The Grayest Sunny Day

It’s funny, I want to start this blog post off with something trite, something like, “Today is just one of those days.” But it’s not. It’s an entirely different kind of day. One I haven’t had before, or maybe one I had so long ago that I’ve forgotten how to recognize it when it arrives. Today my heart is open and aching, and pulsing with more intensity than I can bear – at the moment, at least. Somewhere down in there I also know that it will ease, and I will be able to build up my walls again. But why? I don’t want the walls. I don’t want the cage any longer.

My wild thing, my spirit, I see now that I’ve let it be crushed. My spark has been going out, and I was just watching it go, no attempt to throw a life line. Every time I dream of St. Francis, of walking the Camino, of living a life of service, of spending time looking out over the ocean, it’s just been the dying breath of this goodness inside of me, working itself up to one last yell, “Hey! I’m in here – YOU’RE in here!” But today my eyes are open to some of the bigger picture. How did I get so lost?

I’ve been in Austin for the last couple of days, attending a yoga festival called Wanderlust, and also celebrating my birthday. This road trip was set aside as a time to pamper myself and maybe strategize a bit about life changes that I’ve been putting off out of cowardice and confusion. I also had one of my feelings yesterday; I felt this pull of energy, this suggestion from the Universe to ditch my planned class and go sit in the sun instead.

As I relaxed on my yoga mat in the center of the festival’s open air market, one of the other sun worshippers suddenly turned to me and struck up a conversation. We chatted for about a half an hour, during which I learned that he was a fitness buff and aspiring life coach, and that he’d never been outside of downtown Austin. Since I really wanted to go check out South Congress, but wasn’t feeling like rolling solo, I invited him along for the adventure.

As we explored the neighborhood, we got to know each other as fellow seekers of (adventure? truth? light? fun?), I began to realize a vision of myself that was more real than the one I’m living right now. I can’t tell you the last time I had such open, fearless conversation with another person about life and its larger meanings, with no unpleasant anticipation of reprisal or disappointment or judgement. I felt like I was living in a crystal, washed in energy and light, all windows and doorways open, with only the best opportunities awaiting me.

It’s always nice to meet fellow travelers with whom you can create a genuine connection, and it feels like we were meant to meet and share a conversation. He even put on his life coach hat to ask me some tough questions that I’ve been trying to ignore for the last couple of years.

It was really a beautiful night, as simple as this all seems. I’m just feeling a little raw today. OK, a lot raw. Some of it is because he said all the right things to open me up to my own possibilities. The rest is because I’m terrified that I’ll get home and try to forget what I’ve rediscovered, try to put my wild thing back in its tiny cage. What kind of monster does that?

So now I’m sitting here, waiting to stop crying so I can go to my last yoga session. I’m honestly not sure I’m going to be able to handle anything more intense than just sitting on the couch and mulling my strange ability to run into just the right person every time I’m at a crossroads. The Camino is everywhere, and it does provide. You’ve just got to be able to keep putting one foot ahead of the other.

Extending My Credit Line

Today the Daily Post asks us what the last thing was that we Googled. At work, my Google searches have been pretty straight forward – I’m looking for  New Orleans-based fashion bloggers who might want to cover the event that I’m organizing next week. But earlier today, I was searching for a way to extend my credit line.

I’m renting a car tonight, and though I’ve already paid for the rental, I needed to be able to have some money on my credit card to cover any kind of extra charge that might occur, like a security deposit. Since I only had $14 left, I had to figure out how to get a little padding in time to pick up the car tonight, which eventually had me Googling “how to increase credit line on Chase card.”

Luckily I figured it out and all is fine. There’s no button on the Chase site that allows you to request and get an answer – you actually have to call the number on the back of your credit card and speak with a representative. My rep was very nice, though, and the process took surprisingly little time – about 15 minutes in all. They were able to extend my credit by just a tiny bit, enough to cover whatever the security deposit will be, so now there won’t be any issue with renting my car tonight. Such a relief!

Tomorrow I’m off to Austin to enjoy a fabulous birthday weekend with friends, nature, yoga, and hopefully a huge helping of Tex Mex food 😀

Day #40: Getting There

I weighed in at 154.6 lbs today! It’s taking awhile, but slowly but surely, I’m heading in the right direction. Today is Day 18 of the 30 Day Bikram Challenge, and I’m a resounding FIVE classes behind (argh). Today is a double down day, another attempt to close the gap a little. I went to class at 6am, and I’ll go again at 6pm. I’m really starting to like doubles, even though that’s so weird of me, I know. I sweat out so much in the first class that by the second class, even if I’m rehydrated, it’s so much easier to see muscle definition. Since I’m not a muscular girl, and never have been, it’s so effing cool to look at myself and see the beginning of a four pack, or notice real muscles building up in my arms. It’s crazy cool.

