Posts Tagged ‘Yoga’

What a weekend! I got my hair cut just a bit shorter a la Helen Mirren, and one of the Bride’s friends from medical school flew into town with her little boy. She is an Ob-Gyn physician who was recently certified to perform Sex Reassignment Surgery (“SRS -also known as gender reassignment surgery, gender confirmation surgery, genital reconstruction surgery, gender-affirming surgery, or sex realignment surgery).” I am so proud of her!

I remembered this feisty red-headed friend had always been ahead of her time – she started a group in school to push for LGBT rights, she once gave me a button to wear, “Straight but NOT narrow.” She writes the loveliest thank you notes. She and the Bride had (and still have) yoga in common, and if you’ve been following this blog for a long time, you might recall when I helped her pick out a rescue dog!

Her adorable son played hard with my two Grands and it was sad to see them go home yesterday.

But sadder still was our Saturday sojourn to Parnassus Bookstore to hear David Frum talk about his new book, “Trumpocracy.” Frum was actually quite enlightening, it was the topic that reeks of despair. He called himself a Conservative, and deplored the dire direction Mr T has taken our democracy; we are a nation more divided than any time in the history of keeping statistics for such things. The one take-away for me was when he started to talk about “political language.”

If you’ve seen the video of Marco Rubio dancing around the question about his willingness to take NRA money, you know what Frum was talking about. Politicians never, well almost never, give you a straight answer. They equivocate, they zig-zag, they dodge, they prevaricate. We might also say that lying has become a new normal, thank you Ms Conway. Look at all those indictments, thank you very much Mr Mueller. But what Mr T has done is cornered the market on plain talk. He gave Yes, and No answers, he “appears” to be truthful to his supporters. He got tons of free press, always eager for the spotlight. His appeal was his political ennui.

Perhaps the very darkness of the Trump experience can summon the nation to its senses and jolt Americans to a new politics of commonality, a new politics in which the Trump experience is remembered as the end of something bad, and not the beginning of something worse. Trump appealed to what was mean and cruel and shameful. The power of that appeal should never be underestimated. But once its power fades, even those who have succumbed will feel regret.  https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2018/01/frum-trumpocracy/550685/

Frum makes the case that we need Conservatives to survive, and I would have to agree, we do need their yin to our yang, pulling us closer to a middle way. Or maybe we need a third party? Finding consensus is our only hope, since patriotism is a bi-partisan emotion that is very different from the fear and anger spewed by a small percentage of white-nationalist-identity politicians.

Maybe the GOP would benefit from a little early morning healing, meditative yoga? Namaste.



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On our very first outing with my new baby grandson, the Bride and I were perusing Lululemon in the Hill Center. It was a warm day, the door was open and a slight breeze blew colored leaves at our feet. The Bride was looking forward to practicing yoga in a few weeks and getting her post-natal groove on. While she tried on yoga togs, I had a nice time chatting with another grandmother from Kansas who was taking care of a two year old who just happened to be in preschool at the time. Then while checking out, the fit, handsome young man tallying up our purchases, looked up and had the nerve to ask us,

“What do you have planned for the afternoon?”

“Well, we’ll have lunch, then I’ll feed him (pointing to the stroller), then we’ll pick up the two year old from preschool,” the Bride said with a smile. ps, never ask a nursing mother anything about feeding her child, for the obvious reasons. And pps, never ask a woman, ever, what she’s planning on doing with her day, or for that matter what she did all day, because,
A) it’s none of your business, and
2) you don’t know her and you don’t really care anyway.

Maybe my Jersey came out, but I don’t like the implication. It’s a semi-paternalistic, passive-aggressive question that suggests we had nothing better to do on a weekday than shop and dine. After all, I couldn’t reciprocate, I knew what he’d be doing with the rest of his afternoon; he’d be right there behind that cash register asking inane questions.

