My First Outdoor Yoga Class

Not only did we all survive the week, we’re also officially into summer. Happy long weekend!

I’m pretty pumped about the fact that my office is closing at 1 pm today. I’m even more pumped about the fact that I have no plans after that.

…although I’m fairly certain 16 Handles will make an appearance in my life today.

But let’s go back to yesterday, because some stuff happened. And now I will tell you about it.

So remember how I have been complaining nonstop talking about the fact that I feel like crap? I finally feel like I’m caught up on sleep after last weekend’s half marathon/all-nighter fiasco, but my stomach still hasn’t been cooperating.

Yesterday I took a visit to my GI doctor to see what’s up.

“So what’s going on?” he asked me.

“Well, I’m training for a marathon, so I need you to fix me,” I replied.

“Haven’t you already done a bunch of marathons?” he inquired.

“No, those were half marathons. Now I’m training for a full marathon,” I kindly clarified.

“OK, well running is risky for anyone, especially you, having Crohn’s. You run the risk of also getting Colitis. It’s rare, but it does happen, especially with marathoners.”

Well then.

He asked me how I’ve been feeling and I said that I’ve been run down, abnormally exhausted and nauseous on top of the stomach troubles that have been plagueing my daily runs.

“You need to take a pregnancy test,” he said.

“I assure you I do not,” I shot back.

“Well I want you to take one.”


Sorry Mom, no grandkids for you. Though I’m sure you’re relieved.

The nurse came in and took some blood so that we can check my hemoglobin and CED rate, which usually indicates whether or not I’m having a Crohn’s flare-up. I’ll be able to call today to get the results and then I’ll know a little more about what’s going on with my body.

And that’s my update. My GI doctor thinks I shouldn’t run a marathon and mistook my potential flare-up symptoms for the presence of a child. Excellent.

After the appointment, though, my day was awesome.

I finally tried out Lululemon’s free yoga classes in Bryant Park!

If you’re looking for a fun, low-key, totally relaxed yoga class (that’s also free), I definitely recommend going.

I got there about half an hour before class started, which gave me time to snag a mat in the second row (yoga is the only class where I avoid the front row!) and spend some quality time people watching.

Take note: If you take class, people will watch you. Tourists will take your picture. Videographers will appear out of nowhere, shooting what is obviously a documentary about amateur yogis Downward Dogging amidst skyscrapers.

Last night’s weather was perfect for outdoor yoga — and this was my first time doing a yoga class outside of a studio. It was pretty tough balancing on the grass, but the wobbling didn’t bother me. There was a warm breeze and everyone just seemed so happy to be outside.

I was also a sucker for the brightly-colored yoga mats provided by Lululemon. You obviously have the option of bringing your own, but they have tons for you to use as well.

The best part? Running into my gym buddy, CJ, before class started! She works near Bryant Park and came by — looking fabulous — for pre-yoga hugs.

The class was led by Matt Giordano, who is an ambassador at the Lululemon Lincoln Square store. He also teaches regularly at Pure Yoga (and gave out free passes at the end of class!) and Earth Yoga.

Matt kept the class light and fun and I appreciated that he wasn’t too preachy. (Not my style.)

I also appreciated the non-threatening atmosphere. Yes, there were some fit chicks rocking the Side Crow pose, but there were also people in jeans who spent most of the class in Child’s Pose. I never felt intimidated, which often happens in yoga studios. Matt also had an assistant who was walking through the crowd helping with adjustment. So despite the fact that there were probably 200 people there, you still got a bit of individual attention.

Plus, the views were awesome. Doing a sun salutation when you’re actually, um, reaching toward the sun, is a cool feeling. It’s amazing that you can feel all zenned out with Times Square just blocks away.

Thanks, Matt and Lululemon, for a great class!

The rest of my evening involved veggie pizza on whole wheat crust (my current obsession) and “So You Think You Can Dance.”

It also involved me waking up with my bedspread turned upside down. Weird.

My bed goes both ways.

That was lame. I’m sorry.

I was running extremely late today, which is amazing since it’s a running rest day. I’m hoping to hit up a spinning class this afternoon but otherwise I’ll be resting up for a longer run tomorrow.

And a warm day calls for a sundress, don’t you think?

The countdown is on: 4 hours until the long weekend commences!

TELL ME: What are your fun Memorial Day plans?



0 Responses

  1. Awesome outfit. Sorry u have not been feeling well, take it easy! What is the schedule for that yoga class, I will be town next week and would love to check it out….

