Thursday, May 6, 2010

Retail Therapy

Well, this idea didn't take off too swimmingly. I got distracted by the new blossoms, lovely weather and taxes. Now that the taxes are done, I've gotten distracted by the need for new summer clothes. I think all of this idle time not spent at a day job or acting gig has made me a bit of a shopper -- and I never used to be, I want to add. It's just fun lately. This whim will pass I'm sure but it's bothering me a wee bit. Something about shopping has a feeling of therapy attached to it. I've heard the term "retail therapy" and used to scoff at it, but now I'm not so quick to judge. The feeling of a new thing in one's hands stirs up all kinds of excitement, however temporary the feeling but then it must soon be sated by another new thing and then another new thing to make the feeling last. So...therapy, in other words, really should be called addiction...retail addiction. The first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem, right? Okay! Now that I've taken that first step, I'm going to go buy something new and maybe take the next step tomorrow. ;)

Saturday, April 17, 2010

New Kinda Blog

Well, I have officially fallen off the wagon. It's disappointing, to say the least, but at the same time, I have no desire to get back on the Bikram bandwagon. I wish it suited me better but I can't seem to get hydrated quickly enough between classes due to some medication I take and because I have the tiniest bladder anyways and can't seem to absorb water into my body fast enough before it makes it's way south. I could really beat myself up about this considering how enthusiastic I used to be for Bikram yoga. I won't completely rule out this style but if I want to feel good about myself I need to find a new outlet for my energy and fast.

I have gone through some ups and downs regarding religion, spirituality and my family recently. As I wrestle with issues with my mother, I then encounter doubts about where my beliefs really are based, i.e. Catholicism, Yoga and Wicca. I think all religions that have the human race's wellbeing at heart are inherently good. But we can't belong to and practice every religion. I am still a practicing Catholic but just barely. I had a really enlightening Lenten experience and I still feel intensely close to Jesus but I also have been researching Yoga and the true practice of it in all it's aspects. Also, I have a friend who hosts Wiccan-style equinox celebrations. I took part in the Spring equinox "ascension" the other night. I felt slightly ill at ease and still do because it was different from what I know and to add to that uncomfortable feeling, what I have been taught about witches is that they are Satanic and inherently evil. So, if I believe in my heart what I said before about all religions being inherently good, why am I feeling this way? Should I trust this feeling or do I acknowledge that it is simply because it is outside my comfort zone and that is all? I'd like to convince myself of the latter.

I lack discipline spiritually. As I write this, I realize I want desperately to find a Catholic teacher who embraces all religions and feels the same way I do about their inherent goodness. I then want that person to teach me how to be true to myself and how to work through these feelings of discomfort. I want to learn how to discern properly. I read somewhere that discernment is a grace from God so I suppose I should take my own advice here and pray for the gift of discernment. I only want to serve and please God, not just the patriarchal God of Catholicism but the God that everyone seeks to get close to. (I know, not everyone seeks "God".)

Alright, my brain hurts now.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Keep On Truckin'

I'm still going. Since Day 30, I've probably been to about 6 or 7 classes. I am actually noticing a positive difference in my legs now that I'm skipping a day or two off between classes. They're getting really toned. It's kind of shocking to be quite honest. I think the time off gives my muscles time to develop. It also gives me time to relax! I'm such a lazy bum, otherwise.

Today's class was particularly hot. I couldn't believe how tough the heat was. Everyone was "dying" around me. I couldn't get over how many grunts and groans there were. But it was abnormally hot in there. The people heading into class after us were a bit stunned by how hot it was which validated my thoughts on the matter. In other words, I knew I wasn't crazy.

I was very strong though and made it through every pose. I may not have done each pose perfectly but I worked really, really hard. Yay for me.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Day 30

I have made it to Day 30! Tonight I will attend the 6pm class and then take tomorrow off! (I think.) Somehow, I have managed to have amnesia after every class. I come out feeling awesome then my body starts to get a little creaky again and I think, "Time to go to class!" Then when I'm in the midst of it, I think, "Why the hell am I doing this to myself? I'll never come again," or "There's no way my brain will let me forget this pain. I am so disappointed in myself for giving up but there is no way I will come back to this torture chamber." But I do, because it's so good for me. According to Bikram, I work every gland and muscle and organ in my body with this workout. And not only is it a workout, but it also helps me attain control of my mind and body which in turn helps me in my spiritual quest to unite with God.

