Sunday, November 29, 2015

Happy

Sitting Ice Meditation
So, yeah...

Consulted Dr. Google, continued to use RICE, soaked the foot in Epsom salt (with eucalyptus essential oil) and also used Epsom salt lotion but my ankle was still swollen yesterday. My mother, a retired nurse, said she didn't like the look of it.

I had other input as well and my gut instinct was that I didn't have a break but I had listened to a The Moth podcast on Wednesday about this guy who had run into a deer while on a motorcycle, thought his finger was dislocated -- yadda, yadda, yadda and ended up having surgery on it because it healed improperly. Plus, all I was doing was sitting in the house with my leg on pillows so I grabbed Mindy Kaling's Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, snacks, earbuds and headed to an urgent care that half of the Google reviewers were happy with.

Even though I had a cane and was struggling to walk, the nurse wanted me to hop on the scale which, in the long run is good, because I need another wake-up call about the weight that I've gained back and, of course, it's not lost on me that I will not be moving much in the coming weeks. Still, I'm ecstatic, that nothing is broken. The doctor said that usually when you have a sprain in the area that I sprained, it requires surgery. Huge, freakin' sigh of relief.

Walgreens was conveniently down the street so I got a prescrip for pain meds filled. I slept so well last night and the ProCare brace, although lightweight, makes my foot feel stable.

So, yeah, no errands this week.

No Zumbathon for Chris Sanna.

No zumba with Alisha.

No yoga class tomorrow.

I asked the doctor if it would be okay to swim and he looked at me silently and thoughtfully then asked if I was an aggressive swimmer.

Answer: heck no.

He did tell me that I might not be able to kick as much, to be careful because my balance is not the same and that if it hurts, stop, and it's a similar story for yoga. With the getting up and down, I don't plan to try a yoga class for at least a week, sad face...

The 'Fugee visited last night and did energy work for me. Whether you believe in energy work or not, I know that someone just touching you on the back, for just a short moment, can be transformational and healing.

On a final note, I have a whole new appreciation for walking around effortlessly -- chunky or not.

Friday, November 27, 2015

...Miss Your Water

Well, certainly did not plan to spend the holiday weekend with my leg elevated but that's why accidents are called accidents.

I was getting ready to head to Illinois when I forgot about the hole on the street (near curb) and fell down. Hurt so bad that my ears were ringing and I thought, for sure, that my ankle, which went golf ball size immediately, was broken.

Kept my foot elevated and on ice. No pain today. Swelling disappeard on left side but has migrated to right. The abrasion on my right knee bothers me more than my foot. Don't think anything is broken but not entirely sure since I can't put my full weight on the foot.

You don't miss walking around effortlessly until...


Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Cloud Eight

Felt the first stirrings of irritation yesterday but I think 2.5 weeks of feeling phenomenal after the yoga retreat was a pretty good streak. Alas, nicks will happen even if one has on super-armor.

Went to the pool and spent a few moments, as I usually do, hoping that the water will be a degree or two warmer then I got into a groove around lap ten and moved on to admiring my rotator cuffs and thinking about Bob Harper -- Stand up and finish what you started.

Hit the shower post-swim and the water never warmed up which happens occasionally. Sometimes I'll just suck it up and take a cold shower but I wasn't feeling it last night and, again, felt a little irritated by the modern problem...

I've been trying to find another book to latch onto since I finished Misadventures of a Garden State Yogi but no luck so I settled down this morning with the October issue of O: The Oprah Magazine and there's always something inspirational to latch onto in O.

The first thing that I spotted was a reader testimony from a divorced mother that moved me then a quote from A Siri Hustvedt book:
It has taken me a very long time, a very long time to give myself permission to fly and breathe fire.
Posted a picture of the quote on Instagram which was liked by Cassandra Bodzak and I found several quotes on her page that I like including:
Make your peace a priority.
Flash forward to later in the day as I looked at an email from Yelp listing local bakeries including Whisk: A Sustainable Bakeshop.

Stuff they believe in: laughing at work...trying new things.

So, for me, reading which is one of my morning rituals is high up on the list for filling the well...

