One Month of Namaste

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One month ago, I bought an unlimited yoga pass to Y2Yoga and challenged myself to practice more yoga.  Did I declare this challenge on the blog, as I have publically challenged myself to run more, run faster, stop biting my nails, save money, read often, be more romantic, learn to love vegetables, and dozens of other self-improvement projects?  Nope.  I just quietly and firmly declared to myself that I needed more namaste* in my life.


(*My favorite meaning on namaste: The divinity in me recognizes and respects the divinity in you.)


For $39.99, I had the option of attending dozens of interesting and unique yoga classes each week.  I tackled Mixed Power (my favorite), Hot Vinyasa, Hot Yoga, Vinyasa, Ashtanga, Vinyasa Basics, and Power 1 classes. 


Over 30 days, I went to fourteen classes!


I walked away from my month of yoga feeling more in love with the practice than ever.  Yoga has transformed my running.  I recover SO much faster than I ever did before I started to practice regularly.  And it’s given me a great sense of peace that I’m trying to learn how to practice “off the mat,” as they say.


Side benefit:  14 days of high planks, low planks, chaturangas, down-dogs, up-dogs, standing splits, half moons, and more trimmed my upper back and shoulder muscles.  By no means am I jacked, but now my upper body is beginning to match the muscle definition I’ve got in my legs! 


And, amazingly, I finally mastered crow and bird of paradise today!  It was a killer way to end my month of yoga.  These two poses have eluded me for years!


(source and source)


So – there you have it.  Yoga rules.  Namaste!


Pre-yoga snack was toast and buttah:


And afterwards, I had a lovely salad:


In the mix:


  • Greens
  • Feta
  • Sweet potato
  • Kidney Beans
  • Carrots
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Tomatoes


If you can believe it, I’m getting in the car right now for a one-day little trip.  Can’t wait to show you where we go!


Are you a yogi?  Why do you love it?



  • Jen @ canoe of life October 1, 2010, 2:56 pm

    Wow only $40 for a whole month of unlimited yoga- that’s a great price. I’m actually doing my own one-month yoga challendge in October- I’m a complete newbie.

    Hope you have a great one-day trip!

  • Marina October 1, 2010, 2:57 pm

    I love yoga, but now I only practice it at home. I hope one day I’ll be able to do those poses too.
    Have a nice trip!

  • Marie-JourneyToBodyZen October 1, 2010, 3:00 pm

    Yoga is the best thing ever. Ever! I feel powerful and refreshed after doing it.

  • Holly @ couchpotatoathlete October 1, 2010, 3:03 pm

    I’m glad yoga really helped your running — and how cool to do those amazing poses today! I am so jealous 🙂

    I have only done the free exercise tv yoga workouts — I would love to take a class. I think the brain-body connection is so strong during yoga (so I’ve read) and I would love to experience that.

  • Tina October 1, 2010, 3:05 pm

    How awesome! I would love to find a yoga studio to get into different types of classes. i have to stick with the gym ones for now though. They do stretch me out well.

    Congrats on getting those poses, the renewed strength and peace, and of course added muscle. 🙂

  • Leanne @ Simplicitlee October 1, 2010, 3:08 pm

    I made the mistake of trying 1 yoga studio, 1 teacher — not enjoying it and saying “yoga is not for me.”

    Luckily, since then I’ve given my head a shake 😉 and tried out a couple yoga dvd’s, youtube video & plan on going into a new studio to try and find out different classes/teachers.

    Just like anything, sometimes you have to search a bit to find a good place to practice yoga.

  • lisasfoods October 1, 2010, 3:10 pm

    I love yoga, and first got into it almost ten years ago when I spent a month volunteering at a yoga center, which is an experience I’d recommend to anyone who can do it.

    Since then, I’ve taken very few classes and practiced on my own on and off, especially in winter months. I finally took a class on Wednesday – one of my goals this year – and loved it. I needed more organized yoga in my life, and I’m glad you understand that need for it too.

