Yogi योगी Insight (part 1 in a series)

Last year, I decided to deepen my yoga practice and sign up for a Yoga Sculpt Teacher Training. I completed the five-week course and earned my certification. Then an opportunity came along to take it a step further and work toward my 200-hour teacher training certification, which ends in two weeks. I have had the honor of meeting many amazing yogis, each with different levels of experience and intriguing backgrounds. Eternally curious, I thought it would be fun to interview the yogis to learn from them, apply their wisdom to my teaching and share the love, light and knowledge I gain from them along the way! I hope that you enjoy this special series. Namaste!

I met Lauren a few years ago as a fellow student in an afternoon sculpt class. We instantly hit it off!

Lauren Lipton

Photo by Lauren Lipton https://www.ellethreephotography.com/

Yogi: Lauren Lipton
Studio: Down Dog Yoga

Q: How long have you been practicing yoga?
A: I began practicing yoga in 2011 and it became embedded in my lifestyle ever since. It was a good counter to the Crossfit I was doing as well.

Q: Who or what influenced you to take up yoga?
A: I was working at Lululemon in Clarendon and as part of the job, we were influenced to practice yoga. I stumbled across Down Dog Yoga in Georgetown and was hooked ever since!

Q: How long have you been teaching yoga?
A: I have been teaching yoga since 2015; initially at my old Crossfit gym and now at Down Dog Yoga in Herndon.

Q: What is your mission as a yoga teacher?
A: To help people transform their lives and to see the possibilities that open up when we step on our mat. Our mats are a reflection of the world and how we interact and respond. I love seeing people grow on their mat and taking risks to become stronger.

Q: What aspect of teaching yoga are you most passionate about?
A: I love the breath work involved in Baptiste yoga. The deep breathing gives way to a deep-rooted moving meditation that really shakes up the core and transfers energy. I always feel at ease and calmer after I practice.

Q: What is most challenging for you as a teacher?
A: I would say the most challenging aspect of teaching is holding the energy in the room. There is no music in the class to carry on poses and for people to drift away. I am a guide who continually leads people to their breath to stay in their body and away from the chatter in the mind.

Q: What is most fulfilling for you as a teacher?
A: I love when people keep showing up to do the work!

Q: How do you come up with your sequences?
A: I follow a sequence derived from Baron Baptiste, called “Journey Into Power.”

Q: Where do you see yourself in 5 or 10 years in your yoga practice?
A: I will continue to practice this type of yoga — the heat is such a heart opener and power vinyasa helps heal injuries I have and keeps me strong.

Lauren is also a talented freelance photographer. Check out her website: 
https://www.ellethreephotography.com/

Vegas Dreams, Former Chippendale Pulls Out of the Business to Find a Greater Purpose

Steve Kader

Steve Kader grew up in the small town of Wheeling, WV. After graduating from high school he joined the Army with a desire to serve his country as a soldier. While Steve was stationed in San Antonio, Texas, he was introduced to the lifestyle of male dancing and the rest was history!

He traveled all over the world as a lead dancer of a Chippendales touring troupe. After years of working as a male dancer, Steve wanted to do something more fulfilling, so he left the business and set up residency in Las Vegas. He has worked hard at refining his talents as an actor, musician, singer, dancer, comedian, hypnotist, ventriloquist and more.

Steve’s first television acting job was in 1998 with Mario Lopez on the TV series Pacific Blue. Soon afterward, his favorite acting job came when he played one of three guys in Pamela Anderson’s dream sequence on her show V.I.P. He said it was his favorite moment based on ego purposes alone. He is no longer driven by ego.

Steve’s real passion is performing live. He believes that in TV and film you cannot connect with people the way that you can during a live performance. Steve’s current role is Master of Ceremonies in a Beatles Tribute Show at Saxe Theater in Planet Hollywood. His favorite part about the job is relating with the audiences and being the first and last voice they hear in the show. Watching how they react emotionally is rewarding to Steve. The ability to take audiences to a place where they are temporarily not worried about their problems or their troubles, where they are in the moment, is powerful to him.

