Yogabonanza

In an effort to better my health, mind, and maybe selfishly lose this 20-30lb weight gain… I took up yoga.

I’ll admit; I’ve always dismissed yoga as a lesser exercise, thinking it didn’t compare to strength training, running, swimming, etc. I always pictured it as some hippy dippy way to relax, learn breathing techniques, and find inner peace. Boy was I in for a MAJOR wake-up call!

I recently joined the Y to help lose weight and all aforementioned above, and my roommate suggested doing yoga together. I was apprehensive at first, wondering if it would actually help me achieve my goals. She assured me yoga helps work your core strength and lose weight so I agreed. Unfortunately she ended up not going so I attended a class this past Saturday and of course I found myself on a day where the instructor was doing “high intensity.” Now before I keep going I had put a yoga app on my phone to get a feel for it and was doing bedtime yoga drills that lasted about 12-15min. I felt somewhat rejuvenated after, but not sore or anything, and it gave me some knowledge on the basic poses. And we’re back in the class… so there I was, stretching on my mat, wondering if I should I stay or go, but if I left I knew I would never come back.

The others in the class said if some of the poses were too hard to “modify” them. The beginning was easy enough, but she was right, she moved through things fast, and before I knew it I was moving through downward dog, planks, and then a sun salutation AND repeat. It was INTENSE. All motions were repeated about 6-7 times. Then after what seemed like EVER, mind you this was an hour long class, it was cool down time. She had us stretch for about a 10-15 minutes to help relax and cool off. I was an overcooked noodle when I left.

However I will never think less of yoga EVER AGAIN. Whether it be fast and intense like my class, slow flow, morning yoga, or my bedtime yoga drills. I will definitely keep going back, and its sooo worth the unbelievable pain I’m experiencing today.

I Juggled… and Dropped the Ball

I thought it wouldn’t be terribly difficult with adding college to my life; I mean it’s only ONE class (I work full-time so just a few at a time.) Well soon to be two come Fall semester in late August. I was wrong.

Adding a whole other thing to my routine and schedule… having to deal with homework, papers, etc… It’s been a challenge I forgot about in my long time away from high school, plus college levels you up so there is no hand holding, no coddling. If you don’t turn stuff in, they don’t care, it’s your own money you’re wasting, not theirs.

Hacks became my best friends. I learned not to procrastinate (this is sooo easy to do with big projects like research papers) and I’m still learning to not let stress infect my mind when I’m working… it really will affect the quality of whatever I am working on.

My Recommendations:

Block out time needed for your homework. Otherwise you’ll be searching for pockets of free time and it won’t get done on time nor will the quality of your assignment be up to par. A structured scheduled is key.

Try not to stress. This is a big one. Even if it feels like your world is about to cave in, you need to take 10 and namaste away the outside so you can focus. Otherwise your stress will bleed into your work and it will show, not to mention it clouds creativity as well.

Get LOTS of sleep. A well rested mind is a mind ready to take on the world. Make sure to be getting those 7-8 hours every night so you’re not running on fumes. A tired brain can’t focus on important stuff, and this can relate to everything in your life. When I am lacking the correct amount of sleep I try to not work on anything if possible (unless due dates dictate otherwise) because I know I’m not running at my best.

These are pretty basic tips, but I’d love to hear some more from any other college students out there. Lord knows I could use ALL the hacks to survive getting my degree!

Charleston vs. Savannah

The Ravenel Waterfront Park “Pineapple Fountain”

I’ve been in Savannah for, well come July it will be 14 years, so perhaps sheer amount of time down here is starting to make everything look dull? Savannah does have charms, like downtown in the Historic District and the squares, Wormsloe (a personal fav) Riverstreet, and some others.

My aunt and I at Magnolia Plantation

Charleston on the other hand is just sprawling with history and beauty, and they seem to be more “progressive” than we are here, or maybe I’m wrong, who knows. I recently took a day trip with a family member to get some infamous bourbon under a brand name known as Brothers Bond (made by Ian Somerhalder and Paul Wesley from the Vampire Diaries) It won’t ship to GA but it does to SC, so road trip! We decided to make a day of it and see some big hotspots like Magnolia Plantation, The Angel Oak, and then head downtown to see Rainbow Row, the pier, the fountain, etc….

