So let me begin by saying that March is my favorite month. And my birthday, being during the first week of the month, is sort of a way to kick-start my favorite time of year. Chilly mornings, and warm afternoon, the sudden onset of "greenness" everywhere, daffodils blooming on the side of the road, making Spring Break plans, shopping for an Easter dress, dogwoods, longer days, driving with my windows down... the new life that Spring gives me is unreal! Well, this year, Mother Nature had a to have one last winter laugh; so she dumps 10 inches of snow on us! Yes, here... in Carolina! Now granted, this snow storm came up from Georgia (those are the big ones, the ones that come down across Tennesee & the mountains never make more than a little fuss...) so everyone across the area saw some snow, ranging from 2 to 15 inches. Locally, my town got more than many other places around them. At school, they just got a couple, while 45 minutes away, I got 10. It was amazing! It was so nice having 2 snow days with the hubby, cuddled up in front of the fire with a bowl of snow cream! We played in it allll Monday. So, March 2, Mother Nature gave us a blizzard, and today, just ONE WEEK later, we are having clear, sunny 80 degree weather. NOT LYING! The snow lasted til about Thursday (my birthday!) but didn't make it through that 50 & 60 degree sun we had, so by this weekend, it was green, sunny, and warm! How amazing is it that I started off my birthday week in snow boots and ended it in shorts & flipflops?! I told you I LOOOVE March! <3
My birthday was quite a success. Hubby bought me 2 white rocking chairs for my porch, wear I'm currently sitting & blogging!! My parents came & brought me a homemade cake (as is tradition) on Wednesday & had dinner with us here at our house, then on Thursday & Friday, Hubby pampered me each day and we went out each night to a couple nicer bars with friends from work to celebrate. Saturday night we went out with some of our closest friends to a Joe's (local country bar... kind of place where beer is a dollar and B list country stars come and play!) and I got a little silly and had a fantastic time, but not so much fun I wasn't able to go to church in the morning. For Sunday lunch, we went to a nice restaurant with mine & Hubby's family to celebrate the end of my weekend and it was GREAT. I even had a new dress to wear. I also, on a random side note, passed a kidney stone on Sunday afternoon. I went to the restroom at the restaurant and there it was! I had been feeling some pain for the past week or so, but rarely do I mention it, because after having more than a dozen of them, what's the point of making anyone worry... Anyways, I was thrilled that I passed it (I'm guessing 3 nights of moderate drinking made my kidneys flush it out!) and Sunday afternoon was a glorious day, so I was feeling wonderful. We came home and took a nap together, so the day was becoming even more perfect. Then Hubby's cousin (and one of his best friends at that) called and said they had an extra ticket to see a bluegrass group play in Charlotte called "Leahy" and asked us to come, so that evening, we went with a small group of family & friends to see them, and WOW! They were sooooooooo great! We even visited one of my FAVORITE Irish pubs for drinks beforehand. We came home, relaxed a little, and went to bed. Seriously, this has been the PERFECT weekend.
<-- Me and my cake from Cold Stone on Sunday. <3
Now it's Monday & I am at home trying catch up on all the things I didn't get to over the weekend... writing, studying for my geology quiz, writing my mini-paper for yoga (I get course credit for the class, so we have to do a few little things to get a grade in the class, but it's mostly just participation...) and of course, I need to be catching up laundry. I've got a load in the dryer now, and I've had some lunch so there is really no excuse for me to get to work; but OH-MY-GOSH this weather is such a distraction. I want to garden right now so bad it's killing me! So, when I have to write a paper and the weather is like this, I do it outside! And in the form of a blog. When I write my paper in the form of a blog entry, I tend to do a better job getting it out, and I can reformat it and edit it to make it so I can just turn it in, instead of spending all day staring at a blank Word document. I think this is a teaching strategy I'm gonna try to use one day in the classroom. Writer's block? Flesh it out in a blog. I'll get back to you someday when I know if it works as well for my students as it does for me.
So my TO DO list for today is:
- blog. (Check, or in the process of checking)
- laundry (started)
- write a one (little) page summary on three types of yoga
- review & study for my geology test
- get ready for the week ahead.
Not a bad list, if I can just get focused. This semester has been sooo easy, and would have been even more easy if I had been able to stay focused. I swear, all this semester I've been as destractable as a bumble bee and completely ADHD.
Well, anyways, I wanted to flesh out they paper for yoga here. Partly because I'm tired of staring at my computer wondering when the words will jump on to the page, and partly because I LOVE yoga and want to share my knowledge. Win win situation. So here goes.
Yoga is an ancient form of spiritual meditation, relaxation, and exercise that seeks to unite the mind, body, and spirit. In eastern cultures and religions, yoga is practiced as frequently to help with focus, balance, and mental clarity . In the western world, it has become a popular and relaxing way to build flexibility and muscular strength and flexability as a part of a wholistic work out.
Hatha and Vinyasa/Flow yoga are two main types of yoga that are often practiced in gyms and yoga studios. Hatha and Vinyasa yoga are designed to help you move from pose to pose calmly and steadly, while still keeping you challenged, which is the style most people will encounter in yoga classes. Hatha is very gentle and covers a lot of basic poses, and is very good for beginners. Vinyasa is a little more vigorous and focuses more on syncronizing your breath with the movements of your body. Vinyasa also includes a series of poses called Sun Salutations that are designed to warm up the body for deeper stretches and poses as the work out progresses.
Another style of yoga is called Ashtanga, or Power Yoga. This style of yoga is different as it focuses on moving quickly through a series of sequenced poses that are designed to be more physically challenging and provide more of a workout. This style of yoga is credited with bringing yoga into western gyms and fitness clubs as it helped people in the western world view yoga as more than stretching and meditiation, giving them an opportunity to use it as a way to become more physically it.
Bikram, also known as hot yoga, can also be found in many yoga studios. It is named for Bikram Choudhury, and is practiced in a very warm room that is heated to 95-100 degrees in order to get the body to sweat profusously so that the body can be purified as it releases toxins. The warmth of the body also helps improve flexibility so that you can get into deeper poses.
Okay, I hope that this blog post taught you a couple of things! 1. Carolina weather is wonderfully unpredictable! 2. I had a great birthday & I'm so excited that it is MARCH! 3. I love yoga! 4. I love writing!
Happy Monday. XOXO