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Why Can’t We All Be More Like Elsa?

[written September 28, 2016]

I haven’t even seen the movie “Frozen”, but I don’t live under a rock so I have heard the famous song “Let it Go” enough that I can sing along. Today, I was reminded of that song while in Salt Lake City, Utah.

I am on the tail-end of a four-day work trip to Arizona followed by a two-day stint in Idaho for a wedding. While on the way back, my boyfriend and I missed our second flight from Salt Lake to Long Beach. Missing flights is nothing out of the ordinary, but after six days away from home and big plans to finally move into my new condo tomorrow, missing this flight was like being punched in the gut.

After huffing and puffing, crying in public (yikes!) and a pep talk from a very sensible partner, I could hear Elsa in the back of my mind. I am the kind of person who likes to plan ahead. I plan everything, and live by a tightly-packed color-coded calendar that guides me from moment to moment in life including scheduled relaxation time and yoga. It is no wonder that when something unexpected happens, several shifts have to take place in order for me to get back on track.

As I was having my episode of emotional distress and anxiety in the airport, my very patient and unphased partner could not understand the weight I placed on our return trip’s timing. “Your dog is fed. You have nowhere to be. What are you worried about?” he posed. I replied quite confidently, “I have the dog groomer at 9, the internet installation at ten, and a house cleaning tomorrow morning! What if I miss them?” Even as I write these words, I see how ridiculous they sounded. I was worried about things that could easily be changed but because life wasn’t going my way, I was angry and frustrated at the world. “It doesn’t matter,” he said.

After I dried my tears, I reached into my bag to check my eye makeup. “That doesn’t matter either,” he assured me. Granted, most men don’t put in the amount of time and effort into their physical appearances as women do before they leave the house but he was so right. I wish that I could live my life with less care about what others think, and less emotional attachment to things that bring no value to my life (like flight plans that are out of my control).

While I don’t think I will ever have the “don’t dwell on what you can’t control” attitude that he does to the same extent, I wish it were far easier for me to let go of my attachment to control and the need to force my life in certain directions. So you get a flat tire. So you forget your lunch at home in the fridge. These aren’t life-shattering things that should send us into disarray. I have my health. I have a patient man to hold my hand while I am on the phone with airline customer service. I have absolutely no reason to get wound up over this flight and I need to LET IT GO!

I am reminded of this once again at the start of the year as we all start to put plans into place to manage the next 12 months of our lives.

WHAT IF WE COULD JUST LET IT GO? <3

What are your resolutions?

Resolutions come up around this time of year as people re-set their calendars, their goals, and their minds on January 1st. Often times they can become a source of stress as the year continues on, creating anxiety and guilt for not sticking to what we set out to do earlier.

I invite you to look at the new year as a way of resolving to find forgiveness! Life happens, and no matter how many well-placed plans you put into place (calendar appointments, workout buddies, savings plans, meal plans, structure of any kind…) there are bound to be times when you’re going to slip up from the exact path you were looking down in January.

Give yourself some room for changing those resolutions as well! Maybe you’re finding that there are different ways (smarter ways!) to reach your goals. Or, perhaps you’re adding in some new things to your life plan that you hadn’t thought of before.

Some of my resolutions include:

  • A continued focus on fitness but with new emphasis on maintenance care for the injuries I’ve sustained in my adult life. What good is to to be in the gym all the time if I’m causing new pains or working on the areas that don’t need that much love?
  • Cooking more at home: this is a financial, and health goal in one. Now that I am a new condo owner, both of those things are important to me!
  • Say “no” more. I’m such a yes person, and it’s easy for me to over-commit. This year I want to focus on being really good at a few things (a significant other, employee, friend) rather than just okay at a LOT of things and spreading myself too thin.

I would love to hear what you’re resolving to do this year in the comments below!

IAEE – Yoga in Anaheim this December!

