Monday, August 30, 2010

Congrats to Ultima Winners


Sad but true update, friends: Ultima is only able to ship to domestic addresses (within the U.S.)! So sorry I didn't announce/ know this earlier. So an updated list of winners:
Catherine of Back to the Mat
Christian of Scrap of Paper

Catherine, LZ and Christian, please email me with your mailing addresses. I sure hope you're all stateside ha!

A Happy Yogi, Keren and Lala: big apologies. I really wish I could send you some samples :( I encourage you to use the coupon code online and make an order, though. And/ or whenever you are in the Chicagoland area, let's meet up for a homemade smoothie with added hydration!

Please email your mailing address to me at koontz.rachel@gmail.com and I'll get your sample pack sent along!

Apologies that I couldn't share some sugar-free hydration goodness with ALL of you, but I do encourage you to check out their site. They do free shipping on orders over $30. And as Annie Law posted in my comments section, there's also a limited time coupon that'll give you $7 off your order AND free shipping. Just go to their online store and use the coupon code "yogayoga" for the deal. Thanks Annie, and Ultima, for contributing to this great contest!

Please keep an eye out for upcoming giveaways, and follow the Twitter feed for play-by-play updates on Alive in the Fire as well. Tweet at me and let me know what you're up to, too...or what awesome Ultima concoctions you're mixin' up!

Critical Mass Chicago: One Less Car


Photo of the Silver Steed by yours truly. What a beauty, eh? This was her first long ride, and boy, was it lovely!

Picture this: shards of the setting sun are bouncing around the square. The gathering crowd squints from the glinting light off of the fountain's water, from the reflection of skyscraper windows, from the sliver of a glowing orb they spot in the distance. The sun is setting on Daley Plaza, downtown Chicago, on the last Friday evening in August.

Who are all these people gathered? Passersby stare out their open car windows with confused looks. And why all those bikes?

Those of us who are here know what's about to happen. The ride. A journey around the city where we can take over the streets. We call out around every corner, safe within the ebb and flow of The Mass. The sound of gears clicking and brake handles pumping -- it falls like rain in the place of what would be the indistinguishable, hushed roar of traffic. Instead, the warm night air is filled with the sound of vuvuzuelas hounding the neighborhood, the shouts of riders awakening their onlookers with enthusiastic "Happy Friday!"s and fist pumps.

We all wave as we fly by. We smile at the people who gather to stare, bewildered, in wonderment.

We're the bikers. The Critical Mass.


On Friday night, I participated in Chicago's last summer ride for Critical Mass, a group that organizes large biking events throughout the city. Basically what happens is a huge, well, mass of people gets together at Daley Plaza, starts circling the block until everybody's joined the pack, and then they launch off on an adventure throughout city streets. Generally the mapped plan moves either north or south and then loops back toward The Loop.

Don't get me wrong, it's not a marathon but by no means is it a quick trip. It makes a difference if you've got a decent bike, a helmet (of course!) and comfortable clothes, but I'd say any enthusiastic environmentalist (or outdoorsman) would certainly enjoy this adventure.



