Category Archives: Inside the Yoga Studio

Help…I’m Eating Like I’ll Never Date Again!

So I have this friend, Jill.

Jill is lovely, and blessed with a naturally tall, thin frame. She doesn’t get fat, she just gets “soft.” But to me, Jill always looks long and lithe.

However, Jill, like many women (myself included, during my dating days) links eating and body image to self-worth and dating. Abridged Version: More food in; Less going out.

This is crazy.  With a heaping dose of self-love and self-confidence, Jill is ready and able to date. If she believes she’s a sexy catch in the body she’s in, her dance card will be filled with men who couldn’t agree more.

That guy across the room doesn’t know that she had extra humentashen last night (Happy Purim!) or that Jill’s extra skinny jeans are no longer buttonable without exactly three deep squats and a flop on to the bed. No, Mr. Man-Across-The-Room isn’t thinking about any of that. Instead, he sees Pretty Jill. She smiles, and he thinks she’s the most radiant being he’s ever seen.

I know what you’re thinking….Great for Jill. But what about me? I don’t feel so hot in this body o’ mine. How do I gain self-love and self-confidence in my body?

1. Feed it. Enjoy every morsel that you put into your mouth. Your body needs it, or loves it, or BOTH.

2. Move it. Yoga, running, walking, stair climbing, horseback riding, whatever. A moving body is a happy body.

3. Adore it. Treat yourself well. Pamper yourself with scented moisturizer, a new hair do, or a manicure. Delight in your soft skin, your curves, and your shiny hair. It’s all yours, and it’s fabulous.

Self confidence. Get it, and start going out!

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Inside the Yoga Studio, Inside Your Friendships, Inside Your Love Life, Inside Your Lunch Pail, Inside Your Make-up Bag

The Dating Project…Meet Megan!

Welcome Back to…

The Dating Project, the newest segment here at The Inside Voice! We’re talking to sexy, successful and smarty-pants women to find out what they really think and feel about dating. Because being single doesn’t mean you’re ALONE.

Let’s meet Megan!***

1. Age and Occupation? 29. Showroom Manager.

2. Are you currently in a relationship? No.

3. Place in Order of Importance: Work, Friends, Love, Other.

Humanity, Love, Friends, Work, Stuff.

What do you mean by “Humanity”? The world, everything that happens on Page 6, the Planet.

And “Stuff”? The good life, music, wine, Brooklyn, books.

And when I think of “love”, I also think of “friends”.

4. Can you spot any patterns in past relationships?

Oh yeah. I’ve been single for 2 years. Two years ago I wouldn’t be so clear on my patterns, but now I can see them.

Before a relationship forms, I get this idea that the guy doesn’t want to be in a relationship with me. So then the rest of the relationship comes from a place of insecurity and a lack of self-worth. Crazy, right?

Now I get it. And I don’t feel like it’s all my fault. I don’t feel out of control.

5. Rate yourself, on a scale 1-10:

Self Confidence-8.5

Self-Love-9

Attractiveness-8

6. What barriers keep you from meeting a guy you like?

I keep myself from meeting a guy I like. I’m the barrier. For a long time I had a hard time being vulnerable. And I wasn’t interested in what I was doing professionally. I was down on myself. I didn’t feel fulfilled, or like I could bring anything to the table.

But that changed in the past 6 months. Now I do feel like I have something to contribute. I’ve been doing yoga, and work that I care about, and I’ve gone through a tremendously fulfilling personal transition. I feel closer to my family than I ever have. I feel welcomed, loved, received with open arms. I’ve changed the way I believe in the world. I’ve changed the way I look at people. Now I believe in love.

7. What does your dating life look like now?

I took a major break from dating. I was on pause, there hadn’t been much. But recently, it feels like there are prospects.

Where are you meeting people? Or where do you imagine you’ll meet people?

