My photo
Newnan, Georgia, United States
I am a yoga student continuously studying, taking workshops and practice, practice, practice.
Currently enrolled in a 230hr Yoga Teacher Training. I hope to share that with you here.
Born & raised in the south along the banks of the Mississippi in Louisiana. Married in 2003 and transplanted to Georgia.
A southern Yogini at heart.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Resolutions

So Tomorrow is New Years Eve and a Full Moon tomorrow as well (no practice for those Ashtangi's out there)

In the spirit of a new year, a new outlook or resolutions you might want to try and check out World Yoga Practice Month .



I joined in last year and it was a lot of fun. It is good to have other yogis in your corner and helping you to commit to a daily practice!


Also on Jan 1 starts the 21 day kick start.
"this program is designed for anyone who wants to explore and experience the health benefits of a vegan diet. The Kickstart will give you an all-access pass to"



I have been a vegetarian for 6 years (I think that is right) and I was vegan for 1 of those 6. Over the last year I was eating dairy and eggs again. Mainly out of laziness. I have no other excuse.

But with that came weight gain, allergies, low energy levels. So for myself I am going to go back Vegan. My husband is Vegetarian and is being supportive (so far)

But this is something I know works for me, my health and my yoga practice as well.
So if you ever wanted to give it a try why not now!
I am looking forward to a great 2010!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Living Your Yoga

I had to do a book review for my Yoga Teacher Training. I choose Living Your Yoga by Judith Lasater. I've read many yoga books. I could have done it on a book I've already read or on an asana book. But I choose this one. For many many reasons.
But here are a few key parts I enjoyed and watned to share:

“The practices of yoga, which include poses, breathing, meditation, and self-awareness techniques, are difficult in and of themselves. It is also difficult to practice consistently in the midst of our busy lives. In order to commit ourselves to practice, we must have faith that they will be fruitful and accomplish their intent, which is to help us turn towards ourselves and recognize our essential wholeness.”

Another Piece I really really enjoyed:
The Real beginning of spiritual practice is evident when we accept responsibility for ourselves, that is, when we acknowledge that ultimately there are no answers outside of ourselves, and no gurus, no teachers, and no philosophies that can solve the problems of our lives. It is our dedication to living with open hearts and our commitment to the day-to-day details of our lives that will transform us. When we are open to the present moment, we shine forth. At these times, we are not on a spiritual path: we are the spiritual path.

Also:
If there really are no answers outside of ourselves, then we must learn to turn toward ourselves and be comfortable in doing so. Abiding practice can remind us that there is nothing we need to be whole that does not already exist within us.

Contemplation for the day.
Much Love

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry, Happy, Full...

Merry Christmas!
Today was really nice. Low Key and fun.
Got up early, opened gifts, made breakfast and relaxed.
My husband got me some sweet gifts. A beautiful buddha for my yoga space, the Dhammapada, A Jivamukti DVD and the Jivamukti book, David Gray's new CD, A flameless candle for my shrine in my yoga space, and some peppermint bark :)

Then showered and started cooking. On the menu:
Chocolate Pie
Sugar Cookies
Tofurky
Homemade garlic mashed potatos
Gravy
Stuffing
Sweet Potato Casserole
Greenbean Casserole

We listened to music while cooking.
JP stopped by for food and presents. I received a book about Gandhi. Denver got Broncos gear and a Dharma book as well.

Right now Denver is snoring next to me on the sofa and chai is curled up by the fire.
Tomorrow I will get back on my mat early, then we are off to catch movies with JP. Sherlock Holmes :)

Enjoy your long weekend.
Looking forward to 2010

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Basics

Last night I dropped-in on the basics ashtanga class at Balance.
It was a review of the Ashtanga Sun Salutes and Standing Postures. I really enjoyed how each pose was taken a bit slower with a bit more concentration on getting into the pose instead of quickly.
It reminded me of my first taste of Ashtanga. I had signed up for the 6 weeks basics course that Balance offered. Going to the class two times a week for six weeks. That seems ages ago yet my practice feels like I've started over at the beginning. I am almost considering signing up for the basics course again! But the finances are there right now.

Practice was good. I enjoyed it alot.
After practice my teacher and I grabbed a bite at Whole foods and chatted a good bit. She is always very inspiring to me.

I do have sad news though; I am not going to be able to go to the Week yoga workshop with Kino & Tim next year. I just can't justify the money for traveling to Miami and staying a week. I am sad, but know I will have other opportunities. I am hoping I can atleast attend some of Kino's workshop at Balance in February.

