Tag Archives: yoga

I Miss Yoga and T-Shirts

yoga first t-shirt

Well hello there. It’s been almost seven months, hasn’t it?

Turns out two kids are more time consuming than one. Surprise surprise.

Rowan is a lovely little person who is now sitting up, eating some foods and figuring out just how much noise he can make with his voice and his hands.

He is not nearly so content as Iris was as a baby. Back then I sort of hoped that any future babies would be more cuddly and attached to me. I got my wish, and then some. No complaints – it’s just more challenging when it’s 24/7.

The first few months of Rowan’s life had some difficult patches. By his two-month well-baby appointment, he’d stopped gaining weight, required an ultrasound on his spine and had a mysterious red spot on his bottom lip. While all tests and efforts resulted in our now very healthy baby, I had my share of freak-out moments this spring.

But, all’s well. And the cute little strawberry on his lip (properly known as a hemangioma) should fade with time. As a side note, we had no idea that his pre-birth nickname of Baby Vamp would be so apt. The kid literally always has blood on his lips. Goes well with the pale skin and widow’s peak.

As for me, I find a second baby to come with far less culture shock than a first. With Iris, I had to adjust after a decade of what was a mostly free-spirited adulthood. With Rowan, I was used to a more structured existence.

However, by the time Iris was this age I was back to exercising regularly and more frequently taking a night off, when I could wear normal clothes that didn’t center around easy access to my chest.

I’m really beginning to miss yoga, and wish I could wear some of the t-shirts in my closet.

Then I remind myself that the Squishy will never be this squishy again, and decide to enjoy the time I spend laying with him on the couch and feeding his fabulous little face.

I’m going to try to do this again before another seven months pass.

Happy Wednesday!

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Filed under Health, Of Family and Children

A Little Love for the Eggplant


Last night, I made baba ganoush, because last week we went to Gita Pita, and now I am, once again, obsessed with Mediterranean food (or at least the idea of it).

I found a simple recipe for the baba ganoush (I added minced onion and raw tomato), and plan to return to the downtown restaurant when my budget adjusts for the cost of preschool. It is a day for which I wait with bated breath.

The thing is, it was just really nice to have success with an eggplant. As vegetarians, we’ve not spent the time with eggplant that we should, and our history of botched attempts goes back to the beginning of our marriage – long before we stopped regularly eating meat and boxed meals. Eggplant Parmesan, simple roasting and oddities like vegan “bacon” were all disappointing failures.

But this… it’s a lovely, seemingly lighter alternative to hummus (which I love). Now I’m wondering how a half-and-half blend of the two would work…

For something completely different: If you’re in the Grand Rapids area, join me and a bunch of cool kids tonight at EmbodyGR, a local non profit focused on yoga, community and service. They have childcare, it’s free and there will be tea. A great way to find calm on the first day of ArtPrize, and set the tone for the close of your week.

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Remember Yoga?

Just over three years ago, I told you why I love yoga.

Today, I am struggling to find time to practice. I want to get back to this bliss from last Spring before this Spring rolls around (though that event cannot come soon enough), but an uptick in work and seasonal lumpishness are making it tough.

I really need that reminder from three years ago. I am a better person – in every way – when I regularly practice yoga.

We have a great local group called Embody GR, and I plan to get involved as soon as they start offering child care again. Not only do they do yoga, but there’s tea, social time and community action activities. My hope is that it holds me to a practice, and introduces me to a pocket of lovely people in my city.

Something about February…

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Not Curvy – Well Rounded

sphere rainbow coloredI’m all for accepting our given body types, and not promoting the idea that only one body shape is truly beautiful.

But I’m not going to lie. I’ve always wished I was a bit more curvy. The gentle roundness of the female hip line is just beautiful, and the perfect model for so many pretty dresses and form-fitting pants. I may not be as beanpole-shaped as I once was, but I don’t think I’ll ever blossom into a grown lady with full hips that counter my generous rib cage.

Let me be clear – I am completely alright with my body, and probably more comfortable in it now than I was 20, 10 or even five years ago. Still in the spirit of complete honesty, I confide to you my wish for voluptuousness.

Since I can’t change my bone structure without drastic measures, I’m trying to make the most of what I do have: a healthy, 33 year-old system of organs and tissues. Since I can’t make it curvy, I’ll instead make it well rounded.

I’m referring to my exercise routines. You may have heard that doing the same exercise over and over, without variation, will give you limited benefit. Seems reasonable. At the moment, I’m doing Zumba once a week, yoga once or twice a week and running once a week. The Zumba flows at the whim of the instructor, while yoga at home and running tend to stay pretty predictable, outside of my pushing for that 5K goal (which, ahem, I surpassed on Friday!).

This is part of why I’m so glad I got a punch card for dropping in to the yoga classes at the Market. Assuming I can get myself there by 9am on at least most Saturdays this summer, I’ll get some good variation in that workout as well.

