Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Property hunting, vol. 4

To understand our fascination with this particular place, we have to travel back in time.
36 years back, to be exact.

To December of 1979.
Two things happened that month that are important for this story: A handsome young man boarded an airplane to Vancouver, Canada. He had slept on his friend's couch for the past month after his parents kicked him out for his decision to leave.
600 km away, a baby girl was born, two weeks early but healthy, and, if you believe her mother, "the prettiest baby on the entire ward".

The young man flew to Canada on a grey December day, with few belongings and even less money, but with his head full of dreams: To make it. To find his way in this new world, to make money, friends, live wild and free, and to own a little piece of this magnificent country one day.
He wanted to buy some land, and do what he loved most: Raising animals. The young man loved animals with all his heart.

The baby girl grew and flourished. She was a shy, but happy child, who loved books, her dog, and the fantasy world she lived in most of the time.
What she dreamed of was this: To live in Canada one day, by a lake, with a man who loved her, animals by her side, writing children's books.

The young man (not so young now) and the baby girl (a full-grown woman now) met on a hot August day in 2002.
They fell madly in love. There were many obstacles in their path, but their love persevered, and they were married on a cold, but sunny day in January of 2005.

Fast forward to the summer of 2016.

They had now lived together for over 13 years. The overwhelming majority of these years was very happy.
However, they weren't without their challenges: They had (step-)children to raise. A newly acquired mortgage to pay off. The (formerly baby) girl went back to school for a proper career. Those years were busy, dominated by work, obligations, and money woes.
They were also filled with much love, laughter, great vacations and new additions to their always expanding animal-family.
They were good years.

Then, in the summer of 2016, three things happened that would change their lives.
The property market in their area went absolutely nuts. Houses sold in less than one day, hopeful buyers knocked on unsuspecting people's doors, asking if they might be interested in selling.
They watched in amazement as the places around them went up for unheard sums of money.
They looked at it for a while, until they finally had the same thought: Why not us?
It would solve all their money problems in one fell swoop.
And they could finally realize their long-held dream: To own some tiny (tiny, but bigger than what they had right now) piece of this beautiful country they loved so much, and had made their home.

One of their friends decided to put his place on the market, so they bit the bullet and did something that scared them both: get their very own "For Sale"-sign.
On the day it was put up, they almost changed their minds. It seemed so wrong!
This was their home, their special place, the site of so many happy memories.
But after the initial fear, they got very excited.
They remembered their dreams, and the very real possibility of them becoming a reality in the near future.

They set out property hunting.
At first, they started out small. They owned 5 acres now, so anything above it seemed good. 10-20 acres was the initial goal.
But, after having viewed a few places of that size, they started to dream bigger. After all, 50 or 100 acres more only cost a couple of $100,000 more - and wasn't it worth it?

They looked at a lot of different properties, in a lot of different places.

Nothing was quite right.

Until they met Charlene.*

*name changed

Charlene showed them yet another property they were underwhelmed by: House too big, property too small, it was all wrong. They stood in the massive, way-too-oversized basement, discouraged, when Charlene looked at them quizzically for a moment, and then dropped her bombshell: "I have the perfect place for you: 160 acres. Spectacular view. Close to town, yet remote. More water than you know what to do with. Small(ish) house."

She had covered everything they were looking for. Excitedly, they arranged for a viewing of that magical place.
Sadly, it turned out to be six days away. However, they couldn't help but sneak a peek before, just from the outside.
They went there.
And they went crazy. 

It was love at first sight. The view! The location! Even the (eccentric) neighbours!
It all seemed meant to be.
This was their destiny.

A (long, very long) six days later, they eagerly came back.
The view was as stunning as they remembered. The property was amazing.
The house was - okay, but with some renovations needed.
Then came the price.

And that was the rude awakening.
They had know that it was roughly $300,000 above their limit. They had tried to ignore the deafening warning bells by reassuring themselves that it was "an investment". The neighbour would supply an immediate income by having his herd of cows graze on their land. They might be able to get it for cheaper.
They tried to rationalize it.
But in the end, they had to admit the truth: It was too expensive. Not only did they not need it, they couldn't afford it.

And that's the sad, yet simple truth of the dream place that wasn't meant to be.

