Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Yoga talk

Sorry for my lack of yoga-related entries (not since last Friday). I haven't practiced since Sunday when I tried out a Baron Baptiste dvd I got from Netflix. I wanted to see what BB was all about since he's one of the big names in yoga. It was a good practice and I felt great afterward although the core stuff killed me. I never like doing ab work although it's most important for an asana practice.

Here is a thought I had after reading a recent entry at Om Shanti about the proper way to do Chaturanga Dandasana. It has taken me about 4 years to get it right but I still struggle with rolling my toes back into an upward facing dog. I fear that I'm gonna jam a toe so I just place the tops of my feet flat as I transition upward. Anyone else have this anxiety?

Class tomorrow night, I can't wait. I have to say it is sooo frustrating not being able to take a class more than twice a week. I love practicing in a class setting over a home practice. I'm pretty stubborn. If I just stuck to a home practice, I would totally avoid poses I dread in class (ie: Chair, Full-Wheel, etc) so it would be pretty limited to just hip-openers, forward bends and inversions. I know studios are not for everyone but I like being told what to do next. It's unfortunate that I moved so far away from any decent studios but hopefully by this time next year I'll be living some place else where I have more freedom to take classes either before or after work.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007


Originally uploaded by cupcakesagogo.
The award but Best Cupcake Packaging goes to Cupcakesagogo. These are way better than roses any ol' day!

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Cupcake Plugs

Recently two great blogs have posted cupcake-related entries that you should check out.

First, Bake & Destroy gives you a nice alternative to what you can use when you have some ripe bananas just sitting around in your kitchen. Your first thought would be Banana Bread, how about cupcakes instead?

Next, the very popular Not Martha has paid a visit to Trophy Cupcakes & Party in Seattle and went to town taking some great pictures of the place. Very cute!

Friday, February 23, 2007

Follow up to Tripod Post

So I cross-posted my last entry in my livejournal and got this response from a reliable souce (a yoga teacher) and wanted to share her thoughts...

Your hands should be stabilizing you more than supporting your weight. It's not the same as regular headstand where some of your weight falls to your arms, which is why it's trickier. I guess while your knees are on your arms, some weight falls that way, but once you bring the line of your body up over your head, your hands are just helping balance. Your bandhas are doing all of the work! :)

Ok so I guess I'm doing something right!

A "Yay" moment!

I had "YAY!!!!!" moment in class last night. We were doing Sirsasana B (Tripod Headstand) and the instructor throws out there that if we wanted to, we can try to bring our knees back down and see if we can go right into Bakasana (Crow Pose) and I was totally able to do it for a few seconds. Sometimes a few seconds is enough to shoot your confidence through the roof. When I tried it for a second time, I fell right on my butt but that's ok! I was still pretty stoked.

Tripod headstand is, for me, the scariest of inversions. Sometimes I can do it away from the wall but I prefer not to, I still need that security. This may sound a little funny but I sometimes have a hard time finding the crown of my head. I wonder if I'm suppose to tilt my head back a little more or what. I still feel like there is too much pressure on my head and neck and not enough weight on my hands. Is there suppose to be weight on my hands? If so, how????

I get nervous when I get wobbly too. I think it's easier to fall out of a regular headstand than Tripod. Anyone have any insight to offer on this pose? This is a pose that I need to practice more at home. Right now I can do it if I bend my knees and rest them on my elbows but I would like to get to the point where I can lift up with straight legs. Requires some core work I know. I've been doing crunches before class just to prep ya know? I need to do more crunches anyway.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Cupcake Usage!

It can be challenging to mix cupcakes with yoga, really it is! I have been asked to photograph myself doing a tricky pose while eating a cupcake, I will but I haven't figure out what yet. But here's some cupcake cuteness I came across on the interweb that can help bring about bliss and soothiness (new word?) to anyone. First, make yourself some chai tea, and maybe keep it in this cute Hand-painted Cupcake Teapot....

Then chill out, have a sip, light some candles and keep them in, ah ha! Cupcake Candleholders from Crate & Barrel

Ok they're kinda meant for birthday candles but you can figure something out.

My class last night was pretty good, my mind was definitely more calm this time around even when it came time to do some binding. I'm not a very good binder. Certain binds are ok but others, especially if a twist is involved (ie: seated spinal twist) or wrapping my arm around a bent knee like in Marichyasana I seems impossible for me to do. I don't know if it's because my shoulders aren't open, my limbs too short or if they are too chubby.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Taking a mental break

I did not exactly have the best long weekend and this morning was pretty bad. So I'm sitting here at work and I am anxiously awaiting class tonight. Now I have learned my lesson last week and I am going to do my best to leave my troubles outside the building of the studio. I'll probably show up early and try to meditate before class. That helps.

This week I'm going to attempt to take three classes (today, tomorrow, Thursday). Finding the time for class is very challenging. Not every studio's schedule works with mine. Ideally, my main studio, Levitate Yoga would have a 5:30 class every day for me but it ain't about me. I'm just thankful that I live in an area where I have my choice of studios to attend in abundance!

