body and soul


I’m afraid I’ve not been taking very good care of myself, or much else, lately. It’s been weeks since I’ve been to yoga, and I haven’t been eating healthfully. Or at good times. I mean, sausage and eggs at midnight? Probably not my best choice. And you’d think I’d learn that eating a bag of Snyder of Berlin Honey BBQ chips for dinner is only going to make me feel sick, but nope. Apparently not, seeing as I did it again tonight.

I’ve been feeling tired, lazy, and sluggish and I know it’s because I’ve been eating junk food almost exclusively for the past week or so. I am the laziest cook ever, and with Adam doing ghost tours almost every night these days, I just don’t have the imagination or motivation to cook myself a decent meal. (He usually does the cooking.)

I mean, this is ridiculous. My huge deadlines have been handled, so I don’t have much else do to. I know better. I need to DO damn better. So, starting TOMORROW, this is what I need to do.

_ Clean the bedroom. My clothes are every-freaking-where. I’m back to knocking stuff down on the dresser, which means I need to rearrange bottles again. I’ve got to organize my clothing, put the summer stuff away and bring out the fall/winter stuff. And I need to make it neat. I did laundry at my mom’s a MONTH AGO and the clothes are still in the laundry baskets. Not good.

_ Clean the bathroom. That means rotating product, getting rid of the stuff that’s used up, and putting the newer stuff out. Cleaning the bottles that are in there but have gotten icky. All the usual bathroom cleaning duties. Although, to be fair, I just recently scrubbed the sink and Adam cleaned the toilet, so that’s not looking all THAT daunting. Still. Must clean bathroom.

_ Clean the living room. ‘Nuff said.

_ Unbox my numerous boxed dolls and figure out where to display them. I will need to rotate a couple of my American Girl dolls, dress them in fall/winter clothing and put their summer clothing away as well. And of course, my Disney Designer Princess dolls MUST be unboxed. Now they’re displayed in their clear cases. (Tiana arrived on Friday!)

_ Thorough litter box wash out. This means dumping the litter that’s in them, washing them out, and putting in all new, clean litter. I’ll need to take a trip to Target to procure more litter for that, though.

_ Hit yoga class again. I REALLY need to go back. I was starting to see results from taking so many classes, but two weeks of slacking and dining on junk food will undo that so fast heads will roll. I mean, what’s the use of having unlimited classes if I don’t take them????

_ Failing yoga class, I have yoga DVDs, and an exercise bike. There’s no reason for me not to get in a workout at least three times once a week.

_ MY HAIR. Lord baby Jesus in heaven, I need to do something with this hair. IT IS STANDING STRAIGHT UP ON MY HEAD. Stop laughing, it’s not funny. OK, it kinda is.

I also need to start cooking again. It’s just that I’ve forgotten almost all my skills (although I still rock a dang good scrambled egg, even Adam said so), and even the simplest recipes make me go “Oh God, really? That much work? But I don’t wanna pre-heat the oven….”

Yea. This can’t go on. It just can’t. The place is starting to fall apart, poor Adam’s exhausted and looks kinda hurt and puzzled when I don’t have a hot meal waiting for him, and there are loads of neat recipes I’ve been saving into Evernote to try, so I need to get on that, mmmkay?

Also, if I make recipes, I can post them on here!

One thing that’s been great is this cute free app I downloaded for my Mac called iProcrastinate. You put in the stuff you need to do, a due date, priorities, etc. When something comes up, this annoying little red circle with a number (which corresponds to how many things are due that day) just sits there and STARES at you until you handle your business. I just put the to do list from up there ^^ into iProcrastinate.

So yeah. I’ll get a good night’s sleep. Possibly eat sausage and eggs in the morning like normal people. And then GET STUFF DONE. I’m on it. Word.

I think I’ll start feeling much better in no time.

P.S. I just thought I’d mention that I HATE the sound of the cats licking themselves. So why do they always wait until I’m around to groom? YICK.