Aside from trying to catch up in yoga, I’m not thinking about that much else this morning. Just scrubbed down my yoga mat, since it was getting really stinky. I used dish soap, Borax, and vinegar and a lot of hot water. I’ve never scrubbed a mat with soap and water before – typically I use an antibacterial spray, but that just wasn’t cutting it today. I’ll let you know how it works out.

Oh, and talking about working out, I’m still wearing the Zaggora hot pants every day. I’ve been wearing them anywhere between four and eight hours a day, just to lounge around the house and sleep in. Last night I wore them while finishing up some last minute work at home, and talking on the phone, then went to bed in them, but I woke up an hour later feeling so constricted by the fabric. It’s tough for me to get used to wearing something that tight and non-breathable for great lengths of time. However, it’s my choice, and I’m not going to wear them to work out in until I feel really comfy in them. My thighs are looking a little smoother, but I don’t think they’re any smaller in circumference or anything yet.

I’m going to take a fifteen minute nap before getting ready for work – suddenly got really sleepy. Catch you all later.

Day #37: The Hot Room Double Down

Whew! I finally went back to the studio yesterday, and class wasn’t too bad for having been away for a five day stretch. It was supposed to be a double day (to make up for all the classes I missed over the last week) but I didn’t make it to morning class, only afternoon. No worries, though – I’m doing a double today and tomorrow to start the process of catching up. To make it “official,” I even put together a Google calendar of all the doubles I’ll have to do to end the 30 Day Challenge on a high note.

Talking about high notes, wanna know something weird? Before class today, I weighed in at 159.2 lbs, which makes sense given that I’ve been almost a week without exercise. However, after class I weighed in just out of curiosity since I’d sweated what seemed to be an abnormal amount for me, and I was 155.4 lbs – almost 4 lbs lighter! It’s crazy to think that I sweated out 4 lbs of water in my morning Bikram class. Even crazier, I wonder if I’ll even be able to sweat anything out in the afternoon class. I ate a pretty good lunch of steamed veggies w/ cheese sauce, and a Plant Fusion chocolate shake (made with a banana and almond milk to give me extra strength in class), so hoping I’ve got enough electrolytes in my system to survive the second class without getting sick afterwards.

Tonight I’m going to meet The Man’s 1-year-old niece for the first time. She and her parents live in Florida, and I haven’t seen them in over two years now. It’ll be nice to get together again, but I’m a bit apprehensive. The Man’s parents, brother, sister-in-law, a baby, The Man AND me in our teensy tiny apartment is going to be nerve-wracking, to say the least. Plus, the house isn’t baby-proofed, it hasn’t been cleaned since last week, and where on earth are the cats going to hide from the baby? Miss Isabel will NOT be happy. But then honestly, neither will her mother. I’m just not as psyched about being an aunt as I seem to be expected to be, and I’m pretty sad that there’s so much pressure to be in love with this baby that’s not even related to me. It just seems so fake, but of course I seem like a heartless monster if I do anything but act delighted to be hostess. Argh. Wish I had another yoga class to go to so I could just escape the whole evening…

Day #18: Monday, Monday, Monday

Here we are, seven years down the road, and the media is still milking Hurricane Katrina for all it’s worth. There is nothing worse than getting about a million and one phone calls from concerned friends and family members who demand that you leave your house and run for the hills – when there’s NOTHING TO WORRY ABOUT. All because they’re watching way too much MSNBC. I really get tired of the news sometimes. This morning’s headlines include such gems as:

Isaac Crossing Gulf with New Orleans in Crosshairs (Because hurricanes obviously = guns, or cannons, or something of the sort, right?)

7 Years after Katrina, NOLA Braces for Isaac (Oh, you should see the bracing going on right now. Nah, you’d just get bored.)

Isaac Takes Aim at New Orleans (At least that one’s more direct. Pun intended.)

