All posts by Bandha Goddess

Twenty something. Full time massage therapist. Reiki Master. Aspiring yoga instructor. Marrying the woman of my dreams next Fall. I enjoy blogging, coffee, Netflix, reading, and social networking.

A Birthday Beach Bash For My Sweetheart & Further Fertility Testing For Me

On Friday, which was Alana’s birthday, we jumped into two cars full of our friends and we headed to the beach.  Three of the girls were her friends, and two were mine.  We listened to Pandora the whole way up there, singing loudly and being silly.  We were stoked to not be working and to have a long, full day ahead of us at the beach.

  The weather was perfect! We snuck some sangria onto the beach with us.  Rita and Natalie, two friends that I work with and I took a long, long walk on the beach.  Natalie and I did some yoga.  The seven of us listened to music, lay out in the sun, and hopped into the ocean from time to time.

  Two years ago on Alana’s birthday her and I went to the beach alone.  It was her first birthday that we were together as a couple.  We had an amazing time together.  I still remember that day as if it were yesterday and not over two years ago.

  To have returned this past Friday with five of our friends was a really cool feeling.  I joked that we’ve picked up “groupies” over the years.  Things are really just coming together.  And speaking of coming together…

  We heard back from my doctor about the day three fertility tests.  Apparently all my levels are in normal range! That was a load of relief for me to hear.  But now…they want to take a look at my tubes by putting a dye into my body.  Our insurance company would like to have that procedure done before giving us the referral to the fertility clinic in our area.

  I won’t lie, this HSG dye test has me a bit nervous.  There’s a chance it could be painful, and I feel even more nervous for these results than I did for the day three fertility results.

  I’m going to just breathe, and push through it all.  Until we actually sit down with a fertility clinic we won’t have an accurate picture of what it’s going to take to start a family together.  A whiny voice in my head sometimes says to me “all your straight friends don’t have to go through all of this to have a baby”, but I immediately quiet that voice whenever I hear it.  I’m not straight, and I do have to go through this.  Feeling sorry for myself isn’t going to solve any of this anxiety I have.

  Alana and I have finalized our wedding and reception details with our venue and that paperwork is getting finalized this week.  I also have reason to think that my yoga teacher certificate will arrive in the mail this week, and that’s extremely exciting! Even if there’s so much to be nervous about, there’s still a lot to be excited about.

  I’m just going to try to take it all one day at a time…

 Namaste.  I hope the weekend was as good to all of you as it was to us.

Tales of Fertility Testing, Engagement Photos, & Wide-Legged Forward Folds

  It happened.  The day has finally come. This morning I went to the laboratory before work and I had day three fertility testing done.

The fact that Alana and I are at this point seems somewhat surreal and crazy to me. We’ve been talking about starting a family for what seems like a very long time now. We’ve discussed the steps we would have to take in order to make that happen for well over a year. So the fact that step #1 was taken today has me in a mild state of disbelief! There’s definite excitement bubbling in the bottom of my belly, but it also still doesn’t seem quite real.

I won’t lie. I definitely have anxiety about the test results. Ever since I was young girl I’ve been harbouring a fear that I’m completely barren and that I won’t be able to conceive children. Even though I’m nervous for the results I’m happy that we are finally going to have them. I want to stop fearing that I won’t be able to give my future wife the kids we talk about having some day. I want that awful feeling of fear gone from my belly as well as my mind.

I’m just hoping that when we do hear back the results will be positive.

Alana and I have been talking with an engagement photographer this week. I’m super excited for us to have engagement photos taken sometime this Fall!

The lady doing the shoot for us is extremely professional. We haven’t scheduled a date to shoot the photos yet because she wants to see when the leaves are changing color this year. She wants the leaves to be perfect. She’s asked us to think about whether we’d like to incorporate any themes or props into our shoot, especially anything that’s important to us as a couple.

We decided we wanted one shot of our engagement rings, one of us drinking coffee out of mugs, and one of us with all seven Harry Potter books in it! That last one is totally geeky, but its undeniably us. After being engaged for fifteen months already I’m excited that engagement photos are finally happening for us!! =)

I’ve been wanting to change the banner picture on this blog lately so I asked Alana to take a picture of me in upavistha konasana (wide-legged forward fold). When she handed my phone back to me with the picture on it my jaw nearly hit the floor.

