Monday, December 29, 2008
Only a few days left to seal 2008. How will you end the year? I hope to end it at home. After work I plan to do a practice at home, then dinner and spending time with my husband.
I am ready for 2009. It is always wonderful to make a new start with positive intentions.
Today I was back at the office. But I didn't feel so well, lower back pain/kidney issues. Typical with my history. So I headed to the Doctor and starting to feel better. Lots of water and cranberry juice.
I did a small practice today (skipping Mysore practice) At home I did sun salutations and postures to help comfort my lower back pain.
Then I cooked Stir-Fry and rice. Now relaxing with my husband.
Tomorrow I will be up early to practice before work. So off to bed shortly!
Sunday, December 28, 2008
I really like reading his posts on Facebook.
He posted this today and I am going to take some time after my next practice to think about this and just write.
I wanted to share it with everyone as well.
I might post my entry here, depends on how long it is:)
The transition from one year to the next is a particularly special time for me. I have found that they are especially powerful transition times. They are times when I have been able to make the greatest and the most profound changes in my personal and spiritual life.
The very first thing that I do at the end of the year is to take time to reflect as deeply as possible on the previous year.
Here are some of the questions that I like to ask myself.
1. What do I have to be grateful for this past year?
2. Who were the most significant people in my life this past year and how did their presence in my life enhance my life?
3. Whose lives did I enhance most significantly?
4. What were the most memorable events of this past year?
5. What did I learn about myself in this past year?
6. What were the most significant books in my life this past year and why?
7. What happened this past year that I totally did not expect?
It is important that you write the answers to these questions down on paper. There is something remarkable when words are committed to being written down. Not only do you see them differently, but you also have a written record with which to reflect on in future times. Aside from putting these reflections down on paper, I also like to make some kind of audio and/or video recording of these kinds of thoughts.
Additionally, the following questions are reflections to be directed towards the year to come.
1. What are my highest hopes and dreams for the coming year?
2. What are the biggest obstacles to the achievement of these dreams and what habits will I put in place to overcome these obstacles?
3. As part of question 2, actually pull out a calendar and detail your weekly and monthly habits for the coming year.
4. What specific people and communities am I going to invest my time and energy into this year? Be as specific as possible with this answer.
Doing this particular exercise in self-reflection is more powerful than you realize. Reflecting on yourself in these ways and then writing your reflections down significantly influences not only what actually happens in your life, but also changes the way that you see yourself.
Most people do not realize this, but the way that you perceive yourself has tremendous power. Most people never really grow or change simply because the way that they perceive themselves never really changes for their entire life. Those people who actively work to change their own perceptions of themselves inevitably are always changing and growing in deep and dramatic ways.
The scriptures teach us that reality, in its highest sense, is truly unlimited. The only limits that exist are the ones that we hold in our own minds. That means that we are the only ones who are stopping us from achieving our highest dreams, from becoming the best that we can become.
Times of transition are the absolute best times to transcend, to go beyond our preconceived limits. Spiritual life is about liberation from these limits and the experience of radiant joy.
Let us utilize this transition between the passing year and the New Year and claim our birthright to this new and joy filled horizon.
I finished my practice at home today.
I did my practice and had some fun with it. After doing Sun Salutations, Standing sequence and seated up to Navasana I had fun with the closing and Denver took a picture of me.
I still need the wall to get into Headstand, but after I get there I can balance and am trying to build strength.
So here is a yoga picture.
Thursday, December 25, 2008
I hope you all have a wonderful day!
We opened one gift last night; I received a buddha statue.
enver got a limited edition Frankenstein book.
This morning we opened gifts.
Denver went overboard as usual. I got a Juicer!!! This is awesome! I am looking forward to making awesome juce and maybe starting the new year with some raw food days to get my system ready for a new year!
He also go me a grmin (because I am always lost) 2 Ganesha Statues that are beautiful and the Stephanie Keach Manuel I need for the workshop in April (it is a pricy book $50)
So he was awesome to me!
