Thursday, January 24, 2008

Tried-n-True: Lily Lotus Om Karma Cargo Pant

I originally bought these pants from Asana Activewear (for the studded OM, of course!) thinking they'd be supercute for lounging around or running errands. But after lounging 'round in them two or three times and seeing not only how comfy they are, but how they retain their shape, I thought, hey, I think I can actually practice in these! And so I did.

The verdict? My new favorite pants for yoga! And home! With boots! Without! You know how sometimes you buy pants for practice and practice in them, and they aren't what you thought they'd be? Well, these were brilliant in annoying seams, no bagging in the knees or seat. I walked into class and walked out in them still looking and feeling good. Two big thumbs up from me! And now that I've discovered a similar style from Lily Lotus, I think I'm going to buy those too.

Sidenote on Lily Lotus: I love, love, love this line. It's modern, edgy yoga wear. You could definitely wear it to class or just out and about and look fantastic. Selection is pared down, but crazysexycool.

Kudos to Cay

Dolly is irreplaceable; that is a given. So I do feel for new instructors or subs who have to step into her classes. But having said that, let me just say how thrilled I am that Cay is the one who is taking over Dolly's Thursday morning Power Vinyasa class. She is one of a handful of of my favorites...and I've never really taken a class with her before. However, I did go through teacher training with her, and was very impressed with her tone while teaching as well as her yoga...she rocks the arm balances!

Anyway, today was our first Thursday with her, and class was challenging, inspiring, and invigorating. Not bad considering I rolled into class on about four hours of sleep (When your boy calls, sleep can wait. I'll sleep plenty when I'm dead). Cay has a lovely, soothing voice and I love her language: "give it all you've got," "just two more breaths," etc. She pushes gently and reminds you that there is indeed a light at the end of the tunnel.

Her sequencing was great; we warmed up with some classic Sun Sals, and we did splits of every sort: Standing Splits, Splits Prep, full Splits, Flying Splits, so I was a happy girl. I need lots of splits and deep hamstring stretches to counter (or complement) all the lunging and squatting I'm doing at the gym. It feels good (well, sometimes, not really), but I know too much or not enough of one or the other will leave me underdeveloped in the hamstrings, or overdeveloped and too tight. So when I can get a lot of stretching and hamstring work in yoga, I can hit it hard in the gym and not feel like I'm locking up.

But back to Cay. Music was also excellent, the kind you need to get you moving at 5:45am. Classic and trance-y yoga tracks, plus a lovely Savasana track. By that point, I was so pleasantly exhausted I could've slept right there on the floor for a bit without a care in the world. So hats off to Cay for a wonderful first day. Class was sparse, which is always the case when Dolly is absent, but I think once the most of the regulars take a class with Cay, they'll all be back.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Ha! There are some kinky yogis out there...

Just checked blog stats. All the keyword searches that have lead people to The Yogaphile were innocuous.

Except one: "yoga crotch shots."

YOGA CROTCH SHOTS?!!! What on Earth? I mean, I could see how that might be one's thing, and I vaguely remember saying something to that effect when I posted a photo of my Flying Split. Oy vey. Why does anything even surprise me anymore?

Oh well. Good for a laugh anyway!

The Myths of Happiness

A friend recently sent me a link to this ABC/Diane Sawyer snippet on The Myths of Happiness. I couldn't embed the video here, but it's good stuff, especially if you need more proof of the power of positive thinking and meditation. The video begins after a 30-second ad for Netflix...could not be avoided, but hey, it's only 30 seconds, right!

What's that little Bobby McFerrin ditty? Don't Worry, Be Happy...yeah. He was right. I think that's my new mantra for 2008.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

I'm baaack...

After 28 days off, I rolled out my mat and practiced this morning. Man, it felt so good! Those OMs felt like home! Mind you, the 28 days off felt good too, not because I needed a break from yoga, but because for most of it, I was on vacation having the time of my life. Plus, breaking routine every once in a while is good. You get outside yourself and your schedule and realize there is a whole world still going on out there.

While I was away from yoga, I was again reminded of the less obvious effects of yoga in my life. Sure, there is the physical (must admit that I have been doing splits at least three times a week to keep my hamstrings from locking up!) but yoga for me has become a sanctuary for my body and mind. I've found that when I've been confused by the mixed messages of organized religion, or when I've become the crabby little crab I can be, yoga is my great equalizer. It's not a religion, no. And yet it's not just an exercise regime, either. It's hard to put your finger on what yoga really is, so I will not attempt to define it. All I know is when I go too long without practicing, I start to feel shallow. Disconnected. From myself and others.

So while I'm sad to see my vacation end, I'm glad to be back on my mat, and I continue to be grateful for the loving physical and spiritual guidance of my teachers. Which has got me thinking: How can I spread the wealth that is yoga? How can I help others find their way to yoga? I may have gone through teacher training, but I'm still too chicken and too busy to take on teaching. I'm a good mouthpiece for it, for sure, but that's not enough. Can you imagine a world in which there were more yogis? Heck, how about just getting our politicians signed up? That'd probably fix a whole lot of what's wrong in the world in itself. Anyway, I'm wondering, I'm thinking, how do we get more people interested?