Saturday, June 12, 2010

Up Early! Why?

This morning, I did something completely out of character for me: I woke up early (7 a.m.) on a Saturday morning.

Now before you try to tell me that 7 a.m. is not really that early, let me tell you that normally on a weekend, I sleep in until 10:30/11 a.m. So yes, 7 a.m. is quite early for me!

So what prompted this change in sleeping habits for one Miss Healthypants?

Free outdoor yoga!

Every Saturday morning in the late spring & summer, the city of Chicago, and McDonalds sponsor free exercise classes in Millennium Park, which is like three blocks from my apartment building. The schedule is:

7 AM - Tai Chi
8 AM - Yoga
9 AM - Pilates
10 AM - Dance Aerobics

They offered free exercise classes last year, as well, but I was always too lazy to get my butt out of bed on Saturday mornings to work out…but not any more! Miss Healthypants is committed to starting her summer Saturdays off in a healthy way.

Anyway, I met a couple of friends there, and we participated in a 45-minute outdoor yoga class on Millennium Park’s Great Lawn. The weather was cloudy, warm, and humid, with just a slight mist of rain during the whole class—which I actually found quite refreshing.

And the class itself was good—not way too challenging, but just challenging enough—a good moderate workout for a Saturday morning—appropriate for almost any fitness level.

But my favorite part of the class was actually doing yoga outside, in the park. It was so lovely to close my eyes and come into Ujjayi breathing (a type of breathing used in yoga practice), and hear the birds chirping away in the trees around me.

And then there was the moment when we all did “tree pose" (see picture below). It was just so cool to look around the park and see the trees and then see all of us humans in tree pose. What a beautiful moment!

Tree Pose - photo courtesy of

So I would say it’s safe to assume that I will be coming back to Saturday morning yoga in the park. Hell, maybe next time I’ll even stick around for Pilates!

Later, after class, I stopped in at McDonald’s for breakfast. And as I chomped my way through a breakfast burrito, I realized the irony—that the same corporation that had just helped me out by co-sponsoring a free exercise class, was now helping me to deliver fat and cholesterol into my body. When it comes to my health, I guess McDonald’s giveth, and it also taketh away!

Still, one of the central themes of yoga is keeping balance in your life. Just as I balanced in tree pose, I also balanced out my unhealthy breakfast burrito with some healthy fruit and orange juice.

And speaking of keeping balance, I will be mostly away from the internet and will not be blog-posting for probably a good week or so. So just in case you stop back here and think that I’m being a lazy-ass for not posting, just remember that I’m taking a hiatus to restore mental balance in my life. And yes, I’m also being a lazy-ass.


Citymouse said...

you go girl!!! another reason for me to miss Chicago!

Lisa said...

I have to agree with Citymouse! Yay for you on the commitment!

And enjoy your break!

Random Thinker said...

I always drink a diet coke to counteract the stuff on my plate.

Mom said...

I love doing yoga outdoors. It is just a wonderful way to restore balance and sanity.
Enjoy your break. We will miss you.

Barb said...

Go ~ restore ~ find balance. I'll be here when you get back!

Anonymous said...

Tree pose is my favorite! Sometimes I have trouble with balance poses. I found Leeann Carey has a free yoga video that breaks down tree pose and it’s really helpful. Thought your readers would like it: