Monday, August 31, 2009

what makes a practice?

someone once said that a single downdog is a practice.

what constitutes a practice? connecting to your body? breath? following a particular set of asanas?

i know that the answer for me is connecting to my body. calming my mind with some breath and movement. i don't feel attached right now to series of asanas. i think that bodies and minds need certain practices on certain days.

today i did sun salutations. i feel good. what about you?

Friday, August 28, 2009

things i'm looking forward to:

(one for the history books: jan. 2009, katie's graduation party)

jp visiting.
morgan moving here.
a week off of work.
a trip to providence.
chelsea and crew visiting.
rosh hashanah.
wake up yoga teacher training.
my 26th birthday. halloween. 3 year anniversary with asher. (all happens on the same weekend!)
winter solstice celebration led by jillji at wakeup.

so many things to look forward to. i'm just full of anticipation for this coming year.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

yin yoga; hard yoga?

this image is from, it's called "lizard pose."

imagining doing this pose and holding it for 5 minutes! and then doing something equally as uncomfortable and doing that for 5 minutes. then doing another pose for 5 minutes. then doing it all on the other side of your body. f-ing a man! that was hard. i wanted to go to corina's 545 class at fairmount, but time was against me.. so i decided to venture over to wakeup south for the first time. i've never been and i wasn't sure if i knew how to get there, but magically i had the address memorized and i knew the cross streets... so i got there. planned on doing vinyasa with jill b. but i was the only taker on that note, so her and i took mickey's yin class. i'm tired just thinking about. i'm interested to see how my body reacts to such a class. i was blissed out of mind afterwards. i seriously was high. i didn't know my way home from south philly (well i do know how to get home, but not the fastest route) so i just rode and rode and found 3rd street and took it alllll the way home. it was a 25 minute bike ride. talk about my hammies & quads. they were burning up afterwards. i'm ready for bed and it's 9:15. i don't really go to sleep til 10 so i will finish watching hell's kitchen with my boytoy and pack up my stuff and see if i can make it to early morning mysore tomorrow. (haven't been since monday, home practice tuesday, yin today.)

Saturday, August 22, 2009

clutter is the symptom, hoarding is the disease.

my sister and i are watching a show on people who hoard. it's seriously intense.


although i've been living on my own now for a few years, i still have some of my belongings at my parents house. mostly old art and photography stuff. stuff that i can't really lugg around from apartment to apartment to city to city to city. ya know? i have most of it in tubs and some of it on shelves. i'd like to get rid of some of it, but i'm emotionally attached. so it stays for a while, in another 6 months i'm sure i'll be able to get rid of more. it's a slow process. i'm not a hoarder, but i do get these strange attachments to stuff from my past and i keep it for a while, then one day when i'm over it, i throw lots of things away.


i have sooo many old journals. from middle school. highschool. college and beyond. some of them are majorly embarassing. but i can't get rid of them. i like to read them sometimes and see how much i've grown, changed and blossomed.

one of my journals is from when i roadtripped with my bff jp and then moved to california. this was 2006.

here are some quotes that i had written down in it that i enjoy:
-"i told my mom my own theory of why we like birds- of how birds are a miracle because they prove to us there is a finer, simpler state of being which we may strive to attain." from douglas copland's, "life after god"

-"i have to remind myself that time only frightens me when i think of having to spend it alone. sometimes i scare myself with how many of my thoughts revolve around making me feel better about sleeping alone in a room." douglas copland, "life after god"

-life lessons from the road (these are from the road trip with jp): when you see it, do it. know that people can be cranky, it doesn't mean they don't love you. try new things, ie: oysters. stop for scenic views. sometimes it just rains. take 2 lane roads. sometimes it's nice to sleep alone. (there were many of these life lessons from the road, but these were my favs.)

stencils that were on Valencia Street in San Fran:
'i've waited my whole life for you.'
'you make my dreams come true.'
'your existence gives me hope.'
'i couldn't love you anymore than i already do.'
'you bring me to my knees.'
'your love is all i need.'

