Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Iowa City Yoga Festival. Part Two!

Nothing like starting your Saturday morning with some 7am pranayama! Ok, I would rather be sleeping, but I had to try it out. Jim Bennitt is rather well known in the area, so it couldn't be too bad. I just have the attention span of a gnat that early in the morning when I am supposed to sit still….

Second class of the day was the one I was most looking forward to, but also the one I was fearing the most. Having heard everything that I had about Andrey from James, I think anyone would be super nervous. He is a very intense human being. And his class followed suit. He started with speed talking about his universal yoga practice with charts. I think I understood a little more than half. Such a heavy accent at that speed, I did the best I could. We got started with the practice, and he raced through it, and its an intense practice, I can only imagine how crazy it could be at normal speed with legit intent. He expects everything instantly and at full possibility. This one girl kept getting yelled at because she wasn't listening to the directions. Although, frankly after a while, she basically gave up and that just pissed him off more. He killed my shoulders though. They aren't meant to move like that!

I was supposed to have James as the next session, but after Andrey's arm murder (combined with two Gauntlets the day before) AND knowing what James expects, I decided I would rather have brunch! Nate was in the same boat, so we ventured off to campus in the rain to locate the Bluebird Diner. Second best decision of the weekend! The place was packed, and rightfully so. Absolutely delicious. I was responsible and got a nice omelet. And then split this GLORIOUS order of pumpkin bread french toast…. ;-)
Afternoon was Gabriel Anzoulay, Thai Yoga. The guy looks exactly like you would want your yoga instructor to look like. And sound like. And just like Dreaming Bear the night before. The women weren't anywhere close to shy in showing their "enthusiasm". At first he seemed to take the class a little bit too seriously. But really, in partner stretches like this, people doing them for the first time, you have to expect a little silliness. Otherwise, it might take it to the completely other level of totally awkward. I'd done partner yoga before, and that was quite helpful in the different Thai yoga poses, but it was a learning experience for sure. I'd love to try more sometime. 

Dinner was slightly more complicated than brunch, driving around in humid stormy weather, for far longer than should be done. But eventually landing on a sweet sandwich place. Which which! Yum. And crashing asleep.

I just love this picture of Benji.
Realizing that you have to be checked out of your hotel room before your first class of the day isn't all that bad. Until you realizing its pouring rain. Oh well. Jim Bennitt's purification session was up first. And I think it was maybe 45 minutes in to the two hour session that my brain said, "Hey, I'm done, this is too much focusing in a short weekend" and from then on out, I was just focusing on getting through the class. The breath work was kind of cool. It was the kind that churns your stomach in and out and in circles. Jim's a really easy talker, you can get into what he's' saying (until you lose focus). Although he had us attempt peacock, and I am pretty sure I was going to break my spine with my stomach. It was pretty entertaining though, "If you're one of those people with boobs, you're going to need to scoop them up." And by pranayama work at the end, I was making up stories about the people near me in my head….

Thus cuing me to probably leave early. I really wanted to stay for the Gong bath in the afternoon, but that involved five more hours of focused practice and then getting home at the complete end of the weekend. But leaving early meant i'd have nearly all of Sunday left to be productive. Sadly, I voted the latter. But I will get a gong bath in sometime again, I am determined!

It was a great time. I will go again next year (maybe just keeping in mind that I have total ADD). Definitely an edgy event for Iowa, and hoping that it will become more of the norm!

Iowa City Yoga Festival. Part One.

I seem to have a habit of blogging about events that happened two weekends ago. So why break habit now? This past summer, I was crazy lucky enough to be able to train with James Miller and earn my 200RYT certificate. It just so happens that he produces the Iowa City Yoga Festival every year. October 12-14 was just the weekend! I knew most of my classmates would be there, and I knew some others in attendance, so of course it was a great time. 

First off, best decision ever made, staying at the same hotel as the festival was being held in. I can only imagine the nightmare that would have been trying to drive in and out all the time. So that was a happy moment right away. Plus, it was a really nice new hotel. A surprising find in the middle of Iowa, that's for sure. The festival opened up on Friday night with all of the vendors, and of course, I fell in love with this gorgeous coat immediately. Trying it on was the biggest mistake. I kept staring at it all weekend. However, I am proud to say I didn't succumb to the pressure! 

I was barely in the conference center before seeing classmates of my training classes, and kept seeing them all weekend long. And James was all over the place, it being his event, but the weirdest part of that, was that he was dressed in normal clothes. Not even a suit, but nice pants and a button down. Now, I saw this man every single day for 13 hours a day for two weeks this summer. He has a uniform. Short yoga shorts and tight t shirts. Never once did we see him in anything else. So pants were just a very oddball look. 
We go in to the Opening Ceremonies that night and Matahara was playing on stage as we found seats. And who sits directly behind me? Andrey Lappa, James' ultimate mentor. I was star struck far more than I should have been thats for sure. But he was only an attendee of the evening, and the speakers were just as awesome. Max Strom has the voice of butter. I would listen to him read a phone book. The aerialists…..were there. Tao Porchon-Lynch is the world's oldest yoga teacher. She is 94 and came to stage in leather pants and stilettos. Adorable. She told us about helping the French Revolutionaries and helping people escape in the war. AND learning with Iyengar. Insane. 

