last post for the month

30 posts in 30 days and i did it.

Not so sure I’ll do this challenge again anytime soon.

Here’s what I learned:

  • I talk a lot about yoga, because right now I’m really into it
  • I need to sharpen my photography skills (ooohhh I’ll add that to my list of things to try out next year)
  • I find it hard to strike the right balance of ‘my voice’.  I don’t want to be preachy, I don’t want to be inauthentic, I don’t want to over-share
  • I never remember to take pictures of recipes as I’m making them and as a result I am not sharing as many recipes as i would like
  • I like posting, but not daily.  At this stage that is too demanding
  • I need to learn more about blogging and wordpress ( I never did figure out how to put the NaBloPoMo widget on the side of my blog)
  • That you can have a shitty month and a good month back to back and you have to want to change from one to the other, it won’t happen on its own
  • It’s really nice to keep a record of what is happening, because it’s easy to forget and it’s easy to take your own time/life for granted.

na

Advertisements

note to self

so right after I finish doing nothing.... i'll get started

so right after I finish doing nothing…. i’ll get started

there are a few new things I want to try out for 2014: (in no particular order)

  • Circus arts classes – I tried a couple of classes out this year and enjoyed them. I would like to dedicate at least one solid term to circus arts
  • Trampoline sessions – I’ve wanted to try out some freestyle trampoline sessions for a few years and keep on putting it off.  So i figured next year, I should just make it happen
  • Sew something – all i know is how to sew a button onto my clothes, and it’s not even that tidy. I’d like to learn how to make something, anything.
  • Woodwork – I am crap at anything that is at all design like and I would like to try and make something practical. So I’d like to explore options to either teach myself or take a class and learn how to make something out of wood.
  • Learn a language with my husband. The default would be to do french, because I know elementary school french and I love the language.  Biggest flaw in this plan, is that I haven’t even talked about it with my husband yet.

random ideas that have just popped up:

  • learn to sing
  • learn to draw

I have to refer back to this post by the end of January and come up with a plan to make this happen and see how realistic it is to take on so many new things.  Maybe 2014 is about exploring the options and map out how to make it happen.

make your own #nohumbug challenge

Last week on the lululemon blog, they posted the #nohumbug challenge. I didn’t know about it until Friday.

I really liked the idea of the list, and I’ll likely do the list, but with my own twist. I’m not interested in all the challenges, and I’m not interested in doing them as they’ve prescribed. I’d rather do the ones I like, and change the ones that don’t suit me to something a bit more practical, like I probably won’t have an eggnog cocktail, but I’m likely to have a candy cane cocktail.

So far, I’ve spread the #nohumbug challenge, found a new way to get sweaty and secretly topped up someone’s parking.

Tomorrow I’ll give the list my own makeover, and maybe I’ll post it here.

The list is a great way to do activities with your kids or partner or friends.

Related articles

home

I haven’t been home to Canada since May 2011, however my parents, my sister, her husband and my nephew along with a number of my international friends all came to NZ in Feb 2012.  So it didn’t feel like a big deal at the time.

I had every intention of coming home again in August 2013, but life being what it is had other plans, and my husband’s brother got married in August, inevitably delaying my flight home (best reason ever though, both my brother-in-law and his wife are wonderful people and I’m so pleased to have shared their special day with them).

So it’s no surprise that since August, I’ve been itching to get home to Canada, but when? I could have booked flights for November, after my husband’s final university exams, but winter in Toronto is a little bit harsh, so that takes out all the winter months, and the earliest to go is March, which is pretty iffy in terms of weather. To add another element of life in the mix, my husband turns 30 at the end of March, and I’m pretty sure we discussed Las Vegas birthday plans at some point.

We recently booked our flights home, and I was so happy, excited, that I could’ve cried. I can’t wait, we leave just in time for the husband’s birthday, and we’ll celebrate in Las Vegas as planned, then we head to Vancouver for a few days, before we’re lucky enough to get to home, Toronto.

I miss my family so much and I do make the most of all the modern ways to stay in touch, but sometimes when my husband asks what I’d like to do this weekend, my answer is simple but impossible.  I want to hang out at my sister’s house on a Friday night having chats with her and her husband and playing with my niece (who I have yet to meet) and my nephew. On the Saturday I want to tag along with my parents and all the chores they’re doing and just help out and make them dinner.

