Posts Tagged ‘Ocean Beach Yoga’

It’ll Be A Blue Christmas

December 9, 2013

With our without you.

I put up my tree today!

Rode over to Sloat Garden Center and got a small blue fir and I decided I would go with blue lights, channel me some Elvis.

Blue Hawaii.

Blue Christmas.

Beach holiday.

Despite it being really quite too cold out there for me to want to go surfing, I am still a beach bum with a beach cottage style Christmas thematic happening.

I remember when a friend said my house looked like it was a store.

I like things, well, just so.

I know this stems from some childhood trauma crap, but you know what?  I’ll fucking take it.  I like my space tidy and pretty and sweet-smelling and if it looks like a store, that’s not a bad thing, it means my little space has some personality.

My tree certainly does.

It makes me stupid happy.

Or so I related to a friend via text earlier.

I had left to run an errand for my housemate whose little girl has been awful sick, and when I got back and opened the door to my studio I just about broke my face grinning.

Just that was worth the fifty bucks I dropped on the evergreen.

I am really glad I got this for myself.

I needed to do so.

I am really glad I am doing a lot of things, these days for myself.

Also on the list of why my day was fabulous, yoga.

That’s right.

I may not have gone surfing today, I will, don’t you worry, but I did get up early and go to yoga.

I had a lovely invitation to go ecstatic dancing in Berkeley with two of my favorite ladies, but when I was invited to go to the yoga studio that is two blocks away from my house, I did.

Rather than get on my bike and ride 40 minutes to a BART station to hop a train over to Berkeley.

I am sure that I would love to do some dancing, I really would, but the cold, versus the convenience of being right by the studio, well, I got my ass up and went when I got the text to get a move on from my housemate, who was and has been advocating that I get my butt to yoga since I moved in.

It was a challenging class.

I don’t know all the poses, that’s for sure, but I was honest about it being basically my first time.  I did mention that about six years ago I did a week of Bikram, but that’s it.

It was not a beginners class, but I stayed in the mix and I was so grateful to be moving and stretching, the studio got bright morning sunlight and I warmed up quick, breaking into an easy sweat, but not hot, just pleasantly toasty, about twenty minutes in.

I got some amazing stretching in and I discovered that my hips were extraordinarily tight.  I have always had tight hips, but I had no idea.

“Bike riding, I am actually working on a yoga class specifically for bicyclists,” the yoga instructor told me when we were chatting after class.

She expressed some surprise at my ability in the class, hell, I think I expressed some surprise myself, not that I was on par with any of the other folks in the class, but I got through it without dying and when I could not do a pose, the forearm head stand, not happening at this time (apparently it takes a lot of time to master anyhow, years was what I heard from the instructor), I just dropped into Child’s Pose.

By the end of it when the class was lying on the floor and we were all deep breathing, the sun warming the wood floor, the mat under my body distinct to my touch, so present and in my body, I just opened completely up.

Yup.

Tears.

But good tears.

Cathartic.

Soft, heavy, slow, rolling down my face as I envisioned the gold in the water at my feet, the treasure of the present, the waters still around me, the instructor was talking about how we have so much and we get in our own way and the ripples disturb the view and the clarity of the still water.

When we sit still and let the mind calm and be present in the body, the ripples settle and when we look down we can see the treasure like gold just at our feet.

I could see it.

I could feel it.

I could comprehend how blessed my life is.

I envisioned myself rising out of my body and getting up and giving my housemate a hug and saying thank you for getting me out of bed and into the studio.

I am beyond lucky to have friends that advocate for me.

Here, go surfing with me.

Hey, lady, come to yoga with me.

Yes please.

The classes are small and the studio is petite, but that is perfect for me and as I spoke with the teacher and another instructor after class I see how easily it will be to fall right into a yoga practice.

Heck, it’s just two blocks away.

Even once a week will help, I can see that.

My next class is free on the studio, beginners get a free class after their first, so I will go try another style this week and see what I like and then I will probably buy myself a ten pack and get myself to the studio once a week to start.

Ease into it.

I just looked up from my keyboard and smiled.

My tree is sparkling in the light, the blue bulbs make me grin like an idiot.

I got two colors of blue, tiny bright indigo lights and the bigger ceramic bulbs that look like they are aquamarine.

My tree matches my bedspread matches my kitchen table, matches my plates and bowls and matches the bookcase.

Aquamarine up in here.

It is a Blue Christmas for sure.

However, it is certainly not a sad one.

So full of love today.

For my home, my life, my Christmas.

Happy holidays my friends.

Get out there and spread some cheer.

Are You Listening?

October 2, 2013

Because I am yelling at you.

I almost decided to not hear it anyway, but as I sat this evening unwinding from a challenging bodily fluid day of nannying (thrown up on twice, and the poop, oh dear god, don’t even get me started I don’t want my blog to be hit if you google fecal catastrophe), I got another set of gentle reminders.