Here are some of the best moments
I experienced during the ride:
  1. Screaming under any tunnel/ overpass, just to hear the echo.
  2. Waving to bikers across the water riding over not one, but TWO other bridges crossing the Chicago River.
  3. Getting high-fives from strangers along the sidewalk who were beaming ear-to-ear at our antics. One was from an old lady with gray hair who exclaimed, "What the hell are you doing?" when some riders in front of me left her hangin'. It was hilarious.
  4. My friend Shiana yells "Happy Friday!" at some workers at a restaurant. They don't react and sort of grimace and scowl in our direction. "Come on, look a little happier, it's Friday!" she countered. Then they smiled. :)
  5. As we rode by the big Harpo Building where The Oprah Show is filmed, another biker exclaimed in a high-pitch voice, "Helloooooo, Ooooooprah! It's Critical Mass! Happy Friday, Ooooprah!" The best. Thanks, crazy guy!
  6. Meeting crazy peeps: a guy who I helped hook on a fake plush tail to his belt loop; the little girl on a tandem with her Dad who was wearing a neon sparkly skirt; everyone there who had beautiful tattoos (inspiring me/ making me jealous about the one I'm hoping to get!); the Old Pros who rode with stereos attached to their bikes; The Veteran Man who used a blow whistle to direct bikers, stop traffic, and generally keep order on the ride; and, of course, every Chicago PD officer who helped support our safe integration into the streets.
  7. The bike pump that saved my friend Shuling's tire so she could ride on and enjoy the open road. On a completely different note, she writes an awesome blog about social media and documentaries and films, and she's super talented. I recommend you check it out, plus she's going to post about our journey soon, too!
  8. The Jamba Juice we enjoyed post-ride. Yum, yum, yum. Yay protein + matcha green tea!
  9. Managing not to lose our bikes to gravity on the L ride back. Feeling super bad ass while standing there in our sweat and biker gloves. Also feeling pretty BAMFy while waiting around at the Ogilvy station before we set off for Daley Plaza. That's right, we got kicked out for blocking traffic. So we decided to ride all night, blocking traffic...
  10. Experiencing the beauty of The Mass -- surrounded by bikers, warm summer air, the buzz of traffic on the other side of the road, the shouts of strangers staring and honking their horns, the pride of the little green pin I stuck to my shirt and now wear to remember that fantastic night. It was all groovy, baby!
Do you bike? Do you do other activities to complement your yoga practice? Sometimes we need a little break from the heat. Sometimes we need the open road, or the pleasure of company while working out. Sometimes we just need to bike it out, and Critical Mass is there for us. I highly recommend you participate in another ride next month in your city, whether it's Chicago or elsewhere. (Those hills in San Francisco: what?! Astonishing.) Write me about the crazy awesome time you have!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Last Day to Win Some Ultima Replenisher...

Thirsty? Dehydrated after Bikram class?
In the mood for a tasty summery smoothie treat?

You can still win a sample pack of Ultima Replenisher!
Simply comment below and let me know which flavor you'd like to try: orange, lemonade, raspberry or grape. You might get some free packets in the mail! Also read below for another post in my newest series on my experience making this tasty concoction in the blender with fresh fruit and the supplement. Tasted fantastic!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Upcoming in the New Series: Review of An Awesome Lime-Green Skillet, Plus Blogs I Love


Photo illustration by yours truly. Note the sweet frying pan I'm about to review!


It's time to celebrate the end of summer and a transition to tasty, warm, cozy fall foods. It's time for a new series:

Letting Out the Domestic!
(A series on New Apartment Life)

Are you like me: excited for cooler weather, ready for breaking out your fall wardrobe, and stoked to start baking scrumptious breads and whipping up healthy one-pan meals on the stove?

Well, you've come by Alive in the Fire at the right moment! Read on and stay tuned for the latest and greatest adventures in my kitchen as well as the hot room.

And a delicious, healthy recipe for Tagliarini Primavera (a la Sandi, my talented chef stepmom)! Featuring fresh veggies, slivered prsciutto, thin noodles, and fresh parmesan cheese. Oh, and a little whipping cream. Maybe that's why it will taste so good. But hey, if you Bikram, you'll earn it!

Lately I've been loving the look of colorful kitchen stuff, like these Corelle sets. I opted to go with red, black and chrome in my kitchen and I must say it's a kickin' color scheme.

In a few days, I'll also be reviewing this killer frying pan that CSN Stores is asking me to test out. No, they're not paying me to write positive feedback. And yes, it is one of the Rachael Ray series! In a gorgeous lime green color! (OK, so not exactly matching our colors, but it's so pretty...) Obviously I've not used it yet, but the color itself has me jazzed to see what green and tasty things I can use it for. Yum.

Do any of you sexy yogis out there read Green Wedding Shoes, a wedding blog with trendy and stylish but also very down-to-earth wedding posts? The new pan made me think of this wonderful site and all their beautiful posts. I recommend checking it out, especially if you're in the process of planning your Big Day and you want some ideas for photos or just decorative fun possibilities.

