Sun, Snow and Sand

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Hello friends,

So sorry for my extended blog absence! I have been running around for the past four weeks – lots of travel and skiing, not enough yoga, definitely not enough work (January is slow for flowers) and now on top of it all, I’ve been in bed for days on end with a wretched dizzying cold. Lame. I am a terrible patient normally, but this illness knocked me down so hard that I’ve had little choice but to lay on the couch indulging in Netflix binges (just started Sherlock and Boardwalk Empire – sooo good!).

I have a few Ashtanga posts that have been marinating in the old noggin recently, but given my lack of energy, those will wait for a few days to manifest.

So for now, here are a few little snaps of these past few weeks of fun in the sun, in both Colorado and Antigua.

xo,
Frances

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Snapshots Of Our Mountain Holiday

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We arrived back in Denver on Friday, but Christmas already feels long gone. We had a wonderful five days of retreat in the mountains – just what we needed. The cool mountain air and perfect Colorado sunshine was restorative and invigorating.

Thaddeus and I spent the holiday together just the two of us and it was wonderfully relaxing. We skied hard, slept copious amounts, ate plenty, lay in bed for hours watching Netflix and took strolls around the charming town of Telluride.

After four nights there, we popped over to Ouray for a visit to the vapor caves, a lovely hike and a night at a beautifully restored historic hotel. Before our long drive back to the Front Range, we enjoyed a quick morning dip at the Orvis Hot Springs, which have quickly become my new absolute favorites.

Here are a few iphone snaps of our Christmas vacay! Enjoy!

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Road Tripping + Relaxing

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We have returned from our wonderfully lazy and fun Crestone gettaway.

Despite my best intentions to go for big hikes, do lots of yoga, meditate for hours blah blah blah, what we really did was sleep, eat and laugh! We went for a daily leisurely stroll too. And honestly, I think that was much more in line with what I actually needed. I feel happy, rested and very connected right now upon my return to the big city.

Nine plus hours of sleep for 5 nights in a row. Heaven! Long soaks in the healing waters of Ojo Caliente. Superb! The final season of The Office. Oh my goodness! Excuse me for tarnishing any shiny spiritual veneer you might have imagined on me, but that stuff is freakin’ hilarious!

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Asanas In The Gardens, Part 1

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Last week, Thaddeus and I did a little photo shoot at the lovely Denver Botanical Gardens with our friend Alison Hathaway of Red Shoes Photography. 

I want to share with you a few pictures from this wonderful experience. As you might know, I am normally very hesitant to have my picture taken doing asana. Honestly, I feel kind of silly and narcissistic practicing yoga in public.

Plus, I have enough bad body baggage and insecurities about my flawed practice that the thought of having it recorded for all to see is rather frightening. But nevertheless, we all had a lot of fun with this shoot and it’s good for me to realize that my body or practice doesn’t need to be “perfect” (whatever that means!) to be beautiful, beneficial and joyful.

My Ashtanga yoga practice is such an internal and deeply personal thing that I don’t normally feel comfortable displaying it physically for others. I prefer to write about it honestly. Even so, blogging is such a visual media and I have often written posts about practice and thought, “I wish I had a decent photo of me practicing for this post.”

And that is where Alison and her gifted skills with the camera came into play….

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Keeping The Lovey-Dovey Alive

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My husband and I are nearing in on our first wedding anniversary. I’ve heard from many couples that the first year can be especially hard. Life after all the wedding hoopla takes a bit of adjusting to, emotionally and practically.

Our year has involved a lot of transition – new career, a big move, school, etc., Sometimes when we are caught up in the daily grind and “adult stuff” (basically, all the paper work, taxes, home ownership stuff that I hate about growing up) it’s easy to slack on being a sweet and loving partner. During these times, I am reminded of all the good advice I’ve heard about relationships requiring work and attention.

All in all it’s been a wonderful and exciting year, but there have been some small challenges and changes in our relationship of course.

Today I was talking on the phone to a friend and she asked if we were still “all lovey-dovey.” Happily, I was able to respond, yes, indeed we are.