Well, Christmas is upon us!
I am off of work Thursday & Friday. I might do a bit of work from home this weekend. But 4 days to be with my husband and pup.
Tofurky, Homemade mashed potots, practice, movies, reading. I am all about enjoying this 4 day weekend.
Okay much to do at the office. Must be productive.
Happy Holidays!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Flow Yoga

Here is an article I found online by my teacher Stephanie Keach. I enjoyed her definition of Flow Yoga. Considering alot of people are always curious about the differences between the styles and types of Hatha Yoga.

Hope you are enjoying your weekend!
Flow Yoga

by Stephanie Keach

I am frequently asked "What is flow yoga?" "How is it different from hatha yoga?" I have been teaching flow yoga for 18 years, so my answer will vary from someone else’s answer. Yoga is a path of transformation, to be learned systematically, through meditation techniques, concentration techniques, breathing techniques, selfless service, devotional practices like chanting and praying, or through Yoga poses (hatha yoga). Most of us here in America learn it through this Hatha Yoga path. (Hatha yoga is a general term used to describe all the styles of yoga we do here in America: ashtanga, iyengar, anusara, kundalini, flow, power, etc). Flow yoga is a style of hatha yoga that I was drawn to immediately because of its fluid nature of linking movement with breath. Whether moving the body in and out of a pose, or just lifting the arm on the inhale and lowering the arm on the exhale, it made perfect sense to me to use the breath as the impetus for movement, rather than my thoughts. Yoga is, after all, a system designed to help us overcome the "monkey-mind": that very popular state of mind where rambling thoughts of the future and/or past just go on and on and on. This chain of rambling thoughts is said to lead to suffering, in many eastern traditions, including yoga. Yoga helps us to develop awareness of our thought patterns: even while doing some twisty yoga pose, we can still observe our thought patterns. Say you are sitting on the ground, stretching out the hips, and you notice the girl next to you has her face to the floor, and your face is far away from the floor. Here is where habitual thought patterns might creep in, like, "Oh my god, look at how flexible she is! I shouldn’t be doing yoga, I suck, I am too fat, too stiff, too neurotic, etc." What we don't realize at first is that these voices have been ricocheting around our heads for years, sometimes 20, 30 or 50! These kinds of negative thought patterns only stop us from growing spiritually, and especially stop us from becoming loving and kind humans, which is the ultimate goal of all spiritual traditions. However, once we realize we have these negative thought patterns, we can begin to recognize them, at first in yoga class, but later in life, at the store, or wherever. Once we start to see these patterns more clearly, then we can make the conscious choice to let them go and not continue to feed our thought energy into them. Eventually, the voices lessen and lessen, allowing more room in our thoughts for kind thoughts, generous thoughts, loving thoughts. With this understanding, yoga is really for everyone, regardless of body shape, size, flexibility, etc. It all really comes down to deep self-reflection and changing those parts of us that no longer are pure and true. I love to teach this philosophy while helping people out of pain through the yoga poses. Over the years, I have seen just about every ailment and injury, and have seen how yoga significantly or 100% fixes the problems! It is truly amazing what right effort can produce.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Holiday Check-In

Sorry I haven't posted in some time!
Happy Holidays!!!
My new job started this week. Training went well. Now I am in my actual office starting on Monday.
Granted it is a short week and I am looking forward to that!
Yoga training is going well; lots of changes within my personal practice. But all wonderful thus far.
Tyring to get a handle on my eating habits. Seems to be my number one obstacles: Making the ample time for asana, meditation and pranayma as well as healthy eating habits.
I am hoping by the end of my 9 month training these 2 things will have sorted themselves out.
Other things are sorting themselves out like my style of practie and meditation.

Meditation has been my most "progression"
I am enjoying meditation at home and also with Bhante at the Sangha. So all in all that is a plus.

So the holidays. Just me, Denver & Chai. Our tiny family.
Lots of food and hanging out. It will be nice.
And you? Any great holiday plans?

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Seeds of Understanding

I am chewing on this for today. I think it applies to my Dharma practice and my Asana Practice...these two things I try to merge.

The gentle spring rain permeates the soil of my soul.
A seed that has lain deeply in th heart for many years just smiles.

Allow the rain of the Dharma to come in and penetrate the seeds that are buried deep in your consciousness. A teacher can not give you the truth. The truth is already in you.
You only need to open yourself--body, mind and heart--so that his or her teachings will penetrate your own seeds of understanding and enlightenment. If you let the words enter you, the soil and the seeds will do the rest of the work.

From The Heart of Buddha's Teaching- Thich Nhat Hanh


Shrine at the Georgia Buddhist Vihara I attend. It is very large and so beautiful.


