My brother and I at his high school graduation :)
Since my "little" brother (he's 20) has been visiting this weekend--which is why I'm doing my usual Saturday post on Sunday--I thought it only fitting to share a poem about him. My dad
(and favorite poet!) wrote this poem about my little brother when he was 8 years old. I think it's an absolutely beautiful poem that perfectly captures what I imagine to be the feelings of awe, love, and pure amazement that parents feel when watching their children grow. Knock Me Out
Knock me out
sometimes you do.
Knock me off of my routine feet.
And I love it.
Your brother and sister do it too--
but now, this moment, it’s you.
I’ll just see you sometimes--
maybe I’m boiling the pasta for dinner
or telling you to pick up your backpack
or put your dirty underwear in the basket--
but your vigor,
the pure verve
in your face
stings me, pinches me awake,
a gun to stun me alert,
some needed volts
to vault me over the bar
of “do this, do that”
that blocks my truly seeing you.
I hear your raspy voice,
I see your one dimple,
or your new big front teeth
gapped like my father’s
and I come home.
I come home--
and although I feel
buckets of grief
for missing any of my minutes
on earth with you,
I let those buckets fall--
too heavy—and instead
hold you, behold you, son,
alive, 8 years old,
going on 8 years old
and a day. Read a few more of my wonderful dad's poems on his website, throwerstarr.com
. Now off to say goodbye to my brother and his girlfriend...SUCH a fun weekend :)Namaste!Mary Catherine
What a wonderfully busy, quick, and yoga-filled week! My brother and his adorable girlfriend, Caitlin, are in town this weekend, so although I'm just wrapping up my simple joys of the past week here, I'm also very excited about all of the fun times ahead this weekend...
What brought you simple, sensory joy this week? My faves are below:
Photo via relevantmagazine.com
"I've Got This Friend" by The Civil WarsAfter class last week, one of my students came up to me to talk to me about my playlist (we have a lot of similar musical interests) and told me that I should check out The Civil Wars, her current favorite band. So of course, I did, and I'm COMPLETELY smitten with them. They're kind of like The Swell Season with
a bit of a country twang. Their songs and voices are beautiful, and I can't wait to add a few of their songs to my next class playlist. Listen to one of my favorites, "I've Got This Friend" below...
Photo via www.borderstan.com
Taste: Zorba's Cafe
in Dupont CircleI've walked by this restaurant hundreds of times and never gone in, but I met some friends from CrossFit DC (miss it so much!) there this past week, and it was delicious. Hummus is one of my favorite foods of all time, and Greek food is one of my favorite delicacies, so I was completely taken with Zorba's right off the bat. I'm so sad that I didn't start going there sooner, when I lived in DC :( Oh well, at least I have a new favorite spot in Dupont Circle!
My brother, Patrick, and his girlfriend, Caitlin :)Yay for visitors! My brother a
nd his girlfriend got in last night, and it's been SO wonderful to see them, to meet Caitlin, and to catch up. It may be hard to imagine, but once he gets going Patrick can rival me in the conversation department--a fellow fast-talker with LOTS to say--so I have a blast being around him and hearing his stories :) Plus, I've been dying to meet Caitlin and totally love her! On our agenda for the weekend? Yoga (of course!), kayaking on the Potomac, Benefit for the Animals at TS tonight
, doubles tennis (should be interesting...), lots of eating out at our favorite restaurants, and a trip to Georgetown Cupcake
, of course (total love/hate relationship...). There's nothing like seeing family after a long time away! Makes me so happy :)
Touch: Laughing Lotus
Yoga Pose PosterI know, doesn't exactly fit in here, but I framed it this week and hung it up, so
dealing with the poster was a tactile experience (and I'm really excited about it) so I had to share. I picked this poster up at Laughing Lotus Yoga
on my trip to New York
back in May (we have the same poster framed at Tranquil Space
), and have been excited about framing it and hanging it in our "den" in our new apartment ever since. I finally found a large enough frame this past week and finally got it up yesterday. Why do I love the poster so much? It shows almost all of the yoga poses (the ones they teach at Laughing Lotus) with their Sanskrit names and adorable pictures and quotes. A fun, must-have for any female yogi :)
LavenderI picked up a bunch of dried lavender on our first trip to the Trader Joe's in the area
last Sunday, and when we got home I separated the bunch and began putting it in vases and sprinkling throughout the apartment. I'm addicted to the smell of lavender now (another thing for which I can blame Tranquil Space), so enjoying the lavender has been a wonderful sensory experience this past week. I love walking by and getting enveloped in the relaxing, soothing scent. Plus, I think it's really pretty and like how it looks (decoratively). I love all the finishing touches after a move! Each little detail makes things look a little more homey...
