How to Maintain Some Normalcy During a Global Crisis

If you need some time away from your screens, I have some ideas for you.

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Where do I even start? In case you somehow missed it, the world is dealing with a COVID-19 pandemic. It is real, it is big and it is overwhelming. (Here is a link to people much smarter than I on the appropriate way to protect yourself and your community during this time). 

During a global event like this, it can become second nature to glue your face to your devices while trying to consume as much information as possible. I work in communications so this has been my life for the last week and a half. And I’ve already reached my limit. 

If you’ve spent an enormous amount of time online in the last little bit, or you’re still trying to find your feet in your new working-from-home situation to avoid the spread of the virus, or just general social distancing, I have some ideas on how you can stop staring at your phone. 

For the record, I am not suggesting you tune out all information online. That would actually be very harmful and dangerous. But, once you’ve reached the fifth hour of scrolling through your Twitter feed, you’re not really consuming any useful information. I’d argue you’re not really consuming any info at all at that point. But I also understand the impulse to want to know everything possible about a situation. Or, if you’re like me, using the internet as a way to numb your own experience so you don’t have to deal with what is really happening. 

After spending the last week practically glued to my devices, I got home from work yesterday, sat on the couch and stared off into the distance. 

I didn’t want to do that, or mean to do it actually, but I genuinely could not remember what I used to do for ‘fun’ that didn’t involve consuming information (social media, TV, news) on the internet. Right now, I’m not even looking for fun. I’m just looking for something to do that doesn’t involve my brain actively trying to process information or being overwhelmed by the magnitude of the situation.

And then I remembered something from the Cognitive Behavioural Therapy workbook I’ve been working through for my seasonal depression that I thought I would share here. (It goes without saying that I am not a mental health care provider, or a health care practitioner. If you’d like to learn more about Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and if it’s right for you, please contact your health care provider. Maybe give them some space for a little while if they are on the front-lines of COVID-19). 

Part of the CBT program requires you to schedule activities for at least a week that forces you to do something enjoyable or accomplish something. This schedule is how I ended up doing a yoga class after work last week (virtually). I had scheduled it in the week before, and then when Monday night rolled around, I didn’t have a good reason to not do it, so I did it.

Now, in this time of COVID-19 we find ourselves in, I am not suggesting you schedule in activities to do. If this pandemic has taught me anything, it’s that things can move rapidly and be beyond our control (this is not the case for slowing the speed of the virus. Social distancing people!). Having a schedule might do more harm and make you feel worse if you can't stick to it in the chaos that seems to be our current day-to-day reality.

However, what I wanted to share with you is the CBT framework for activities I’ve been working through, in case you are feeling overwhelmed and want to do something other than scroll through your social feeds. 

If you want to do something that doesn’t involve staring at your devices and respects the social distancing guidelines recommended by the Government of Canada, here are some ideas for you. 

Pleasurable Activities

These will differ for each person, but pleasurable activities are things that you find enjoyable to do, such as:

  • Playing with your pets.

  • Listening to music and having a dance party.

  • Playing a card or board game with your family (anything except Monopoly, that’s just asking for a family breakdown).

  • Knitting or crocheting something (check out Ravelry for lots of free patterns). 

  • Reading a book for fun (if you’re a normal person, and not like me, you probably have a book on your shelf that you’ve been meaning to open).

  • Going for a walk or a hike (making sure to maintain a 6ft distance from anyone else you see out).

  • Anything that helps you feel creative like drawing, sketching, or writing. 

Activities that Accomplish Something 

In my CBT program, I’ve realized I lean hard into this category. Doing things ‘just for fun’ does not come naturally to me. However, especially during this kind of global health crisis, accomplishing something positive, even if it’s really small, can help give you a sense of purpose when it feels like nothing makes sense. If this kind of thing is really turning you off right now, skip it. You don’t need to be ‘doing’ right now if you don’t want to. But, if you want to do some things, here are some ideas:

  • Organize your closet.

  • Declutter a room in your house (I will be tackling my basement).

  • Find a new recipe to try (again, you probably have a cookbook lying around that you’ve yet to crack).

  • Tackle a DIY project you’ve been putting off.

  • Repair some clothes that have sprung holes (literally all of my socks need darning).

