Celebrating bumps and curves

Recently I saw stuff about Jennifer Garner and her baby bump.

Jennifer Garner admits she has a baby bump but is not pregnant on the Ellen DeGeneres show.

She’s had three kids and now there is a bump and she says it ain’t going away.

Society as a whole is so obsessed with women and their weight.

Why don’t we talk about men and their bellies? Wow, he musta put down a 6-pack last night and a bag of Doritos! How is he gonna show off his body in that bathing suit next month??!!

In the silly movie, Couples Retreat, all the women are in super amazing (dare I say, unrealistic) shape and the guy’s are a bunch of out of shape slobs. I realize our bodies can’t be perfect, but what message is that sending? This is the best picture I could find of the whole main cast.

Guess what, friends? You can have a “baby bump” and have never even had a baby.

It’s called a big meal, being bloated, stress, water retention, bad posture, a little extra weight on the tummy, etc.

Most of my life I was “skinny.” I seriously hate that word. And then … Continue reading

Learning over the weekend

Over this past weekend I attended two 5-hour yoga workshops.

There were supposed to be three, but unfortunately the Friday Fibromyalgia yoga workshop was canceled.

I attended the two workshops at Piedmont Yoga Studio.

Piedmont explains a little about the workshops: Adaptive yoga is the tailoring of the practice to people who are not “sick” but have physical limitations. This 2-day workshop explains the benefits of yoga in helping with issues such as pain, mobility and emotional states.

Saturday was on yoga and Parkinson’s with one of my favorite yoga teachers and people, Vickie.

Vickie has been teaching people with Parkinson’s for many years and has learned so much along that journey.

During my yoga teacher training we were required to observe and assist 25 hours of classes with any of the teachers who were part of the program.

I observed some of Vickie’s Parkinson’s classes. It was fascinating and I always felt happy while there. And I learned so much. There are so many ways to do Surya Namaskars (Sun Salutations).

And the best thing I learned was that yoga is accessible to everyone, no matter your limitations.

Something I really like that Vickie says is to teach to the … Continue reading

Review Wednesday: Make-A-Bolster

When I travel I usually pack exercise clothes and tennis shoes to make sure I keep up with my regular exercise routine. Sometimes hitting the gym at the hotel is successful and other times not at all.

Once I started my teacher training last year I developed a home yoga practice. The more I did it the easier it got.

I have a travel yoga mat, which makes practicing at a hotel a lot easier and easy to shove into a suitcase or even a carry on. Towels and blankets can help with other needed props.

In one of my last classes of my teacher training we had a class on props. We all presented different ways to use various props, some typical you would find in a studio or possibly a gym. A few presented props that were quite unique.

One of my fellow teachers in training brought in her Make-A-Bolster.

According to the website, Make-A-Bolster is portable, compact, and flat. A blanket from your hotel room or home is folded to approximate the bolster width, tightly rolled incorporating a sleep pillow, placed in the center and zipped to form the round bolster.

What a brilliant idea! I ordered … Continue reading

It’s going to be OK

Yesterday was the very last Saturday class of my yoga teacher training. Just a few Thursdays to go and I (along with my classmates) will be certified!

Mary, who taught us yesterday, is the main meditation teacher of the program.

Mary had us all check in and listen to our heart at the beginning of class. What message was our heart giving us?

We went around the room and gave our word.

When it was my turn I said, Sorry, mine is five words … It’s going to be OK.

I was very tired yesterday. So while we were doing our backbends and heart openers I made sure to really listen to myself. I backed off when I needed to. I modified when I needed to. I didn’t go as deep into some of the poses. I listened to my heart and my body.

We did a check in near the end of class about what qualities of the heart we planned to work on through our meditation. I choose compassion, embracing difficulty and exploring challenge.

The vehicles I will use are meditation and pranayama (breathing practice). I forgot to mention in class that I am a huge advocate and lover of Restorative … Continue reading

Caffeine and adrenaline

I am a regular coffee drinker. At work I usually have one cup in the morning. The days I work from home and weekends I usually have two cups.

A couple of weeks ago I was really tired at work and upped my coffee intake to two cups.

By Wednesday of that week I had a raging headache, which continued for the next three days.

That Saturday morning I skipped the indoor cycling class I planned on taking because a throbbing head while riding just doesn’t work for me.

Pretty much as soon as I had my first cup of coffee my headache was gone.

It was suggested to me recently that there is a  relationship between coffee (caffeine) and our adrenals. From what I understand about exhaustion and adrenal fatigue this makes sense to me. So I did some research.

