What I learnt this weekend

It was quite a weekend.  Here goes:

  • Once again I am reminded about how much I love my friends.  They make me laugh until my face hurts.  And they think I’m funny.  Score.
  • Teaching yoga really is awesome.  I love seeing people experience what I feel, and watching them connecting with their own bodies.
  • Internal dialogues.  Phew.  I made this decision over the weekend: you can choose to be fucked up about something, or not.  I’m choosing not.
  • Things change.  I know that’s not terribly profound, but sometimes I don’t think we really get it.  You can’t live in nostalgia and think the present reality will feel the same as it did in the past.  It really doesn’t.  And sometimes that’s so very sad, and you really miss how things used to feel and be between you and someone else; but maybe the changes also help you to move on.
  • You’ve really got to be pretty damn bloody certain when you marry someone that they satisfy you on all the levels you need to be satisfied on – make sure the big, important boxes are checked.  Otherwise you have a recipe for disaster.
  • No matter how good things feel between you and someone else, sometimes it just doesn’t work out.  This is a tough one for the stubborn romantic in me, but I just keep repeating: Never make someone your priority when you are their option.  True story.
  • Sex can just be sex; and then it’s a purely physical process and about satisfying biological needs.  Great sex is about connecting, energy swapping, making oneself vulnerable, sharing, and of course orgasm … and then all the closeness that comes after.  I think the great sex is what we are addicted to – the rush of hormones, the thrill of connecting with someone, the affirmation of reciprocated desire, the elevation beyond biological to the place where you think someone might just get you.  

Jen xx

Man, I feel like a woman

Woman are really pretty damn tough and we endure way more regular pain then  men.  Okay, maybe I can’t say that for sure, since I lack testicles (most days), and I’m sure shaving your face every day is pretty shitty and not very comfortable, but seriously, women go through some serious discomfort weekly (not to mention the monthly PMS, inconsolable crying, cramps and bloatedness).

Take today for instance. I had a peel that removed what feels like most of my epidermis – it burnt like hell and now I’m red and tender (although, it has its upside: hopefully clear Optiphi-ed skin).  My hormones are asunder and I’ve developed some almost-30 acne … WTF?  (Men don’t have this problem either!). 

Women also have to wax (a lot), or laser (seriously sore).  Some are even so hardcore that they laser off the whole shebang … not a pubic hair to be seen.  Now I know there are some men that de-fluff too (let it be known that I’m not one who loves a hair-free man), but they don’t have to.   We do. 

There’s just a heap of maintenance as a woman.  No sooner have you got your legs smooth, then it’s time to get a pedi and mani, get the perfect done-but-not-too-done hairstyle, cover the grey hairs, have your epidermis “renewed”, massage the hell out of your bum and thighs (and apply expensive cream in the hopes of minimising cellulite before Clifton holidays), tweeze stray brows, exfoliate every inch of skin, expunge all pubic hair, and worry about dehydration and aging (no matter what eye creams I use, every time I get a facial I’m told my eye area is dehydrated.  Really). 

And then of course you get married, or have a long term boyfriend, and “forget” to shave your legs for the entire winter period.  Ah, the joys of commitment 🙂

 

Tumour in my humour

I’m well pleased with the calibre of comedies I’ve seen in the last month. Bridesmaids was awesome.  And last night I saw the suitably irresistable Jason Bateman doing his deadpan thing in Horrible Bosses.  Not such a great title, but I guess that is what the movie is about … and it is fall down, tear-streaked cheeks funny.  Jennifer Aniston is hilarious and completely out of her usual type of role.  It was love.  And my jaw hurts from smiling so much 🙂  Which is a good Wednesday night, people.

See it.

Jen x

Internal dialogue

A very wise friend said some very wise things to me last night, one of which was this: “None of us are parented the exact way we would’ve liked.  Parenting just doesn’t work like that.  What that allows though is a deep understanding of the things we would’ve liked our parents to do, and so allows us to know just how we’d like to be loved. In that sense the best advice I can ever give anyone is to treat yourself as you would treat your own child – it’s very likely that you’ll offer your own child as much loving support as they need, and that you’d never speak to your own child with the same tone and same harsh words as your speak to yourself.”

I know from talking to my own mother that she thinks I’m pretty damn awesome, and I think that can be said for most moms and dads out there – my mom just wants me to be happy, whatever that entails.  From now on I’m going to try my very best to monitor my internal dialogue, the one that can be so very damaging and violent, saying things to myself that I’d probably never say to my worst enemy.

