Category Archives: Y is for Yoga

A Supergirl Recap

Today, I’m guest posting over at Tomorrow Is Another Day. Angela was so gracious to allow me to invade her space while she enjoys a vacation to one of two destinations, depending on the Air Force’s plane schedules. I’m anxious to hear about her travels, but in the meantime, head over there to weigh in on my honeymoon options!

For those of you who wandered this way courtesy of Angela’s place, welcome! I wish I could say I had some profound post to welcome you to this neck of the woods, but, well, I don’t. I swear I meant to, and then, well, shiz got busy.

Since I can’t put together a coherent original post, I thought it’d be a good idea to provide a little introduction on who I am, by way of a smattering of past posts. Hopefully that alone will entice you to add me to your reader, and I figured my regular readers might enjoy a little catch-up as well.

Some of the posts are a bit, um, old, which just goes to show how rare my posting has really gotten. Which just means if you add me to your reader, you can promise I won’t clog it daily. See? Glass. Half. Full.

So, who is Super Girl?

Well, I live in Detroit. Like in the city limits of Detroit. You know, south of Eminem’s infamous 8 Mile. I like to think this gives me street cred. (It doesn’t.)

I have three kidneys. Organ donation is cool, yo.

I’m getting married to a boy I call DD. It’s exciting and only slightly terrifying.

I used to work in a job that was killing my soul. Slowly. I traded that job — and the 4 block commute — for something that has improved my mental state, even though it adds 60 miles to my car 5 days a week.

I do yoga. “Do” is a fluid term, as I consider it a good week if I make it to class once. But, this one time I did a headstand. That was cool. (Sadly, it hasn’t happened since.)

So, that’s me. Who are you? Say hi, and make yourself at home.

Advertisements

4 Comments

Filed under About, career, DD (aka My Man), Detroit, Wedding, Y is for Yoga

In defense of yoga

I’ve been doing some level of yoga for about seven years now. If you care about how I got from then until now, check out this post.

In no way do I consider myself a yoga expert. In fact, I’m lucky if I make it to two classes a week. I’m not someone who wakes up and does yoga every morning — or even once in awhile — at home. But, I am someone who gets a little antsy if I have to miss out on a class for more than a couple weeks at a time. I am someone who knows the meaning of — and craves — the yoga high. And I am someone who will proudly defend yoga to anyone who says it’s not a workout.

Last week, I was headed to yoga and stopped at the salon for a little brow wax action. Upon leaving, the waxer asked if I wanted a free make-up application and I politely refused, saying I was on my way to yoga and I’d just sweat it off anyway. She looked at me quizzically and said: You sweat in yoga?

This isn’t the first time someone has said that to me. Usually, I don’t think much of it and go on about my business. But, this particular time came on the heels of another incident.

A couple months ago, I had a routine doctor’s visit. He asked how much exercise I get and I told him that I try to do cardio a couple times a week and that I try to get to yoga once or twice a week.

He replied: Is yoga really considered working out?

It was all I could do not to launch into a tirade. How is it that a legitimate health professional doesn’t understand that yoga is indeed exercise?!

So, between the waxer and the doctor, I’m feeling a renewed sense of defending the sport I love. Most of my friends are cardio junkies — they love running and biking. I sometimes feel like they turn their noses up at yoga. After all, isn’t it just stretching?

Well, yes, it is. But it’s so much more than that. It’s a series of movements that require you to use your own body as resistance. In essence, for me, it’s 60-75 minutes of weight training with a 125 pound weight.

It’s a whole different kind of bench pressing. In 90+ degree heat.

After all, take this pose. It looks pretty simple, right? The model looks all calm and peaceful. But, what you’re not seeing is how this pose feels as you balance on one foot and throw the other one as high as you can in a fight against gravity. Sure, it’s a hamstring stretch. But, in addition to stretching, you’re using every leg, core, and arm muscle you own. And typically, you’re doing this pose midway through a yoga class that has already worked your glutes, quads and core to the max.

