Night Run(ing into) Dharma

It’s been two weeks since my first 5K and two weeks since I took my shoes for a run.  I will blame it either on the rain or Uncle Sam.  Now that both are gone, I had no excuse and decided to go for my first night run since this was the last night I had baby sitters in town.  As usual, the first 5 minutes are nothing but resistance and mind boggling “I’m tired and just want to walk” self conversations.  After the first several minutes of running, I get a terrible side cramp.  I’m certain it’s the chocolate cream puff I had after dinner that is talking to me.  The other half of me tells me to keep going and you’ll be fine after you past the first 5 minutes of the run.  Sure enough my other half was right.  As soon as I focused on my breathing and keeping my body in tadasana like, I forgot about the cramp. It actually went away and I felt this strange lightness to my feet.  This sounds cheesy but I felt like I was gliding along the pavement.  I have never before felt so light during a run.  My lungs didn’t burn, my nose wasn’t running, and I wasn’t gasping for air. OMG! I was actually enjoying the run.

Photo Credit:

The night was perfect.  Clear skies.  No wind.  Felt like 75 degrees.  Best of all was the sweet smelling scent of jasmine flowers in the air.  I was so grateful to have my sense of smell back after a week of mad allergies.  Jasmine is one of my favorite scents and it took me to a very graceful edge of my run where I was not struggling to breath or struggling against my ego and push myself.  It was a blissful moment of no thoughts.

During my 5 minute cool down, the thoughts come flooding in.  Good thoughts.  Not only did I realize that I need to accept the reality of my ‘night owl’ tendencies.  I am a night owl.  Things flow better for me after dinner and the kiddos are in bed.  I don’t know if it’s it psychological or just the natural rhythm of my body.  I have better clarity with more energy. I love my 9pm home practice into the wee night hours.  If I had to practice yoga during the morning, I would not be in love with it as much as I am now.  My body doesn’t enjoy it.  As I discovered tonight, I enjoyed my run better at night.  What a bonus it was to practice immediately after the run to stretch out the hammies.

During my practice, I focused on dharma, living in truth of the way you are meant to be.  I haven’t thought about dharma since my first teacher’s training.  “You know you’re in your dharma when you don’t have to try at all,” says my teacher, Baron Baptiste.  Not the case when I first started teaching.  That’s besides the point now, but two years into teaching and I feel like I’m melting into my dharma in my teaching, in my life, and in my cause of building community.  When we are in our dharma, we are happy.  There is no struggle.  Not to say there won’t be challenges.  When we find our dharma and engage in our own practices and commitment, challenges become growth spurts and hurdles turn into more happiness.  So how does one find their dharma?

Dharma Wheel (Photo Credit:

For me it would begin with staying in the flow.  So often we face a challenge or resistance and want to turn around and run in the opposite way.  If I’m not happy with what is presented to me, I often ask myself what’s going on.  Why am I resisting? Why am I unhappy? Why is this a struggle? Sometimes the answers don’t come right away and my other half reminds me to stay a bit and breathe through it. Armed with some awareness, I can make better decisions to either stay in this flow or find another flow.  Who knows where the flow takes me.  All I know is that when I’m in alignment with my flow, I’m happy.  The hardest things like taking my shoes for a run can actually be fun and put me in a state of  bliss.  And who knows if I’m in my dharma teaching yoga.  I do know that I am happy and love to share my experience with others… that’s one step closer to dharma and definitely more evening runs🙂

My first 5K

Saturday April 3rd, Cupertino’s Big Bunny 5k Fun Run – checked off my bucketlist!  Yeah!

After trying to prepare myself for this run the last month or so, I still arrive the morning of with a ton of doubts and resistance.  It was freezing cold for my taste and my legs did not want to move even after a hour of yoga prior.  Body sure does have a mind of it’s own.  As I look around me and see people of all ages, sizes, and experience, I catch myself judging not others, but myself… the harshest kind of judgement… if that old man beats me… If that person can do it… If that kid… if this, if that….