Back to back.

“Yeah, never would have thought that after all these years and all the degrees I have, I would now be studying to be a yoga instructor,” an older male acquaintance of mine I have known in and around San Francisco for over eight and a half years.

But I tell you, it looks damn good on him.

He’s always been a pretty healthy guy, but man, he was fucking glowing.

Glowing.

Then on the heels of his words, another man adds, “yoga has saved my ass too many times to count, although I can’t count on it as my primary spiritual practise.”

Well.

There it is.

And then there was the yelling bit.

You never know who is going to say what, and it is important to listen, to hear when things are being directed at you and to take those instructions.

I was walking with the babies around the block coming back from an adventure at the Golden Gate Children’s Area, when I noticed a very happy bum walking down the side-walk.

Weaving really.

And talking pretty loudly.

I kept my eyes focused on the baby in the stroller that was gently dozing off and kept my hand over the other baby, who was snuggled into my chest in an appropriately named, Snugli, keeping his ears covered so he wouldn’t wake up.

He did not sleep at all today, except on me.

Snugli

Snugli

Which is not the worst thing in the world, but man my shoulders are sore, sore, sore right now and I could stand some stretching.

And probably some, yes, yoga.

As I pushed the stroller at an even pace past the happy drunk, who made way, but then started chatting to himself, to me, to the world, about the kind of stroller I was pushing.

It is pretty cool.

It is a Stokke and if you haven’t seen one, they are pretty space age and ergonomically designed, so that you are not bent over pushing the stroller, you can in fact, walk completely up right and the handle bar is textured and probably the easiest stroller I have ever maneuvered.

And I was busy maneuvering as far away from the smell of malt liquor and dirty socks soaked in urine and left to ferment, he hollered out at me something about now seeing that I had TWO children, jesus, and a bunch of gobbedly gook, shortly followed by the most comprehensive, articulated words, like something or someone else was speaking through him.

“Go to yoga class,” he said.

I actually stopped walking.

He had not, still stumbling, he was past me, careening up the street towards the park, but I could hear it again, “go to yoga class,” he repeated.

Then once more!

What the heck?

I don’t know if he mistook me for one of those über fit moms that push jogging strollers, maybe he didn’t see the tattoos, “she’s like Mary fucking Poppins with tattoos,” but he thought I should get myself to my yoga class, that was pretty obvious.

I did actually go on Saturday to check out the studio that is two blocks from the house, but it was closed in between classes.

What I noticed, intriguing, is the “Digestive Yoga” that is taught there three evenings a week at 8 p.m.

That might be the perfect evening class for me.

Gentle yoga meant to promote evening digestion.

Plus, the time of day is right on for me.

I generally get done with work at 5:45 p.m.

I go take care of the crazy in my head sometime around 6:30 p.m. in the vicinity of 7th and Irving, then ride my bike back to the hood.

I am typically getting back to the house right before 8p.m.

I could make this happen.

I am definitely going back in this week.

You know that saying if three people in a row are assholes, then the asshole is really you?

Well, when I hear from three different people today, some adamantly, some reassuring, and some out of faith, that yoga is what to do next, well, then I am going to take those suggestions and stop thinking about it and just go.

I am going to need the help.

My body is needing the help now.

I may be starting up a week earlier with the new charge, I have a full week this week, an extra shift next week, and the possibility of a three child share care on Mondays.

I can handle it if my body is being taken care of.

Besides, as I see my body returning to its pre-Paris self, thank God, I am now aware of what my bike can do for me and what needs working on.

My bike is fantastic cardio, awesome transportation, and a superior leg strengthener.

I have some bicycle thighs, I do.

They are rock hard.

I also have a pretty nicely define upper waist line again, abdominal muscles play out a lot more in biking then most people realize.

If you have sore arms, it is most likely that you are relying on your arms too much and not your core, your arms are just to steer.

Which leads to the areas that could use some work–my arms.

I hear yoga is good for that.

My flexibility can use some tweaking.

And I need to strengthen my lower back and my knees could use some strengthening.

All areas I hear yoga addresses.

That and the meditation and spiritual practise all rolled up into one.

Shit, living at the beach, doing yoga, eating organic foods, riding a one speed around San Francisco, going to Burning Man all the time.

I must be some sort of new age hipster (don’t fucking call me a) hippie chick.

With tattoos, or course.

Lots of them.

 

Maybe I Need to Do It

September 25, 2013

Backwards.

I just had this thought as I was scrolling through the pages of the Ocean Beach Yoga schedule.

A yoga studio that is a block away from my house.

So, let me count all the wonderful things that are within blocks of where I live.

Number 1 and the big one really, Ocean Beach, namely, uh yeah, the Pacific Ocean–three blocks away.

Number 2 a Muni line, the N-Judah–half block away.

Number 3 Golden Gate Park, two blocks away.

