9-9

Happy National Yoga Month!  I’m still a rookie yogini but I’ve been thinking about stepping out of my comfort zone just out of curiosity.  The facility where I’ve been taking classes is a studio specifically for yoga and its fundamentals. I love that they include history of yoga and mind-body connection.  I also need my form corrected because I’m often felt unsure about my alignment. Though I’m not pro at asanas (yoga poses) but I’m fairly comfortable in class now.   Lately, I’ve been wondering how classes in a general gym would be.  I wonder if gym yoga classes would be more physically intense or if they’d incorporate  limbs of yoga.  I guess the best way to answer that is to try, right?

While doing random searches online I came across several yoga inspirations. Here are a few:

http://www.bet.com/news/health/2012/10/12/yoga-for-the-people-black-yogis-share-their-commitment-to-community.html

 


http://madamenoire.com/49176/yoga-and-meditation-for-baltimore-students/

 

http://bodypositiveyoga.com/

I have a busy day ahead of me but I’m going to fight the Sandman tonight and check out Arsenio Hall’s return.

“Let’s get busy!”

Breathing and chakras and mantras…Oh my!

While I’ve got a few free minutes I’ll recap my last two yoga classes. Last week, I had a male instructor and we learned breathing styles, which were amazing for relaxation. This week my class had a female instructor and we learned about chakras and mantras, which pretty much blew my mind.

Last week we learned about yoga breathing or “pranayama” (Thanks Google. I’m a beginner so forgive me if I mess up any of the terminology)  I’m glad I attended this class because I need help in that area. Yes, it may sound weird but I’m having a hard time breathing correctly during yoga. What’s more natural than breathing, right? Well, it seems my ‘natural’ is to be tense.  Taking slow, deep breathes just hasn’t been easy for me. I never realized how much focus and effort it takes to just chill out.

On the flipside, there are also breathing exercises that are designed to challenge the body by forcing breathes out and by holding breathes (i.e. breaths of fire).  Another interesting breathing exercise was holding one nostril closed and alternating what side you inhale and exhale out of aka nadi sodhana .

I was skeptical about the breathing exercises but I admit to feeling relaxed and even light-headed after. Hello, yoga buzz!

Eagle pose helped open my chest for deep breaths

Though we learned different relaxing breathing techniques, man, the class was intense.  I can’t blame it on the instructor being a male though. Maybe that’s just his style of teaching. We held poses longer and there was more repetition. The class was quiet but my body was hollering at me! We have to be taken out of our comfort zone to grow, I guess.

During this week’s class learned seated and standing twisting poses like:


^I’m a pro at this one. lol


^ Surprisingly, this wasn’t as tough as I thought it’d be.

The instructor said twisting poses are good for cleansing and went on to explain more of the spritual sides of yoga. She briefly broke down the different chakras, their elements and the colors associated with each.

I’m still learning about chakras myself but here’s a link that explains each and their significance for fellow rookies like me.
http://www.threeheartscompany.com/chakra.html

Fascinating stuff, isn’t it?

Chakras also have chants or “mantras” associated with them. The mantras help with meditation and building connections to chakras. We learned a few one word mantras that just sounded like a lot of deep humming to me at first. But it blew my mind because I actually felt vibrations in the areas connected to that chakra!  For instance, while humming “Om”, a mantra for the third eye, I felt tingling in the middle of my forehead.   Ok, did I lose you with that? I know just reading may seem kinda deep so imagine my shock when I felt it physically. This yoga journey is pretty exciting! I wonder what’s next….

FUN More Time

More and more EDM (Electronic Dance Music) artists have been in heavy rotation on my playlists.  Saturday night I decided to check out
“One More Time: A Tribute to Daft Punk”
at the Baltimore Soundstage


Though I’m not a fanatic, I’ve liked Daft Punk since the late 90’s so I knew I’d enjoy myself. And that I did! Rhythmic light shows set to dope mixes by DJ’s wearing robot suits made for an awesome night. Oh and in case you are wondering, it was not the actual Daft Punk mixing but who know what the real duo looks like anyway?! haha

I took some video footage but most of energy went into dancing and screaming like a wild woman.   

First I’ll post a short clip of some of the “interesting” party-people that were in the house. This one features a brother, who reminded me of Chris Brown, working the hell out of a pair of LED gloves.

I have no idea who these peeps are but anyone with eight E.T. fingers is pretty freakin’ cool in my book. Throughout the night many fell victim to him and the couple other lit-fingertipped-magicians that were in the crowd.

 I love the song “Music Sounds Better With You” by Stardust so I got ultra pumped when they mixed it in.

They also rocked some of Daft Punk’s latest album and of course they had to play the hit “Get Lucky”

Geezuz, my voice in the background. Yikes!

