It’s been a loooong weekend full of physical fun. And now I have sore legs to show for it. (lots of photos below, I promise…)
The weekend started for me at 4pm on Friday, when I left work and took Wendy to the orthodontist. She only has one more post-braces follow up visit after this. Her smile is lovely. The ortho just moved to a new office, and there was a nail salon next door. It smelled like manicure when we walked in. I felt bad for all those prepubescent kids lying there with open mouths, trying to breathe through their noses while techs put fingers on their teeth – and behind it all is a lingering smell of someone getting fake French tips.
Eww. And I told them that. As much as I loved their staff and experience, and it was such a 180-degree change from the terrible experience we had with her sister’s orthodontist, it is just gross to breath in those chemicals.
We came home and collapsed together for an hour. I think we watched 2 epsiodes of A Gifted Man on Netflix (starring Patrick Wilson, who I met recently, and who went to the same high school that my girls go to now.)
Brian whipped up some cod, and I made some sweet potato fries. The kids ate leftovers, and over family dinner we discussed the weekend. Alice realized she had almost no plans, except for a 15 mile run, so she could go out on a date. Wendy wanted some nothing time because she’s been going from school, to homework, to dinner, to school musical rehearsal, to shower, to bed – go go go. Luckily she’s only townsperson #12 in The Music Man so she doesn’t have to memorize a script, just blocking, singing and dancing. Although knowing her, she’ll have the whole script memorized in a couple weeks.
Saturday morning I had a barre fitness class planned at 8:30. As I was getting dressed, I heard Alice come home from her 15 mile run, but it seemed too early. Sure enough, she said her legs were tight and she only did 5 of her 15 miles. She could hardly sit. “I want to do aerial yoga,” she said. I told Alice that I would email her my friend Lora’s link on her blog where she describes a nearby class so she could see if that was what she really wanted.
I went to barre class, Alice napped for an hour, and we met back at home at 9:40. She still wanted to try aerial yoga class, and it looked like the only time this lady taught near us was 10am, so I quickly registered her for the class online, she got dressed, I grabbed a pair of clean leggings since I was already sweaty, and we drove over.
When we got to the aerial yoga class in The Studio @ The Rubin Health Center, there were only 3 cars in the parking lot, so I figured I could probably squeeze into the class too. We walked in, and the teacher, Tara – who Lora strongly recommended for being so kind and noncompetitive – was so wrapped up in her yoga swing cocoon that we didn’t even see her. (You can read her bio on this page, and ironically the photo at the very bottom of the page of the woman reading in the waiting room is me back when my hair was short. I don’t know why it’s there though…)
Tara came out of her swing to greet us, and I explained that Alice was having a super tight day. Tara asked if we wanted to use the swings because sometimes she teaches without them, and I said the swings were the whole reason why we were there. She had one regular student there, and someone else certified to teach yoga who recently moved and could no longer hang her swing in her new home – so they had some experience. We did not. It didn’t matter. Tara was so sweet and offered great explanations. She corrected Alice in ways that would help her stretch out without forcing her to feel inflexible.
We did pigeon with our front leg nested in the swing. We flipped upside down and hung, did handstands, and Tara stretched us out.
Then we did some partner exercises. At one point Alice was lying face-up in the swing, and I was under her doing a downward dog, so my tailbone lifted her low and mid back. Then she did it back to me.
I can’t describe the feeling of lying back in the swing. It’s a cross between a hammock and a cocoon. A hammock is much more open and airy. The yoga swings were silky fabric which allowed us to create our own colorful space and block everything out but the ceiling.
I would not say this class was physically demanding. It was not fitness for me, but rather fun. It was a release of pressure and a rush of excitement because it was new. After class, Alice said she loved it and felt an inch taller. It definitely brought pep back into her step.
Tara asked us to stay a few extra minutes, and she worked with Alice on forward fold from the hips, and downward dog with hands against the wall at shoulder height. One thing she said really stuck with me, “We often think about where we are headed. When you practice Yoga, remember where you came from. As you lean into a forward fold, don’t think about trying to reach the ground, think about where your hips are and how you folded over.”
Alice made immediate progress with Tara’s hands-on suggestions. She also said Alice would benefit from yoga with her legs elevated, and I reminded Alice that we had some yoga for runners poses on Digital Running with legs up a wall.
