supercheesegirl: (stars and swirls)
This week in Chinese dance class, we actually finished the choreography for our song! I don't think that's ever happened in any of the previous dance classes--we've never made it to the end of the song. We got close in tap class, and kind of rushed through choreographing the finale, but never really got to work on it and feel solid with it. In Chinese dance, we finished the song, got to the very end where we all pose and wave our fans, and then ran it through a few times, and that was even the second-to-last class!

I think honestly that Lanwei is a good teacher, despite the language barrier.* She broke the song down into three parts with a repeating part for the chorus, taught the dance to us in the three parts, helped us understand the transitions between the parts. I like her as a teacher.

I really didn't want to go to class this week, but I made myself. I'm pretty good at remembering the steps, and I'm getting better with the fan, but I'm just not engaged with the class in general. I think I am ready for a break from dance classes. I want to get wedding stuff done and have time to go to yoga class in the evening. I'm considering skipping the last Chinese class. I would feel bad about this: there are only five classes, and there are only five students in the class, and Romy has already said she won't be going next week, so if I skipped too there would only be three students, and missing both Romy and I would screw things up for the dance choreography. I like the other students and I like Lanwei and I would feel bad about that. But I'm already paid in full and I just kind of feel done with it, especially since we finished the song. Sigh.

In other news, we finished our ballroom class as well. We're now fully equipped to forget how to foxtrot and swing dance! :) We talked to our teacher, Joe, about doing a private lesson or two to get ready to dance with our song. He looked up the song online and he says it's more of a triple-step swing, faster than the single-step swing we learned. I was having trouble doing the swing we learned with the song, so that made sense to me. So we might do one or two private lessons. Sigh.


*Here's an example. We got an email from Lanwei last week, with links to Chinese folk dance videos on youtube, which said, "This is Han of the chinese folk dance link, you watching it at internet. Have a good weekend!" I know I shouldn't, but I find this incredibly cute.
supercheesegirl: (yoga)
Yoga # 38
Friday April 23, early morning
25 minutes
1165 minutes total

I also had my third Chinese dance class last night. We mostly just went over the steps for the first two sections, but we also started on the third section. I basically have the steps down, I just need to work on my fan skills and, you know, basic sense of grace.
supercheesegirl: (yoga - cute lotus sunburst)
Public service announcement: Chinese folk dancing is really difficult. It's definitely the accessories. I've seen at least two women in my class who I know can move get flummoxed by this (besides the two older women who tend to catch on slower--they're, well, catching on slower). I've still having issues with one particular set of movements--whirling the fan and the handkerchief at the same time, which involves bending the wrists and whipping the objects around quickly and accurately. I sit at a computer all day, my wrists do not want to do this. Otherwise, I'm not doing too badly--I'm managing to keep track of the actual steps to our dance better than many of the others in the class, and a few times I was able to provide Lanwei with vocabulary when she was grasping for a word. I'm not too bad at the steps and movements, but then coordinating the fan with all of it is difficult. I have to say I really admire Lanwei--she's such a talented dancer, and she's walked into this class and is trying to teach us with limited English abilities, and it's got to be hard for her. One problem is that there are some things she only knows one way to say, so she just keeps repeating that one thing ("No, move you fan. You fan, move you fan."). She's obviously a smart woman and an accomplished dancer, so it must be frustrating for her. She emailed us an mp3 of our song, though, so we can practice at home. I'll try!


Yoga # 35
Friday April 16, early morning
25 minutes
1090 minutes total

A bit of yoga this morning, mostly floor stuff. I made sure to do some wrist stretches, and my hips were tight too.
supercheesegirl: (yoga - cute lotus sunburst)
Yoga # 34
Tuesday April 13, early morning
30 minutes
1065 minutes total

I'm still sore from Saturday's workshop, but today I felt recovered enough to get back to my usual routine. I did the usual standing work, did just a few squats even though my thighs are sore to keep the muscle building, and also did some weights. I also made sure to practice headstand today. After Saturday, it was nice to successfully get up into an inverted pose! I also made sure to pay attention to exactly how I enter the pose, and I discovered that, rather than kicking up, I'm more walking up and then lifting right into it. I get a nice floaty moment (as Heather describes it) when my legs almost go up on their own. Hooray for core muscles! While I was in headstand, I tried to focus on the muscles that I was working on in handstand--not sure if it worked. Overall, a good practice.