  • elaine! October 1, 2010, 3:11 pm

    I hear you — there was a newbie special at my local Bikram studio earlier this summer, 20 days of unlimited classes for $20. I went nearly every day, and WOW what a huge difference! The problem is that I didn’t keep it up. 🙁 This is a good reminder that I need to get back into it. I did a short yoga class from iTunes the other day and was so stiff I could hardly believe it… and ow, those downward dogs hurt my wussy upper body. 😉

    Thanks for the inspiration. I guess I’ll have to do something about the lack of yoga in my life this weekend!

  • Jenna October 1, 2010, 3:11 pm

    I am becoming a yogi! I had a one week free pass for unlimited yoga and went a few times and really started to find some zen in my life. My gym is currently building three yoga studios to expand their yoga class offerings so I can’t wait!

  • Bethany @ More Fruit Please October 1, 2010, 3:11 pm

    I really enjoy hearing about others’ love for yoga. I’m trying hard to get some more ‘namaste’ in my life too. Thanks for giving me a little bit more of a push!

  • Lisa October 1, 2010, 3:11 pm

    I’ve been trying to decide if I should take yoga since I can’t run right now. It’s just such a struggle for me to go to a CLASS. I’m much better at not having a set schedule for my workouts.

  • Stacey (The Habit of Healthy) October 1, 2010, 3:12 pm

    Enjoy your trip! I can’t believe how many yoga classes you managed to fit into 30 days, that’s impressive! It’s always nice to discover a passion for something new.

  • Amber October 1, 2010, 3:13 pm

    Nice work! I also challenged myself (semi-secretly) to do 30 days of yoga in the past month (with an unlimited pass) and with the classes I will do this weekend I will get in 12 classes in 30 days!

    My studio is primarily Bikram-type classes with a bit of Moksha and the very rare Vinayasa class thrown in. So it’s not quite as much of a workout for my upper body BUT I can definitely feel a difference in my lower back strength when running!

    Are you planning on continuing with a regular practice? I want to but my studio is SO expensive ($165/month unlimited!!!) I also got my unlimited month on sale for only $50!

  • Julie October 1, 2010, 3:14 pm

    I have been doing Yoga DVDs and should probably consider doing the classes soon. It’s just hard to stick with it because I spent so much of my precious time running, and the last thing I want to do when coming home from a long @$$ day is anything but plopping down in front of the TV….

  • Jocelyn @ Peace.Love.Nutrition October 1, 2010, 3:16 pm

    I’m 100% a Yogi! Yoga changed my life in so many ways- it’s incredible for the mind, body, & spirit. That connection btw the 3 facets in our life is so important

    Check out my Yoga page here–



  • Krista (kristastes) October 1, 2010, 3:17 pm

    $40 is a great price, good for you for keeping up with it. I love yoga and it DEFINITELY improves long distance running for me. I am way less sore. Have fun on your trip 🙂

    • Krista (kristastes) October 1, 2010, 3:18 pm

      p.s. if you’re looking for a portable yoga option, check out — $18 a month!

  • Linzi @ Destination 26.2 October 1, 2010, 3:18 pm

    I love that you added more namaste to your life in a namaste sort of way. So perfect!

    I have just recently added yoga into my life to help with running recovery and have noticed a HUGE difference in how I feel after. You are right, I feel as though I recover much faster. I also feel more stretched and relaxed too.

  • Alexa @ The Girl In Chucks October 1, 2010, 3:19 pm

    I really want to be a yoga person, but I always feel too intimidated to go to classes. I went once and I felt like the biggest spaz ever. I couldn’t do most of the things and the teacher was looking at me like I was an idiot because I didn’t instinctively use the props to help myself.

    Hey lady, I’ve never done this before…gimme a break!

    I’ve been promising myself I would try out the beginning classes at the YMCA that come free with my membership, but the only day they do those is Tuesday and they’re so late in the day. I always like to get my exercise up and done early.

    Excuses, excuses. I know.

    I will take it on soon though. Even if I get laughed at. 😛

  • Jamie @ Food in Real Life October 1, 2010, 3:20 pm

    Good job! I have always been envious of people that can do the crow pose.

