30 September 2015

Anti-Aging Smoothie

As a brilliant friend of mine said, "We use lemon to stop fruit from 
getting old, so imagine what it can do for us!" Now I'm hooked.


27 September 2015

Full Body 7-min Workout

Today I did: 

50 minutes power yoga. 

Followed by: 
30 "Squat Jacks"

30 squats 

15 push-ups 

30 climbers 

30 plank jump-ins 

30 high-knees

90 crunches

  . . .  in 7 minutes 

Interval Training. Love it.

21 August 2015

yoginis have pet peeves, too

This is "what's on my mind." It has bothered me for some time, and I realize every cyclist will probably resent me after this post, but I am sincerely looking for an explanation to what otherwise seems an absurd situation. 
So, here goes:
If I am a cyclist with a helmet ON, I am a CAR (or, better, a “vehicle of the road). BUT, when I take my helmet OFF, I become a pedestrian and can cycle on the sidewalk. 
Question 1: How is this not the same as suggesting that, when I take my seatbelt off, I can DRIVE on the sidewalk? Seem ludicrous? Okay, then what about a motorized bike? That’s closer to a bicycle than a car, and yet they keep their helmets ON and they stay on the road. 
Question 2: Everyone I know (except cyclists, maybe, who almost astonishingly manage to escape the phenomenon altogether) has experienced being behind a cyclist on an extremely heavily trafficked road, far enough into the lane for CARS that one must either a) s
werve into oncoming traffic to move past them or b) hold up increasingly more traffic until dozens upon dozens upon dozens of cars are behind a bicycle “driving” WELL below the speed limit.
First, road vehicles (cars and motorcycles) receive tickets for driving under the speed limit. Is this the case for bicycles? If they are vehicles of the road, then why not? Given the law is in place for safety reasons and to avoid the above-noted scenario, how does it not apply to cyclists? Alternatively, helmet-free they can speed at any rate on the sidewalk, coming up behind me to swerve around my Chihuahuas so that now THEY (the dogs) are on the road to avoid being pan-caked by a "vehicle of the road" on the sidewalk. 
Indeed it is a tragedy when a cyclist (or anyone) is killed; but it is ALSO a tragedy for the person driving the car who now has to live with having killed an innocent person. Is it any wonder this happens, though?? 
What does all this have to do with Yoga? Nothing. It's proof that even the most dedicated yoginis indulge in a good vent, sometimes. 

17 August 2015

I'm a Serial Honemooner

I’m a sprinter. Always have been. In junior school days I would bust my buns in the 50 metre race on track and field day, but anything requiring extended training? Forget it.

I don’t sprint or jump hurdles anymore (thank God), but this tendency has cropped up in other areas of my life, the most obvious of these being— Running! I hit the ground running hard, running fast, running like a champion, blood pumping through my veins, quads pulsing with effort, face beat red from cardiovascular strain. And I do that for about 15 seconds. At which point, I determine that running is not for me, it’s hard on the joints, and even potentially dangerous (everyone knows the story of someone who died of a heart attack running).

When “high intensity interval training” gained traction in the fitness world, I thought, this is IT! Now THIS is something I’ll use to complement my yoga! As it turns out, the interval periods were too long.

But I’ve noticed a parallel pattern in dating. I fall wickedly, madly in love in the course of an hour-long coffee (i.e., this is THE ONE, this is my SOUL MATE), and I start seeing everything from fallen twigs to a shared love for espresso as a sign that this is “meant to be.” I’ve been engaged to someone who lived in another country and whom I hadn’t actually met before accepting his proposal of marriage. Funnily enough, that was my second-longest relationship ever and I really thought it was for life. In retrospect, I’m pretty sure he’s gay, but more on that later. 

In comparing the two scenarios, it seems I’m game for the honeymoon period, but when push comes to shove and this thing called “work” is required (umm, I HAVE a job), and sometimes even compromise, well that’s where things start to fall apart. I think my low-pain tolerance would adequately summarize the root of the problem.

And yet there’s another more poignant pattern in my romantic endeavours. Each one in their own way is unobtainable. And I don’t mean “he’s so smart and goodlooking, he’s out of my league” unobtainable, but more “I’m not sure if I’m gay,” “I’m embarking on a journey that just might reveal I am bisexual,” “I’m MARRIED” [tick that one off twice], “I really like you, but I think I’m a girl trapped in a guy’s body” [by the way, would this make me a lesbian?] “I live in America and have no unique skill whatsoever that would escort me into your country unhindered”—sorta way.

Is it possible I subconsciously attract people who won’t ever demand that I commit to more than the honeymoon period, than the emotional drama that follows the disclosure of homosexual tendencies or marital status? Is it the last goodbye that has us embraced in each other’s arms, tired and weary of the temptations of a cruel shared fate?

Is it because the thought of living with just one person in the same house, day in and day out, for the next 60 years or so is daunting at best and literally terrifying at worst [enter low pain tolerance]? I think it’s a blend of all three. That said, I’ve been proven wrong before. Once.