Which talent Steve taps into depends on how he wants to connect with an audience at a given time. For example, if he is at a children’s hospital, he does comedic ventriloquism because it is the most demanding. Not just the mechanics of being a ventriloquist, but being completely different from the character. It is an organic process, but a lot of times he credits the puppet as being funnier. Steve’s ventriloquism acts are free-flowing, whereas his job in the Beatle Show is scripted. When he first joined the cast of the Beatle Show he improvised some lines and they officially became part of the script. Steve likes that he can leave his mark on the job in that way and that the dialogue he contributed will be around long after he is gone.

One of Steve’s dreams is to work with spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle because Eckhart helped to validate a lot of the ideas that Steve started to build within his own mindset when he was 30 years old and trying to find his life’s purpose. Steve is troubled by school shootings and believes that one of his callings in life is to travel around the world and perform PSA-type shows for junior high and high school kids and deliver messages of kindness in an entertaining impactful way. Knowing that he used his talents to make a positive difference in their lives would be very fulfilling to him.

Steve strives to be a good influence on others and encourages aspiring actors not to be afraid to take roles that other people pass up. He believes that it is in the taking of those roles that a person will grow. If you are willing to pay your dues and you have talents that you can build upon, that will serve you well. Don’t worry about taking a job as an extra, that is how you will meet people and have opportunities to network. When you are competing for a part demonstrate your diversity; have three two-minute monologues prepared — a comedic monologue, a contemporary/regular monologue, and a classic monologue similar to Shakespearean style. Most importantly, Steve said to be someone who people enjoy being around and working with. If you are easy to work with, you will get more jobs than if you are a talented person who is a jerk.

Race Season 2018: Sponsors

And so it begins, race season 2018! This year my schedule organically evolved into a theme of running, the sport most outside of my comfort zone. I am very appreciative to have secured three company sponsors so far…

Westfields Dental

Westfields Dental in Fairfax, a woman-owned dental practice using the latest technology in their field and very community focused. This is Dr. Whitney Jarrell and her awesome team’s second year supporting me. Westfields Dental is special to me because they have believed in me and supported me from the start, and for that, I will always be grateful.

Downs and Associates

Downs & Associates (who recently merged with HRI Associates) located in downtown Herndon are new advocates of mine. They are an insurance company who don’t typically support individuals but were impressed with my future goal for starting a foundation based of off Gal on the Go. Bonus surprise, their office manager Lana heard about my blog and plight to encourage girls and women to lead fearless healthy lives and sent me a personal check.

Bitar Cosmetic Surgery Institute

Bitar Cosmetic Surgery Institute in Fairfax and Manassas is another new sponsor of mine. They donated a laser treatment/injectables package for me to auction off and Bitar Cosmetic Surgery Institute goodies for my #galotgo bags. Their life-changing team consists of Dr. George Bitar, an award-winning board-certified cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgeon and member of the prestigious American Society of Plastic Surgery (ASPS), Dr. Larry Lickstein, and a highly skilled crew.

Thank you, advocates, for backing a member of your community who is striving to make a positive difference in the world in her own small way.

I am still in need of additional sponsors, so if you are interested in supporting my goal to have a positive healthy influence on the lives of girls and women everywhere, please give me a shout at galotgo@gmail.com!

SIDE NOTE: Workers recently entered my apartment to conduct an annual dryer vent cleaning. I was at work and had my camera on because as a female living solo you protect yourself the best you can. I have all my race medals and bibs hanging on a wall. One of the guys touched the medals and said, “wow, that’s a lot for a girl!” Another guy looked at the medals and said, “that’s too much exercise for me.” I am sure they meant well but listen up guys, the women of today are a fierce new breed!

