Thursday, October 29, 2009

I'm Doing What I Dream

As nerve wracking as it can be, I am officially teaching yoga and doing my best to inspire my students. Working for LA Fitness as a yoga instructor is a good start. I'm getting lots of practice being an effective instructor, but I still question how much knowledge I have to take my students into posture and back out SAFELY! It's going well so far, but I've only taught 3 classes. My fourth class is tonight and I still need to come up with a sequence that will be different as well as challenging for them so they walk away from my class feeling rejuvenated and yet relaxed.

I'm concerned about falling into a pattern and my sequences will all feel very much the same. I need to mix it up and add variety. Best get on that for tonight's class or else I'll be feeling nervous and unprepared. Thursday nights are supposed to be busy. Last week wasn't, but this week might be.

Until next time......

Thanks for reading!


Monday, September 14, 2009

Yoga Update

Okay, so when I last posted, I was going up to Kripalu for the weekend. Well, Kripalu was wonderful; more than I bargained for in fact. I found that even with all the reading, introspection and yoga that I do, I still felt like a fish out of water and was very much intimidated by being there. It was a little like being at college again for the first time. I was entering a space where I knew one person and she wasn't even going to be around the whole time. I would be lying if I said I wasn't uncomfortable. After stepping back from it all, I realize that my discomfort came from the fact that even though I can talk the talk when it comes to yoga and the yoga lifestyle, I still don't always walk the walk and therefore felt like a "fake" and like I'm putting on a show.

My internal discomfort not only came from my own perceived personal hypocrisy, but also from the pranyama(breathing) exercises that were done during the workshop I was helping with as well. The theory goes that if a person suppresses their emotions, the pranyama; dhirga in particular, can dredge up those emotions and make them free floating in the body, resulting in spontaneous crying, as it did with me. As a result, I became overwhelmed enough that I left Kripalu before the BEST musical performance of the weekend; Yo Yo Ma! experience was that profound and overwhelming, that I had to leave because for now it was more than I could handle.

Despite the emotional discomfort I felt while I visited Kripalu, I would go back in a heartbeat. The grounds are so beautiful and so peaceful and everyone is so nurturing and accepting. Being there is like being enveloped by a HUGE hug......however, if you aren't ready for it, as I was, it can be like getting a hug from a complete stranger.

So.....what does this mean for my yoga practice? Well.....less than a week after I returned from Kripalu, I was in a Latin Impact class and asked the instructor if LA Fitness pays (like a scholarship) to get people certified so they have class instructors for their gym. She said no, but AFAA (American Fitness and Aerobics Association) was having workshops which they were charging only $99 for (as opposed to $300) in the month of September. They had a yoga workshop available that I registered for immediately. The workshop was yesterday! Woo Hoo! I can now teach yoga within a gym setting.

This by no means is a "true" yoga certification, but it's a step in the right direction for now and I can get some teaching experience which I desperately need. I've recently learned of a YTT at a local yoga studio right in my town. Saraswati's Yoga Joint has a thorough and comprehensive 200 hour training program that meets every other Friday, Saturday and Sunday for 3 months. The cost is not that astronomical that it's out of my reach, so I think I will do it if my application gets accepted.

I get butterflies in my stomach when I think about it. The idea of doing what I love and sharing that with the world brings me to tears. The excitement and the joy along with the fear and anticipation make me giddy. The signs keep pointing me in this direction. All I can do is honor my heart and answer its call.

Until next time.....

Thanks for reading!


Thursday, August 6, 2009

Yoga Focus

So.....bad news. My trainer has moved onto another gym to take a better paying job, so that concludes my personal training. Oh well. That's focus had shifted for a short while there away from excelling in my yoga practice to rising up to the many challenges put before me by my trainer instead. It wasn't counter productive, but I wasn't as yoga focused as I should have been. Now that he's out of the way, I can realign my focus once more.