Stop it! I remind myself that it’s a “fun run.”  Wasn’t feeling like it was gonna be fun but as I wait at the start line surrounded by a bunch of excited people, I open myself up grace’s presence.  On your mark, get set, GO!  The earth moved the group forward as our feets pitter pattered on the pavement.  It sounded like rain on the rooftop.  It was hard to resist the rhythm of this flow and my frozen calves moved to it.  There is great power in group energy! Before I knew it, I was shedding my layers and found my own rhythm without any worries of how I was going to complete this.  Many past me up and Darren took off finding is own rhythm.  Everyone was in their own rhythm challenging themselves to reach their own personal goals.  Mine was to just complete it. The kids inspired me to have fun and the older folks inspired me to appreciate the experience.

15 minutes into the race, there was hardly anyone next to me and I was left alone to think as my mind wandered.  For the first time, I thought where is the finish line?  How far did I go?  What’s left?  Trying to figure out what was ahead, I felt my legs were gonna give out.  Until the cross guard cheered us on and blurted, “you’re more than halfway done,” like he read my mind.  After a big sigh of relief, I focus back on my breathing.  Yes, deep ujayii breaths carried me through.

Turning the last corner and seeing the crowd of people, I gain my second wind and sprint in to finish at 31.23 mins.  I surprised myself!  Never in my life was I able to run a 10 minute mile.  LOL in your face, my asthmatic, doubting, stiff leg self! Yoga has taught me well:  “Doubt your doubts!” “You never will surprise yourself if you don’t try something different!”

31.23 minutes!
Darren finishing at 30.07 for his age group
The prize for finishing -- hugging the bunny

The Kids had fun too! They did a quarter mile around the lawn:

The star runner of the family - having completed 10 miles total from her school's running program
Go Jazzy Go
A budding runner
No fair! Kids get metals and a bunny hug
We finish where we started and it all begins again -- where's the next race?

From being dusted by peep squeaks to Namaste

Are you faster than a kindergartener?  Apparently I’m not.  Was back in my shoes running my 30 min interval this morning.  I’m up to 5 min run, 3 min walk, 8 min run, 3 min walk, 5 min run interval.  This week has been nothing but resistance.  I dragged my legs around the track near Jazzy’s school and shortly after running several laps, two kindergarten classes crowded around the track.  I thought they were going to point and laugh at me LOL.  Then as I pass them, I hear the teacher say, “ready, set, go, 1 time around.”  Two little boys sprint past me and the rest of the class followed and passed me up.  What the !@#$ I was dusted by a bunch of peep squeaks.  So for the remainder of the run, I got lost in my thoughts about why my legs didn’t want to move and why I was struggling so much.  Did my allergy attack last week really bog me down this much?  I don’t know.  Maybe I’m just nervous as the 5K Bunny Fun Run is on April 3.  I keep telling myself it’s just for FUN and I’m not worried about how fast I finish.  The best part of the run is the post run nutrition.  (notice how I’m ignoring my own question here?🙂 I was exhausted by the time I got home and made a quick smoothie before heading out to Cupertino’s Friday Farmer’s market:

Banana, strawberry, blue and blackberries, coconut butter, coconut juice, peanut butter, and spirulina

The highlights for this weeks farmer’s market:

Mine! All mine! (hear evil laugh in the background)
Wait til I pair you up with some jalapenos and cilantro

Had to get my raw milk from this guy today cause Whole Foods stopped selling them as of March 13.   I was shocked and thought there was some food safety issue.  Turns out it’s all political and corporate heehaws.  This is what happens when bigwigs get involved. I hope they sort this out fast, cause I love my raw milk and sometimes run out before friday’s farmer’s market.

Yum! Raw Milk!
Niko's Favorite Veggies. Organic for $1.50 each
Lunch for Niko: summer rolls.
My lunch: the best gyro EVER

And of course next to the gyro booth is the kettle corn guy.  We resisted last week but the temptation was unstoppable this week:

Can you smell this?

I felt bad for the guy cause he burned his hand right before scooping our popcorn.  He was badly burned.. probably 2nd degree he says… the result of not using his gloves when he should’ve been.

The highlight of this friday’s market is meeting a woman through a simple word as Namaste.  She was wearing a Namaste shirt and I just had to converse with her because not only is it rare to see an Asian (in this area) know what Namaste is enough to wear it on her shirt, but it was an opportunity to connect. (OK I just stereotyped, but many find yoga just a workout — perhaps another blog another day).  Found out she was an energy healer.  Got her business card and of a course a photo:

We are ONE indeed!