  2. I died at the pregnancy test part. As a medical student, I can tell you that being a woman of child bearing age (and sometimes even if not), we WILL get a pregnancy test on you for anything related to the abdomen or if you are getting some kind of imaging. Its one of those things you can’t miss and, believe it or not, there are some people who are well along in their pregnancy and DIDN’T know it (it is unfathomable to me how this could happen). So, don’t be offended, well into age 50 or 60, any of you will probably be asked to take a pregnancy test for, well, anything! Don’t be too offended ;).

    Anyways, I hope your Crohn’s stays under control for your marathon training. Was there any talk of upping or changing meds? Or diet? (medical student curiosity). My friend who was diagnosed with Crohn’s last year has to avoid fiber….

    Memorial Day weekend — I got to come home and chill with the fam! Nice to recharge before the last 3 weeks of my 3rd yr of medical school! Its really hilly where I live so, if I work up the motivation, I want to kick my butt on some hills so the Mini 10K won’t seem so hard. It probably still will though!

    1. Usually specific foods don’t set me off, so we didn’t address my diet. And I’m not currently on a regular medication. I receive a Remicade IV infusion every 8 weeks, but I don’t take anything daily.

      1. Cool. Oh Remicade! The guy who invented it is from NYU (my medical school) so we hear ALL ABOUT REMICADE ALL THE TIME in our 2nd year. He (Jan Vilcek) gave us a lecture and we were all like “omg! its the Remicade man!” He’s made NYU millions; and fortunately, he’s donated a lot back to the medical center, too.

  3. love the outdoor yoga class ! chicago has these in millenium park every weekend and i live pretty close to there, so i am going to try to make it as much as i can ! they also have pilates and i think zumba ! not sure how i feel about zumba..
    and i’m sorry about the whole doctors appointment. crohn’s is obviously a pretty tough disease on your body, and marathon beats your body up too, so your doctor is probably just worried. also, you would be surprised how often patients lie about being sexually active or say that there is no way they could be pregnant when they actually are both of those things ! the first thing they teach us in med school when someone presents with abdominal pain is to rule out pregnancy. it’s just protocol to make sure you do not have an ectopic pregnancy (which are really dangerous!)
    i hope you feel better ! and you look great in that dress !!!

  4. I’m thinking my weekend will be full of bike rides and relaxing. Oh and I have my 11 mile long run tomorrow morning! I’m marathon training too!

  5. OMG! I was at the yoga class too and am in the background of one of the pics!! I thought the class was definitely interesting too!! It was actually my first yoga class ever! I am trying to revamp my unhealthy life and one change I want to do is try to incorporate yoga and other activities as my knee heals since I am currently benched from running or jogging!! Glad you enjoyed it!! I can’t believe you took pics! I was a little nervous too!!

  6. My UC did the same thing when I did my first marathon this fall. I started flaring when my long runs hit around 15 miles and didn’t stop until my mileage backed down after the marathon. I finally had to go on steroids but was determined to do the marathon, which my GI was definitely not happy with. Thankfully I didn’t have any problems on race day though! Hope yours calms down, but I think it is pretty common to flare with long distance running.

  7. that yoga class looks so fun! I want to do that one of these lovely summer days. I crack up whenever my doctors even ask if I’m pregnant (like before xrays or tests or something), and my answer is usually “no, unless immaculate conception can actually happen.” heh. TMI. sorry.

    Hope you have a great weekend and your stomach calms down a bit!

  8. Yoga outside looks like so much fun!!
    You are lucky you get out at 1!!! Enjoy.
    My two bff’s from home are coming down for the weekend. Lots of eating, drinking, and bbq-ing. Perfection.

  9. Why do doctors always think pregnancy is the answer?? A few years ago, I had a horrendous stomach virus (I thought I was dying) and before they would give me IV fluids or anti-nausea meds, they interrogated me about the possibility of being preggers. The best part about it? My mom was with me and I had to admit to being sexually active (and the fact that I was on the pill/used condoms). Oy.

    That yoga class looks like so much fun!

    1. I went to the doctor for acid reflux years ago, before I ever had sex, and the doctor tried convince me that I was pregnant anyway and just didn’t realize it.

  10. lovely to see you last night! Super bummed I missed out on the passes last night…by the time I stopped gabbing they were gone 🙁

  11. Your dress is so cute!

    What’s the schedule for the yoga classes in Bryant Park? I move to the city in just a few weeks and would love to go! Maybe we can meet up for one?

