Monday, January 28, 2013

being bold I love you.  I leave you for a few days and when we reconvene, I overindulge.  (Sometimes, not every time.  Yet, in the case of yesterday, yes, I did.)  Keep in mind, I had four days off too, to recover from a basic cold.  Yoga enabled me a quick recovery and return to my love of wine.
I met a friend for wine after my yoga class.  I knew we would be checking out an eatery and so my lunch post yoga was minimal.   I knew that I needed to eat after the class but wanted to have an appetite as well.  We had a few glasses of wine at Carlsbad before checking out a new place.  Two glasses of wine later and food was re-introduced into my diet.  I shared part of the charcuterie, soup and mussels.  I insisted on the shisito peppers, too. When I think back on what I actually ate, it was small.  In no way did it sustain a meal.  I continued to drink wine and acted like a jackass in the continuing hours.  Shocking, I know?!?
This morning, I reconsidered.  Why did I act like a jackass?  Well, mostly, due to the lack of food and massive intake of wine.  Yes, I like my wine.  Today, I desperately wanted to stay in bed and languish in my hangover.  Still, i had a yoga challenge to contend with, a lunch date pre-arranged and a wine event to attend.  By the time I met Danny for lunch, I felt fantastic.  This yoga challenge has been unreal.  I feel numerous positive effects on a daily basis.
I have a notecard on my mirror.  It reminds me to be present daily. To thrive, be happy, love.  To do something that I normally wouldn't consider.  To risk.
Yesterday, I wanted to live out some of the notecard sayings.  To be bold.  Powerful.  Free.
Nice in theory, scary in execution and irrelevant when it is done. It doesn't matter what the action is.  Only that it is unique to me and my livelihood.  I am free.  Liberated.  Happy.
I hope you have enjoyed Monday as well.  I have an early morning class.  Followed by yoga #23 and then wine tasting.  I do love Tuesdays.  Be bold, beautiful and happy~

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Happy Sunday

Sending love, joy and peace out today.  Happy Sunday!
Mostly, as I have a day off and I intend to celebrate life.  I will start with my 21st consecutive yoga class.  Yes, 21st day in a row.  I feel fantastic.  No more cold and I feel bendy.  I really must decide what it the best option for me after my package is used up.  Do I seek out the unlimited package or purchase another 50 class option?  I want to continue the practice of yoga on a daily basis or to some degree of it.
After yoga, I hope to enjoy a typical Sunday as a civilian.  I do not work today (eureka!).  I want to go to brunch or have a leisurely lunch.  I prepared by mentioning it to my hiking friend.  He, too, enjoys wine and so if I could meet him post-class that would be excellent.  Which place though?
There is a new eatery that I would love to check out.  The downside is that it is only open at night.  I prefer day drinking.  Or, there is a place in Carefree that I have been hoping to check out.  The drive, though, in that case is the limiting factor.  My class goes until 1 pm.  A post yoga shower is mandatory and then the drive up north eats time as well.  Maybe I should reconsider my sunday funday options.
All, I know, for certain, is that I am not working today.  I am going to enjoy today fully.  I love this photo, too. It was one of my favorite spots on my around the world adventure.  Isla de Corazon.  Enjoy!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