F and I had ballroom dance last night. We learned a new swing move that was really difficult for me at first but ended up being awesome. We were really rocking the swing last night--best we've ever done it. Only two more weeks of class left--we're going to try to practice this weekend, and then we're hoping to continue practicing regularly so we don't lose everything we learned. Hopefully we will keep Monday nights as dancing nights at least until the wedding. Swing has been really fun, and we're pretty good foxtrotters too. Last night I told F that we should ask our DJ to play a good foxtrot song for us, so we can show off at the wedding, and his eyes got all big, like "we have to dance twice?!" I just meant we're good at it now, we could totally do it in public.
supercheesegirl: (yoga - cute lotus sunburst)
Yoga # 32 and # 33
Friday April 9, early morning, and Saturday April 10, 1-3pm
20 minutes and 120 minutes
1035 minutes total

Friday I did a bit of relaxing yoga. Pretty standard. Saturday, I went to a two-hour handstand workshop at Enso Studio! I went there once before and really liked it. The handstand workshop was taught by Adam, one of the owners of Enso, and I liked him a lot. He started out by talking a bit about handstands, why they're challenging and things to be careful of. Then we spent about half an hour warming up with yoga before trying some handstand preparations. First we practiced kicking from a downward dog position, just to get a sense of what the kicking feels like. Then we tried kicking a bit more and trying to lift the legs, to get a sense of what it feels like to get the pelvis over the shoulders. This was the bad part for me--I totally surprised myself by kicking so hard that I flipped completely over, falling on my head, right shoulder, and right side. On the hard wood floor. I started to cry, not so much because it hurt (although it did) but because it was such a shock, and so scary. This is the sort of thing that people who don't do handstands are afraid of--falling on your head on the hard wood floor. And it is scary. Adam handled it really well, though--made sure I was okay, let me sit out for a while, used it as a moment to talk to the class about handstands being scary (although I actually can't remember much of what he said), made sure I was okay again, checked in repeatedly over the rest of the workshop. He strongly suggested I move over and try using the gymnastic mats around the room instead of continuing on my yoga mat on the wood floor, and I agreed. I just hadn't thought before that I was capable of doing something like that, which was the only reason I hadn't moved to the thick mats to begin with.

After I recovered a bit, I tried the next exercise, which was placing hands on the floor and walking up the wall. I've done this before, so it was good to do something familiar. I can easily get my feet up high on the wall, but to get them to a point where my body is at a right angle and the hips are right over the shoulders--that I can't do yet.

Next we worked with 3-4 partners in a supported handstand. One person kicks up into the handstand, while the supporters stand one on the right, one on the left, and one in front. They catch her legs and hold her up, so she can't fall down or fall forward. The supporters then lessen their grip a bit, so the handstander can practice feeling her arm strength and using her core muscles and leg muscles to hold herself up on her own, while still feeling safe. This was a really great exercise, and I'm glad I was with a nice group of women who made me do it. I actually ended up with Kelly and Lisie, who both teach yoga at Enso, so that was interesting--Lisie taught the class I attended back in December, and I really admired her, so it was neat to see her feeling nervous about a technique and working through it. Each of us did handstands twice, and then supported the others while they tried. It was a real rush, a neat feeling to do it and feel so safe. I really got a sense of what it takes to hold the pose, and it's hard. I'm really not sure I have the arm strength to do it yet.

Finally, we all pulled up a space of wall and tried kicking up into a handstand independently. I wasn't able to do this at all, and I think part of it was feeling scared of falling. I also spotted Lisie for a bit and helped her get up into her handstand on her own--she's totally strong enough, but just seemed nervous about it. Kelly, the other Enso teacher, seemed to really get the knack of it, so that was cool.