And that's it for this week! The next time I write a SJOTW post it will be in August...INSANE! Thanks for sticking with me over the last 5 months of blogging! So. much. fun.
Have a glorious weekend!
Photo via shimc.wordpress.com
It's been quite a while since I've shared a couple of interesting articles on my blog. But, I've come across a few over the past few days that I thought were worth sharing, so that's what we're going to be doing today! Read on for some very interesting excerpts from some very interesting health and yoga articles...
PS. These articles are a bit random. I usually try to share articles that have *something* to do with each other, but not today! My apologies for the lack of connection.
PPS. Also, before you read the first article please note that it is pretty heavy. I read it this past weekend and was blown away by the information that the author shares. I think it's a really important article for any woman in their 20s-30s (who wants to have kids) to read. If you don't want to have kids and don't care about fertility, feel free to skip.
Holly Finn, author. Photo via WSJ.com
My Fertility Crisis
by Holly Finn, from The Wall Street JournalWhen we were young, we were taught again and again that we shouldn't get pregnant. Now we can't. I'm not that woman from the Roy Lichtenstein print who forgot to have children. I was never so wrapped up in my career that I didn't think about starting a family. But I'm not over 40 and childless for no reason. I was diagnosed with endometriosis, a condition that makes it hard, sometimes impossible, to conceive. I gave too much time to the wrong men. I smoked in my 20s. I preferred red wine to sparkling water. I ate too much milk chocolate. I liked limericks. I know all the wrong that I've done....Many women are still listening to their bosses instead of their gynecologists and their guts. They still trust that their mid to late 30s is a fine time to start trying for children. True, they could get lucky. But the question should be asked: Would you prefer to have children earlier and naturally or later, by dosing yourself up with drugs, submitting to surgery and paying tens of thousands of dollars? In the first scenario, you'll probably have as many children as you'd like, and they'll be healthy. In the second, you may be able to have only one or two kids—maybe none—with a higher risk of defects and disorders....Nora Ephron has written how she regrets not having worn a bikini the entire time she was 26. "If anyone young is reading this," she writes, "go right this minute, put on a bikini, and don't take it off until you're 34." The first thing I'd like to tell women ages 26 to 34 is: Start having babies. I know it's not polite or funny. But I don't want others to go through what I'm going through now.-Click here to read the entire article on WSJ.com. In the full article, Finn discusses what fertility treatments really entail. She also outlines the probabilities and percentages of getting pregnant at various ages, and it's extremely eye-opening. I'm one of those people who knows that I want to have kids, but at some time "way down the road"--not in the foreseeable future. This article really puts things into perspective and reminds me that as a woman, having children is something you have to think about and plan--before you realize that you've missed your time and are unable to do it anymore.
Again, if you're in your 20s-30s and plan on having kids, I recommend reading the entire article!
Stanley Cup MVP Tim Thomas Talks Yoga and Shows Us
Yes--a professional hockey player that does yoga! Astounding! You can read an article that highlights a few of his quotes about yoga here
, or you can just watch the video below (really interesting!):
Coming from a family of hockey players (my dad and both my brothers play), I HAD to share this one. I hope they watch it! And yes, it is becoming a trend among professional athletes to try yoga. More and more are doing it and loving the way it changes their body, their balance, and their ability to focus. Go team yoga, go!
