Sunday, January 31, 2016

What Happenened To Your Mat? Or Month-End Review, January

My tally of activities is pretty simple because it was, mostly, a yoga affair. Being on my mat over 15 times was a great way to start 2016 and many thanks to Joy and Annie for doing free yoga in the month of January again. It was nice to connect with so many kindred souls.

The woman practicing on my right today had me cracking up. When I returned from getting props she asked me what happened, in the funniest way, to my mat. You can see the underbelly and chunks are missing. She's probably concerned because we have the same mat but I've had mine for about two years, I think. At any rate, it's time to get another indoor, quality mat...

I feel like my ankle has turned a corner. It hasn't been doing that stinging-achy-swelling thing -- knock on wood. I'm looking forward to being more active.

Joy said a lot of interesting things this morning during class but the one that I turned over to inspect was Lighten your load.

Climbing, 1 x
Swimming, 3 x's
Yoga, 19 x's
Zumba, 2 x's

Thursday, January 28, 2016


Had buyer's remorse last night. Went climbing and it was not a productive outing. Between being out of shape and being overly cautious about my ankle, I wondered about the wisdom of renewing my membership at the climbing gym but this too shall pass.

Went to yoga after work and cannot believe that January  and free yoga at our friendly neighborhood studio is coming to an end. The woman who practiced next to me will have, by Sunday, 30 classes under her belt  on her mat which makes her eligible for the free year of yoga drawing and she's not the only one. I think Joy said there were over 30 people on track.

Wish that I could have gone to 30 classes but it would have made me nutty trying to, say, hit yoga after work then go swimming. In the end, I don't think it would have been a peaceful experience for me running from one place to the other...

As Shonda Rhimes says, TGIT.

Monday, January 25, 2016


As the 9:30 a.m. yoga class emptied yesterday, I spotted this woman whose book, mat and wallet were in the same color family. We ended up talking about the books that we're reading then another yogi ran up to us and joked that she had been planning to introduce us. I'm putting Kristin Hannah's book on my to-read list. In addition to getting book recommendations, I'm enjoying the camaraderie at our friendly, local neighborhood studio.

Went to class this evening and it's still very nice to go to yoga on Monday night. It's my prize -- the carrot that I dangle in front of my eyes.

Class was enjoyable but I enjoyed savasana more. Guess there's a reason that it's called the most important pose. Class closed with the usual Namaste and there was a nice, sacred silence for about 10 seconds when this woman, who likes to ask questions, asked one. I wanted to say Hush!

Part of me feels like I should have more patience after practicing yoga for 60 minutes and part of me wanted her to just hush. Couldn't her question have waited for, like, a minute? She wanted to ask Joy about something she'd quoted which turned out to be:

Before you speak, ask yourself: Is it true, is it necessary, is it kind...Buddha (???)

Guess it's a good thing that I didn't speak out loud.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Putting Two and Two Together

As I got ready for restorative yoga on Friday, realized that I didn't need to put my sports bra on because there's not much movement in a restorative class. I had packed the sports bra out of habit and it was nice to leave it in the bag.

After class I looked through the Yoga Buzz 2016 calendar with local yogis that was sitting at the desk of our friendly, local neighborhood studio. One of my yoga mates asked if I knew Elle of YB. For some reason, I was surprised by said yogi's friendliness and as we talked, I put two and two together and realized that I'd seen her on Instagram a few days ago.

The picture that I saw of Lizzie was jarring and the exact words that floated into my mind were Why tempt fate?

Lizzie told me that she is a veteran acroyogi and that being elevated felt like standing on the ground. This (restorative yoga) is what I find hard, she said...

So, the 'Fugee's birthday was Thursday and her niece's birthday was yesterday so there was a combined celebration today. We had such a nice time and no one really touched any electronic devices except to take photos. It was a refreshing gathering full of laughter.

The 'Fugee's niece is a good cook and she makes superb kuglice (coconut-coated roundness pictured below) and, wow, Eastern Europeans sure know how to put food on the table.

Turkish Coffee and Kuglice

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Adult Day

Yesterday a long-time colleague said Maybe we'll have a delayed start time. She hasn't been feeling like herself so I excused the comment and reminded her of the time when the whole city was closed and we were open.

There were over 600 closings, mostly schools, this morning but there wasn't enough snow for an adult snow day...

