Soul transition.

It has been a month since I boarded the flight that brought me back home. I have relished these past four weeks, taking in every familiar sight and sound and taste as if for the first time. Hugging commonplace conveniences like my washing machine. Wandering around for hours at the grocery store. Driving. Running. In my transition, there has been little room for reflection and I imagine it’s similar to the first visit to the lake every summer. You know that water is going to be damn cold so, standing on the edge of the dock you muster up a whole heap of courage, plug your nose and make a dash for the water. You plunge beneath the surface and for a few moments are suspended in a watery dream. It is damn cold. For a moment, there is nothing but pure adrenaline pulsing through your veins. Then you realize you survived the jump, the cold and shock of the first plunge and you smile, knowing the rest of the summer is going to be easy living. And as you resurface, life is a bit different. You have a new confidence. A new outlook. I imagine my transition in this way. The fifteen days I gave myself between making the final call on leaving my apartment in Los Angeles and boarding a flight to New Delhi: that was
me, standing on the edge of the dock as I mustered up a whole heap of courage and made a dash for the water, a whole lot of unknowns. The five months I spent in India, completing my yoga teacher training and life transition as a person: that was the plunge, the watery dream. It was damn cold (and then unbearably hot). For a moment, there was nothing but pure adrenaline pulsing through my veins. I realized I survived the jump, the cold and shock of the first plunge and I smiled, knowing the rest of my life is going to be easy living. The four weeks of chaos that have buffered me from becoming too nostalgic about my experiences in India have been a blessing, from losing my best friend to switching coast lines. And now, it’s the final resurfacing, the breath of fresh air, the knowledge that life is a bit different because now you live with a new confidence, a new perspective. That’s the moment to reflect on, the moment not to be missed among the trinkets and remnants of India.

This is my soul transition.

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No more coconut cookies: a resolution

Many of the fantastic people I’ve met during my India/yoga journey are jaded by their American experience. The reasons range from politics to the food industry to unemployment but the theme is the same: We are leaving the U.S. and taking our talents elsewhere. I understand this aversion but cannot overlook a very real concern: We all can’t just leave. Some of us need to stay and help. We need to return home with these ideas, techniques, skills and share them; that’s the only way things will get better. So in just over two weeks, I’ll be returning to Virginia and I will be hitting the ground running. Here are some resolutions to start with:

– From here on, no more processed foods. Furthermore, what I do consume will be local, seasonal and organic to the great Shenandoah Valley. No more coconut cookies, no more tortilla chips (oh man), no more chocolate, no more of a lot of stuff. Does wine fall in the no more category? If it’s local, seasonal, organic…I can find that, right?
– Support local VA farmers! Find them, learn from them, buy from them! Most of all, love and appreciate the wonderful work they do. Integrate their work with my work: yoga and food. A holistic relationship.
– Yoga retreats: I’ll be starting up yoga retreats in the Blue Ridge Mountains by August. The beginning stages of a yoga platform are already coming together, with big flowing curtains of Indian fabric that can be tied back during practice or let down for meditation. Also, there is a plan for a floating yoga platform in the middle of a lake. An important part of the retreats will be organic, fresh meals prepared by a good friend and phenomenal chef who is committed to seasonal, nutritious and delicious food. I’ll also be teaching food mediation classes on why we eat, how to eat, and what to eat to improve our health, physically and mentally.

Ready, set, GO!

Again, the universe is SO silly

This morning I was hydrated enough to get my running shoes on and head out with my loyal running partner for a 3 miler. We wove our way through the cows and puddles and dogs and motorcycles until they gave way to our familiar mountain path, the terrain shifting to a tree lined dirt path. Similarly, our the conversation wove its way from saris to boys and finally settled on yoga. But of course, right? After all, yoga is the microcosmic practice of life.

I shared with her my fear and anxiety about the upcoming week, in which I teach my first full two hour yoga class. Just me. And a class of 20 students. That’s my first diversion from the truth. When my teaching slot comes, I will find myself in a room with just me. Teacher/student. No difference. It’s clich√©, but it’s true: we are all here to learn. Life. It’s just that we learning through our bodies.

The universe always brings you the guru you need right when you need them. The same applies to when you need honey lemon ginger tea. True story.

Water is lost; vessels constrict

I’m laid out again with another severe headache. I know it’s due to dehydration. It’s been over 100 degrees here every day for the last few weeks and I’ve been yogurting and running every day. I’ve also been fasting and only eating two meals a day. All these factors have contributed to a general shift in my body and today it’s manifesting as a headache. Curious though, as I sit here and sip my electrolyte water from a bendy straw…how do dehydration and headaches relate. Internet!

What’s Happening in the Body When You Have a Dehydration Headache?

It’s not known precisely how dehydration causes headaches. According to some experts, it’s a by-product of the body’s effort to maintain adequate fluid levels. The blood vessels narrow, reducing the brain’s supply of blood and oxygen. According to LeWine, the brain can’t feel pain, so the headache discomfort may result from pain receptors in the lining that surrounds the brain. The loss of electrolytes may also contribute to dehydration headaches.

Must be sweeter to the hippie body.