Tag Archives: Austin

Transitions

Via Flickr User James Jordan

Via Flickr User James Jordan

Suddenly it’s fall. It may still be in the 80s here in Texas, but there is a crispness in the air that only comes in autumn. It always amazes me that you can actually feel the seasons transition even when the temperature hasn’t changed much. At the beginning of summer I felt the buzzing of new energy; now everything feels calmer, more grounded.

The other, less whimsical way I can tell it’s fall: Allergies. So many allergies. I’m allergic to essentially everything and thusly have year-round symptoms, but apparently autumn in Austin is an especially reactive season for me. And so my yoga practice has slowed down somewhat due to the need for extra rest. I actually thought I had a sinus infection, but when it continued without getting any better or worse, I remembered the same thing happened last year. Ah, yes, the lesser-known charms of ATX. It’s one of the worst cities for allergies, much to the satisfaction of my allergist and the chagrin of everyone else. I’ve been netipotting and medicating (Allegra, currently, which doesn’t seem to be doing much), but I’m still experiencing fairly severe symptoms. If any allergy sufferers have a treatment or remedy suggestion(s), please save me and share your secrets!

I’ve also been trying new things with my diet in order to improve my mental and physical health: I’m currently working with a nutritionist to determine which foods I’m most sensitive to. Right now I’m on a restrictive eating plan, which, frankly, kind of blows. Ha. It could certainly be worse, and I know I’m doing this for good reasons, but I’m really missing things like peanut butter (sorry cashew butter, you just can’t live up), green tea, coconut milk, and cheese. It really brings my attention to my attachment to food, a process that is wholly irritating and also really good for me. Naturally.

A fortunate byproduct is that I’m learning how to be more creative in the kitchen. Being forced to make food at home with limited ingredients has awakened the culinary genius in me. Ok, not “genius” by any stretch, but I’ve managed to come up with more tasty dishes than I thought I could. (This Oatmeal comic describes the way I usually feel about home cooking).

Part of what spurred my desire to try this was, of course (you know what I’m going to say), yoga. When you practice asana, you end up getting in touch with yourself whether you want to or not–and it’s not always pleasant. I’ve written quite a bit about how this has affected the connection to my thoughts and emotions, but not as much about how it has affected the connection to my physical body. A large part of why I’ve stopped practicing when I didn’t feel good was because much like my new eating plan has brought my attention to my feelings when it comes to food, yoga brings my attention to the parts of my body that feel crappy. Of course, sometimes rest is necessary and wonderful, but I would not just stop asana, I would stop paying attention to my breath, taking the time to meditate, etc. Like negative emotions, bad feelings in the body aren’t easy to confront. Often we would rather just ignore them as much as possible and pretend they don’t exist. Anything painful or uncomfortable can bring up a feeling of deep, frightening vulnerability. So it’s pretty natural that we should have the impulse to avoid anything that might bring that up. But what might happen when we try gently turning ourselves around and encouraging ourselves to instead go into the shadows instead of pretending that life is only light? That’s what I’m trying to find out. My efforts are imperfect, but I guess that’s kind of the point, right?

Not much to report on besides that. I’ve just been schooling, homeworking, and hanging out with Todd and my favorite furry goofballs:

In their new fortress

In their new fortress

Happy Fall! Enjoy your pumpkin spice lattes, and allow me to live vicariously–they’re definitely not on my current eating plan. 🙂

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Finally an update: Wanderlust, Wedding, Trips, and Trips within Trips

Well, hello Internet. Again my poor blog is suffering from neglect. But I’m ceasing my procrastination (well, for this particular task anyway). I don’t know if this update will be any good, but I’ve finally decided it doesn’t really matter.

So now, let’s see–there’s a lot to catch up on.

I haven’t done much yoga for the past week-ish due to traveling and lots of business, and I can definitely feel it. Everything feels stiff and achey in mind and body. I’m hoping to get back to it tonight.

However, I did some significant yoga-ing before my lull, beginning with a private session in Reno with my amazing teacher Jen. We worked on some backbends, hip openers, and inversions. She also gave me some guidance for running man, which I can actually sort of do now (picture later in the post). It was wonderful to catch up with her, as well as her husband (and my chiropractor) Taylor.

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A few days later, I checked out a flow class at The Studio, which was just the right amount of intensity for me that day.

