Tag Archives: yoga

A Letter From My Yoga Pants

It has been more than a year since I wrote a letter to my new yoga pants welcoming them to the family. In that time we’ve had our share of ups and downs—often from the couch—and upward/downward facing dog positions, which is to be expected.

What I didn’t expect was a letter in reply, and I feel it’s only fair that I share their rebuttal today.

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Dear Abby,

Here’s the deal.

The honeymoon is over.

It’s been a year since you scrounged up the $20 or so at Target to bring me into your life, and while I admit that did have slightly higher hopes for where I would end up — maybe some fashion-forward type with a perky butt that would fill me out better and wear me only once every few weeks while “slumming” and sipping wine on a veranda —I never held that fact against you.

From the beginning you made it clear that I would be put into a small rotation of “good” pants worn out in public before being relegated to “home” pants put on the second you came in the door until you hit the hay at the crazy hour of 10 p.m.

But it’s been a year, and well, I have a couple of issues.

First of all, can we talk about this gym situation a minute? Because I’m still considered your “good” pair, I always have to go out and quite frankly, being in public is exhausting.

With the exception of seeing Hot Gym Guy on the treadmill in front of us—talk about dangling the carrot in front of the horse, am I right?—I can only take so many elliptical sessions and small talk with the woman next to you who apparently marinates in perfume before I’m tempted to use my drawstring for violence.

Second, let’s talk about food.

Sometimes I feel like you should keep me in the fridge because of all the little pieces of hummus or avocado that find their way onto me. I know you try and do that whole, “Wet a towel and wipe it off” thing, but who are we kidding? I hate to break it to you, but no one, that’s who.

Finally, I’m tired and it’s starting to show.

There’s wear and tear on my cuffs, and the aforementioned weaponized drawstring has even broken off in one spot. Sometimes I even feel like even the Walmart cashier is judging how we look.

So let’s just get it all out there, my friend—it’s time to buy a new pair.

Yes, I want you to move on and wear other pants in public so I can enjoy being your “home” pair, which as you said is pretty much like retirement in the Florida Keys for me. I want to swap the gym for power yoga—and by “power yoga” I mean corpse pose on the couch for hours—and only for long walks to the fridge.

Will I miss Hot Gym Guy? Sprinting to put out the recycle as the truck comes down the street?  At times, I’m sure that I will. But all in all, I’m content providing you nothing but comfort from “real” pants that just don’t get you.

I get you.

Now with my blessing, go and get some new pants.

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‘Twas the Write Before Christmas

‘Twas the days before Christmas, and all through my place.

Not an idea was stirring to share on this space.

My stocking was hung by the chimney with care,

(Which meant there would be no more dusting right there.)

And then there was me, wearing what I wear best.

Yoga pants, sweatshirt, well you know the rest.

When out from the driveway, I heard something clatter,

And turned to the window to tend to the matter.

When what to my wondering eyes should appear?

But a Lexus that made me ask, “Who the heck’s here?”

The lost-looking driver sped off in a fit,

And I knew those commercials were still full of shit.

Speaking of cars and a holiday ruse,

Those dressed up like reindeer that Santa might use?

The antlers on top and a red nose to boot,

Send mixed messages when drivers give the one-fingered salute.

“Freaking merge!” “Learn to park!” They all shout and they call!

‘Tis the season for road rage for those at the mall.

But back to the story of writing this post.

Even though all the readers are logged off, like most.

I thought I could write a more eloquent poem,

That centered on exploits from June, our old gnome.

But this year he’s tanked and refuses to eat,

Except numerous Vodka-filled candy cane treats.

I’m left on my own to come up with this stuff,

Something holiday-centered, sprinkled with fluff?

I had an idea of where things could be going,

In my head all the words just kept flowing and flowing.

But then in a twinkling, I heard in my head.

The prancing and pawing of something instead.

“Did I put back the Swiffer I used on the floors?

Of course I should check, and then clean out some drawers.

Perhaps now the shower could use a good scrub?

I’ll keep writing as soon as I clean out that tub.

And now the mirror’s streaky, so that gets cleaned, too.

What’s with my eyebrows? Let’s pluck one or two.”

My eyes looked quite tired, my hair still a mess.

My chest most resembling a flat iron press.

A shirt stained with hummus not hiding that stealth.

But I laughed when I saw it in spite of myself.

Then I remembered I wanted to bake,

There were cookies and candies I still had to make!

