And Then There Were Three

I have not blogged since February. I never thought I would go on a blog break that long, but life got in the way. And running was not happening much at all. I was gaining a pound every week or two and just feeling run-down. I continued walking and hiking and yoga, but running just disappeared. And writing a running blog just felt silly. But I am back! And the good news is:

Almost three weeks ago, our little family of Shrek, Zoey, David and I were joined by a little girl, Rory Elizabeth.

11009350_1103274376368441_2686650716373297330_nShe arrived just 3 days past her due date in a quick (but not too fast!) labor. Most of our friends and family were expecting us to have a boy, so what a great surprise it was to hear she was a girl immediately upon making her way into the world. She is absolutely precious and we are in love.

Rory was born, healthy and happy, at 8:43 pm on June 16 after less than 7 hours in the hospital and a half hour of pushing. My parents arrived into town the next morning. They stayed with us for two weeks. This past weekend, David and I got to enjoy the long weekend alone with her. David’s parents are then coming later this week, so our stream of grandparent help is not quite over.

However, David is at work and today is my first full day alone with her. We are doing alright. She sleeps and eats like a champ and I have learned her “I need to eat RIGHT NOW” scream. We are cloth diapering and all is going well with that.

Shrek is the best buddy/protector for Rory:

11536112_1104478309581381_8814344577435605424_nZoey, on the other hand, does not know what to make of this tiny creature. She sniffs and approaches her cautiously. Sometimes she lets out a little “what is this?” bark, but nothing aggressive. We are sure once Rory starts eating, Zoey will be her new best buddy.

David, of course, is a champ at fatherhood.

11351142_10153528476902518_8413389456505430209_nLike most dads, I think he feels a bit helpless that he cannot feed her yet and keeps trying to get me to pump so he can feed her, too. I will, soon enough.

And the best news is is that we all (well David and I) signed up for a trail 5K race in August. We plan to make this Rory’s first race, even though we will likely be walking the course since we will be carrying the baby. We have been walking around the neighborhood and I feel great. I think I felt a bit too optimistic once leaving the hospital and walked too far the first few times, which aggravated my stitches (I had some second degree tears) and slowed my recovery. So now I am taking it slow, despite feeling fine. I want to be able to run and not to feel as though I am pushing my recovery in any way soon. And hello blogging! I am back!


The Place that Makes Me Feel Small

I am 5 months pregnant. In all reality, I am not very big yet. But I have been feeling huge lately. I know I have a lot more to grow, so I am using this as an adjustment period to get used to this feeling.

This past weekend, we travelled to the one place in the world that makes me feel small: Utah. I love Utah. Everything about the landscape just blows my mind. My first trip to Utah was to a conference in Salt Lake City in October 2005. It was actually my first time to be in any part of the Rocky Mountains. My favorite part of the trip was running through the trails adjacent to the hotel where I was staying. Just a few months after that trip, I decided to move to Boulder for graduate school. The rest is history.

Although I love Colorado, there is something especially magical about Utah. The red sand, the dessert landscape, the massive canyons where you can get lost and the mountains that seem to pop up out of nowhere. When I am in or near a canyon in Utah, I realize just how small I am in this big, big world. It is really amazing that these canyons exist.

Unfortunately, our weekend started with a hitch. We left Saturday afternoon and planned to meet friends at a campsite on Saturday evening. Well, when we were 75 miles from the CO-UT border, our Jeep hiccuped; then it stopped working. We were just 100 yards from an exit but had to pull over to the side of I-70. We waited a bit and finally got it to restart. We pulled off the interstate and drove around the small town of Parachute, CO. At 5:00 on a Saturday, there were no mechanics open. We decided the Jeep was doing OK now so we kept going for another 30 miles on the interstate. It did the same thing just outside of Grand Junction, CO. Grand Junction is the largest city on the Western Slope. Once you go past Grand Junction, there is very little (i.e. nothing-not even a gas station) before you get to Moab.

At this point, I put my foot down on getting to Moab that night. I was not about to drive into the dessert with an unreliable vehicle until we saw a mechanic. All the mechanics were closed in Grand Junction on Saturday night. We found an auto-body parts store that was still open. The guys there were able to test the Jeep, but could still not exactly diagnose the problem. While David was dealing with them, I was Yelping and calling around to find the closest, cheapest motel that took dogs.

