Why I Like Bikram Yoga

After all the do’s and don’ts of what to expect in your first Bikram Yoga class in my last post, you may be wondering why I enjoy it. Below are the reasons why:

  • It’s lowering my blood pressure, in a matter of weeks.
  • It forces me to do yoga poses I’d never do on my own.
  • It’s no-impact exercise.
  • It’s super challenging.
  • It’s making my thoughts clearer.
  • It’s increasing my flexibility.
  • It’s decreasing my knee pain.
  • It’s time self-care time. I can focus on myself for 90 minutes.
  • It’s helping me learn to meditate.
  • It’s introducing me to like-minded people.   
  • It’s alleviating my hot flashes. In her book New Menopausal Years: The Wise Woman Way, Susun Weed wrote that the answer to hot flashes was to exercise and sweat more. Prior to Bikram Yoga, I’d cut back to eating minimal chicken and fish, and my hot flashes had downgraded to a “warm breeze,” as I like to call it. Now with the excessive sweating this hot yoga creates, I don’t even have warm breezes. Hot flashes be gone. 🙂
  • It’s inspiring me to stay vegetarian.
  • I go to class two to three times a week because of the multiple benefits. I wouldn’t call a Bikram Yoga class a good time. I’d call it super-physical-self-awareness-yea-I-did-it!-me-time. 🙂

Up Next: A review of “A Little Late with Lilly Singh.” (NBC) (If you’re over the age of 40 and are like, “Who is Lilly Singh?”) read this first: https://mochaangels.com/2019/03/17/lilly-singh-is-making-history/

What to Expect at Your First Bikram Yoga Class

(Long post.)

I recently started taking Bikram Yoga classes. I began my yoga journey in 1999 with Anusara Yoga. I’ve taught yoga since 2000 and I’m trained in Anusara, Kundalini, Children’s, and Pregnancy Yoga. I practice Kundalini, Ashtanga, Iyengar, and Prana Flow Vinyasa (Shiva Rea’s style of yoga). And I love Cole Chance of YogaTX and her own channel on YouTube. We’ve never met, yet her style is very similar to the way I teach. Feminine Vinyasa style is what I call it.

Bikram Yoga is tough as s&^%, challenging, sweaty, difficult…the opposite of my own teaching style, and I LOVE IT!!

Preparation is necessary for your first Bikram Yoga class. My first experience in 2010 was terrible. I simply was not prepared…at all. This post is to educate you before you walk into a Bikram Yoga class. My wish is after that first class you want to continue studying in this tradition.

One to two weeks before your first class

  • Register for your class ahead of time. Most yoga studios offer a Groupon or a special for newcomers. My Bikram Yoga studio offers a $10 for 10 days special. If your studio offers a deal like that, go as many times as you can within that window.
  • Read your studio’s website thoroughly.
  • Go to the official Bikram Yoga website and read it thoroughly as well. https://www.bikramyoga.com/  
  • Get on YouTube to hear about other people’s experiences. You’ll hear the good and the bad. Just remember nothing can replace your own experience.
  • Get familiar with the 26 poses before your first class. The 9-minute video below is a good demonstration. A Bikram Yoga class is 90 minutes long. It consists of 26 poses and 2 breathing exercises. All poses are done twice. Also, you are staring at yourself in the mirror the entire time.
Click to watch the video.

Two days before your first class

  • Start drinking more water than you think you need. Drink until your urine is clear. Also start drinking a sports drink for electrolytes. The room is heated to 105 degrees with 40% humidity. (My dad calls it “Yoga in a Sauna.”) I cannot emphasize enough the importance of drinking water.

The day of your first class

  • Continue to drink more water than you think you need. You will pee a lot. It’s annoying but it will keep you from cramping during class.
  • Stop eating one hour before class. What to eat? I can’t tell you what to eat because everyone is different. My humble suggestion is to eat carbohydrates, i.e., fruit, beans, bread, pasta, potatoes, etc., because they give you energy.

