Tag Archives: yoga

Upcoming Workshop: Expand Your Practice On and Off The Mat

Life Balance Jumpstart will be doing our second workshop of the year. I’m so excited to be teaming up with Sophie Slater next weekend to bring you this workshop, focusing on some of the philosophy and teachings of yoga. Come dive deeper into your practice with us — both on and off the mat!

Expand Your Practice On And Off the Mat

Yoga and the Yoga Sutras with Maggie Converse & Sophie Slater of Life Balance Jumpstart

Sunday March 15th 1:30- 3:30pm at M3 Yoga Westport
$35 ($30 for M3 Monthly/Annual members)

Do you love yoga?

If so, you might want to expand your knowledge of the origins of this powerful practice and acquire even more tools to help you carry that calm, confident, centered space you find on the yoga mat into your everyday life.

To do so, join Sophie Slater and Maggie Converse for this special workshop on Yoga & the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.

It will be an afternoon of grounding yoga, meditation, and engaging introductory discourse on the Yoga Sutras of the great sage Patanjali, the 196 aphorism text that outlines the 8 limbs of Ashtanga yoga.

Bring your mat, a pen, and a curious mind. Sign up at M3 Yoga Westport by clicking here!

 

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Set Your Intentions! Workshops – this weekend!

If you are like most of us, you have at least given a few minutes of consideration to setting goals and resolutions for the new year. AND if you are like most of us, these resolutions fade fast. So … how do we hold to these resolutions? How do we treat them as our “north stars”, allowing them to guide us through a process of growth and change?

If you happen to be in the Fairfield County area this weekend, I will be co-teaching an intention-setting workshop twice with Sophie Slater. The first will be at M3 Yoga in Westport on Saturday 2-4pm and then again on Sunday 3-5pm at A New Earth Yoga in Easton, CT.

To Register:

…for the m3 workshop email merri@m3yogawestport.com.

…for the A New Earth workshop click here.

We hope to see you there!

Set Your Intentions! Workshop

Set Your Intentions! Workshop

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Creating an At Home Yoga Practice

Finding sweet release from holiday stress with at home yoga.

 

If you’ve ever found the idea of an at home yoga practice absolutely outlandish, I may have some ideas to help this seem a tad more approachable. Yoga is not just about fancy outfits, standing on your head, or even about being able to touch your toes. While all these things are very fun, yoga is more so about stepping into your yoga space, unplugging for whatever dedicated time you have set for yourself, and being present. So with that in mind, let us begin:

 

1. Find your yoga space. Any space where you feel comfortable will work. This can be: your bedroom, office, basement, living room… you get the picture.

 

2. Select 3-5 basic poses … and JUST DO THOSE POSES. Really, just start with 3-5 poses and then build on them if time allows. Give yourself a break and make this easy. These can be poses you already know or you can use YogaJournal which provides a wonderful reference: http://www.yogajournal.com/poses/finder/browse_categories. I am also available to chat via email to help you build your personalized at home practice.

 

3. Breathe. Whether it is uncomfortable or it feels fantastic, try to breathe as you do each pose. The more you do this, the easier it becomes and this is just one of those things with yoga (and with many things in life) that it does require practice, practice, practice. While you may see small shifts and changes, the big changes do not occur overnight… as much as I sometimes wish they would! I promise, the end results of long-term dedication will be well worth it.

 

4. Set a timer for 5, 10, 15 minutes and commit to practicing for that amount of time. I would bet money that the timer will go off and you will be ready to keep going with your practice.

 

As you embark on your at home yoga practice I leave you with one final tip, especially as we weave our way through the stresses of the holiday season: Imagine that you could take each and every thing that is causing you stress and put it in a box. Close that box, set it aside, and don’t open it up again until after your yoga practice. While your problems may not go away, this just might allow for a subtle shift in perspective. 

Yoga at Home

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The Wellness Make-over

My dear friend and colleague, Sophie Herbert Slater, and I went on a hike in Trout Brook Preserve about a month ago where she pitched to me this brilliant idea she had been brewing for months: a Life Balance Jumpstart program that would allow clients to work with one-on-one with us as yoga teachers and wellness coaches.

We are beyond excited that we are finally ready to launch Life Balance Jumpstart and invite you to sign up with us. (For the moment this is limited to those residing in the Fairfield County area.)

What does this entail? You can visit our website for the full details but to get an idea…

Life Balance Jumpstart is an intensive 5-week program designed to help YOU feel and be your best.  Our mission as experienced wellness coaches and yoga teachers is to share invaluable tools that will not only help you establish greater life balance now and in the future, but also assist you in navigating life with more grace, confidence, curiosity, and resilience.  Our passion is helping our clients feel balanced, nurtured, and connected with their sense of purpose. From here, so much is possible.

Sign up before January 15 and save 10%! Email lifejumpstart@gmail.com with questions and to get started on your wellness make-over.

Life Balance Jumpstart

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8:18, croissants, 90 miles, and 2 months

Or what I learned from my weekend of training:

  • Maintaining an average pace of 8:18 for 3.1 miles of running is possible!
  • 50 miles into a ride, coffee and a chocolate croissant is heaven and will render me speechless
  • I have decided that I would really like to have croissants in my special needs bag for Ironman Lake Placid
  • I am quite chipper after 90 miles on the bike and once I reach 90 miles, I might shed a tear of joy/disbelief/shock and awe
  • Quassy Rev3 70.3 is in 5 days and Ironman Lake Placid is 2 months away and it’s starting to feel real. This weekend’s long ride got me really really excited for the first time — and I couldn’t have done it without everyone’s donations and support! You can support my fundraising campaign for CTF by clicking here.

 

Coffee. Croissant. Can't talk.

Coffee. Croissant. Can’t talk.