And wouldn't you know it.....the timing of things couldn't be more uncanny! Here's what I'm talking about:

My trainer moves onto his new job last Thursday and that same night I was at a going away party with my friends and and we were discussing our exercise regimes and I mentioned how much I enjoy yoga and do it as much as possible to which my friends suggested that I should be a yoga instructor. Only two days later, I received an email from my friend Larissa, who is a yoga instructor at Kripalu Health and Wellness Center in Lenox MA asking me if I could come up and be her assistant for a workshop this coming weekend. I won't be helping to teach any yoga classes as I have no certification, but I will be helping to greet guests and hand out pamphlets, etc. I do get to have access to all the yoga classes, free room and board for the weekend and get to attend the evening concerts at Tanglewood. I've been toying with the idea of becoming an instructor for a while, I'm just not sure when I would find the time to become certified. Perhaps this weekend will show me a way.

I'm really excited to see where this adventure leads me.

Until next time......

Thanks for reading!


Saturday, July 25, 2009

Can't get enough of the gym!!!!!!

......and that's why I haven't updated my blog in a while. I'm on a SERIOUS health kick and trying to get to the gym as much as my children will allow me to.......which lately has been every day! Can you believe it????? Thank God for that Kids club that the gym kids actually request to go to the gym so they can play with the other kids. Fine by me!

Until next time.....

Thanks for reading!


Monday, July 6, 2009

Yoga Dreams and Aspirations

There is a saying that "when the student is ready, the teacher will appear." I have been wanting to take my yoga practice to the next level for a little while now and keep envisioning myself being strong enough to lift myself from a seated position into a handstand with ease and control.

Currently, my upper body strength does not support that vision and I have been working to condition myself to be more flexible, but have needed a teacher or trainer to help me reach the next level of my yoga that is strong enough and flexible enough to have the knowledge of how to achieve the goal I have in mind.

It just so happens that I was at the gym last Thursday for my yoga class and did some shoulder exercises and cardio after class. As I was stretching I looked over to see one trainer inverted on an exercise ball with is legs up in the air. I was in pigeon pose and decided to comment and said, "Now you are just showing off!" He told me I had him beat because he could never get into pigeon pose. I tried doing what the trainer did and fell commenting that once I master Crow position, I should feel more confident doing an inversion. Then seemingly out of nowhere appeared two more trainers, one of which showed me he could not only do Crow, but he could push himself from Crow into a handstand!!!! OMG!! My teacher has appeared! I told him I wanted to learn how to do that and he said he could teach me.

BRING IT!!!!!!

He proceeded to put me through the wringer for the next 30 minutes, but was impressed that I was able to do most of the exercises he put before me even though I'd never done them before. One thing I do need to work on is my balance! At the end of it, I was so seduced by the idea of meeting my yoga goals, that I hired him as my trainer....not taking into account that right now spending money is a no, no in my household. I ended up having to cancel my training membership the very next day and felt so badly about it because I wanted so much to train my body to be stronger without looking like it....and I know this trainer can get me those results!

Luckily, he said he'll still train me regardless of a membership......and I'll sign up for a valid personal training membership once funds become available.

Life is good!

Until next time.....

Thanks for reading!


Thursday, June 11, 2009

Olsen Olsen

Olsen Olsen is a song by Sigur Ros off their A'gaetis Byrjun album. I had been skeptical of this album and Von only because other listeners described the albums as dark and moody. I'm still digesting A'gaetis Byrjun, but so far I really like it! My new favorite song is Olsen Olsen. It starts out with a kind of dark tone to it, but as soon as Jonsi starts singing, the mood lifts. His voice sounds like I'm hearing it in my dreams.....all soft, distant and echoed. When he crescendos at what I assume is the chorus, the feeling overtakes me and tears just spontaneously well up in my eyes. The sound is so beautiful. Then come the flute, piano and brass interludes that ultimately build into this very joyful and free spirited collaboration that lifts the heart out of any possible sadness. God, I love these guys!

I actually just sent a letter off to the band just expressing my appreciation for their fine work and in the letter I told them that I almost couldn't go back to listening to American music because their unique music makes American music sound cliche and almost ugly. I know that sounds harsh, because obviously there are still some decent American bands out there, but today's pop culture and the way the big record labels dictate song artists creativity have soured me to much of the American music industry. I do still have some bands I can listen to.....Dave Matthews being one of them.

By and large though, I am religiously reaching for Sigur Ros when I want to hear music. I sneak off to get a little listen on my iPod every now and then when I don't want to inundate my husband with the same tunes over and over again. I find I am more creative when I listen to them and I'm also more calm and happy as well. It's no wonder they were asked to play for the Dalai Lama about a week ago. Wow! What an honor! The feeling in the arena where the performance was held must have been pure love and bliss.

