Category Archives: Health

Avoiding Bikram Yoga and now Starting to miss it

It’s a short one today just to say that I’ve been avoiding Bikram Yoga and people are noticing.

“We don’t see you in the classes anymore!”

Well, it’s simple, I’ve probably done all of 3 Bikram classes in the last 5 months.

I actually lose less hair by staying away.  That is, I now have much more hair remaining on my head because I’m not exposing myself to the heat – I drop hair like crazy in the hot room.

But there are disadvantages like I don’t get to do toe stand anymore and camels are just as non-existent.  Not that I liked camels, I hated them.  And, I’m getting fat around my belly again.  Hey ho.  You win some you lose some.

So what am I doing instead?  Yin and the occasional Vinyasa.  On the upside my hips are opening up and my crow is getting better.  I’m hating the chaturanga dandasanas but hey… you win some, you lose some!

I’m loving the yin though.  Yesterday I fell asleep and only woke up to switch postures.  Ahhhh my life feels so much more balanced when I do yin.  Being a very yang person within my entire being, the yin actually helps a lot.

So yes, I’m starting to miss Bikram yoga.  I don’t miss the heat, I miss the postures and feel like I’ve forgotten how to move my body in those ways (eg holding awkward pose).  I probably won’t be able to do any of the postures when I go to a class.

Methinks it’s time to start looking at my posture progress again to see if having spent time away has made a difference.  Curious to find out.

Has it been a week already?

When you’re young, a day feels like eternity but it seems the older you get, 1 week goes by in a blink of an eye.

Highlights of the week:

Ada’s Visit
A friend from Australia that I hadn’t seen for over a decade visited.  She was in London for less than 24 hours but still managed to squeeze me in for a catch up.

I chose a restaurant near where she was staying.  It was the German Gymnasium at Kings Cross.  They serve… German food.  Ha!

Anyway, it’s in a Grade II listed building and named German Gymnasium because the building was the first, purpose built Gymnasium in England with funding coming solely from London’s German community.

The building was built in 1865 so we ate dinner (I had a German afternoon tea) inside a 150 year old building.

Yin with Sharky
Yoga which has been my life for so long, was pretty non-existent because – January.

You have to book ALL your classes in otherwise they’re all full due to all those well-intentioned New Years Resolutions people who disappear by Feb.

I managed to book classes from mid Jan through to Feb and thought by February for sure, the classes would start being freer but it wasn’t to be.

So I have spent many days not going to yoga because the classes have been booked out and I hadn’t booked myself in, in time.

Can you imagine?  Attempting to book yourself in 2 days in advance is still not long enough.  FARK!

I did manage to get to one of Sharky’s first Yin classes and I loved it.  She did a different method to the other teachers and allowed time for “rebound” between each posture.

Rebound is a savasana in between every posture to allow whatever released in each posture, to move through and exit or integrate into, the body.

The result?  I ended up getting really teary and emotional.  I actually felt emotions releasing from my body and I was so grateful to be able to feel them so I could let them go.

It only lasted a few seconds though because as soon as Tony saw me looking teary, “WHY ARE YOU CRYING?” came out of his mouth and it was so abrupt and harsh, I immediately cut off all emotions and went back to thinking mode.

I got skillz like that.

Actually, he managed to say it just like my mother used to.  I know he said it out of concern but I heard it the way my mum said it which meant “Stop being a pussy, you have no reason to cry and if you don’t stop I’ll fucking give you a reason to cry.”  That’s the mild version. 😉

So I stopped.  IMMEDIATELY.  I’ll just have to find a way to cry at times he’s not around so I can release emotions in peace.

Paris & Rome
Another week in peace.  Both boys are really happy and binky every day.

Paris does the cutest binkies ’cause he’s so chunky like a bulldog and bottom heavy.  So he looks more like a jumping goat or ram when he binkies.

Rome has started to jump on my arm and shoulder.  Last night he sat on my shoulder and every so often would turn to lick my face – cheek, eyelid, eyebrows, temple, forehead.  Then he’d jump down and jump up onto my other shoulder and tug at my hair.

I know he’s just looking for a way over the fence and using me as a viewing platform but I like to think we’ve developed a good bond plus I’m loving all my bunny kisses!  He loves kissing my nose.