  • Lacey @ Lake Life October 1, 2010, 3:21 pm

    The only Yoga I’ve done is on the Wii Fit, since the closest gym in my area is a 45 min drive away 🙁

  • Carlee October 1, 2010, 3:26 pm

    I tried out Hot Yoga at a Moshka studio earlier this year. While I did enjoy it I find it so hard to carve out time for running, weight training and yoga. There are just not enough hours in the week.

  • Carly October 1, 2010, 3:28 pm

    I haven’t done too many different kinds of yoga but doing the basics definitely helps me relax and feel peace. I love it.

  • Alicia October 1, 2010, 3:31 pm

    Okay-you’ve convinced me once again try yoga! I’ve gone before but thought the classes were too expensive. After reading your posts this past month you seem so energized…yet peaceful after your sessions. Maybe I can get a groupon deal in the next week! If not I’m buckling down and purchasing a membership. Thanks again for all the great posts! I look forward to reading everyday during my lunch hour 🙂

  • Marci October 1, 2010, 3:33 pm

    Way to go on getting crow! I have been practicing for almost 4 years !! and still no crow. Sometimes I get it but can’t hold it. And bird of paradise, haha no way. I think you have to have long arms to get the bind and leg up. I do love yoga and do not do it enough. A great studio makes all the difference!

  • Amanda October 1, 2010, 3:35 pm

    I really love yoga. I first tried it in college when I was in therapy for an eating disorder. My therapist kept recommending it, but my thoughts were “Why would I go to the gym just to stretch and breathe? … I’m afraid I’ll suck at it … I can’t concentrate” Well I tried it and loved it! It helped me to stop comparing myself, to be thankful for my strength, and to slow my thoughts. Oh, and my arms are ripped now 🙂

    Post-college I have found a great studio to practice Vinyasa. Also, thanks to a LivingSocial deal, I just got a 5-class pass to a hot yoga studio, which I love too!!

  • Aj October 1, 2010, 3:39 pm

    I just committed (publicly) to doing more yoga and strength training…I forget that running alone does not fitness make. I do feel guilty about choosing yoga or other strength/core training over running, this is a good reminder that these exercises complement running rather than detract from it.

  • Sarena (The Non Dairy Queen) October 1, 2010, 3:44 pm

    In my heart, I am. I wish I had more time to devote to it. I got to the point where taking the time to do it was frustrating, so I have given it up for a while. Now I really miss it. I have been doing a lot more muscle toning and strengthening through Core Fusion which kind of mixes the calming things that I love about yoga and intense strength training I get from weights.

  • courtney leigh October 1, 2010, 3:44 pm

    I LOVE yoga! I had stopped going and just recently I found a new studio. when I’m doing yoga I forget that I have 50 more pounds to lose AGAIN. Not only do I feel healthy, strong, and yes, thin, but in that moment I AM those things. I love my body and all the things it can do.

  • Andrea (@ Puppy Dog Tales) October 1, 2010, 3:48 pm

    I really want to do more yoga too. It’s just a matter of finding a time that I can commit to it. But, yes, I LOVE it. Nothing like that feeling after your finished….euphoric!

  • Tina October 1, 2010, 3:54 pm

    Hi! Just curious…what studio do u go to? I live in concord/Charlotte area. I am partial to yoga one but am always looking for other good studios too.

    • Caitlin October 2, 2010, 12:48 am


  • Stacey October 1, 2010, 3:57 pm

    I am quickly becoming a yogi 🙂 I LOVE the way it makes my body feel and I’ve just now started dedicating one day a week to an hour long vinyasa session. My biggest challenge: learning to do side crows pose without breaking my chin on the floor! Yesterday I was able to hold the pose for 2 seconds before going forward, haha. I’m so proud you overcame those two challenging poses! I know it’s hard!

  • Leanne @ Simplicitlee October 1, 2010, 4:08 pm

    This whole conversation is really making me want to do yoga ha! 🙂

  • Food & Other Things October 1, 2010, 4:09 pm

    I wish I was a yogi! I’ve tried a lot of dvds but I just can’t get into it…I think I need to try an actual class!