Friday, December 11, 2009

Flo(w)

Sometimes I like to get on my mat and just flow. No sequence, no guidelines. Just the breath, some alignment and music. Having fun.
I am beginning to notice that I am truly enjoying those practices more and more.
It is always amazing how sometimes our practice guides us...we do not guide it.
I love Ashtanga; but lately the Flow has just felt right.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Faith

Well I've finally given in to the fact that I do indeed have a head cold.
I've been in denial for a few days thinking it was just allergies. But, it is not.
So today I am making lots of hot tea with Ginger, drinking emergenC and going to use my netipot (which I should have been doing since the beginning of the season)

I can tell my body is now officially worn down; but my brain has a huge to do list and so many things I want to accomplish. Oh well, the body wins in this one.

Last night my husband & I did go to meditation with Bhante. There was a larger group last night which was wonderful. But the room was very cold (or it could be that I was getting worse)

We had a very long seated meditation (about 2 hours with one break) and Bhante was very talkative last night. He actually answered some questions I have had in my mind lately; which is always suprising when he does this.

For our training we have to do a book review on a "breathing" book not on our required reading list. As there are not a ton of pranyama books or breathing books available. My husband recommended one by Thich Nhat Hanh; Breathe, you are alive! I wasn't sure if this would "qualify" as breathing book. It is definitly a book about mindful breathing and meditation rathern than Pranayam. But we are reading a very in-depth book on Pranayama called The Breathing Book by Donna Farhi

Also, for my training we are required to read another Yoga book that isn't in our required reading & do a book report on it. I have read many yoga books; mostly on Asana.
I recently picked up Living your Yoga; Finding the Spirtual in Everyday Life by Judith Lasater, Ph.D., P.T.

We have read many articles by Judith as part of our Training. I've liked them very much so decided to look her up. I was lucky to find this book at a local store; I've only seen this book online.
So I decided to do my book report on a yoga related book that is not asana. Since there are so many and really; writing a book report on an asana demonstration book would be boring to write & read!

There was a paragraph I really liked:
In verse twenty, book one, of the Yoga Sutra, Patanjali states the importance of faith to spirtual practice: shraddha-virya-smriti smadhi-prajna-purvaka itaresham, or "Wholeness is preceded by faith, energy, mindfulness, union and awareness." The practices of yoga, which include poses, breathing, meditation, and self-awareness techniques, are difficult in and of themselves. It is also difficult to practice consistently in the midst of our busy lives. In order to commit ourselves to practice, we must have faith that they will be fruitful and accomplish their intent, which is to help us turn toward ourselves and recognize our essential wholeness.

I am enjoying this book. It is different "yoga" book. I had several to choose from but for some reason this one seemed to fit for this training.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Chemistry of the Heart

Kino MacGregor Podcast- One question raised regarding finding a teacher and this vibrated with me so much:

"The teachers are around us. When we find a Yoga teacher, a higher teacher- there is a chemistry, a chemistry of the heart. When you see them your heart opens and you trust them for reasons you don't understand. You are a better person in their presence and your practice is better. It isn't about them (the teacher) but about the space and experience they represent."

Another bit I liked:
"If you get too caught up in the technical details of the experience. It is like we are focusing on the problem instead of directing the mind to the solution. In terms of your yoga practice; sometimes we can over think the technical application of the how and sometimes we just need the feeling of it in order to move into a whole new way of moving the body.

Same thing with our life; sometimes if we focus on the practical details we literally spend time on the problem and if we just focus on the solution or the feeling of everything working out then the practical details will sort themselves out. Not that we are not going to do them, it is just that the solutions will fall into place more naturally"

Chitta Vritti

Sutra 1-2 The restraint of the modifications of the mind-stuff is yoga.
Yogash chitta vritti nirodhah: Yoga is the restraint (control, mastery) of the modifications (changes, movement, thought-forms) of the mind field



The weekend in Asheville was wonderful.
Friday and Saturday we did a lot of Anusara with Barbara Hall.
I had fun playing around with handstand and alot of the principles of Anusara .
Sunday we started with a master class by Stephanie and that was really fun (as always)
We did adjustments and partner stuff throughout the weekend.
Sunday evening we did Iyengar. 1.5 hours on shoulder stand. We did this in groups of 3.

This did remind me that Iyengar is not for me. While I know there are amazing aspects of this practice I like to bring into my practice and his books are wonderful.
The actual practice just doesn't inspire me to get on my mat for some reason.
This was my 3rd time dabbling in Iyengar.

So every weekend I go to Asheville we play around with different styles, the history, anatomy and always going over the sutras and 8 limbs of yoga.

However, I return home confused, conflicted and unsure.
My personal practice is steeped in Ashtanga as taught by SKP Jois (although my direct teachers are Marsha from Balance here in my town and also Kino MacGregor - I've only practiced with her twice but consider her a huge influence on my practice)
Regardless, I find that Ashtanga is what challenges me... and sometimes it challenges me to the point of pure frustration.

