Yoga Nidra Experience

Yesterday morning, I drove up to the big town of Atchison to attend a Spring Restorative Yoga and Yoga Nidra class. I learned about the class through my regular Wednesday night yoga class, taught by Maylo Anderson.  First of all, the drive up to Atchison from Overland Park is gorgeous! I had never been north past Leavenworth before, and the drive was pretty.

The yoga class was held at the Muchnic Art Gallery.  If you are ever in Atchison, you shouldn’t miss this mansion, it is a beautiful building, and having a restorative yoga class there, paired with the rain outside, was so peaceful.

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The class began with Maylo teaching an hour or so of restorative yoga.  This was a series of long, slow stretches and breathing, meant to refresh and open the body.  It was amazingly relaxing.  After Maylo’s instruction, another instructor, Sami Aaron led us in about an hour of Yoga Nidra.

I had never attended a Yoga Nidra class before, and thoughI generally knew what to expect, it’s difficult to put into words what it felt like.  Yoga Nidra means Yogic Sleeping, and the class is a guided meditation that “explores the physical body, the breath, emotions, intellect, intuition, and the connection to a higher self” (Taken from Sami Aaron’s Yoga Nidra website).

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For the Yoga Nidra portion of the class, we began with a seated meditation, followed by laying down in a supported position, slowing the breathing, and listening and visualizing with Sami’s guidance.  During this time, the mind brings awareness to separate parts of the body, and is taken to a deep meditative state of consciousness.  I felt it ebb and flow, and sometimes I was aware of what Sami was saying, and other times it felt as if I was not really aware of where I was or what was happening, though I never truly fell asleep.  It was kind of like I was consciously aware that I was sleeping.

It’s very difficult to explain how it felt, but it was very peaceful.  Sami talked through the entire Yoga Nidra class, and though it was about an hour, once we were finished, it felt like it had been 5 or 10 minutes.  To finish the class, we came back into a seated position and brought our awareness back into the room.

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Between the Restorative Yoga and the Yoga Nidra, I felt refreshed, relaxed, calm, and at peace.  Sami and Maylo had some resources available after class, and I was able to walk through the Muchnic Art Gallery and see not only the art upstairs, but enjoy the antique home.  It was gently raining during my drive back home, and it was a great way to spend the morning.

I’m very thankful to Maylo and Sami, and for the Muchnic Art Gallery for holding this event.  It was an amazing way to try out Yoga Nidra, and learn something new about myself.

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Thursday Thoughts: April 16

Last weekend I ran the Rock the Parkway Half Marathon.  Afterwards, I felt pretty awful, as my cough turned into a full blown infection.  Monday, I went to the doctor and was diagnosed with yet another head cold/bronchitis/sinus crap.  I’m feeling much better, now that I’m on antibiotics again.  I also made an appointment for next week Tuesday, to get allergy tested.  I fear I’m allergic to probably everything in KC.  My allergies were getting bad in Hays, and since I moved here, they are 10x worse.

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Mom and Dad stayed until Monday morning, and then headed home.  It was great having them here two weekends in a row, but I am glad to have my bed back.  Jasper, too, is glad to have his rocking chair back, as Dad kept taking his place.  =P

I started watching Orange is the new Black on Netflix (I know I’m way behind the times on this one!) I’ve watched 3 episodes so far, and I really like it! It’s very different, but I am enjoying it so far.  I had no idea until I was writing this post that the series is based on a true story.  I heard that a 4th season has been approved, which is great!

Saturday, I am driving up to Aitchison to take a Springtime Restorative Yoga Immersion class. My wonderful yoga instructor, Maylo, told me about the class several weeks ago, and I jumped at the opportunity for a deep and restoring meditative yoga class.  I’m really excited to attend the class, and to visit Aitchison, as I’ve never been there!

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I’ve also put up some of my decorations at my new apartment, and I’m pretty much all settled in. One of the things that had to go right on the wall was my medal holder, so I could put my new Rock the Parkway medal on it!  I’ll post soon, I promise, about my move and I’ll be sure to post a few pictures of the set up.

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I haven’t run at all this entire week, due to my sickness and coughing.  I can’t wait to shake out my legs, and hopefully my lungs, tonight with the Groupies.  I need to get back in the swing of things; Hospital Hill is only 6 weeks away!

GOOD LUCK to everyone running Boston on Monday! I am with you in spirit! #BostonStrong

Rock the Parkway Race Recap

It’s time for a race recap! As I posted on Facebook and Twitter after the race, I’m not sure if I Rocked the Parkway, or if the Parkway Rocked me! Alas, the Rock the Parkway Half Marathon happened this past weekend, and now I am here to tell you all about it!

Thursday after work, my running buddy Amy and I went to the expo to pick up our packets and check out all the booths.  Packet pick up was quick and easy, and we learned about lots of fun upcoming races and saw other booths like clothes, sunglasses, and food.

