Monday, June 1, 2009

I Heart Yoga and Music

Things I love and have discovered about my yoga practice:

- I love downward dog after 4 Sun A's and 4 Sun B's... no really!
- I wiggle my fingers and toes when I am "done" with a pose (this was separately observed by Andrew and friend S.)
- I love the tingly feeling during savasana after a really physically challenging practice.
- I do not feel as "safe" during savasana in a packed or full class... as a result my eyes stay open.
- The "day brain" is finally conditioned to shut off automatically as soon as I step onto my mat.
- I can wrap my fingers around my big toes!!!!! (only took four years of practice). WOOT.
- Yoga makes me happy. For real. (Our strawberry plant is very happy!)

Yesterday yoga in the park was last minute cancelled due to a friend needing help to move. I'm still achy, but from lifting and carrying heavy boxes. After moving twice a year for the past 8 years (university and 5x in 2yrs in BC) I was relieved that it was her and not me. lol.

Halifax is interesting with it's burgeoning yoga community and... no "yoga in the park". I've been mentioning it here and there, trying to see if someone will organize one. Then, I decided that if I want to have a yoga in the park, then perhaps I should simply organize one myself. As I'll be there practicing anyways, perhaps others would like to join... an actual instructor will find out and take over! So... big gulp.... I made a facebook group and began the process of committing myself to regular (weather permitting) yoga in the park. :)

On another note, Rose from Living on the Witchy Side has sent me a set of fantabulous questions! :)

1. Obviously you like practicing yoga outdoors, given how much you invest in your practice and your connection to the environment, I imagine this can be a little intense sometimes. What was the setting of your most intense outdoor yoga session?

Practicing yoga alone outside has usually the most intense results for myself. I love practicing with people, but I feel most comfortable with the silence when I am alone. My most intense yoga experience outside was when a bunch of ladies stayed at our friends cottage in Christina Lake, BC. One morning while everyone was munching on breakfast at the top of the hill, I ventured down to the cement outcrop over looking the lake and rolled out my mat. With moutains all around, a crystal clear blue lake and coniferous trees as my silent watchers that yoga practice was perfect in it's peacefulness. I noticed how different practicing yoga outdoors was in BC compared to the maritimes. There were barely any leafy trees in the Interior, mostly pine trees. The sound of the wind moving through them made me realize my longing for home and that although beautiful as it was, nothing could compare to my powerful Atlantic ocean. We moved home a year later.

2. You mentioned music rather briefly, are you a musician, a singer or both? (my music "corner" at our tiny apartment)

Since I was 10 music has been my life. It's funny that I don't talk much about it here, maybe because I try to stick with my "theme" of eco-yogini and such. I played classical piano for 8 years and took singing lessons also (my mother informed me that she was extremely happy with no longer having to listen to my "pre-singing lessons" voice lol). I became more interested in singing, so I picked up the accoustic guitar and began to write songs. I wrote my first song in grade 11 and it's pretty silly. Song writing and singing has been a necessary outlet for my angst and emotions. I love music more than I love yoga.

3. You have implemented many changes in your life to make it more sustainable. Which change has been the most difficult for you to make? Which has had the biggest impact on your life?

Wow, I struggle with the "more" aspect of this question a lot, always feeling a bit guilty with what I should be doing. I would say the most difficult (after a quick consult with Andrew) has been buying local, healthy and sustainable foods. We decided that something that mattered a lot to both of us was buying local and sustainable and non-pesticide foods as often as we could. We were disappointed with the first food box, mostly because of the lack of control over where our produce was coming from and our growing distrust for the company. We didn't want to buy lemons, they don't grow in Nova Scotia. We also wanted to steer away from "Big Organic". We've bought a half share with a "close" farm: Vista Bella Farms and are excited about actually paying the farmer directly. So far he has answered our emails quickly and with loads of information. Unfortunately the half share only starts delivering in August... The farmer's market hasn't been very pleasant for us either, although absolutely beautiful in the Historic Halifax Alexander Keith's Brewery (picture from main area taken last summer), it's crowded no matter how early or late we go and I begin to have little mini "panic attacks" and we have to leave.

The biggest impact would most definitely be the DivaCup for myself. It has been a total life changer. I LOVE my DivaCup and cannot believe I functioned for 15 years as a menstruating woman without it. lol. I guess this one doesn't apply to Andrew though haha.

4. Some of the foods you've eaten are ones that are not so common in many peoples lives (I would love to be able to eat lobster more than once a decade), what is the most exotic food you have ever eaten and what food would be a step too far for you?

Those who know me are reading this and laughing a lot. I am THE fussiest person I know... probably the result of very real stomach concerns and my scaredy-cat personality. That and the fact that my brother puts condiments on EVERYTHING (think plum sauce, relish, mustard, ketchup dumped on mashed potatoes and mixed). That's kinda cool that I eat things that might be considered "exotic"; never happened to me before! :) Thanks Rose! Probably the most exotic food I've ever eaten for my standards was Vegetarian lasagna... since I don't eat sauce of any kind and I don't like tomato anything, I managed to get through an entire piece without gagging and felt very proud of myself afterwards. :) I have eaten at a few traditional "Asian" restaurants while living in Montreal and enjoyed most of what I ordered there...
I'd say a step too far has always been sushi. Once a group of girls went out to this famous sushi restaurant in Montreal (I had already eaten- they eat LATE there!) and although I thought that initially the sushi looked beautiful, colourful mouthfuls of raw fish, eventually I started to feel nauseous and they all looked like slugs... shiny slugs. I hear it's fantastic though, I just recognize that my eating habits aren't exactly "typical" :).

