The hot room is my happy place

We should all have a happy place. A space that makes us smile and helps us forget what’s bothering us. Sometimes it’s an actual place and sometimes it’s more of a feeling.

I’m always happy when I’m reading. It doesn’t matter where I am. At home, waiting for an appointment, at the bookstore, reading is like a bubble. A happy, word-filled, blissfull bubble.

I also have a happy place that’s an actual space I go to. It’s the hot room. When I walk into the hot room, I feel my shoulders drop a little, even if I didn’t realize I was tense. The heat is like a hug saying “Don’t worry, you’re here now. It’s all about you.”

Yesterday, I went to a yoga class taught by Jen. I was very happy, because she’s been away for a month and I truly love her classes. I think she missed teaching because her power class was really more of a super power. She really kicked our butt in there. About halfway through, I thought to myself “Humm, maybe Jen should have stayed in Australia a little longer!” But I didn’t mean it! It was just the vinyasas talking.

After class, I took a picture with Jen and Amber. Standing next to Jen who’s all tanned, I look like I glow in the dark.

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There’s a special vibe at the studio. It’s not my happy place for nothing. The people are amazing, the classes are fantastic and the actual space is beautiful.

There are quotes on the wall. My favourite is the one in the hot room.

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This is my happy place. What’s yours?

Pure Yoga Ottawa and both Jen and Amber have been nominated for best yoga studio and best yoga instructors by Faces Magazine. If you’ve been to the studio before, you should go vote! Even if you’ve never been there, you should take my word for it and vote for these wonderful ladies and their fabulous studio!

When lawn-bowling becomes an extreme sport

I come from a large family. My mom has 3 sisters and 8 brothers, so I grew up with a lot of cousins. I think the family motto is “Any reason for a party is a good reason.” We used to have family olympics when I was really young, then we had a golf tournament. I played for a few years, but then I decided I didn’t like golf so much and I volunteered to baby-sit all the kids while everyone else played golf. It worked out well, because the kids and I hung out by the pool all day, then went to the party when everyone else got back all tired and sweaty. Now, we have a lawn-bowling tournament every August.

This is brilliant for many reasons.

1. You can play while holding a drink.

2. You don’t have to be any good.

3. You can talk while playing.

This year about 75 people were there. That’s most of the family. Some people were missing.

These are a few of the lawn-bowling courts. Or fields. Or whatever. I think there were 10.

It was HOT. So hot that the weather channel had an extreme heat warning and was telling people to stay indoors and avoid any outdoor activity. I have never been so hot in my entire life, except maybe the summer I went to Spain.

There was a big tree that gave off a lot of shade where everyone collapsed after a game to cool down a little. Someone also thoughtfully brought freezer pops and water guns so we were all wet and full of sugar. The kids kept pretty cool in the turtle pool.

Here are some of my favourite moments of the day.

This face. I don’t know what she’s doing or thinking, but it’s hilarious!

My partner and I. We didn’t win, but that’s ok, we didn’t really want to. The winners had to keep playing and we just wanted to crash under the tree. I’m all wet because I thought I could outrun all the kids after I sprayed them with water. They got me back.

Dirty feet from the water fights and the dry, dusty dirt that seems to be everywhere!

Trying to get a picture of six toddlers. It was never going to happen.

It was an awesome day. I really do love my family. There are a lot of kids and babies, and that’s my favourite part. I love seeing everyone and catching up on their lives. Many of my relatives told me they read my blog, which was great! My uncle Ray really wanted me to start a yoga session so he could be featured in a special post. Hi Uncle Ray! Even thought it was hotter than the surface of the sun, it was the perfect day.

Also, on a side note, I’m thrilled to report that this is my 100th post! I’m so happy it was a post about my family.

Yoga marathon on the surface of the sun

One day. Hot yoga. Two classes. Oh yeah!

When we first started this 30 day yoga challenge, Julie and I decided that we would do yoga every day. However, if we had to miss a day, we would do two classes on another day. I haven’t missed any classes yet, but I’m not sure I’ll be able to practice on Easter Sunday, so today was a 2-class day. We even took the day off for this. Yeah, that’s right. We mean business.

This is us before our first class. The only non-sweaty picture of the day.

Our first class was hot power flow. It was at Pure, which I love, but it was with a new teacher. Meeting a new teacher is kind of like going on a blind date. You’re never really sure what you’re going to get. Within 3 minutes, I found myself in standing splits. Well, to be fair, it was more like a standing right angle. I still wasn’t sure about the new teacher at this point. But, as the class went on, I found myself more and more interested in what he had to say. Also, we did some really cool stuff. Todd had us place blocks under our hands and push ourselves up with our legs crossed and try to swing back. There is probably a name for this, but whatever it is, I like it. I will definitely go to Todd’s class again.

The first class of the day was a hit. We came out sweaty, happy and energized.

After the first class, we went to Satrbucks for lunch. I don’t know what you’re supposed to eat between two hot yoga classes, but I had a tomato and cheese panini and a chai latte. Then, we wandered around Chapters and I bought a book. I have lots of books, some of which I haven’t read yet, but I really, really like books.

Then it was time for our second class. Bikram. I had never done a bikram class before, so I was quite nervous. I was a little worried about the heat. When people talk about bikram, they always mention how hot it is. Fortunately, I’ve been doing hot yoga a lot lately, so it felt fine. I knew that in a bikram class, you do 26 postures twice. That’s pretty much all I knew. I thought about reading up on it before class, but I decided it was better to go in blind, so I wouldn’t freak myself out.

These are the 26 postures. Sometimes, I would forget that we had to do them twice.

We went to a different studio for this class and the teacher was a little military like. Right shoulder forward! Left shoulder back! Lean forward! Arms close to your ears! Breathe! Tall spine! Eyes open! You can never close your eyes during this class. Even though he was loud, he explained everything very clearly. Out of all the standing postures, I liked tree pose the most. Probably because I’m good at it. If I were a very enlightened and evolved yogi, I would say that I enjoyed standing bow, because it was a challenge, and challenges make us grow and learn about ourselves. I still liked tree pose.

I was happy when the standing postures were done. I surprised myself by being able to do the fixed firm pose (20), even though my knees were a little far apart. And camel pose (22), which I can sometimes do, just wasn’t working for me today. All in all, I really liked it. I don’t know if I’ll become a true bikram yogi, but I will definitely try it again.

I wanted one more picture after the bikram class, kind of like proof that we did it. Since I liked tree pose so much, we did that. But Julie doesn’t really like it as much as I do.

You’ll notice the wardrobe change. Once a girl guide, always a girl guide. (Our motto was “Be prepared.”)

I had an amazing day! I even found myself saying out loud “Today is great. I love today.”