Wednesday, July 29, 2009

south philly burrito explorers.

these two pieces are right next to each other in south philly. close to 8th and wash.

asher and i went burrito advent-uring.

no luck with what we ate. any burrito suggestions? we'll keep on trucking til we find something delicious. aren't these murals amazing?

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

nyc. you defeat me.

it rained it poured. i bought a poncho and when i opened it, this is what i saw... officially a tourist in times square after a long day of photo assisting.
this is mr. gilbert. he's a puppy. very cute.
my very first strand bookstore bag. swanky pigeons.
defeat sticker on bike in alphabet city.


this is my second trip to nyc recently and i always feel defeated afterwards. i feel no desire or urge to live in that city. ever. never. even if i was a millionaire. it's extremely tense there. i find myself walking much slower than everyone else and i get pushed around a bunch. philly is a good place for me. i'm tired.


i practiced mysore at yoga sutra nyc. john campbell and his assistant constanza roldan. got an amazing assist in supta kurmasana from constanza. she's so great! i like practicing in a new place and not knowing anyone. no drama. no fuss. i keep to myself on the mat and it's nice. back to yoga squared for a few days before making the big move over to yoga sutra philly. hope everything goes smoothly for everyone making that transition.


Sunday, July 26, 2009

the great south philly adventure.

what is this, one might ask? it's a sofa in a car! don't believe me... look below!
hmmm. ok ok. it's not a sofa, it's a love seat! close enough..
the itty bitty scion that could! love seat tied in and secured. drove home via south philly instead of the freeway. and we had no problems.


i'm off to nyc for the day tomorrow to be a photo assistant for the day.

also, my roommate, pal, confidant, friend: jillian! got engaged! i'm so excited for her. it happened after a ride through central park on tandem bike, the proposal spot at the alice and wonderland statue in the park. so romantic!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

favorite view of center city?

i love philadelphia. i love seeing it from all angles. i love being able to see city hall all the way from west philly when you're looking down market. or when you're looking up broad..

it's amazing

i have a favorite view of the city sky line from my bike and it's at 32nd and baring, there's a cement park of sorts right after baring street. i've never stopped to sit there, although i will. i love the view.

asher's favorite view is from the peco building from the 43rd floor. (he gets to go to all the cool buildings when he's delivering the pitas.)

do you have a favorite view? spot? location to make out at? anything. i'm looking for places to explore. i have another year in this beautiful city and i'm definitely going to make the best of it.


went to honey's sit and eat for a late lunch with asher. i needed some soul food after attending jill-ji's last wake up class this morning. there were 36 of us. lots of regulars. one newbie. ha! i cried, not hysterically, but the tears just flowed down my face during the final chant. we had a celebration afterwards. food. champagne. presents. chatting. hugging. stories. i love wakeup. i really love it. the people and the love there is just overwhelming.


Thursday, July 23, 2009

lunch hour yoga.

i've been having this problem lately with waking up super early for mysore practice. i've been experimenting with vinyasa classes at wakeup... i've thought about doing night time mysore...


i love the morning mysore crew. so i went on monday... practiced. and by 11am. i HAD HAD HAD to nap when the baby napped. so i was exhausted. tuesday night jill's vinyasa class. wednesday night corina's vinyasa class. i slept incredibly well both of those nights. thursday morning: today.

alarm was set for 5:45. i turned it off and decided i was not in the mood to be up and i went back to sleep with my loverboy for another hour or so.

i brought my mat and yoga clothes to work so that i could maybe practice while j-man napped.

so i did it. mysore practice in the kitchen. i think it ended up being a solid hour. no music. no candles. no incense. just me and the mat on a dirty kitchen floor. i did the entire practice, but it was quicker than usual because of being a "new place."

anyway, i feel really good about this. i might keep doing this lunch time yoga practice... when i don't make it to mysore mornings... which will now be at sutra. the word is out. squared is merging with sutra. don't ask me questions about it. but it's happening august 3rd. the end.

love to love you baby.

also. i'm definitely signing up for wake up's teacher training. i fall in love more and more with their style of vinyasa with every class i take... so i'm excited!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

check out tom.

i added a blog to my 'blogs i heart' list. tom just started the blog. but it's bound to be bountiful!

thanks tom for blogging!! i love reading good stuff.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

one year ago... (i'm stealing this idea from jill.)