So if you’ve never lived through a hurricane before, and you’re wondering what someone like me plans to do on a day like today, I’ll tell you. In ten minutes, I’m leaving the house and heading to work, where I’ll stay for most of the day unless something horrific happens. This evening I’ll come home, make sure the computers, iPad, iPods, phones, cameras, etc are all charged, and start freezing some extra ice cubes just in case. Then I’ll kick back and watch some TV with The Man. Really, that’s all there is to do when it’s only a Category 1 or 2. It’s basically going to be a big thunderstorm with high-ish winds and lots of rain. Blech, I’m already tired of talking about it. Hurricanes suck, but mostly because of the people involved, not the storm itself. Stop freaking out and tackle it as it comes. I survived Katrina, and three other big ones in NC prior to that (involving massive flooding and loss of property, while I was inside said property), and I refuse to let fear ruin a good sunny Monday morning.

Now on to the good parts of my day. I made it to Bikram class this morning, and it was amazing! There were only four students, so the teacher joined in and practiced with us. Since all of us had been practicing for awhile, the teacher didn’t call instructions. Instead, we moved as a group on instinct, and she called ‘Change’ now and then in postures where it would be hard to tell what was happening (like Balancing Stick and Rabbit). It was a great class, a very powerful class, and I was able to meditate much more easily when it was just me correcting myself and not having to listen to all of the instructions.

Oh, my weight was great this morning, as well. I weighed in at 156.4 lbs this morning, so back on track with that. Now I’m hoping that yoga doesn’t get cancelled tomorrow, so I can continue to persevere. If not, maybe my Shaun T’s Rockin’ Body DVDs will come in today so that at least I’ll have something to do inside if it’s raining and I can’t go running.

OK, time to get to work. I’ve still got to turn in my timesheet, and finish up a worksheet I’m working on. Have a great Monday, folks!

 

TKO!

It was a fulfilling day, and I’m proud of my efforts. I’m not so proud of the bug I just accidentally squashed on my computer screen. Those are persistant little guts; it’s all smudgy now. Ick.

I made it to Bikram class, and it was a damn good one! My legs are getting a little stronger every day, and even though Triangle pose is always the hardest, today I thought it wasn’t as painful and embarrassing as usual. What’s really making me happy about going to Bikram is that I keep running into people I know there. Tonight I ran into a girl I know outside of yoga, and we made plans to go to a concert next week. My life is feeling more full every day.

Foodwise, I’m in a great place tonight. I ate and ate and ate today, and still only made it to 1,025 calories – 200 under my limit – and that was before working out like a fiend. The entire office was treated to milkshakes this afternoon, but I had the willpower to say no. I even went to the soda shop with everyone, and still managed to not eat any ice cream!

Tonight’s dinner was amazing, too. One thing that I’ve been doing recently to cut down on calories is cutting out excess carbs. I love pasta, and eat it all the time, but I’ve come to realize that typically I’m only eating the pasta to be able to eat whatever cream or cheese sauce I’ve put on it. To keep tonight’s dinner delicious without blowing my calorie allotment, I chopped up a bunch of baby portobello mushrooms (one of my favorite foods – I could eat mushrooms at every meal for the rest of my life and not get tired of them) and sautéed them with salt, pepper, crushed red pepper, and a little fresh red bell pepper. At the end, I added in a few tablespoons of Alfredo sauce. I had that dish as a side, with Crispy Tenders by Gardein (delish) and some boiled okra. My plate was heaped with veggies, everything made me really happy, and I still only cleared around 350 calories for the entire meal. Pretty good deal, imho.

Now it’s time to get some shuteye. I’m going to dream of being 156 lbs in the morning, and then it’s going to happen! Also going to aim for morning yoga class again in the morning – one day I’ll make it…

Day #7: A Spoonful of Sugar

Click through for a very interesting rumination on the power of Mary Poppins.

Does anyone else eat their scrambled eggs on toast? I just finished pulling together a rather customary breakfast (for me) and realized that I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone else make eggs, then serve them on toast instead of with fork and knife. Am I a weirdo? Crossing my fingers that I’m accidentally doing something very posh instead of something extremely crass. Not getting my hopes up too high, though. Either way – yum – breakfast! As I type this, I’m eating a slice of Ezekiel bread topped with two lovely scrambled eggs, just a tiny bit runny, the way I like ’em.

I’m actually going to try something new and head to work a half an hour early (instead of 20 minutes late) today, so this is going to have to get wrapped up very soon. To keep things short and sweet, this morning has been awesome so far. Despite going to sleep around 12:30am, I managed to wake up and drag myself to Bikram this morning at 6am. It was an amazing class, and my Triangle pose was so much better than usual. After class, I came home, did crunches and some basic weight lifting exercises. Now all I have to do is run a couple of miles this evening and I’ll be golden!