Wide Legged Forward Fold2

I took ballet for thirteen years and I’ve never been this close to being in a split before. I’ve never been anywhere near this close! The three yoga studios that I tend to practice yoga in either have no mirrors or just a few mirrors. In short…I don’t practice yoga in front of any mirrors! I don’t know what my poses look like, I only know what they feel like. I know I’ve gotten more flexible in the eleven months that I’ve been practicing yoga, but I didn’t know my wide-legged forward folds look like this!

Just yet another thing that goes to show how amazing yoga is and how much it changes your body, not just your mind, your soul, and your entire being.

I haven’t taken a yoga class in a week, which is unusual for me. I hardly ever go this long between practices anymore.

I’m going to go to hot yoga these next two mornings before work, and I know it’ll be great. 99% of the yoga classes I go to are great.

I’m going to throw myself into my practice these next few days and try to let go of fretting about the fertility test results.

There’s nothing I can do, and it’s all out of my hands. But I can push my hands into my yoga mat and breathe through it all.

Namaste.  I hope you’re all having a lovely week.


I JUST Booked Our Wedding Venue

It’s finally happened.  I’ve just booked our wedding venue.  My brain feels like it’s singing and my body feels like it’s humming.

We’ve been engaged for fifteen months! Alana got let go from a previous job the month after we got engaged, and we spent the following eleven months stressed and holding onto each other dearly.  Our engagement and our wedding got put on the back burner as she went on the journey of job searching, and I went on the journey of taking on a sole-provider role for the very first time in my life.

But things turned around for us this past Spring and now our wedding is no longer on the back burner! No, now I would say it’s very much right in front of us.

I’m so excited.  I’m so excited.  I’ve been dreaming of this day since I was a little girl.  I couldn’t think of a better person to meet at the altar.  There would be no better person.  If I don’t marry her, I won’t marry anyone.  She is the sun and the moon and I still find thankfulness almost every day that I found her.

This past weekend was fantastic.  Alana’s iPhone 4s has been badly cracked and beaten up for almost a year, and I bought her a 5s as an early birthday present .  She loves it, and I love making her happy.  =)

Iphones  We went out to Ruby Tuesday’s for a date before joining a bunch of friends for a sangria night.  On Sunday I went to an Indian food buffet with my friend Valerie, and then we saw the movie “Lucy” after that.

My heart feels like its bursting after booking our venue following such a good weekend! I have amazing friends and family…but now I’m about to start a family of my very own.

I couldn’t be more grateful.  I couldn’t be more thankful.

I hope this week is finding everyone as well and it’s finding me.  Namaste.

I Wish There Was A Written Guide To Same-Sex Parent Family Planning

I went to hot yoga on Tuesday morning before work, which is nothing new.  I always go to hot yoga on Tuesday mornings before work.  There are times I miss my Friday practices, and times I miss my Saturday practices….but never my Tuesday ones.  It’s like something in the universe calls my body to breathe, bow, and rise to greet the sun every Tuesday morning.

Anyway, class this Tuesday was more amazing than it usually was.  After the yin/yang class I took on Sunday the Baptiste power flow felt so dramatic and dynamic.  But in the best way possible.  My hamstrings feel more stretched out than they have in months, and I, just in general, feel more loose than I have in months.

I’m going to take N’s yoga class on Saturday morning.  She considers her yoga classes to be “restorative” yoga, so it’s quite different from both Baptiste power flow and yin yoga.  I have a feeling that I’m to feel blissed out after taking a third type of yoga for the week.

I’m starting to wonder if my “yoga lesson” for the Summer is to consistently take different types of yoga classes.  I’m still less than one full year into my yoga journey, so I’m still finding out what types suit me and what mixture of yoga classes allows me to feel my best.  It’s definitely one of the deepest journeys I’ve ever taken inside myself.  =)

Tomorrow morning I have an appointment with an OBGYN to discuss, well, getting a fertility test/getting a referral to the fertility center near us that offers LGBT family planning.  I’ve got so many little nerves and apprehensions making my body tingle right now just thinking about the appointment!

What if the doctor is against gay marriage? What if she is absolutely disgusted that I’m looking to find “the doctor for us” as we start the journey of starting our own family?

I can’t possibly be the first lesbian lady to have these fears.  I’m not even quite sure what to say to her when I first see her.

But I guess all I can do is show up tomorrow and just take it from there, yeah?

I wish there was a written guide to same-sex parent family planning.

Though I suppose the journey is going to be a lot more interesting without one, yeah?



