When It Gets Tough

I didn’t meditate last weekend, or on Monday. I was exhausted from training, and coming down with the beginnings of a cold, and all I wanted to do was relax. 

I fell off the wagon. I felt lazy. I started to beat myself up but stopped. I started up again on Tuesday and I’ve been consistent. But I need to get back to doing 20 minutes 2x/day. Vedic meditation really works it’s magic when it’s practiced twice a day. 

Even more aggravating though: I noticed that I’m very restless during my morning meditation. Like, more fidgety than usual. (And I fidget a lot, but that’s a story for another post.) I can’t sit still and it’s probably because my future is up in the air. I’m not really sure what I’m doing next. And although I’m not losing sleep over it this time, my mind is just constantly racing with thoughts of WHAT AM I DOING TODAY, etc. 

But as they say, when it’s hardest to sit still, that’s when you need it the most. So sit I will.

One Post

I haven’t written very much in the past month because I’ve been in my yoga teacher training intensive which means I was busy from 9am until 6pm, Monday through Friday, then another hour or so for my commute each way to and from SoHo, so between the actual class and the homework, I had zero time to write.

But it was a transformative experience. It really was. The week before the training started when I saw my kundalini teacher for the last time, she told me I’d have a transformative experience and she wasn’t lying. I truly did. We all did. Every single person in the training with me is going to be a friend for the rest of my life. There were so many tears during our closing ceremonies. 

Today felt like the first day of the rest of my new life. It sounds so cliche but I’m just free writing right now to break the silence on here. I’m not sure what exactly I want to do next, but I know that applying for every-and-any job is no longer a good option. I have savings and I don’t spend a lot, so I can take my time. I’ll teach where and when possible. I have insurance, albeit not very good insurance, but insurance nevertheless. (At least until the ACA is repealed!)

Fear can fuck off for once. I’m going to try this my way. 

Week 1: Done

I can’t believe week 1 of teacher training is over. I was so nervous the night before it started that I barely got any sleep on Sunday and apparently my teacher, Chrissy, didn’t either. I’m sure it was the same for a lot of people. We all sat in a circle and nervously surveyed who else was in the class. By day 4, when we sat in a circle in the studio at the end of the day, Chrissy said something like, “Can you believe how well we’ve all gotten to know each other in just four days?” And it’s true. We really had.

There were pose myths debunked. Super long asanas flowed through. And we learned the secret formula for YogaWorks sequencing. Personally, my mind was blown to find out that our hips are not squared in Trikonasa or Ardha Chandrasana. I was also blown away to find out that there’s a specific method to the madness of YogaWorks’ sequences. From here on out, I’m pretty much going to be keeping an eye on my teacher’s sequences to see if they break any of the rules. I’m annoying like that. We’ve had a ton of anatomy lessons, too. I’m going to really have to work hard to became even the tiniest bit memorized with some of the names.

We’re reading the yoga sutras by Patanjali and they’re so interesting and relevant even in modern times. 

The group of men and women (okay, there are only two men, but that’s okay!) are so incredibly diverse, from all parts of the world, and I’m so happy to be getting to know all of them. 

By Day 4, I was incredibly sore. And after the long asana yesterday, I was even more sore, in addition to exhausted. Today I woke up at the incredibly late hour of 9am and took a bath while doing some anatomy reading and then I stretched and flowed a little. 

And now it’s snowing, so I’m watching the snow out my window while J reads and Playbill sleeps. Happy Saturday!

Snow Day!

I honestly don’t know anyone in the city who loves a good snowfall like I do. I mean, obviously it’s ideal to be able to sit in your apartment and watch it fall, rather than commute to work in it, but I love it regardless. All you need is a good pair of boots and you’re set. It gives you an excuse to go buy (or make!) hot chocolate or extra coffee because there is no better time for hot chocolate and coffee than a snow day. 

I am currently sitting in my living room watching some light, but consistent, snowflakes fall from the sky while my cat sleeps on the windowsill and I’m trying to decide whether or not to go to a yoga class at 11am. I’ve been trying to let my strained knee heel for the last week and a half before teacher training starts (on Monday, OMG). Shockingly, constant yoga classes weren’t helping, so I took Friday off and my knee is feeling a bit better (it hasn’t been in excruciating pain, just extra sensitive). 

Annnnnnnd I think I’ve just talked myself out of going. Thanks, blog and free-writing mind. I’m going to do some light flow and stretching in my apartment before I go to help to administer a survey at In Transit’s matinee (90 minutes, no intermission!). It should be an interesting piece, or at the very least it’ll be different.

And I hadn’t planned on it, but Anjellicle Cats was at a loss for a volunteer tonight so my bleeding heart for cats said yes, so I’ll trudge back out in the snow later tonight to play with some cats that are waiting to find their furrrrever homes. (Have you adopted a cat lately? If not, I seriously think you should.)

In the meantime, get a good pair of boots and enjoy your snow day. 

