Tuesday, October 26, 2010

engagements call for fancy hot dogs.





1: asher, with "pork militia" sign behind him at Frank's for our engagement dinner.
2: pre-dinner photo session on sofa.
3: the dinner!! we both got two fancy hot dogs. waffle fries. and fancy cocktails. it was fabulous!

we both agreed that fancy hotdogs couldn't happen on a first date because it's too messy and you'd look like a crazy person trying to be cute while eating one of those things.. but for an engagement dinner!! it's perfect. you're messy, you're already in love and nothing says i love you like a hotdog.

october 25th!! engaged. (4 year anniversary is coming up this weekend on the 31st!!)

Monday, October 25, 2010

let's hear it for new york.




1: chick on a wall in williamsburgh.
2. chick on the street in brooklyn.

brooklyn, we go hard.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

this is the life.






1. the vegan yacht food cart. amazing vegan beet brownies. fabulous trey baker sammich.
2. asher at ACL rolling up his pants.
3. asher at ACL eating delicious fried pickles.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Thursday, September 30, 2010

recently.





1st: sage pig in front of our new bookshelves.
2nd: cuban royalty: pixel the havanese on our rug.
3rd: boytoy and i. (i'm wearing my new favorite dress that i tend to wear whenever it's clean.)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

1st home practice in the new home.




There's something to be said about people who practice yoga daily in their homes. (for example: Jillji). These people are warriors. They are devoted. They are amazing to me. It's hard to physically get yourself to the mat. It really is. This morning I thought about going to the shala for an early morning practice since I couldn't make it to evening mysore, but I slept in. So I watched Glee on the sofa and ate an apple with honey and peanut butter. I digested said apple while cleaning the floors and fiddling around with some stuff to get ready to practice. I put down my mat around 10am and practiced. The window was open. It wasn't hot or cold. Just perfect. I worked up a decent sweat. I had the dogs barricaded in the kitchen. I did full primary plus a (half-assed) 2nd series up to Kapo. I didn't do drop backs or Urdhva Danurasana. I was just too exhausted. I did a few closing poses and then just laid on the floor for a bit for savasana. I got my ladie's holiday yesterday, so I'm feeling a little sluggish.

I'm financially not stable enough to pay for yoga. This is a re-occurring theme in my life. I typically clean floors and toilets in exchange for free yoga. (or mostly free). I'm ok with practicing at home. I like it. But how long will I be able to do this for? I know how hard it is not to have the community energy around me. For now, this is what my practice is.

I'm tired. It's 9pm. I have work at Whole Foods tomorrow for the first time in a week. Shall be fabulous to be around the foodie people. Night night.

Monday, September 27, 2010

New place, New goals.

I have decided to sit down with myself and figure out what it is that I want to do in this lifetime.

I broke it down:

House Goals:
A patio
Chickens & Coop
A garden
Painted bedroom
Curtains for the kitchen
Use the clothing line outside as much as possible to dry freshly washed clothes.

Self-Goals:
2 to 2.5 hour computer time limit a day.
less facebook, more real life interactions. (maximum of 3 updates/day).
less coffee, more water & tea.
less refined stuff (sugar, etc).
asana practice 5-6 times/week.
find an acupuncturist for my allergies. (and stress).
find some form of massage therapy/body work that works to help me relax, etc.
more ayurvedic cooking...

Future Goals:
A trip to Mysore.
1 or 2 childrens.
A vacation with Asher.
Take Saturdays off from work for the Sabbath.
Eastside Ashtanga?? maybe...


That's all for now. I'm thinking of getting back on the blog wagon. It feels good to write.

Xo

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

live from austin texas.

howdy ya'll. i made it safely to austin from philly!! yay. the ferret and i traveled like bandits on the run... ha. just kidding. we drove 12 hours on day one and 15 hours on day two. we spent the night in knoxville, tennessee at a holiday inn express. it was luxurious. i took a fabulous bath and slept in a bed that was like a cloud.

i hit no traffic until i got into austin city limitis.

i ran into no cops or creeps.

i took plenty of breaks and drank a lot of soda and coffee.

i'm happy to be in my new home. pictures to come soon.

-----

so far in austin, i've practiced asana once at ashtanga yoga center of austin. i've had an amazing smoothie at the daily juice. i've been to walmart two or three times. ikea to come later in the week. i've washed floors, cleaned the tub, done dishes, played with dogs.

i've been doing house wife stuff and haven't looked much for a job yet. i definitely will start to look later on this week. austin is HOT, but not unbearable. i really enjoy the vibe down here. people are lovely.

my best friend from college lives down here and we went to her house for a dinner party on monday. she just came by a little while ago and hung out in my air conditioned living room.

life is grand. there are lots of trees outside my window. i'm sleeping well and feeling great.

Monday, August 23, 2010

ashtanga milestones:

for the past 2 weeks or so i've been getting my bound hands to the floor during prasarita padotanasana c.
i also got myself into supta kurmasana today, alone!

here's my facebook update about it (i thought it was kinda cute):
" supta kurmasana and i have been dating for a long time, today... we went all the way."

i am loving practice these days. i just have a few more practices left in philly, then onto austin! today, after savasana, i got a little sad that i'll be leaving such great friends.. but i'm still really stoked about the next chapter in my life!!

Friday, August 13, 2010

2 weeks and counting.




this picture is from my first of two winters in philly, circa late 2008 or early 2009. i am getting ready to leave town. two weeks to go. i have so many fabulous memories of philadelphia. i seriously had a blast here and i cannot believe my time here is over. i have lots of people i want to see... mostly adam... i want to go out for la colombe a few more times. are you up for it? if anyone else wants to hang before i leave, get it touch.. much love.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

this little piggy.




miss her.. she's in austin, without me. soon soon. i will be reunited.. and it will feel so good.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

little house on the prairie... aka austin, texas.



this is my new home. asher and morgan are currently there.. they are setting up shop. they installed a/c units. got our beds. built a sofa. next up, maintaining the yard.. getting rid of hornets nests. and painting.

i wish i was there. but i'm also realizing i have a month left to spend here in philly. i need to get off the green sofa and start exploring this city for the last time.

if anyone in philly wants to play, i'm around. i have a lot of free time..

end of august... austin, texas. here i come.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

divine lorraine.




i love the divine lorraine hotel in phildelphia. it's gorgeous, although in ruins.

Monday, July 5, 2010

6 things I'm loving about practice right now....

I borrowed this idea from Christina's Blog, Prescribing Yoga.

1. I love the vinyasas between the asana's in 2nd series. It's seriously beautiful and fun. I love when you pick yourself up after Ustrasana and Laghu Vajrasana. It's just wild.

2. I love that I still can't do a headstand for more than 5 breaths at a time. It will come soon. I love that I keep trying and trying and trying.

3. I love that this practice is physical and mental. There are so many mental challenges... For example, I've been kind of freaking out right before drop backs recently. Totally mental. I love that my mind is challenged as much as my body is.

4. I love the quietness in the room. Just breath and some whispers. Sometimes there's a loud thud, I like that too.

5. I love the repetition. I like that everyday things feel different even though you're practicing the same thing.

6. I love that yoga has become part of my lifestyle. I told my friend's that I needed a hobby... They said, Isn't yoga a hobby? I said, No, It's my lifestyle. It truly has shaped my life.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

miss this boy.




maybe asher will kill me when he see's this pic. maybe he won't. anyway, i miss him.

