Friday, September 28, 2012

The Last Day!!

Had an amazing day today with the ladies in my class.  It was Brittany's birthday (she turned an ancient 23 years old today), and we had a Thai luncheon and gave her gifts and cards, not to mention some vegan cookies for dessert.

Classes and the day seemed to fly by.  We only have one more class tomorrow - a 5 hour workshop/teacher training session that doesn't start until 3pm and spits us out at 8pm.  So, I won't be jetting home tomorrow night to be with my sweetheart because after all this yoga I am pretty much exhausted and a 5 hour drive at 8 at night just doesn't sound like a good idea.

Sunday morning, bright and early (!!), I will be driving southeast toward more sunshine, warmer temps, my home, my own bed, my loving husband and my two babies, Chewy and Poppy.  It will be the crowning moment on the epic journey that this last month been for me.  I stuck out a very tough training and will be coming home tired and ready for a lot of rest, but also with a sense of accomplishment and pride.

The last month has been amazing and the gift of friendship and love given by my classmates has been nothing short of miraculous.  Truly special human beings and God transpired to put us all together for a very apparent  reason - to help us all get through this not only intact, but with love, caring and support.

Sending my love and heartfelt thanks to these ladies.  I hope we can keep in touch and be there for each other in the future.

Hugs and Love.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

A very important hump complete!!

3 more days.  3 more days.  3 more days.

This was my mantra today as I pushed my way through several yoga classes.  My body is hitting it's absolute limit (although I thought that the first week too!), I am tired and really homesick too.  So, as I was holding an especially long shoulder stand (for the 3rd time today) for over 5 minutes I was just repeating in my head, "3 more days, 3 more days"  Happily, it got me through both the shoulder stand and the last class of the last Wednesday here in Seattle.  Thank goodness.  The days are dwindling down fast!

Our certificates are printed out already, but we won't receive them until Saturday evening.  I will then be a full fledged, internationally recognized 200 hour RYT (registered yoga teacher), an accomplishment I wasn't sure I could achieve.  I guess you can still teach old dog new tricks.

So, on that note, I am going to retire for the evening, get some rest for the long day tomorrow, where I will probably be chanting, "2 more days!!"

Here is Renee, 8 months pregnant with baby Jacob, in full arm balance or handstand!  Go girl!

Monday, September 24, 2012

It's Monday morning (of the LAST WEEK!!!)

Never have I been this happy to be awake up and about on a Monday morning!

This lovely, sunny Seattle Monday morning marks the LAST Monday I will be here!  Wooooooohooooo!

So, I am all alone in the Cafe Vios - our favorite coffee hangout, catching up on computer work, having an amazing quiche with fresh fruit, a large mug of jasmine green tea and feeling euphoric that the training is coming to an end!

CAFE VIOS at Third Place - a really great cafe located inside a bookshop.  Perfect combination!

Looks yummy doesn't it?  I won't show the after picture.  The devastation might be disturbing so early on a Monday morning.

Happy Day ALL!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Whidbey Island Adventure today!

Here is Whitey III on the ferry from Mukilteo to Whidbey Island.

Took advantage of being up in Seattle to visit Whidbey Island again today on my only day off of the week.  I completely lucked out and it was a gorgeous, sunny day hovering around 70 degrees!

Whidbey Island is incredibly artsy and quaint.  I started out in Langley, a town I had stayed in for a week last March for an oil painting workshop with Dreama Tolle Perry.  It was pretty good timing in addition to the weather because they were having a gypsy jazz music festival and there were musicians randomly jamming together all over town and you could sip on a latte and listen for free.  It was really a nice touch.   I had invited Brittany from my teacher training to come up and visit the island as well, and we met for lunch and browsed a few shops before we both went our separate ways.  It was fun to share Langley with them.

I then drove up to Coupeville, about 3/4 of the way up the island.  It was a nice drive and I found a great shop with baby items and ice cream.  Not a bad combo actually!  Stopped in a few art galleries today as well.  It got me itching to be in front of my easel though.

I am itching to be home to paint, to be with my husband and to get back to the real world and life again.  But...while I am here, it was a fun diversion today and Whitey enjoyed the trip too!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Sweet Saturday Night!

What a day.  What a week.  Honestly, what a month I have had.  It's the end of the third week of yoga teacher training and officially I will be graduated and headed home in one week's time now!  Woohoo!!

In some ways it has flown by, and in other ways it has been an eternity.  I don't regret any part of it, even the fact that my back is pretty sore and I am more tired than I have been in a long time.  I don't regret the time away from my sweetheart and home, although that has been a bigger challenge than the most challenging day of this whole teacher training.  I miss my home sweet home.