Photo via well.blogs.nytimes.com
How Exercise Can Keep the Brain Fit
from The New York TimesFor those of us hoping to keep our brains fit and healthy well into middle age and beyond, the latest science offers some reassurance. Activity appears to be critical, though scientists have yet to prove that exercise can ward off serious problems like Alzheimer’s disease. But what about the more mundane, creeping memory loss that begins about the time our 30s recede, when car keys and people’s names evaporate? It’s not Alzheimer’s, but it’s worrying. Can activity ameliorate its slow advance — and maintain vocabulary retrieval skills, so that the word “ameliorate” leaps to mind when needed?Obligingly, a number of important new studies have just been published that address those very questions. In perhaps the most encouraging of these, Canadian researchers measured the energy expenditure and cognitive functioning of a large group of elderly adults over the course of two to five years. Most of the volunteers did not exercise, per se, and almost none worked out vigorously. Their activities generally consisted of “walking around the block, cooking, gardening, cleaning and that sort of thing,” said Laura Middleton, an associate professor at the University of Waterloo in Ontario and lead author of the study...The effects of this modest activity on the brain were remarkable, Dr. Middleton said. While the wholly sedentary volunteers, and there were many of these, scored significantly worse over the years on tests of cognitive function, the most active group showed little decline. About 90 percent of those with the greatest daily energy expenditure could think and remember just about as well, year after year.-Click here to read the entire article on nytimes.com
.Yet ANOTHER reason to live an active lifestyle. Do we need more? So get your grandparents up and moving...invite them to join you for a walk, get up and garden, play with the dog. And do so yourself as you age.Come across any other interesting articles this week? If so, please share!Namaste,Mary Catherine
As promised back in March (when I first started my blog!), it's time for a follow-up to my musically inclined "Shake Your Asana" post
. To repeat what I said the last time that I posted some of my favorite yoga songs--I feel that creating playlists is a crucial part of my "job" as a yoga instructor.
To me, music is a very important part of setting the tone for my classes, and I believe that it can help to boost or calm people's energy when the time calls for it. There are many yogis who think it's better to practice without music--which is completely fine with me--but personally, my favorite classes are filled with wonderful music that helps me to stay present, enjoy the moment, and truly be
in my body. So, without further ado, here are 10 more amazing yoga songs. It's a countdown to #1--feel free to listen to each song using the player below as you scroll down the list! And get ready to shake your asana...or at least mellow out at your desk :)
10. Fantasy Man
by the Swell Season
: I almost think that every single song by The Swell Season could be used on a yoga playlist (they're all THAT soothing!), but this is one of my favorites to include in my mixes. I find it's a good one to play when class is winding down--during seated poses, finishing poses, etc.--as it helps people to relax and begin to transition into savasana mode...
9. Seven Wonders
by Nickel Creek
: Another band that I love to intersperse in my playlists near the end of class...their voices are absolutely gorgeous in this song!
8. Dazzling Blue
by Paul Simon
: Continuing on with my obsession with Paul Simon's latest album, I've loved playing this song in class lately. I play it towards the beginning half of class because I find it to be an upbeat, fun song for when we're flowing...he's just the greatest :)
7. Africa (Cottonbelly Remix)
from the Solarium/Delirium Soundtrack by Cirque Du Soleil
: One of my recently-added songs that I love to insert during the beginning of class, when we just begin our sun salutations or when I want to start building the energy in the room. It's a great beat--very energizing!
6. Waiting on an Angel by Ben Harper: Ben Harper has a number of great yoga songs (his voice is perfect!), but this is my favorite. I like to play it near the end of class or at the beginning, during centering. SO relaxing.
5. Kashi Vishwanath Gange
by Krishna Das
: Another great song for the beginning to middle of the class in a more energetic part of the flow. Krishna Das--there's no one else like him! It was hard to choose just one of his songs...
4. Latika's Theme
from Slumdog Millionaire Soundtrack
: Great opening/centering or savasana song. It's romantic, soft, soothing, and beautiful. I love that it says so much without words. A song that I get asked about a lot after class...
