On the Mat

shhhhhhwwwwt. The sound of a semi-stuck mat that has been rolled up for far too long.

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VSCOcam with se3 preset

Today, for the first time in months, I practiced Asana–led by the lovely Monica Alvano. A little slow, a little unsteady, but very much needed. I took a few movements about a week ago–easing into my joints, but this was the first extended practice. It was not life changing, but it was necessary. Sometimes, health and wellness get pushed to the background. And for the last few months, I’ve mostly been treading water–which means a regular health routine has been virtually nonexistent.

A big part of my yoga practice is to not be so hard on myself. I think we could all use a little bit of that. For me, a moving practice didn’t feel right. It didn’t feel like it was going to serve me in the way that it should. That doesn’t always mean you shouldn’t go to class of course. But also, don’t feel like you’re failing if you don’t go. You’ll always come back to it.

That’s the wonder of this practice, no matter what, the mat will always be there.

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2014

It’s officially 2014, which means:

It’s the last year that I can say “I’m in my Twenties.” But that’s OK because what I’ve learned over the last year is that 30 is something that I am very much looking forward to. And as much as I thought I needed to be a “grown-up” by the time I hit my third decade of life I’ve realized that being a grown-up simply means having the wherewithal to know that you will always be young and the sense to act on that knowledge with life and love and a healthy dose of playfulness.

It’s the first year that I’ve really thought about what I want to be when I grow up. I’ve got a storyboard of a plan. It will change and fluctuate as new adventures are conceived but the end of the story is more clear than it’s ever been before and the end point…wait for…it will set me right back in the place where I was born and raised Sonoma County. But don’t worry I’m not going anywhere just yet–D.C. I’m not done with you yet and NY you keep those broadway lights blazing I’ll be there soon enough. 

Now, I’m not one for making New Year’s resolutions. I am of the mind that if you want to change something in your life just change it, you don’t need to wait around for January 1st to do so. But in the spirit of fresh starts and new years I’ll share a few things with you that I’ve been preparing to bring into my life.

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Last year I did very little writing, be it public or private. As my WordPress annual report will confirm I did not write a single new post in the year of 2013. Life happens. I was transitioning into a new job where I manipulate words all day ( I write marketing emails for the Kennedy Center), the last thing I wanted to do was come home and write more. And with that creative outlet lying dormant, so too, many other artistic endeavors were lost. I sang less, adventures to D.C. museums and galleries ceased, while I was seeing a lot of performances at the Kennedy Center I don’t think I saw a single show outside of that building all year–for shame. So this year I resolve to write more, to blog more, to say more. About what? I haven’t yet decided. I’ll start small. Perhaps write a blog about the New Year and then just go from there. 

October found me deepening my yoga practice with a 200 hour Teacher Training course. I have now been practicing for about 4 years and I realized that in order for me to bring yoga into more of my life I needed this intensive. I entered the training with a very clear idea of what and where I would be by January. I wanted to teach…plain and simple…I wanted to share the movement and music that has proven to be invaluable for me over the last few years. What I’ve learned is that I am not ready to teach, not yet at least, and that is ok. I’ve learned a lot, I’m learning a lot, my physical practice has suffered a little, but my mental practice and my understanding of the mind body connection has grown, when I do have a moment to practice this internalization becomes apparent–my practice is growing stronger. The training will be finished in a few weeks and I look forward to incorporating asana back into my daily routine. This year I resolve to be more aware of my practice both the asana and the other.

About halfway through last year I realized that I had become very disconnected. From January to May 2013 I was so focused on work and getting it right that I didn’t have time for much of anything else. Then in June I had a revelation (if I may be so bold) that the people in my life–and there are some pretty amazing ones–are the point. As the years go by people enter and exit your life for any number of reasons, but there are a very special few that stay and you just sort of know that no matter what happens, where you go, or what you do they’ll always be a part of it. They’ve notched themselves firmly into your heart and soul, and no matter what you’ll never be rid of them (in the most loving way possible of course). These people are your chosen family and while you might not get to see all of them as often as you would like and while the phone calls are sometimes few and far between (because I am no good at the phone) they are the most important. 2014 will be a year of re-engaging, of maintaining, of making the effort to eliminate the “few-and-far-betweens.”

In 2012 I traveled to China (scroll down a bit to read all about it!) but it was somewhat of a missed opportunity. My thesis was over, the Masters was in the mail, and I was exhausted. I did a lot, I saw a lot, but I never felt like I experienced it all. There were moments of clarity sure, but all my energy was being used to sort out my life-after-grad-school future. It was challenging to say the least. 2013 was all about recuperating from that and laying low. Getting life in order so that I could start enjoying again. A new year means new adventures so bring them on I’m ready for it all.

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So there you have it folks, 2014 is gonna rock and I’m gonna dance my way through it.