It’s not the new year until there are resolutions involved

If you don’t make any resolutions, has the new year really started?

I’m a person who is constantly making resolutions (although, when they’re not tied to the new year, I usually refer to them as “NEW THINGS TO DO NOW TO BE BETTER”), and so I can usually be counted on to come up with some things I’m GOING TO DO BETTER in the new year.

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Resolution in action: working on that novel

Last year, I resolved to finish my novel, floss my teeth every day, and integrate Urdhva Dhanurasana (wheel pose) into my practice.  Not to, you know, brag or anything, but those resolutions largely worked out pretty well for me: Continue reading

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Resolution Edition!

It wouldn’t be January if the internet wasn’t teeming with resolutions! Why not add some of my own to the melee?

If you’ve been following this blog for a while (don’t worry if you haven’t been, your resolution can be to start!), you know that my banner year for resolutions was the year I learned to eat tomatoes.

I bravely eat a beet

Alas, all resolutions are not so easily reached. I failed to replicate that success with a similar resolution to begin eating beets. (Beets taste like dirt, blood, and hate. And when they come out of a can, they look like organs. I simply cannot get behind those vegetables.)

That’s not going to stop me from making resolutions for 2013!

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first downward dog of 2012

First up, sorry about the theme-induced whiplash.  One of the awesome things about WordPress is that they are constantly introducing new, free blog themes.  I’m easily seduced by shiny new layouts – hence, the frequent changing of the blog theme.  This one looks pretty good, though, right?

Moving right along.  I’ve had a pleasantly productive Sunday.  I took my first yoga class in … wow, I don’t even know long.  I don’t think I’ve taken a yoga class since I started working out at Equinox, and I joined Equinox in June.  Eesh.  That’s even longer than I thought.  It had become this vicious cycle: I was afraid to go to yoga because of how off my yoga game I was, and that just meant that, as more time went on, I got even farther and father from where I wanted to be.  So I wouldn’t go.

Also, Equinox is more intimidating than Crunch.  So there’s that.

I always loved Crunch, but it – at least the locations I visited – was always kind of like working out in a basement.  The woman I took yoga from at the Union Square Crunch was hilarious; it certainly was not a serious yoga class.  (That is not to say that she didn’t lead us through challenging poses and sets – she did – but, come on, how serious can the class be when it’s called Virgin Yoga?)

Equinox on the other hand, is aesthetically pleasing and pretty luxe.  (The Kiehl’s products in the shower are better than the products I have in my own shower – which makes getting ready for work there that much more appealing!)  People look a lot more serious about their exercising in there.  And then there’s the way the yoga studio looks.

yoga studio at Equinox Soho - image from the Equinox website

See my point?  That’s not the kind of place for a girl with a sloppy chaturanga (and “sloppy” is being generous) who has been known to fall out Warrior 1.

But, as my coffee mug (filled with pencils) reminds me, Do one thing every day that scares you.  So today that thing was to slink back to yoga.

And it was fantastic.  I’m really, dismally out of fighting yoga shape.  (Do yogis fight?  Seems unlikely.)  But I got through it, and I feel a million times better for it.  Unfortunately, the girl who taught the class today – who was awesome and approachable, the way I like my yoga instructors – was just a sub.  Now I’ve got my eye on some weekday yoga classes …

That really only gets us up to 10:30 a.m. of my productive day, but I’m hungry, so the rest will have to wait!

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I am resistant to change … in my yoga practice

I went to yoga class last night for the first time since before I left on vacation. I was feeling out of shape and tight, and I was really looking forward to the class.

I lined up, darted in, and secured my favorite spot,1 and then stepped out of the room to grab a drink of water. I knew something was wrong the moment I re-entered the room. The lights were dim, there was music playing, and everyone was laying calmly on their mats.

That might sound like a good way to prepare for yoga for many people, but that’s not the reason I take this class. I don’t practice in a yoga studio; I practice at Crunch Gym. I used to visit a yoga studio in Chicago, and I like the Crunch classes so much more. They don’t seem to take themselves so seriously – which is not to say that they aren’t challenging or conscientious about proper form; they are most certainly both. They just have a more lively feel to them, an attitude that yoga can be fun. That’s an even more true of the class that I normally take, which is led by an energetic and entertaining woman named Glennie. She talks through most of the class, often telling us outrageous stories about things like chickens running wild on Second Avenue and surviving kidnapping with pranayama. I love it.

Already I could tell by the quiet in the room that this would not be my normal yoga class. Sure enough, a thin, tattooed girl in baggy sweatpants and a Rocky Horror Show t-shirt stepped to the front of the room and announced, “I’m not Glennie.”

Glennie varies what we do in class each week, but we usually start each class with a couple of rounds of Surya Namaskara A. Sometimes we do Surya Namaskara B, or a modified version thereof, but we always start with sun salutations.

I’m really not even sure what this girl did to start the class. It had pieces of the sun salutations … but we performed them in a choppy manner, not in a flow. I think she might have been a Bikram instructor because we did a lot of the Bikram poses. In any event, I was distracted most of the class because she had us all facing each other. It’s slightly disconcerting to be making eye contact with a stranger while you’re trying to concentrate on not falling over while in Garudasana, and I can’t even begin to explain how awkward it made our (sad and painful) attempts at Hanumanasana.

In all fairness, she was a fine instructor … I’m just resistant to change in my yoga practice. I like a little variety, but I don’t like having the entire game changed on me. The good side of this, however, is that it has inspired me to pull out my yoga mat here at home and do those sun salutations!


1 Do you remember when I decided I wasn’t going to be unnecessarily competitive toward getting a spot in yoga class? Yeah, me neither, apparently.

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