Easy on the Eyes … ACTION

My friend Beth invited me to a commercial shoot for an up-and-coming personal product called the Shower Eye. Always open to fun new things, I jumped at the opportunity. Filming took place in a residential home. There were many takes and tweaks to capture the storyboard concept envisioned by the co-creator. It was great being immersed in a lively creative environment. Time flew and before I knew it, Toby, the director was yelling ‘that’s a wrap’!

Afterward, Katherine Pope, the ambitious product co-creator and company CEO, took time with me to answer a few questions that I thought you and future Shower Eye buyers would want to know!

Q: Who or what inspired you to come up with the Shower Eye?
A: My father. He is the idea architect in the family. Then, he asked me to figure out how to get the product made.

Q: How do you foresee the Shower Eye being used?
A: People can use the Shower Eye at home to alleviate confusion and frustration. I also think hotel guests would benefit from using it on the tiny product bottles.

Q: Who is your target audience(s)?
A: The 60 million baby boomers. I am fortunate to have good vision, but six out of 10 people wear glasses or contacts. I also hope hotels carry the Shower Eye and put it in their bathrooms as a convenient tool for their guests.

Q: When will the Shower Eye officially be for sale?
A: Hopefully in June 2018.

Q: Where will people be able to buy the Shower Eye? 
A: Online through Amazon, at least in the beginning.

Q: What do you consider product success?
A: Turning a profit. If I can make a dollar more than what I have invested in it, I will feel successful!

Q: When will the commercial that was shot today launch?
A: Hopefully in June when we have product available for mass selling.

Q: Where will the commercial run? 
A: We will test it on daytime cable networks in smaller cities to start.

I wish Katherine great success with the Shower Eye! Look out for the product online this summer!

ABOUT THE DIRECTOR: Toby Marquez, the owner of STUDIO M Inc., is a producer-director, photographer and writer whose assignments have taken him to 33
countries. He is the recipient of distinguished national awards including Hollywood’s “Directors Guild of America Award,” awards for the documentary “A Gathering in the Desert” and the Cine Golden Eagle Award for the short US Navy film “West Africa.”

Testing 1, 2, 3 … Podcast Running Session

The Running Couple Podcast

I had the honor of being the first guest on a podcast show called The Running Couple. Mark and Lissett Lineberry, aka The Running Couple, are a cool duo who are busy parents of four and share a passion for running. They travel all over the US participating in running races of various levels and distances. I had a blast being interviewed by them! I hope that my session inspires you to go out and conquer any physical fitness challenge, small or large, that brings you enjoyment.

Be sure to check out their website and other inspiring podcast session interviews!

Together We Rise

My fearless yoga sculpt teachers Madeline and Kim led an empowering theme class in honor of International Women’s Day! Forty-three women and men joined together at CorePower Yoga Fairfax to celebrate the social, economic, cultural, political, and (health and fitness) achievement of women. The music and sequence were motivating and the whole class had a blast! During the midpoint of class, Kim yelled “I see you,” words of encouragement she uses to acknowledge that she knows we are working hard and giving it all we have to push through to the end! Two mother-daughter duos in attendance I thought were particularly inspiring, Madeline and her mom Julie, and devoted sculptor Jen who brought her daughter Morgan.

Today, I offer all of my #galOTgo followers this intention … “Don’t run away from what looks like a challenge. It may be an important part of your path. You have to be persistent and follow what you believe.”
– Tao Porchon-Lynch, 99-Years-Young Yoga Master

Outtakes From Running Podcast

The Running Couple Podcast

Here is the original transcript of my podcast interview with The Running Couple. I am sharing it in hopes that as you begin to set your fitness goals for spring and the rest of 2018, my journey will motivate you!