We found a great dog-friendly motel (Clarion Inn) and the names of a couple mechanic shops who happened to be open on Sunday morning. By this point, it was 7 pm on Valentine’s Day in Grand Junction without a reliable vehicle and our camping plans had fallen through. So we walked across the parking lot of the motel to a Village Inn to grab some food. Yes, we celebrated Valentine’s Day by eating chain diner food.


David got breakfast for dinner. I opted for a sandwich and salad.

Sunday morning, we waited in front of a mechanic until he got to work at 9:00am. Luckily, he could diagnose the problem, order a part, have it ready in an hour and (best of all) charge us a decent amount. I walked the dogs around a park behind the mechanic as we waited.


Finally, we were ready to go. Our friends had a campsite at Arches National Park, so we decided our first stop would be to set up our tent and get settled there. We were there by noon, set up the tent and then took the doggies to a trail where they could run and get their energy out. Dogs are not allowed in any of the Utah National Parks, except at the campgrounds, so we had to leave the park for this.


We did not get much of a hike in because we were meeting our friends at 3:30 at the Delicate Arch trailhead back in Arches, so we could hike up to the arch for sunset. We had to leave the dogs in the car for this, but it was cool and in the shade. They had several walks that day so they were tired enough not to complain.


On the way up. See all the people in the background? We were clearly not the only ones to head up for the sunset.

The hike was great; the sunset was not too bad, either.




That hike was definitely the highlight of our little 24 hour adventure in Moab. We headed back to the campsite, made burritos and s’mores and played some games. Our friends left early the next morning to get back to Boulder, but we wanted to get one more hike in since we had missed Saturday in Moab. We found a dog-friendly trail outside the park and went for a nice, short 3-mile hike.

We ran into nobody on the way up the trail so we had it all to ourselves. But I forgot my water and started to feel a little lightheaded near the top. Usually I would forge ahead, but I took precautions and sat down to rest while David finished off the hike.  These were my views from where I was sitting.

IMG_1781 IMG_1782


We had started on the canyon floor and came up to the top. When I saw how massive these canyons are, I reminded myself how small I am in this world.

I Don’t Even Know Who I Am

It all started a few weeks ago when we were looking at the walls in our extra bedroom (soon to be the baby’s room). We painted the walls a few months ago and then figured we would decide soon what we would do. See, we have this huge, ugly grey door to a fuse circuit right on the wall. (Our inspector told us over a year ago that a fuse box technically cannot be located in a bedroom, but that is the way our house is and that is how it will stay). We need to cover it up for aesthetic as well as safety purposes. But it is kind of in a corner and not conducive to covering with a small picture or poster. See?


We were wondering what we could possibly do when David suggested a large cork board. I could be down with that. We could have fun with a cork board in a baby’s room. So last week, I started researching large cork boards (we would need something about 3 x 9 feet). Nothing came specifically in those dimensions. We had two options: to order a large roll of cork board and to mount it in a frame or to buy squares of 1 x 1 ft cork boards. The rolls scared me because they appeared thin and a bit fragile.

The 1 x 1 boards seemed like the most logical solution. We would need 27 of them. And then David suggested since we would have so many squares, we should cover them up with fabric. Awesome! The walls of the room are really bright, so we could get some deeper or softer colors to tone the feel of the room down a bit. So that is when I found myself in a fabric store, looking for the perfect fabric and colors.


Cute, right?

While I was there, I discovered soft sheets of flannel material for really cheap. Since I have been researching a lot of options for cloth diapering, I knew I would need small bits of flannel material to use as cloth baby wipes. This material was so cheap, I knew I could get a lot of wipes out of it. The only problem is that I have a small, portable sewing machine but I barely know how to use it. I always got stuck threading it and never really did anything with it. So after I bought the flannel (and the fabric for the cork board), I needed to learn how to use the sewing machine so I could hem the edges of the wipes. Eventually I got the hang of it. They are not pretty, but it is a start.


As soon as I finished the first one, I started to get ideas for other baby items I could sew: flannel receiving blankets, burp cloths, curtains and more! I still need to practice for a while before I start doing anything too difficult, but the possibilities do seem endless.

