Category Archives: Books

Yes Yoga Has Curves!

I met a pure genius a few weeks ago.  Her name is Dana Smith, (AKA “The Yoga Diva”)  and she owns Spiritual Essence Yoga in Maryland.  Dana is making her dream a reality.  She teamed up with photographer Wanakhavi Wakhisi, and together they are publishing a photography book featuring women of all sizes, shapes and colors.  Hopefully, this book will empower more women to turn to yoga and reap the benefits.


I submitted my photos for the book back in July, and I was so excited to hear that I was chosen!  My wonderful mother-in-law booked us a place in National Harbor right away.  One of my best friends, Tabor came along with me for the trip, and we had a blast, despite the 6 hour drive.   National Harbor was an awesome little town- tons of cute shops, diners, and all within walking distance.  We hit Bobby McKey’s (the local piano bar) Friday night.  The piano players were amazing and we sang along to every song!


Saturday, we took a river taxi over to Alexandria, VA where my photo shoot was.  I met Dana and she was so warm and inviting.  I was assigned Surya Yantrasana, or sundial pose.  The photos were taken on the lake, where I sat on these hugs boulders.   Tabor was supposed to take tons pictures of the shoot, but she was busy blabbing away.  🙂

dk 003

After the shoot, we wandered around Alexandria, and found a place called the Fish market to have afternoon drinks and a snack.  Tabor had oysters, and I had crab stuffed avocados.  We both had mojitos…they were amazing!  We both had the fresh mint stuck in our teeth and kept it there to pose for photos.  (I’m holding her photos as blackmail.)

We took the water taxi back to National Harbor where the Red Bull Flubtag festival was going on!  There were tons of people there, and they were not fazed by rain.  We weren’t either!  We went back to our room and got ready for the night…the concierge put us on the VIP list at a club called Pose, in the newest Gaylord Convention Center. We had to walk, so we put plastic bags on our head and make the hike.  Totally worth it!

I hope this book empowers women of all sizes to start practicing yoga.  Yoga is such a gift.  I am a better person because of my yoga.  I can tell by the deep breaths I take before speaking…or even if I speak at all.  I can tell by how strong my body feels, and how my mind seems clearer.  I can tell my heart is softer, and more compassionate.  I forget about my big butt, or my cellulite.  In the moment, all that matters is my breath.

I was told to practice my pose while keeping  a “ZEN” look. Hard when you are being photo bombed by a boy and his dog.

“This book serves as a testament that yoga is suited for EVERYbody and that no one physical size is better suited for practice.  It will celebrate beautiful goddesses of all curvy shapes and sizes and finally allow the beauty of our curves to be recognized in the blessed art called yoga.”

–Dana A. Smith


Lots of stuff!

She said I look “mischievous.” Photo Credit: Wanda Koch


Lots of new things this week!  I started teaching a class at a different studio, Laughing Buddha, so I got to get some new headshots for their website!  Wanda Koch does the yoga photos for just about every studio in Charlotte, and she is amazing!

I also tried two new fitness adventures this week. Yoga Fusion at Laughing Buddha Yoga Studio and CrossFit at Metro.  Monday was the Yoga Fusion..  This is where you combine yoga with weights, bars, and resistance bands.  The warm up was typical yoga–sun salutations.  After that we got down to business with bicep curls, chest presses and even dead lifts.  The instructor had us use two blocks like a bench.  I loved the idea of changing up my routine.  The amount of squat and lunges did a number on my low body, so I was pretty sore on Tuesday.   Wednesday was my next adventure–Crossfit.  I went to the 7am class-which ended up being pretty small.  It was me and some other guy, Dan, who had only done CrossFit one other time.  Great, we were both newbies!  We were told to take an easy jog down Selwyn to warm up.  DanDaddyLongLegs was like 13 feet tall and finished his “jog” in point five seconds.  I was sprinting to keep up with him, and already exhausted before we started.   After that we did some back squat with a bar, and kept adding weights.  I really liked that part…I was slower paced and I was not out of breath the whole time!    Then came the WOD.  That’s kinda like your assignment.

