Baby it’s cold outside

This has been one of those weeks that wouldn’t end. My birthday was on Monday, and that was definitely the high point. After that, it was a long blur of sneezing, a runny nose and waking up each morning to realize it wasn’t Friday yet. On top of that, I lost a student today (but then I found her). I kind of felt like this all week.

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But today was Friday and that meant I could relax. I missed yoga. I didn’t go all week because I was sick. I felt much better today and I knew yoga would make me feel almost human again.

Walking into the hot room was the best part of my day. It was so cold today! Winter is definitely coming and I can see myself going to yoga more and more, just for the heat! It was the first time all day that I actually felt warm. Then hot. Really hot.

Class was amazing. It was a flow class, which was great. I’m not sure I could have managed a power class. I did a toe stand, then actually made my way into flying crow! It felt awesome. I tried to take a picture when I got home, but sadly, my inner crow was asleep. Or maybe dead. I fell down pretty hard and I think I squashed it.

This is what it looks like. Yes, yes. I looked as awesome as this. Ok, so maybe not. My head tends to get pretty close to the ground and I’m not sure what my back leg looks like. Also, I can only do it on one side. But I felt like I looked like this.

flying crow

I know, I’m fabulous. Namaste!

I’m 31 years old, that ain’t the end, but it sure ain’t where I began

Yesterday was my birthday. I turned 31. Sometimes, I forget how old I am.

21 year old me imagined a much simpler life for herself. She dreamed of traveling, but couldn’t really picture herself getting off a plane in a foreign country. Her thoughts were about what to wear on a night out with her friends and working hard to become a teacher. She knew nothing except for the life of a student. It never occured to her that she would become passionnate about yoga, kiss many frogs and discover that she truly and deeply loves her life. She hoped for it, but she didn’t have a clue about how wonderful it would be.

She naively didn’t imagine the rainy days either. Those days where she felt, as I do sometimes, like everything is easier for everyone else. The moments of self-doubt and sadness. She would learn to deal.

She thought she knew everything there was to know. She had no idea she would learn that not only does she not know everything, but that it’s better that way. Imagine knowing all there is to know and going through life not learning anything, not being amazed every day by new and exciting things the world has to offer.

21 year old me was really skinny. She struggled with a 30 pound weight gain the year she finally grew a butt and got some curves. She had to get used to weighing over 100 pounds. She would learn, over time, that it’s not important how much she weighs, and she would stop weighing herself. She would not have a scale at home and she would resist the temptation to get on the scale at the gym. She will thank her mom for never having a scale in the house while she was growing up, saving her from become obssessed with her weight.

That girl I used to be had so many friends, she thought she was on top of the world. She didn’t know then what it took to be a lifelong friend. She was young and so were her friends. They grew up, but not at the same time. They grew apart, or they grew closer. Some friendships slowly trickled to happy memories while others intertwined like the branches of two trees growing so close together, you can’t tell where one ends and the other begins.

She was a happy, positive person and I’m glad that part of her is still around. The shy, sometimes awkward girl, I don’t miss as much. I appreciate what she taught me, but there is no need for her anymore. She used to admire outgoing people who took advantage of life’s amazing opportunities, but she held back from going after what she wanted. I am still in awe of the fact that I became that person I admired. Most days anyways. I am still a work in progress.

My life is nothing like she imagined it to be. It’s better. Everyday is not rainbows and candy canes, but the difference between now and then is that I can appreciate the good so much more now that I can compare it to the greyer, rainier moments.

The title of this post is from a song by Jewel, my favourite singer. I remember first hearing it a few years ago and wondering if I would feel that way when I turned 31. Well, I do. It’s not the end, that’s for sure! But when I look back to who I used to be, it’s not the begining either.

Moksha Yoga

Since I found my yoga home, I haven’t been going to other studios very much. Since I became a member at Pure, it doesn’t make much sense to pay another studio for classes when I have unlimited yoga at “home”.

However, Friday night, I went to a karma class with my new friend Emily at the Moksha studio. It was only six dollars, and the money was going to charity, so I was good with that.