3. Set Fire to the Rain
: I've already shared this song on the blog before, but I just love it that much! It's a great song to play near the beginning of class, when you're moving a bit more quickly and building heat. But really, you can't go wrong with Adele. Every single one of her songs is amazing and could find a space on a yoga soundtrack. I've noticed a lot of other teachers playing her music lately, as well :)
2. Offering Chant
by Lama Gyurme & Jean-Philippe Rykiel
(from Putumayo Presents Yoga)
: Every time that I play this song in class, I get at least one person who comes up to me after class and asks me the name of the song. It's SO sad, beautiful, haunting, and relaxing--all at the same time. I typically play it during savasana or right before...
1. The Night Starts Here
: ALL CREDIT for this song goes to my amazing teacher, Dibora Amanuel. She has it on her playlist and it is one of my favorite songs to practice to. Ever. It's wonderful! Ben agrees...after he went to her class for the first time he came home and downloaded it right away. He was listening to it while he made breakfast the next day (haha!). Thanks, Dibora!
What's your favorite song to practice to? How do you feel about these songs? Or, do you rather practice in silence and if so, why? I'd love to hear.Namaste!Mary CatherineImage credit: yogaandmusic.com
So I SWEAR I'm not doing any sort of wedding planning yet, and I also SWEAR that this blog will not transform into a wedding-planning blog--one where I share all of the "woes" of putting together such a big event--because I am not going to become one of those people who are completely consumed by their wedding, and because I have far too many other interests to just focus on one event for the next year or so. I will say, however, that from time to time if I come across some gorgeous decorating ideas that can span any event or even prettify your household, I'm going to share them.
So, take a look below for some gorgeous DIY "vases" and floral decoration ideas. I found them while perusing one of my favorite arts & crafts sites, craftgawker
, this morning (not looking for wedding ideas, but looking to be inspired by other artists!), and I liked each of these ideas enough to save them in a folder for inspiration for down the road...#1. Hanging Bottle Vases: I came across this idea on the adorable blog Blue Velvet Chair, but she found it on Sitting in a Tree Events' blog. The images are from a backyard "engagement party" that turned out to be the actual wedding once all the guests arrived! Adorable.
Photo via sittinginatreeevents.com
Photo via sittinginatreeevents.com
#2: Chalkboard Wine Bottle Vases:
very cute idea from JulieAnnArt.com
. I think it would look even better with a bit bigger/taller floral arrangement (or just a better choice of flower), but I love the idea of using chalkboard paint (on everything!)...
Photo via JulieAnnArt.com
#3: Hanging Mason Jar Vases:
Great ideas for all things mason jar (which I LOVE!) on the blog Concrete and Lullabies
. I must have a thing for hanging jars of flowers, huh? But I think these are just too cute.
And now I'm inspired! There will be no "regular" floral arrangements at this girls wedding...everything will be in a jar hanging from a string! Hehe :)
Lastly, before I go, a total random idea that doesn't fit in with the vase/floral theme at all, but that I just love too much not to share...again, from Blue Velvet Chair
who found it on Real Simple's
Photo via Real Simple
Real Book Shelves!!! Get it? Have a flowery day!
The past week or so has been hot. Really hot. I'm from Atlanta and I still think it's been excessive, so that's definitely saying something (!). Personally, the oppressive heat has really lowered my energy level both on and off of the mat, and I've also noticed a similar theme of low-energy among my students. This heat has reminded me how important it is to be mindful of how the weather, or how external conditions (like intense heat), affect me and my practice. So if you think about it, the heat has actually given us an opportunity to practice being present and listening to our bodies...think honoring your body in ALL types of conditions :)
So then what? What if you listen to your body and it tells you that you need to cool things down or balance things out, but you don't want to give up your heated practice? Here are my 5 favorite tips on what should yogis be doing--or at least thinking about--during this heat wave:
Photo via smh.com.au
1. Shake it like a salt shaker:
As explained to Ben by our favorite CrossFit coach, Tom Brose
, last week--if you're a pretty healthy eater and don't eat much processed food, plus you're doing a lot of yoga, exercise, walking/running, or just sweating in general, you may not be getting enough salt. So for those of you who stay away from processed foods, meats, or who don't eat out much--don't forget your salt (and electrolytes! Read on...)! Shake it like a salt shaker during this heat, your body will thank you :)
Photo via taylorjonesphotography.com
2. Do lots of forward folding:
Forward folds are very cooling poses, so they're highly recommended during this heat wave. My favorites? Wide-legged forward fold
, seated forward fold (see picture to the left), baddha konasana
, and pyramid pose
. Poses to stay away from during this heat? Intense backbends, intense core work, any poses where you feel heat rising really quickly in your body and it doesn't feel appropriate or necessary. Of course, this is a personal choice, as sometimes it can feel nice to get completely heated and sweat it all out...