I am not even on Pinterest and suddenly I am doing all sorts of crafty, DIY-type stuff? I have never considered myself artistic or creative, but this stuff is really easy and very cost-effective. It takes time, but I love putting my energy into learning, practicing and perfecting. Let’s see how long this lasts. Oh and I will show pictures of the cork board once it is complete. For now, the work in progress:


Who is on Pinterest? Is it worth another social media time suck?

Vaccination Wars

I am sure we have all read and heard about the recent outbreak of measles. More important, I am sure we have all read and heard about all the blame wars going around surrounding a parent’s decision whether or not to vaccinate their children.

The other night David asked me what I thought about vaccinations. I could not tell if he was asking me from the perspective of a parent (yikes!) or from a public health/public policy perspective. Turns out, he was asking my overall opinion from a public health perspective. After all, I have spent years of my life thinking about food, health and society. It took me a while to form a coherent answer. For what it is worth, here it is:

First of all, I HATE the blaming of parents that have made a choice not to vaccinate. I think the issue is a lot more complicated and nuanced than blaming parents. I also do not think this is an issue that federal politicians should be addressing. Sure, they can give their opinions, but I do not think we should have mandatory laws enforcing vaccinations. This is a complicated issue and I am definitely not proposing an answer or solution. Instead, I am trying to draw attention to other societal issues (namely, the lack of support for public education) that are being overlooked in the debate where the media is focusing on parents or high-level politicians.

That being said, when we look at history in this country of who has chosen not to get their kids vaccinated, it has been groups of people who have already marginalized themselves from mainstream society, public goods and the economy (generally speaking). In other words, rural people who belong to religious or spiritual sects which, for one, do not believe in the science of medicine. However, they also do not believe in public education and choose to homeschool their children. Again, generally speaking, these are pretty isolated groups of people.

The issue today is that over the past decade or two, more and more mainstream suburban and urban families have chosen not to vaccinate their children. The kids attend public schools, visit the public library in their towns, take classes and/or participate in sports. In these activities, they are constantly surrounded by kids who have travelled and been to other places and may or may not have picked up communicative diseases.

So should it be the schools and other local organizations which enforce vaccinations? That has been the case, but is it working? Or is it still easy for a parent to check off a box saying that they have declined to vaccinate for religious purposes? This is where the problem lies. Is this a federal government issue or a local problem? After an outbreak such as this, should parents themselves take more responsibility to recognize that this is an issue that benefits the public good, not just their individual families? A lot of people think it is up to the parents and that is what started these wars.

I think one issue is that a lot of parents distrust mainstream public institutions and, as a result, are directing their mistrust into finding ways to take control of things they can control. In this case, they are deciding not to vaccinate their kids because it is one thing they can control. Part of this distrust comes from the breakdown of local and state government institutions, including public health and education institutions. Public schools and municipalities are lacking the support that they have been afforded for years. If they had more support, they would have the time and resources to spend on analyzing the claims that parents make. Instead, through a number of loopholes, parents are able to slip their unvaccinated children through the system. I believe that with stronger support for public health and education, parents would see vaccinating as a moral act to support the greater public good. With little support for these institutions, we see a lot of disrespect for public institutions and self-righteousness that plays out in certain ways.

And for the record, yes of course, we plan to vaccinate our child, but we would like to spread the vaccinations out as much as possible :)

Things I am Thinking About

My head is a jumbled mess these days. No coherent thoughts to share with you. Instead, you get to read my randomness. It is hard to live in this head of mine.

1. Hips. I am sore all the time, especially in my hips and thighs. Is this because I am pregnant and pregnancy affects hips? Or is it because I am doing plenty of yoga (2-3 classes/week + at home) focusing on my hips and then making my hips sore?

2. The Super Bowl. I am by no means a Seahawks fan, but if only those last 30 seconds of the game could disappear. I really wanted to see Brady sad walking off that field. I cannot think of a more obnoxious team in the NFL than the Patriots. I had to avoid the news and internet all day Monday.


3. Sushi. Luckily, I have an amazing, pregnant friend who organized a “pregnant-friendly” sushi night for four of us to indulge in fully cooked sushi. And we spent the entire time talking about birth and baby options. I had no idea how fun it could be to hang out with other new moms-to-be.


4. Serial. I am a little late to the game, but I am just over halfway done with these podcasts. I could not stand to listen to them and then wait a week, so I waited until the entire series was over before I started listening. I love true crime stories and conspiracies. I also think we need a much better criminal justice system in this country, but that is for another time.

