Friday, February 22, 2008

Shadows of my former self

My dear friend, Lorna, came up from SF last weekend to save me from surburban boredom. We had a great time. Heard some great bands at Chop Suey and then had an awkard experience at this really LOCAL bar/cafe/coffeehouse with a just okay band. However, the highlight of my trip was our sushi dinner. I wasn't in the mood for sushi (am I ever?), but I'm always in the mood for Japanese beer, so I had a Kirin and decided to dapple in the dessert menu. The point is, I had a Fuji Apple Cheesecake that was to die for! De-lec-ta-ble! So, if you're ever in Seattle, near Green Lake, please stop by Kisaku and try the dessert!

I had a great time bobbing and dancing to the brit punk rock vocal stylings of the Foals, the funky, garage band sound of The Heavenly States, and the eerie, but delicious all instrumental home-grown rock band Sleepy Eyes of Death. SEoD used a heavy smoke machine for their entire performance, so I couldn't really see them, but it just added to the wonderful creepiness of their music. I loved it!

By the way, the Seattleites and their obsession with bringing their dogs everywhere is bizarre. I've seen Great Danes in The Home Depot and Standard Poodles (ack!) in middle school gyms, but Saturday night, a guy had his cute little beagle in Chop Suey during the concert. WTF? That's just weird.

So, thanks, Lorna for coming and putting some social back in my life. It wasn't SXSW, but it was a good deal (FREE!) for a 2-day stint and I had a blast. I can't remember the last time I was out sans hubby with a strong drink in my hand and some good, live, loud music. Probably not since the Cas Haley concert last summer. :( Oy vey, my life....

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

H&M...Why are you torturing me?

We heard a rumor that H&M was coming to Seattle. Why there wasn't one here before boggles me. Then we heard a rumor H&M was coming to U Village (near U of Wash) in February. So, I put aside $100 to blow on a fierce jacket and some kind of must-have jeans, which should leave just enough change for a bangle bracelet, some arm warmers and two shirts.

So, my spies have been prowling U Vill with not an H&M in site.

But, I rolled upon a press release from H&M released in mid January that said Seattle H&M will not be open until August or September (BOOOOO!) But, there will be 3 locations instead of the 1 in U Village (YAAAAAAAY!)

So, I forgive you H&M for getting my hopes up for February because you're also putting in a North Seattle location. Hurry and get here! And please be just in time for a birthday outfit! Now my Swedish home furnishings (Ikea) can match my Swedish outfits (H&M)!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Bikram people are crazy!

I took my first Bikram Hot Yoga class last night. If last Monday was the day of yoga victories, this Monday was the day of yoga defeats. Let me give you a rundown. First of all, the room was heated to somewhere between 112-120 degrees. No worries, I was expecting that. Felt like Houston in August at noon. LOL! We started with this weird pranayama exercise that I got absolutely nothing from and felt absolutely stupid doing. And that lasted for about 5 minutes (too much pranayama!). The rest of the class was force yourself into this position, and then hold it for a minute. Other side. Now repeat, only this time for half a minute. Then, for some reason, we were demanded to go into savasana for about 2 minutes between each seated posture (Clap! Clap! “Quickly! Turn over! Hurry! Now relax!” WTF?). All of the standing postures were done with locked knees and elbows and bent backs. This had me totally out of alignment. We topped off the class with a choreographed breath of fire that is called something else in Bikram Hot Yoga. Then the teacher put us in savasana and left us there. There was no chanting, not even an “om”. We all drank water all through class, which I guess is necessary to keep from passing out, but I could literally feel my internal fire being extinguished after every gulp. So in short, the class was not meditative, felt “funny” cuz I was out of alignment the whole time and was not nearly as challenging as ashtanga.

Are his shorts in this picture wild or what? LOL!

I think Mr. Bikram the guy who invented the famous kind of Hot Yoga was “that guy” in yoga class who was always trying to muscle through something. He probably didn’t have the stamina to finish a whole ashtanga class and was frustrated with having to pull back from a posture because, if he focused on alignment, he couldn’t go all the way into it. I think he’s the guy that you hate having your mat next to because he spends the whole class looking over his shoulder trying to outdo you in each asana. The fact that this class is done in a mirrored room, facing the mirror, using your reflection as the focal point (how does that work because doesn’t your focal point need to be something that won’t move?) leads me to suspect this guy is obsessed with seeing how good he is. The intense heat is just to help you go deeper into postures, there’s only one twisting pose, so it’s not even really that cleansing (in my opinion). In short, Bikram Hot Yoga is the little strip mall church that has splintered off from the main church because the deacon wanted to be pastor. LOL!

Having said all of that, I will give it a fair chance for the remainder of my 2 week pass, but last night’s class really made me realize how much I miss ashtanga. And how much I’ve learned about proper alignment and the benefits of breath during my practice.

By the way, one of the first poses (I won’t call them asanas cuz this just doesn’t feel like yoga to me) was called “wind-releasing pose”. LOL! I was like, “Oh no! I hope no one farts!”

If you're curious about the sequence, click here for photos.

Monday, February 4, 2008

The Day of Yoga Victories!

Today hubby and I fulfilled the last of our one week unlimited yoga pass. Unfortunately for him, it was the most difficult teacher, but he made it through. Anthony had two yoga victories today: 1) he went to yoga three times this week and 2) he achieved adho mukha vrksasana (headstand) against the wall. Yay!

For me, I managed to float lightly into crow, then roll gracefully over to tripod, then lift (with much clenching of the abdominals) into salamba sirsana (headstand). This is amazing because I tried this at Yoga Yoga last year (because Jessica made me) against the wall and it was an incredible struggle. A painful struggle at that!

So, that's that. Yay, for yoga!

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