But, you’ve got to do it and you’ve got to hold it for more than a second or two. Most likely, you’ve got to hold it for 3-5 deep breaths, unless you’re in the middle of a Vinyasa flow, in which case you may get out of it after one breath, but you’ve got to transition to another pose, like this one. Which also looks relatively easy. But, again, you’re not seeing how it feels. And the alignment issues that you have to take into consideration while hoisting your arm and leg in the air. Or the sweat that’s pooling on your mat, making it nearly impossible to stay upright — much less balanced — without slipping. And those leg, core, and arm muscles that are literally screaming at you to stop what you’re doing and go have a brownie.

I may not be able to run a marathon or bike 100 miles, but I sweat when I work out. In fact, I sweat more while doing yoga than I ever have while doing cardio. I sweat to the point that it’s rolling off my face in buckets, dropping in puddles around my mat.

I also burn calories. In a one hour class, I burn the same amount or more calories than I do after 30 minutes on an elliptical. And of course, I tone muscle. I won’t lie, I’ve got a pretty sexy bum. If I could get to class with any regularity, I’d probably be able to find my six pack. And the definition in my arms continues to grow with every push up I do — because, yes, we do push-ups in yoga.

Now I’m not saying that yoga is superior to running or biking or any traditional exercise out there. But I am saying that yoga shouldn’t be dismissed as a legitimate form of exercise. I definitely believe that I need to work on endurance so that I can run longer than two minutes without wanting to die. But, I’d also tell my runner friends — and my waxer, and my doctor — that they’d be surprised by yoga. That not only would it stretch their weary legs, but it’d give their weary legs (and arms and abs) a kick in the glutes.

9 Comments

Filed under peeves, rambling nature, rants, Y is for Yoga

New Year. New You.

Obviously, the resolution posts are all over the blogosphere this week. I thought long and hard about posting something different, but you know what? I’m not known for my creativity. So I’ll just jump on the bandwagon.

Actually, I have a slightly different approach to resolutions this year, that I’m sure I’ll only have in common with 50% of bloggers, so I guess that’s a bit original, eh?

The approach is this: keep working on last year’s resolutions. What’s the point of making new ones if I’m still struggling with the ones I made? Why should we just forget the past and start anew when in reality, the path to a “new you” shouldn’t be confined to 365 days.

Though I struggled with my 2010 resolutions, I truly did (and do) believe in them. So much so that I actually wrote them down and put them on my fridge way back in January. That paper is still there and serves as a daily reminder — and a kick in the pants — when I’m slacking.

So, let’s look at this blog post as a status update. A review of the resolutions set last year and a look ahead to 2011.

Early to bed, early to rise. I’m awful at the early to bed thing. I must put down the remote and get better at this. I simply must. There’s absolutely no reason for me to stay up to solely to watch old Seinfeld episodes. As for the morning thing, I did quite well with this the first part of 2010. Then the wheels came off the cliched wagon.

As far as looking ahead, some life changes may actually force this resolution this year. If that doesn’t happen, I’ll need to find a different source of motivation, which could be a challenge. Stay tuned.

Work out more/Do more yoga. I aimed for 3x/week at the gym and 2x/week at the yoga studio and sort of succeeded. The wagon ended up in the ditch whenever work got busy. Hence why being a morning person and getting back to morning workouts would be ideal. As for yoga, I was relatively successful. The last few months, I’ve been back to twice a week, up from weekly or every-other-week early on in the year.

Looking ahead, I realize I need to start making yoga a routine and sticking to it. I need to stop allowing other things to interfere. I may also need a work out buddy!

Blog more. After three years of being around here, I’ve reconciled myself to the fact that it ain’t gonna happen. You’re just going to have to get used to me only sporadically clogging up your reader!

Eat better: low carb/sugar, more fruits & veggies. Again, some success. I’m still heavy on the pasta, but maybe that’s not such a bad thing, especially if I get better at portion control and mixing veggies IN the pasta. As for the fruits/veggies; I’ll eat them as long as they’re in my fridge. And since I grocery shop every 2-3 weeks, I only end up having fresh produce at home a few days a month.

Looking ahead, I realize I need to get back to more of a weekly grocery habit to keep fresh food in the house. Barring that, not much will change.

Make more out of my weekends, including church. I was rocking this at first, but now it’s sporadically successful. The trouble really is DD and our penchant for sleeping in way past what is acceptable for 30 year olds. When he’s not around, I’m far more likely to get up and out the door for an 8:30 yoga class or an 11:30 mass. When he is around, I’m far more likely to cuddle because he’s just so damn cuddle-able.

Looking ahead, I really think that in order for this to be fully successful, we’re going to have to make it a joint goal. While I know he’d like to change his ways, we’re both facing the same challenges with loving the bed more than the world outside the bed, so I don’t know if it’ll happen.

So there you have it. Time to embark on Year Two of my ongoing resolution to be better and rock the world.

One last observation. I’ve always felt that I’m a creature of habit and require routine to survive. Looking back on 2010 and the years prior, I’m realizing that I’m actually quite opposite. I tend to have a general idea of what I want to do in a day or week, but will quickly adjust it based on others — like DD, friends, family, etc.

Most of my resolutions would be easily achieved if I simply set a routine — and stuck to it. If I told myself that I could not work late on Tuesdays and Thursdays so that I could go to yoga. If I told DD that I simply couldn’t cuddle with him on Sunday mornings because I needed to go to church instead. If I told friends I couldn’t meet up for a spontaneous dinner because I had to go to the gym first. Truly, TRULY, a routine would solve all my problems.

But where’s the fun in a routine?

 

4 Comments

Filed under DD (aka My Man), list mania, me! me!, rambling nature, S is for sports, Y is for Yoga

Dear Santa

As I’ve gotten older, I’m not nearly into the gift part of Christmas that I was as a child. In fact, every November, the requests for my Christmas list start coming in and I have no idea what to ask for.

This year, I sat down and came up with a few odds and ends.

It wasn’t my favorite, but I still feel the need to have a full collection of SATC.

 

I’m not technically a vegetarian, but I don’t really enjoy cooking meat. This leaves me with lots of pasta in my diet, which, while yummy, isn’t nutritious. I’d like to learn some great meatless recipes that don’t involve all the carbs that pasta has.

 

My yoga pants are all pretty old. I could use some newer ones, and maybe a cropped pair or two. I’m a bit picky when it comes to this stuff, so in this case, a gift card would work too!

 

If my yoga pants are out of date, my sports bras are really out of date. These are a necessity for yoga. They cover more skin than a regular sports bra, but they don’t bulge out and block my breathing when I’m in an inversion.

 

OK. I know. I’m about 5 years behind the Ugg trend. The thing is, I live in Michigan. Where we have things like snow. And mud. And slush. So I need boots that can handle the snow, mud and slush without crumbling at the mere thought. For the longest time I’ve felt that while Uggs were fashionable, they weren’t practical. And I still think that. But, I also think that I deserve to be fashionable. My question to the Ugg owners out there: do they stand up to weather? Can you weatherproof them? And does that even work?!

I like to cook, but hate dealing with it after a long day at work. Hence, the slow cooker. And maybe a recipe book to get me started?

 

An infinity scarf. In any color in the rainbow.

 

And finally…

The thing on everyone’s list. The iPad. Truthfully, this isn’t actually on my list. I refuse to allow anyone to spend $500 on any one Christmas gift for me. But, I’ve got my sights on it and it’s possible I’ll take the plunge and get one soon. It’s the only thing that will make me consider reading an eBook.

 

All in all, not a bad list. Lots of things I need, a few things I want. We’ll see what Santa brings!

4 Comments

Filed under glass half full, list mania, Y is for Yoga

A blockage

So, now that NaBloPoMo is done, I thought it’d be a good idea to start blogging again. Ironic, no?

Really, though. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about this whole writing thing and well, I’ve been dealing with a pretty intense case of writer’s block. And I’d say it’s still a long way from being cured.

But, here I am. Taking the first step.

As bad as writer’s block is for the blog, it’s even worse for the 9 to 5. You know, where I get paid to write? Let me tell you, it’s been rough coming up with corporate-speak on demand the past few months.

To be honest, it’s more than writer’s block. In fact, the stuff at the 9 to 5 is really more than I can even get into here. But, it’s been a big factor in dragging me down for the last few months. Increasingly I feel undervalued, and often, unnecessary. For a girl who strives to be busy and be an integral part of the team, it’s been really hard for me to watch the world spin without any help from me. It’s been really hard figuring out what exactly my role is on a team I’ve been a part of for nearly four years at a company I’ve been at for over six years.

But, I’m persevering. Enjoying the quiet and taking time off. Taking advantage of a normal work day and indulging in yoga and other personal activities that just didn’t fit in when I was working 50+ hour weeks. Working on overcoming some of my weaknesses. Taking a lot of deep breaths.