He’s still incredibly mischievous, spends a lot of his time in meerkat position, listening out for what Paris might be doing and he’s completely chewed up the skirting board instead of the chew mat we gave him because he thinks breaking the skirting board will help him escape the fence.

We keep him fenced because although the more loving of the two, he’s also the trouble maker.

He is so curious he gets himself into all sorts of trouble – biting things he shouldn’t, falling off things he shouldn’t have jumped on in the first place and starting fights by annoying the crap out of Paris by not letting him have space.

The other day he fell down the stairs 3 times in one day (that I saw)all because he kept standing on 2 feet on the edge of the step and then leaning backwards.  Don’t ask.

He’s been contained in the hallway with plenty of run space including the stairs and the bathroom but it doesn’t stop him from attempting to  break the fence and looking for FREEDOM!!!

I’m also having a battle of the bathroom with him.

After a week of watching Tony and I go toilet (he’s in the hallway so we have to pass him every single time and sometimes he follows us into the bathroom), he stopped pissing and pooing anywhere but the bathroom!

He just chose to go in the shower because he can’t reach the toilet.

Unfortunately, we have to keep clearing his poo and pee before we have a shower and he gets very frustrated with us because every time we clean it, we’re effectively saying he’s not allowed to pee and poo there, and therefore he has nowhere to go toilet.

So then of course he’ll poo and pee outside of the shower as well as in the shower, using the entire bathroom floor as his toilet which makes it difficult for us to go in there and use the toilet ourselves.

I put a litter in the bathroom for him and it’s taken a couple of days but I think he’s coming around to the idea that this is his new place to go toilet because there is much less poo anywhere but the litter.

Although the chew mat I bought is completely intact for Rome, Paris’ is almost completely torn apart and non-existent.

Paris actually only chews the things we give him to chew and he knows EXACTLY which is for him and which is not.

A perfect example is that he has a cardboard box he chews on, we give them cardboard boxes a lot.  Yet, I’ve left cardboard boxes full of my eBay stock out right next to his play area without any fences.

He can walk right up to them and start chewing on them, pissing on them, whatever he likes really and he leaves them untouched!

He has identified what is ok for him and what will get him into trouble and he really has behaved himself so we’ve removed the fence and he’s running “free range”.

He actually just stays in his area!!  He’s recently started to explore under the couch but he has steered clear of the hallway and gone nowhere near the only fence that keeps him apart from Rome.

So far so good.  Unsure how long this will last but we’ll see.

Paris has also started to approach us more and nudges us for treats which is much better than running away!

Still hates getting patted but he tolerates it a bit more before running away.  He also has no problems standing on our feet when he’s begging and asking us for treats.  We didn’t teach him, he just does it.

Overall we have 2 very happy bunnies and we’re finally starting to understand their personalities.

Because only their scent is on their stuff, they’re not marking territory as much as they used to.

That means there’s barely any poo outside of their litter and hutch and they’re not pissing outside of their designated litters at all.  I knew they were supposed to be easy to toilet train!!

All they needed was to be separated and feel safe about what is THEIR space.

Our house no longer smells as bad (either that or I’m used to it) and I’m back to normal amounts of laundry.

That makes 2 good weeks in a row with them out of 5.5 weeks together.  It was a hectic start but we’re getting there!! YES!!

Last thing… last night I attempted to feed them rocket (again, I think it was my 3rd attempt at feeding them rocket, probably the 15th time to attempt to feed them some sort of fresh veg) and THEY ATE IT!!!!  That was their first ever fresh vegetable they’ve eaten.

And to test trust, I held the rocket with my mouth and had them eat it from me.  BOTH of them did it which means they’re both cool with sharing food with me.

YES!  After many weeks of rejection, I finally got acceptance.

I can’t have asked for more.  Patience, persistence, trust and love. That’s what these boys are teaching me.

And restraint… I’m learning restraint.  Sometimes I wish I could just SQUEEZE them and smother them with kisses because they’re so damned CUTE but that’s probably why they don’t let me hold them!

Here is a picture of them when they used to get along:

Paris & Rome



This is them in rapport even when separated.

Sleepy baby Paris
Sleepy Rome
Sleepy baby Rome. Notice the completely intact chew mat next to him (on the right) and our chewed up door frame (on the left). That’s just paint on the door snake.