New Year’s Things

I just did 5 yoga classes in 3 days. I am sore and took today, Friday, off. I’m going in for one more class before the final holiday of the year tomorrow morning, which should kill me. My knee is acting up but I think it’s strained from overdoing it in King Arthur pose on Wednesday night so I’ll have to go easier.

I was thinking about New Year’s resolutions and I didn’t know what they should be. J said that because I’m doing yoga teacher training, and that’s a big commitment, that I should basically be absolved from making other ones, but I still wanted to think of something. Here’s what I came up with:

  1. Volunteer more – this will likely be in the realm of volunteering with cats, something I’m already doing, but let’s do it some more, shall we?
  2. Go on Facebook less – like 15 minutes a day or less. If I have a question about something, I’ll just have to Google it or reach out to actual human people I know. Facebook is a super fucking waste of time and it makes people depressed, so let’s cut it out. 
  3. Read – I read 14 or 15 books this year. Let’s do it again in 2017. Or make it 20. Why not.
  4. Be healthier – Cook more, eat out less. Get back to drinking once or twice a week and no more. Basically try to feel good. 
  5. Make a vision board – I keep meaning to and then I’m like, “Ooh, NVM, let’s watch My Cat From Hell…”
  6. Figure out what I want to do – I don’t think a 9-5 desk job is for me (unfortunately) so I need to figure out WTF I want to do instead. 
  7. Rock teacher training – Duh. Maybe I’ll be able to master a headstand, too, finally. But hey, just because someone can do a handstand doesn’t mean they’re a good teacher.
  8. Watch less Netflix – This goes for HBO Go and Amazon Prime too. I want to watch less TV so I can read more. 
  9. Be more patient – with my partner, my friends, family, and especially strangers. I currently have no patience, so cultivating any patience would be a miracle. 
  10. Be less judgmental – I would like to look at someone that I’ve never met and not make 10 assumptions about them based on what they look like or what they’re doing. 
  11. Travel Somewhere New: One new city in America (we’re planning on Denver, at the very least) and three new cities in Europe (ideas that have been thrown around: Reykjavik, Dublin, Edinburgh, London, Budapest, Bucharest, or wherever they film the Bond movies in Croatia).

I think that’s good for now. What are your resolutions? 

Post-Holiday Hangover

Happy post-holiday hangover! The holidays were pretty easy this year. My parents hosted Christmas Eve so I didn’t have to move much. My mom’s side of the family (my dad’s side doesn’t come because they live in Maine and they’re Jewish, duh) is SO LOUD. I had to retreat to my room at one point to meditate and decompress because it was so goddamn loud. I had a lot of fun playing with my parent’s kitten, though. She’s so energetic! 

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Though my mom might be Catholic, we still pretty much celebrate Christmas like Jews. We have the morning presents and relaxing and then go to the movies and out to eat Chinese food. We ended up seeing La La Land which was So So Painfully Bad. Apologies to Pasek and Paul, but the music wasn’t memorable and the storyline, though not their fault, was horrifically cliche. The opening number really had nothing to do with anything and was so terribly awkward I wanted to shrink down in my seat and die.

I traveled back to the city with my mom on Monday and J and I met my friend Elliot and his girlfriend to see the [random] matinee of The Encounter, which was again a wonderful experience and all enjoyed it. Today I am getting back to yoga at my studio and trying to finish up a quick book. I’m allowing myself to eat and drink whatever I want this week, within reason, until New Year’s Day. Because… new year, new start? Then I’m reigning it in. Back to not drinking more than one day a week and cooking. 

And I’ll be entering lots of ticket lotteries this week with my partner in crime, @endotique. Who never posts on Tumblr anymore and really should, right guys? 

Here’s to a week of freedom before new beginnings. 

A Leap of Faith

Ever since I was surprised by a layoff in early November, I’d been contemplating doing a 200 hour yoga teacher training intensive with one of my favoriteeeee regular teachers (the inspiration Chrissy Carter!) for the month of January because it just so happened to be almost perfect timing. I just need a way, other than unemployment, to sustain myself until then. 

But then I’d been woo’ed by a recruiter to take a temp HR Generalist position at a tech start-up. The pay was pretty low, but it looked like a cool company, so I said I’d do it. The recruiter also said it had potential to be permanent and as soon as I saw the office and they gave me a bag of swag, I was like, “OMG I’M STAYING FOREVER,” and my yoga teacher training dreams disappeared faster than the color from my cheeks from the 4 AVENUE WALK from the subway to the office that the temp job was in. 

After about two weeks, I started to get pretty miserable though. It became clear that this wasn’t becoming a permanent thing in addition to the pay being stupidly low, and despite my “boss” being a lovely person who I had things in common with (meditation! rose water spray! rolfing!), she arrived late every day (her own schedule, whatever!), spent most of the day in meetings, and couldn’t answer my questions as she didn’t know a whole lot about HR – she had been thrown into her role with no flotation advice just as I had been. She gave me projects to do with no instructions and she wasn’t there to answer questions.