Goals:

1. Buy a used mandolin, learn to play, find some friends in Austin and play some bluegrass together.
2. Plant a garden in my backyard.
3. Teach private yoga lessons + small group classes around Austin. (www.citybirdyoga.com coming soon!)


That's a start.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

street art... ganesha??




there are a bunch of these street art animals around town. i spotted this pink elephant while biking through philly yesterday. it reminds me of ganesha, the remover of obstacles. jai ganesha jai.

Milestones. Memories. Sleep walking through practice.

Today was the first day I could come up from Laghu Vajrasana on my own. That's the milestone. I'm documenting it here on my blog so when I read this in the future I can have a sweet memory of this day.

Sometimes, when I'm super tired in the morning.. I don't want to go to yoga, but most of the time.. I still go.

Often, through the tiredness, I feel like I'm "sleep walking" or "sleep practicing" through the practice. I often feel like I'm in a haze and practice was a dream. Sometimes, Savasana becomes a nap... a continuation of sleep from the night before. I catch myself snoring on the mat and wake up a little shocked at myself. Anyway.. The days where I'm so tired... I just practice through the tiredness and when it's over, it really feels like a dream.

I'm tired as I write this. I'll go take a nap.

I'm happy tomorrow is Friday. Primary Only. Love it. <3

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

a trip to the grocery store.



I've been minimizing "stuff" in my life. Some stuff... I cut out coffee for the month of June.. to save money. And save I did! I slowly am drinking a cup or not a day.. I also cut out spending lots of money on clothing or outings. I am trying to live with what I have, although I did buy myself a pair of TOMS shoes the other day.. Anyway.

Tonight, I went to Whole Foods Callowhill. I had $41 in cash, mostly 1's. I decided that I wouldn't spend more than that. If I could spend less, then awesome. But I would not go over. In order to do this, I whipped out my cell phone and used it's calculator function to add up my items as I shopped. I had a blast. I'm telling you, this is how to grocery shop. I also brought my Chrome Back Pack (empty of course) and used it to bring my groceries home. I did drive my car because I was kind of tired from biking around town today.. but I easily could have biked with the groceries on my back.

So I spent $32.05 on my groceries. I was almost exact in my calculations on how much I would spend. I bought essentials like peanut butter and bread and eggs. I bought some frivolous things like organic raspberries and organic peaches. I also bought sunscreen. I won't bore you with the totals of everything. If you would like me to join you in a food shopping trip to help keep you on budget, I would love to!! Of course, it has to be at a cool food store like Whole Foods or Trader Joes or Essene. I can't stand all those other stores. They really drive me nuts.

Ok lovelies. The picture above is of my full backpack. It could've held more. Probably $10 more. This is good stuff.

Monday, June 28, 2010

ashtanga growing pains.

Whenever I learn a new pose in the Ashtanga system, I find my body being a little sore... I've heard, "New Pose, New Pain" and "Pain coming, Pain going." Both of which are true. I think the reason for new pose, new pain is that with every new pose, you use more and more muscles you've never used before, therefore your body reacts in certain ways to this new movement. Sometimes pain comes, then it goes.

I'm in the process of practicing Laghu Vajrasana, little thunderbolt pose.

Holy Fuck. Yeah. I said it. Holy Fuck. This pose is all quadriceps. I thought I had strong quads from biking, but apparently, not strong enough. I told the teacher today that my legs were on fire. He told me, "Well it is called little thunderbolt pose..." I said,
"It's fucking thundery." Yes. I totally said that.

Anyway. When you're a kid you have growing pains. Your body changes and it hurts sometimes. (I sound like a lifetime tv show..)

With Ashtanga, I'm coining the phrase: Ashtanga Growing Pains.

You learn a new pose. You have a little ache. A little pain. You're growing. Learning how to "walk again" or practice a new pose. It's all about the baby steps. Seriously...One breath at a time.

Pade Pade.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

austin, tx skyline.. from my cell.

10 things that make me happy right now.

1. My roommate Jennifer. I love having her around!! It's like having a sister that I don't fight with! Woot woot.

2. My asana practice. I'm loving it. Tomorrow, I am apparently learning a new pose.. and I'm nervous.. (Laghu Vajrasana)

3. Summer. Summer. Summertime. I'm loving up on the vitamin D.

4. I've been off of coffee for a few weeks now. I feel calm. I miss the taste of it though.

5. I'm teaching yoga tomorrow for the first time since teacher training. Excited for this opportunity.

6. Netflix. I love getting DVD's in the mail. It sometimes makes my day/night. I curl up with Pix on my lap and Sage at my feet and it's perfect.

7. My friends.

8. Clean sheets.

9. Austin, TX is on the horizon. I get so excited thinking about all the possibilities that the future holds.

10. Memories. I love having some good old memories to think back on and smile about.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

growing up.





1st photo: west philly, september 2008?
2nd photo: northern liberties, june 2010!


wow. my hair is long. haha. i feel like i've grown up so much in these past two years in philly. i'll be 27 this fall. it feels good. i finally don't feel like an awkward 20-something year old.. i'm closer to 30 now. that's weird to say. closer to 30. closer to fine!! :) i'm exhausted from work.. just wanted to archive some hair photos. got a haircut from anthony at american mortals. you should get your haircut there if you live in philly. he's my go to man.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

10 things that make me happy right now.

1. the best savasana ever today. it was like i was present and aware of my mind and i told myself to just stop thinking. and i went in and out "awake" moments. i felt tingly all over.

2. landed a substitute yoga teacher job at WakeUp Yoga and Sankhya Yoga!

3. air conditioning...

4. hair cut this friday with ant!

5. homemade iced tea. (i need to buy lemons and mint for this weekly creation!)

6. talking to asher via text and phone. so good to hear his voice from his bike trip.

7. my dogs and ferret. i'm like the ring leader in the circus show here.. i love them. we are having so many fun times together. (for example: last night pixel was running in circles around the apartment and huckster the ferret was chasing him. they kept running for a while. it was hilarious).

8. netflix. i plan on relaxing on my sofa with the pups all summer.

9. non-fat frozen yogurt from trader joe's. best snack ever.

10. water. to drink. water. to play in. water. to shower in. having clean, fresh water is a gift. i cherish it.


(ps. i'm slightly buzzed on beer at 5pm in the afternoon.. that's number 11. i took the night off of work tonight. going to see exit through the gift shop with my friend zack who is visiting from boston!! woot woot!)

Sunday, June 6, 2010

november 2008.




with asher away, i've been so nostalgic. this was on my birthday in 2008. the day after halloween. it's the only touristy thing we've done in philly. i still haven't been to the art museum or the franklin institute. hope to get the energy to leave northern liberties sometime soon. i've become a hermit. i spend time with the dogs and just sit inside. kind of sad right now. it's ok. jennifer moves in soon and we'll go out and play.

missing these fools.




i miss asher and morgan. my apartment is quiet and clean without them.. i'd rather have the mess.. you can follow them on their journey across the great divide via bicycle here: oneloudday.com

Thursday, June 3, 2010

pics from indian food dinner!






