A YOGA PSA — yoga to the people open on 104th and b’way!

hello all–

for anyone interested in yoga (never tried, total expert, & everything in between), there’s some good news floating around the upper west side.

YOGA TO THE PEOPLE (a donation-based open level yoga studio) has opened a new location at 104th and Broadway! it’s on the second floor, above CityMD (you can’t miss it on the west side of broadway) and the space is huge and beautiful.

i’m challenging myself to go everyday before spring break, hopefully i can stay accountable. if you’ve been meaning to try a new workout routine, or revisit your old yoga practice, take a springtime walk down to 104 and check them out!

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note that their *suggested donation* is $10, but it’s really suggested and if they’re true to their mission, they really don’t want cost to be a deterrent to anyone interested in yoga. click the image above for all their info and remember that if yoga on campus is more your style, Well-Woman offers classes Thursdays and Sundays at 7.15p!

see you on the mat!

xx gabrielle.

Q: Discussion on Bi-/Pan- phobia and identity exclusion from “Queer spaces”

Originally posted on Q:

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For this week’s meeting we are hoping to intentionally create a space for bi- and pan- identified people who do not normally feel comfortable coming to Q or stepping into “Queer Spaces.”  We want to invite you to share your experiences and feelings about being bi-/pan- and, if you feel comfortable, speaking about the ways in which the “Queer Community” has either excluded or included you based on this identity.

We encourage new faces and new experiences.

We hope you feel welcome.

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TRANS ADMISSION POLICY TOWN HALL 2: Event posting plus my response to the first

Originally posted on Q:

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Hey Q-bies!

Even if you went to the first town hall, please please please consider coming out to the town hall this Monday 2/16/15.  Columbia Spectator covered the first town hall briefly (media coverage is not welcomed and quotes are not taken unless the speakers offer themselves up to be quoted by spec or outside media, don’t worry about getting quoted without your consent if you attend, that won’t happen) but the first town hall left me feeling displeased with the consensus reached for one question.

Expect three questions, two specifically about trans women on campus (the admission policy, if/how intentionally admitting trans women could/would change campus climate) and one about how to better support the trans students (transmasculine and men) that already exist on campus.  Be prepared to respond to or think about both types of question.

I was left dissatisfied with the responses given to the question about…

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“How to Actually Clean Your Vagina,” As Told by BuzzFeed

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As I was doing a Friday-morning Facebook peruse, I came across this article about the dos and don’ts of vaginal washing. Bottom line: vaginas clean themselves and don’t need much help!

As they explain in the article, the vagina is full of good bacteria that keep your pH levels where they should be. Meaning that douches, many soaps, and other urban lore methods of vagina cleaning (steaming was apparently a thing…?) can actually be harmful to your vaginal health. Nice warm water whenever you’re in the shower should do the trick for cleaning the vulva (the outer genitalia — labia and clitoris), and the vagina will take care of itself. For more information, check out this article and as always come visit the office if you have questions!

http://www.buzzfeed.com/caseygueren/how-to-actually-clean-your-vagina

The Unschedule

I recently re-read “The Now Habit” by Neil Fiore, and came across a time-management strategy that includes taking breaks, having leisure time, getting exercise and maintaining general wellbeing (!) as an essential part of productivity. The author recommends setting up something called an “Unschedule,” which is pretty much a blank schedule of your day split up into half-hour blocks with a few guidelines on how to fill it in.

One of the slight differences between the unschedule and a normal schedule is that in addition to putting in all the fixed commitments you have (classes, meetings, etc.) you also schedule time for exercise, breaks, meals/snacks, and fun events. (The author suggests using different colors for different recurring activities). The idea is that since your leisure and self-care time is more structured, you’ll be less likely to skip it and more likely to be more focused while doing your work since you’ll be working around commitments that you’re looking forward to.

The second part of the unschedule is filling in the time you’ve worked after you’ve been working continuously for at least 30 minutes (the author suggests using your favorite color for this part), or if you haven’t gotten around to work yet, writing in what you’ve been doing in a different color. Seeing the blocks of time in which you were working is intended to motivate you to fill in more of them, and see more of that color on your schedule. Since the blocks are 30 minutes long, if you’re unproductive for one 30 minute block, you have another to try again. I’ve attached two versions of a blank unschedule if you’re interested in filling these out by hand, and there’s always Google calendar as an alternative! Also, stop by the office to check out our other books on time management, stress and a whole slew of other wellness topics!