Feeling the Burn

Who doesn’t love free stuff? I know I like it, especially when it gives me a chance to try something I’ve never done before. Today, I popped over to Soulistic Studio and Spa for their Fall Open House. They offered 30 minute samplers of some of their classes, and for first timers like me, it was a great introduction to new fitness techniques.

You all know I’m a Moksha purist, so did I feel weird when I first walked into Soulistic? Sure. I’m so used to Moksha and the teachers there–it was strange to go to a place where I didn’t know anyone. Fortunately, people were friendly and open and warm, and I hope to see some of them again sometime.

As I said, today’s open house consisted of a number of 30 minute “samplers”, many offered simultaneously. So I had to choose what I wanted. Here is what I did:

Pilates Reformer
Pilates Burn
Barre Belly Sculpt
Nia Dance [learn more]
Capoeira [learn more]

Here are my impressions.

Pilates Reformer was strange, and I know that’s because I’d never used a Pilates Reformer machine before. I’d only done the Pilates Mat workout. I know that after a few more times, I’ll be OK on the machine, but to be honest, other than my bike (or a treadmill), I don’t really like using machines to work out. Props I don’t mind, but machines aren’t really my thing.

I ended up loving Pilates Burn a LOT more than I expected. We used a BOSU ball, did a lot of core training, and some slight cardio. Part of the reason I enjoyed that class so much was because of the teacher. Ilana was a lot of fun. I think a lot of people forget that exercising doesn’t have to suck. It can be hard work but it can be fun as well.

Barre Belly Sculpt was surprisingly hard, as we did a lot of strength training with dumbbells. It’s hard to furrow your forehead when the instructor is giving you a beautiful, encouraging smile, though. I did the best I could with the weights (my arms are so not my strongest body part). I didn’t expect the class to be so much belly dancing, but I LOVED it.

Capoeria is a dance that combines music, sports, and martial arts. That was the one class that intimidated me, because you have to be so exact and so precise. It was the last class of the day, so my body was NOT feeling the precise movements so much. It’s a beautiful dance, though, and challenging. At the end, we got into a circle and clapped and sang while two people “played.” It was really, really cool.

My favorite, favorite, favorite was the Nia Dance. I LOVED Nia Dance. Music, movement, martial arts, yoga, and meditation all in one. It’s a grounded, low impact dance. I like cardio, but I DO NOT like aerobics. This was perfect, because I love to dance, I love yoga, and there was no jumping. I was building strength, burning calories, and making my heart healthy. This is the class I definitely plan to go back for. Again and again and again.

There was lots of fruit to snack on (including honey crisp apples), and there were samples of Solixir. It was a good day for my body.

I might be feeling differently once the soreness kicks in. But I will keep going. Candlelight Vinyasa with Amber at Moksha tomorrow evening. I must be there.

It feels good to have time to take care of myself again. It also feels good to have MOTIVATION to take care of myself. Now if I could just slow down with the sugar…… *innocent look*

What are your favorite ways to keep in shape?


April Showers and Stuff

Actually, the weather was AWESOME today! It is currently 72F outside. That rules. Of course, this isn’t sticking around or anything, but it looks like it’s going to not drop below 50 (except at night) for the rest of the week. Could Spring ACTUALLY be coming? Maybe the trees will actually start budding sometime soon. Last year I took pictures of tree blossoms on April 13th. So, ten days. My eyes are aching to see flowers that aren’t in a vase or a floral shop. And I can’t wait for the lilacs to blossom and smell up the neighborhood. I’ve still got about a month and a half before those guys come along, though.

I had a busy weekend. Worked for 9.5 hours yesterday, came home, did 30 minutes on the bike, and ordered sushi for dinner. I’m afraid I crave nigiri sushi way too often. It’s expensive. But it’s so good. I always eat eight pieces, and I always get the same pieces: ebi, maguru, saki, and nama saki. Every once in a while I’ll try to throw in something I hadn’t had before, but most of the time, I just want the tried and true. It’s so good, and with a sushi restaurant right around the corner, it’s hard to say no. Especially after working a long Saturday.