ATX: dinner at G'raj Mahal.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

barton springs.




swimming at barton springs on memorial day. water is constantly in the 60's, which is cold as first. but once you're floating in your inner tube, it feels fab. great place to hang in austin, for only $3!!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Ashtanga Austin/G'raj Mahal Cafe.




photo 1: me, sitting in the car, getting ready to head back to jp's house after ashtanga austin. sweaty. sweaty.

photo 2: self portrait at the (click) g'raj mahal cafe. indian food cooked in a trailer truck, served to locals outside. it was super fab.

xo <3

10 things that make me happy in & about Austin, TX.

1. Barton Springs.
2. trailer trucks full of food.
3. ATX whole foods, like super super big and beautiful.
4. wine + beer sold in food stores, score!
5. happy people full of vitamin D, happy people don't kill people.
6. lots of trees and outdoor activities.
7. a million coffee shops to choose from.
8. tattoo shops on every other corner!
9. international food, indian, mexican, thai, etc. lots of choices. (there's even Texadelphia : cheesesteaks.. i think i'll pass).
10. catci and succulents galore.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

ATX.

I'm currently sitting in Tampa International Airport. Waiting for my flight to Austin, TX. This is the first time I'm flying with a laptop. I won't lie to you here. I feel pretty fancy and dorky playing on my laptop in an airport. This is normally something I do at home, in pajamas, or what not.. It feels weird to be out in the open with my electronic toy of choice.

Anyway. I'm going to Austin. I'll visit friends. See the city. Check out the diggs.

I'll also be practicing yoga at (click) Ashtanga Austin. (hopefully, time and transportation permitting.)

I plan on sweating it out, tapas style. Swimming. Eating. Drinking. Playing. and deciding if ATX is the city we've all be waiting for.

OH. Asher and Morgan are taking a bike "ride" across the country. 4,000 miles. Virginia to Oregon. I met these two fools, almost 4 years ago.. They told me that this was one of their dreams.. So they are finally doing it! I'll be in Philly, watching the beasts, making some $, practicing lots of asana and going "steady" with myself.

It will be the summer of Amanda dating herself. I'm scared and excited.

My great great friend from TT will be renting Morgan's room.

Follow Asher and Morgan on their blog: (click) One Loud Day

Monday, May 24, 2010

The lightness of being.

Let me set the stage: 7am, alarm goes off, I'm incredibly tired. I had a super busy, hectic night at D's on Sunday and today I wanted my bed. Set my alarm to go off again at 7:15... In a moment of clarity, I remembered a friend might be coming to the Shala for her first mysore practice and I wanted to be there for her.. So I hopped out of bed, threw on my clothes and rode my bike in a sleepy daze over to the shala.

I roll out my mat. I do my sun salutes which I will described as sleep induced sun salutes. It was hazy. I was sweating within 2 minutes of starting my practice. Humidity!!

So I practiced.. By the time I was finished the standing poses, I woke up a bit.

When I got to the floor, things felt different. I felt light. My jumps thrus were almost effortless. It was like I was a feather. I don't know what shifted today, but I just felt a new sense of being.

I know this will change. Everything does.

We are constantly shifting, growing, morphing. I like that.

I'll end with a quote from Fiona Apple that has been floating around my brain:

"I certainly haven't been shopping for any new shoes
-And-
I certainly haven't been spreading myself around
I still only travel by foot and by foot, it's a slow climb,
But I'm good at being uncomfortable, so
I can't stop changing all the time."

10 things that make me happy right now.

1. yoga.
2. cool, early morning air.
3. coffee, home-brewed, home-enjoyed.
4. dancing to lady gaga.
5. pig-tails in my hair.
6. the orchid that asher gave me is still alive and blooming!!
7. going to austin on sunday!
8. selling things on craigslist!!
9. downsizing my things... still on a path of minimalism.
10. sleep. so. good.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

tugboat sally.




I was at the art start craft bazaar last Sunday when I took this pic of a tugboat tugging away on the Delaware River. I plan to base my next tattoo on a tugboat. Need to get chugging away on the sketches.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

kensington kinetic sculpture derby.



my favorite bike sculpture. a tandem "airplane" bike, with pilot and stewardess. simple, so sweet. i'll post another two or three favorites soon. love.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

10 things that make me happy right now.

1. chai tea at the random tea room.
2. spending yesterday doing nothing at all, all day, with asher.
3. selling things on craigslist for cash money.
4. asana practice.
5. cleaning my 'closet', getting rid of things.
6. watching a newbie learn ashtanga from the beginning: it's so cool to watch how the teacher teaches and the student learns. i love this process of learning. one on one, with other's around, breath, driste, bandhas, asana. woot woot woot.
7. my wavy, wavy, scraggly longish hair. and my big, betty page, bangs.
8. witnessing a marriage/union of two people who are madly in love with each other.
9. i love the fact that i put a pink feather into sage's dog collar and it's still there and she looks like a circus dog, i love her for letting my do that. she had no choice really. but still.
10. upcoming adventure travels. secret stuff.

Monday, May 17, 2010

9.

(this is an excerpt from an article about Pattabhi Jois from the Yoga Journal)

As it was Guruji and Manju's desire to come to America, in 1975 Nancy Gilgoff and I brought them to Encinitas, California. They stayed in our home and conducted daily Mysore-style classes for two months. On the final night before Guruji was to return to India, we were in the kitchen chatting. Manju was translating.

I asked, "Guruji, you have seen my life, you have met my friends. As a big yogi to a little yogi, do you have any advice for me?"

"Yes," Guruji replied. "Each morning wake up. Do as much yoga as you want. Maybe you'll eat, maybe you'll fast. Maybe you'll sleep indoors, maybe you'll sleep outdoors. The next morning, wake up. Do as much yoga as you want. Maybe you'll eat, maybe you'll fast. Maybe you'll sleep indoors, maybe you'll sleep outdoors. Practice yoga, and all is coming!"

"Thank you, Guruji," I said. "That is just what I wanted to hear. Every other adult has told me to get a haircut and get a job. You are telling me to practice yoga, and all is coming. OK, I am ready!" -David Williams


----------------

This excerpt keeps popping up in my head. It's the only part that I clearly remember... do as much yoga as you want. then do as much as you want the next day, etc.

I'm finally at a place in my life where I can do as much yoga as I want. I wake up at 7am. Ride my bike to the shala. Practice for however long I want. Sometimes I shower, Sometimes I don't. Sometimes I babysit after practice, sometimes I wait tables at night. Sometimes I drink coffee, sometimes tea..

The constant variable here is my practice.

I'm finally ready to do my practice. Everyday!! (except for moondays, saturdays and the occasional ladie's holiday).

I've been practicing steadily since May 2nd. I will continue on this Ashtanga Path. I find that practicing this method allows me to 'feel things.' I feel my body. I am in touch with the turnings of my mind. I find my breath. I more aware and focused.

I know that I can do this practice at home. Or I can pay to go to a shala. (which I will, if $ is ok..)

What I'm really trying to say is: I am ready!!

Love. Love. Love.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Don't Eat Shit Diet.

I've been thinking about food versus 'food products.' So much of our food these days is full of fake crap. It really grosses me out.

I'm not going to rant about this.. but instead, i'll send you over to a blog I love. Twwly talks about her ideas on food, she calls it the "Don't eat shit diet."

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

100 things.