To make things even more supercalifragilisticexpialidocious (which, by the way, is apparently recognized by spell-check), I weighed in this morning at 157.8 lbs – down .8 lbs from yesterday. I also realized during Bikram class that my finances aren’t quite as dire as I was thinking last night, since I have some money in stocks and also another check coming in from my old job at some point in the next month. So I’ll stop freaking out now, but I do need to start being much more conservative with my cash. Hence going in to work early – if I work from 9 til 6 most days, I’ll be in a much better spot than I was calculating last night. The only way to make this happen is to go to yoga early, so dieting and budgeting have to start working hand-in-hand from now on.

Signing off – catch up with you guys later in the day. I’m hoping to let you all in on my first goal (and reward) today at some point, so keep tuned!

Yoga Extras

Today during Bikram I was having a hard time keeping my mind in the present. It was a tough class; the studio just added a second humidifier, and it was the last class of the day, so it was just a tad over 105 degrees the entire time. Plus, even though I normally love this teacher, today his strictness was really wearing on me. I got severely out of breath by Eagle, and from there it was pretty much downhill. I did my best to do most of the poses (except for Triangle, which I skipped out of not wanting to further aggravate my groin and glute, and also because I just wasn’t feeling up to it), and by the time I got to the last three poses, I was just completely worn out. Kind of a bust, as far as class goes, but I keep telling myself that we need the ‘bad’ classes to be able to feel extra good about the ‘good’ classes. Besides, I didn’t faint, injure myself, or – horror of horrors – leave the room, so I’m pretty much golden, right?

Anyway, while I was trying to live through class, my mind kept wandering. One of the things I was thinking over was how different each of my old studios has been. Overall, I love this studio the most. It’s brand new, and the owner/teacher did an amazing job at including all of the state-of-the-art bells and whistles, along with the regular Bikram must-haves. The hot room has full length mirrors on two walls, windows to the street on another, and then windows out into the hall on the fourth. The heating system is superb (although I was hating it today), and the humidity ensures that the heat is easier on your skin and you never feel like you’re getting roasted. Or at least you feel like you’re getting basted regularly, anyway! There’s also the required wood-grained antimicrobial carpeting, which smells weird, but whatever.

This is the first studio that I’ve studied in that has fans, though. I like them, but I still feel vaguely guilty when the teacher turns them on, even if it’s just for a second during the transition from standing series to the floor, or sometimes during camel (by which point a breeze feels glorious, I’ll admit it). It’s also the first studio that I’ve gone to that had showers and bathrooms in separate locations. This doesn’t bother me – I’m just happy there are showers – but it’s something that sets it apart. As is the crazy-cool Brita Hydration Station (it’s a water fountain, but it’s seriously spacey).

One thing that my studio is missing, however, is a mat-cleaning station. My first studio had a stainless steel table, very much like something you’d see in a professional kitchen, set up to wash your mat down as soon as you walked out of class. I loved it! I’ll admit – I forget to clean my mat all the time, which is really gross, I know, but I’m forgetful and lazy. It was great to walk out of class and be able to put your mat on a waist-high slab, and have a bottle of cleanser and a sponge ready to go to wipe it down. If I ever were to have my own studio, I’d definitely incorporate a mat-cleaning station.

Another thing that tends to bother me is when people set their mats up in weird places, or take up too much space and inconvenience other people in the hot room. Years ago, before I was introduced to Bikram, I did work study at yoga studio that used two mats for each person. It sounds weird, but it was a cool concept. The owner had figured out how many people could comfortably fit in the room, and where the mats would work best. He had us set out a certain number of mats, in a certain placement. When people would come into class, they’d either use a yoga towel or blanket, or more usually, their own yoga mat, and place it on top of the already placed mat. This meant that everyone was lined up perfectly, without crowding their neighbors, and no one had to think too hard about it. It made the beginning of class even more relaxed. I don’t think I’d go through the trouble of setting out mats, but I have wondered about marking suggestion spots on the floor to help people line their mats up correctly and ensure that everyone has enough space.