So, in this training we are required to journal our daily asana, meditation and pranayama practice.
This was what I wrote today:

"Started with Primary series. I got through the sun salutations and all the way to Paschimottanasana. Then I just stopped. I couldn't go any further. I grabbed my eyebag and went into savasana. I realized i was not in my practice. I was thinking of my teachers and if I would ever impress them. This bothered me and therefore I stepped out of my practice and into rest. Then went into my meditation to clear some of this fog.
The fact that this thought had been my focus during the practice upset me. Why after so long am I still striving to impress anyone?

I am disappointed my head got in the way of my practice. It seems as if I can't figure it out. I try to fit myself into a box or lable. Why do I feel compelled to have to label myself as an "ashtangi" or why do I feel that I need a label at all.

How come other people just know. They've found their practice and never deviate from it. They never question it...they just know. Am I just letting the "head stuff" get in my way.
It is really starting to bother me. I am getting on my own nerves with this and not sure how to get out of this mindset"

Not sure what I got from this, I know I did get frustration. I know by my 7th sun salute I was already fatigued. And that frustrated me.

Some days I overthink things way too much. And today might be one of those days :)
Sometimes our practice is more than just the physical element. It challenges us on different levels.
Why do I stress myself out over such small things like my practice..

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Ashtangi's and the Moon


So today is a full moon. In Ashtangi land there is no practice on Full or New Moons.
You can read about that here
So do you Ashtangi's abide by this rule? Do you fully enjoy your moon days off?
I am thinking of a simple flow practice this evening and meditation.
Then tomorrow back to Primary Series.

Doorways

Most of us are practicing being outer focused first, tending to the needs and requests of others before ourselves. Then somehow, it seems that there isn’t enough time left over for ourselves. That’s because we’re doing it backwards. To truly love and be friends with others, we must practice loving ourselves well and fu...lly on a daily basis. —SARK, American author and artist

It is December!
I do love this time of year. Granted it doesn't get bitterly cold in the South. But the weather is still changing, I can feel an end to this year approaching and new one creeping up.
I like that feeling.
Looking back on past 11 months of this year...my personal life has had its ups and downs. My marriage is great (which has taken a lot of work to get to this point and I am very grateful for that)
But my job, my practice, my family and so on. All of that was in a constant state of change. Granted everything around us is always changing. But these aspects of my life were much more noticeable.

I have to make some decisions recently that were in the best interest of my wellbeing.
Having so much on my "to do" list left very little time to concentrate on the things that are very imporant to me such as my new job, my yoga practice, yoga teacher training, my family (as small as it may be it takes work!)

So after weighing my options and a lot of thinking- I've decided to step away from Teaching at Lotus. The studio is beautiful and a great place to practice yoga/meditation at in Newnan. I hope it continues to build a great base for the community. I hope to also be around to see them grow!

I have a lot on my plate and it is causing me to short change the things that really need my attention. I hope to return to teaching in the future. Perhaps just one day a week. But I do not intend to take on a full teaching schedule at this time. I need to be realistic and do what I know I can comfortably handle. After all I do not want the students to be short changed nor do I want to short change my personal practice or studies.
Right now I am hungry to study and learn.
So I am sad to leave that yoga bubble of like-minded people and such a beautiful space. But, I have to be honest with myself.

In other news, I am excited for this weekend. Headed back into the mountains of Asheville to learn Iyengar & Anusara. Should be fun and looking forward to checking in with all the other yoga trainees!!


Monday, November 30, 2009

Holidays, Mysore Practice and Training

Are you ready for the Holiday Season!? Chai wants to know? We are...because we don't do much really. And we like it that way.

What a lovely long weekend filled with the beginning of the holidays.My husband and I are a tiny little family...me, him and the dog (Chai)
So I cooked a really good Vegan/Vegetarian Meal of: Tofurky, Greenbean Casserole, Sweet Potato Casserole, Home Made Mashed Potatos, Stuffing, Vegan Gravy, Pumpkin Pie.
Then we put up our Christmas tree.


Besides that- we relaxed, cleaned, watched movies and read a lot.
On Sunday I went to Mysore with Ashtanga Yoga Atlanta held at Yoga Samadhi
It was a packed mysore room (for our Atlanta Ashtangi's- we are a small group I believe)
But the teacher was wonderful. Some really good assists. I always enjoy the energy of Msyore Practice. It is one of those things where at times I think "Why do I do this to myself" and then I remind myself..."because in at the end of practice you feel amazing. Clear headed, light and blissful. So it is worth the sweat and work" And it truly is.
Nothing beats the high of Ashtanga yoga (for me anyway) I am a totaly yoga junkie lol.
I have teacher training this weekend. Headed back up to Asheville and living in the yoga bubble for 2.5 days. That is always wonderful. This weekend is focused on Anusara and Iyengar styles. So I am looking forward to seeing a little more in depth of these practices.
I've taken Iyengar classes and I took an Anusara Fundamentals 6 week course. So this will be a nice refresher on both styles.
Okay...well much to be done. Enjoy your week!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thankful


Thankful for so much! Thankful for 4 days to spend with my family-- Denver & our furry child Chai.