We left hungry, so we stopped at Rollin’ Oats on the way home and got some food from their deli counter and ate in the cafe. We split a piece of portobello mushroom quiche and a turkey panini with a side of tortellini salad. The panini was on their fresh-baked, herbed focaccia bread, which was awesome! We also tried their fresh-made roasted red pepper hummus which was quite creamy and flavorful. Not spicy. Lunch was nice, and the conversation and time together was even better. Alice had a stressful week, and had to cut her run short, and it seemed this hanging upside down from silk was just what her psyche needed. She’s already asked twice to return, even though she knows we can’t until next weekend.
(I just had to add panini and focaccia to my WordPress spelling dictionary. Panera would be proud.)
After the luxurious morning of focusing on balance and fitness I had the glorious pleasure of scrubbing our bathrooms. My tub is a large garden/corner tub, and I squat inside it while cleaning it, and squatted while washing the floors, so my legs were DONE by 2:30pm from being used steadily since 8:30am. Wendy snuck in a workout and some hula-hoop practice while I got some laundry and nail trimming done. Then I remembered that I had a book on hold at the library. Brian and I made a quick library stop, where I got 2 books for me, one for Wendy, a movie to watch that night, and the Glee concert to watch with the girls if we had time.
The book I had on hold was Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore: A Novel by Robin Sloan. I think I heard about it from Oprah magazine. I don’t even remember. I just read a synopsis somewhere, quickly put it in my library queue, and then forgot about it until the library emailed me that it was available. When I first opened it, a library receipt fell out that said it had last been checked out on Wednesday. So someone got it Wednesday, read it, returned it, and I had it Saturday. That meant it had to either be so good they couldn’t put it down, or so bad they never finished it.
So far it is quite cute. Very modern and techie with a love for the smell of books and mystery twist. People in the book work at Google, design logos, talk about typefacess – right up my alley! But they read real paper books. As do I. I’ll let you know how it goes when I finish it.
Last night we watched Heath Ledger’s last movie, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus. Christopher Plummer, Johnny Depp and Jude Law are also in it. Johnny Depp and Jude Law always make me smile. Except for the end of Gattaca, that didn’t make me smile, but it was still a great movie. Anyway, we were about 10 minutes in to Doctor Parnassus when Wendy said, “Whoever made this was definitely on drugs.” About ten minutes later she asked, “Do I have to watch this?” and went to her room. Alice was at “The Hobbit”. Brian and I both dozed off a few times during Parnassus, partly because it was so weird I think, but I was too stubborn to go to bed. I wanted to see the costumes, Johnny Depp, and to know how it ended. I give it a B.
We stumbled into bed and I slept until 7am, when I woke up to a quiet house and read more of my book. Then I caught up with my mom on the phone and we booked a flight for me to visit her next month during the long President’s Day weekend. She said she needed some mother-daughter time. She’s been helping out her aging parents a lot, and I think she needs to be around some young blood and have a fun time!
Then I remembered that Katelyn, who used to teach at Yogablu, was offering a pay-what-you-can outdoor yoga class along the waterfront. Banyan trees, birds, water, grass – gotta love yoga outdoors!! And Florida in January!!
We worked on crow and headstand a lot. I’m glad I had taken some time off from headstands and handstands, because this weekend sure was full of them! My neck was ready to support me without any trouble. But it was a very active class, and my tired legs from Saturday became heavy legs by the time class was over.
After hitting the grocery store with Brian, all I wanted to do was sit. So I sat on the couch and Wendy sat on the floor in front of me, and I curled her hair while we watched Suburgatory. I polished my nails, I found a lentil burger recipe for dinner, and the kids went through their closets and made a donation pile.
Now it’s post dinner and I want to read some more of my book. I also know I have 2 loads of laundry to put away, but my legs still want to be elevated. Barre class tomorrow is going to be a b!tch!
All in all, I recommend aerial yoga, not for weight loss but for FUN. I do not recommend scrubbing bathtubs – but rather paying someone else to do it. I recommend this lentil burger recipe. I also recommend outdoor yoga, and wintering in Florida and making time to read with your kids – which I forgot to do myself the last 2 days. Too much TV I guess. But it’s not like we were couch potatoes!
And I recommend flying out to see your mom without anyone else every one in a while, and for me I think it’s been 4 years, so it’s time!