Activities That Fit With Your Values

In a time when a lot of people are feeling isolated, and having their normal routines disrupted, doing an activity that fits your values can feel good. I’m making an exception for using technology in this category as it’s the safer option because of COVID-19. Things that fall into this category include:

  • Re-connecting with long-distance friends (because of where I live, all of my friends are long-distance so I’m already crushing this one). 

  • Checking in virtually on your older or vulnerable relatives. 

  • Finding something positive about your day, every day, even if it's the smallest thing in the world.

Given the situation we find ourselves in, it might be a natural impulse for some to hide away and not seek out their friends and family. If you know you have people like this in your life, I would encourage you to gently reach out to them in a digital way that seems appropriate to you. I know I’m the worst for falling off the radar when things get tough. Hiding is my go-to. So thank you to my friends who aren’t letting me fall off the face of the Earth. 

What You Can Do to Approach Things You’ve Been Avoiding

Don’t look at me like that. You know exactly what I’m talking about. If you’re stuck inside because of COVID-19, now is literally the perfect time to tackle something you’ve been avoiding. Because, what the heck else are you going to do? But, that doesn’t mean you’ll just magically find the will to get it done. Especially during an event like this, we can feel paralyzed and not able to do anything, even if we want to. There can also be a sense of, why does any of this matter? What’s the point?  

I tend to be the same way. In order to help myself do things I’ve been avoiding, I will:

  • Ask for help when I don’t know what to do.

  • Express my feelings rather than take them out on those around me.

  • Not put off things that can be done in less than five minutes. 

Asking for help is a major one for me. If you are a caregiver in your work-life, or a parent, don’t be afraid to ask for help when appropriate. I know it sounds cliche AF, but you truly cannot help others if you do not take care of yourself first. 

I’m the type of person that likes to be kept busy in a crisis. It takes my mind off the chaos around me and lets me feel like I’m actually being useful in some way, even if that way is only useful to myself. If you want to use this time to NOT do stuff, that’s ok. Don’t let anyone make you feel bad about not being super productive and getting everything off your to-do list. On the other hand, if you’re struggling to do anything, I hope you find this list a gentle reminder that you can start small, but have a big impact on your own or someone else’s life. 

Stay safe, friends. 

If you have any ideas on how to spend your time meaningfully during this pandemic, I'd love to hear them in the comments.

Image Credit: Photo by Giulia Bertelli on Unsplash

SWEAT, BLOOD AND TEARS: MY REVIEW OF MOONDOG PERIOD UNDERWEAR & A GIVEAWAY!

Yep, I'm reviewing period underwear. Get on board.

Disclaimer: Moondog provided me with gifted product to review. All opinions are my own. Previous to Moondog getting in touch for the review, I was already using (and loving) their products.

Before we get into this post, this is your warning that I’m going to be talking about periods, blood and bodies. I understand if that is not your jam and suggest you hit up my archives for other posts to read. 

If you want to know more about an affordable, Canadian-made period product, keep scrolling. This post is definitely for you. 

Read this post on the blog.


I want to preface this review by saying that your period is your business. Whatever choice of period protection you make is great, and I am not here to convince you that you need to change what you’re using. People with periods have enough choices to make about their cycles without also having to obsess about whether what they use if eco-friendly. 

Frankly, I don’t super care about the impact of my period on the environment. Because my period is not something I can change. My choice of period protection boils down to what is right for my body and my budget. Period. I’m really just sharing my experience here to let you know what using period underwear has been like, in case it’s something you’re considering trying. 

I’m a person who has a period. In fact, I’ve had my period for *checks notes* 16 years. That’s 16 years of pads, tampons, liners, menstrual cups, reusable pads, and more recently, period underwear. 

If you’re a person who gets a period, you’ve probably seen at least one ad for Thinx and Knix period underwear. Tbh, I love their styles and I think their marketing campaigns are genius. But, the cheapest pair of Thinx retails for $32.57CAD and they go up to $56.99CAD. For ONE pair of underwear. Knix are a little more reasonable, ranging from $27 to $45 per pair, depending on the style. I’m not saying they aren’t great products. I’m sure they work great. But I’ll never know because that kind of price is not in my budget. 

