VC Day 16: Joseph Tackles My Triangle Issues & There is Cake

Wow! I’ve been busy since Thursday. I had a dessert party to give, AND I got to take a seminar with my yoga boyfriend, Joseph Encinia. The last few days of the vegan challenge have been easy. I really do feel like I crossed over a major hump back when I cried over a pot of beans and rice. I’m feeling fantastic. I have a lot of energy, and I’ve been sleeping better the last few nights. I had a great class on Friday and an awesome time with Joseph today.

But, let me be honest, I have not adhered 100% to my vegan challenge. Well, if you read my post on accidental bacon (where I was crying over the beans and rice) then you know this. But eating bacon and blue cheese 10 days into the challenge was never planned. However, my party WAS planned. Every year I have a dessert party the Saturday before Valentine’s Day. This was either the 6th or 7th year. We cannot remember when it started. I think that just gives it some extra charm.

So, none of the desserts at my party were vegan. Once I committed to the vegan challenge I was faced with a few choices:

(a) revise my desserts to make some of them vegan OR find totally new ones that were vegan: Nope. Didn’t happen. I literally spend an entire year planning this party. I decided I was not willing to scrap the desserts and start over at almost the last minute. While I did have about two months to resituate, two months it kinda the last minute when you started planning ten months earlier.

(b) don’t eat the desserts: Nope. Didn’t happen. I didn’t go all out crazy or anything, but I did have a piece of rainbow sprinkle cake. The making of this cake was a bit labor intensive. I chose to make it about two weeks in advance and freeze it. I really wanted to taste it because: (a) it looked awesome when it was finished and (b) I wanted to see how my defrosting cake skills were (they are excellent).

Rainbow Sprinkle Caje surrounded by Cookie Dough Truffles

Rainbow Sprinkle Cake surrounded by Cookie Dough Truffles

My only regret is that I did not think to take a picture after the cake was cut open. That cake had six layers, and each layer was a different color of the rainbow. It was very pretty. The entire cake was gone at the end of the night.

So yes, I had some cake (and maybe popped a few truffles yesterday, today, and really every day since I made them on Thursday). I’m ok with that. My meals were still vegan, but they were nothing new. We simply lived on leftovers. The black bean soup I made a few days ago reheats beautifully if you’re interested.

Sunday with Joseph

Today I got my behind out of bed and spent many wonderful hours with my yoga boyfriend, Joseph Encinia. I love him. I’ve decided that what I love is that he’s very serious about his practice, but he communicates with us in a very loving way. He also has a terrific sense of humor. The first time I had a seminar with him I was a bit nervous about asking questions. I did ask them, but I was nervous.

Let me tell you, there is no reason to be nervous with Joseph. He gives very good feedback and answers your questions directly and clearly. Today, he helped me with many things, but the number one thing that sticks in my head is the feedback I got on triangle.

Now, if you’ve read my blog for any length of time you know I hate triangle. Hate it, hate it, hate it. But damn it if I didn’t have a question for Joseph about it. My question was this: I cannot figure out how to get my chin to touch my shoulder in triangle. What do I need to do to make that happen?

Joseph had me (while sitting down!) stretch my arms out like I was setting up for triangle. He noticed that the problem was in my shoulders. I can’t remember how he explained it, but I understand what to do with my shoulders to correct the problem so I’m happy about that. He had me set up my arms correctly (I’m still sitting down), and then turn and touch my chin to my shoulder. I did it! He said, “See, you can do it.” Then he told me to move my arms like I would in triangle.

Now, at this point I am sitting cross-legged on my mat. My arms are stretched out, and my chin is touching my right shoulder. The proper way to move next would be to raise my right arm up in the air. Did I do that? No. Maybe I was confused because I was sitting down. I don’t know. All I know is I tilted my right arm down and my left arm up and my chin was on my right shoulder so now I’m looking at the floor when I should be looking at the ceiling. Try it. It’s all wrong. And even better – I couldn’t understand why everyone was telling me to go back the other way. I knew something didn’t feel right. I just couldn’t figure it out.

I eventually figure it out and moved my arms so everything was pointing in the right direction. Then we stood up to do our second set, and I proceded to do the same thing again but now while standing. The owner of my studio was behind me. I heard her go, “Leigh! Other way!” Whoops!

So now we know that I have a dsylexic triangle. But I also understand how to get my chin and shoulder to touch. All I have to do is turn my arms in the right direction, and I’m basically good. Really, if that’s my only issue then things are looking up in triangle!


8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. teenieyogini
    Feb 10, 2013 @ 20:00:27

    Yes. Up is ALWAYS the direction to look while triangel-ing! I love Joseph, and this blog title too! And your cake looks amazing!


  2. leighahall
    Feb 10, 2013 @ 20:05:09

    Yeah – at least I was good for a laugh! That cake was incredible, and it wasn’t even chocolate!


  3. Penelope
    Feb 10, 2013 @ 21:00:18

    I actually love triangle… although for a year I was (without fully realizing it) looking up before the dialogue says to. Oops. Anyway I think one reason I love triangle is because it is around triangle time that I have finally gotten over the psychological trauma of standing head to knee. I want to know your secret for that posture! I wish I loved it, but the best I can do is look forward to the challenge. Ha.

    The desserts look so good. Mmm, cake!


    • leighahall
      Feb 10, 2013 @ 21:04:35

      I will be looking up before the dialogue says to for a little while. Now that I understand how to get my chin to my shoulder, I want to do the set up before I move my arms. I figure after a week or two I’ll have it down and won’t need to anymore.

      Today, Joseph said about head to knee, “Who loves this posture? No one, right?” I actually had my hand raised. He was like, “Really?” And I said yes, really, I have always loved it. I’ve always wanted to kick out and get my head to my knee, but I have literally loved the entire process of getting there.I don’t know how to make anyone love it. I can’t figure out why everyone hates it. 🙂


  4. Michele S.
    Feb 11, 2013 @ 00:38:26

    Please share in more detail about what you learned from Joseph! My studio uses its own teachers for “posture clinics,” but I long to learn from the “pros,” like Joseph. Maybe someday . . .


    • leighahall
      Feb 11, 2013 @ 14:47:48

      Hi Michele. I think it’s really hard to share more details. I didn’t take notes, and a lot of what I learned is hard for me to articulate. The triangle correction he gave me is a good example. I understand what to do differently, but not in a such a way that I can articulate it well. It’s a lot of information to process. Maybe other studios in your area bring people in? My studio hosted Joseph the first time I saw him, but this time I went to a different studio.


  5. LeighAHall (@LeighAHall)
    Oct 16, 2014 @ 17:39:32

    VC Day… #bikramyoga #yogaholicsmag


  6. LeighAHall (@LeighAHall)
    Dec 15, 2014 @ 15:09:54

    VC Day… #bikramyoga #yogaholicsmag


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