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All about relaxation part 1 (a bit of a travel journal)

Jul 25, 2011   //   by Yoga Lisa DC   //   Blog, Events, food, vacation, Yoga  //  No Comments

After much planning and a lot of expectation, I find myself in an oasis, where I’ll find friends, brotherhood, yoga, food, pool time, and relaxation – not necessarily in that order. Yesterday was an incredible first day. After what is probably one of the smoothest first travel days of a vacation I’ve ever had, I ran into some friends, grabbed lunch, and unpacked, before the planned highlight of day 1 – a manicure and pedicure at the spa’s salon.

My toes in Marley by ZOYA

The salon was like a normal salon, but my nail technician was amazing. I had a 50 minute manicure, followed by a 50 minute pedicure, which included a full hand and foot massage (respectively), mask on my forearms and calves, and some nice conversation about this local. It was so good that I decided that a massage was in order for today. I get manicures and pedicures pretty frequently, but there was something about it after flying that made it that much more needed. And it really was great.

After the relaxation, I got to spend some time in the pool and hot tub, just relaxing and enjoying being on vacation. Got to catch up with friends before realizing it was time to go to get some food. And I have to say, I wish the restaurant we went to was in the DC area:

True Food Kitchen – Biltmore Fashion Park

True Food Kitchen is a dream for anyone who is vegan, vegetarian, or on a gluten free diet. The menu items are labelled and there are multiple options in each category. I started my meal with a Cucumber Refresher. It is almost exactly like the Cucumber Lemonade that I love from Sweetgreen in DC. It was so refreshing and definitely nice after a late afternoon outside by the pool.

Me & my Cucumber Refresher, a cucumber and honey lemonade

And then, because I just can’t seem to stay away from pizza, I had to have one of True Food Kitchen’s vegetarian pizzas. It had all my favorite things on top, plus a bit of a surprise – Kale Pesto. It was delicious, the flavor combination (sundried tomatoes, kalamata olives, pesto, mozzarella, and touches of olive oil) was fantastic. I did almost completely clean my plate. Everything was so fresh, and the crust was perfect, thin under the toppings and thick around the edges for holding. The flavors were absolutely incredible. I think I might try making a kale pesto when I get home. If I have a chance to get back to True Food Kitchen before my trip ends, I can’t wait to try something else.

Sundried Tomato & Olive Pizza w/ Kale Pesto & Fresh Mozzarella

It was a great meal, preceding an incredible light show, – a.k.a. thunder and lightening storm. Happily, the storm put me in bed around a normal local time, so that I could be up after 7 hours of sleep (a full night sleep by my book, even if that meant being up at 6:00 AM). Waking up to a gorgeous, warm, and relatively dry morning, I rolled out my yoga mat on my patio for a 60 minute yoga practice.

mat, towel, block, strap, and some new readings
the view for most of the practice
the view while looking up in trikonasana (triangle pose)

It was a wonderful practice. There’s just something about practicing outside, the energy that comes from being in nature, even if it’s a manmade oasis. I put on a little music, listened to the fountain from the pool next to the patio, and allowed myself to flow. I played with some different standing flows and who knows, they might make an appearance in a yoga class sometime soon. It was great to just let go and not have any expectations of myself.  And as I sit here and type this, I’m happy to share these first experiences of my relaxation – making time for some self-care, enjoying good food with friends, and taking time out for my practice. It’s the first full day of relaxation, which is off to a great start. Now time to get out and start the day.

Happy Monday! Namaste.

An Afternoon of Art Journaling

Jul 23, 2011   //   by Yoga Lisa DC   //   Art Journaling, Blog, creativity, writing  //  8 Comments

A couple months ago, I decided that I wanted to find a way to save the cards that my nephews give me for holidays and other special occasions. I registered for an art journaling workshop at Tranquil Space to potentially find the outlet I was looking for. I found something completely different and absolutely wonderful. I spent 3 hours this afternoon learning something relatively new, being creative, relaxing, having fun, and letting go.

As the workshop began, I got comfortable on the studio floor and began to spread out – the ephemera goodies that Kimberly gave us with glue stick, scrapbook paper, tags, tissue paper, and other fun goodies, plus sketchbook turned art journal, magazines, photographs, postcards, inspirational books, even an old wedding invitation that I found – I may have had all but the kitchen sink on the floor.