Through friends. Now I’m finally talking about wanting to meet someone. I’m telling friends, and they’re keeping it on their radar. Also, I made it my New Years Resolution to begin a relationship by the end of 2012.

Wow, that’s fantastic! If you made that New Year’s Resolution, it’s as good as done. I can’t wait to meet him!

8. What attributes are most attractive to you in a partner?

Humor, intelligence, open-mindedness, loving, kind, creative, compassionate, inspiring, cute, not too serious. Someone who can cook, well-read, hardworking, guys with sisters.

9. a) What does your perfect love life look like?

In a city, moving around, being social, equal parts out-and-about at home-time. It’s hard, not easy. Like in yoga, there’s strength and grace. It’s natural, and it’s also hard work. Keeping your own identity, open communication. Oh, and it will be FUN.

b) In a word (or words), what does that scenario feel like?

Like “in the body”, what does it feel like? It feels like nervous butterflies in the tummy and racing heart. But also secure, deep and warm. It feels like a big smile.

10. Last question, do you believe in “The One”?

No, but I believe you create The One. You show up, and then The One shows up in that context. You choose The One and then make it work.

Thanks Megan!

Inside Voice Wrap Up: Megan is a very special case. She’s starting over, fresh and renewed. She took a break from dating to get other big aspects of her life in order. She succeeded–she’s created a meaningful career path for herself, and a deeper connection to her family. She has more love in her life, coming from the outside in, and more importantly, from the inside out. When Megan starts dating seriously, I think she’ll enjoy it a LOT more than she did a few years ago. This time around, she’ll find the “strength and grace” to stay curious and playful while retaining her freedom and self-identity.

Megan sets goals. Megan sticks to her goals. If she set her mind to starting a relationship by the end of 2012, she will indeed make that happen. I’m looking forward to meeting the lucky guy!

***Some names have been changed, some haven’t. Each woman has the option to use her own name or choose her fantasy pseudonym. I’m not telling which ones are which. Hear these women’s voices. Listen to their stories. They’re just like you!

Leave a comment

Filed under Inside the Yoga Studio, Inside Your Career, Inside Your City, Inside Your Family, Inside Your Love Life

6 Ways to Describe Single Women

Single Women can be described in over 600 ways. Or Six.

I spend much of my time with Single Women. They inspire me, and they challenge me. Hell, some of my best friends are Single Women. And as you probably know, I used to be a Single Woman myself. Over the years, I’ve found that Single Women are…

1. Happy. Single women serve their own needs first. And a girl needs to be happy. If happiness lives in a box of Jacques Torres chocolate truffles and a restorative yoga class on Friday night, so be it. Who’s going to argue otherwise?

2. Connected. Single women have strong, solid relationships. They communicate clearly and often, with dear friends and chosen family. Single women have friendships that only deepen with time and trials and tribulations. Friendships can outlive boyfriend after boyfriend.

3. Feminine. Single Women tend to know other Single Women. And when you put a few Single Women in one space, you get a full-blown Goddess Gathering. That is, you get a group of women who are not afraid to be as “feminine” as they naturally are. Women communicate and share. Women tackle sticky topics like work, sex, babies, mothers, fathers, pain, fears, and true happiness. Women emote. Single Women emote a lot.

4. Hot. Single women are hot. Single Women are in your yoga class, rocking out in spinning class, and treating themselves to sushi dinners. Single women dine out on small plates and a glass (or 3) of wine. Most Single Women eat out a lot. And eating out, contrary to popular belief, is not fattening. However, it is expensive. Hence, the small plates, and the skinny jeans.

5. Stylish. Single Women have great wardrobes. They know where to shop, and how to shop. They know how to show off their best features. Single Women are peacocks, after all.

6. Rockstars. Single Women are Rockstars, at least according to Great Aunt Roz in Fort Lauderdale. If you’re a Single Woman, the relatives think you’re fabulous, or famous, or both. So what if they don’t quite understand what you do for a living, or how you spend your time and money? They can see that Single Women do things a little differently from most of the nice girls in your high school graduating class. Single Women have parties to attend, and people to see. Single Women are the family Rockstars!