Wardrobe

  • Men: Shorts and a sleeveless t-shirt. Expect to take that shirt off. Also, no cologne.
  • Women: As little as possible. Wear shorts or leggings. Wear a sports bra or bikini top. Wear a sleeveless t-shirt if you must. For all women who don’t want anyone to see their “mom bellies” or “batwings” or cellulite, this is for you: It’s hot as f^%! in that room. Modesty will disappear as sweat pours down your body like rain. Believe that.

Also for women:

  • Don’t wear perfume.
  • Don’t wear makeup. This is not the time to be cute.
  • Don’t wear jewelry.
  • Don’t wear a wig.
  • Don’t get your hair done the day before. It’s a waste of time and money.
  • Pull your hair away from your face.
  • Keep that weave tight.
  • If you are pregnant, talk to your doctor first. As a teacher, I tell all pregnant women to wait until their second trimester to practice any yoga. If you are new to Bikram, I’d err on the side of caution. And let the teacher know that you are pregnant.
  • If you are on your period, it’s safe to attend. Listen to your body’s wisdom.

Why so many “don’ts?” Because this is a challenging moving meditation practice. You are staring at yourself in the mirror to cultivate focus and mindfulness. The less distractions, the better. And did I mention the heat?

Bring to class:

  • A yoga mat.
  • A beach towel or two large bath towels to cover your mat.
  • A hand towel (or two) to wipe the sweat off your face.
  • Water.
  • Sports drink.
  • Eyeglass case if you wear glasses. Your glasses will fall off your face because of the sweat. And sweat will be running into your eyes.
  • A snack (leave it in the car). You will be hungry afterward. If it’s an evening class, I only eat fruit because I’ve already had my dinner. If it’s a day class, I eat fruit in the car, then have a meal when I get home. Eat in a way that works for your body and your schedule.

Get there 30 minutes early. Use that time to do the following:

  • Finish your registration.
  • Ask the teacher questions.
  • Go to the bathroom.
  • Change your clothes.
  • Put your clothes/purse/wallet/bag in a locker or cubby.
  • Get familiar with the studio.
  • Go inside the yoga room to get acclimated to the heat.

Once you are inside the room

  • Lay out your mat. Put the towels on top of the mat to prevent slipping. You are barefoot, btw. Place your drinks next to your mat.
  • Sit in the second or third row so you can watch more experienced people in front of you.
  • Lie down or chat with other folks about their experience.
  • The teacher will come in to begin.
  • Listen to the teacher’s guidance.
  • Do NOT feel the need to do the entire sequence.
  • Do NOT feel the need to be in a pose in its full glory. Respect your limitations.
  • Do NOT hold your breath. Take deep breaths through your nose. Breathe.
  • Do NOT compare yourself to other people. Everyone is on their own journey. (I call it “the yogi flu.” You’ll make yourself sick comparing the quality of your postures to someone else’s. Focus on yourself. Those 90 minutes are precious self-care time.)
  • Sit down. Take breaks when you need to. You have your entire life to master the sequence. Honor and listen to your body’s messages.
  • Expect to sweat like you’ve never sweated before in your life.
  • Sip your water and/or sports drink throughout the entire class. Don’t gulp. You may feel nauseated.
  • If you feel the urge to bolt from the room, sit down or lie down. The teacher will encourage you to stay in the room. You are an adult, so you can do what you want. However, human beings run toward pleasure and run away from pain. Your teacher knows if you leave the room, you are not coming back inside. A pee break is one thing. Bolting from a 105-degree room in a panic is another. Try to stay in the class.
  • Enjoy a long savasana (corpse pose, aka final relaxation).

After the class

  • You did it!!
  • Be amazed at the experience.
  • Be amazed at how wet your clothes are.
  • Pee.
  • Drink more water and sports drink.
  • Shower at the studio if you can. If not, change out of those sweaty clothes (especially in the winter).
  • Put a towel on the car seat if you didn’t change your clothes. 
  • Drink more water and sports drink. (Again!!)
  • Eat your snack.
  • Take a shower at home.
  • Eat a meal.
  • Take care of yourself that day. Rest if you can. You exerted a lot of energy.
  • Register for your next class.
  • Sleep well.

Up next: After all these do’s and don’ts why do I like Bikram Yoga?

Meditation: The Missing Link

While I was on a break from blogging, I integrated meditation into my life.

Daily meditation forces you to:

  • Stop
  • Sit still
  • Breathe
  • Connect

Which in turn makes you:

  • Aware
  • Calmer
  • Slower to react
  • Quicker to bounce back

What I mean by “quicker to bounce back” is that when you do get upset, meditation can bring you back to emotional balance. It reminds you that even when life is kicking your ass, you still have two things:

  • Plenty to be grateful for
  • A Higher Power that loves you

And even if you don’t believe in a Higher Power, believe that you have family and friends who love you.

I’ve taught yoga for 19 years and always dismissed meditation. I thought asana (the poses) and pranayama (deep concentrated breathing) was enough. They are not enough. Stopping amid life’s “daily-ness” and “busyness” is crucial for good mental health. I’ve even got my kids doing daily meditation.

Everyone thinks they are too busy to meditate, so I’ll share short guided meditations I’ve found on YouTube.

The easiest way to start: Go to YouTube and type “guided meditation 5 minutes.” A list of videos will come up. Pick whatever speaks to you.

My children and I do a 5-minute meditation together before they leave for school. I let them pick one. (And yes, they only do it because I make them. They have learned how to sit still with eyes closed for 5-minutes. That alone is a victory.) Below is a favorite from Honest Guys. Definitely check out their channel.

Click to watch the video

After the kids leave for school, I do a 10-15 minute meditation by myself. My two favorites are anything from the YouTube channels Great Meditation (10-20 minutes long) or Vipassana Meditation (15-60 minutes long). Vipassana meditation, also called Insight meditation, asks you to notice your thoughts, feelings, and sensations without judgement.

Click to watch the video
Click to watch the video

Me and the kids do a second 5-minute meditation together after they arrive home from school.

At bedtime, they listen to a sleep meditation. There’s also hundreds to choose from on YouTube. Lengths can be anywhere from 10 minutes to 11 hours. Some channels play live music 24 hours a day. Some are guided meditations. Some are music only. There’s enough variety for everyone. I choose 1-3 hours in length for the kids. My sleep meditations are 30 minutes to an hour. My favorites are Honest Guys and Jason Stephenson.

Click to watch the video

Let me know if these suggestions are helpful. Meditation was the missing piece from my life.

Love,

Althea

“Period. End of Sentence.” (2018)

Click to watch Period End of Sentence on Netflix.

Period. End of Sentence. is the 2019 Academy Award winner for Best Documentary Short.
Photo courtesy Netflix.

When a girl gets her period in the United States, she may miss a class.When a girl gets her period in a developing country, she may never go to school again. A period should end a sentence, not a girl’s education.The Pad Project, the major force behind the documentary.

Ninety percent of women in India do not have access to menstrual pads. They use whatever cloths, leaves, or ash they can find. They do not have access to consistent electricity, nor clean well-lit bathrooms that are safe for women. For this reason, middle school age girls have no safe place to change their cloths. Therefore, they drop out of school. Their situation is overwhelming and dire. Due to the short 25-minute length of the documentary, Period. End of Sentence. (known as PEoS from now on) focuses on a group of Indian women empowering themselves and their community through better access to menstrual hygiene products.

Set in Kathikhera, about 37 miles outside of India’s capital of New Delhi, PEoS sets up from the beginning the taboo around menstruation. Men have no idea what it is. “An illness only girls get?” Girls and women are pained and embarrassed to talk about it. “Only God knows why” women have periods, one woman says. “It has something to do with babies,” another mom says. Sneba, one of the documentary’s subjects says, “We are told women’s prayers are not heard during menstruation, no matter how hard they may pray. They say we are dirty.”

Click to watch the trailer for PEoS.

According to Access Bollywood:

“Feminine hygiene has been a popular film subject in India for several years, starting with Menstrual Man, the 2013 documentary about Arunchalam Muruganatham, inventor of a low-cost machine for making sanitary pads. Muruganatham then inspired two fictional Hindi films: 2017’s Phullu and 2018’s Pad Man, starring Akshay Kumar. Kumar’s 2017 movie Toilet: Ek Prem Katha also addressed the related need for clean, safe bathroom facilities for women in rural India.”

Muruganatham’s low-cost machine comes to Kathikhera. It’s purpose is four-fold: to bring menstrual pads to the girls and women; to teach women a skill, which is learning to manufacture menstrual pads; to allow them to earn money; and to offer women economic empowerment. All of these give women something I take for granted, freedom of movement.

Access Bollywood also said this documentary is a good introduction to the menstruation situation in India. I agree. I was flabbergasted and shocked by what I saw. I felt like a privileged rich woman watching PEoS, and I am not (yet). I am so glad this documentary won an Oscar. It’s the reason why I know about PeoS in the first place.

I decided to donate to The Pad Project because its doing important work across the globe, and in the United States. The women of Kathikhera kick ass. I wish them safety, self-empowerment, and economic freedom.


Click to watch the clip from the 91st annual Academy Awards.
Producer Melissa Berton and director Rayka Zehtabchi  accept their Oscar.
Guneet Monga served as Executive Producer (The Lunchbox, Masaan).

Ten out of Ten Mocha Angels on the subject matter. Eight out of Ten Mocha Angels for the soaring, feel good ending that doesn’t match reality. Everyone should see it.


This is Us (NBC): Looks Like We Made It

This is Us. Season 3, Episode 18. “Her.” Season Finale.


Photo: Ron Batzdorff/NBC

…And a little child shall lead them.

Thanks to Deja, their foster daughter, Randall and Beth did not get a divorce. Deja took Randall to one of her former foster homes. She shared with him that the couple who were supposed to care for her and other foster children spent their government stipend on lottery scratch-offs rather than the kids, leaving the kids hungry.

Deja said, “Nobody won in that house. Most people don’t win, Randall, but you did. You won the lottery twice. Once when you got adopted and again when you met Beth.”  She told Randall to get it together and fix his marriage. “You owe it to the world that let you win the lottery twice.”

From there, Randall decides to resign from City Council without knowing Beth has traveled to Philadelphia. She decided to move the family from New Jersey to Philly so Randall can remain a councilman there. She is going to open a dance studio that trains aspiring professionals rather than adults. Both get what they want.

Cue the Barry Manilow. They did it.
Photo: Ron Batzdorff/NBC

Fast forward to the future, it’s clear this is going to be a “’til death do us part” marriage. I was so relieved. R&B found their rhythm.

On another note, Tess is trying to find her way as a newly out gay teenage girl. That is going to be an interesting story line over the next three years of This is Us. Creator Dan Fogelman says the show is at it’s “midway point” and will last a total of six seasons.

The first two seasons were great. Overall, Season Three was uneven.

The three best episodes of Season Three were:

Our Little Island Girl. This was the all-Beth episode I wrote about. Susan Kelechi Watson deserves an Emmy nomination for it.

Songbird Road, Part 1. We find out what happened to Jack’s brother Nicky in Vietnam. This was a beautifully written and heartbreaking episode about a man still broken, alcoholic, and suffering from PTSD fifty years after he was sent home from the war. For Nicky, the war is not over.

Her. In the last five minutes of the season finale, set fifteen to twenty years in the future, we see that “her” is Rebecca on her deathbed. Her whole family is there to say goodbye. Kevin has a son. And Nicky has rejoined the Pearson family. That was a “whoa!!!” moment. That is how you end a season.

