Thursday, August 13, 2015

Easing Back Into Things With Yoga & Bourbon

It's a hot Vancouver day. The New Vancouver, which means it's dry and breezy and there's not a cloud to be seen. Beautiful, but spooky in an I-want-to-love-you-but-it-feels-like-the apocalypse-is-nigh kind of way. Lawns are parched. Sweat blossoms as soon as you leave the comfort of your shady back deck. So why leave? Look, it's a sleepy, stretchy cat:
Full disclosure: these shots were taken yesterday but guess what? She's doing the exact same thing right now, and so am I. Sitting on the back deck, figuring out what comes next now I'm home and trying not to feel guilty about taking some time to rest and stretch, just like Molly the cat here.

Another disclosure: this post contains yoga. About a week ago, I kind of reached critical frustration point when it came to my poor, sore lower back. Years of not stretching have made me as tight as a rubber band that's just about to snap. And it's making itself known in my hip muscles, my back, my hamstrings... it's just not something I can ignore any more. So one of my cast mates heard my complaints and recommended Yoga With Adriene. Today was Day 6 of her 30 Days of Yoga program, and guess what? I'm hooked. So much so that I'm even considering getting up at 4:30am tomorrow so I can do my daily practice before my one-off promotions job handing out free coffee and debit card advice to commuters. I just took my laundry downstairs and many, many muscles were feeling very... alive, shall we say. I hope that by Day 30 I will feel some relief from the back pain, and also more in touch with my breathing and my body. As a singer, these things are very important and I ignore them way too much. Plus I have a bit of a girl crush on Adriene because she's kind of goofy, makes yoga easy to learn, and doesn't take herself too seriously. If you're dipping your toe into the shallow end of yoga, like me, you should give her site a try. But hey, let's not get all transcendental and shit. Yes, yoga is helping me to feel more grounded and relaxed, but you know what else does that?


I've never developed a taste for whisky, and I think that's partly because you're mostly supposed to drink it straight-up, and I do like my cocktails. But eventually I ended up trying bourbon, and I like it just fine. I'll even sip it straight, but I find it mixes really well with ginger ale (Canada Dry has a dark variety that's perfect), lime- or lemonade... even sour cherry juice. Its woody flavour stands up to a strong, citrusy mixer. Jay just returned from a business trip to California. He got home the same day I did, and after we'd flown into each others' arms and all that good stuff, he presented me with a big-ass bottle of Bulleit he'd bought at the duty-free. And last night, out on the back deck (can I just do all my business/ play music/ relax/ spend the rest of my life out here on the deck? Because it's amazing), we barbecued steaks, talked about our latest schemes to collaborate on a kids book, and toasted each other with a couple of strong cocktails.

If the last few weeks have taught me anything, it's that you never know what's going to come around the bend and smack you. Could be joy, could be the best news of your life, could be crushing tragedy that knocks you off your feet. And, not to sound too glib or anything, but you have to rely on yourself, because everything else is transitory. So make the time to stretch your body, do your daily practice, whether it's yoga or music or art or writing or whatever makes you tick.

And when you're done, grab a giant, relaxing cocktail and observe a cat, because they are the laziest, stretchiest yogis of all.

"I can sleep all day AND still touch my nose to my butthole. If that's not enlightenment, what is?"

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