I fell in love with yoga over a decade ago and our romance keeps improving, our bond stronger, our connection deeper. I’ve not once considered bailing on this partner, never strayed onto a pilates mat, never dipped my toes into the realm of CrossFit. In fact, I would do anything to keep dedicating every ounce of my life to my mate and to serving others who wish to learn more about its majestic transformative powers. 

So maybe that’s the answer, then. I’m already married.  I’m steadfastly devoted to a partnership where the honeymoon never ends. The perfect place for a commitment phobic, introverted, low pain tolerance single yogini to be. 

I dare the universe to challenge me. 

14 August 2015

Gemstones and Flowers

I’m boycotting all North American movies and shows in favour of all shows out of Australia or New Zealand, England or Scotland, India or Mexico, anywhere, anywhere but New York City or Toronto (and the like).

My GOD we are BORING

In our struggle to look “hip” and “cool” and to “fit in” by following the latest fashions; in our eating disordered, too bright, too white, too big of teeth for our head sort of way, we’re all just a mass of carbon copy Barbies, following the latest tips and tricks on what to wear how to wear and when to wear it; what to say when to say, and who to say it to; we stay relevant and current on all matters concerning how to act, how to walk in high heels without stumbling, how to smile demurely without provoking, how to catch a man, lose a man, find a man, land a hubby, how to lose ten pounds. Like sleep-walking, fashion-driven sheep driven to the slaughter, a love or a hate that is independently our own, we keenly await the latest consumer-driven fad that will determine how the next season will go.

Indeed, even being “different” is acceptable, if you stay within the boundaries of what is “cool to be unique.” They’ve manufactured that for us, too.

Be Weird. Be You.

I’m not an exception, though I wish I was. A tall slim vegan yogi is hardly riske. But I’ve noticed the impulse to “go with the flow,” even when it carries us straight into the rapids. And unique is becoming ever more appealing, alluring, even worthy of admiration—be that in thought, shape, chic, or personality.

Let’s ditch the carbon copies of smiling Ken and Barbie and BE OURSELVES, however that looks. I plan to try it. But first I’ll have to do some digging to figure out who this woman is, and the first step is turning off popular media and turning inwards.

What I do know is this: in gemstones and flowers, rare is priceless. Full moons and eclipses claim places on calendars; the less common a car, the more valuable it is. And so it should be with me.

Be you. Find out who “you” is and if simply discover that she’s “one of the same old,” then be the same old —for now—just don’t ever stop looking.

13 August 2015

Constructive Smoking

This is a dedication to my good friend, A.B, who fights relentlessly, daily, in the trenches of cigarette addiction, 
in hopes of a smoke-free construction zone. 

I noted an interesting stereotype today: the smoking construction worker. You know the guy: he’s holding up the SLOW sign in the middle of the street, cigarette dangling from his mouth, just barely. I was reminded of that trend today while some hired hands were installing my new deck. Bent over a potentially gaseous unit,cigarette hanging by thin, dry lip skin, blowing fumes into my patchouli-saturated hippie haven.

I thought, If I were a smoker, I'd be a glamorous one . . . the Marilyn Monroe of smoking. I'd be totally in the moment, inhaling toxic fumes into my virgin lungs. I would sit on the step, light a cigarette, and gaze off into the sunset— a look of deep and ponderous contemplation on my face. I'd be fully absorbed in deep breathing, inhaling fully and pouting my mouth into a perfectly formed “o” to release fragile bubbles of cyanide off into the circles into the night sky.

I'd make smoking a meditation.

Yanked back into reality just in time to see one of the honest hard workers wander over to the brush beside the fence to relieve himself, I wondered, don’t these guys get breaks? Is it that the time between breaks is too long to wait before the craving kicks in for another? How can one enjoy any sensory experience at all, be it smoking or tinkling, while lifting heavy machinery? It's like walking and reading.

So wrong. So, so wrong. And totally un-yogic.

03 August 2015

Yoga Bootie Gets the Boot!

Yoga stretches things that aren’t valued in modern society. In this space of manufactured media, marketing, and capitalist venture—an arena that frowns upon difference—consciousness is unwelcome. And yet that’s the solution to our stress, anxiety, fear, frustration, boredom, monotony,
etcetera. So we focus on the commodification of a mind-expanding practice by zeroing in on tight yoga butts and thigh gaps and pricey tights speared by a marketing campaign that emphasizes dream realization, joy, and miracle manifestation upon purchase—boycotting the mystical potential of the practice to further capitalist interests. We are high on our addiction to instant gratification. "Chasing the buzz" that leaves barely hours after it arrives. 

Patanjali is clear: our craving for things that quench our sensory thirsts leads to suffering. Through yoga postures, breathing techniques, and meditation, we connect with our intuition and move beyond the status quo, where infinite bliss resides.  It is a journey that requires fierce determination, courage, and faith, but the rewards on arrival are infinite.

Are you unhappy enough yet to dig deeper?