Thursday, March 28, 2013

Days of HTML

My last three days has been staring at code. I am not a programer.
I have found my own personal hell. 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

OMG Hot! Don't Panic! (or do, but then stop)

The heat isn't a big deal...until it is. At first you notice your sweat has made its debut unusually early to the class. You return focus to your breath and keep going, maybe a little more cautiously. By the end of eagle pose hysteria has taken hold and you are absolutely positive that you can see your heart-beat in your chest. And your big toe. And the rest of the room. Oh, god! Your eyeballs are beating! You sit down.

Focusing on your breath becomes near impossible with all the heart-beating around the room but you try anyway. Then your impending death occurs to you and you start to question your life choices. Especially that one about going to Bikram Yoga. The rest of the class is spent laying on your back, with an internal monologue that could win a Oscar drowning out the teacher.

So when this spiral starts, don't panic. You have your towel safely beneath you.* Be aware that this is a common spiral and that this is why you are here. Some days you get to work your edge on the physical posture some days you get to work your edge on the mental posture. Congratulations, you are having a doozy of a day for mental improvement!

Some days your ability to focus is helped by the heat, some days, you are fighting it. That is okay. In fact, it's good. Liken this situation to any other stressful situation:
You get in a fight with someone very close to you. During the course of the fight, emotions run high, voices get raised. Eventually, you are seriously contemplating putting your fist through his or her jawbone. The rest of the room just falls away. You don't hear the argument anymore, what you hear is your internal monologue telling you what a horrible, spiteful, fool this other person is. 
Feels kinda similar to what you just felt in the room, doesn't it? It is. Your mind has gone waaaaay off track and is working against you. You need tools to steer it back on course, to slow it down and to make the escalation stop.

The controlled stress of the room puts you in a safe environment (nobody is judging you, trained experts are watching you, and there is an emergency phone, coconut water and air conditioning 5 feet away) where you can experience intense mental pressure and learn, safely, to work through it.

So when you start to spiral, take a breath and start talking yourself down from the spiral. With enough practice in the room you will get good at it out of the room. The DMV, fights with family, when the landlord neglects to mention that the fumes from the work he's doing to the first floor of your building on Christmas day will be so bad that you have to huddle under a pile of blankets on your couch with the windows open fearing for each dying braincell in your poor cat (maybe I could use a little more work myself), will get much easier to manage.

Not fair. You have a fur coat.

*42. If you don't get the joke by now, please get off the internet. I say that for your own protection. I am afraid 4chan may eat you alive.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Blog Statistics

Google Analytics is a powerful marketing tool. When used in conjunction with my business site I can see how people find me, track their journey through the site and scrutinize how long viewers are perusing my portfolio pages.

When used in conjunction with my yoga blog I can see that the number one search term that leads people to Yoga Badassery is, "farting in yoga class." Followed closely behind by, "do people fart in yoga class." An equally high number of Yoga Badassery readers use more concise language and search simply by the words, "farting during yoga."

What? People do that during yoga?!

I am thrilled and honored, although not surprised, that people come to me looking for such high-brow humor. In an effort to further increase my SEO I submit the following:
  • fart
  • flatulence
  • poot
  • pass wind
  • wind removing
  • message from the interior
Google Analytics also shows the search words, "peeing during hot yoga" has lead someone here. Whoever typed that one in, welcome. I sincerely hope that search was not post-experiential.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

And Sometimes You DON'T Fall Down

My sister, brother-in-law and twin nephews drove from DC to New York City to surprise me at nationals. They missed my performance by a mere 20 minutes because I went on early. I don't mind because she didn't mind. I got to hang out with them either way, so I'm happy (Thanks guys! Love you!).

The reason I was early was because nationals was running late.

Nationals were running an hour behind when I checked to estimate what time I would be on. A three-minute routine is a three-minute routine so I figured we were safely on track to continually run later. They couldn't ask people to change to a two-minute format half-way through the event. I added the number of females before me at three-minutes each with a half-hour break that I would be first after, and figured I had roughly two-hours. Plenty of digestion time.

I ran across times square and grabbed a bag of disappointingly bland wasabi peas and some tea. I carried them up to the fifth floor, an area of the adjoining hotel we had taken over, and settled down with a good book.

I was holding a handfull of peas at an 80 degree angle, letting them roll into my upturned mouth, when an organizer, Griffin, appeared at the foot of my couch. "You're on next."

I nearly spit my peas.

Instead, I pushed them into my cheeks like a squirrel holding nuts and shouted, "But I'm EATING!"

Can you come back at the end of the chapter, please?

While they could not change three-minute routines to two-minute routines, they could eliminate breaks to push everything quickly forward. I had neglected to consider that option.

I scooped my belongings into my arms. Peering over the pile to my phone, barely grasped by my fingertips, I texted The Boy, "Schedule change. Up next." We headed down the elevator, bypassing the warm-up room, which I had no time for, to the stage.

My devoted coach, Jessica Rask, and the lovely MJ were calmly filing people on stage; giving a quick hug, words of encouragement, laughter, or a quick nod, each according to the competitor's temperament.

Panic-stricken, I confronted my coach with a singular sentence I hoped encompassed both my unpreparedness and the current affliction I would have to cope with, "I was EATING!"

She calmly looked back, "Kate, you are ALWAYS eating."

Each according to the competitor's needs. I laughed. She laughed. It didn't matter. Part of the mastery of yoga is a mastery of your own breath, your own calm. Slow your breathing, calm your mind. I ran through the mental check-list of things that needed to be done before going on stage. I had lotion still on my leg and hand. I was directed to a sink backstage. I lifted my leg into the sink and soaped it off. I hugged Jessica, hugged MJ, rolled my shoulders back, smiled into the bleaching white of the stage lights and walked on stage.

I am very proud of my performance. My postures rocked, and by that I mean that they teetered, weebled, wobbled, but I did not fall down! I brought none of the seven poses to what I am fully capable of. I forgot to announce the first three entirely,* which I think means that they can't score them at all. But I came off that stage BEAMING. I did it. I competed in nationals, a feat I never thought myself capable of.

Please, when you set out to accomplish something, give yourself credit for the effort. Try something new. Be proud of the effort before you evaluate the shortcomings. No matter how flawed, the attempt itself is glorious.

* Coach and I laughed about that later. I remember very clearly getting into floor bow and thinking, "Hey, this is going really well! Wait...isn't there supposed to be sound?"