I say this because; even though it may sound retarded, I truly believe that Sigur Ros' music could bring about world peace if everyone listened to them. Bring the Dalai Lama into the mix and it's practically a done deal. Does any of this sound like a kooky movie from the 80's? Remember "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure"? Remember how they were destined to create music that would bring world peace? Ahem.....enter Sigur Ros. The modern day and infinitely cooler band with a musical aesthetic that any true music lover can appreciate. Ahhhhhhh! I just can't get enough of them!

Until next time....

Thanks for reading!


Thursday, May 14, 2009

Sigur Ros......again!

Over Mother's Day weekend, Sigur Ros posted a link to so fans could view the bonus videos included with the deluxe edition for their most recent album, Med sud i eryum vid spilum endalaust. I have watched the bonus videos twice now since then and invariably end up crying my eyes out by the end of it!

The first video depicts Sigur Ros the band on tour for their new album and doing a music video for one of my favorite songs, Gobbledigook. It's kind of nice to get a feel for what these guys are like when they aren't performing. They seem like regular, down to earth people who just love to have a good time and cheer each other on. It's really very endearing!

The second video is the making of the song, Ara batur at Abbey Road in London. For this song they used an orchestra and The Westminster Boys Choir. The end result is nothing short of breathtaking and would easily bring anyone to's THAT beautiful!

The more I see....the more I hear........the more I love.

Until next time....

Thanks for reading!


Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Current TV

If you have Cablevision, you can't get this channel. If you have a dish, you might and probably do. If you have AT&T U-verse like I do, you get this channel. And what a wonderful channel it is!!!!!

I can't say enough amazing things about Current TV. I discovered it after we got U-verse through AT&T. If I was to describe it to those who need something to relate it to, I'd say it's kind of like You Tube except it is much more organized with a worldly view of the issues that affect countries, societies, communities and individuals. The network will take a block of time; maybe 30 minutes or an hour; to explore a topic.....let's say hair. In that time, they will show you "pods" that viewers have created exploring as many angles as they can on the subject of hair. They discuss everything from every angle.....politics, fashion, art, technology, lifestyle, movies, sports, music, religion, hair.....everything! There's a lot of funny stuff too.

I don't even watch the news anymore since everything that's reported is so biased. If you really want to know what's going on in the world, watch Current TV! I was watching a segment of pods lastnight about Iran. They discussed everything from the basiscs of Iran (like where is it on the world map and what is the dominant religion) to Iranian transexuality and nose jobs in Iran. Apparently, Iran is the nose job capitol of the world!

There's a wealth of information on Current TV that more people should have access to. Too many people have been sucked into the clutches of mainstream media, where society is only allowed a small perspective of what's really going on. It's a shame that so many people live in the dark and allow themselves to be lead like sheep, buying into only what the news broadcasts, which is skewed by the networks own hidden agendas and political views.

Current TV is admittedly a liberal newtork, but they aren't afraid to explore all the facets of an issue, whether it be about hair or the possibility of war with Iran. The channel's varied podcasts probably answer many questions that we as an American society have that our government refuses to answer.

I know I keep going on and on about the political side of Current TV, but I must say that a lot of it is very lighthearted and simply all around informative. I always thought I could get smarter by watching the Discovery Network Channels, but Current TV trumps them all and I can honestly say I've learned so much more as a result of watching Current. Here's a link to their website:

That's all for now.

Until next time......

Thanks for reading!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Trader Joe's

I have lived in Norwalk, CT for almost 7 years now with access to not ONE, but TWO Trader Joe's stores. I have never shopped there regularly and am now kicking myself. Just recently I have taken the time to peruse their aisles and check out all their goods and noticed one unmistakable fact.....their products are not only good.....they are really, really inexpensive!

I have been scouring the weekly fliers that come in the mail for savings to the stores I tend to frequent, like Stop & Shop or Shoprite and while they my have some decent deals depending on the week, they really can't beat Trader Joe's on certain things. Just last week I was at Trader Joe's with my son when they were going around with cereal samples for their Gourmet Flakes and Chocolate Cereal. Kellogg's has a similar product, in a smaller box, for almost twice what Trader Joe's is asking!!!!! It's amazing what a name brand can do to a price. And that's just one of their products that I have allowed myself to indulge in now that I can justify buying it again. They also have almond butter their which I have to buy for my daughter since she is allergic to peanuts and they charge around $4.00 for theirs where Stop & Shop has an almond butter for $10.00. Uh, no brainer! They also have their own verson of Pirate's Booty in a bigger bag for a whole lot less!

