Tag Archives: Pilates

Fat Free Vaginal Yogurt

Vaginal YogurtIt seems that unless I have the words, vagina or hand job, in my posts, people don’t seem to be as interested. Hmm.

That speaks to the world we live in, and to the company that I keep online, doesn’t it.

It was suggested to me by one of my Pilates clients that I write about a woman who made her own yogurt from her vaginal secretions. There, I said vaginal. Happy?

Cecelia Westbrook, an MD/PhD student at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, decided that there wasn’t enough information out there on how to make yogurt with vaginal bacteria, or about vaginal bacteria in general. Cecelia wanted to right that particular wrong.

Perhaps there’s a dearth of information for several reasons. 1. Who the f’ cares? 2. Who the hell wakes up one morning thinking about how to DIY yogurt with her lady juice? 3. We know plenty and there’s no good reason to dig any further. 4. Scientists are too busy curing cancer.

“Can I make a dairy product from my vaginal flora?”

Was this  burning question keeping Cecilia up at night? May I suggest that she read a book, or DVR The Voice, but for the love of all things Dannon, please keep the wooden spoon out of your hoo hoo hole and use it for stirring the pasta sauce, like one is supposed to.

Nobody paid her to perform this NASA-worthy experiment. It was her own curiosity that led her to ladle out her secretions. When I was a kid, my curiosity led me to the candy store to buy pop rocks and soda to see if I would explode, like Mikey did. Or did he.

On the other hand, if Cecilia’s experiment worked, she could save a lot of money, not having to buy yogurt. Have you seen the prices on that Fage lately. I guess that’s what dairy crack cost these days.

She spooned herself out into a bowl and the next morning, she ate herself. (pause for childish giggle) She said that she tasted, er, rather the yogurt, tasted sour like Indian yogurt. Ms. Cecelia just compared her vaginal yogurt to Indian yogurt and India took a hit.

I think the FDA and some other agency weighed in and concluded that vaginal secretions were not food and for Cecilia to read a book.

Cecelia should apply herself onto her face as a moisturizing mask, and/or a hair conditioner, like the rest of us do with semen.

 

I Flashed My Boob

BoobpadIn an effort to look bustier in my super tight sports bra, and not like a ten year old boy, I slipped a couple of pads in, taken from another sports bra. Why I didn’t just wear that one is one of life’s great mysteries.

The sports bra was so tight that I placed the pads right between my skin and the fabric, feeling confident that they weren’t going anywhere.

Off I went to teach my Pilates mat class. In the back of my mind, I chuckled because I thought about what would I do if they fell out during my class in front of 85 students. My confidence betrayed me.

I was barely ten minutes into class, when I looked down and saw the brown edge of the right boob pad peaking up from my sports bra, singing like Diane Ross, “I’m coming out. I want the world to know, got to let it show.”

The studio had two walls of mirrors and two walls of glass. I was trapped. I had been in similar situations and each time I’ve come out a stronger, and more dextrous person. I’ve removed countless bras without taking off my shirt (what woman hasn’t) I’ve swapped out feminine products while driving a car. I had this.

It was just another embarrassing and awkward moment, in a long list of embarrassing and awkward moments. I had to be brave. I had to show the kids how to look adversity in the face and give it the finger.

I went into def con MacGyver mode and walked to the back of the studio. I instructed the class in an exercise that would bring them down onto their backs facing away from me. As they were scissoring their legs, I contemplated shoving the pads down instead of removing them. And then I remembered not to be dumb.

I removed the left pad and held it for a nanosecond, while I thought about where to put it. I certainly couldn’t keep holding it. I couldn’t stick in the box that held the Pilates magic circles. I suppose I could’ve thrown them into a corner and retrieved them later but my aim isn’t the greatest and what if it landed on someone’s head?

I only had a nanosecond, as stated above, so I stuck it in the tight waistband of my pants.

I walked back to the front of the room, as I had to remove the right pad. The class had already done a 130 scissors, so it was time to switch sides. While they scissored, I scanned the room and removed the right pad and stuck it into my waistband. Whew, that was close.

Just fifteen minutes left of class and I was home free. It wasn’t to be. My boob pads had now become ass pads. I wondered if anyone saw what was happening. Do her boobs look smaller but her ass larger? Wow, Pilates sure does work quickly.

 

 

Steam Cleaning Your Vagina

SteamYourVagina

PhotoCredit:GettyImages

Gwyneth Paltrow has something else for us ladies to do so as to give our vagina’s that youthful glow. Steam clean it baby!  Shit, I just got through steam cleaning my area rugs.

Paltrow recommends a particular therapy that’s being offered at a Hollywood spa. It’s a Mugwort V-Steam. Of course this treatment hails from the birthplace of the anal bleach.