I got him 2 new shirts, some PJs and lots and lots of comic books/novels.
We ate breakfast and are about to shower then head to his aunts house.
Yoga practice will be a light restorative practice tonight. Tomorrow I am back at work!
I am heading to the yoga studio this weekend to get in some time with my teacher.
Have a very Merry Day!
Sunday, December 21, 2008
I slept in missing Primary Led Class at Balance, but I needed the rest and will intend on practicing this evening at home.
Denver & I have been reading and just having a relaxing Sunday, Chai is taking a nice long nap next to Denver.
So while online I was searching blogs that I've recently started reading.
I liked this post and it got me thinking about my Intentions for 2009.
My theme is going to be Prana- Energy, Breath, Life force.
So My intentions for 2009:
- I want to move back towards a vegan lifestyle. Currently Denver and I are vegetarians, we fell off the vegan wagon. :( And in my opinion you must feed your body with good Prana including food and asana.
- Continuing with my daily practice.
- I want to give back more
- Slow down more, breathing more.
What are your intentions for 2009?
Friday, December 19, 2008
One of my favorite Krishna Das Songs...reminds me of NYC, Nicole & Dharma.
Work work work!
How do yogis do it? It is so hard to balance home life, a crazy job and practice. But yogis do it.
I need to get a better grip on it!
My practice this week has been very very little. I've had little sleep and have put my job and work before everything. Which as we all know is not healthy.
Well...we all slip up so there you have it.
My body needs a good night sleep and I will get back to a true practice.
Speaking of Practice:
I did put my deposit down for the 5 day workshop/training: Vinyasa Flow Yoga Teacher Training and Certificationwith Stephanie Keach
I am looking forward to:
1) 5 days of doing yoga!!
2) Time away from work and daily stress
3) Yoga, Reading, Making Veggie meals at this awesome house we are staying at (me and a fellow friend are heading to Ashville!)
4) Learning Adjustments
5) Hopefully learning new things to take with me
:) It will be a fun trip!
So, I have found as the week went on I became more physically exhausted.
I need it to stay sane at the office at the very least :)
With the holidays it seems everything seems to become escalated.
I've been reading a lot of blogs about destressing. So a few tips (and reminders for myself!)
1) Fresh food will help your body feel healthy and help your mental state. Fresh Juice!! :)
2) Pranayama (Dharma's DVD has an amazing pranayama instruction)
3) Getting on our mats! No matter for how long, just getting there is a reset button
4) Loving on a furry friend! If you don't have one venture to this Brown Pup Blog to love on one virtually. They are so cute you can't help it!
5) Listening to Krishna Das or Bhagavan Das
P.S. Georgia Peoples!! Krishna Das is coming back in 2009! Check out Jai shanti
Okay off to bed
Monday, December 15, 2008
Also my laptop sucks majorly. I had to wipe the hardrive...again the 4th time this year and the computer is offically 1 year old this month. I have been on the phone with Dell. I couldn't even log into the computer. I have to reinstall everything again. Apparently it is Windows vista. I am trying not to get upset. I've lost so many pictures but thank goodness for Flickr!
My weekend was good. Saturday I went to a cookie exchange for my bosses wife. It was so sweet she invited me. I got lost and showed up really late. But it was nice. After the cookie exchange I stopped off at Goodwill to drop off some items. After that Denver & I watched Chronicals of Narnia. I loved that movie.
Also we did some amazing cheap grocery shopping yesterday. We went to Publix then headed to our favorite Oriental Marketplace in Newnan. The owners are so nice (been shopping there for a few years) they are now going to carry May Wah~ so we don't have to go all the way to Atlanta to get it~
We stocked up on items. We spent under $60 to get enough food for all these meals:
- Curry with Veggies and rice
- Asian Stir Fry with Tofu & Noodles
- Stuff to make Rick's Casserole
- Stuff to Make "Cheesy" Chile Casserole
- Asian Chili Stirfry with Veggies, Tofu and Rice
- Grilled Cheese & Soup
- Chicken Patties (fake of course) with Fries
We got lots of teas super cheap!