Seven out of Ten Mocha Angels for This is Us, Season Three.

Up next:

Period. End of Sentence (Netflix). 2018 Academy Award Winner for Best Documentary Short. Saturday, April 6

Mocha Angels publishes every Wednesday and Saturday. Click “follow” in the bottom right hand corner to get my reviews and commentary delivered to your email. Thank you for supporting my work. (((Hugs)))

“The Big Chop” (2018)

@IssaRaePresents #ShortFilmSundays – a new short by a new creator, the first Sunday of every month on YouTube.

If you are a husband or boyfriend of a black woman, don’t talk about her hair. Always say that her hair looks nice, even if it looks like tumbleweed, a mop, or a horse’s tail. Hair is a very emotional topic to black women.

Exhibit A: a scene from Derek Dow’s short 16-minute film “The Big Chop.”

Kris (Simone Missick, of Luke Cage fame) just made “the big chop.” She has cut off all her long relaxed hair, and she is WAY past emotional. Mascara running. Afro covered with a hoodie. Homegirl is the definition of a hot mess. She demands that her man Thomas (Chinedu Unaka) buy her some hair.

Thomas: “Let it go. Leave that in the past. Start looking at the future.”

Kris: (Snatches down her hood. Points at her hair.) “I look like a freed slave!”

Thomas: “I don’t even know what hair to get.”

Kris: “Get me the “Rhionce.”

Thomas: “The what?”

Kris: “It’s a new hair line. It’s got Rhianna and Beyonce all in the same pack.”

This is Us. Black Woman Style.

Which is why “The Big Chop” was so funny and relatable.

Click to watch this great movie.
To watch on YouTube:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CFiDQdpll2w

Ten-year-old Kris (McKenzie Franklin) loves her natural hair. Her mom, however, does not. Dorothy (Kashuna Perfected) has no idea what to do with it. When she was painfully combing Kris’s hair, I said to myself, “Where is the Sulfur 8 and the Ultra Sheen? That child’s hair needs a detangler!” Kris hates getting her hair combed but loves the natural wild look. So does her best friend Thomas (Kevin Kilumbu).

Two mean girls at the park don’t like Kris’ hair. They say ugly things to Kris, hurting her feelings. Eventually Kris gets a perm, making her mother very happy. 

Fast forward to Kris and Thomas as an adult couple. Thomas is trying his best to comfort his lady, but nothing is working. While Thomas is buying her some new hair, Kris sees a woman berating her natural headed granddaughter. “You look like Jaden Smith!” Grandma says. Kris intervenes because she sees herself in that little girl.

In the end, Kris falls back in love with her natural hair.

I LOVED, LOVED this movie. It’s wonderfully hilarious. And it’s a love story. I’ve already watched it twice and will watch it again. Props to screenwriter Alisha Cowan and director Derek Dow.

An enthusiastic Ten out of Ten Mocha Angels.

Up next:

This is Us (NBC).Wednesday, April 3rd.

Academy Award winner Period. End of Sentence. (Netflix). Saturday, April 6th.

Mocha Angels publishes every Wednesday and Saturday. Click “follow” in the bottom right hand corner to get my reviews and commentary delivered to your email. Thank you for supporting my work. (((Hugs)))

This is Us (NBC): The End of R&B?

This is Us. Season 3: Episode 17, “R&B.”

Last night, Randall and Beth had no rhythm and were mired in blues.


Photo: Ron Batzdorff/NBC

Their 20-year relationship had been deteriorating for months. Beth (Susan Kelechi Watson) had told Randall (Sterling K. Brown) she no longer supported his run for city councilman. He continued anyway, then he won. Beth decided to become a dance teacher, after being laid off from her high paying job. In the midst, they have two daughters, a pre-teen, a teenager who recently came out of the closet as well as a foster daughter struggling to find her way. Add on the new financial pressures, the marriage is collapsing under the strain.

It turns out, as Beth said, “We’ve been having the same fight since we met.” The same fight is that Randall always gets his way. He overwhelms her with big ideas (“Let’s move in my birth father whom I met today!” “Let’s adopt a child!” “Let’s move in my wealthy TV star alcoholic brother who then drives drunk with one our kids in the car!” “I want to run for city councilman in my late father’s district that’s two hours away!”) Beth bends and capitulates to Randall every single time. She feels like there is no space for her inside the marriage.


Photo: Ron Batzdorff/NBC

Last night’s episode showed how small incidents in a marriage turn into big resentments. Beth is rightfully angry about how Randall sweet talks his way into whatever he wants to do. Like when he convinces her she doesn’t need a break from care taking their extended family. She is also complicit because she continuously caves in. On their disastrous first date in college, Beth said she didn’t want to be swallowed up inside a relationship. Guess what. Sometimes what we fear the most comes true.

Beth is not having it anymore. It’s Randall’s turn to bend, or the marriage will break.

Caving in time is over.

Next week we’ll see what decisions the Pearsons make in the Season Finale. I’ll be watching. Thank you @ Kay Oyegun for writing an insightful hour of television.

Up next: The short film “The Big Chop” (YouTube). Saturday, March 30th.

Mocha Angels publishes every Wednesday and Saturday. Click “follow” in the bottom right hand corner to get my reviews and commentary delivered to your email. Thank you for supporting my work. (((Hugs)))

“Us” (2019)

Pogo daily strip from Earth Day 1971. The famous quote “We have met the enemy and he is us,” is most applicable to the movie “Us.”

Jordan Peele’s Us taps into our deepest fears. Fear of losing our children. Fear of death. Fear of annihilation. Fear of other people. Fear that our addictions, vices, and demons will overtake us. And in this movie, all of that pretty much happens.

In 1986, a young Adelaide (Madison Curry) has a terrifying experience at a Santa Cruz beach, which haunts her for life. Fast forward to the present day. While vacationing at her family’s summer home, that singular terror comes back to haunt adult Adelaide
(Lupita Nyong’o) in a murderous way.

Doppelgängers of herself, her husband Gabe (Winston Duke), daughter Zora (Shahadi Wright Joseph), and son Jason (Evan Alex), show up in their driveway wearing red jumpsuits and gold scissors. What follows is two hours of terror. Not only is this family fighting for their lives against their shadowy selves, everyone else around them is getting killed by their own doppelgängers. Hmmm.

Rather than giving away the plot of this excellent film, or deconstructing the minutia of it like everyone else on the internet, I offer my interpretation and what I loved about Us.

Click to watch the trailer. And no, it doesn’t reveal too much. Go see the movie!!
Courtesy Universal Studios/YouTube

Interpretation

Fear of the “other,” other races, genders, religions, languages has led to violence for millennia. Fear of the other is what leads to black folks having the cops called on them while they take out their garbage, throw parties, walk a disabled client down the street, or leave an AirBnB (all real examples in the United States). Jordan Peele says, “Oh, no you don’t. While one finger is pointing at another person, four fingers are pointing at yourself.”

I have been saying for decades that self-analysis is the most painful process a human being can endure. Looking at your own shit, the mistakes you’ve made, how you’ve treated people, the havoc you have wreaked, is wicked difficult. Yet it is necessary for your salvation, however you define it. I define salvation as growing up and taking responsibility for your life and actions, freeing yourself from your past. In Us, the dark parts of ourselves rise up, literally, to destroy us. Self-destruction is what happens when the darkness inside is not healed.


Lupita Nyong’o in dual roles as Red and Adelaide Wilson in Us.
Universal Studios/Everett Collection

What I loved about Us

  • Lupita Nyong’o is a goddess and deserves all the award nominations coming her way. This is the meatiest role she’s had since Patsey in 12 Years a Slave, for which she won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.
  • Winston Duke, who I fell in love with in Black Panther, is perfect as her husband and plays the clueless dad to the tee.
  • Madison Curry (young Adelaide) gives an amazing performance.
  • A dark-skinned family is the lead in a major Hollywood movie. #first #blacklove
  • Turning a trope on its head, the black people don’t get killed off early in the movie. #itsaboutdamntime
  • Yes, Virginia. Black people do indeed have summer homes.
  • It’s not only terrifying. Us has moments of comedy.
  • I put my comfy recliner down to sit on the literal edge of my seat the ENTIRE time. I have never done that for any movie, ever.
  • I must see this movie again. Us had twists, turns, and subtleties that I missed. Like The Sixth Sense, I was like, “OH, SNAP!!” at the end. All of you are going to want to see it a second time.
  • Jordan Peele turned “I Got 5 On It” into a horror movie score. That is some genius shit.
Courtesy Real Hip Hop/YouTube
Click to watch the music video for “I Got 5 On It.”

Us gets an enthusiastic Ten out of Ten Mocha Angels. Super good.

Please comment, like my post, and subscribe to my blog. It’s a passion project.

Up next: This is Us (NBC): The end of Randall and Beth? Wednesday, March 27th.

Tidying Up with Marie Kondo (Netflix)

TIDYING UP WITH MARIE KONDO

At the beginning of the first episode of Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, Ryan, a toddler who’d never met Marie, practically jumped into her arms. Ryan said, “I want to hug you.” She let Marie hold her like they go way back!

I was stunned because a toddler doesn’t do that. She doesn’t reach for a perfect stranger who just walked through her front door. And certainly not while being held in her mother’s arms. I said to myself, “Marie Kondo is something special.”

And she is. After binge watching all eight episodes of Tidying Up I bought two of Marie Kondo’s books, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying up,” and “Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up.” I will be getting “The Life Changing Magna of Tidying Up: A Magical Story.”

Official trailer for Tidying Up with Marie Kondo
Courtesy YouTube/Netflix

I’m already a minimalist. I did a massive decluttering the first half of 2018. What I am not is organized. And not being organized creates clutter and chaos, which gets on my last good nerve.

Netflix released Tidying Up on January 1, 2019. Marie, and her translator, help families in different stages in life declutter their homes.

  • A couple with two toddlers
  • An empty-nester couple
  • A couple with two preteens who downsized from a 4-bedroom house to a 2-bedroom apartment
  • A widow who had been married for 40 years
  • A twentysomething couple who are transitioning from college life to adulthood
  • A couple with two toddlers who want to have a third baby
  • A couple expecting their first child
  • A couple newly married merging two households

What they all have in common is:

  • They have too much stuff in their house (and garage)
  • They feel overwhelmed and don’t know where to start decluttering
  • They have trouble letting go off their stuff
  • Their quality of life is being affected
  • They are having communication issues

Alishia had a hard time getting rid of her clothes. (Episode 8: When Two (Messes) become One.)

The communication issues between couples varied from resentment of who’s doing the household duties, to one person being more challenged by decluttering than the other, to what to keep (“we have to keep this ‘just in case’’ which is the death knell of tidyness).

The KonMari Method ™ is simple in theory. Tidy by category. Clothes first. Then books, papers, komono (miscellaneous items), and finally sentimental items. Keep the things that “spark joy.” In other words, keep the items you love. For the items you let go of, thank them for their service, then let them go. In the end, your home is full of only things you love. In practice, it’s a lot harder. I know because I started the process last week.

The show only touches on the KonMari Method of organizing. She has very specific ways of folding everything from underwear to hoodies. Buy her books because they are necessary to truly declutter and organize your home.

Wendy had a terrible time getting rid of her clothes. Yikes. (Episode 2: Empty Nesters)

Once you finish the first season, watch the “Where Are They Now?” clips to see if the families kept their homes organized.

I love this show that inspired me to organize my home the KonMari way. I will let you all know how the process is going.

Ten out of Ten Mocha Angels.

https://konmari.com/

Up next: “Us” (2019)