This past January I embarked on a 21 day vegan cleanse through the yoga center at my gym. In addition to starting up hot yoga and meditation, I gave up meat, sugar, caffeine and alcohol. (I was already gluten and dairy free). It sounds painful and well, to be honest, it wasn’t easy. But I did it. I lasted 21 days and couldn’t believe it. My skin cleared up, my eyes brightened, I slept through the night and lost weight. I felt calmer and happier than I’ve been in quite a while and my blood pressure dropped about 10 points! 🙂
Fast forward to today and I am still doing Hot Vinyassa Yoga and I love it! It has helped to calm me and just trying to remember the complicated flows has sharpened my mind. I try and do hot yoga 2 or 3 times a week, in addition to Crossfit. I love the balance of the two practices — they are so uniquely different, yet they have many similarities. In both practices, there is a strong sense of community and non-judgement. You are not competing with anyone but yourself. In yoga this means perhaps getting into a pose you couldn’t do before. In Crossfit this means you are trying to beat your “PR” or personal record (for time, weight, ‘reps, etc).
Both Crossfit and Yoga transform your mind and your body. Both practices ask you to trust your inner teacher or guide and to hold a pose or lift a weight until you can no longer do it. It is in this space of holding or pushing that we truly begin to grow both emotionally and spiritually. We learn to let go and trust and find that we can amaze ourselves and inspire others.
I have been doing Crossfit since November of 2012 and the reason I love it so much is that I have a wonderful trainer—Brooklyn. Brooklyn really pushes us to challenge ourselves by adding weight or doing one more rep than we thought we could do. I feel stronger, sexier and my cardiac health has been transformed. This past winter I could shovel the entire driveway without even stopping or getting out of breath! If you aren’t familiar with Crossfit, we lift heavy weights at a fast pace, so you get cardio as well as weight training. If you haven’t tried it, I would encourage you to find a good “box” (that’s what they call a Crossfit gym).
I could never have been strong enough to do Yoga without Crossfit and conversely, practicing Yoga has made me mentally & physcially stronger so I am getting even better at Crossfit. You can read more about the similarities between the two here.
Now about the diet. Ahem. Well, since my cleanse I have fallen back to my wine and coffee and I noticed my skin got worse. I was entirely vegan until a few weeks ago, when I began to add back in limited amounts of fish and chicken because I enjoy it. I still eat a mostly plant-based diet because I look and feel so much better when I do. I am considering eliminating my coffee and wine consumption to further clear my skin but since these little pleasures make life so much more enjoyable I am keeping them for now. 😉