This is an example of an unschedule filled out.

Here are the two versions of blank schedules! Hour version  Half-hour version

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What do you call a fake noodle?

Q: What do you call a fake noodle?

A: An Impasta

I student taught first grade this semester, and I quickly learned that a six year old’s sense of humor is very different from my fellow Barnard students.  They loved it when I did the unexpected.  If I said the month was July instead of December it would cause an uproar.  At first I was puzzled at what they found so funny about going against expectations, but then it hit me.  Little kids have just figured out the system.  A little kid has just figured out that December follows November.  When I kid and say the new month is July they laugh because they are finally in on the joke.

College humor is a bit different.  There are definitely some things that never change, as the dick that is often drawn in the snow outside the Quad shows.  But for more “highbrow” humor, adults love biting illuminations of the system.  Shows like The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report thrive on showing the ridiculousness of government.  Topical humor is based on the idea of bringing a new light to common experiences.  Adults, and especially college students, crave this humor because we’ve realized that we don’t know the rules of the system.  We may know the months of the year, but we don’t know what we are doing a year from now. We love it when it seems like someone else knows what’s going on.

It’s hard to know the rules of the system when the system is always changing.  Once you’ve mastered high school you get thrown into college where a whole new host of expectations await.  Once you’ve finally understood all the campus jokes and explored the tunnels it’s time to graduate into the “real world”.  It’s scary and daunting.  But unlike a six-year old, you have experience that proves your strength.  It’s hard to tell a child that everything is going to be all right because they don’t have any empirical data to back it up.  “How do you know my friends will still love me if I don’t sit at the same table as them, even if there’s no room?  I’ve never experienced that before.”

But as college students we have.  We have been faced with challenges and have proven our mettle.  Even if it may seem like we haven’t done much, just the sheer fact that we have made it to where we are, wherever that may be, shows our worth.  We may not know all the rules, but we have the experience to know we can figure it out.

As I graduate and move onto the next chapter of my life I want to leave a few parting words.  Laugh at the elucidation of the system.  But also laugh at the unexpected; the mistakes you should have stopped making years ago.  Like trying to balance hot coffee and a full stack of papers.  Or believing that a 9 AM lab on a Friday will encourage you to go to bed early.  We are all still figuring it out.  Some of us are just better at faking it than others.

Just remember to be well and always look on the bright side of life.

So long Barnard, and thanks for all the feminism,

Rachel

Ways to Reset

As we approach the last few days of this finals week, hanging onto calm can sometimes begin to feel more difficult. When I feel myself beginning to sink into a pattern of anxiety and bad feelings, finding a way to “reset,” or break out of the spiral, helps enormously. Whether it’s taking a quick fun video break or getting up and moving around a little bit (even if you feel you don’t have time for a full-fledged walk) a little bit of variety can help. Here are some other strategies for breaking out of the rut:

1. A quick breathing exercise: A simple one is inhaling through your nose for 2 counts, exhaling through your mouth for 4; pause, and repeat. (You can also use any rhythm of slow breathing that feels comfortable for you).

2. Drinking water: Even mild dehydration (which can happen even before you feel thirsty) has the ability to affect mood, focusing ability, and feelings of fatigue, so drinking cool water or tea (available in the Well-Woman office!) can offer both a little break and a feeling of relief.

3. Doing a simple chore: If you have a quick chore that could use doing – wiping down your desk, maybe, or washing your dishes – completing the chore and focusing your attention on it – the spots on the desk, the feeling of water running over your hands – can help relieve some stress and leave you feeling more balanced.

4. “Bzzt” reset: A friend swears by doing a “physical” reset to help snap out of a distracted, negative, or unproductive way of thinking – making a “bzzt” noise with your mouth and shivering, as if you’re a kitchen timer that’s just gone off. The physical absurdness of the gesture is often enough to make you laugh, and it’s supposed to symbolize a physical reset. Afterward, it can be helpful to ask yourself “Okay, where do I go from here?”