Over the course of the workshop, Adam mentioned a few things as being important for doing handstands successfully. One was keeping the hips square as you try to kick up. A lot of people will rotate the hip out on the kicking leg, which throws your balance off. Adam also emphasized core strength and relying on the mulabanda and udiandabanda (root lock, and, um, belly lock? mulabanda is the muscles in the perineum, udiandabanda is in the belly). Having the core muscles engaged really helps give the strength to hold the pose. When kicking up, it helps to keep the kicking leg straight. Also, it's important to have the fingers spread, and to let your hands hold your weight and keep your balance the same way our feet do--we might sway back and forth from toes to heels to keep balance, and doing the same with the hands will allow you to stay more balanced in the pose. And don't forget to breathe.

Adam also emphasized that doing handstands is a journey: in a two-hour workshop, nobody's going to suddenly start doing perfect handstands. He told a story about how he once took a class with David Swenson, who's a major ashtanga guy, and how it took Swenson three tries to get up into a good handstand to demonstrate one to his class. Even someone like David Swenson doesn't do a perfect handstand all the time, so how could we? It's something to work at.

I feel pretty sure that I'm just not strong enough for this yet. However, I still want to work on it and do some of the preps to build my strength. I think walking the feet up the wall will be good for this--if I can get myself into a right angle and be okay and able to hold it, that will say a lot for my strength level, because I really can't do that now. Also, I want to go out with F sometime to the park and practice kicking up and falling over. The falling over is still too scary. We stopped at a park today that has a sandy area where the creek overflowed--a nice soft surface to fall on. We'll go out and get really dirty and try some handstands, and with F to spot me I'll feel safe. I also want to get back to doing headstands, because I can do them and the core strength to lift up into a headstand seems pretty similar to that needed for a handstand. Practicing headstands will help with the whole thing, I think.

And I definitely want to go back to Enso soon. Once Chinese folk dance is over, I'm going to skip the belly dancing segment and just get back to yoga class and go at least once a week. There are also some other workshops coming up at Enso--a backbend workshop and a women's self defense workshop--so I might try those too.

Oh, and Chinese folk dance is hard. There are accessories: a fan and a handkerchief. It's hard enough coordinating my own feet and arms without having to worry about what my fan is doing. My wrists also don't bend enough to be able to whirl my fan around properly. Also, this is one of those dances where being a member of a genetically smaller cultural group is beneficial--I had the same problem with flamenco. Elba the flamenco teacher is a tiny curvy Spanish woman; Lan Wei the Chinese dance teacher is a tiny Chinese woman. They both look beautiful and graceful doing their respective dances. I need to ask Lynn if next year we can have a cultural dance where it's an advantage to be a big gallumphing European giraffe. Maybe something German, or a polka, or Irish step dancing. I suspect Chinese will not end up being my favorite.
supercheesegirl: (yoga - cute)
Yoga # 29 for 2010
Tuesday March 30, early morning
25 minutes
820 minutes total

I'm feeling a little sore from yesterday's yoga practice, but I did get up early and do some seated poses. It's still raining or I would have gone for a jog--I'll do that tomorrow instead.

F and I tried practicing swing dancing last night with the DVD we got from Netflix. We had some issues, though, because the woman on the DVD was doing the triple-step swing and we learned the single-step swing. I was thinking at first maybe we could still practice with it and just step once for every time she said "one-two-three", but that was a little too complicated. We sent it back and ordered a DVD that specifically said "single-step swing" instead.