Apparently the treatment combines infrared and Mugwort steam. It claims to cleanse the uterus and the other lady parts in the neighborhood. And what the f’ is Mugwort? I’m going to look it up and learn me what it is.

Mugwort is a plant, whose roots are used for medicinal purposes, or for a tonic to boost energy. It can be used in aiding intestinal conditions such as worm infestations. Uh, huh. And?

And for mental problems. If you’re steaming your vagina, you just may have mental problems.

Some from the spa in L.A. have claimed that it, “stimulates the production of hormones to maintain uterine health, aids regular menstrual cycles, clears up hormonal acne, promotes circulation, and helps correct digestive disorders.”

However, like any controversial, or unorthodox, treatment, there are those in the medical community that disagree with these to good to be true claims. After all, it is a sensitive ecosystem that, for the most part, does a pretty good job of regulating itself.

Introducing shit like Hogwarts, I mean Mugwort, in my opinion, is playing with fire. And if not careful, may just ignite one in your vagina.

Some of the benefits, as cited by the therapists at the spa, is that it increases the warmth and circulation to the area. So, like a humidifier? It’s like a Neti Pot for my vagina? I’m going to boil water, add some chinese herbs, squat over my tea kettle and see if I feel more energetic.

A doctor, who was commenting on this treatment, said that sometimes women have cold uteruses (cold uterus, cold heart?) because there’s not enough circulation in the pelvis. This lack of circulation can be a factor in infertility.

You want circulation in the pelvis? There’s this new exercise that’s all the rage. All the kids are doing it. It’s called PILATES! Take one of my classes and your pelvis will be so circulated, you’ll be prepped and ready to conceive that very night.

I can’t speak to the affects that Pilates, and a circulated pelvis, may have on these symptoms, but I will say that sex will be mucho better-o due to Pilates. I’ve tested this claim. A lot. Okay, define a lot. I can confidently say that Pilates is great for one’s sex life.

As related to the infertility issue, the director of gynecology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine Charles J. Ascher-Walsh said, “And the herbs may even have an aromatherapy-like effect that de-stresses.” Stress perhaps being a factor in infertility.

How about buying lavender oil and a diffuser and create your own aromatherapy. I suppose if you really want that steam in your vagina sensation, you could squat over the diffuser and let it waft up your cooter.

 

Sitting Is Bad For Your Health: Pilates Part IV

Sittinginsbadforhealth

PhotoCredit:marcellarousseau.wordress.com

Most of you know that we, as a nation, spend far too much of our precious time sitting on our asses. You’re sitting in front of your computer, posting your umpteenth picture of your animal doing something so ‘awesome’ that you can’t wait another minute to get it out to your 60,231 Facebook friends. Or you’re kickin’ it (yes, I wrote kickin’ it and I’m not sure it was in an ironical way) old school, doing your best impersonation of a couch potato.

Our bodies were built to move (and for speed) and this sedentary lifestyle is slowly killing us. Now that may have been a bit dramatical but sometimes that’s what’s required for a message to be heard and action to be taken.

It is estimated that, given the time that we are laying down; sleeping, eating, as well as the examples outlined above, we spend about a third of our time on your asses, and or laying prostrate.

This sedentary lifestyle does not come without side effects. It can lead to obesity, it’s pure punishment on the spine, it affects blood flow to our limbs, tightens our calves, glutes, hamstrings and hip muscles, which in turn can affect our lower backs, among other body parts.

Don’t get me started on the rounded shoulders, forward head, and hemorrhoid epidemic that’s sweeping the nation.

Look at the young people around you, and tell me that you don’t see their upper backs hunched, and their heads down, as if they’re looking for spare change on the ground. It’s as if man (and woman) is walking in reverse on the evolutionary scale. Will future generations be walking on their hands? At least they’d be closer to the loose change on the ground.

I’m not pointing fingers because I, too, even as a Pilates instructor, sit on my ass more than I’d like to. And although it’s a tight Pilates ass, with a lifted THUT, I have to work hard to remind myself to stand up, and walk around. Sometimes I’ll eat and work standing up. Simple, not easy, and not always attractive.

I’ve found a few easy ways to offset some of the negative effects of inactivity that everyone can do. Of course stepping away from, or putting down, the friggin’ electronic devices for half a New York minute might also help, but I’m only one person. There’s only so much I can do.

The first step is to arm yourself with some tools to make these behavioral changes possible and easy. I want you to walk away feeling successful. See what I did there? Walking. Moving.

Invest two to three dollars (or less) in a Theraband, also known as an exercise band, or exercise tubing. You can find these online or in a local sporting goods store. Different colors correspond to various levels of resistance.