I had never done a Moksha class. From what I read on the website, it’s a series of standing postures and then a floor series. It made me think of Bikram, but apparently, Moksha teachers are encouraged to put their own spin on things. I figured for six bucks, I had nothing to lose.

My first impression of the studio was not that great. It was a beautiful lobby, but we were greeted with “Last name?” No hello or anything. We were then asked if we had pre-registered online. We hadn’t and class was full, so we were put on a waiting list. I had no problem with this, since it was not their fault, however, they told us at exactly 7:30 that there was room for us. Class started at 7:30 so we made a mad dash to the changing room, dumped our stuff and tried to be discreet as we entered the hot room. It was the most crowded room I had ever seen. There was no room for us. Finally, the teacher found us spots, but it was the most stressful moment of my day.

My spot turned out to be right by the door. Class started in savasana. Try to relax when all you can imagine is someone walking in and smashing the door into your head. We did a supine twist and were told to cactus our arms since there was no way we were stretching out. I didn’t even have room for cactus arms. I looked like some sad, unwatered house plant.

When the standing series started, I was pleasantly surprised. We did a lot of poses I really enjoy, like tree and eagle. People seemed to really be struggling, but to be honest, the room did not feel that hot to me. The poses felt a little easier than normal, probably because I’m used to flowing between each pose. Obviously, poses like chair and standing splits weren’t a walk in the park, but I didn’t need any breaks.

We actually got a savasana in between the standing poses and the floor series. I wasn’t as worried about a possible door/head collision, but I was still thinking about it.

The floor series was ok. Some cobras, table where you reach back with one arm and hold on to the opposite foot, then some core stuff. More savasana, then the teacher told us to take all the time we needed before heading out. This made me laugh. I could just imagine myself not moving from my spot in front of the door, telling people “I’m not done being zen here. I’m taking the time I need. Please wait.”

I enjoyed the class, but I’m not sure I enjoyed the studio enough to go back. It’s ok, I have Pure, so I’m not yoga-homeless!

Are you a grown up?

Working with kids means you get asked a lot of questions. “Are you a grown-up?” is one of them. Over the years, I’ve had quite a few funny conversations with my students. I teach six to nine year olds, so I laugh a lot!

***

G and C are talking about how many teeth they’ve lost.

G: (Asks me) How many teeth have you lost?

Me: I’ve lost all my baby teeth.

C: Well yes, but that’s because you’re almost an adult.

***

Me: E, what are you going to be when you grow up?

E: A veterinarian. What are you going to be when you grow up?

Me: I’m already grown up.

E: Well, what’s your job?

Me: I’m a teacher.

E: I know you’re a teacher, but what’s your job?!

***

I’m giving a lesson on animals when K’s hand goes up.

Me: K, it’s not time for questions yet.

K: But it’s not a question, it’s an answer!

***

M: What do you want for Christmas?

Me: A giraffe.

M: You could probably find one on kijiji.

***

I’m having a latte while the kids are in gym class. I knock it over and I’m wiping the floor when a student walks in and says “This is what you do when we’re not here? You wash the floor?”

***

S: Do you live with your mom and dad?

Me: No.

S: Do you live with your kids?

Me: I don’t have kids.

S: Well if you’re not a kid and you’re not a mom, what are you?

***

I sneeze.

C: You’re like my dog.

***

After a 4-day weekend.

C: Let’s see each other tomorrow, because I don’t like long breaks when I don’t see you.

***

A. was saying hello to everyone as they came through the door. I told her she was like the greeter at Walmart. She started saying “Hello, welcome to Walmart.”

***

Me: C, I hope you work this hard at home when you do your homework.

C: No, at home I yell and throw my papers on the floor.

***

Me: This movie is great. I used to watch it when I was little.

P: But I thought old movies were silent?

***

Me: Once I lost my voice and had to write notes to my students all day.

S: Oh cool, I hope you get sick and it happens again.

***

Me: Do you need help figuring out the problem?

M: No, I need the answer.

***

I’m wearing jeans and my hair is up in a ponytail.

L: What’s wrong with you? This is not your style!