So, when Paige from Moondog in Vancouver reached out and asked if I would be interested in being a customer feature on their Instagram and if I would be willing to do a review here on the blog, I could not say yes fast enough. 

Moondog’s mission is simple. They want to make an affordable pair of period underwear that performs. 

They currently offer three styles, in one colour (black) and range from $20-$25CAD per pair. Oh, and did I mention they are made in Canada? Even if Paige hadn’t gotten in touch, I probably still would have wrote a review of their product, because I love them. And I want you to know about them. 

My Period

I never thought I’d be writing about my period on the internet, but here we are. Before I get into the review of each style, I thought some period context would be helpful. If you’re a person who has a period, you know flows come in all shapes and sizes. My reality is that I have PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome). What this means for me is that I tend to have very heavy, very painful periods that happen whenever they want, with me literally never knowing when the next one is going to show up. 

I also started a new form of birth control a couple of months ago that has been messing with my cycle. I’ve had a lot of spotting lately and I got real tired, real quick of using tampons every other day (don’t worry, I’m working with my doctor to resolve the issue). 

All that being said, I was looking for an alternative to traditional period protection. And it looks like period underwear has become a good solution!

Moondog Period Underwear

I’ll get to the style specific review in a second, but here are some general thoughts of the product overall. I love Moondog period underwear because of its integrated, all-in-one design. The absorbent core runs all the way up the front and back of the underwear so you’re completed protected. No matter how much you move, or how weird you sleep. 

I’m happy to report I have yet to have any leaks wearing Moondog period underwear and they do a great job of absorbing quickly and keeping me dry. All three styles are made out of nylon, spandex and cotton, so they do feel a little bit like swimwear. But, I actually like the cool feel of the fabric. Actually, the seamless mid-rise reminds me of my high-rise lululemon swimsuit, which is a great thing because I adore that suit. 

Every single style is super comfortable and does not feel like you’re just wearing a pair of underwear with a pad sewn into it (which was an irrational concern I had before giving them a try). Just by looking at them, you wouldn’t be able to tell they are period underwear. They look like normal underwear, with strategically placed seams and stitches where the absorbent core lives.

The sizing is a bit variable between the styles, so I’ve made a note below of the size I wore in each style. Moondog recommends sizing up, as they fit smaller than normal underwear. For reference, I wear between an US8 and 10 in pants, depending on the brand. 

The Styles

Moondog currently offers three styles, low-rise bikini, seamless mid-rise and basic thong. All black. In sizes xs to 4xl (which is an incredible range of sizes for a small business to offer). 

Thanks to Paige gifting me a basic thong and seamless midrise (I already owned the low-rise bikini style), I’ve tried Moondog’s entire range. 

Style 1: Low-Rise Bikini 

I own five of the low-rise bikini in L and I probably should have sized up to an XL (I am well-endowed in the booty department for someone my size). I’ve been wearing the bikini style at night on their own during spotting days and as backup for heavier days. Low-rise isn’t my favourite style, as I prefer a fuller coverage underwear, so I haven’t worn them to work or out and about. But, this is more my preference than a fault of the underwear. I felt comfortable wearing them at night and didn’t have to worry about them shifting in the night like I would have to with pads (I also have reusable pads in my period arsenal for when I get caught off-guard by spotting or a surprise period). 

Style 2: Basic Thong

Moondog sent me an XL in the thong (at my request), but I actually think a L would have worked. This style has a little more give in the sides because of the lace elastic waist than the bikini, which is why I could have made the L work. Again, the thong wouldn’t be my go-to as standalone protection because I have a heavier flow than it could really accommodate (that’s on me and my uterus). But, I did wear it as a backup all day and it performed great. It's good to have as an option when you don’t want fuller coverage underwear. If I ever have to attend a fancier work event when I have my period, I will for sure reach for the basic thong. 

Style 3: Seamless Mid-Rise

The mid-rise style is everything. Flat out, I would wear this style as regular underwear. It’s full coverage, doesn’t have seams to dig into you and can hold four tampons worth. It’s seriously the star of the period show and my favourite Moondog product. It’s also the most expensive style at $25 a pair, but it’s well worth it in my opinion, and is still cheaper than other mainstream options on the market. 

