yoga teacher training

life got away from me.


So much to post about! Tomorrow, I leave for Disney World 2013 part 2. :) It came up so fast because I’ve been so busy with work, work, work. Most days, I seriously work all day, then I go home and work 3-4 hours in the evening, and some weekends too. Long days but decent money. So this trip is going to be awesome!

A lot has been going on, too. Adam and I went with his family to Iowa for a weekend. It was great. Beautiful weather, great shopping, and good girl time for girls with my sister-in-law and her friend. Lola is getting so big and she’s still as adorable as ever. :)


It was nice to catch up with family and friends and get out of Chicago for a weekend. And the Des Moines farmer’s market? HOLY CRAP. The thing spans multiple blocks and streets… they only had asparagus for produce really, but there was so much other great stuff, like jewelry and clothing and mini donuts and wine. Especially blackberry wine. Mmmmm.

Adam and I went to see Marina and The Diamonds at the Riviera. It was a sold out show. I had to work that day, and the concert was general admission, so I knew we’d be in a long, long line. Except we totally didn’t because Adam ran into an old friend who was part of the local crew, and he got us to the front of the line. That didn’t make the people who’d spent the night there very happy–but they needn’t have worried. Adam and I were so not into being in the mob on the floor–we went straight to the balcony and grabbed seats!

It was a fantastic show. Charli XCX opened for her and I hadn’t realized that I’d already heard and liked a few of her songs.

Charli XCX

But Marina. OH MY GOD Marina. She is a queen. She is a goddess. She puts on a great show, and she looks like she’s having a blast doing it. Love her. So much.

Marina & The Diamonds

My yoga group had its official closing circle May 24. It was really nice. We did our thesis presentations, talked about the program and how we were going to use the new knowledge.

Closing Circle Official

Then we all went out for sushi! First we posed for pictures:

Ariel and Amy
ariel and amy

Genevieve, me, Reshma
genevieve, me, reshma

Graham and Angie
graham and his fiancee angie

Then I ate this!!

Namasake Don
namasake don

And this!

Passion Fruit Torte
passion fruit torte

Yummy yummy yummy!!!! :D

I got a couple of really cool things in the mail. One was this really cool iPad cover. My original cover is red, but I really wanted a pink one. So I got the Snugg iPad 2 Case, which I LOVE. Oh my God. It’s so compact and professional looking, but still fun. It’s got the smart cover thing, so I can close it and know it’s going to switch off… yeah, I’m really happy with it. :)


I also got a really awesome tee shirt from Dress United, which is a place you can get custom tees made. I went with a design of Ganesha, the remover of obstacles, and this is what I ended up with:


The back looks like this:


I really like the shirt. I wish I’d gotten a bigger size because the cut does run small (I believe this is a size M.) Clothes shopping is a challenge for me because sizes are NOT consistent across the board. I almost always have to try on, because sizes aren’t even consistent within the same stores sometimes! So, I can wear an XS tee shirt in one place and a L from somewhere else… I tend to go with an M because that’s usually pretty safe, but in this case, I needed to size up. I still like the shirt, though. The design really pops and the colors are vivid and bright! If you’re looking to get a custom-designed tee shirt, You can get one for 30% off and free shipping if you use this link and the coupon code BLOG30OFF4U.

The lilacs have finally bloomed in my neighborhood, but they’re already going away. Why do I wait all spring for them only for them to wither away not even a week later? So sad. I’m lucky I got photos, though!


I make it a point to take huge sniffs of the lilac bushes in my neighborhood whenever I can because I love them so much. Now, I’d LOVE to think that once the lilacs are out that the weather is finally broken, but nope. It didn’t even get past 55F today. And it was rainy and cold. COME ON. It’s JUNE already.

Thank God I’m going to Orlando tomorrow, where the forecasted high is 86F. SO looking forward to the heat. It’s kinda messed up that it’s June and I still have to go to Florida to warm up…..

Anyway. I’m just about all packed. Which is kind of a miracle considering I usually start packing the night before for these things. Aidan is playing the new Kirby game I got him, and my mom is in the kitchen washing glasses for some reason. She’s all packed and so is Aidan, except for things like electronics, which are currently charging, medications that need to be taken in the morning, and toiletries which will be used in the morning. But tomorrow this time, we’ll all be in Orlando chilling. So excited! :) I don’t know how we’re all managing to act so calm….