what were you doing one year ago? today, july 21st 2008... i was... working as a nanny for a girl named petra in baltimore. i had probably just interviewed with the family i'm with now. i was probably waiting around to hear from them.

i was contemplating my life in philly.

now i am here. one year later. everything has changed. and everything is changing again.

moving to a new apartment in less than two weeks. yoga teachers leaving. yoga teachers coming. studios. teacher trainings. etc etc etc.

lots of change. i will blog more when the changes happen. but for now. just thinking about how much has already happened. and how much will happen in the next year.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

london calling. inhale. exhale.

this morning i rode my bike over to wakeup fairmount for the first time. it took me 15 minutes. i got their really really early. so i read my book in the shade and got to listen to jake teach his class. sounds like a fun class. i will have to check it out sometime soon-ish. went to jill's 10am class. packed house. lots of familiar faces. it's nice to see the regulars! i guess i'm becoming a regular on saturday mornings. i'd like to be at wakeup more often... hmmm.

take one step toward the point and the point will take 10 steps to you.

i have shin splints. i rode my bike 6.5 miles today. to wake up to yoga squared to home.

i also did rock and roll mysore with a few others at yoga squared. we all practiced to the clash. i did a shortened mysore practice because i already practiced today. i played with handstands. i played with trying to stand up from a backbend. we will try to do rock and roll mysore again sometime. depending on space. and people. we'll figure it out.

i'm just rambling. drinking a honey moon (by blue moon) in bed. i'm tired and will be sleeping in approximately 20 minutes or so. give or take.

jill had a going away party/buy mike's art party tonight. lots of familiar faces. good food. yummy sangria. got to mingle. meet new people. pet doggies. take fuji-style polaroids. i only stayed for 2 hours. perfect amount of time i think. if i stayed any longer, i probably would've drank more and made a fool of myself. ha! that's my secret to leaving the room with a little dignity... not drinking too much and leaving before you get outta control! :) i was very well behaved tonight.

i hope to make it to david g's led tomorrow. we shall see. i'm not setting my alarm. i'm going to see if my internal alarm will wake me up on time like it has for the past week. seriously. my internal alarm is on a roll.

good night moon. honey moon.

Friday, July 17, 2009

the way we get by.

tonight, asher and i packed all of our books. well, it was mostly me. i'm good at it. he kept me motivated though. we organized lots of junk. got rid of stuff. i just finished packing two more boxes of kitchen stuff. our apartment is getting emptier by the minute.

now i must take sleep.

i blogged 4 times today? i must've been lonely or something. or i only worked like 3 hours.

i faxed my lease to the rental place today.

we're moving to no. libs. it was either that or south philly. south philly lost. oh well.

waiting for boxes outside the pita pit

in the alley outside the pita pit. i love a skull on a cellie taken with my cellular device.


i need a digital camera bad! the one asher gave me, which was hella old, broke... so i've been taking photos with my computer of myself and my beasts... which is alright. i've been taking pics with my phone, which is alright but i miss having a camera to put into my bag. i have the holga loaded with film. but in this day and age, i need instant photos for blogging purposes and facebook.

ok . just putting that out into the universe. digital camera.

into the universe... (maybe i will save up for one when i'm done moving in august??)

i kissed the buddha and made him cry.

liz phair. repeat. repeat. repeat.

i find myself listening to the album "whip smart" whenever i'm feeling a little down.

i'm sad that jill-ji is leaving so soon. i feel like i'm losing a major part of my philly life. jill is not just a teacher to me, she is my mentor. my friend. my pal.

for the past 3 years or so, i've moved every year. santa cruz. huntington beach. baltimore.




i thought about fleeing. running. getting out of town. that's what we do. every year. asher and i have been on the run. like fugitives. rebels without a cause.

i'm happy to be staying here another year. i feel like it's a good thing. i'm scared of another winter. if i can't handle it, we're out of here at the end of next summer. i'm making good friends through my yoga community. i have some friends from college here and i'm meeting all their friends. this is good. i haven't had good friends in any of the towns i've lived in these past few years. i mean, i had some people who i hung with. but it didn't feel like how it feels now. i have some great friends, best friends, they are all scattered all over the country. so it's nice to be making such good connections in this city.

anyway, i just feel sad. i will treasure these next few weeks of yoga with jill on fridays and saturdays. and whatever else we can do before then. coffee? lunch? who knows. gotta live in the present and just eat these moments up.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

AYRI Day 2.