continuing the practice

Congested.  Snotty.  Miserable.  Three words to describe how I feel. I pray that my co-worker will work for me tonight so that I can get some rest.  I hate being sick and this morning, when I woke up, I was super annoyed with the current state of my well-being.  I have ingested two garlic cloves to help speed this along and there is still yoga at noon.  I am on this challenge and so yes, I am going.  I am going in spite of the current state.  I am not coughing.  I am congested.
Day #17, here I come.  I think some of my problem is lack of sleep.  I have been working, or at work, a lot, this past week.  Yoga has helped keep me centered, peaceful, calm.   I am super hydrated.  It's gotta be the sleep factor.  I want to take a day to myself and not worry about anything related to work.  I want to sleep.  Have a movie day of sorts.  I want to zone out.
I think that would be in my best interest.  A day of rest.
That thought was prior to my yoga class.  I went in, subdued.  I grabbed a box of kleenex and waited.  I silently prayed that I wouldn't start snotting all over the place.  I waited and forced myself to think positive thoughts and relax.  The class began and I had a little bit of a headache.  Still, I was committed to the class.  The instructor started a flow and I fell into sync.  I did not sneeze one time or need to use the kleenex.  I felt amazing.  I sweat out some of the crap that was stuck in my chest and left feeling energized.  Sure, I don't want to work tonight but I can.  I no longer feel miserable.  I will make it through the night and prosper.
After my class, I mentioned to the instructor that I enjoyed her sequence and she thanked me.  She continued to say that she would be teaching tomorrow.  Thankfully!  I am stoked.  The normal girl plays terrible music and runs the same routine.  I am over her sequence.
I do see several benefits of the yoga practice.  Namaste~

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Saturday thoughts

Yoga continues.  As previously noted, I wake up refreshed and looking forward to the next class.  Thankfully, the next few classes are being taught by my favorite instructors.  There are a few instructors that play shitty music or use the same routine every class they teach.  I want to be challenged and improve my overall practice.  Music is a huge part of the flow for me.  Country music does not inspire or motivate me to do yoga.  Instead, I mentally check out of the class, obsess about the amount of time left and despise the instructor.  I cannot help the last part of that.  I really get annoyed with her and her music selection.  I am hoping to catch her and mention that perhaps she could update her playlist and leave the country tunes out of it.  I want to be more assertive with my suggestions.  Direct and purposeful.
Today, the instructor is all over the place with her flow.  It's great as I never know what to expect.  Lots of balance, warrior poses or twists.  Her music is fine and she adjusts people which I also respect.  I want to improve my practice not just remain stagnant.  I love that she adjusts people.  Lately, there have been many new faces at the studio.  New year's resolutions?  Gotta be.  Anyways, it is in their best interest to be adjusted and shown how to do the pose.  They will advance in the practice and maybe, make a healthy lifestyle change.  That is what I am discovering this go around.  I want to go to yoga.  I am seriously considering upgrading to an unlimited package to continue the practice without feeling like I am being overcharged.  Although, last time, in Denver, when I had a monthly option, I got fed up with the studio's lack of regard for its full-time followers.  Meaning, I tired of fighting for mat space.  They wouldn't cap the class size and practicing yoga with 70+ other people grew tiresome.  I have space issues, I suppose.  And, paying $120 a month to be frustrated with the class size did not ease up.  Eventually, I canceled my membership to pursue other studios.
I am a little concerned with what a monthly membership will be in Phoenix.  More of the same--class size issues, boredom, even the drive to and from the studio.  I looked into one of their other locations that would be closer to my house.  However, that studio doesn't offer the vinyasa flow classes.  Only the bikram style that I do not love or seek out.  I must consider all factors before committing to a monthly membership.  I don't want to foolishly engage in a financial commitment that forces me to pay $30 a class for my lack of attending classes.
I do have time and options.  And, the challenge continues.  Day 13 today.  Cannot wait to see what Molli has in store for us.  Til then, namaste`