Seriously, Tony skyped me one pic while he was with Paris in the lounge and Rome was doing the exact same thing while with me in the hallway!  In rapport, even when apart – there is hope for them yet!

I love my Dentist!

The dentist was updating my medical records today and asked me if I was allergic to certain things and then if I had to avoid certain toothpastes because of it…
Me:  Well, I don’t actually know because I don’t use any store bought toothpastes.
*awkward pause*
I don’t know if I should tell you but I make my own tooth paste and tooth powders.  I’ve been doing so for over a year now.
Dentist:  Really?  WELL, you’re the first person I’ve ever come across to make their own toothpaste.  What do you put in it?
I tell him, he seems to be confused by the list of ingredients I’ve given him (bentonite clay, bicarb, salt and cloves are in my latest concoction.. ie food.  My tooth cleaning powder is made of food).  He just becomes really eager to look into my mouth to see the effects of my DIY job.
I panic.  Time of reckoning.  That tooth powder better have bloody worked!!  He knows now so he’ll be looking!!!!
I chipped a tooth 4 months ago too.  I hope he doesn’t think it was my tooth powder.
He checks my mouth, he checks my teeth, he checks my gums.
Dentist:  Well, apart from the chip, your teeth are good.  You have zero cavities from what I can see.  And your gums are really good.  Whatever it is you’re using, just keep using it!  I’m really intrigued!
I’m relieved.  Actually even impressed.
I’m impressed that he was OK with me being “all natural” and DIY-ing my oral health as long as it was doing the job.
I’m impressed that the only time the dentists and hygienists have ever said my teeth and gums were good were now… when I’ve been DIY-ing my toothpaste!!!
I’m impressed that the chip in my tooth has been there for 4 months and actually left a hole where lots of food and sugar can actually go in and get trapped, to cause plaque build up and gum infection and yet even through xmas and travelling holidays, I have nothing wrong there at all.
Considering my long term suffering and history with gum disease and the fact I’m now on high alert with the dentist when it comes to my gums, I’m impressed that he’s telling me they’re in good shape!!!
For any dentists out there…. my scoring code was 0 everywhere except for back right top (’cause I’ve been eating a lot of chips lately) which scored 1.  That’s pretty phenomenal for someone who lost a tooth due to gum disease and had to have frequent quarterly visits with the periodontist for over a year.
I’m impressed he looked at my chipped tooth and knew I did it by grinding my teeth at night.  I told him I’ve had several mouth guards and grind so hard, I’ve chewed holes in them which is why I stopped wearing them and that I’ve chipped a different tooth before just by tooth grinding at night. as well.
I’m impressed he treated me like I was normal and just gave me better mouth guard options for my strong jaws!  😉
Overall I really like my dentist and am impressed with his open mindedness to my oral hygiene practices.  I’m also now really REALLY happy with my DIY tooth powder too.
Finally I can see the light at the end of this long dark tunnel.  My oral health will be tip top perfect really soon!!!  Thank you God!

Handstand – It’s the little things!

Yesterday I did my first ever handstand without a wall!

Can you believe it?  I’m so excited about it I was beaming from ear to ear after class.

So first of all, I have to clarify, I did my first ever handstand about 2 years ago.  It was against a wall where I faced the wall and I got there by doing almost a cartwheel with the wall preventing me from flipping backwards.

That is, I used momentum to get myself up, the wall as a break and held myself up by sheer will, using my heels to grip the wall so I wouldn’t fall side ways.

I have done handstands since but very rarely because I’ve been such a scaredy-cat about them.  I always think I might bust a hole in the wall from kicking too hard so every time I did a handstand against a wall, I’d climb my feet up slowly.

So, I faced away from the wall, touched my toes, put my hands on the ground, then walked my feet up the wall.  This too was a rare event because I’d only be confident doing this with someone around, in case I fell.

Also, I’d keep my toes on the wall and never take them off so I was never actually upright, always on an angle.

Yesterday however,  we were asked to do handstands with a partner.  The partner’s role was simply to touch your legs when you kicked up so you could gauge how far you had to kick to be upright.  Once you were up, your partner just had to keep your legs in place (not by holding you but by keeping their hands near your legs,  just to give you confidence that they will catch you or stop you from falling over).

I have no idea what happened.  I kicked up once, twice and then on the third time, my leg tapped my partner’s hand and the next thing I know, both legs were up and I felt like I was flying.

