life: flow

It’s my third day back on a morning yoga schedule and I’m really getting into the flow of it. My workouts tend to shift with the seasons: when the sun starts to rise a little later and set a little earlier, my workouts shift to morning rather than evening. I still enjoy a post-dinner walk, but I just enjoy the gray morning vibe more. Kitty cat #1 (ie. CaramelCat) also enjoys the morning yoga sesh. I think Adriene’s voice just sounds really pleasant to his kitty ears, so he plops out beside me and licks my forehead as I move into shavasana.

I’ve also been enjoying my new diffuser, I like to use oils when I’m stretching and having it in the bedroom makes it that much more effective (morning yoga is bedroom yoga; whereas, evening yoga happens in the living room – see, shifts in mood and place).

Today’s practice was the gentle morning sequence, which was perfect. I feel a bit of a cold coming on and the stretch was just what I needed.

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stretching a little farther and a bloggy resolution

 

I just completed my second round of Yoga with Adriene’s 30 Days of Yoga Camp. The program is tough, with lots of slow flows and breath control (I was seriously breathing through the poses), but the gains are amazing. The mantras as wonderfully self-affirming and send me to a happy place, and the moves really target all my muscles. It’s a workout for the body and mind (because you will sweat, especially in a hot, Miami apartment), I completed this round over the course of two months, mixing in some running, more walks, and weightlifting (I’ve gone up a set!), but I feel that the effort I put in has led to some real progress. Once upon a time, I could not touch my toes. Just putting that out there.

 

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one of my favorite yoga selfies, because Pusheen!

 

It might sound kind of hokey, but yoga has really helped me find a better sense of self, peace with my body (tenuous on certain days, but better than it was before), and has done wonders for my back issues. I prefer a home practice, but have taken a couple of public classes as well. It’s important to find an instructor that “clicks” and Adriene definitely clicks for me. It’s a long story, but I started practicing after borrowing a video from my old library (if you don’t know, I’m a librarian). It looked interesting and I was just starting to find alternative methods to workout as part of my post-weight loss toning journey (so many journeys!). I loved it. It felt so good, even when it seemed like I would never be able to achieve the full pose (even something as simple as forward fold was difficult to me). I’ve been practicing 2 or 3 times a week for about 5 years now, but it wasn’t until I discovered Adriene’s original 30 Days of Yoga in 2015 that I started building a daily practice. It’s a challenge, but well worth it.

I’m scaling back to 4-5 days a week for now, as I focus on adding a bit more cardio and lifting to my life, but I hope to be able to go a little further and stretch a little deeper with time—-Downward Dog, I’m looking at you.

On the blog front, I’ve challenged myself to stick to a regular blogging schedule. I used to be good at this when I was in grad school and building my now retired book blog (archived at things she read). I would like to add some vlogging as well, but the time commitment for editing is a concern. I’ll give it a shot, but the blog is my first home and I would like to have some real updates, rather than rare appearances. I’m looking forward to regular Tuesday, Friday, and Sunday posts… maybe a vlog or two a month, if time permits. Prepare for more book love, writing updates, lifeblogs, and kitty cats!

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welcome fall… though the heat is still on

on writing

It’s September! And with it comes the pressing need to get things done before the dark days arrive. Making slow and steady progress with my new writing schedule. I started tracking my word counts sometime in mid-July and have found myself looking forward to writing on the weekends, rather than rushing home to squeeze in a few mediocre pages between dinner, washing up, and bedtime. Since I started tracking, I’ve (re)written a total of 17427 words (the draft now stands at a little over 70k words). There are two and a half more chapters to get through, though I’ve worked past the toughest sections, so the rest should be more manageable. This is the third draft (second major rewrite); I’m going to let it rest a bit and work on some scenes that I need to refine before I try to recruit CPs.

I’ve learned a lot about how I write while working on this draft. Despite all the advice out there, I do believe that we each come to writing in our own way. For me, this means finding what works best for my health and well-being. I’m a fast writer, but if my mind’s not in it, there’s no amount of self-flagellation that will get me to write something worth reading. While there’s something to be said for writing everyday to establish a flow, that method hasn’t worked for me in the last year and a half. I need blocks of time in which to write. I can do that well enough on weekends, but my schedule just doesn’t allow for it on most weekdays anymore (part of the trade-off I made when taking a job with a longer commute but more opportunities for professional growth). Come November, I’ll fast draft (I will NaNo this year); for now, I take the long road.

on reading

A lot of books were read in July. I swept through my bookshelf and got rid of about two bag’s worth of books that I will never read, am just not interested in anymore, or tried a few chapters and didn’t like the style. Among these, were three Georgette Heyers that failed to capture my interest. Given my genre preferences, I really wanted to like Heyer, but after two attempts, I just had to give up. Can’t like them all. I did, however, fall for the new Poldark series, which led me right to the books. So there we are.

on life

New semester, new students, new job roles, lots of stuff to oversee and get done.

I’m on day 20 of a 30 yoga challenge (missed a few days, but I’m back on track now), and trying to get back into my old walking/running habit. My energy has improved somewhat, but there are days when everything just aches and I just want to sleep all day; doing yoga really helps, particularly after sitting at my desk for hours. I haven’t seen any major changes since I started the FitGirls challenge back in April, but I’m definitely more toned and flexible now that I’m concentrating on yoga rather than circuit training.

My hair has also reached a new milestone and is now just grazing the base of my neck… still dull and awful though. I’m seriously considering giving up on this experiment and trimming it back to my usual bob in lieu of a pixie. Ugh, I’m in a style rut and I hate it. I’m going to try a henna dye this weekend to darken it up.