Monday, August 8, 2011

flight of the Rachael.

I participated in my first yoga workshop on Saturday, and loved it!

It was hosted by Halifax Yoga, and run by Kathryn Budig. I've done a few of Kathryn's Yoga Journal podcasts (free on iTunes! check it out!) and liked her style of instruction. When I saw an ad at Lululemon for the workshop, I jumped at the opportunity!

Here is how the workshop ("Flight of the Yogi") was described on the Halifax Yoga website:

"This workshop is geared towards both fledglings of arm balances and full grown flyers. We will explore the foundation of arm balancing, the technicalities of leaving the ground on our hands and the playful mindse needed to maintain the balance. We’ll begin with bakasana (crow) and explore other poses such as flying pigeon, side crow, grasshopper, eka pada koundinyasana, handstand, forearm balance and many other variations. Beginners will learn how to enter these poses, advanced practitioners will learn new entries and possibilities."

This appealed to me for one big giant reason: It is not socially acceptable for an adult to walk around doing handstands and cartwheels. But that is one part of my childhood I have refused to let go of, and this is a way to "get the kid out" without looking like a show off!! I love to play with yoga, and everyday classes don't focus this much on balance poses.

I tried a forearm balance pose at my apartment one night, in an attempt to "prep" for this workshop. Keep in mind, I have never done any forearm balancing before.... so I promptly fell on my head. That scared me, and I realized it was kind of a stupid thing to do, without supervision and proper instruction. That ended my attempt to "prep"!

I asked a friend if she'd like to go with me, and I'm happy she said yes. There was some partner work, and though yoga seems to be a very open and friendly activity, I was glad there was someone I knew with their fist between my thighs rather than a complete stranger.

Let me tell you, three hours flew by!! I'm not going to do a full recap (because I've been typing long enough!), but let me just say if you have the chance to go to a workshop by Kathryn (she lives in California), DO IT. She is funny, humble, straightforward, and encouraging. I even went out the next day and bought two foam bricks to use at home - hopefully I will continue to play with these poses (now that I know how to do them properly!).

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


I'm back!! Although I make no promises on how frequently I will blog.. because my life is about to get a lot busier! I'm going back to SCHOOL!!

I graduated university with a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry, with Honors, in 2009. I was tired of school and decided I wanted to work for a while, and tripped into the job that I have now. DC's told me that I was born lucky, and while I'm not sure that's really true, things just seem to line up for me sometimes. This job was one of them. I'm a lab technician for a research facility, and while it's been great and I'm very thankful for my opportunities here, I'm struggling. It may have something to do with the fact that I'm tiring of this long distance relationship business; or it may be that I find myself counting down the hours when I step inside the building. I'm 24 - I shouldn't feel this way about a job already!

I used to teach swimming lessons, and I've coached soccer and swim team as well. I remember how wrapped up I was in teaching these children new skills and finding ways to engage them. I LOVED it. The time flew by, and before I knew it I was saying goodbye and was heading home preparing for the next class. When DC decided he was going to apply to a Law school that coincidentally (...or not?) had a one year Education program, I jumped on it and applied as well.

Remember how I said things just seem to line up? We were both accepted into our programs! Hurdle #1: complete! I was actually first accepted into the High School Stream (instead of Elementary School, which is what I really wanted), and so I called and begged and pleaded, and despite not having a required course, they switched me into the Elementary Stream! Hurdle #2: complete! This program has an integrated practicum component, which means there are three sessions (one 2 weeks, one 3 weeks, and one 7 weeks; as well as every Monday) scattered throughout the year in which we are placed with a teacher at a school. We could list our top three choices for school district; the idea being that if you were from a Northern (read: 6 hours away) part of the province, you could go live with your parents during those sessions. Since I only know a handful of people in the province, and none that I would really feel comfortable living with for 12 weeks, I chose (with DC's help) the closest three school districts. The bottom line was, if I got my third choice, I could still end up driving 2 hours (one way!) to get to a school. This province has notoriously bad weather in the winter, and I was not looking forward to such a crazy commute.