Those are two things I’m looking forward to the most, when we visit home.

small decisions

om-shanti

Normally on Thursdays I go to spin class and I go to a hot power yoga class. I went to bed early last night, because I was exhausted and my joints were and still are not feeling so good.  I didn’t feel like going to my classes today. I woke up this morning, feeling rested and ready to take on the new day. I’ve packed my gym bag and lunchtime yoga looks like it’s on the horizon still, however, I’m still feeling rather spent.

It’s days like this that I find difficult. I don’t know if I’m talking myself out of attending classes or if I’m trying to listen to what my body needs, which may be some rest.

I had a good friend tell me a couple of years ago, that if I’m feeling tired or starting to feel like I’m under the weather I should go to yoga.  It may seem counterintuitive, but this piece of advice usually works. So I made the decision to attend the yoga class.

It worked, by the time we were going through our flow, I was feeling far more energized than I had since the day before and I was appreciating where I was today, not yesterday and not where I want to be in my practice tomorrow or in a month, but appreciating that I was having a day where I was tired and my joints were reminding me they’re arthritic, but I can still practice yoga.

I made the decision after class to give spin a miss today.  Normally I have a lot of joint swelling in my knees directly after class for about 10-15 minutes and I was concerned that it could have been longer, considering how my body was feeling.

Surprise and Delight

I ran in late to my lunch time yoga class, in a bit of a tizzy, I set up my mat and ran to the change rooms, and whizzed back in and joined the class in downward dog.  

However, I was surprised and delighted when I received an unexpected gift from a fellow classmate, that I had never met, Andrea. She was kind enough to give me a new headband from Lululemon.  She works at the Lululemon Britomart store and when she saw me rushing around the yoga studio, she thought I could do with an unexpected delight in my hectic day.  Funniest part of the story, I thought someone had accidentally left the headband on my mat, so I handed in to the studio for lost property.   I was told after I returned from the change rooms what really happened. So I waited to say thank you and introduce myself to Andrea.

Fantastic brand initiative by Lululemon and their team and a nice small gesture, that I won’t soon forget either.

my new awesome headband. Thanks for the surpise and delight in the middle of my day!

my new awesome headband. Thanks for the surpise and delight in the middle of my day!

Yoga ruins your life. Oh yesss. It does.

Yoga ruins your life. Oh yesss. It does..

saw this fantastic post on http://andrealeber.com blog and thought that I absolutely must share.

This is my first time reading someone else’s blog and using the share button for WordPress. So if for some reason I’ve done something wrong, let me know, and I’ll correct my mistake.

SUP yoga summer goals

I mentioned in an earlier blog that I did yoga on a stand up paddle board and I loved it.  I went again this weekend and I’ve come up with two goals for the board.

By March 26 2014 I want to be able to successfully do a headstand and crane (or crow) pose whilst on the board.

Practicing headstand and crane on the beach, prepping to transfer to the board

Practicing headstand and crane on the beach, prepping to transfer to the board

I don’t have a paddle board and I’ve only done two yoga classes on a board, but I really want to get this sussed on the board. I hope I can crush this goal this summer.

If you don’t know anything about headstands or crane pose here is a quick heads up.

Headstands – also known as Shirshasana is considered a fountain of youth pose, along with all inversions. Your blood rushes to your head, your skin is hanging in the opposite direction, essentially you’re going against the flow of gravity.  The longer you hold a headstand, the stronger your core becomes.  I’m pretty new to headstand and can hold it 5-8 breaths. I’d like to get up to 10 breaths. Personally I also find doing a headstand helps if I feel a headache coming on, and usually if I’m feeling low on energy, headstands make me feel more energetic.

Crane or Crow  – also known as Bakasana is another inversion as your head is dipped below your heart. This pose is amazing for your entire yoga practice. It’s a really good pose to become more mindful as I set my gaze, calm my mind and focus on my breathe. I also find that crane is a great pose that gets me to think more mindfully about the muscles I’m using. Crane can be considered a difficult pose and it’s the same pose that makes me smile every time I lift off.