The DVD we sent back was hilarious, though. Painfully 80s--it was obviously a videotape originally. Vicki Regan and Ron DeSomething. They weren't swing dancing to any identifiable swing music, either, just to some synthesized hokey crap. I guess they couldn't get the rights to use actual music. They didn't seem like bad dancers, though.
supercheesegirl: (futurama - leela negative)
Yoga # 27 for 2010
Friday March 26, early morning
30 minutes
755 minutes total

I was away from yoga for over a week. Last week was daylight savings time; this week, I came back from Pittsburgh with a slight cold, then went to the Bon Jovi concert. I just slept in every day until Friday. Thursday night was the last African dance class, and it was really terrific--I really enjoyed that class a lot. I came home feeling great and all pumped up to get back into my morning exercise routine. Friday morning I got up at my early time and had a great yoga practice. I was wishing I had more time.

This weekend we spent a big chunk of time assembling the wedding invitations. Exciting to have it done. I was hoping to have some yoga time this weekend, but I'm thinking it's not going to happen.

I do not recommend watching the movie "Synecdoche, New York". F picked it out on Netflix and we tried to watch it tonight but only got an hour in. I really like Philip Seymour Hoffman but this was just painful and long and painful. We stopped the DVD and watched the latest episode of Castle on demand instead.
supercheesegirl: (stars and swirls)
Last African dance class tonight. I haven't done yoga in a week and a half--I had a cold earlier this week, plus I had the late night with Bon Jovi, so I've been sleeping in all week and completely skipping my morning workout program. It felt so good to get moving again, and now I feel all inspired to get up early for yoga tomorrow morning. I have to say, I really enjoyed African dance. It would not be my first choice as a means of artistic expression for myself, but I would absolutely take an African dance class again because it's an amazing workout and just a lot of fun.

I was thinking about African dance as a form as being so different from my experience with flamenco. African feels like a very community-oriented form, with movements representing giving (giving respect, of yourself, whatever) to the earth and the community, and we were encouraged to look at each other, make eye contact, mingle about mid-dance, dance in a circle, all of which fostered a nice connection among the class. We were chatting and laughing all along. By contrast, flamenco felt like we were several individuals who all happened to be dancing in the same room. We didn't look at each other or communicate with each other at all, to the point where I didn't know the names of several women in the class even after six weeks. (They're Susan and Mary, I found out later.) There were times in flamenco where we practiced a series of steps while staring into our own eyes in the mirror. In African we never used the mirrors at all and in fact did not even face the mirrors while we danced. Flamenco felt very much about personal, individual, even private expression, while African was about communal experience and sharing and expressing together. Very, very different forms, but something incredibly appealing about both of them.

I guess I've always had a concept of myself as being more of a loner--going back to all those childhood hours spent by myself, with a book or playing alone. I've always felt I'm more an introvert than an extrovert. But if I were to choose between the two dance forms, I'd take African again in a heartbeat, and would think harder about doing flamenco again. Part of that is how different the two forms feel in the body--African is an exhilerating workout, while flamenco is just kind of exhausting--but part of it is also that communal aspect. If I'm dancing, I want to be having fun. I get anger and passion and fire in my writing, I guess, so I'm less passionate about finding that in my dance? But I do think flamenco is beautiful. Flamenco also felt more like work, while African felt like a party. An organized party, but a party nonetheless.

This year of dancing has definitely introduced me to some different forms and concepts that I never would have imagined. I'll be interested to see how I feel after taking Chinese folk dance, and which form will ultimately be my favorite of this year.
supercheesegirl: (conan the barbarian)
So busy this week, so just a quick post before I forget everything:

Wednesday morning I went jogging. F went with me. It felt colder than it should have. We cut it a little short. F says his legs still hurt. We need to get that man back to the gym.

Thursday night was African dance class. Really fun and an amazing workout as usual. I can't believe next week is the last class!

Got more info on the Indian dance cancellation. Turns out the teacher is in her third trimester of a somewhat shaky pregnancy, and her doctor advised her to stop dancing. I find that to be a really good reason to cancel a class, and under the circumstances, I'm psyched that Lynn was able to line up Chinese folk dancing with an experienced teacher as a replacement. I plan to sign up for it. Apparently we will need handkerchiefs, fans that open and close, and soft slippers/shoes. (I wonder if I could wear my purple furry slippers? Although I think those are probably not the type of slippers she means.)

