There are some days where the yoga completely kicks my ass and then the following day I have the best class. This week has been the perfect example of that. Today I had to drag myself to class, and once there my stomach was churning from the heat and for a moment I thought I was going to have to get up and get really, really ill. But something happened, I’m not sure what. Something just kicked in, and I had one of the best classes to date. I’ve been working on my Standing Head to Knee Pose for a few weeks now, trying to get my standing leg locked so I can extend my other leg out in front. Today that leg snapped in straight, if not only for a moment!! I wanted to laugh out loud – thankfully I was able to contain myself.
Life’s A Beach, And Then You Die? July 18, 2008
I met my friend Greg out at Rockaway Park Beach today. What started out as a picture perfect beach day ended in a wild spectacle straight out of bad reality television. The beach was like a zoo today, mostly made up of local New Yorkers. In the mid afternoon, we noticed a large number of policemen and helicopters flying above. We heard that a girl had drowned and what ensued was a 4 hour search and rescue operation – to which we had front row seats. I had never seen anything like it before.
First, all of the lifeguards were called out and swam reconnaissance style in one straight line, diving down and bobbing back up in unison all along the shore. There were probably 25 of them and they were doing this for about an hour. While they were doing this, a few helicopters flew above and soon NYPD dinghy boats would join. When we saw 2 divers drop in the water, we knew it was really, really bad. At one time we could see 4 helicopters and 5 boats out in the water. It was especially insane when a helicopter flew in to the shore and landed so close to where we were sitting! While the helicopter edged its way onto the sand we talked frantically about packing our things up and making a run for it. I was beginning to panic. It was sheer sheer madness!! Everyone was cleared from the water and watched from the shore. But nothing surfaced and the body was never recovered. I overheard a parks ranger say the beach would be closed tomorrow for another search in the morning.
Photo by Greg Stadnyk
Vintage Sesame Street! July 14, 2008
Oscar the Grouch sings “Nasty Dan” with Johnny Trash, I mean Cash. Awesome!
Bikram Yoga, 2 Months In July 10, 2008
I see that my testimonial has been posted to the Bikram Yoga Lower East Side‘s website. It’s interesting to see where I am now, another 40 days after I completed the 30 day challenge. I think I’ve only missed a handful of days since then. It’s become a daily ritual for me and helps me maintain my balance and perspective. I feel like I’ve undergone a metamorphosis, for I am not the same person that walked in there at the end of April. My friends often ask me if I’m interested in teaching, since I’m so passionate about my practice. It’s not something I’m interested in doing at the moment. I’m building my practice right now and as a newbie, I’m still in the mode of discovery. That’s the most interesting thing about yoga, you can do it for your whole life and it will still be a journey of discovery!
Happy 4th, Beautiful July 4, 2008
I’m the type of person that usually doesn’t get excited about things until they are right there in front of me. I hadn’t planned on seeing fireworks tonight, but as dusk settled in, I started to sense the sweet smell of barbecues and see dancing silhouettes on rooftops. So at the very last moment I picked up the phone and called my friend who lives a few blocks away, to see if she wanted to go for a walk along the river to see fireworks. What a grand idea that turned out to be! All along the river there were families and tents, barbecues roaring and neon bracelets, necklaces and pacifiers gleaming against the impending darkness. It was a zoo of hardcore native New Yorkers and the local transplants that stayed back to enjoy the quiet city. It can’t get any better than that.
I didn’t know it at the time, but we chose a prime spot to watch the fireworks, standing directly across from the Macy’s sign. I had no idea that this was going to be the best spot I’ve ever had …even better than the various rooftops I’ve been on throughout the years I have lived here. The fireworks started and at first I was scared of how close they seemed. The ashes from the fireworks came down on us along with the rain. I was also scared from the loud booming sounds – that is something from my childhood that I can’t quite shake. It took some getting used to. As the pyrotechnics gained momentum, I found myself standing there like a little girl, all smiles, oohing and ahhhing along with the crowd! The rain didn’t bother me, I was so engrossed. My favorite part was the sequence that resembled a moving, starry sky – like something you’d see on the Hubble. The ones with the parachutes were awesome too… after the fireworks shot off, there were these strings of light falling slowly from the sky attached to parachutes. How brilliant! It made me wonder about the career path of pyrotechnic designers. That must be every boy’s dream. I was giddy, experiencing sensory overload and it was good clean fun!! I don’t remember ever enjoying fireworks as much as I did tonight. I must have been all smiles while walking home because a father and son duo passed by, the father’s eyes flashing as he says to me “Happy 4th, Beautiful”.
Like A Fish Out Of Water July 2, 2008
Only, in the water…
I went to my first swimming class tonight. It was the intermediate swimming class, as recommended to me by the lovely membership lady – her name escapes me at the moment. So I show up, and I’m feeling nervous. It’s been a long, long time since I’ve tried to actually swim. I only learned how to swim as an adult! Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been in the water since, but usually just hanging out in the shallows or aided by some sort of floaty device, all safe and sound.
So I’m standing there, nervously watching the beginner class while I wait for ours to begin. And I chatted up this girl standing next to me and ask her if she’s waiting for class. Turns out Elizabeth is from Paris, and although she can swim, she’s afraid to put her face in the water. Somehow this comforts me a little and I tell her I get scared when the water gets deep. And that I need a wall next to me.
So of course the first thing they told us to do was a lap. I must have had a look of horror on my face because the girl next to me gave me a sympathetic look. So I pushed off and went as far as I could, stopping a few times along the way to catch my breath. It was a challenge for sure and I could feel panic every time I ran out of breath. The teacher asked if I wanted to be moved to the beginner class, as he could see I was obviously uncomfortable with the laps, which would make up most of this class. At the end we assessed that I would probably be too advanced for the beginner class, yet I’m still not up to snuff to be in the intermediate class.
This sounds familiar – as this is the resonating theme in my life right now, in more ways than one. I left the pool thinking I wasn’t going to return. I felt so deflated. I hopped on my bike and enjoyed a leisurely ride home as the temperature was perfect tonight. The city has this beautiful serenity to it, as everyone tends to leave for the holiday weekend, which is precisely why I have decided to stay. I always enjoy the city when it’s quiet like this. So when I reached home I remembered what all the instructors say to us in yoga: “the only way through is through”. And I then I realized I have to see this out, how can I quit after only one class? I’m not a quitter! Yes I do have a real fear of the water and I’m not sure how I’m going to conquer it but I have to at least try. Talk about getting out of my comfort zone. I’m wondering now if I’ve bitten off more than I can chew…