Leave a comment

Filed under Inside the Yoga Studio, Inside Your Career, Inside Your Closet, Inside Your Family, Inside Your Friendships, Inside Your Love Life, Inside Your Lunch Pail

The Dating Project…Meet Rita!

Welcome Back to…

The Dating Project, the newest segment here at The Inside Voice! We’re talking to sexy, successful and smarty-pants women to find out what they really think and feel about dating. Because being single doesn’t mean you’re ALONE.

Let’s meet Rita!***

1. Age and Occupation? 23. Yoga Studio Manager, Continuous Student.

2. Are you currently in a relationship? Yes.

Ooooh, tell me more!

We started dating last June, and it was casual until September. Then I ended it because it got too serious. He continued to pursue me and I gave in. I wasn’t ready for a relationship until I was, I guess. We got back together in early November. It’s been good ever since.

Interesting! We’ll go deeper into your current relationship in a little bit. But for now…

3. Place in Order of Importance: Work, Friends, Love, Other.

Other, Friends, Love, Work.

What’s “Other” for you? Everyday happiness. Yoga. Good food. Self-Work–that’s definitely my number 1.

4. Can you spot any patterns in past relationships?

My friends call me a “Manizer.” I don’t make the men a priority. I tend to not take the dating relationship seriously. And I’m finding that that behavior can hurt people. I need to be up front about my expectations, right from the start. I usually don’t want to be in a serious relationship, and men often expect that I do.

Also, I have communication issues. I’m such a girl’s girl, I’m used to just talking and relating to women. Men have the capacity to listen and be there for you, but it’s not automatic for them. Men often interject, try to help, or solve a problem. They don’t know when I just want to vent. And I never think to ask for that, specifically.

5. Rate yourself, on a scale 1-10:

Self Confidence-It depends on the arena. Person to person, I’m a 9. In front of the camera, I’m a 1. It’s easy for me to just talk to people, one on one. But, my boyfriend is a photographer. And I realize how NOT confident I am when I get my picture taken. I used to be a model when I came to New York. I developed some unhealthy habits and ideas. I went through this period of not letting myself enjoy food. Yoga totally changed things for me, and I’m in a good place now with my body. I can enjoy the experience of being me, without all the restrictions. But still, that residual stuff with the camera is there. The camera makes me feel like I’m under examination.

Self-Love-10

Attractiveness-8. I’m not necessarily at my peak. I’m waiting for my 30’s.

6. What barriers keep you from meeting a guy you like?

If their lifestyle doesn’t compliment mine, I don’t give them a chance.

7. What does your dating life look like now?

Now I’m in a relationship. I have to stop questioning it, and accept that I’m here in this relationship. We do lots of activities. We have movie night, cooking night, going-out-with-friends night. We both love theater, plays and dance. And he’ll just go out and get a couple of tickets to music concerts. It’s nice. I’d been developing resistance to New York City lately, and this relationship makes me enjoy New York much more.

8. What attributes are most attractive to you in a partner?

Sense of humor. Open mind. Genuinely nice–It’s a deal breaker if a guy is rude to waiters, or anyone else for that matter. Creative. Cute.

9. a) What does your perfect love life look like?

Pretty domestic. I’m such a homebody. We have an intertwined spiritual practice. We may not go to all the same yoga classes, but it’s part of our daily lives. We have quiet meditative time around the house. We’ll both create. Maybe he’ll paint, and I’ll sit and sew something, and we’ll come over and look at each other’s work every now and then.

b) In a word (or words), what does that scenario feel like?

Like one of those internal smiles that can’t go away. It feels like something I’d never want to leave.