  • Cate October 1, 2010, 4:10 pm

    I have only been practicing yoga for about a month, so I am no yogi yet, but it has been great so far. I have done a few videos from exerciseTV and even use some of the poses in my post-workout cool down. It really is amazing! I love the way it makes me feel.

    I love reading about all the benefits you have gained from yoga. Way to go on mastering those poses! 🙂 I am going to start training for my first half marathon next week so I will definitely be keeping yoga in my routine.

  • Tiffany (Stuffed with Fluff) October 1, 2010, 4:14 pm

    $40 for a month, what a great deal! I moved recently and the yoga studio that’s been recommended to me is $25 for 7 days unlimited.

    My yoga practice thus far has either been self taught or at a local gym, but I am definitely looking to try a yoga studio. The classes at the gym aren’t bad, but the music blaring from the main gym is pretty distracting…and it’s hard to do downward dog when my dog likes to lie down on my mat

  • Jessica October 1, 2010, 4:19 pm

    That is such a good deal! My studio does $10 for unlimited 7 days as an intro week offer otherwise is $80 a month for unlimited. I love yoga. It makes me feel so strong!

  • Emmanuelle October 1, 2010, 4:36 pm

    Well you don’t need me to tell you yoga rocks! The world definitely more yogis and yoginis 🙂

  • tina October 1, 2010, 4:42 pm

    i did the same thing at a hot studio by my house… couldn’t believe what all those chatarungas did for my arms and upper back! mmm i LOOOOOOVE yogaaaaaaa!

  • Andrea October 1, 2010, 4:45 pm

    The woman in your Martin Sconduto picture is Natasha Rizopoulos! I work in the fitness education industry and have worked with her in the past!

    Love yoga – and the sweet deal you got!

  • kat October 1, 2010, 4:47 pm

    I am a total newbie at the yoga thing – just started a beginner’s class at a local yoga studio. I go twice a week and love it! I’m a runner, so it will be interesting to see if it improves my game. 🙂 Yoga is HARD! It really challenges the body.

  • Maria October 1, 2010, 4:54 pm

    Ah, I so want to master bird of paradise!

    I’m not much of yogi, but I do some runner’s yoga after my run that really loosens me up and I have virtually zero running soreness. Plus, it keeps the runner’s high going even longer.

  • Mary @ Bites and Bliss October 1, 2010, 5:04 pm

    I’m definitely a yogini. I’ve practiced for years and finally completed training for YogaFit a month ago. 🙂 I can’t wait to teach!

  • faith @ gracefulfitness October 1, 2010, 5:10 pm

    my favorite namaste translation is so simple
    “the light in me salutes the light in you”
    one of the MANY things I loved about traveling through Nepal last spring was that namaste is their version of “hi”, it really adds depth to your day when you go around saluting the light in others!

  • Jaime Runs October 1, 2010, 5:51 pm

    Go you!

    I started going 3x/week about 3 weeks ago. I’ve noticed a significant improvement in my upper body strength and my flexibility. I’m by no means a yogi but I’m so into it. Plus the extra 3 hours a week of working out in the morning really set my day on the right path. I wish I could go 5x a week, but well — I DO have to work sometime!

    Are you going to do unlimited again or class-to-class? What’s your game plan?

    p.s. how are you on the road again!?!?

    • Caitlin October 2, 2010, 12:48 am

      I think I’m going to try to hit up the $5 classes (middle of the day) 3 – 4 times a week. It’s worth the investment i think, especially since I don’t belong to a gym.

      • Jaime Runs October 2, 2010, 3:43 pm

        Yeah I do the $7 (half-price) classes from 9:30-10:30 AM, although I kind of wish they were earlier or lunchtime. It’s a weird time to go.

  • Kath October 1, 2010, 5:55 pm

    Oh gosh PLEASE be coming here to visit me!

  • chelsey @ clean eating chelsey October 1, 2010, 6:00 pm

    I’m a yogi-poser. I try to be one, but I just can never stay in the cycle of going! I can’t wait to see what your road trip is!

