Mellow yoga

Today, I took the day off (which, when you’re a teacher and it’s June, basically means “I took a sick day to work on report cards” It’s the teacher version of working from home.)

I decided to start my day off right with a yoga class. I didn’t make it to yoga last night, as my students were the oompa loompa’s in another class’ Willy Wonka and the chocolate factory play and I was busy with orange face paint and green wigs. (They were adorable, by the way.) Since I’m doing a 30 day yoga challenge, I can’t afford to miss too many days. Last Friday, I did two classes, so I didn’t fall behind even though I missed last night’s class.

I made it to the studio for the 9:30 class this morning. It was with Mike, and I’ve never done any of his classes because I usually work during the week. It was a yin class and he started off by saying “Welcome to the studio’s most mellow class” and then had us relax is supported fish for ten minutes. Every day should start with ten minutes of supported fish. Pure bliss!

The rest of class was a mix of super relaxing poses, like twists and wide knee child’s pose, and a few more active poses like gecko (yuck) and core stuff.

I’m planning on going to another class tonight, because it’s taught by my friend Ichih and I love her and her classes! It’s another yin class, so I’m declaring today my mellow yoga day. I love flow and power classes, but for a 30 day challenge, it’s good to have a balance between both.

So far, this challenge is going really well. Maybe it’s because I’ve taken a couple of days off from work to keep from feeling rushed all the time, or maybe it’s just because, even before the challenge, I was practicing so often, it’s become my normal. Whatever the reason, I’m enjoying my practice and my challenge very much and I can’t wait until July to start my yoga teacher training!

Have a blissful day!


Dragons are real

Today was a long day for my brain. It had to think a lot. Not that it’s normally on holidays or anything, but today,  my brain was tired.

I decided to go to a yin class. I figured a restorative class was a good day to get out of my head. It’s pretty interesting in there, but sometimes, it’s a bit much.

After a seated meditation and a five minute, wide knee child’s pose, I could start to feel myself melting. This was good stuff. Just what my brain and I needed.

And then it happened.

Dragon pose.

Seriously? Today?

Now, if you’ve read any of my post about yin yoga, you know how I feel about dragon pose. If I was writing dragon pose’s report card, I would say “Does not play well with others. Tests my patience. Is not good for my mental health.”

You see, dragon pose has the same effect on me as a Nicky Minaj song. It makes me aggressive. It makes me mean and grumpy and unpleasant. My teacher Ichih has said that we hold emotions in our hips. I believe her. I also believe that all the anger, sadness and fear I avoid (Because that’s what I do. It works for me. Well, obviously it doesn’t, not during dragon pose.) comes out and breathes fire at me when I get into dragon pose. I don’t like stress, I don’t like unpleasantness. I’m not saying I’m happy all the time, I’m not a robot. But I’m not a dragon either.

I made my way into the pose, sighing and twisting and turning and fidgeting. I stayed for a little while, but when it turned into gecko, I though “Forget it!” and made my way into child’s pose. I always feel resistance in this pose (mostly mental, not physical), but I at least try to work through it. Today, however, I didn’t want to feel mad and annoyed. My brain and I needed space and happiness. So we decided not to compare ourselves to all the other people and their brains who seemed to be enjoying dragon pose. And by enjoying, I mean they weren’t dead yet.

After dragon, the rest of the class was fantastic. I loved hanging out in supported bridge the most.

My brain and I are now happy, sleepy and ready for tomorrow.


Did you yoga today?

Yes, I am using yoga as a verb. As you may or may not know, today is world yoga day! I have no idea what this means, because I only saw it mentionned online somewhere, but yay for yoga!

To celebrate, I went to a yang/yin yoga class this morning taught by my friend Edith. Ok, it was half to celebrate yoga day and half because I went snowboarding yesterday and I fell a lot, so today everything hurts. Also, it was half because I like yoga. And I like Edith. Too many halves, I know, but never too much yoga!

To commemorate this event, I’ve created a little collage of yoga moments. It’s time like these that I’m grateful for all the times I’ve asked friends, family and strangers to take my picture.

yoga collage

After class, Edith and I went out for coffee. We talked about yoga (among other things!), so yay for world yoga day again!

When I got home, I momentarily crashed on the couch and really, really wanted to stay there, but instead baked some tasty gluten free goodies. I like baking muffins and snacks so that I’m not tempted to go out and buy unhealthy things during the week.

I also made this unbelievable curry chicken salad for dinner. I made enough for lunch tomorrow and I’m already looking forward to it!

Oh, and I made more vitamin water. Raspberry cucumber. Delicious!

How did you celebrate yoga day?

Five more minutes

You know that feeling you get in the morning, when your alarm clock goes off, and you’re nice and cozy under the covers? You just want five more minutes to enjoy that fuzzy feeling. That’s how I feel about my friend Ichih’s yin class. I just want more.

I haven’t done yoga in over a week, due to a pain in my neck. A few years ago, I fell on the ice and hit my head. Ever since then, I’ve had neck issues. I saw an osteopath a couple of years ago and I didn’t have any major issues for a while. However, last week, it felt like my head was attached to my neck with one very large, very painful pin. I saw a massage therapist on Saturday and he fixed me, so I was good to go for yoga tonight.

