Sunday, October 29, 2017

Boo on you

Halloween comes early in my neighborhood. September barely fades into October when mystery goblins set the Boo-ball rolling.

They wait until dark to creep to an unsuspecting neighbor's front door, where they deposit a small bag before running away undetected.

This is the start of an exponential spread of seasonal treats. Each bag contains three elements:
  1. A ghostly “Boo” sign
  2. Candies and other Halloween-themed items
  3. Directions for what to do next
Recipients are instructed to post their Boo sign and, within two days, deliver similar treat bags to two others on the street. Within our small circle of houses, it takes no time at all before every door bears evidence of being booed.

I don’t know where or when the tradition started, but it’s been going on in my neighborhood since before we moved here 17 years ago. Many of these years have coincided with election cycles, and while lawn signs promote candidates from opposing political parties, boo-meisters pay no mind what side you're on.

When it comes to Halloween, everyone gets into the spirit. Twix becomes more important than Twitter. Butterfingers over pointing fingers. Snickers instead of snickering.

Being booed is a welcome distraction at Halloween. It’s a sweet reminder about good neighbors, especially in today’s increasingly scary and gremlin-filled world.

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Many websites have variations of the Boo sign and directions, including...

Monday, October 9, 2017

It’s all yoga

Yoga used to seem so exotic. So unknowable. Often undoable. Now it’s everywhere, in everything. And everyone is doing it, goats included.

I was clueless when I walked into my first Power Yoga class 15 years ago. I didn’t know what to expect or what to wear. My heavy cotton T-shirt and sweatpants proved almost fatal after the instructor turned up the heat. A friend confided she cried after every class until, a few weeks later, her body adjusted to the routine.

Now, yoga seems commonplace. It has crept into our culture, much like kale into cooking.

I stumbled across my first Laughter Yoga class while running on a Florida beach. Since it was a beach I visited every so often, and Laughter Yoga was there every Friday morning, I soon followed my curiosity and joined the group. On one occasion, I dragged along my traveling companions for what turned out to be mustache day. We all had a good laugh and, in following directions to keep our fake mustaches on, so did the waitress serving our post-class breakfast.

Yoga is an ageless pursuit. Kids yoga uses fun and simple poses to get children moving and more comfortable in their bodies. At the other end of the age spectrum, there’s Chair Yoga, which is catching on in senior communities. Kinder and gentler on the body, practiced either sitting on or against a chair, Chair Yoga is becoming a thing—and not just for senior citizens.

Then there’s Toe Yoga, not to be confused with YogaToes, the product worn to passively stretch and strengthen toes. Toe Yoga has the same purpose, but there are a series of exercises to perform, as I’m learning from physical therapy for heel pain.

Last but certainly not least—and hardest to believe—is Goat Yoga. It, too, is a thing. And it’s sweeping the country, from Oregon to Arizona to New Hampshire.

I gotta admit, I don’t quite get the allure of Goat Yoga, but then again it took me some time to acclimate to Power Yoga.

All I can say to those trying any kind of yoga is this: Namaste.