10. Last question, do you believe in “The One”?

No. But I believe you can create The One. You choose The One. If you make him your One, he’s The One. But if it doesn’t work out with that One, you can make another One.

Thanks Rita!

Inside Voice Wrap Up: Rita knows herself well. (She knows herself far better than I knew myself at 23. Just sayin’.)  Rita is interested in self exploration. She’s a perfect example what it looks like to use dating as a medium for self growth. She’s finding her place in the world. Without defining herself by her career–because really, at this point she hasn’t truly committed to one–Rita is free to define herself any way she chooses. She is soulful, artistic, and enjoys flirting with men in every which way. She also keeps things light. She has a knee-jerk flight response when relationships get too serious. With her current boyfriend, Rita can enjoy the freedom of being single, yet enjoy the companionship of a partner when she wants it. This is perfect for Rita. Because Rita is, at heart, a single woman. She’s figuring out to make herself as happy as possible. And when she does, a partner will only add to that joy. But until then, Rita is rocking out on her dating path of self-love and self discovery.

***Some names have been changed, some haven’t. Each woman has the option to use her own name or choose her fantasy pseudonym. I’m not telling which ones are which. Hear these women’s voices. Listen to their stories. They’re just like you!

Leave a comment

Filed under Inside the Yoga Studio, Inside Your Career, Inside Your City, Inside Your Friendships, Inside Your Love Life

Happily Married Yoga Teachers Are People Too.

When Blondie, a totally gorgeous, charming, happily married, intelligent, self-made, yoga teacher guru-type-person gives me dating advice, I listen. Or more specifically, when she gives her 10-year-younger self dating advice, I listen. And take detailed notes. Here’s how it went down:

Me: “What Advice Would You Give Your 10-Year-Younger Self?”

Blondie: Stop Testing.

Me: Whatever do you mean, Blondie?

Blondie: You know, being bitchy. Throwing tantrums. Not wearing make-up. Going out in sweatpants. Refusing to cook. Making him come to my neighborhood for dates. Throwing more tantrums. Also, farting. Testing to see who would stay. Every guy left. Except Mr. Blondie.

Me: Speechless.

Shocked! How could this flower of a person be so irrational, so grotesque, so……normal?!

My world will never be the same.

Leave a comment

Filed under Inside the Yoga Studio, Inside Your Love Life

Hesitation…till the very last moment.

Should I go to yoga class?

As I walk down the subway stairs, I can’t decide. While I wait on the platform to transfer to the local train, I’m on the fence. As I walk up the stairs onto the street, I waver.  Pounding the pavement toward the studio, I’m still torn.  I open the door, and here I am.

I guess I’m going to class.

Sometimes decisions are made with my feet. My whole body propels me forward, while my mind flounders. If not for the momentum of my body, I’d be stuck going in circles, or worse, paralyzed with doubt.

It’s hesitation till the very last moment. Ever feel that? Perhaps you have plans to attend a holiday party. Or meet some friends for a drink. Or even go to the gym for a quick workout. The mind says…”Maybe, maybe not, maybe, maybe not, etc.”  And before you know it, you’ve arrived at your destination, and the answer becomes “YES.”  Phew, the sweet relief of a decision made.

It’s exhausting. You’ve just spent more energy hesitating than on the actual business at hand. And now the Holiday Season is officially here, an already stressful time. Don’t you want to make things easier on yourself? So when the mind whips up a generous helping of confusion, indecision and doubt, just keep moving forward. One step at a time.