(i wonder who stenciled these quotes and who they were for. it's kinda cute/romantic.)

"in landlessness resides the highest truth." -moby dick

i've been fascinated with birds and the ocean for years. this journal is 3 years old and most of it still holds true.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Ashtanga Insight: Guest Blog by Adam K.

Ashtanga Insight
The Virtuous Feedback Loop

A few years ago I heard David Williams speak about ashtanga and he mentioned that it was a feedback loop. That idea has stayed with me and developed.

Early in the mornings coming back to the mat to work on/do primary series. What do I find? I find how I have been for the last like 24 hours. I find out with attention how it feels to get enough sleep or not get enough sleep. To notice the effects of overeating at 10pm the last evening. What it is like to have had a beer and a little bit of some old scotch the night before. So what I find on the mat is what my mind and body is like with how I been treating myself. It is mostly finding out what the consequences are of my time off the mat.

I've tried a mental construct to work with. Let's presume that practicing ashtanga is wholesome/skillful/good for the body-mind. So then those things that create for better practice are the wholesome actions to undertake in one's life. These actions would include bodily actions enough sleep, moderate eating, little to no booze. The mornings after a more than one drink evening my body is much more stiff. There would also be wholesome mental actions. For unwholesome interpersonal relationships and mental actions causes the mind to want to seek escape, quite stressful. So not lying, not stealing, not killing etc, wholesome actions like joy, generosity, kindness, restraint, focus. Humm... seems like clean living that does not diminish enjoyment of life.

Each morning because of the repetition and need to attend to the body and mind during practice I must notice the consequences of the time away from the mat. I notice how much attention I can muster, how my bowels feel, what my breathing is like. The awareness makes me notice, and the noticing does affect how I act off the mat. The awareness and mindfulness (the remembering) builds and during the day I remember a little more what works well and what does not. Choices are more available that have differing consequences. With the insight then there is the opportunity to change so that there is more space for joy, and the small parade of horribles visits a bit less.

This yoga practice is experiencal, see and find out for yourself what you find that works for you.

With this practice I like to remember what a couple of accomplished ashtangis have said:
"Yoga will ruin your life." -Richard Freeman
"Don't let yoga ruin your life." -David Swenson

Thursday, August 20, 2009

hell's kitchen?

asher and i are watching hell's kitchen on we don't have a tv anymore. haven't had one for a really long time. recently we've been watching the office also. i just got bit by a mosquito 4 times while in my apartment. how did that little bugger get in here? hmm. itchy itchy.

life is good here in northern liberties. we just need a bookstore and a movie rentals place and maybe a food store. the food store is not essential. we go to trader joe's, whole foods and the asian food market down the street. (we went to the asian food market tonight and it was heavenly! there are so many choices!)

i'm heading to baltimore this weekend to see my family. we have my grandmother's unveiling on sunday. i get to see my aunts and uncles from both sides of the family. it will be really nice. i might go to the femme show at load of fun on saturday night to see some of baltimore queers! also, if i can i will try to go to led primary at charm city yoga. but i might just have to practice at home.

tomorrow is led primary really really early. today was a moon day. i slept til 7 and it was lovely. what else. hmm. don't know.

also, i got accepted into wakeup yoga's teacher training program. it starts in september. i'm super juiced about it.

Monday, August 17, 2009

pasasana = noose pose!

um. unexpectedly i started 2nd series yesterday. i didn't think that was in the cards for me right now, but i guess someone else sees the potential. i'm dropping back on my own, but still need help standing up. i'm very close though. pasasana, the noose pose pictured above, is the new pose. i haven't had a new pose in a very very long time it seems, probably since the spring. i have a new soreness in my armpits and ribs especially. i definitely need work on this. it's so hard to balance and bind, but i'm excited for the newness of learning something new and hard. very hard.
i partied this weekend a bit with boytoy. i had a really fun time. we did some time at the standard tap. some beer time at home. some abbaye time late night after the tap. oh what fun! i can't wait for morgie to get here so we can show her our new home and new digs. i hope she loves it here as much as we do.