Perhaps my intention next friday is to connect to another person at the market.  Connections is what makes us human.  Most of the time we are wrapped in our OWN world and forget about THE world and we could all be in that place of love, light, peace and truth a lot more often.

Of course another rare find today is my hubby with me on fridays.  It was definitely a special treat.  I think I embarassed him though cause I was taking too many pictures acting like a tourist.  He said, “stop it! they might think we’re health inspectors.” Ha! Ha! I give these vendors an A+ for fresh, friendly, and affordable!

Silly tourists

Green Galore

It’s a super green day all around today… But first, I have to rave about my new mop.

No, the mop is not burning🙂
Clean enough to put my face near it

Yesterday I was super excited about my new  Shark steam mop.  It uses nothing but water to steam clean the floors.   I admit I am a landfill obuser in this area as I used swifter wet mops cause I’m too lazy and don’t have the time luxury to use an old fashioned water and bucket mop (plus the water gets disgustingly disgusting).  It’s been a process to switch my cleaning products to more enviro friendly products and the mop was the last thing to be added.

No more yucky sticky film left over and what they call “lemon fresh” scent lingering in the house.  I love this mop.  The floor got squeaky clean and I used less woman power to push the mop to really get the remanents of two kiddos off the floor.  Best of all, the pad is washable and reusable.  Bed and Bath in Cupertino has it on sale for $69 and take the 20% coupon for a great deal! Love it! Love it! Love it!  Can’t wait to mop again. LOL

So this year for St. Patty’s day, I’ve taken green to the max!  Not only did I wear green, I felt green, ate green, and met a leprechaun today.  I normally don’t do that green stuff on St. Patty’s day.  Brings back images of pinch marks from grade school cause kids are mean and my parents never bought me anything green cause it didn’t look good on me.

Felt green today after hitting the pavement for a 30 minute interval run.  Having been in slippers for the last 5 days because of my allergy attack, I felt like my lungs were pulled over my head and my breakfast was going to come out of my nose.  Nevertheless, I kept it slow and steady like tortoise and eventually warmed up the at the last 5 minute interval.  Felt good afterwards and hit the kitchen to make some green juice, and green sushine salad to refuel before running to teach my noon class:

organic kale, cucumbers, lime, romaine lettuce
Bed of curly kale with lime, pink himalayan salt, and flax oil dressing, sea palm, sea kraut, daikon sprouts, and quinoa
After being so good about my greens, I had to splurge on yogurtland. Tons of fruit in there topped with a few green M&Ms and a sprinkled cookie.
My little lucky leprechauns who got to eat dessert before dinner
Leprechaun at the school crossing. The kids are so lucky to have her.

But the luckiest person is me. I am so blessed to have such an awesome hubby to share my frozen yogurt with.  I don’t talk much about him but here he is.  Always there for me even though he left me in the dust during our run this morning🙂

An Amazing Ordinary Day

No running today.. just running around town from class to nutritionist to school to home to art class to home to dinner to bed…

Ahhhh just another ordinary day but what an amazing ordinary day it is!  I was reminded by a Facebook friend who posted this video about the very reason why I started this blog.. to bring life, adventure, joy, and gratitude for these ordinary days.  Check it out:

How amazing my ordinary day was to be able to share my yoga with 12 other amazing yogis this morning and then see my nutritionist Michael McEvoy to check out how my metabolic typing diet has been working for me via several tests one of which includes viewing the health of my live blood cells.  This is what my red blood cells look like:

Healthy blood is what I have!!!  All that veggie juicing paid off!.  The bubble like circles are the red blood cells.  They are touching eachother and not clumping and overlapping.  Some bubbles look like tear drops indicating some protein deficiency but nothing to worry about because I haven’t eaten a full meal all morning.  I am so happy about my results and the breakthroughs I’ve had since identifying what my metabolic type is.  I’m so happy to be the carb type that I am because all the foods I love are the foods I should eat more of and who wouldn’t be happy getting more of what you love, eh?

The practice of body awareness that yoga has provided me has helped me tremendously along with this metabolic type nutrition to zero in on my health issues.  I am in complete control of how my physical body feels from the foods I consume.  Food is thy medicine!  Check out some of my favorite dishes: