Tag Archives: yoga

365 Challenge Day 24 – Spring Cleaning!!

13 Jun

I have about 6 days of  vacation that I have use before the end of June, use ’em or lose ’em!  Apparently I have been saving them for something special, but after all the traveling I did for work this past year I’m all about the “staycation”!

I’m taking 4-day weekends for the month, which is pretty awesome : )  Today I got rid of another huge bag of stuff, this time from my son’s room, all his old clothes that are too small or he doesn’t wear.  This was easy to do without him because unlike the rest of his family he is a natural born minimalist, my daughter’s room will be much more of a challenge.

I also did the last bit of yard work that was left over from the weekend, and I must say, it looks amazing back there.  It’s never been so orderly!  Can’t wait to have the next BBQ or night sitting by the chiminea : )  I know this rhododendron bush doesn’t look very exciting, but it was a monster, I trimmed it back by about 50%, and then raked a whole season’s worth of leaves that I had dumped behind it in the winter!  I am definitely in a mood for cleaning up, and paring down.

 

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I spent the day volunteering at my son’s school at their field day.  Oh my God, I am exhausted.  I had more than 100 twelve year old kids, in groups of about 15, that I had to corral into jumping over sets of hurdles.  By the end I had totally lost my voice.  But I am happy to say no one got injured on my watch.  And I made up a pretty fun relay race on the spot that involved crawling under the hurdles on the way back.  I’m not sure if my son really appreciated my being there, but I’m really glad I went, and the teachers sure did appreciate it!!

Okay!!  Right here I am publicly committing to doing one hour of yoga tomorrow!!  And practicing scorpion pose!!  I’ve got all day free and no excuses!!

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The Good, and The True

18 Jun

I wrote about my love of Vinyasa, and yoga, which is all true, but because the post was all based on enthusiasm and positivity, that is what I’m calling The Good, now I’m going write about the difficulties and challenges I face in my practice, which I’m calling The True.  As I said earlier, part of my path to authenticity is to work on expressing all sides of myself, not just the positive.

As much as I love yoga, being a mom and working full-time, I don’t make it to class as often as I’d like. Plus, I’m very flexible, but don’t have the supporting strength to balance out my flexibility, so I am often working with injuries.  I have been trying to establish an at-home practice so I can fit more in, and really make it part of my daily life, even if I can’t make it to class.  I guess I can say I have done this, I can honestly say that I have done some yoga everyday this year, but, I feel like I’m just going through the motions, and on many nights, okay, probably on most nights, it’s just 5 minutes.

I find this a little perplexing.  I have a daily meditation practice, and will easily sit for 20, 30, or 40 minutes at home, even on nights when I’m tired and it’s late.  But I have such resistance to my yoga practice!!  I put it off!!  I just don’t seem to want to do it by myself!!  So, I think it’s time to brainstorm.  I think I was trying to tough it out a little too much by not doing anything to make it more accessible, such as listening to a guided session, or music, or working on specific poses and setting goals.

A few years ago I started setting goals of working on some more advanced balancing poses, it really made the practice fun for me. Last year I was determined to master scorpion pose, but then I hurt my back, not doing scorpion, but probably overdoing it on dancer or king pigeon.  So.  I have a lot to think about.  Soon I’m going to set some mini goals for myself to bring so fun and play back into my practice so it won’t feel like geometry homework! But I’m not yet sure what those goals will be.  Maybe certain poses to work on, or areas such as core strength, or increased minutes of practice.

One exciting thing to report is that I did 30 minutes tonight, and a 45 minute meditation. One of the main reason I started this blog in the first place was to inspire me to do more, so I think it’s working!  It wasn’t the most flowing practice I’ve ever had, it felt kind of choppy, and disjointed, but I was REALLY glad I did it.  It’s been a long time since I’ve done 30 minutes on a weeknight without going to class.

If you’d like to leave a comment and share with me your own tips and tricks for inspiration in an at-home yoga practice, I’d love to hear them!

Vinyasa Love

18 Jun

Vinyasa is a style of hatha yoga, and I LOVE it.  Vinyasa simply means linking the movements of the asanas (the poses) to the breath.  Vinyasa yoga is generally taught as a flow, meaning there is a fluidity between the poses as opposed to holding the poses in a static way.  The type of vinyasa yoga that I do is taught in a room heated to about 100 degrees (this is in no way related to Bikram yoga, which is not vinyasa.)  The combination of the heat, the sweating, and the breathing, brings a real purification aspect to the practice.  The breath is done in an audible way, called ujiyi breathing, which sounds like an oceanic flow, it calms the nervous system and sounds very soothing, it also requires a lot of focus.  The gaze is set to a particular spot in each pose, called drishti, as opposed to just looking all around the room.  There are also the bandas to focus on, which is tightening the muscles in the pelvis and the abdomen.  As you can imagine, all of this requires extreme concentration!  This is why the practice is a type of moving meditation!  It is also why the practice could never possibly get boring, there is always a way to deepen.

The style that I do is based on Ashtanga yoga, which means it is pretty athletic.  We go through sequences fairly quickly.  We sometimes jump from one posture to the next.  We incorporate some pretty advanced balancing postures, but when we want to.  One of the things I love about the place I practice is there is a lot of emphasis on being true to what is needed in the moment, not forcing or comparing; and there is always an opportunity to grow.

Over the years I had tried yoga many times, going back to when I was a kid, because my mom used to teach yoga!  I wanted to like it!  But the truth is I didn’t.  And I didn’t really know enough about yoga to know that there were different styles that I should try.  I also used to think that hot yoga sounded horrible.  But on one cold, damp, winter day, about 7 years ago, I decided to give it a try.  And it was a perfect fit : )

 

A Spiritual Journey – blogged

17 Jun

Hello readers and spiritual seekers.

I am really excited to begin this blog.  I have a few motives for sharing the details of my journey.  The first motive is to inspire myself!  This year I committed to a daily practice of meditation and yoga, which I have been successfully doing.  But, some days I feel I am just going through the motions and only get on the cushion or the mat for my minimum 5 minutes so I can check it off as done.  I think that knowing people are following my progress and watching me will inspire me to bring more effort.

Although I am not a teacher, I have been practicing meditation and yoga for a long time, and I also hope that I may be able to inspire others, and be inspired by others, who are also on this path.

And last, I want a place to keep track of growth, a sort of live journal, so that I can stay more focused in my efforts and see the changes over time.