Archive for the ‘yoga’ Category

Back Again….Hopefully Longer….

Holiday2011C

It’s been an interesting year. Two years ago this time, I looked at my blog and was 200 posts away from 1000. I thought no problem, I can do that easily. Well, I am still about 185 posts away from 1000. Life really has gotten in the way, with illness, depression, and a sense of disequilibrium. It has taken a while to determine what paths I will be following.

It is also ironic that while I haven’t written many blog posts, I have written 110,000 words in a novel. This has been ongoing since August of 2013. I am nearing the end of what looks to be volume one of a trilogy. It is my way of processing political events in this country and trying to deal with how this country is changing. It has meant some interesting research (what is the saying about a true friend? One who will clean out your browser history after you die?). I’ve delved into some pretty terrible things on human trafficking, read lots of government reports, and overall tried to get up to speed on policy that I haven’t spent much time caring about in the past. It will be interesting to see if I can find a publisher….in the meantime, I have started a webpage for the book: http://the-secession-wars.webnode.com/. This is very much a work in progress, and I want to include writing tips as I finish up the novel.

I’m doing a lot of quilting. I’ve been slowly moving away from the marbling business, and I’m not sure how I feel about that. We still enjoy marbling, but the business end of it is tedious. I have lots of projects using the fabrics I have, but not the energy to do anything. I have been quilting other projects, and I have four commissions for quilts lined up: for a good friend, for a new baby,
for my yoga instructor, and for my great niece. I made the commitment to myself that when each of my eight great nieces and nephews turn 13, I will gift them a quilt. Gracie is the oldest, and she turns 13 this August. I want to have the quilt finished for when we move back east and stop to see them on the way. I found a great fleece in her favorite color for the backing, so that’s in the queue.

I’ve also taken up sketching again, through a couple of Craftsy classes. I did some sketching on the road this summer, but I want to make this a regular habit. Pen and ink has always been my medium (and charcoal, too), which is probably why I took to zentangles so quickly.

I have joined a weekly writing group to make my writing more of a regular practice. We meet for two hours and just write – a brief statement of intentions from each person in the group, and then it is total silence for writing. It’s been great, and I think it will get me back to blogging on a regular basis.

So this is a quick catch-up, more so for myself, as I look back on what has happened over the last years.

Till next time…..

Thoughts on Yoga Lessons…Perky Boobs

  I am so enjoying my yoga lessons….I think I have finally found the exercise that will work for me. Over this week I’ve been actually sitting on the floor for meditation, instead of a chair, as well as doing some other leg exercises during the day. I am managing yoga breathing/meditation each day, and it is certainly starting my day off pretty well. I am concentrating on positive affirmations about restraining the calorie count.

My goal for today was to walk to yoga, which is a little over a mile. I am trying to do my part for the environment. So I’m up earlier, sunscreen on my face, spray suntan lotion on my arms, and regular shorts – I don’t want to walk in black pants, since today is supposed to be the hottest day so far – upper 90s. I get there, feeling oh so proud of myself. Turns out I already have fatigued the muscles, and they really don’t want to cooperate. I am huffing and puffing and doing less than I usually do. Plus….since I am sweating, the suntan lotion is keeping me from holding on to my legs for stretches. I am pooped.

So obviously the walking TO yoga isn’t going to work for a while. When the weather gets back to normal for this time of year (80s) I will try walking home. We worked on warrior one poses, as I am having trouble with balance, as well as a few new tai chi moves. I am finding some interesting things going on with my body. My shorts  are now tight in the abdomen when they weren’t before, and they are very loose in the waist. I am also getting a bit of a “ski jump” butt, which has never happened before. Oh, yes, and perky boobs…..been decades since that happened.

We spent some time analyzing the why’s and wherefore’s. Seems that as my posture has improved significantly, my boobs have begun defying gravity…..that and thanks to a better bra and open shoulders. And as I do more hip opener exercises, my hips are pushing my butt back, so it looks more rounded and “hilly.” Hmmmm…….

I definitely feel better, have regained my long and somewhat slimmer neck, have a waist returning,  have really strong toes, and my knees don’t hurt as much. And I’m down four pounds in the last 10 days. I know it’s mostly water to start, but it’s motivation to keep on going.

I’ll Take Weight Loss Solutions for 2000, Alex……

And the answer is, “The one weight loss activity that will actually work for you.”

Insert Da-da – da-da………

What is yoga?

Correct for $2000.

Who knew? After years of trying just about everything, I finally started some private yoga lessons. I just had my fifth lesson, and already I am feeling a huge difference in attitude, appetite, and flexibility. I’ve looked for years, and with the vision and balance issues, I was beginning to despair. I was tired of counting calories and hating the way I looked. It was so much negative energy all the time. Years ago I bought “Yoga for Dummies.” Lots about philosophy, but nothing about the actual practice or poses. In January I finally said, this has got to be the year that I either succeed, or give it up entirely. I am tired of wasting so much energy on this.

I started with basic breathing with my first lesson, and for three weeks I worked up to 20 minutes of meditation and breathing. How wonderfully calming. I wasn’t able to continue with the first teacher because of cost. My friend recommended another woman, my age, who looked 20 years younger. We traded art work for lessons. She has me doing things I never thought I would be able to do after only four hours.

And I’m not sore. Not like using weights and attempting bad aerobics. I can feel the stretches, but it is a very good feeling. I did make a visit to the chiropractor, as my knee was bothering me. Turns out two lessons, and my gait was corrected – walking with one foot turned out since ankle surgery. Well, once the gait was corrected, the knee evidently said, What about me? So we fixed the knee alignment and the problem that caused with the rib cage alignment.

