Saturday, March 16, 2013


I ran to Target on Tuesday because I had a terrible headache and was pretty sure the solution was somewhere within those giant red walls. In the fitness section (no idea how I got there, the drugs are on the other side of the store) I found this set of 4 beginner Yoga DVDs (it's only $14.99 at Target, but they don't have a link to it). Yoga! I used to hate Yoga, but I tried it in Austin and found it soothing, and every doctor I've spoken with regarding my back, neck, hip, and headache issues has told me I must MUST work on stretching and flexibility (I can't bend over and touch my toes; I can really barely bend over at all). Maybe it would also help headaches and insomnia? For $14.99 I could learn the proper way to do the moves in my own home where I'm not looking around at all the other people who look so much better than me and wonder why I'm the only one hopping around on one leg like an uncoordinated chicken.

So I bought the set of DVDs and popped them in the player that night when the boys were at soccer. Claire, of course, was hanging out within 3 feet of me and joined right in the yoga fun.


I really like the instructor. She's crazy flexible, but she doesn't draw any attention to that or make me feel lacking because her head is on the floor and mine is a good 3 feet above it. She's not overly perky (I hate overly perky workout instructors, probably because I hate working out). She's calm, smiles in a way that doesn't seem fake, and is good at verbal cuing so I don't have to crane my deck around to see what she's doing (and how much better she's doing it).


I did the DVD that night and then at 6:15 every morning since. Everything hurts- yoga is hard, as it turns out, but I feel freaking fantastic. I've already gotten more flexible as I do the moves and I'm learning them well enough that I can close my eyes and focus on the transitions and flow of positions, which seems to calm my mind. Very little calms my mind.


I had to kick Claire off my yoga mat because she was getting in the way, so she ran and grabbed her nap mat to continue to "do the yoga." She's asked about it every night since, but I've been doing it in the mornings before she wakes up (which, much as I love doing things with her, is really way more conducive to all the things that yoga is supposed to be about).


This morning though, I slept in, so both kids ended up on their nap mats alongside me. This time it did not go quite so well. Landon responded to every new move with "that isn't hard" and Claire pointed out several times that "she [the instructor] is doing it better than you." Yes, thank you, she is. I finally unleashed them on their sleeping father to turn on cartoons in our bed so I could finish my series of 5 sun salutations in blessed peace. And peace it was- arms shaking, legs stretched, finishing out the serenity poses with a clear head. I really like waking up that way and I'm hoping to stick with it. The DVD doesn't take that long, and it's hard enough to feel like it's worth the time, but not so hard that I dread it when I wake up. Now that we have a dedicated TV room with wood floors, I just keep my yoga mat rolled up by the TV and spread it out while the DVD player is turning on. There's no barriers, no set up, no witnesses, and I get to do my poses under the skylights while the sun rises outside the giant window I'm standing before. It's really quite lovely.

I've said it before, but truly, I hope to do this on a regular basis. JP got me a gift certificate to my yoga place downtown for my birthday, so I'm going to do the barre class on Sundays and maybe the occasional weekday night (though I doubt it), and try to do the yoga DVD most mornings. Someday I might even move beyond DVD 1...


And speaking of health, fitness, and general wellness, below is our menu for the week. I've baked the chocolate chip cookies we're eating tonight, inhaling at least 6 cookies worth of dough as soon as the kids were in bed (I always bake when they're napping; their help, while adorable, is not helpful, and then I don't have to have a "do as I say not as I do" moment while I tell them dough is bad for them and then eat 6 spoonfuls of it myself). Morning yoga and an overdose of cookie dough- it's really all about balance.

Sat: Caprese Chicken Salad Sandwiches (but without tomato pesto because sundried tomatoes are the devil's tomato, and without pine nuts because I hate nuts to be added to anything), oven fries, grapes and strawberries, and these chocolate chip cookies for dessert. We're going to eat outside and soak up the extended daylight, bright blue skies, and gorgeous 78 degree weather. (Update: these were fantastic! the kids loved them too- we'll definitely be making them again and the leftovers, if there were any, would be great to bring to work for lunch.)

Sun: World's Most Delicious Homemade Lasagna (recipe from my Aunty Lee; a childhood favorite I need to post soon, particularly since I've made a few changes without ever writing them down and I have to guess what I did before every time I make it again), garlic bread, salad

Mon: Ham and cheese quiche (actually, it's smoked turkey because JP doesn't like ham or any pork product which excludes a terrible number of things from my possible meals list), biscuits and homemade strawberry jam dropped off by a neighbor, fresh fruit

Tues: leftover World's Most Delicious Homemade Lasagna, salad, more bread

Wed: Veggie stir fry (using this recipe/marinade as a base, but with a bunch of veggies instead of meat), brown rice, assorted Asian food appetizers from Trader Joe's (have you had their chicken shu mai? The four of us love them and fight over the last few left on the platter every time.)

Thurs: Chicken and mozzarella ravioli, tomato cream sauce, steamed vegetable of some kind

Fri: probably homemade pizza, but maybe out for Chuy's tex mex happy hour


  1. I am sure doing the yoga is much more effective on your own in the mornings--but the pictures of Claire are sooo cute!

  2. Sounds like Target provided just what you needed :)

    Claire is so cute! This post reminds me of doing jazzercise at home with my Mom when I was a little older than she is now. Instead of a DVD I think it was a record, with a little booklet to show you the positions for the different moves.

  3. Here's another relaxing/stretching thing that's super easy, and something to do when you have insomnia.

    Take 2 tennisballs+ 1 tube sock. Put balls in foot of sock - with a bit of a gap between them.
    Lie in bed, and put them under your hips, either side of the spine, and let them massage in a little. Over the course of half an hour gradually move them up your spine to your neck.

    Or you can just start in on the shoulders.

    Move the balls in the sock to where you need them the most. It's lovely - gets in deep to the muscles and I find it relaxing.

    Also, cheap massage!

    1. That is a great idea! Half tennis balls also feel amazing on the soles of your feet. A little trick I learned at prenatal yoga ;)!

  4. Please keep posting your weekly menus!

    I was inspired to try your cinnamon roles recipe this weekend - what a hit!

  5. this makes me want to do yoga every morning, too. :) Hmmm. Claire is a cutie!!

  6. I really enjoy looking at Claire doing yoga. She is soooo cute! I find yoga so hard and hurtful at my very first experience but after so many tries, I find it fun and fantastic. I have used my beginner yoga dvd the first time I did yoga.