“You did it!” she said.

“I did it??” I screamed back.

Partner:  “Yes, this is all you!  You’re doing it!”

Me while upside down in a handstand, getting really excited:  “I AM???!!!”

Partner:  “Yes!  You’re doing great!  Are you getting tired?  Do you want to come down?”

Me:  “Um… no, but yeah, oh… yeah OK I’ll come down.”

It was the strangest thing, when I was back on my feet, my partner told me that she didn’t hold me up, that I was doing it all on my own.  It was hard for me to understand.

Here’s the thing.  When I’ve done handstands against a wall, it’s HEAVY.  My arms and shoulders hurt and tire easily.  I feel my entire weight of my body and legs all on my arms, wrists and shoulders.

However, without a wall, I felt no weight… that’s what I  meant by I felt like I was flying.  I don’t know what happened or how I did it.  I can only guess that I stacked my bones up to get the right balance.

I attempted kicking up with the opposite leg.  I was having a really hard time with it.  The worst part was that the rest of the class has finished theirs and so were watching me and cheering me on.

I think my partner had to collect the kicking leg (ie catch it and pull it up) and put my legs in line with each other.  Not as great as my first leg but I still managed to hold myself up there.

I tell you what, I’ve never in my life EVER done a handstand by myself.  Not as a kid, not as an adult.  But now, for the first time ever, I can see it as a possibility for me.

You know, it’s not the full posture and I didn’t do it by myself but it made my week.  I think that’s all you need to be happy in life.  Progress, possibility, learning new things and little wins!!


Introducing Myself and You To The Sauce (Psoas)

My first introduction to the Psoas was by Sofia Vergara, when I watched this video of her playing “5 Second Rule” with Ellen DeGeneres.

Here is the clip, though she doesn’t introduce us to the Psoas until 5:14

To any person who was unfamiliar with the Psoas prior to watching that video, she definitely said “sauce” right?!  What a strange muscle to mention.

Now I know of its’ importance, I understand why she mentioned it and I question why it isn’t more commonly known.

However,  after looking into it, it seems to be something that people write books about.  I was just one of those common people who was oblivious to the mighty Psoas or Sauce if you are Sofia Vergara!

So last night I went to my first i.flo class with Baris Yazar and died.  I’m not talking about dying like Taylor Swift fans who claim to be “deaded” when they see her either.

I’m talking about, not-being-able-to-do-a-push-up-or-a-sit-up-to-save-my-life-and-so-I-died kind of dead.

You would think having done yoga, I’d be able to do a push up right?  Well, no.  Unfortunately, Bikram yoga offers no familiarity nor acquaintance with Mr Chaturanga and my big shoulders have proven that they are simply ornamental.

Add to that my 9 weeks off of any form of exercise and me only just easing my way back into exercising 3 times a week this week and you’ll get an idea of how much I died.

Having said that, i.flo was fun and it pointed out certain malfunctioning muscles of mine.  Namely, my second and most important introduction to the sauce.  Psoas.  Sauce.  “What did I say wrong?!”

i.flo highlighted my psoas’ existence because it appeared to be non-existent.

So let me tell you what I know about Mr Sauce so far.

The Psoas / Iliopsoas muscle is important to human movement.  It’s the muscle that helps you run, jump and walk by flexing your hip.  It connects the inside to the outside and the back to the front.  It connects your spine to your legs!

iliopsoasThat’s a picture I googled for illustrative purposes.

From the picture above, you can see the Psoas major connects to the Lumbar Spine (lower back) and then comes forward to the front of the body.  There is also another muscle called the Illiacus muscle which is attached to the illium (pelvic bone) and also comes to the front.


The Illiacus muscle is shown in the GIF above, in red.

Both the Psoas major and the Illiacus muscles combine at the front and are called the Iliopsoas.  They (Iliopsoas) share the same ligament which connects to the inner pelvis.

As mentioned, the Psoas connects your spine to your legs.  If it works, you should be able to do an L-sit.  Contract the Psoas and your legs will lift up towards your spine.  Mine did no such thing.  “My sauce is weak!”

Yes, the L-sit also requires arm, ab and leg strength but the only thing that’s going to get your legs higher, will be a mightily contracted psoas muscle.  It is the secret psoas!  (Did you see what I did there?  Ha!  I’m slapping my thigh and giving myself a high five right now!)

