I have been drinking at least eight glasses of water a day for the past month. It has become a second job, an obsession of sorts. It takes a lot of determination, thought and energy to actually accomplish this task every single day, but I am committed.
I had always heard that drinking water was a good idea, but it seemed like an intuitive notion that would be good to do tomorrow. Then I got a spot of benign skin cancer removed. It was a scary diagnosis (though I admit hardly anything in comparison to what many people go through). I asked my my dermatologist what he recommended besides the whole sun block schpeel. I was hoping for a classified medicinal, scientific secret. He simply responded,”Drink a lot of water. I drink a lot of water.” I was a little dumbfounded, yoga, fasting, meditation and sixteen years of organic vegetarianism hadn’t protected me from cancer. Drinking water seems so much simpler, obvious, maybe even trite. I didn’t realize until I the diagnosis, that the pursuit of many of my actions has been out of fear of disease and in an attempt to protect my body from the unknown.
I felt like I had tried “everything else”, so I committed to drinking eight to nine glasses a day. In the beginning, I had an App on my iPhone that helped me keep track. Now I “do water” before I do anything else- two glasses in the morning, a glass before a cup of tea, a glass before a meal, a glass before coffee. If I am hungry = water time. If I am tired = water. I don’t need coffee, the way I used to need it. And rather than taking time every few months to detox with herbs and special yoga poses, I don’t feel clogged up or congested in a way to need that, I just keep drinking water. I think I might be addicted. But I also think I am ok with that because it is easy, feels really good (and yes, my skin is more clear and have more energy) and I am so grateful I live in a place where I can drink out of the tap.
I have been urging many of my friends to blog about their journeys because their plans sounded so interesting (i.e. driving from Southern California to Alaska, or traveling to Asia to study massage); and consulting other yoga teachers about the benefits of blogging consistently. I realized yesterday, I have not been taking my advice while traveling for the past six months. It looks like I will be traveling for at least twelve more assisting at yoga conferences and events, visiting friends and family and exploring the country trying to figure where I will settle down; so I am committing to writing once a week this year and hope you enjoy the journey as much as I do!
Last week I landed at LAX, I was looking forward to getting out of the airport and directly onto Amtrak—the train station I had seen so many times on my voyages up and down the Southern California coast. I got my hiking backpack (the perfect size for wilderness or urban trekking) and walked outside, right in front of me was a free shuttle, I asked if it was going to the train and the driver said, yes, this is going to the train.” In this simple exchange we both presumed that there would be only one train. I was thinking Union Station in downtown Los Angeles, the reality revealed itself to be much different. One and a half hours on the public transportation system through South Central LA, four metro changes, a few brushes with crazy and a $1.50 later—I finally found myself at Union Station where I could grab an Amtrak train to head north (on which I would pass the easily Amtrak accessible Bob Hope Burbank Airport).
This week, to get back to LAX, I took the recommendation of a friend and tried the super cushy FLYAWAY bus. The morale of this story is to ask for local advice if you really want to get somewhere the savvy way.
In my not-so-local (because I wouldn’t consider myself local anywhere right now) opinion, I highly recommend taking Amtrak anywhere you can in Southern California. As long as you don’t mind a 30 minute delay which is not uncommon, the ride is filled with spectacular Pacific Coast views. An upgrade to business class gets you a snack pack, wifi, a split of red wine and so much leg room I had trouble reaching the foot rest! It is one of my favorite ways to travel- relaxing, beautiful and comfortable.