I have become friendlier with the people I practice with on a regular basis. Not to the point where I talk to them much but we give each other knowing smiles before or after class. Once you recognize a regular class-goer, you both can share each other's pain because we're all dying in class. When one is fading, we all start to fade. It really is a shared energy in that room. The more strength we can add to the class, the better all of our practices become. I know I am rejuvenated psychologically when I know there are a bunch of teachers practicing alongside me. Their strength automatically adds to my own.

I am really proud of myself for making it this far in my practice and hope my practice continues to be strong.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Day 27

I'm writing pre-class. I'm at Day 27 today and I'm ready for one day off. I can do the class alright but I don't wanna :) I wanted a cup of coffee today so bad not because I needed it but because I wanted it. However, it works against hydration so I thought better of it and resisted. I knew I would regret it during class and thankfully I can instantly draw to mind the feelings that "mid-class" conjure up. Today I could have kept sleeping for a long time but really, who enjoys that day in and day out? After a while, I just start feeling lazy. I'm not doing anything these days except the occasional audition and hot yoga every day. At least I've got the yoga to give me some direction in life. It is a life of leisure indeed but I don't think that's healthy for long periods of time. Perhaps I can look at it as I time of rejuvenation instead of constantly beating myself up. I would like to volunteer my services to doing charitable works but I don't where I should direct my energies. I think my church would be a good place to start because at least I would have an anchor of some kind. Anyways, those are my thoughts today pre-class -- scattered and lacking drive :)

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Day 21

I ALMOST saw my toes in bow pose!!! I say "almost" with glee because the teacher was as excited as I was because it's just a matter of another class or two before I see them myself :) That is all.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Day 20

Things are looking good. I have made it successfully to Day 20 and the only thing bugging me is my IT band on left leg. I know the reason why (city walking) which makes for even less concern.

I love yoga. Bikram's yoga, to be specific. I feel really healthy and happy. I go through mood swings, sure, but that would happen anyways. I haven't taken any of my Chinese herbs today but I'm still feeling good. I suppose I should get back on those. They're just so tedious. I also just realized that I need to take my skin medication. Oops.

I'm feeling nice and strong and even limber in class. I have increased my flexibility in my lower back and hamstrings which -- you have no idea -- is so damn satisfying however minute a visible difference. I can feel the difference and I think you can see the difference. I'm grabbing my heels in forward bend and my strength is greater in my ankles and legs (and fingers) to be able to hold it longer. Each class I am able to hold poses for a little bit longer and a little bit longer and so on and so forth. I'm building a nice strong foundation for a lifetime of yoga. As I try to figure out if I will get a year membership or tri-monthly membership in June, I realize I need to just pay up so that I will always need to attend class; give myself no choice.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Day 17 of yoga, Day 1 of Lent

Going into Day 17. I'm feeling kinda neutral about it all. I had a tough class (once again) yesterday but made it through relatively easily. As always, I feel amazing after class. I was a tad on the tired side last night, however. I attribute that to dehydration. I tried to drink more than usual today. It's usually to no avail as I piss a ton of it out. Today, not so bad. I waited until 2pm to take my skin medication. I drank a lot more up until that point. I've tapered off and hope to see a difference in class today.

I realize the only thing that really drags me down in class is that damn heat. It's HOT! When the teacher gives a reprieve in the form of a draft from an open door, I can make it through all of the poses no problem. That's how I know it's the heat. I wonder if I would push myself more physically if the heat was less intolerable. I know, I know, that's the whole point of Bikram's yoga. It also protects my muscles and tendons from injury. I get that. I hope I get over it though.

It's also the first day of Lent. I'm off to a good start. I am in limbo though as far as what book to start off my Lenten reading. I have two books that interest me. Having just finished Teresa of Avila's autobiography, I want to read Therese of Lisieux next. With that, I'm eager to read Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda. Mystical prayer is my primary focus these days, Christian mysticism, to be precise since that is what I feel most strongly called to, with the influence and knowledge of other forms of mystical prayer. I think those two would be a good start. In addition, Scriptural reading, of course.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Day 14

On the board at the studio, I am officially at Day 14 out of 30. To me, it's Day 19 but who's counting? Especially if I aspire to make this a 4-5X week practice. I went at 9:30am because my husband was playing hockey at 9:45am and it seemed like a good way to start my day. Well, boy, was I wrong. I had a good class. It's been two days in a row that I haven't drunk water in class. I get thirsty by the time we get to the gravity poses but I am able to stave it off until the end. I manage to consistently polish off 1.6L of water immediately after class, not to mention a ton more water throughout the rest of the day. I'm supposed to imbibe about half my weight in ounces, which would be about 1.75L. About a half hour later today, though, I was really dehydrated. I came home and slept for about 2 hours and would have kept sleeping if I hadn't forced myself to get up.