Next, Baris said, “Lay down on your back with your legs straight and your lower back flat on the floor.  No banana backs.”  He then gave a demonstration.

I’m a stickler for following instructions but no matter what I did and how much I tried to round my back, I had a little bridge – a banana back.  There was ALWAYS a gap between the floor and my lower back while my legs were straight.  The only way I could eliminate that gap and have my back flat on the floor was to bend my knees.

psoasanteriortilt See that picture?  I got that from SequenceWiz about Stretching the Psoas and it’s a good read so head on over there for more info.

That diagram totally explains the back curvature I have and why I couldn’t get my lower back flat on the floor.  Low and behold, the Psoas is involved again!

According to this picture, the psoas has been overstretched, constantly being pulled forward and downward, due to the pelvic tilt, taking the spine with it.

The result is a curved spine, duck bum and an overstretched psoas.   Overstretched muscles fatigue easily.  It’s hard for them to contract back to normal (let alone tightly) when they’ve gone too far one way.  “So that‘s why my sauce is weak!”

So here’s some more info about the sauce.  The Psoas regulates spinal and pelvic alignment but it isn’t strong enough to do it on its own.

When the surrounding muscles such as the abdominals, glutes, spine and quads are tight or weak, the pelvic bone will tilt one way or another and the Psoas will get pulled or contract depending on the angle of the pelvis and spine.

It will, attempt to regulate but there’s only so much it can do, poor psoas, with so many things pulling it up, down, front and back.  Eventually, it all becomes too much and it can’t do its’ job, one of the stronger / tighter outer muscles will win and imbalances form in the lower body.

psoasbackpullSo my understanding now is that a happy psoas takes a lot of work.  It seems it will only be happy when all the surrounding muscles are also co-operating instead of pulling against each other.

Happy and balanced outer muscles will make for a happy and effectively functioning psoas.  Once it’s functioning happily, then it can be strengthened.

More research will have to be done on my part to figure out which muscles I need to strengthen, stretch and how but there you are.

Now that I’ve introduced you, I leave you to get to know your own psoas better.  It’s worth getting to know because knowing and understanding your psoas will actually help you work out how to re-balance your entire lower body!

Voila!  You are very welcome.

Lungs Filled with Mould

As I write this I’m in Australia, staying with my family so I can clear all the belongings I have that they have been looking after for me in their garage.

Both my siblings are sick.  One has caught a cold/flu strong enough such that he’s had to take 3 days off work and has an extremely chesty cough and the other has been told by the doctor that she has to take 3 days off work or what she has will develop into pneumonia.  My dad who’s never sick also called in sick because his nose wouldn’t stop running and his eyes became all watery.

Great.  My super streak of non-sickness is being severely threatened by being surrounded by sickness.  To add to the mix, I’m sleeping in the lounge which has currently suffered some water / mould damage and has had several contractors come to look at it so they can bid for the work.

The landlord is taking their time deciding because they don’t want to spend any money.  Meanwhile, I’m breathing in all that mould, every. single. day and night….  Shall we add to it?

YES I can add to it.  It’s winter.  It’s cold and the flat inside is colder than it is outside.  It’s dark and damp in the unit, worse than any basement flat in London I’ve visited.

Add more?  Sure… The neighbours pipes burst the day before I arrived, filling the front entrance with water and what followed was what has been so far, 1 week of the super strong smell of musty, earthy,  wet, damp that fills every part of the thick, stagnant air.  It’s a fire escape type entrance so there is an airlock in that area.  Not the best thing to breathe in as soon as you open the door to get to your unit but that was my welcome.


The mouldy smell is not as bad once you get into the unit but it does creep in through under the door.  Inside the unit, due to its own water damage, is a different mouldy smell.  My nose immediately got itchy and I was sneezing quite a bit.  I couldn’t sleep because the back of my throat was constantly itchy.  Add that to the jetlag and really, I was not having a great time.  My sleeping patterns went all askew and I was up at 1am through to 3pm at which point I’d just fall asleep.  Then I’d be up by 5pm and then stay up til 1am, I would try to force myself to sleep but can’t so again I’d be up by 2am and falling asleep the next day again at 3 or 4pm.   I finally just got up at 2am one morning  and didn’t go to bed until 8.30pm to regulate but that didn’t work either.  1 week after arriving I’m neither on London time nor Sydney time but some weird time limbo.