Stress, stress, and more stress led up to me receiving a one line email last week:
"Your placement is at _(name of the street)_ Street School with _(teacher's name)__ (K). More information to follow."

I zoomed my little fingers over to Google and wouldn't you know it.......the school is less than 3 kilometers from our new apartment!!!!! (Hurdle #3: complete!!!) And the "K" stands for Kindergarten!!! This is a big deal because I was secretly hoping for the littlest ones :) I've been hearing that Kindergarten is chaos (and I get to be there for the first week of school!!), and I CAN'T WAIT!!

Let's not forget the other major part I'm looking forward to: finally being in the same place as DC for more than two days at a time. It will be three years for us in September, and two of those years have been apart. While I wouldn't trade our time apart (it's gotten us to where we are now, which I think is a pretty sweet place to be!), I cannot WAIT to see his face every day, and for not having to dial 29 numbers every time we talk!

Here's to Change! Hooray!

Monday, January 31, 2011

tell someone.

Super cute video for your Monday morning!

I think I need help on the other end of the spectrum.. DC was over this weekend and I'm pretty sure I said, "I love you" like a thousand times. I am grateful for his unwavering patience :)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

rain rain go away..

This is from Wednesday's run.

Time: 6:30am. ~36 mins
Length: 3 miles
Weather: +5Cish
Feeling: Rain rain, go away...

I didn't eat anything before this run, and boy did I feel it. Running in the morning is great, because I'm done early, but not having anything in my tummy is a serious disadvantage.

My Caribbean dance class started up again! They were going to offer it twice a week, but unfortunately there's not enough interest. Boo. The class is hilarious - I like to pretend I'm a professional dancer. Except there's a mirror in the room, so once I catch a glimpse of myself, that fantasy is pretty much shot (ha!). But it is a lot of fun, and it's all women (and most of us are uncoordinated) so it's not scary at all. I literally have to prevent myself from ogling the instructor during every class though, because it should be illegal for someone to be able to move their hips like that. Talenttt

Sunday, January 16, 2011

winter running.

If you don't know this already, you should know that I am a HUGE baby when it comes to the cold. I have three favorite places in the winter: in my bed, snuggled deep under the covers (new and improved by a fantastic synthetic duvet.. thanks Mom and Dad!!); my couch, snuggled under a blanket and accompanied by a warm beverage; or a HOT bath, with tons of bubbles. You'll note that none of these places involves venturing outdoors. I quite often feel that I should have been born in California.

I'm going to blame this innate hatred of cold weather on the fact that I haven't been on a run in .. well, to be honest, I think I've only run twice since I did the half marathon at the end of *ahem* August. I can't believe I just wrote that. I have tons of excuses. Moving on.

I woke up Saturday morning thinking that I really, really should go for a run. I'd been planning my outfit for a few days (it's important, alright), and the sun was shining. I took too long to get ready, considering I was going to go get sweaty anyways. I layered like a pro, topped it off with gloves and a toque (yessir I'm proud to be Canadian!), and on the way out the door, I grabbed some library books to return. The books made me feel like I was running with a football. Ha!

I ran about 5.7 kms (~3.5 miles) and it took me around 45 mins (the clock kept running while I waited for crosswalk lights and returned my library books). The initial "I'm-going-to-die-why-do-people-run" phase was tougher than I remember, and hills kind of sucked, but I was surprised at how easy it was. My legs are a bit sore today, but I went to a yoga class at Lululemon this morning and I think that helped.

On another note, I made up a new word:

frogini (frō-gĭ-nĭ, or fro-gee-nee): a yogini (female practitioner of yoga) who only attends free classes.

Yep. That's me!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Taylor, BC, and CBC.

CBC Village on a Diet.

