January 31, 2011 § 6 Comments
The first time I ever did yoga was in Bangalore, India on a business school exchange after grad school one summer. Yoga wasn’t quite as popular 10 years ago in SC as it is just about everywhere today. My expectations were that it would be a lot of stretching and flexibility exercises, which it was, but there was also something the teacher kept saying that has stuck with me: “so be it”. Anytime we’d be doing a series of poses that would push us, she would say “if your breathing quickens, so be it.” Her tone was more of a “whatever” or “no worries”…shit happens.
My friend Adair and I traveled around India and Nepal for a month afterward and that phrase became our funny short-hand reply for whenever something would happen that wasn’t quite as planned, which was pretty much a daily occurrence. It was our Indian adventure version of “C’est la vie” or “lo que sea”. It is what it is.
I decided after all of last week’s winter activities that yoga would be the perfect thing to pick up again to work out all those sore muscles. I’ll also be working in LA this week, so yoga is something Boulder and LA have very much in common. So be it.
My aim is to try different forms of yoga and see which one feels right for me. When I did yoga in LA it was very much to cope with a stressful job and to get a little exercise. I didn’t think about it much beyond that. I’d like to pursue it a bit further this week. My friend Alicia, talks about yoga in her blog as a practice. I’m hoping by the end of the week that I might find yoga to be something I see as more than just a little exercise but as a practice I can incorporate into my life.
I think “so be it” can mean a couple of things. Since that yoga class it’s always meant “go with the flow” to me, which is something I need to remind myself of. I think there’s another interpretation of it I’ve gotten a glimpse of in yoga before, which is “just be”. To me, the former is a way to cope with things as they happen to you while the latter is adopting an approach or a philosophy to life. I may be splitting hairs here, but it’s something I’ll be thinking about as I’m doing yoga this week.
I will be starting with Ashtanga Vinyasa tonight at the Yoga Workshop in Boulder. It will be fun to compare Boulder yoga with LA yoga. Something tells me Boulder will be more my speed, but we’ll see!
January 29, 2011 § Leave a comment
This week was a pretty challenging one for me. Winter activities have always intimidated me for various reasons, so I just always avoided them. I was expecting to try a bunch of different things this week and find one or two that I might enjoy doing so I wouldn’t just hole up all winter in the house here in Colorado. At the end of it I kind of enjoyed it all because I just went out with an open mind and decided I would just laugh at myself a bit being out of my comfort zone.
It was just a fun, random thing to do with new friends that had me almost peeing my pants laughing so hard at our attempt. It’s hard to say whether you could really call what we were doing ice fishing, but it was a valiant effort.
I expected cross country skiing to be the thing I would fall in love with and it would be my thing for the winter. It was a good way to ease into skiing and I think once I get the rhythm of it down I’ll really enjoy it. We’re heading up to Winter Park today to check out the trails there. Cross country skiing was the thing I was most conscious of as “exercise”. I imagine once I get going and get out on longer trails it won’t feel that way but all of the other activities I did felt both fun and enjoyable to be outside. cross country skiing was a bit more work.
The biggest surprise of the week was how much I loved downhill skiing since I’d been too terrified to try it again for the last 15 years. I learned a bit about myself for sure. I’ve never liked the frustration of not being good at something and this taught me to just laugh a bit and take it slow. With the lesson it felt like a safe environment and I was surprised that after 1 day, I could ski! I’m learning how to be a more patient person and to not take myself so seriously. Falling down really doesn’t hurt that badly.
In terms of embracing winter, snowshoeing made me realize what a beautiful place it is that I live in. I was able to go to places I wouldn’t be able to get to this time of year to see how different the landscape looks. It was one of those moments I really started falling in love with Colorado. If you pay attention it is really striking how much the scenery changes throughout the year and the range of colors you can see in it.
Plus, it was fun sliding down hills on my butt like a kid again. I think I even unknowingly said “Weeeeeeeeee!” on the way down.
Aside from the activities, it was interesting to learn more about snow and think a little differently about it. My favorite was the story of “Snowflake” Bentley. Snowflakes are arguably the most interesting designs in the world and I find it fascinating that a farmer in the late 1800s understood that and devised a way to record those designs so they weren’t forever lost.
I now have an arsenal of fun things to do in the winter here in Boulder. Now we just need a little snow so I can sneak up on my husband and have a good snowball fight.
January 28, 2011 § 5 Comments
Today I went snowshoeing for the first time with my friend Katie and a great guide, Jared with Yellow Wood Guiding. He was not only helpful with teaching us snowshoeing, but had lots to share about what we were seeing and even showed me how to use my fancy camera I haven’t taken the time to learn yet.
We went on a 3 1/2 hour trek in the Rocky Mountain National Park near Estes Park. As you’ll see from the pictures it couldn’t have been a more beautiful day.
I live at 5,000 feet in Boulder and I could still feel the transition to going up to 9,500 feet. I definitely felt a little out of breath at times, but the good thing about snowshoeing is that you can take lots of breaks and just marvel at the scenery.
The snow had been on the ground for awhile so you could see lots of animal tracks from little mice to snow hares & deer. There was a pretty well established track, so getting up wasn’t bad. We snowshoed to a gorgeous lake called Dream Lake.
My favorite part was coming back down. We went off the track into the forest and I got to enjoy the fun of sliding. The thing I’ve come to love about snow this week is that it can make you feel like a kid again. I had so much fun sliding down the various hills.
It’s going to be hard to decide which winter activity I enjoyed the most this week. I’m definitely starting to feel it in my legs! In terms of sheer beauty, snowshoeing was such an incredible experience. I would never have been able to see what I saw today had I not given it a shot. I can’t believe I live here.