Monday, April 12, 2010

My 60-day yoga shopping spree

During my 60-day Bikram Yoga challenge, my social life has been non-existent. Before this, I'd go out a few times a week and would easily drop $50 each time. So you'd think that I've been able to save money (which would be very good given the cost of teacher training). But no, I've not saved a single penny. All the money I would have spent on food and alcohol over the last two months has gone into my ever-expanding yoga wardrobe.

Now, I've never been a fashionista. I'm a sensible girl (some might say frugal) and usually opt for function over fashion. For most of my life I had no particular affinity for shopping; however, over the past two months I've discovered the joys of retail therapy. While you won't find me buying designer shoes and handbags, you will find me eyeing new arrivals at Lululemon and on They say the first step in overcoming a problem is admitting that there is one. Folks, I've got a yoga wear shopping addiction!

A new Hot Class Bra at Lululemon? I'll take one in black, lavender, fruity tootie, and lagoon please! I haven't even gotten home and I'm already fantasizing about getting the Hot Class Shorts in each matching colour so that I'll have full sets. Then I'll get an email from Shakti Activewear -- free shipping, one day only. They don't even have much inventory online, but I manage to spend $150 before the offer expires at midnight.

Now I mentioned in an earlier post that I've been able to expand beyond my comfort zone and feel "pretty in pink" in the hot room, but this is ridiculous. I use to have one drawer reserved for my workout wear -- now I have three. I have so many yoga outfits that I probably won't have to do laundry for a month while at teacher training.

But oh how I do love those outfits! I love putting them on and I love watching myself do Bikram's 26 asanas wearing them. Let's admit it -- Bikram Yoga does appeal to our narcissistic tendencies. I mean, where else are you encouraged to look in the mirror for a full 90 minutes? While at first watching yourself as you attempt the poses can be awkward, with time you come to appreciate the movements of your body and the progress you are making. Wearing cute outfits only serves to heighten the experience.

As my 60-day yoga challenge comes to an end so too must my 60-day yoga shopping spree. I need to start putting my money into my "Bikram Yoga Teacher Training Fund." After all, I can't think of a better place on earth to sport all those new yoga outfits!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Food glorious food!

One of my greatest passions is food. I simply love to eat and enjoy any occasion where good food is part of the mix.

Growing up in a large Italian family, there was always an abundance of food around. And I learned from a young age the importance of food in bringing people together. Enjoying the aromas, tastes, and textures of food with others fosters intimacy, builds relationships, and creates memories that last a lifetime.

Each holiday, my extended family celebrates with food. As I mentioned above, I come from a large Italian family -- my mom is the oldest of 10 children and my dad is the youngest of seven. I have over 50 first cousins! Needless to say, holidays are a big deal -- "big" being the operative word. There are usually over 80 of us! Because no one can accommodate such a large group in their home, we go to a restaurant.

Yesterday for Easter, we went to Paese Ristorante. We've been here for the past five years and the food is simply delectable. Here's what was on the menu:

We started with caprese salad, deep fried jumbo shrimp and calamari, and mixed greens with orange and crumbled walnuts. (I admittedly got full on the shrimp, but kept going.) Next came ricotta gnocchi in a tomato basil sauce. This was followed by a choice of pan seared rainbow trout, grilled lamb chops, cornish hen, or veal scallopini. I opted for the cornish hen. Dessert was a roasted seasonal fruit crostata topped with hazelnut gelato.

While I was enjoying yesterday's feast, I was thinking a lot about how Bikram Yoga and food are a great complement to one another.

First, food provides the necessary fuel for me to be able to actually do Bikram Yoga. It's such an intense form of exercise that it's essential to have a well balanced diet. Most of the teachers I've spoken to have emphasized the importance of eating properly and not skipping meals while at Teacher Training. Your body is having to cope with a very demanding schedule that includes practicing twice a day -- so it needs to be well nourished to keep up.

Second, having a regular Bikram practice has meant that I can pretty much eat what I want without having to worry. People are often shocked at the amount I can eat. A fellow yogi recently asked what my diet consisted of and when I told him about my love of food, he said he thought I was a "two egg white for breakfast kind of girl." Bikram Yoga has kept me svelte despite my large appetite. And while I do eat a lot, I make healthy choices where I can, except of course at family gatherings!

Food and Bikram Yoga -- two of my greatest passions and the perfect pair!