Art Museum-Hopping And Yin/Yang Yoga Dates

Today Alana and I took a yin/yang yoga class at a yoga studio close to our home.  This was the first yoga class I’ve taken in over ten weeks that wasn’t hot yoga.  I normally take two hot yoga classes during the week and one restorative yoga class on Saturday mornings.  Because I’ve had to “adjust” five of those restorative yoga classes on Saturday mornings to complete my hours for yoga teacher training I haven’t actually taken the class since mid May.

I don’t think I realized just how long I was going without non hot yoga.  I was aware of it, of course, but I didn’t realize it was nearing the two month mark .  It honestly didn’t matter.  I was getting all that I needed to get out of yoga.  My practice was changing, I was experiencing new things, and I was challenging myself in new ways.  My body has gotten more flexible and stronger this summer.   I’m aware of the changes in so many ways, both inside and outside of my yoga practice.

The yin portion of class today was absolutely amazing.  It was such a change from the fast-paced power yoga I normally do in ninety-five degree heat.  I enjoyed holding poses for five minutes at a time, letting my body round and letting gravity push me to the Earth as I breathed and let go.  My friend Natalie met Alana and I for class and the energy around my practice was calm and comforting as the two of them practiced around my mat.

Alana and I went to D.C. with a few of her friends yesterday and we museum-hopped through different art and sculpture museums. It was nice to be out and about and I thoroughly enjoyed the art.

All in all it was an amazing weekend.  I’m not quite sure what the point of this post was.  Maybe it was just to say that yoga constantly amazes me, whether I’m doing it in heat or out of it.  Maybe it was to express wonder and gratitude that I’ve found an amazing woman who loves to trample around to art museums and take yoga classes with me.

Either way I hope you all have an amazing week.  Namaste.


What Am I So Afraid Of?

Last Saturday I adjusted my fifth yoga class for yoga teacher training.  We only had to adjust five classes before being given our teaching certificate, so as long as the director of the program approves the yoga class hours that I’ve sent her….I’m all done!! I’ll be mailed my certificate soon, and then I’ll be a certified yoga instructor!

There are currently two sets of married couples in my life who are asking me to start going to their houses to give them private yoga lessons.  The wives of one of the couples wants me to start private yoga lessons with them this Fall, and she also wants to see me for Reiki healing.

In the last month I’ve been offered several jobs teaching yoga through a second person contact! My childhood dance teacher called and told me she had spoken about me to a program director at her church, and the program director wanted to know if I would like to come teach child yoga there! A coworker ran up to me at work just Monday of this week and told me she had a friend in D.C. looking to hire a yoga instructor for a project next month, and her friend wanted to know if I was interested.

So many opportunities to teach yoga are at my fingertips.  So the question I ask myself is….why do I feel myself hesitant to take them?

The same could be said for my massage trade.  Every month I get text messages from someone in my life, be it my Mom, or my brother, or my best friend, or someone random, saying that a friend/coworker/uncle is looking for a massage therapist to come to their home.

I never take any initiative with all of these invitations that I constantly receive.  All year I told myself that as soon as I finish yoga teacher training I would buy a new massage/reiki table along with lotion, aromatherapy oils, yoga blocks and straps, etc, to get a side business going.  Have I been done with school for several months? Yes.  Have I done any of that? No.

So many people as me about Reiki.  So many people ask about yoga.  So many people ask if I offer massage outside of my job.

Why don’t I? I have so many gifts in my hands, and I keep them to myself.  I can feel the knowledge base and experience of these gifts strengthen in me over time.  My body gets stronger and stronger every month that I continue to practice hot yoga.  The concepts of deep breathing, tissue manipulation, inversions, and meditation take on a new meaning for me as time goes on.

Why don’t I share these gifts with the world? Why do I hold myself back?

I’m going to dedicate to rest of this Summer to finding out why I just can’t take this step.  Every time I practice yoga I will set my intention to find this truth.  I’m tired of holding myself back.  I’m tired of feeling like I’m not good enough.

It’s time to really throw myself out into the world, and see if I can make it.



Family Visits and Family Planning

My aunt and cousins flew in from Arizona last week, and this past weekend was absolutely amazing! There was a big family barbecue full of food, love, and laughter.  We went out to dinner Sunday night, and over to my Aunt’s condo last night.  Whenever they come into town every Summer we all kind of drop everything and spend as much time with them as we can.  I absolutely love it. I miss them during the year (they use to live here in Maryland with us) and family get togethers are always a blast.

Speaking of family…Alana and I have been talking a lot about our future family ever since we made that doctor’s appointment for me on August 1st.