One last thing that’s very different about my current studio from my last is that we’re encouraged to drink water. My first studio had ‘party time’ after Eagle, so I was a little freaked out when I got to my second studio and the teacher informed everyone to drink water sparingly during class and try to avoid it if possible. I wondered if this was healthy, or if it was even doable. Over time, though, I realized that what they were saying was true. If I was properly hydrated going in, I never actually got thirsty. Before (and now), I took sips of water when I was bored, or tired, or to ease my stress level at being so very hot and achey. I’m very seldom actually thirsty in class, and if I am, I can always track it back to not drinking enough water before class. My fault – not the fault of the practice. The teachers at that studio all advised against drinking during class, pointing out that it was easier to feel dizzy, disrupt your carefully cultivated temperature balance, and that of course it would make you feel like puking during Kapalabhati breathing. All true. This doesn’t mean that my weak ass avoids drinking water, now that I’m at a different studio. However, I probably need to step back from knowingly allowing my weakness to get the better of me in class.

I’ve been reading other peoples’ blogs who say they get massages or eye masks or aromatherapy during class, but this has not been anything close to the norm in my small experience. What ‘extras’ have you seen in your Bikram studios? Anything you liked a lot? Anything you hated? I’m interested in knowing how very different something that is so regimented can be.

How To Clean Sweaty Bikram Clothes

When I first started doing Bikram yoga a couple of years ago, I was amazed at how much I could sweat. I remember the first time I noticed that my shins were sweating, and being simultaneously scared and amused. Before that moment, I thought sweat was pretty much confined to armpits, backs, and foreheads. What a surprise for me to see it coming from everywhere, soaking through my clothes and towel. Walking home from class, sweat dripping with every step, I don’t think I had ever appreciated the lovely Chicago late summer breeze so much.

As time went by, I got used to sweating, and grew to love it. I went to a pretty strict studio, and wasn’t allowed to wipe or scratch if sweat was tickling me somewhere. Part of practice is the stillness, and true stillness means learning to breathe through small discomforts, just let them go. I do pretty well at this part of class, actually. I’ve gotten pretty good at letting things go, and this has translated into my everyday life, as well.

Except when it comes to stinky yoga clothes!

I learned early on that sweaty yoga clothes and towels do not behave as normal laundry does. It stinks, it grows stuff, it’s the height of gross. You think you have it clean, then all of a sudden you catch a whiff of wtf-is-embedded-in-my-clothes?!?!? It drives me crazy. It essentially ruined my stillness for some time before I finally learned how to handle it efficiently. It’s been a while since I was a complete headcase when it came to getting my sweaty clothes clean, but I can still remember the frenzy. If you’ve never soaked through everything you’re wearing, PLUS a thick towel, put them in a plastic grocery bag to get them home, then had to actually empty the bag out in the sink to get rid of excess moisture, you’re not going to get the ‘crazy’ that comes along with doing truly sweaty laundry. It was a relief to get past that point and on with the show.

Lately at my new studio, however, I’ve overheard a number of people talking about battling sweat smells and stains in yoga clothes. I’ve been sharing my not-so-secret secret with as many people as possible, but it seemed like a good idea to just write a blog post about my method. This is a very simple and economical fix, too. No need for expensive sports detergents or any crazy multi-step programs – just a couple of additions to your typical laundry routine will do you a world of good.

You’ll need:

laundry-detergent

1. Laundry Detergent – whatever you’d like to use. I’ve been using All with Oxi-Active, because it’s what The Man brought home after his last grocery expedition. I’d have preferred Vaska (I’m crazy about lavender, and being biodegradable doesn’t hurt), but being out of a job soon, it’s best to conserve cash for a little while. Speaking of, if you can stand visiting their page, those crazy Duggars have a DIY liquid laundry detergent recipe that looks like it might be a good sweat-fighter, too.

Borax

Click through to learn more about using Borax in your home.

2. Borax (1/2 cup) – I’ve recently discovered that not many of my friends had heard of this miracle product. Borax is actually a mineral, with the largest commercial mines being in California and Turkey. It comes in a box, and can be found in the laundry section in most larger grocery stores, as well as box stores like Walmart and Target, and online at Amazon. It’s normally in the section with the fabric softeners and ‘extras,’ not with the detergents, themselves. It’s cheap, at around $4 for a normal-sized box ($11 for a larger version), and can be used to clean just about anything. It’s also a lot safer than many typical household cleaners, so I’ve heard of people using Borax and vinegar as exclusive household cleaning products in homes with new babies or allergy sufferers.

White Vinegar

3. White Vinegar (1/2 cup to 1 cup) – Oh yeah. This stuff is another miracle worker, and don’t worry – your clothes will not smell tangy when you’re through. It took a few loads of laundry for me to convince The Man that using vinegar could be beneficial to our clothing, but it does wonders to soften clothes and help kill off any remaining bacteria that are holding on to those gooey Bikram smells. Best of all, it’s cheap, cheap, cheap, and you don’t need to buy a brand name vinegar to get the job done right. Click through the image for more tips on using vinegar in your home.

