Recently I have been really inspired to slow down both on the mat and on my bicycle. When you slow down you have greater awareness of your body and what is happening around you. Sometimes I feel like a nag when mutter from my bike, “slow down” to speedy passers by who aren’t paying much attention. In my classes I remind people to “take child’s pose” or “just rest” throughout class.
I remind you all to slow down as a method to remind myself.
We hurry a lot. I say this as a chronic over-scheduler who loves to take on multiple projects. This pattern of stress-out then burn-out is one I am trying hard to break. Taking time to relax, not be rushed and rest are important for breaking that cycle.
Working hard (physically and/ or mentally) is no doubt good for you, but it is important to balance out hard work with recovery time. The most basic way to recover is to take a nap or go to bed. Refresh your brain and your body with sleep.
Release the front of your body with supported bridge pose.
Or try gentle yoga poses. Some of my favorite poses are supported with the ground, wall, bolsters, even your bed.
Get comfortable & Stay put
If you want to focus on a gentler practice please join me for the Lullaby class over at The Grinning Yogi where we will slow down, stretch out and take time to breathe.
Lullaby Class @ The Grinning Yogi on Wednesdays 9pm – 10 pm.
If you are strolling around Capitol Hill looking for that perfect gift for the bike + yoga loving somebody in your life, stop by Liberty on 15th Ave E 1-7pm. The Maker’s Market is a local market that will feature all kinds of beautiful made goods from local artists. I will be there peddling my books, as well as a bunch of goodies from Taking the Lane, including Bikenomics, by Elly Blue which just came out 12/1
Gift Bundles $15
~ Pedal, Stretch, Breathe
~ Blank Journal
If you mention my blog at the event I will give you a free sticker…and you better believe I have a great selection.
Remember if you don’t make it to the Craft Fair, you can order my book online here and I will happily send you a copy snail mail style!
Happy spend today at work shopping online day!
In an effort to bring the virtual world back down to the real world I’d like to offer a special for my friends in Seattle: Bike Delivered Gifts.
If you order a copy of Pedal, Stretch, Breathe: The Yoga of Bicycling or better yet the NEW Gift Bundle I will bike it to your home or workplace all wrapped up in ribbon just for you! Offer is available if you order online before 12/18 and live or work in Seattle.
For my friends outside of the city I will happily mail you a copy.
Thank you for choosing to support independent artists and makers this holiday season.
Oh the juicy world of economics. I dabbled a bit in college by taking classes on feminist economics and Marxism. I am no expert, but I am fascinated by the economic impacts of bicycling. Recently I’ve been reading Elly Blue’s new book Bikenomics. I am more aware of how my bicycle lifestyle shapes my spending habits. But even more than that, I’ve been interested in how biking to businesses builds community.
Aside from the folks who totally live off the grid and dumpster dive for all the basic necessities, the rest of us buy stuff. The choices we make about where we buy stuff and who we buy it from carry all of these unintended consequences, that can be for better or worse. When we buy stuff at big box stores a large chunk of our money immediately leaves the city. However if you shop locally more of your money is recirculated in the city, enriching your neighbors.
I realized that know a lot of business owners around town. In many cases I’ve been connected through business owners because their business is bike related. Going to the Seattle Bicycle Expo a few years ago, I met Martina of Swift Industries. I fell totally in love with her bags and as it turns out we are actually neighbors. Not only do you have the chance to support people making great products you may end up making friends.
Bicycle Benefits is another great way to discover new business and get discounts to places just for riding your bike there. A few of my favorite bicycle benefit deals are the $2 Theo Chocolate Bar, the 2 for 1 tickets at Central Cinema and 50% off your drink when it is raining at Asgard. That is one sweet date night, all pedal powered.
Supporting local business is an important rejection of corporate chains and mass produced crap. Local business fuels people’s creativity and passion. You see that in folks who have recently started incredible business like Peddler’s Brewing or G & O Family Cyclery. These folks are inspired by the power of bicycling and they have created a space for community to develop. Every time I go to G & O I run into someone who I love seeing. Every time I am at Peddler’s I meet new people to swap bike stories with over a beer.
As we enter the crazy holiday shopping season remember, you can skip Black Friday (like G & O is bravely doing). Instead grab your bicycle and head out for Small business Saturday. Also, remember to check out local craft fairs. I’ll be at the Hangover Flea Market/ ArtAche Market this Sunday 1-6pm at Chop Suey. I’ll be selling books, journals, cards and some sweet goodies from Taking The Lane. I even have some copies of Bikenomics, you can pick up a copy and then we can talk about how bicycles will save the economy over a cup of coffee at El Portal, a bike friendly local coffee shop!
There are some really wonderful ways to have fun and give back in both the world of bicycles and yoga. I wanted to share with you two of my favorite events that help bring food and peace of mind to those in need. Please consider jumping on your bicycle and pulling out your yoga mat for a good cause.
Cranksgiving is Saturday November 23rd
Meet at Gasworks at 10:30
Here are the details from Seattle Bike Blog:
A food drive scavenger hunt by bike, Cranksgiving is a fun way to tour some of Seattle’s most unique grocery stores and food stands, gathering food for Rainier Valley Food Bank.