Pumpkin Pie in the oven, now working on sweet potato casserole then the Tofurky.

I intend to get on my mat too at some point to give thanks for a practice that keeps me grounded and grateful.

♥ Much love.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Practice & Tofurky

Today's practice was difficult. Mentally and physically. I over slept--again. Which rushes my practice and I highly dislike. And I didn't make it to mysore at Balance.

I finally stopped goofing around and got on my mat. Unsure of what I would start with--I did the primary series up to Navasana with only a vinyasa between seated postures.
Forward folds were tough today. By the time I got to backbending I could only complete 3 that were decent.

In closing Halasana (Plow) was difficult. I think my upper back must not have been warmed up enough? Meditation was fine. It was better than asana.

However, I did realize that by the end I was shocked how fast the tiAdd Videome went by and that my upper arms were tired. So at least I pushed myself.
I really need to get a handle on my schedule- but that is typical for me.

Tonight we go to meditation with Bhante which will be a nice way to prepare for Thanksgiving tomorrow.

I intend to get up and practice. We also have 2 Tofurkey's in the fridge. Because my husband loves them so much! He likes to make tofurkey sandwhiches.

Not much else to report. Lots of reading to do this weekend!




Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Choosing Peace

Have you ever come across an article that took you for a turn or created a turning point for you? I have a few. One of which is related to my practice. I had been practicing Ashtanga for a few months and I really got hooked on yoga magazines as I was trying to learn as much as possible.
I picked up Yoga Mind Body Spirit in December of 2007

I remember reading an article by Kino MacGregor. At that time I had no idea who she was. But the Article Title "Choosing Peace" stuck out to me as well did a photo of her in a crazy variation of bow. At that time I was still very new to the practice.

I read this article and it triggered something in me. I had been frustrated with my progress on my mat (which has happened several times since then....) I get frustrated with something and typically give up..walk away...quit.

That applies to everything. Social Situations, relationships, so on.
So this article has been one that I go back to often.

Choosing Peace
by Kino MacGreggor
You create your reality by the thoughts that you think. Your attention is itself responsible for your life experience. No matter how awful the traffic jam is, how loud your neighbors are, how inconsiderate people may seem, how delayed the airplane is, you are the one who is in control of your reality.
Regardless of what type of experience finds its way into your life, you always have power over your reaction to reality. In doing so, you are the true master of your own fate. Think that life is awful and it is...for you. Think that people are careless, blind and ignorant and they will be...to you. The power of positive thinking is a common topic of conversation, books and seminars in our post-new age, twenty-first century world. Most of us agree that it’s a good idea to concentrate our thoughts towards a positive goal, rather than lull around in the doldrums of complaint and whine. The real question lies not in the debate about whether we can create our own reality or not, but rather in the how.
Enter the five thousand year old tradition of which you take part when you practice yoga. Yoga is a true science of the mind where you actively practice choosing a peaceful response to distressful situations, thus giving you the tools for creating your reality in each moment. When you practice yoga, you watch your mind’s reaction to touching the borders of your physical reality. Your inner dialogue in postures that seem impossible to you parallels your reaction to life situations that push the boundary of your comfortability. Pushing these limits brings up fear, anger, sadness, frustration, and numerous other insidious emotions.
It is easy to let your mind spin away into these temptations, however, with regular practice you will have the strength to remain calm, focused and aware. It’s like the difference between scratching an itch automatically and feeling the itch, then choosing not to scratch. As you remain calm, you are able to choose a peaceful response to your experience and thereby create your own reality. Wayne Dyer says that it is always possible to stop any life experience and say to yourself, “I can choose peace over this.” Yoga gives you a forum to practice saying to yourself that you acutally can choose peace over the patterns that you’re practiced in the past. You finally have the strength to stop scratching those pesky itches.
Your thoughts are crystal clear in between your breath, posture, and drishti. With no one else to blame, no where else to run, nothing left to do, start where you are, in the center of your created life experience and begin the dedicated, devotional path towards creating a peaceful life in the present moment. One breath at a time.



After being inspired by this article and Kino's words I quickly went on a google hunt. I found Miami Life Center
I thought if I ever ended up in Miami I had to practice there. Well later on in 2008 a group of friends decided to take a trip to attend the grand opening of the Yoga Shala in Islamorada .
We found out it was cancelled the week prior---but the condo was paid for and we all had the week off. So we went anyway.
We all agreed to head to Miami for one mysore class with Kino. Here we are after a sweaty mysore practice in the Miami heat March 2008. Nearly 2 years ago.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Do your practice....