This is also the only style I've worn on their own during my period, mainly because of their full coverage and high absorbency. I’ve worn them to work, to social gatherings, and out and about and they were great. I felt secure because of the fuller coverage on the seat and higher ride, and because of their higher absorbency. I knew they could handle whatever unpredictable flow my body decided to have that day. These are definitely going to be my go-to style moving forward. 

Care & Wear

Caring for these period underwear is super easy. I just rinse them in the sink, throw them in the washing machine with my other delicate laundry and hang them to dry. This process is something I’m used to with the reusable pads I have also used, so it wasn’t an adjustment. I have yet to notice any stains, rips or tears. They are holding up super well after numerous wears. Unlike my reusable pads which have started to pill a little, the gusset in my Moondogs is still good as new. 

Bottom Line: I love them.

I happened across Moondog on Etsy after a day of being fed up with my one-use period supplies that I always seem to be running out of. Seriously, I’ve lost track of the number of boxes of tampons I’ve bought in the last four months. 

I figured I’d give them a shot. At $20-$25 a pair, Moondog period underwear was reasonably priced enough that even if they didn’t meet all of my expectations, I knew I could make them work without feeling like I’d wasted my money. 

I’m happy to report that they have exceeded my expectations and I’m so glad some random Etsying found them for me. 

If you’re looking for a reasonably priced pair of period underwear, and you want the bonus of being able to support a Canadian small business, Moondog is a great option. 

You can get your very own Moondog period underwear through Etsy, (affiliate link) like I did, or direct from Moondog’s website. Whatever e-commerce experience suits your fancy. 

Let’s be honest, period products can be expensive. Which is frankly bullshit because it’s not like people can just decide to not have a period if they don’t want one. That’s one of the reasons I love Moondog. Affordability is part of their core values. But, if the thought of paying $20 for a pair of period underwear makes you want to gag, I get it. So, to make it a little more accessible, I’m going to do a little giveaway. If you want to try out a pair of Moondog period underwear, but cost is a barrier for you, email me at tinyambitionsblog@gmail.com. I’ll send the first five people who email me a pair of Moondogs of their choice.**

**Open to Canadian residents only (sorry US peeps). Giveaway will be open until February 17, 2020 (or until I get five emails).

If you have any questions about my period underwear experience, leave them in the comments or email me at tinyambitionsblog@gmail.com, and I’ll do my best to answer them. 

Have you ever tried period underwear? How was your experience?

Image Credit: Tiny Ambitions, Moondog Shop

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links which means I’ll make a small commission on every purchase (at no additional cost to you). All money generated by these links helps to support Tiny Ambitions.

My Yes/No Resolutions for 2020

I don't do resolutions. Actually, I suck at them. Here's my approach for 2020.

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Welcome to 2020! I'm super excited that you survived the dumpster fire that was 2019. A new year, and in the case of 2020, a new decade, can feel like a chance at a new start. It can be a chance to dust yourself off and make a go of enjoying the new year.

A new year can also be a time when we place unrealistic expectations on ourselves in the name of self-improvement. If you want to listen to a (frankly hilarious) take on fitness resolutions, listen to this week's episode of re: terrible yoga.

The very first post I ever wrote for Tiny Ambitions three years ago was my Unresolution Resolution. I have an aversion to setting goals based on the time of the year. It's too much pressure. In fact, when I did my shopping ban last year, I purposively chose to start it in the middle of January so it couldn't be called a resolution. I honestly believe that I was more successful in my shopping ban because I started it in the middle of January, than I would have been if it had started on January 1.

After a pretty confusing year, I need some direction for 2020. I've felt a little aimless this past year and that's something I'd like to correct. But I know traditional goals and resolutions don't work for me. When I put normal goals or resolutions into place in my life, I go out of my way to break them. At the very least, I will create so much internal resistance to them that it is a struggle to make any head way against them.

I want this year to be different. I want to work towards specific things in my life, but without numeric outcomes. I don't want to focus only on one area of my life, I want to take a more holistic approach. After some wordsmithing and brainstorming, I've decided to call my approach for 2020 my Yes/No Resolution. This approach, rather than a more hard and fast resolution like 'I will lose 20 pounds', will hopefully be kinder to me and therefore more achievable.