Every morning at 6am, the neighbours would run some massive vacuum machine in the hallway to try to extract the disgusting air.

After 1 week of being here, not only is my nose itchy but so are my eyes, my throat, the inside of my ears and my lungs.  The mould has finally reached my lungs and I am not happy.

My coping mechanism?  Panic…. I want to spend time outside of the house but if I do, then I’m not inside getting through all the things I need to get through, which is my purpose for being here so I stay in and end up feeling like shit because my entire respiratory system is itchy.

It’s taken me a week to realise that if I don’t go out, even for an hour then I’m wilfully killing myself and not giving myself any relief from an environment my body knows and is telling me, is toxic.

With my health severely threatened I resorted to making kefir for probiotics to help my immune system except I’ve realised now that it’s quite dangerous doing this sort of thing in the presence of mould… I could infect my kefir with mould and be ingesting and breeding high concentrations of toxins instead!!!

I’ve bought baobab and spirulina so I have a higher nutrient intake.  Food in this household is meat, sugar and bread rich, the complete opposite of my normal diet in London but it’s just so easy to revert back because they are so addictive, the food of my childhood and I am in that environment.. with my siblings, and dad… I might as well be a kid again.  I haven’t eaten this amount of sugar and bread, in the last year but I’ve managed to consume it all in the last week.

Truth be known, I feel like I’m dying inside.  When you feel unhealthy, that is what it feels like – to be dying – your body crying out for fresh air, sun,  nutrients…. health…. is your body screaming at you that it wants to live!!

So…. I put my case forward and asked my dad to at least purchase a dehumidifier so the mould spores and allergens and excess moisture could be extracted from the air in the flat.  They’re so used to it that they can’t smell the musty mould when they come into the unit.

As a guest, I didn’t really want to put everyone off their routine and change their diets and move their furniture and make them purchase dehumidifiers at $400 a pop but… in one week of being here I’ve actually felt the stress on my body and couldn’t believe that they were living with this much physical stress and didn’t know it.

So I stamped my feet a lot and told them all that this way of living doesn’t work.  Breathing in mould spores, eating so much bread, meat and sugar, coughing your lungs out ’cause you’re sick is just.. not on.  SO NOT ON.

AND I REFUSE to let all the benefits I’ve had of healthy living be undone by a few weeks of mould.

So the dehumidifier came and saved the day.  I realise I sound like a spoilt brat.  Believe me, I never grew up that way but that’s what happens when you experience wellness.  It’s too good to ever give up.  1 week of non-wellness was enough to make me say NO MORE!!

It’s made me realise big time just how far I’ve come in terms of my health and wellness, the new standard I’ve set so strongly that I just can’t go back to anything less.  There is however an entire fridge full of food that is bad for me vs my crappy will power and my dad doesn’t stop filling the fridge…..

One step at a time hey?  Deal with coping with the damp and mould first.  Diet I can convert back to when back in London.   Good news is… I made it…. Surrounded by mould, sick germs, wheat, meat, dairy and sugar and I STILL managed to get through staying in good health!!!!  PHEW!!!  I think I gained a couple of kilos of visceral fat but I know I can clear that when I get back to London.  Thank you glorious immune system for being stronger than ever before, thank you body for warning me of toxins long before they hurt me and thank you to my dad for buying that dehumidifier as the best solution for me!!!!

PS – if you do suffer from mould and damp in your house, a dehumidifier is AWESOME.  It helped for my visit but it will help all those who live in that property, in the long run.

Bikram Yoga: How NOT to be a douche in class

I found this drafted blog which I never posted and thought I’d share it.  For reference, we’ve been doing yoga now for over 4 years so I wrote this over a year ago.  I haven’t come across this type of experience in a long time but we’ve all been there and it’s funny to be able to look back and see what my experience was in the past…  After reading it, I cracked myself up so had to share it!


OK, so yoga is supposed to be all about zen, accepting things, letting things go, yatta, yatta, yatta.

You’d think that after practicing for almost 3 years, you’d get to a stage where your focus is like a laser beam, your mind is empty and all you do is “feel the (life) force” every time you’re in the room.