I was reading Prescribing Yoga recently and linked through to Minimalist Muscle's blog and I found the 100 things project. (It's worth googling.)

I have this thing for minimalism. Although, I am not a complete minimalist, I'm a minimalist at heart. I have been googling '100 things' all night long. I've been reading people's lists and their rules. I find this project fascinating.

So I decided to start getting rid of stuff. and more stuff. I have a big pile of stuff if you want it.. I definitely don't have 100 things.. I have more. I can't count yet.. But I've made some rules for myself to start.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Amanda's 100 things rules and regulations which are bendable and breakable...

-shared stuff between me and asher and morgan doesn't count. (includes bed, sofas, dishes, appliances.)
-dogs + ferret and their stuff doesn't count towards 100 things.
-shoes are considered 1 item for now. They are in a storage container and are therefore 'contained in one space' so that equals 1 item.. I have probably around 15 pairs of shoes (includes winter boots, sexy boots, 1 pair of flipflops, 1 running/fast paced walking shoe, leisure shoes, etc..)
-underwear= 1 item
-socks= 1 item (i have numerous amounts of socks and underwear and plan on reducing the size to probably 14 pairs of each?)
-work clothes for dmitri's is 1 item, it's all in one pile and it's stuff i'll get rid of eventually with time.
-yoga clothes, 1 drawer full = 1 item. I've got the drawer down to a minimum of stuff i definitely wear. Since I practice around 6 times a week.. I definitely want to have 6 yoga outfits for the week and can wash the stuff on saturday or a moon day.
-books- got my stacks down to 10 yoga books, 10 or so books i love and can't part with and a stack of yoga research+journals that i refer back to.


1. laptop+charger+protective case
2. cellphone+charger
3. yoga mat (1 @ home, 1 @ studio)
4. shoes (1 container full)
5. underwear+ bras
6. socks
7. work clothes
8. yoga clothes
9. bike+lock
10. wallet
11. keys
12. red spring jacket
13. lululemon lightweight jacket
14. black down coat for winter
15. puffy vest for in between weather
16. digital camera+it's parts
17. holga camera
18. ipod
19. sleeping bag for travel
20. makeup (for special occasions and work)
21. hair straightener
22. neti pot+salt
23. drybrush+sesame oil
24. toothbrush+floss+paste
25. deodorant
26. chrome bike back pack
27. yellow strand pigeon bag
28. fabric horse biker's belt
29. blue+red bird bag I made in california
30. books
31. jewerly (minimum of stuff, can't decide if i want to break this section down yet.)
31. yogi toes
32. bandanas (5 or so, I use them as snot rags and sometimes for yoga when i'm sweating.)
33.

I am not in the mood to count up all my clothes tonight. (I had a beer and I'm kind of tired..)
Hopefully this will be a continuing project and I will update more as I get more done.

Rules about clothes: Can only keep stuff I am currently wearing.. drawer's must not overflow. that's it for now.

Could you live with 100 personal things?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

10 things that make me happy right now.

1. random tea room & curiosity shop.
2. ashtanga yoga, mysore style. it's the best.
3. afternoon, dream-filled naps.
4. handmade jewerly
5. my cousin's wedding this saturday!
6. the orchid asher bought me today.
7. acro yoga!
8. bike riding as a way of commuting around town.
9. my eyebrows growing back in. they are getting nice and full and juicy. love them. bringing bushy eyebrows back.
10. jumping through from down dog to dandasana with much more ease, less effort.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

so i guess this means i'm a yoga teacher.




Last night we had our final celebration for yoga teacher training.

It was a fabulous time.

It was part pot-luck, part gift exchange. part sadness, part joyful.

This photo is of me rocking the bindi and my new tshirt from my friend Flea.

We all gave presents. It was really great.

I'm happy to be done, but sad to not have a weekly meeting time with all these fabulous yogis.

Now... onto the real world.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Judaism to Yoga and back again.

I've struggle with being a Jew for a very long time.

I was raised Jewish, but there have been times in my life where I needed to stray from the teachings of Judaica in order to explore my life a little bit more.

After many years of exploring, I want to return to my Jewish roots.

There have been many moments where teachings of yoga has lead me back to teachings of Judaism.

So, I'm at a point where I love my yoga practice and I love the spiritual side that yoga has to offer.
But I also like Judaism and that's my religion. Yoga is not a religion for me. It might be for some? I do not know the answer.

I am devoting my life to being a Jewish Yoga Practitioner.

Not a Yogi who does Jew.

But a Jew who does yoga.

I feel really good about this. I'm getting back on track.
--------------------------------------------

"Gadol k'vod habriyot - Great is the value of human dignity." - Talmud

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Saraswati.



सरस्वति नमस्तुभ्यं वरदे कामरूपिणि ।
विद्यारम्भं करिष्यामि सिद्धिर्भवतु मे सदा ॥

saraswati namastubhyam varade kamaroopini ।
vidyarambham karishyaami, siddhirbhavatu me sada ॥

O Saraswati, I bow to you, the giver of boons and the giver of form to desire. As I begin my studies, may success always be mine.

Monday, May 3, 2010

10 things that make me happy right now.

1. AIR CONDITIONING.
2. the fact that the northern liberties piazza hosted the equality forum party yesterday and the neighborhood was flooded with so many fabulous GLBT folk & allies.
3. my dogs snoozing on a bed together, so sweet.
4. month of mysore, month of may. bring it on!
5. ashtanga yoga, primary series. serious love.
6. being employed and still having time free during my days and nights to play. life is good.
7. passing my final graded yoga class for teacher training on saturday. f-yeah!
8. yoga teacher training party on friday night, yay yay yay!
9. v neck tshirt, cut off jean shorts and frye engineer boots. all together, on a daily basis.
10. walking in the warm rain this morning.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

i did it!

I taught my final graded yoga class for teacher training today! The room was full of teachers, teacher trainees, friends and some strangers. It was amazing energy. So glad to be finally done with this and to move onto actually teaching yoga.

I'm so stoked.

Seriously. Stoked.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

dear universe.

dear universe. you are so dear.

i have no idea what the future holds. that makes me excited. i look forward to everything that falls into my lap, good or bad. just saying, i'm eager for whatever you throw my way.

love,
amanda

Monday, April 26, 2010

10 things.

10 things that make me happy right now:

1) being able to walk to work in about 5 seconds flat.
2) my collection of spring/summer dresses.
3) yoga teacher training almost over.
4) access to car when it's raining, bike when it's sunny.
5) playing with an awesome 2 year old, 3 mornings a week. he's a riot. today we danced for most of the morning.
6) spring showers, may flowers.
7) cutting my credit cards out of my life.
8) starting to live a more simple life.
9) looking forward to the month of may. (giving myself the gift of a monthly mysore class card)
10) being able to put my hair into a ponytail. haven't been able to do that in many many years.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Friday, April 23, 2010

hey remember that time?

this is the pig. back in west philly. that was the tile of our bed room. it was pretty horrible. just remembering how bad it was makes me appreciate our how good i have it now.

sometimes it's hard to see what's good now. little reminders like this are good.

i was super down yesterday. nothing in the world could get me out of my funk, except for my bed...

i'm ok today. hey. remember that time?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

the purpose of it all.

I keep having these mind blowing thoughts in my mind about life and why we are here on this earth.

