Tag Archives: yoga

yoga class

What Happens When I Go A Week Or Longer Without Taking a Yoga Class

I haven’t taken a yoga class in ten days.  I’m going to take one tomorrow morning before work,  and it can’t come soon enough.

My yoga journey started thirteen months ago, and within those thirteen months I’ve definitely noticed patterns.  One of the biggest patters I’ve noticed is how terrible I start to feel on the rare occasions when I go a week or longer without taking a yoga class.

So I’m going to use this blog and write out a list of just how unbalanced and icky I start to feel when I’ve gone a week without breathing through my thighs, bending, and twisting.

  When I go a week or longer without taking a yoga class:

  1.  I start to lose the huge sense of gratefulness and thankfulness that yoga teaches and gives to me.  I’m not saying that I become completely ungrateful, but the level of gratitude and overall thankfulness that I have for my life, my friends, my car, etc, starts to diminish.  Because of this, the mundanity of life starts to become more apparent.  The reality of things like constantly paying bills and working for forty to fifty years starts to cave in more.
  2.   I start to feel more sluggish, more sleepy, and my digestion slows down.    Yoga wakes me up, it wakes my mind up.  I feel the most rested, energetic, and high-spirited on the weeks that I take two or more yoga classes.  Yoga improves my sleep, and the constant twisting and rinsing of the digestive muscles allows for optimal digestion.  My practice gives me a sense of euphoria and accomplishment, giving me the feeling of a “natural high”, and chasing away both fatigue and sleepiness from my mind and body.
  3. I start to become less honest with myself.  My yoga practice gives me myself.  I can’t hide from myself in certain yoga poses.  My practice inspires me to be honest with myself, and to recognize the negative feelings, thoughts, and emotions tucked away into the crevices of my mind.  When I go a week or longer without taking a yoga class I’ve noticed that I’m less likely to admit to myself when I’m feeling negative, undesirable emotions such as fear, jealousy, frustration, and bitterness.   I lie to myself, I make excuses to and for myself.  I feel less genuine, less authentic, and this shows up everywhere, such as in my work, in my thoughts, and in my reactions to things and people.
  4. I don’t feel as calm, cool, and collected.  I become frustrated more easily.  I’m more likely to get into tiffs or arguments.  I second guess myself more, and I start to become more aware of others judgements of me.  I sometimes feel less connected to the people around me.  I become more impatient with ordinary things, such as traffic and long lines.  I stay upset about things longer, and I’m not able to “let go” and move on from a frustrating situation or annoyance as quickly.
  5. I don’t feel as plugged into the Earth, as present, and as grounded.  I start lose the ache of ab muscle or the feeling of tight hamstrings and quads being stretched out through asana.  I’m less aware of the breath in my lungs, and the aches and cues that my body gives me to signal when it’s in want or need of something.  I type on my phone more and listen to the conversation around me less.  I lose the amazing anatomically corrected-ness feeling that yoga gives me, of my tailbone being tucked and my shoulders sitting perfectly on top of my hips.  I’m more likely to withdraw and to not reach out to people.  I start to think about myself and my problems more, and less of (the problems of) the world around me.

All of this being said, when my alarm goes off at 7:00 tomorrow morning I’m making a straight beeline for the shower.  I’m ready to unroll my mat.  I’m ready to spread my toes and plug my hands into the Earth.

I shudder to think about where my life would be if I hadn’t found yoga thirteen months ago.  I know that both my life and I would be in a very different place right now.

Namaste.

three-years

Less Than One Year ‘Till Our Big, Fat, Lesbian Wedding

It feels like so many things have happened since my last post on September 25th, and all of those things are positive.  This Fall has honestly been just a series of good moments, followed by awesome moments, followed by even more amazing moments.  The good just keeps piling up, the laughter and excitement just keeps rolling in, and I’m honestly living in that glow that happens when everything in your life is well balanced and you just feel good.

Alana and I reached that three year milestone in our relationship last week, which means that our wedding is less than a year away!  After already being engaged for a year and a half, after almost a year of her not having a permanent job and us being unsure of any short or long term future for us, we are finally under that year mark.

Last weekend, to celebrate, we took a yoga class together, went shopping for our engagement shoot, and then went to dinner and a movie.  We saw The Maze Runner, and we both really liked it.  My birthday is on Tuesday, and this weekend my Mom is having the entire family over to celebrate, and she’s making homemade Indian food! On my actual birthday next Tuesday Alana and I both took the day off.  She’s going to take me to Spa World all day before taking me to dinner at my favorite restaurant (which is not cheap).

Our engagement shoot is going to be happening sometime within the next three weeks.  We’re not exactly sure when because our photographer is judging the changing color of the leaves week by week so that we shoot on a weekend when the leaves are perfect.  My yoga practice is on fire right now.  The 2-3 classes I’ve been making weekly have been so easy to get to.  I jump out of bed when my alarm goes off at 7:00 AM, ready to face traffic and get on my mat.  My body is still changing.  My shoulders sit on top of my hips more, my sacrum is more tucked, my pelvis less tilted.  My arms and back are getting stronger.  My headstands are unlike they ever have been, strong, effortless, and I hold them for longer than three minute periods.  (Longer than I’ve ever held them before).