5. Diapers. Cloth diapers are seriously the cutest item of clothing on babies. I just can’t stop reading more about which ones are the best ones to use, how to clean them, how to store them, preferred brands, etc. I fear I may be making a much larger commitment than I anticipate with them, but I cannot imagine spending hundreds of dollars on things that I throw away into a dumpster.

Ok, that is all for now. I promise I won’t clutter your feed with too much random stuff. Have a great day!

Halfway There

If this were a marathon, I would be at 13.1 miles right now. The early part of the race when you are just warming up, dodging other runners and finding your pace is over. I feel great at the halfway point of a marathon. The only thing that bothers me is knowing that I still have 13 miles to keep running. But then the voice of reason comes in and tells me I am trained and I can do it. The end is usually not pretty but I can do it. I have 7 finisher’s medals to full marathons.

Yesterday David and I went in for our 20 week ultrasound scan. Technically, we were at 21 weeks, but he was out of town the week before and yesterday was a good day for us to plan a date at the midwives’ office. For the first hour, we got to sit in a dark room and examine the baby. Actually the amazing technician examined the baby and we just watched, trying to figure out what body part was what. We turned away when she examined the femur because we might see the genitals.

The final 15 minutes of the exam were frustrating because the baby has its face buried in the placenta and we needed to see its nose and lips. Well, it was snuggled in there and would not get out. The technician had me walk down the hall to the bathroom to empty my bladder, then she had me doing yoga stretches and poses to get the kid to move. Finally, she basically tilted my chair way back so she could get a different angle and hope the baby would move its head. Success!

Just 5 minutes after we were done with the technician, my midwife came in the room and discussed the results. All looks good! I have to say I was so excited at the reaction of the nurses, technician and midwife as we told them we were not finding out the sex. They were all so happy to hear our decision and said that we were definitely in the minority.

After verifying that everything was going well, we were basically done but had time for questions. One thing David and I have been contemplating is whether or not to get a doula for the birth. A doula is basically a birth partner or coach. I thought I wanted one, but David thought that would be “too many cooks in the kitchen,” so to speak. Our midwife’s response actually surprised me and made me consider not getting one. She asked a good question about how I deal with pain. Do I look for help and guidance from the outside? Or do I dig internally for strength?

Well, the metaphor of a marathon definitely sank in then. In just about every race where I have felt terrible, I was the one who was able to talk myself into putting one foot in front of the other. The cheers on the sideline were simply noise I have tried to tune out to listen to my inner self. (I do like conversations for distraction, but I don’t necessarily need them). The midwife then asked David if he felt he could handle me the whole time (ha!) or if he felt he might need help. He has been there at the side of many marathons cheering me along and listening to my doubts; he knows me more than anyone else would be able to recognize what I need. In other words, he can handle me :)

So at this point, we are moving forward without a doula. I am taking plenty of yoga classes to get in touch with my body more and learn how to breath through pain. Revisiting my introduction, maybe I am about 10 miles into my marathon and I have 10 more to go before I reach the final 6.2, which will be labor and delivery itself. But I am still in denial about that final 10K…just keeping my eyes on the prize.

Do you tend to reach for strength from within or do you rely on a cheering section to pull you through?

Tales of a Broken Tail

Back in mid-December, our rambunctious little pup Zoey got herself into a little problem when her tail broke. We were hiking to get our Christmas tree and I noticed the tip of her tail seemed a bit off to me. There was a small spot of blood on her tail and the tip was not moving when the rest of her tail wagged. I did not know for sure what had happened, so I did not think much of it. Later that night, I gave her a bath and felt what felt like a broken bone in her tail. I never saw much of a cut there but I assume she somehow cut and broke the bone at once since there was a tiny amount of blood.

Both David and I googled “dog broken tail” and learned that there is not much vets can do for broken tails. Most articles we read claimed the best thing to do was to splint the tail with a chopstick and tape. So we did that for a few days. Zoey never seemed in pain, but she did not like us playing with the tail.


Our makeshift tail wrap.

After a few days, I realized she smelled and I decided a trip to the vet was in her best interest. Her regular vet was full because the holidays were approaching, so I found one closer to us that could squeeze us in that night. They immediately realized that the smell was due to a cut in her tail being infected. This vet wrapped up her tail and gave us two weeks of antibiotics and pain meds with instructions to bandage her tail regularly.