Sometimes, I'm at peace knowing that we are born, we live, we die. We eat, sleep, drink, poop, talk, hang, read, work, play, etc. We love, we hate, we fight, we marry, we divorce, we reproduce.

Sometimes, I'm baffled by the whole experience of being a human being.

Sometimes, I just don't get why we are "here." What is the real purpose of our lives? Is it to be successful at our careers? Is it to get married and have children then grandchildren, etc? Is it to have fun? Is it to make a difference? Is it to change the world?

Today, I cried. I went upstairs to my room. Looked at all the "things" I have, (which i keep getting rid of slowly, a few books or clothes or whatever, at a time.) I see no purpose to all these "things." My things don't help the world, they barely help me.

I want to live simply. To simply live. To smile at people. To help people. To love people. To do good unto others. To make a difference. To not consume, consume, consume. To recycle. To be free.

I'm making major life changes. It's scary, but I like it.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

10 things that make me happy right now.

My college friend, Val, has a blog called Ok in the Meantime. She writes about food and travels and life. (Very similar to This Philly Life, there are pictures and lists and stories, etc.) I recently came across some of her posts called 10 things that make me happy. So, I'm borrowing her idea..

10 things that make me happy right now:

1) My yoga practice. Even though it's most Vinyasa right now, due to teacher training, which is officially over on May 7th... I'm happy that I have yoga in my life. I have been going to Ashtanga Led Primary classes on Sunday... excited to get back to Mysore practice. Soon, soon.

2) My Hammock. I got it in the mail on Friday. It was a fabulous way to end the week. I practiced 5 days with Jill and then swayed in my new hammock. It's so easy to put up. Just have to find the right trees.

3) Waiting Tables Job. I'm soooo soooo soooo f-ing happy to be waiting tables instead of nannying. My life is infinity better. I have so much free time and I'm seriously loving life. I never knew how good life was. Nannying had been clouding my vision of reality for a very long time. I feel so free. It's been a solid month now and I know i made the best decision leaving the nanny biz.

4) My friends who send me postcards (Chelsea and Iris). I love love love getting hand written letters. We live in an age where most things are electronic. So when I get the postcards from my friends, I'm so happy. I have many saved up. I might make a book of them one day. (Ps, I need to get some stamps! just reminding myself..)

5) My bike. I love having an alternative way of getting around the city. I no longer rely on public transit or my car. I do use the car for groceries and stuff like that, but I love hopping on the bike and getting around town in the most efficient manner.

6) Coffee Addiction. I love my coffee. Right now, it's a force in my life. I'm glad it exists.

7) My pups and ferret. Not much to say, except that I love kissing them and cuddling them. They give endless love.

8) The tulip sitting on my kitchen table. I love seeing it's colors. It's yellow and reddish.

9) Finally finished with all the episodes of L-word. The show was ridiculous.. It was sometimes fun.. sometimes crazy. Asher and I got to watch it together and spend time together which was nice, but I'm honestly glad it's over. Too much L-word in too little time.

10) The park by my house. I love being able to walk the dogs there everyday. There are swings and trees and flowers and gardens. It's so beautiful. Nice to have so close by.

What are 10 things that make you happy right now? I will try and do this once a week or so.. Love to you all.

juicy:sexy.

I feel so blessed to have been given the opportunity to practice with my teacher and dear friend, Jill Manning, this past week at WakeUp Yoga.

So this is how it went: 5 days of practice, 6-8am everyday. Chanting to begin, then asana practice.

The week long workshop was called: Every seed has the tree, every tree has the seed.

There are many, many seeds that have been planted in my mind. It's hard for me to even articulate what I want to say here in this here blog. I just want to say that I have so much "homework" that I'll be working on for a while.

Lots of working on 'floating' to stand. dropbacks. pasasana prep squats. etc.

I am always amazed with how Jillji makes yoga fun and informative. It's chocked full of asana, with very precise breath cues and funny anecdotes, such as "juicy sexy" (you had to be there. ha.)

I hope there's an opportunity to do a week long practice with Jill again soon. She really shatki-fied the space. Much love. Keep it juicy.sexy.

Friday, April 16, 2010

all at once. (words by jack johnson.)

All at once,
The world can't overwhelm me
There's almost nothin' that you could tell me
That could ease my mind

Which way will you run
When it's always all around you
And the feelin' lost and found you again
A feelin' that we have no control
Around a song
Some say
There's gonna be the new hell
Some say
It's still too early to tell
Some say
It really ain't no myth at all

Keep askin' ourselves are we really
Strong enough
There's so many things that we got
Too proud of
We're too proud of
We're too proud of

I wanna take the preconceived
Out from underneath your feet
We could shake it off
Instead we'll plant some seeds
We'll watch em' as they grow
And with each new beat
From your heart the roots grow deeper
The branches will they reach for what

Nobody really knows
But underneath it all
Theres this heart all alone

What about is gone
And it really won't be so long
Sometimes it feels like a heart is no place to be singin' from at all

Theres a world we've never seen
Theres still hope between the dreams
The weight of it all
Could blow away with a breeze
If your waitin on the wind
Don't forget to breathe
Cause as the darkness gets deeper
We'll be sinkin as we reach for love
At least somethin we could hold
But i'll reach to you from where time just cant go

What about is gone
And it really wont be so long
Sometimes it feels like a heart is no place to be singin' from at all

Thursday, April 15, 2010

spontaneous healing.

(my new vase + my first ever Iris. on our clean kitchen table... ahh serenity.)

Back in september, during my trip to Providence, while Jill-ji was teaching a morning yoga class, I lounged with Ang and Char (the pups) and read most of the book: Spontaneous Healing by Andrew Weil. I was fascinated by his stories on human beings who healed themselves through natural remedies and the power of the mind. Anyway, this blog is not about Spontaneous Healing(SH), although I highly recommend reading it.. It's about his follow up book 8 weeks to Optimum Health. In the back of SH, there's a mini-summary of 8 weeks. I started to take notes for week one/two, but decided I would go out and buy the book instead of trying to write everything down in my journal. Anyway, I haven't bought the book yet.. but my notes on Week One/Two (of Eight Weeks) has some suggestions for lifestyle changes, etc. For mental health, Weil suggests to buy some flowers to keep in your home where you can enjoy them. I thought about this for a long, long time. I had plants for a while (mostly Jade) and they all died over the winter. So I decided for mental health, I would start to either buy myself a weekly flower or find some trees with flowers and put them in my new vase that I bought recently at the local floral shop (Beautiful Blooms in No.Libs.)


Some other suggestions that I enjoy: Walk 10 minutes a day for 5 days this week. Practice breath observation. Eat fish at least once a week. Buy Japanese green tea, substitute it for coffee (I drink green tea and coffee..). Visit a park/nature. Spend as much time as possible doing nothing in particular. Eat fresh broccoli.

I'm definitely going to buy 8 weeks to Optimum Health. I don't think that every suggestion is right for me, but some are.. so that's where I begin.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

my schedule:

Sunday: Serve
Monday: Host
Tuesday: Off
Wednesday: Off
Thursday: Bus
Friday: Serve
Saturday: Off

Come visit me at Dmitri's in No.Lib.s

Woot Woot Woot.


Monday, April 5, 2010

What do people do all day?

