While perusing the website of a new yoga studio that just opened in Avalon Park, I noticed a Bikram Yoga, or hot yoga, class on the Saturday lineup. I’ve heard mixed reviews about this type of intense yoga practice where they jack up the temperature, but in my constant quest to burn more calories, I thought this might offer the best of both worlds for me – an exercise I love doing with a high caloric burn. According to some sources, you can burn anywhere from 500 – 1000 calories in an hour-long class, depending on the intensity of the workout.
So last Saturday I brought along a towel (though I forgot my water, doh!), and headed to the new class while Liam spent a couple hours with daddy. It was indeed hot: the temperature gauges read 90 degrees when I walked into the room. I think my senses have acclimatized to Florida because it didn’t feel unbearably hot to me. In fact, I could already feel how loosy goosy my joints were, which for yoga is a plus. The instructor warned me that she was going to keep the pace slower than usual because the other student in the class (there were just two of us) had just finished a triathlon that morning. That was fine by me – better to ease into this anyway. Knowing me I’d faint or something. Sheesh.
Despite the supposed lower intensity, I sweat my heart out! But in a strange way I liked it. I found myself very fluid and able to stretch better into poses. With so few students I got some individual attention and correction. Even though I’ve been doing yoga for years now, one can always benefit from instruction and adjustments. And, man, did Savasana feel good!
I’m not sure if I’ll be up for this every week (plus, it’ll get expensive dropping into this class as well as paying for my monthly YMCA membership), but I’ll definitely be going back. I’m interested to see how rigorous a normal class is. I feel like I need to start challenging myself more since I’ve been attending more yoga practices lately.
Today I tried out YogaGlo, a website touting hundreds of different yoga videos you can play on your computer for only an $18 monthly membership. They offer a 15-day free trial, and since Liam went down for a nap today, I decided to give it a whirl.
Immediately I experienced the first drawback – 5 minutes in and my phone rang! It was a call I needed to take, so once that was taken care of I was able to continue. Thankfully the phone rarely rings during the day, so I doubt that will happen again. The instructor I settled on had a soothing Australian accent, and I could almost imagine my good friend Lucy teaching the class. It’s been about 9 months since I’ve done any yoga (I’ve been taking Pilates instead since last June), and coupled with the caffeine from my chai latte, I found myself feeling impatient while the instructor explained breathing and worked on rudimentary poses. Now I’m understanding why my friend Julie was so annoyed with “sleepy time” in yoga class. With Pilates you dive right in, and it’s hard to break that mindset. But soon enough we did our first downdog, and from there we moved on to more challenging poses. I was pleased to see I hadn’t lost any flexibility during my yoga hiatus, and in fact had gained some core strength to help me get through my Chaturangas. Pilates and yoga overlap quite a bit, at least in principle, so I shouldn’t be surprised.
As we were nearing the end of the practice my video suddenly stopped. I looked up to the screen and saw the “play” icon and “Play again” written underneath. I assumed I’d have to do Savasana on my own, so I did just that, even ending with my own round of Oms. This didn’t bother me in the slightest – one of my pet peeves in a yoga class is out of tune Oms. I rolled up my mat, put my props away, then went to close the window when I noticed I’d only gone about 40 minutes into the 60-minute practice. I hit play, moved the cursor to where I left off, and sure enough there was another 20 minutes, including Savasana! Afraid I’d tempted fate long enough (one never knows how long Liam will nap), I saved this practice in my favorites folder and plan to try it again another time.
Aside from the technical difficulties, overall I was pretty pleased with YogaGlo. I could practice on my own schedule and could pause if something came up I needed to take care of. Another plus I hadn’t considered before – I could practice in a sports bra instead of a t-shirt, something I would never, ever do in public (belly flab, oh, the horror!). I’ve always found it annoying when my shirt flips up into my face when doing any type of inversion or down dog. Another plus: the price. Typically I’d spend $15 or more a class in a studio, and I’d have to attend every week to get my money’s worth. $18 a month gets you unlimited access to the site, so quite a bit cheaper. On the downside, the instructor can’t correct you in your poses. But I’ve been doing yoga long enough, I feel comfortable correcting myself just by listening.