I feel like I need to get more practices put in weekly. If I'm serious about a teacher training program, I need to step up my game again. I did it once before, shouldn't be too hard. I really think I should pursue this "yoga thing" more seriously. I really feel like my purpose is to be more involved with it one way or another. Whether it's teaching it or writing about it or just working at a studio (maybe running a studio?). I use to be a Karma Yogi at Levitate for a year and I really enjoyed it. I had to stop because of scheduling but I wish I was still involved other than just taking classes there. I don't know but I have been in a serious funk with my career and how unsatisfying it has been. It's too bad the people I work with are so great, it would make leaving my job that much more difficult.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Gong Xi Fa Cai!

Gong Xi Fa Cai!
Originally uploaded by Trish CupcakeMomma.
Tomorrow is the Chinese New Year, it's the year of the Pig...but please don't be one. :) Look at the fortune cookies and piglets!!!

Ok I'm done.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Whipped cream with a cherry on top!

There are just so many things decadent about this cupcake. Just sit back and witness the drippy gooeyness!

Yoga on the Brain

I have been snowed in on this little island called Manhattan for the last 2 days. I was hoping to go home last night but no luck. I stayed in the city and took in a class. Lets back up a bit, I had a VERY stressful day at the office where I was in the worst mood, sounds like a class is what I need right? I jumped into a Level 1 class as it was a convenient time for me. Class was ok, nothing too challenging but my mind (that jerk mind of mine) kept wanting to do MORE! Almost as if I needed to feel something physically happening to my body in order release some stress. A good side stretch, a crazy twist, sweating! Nope. The instructor had other plans and I was in a class intended for beginners.

Finally, we did the most difficult post of the class.....Savasana. The pose that we sometimes forget is a pose. It's the part of the class we look forward to because it feels sooooooo good. Right! Not tonight! I laid there and I completely lost my mind. Instead of quieting the mind, it got loud and fast - I couldn't catch it. Song lyrics, movie quotes, random images and past experiences flipped through my mind like you flip though a magazine in a hurry. Of course I'm getting restless wondering why my mind is bugging out so much? Before you knew it, it was time to wiggle your fingers and toes, Where did my Savasana go????

The February issue of Fit Yoga Magazine has an article named Mind Games: Is your brain as flexible and strong as your body? I haven't read it yet, but my first answer is NO! Now this experience has happened before. Fortunately I have experienced true Savasana so it's even more frustrating when I bring the troubles of my day into class and let it take over. I end up missing out on the dessert portion of class. What's said is done and another lesson has been learned.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

To anyone who reads this....

Monday, February 12, 2007

Johnny Cupcake Valentine Shirts

Check out this VERY LIMITED edition tshirts from Johnny Cupcakes Clothing. Too cute!

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Valentine Chocolate Cupcakes

Valentine's Day is this week and whether you love it or hate it, it's still coming so make the most of it. Even if you don't have a partner to share it with, use it as an excuse to go ahead and induldge yourself with some treats. Now when say "treats", it can be anything from candy, cupcakes, a reflexology session, or a nice restorative class. Show yourself some love, don't wait for someone else to do it.

A couple of years back, Yogi Times published a recipe for chocolate cupcakes by vegetarian chef Akasha Richmond. Simply click on the image for a larger (pdf file) view. Personally, I don't think I'll make cupcakes but I plan to bake a cake as it has been a tradition since my first V-Day with my boyfriend 5 years ago. A gift made from scratch is definitely better than buying something pre-made. I think for this week, I'll look for Valentine theme cupcakes to post on C&Y.

In the spirit of being lovey dovey, I wanted to say how much I really enjoy the comments left by others and I usually like to leave responses back to you within the comments to you so make sure you check back! It's always nice to read feedback from other yogi's and learn from their experience and insight.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Learning to Listen

Back in this entry I mentioned feeling a pull in my lower back due to overtwisting. Well I went to bed later that night and woke up the next morning feeling fine, peachy keen. So when I took the same class earlier this week I was careful with the twisting. The next day I started to feel a pain whenever I stood up from sitting. I'm not too good with anatomy but it is where the butt cheek ends and the thigh begins but it almost wrapped around to my inner thigh. Forward bending is one of my yoga strengths along with hip openers but I believe that in my forward bending frenzy the night before, I might not have been as warmed up as I thought. So Wednesday I tried to take it easy because I still wanted to go to my class on Thursday. No luck but I went to class anyway and spoke to my instructor about it.

Thursday night's class was a real lesson for listening to my body. My mind was telling me Come on, you can go further than that! You don't need blocks!!!! but my body was saying Take it easy on the left side, grab that block, don't fold all the way down, stop pushing yourself, you're not impressing anyone. For once, I listened to the latter. I am such a stubborn person. I push and push and push. I am fortunate to not have seriously hurt myself, only little things like straining my groin muscle and jamming my lower back by not coming down properly from a handstand (that was some serious pain). I'm sure there will be more but with each pull and strain comes another yoga lesson to benefit from. Don't be afraid to use props! Props are not a sign of weakness, they only help to enhance a pose and improve your alignment.

