Thursday, February 20, 2014

Keep it Classy, Kate

I have written so often about falling on my butt, my social foibles and my acceptance of my own flatulence I should really consider renaming this blog, "Keep it Classy, Kate" in the same tongue-in-cheek vein of the current title. Well, here we go again.

On my way home from yoga today I began daydreaming about all the amazing foods Chicago has to offer. All of which I wanted in my mouth, right that instant. As there are no restaurants on my way home where I could indulge in vegetarian hot wings, hummus and tabouleh, I decided to stop by the grocery store to purchase all the items necessary for an international smorgasbord.

I have done this a million times. It is always a bad idea. Learn from my tale of woe and just hit the restaurant. Any restaurant. Once you sit down you will realize everything on the menu looks great and you will find a reasonable meal. That is not what will happen if you go to the store immediately after class.

In the Whole Foods I found myself surrounded by little yellow sale signs attached to wonderful looking foods. My international smorgasbord gained new countries with each isle (GUACAMOLE! OMG!). Eventually, basket overflowing, I ran into the last isle, pre-made foods and THE SALTY FOODS BUFFET. They call it an "olive bar." They are liars. Only 1/3 of that bar is olive-related. 100% of the bar is salt-related. In my weakened state, I was helpless to say no to the unreasonable amount of post-yoga salt-replenishment my body desired.

Did you know that layering tiny gherkin pickles over rosemary olives does not effect the flavor of either...if you eat them cookie-monster-style in your car on the way home?

One more problem. By the time I got to the check-out counter my thirst had kicked in. I am unfortunately a very stingy person. It's fine to be a very stingy person, but not stingy and Jewish. It reinforces the sterotype.* So when presented with a giant yellow sign saying that the San Pellegrino is on sale for less than any of the other bottled beverages I did not think twice about purchasing it. Even though it was the massive bottle meant to be shared by multiple people at a picnic or other equally classy group event.

By this time, I was so thirsty I opened up the S. Pellegrino and quaffed it right there at the check-out (AFTER paying for it, I'm not that tacky).

I did manage to make it home, sans a $15 tub of salty-food buffet, and made myself a lovely meal of home-made yogurt with tabouleh, red pepper hummus and remnants of a very large bottle of S. Pellegrino. So I guess there's that.

Keep it classy, Kate!

* Like being Italian and talking with your hands you put people in the uncomfortable situation of being racist anytime they do an accurate impression of you.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Life Hack

Take advantage of the polar vortex sub-zero planet-Hoth conditions by freezing your yoga gear.

If you live in a two-flat or other shared residence you may, like me, have a covered but not heated stairwell to your basement and laundry. Use this area much like your freezer for trash.* Dump your bag of smelly, damp (or if you're a sweater like me, sopping wet) yoga gear in the walkway. It will freeze, buying you a few days before you need to do laundry.

I've been able to go three days without laundry all winter this way. Granted, it's a little weird when you finally get around to the laundry and you have to pull apart iced towels, but try to think of it like those pre-teen pranks of freezing the first person to fall asleep's underwear. Totally normal, right?

* What? You don't freeze your trash? Not as crazy as it sounds; put trash that would smell by trash day in your freezer to keep it from smelling up your kitchen.

Monday, December 23, 2013


I've seen this inspirational text floating around a lot. I think Mr. Keonig might not have known my friends.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

The Shoulds and Shouldn'ts of Yoga

I have read a plethora of articles and blogs telling me not to be so judgmental, egotistical, list of flaws goes on. The inference being that I am not a real practitioner of yoga and possibly a bad person to boot.

I recently read an article, "Signs your yoga practice is no longer your own."* What the eff does that even mean? Lululemon has put on your skin like a meat-sack and is currently forcing your downward dog? (If this has actually happened to you, please contact me, that is some seriously cutting-edge marketing and I want in.)

Yogis, you are not evil for wanting your fancy mat. It is correct that you don't NEED it. I don't need a chocolate cookie for breakfast either, but I sure do prefer it. I am happy for the yogis that practice on dirt in robes made by hand from recycled dryer lint. I am not there yet and that's okay.

Yogis, you are not evil for wanting your toosh off your thighs. If I am concerned about my hypothetical ginormous floppy ass right now, that's okay. I hope to move past it, but maybe I will remain fixated on it for the duration. I'll do my best to ignore my ass obsession if everyone else does too.