"Do your Practice and All is Coming" SKP Jois
A very beautiful, meaningful, special and wonderful reminder from A Lotus Girl
This Pendant has helped raise $1300 for Operation Shanti

Well I did 1/2 primary series today. My mind wasn't up for it, my body was also a bit rebellious.
I wanted to go further past Navasana. But I knew I would compromise the closing sequence so I refrained.
I noticed I NEED to keep a daily routine- as far as getting up at the same time. I find that when I don't my entire day is just thrown off and I spend a lot of time trying to catch up. Sometimes the extra 30-60 min of sleep isn't worth it.

In 2 weeks I am back at Teaacher training. In those 2 weeks I need to finish 2.5 books!
I did finish my first paper- a biography of a yogi and I chose SKP Jois. I re-read Yoga Mala and some other online interviews/articles to get some additional insight.
I think I have 5 more papers to write. Each is 1-2 pages but the big paper is 5-10 pages.
My topic is going to be Yoga & Buddhism. I am reading The Heat of Buddha's Teachings from Thich Nhat Hanh.
SO.MUCH.READING
And I am a slow reader :)
Okay off to relax for the evening.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Notes on my Practice...it is a LONG Post **you've been warned**

Yesterday I went to Mysore practice at Balance. It was great to see my teacher there. She & I talked earlier this week- we talked through some of my roadblocks with my teacher training & my practice. I am very lucky to have a teacher I admire and enjoy studying with so close to home.

I did get some pointers to work on during my home practice. One I keep hearing over and over from several different teachers "tuck the tailbone or lengthen the tailbone to the floor" which ever version you like best.
It seems (and I have noticed in my pictures and videos) that I have a sway back. My tailbone is always out there waving hello to the passers-by.
I mean it takes ALOT of concentration for me to lengthen it to the floor. It almost feels weird to my spine. I suppose this is an engrained habit that is going to be hard to break. And Of course I need to ensure I do not over tuck it taking the natural curve out of my lumbar.

Anyway, practice was sweaty. We agreed I will keep up with 1/2 primary (working up to Navasana then closing). This way I can build my strength and really focus on the quality of those asanas rather than moving through the entire Primary series exhausted and compromising form. So little by little as I gain my strength in the Primary series we will add more and more.

I can't explain why I found myself back in the Mysore practice or at an Ashtang studio. I mean I've tried lots of other styles when I thought Ashtanga wasn't for me. I can't explain what keeps drawing me back. So I try not to over analyze this anymore. Ashtanga is what is getting me on my mat every day...so why over think that (right Nicole?)

I am also giving myself one full year to dedicate to the Primary series. In November 2010 a group of us are going to for a week long practice with in Miami Kino Macgregor and Tim Feldman.
So I have a year to dedicate to this practice and I am not going to give up again. Seriously if I start questioning this practice again because my mind starts telling me "You can't do this practice it is too difficult" "why are you here" and so on...I want you guys to say No. You made a promise to yourself now keep it. Give me tough love! :)

So the reason I want to stick with this is:
a) I always give up when the practice starts getting to intense, or an injury- which in my head gives me full persmission to just walk away from primary series. But I shouldn't. I should just modify and adapt rather than throwing it out the window.

b) I've never stuck with a truly dedicated Ashtanga practice. Always letting my ADD or monkey mind swing me in another direction either due to boredom or frustration

c) By the time November 2010 rools around I want to really reap the benefits of a full week of mysore practice and workshops with 2 amazing Ashtanga teachers. I want to show up with my practice (at whatever point is will be at during that time) and just lay out at thier feet saying "here is what I've got to work with". I want to be able to gain something from this experience. I have a full year to work with. This should allow me to show up and gain some insight. Raher than showing up withe a 1/2 assed attempt to my practice (does that make any sense?)

In other Ashtanga related news I was able to purchase this amazing Pendant. The idea behind this pendant is so sweet and I was happy to finally be able to contribute as well as be reminded of SKP jois message. "Do YOUR practice and all is coming." See I take that transalation as Your practice. Be it meditation, asana, kindness, etc...Just do your practice and everything will fall into place.

So in other yoga related news I am asking for this for my Christmas present
Not sure if I will find it under my tree but it was worth a shot to ask for huh?

And, I was asked to lead a gentle yoga practice during the break session of a Zazenkai. I intend to do so at their next one. Just some gentle asana to help with a full day of sitting meditation. I was honored that they asked me.