As I sat at my desk last night, I realized I was miserable. I knew I didn’t want to stay and I definitely wanted to have another plan, which was a surprise to everyone, including myself. Ever since college, when I interned and/or went to classes during the day and worked selling merchandise at Broadway shows at nights and on weekends, in addition to volunteering to do other production related things, I looked forward to the day when I’d be able to have a “regular” 9-5 job after which I’d be able to have my life and see shows, do yoga, and whatever else I desired. 

But after the last couple of weeks, I started to kind of admit to myself that maybe that’s not what I want to do after all. Maybe, as much as it kills me to say it, a “regular” job isn’t what’s right for me. Or maybe I was just in the wrong field. But instead of trying yet another job, I decided to sign up for yoga teacher training. I input my credit card number, submitted my application, forwarded the confirmation to my yoga teacher, and left for the day after offboarding someone.

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I arrived, as previously scheduled, at my yoga studio that night for class with my teacher and when she arrived she gave me a hug and told me congratulations. Shortly after, I received a phone call from the recruiter telling me that my assignment was over because they’d hired a generalist. The universe had my back and things all synced up. I’d found a job for the interim weeks before training and now I was free from it. 

I’m really excited for the training. It’s a big step and it’s a big commitment, for sure, but it’s better than sitting around and taking another job that I might end up hating. All of the reasons that I didn’t think I should do it are still there (I don’t really want to be a yoga teacher, per se; I’m not flexible enough; I can’t even do a handstand!; It’s expensive!; My arms are short!; I’m not fit enough!) but they’re at least fading into the background now that I clicked the ‘confirm’ button.

If you’ve done 200 hour yoga teacher training before, I’d love to hear some tips and insights, if you have any. 

Come on, people.

My yoga teacher, Chrissy, said something incredibly sad at the end of class on Monday night. She was talking about using yoga as a way to really strip off our layers that we build up by living in the world. She added the addendum that hopefully when the layers are stripped away, hopefully you’ll simply be a nice person.

She added when class was over and we were putting away our props that she knows the holidays are hard for everyone. She told us she was checking out at JCREW earlier in the day and the woman at the desk said to her, “thank you for being nice to me!” So sad. Let’s get it the fuck together, folks. Yes, Trump won and a lot of people would like to sit around and mourn all day long for the next 4 years, but that’s pointless. 

That’s a reminder to everyone, and my impatient ass especially, to be extra nice to people you meet. Especially during the holidays. And especially to people who are working shit jobs dealing with disgruntled customers all day.

Stop, drop, and meditate.

I’m going to try not to be too dramatic, or make this all about me, because it’s not, but these are my feelings right now. You know those moments in movies when the a pivotal character dies or gets a life-changing phone call? I had one of those tonight. No, I didn’t die, but I got out of a great yoga class with my favorite teacher, turned my phone on and had a text from my mother saying to call her immediately so I did. She told me that my oldest best friend in the world, who was more like my older sister than anything else, was being rushed to the hospital with multiple brain tumors.

I am still absolutely shocked beyond belief. They won’t know anything else for another day or so until more tests have been run, but I never expected this in a million years. I told Justin first and then a couple of other close friends. Because I didn’t want to sit with the weight of this on my chest (I know how self-centered that sounds, believe me) and not allow myself to confide in the people I love most.

Truth be told, there’s nothing I can really do right now but wait. I’d ask you to pray, but I don’t even pray so I’m not going to ask you to do something I wouldn’t do. But I did the only thing I know how to do which was to stop, drop, and meditate. I Googled for an appropriate meditation and found one to send healing energy to loved ones. I don’t believe in gods, but I believe we’re all energy so I believe in sending healing energy. As the saying goes, where your attention goes, the energy flows

So, if you feel moved, send some energy and positive vibes my friend’s way. 

Cat/Cow Pose with Actual Cats

Last Thursday, I headed down to the LES for yoga and kitty time at Meow Parlour. I haven’t been back since my first trip there in the winter and I was look forward to it a lot. Before the yoga class begins at the Meow Parlour, everyone gets 45 minutes of kitty time so I first got to know the cats I’d be hanging out with. 

There were two ginger wobbly cats there (cats with a neurological disorder that makes it hard for them to balance, hence ‘wobbly’), as well as two tortie kittens, an older white cat, an adorable tabbie kitten, an older ginger cat, and Willie, an adult tabbie who has been at the Meow Parlour since the very beginning and probably hasn’t been adopted, according to the folks at Meow Parlour, because he takes longer than usual to warm up to humans. I loved him instantly.

As soon as the yoga mats came out, the cats that had been sleeping in the front of the store came running to the back. For some reason they love the yoga mats. 

The class was an advanced beginners class for the most part. It made me feel good but didn’t tire me out. It was definitely the most distracted I’ve ever been in a yoga class though, with the cats walking around and brushing up against us. Distracting and adorable

For $20 and a long ride down to the LES, it was totally worth it to get my downward dog on with the cats and support a great organization.