I love to cook and I'm passionate about good, clean, and fair food. Sustainably sourced + organic (when possible) + the freshest ingredients available is my philosophy when it comes to food and cooking. I recently transitioned to a mostly vegetarian way of eating (I say "mostly" because I still eat the occasional piece of wild-caught fish). I love to write about food and food issues, and am honing my food photography abilities.
Over the past two years, I've immersed myself in the practice of yoga. Yoga has changed my life in so many ways, and my dream is to one day teach others. I try to integrate elements of yoga - such as setting an intention, seeking balance, and finding my "edge" - into my day-to-day life.
When I'm not cooking or practicing yoga, I'm probably reading, writing, running, hiking, kayaking, tending to our herb garden, visiting museums and farmers markets, or spending time with friends and family.
This is my blog about food, yoga, inspiration, and my quest to build a creative and holistic life.
You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for stopping by!
One of the hardest things about moving to Annapolis was the realization that I would have to leave this yoga community behind since it would no longer be possible/practical to practice there.
I recently tried a yoga studio near our new place, and found myself disoriented and disappointed after the first class. I suppose this was to be expected on some level, as I had grown so attached to the style and environment of my old studio. However, it left a really bad taste in my mouth, and I don't think it's just because I was comparing it to the old one (though I'm sure that influenced my opinion). The instructor did not seem engaged with or connected to the rest of the class, but rather, seemed to be simply reciting a rote set of instructions. The sequences were totally unchallenging. Now granted, it was one of the easier class levels so I wasn't expecting anything crazy, but we spent almost the entirety of the class alternating between child's pose and sitting on our bums massaging our legs with tennis balls. Now there's a lot to be said for restorative (or yin) practice, but I do expect some kind of workout, especially when my monthly yoga membership costs more than my electric bill! The other weird part was that the other students seemed totally unengaged and were chatting, gossiping, and cracking jokes the whole time. Beyond being just...odd, the chatter totally threw off the energy in the room. There was no collective chi, which is really (in my opinion) a big part of why you would take a group class in the first place.
I don't mean to complain so much, but the whole experience really bummed me out, especially because I was so eager and excited to try a new place. The logical part of my brain told me to give it another shot (I had already paid for and committed to classes through September anyway), but my intuition told me that I should cut my losses and use it as an opportunity to start a home practice, something I've been wanting to do for awhile now.
Well, intuition won out, and I was able to get a partial refund on the rest of the classes. Very shortly after making this decision, I came across Sara's review of yoga DVDs on her blog, The Way of the Happy Woman (check it out if it's not on your radar yet!) and then, yesterday, City Girl's review of her Jade yoga mat. Inspired, I ordered two yoga DVDs (this and this) and plan to purchase a Jade mat soon. The funny part is this: I realized that the sum of these items is almost exactly the same amount (within a dollar) as the amount I was refunded for the rest of the yoga classes. I'm choosing to see this as a sign that this is the right decision for me right now.
My yoga DVDs are supposed to arrive today, but last night, I just couldn't wait any longer, so I did a sort of impromptu yoga practice on the living room floor, using a sequence I made up on the spot. It felt SO good. I'm even sore this morning (in a good way)! I was happy to find that I can lead myself through sequences and challenge myself even without the presence of an instructor. I'm so excited to try my DVDs and really get my home practice going!
All you yogis out there...do you have a home practice? Do you find it more or less difficult to practice at home versus at a studio? I am a little bit nervous about foregoing the studio experience for awhile (though I think it's the right choice for me right now for various reasons), so any words of wisdom would be mucho appreciated!
Aren't they purty? I'm now perusing WWOOF's website and drooling over all the amazing opportunities. (A coffee and macadamia nut farm in Hawaii, anyone?)
Have any of you done this sort of thing (either through WWOOF or otherwise)? I would love to hear about it!
You may have noticed I haven't been posting quite as frequently as I normally do. Things have been a bit crazy in my neck o' the woods, to say the least! In the past week or so, Jason and have:
- Moved everything from my old apartment to the new condo. It was a HUGE relief to get this taken care of, although it was a bittersweet feeling to hand in the key.
- Put together various pieces of furniture including our new dining room table, daybed, and dressers. (To be completely honest, Jason did most of the work, but I brought him cold drinks and provided moral support.)
- Made multiple trips to Bed, Bath and Beyond and Target to pick up things because we keep realizing that we need things we either don't have or can't find in our boxes!
- Cooked most of our dinners from scratch to take advantage of the new appliances!
- Gone for a run almost every day. Running is basically keeping us sane during this crazy stressful time! I'll post soon about the "new to us" park we discovered.
Hand Catching a Bird. 1926.
Images via ABC Gallery.
Though Jason and I love dogs, we are not ready to take on the responsibility of owning one yet. When we are, however, I think a Shiba Inu will be near the top of the list. I've been seeing these dogs everywhere recently, and at first I thought they were miniature Huskies or Akitas, but I did some research and it turns out they are a separate breed (though related) which originated in Japan. I think they are so beautiful, and they average only 20 pounds or so (17 for a female), so they are well-suited to living in modestly-sized spaces.
Do you have a pet and if so, what kind? If you don't have a pet, are there any kinds that you would like to have?
Image via Daily Puppy.
1. CB2 opening a store in DC! (CB2, for the uninitiated, is Crate & Barrel's hipper, laid-back cousin - sort of a Will Smith to Crate & Barrel's Carlton Banks.) High-quality, modern furniture at reasonable prices? Count me in. I recently ordered the Lubi daybed (in mocha) for our guest room and some Orbit arm chairs for the dining room.
I love waking up slowly, allowing my mind to gently transition from sleep to wakefulness, and that delicious, half-awake feeling where you're still sort of dreaming yet sort of conscious. When the pillow is cool against your skin, but your toes are nice and warm.
Getting dressed to go for a run in the first moments after sunrise, hearing the occasional passing car or bus as the city comes to life, and running across the Ellington Bridge, admiring the sky still streaked with periwinkle and pink, and then returning to my apartment and running a nice hot bath or shower while I sip water and then green tea.
Taking my time with my hair and makeup (and maybe even squeezing in time for a face mask treatment or quickie pedicure if I'm ahead of schedule).
Eating a healthy breakfast and knowing I'm doing something good for myself (I used to never eat breakfast, but I have reformed my ways!) - usually oatmeal or whole grain cereal with soy milk and some fruit - while catching up on email and blogs.
Talking to my mom on the phone while walking to work (we talk almost every day), enjoying the sunlight on my face and the beautiful Dupont townhouses.
Are you a morning person? Do you have another favorite time of day? I would love to hear about it.
Photo by Flickr user anah na uwr.
Maybe it's the Italian in me, but I absolutely can't get enough fresh basil.