We looked up more information on the fertility center near us that offers gay and lesbian family planning.  It turns out that they actually work with our insurance company! I called for more information and talked to a lady there for about five minutes.  I asked a lot of questions, and she was able to answer most of them.  She kept insisting that we make an appointment to come in and sit down and talk with them…and that’s exactly what we’re going to do! We need a referral from a doctor in our insurance company, so I plan on asking for one on August 1st, at my appointment.

I’ve been talking with a few friends about the journey of same-sex family planning that Alana and I are getting ready to embark on, and a coworker sent me a link to a YouTube channel.  The channel belongs to a married lesbian couple who are going through the process of starting their own family.  They post videos about the steps they are taking to start their family, their trials, their tribulations, their costs, their worries….

So I did more digging around, and talked more with my friend, and sure enough, many, many married lesbian couples have their own YouTube channels made for the purpose of sharing their family planning story.  I shared a few channels with Alana and we watched a few videos together.

I’m so, so grateful that these couples decided to create these videos! This whole process has my head spinning, and it has for years now.  We have many different options, and many different roads we could travel down when deciding just how we would like to go about starting our own family.  The costs and all the steps we have to take overwhelm me on a good day.  Many of my friends have been and are starting their own families…but these friends aren’t in same-sex marriages.

I’ve felt alone, and scared, and beyond overwhelmed by all of this.  Finding these channels has been a blessing.  What’s even better is that Alana has told me that she’s extremely “down” for creating a YouTube channel with me! She thinks that it’ll be fun and that we should share our experience, and I couldn’t agree more.

I’ve never done the whole video thing, or vlogging thing before, so I’m excited for this embark on this new project with my wife-to-be! =)

On Wednesday I took the afternoon to visit my Mom and my Aunt who is in town from Arizona.  We got to talking about life, and our lives, and I’m not quite sure how it happened, but all of a sudden I told them the doctor’s appointment we made me and what all of our plans were so far regarding our family planning.

I was so overwhelmed and blown away by how supportive they both were.  They asked so many questions, and at one point my Mom even grabbed her laptop to look up a few things like, the difference between an AI (artificial insemination) and an IUI (intrauterine insemination).

They asked me how soon we might start trying, and I was honest and told them 2016, and that was only met with more overwhelming support.  I was expecting my Mom to dislike this idea, as well as the fact that I’d like to start a family with my (future) wife.  A decade ago my Mom and I had a conversation about two people of the same-sex having their own family, and she was of the opinion that it shouldn’t be done.  So to receive so much love and support from her was unexpected, and truly a blessing.

Having her behind me is going to make what is already going to be a hard process much, much easier.

Alex and AniIn other news, after years and years of constantly desiring Alex and Ani bangles, I got a small bonus at work and decided to splurge on a bunch of them for myself.  They are perfect, and beautiful, and I can’t wait to add more to this collection!

So much is going on with my yoga practice, and I’m happy to say that it’s all good things.  This Saturday will be the last yoga class that I have to “adjust” before I’ll be handed my yoga teacher certificate!

I can’t even begin to process that, so I’m going to wrap this up.  I realize it’s been a while since I’ve made an entry about yoga so I vow that I shall do that soon.

Peace and love.  Namaste!


Alana & Tally

A New Used Car and New Beginnings

This weekend we traded Alana’s 2007 Toyota Yaris for a used 2010 Honda Civic.  The yaris had 166,000 miles on it, and needed a new horn, and probably other work done to it.  The Civic has 44,000 miles on it, and doesn’t need any work.

The fact that we both drive Honda’s now pleases me greatly! Her Yaris was the last thing that needed to be taken care of since landing the position at her new job.  All the outstanding bills that lingered from her 11 months of not working have been paid.  Everything else that we fell behind on has been attended to since this May, when she landed this job.

The car has been taken care of now, and we are current on everything.  We look forward to booking our wedding venue in a few weeks, and to moving into a townhouse sometime early next year! =)

We made a doctor’s appointment for me in early August.  We made the appointment so that I can inquire about….well, a fertility test.  And meet with a doctor in the network of our health insurance, and discuss finding “the doctor for us” as we begin to embark on the crazy journey of same-sex family planning.

The fact that we are at this point is absolutely crazy to me! It still shocks me that she landed this job sometimes.  I was so heartbroken over thinking that we wouldn’t be able to have a big wedding, or go on a honeymoon, or start trying to have a family of our own anytime soon that it still seems surreal to me now when we discuss booking the venue.  Or going to Costa Rica for a two week honeymoon.  Or scheduling an appointment for me to inquire about a fertility test…

But it did happen.  She got the job, and we really are at this point!  So I’m going to soak up the fact that we both have really decent cars, and health insurance, and a newfound security in ourselves, and that everything is going exactly how we wished it all along.