The bands are portable and can be carried in a purse (for women or men) or kept in a desk drawer, glove compartment or locker. What the hell, I don’t know where you work. The point is, you can take it anywhere.

Standing, grab the band at either end and lift your arms overhead. Keeping light tension on the band, side bend over to your right, keeping the space between your arms the same throughout, and your head directly in the middle of your arms. Use your core to stabilize, and try not to pop your ribcage out. Hold for 30 seconds, and switch sides.

Stretching the hip flexors is very important because these muscles get short and tight when we sit for long periods of time and will eventually start to ache if you don’t lengthen them.

Stand with your right leg in front of you, left leg extended behind you. Start to bend your right knee, as you press your hips forward. Gently squeeze your left glute (ass cheek) and tuck your pelvis underneath you, pushing your left hip forward and up, until you feel a stretch in the front of your left hip. Scoop your navel back to your spine. Hold for 30 seconds and switch legs.

If you must sit, set a timer to remind you to get up every 30-60 minutes and stretch. Take a walk around the room. The bands will hopefully make it more interesting and fun. Of course if you can get yourself into a Pilates class, that would make my heart soar like eagle.

I wrote this entire piece while hiking up a mountain.

Pilates Part Deux: What Is The Core?

Pilates Part Deux

PhotoCredit:RobertWernick.com

Today we’re talking about the core, at least I am.

A tight sexy core, that part of the body most people would kill their own grandmothers for, actually consists of, the Transverse Abdominis, Multifidi, Pelvic Floor and Diaphragm. The fab four work together to create a well balanced and aesthetically pleasing midsection.

The four systems stabilize the pelvis and lower back when stress is placed on them, as when you’re lifting your adorably plump two year old out of the sandbox, because he, or she, is not sharing.

Stabilization surrounding the spine is also very important. The spine is mobile (or rather it should be, if it’s not please do Pilates already) and delicate and would otherwise be vulnerable to injury and pain.

The Four Parts of The Abdominals

Transverse Abdominis

The deepest of the four abdominal muscles is the transverse abdominis, which is considered one of the four parts of the core.

I could get deeper here but I don’t want you to fall asleep, so let me just say that you can’t touch this muscle from the outside. It wraps around the torso, acting like a corset, drawing in the abdominals and decreases the diameter of the waist.

Identify the TA

Come onto all fours (hands and knees) and put your spine in neutral. Inhale and drop your abdominals down without moving your spine. On the exhale, pull the abdominals up towards your spine without changing the shape of your back. That’s the work of the TA.

Since the TA connects to the back, along the bottom of the ribcage, it has a great effect on posture. Strengthening the core can often assist with lower back pain.

Activate the transverse abdominis

Lay on your back and put a ball between your knees. Hold the ball by gently squeezing it while someone tries to pry it away from you. I highly recommend doing this with a significant other. It’s Pilates foreplay.

Obliques

The next layers of abdominal muscles are the Internal and external Obliques, which lay on either side of the torso. These also affect body posture and assist in rotation and lateral flexion of the spine (side bending).

Rectus Abdominis

The most superficial of the four is the Rectus Abdominis, or six pack. I find it amusing that what everyone wants are well defined superficial muscles. Does that make the person wanting them also superficial?

These muscles flex the spine, and have the least affect on posture.

The Second Element of The Core: The Multifidi

These are deep postural muscles of the spine that you can feel as a thin and taut band on either side of the midline of the spine.

When the transverse abdominis contracts, it creates tension in the covering that surrounds the multifidi (back muscles). This covering acts like a sausage casing, with the multifidi being the filling- yum.

When the multifidi contracts against the tension of the casing, they gently hug the spine, stabilizing the joints between the vertebrae. A good thing.

Activate the Multifidi

Stand up tall and gently place your four fingers on either side of your spine, with your thumb underneath your bottom rib. Shift your weight from one foot to the other and see if you can feel the muscles plump up into your fingers. Neat.

The Third Element of The Core:

The Diaphragm

It’s the primary muscle of respiration, and forms a dome, attaching to the ribcage and spine. On the inhale, the diaphragm contracts and draws the top of the dome downward, toward the ribcage. On the exhale, or when it relaxes, the dome rises back up, pushing air out of the lungs.

Activate the Diaphragm

Curl your fingers under your low ribs. You can feel the diaphragm as it pushes into your fingers, as you inhale and exhale. Try to breathe into your ribs, laterally, instead of into your stomach. There’s no pooching in Pilates.

The Fourth Element of The Core: The Pelvic floor

The pelvic floor holds in the contents of the abdomen up against gravity. Boy, that gravity test the pelvic floor. The muscles of the pelvic floor control what comes out and when; i.e. urine, and poop. A weak pelvic floor may result in peeing your pants. So I’ve heard.