Well, in a recent class, I proved very much the opposite.  I found myself getting angrier and angrier and repeating “What a douche!” a whole bunch of times… more than I care to count and they were probably the gentlest words popping into my head among the many more flowery superlatives hanging about and decorating my mind at the time.  They were very colourful thoughts.  The scowl on my face was so tense I could’ve used it to hold up my leg in standing-head-to-knee.

“Let me guess… the teacher was on your case?”

NO my friend, it was not the teacher.  I’ve never thought anything like that about a teacher… well, maybe once but douche wasn’t the word I used and it was only temporary and momentarily and I forgot about it once my legs stopped burning.  It’s also never happened again since.

NO, the bane of my life that day was another student.  A newbie… new as in first 5 classes new.  I know, I know… I need to exercise patience…. they don’t know what they’re doing…

But seriously, EVERYTHING she could have possibly done to piss me off in a class, she did.  One or two things?  I can let them go… I am a patient person, it takes quite a bit to get me riled up but once it happens……

The rant begins…….

This lady did every. single. one. of my pet peeves and to top it off, she even gave me some new ones.  Got to hand it to her, if there was a “Douche of all Douches” trophy, she’d get one.

Here is a list of everything she did.  It makes a pretty definitive list of everything you shouldn’t do in a class if you don’t want someone giving you a death stare the whole time.

1.  Attend with your friend and have a chat during and between postures
Talking to each other like you’re having a picnic… is a big NO NO
If you wanted to lie on a towel and have a chat then go to the beach… douche!
Most likely all you want to say is “OMG look at how much I’m sweating!” or “OMG it’s so hot” or “OMG this is hard” That’s it… there’s nothing else for you to say while you’re in there and guess what?

Sweating? Hot? Feeling like it’s hard?  WE’RE ALL FEELING THAT WAY!

Saying it out loud, distracting everyone in the process doesn’t help anyone.  Saying it over and over every few mins because you think your friend might not have heard you the first time… doesn’t work either.  I’m farther away than your friend and I can hear you.  Douche.

You’ve got the rest of your life outside of that room to talk, surely you can keep your mouth shut for 90mins?
Etiquette:  Observe Silence

2.  Spread yourself out like you own the place
This lady had a face towel about 20cm from the top and about 20cm away to the right of her mat.  Her water bottle was standing up to the left and half way down her mat about 10cm away also.  Therefore, the amount of space she took was pretty much 1.5 mat widths and we were in a class that wasn’t packed BUT it had enough people there to be crowded so that others in the room were only about 10cm away from each other.
Really?  You couldn’t move your things closer to you to make space for other people?  What a douche!
Etiquette:  Observe your space and allow others theirs

3.  Treat your space like a dance floor
Having her items placed so far apart meant this lady had to keep walking from one end of her mat to the other every time she wanted to wipe her face or drink water.  Back and forth, back and forth…. back and forth… for the entire standing series.  First she’s on her towel then she’s off the mat to the left taking a sip then she’s walking across to the right to pick up her towel to wipe her face, then she’s on the mat but decides she doesn’t want to do the posture and sits down, then she changes her mind and stands back up to attempt the posture but realises she has to walk to the right again to wipe her face AGAIN even though she just did that half a minute ago…  Do you know how distracting this is for someone practicing right behind you?

Etiquette:  Observe Stillness

4.  Keep trying to make your towel flap like a flag in the wind
If she wasn’t wiping her face, she was drinking and if she wasn’t doing that, she was moving her towel up and down the mat, she kept lifting it up and laying it down like you would do when you put out a picnic rug.  First she’d move the towel to the top of the mat, then she’d move it to the bottom of the mat, then she’d move it to the middle of the mat.. then she’d sit on it but after she sat on it, it had creases so she’d stand up, pick it up and she’d lay it out again…. over and over…. and over….. didn’t she realise that putting her foot on it would crease it?  If she wanted it straight, flat and pristine why did she keep walking on it??????!!!!!!!  Why not just lay the f*cker out and leave it!!! It’s not like she was doing anything anyway… just get off the mat and go home!  Then the towel would be straight and she  wouldn’t have to keep flapping it about so many times!!

I bet she’s one of those people at the beach who picks up their towel and flaps it about when the wind is blowing so everyone next to them gets whipped in the face by the sand that’s come off her towel…
Inconsiderate Douche!!
Etiquette:  See 3

5.  Stand directly in front of the person practicing behind you so they can’t see anything except you and your fat ass
Yeah I said it.