More Blogs I Love

OnceWed: The other of my top two wedding blog sites. Features real photos from talented wedding photographers and down-to-earth, genuinely sweet descriptions of weddings by the brides themselves. The overall site has the best laid-back, natural style that any couple can aspire to create at their ceremony and reception. 

A Cup of Jo: Joanna has the sweetest little guy, Toby, and a generous and charming husband, Alex, as well as a great eye for fashion and design. Plus she features some ridiculously cool giveaways on the site, and an honest perspective on being married and raising her little boy. She lives in NYC and often offers a wonderful view of what life is like in the Big Apple and how to keep things sane and grounded at the same time. Anything from art pieces to cookie exchange parties, biking and home decor, fall fashion and cool vacation spots -- Joanna seems to cover it all, and quite gracefully!

Pacing the Panic Room: Ryan's keen perception of the world of parenting, photography, freelancing, and life in general makes for some seriously compelling (and talented) writing as well as inspiring photographs. He's one of the best bloggers I encountered and his beautiful series of his wife's pregnancy is out of this world. In fact, it was so spectacular that he followed it up with a much-desired series called Walk to 40 Weeks where you can watch another mom's bump grow into a strong, loving family. Highly recommended reading here, especially for you soon-to-be mums!

Rummey Bears: Rummey baby is the cutest baby I've ever met (online, anyway). I can't get enough of her sweet smiles, silly antics, and lovely family life. Anna, also know as Mama Bear on the site, is one talented and loving mother. She and her husband enjoy time at the beach in Sydney, reading and sipping coffee at local shops, cooking and knitting, and of course enjoying their happy-go-lucky little one.

Those are just a few to get you started. More to come soon! Happy Friday -- here's to tasty meals and a happy weekend filled with back-to-back Bikram doubles! Oh, and bike rides around the entire city of Chicago...that's right: I'm doing CRITICAL MASS. More on that soon, too. Enjoy your weekend!


A little preview compilation of photos taken from the blogs above. Credit to their authors, entirely! Click the links to check em' out.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Thirsty? Win Some Ultima Replenisher

Hey all, a quick update to my other post about Ultima Replenisher. Would you like to try some? The company's doing a little contest and all you've got to do to enter is post a comment on my blog and let me know your favorite color flavor.

Then, in a few days, Ultima will select five people to win some samples and will send them your way! Easy, tasty hydration. So get commenting!

There are a few other blogs participating: my lovely ladies over at Lock the Knee and Hannah Just Breathe. If you've got time, check out their blogs as well!

PS. Totally unrelated, but I just read something on YogaDork about Lindsay Lohan going to Bikram Teacher Training in the fall. Um, what?! Has she seriously been practicing for six months? I
highly doubt that she'd do too well in front of Bikram. A friend and I got together last night to discuss TT and she told me these awesome stories about how Bikram breaks you down before he can build you back up, how the yoga is meant to challenge and piss you off, how he truly believes in holding the mirror up to your face in order to help you learn who you really are.


I feel really weird just posting this to the blog. Can you imagine Lindsay Lohan trying to survive Bikram's Torture Chamber and Bikram himself? Sheesh!

Hardly the environment for someone who's been in rehab and is obviously still in recovery. Definitely interesting as far as rumors go, though! Will let you know if I hear more. For now, as YogaDork suggested, it seems that it won't be true...but you never know! It would be the ultimate test of patience and focus for all the other yogis there, I suppose. And that's the yoga:


If you let someone else steal your peace, you lose!

A Great Find for Hydration & Summer Smoothies: Ultima Replenisher


The start of a new series:
Letting Out the Domestic (New Apartment Life)


Summer is on the way out. The nights are turning cooler, the breezes ushering in fall, and the autumn sweaters being broken out of closets for some cuddly & cozy fun. It's that time: your last chance for a tasty summertime fruit smoothie!