Once that was over, with treats wrapped up tight,

I had no more excuses to not sit and write.

“Okay, back to work.” I decided right then.

I resolved to see this post right through to the end.

But then laying the cursor aside of my lines,

I somehow clicked over to go back online.

To Facebook I sprang, and of course, then to Twitter.

As long as I’m there, e-mail too. (I’m no quitter.)

My train of thought suddenly derailed again,

I figured that yoga might help me feel Zen.

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Down dog and pigeon and side planks galore,

I couldn’t help notice a string on the floor.

Out came the vacuum to suck up that stuff,

And at that point I figured enough was enough.

Clearly this poem wasn’t going that great,

A much better post would just have to then wait.

So I sighed and I shrugged and then turned on TV,

And crashed on the couch for a Food Network spree.

Now where was I going with this rambling spiel?

Oh yes, for you people I like a great deal:

May your holiday bring you much joy and delight,

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

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P.S. Have you joined the cult yet?

Go With the Flow

I’ve been doing yoga since I was 15 years old in some way, shape or form. While I admit that the physical part of things is what always brought me back, the combination of physical and mental with yoga does help to slow some things down with my head sometimes.

If I don’t focus, I fall.

I can’t always just go through the motions.

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But through the years there have been short stretches where I just didn’t feel like doing it. My theory was that yoga was something that I had to be in the mood for to reap the benefits from, and since I didn’t depend on it as my sole form of exercise I hated feeling like I “had” to go through the motions.

 That would completely defeat the purpose, and each time I returned to the mat revitalized and ready to go.

Recently I had one of those stretches and completely stopped for a couple of months. While I was still working out—that’s never an issue—I just wasn’t feeling the yoga.

The truth of the matter is that I have no focus lately—not just for yoga, but for anything (but yay Twitter!) I’m flighty and flitting between this and that with a scattered attention span of about 30 seconds, and that’s not an exaggeration.

If I can’t focus, I fall—in more ways than one.

But I finally had the urge to do yoga again this weekend, so I popped in a DVD, got my “Om” on and came to the realization that with so many things:

“When I have to, it’s hard. When I want to, it’s easy.”

For example, sometimes I sit and stare at my computer screen, the blinking cursor on a blank white page either inviting me in or mocking me with metronomic consistency. When the words flow and my fingers find it hard to keep up with my brain, I’m left feeling like what I wrote was what I was supposed to write.

Other times there’s nothing, so I fill that space with frustration and pressure, two things that aren’t exactly conducive to productivity. But nothing can be forced that I’ll be satisfied with, and unless it’s work-related and mandatory, trying too hard defeats the purpose.

So while I was getting my “Om” on with my head tucked under my leg, my arm bent at an awkward angle and “REMEMBERING TO BREATHE AND RELAX,” I also remembered that I have to accept those times when things don’t flow.

That’s not to say I shouldn’t do the things I have to do—we all have obligations and it’s called being an adult. More times than not I have to just put on my big girl panties and do what needs to be done.

The fact I can’t focus on what I want to do or what needs to be done is frustrating and affecting things both online and off, so I’m looking into it. Probably maybe.

But I also know the things I enjoy should never become just something to cross off a list, done out of guilt or obligation. After all, motivation and creativity ebb and flow and usually happen spontaneously, not just because they were planned.

Remembering that—and TO BREATHE AND RELAX even though I’m either literally or metaphorically twisted up more than a Gumby doll— helps to bring me some peace.

When I have to, it’s hard. When I want to, it’s easy.

In other words, go with the flow.

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In My Opinion

Jillian Michaels should not claim to teach yoga. She’s great for fitness, but I have a hard time justifying her yoga video as anything other than another Shred-type workout geared towards losing fat.

yogajmichael However, her hair is down, the music is calmer and there is more stretching, so maybe that qualifies.

Just because you’re driving in your car doesn’t mean we can’t still see you pick your nose. You know who you are.

Blog cliques are like high school, except in high school you couldn’t choose who you ran into every day. Choose wisely.

We really don’t need to milk anything else, do we?

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Sunday’s are for washing your floors and not your hair.

Imitation may be the most sincere form of flattery, but sometimes it’s just plain  annoying.

You can find anything you want on the web—on blogs or otherwise—so take everything you read with a grain of salt.

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This post is kind of lame, but the best stress reliever is not giving a crap.

Eating baby carrots in the morning should not make you queasy, but for me, they do. Boo.