Not only does Trader Joe's do wonders for my budget, but they also offer a HUGE range of products that are ORGANIC!!!! Now that I've been scared into consuming mostly organic foods after reading Skinny Bitch, this is a mecca for me. The Trader Joe's I've been going to in Westport, CT is a small store and they don't offer fresh cuts of fish or meat (only frozen fish).....not that I should care since Skinny Bitch pretty much scared me into being vegetarian as well, so I'll have to check out the one in Darien, CT to see if that TJ's does things differently and offers a different variety.

All the same, Trader Joe's has great products and offer them at such competitive prices that I wish I'd taken the time to notice a long time ago. I was under the impression that it was high end health food store that only those who live in Westport and Darien could afford to shop at. I was way wrong. In fact, the staff as well couldn't be nicer! They all seem to enjoy their work, which makes the store feel so welcoming. They are so helpful and are so sweet to the kids. My son is sure he leaves with at least 2 balloons for both he and his sister whenever we go. Today he not only copped two balloons, but snagged two sets of mardi gras beads from one of the employees.....again, one for him and one for his big sis. What a nice little brother.

So, if you haven't yet discovered Trader Joe's, you must go! You can thank me later.

Until next time......

Thanks for reading!


Friday, April 17, 2009

Skinny Bitch

Have you seen this book???? I have to say that I borrowed it from the library simply because of the title and figured it had to be a sassy read with a title like that! I was right! The authors were shamelessly dropping F-bombs all over the place in between moments of informative concern.

One would think that with a title like Skinny Bitch that this book would primarily be about diet and exercise, but no. I was shocked to read the things they were writing about. The major motivation for this book is to inform the readers about the greed, corruption and overall lack of concern for the public within the food industry. It relays graphic accounts of the horrible abuse the animals suffer for the sake of being food for the American consumer. The book outlines the corruption and conflicts of interest that go on within the FDA, USDA and even the EPA. Oh my God, the EPA even!!!!!!! Aren't they supposed to oversee our organic food handling??? YES! Apparently they can't be trusted!

The book makes an EXTREMELY strong case to go vegan. Afterall, the meat we eat is being injected with hormones to make the animals grow faster and fatter for slaughtering and antibiotics to keep them from getting sick......and being sprayed with pesticides to keep the bugs off of them. So now you know why 8 year old girls are growing breasts and getting their period. And this also explains why people are becoming immune to antibiotics or developing allergies. Also, contaminated meat still gets a passing grade because it's all about money and greed....and if the meat doesn't go to market, there's no money to be made. This information was making me sick......and I don't even want to go into what they do to chickens or how milk is handled! Basically, the food pyramid is BS and was only put in place by the FDA so each food category could get their fair share of the profits to be made. Even the sugar industry has their hand in the cookie jar. Did yo know that when ASPARTAME gets ingested, a chemical reaction occurs that turns it into formaldahyde?? This product is not fit for human consumption and yet it got passed through corrupt means. It's sickening and disheartening. It makes me want to buy a huge piece of property and grow all my own food so I know what I'm eating.

I'm still on the fence in terms of whether or not I'll go completely vegan, but I have made significant adjustments to my diet that include A LOT more fruits and veggies and organic foods from trusted sources(which they tell you about in the book). In fact, it's changed my thinking so much that I definitely make sure to wash all my fruits and veggies now (espeially if they aren't organic) before I eat them. The food industry doesn't care about our health and if the chemicals they use on the meat and produce lead to cancer, alzheimers or a host of other horrible diseases.....allergies included! I used to think the produce industries would go that extra mile and clean the produce to ensure that their food was completely safe for human consumption right out of the packaging. Nope, that was a silly thing to think. Why do you think there has been such a significant rise in allergies over the past years? Duh! Think about all the crap we have been ingesting into our bodies! It makes me angry that our food industry is so corrupt and that the government would allow such things to go on.

