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Hatha Yoga

I am off to an excellent start today.  I woke up, ate oatmeal for breakfast (mixed quick oats with a  banana, raisins, ground flax and cinnamon), went to the gym and did upper body weights and 40 minutes on the Precor, then went to hatha yoga at Ultimate Fitness.

My friend Laura and I have done yogalates a few times (a mix of yoga and pilates).  I didn’t anticipate hatha yoga being that much different, but it really was.  The instructor for this class was a lot more instructive.  Her directions for the poses were very descriptive and precise.  It made me feel more comfortable that I was actually doing the pose correctly.  She was really good at walking your mind through your body, too.  She would say, “Feel the energy start at your toes, move through your arches, your ankles are relaxing, etc.”  With each new instruction, I felt that part of my body do as it was told.  It was so interesting, albeit a little spooky.  This yoga definitely focused on the mind-body connection more than the yogalates.  I like both types – this yoga helped me feel more centered and in tune with myself, but the yogalates worked my muscles (especially the abs) more.

I really enjoy doing yoga, but for some reason it’s super hard for me to actually get myself to the class.  The only reason I made it there today was because I met Laura and another friend there.  I am still mystified by how difficult it is to make myself do something that I really enjoy.  I blame inertia – a body at rest tends to stay at rest unless acted upon by an outside force.  Laura and Melissa are going to be my outside force.  We’re supposed to meet for class again next Saturday.

Two things about the class that I didn’t like, however, was 1.  It was SUPER cold in the room.  Granted, it’s only 8 degrees outside, but coldness goes with yoga like restraint with David Hasselhoff.  2.  This guy walks into the class, and chuckles as he sees how crowded it is.  “I love this time of year” he says with an air of disdainful superiority – New Years resolution wannabees was his attitude toward us.  He obviously doesn’t understand the true spirit of yoga (do no harm) or he would have kept his loud mouth shut.  I know this guy from my old job – he is an arrogant, obnoxious blowhard, so I shouldn’t have been surprised at his comment.

Anyway, despite the cold and the dash of obnoxiousness, I still really enjoyed the class. I’m already looking forward to going back next week.

My favorite sweatshirt

A couple of years ago my brother bought me a California Fleece Raglan sweatshirt from American Apparel.  Wow.  It was amazing – super soft, beautiful shade of blue, long, long sleeves – just the best thing.  I wore it almost all winter.  Unfortunately it didn’t survive multiple run-ins with my Proactiv.  By the end of the winter it had bleach stains all over it.  But, I kept it.  Figured I could use it for painting or something.

So, I bought another one – exact same shade, exact same size, exact same cozy softness.

It, too, did not survive the Proactiv.  To my credit, I didn’t immediately realize that it was the cleanser bleaching my beloved sweatshirt; otherwise, I would have been more cautious about wearing it while washing my face.  The thing is, it’s too wickedly comfy, and I don’t want to take it off.

I tried to table sweatshirt number two, relegate it to the “painting” stack.  But, I couldn’t.   Every time I was chilly,  I looked in my closet, and it was there, whispering its sweet nothings in my ear.  So, put it on I would – all bleach stained and everything.

I finally took pity on my husband and decided I should stop looking like a gross slob every winter evening.  I knew I wouldn’t be able to resist the sweatshirt’s siren call, so I donated it to Goodwill.

It might be rather uncouth to donate bleach-stained clothing to Goodwill, but I loved the sweatshirt too much to simply throw it away. Maybe someone will buy it for $ 0.50 to add to their paint clothes collection.

Since I live in a small city in the Midwest, 2.5 hours from the nearest American Apparel store, I ordered my 3rd installation online.  Of course, it was on backorder.  Everyone must know how amazing these things are.  I had to wait 3 weeks for my new, baby blue sweatshirt, but it is so worth it.  It’s buttery soft, lean and long, with considerate non-binding cuffs around the wrists and bottom.  This one I’ll keep far away from cleansing products and maybe even our washing machine.  I’m pretty sure it’s from the 194os and knows not the meaning of “gentle.”

