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Yoga: The Return

June 20th, 2011 No comments

Friday, after a “light” break of 95 days, I returned to Sunstone Yoga to kick my practice back into gear.

I honestly never intended to let my practice drop by the wayside, but sometime things just happen. It really started for me back in February when I got just about the worst ear infection I think I’ve ever had. The mere thought of going into a hot and humid room with the pain and pressure going on in that ear just makes me shudder. Coupled with a new relationship and a new job and yoga was just an afterthought.

Sooo, here I am three months later and my body was just screaming at me to get back into the routine. When I first took a break of a couple of weeks, going back was really hard. I got really really frustrated with the fact that my body had changed so drastically in such a short time. My flexibility was gone and my stamina was totally shot.

Now, however, I knew that I was going to be starting from square one. I knew that Triangle Pose was going to kick my ass and that I would probably have to entertain the possibility that I might just puke during Camel Pose. Sure enough, Triangle Pose was freakishly hard and if I hadn’t gotten into Child’s Pose, there might have been a bit of a mess on the floor during Camel Pose.

All-in-all, it was a pretty good return. My poor body probably could have done without spending the next day pulling up carpet, but the soreness was a welcome old friend.

Today (Monday), I went and did it again and it was even better. I went into the class with one of those anticipatory feelings that I just wanted the whole thing over with ASAP. It’s not that I didn’t want to be there, it’s just that I let the hectic aspects of my life get in the way of what I “needed” to do. I liken the feeling to wanting the opening band at a show to hurry up and finish so the headliner can go on. Even if that opening band is damn amazing and you really enjoy their set, there is just a little part of you that wants them to hurry up and finish so you can watch the headliner. That’s the way I felt about class going into it.

Five minutes in, I knew I was in the right place doing the right thing. Yeah, it’s corny and very “one-with-the-earthy,” but it all just felt right. I know that my practice is nowhere near what it was when I bailed on it, but I, once again, can see that it can get back there.

It’s all very exciting; like rediscovering how to ride a bike again (note to self, look into getting a bike).

Hell, if I can do it, anyone can.

Categories: monkey, Yoga

Ahh Portlandia

June 17th, 2011 No comments

Because it is one of the most touted places in the United States for somone of my proclivities, I was elated when faced with the opportunity to flee the Texas heat last week and nestle into the cool green lushness of the Pacific Northwest.

What I knew about Portland was what I’d seen on television and heard from friends who absolutely swore by it: a hipster mecca full of vintage clothing stores, pinball machines, record stores and coffee shops. When Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein’s show Portlandia came along, my view was cemented.

Here’s the thing, though: Portlandia’s cliches and generalizations aren’t that far off base.

The reason for my trip was two-fold: attend the girlfriend’s mom’s wedding (that’s a mouthful) and to visit and spend some quality time with the girlfriend’s sister who is a bike messenger and musician in Portland (how awesome is that?).

After flying into the Portland airport (an interesting descent if you’ve never seen massive mountains) we met up with said sister, grabbed our rental car and started out on the highway to the Oregon coastal town of Manzanita where the wedding and activities were to take place.

Manzanita and surrounding townships were amazing. The locals were incredibly nice and the locally-sourced food was amazing. Love you some Tilamook cheese? We freakin’ drove through Tilamook! At an amazing dinner at the Rising Star Cafe in Wheeler, our newly befriended innkeeper told us where most of the veggies in our salads came from. I don’t mean “That arugula was probably grown near Nehalem,” but freakin’ “Those cucumbers were probably grown by Bob at the top of this hill.” Wow. Just wow.

On the coast we did touristy things. We drove into Seaside and played video games, pinball and skee ball at the giant arcade there, we drove past the incredible rocks off of Cannon Beach which are quite memorable from the movie Goonies and we made fires on the beach (in a roast marshmallows way, not a ‘set fire to everything’ way). Coastal Oregon was quaint and awesome. While everyone back in Dallas was melting into the pavement, I was wandering around in jeans and a sweatshirt.

After a few days on the coast we made our way back into the Rose City for some “real” Portland time.

My first impression? Portland drivers are freakin’ insane. It really didn’t help that I was given a Chevy tank as a rental car when I’m used to driving a Prius, but many of these folks are downright insane. My second impression was sheer awe at the sight of actual bike lanes on the streets. For someone who has been living in the car-centric state of Texas for the past twenty years, it almost brought a tear to my eye.

Now down to the good stuff.

Indeed, Portland is a mecca of everything I mentioned before. We wandered around the downtown area for a day and a half building up our record collection with some of the most amazing finds ever. Shopping for records in Portland is religion and we had descended into one of the lower levels of the temple. Albums that were on the “I would like to own this record, but will probably never even see a copy” list were knocked out left and right, and almost all for prices that really made me feel like I was stealing from the shop owner. When all was said and done, we had about 45 pounds of vinyl and sleeves packed into my amazing Timbuk2 messenger bag and strapped to my back. That was a fun one to explain to airport security when we were leaving.

I loved Portland. Hell, I can’t wait to get back. Despite the assault to my allergies and the fact that the sun is only a sometimes visitor, it’s a pretty cool damn town to hang out in. And, contrary to the generalization, most people have jobs. My one big regret was not hitting up Voodoo Doughnuts. Sure, we walked by the original location several times, but it was closed for remodelling/exorcism.

I guess I’ve got yet another thing to look forward to on my next trip…