Some Like It Hot

I’m a stickler when it comes to the seasons. Everyone’s saying it’s summer. The pools are open and it’s safe to wear white shoes. In my heart, though, it won’t be summer until the Solstice: June 21. However, I am sunburned like a mofo and my shoulders are like “What the ever loving HELL did you do to yourself woman?”

Sunday, it was 97F. Blazing hot. It was hot even for me, and you all know I like it hot. I was out in the sun almost all day, hanging out with awesome people and having a wonderful time.

Cloud Gate
cloud gate aka the bean

Downtown from Millenium Park
downtown

Cloud Gate
cloud gate, my favorite landmark in chicago

On the CTA Blue Line
riding the blue line home

I didn’t wear sunscreen. I guess I underestimated the power of the Sun. I did notice my bag starting to hurt my shoulder, but I attributed that to me thinking it was getting heavy after lugging it around all day. It wasn’t until after I took a shower that I realized… Oh. I know that burning feeling. And sure enough, my shoulders were bright red. Oops.

Do I regret anything? NO. Would I do it again? YES YES triple times yes. Because I got to spend the day with an awesome group of people doing awesome things and having an awesome time.

Ricky & Me
ricky and me
(just so you know, ricky’s a super talented producer.
seriously. go see step up 4 when it comes out.
he produced that entire soundtrack.
told you i hung out with awesome people.)

Yoga Now!
yoga now!
considering making this my business card when i’m certified

Tomorrow it’s supposed to be 54F. See? THIS is why I won’t say it’s officially summer. Hmph.

‘Til next time!

Had A Good Week

In My Element
loving the sun and warmth!

Yay! Had a happy week. Got to work at BOTH places I enjoy freelancing at, my other project’s finally kicked in, and that means $$ will be coming in for me again.

This is a good thing. No. It is an EXCELLENT thing.

Tuesday’s teacher training was canceled, which was a YAY because I got an extra free day, but the reason was a BOO because my teacher had a family emergency. :( Still, I got to go to Mia‘s class, which I haven’t in months, and it was so nice to be there again.

I’m seriously drawing a blank about Wednesday, except there was an AWESOME Amber Cook class involved. But that’s all I remember. Weird, right?

Thursday night, I attended a food healing workshop with Moses & Zeina. Oh my goodness. I learned SO MUCH. And got to taste some yummy things (cheesy kale for the win!)…. and I got to taste some things that made my tongue very angry. Yeah, pesto made from cilantro and onions? NEVER AGAIN.

Friday night, I attended a Kundalini workshop (another Moses & Zeina special) that included a fire ceremony and gong meditation.

OH MY GOD.

I never realized how beautiful a gong could sound. My fault for only really knowing of them from The Gong Show, I suppose. Anyway. Every savasana should include gongs. Or wind chimes. (I once took a workshop and there were wind chimes and that was also amazing.) But this GONG. Wow. I’m actually looking up gong meditation albums on emusic.com. I don’t know if my iPod can replicate what it’s like being in the room with a gong, but seeing as I’m not going to be carting one around with me, listening to it in my iPod will have to do. :)

Although, I believe Kundalini Yoga In The Loop has gong meditation regularly….must research this more. AND THEN ATTEND ASAP!!

Speaking of Kundalini yoga… I’ve done it before, but wanted to try it in a class setting. It’s so so so different from what one thinks of as yoga. There are no asanas; there are kriyas, which is a set of kundalini exercises. The thing about Kundalini is that it’s hard core. It can bring up some stuff. The kriyas are uncomfortable, confrontational, and cleansing. Therefore, they are awesome. And scary.

I am so grateful for the opportunities I’m getting during my teacher training. Chances to push my practice. Chances to meet great people, learn new things. It’s seriously been insane in the best way possible. And I’m only what, 10 weeks or so into the program? There is so much more learning to be done, so many more experiences to have. I’m excited!

This journey is filling me with so much joy, and I want more! :D

(I also got the cutest pair of yoga pants. Tie-died and pink with purple piece signs on the butt. My friend Christine says they give new meaning to the phrase “Piece/peace of ass.”)