Which leads me to this wonderful article my niece posted on Facebook about the Dis-EASE of being busy all the time. http://www.onbeing.org/blog/the-disease-of-being-busy/7023?page=1
I was guilty when my kids were little. The Bride had to write me a note about not having time for ballet, what with piano and horseback riding, etc. And the Rocker asked me not to schedule him for any more sports teams, before asking him first! I love the sentiment from the Persian culture, in their language they don’t ask how busy you are, which is what we mean when we say, “How are you?” They ask how your heart is doing

It is the transient state of one’s heart. In reality, we ask, “How is your heart doing at this very moment, at this breath?” When I ask, “How are you?” that is really what I want to know. I am not asking how many items are on your to-do list, nor asking how many items are in your inbox. I want to know how your heart is doing, at this very moment. Tell me. Tell me your heart is joyous, tell me your heart is aching, tell me your heart is sad, tell me your heart craves a human touch. Examine your own heart, explore your soul, and then tell me something about your heart and your soul.

Having a new baby at home cuts through that disease – we no longer need to appear busy, because in fact we are very busy. Nursing, cuddling, changing diapers all the while toilet training and teaching and feeding and loving a toddler, not to mention laundry and husbands and grandparents and friends who come to visit and cooking and…

There is a new yoga studio opening up in Nashville, specifically for young moms and children called Blooma.http://bloomanashville.com I’ve often said it was yoga that got the Bride through medical school. I’m pretty sure this new studio is just what the doctor ordered. Take that hipster Lululemon clerk.

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I’ve said it myself, “I’d just like a reboot please.” Who doesn’t want a “do over” every now and again? I was signing up online for a restorative yoga class, when my computer asked me to “sign in” and pick a password. Then it had the gall, when I hesitated, to suggest I may want Safari to assign a password for me!

First of all, NO, thank you computer, but nobody else gets to pick a password for me. I already have too many passwords: one for Google, another for Facebook; one for Twitter and one for Tumblr’ then there’s Etsy, Amazon and Zillow, to name a few. And now I need a new password to check out A Place to Breathe Yoga Studio?

I admit it, my brain on passwords is not pretty. Once you hit a certain age, your memory center starts to fill up and things like birthday dates and wedding anniversaries may just slide right on down your brain stem and end up in the proverbial trash heap of spam messages.

Yesterday I had an appointment with my smart, talented hair stylist Christopher Hays. I received the reminder email the day before, but a few days before that, I had received another email – a group list serve – from Christopher. The first message was about a conflict and it suggested I make another appointment online . HA. Well I have never signed into their scheduling service online simply because I don’t want another password! I always schedule the next appointment when I’m actually there, face to face, shears to hair.

Luckily he knew that about me, so he just scheduled yesterday’s cut on his own! And since I always usually do what my computer says, I showed up!

I got up early and went to the Cville City Market for some fresh okra and heirloom tomatoes. I schmoozed with some vendors, and met a great baked plantain gal. Then I went to confession – isn’t your hairdresser your confessor? – and started to plan my Indian fresh market dinner. Because Bob and I happened to see Helen Mirren’s new movie,  A Hundred Foot Journey, about dueling French and Indian restaurants, and love and renewal. We sat among the grey-haired legions at bargain matinees everywhere.

And we didn’t get our tickets on Fandango, although the line was long and filled with seniors on walkers. We strolled into the lobby and bought our tix at the kiosk – no human interaction necessary! And I wonder…

Will we be the last generation to know how to interact without an interface? To know how to write a letter? To know how to leave a phone message?

Thankfully, I wrote down my yoga password. I’m starting my yoga journey slowly, with the best of intentions, to restore my memory.

My Reflection pre-Market

My Reflection pre-Market

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Did you hear the horrible news? A famous high end retailer of yoga wear, Lululemon, a store I’ve visited in Green Hills once or twice with the Bride, is recalling its pants. It seems they are too see-through for the average yogini!

