This year I've decided to "Know My Own Strength." I struggled with choosing this as an intention for a minute because I wondered if it was going to incite the Goddess to rain down shit upon me the way she did during my Saturn Return. I know I never get any challenge that I'm not actually strong enough for. Also, it's one of the major emerging themes in the memoir I'm writing, that I didn't know my own strength. I'm learning a lot from the process of writing the book and some of the stuff I'm learning are things I didn't realize about myself. Like how much I never really knew my own strength. So I am imagining a 2013 where I meet challenges head-on, knowing I have everything I need to meet them. Including the ever important ability to ask for help when I need it!
I am producing a multi-part Holiday Gift Guide this year. As per usual, I’m procrastinating about it. That’s real.
I am super into yoga. I’ve been doing it at least weekly for a year and a half, but at this point I incorporate yoga into my day at least once, and ideally three times a week do a full hour/90 minutes. I mentioned in my post, The Queer Fat Femme Guide to Beginning a Yoga Practice, that I was never fond of dvd yoga routines as they felt very Jane Fonda-y. Meera, the host and proprietor of Big Yoga, offered me two dvds to review and promised that they wouldn’t be Jane Fonda-y.
The first I reviewed was her latest video Flex-ability. I have been getting a big tattoo on my thigh this Fall and part of the bummer of waiting for it to heal was restricted motion (you use your thigh for a lot of things) and not getting to do as much yoga (no rolling around on the floor, for example).
Being a little stiff and off my game, I thought I would do the Flex-ability yoga routine to limber up before my return to my regular yoga class. I found the music a little corny, but typical for any yoga class, really. The movements were so beautifully basic and easy to understand. It was also really inclusive of all ability levels, people with mobility issues and people of all sizes. I loved that the instructor (Meera) is a person with a big belly and who acknowledges what range of motion someone with a similar body type might not have. I have a big belly and big boobs and it’s really hard for me to do a lot of yoga poses.
At the end of the Flex-ability yoga routine is a really deep relaxation that, should I need a simple relaxation, I might just skip to that part of the dvd. It’s a full 20 minute guided meditation. I found my lower back really stiff afterward, which is a sign I was very relaxed. (I was using a blanket and a dog bed as a bolster under my knees but I think I need to get a legit bolster for using at home.)
The biggest surprise for me was that I was sore the next day! I could definitely feel the effects of the routine, and even though it appears to be super gentle and easy it is chock full of the good results of my more strenuous yoga routines.
At a later time I used the Big Yoga Beginner’s Hatha 1. The routine was great, full of modifications you could make for various ability levels. It definitely moved slower than a typical yoga class, but that was fine for my home use. I found myself wishing I had this dvd before I began yoga. It includes a great primer on a lot of what you need to know to begin a yoga practice and gets you familiar with the movements involved in basic yoga practice.
There was even a section I thought was hokey, doing eye exercises. However, I felt it the next day in my eyes (who knew you should stretch those) and I think that makes this the PERFECT gift for the law student in your life. If only I could have popped in this dvd at 3 AM during finals and done some stretching and eye stretching. I had a lot of issues with eye strain during that time.
Really, I think both of these dvds are perfect for the person in your life who has always wanted to take a yoga class but hasn’t gotten up the gumption yet, or someone whose mobility has been lessened and needs a way to move and feel the benefits of yoga.
You can get both of these dvds at the Big Yoga website right here. They’re only $16 each.
The other fitness/yoga related item I suggest is a double thick yoga mat. I have been craving one of these for a long time. I really love how many different colors there are to choose from and this one seems to be a bargain at only $20. Bean Products Yoga Mat 1/4
You can check out my procrastinator’s gift guide from last year here.