The weather’s been great all week! Nice and warm, hot some days. Beautiful. Blue skies, sunshine. My favorite! Of course, it’s going to get cool and rainy by the end of the week, but for now? Loving it! This is the best Memorial Day weekend weather I’ve had since I moved here!!

I’d forgotten that I’d purchased a Disney Parades CD when I was at Disney World during one of my trips. Mickey’s Jammin’ Jungle Parade is a track on that album. WHAT. That song had only been stuck in my head for months since I was in the parade. OK, and only that first part because that’s the part of the parade Adam and I were in, so we only heard that loop over and over for 20 minutes BUT THAT’S NOT THE POINT. The point is that I’d had this CD, and had apparently already imported it onto my computer. I could have been listening to the parade all this time! And also hearing the REST of the parade at that. So, I’ve been making up for lost time. :) Brings back happy memories!

Jammin' Jungle Parade

I also looked on YouTube to see if anyone happened to record and post a video of my parade, but NOPE. Someone posted one from the DAY BEFORE, though. Oh well.

**many hours later**

OK, so I started this entry many hours ago. This is what kept distracting me from finishing:

1. Aidan called.
2. I ate dinner.
3. Aidan called again.
4. I ate a 2nd dinner while watching the O.C.
5. Aidan called again.
6. I talked to my mom.

So now, it’s 1am, I’m trying to decide if I should get this gong meditation CD: Gong Suite: Six Meditations, but I need to be braiding my hair and getting to bed. LONG awesome Sunday ahead, and I need my beauty sleep!

I leave you with a photo of me reading one of my favorite magazines, more than 12 years running:

I read old people magazines. :)

I’ll decide about the CD tomorrow/today. Right now, I’m going to sleep. Well, I’m gonna braid my hair first, probably have a snack, THEN sleep.

Byeeeee! :)

YOGA: Yeah, Oh God, Again

Pink

You all know how much I love yoga. I love the way it makes me feel, I love my community at Moksha, and I love everything I’m learning in teacher training. But I’m not perfect, and my mind isn’t always overwhelmingly positive. So, I give to you, my dear friends, my yoga confessions.

1. Sometimes, in the middle of class, I think to myself, “I hate this, why am I here? These standing poses are killing me. Oh please God NOT WARRIOR III dammit we’re doing Warrior III. I’m totally going to fall. I don’t feel like a warrior AT ALL in this pose. I feel like an idiot. Oooh, I hope we do headstand. Crap, it’s forearm balance AGAIN. I SUCKKKKK at forearm balance!! I want savasana NOW!”

2. Every once in a while, when I’m doing a pose that I know is good for me but I’m not loving, I dread knowing that I have to do it on the other side. (As an old yoga friend/teacher of mine once said: Yoga means Yeah, Oh God, Again!) People say that poses I struggle in or hate the most are the poses I should be working on. But really? Warrior III? Forearm balance? Do I have toooooo????

3. Sometimes, I just don’t want to take a vigorous class. Or any class. I KNOW. But yesterday, I went to the restorative candlelight class, and you know what? It was perfect!

I wish Moksha had more restorative classes.

4. I feel guilty when I skip class. Because if it wasn’t for a good reason (e.g. I was busy, working a gig, visiting family or friends, etc.) then it was most likely because I was just being tamasic (aka LAZY).

5. I’m really glad the yoga studio is a seven minute walk from my place. Cause there are so many times when I get the bug, about 20 minutes before a class starts, to head on over and practice. Usually that’s when I have the most awesome classes.

6. Level 2-3 classes still scare me a little bit, even though I’ve been to two and they obviously didn’t kill me.

7. I love yoga pants. Not just ANY yoga pants. The moisture-wicking capri leggings. You know why? Cause I have many pairs of non-moisture wicking yoga pants that are grey. And they show sweat in not so nice places. Yeah.

8. I always say I’ll never buy anything from lululemon for various reasons, but I’m totally lying! I am seriously coveting a few pairs of their awesome yoga crops and if I had a few Benjamins to drop on some, I’d do it in a heartbeat. And they have super cute tanks, like the No Limits tank. I’d totally wear the heck out of that tank.