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Day #10

Today marks the tenth consecutive day of yoga.  Mostly flow classes and one more traditional bikram style.  Due to scheduling that was my best option.  And, I like the instructor of the bikram style class.  She has a great music selection and from the classes of hers I've taken, she always gives a story to accompany the class.  Fulfilling the spiritual side of the practice that I enjoy.
Over the last ten days, I have noticed how much water I am drinking.  Nonstop water or gatorade.  It is necessary, though, as I have felt dehydrated/dizzy on a few occasions.  Last Thursday, at work, I experienced a little unease while trying to bartend.  My counterpart took a break before I clocked out and I forced myself to drink club soda with salt.  I could tell that my electrolytes were depleted.  I didn't want to do a repeat performance of the face plant....especially, at work.
Yesterday, I had a definite headache during the class which extended into my evening.  It's odd. I cannot consume enough to sustain the constant yoga cleansing factor.  Maybe I am deficient in potassium or magnesium?  It has been suggested to me in the past.
I can see the benefits of the 30 day challenge.  I wake up, alert, and excited to go practice yoga.  My skin is nourished.  I almost did the handstand yesterday and the dolphin pose is improving, too.  As I start to fall, I land in a way that is natural and not a thud.  I guess, I realize that I don't collapse/crash when attempting inversion poses.  I am building confidence in the practice and it feels fantastic.  My only concern, now, is what do I do when the challenge is over?  Should I purchase a 6 month unlimited package?  Check out a new studio and see what they have to offer?  Consider teacher training?  What is it that I truly wish to gain from yoga?
I am discovering styles that I like.  Transitions during classes that make sense and I envision myself incorporating into a class that I would like to teach.  If I do want to eventually become a yoga instructor.
I cannot wait to complete day #10.  Enjoy your Wednesday and however you benefit from today~

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Happy thoughts

Just a reminder for myself.  It is always excellent to linger on the beach, reflect on life and discover more possibility in life.  Happy Saturday.
I am off to complete day #6 of the yoga challenge.  Yes, I am ready!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Current thoughts

Happy Thursday!  Although, I haven't physically been scheduled to work since Sunday, I have made a daily appearance since then.  Scheduling, orders and a meeting kept me in the loop.  Yoga has kept me centered and I did receive a full body massage on Tuesday.  My studio contacted me about my feelings regarding their studio.  Initially, I thought about recounting the experience.  How I was frustrated with the 69 minute massage instead of 80.  Before I hit send, I reconsidered.  I should have addressed it at the studio.  It would have been uncomfortable, for me, and for the therapist involved.  Yet, it wasn't the first time a massage has been cut short.  Typically, five minutes.  Still, those are five minutes that I am paying for and so yes, I believe, I deserve those five minutes.
Regardless, I didn't hit send. I knew that they would, most likely, take it out on my therapist.  I like her and would prefer having her as my therapist for the remainder of my stockpiled massages.  I just won't make the mistake of upgrading to another 80 minute massage.  I do think, it is in their practice, to shorten massages.  As noted, I have been jipped five minutes on other occasions.  Not with other studios or therapists--just this one.  I asked my aunt about it, once, as she is a massage therapist.  She said, that, yes, sometimes, it does happen.  It enables a little more time to collect your things and have the therapist clean the space for the next client.  Eleven minutes seems excessive to me.
I think about how it is much easier to handle the situation when it is occurring. Maybe they have an alternate reason for why they cut massages short.  If it happens, again, I will ask in the moment.  It feels easier to hide behind a computer generated message.  I do like Brittney and I don't want to find yet another therapist in their studio.
Outside of that, I am calm.  Peaceful, even.  The work meeting went well and then I had drinks with Justin.  We visited some bartenders that frequent our place.  I got the tail end of the KU game.  What a great game. I watched it, knowing, that momentum had changed with the beginning of overtime.  Exciting!
I drove home and found my new glasses had arrived. I need to choose which frame suits me best.  I hope to get Jan's opinion on that, too.  I selected five frames and hope to make a decision by the weekend.  I need new glasses.  My prescription ends in February.  Of course, I could buy new glasses in Denver.  I always love spontaneous trips home.  However, I am committed to the yoga challenge which will render me unable to travel til February 5th.
Til then, namaste~

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Is this normal?