Tomorrow is our last day off and I am going to escort another one of my classmates to Whidbey Island for a day of exploring and fun.  So, tomorrow morning my little MINI and I are headed on the ferry to the island.  My plan is to drive the whole island (which I didn't do last time I was there), have lunch with Brittany and her beau and then have an amazing STEAK dinner before I head home for the evening.  No yoga, no pressure, no city driving, nothing but quiet and peace.  Glad I did my laundry for the week today instead of waiting for tomorrow.  Tomorrow will be a fun getaway before the last grueling week begins.

So, I am signing out for tonight.  Grabbing a snack and getting ready to sleep.
Sweet dreams and have a wonderful Sunday!  I know I will.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Monday - enough said

Now that I am starting the third tortuous week of this yoga teacher training, I have to say my body is toughening up, and I am much less tired than I was at the beginning.  The first week I napped daily at lunch just to keep up with the long days and many classes, now I just don't need that nap anymore!  :o)

I am truly enjoying this training, but also I am so ready to be home again.  I have learned a lot - both of what I want to do and what I don't want to do.  It's always interesting to come in contact with different styles of teaching and allowing that to help you grow your own style even further.

The ladies that are traveling this path alongside me are pretty spectacular human beings.  I am so grateful for the universe picking them to journey with me!  They are smart, funny, sweet, caring and above all they are genuine and cool people!  They have made all this tolerable and that ha gotten me through the incredibly tough first week, through the emotional parts of the second week and now we are all smiling and laughing together as this third week begins.  I know we will all be wanting to return to our normal daily lives, but I know I will be taking a little piece of each of them with me and cherishing this time I had with them.

So, as Monday evening sets in, my body is pleasantly tired, but not exhausted.  My mind is still active and not wanting to just inspect the inside of my eyelids.  I feel like I climbed a mountain and now we only have a little way to go to reach the summit.  The last week I am hoping will be the descent.  Still hard work, but all down hill from there!

I am feeling pretty content that I reached deep within myself to not only sign up for this month long intensive, but that I came, I participated, I didn't give up and I am now feeling pretty good about how I tackled this challenge.  Hoorah!  I look forward to the last day when I can whoop it up and say, "I did it!!"

It's another long week ahead, but I am feeling much more confident that the training program isn't going to beat me and that if I can hang on a couple more weeks without my sweetheart, that I go home with a big smile and a much more supple body!


Sunday, September 16, 2012

No Parking Spot Too Small!

So here is the new ride.  SO adorable.  SO fun to drive.  SO appropriate for this Seattle city driving too!  Honestly there seems to be no parking spot too small for me now!

Here's Whitey III - our new Mini Cooper S Countryman.  

Should be amazing fuel savings as well once I get home and have to go back to my hour long grocery store jaunts and trips into Portland.

Sunday's are for relaxing, right?

Usually my Sundays are fantastic.  It's a day that my husband, Matt, and I usually spend together and allow ourselves time to read, lounge and just be together.  However, since I have been in Seattle these past two weeks; Sunday being my only day off, I have not felt the peace that usually accompanies the last day of the weekend.  Now since I am stuck indoors for 12 hours of daylight six days of the week, I am compelled to do things like laundry, grocery shopping and the like on the only day that I have free.  Relaxing.  Not.

So.  That being said.

I am SO looking forward to relaxing, peaceful, loving Sundays again with my husband.  Yoga is wonderful.  My husband is wonderfuller.

Missing my love and my little doggie family.

Helen B. Gallaway
Solitary in Seattle  :(

Friday, September 14, 2012


White Lotus Flower Clip Art

I wish I could say it was the end of the week for me, but at least I don't have to go to yoga training until 1pm tomorrow.  Then we have Sunday off.  Ahhh......such a treat!

Tomorrow before I head to yoga I am going to indulge and get a lip/eyebrow wax (much needed by the way) and a pedicure.  A little pampering sounds perfectly heavenly after these last two weeks.

  I think I will get a lotus flower on my toes and maybe it will help me get through the remaining two weeks of this training.

I need something to cheer me on!  I am so jonesing to be home with my husband, my doggies and painting!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

A Break From Yoga - A Fantastic Art Book!

Well, I am still neck deep in yoga poses all day long, but during our breaks I managed to read a fantastic book about art making.  I needed a break from yoga overload, aka teacher training, so I went to the local used book store and found three fantastic books related to art and decided that would be my "extra-curricular" activity while I was here in Seattle.  Since I don't have my paints and can't learn from painting, I guess I will learn about art and making art through some books!