Last week was the first time I went to hot yoga more than once in a week, and it felt absolutely amazing.  My schedule has changed at work, and I’m now able to go to hot yoga four different days before work, rather than just two! This pleases me greatly.  My yoga practice dwindled a bit in June as I fell into being tired, and then a cold, and bouts of laziness and indulgence.

Going twice last week was like a wake up call.  I loved the way my body and mind felt, and I’m craving more of it.  I’d like to try to go at least 2-3 times a week for the next few weeks.  I “adjusted” my 4th yoga class this past Saturday.  I only have one more class to “adjust” before I’ll be handed my teacher certificate! The fact that I’m at this point seems surreal.  Things are really coming together, and I really need to start showing up to my mat more often.  So that I can breathe, and accept, and just take it all in.

My Aunt and cousins will be in town from Arizona this week, and that’s just so exciting.  I always look forward to spending time with them in the Summer.

I think I’m going to go practice a few inversions against my living room wall before jumping in the shower and getting my day started.

Namaste! Gonna wrap this post up with a few selfies, just because.


An Indian Wedding Off the New Jersey Turnpike

This weekend we headed out of town and into the state of New Jersey.  It was a four hour drive and we listened to ‘Summer Hits of the 2000s’ on Pandora all the way there.  I was excited to get there, and anxious as well.  I wanted enough time to get ready.  I wanted it to already be time for the wedding!

The wedding was a complete blast! They did a full Indian wedding, or the Americanized version of it anyway, so there was the Baraat before the ceremony in which we danced behind my cousin while he rode on horseback to greet his bride and her family.  I absolutely love the traditions and the customs.  I’ve always found Indian weddings to be beautiful, spiritual, and fun.

IMG_2821This was Alana’s first time attending an Indian wedding, as well as attending any big event with this side of my family.  I introduced her to many distant relatives for the first time.  It was the first time I had ever introduced them to anyone important in my life…especially that person being a woman.  I’ve always had a small fear of what it might be like to introduce my distant Indian relatives to her.  Whatever fear I had ended up not mattering.  I introduced her, and they were kind, warm, and loving.  Just like any individual in my life who I’ve ever come out to.


The reception was a blast! Receptions are definitely my favorite part of weddings.  We drank, ate amazing Indian food, and made our way onto the dance floor with my brother, sister-in-law, and nieces.

My brother seemed genuinely disappointed when we told him that we did away with the groomsmen in our bridal party.  He asked if anyone was making a speech or a toast, and I told him that he could if he wanted to.  He started telling me how much he was going to embarrass me during his speech, and I laughed and told him that that was fine.  I’m honestly just so touched that so many of our friends and family members are excited about us marrying.  Watching my parents and Aunts with Alana this weekend was slightly surreal.  How close, comfortable, and loving everyone is getting is really heart-warming.  I know that I’m a lucky woman on a day-to-day basis, but this weekend was still somehow a huge wakeup call in the “WOW, look at all that you have!” department.

I’m gonna wrap this up before I start going into how amazing hot yoga was this morning.  Another entry, another time.  For now, more pictures.

IMG_2830My oldest brother and I.

NiecesTwo of my nieces =)

I Solemnly Swear To Start Wearing Less Makeup

MakeuplessI’m declaring it a personal goal to leave the house more and more often without makeup on. A few years ago I would never consider leaving the house without makeup on. Even to run a small errand, like to the grocery store or the library.

How utterly ridiculous is that?

I’ve gotten much better about it these last few years, and I currently leave the house a few times a week without makeup on.

I’d like to increase that frequency more and more as I get older.

It’s not just me. Many of my female friends feel the same tiny bubble of anxiety about being seen without makeup on. Before writing this entry, I searched the tag “no makeup” to find many, many blog entries written by female bloggers in which they post “makeupless selfies” to show what they look like without makeup on.

These bloggers, and myself, feel the need to distinguish that we aren’t wearing makeup in these photos. Why? It’s as if we’re saying “this is what I look like without makeup on, so I promise, it gets better! This isn’t it!”

I love the natural hair movement. I think there should be a natural beauty movement.

This blog entry is me putting it out into the universe that I solemnly swear to start wearing less makeup.