Activate the Pelvic Floor

Pretend you have to urinate and then stop the flow. That’s your pelvic floor at work. I think this works best when you actually have to go to the bathroom.

Now you know. The next time someone talks about the core as abs only, you can show them how wicked smart you are.

When is Procrastinating a Good Thing?

When procrastination is a good thing

PhotoCredit:adancerprism.com

When is procrastinating a good thing? I’ll tell you when procrastinating is a good thing. When his name is Mr. Mikhail Baryshnikov.

Procrastinating happens. It happens but it never feels good and it never gets any easier.

I was in motion;  working, biking, conversing, but what I had to get done, truly done, was not getting done.

I had sent files to an embroidery and printing store Tuesday morning, only to be told that they weren’t the correct resolution. I spent the next three days, talking to friends, emailing Photoshop, and watching CNN, but nothing transferred those files to a higher resolution.

The printer was only ten blocks from my apartment. It would’ve made sense to walk over on Wednesday, and deal with it in person. In all fairness, though, six of those blocks were of the long variety, and super ass annoying. Can blocks be annoying?

The timing never seemed right; I was either teaching, or Pole-ing. I had lunch dates, dinner dates, and The Voice. Or just maybe I was making excuses, or er, procrastinating. By Friday, I was beyond fed up with myself and CNN, so I took the walk.

I had been in the store not three minutes, when he walked in; wearing a long black distressed leather coat, a black Fedora, and that infamous boyish grin. Mr. ‘White Nights’ himself, Mikhail Baryshnikov.

There are celebrities and then there are, well, others. These others have impacted our lives in ways that is almost indescribable. Indelible. Misha is one of those others.

Watching Baryshnikov on stage, (Baryshnikov on Broadway thank you) equally at ease pirouetting, step ball changing or pop and locking, made me want to dance. His strength, grace, and sheer powerful was a sight to behold.

I saw him dance in a stage production while no longer in his prime, and he still took my breath away.

I was interning at Columbia Pictures when the movie, White Nights came out, and I remember going back to my dorm room with several posters in hand, ready to wallpaper my room with them.

Around this time, my father was dabbling in the restaurant business and was a partner in a place called, Columbus. It was an immediate hit and a popular celeb hangout. It didn’t hurt that De Niro and Baryshnikov were also partners. Oh, sorry, let me pick up those names that I inadvertently dropped.

Mr. Baryshnikov, now 66, walked in, all 5’6 (more like 5’4 now) of him and I became a giddy school girl. I looked down to see if he was wearing his leg warmers. He wasn’t. I held my breath, hoping that he would ask the salesperson a question, so I could hear his sexy Russian voice.

Misha knew exactly what he needed and made a beeline for the boxes of buttons, stacked on shelves against a wall. This shelf happened to be directly behind where I was standing. I am not exaggerating when I say that our tight Pilates (I’m guessing that he practices Pilates) asses were practically touching.

I remained calm, and went about my business, but I did not lose sight of Misha and his frantic search for a button. Was it for a costume for a new show perhaps? Had he found the meditative benefits of arts and crafts?

I finished my business, which took all of five minutes. For a moment, I chastised myself for wasting three days and not coming to the store sooner, but then I looked at Misha and knew that if I hadn’t procrastinated, then we wouldn’t be sharing this moment.

Of course I lingered, I’m a warm blooded woman.

I texted the Girlfriend Mom daughter (because I’m a giddy schoolgirl) to tell her whose ass was next to mine because she and I were recently talking about Misha’s guest starring role as Aleksandr Petrovsky, on Sex And The City. I did have to school her when she innocently admitted that she didn’t know who Baryshnikov was.

She immediately texted back that I should say, “Hi Aleksandr.” I declined. I told her that I wished that he’d mistake me for SJP. It sometimes happens and my hair was looking especially curly with very low frizz. She fired back, “Oh, now you’re going to play the SJP card?!” She was right but it was Misha for crying out loud.

Lingering turned into loitering. I was pretending to sift through a bin of random patches. And then, out of the corner of my eye, I saw Baryshnikov take off his Soviet spy leather coat, and say something to a seamstress (lucky bitch), at the back of the store. I was out of earshot.

He handed her his KGB overcoat and one lonely button. Baryshnikov had lost a button. Mystery solved. I screamed from the front of the store, “No! I know how to sew! I know how to sew! I took sewing in 8th grade in Bell School. Let me sew it for you. Please. It’s no trouble.”

I walked back to where he and that bitch were standing, grabbed his USSR coat, the single button and smiled. “Hey, how about those burgers at Columbus? Weren’t they juicy?”