A lot of deep breaths.

3 Comments

Filed under career, writing, Y is for Yoga

How I spent my summer vacation: The birthday

As a final nail in the recap posts, I figured I’d touch on my birthday, way back in June.

It passed earlier this summer without much fanfare. On the Monday before, I found myself at a Marine’s funeral. Then came the work meetings and the book club and the catch up and the general things that life brings.

When the weekend arrived, it didn’t seem to warrant much celebration. Frankly, after two weekends of dealing with death and family, we probably would have preferred to collapse in bed and sleep for a weekend. But, DD and I had long before booked a little jaunt to Windsor, Ontario, for dinner.

I can practically see Canada from my apartment, but I hadn’t been since I was 19 and it was the only place I could legally drink. So, I was excited to go for dinner and we found a great little place in Little Italy. DD got me a new and much improved yoga mat and other gear. Low-key, but just what we¬† both needed to get back into the swing of life.

What IS noteworthy is that it was the last birthday of my 20s. The next time June 13 comes around, I’ll be celebrating the big 3-0. While I’m not one to be all whoa is me about the impending end of my 20s, I am one to give it pause.

After a brief conversation with DD last spring, I’m relatively confident I’ll be engaged by the time I’m 30. So there’s that.

More recently, I’ve been thinking that the next decade may mean lots of changes. Changes in career. Changes in my status as a non-mother. Maybe even health changes. I can’t help but think that all of these things are inevitable. Isn’t that the way life works?

My 20s were pretty stable. The love life was rocky, but I found my compliment. The career was a rock. Through thick and thin, I’ve been there since I graduated college. Aside from a kidney transplant, the health was pretty stable as well.

It was good. But I’m probably due for something different. Will my career demand a new direction? Will my health take a turn? These transplanted kidneys don’t last forever, you know.

I think I’m ready for a new decade and all the changes that come with it. There may be a few I’m a bit terrified of — hello, motherhood! hello, second transplant! — but overall, I’m excited. (Except for that second transplant. That can hold off forever if I have my way.)

30 has a good ring to it. Now, let’s just see if I’m wearing a ring when it comes along!

6 Comments

Filed under DD (aka My Man), decisions, foodie, glass half full, loft style living, rambling nature, relationships, transplant, Y is for Yoga

On gossip

My CEO recently asked each staff member to respond to several questions that would help him gauge staff feelings on a few issues.

One question was: Use three words to describe our office culture. Being the verbose person I am, I used three hyphenated words, one of which being gossip-filled.

I think most workplaces are driven by gossip. The grapevine is a main source of communication. In some ways it’s harmless — hey, there’s really awesome muffins in the kitchen — and in other ways it’s very harmful — hey, did you hear? There’s going to be lay-offs again.

The harmful gossip is what causes me to worry, often needlessly. After all, who really “heard” there would be lay-offs? You never know the source, and therefore, you never know the truth. As we all know, in many instances, gossip is more false that true.

A recent Yoga Journal article got me to thinking more about this. It contends that “gossip is one of our most widely shared — and, often, most unconscious — addictions.” The article goes on to challenge readers to think about the gossip in their lives and work to refrain from the harmful side of the habit.

After reading it, I decided to spend an average workday tracking how I gossip and making an effort to control myself. And I made it about two hours. But then, Coworker A was really annoying me and I just had to tell Coworker B about it. After that, Coworker C and I were chatting about a project and discussing why Coworker D was handling it all wrong.

Days later, I can’t honestly remember who any of these coworkers were, which proves that it really is useless chatter. Useless chatter that serves to slowly kill my insides and make me all glass-half-empty and cynical.

I don’t think I’ll ever overcome my urge to vent or indulge in a juicy tidbit, but I am still making a conscious effort to be aware of what I’m allowing myself to speak and hear and to recognize when something is harmful.

I figure it’s nearly impossible to fully overcome my tendency for gossip, and equally impossible to shut out the gossip of others, but I think it is possible to be more aware of it and how it affects my daily life. And if you have any tips for keeping your gossipy feelings to yourself, I’d love to hear!

5 Comments

Filed under career, Hmm, rambling nature, Y is for Yoga