This is what happens when I don’t practice yoga

August 31, 2005

I sit at my computer, I read the news on the web, and I get all pissed off at utterly banal stuff like this: Donald Trump handpicking the cast members, um, I mean, job candidates for The Apprentice, Season 4. And by “handpicking”, I mean “doesn’t he just wish that his hands were doing the picking”. According to today’s New York Times:

“We have an ex-stripper who is tough as nails,” he said. And then there is Jennifer Murphy. Mr. Trump, who claims a certain expertise in the area, described her as “one of the most beautiful women I’ve ever seen.”

He said some of the show’s producers advised him against selecting her: “They said she was too beautiful. I said, ‘Excuse me, there is no such thing as too beautiful.’ They said, ‘Donald she’s so beautiful, she’s not credible.’ I said, ‘No. 1, she happens to be smart. No. 2, she’s very beautiful – congratulations, she’s going on the show.’ There wasn’t going to be another ‘Apprentice’ 3 thing where I end up with a cast where I have to pick people to work for me and I don’t believe in them.”

Mr. Trump admitted it wouldn’t be easy to consider firing a bona fide beauty queen. “I try to be objective,” he said. “But beauty is an unfair advantage for certain people. When they came up with the wonderful statement, all men are created equal, never has there been a more false statement. It sounds brilliant; it reads beautifully. But some people are geniuses. Some are beautiful.”

Finally…a Reality TV show that is based on reality! I mean, let’s face it, when I was in the corporate world, the ex-strippers got all the promotions. And all the female partners in my law firm were beautiful because who could turn them down? Who wouldn’t believe in a lawyer who was beautiful? I know that when I need a lawyer, accountant, financial adviser, what have you, I stick with the hotties. Like Trump says, some people are geniuses, some are beautiful. And who wants their business handled by someone who isn’t photogenic?

Like I said, banal stuff. I need MENTAL STIMULATION!!! And “Diary of a Manhattan Call Girl” is SO NOT doing it, regardless of what Darren Star thinks.


Buyer beware….

August 31, 2005

This really annoys me. And I have to write about it, even if I get eviscerated for it. So here goes:

I am no longer teaching at New York Yoga, and I am not teaching any Intro to Yoga Workshop there. Yet my name continues to be attached to the Workshop that begins September 11. NYY has updated the Workshops page more than once since we agreed to part ways, but my name continues to appear. There is something decidedly shady about this, although I can’t quite figure out what it is.

When Skelator* and I fell-out, I was instructed to “keep it quiet” and not make any “noise” about it. I honored their (somewhat strange) wishes and deleted the post from this blog in which I told the story of what had happened. But now I see that Skelator and crew are continuing to pretend that “this never happened”. I have no idea why, but like the request to “keep things quiet”, it all seems pretty shady to me.

You just know I am going to delete this post tomorrow. But until then, that’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.


*General Manager and supposed Olympic Skeleton hopeful

Human Nature?

August 30, 2005

Looters and natural disasters seem to go together like biscuits go with gravy. Not everyone partakes, of course. But there are always those who seem to feel that when the forces of nature rebel, it’s time to rebel against society as well. There are those who will say that looting is necessary to their survival in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. But when MSNBC reports that “some in the crowd splashed into the waist-deep water like giddy children at the beach,” you have to wonder…are we just savages underneath it all?



Cough. Okay, cough again. Okay, again.

August 30, 2005

And that is how Dr. A confirmed that the bulge above my navel is a “seroma” (fluid-filled pocket between tissue). He palpated my tummy, and asked me to cough. Like that hernia test for guys, but without the intimacy. On my begging, Dr. A drained some of the fluid – about 30 cc’s (I think 2 tablespoons), but not all, so I still have a small bulge. It’s as if there’s a small, slightly deflated water-balloon under the skin of my tummy, in the space between my bottom ribs.

