SoveryAudreyH in Samsonite And Tumi is doing 27 things including…

Be a total Yoga Babe.

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SoveryAudreyH has written 23 entries about this goal

A little better today

Last night, I was so so raw about my brother. I feel so vulnerable having written it down, but I’m glad to see that entry here—evidence, I think, of feelings I try to hold back.

This morning, I got up and went to yoga. My first class in over a week. Driving there, I thought about my brother’s car accident. What if I got hit and my car exploded, the way his did?

I knew that God forbid something terrible happened to me, what I’d want most for my family, my husband, my daughter, my parents, my friends, is for them to be able to heal and move on, to enjoy life for the gift it is.

If it’s what I’d want, it’s what my brother would want. I’m not there yet, but I’m trying.

The picture I’m posting today is of child’s pose, which to me is all about humility, but it’s also about rest—sometimes, good enough is good enough. Which is where I’m at right now.



The Unintentional Zen Error

So I meant to set my personal challenge to be once again, for the third time in a row, “Clear Clutter, Especially My Junky Office.”

But by accident, I set it to be a “Total Yoga Babe.”

I was really bummed out because I see yoga babe as a long term challenge, not a timed thing. But then I realized, you know what? Maybe I need yoga more now than I need a tidy office and cupboards. Maybe my subsconscious was trying to tell me something. And I kind of love it. So I’m stepping up my game and committing to a short daily practice for the month of June.

Scary, but fabulous. Pool image, because that’s how a really good yoga session makes me feel: beachy, summery, challenging but mellow laps.



Yoga and Art and Rest

Today I participated in a giant yoga class (600 people!) in support of breast cancer survivors and research. The day started off shaky, I was running late to meet my friends, I felt totally stressed because I had to work this afternoon and I was afraid I was squeezing too much in, but once I got there—and felt the magnitude of the event, I was really moved. And the teacher was so awesome. Her studio’s not super close to my house, but I’ll definitely drive to take a class with her again. My grandmother died of breast cancer and I think about her so often. She was the proverbial rock in our family and helped so many people. She was like the definition of that parable, stone soup. She never had much but somehow the more she gave, the more she had to give.

I’ve been feeling a little low this week, not supported in my work, competitive and losing the competition, Jill of all trades, master of none.

But on Friday, I spent a few hours doing volunteer work with an awesome and inspiring woman. Then yesterday, I bought tickets and went to the museum with my husband and baby. Then today yoga. And overall, I’m feeling much, much better.

Marian Wright Edelman said that service is the rent we pay for living. It’s one of my guiding principles. But this weekend, I discovered that it can be even more—it can be the antidote for listlessness and too much self-involvement.

This image is from the “Feel Your Boobies” breast cancer awareness campaign. So I’m putting it up there for all my 43Things gal pals. Wishing you good health and a great week.



More Hot Yoga

Went to hot yoga for the third time in the past two weeks today. Pouring rain here and if I hadn’t arranged to meet a friend for a lunch time class, would’ve never made it there. So it was a smart move.

Class was hard, hard, hard. But teacher was wonderful, wonderful. Really muscular bald guy with all kinds of tattoos and a true gift of gab. His talking, and telling stories, helped me work through the toughness.

He said that the 90 minutes we spend on the mat, enables us to do yoga for the other 22 and 1/2 hours in the day—when we show compassion, patience and acceptance to the car that cuts us off, the boss who doesn’t appreciate us, etc.

For me, the off the mat practice was managing my baby girl who was a handful today. And my guy who kind of dropped the ball on Mother’s Day in a way that really, really hurt my feelings.

My cool tattoo teacher also said that all the discomfort we feel in the heat, in trying to get into the poses, goes away if we don’t go away. Meaning if we keep coming to class, keep giving yoga everything we’ve got.

Which I guess is the ultimate metaphor for life. If we keep showing up, then the hard stuff doesn’t exactly go away, but we can get more flexible, more fluid, more yoga like in our life as we are in our poses.