Monday, November 23, 2015

But She Said

Gingerzingi's comment about an album cover made me think about the yoga retreat shared album.

For a moment, thought I would have to join Facebook so that I would be able to see everyone's pictures but then someone thought of Google Photos and yet someone else suggested that we share an album through our Apple accounts. It was a grand solution.

The last time that I went to Jamaica, there was no wifi and, now, there's a simple way to share photos online. There was only one person who had an android phone that had to figure out how to add to the album...

One of my colleagues who had not seen me since my return was surprised by my braids and wanted to know why I looked so different.

I told her that I do look very mature with my hair in an afro and she agreed. She told me that I look much younger OR Maybe it's all that yoga, she said.

Joked with her that she was going to start doing yoga one day and she said, No, I'm not flexible. And I told her that there was literally signage on the studio door that says No flexibility required.

But she said that her inflexibility bothers her. She also went on to say that it was too thoughtful for her and that her attention span does not go beyond 20 minutes. Pretty sure that the "inflexible one" would not have liked one of Lizzie's opening comments tonight -- Relax the space in  your head. I was all over that sentiment though.

Lamp at the Yoga Studio

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Candidness

Mood: happy and content...

I really like to take pictures and I've realized that I like more candid photos like the one below after we retreaters visited a farm in Negril. If I were to give the picture a title, it would be waiting... Plus, I like that everyone is looking in a different direction...

The Yoga Retreat Crew
I'll see a "Kodak" moment then hesitate because I don't have that person's permission. On the other hand, it seems silly to get permission from people because, with social media, all bets are off. Someone emailed me while in Negril to say that they'd seen me on Facebook and they hoped that I was having a good time. I'm not on Facebook and, yet, people have posed photos of me on Facebook -- It's not the first time and it won't be the last...

I've been wanting to snap a photo of Alisha in class. Since she came back from a Zumba convention, her classes have been even more electric. Imagine my surprise when I walked into the gym this morning and Alisha was going over a routine. I didn't know if she'd still be dancing when I emerged from the locker room but she was and I couldn't help but record the moment. I did let her know about the recording and showed her the video. Alisha didn't really comment but I think it's sweet in its candidness.

video


Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Your Best Self Now

Baltimore
As I reminiscence about the yoga retreat, repeatedly playing Diana Ross's Love Hangover and Nico and Vinz's Am I Wrong and Another Day, I also think back to a yoga session in Negril when Joy said It's easy to be your best self now...

I especially think about this sentiment since returning to work. Took two weeks off which is a good thing in general but especially since I had an allergic reaction to something and had to take Benadryl for a week and, later in the game, stronger medicine.

Let's just say that I was itching so much that my dermatologist asked if I needed something to help me sleep.

At any rate, my musings remind me of messages making the social media rounds like Be in love with your life. Every minute of it -- Jack Kerouac or My goal is to build a live that I don't need a vacation from... 

Even as I try to fall in love with my life for the umpteenth time, I know that the "rat race" is going to test my resolve. As Joy said, It's easy to be your best self when on vacation but, knowing that, I'm going to work on filling my well and try to be my best self outside the parameters of vacation. Of course, yoga (energy work etc.) helps with that a lot whether or not I'm on a retreat or in a studio.

Beach-Side Fruit Market

Sunset At The Resort

Monday, November 16, 2015

The Stormy Yoga Session

Just got back from a super relaxing class. Thank you to Annie who started off class with one of my favorite phrases Let's start on our backs. 

Got to practice next to one of my yoga retreat peeps tonight. Laura introduced me to two of her peeps and I felt a little bad about not being more sociable with my fellow yogis... 

Tonight's special class got me to thinking about my favorite classes during the yoga retreat and I have to say that the very first practice was meaningful to me because I was discombobulated from traveling and that first class made me feel grounded and let me know that everything was going to be good.

My second favorite class is what I like to call the stormy weather yoga class. We hit the mat and it was breezy and the sky looked dark.  
Storm Clouds, Negril (Nov. 2015)

Alison let me borrow her Manduka travel mat which is pretty lightweight and it totally turned into a magic carpet trying to fly away. That class almost became a laughter yoga class as we tried to anchor, mostly, our mats. Several yogis came over to place things on my mat because it was all over the place and twisted. 