Kimberly Evering started her blog, Gal on the Go, years ago as part of a grad school project. She’s had so much fun doing it, that she’s kept it going for 10 years. Kimberly was originally inspired by a story Ted Leonsis shared about his bucket list on DC101. She decided to create a fluid bucket list about her life experiences through blog posts and photos. Gal on the Go organically grew into an adventure theme with a custom logo and the tagline “Use your fears to become fearless!” After three significant surgeries over the past three years, Kimberly decided to take control of her circumstances and work hard to make healthy comebacks each time. She entered a variety of races including Spartans, 10Ks, Tough Mudders and triathlons all over the world. Kimberly maintains her blog in hopes that her stories encourage other girls and women to lead healthy lives and try things, within reason, outside of their comfort zones. Her ultimate goal is to start a foundation one day!

Q: What was your favorite race this year (2017) and why?
A: My favorite race was the VA Momentum SUPTri in July because it combined a new sport for me, paddle boarding with a sport I have loved since I was a little girl, cycling, and a sport I just started a few years ago and that I am still learning, running. The race presented a weather challenge that I had never faced before in the form of a torrential downpour. During the very hilly cycling portion I was cursing Mother Nature, but then I realized I needed to see it as just another challenge and tackle it in that way.
Q: What drew your interest to running?
A: I ran for the first time a few years ago as part of a boot camp class. I thought it would be unenjoyable, but surprisingly it wasn’t! I moved to a different city and visited a local store called Pacers Running. Doug, the manager, told me about a community group that meets up at the store for fun short runs on weekdays and long runs on Sundays. I joined a three-mile weekday run and liked it so much, that I continued running with the group. I learned a lot from Lissett (half of The Running Couple Podcast) and from other experienced runners in the group.
Q: What keeps you running?
A: I continue running to improve my skills and because I enjoy the comradery of others.
Q: What’s playing on your running playlist?
A: I am a HUGE music lover and serve on the board of directors of the college radio station WBNY. Ironically, however, when I run solo I don’t wear headphones because I try to be as alert as possible to my surroundings, and when I run with a group I like talking with others. In my car, you can catch me singing my heart out to my favorite tunes on Spotify … sorry to those stuck at red lights beside me.
Q: What’s the biggest obstacle you had to face?
A: Physical recovery from a surgery and then having to do it again two more times! The biggest surprise obstacle has been fighting my mental doubts. I got into running and serious physical fitness late in life. At first, I thought is it too late to get into running? Should I even try? I pushed the self-doubt aside and figured why not! The running, yoga and challenge race groups I am part of consist of people of all skill levels and ages — there’s no judgment; which is very inspiring!
Q: Do you run for speed or for distance?
A: Currently, I run for distance because I am still learning about pacing and speed. During races, I try my hardest to be fast, but I have not figured out a good consistent pace for myself yet. I tend to run at the pace of those around me … or at least I try.
Q: Are you a trail, pavement pounder, or treadmill runner?
A: I am a pavement pounder! Give me a nice paved path to run any day. Trail running is a close second because it usually provides cool scenery. My least favorite running is on a treadmill because I spend the bulk of my day working in an office, so the last thing I want to do when I am off the clock is being stuck inside.
Q: Are you a morning, afternoon or evening runner?
A: I prefer morning or evening runs, especially during hot summer months. I found that I usually have a more productive day when I kick-start my energy with a form of physical activity in the morning. Also, it’s nice to get my workouts in early so that if other things come up I don’t feel cheated missing out on my favorite activity of the day.
Q: Where’s your “wall”?
A: My wall seems to be about 10 miles. I look forward to working on increasing my “wall”, especially given my goal of doing a half-marathon.
Q: What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever seen while running?
A: Hmmm, probably the time when a baby deer ran swiftly across only a few inches in front of a group trail run I was part of — it hung out on the side briefly watching us. I wondered if it thought it could show us a thing or two about grace and speed!
Q: What’s your favorite running resource or gear?
A: Since I am still fairly new to the running scene I continue to experiment with gear by different brands. When I first started, I ran in Nike sneakers, but someone recently turned me on to Brooks® Ghost 10 Running Shoes and I really like them. My absolute favorite tool that I use for all my fitness activities is my trusty Endomondo app on my phone! I use the free version, which provides a range of valuable data. I have been promoting the app to others for years, so much that I should be a brand ambassador for them!
Q: What’s the best thing that happened during a run? What’s the worst?
A: The best was reaching a final distance I was unaware of during a group Sunday run and being proudly in shock when I found out how far I had run. The worst was when my legs cramped badly during a challenge race, which in turn held back my teammates. I felt horrible and helpless.
Q: How has running helped you?
A: Running has provided me with an interest in a sport new to me and the determination to see what level I can reach — I am currently up to 10K level. Everyone needs to start somewhere! (UPDATE: This year I will attempt my first half-marathon in Vancouver, BC, as a SeaWheeze participant. SeaWheeze has been on my fitness bucket list for many years before I knew what serious running entailed just because of its “fun factor” reputation. I didn’t deserve to participate in the event before, which I respectfully realize. I now have the running knowledge and training to merit my place as a SeaWheeze participant and true appreciation for the opportunity.)
Q: What’s the most special race you’ve participated in so far?
A: The Dulles Day 10K, known as “the flattest, fastest race in the beltway”, is my favorite for sentimental reasons because it was my first 10K and the longest run I have completed so far. The challenge races I’ve done like Spartan and Tough Mudder involved a lot of intense running through woods, but the running was broken up between obstacles, so it’s different. Dulles Day was also memorable because it took place on the full length of the Dulles Airport runway shut down special for 2,500 runners, providing unique views of planes and the airport tower.
Q: What’s the craziest thought that has popped into your head during a run?
A: Oh no, major wedgie (and there’s nothing I can do about it if I am running with others)! I also think about unexpected obstacles like tree roots or rocks, hoping not to trip and fall on my face!