I got excited last night because I realized it was time not only to make use of my lovely blender in the new kitchen but also to finally post a review of a great new product I've been using lately:

Ultima Replenisher, a hydrating supplement that's great for Bikram yogis. Thirsty after class? Thirsty before class? Throw a packet of this fruity-flavored and easy-to-mix powder into your water bottle or morning blender mix, and you're set to go. Electrolytes recharged. Sugars avoided. Health improved!





All summer, I've been whipping up creamy, delicious and healthy smoothies using fresh fruit, juice, and half-frozen yogurt. Nothing fancy here, but that's what makes the simple texture and taste so pure and enjoyable. This time, I threw in the orange-flavored packet of Ultima, some frozen bananas, peaches, strawberries, vanilla yogurt, orange juice, milk... and (don't judge) a few scoops of vanilla ice cream! Whoops, so much for no sugar :)

The results were delicious, as you can see from my big smile. Now normally, I would not add the ice cream due to its sugar and fat content and the fact that those scoops are just going to weigh you down if you're about to head to class. Note: not recommended! I would not recommend drinking a smoothie even an hour or two before Bikram, actually. But, the morning before your evening class? Perfect. This gives your body ample time to absorb all the great stuff you include in the drink.

Which brings me back to Ultima Replenisher's line of well-crafted, health-minded products. I was given a promotional pack of all four flavors (grape, orange, raspberry, and lemonade) to try out, and I have to say I was pretty pleased with the results.

The powder mixes easily and tastes pretty good (there's a little hint of the vitamin-y aftertaste, but it really reminds me of EmergenC, which I love mixed with a little fruit juice and poured over ice). When you add it to a smoothie, you're not even going to notice that you've added a supplement! Who can beat that?

The other awesome reason to try it: apparently Ultima is the only 100% natural, non-GMO, gluten-, sugar- and dye-free electrolyte beverage on the market. You can find it easily in most Whole Foods stores or visit the company's website at www.ultimareplenisher.com.

I can't say I'm not still a huge advocate for coconut water products (VitaCoco is my fave, followed closely by Zico's line), but I'm definitely newly convinced of the benefit of having a supplement on hand.



Do you drink electrolyte-boosting drinks before or after yoga? What are your favorites? I'd love to hear your thoughts and definitely add to this post if you've tried Ultima Replenisher. If not, I'd recommend ordering or picking up a box or two to try and to gift to your yogi friends at your home studio. Stay hydrated!

And make some smoothies before it's too cold out to enjoy them, friends! Get ready for some warm & cozy soup coming up next time in the series -- a guest post from another talented yogini blogger. Until next time!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Where the Eyes Go, the Body Follows

In Bikram, we all know: you must first envision yourself successfully breathing and relaxing into the posture before you can complete it. In poses like bow, above, you must use your eyes to direct your progress. Photo via Like the Jetson's Flickr.


It's not too often in life that we find something we're super passionate about that also acts as medicine for our own bodies, minds and spirits. But today I realized that's what I've found in Bikram yoga. That's my Bikram.


I walked into the studio about five minutes before class -- way later than I'm used to showing up -- all out of breath, nervous-excited, and pumped for class. As I get to the front desk to sign in, there's Stuart, the awesome studio director who runs BYE, shirtless and grinning ear to ear as he greets me with a warm, "Hey you're back! Congrats!"


I nod, elated as I scribble down my name, grab a towel and mat to borrow, stuff my shoes in a cubby and race off to the bathroom to change. I'm trying to hurry and still be polite, but man I'm itching to get in there!


As a side note: today was my first class wearing bathing suit bottoms instead of shorts, and man it was the right choice! At first I felt a tad embarrassed to be bearing so much skin, but then I quickly noted how it was a chance to show off my Minnesota-sun tan and a body I'm becoming more and more proud of even though it's certainly not super-model size. Plus, I was seriously sweating today since I haven't been in the Hot Box for a few weeks, so having less clothing in the way of my practice was definitely a blessing. Less to wash later, too!