3. Dress appropriately: Wear loose cotton or sweat-wicking clothing in light colors. I know loose isn't always the best for yoga, so even if you don't choose loose clothing items, make sure it's breathable, that it dries quickly, and that you don't feel like you can't breathe in it (even worse when it's hot!). Last week I wore an all black yoga outfit for a 12-minute walk in the heat (while lugging two heavy bags). Not smart.
Photo via curezone.com
4. Drink coconut water (aka STAY HYDRATED!)
: My favorite way to stay cool in the summer? Coconut water. I LOVE it, and feel that there's no better drink option that is all-natural, keeps you hydrated, packs five essential electrolytes, and has as much potassium as a banana (helps stop muscle cramps!). Plus, it tastes delish :) My favorite brand is Vita Coco
, but Zico is a close second-best. Perfect as a before, after, or even during-practice pick-me-up!
Photo via yogajournal.com
5. Practice restorative yoga:
Heat got you down? I mean really down--feeling lethargic, depressed, stressed, energy-less? Then I highly-recommend restorative yoga. In this type of practice we use blankets, bolsters, and blocks to prop up and support the body in various poses. These positions slowly open the body while allowing time for mental and physical relaxation. No sweating, no intensity involved, just pure stillness. Ahhhhhh. Great resource for those curious about restorative? The book Relax and Renew by Judith Lasater.
So stay cool, DC/VA/blogosphere! I'll be thinking of you as I gulp down my coconut water while wearing loose cotton clothing, doing a restorative forward fold, and salting my food :)
Automat by Edward Hopper, Oil, 1927
As often happens with poems that I share here, the following poem landed in my inbox a few weeks ago in an email from my favorite poetry project, American Life in Poetry. I was immediately struck by the poem's tone and overall mood--I find it to be made up of part sadness and loneliness, part fantasy, and part
searching--for a sense of connectedness and belonging in the world. I've had times in my life when I've wished that I had a sister--especially when I've seen others' relationships with their sisters--so I do understand, just a little bit, what she's wishing for in this poem. Karin Gottshall
is a poetry writing instructor at Middlebury College in Vermont, and has written two books. You can read more of her poems on her website, here.
Sometimes I say I’m going to meet my sister at the café--
even though I have no sister—just because it’s such
a beautiful thing to say. I’ve always thought so, ever since
I read a novel in which two sisters were constantly meeting
in cafés. Today, for example, I walked alone
on the wet sidewalk, wearing my rain boots, expecting
someone might ask where I was headed. I bought
a steno pad and a watch battery, the store windows
fogged up. Rain in April is a kind of promise, and it costs
nothing. I carried a bag of books to the café and ordered
tea. I like a place that’s lit by lamps. I like a place
where you can hear people talk about small things,
like the difference between azure and cerulean,
and the price of tulips. It’s going down. I watched
someone who could be my sister walk in, shaking the rain
from her hair. I thought, even now florists are filling
their coolers with tulips, five dollars a bundle. All over
the city there are sisters. Any one of them could be mine.
Another poem where the poet conveys so much feeling with so few words. So take some time to pause today, to notice people talking about the "small things" and to enjoy the little things in life. Happy Saturday!
Whew! It has been one. hot. week. And here in D.C. it's supposed to get up to 116 (with the heat index) today, so it's not looking good for my weekend dream of relaxing outside on our balcony any time soon :( How have I made it through the suffocating heat and kept cool this week? Read on for my simple, sensory joys of the week...