When I was a full-time nanny, I used to read this book EVERYDAY with my little dude. Now, I have my days free and I keep asking myself, What do people do all day?

So far for me: I do yoga, drink coffee, eat some food, play on my lap top, walk the dogs, shower, clean up around the house. Some days, I work in the evenings, sometimes I'm free.

I have so much free time on my hands right now. It's insane! I love it. Trying to figure out fun things to do. I'm going to probably start venturing out on my bike and riding around town. This weather is sooooo beautiful!!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

a car full of "things"

I often like to think about the things I would take with me if I had to suddenly pack up my car and hit the road.. leaving everything else behind.

So far on my list so far:
My favorite dresses
My low-cut frye boots
Sunglasses
My Chrome backpack
My American Apparel black zip up hoodie
The grey or maybe blue BDG jeans
My lap top
My digital camera and my holga
My most recent journal
A few really soft tshirts

----
So I'm cleaning my room. (shared with Asher)
We have a lot of space and a lot of shit.

Apparently, half (or more) of the stuff we own just sits around. I'm trying hard to get rid of "things" that no longer serve their purposes. If I had to pack up my car right now, there's not much I really would take with me. Just stuff. Nothing really special. Just things. I don't know why it's so hard to let go of the "stuff" that's just sitting around. I'm sitting with this. It's strange. Every time I go to the book shelf, (at least tonight), I've been pulling off books that I don't want. But in reality, most of those books are just part of how I identify with the outside world. When I have friends over, I want them to see that I'm into Photography, Queers, Women, Art, Poetry, Yoga. I really don't need most of my books to survive. Maybe 5 of them are super special. But the rest are just so that when you come to my house, you can see the depth of my "coolness." Just writing this makes me want to get rid of most of my things. Maybe I will.. just maybe.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

It's April 1st. It's no joke, I'm free.

Notes on being free:
I'm free to wear dresses with boots & hairy legs, every day if i want to.
I'm free to do yoga.
I'm free to let my tattoos show.
I'm free to make my morning coffee, read a book, and enjoy my mornings.
I'm free to take a long bike ride during the day.
I'm free to cook a meal and savor it.
I'm free to live my own life.
----

those notes are from my journal today. i was sitting in the park enjoying being free from nanny-hood. i still want to babysit (for friends and on a part-time basis). but i'm so excited to enjoy my days!!! :) life is good.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

how things are.

update:
nanny job is terminating on or around april 1.
dmitri's job started last night.
TT is getting down to the finish line.
i'm riding my bike all over town.
i still have bangs.
i do yoga. but not as often as a i like. i have to keep telling myself that i know this will change as soon as i get out of the full time nanny biz. (i desperately want my mysore practice back.)
i'm planning on getting my tugboat tattoo after TT finishes up..


life is really good. things are falling into place. i'm manifesting the things i want. and getting rid of the things that no longer serve me.

it's been a long long road. but i can see the fruits of my labor and the fruit looks good.

goodmorning philadelphia/ i'm back in the game.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

keepin up with the jonesie jones.

Practice this week:

Sunday: Led Primary
Monday: Wakeup Vinyasa
Tuesday: day off
Wednesday: Mysore
Thursday: (most likely home practice?)
Friday: depends on weather
Saturday: Wakeup Vinyasa

I almost didn't practice today. Life is hectic these days. My bosses had their new baby a week ago. Everything is changing. Their older son is starting to freak out. I'm starting to lose it also. I slept in yesterday and I needed to recharge. So that was good. I would've practiced at night, but instead met up with my old boss from California. Anyway, so I practiced today. I went to SYS.. I walked there because I left my bike in Center City yesterday (it was too rainy to ride home at night). I was the 2nd student there. It was a small, intimate group today. I had 2.5 drinks last night, so practice was a little rocky today. I still practiced and that's the most important thing. I needed it.

This is the thought of the day: Practice is good, even when it's 'bad.'

I'm always happy when I get to spend some quality time with myself on the mat.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

next tattoo...

will be a tugboat. not necessarily this tugboat, but something similar. a friend of mine in TT wants to get her first tattoo after TT is finished and I want to get something new. (we will go together!) it's been almost a year since the lighthouse.. need to start brainstorming.. lovelove.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

tapping into your own power.

Sundays are fundays. (right?!)

Sundays are Led primary days. (for me at least)

Sundays are the days I challenge myself and learn so much, especially when I'm on the mat. (Oh hells yeah)

Today I went to Led Primary at SYS. Teacher leads a steady, solid count. It's a challenging class, but that's what I like about it. I push my edges.

Sometimes, as a human being, I do not always know my own strength. I assume that other people may have this problem as well. But I will speak from my own perspective. In terms of yoga, there are asanas that have taken me a long time to physically understand. Even though I can practice the asana, with less effort and more ease, I still am tapping into my own power. Sometimes it takes a teacher teaching you something new in order to tap into yourself. Sometimes it takes self exploration. Sometimes it just takes time. Maybe it takes all of these things. Not maybe, it does take time, self exploration and some time with a teacher that teaches in a way that works for you. (verbal, hands-on, visual, etc.)

I found myself wanting to push my edges today. No one told me to do it, just me. The teacher within me wanted more. I wanted to see what else this body of mine could do.

During the vinyasas in between sides and poses, I decided to see if I could jump back and jump through with more fluidity. I tapped into this power source within myself and had a totally new experience.

I didn't realize my own strength. I feel like for quite sometime I was probably just floating right along in a sea of yogis. I was putting in the effort, but maybe I was phoning it in a little. Today, it was 110% effort all the way. The bar was set and I kept wanting to meet the bar. Actually, I think I wanted to climb up and over the bar, over and over again.

Anyway, maybe I'm talking nonsense. Maybe i'm high from this new bodily experience of tapping into my power source. Maybe I'm tired. Maybe I'm not. Maybe I'll float along in the sea of yogis again for a while. Maybe I won't.

Maybe it's time for bed. Night.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

nice things.

after TT today, i went out for a beer at the pope with a fellow TT bud. afterwards, on my walk to my car, i stopped by nice things handmade. i bought this marsuka doll necklace. the owner's name is elissa. she was warm-hearted and funny. i highly suggest you go check it out. their website isn't so great, but don't pre-judge. go down to east passyunk ave and check out nice things handmade. trust me.

Friday, February 19, 2010

got me some lil' bangs..

i have a wedding in a week. needed a haircut. went to my go to guy, anthony at american mortals. as i was about to leave, i said to him, "what do yo think about bangs?" so i sat back down in the chair and we cut me some lil' bangs. he told me i could come back and get some more bangs if i liked these bangs.

oh, the bangs make me feel like i whole new woman.

the end.