It’s been three weeks since my tummy tuck and breast-reconstruction scar-revision and port removal, and I am still not “permitted” to exercise, although now I AM “permitted” to go about my day-to-day business. It’s going to be three MORE weeks until I am released to exercise, but even then, I won’t be allowed to do anything that “strains the abdominal muscles” for a “few months”. What does that mean? I never really feel any strain on my abdominal muscles, but most people who do the things I do WOULD feel strain. Take Navasana, for example. Normally, I feel NOTHING in Navasana. But I see that other people really struggle with it – can’t get their legs straight, can’t hold themselves up without grabbing their legs. For some strange reason, even with my previously damaged abdominal muscles, Navasana presented no challenge for me at all (I don’t know what it is going to feel like now…). But I am SURE that Dr. A would faint if he saw me doing Navasana.

I guess I am going to have to play it by ear. Perhaps now Navasana WILL be uncomfortable, so then it will feel natural NOT to do it.

But what about Chatturanga? What about Uddyana Bandha in general?

Well, for now, at any rate, I am home with my kids, without a babysitter, so I won’t be going to the shala to practice. I will probably stretch, like I have been, without vinyasa-ing. Then when the kids start school, September 8 (one more week), I will go back to the shala and explain my situation…and go from there.

One thing about this seroma, I have to say, it is making it impossible to eat full meals – when I get full, my stomach presses against my abdominal wall, pressing the seroma outward, stretching my skin….ouch. I have quickly learned to eat very small amounts. I have not been on the scale since a bit more than a week ago, but judging by my clothes, it would seem that I have probably lost a few more pounds, which is fine. I don’t think I want to lose any more weight though.

Still waiting to hear about my little baby puppie-pie, Lou. I can’t wait to see her again!!!

On a more distressing front, I’ve been emailing with Michele, the yoga teacher who assists me at my Yoga For Breast Cancer Survivors class…her family is in New Orleans, which is being hit hard by Hurricane Katrina. Eighty people are believed to have died amid the destruction in Mississippi, and the following was reported by MSNBC. regarding New Orleans:

“The city of New Orleans is in a state of devastation. We probably have 80 percent of our city under water, with some sections of our city the water is as deep as 20 feet. We still have many of our residents on roofs,” he said. “Both airports are under water.”

Bodies have been reportedly floating on the water, although no deaths have been confirmed as of yet. Luckily, so far, Michele’s family seems to be okay, but not necessarily their worldly belongings and their lives as they have known it up to this point.

It’s times like this (well, actually, it’s a LOT of times besides this as well), that I wonder how God could let this sort of thing happen. It’s the sort of thing that biblical stories (e.g. the Flood) were built on. But in the bible, there’s an explanation, even if only imagined. Here, in this case, it feels as if we are left on our own to make sense of what can only be called senseless. Yoga (as well as modern-day psychotherapy) tells us not to bother asking “why” but to accept the unexplainable as inevitable. But it’s hard.


Jill…if you are reading this…please don’t discuss it with your brother…YET….

August 30, 2005

For some time now, my kids and I have been talking about getting a dog. Off and on, I’ve contemplated what kind of dog to get. Rescued or pedigreed? Small or smaller? Male or female? Then last week in Fire Island, we met a wonderful, adorable Beagle, with big brown eyes rimmed with black and the sweetest disposition, and Adam and I were hooked (Brian doesn’t much care – he would much rather I have another baby, and preferably a girl, but, well, that just isn’t happening).

So, I did a bunch of research and confirmed my first thought – that a Beagle puppy that I can raise from babyhood is a wonderful choice because I am around most of the time now, and even when I teach or take a class, I still come back home afterwards (as opposed to spending long days in an office). More on the plus side: Beagles don’t shed much, don’t have much body odor, are wonderful with children, are “pack dogs” so that they learn to love the entire family (as opposed to favoring just one family member, which would inevitably be me, to the consternation of my kids), are active, intelligent and even clever (or so I hear), have a fairly long life-span and just are so damn cute as puppies that even my grouchy ole Husband will be seduced.

I have been searching for a local breeder but haven’t found one that I am comfortable with. It seems that there are a ton of Beagle breeders throughtout the midwest, but not so much in New York/New Jersey/Connecticut (and it also seems like there aren’t a lot of pet beagles around here either: lots of Yorkies, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Chitzuhs, Maltese, Boston Terriers, and Labs, but not too many Beagles). I was starting to wonder if I was going to have to rely on trust and just reserve a puppy sight-unseen from a distant breeder and have it shipped, which sounds like a really scary thought.