Photo via www.beautyeditor.ca
Hear: Pixie Cut News!!
I know, what does that mean, right? Well, one of my besties got her long hair cut into a pixie last week--what I told her was one of the "bravest things anyone I know has ever done." Exaggeration? Maybe. But still, it's very brave and I'm so impressed by her ability to take the leap...plus, it looks AMAZING on her! I mean AMAZING. I don't want to embarrass her anymore, so I'm not going to mention her name, but she has definitely inspired me to do something daring...just not sure what (I could not pull off a pixie with my "melonhead"!). I'll think about it and once I figure it out, will take you along for the ride ;)
Vanilla Birthday Cupcake from...you guessed it, Georgetown CupcakeAs much as I hate to admit it, there's just NOTHING like Georgetown Cupcake. Their long lines infuriate me, the fact that they have a TV show is pretty ridiculous, and I dislike all the hype surrounding the brand name, but they are truly worth every bit of it. One of the treatment therapists at Tranquil Space brought a dozen into the studio this week as a treat, and I was lucky enough to be able to indulge in a Vanilla Birthday Cupcake. To say it was divine is an understatement. Sensory overload and melt-in-your-mouth goodness. Best treat of the week, hands-down!
See: OPI Charged Up CherryThis week I decided it was time to branch out once again (giving OPI's Lincoln Park After Dark and Funky Donkey a rest)
and have settled on Charged Up Cherry as my latest and greatest fun new summer color. I got a pedi with this color last night and it's very exciting, although I'm still getting used to how electric it is! Feels like a party on my toes :) Another thing I loved at my new-found pedi place in the new 'hood? They give you a hot stone foot and leg massage during your pedicure. What a nice touch/added detail! Again, it was a wonderful sensory treat :)
Photo via certifiedblogaholic.com
Supine Twist AssistI absolutely adore Supine Twists in yoga. I wrote briefly about this pose in one of my posts last week, but I didn't mention the luscious assist that can be done in this pose. This is one of Ben's favorite assists that I give him, and I was also given this assist in a class that I took this week, reminding me how amazing it feels. How do you do it? Place one hand on the top knee, the other on the opposite shoulder and gently apply pressure in both directions, taking the twist a bit deeper. Ahhhhhh.
Oil Paint :)Have I used this one before? Probably--and if I haven't, I'm surprised--but it doesn't really matter because this was truly one of my biggest joys of the week. I was SO happy to get back to painting yesterday, and the strong smell of my paints and oil medium was a welcome scent as I got back into it.
I'm still working on this painting
(update pictures coming soon), but am going to start a few others that have been waiting on the back-burner next week. As I mentioned in my post about the importance of creativity
yesterday, there is nothing like getting back to your favorite creative endeavor. I also took the time to hang up a number of my yoga paintings on the wall in my space (to see them all together)--the pic is to the left :)
And that's it! Another week has flown by...what brought you simple, sensory joy this week?
Have a wonderful Friday and a glorious weekend!
For the past 6 months or so, Thursday has been my creative day. After quitting my full-time job to focus on all things yoga, I worked on honing my teaching schedule for a number of months until I had at least 2 days off per week--1 for relaxation and getting chores done (Sunday), and 1 for creativity--or more specifically, for painting. It's been wonderful to have a day marked off in my schedule to focus on this passion, and today I'm excited to get back to it after a 3-week traveling & moving hiatus (!).
Sure, it's been difficult to justify paying for my painting studio for basically 4-5 days of use per month (and sometimes, on busy months like June & July, only 1-2 days of use--eek!), but it is 100% worth it to know that whenever I want to paint, the space is there for me. Since I've seen how important having this carved out time for creativity has been in my own life, I want to encourage YOU to do the same. Your creativity doesn't have to be of the "fine arts" variety like painting, although it can be. But maybe it's cooking or baking. Maybe it's gardening, writing (or blogging!), collaging, scrapbooking, beading, journaling, or decorating. If you feel that you don't have a place to start, and are lacking a creative activity in your life, take a dance or pottery class, which will assure that your creative time is scheduled into your week. I believe that it's SO important to work both sides of the brain, and many of us are missing out on exercising the right, more creative, side of the brain (and then there are some of us, *ahem,* who tend to live in the right side and need to do a bit more left-brained activities...).
