Tag Archives: Jay-Z

Hot Yoga Habits

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Me 90 seconds into a hot yoga class

Like any good citizen of Los Angeles, I exist on a never-ending merry-go-round of health trends (RT if you’re also actively avoiding Whole 30), food fads (it’s called Oat Milk and just WAIT till you see where the udders are), and whatever the “in” workout of the month is (swipe up for my Barry’s Bootcamp discount code). One of these is hot yoga. What is hot yoga, you ask? Basically it’s like regular yoga, but…hot. The studio I go to keeps things at a balmy 105º-111º for the 70 minute sessions which is a great way to take an already difficult workout and turn it into the sort of workout that makes you feel like you’re in the parts of the 80s-movie training montages that they cut out: sweaty, overextended, and without the internet to distract you. That said, there’s a few little things I do during my hot yoga sessions to keep myself from losing my mind during these trying workouts and having my cardio-induced glisten go from 80s action hero sweaty to 80s action villain greasy. They are as follows:

• Put my mat down as far away as possible from an attractive girl.
While impossible to fully avoid attractive men and women (it is LA, after all), hot yoga (as with any yoga) is meant to be primarily an internal practice of betterment and improvement of the self through pushing, testing, and expanding one’s limits. It requires focus on several different mental and physical aspects at once, and nothing shakes that focus quicker than wanting to show off for the Alison Brie type two mats over from yours. My general rule is: I look like garbage when I workout (and debatably when I’m not working out, too) so I like to pretend no one can see me, and the least I can do is extend that same courtesy to the other yogis in their practice.

• Snag a spot by the door.
This may the pettiest/babiest one, but when you’re dealing with temps in the triple digits, every little bit helps, and if you are able to snag a spot by the door, you absolutely MUST do so. People drop like flies in hot yoga classes sometimes — to the point that the instructors usually give a little disclaimer at the beginning of class that is something like “Even if you get too overworked or exhausted to do the workouts, just go down to your mat and try to stay in the room because that in itself is enough of a challenge” — but if people can’t take the heat (literally) they’ll step outside for a breather or leave altogether and man when that door swings open and wafts a little (relatively) cool air over you, it’s just about the closest thing you can get to Heaven in LA (except for actual Heaven, the combination dance club and acupuncture clinic on Sunset).

• Find a mantra du jour.
My favorite yoga instructors will cue this at the start of class and maybe even offer the group one of their own if you’re drawing a blank (as I often do), but finding an inspirational word or short motivating phrase to come back to when it’s a hundred degrees and you’re balancing on one leg and somehow pulling the other leg over the back of your head and now they want you to do squats on the first leg and oh yeah don’t forget to breathe! can be super helpful to give you something to think about than how each of these yoga poses finds a new way to shove your flab into an even more un-ignorable position than the last one. Ones I go to a lot are things like patience, trust, sending energy to oneself or a friend, or part of  Bible verse I read that day. But they can also be less dramatic things too like just remembering how good that pizza is gonna taste knowing you already worked it off. No pineapple, please.

• Saying The Lord’s Prayer during the quiet part at the end.
During the last couple minutes of class, once you’ve finally gotten through the last difficult postures they’ll usually guide you through a little cool down stretching and finally let you land in something called “shavasana.” Translating to something along the lines of “corpse pose” (and believe me, that is an apt name since you will absolutely feel like a corpse by the end of a tough hot yoga class) this is literally a posture where you just lay on your back for a minute or two and let your body cool off and replenish all that mental and physical energy you just used and get ready to use all that new energy you just created before you go back out into the world. Since my mind is usually totally shot by then from the workout and I’m not really in a state to come up with anything epic or fresh, I like to silently fire off The Lord’s Prayer in my head as we’re ending our practice and starting to come “back to life” in every sense of the word. It’s automatic enough in my brain that I don’t really have to think much about it, but it also has all the comforting principles and reminders that I like to carry into the next part of my day/life.

• Throw up The Roc and give ’em a “Hova!”
As we close out class, the instructor will usually give a mini thank you speech and closes the class with the traditional “namaste” — surely you’ve seen it on trendy athleisure shirts or in someone’s instagram caption of their brunch — loosely translating to “the light and teacher in me sees and recognizes the light and teacher in you” and they have you put your hands up to your forehead in this little triangle shape and bow in as you say “namaste” (this is all optional and not as weird as it sounds by the way, I don’t want you to think you’ll see me in the next cult documentary on Netflix). Now that’s a beautiful sentiment on its own, but because this is my personal practice, after I say “namaste” I also like to throw a little “HOVA!” on the end of it. “Hova” is the self-appointed nickname of one of my favorite rappers, Jay-Z, and loosely translates to “I’m not afraid of dyin’ I’m afraid of not tryin’.” Because your hands are already essentially in the same triangle shape as Jay-Z’s signature gesture The Roc and because Hova is another sort of energy that I also like to channel with me into my days it’s only fitting that following up a nice heartfelt “namaste” feels twice as good when you fire off a nice, equally heartfelt “Hova!” on your way off the mat. Honestly give it a shot, you’ll be stoked at what a confidence booster it is before a big date or important meeting.

