It’s March Madness time! Even if you have no idea what the sport of basketball even involves, I’m sure that you’ve been made aware of this fact at sometime in the last 2 weeks. If you have been living under a rock (a rock that supplies connection with the outside world via my blog only), March Madness is the nickname for the annual NCAA men’s basketball tournament.
Kentucky is probably the only state where the University of Kentucky has an almost statewide fan following. I say almost because the city of Louisville stubbornly persists in supporting their own university’s clearly inferior basketball team. This fan following is particularly special because it’s not based on college loyalty. I would venture to guess that a majority of UK basketball fans did not actually attend the University of Kentucky. I don’t know if that’s the case or if that’s an anomaly in college sports fans, but I feel like it probably is.
Anyway, Saturday night the UK men’s basketball team played West Virginia in the Elite Eight (for the non-March-Madness-initiated that’s what the last 8 teams in the tournament are called). The Hubby and I decided to celebrate this event by watching it while consuming beer and food at a bar/restaurant. Apparently the rest of the city had the same idea. The only place with a table remaining 1 hour before game time was Hooters. I hate Hooters almost as much as the Hubby loves UK basketball (which is much more than he loves anything else in the world). My hatred isn’t based on the blatant sexism, unnecessarily skimpy outfits, or the fact that it’s appropriate to take an 8 year old there for his birthday and teach him to motorboat with birthday balloons (actual balloons, not a euphemism). No, my hatred is based on the fact that the food is terrible. Absolutely terrible. I think all bar type food is a little gross, but Hooters really takes the cake—actually they probably would take the cake and deep fry it. I have never eaten there and not felt like vomiting afterwards. Saturday I played it safe (or so I thought) and ordered the tater tot version of potato skins—no bacon of course. Here’s what I learned—Hooters can even fuck up tater tots and cheese. I think they added grease but that might have dripped of the Hubby’s chicken wing holding arm onto my plate.
Despite the terrible food, the terrible game (for the non-UK-basketball followers, UK played the worst game of the season and, tragically, lost), the over-reactive obscenity yelling fan at the table (not the Hubby, for the record), the motor boating eight year old, and the miniskirt-fleece-pullover-ugg-boat wearing girl who kept screaming in my ear, it was not the worst Hooters experience of my life. That honor is, unfortunately, reserved for a very uncomfortable trip to Hooters in college with my dad (I have no idea why I thought this was a good idea) in which we were served by my best friend.
I’ve been around. Just not in the blogging mood. I’m not quite in the mood today. I’ve got some sort of cold/allergy thing going on and it’s kinda hurting my productivity today. And by kinda I mean that I woke up had some OJ and took a morning nap. I suspect that it will be shortly followed by an afternoon nap. All this really kinda sucks since I actually do have thing staht I would like to do today… and it’s a really great day outside. The most I’m going to hope for today is a shower and energy to watch the UK v. WVU game tonight.
But here’s what I’m missing outside:
That’s how I felt last Saturday after my first Kundalini yoga class. Here’s a link to the Wikipedia article on this type of yoga. When you read about the Kundalini energy coiled around the base of your spine it may seem a little weird. And it was a little weird—there were students there who described themselves as addicted to this kind of yoga, there was singing, there was crying… Suffice to say it was a little weird. But it was also a little awesome.
Actually, a lot awesome. I can’t remember feeling so great about life as I did after leaving that class. That doesn’t mean that I’m addicted, but it does mean that I would do it again.
Photo taken from barefootworks.com
You’re probably wondering how we went from yoga to singing and crying… and that’s a valid question.
This is how the class/workshop went: We started off with a brief history of Kundalini yoga—and I learned some pretty cool things, like all the teachers traditionally wear all white. Then we actually started the practice. The class began with a chant (love love love chanting!) and instruction on how to do breath of fire. We then did some movement and this is where Kundalini is really different from hatha yoga. Instead of flowing through several different poses and linking them with breath, the practice is holding one pose for an extended period of time while breathing and meditating. This sounds similar to yin yoga, but its really not—it’s a lot more intense and a lot less focused on the lower body. And each set of poses (you do one set per class) is intended to help with one area (like digestion). Between poses, you take an extended child’s pose and then start the next.