Yin works with three principles: finding your edge, stillness and time. I can usually get two of of three pretty easily, but there’s always one that’s just harder to deal with. Funny thing is, it’s not always the same one. Sometimes, I find my edge and I’m perfectly still, for about 14 seconds. Other times, I am still for as long as I need to be, only I’m holding back a little, staying where it’s easy and comfortable. What can I say, I’m a work in progress.

Tonight, we did cat’s tail. I enjoy this pose because I get a stretch in more than one place. Also, it feels really good to come out of it, which is sometimes better than the actual pose!

First, we started off in “watching tv” pose. Don’t mind my messy hair and scary eyes. I tried to get the red-eye out, but it left me with alien eyes.


Then, we flicked up our “tail” and held on to it.


You could stay here, or you can turn the pose into a twist. (Still holding on to your tail.)


This was just one of the amazing poses we did. How can you not want more of this? When I was savasana-ing, I almost fell asleep. Happy fuzzy yoga brain. Namaste.

I can’t fight this feeling

Day 9 out of 30 and I’m still loving it! When I started this challenge, I was worried I would drive myself nuts trying to cram too much into one day, but I’ve been pretty good about leaving work at a decent hour and making time for myself to relax a little at home, either before or after class. The week to come is sure to offer up it’s own challenges, however, as I have a birthday dinner, a parent-teacher meeting and a wedding cake to make. I’m trying to do all I can over the weekend to be prepared for the week and keep from going crazy.

This morning I went to a yang/yin class with Edith. It was a wonderful class, because just as I was starting to get a little tired and hot from the flow, we transitionned into a yin style practice. I’ve gone to the studio every day, so I have 9 stickers! As you can see, not everyone goes to class, some people opt for a home practice or another form of activity.

The flow part was great, although twisting in chair pose was tough. My arms felt heavy in most of the poses, like warrior 2 and crescent lunge. It’s like my body knows it’s Sunday and it’s trying to tell me to just relax and read a book.

The yin part started off with a nice long child’s pose. Bliss. Then we did dragon pose. Arghh! I don’t know what’s up with this pose lately. I feel like I’m always doing it, yet I don’t like it one bit. Edith was telling us how important it is not to fight the pose and fidget, but all I could think was “Let me out of this torturous pose!” A better title for this post might have been “I’m fighting this feeling with all I’ve got”. Part of it is physical, because, as one of my teachers says, I’ve been “blessed” with tight hips. However, most of the resistance is in my head. I’ve gotten so used to disliking this pose and the way it makes me feel, that as soon as someone says “dragon pose”, I tense up. I’ve got 21 more days to this challenge, so I’ll try to work on it!

On a more positive note, I did not lock my keys inside my locker this week, so added bonus there! Although, I don’t actually have a lock anymore, so I don’t have keys either, but whatever. Also, the girls at the studio bought some lock cutters because someone else did the very same thing as I did! This makes me happy because now it’s not just me.

Edith and I after class. She’s wonderful.

After class I came home and made a smoothie using protein powder for the first time. It’s got raspberries, strawberries, orange juice, tofu, green tea and brown rice protein powder. I’m not sure about the texture. I can taste the powdery texture of the protein and it’s not going down quite as fast as my smoothies normally do. Maybe I’ll cut the serving of powder in half until I get used to it. I know lots of people add kale to their smoothies, because it’s some kind of super-food, but I’m taking it one step at a time here!

Now I’m off to get myself ready for the week ahead, and hopefully do a little bit of nothing as well! Enjoy the rest of your Sunday.

Yoga hug

Wednesday, I went to my favourite yin class, which I have renamed yoga hug. I was going to write about this yesterday, but I was so excited about my wheel that I had to write about that!

A yin class at a hot studio is something special. For the regular classes, the temperature is anywhere from 38 to 41 degrees celcius (100 to 105 degrees fahrenheit). But for yin classes, it’s warm, not hot.

Before my 30 day yoga challenge, I was not a big fan of yin yoga. However, when I was doing yoga every day, I learned to appreciate the more passive aspect of the practice. Now, I love it!

What I love about Ichih’s class is that it’s always different. Some teachers seem to have a routine and if you go to their class regularly, you do the same thing every time.

All of the poses were done on the floor. No standing, no holding, no dragon pose!

We did half-frog, which I like. I’m not sure how much I would like full frog though. Then, from half-frog, Ichih had us bring one arm up and the other arm out to the side at a right angle. She said this pose made her wish she had brought chalk to trace around us. I had Julie demonstrate because, although it feels great, it looks really funny!

After that, we did some forward bends and then we chilled out in supported bridge. I love, love, love supported bridge. You can just let everything go. At the end of a long day, there is no better feeling!

Another thing that makes this class wonderful is that Ichih tells us stories while we’re in our poses. Sure, you can breathe into a pose and focus on how it feels, but you hold poses for so long in yin that it’s nice to combine that with inspirational stories and quotes.

I always sleep so well after this class. As much as I love the rush I get from an intense flow class, the feeling of peace I get from yin is definitely as addictive. See how relaxed we look after class?

If you haven’t tried yin yet, do it! You don’t know what you’re missing. You could be so relaxed right now!