In other news my allergies are worse then they have ever been. Seriously. I am debating on going to see an allergist. I was tested last year to see if my allergies changed, and they have. But the past 2 weeks I've been waking up severly congested and havnig to live on Benedryl. Not good I know. But it is a requirment to be able to breathe and function. So far the ONLY medicine that is helping with this is Benedryl. So I am so sleepy most of the time.
Last night during our meditation with Bhante it took every ounce of energy I had to remain present and awake. I wanted to sleep so badly. So it didn't affect my meditation and I was not able to gain much from it rather than the idea that I need to see an allergist and get this under control. I mean this morning I woke up with my entire right nostril closed and unable to breathe. That is not how one should wake up!
And I can not continue to walk around in a zombified state either.

Sorry for such a long post, but my fingers kept going on the keyboard. :)
Have an amazing day!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Mysore

Today I hopped out of bed at 5:00AM and headed to Atlanta. I had a nice sweaty Mysore practice. I Only did the primary series up to Navasana. By the time I got to backbends my upper body was exhausted. My techer gave me some wonderful adjustments and some advice on things to work on during my home practice.

I really like getting to Balance once a week for mysore. It helps keep me grounded.
Okay on with the day!
xoxo

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Back from Asheville and back to my routine.

The weeekend in Asheville was wonderful. Learned lots of helpful adjustments, sequences, played around with different variations of Sun Salutes, did Viniyoga one evening, Yin Yoga, a master flow class, watched videos on Krishnamacharya and BKS Iyengar.
Now to work on my papers, reading assignments and keepnig up with daily asana, mediation and journaling practice.
The whole experience is pretty fun and awesome.
I took Monday off from practice. With it being a Moon Day and getting back to work and my rountine. It was nice to take the day in stride.

This morning however it was back to the mat. I decided to do 1/2 primary. Mid way through Surya Namaskara B I was already becoming tired and heavy...weird.
But I kept going. Since my toe is still acting up I skipped over Janu C and I've been stepping back through my vinyasas rathern than jumping.
All in all not a bad practice. My backbends were tight and Navasana was exhasuting. I could feel the ab work we did this weekend for sure!
Meditation was such a nice ending this morning.

Not much else to report. I have 3 weeks to read 2 books. So I better get started :)
I am teaching Vinyasa Flow on Monday & Thursdays at Lotus Yoga come by if you can.
I like teaching. We keep working towards getting the word out about our tiny yoga bubble.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Road Trip= Teacher Training Part 2

Packed up and ready to head to Asheville for the weekend for Yoga Teacher Training. Can't wait to be back in the mountains and in the "yoga bubble" ♥

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Training-in-progress ॐ

The rain keeps pouring down here in Georgia. I beleive my driveway and yard is forming into a pond.
But seriously- we live in the country on 6 something acres of land. We have a long gravel driveway with a gravel parking area...and I beleive there is no gravel left. Just mud. So we need to look into getting that fixed.

This week has been busy. I am looking forward to heading to Asheville on Friday. Teacher training runs from Friday-Sunday. I really love being there. If I could---I'd move to Asheville. I love the area and everything about it. I am also hoping to eat some yummy vegan dishes at Rosetta's Kitchen (thanks Nicole for the tip) The great thing is that they are open late! Our training lets out around 9:00 PM on friday so I think this would be a nice way to end the evening.

In other yoga-teacher-training news. I have 6 papers to write. So Far I believe I've nailed down 2 of my topics.
Biography on SKP Jois
My very large paper about Yoga and Buddhism

I have several other papers to write like book reviews and such. But these are my first two and larger papers. So I need to at least start an outline.
Since I decided to do the biography on SKP Jois I was re-reading Yoga Mala. Since I haven't read this book since I first started Ashtanga years ago--it makes much more sense to me now.
I am not an advanced Ashtanga student by any means. I can only comfortably complete 1/2 primary without complete exhaustion. Granted I believe that will improve with constant practice. But regardless of the styles I try...I always land back at Ashtanga...and I can never understand why so I've stopped trying to.

Also, I am reading the Yoga Sutras (Sri Swami Satchidananda's translation)
I read book one in the past. I am re-reading book One and starting book two. Not a light read. But something you can pick up and digest bits and pieces each time.

Overall I am really enjoying diving into practice, study and training in general.
This Sunday I also assist Stepahnie in her Mast class. That will be a new experience!
Much love!!!
Off to get some work done.

Monday, November 9, 2009

ॐ Practice ॐ

This weekend was nice. Lots of reading for my teacher training. I finished Erich Schiffmann's book and I am reading part 1 & 2 of the Yoga Sutras by Sri Swami Satchidananda.
Plus starting my outlines for several papers I have to write. Which I haven't written papers in sooo long.