I don’t think this will completely replace my trips to the yoga studio, but it’s a decent substitute for now.
Tags: baby, yoga
Weeks and weeks ago I met this wonderful yoga teacher, and I’ve been trying so hard to attend her class. They offer babysitting (yay!), but her class is at 9:30 AM (boo!) and the studio is 30 minutes away (double boo!) It’s all I can do to get Liam up, fed, dressed, then through rush hour traffic in time to get there. After two failed attempts, I decided we’d go to the 11 AM mama/baby/toddler class instead. Liam’s been loving the Itsy Bitsy class so much, doing all sorts of down dogs, I deluded myself into thinking he’d join me right on the mat. Ha. Ha. I got about 5 minutes of yoga, and 55 minutes of entertaining a whiny toddler in the other room. Sigh. Thing is, even with the 5 minutes I got, I can tell that I really like this studio. The owners were very understanding, and said I could try another class for free. So we’re going to try again Thursday, this time with him in the other room with the babysitter. They’re running a special on passes this week, so I’d really like to determine this week whether this will work as a regular class for us. Crossing my fingers we can make it there on time!
More ways I’m making my life harder…I’m trying out cloth diapers this week. Not really so much because I’m gung ho to save the environment, but more to save money. And so I’d have something to write on Tiny Tidbits. I’ll post the links to my thoughts on this as they go up, but so far it’s been a pretty big pain in the ass. You have to wash them every other day. Most of them have leaked, or I have to change him twice as often as I do with the disposables. Or I have to double up on the pads, and he has this ginormous baby butt. Ok, well that part is kinda cute. I got all different kinds, and I’ve pretty much narrowed it down to a couple of favs. But James is totally against the idea. He refuses to change the poopy ones now. This is a 21-day trial, so I either have 21 days to change his mind, or 21 days until I send the whole package back.
Sighhh. Forcing square pegs into round holes, just Liam does. He’ll learn eventually, but will I?
Tags: baby, james, yoga
Maryland turned green while I was away. Liam and I walked to his doctor’s appointment Thursday amid scores of flowering trees and raining cherry blossoms. Such a lovely walk for such a stressful visit. No worries – everything with Liam is fine (you can see his stats if you want), but he’s smart enough now to equate the doctor’s office with those nasty needles, and he threw an absolute fit the whole time we were there. And, of course, we ended the visit with shots, just to reaffirm his fears. Sigh. Afterward we played in the park, and you’d never know he’d been so unhappy just 15 minutes prior.
I made a wonderful discovery today. We had a sub for Donna’s Yoga I class at Blue Heron this morning, and it was as if this new teacher was channeling Emily Darling! I’ve been to several studios here in DC, but none has ever measured up to my favorite studio in KS. I’m looking for the right balance of chanting, teaching style, and relaxation, and while I really love Donna’s style and sense of humor, I find that none of the yoga instructors do much with physically guiding us deeper into poses. Kristin, today’s sub, did a wonderful job correcting my poses, and even did a neck massage with Lavendar oil while we were in shavasana. Mmmmm, nice. I had a chat with her after class, and turns out she has a studio in Georgetown called Lil Omm. I figured I’d have to beg James to drive me down there next weekend to check it out, but even better – they offer child care for some of their weekday classes! It’s a little further for me to drive, but would totally be worth it if I could go during the week sometimes. Think I’ll check it out next week.
In other news, I’m officially off unemployment. Penton has offered me some regular part-time work, and I’ve decided it’s too much of a hassle to keep reinstating my unemployment benefits account on the weeks I’m not doing any work. James is getting his big raise in about a month, and it’s high time we start tightening our belts. We went a little bonkers spending our tax refund, but now that sanity has returned, I’ve decided to get organized and open us each our own spending accounts that we’ll use for personal purchases. We’re cutting off the movie channels just as soon as the last season of the Tudors has aired…and maybe True Blood, if we get sucked into that again (pun intended, lol). I’ve also been doing some research on housing prices and closing costs in our area, and it’s frightening to say the least. But attainable, as long as we can build up our savings again. I figure if in another year James has heard zilch about these overseas positions, we should get started on our house hunt. I have a feeling it’s going to take us a long while to find a house we can afford in a neighborhood we like that can fit all of James’s books, lol.