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

flashback memories.

the other day, in a sweet sweet savasana, i had memories of my grandmother who passed away in november 2008. seems like such a long time ago. i also had similar memories of my trip to black rock city for burning man in 2006. now that was forever ago.

sometimes i forget about the crazy adventures i've had...

being on the mat, laying there, resting in savasana, it allows me to deeply relax and whenever a memory comes up like my grandmother or burning man or the time i spent working in yosemite, california... i cherish them.

it seems like my mind stores these memories away and i don't think about them for long periods of time... but then, something will trigger a memory and it lingers for days.

i wonder if anyone else experiences this? or is their experience more like sleep, and they checkout in savasana. or maybe their mind is restless and racing.

i like having these memories. i also like checking out in savasana. the restless and racing mind is never good in what i like to call "savsies" (short for savasana). i tend to have a restless mind before bed sometimes.. maybe i need to start practicing "savasana" in bed to relax.

ok. well that's the thought of the day.

anyone else have interesting experiences in savasana? or on the mat in general?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

i'm still standing, yeah yeah yeah.

asher is listening to elton john and i'm researching dropbacks.

i'm researching dropbacks in my practice and on youtube. (fun to watch... fun to do.)

today in my dropback research, i realized that you drop back, you stand up. that is it. no need to stay on the floor for a long period of time. just come back up. drop back, stand up. drop back, stand up. the times when i can't stand up are the times where i make a fuss of standing up. anyway.

drop back, stand up.

ok goodnight.

Monday, February 15, 2010

when pixel was smaller and the weather was warmer.

something to lift your spirits, (or maybe just mine?) come on spring!

what's new? what's steady?

This winter has put a damper on my spirits. I haven't really wanted to leave the house in the morning for practice or for work... (who really wants to go to work anyway?) I remember last winter... I used to get up with excitement for practice. Maybe it's because it was new. I think it was also steady? hmmm. I was practicing 5-6 days a week. Anyway, that is the past. This is a new year. New apartment. New location. I made an effort to bike throughout the winter, except for a week after the blizzard in Dec. and a few days here and there that had a horrific wind chill. I haven't biked now since the snow storm two weeks ago. My bike is encased in snow. I also haven't driven either. I'm not much for inclement weather. I've been walking (feels really safe) and taking the train (feels really comfortable and mostly safe.) This walking and train taking has put a damper on my practice schedule. It's hard to get to Wakeup yoga without my car. I have made a trip to South Philly via train for Biz's class. I will probably do that again. For the mysore portion of my life, I've been walking. Wow. Yeah. I walk to yoga. I never thought that would be possible. Last year, in West Philly, before I started to bike, I took the bus to yoga in the morning and would drive on Sundays. Now, living in Northern Liberties, I'm a hop, skip and a jump away from many yoga shalas (Dhyana-Old City, Shanti Yoga Shala-Old City, Y2-Center City, etc.). Some locations are within walking distance, some are better off with a bike, some great via the EL ( but not when having to wait outside in the dark, scary cold for it...)

Anyway, I've been walking to SYS. It's 0.8 of a mile away. It takes me 15-17 minutes depending on my strut. On Sundays, I use an ipod. For early morning practices, I just listen to the quiet city. I haven't made it to many early morning practices via "the walk". I'm looking forward to hopping back on my bike in another week or so. I need more of the snow to melt and I'll feel better about riding. There's still a ton of ice. My practice is not steady at this point in my life. I don't have a consistent schedule and it's been super hard to practice at home, (even with the heat on, we have a major draft where I practice and it's pretty brutal to be on the mat.)

What i'm trying to say is.. nothing is new. nothing is steady. I'm sitting with this. I will have a new job soon and my schedule will change again. I'm hoping for some steadiness in my life soon. (probably after Teacher Training is over.) That seems so far away...


Friday, February 12, 2010

february 2009 vs 2010.

february 2009. the night i got the infinity bird tattoo. (valentine's weekend)
february 2010, (few days before valentine's day)

i don't know why i am so fascinated by my hair length. but i am. it hasn't been this long since 2002? that's a long time ago. i should find some old photos and scan them in. those would be a hoot.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

snow day.

today, I hibernated.
tomorrow, I work.
saturday yoga? work mtg. play?
sunday yoga! play. play. play.

the end.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

haikus.

winter:
oh it's snowing hard!
the ground is fluffy and white,
let's make snow angels.

---
dear jill:
safe journey back home
loved following your travels
pizza is waiting.

---
yoga:
no one cares about
the leg behind your head, we
do it anyway.


so i don't lose my mind.

i'm walking to SYS this morning for mysore. i don't want anymore snow. i miss riding my bike to yoga and work. oh welll. this too shall pass.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

asher. ashtanga?

After months and months and years? of talking about Ashtanga Yoga.. I think I finally infiltrated the boytoy's mind. He said he wants to try Ashtanga Yoga. I will teach him at home and then maybe bring him to a local Shala to check out some teachers.

love practice. practice love.


walking to-and-fro.

Because of 'Snowmaggedon', I wasn't sure which yoga studios would be opened or closed today. Wakeup Yoga was open. Dhyana and Y2 closed for the morning. Shanti Yoga Shala Open. Those are my options. Well. My bike is encased in snow, yet again. So is my car. With the roads still slushy and snowy, I don't trust myself on a bike or in a car. So I decided my best option was to walk. Shanti Yoga Shala (SYS from now on) is .8 of a mile away from me. I woke up at 8 and checked to see if they were still having Led Primary. They were.

So I bundled up. Put Radiohead on my ipod and made the short journey over to Olde City. I left my apt at 9:03am and arrived at SYS at 9:20am (too early!) I went to Cafe Ole and sipped on some tea to warm up my insides before practice.

Today was the hardest practice I've had in a long time. I mean, I felt pain. Tapas was the name of the game. Internal heat, fire me up. Ah.

It was a good practice, none-the-less.

I stayed for question and answer time with NW.

Re-bundled up. Walked home. and now I'm sipping coffee and eating breakfast with Asher.

What a good morning!!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

musings.

So. It's snowing. A LOT! I haven't even taken Sage out for a walk yet because it requires so much and I am just not ready for that commitment (soon soon though..)

Being snowed in can be fun. It can also get me thinking about things that are beyond my reach. Like.. I wish I could walk to Rittenhouse and get some coffee and sit around other human beings. Or... I wish I was close enough to Wakeup Fairmount so that I could practice with guest star teacher Biz. But, alas, I am in Northern Liberties. The closest place I could walk to for fun would be some over priced boutiques and a tattoo shop or beer store. Hmmm. I'm already stocked up on beer.

Anyway, Being snowed in makes me think about things. Like for instance.. yoga. Haha. Obviously. I have an interview of Norman Allen book marked on my favorite links. He fascinates me beyond words. If you've seen the movie, Enlighten UP!, then you will know who I'm talking about. So. I want to go to Hawaii and find Norman Allen. I want to drink his organic coffee and practice yoga with him. Ha. Ok. That's the first thought of the morning.
------
I'm also in the mood to redecorate my apartment. I'm thinking a lot about the color yellow and the color grey. Together. Fabulous.
------

What else is floating around my head right now.. Oh. TT was cancelled for the weekend. We were supposed to have Sanskrit Level 1 with Manorama.
-------

I've been thinking about THE practice of yoga. I'm thinking about how the subtle details come so slowly and that sometimes you forget where you started. Let me paint you a picture. I stumbled across Ashtanga yoga by accident. I was experimenting with all kinds of yoga when I lived in Huntington Beach, CA and was doing a work study at Yoga Works. I had tried every kind of yoga they had to offer, but I saved Ashtanga for last. I knew deep down that something magical would happen (maybe? or maybe I was scared.) Anyway. My first practice was a led class. I knew not what was happening, but I did it anyway. No one told me not to. I looked at people to figure out what the hell was happening, but I had fun. I wore a tshirt and some yoga pants that I got at a goodwill. My tshirt was sopping wet and saggy by the end of class. I couldn't do most of the asana, but I tried all of them anyway. Again, I had no one telling me not to do this. I didn't develop a relationship with any teachers during this period of my life. I went to Saturday and Sunday led classes (two different teachers) and that was that. I didn't know what mysore was. I was totally lost.