***

Calla Lily Cake

My friend Dominique got married on Saturday. She’s having a beautiful wedding ceremony with family and friends in January, but she had a civil ceremony this weekend. She wanted to keep things simple and invited us to the ceremony, followed by a wine and cheese at her house. Her daughters wanted to make sure the day was extra-special, so they planned little surprises. One of those surprises was asking me to make a cake.

I remembered she had mentionned calla lilies for her bouquet, but I couldn’t ask her about it, it was meant to be a surprise!

I decided to go with the lilies, but I had never made life-like flowers before. I usually just cut my decorations out of fondant. I found a tutorial with a little video and it didn’t look that hard. Turs out, it was pretty easy! I made several flowers and let them dry overnight. I covered the cake in light yellow fondant, added a yellow ribbon, and voilà! Calla lily perfection!

Wildlife Adventure

A few weeks ago, my friend Adèle told me she had a something special planned for my birthday, which is next week. She told me to pick a day, but she wouldn’t tell me what we were going to do. I picked today. Last week, she told me that I needed a few things for our special day. This is the list she sent me:

– camera

– notepad

– running shoes

– skates

– bathing suit

If you’re thinking what the…? I know. So was I. I tried to think of what activity could require these items. Someone suggested maybe a scavenger hunt. I thought maybe some kind of rallye. Then I began to wonder if I really would need these items, or if it was just to throw me off track.

I showed up at my friend’s house today, not knowing what to expect. A few other friends were there too. My friend Lyli told me to close my eyes, and she would give me a clue. So I closed my eyes and held out my hands in which she placed… a bag of carrots! Wait, what? Then Adèle asked me where I could possibly use a bag of carrots. Was there any place I had been dreaming of going to for years that would require carrots?

This is the point where I jumped up and down squeeling “Parc Oméga!” Parc Oméga is a wildlife park where you can drive around and feed the animals. They only have Canadian animals and I had been trying to get my friends together all summer to go with me, but it never worked out. Also, I was right about the list being designed to throw me off, all I needed was my camera. And the carrots, of course.

Four of us headed out with lots of energy, music and carrots. The park is about an hour outside the city and when we got there, the first animals we saw were elk. They were very greedy and kept sticking their head in the car to get more carrots. My friend Claudine kept yelling “Roll up your window!” while I mostly just made very high-pitched sounds.

We also saw wild boar. I threw some pieces of carrots on the ground for them, but I didn’t really want them eating out of my hand.

We were told not to feed the males, because it’s mating season and they are quite aggressive, but this little guy did not seem very aggressive. He still had his Bambi spots! He got a carrot.

This guy, however, looked a little less innocent. He was chasing the females and stomping his feet and being all manly. He didn’t get any carrots.

How could you say no to this face?

We saw some Arctic foxes, but we couldn’t feed them. They looked like fluff balls, but somehow I doubt they would have let me pet them.

The caribou didn’t come anywhere near us. I think maybe it’s because we didn’t bring any lichen.

One of the rules is “Don’t get out of your car” except when you get to some of the walking areas. I find it quite strange that we were told not to feed the males from the safety of our car, but we could walk around with them. It looked like they were playing tag, but I’m guessing that wasn’t it.

I tried to feed this little guy, but he was skittish and wouldn’t come close enough.

I pretended to feed Adèle the carrot, so he would know what to do with it, and he was all “Dude, that’s my carrot.”

Even after all that, he still wouldn’t eat it, so I found another deer who wanted a snack. They chew with their mouth open. How rude.

We were freezing so we got back in the car and saw some bison. This one was scratching his butt, which, compared to the rest of him, is quite tiny.

These two were very impressive, and they knew it. I think they practice posing at night, telling each other how strong and beautiful they look.

This one was so adorable, he got the last of the carrots. We wanted to break the “don’t get out of the car” rule and pet him, but we restrained ourselves.

This one heard from his elk friends that we had carrots, and he wanted some. Sadly, we were all out.

We also saw wolves. Two of them were playing, when another one came and messed up their game. One of them left, then the others followed him and sat on his head. True story.

We saw coyotes, baby boar and a moose. We stayed until it was too dark to see anything else, then we came home. Such a perfect day! Much better than what I was imagining when I saw the list, which included skating in my swimsuit and taking pictures while running. This was much better! I am very lucky to have such great friends! xxx