Not a bad way to flow into 40, eh? (Not that I just turned 40 last week, or anything like that....)
So here's a list of some of my favorite yoga moments and things from my 365 day personal challenge. The list by no means complete, but it's actually taking me some time to sift through my thoughts/reactions to the whole personal challenge, and I'm finding that my thoughts crystalize as I respond to people's questions. So ask me some questions, and I'll spill more answers....
So I'm back doing hot yoga. Which is actually where this whole challenge began last January (reacp: my first personal challenge entry) And it's weird. Things are different. I've changed.
I still love it and all, but now that I've done other forms (mostly hatha, yin, flow and Bikram. Would have loved to have dabbled in others, but the classes were too far away or at inconvenient times) I miss some of the moves.
I'm actually on day 338 today. But this is what went down last week.
"Settle into how you are," said the teacher at the beginning of class.
Which I did (wellll, tried to. Because it's not really something one can start and finish just like that...snap.....but let me jump ahead a sec to when I got back from class and tweeted my daily mantra (find all my tweets right here).
Seconds after pressing Send, a follower tweeted back saying "Funny. I thought you wrote 'Settle Into *Who* You Are!" Which is actually just as important, no?
The holidays are coming…and I’m already seeing articles and blog posts titled “How to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain” and “Don’t Sabotage Yourself this Holiday Season…” and they all get me wondering what would happen if we (meaning I. Cause it's my blog and all) didn’t follow their advice or even our (again: my) own better judgment this holiday season? Would my world—that I work really hard to create and maintain--crumble? Would my body break down or balloon up to some socially unacceptable size? I mean really, what's the worst that could happen if I broke all my own rules?
I heard that little nugget in yoga class this morning, and it hit me like a ton of bricks…mostly because I’m no good at it.
I’m a glass half empty kind of person.
I play out worst case scenarios in my head so I’m prepared for any eventuality.
I like melancholy songs best.
And I definitely forget to count my blessings because I am so often busy striving for my next gold ring.
Yesterday was Love Your Body Day...and I was so delightfully busy, and my body was helping me do so many amazing things, I didn't have time to care about my stomach. No, really.
So first, here's my Love Your Body Day vlog... (which, upon review, is really more like an ode to my feet...because I keep thanking them for taking me places. Oh well, that's how I was feeling the love yesterday...
Happy Love Your Body Day!
Yesterday, I was on TV in honor of LYBD and the Moms & Mentors event I'm doing TONIGHT (Wednesday, October 20th) with Biagirl. It's at Melonhead Salon (2962 West Broadway, between MacDonald and Canarvon at 7pm). Come on out for it, Vancouver!
But back to TV: So I got to chat with Fanny Kiefer at Studio 4 and have a great conversation about what girls/women are up against and how to be "well-dressed but not obsessed" (<- Fanny's brilliant phrase, not mine!) Above is a short clip of me behind the scenes at the show... and I hope to have my segment up here in the next few days....
In the meantime though, I'm busy making a vlog today about all the things I'm thankful for when it comes to my body. Things that have nothing to do with how it looks or measures up, but what it DOES and how it makes me feel....
So what are *you* doing to celebrate Love Your Body Day? I'd love to hear!
Last weekend I went on an amazing retreat with Semperviva Yoga.
We practiced (Hatha! Kundalini! Yin!).
I read. (Every Last One by Anna Quindlen. Heavy. Fantastic!)
I became a yoga geek.
This is my story.....
The Spark (Sexualization Protest: Action, Resistance, Knowledge) Summit is happening in NYC on October 22nd.
Oh, how I wish I could be there...because so many important thinkers, activists and educators are going to be convening to inspire and create change in our culture.
So please go to the summit if you can...
The other day, one of my favorite teachers asked us to reflect on our physical state that morning. I was pumped, actually --rarin' to go since her class tends to be a bit more challenging than some of the other morning classes (yawn, restorative yoga for old ladies. But hey, a 7am class means less chaos and inconvenience for my family... so I do it some days whether or not I love the teacher/vibe.).
So my physical state? Good. Sharp. Eager. Mental and spiritual state? Wellll, that's actually taken me a few days to figure out. But here it is, a portrait of the state of me:
Right around the time my book All Made Up: A Girl’s Guide to Seeing Through Celebrity Hype and Celebrating Real Beauty was published, a former Elite model named Nicole Clark contacted me about a new DVD documentary she was creating. She told me it was going to explore the impact of today’s beauty standards on teens and young women. She told me she was going to take aim at the media created for young women for offering so little to girls by way of role models and definitions of beauty. She told me it was going to be BIG—and basically, she had me at Hello.
