Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Month-End Review or Stuff My Yoga Teachers Say (Recap for National Yoga Month)

I'm not doing my usual month-end review but, for the record, I did exercise almost every day in September -- except for three Fridays because every 'Drea needs some rest.

It's the last day of National Yoga Month. I already miss outdoor yoga. Even though it can be an itchy affair, I'm going to miss the view of the grass during downward facing dog and I'm going to miss looking at the birds and sky during savasana et al.

I did make it to an outdoor yoga session on Sunday at a crystal festival. I told Alison, who accompanied me, that I would not have been at a crystal festival just a few years ago.

Saw the Buddhas (to the left) or, as Alison said, Buddhaville at the festival. At any rate, I want to pay homage to National Yoga Month. Initially, I wanted to do a savasana edition of Stuff My Yoga Teachers Say but more elements of the practice made it into this recap:

Dismiss your body from any responsibilities. Dismiss your mind from worry. Relax... Alison

Be still. Be at peace. Do nothing... Gloria

Imagine your face totally expressionless...Alison

The only thing moving is your breath...Rebecca

I'm going to slowly walk through relaxing. Kim W. (at the beginning of savasana)

If you're at your edge, you will suffer. Sheila before we entered a 10 breath count.

This is your relaxation pose. Sarah about Savasana

This is 100% your practice. Rebecca

If you're not using the breath, you're limiting the experience. Sheila

If you except the light, that means that you also except the shadow parts like "crabby me." Sheila

Notice what you notice. Elle (almost at the end of practice)

Saturday, September 27, 2014

My Favorite Saturday Thing

Gloria invited, as we joked, her A (Alison, Andrea, Anne) team over for a Japanese-style dinner and a little sewing.

I confessed to Gloria that I was a little worried when she told me about the Japanese theme but I was brave and didn't try to fill up beforehand.

For dinner there was sticky rice with a flourish of imitation crab meat which I left alone. It was probably okay but I didn't want to take the chance seeing that my body doesn't like certain seafood. We also had delicious salad (with kale in the mix) and tofu burgers which I loved. For dessert we had fruit cocktail with agar and red bean paste on the side.

Gloria was worried that we might not be full but my stomach was tight and it was probably because we had roasted rice and green tea before eating. As I was getting my portion of tomatoes that Alison brought over, my eyes got big as saucers when Gloria came into the kitchen with cake with a little fire on top. The birthday celebration continues...

Did my favorite Saturday thing and noticed how toasty it was as I hoisted my bike and put it on the rack but I was reminded on the trail that it is indeed fall.

A Little Red

More Art Work by The "Michael Jackson" Artist

Hands Up...Don't Shoot

Mullanphy Pump House


Monday, September 22, 2014

It Takes Three

Went for a walk yesterday while listening to Yael Shy on a Meditate This! podcast. I liked it when Shy said that So much of our life is spent fighting life. When I listen to podcasts like Meditate This!, Kripalu Perspectives or On Being, I just feel so at home.

Rearranged my schedule yesterday for a number of reasons. I usually cross the river to visit my folks but I was pretty sure that I had a bad wheel bearing and didn't want to put any excessive miles on my car.

Took Gloria's vinyasa flow class then walked and bicycled somewhere in between then went to a restorative class and realized for the umpteenth time that I love restorative yoga. Max told us that she originally trained for hot yoga and I thought about how I did hot yoga for a year. Still can't believe that I practiced in those conditions. Max went on to say we're not here for this and we're not here for that. We're here to create peace of mind. I am so down for the peace of mind cause; sign me up anytime.

At one point in class, Max came around and asked May I help you relax? That's a question that you don't need to even ask. Just proceed.

Two and a half hours later, I headed to a Yoga Nidra class that I've wanted to try.
Yoga Nidra means yogic sleep, a state of conscious deep sleep for extreme relaxation and subtler spiritual exploration. 
The main thing that popped into my mind during YN was how I have a tendency to try to keep "it" together because the fear is that if I break down, I will never be able to pull myself back together again. And, ironically, I saw this on Twitter yesterday.