Made it through yoga class #2.  I feel incredible.  Well, and I scheduled a massage for the afternoon.  Always a bonus.
First, though, I went into work and did some paperwork.  Short, sweet and still able to make it to my prearranged massage.  And, they called me to let me know that if I still wanted the 80 minute massage, they would be able to do it.  My therapist's appointment after mine, canceled, which freed her up.
Excellent.  Even better.  I arrive, use the facility, and wait.  She ushers me back to the room at 4 and inquiries about my reasons for having a massage.  Did I only want to relax?  Were my quads tight?  Did I prefer her finishing with my ears/face?  General questions that would enable a positive experience for me.  In the past, at this studio, I have had issues with some of the therapists.  I waiver, back and forth, with whether or not it is worth the frustration to have a membership to this business.
Still, I have continued, because I am too lazy to find a new therapist.  I like Brittney, I do.  Today, though, after scheduling an 80 minute massage which means I would be finishing the massage at 5:20, I was irritated when she finished at 5:09. I know because I looked at my cell phone.  In the past, I have had a 55 minute massage that finishes 5 minutes early.  I guess I had it in the back of my head that time would be a factor.  And, it was.  Immediately, I am annoyed and so I know it was reflected in my demeanor.  I tipped Brittney and made my way to the desk.  I owed more money since I had upgraded to an 80, I mean, 70 minute massage.  I paid thirty extra dollars for fifteen minutes.  That is what is super annoying to me.  I don't mind paying for services rendered but I expect the full amount of promised time.
Am I being ridiculous?  Is this customary?  To offer a massage for 60 minutes and cut out at 55?  Or 80 minutes and receive 70?  I am seriously considering cutting my ties with this studio as it is the only place that, consistently, I am jipped on my time.  I think I have two or three massages stockpiled.  I guess this will be a nice month for massages.  If you have suggestions of therapists/studios, in the valley, let me know.

Day #2

30 day (or 28 day, in my case) has begun.  I worked, all weekend, and lamented that the studio did not have 6 a.m. or 6 p.m. classes available.  Yet, I knew, I still had the option of beginning the challenge on Monday.  I had prearranged a hiking date.  I was offered another hiking option, too.  I considered skipping the hike and focusing on the yoga challenge.  Still, I woke up and drove over to my friend's house.  I had no idea if he was still interested in the hike or not.  I knew that he liked watching football which included day drinking, possibly, night drinking.  Instead of texting him and finding out that he was out, I drove over.
Yes, he had had a long day of drinking.  There is a distinct smell of whiskey that lingers.  I didn't want to comment on it, but, wow, I was a little overwhelmed while driving to the trailhead.
The hike was challenging.  We both were feeling the effects of our lack of training and his Sunday activities.  We made it to the top and I felt amazing.  The hike down was easy and after I dropped him off at his car,I headed to the yoga studio.  A little unprepared as I had failed to wash my yoga towel and my pants were bothering me, too.  The instructor demanded attention and I braced myself for whatever he dished out for the next 60 minutes.  Yes, there was a stretch of time where I wanted to curl up and die.  Not going to lie.  I felt a charlie horse in my foot and later in my hips.  It was terrible.  I lamented my lack of hydration and tried to breathe through it.  I silently began cursing the guy too.  Like, wtf, dude....let's move on to the next pose.
I bought some wine for my afternoon meetup and took a much needed nap.  The siesta was glorious.  Kristina picked me and we headed to Chandler.  Our friend, Danny, and her fiancee just relocated to that area of town and we had been invited over for dinner.  Very sweet of her to host us.
We started with cava, followed by a petite petit blend and finally, a cotes du rhone blend.  She had crostini with salami, brie and hummos.  She had purchased a crock pot, recently, to make us one of her favorite stews.  She called her dad and asked for the recipe.  What he failed to tell her was that the stew took 10 hours to cook on low heat.  Well, she didn't have 10 hours and so she increased the heat and hoped for the best.  Honestly, it was tasty and hearty.  Reminded me of midwest meals and it was a nice change.
We watched a movie and had a truly, lovely evening.  I slept incredibly well and woke up with the knowledge that I would be heading to yoga to complete day 2 of my challenge.  I might get a massage too.  I don't know.  I am lazy today and I want to work on my health and wellness.  My co-workers continue to pass sickness around and so I want to be as healthy as possible.
Onward to yoga and the beginnings of a beautiful Tuesday~

