along. This can help enhance a student’s experience in the class.

 Don’t force a student into a pose: Not all bodies are created equal. Ask students if they have injuries before class and let them know ways to modify poses ahead of time if needed, based on their injuries.  Then, during class, look and see what alignment points need to be addressed. First give verbal cues and then a physical adjustment if needed.

 Offer variations to poses:  As you cue various poses, offer students options to either modify or enhance the pose. Every time we step on our mat, we have a different experience. Sometimes we need to take it easy and sometimes we need to amp it up. It’s important to remind students to listen to their bodies.  I always remind my students that I am just a guide so they should: “do what feels good & don’t do what doesn’t feel good.” This I find allows them some freedom to explore and find what poses feel good for them that day.

 Be authentic:  Don’t be something you’re not. Do your best to try to connect with your students, but teach from the heart. Your students will look up to you and the words and wisdoms you share, so be authentic, honest, and most importantly…be you.



My Marathon Playlist

fall-runFall is officially here and with it soon comes the holidays, sweater weather, pumpkin everything, and of course fall marathons. The races we have trained for all summer are finally here and for me at least, I could not be more excited. Running in the fall is one of my favorite things. Cooler temps make for longer runs with more beautiful scenery. I love the cool crisp air and watching the leaves change color.  Fall is my favorite time of year!

nyc bridgeAs I prepare for fall and fall running, I am starting to think about my playlist for the NYC marathon; I can’t believe it will be taking place in just a few short weeks.  I want to be sure I’ve got a cool playlist that will not only carry me through the marathon, but also over fallen leaves and into the new season.

When I think about running songs, I think about throwbacks and new collaborations. I do have a few go to’s that are a must on my playlist, but then I always look to addsomethings new. When finding tunes, I look for music that’s high energy, motivating, songs that I can sing to and that’ll get stuck in my head.

Here are some of the songs I plan on listening to during NYC! What songs do you like running to?

Here are a few of my favorites in no particular order:

Eminem- Lose Yourself

Britney Spears- Work B*tch

Sheppard – Geronimo

Rachel Platten- Fight Song

Survivor- Eye of the Tiger

Calvin Harris – My Way

Bon Jovi- It’s My Life

3 Doors Down- Kryptonite

Sia & Kendrick Lamar – The Greatest

Fitz & The Tantrums – HandClap

Kings of Leon – Waste a Moment

Carly Rae Jepsen – Higher

Sting – I Can’t Stop Thinking About You

Rihanna – SOS

Meghan Trainor – Lips Are Movin

One Direction – Drag Me Down

Elle King – Ex’s & Oh’s

Lady GaGa – Applause (DJ White Shadow Trap Remix)

Blink-182 – All the Small Things

Bruno Mars – Locked Out of Heaven


Fueling for a Marathon

berlinOn Sunday, September 25, 2016, I ran the Berlin Marathon. While, I was incredibly grateful for the opportunity to be in Berlin and to race, the marathon did not go quite as I had planned. I believe I have poor fueling (both before and during the race) and dehydration to blame.

A marathon alone can be tough. Then add a different time zone, travel, jet lag, warmer than expected temperatures, and a change of diet into the mix and it can be a recipe for disaster.  I am not trying to make excuses for my poor marathon performance (& when I say poor, I mean it was less than what I know I am capable of), but rather trying to understand what went wrong and learn from my mistakes for my next one; which is NYC in just a few short weeks (11/6!!).  I want to be sure I have a solid fuel and hydration plan in place, so what happened in Berlin doesn’t happen to me in NYC.

 calvinTo tell you a little bit of what happened in Berlin: I was feeling strong for the majority of the race and was on track for a sub 4 hour marathon. However, around the last 5k the wheels fell off. I was extremely hot and dehydrated and I knew that I had not properly fueled. I started to enter into the danger zone; I was wobbly, staggering, and my vision became blurry. I wasn’t sure I was going to make it. I even thought about stopping and lying on the side of the road. Then a gentleman by the name of Calvin saved me. He ran up to me and asked me if I was ok. I told him that I might pass out. He took my arm and encouraged me to stop and walk. Calvin helped me to the next water station, got me fluids and stayed with me for the duration of the race; even walking with me for almost 2 miles. I’m not sure I could have finished without him, but I did in 4:11. This man could have quite possibly saved my life.

Fueling and hydrating properly is critical. I am usually very good at hydrating and fueling before and during a race, but it’s important to review your plan, make adjustments as needed and get ready so you can set yourself up for a successful run.  

To make it through a long run or a marathon, what you eat before and during the run is critical. Your meals in the hours before the run will supply your muscles with glycogen and will essentially top off your fuel tank. Glycogen is your body’s most easily accessible form of energy and is needed to get you through those longer miles. So be sure to fuel smart and get your body ready to run. 

When preparing for a marathon, you need to remember that you can’t completely fill your muscles with glycogen from just one meal, so you should start carbo-loading two or three days prior to your race. You’ll want 85-95% of your calories coming from carbs. For a 150 pound runner like myself, that’s 600 grams or 2,400 calories of carbs per day.spaghetti-with-tomato-sauce **This may obviously cause you to add on a few pounds, but don’t worry those will come right  off after the race. Then the day before your race, eat meals high in carbs, but eat dinner early so your body has time to digest.  My pre-race meal is usually pasta with red sauce and bread.  Also, remember to hydrate and drink lots of water, starting three days before the race too.  You should shoot for at least a gallon of water a day.

On the morning of the race, approximately 3 hours before the start of your race, you should eat approximately 150 grams of carbs. You can opt for oatmeal, a bagel, and/or sports drink. I typically have whole wheat bread with PB, a banana, and gatorade.

During the run, your tank will become depleted, and that’s why it’s necessary to add in fuel as you go. Many experts suggest consuming between 30-60 grams of carbohydrate an hour. I personally aim for about 48 grams of carbs each hour, which is about 1 sleeve of Clif Bloks Energy Chews. I take 2-3 every 3 miles during a race or long run. Your system can only handle so many grams of carbs at once, which is why I take in a few bloks every 3 miles. I also like to chase my bloks with water so they’re easier to swallow and it won’t sit like a rock in my belly.

If you consume well below this target range for carbs, you may get that sensation we call- “hitting the wall”.  You hit “the wall” because your body has run out of glycogen. This causes your body to slow down because it now has to turn fat into energy.  Once you “hit the wall”, it’s difficult, both physically and mentally to recover. This is what I believe happened to me in Berlin. nyc-finishTo avoid this sensation, you’ll want to start adding more fuel in the beginning stages of your run. If you do so, you can ensure that your body is well hydrated and fueled and will allow you to cross the finish line feeling strong.

I’ve got my sights set on NYC!  Here’s to proper fueling and staying hydrated!  #NYCMarathon2016 


Visiting Germany!

This past week, I was in Germany on vacation. The first portion of my trip, my husband and I stayed in Berlin because I was running the Berlin Marathon and then we ended our trip in Munich at Oktoberfest.  

Going to Germany was not necessarily on my list of places to see in my life, however, having a goal of completing all 6 of the world’s marathon majors brought me there and I am so glad that it did. Germany is a beautiful country with lots of history and unique places to visit. It is definitely worthwhile to see if you have the opportunity.   Continue reading Visiting Germany!