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The reluctant yogi.

I apologize for the infrequent posts lately - I’ve been caught up in one of my new year’s resolutions: to do at least one thing per week that I’ve never done before.

As part of my resolution, I signed up for a series of classes through YogaSport called, simply enough, the 40 Days Program.  It’s based on the program laid out by Baron Baptiste (the leading yogi in developing power yoga, a.k.a. the “power flow” style of vinyasa yoga) in his book, 40 Days to Personal Revolution: A Breakthrough Program to Radically Change Your Body and Awaken the Sacred Within Your Soul.

The program involves making a commitment to practice yoga at least 6 days a week; attending weekly discussion meetings; twice daily meditation; participating in an “accountability group” (a smaller group within the larger program that is supportive and aims to help each member remain committed to whatever individual intentions they may have that week); revolutionizing your diet, including a three-day fruit fast; and reading and incorporating the practices found in Baptiste’s book.

But I was a skeptic.  Even as an admitted “self-help”/spirituality book junkie, I would not have touched this particular book.

First of all, the cheesy cover has too much text and is far too shiny.  I prefer covers with a matte finish.  I am also wary of any “self-help” book with its author’s photo so prominently displayed on the cover - so I definitely would not have touched this book, considering the author is wearing a bandana on his head in said photo.  (By the way, “don’t judge a book by its cover” is totally terrible advice propagated by ugly people - I know of no better way to judge books or people.  And don’t tell me I should “read” books or “get to know” people.  I’m busy.)

But even just two weeks into the program, I was convinced.  The practices in Baptiste’s book, and particularly the discipline required to develop a truly deep yoga and meditation practice, have been nothing short of life-changing.

All I can tell you is: do power yoga.  Do it.  Daily, if you can.  It is amazing - for body and soul.  I can’t even believe the speed with which it started changing my body.  Not only have I lost weight (and the program somehow makes that seem effortless), but I can already see the changes in my body as I develop more muscle tone.  (This has definitely reduced my stress related to the approaching bikini season!)  But I even feel a difference in the way my body moves.

With power flow yoga, I have increased my discipline, focus, confidence, and equanimity.  It truly is a transformative practice - it helps you open yourself to change and, further, to actually embrace and seek change in virtually every aspect of your life.  It really instills a feeling of dynamism and power in you.

I wouldn’t have believed all these claims before I actually committed to trying the program.  But the basics of the program are these:  Baptiste power vinyasa yoga is a style of yoga developed in the 1940s.  It’s inspired by the hatha yoga teachings of Krishnamacharya and his students, Iyengar and Desikachar.  But it’s definitely different from the slow-moving hatha style of yoga, where more focus is placed on the alignment of each asana, and each asana is held for a significant length of time.  I took a series of classes based on the Iyengar style yoga at Dallas Yoga Center prior to doing this program, and it bored me out of my mind.

Power vinyasa yoga is much more physical and vigorous.  It’s a fitness-based approach that focuses on strength and toning.  Just as much emphasis is placed on the vinyasa, or flow, between asanas as on maintaining proper alignment and form while in a particular asana.  All movement is linked with the breath as you move between asanas.  I’ve found that this makes each class a really unique experience that is at once obviously physical, but also has a very strong meditative component.

YogaSport, on Lemmon Avenue in Oak Lawn, is the only Baptiste-affiliated yoga studio in Dallas.  They turn the heat in the studio up to around 90 degrees during class, which loosens up your muscles, increases your flexibility, and definitely helps you work up a sweat.  Drink water!  If you live elsewhere, you can find Baptiste power vinyasa yoga affiliate studios in your area here.  One class and you’ll be hooked!

I made it to within a few yards of the terminal. Thought for sure I was going to be starting a new tradition of actually catching my scheduled flight. …Then I saw this.

I made it to within a few yards of the terminal. Thought for sure I was going to be starting a new tradition of actually catching my scheduled flight. …Then I saw this.

Saturday shopping.

I had quite a successful shopping adventure with an old friend this weekend.  We started with the fuel necessary for a full day of shopping - breakfast for lunch at the Uptown Dream Cafe (the granola crusted French toast is amazing - but go for a single order; I couldn’t even finish a single and, trust me, I am an eater).  We did, however, opt for indoor seating (our friendly waiter Daniel’s offer of outdoor seating which, Daniel claimed, was “like a jungle” - and he said this like it was a selling point - was a little bit intimidating).

My friend also introduced me to some of her favorite shops on Lover’s Lane - Hemline (where I fell in love with almost every piece of jewelry in the shop, and discovered a new favorite clothing brand - Pearl Southern Couture!), Elements and its sister store Elle, and Mine (where I fell in love with a near-microscopic gold elephant necklace but couldn’t really bring myself to pay $360 for a necklace so teeny tiny just because the elephant had a mini diamond chip of an eye so small I didn’t even notice it at first).  We finished up with some shopping in Highland Park.

I scored a great turquoise necklace, some adorable gold rope earrings, and two fun tops for summertime (so if you could hurry, summer, that would be wonderful!):

Hype Paint-Box Blouse from Anthropologie, normally $98 - I got it for more than half off!

And this Deletta top, which I admit looks absolutely hideous in this photo.  But the little bows tied at the top come undone and you can tie it in a million different ways - tied together in a big bow at the neck it makes it a V-neck and looks absolutely adorable - I promise!