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New Class Offerings, October 2017

School is in full swing in our household, so I’m making some changes to my schedule.

I’m teaching a couple new classes at Austin Bouldering Project.

Sundays at 2pm, Vinyasa 1 – for the days when you sleep in late and miss the 12pm Vinyasa 2 class with me, or you’re feeling low energy, or you want to bring a friend to class who’s new to yoga.

Fridays at 9 am, Vinyasa 2 – in case you want or need an earlier option for your Friday.

I’m sadly saying goodbye to my Tuesday 9:15pm Restorative at ABP. You’ll be in good hands with Tina taking over the class. It’s been a fun year and a half leading supervised nap time, but if there’s enough interest, I’d love to offer a daytime restorative option! (Leave comments on the comment cards outside the studio for management to see.)

UPDATE: The 10:3o am classes on Monday, Wednesday and Friday will all shift to Level 1. But do not fear if you’ve been coming to the Level 2 at this time all year. I’ll still give you options to challenge your practice.

Intro to Ashtanga Primary Series

As you all know, the Ashtanga sequence has a very special place in my heart. It is where I feel at home. It is familiar, always available to me, and such a complete practice for me. I used it throughout both my pregnancies (with modifications) to stay strong and to also train my breath and mind for the big events.

I’ve seen the decline of Ashtanga classes from schedules around town for years and years now. Maybe the numbers weren’t profitable enough to sustain those classes, but I’m always pleasantly surprised when I learn someone else is an Ashtangi. It may not be as trendy as Baby Goat Yoga or Harry Potter Yoga, but Ashtanga is and should honored as the foundational practice that led to vinyasa classes that we’re familiar with today.

So we’re bringing Ashtanga to Austin Bouldering Project for Sunday Fundays in September! Phoebe and I will teach each session as an introduction to the Primary Series.  We will practice a modified version of the full 90-minute sequence and offer instruction to poses that you may not be familiar with.

These Sunday Funday classes fill up fast, so register online and show up early to set up your space.

Sundays in September (3, 10, 17,24)
10:00 – 11:30am
ABP Yoga Studio

These are INCLUDED for members, day passes and punchcards.

Last week to VOTE for Working Moms Meet Up at SXSW 2018

As I’m getting last minute preparations ready to start the Big Kid in Kindergarten, I realized how my working mom role is about to change. Before this new phase of schooling, we could drop kids off whenever for daycare and plan vacations/doctor’s appointments around our convenience. Starting tomorrow, we’re going to have to be on the kid’s school schedule. On-time drop-offs. On-time pick-ups. Working around school holidays and packing any extra items for class activities. I don’t even want to think about what to do with my kid when he’s off next summer!

I’ve survived so far raising my infants into toddlers, but K-12 schooling is a whole other level of parenting. And I need all the mamas in my life to provide guidance. I’ve always heard that as your kids get older, they are less physically demanding (nursing, feeding, playing toys with them) but become more mentally and emotionally demanding (talking them through social problems, homework, school/friend drama). As a working mom who can often feel depleted in all aspects, I’ll be looking to others in similar situations to lean on.

For this and many other reasons, I am proposing the Working Moms Meet Up for SXSW programming in 2018. I’ve hosted this meet up the past 3 years, and every year has been different and exciting. Voting is open until August 25th, so this is my final push to get my idea in front of the SXSW Community and their Board. Please vote for Working Moms Meet Up and help get me back to SXSW in the spring! If you voted in the past, you can use your same SXSW login. Otherwise, creating a login takes just a few seconds.

Thank you for supporting me in all my endeavors!

Road Trip 2017: Arkansas Day 3

They don’t call Scenic Byways “scenic” for no reason. From Hot Springs, the drive through Ouchita National Forest was spectacular. The road would wind around sharp turns or long swooping curves. We experienced some really steep inclines for miles at a time. Maybe it would’ve been more fun to drive in my old GTI, but my family-friendly Outback was still a smooth ride.

We booked a night at the Lodge atop Mount Magazine. As we approached the state park, we could already see sweeping views of the Petit Jean Valley below. There are signs everywhere, warning about the high cliff drops. I’m not usually scared of heights, but I kept a safe distance from the edge.

When you go to visit the highest point in a state, you are obligated to hike to that exact point. So we walked the moderate trail up Signal Hill to where they have the point marked. Along the way, we noted the tiny spring flowers that were blooming, interesting fungi growing on fallen logs and (ack!) tons of poison ivy.

So here’s where I get to brag on my planning skills. Staying at the Lodge was the best idea. Not only did we have hiking opportunities, but the rooms were spacious AND there’s an indoor pool AND the restaurant is tasty as well as affordable. To cool down from our afternoon hike, we got the kids in their swimwear to take a dip.

After we got cleaned up, we had dinner on-site, and those were probably our favorite meals of the trip. The menu had plenty of healthy side options (why is it so hard to find fresh veggies elsewhere in Arkansas?), which our kids devoured. Our last adventure of the day was blowing bubbles on the great lawn as the evening began to chill.

The next morning (after a very filling breakfast at the restaurant), we attempted a moderate hike along the mountain. My kids are getting better at hikes, but they need more elevation change to keep their attention than a moderate hike offered. They lasted about 90 minutes before begging to go back to the Lodge. Guess it was too quiet for them up there.

One last meal for lunch at the restaurant (I’m telling you; it was really good food and not that expensive!), a few silly jumping pics, an easy hike with the Big Kid, and then we bid farewell to Mount Magazine.

Next stop: Eureka Springs.