Yes, this book will make you think about food, government and our country in a whole new way. It opened my eyes and now that I know what goes on, I can't turn a blind eye to it anymore. I'm aware and will make every effort to see to it that I and my family eat only the best foods that are handled with human consumption in mind. If you want to be informed, read this book. If you don't want to give up your meat group, don't read it! This book will change you!

Until next time.......

Thanks for reading!


Monday, April 6, 2009

Icelandic Bands.....Period!!!

Is it a problem when I can hear a bands music in my head when I'm not playing them on the stereo or my iPod? Or if I need to sneak away to listen to my iPod just to get a fix of their music? Is this a problem?

My obsession with Sigur Ros continues! To make matters worse, the lead vocalist for Sigur Ros has his boyfriend, Alex Somers in the band, Parachutes......which also happens to be an Icelandic band with an equally magical sound as Sigur Ros.....actully more airy. Still though, what is it with these Icelandic bands????

I think I need to see for myself. I'm angling to have my next vacation be to Iceland to get a feel for what inspires this amazing music.

Attached is a link to a You tube video for a Parachutes song that has me in its grips. Just click the title of this post to take you there.

That's all for now!

Thanks for reading!


Saturday, March 28, 2009


Okay, so a week or so ago, I did a search on my DVR for any upcoming programs on Sigur Ros and found their documentary film they did for their Takk tour. I scheduled the recording and have been so excited to see this film that I've read so much about. It was run on the Sundance Channel.

After a morning of selling my wares at an elementary school tag sale, I was happy to come home and find the program recorded, so I settled in with some lunch and watched in awe as these amazing musicians went through the motions of creating, bonding and sharing.

The movie is called Heima, which in Icelandic means "at home". The movie is filmed soley in Iceland after the band has returned home from touring the world to promote their Takk album. As I've mentioned in my previous post, Takk means 'thanks' in Icelandic and the film portrays the band playing unannounced, free concerts all over Iceland as their way of giving back to their community for showing their support. It's such a touching gesture and one that makes me love this band even more. They simply seem so unaffected by their fame and popularity, unlike other bands who become famous and suddenly they are too good to speak to a common person. The members of Sigur Ros don't seem to be that way. They are very appreciative of their good fortune and take the opportunity to show their fans just how much they appreciate their support. The cinematography is stunning! You get a true feel for the Icelandic landscape and for the people. I've decided that I will add Iceland to my bucket list as one of those places that I must experience before I die.

What moves me so much is clearly seeing the emotion with which the lead singer delivers his songs. He sings from his heart and he plays from his heart......the whole band plays from their heart and I can't seem to get enough of that. It's such a pure inspiration to me to feel such passion through music. I can literally feel the passion in their music and I suppose that's why I remain fixated on them.

Until next time......

Takk fyrir lestur!
(thanks for reading!)


Thursday, March 26, 2009


The first time I EVER did yoga was when I was working in Stamford, CT and the gym was in the same building as my office. I remember feeling so intimidated because I had no idea what I was doing. Would my posture be right? Would I lose my balance when I had to hold a pose? And worst of I look like a yogi in these clothes? Yes, I was that preoccupied with how I looked in a class that would challenge me to juggle breathing with posturing, stretching and contorting. Strangely, I found that after all that, I was as mellow as a jellyfish on muscle relaxers. In fact, I was so at peace and relaxed that even my overly chauvinistic and needy boss couldn't rile me up. It felt so good, I had to go back. And so I did.

Now, almost 7 years later after having two kids, I'm finally able to get back to doing yoga on a regular basis. Yes, roughly 7 years have passed since I had last done downward facing dog. I did have a couple of opportunities to indulge my love of yoga over the years, but they were few and far between. A video here, a class there, but nothing regular to help me keep my peace of mind in check.

And even though it took me THIS long to get back to yoga, I myself would've thought I'd been practicing all along......and perhaps others in my class would've thought so as well. The postures, poses and vinasa flows all seem to come so naturally. Depending on the day, my balance may be great....or not. Just today I wasn't able to stay in half moon pose with my leg off the floor. Then there are other days when I could stay in tree pose all day, focusing on my dristi point. One of my other favorites that always "poses" a challenge for me is eagle pose, but I always feel so accomplished when I'm able to hold the pose without even so much as a tremble.