Something like that. I’m not as Zen as tattoo guy. So I may not be able to explain it, but I got a lot out of it.

Namaste, everyone.



Something New

On Monday, I went to a hot yoga class. I tried it once about six years ago. It was nearly an hour’s drive away from where I lived at the time and while the class was indeed the promised sweltering 108 degrees, I left feeling decidedly lukewarm about the whole thing.

This new place is about a 15 minute walk from my house and was recommended by a friend. I went to a 6:00 am class, which was tough but great. I liked the feeling of being an absolute beginner and the way, at least in this class, the emphasis was on holding poses and sweating through it.

Sometimes, I feel like I can go through a series like sun salutation and never really get parts of it because I don’t practice enough to ever overcome the challenging bits. In this hot yoga class, I can see how I can, over time, really master the poses that are taught.

It was a little startling to do yoga in front of a mirror. My post pregnancy body is kinda like a post war zone. But like my friend T. always says, “It is what it is.” Maybe the benefits of hot yoga won’t be simply physical, being forced to look in the mirror and show myself some tenderness could be good for me.

So I’m in. Will try to go again on Sunday.

My goal for May is hot yoga twice a week and Anusara class once a week. If I can manage that, I think I’ll be well on my way to being a yoga babe.



Random Thoughts from a Weekend Yoga Retreat

1) I miss my bambina, but I think taking a few nights to practice yoga, eat well and rest makes me a better Mom.

2) I shouldn’t have brought my computer. When I’m not on the mat, I’m checking e-mail and corresponding with work. Next time, I’ll unplug a little more.

3) Despite my consistent efforts to run my own race (see earlier entry about Marlo Thomas), I still open my eyes during practice and peek at the super bendy yoga girls with the flawless bodies. Mustn’t compare! Must not compare!

4) I know Kelly Ripa is probably a femmebot, but for some reason I’m finding her kind of cool these days. I read an interview with her where she said her goal is to never have her daughter hear her say, “Do I look fat in this?” I second that emotion. Big time.

5) When I feel sane and balanced, one of my personal mantras is: “What if I’m doing it all right?” What if I am exactly where I’m supposed to be, doing what I’m supposed to be doing and all the supposed setbacks are actually like those guys waving traffic from a closed, possibly dangerous, street, leading me down a road I could’ve never imagined on my own. It’s a good feeling. That I could be right when I so often feel so wrong.

6) Am I crazy for expecting people at a yoga retreat to be a little friendlier? We have these group meals and some people are just cold, like I’ve cut them off in traffic, not practiced yoga with them and then said hello.

7) Just talked to my husband on the phone and I love that he can still make me laugh so hard. He’s hilarious. Hilariously genius. Makes me feel lucky. Which is a great feeling. Because sometimes when we’re home and all his faults seem magnified, I occasionally have this thought: “Go away. Go away so I can miss you.”

Now I’m the one who’s gone away and I do miss him and the pleasure of staying up late to talk to him on the phone is a rare treat. All night, I felt like Ingrid Bergman chatting up Cary Grant in Indiscreet.



Faith in the Good Thing

Took a 2 hour restorative yoga workshop on Friday. Was so stressed. Traveling for work, ride never showed up, was 1/2 an hour late for this yoga class at a place I’d never been before. But I made it. And I just sunk into these restful poses. And it was so good for me.

For a long time, I felt really discouraged and a little cynical. But I feel hopeful again these days. That good things are going to happen. That good things are, in fact, already happening. It’s like when you go to the mailbox and you know there’s a 99% chance that it’s just bills and junk mail. But there’s a 1% chance that there’ll be something great in the mailbox: a check or a letter from an old friend or an invitation to a great party. I’m feeling the 1% of hope and expectation and it feels good.



Gotta Run My Own Race Baby

This could go under my job goal, but I really think it’s more about me and my spirit. Just found out that somebody really high profile in my field, let’s call her Miss Fabulous, is working on the same project as I am and has already nabbed a plum assignment that infringes on my responsibilities ever so slightly.