• Be polite and grateful, damnit!
And then very very last, you’ve worked hard for an hour plus, you’re tired and ready to hit the showers, but don’t let a combination of exhaustion and lowkey resentment of your instructor for putting you through that make you any less grateful. It takes a lot to keep an eye on everyone, learn all the terms, guide with confidence, display all the postures in their most correct form and give hands on corrections when needed — and do it all with a calm voice and a controlled demeanor, not just barking orders like Barry’s Bootcamp. So no matter how wiped you are, always make sure to give them an audible “thank you” on your way out the door. And if Rachael Bell is your instructor (@rachaelkathrynbell on IG/twitter or her instructor account @rkbyogi) you can be like me and spout off a hearty “Thanks Rach” so that everyone knows you’re thankful AND that you’re on a “casual monosyllabic nickname” friend level with the instructor, so they’ll be extra impressed (hey, the class is over after all, I’ve got to go back to being attention hungry, narcissistic, and insecure at SOME point, right? Right??? Wait where are you going? I promise I’ve got a great oat milk latte spot you just HAVE to try…)

And hey, if you’re ever in the LA area, come take a hot yoga class with me! You can Venmo me for the pizza afterwards.

 

Play on,
Dustin

…Want more Mind Bullets? New posts go up every other Wednesday at noon PST (or as close to that as I feel like), and you can subscribe if you want them delivered right to your inbox! …Or if you’re too impatient to wait that long you can follow me on twitter, instagramyoutube (new videos every Monday), and my get band’s latest music. Whew, that’s a lot of self promotion…even I don’t like me enough to keep up with all that.

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Why Latin is the Best Language

Someone said to me the other day (or maybe today or maybe not at all…honestly does the setup really matter?) that the best language is English. These are the sort of deep-thinker conversationalists with whom I am forced to interact. Then they made the mistake of asking me what I thought the best language was. What a boron!

(Boron is a word I made up that means boring moron — I invented this word by combining the words boring and moron. Boron is also the chemical element of atomic number 5, a nonmetallic solid/metalloid, if you’re ever on Jeopardy)

They’re not dumb for asking that question, they’re dumb for not already knowing the answer! Everybody and their step-brother from Daddy’s first marriage knows that there is only one best language (duh, that’s what “best” means), and that language is: Latin.

What’s that? You aren’t 100% sure that Latin is better than any other language that has ever been invented or will ever be invented (probably by JRR Tolkien or more likely by George RR Martin because Tolkien died in World War I fighting off the Nazis and syphilis)? Well take a second to pull the suppositories out of your ears and the Q-tips out of your ass, because you’re about to absorb something more useful than the Plan B you took with breakfast this morning.

For starters, Latin is a dead language — meaning the Italic Latins and Ancient Roman civilizations that spoke that language went extinct probably ten or more years ago. But hold up, even though native Latin speakers are as extinct as the dodo bird or the commercial market for dodo bird leashes that I invested heavily into in the 90s, people all around the world STILL KNOW AND SPEAK THAT LANGUAGE. That means Latin is actually an undead language, a zombie dialect, and that already makes Latin badass enough to be the main bad guy in the next season of The Walking Dead.

...but...but...I thought Latin was already dead!

…Why won’t you die already?! What kind of language are you??

 

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Wher’ Da Gold At?

Tour factoids so far (Day 4):

+Somehow, everyone has contracted the same non-sickness.  None of us are actually sick, but we all seem to be passing around the sniffles to one another…it’s more odd than debilitating.

+We had our first day off today, which is always a mixed blessing — it’s nice to have some extra free time, but by the same token, we’re on the road in order to play shows, and having a day where we’re not playing shows almost feels like a waste.  Still nice to recuperate though.

+Mike Herrera’s (lead singer/bassist for MxPx) side project, Tumbledown, is following our tour routing almost exactly, but just a day behind where we are.  Weird.

+Kind of disappointed at the overall number of shawties we’ve encountered thus far, but it’s still early in the tour so I’m hoping that changes as we ramp up into towns where we draw better.

+Purchased a crapload of music today: the new Muse, the new Thrice, and the very old yet brand new Beatles songs.

+A minimum of drinks have been spilled in the van, which is good because spilt drinks are the number one cause of lingering bad smells in the van.  And when you have a couple of 8+ hour drives coming up, the last thing you want is to have to endure those drives in stank.

+Watched The Vampire Diaries pilot on my computer today via the free iTunes sampler.  No lie, it’s pretty bad.  The chicks are passably hot though, and it’s about vampires, so it’ll probably run for 10 years because people are idiots.

+Still pretty unimpressed with how the VMAs went down — finally saw a full replay today instead of just the Taylor/Kanye part, and aside from Muse and Jay-Z’s performances, I really could’ve done without it.  The VMAs are the number one reason foreign countries hate America, I’m sure of it.

Those are all the major stories so far, nothing too out of the ordinary.  Some sidenotes include a list of pretty inhospitable southerners (I thought “y’all” were supposed to be nice to visitors?), a homeless man who was trying to sell us a t-shirt that he clearly found laying around to “help the children,” and the outlandish desire to punctuate all of our sentences with “where da gold at?”

Oh and I’ve already read almost 2,000 pages worth of books at this point.  ‘Cause knowledge is power.

Cheers,

Dustin

P.S. They love us in St. Louis.  Of course, compared to the Rams, we’ve been a lot kinder to that town.

P.P.S. Where da gold at? Give me da gold.

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