Writing and editing
categories: Ashtanga yoga, baby

Ok. So, I know that the birth was only 3 months ago, but I am an ashtangi – and it is my god-given right as an ashtanga practitioner to talk about the downward trajectory of my practice. All the time.

There are good reasons not to practice before 6 weeks, but the A-type in me thought I would do some standing and a few seated postures. Because of the c-section my bandhas were AWOL and I tore up both hamstrings. I was sort-of hoping that it wouldn’t be too bad and they would heal. But they don’t really seem to be healing and I am limping through my primary with a hunchback, barely touching my toes. Le sigh. And, of course, because I practice ashtanga I  have zero patience for the process and I think that the rest of my life I’m going to be wincing in pain every time I fold forward.

David gave me pasasana to mark three months last week. Twists used to be my specialty, but I’m finding it hard to find my wrists and usually end up clutching desperately on with my  sweaty fingers. I am placeholding on my mat. But then doing yoga to get better at yoga is dumbass. At least that is what David tells me all the time (except he doesn’t say dumbass).

My body has roughly taken on my pre-pregnancy shape. Clothes fit – just a little differently. My body is organized for breastfeeding not jumping around like a crazy lady in and out of poses. There is a softness. I have wrinkles on my belly and some pretty funny muffin-top. Wrinkly belly muffin-top! Honestly, this whole giving birth thing is a lesson in humility. As if being covered in baby drool and poo and having to whip out my boob in public weren’t enough to contend with – there is also wrinkly belly muffin-top. Pregnancy might be beautiful (although I would argue it is more funny and adorable then beautiful) but motherhood certainly isn’t.

But then, having a baby to eliminate muffin-top is dumbass.

Oh dear blog readers, there are some incredible opportunities for learning in this entry.

Speaking of my blog. I was going through some stats to see if I could stalk y’all and I found the number one google search that led people to this blog was a picture of a remora from this illustrious entry. I realize there are a bunch of frustrated grade three students trying to complete their Ocean Animal reports out there – but I’ve decided not to care. Henceforth, I’m blogging only about remoras. Remora remora remora. Google that suckas! Here is a snap of the cutest remora in history.

OK. OK. Here is one for your grade three research report.

Hello from Stockholm!

Things are really different here. In Copenhagen, there was definitely a Children of the Corn thing going on. I was semi-convinced that anyone over the age of 40 or not drop dead gorgeous in a blowsy, effortless way was being sacrificed and their bones were used to make quaint bicycles.

Regular humans live here. There is more racial diversity, more tourists and a bit more of the rush, rush, rush mentality we have in Toronto. Actually, it reminds me a lot of Toronto – if Toronto were nice looking. We are staying at a pretty hilarious hotel on Skeppsholmen Island right beside the Museum of Modern Art. The hotel is like the nadir of Swedish design – all look, no function. Which is a bit strange for this part of the world where everything seems to be about coming up with solutions. David and I are so wigged out by this hotel, we dragged Laruga and David down to our hotel room to check out the sink. The sink is a stone on a platform with a drain underneath. Have you ever tried bathing a baby on a stone? OMG hard.

David and Laruga are so lovely and have been amazing tour guides and have been helping us find great food. It is so nice to have a wonderful international community. I felt a little badly that they have been showing us the Theatre and the Parliament buildings and we made them walk 30 minutes so they could see our shower. Hopefully, the workshop made up for it.

Of course we went to H&M, tried on hats and stood in line (not for the hat).

The light in Scandinavia is lovely. Slightly grey and diffused without being depressing. I love walking around and staring at the sky.

Yogayama is a stunning space. The restaurant is out of this world and Eva has made us feel so incredibly welcome. This morning while I was waiting to practice, Holden and I were walking around the studio and we felt so warm and at home.

Today, Little Owl and I are going to look at modern art and tomorrow Daddy is off work and we will go on a boat tour. Yay, vacation!

We are having such a fabulous time. It is a postcard perfect city populated by supermodels. We just need a great vegan restaurant or bakery here, and I need to make a bajillion dollars so I can afford a cup of coffee – then it will be perfect.

Yesterday I had another lovely practice with Mikko and we went to Elsinore.

So, the Dane didn’t really live here. I think the actual story  of Prince Amled is a bit more Viking and bloody. But it was fun to walk around the large drafty castle, and you can kind of imagine the boredom that would set in during a long, dark Danish winter.

There is another castle with cannons pointing towards the North Sea on the other side of the strait and both would work together to catch every ship that passed in 400 years. Eventually, an American ship refused to pay the tax and the whole racket crumbled. Leave it to the Scadunavuans to ingeniusly tax everyone, and the Americans to consider it resolutely undemocratic.