Muscle

On the random times that I do try for a forearm stand or even a handstand, I’m there.  I always reach the pose, even if I only hold them for a moment or two.  I’m ready to get serious about my inversion practice this Fall and really try to master forearm stand and handstand before our wedding next Fall.  The strength required of my body for these poses is almost there, or possibly, there.  Every season I grow more acquainted with the feeling of finding my center of gravity while my body is upside down.  I reach it more quickly then ever now, my head reaching the floor only a few seconds before my toes leave it.

My schedule at work is busy, full, and full of personality.  The clinic constantly gets complaints about how full my schedule is and how hard it is to book an appointment with me.  I’ve been getting more sleep, drinking one soda or less a week, and Alana and I have been getting along shiningly.

Like I said, things are great.  I’m looking forward to all my birthday celebrations and our upcoming engagement shoot.

I hope this Fall is treating you all well as well as it’s treating me.  Peace, love, and light.  =)

Fall Hat

RYT

I Am Now Officially A Certified Yoga Instructor!

  Alright, guys.  It’s happened.  It’s come.  My hours have been complete and my yoga teacher certificate arrived this past weekend in the mail!

  To say that I’m thrilled is an understatement.  It was a really long Fall, Winter, and Spring as I trekked through eight months of yoga teacher training.  It was one of the most profound experiences of my life, but it came with a lot of work.  And I don’t mean the constant study of asanas, and breaths, and learning how to sequence yoga poses.  I mean the delving into myself, the work I had to do when ego, fear, and anything dark came up.  If starting yoga set me on a path to truly start discovering myself, than starting yoga teacher training set me on a path to mastering myself.  

  I’m proud of myself.  This is the third holistic trade certification that I’ve gotten in three years, adding on to my Reiki Master certificate and my massage license.  I’m excited to see what I’ll do from here.  And where I’ll go with these three trades under my belt.  

  Only the future can tell, yeah? 

  Namaste.

Dream

Tales of Inversions, Lost Car Keys, and Long Distance Friendships

This week has felt like an absolute dream.  It seemed like a piece of cake, and it passed by so calmly.  It’s like I barely felt the work days, the hours upon hours of labor, and the wishing of it all to just be over.

Having Monday off all day with the love of my life helped, I’m sure.  Tuesday was fun and joyous.  Wednesday morning, on my day off, I decided to practice forearm stands and handstands.  I almost never practice any yoga at home.  97% of my practice happens in a yoga studio, and only about 3% at home.  I especially never work on my inversions or challenging poses that I’m trying to master.

So I was extremely surprised and bewildered to find that I was able to hold both a forearm stand and a handstand…for several moments at at time!  It was a first for both, and I felt elated and strong.  My body, going into them, felt like a different body from the one I had this past winter when I was practicing my headstands at home.  Both of these inversions were just so much more….available to me.  It wasn’t hard to find the strength.  Because of this it was easy to trust myself to hold my body upside down while playing around with finding that balance…that precious balance where your body is perfectly aligned, hips over shoulders, belly engaged, head below heart, mind free and wild.

This experience showed me that I need to practice at home this Fall.  My body has changed over the Summer with all the yoga classes I’ve attended weekly, and its time to get playful.  And to set new goals for myself.

Afterwards I trekked over to Ayanna’s and we exchanged massages.  I haven’t seen her since she went on maternity leave in March (and never came back to work!) Her baby is beautiful, just like her older son.  We hadn’t traded massages in probably a year, and it was nice to catch up and laugh while we rubbed out each others knots.

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Afterwards I traveled far North to have dinner with one of my very best friends, Jesse, who is in town from Georgia for a wedding.  She only comes to town 2-3 times a year, and so it’s only then that we get to see each other.  She’s going to be our second bridesmaid when we get married next Fall, and her daughter is going to be one of our flower girls. We had dinner with a few of her other friends, and we all ordered drinks and laughed and stuffed ourselves silly.   It was an amazing evening to an already amazing day.

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I lost my car keys for the second time in two weeks at work last night, and at first I was upset, and panicked, and frustrated.  But, Alana picked me up from work last night and dropped me back off again this morning (I keep a spare key at home).  My car didn’t get stolen, broken into, or ticketed.  Everything ended up okay, and now the weekend is here.

Alana and I have plans to start it out with a restorative yoga class tomorrow morning before celebrating the birthdays of three of our family members this weekend!  All these birthday festivities are going to require lots of money and lots of driving, but it’ll come with family, love, and laughter.  I’m feeling grateful for friends, especially long distance ones.  Or ones that I haven’t seen since there was snow on the ground.

I’m feeling grateful for the strength of my body, and for it’s healthiness and it’s progress.  As I am every week, I’m grateful that I found yoga last Fall.

I’m grateful for my fiancé, and for her willingness to pick me up from/drop me off at my job when my scatter-brained self lost my keys once again.

I’m grateful for both our families.  I’m grateful that it’s the weekend.

I’m grateful that I survived another week, and for my ability to find bliss in the small, everyday things.

Namaste.

Beach

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 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?

Namaste.