They were disappointed, of course. Was their dream destroyed?
After a few days of licking their wounds, they realized that, of course, it wasn't.
Canada was a huge country. There were many more pieces of land available for sale.

One of them would be for them.

The search continues.
And they won't rest until they have found their place.

Have you entered my yoga wheel giveaway yet? 


Yoga with a wheel + a giveaway!

When you do anything by yourself, there's always the danger of getting stuck in a rut. My yoga practice is a prime example: I tend to do the same poses every time I get on my mat, with a heavy focus on arm balances and inversions (headstands, forearmstands and handstands). They are fun to me, and I'm determined to find my balance in these bad boys! So I keep at it. 

One area I neglect often is heart openers. Opening your heart is a vulnerable experience, whether you do it towards people, in a romantic relationship, or physically. 
But for a well-rounded life and true happiness, opening yourself up is essential. 
When YogDev, a Vancouver-based yoga props-company, offered me one of their yoga wheels, I took it as a sign from the universe to introduce backbends and heart openers back into my regular practice.  
I've been playing around with it for a week, and I'm continually amazed at the many different uses for a yoga wheel!

Here are just a few poses I have used it for, there are countless more:

Doing an unsupported shoulderstand is seriously hard. Resting your lower back against the wheel makes it easier, while still giving you all the benefits of the "queen of all yoga postures".

Camel pose variation
Camel pose is one of the introductory back bending poses. It is often used as prep for deeper back bends. It was my very first back bending pose, and I freaked out. I almost had a mini panic attack! 
I learnt that many of us physically close off our throat and heart by slouching, bending forward a lot (in front of computers, hunched over our phones, or when eating), or lowering our chin, and that by opening them up, emotions are stirred up. 
I try to practice a variation of camel pose often, and it has gotten a lot better. 

Seated forward bend
I'm on the quest of folding myself in half. So I'm stretching my tight hamstrings every day, until I can do this one day! (Or how about that pose? So amazing!)

Ugh. This pose is killer for me. The idea is to lift your butt off the ground with straight legs, which is an incredible core strengthener (check out Kino for the real thing - she does the L-sit at 1:43 min of the video). I can't do it, but even with your legs resting on a prop it works the same muscles. What I usually do is lift up one leg at at time for added difficulty. 

Pincha Mayurasana | Forearmstand
I LOVE this pose. Love, it, love it, love it. It is one of the poses I thought I would never be able to get into, let alone balance, and every time I do it I get a thrill of excitement. I still can't hold it for very long (I think 10 seconds was my record?), but by holding on to the wheel and resting my head against it, that time increased to 50 seconds! 
Here is proof of that (the video is sped up x 2):

King Cobra Pose
Can you believe that some people can touch their head and toes together in King Cobra pose? It's crazy. Right now it seems impossible for me to ever manage this amazing feat, but who knows. I do find that with the help of the wheel I was able to bend my back more than I ever have before. Yay!

Chin stand
This was the best surprise of the day! I haven't practiced chin stand before (apart from a one-time freak incident when I got into it, over a year ago), because it freaks me out a bit. But resting your pelvis against the wheel makes it feel so much easier and safer! I'm a chin stand convert. This will be part of my regular practice from now on!  

King Pigeon Pose 
In my mind, the yoga wheel was made for this pose. It is an intense back bend, absolutely beautiful to look at when done right, but very, very difficult. Resting your back against the wheel makes it much more accessible and less scary. 

Remember the planking craze from a couple of years ago? I attempted it on the wheel. It was hard! (Note the look of intense concentration on my face haha!)

Shoulder stretch
Aaaaahhh. This felt SO good. Nice stretch for the shoulders. 

And now comes the fun part for you: You can win one of these babies! YogDev kindly agreed to send one of my readers their very own yoga wheel. 

Good luck!!!

If you want to buy your own wheel, the timing is great: They are currently on sale for $59.95 CAD! Plus, when you enter the code MVYOGAFANS during checkout, you get an additional $5.00 off. 

Happy practice!

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Sunday, 28 August 2016

Embrace uncertainty

Uncertainty is difficult. It feels like being constantly in fight-or-flight-mode, and oh my gosh, is it ever exhausting. What I'm learning right now is that in order to not go completely nuts, you have to embrace it. 