3 reps:

15 Pull Ups

30 Push Ups

15 Toes to Bar

30 Kettleballsquatdeltoidraise things.

It seemed so easy written up on the white board.

I did one pull up.  After that, I had to modify using a gianormas rubber band and flying my legs up to help with momentum.  Push ups were great the first round.  Rounds two and three, I was on my knees.  and barely pushing up.  The real way to do the toes to bar thing looked hard, and the instructor even said it was super hard.  I modified.  again.  Kettlebell thingy at the end tore into my shoulders.  I did get to put chalk on my hands and I felt like a bad ass.  Even driving home when my forearms were twitching involuntarily.  The instructor was so encouraging, and I would not have made it through with her cheering me on!  I finished in 19:13.  Less that 20 minutes.  Most people on the board were around 16 minutes.  I like the idea that I did 90 push ups before 8am on a Wednesday.  That is badass.  Now, blow drying my hair on Thursday?  Actually, picking up my phone?  Not badass.  Whimperuglycryass.   Kidding.  I like the feeling of being sore, like I had a really good workout.  If I could afford it, Crossfit would be one of my drugs of choice.  Maybe someone reading this will hire me to teach a yoga class there, then I can train for free?  🙂


New Read:  Brave Girl Eating by Harriet Brown.  I think Dr Oz or Dr Phil or Dr Pepper suggested it.  It is a family’s journey with anorexia.  One thing really stuck out to me as I was reading it…I’ll try to paraprase…The mom is making milkshakes for her daughter and her friends and of course they are all saying how fat their thighs are, chunks of fat rolls on their bellies , and blah blah.  The mom wonders what would happen if one teen girl, somewhere, said, “I like myself.”   Teenagers are herd animals and  use this fat-bashing as a bonding experience, to conform.  Would that girl become and outsider?  Or could she start something positive?  That just really hit me.

Baddha Konasana Photo Credit: Wanda Koch

Thoughts on Guilt…

Let’s call her “A”

This stuff is amazing by the way!


So, I am thinking about getting a sister wife.  Let’s just call her “A”.  I love this woman so much because she reduces my anxiety and literally cuts my blood pressure in half.  I finally broke down and hired a cleaning lady.  I hate to clean.  When I told “A” how much I hate to clean, she replied “I love the shit out of it.”  Match made in heaven.  Done.  To walk into my house and have everything done is amazing.  I would want this sister wife to have nothing to do with my husband, unless she needed a black eye and some missing teeth.  I kinda just want her to be a fairy and appear when we aren’t there.  I love her though and will never let her go.

She even leaves me love notes.  “Can you get some more Orange Glo?  You are out.”

Yes, I’ll do anything for you.  And I love you too.

Usually “A” comes when I am at work.  This time I had to work too….just a little different work than playing four square with 3rd graders.  I taught 2 yoga classes, then took a class after those two…all in a studio that is just one degree short of hell on the heat scale.

I drove home, fogging up my windows with my body heat, weak and starving.   I had exactly one hour before I had to be back to teach another class.  I wanted to go home put on my comfy giant sweatpants with bleach stains, lay on the couch, watch Teen Mom 2, eat a bag of Pirate Booty, all while simultaneously getting past level 65 in Candy Crush and checking everyone’s FB status updates.

Excited about awesome hour to myself, I pulled in the driveway and realized  “A” was still there.  I thought about peeling out and driving a few houses away until she left.  But I desperately needed my spot on my couch.  I thought back to Steve Harvey’s book…Think Like A Man, Act Like a Lady.    My husband would not feel guilty about going in and resting for a bit.  He would think, Who cares…you are paying her!  That’s right! I bucked up and went inside my own house.

I walked in, said hello and plopped my happy ass on the couch.  Turned on Teen Mom 2 (I know it is trash), and ate my Pirate Booty.  Of course, when “A” came into the room, I gave her the disclaimer about why I was doing that, what time I had to wake up that morning (5am), how hot the studio is, and asked her to not think I was lazy.   She agreed that she would be exhausted too, and I deserved a rest.

She is moving in next week.  Bam.


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