    Big plans for me this weekend — my best friend is getting married & I’m throwing her bridal shower Saturday! Then hopefully lots of running, sun bathing, reading, and eating the rest of the weekend.

    Fingers crossed you get good news from the doc today!

  12. Regarding the doctor, oof. Maybe its having had my own issues recently with how M.D.s are quick to throw out the whole “don’t run” thing, but that made me cringe a little. That said, I know someone with colitis who qualified for the Olympic Trials in ’08. I don’t think doctors like knowing you’re putting that kind of stress on yourself, but once you get a handle on what you need to do to adapt to the increase in miles…it’s completely possible.

  13. Oh that hot yoga class looks like a blast! I’ll definitely be making a trip to 16 handles on numerous occasions this weekend. Other than that, my weekend involves, organizing my life and catching up with some nyc friends 🙂

  14. 1. I want to go to outdoor yoga when I come to visit!!
    2. Love the other side of your bed!
    3. Text me when you hear from the doc, I’ve got my fingers crossed for you!

    Happy Friday!

  15. Ugh about the dr appt – how frustrating. I hope your tummy issues don’t result in another flare-up. You are so positive about the whole thing regardless, I give you major props for that!

    I love the idea of outdoor yoga, I’d LOVE to do that! All your pics make me want to live in NYC so bad!!

    My weekend involves a big ass party at my house for my husband’s birthday and hopefully some beach time too, woohoo!

  16. I used to work near Bryant Park and always wanted to hit up those free yoga classes! They looked like so much fun. Hope your stomach issues get better, that’s funny your doctor thought you were preggo! A trip to 16 Handles will fix everything.

    I get out of work at 2 p.m. today and am taking a train down to the Jersey Shore, for a fun weekend with a low key road race, beaching/tanning, and a friend’s wedding! Hooray for summer!

  17. Oh my god, you’re KIDDING about your doctor. I could totally picture that conversation happening as you described. Love it when doctors don’t believe that we are sometimes absolutely CERTAIN that we’re not pregnant.

    I am coming down with something as of Thursday morning and am a little upset about it. Hopefully some Emergen-Cs will help kick it before it affects my sunny weekend!

  18. Love that dress.

    I’ve never done yoga outside. It looks really fun! I’m a front of class kinda girl but only when it comes to yoga. In any other class I’m hiding in the back.

    My weekend includes running a race that I probably shouldnt, going to a pool party, and cooking out.

  19. I don’t get Memorial day, we had Victoria Day last weekend… (Canada) Wish this weekend was a long weekend also… The weather in NYC looks beautiful! Hope we get it here, soon!
    Sounds like a fun Yoga class… Hope the Crohns is O.K and it turns out to be nothing…

  20. Cute dress! The yoga class sounds fabulous, I think I will need to get there this summer. Are you going back? Love the brightly colored mats! I did yoga last night too, but it was a MUCH different type of experience.

    What is it about running that could cause Colitis in someone with Crohn’s? I did not know such a thing was possible.

    My fun plans: Going to the Frying Pan tonight with a BUNCH of friends for one of my closest friend’s birthday, a delicious outdoor (French toast!) brunch tomorrow, a relaxing afternoon in Central Park, and some workouts on Sunday & Monday that will include a run, Refine Method and Core Fusion Cardio. Also as much outside time as possible. I don’t have any other set plans yet but I hope to have more, especially one that involves drinking outdoors on Sunday evening.

    1. I will definitely go back if you ever want to go together! Thursday nights work best for me.

      As for developing Colitis: He briefly explained that it has to do with blood flow and system blockage and things like that. I only half-listened because I’m a terrible patient.

  21. That outdoor yoga class looks like a lot of fun! I hope you get some great results today when you hear from the doc! Fingers crossed for ya!

    This weekend will be low key.. including lots of time poolside.. reading the stockpile of magazines Ihave from that past few months..and hitting up a few BBQs/Picnics! 🙂
    Enjoy your weekend, Ali!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

listen to the podcast

about ali

I’m the creator of the Ali on the Run blog and the host of the Ali on the Run Show podcast. I’m also a freelance writer and editor, a race announcer, a runner and marathoner, a mom, and a huge fan of Peanut M&Ms, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (way better than the first one!), and reliving my glory days as a competition dancer in the early 2000s. I’m really happy you’re here.
  • Post Date

related posts



Answering questions about my dream home, dream podcast guests, and dreams for the future.

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.