My Yes/No Resolutions for 2020

The premise of my yes/no resolution is simple. I want to say yes to certain things in 2020 and I want to say no to other things. This is a more fluid approach that I'm hoping will give me the space to work towards what I want to achieve in a more intentional and sustainable way. Of course, it could all blow up in my face, and be a spectacular failure. And honestly, that would be ok too. (It would match my current track record with resolutions, so at least I'd have consistency on my side).

What I Will Say Yes to in 2020

  • Yes to food-related DIYs. This is totally random, but I really want to make my own kimchi this year. I’ve mastered pickles and beets, it’s kimchi’s time to shine It's going to happen.

  • Yes to making my home feel like my own, and no one else’s.

  • Yes to trying to write daily. This is a habit I started a couple of weeks ago as part of my morning routine and I've really been enjoying it.

  • Yes to saving a little bit more money this year. I've been working on some fun side-gigs that don't crush my soul.

  • Yes to movement that my body can actually accomplish (aka walking and yoga).

  • Yes to reducing my waste in manageable ways.

What I Will Say No to in 2020

  • No to as many single use plastics as I can.

  • No to buying clothes I can't confidently re-sell or won’t actually wear.

  • No to trying to make my house look like every house I see on Instagram.

  • No to work commitments that aren't actually mandatory (I'm already putting in enough overtime as it is).

  • No to overextending myself in my part-time online classes. Getting a 70 is fine. I don't need to work myself into the ground trying to get a 90. I'm also dropping down to one class for winter 2020.

  • No to gossip (workplace, family, friends, whatever). It's all toxic and I don't want it in my life.

I don't want to make six figures this year. I don't want to lost 20 pounds. I don't want to go to the gym every day. I know if I phrase my resolutions like that, they won't happen.

For the record, if you are great at achieving your New Year resolutions, that is absolutely amazing. Honestly, I wish I could just make a resolution and keep it. Like, that would be life-changing. But I can't think of a single resolution in my life I have ever completed. Hence my new approach for resolutions going into 2020.

What makes me think I'll be any more successful than I have been in years past? Honestly, not a lot. I have no concrete proof that I'll make any more progress than I have in any other year of my life.

Maybe it's because I feel I need something to work towards this year (like my shopping ban two years ago). Or maybe it's because I'm turning 30 this year and my existential crisis is right on time. I honestly cannot say. That's why I want to be clear that I'm not feeling smug or sanctimonious about any of the choices I'm making for 2020.

I just want to try something new and see what happens. If I fail, it won't be any different from any other year. If I succeed, even a little bit, it will be epic.

The one thing that I know I need to have in order to succeed in my 2020 resolutions is some level of accountability. If I have no system for checking in, my chances of success will decrease. What I hope that ends up looking like is updates here on my progress towards each of my yes/no resolutions. Does that mean you'll get to read all about my hopefully moderately successful attempt at making kimchi? Heck yes it does.

Is my list of 2020 resolutions massive and life-changing? Probably not. But I don't want it to be. I want these small statements to help guide my choices for 2020. I'm hoping these yes/no resolutions will help shape my 2020 into an overall more healthy and happy year, with no particular focus on any one area. This year will be all about tiny, incremental changes that I hope will add up to a bigger whole. But, even if they don't, at least I'll have an interesting year.

What are you working towards this year?

Image Credit: Photo by Danielle MacInnes on Unsplash

2019 Reminded Me That Minimalism Is More Than Just Stuff

Sometimes I forget the entire reason I become a minimalist in the first place.

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If I could sum up 2019 in a word, it would be confusion. For most of the year, I didn’t really write much about minimalism. As I explained back in October and November, I kind of fell into a funk with minimalism and simple living. I guess what really happened is I became disillusioned with the concept and couldn’t understand why anyone would want to read about minimalism when they could be out in their lives, doing it. I just couldn’t clearly see the purpose anymore.

This year, and if I’m being honest, especially the last four months have really reminded me that being a minimalist means so much more than just living with less physical stuff.

When you read that sentiment elsewhere on the internet, people are normally talking about prioritizing the things you love in life, like spending more time with your loved ones. 

That’s not what I’m talking about, at least not directly. 

This year, I’ve been a terrible minimalist. But, not in the way you might think. I’m still very much living a life with less physical stuff. That part of my life hasn’t changed. I honestly don’t have the stomach to live in a stuff-filled house anymore, so I’m never really worried that I’m going to backslide into that particular aspect of my pre-minimalism life.