Posing in front of the Angel Oak

We spent the majority of our time at Magnolia cause it’s HUGE, and we’re completely head over heels when a giant alligator climbed out of one of the ponds onto the bank so he could get to the other side. Side bar; I think they really need a “Alligator Crossing” sign on that part of the path! He was a big boy! It was a shame we missed “bloom” season with the flowers but we saw some, just not as many as they have earlier in the year. I almost stepped into a giant spider’s nest posing in front of the bamboo garden, and the Audubon trail gave me shivers knowing what was lurking beyond the surface of the swamp waters. All in all it was beautiful, and extremely well taken care of, and you can obviously tell the wildlife is used to humans being out there cause they either come up to you peacefully or just ignore you completely.

Petting this sweetheart

The Angel Oak was beyond beautiful; I have no words other than WOW. If you’ve been than obviously I need not describe it, if you haven’t than I definitely recommend going. It’s amazing how they have managed to support the tree and keep it in good condition given it’s age and considering the weather that blows through that area. You can’t get a bad picture or bad angle when visiting this iconic locale. If I lived there; I’d be visiting this all the time.

Aunt and I by the Angel Oak

Downtown was a whole new level of excitement; I saw so much it was hard to take it all in because by then we were both REALLY tired, and sunburnt. We drove past Rainbow Row and the Battery. Then we parked and walked through the Historic Market and went to a restaurant called The Griffon which has AMAZING fish & chips! We walked to the pier and sat there for a little while and took in the waterfront, their pier has wooden swings on it!! Then we went and saw the Pineapple Fountain, and there were little kids just swimming around in it without a care in the world, it was quite cute. Then she drove me past all these huge and beautiful multi-million dollar homes that were just… oh my god, so gorgeous, and we were also by the waterfront so just imagine the views these people have as well. We had a blast, and we covered quite a lot a ground for a day trip. We plan on coming back to see more and also go to the aquarium.

Me on the white bridge/My aunt & I

I have to say, if I had to pick where I wanted to be, Charleston would definitely win. It was just so warm (not just temperature-wise) and friendly up there, and just comfortable. It is touristy yes, but I’m already used to that here, and that just means there is always something to do. I just wish they weren’t such a bullseye for hurricanes! Savannah & Charleston both have their charms; I think I just favor Charleston, and I can’t wait to go back!

One Shot Down, One To Go

Why did I decide to get the vaccine?

There are 3 big reasons…

First and foremost:

I miss NORMALCY. I miss everything about how the world was before this insanity started, and I realized how many people weren’t washing their hands or cleaning properly. Pandemics bring A LOT of clarity. How a virus equated to a toilet paper shortage still baffles me! Then the quarantine came, and I swear I went nuts being out of my new job for over a month. I spent 3 years vying for it only to be kicked out barely weeks in. I am sad to see businesses shutting down or already shut down cause of this… choked out because of financial duress. A lot of people are still out of work but thankfully, least in my area a lot of places are hiring. The ERA of COVID reminds me of a lengthy winter… the leaves may die, but the trees will eventually come back to life.

Secondly:

I absolutely hate masks. I get it, they may serve a purpose, but they flare my anxiety and I often feel like I can’t breathe. Which means short trips to stores and other errands. Thankfully I don’t have to wear one at my desk, only to get in the building when I have my temperature taken. I understand there are varying opinions on this; I respect each one. I don’t fuss in a business that requires them, nor do I go against the rules; I just really hate them. Also; I just can’t ever remember to grab the darn thing whenever I go somewhere. I’ll be walking from my car, almost halfway to the store, and then it’s like “oh crap I forgot my mask.” Does anyone even remember the good old days when we could just go somewhere as we were? I feel like this was forever ago… and I miss it. My doctor used to always greet me with a hug and when I saw her recently it just wasn’t the same cause of all this and while it was very disheartening, although she did tell me to keep my head up and look forward to it ending soon.

Thirdly:

My family. While the eldest of our family is sadly no longer with us, there are still a few members of the family I mildly worry about if they did catch it. Although one is currently being vaccinated (he had the first dose, soon to have the second.) The other, my aunt, is such a stubborn arse, she’d rather wait until they make a version she can rub on like sunscreen rather than get a shot. If she wasn’t abnormally healthy for her age I would worry more, but she does have the immunity of someone my age and knowing her she’ll live to a 150. I feel more inclined to do something to protect my family than myself, even if there is that added benefit. More of my family might get vaccinated down the line, who knows. Since the matriarch of the family passed a month ago I’ve been dealing with this consistent fear of losing someone else, my therapist calls it an acute stress reaction… and I think it’s pushing me into overdrive to look at anything and everything that could hurt a loved one. Although 2 of them have already had COVID. 

In my eyes I see every shot as one step closer to hopefully getting back to where we were before this all started, or at least close to it.