According to Livestrong, caffeine may trigger the release of adrenaline (a hormone), giving you a quick burst of energy and physical strength followed by a crash marked by fatigue and irritability, in some cases.

Not all doctors agree on how caffeine affects the body’s release of adrenaline or whether it affects it at all.

We all know about adrenaline, right? … Continue reading

Being kind to me

I recently wrote a post about being a chaotic hot mess.

Don’t worry, I’m OK. I’m just exhausted.

I know I haven’t posted lately. Sorry about that. I just couldn’t muster the energy for a blog post this past week.

Nothing super terrible is happening in my life. It’s just a lot of stuff. And I feel overwhelmed by it all.

Work is stressful. Waking up at 5 a.m. on the days I go into the office are wearing on me as is my commute. (It’s been almost three years.) Work is crazy busy, different after transitions and stressful. I love my yoga teacher training, but that adds an element of stress. Things are gearing up with my Observing and Assisting portion of the teacher training.

And that’s just work and school. We all have things going on in our personal lives as well. Losing a longtime family friend and professor. Worrying about your grandpa. 

When all of that is going on the little things can really weigh on me as well. I am sure (I really hope) I am not the only one who can have something minor happen and it brings you to tears.

Times like this … Continue reading

A hot mess

Do you ever feel like your life is a hot mess? Disorganized? Out of routine?

Lately that’s how I feel. At home, at work, all aspects of my life.

I strive on routine. And my life has been anything but.

I am trying to embrace the disorganized, the fly by the day goings on, the unexpected, the disheveledness (is that a word?), the tiredness and exhaustion, the unplanned, the spontaneous (whether good or bad) …

I recently wrote about how I am really trying to listen to myself and what I need.

I am working on being kind to me in anyway I need it. And to not feel bad about whatever I choose.

This morning I had a dilemma as it was pouring outside. Should I stay in bed all warm and cozy and sleep away the morning? Or should I get up and head to yoga (which is just a short walk) to the studio in my neighborhood?

I knew I would have some guilt if I didn’t go to class. And I wasn’t sure if I would actually be able to go back to sleep. I decided to brave the rain (in my rain coat, Continue reading

Listening to me

What do I need?

What do you need?

I have been really trying to listen to myself lately.

Work has been extremely demanding and busy and overwhelming and stressful as we continue to go through transition. More than usual I feel tired, exhausted and wiped out.

I have really been trying to take the queues my body gives me whether physically, mentally, physiologically, emotionally.

Last weekend we had an Intensive Weekend at teacher training, which was absolutely amazing and I learned so much. But it also took a lot out of me.

I had a lot of things I wanted to do on Sunday. They were to attend Vickie’s morning yoga class; attend an optional hour discussion on meditation before our required three hours of teacher training; the three hours of class; and Sunday night Restorative yoga class.

I knew that was all too much for me and something had to give. I decided to skip Vickie’s class and did my own home practice. This also gave me my whole morning to lounge, enjoy my coffee and do a little homework.

I knew my body needed and would benefit more from a Restorative class than an asana class.

I took … Continue reading

Home Restorative practice

Last weekend I was visiting my family in Tucson, my beloved hometown.

While visiting, my mom and I were able to practice yoga together three mornings. (She was very excited to get three private sessions with me.)

I wrote a practice specific to her requests, a second one we did I had written about before and love and the third practice, my mom wanted to do some Restorative poses.

We were limited on time and props for our Restorative practice. So I made do with what we had and we did three relaxing poses.

(In most Restorative classes, which run for 90 minutes, you only do 4-5 poses.)

Here’s the practice we did, with props we could use that should be in most people’s homes.

Regular Restorative practice helps keep me balanced

The December Monthly Challenge was nicknamed 5 for 5.

A challenge I made for myself was to attend the Sunday night Restorative Yoga class at my yoga studio every Sunday in December (as long as I was in town). (I won’t be attending this coming Sunday as I will be out of town.)

The first four Sundays in December I attended the class. And actually I attended the last Sunday in November and the Sunday before that I attended a 2-hour Restorative workshop.

This past week I have been off work with little planned. I have incorporated more and longer Restorative poses in my home practice. At the end of every home practice I have a Savasana.

Vickie reminds her students as we are getting into a Restorative pose that we should be warm, comfortable and even (body should be symmetrical). And it should be dark and quiet.

There are times when I don’t feel like doing an active home practice. Those days I do an all Restorative practice with just a couple of poses. I am now well-equipped with props, such as bolsters and blankets, which really support me in particular poses.

I feel like having a … Continue reading