Sunday, January 24, 2010

Belly buddha shirt

Last week I treated myself to this cute Om Girl tank top in purple. Buddha has a little bling bling belly jewel. Can't help but smile wearing this shirt for yoga.

The end in the beginning

The rooms are for the most part bare, save for the essentials we'll need to get us through the last week in this apartment. It's all making me a bit nostalgic. Five years ago Jonathan and I moved in together. Five long years ago when I still had a mommy and another brother, and JL wasn't even my fiance. What a amazingly bittersweet five years.

Chance says I shouldn't be sad about the empty rooms because it's just leading to the next step in my life. A house. Maybe a family down the road. So while I'm sad to leave, I'm also excited to think what's in store. Just like I was excited to move into this place. The end here is really just the beginning. (And if you're a Bones fan, you'll get the title reference.)

Sidenote: Listening to Florence + The Machine's Cosmic Love. Loving this song!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Teaching yoga, class 2

Second class, group B today. The class was so full that I had to give up my spot and just walk around and do poses where ever as I said them. I think at one point, each of my hands and feet were on different mats. Thank goodness for flexible yogis who are comfortable enough for me to do that. I wasn't as nervous this class. In fact, it was such a rush to spread what is such a joyful experience for me. I even had it together enough to play Krishna Das on my iPhone from my Pandora app during savasana. What conference room? It's now a bona fide yoga studio. Okay, maybe not, but I did convince building operations to move out a unused bookshelf and filing cabinet so I could fit in some more yogis. Hoping I can fit in 6 more. Never knew that I would start out teaching 15 students in a class.

Now if only I could convince my company to give me a budget to buy props for restorative poses. How lovely would be to relax back into supta baddha konasana in the middle of your work day? Like chocolate.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Teaching yoga, class 1

You wouldn't believe how nervous I was to teach yoga. (Even had to do a headstand to ground myself before class.) It put the fear of yoga in my heart, which happened to probably be a good thing as most of my work yogis are beginners and as limber as a plank of wood. I even got the question "How long does it take 'til I get limber? And it made me recall my "beginner mindset," where I didn't know what the hell the teacher was saying to do or how to breathe. As a beginner yogi, you're lost. Your mind is chaotic and screaming, "Why Am I Doing This?!" Or: "How the hell do I: breathe in this pose or do what the teacher is doing, or I can't keep up."

It doesn't sound like it, but that chaos is a beautiful thing. A beautiful journey with an unknown destination. I'm hoping each of my yogis can appreciate the journey and find a love, peace, joy, and compassion like I've found. I don't except all of them will, and many will have Great Expectations to master poses in no time at all. If only we could get rid of the time element, then we would cease to worry about how long something takes to "master." We'd be there to experience the present moment as it comes in us in whatever package.

But as a teacher, I was just as lost as a new student. Internally I was trying to recall the lesson plan I had put together. I had hoped to deliver words of wisdom that have helped guide me to a deeper meaning in my practice. If I delivered any words of wisdom, I can't remember because amazingly enough, my nervous, chaotic brain was in the present moment just as much as my new yogis. We're new yogis together where we're learning from each other. They're practicing poses, and I'm practicing teaching. Both students.

Is it my calling? Too soon to tell, but I walked away just as uplifted. Can't wait for Friday's class.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Who will make me this bed?

Who will come forth and wield their tools to make me this bed? It's a Pottery Barn bed that cost $1500 that quickly become my inspiration room that you can read all about here. When I told Jonathan, he said, "Well, that sounds like a good deal."

"That doesn't include mattresses, honey." (Guys don't know these things.)

"Oh, well, that's a horrible deal."

My point exactly. Let me know if you see another less-expensive, already made version. Or if you want to volunteer your labor. I'm serious.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The bedroom paint color

Sherwin-Williams has a clever color visualizer tool that I've been playing around with trying to pick the perfect color for our bedroom. You have the option to upload your own photo, but because we obviously aren't in our house yet, I've just been using one their templates to imagine wall colors.