i'm tired. didn't make it to practice this morning, but i'll be practicing in the kitchen while the baby sleeps. wish me luck on the pasasana.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

philly book co.

adam and i found this special warehouse full of cheap & amazing books. i will have to go explore one day and buy all the books i've ever wanted!

the hidden gem of fishtown. check it out:

Monday, August 10, 2009

secret agent yogi.

often in the early morn, before the sun has risen, i feel like secret agent yogi. a yogi on a mission to get to the shala in time to practice and shower. and then once the sun is up, i feel like not-so-secret agent nanny on a mission to get from yoga to work successfully (which means on time, alive and with coffee in hand.) mission complete.

(this was my facebook status a few minutes ago).

um. so i really feel like a yogi on a mission. especially the mornings when i have to be at work by 8am. today was one of those days. luckily asher doesn't have to work today, so his mission is to take out sage and feed her so i don't have to wake up 15 minutes earlier to do that. my alarm goes off at 5:40. i contemplate going back to bed. thinking to myself, it's still dark out? i haven't been up this early since... i don't know when. now that i live in northern liberties, my bike ride to yoga is longer and harder. it's more "uphill" and more turns.... i used to go straight down chestnut to yoga squared. now i go up 2nd, to spring garden, left on 21st and then left onto chestnut. today i made the mistake of going down 19th but then realizing that the circle was ahead, i cut down callowhill to 21st to finish the commute. took me 17 minutes today, but i think it will take less time if i didn't have such a heavy back pack (which i did today, full of towels and food and clothes, etc.) also, had that little detour.. anyway.

yogi on a mission. i have to lock up the bike, go up the stairs, unload my stuff, roll out the mat, check in with my breath and then BAM i'm practicing. so much goes into this. it feels like its not worth it sometimes. like maybe i don't want to do all this extra stuff, like riding the bike, unloading, reloading, practicing, biking again. etc. i enjoy waking up, taking out my dog and going straight to work. practicing at work is quite enjoyable and also practicing at home is as well. for now, i will continue my daily morning rituals and missions to get to yoga and do my practice with all my buds at yoga squared. ps- the merger is cancelled. so yoga squared stays! yay. but if i get accepted into wake up yoga's teacher training, my practice will be mostly there (vinyasa classes! which are wayyyyy fun. :) ) and then on the days i don't go there, i will do in home practices. i don't think i'll have the time or effort to be going to y2 as much. but it's ok. i have a solid practice now. and i feel competent to do it at home, in the park, in the shower, on the streets, anywhere really.

my arms are extremely sore right now. i'm challenging myself in so many ways now with my practice and my arms are feeling brutal. my wrists have a soreness that hopefully will go away once i develop more strength in my core. who knows.

i want adam to guest blog on here. so i'm saying it out loud. right now. so adam! you will guest blog. whatever topic you choose (yoga?)

that's all/
signing off,
secret agent yogi.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

liberty lands.

saw this amazing poster on the bulletin board in the liberty lands park that is a mere 2 second walk from my apartment. the graphics next to the poster are what really caught my eye. i need to go back there tomorrow morning and take another two photos of the artwork. i just snapped this with my phone while walking the pig-beast this morning, was kinda in a rush.

top ten things i love about my new place/area:
1-my room used to be an attic, it's cozy and it has the cutest little nook windows.
2-a quick 10 minute bike ride to work instead of 20 minutes.
3-i'm right across the street from the piazza.
4-1shot coffee is my new coffee shop and it's adorable and it has sofas.
5-liberty lands park is behind my house and it's amazing.
6-honey's sit and eat is a 5 minute walk from my apt.
7-my apartment is quiet and has central air.
8-my apartment is mold free.
9-my dog is happy. (she has stairs to run up and down now and so much more space)
10-my apartment is officially the LOVE NEST.

will blog more when i get some more time. gonna take some pics tomorrow once we get some stuff up on the walls.

night night.