Off to Pittsburgh for the weekend to visit the in-laws.
supercheesegirl: (link sad)
I just found out that the Indian dance class in the dance series I've been taking isn't being offered anymore. Indian was the whole reason I started doing dance class in the first place! I've been looking forward to it since August! I am so disappointed. It's being replaced with Chinese folk dance, which doesn't sound nearly as interesting. I mean, it sounds okay, and it'd be totally different from anything else I've ever done, and we'd dance with fans, but it's not Indian. That's the one I really really wanted to do. I'm thinking now that maybe it would be nice to get my Thursday nights back and have more time to get wedding stuff done, or maybe go to a yoga studio. At the same time, I've stuck with dance for this long and I hate to give it up now. I'd planned to go the whole year and only skip the very last segment (belly dancing, which I would love to do but it's in May/June and I know I'll be too busy then). Bleh. So so sad.
supercheesegirl: (conan the barbarian)
Yoga # 26 for 2010
Monday March 15, early morning
20 minutes
725 minutes total

Yesterday I managed to drag my sorry self out of bed for 20 minutes of grumpy yoga. I'm sure I'm better off for having done it, but it wasn't fun to do. Last week I was practically bouncing out of bed with plenty of time to make smoothies and eat breakfast before a 30-minute yoga practice! This week the alarm goes off and I can't move, and when forced to do so I want to punch things. Spring-ahead week sucks. It's still better than all of February, mind, but it sucks.

Last night we had our third ballroom dance class. We reviewed the foxtrot, which F and I are pretty solid at now, and reviewed swing, which we're actually starting to get! We just have to chant "step, step, backstep step, step, backstep step..." over and over, but if we chant, it actually comes together okay. We haven't even practiced with the DVD from netflix yet. And we have five more weeks of dance class to refine it. Exciting. We also learned the basics of the waltz last night, which was pretty easy, because it's slow, and a lot of it is just like the foxtrot only slow and we can do the foxtrot already. However, we learned progressive twinkling last night and that tripped us up a bit, but we're getting it, and it's going to look so classy and slick once we've got it. No matter what song we end up dancing to for the first dance at our wedding, we're going to have to ask DJ Betsy to play at least one foxtrot and one waltz so we can show our stuff. Everyone will be amazed by how classy and elegant we are. (Or they'll be amazed by how I'm tripping over my dress and we have to keep stopping and starting over from the beginning every time. One or the other.)
supercheesegirl: (yoga - cute brown tree)
Yoga # 24 and # 25 for 2010
Friday March 12, early morning, and Sunday March 14, mid-morning
20 minutes and 45 minutes respectively
705 minutes total

Thursday night was African dance class. An amazing workout, fast-paced, really fun, good sense of community with the other women in the class--loving it. By Thursday night, also, my sore right calf muscle was beginning to feel like just a normal sore calf muscle and not like it was going to burst open every time I moved it, so that was a plus. Friday morning I know I did some yoga, but I can't remember too much about it. Lately it seems like, with ballroom and jogging early in the week, I want a relaxing yoga practice on Wednesdays, and then African gets me jazzed up and I want a peppier yoga practice on Fridays. I seem to remember this week meeting that pattern. That's cool with me.

This morning I didn't have a lot of time, but I skipped blow-drying my hair so I could get in 45 minutes of yoga. It was really nice. F came in and stretched with me for a bit. His back has been bothering him lately--hopefully he can get back to his yoga classes sometime this week. I had thought about doing some arm balances because F was there, but then I forgot and just did normal stuff, but the normal stuff felt good too. I'll get back to inversions and arm balances eventually.
supercheesegirl: (conan the barbarian)
Yoga # 22 for 2010
Monday March 8, early morning
30 minutes
620 minutes total

A nice enough yoga practice, but I wasn't really excited about it.

