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On Being a Bad Lady

15 Aug

 

Yes, I have been lifting weights again. And I know–David Garrigues would have my head on a platter. With some macrobiotic food on the side…

I conducted a little “experiment”, and went to a boot camp through my job for four months. I also started doing Crossfit. I even ran (!!!) which I haven’t done in any sort of serious way since my tendon repair surgery in 2008.

And I loved it. Not gonna lie…it’s so much easier for me to stay in the comfort zone of really physically rough exercise. It feels good, and it’s not confusing or weird or “internally challenging” like Ashtanga. It doesn’t cause me to need to rearrange my mental landscape. And in the end, it also doesn’t necessitate a total physical rearrangement, either. It’s more of the same. My body is like, “Oh yeah, this. I know this.” With Ashtanga, my body is like, “Oh my f*cking GOD, not THIS! Anything but this!”

In the end, I decided to stop bootcamp after almost 5 months. My hip is killing me again, and my knees may soon join my hip in united protest. This time, though, there’s something different going on. I feel very mentally and spiritually “stagnant”. I am craving the “internal rearrangement” of Ashtanga, even though I am scared shitless of starting a serious morning Mysore practice with a teacher. I am coming up with every excuse known to humankind to not do it. I’ve also been letting my new job and lots and lots of socializing get in the way of dedication to practice. I have been dabbling with Ashtanga Fundamentals classes here and there, with erratic home practice, with hot yoga and with classes through my job (which happen to be taught by an Ashtanga teacher, hmmm…). For the same reasons that I stopped lifting weights and started Ashtanga in 2012, I am stopping now. It looks like pain, both physical and emotional, remains my best teacher. Surprise!

More Than a Mouthful: Trianga Mukhaikapada Paschimottanasana

8 Oct

 

I’m sorry, I couldn’t resist the Hips Don’t Lie Shakira/Danzig duet. I laughed so hard that I forgot how much I hate learning all of these damn painful, hip-torturing asanas! My ongoing attempts at the Primary Series forward folds continues with Trianga Mukhaikapada Paschimottanasana. I’ve been screwing around with it for a few weeks now, but the adjustments in my Swenson manual do not seem to be working for me. We don’t do this asana in my Sunday AM Intro class so I went on the hunt for some alternate suggestions.

 

Actual plus-sized yoginis and very useful modifications from Expert Village. I used my bolster tonight and it was extremely helpful:

 

 

Jason Schramm from Detroit Yoga–“weaning” yourself with different sized blocks. Another very useful suggestion and I like his voice and his black nail polish. Actually, he’s kind of, um, hot, now that I think about it! But I digress–this is serious Ashtanga learning time, ahem:

 

Update: Julia had us do this in class on Sunday (OK, she kind of sprung it on us!), so it’s a good thing I did all of this prep work on modifications beforehand! The bolster is a lifesaver. Julia kind of gave me an Ashtanga beatdown on Sunday, actually. There weren’t any brand new people so we moved much faster (less instruction) and tried some new asanas. I love her!

Sundays with Marduk

24 Jun

Take me to Sweden now!!!

I might be a yoga-loving, plant-gnawing hippie but I am also an unabashed Metal Chick. In honor of Sunday, I give you: Marduk. Ironically, when I searched for Marduk on youtube, the  “…and I am a Mormon” video channel popped up at the top of the screen. Cue the “One of these things is not like the other” music! Marduk is currently on tour. I missed the tour this year because of my stupid finger. Although their new vocalist is not too shabby, I do miss Legion. Mmmm, Legion…

Didn’t realize the guitarist from Marduk has a side project band called Devil’s Whorehouse, a Misfits cover band!

 

 

And speaking of Legion (covered in blood!), here’s a video about Witchery and the making of Witchkreig:

 

Video for “Witchkreig” –I miss Legion’s badass hair:

Heavy Metal Yoga Playlist #4: Hopelessly Stoned

1 Jun

 

 

When I feel like I wish I was in an, um, altered state, I put on this playlist for practice. All of the Stoner Witch vibes, and none of the munchies, law-breaking, paranoia or (to paraphrase RichardFreeman) “loss of my edge” . One hour, thirty minutes that feels like ETERNITY:

Black Sabbath, “Into the Void” (live, with Ozzy!)