 

Challenge Races: Athletic Gear + Backpack Tips

I have been asked many times for advice on how to dress for challenge races and what to bring, so I figured why not share the info in a post. Enjoy Spartans, Tough Mudders, Trail Ragnarians and others!

CLOTHING:

Note: I am basing this on average race weather, not winter conditions.

  • Dress in sportswear that is made from quality fabrics, has some compression and is comfortable, BUT not so expensive that you will be upset if your clothes are torn up from obstacles and getting down and dirty on a race course.
  • Breathable, lightweight fabric is the best so that if you become soaked by water features or Mother Nature you will not be weighed down.
  • Coverage is a key factor often overlooked. If you are going through several water features or it’s raining I would stay away from long-sleeve tops, ankle-length leggings, and loose fabrics that could weigh you down or get caught on objects. To that same point, I wouldn’t recommend wearing tiny shorts that offer little to no protection. I have found that Capri leggings are the best length because they offer mid-range coverage and protect your knees during crawling maneuvers.

GLOVES:

Bring fitness gloves you can wear to help protect your hands and provide you with a good grip on the obstacles. Again, I wouldn’t recommend buying expensive ones because they may get torn up. When I reach water obstacles I typically remove my gloves and stash them in my waistband to try and keep them dry.

SNEAKERS:

The importance of your feet being comfortable is commonly taken for granted and can make a huge difference in your race experience. I strongly advise not waiting until race day to break in new sneakers. Your sneakers should have good tread and ankle support to handle slippery surfaces, wooded and rocky terrain, especially for races that last more than three hours. Wearing lightweight sneakers and tying them securely is also a benefit if they become wet or heavy covered in mud. I cannot tell you how many random sneaker casualties I see along race courses. Be prepared to have to spray down (or power-wash 😉) your sneakers at the end of a race. If they are old and/or destroyed at the end, many races offer you the option to throw your sneakers in a donation pile.

BACKPACK ESSENTIALS:

Note: I like items that aren’t bulky and serve multiple purposes.