Yogis, you are not a bad yogi for pushing yourself to go to yoga. I have read so many, "don't force yourself to go to class. If your body doesn't want it, don't." My body wants donuts. Lots of them. And once my body gets the donuts it hates me for letting it have the donut. It reacts to yoga in the exact opposite way. I will stop 'pushing my body to go to class' when I get my hands on that Lululemon meat-sack trick. I will wear other blogresses' carcases like a cape and joyfully skip into yoga each day. Until that day, don't make me feel guilty for forcing myself into the room.

We're not always going to walk into the room a mirror image of Gandhi and that's okay. Your yoga practice is your practice, not Gandhi's. Unless you are wearing him like a meat-sack.

I didn't draw anything for this post so here's a drawing I did of Thor fighting Ice Giants instead. 

* I want to give citation but I can't find the damn thing.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Look, Ma! This Isn't a Complete Waste of My Time Like You Said!*

Look, an ad! No, scroll down. There, on the right. Click on it for porn! Just kidding. It'll take you to some info about yoga.

Don't hate me. I've spent roughly a million hours on this site so when someone said, would you like money? I said, "HELLZ YEAH!"

Make it rain, biotch! Ouch, ouch, ouch! Wait, make it stop! This hurts!

So that you can feel like I have some integrity I will say that I wouldn't have agreed had the ad content been contrary to the site's principals, but really, I've pretty well steered clear of any principals here. I guess don't torture little animals. Or people, I guess, but really I'm more concerned about the little animals (messed up, isn't it?). So, yeah, I can definitely say that if the ad were touting the benefits of animal torture I would have said no.

Probably. I mean, we don't really know what we would do unless we are tested, right?

So the secret message to Tyson is: Make me a an offer. But it's gotta be big, 'cause there are moral grounds here.

*Actually, my Ma is unreasonably supportive.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Loving Ustrasana

I love it when the teachers say the sanskrit names for yoga poses. I could pretend it's because I enjoy the connection with yoga's long history but that's not it at all. It's because when we get ready to do camel pose teachers say, "Ustrasana." Which sounds to me like, "Ultra Asana."* Which it is, really. But the vision in my head is:

That's right. When the teacher says, "ustrasana," I am Voltron.

Not one lion either, the WHOLE. DAMN. THING.

Why is Voltron my vision of "ULTRA"? Maybe it's because when I was younger and staying overnight in a hospital a man made me come out of my oxygen tent so he could pray for my soul. I was bewildered at the time, but later thought it was a sweet gesture to help an ill little girl.

In my adulthood, my mom confided that the man was trying to save my soul because she was letting me watch Voltron.

My mom is awesome for letting that man pray for me and then still refusing to change the channel. I guess my reaction is an unnatural affinity for the satan-inducing show. Probably not the effect the man was going for.

*Also, in my head, the teacher's voice turns metallic and super growly. Like a Scandinavian death-metal singer.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Go to Yoga

We have all had those days. I am too tired to go to yoga. I am too depressed. I just can't find the time. After a million (not really) zombie yoga classes in a row I can honestly say that despite the lack of sleep, I am better off having gone. I just did a class today despite wicked cramps all day. The only time I haven't felt mildly nauseous in the last 48 hours was in the hot room. 

Granted, the tired, nauseous, cranky days are not all going to result in stellar yoga classes. So here is a chart to help guide you to your best choice in your current situation. 

You may notice a pattern. Follow the chart as if you don't.

If you are sick the hot room will help you. It clears congestion. It raises your internal body temperature (just like a fever would) to kill your little ickies. It boosts your immune system and gives you a rush of oxygen to help your body knock out whatever is trying to wreck havoc on your innards. You can get a lot of those benefits in savasana, so don't kill yourself, do the breathing and see where it goes from there. If it goes to the floor, so be it.

Are you tired? I've heard it said a million times, "yoga gives you energy." While I'm not 100% willing to jump on the 'yoga is magic' bandwagon to make that claim, I am sure that I feel much better after a class. The more tired you are the less you can focus on what needs to get done so you can do it and get the eff to bed. Taking the time out to clear your head, regroup and then re-tackle your day will lift that fog. You know what else lifts the fog? A hot 1.5 hour nap. If you need the nap, go ahead, take it, but get yourself in the room to see if that's really what you want first. Most likely, the boost of oxygen from the initial breathing exercise will jazz you up enough to keep you going.

Stressed, depressed? Exercise and meditation have been independently proven to alleviate symptoms of stress and depression in both the short-term and (even more importantly) the long term. Yoga as a combination of meditation and exercise is powerful medicine.

So yes, I mean it. Get your butt in the door. It is HARD to get up and go, so if you want to wallow, go ahead, there is value in that too. But when you've had enough wallowing and you want to fix it. GO TO YOGA.