It's the 'Fugee's birthday so we went out to dinner after work then went to have coffee (the 'Fugee) and gelato (me). I am totally regressing...

Came home and drew a bath. Dropped Epsom salt and a bath bomb in there. What to say? I'm getting better at indulging when it comes to self-care.

I stayed in the magical water for an hour while reading Elizabeth Gilbert's The Signature of All Things.

Yog Nog BB

Your marriage may have soured faster than others, but you will bear up and endure it, Alma, like the rest of us do -- or did. Haven't you been raised to bear up and endure things? You will not have your life felled by one setback... (280-281).

Not sure how many pages I polished off in 60 plus minutes but they were all good.

Monday, January 18, 2016

The Beautiful Dream

It took me forever to get of bed but can you blame me?

I just wanted to hunker down for the long haul and to put the "ice" on top of the cake, there was a wind chill advisory until 10:30-ish.

Even though it took a while for my feet to hit the floor, I got a lot of stuff done: cleaning the fish tank, washing clothes, washing my hair, cooking and, at some point, getting deeper into Elizabeth Gilbert's novel.

My reward? A yoga double header. Two hours of yoga was like a workshop but not. The main thing that I heard during two hours of practice was Joy's repeated suggestions to soften and her initial one that we pay attention to the 98% of things that are going right with our bodies...

Love this girl's answer of He had a beautiful dream. It's so sweet.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

F Is For Fun

Zumba won by default today. The yoga class that I considered going to was full. Thought about pressing my nose to the window to see if someone would let me in but, at some point, I had to resume a more active lifestyle so I hit the gym and since I have not been since last year, I forgot about the resolution peeps. The parking lot was packed.

Alisha reminded us that it was our class and that we should modify as necessary and that's what I did and that's what the woman with the knee brace did.

So far so good with the ankle. I did wear my foot brace so the ankle should have been pretty stable...

Last night, watched Trainwreck with the 'Fugee. At some point, Amy says that her father is one of her favorite folks and it reminded me of my father and how he liked to joke around and have a good time.

I also like to joke around but when I thought of my father, it inspired me to have more fun. Effective immediatley, I'm going to take a look and see how I can up the happiness and fun by at least 10%.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

More On Breathing

Did not feel like showering or putting on lotion tonight but I don't do a.m. showers. I'd rather sleep longer or read longer or slowly drink a cup of coffee.

Maybe Lizzie's responsible for my mood. I went to gentle yoga after work and gentle is the only type of class that Lizzie teaches so I guess you can rightfully call her a relaxation specialist.

While we were in a supported, reclining twist, Lizzie said There is no work to do -- just attending to the in and out of the breath. Just hearing her say that made me concentrate more on breathing.  There was a quiet and peaceful energy that took over the room with Lizzie's guiding.

Trying to decide if I should go to Zumba on Saturday or continue with my fantasy sports camp and go to yoga instead.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Shoe Box Anyone?

Since I've returned from Negril, I've spent most of my time in braids confusing people and making them retrace their steps since I look significantly different.

I really didn't consider braids before because my hair took a while to grow after keeping it closely cropped for almost 10 years.

The braids have been a good strategy for swimming because I don't have to deal with tangled hair. I had planned to braid my hair on Saturday but when I saw the forecast, I decided to keep the 'fro intact so it was kind of funny when I checked into class and Joy asked Want to come to Jamaica with me and get your hair braided?

Naughty, naughty Joy...

Speaking of the naughty one, Joy likes to say how the feet are the energetic gateway to the body and I've heard others mention it as well. When the ball of my left foot was misbehaving, I was a total believer in the whole gateway thing...

I bought a pair of Ahnu sandals for the yoga retreat and, of course, I'm on their mailing list now. Behold, it's the In Studi-Om.

No thanks but I don't want to block my energetic gateway. Plus, freeing the feet is one of the joys of yoga.

Nike also has a studio "shoe" and, dang, it's cute but I can totally remember Gloria talking about how there were no mats or blocks when she first started practicing yoga and so specific shoes for yoga are definitely not needed.

I put my Garmin fitness tracker on for the first time in six weeks and four days. I wanted to see how many steps I'm taking without exercising so that I can gradually increase my mileage. My gait feels normal so I feel ready to be more active.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Between Every Mat

Headed to restorative yoga after work yesterday. It's free yoga for the month of January at our friendly neighborhood yoga studio so it was packed. Gloria, who teaches elsewhere, will say that the class is not full until there's "one hand space" between every mat and that about sums up the real estate scenario at our friendly studio.