This book "Art & Fear" by David Bayles and Ted Orland, is really fantastic.  I can't even describe it well enough...I suggest you read it yourself!

A picture of the book aptly lying on my yoga blanket.

I highly suggest this book to anyone working on developing their career as an artist or even the artist that is struggling to find their place in the "art world".

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Almost to the halfway mark!

Another day down and I am still alive enough to type!  That's a good day in my books!

This morning's 7am class was a KILLER!  Phew.  Nobody should sweat that much that early in the morning!

We had lots of observing and some teacher training DVDs to watch too, but boy, those classes of Richard's are tough.   I am using muscles I haven't even talked to in years - except maybe on the massage table.  Wishing I could indulge in a massage right now.

More to come about the adventures of a middle aged woman gone crazy enough to think she can do a month long yoga intensive....

Brittany (making a funny face at me), observing a beginner class this morning, with Carlijn, an Iyengar teacher trainee from Amsterdam that joined us for the week while she is passing through.  She's amazing at yoga and good fun too.

A pic of the beginner class doing Uttthita Trikonasana stretch on the wall.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Yoga, yoga and MORE yoga!

Well, it's not quite the end of the week yet, but I needed to just post a quick post to say that yes, I am still alive!

Everything is going well, but this morning my knees were a little swollen so I took a light day (only 2 yoga classes) and watched the remaining classes.  Hopefully it isn't going to keep me from participating from here forward.

We are learning lots and inversions are always fun and interesting!  Here Cat is learning a new way to do handstand and use a door jamb to help support.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Week One...Complete!


I mean WOW!  One of the most intense weeks of my life has just come to a close.  12-13 hour days, with a minimum of 4-5 hours of yoga practice a day, written homework, and DVDs to watch and books to study.  Phew!  I am past exhausted!  My body is much more limber even after just a week, but I had to start taking naps at our lunch break to just make it through the long days!

But...grueling hours and tough yoga sessions aside, I am learning SO MUCH!  I love it so far!  I am in a class with five of the most wonderful women you could imagine.  Brittany from Florida, Katie from Seattle, Cat from Renton, Renee from Puyallup and Shana from New York.  They are amazing, inspiring and just plain wonderful people.  I really lucked out having such a small class and filled with friendly, supportive and fun girls!  Renee is 7 months pregnant and she is incredible.  She can do things I cannot do without a huge baby belly!  This girl is truly inspirational and really fun to watch doing yoga.

I am also staying with a wonderful family here in Seattle.  They are warm, welcoming, caring people that also happen to be interesting, fun and really supportive.  I appreciate the dinners after a very long day with little time for food.  :o)

The instruction is great, albeit very firm and rigorous, and I have taken classes from 4 different instructors and learned something new from each one.  My very favorite part so far was observing and assisting in the Special Needs class.  This class is for anyone with any physical issues that preclude them from doing a normal yoga class.  This is where the Iyengar yoga just shines.  In Iyengar Yoga, the use of props and modified poses allow anyone to have access to the therapeutic benefits of yoga and it was really fun to help someone walk away from the class feeling really great and with much less pain.

My second favorite moment was when we got to hang upside down from ropes attached to the walls.  So much fun.  I was so happy after that ropes session.  It felt amazing to be able to do things I never thought I would be able to do!  I know there will be many more moments like that in the next month.  I am pushing myself way beyond my comfort zone, but I am gaining so much knowledge, self-confidence and physical benefit that it will all be worth the huge effort.  This could be a life changing experience for me.

So...I will keep you posted on how things continue!

PS...I haven't had time to sketch a thing.  We will see if I can gain some stamina into the following weeks and if I can find time to sketch.

Renee resting is modified setubanda sarvangasana (modified bridge pose)

Almost all of us on the ropes doing bhujangasana (cobra).
From the back of the room is Katie, Cat, Shana, me and Renee on the chair.  Brittany snapped the pic for us.   Wish I had been all the way into the pose, but I was moving slow by that time in the afternoon!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Seattle & yoga

I won't be posting any paintings for the next month or so because I am in Seattle for a month long yoga teacher training and will have long days and only one day off a week.  I am looking forward to that, but will certainly miss my paints!

I did bring my sketch book and pencils, so if I get to sketch I will post those and keep things interesting I hope!  I will also post my day to day activity in the yoga training.  That should certainly keep things entertaining!

Have a wonderful holiday weekend!