Rox Does Yoga

Yoga, Wellness, and Life

Travel and Such, and a New Class! September 26, 2013

Filed under: checking in — R. H. Ward @ 1:57 pm
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The past week has been very, very busy: I had a business trip to Baltimore and then on to Washington, DC for a conference, and after DC, F picked me up at the train station and we headed directly to Cape May for a long weekend at the beach! I had every intention of blogging while I was away, at least while I was on the business trip and had my laptop with me anyway, but it just didn’t happen. A lot of things didn’t happen while I was traveling, which may well be the subject of another post.

But I do want to take a minute and announce that I will be teaching a new yoga class starting October 1! I’ll be at Wellness on Park (100 Park Ave, Suite 1, Swarthmore, PA) teaching all-levels vinyasa, 7:30-8:45 on Tuesday evenings. I’ve added the new class to my schedule page, too. I’m really excited about this opportunity to get into a regular teaching groove! If you’re in the area, come on out and save $5 off the first class!


Link Round-up: Body Image, Body Love September 12, 2013

Filed under: wellness,yoga lifestyle — R. H. Ward @ 1:59 pm
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I’ve read some really excellent articles this week, all somehow revolving around the concept of body image, and the recognition that there’s a human person living in that body you’re looking at:

  • What People Really Look Like: A look at bodies from the perspective of a massage therapist. I love this because I don’t get to see what my body looks like on a massage table. I love this writer’s sense of reverence and joy in his work.
  • These Are the Lines of a Story: This piece about a woman’s body after giving birth brought me close to tears twice (the part with the hair, and then the story she tells to her son). For the first time, instead of feeling thankful and proud that I have no stretch marks, I feel a little sad that I have no visible marks to share with my daughter when she’s older.
  • To Me, Mean Pictures Aren’t Funny (Even the Really Funny Ones): A nice reflection on kindness and compassion to reflect on the next time you get one of those email forwards with photos of people at Walmart in horrible outfits.

Here’s another one  that I didn’t read this week, but that I’ve been thinking about all week as the other articles above came across my screen:

  • When Your Mother Says She’s Fat: I love, love, love this piece and I think about it often. I remember how beautiful my mom was when I was little – I mean to say, she’s still beautiful, but I remember sitting on her bed and watching her and just knowing with little-kid certainty that she was the most beautiful mom there ever was. My heart breaks for the little girl this writer was, seeing her beautiful mom in that suddenly  harsh light; my heart breaks to think about YB having a realization like this. I am consciously trying, even now while YB is so little, to be careful about what I say to her about my appearance. If I practice now, it will come more naturally later on when she starts to understand more. When I’m feeling particularly down, I tell her, “Doesn’t Mama look so pretty today?” It makes me feel better, because it reminds me that to her, I am what beautiful is.

Wanderlust recap September 10, 2013

Filed under: yoga — R. H. Ward @ 1:32 pm
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Sarah and Rox at Wanderlust Philadelphia, September 7, 2013On Saturday I went to the Wanderlust Yoga Block Party at the Piazza at Schmidt’s in the northern liberties neighborhood of Philly. There were many awesome things about it! (The awesomest part, of course, being that I got to spend the afternoon with Sarah Trout Martyn.)

Sarah and I took the 2:30 class. The first half of the class, taught by Brittany Policastro and Maura Manzo, was a fun vinyasa practice and a great workout. I really liked the way Maura strung poses together in a sequence that made sense but that I never would have thought of on my own. On the down side, I felt like she moved a little too quickly from pose to pose. Don’t get me wrong, I was happy for a vinyasa practice, but with my mat sliding on the ground, my feet sliding on the mat, and my stuff and other people’s stuff sliding onto the mat and making it buckle, it took a little longer for me to hit a pose, and by the time I got there, I had no time to take an inhale before I needed to flow onward. I felt like I was constantly behind and trying to catch up, which was frustrating. I don’t love a super fast pace for vinyasa anyway, but I can do it if I don’t constantly have to straighten my mat and push my bag out of the way. I don’t think the instructors realized that having so many people and their stuff in the space would create some limitations to moving so quickly.