The woman next to me is new to the studio and, after class, she said I won't do this again. Not that I disliked it and I probably should take this kind of class but...

I'm actually thinking about giving up the class for a different reason. From work, the main street is busy then the studio is busy etc.

I like small classes and I like big ones  but it was way too much energy in the restorative class for me to settle down. Although, I was able to put together an impressive savasana...

It's 25 degrees and windy in The Lou. The perfect temperature for settling down with peppermint tea and Elizabeth Gilbert's The Signature of All Things.

To most suitors' tastes, Beatrix van Devender would have appeared dauntingly overeducated. She was conversant in five living languages and two dead ones, with an expertise in botany equal to a man's. Decidely, this woman was not a coquette. She was no ornament of the drawing room. She dressed in the full spectrum of colors that one associates with common house sparrows. She nursed a hard suspicion of passsion, exaggeration. and beauty, putting her confidence only in that which was solid and credible, and always trusting acquired wisdom over impulsive instinct. (42)

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Cool Air Again

Went swimming last night.

Thought about not going because I knew that the water would be cold but, at this point, swimming is one of the few exercises that I feel safe doing.

True enough, the water was cold and I was the only one in the pool after the youth group exited at their dedicated time. 

The one youth coach greeted me warmly -- as she usually does...

Had the pool to myself for the longest time. I can't feel my face when I'm with you got on my radar as my ears surfaced then submerged. Kind of feel like I've heard the song before but maybe it was the cadence of catchy song after song that made it stick in my ear this time...

Swimming parkas -- think they're silly? I longed for one just for the walk from the pool to the locker room. Wanted to ask them to turn on the heat lamps but that would have required getting hit by cool air again.

I was out for the count during last night's sleep session which is not an atypical post-swim thing.

Ankle was fine this morning even though when I stretch it on any given morning, I can feel the tension and tenderness.

Since I haven't been going on walks, no podcasts for me but I did find this article, Here's how To Get Rich or Die Podcasting, interesting and then I promptly downloaded Surprisingly Awesome

Monday, January 4, 2016

Five Weeks and Four Days

Saw that Tom Brady suffered a high ankle sprain and that he intends to be back for the playoffs by Jan. 16th. Also read that he "played through" a sprained ankle before while playing agains the St. Louis Rams, eons ago, in a Superbowl match-up.

All I could think was Bravo and I also thought about the athletic trainers and doctors that are providing Brady with topnotch care.

I decided that since it had been five weeks and four days that I'd stop wearing my brace since my ankle, knee and gait are better but my ankle was swollen after work so the brace goes back on. It's silly to have a tool and not use it.

A massage therapist also told me that all of those ligaments are tiny and they get one tenth of the blood supply so it takes them ten times as long to heal. 

I did go to yoga tonight and my props included my brace. At one point Joy say It's your body, your breath and your practice which is a good sentiment for me to hold onto for the days to come and beyond.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Didn't Think So

Relaxapalooza, Bring Your Own Blanket
One of my colleagues stopped by my office on New Year's Eve to wish me a Happy New Year and then asked me while shaking her head no was I going to a party. Didn't think so she said. I then told her that I was going to practice yoga and she scrunched up her face I knew it. I almost asked you. She om'd at me then said goodbye.

Went to a New Year's Eve Flow class and, after practice, Alison asked if I needed to run or if I could chit chat for a while. We agreed on Starbucks but, on the way, I wondered if they'd be open and they were until 9 so that was the extent of my wild New Year's Eve celebration -- yoga plus decaf coffee.

Relaxapalooza was on tap for New Year's Day -- two hours of restorative yoga, harmonium, reiki and intention setting. Felt a little naseous but didn't think anything of it although I did hit the pressure point between my pointer finger and thumb several times at the beginning of class.

Sat in the car with Alison after practice and had a mint and, as soon as I got home, I couldn't stand up anymore. I'm hardly ever cold but I couldn't warm up for a long time. Hit the bed around four and my feet didn't touch the floor much after that.

Emerged from bed about 10:30 and started off with water and mint tea and nothing else.

Hoping that my routine will be back to normal soon...