Jen x

Photographs

What a good practice this morning!  There are just days that everything works (despite the rapid drop in temperature again and the fact that I feel like I could sleep all day!).  I saw my needle-happy physio yesterday (for the ongoing hamstring/hip flexor issue … the unsexy limp) and he managed to locate a very large knot in my right butt cheek.  The pain was intense (hello elbow in the ass and needle twisted in the epicentre of the spasm), but somehow today I feel good.  Happy day … although post-practice I’m back to the limping around :/

I ordered a whole bunch of prints of photographs I’ve taken over the years (about 100 … I may have been overzealous) and I’ve been scouring the internet for original ways to display them – I will have to buy some frames, but would rather display the majority in more unusual ways.

Here are some ideas I found:

Images via Decor8 and Ikea (oh how I love Ikea!).

Sadness

What a weekend.  Too much sadness in just two days.  I saw something on Twitter last night that made me think: The correct way to dole out our grief – 65% Somalia, 30% Norway and 5% Amy Winehouse. 

There are comments all over social media sites at the moment about how Amy had it coming; and perhaps she did.  Her self-destruction played itself out in the media for everyone to witness and pass judgement on.  Her talent was unmistakable, but perhaps it was her pain, her obvious extreme internal conflicts that allowed that talent a voice – she had a direct line to that heartbreak, the heartbreak and self-loathing that made it impossible for her to resist reality-altering drugs.

Honestly, I don’t think we should be deciding who is more worthy of our grief – starving Somalis, innocent Norwegians killed by a religious extremist, or a singer who couldn’t live with herself or the world.  Don’t these deaths all point to something bigger, something we should be aware of – the state of the world?  The ability of people to immediately judge someone’s death as less important?  Isn’t that why, through judgemental attitudes, extremist close-minded behaviour and unequivocal decisions about what is “right” and what is “wrong”, we’re in the mess we are anyway?

And the sad thing is I think we’ve only just started to see the acceleration of pain that I believe will continue until we change the ways we deal with each other and our fear of ‘the other’.

Jen

Some reading: Amy Winehouse, Norway killings, Somalia.

Pretty please

Goodness. The loveliness is beyond my expectations.  Listen up mystical boyfriend … or those that are already planning my birthday presents … this is a solid hint 🙂

And that is incorrigible, I know. Tsk, tsk.

Buy the prettiness from Ida Elsje, Situ and Phillipa Green.

No yoga, no smile

I just could not get up for yoga this morning.  I had so many good intentions, and then I woke up shivering in my bed at 6am … shivering!  Seems it dropped a whole lot of degrees this morning and my alarm (which is the sound of trickling water that gradually turns into a tractor ploughing through a raging river) was not on the winning team.  Crap.  It always feels like the better option when I’m under my duvet, the outside air is frigid and I’m feeling “exhausted”, but on waking 90 minutes later, it really does not feel so good.  In fact it is almost always disappointing that I didn’t get my ass out of bed and onto my mat, and I have that glum, bummed-out feeling for the rest of the day. 

The trick is to remember that when the voice that advocates sleep at all costs starts nattering in my ear!

These from Garance made me smile this morning (despite being in the no-yoga zone).  Love advice (some of which should be avoided at all costs!):

  • If you want to seduce a man, pretend like you’re redoing your lipstick while sucking on and licking your finger. (Hopefully you are also 16 …)
  • If you’re curious whether or not you’re in love with your man, cheat on him. If you don’t feel guilty at all, you don’t love him anymore. If you feel guilty, then it’s love and don’t worry he’ll never know you did it. ( I have to say, there is a little logic here)
  • For the first date, always carry a wig and dark sunglasses in your bag. That way, if it’s awful, excuse yourself to the bathroom, don your disguise and GTFO!!! He’ll never know. (Er … he may indeed notice)
  • Just be distant and a little jaded. (Been there, done that)
  • Just give him some space. He’ll come back. (Yessss … except I’m still waiting …)
  • Find a guy. Get yourself right in front of him and simply say, “Wanna fuck?” Works every time. (They are so damn easy)
  • If you want to know if he’s the right guy, it’s like with clothes. You have to try him to know if he’s good on you. (Totally agree)
  • Don’t worry, he won’t do that after you’re married. (LOL … old dog, new tricks?)
  • He’s not that ugly. Just wait you’ll get used to it. (I bet he’s a lovely person!)
  • We should have a baby, but keep living in our separate apartments. That’s how they do it in Europe. I think it would help our relationship. (Ah, sweet, he loves me, he really does)
  • If you want unconditional love, buy yourself a dog!
  • Every night I tell Xavier that he’s quite the lucky man to have married me. And can you even imagine, he totally believes it! (Absolutely … I’ve heard this exact advice from a gorgeous, sexy Lithuanian friend … the thing is that she totally believes it herself, and that her man would really be an complete sad sack without her … which of course he would!)

right and wrong

 

Sometimes the really big questions pop up and it’s hard to ignore them.  Like for instance how do we decide what’s right and what’s wrong.  Take something big – like cheating – and ask the big question: Is it wrong to cheat on your partner?

