Saturday, June 30, 2007

Ayurveda, Yoga, and the Gita

I wrote about my New Years Resolutions. Now that the year is half over, a little assessment is due.
(This is a long post, so I give you some more cat pictures, which have nothing to do with the post, but so what.)

1. Make friends.

Well, I have made many acquaintences. And there are a few women I have met at yoga with whom I really click and plan to go to get coffee. My friend Laurel is coming back from Italy soon, and that will be a great help. Just being in yoga class and being on a first name basis with people has lifted me out of my funk a bit. And I have been painting with my friend Frank Serrano. He is one of the best painters in the country and a great person.

I have realized that just being in social situations is so important to my mental health. Mark has been working all night lately to meet a deadline, and after being alone all day, I find myself walking to Trader Joes just to be around nice people. Even just to talk to someone about coffee or cereal. I hope that doesn't seem too pathetic.

2. Be Happy.

This has been a big change. The combination of practicing yoga, meditating, and socializing has had a big effect. I haven't had a relapse of the blues at all.

3. Become a Yogi.

Finding yoga has been life changing. I mean, I plan to make it a lifelong habit. Yoga is a journey. There is always more. More to learn, more that it can give me, more that I can give back, more I can explore my limits. There are people of all shapes and sizes doing amazing things in the classes. Even a 60 year old woman who can go up into a handstand and do a split no problem. I am doing things that I never thought I could. Poses that six months ago I thought were impossible, I can now do well. I had a breakthrough the other day where I was able to drop back to a backbend and then stand back up from it. I was thrilled. It is very good for the self esteem.
Yoga combines the mind, spirit, and body. All three have to work very hard together. It is so exhilarating and peaceful. I usually have a big smile on my face the whole time.

And it has introduced me to wonderful philosophies and ideas. Like Tantric philosophies and Ayurvedic studies. I like the Tantric ideas because they seem very human and real to me. Unlike some aspects of Buddhism or Christian ideas, where attaining enlightenment means painful self sacrifice or the renunciation of all things pleasurable. Tantric ideas celebrate the idea that we are manifestations of divine energy put here to experience it's own divinity through the physical body, through giving, sharing, and finding your purpose or dharma. I like that.

Ayurveda is a 5000 year old 'science of life', which is it's literal translation. It is based on the idea that everything in the world is made up of 5 elements: Ether, Air, Water, Fire, and Earth. In the aspect of humans, we are composed of these elements in terms of the three doshas: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. Vata is Ether and Air. Pitta is Fire and a little Water. Kapha is Water and Earth. Depending upon how much of each of these doshas we have, our constitution or Pakruti, is determined. Ayurveda is concerned with every aspect of life. It bases happiness and health on three things: sleep, sex, and food. Ahhh, yes. So true. But it encompasses all aspects of life: aromatherapy, color therapy , massage, herbs, food combining, and daily rituals. It sees all those things, including food, as an aspect of gaining and keeping your ideal balance, which is different for everyone.
I have been applying many of these ideas into my habits, which I learned from going to an Ayurvedic master, Mary Alice Quinn.
And I have been enjoying the benefits. I learned from Mary Alice that I am 55% Pitta, 30%Kapha, and 15% Vata. Which means I have a lot of Fire. That explains why I love cool dry days. And that I have a lot of Water and Earth, which is why I am thick and sturdy. Ha.

So I feel I have made good progress on the resolutions. I need to work on the make friends a bit more. Did anyone else make any resolutions? How did you do?

Celebrity Sighting

Last night Mark, a few of his fun Family Guy pals, and I went to see Live Free or Die Hard. Yes, not my first choice. I am just not that aggressive into going to see movies. That, and there just isn't that many that I usually want to see. So, Mark, who is way more into seeing movies than I am, usually (drags) takes me to a movie he is very excited about.
It was a very fun, completely over the top movie, and the guys were so into it that it was even more fun. At the opening credits, Mark's friend Dom shouted, 'John McClane!!!'. And everyone in the theatre cheered and applauded. Geeks.
The very best part was after the movie in the lobby. We were just standing around waiting for the bathrooms, when Geena Davis walks into the bathroom. She looked awesome. I think she is 50 years old, and still looks like she is 30. So I followed her into the bathroom. Don't worry, I didn't knock on her stall for an autograph. She was with a friend and her friends kid. When they came out they met up with a guy and walked out. Don't know who the guy was.

It is so fun to live where the celebrities do.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Cato as Superman

Here is Cato in his Superman pose.

Extreme Oil

Mark and I stayed up WAY too late Saturday night. Not because we were out drinking or dancing. Nope, we couldn't stop watching PBS. That's right, we are animals.

Extreme Oil was on, and it was fascinating. The show inspired us to want to know about what the oil companies are doing. They are so powerful, and pretty much everything we use in our daily lives is made from oil. The very structure of society is based upon our consumption of it. Amazing, considering it has only been a little over 100 years since the industrial revolution.

After watching a few episodes, I am frightened, angry, and feeling pretty powerless. But I recommend watching it anyway.

Monday, June 04, 2007

More Florida Paintings

Cats, Wedding, Lisa Gerrard

While on the plane Sunday, Mark and I had fun passing time by looking through the thousands of pictures we have taken of our cats. I don't care how pathetic it seems that
1. we have thousands of pictures of our cats, or
2. that we look through them for fun.
We noticed that Clouseau started very early in perfecting his lounging poses. This cat is way more comfortable reclining than any other position.

We went to Mark's step-brother Ken's wedding in Orlando this past weekend. (yes, I just returned from Florida a week and a half ago)
The wedding was the usual array of beautiful bride, handsome groom, drunk groomsmen, yummy food, corny DJ, etc. Mark and I enjoyed seeing family that we rarely get to see. And I met many members of my new family for the first time. And we pretty much stayed in the hotel the whole 36 hours we were there. And we spent a total of 20 hours travelling. And I don't really like being on airplanes much. *sigh*

And last week Mark and I went to see Lisa Gerrard in concert at the Orpheum Theatre, an old opera house. The LA Times reviewed the show here. Thanks to Dez, I found out about it in time to buy tickets. Thank you, Dez! I basically sobbed with emotion the whole time. I was still floating the next day. The most beautiful sounds ever made by a human being, weaved into compositions of music. I can die more satisfied now.