Today, I actually cleaned my closet and the laundry baskets, went to yoga (for the first time in months–and boy did it feel amazing!), and proceeded to spend the rest of the day being lazy. Reading, watching Adam play Donkey Kong Country Returns, and trying to take it easy. We’re in for a rough couple of weeks at work, and I’m trying to get as prepared as I can. I know that tomorrow is going to be long, and possibly Tuesday, and Wednesday or Thursday for sure. And of course, Friday always sucks. But I am not going in this Saturday. Nope. I have a dental appointment.

Hmm, maybe work would be more enjoyable.

I’ve really got to start taking back some parts of my life. Like yoga, for instance. I think it’ll be easier once the weather breaks for good. Cause in the winter, once I’m home, the last thing I want to do is go back out in the cold to get to class. Also, I’ve just activated my Groupon, so I have four more classes I have to take. And I am so glad I went today, because they cleaned out the mats and if I’d have waited too long, mine could have been donated. See, it wasn’t the mat so much that I was worried about. It was the $70 Yogitoes towel rolled up with it I’d have been upset about losing. But it’s home with me now, so it’s all good. At any rate, my body missed yoga. So did my spirit. I need it and I can’t let life get in the way of it again.


Oh well. Time for bed. The weekend goes even faster when half of it has been taken away.

Good night.

Comments Off on April Showers and Stuff

General Life Update

You know what makes me sad? How QUICKLY weekends fly by. At least I got the full two days this time around, though. Last weekend, I worked on Saturday from 10am-5pm. It’s hard enough to work on a Saturday, but to do it for seven hours made it even harder. I’m really glad I get overtime, and it was kind of nice to be in the proofreader’s area by myself. I could sing all I wanted without worrying about anyone hearing me and subsequently running from the building with bleeding ears. Friday, I worked from 9am-930pm. My brain was officially fried by the time I got home that night.

I won the book Slice of Cherry (and other cool stuff) from Dia Reeves. And I held off on reading it forever, partially because I knew it would be out there and I wanted to be in the right frame of mind to read it. Partially because I knew I’d enjoy it and sometimes I like to make myself really wait until I dive into something I know I’ll like. Cause the anticipation can be as much fun as the actual activity, right?

I started reading it today, and I’m almost done. Folks, this is not a small book. It’s 500 pages. And I have 52 pages left. I will finish it tonight. I am enjoying it highly. HIGHLY. Dia is an ace author, and I love her snarkiness. She is seriously talented. And kinda twisted. In a good way. Add her to my list of authors who inspire me muchly.

I am so eager for spring, especially the part of spring where the rain and grey and 50F days stop and the sun shines and the trees are blossoming and flowers are everywhere. I am so eager for that. In Chicago, I’m typically wearing my pea coat all through April and most of May. The weather usually doesn’t get warm enough for short sleeves (at least for me–I run cold) until early or mid June.

The temperature when I left work Thursday morning was -5F. Right now? It’s 43F. Hard to believe that what I thought was so cold just a couple months ago seems like a HEATWAVE now. The sun’s been out, and the snow’s been melting like crazy. The Bobcats have been everywhere cleaning up the slushy stuff from the streets. Maybe I’ll be able to actually cross the bridge without walking in the street tomorrow morning!

For some reason, ever since I updated WordPress, some of my Flickr pictures are not showing up on my posts. I don’t know if this is a Flickr thing or a WP thing, but I do know that it is annoying me. (update: Someone else posted the same thing on the Flickr Help forums. It’s a Flickr thing.)

In other random news, I’ve been relaxer-free for almost two years now. That’s the longest I’ve gone without a relaxer since I was 12 years old. I’ve straightened my hair a couple times since then (blow out and flat iron), mostly to see the length, but also to make it so I can smash it under a hat in this cold weather. Funnily enough, I’ll see a picture of me with the straight, long hair and feel prettier, although there are times I’ll look at a picture with my curls and think HOLY CRAP, MY HAIR IS COOL! I guess I’m still not done transitioning.