At the end of their segment, Brittany got everybody up, brought us in towards the center, and got everyone dancing. For me this was kind of eh. Some people were totally on board, and Brittany seemed to get a jolt out of the crowd’s energy, but I just wasn’t really feeling it. This may be related to the fact that I am sensitive about walking on other people’s mats; I have a wart on my foot so I don’t want to leave wart virus to infect innocent feet. I don’t know if that’s even possible, but warts suck and I don’t wish them on anyone I would meet at a yoga festival, so I get paranoid when asked to leave my mat and walk over other people’s mats. I’m guessing that feeling was jarring enough for me that I couldn’t get into the dancing.

The second half of our class was taught by Allie Conover and Nicole Cucinotta. Allie opened their segment by asking “Is everybody ready for some Baptiste Power Yoga?!” After having my butt kicked during the first half of class, my inner response was something like, “No, actually, not really, I’d like my savasana now, thanks!” But I persevered! I’d never done Baptiste power yoga before. Apparently it involves using your down dog as a vehicle for crunches and completing twenty bridges/wheels in a row. It felt very fitness-oriented, is what I’m saying. I loved Allie’s energy, though! Her personality really came through in her teaching.

Overall, the yoga class itself didn’t give me that burst of peacefulness that I come to yoga for. My upper arms are still sore three days later, though, and that’s important too! And it was pretty amazing practicing yoga with a thousand other people. That was probably the coolest part, seeing the pose I was doing mirrored on hundreds of other bodies all around me, and seeing just how many people in my area came out to celebrate yoga.

Other perks of the festival included free popsicles from a truck sponsored by Lululemon (I had two and preferred the lime mint), demonstrations of acroyoga and hoop yoga, and, of course, having a smoothie and a granola bar with my buddy and chatting about yoga and teaching and being a mom. And while I don’t know that I’d want to go to another big festival, I’m really glad I went to this one!


Wanderlust tomorrow! September 6, 2013

Filed under: yoga — R. H. Ward @ 9:26 am

I’m looking forward to the Wanderlust yoga block party tomorrow! If you’re in the Philly area, there’s still time to RSVP and attend – just check out the website. Hope to see you there! If you can’t make it, not to worry, I’ll tell you all about it next week.


Update September 4, 2013

Filed under: checking in — R. H. Ward @ 2:10 pm
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Things have been crazy in RoxDoesYogaLand lately. Here’s a quick update:

  • I finished all my 15-minute sequences! I wrote ten sequences, practiced almost all of them (still haven’t done Strength), and posted them all here. Very happy about this. Now I need to print them out for quick reference so I won’t have to flip through my notebook to find and decipher the hand-scrawled version. Details, details.
  • I went to my first yin yoga class last Monday and LOVED IT. Luscious!
  • My family member is home from the hospital and feeling better. Possible surgery in the future, but we won’t think about that now.
  • YB was on again off again with that fever all through that weekend, poor kiddo. I think we were probably just teething something awful. This has been affecting our sleep schedule, sadly, which therefore affects my yoga schedule. This morning was the latest in my ongoing series of fresh starts – I hadn’t gotten on the mat in a week. My back, hips, and calves are back to being problematic – and the yin had been really great for the hips, too. Sigh.
  • This weekend I got the chance to celebrate at the wedding of one of my oldest friends – I’ve known Sam since she was two, and now she’s all grown up and married. (And I learned this weekend that she’s a regular reader of this blog!) I’m so incredibly happy for you – congratulations, Sam!

The rest of September for me will include one neighborhood yard sale, two business trips (one day trip, one three-nighter), and a family long weekend in Cape May, plus two fun yoga events. I think it’s going to be the sort of month where I have to hang onto the seat of my pants. I’ll update when I can, but I’m giving myself permission to slip off my usual twice-a-week schedule for this month. Whee!