Anyway, wardrobe choices aside, the yoga was fantastic today. For awhile I kept imagining that the first class back would end up an utter hot mess -- my mind and body all over the place and experiencing uber-suffering-- but this was not the case at all! I think it was a combination of the relief of being in the heat and finally getting to stretch out my body the way it now craves, plus the fact that several friends who I adore and whose practices I admire greatly were surrounding my spot in the room.


The yoga was, hands-down, a gift today. We often forget this, but Bikram always is a gift we give ourselves.


There's nothing better than having a class where you can smile at those around you, deepening your practice and your sense of compassion along the way. Laughing when you fall out, and being proud when you have the guts to get back into a posture that's kicking your ass. Pushing through a posture because you realize if you can, you must and you'd like to take baby steps without being a baby. Plus, Stu has the greatest attitude and the best jokes in class. There were seriously several moments where I wished I had a pen and paper so I could note down what he had said word for word.


Note to self: at Teacher Training, that will be a must! As I read on a friend's Twitter page recently, planning to bring leather-bound notebooks that will withstand the heat and sweat sounds like the way to go...


But back to class:my 90-minute bliss party in 105-degree, 40% humidity madness today. I'm smiling just thinking about the wonder of the quiet as I first entered the room, anxious to warm up in the remaining two minutes I had before we began pranayama. And all the postures that followed. Several times I seriously found myself thinking I wish we could do another set of that -- it feels great, and I need it!


Right from the start of class, my body breathed a sigh of relief at being back in the "best weather ever," as my teachers call it. I rolled my neck in slow circles, feeling the release of tension and constant pressure -- the excitement and buildup of the last few weeks leading up to the wedding finally rolling away as I erased the pain of sleeping without my good pillow, or planning too late into the night with tense muscles.


I was so grateful even in the five seconds I first entered the room, when I realized what a complete blessing it is that we practice in such stillness. The calm and silence soothed me in a way I've never quite experienced before, as if it were satisfying a longing so deep and so natural to me since I began Bikram that it's now something I require for peace of mind. Mid-way through class, Stuart asked us all to listen for a second and check in with our breathing, and the room went still again. You could hear some labored air moving in and out through yogis' bodies, but for the most part the room froze, as if suspended in space and time.


It was, in a word, beautiful. Serenity unleashed. 100% relaxation earned by 100% exertion. So, so wonderful to return to! And it's been there all along, but it felt so new, revitalizing and refreshing today.


More than that, I really felt myself cultivating a deep meditation throughout the 26 asanas. Hitting that first savasana on the floor was like combining several deep-tissue massages with a bubble bath, picnic in an open field, and nap in the afternoon sun. I mean, bliss, baby!


It rocked.


Toe stand set #2 felt fantastic, too -- every time I can manage the balance and focus required to nail that posture, I just feel on top of the world. In a very focused, relaxed, relieved sort of way. It's as though there is nothing else in the world -- much less the room-- than your flexing toes, your softened breath, your downward gaze. Everything else just shuts up and floats away. And that's exactly the point.


I am so inspired, now more than ever, to move forward with finding a way to Teacher Training next spring. This yoga is a gift that should be shared, and that it would be an honor to help others give themselves!


If you are reading this and have thoughts, insights or opinions on the road to Bikram's Torture Chamber (the real deal!), please do share your thoughts below. I will be posting a lot about it in the upcoming days and weeks, and I'd love to build some yogi community into this discussion and journey. Your feedback is greatly appreciated, and I love hearing the many voices of the loving community that's out there continuing the yoga legacy in the world.


I'll be meeting with Stuart this week to discuss his thoughts on getting there and on owning a studio, plus I may grab coffee with another one of the instructors soon as well. She's my favorite teacher, so it will be a lot of fun hearing from her and getting amped up about her experience as well. Both of them are such genuinely amazing people -- as are so many of my fellow yogis at the home studio, like the lady I met today (and have seen for weeks before) who's been coming for nine years. Nine years! Now that's dedication. We chatted (and laughed) over the reality of becoming addicted to the postures, and the way they overhaul your body's ability to process water, digest food, and move comfortably especially for those of us with spine issues that crop up here and there.