9. I have a couple of tanks that I think know need to be retired. Every time I wear one of them, I’m afraid the “girls” are going to pop right the heck out during a forward fold or down dog.

10. I wear yoga clothes more than any other clothes these days. My laundry basket is almost all yoga clothes.

11. Ashtanga yoga and me? Not so much. I tried it once in April of 2010 and decided that I was done. Then I was in a class last week where the instructor was definitely Ashtanga-inspired, and I hated it. It’s just not for me. Mysore might be a different story–I haven’t brought myself to do it yet. Maybe this week will be the time. atha yoga anusasanam

12. For Christmas, I think I’m going to ask for a Jade Harmony yoga mat, some lululemon gift cards, and a bolster.

13. When I’m in a pose and it feels really good/easy, I worry that I’m not doing it right. Yoga is not supposed to hurt, that is true, but I should be feeling SOME sort of sensation, right? But as Daren (my teacher) says, there are always ways to go deeper into a pose so that I am feeling something. I just haven’t learned all of them yet.

14. I could do forward folds all day every day. I LOVE them.

15. I really want to do this, and I CAN, but I worry that my knees won’t allow me to do so for long. :(


Source: tumblr.com via Ronni on Pinterest

16. Watching Meghan Currie‘s practice videos is super inspiring. She moves so smoothly and beautifully.


I like this one because her cat gets in the way like Crookshanks gets in mine.

The teacher I am apprenticing with, Amber, has a beautiful practice like this, too.

Maybe someday I’ll feel confident enough to put a practice video of ME up on YouTube. But I doubt it.

17. On the first day of yoga teacher training, Daren asked us not to eat McDonalds or any fast food. I thought it would be hard, and it was at first. I LOVE(D) McDonald’s you guys, as terrible as it is for me… but the more I go without it, the easier it gets. And I feel all the better for it.

18. Getting an adjustment in savasana is the best.thing.ever.

19. I’m scared to do a handstand. I know I can do it. I have the strength to do it, and in class Thursday, the teacher spotted me and I floated right up. These are the things he said:
a.) I have good control when kicking up.
b.) I have the strength.
c.) He didn’t have to assist me almost at all when I went up.

So I know it’s a mental block. I’m scared I’m going to fall and hurt myself. I don’t trust that I *do* have the strength/balance to do it. The teacher gave me some neat exercises to try so that I get more confident in the strength I have.

20. As much as I love yoga, I worry that it’s inaccessible to a LOT of people. Going to a studio isn’t cheap, although I was able to play it so I was able to take three classes a week for $19. (This was before the days of my work study career there.) Not everyone can do that–their schedules may not permit it or the location just might be way too far or inconvenient. And yes, one can buy a DVD, or just practice from a book, but honestly, it’s nothing like having a teacher there to guide you. And the clothes. Of course, one doesn’t have to wear lululemon to practice yoga. Actually, a lot of my pants come from Old Navy or Target or TJ Maxx and they work fine. But it’s easy to get caught up in the “Am I good enough because I buy discount yoga clothes?”

Or maybe that’s just me. Yeah, it’s probably just me.

Still, even with those crazy thoughts bouncing around in my head, I love yoga and feel gratitude every time I get to practice. I am grateful that my editing and marketing skills are skills that Moksha finds valuable enough to offer me free yoga in exchange for my services. I’m grateful that I was given an extraordinary opportunity with the teacher training, so I get the chance to stretch my practice and my life in ways I never thought imaginable.

Yoga RULES!


[via]

Whatever

Study Time

I *should* be studying. Daren (my teacher) emailed a bunch of handouts and mentioned that there will be a pop quiz in class. That’s tomorrow, yo! I just cannot focus, though. In addition, it’s a gorgeous 77F outside, and I am aching from a yoga-filled shoulder-opening weekend. I just want to read more of Between The Sea and Sky, then lie down and sleep for a while. MAYBE I WILL and then when I wake up I will be able to focus on studying.