The best part of all of these items is that they can be used in either a top loading or front loading washer. If you’re using a conventional washing machine – add the Borax and vinegar when you add the detergent, all at the same time. When we had a conventional machine, I would start filling the machine, give it a minute to get an inch or two of water, then add the detergent, 1/2 cup of Borax, and between 1/2 cup and 1 cup of vinegar, drop the top and let a little more water flow in and mix things up before adding the clothes. If you’re using a front loading (HE) machine – put the detergent in the detergent cup, then add in the 1/2 cup of Borax right on top of that, and put the vinegar in the cup where the fabric softener is supposed to go.

Typically, I try to throw my clothes and towel in the wash as soon as I get home, and then I wash them with cold water and the above products. If I’ve had to let my clothes wait for a few hours or even until the next day, I rinse them in the sink, then let them dry on a towel rack or other spot, and put them in the laundry with the new batch of sweaty gear the next day. When it’s been a day or more, I wash my laundry with warm water, unless something smells particularly ripe, in which case I go ahead and use hot. I also find that towels sometimes still end up getting moldy, in which case I end up double washing them, with a soak, in hot water, and add up to a cup of Borax and put some vinegar straight on the moldy spot in the towel before throwing it in the wash.

Do you use another method to clean your dirty yoga gear? Any secrets, tips or tricks to share? Please do so we can all benefit!

Star Studded Hot Room

With all of the vacation planning going on, I haven’t really been keeping up with the blog as much as I’d like. Even so, I’ve still been pretty faithful with going to Bikram class most days. I’ve been making it to roughly five classes a week for the last three, and my stamina and state of mind have really been improving as a result. Of course, there are so many benefits to Bikram, as I’m sure everyone has heard their instructors say time and time again. One of the ones they don’t talk about is getting to occasionally enjoy something special in a class – a shared laugh here and there, a sip of ice cold water, getting a stubborn part of your back to crack – ahhhh. Two days ago, I experienced a fantastic side benefit of class. I got to be less than 10 feet away from Michael Fassbender for 90 gloriously sweaty minutes.

Image

Not sure if this is big news, but New Orleans is becoming quite the little movie town these days. There are at least 10 movies shooting in town over the summer. The newest Brad Pitt flick, Twelve Years A Slave, is shooting here in June, and it just so happens that Fassbender will be in it, as well. I didn’t know this until Wednesday afternoon, though.

On Wednesday, I went to my normal noon class. I was running a little late, and when I got to the studio, I immediately rushed to get changed and fill my water bottle. As I was going into the hot room, I realized I’d forgotten to sign in, so I rushed back to the desk. An attractively-built man, lovely shoulders and gorgeous hair, was signing in, so I waited until he’d finished, then pushed up beside him, took the pen, and signed in. As he entered the hot room, my eye hit his signature. Michael (OHMYEFFINGGODSERIOUSLY???) Fassbender. I nearly had a heart attack right then and there, but I pulled my shit together, both literally and figuratively, and went to the hot room to get set up for class.

He was on his mat, just feet from the door, so when I entered the room I couldn’t help but sheepishly make eye contact. I grinned, but it probably looked more like a grimace. I’ve always been so bad with guys, and here I was, face to face with the most handsome movie villain ever. It was a bit disconcerting to see a larger-than-life guy, just the right size for his yoga mat. Of course as fate would have it, there were no empty spaces on the other side of the room (and yes, being a weirdo, I did try to get as physically far away as possible) so I ended up a mat over from him.

As class went on, I couldn’t help but notice that though he has really great muscle definition, and definitely holds his own on the mat, he’s not overly spectacular. I guess I expected this highly-trained movie star to be one of those yoga naturals that annoys the hell out of you and does the deepest back bends and twisty-est eagle poses. He wasn’t that guy though. It was refreshing to see that he was imperfect. It was not refreshing, however, when he left class during the floor series for a minute. He probably went to get a tissue, since he wasn’t gone long, but it’s really annoying when people leave the room, no matter the reason.

From what other people were saying after class and later on, he was a stimulating conversationalist, and a generally great guy. I was just happy to get to practice yoga with a star, and to see that even the very best of us are still just normal folks who struggle their way through class now and then.