If optimal cardiovascular health, reliable strength, flexibility and stress management are all accomplished, this is a well roundedness I can accept, even if I still covet wider hips.

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Season Opener: Yoga and The Market

relaxed woman post yoga closeup A beam of light crossed my face. It is not a crooked, fresh wax (which the husband said it resembles).

On Saturday I woke up three hours earlier than usual to hang out in funny positions with strangers.

You’ve heard me talk about yoga, and I’ve already bent your ear on my love of the Grand Rapids Downtown Market. It was almost too much when I heard of a free event involving both.

The Market hosts yoga classes throughout the week in its greenhouse, banquet rooms and demonstration facilities. To make the most of the seasonal outdoor farmers’ market opening, they held an open and free session, offering attendees a great discount for future classes. I registered immediately.

It was my first time doing yoga with anyone other than my husband, mother or Iris, and, at the risk of sounding cheesy, there was energy and it was amazing. We faced a giant second floor window, and a hard rain as the class began. After an hour and 15 minutes of gently voiced instructions and soothing music, not to mention a well guided final relaxation, I was more chill than I’ve been in ages. And the sun was out.

After grabbing that discount for next time, I floated down to the first floor and stopped at a table to take it all in. Nothing but food and enthusiastic people in every direction. I bought a freshly made juice and some pitted dates. I gawked lustfully at the seafood counter and oyster bar. I experienced an affection for my city, which is trying to do something good for the food and small business culture here. Making my way to the front doors and terrace meant a great view of the outdoor market, and green park beyond. I bought a small loaf of bread. Such a beautiful way to start a Spring Saturday.

Sometimes, I really enjoy growing older, because it’s like gaining a new sense. Bliss is found in the simplest things – things that were always there, but require a certain… perception to be appreciated. Sometimes, innocence is reawakened when you thought it was long gone.

Have a wonderful week.

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Filed under Local, Seasonal

I Am a Winter Lump

snowman lump red hat scarf

That. That picture. That picture right up there.

That’s how I’m beginning to feel this winter.

Not because I’m depressed or lonely or fatigued. No. Because I just want to get out and move and the Snow. Just. Keeps. Falling.

I am a winter lump who is home bound and getting more misshapen by the minute. I dare not go for a run because I will fall or get frostbite. I miss half of my Zumba time because class gets cancelled or driving is too treacherous. I do yoga, but it just doesn’t give the same rush as continuous fast movement.

Couple this with a lot of time wrapped in blankets on the couch and too many caves to comfort food cravings and you’ve got that lumpy snowmoundman right up there. My almost two-year-old could take him down. My almost two-year-old did take him down.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I think winter hunkering is great, and there’s a small part of me that relishes not having to do yard work or shave my legs. But this is beginning to feel like Narnia, and my inner hippie needs to run free on a beach that isn’t frozen over.

I’ve been really well behaved this year as far as not bah-humbugging and enjoying the cozy. Still, I’m confident that I’m not alone in my sentiments. When Spring does make her grand entrance, me and my sneakers are gonna give her what for.



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Happy Summer!!!

It’s officially summer in Michigan. So far we’ve:

  • Celebrated the Solstice with live music, kittens, fire and shandy on a farm
  • Napped under a poolside cabana
  • Attended a birthday pool party for five-year-old triplets

We’ve also survived the first serious heat wave of the season (with a little help from the parents’ air conditioning). Now, the days are for gentle yoga and dead-heading the tiger lilies.

The above video is how I’ve opened the season for the past couple of years. Rocky Leon is so happy, and the sky is so blue. You can’t watch this and not be happy. And if you can, check your pulse, yo.

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Filed under Seasonal

Soapbox: Healthful Reminders, Part 3 of 3

pyramid of physical activityIn Parts 1 and 2 I yammered about food. I always talk about food first because everyone has to eat.

Like it or not, healthy eating habits are the best way to get into better shape and health. While exercise is essential, it can’t make up for a poor diet, and let’s face it, most people aren’t going to do it anyway.

BUT, I digress…


You must do this. Weight loss is nice, but this is about your health. Weight loss comes with better health.

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Why I Love Yoga

Colorful Buddha printI used to make fun of yoga as a typical, trendy form of exercise. Back then, my exercise was walking off the double cheeseburgers while I served them to my tables.

Then, one summer, very post-waitress and about to give up meat, I actually gave it a try. Words were eaten that night.

I think my first blissful sentence afterward was “If everyone in the world did yoga a few times a week, there would be no more war.”

Why do I love yoga? Here:

I love yoga because it is versatile. No matter what your physical situation – young, old, male, female, pregnant, arthritic, diabetic, tense, short, tall, overweight, underweight or perfectly healthy – there is a yoga that is designed for you. It can be fast and sweaty or slow and cooling.

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