From the website:

"Nowhere is this health crisis more critical than in Taylor, B.C. — a small town with a very big problem: over 60 percent of its population is overweight or obese. Collectively, they've vowed to lose literally a ton of weight in just three grueling months. To help motivate and educate them, a die-hard team of experts has come to town, including a doctor, dietitian, chef, psychologist and two of the most hardcore trainers Canada has ever seen. On top of dramatically overhauling their lifestyles, each week the people of Taylor will face tough new diets and fitness challenges that challenge their commitment to losing weight."

I'm alternatively appalled and encouraged. I watched Episode 2 and cried when everyone made it up the hill. But then I went back to Episode 1 and my eyes bugged out of my head when I heard that some of these people don't like fruits and vegetables, or have never cooked vegetables. Are you kidding me?! I know they're in a small town, but.. do they have the internet? Jeepers..

Good for them though. I look forward to seeing how this turns out!

Monday, January 3, 2011

I saw Jesus at the spa.

Happy Belated Holidays to you all! My December was eventful, although the blog did not reflect that. Whoopsie.

I received a free pass from my nail technician (I don't really know what to call her. I don't know her official name.. so that's what I'm calling her. nail tech. PLEASE someone in the aesthetics business correct me!) to attend the Planet Beach Contempo Spa here in Halifax. It opened early in 2010 (the spring I believe) and offers a variety of self-serve spa services. It's great if you're busy (each service is only 20 mins) or if you want a massage or a facial without anyone touching you (no small talk necessary!). Each service (minus tanning) is $40, or a membership is $80 a month. It's an interesting concept, and I was happy to accept the freebie, but I'm not sure I'd pay for it on a regular basis.

The three services I chose were the Hydro-Derma Fusion, Luminous Facial, and Teeth Whitening. I did the first two services a few weeks ago, and I go back for the teeth whitening this week.

The Hydro-Derma Fusion. Oh baby. Basically, you get naked, and hop into this giant pod with your head sticking out. The pod heats up to 50C and releases warm water vapor, and you then sweat out "toxins" while listening to relaxing music with rainforest sounds in the background. You get to pick the scent of the steam (I picked "Aloe"), and the pod is also equipped with cool multicolored lights that cycle through the colors of the rainbow. Apparently this is relaxing. To be honest, I did enjoy it, although I couldn't help but think that I was destined to be on an episode of "1000 Ways to Die", and they would liken me to steamed asparagus, while being too stupid to escape before I cooked all the way through. The pod doesn't lock, so if I got too freaked out I could just jump out. Thank goodness.

Not me.

The second thing I was scheduled for was the Luminous Facial. It wasn't ready yet when I was so they stuck me in the Cyber Relax Chair for ten minutes. Apparently it has more than 5000 settings, and they told me it was from Japan. I'm pretty sure all this meant was that they stuck a little Japanese guy in the back of the chair because it felt like little fists were needling their way up and down my back. I'm sure glad I was alone in that room, because I'm certain my facial expressions would not have been great advertising for the spa..

When I was ready for the Facial, one of the employees walked me through it. They make you pay $10 for the facial wash, then cream, then post-facial cream (but apparently you can make it last for a few sessions if you use it sparingly). I declined eye protection (MISTAKE) because I thought it would be fine, I'd just close my eyes.

The machine looks innocent enough. Lean back, close your eyes, and enjoy the feeling of the lights supposedly smoothing out my complexion.

And then I saw Jesus.

Seriously. We had a chat. Went for a 20 minutes stroll down the streets of gold. The light was so bright that I found myself involuntarily squinting. *Edit: My eyes were CLOSED. I was squeezing them shut so tightly my face looked like a raisin.* I had to force myself to not squint because I'm sure that was canceling out the point of the facial (who wants NEW wrinkles? not me thankssss). It took a good ten minutes for my eyes to adjust to the regular inside light after it was over. Get the tanning goggles. Unless you need some quality time with the man upstairs.

Verdict: Ask for a gift certificate for your birthday, or splurge before a big event. Don't bother with the membership, unless you live right next door and can go every day.