At first I thought we'd go toward green, and thought I had a color we might even go so far as to do a test patch on the wall when the time comes, but once I put in a paint color that would be similar to how our trim would be painted, the green became a bad choice. I know I could repaint the trim, but I think for now, we'll start small. So I tried a blue. And the name says it all: I give you "meditative."

Yes? No? Maybe so?

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Getting in the flow (of yoga)

I started off yoga in a very anatomy/alignment based, no-flow Iyengar class. I was hooked. My teacher was...not as understanding of anatomical obstacles as I found out she should have been or could have been. With my tight shoulders and lats, she'd put a belt around my arms in Down Dog and a blanket under my arms when we were lying in Corpse pose with our hands stretched overhead. Her advice for my upper body limitations: a flatter pillow at night and practicing Down Dog for 5 minutes at a time. I loved her because she taught me the basics of alignment that I really haven't gotten as in-depth since. I loved her because she is who ultimately made me go looking for more yoga (the class was only once a week) and closer to work (I had to travel 45 minutes to get there).

Enter Darling Yoga. Initially I got a two week pass. Went about everyday until the pass was up. And then nothing. I decided I couldn't afford it or thought, how I could possibly fit yoga into my schedule like that. And all the bad things that yoga was "curing" in me—sciatica, muscle spasticity (thanks MS! you're the best!), and just general aches and pains from sitting at the computer all day—came back. Not to mention I was weaker and felt unhealthy.

So I made the decision. It was do or die—or rather kill this body that's a ticking time bomb. I bought a yearly unlimited pass. It was the best thing I ever did in my life, next to marrying my husband.

Flow was new to me. And forget about breathing. I didn't understand "on an inhale, look up, exhale fold." I was huffing and puffing like a train, until one day, something happened. I started focusing on my breath instead of the pose. (One of my favorite teachers always says: Hold the pose, not your breath.)

For me yoga is happening in phases: 1. Alignment, 2. Learning the asanas and flowing, and 3. Breathing. I would say the phase I'm in right now is Going Outside My Comfort Zone and Practicing Crazy Beautiful Poses Incorporated with Flow.

Yoga takes time. Until then, go with the flow. (Pun intended. Wink.)

Friday, January 15, 2010

Dream bedroom?

Well, okay, maybe not my dream bedroom because we all know our dream bedrooms are made out of 24-karat gold and come with highest thread count sheets money can buy and a personal, 24/7 masseuse. But I digress. I saw this image on Young House Love (go there. love it!), and I immediately thought: That's what I want to go after for my dream bedroom. Dark woods, clean (almost beachy?) colors and white. Lots of white.

The sea green wall colors seem a little too sea to me and tone down the plant life, but this is a step in the right direction. I've been getting the question: What color is your bedroom going to be? What colors do you want your quilt to be? Okay, the last question I only get from my super talented and way too genorous sister who makes fabulous (read: not old lady) quilts. She's a quilter (There, Chance, I said it. It's official. You're a quilter. You heard it here first.) and fast on her way to being a seamstress. (It pays to be part of my family.)

Hmm. I think I just might have to start looking at paint samples. Oh joy!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Free fonts

If you're on the lookout for some free fonts or in love with typography like I am, Web Design Ledger has some great links to free fonts. Really loving Sansation below.

Legal holdup

My yoga classes that I'm teaching were supposed to begin this week, but it got held up by legal. Seems so unyogi like. Legal and yoga. I finally got the much-needed and very complicated waiver (not!), so classes will begin next week. In the meantime, I'm hosting instructional meetings to tell my new yogis (I have around 50 now) just exactly we'll be doing: whatever I plan and think of. I'll be working from a class plan for now that I've prepared in advanced. (No wonder my sister always complains about lesson plans. They take forever. Good thing I didn't become a school teacher.) Eventually, I'd like to just go with whatever I feel like doing in class. But just like practice takes, um, practice, teaching takes planning and practice. Until then, just going to enjoy this new journey and hope it leads me down a great path of fulfillment.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Forgotten treasure

The best thing about packing for a move is that you rediscover little forgotten treasures you had put away for safekeeping. I found this poem my mom had wrote:

The Sun is Always Shining
It's often easy to forget, on dark and cloudy days,
That the sun is always shining though we may not feel its rays

We often think we're limited to what our eyes can see,
Forgetting that there's so much more to our reality.