Anyway, that’s all for now. Till next time! :)

I received free products from Dress United and Snugg in exchange for my honest and unbiased reviews.


Well, It’s Been A Week

A Day at Shedd Aquarium

It’s been a long time since I’ve updated. I’m sorry. I’ve been busy or unmotivated or a combination of both. And I’ve been sick. Since April 5. Coughing all night, not sleeping well because of the coughing. Sneezing, sniffling. Stuffy head. It’s the cold that keeps on hanging on. Or, I’d be ready to update and something completely messed up would happen and I’d feel like it wasn’t appropriate for me to blog about how everyone complimented me on my awesome yoga pants over the weekend when more serious things were happening in the world.

And I did wear a lot of cute yoga pants the weekend of April 12–14. I was working and attending workshops led by Ashley Turner, who is an urban priestess and amazing. And she has beautiful blue eyes and can lead a hell of an asana practice. My butt was sufficiently kicked. And something stirred in me…the thought of being a priestess is very appealing to me. But it would take a lot of work and time…and I’m just finishing yoga teacher training, so I am not sure if I’m ready to delve into another yearlong journey of self-discovery just yet.

We all know how last week went. I don’t even think I need to go over it, but I will anyway, because it was something else.

April 15. I paid my taxes, and let out a happy sigh of relief that that was over for another year, then heard about what happened at the Boston Marathon. And all of the stuff attached to it, culminating in the showdown of sorts on Friday, April 19. I was scared for Boston but couldn’t help but think of those people who live that way every single day.

Flooding. We’ve been having way too much rain in Chicago lately, and there was some bad flooding. Adam and I were lucky enough not be affected by the floods, sink holes, and geysers, but a lot of people weren’t so fortunate. And the rain just won’t let up, and now, at writing time (11:58pm), snow is forecasted as well. :(

I don’t mean to make this about me, but I’m going to make it about me for a bit. My friends all over the country are posting their photos of them out in the sun, their blossoming trees, and wearing sundresses. Today? I was in a winter coat and boots. It’s been “spring” for over a month now but you really wouldn’t know it. It’s just as grey and bleak outside as ever… we did have the window open on Sunday to air the place out a bit. It was still cold (for me) but a lot of people took advantage of the low 60F temps to play outside and wear shorts and things. 60F for me is still coat, sweater, and jeans weather.

Explosion in Texas. Yeah. I can’t even imagine–going to work like any other day, and never coming home. It’s like… OK. In Chicago, on our highways, there are these signs they display the number of traffic deaths so far this year. I think, as of today, the number is 287. Those signs creep me the hell out. People going off to one journey or another and never coming home. Adam said that I shouldn’t get so freaked out about it because millions of people drive on our highways. But seeing those signs, with those numbers… I wish they wouldn’t do it. Because every time I’m driving on that freeway, I wonder if I’m going to add to that statistic.

There has been so much death and it gets me thinking all deep and dark when I’m up late and can’t sleep. Yesterday morning, Adam found out one of his classmates passed away. I didn’t know her very well, but we were friendly. We met up in San Francisco and had brunch back in 2007. She had such a kind heart. And now she’s gone and she was our peer and it’s just now really hitting me. I know that at some point in your life, your friends leave you, but I didn’t expect it to start happening while I’m in my 30s.

Katy and Me
RIP pretty girl. :(

And then there is the beginning of life. On Friday, my cousin Mazayron had a baby girl. She’s beautiful and has a really cool name: Kimber. And my Facebook feed is clogged with photos of adorable babies in all stages of chubbiness and newness.

And I’m sitting here complaining about the effing weather.

Friday, I paid off my Disney World trip for June! Yea, my bank account is SUFFICIENTLY lighter now. Last week was an expensive week with that and with taxes. But it’ll be worth it. My mom is soooooo super excited and it’s adorable.

Also on Friday, I drove out to Naperville to meet Sarah Dessen again. You guys have no idea how much I adore this author and her books and how amazing she is with a crowd. I look up to her so much.

My favorite author @sdessen and me!!!! #sarahdessen #lilrongal

I first started reading her books either in 2004 or 2005. I used to start my day by her daily blog posts. I never thought I’d get to meet her, and now I’ve been blessed enough to meet her three times.