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Glimpses of our Nest

After a very fun winter of bopping around Colorado and the jaunt to India, we are now really getting settled in Denver. It feels so nice to nest, to decorate and to make this place feel like “home.”  Thad has started acupuncture school and I’m networking up the wazoo with florists and other wedding industry folks, getting ready to start working on some pretty pretty events this summer! Our puppy Artemis is still painfully cute and her nippy teeth are even more painful, but she’s potty trained and walking well on the leash, so let’s celebrate the small victories!

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Pictures: Ashtanga Yoga with DG

My dear friend Lauren was kind enough to send me a few photos that DG took of us little Ashtangis in the shala during our time in Kovalam last month. To any of you out there interested in traveling to India to deepen your yoga practice, I would highly encourage you to look at David Garrigues’s Mysore Intensive in Kovalam.

Working with DG, you will get so much personal attention and assistance in your practice, plus you get to hang out by the beach with a bunch of awesome people from around the world. Many yoga people ask me whether I’ve been to Mysore on any of my trips to India. Often these people are surprised when I tell them that I have very little interest in practicing with Sharath at Mysore. Perhaps I will go one day just to see the place, but for now, if I’m going to save up my money to fly all the way to India to practice yoga, I would rather be with my teacher (who is an amazing asana technician, thoroughly steeped in the lineage) who can give me one-on-one instruction and very personal guidance in my practice. DG’s instensive are pressure-cookers; a lot of powerful work gets done there.

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Hope everyone is having a great weekend! It’s snowing heavily here in Denver so we are headed up to the mountains tomorrow to make some turns – I heart CO!

Love and Blessings,

Frances

The India Chronicles

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Anushree – the daughter of our landlord in India

Home at last! Our journey back to Denver was long and tiresome. We ended up stuck in Dubai for 26 hours. Luckily Emirates put us up in a hotel so we were able to rest, but I sure was happy to take off those traveling clothes last night! Our heater broke when we were gone, so we are bundled up in our down booties and jackets in our drafty 47 degree home right now. Quite different from the humid sweaty days in Kovalam.

Give me a few days to get back on my feet, but for now, here is a list of all my posts about being in India practicing Ashtanga Yoga with David Garrigues.

One week from today, we will be on another plane – this time to San Diego for the Ashtanga Yoga Confluence!

Stay tuned…

 

In the meantime, check out….

Ashtanga Adventures

Greetings from Kovalam

Our Kovalam ‘Hood

Thali Tuesday and Coconut Party Time

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Sand and Sea

Ashtanga Maniac

A Day in the Life

Working with my Inner Brat

Patience is a Virtue…I’m Working On It

Indian Snapshots

Pain, Sunburn, Laughter and a Sobfest

Italy in India

Are You Looking For Me?

Tips to Improve Your Ujjayi Breathing

Health-Changing Reads

I’m Digging This…

Unseasonal Rain

A Trivandrum Trip

How to Deal with the Inner Voices of Self-Criticism

And That’s A Wrap!

 

Hope you enjoy catching up on all the posts from India – Thanks for reading!

Blessings,

Frances

A Trivandrum Trip

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe goofy mustaches in India still make me giggle and wonder….

Yesterday we ventured back into the city, Trivandrum, for a little outing with our friend Lauren and her partner.

The main focus of the day, honestly, was to eat some more tasty veggie thali. 

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We bopped around and did a little shopping. Here’s my favorite picture of the day – Thad in the “trial room”.

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Most of our shopping was cut short because of a State-wide protest. Apparently, McDonald’s is going to open their first Kerala franchise and the people here are very unhappy about that, so they demonstrated this by shutting down all the businesses and banks yesterday. I asked my driver if the people were mad because McDonald’s kills so many cows, but he said that it has more to do with the fact that McDonald’s is such a large corporation and that the Keralanians (I’m making that up, but you know what I mean) don’t want it to be taking money away from local businesses.   Interesting…I still think the cow-killing is worse.

Anyways, enjoy these images from our explorations around town!

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Just 3 more days in India. Can’t say I’m really that bummed about it.

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Me and My Funny Valentine

I’m looking forward to the snow back home.

I’ve already started planning out my first full meal to cook at home…though the more I dream about it, the bigger it gets. Right now it’s up to quinoa, acorn squash, black beans, sesame kale, avocado and a tahini-ginger-parsley sauce….oh yummy yummy.

Blessings!

Frances