  • Katie @ peacebeme October 1, 2010, 6:09 pm

    I can’t do yoga because any kind of stretching aggravates my nerve disease, but I love the principle behind it and meditating/deep breathing I do do. I love that definition of namaste!

  • Amber K October 1, 2010, 6:27 pm

    With my digestive troubles as of late I have been staying away from any exercise that has me twisting my body around. Even before that I am majorly lapsed in my practice of yoga.

    For some reason I am just way more motivated by exercise that burns major calories. It’s the same reason I can never convince myself to strength train often enough. I know it’s a metabolism booster and sooo good for me, and yet my heart rate monitor mocks me with my 60-80 low pulse and calorie counter barely moving.

  • Jessica@tastyandtrim October 1, 2010, 6:35 pm

    This post made me want to go out and do some yoga! I have only ever taken one class and it was a couple of years ago, but I definitely want to give it a try. I have absolutely no flexibility though, so I am always nervous I’ll struggle with all of the poses.

  • Kjirsten @ Balanced Healthy Life October 1, 2010, 6:37 pm

    I started taking Bikram Yoga classes in 2002 while in college and still love yoga to this day! I love how calm, destressed and stretched out I feel after the sessions. I also like the fact that yoga makes you slow down, breath deep and focus on your postures for the entire class. Have you ever tried pilates?

    • Caitlin October 2, 2010, 12:47 am

      I have not tried pilates but I think I should soon!

      • Jaime Runs October 2, 2010, 3:42 pm

        Pilates is HARD!!!

  • Stephanie @ Off The Eaten Path October 1, 2010, 6:47 pm

    That’s a lotta yoga! Very impressive. Wish I could afford to go that much!

  • Katy @ A Shot of Life October 1, 2010, 6:51 pm

    I just started my first yoga class after about a year of using dvd’s and downloads at home. I love how refreshed I feel afterwards! Congrats on mastering the crow!

  • eatmovelove October 1, 2010, 7:27 pm

    Whoa – your a Rockstar – I cannot believe you can do those poses…insane. And, uh, I kinda want your arms….;)

  • Heather October 1, 2010, 7:27 pm

    good job! I am going to start yoga when we move. I know it will help my running!

  • yummiee cupcake October 1, 2010, 7:28 pm

    are you planning to join?

    • Caitlin October 2, 2010, 12:47 am

      im not sure. its pretty steep for a regular month long membership (like $140)

  • Rachel October 1, 2010, 7:31 pm

    That’s great!! Are you going to join the yoga studio now?!

  • stacey-healthylife October 1, 2010, 7:55 pm

    Those are two crazy poses, nice job.

  • Magic October 1, 2010, 8:06 pm

    I used to practice yoga at home on and off, and never went to yoga classes.

    You are awesome on getting those poses. You inspire me to get back into yoga again. This post sounds like a good reminder for me.

    Have fun on your trip.

  • Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin October 1, 2010, 8:23 pm

    This post really makes me want to get more into yoga! There’s a hot yoga studio downtown that I’ve been meaning to try out. Hopefully I’ll get around to it soon! It sounds like yoga has done awesome things for you! 😀

  • Dori October 1, 2010, 8:26 pm

    So funny that you posted this today. I read your post in the afternoon and then I went to yoga at 6 pm, and the teacher asked the class if anyone knows what Namaste means. I did because I had just read this so I said the answer!

    • Caitlin October 2, 2010, 12:46 am


  • Cynthia (It All Changes) October 1, 2010, 8:32 pm

    The birds of paradise pose is so pretty and so difficult. Congrats on accomplishing it!

  • Joanna @ October 1, 2010, 8:38 pm

    You never cease to inspire me. A one month commitment to yoga is going to be happening for me in October. I am finally going to stop talking about how I want to do more yoga and actually do it!

  • elyssa October 1, 2010, 9:06 pm

    like you, i recently started a private yoga challenge. i love yoga because it changes the way i move – even when i’m at home, or days after my last practice. when i’m cleaning the floor or getting up to stretch after 2 hours of class, i’ve noticed that yoga has given me the ability to know how to move my body in little ways to bring peace to my muscles and my mind throughout the day.