Here is Chai Playing with her rope
And here is my old lady Maggie being Maggie
here is a yoga related picture for you:
I am off to drink some hot tea, eat dinner then try to get to bed early.
I NEED more sleep and to get to work super early and get caught up.
Monday, December 8, 2008
Tonight that was my focus point. It is a piece of my practice I work on each day to improve a bit. It is a difficult transition piece in my practice. Tonight in Mysore my teacher was working with me to roll over my toes and not have my knees touch the ground while in up dog. If you do yoga you know this sounds easy, but when you are still somewhat of a beginner it can be difficult.
Here is a youtube video from Sadie Nardini. I really like her videos and her power yoga.
Mysore class was a nice sweaty workout. I was exhausted by the time I reached Navasana. My teacher told me to still work through the series and modify as needed. I hope one day I can get through an entire primary series in Mysore on my own. And also get into sirsasana without the wall! One day! :)
One day at a time. It is all about the intention right.
I took a nice hot bath after class. Ate dinner and now off to bed.
I've been practicing Head Stand (Sirsasana) for almost a year and just can't get it. I can use the wall, but with out the wall...forget it!
I try the tips my teachers provide but no luck.
I don't know what it is! I know it just takes time, but almost a year of practice and very little progression. I also messed up my shoulder last night while practicing at home (just sirsana)
I think I just rocked my weight to one side. It will be okay, they muscle is just a little sore and tight today.
You know in your practice that one asana that you just can't get through. That you dread through your entire practice, you dread it yet you want to work on it all at the same time!
Sirsana is that asana for me.
Tonight I am hoping to make it to Mysore and will once again work on this asana.
On the Subject of types on Practices
There are some debates, comments and suggestions from teachers when you bring up the different types of Asana Practices.
One I've often heard: "Stick to one style of Asana practice, don't skip around." (that is a summarized quote)
Pretty much I gather they figure if you stick with on practice you can better "master" it over time.
I guess when you have that "teacher" that you know will guide you it is easier to dedicate your practice to one style. For me I am kind of "floating" out there. Unsure of who my teacher will be and what style I truly want to follow.
I adore the Ashtanga Practice as taught by Sri K Pattabhi Jois and I also really find a connection with Dharma Mittra. His teaching method, his foundation, his flow. It all makes sense.
I guess I pose the question to other yogi's out there how you feel in regards to the debate on sticking with one style of yoga.
I have 3 dreams:
- Go to India to practice at the Mysore Shala with Sharath Rangaswamy & Sri K Pattabhi Jois
- Take the 200 hour teacher training with Dharma Mittra (I think this might be more tangible in the future)
- One day become a teacher (this is farrr off)
Okay, on with my day. Have a great Monday!
Saturday, December 6, 2008
Thursday, December 4, 2008
For fellow southern yoga students; Rolf is doing a teacher training program in Athens, Ga this year.
I can't swing that financially this year. But click here if you are interested.
After my practice this morning I took some time to read a little from Meditations from the mat.
I wanted to share a small piece with you:
"By choosing to practice yoga, we are saying that our spiritual growth is important to us. We are making it a priority. Our practice is a shelter we build for our spiritual selves. It is the work that we do to safeguard and support the possibility of spiritual growth. The winds of life constantly wear away at this shelter, but if we stick to our tools, the shelter will hold."
"Making it a priority" I have to repeat that to myself. I hit snooze once this morning, then almost decided to stay in bed. But with my work schedule there is no way I could fit it in this evening (without neglecting my husband). So getting up an hour earlier shouldn't be that bad. I need to make it a priority. My spiritual growth and well being is a priority.
My practice this morning was very slow going. Sun Salutations were even difficult for my hamstrings. It could also be the cold & my body was stiff. So I got my way through sun salutations and onto some seated postures then closing. It wasn't a long practice but by the end I felt more "bendy". Then meditation and onto my shower.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Tonight was Intermediate Ashtanga Class. We worked up a good sweat despite the cold weather.