Now I’m working on opening the chest, opening the hips – no more sitting in a chair to meditate. I’m actually getting down on the floor – and back up again, although not nearly as gracefully as I would like. But the fact remains I haven’t been able to do that in about a decade. Now I find myself doing stretches at odd moments during the day, stopping when I’m walking to do a series of movements.

Best of all, a friend commented that she can see a huge difference in how I hold myself after just these three weeks. And she said I look younger, too.

How can you argue with that? Plus……I’m not munching and eating all the time. Part of that is stress over our living situation (yes, we’re moving again…..), but it’s nice to not be eating all the time and then hating myself for it. I can’t remember a time in the last 40 years when I wasn’t obsessing over food and calories. And I gotta tell ya, I don’t miss that part at all. I also have two blouses that no longer gap when I button them…..can’t wait for the pants to start showing it!

A Ramblin’ Kind of Day

It seems to be a good day for marbling, as we are nearly done today’s quota. It’s interesting, how we’ve been doing the marbling so consistently – like nearly three times a week (pretreat one day, alum one day, marble the next) – that we keep reinforcing to ourselves that we don’t want to do production. Getting to 400 fat quarters probably will not happen for the show in April, but….the pieces we are taking are gorgeous, we are trying lots of new patterns, and we are really enjoying ourselves. But we also know we need to have the periodic break from all the fabric….which will come the end of February when we head to Sedona for a few days for the film festival.

Had our second sojourn to the gem show. Every February Tucson gets “stoned,” with buyers and sellers from around the world. Yesterday we headed to the rooms off the interstate. There is a stretch of frontage road with nothing but rooms emptied of beds and vendor wares set up. Parking is minimal on the best of days, and it’s a nightmare during gem show. But we paid for parking, as we wanted to see a pretty cool woman, Rachel of Rayela Art and the TAFA List. You can see our TAFA profile here. If you want eye candy….oh my goodness. There are now 400 people from around the world who are TAFA members, and almost 200 of them have their new profiles up on the site. Use the search engine and you will be treated to amazing textile and fiber work from around the world.

Anyhoo, the hotel/motel set-up was interesting. Lots of people, but…not on the backside of the hotel. Very sparse for business. I cannot imagine making a living doing these kinds of shows every year, wondering about the impact of the economy. Lately I’m seeing “trickle-down economics” in some interesting forms. Not as many big wholesale buyers at the shows because they haven’t sold enough jewelry to need to buy more stones. Not as many retired folk in the RV section of the air base here, because their adult children have moved home due to the economy, and there is now no disposable income to travel. The Republicans would probably say, “See, trickle-down does work.” I have a totally different opinion about how this is not the way to have a healthy population, but I’ll try to not rant politically…….

I’m taking private yoga lessons that I have been able to trade in exchange for art pieces. Good deal for both of us. My three lessons are already beginning to pay off with more calmness, strengthened feet and a corrected walking gait, more flexibility, and balance. I do think that this form of exercise is going to be what I’ve been looking for for a long time. No stress, no impact, no equipment, and I feel great.  I have been searching for something that will help me improve balance and flexibility. I thought it would take me probably three months to work into what Susan has me doing after three sessions. No pain, no sore muscles (not much, anyway), and I’m doing a lot of different work. Yay me!

I was going to do a post on the new mess in Tucson over our ethnic studies brouhaha, which is centered at the high school I worked at. I NEVER thought in my lifetime I would see books being banned in schools I worked in. This is totally unacceptable. If you don’t like a book, then don’t read it. Simple. Parents, do your job and work with your children if you don’t want them reading something. Smacks of the Catholic Legion of Decency from the early 60s that I remember and despised. I do cringe when I see some of the new books at the local bookstores. They preach hate and a serious distortion of the facts. I’m sad to see them there, but the books have every right according to our Constitution. It is sad to me, however, to see Jan Brewer’s book skip up the Amazon list because she was rude to President Obama. But I sure won’t be buying it.

There is much more to this whole mess. Supposedly teachers have been promoting resentment of other races in the Mexican American Studies program. I have had students who have been treated poorly in these classes because they were Anglo. Bottom line, not a reason to ban the program. This is an internal matter that should have been dealt with by administration. Teachers have a responsibility to all students in their classes. I’m not going to ban students with conservative leanings from my American History classes. I have a responsibility to teach critical thinking, as well as tolerance, to all my students….a lesson this country seems to be short on these days.

And Gabby Giffords has resigned from Congress and we are faced with more elections. It will get ugly. Komen Fund has stepped in it big time. Evidently a new movie is set to hit (or already has) about the foundation which will make more people question its motives. So it’s hard when you look at the big picture of this country to be positive; corporate money is controlling everything. Yet on an individual basis I know great people who are making their lives work and contributing to society. I sure never expected to be a little better off on retirement than when I was working full time. That has come as a shock….just need to be sure I stay healthy!

My big new art piece is almost done. Finished the machine quilting, blocked it yesterday, squared it off, and now I need to get the facings on so I can trim it, sew the facings, and then get the lichen set. (Sorry, Michelle, a bit of a run-on….) I still have until the 13th to get jpgs sent – need to set up the photography this week. And lots more art projects, this month’s new tutorial for the Free Motion quilting challenge…….microcosmically, life is good. Now to go balance on one leg…..

 

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