In every life there will be times where we are thrown into a situation where the outcome is uncertain. And we can't do anything about it. That's the hard pill to swallow here - that it's out of our hands. Sure, we can work towards our desired outcome by working hard, thinking positive thoughts, and doing everything in our power. Yet, whether it happens in the end or not is not always up to us. 

I'm learning to embrace that. 
(Well, it was either that or crumble in a big heap on the floor and cry. I'm choosing option A.)
These days, more than ever, I try to appreciate the moment. 
The warm breeze that carries the first hint of fall with it.
New booties in the colour "mouse house" (how fun is that name?).
A kind word from one of my patients, who told me that "I admire people like you for doing the job you do" (which is mammography right now).    

I don't know what will happen. I have no idea if we will still be here by Christmas, and if not, where we will be. I also don't know if I will have a job or not. Sometimes, all these thoughts freak me out so much that I can barely breathe. 

But then I remember that I'm not alone. I have my best friend right by my side through it all. It will happen if it's supposed to happen. And in the meantime, I'm grateful for all the special little moments that make up every day, and that life is anything but boring these days. 

Dress: sold out (similar)
Belt: old (similar)
Booties: Old Navy

Happy Sunday!


Thursday, 25 August 2016

And then the lights went out

Guys, this week has completely gotten away from me, and nothing has worked out as planned. Part 4 of my property hunting tales was supposed to go up last Tuesday, and it never happened. I'm sorry! Two things caused the delay: disappointment and alcohol.

The anticipated happy ending never happened (more on that soon, for realz). I consequently got very drunk on Tuesday, calling random people bemoaning the hell that house selling and buying is. Or the lack thereof, since we still haven't sold ours yet, and are still looking for our new, I don't-care-anymore-if-it's-perfect-just-give-me-something place. 

But let's not talk about that.
Let's talk about how we got stranded yesterday, shall we?

Yesterday was supposed to be a light day on the house hunting front: Only one place, in a town only two hours away. Easy-peasy. We thought we would nip up there, spend an hour or so, and nip back, in time for dinner.

Oh, the best laid plans ... 

We took off at 2pm, me in a breezy little sundress (I didn't even bring a jacket, so sure was I that it wouldn't take long), Rich in his standard summer outfit: jeans, cowboy boots and a Hawaiian shirt. That boy knows what he likes, and what he likes are plaid shirts for three seasons of the year and Hawaiian shirts for the fourth. You gotta admire his dedication.

We arrived shortly past 4pm, right on schedule. We looked, we wandered, we asked questions. By now we have the routine down, and that part of the afternoon went smoothly. Then there was pink lemonade, a nice and welcome surprise. We sat down and chatted, and before you know it, it was 6pm. Time to head home, isn't it?
Not yet.

We learnt about another place, a log home (two words I find irresistible), "on our way home". Don't we want to stop by for a minute and take a look? Of course we do. We got the address, and off we went. It was now 6:15pm.

Ms. Moneypenny, as I call my usually trusty google maps app, failed us. She mislead us several times, causing us to arrive at the log home after 7:30pm. We spent half an hour looking, wandering, asking questions.

Now it was really time to hit the road, since it was starting to get dark. Since when is it getting dark shortly after 8? Oh yeah, it's almost September. Time, you flighty mistress.

We hopped in the truck, waved goodbye, and drove off. After about 10 minutes on the road, Rich turned on the headlights.

At least, he attempted to. He turned the switch - nothing. No lights inside, none outside. We stopped the truck and I jumped out, checking if the lights in the back worked - nope.

There we were, with rapidly fading daylight, in a black truck that had no lights in the back and only the running lights in the front.

We were stuck in between two towns, with no hotels, rest spots or motels on the way. So we did the only thing we could think off: Put on the hazard lights, and make it as fast as we could into the next town.
The drive was nerve-wrecking, but we made it. We pulled into the first motel parking lot we could find, and turned off the engine with two huge sighs of relief. Then we had some dinner, and at 9:45pm we fell into bed exhausted, face unwashed and teeth unbrushed (I had no toiletries with me).

This morning I got up at 5:30am for a shower, and at the first light (which is 6am these days, in case you are not acquainted with such an early hour) we made the one-hour journey home. I ran into the house, brushed my teeth, got changed, and made it on time for my 7:45am-shift. What a day!

