TEF: I just got better

A few months ago, I was really working to master the art of handstand holding, but I was having some trouble. The same thing would happen every time. I would be upside down for .5 seconds and then I would just topple over like a stack of Jenga blocks. I needed to do some serious strength training but, I was reluctant to get to the gym. I wanted it to be all yoga all the time. And, besides the idea of strength training seemed a little intimidating to me. I didn’t know how to go about it and I really didn’t feel like pumping iron with a bunch of guys grunting at themselves in the mirror.

So I kept doing what I was doing, but I was getting quite frustrated and I even ended up straining my lower back. Then, my mom swooped in like the miracle-working-problem-solver she is and suggested I go to Tyler English Fitness, a performance and training facility that offers daily strength and conditioning classes.

It’s been a perfect fit. I am way more steady—no more wobbly warriors. And I can hold handstands like I’ve never held them before. You could say I’ve made some “serious gains.” But, it has certainly not been easy. The coaching sessions are intense. I often find myself muttering “WTF” under my breath (very yogic of me, I know). But guess what? The trainers don’t care that I’m a little uncomfortable. They only care that I finish my burpees and squat all the way down and no one better stop before the timer goes off because we’ll just start over, okay?

You see, TEF has a no BS policy. You will be pushed (though sometimes it may feel like shove) out your comfort zone. Your legs will shake and you will be sore in places you didn’t even know existed in your body. And if you don’t like that, well then you can take it up with the complaint department, which is conveniently located in the big gray barrel. You know, the one that resembles a garbage can.

But, a place with so much passion couldn’t run without heart. Really, the whole gym just operates on tough love because at the end of the day, everyone just wants you to do well, or to “get better,” as Tyler would say. The trainers want that for you. The members want that for you. Even the ones who have been there for years and can gracefully jump squat 1000x without breaking a sweat. TEF is the first and only gym that I’ve belonged to that really encompasses a sense of community.

Oddly enough, I’m going to miss getting my ass kicked at the 8:30 morning class. My body has truly experienced a transformation for the better, and I am leaving for India feeling well prepared (well, physically, at least).

So, to Tyler + all of the other bad ass trainers at TEF, thank you for helping me to #getbetter!

Namaste,

Mary

XX

To London, India & Beyond!

BIG NEWS! I’ve decided to pack up my love for yoga and take it with me all the way to India to become a certified yoga instructor.

My journey to India and ultimately to my Self begins on March 1st (though you could argue it began 22 years ago, but no need to get all esoteric and spiritual on you quite yet).

My sister, Brittany, and I are set to fly to London, where we will no doubt enjoy a few days’ worth of tea and crumpets with some art and museums sprinkled in between (and by art and museums, I mostly mean bakeries and pubs). From there, Britt will fly back to the States and I will journey on to “The Yoga Capital of the World,” otherwise known as Rishikesh, India.

While in Rishikesh, I will be attending a 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training Course. For a month, I will be living by the regimented schedule of ashram life, which begins at 5:30 AM with morning tea followed by yoga, pranayama (the study of breath), anatomy, more tea, philosophy, more yoga, and you guessed it, meditation.

This will be an entirely new experience for me as I have never been to India, nor have I ever willingly committed myself to anything that would require me to wake up at the ungodly hour of 5 AM. But, I couldn’t be more excited. I am so unbelievably grateful for my path and I encourage each and every one of you to follow your passions because they will certainly take you to some amazing places!

Namaste.