House of paint

On Saturday, I went to an event I never pictured myself attending. It’s called house of paint and it’s a world that’s so far removed from my world of yoga, books and elementary school!

There were graffiti artists spary painting the walls under a city bridge, b-boy and b-girl battles, dj’s and so much amazing art! After a while being under the bridge, my eyes started to water from the paint fumes, but watching the dance battles was so amazing, it was worth it!

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These guys had a great seat for the battle that was about to begin!

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Check the amazing moves!

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My friend Ichih dropped her earring under the bleachers and it felt like a perfect photo op!

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There was art everywhere. I loved the shoes. I’m pretty sure you could buy them to wear, they weren’t for sale as wall art, but they looked really cool like that!

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Such a great day! Can’t believe this event has been going on for ten years and I’ve never been there before!

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Looking for the beat

I like to try new things. If you’ve read any of my posts before, you know this. Last week, my friend Ichih asked me if I wanted to go to a hip-hop dance class with her. I couldn’t, because I was busy being a Rocky Horror first-timer, but last night, I was free! I’ve done hip-hop before, although badly, so I thought I knew what to expect.

Well, I was wrong. Not only was it not actually hip-hop, it was some kind of awesome hip-hop-and-something-else hybrid. I’m told this is called house. Wait a minute, I don’t like house. I’m sure I don’t. I think I don’t? Talk about trying something new.

When we got to the studio, there was a dance hall class going on. Right away, I was excited to dance. What we did was completely different, but it kind of set the mood. It was a small, one-room studio and everyone seemed to know each other. But not in a we’re cool ’cause we all know each other and you’re the new girl so we won’t talk to you high school way. Not, it felt like a house party.

At first, we started sliding around from side to side. We rubbed our shoes in baby powder, which made me feel like Nadia Comaneci or something. I’ve always wanted to do that and then slap my hands together and have the white powder go everywhere. I couldn’t really justify putting my hands in the powder, however, so I just pretended in my head.

Sarah and Rise, our instructors, told us the sliding motion was kind of like skating. I’m pretty sure they meant roller skating, but I decided they meant ice skating, because I’m good at that. I convinced myself would be good at this house stuff too. About 15 minutes in, I realized it didn’t matter at all how good anyone was, it was just a bunch of people dancing.

It was like being in a club, but not having to worry about not being dressed right. Before the class, Ichih told me to wear baggy clothes. I realized I don’t have any. None that I can wear in public, that is. So I went with my yoga stuff. When in doubt, go with the lulu.

We slid around from side to side for a while, then slid our feet to the front, then up, one at a time. We had to crunch down while bringing the foot up. Yeah, that wasn’t working for me. I looked like a giraffe getting a drink of water. Awkward.

After the class was over, everyone just hung out and danced some more. I tried to do all the moves I learned and it was fun, if not particularly attractive. We even did some kind of push-up dance off kind of thing. I can barely do 2 push ups, let alone all these different, crazy varieties. But every push-up session needs someone saying “Why are we doing this? Good job everyone else, I’ll just lay here and watch.”

I had an awesome time and I made some new friends, so I’d say the evening was a success!

Although this is not a post about yoga, I had to add this next part. I went to an amazing power class with Jen at Pure this morning. I’ve been doing mostly yin lately, so it felt wonderful to push myself and try to do things I normally can’t do. Well. I did side crow. Side crow! How awesome is that? I had to share!

Shake it on the beach

I’ve been looking for free activities to do this month, and today, lululemon was having a “fitness Friday” event. It was at Westboro beach, so not too far from work, and it was from 5 to 6. It was also a hip hop dance class!

This winter, I was told by my dance teacher that I am “too cute” for hip hop dancing. I took it as a compliment.

Julie and I decided to check it out. I actually wasn’t sure where the beach was, but Julie thought she knew. Turns out she did, but only after we drove past it. One illegal u-turn later, we were at the beach! At first, it felt a little weird, because it seemed like they all knew each other and we were the new kids. They actually all work at lululemon, so that’s why they looked like cheerleaders. I mean that in a good way. They were very peppy.

Mr. Bill was the instructor and he wasted no time teaching us a routine. You could tell he works with kids a lot because he would place his hand on his head to tell us to “take it from the top”. I wonder if I do stuff like that. Maybe I shush people by placing my finger on my lips or turn off the lights to get people to listen to me… I hope not, that would be awkward.

Julie said she learned more from Mr. Bill in an hour than she did in the 10 week session we did this winter. The teacher we had then was very stressed out and she liked to tell us all about it. It didn’t leave much time to actually dance. She was always telling us to be more aggressive.