Andrey Lappa & James
Tao Porchon-Lynch
Then on came Dreaming Bear. The man had his spine infused five weeks ago and yet he got on a plane from Hawaii to come perform for us. And I'm so glad he did, it was super crazy weird and froofy, but he totally sucked you into it. He had us with linked pinkies and saying aloha to each other with cheek kisses. Good lord just typing that weirds me out. But by the end, we were all singing his Little by Little song and it STILL gets in my head. He was cool. And the older women were totally cougaring out for him. He had long curly hair and the face of Bradley Cooper. They were swooning for sure. A great way to end the opening night. 

Everyone needs some Whole Foods snacks for a weekend of yoga!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Birthday Weekend!

Two weekends ago was my birthday!!! It was a pretty crazy weekend just in general. And I feel like I've been going non stop since. Ill bulletpoint it!

Friday night was spent running all over town between Blaines and Walmart gather supplies, and then proceeding to design and create our Color Run t-shirts of glory.

Tim and I drove down to Des Moines for the Color Run.
Ate a glorious Whole Foods breakfast.
Found the perfect parking spot downtown.
Perfect parking does not equal perfect weather.
Windy, cold (40s), with no sun. Not ideal for running in a specially designed thin tshirt.
Finally got to visit the Lululemon Showroom, disappointing, only three racks of miscellaneous clothes.
Brief walk to Runners Village, freezing.
Saw Ryleah, a former video board kid. Loved it.
Sat in the car making the rough decision.
Cold, had a 2hour wait, still having neck pain.
Decided TOTALLY randomly to drive up to Minneapolis to go birthday shopping!
Got to Minneapolis, straight to the Athleta store.
Shopping efficiency, 90 minutes.
Slightly double the limit spent. Oops.
Thank God Minnesota doesn't have sales tax.
But I did get more than workout clothes! I got some work clothes and holiday options too!
Tim made for a great shopping buddy. He holds AND advises. Without complaint (as long as he has his smartphone).
There MIGHT be a cupcake store between the car and Athleta….but we saved them for after dinner!
Big dinner conundrum of where to go.
Best decision all day, The Anchor.
An amazing dive, packed super early on Saturday.
Best fish and chips since Australia (that's saying something)
Second Whole Foods run for stocking up.
Headed home via the parents house for a quick hello.

Red Velvet & Cake Batter...mmm
Slept way too late. (Yesterday was jam packed!)
Princess delivery service took me to Hot Yoga
First time back after medical issues and injuries.
Been way too long.
Hyvee run for birthday breakfast and a caramel apple.
Nixed breakfast for birthday lunch with the family.
Knee pads, fro yo, and a workout rounded out the hang out afternoon.
Mini fashion show for family at birthday dinner!
Got a new NLXF shirt, massage gift card, a halloween plate and halloween socks!
Grandma and Grandpa came over for the awesome meal of rouladden, cucumber/tomato/mozzarella salad, and spaghetti corn.
Sweet potato cupcakes from Scratch for dessert!
Evening concluded with mom's travel questions from a box!

Happy Birthday to Me!!!!!!!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Caption This.

What is Olivia thinking right at this moment?!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Birthday Week Boo Boos and Ouchies.

I am an idiot. I was so excited to be getting back in to my fifth Next Level that I HAD to facebook about it as I was walking in. At 5:30am, when its dark, in a parking lot that I THINK I know very well. Next thing I know, I am on the ground. (Don't worry, the iPhone 4s was just fine).

I know my back and neck are jacked immediately. But I didn't notice all the bloody carnage until I got inside. It certainly wasn't pretty. Both knees banged up, shin with the road rash from hell, palm punctures. I was the picture of health to start kickboxing five minutes later (not).  Adrenaline kept the wounds from hurting too much (til later), but my neck was on fire.

I waited the few hours for the chiropractor to open. I get in, tell them the story (which they find hilarious) and then he informs me that I have given myself whiplash. By falling. I am an idiot.

So the past three days have been filled with ice packs, Icy Hot, and gauze. So much fun! Ugh. Sleeping with a neck that hates you and sheets brushing against road rash = not the easiest thing on the planet. 

Here's hoping i'm decently healed for Saturday's Color Run 5k and my birthday on Sunday! No more facebooking and walking until then.....or at least not a 5:30 in the morning. 

Monday, October 1, 2012

Yo Ho Yo Ho!!

Pirate Nessa hopes there's enough rum to last all October....