Resolution #best09

This is the last of the Best of 2009 Blog Challenge. I finished 16 out of 31 prompts. Not too shabby considering I found this challenge on December 27th!  Here’s to better planning next year.

Taking the time to reflect on the past year in this way has helped me see what a great year it was. I blame all of you for that!

December 31 Resolution you wish you’d stuck with. (You know, there’s always next year…)

I’m not a big resolution maker. At least not a public one. I, like most people, failed to keep them year after year, so I eventually stopped making them.

Until last year.

By the end of December last year, I’d had a really good run of consistent yoga classes and I was feeling amazing. I decided that I would try to do some yoga every day in January. I figured I would start small – just a month – to see how it went. I made a spread sheet to keep track of my progress and did pretty well for the first few weeks until I got a virus,  broke my resolution and abandoned the project.

The second part of my secret non-resolution project was a bit more successful. After years of spending all my music hours almost exclusively on The Old97’s and Rhett Miller solo albums (Best Night Out and Best Album of 2009 – oh look! 2 more prompts just answered!), I decided to use January to expand my musical horizons.

During my Old97’s fast I listened to a new album a day. New didn’t necessarily mean newly released, it meant a different album everyday in January. I made it farther than with the yoga, however I still didn’t manage new music everyday.

This year, I’ve decided to try both these projects again(without the 97s fast!), but this time for the whole year.

In 2010, I am going to do some sort of  yoga and listen to new music everyday.

Please leave comments about classes I should go to, teachers you find inspiring, poses you love and music I shouldn’t miss. Hell, if you come across a book you can’t stop reading, be sure to tell me about that too!

Sometimes I get stuck in a rut and I’m counting on all of you to help me diversify.

YOGA! cluster #best09

For me, 2009 was the year of coming out of the yoga closet. Before this year, I’d been quietly practicing on and off for the last decade or so. In thinking what changed for me, I’d have to say it was my changing relationship with my favorite yoga studio, It’s All Yoga, in Sacramento.

In 2009, I really made IAY my second home. It all started mid 2008 when I began my career as a Desk Diva and that summer the studio relocated 6 blocks from my house. Those two things changed everything!

Suddenly I was able to go to as many classes as I wanted with all the amazing, inspiring and let’s be honest – funny! – teachers and that made me want to share all of the yoga yummy-ness with everyone I know. I couldn’t keep yoga to myself any longer!

Workshops, partner classes, book club, movie night, creek cleanup, birthday parties, fundraisers, teacher training…. I did it all in 2009.

Creek Clean

Creek Clean - the kill

The following are a cluster of Best of 2009 Blog Challenge prompts about yoga, yoga, yoga.

December 6 Workshop or conference. Was there a conference or workshop you attended that was especially beneficial? Where was it? What did you learn?

The Serene Heart with Mary Paffard – Working with upekkha, or equanimity, in all aspects of yoga. I wrote about this workshop in my Not Losing Your Marbles During the Holidays post.

The morning of Mary’s workshop I posted my Yoga Manifesto – Part 1 – REST.


December 8 Moment of peace. An hour or a day or a week of solitude. What was the quality of your breath? The state of your mind? How did you get there?

Short answer. Yoga!

December 9 Challenge. Something that really made you grow this year. That made you go to your edge and then some. What made it the best challenge of the year for you?

Yoga school while teaching. See the Saturation Point.

December 18 Shop. Online or offline, where did you spend most of your mad money this year?

Here’s a partial sampling of the yoga workshops and special classes I attended this year:

  • New Year’s Day with Michelle Marlahan
  • Valentine’s Day Partners with Michelle Marlahan
  • Earth Day partners with Michelle Marlahan
  • Chakras Workshop with Madeleine Lohman
  • Tapas with Mary Paffard
  • Yoga for Holiday Stress with Madeleine Lohman
  • Serene Heart Mary Paffard 
  • Anatomy Parts I and II with Baxter Bell

Valentine's Day

December 24 Learning experience. What was a lesson you learned this year that changed you?

Learning to teach yoga. Really to share what I love with others. That’s what this blog is all about.



December 25 Gift. What’s a gift you gave yourself this year that has kept on giving?

Short answer: Yoga!




Tea #best09

December 16 Tea of the year. I can taste my favorite tea right now. What’s yours?

Bliss from Temple Fine Coffee & Tea.

Bliss = peppermint tea, soy milk, coconut milk, and honey. Plus I think they sprinkle it with magic fairy dust just to make sure. It’s tastes like a warm Andes mint. MMmmmmm.

It’s all in the name people.


I am still playing catch up on the Best of 2009 Challenge.

Tomorrow is the last day and so I’ll do some posts together and then the final. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading these as much as I have writing them. I’ve been really inspired and touched by some of the posts I’ve read from other people doing the Challenge. You can find more of them on Gwen Bell’s website.

Ad #best09

December 30 Ad.

What advertisement made you think this year

This lululemon ad caught my attention. I wanted to know what it said.

It didn’t make me buy the product, but it did make me stop and think.

Some people have very strong feelings about this company.

I don’t.

Mostly because I don’t wear fancy yoga clothes. I don’t think they’re necessary in order to have a yoga practice. I can’t really afford expensive yoga wear (I’d rather travel) and I’m pretty sure their clothes wouldn’t flatter my more mature womanly curves.

In any case, this ad made me take a look.

Laugh #best09

December 29 Laugh.

What was your biggest belly laugh of the year?

I have a really funny husband, so I get to laugh everyday.

Dude’s laugh even makes me laugh.

Lucky girl.

New Person #best09

Summer Al aka Birdman

Tams n' Summer Al


December 20 New person. He came into your life and turned it upside down. He went out of his way to provide incredible customer service. Who is your unsung hero of 2009?

Let me start with this. I am not a baby crazy woman. I don’t look longingly at other people’s babies or talk to pregnant strangers.

Yes, I like kids. I’m a teacher for god’s sake, but I’m not koo-koo for babies.

Until I met Alex.

Summer Al.

Aka Birdman.

I first laid eyes on Summer Al outside the Sacramento Amtrak station. It was about a 1,000 degrees and Jojos was  trying to keep the sun off of her tiny, ginger-haired British baby boy. He was tucked under her arm in the shade of the overhang like a little loaf of bread.

It was love at first sight.

I took him from Jo right away in an effort to be “helpful” while she and Julian clicked in car seats, loaded luggage and corralled their toddler. And pretty much for the next two weeks we were together, you could find the Birdman in my arms.

It wasn’t difficult, he didn’t weight much – hence the name. He was Mr. Easy Breezy, second-born kid. Who was this new person always holding me? Who cares?

I taught him a new game – Cyclops. I would take off my glasses, we would put our foreheads together, look into each others eyes and then shake our heads back and forth really fast blurring our vision. Then we’d laugh our asses off.

This kid was funny.

Birdman also became my dining companion. He wasn’t that interested in eating, which explained his bird-like physique, but when he did eat anything his pace matched mine. Nice and slow. We’d sit at the dinner table long after everyone else had finished and slowly make our way through our dinner like we didn’t have anything else in the world to do.

During our trip up the coast, whenever I wasn’t driving I sat myself strategically so I could watch Summer Al’s every move. There was just something about that kid.

When the time came for Summer Al to return to home, I cried.