Tag Archives: cats

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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Annoying Yogi Habit

Well holy crap balls (eloquence is my forte). Yoga class tonight began with the instructor dimming the lights and telling us we were going to really get into our hips today, and that it would be somewhat of a slower class than usual. So I thought, “Oh, hm, more of a gentle practice tonight.”

HA! It was quite possibly the most intense practice I’ve ever experienced, though I admit many, many practices feel like the most intense you’ve ever experienced during and after them, when your muscles are still shaky and you kinda feel like the hand of a god just picked you up, flipped you around in the air, and set you back down again. But nevertheless, she really challenged us with poses like Warrior I and II that we held many times in many variations (thankfully my muscles were doing a bit better tonight). Throughout the class, she reminded us to try not to fidget, which brought my attention to just how much I do fidget. In every pose. You know when you notice that the person next to you in yoga makes a weird sound when they breathe, or seems to be showing off their flexibility excessively, or looks around the room a lot (even though you are in fact looking at them, even if out of the corner of your eye), and you find yourself becoming annoyed at them? And then, hopefully, you realize that you’re not actually annoyed at them but are projecting the feelings you’re releasing onto them, and you laugh at yourself and silently thank them for reminding you to draw your attention inward. Well, I have discovered my own special Annoying Yogi Habit. You’re welcome, fellow yogis, for my obnoxious fidgeting ;). I am glad to be aware of it now, though, and I can begin to work on becoming more still.

After that intense practice, I actually felt more like giggling than anything else. Sometimes I I feel like crying, sometimes I feel like yelling, sometimes I feel like sleeping, sometimes I feel like running 10 miles (though any attempt at that would be quite short-lived), sometimes I feel like giggling. You never know what you’ll get with yoga.

After class, I came home to Rita hiding out in the closet, and Dexter doing this:

Image

Kitty yoga?

 

We’ll just make this a cat-photo-themed post. 

Time for more studying. Though I have had a whole lot of work to do, I seem to be handling the stress of it all better than I have in months. Fingers crossed.

Namaste y’all!