My Workspace

Not really knowing where to start, I tried to do all the instructional exercises that we were given. And somewhere along the way, my creativity started to come out. Kimberly provided us with some simple and very straightforward art journaling tips and then we were off. The first assignment – open to a random starting place in the book and begin to create a background using color, images, and/or pattern. It was fun not to start on page 1, although page 1, was already reserved for one of my favorite ads, that I’ve kept since 2002, found when packing up my condo, and don’t have the heart to write on yet:

Absolut Vodka Ad from 2002

I filled in the background using scrapbook paper, photos, and words and images from old issues of Yoga Journal. I got on a real roll and cut out more than I could use during the three hour workshop (this will make it easier the next time that I sit down to journal). The next step was to write on the pages we created. We could use the journal prompts or something else. Based on the images I selected and the words that resonated with me at the beginning of the day, I wrote a list of reminders. These are my first completed art journal pages.

the first exercise - my reminders

As the afternoon progressed, I learned fun techniques, like layering papers to create pages and adding envelopes or the like to help create dimension. I immersed myself into the process and was caught on multiple occasions feeling free enough to think out loud to myself. I created an opening to the journal with some of my inspirations, set some everyday goals, and thought about my takeaways.

an opening filled with things that inspire me

 

layering with tissue paper and my goals

my take-aways

An art journal is a collection of ideas, feelings, inspirations, and emotions. The simple activity of art journaling can be a very therapeutic experience, as you express yourself through words and images. I had a blast at the workshop – three hours surrounded by such positive, creative energy was a great way to spend a saturday afternoon. I look forward to sitting down with my art journal again soon.

my inaugural blog post

Jul 21, 2011   //   by Yoga Lisa DC   //   Blog, Uncategorized  //  2 Comments

 As I finally have my website up and my logo designed, it’s become the time for me to write my inaugural blog post. I’ve struggled over the last few days with what the content of my inaugural blog post would be. Should I introduce myself? Should I set a theme for my blog? And then it hit me, this first post is like the first time I’ve approached certain asanas on my yoga mat. There’s really no write or wrong way to do it, but I should take it in stages and as I get comfortable in each stage, then open myself up for the risk that the next stage brings with it. So for this post, it means going where the writing flow takes me.

I started practicing yoga to help stay fit and trim and to reduce my stress level. I found so much more coming to my mat: clarity of mind and increased relaxation, with the added bonuses of reduced stress and a fit and trim body. As I discovered this passion for yoga, I decided I wanted to share it with as many people as possible and that the best way to do that would be through teaching. I completed my 200-hour certification in April 2011 and am now a registered yoga teacher, teaching classes at my yoga home – Tranquil Space in Washington, DC & Arlington, VA. I decided I wanted a website that would have useful resources for my students and help me develop my yoga business. Often I come out of classes wondering, what songs did the teacher play, so I’ll be posting my weekly and special occasion playlists to the Playlists page on the site. I like seeing what books, websites, and blogs others follow and find to be inspirational, so there’s a page for yoga resources (all my favorites). I also wanted to start coming into my voice through writing, so here we are – the blog.

I hope that in the upcoming days, weeks, and months, I can provide insights into my life on and off the mat, including tidbits about my teaching yoga and personal yoga practice, helpful hints I learn from others, and whatever else I feel like, possibly a photo of the week, to help encourage and develop my photography hobby or pictures and discussion of my latest knitting project – in all likelihood, another scarf or wrap. I hope to see you back here soon, as I begin to come into my voice through writing. Namaste.

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About Lisa

Auntie to two adorable little boys and a beautiful little girl. Sister. Friend. Yogini. Yoga teacher. Accountant. Knitter. Amateur photographer. Very amateur golfer.

Where to Find Lisa

Wednesdays, 8:30 p.m.
Yoga 1 (1 hour)*
Tranquil Space Arlington

Thursdays, 5:30 p.m. Yoga On-the-Go*
Thursdays, 7:00 p.m. Yoga 1*
Tranquil Space Arlington

Substitute Teach, As Needed*
Tranquil Space Arlington and Dupont

*Click here to make a reservation for any of these classes!

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