Ballroom class last night was interesting. We reviewed the foxtrot, then started on swing. F and I seem to have the basic steps down pretty well, but we kept having problems with the rhythm. The steps felt like they should go faster, and I couldn't keep the beat steady in my head. I felt kind of disappointed in myself. At least the steps seemed to make sense--it's the sort of thing you see in the movies all the time and play around at doing as a kid, so it feels familiar, at least. We added a swing DVD to our netflix queue so we can work on it at home.

I went jogging this morning. News update: it's still cold. In the afternoon the temps are getting up into the mid 50s, which is awesome, but in the morning it's still in the mid 30s. I really don't like jogging in the cold. While I was out, I passed another runner going the other way who was wearing a t-shirt and sweatpants. I was wearing a fleece pullover and a heat-wicking whatever shirt and two pairs of pants. I hated that guy. Overall, though, it was a perfectly fine jog. Hopefully it'll be warmer next week.
supercheesegirl: (yoga - cute brown tree)
Thursday night was my second African dance class. This class is really fun. It's definitely helping me get past the "I can't do this I look stupid" thing, because everybody looks just as stupid, and when we all look stupid together we actually look kind of cool. Also Jeannine pulls the curtains down over the mirrors so we can't actually see ourselves, we just see each other. The movements are fun, and it's a great workout, and I feel like all of us in the class are doing it together (as opposed to just being in the same room where dancing is going on, like in flamenco). I went home feeling happy and exhilarated.

Yoga # 21 for 2010
Friday March 5, early morning
30 minutes
590 minutes total

Friday morning I did some gentle yoga. After all the activity of this week, I needed some down time just to stretch my legs and back. I spent the whole time on the floor and also spent good time in legs-up-the-wall. I also discovered Friday morning that The Paper Raincoat is a good band to listen to for gentle yoga. I need to get their whole album, because the ep just isn't cutting it anymore.
supercheesegirl: (sparkle)
Yoga # 19 for 2010
Monday March 1, early morning
30 minutes
530 minutes total

This morning I got up in time to make a smoothie before breakfast AND to do 30 minutes of yoga! It felt so good to get back on the mat. I did weights and squats, too. Unfortunately, I didn't get up early enough to blow-dry my hair too; it's been in a braid all day. It's probably still damp in there.

Tonight F and I had our first ballroom dance class! It's a community class at the local high school. We learned the foxtrot. F is doing very well and is in good spirits about it. Next week, we have to figure out where the other parking lot is at the high school--we could only find the parking lot near the gym and the band room, but apparently there's a whole other parking lot by the cafeteria, which would be much more convenient since that's where our class is.

I received a box in today's mail. It contained the shoes I ordered for the wedding! They're green satin ballet flats. They're not quite the same color as the bridesmaid dresses, but close enough (clover vs. apple slice), and no one is going to be sitting there comparing my footwear to someone else's outfit. Instead, everyone will be commenting on how inventive and fun I am to be wearing green shoes for my wedding. I wore the shoes for ballroom class tonight in the interest of breaking them in. So far, the left toes and right ankle pinch, but it's definitely workable and I think they're already stretching a bit. I'm going to keep bringing them to wear at ballroom class, and in eight weeks they should be awesome.
supercheesegirl: (yoga - cute lotus sunburst)
Yoga # 17 for 2010
Friday February 19, early morning
15 minutes
480 minutes total

I skipped yoga on Wednesday morning because F and I stayed up too late watching the Olympics on Tuesday night. This morning, F and I spent some time after breakfast putting chicken in the crockpot for stew tonight, so I just did a little bit of jammie yoga. It was worth doing, as I am rather sore from...