But through faith we reach a higher plane,
With hope we carry on,
Confident the night will pass
And soon we'll see the dawn

For the sun is always shining
Just above the cloudy haze
And in our hearts we know that soon its warmth will fill our days

You brighten life for many by the thoughtfulness you show,
Your words encourage someone else more often than you know

So now when you might need it most,
May you find returned to you
The warm support of others
Til your days are brighter, too

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Knitters bag

I think this is a cute bag without being a knitting bag. Bind off the areas holding the needles and add a cool button, and presto! It's going on the list of knittin' projects. The list is getting rather long.

Knitting Needle Bag

Friday, January 8, 2010

I have a new job

as a yoga instructor. It's not a paying gig, but sometimes the best jobs are those you don't get paid for. No expectations and no limits. And I heart yoga. I'm not kidding about loving it. I daydream yoga poses and sequences.

How? Where, you ask?

The publishing company I work for is pretty lame when it comes to activities. We have an activities committee, but it's ambitions lie in volunteer opportunities. It's a great ambition, but when your company has undergone a pay cut and suspended raises, the last thing you want to do is be constantly reminded to volunteer or donate—unless you can raise morale in some other way. My solution: let me teach yoga to co-workers. The idea was well-received with me heading up the effort.

With the start of the new year, it was the perfect time to align resolutions with opportunity. I designed a sign-up flyer and sent the email. I hoped to get 10 or 12 people. Try 45. On the first day!

What was one class over lunch on Mondays became two classes over lunch on Mondays and Fridays, and I'm thinking about adding a third class in case I can't fit 20 people in the conference room and to accommodate those signees who want to take it twice a week. (I might have to petition the company with a dedicated yoga room.)

In one day, I went from magazine editor to magazine editor and yoga instructor with 45 students. Most of my students are new, so I'll get to witness that beautiful beginners mentality. Now, to piece together my first sequence...

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Back to vests?

I loved vests when I was child. Apparently they're coming back. Love this one I found on Scribd (my new place to find free patterns). Hate the color the model is wearing, but like the idea of dressing up a t-shirt.

Tia knit

Monday, January 4, 2010

I wish I could say

I had more to write and that the new year has motivated me. And that having last week off refueled and energized me. I wish I could say that I was excited to go back to work. To be revved up about packing. About the knitting I've assigned myself. The designs I've assigned myself (or asked for). The yoga I need to get back into the daily habit of doing. (I was down to two classes a week. Eek!) Christmas came and went, and 2010 showed up at the door with a beautiful blue moon. I got some great presents, cash for appliances, some ribbon, some tunes, and some shows. And time off. Who could forget the time off.

But it did little in the ways of motivation. Of refueling. Monday came. And it was THE SAME JOB I ran away from screaming the week before. Time did little in the ways of changing the boss. Dammit. I had such high expectations.

And the house, you ask? Well, someone wished for snow and it hasn't let up since. Neither have the below freezing temperatures. I don't expect we'll make the January 29th deadline or our contracted February 15th deadline. Until then, JL will be living at his in laws while I crash on my sis in law's couch in the city so as to avoid a long ass commute on top of 10-hour work days when we must say adieu to the apartment we've called home for 5 years on the 29th. (They don't do month to month leases. Those bastards.)

On the bright side: 2010 promises to be a great year for Pisceans for you astrology buffs out there, and I'm almost done packing.

So dear charming readers, if I don't post much in the coming weeks, just know I'm working my tail feathers off packing, knitting, designing, and just surviving. And you're in for some awesome posts.