"Yearn for the back wall with your extended arm..."
"Yearn for the floor with a flat back..."
So said the instructor in Hatha class today, and the word "yearn" stuck with me. It's so great--passion mixed with a little melancholy. Desire blended with uncertainty. Will and the uncontrollable obstacles that always get in the way.
File this under things I never thought I’d write about. I mean, diaper bags? Booooring. There are all the same. Just go for the prestige and get a Coach/Kate Spade/whatever. Mais non, mon amie! The perfect diaper bag (much like the perfect purse or tote) is actually a work of art. It’s a blend of design and functionality—and if one leeetle thing isn’t right (the straps are too long/too short; the bag doesn’t stand up on it’s own; the lining is so dark that things get lost inside--hello Kate Spade. I'm talking to you), the bag ends up collecting dust in the closet. At least that’s what happens in my house.
So now, let me count the ways I love my new Okiedog Equinox Metro Messenger diaper bag.
Like, all the time.
Take yesterday. I was was trying to keep the kids on schedule (camp for Ollie; music class for Felix) because if we dawdled much longer then there would have been no sense in even trying to get out the door. (And before you ask, "So? What's the harm in that?" let me say that we all do better when we get out of the house. Otherwise, the boys rip the place apart, maul each other, and basically make me crazy[ier]. In other words, there is no upside to staying home--especially on a gorgeous summer morning.)
"Remember why you practice," Kaili, one of my favorite Hatha teachers, said today as we stretched our IT bands. "Remember your motivation."
Good one, I thought as I tried to get my thigh bicep parallel to the floor. And then I tried to come up with an answer for myself. Which made me realize that my motivation changes almost every day.
I've been in a yoga rut lately.
Everyone in my house has been sick, we've actually been invited out to places (!), my mother visited from NYC...and it's been difficult to get to class everyday, so I've been practicing a lot at home. Which generally isn't hard for me except when the kids are screaming, guests are arriving for dinner parties and there are other things demanding my attention.
But today, I set my alarm, hauled my ass out of bed waaay before anyone woke up and went my favorite hot yoga studio. My "home" studio you might say. The place where I really fell in love with yoga and how it can make me feel. The place where I've gotten some great thinking done on the mat. The place that hipsters go and that has fancy studios with bamboo floors. It felt like it was going to be a sort of homecoming
That’s what Ally the teacher said today in 7am Hatha class. And it struck me because I never feel good enough. Which is weird (and sad) because I am someone who (I think) has high self-esteem and a fair amount of perspective…and yet my body doesn’t feel good enough. I don’t think I’ll ever adjust to the post-pregnancy changes that carrying to giant 8+lb bebehs wrought on me. And I’m not talking about how my body looks (okay, maybe my stomach, but only a little), but rather how my body functions. It’s just not the same, and as much as I love my kids, I have trouble “celebrating” the fact that I spend a lot of time and money seeking the help of specialists, or spending my “free” time in the evening doing extra stretches and exercises and internet searches to try to help my situation.
And while I’m confessing about stuff, my mothering often doesn’t feel good enough either. Are the kids being exposed to all the things that will make them happy and successful? Am I a neurotic fool to even worry about that? Are they eating well enough? Are they where they should be in their development? Should I be giving/doing/organizing/creating more?
Plus I wonder about being a good enough wife. Like, am I attentive enough? Do we have sex enough? Is my house clean enough? And (I can’t believe this thought actually exists in my head, but it does) are my menu options varied enough? No, really. I actually worry about that. I went to school for nearly 20 years (from preschool to grad school), and I like to think about things like semiotics and feminism—and yet I worry almost daily about whether or not we’ve eaten chicken too often lately, and what new fun lunchtime options my toddler will eat without needing ketchup poured on it.
I also wonder about whether I’m being me enough. About getting enough time to write, think, plan and progress toward my own personal goals.
So when Ally got us out of savasana, back up to easy pose on our foam blocks, and had us think about being good enough as we are, I really tried. And I chanted along—feeling hokey as hell—saying, “I am. I am. I am.”
And for the rest of the day, I’m going to try to remember that I am.