Free Hot Yoga at Home

I’m back in Texas.

Hot Home, Sweet, Hot Home.

It’s odd to be “on vacation” back in Texas. It is great to be with hubby, full-time again. We really don’t do well apart. After 24 years, we still act like teenagers talking on the phone at night for hours, when we are living bi-coastal. Go ahead. Roll your eyes.

This week is filled with “re-entry” (as a friend says), i.e. mail, restocking the fridge, remembering what is where. Also, catching up and visiting with family and friends. Two months away is a long time.

The funny thing is that here, in The Heights house, there aren’t any hungry kids popping in and out, arriving with friends or staying out late. There aren’t big meals to plan or loads of laundry (oh my God, the towels!) to stay on top of.  Here, I have my devoted Lorena, helping me to make sure our home continues to look like, well, a hotel. An empty nest perk, just you wait!

Every night, it’s a romantic dinner for two and since we live in The Heights, the restaurant mecca of Houston, it is almost criminal to NOT go out.

Who’d have thought that The Heights would become our vacation home?!

It’s pretty freaking wonderful.

Except for the stifling humidity, heat, crazy flash floods and mosquitos, that are big enough to carry Juliet away. It is almost paradise.

Almost.

Juliet on the Vineyard.  No Hot “Doga” for her. She refuses to go outside in Texas unless she is dragged out, on a leash. 

So, let’s make the most of it, shall we?

FREE HOT YOGA FOR EVERYONE!

The benefits of a Hot Yoga class in a yoga studio are immense. I have practiced Bikram Yoga for 11 years and maintain that it is one of the best workouts to kickstart a healthy lifestyle. It will truly change the way you look at the dreaded diet and exercise routine, forever.

In the meantime, why not give it a go by simply grabbing your mat and heading outdoors? You can take advantage of this lovely, natural God-forsaken heat.

I am currently nursing “impingement syndrome” (it’s a thing!), which is the new bursitis. Bursitis! How old am I?!  Hot Yoga on my balcony has done wonders for stretching and healing my sad shoulder. I set my mat out, 15 minutes before I want to work out and voila! A giant heating pad for my whole body.

Here is an easy sequence from my personal guru, Tara Stiles. And, by personal, I mean that I personally watch her videos on YouTube.  If I had a personal yogini, this is who I would want. Of course, I would have to share her with Deepak Chopra. But, I’m sure we could work something out.

This is basic yoga that anyone can do outside on your back porch, balcony or anywhere that you can fit a yoga mat or beach towel.

 

 LivingLola Tip: Need a new yoga mat? Before you run out to Target or Academy or speciality sports store, hit up a Tuesday Morning, Marshall’s or Ross. The selection may be a little sparse, but for $6.00, I am fine with aqua blue. The quality of mat is pretty damn good, too.

Home is what you choose to make of your space. It is more than geography.

“Wherever you go, there you are.” (unknown)

Texas, Martha’s Vineyard.

“Alabama, Arkansas….Home is wherever I’m with you.”

Namaste.

 

the summer of peace

I am getting settled for another summer on my beloved island. It is always a little bittersweet, because Larkin has to commute every few weeks. We really do hate to be apart. Texas is very far apart. It takes a car, a plane, another car and a ferry to get here. But, as a dear friend once told me, “if it were easy, everyone would do it.”

While here, I will get to spend more time with our two college kids. Jordan is finishing up at BU and can take the ferry over on weekends. The Boy is spending his summer here on MV, searching for a little summer job, a few gigs and a lot of artist peace and quiet.

In between ALL of those loads of laundry (!), he and I have had some long talks about peace, comfort with who your are and being comfortable in your own skin. Why is it so easy for some, while others have to really fight for a place at the table of calm?

 

Do you find yourself searching for peace?

If so, then please stop. Just stop. You cannot go out and search for it. Be still. Let it be. Allow peace to come into your life. It is there waiting patiently and quietly…after all, it is peace!

I believe some people do not see themselves worthy or deserving, so they fool themselves into searches for causes or purpose or bliss, whatever the current blog buzz word happens to be. It is like busy work, tricking yourself into believing that the search is the hard work. If you’re out looking for it, you are missing it altogether.