Fu Manchu, “Hell on Wheels”

Unida, “Wet Pussycat”

Kyuss, “Son of a Bitch”

Melvins, “Queen”

Orange Goblin, “Scorpionica”

Monster Magnet, “Dopes to Infinity”

Electric Wizard, “Vinum Sabbathi”

Nebula, “Atomic Ritual”

Bongzilla, “Hash Dealer”

Sleep, “Aquarian”

Dozer, “Big Sky Theory”

Weedeater, “God Luck and Good Speed”

Spiritual Beggars, “Euphoria”

Acid King, “Queen of Sickness”

Sheavy, “Set Phasers to Stun”

Slo Burn, “Muzeli”

Blue Cheer, “Come and Get It”

Downward Dog

26 May

I have a 14 year old Italian Greyhound named Enzo. He has recently decided that my yoga room, AKA The Slayer Shala, is now his. He’s taken up residence on my mediation cushion:

He likes to come and sleep on the cushion while I practice or meditate. Sometimes he will come up to me and just stare at me when I am on my yoga mat, sweating like a beast. I’ve caught him in there numerous times when I come home from work. It’s odd because he never had any interest in the room until I started spending all of this extra time in it doing Ashtanga. I think my dog approves of my new practice. The other day I caught him rubbing his face on my yoga mat like a cat. Italian Greyhounds are the weirdest cat/dog/bat/alien creatures ever. His birthday is in August (a Virgo to my Pisces, go figure) and he will be 15. It’s strange having a senior dog. I worry about him a lot. He’s lived with me in three different states and has accompanied me on many adventures. Enzo is a truly excellent Italian Greyhound, even though (or maybe because) he is a freakazoid. Anybody else have dogs who like to do yoga with them? Luckily he’s deaf, so the constant stream of either Death Metal or Ravi Shankar doesn’t even faze him.

Heavy Metal Yoga Playlist #3: When Vegans Attack

11 Apr

It’s not pretty when vegans attack. We burn you with American Spirit cigarettes, force you to watch Mercy For Animals undercover footage, tie you up with recycled rubber belts and pelt you with TVP. Of course, I can only speak for myself, ha ha. I was really having to resist the urge to put more Arch Enemy on this playlist, speaking of vegans. Oh Angela Gossow, how I love you…Chris Adler from Lamb of God is a vegetarian, BTW. I think I just need a whole separate post on veg & vegan metal musicians. It would be most excellent to be able to do an entire veg metal playlist.

One hour, three minutes. This is kind of like a metal buffet, with “Girls Made of Metal” as the dessert. I suggest a topping of the following:

Extra creamy WHIP!

Vildhjarta, “Shadow”

Meshuggah, ‘The Demon’s Name Is Surveillance”

High on Fire, “Serums of Liao”

Hatebreed, “Everyone Bleeds Now”

Black Breath, “Feast of the Damned”

Soulfly, “American Steel”

Clutch, “When Vegans Attack”

Howl, “Jezebel”

Jucifer, “Throned in Blood”

Otep, “Crooked Spoons”

The Devastated, “Drip. Drip”

Enabler, “Unconditional Surrender”

Witchery, “Witchkreig”

Devildriver, “Not All Who Wander Are Lost”

Children of Bodom, “Tie My Rope”

Hysterica, “Girls Made of Heavy Metal”

Gasoline Girl With A Vaseline Mind

3 Apr

The start of Week Three of The Ashtanga Experiment, which feels totally surreal to me…I keep thinking the Ashtangi Police are going to show up & bust me taking extra breaths like crazy and gracelessly shambling from down dog to the front of my mat. And no, I don’t know the Sanskrit for that. I’m just showing up at Slayer Shala and doing my best. I am baffled by my new found inability to do Triangle pose. I’ve never had problems with that asana, ever, and now it’s a total nightmare. I’m sure I will look back on this and laugh. Or not. Actually, there was quite a bit of chuckling going on today during my death metal playlist.

An aside: being a still-fat but vegan yoga practitioner kinda sucks sometimes, not gonna lie. Not for vanity reasons, but for functionality purposes–there’s just a lot more for me to have to throw around during practice. Floating is not exactly happening right now if you know what I mean. More like flopping and stomping. Kind of like a dancing grizzly bear in a pink tutu who could dangerously lunge for your twizzlers and popcorn at any time during this performance. Although I find myself not fussing about my body shape or size *while* I am practicing, I am feeling some generalized discontent after. Although I have been steadily losing weight for a year and 8 months now, sometimes I wish it would just be over already, dammit. My inner, fiery egoself wants it NOW.  The practice is definitely stirring up some interesting feelings…part of me just easy and peaceful, and part of me on fire.

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