Still adjusting to life as a (often more than) full-time office worker again. I miss midday yoga so badly. A couple weeks ago, I tried a restorative candlelight class and absolutely loved it. I haven’t been back though because it’s Sunday nights from 7:30-9pm. Usually around that time, I’m bathing and reading and winding down for the night. Seems like a good time to do the yoga right? Except it would be better if I didn’t have to go out to do it. We’ll see how it is in the summer, though. I think it’ll be much easier for me to deal with the late evening classes. My body misses yoga. Very much. I feel like I need to take a vigorous class just to get my chakras all back in balance. Then a restorative class to recover!

One thing I need for sure (in addition to yoga) is a massage. I have vouchers for THREE of them. I think I will schedule one for this week. 6:30p.m. Wednesday. The place is a hop, skip, and jump away from my office. I can leave work and go straight to an hour of bliss.

And then Thursday, I am taking 1/2 day off work because Aidan’s flying in! :D Did I mention that he texts now? Today, he got ahold of his dad’s phone and we texted back and forth. It was so cute. Can you imagine any of us texting at age 8? Technology is crazy. Aidan’s never known a world without cell phones. Or iPods. Or CDs. Or computers, DVD Players, cable TV.

Gah, I cannot wait to see him!!!

I’m seriously considering buying a new DSLR. I am looking at the Canon Rebel XS. I don’t need any of the super, duper fancy $2000 ones. It’s just that my current one was acting buggy when we were at Disney, and there are some dust particles in it that I have to Photoshop out of every picture that has blue sky in the background. I don’t want to go out on me when I am taking pictures of something important. Also, the difference between my Canon pix and the point and shoot pix are off the charts. I would miss not having a DSLR. I’ve had my XT for nearly four years now. It’s gone with me on many, many trips. It has served me well.

My book to buy list is a mile long. And I was toying with the idea of buying a The North Face coat. Maybe next winter, though. I have also had it in the back of my mind to get Amazon Prime again, but I can’t bring myself to spend the money just yet. I haven’t shopped much at all since Disney World, to be honest. Groceries is where the bulk of my expenditure has been going, and even that’s notout of control. Oh yea, I did need a new tire right before that big blizzard hit. But as far as leisure spending? Not so much lately. I feel awfully disciplined. And also goal-minded. That camera isn’t going to buy itself, you know?

I should get to bed. As usual, those last precious hours every Sunday night speed by. Time for a long work week ahead–but I possibly have a massage to look forward to Wednesday evening, and I DEFINITELY have Aidan to look forward to this weekend. Not to mention temperatures that are not sucktastically cold!

So, with that said… good night all! :)


What Yoga Is Teaching Me (Picture)

I started taking yoga classes at Moksha Yoga in April of this year.

It has changed my life.

If I don’t go to at least one class a week, I feel off. Adam even says that I’m in a much more cheerful mood after class. I usually do feel what I called “yoga drunk.” I move slowly and I often, after class, just have to sit and be loopy for a while before heading home. It’s a yummy feeling. :)

Moksha is a great studio because it makes me feel safe. I remember the first day I went. The class before me was a level 2-3 class (I only take Intro/Basics or level 1-2 classes for now), and everyone came out looking dazed and really sweaty. I got nervous, thinking “Oh my God, what have I gotten myself into?” Then I went to that first class, a Tantric Vinyasa 1-2, and even though I had some fumbles (Mmm yeah, Half Moon Pose? Was not happening for me that day!), I kept at it. The teacher and a teacher trainee remarked that I did NOT look like a beginner, which made me feel good. My silly little ego blew up at that, though, which is one of the first and hardest things to get rid of in yoga. But I am working on it.

Yoga is teaching me these things:

1. It’s OK if I am not an expert at every single pose. I am just a beginner, after all, and someday, even after I’ve been doing yoga for ten or twenty years, I’ll still be a beginner in many respects. It’s perfectly OK to not be perfect. In the United States, people tend to be competitive, and perfectionists. I live in Chicago, and let me tell you, it is darned competitive here. When I first started yoga classes, I used to push myself to be as good as and/or better than everyone in my class. I’d forget that I was a beginner, and I’d get frustrated if I couldn’t stop wobbling during Tree Pose, or if I couldn’t lean all the way back for Reclining Hero Pose. I’d beat up on myself, forgetting that was NOT the point of yoga at all. Now I am learning that if I can’t get to the final pose, or to that next level, it was OK to be where I am at that time. After constantly pushing myself for anything and getting upset with myself for falling short, this was/is a hard yet welcome lesson for me to learn.