I guess this would be a normal hiccup in a 30-day-in-a-row process. But man, I am tired. I'm feeling more back to normal now but just took my skin medication which is a diuretic. I'm starting to think that might have to do with the difficulty of staying hydrated. I might call to get my dosage lowered if this dehydration continues.

Friday, February 12, 2010

RIP Nodar Kumaritashvili

I am so damn lazy today. I have on the Olympic pre-schtuff and some lentils and rice on the stove. I've got the USA Yoga Cup on live feed too. But I can't seem to motivate my ass to get to class. I will go to either the 6pm or the 8pm but not my usual 4pm. I have been a bit defeated each class because when I get to awkward pose, I am weak in my thigh muscles, particularly my quads. Why is that? Is it the skin medication I'm on? Is it because I sit around on my arse all day? Is it because I get too much sleep? Do I not drink enough water? What's the deal? Or could it be because I've been going to yoga for about 16 days in row (with one day off)? I dunno. I won't give up, that is for certain. I am quite enjoying myself and always feel amazing after class.

The most difficult part of my class is the decision to drink water or not to drink water. It's only 90 minutes. We are encouraged not to drink water. The difference I have noticed when I do drink water is that I get out of breath rather quickly and mess up my rhythm. Drinking water brings a temporary relief but usually disrupts the flow.

At this paragraph, it has been released that a luge competitor at the Olympics died tragically while training. It reminds me that life is precious but that one should never live in fear. This athlete died heroically, doing what most other people would never dare to do. Rest in Peace, Nodar Kumaritashvili.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Day 5

I'm heading into Day 5. To survive this journey, I'm pretty sure at this point that I have to stop seeing a finish line. I won't make it to the end...or I will make it to the end but I will have an awful journey if I keep waiting for the end. I realize I have to truly embrace the process of growth. Some classes will be awesome but a lot of them will feel difficult. I, at the very least, feel better physically than I did when I did my first 30-day challenge. It's also a bit effortless in that I am accountable to a whole studio seeing my stickers up on the board. If there are empty spots, that's embarrassing. When I did my solo 30-day, it was much tougher because I was accountable to really, only me. I told my teachers I was embarking on this challenge but I had a feeling they didn't believe in me all that much. Their care for my practice was hardly, if at all, there. In other words, if I wasn't feeling up to the challenge, I was only accountable to myself and very often I was so "kind" that I tried to convince my body it deserved a good sleep-in. I made it through but it was psychologically tougher. In this case I can turn my mind-chatter off because I KNOW I have to get to class.

Today, I go with no expectations even though I keep hoping, in the back of my head, that the next class will feel great. To no avail. It must be said, however, that after every class, I always feel amazing. If that's all I get through this whole process, then I'd say that's fantastic.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Day 1

I began again today. Today was Day 1 for a 30-day challenge at my studio. I am publicly accountable now to get my ass to yoga class every day for the next 29 days. Woot! I get my own little space on the board and I can put up my very own stickers. It's the little things in life.

Before class I ate a veggie hamburger 1-hour prior. It's not the best idea in the world. I always try to eat 2-hours beforehand at least. That way I don't feel the effects of the residual food in my stomach but I get some nutrition that sustains me for 90-minutes. If I eat any earlier I'm pretty sure it wouldn't be enough for me. Breakfast is the toughest meal for me to get down. I've never enjoyed breakfast. I have absolutely no appetite in the morning. My mother doesn't either so I'm of the opinion that it's genetic. I can drink tea and any other liquids in the morning but solids don't make my tummy happy. If I can get into a good breakfast habit, then perhaps my meals hold me for longer in the day.

