Monday, February 27, 2006

Practice Teach

There is a wonderful group of preschool teachers at the Harvard Business School who like to have yoga after work in their class space. This evening, they tried me on to see how it fits. I really liked them a lot! And they liked me! At least two out of the three of them did. It was nice to start with a small class, because that way i could get to know a couple of them first. I got some feedback after class, and they really liked how i remembered what things had been bothering them and helped them not to hurt themselves. They also really liked how they felt like they were working their bodies, but i gave them enough breaks that it was relaxing. Yay! So, i'm not sure whether i've "got" it or not, but i have to contact the lady who got ahold of me, and we'll see how it goes.


The following is an excerpt from an email to Q earlier today.
My weekend was good – Matt and daN picked me up at the Pru on Friday afternoon after having stopped in at Newbury Comics to get some hot tunes for the road – so we got good stuff from our past: Ill Communication by the Beastie Boys, and Whip Smart by Liz Phair. Weee! Both of those are from a long time ago…. Longer than I care to say right now.
J Then we made it up to Portland to Lee and Alan’s house (which is small, but really cute) around 8:00 – the same rough time as Mark and Stef. Stef had to keep going up the coast because she wanted to see her grandmother, but the rest of us brought Mark out to this great bar & grill called The Great Lost Bear, which was really good! Mmmm. We made it back to their place around 11, then the boyz networked their computers for the big day. Lee and I talked. It was so great to catch up! The next day was very full – Lee and I went for a walk on a nearby beautiful little island and then went out for lunch in the Old Port while the boyz were gaming, and then I met my cousin Asa for coffee for a couple hours while the boyz were gaming, and then Lee and I made dinner and caramel bars while the boyz were gaming. I also did yoga a few times in there while the boyz were gaming. Sleep happened, but it could have been better. Yesterday morning, I went to a coffee shop downtown because I needed some time to myself to write in my journal and just be alone for a little while. It was great! It was the same coffee shop that gave me free whipped cream back in the day when we went to see Rustic Overtones at the State Theatre! (were you there?) Anyhoo, I had an espresso and the BEST croissant I’ve ever had. EVER. I mean it. It was GOOD. I went back to Lee and Alan’s where the boyz were finishing up a Magic game, and eventually we all went to Panera so we could eat and go our separate ways. It was a busy weekend, but good.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

A Darned Good Time

I went to a party for Laura's Birthday at Hennessey's on Friday night. It kicked ass! So does this photo.

Believe it or not, i'd had 2 Guinesses, a vodka tonic, and a long island iced tea by the end of the night, and i didn't feel a thing. We were dancing maniacs! There was a live band, and as we all know well, Q and i dance the night away, and then the band members inevitably come thank us for it and tell us to come to more of their shows. I hope to -- the band was Lisa Love Experience. They were great! I highly recommend seeing them. None of the material was original, but so what? They did fantastic covers, and i loved every one of them. There's a good time and place for some well-picked and well-played covers.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

I made bagels today.

Yes, i made bagels today. iT all started benignly enough, when i was thinking of baking something, and one thing led to another, and before i knew it, i was making deliciously moist and fresh cinnamon raisin bagels that are 75% wheat free. (it would have been 100%, except that i didn't read ahead enough in the cookbook to realize that i needed many more cups of my wheat flour than i had. ah well.) They turned out GREAT. Holy shit, do i love cinnamon raison bagels. And they were fun, too! I also made a loaf of cinnamon raisin bread while i was at it.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

I'm Back in the Saddle Again

Good morning everyone -- you might notice what time i'm writing this with a bit of astonishment. Me too. I have an appointment with a dentist specialist who is going to test my teeth for strength and sensitivity or something like that at 9am today. So i got ready for work at my normal time, and then when it would have been time to leave the house normally, i turned on my computer and started working from home a bit. Needless to say, there wasn't much to do. That usually happens later in the day with a job like mine.

I sincerely thought that returning to work was going to be just about the most miserably painful experience of my life. And you know -- it wasn't. In fact, it was perfectly fine. All that meditating i did to stay in the present moment and to accept what is worked on me. I knew there was no way for me to get out of going to work, so i accepted it, and moved on. And i really enjoyed the walk through the snow to the train station! It was so beautiful! I was parading through a winter wonderland. And then when i got on the train, i had my iPod shuffle on Beck's Guero, and i was people watching. It was lovely. My coworkers didn't pressure me into doing anything, and i just dived in at my own pace. Wow.

That's not to say that I can't wait to go back to Kripalu. I'm really looking forward to it. The goodbyes with my yoga tribe were tearful and heartfelt, and we'll see each other all again in another five weeks. In the meantime, i am churning the gears of getting a yoga group for me to practice teach at work -- LOTS of interest... nowhere to DO it. I'll keep you posted.

Valentine's Day was sweet, sweet, sweet. Not full of sugar except that of my darling love daN. We met at the Bombay Club for Indian food, and last night they had a special prix fix menu -- you could choose a vegetarian menu, non-vegetarian (which included chicken and lamb), or seafood. Predictably, I went for the veggie, and daN went for the non-veggie. It was, in a word, delicious. The menus included two appetizers (small, of course), and then the entree was a large platter for each that included some fluffy bread, lemon basmatti rice, and five small bowls of entree options for dipping or eating straight. Mine was comprised mainly of various potato, bean, and eggplant dishes, and there was a lusciously tart cucumber yogurt that offset the spiciness of the rest of the menu perfectly. THEN there was one dessert each, and daN and i shared these amazing grape rosewater dumplings and a rosewater pistachio rice pudding with cardamom. WOW. None of this stuff is on their menu normally, so it was so much fun to taste all the things there were to taste. Plus, it was delightfully romantic.