One of my favorite actors is in town filming a movie, and it’s kind of driving me mad that he’s so close yet so far away. I have no idea how to go about tracking down a movie star and frankly, I’m too lazy to do so anyway, so I just hope that I run into him and his co-stars when I’m walking down the street or something. I have until July to make this happen.

Not that I’ll have time for movie star stalking anyway. Because I was offered a job with Rainbow Educational Concepts and I accepted. I’d been freelancing for them on and off for a few years now, and they realized they needed help in their Chicago office. It’s a “term of project” job, for a year, we’ll decide where to go after that. It’s basically a yearlong temp job, which I’m perfectly fine with. It’s educational publishing–you guys know how much I love that. I’m just a bit weirded out about going into an office again, and working 9–5 and being up like normal people. I’m going to be drinking a lot of tea to get back acclimated to normal days again. It should be cool, though. Reverse commute, I can wear jeans in the office, and they’re pretty cool about all the time off I need in the next couple of months. I start May 1.

This Was My Saturday Afternoon #homework #yogateachertraining #yoga

Saturday, I turned in the rest of my work for yoga teacher training. A paper on Urdhva Dhanurasana (was supposed to be 3–5 pages, mine ended up being 9), my thesis, book reviews, study questions, and private lesson write ups. I attended a backbending thesis workshop at the end of May, and here I am doing a kick ass Urdhva Dhanurasana:

Back bending like a boss. :)

Now that all my yoga teacher training work is DONE, FINITE, COMPLETED, I can commence my Twilight movie marathon. Don’t hate. It’s some mindless fun to celebrate all the work I’ve done over the past year.

The last two Tuesdays, an actor from the show I love, Golden Boy, has been live tweeting with fans during the show. It’s so cool because she tries to interact with everyone who tweets to her. I’ve been having a lot of fun with that. She seems to be having fun, too. And yesterday, I was an extra in a video for a web series. It was probably the easiest video shoot I’ll ever be on in my life. I had fun!

Tomorrow and Thursday, I’ll be working at VSA, and Friday evening I have a dinner at Daren’s loft. Saturday is Girl Time For Girls, which means manis and pedis with my friend Missy, and Sunday evening, I have some stuff to do at Moksha. So… I plan to use Monday and Tuesday of next week to just… enjoy. Relax, maybe get a massage or something to psyche myself up for being a part of the 9-5 crowd again.

So, the past several days has been up and down for me. But, I keep trucking.

In the meantime, I need to get to bed. I’m already going to be hitting the coffee machine once I get there, but maybe just for cocoa. (Although I’ve been craving fancy coffee drinks lately–WTF has Starbucks done to me?)

Till next time….

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In My Yoga Life

Me Doing Mermaid Pose
I haven’t posted much about yoga lately. One might think I haven’t been doing much. You’d be sort of right. When it’s very cold outside (like now, it’s a balmy 12F), I have no interest in leaving my bed, let alone my house. But there are some days I have things to do, so I dress in layers and do it.

Have I mentioned that I hate winter?

Teacher training ramped back up in January with my therapeutics apprenticeship with Gabriel Halpern. Gabriel’s an interesting teacher and he has an interesting style that I’m not used to seeing in the yoga world. He’s definitely of the “tough love” school, but the main underlying thing there is the love. There is also chocolate. Lots of chocolate.

We had two days of orientation, where we went through all the different poses we’d be working on with our students.

Yoga Teacher Training: Customized Yoga Apprenticeship Orientation
gabriel uses jaylen to demonstrate a pose to us
Yoga Teacher Training: Customized Yoga Apprenticeship Orientation
graham dances with mr. skeleton
After the hips and knees orientation, where we practiced on each other, my hips were so open that I was able to comfortably get into Padmasana (Lotus Pose) for the first time since I was a little girl.

On January 17, I met my person and she is wonderful. I get to work with her every Thursday, showing her poses and making sure she feels OK. During the week, I keep in touch with her by sending her information and poses and dharma stuff.

In January, I also started my workshop management position. My first workshop was a doozy! It was a detox. I had to cut up fruit, heat up oil and put it into cups, make tea, tape the floor and set up mats inside each taped rectangle, greet people, and then actually attend the workshop. WHICH WAS AMAZING.