Leave a comment

Filed under Inside the Yoga Studio, Inside Your Career

11 Reasons I Say THANK YOU.

In no particular order, I say THANK YOU because…

1. My rent hasn’t gone up this year. Thank you, rent stabilization.

2. I have health insurance. Dental and vision included.

3. I have a boyfriend. And he’s dreamy.

4. I have a MacBook Pro. It scares me but I’m grateful for it.

5. I have a hairdresser that I trust. The “natural look” takes a lot of care and consideration.

6. My students are incredible and supportive.

7. My bosses are incredible and supportive.

8. Loehmann’s offers special birthday sales to insider card members.

9. I am healthy.

10. The Louie G’s Italian Ices stand is open through November. To go, obviously.

11. I am loved. My life is perfect.

1 Comment

Filed under Inside the Yoga Studio, Inside Your Career, Inside Your City, Inside Your Closet, Inside Your Family, Inside Your Friendships, Inside Your Love Life, Inside Your Lunch Pail, Inside Your Make-up Bag

Inside The Yoga Studio

Teaching yoga is not easy, not by a long shot.

But it is simple. Inside the yoga studio my role is clear. I talk, I teach, I facilitate. My students’ role is clear. They listen, move, breath in unison, and enjoy their bodies.

That’s what happens inside the yoga studio. It’s our grown-up slumber party. It’s a suspension of outside obligations. Inside the yoga studio we make a wordless deal to play nicely with each other, to play respectfully. We cheer each other on. Go ahead, be ridiculous, be great, be honest. 

At the end of class, there’s pregnant silence. We gather our things from the outer corners of the room–sweatshirts, keys, regular pants without luon. Soon we’ll each be a commuting body moving at quick speeds underground. But not yet.

What happens inside the yoga studio stays with us as we move outside into the world. Till we come back and do it all again tomorrow.

Leave a comment

Filed under Inside the Yoga Studio

A Thank You Note

I spent the past weekend on a yoga retreat in the Catskills. It was an all-women affair, aptly named the Goddess Retreat. I’ve been attending these retreats since they began over ten years ago. And each and every time, I’m joined by my mom.

As proper etiquette dictates, a Thank You Note is appropriate.

Dear Goddess Retreat,

Thank you for the pear cobbler with homemade whipped cream. I had four big dollops.

Thank you for the extra down blanket. It was warm and fluffy.

Thank you for the stories. A woman acknowledged her passions. Another woman discovered love, almost lost it, and found it again.  Many women prayed for children, prayed for their ability to care for them, and prayed for their ability to let them go. 

Thank you for dance class.  These days, dancing  is a rare treat. I long to dance without self-consciousness, or fear of sending the wrong message. I want to dance in a safe space, whether it’s my living room or a line dancing club in New Jersey. Because dancing is feel-good medicine. 

Thank you for the hours upon hours of hang-out time.  You reminded me what it’s like to hold a conversation long enough to get to the meaty part.

Thank you for the laughs and tears and wet snorts in between.

Thank you Goddess Retreat. I’m so glad we’re friends.

Very Best, Daniella

Leave a comment

Filed under Inside the Yoga Studio, Inside Your Family, Inside Your Friendships, Inside Your Lunch Pail

Turn up the Volume!

If you have ever practiced next to me in class, you know that I have a quiet yoga practice. On the whole, I’m pretty unassuming. I don’t take up too much space or call too much attention to myself.  I can flow seamlessly from pose to pose. My practice is decidedly Low-Volume. 

On the mat, I know how to make it look like I’m present, and in the moment. But just because my body awareness has improved over time, that doesn’t mean I’ve gotten any more enlightened. Or any less chattery in my little brain. Far from it.

In easeful poses, I can easily be very far away.  But some poses, like handstand, are still major challenges for me.  And when attempting handstand, I’m immediately awake. I’m shaken out of my dreamy vinyasa waltz.  I put all my effort into finding the balance, holding my gaze, and refining the shape for just an extra breath before I fall. And I fall a lot. Sometimes loudly. I’m no longer the light dancer that flows from Warrior 2 to Side Angle. Instead, I’m a focused practitioner, calling upon all of my resources in that exact moment to find myself sticking handstand, and then descending with variable amounts of grace. 

In a practice of mostly whispers, it’s nice to turn up the volume to a roar, every now and then!

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Inside the Yoga Studio