  1. Emergency Phone Charger
  2. Phone – place in a waterproof pouch if you use it during a race, I usually leave my phone in my backpack for fear it will get broken
  3. Photo ID + Insurance Card + $20 Cash (in small bills) – place together inside a small ziplock baggie or a waterproof pouch
  4. Keys
  5. Sunglasses
  6. Hand Sanitizer Gel – can be used for your hands or first-aid
  7. Small Bar Soap – like the kind from a hotel
  8. Lip Sunscreen
  9. Body Sunscreen
  10. Bug Spray
  11. Q-Tips
  12. Nail Clippers – can double as scissors if needed
  13. Standard Garbage Bag – can be used for garbage or as a rain poncho
  14. Pack of Mini Tissues
  15. Small Travel First-Aid Kit
  16. Flashlight or Two Glow Sticks
  17. Spare Pair of Socks
  18. Spare Pair of Underwear
  19. Light Packable Jacket or Sweatshirt shout-out for GORE-TEX® SHAKEDRY™ Jackets – breathable, lightweight, waterproof and reflective, totally worth the money, #GOREWear
  20. Black Sharpie for writing your race number on the body part of your choice, filling out forms and more
  21. Duct Tape – rip and roll up a small section from a large role; useful for covering blisters, patching holes and more
  22. Water Bottle + Carabiner Clip
  23. Electrolyte Tablets #nuun tablets are great because they come in a small waterproof container (based on a lake incident I had) and they are versatile; you can pop a tablet in your water bottle or the mini paper cups of water
  24. Protein Bars
  25. Energy Gels
  26. Microfiber Towel – perfect for use at the end of a race on your body or to protect your car seat

Now go out and crush your race goals!!!!!

If you have any tips you would like to share, write them in the Comments section or send an email to galotgo@gmail.com and I will add them to this post.

Sneak Peek: 2018 Healthy Adventures

“When unforeseen obstacles arise, change your plans for how you will reach your goals, never give up on your goals or yourself.” – Gal on the Go

My healthy adventures schedule may appear tame now, but you never know what’s going to come up, and that’s part of the fun!  😉

DATE EVENT LOCATION
May 6 Race for Hope 5K
http://www.teambt.org/
Washington, DC
May 11 & 12 Ragnar Trail Relay
(Team: All the Good Names are Taken)
Zion, UT
June 2 Bay Bridge Paddle Annapolis, MD
September 22 SeaWheeze Vancouver, BC

 

Time Flies When You’re on the Go

In 2015, I set out to complete a Spartan Trifecta, but not just any Sprint, Super and Beast, I purposely chose the most difficult Spartan Races on the east coast. I started with the Virginia Super at Wintergreen, then tackled the Vermont Beast at Killington, and finished with the Boston Sprint at Fenway Park. I entered the obstacle races solo and had the honor of connecting with some incredible competitors, and meeting their supporters along the way. Everyone I met made my experiences memorable and fun!

In 2016, some unexpected injuries and surgeries got in my way, but I focused my energy on making a comeback in 2017 because life is too short for a pity party! I trained year-round approximately five times a week and pushed myself outside my comfort zone to try races of all kinds that I had never done before.

I’m not going to sugar coat it; 2017 was exhausting, but I had a blast! I owe the privilege of being able to participate in the events below because of the support from my friends, community, and local businesses like Westfields Dental and CorePower Yoga Fairfax. Thanks to all for the positive memories!

DATE EVENT LOCATION
May 7 40th Anniversary TD Five Boro Bike Tour New York City, NY
May 14 DC Bike Ride Washington, DC
June 17 Tough Mudder Full Whistler Olympic Park, Vancouver, BC
July 29 VA Momentum: SUPTri (paddle board, bike, run) Bridgewater, VA
August 27 Philly 10K Philadelphia, PA
September 9 13 Colonies Ride Washington, DC
September 16 2017 National Capital Region 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb Oxon Hill, MD
September 23 GlowDogGlow 5K Loudoun, VA
October – January Yoga Teacher Training School Fairfax, VA