Thursday, February 8, 2007


Originally uploaded by helloyarn.
Admit it, you want to lick the screen with the hopes of tasting some of the frosting, at least I do. They're vanilla cupcakes from Martha Stewart and Magnolia's Vanilla Buttercream Frosting. I'm thinking she might have also used a dash of red food coloring to get the pink color.

Pretty plate too!

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Not another etiquette lecture!

I want to keep this blog rather lighthearted but I need to gripe about something. We know the deal about Yoga Studio Etiquette, in case you are not aware, here are the most common ones:

-Turn your cellphones off
-Take off your shoes
-If late, wait until chanting is finished before you enter and set up your mat.

Here is one that I don't hear much about but it really makes my skin crawl. Picture it, class has not started yet. You and some other early comers are either sitting or laying down on your mat just relaxing, you have your eyes closed, the room is quiet. You hear the patter off bare feet entering the room, no problem. Then PLOP, PLOP, SLAP, WHIP!!!


That is the sound of someone entering the classroom and just tossing their blocks and slapping their mat to the floor. It's very loud! Rather annoying and disruptive. I wish folks would be more mindful of entering the studio, not just when you're running late. I'm sure they're not bad people. I wouldn't even go so far as calling them inconsiderate, but please don't toss your blocks around like you're at home. Unroll your mat normally and don't fling it loose like a piece of wet laundry. There are other yogis to think of.

I'm glad I let that out. I'm gonna go look at some cupcakes photos over at Flickr now.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Life in Yoga?

I'm looking forward to class tonight. It's that Yoga Express class I checked out last week at OM. I'm using up an AmEx giftcard I got for Christmas and I haven't been able to decide what to buy so I'm using it for yoga classes instead. I don't know what I'm going to do once that runs out. I may keep going or I may check out a studio mentioned in Everything Yoga. There is a studio down in the East Village I didn't even know about called Yoga To The People (YTTP) where all classes are on a donation basis. After checking out the site I had a good feeling about the place:

In a time where yoga as a business is getting a lot of attention, the fact that it is being priced out of many people’s reach is in direct conflict with what we consider to be the spirit of yoga itself.

They really stress how yoga is for everyone and they welcome all backgrounds, shapes and sizes. Their shirts are even affordable. The pictures of studio look really nice and cozy and not like a dungeon. You also see the diversity of students practicing which is nice to see too. Eventually I hope to check this place out too.

Recently I have been thinking more about my life and what I'm doing and where I'm headed. The truth is, I have no direction right now. I work to pay my bills. I feel like I have nothing to look forward to. I'm jealous (in a good way) of people I see pursuing their dreams, their passions, their interests whether it's leaving your office job to go back to school for cooking or starting your own craft business. Good for them! I want that too! I seem to have hit a rut where I'm thinking more about what exactly it is I want to do. What are my dreams and passions?

I have a lot of interest - writing, photography, crafts, and recently baking. It's different with Yoga. I love doing it, I love reading about it, I love watching others do it, I love talking about it, I love writing about it. So why not take it to the next, deeper level? A couple of years ago when I started to take my yoga practice more seriously I had thought about becoming a teacher but was apprehensive. I was concerned about my lack of experience and my physique. I was insecure and making excuses, "Everyone wants to be a yoga teacher now!" I would think so why jump on that bandwagon? It's good that I didn't go ahead with the idea at that time. Two years later I have started to think about it again only this time I don't want to make excuses. The insecurity is still there but at least I have a stronger practice now and have gained some more knowledge about it.

I read this entry from the blog Om Shanti the other day. My first thought was I'm not quitting my day job!!! I know that off the bat I won't have classes scheduled every day and list of private clients I can charge $100/hr for. The truth is, I don't wish to be a glorified instructor wearing my flashy Lululemon outfits (as cute as they may be) leading a room of 30+ people. Ultimately, I want to help those who are afraid to try Yoga, who are apprehensive because of their weight or another disability. I would love to teach at a place like YTTP over OM Yoga any day. Even if it's just teaching one class a week at the local Y on a volunteer basis would make me happy. I'm fortunate to have a job that I like with good benefits and flexibility so I don't think I'm ready to give that up yet. I just want to add teaching to the mix.

I need to give this some more thought and I seem to have time. All the Fall programs have started so I would have to wait until Spring if I do decide to enroll. Of course I first need to get a clean bill of health from my doctors. If my heart is gonna be fussy then I can't afford to mess with that or else I won't be able to do yoga at all!

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Football Cupcakes

Football Cupcakes
Originally uploaded by laurgeo.
Happy Superbowl Sunday!

Who is playing again?

I don't follow is more my thing (Mets & Yankees).

I love how I just said 'Happy Superbowl Sunday' like its a holiday. Well I guess for some it is.

Friday, February 2, 2007

Mojito Cupcake

Mojito Cupcake
Originally uploaded by chefmommyof2.
Here is Chefmommyof2's take on a Mint Mojito Drink in cupcake form. Lime Cake, brushed with Rum-Mint Buttercream finished with mint spring, lime zest, and sugar crystals.

I'm not exactly a fan of Mojitos although I think it's the "in" drink, I don't know. But these ingredients peak my interest.