Pudding, Podcasts and a New Series of Beginner Yoga

Let me start with the pudding.

It was rice.  Made with milk and half-and-half and sugar and I stirred it endlessly and carefully and tenderly and added vanilla and raisins and cinnamon at the end.  I followed the recipe in the Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook, which, as I’ve mentioned before, is the Scientific American of cookbooks.

Newly off my cleanse, I was jonesing for pudding.  I made this concoction  with high hopes and a watering mouth. I never let the milk come to more than a simmer.  I used the right rice, the right everything, I babied this pudding like it was triplets in the last trimester. I never let it get out of bed.

And it was a crashing disappointment.  An utter pudding fail. It was borderline tragic.

Maybe I cooked it down too long? Maybe I have lost my taste for sugar? For pudding? Maybe too many raisins, too much cinnamon?  Whatever it was, it was decidedly off.  I had a small bowl, got a bellyache, and threw the whole mess down the disposal.


Beginners Yoga

Last Thursday I had my first class in the new Beginner’s Series.  I have now taught Beginner Yoga maybe 10 times, and every time I sort of freak out.

Beginners are so fragile.  Beginners are apprehensive, wary, insecure, nervous.  Beginners want to wear their socks.  Beginners do not smile.  They most of all do not want to sit in the front. God forbid they get there late and only the spots in the front are left.  This is a major freak out moment for a beginner.

Beginners tell me right from the get-go all the things they cannot do– just so I know.  They will never be able do a headstand. (“It was just a joke; no headstands. Promise.”)

And that’s the other thing. Beginners are hard to joke around with. They think yoga is very serious business, what with all the “Om-ing” and the Sanskrit and the right way to say “asana”  and the freaky nap at the end with the gongy music.

To them, this is very serious shit people, so if the teacher starts to goof around (that’d be me!) beginners become very uneasy.

And this is why I freak out about teaching beginners.  I DO take my yoga very seriously, and more than that, I take their yoga even more seriously.  But I am naturally ebullient and happy and, I daresay, sometimes even charming. And winsome. And goofy. And garrulous. And let’s not forget irreverent.

Irreverent. But not about the yoga. About myself.

So I have to watch myself like a freakin’ hawk in the Beginner class. At least in the first few weeks, or until I can get them relaxed and at ease and somewhat “Kathinated.”

This week will be week #2.  Baby steps…


I did it!  (or I should say we did it).  We figured out how to do it, put music behind it and save it as a file that can be downloaded.  I need a better mic, and I need to figure out how to adjust the volume on the music behind my voice, but for a first try, I think it is really very, very decent!  I uploaded it to Virtual Yogarians, the website I set up during the Challenge so that anyone who wanted to could have a place to post about yoga stuff.

Here, go check it out and let me know what you think:


November One-to-One

Mall of Louisiana, Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Int...

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This past weekend we took a fun + business-y little over-nighter trip to Rochester.  I had an appointment on Saturday at the Apple store for a lesson on podcasting.

People have asked me from time to time to make a yoga CD that they can use at home when they can’t get to class.  I like that idea, but I like the idea of podcasts better because they are easier, they can be short and sweet, and I can change up the routines all the time.  Unlike a CD which has only one workout, with podcasts my students can have access to lots of “mini” classes. And best of all, I can offer them for free.

When I bought my Mac just about a year ago, I was really nervous about transitioning from years of working with PCs.  Turns out there was nothing to worry about.  And although I am sure I am not exploiting all the wonders of my MacBook Pro, I’m definitely getting there.

The guy at Apple who gave me my “One on One” lesson was great.  Not only did he know the program (Garage Band) but he knew how to teach it to me.

That’s a really important distinction, too, because a person can be the most talented programmer, or guitar player, or chess master in the world and not know thing one about how to teach that skill to another person.

In order to teach, you have to know how to break the material down into easily digestible bites so your student can absorb it.  Otherwise he or she will just sit there being wowed by how much YOU know about your instrument or whatever, but never learn how to do it, or play it herself.

Because of the excellent teaching of Brian, I think I can actually do a podcast now. And it was fun learning!

And speaking of “digestible bites,” we took a little “time-out” from The Cleanse while we were away.  We had our usual big meal at lunch time at P.F.Chang‘s, a Chinese place, where we really didn’t go off the plan at all, but then at The Bonefish Grill we had wine with dinner, and then dessert.  It tasted really good, and best all there were no gastrointestinal repercussions afterwards.

The official end of the cleanse is this Friday, but I will probably continue with it.  I feel like an old pro at this now.  By the middle of last week, I was feeling absolutely no cravings for anything and I was just starting to see results in the mirror.  It feels stupid to quit now, just at the beginning of the “dramatic results.”

One thing I have learned this time through Clean is that if I want to see dramatic results in my body, I have to strength train.  No two ways about it.  Must be done.  My fancy scale is showing a significant weight drop, but my body fat percentage hasn’t moved at all.

That’s gotta change.  I have to stop crying whenever I so much as think about lifting.  Why does lifting weights make me feel like I’m being unfairly punished?? I need to get to the bottom of that one.  Quick!