The next day, I drove up to Squaw Valley for Wanderlust California. Since I’ve never been and just happened to be visiting Reno at the right time, I decided to go for one day. 

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Just before Seane Corn’s class

I’m glad I went, but I’m not sure it quite lived up to all the hype–although, granted, I was only there for a day, and I’m sure it’s a whole different experience spending the entire weekend up there.

But…something about it just felt a little strange to me, which I’m still having trouble figuring out. The best I can come up with is that the bigness of it all–the packed classes, the big-name teachers instructing with microphones, the myriad of merchandise tents–felt to me like I was being distanced from the real essence of yoga. At the end of the day, yoga is all about your inward journey, the connection you have to yourself. So all of the hoopla of a big festival like Wanderlust feels rather counterproductive in some ways. All of those things–the yoga celebrities; the acro yogis doing fancy tricks; the musicians; the displays of colorful and interesting and cute clothing, jewelry, whatever–only seemed to serve to draw me further away from myself, from that core of my being that I often strive to reach in my yoga practice. Don’t get me wrong, all of that stuff is fun and wonderful, but I couldn’t help feeling overwhelmed and conflicted. In one way, it seemed to be a beautiful coming together and celebration, but in another way it was a like carnival, designed to help people escape in some sense. Naturally, there is a place for that sort of thing, but for me, much of yoga is so personal and internal, so a yoga carnival feels rather counterintuitive. Perhaps this is due in part to my natural introversion, and people who tend toward extroversion are more energized and inspired by an environment such as Wanderlust. I often become anxious and disconnected around large groups of people, but I know others function in the opposite way.

In any case, Wanderlust was a nice time, and it certainly gave me some things to consider.

The biggest part of my trip, though, was the wedding of two of my very good friends. Sara is one of my best friends and has been since we were about two, and I was fortunate enough to be one of her maids of honor. It was absolutely wonderful to celebrate with her, her husband Gabe, and many of our good friends. I am so honored that I got to sign my name as a witness on their marriage certificate. 

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With the lovely bride

Another highlight of my trip was going to one of my favorite cities in the world, San Francisco (it’s up there with Austin and Reno), with my amazing boyfriend Todd. 

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By Lombard Street

We only had a couple of days there, but we had a great time walking around the city and seeing some of the tourist-y sites.

I also got a tiny bit of yoga in near the beach. Working on my running man!

ImageAnd of course, it was so good to see my family–my mom, dad, brother, and my grandparents, who came over for a few days from Santa Rosa. The trip went insanely fast, but it was great to be back on the west coast for a little while.

Now I’m back in good ole Texas, transitioning back to normal life (as normal as it gets, anyway). I’ll try to keep this thing updated more often, but no promises. 🙂

*Use of “their” as a singular third-person pronoun is intentional

Gratitude Tuesday

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Via Flickr User shannonkringen

For me, gratitude has been one of the most important–and at times most difficult–practices to cultivate. I, like many people, tend to become overwhelmed by negativity much of the time, and I forget that I have so much joy in my life. There will always be the yin and yang of darkness and light, and we must try to learn to appreciate both. Without one, there would not be the other. Sometimes we try to live only in the light and try to evade the darkness; sometimes we become consumed by sadness or grief or anger and start believing darkness is all there is. In the latter case, we might even start avoiding or ignoring the light because we don’t think that it’s real, that it’ll deceive us by giving us joy and then stripping it away. That’s how it seems sometimes, but though both sides may shift in form, they are both always there.

As a recovering perfectionist (and, to quote Brené Brown, “an aspiring goodenoughist”), it serves me to take the time to remember the light in my life instead of focusing completely on what is “wrong.”

So I’d like to begin to post three things I am grateful for once (at least) a week. So here’s Gratitude Tuesday. Grati-Tuesday? Nah, I think we’ll just stick with the first one. 😉

Today I am grateful for:

  • My mom completing seven out of ten radiation treatments. She’s kicking ass!
  • The opportunity to be a maid of honor for one of my very best friends in July. The co-MOH and I are having a ton of fun planning the bachelorette party. Fortunately she and I are also good friends and see eye-to-eye on almost everything.
  • Living in the lovely, spirited, unique city of Austin, which is so full of good people, good music, and good yoga. 

How about you, friends? What are you grateful for today?