An interesting thing that happened to me today, as well, was going to the dermatologist. I have had a bad bout with pimples for a long while now. As it turns out, I have acne. An adult form of acne that is the result of lowered estrogen (aging) and regular androgen (male hormone). Since the androgen hasn't lowered either, the result is deep-rooted acne. I just read an article about a woman who did a 60-day challenge in Bikram and by the end, when they did a body scan, she had early onset menopause at age 42. I wonder if lowered estrogen has any link to Bikram yoga. She never alluded to that in the article but her doctor pointed more to her obesity as the main factor.

It's just something to ponder...

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Begin Again

I'm sad today but I forgive. I have to remind myself to forgive, forgive, forgive. My husband took the car today when I specifically told him I wanted it for yoga. I said he could have it tonight when he was going to be out late but I said I wanted the car for class. Now, my 30-day challenge must begin again. I'm not discouraged entirely. I feel good and glad that I made it to 5 classes in a row this week. That alone is a wonderful accomplishment. I also wonder that God didn't have a hand in grounding me here at home. What I keep resisting and yet longing for is revenge, i.e. ask for the car tonight because of what he did to me today. However, I know he needs the car and I don't need it as much. Plus, I'm pretty sure he just didn't listen to me and therefore it's not his fault entirely despite the not listening part.

Saturday, January 30, 2010


I made it to Day 5 and it was great. I'm getting tested newly every day. Today, it was my patience. I picked the third row before it got crowded in the room. Unfortunately, for poor little me, it got insanely crowded and I was blocked by two people and could hardly see myself in the mirror. It turned out to be a great class though. I was limber and while still a little weak in the thighs I made it strongly through each pose. I have reached a place in my practice thus far where I can turn off my brain and just focus on the work and how wonderful my body feels. When I get panicky, I breathe. That's the best advice I could ever pass along. BREATHE. And it must be with the mouth closed or else, as the teachers say, it will fire up the fight or flight instinct once the mouth opens and the breathing happens from there. BREATHE. I can't wait for tomorrow's class. I have to get on the hydration thing or else I will regret tomorrow's class however.

Friday, January 29, 2010

My (sort of) 30-Day Challenge

I'm back at it. It's Day 4 of a self-imposed 30-day challenge. At my studio, all these students are completing the school's 30-day challenge as of Sunday. I simply have a lot of time on my hands right now and a 30-day challenge seems plausible. I've done it before. It's not that difficult. It has it's ups and downs but it will get easier and that is what I anticipate. It would be nice to participate with a support group and have stickers to put up for every day that I make it. But maybe I'll make my own here at home! I can congratulate myself in the comfort of my own home.

The idea here is that by not putting too much pressure on myself to complete 30 consecutive days/classes, perhaps I'll even venture into a 60 or even 90 day challenge. Who knows? If I've got the time, I'm going to certainly do my best to get my butt to class every day until I just can't, i.e. my European adventure in May! The point is to go to yoga frequently/as much as possible and I couldn't agree more.

So...I'll keep you posted how it goes!

Thursday, January 21, 2010


It's been a tough week for me. I opened a play this week that got panned in the major newspaper here in town and will therefore, as was indicated last night, mean no audience.

I take comfort that if it weren't for my God and my yoga, I would be a wreck right now. I'm pretty sad that the reviewer was downright mean to our production and us but I forgive him. Destructive people, I'm pretty sure, don't know how destructive they are or else I'd like to think that they wouldn't do it. Or maybe this reviewer gets off on crushing young companies and actors. One of my friends was humiliated by the same reviewer when she made her Toronto debut. Her debut! He could have ruined her career/self-esteem if she hadn't been so tough. I hope I can learn from her and carry on as thick-skinned as she did. I, afterall, was making my Toronto debut as well.

I went to yoga on Monday and reveled in my inner strength (as well as outer) when so many, many people in the class were dropping like flies onto their mats from the heat and whatever else was plaguing their minds. That was the day before my opening night. Now, post-bad review, I am going to class today. I am managing to put the review (and, really, the show) behind me and to focus on yoga and prayer. This bad review has made me really evaluate my desire to keep acting. If it weren't for the upcoming TV show, which I feel tremendous about, I think I might find another career. However, Shakespeare's words have flowed trippingly off my tongue and that, alone, I have enjoyed immensely. I have found mantra and flow within the words. I was terrified of forgetting my lines back before I began this journey. I now have them so well memorized that I can savour each word and play with each one so that they have become my own. That is a treasure I can take away from this experience. Now add that to my God and my yoga and I am a content human being. Not happy...but content.