During the stormy class, I also liked it when Joy said, during savasana, that she was on the lookout and that we could go ahead and settle into corpse pose. I love a good guard...

What I learned from the stormy yoga session was to not rely on a travel mat. A travel mat blows away easily but it also doesn't offer very much support and if you're on a yoga retreat, you might as well have a worthy mat. I also learned that in addition to the universe having my back, my fellow yogis also have my back.

My Mat; Cup, Book & Journal All Belong to My Fellow Yogis


How It Looked After We Practiced Yoga That Day

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Sitting with Feelings

My first instinct is to apologize for all of the Negril posts -- as I get it out of my system but why should I apologize and why should I try to get it out of my system?

So, I'm just going to sit with the feelings of enjoyment and longing...

One of the other lessons that I learned while in Jamaica:

You are not going to read all of the books on your must-read list.

I almost took another book. Instead, I downloaded Why Not Me? and The Twelve Tribes of Hattie. I also read several iBook samples including Humans of New York and Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things. In addition, I downloaded several magazines from Zinio which didn't seem to work without wifi. I also took a Health and Yoga Journal magazine. And guess what? I barely made a dint in my book and barely listened to a podcast.

It was also interesting to note that despite the electronics everyone had, people brought real books. Here are some of the books that I spotted my fellow yogis reading:






My Book Choice: Misadventures of a Garden State Yogi

Thursday, November 12, 2015

You're An Adult...or Negril Moments

1). Stop tagging me in your photos. I don't want to be a part of your vacation.......... A member of the wedding party on the flight from Baltimore to Montego Bay

2). OM is a uniter........... Joy during yoga practice.

One of My Fave Pics of Yoga in Negril

3). Yoga clears yo head.......... Bruce (hanging out in the water in Negril)

4).Thanks for the moment..........

Kyng Sharlo to Carol and me after he told us about his CD and his Rastafarian cooking class.

5). Stop hiding yourself....The moon needs the darkness to shine.......... Joy

6). The universe has your back.......... Joy

7). We got exhausted saving our own lives.

Laura about the choppy water that we played in for an hour or so.

8). You're on vacation and you're an adult.......... Whitney

9). Quiet..........

Joy to the young men at the Blue Hole who joined us for yoga practice. They giggled like crazy at the beginning but, at the end of practice, there was a respectful silence.

A Blue Hole Jumper

More Blue Hole Shenanigans


10). Today is going to be a peaceful day...Don't talk on me........... Jaycee, gift shop clerk

11). Oh, we're going to talk on her..........

Laura after finding out that Jaycee had bamboozled us.

12). You have to work like a parrot.......... Shane about how tough it is to eat coconut.

13). I know what I like.......... Whitney

14). Respect..........Typical Jamaican greeting

Me and Joy

This moment didn't happen in Negril but made me laugh out loud.



Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Lessons Learned, Jamaica

My View While Living in Negril
1). Don't follow rules blindly.

I left on a 6:30 a.m. flight. Because I followed the "get to the airport two hours before departure rule", I missed out on an earlier flight. The four people who had a 5:30 flight all got to the airport at the same time as I did.

It all worked out in the end because the early departure folks had to wait for the other few folks in Montego Bay. MOBay is a nice place to wait though...

2). Everybody struggles with what to pack. Props to Laura who got everything in a modest backpack. She said it wasn't easy but she pulled it off.

3). Bring more Larabars. With some items, be a minimalist but not when it comes to a filling snack.

4). Take a sarong instead of a towel. Towels take forever to dry in the Caribbean. And, on a similar note, take more than two swimsuits if you have them.

5). Dr. Bronner's... Julie brought along Dr. Bronner's for everything including hand-washing clothes. I also took a tip from Julie and started squeezing all the water out of my swimsuit then rolling it up in a towel to get rid of even more water.

6). Learn to quiet the party in your mouth*... While on vacation, I tended to wake up about 6:30 a.m. and didn't touch food until around 9:15 a.m. when yoga class was over. Seldom ate lunch as we were usually on the way to an excursion or in the middle of one. Also was not a snack fiend at night because I really didn't have access to excess food. In addition, I ate like a queen at breakfast.

