for those who are in or around sane

Friday, November 21

a public reminder for myself from myself

i want to be the person who solves this problem.

Wednesday, November 19

thoughts on yoga and whatnot

i realize i havent been providing fun or quality posts of late... i'm a bit rusty agian, so i'll start off with some thoughts on my health.

10lees posted about her bikram yoga experiences in the most recent post on her blog and it got me to thinking about my yoga "journey" of late. about four years ago my friend invited me to join her at the y's late-night yoga class. i think i attended a few sessions but none of them really spoke to me as something i'd become passionate about later on. i didnt know how to correctly perform the poses, the breathing was all wrong, and my back still hurt.

after i moved back to chicago, my pal t persuaded me to join him on saturday late-mornings at this studio in lincoln square. again i was by far and away the least graceful person in the room but the instructor completely hooked me. i didnt feel out of place, which remains my biggest standing point for not attending jazzercise. if you dont feel like you fit in, it's difficult to acclimate yourself. (pause in the convo - mom, your classes are extremely welcoming, it's simply a matter of what my body is comfortable doing). anyway... i spent almost a year of my saturday mornings at this studio, in this hour and a half class. i discovered that my body loves bending and twisting and my mind craves the 1.5 hour focus and release. this class helped me find small moments of peace while my dad was ailing and my mind was racing. my only regret about moving to wicker park was the longer drive to the studio - i kept trying to go.

it was almost an addiction. i felt pressure from my body to go to class - saturday mornings i'd wake up early and crave that peace and strength. of course hangovers and trips and general laziness prevented me from going more than a few times, but on sunday night i could always tell that i should have gone. a cramp in my calf or soreness in my back would remind me that i'm not taking the right time to completely relax.

then i moved to the suburbs where i was pleasantly surprised by corporate yoga. i really missed my studio. it kept me going through some hard times, and to be so far away from it was almost unbearable. but my sister showed me how helpful a regular, uber-large gym could be. and then my close friend joined me. together or alternately, we explored the pilates and yoga classes. eventually my friend and i chose monday nights with victor who leads a rather intense hybrid yoga class. he uses mostly hatha and bikram poses (nothing extreme), and throws in a few pilates moves and strength theories. i balanced this out with a pilates class and occasional elliptical runs. my body responded extremely well.

while in the burbs, i tried out hot bikram yoga. it's held in a 104 degree room, and an instructor leads you through the series of poses over an hour and a half. at this juncture in my yoga journey, i was pretty bad at it. i couldnt do any of the poses where back strength was needed and i couldnt quite get a hold of my breathing. so i basically quit after a few classes and kept attending victor's class to gather more strength.

so back to the city i move, and i can only attend victor's class on monday nights. i cant seem to get my butt to the old studio. i have an elliptical and i used it regularly, but my back pain increased to an almost unbearable point. so i tried chiropractic work. i was shocked at how curvy my spine is (it's getting MUCH better) and i went gung-ho into my therapy for it. i think this last one ended up breaking my muscle barrier - all of a sudden i'm excelling in victor's classes. my strength and flexibility is at least 20% more than i had previously. i'm stoked. it feels real good.

but i also feel like i need a change-up. so i found a killer deal at a bikram studio right by my house, and i've gone to quite a few classes. even on day one the experience felt completely different from my suburban try. my breathing was dead on, my hydration was perfect, my poses were accurate (i can even do toe stand pose!).

i know that after my deal is done at this new bikram studio that i wont go nearly as much as i am now. i'll be lucky to get there once a week. but i found a warm respite for the middle of winter - someplace near my house where i can go to be toasty and peaceful, challenged and relaxed. i'm simply content to know that i found something to do for my body that makes me so happy. i'm not sure where my yoga journey will take me next, but i'm looking forward to a whole lifetime of new opportunities. my goal in life - to be bendy at 80!!

Monday, November 10

the challenge...

you need to breathe too... and relax into life without limiting or preventing. stretch - breathe - sigh... the future is still unknown, but this challenge is laid down, right here. with any luck, those of us who accept the challenge will survive, and smile, knowing how far we've come.

Sunday, November 9

the unknown.

its not that i dont want you anymore. in fact, it's the opposite. i have wanted you for so long, and had my heart wrenched in such a difficult position for so long, that i want you more than anything... anyone... but... i'm exhausted. i need my heart to uncurl and open to the world again.

i'm told i'm strong. i'm told i'm proactive and good and kind. but i know what's really there. there are a hundred ways i'd take you back. i have searched for any of them with all my faculties; waited patiently... patiently... i'm not out of patience, but time forces movement.

slowly... i uncurl... the room is too bright and too big. i dont know what anything holds, where anything is going. too many things are up in the air. but that air is fresh, and i gulp it down.

hope is a relative term. hope is so thick in the air right now, it sticks and pads the walls. the little things make me smile. i guard my heart and simultaneously prepare to throw it open. the unknown awaits.

Monday, November 3

october books

before i blog about my october books, i must announce that i am officially going to attend the obama rally downtown chicago tomorrow night! a small group of us were lucky enough to snag tickets online last week and we'll be braving the masses and potentially risking our safety to be there when history is made. help make tomorrow the best day of 2008 by going out to VOTE*!

*and when i say "vote," i of course mean for obama!

the club dumas, arturo perez-reverte
this was a fun romp of a book for a lit fiend like me... a few years ago i went through a bunch of dumas works and enjoyed them all. i can see the value of the serial novel in that time frame and i recognize dumas' talent as genius. in the club dumas, perez-reverte takes us through a (i'm being honest here) really nerdy yet action-packed literary thriller/mystery.

the narrator follows lucas corso, an aging rare book hunter with sketchy contacts and methods. corso obtains two cases - one, proove whether a manuscript is an actual chapter from the 3 musketeers, penned by dumas himself. and two, find all three remaining copies of a book of satanic verses and woodcuts. the two stories comingle and we have an infinite number of literary references peppered throughout the plot and characters.

the nerd in me enjoyed the word-play, my competitive spirit enjoyed the action, and my raw humanity definitley enjoyed the more risque interludes. this was a very fun, relatively easy read. there's no need to have read any dumas before embarking here - it's just an added bonus.

eva moves the furniture, margo livesey
10lees presented this lovely book to me for, i think, my bday (there was a massive round of gift catch-up not too long ago - so much fun!!!). i have to shout out to 10 - thank you for the book, i definitely enjoyed it!

eva mcewan's mother dies shortly after childbirth, leaving her widower and his sister to raise little eva in the quiet, pre-war scottish country town outside of glasgow. at six, eva learns that she's followed by a woman and child - ethereal spirits who's intentions are unclear. they alternately help and hinder her socially - they encourage her to get a job, but spoil her attempt as local secretary, "assisting" eva by losing important documents and re-arranging the files. twice they save her from physical harm and twice they thwart her love interests.

the supernatural in this book mingles very well with the reality of eva's and scotland's involvement in WWII. the mystery of eva's companions unfolds as she matures, becomes a nurse and desires a family. this is a very sweet scottish novel that i would recommend to anyone, especially those with a penchant for imagining your character's accents as you read (so much fun!).

november has a few books on deck, but frankly, it's hard to find reading time when the weather is this nice outside! 70 degrees in november??? i'll take it AND a long walk in the forest preserve!