Tuesday, September 30, 2014

"Yellow Flicker Beat" by Lorde

My Best Kept Secret...

...is not so much a secret, as it is something that many athletes, yogis and people who are on their feet most of the day already know. The first time I learned about the stretch (and yoga pose) was in high school while attending a week-long lacrosse camp at the University of Pennsylvania where me and my teammates played lacrosse for over 8 hours a day (in addition to the 5 miles we would walk to get to and from the fields for each of the three sessions). Loopy from exhaustion, we were advised to put our legs up on the wall after our night games to reduce the lactic acid in our tired legs and to help us wind down for the evening. I had no idea what lactic acid was at the time but I knew that, after only a few minutes of doing the stretch, it felt great for my body.
Lactic acid begins to build in the muscles when oxygen becomes scarce. When aerobic activity induces a respiration that cannot bring oxygen fast enough into the body, the anaerobic system kicks in. This system helps to produce lactate, enabling your body to keep functioning at its peak. This commonly happens during strenuous periods of exercise, such as sprinting. After this period, lactate or lactic acid can stand still and cause muscles to become sore and stiff. Moving this lactate around is essential to an expedited recovery.- Judy Kilpatrick, Chron 
Elevating the legs creates a blood inversion which literally reverses the flow of blood back toward the heart to be re-oxygenated and to create more space for new blood to circulate. The benefits of the stretch are not exclusively reserved for those who exercise strenuously, but for anyone looking for a gentle and invigorating leg stretch.   Years later in a yoga class, I learned that this stretch was also a yoga pose known in Sanskrit as Viparita (turned around, reversed) Karani (doing, making, action). Like most inversions, or poses where more of your body mass is above your heart, it is generally regarded as a restorative pose because of its noted benefits of calming the waves of the mind and allowing soothing energy to move through the body in a different direction. Often in yoga classes, it is practiced before the final resting pose, Savasanna or corpse pose.

It should be noted, according to an article I read once, that practicing the pose for at least 15 minutes has a similar effect on the body as 4 hours of sleep.  I'm not sure whether or not that statement is scientifically accurate, however, based on my current sleeping patterns these days, anything that hints at 4 hours of sleep for a fraction of the time is worth a try. A lot of times I will flip up into the pose on my bed (as seen in the photo above) for a quick refreshing boost of energy, as ironically, the pose seems to both relax and energize me at the same time. The pose is often recommended for those who are seeking relief from headaches, insomnia, digestive issues, backaches and even depression. Usually, I try to stay in the pose for the prescribed 15 minutes, sometimes with a pillow behind my head, lightly resting my hands on my stomach feeling the breath steady itself, rising and falling into its own natural cadence. More than usually though that 15 minutes slips indulgently into a delightful hour.

For a demonstration of how to get into and out of the pose by Rodney Yee and Colleen Saidman, see below.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

I'm Starting a New Blog...

Called, "Lemurs are People Too." Will you read it? Here's a sneak preview... 

"Ugh, shoot. Why does it always go to FaceTime?"

"I am the King... of this rope." Prince Joffrey the Lemur

"No, please, go on. The story behind your wedding invitations is riveting."

"just me. in a tree! #nofilter #selfiesunday"

"Orange you glad my eyes are so cool? #selfiesunday" 

"Trust me. I saw this on Dancing with the Stars once."

"Just sitting here, watching my breath and contemplating my existence."

"OMG. Monday. FML"


"This is how much I care about your racquet club membership - this much percent." 

"I'm on this all green salad diet now. Like Gwyneth Paltrow."

"Did you seriously just call me 'sweetheart'? I am like 2 years younger than you."

"Yoga makes me feel at one with my body. Look at these hands. THESE HANDS!"

"Wait. Did I just 'reply all' to that?"

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Links I'm Loving!

Photo courtesy elle.com

Sound career advice from smart women as well as a quick interview with Robbie Myers

Is it just me or does this new show on Fox look adorable? Starring Octavia Spencer!

Love this quilted striped skirt set from goodnight macaroon. Nothing better than a two for one.

Jewelry designer Bario Neal (based in Philly!) makes exquisitely crafted pieces from ethical sources

I know it's early, but I already have these Goldie Box engineering toys for girls on my xmas list...

Hanging on to summer style by a thread or, rather, a few threads...

22 habits of happy people from the Hungry for Change blog

Kimchi quesadillas? Yes. Yes, Please! 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Another Day, Another Picture in a Door

LEFT: Joe Purdy t-shirt (here), Men's gold watch (similar), Line and dot black skirt (here), Black boots (similar)
MIDDLE: Sheinside dress (here), Leather tie belt (similar), Aldo shoes (similar)
RIGHT: Zara top (here); Zara jeans (here); Steve Madden wedges (here)

Monday, September 15, 2014

End of Summer Running Playlist

"Jai Ho" by A R Rahman

"Black and Yellow" by violinist Josh Vietti

"You are My Summer" by La+ch

"Lionhearted" by Porter Robinson ft, Urban Cone

"Beating Heart" by Ellie Goulding 

"Take Me to Church" by Sinead O'Connor

"As the Crow Flies"  Timothy Vajda - Bootstrap Physics 

"From Eden" Hozier

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

"Daisy" by Kate Miss, Print available for purchase, $12

You are tired,
(I think)
Of the always puzzle of living and doing;
And so am I.

Come with me, then,
And we'll leave it far and far away—
(Only you and I, understand!)

You have played,
(I think)
And broke the toys you were fondest of,
And are a little tired now;
Tired of things that break, and—
Just tired.
So am I.

But I come with a dream in my eyes tonight,
And knock with a rose at the hopeless gate of your heart—
Open to me!
For I will show you the places Nobody knows,
And, if you like,
The perfect places of Sleep.

Ah, come with me!
I'll blow you that wonderful bubble, the moon,
That floats forever and a day;
I'll sing you the jacinth song
Of the probable stars;
I will attempt the unstartled steppes of dream,
Until I find the Only Flower,
Which shall keep (I think) your little heart
While the moon comes out of the sea.

e.e. cummings

And, because I truly love his poems so much, below is an imaginary transcript of an interview between cummings and "an interviewer," however, both parts are written by cummings himself...

Tell me, doesn't your painting interfere with your writing?
Quite the contrary: they love each other dearly. 
They're very different.
Very: one is painting and one is writing.
But your poems are rather hard to understand, whereas your paintings are so easy.
Of course--you paint flowers and girls and sunsets; things that everybody understands.
I never met him.
Did you ever hear of nonrepresentational painting?
I am.
Pardon me?
I am a painter, and painting is nonrepresentational.
Not all painting.
No: housepainting is representation.
And what does a housepainter represent.
Ten dollars an hour.
In other words, you don't want to be serious--
It takes two to be serious--
Well, let me see...oh yes, one more question: where will you live after this war is over?
In China; as usual.
Of course.
Whereabouts in China?

Where a painter is a poet.