The vet’s tail wrap.

For two weeks, Zoey was doing great. Her tail stayed wrapped fairly well (in case you have never tried, it is VERY difficult to bandage a tail and to keep it on). David and I became expert tail wrappers when it did come off. When her meds were over, we kept wrapping her tail when we needed to and assumed she would be OK.

About a week after she stopped taking the antibiotics, she regressed. She seemed to be in a lot of pain and constantly tried to get at her tail. I was afraid that she had gotten an internal bone infection or something really scary (which I had been warned from the first vet could potentially happen). We went to our regular vet. She unwrapped Zoey’s tail bandage and her initial reaction was that the skin on the tip of the tail did not look healthy. She was worried that the tip of the tail was compromised (i.e. dead from not enough blood flow) and amputation of the tip might be our best option. Not ideal at all, but at least it would make her feel better.

However, as our wonderful vet was re-wrapping the tail, she noticed that the tip was warm, meaning blood was flowing. If it had been compromised, it would have been cold. So on this Friday night, the vet told me to take her home for the weekend and give her more antibiotics and pain meds with instructions to call on Monday to update her on Zoey’s progress. Well, by Sunday, Zoey was acting like her regular self, so we put off doing anything for two more weeks to see how she did on the meds again. Meanwhile, we were still wrapping her tail

Thursday evening (today), the vet saw Zoey again. After examining her tail, she could tell the fracture had healed. The skin at the tip still looked pretty bad (dry and flaky) so she took Zoey to the back to wash it off to get a better look. Well, it turns out that that skin that had worried us the past two weeks had just been a crust caked on her fur from when it was infected and oozing. Once it was washed it was a nice clean, pink tail.


There is just a small kink in the tail where it was broken. I will take it over surgery any day!

After 5-6 weeks of dealing with ups and downs, Zoey has been cleared as “healed.” She still has one more day of antibiotics and we hope that an infection will not return (as we suspect happened last time). Her tail is not wrapped anymore and I am hoping that she does not whack it against something and re-hurt it (she has a strong, happy tail wag). So I am still keeping a close eye on her, but things are finally looking good!

My Pregnancy Diet

Have you heard of pregnant women who have been vegetarians for years and then during their pregnancy craved meat? Perhaps they started eating meat and their carnivore husbands then gave meat up? Maybe this actually happens or maybe it was just a Friends episode that has become an urban legend? Anyway, in our culture food cravings and aversions go along with pregnancy and it is not uncommon to be asked if I have had any cravings.

I would not exactly say cravings, but I have indulged in plenty of comfort foods since becoming pregnant. There were about 2 straight weeks where all I could think to eat were noodles and broth. Not necessary chicken noodle soup, but chicken broth and noodles. No chicken or vegetables. Sometimes toast with melted cheddar cheese hit the spot, too. But vegetables? Nope. Fruit? Sometimes. Meat? NO WAY.

So instead of cravings, food aversions have hit closer to home for me. Having been a vegetarian for years, I reversed my diet about 5 years ago to include more meat. As I was running more marathons, my body was craving more meat and started eating it. Just a year or two ago, I could not get enough meat. Since October, my meat consumption has reduced drastically. Now I am basically only eating small pieces of meat when they are presented to me, instead of me cooking them. Poultry is much better than pork or red meat. I think its the juices from those meats that turn my stomach.

After a first trimester where I was eating anything that I felt could stay down (again, lots of noodles and toast and crackers and cheese), I have finally gotten my appetite for healthy foods back. Yay! And I think it is no coincidence that I have felt FANTASTIC these past few weeks.

I have been having oatmeal each morning, with yogurt, cinnamon and/or almond butter. I have been having a salad of greens, other colorful veggies and protein (cheese or egg) for lunch with snacks of raw almonds and soy nuts. And dinners have consisted of sautéed veggies, sometimes tofu (eating tons of it lately, probably unhealthy amounts) and rice, polenta or quinoa. Potatoes, too.

I am not saying I have a perfectly healthy diet. We do get take-out more often and I cannot resist a spicy burrito or drunken noodles from the neighborhood thai place. I snack a lot more often than I used to and I add butter to just about everything. But I love that I can now stomach a lot more veggies and am even ‘craving’ them all the time.