I’ve often felt like yoga pants aka sweat pants was my uniform of choice. I’m not proud. I like the elastic waistband – best invention since, or before, Velcro. They never require dry cleaning or ironing. They come in a wide range of dark colors. And most importantly, there’s a little spandex and something called dri-weave. Pants that stretch and breath, what liberated 21st century female would ask for more?

Yoga pants are equivalent to the perennial housecoat my foster mother Nell wore in the 50s. Made of cotton with maybe a touch of that newfangled polyester, with snaps up the front, what could be easier? Especially when you never learned to drive, so the “house” coat was aptly named. Still I always thought donning an apron on top of the housecoat was redundant.

I nominate yoga pants to be the official fashion statement for Women’s History Month! After all, you can always show up at a meeting, go to the grocery store or pop into a gym (or yoga studio) at anytime. It literally means freedom for millions of women around the world. Unless you’re French. Then you must dress on your way to and from the gym.

Here is the beautiful little Bug with her favorite toy right now. She is my workout this week; I lift her, I tote her, and get down on the floor and do yoga stretches with her. What would I do without my yoga pants? Which are thankfully not opaque. Vraiment.


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What a difference a day makes. Yesterday I was going to write about yoga. About how I’m dipping my toes into its practice; like an old dancer with creeky knees, I envisioned a newer, Nia-type dancer with fluid joints…or maybe just more synovial fluid in my joints? I’ve tried Slow Flow Vinyasa and Yoga for Arthritis, and I’m looking forward to a class of Restorative or maybe even Yin Yoga. Somewhere between doing it in a chair with octogenarians, and standing on my head with millenniums, will be my sweet spot. After all, the Bride and the Love Bug are practicing Baby Yoga, which looks like a lot of fun!

But today we hear on the news that a suicide bomber has attacked our embassy in Turkey. And all I can think of is the beautiful young woman who was knitting a pink and orange concoction in our Needle Lady circle on Wednesday. She was getting on a plane that night, leaving her 2 small children and husband to fly to Iraq. She works for an NGO and is part of a team that is teaching the Kurds how to manage and develop their architectural and historic monuments. The woman sitting next to her then wanted to hear what she studied (art history – listen up, here is an unusual career path for artists), but I wanted to know if she spoke Kurdish. Unfortunately, she said, she had studied Arabic. Then she told me that although many top schools are teaching Arabic in the states, funding has dried up for research and placements in the Arab world.

After assuring us that northern Iraq is quite safe, we said goodbye to our knitting colleague. Of course, we all thought Turkey is safe too. “A number of illegal groups ranging from Kurdish separatists to leftist and Islamist militants have launched attacks in recent years in Turkey, which is a member of Nato. The last big attack in Ankara in 2007, which killed nine and injured 120, was blamed by police investigators on a lone, leftist suicide bomber.” The French and German embassies are nearby, right off Attaturk Blvd, and it seems that we have been scouting for a different, safer more secure location for our embassy in Ankara for some time.

So instead of regaling yoga, let’s thank those American women who can not only now fight on the battlefield with the best of ’em, but also those in the private and governmental sector who go to the hot spots in the world to try and build on a sense of peace and fledgling democracy. I’d like to wish a fond farewell to our most popular Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton. http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/02/01/16791796-the-making-of-hillary-clinton-15-moments-that-define-her-public-life?lite

Today is her last day of work, she hands the keys over to John Kerry. It seems her biggest worry is what to do without a schedule. Catching up on 20 years of sleep deprivation is also a priority. Clinton’s answers, her attitude and gravitas at the Benghazi hearings were an impressive way to cap her career, to say the least. I thought back to Anita Hill getting grilled on the Hill, and smiled. Clinton’s body language is a serious lesson on how to handle manipulative, political men. http://feministing.com/2013/01/24/how-to-deal-with-a-mansplainer-starring-hillary-clinton-in-gifs/

You say goodbye, but I say hello to a new super-PAC – Hillary for President in 2016. During her tenure at the State Department, “…Clinton had visited 112 countries, logged 956,000 miles and spent the equivalent of 87 days traveling.” Mr Kerry, those are some major heels you’ll have to fill. Namaste.
Hillary Rodham Clinton

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1) To get serious about yoga

2) To cook more tofu

3) To walk more, even if it’s cold

4) To do something that scares me (Karaoke?)