I love it when the instructor really pushes the class with challenging poses. It helps me to find my range of flexibility and work to become even more flexible.
I once read that a flexible body is an indication of a flexible mind. If that's the case, then I'm doing pretty good, but I'd like my mind and body to be this flexible:
My friend, Lissy is a yoga instructor at Kripalu Wellness Center in Lenox, MA and she is such an inspiration to me. She has been studying yoga for years now and just got back from studying in India. How wonderful for her. She can do reverse warrior.....and really any other pose like no one I've ever seen. In this shot, it's reverse warrior. I'll have to find out her secret for becoming so open through the ribcage.
For now though, I will take comfort that I am incredibly open through the hips, which allows me to do butterfly and pigeon pose with ease. I can hold my own in class and when a challenging pose presents itself, a little voice inside of me says, "Bring it on!".

Thanks for reading!



Monday, March 23, 2009

Rufus Sewell

One of the first times I came across the actor, Rufus Sewell, was when I watched Dangerous Beauty with Catherine McCormack. Aside from being a great actor with a very disarming charm about him, he has these HUGE green-hazel eyes that I can't help but love. He's been in at least 34 different films, the most notable films being the following:

Dangerous Beauty
Bless the Child
A Knight's Tale
The Legend of Zoro
The Illusionist
Tristan & Isolde
The Holiday
The Eleventh Hour (TV Series)

I did a search on my DVR for movies that he's in and found a GEM! It's a film called At Sachem Farm. It's a story about a young man who feels he has all the answers until his seemingly crazy uncle shows him the truth about life. It's a heartwarming story about succeeding in life by doing what you love instead of conforming to societies ideals about what success looks like. GREAT FLICK!

It's a shame about his name though.....why would anyone name their child Rufus? Must be a family name.

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Sigur Ros

I would say that I discovered the Icelandic band, Sigur Ros about a year and a half ago while cruising iTunes looking for new music to add to my collection. One of their songs, Glosoli was on iTunes on someones iMix. I listened to it and loved it immediately. The song was ethereal and dreamlike in its feel. I felt transported by their music and over time found more of their music on iTunes and downloaded their 4th album, Takk.

Takk is Icelandic for "Thanks". Given the huge following the band had acquired to that point, the name of the album was certainly appropriate. The whole album seemed to take me out of my current reality. The sound was like nothing I've ever heard before. The contrast between the light and airy falsetto voice of Jonsi Birgisson (the lead vocalist) and his guitar which he plays with a cello bow.....and the chimes and horns and string section that all come together to create this incredible sound is so moving to the core. Listening to their music has spontaneously brought tears to my eyes on many occasions and I can only chalk it up to the purity with which they play.

There is an honesty to their music. They haven't sold out to some huge recording label. They make their music according to their terms and with what inspires them. Their music is art! If you ever get the opportunity to see them perform live, you will understand exactly what I mean. They played at NYC MoMA last June and Current TV documented it. Here's the link:

Not only is their music artistic, but the videos that accompany their music are so artfully done that to both hear their music and see the images, one almost can't help but be swept away by the overall affect. It is truly beautiful, overwhelming and poetic. Below are some of my favorites from Sigur Ros posted on You Tube.

Glosoli (Glowing Soul)

Saeglopur (The Seafarer)


All the videos, to me, depict a fearlessness in childhood innocence. The song Gobbledigook is a portrayal and interpretation of mother nature and her mischievous "helpers". Given that Jonsi and the band sings in Icelandic, I had to go searching for the lyrics and their translations. Here's the rough translation for Gobbledigook found on

You can find translations for most of their other songs at as well.

Gobbledigook is the first track off their newest album, Med sud i eyrum vid spilum endalaust (With a buzz in our ears, we play endlessly). This album is quite different from Takk. It has more tracks that have an upbeat feel to them, whereas, Takk feels as though it was inspired by the dark, somber, contemplative winters in Iceland. Med sud has more of a feel like it was written and inspired by the hope and promise of spring and the magic that seems to bring life back to the earth after the cold dark winter. It's definitely worth a look and listen.
Well, that's all for now. My fixation with Sigur Ros hasn't abated just yet, so I'm sure I will post some more tidbits for you soon enough.

Until next time......

Thanks for reading!