Wednesday, 19 February 2014

(Not) En Pointe! The Art of Contrology

I am a short person in a tall person's body.  When I was younger the great majority of individuals simply judging by my body type assumed that I would grow a few inches over six feet.  In actuality, I've clocked in at five feet and approximately six inches, give or take a few inches (about .5) to be exact.

(While envied by some, I'd love to have a more curvaceous figure...It's that old adage of we want what we cant have).

My long monkey arms and legs have meant that when it comes to physical exercise...Well I've always felt a bit awkward, when running (Imagine a green bean or an asparagus flaying around haphazardly), or participating in any great feats of strength, at best has always felt out of place and awkward.  For the majority of my adult life, I have actively avoided exercise.  Mostly because I wanted to save myself the awkward embarrassment of feeling and/or believing I look ridiculous.  The one type of physical movement which I've always found beautiful is, ballet.

The finale scene from Center Stage is a great example of how exciting ballet can be.  An art form which I never had the opportunity to master.  I've always appreciated how a good ballet dancer can make the precision, hard work and sacrifice of this art form appear effortless.

For years, I've admired this art form, and the immense amount of damage done in the name of art, especially where a ballerina's feet are concerned, as shown in 'En Pointe!' by The Australian Ballet.  For as long as I can remember, I felt that I could never truly be physically active or to 'hone' my body to become a modern day female Adonis

I had become comfortable in the knowledge, that my body would deteriorate, and that there was nothing I could or should do about it, with my clumsy uncoordinated like ways.   Then out of nowhere, I kept hearing about this new craze called Pilates.  Not being one to follow the fads of the cool kids (celebrity culture), l did my best not to get caught up into the hype of yet another 'thing' that was happening. I honestly don't remember what truly peaked my curiosity, but I did some research on Pilates.  Joseph Pilates was the inventor of an approach he called Contrology.  If you're not so much into the reading thing, or if you just love cute Infobytes video's, take a look at An Animated History of Pilates.

Researching, further into the topic of what is in the modern sense known as Pilates, I immediately recognized that I did not know how to move with or within my body.  The deeper I became engrossed in the topic of Pilates, I realized that like my first love, ballet, Pilates in its own way is a made up of a series of unique and precise movements.

Where ballet was an art form which I knew I missed out in childhood (training starts quite early), I didn't want to allow myself to miss out on this 'fad' of Pilates.  I took my well trained brain, and my untrained body and found a studio which specialized in the art of Contrology (Pilates) in my area.  I was determined that  If I was going to do this, I was going to do it right.  These classes were the gateway into allowing me to discover how to exercise my body without feeling completely awkward, uncoordinated, and simply not fast enough or strong enough like other 'traditional' exercise methods had in the past.  I was beyond excited that I had finally found, something that works for me, with zero to minimum green bean like awkwardness!

For many different reasons (work schedule changes, other obligations etc),  I am not able to attend the classes of at the studio (I loved attending those classes).  While, I strongly encourage anyone starting Pilates (If you can continue to go to classes with instructors in a studio, they teach proper alignment), I have found Pilates Anytime has helped me to maintain and continue on with the art of Contrology, where I can truly say that,

'Pilates' via Pinterest



Monday, 17 February 2014

Summer Dream'

The continuous and consistent snowfall has meant that this my little region of Canada has not only snow banks so high that we can not see past them, it has also meant that the yearning for summer (something from which I do not normally suffer) has placed itself within my heart.  I could tell you that I dream of sandy beaches on lone Islands yet undiscovered, but, that's not the kinda girl I am.

While I do appreciate the beach, the sun and the sand to a certain extent,  I am not naturally drawn to  beach culture.  However, the deeper and longer this deep-freeze holds on to us, I find that I yearn for all the things of summer beach and non-beach-like included.  So, I present to you my ode to summer.

1. Light Summer Dresses 'Bohemian Rhapsody' 2.  Beer Battered Cajun Fries 3. Hammock via Hamanica via Etsy 4. Alligator ring via Diamentdesigns via Etsy

1. Bohemian Rhapsody & 4, 2. Food 3. For My Travels 

1. For My Travels 2. Birthday 3. Salt Water Taffy 'Food' 4. Vacation in Spain

Here's hoping summer 2014 doesn't remain in the realm of dreams!



Friday, 14 February 2014

Sacré Cœur--Sacred Heart

"The heart has reasons that reason cannot know."

Believe it or not, in my university days, I took a course called  Love and It's Myths.  A romantic and dreamer at heart, I foolishly thought that this course could answer some of the burning questions about the yearning  and preoccupation  humanity seems to have surrounding love.

The course had to do with love and my dreamer-eaque tendencies I assumed that I would be let in upon a closely guarded secret.  To my disappointment it had more to do with the professor's illegitimate progeny and otherwise unsavory indiscretions (stories which he thought made him a 'cool guy'), I had to keep the visible look of disdain off of my face.  Between the tales of 'conquests' and a heavy lean towards the philosophies of Pliny, Socrates and the like I was all loved out (reading a good majority of Greek philosophy is not my idea of a good time).

One thing that stuck with me from the course, was the myth of the first humans.  The story goes something like this...The God Zeus was doing god-like Zeus things going about his day when he noticed the first humans roaming around upon the earthly plane.  The humans which Zeus observed were not the humans which we believe ourselves to be.

The humans which Zeus observed had two heads, two lips, two noses, four eyes, eight limbs.  Zeus watching the humans noticed that they were intelligent, and industrious.  Fearing the worst; the humans may one day over power him, Zeus had an ingenious plan.  He would separate the whole into two halves, each searching for their other half for all time: soul-mates.  This is the philosophical explanation for our yearning finding that individual to whom we may say 'you complete me', which is considered to be the ultimate expression of oneness or love.

1. To Be Quoted 2. Duane Michels

There are other instances of love, friendship, familial and the like which are our first introductions to the idea (if one is so lucky) which gives our souls & hearts if one pays attention which is a glimpse of how love between soul mates should express itself.

 Creatives (i.e. poets, artists, writers and musicians), have tried to capture the magic & mystery of love throughout time. The majority of people within the world in their own way are fascinated and in search of the kind of love that makes time stand still.  Very few of us are lucky enough to encounter it, and if we are so lucky to hold on to it and give it a snowball's chance in hell.  I mention this with complete sincerity and with the greatest respect for that 'crazy little thing called love'.

Valentine's day, comes around every year and it is meant to be wholly representative or is the day where we should that special somebody our love.  While cheesy and ostentatious, inherently I have no big moral reason to bash valentines one I guess issue with it (even taking into consideration all of those appropriately placed chocolate options and 3 foot teddy bears one readily sees in the shops, at least in North America), it is it seems insincere.  To me, it just seems that when you love somebody, and I mean head over heels, butterflies in your stomach L.O.V. E baby, you show them in little ways every day, perhaps even being unaware that you're doing it.  To me (and I could be wrong), true love, happens in the quiet moments of life, in the little looks, gestures and sweet nothings of the every day. In the original incarnation the day of St Valentinus latin (if you're a history nerd),the premise of St. Valentine's day was based within the idea of courtly love.  An expression of love through admiration of one's beloved, often from afar.

On this St. Valentine's day, I leave you with a quote from one of my favourite films, the romantic that I am 'Meet Joe Black'. About what else but LOVE.

Happy St. Valentine's Day