The crowd was jumping and covered in sweat then the lights went out and there was silence… Oh hell naw, it’s not over yet! Here’s the crowd telling them what we wanted to hear…

Finally, they rocked “One More Time” and set the place on fiyaaaah!

I really should have recorded more but the music got a hold of me and I had to stop and get my dance on!  [Sidebar: I can’t apologize enough for my big mouth in background. It was sonically loud in there and I honestly didn’t realize I could be heard. #facepalm]

Oh and dope costume change for the finale also!:

 I must say  R.I.P. ROMANTHONY, the vocalist/House music legend featured on “One More Time”, who passed away a few months ago.


If you are interested in seeing better footage of the national Daft Punk Tribute tour just do a search on YouTube. I found this clip from DonXenith taken  at the Soundstage the same night I was there:

It was my intention to post an update about my last yoga class and my first experience with a male yoga instructor (different!) but real life is calling and I have to jet. Blog ya later!

Yoga: The poses that kicked my azz this week

This was a busy week for me so my mind and body is just now recuperating.  I’m happy to report there were no injuries at this week’s yoga class but I will admit the poses were more challenging for me. We did the basic Sun Salutation series


Ok, I’m pretty comfortable with all the poses in this series except the lunge:

Getting that front foot up there  while your back foot is visiting another country is not an easy task. It’s much easier to do with yoga blocks under you hands or bending your back knee to touch the floor but I’m going to work on doing it without either. Then the instructor said everyone that was comfortable with the lunges could take it a step up and do the pose with their arms extended up.

 
Ummm, no.  My thighs told me to put my hands down and stay in my lane. Not quite ready yet. As a fact of fact there were a couple other poses that reminded me I’m a beginner.
^Dancer’s pose, y
ou are not my friend!  


^Bow Pose…
FORGET ABOUT IT!
Go ahead and pull the plug ’cause I’m done!

There are no mirrors in the yoga studio I attend (Thank goodness) but I’m pretty sure I looked like an awkward balloon animal.  Before the wonderful cooldown and meditation point of class, a few poses made my muscles/joints feel like they were getting b*tch slapped. That’s a good thing, right?

New Schoolin’


Yesterday, Kendrick Lamar set the Hip Hop world on fire when his verse on Big Sean’s song “Control” hit the internet. Basically, Kendrick called out a rack of the hottest “New School” rappers and let them know he’s trying to snatch the throne. This beef is refreshing and will hopefully encourage more lyricism from today’s popular rappers. Battling has and will always be present in Hip-Hop culture.  MC’s/emcees battle, b-boys & b-girls battle, DJ’s battle and etc…    As long as it stays on the mic, competition is healthy in Hip-Hop. Kendrick is basically saying he’s striving to be better than the best that’s out there. Kendrick in an around-about way gave props to J. Cole, K.R.I.T., Wale, Pusha T, Meek Mill, A$AP Rocky, Drake, Big Sean, Jay Electronica, Tyler the Creator and Mac Miller as emcees. It’s like sh!t-talking during a friendly Pick-Up game.

Kendrick also declared he’s the King of New York which was a jaw-dropper because he’s from Cali.  When I heard that line I made that noise to signal there’s going to be trouble when I was a kid: “Oooorrrrrrrr!” Actually I think that line was more controversial than calling out all those other rappers.  #JMO

Speaking of Hip-Hop and juveniles, is anyone else disturbed by the Kmart commercials that look like cheesy Rap videos for kids?

 “My school bus is my limo/ My school bus is my limo…”

WHAT?! Does that also mean your school is your nightclub? Somebody tell these chil’rens to sit their rappin’ a$$ down in a classroom somewhere and act like they’ve got some sense like this:

LMAO! I couldn’t help myself.That picture is hilarious! (Check out more at HipHopWired )

But seriously, kids write a rhyme about getting  on the Honor Roll instead of how fresh you look getting off the school bus.

Real-ass-ity TV?

A  guilty pleasure of mine is ratchet reality tv shows like Love and Hip Hip, Real Housewives of Atlanta, Basketball Wives and the somewhat classier R&B Divas. A while ago I noticed that the majority of the women on these shows shared something in common. No, I’m not referring to the outrageous weaves, excessive makeup, huge earrings, and clothing label-whoring.  I noticed that most of the women on these shows have big ol’ butts.  I’m not talking nice little onion butts, I mean donks (aka “donkey booty”s)! Even the skinny ones have end-table a$$es.

I’m not hating (I can hold my own in that area. haha) nor am I staring like a perv (hetero chick here) but I have eyes.  It’s like an epidemic on reality tv or maybe it’s just an epidemic in general.  Whether all these bodacious butts are real or not is a subject I’m not touching (pun intended). The next time you tune into your favorite ratchet reality show check out the big butt ratio.