5) To laugh loudly and often

I’ve never been a New Year’s resolution type. I used to attend the Borough Hall Annual Reorganization Meeting at noon on New Year’s Day and take copious notes through a hangover haze for the newspaper. “Each year at the Reorganization Meeting, the Council adopts a resolution setting the order of business for each Council meeting.” It takes forever, so and so police officer was awarded something; the zoning plans have changed to reflect such and such.

But now I’m only required to attend a hospital gala on New Year’s Eve, to dress to the nines and make merry at a local winery. I can sleep in without children at home or a care in the world…well, maybe a few.

I have a cold. It’s not the flu, got the shot, but some bugs got through to make my nose run and my throat scratchy. Bob is working, so I’m on my own to push fluids and make my own chicken soup. I managed to try my second martini in 40-something years last night, and decided it still tastes like gasoline. I thought it might help my throat, and the 2 sips I took did seem to numb my tonsils.

My order of business for 2013 is staying true to my philosophy of small steps. In order to grow, we must change and challenge ourselves, to do something scary. Notice I didn’t resolve to go to the gym and lose 20 pounds – just to walk… even in the cold and cook tofu. To quiet my mind with yoga and lighten my heart with laughter. The Love Bug is learning to laugh, and just being with her brings me great joy.

I wish you all a peaceful and joyous New Year! We may not be able to influence those in Congress today who are playing games with our country’s reputation in the world, but we can vote them out tomorrow. And we can start the New Year introspectively, as the Dalai Lama says, “The inner peace of an alert and calm mind are the source of real happiness and good health. Our human intelligence tells us which of our emotions are positive and helpful and which are damaging and to be restrained or avoided.”

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It’s been a most intriguing weekend so far. Our anthology of stories from bloggers around the country, “Tangerine Tango,” arrived in a sweetly smiling brown box. My essays are sprinkled in among other women who manage to find the extraordinary in the ordinary moments of everyday life. My brother, Dr Lynn, has already downloaded a Kindle version. Thanks Jim!

And the Bride has been published too. Remember that child she took care of right before the wedding, when she was on a toxicology rotation? Remember the brown recluse spider bite? It was a heartbreaking moment for all of us who knew; wedding shenanigans were immediately put into the proper perspective. I was on another platform back then, but her paper just came out in their professional journal this month, Annals of Emergency Medicine. I am so very proud of her.

I wish I knew that the Dalai Lama, who was here visiting Cville, had scheduled a talk with medical professionals at UVA. Bob said the tickets sold out in 2 minutes. I met a woman who heard him speak about being vulnerable, about bringing compassion into their relationships with patients. “His holiness emphasized the importance of paying attention, being mindful, and giving a patient a sense of hope, peace and satisfaction with their life, especially at the moment of death.” http://www.nbc29.com/story/19794898/dalai-lama-charlottesville

Although I missed his lecture, I bought his book “Beyond Religion.” The Dalai Lama writes: “The fundamental problem, I believe, is that at every level we are giving too much attention to the external material aspects of life while neglecting moral ethics and inner values.” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/02/beyond-religion-dalai-lam_n_1125892.html

And I attended a half-day Yoga/Dance Workshop. It was exhilarating to be in the company of women who could create peacefully and nurture our inner artist. We talked about the difference between setting goals and having an “intention” for our time together – one is future-based while the other is grounded in the here and now. How soon we adults forget to play together. And this morning’s Love Bug update? Learning to play!

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