I cannot say I think pregnancy automatically comes with food cravings or aversions, but I do know it makes us more conscious of what we are eating and how our body is responding. For me, comfort foods were all I could eat when I was really nauseous. But I would not say I craved them; I knew I had to eat so I figured I would eat what I knew would go down well. Aversions like meat had a way of turning my stomach so much so that I could not even smell it without gagging. I am not sure why, but that affected me the most. And it still does. I’m not sure when or if I will want to eat meat again, but for the time being, I am happily consuming all the fresh veggies, beans, nuts and tofu that I can find!

Fun in the Sun

Happy MLK Day! I had the day off, but my husband is out of town for the week, so the dogs and I had to get out and have a fun day. It has been beautiful all weekend and today was no exception. By 9 am I was outside in a T-shirt. It was perfect.

Unfortunately, over the past few weeks of snow, the backyard has managed to collect quite a bit of dog poop. So in the midst of melting snow and ice, I was out there picking it all up. That was my first chore of the day.

Then it was time to go explore with the dogs. Last week, we found a new dog park not too far from our house. It is big and there are always plenty of dogs there and lots of old tennis balls. Everyone was happy.


After the dogs were done playing, I tired them out even more by walking around the lake. When we were done with our exercise, I dropped the dogs off at home and decided Kermit the car needed his own adventure. It was time for a car wash.

Even though we have our own home with a driveway and hose now, the hose cannot reach the driveway (It has to go through our detached garage which is a pain. So Kermit still needs to go to a car wash. I love washing cars and am determined to remedy this situation sometime. Anyway, I was not the only one with this brilliant idea today and the line was long. But it was worth it; he looked like a brand new car when he was done!



Then I came home and worked on my latest project: a 1,000 piece jigsaw puzzle. David and I have always enjoyed playing games at night, but recently I have been getting bored with our games and need a new challenge. Plus, with him gone for the week, I needed an independent project. So I opened up a puzzle on Friday. After completing the border, it started like this:



By Monday night, it looks like this:


There is still a lot of work to do, but I have made some progress, so that makes me happy. I am really addicted to this puzzle and think I need to start getting more puzzles to work on after this one is done! The beauty of jigsaw puzzles is that they can be done over and over again (although by the time I am done with this one, I will never look at beer bottles the same way again).

When was the last time you did a jigsaw puzzle?

I am pretty sure I was still in middle school!

Pre-natal Yoga and Massage

I’m back to blogging! Last night I attended my first pre-natal yoga class. The class was held at a local studio for new and pregnant moms where classes extend beyond pre- and post-natal yoga. They offer lactation support, labor and birth preparation, cloth diapering workshops and playgroups. I love the idea of the business, but I did not know what kind of yoga they would offer.

I have heard from enough people that pre-natal yoga is not nearly as intense as a beginning yoga class. Also, there is often a lot more talking and sharing involved in pre-natal yoga. So I changed my mindset from approaching this as a workout to more of a time dedicated to me. Luckily, I had a friend to go to class with. My neighbor (and running buddy) is just about a month ahead of me in pregnancy so we checked the class out together. It turned out there were only three students in the class and one instructor.

We did start the class by sharing a little bit about who we were, how far along we were and what our biggest fears of labor were. For that last one, I had to say, I still have a mental block up for labor and have not even thought about it. At 19 weeks, I still do not believe this whole pregnancy thing is real. So that was my cop-out. But after that, we launched into a solid, easy yoga routine. We stretched in all the right places, leaving me feeling very relaxed after the class. So it was a success.

However, after the class I noticed a mild shooting pain in my back. So I asked the instructor about it. Her face looked concerned and she said that sounded like a nerve issue that I should get taken care of sooner rather than later. She highly recommended a massage. Well, who am I to complain about that?

For Christmas, David got me a pre-natal spa day (including a massage, pedicure, facial, etc.). While i am tempted to use that now, I know I want to wait until I am closer to my third trimester when I know I will really need it. Instead, last night I got in touch with a massage therapist friend of mine. It turns out she has time to fit me into her schedule tonight. I usually hate spending money on things like yoga and massages for myself, but I am slowly learning that these things are beneficial for me at this time.

So if there is one thing pregnancy is teaching me, I guess it is that pampering myself is OK. While I know I can go the same yoga poses and stretches at home on my mat than in class, I feel like the class is a good opportunity to connect with others and to give me some time to myself.