African dance class last night! It was a lot of fun. I can tell already that this class is going to be fast-paced and a great workout, good for thighs and arms. My only complaint is that we spent the beginning of class sitting on metal stools doing some seated warmups, and holy cow does my bottom hurt today. You'd think that I'd have plenty of padding back there, but apparently not, as my sit bones are killing me. Overall, though, I like the teacher a lot--she's got amazing energy--and there's a good group of women taking the class. I think it's going to be a good time!
supercheesegirl: (yoga - cute brown tree)
Yoga # 14 and # 15 for 2010
Wednesday February 10, midday, and Friday February 12, early morning
65 minutes(!) and 25 minutes, respectively
415 minutes total

On Wednesday, we had a huge snow storm, and I had the day off work! I slept in, read my book, and then did over an hour of yoga! It was really delightful--I had really missed having a good long uninterrupted practice. I did all my standing work, some balance poses, strength-building poses, and some floor work. I also did my first headstand in a while, and it went fine, so that was good. I tried an arm balance, and re-established that no, it is not okay to do arm balances when I'm by myself--didn't hurt myself but could have. (F was also at home on a snow day, but our apartment is large enough that a large object like myself could crash to the ground in the yoga room and he wouldn't hear it in the computer room.) Overall it was a really nice practice.

I did some thinking during Wednesday's practice about things my body can and can't do. It's interesting to me that I practice much more often now, I'm stronger than I used to be, and I have more years of experience behind me, but there's poses I could do better three years ago when I lived in Boston. I was a lot better at twists back then, and I never had a problem with any body parts causing me pain--now I have to be careful with my wrists, and my left knee has been more vocal lately, such that I can't do hero pose anymore the way I used to. Maybe it's just part of getting older? That was what I assumed at first, but maybe it has to do with being more physically active. I mean, athletes have problems with wrists and knees all the time. I hadn't considered myself to be an athlete, since yoga is pretty low-impact, but when you add in jogging and dance classes and hiking, I do get a lot of physical activity. Maybe it's a combination of both?

Last night was my second-to-last tap class. I really like tap a lot, and I'm glad I bought the tap shoes, but it's a shame that I just didn't have the time to invest in it and practice. Tap is my favorite of the dances I've taken so far, and I think I could be decent at it if I practiced. Maybe at some point in the future, after the wedding, I'll have the chance to take tap more seriously. Or maybe my tap shoes will gather dust, like my drumsticks and drumpad from high school, which are now shoved away in my parents' attic. We'll see.

This morning I did some jammie yoga. Lots of floor poses and five minutes of legs-up-the-wall. I was pleased with myself this morning because instead of picking a random album to listen to, I put on my "going home" mix (half songs from the great mix Kat gave me when I left Boston, and half other songs I've added myself). I still haven't had a chance to make a mellow-jammie-mix, but this does the job pretty well for now.
supercheesegirl: (pokemon - snore)
Yoga # 8 for 2010
Friday January 29, early morning
25 minutes
210 minutes total

Friday is usually my jammie yoga day, but today I thought I would try to incorporate some more restorative poses (I was going to say, "actively try to incorporate", but the whole point of the restorative thing is not being active?). So I did some of my usual floor work, and then spent the last 15 minutes or so in just four poses: legs-up-the-wall, reclining twist (to the right then the left), and sivasana. Unfortunately, I don't think restorative yoga in the morning is a good thing for me--usually I come out of yoga all pumped up and ready to face the day, but today I was groggy afterwards and in a negative mood. The grogginess was definitely from the static nature of the poses--in the morning I don't need to relax, I need to get moving. I think the negative mood came from today's poor music choice. I've been playing with different music for Fridays, just looking for something laidback and mellow, and today I put on Nick Cave's The Boatman's Call. It was just fine doing some light stretching when he was singing about the lime tree arbour, but when I was in sivasana he was singing about his child's bones crumbling to chalk and his wife baking him a cake full of glass and bleach and razor blades. That was NOT a good way to start my day and was in fact even worse than the time when Iron & Wine's "Teeth in the Grass" creeped me out. I think I'm just going to have to spend some time making a mellow yoga mix for my iPod, because even if one artist has some good yoga songs, nobody's entire album is going to be right, and I always land on the not-right songs during sivasana, which ends up being the feeling I take away from the practice no matter what the rest of the practice was like.