Every year at the castle features new performances of Hamlet in the courtyard. There was a Taliban Hamlet, which might be interesting from the Polonius and Ophelia perspective. There was also a poster for Hamlet without words, which seems a bit like cooking without food – but whatever.

We also went into the casements where the king stored food, soldiers and prisoners. We saw the cell that was built in a triangular shape and the bars would be slowly, week by week, be pushed in towards the corner until the prisoner was stuck in the corner. It felt creepy and sad to be in a place designed to be mean to someone else.

In super genius news, Holden has learned how to pick up his squish toy and put it in his mouth. Harvard, here we come!

I will have to start singing the song that Mercedes taught me, “Dontcha put it in your mouth, dontcha put it in your mouth – unless you ask a grown up first.”
Now we are visiting Uncle Pat in Malmo staying in such a swanky hotel. We have hardwood floors in our room to practice on! Friday we take the train to Stockholm.

I practiced today with at AYStudio. Mikko is a fantastic teacher. He is a gentle adjuster, but he has a lot of power behind each adjustment. Copenhagen is lucky to have him.

We walked around the city today with Patrick. We took a boat ride and saw the Queen’s residence.

I took a picture of my new house. For insurance reasons.

We love Uncle Pat, but the walking tour was pretty tiring.

Yesterday, David came home and told me that we would be going out of town on Tuesday to see a castle.

“Oh yeah.” I said.

“Where the Dane lived.” David said.


Ok. So Hamlet is in my permanent top 5, ever since I reread it in university. I know people say the Tempest and King Lear are more mature blah blah. But I think Hamlet is Shakespeare’s masterpiece. It has it all: death, depression, love, rivalry, blood. It is also describes pretty accurately that feeling of growing up and realizing you are just not the person you had hoped to be. I love Hamlet so much, I often don’t take the opportunity to see the play because I am afraid it won’t be good. Around my house, he is called “the Dane” after Monty’s speech in Withnail and I.

So excited.

Holden took his maiden voyage on Thursday night and he did beautifully. I was a bit worried about jet lag but he slept well last night and looked actually pleased when I wrapped him up like a glowworm doll in the glorious miracle blanket. Do you remember glowworm dolls?

It is uncanny really.

Robin and Mikko are taking very good care of us and the Astanga Yoga Studio is the studio of our dreams. If AYCT suddenly asploded and we got lots of money to rebuild it, I would make it just like AYStudio CPH. They have numbered spots for mat storage. Numbered spots! David and I have  been discussing this at length.

Robin commented in the last post that he would take us by the hand and show us all the best spots in CPH. He actually took Holden by the hand tonight and put him to sleep. The greatest!

The city is painfully beautiful, the people are excessively good looking and everyone here is so ridiculously fashionable they laugh and laugh when we walk by with our gnome backpack.

I woke up this morning trying to figure out a way to live here and have an apartment on the 4th floor with unfinished floors and white everywhere else and ride around on a “Milk Plus” bicycle.

We are staying in a 5-story walk-up with a lovely Danish woman and her son. Their home is uncluttered and perfect. David’s brother asked us to bring some maple syrup for him and of course the bottle broke somewhere over the Atlantic covering everything in sticky brown. We got to Loa’s flat literally dripping syrup all over her floors and spent the first three hours in Denmark washing clothes and running back and forth to the bathroom washing off the bags, diapers, the yoga mat…. Considering our very Canadian entrance she has been nothing but welcoming and helpful.

I had my first bowl of muesli this morning. Loa was scoffed at my store bought variety – but it was the best bowl of cereal I have ever had. It had whole macademia nuts. Whole macademia nuts! The front of the package said nothing about macademia nuts. It did say “Dinkel Super “, which is why I bought it. But what in North America could you buy with whole macademia nuts besides, well,whole macademia nuts. Anyway, it was crazy good, store bought and all.

We have walked around the city centre a little and after David finishes his workshop we are taking the little owl to see Bob Dylan’s Brazil series at the National Art Gallery and to visit Kristiania. I am excited to be a tourist here.

The biggest challenge is reading the Danish ingredients on the back of chocolate bars and cookies to see if they contain milk or eggs. Because I am really quite ignorant, I try to read everything phonetically and relate it to the closest word in English. This works for the package of Cashew nødder – ristet og saltet that I bought the other day. Reading novels is a bit more challenging – but I think I am doing Ok. Right now I am reading a novel by Cormac McCarthy translated  into Danish called Vejen. It is about a vegan dad and his son who are somewhat inexplicably in a land without vegan food. They run away from omnivores and keep telling themselves how good they are for staying vegan. In the end, the son finds a new vegan family because his dad doesn’t seem to be getting enough protein.

More pictures to come!