I am thrilled to announce that my day job and my yoga passion are once again colliding! I will be teaching yoga/wellness this December. For those of you attending IAEE Expo Expo in December 2016, details are available here. I will see you at 6am on December 6 at the Grand Plaza in Anaheim near the Convention Center!

iaee-expo-logo

Yoga After Injury

We have all dealt with an injury at one time or another. In the last few years, I have dealt with back muscle pain that ranges from moderate to severe. I started my yoga practice many years ago with hyperflexibility and little strength, so rehabbing my back involved strength training (which is now a passion of mine).

Now that I am often able to practice yoga without pain, it has been an interesting comparison on the mat versus six years ago. My planks are no longer modified, and I can jump back to chaturanga (which took many years of practice). I can hold armbalances with greater ease, and have noticed muscles I never had before.

Going back to the early years of my practice, I was close to Hanumanasana (full splits), and loved pyramid pose. I could barely hold myself up in firefly, but at least my legs extended (which they can no longer do). As the muscles in my body tightened and strengthened, the flexibility I had come to enjoy in my practice has slowly faded away. I use props more now than ever before: a block in half moon pose and a strap for forward folds are welcome additions that I had once been ashamed to use as a crutch.

This change in my ability has been a great challenge on the mat, as I have had to re learn my limits. A sun salutation looks very different for me now versus then, and it has been a wonderful reminder that our practice never ends. We will never become masters, we simply change and grow and visit the mat each time as if it were the first. Besides, now that I’m stronger I can try out new things like dangling from this lyra hoop, and I guarantee that six years ago I couldn’t have even gotten up into it!

lyra hoop

The Wonders of Wanderlust

This year was my first time attending a Wanderlust Festival. I traveled up to Tahoe, California (the northeastern part of the state, near the border of Nevada) with 2 of my yoga-loving friends and set out to align my chakras for four whole days! Okay, so maybe that last part was a little bit in jest… but I was determined to reset, recharge, and refuel myself while at this transformative festival filled with yoga, music, and folks from around the globe who celebrate yoga.

Check out my instagram or the Facebook album I created for all the photos from the event.  Here is my favorite one from the weekend, wearing a tank that we got during wine tasting one evening (who says you can’t enjoy a little wine when you’re sweating it out all weekend?)

Namaste for Happy Hour

Back Talk

Many of you that follow my journey with yoga and fitness know that I have had several instances in the last few years where back pain has left me a mess! What I thought were muscle pulls and lack of strength in my core, have turned out to be something else entirely. After another visit to Urgent Care in December, the doctor insisted on x-rays of my spine to see if my issues were more than muscular.

Here are a few of the xrays (and now you know my birthday – yay!). The printed report that came with the xrays have preliminary diagnoses based on what the technician saw in the photos. Tentatively: I have very mild scoliosis (my spine curves 17 degrees more than it should) as well as degeneration in 2-3 of the discs in the lower part of the spine (L4, L5, S2 to be exact).

While I should probably be concerned, I’m actually thrilled to hear this news. I’ve been misdiagnosed with QL muscle tears, imbalances in my hips, and all sorts of other things that have not been adequately resolved because we haven’t been treating the right issue. I can’t wait to see my Orthopedic doctor this month and start learning ways that I can continue my path of training and improving my body. This also means I will be able to share some things I learn along the way for those of you (and there are many!) who also have chronic back pain.

There will ALWAYS be challenges in your life, but it is how you respond to them that will have the biggest impact.

2_AP

1_L5 S1

Practice Makes Progress

Handstand Progress

Even though I am working hard at my CMM (Certification in Meetings Management) at the Anaheim Convention Center this weekend, I am still trying to find balance by working out daily. I did some kick-ups to the wall to test out my handstand late last night and got about 5 seconds airtime.

Milestone: 800 Instagram Followers

Thank you!

Last week I hit 800 Instagram followers. I am so grateful for the community of folks that encourage each other on social media. Thank you for every like, share, follow, and glance at my content. Follow me @tallgirlyogi