5. I am borrowing this question, most recently from Mel but from many people before: If you could have any three people from anytime and anyplace who would they be and why and what would you eat?

My late Tante Virginia because she died when I was young enough to just begin to get to know her and she was an amazing person. My late-Grammie because she moved away and then passed before I could really get to know her and I hear she was a very independent, strong and interesting woman. Finally, my Grand-Mère, who is still alive but unfortunately travelling the path of becoming more and more lost. My only memories of her are of her as a confused or unhappy woman. I wonder what she must have been like when she was younger, perhaps my age? I would love to have met her then and get to know her as a woman and not my sad and confused Grand-Mère.

We'd eat something that Tante Virginia made, as she was a well-known fantabulous cook... hopefully something I like (lol) perhaps la Rapure; a traditional Acadian dish that is yummy with molasses.

I think on this note I will go play me some music, this has inspired some of my creative music-ness!

Blessings and happy June!


  1. Creative stuff of any kind - music, art - makes for a great balance in life. I'd like to hear more about that side of you as things roll along.

  2. Thank you, that was really interesting! I particularly enjoyed your answer to the food question... *laugh*

  3. Mary Ellen: thanks! It's super easy for me to talk about music haha.

    Rose: Thank you for the questions! They were really thought provoking. lol, yes the food question made me laugh, and andrew as well!

  4. Any deviations from yoga and ecology towards music could never be a bad thing!
    It sucks how hard the food thing is- not only being fussy (which I know pretty well!) but also the markets/options in your area. Maybe with time your area will get better (or the market will move to a bigger space??) so that you have far more freedom... And room to breathe

    Often I tend to skip these kinds of posts in others, but your answers were interesting and funny!


  5. I"m laughing about the food too...especially the sushi! B LOVES it and although I tried to like it for his sake...I just can't do it. As it was, I only ever ate the veggie ones...I couldn't choke down the raw fish bits...ACK!!...texture is a big issue for me....:)

    Great questions and answers...I, too, would love to hear more about your, yoga and the Great Outdoors....*sigh*..Divine...:)

    Yaaaaayyyy, Diva cup!! :)

  6. Excellent interview!! I too, have a timid tummy...and don't like to eat too exotically.

    I love doing yoga outside. Yay for you for going ahead and organizing that!! If I lived closer, I would sooooooo join you!

    And I've moved 14 times in the past 10 years, so I hear ya on the aches and pains.
    great post!

  7. Wonderful post. I know down-dog is a restorative pose but I still find it a little challenging - heels on the floor type of thing. I have a hard time turning my monkey mind off in meditation but I'm doing much better. Yoga makes me very happy also and I wish I did'nt have to drive 3 hours to go join you in the park. Music is a huge part of our home as my son and husband both play guitar. My husband has played in bands since we've been married. There is always some kind of music playing in our home, if not live it will be a CD or radio.

  8. Ms Moniker: funny you should say that- the market will be moving to a larger space.. in a few years (or sooner!). Although I think it's a loss for the city as it's in such a historic beautiful place, it will be good for me :)

    Mel: hehe, yay I'm not alone in the sushi area!!

    Bohemian Mom: Oh my goodness- 14x in 10 years!! blegh, with the Hatchling at that- I can't even fathom!

    Vickie: if you are ever in the city on the weekend let me know and I'll give update you on the when and wheres of yoga in the park! (perhaps I'll just post them here sometime soon!) :)
    Downward Dog has only become restorative recently for me, and definitely not every time haha. My heels don't touch the ground (being non-gumby as I am) but mostly when I've done a zillion sun salutations... that's when I think- Thank the Goddess for Downward Dog lol.

  9. Hi EcoYogini
    Thanks for that enlightening autobiographical view. I'm so new to yoga that I'd be reticent to practice outside, although I imagine that Mother Earth makes a splendid mat.

    You seem to live your life with vigor, joy and the the conviction that life is good. That feeling radiates from your site and shines on my here in Wisconsin.

    I have been out on medical leave for 2 months, barely able to get drawings published, much less visit blogs. I am grateful that you sent comments while I was down. I think I'm on the mend. I'll be back soon.

  10. Good on you for getting into the half share! I thought about this but beginning in the late summer was just not what I was looking for. Although, I understand about your organic box experience, it really can be local. I get the box and I LOVE it. It is only in the winter (Dec - May) that they supplement the box with big company foods. Which disappointed me at first but in all reality do you want to eat only potatoes, onions and mushrooms all winter? This is the reason they supplement but they do use as much local as there is during those cold months until the spring harvest! If you call HGOF now and get the Dogma box (which is all local organic produce and only avaliable May - Dec) you will get your wish! If you really want to be local organic year round, I think you will have to get into canning and other forms of food preservation to be able to get some variety. I am planning on getting to this at some point...but right now I need to finish my PhD!!!

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