It's so true, what I tweeted earlier this week and which many of my followers immediately responded to:


Bikram yoga is slow medicine, but it is the best medicine.


What you don't realize until you've fallen head over heels in love with your practice is that it's the best medicine not only for your body, but also your mind which tends toward madness, and your spirit which loses heart more than many of us can handle.


Bikram has changed my life. I'm hooked. I'm in it for the long haul, and in love with where I'm headed.


Mind over matter is what makes a champion, especially when the heat is on.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Happy Weekend!

What kind of weekend are you about to have?


Relaxed and calming? Or adventurous and on the edge?
I hope whatever you're up to -- chill or crazy -- that
you remember this little bit from the yoga sutras.



"We want to make our minds ultimately
clear, and happy, and loving."



How do we do this? Constant practice. Finding the quiet. Pushing ourselves to our edge and remaining compassionate about our limits.


"We reach the first path by giving up our attachments, and this requires developing the habit of constant practice.


May your weekend find you some Bikram bliss!

Focus Forward Friday: Obey the Boss Man


Focus Forward Friday: A weekly ritual for deepening your Bikram practice.

Today's focus: following the rules. You know him: the man, the yogi, the legend. Bikram himself! He's a crazy guy who's super passionate about the yoga. He's a rich man who owns some pretty legit cars. He's the source of some pretty big corporate controversy, but he's also the source of some life-changing yoga that has been shown to work wonders.

Want to take a seminar with the Boss himself? Info here.

Want to read more about Bikram's legacy? Try here, here and here.

Want to read THE book on Bikram? Find it here.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Latest Greatness by Billy Collins

Photo via Lost.


Well, it's Wednesday already, and I've got nothing to say for the fact that I don't have a new original post up for you guys. Well, I guess I could use the "Just got back from the honeymoon and I'm busy opening wedding presents, having adventures to Target & Ikea, and cleaning like a crazy lady" excuse, but that just doesn't seem fair, does it?
Just like it doesn't seem fair that I haven't been able to make time for the Hot Room yet and my toes, sore neck, and monkey mind are longing for it! But then again, we all make excuses for the Bikram we don't do.

Or the relationships we don't foster, the regrets and anger we hold onto, the faith we let slip.

In a way, I think this poem by Billy Collins speaks a little bit to that. The way history sometimes fades into the background so far that we forget it's really hovering there, reminding of us of the mistakes we should try not to repeat. Collins often does a beautiful job of evoking the past without writing too sentimentally, and the way he paints portraits of everyday life is altogether stunning.

I wouldn't mind joining him this morning in that "
little bakery down the street/ where I often go for coffee and a muffin" and pausing to appreciate the world around, and the blessings we're given within it. So, without further ado:

"The Quaintness of the Past"

by Billy Collins (via Slate)
I turn the page of a magazine
and find a black-and-white photograph
of a roadhouse taken in the 1950s,
an old clapboard affair
with a car of that vintage,
maybe a Plymouth, parked in front.

It is almost enough to inspire me
to take a snapshot of something around here
first thing in the morning,
maybe the little bakery down the street
where I often go for coffee and a muffin
and the big city paper
and the French girls behind the counter.

Ideally there would be a few modern cars
parked in front,
then all I would have to do
is walk back home and wait 50 or 100 years
for the photograph to become a thing of interest and value.

Of course, I will be long gone by then
and time will have marched on,
though I never think of time as marching
down a football field blowing a trumpet
or into a city square
with a rifle on its shoulder.

I picture time advancing more slowly
up a mountain, leaving
all the moments of history behind
like climbers who have to leave behind
one of their companions on a cold glacial slope.