Field Notes on YR (yoga research):
AKB enjoys sleeping from 11pm until 7am (or later) and then riding her bike straight to work. She also slept really well after taking a night class on Monday evening. She expects to sleep well again tonight, as she went to another evening class today. Two days with no mysore and she is still mentally alive and well. Physically she is sore is different places, which is refreshing and rejuvenating.

Today I went to Corina's "Harmonizing Vinyasa," at 6pm in West Philly. I rode my bike from Center City to West Philly. I was insanely sweaty when I got to class, but I had ten minutes to change and relax on the mat a little. This class was a little less intense from the Vigorous Vinyasa yesterday, but I still got just as sweaty and had a very fun time. I even got to be a demonstrator on how to use a strap for bow pose. James (a yoga friend from the "old days") was in class. I love the West Philly space. It's more open than the Fairmount location. I love both though. Different but Equal. :)

I'm noticing how much I enjoy sleeping in during the week. If you count sleeping til 7, sleeping in.... Anyway, I love my Astanga practice. I seriously love it. Like I'd marry it, for better or for worse. Ya know what I mean? I think I could practice at night all the time. So I'm considering not going to mysore practice in the mornings anymore. Working with an 18 month old boy drains my energy so much and I need all the sleep I can get. I'm realizing how ridiculous it's been for me to be practicing at 6am and going to work from 8 to 530 everyday. I haven't needed to take a nap today or yesterday at 11am, since I've skipped the AM practice. So I will figure this all out. Something's gotta give. I guess I could go to bed earlier, but I don't see that happening right now. I'm enjoying my evenings with my loverboy.

Anyway, I also love Vinyasa classes when it's taught by great teachers such as Jill or Corina. There have been other's but those are the two I'm enjoying these days. I'm sure i'll find other teachers that impress me, but I just started this exploration, so it might take me a while to find my other Vinyasa teachers.

I was going to go to Corina's class tomorrow, but I would totally have to rush from work, so I think I'm going to pass. Instead, I'm going to sleep in, skip mysore again... and go to Acro Yoga with Justicia at Dhyana Yoga West Philly. Actually Justicia is another teacher whose Vinyasa class I greatly enjoy. Also, Jessica Puma at Dhyana is amazingly sweet and has very fun Vinyasa classes. Just haven't been to either of their classes in a while.. So, I will go to Acro and see some of my buddies tomorrow night. The plan is to take off on Thursday. Give my body a rest. I've been going strong since Friday. (friday, saturday, sunday, monday, tuesday,!)

So Thursday off. Friday 6:30 led Primary with Jill-ji! Saturday Vinyasa with Jill-ji! then also open practice at y2 for rock and roll mysore. So I'll practice twice on Saturday... my second practice will be just exploring. Definitely not a full practice. More like practicing jumping back, maybe some handstands... whatever I want to do!

Um. Yeah. I got two classes with Corina this week. I will take two more with her next week, probably Monday and Tuesday again. Then I will decide if I want to do Wake Up Yoga's TT.

That's all folks for now.

Monday, July 13, 2009


Amanda's Yoga Research Institute.

Jill says to explore and research, so I'm researching and exploring. Pattabhi Jois opened the Ashtanga Yoga Research Institute to spread the Ashtanga Love. My research institute is really just for me and maybe some reader's.

So. Hmmmm. So. Yeah. I participated in a yoga teacher training that I did not enjoy. I will not speak slander on the program or the teachers. I enjoyed my yoga colleagues, I enjoyed many of my teachers, but I did not enjoy the program. That's where I will end on that note.

On a second note, after months and months of self-practice, self-reflection, self-actualization... after many talks over coffee, after many thoughts flowing through my mind.. I've decided that I am not done with the want and desire to teach yoga. To spread the yoga love.

Third note, I thought about leaving Philly. Running back to Cali or living in a van, but neither option really seemed like a smart thing to do right now. So I decided to stay here. In the city of brotherly love. I love this brotherly sisterly city. I'm making some amazing friends. I'm enjoying my job... (most of the time.) I love the yoga community I've found here.