The first time I did a detox was in the fall of 2010. It was fun but hard! There were definitely points where I fell into Child’s Pose. I just couldn’t do everything. But this last time? I told people that I’m either getting stronger or the detoxes are getting easier. I doubt that Amber is making it easier. I think I’ve just gotten stronger.

In the middle of January, I taught my thesis workshop. I called it Your Yoga, and it was about being creative in your own yoga practice. I had five attendees, and I played music, led an asana practice (with a segment for the students to do their own thing–being creative!) and we talked about yoga. Most of the students were beginners, so it was fun to tell them about what yoga IS and how it can relate to their lives and change their lives.

Tonight, I head out to work and attend the Shatki Gong Healing given by The Starnes Sisters. I went to one in the fall and LOVED it. Also, I love their fashion sense. It’s fabulous.

I still have non-contact stuff to do for teacher training. I’ve got to write up my thesis, do my book reviews, teach one more private lesson (free–any takers?), do a write up about the private lessons, and decide on a final exam. I also need to attend more workshops and special events–but being a workshop manager makes that quite easy for me. :)

So, that’s my yoga life for now. ‘Til next time!


Ten Days In….

Modeling the Cartoon Bag

Like my new bag? I got it from Jump From Paper. I love it.

I thought that October was going to be my crazy month, but it’s November that’s nuts! I haven’t had a full pajama day all month. OK, it’s only just ten days in, so not that big of a deal, but still. Wild.

Things are sort of calming down. I have a workshop all weekend (had one session tonight, have two sessions tomorrow, one session Sunday morning), and I have my last yoga teacher training class and potluck Sunday night. That should be fun. I went to my last video review Monday, also attended a business course, and Thursday night, I had my last anatomy class.

Rotator Cuff Muscles in Anatomy Class
I will miss Ole Skelly.

Only ONE more intensive left. Anatomy of the Chakras with Tias Little. The intensives are hard for me. The days are very long (10am-530pm, with the exception of the last day, which is 10am-230pm), and the sheer amount of information pouring in is overwhelming and exhausting. But I like learning about the chakras, so it should be interesting. I’m thinking I’ll need to purchase a new notebook just for this intensive. OH DARN. What a sacrifice, having to buy a new notebook. ;)

I’m in the middle of my apprenticeship with Mia and with teaching my karma/community classes. I’m excited because Graham (a fellow trainee) is going to co-teach a few with me and THAT IS GOING TO BE SO MUCH FUN. I get so nervous before I teach and even while I am teaching. A lot of is ego–I’m scared they won’t like me or that they’ll think I’m a hack. Some of it is that I am genuinely worried I’ll hurt someone or cause them to get hurt and that scares me. But there is risk anytime there is physical activity and the students have signed a release. Doesn’t make it less scary, though. I have a couple of regular students, though, so that’s neat. I think teaching with Graham will help my nerves and also make the class light and happy.

We held an election party Tuesday night. It was a lot of fun, especially because Aidan was in town for the event! Adam made this delicious stew and the cornbread complemented it perfectly. Yummy. Adam’s trick is that he uses a tomato-based broth. I think that goes so well with the sweetness of the cornbread and it’s just darn tasty! The link to the recipe is here. Aidan chopped most of the veggies, which he LOVED. He also helped make the cornbread.

Just got paid, so I will deposit that money, and once things calm down, I will really jump into holiday shopping. I’ve already started shopping for my mom, and I got ideas for Aidan that I put into an Amazon wish list here. My wish list is here. :) Eee, I love buying presents! My favorite holiday season is almost here!!

But first, there will be Thanksgiving. I’m looking forward to it this year. We’re hosting Jeff and Deborah and hopefully our friend Jen as well. It’s going to be gooood. Turkey with all the trimmings, apple pie (there WILL be apple pie, the decision’s been made), good company, good times. So excited. Not only that, but teacher training stuff will have calmed down and all I’ll have is teaching and apprenticing for a while. It’ll be nice to be able to focus on the non-contact stuff for a while, like my thesis, book reviews, write-ups, etc.

But for now, I’m busy. But I’m blessed. And therefore, I’m happy.

Pretty Girl

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