Saturday, July 2, 2011

on newness

Everybody I talk to is on the "get the most bang for your buck" train. Do more for less. Go out on the cheap. Find the best deal. Buy a Groupon/LivingSocial/Tippr. Happy hour = a meal. Skip out on extravagant date night and instead, take the dog for a walk. With the way the economy is, I know that my friends and me are being smart with our money. The coolest thing about this trend is trying out new places. 

Typically, I have always been that girl that is very stuck in my ways. I find a sandwich place, I will eat there until I move out of the zip code. I find a good Thai menu item, I don't even give the wait staff a chance to tell me the specials. Ice cream flavors? Vanilla, Chocolate, and Cake Batter. I know what I like and I know what I don't like. Call me addicted to comfortable. 

In my relationship, the Man is the explorer, the adventurer, especially when it comes to food. He has no problem switching our plates halfway through dinner or handing over his fork with mystery meal on it saying, "Hun, please just TRY it." With much hesitation, I can usually get away with, "I'm full," or "Nope." Perhaps it was my extreme gastrointestinal battle in Nepal that turned me off of curry or my not so great experience with Pho (Vietnamese soup) at a sketchy place when I moved here 4 years ago, but for whatever reason, I have a hard time venturing out of my comfort zone when it comes to food. 

Yet, when it comes to yoga studios, sign me up.

Today, I ventured north to a small little studio in Shoreline to start a $30 for 30 days unlimited Groupon I purchased. There is something about trying out a new yoga studio that lights me up from the inside. Very similar to getting a beautifully wrapped gift and not knowing what's inside, there is an excitement to embarking on a yoga journey, even if it is for only a month, at a new studio with new teachers. I love seeing how people deisgn their studio spaces, the teachers they hire, their new student registration process. It's very much a enthnography process for me each and every time.

I am baffled and how fearless I am when it comes to this as yoga is super sacred in my own personal life. It is a facet of my being that I don't take lightly, yet, I love to see what is out there, especially living in such a big city. Just like walking into a restaurant or hotel for the first time, first impressions are everything. The front of the house/studio staff are responsible for my experience at least 60% of the time. They set the tone for my practice. Even though that sounds ludacris, it's true. I am not a fan of the "Fakeys," staff that act friendly to one person and condescending to another or bitch about scheduling or management in front of you while scantily clad in very expensive yoga gear that I would never walk out of my house in. 

Either way, my practice this morning was pretty rough. I felt out of sorts. Maybe it was because I was super tight and sore from being on my feet a lot these past couple weeks or maybe it was emotional tension or frustration with the housework awaiting me at home or maybe it was the teacher who was all bendy like Gumby and kinda showing off a bit in front of a class of 9 folks who were definitely unable to get into "legs behind the head lifted lotus pose." 

In my evolution as a yoga practitioner and student, I always use my practice as a microscope as to what is really going on in my own life. Everything is just an observation. The key is to not make judgments about it. In theory, sounds easy, in practice, WTF comes to mind. This morning on my way home from my new yoga studio, I started my inquiry. What is going on? A few things came to mind.

-Haven't been engaging in much "me time." This is a source of frustration.
-The house is a war zone. Never enough time to pick up the clutter.
-Missing my family. Craving social time. Need more community.
-Haven't been taking super good care of my body = tension, fatigue, and being irritable.
Next step? Action. Do something about it Jen! This was my thought for the day and I did get some movement.  

Just like I get comfortable with my Thai dish and my ice cream flavors, I get comfortable with being stuck-things are the way they are and tough shit. Well, I am learning to venture out, to change things around, shake it up a bit. I have a feeling my 30 days at this new studio will indeed do just that.

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