Anyway, I treated myself to Starbucks this morning to try to make up for it, but it turns out that I am not that big a fan of the new Skinny Cinnamon Dolce Latte even though it sounded really good. Back to out-of-season peppermint mochas, I suppose.

I also had another bridesmaid dress dream. This one fell into the category of actual nightmare: I have an appointment tomorrow at a bridal shop to show Lauren the one dress I really liked from last week's shopping trip, and I dreamed that the bridal shop owner had given away her sample of the dress I like and was trying to talk us into buying other things. I said, Why would you give it away? I specifically told you that I wanted to see that exact dress and even told you the style number! It turned out that some other bride came in wanting 18 dresses and that was worth more to her than the seven dresses I need. Instead of being helpful and honest, she kept trying to deflect the questions and distract us with other dresses and I felt helpless and angry, and Lauren was more interested in the other dresses the woman was showing us, and I felt like we were going to have to start completely over. I actually woke up with a start. It was very upsetting. I hope my actual visit to the bridal shop tomorrow goes more smoothly and we get these damn bridesmaid dresses done with.

In other news, I had my third tap class last night. I love my tap shoes and I really wish I had more occasions to wear them. I also wish I were better at tap dancing so that I could employ my wonderful tap shoes more usefully. When I'm working really hard to learn a step, I tighten up my ankles, and that's the exact opposite of what I should be doing. I think tap also has an element of just trusting that your feet are moving faster than your brain and that's okay, they know what they're doing down there. There was a sequence that I just wasn't getting, because I couldn't think it through fast enough to do it in time with the music, but when I just did it on my own without the music, my feet made it happen--they might even have been doing it all along but I hadn't been able to hear it over the music. Tap is a challenge, but tap class is really fun (unlike flamenco, which was a challenge and not really fun). Our class next week got canceled, and we have one more class after that and then hopefully a make up class on President's Day. Then it's on to african dance! No loud shoes for that one.
supercheesegirl: (conan the barbarian)
Today I went jogging!! I got out of work early because of MLK, and the weather was so beautiful--temp in the upper 40s, and blue sky! I got changed and went right out for my jog. Because I didn't have any time restrictions I went for an extra long way: I started off on the same route, but then instead of turning left on Dartmouth Ave I went across the train tracks, jogged in that neighborhood a bit, then cut through campus, past the swing, back across the train tracks on the other end of campus, past the athletic fields, and out onto Harvard Ave. I was out for over 45 minutes, I think. It was awesome. I got stitches in both my sides but kept on jogging. So happy!

Last night I went to the first tap dance class. I was tired and grumpy, but I ended up really enjoying it! Unlike flamenco, it was fun, and Lynn and Susan were both all happy to see me when I got there. I was just planning to do it in street shoes, but since everybody else has tap shoes I decided to order a pair for myself. Found on ebay for $18 including shipping. Boo yah.
supercheesegirl: (stars and swirls)
You guys are all going want to slaughter me, but I have to say, Thursday night's flamenco class was really terrific and I'm sorry the session is over now.

No, seriously! I feel like I was just starting to really get some of the movements. And I could really feel that the wrist and arm motions were good for me. I'm going to try to incorporate some of that stuff into my regular yoga practice, but it's much more intense in flamenco class, where the teacher is watching and constantly correcting me. And I was actually starting to enjoy the dancing, to enjoy how it feels and the physical and emotional intensity of it. It was starting to come together as more than just a series of demanding movements. I don't know. I don't plan to run right out and sign up for classes at Elba's flamenco studio--I have way too much else going on to consider that--but I may keep it tucked away in the back of my mind for future reference.

I also had my usual little Jammie Yoga practice on Friday morning. It was... usual, I guess. I did all seated postures and worked on legs.

I've been really, really busy at work lately, so I haven't been keeping up well with internet things. But the weather forecast looks pretty positive for Tuesday, so I'm hoping it will be nice enough I can still go for my jog. And my friend Chris recommended that I check out Target's line of runner clothes, so I may try to do that soon too.

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