Giveaway Winner

The giveaway winner is Teresa Durso!

Check your email, Teresa!

Thank you all for entering.

Happy New Year! A Giveaway

A while back I was sent a copy of Tales from the Yoga Studio by Rain Mitchell to giveaway here. I’m a huge bookworm so I was really excited about the opportunity!

From the back cover: “The yoga studio is where daily cares are set aside, mats are unfurled, and physical exertion leads to well-being, renewal, and friendship. In Los Angeles, yoga teachers have become celebrities and designer tank tops can cost a small fortune. Still, many students flock to the relatively unglamorous Edendale Yoga in the hip, out-of-the-way Silver Lake neighborhood. It’s here where Lee uses her extraordinary teaching skills and unusual empathy to help students gain control of their bodies and possibly their lives as well. […] Tales from the Yoga Studio is a warm, funny, and gripping novel about the gift of connection and the joys of discovery, featuring five amazing women you’ll never forget.”

In order to win, leave me a comment with either a new years resolution you have made, or the title of your favorite book. : ) Winners will be announced at the end of next week sometime. (Unfortunately, I can only ship to the US.)

For more information, visit the official website or the book’s Amazon page.

Namaste,
Jamie

2010 in review (with pictures!)

January- It was cold. We had these lovely family pictures taken. I went to Indianapolis to do YogaFit Level 2.

February- It was even colder. Andy went to Oklahoma for a four-day weekend to visit a Navy buddy. I booked my tickets to San Francisco! I started my twice a week yoga class with my ladies here in town.

March- It finally warmed up a bit. I had a week off from work and spent a night in Chicago with my hubby. It was awesome.

April- Went to a PostSecret Event. Had my wisdom teeth removed. Rocked out at a Girlyman/Indigo Girls concert. Such a gorgeous spring, and we bought our house!


May- Started teaching yoga at the gym. Attended a bachelorette party and worked on wedding preparations for June. Went to San Francisco!

June-  Three lovely weddings and a family reunion at the lake!


July- My birthday! We built a fence. I taught at a yoga retreat. Attended Anatomy and Alignment training.


August- My sister came to spend the weekend. We celebrated our second anniversary. Went to Chicago for fly yoga! Started private sessions with K.

September- Stopped teaching at the gym. Temporary break in hectic yoga teaching schedule, enjoyed some classes at fancy yoga studio.

October- Andy’s birthday! Attended YogaFit Level 1 retrain. Went to a cousin’s wedding. Threw a Halloween murder mystery party. Started No Fear Yoga.

November- Had a nice, relaxing month. Enjoyed the last few weeks of fall. Had a Happy Thanksgiving.

December- Wrapped up No Fear Yoga. Went to Chicago to see Wicked. Looking forward to lots of family parties and a vacation between Christmas and New Year’s, and a smashing 2011!

Click here to see 2009 in review.

A letter to this blog

Dear blog,

I’m here to extend my sincere apologies for neglecting you so thoroughly lately. I know it’s the holidays and you’re probably lonely. I want you to know that I do still care about you and I hope that we can be together again someday.

I need some time alone. Life is crazy, hectic, and full of extreme ups and downs. I am still teaching and practicing yoga and still pursuing my 200RYT. But I have run out of words about yoga. For now. They will come back someday and then we will be reunited. It will exceed all of our hopes and dreams.

I have been doing a lot of writing lately. Not about yoga, but about life and the things I am currently dealing with. Like yoga, writing lessens my load and someday I will look back on my current situation as a period of growth. Like yoga, I know you will always be here for me when I’m ready to write again.

But for now, I am focusing on myself and my dear Andy, and that requires me to withdraw just a bit from the blog world.

Happy holidays to you, my dear blog. Thanks for being my friend for the past year.

Namaste,
Jamie

Happy Blogoversary to me!

One year ago today I created this adorable little blog. I have made so many friends through it and it’s been extremely fun. But instead of celebrating myself and my blog on this, my blogoversary, I decided to give out some awards to my fellow yoga blog friends, who make blogging extra fun.

So here they are – in no particular order.

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The Ahimsa in Action Lifetime Achievement Award goes to Lisa at Eco Yogini in Halifax, Novia Scotia. She makes ahimsa (non-harming) her top priority every day by striving to be kind to the earth and sharing her journey with us. I especially adore her blog for her sense of humor and personal “overshares”. Also, she’s a newlywed! Congrats!

 

The Blog Commenter Extraordinaire Ribbon goes to Emma at The Joy of Yoga in New York. She is nearly always the first person to comment on my blogs and always has something witty to say. I love Emma’s blog because she posts creative sequences and heartwarming, funny stories about teaching yoga.

 

The Sass-asana Certificate clearly goes to Y is for Yogini in California. She manages to stay upbeat and lighthearted while always touching on real issues…with a generous helping of sass. Her tweets make me laugh and her ribbing of the boy yogis around us is good-natured and entertaining!