Cancer sucks. The end.

Eggs are not the devil. Meat is not the devil. Dairy is not the devil.

Justin-Bieber However, Justin Bieber  may very well be.

Being single and not wanting kids just means that you have choices—including the choice to change your mind on either issue.

An ex is an ex for a reason.

Yes, sometimes it is about the food, and there is research to support it.

 Things like this should never, ever happen.

 

Get ready! It’s group participation time.

In YOUR opinion…

My Karma Ran Over My Dogma

I have a fun surprise for you today! Eden from Eden’s Eats and I have executed our very first “post swap.” So, without further delay, I am honored to have Eden explain how her karma ran over her dogma.

Don’t forget to check out my post on her site in the next couple days, as well. And if you haven’t been there before, stick around and read some of the archives. You won’t be disappointed.

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Welcome to Abby’s blog!

I feel honored that I get the chance dispense my pearls of wisdom through her site because Abby has truly been one of my inspirations to begin blogging again after a two year hiatus I took.

Abby wrote a pretty stellar blog post over at my blog, so writing this was challenging. I could certainly not top her whit and genius I can only hope I’m just below par.

You may have seen me in the comment section from time to time, and maybe you even clicked on my name and ventured over to my site. But if you didn’t, I’ll fill you in (briefly) about me.

I’m a professional trained chef and yoga instructor. I started out like any kid born and raised in Los Angeles—wanting to be an actress. I majored and theater in college, did a few stints on television and dropped out my junior year to go to culinary school.

Towards the end of culinary school, I entered a unique treatment center to deal with an eating disorder that I struggled with since I was 13. I had a wonderful experience in treatment, mainly because I didn’t go to a “normal” facility and I had excellent support when I got out.

But I know what you’re thinking — a chef and you have an eating disorder? It sounds like an oxymoron like “fat-free half and half” or “floppy disks.” But as many people that have struggled with an eating disorder will tell you, when you malnourish yourself, you tend to want to feed others with reckless abandon.

Fast forward about a year and I decided to train to become a yoga instructor. I can go on and on about my life, but that’s not what I want this post to be about. While brainstorming about what to write for this post, I asked myself, “What would Abby’s readers like to know about my profession?” I considered writing about food, but that’s very cliché for me. I mean, I feel that my whole life is centered around food. I was also considering touching upon my own “issues” with food and exercise. But there are plenty of sites for that.

So, I thought I’d tap in to my other area of expertise—yoga.

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I have been practicing yoga for over a decade, but I’ve only been teaching professionally for about a year. I’m currently getting my 300 hr certification (in addition to the 200 hr certification I already acquired) so you could say I’m a pretty experienced yogi. And from my experience, I thought I would dispense some pearls of wisdom about this ancient practice:

While some of my favorite teachers happen to be men, the guys I see at my local yoga studio take the class for the dumbest reasons. Need a breakdown?

1) Some (maybe 2%) honestly do it for the REAL purpose yoga was invented for: to prepare and strengthen the body for long periods of meditation. I fully respect these guys and they can come yoga it out with me anytime.

2) A bigger percent do it for the physical benefits: flexibility, core strength, improved balance, to protect the back and learn to relax. That’s OK in my book as well. Anything to get them out of the meathead gym is cool by me.

3) A big percentage of the male college students that attend class do it for this reason: to use the yogic breathing exercises to help them take the deepest possible bong hits.This doesn’t bother me too much, but it does when they come to class baked and distract me by trying to be steady in something as simple as child’s pose.

4) Probably the largest percent of most males attend class because it’s usually filled with a sweaty, spandex-clad pantheon of models and dancers who can rest their feet on their head.

5) Lastly, some perverts do it for this simple reason: to go down on themselves.

cat-yogaBut regardless of one’s intentions in practicing yoga, after some time certain realizations will come.* For example:

You will gain an understanding of your own body far beyond what’s available to anyone but a mortuary technician taking liberties after the autopsy.

Assuming you gave them up sometime after kindergarten, head stands are tremendous fun. The trouble is that seven-year-olds are short and fearless, and it can take years to build up the strength and confidence to try it as an adult.

So, there’s the gist of my lesson. For the record, I don’t do yoga for the “meditation” and I love meat (there you have it, another oxymoron—a meat-eating yoga instructor.) I’m not your typical yoga instructor, and I’m not your typical chef.

Because like Abby, I have “issues,” too.

*Note: Side effects include hums, mantras and mild chanting