You can tell I haven't done a full practice in a week because once we reached backbends my arms were fatigued. I made it through 2 backbends and then went into bridge.
Still working on sirsasana (headstand). I still need a wall.
All in all practice was yummy! Very much needed & my body feels better than before I went into class.
So tomorrow enters my self discipline. In order to fit my practice into my schedule I will have to wake up at 4:30. I know...insane huh!?
But in order to get an hour of yoga in and get to the office in time it's what I have to do.
So tomorrow begins the difficult part. Not hitting snooze!
Monday, December 1, 2008
Sunday, November 30, 2008
It takes me 1 hour to commute to the studio. And it is worth it when I can make the time. When I have an hour to commute to the studio, 1.5 hours for my practice and another 1 hour to commute home. It is totally worth the direction and adjustments from the teachers at Balance.
I've searched and searched and there are no studios south of Atlanta. So in order to get the right instruction I pack a yoga bag at least 1 time a week and head into Atlanta.
It is a piece of finished wood for my mat. I have a little alter and I share this space with my craft area.
So this blog is going to serve as a place to track my progress as a yoga student committing to a daily practice.
I guess a bio is in order huh?
To start my name is Flo. I live in Georgia just south of Atlanta. I am happily married to a very goofy and fun guy named Denver. We have a 3 year old English bulldog named Chai and a grumpy old lady cat named Maggie. This is my family.
I guess everyone has a story how they fell in love with yoga.
For me it quickly followed my wedding in 2003.
I gained a lot of weight following our wedding, I was working crazy hours at a high stress job and let my health go. Recently married, new homeowner, crazy job...it was a recipe for insanity!
One morning I got on the scale and saw that I was almost 150 pounds; and on a 5 foot 5 frame it isn't healthy.
So, what initally led me to yoga was vanity. So, I joined the local health club. Trying different group classes like spin and body pump. Also trying out the machines like the elliptical. However, after a few weeks I was getting very bored with the routine. I was making excuses to not go to the gym (don't we all). :)
I received the monthly listing of classes and I noticed they were offering yoga classes for beginners. Awesome! I had always wanted to try yoga.
So the next day I found myself at Target getting a mat and heading to my first yoga class.
That class was an eye opener. The teacher taught a mix of Iyengar/Anusara.
I couldn't touch my toes and the breathing was totally throwing me off. But I loved it.
I left the class feeling a little more calm, happier (if only short lived) and it was a great workout! I practiced at the gym for about 6 months.
Hungry for more of a studio environment I ventured into Atlanta trying different Studios & styles. I've tried Hot yoga, Iyengar, Kundalini, but I've found a home at Balance Yoga.
I will never forget my first class at Balance. I felt like a fish out of water and at home all at the same time. I was very limited in what asanas I could perform, but the teacher was so calm and encouraging.
I quickly signed up for the basics series of Ashtanga that week.
I went to class 3 times a week for 6 weeks. By the end of the 6 weeks series I felt like a different person.
The asanas were still very difficult, I was still a beginner, but for the first time in my life I felt like I could be happy with my progress and just enjoy the moment.
That was 3 years ago. I continue to practice Ashtanga and learn every day.
I am unable to get to the studio daily, I do attempt to go to Mysore classes or Primary series at least once a week and strive for a daily practice at home.
I strongly believe in the benefits of yoga on the body and the mind. Spiritually it is leading me on a path of happiness I never thought was possible.
I still have my bad days, I still cry and get angry. But Yoga has helped me understand myself and helped me know what I can do to lead a happy and fulfilled life.
It is a moving meditation.
This blog is going to be a place to share my daily practice.
I've been striving for a daily practice for some time, and I've come up with every excuse in the book to skip my pracitce.
Not anymore. I am going to commit to a 6 day a week Vinyasa/Ashtanga style practice. If only sun salutations and the closing sequence. I am certain I can benefit by even small amounts of yoga daily.
That is what I hope to share here.
Om shanti shanti shanti
(peace peace peace)