My challenge to you? Take a look at your schedule and see how creativity fits into it. Are you making time to create--whatever "creating" may be for you? If not, make a mid-year resolution to incorporate time for creativity into your schedule. Write it into your planner and stick to it. Don't, I repeat, DON'T schedule other things during this time (I've learned this the hard way!). Save it and savor it. I think you'll be surprised what you come up with.
And with that, I'm off to enjoy my day of creativity! I'll share my recent painting progress once I've actually made some...
Lets jump right in because the title gives it all away...my opinion of the best date ever? Surprise, surprise, it's a yoga class (followed by dinner, of course). But seriously, it is. What did I ask Ben to do with me last Valentine's Day? Come to my favorite yoga class with me. What's our favorite way to spend a Friday night? Yoga & then dinner out (or in, doesn't really matter). It's so simple, yet it's the perfect recipe for relaxation, happiness, and closeness.
As someone who practices on my own all the time (and really likes to do so!), it can be a fun treat to practice next to Ben--or a friend--who I don't usually practice with. It makes the class feel special in a way, and creates this connection with the person next to you. You're moving your bodies in the same way, breathing deeply together, and going through this complete mind, body, and mood-changing practice in unison. For couples who have been together a long time, yoga is great way to do something healthy and different together, and can often create a sense of connection and something new to talk about (how your body felt in a particular pose, what you thought of the reading at the end, etc). For new couples, it's a great way to break the ice--once you've gone through a yoga practice together, sweating, struggling, and breathing deeply--you'll feel a bit closer AND you'll both be extra-relaxed and centered for dinner afterward. I think there's no better way to get in touch with some of the deeper parts of your spirit than through yoga, so why not dig deep before a dinner with someone you're interested in getting to know better? Plus, it tends to make everything feel a little more low-key and less-pressure--and you don't have to worry as much about how you look for the date!
Photo via powerhouseperformancecoaching.com
Not to be ignored, yoga & dinner is also my favorite "friend date." Again, you get to do something healthy together, and then still have the fun, bonding part of gabbing over delicious food. Plus, after yoga you've really earned the food, but usually crave something healthy and a bit lighter, which is just *slightly* better for the body than gorging on mexican & margaritas (not to say that there isn't a time and a place for this!!!). In my mind, introducing friends to yoga or meeting up with your yoga friends for your favorite class and dinner can't be beat.
Similarly, going off on a bit of a tangent here, I think that for a single, heterosexual guy, going to a yoga class is hands-down the best way to meet women. Forget going out to bars and meeting people while drunk--you're going to meet dozens of gorgeous, healthy, single, smart, got-it-together & got-it-going-on girls at a yoga class. These are the people you want to be meeting if you're looking for a meaningful relationship, as they're taking the time to take care of their minds, bodies, and spirits while learning to relax and get in touch with who they really are. Sounds great, right? Plus, there are so few guys in yoga classes that the odds are totally stacked. Am I encouraging that random guys go to yoga just for the sake of meeting and ogling girls? No, I'm not (please don't come just to check people out--it will be creepy and people will be turned off!). But, if you're interested in trying yoga, you're a good guy, and you're looking to meet someone to settle down with eventually, starting to frequent a yoga class or studio regularly is a great place to put yourself out there. To dedicated yoginis there's nothing more attractive than a guy who does (or even tries!) to do yoga! Plus, you'll probably find that you truly enjoy the benefits of yoga :)
Photo via yoga-stretch-and-tell-group.fitsugar.com
In closing, yoga is the best. activity. ever. Do it on your own, do it on date night, do it with a friend, or, to quote Nike, just do it. Your mind and body will thank you.
Agree or disagree? Do you and your significant other do yoga together? What's your experience? I'd love to hear!