Cut to Philadelphia. I'm looking for Ashtanga and I find Yoga Squared. I start the Mysore track of my life here. It's a good life. I make friends. I really really learn Primary Series. I memorize the series. I get pose after pose after pose until I've 'learned' the whole thing. But it's funny. Just because you 'have' the poses, doesn't mean you're 'doing' them right. I still am learning. I am still 'working' the asanas. I'm still learning the energetics of the asanas. I am learning the transitions in and out of asanas. It's always changing.

I have developed relationships with teachers here. Thank g-d for that. If I hadn't, then I would probably still be going to led classes once a week and I would not be the same person I am today. I am learning that although a 'teacher' will teach me 'yoga,' I am my best teacher. I know when I need rest. Or that I've gone too far. Or that I need to encourage myself to work harder. I'm not saying that I know asana enough to not have a teacher. I do know that listening to myself is something I've learned during my time here in Philadelphia. I'm trusting that I know what's best for me now. I'm listening to the teacher within.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

practice.

I think about practice a lot. The practice of yoga. The practice of life. The practice of love.

While the baby napped today at work, I practiced full primary. I placed my bosses mat in the kitchen and I practiced. There was no teacher, except for the internal manifestations of past & current teachers. There was no incense or special lighting. There were no yoga friends, except for the friends I carry in my heart. I was in a kitchen, the floor covered in crumbs and I practiced yoga.

Breath was steady. Mind was steady. Body a little tight. Savasana so good.

A great thing about yoga is that you can literally drop your mat, almost anywhere, and practice. It's a matter of making time for it. It's a matter of eating and drinking properly. It's a matter of getting proper rest. I love that yoga is something I can do at home while Asher does his homework and our dogs are running around like crazy beasts. I love that I have a job that allows me to do yoga while a baby sleeps. I love that I can go to mysore in the morning or even in the evening. I love that I could go to a vinyasa class mid-day. I love that I could practice in a hotel room. Or in my backyard (if I had one). I could practice in an airport (maybe not).

My facebook status from earlier:

'yoga practice is yoga practice despite where you lay your mat, despite the teacher that may or may not be there, despite the time of day, despite the "style" in which you practice. (today was: mysore style @ work in the kitchen, used the boss ladies mat from 130-3pm, me myself and i).'



I have a friend who has a tattoo that says "fun is fun is fun" and it's in a circle and essentially the circle keeps going and going...

I like to sometimes think of Yoga like that. Yoga is yoga is yoga.

I'm tired. goodnight.



Tuesday, February 2, 2010

looking forward while dropping back.

My fabulous friend and teacher, Jill, has a workshop called "Looking forward while dropping back." Adam and I went to it in January 2009. It is now a year later and today, February 2nd, 2010, I dropped back 3 times and stood up from each one of them. That is the first time I've been able to stand up from all 3. This is a milestone that needs to be marked in the record books.

When I first started practicing Ashtanga, I never thought about drop backs. Not until teachers started encouraging me to do them. For a long time, I was scared. I thought I would hurt myself. I wasn't confident. I also wasn't strong enough. My spine was stiffer. I never dropped back unless a teacher was standing with me and it took me a long time to do even one solo.

After some solid hard work and practice, I can honestly say that I am stronger, my confidence is up, I'm not scared. I haven't had a mysore practice in forever, so today was the first time I've dropped back in quite some time. It felt completely natural. I just dropped back and I sloppily stood up. ALONE. No assistance. Wow. I looked at my teacher and said very quietly, 'that was fun.' Then I did it again two more times. Each time, easier than the last.

My whole world has changed.

I'd like to thank Jill for planting some awesome drop back seeds a year ago and for her encouragement along this path. I'd like to thank Karen for being my first mysore teacher and for helping me realize where my hands should go when they meet floor. I'd like to thank David Keil for teaching me about keeping my arms straight when dropping back, among many other things. I'd like to thank N.W. for just watching me today and witnessing it. I'd like to thank myself for sticking with this practice.

That is all. This is magical.

Monday, January 25, 2010

things are changing.

Life doesn't always pan out as we plan it to.. Things change and that's a good thing. For fucking sure!

I'm in the process of switching jobs. Going from nanny (poopy diapers) to waitressing (shitty customers? haha. only 1/2 the time..) I'll be waiting tables at Dmitri's in Northern Libs, which is a rock throws distance away from my apt. (My bike is actually always parked in front of D's, so if you don't see my bike, it means I'm out and about!)

The family I work for knows that I'm leaving them eventually. We didn't pick a date, but I did tell them that I will need to cut back to part time when I start to hustle people for tips by giving them plates of octopus and hummus. The family I work for is expecting a 2nd child in mid-February. The mom will be staying home full time, so I know they will be ok when I tell them that I am ready to go for good. For now, I will stay part time and see them through the transition into full on parenthood. (1 kid is a breeze, 2 seems like hell in a handbasket!)

I'm about half-way through teacher training at WakeUp yoga. That's a doozie. If you think that a 250-hour certification is easy, well think again! It's massively time consuming, but fabulously fun. I'm making the greatest friends and learning the art and science of teaching asana, among other things. My practice has been half vinyasa, half ashtanga (the ashtanga half is more like a quarter, but let's pretend, for my sake that it's half and half).

We finish the program at the end of April and I can't say that I'm not excited for the end. I'm excited to get my weekends back, but i'll be a little sad when I have no more workshops or weekends of intensive yoga stuff to do...

Jill comes in April for a week long Early Morning Retreat Week. 5 days of early morning Jill!! I signed up, but need to hand in my money in order to be on the list. You know I'll be doing that ASAP to secure a spot.

I'm excited to start the journey at Dmitri's. I'm looking forward to reclaiming my early morning yoga practices. I'm stoked to have my days free to leisurely drink tea and make food and eat well and just be all around free to do whatever it is I want to do.

I went to Tina's Ayurvedic workshop on Saturday for TT. That was fabulous. I tried to write a blog about just that earlier, but the words were just not there. She's extremely smart and funny. I had a blast. I learned that i'm a Vata-Pitta Dosha. (look up Vata Dosha and tell me that doesn't describe me to a T!) ha. I'm fascinated by the Ayurvedic lifestyle. I am taking it all in and incorporating what I can (daily rituals: dry brush and oil, tongue scraper. eating largest meal of the day around 12. getting to bed by 10.. when i'm not working. having my bed be forsex and sleep.. using the 6 tastes ..sweet. salty. sour. pungent. bitter. astringent.. in as many meals as possible..)

Anyway, lots going on. lots changing. I feel like I'm growing up.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

practice.

haven't practiced since tina's class on monday night. i feel horrible. tomorrow i am back on the mat.. not sure of the location (home, y2, other) or even what style (led, mysore, vinyasa, flopping around like a sick fish...)

i need the practice. i need some stability. practice is not steady right now. mind is not steady.



oh the trials and tribulations of my life.