Slept beautifully last night and was a tad bit weepy when I woke up. Overall, after taking three yoga classes, I felt ready. Not sure for what but I felt ready.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Looking Forward

I look forward to Saturday for the obvious reason but I also like Saturday because of bicycling.

Starting the journey at 10:00 a.m. gives me enough time to hug the bed, make a smoothie, put air in my Globe Vienna's tires and then head out.

As Alison and I headed back to the starting line, this grasshopper landed on my thigh and made me squeal. It made a really smart move and hopped over to Alison who has a much greater appreciation for bugs than I do.


Weeds, Stan Musial Bridge, Arch

Near Citygarden 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

What I Did

Do we have a lunch/dinner agenda?? What are we going to dooo???

Got this text from my aunt Girt yesterday. I also wondered what I was going to do:

Yoga followed by Zumba?

Yoga or Zumba? A double dose of yoga?

Knew that I wanted to gather for birthday lunch because I had my eye on evening yoga...

Ended up going to a.m. yoga with Alison. I like getting on my mat first thing in the morning to set intentions on my birthday. Plus, practicing next to a friend is always nice. Alison and I went to Jim's class -- just my second class with Jim whose voice reminds me of Ben Stein. Jim was born to teach a slow flow class.

Jim's funny:

If you have trouble balancing, go the wall -- that's what I put them there for.

And serious:

When the mind is quiet, the real world comes in -- not the world we made up.

Ended my day with Zumba which was a nice touch because Zumba's a total party atmosphere. Shawny kept adjusting the music. I need it loud, she said. Surprise, surprise...

After lunch saw that my neighbor had her puppies on the lawn. I'm not going to mention the 10 mosquito bites that I acquired while playing with the puppies. My neighbor wants to give me a puppy and somewhere along the way, she thinks that I said yes. As adorable as they are, a dog needs someone who's going to be home more than I'm at home and there's the expense too but, dang, they're adorable...

Sweet a.k.a. Veggie Burger for B-day Lunch

How I Felt After Yoga (Artwork by Cbabi @ Sweet Art)

Watermelon Sorbet (Shared)

It's a fight.

And the winner is.


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Off The Couch

Slept like a rock and woke up hard.

After work, assumed a horizontal position. I wasn't really alert but I wasn't sleep either. Pulled myself together, ate then headed to the pool and just as I was thinking how peaceful it was this woman with an orange swimming cap popped into my lane unannounced which annoyed me. I also wondered why, oh why, she didn't get into someone else's lane.

At some point Orange Cap asked me how many laps constitute a mile. I didn't know, she said. I just came with my daughter and I'm happy to be off the couch. Of course, once she said that she was happy to be off the couch, I completely softened and was happy for her.

Love this article about Vivian Stancil, a legally blind woman, who learns to swim at the age of 50 in order to lose weight. Her story is very inspiring and makes me want to learn how to do the butterfly stroke. I'm also ready to participate in another event since I haven't done one in a long time.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

I Don't Need Any Addresses

Goodbye Buddha Bowl
After work on Friday, went to get comfort food at Lulu's and Lulu told me that the Buddha Bowl wouldn't be on the menu for long because they were switching to a fall menu.

I laughed because the brick and mortar Lulu's has not been in business long and Lulu already knows that I'm a creature of habit but she did tell me about some of the food that would be on the new menu.

I thanked Lulu for the advance notice warning and headed home to have my usual Friday evening kick back and relax cup of coffee.

Found a message from my mother saying that one of her friends wanted the addresses of vegan and vegetarian restaurants. When I called to talk to Ms. D, she said that she needs to lose weight and that her doctor advised her to go without meat at least one day out of the week but she wants to try vegetarian options before she invests money in groceries.

When I got ready to give Ms. D the addresses, she said I don't need any addresses. I want to go with you. I laughed again.

Fall-like Weather

Monday, September 8, 2014

Maybe It Wasn't The Wrong Way

Alison and I made Sunday plans to practice yoga then to bicycle on the Riverfront Trail.

