Monthly Archives: February 2018

Shanti Shanti Frustration: On Yoga & Gratitude

Hannah Hart Beat

I lost my yoga mat last week. My mom and I had just arrived at Grand Central Station after riding Metro North from Southeast station. It was raining and snowing at the same time and we stood on 42nd street without umbrellas for ten minutes trying desperately to hail a taxi. When we finally ducked into a free cab we were soaking wet and I remembered all the reasons I hated living in New York. When we arrived at the hotel where we would be spending the night before our five am flight the next morning I cursed the city again when our cab driver didn’t get out of the car to help me wrestle our suitcases from the trunk of his cab.

In my frenzy to get to shelter I left my mat there, laying in the trunk of the rusted, piss smelling cab and it wasn’t until the next morning that I realized my mistake. I cursed the city(again), the cab driver, the rain, my forgetfulness, and the universe in general. I’ve had that mat for five years. When I moved to Brooklyn I borrowed my mothers mat and when I started going to a few Yoga to the People classes in Williamsburg I left the mat there so I didn’t have to cart it back and forth on my bike (#classicbrooklyn). I’m almost one hundred percent sure that my mother’s mat that I originally left there was eventually switched out for another mat. They were both purple okay, Hart Beat! I just grabbed the closest purple mat! Regardless I’ve had that purple mat for a while and I loved it. I don’t even know what brand it was but I do know that it was extra long and squishy and forgiving on my inflexible muscles and bones.

Flash to 2018 the mat has followed me in a semi yoga revolution. over the summer I started a daily yoga practice. Four-year-ago Hannah is cringing at that sentence but it’s true. In true me form something that I swore countless times I hated viscerally has become one of the best things to come out of leaving the city last year. Since I moved back home to the Berkshires to commit to writing this G.D. book I’ve found that this area is a mecca for yoga. The Kripalu Center is less than three miles from where I live and some of the best yoga instructors in the world are only five minutes away. I’m addicted. I go to yoga every day and when I miss a class I feel genuinely sad, like part of me is missing.

Enter my frustration at losing that purple mat. The next morning while waiting in the Delta check-in line I took the only shot I had and sent the NYC TLC an email claiming a lost item, pleading them to send it back to me if they found it. They didn’t find it. Undeterred I practiced yoga the entire week on vacation on a pile of towels and extra hotel blankets. It wasn’t horrible but it’s not something I’d recommend when you’re trying to perch in crow.

When I got back to the Berkshires this week I walked myself into the Kripalu store and bought a new mat—a different mat. It’s green, thin and, flexible, kind of like me now and I realize now that it’s a good thing I lost my mat. I love my new mat. And so instead of cursing that taxi driver and New York and the universe, I’m grateful. When I step onto the vaguely plastic smelling mat I smile and breath deeper into my down dog.

———

This is the first post in what I hope is a series on yoga and my feelings toward it. The G.D. book’s first draft is done so instead of writing new words every day I’m editing words already written. Half of the words in the manuscript are wrong but I try to remind myself that that means half are right. Talk to you soon Hart Beat, and until then, Shanti Shanti Namaste. (Excuse me while I go chill in extended child’s pose and think about how four-year-ago-Hannah just threw up a little in her mouth.)

Top picture is of my new green Jade Yoga mat. I can’t recommend them enough, Hart Beat.

Dreaming of Warmer Weather (Three Things)

Hannah Hart Beat

It’s too snowy to drive to any coffee shop to work today (snow storm # one million) so I’m bundled up in my down jacket while the fire in my studio breaks the temperature from freezing to something bearable. Once it’s warm I’m back to the G.D. book but for now let’s distract ourselves with a few things that I’ve been on my mind. Thank Sweet Baby Yeezus in two weeks from today I’ll be surfing and sunning in Costa Rica for a week officially taking a break from the winter and writing. What’s keeping you going in the cold this week, Hart Beat?

This poem from February’s Poetry Magazine by James Brown.

Waiheke

You yearn so much
you could be a yacht.
Your mind has already
set sail. It takes a few days
to arrive

at island pace,
but soon you are barefoot
on the sand,
the slim waves testing
your feet

like health professionals.
You toe shells, sea glass, and odd things
that have drifted for years
and finally
washed up here.

You drop your towel
and step out of
your togs, ungainly,
first
your right foot, then

the other
stepping down
the sand
to stand
in the water.

There is no discernible
difference
in temperature.
You breaststroke in
the lazy blue.

A guy passing in a rowboat
says, “Beautiful, isn’t it?”
And it is. Your body
afloat in salt
as if cured.

This song by Drake that I keep playing while driving around the county, imagining myself instead, running on a beach into salty, warm ocean water.

Drinking as much Six Depot Costa Rica coffee that I can get my hands on. It’s the best coffee in The Berkshires (IMO) and I can’t get enough of it this week. It is currently defrosting my fingers as we speak.

Hannah Hart Beat

The top photo was taken by me three years ago in Costa Rica.

Wedding Guest Dress Help

Hannah Hart Beat

Hi Hart Beat! Long time no talk! How’s your February going? Did you see the news about six more weeks of winter? Woof. Although, to be completely honest I’m not that surprised. It is only February after all. I’ve been writing away the last few weeks (TBH #NoPlanJan was a FAIL) but I still got just about the entire first draft of my book done. This month it’s all about the edits baby.

Aside from the book, there’s been something else distracting me on the internet. And I need your help Hart Beat! I’m so excited because this spring I have a few events (cough weddings) I’m going to and I need suggestions on where to get a dress. Last fall I went to a wedding in Vermont and wore a great dress from Reformation but it’s black and the weddings this year are in the spring so I’m not sure black is the best. Plus, isn’t it bad luck to wear black to a wedding? Halp meeeee.

Hannah Hart Beat

Anyway, since last summer I started doing yoga every day my body has gone through #changes and I’m not sure it’s the best dress anyway for me right now. So, send me your recommendations! Where have you gotten dresses for weddings in the past? I’m not wanting to spend Ulla Johnson money but am looking for something a little more than Asos. I’ve been hitting all my staples like Madewell and Sézane but nada at the moment. Maybe it’s too early? Comment or message me your favorite brands and I will be forever grateful 🙏🏼.

P.S. Both these dresses here are said Ulla Johnson 💸😭.