And then today, just for fun, Adam and I went to Pets on Lex, just to see if there were any cute dogs we might play with while we waited to satisfy our Beagle-jones. Inside, a Cavalier and a Chihuahua were frisking it up together, and I started chatting up the sales clerk in the hopes of getting him to take one of them out to play for a bit. “So,” I asked him, “how come you never seem to have any Beagles in here?”

Well, as it turned out, a teeny, tiny, two-month old Beagle had arrived there just this morning. They had just picked her up from the airport! At first, the clerk wouldn’t even show her to us. “She’s not ready. She just left her mom less than 24 hours ago, and she hasn’t had any of her shots yet,” he explained.

“Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeease???? Can’t we just see her? My son is in love with Beagles…”

After a brief discussion with the owner, the clerk brought her out to us. And she was soooo soooo sooooooooo cute, it hurts to even think about it. Tiny, but with big, puppy paws, big floppy ears and gorgeous hazel eyes. She nestled in the crook of my arm and burrowed her face into my chest. She was a little squirmier when Adam tried to hold her. At one point, we set her down on the floor, and I started talking to her in mommy-eze, and she cocked her head and looked at me right in the eyes, and then cocked her head the other way, still maintaining that intense eye contact.

More begging ensued, and the shop owner agreed to let us a put a deposit down to reserve her, pending her trip to the vet tomorrow. At both Brian and Adam’s request, she is being named after “Lou the Beagle”, the main character in the movie, Cats and Dogs. So, her name will be “Lou” (short for “Lulu”, at my insistence). In fact, they refer to any Beagle in general as “A Lou”. I hope they understand that THIS Lou won’t be talking to them in the voice of Tobey Maguire.

Now, there is just the tiny little detail of getting The Husband on board with this. He actually is theoretically okay with the idea of having a dog – as long as I am the dog’s primary caretaker, which of course I will be, since The Husband works like 12 hours a day. The issue will be, as it always is, the speed at which I run off and do things. He says that I “motorcycle”everywhere…zoooooooming here….zoooooming there…..I know he has a point. But as anyone can tell who reads this blog on even a semi-regular basis, I am INTENSE. When I get an idea in my head, I have to go, go, go with it. Most of the time, my instincts are good and have brought me success. Of course, yoga (and particularly Ashtanga) teaches us to be patient and mindful and methodical. But I really want this dog. Must. Have. This. Dog. I’m in love!!!

Back to the real world….I have so much to learn about caring for a new puppy!! Must go read now…


Hot Naked Mari D (click here)

August 28, 2005

And a little naked Bharadvajasana thrown in for good measure.

Sorry…sometimes I can be SO immature.

But seriously, I stumbled onto this site while searching for photos of Vatyanasana, which was mentioned on the EZ Board today. It’s interesting, to say the least. Lots of wild drawings and artwork, plus a number of asana photos featuring Ian, the guy whose site it is. Ian does seem to have a fairly advanced practice (in fact, I liked his Vatyanasana better than the one on my ole asana photo fallback site, Ashtanga Yoga Info, because it shows more of the pose). So, I was was taken aback to see that his Urdvha Mukkha Svanasana (Upward Facing Dog) looks like this

I really really want to give him an adjustment or two. Perhaps someday that too will be possible via the web.


It’s called "Yoga Chikitsa" for a reason…

August 28, 2005

After my vinyasa-less Primary Series practice yesterday on the beach (minus Setu Bandhasana and other backbends – that is just WAY too over the top at 19 days post abdominoplasty, even for me), my seroma has significantly diminished in size!!! I am so thrilled. How much more could I possibly love this practice?

And yes, I hear myself extolling the physical effects of the practice. But this is not about “how skinny can my tummy get”, but more about the physical-therapeutic propererties of the practice. Assuming it is not purely coincidence that the fluids in my tummy seem to be draining right after practicing nearly all the poses of the Primary Series, a/k/a Yoga Chikitsa, a/k/a Yoga Therapy, I would have to guess that the practice helped unblock some physical and energetic channels, permitting the healing fluids of my body to drain more effectively.

Anyway, even if I were giving the practice more credit than what it is due, what’s the harm in doing so?