Thursday, January 3, 2013


I wore my glasses to yoga yesterday.  For a couple of reasons.  I was dehydrated and foresaw my right contact giving me grief.  Typically, when I am in that state of dehydration, my contact rolls behind my eye.  It's annoying and the drive home is challenging.  Basically, I am unable to see.
The other reason was to ensure that I wouldn't be so critical with how I look while doing the positions.  It's hard not to compare yourself to others when surrounded by mirrors.  It's reassuring to look at the person in front, beside of behind you to see if you are, in fact, attempting, the correct posture.  In yoga, they tell you to not judge anyone or compare yourself to others.  The main objective is to focus on breathing.
Anyways, I couldn't see to compare myself to others.  I could barely see myself in the mirror in front of me.  I saw shapes and forms.  That is all.  It brought about a touch of peace.  Midway through the class, after numerous salutations and chatarangas, we moved onto the balancing sequence.  We set up for the handstand prep and the instructor came behind me and said, "Harmony, today, is your day, to do the handstand."
She assisted me and upside down I went.  I started sweating bullets, seriously, as I was in a position that I normally do not attempt.  I thought, at one point, that I might falter and do a face plant.  That would be a wonderful way to begin 2013.
I didn't fall and afterwards, I felt, incredible.  I finished the class and grabbed my belongings to head out.  The instructor approached me and wanted to make sure that it was okay that she pushed me to the next level of the practice.  She started with, "I've been thinking about you all week and how you should be doing the handstand.  Is it okay that I made you my handstand guinea pig?"
I told her that I was interested in improving my practice.  I plan on doing the 30 day challenge and know that, as a result, I will be doing the handstand in a few weeks if not sooner.  I am stoked.
I have always enjoyed yoga.  I found the spiritual side of it while living in Arizona the first time.  I embraced the physical practice in Denver.  This year, I want to incorporate more fully into my life.  I can hike, run, cycle and practice yoga at the same time.  I should do all of those activities in addition to yoga.  I think it would keep me centered, focused, healthy.
The 30 day challenge begins Saturday.  Due to my schedule, I won't be starting it til Monday. I wish this studio offered an either 6 a.m. Saturday class or a 5:30 pm class on the weekends.  That would be ideal.
I guess this is my first resolution of 2013--to achieve the handstand in yoga.  I will do it and my practice will be enhanced as a result.
Outside of that one, I want to be kind and decrease my road ragey attitude.  I am in full gear while driving the streets of Phoenix.  I suppose i get frustrated with inattentive drivers and I feel it is okay to let them know.  I get too worked up, though.  Yoga helps me relax.  Full circle to how beneficial yoga is for me.
I will achieve the handstand within 30 days.  Other resolutions will follow when I decide.  Til then, enjoy your day.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Thinking of my roots

This is a photo of my grandparents on their wedding day.  I was fortunate, enough, to scan a copy of this when we were putting together a commemorative dvd for my dad's 60th birthday.  I e-mailed my aunt's, uncle, siblings and stepmom hoping to create an array of photos from my dad's life.
This is one of my favorites of the photos I received.  I knew my grandfather.  I don't have many memories of him as I was three when he died.  I remember being tricked into taking a nap and then he and Michaela would sneak off while I napped.  My grandmother, on the other hand, took care of us during the summer vacations for a couple of weeks.  She let me drink coffee in a blue cup when I was a kid and made the best spaghetti.
She walked, daily, and led a peaceful life.  Always helping with church functions, attending service and writing her grandkids and I'm sure, children.  Faithfully, on my birthday and at christmas, I would receive a card and a cash gift.  She was honest, frugal and kind.  Her example of living inspired me to always take care of myself as she did.  I try to not live outside of my means and for the most part, I do.  Sometimes, I am extravagant and impulsive.  However, I always know, that I am responsible for myself.  Asking my parents for a loan is out of the question and it is not a possible solution.  I am capable and expected to take care of myself.
When I was a kid, sure, I didn't understand why all of my friends received allowance and I did not.  Now, I am grateful for my upbringing, my parents and my roots.
Cheers and enjoy your start to 2013~