Weston Memorial Day 5K - running in the rain!

Weston Memorial Day 5K – running in the rain!

90 MILES!

90 MILES!

 

 

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Summer Saturdays! Pop Up Yoga NYC comes to CT

Screen Shot 2013-05-06 at 3.55.32 PMIt’s entirely possible that I love wine just as much as I love yoga so it goes without saying that I’m quite excited about this upcoming series of yoga classes & wine tastings that I will be leading next month in CT. Click the image to read more about it or click here for the Eventbrite page where you can also order tickets. Classes start the first Saturday in June at 4:30pm at Bottlerocket Wine & Spirit in Westport, CT.

It should also be noted that dogs are welcome!

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Words to go by in the new year…

A year from now you will wish you had started today. - Karen Lamb

A year from now you will wish you had started today. – Karen Lamb

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Pumpkin Chia Mini Muffins

Pumpkin Chia Mini Muffins

Pumpkin Chia Mini Muffins

I made these for Tuesday night’s Pop Up Yoga NYC ‘s yoga and nutrition fundraiser to go with the chia theme and they were a hit! I love all things pumpkin and these were especially tasty – great texture, not too sweet, and packed with protein and fiber in every bite. Personally, I “tested” 4 as a snack and then had leftovers for breakfast (slathered in butter) the following morning. That’s right. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Chia Mini Muffins

  • 4 tbsp Chia Seeds (I think I added even more- you can play around with it- I was very generous with my chia)
  • 1 Cup Coconut flour
  • 1/2 Cup White Flour
  • 2 Tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/2 Tsp Nutmeg
  • 2 Tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 Tsp Salt (I did not use)
  • 16 oz can pure pumpkin
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2-1 cup coconut milk (either Silk or SoDelicious brand- play around with portions but I probably ended up needing about 1 cup to balance the coconut flour)
  • 1/4 cup Agave (or even less!)
  • 1 tbsp Vanilla
  • 1/2 cup Chopped Walnuts (optional)

Mix together all of the dry ingredients.
Mix together all of the wet ingredients.

Fold Wet ingredients into dry ingredients.
Pour into greased muffin pan and bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

Yoga and chia were enjoyed by all at Tuesday's fundraiser!

Yoga and chia were enjoyed by all at Tuesday’s fundraiser!

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Yoga & Chia Power Event – to benefit Sandy relief in Staten Island

On Tuesday, December 18 I will be teaming up with Pop Up Yoga NYC, Chia Star, Pushcart Coffee (Peter’s Field loc.), SandyBaggers, and fellow health coach Steph Miller (www.hecticandhealthy.com) to provide an evening of yoga, wellness, and fundraising to support a local business in Staten Island – Not Just Bagels.

I will lead a 40 minute calming vinyasa flow class which will be followed by an informal discussion and Q&A of our featured product – Chia Star. Steph and I will explain why we love chia and it’s amazing health benefits! Chia seeds have been dubbed “the running food”, “a miracle”, and “the ultimate super food” by athletes and advocates alike.

In keeping with the grassroots culture of SandyBaggers, we are donating the proceeds from the event to a small, independent fundraiser.  “Not Just Bagels” in Staten Island was one of many family-owned businesses obliterated by the storm;  in addition to having their homes ruined, their only source of income was wiped out too. Many people cut their losses and abandoned the properties, but this family is rebuilding because they have no other option. The government and FEMA have not been helpful. A few SandyBaggers met them on-site last month, helped them clear the debris, and now it’s time to rebuild. The fundraiser link is here, to learn more about their story: http://www.indiegogo.com/NotJustBagels

SandyBaggers at Not Just Bagels

SandyBaggers at Not Just Bagels

Details:

Dec. 18,  8:30-10:00pm
Pushcart Coffee @ Peter’s Field - 301 East 21st Street New York, NY 10010

Cost: $15 admission or $5 admission + donated item (all proceeds go toward Not Just Bagels fundraiser)

Suggested donated items: Bottled water, blankets, Non-perishable food, Contractor garbage bags, Cleaning supplies (Sponges, Laundry soap, Dish soap, vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, Mold-X), Tyvek worksuits, Rubber work gloves, P100 particle respirator masks.

Email me (maggieconverse@me.com) with questions or to RSVP. You can also RSVP by clicking here.

We hope to see you on the 18th!

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New favorite post-long run yoga pose…

Pincha mayurasana. Also known as, forearm stand or forearm balance.

Pincha Mayurasana

Demoing pincha mayurasana after a long run with running coach, Milly, at Sherpa in CT.

Ever since I started doing triathlons in 2010, I’ve been fairly consistent in following my long runs (and rides) with a short 10-20 minute yoga practice. These practices typically involve basic poses that get into the psoas, hamstrings, quads, hips, IT band … the usual.

It wasn’t until I was with the Sherpa group out in CT this weekend when I was inspired by the contagious energy of one of the Sherpa run coaches, Milly, to demo and teach forearm stand (she wanted an inversion, but one that did not put pressure on the top of her head like in headstand.)

We first tried L-pose (handstand modification) and then, pincha mayurasana. Milly is a rock star runner and a wonderful yogini because she was willing to jump right in and try the pose. AND, with attention to her form and a little assistance on my part, she got right into it. I wish I could remember exactly what Milly said once she got up, but I can assure you that a) it made me laugh out loud and b) it was a major “Ah-ha” moment.

So, time willing, I will start doing some post-long run pincha – with Milly’s fearlessness in mind!

Why pincha mayurasana?

It’s fun! There is something to be said about a pose that makes you feel like a kid again. Pincha definitely forces me to focus but it also makes me smile, laugh, and feel powerful. Not only do your legs get a break, but you reverse the flow of blood so the heart gets a “rest.”

Click here to read more about pincha (including modifications and prep steps.)

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