So were the roses with which daN surprised me :) He got me six -- for this is our sixth Valentine' Day together. Isn't he cute?

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

The Halfway Point

This morning, we all realized that we had finished the halfway point of part one of our yoga teacher training. What can i say? it's been amazing. In between times, i have wonderful conversations with my yoga tribe at the dinner table, or in our rooms, or hanging out in the classroom reserved for us after class has ended, or, and most specially, in the whirlpool or sauna. There is also cold dive next to the whirlpool in case we want to be able to cool ourselves off and then REALLY feel the heat of the hot tub. It's like at Annie's house when we used to go in the outdoor hottub and roll down the hill in the snow! Only it's more comparable to jumping in the ocean directly afterwards... which is actually HARDER than rolling down a hill of snow in your bathing suit. It's been a good time.

I also had a really emotional experience last night where my inner child came out. Whew! That was nuts and i was crying a lot. I knew that was going to have to happen at some point or another. I slept like a LOG last night, and i was even in bed before 11:00! (something to which i aspire tonight as well)

I'm also taking some classes in between morning and afternoon sessions, because while i can get in some free other kinds of yoga, i'll go for it... sometimes. Yesterday i took Vinyasa, which is a yoga that flows from posture to posture, and today i took Danskinetics, which was TONS of fun. It's essentially just putting on music and being given little to no instruction, but the music is loud, and you're moving, and sometimes you have a buddy and sometimes you don't. It's SUCH a joy! I can see it becoming a bigger part of my life.

On the educational side, i've gotten to teach to partners a few times now, including postures, assists, and breathing techniques (pranayama) -- and i'm getting great feedback. It's so good to know that i'm capable of this, and that i AM a yoga teacher!

Well anyway. I should get to sleep. People around here are wondering how i'm managing on sleep deprivation. I just keep telling them it's only half an hour less a day than i'd normally get. I ALWAYS have a hard time getting up anyway!

Saturday, February 04, 2006

At Kripalu

I have so far eating two meals here, both of them incredible. For those of you who know that i do not eat wheat and sugar on a general basis, you might understand how excited i was to see hot millet cream spiced with cardamom that i made crunchy with raisin granola and a side of *gasp* spelt toast! mmm! I was thrilled. The peanut butter was delicious too. So far the big challenge (that i'm happy to say i've been succeeding at) is not overreating.

That having been said, i've also attended two yoga classes since i've been here, one ending in a half hour meditation in which i did not fall asleep. And this morning, we had our first real program session (last night was orientation) in which we got to do some cool exercises that illustrate the real conflict going on in most people's lives between body, mind, energy level, and the outside observer trying to involve a sense of balance between the forces. On thing that yoga has done for me is that it's given me the tools to make them all play nice and to really find a sense of balance.

That ALSO having been said, some of the things are a bit hippy-dippy for me, but that might just have been the orientation. The actual program looks like it's going to have some EXCELLENT instruction, not to mention that the directors are wonderful. Going around the room last night talking about why we're all here and what yoga means to us, it was obvious, according to the directors, "that there is a tremendous amount of yoga knowledge in this room already. Don't feel like you don't have a foot to stand on, because you've come a long way already." That was nice to hear.

Waking up at 5:30 went a LOT better than i thought it would. With 9 other women in the room getting up at the same time, it was easier for me to drag myself out of bed. And the handful of nuts prevented me from GOING nuts before 6am yoga. We have a really packed schedule, beginning at 6am all days, and ending a 9pm on 5 out of the 9 days, ending at 5:45pm. Quiet hours start at 9:30, but i was relieved to hear that there is a room we can talk on our cell phones on any time we want, and we are free to rome the halls if we can't sleep. Indeed, i've already made friends with one of the assistants here who is also a night owl. Fortunately, meditation is very restful, so i don't feel particularly tired. One of these days, i'll have to find some time to spend in the Kripalu Store, which is filled with all sorts of incredible props, clothing, books, music, chanting tools, stationary (and i LOVE stationary...) ... and many more wonders, i am sure. It will just have to be on a night that i don't have a session, as i did last night and will again tonight.

And there is coffee for sale in the cafe for the modest price of $1.50 per cup and $0.75 per refill, and i can use the same cup to refill it all week, according to the lady behind the cash register. I've got people pulling for me.

I'm surprised to find myself hungry less often here, where i am moving so much, than i am at work. I suppose nervous energy works harder than i thought it did.

Last night while i walked into the first program orientation, i found myself feeling so overwhelmed with emotion -- with the good fortune i've had to come here, with the wonderful people i'm surrounded with, with the support i've had the whole way from my family, my friends, and my co-workers, and of course, daN. And i also miss him. It's not as painful as it could have been, but sleeping wasn't quite the same without him. In fact, i slept pretty terribly, predictably, until around 4am when i FINALLY started to get some good shut-eye... and had to get up an hour and a half later. Ah well. Perhaps tonight will be better. I think i woke up because of my tooth pain.

Speaking of which -- I'll be seeing an endocrynologist at my dentist's office so he can do a tooth test for sensitivity and see how the nerves are doing there. Woo!

Well, i think it's time for me to sign off. I have to grab lunch and would love to go for a walk outside while the sun is shining on this beautiful hillside on the 300 acre campus of Kripalu in the Berkshires.

Oh -- on a final note, it is much busier than it would normally be here this time of year since Deepak Choprah is here all weekend. I don't know much about him, which is just as well, because i would otherwise be quite put out by my inability to attend any of his sessions due to schedule conflict.

Love to all. Asshimha (compassion).