Don’t we look like aggressive people? Yeah, didn’t think so.

It was cloudy all day, but the sun came out while we were dancing. It was great to actually work out outside.

We took a group shot at the end. Someone had to take the picture, so Mr. Bill’s not in it. One girl said to look gangster, or something about westside, or peace or whatever. Obviously, we did not all hear the same thing.

Next week’s fitness Friday has something to do with kettlebells and the instructor is apparently a kettlebell champion. I didn’t know you could be a kettlebell champion, but I’m impressed. Kettlebells scare me, but it’s free, so I’ll probably try it out!

Lazy Sunday? I think not!

Sometimes I wonder what I did with my time before I started this 30 days of yoga challenge. Today is day 15, so I’m halfway there (yay me!). It’s been two weeks, but I feel like I’ve always done this.

Take yesterday, for example. It was Sunday. I’ve been know to sleep in on Sundays. I’ll say I’m going to the gym, but I’ll end up staying home in my pyjamas. Then, I’ll get dressed and run out to the grocery store to get some food before everything closes. What I did with myself all day, I can’t remember.

Yesterday morning started off with a great yin class with Edith at Pure. Well, it was great until she mentioned dragon pose. Really. Of all the poses, in all the world, she had to pick that one! (Yes, that’s a kind-of Casablanca reference!) My intention for this class was to come out happy, so I decided to just sit it out. As soon as I decided to do that, I felt wonderful. I think, if I were a superhero, dragon pose would be my kryptonite.

After yoga, I danced in a show with my hip hop class. I didn’t sign up for dance class thinking there would be a recital. Even the word makes me feel like I’m six years old! However, it was fun to get all done up and dance in front of an adoring public. Well, they might not have been my adoring public, since I didn’t invite anyone to come, but they still clapped.

I think my favorite part of the show was when we were all waiting backstage for our turn to go on. The girls before us were dancing to “Party rock anthem” and you just have to dance when you hear that song! We had a little dance session right there before our number. It was good, because so many people were stressed out, and this seemed to get everyone to relax. It’s supposed to be fun, I don’t get why people panic.

This is my posse.

All in all, it was a great day. I was busy, but I was doing things I love.

What’s your perfect Sunday?

Yoga vs Hip hop

Today is day 4 of my 30 day yoga challenge. It’s also Thursday, which means it’s hip hop day. Julie and I have been taking dances classes together since January. We decided to go to the 4 o’clock yoga class, then hip hop at 6. This presentend a challenge because I work untill 3:30. I’m a teacher, so it’s not like I can tell the kids “I’m heading out early today, see you tomorrow!” I decided to get them ready to leave 5 minutes earlier than usual, so I could leave as soon as possible. But when we got outside, the parents, who apparently had not received the memo about my bright idea (which I thought up 10 minutes earlier), arrived at the same time they normally do. When I got to the yoga studio, I was out of breath and worried I would be too late for class. I was greeted with a relaxed atmosphere, a smile and a “Go ahead in, you’re fine”. I learned something today: Chill out. It’s yoga.

When I got to hip hop, I considered passing on what I had learned to my dance teacher. She’s pretty stressed out. And she stresses me out with her stress.

Yoga today was a hot flow class at Pure. My teacher was Edith. She was great and she didn’t stress me out at all! She made us do things I haven’t done often, like seated pigeon. Much better than regular old pigeon. But the thing is, I can’t say “I nailed it!” because that’s not very yogic-minded.

I can say I’m good at hip-hop. I’m not a superstar, but I can pick up choreography and follow the beat. I like being able to toot my own horn!

At the end of my yoga class, I was happy with myself. I didn’t feel so good today at lunch, so I didn’t eat much. I only realized I was hungry during my first downward dog. It’s not easy concentrating on eagle pose when you’re thinking about peanut butter sandwiches and cupcakes (Not what I normally eat, just what I was thinking of)  but I did it!

See how Julie and I are not touching each other? That’s because we were all gross and sweaty. But we were also pretty proud of ourselves for having completed the first part of our crazy Thursday schedule!

Hip hop is not something I had done before, and apparently, I’m “too cute”. You really have to bring out your aggressive side. I usually can’t find mine. Also, I wear pink and smile a lot. This is our tough look. Intimidated, aren’t you?

One of my favorite yoga poses is dancer, and it’s definitely because of the name! Today was a good day. Can’t wait to see what happens tomorrow.