So, I have another year here. (I haven't signed a lease yet, but as soon as it's ready, I'll be here at least until October 1, 2010). What am I going to do besides be a nanny and a yoga practitioner for this upcoming year... Well, I think I should go back to yoga school aka teacher training.

There are many options. I want to make the best decision for me. This is the perfect time for me to do this. I have a strong practice under my belt. I'm dedicated to the yoga in all it's glory. I am financially sound. I can pay rent and pay for teacher training and still put food on the table and buy new boots this fall.

I've decided to explore Wakeup Yoga. Their teacher training starts September 2009 and ends May 2010. It's 250 Hours. David Keil teaches the anatomy. Manorama: Sanskrit. They have other adjunct faculty for meditation and chanting. The names escape me right now, but I've heard great things.

One of the pre-requisites for this training is that you take at least ONE class with Corina, the owner of Wake up and the director of the teacher training (TT from now on). I decided that I would not just take ONE class with Corina, but at least 4.

Today was day one. I enjoyed Corina's class very much. It takes me a little while, maybe like half an hour to get out of Ashtanga Head Space/Body Space. I'm so programmed to do the Primary Series that whenever I take a Vinyasa class I always feel confused, except during Jill-ji's because I frequent her classes so I know what to expect. Anyway, after giving myself the space to explore this style of yoga I had a blast. I see the structure of the vinyasa class. I'm no yoga-dummy. I know how the class works. I know that we warm up, we get juicy, we slow down, we close. We did poses I have never worked on but enjoyed none-the-less. Some of them were downright hard!! but!!! what is yoga? (ashtanga) yoga is mind control yoga, essentially all yoga is mind control yoga. In my head, I'm like, "this hurts, but only a few more breaths, you can do it." Mind control. It's all about that. Guruji is right.

I am planning on going to Corina's class tomorrow at 6, then Wednesday at 5:45 (it's her birthday so it should be juicy and fun-filled.) I will blog after each class. I will write my observations. Then next week I plan on taking one of Victoria's classes (she will be assisting in the TT) and one more of Corina's before I fill out my application..

I decided that in order to fully explore Corina's classes, I'm skipping mysore for a few days. I obviously can't do mysore in the mornings, work, then vigorous vinyasa at nights and be able to survive.. I could do it maybe once but I'm not. I'm just taking a break from the mysore practice. I do miss it though. This week is a good week for me to skip the morning practice's because I had to be at work at 7:45 today, 8 tomorrow, probably 7:45 Wed, 8 Thursday.. So it's a little much to get to the mysore and work and be able to function.

Ok. That's it for the AYRI.

A Squared Ashtanga Productions... ASAP presents:

Rock-on Ashtanga Mysore Style Practice (open practice)

This Saturday July 18th

Featuring The Clash and The Beastie Boys
at, upstairs at 1923 Chestnut Street, (ring bell to enter)

Extra facts:
.be on time charge
...better make it to Sunday practice also (9am led primary!)
....Moonday is Tuesday July 21st

Saturday, July 11, 2009

huck and pig. new pics.

beautiful pig. check out my lovely schnozz.
my huckfinn hanging out taking family portraits together. this is the sweetest thing ever.

you are my mother.

I looked across my mat during the beginning of the final chant today during Jill-ji's class. The girl across from me had her eyes closed. As soon as she recognized the chant, she smiled big, really big. I knew it had to be something special. I closed my eyes and felt how special and wonderful that moment was for everyone in the room.

"you are my mother, you are my father, you are my family, you are my friend, you are my knowledge, you are my wealth, you are my all, o light of all lights you are." (This is the translation I found online.)

I cried when Jill spoke these words to us today. I didn't think her leaving would affect me so much, but it truly is. I am going to miss her deeply. I feel like I'm finding this amazing family in Philly and it makes me sad Jill will be leaving, but I know she will be back to visit.

Ok, I'm not going to get all mushy gushy here. I'll leave that up to Jill.. to make us all bawl our eyes out in the next few weeks.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

grown growing gone.

This past year has been a year of growth. Human growth, physical growth, mental growth. Lots of growing pains. I'm still growing. I'm still learning. I feel like I'm finally figuring "it" out.