Number 4 a whole foods community co-op–one point five blocks away.

Number 5 and it could be six as well, Trouble Coffee and Java Beach Cafe–half block and two blocks away, respectively.

Number 7, lucky number seven? A yoga studio.

I have all my urban needs met–coffee, organic food market, train (if I am not on my bike the N-Judah is fantastically handy), and a yoga studio.

I have a lot, if not all my nature needs met–the ocean, the beach, the park.

I really have it all.

So, I am going to start acting like it.

The job interview for another nanny gig does not hurt either.

I got a referral from a friend for a friend, who happened to do graduate studies at UW Madison!

We spoke today and her family’s needs may not be a great match for my availabilities, but it pointed out to me real fast, that I won’t have a challenging time finding work.

The challenge is to not live my life as though things are not happening.

To keep my pennies to myself like some miser.

There is that idea that I was writing about last night, the why would I want more if I don’t want what I have?  But this, this is slightly different.

If I continue to hold onto the idea that I live an impoverished life and there are certain things, like yoga, I can’t afford, than I will continue to live a life of deprivation.

Instead, I can drop that idea, open myself to the obvious abundance that is surrounding me and have some faith that if I take a month’s worth of yoga classes I won’t not be able to afford rent.

A month of unlimited yoga is $130.

I can so afford that.

I absolutely can.

In fact, I am absolutely going to.

I don’t even have to start out that crazy, try a week and see if I like it.

I have some ulterior motives, as this week has shown me that I do have some qualms about my body shape and size.

Not so much my weight, just more that I could use some toning and sculpting and I would like to knock off that last bit of weight I put on before I get naked with someone.

I am guessing that will eventually happen with the Mister.

He moves slow, but I don’t believe that will be for much longer.

When his work lightens up I want to be there.

And this is more for me than for him, if it’s for him at all, which it rather isn’t.

See, he likes me, he’s attracted to me, I have evidence, he’s told me and nobody kisses someone like the way he has kissed me without being attracted to that person.

The man has braces on, not bifocals.

He can clearly see what I look like.

In fact, he’s known me for years, so he’s seen me at some pretty unhappy sizes.

What I look like is not going to be some surprise.

How I feel about myself will just be for myself and will boost my confidence, make me feel better about being a nanny, being physical fit to deal with the babies is actually a good deal of my work, my body has been sore and I could use some work.

Yoga.

Yoga.

Yoga.

And I love how a yoga body looks.

I have always wanted one.

So, why in the world should I not go and get one.

I can’t afford to deprive myself of something that will make me happy.

Plus, despite the beautiful weather, there will come a time, and it is in the not too distant future, when the rains will come.

November.

I can feel you sneaking in, the fall equinox just happened, I noticed the day today was shorter, and the rains, they do come.

Grey, wet, no sun.

Seattle, quit ya bitchin, San Francisco gets as much if not more rainfall.

I remember one year it was unusually bad and it was something like 43 or 44 days in a row of non-stop rain.

Even a light rain season, is still a rainy season.

And for a lady with clinically diagnosed depression, seasonal depression, and clinical anxiety, exercise is the only way to keep me off antidepressants.

I have been off meds now for just about two years.

I want to stay that way.

So, yoga, I think so.

I also said yes to meeting someone for tea next week Tuesday, although I said no, uh, I am busy, er, yeah.

Then I went to the bathroom, admonished myself, came back and said, “yes, of course I will be happy to have tea with you next week,” I have known her in an acquaintance kind of way for years, but now that I am in the neighborhood, well, damn it, I need to get to know the people.

It is a challenge.

Life.

Love.

Being myself, it is all a challenge.

But there are moments, like earlier, when I was sitting on the bench in the Panhandle with an 8 month old baby sleeping on my chest and a 16 1/2 month older toddler happily playing with leaves and acorns and a sand bucket.

The wind pushed my hair off my face, I could smell the invigorating smell of Eucalyptus, the sun was warm, the bite of autumn just a nibble and not a gnaw, the green of the grass, righteous.

I looked up at the trees and breathed in the smell deep and full.

I looked down at the baby and knew I was lucky and blessed to be trusted with his small self.

I looked at the toddler who was happy and busy and smiling and chatting with me and the dogs and giggling and squeaking (he has “squeakers,” they are retarded cute, making a little rubber ball squeak noise every time he walks.  I seriously want to do a Flash Dance Montage of him stomping his little feet in the shoes, I die every time I think about it) and know I am loved.

“Up, up,” he says to me and cuddles on me now.

I became his person at Burning Man, no going back now.

I looked inward and saw I was at peace, content, serene.

The taking care of me part looks a lot like  doing the opposite of what I tell myself.

“You can’t afford that!”

I can’t afford not to.

So, yoga, here I come.

Trying, one day at a little time to do it different.

If my brain tells me no you can’t.

My action will be yes, yes, you can.

 

 


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