At the end of class, instead of savasana, we did an 11 minute overcoming obstacles meditation—this consisted of us sitting in sukasana with our arms extended, bent, and doing peace signs—towards the end of the mediation we chanted again. After the meditation, we sang, (here’s where it got a little too crunchy for my hippie self), looked at our fellow classmates in the eye, came into a circle, held hands, hugged, and sang in a swaying circle. And yes, people were crying. No, I was not one of those people. In fact, I was a little uncomfortable here—I was having flashbacks to college sorority events, when I was usually the only person at any given event not crying. It’s not that I’m not an emotional person (some people might disagree), it’s that I think my emotions are too personal to share with complete strangers. So the fact that I was a little uncomfortable with the crying doesn’t mean that I don’t think it was an emotional experience—It was, I felt really happy and connected after class—my discomfort just means I don’t think one needs to cry in public.
I should point at that during this entire class, I was wondering about liability for injuries in this type of yoga. I guess that the lawyer in me talking, but in most yoga classes, the teachers tell you to listen to your body and to not push into pain. In this class, the teacher (who really did a great job) was telling us to not listen to our bodies, that our bodies were trying to trick our minds and that we really weren’t in pain. Not to get all lawyer-ey, but what are the liability implications? Do you accept the risk of injury by proceeding in pain or has the teacher torted you by instructing you to do something painful?
Despite all my issues (both legal and personal) with this class, I really liked it and I would definitely do it again. I don’t really think it’s a cult-ey class or addictive, but it does have a very new agey vibe. So if you’re not open minded about snakes of energy coiled around the base of your spine or the teachers clothing affecting electromagnetic fields, maybe this isn’t for you. But I suggest getting in touch with your hippie side and giving it a try.
Me demonstrating the overcoming obstacles meditation.
If you have men who will exclude any of God’s creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men.
– St. Francis of Assisi
I’ve been meaning to write this post for a while now, but somehow haven’t found the time. I’m a vegetarian.
Glad to have that out in the open. I guess you could say that this is my “why I’m a vegetarian post.” I tend to get a lot of questions when I have dinner with people who don’t know this, so I guess this is just a blanket answer to all of those.
I became a vegetarian less than a year ago. It actually happened accidentally. Sometime in June, I realized I hadn’t eaten meat in a few weeks and I decided to see how long it would be before I craved meat. Well, it was the day after the bar exam at the end of July. I suddenly wanted some chicken fingers. So I got some. After that it was another few weeks before I wanted meat again. That time it was fried chicken. After that it was another few weeks before I wanted meat. This time it was a burger from Backyard Burger—I don’t think the quality of the burger changed over the course of 6 months or so, but after a summer of eating delicious black bean burgers a regular hamburger was downright bland. That was the last time I’ve eaten meat and it was sometime in October.
Making the switch to a completely meat-free diet was not hard for me. Most of my life, meat has been what vegetables are to other people: a side dish. But for some people in my life, namely the Hubby and Dad, it’s a huge deal. Dad is convinced that there is no possible way a person can live without meat; he thinks I’m on some sort of hunger strike or something. The Hubby seems to think that I’ve done this as a personal attack on him. I didn’t and while he thinks he eats less meat now, I think it’s about the same or even a little more. It’s true that most of the meals I make are vegetarian, but I always add meat to his portions and buy meat or things with meat in it for him. Not to mention that when we visit out parents, meaty leftovers are sent home because, as my mom said, She’s starving you!
Why does all this matter to you? I’m sure that it actually doesn’t, but it’s kinda a big deal in my life and I just wanted to share. Vegetarians have kinda a bad reputation and I don’t really know why, but I’m sure that we’ll have a post/comment discussion about it soon. In the meantime, I have to get back to starving my husband (not actually a joke tonight—we had popcorn and cupcakes for dinner)!
I don’t know if anyone actually reads the blogs in my link list over there on the left sidebar, so I’m going to have to forcibly make you read this one: Hyberbole and a Half. It’s my new favorite blog (sorry everyone) because it’s so funny that I often find myself giggling maniacally alone in my office or sitting at my computer shaking violently and crying with repressed laughter because I don’t want the judge to think I’m crazy. Today’s post, the one that the blog link is to, is particularly funny. Mostly because this is pretty much my life, only retold in an hilarious manner. So, seriously, click the link, read, enjoy.
Have a great Friday!
“We need to recognize that suffering is part of life or, in Beddhist terms, of samsara*, the cycle of conditioned existence. If we regard suffering as negative and abnormal, and consider ourselves it’s victims, then life becomes a misery. Our attitude is the problem. Happiness is possible only when what we call suffering no longer causes us distress.”
-The Dalai Lama
*Wikipedia tells me this refers to the concept of a cycle of birth (jāti), and consequent decay and death (jarāmaraṇa), in which all beings in the universe participate, and which can only be escaped through enlightenment. Saṃsāra is associated with suffering and is generally considered the antithesis of Nirvāṇa