Ruth Anne's Blog

Personal blog and Travel Diary

Jul 16, 2008

Yoga Review

I have been doing yoga for four months now. One of the reasons that I started yoga was a very simple reason: one of my friends who just graduated and moved to Utah gave me her yoga mat! So because I missed her and because the yoga mat was sitting in my apartment and not getting used I decided to give it a try. Four months into it here is a list of some of the poses that are not natural for me:
  • Hero's pose: I cannot sit down in between my ankles, period. My muscles will not relax into this pose. I imagine that eventually after a couple of years I will get it. Part of the issue is that my knees aren't used to having the shin bone move sideways.
  • Boat pose: My legs always bend and when I try to straighten I just fall over.
  • Wheel pose: Oh my goodness. I have a serious fear of this pose. I can do the pose once and maybe twice but after that I freak out and can't hold the pose for very long.
  • Head stands: Sometimes my mind is too busy and I have to fall down before I can hold the pose and be relaxed.
  • Hand stands: I am definitely afraid of holding a head stand. I could do it when I was 8 years old but that was a long time ago.
So that is a list of all the poses that will take time for me to learn. I just discovered that yoga is excellent training for swimming. On Sunday I did butterfly 10 lengths of the pool, I couldn't believe it. Normally I loose my form on the second length and have to struggle just to make it across the pool. My main goal in yoga is to just enjoy being there, I really don't want to start analyzing how I am doing or trying to rate myself or develop some sort of identity. I just want to be there and have fun and relax.

Jul 15, 2008

Jane in July

This July is the month of Jane, Jane Austen. The last time I actually read a Jane Austen novel must have been when I was in college. I think I read Pride and Prejudice twice and I must have read Sense and Sensibility because I remember that one of the main characters fell down in the rain and almost twisted her ankle only to be rescued by a tall dark and handsome. I also remember that there was a Colonel. Anyway, this month I saw the movie Becoming Jane with Anne Hathaway with my friend and then bought a leather bound compilation of her works from the bookstore. Since I didn't want to buy the hard bound volume without actually reading it I decided I should at least read the first novel which happened to be Sense and Sensibility. I was completely captivated while reading it and was surprised to find that I was completely engrossed in it. I think that her character development is ingenious and I found the family drama between the characters to be very relevant and in many aspects universal. The book addresses things like ambition, jealousy, all those human emotions and desires that enter into our lives and affect our decisions and how we treat other people.

Thesis Chatter

I haven't written in my blog for two years! I am just writing to keep my blog active. I am currently writing my thesis that I have been working on for 6 years. Can you imagine? It is a very daunting task and a bit intimidating considering the amount of material that has accumulated over this time. Of course most of the work is already written up in reports, a modest journal article, and a conference paper, but putting everything together in one coherent document will be a challenge. And of course the introduction will be the hardest part to write. The funny thing is that I always write the introductions first because it gives me a sense of focus when I am putting the document together. It is a rule to write introductions last, but in my case if I did that than the chapters just wouldn't flow quite right. I am actually enjoying writing the thesis and it is actually more enjoyable that putting together a journal article. In the thesis you have a chance to tell more of a story so its nice. There is also a sense of completion, that the work is coming to a finish. One thing about research is that it feels like it never ends. You go from one problem to the next and there is always a next problem or an aspect of the current problem that you feel obligated to address.