There’s a mirror for a reason and it’s not so you can check yourself out for 1.5 hrs.  The teacher always says “make sure you can see yourself in the mirror.”  but they also say “make sure the person behind you can see themselves in the mirror, even a little bit”.

Considering I chose that day to practice at the back, it was my responsibility to choose a spot that allowed me to see myself in the  mirror…. and I did.  I chose to place my mat, not directly behind her but to the side, and I had a person to my right and the mat racks to my left… I didn’t have much space to move.  She however, given how she spread out her mat, bottle and face towel had plenty of space to move to either side.

However, when it came to practicing, she moved her mat directly in front of mine and then stood right in the middle of her mat which was right in front of me, I couldn’t see anything except her.  She could have stood a step to the side and that would have been fine but she stood right. in. front. of me.

After set 1 of the breathing exercise… I moved my mat so I was right up against the mat racks but at least I could half see myself…. you know what she did??? SHE STOOD OFF HER MAT and again, ended up right in front of me.  What the hell was she doing off her mat anyway?… and  why didn’t she move to the right or stay where she was?

When half-moon came, I moved to the right of my mat, couldn’t see a thing and thought to myself… “just let it go, you chose this spot, now you just gotta deal with it.”

After first set half moon, a guy at the front, saw how crowded it was so he moved himself to make more space for those behind him to see themselves.  Thank you considerate human being…
I moved to the left at the start of the next posture, this time grateful that I could see at least half of myself.  SHE sees that he’s made space and moves her entire mat so AGAIN she’s directly in front of me… On the next posture, I move to the right and see….. NOTHING… just the back of her.   Again, I tell myself to just let it go.

Just accept that she’s…  A DOUCHE!
Etiquette:  See 3 & 2

6.  Drink in between postures
Drinking in between or during postures is not only distracting to others but is equivalent to eating a steak in front of a hungry meat eater who has just started being vegetarian.  Nuff said… what a douche.
Etiquette:  Show some Goddamned respect and consideration for others

7.  Lying down with  your feet facing the mirror 
Firstly, if you’re taking a break in standing series, you’re not supposed to lie down.  They say, take a knee or sit…. nobody said lie down!!!
Secondly, when you lie down, it’s with your head towards the mirror not your feet.
So of course during balancing stick… I was dripping sweat from my fingers and trying to avoid dripping on her face…  Didn’t do too well for my balancing and if she was sitting, I wouldn’t have had that problem.
Etiquette:  Your bad juju flows out of your feet.  Show some respect for the teacher and face that bad juju away from them.

8.  Moving off your mat

If she was tall, I would have forgiven her but this lady was on and off her mat non stop.  When she lay down, in the correct direction, her feet would extend off her mat because she’d place her head half way down the mat.  She moved her mat in front of mine, that meant when she lay down, her feet were in my face.  Did she move up?  No… instead she looked at me, lay diagonal and looked as if I’d inconvenienced her.  My mat was right up against the wall and her mat (where she placed it AFTER I’d moved my mat away from hers in the first place) therefore I had nowhere to go.  All she had to do was move her body up on her mat….
Etiquette:  See 2

9.  Making owy faces and massaging yourself, drawing attention

Yes she did.  She’d keep mouthing “OW!” shaking her hand or her foot or massaging herself in between all her moving around and her towel fluffing, drinking, face wiping.  I don’t even know where she found the time to fit all that in but just like a parent who yells at their kid “STOP CRYING OR I’LL GIVE YOU SOMETHING TO CRY ABOUT!”  I found myself having to hold back so much.  All I wanted to do was give her something to say ow about… “Don’t you realise that everyone else is ALSO in pain and discomfort?  Nobody moans about it so we can keep going until the end.  YOU however are a whiney little douche who hasn’t done anything to be in pain!! So what’s with all the owy faces?  I’ll show you fucking OW!!!”

What. A. Whiney.  Douche.

Etiquette:  You’ve got the rest of your life to be a douche.  Just STOP IT for once in your fucking life. 90mins.  It’s not that hard.


Needless to say I never saw this person back in class again, EVER.  Glad to say I haven’t seen this kind of person in the studio since.  Thank God.  And, my practice now remains quite calm and peaceful 🙂  What a difference a year or 2 makes! LOL