A love/hate relationship with yoga

One of the websites I go to almost every single day without fail is Wanderlust. Several years ago they brought an outdoor yoga event to Dallas; I went with a friend (and then co-worker), as it was walking distance from our building at that time. It was only the second time I had done yoga outdoors, and it was amazing. I’ve kept up with Wanderlust over the years, but now it’s an all out obsession. They have studios in LA and Austin, both of which I’d love to visit at some point. And they host these huge, fabulous yoga festivals all around the world.

One of their first posts of the year encouraged followers to set intentions for 2016, as opposed to resolutions. We often give up on our resolutions, or just flat out fail at them, which leads to disappointment and dejection. I am the self-appointed queen at beating myself up anyway, so this sounded like a great idea!

My first intention: more yoga, please. I love yoga. But also, I sometimes really hate yoga. I leave some classes very frustrated. Frustrated I can’t do some poses well at ALL or ridiculously pissed off I can’t do others as well as I could three years ago. This, I am fully aware, is not the point of yoga. After all, it’s called a practice for a reason. And letting go is a huge part of that practice, which is clearly not my forté.

I bring up three years ago, as it was the summer I famously played Real Housewife of Dallas. I was floating on severance after the company for which I worked sold and at that time, thought I had a lucrative job lined up (it later fell through, so tragic). A girlfriend and I went to yoga three to four times a week. It was glorious. And these were not easy classes. There were plenty of poses I couldn’t do because of my ankle (and all its metal) and the fact I have very little upper body strength. I have a better chance of marrying Jake Gyllenhaal than I do of ever performing a successful crow pose. But still, I was in great yoga shape for me, personally.

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What to do: afternoon at the INNER Beauty Shop

o65_99gSThe events we get invited to via Facebook are quite numerous. Birthday parties, showers, girls’ nights out, and countless from organizations and places of businesses whose pages we “like”. I”ll be honest, unless it comes from someone with whom I am truly friends and it’s a personal event such as a birthday gathering, I rarely pay attention. Don’t deny it…you’re the same way! However, a couple of weeks ago I received an invite from one my favorite yoga instructors that immediately caught my attention, the event popped up as “The Inner Beauty Shop” and was being hosted at Karmany Yoga here in Dallas.

It was described as thus:

“The Inner Beauty Shop™ is an interactive workshop for girls or women, ages 12 – 100, that allows participants an opportunity to find the beauty within themselves and those around them. Each beauty shop is a transformative experience that includes several interactive and embodied activities, including yoga.”

If you know just one iota of the purpose behind this little blog, you should know I had to RSVP immediately. Having attended this past Saturday, I cannot tell you how incredibly happy I am that I went. At the risk of sounding over-dramatic, I will say this was the most life-altering experience — in a GOOD way, not the I was laid off/my grandmother died and this ass hole just broke my heart bad way of last year — that I’ve had in a significant amount of time. Given what I know about Jayme (the aforementioned yoga instructor) and the positive spirit and juju she brings to her classes, I knew I wouldn’t be disappointed.

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How to sweat: group exercise etiquette

spin roomDon’t get me wrong, I am by no means Emily Post; I’ve acted a fool many times (tequila is typically involved). However, I was raised to conduct myself a certain way in certain situations and places. Usually that means with some form of decorum and consideration for others. One of the places I think people fail the most is at the gym. The other is movie theaters, but we’ll save that for later. You’re shocked about that one, I know.

I’m well aware how difficult it is for a lot of women to even have the courage to step into a gym. I have faced these insecurities quite frequently.  Just signing up (membership is such a racket anyway), hopping on that first cardio machine, attempting to use one of those torturous looking weight lifting contraptions (Christian Grey designed some of those, don’t lie), walking into a group fitness class (especially when you find out the instructor is RUSSIAN)…it all can rather intimidating. God forbid you need to ask a trainer with less than 1/2 percent body fat a question. Staying on the couch and watching Psych on Netflix is so much more comforting. Well, Shawn Spencer, he’s more comforting.

We all know how important consistent exercise is for literally EVERYTHING. For the most part, it keeps me from wanting to punch everyone in the face. However, I’ve not stepped foot in my gym since December. I despise going the first few weeks of January for obvious reasons. I’ve been doing P90X and yoga DVDs at home. If I lived in a perfect world (read: had a job), I would actually be at American Power Yoga and bodybar almost every day of the week. Best. Workouts. Ever. But, in the meantime, I have to stick to LA Fitness. This is mainly for cardio classes (spin mostly). Until I get the mini Home Depot removed from my ankle so I can run again and/or get over my ridiculous and deathly fear of road bikes, gym cardio will have to do.

I am a member at the LA Fitness Signature Club in Uptown. Remaining a signature member is really the only “luxury” I’ve allowed myself to keep since cutting all unnecessary expenses. Exercise is important to me, I actually enjoy it and really like this  specific location (my other favorite? Universal City). Not to mention we all have a better chance of becoming President of the United States than successfully cancelling a gym membership. This location unfortunately comes with its own intimidation factors, as it’s in UPTOWN. Just think Courtney Loves Dallas goes to the gym. That pretty much covers it. Not always, but often. So it’s difficult, cause I’m no twig nor do I have a closet full of Lululemon. Movie t-shirts and my Target pants work just fine and I’m not going to be social. I was awfully proud of myself for getting in the car and making spin class this morning. Who knew my shoes still clipped in?

Then my worst nightmare sat down on the bike next to me. She was late. She smelled like Victoria’s Secret threw up on her. She had her iPod. And she couldn’t keep her mouth shut. If you know me at all, you know how annoyed I was by this.

After a successful 21.5 miles (meaning I didn’t die and didn’t rip her hair out) I thought about this on the way home. My BFF owns a women’s cycle shop in SoCal and taught spin for years and one of my best friends here in Dallas is also a long-time spin instructor, currently at some of the nicest gyms in town. So I also recalled what they’ve said regarding class etiquette, so this isn’t just my own personal opinion. But those of professionals as well. Below is what I (we) consider major issues and can easily be addressed, one would even think it’s common sense. I know we all agree that getting to the gym in itself is a personal achievement and being considerate of that and supporting each other  is important. So no need to be hussies when it comes to group exercise.

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