And sometimes, decades later,
the body is discovered,
the ice is chipped away, and we get to see
a photograph of the remains—
the bones of the hands arthritically
fisted up, the jaw locked tight,
a skull wearing a woolen cap,
the man quaintly smiling out at us from the past
before we wet a finger and turn the page.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Pause


Photo via FlappinMothra's Flickr Photostream.

"Now and then it's good to pause in the pursuit of happiness and just be happy."
-Guillarme Apollinaire

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Poetry in the Posture: Toe Stand

Photo Via LifeInterstitial's Flickr Photostream.

So I've recently fallen in love with the last posture of the standing series: Toe Stand. A posture that will test your patience, develop your focus, and seriously work out the muscles in your feet, Toe Stand is a great one for yogis who have been attending Bikram awhile and really want to get deep into the meditation. Don't be worried if it takes you awhile -- it's a difficult posture to do -- but if you stick with it, the thrill of floating right above the floor will pay off. Plus, you free your knees and ankles of rheumatism, arthritis and gout, and you strengthen your stomach. Go, toe standers!


Also, a little poem dedicated to the posture. Enjoy, my yogis!



Balance Alone
We support ourselves

on point, on perfect

balance, both sides equal,

mind and body made even.

Steady eyes level

the mind. A gaze

goes a thousand miles,

a clear empty cloud –

being without thoughts the ideal –

goes farther.

Implausibility achieved:

what would appear to be

floating.

Our bodies made clear,

empty, like clouds

floating, hovering, we linger.

Our bodies made into birds,

small perched perfection

grown from a tree,

held closer to the ground

as if we were sparrows

who have been calmed,

no longer the flitting, stir-crazy

creatures they generally seem to be.

Here, we sit on our own energy.

We need not flit

from corner to corner

of a sidewalk, hopping,

making our own flittering

dance of jumps and nerves…

We are not sparrows.

We are still. We get here

by trust in our own bodies,

we carry this moment

motionless harmony of thoughtlessness –

the mind filled only by equilibrium,

balance alone –

what we bring to the beach,

the busy street,

the tallest woods,

prideful in their soaring limbs,

steady trunks…

the balanced bodies

we take home after class.

"The Life That I Have" (A Poem by Leo Marks)

Apparently, this lovely poem by Leo Marks was read at Chelsea Clinton's recent dreamy wedding. Reminds me that we should really be grateful for the lives that we have, and our Bikram practice that's such an integral part of those lives. As my instructor said in class the other day, "You guys are SO lucky to be here right now. Imagine the people who could never make it to the studio who wish they could do yoga! People who can't walk, people who don't have the money, people curled up on their couches just watching TV..."
So, so true. Are you grateful for the life that you have?


The Life That I Have


The life that I have
Is all that I have
And the life that I have
Is yours
The love that I have
Of the life that I have
Is yours and yours and yours.
A sleep I shall have
A rest I shall have
Yet death will be but a pause
For the peace of my years
In the long green grass
Will be yours and yours and yours.

Monday, August 2, 2010

10 Things I Learned This Weekend

Photo via Azalealover's Flickr Photostream.
(list idea via Apartment 513)

1. Worry less. It gets you nowhere.
2. Bike in the afternoon breeze. Sit in the shade. Watch the bunnies eating grass.
3. Good fruit smoothies require a good amount of half-frozen vanilla yogurt.
4. Cleaning new apartment hardwood floors can be way more fun than you think. Dance party in your underwear, anyone?
5. Food, Inc. rocks, and will change your life for the better. Or at least your perspective on corn, chickens and cows.
6. Be sure to hug brides and grooms you randomly encounter along the sidewalk. This will make them happy, and make you happy, too.
7. Rockin’ out to Justin Bieber & Ke$ha will not give you cool points, but it will make you smile.
8. Getting a compliment on your Bikram practice from your home studio’s owner/director makes you feel alive inside, alive in the fire, and oh-so-bubbly-happy.
9. Do yoga. You will feel like a) a rockstar, b) a flower petal blooming, c) a warrior, and d) all of the above.
10. Live in love. Nuff said.

What did you learn this weekend?

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