I've been in Philly for a year. I moved here August of last year, but I had been coming up throughout the entire month of June and July before actually moving here. It took me a year to ride a bike here. I don't know why I was so scared? It's immensely flat and fun. Scary sometimes, but exhilarating. I also didn't want to buy another bike if I wasn't staying and since I made the commitment to stay another year, I had no excuse. Darah had left her bike here and told us to keep it, ride it, sell it, do whatever, etc. After realizing it's perfectly functional, we adjusted the seat and Asher took me on my first official ride on Sunday of this week. (I did ride the bike once to Dock Street, but I don't really count that. ha) It's hybrid and I totally feel like a dork because everyone rides fixies and single speeds, but that's not entirely true. There are tons of hybrids, cruisers, road bikes, mountain bikes, commuter bikes, etc. So I guess it's all good. As long as it has two wheels, you're part of this massive community of bikers. I finally feel like I live in Philly. The bike is part of the life here. You gotta ride one to know what I'm saying.

Anyway, back to my growth. My Ashtanga Practice has grown immensely since starting a mysore practice back in October at Yoga Squared. Mysore practice is another commitment that is incredibly intense. I love it and sometimes I hate it, but mostly I love it the most. I still practice vinyasa with Jill-ji and some other's around the Philly area. Mysore practice was another fear of mine. I was like, "I can't do that, I can't wait up everyday at 5:45 to do yoga, I can't do yoga everyday, I don't have that shit memorized, etc etc etc." After wading through all that mental bullshit, I just jumped in and found some of my most inspirational teachers. (David Keil, Jill Manning, Karen Harmelin Tropea). I'm glad I have this practice. I'm learning the ebbs and flows of a daily practice. Sometimes I don't go. Sometimes I rest. Sometimes I cry. Sometimes I'm sore. Sometimes I'm angry, sometimes happy. It's all part of it. It hasn't even been a year of mysore practice and I know that in another 6 months, it will all change again.

I've learned this year to love myself. To really love myself. To let my curls go crazy. To paint my toenails hooker red and be ok with it. To wear tube socks in summer and leg warmers in winter. I'm learning that love is what you need. Loving yourself really allows you to love others. Not just in a relationship, but friends, bosses, babies, everyone needs love. It's true. But you need to really be ok with yourself before anyone else can truly receive you.

I've learned to stick to my guns and not compromise my beliefs. I've learned that you can stand up for yourself and people will ultimately respect that even if they don't agree.

I feel like I'm finally growing up. It feels good. I'm glad I'm staying here for another year. I had talked about going back to California or living in a van, both are fun, both may happen in the future, but for now I'm staying put. This year has been a year of learning and this next year I hope to really enjoy my time here. To let myself have fun as much as possible, but to ultimately keep growing and learning always.

Life is good.

Monday, July 6, 2009

love at first bike.

my bike is the hybrid on the right. trek 820. it was darah's. she left it here and said i could keep it. it works well. asher's is on the left. specialized langster with some upgrades. my apartment is clean, thanks asher. :)

Sunday, July 5, 2009

bikers delight.

i did it.

after almost a year of living in philly.

i did it.

i got on the bike and road into center city and beyond. i wanted to test ride how long it would take me to get to yoga and then from yoga to work. 10 minutes each way. it makes my commute approximately 20 minutes or less on the bike instead of 30 minutes or more on bus. also, didn't buy a monthly transpass, which was $78. I am 78 dollars richer. and I already feel like i'm getting some good cardio on the ride back to west philly (aka the only real hill in philly). after we got to my work, i wanted to keep going so we went all the way to penn's landing and then turned around and came home. the ride home wasn't bad. i'm sure with traffic it will be different. there were hardly any cars on the road, the weather was beautiful and i had a magnificent time.

i felt really safe following asher for my first time into center city. and i know i'll do great tomorrow. i bought some tokens for the bus earlier today because it will be good to have them in case of horrible rain or period cramps.

i'm glowing with sweat and joy.

street art...

on spruce, close to 42nd. haven't seen sticker street art that i've liked in a while/ took this with my handy dandy camera phone. i need a digital camera. any one have an old one they want to give me or trade? i have a mountain bike i want to get rid of. along with some other random goodies in my apt.

also noticed that acro yoga on sundays is cancelled until the fall. leaving wednesday night as the only night to get together to practice flying and basing. anyone want to get together sometime on the weekend and base me? or vice versa. i'm craving some flying. let me know. i have the acro manual, so that helps. xo.