yoga

Think of Someplace Warm

So I love yoga partly because I sometimes get to have these day dreamy moments at the instruction of my yoga teacher and nobody gets to ruin them by asking for fruit snacks or milk. It’s not every time I go, but I hadn’t actually been in over two weeks and my body and mind were screaming for some me time on the mat.

It was 90 degrees yesterday. It’s 45 degrees today so during a pre-class child’s pose Maria (my yoga instructor) asked us to think of someplace warm. 10 times out of 10 when you ask me to think of someplace warm, I’m going to think of my toes in the sand, the sun on my face, and gentle waves slowly lulling me to sleep. It’s my go to. I tried to go there today and you know what? I didn’t want to be there.

Who am I? Why do I not want to be at the beach? What other warm place could I possibly want to go?

And then I had my most favorite day dream of someplace warm to date. It was cold outside in this day dream (much like today), but I was snuggled in close on the couch in our new to us camper in front of the TV and space heater fireplace with the three people who mean the most to me in all the world. Wrapped in blankets we’re happy and warm and just soaking in all the goodness that is family confined to a small space. We’re drinking hot chocolate, the kids are laughing (I can actually hear Corbin laughing in my head and it makes me smile), Tyler and I are beaming with pride for the family we created, and I literally can’t think of anywhere else I’d rather be.

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I can’t wait to start sharing our camping adventures with you. I love that we’re calling them adventures. I was showing Saida all the places we’d go and instead of asking where we’d camp next, she asked me to tell her what the next adventure would be. It was painful actually signing the paperwork for the second most expensive thing we currently own, but hearing her put it that way makes me realize I would have gladly paid even more to make these adventures her reality. These are the moments we were absolutely meant to live together and I’m glad we get to start sooner rather than later.

Stay tuned.

- Monica

Things I've Learned About Myself & Why Yoga Is My Exercise of Choice

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The last two years I've learned a lot about myself.  I'm not necessarily a different person than I was prior to these last two years, but I've paid more attention and in doing so I'm making decisions that are more me instead of me trying to do what I think it is I'm supposed to do.  This doesn't mean my everyday is perfect now or anything like that, but it means I get to enjoy the things I love to do more often.  Life is still life and shit still happens.  

So things I've learned about myself in the last two years (since quitting my traditional job) are...

1. I'm an introvert.  I enjoy people, but generally in smaller groups and then I need my me time.  Basically there is no way in hell I'm working the crowd at a party.  

2. As much as I love light and airy, I love a little moodiness and subdued colors and things even more.  In other words, I stopped trying to be the light and airy photographer because who am I kidding?  And now I see these things creeping into my style in all aspects of life.

3. I love, and I mean really love, quite and calm.  

4. I'm a sensory kind of gal.  I love smelling things that remind me of good memories and diffusing scents that make me happy/calm.  I love music that fits my vibe which is generally pretty chill, but occasionally something with more energy or sadness when the mood hits.  My comfort foods truly give me comfort (that's probably bad) and can bring a sense of all is right in the world.

And you probably read the title and you're wondering how in the world this has to do with yoga.  I've never really been able to stick to any regular exercise routine in my adult life.  We tried doing P90X once or twice and would find an excuse to not continue after a certain point, running was okay but I really wasn't motivated to do it, and Camp Gladiator was an awesome workout but just didn't feel like me.  I joined the YMCA in January and knew the classes were going to be my thing.  I kind of want someone else to tell me what to do, but I don't want to hire a personal trainer and really be one on one.  The classes I tried were Body Pump, CXWORX, Pilates, and Yoga.

Body Pump and CXWORX - I'm putting these into the same category because I always did them together and they were kind of meant to be that way it seemed.  The room was huge, very brightly lit, the instructor has a ton of energy and wore a mircrophone.  It was loud in there and I found the energy, though fun, to be very overwhelming for me (sensory girl who like calm).  It's just not my thing.  It goes against all the things I've learned about myself over the last two years.  I wish I was that person, but I'm just not.  I get enough chaos at home that I just don't need it at the gym too.  Some people thrive on that though and that's awesome for them.

Pilates - I like it just fine.  No complaints really.  I just like yoga more.

Yoga - First of all let's state the obvious. The lights are low, the music is chill, nobody is yelling, my shoes get to be off, we shavasana at the end of class, and I can close my eyes while I work out if I want to.  Do you see how based on what I said up there, is fits me perfectly?  Paying more attention to who I am allowed me to just forget all that other stuff that would probably get me buff a lot faster if I stuck with it and find something that I actually want to stick with.  It feeds my soul and my body and it's just whatever I need it to be on that day.  Sometimes it's just a workout and me challenging myself into the poses.  Sometimes it's my body really needing to release stress. Sometimes it's just the only thing in my whole day that's about me and I just needed that.  

Is it for everyone?  No.  That's not the point.  The point is being honest with myself led me to a workout that I love to show up for.  I'm 6 months in, which is longer than anything else I've ever tried to stick with and I have no intentions of stopping anytime soon.  My yoga pants have actually been to yoga y'all. 

{Disclaimer} Also just so everyone knows, I'm not good at yoga yet.  I'm improving though and getting much stronger from doing it.  My shoulders and shrugs are looking pretty sweet and my mom belly is slowly (like very slowly) going away.  My legs are stronger, but I'm probably the only one who really notices that one at this point.  

None Of This Stuff is Easy

I cried through yoga this morning.  At the beginning, somewhere in the middle, and at the end.

Some days it's just me doing something good for my body. An effort to become physically stronger.  Today it was literally the only thing that had no expectation from me.   The only thing I felt like I'm getting better at instead of failing.  

I've had a rough few days of just letting everything stressful in my life weigh me down.  My house is a complete disaster.  We're still fighting with CalAltantic/Lennar about the floor.  I forgot to dry the clothes I put in the washer yesterday (and Tyler probably could have used some from that load today for work).  Every single diaper change is a full on fight. When am I even going to find a few days to work on potty training?  My daughter cries about everything and our efforts to correct behavior are not working.  My husband's job drains him and we get what little is left, if anything, at the end of the day.  I haven't picked up my camera and really made anything meaningful of my kids in probably over a month.  

And so this morning when I was running late to yoga, still wearing what was left of yesterday's makeup, and quickly trying to get into the same pose everyone was already in, I leaned my body into the yoga blocks beneath my back and the instructor told the class to allow the mat and the blocks to completely support us. And that's when it hit me like a ton of bricks and I cried.  

I wish I had something inspirational and uplifting to say, but I don't.  Every moment isn't pretty.  Motherhood isn't easy.  Being a wife isn't easy.  Sometimes days just suck and as much as I wish they didn't, I still want to feel those days so the good ones feel like the most amazing days.  I don't want sympathy.  I don't need anyone to feel sorry for me.  I just want to be real because we all feel it.

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