Yay for Hot Yoga

“If you can imagine yourself on a tropical island with no breeze, you will start to get the picture”.  -Meredith Dault

Hot yoga was something that I had been thinking about for a long time. I had always wanted to check it out but managed to convince myself that my cardio and weight regime at the gym was far better than yoga. Because of my ignorance towards yoga, I felt both uneasy and excited to give it a try.

Long story short, I did give hot yoga a try and really liked it. Aside from the fact that I almost died of heat stroke after an hour and a half in a 41 degree room, I felt surprisingly energetic and rejuvenated afer leaving the class. Because I enjoyed it so much, I was eager to purchase a few passes to go again. It was only after i bought these passes that i wondered, “is hot yoga even healthy for you?” My curiosity got the best of me, so I decided to look into some of the health benefits (and not-so-beneficial aspects) of hot yoga.

Aside from the fact that Meredith Dault, writer of Best Health magazine, described feeling like “a melting glacier trying to resist global warming” in a Moksha hot yoga class, she does go on to speak about the wonders of hot yoga.

Both Dault and many others rave about detoxification and how heavy sweating flushes toxins from the skin (they aren’t kidding when they say you sweat a TON). Although sweating may be the obvious benefit, hot yoga also allows muscles to stretch deeper into postures, strengthens the immune system and increases cardiovascular capabilities–to name a few. Additionally, hot yoga, or any type of yoga for that matter, can work wonders for the mind. If you are stressed, or just need to get your mind off things, yoga is definitely for you. I found it nearly impossible to think about anything other than my breathing and holding a particular pose.

Although I also (inevitably) came across some negative and cautionary words about hot yoga, I would encourage everyone to try it at least once. If you are seriously thinking about trying it, I would recommend that you find a place that offers 1-hour classes. Yes, I felt amazing after my hour and a half class, but I think as a first-timer, an hour would have been plenty.

First time hot yoga-ers, don’t forget a towel, your short shorts and your water. Oh, and Namaste!

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Saturday Night Extravaganza

Today is one of those days where I am hearing Jerre’s voice echoing in my head… “you can write about anything”. Today however, I was seriously struggling to write about anything in particular. Starbucks in hand, I felt the urge to post but found myself forcefully thinking about things I could write about. As I sat at my computer, blank stare and all, I finally realized that I had forgotten to share a cookie recipe that I had recently made with Laura.

As I recall our baking extravaganza last Saturday night, I suddenly begin to feel like a bit of a grandma. As boring as a “baking night” may sound, this is my idea of a great Saturday night—good food and great company—cute, I know. The two of us, who love to bake and cook, tested out an Oatmeal Chocolate Coconut Chewy Cookie recipe from allrecipies.com .

I regret to inform you that we did not take pictures of the cookies (which may not be such a bad thing because they kind of looked like horse cookies…). What I can tell you is that they were delicious!

 

 Test them out and let me know what you think!

“The Happiness Project”

Believe it or not, I am half way done The Happiness Project. I chose to start with this one simply because I had bought it in LA and started reading it on the way back to Calgary. However, when I think about it, it is probably quite appropriate that I began with this book. Not only has it opened my eyes to a number of different ideas and thoughts, but the quotes and statistics within this book (from philosophers, writers, psychologists) are incredibly interesting and extremely inspiring. Aside from these quotes and ideas which indirectly ask you to think, each chapter is filled with humor. As I find myself learning and relating to many of the topics which Gretchen talks about, I also find myself smiling. You know you have found a brilliant author when you find yourself smiling, learning, relating and understanding–all on one page. So far, two thumbs up for Gretchen!

Amongst the many things that have stood out to me in this book, I found this particular thought to be extremely well said:

“Enthusiasm is more important to mastery that innate ability, it turns out, because the single most important element in developing an expertise is your willingness to practice.”

In my quest to decide what I plan to do with my life, I found this statement to be extremely true (even if obvious). I love to write, so why not pursue a writing career? I also love kids and know I would enjoy teaching. My dilemma? Which path should I pursue? Regardless of this dilemma, I believe Rubin is extremely true in saying that we must have “enthusiasm” and “willingness to practice” in the work in which we choose. After all, who wants to spend their entire life dreading the work week? Work is not work if we truly love it.

In this quest of mine to decide what I want to do with my English degree, I have to remind myself that learning a variety of different things is always a good thing. I think so many people tend to consider University to be a waste of time even though one rarely walks away from a course without learning something. Sure, the course may be beyond boring and painful to attend (not to mention expensive!) but I believe we should always be learning and thinking—which is largely why I have chosen to start reading on a regular basis. Even if I act grudgingly towards a course which I have taken, I know that despite my bitterness, I have learned something.

As I sit at work amongst geophysicists, geologists and engineers who talk about SAGD and GIS which are rather foreign to me, I remind myself of what Matthew Arnold once wrote:

 “All knowledge is interesting to a wise man”.