Tags: books, television, yoga
Lest you think my whole life has been sucked into stay-at-home-momdom, I have had a surprising amount of free time to watch TV and read. Thanks to the DVR (blessed contraption!), I can catch up on all my shows after Liam goes to bed. And I can usually get in at least a good chapter or two in whatever book I’m reading at the moment. I’m certainly not as speedy as I used to be (especially in NYC when I was reading on the train and at lunch, about 3 hours a day!), but it’s better than I expected.
Right now I’m reading Richard Dawkin’s atheist manifesto The God Delusion. For as long as I can remember I’ve teetered along the edge of agnostic and athiest, but I’ve never been able to adaquately argue why I feel that way. I’ve just always felt in my gut that I don’t believe — which sounds a lot like the reason some people give for being religious! Dawkins is a bit harsher than I would ever be, but he does make the point that most of us feel like we need to tip toe around religion so as not to offend, and I definitely agree with that. I do it out of politeness — I like my religious friends, I respect their points of view, and I don’t want to get into an impassioned debate that might turn ugly. But I did have some wonderful religious conversations with my friend Lisa last week, which prompted me to dust off this book and finally dive in.
As for TV, I’m loving the new show Modern Family on ABC. Big Bang Theory, How I Met Your Mother, and Chuck are also on my comedy favs list. James and I have been watching more TV together — along with those three, we watch House, Bones, and Castle. The DVR goes into overdrive on Thursdays, much to James’s chagrin, since it’s almost entirely shows he doesn’t like — Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice, The Office, 30 Rock, and Project Runway. I’m excited for Lost to come back in February — last season, wow!! — and Burn Notice is returning this week, yay! Finally, I’m finishing up Joss Whedon’s disappointing Dollhouse, a cool idea that I’m convinced flopped because of Eliza Dushku. Better luck next time, Joss! Firefly rules!
Besides books and TV, I’m also doing my pilates routine ever morning (my abs have become embarrassingly flabby), and I’m doing yoga once a week at Blue Heron. The weather’s been nice lately, so Liam and I have been going on lots of walks. I think he missed the swings. And I’ve spent most of this week on fruitless hold with the KS unemployment office. I haven’t received a payment for two weeks, and I’m beginning to think a lot of people didn’t get theirs, either. The line is either busy, or after going through 20 minutes on hold, it hangs up on me. As far as I can tell I should be getting this week’s installment…but we may come up short this month if it doesn’t go through soon. I’m paranoid they’re going to cut me off completely. Hence the constant redialing. Sigh.
Tags: baby, photos, yoga
Liam, you were so bad last night! Those endearing raspberries you blow while you eat have turned into full-fledged projectile spitting. I ended up wearing your peas. Point taken, peas are off the menu for awhile. Then after your bath, you managed to pee on the toilet from your papasan. If the lid had been up, you might have actually made it into the toilet. Though I’m sure that doesn’t count as an intro to potty training. When I tried to put on your diaper, you stubbornly flipped to your tummy. And when I tried to give you your bedtime bottle, you spit milk in my eye. So this is how it’s gonna be?
I’d had enough, so I exacted my revenge. That’s right, take that…in 17 years when you bring your new girlfriend over and I take out the photo album.
You did manage to redeem yourself a little this morning, mister gigglebutt. But seriously, boy, can I not get 45 minutes of pleasant mood out of you? I know it’s asking a lot to hurriedly feed you, then take you to Mommy and Me yoga right during nap time. You were so cute for half an hour, sitting up and giggling and talking to the other babies and letting me give you a massage. But then you saved your breakdown for relaxation…no relaxation for mommy. Oh well. Maybe we’ll try again in the fall.