 

The Superwoman Medallion is awarded to Rachel at Suburban Yogini in Cambridge. Rachel is superwoman because she blogs more than the rest of us combined. It’s always thoughtful, composed, and honest over at her place. She’s already an accomplished yoga teacher, vegan cook, and partner, and is on her way to being a massage therapist.

 

The Kick-asana Commemorative Coin goes to The Misanthropic Yogini at Damn Good Yoga in Texas. Because seriously, go look at her asanas! She also maintains a kick-asana and enviable dedicated home and meditation practice while balancing the duties of teaching yoga with school, work, and life.

 

The Balanced Beauty Plaque goes to Heather at Namaste Heather in Ohio. There’s lots of beauty in this blog. Her ideas are beautiful and so is she, and she’s constantly witnessing the beauty around her. She juggles it all as she strives for balance between personal and professional.

 

The Million Miles Away Medallion goes to Bree at Yoga Gypsy in East Timor. Because she’s a million miles away but also feels like she could be my next-door neighbor. I love reading about life in East Timor and the important, interesting work Bree does.

 

The Change You Can See Commemorative Patch goes to Emma at Des hauts et des bananas in Brussels. Emma is using her talents to change the world one day at a time. She’s taking her life by the reins and trying to make more of herself and live up to her potential.

 

The Orange Awesomeness Award goes to Babs at Babs Babble in Montana. Orange is her favorite color and her blog is just full to the brim of awesomeness. She’s feeling out her way as a teacher and gaining quite a following.

There are lots of other awesome bloggers, but these are the ones who have been there since the beginning (or nearly so) of my blog journey. Thanks ladies!

Namaste,
Jamie

My vegetarian timeline

Day 1- This is awesome! I love vegetables! Who needs meat?
Week 2 – Yummmm I love cheese, cheese is my best friend. Mainly eating lots of snacks throughout the day in place of meals (apples with peanut butter, cheese and crackers, smoothies, etc).
Week 3 – Discover some really good vegetarian entrees, but still don’t have a lot of time for sit-down meals.
Week 4 – I REALLY NEED SOME CHICKEN, but I want to stick this out a while longer.
Week 5 – Start feeling kind of yucky. Stomach cramps and other digestive issues.
Week 6 – Eat meat for the first time: a chicken sandwich at Famous Dave’s, where the waiter’s t-shirt said “Vegetarians are free to change their ways.”
Next day – Wind up in the prompt care with abdominal discomfort (fearing a kidney stone or appendicitis), doctor asks me if I’ve made any large changes to my diet in the last month. Tells me to start eating regular meals at regular meal times and stop eating so much cheese.*

So, I tried vegetarianism and I’m very glad I did. I learned a lot of my favorite meals at restaurants (Flat Top, Chipotle, Noodles etc) don’t actually need meat and I prefer the vegetarian version anyway. I am still trying to cut meat out of my diet little by little and eat less of it, decreasing my demand. I’m also trying to make conscious choices. We bought some antibiotic-free, free-range chicken for dinner the other night and it was lovely. More than twice as much as the store-brand chicken full of all the junk ($6/lb instead of $2.50/lb), but we can afford it now and then.

I’m trying to assuage my conscious while also taking care of my belly. It’s about balance – just like everything else, right?

Namaste,
Jamie

*The visit to prompt care was serendipitous, because after going over my current medications, the doctor decided to share her infertility story with me. She couldn’t get pregnant (PCOS and some sort of awful embryo-killing antibody) but ended up conceiving through IVF at the age of 41 and again at the age of 44. What an incredible story!

Odds and Ends

happy Fall!

I am on my third week of my first ever “No Fear Yoga” session, which has confirmed my belief that beginners are definitely the most fun and most rewarding to teach. They are easily impressed, willing to try, and notice improvement almost immediately.

I have 13 people in my class (12 women, 1 men), ages ranging from early 20s to early 60s. About half of the class is friends/coworkers and half strangers who found me through the Parks and Rec catalogue. We do a lot of slow flow, gentle stretching, nothing too strenuous. My goal each time is to get them feeling good so they’ll come back. So far it’s working and I have two ladies in particular who stayed after class last time to ask me when my next session begins. : )

Private one-on-one lessons with K are going quite well. Two sessions ago we did headstands, last week we worked on shoulderstand. It’s lovely working with her!

Andy and I attended a community education class at the local community college on Saturday: “Massage Therapy for Friends and Family”. It was taught by a massage therapist/yoga instructor whose wife owns the fancy yoga studio in town (theirs is the 200 RYT I would be doing if you didn’t have to pay the thousands of dollars upfront!). For the first hour of class we discussed the background of massage and the instructor did a demonstration of his massage approach. Then we spent an hour giving and an hour receiving massage, playing around with approaches and techniques. It was really fun and relaxing.

There is so much overlap between massage and yoga. I’m sure Suburban Yogini could tell us more about it! His language and the overall principles he taught (breath deeply, move slowly, relax into every movement, follow your intuition) sounded awfully familiar.

Other than that we are keeping busy painting our bedroom, planning a Halloween party, and enjoying fall. : )

my view on a recent dog walk

Namaste,
Jamie