The answer from most people is YES. But the question is why.  Do we base our answers on religion’s ideas of right and wrong, on society’s, on the opinions of the people who we admire and want to be loved by?  Undoubtedly many of the things we’ve thought were ok in the past, we believed in them (flat world anyone?), are now seen as just the opposite, and believing something is wrong “just because it is”, the majority of the population believes it, or because it says so in the bible, doesn’t really hold water with me. 

I want to know why; I want a little more on the proof side of things.  But I’m not really sure there is an answer that is TRUE, and certainly, that is true for everyone. Science cannot prove that cheating is wrong.  In fact probably according to science and human biology, monogamy is not sustainable.  So that leaves us with the tricky question of ethics and morals.  Does the ‘badness’ of cheating rest in its duplicity, and if so, does swinging and polygamy then become the viable alternative?  Should we live individualistically and take what we want, because actually one cannot prove heaven/hell and karma exist (and if we don’t believe in them should we live by their rules?)?

Or does the ‘right/wrong’ exist in the way it makes one feel?  And is that then fear-based?  I know that if I cheated on a (mystical) boyfriend I’d feel guilt-ridden and apprehensive… probably because: if he knew he’d be hurt; I would be defying accepted regulations on how relationships are supposed to be; if the people close to me found out they would judge the cheating and most likely be disappointed in me; and he might end the relationship. 

I believe that these ‘norms’ need to be interrogated, that we cannot accept ways of living just because the society we live in sees them as right or wrong.  But then again, imagine a world without rules: it would be one crazy place!

 

Yoga retreat in Mozambique anyone?

Some sun, sea, sand and asana … yes please!  Here’s the info:

Join Olivier and Sarah for eight days in relaxing Tofo, Mozambique this September! Daily Mysore-style Ashtanga Vinyasa practices in the mornings, Acro-Trust Yoga on the beach for all the Acro-Trust yoga junkies, and yoga workshops (pranayama, meditation, etc.) in the evenings.

When you’re not on your mat you can explore the local reefs teeming with manta rays and colourful fish, enjoy an ocean safari swimming alongside whale sharks, learn how to surf, or just relax on the beach or beside the pool with your favorite books and tunes. Rustic accommodation at Turtle Cove; vegetarian/vegan meals available.

Space is limited so contact us today: info@ekamyoga.co.za!

Where: Tofo, Mozambique

When: 17-24 September, 2011

Cost: Sharing R5440.  Single R7200

Included:

  • Accommodation at Annastasea house and Turtle Cove chalets
  • Continental breakfast and dinner at Turtle Cove Lounge
  • 2 yoga classes/day + Acro-Trust Yoga play sessions
  • The ocean breeze in your hair and sand in your shoes!

 

Not Included:

  • Airfare and airport transfers
  • Drinks
  • Diving packages and Surfing lessons (contact us if you’re interested as we will obtain group discounts)
  • Incidentals and extras

Your hosts:

Olivier David

Olivier has practiced Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga daily since 2004 and started teaching in 2006 after obtaining his 500-hour yoga teacher training at the Ki-Atsu Institute in Las Vegas, USA. He has practiced under yoga masters Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, R. Sharath Jois, Doug Swenson, and currently practices under Sri V. Sheshadri of Mysore, India. Olivier also teaches vinyasa and hatha yoga styles, pranayama, mudra, yoga philosophy and Trust Yoga, a mixture of yoga, Thai massage and acrobatics. Website.

Sarah Yates

Sarah opened Ekam Yoga in 2010, the first yoga studio in Johannesburg to offer Ashtanga Vinyasa Mysore-style practice sessions and led classes teaching in the traditional method established by the late Sri K. Pattabhi Jois. She has practiced Ashtanga continuously since 2007 and is a Yoga Alliance registered E-RYT 200 yoga teacher. Website.