Earlier I was lamenting the lack of good yoga studios in my new city, but I think I finally found what I was looking for. I initally looked into Blue Heron for prenatal massage when I arrived last November, but after perusing their yoga class selection, I decided it was high time to take advantage of their new member offer. Also, because my staff totally rocks (seriously, I love you guys), I’m able to squeeze this into my work schedule and make up the time by skipping my lunch break. I attended Donna’s 10 AM Mixed Levels class yesterday, and I can’t tell you the absolute contentment I felt knowing this was the kind of class I’ve been needing. It wasn’t too instructional — my complaint about lower level classes — but she offered modifications on poses that were beyond my current capabilities. The instructor was very friendly and supportive, and I even got a chance to talk to some other people in class because it was so small. I’ve got two more free classes to use up before next Tuesday, so I think I’ll try Yoga & Abs tomorrow morning, and Gentle Yoga & Relaxation on Sunday. If they’re anything like the class I attended yesterday, I’m totally sold. I even prefer the price structure — pay as you go instead of pay per session — and it’s only 10 minutes from my house. Oh, and right next to the Trader Joe’s. Sweet.
I dressed in my workout clothes today to motivate myself to get back into my yoga routine. At lunch I put on my birthing mix, a CD Ashley made for me, and tears welled up as i ached for those I miss. I stuck mostly to restorative…that was what my body needed. I’m too broke to attend a class, but this works better — I can combine all of my favorite poses, chants, and relaxation techniques from all of the studios I’ve attended over the years. No studio was perfect (Willow St. in DC is too precise and militant for me), but Darling in KC almost was. I miss them so.
Tags: movies, yoga
I woke up this morning feeling all of my 30 years. And maybe a little more. A barrage of work-related annoyances, dreary weather, and a planned dinner all but ruined have made for an unpleasant birthday. Fortunately, it’s been more like a birthday week–getting to open presents with my family on Thanksgiving, and having a birthday dinner with friends this coming Friday–so I’m trying not to put too much stock into this one miserable day.
I did have a lovely night last night at the AMC with my friend Jessaca, who had a free ticket to Enchanted. It was surprisingly delightful…plus, I get to see McDreamy twice this week 🙂 Amy Adams was splendidly upbeat and naive, and although the plot was a little hokey, it was certainly amusing. We laughed for about 10 minutes when the prince thanks Patrick Dempsey and his daughter for taking care of the princess for him, “Thank you, peasants!”
Went to an interesting yoga workshop on Sunday at Darling where I learned Nam Yoga. It sounded like fun–a lot of meditation and chanting and singing–and it was, until the instructor started talking about the Astral Plane and the “white light and angels” her yogi sees when a room full of people do the Luminous Chant. Ooookkkkay. Well, despite the silly hippie stuff, I did have a good time and learned something new. I doubt I’ll actually practice it daily, but it’s nice to incorporate a few mantras when I’m doing yoga at home.
Tags: television, work, yoga
It’s always nice to break up mundane workdays with field trips. Yesterday the staff and I headed out to MK12 Studios down in the Crossroads district. They’re a graphics and animation studio, a key demographic for our magazines, hence the field trip. They gave us a tour of their very hip facility, and let us watch some reels. Right now they’re working on some new Budweiser commercials–lucky guys got to shoot on location in Argentina. Most impressively, MK12 did all of the wild OCD graphics for the movie Stranger Than Fiction. These guys all went to the KC art institute, and here I am kicking myself for not going myself when I had the chance. This is my dream job! Course, it would help to have some actual animation skill, but I can’t help daydreaming that if I could just get my hands on a bootleg copy of AfterEffects, I’ll discover my inner savant.
Today was all about the inner peace. I’m continuing with the acupuncture sessions, and they really seem to help, at least for a few days at a time. Doc Sherman “the Sherminator” says if I keep coming, we should reach a point where the pain disappears for months at a time. I’m hoping it won’t take much longer–these sessions are kinda pricey. However, this is the only positive result I’ve gotten–even the ambien/tylenol cocktail didn’t work every time. And this way is so much better for me. I hated taking all those drugs.
After work I headed to yoga, and now I feel totally relaxed and ready for a good night’s sleep. Let’s hope better than last night–I finally went to bed at 4 AM. It’s wasn’t a totally fruitless night, though. Finished my Battlestar Galactica season 2.5 DVDs, and was delighted to discover my DVR had taped the first epi of Season Three. What a surprising turn the show starts to take! I won’t ruin it, but I’m hoping things improve for Starbuck and the gang. Things are quite dire!