I love this story from Marlo Thomas. A powerful reminder that I’ve got to run my own race and that maybe Miss Fabulous is in my life for reasons that are all benevolent and good—to inspire me, to show me things I would’ve never seen otherwise, maybe even to be a friend.

This is from Marlo Thomas’ book, The Right Words at the Right Time>

My father said, “I raised you to be a thoroughbred. When thoroughbreds run they wear blinders to keep their eyes focused straight ahead with no distractions, no other horses. They hear the crowd but they don’t listen. They just run their own race. That’s what you have to do. Don’t listen to anyone comparing you to me or to anyone else. You just run your own race.”

The next night as the crowd filed into the theater, the stage manager knocked on my dressing room door and handed me a white box with a red ribbon. I opened it up and inside was a pair of old horse blinders with a little note that read, “Run your own race, Baby.”_



Teachers and students

My Mom leaves town tomorrow. It was a short-ish visit, five days, but we made the most of it. Today, we went to a yoga class together. It was yin. Lots of holding poses for five minutes, but at the same time, you are mostly on the ground so no acrobatics necessary. (Good for me, ‘cause I’m nobody’s human pretzel.) Years ago, when I was in college, I took a yoga class and hated it. My Mom has spent much of the last decade urging me to go back to yoga. I’ve gone sporadically. But in the last two years, it’s really hit home for me.

I find myself in this funny position of behaving like a would be piano prodigy. Sometimes I’m all coulda, shoulda, wouldas. If I had stuck with yoga, I could be a super-bendy yoga babe by now. More seriously, if I had stuck with yoga, I could’ve spared myself a lot of pain and hurt. I could’ve used yoga to release some of the pain instead of channeling it into destructive relationships, perfectionism, self flagellation and self punishment. It’s silly to think my twenties and early thirties would’ve been better with more yoga. My path was my path and it led me to work I love, a great guy, wonderful friends and a kick ass baby ninja daughter. Despite the way I sometimes worship serious yogis, people who do yoga date the wrong people, get their hearts broken, go out on a limb and find the tree branch breaks under the weight of their untenable hopes and dreams. Yoga is not a bullet proof vest for life.

And the thing is, I have yoga now, when I need it for my work, my life as a new mother, my six year old marriage. My mother always said (and I know she didn’t invent this) that when the student is ready, the teacher appears. Last year when I had the hardest scariest year of my life, I met the most amazing teacher. (Definition of my hard year: I almost died in my sixth month of pregnancy; because I was dying, they had to do a C-section with no anesthesia; my baby was born three months early and spent three months in the NICU; my brother was killed in a car accident and while the hospital stay for me and my baby topped a million dollars—thank God we had good, kind, generous insurance and then, while I still have nightmares of the C-section with a topical pain killer, the anesthesiologist who showed up after the baby was born, is the only doctor who keeps sending me a frigging bill.)

But to get back to the idea of students and teachers, I have this amazing yoga teacher who helped me through all this, doing research about what I’d been through, physically and emotionally, and developing a specific practice to help me heal all the places where I’d been broken. I still feel pretty broken some days, but I also feel that I am healing. I have yoga to thank for that. And maybe, just maybe, I have my Mom to thank for being the buzz in my ear that kept saying yoga would be good for me, even when I couldn’t hear it.



A.M. Yoga

It’s kind of been like an old Ice Cube song, “Today was a good day…” I took advantage of my Mom visiting (and babysitting) to run out to an early morning yoga class. I had to leave the house at 7 am to get to 7:45 class. When I didn’t get up until 6:30, I was so sure I couldn’t get out of the house on time, especially with my Mom and the baby playing so happily in the living room and my husband rushing around to make it to an industry conference. It would’ve been so easy to say, gotta help the husband. Don’t spend enough happy play time with the baby. But I hustled and was in the car by ten after seven. The traffic gods were kind to me and I made it to class on time.

The class was great. During the ride home, I listened to fun music and sang out loud. But the best part was opening the door to my apartment and feeling like I could handle whatever was waiting on the other side.



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