Stand Up Paddle Board Yoga

Here we are in St. Mary's Bay, enjoying SUP yoga. The photo is from Flux Westhaven

Here we are in St. Mary’s Bay, enjoying SUP yoga. The photo is from Flux Westhaven

Last week I tried Stand Up Paddle Board Yoga for the first time and I loved it!

I wanted to try something new on my birthday, because I think its important to spend your birthday that way.

I woke up early on Saturday morning and drove across the Auckland Harbour bridge to get to the class and I was looking forward to it, and was apprehensive too.

I had been wanting to try SUP yoga for a little while and had not had the opportunity, but to be fair, I wouldn’t have taken the opportunity earlier.  I had it in my head that I wasn’t good enough to do it.

I’m not sure what gave me the impression. It wasn’t a sense of self worth that I was missing, but it was the actual physical strength that I thought I lacked.  I had put it into my head I had to be either good at yoga or at paddle boarding or both. I didn’t realize that had gotten in my own way, until I was presented with the opportunity to SUP yoga for my birthday.  I immediately said yes, and then all the excuses came bubbling up to the surface to make me doubt my decision. However, I had already made the decision to commit and I really wanted to do something new and challenging for my birthday.

So I went and I did it and if you forgot what I wrote above, I loved it.

Getting out the anchor point was a bit of a challenge, because I had only paddled boarded once, in March, and didn’t really remember any of the technique and tips. I had already made the decision that while I didn’t want to fall in, that I would be OK if I did and it would contribute to a memorable experience. Sidebar: I definitely prescribe to the idea that if you’re not falling you’re not having fun or pushing yourself; although sometimes I forget that when I take a particularly nasty fall.

Our instructor, Katrina,  had gotten a gauge of how comfortable on paddle boards we were, and also how comfortable we were doing yoga. She lead the session according to our abilities and offered modifications to poses to make them easier or harder, as suited for each individual.

It didn’t take long for me to realize the best way for me to enjoy myself on the board, stay with my breath, focus, listen to my body and find my stability, and stay with it.

The best part of doing it was the fact that I got out of my own way. If I hadn’t done that, I wouldn’t have realized just how much I enjoyed it.

If you are in Auckland, I would highly recommend coming out for a SUP yoga session. Katrina teaches every Wednesday at 6pm and every Saturday at 8am. Contact Flux to book your spot

Battle of the joints

In September I participated in a 30 day yoga challenge. I loved it, but about half way through it, instead of feeling more amazing, I started to feel more uncomfortable. My joints had started to flare up.

I had been on a new Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) drug since February 2013, and it all seemed to be going really well, up until mid-September when the joints started to flare up, unfortunately they didn’t settle down. I struggled with an uncomfortable amount of pain and fatigue for approximately a month and a half. I didn’t realise just how bad it had gotten, until the relief came in November. 

The scariest part about my RA flare up, was how I adapted, and accepted the pain. I didn’t initally link my sudden exhaustion to my RA, I tried to attribute it to any thing else in my life. I thought my joints were sore, because of the 30 day challenge, not because my RA was paying me a visit.  And I just put up with it. It took me a few weeks to realise that it was my RA that was affecting me, and a few more still to have my appointment with my specialist.

At my appointment I spoke to my specialist, and he advised me it was normal for some patients to feel good whilst on their medication, and for some reason its was normal that it medications stopped being as effective.  We discussed other options, which unfortunately for me means, i need to consider the fact that I need to try new medications again. I left with more information about the new medication and another script to help manage my RA.

I decided on November 1st that I wanted to be happier than I was in October. I reframed my situation and was attempting to make the most of everything for the month. My appointment with my specialist occurred on November 5th and that appointment, along with the adjustment of my medication allowed me to physically make the most of what I actually wanted to do. 

Check out the images of joints and whats happening to them care of Rheumatoid Arthritis

Check out the images of joints and whats happening to them care of Rheumatoid Arthritis

IMG_2997

If you wanted to read what it said, I thought I would share.

I feel conflicted as to what to do about my medication. On the one hand I want to go on the new medication because I could get really good results from it.  On the other hand, I’m scared of the side effects list and it’s mentally draining to continue to try new medications.  I have to make a decision by Dec 17th if I’m going to start a new treatment or not. However, I really don’t know what other choice I have.