The hard work is being still. Accepting what is. And, simply, let it be. No shame. No judgement. This is life. As Katharine Hepburn put it, “Life is hard. After all, it kills you.”

We’ve always known that life is ups and downs, ebbs and flows. So, why can we get so thrown?

Conquering unhappiness, depression, addiction, insecurity, health issues, divorce, unemployment, financial fiasco, anxiety, obesity, self-harm, loneliness or even general malaise; they all share a starting point, a first step towards the light. It begins with peaceful acceptance. “It is what it is.” (Larkin’s favorite.)

Now, you are ready.

 Facing the issue, steadying yourself to be open to the calm, will bring you to a state of peace; an unshakeable force to handle stressful times at work, school, parenting, dealing with difficult people, bosses, bullies, relatives or even teenagers. You will be armed to fight off any mental, emotional or physical issue.

Peace is your superpower. Set your buttons to your default, locked on peace. Then, nobody can push those buttons, “not even the people who installed them”, one of my favorite Larkin-isms. (Can you tell I miss him?) Your own thoughts are the most challenging enemy to your peace because they live on site. Your thoughts and your peace are roommates. But, you can give those thoughts strength or you can render them powerless.

 It is all you.

Peace is not a geography problem. Although, I highly recommend the Vineyard for some serious down time and relaxation. “It’s so choice.” (Quick! Name the movie before you get to the end of the post.)

I am thankful everyday for our home here. Even more so, that Joshua is finding his own calm here, too. But, being 19 and an artist, it is going to be just like his keys or his wallet. He has to remember to take his peace, wherever he goes.

“Nothing can bring you peace but yourself.”-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Got to love a blog that quotes Emerson and Ferris Bueller.

Peace.

Reflections at 46

Reflections at 46

This is me.

Those silver highlights running through my hair are from endless grocery store runs, dinner on the table every night, science projects, Halloween costumes and birthday parties fit for a king.

Those lines on my forehead are from late night fevers, broken bones (some unnoticed for a day or two), stitches, college decisions, and the constant question: Am I doing this right?

The puffiness under my eyes from the late nights of waiting to hear that car in the driveway, or hear that boyfriend or girlfriend NOT go in your room, roughly 3,240 school mornings (never late!) the shared tears over broken hearts, bad decisions and sappy movies.

The smile lines around my mouth, as I watched Christmas mornings, prom pics in the front yard, graduations, college acceptances, fearlessness, gumption and leaving home to conquer the world.

The laugh lines around my eyes are the evidence of true living. Laughter is my default mode. I am thankful to have them; there to remind me of how much fun it has been. God, how we laugh.

Today I celebrate 46 years and I am thankful for every one.

For my birthday, I am so pleased to have my Pilates mentor and trainer, Joseph Vargas, PhD, guest post this wonderful piece on aging.

Aging gracefully.  

If by that we mean, “Just let it happen, don’t fight it”  then, hell, no!   I ain’t going down without a fight! Aging chronologically is inevitable and should be welcomed.  After all, we should all get better with age, right?  But, the truth, “getting better with age” does not just happen.

Getting better with age psychologically is the result of examining our lives (previous decisions, choices, actions etc.) and learning from them and honing ourselves into “better”.

Getting better with age physiologically means makes wiser and wiser choices as to how we fuel and exercise this gracious and forgiving vehicle which we inhabit all the years of our lives; being smarter and appropriately more attentive to it than in our wilder days (or should I spell that “daze”?).  Ah, good times ,yes.  And, even better times can be here now and in our future.

Whenever you see someone who’s “older” and looks fit and whose posture (both attitudinal and physical posture) is striking, you can BET that it didn’t “just happen”. Those individuals were interactively involved in this dance we call the aging process.  And, their dance was graceful, not by default, but by their persistent and vigorous, strategic pursuit, awareness and daily action at many levels. “Aging gracefully” is no accident; it occurs purely by intent and commitment and execution.

If you don’t believe me, next time you see someone who has “aged gracefully”, just ask them and you’ll see, hear and, more than likely,  be inspired.

 So, engage dear ones. Engage.

Be well, be joyful and be prosperous,

Joseph