  • Lisa @ Fit in the Midwest October 1, 2010, 9:07 pm

    I love yoga! In fact, I did it last night at my new gym and my blog post’s title was namaste. I always feel fantastic after completing an hour of yoga. It centers and calms me after a work day. The only thing I have yet to try and would like to is hot yoga.

  • Wei-Wei October 1, 2010, 9:12 pm

    I can’t do yoga 🙁 My mind can’t seem to calm down enough. I think it’s great that you stuck through with it! And congratulations on getting those two poses down. 😀

  • kate October 1, 2010, 9:35 pm

    I’ve always wanted to do yoga but never know where to start! What type of yoga is best for beginners? I always feel so overwhelmed when researching it because there are so many options it seems so I never make any progress in finding a place to go…

    • Caitlin October 2, 2010, 12:45 am

      Just call a local studio and ask them which is the beginners class! They will offer an intro class.

  • Jessica @ The Process of Healing October 1, 2010, 10:42 pm

    I’ve only done a bit of yoga but i’d really like to get into it.

  • Madeleine October 1, 2010, 10:44 pm

    Ahhhh yes, yoga is my favorite! I can totally relate about bringing it into your everyday life. Things that used to REALLY stress me out or piss me off just roll off when I have regular yoga practice in my life. Congrats on hitting those poses- I hope I can get into them (without falling out) one day too 🙂

  • Thetreadmilldiaries October 1, 2010, 10:52 pm

    First, I just want to say that I really like the definition of Namaste that you shared. Very cool.

    As for Yoga, I’m a big fan. Love the way I can leave the weight, stress and events of the day on the mat. I’m more energized at the end of a class and am in a great state of mind. Physically, I’ve gained flexibility, balance and core strength.

  • maria @ Chasing the Now October 1, 2010, 11:22 pm

    I love yoga. I am excited to focus on it more this fall and winter after my leg injury heals!

  • Sassy Molassy October 1, 2010, 11:48 pm

    Awesome job! I’d love to do a 30 day challenge. Maybe after the marathon. I do a lot of 20 min sessions pre work, which really help start my day in a fresh and relaxing way. I’d love to do more full classes though. Mostly I do or dave farmar podcasts as the yoga studio schedules here often don’t fit with when I’d like to take yoga. And I have to say, the teacher totally makes a difference as to whether or not I fully enjoy the class.

  • Kate October 2, 2010, 8:41 am

    That is awesome! So happy your commitment to yoga paid off. I didn’t realize until recently how incredible regular practice could be for your body, but mostly your mind. It’s such a high, but totally zens you out at the same time. Pretty incredible.

  • Emilie October 2, 2010, 11:28 am

    I think yoga is one of the most incredible things in the world. The only problem with it is how expensive it can get to practice at a studio 🙁 I’ve found that I reap the same benefits from yoga–my running and recovery are both better, and my upper body gets stronger. I also just feel better overall. Recently I’ve gotten strong enough to do a full headstand, which has been a goal of mine for a long time! The 10-week yoga session I was doing through my office is over now, sadly, so I’m hoping to continue my practice with

  • Amanda October 2, 2010, 1:03 pm

    Good for you Caitlyn. I know you detest strength training so I’m sure you’re surprised that you have muscles ; ) It makes sense that yoga would aid marathon training. Long runs make things tight! And keeping those muscles warm and stretchy must be a glorious treat for them!

  • Sarah October 3, 2010, 7:33 am

    I love yoga for the strength and flexibility it gives me,but also for the practice it gives me with living in the present moment and with observing situations without judgment and then going on from there (not pushing and pulling and straining just being).
    I am a BIG fan of yoga!

  • Crystal October 4, 2010, 5:01 am

    Hurray for yogi’s! I am a yoga girl, and it has brought me to become a teacher, to acroyoga, slackline yoga, rock climbing, ect. Yoga has made me a better me!
    P.S. My teacher Natasha Rizopolous- is the woman in the crow posture photo!

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