Our summer has been anything but boring this year.

Did you ever get stranded on the road? Do tell!

Image found on Pixabay, an awesome source for free (!) stock photos!


Sunday, 21 August 2016

Trust the process

Do you trust yourself?

It's not a question we ask ourselves on a regular basis. At least I don't. I should, though. It involves many different aspects: Trusting our inner voice, our gut instinct, our common sense, our knowledge, our bodies. 
I was challenged the other day to trust my body. 

The above pose is one that has always scared the shit out of me. The first problem is that it makes you believe that you may fall over at any moment;  the other problem is that once you are against the wall, you literally feel glued to it. How to get away? What you have to do is take a leap of faith, trusting in the strength of your arms, because you will have to lift one up and start moving yourself away from the wall. 
This little act of strength - lifting one hand a few centimetres off the floor - is much more an act of courage than strength. 

I was challenged to do this exercise the other day. Not having done it for months, I was nervous. Still, I am forever on a path to face my fears, not run away from them, so I went for it. 
On the first try, I stayed plenty away from the wall, giving myself an easier exit route. Huh, that wasn't that bad. 
Feeling more confident, I moved a little bit closer. 
Then closer still. 

Until my entire body was pressed against the warm wall, which had been soaking up the sun all afternoon. It felt like a big, comforting hug. I closed my eyes, feeling the warmth against the front of my body, and the sun kissing my back. A gentle breeze was ruffling my hair. 
My entire being was flooded with a sense of peace and euphoria.
And I had a sudden epiphany: Live in the moment.  

Trust the process. What is supposed to happen, will happen. 

For the last month I have been living focused on the future. Fretting, planning, being anxious about it, waking up in the middle of the night obsessing about it. 

Those precious seconds on the wall reminded me of the importance to live in the moment. Soak in what is happening right now.  

There is only so much we have control over. We can work towards our goals, get the process rolling, connect with the right people, enlist all the help we can. But then we have to accept that the outcome is not in our hands.
We have to trust that it will happen if it's supposed to. And if not, then there is a reason for it. We may not know the reason yet, but in time, we will. 
In the meantime, we should enjoy the journey.

Enjoy our belly pressed against a sun-warmed wall, feeling free and strong. 
Enjoy being able to spontaneously go to a friend's house for fried chicken and laughs. 
Enjoy the uncertainty. 
"Are you crazy?" I hear you say. "I want to know what's going to happen. How else can I plan for it??"
Well, that's the thing, isn't it. You can't plan for everything. And isn't it more exciting this way?

With all the uncertainty we are facing, we have never felt more alive. It's exhilarating! I want life to be a daring adventure, and enjoy every uncertain, terrifying moment of it. 

One handstand at a time. 

Thank you, yoga, for the reminder. 

P.S. Sorry for leaving you hanging with our property hunt. (Or am I? Hehe.) The next update will appear on Tuesday!

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Friday, 19 August 2016

Back to my roots

This month marks 14 years when I first met Richard. We can't remember the exact day, so I arbitrarily chose August 15 as our anniversary date. 
The summer we met I was searching for everything: My purpose, a place in the world, happiness. I was 22 years old, desperately unhappy with my career choice, my lack of a love life, my family, my life. 
Going to Canada was an escape, and meeting Richard was my salvation. He was my knight in shining armour, literally riding up on a white horse (the handsome guy you see in the above photo). 
Back then, I wanted nothing more than to live on a ranch in the Wild West with this cowboy who had stolen my heart, riding into the sunset together.   

Many years and distractions later, that's still all I want. And we are doing everything in our power to make it happen. We are chasing our happily-ever-after, being on this amazing adventure together. It might work out, or it might not; as long as we are together, we will always be happy.*

*I still really hope that it will work out. Fingers crossed!

Hat: old (similar)
Tee: SheIn
Shorts: old (similar)
Sandals: sold out (similar)

Happy weekend!

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Thursday, 18 August 2016

Property hunting, vol. 3

It's late. I'm lying in bed, ready to turn the light off in a minute, but I just want to scroll through the listings one more time. The real estate agent has set up a personalized website service that updates automatically every time a new listing matching our criteria pops up. It's convenient, but also addictive - I check them at least 10 times a day. 