We give you a list of food and grocers, and you gather as much as you can before time runs out. You get points for each item and each grocer, plus points for other bonus challenges. All the food will be donated immediately at the finish line.
Meet at 10:30 a.m. in Gas Works Park. The ride ends in Columbia City with an after-party at Ark Lodge Cinemas.
Grab Your Mat and Pedal to one of the many Gratitude in Motion Yoga Classes!
Every year hundreds of yogis (you!) and more than 20 yoga studios around the Puget Sound dedicate their practice to Yoga Behind Bars on or around Thanksgiving Day. The goal: to raise critical funds for our programs for young people and adults in prisons.
Our financial goal
Our goal this year is to raise $13,500 to support our yoga and meditation classes at places such as Echo Glen Children’s Center and new ones at Mission Creek Corrections Center for Women.
Yoga Behind Bars is one of my favorite Non-Profit Organizations in Seattle because the work they do is so important for all of the incarcerated people. It is no secret that our current rates of incarceration are completely unacceptable. People need the practices of yoga and meditation to help them relax in an incredibly tense and stressful environment. Yoga is a powerful tool of transformation, as many of you know from your personal practice. Please go to your mats to give back! It is easy. You will feel better and so will someone else!
As the nights grow longer here in Seattle riding in the dark is something you have to get used to. Lights and reflective accessories aside, I like the dark. I love pedaling near Lake Washington and seeing this vast dark space of the water and the glittering bridges that cross it. I like taking the dark roads, the ones with few street lights and good chances for owl encounters.
That being said there are those spooky moments, when you hear a startling sound. The tell-tale rumblings of an impending flat tire on a dark moonless night. Here is my ode to those moment from Pedal, Stretch, Breathe. Happy Halloween!
The other day I was biking home and decided, like I most often do, that I would prefer the slightly longer, windy road that leads up the backside of the hill. I am drawn to the winding curves of the switchback road instead of a beeline straight up. It is also home to one of my favorite spots in Seattle proper, the Louisa Boren Denny memorial stone on Interlaken Blvd.
In the 1890’s City Engineer George F. Cotterill was scouting out good routes for bikes and buggies. Interlaken was established as the primary route between Capitol Hill and Lake Washington. This road was specifically designed with cycling in mind, as well as to capture splendid views. It was these bike routes that laid the foundation for the city’s Boulevards. In 1913 the adjacent park was named after Louisa Boren Denny, the last remaining pioneer from the Denny Party, the white folks who “founded” Seattle.
About midway up the hill there is a memorial stone placed to honor Louisa by the Washington Women’s Pioneering Organization. I’ve always been drawn to the that stone and not only because it is a great place to stop for a water break. This admirable pioneer woman was interested in a variety of subjects including philosophy, chemistry and botany.
Legend has it that she brought her beloved sweetbriar rose bush all the way from Illinois to Seattle. The lovely and aromatic rose can be found growing along the shores of the Puget Sound today.
Riding a bicycle on these historic routes connects to me to the history of this place and the Pacific Northwest plants surrounded the streets. And in summer I love to nibble on the blackberries fighting to claim road space. They are not the native variety, but I guess me, Louisa and the Blackberry and all have that in common. Part of what makes riding a bike so wonderful is I can take the most beautiful routes around town. Instead of fighting through the traffic downtown and taking the (albeit very nice) buffered bike line across the bridge to run errands, I can cut through the park and take the bike path.
In the dark moonless nights riding on the crumbling road stirs sound of an impending flat tire. You stop to check, but alas your wheels are fully inflated. So you ride on, but the sound of ghost flats will haunt you until you reach the top of the hill. It is like riding in the tracks of all the people who have biked here before you.
Autumn – Early Winter (Vata):
The blustery winds of fall bring change. As nights grow longer it is important to prepared for the unexpected. Just as squirrels tuck away treats for Winter, cyclists need to start storing more “Just-in-case” gear in your bag.
On your bike: It is a good time to get a tune-up. Prepare your bike for winter with fenders, bike lights and pack extra layers as the evenings get chilly. I am a huge fan of always having extra socks, gloves and sometimes, a change of clothes. Bike lights become essential. I am a terrible bike light owner, I lose them, I drop them or forget to charge the batteries, etc. So if you can afford it I highly recommend a Dynamo hub for the front wheel. The hub converts the energy of your wheel and powers your bike lights. I also like that the lights are bolted on.
It is also important to have enough food to energize you on bike rides. Nothing is worse than realizing your are totally exhausted, starving and five miles away from your destination. Bring snacks, even if you end up not eating it, there will be those moments when you are incredibly thankful for them.
On the mat: Fall is this great time to re-establish a routine. In my weekly classes I start to see the studio fill up with people returning back to the mat. Yoga is an incredibly grounding practice and can help you find a little bit more balanced in all elements of your life. In Fall, especially around the equinox I like to focus on balance. Balance is more like a dance with breath. We are always moving, always breathing, balance is not statue still. To have good balance is to dance with pose. Accept the shaking ankle muscles getting stronger as you hold Dancer. To have good balance means sometimes you fall down, but you get up and try again.
To learn about how to cycle through the rest of the seasons grab a copy of my book Pedal, Stretch, Breathe: The Yoga of Bicycling