Modern art, modern food, sometimes yoga

Every year, it is the same. I come home to Chicago for the holidays, shop the suburban malls I grew up loitering in, eat a ridiculous meal at the suburban steakhouse Wildfire on Christmas Eve, then collapse into bed, eagerly awaiting the gifts under the tree. After we have transformed the family room into a wrapping paper war zone, the apple galette is baked and a sumptuous dinner prepared and eaten, and we get ready for our Day of Culture.

The Art Institute is officially my mom's favorite place in the world. This year, she snagged us lunch reservations at Teazo Piano, the elegant restaurant in the Art Institute's new modern wing. The space was gorgeous, and the food even more so.

That spaghetti squash, burrata and kalamata olive flatbread was just the warm-up for a divine lamb ragout tagliatelle pasta. After the finale of hot chocolate and homemade peppermint marshmallows, my parents drank coffee and relaxed. My sister and I ambled around the Renzo Piano-designed space, gazing at familiar paintings we grew up with by Matisse, Picasso and Magritte that somehow fit so much better in the soaring, angular white space that captures Chicago's skyline along with the art than the museum's old-fashioned marble corridors.

And every year, once the holiday bustle has ended and our house rhythms morph into watching movies, knitting, reading and cooking, I also do yoga. My parents' house is the first place where I got my butt kicked by a Shiva Rea DVD and watched in amazement as my sister did those impossible arm balances right along with Shiva. We do yoga together every year, usually in the frigid basement. But my sister left early for a yoga retreat in Costa Rica (grrr, boo, hiss), so I have been going it alone. This year I definitely thought I would be happy practicing at home.  I'm teaching now, I've got the series down in a whole new way. It's gonna be great!

Nope, non, not so much.

I've done it twice and both times, I craned my neck to look at the clock every 10 minutes. I finished the Baptiste series in record time, even after I threw in a few handstands and other core work. I wondered what my parents were doing.

It wasn't hard to figure out. I missed my yoga community. I love my studios. I love the ritual of seeing who will be in class that day. I love hearing what my teachers have to say. Other people inspire me, move me and keep me going. I'll be happy to get back.

In the meantime, my mom, who adorably does yoga too, recommended her favorite home practice companion.

Can you tell who is on the screen? Let's take a closer look.

Hi Rodney! For the next couple of days, bud, it's just you and me.


lookrichbitch said...

But what about the shopping?!

K said...

Rodney's the bomb! He cracks me up.

N said...

Editor's note: Clothes were received and purchased in Chicago; none of them were yoga-related.

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Header Image from Bangbouh @ Flickr