7). Don't go to dinner in Jamaica at your hunger edge. Dinner takes a long time to make especially when you're dining with seven or eight people.

8) Don't forget to pack hydro-cortisone and lots of $1's.

9). Bring an adult coloring book like Julie. Looked like so much fun.

10). Take a Jamaican nap if you plan to party later on.

11). If you're hot and you're near the Caribbean Sea, jump in the water and stay there for as long as you need to.

12). If you need a travel partner, look no further than the participants of your yoga retreat. Many expressed a desire to travel more but didn't necessarily have anyone to accompany them on adventures.


*A Dr. Phil reference. Once when Dr. Phil was on Oprah, he said that some people like to have a party in their mouths.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Technically None But...

Pose of The Child (On Top of Glass Bottom Boat)
So, what I forgot to mention about Erin in the previous post is that she enjoys giving massages and I just want to put this out in the universe. Erin, if you need to practice a new technique, I'm your woman!!!

One of the questions on the customs' declaration form asks how many family members you're traveling with and I found it hard to write zero. Technically, the answer was zero but part of my yoga family was traveling with me.

It was unbelievable how fast Saturday and the end of the yoga retreat arrived. I could have stayed another day or two but eight of us piled into a van and headed to Montego Bay yesterday. When we arrived in Orlando, found out that the plane had been delayed for two hours. No problem. Those two hours felt like thirty minutes since we were able to enjoy each other's company.

When I got home, had an email from Laura who said that reggae music had been playing on the radio and that she missed me already. I miss/ed her too...

Home







Little One in Front of Me
Fast forward to Sunday morning. I woke around 5:00 a.m. and tears fell. I am now used to having breakfast with at least five people and traveling with an even larger posse...

Went to the library and got Bob and Ziggy Marley CDs then headed to Jay International to get nutmeg. I cannot face oatmeal without nutmeg now. I also bought Busy Signal's Text Message which I found very amusing while the video played in a Jamaican cab. Dang, just thought about how Whitney likes to say JK (just kidding).

Rooster around 7-ish

Friday, November 6, 2015

Wow Factor

Didn't think that this yoga retreat could get more special but one of my fellow yogis joined us three days after everyone arrived.

Not only is Erin sweet but she also is a physical therapist and she gave me a neck and shoulder massage on the beach while it rained with reggae emanating from the Las Vegas club. Thought that I was going to combust from joy.

Rain Clouds and Horse

Third Negril Rainbow Spotted in Seven Days

Post-Yoga Intention-Setting Lantern Release








Thursday, November 5, 2015

Another Sweet Day

Blue Hole Mineral Spring

One of Many Divers/Jumpers

View for Yoga Today

Pre-Dinner Relaxation Row

Quick post since room WiFi doesn't work and I'm in the lobby and I've already been devoured by mosquitoes.

Everything's been wonderful and I can't believe that tomorrow is the last full day. Still, I remain grateful for the wonderful time that I've been having and the phenomenal women that I've been able to share the experience with. Didn't know a single one of them except yoga teacher so bonus, bonus, bonus...

We went to a farm today and followed that up with a trip to the Blue Hole Mineral Spring. Had a mineral massage and followed that up with yoga then dinner. Another sweet day in Negril...


Beach Dog

Monday, November 2, 2015

Sweet

Sunday's agenda:

A.M. Yoga
Breakfast
Beach
Sunset Yoga
Dinner

Queenly Breakfast

Tree Sitting

Tree Climbing

Snorkeling

Veggie Dinner + Amazing Punch with Ginger

As I swam in sea, rested, ate fruit, got my hair braided, read and walked back into the sea, I had one thought -- This is the life. Gingerzingi, as you predicted, it's been awesome.

We had fun playing today:

Yoga
Breakfast
Glass Bottom Boat
Amazing Vegetarian Dinner
Watching the Sunset
Sitting Around Talking...

It's been sweet.

P.S. I'm semi-unplugged since the WiFi isn't the greatest.