Gosh, I'm tired. I can barely keep my eyes open. Maybe I should look at it tomorrow ... suddenly, something catches my eye. It's this photo: 

I sit up a bit straighter, a surge of excitement shooting through me, tiredness forgotten. This is my dream house! I read the description, and get more excited with each word: 22 acres. Within walking distance to two lakes. Halfway up the mountains towards a ski resort. The inside looks like this:

I'm in love. This is the perfect house! I immediately picture cozy evenings spent in front of the fire, sipping hot chocolate. I don't even like hot chocolate, but in this new life, I will! 
Rich and I will start playing chess, or read together in companionable silence. Rich doesn't read, but in this new life, he will!
I will cook hearty stews every night, bake my own bread, and stop eating sweets. Anything is possible in this new life!

Not only is the house perfect and beautiful and everything-I-ever-wanted (I want to marry it and have its babies!), but it's also affordable. Not only within our budget, but below it. By quite a bit, actually. I should wonder why, but I don't. Why spoil all my beautiful fantasies?

I jump out of bed and run into the living room where Rich is watching TV. Scratch that, he fell asleep. Hrumph. I'm just about to wake him up and show him our future home, but reason takes over and I somehow manage to restrain myself. He's exhausted, and needs his rest. I can show him tomorrow. 
Instead, I tell Lily all about our future adventures up in the mountains. 
She isn't impressed. 

The next day I have to get up early and go to work. It's late afternoon when I finally show Rich the houses I have selected for possible viewings. 
I show him two other ones that I initially liked, but now can't be bothered with. Then, I click on the dream house, holding my breath with anticipation. "Wow, this is incredible!", he exclaims. "I know, right?", I say, hopping up and down excitedly. 

I email the agent with our choices, stressing the importance of this place. We agree to come up in three days. Three days! The wait seems interminable. 

Finally, the day of the viewing dawns. We get up bright and early, and manage to be on the road shortly after 7am. I didn't even take the time to check my messages this morning, but I do so now. 
To my dismay, there is one from the agent, informing us that she has been unable to get in touch with the listing agent of our place. "But don't worry, I keep trying", she writes. "As soon as I know anything, I will contact you." 

Halfway through the drive, we switch and I take over the driver's seat. Rich wants to take a nap. We are both chronically tired these days, with not sleeping too well at night, constantly working on our place or going out to look for new ones, and experiencing such intense emotions on the regular. 
He naps, I drive, full of anticipation what the day may bring. 
My phone pings, and I glance at it. Let's pretend that I pulled over, shut off the engine and read the message while not simultaneously driving. 

What I read makes my heart sink and tears well up in my eyes: The place is gone. Sold. It's a done deal. Also, the sellers don't want us viewing. 
I'm so disappointed, I have no words for it. I wake up Rich and tell him the devastating news. 

Rich is annoyingly reasonable, explaining to me that there is nothing we can do. I hate it. I hate everything. How can that be? This was supposed to be our place! "Call her and see if it's really done!", I urge him. "Maybe the buyers will change their minds?"
He humours me and makes the call. Nope, the sale is firm. We're too late. 

I can't speak. All my fantasies about the new life have been snatched away from me. What about the chess playing? What about the hot chocolate?
I know that I'm ridiculous, but right now I want to wallow. So I wallow for the rest of the drive. 

"I want to see it", I tell Richard. "It's probably not as great as it looks in the photos. I need to see."
He tries to dissuade me, and we have a nice little fight about it. But in the end, I win.
"It may make the pain even worse", Rich warns, but I don't care. I need to see this magical place that wasn't meant to be. 

I type in the address in my phone, and off we go. We head towards the ski resort and climb steadily higher. The scenery is beyond pretty: Fireweed is growing in abundance, painting the landscape purple. We pass lakes, trees, and cute houses, many of them log homes. We both look silently around, taking in the scenery. It's lovely.

After a while the GPS indicates to turn left, off the paved road onto a dirt one. We are heading into the woods. 
Now there are only trees on both sides. We leave a huge dust cloud behind us, covering everything in dust, including the car. 

We drive on. 
And on. 

"How much farther?", Rich asks, and I peer at my phone. "It says 10 more minutes", I inform him. 
So we keep driving. 
The road reminds me vividly of my days as a forest ranger trainee, bumping around on the uneven, pot-holed forest roads. It's fun in the summer (even though it's hell for the vehicle), but in the winter it's another story. 
I want to check my GPS again, but I lost the signal. So we just keep going. 