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My parents came to town Friday evening, and I gave mom her packet and a couple shirts I picked up from the KC Running Company booth.  We ate dinner and set out our clothes for our 5:00am wake up call.

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We drove to Ward Parkway Shopping Center and met up with some of the KCRC Groupies at 6:30 before the race started at 7:30.  The Rock the Parkway Half Marathon was my 3rd half marathon, my  Mom’s third half marathon, and Amy’s third half marathon.  It was Mark’s second, Emily’s first, and John’s 20-something-th half marathon.  We took a few pictures, used the restrooms, and walked about 3/4 mile to the starting line.

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Left to Right: Emily, Mom, John, Me, Mark, and Amy. MY GROUPIES! Photo courtesy of Amy Kanarek.

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Photo courtesy of

Let’s get down to business.  If only the entire race could have felt like the first 4 miles felt.  The first 4 were great.  I was cruising, I was feeling good, I was hanging with a pace group, and I was rocking the parkway! If only the entire race could have felt like that… if only.

Last weekend, I moved across town, and my allergies have been out of control the past couple weeks. A little less than a week ago, I started coughing, and by race day, my cough was pretty bad, and it felt like my lungs rattled when I coughed.  Race morning, I felt okay, but knew I was sick.  At about the 4 mile mark, I started deteriorating.

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Photo courtesy of

My pace has definitely improved over the last several months, I’d say I have dropped about 30-40 seconds off my “easy” pace.  At mile 4, I started running/walking/running, alternating depending on how well I could breathe, whether or not the hills felt okay, and where the water stops were.  I walked WAY more than I wanted to.  My ultimate goal is still to RUN a half marathon with no walking, or just walking through the water stations.  Rock the Parkway was not the half marathon that I would accomplish that.

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Photo courtesy of

The course itself was beautiful.  We started at the Burns and McDonnell building on 94th and Ward Parkway, and ran North on Ward Parkway to Loose Park, around the park, and back down Ward Parkway to finish at Burns and McDonnell.  The water/gatorade stations were well placed and smoothly run, there were port-a-potties at a few of the water stops, and the spectators were great! I saw tons of funny signs, there were lots of kids giving high fives, and there were even a few live bands along the course.  The police and volunteers did a great job making sure traffic yielded to the runners, and made sure everyone stayed on course and stayed safe.

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Photo courtesy of

I finished about 9 minutes slower than my PR, and about 19 minutes slower than my goal for this race.  I was bummed while running, once I got to the point where I knew I wouldn’t reach my goal, and then got bummed some more when my PR went out the window, but I know that it’s not about the finish time, it’s about the finish line.  I got to the finish line, and I was sure glad to see it.  I was pooped.

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of

My Dad and Amy were there cheering me across the finish, and I promptly received my amazing medal, and a volunteer clipped my timing chip off my foot, and I was handed a water bottle.  Later, after Mom finished, we got some chocolate milk and printed off our finish time slips.

I also ran into Steph after the race, she went to school with my little sister.  We all took a few pictures, and then Dad went to pick up the car so we wouldn’t have to walk 3/4 mile back to the parking lot.  Thanks Dad =)

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Photo courtesy of Steph Stremel.

After we got home, we showered and laid around a bit, then ran some errands.  My calves and hips were pretty achy right away, and after a few hours, my hips and butt were really the only sore spots. I wore my calf sleeves for the rest of the day, and besides my coughing and head cold, I felt pretty good.

Sunday, it rained most of the morning, but we wanted to be sure to get a shake out run in.  Once the rain let up, we drove to Leawood City Park, and Dad fished a bit while Mom and I ran/walked to shake out our legs.

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Overall, I am really glad I ran this race, it is one of the largest half marathons in the Midwest, and certainly one of the most well-run races I’ve been a part of.  All of the Groupies had good races, and John and Mark are doing the Heartland 39.3 series, meaning they have to run another half marathon next weekend, and third half marathon 2 weeks after that!

1 year ago was my first half marathon, and last fall was my second.  I know my pace has improved drastically since my first half marathon just 1 year ago, and under better circumstances, I think this race could have been a much faster time.

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I’m proud of myself for completing it with the stress I have in my life right now, and with the head cold I’ve been battling.  It certainly would have been easier to just drop out!  I’m proud of my Mom for finishing her 3rd half marathon, she did great! I’m thankful to my Dad for spectating and cheering and helping out.  I’m also thankful for my running group, and for the Groupies I train with every week.  I couldn’t have done it without everyone’s support!

Also, a HUGE congratulations to my sister and her Team Sparkle Ragnar Relay team to Fight to End Rett Syndrome.  Maybe I will convince Kristen to write a race recap and post it. =)

Did you race this past weekend?