Struggled to get my stuff together and made it to Gloria's class with about five minutes to spare. Normally, I set up shop in the front of the class but saw that Alison was in the back so I set up shop beside her and ended up being smack dab in the middle of class with a lot of backs in front of me which I found very calming for some reason.

Did a little post-yoga chatting with the First Couple of Yoga (a.k.a. Mike and Tammy) et al. then Alison and I made our way to the parking lot and, as I pulled off, I wondered whether or not I should have waited for her.

Made my way through the St. Louis (6, ouch) and Minnesota (34) tailgaters and got a call from Alison to let me know that she'd gone the wrong way and had also come across an accident. She got out to see about the man who'd fallen off his motorcycle and told him to take some deep breaths and that he was okay (except for his arm). That's so Alison and if I am ever in that situation, I want an Alison to stop and comfort me.

We finally hit the trail and, about two miles in, I just about stopped in my tracks when I saw Mike Brown graffiti. It wasn't until later that I saw the hand prints up above the RIP.

Think this yellow situation was dark brown before.

No Justice No Peace

Saturday, September 6, 2014


Got home about 12:30 a.m. after socializing with the 'Fugee. We watched Departures and The 'Fugee wanted to know where I'd heard about such an strange movie. Thanks for the recommendation Gingerzingi.

Departures was kind of strange but I like strange movies particularly French but I'm also starting to like Japanese movies and that's probably why Fear and Trembling, a French/Japanese flick, is a favorite.

Departures is two hours and 11 minutes long but it kept our attention and we found it moving...

About 1:00 a.m. my TV and everything else went off. I'd seen the electric company's van in an alley but didn't think anymore about it.

I was surprised and grateful that the Wi-Fi still worked even though the router was off because I was still wired and not ready to sleep. I was also grateful that the storms had brought cooler weather.

Still didn't have any electricity when I woke up so headed out to a coffee shop to get beverages. Also took my iPod and USB car charger along. When I returned, the lights were back on.

It's so convenient being able to reach into one's refrigerator or to, in general, have your breakfast et al. at your fingertips.

Very Good Italian Roast
Current Artwork @ Coffeeshop
Artwork Last Time Electricity Went Out

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Midway Through

Vision in right eye was like a blurry kaleidoscope yesterday and that usually happens when I'm stressing.

I did energy work on myself and was surprised when I got quick results. Goodbye blurry vision but Good morning headache.

I don't like to take pills but finally gave in midday and it was a really good decision.

Another good decision was taking myself to Sheila's outdoor yoga class. I'm not totally crazy about the class but there are so many things that Sheila does that I am crazy about including how she started class with Qigong.

Also, I like the way that you're going to look people in the eye in Sheila's class or you're going to sit back-to-back or stand hip-to-hip. There are no strangers and midway through class, I can breathe without constrictions.

Protips from Sheila: If you were tight pants, don't. Free your belly. Also, you should really massage your belly every day...

Picked up magazines from the library and in the June 2014 issue of Consumer Reports there's an article called How To Live Well Into Your 80s and Beyond: Five Keys to a Long, Healthful Life:
2). Keeping Your Body Strong
One of the ongoing effects of aging is loss of muscle mass. If you don't do anything to fight it, you could find yourself unable to get out of an armchair or off the toilet one day. Aging also brings declines in aerobic capacity and flexibility...
Even though I get frustrated with the whole trying to lose weight thing, this article made me realize (again) that I am doing many things right.

I've been watching Alaska: The Last Frontier. Didn't like it at first but I'm really into it now. Standing in a river catching your own salmon then brining it -- that's badass. I was also impressed when the Kilcher clan took their heavy equipment, by barge, to build a sturdier cabin for the range rider so that bears wouldn't be able to easily get in. Their other task is to build a fence to prevent the cattle from wandering into more dangerous territory -- in two days.

Atz Lee is super tired as he works on the cabin but knows he has to get the job done so that they can leave at just the right time. Otherwise, the tide will be too low and the barge will get stuck. I just concentrate on one nail then the next then one board and...And, really, that's the way to approach most tasks.