Road Trip 2017: Arkansas (Days 1 & 2)

Last year, we headed west to New Mexico and Colorado for our first family road trip. So this year, we decided to head northeast to Arkansas and see what The Natural State had to offer. Even though we didn’t have to drive through desolate parts of Texas to get there, it still took us quite a bit of time to get out of the state.

The best laid plans can be foiled by Mother Nature. She dropped 8 inches of rainfall the night before our trip and continued to pour down as we left early in the morning. It was coming down so hard that part of I-35 was closed due to flooding. We sat in a parking lot trying to get out of Austin metro to wait for blinding rain to ease up before we even had the chance to sit in the massive backup from the flood. It took us over 5 hours to get up to Dallas, where the rain seemed to clear.

Of course, the delay in getting out of Dallas meant we had to change our initial plans of digging for diamonds in Southwest Arkansas. Instead, we headed straight to Hot Springs after a lunch stop at Monkey King Noodle Company in Dallas’s Deep Ellum.

The trees suddenly got taller as we crossed from Texas to Arkansas. The flat plains of north Texas also started to show more ups and downs and curves.

With the delay from the storms, it was already getting dark by the time we arrived in Hot Springs. I forget how early places close down in smaller towns, and it took a bit of walking along the main strip of Bathhouse Row to find a restaurant that was open and kid-friendly.

Day 2: Hot Springs, AR

With our National Parks Passports in hand, we went to explore Hot Springs Mountain and Bathhouse Row. We opted to drive up the winding mountain road to get to the views. The air was crisp, and (again) the trees were so tall. There’s a picnic area, little gift shop and a tower up top. We also saw a few hikers who made the whole trek up.

Our normal family pic seemed lacking. Goofy is more our personality.

After driving back down, the Big Kid and I tackled a small portion of the hiking trails before he got bored. We met the husband and Bear Shark at the main attractions – the hot springs. There were a few right at the base of the mountain. It was incredible to see them steaming and bubbling. The Promenade Walk also led us to some smaller hidden ones.

Some of the bathhouses are still operational, while others were converted into a visitor center, gift shop and a cultural center. We did the self-guided tour at the visitor center, which has multiple floors for exploring how people enjoyed the baths and all the different types of therapies used.

From here, we took the scenic byway to the tallest point in Arkansas, Mount Magazine. We LOVED our visit there. More in the next post!

Lost in Transition

I am struggling so hard with this parenting thing right now. Bear Shark is fully in his 3’s, and other parents who have gone through the 3’s know that every day is a battle that tries to destroy our will to live.

We went through some tough 3’s with the Big Kid. The range of emotions that happens within a 2-minute time span is extreme. The highest of highs and the lowest of lows. I remember there being so many tears (mine out of exhaustion and frustration, his out of… I dunno… his sandwich was cut wrong???). But I also remember how my husband took on a bigger role in parenting because I was tending to Bear Shark as a baby. He took the hard blows while I cuddled and nursed. I was able to hide from the 3’s.

There’s no hiding now. And Bear Shark is a completely different person than his brother in personality, energy level and demeanor. He is brash and explosive, expressive and experimental, loud and so very physical. He’s a climber and a smasher, a screamer and a stubborn head. I have a feeling he gets this more from me than my husband (although I like to think I was not nearly as destructive as a kid). And this is perhaps why I’m struggling. We are cut from the same cloth and butting heads repeatedly.

Logically, I know the 3’s are a phase, as is pretty much everything in every stage of a child’s life. He’s learning to push boundaries – or buttons, depending on how you look at it. He’s learning how to express his wants and needs – through screaming. He’s easily distracted – shiny! But observing a 3-year-old and understanding these developmental changes is not the same as trying to feed, dress and transport one in any timely manner to get on with your day.

As I was contemplating how to run away from being a parent, I got stuck on the word transition. Life is always in transition, and we need to accept that everything is impermanent. Yoga asks us to be fully awake and present, to not attach ourselves to the past or to the future. My brain kept going down the rabbit hole to all the times I have been vividly awake to life transitions – moving to California, being diagnosed with thyroid disease, losing my father – and underneath those events and more was the uncertainty and discomfort of being in transition.

Thinking about Bear Shark’s natural birth, I remember being in the throes of transition, which are the last few centimeters of dilation during labor. The contractions had gotten stronger and longer as I labored down on hands and knees. While the first 7 centimeters are the hardest and the slowest, the last few in transition are fast and ferocious. All the birthing books were right. You feel like you can’t take anymore physical exertion. You think, “I can’t do this anymore.” You freak out mentally. And then you remember that this is transition and know that the end is near.

Big changes in life do not come painlessly or easily. Perhaps this is what the 3’s are. 3-year-olds are shedding the last of babyhood and becoming people who have complete thoughts. I remember how huge of a leap it felt like when the Big Kid emerged in his mid-4’s without struggling every minute of the day. The tearful moments came less frequently. The ability to put on shoes and get himself dressed and eat his meals without constant fighting was such a relief to him and to us.

While this next year will not come nearly as fast or as furiously as transition in birth, I am trying to just stay grounded in the present. This is painful and uncomfortable and makes me question why we even had kids in the first place. But I see big brother at 5 going on 6, and he’s this amazing little person who’s my hiking buddy and great conversation at dinner, and I know Bear Shark will be amazing in his own way when he comes out on the other side.

I cannot and should not wish this time away, as painful as it is. Instead, I’m trying to look at the 3’s as life’s way of demanding I be a witness to Bear Shark’s transition. This is also probably life’s way of requiring that I transition as a parent myself, one that can soften to discomfort and be more compassionate toward myself, my children and other parents.

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