After what feels like an eternity, we unexpectedly arrive at what appears to be a little colony in the middle of the woods. We pass by several houses and a campground. Why here? It seems like the most random place ever. After the next bend, we know why: There is a gorgeous lake, surrounded by mountains. A little row boat is close to the water's edge, with a couple sitting inside, their faces turned up towards the sun. 
A swimmer is diving under the water next to us. The road is so close to the lake, I could reach it in two steps. 

Speaking of the road: It just went from acceptable to terrible. Deep grooves make the ride extremely bumpy, and it appears as if the road is below lake level. I wonder if it floods sometimes.

And suddenly, we are there. I recognize the outbuildings from the pictures. The property is fenced in, and the house is invisible from the road, but there is the wood shed, the little cabin, and the cover with the camper underneath. 
We look at it for a moment, and then at each other. 
"Now I know why it's so cheap", I finally state. "It's so far away from everything!"
"And the road is awful", Rich says. 

A feeling of peace and relief washes over me. If it was still available and as nice as the photos suggest, I would have been very tempted to put an offer in. Once you're there, it's lovely! Getting there is the issue. 
On the way out we time how long it takes. 15 minutes until you hit paved road (which might double in the winter), and from there another good half hour into Kamloops. It would make a perfect vacation home, but for everyday it's not practical.  

Considerably cheered up, we meet the agent. With that place gone and another one ruled out (it's right by the highway), we only have one left to look at. 
It's not our first choice, because the house is humongous. Over 4,000 square feet, it's more than twice as big as what we would like. However, the property looks great in the pictures, so we decided to take a look. 

This one is also halfway up the mountains, in another direction. We love the scenery, and the little town we pass through is charming. 
As we pull into the long, winding driveway leading up to the house, I'm optimistic again. This looks pretty good!
Then we arrive at the house. And it's massive. Why do people build these huge mansions? 
Before we go inside, we want to check out the outside. The owners don't have animals, so the grass is high and looks lush. "Irrigated", the agent says knowingly. "Nothing around here is this green in the middle of August without irrigation." 
Halfway down the field, the ground changes from firm and dry to wet and squishy. What the ...?
"It's marsh", Rich states. We discover that at least 3 of the 9 acres are marsh land, impossible for horses to step on. I can't help but laugh: Wouldn't it be too ironic to move from rainy and muddy Langley to a semi-desert area, and end up with land that's swampier than what we left behind?

Another whammy is when we learn that the well is shallow, and sits in the middle of the swamp. The water quality is so poor that the owners installed a high-end, expensive water filtration system to make it drinkable. We know that this one is a no. We go into the house anyway, which is beautiful, but way, way too big for the two of us.

Standing in the enormous basement, we tell the agent exactly what we are looking for: Lots of room for our animals. Grassland, not just desert. Outbuildings if possible, but not a must. Enough water. A decent house, not too big. Within half an hour of town for my work. 
She looks at us thoughtfully for a moment, and then she says: "You know what would be perfect for you guys? My parent's house."
As she elaborates, Rich's eyes light up. It's a farmboy's dream property: 160 acres, plenty of grassland, used for cattle until a year ago. It has all the barns and stalls we need, and is completely fenced in. It is also for sale. 

Rich is thrilled. I am not. Secretly I have been hoping for something not that huge. Isn't it too much work? I'm worried that he is being blinded by his desire to own a large acreage, and not being reasonable.
We go for a late lunch, and almost have a second fight. I'm strangely reluctant to even consider this new place. There were too many disappointments today, and I'm drained. 

In the end, we decide that it can't hurt to look at it from the outside. At least we will know if it's even worth considering.
Once again, we wind our way up into the mountains. Once again, the scenery is stunning. Who knew that there are such gorgeous valleys right by Kamloops? We certainly didn't. It looks like Switzerland. 
There are cows on the side of the road, and a rumbunctious calf runs alongside our car for a bit. 

 Two pigs are rooting around in the grass. 

And then we arrive at the property. And we know instantly: Life as we know it is over. 

We have found our place.

Stay tuned for part 4!