2. How to have compassion for myself. This is a hard one. Getting easier, but still hard. If I set a goal and failed to make it, I beat myself up for being a loser and a failure. Now, if I am in class, I realize that sometimes my body just does not want to go into a certain pose, even though I was doing it with ease the day before. This carries into my every day life. Sometimes, my brain just needs to go in a different direction.

3. How to eat better. Yoga is big on non-violence on many levels. This is non-violence in thoughts regarding yourself (see #2), non-violence in the way we behave toward others, non-violence in what we eat, and non-violence in our beliefs. I’m not going to lie. I still love me some Italian beef and fries, or McDonalds, and junk food? Yes please. But I am making an effort to eat better. To put happy animals in my body so that *I* can be happy. Yeah, it may sound a bit woo-woo, but I can tell you right now that when Adam and I pay more and eat the meat or eggs that’s grass-fed, free range, organic, blahdittyblahblah, we both feel better, emotionally and physically. Many yoginis are vegetarians. I am not ready to go that far. But I can eat better meat, so that’s what I’m doing.

4. A new level of spirituality. It started in class, when we were finishing up with an Om. It was a really pretty sounding one–there were some men in class so there was some baritone action. I told my teacher that I loved the way it sounded, and she suggested that I attend a kirtan. I was intrigued because other instructors have us chanting at the beginning of class sometimes, and I like that. She said it was like a massage for our insides. Adam and I went to the next kirtan. It was weird for me at first. Everyone gathered around, call and response chanting in a language I did not understand. What? And how was this “doing yoga”, I’d wondered, having believed that the asanas (poses) were the main focus. But it stuck with me. The chants and the tunes and the music. And I started looking for them. (Fortunately I have an account–lots of kirtan-type stuff on there!) Then I started to worry. Those of you who have been following me for years know about how I was super Christian. Although I have definitely broken away from the church and the Christian culture, that’s still the foundation of my beliefs–that relationship with Christ. I had some trouble reconciling the two. Chanting to Hindi gods? Is this OK? Then I checked the commandments: My God doesn’t want any gods to be thought of as more important as He is. He didn’t say anything about gods in addition to Him. I smiled and relaxed. If anything, kirtan has helped me get more in touch with God.

“Kirtan is non-denominational, the Universal language of Spirit, the song of the Soul.” – New World Kirtan

It’s celebration. It’s love. How is that not God?

5. I can do things I never thought I’d be able to do. How many times have I flipped through a yoga book or browsed a yoga website, looked at a pose, shook my head and went “not even close”? And then end up doing that exact pose the next day in class? I only go to class once or twice a week, but already I have better balance, better strength, and crazy flexibility. Many times I have to get past whatever mind blocks I have and just do it. I surprise myself every time I go to class. Who knows what’ll be next?

6. Yoga can be fun! It’s not all spiritual and serious. Two of my teachers–Cassandra and Mia–have no problems acting silly and letting us laugh at them and ourselves. Cassandra often tells us to “smile” during a pose–we’re all wearing such serious and probably frowny faces, especially during some of those standing poses! Laughing really helps me relax with my class, with the teacher, and with myself.

7. It’s OK to move slow sometimes. Do I even need to elaborate on this? Life doesn’t have to be all about rush, rush, rush. Time goes quickly enough. Just slow down, drink lots of water, and enjoy life.

Other things I am learning: to be more assertive and to stand up for myself (this is going to be a lifelong struggle), unwavering gratitude for my many blessings (I still complain too much, though), and letting my defenses down so love can come in.

I like what yoga is teaching me. I will continue on this journey.

Triangle Pose: Trikonasana

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

1 Comment