I also have the California Fleece Zip Hoody in 3 colors.  It also fits nice and lean.  I must say, though, that boy does it SHRINK – each and every time it’s washed.  I might have to get a XL next time.  I don’t put them in the dryer anymore; I just hang dry them. It keeps the fit a little looser, but you pay for that with crunchiness.

So, if you’re looking for a spiffy, comfortable sweatshirt that’s not emblazoned with a sports logo, check out American Apparel.  You won’t be sorry.

‘loose, Footloose, Kick Off Your Sunday Shoes!

Tim and I watched Footloose on Netflix Streaming last night.  Well, truth be told, Tim sat on the couch next to me and read the news on his Sony e-Reader while I watched Footloose.  I have to say, outside of the hair and the dance moves, that movie really stands the test of time.  Its message is still very relevant – censorship is bad and dancing is good.

The movie really made me think about my youth.  I think that every one of the songs in Footloose – Let’s Hear it For the Boy, Almost Paradise, Holding Out for a Hero – was played at every single congregation get-together in the 80s and 90s.  I even remember doing the bus-stop (poorly, since I have the same amount of rhythm as Willard (Chris Penn)) to Footloose.  Ah, good times.   It was actually kind of ironic that the music from Footloose was so prevalent at our congregation parties, as there was always a lot of concern in the congregation about kids listening to inappropriate music and about music awakening improper and dangerous desires in the impressionable  youths.  I guess, though, most of the concern about the music was focused on rap and heavy metal, which were of course gateways to drugs and spiritism.

Hearing those songs, though, really activated some memories.  We always had the congregation dance parties in the same place – the community center.  There was always a set of long tables sighing under the weight of deviled eggs, baked beans, scotcheroos, Fastco chips and 2-liters of soda.  The room had dusty wooden floors that were perfect for dancing.  After the buffet was over, the tables from the center of the room were moved to the edges and the bus-stopping and chicken dancing began.

I was never a quick learner at anything that involved coordination of multiple limbs simultaneously.  One of our congregation elders was kind enough to spend a good portion of his adult life trying to help me overcome this weakness.  He tried to teach me how to roller skate, ski, and dance.  It’s actually pretty sad because I still cannot do any of those things well.   But, despite my handicap, I still had fun at these dance parties until I was in my later teen years.

While the religion that we grew up in would be viewed as strict and restrictive by many, at least we were allowed and encouraged to dance (in the proper way and at the proper venue).  And no one ever advocated book burning, so that was good.  My Mom asked me not to read “MASH”, but that was the closest I ever came to censorship.

Thank you, Footloose, for bringing back some good memories.  And, thank you Netflix for streaming classics from the 80s.

It’s 01-01-10 Already? What the Eff?!

So, it’s 1/1/10 already.  That kind of caught me unawares.  I was planning on buckling down in 2010 (or o-10 as I keep calling it in my head).  In January I was going to not drink for the whole month and also not buy anything unnecessary.   Well, it’s only 6:36PM, and I’ve already spent $192.  We had lunch at Buffalo Wild Wings, bought some “essentials” at Target (groceries and toilet paper and plastic totes, etc.), headlights for the car, 2010 calendars, etc.  Oh yeah, and at lunch I had a Blue Moon.  And, I’m currently drinking a grapefruit juice and vodka.

The problem, you see, is that I hadn’t realized that the new year started on a FRIDAY!  One cannot stop drinking and consuming at the beginning of the weekend.  It’s just wrong.  I’m still considering starting the buckling down on Monday.  We’ll see.  My level of commitment is already pretty weak.  But, maybe getting back into the normal routine of work will get me out of my lazy funk, and I’ll feel more inclined to set SMART goals with actually an intent to reach them.

I’m not quite sure why I’m starting this blog.  I like to write, so that’s one reason, I guess.  Not so sure if anyone really likes to read what I write.  But, I guess that’s the beauty of the internet – if you don’t want to read something you don’t have to.  My blog can thrive in oblivion, whilst giving me an outlet for my non-earth-shattering thoughts.  It’s a win-win.  Or something.