Vol. 1 | Vol. 2 | The house that wasn't meant to be | Vol. 4 | Vol. 5

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Sunday, 14 August 2016

What I'm thinking about when doing yoga*

* sweary version

I love yoga. It's given me confidence, strength, more flexibility, and a new level of appreciation for my body. One thing I'm still waiting for: Calmness of mind. Except for a few rare moments of blissful zen, my thoughts are usually going a mile a minute. And not all of them are very polite, I'm afraid.
Today I thought it would be fun to share some of the thoughts that are going through my mind when I'm kicking it yogi style.
Warning: Contains profane language. (My mind has a potty mouth.) 

Camel pose | Ustrasana

"I can't breathe. I CAN'T BREATHE!"
"Calm down, of course you can. Breathe in, breathe out. That's better."
"My back hurts. Are back bends really good for you?"
"Camel pose. Weird name. I wonder if it's called camel pose because your breasts are sticking up?  Two breasts =  two humps? Gotta google it."*
* I did. Couldn't find the origin of the name. 

Crane pose | Bakasana

"Suck the belly in. Toes up."
"I love this pose. Can I hold it for a minute?"
*Knees are slowly, yet steadily sliding down.*
30 seconds later

Lord of the Dance Pose | Natarajasana

"Ouch, my shoulders. Aah, they're gonna dislocate any second! I want to love you, but right now I hate you."
"Ouch, ouch, ouch."
"Did I get a good picture?"

Scale Pose | Tolasana

"Right knee, go down. DOWN."
"Hrumph, it's not listening." 
"Hey, I couldn't do this last year! Kinda cool."
"Look at me Lily! LOOK AT ME!!"

*Back turned, ignores me completely.*

Horse Face Pose | Vatayanasana

"My heel is in my crotch. Weird."
"What are the benefits of this pose again? Oh, I'm losing my balance, I'm faaalling ..."

One-Legged King Pigeon Pose | Eka Pada Rajakapotasana

"Come on, hand, just a wee bit more. A couple more inches! You can do it!"
"You bitch. We have been practicing this now for months. Just grab the damn foot already!"
*muttering under my breath* 
"So close. SO CLOSE."
*screaming out loud* 
"Aaaaahrgh!!!! TOUCH THE FOOT! JUST TOUCH IT!!!"*
*sounding like a foot fetishist*

*throws away the strap in disgust*
"I hate you."

Low Lunge | Anjaneyasana
Kardashian bum look-alike

*while doing the pose* "Look at my back bend! It's getting so good!"
*after viewing the photo* 
"Never mind."
"But look at dat ass. Kim K, you've got competition."

"I feel pretty, oh so pretty, I feel pretty, and witty, and gaaaay!"

Peacock Pose | Mayurasana

"I'm faking it, I'm totally faking it."
"I can hold this for .5 seconds, tops."
"Am I gonna post this picture?"

Pendant Pose | Lolasana

"I fucking HATE you!!!!!!!!"
Disclaimer: It's a difficult pose.

Forearm Stand | Pincha Mayurasana

"Oops, I just farted."

Scorpion Pose | Vrischikasana

*after viewing the photo*
"Well, not really." 
Look at real scorpion pose here

Standing Backbend | Anuvittasana

"My back hurts. My tummy hurts. I'm scared!"


Back bends make me feel panicky. Apparently, it's a widespread phenomenon. Why? Because of laying your heart open? I don't know. All I know is that they are very intense and emotional. 

Toe Stand | Padangustasana

"Okay, I got this."
*falls over*
"Maybe not."
*tries again*
"Hey, I got it!"
*falls backwards*
"Screw you."

Wheel Pose | Urdhva Dhanurasana

"Everything hurts, I can't breathe!"
*I can breathe. I'm panicking in this pose more than in any other*
"Calm down, calm down, calm down."
*calms marginally down*
"I have to come out of this pose."
*plops down*

I always breathe heavily when coming down from wheel, which I think is less due to exertion and more to the emotional aspect of this pose. Once we have settled in a new place, I will go on a serious exploration of my own body and psyche, and try to figure out what the root of this problem is. 
Oh yoga, you just won't leave this alone, will you. 

Bathing suit: ModCloth (sold out), but this one is similar and super-cute!

Are you zen when you practice yoga? Or do you have random thoughts like I do?

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