Instead of saying ‘yes’ to lots of physical stuff this year, I said ‘yes’ to a lot of commitments. For reasons unknown to logic, I committed myself to a massive, all-consuming project at work, started two online College classes, and decided it would be a good idea to create, produce and co-host an entirely new podcast. Plus, maintain this blog and Tiny Bites (which, lol, we all know how that’s been going). Why did I think all of this was a good idea?

If you’re like a super ambitious multitasker or side hustler, this might seem like a perfectly normal amount of stuff to have on the go at once. It isn’t for me. I like being occupied, so I don’t feel bored, but this much stuff was like being pulled in a million directions at once. I wanted a change of pace in the last half of 2019 as I was starting to feel a little stuck, but it ended up turning into an endurance marathon. And now I’m tired.

I spent so much of my time this year obsessing over the physical and tangible aspects of minimalism that I completely forgot about all the ways to be a minimalist that don’t involve decluttering a single physical object. And that’s a lesson I really could have used as I was deciding to add commitment after commitment to my plate. 

Some of these commitments I can’t change. The big project I’m on at work will continue until May and I can’t change that. And on a personal front, I want re: terrible yoga to be a priority for me because I love it. To save my sanity and give me back some of my time, I’m dropping down to one online College course next semester. I really shouldn’t be in a rush to complete all of my coursework and the toll my two classes took on my free time was immense. 

So, I’m going to take a step back and divest myself a little bit. 2019 has reminded me more than past years that I get lost very easily in doing too much. I add so much to my plate that I can’t tell for certain which things I’m actually enjoying and which things I’m doing because I feel obligated to do them, or because I feel like they are things I should be doing. And that’s not a place I enjoy being. If I can’t tell which things I’m enjoying, I can’t then prioritize the ones I want to focus on moving forward.

Now, I don’t want to downplay the significance of physical minimalism and it’s role in keeping me sane this year. I know that if I was still using consumption as a coping mechanism or was busy trying to make my home look like Pinterest threw up in it, 2019 would have been more overwhelming than it already was. 

So that’s where I’m at. I don’t have a concrete plan for 2020, but at least I’m looking at the roadmap. At the very least, I’m contemplating the various backroads I could take to where I want to go. 

Have a wonderful holiday season, and I’ll see you in 2020!

How was your 2019? Was it great? A bit funky? Somewhere in the middle? Let me know in the comments! 

Image Credit: Photo by Adam Chang on Unsplash

Introducing re: terrible yoga

aka the podcast you never knew you needed to listen to

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Remember that time back in July when I teased a new podcast I was working on with my friend? Well, a short five months later, it's finally happening!

I am beyond excited to share re: terrible yoga with a (tiny slice of the internet) world. It makes me laugh and isn't like anything I've ever made online before.

For context, my friend Elle and I first met in 2014 when we did our yoga teacher training together. We both taught at the same studio for a time before I moved to northern Ontario.

Elle and I are pretty much at the opposite end of the yoga spectrum. Elle loves to teach and practice strong, fast-paced flows. My jam is very long holds with lots of props (aka yin or restorative yoga). 

We love yoga. I don't think I'm lying by saying the practice has had a significant impact on both of our lives.

But, we also hate yoga. There is a lot about the yoga industry specifically, and the wellness industry more generally, that really annoys us.

That's what re: terrible yoga is all about. It's a place where Elle and I can talk about how our personal practices are going (spoiler alert: not normally very well). It's also a place for us to drag things that annoy us about yoga including but not limited to: yoga influencers, crystal water bottles, and $150 yoga pants.

re: terrible yoga is sassy, sarcastic and not too serious. I hope you enjoy listening to it as much as we enjoyed making it. Seriously, every time I edited an episode I would nearly cry from laughing so hard. So if nothing else, at least I think we're funny.

You can listen at the links below. If you happen to like what you hear and want us to keep making episodes, leave us a review on iTunes. You can also support the podcast as a listen through our hosting platform, Red Circle. (Feel free to spend your money on literally anything else but us. But if you really insist, we have that option for you). 

Listen to re: terrible yoga on:

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