Tonight is the series finale of Make It Or Break It. I guess I’d better get my tissues ready. I don’t want to say good-bye to Payson and Kaylie and Lauren. Well, maybe Lauren. But not Payson and Kaylie! Oh well. All good things must come to an end, I suppose. And any reason for me to watch less TV is a good reason, right?

As it is, I don’t watch much TV anyway. I mean, some nights I do go on a House Hunters binge, and if I catch an America’s Next Top Model marathon (from any cycle except the current one), then I will indulge. But for the most part, I don’t watch a lot. Or the seasons are staggered, so I’m usually not into more than one show at a time. The only shows I really go nuts over are Downton Abbey and Doctor Who.

Digressing…

I will be at Lululemon Buckdown this coming Sunday, assisting with the free community yoga class. If you’re local and free from 10-11am, you should come! :) Did I mention that it’s FREE?

My planner looks deceptively empty but I will be working in an office two days this week (and one day next week), and that takes up a lot of time! Gotta make that $, though, and this office is a nice one to work in. Commute should be nice too. I mean, it won’t be, it’ll be crowded on the bus which I will hate, but it will be warm outside. Maybe I’ll wear a dress or a skirt! Ooooooo!

OK. There’s really no point to this entry. Except to put off the studying. I should get on that, huh?

‘Til next time….

:)

Hi.

OK WOW, how has it been almost a week since I last posted? That’s crazy. Time is going so fast. Before long, AIDAN WILL BE HERE FOR THE SUMMER!

His dad said he is bringing him either May 31 or June 1. AWESOME. I told Chris I’d teach him some yoga while he’s here. That should be interesting.

I did teach a full yoga class to my friend Jen over the weekend. She said she LOVED it. :D She said for me to never drop my “Ronni-isms.” I guess that means my authentic voice is shining through, just like Tasha Danner (former Mouseketeer and now yoga instructor/physical therapist) advised. :)

Lilacs

Did I tell you that every time I walk past a lilac bush I stop and take a huge whiff? Because I do. Lilacs smell so good. The petals are starting to fall off the bushes now. That makes me a bit sad. Once they’re gone, I’ll have to wait another year to smell them again.

Still, life is amazing and full and beautiful. Sunday, I got to hear Maya Tiwari speak. She is a World Peace Leader and spiritual teacher, and often speaks about Ahimsa, which is living without violence. Talk about a beautiful, radiant person. She was engaging, funny, and warm. I feel very blessed that I got the chance to meet her and hear her speak (and also hug her)!

Oak Street Beach

For SOME reason, I thought it’d be a good idea to do yoga on the beach. In Chicago. In May. It sounds great on paper. But when the temperature was probably about 45F, well, not so nice. I got through a few minutes of the practice before jumping up to help with adjustments and such. It was so cold, you guys. But it was free, put on by the Michigan Ave lululemon athletica, and there was free food there, too. Speaking of lululemon, looks like I might be at one of the locations on May 20 helping out at a free community yoga class. I will confirm location and details soon.

LOADS of people in my classes swear by lululemon. I don’t have any of their things–that place is too expensive for me. Even their sale stuff costs a lot! Most of my yoga clothing was purchased either on sale or at stores like TJ Maxx. However, I am in need of new yoga pants (all those pairs I got from Aeropostale years ago are getting too big for me!), and I really like the cropped leggings Green Apple makes. I found a pair at TJ Maxx a couple months ago and I LOVE them. So guess who needs to hit TJ Maxx and hope for another lucky break!

Yoga’s been great lately. I am definitely stronger and my endurance is better. Imagine how excited I was yesterday when I FLOATED UP INTO A HEADSTAND. OK, it was against the wall, but still. You guys. I’ve been building up my strength so I could do a headstand for more than two years, and against the wall is no small potatoes. One of these days, I’ll be doing it in the middle of the floor. WHAT!

Next time, I’ll make sure to get a photo captured so you can see. :)

This teacher training journey has been AMAZING so far. I can’t even describe it. I’m meeting amazing people, doing amazing things, learning so much. I have no idea what I’m doing or where I’m going, so I’m just going with the flow and watching as things fall into place. What an incredible ride!

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