Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Sleep Overs Aren't Just for Kids!

Ah Hahahaha, I can't even look at this picture without cracking up!!! We helped my brother move into his first apartment on New Years Eve Day, and as I was unpacking his decor, I found this special treasure! Senior pictures of Dusteroo and Cousin Blake. Classic. 
Patrick made a new friend. Actually, it might be more accurate to describe her as his new not-so-secret-admirer! We went to our sweet friend's Jessica and Bobby's house on New Years Eve to bring in the new year among good company, but not before we stopped by Ra to eat everything on their happy hour menu! I sure do love me some sushi. 
Adult sleepovers are the best!! Jasmine was so kind to donate her bed to us for the night. It's always good karma to be extra safe when drinking, especially during the holidays.
We listened to plenty of karaoke, laughed a lot, and made sure there was enough silliness to keep us young at heart forever. 
See those four faces right there? Those are faces full of love.
The next day we welcomed 2012 with black eyed peas for prosper, asparagus and cheese gravy for healthy bones, thick juicy rib-eye steaks covered in caramelized onions and mushrooms for happy tummy's, and jalapenos stuffed with Philadelphia creme cheese wrapped in bacon to keep the spice in life. OH YEAH!

     Take a good look at those pedals in the back ground....... I just kissed them goodbye and finally got me some clip ins!!! Yay. It feels so much better not lugging around bulky tennis shoes strapped in to extra heavy pedals. I don't know how I ever liked spin back the in the day before I had proper shoes. Ignorance is bliss, I guess.
A couple of weeks ago in spin class, the instructor was speaking to everyone about a couple of books she had read recently. One of them discussed the effects healthy breathing can have on the human body. It said most people fail to utilize their lung's full capacity, only filling the upper lobes when taking a breath, instead of  using their diaphragm to pull air into the lower lobes. I agree. It goes on to say that one should really only be taking an average of 4 breathes per minute. Wait; WHAT!?!?!? Apparently yogi's are best at this. Sure. So, what are the effects of efficient breathing? Lowered stress hormones, lowered blood pressure and heart rate, better oxygenation, all of which improve cardiovascular status and increase longevity.

This has been weighing heavy on my mind, and I've been making a conscious effort to breathe better, not only while working out, but every time I take a breath. Period. I've noticed sometimes, especially in stressful situations, I shallow breathe, almost hold my breath at times. For the first couple of days, I would focus on breathing for a few minutes at a time, until I got too light headed or sick to my stomach. I guess my body felt over oxygenated, but after 2 weeks of practice, I'm feeling really good. I'm a work in progress for sure, and nowhere close to 4 breaths a minute, but hopefully am on my way to being a healthy breathing machine!

While focusing so strongly on this bodily function that is usually mindless, I must have managed to squeeze it into my subconscious....which is actually where it's suppose to go if I'm to be successful at making a dirty habit of this slow breathing thing. Does it surprise you that I dream about it? I dreamed I was in a huge beautiful Carribean somewhere, next to a large cliff, surrounded by the most amazing marine life. I wanted a better look so badly. If only I could stay underwater to see the water-world happening around me. I was apprehensive at first, but soon realized if I stayed very calm and took slow deep breaths, I could breathe while submerged in the crystal clear sea. I was so thrilled I almost laughed, but remembered that I must stay very calm and focus on my breathing. Instead, I just sat there, floating effortlessly between the base of the ocean floor and the water's surface, absorbing the brilliant atmosphere. I did this for a very long time, and when the boat came to pick me up, I bragged to everyone about my new discovery. It was the first time I've ever had a dream about water and didn't feel like I was suffocating or drowning. Then I woke up, pleased with my new skill, until I started to rationalize the whole thing and realized unless I turned amphibian during the night, I wouldn't survive such an event in real life. I hate it when dreams let you down like that. 

Do you ever have under water dreams; are they bad or good? Do you eat a traditional food to welcome the new year?

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