Practice wise; things are moving along. Today I missed going to morning mysore practice at Balance. Instead I did a home practice. Only 1/2 primary series (as I over slept)
Tonight I am teaching a vinyasa flow class at 6:30 at Lotus.
I believe the classes are going to pick up. The businesses on the "square" which is where the studio is located; we all had a Holiday open house. They do this every year. Mind you the "Square" is about 6-7 blocks of businesses. So, I printed out about 30-40 flyers of our schedule and "Your first class is free" coupons. I believe we ended up giving all of them out.
Lots of couples came in to. Makes me consider doing a partner yoga workshop one day.

Anyway, lots to do!
I head back to Asheville on Friday for weekend 2 of Teacher Training and I can not wait to be back in the yoga bubble!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Opening, Mysore & my Anniversary!

So the grand opening of Lotus went very well last night. I believe there were 30-40 something people coming and going through out the night. It was a lovely evening with really lovely vegan food.
The space looks amazing and we met a lot of the wonderful business owners in the are and some new potential students!
I am very excited and looking forward to being there and taking classes!
Here is one of the only photos I did get of the evening (there was another photographer there)

Elizabeth, Anne, Yvette & Me.

I got home late; in bed by 12:00 something. I was up again at 5:00am this morning and headed to Mysore at Balance.
My teacher was there and the studio was buzzing with lots of ujjayi breathing. And pretty warm too. I started my practice and could tell my body was a bit tired from only 5 hours of sleep. So I only did 1/2 primary up to Navasana then went into closing. I had a lovely adjustment in my backbending.
My new mat did a great job. It did get a bit slick bc it was the first class I've used it at. So I washed it today with some teatree oil and water to get that slickness off and it should be find by next weeks mysore practice.
I plan/hope to get there once a week for mysore (while keeping up my daily practice at home on the other days)
It was great to practice so early and be home in time to work by 9:00. I really love that!

This weekend also marks my 6th Wedding Anniversary and 9 years with my husband.
I <3 you Denver!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Ashtanga- already planning 2010

Soo Excited!
My teacher emailed me today and we signed up to go together next year!
I've only practiced with Kino twice. Once at Miami Life Center when we went to Islamorada to practice with SKP Jois- but he fell ill.
Then in Chicago Last year for a weekend workshop. I am so excited to not only be going but to be doing so with my Ashtanga teachers. How awesome!!



11/28/2010 - 12/03/2010
ONE WEEK YOGA WORKSHOP with Kino and TimNovember 28th - December 3rd, 2010

12 Students. 2 Teachers. Mysore Old Shala Style.
In the early days of daily yoga practice in Mysore, India, our teacher, the living master of Ashtanga Yoga, Sri K. Pattabhi Jois and his grandson Sharath, taught in a tiny room with flourescent lighting in groups of maximum 12 students at a time. In this workshop you will experience the unique combination of two teachers and a small class. This is the perfect opportunity to deepen your already existing practice and experience a taste of old India right here on Miami Beach.
This one week practitioner intensive includes morning Mysore practice with an intimate group of up to 12 students and afternoon introductory and continuing education workshops on the foundations of Yoga - Pranayama, Meditation, Chanting & the Yoga Sutras.

Yoga related updates (what else would you expect?)

Hi internet land!
How has your week been? Things are good her in Georgia. The weather is changing and fall is really upon us. I love Fall!
Some updates:
I received my new Jade Harmony Travel Yoga Mat! I won it by entering a Yoga Joke Contest.
My joke was: Why couldn't the yogi vaccum his carpet? He lost all his attachments!
Silly I know but it got a few laughs and I ended up with a brand new nice lovely mat. I mean for a yogi a new mat is exciting!
I've had my previous Jade mat for about 3 years. I was told by a good friend that the quality was great. She was right. It is the ONLY mat that takes the ware and tear of an Ashtanga/Vinyasa practice (for me anyway)
Here we are:


Also, tomorrow evening from 7-9:30 is the Grand Opening of Lotus Yoga & Meditation.
The only yoga & meditation in Newnan...and in the surrounding area to my knowledge.
It is a cute place with great charm. I will be teaching a few beginner vinyasa classes.
There are 3 other yoga teachers and I hope the community embraces the center!

Check out the cute cute website: http://www.lotusnewnan.com/
Okay- I am off my lunch break now. Back to work.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

This weeks practice so far...

So we are journaling our daily yoga/meditation practice. Thought I would just share some notes here. This wont be a daily post. Just a starting point to reference.
Just some notes from my practice this week:

Monday:
Asana 30 min
Did a varied vinyasa pracitce incorporating Sun Salutes (low lunge) with vinyasa in between. Also working in Shalabasana.
Trikonasana and Parvritta Trikonasana.
Utkatasana into Squatting
Dandasana
Pashimottanasana twice for low back pain
Janu A
Pigeon on both sides
5 min. sivasana

10 Min Seated meditation counting the breaths

Tuesday: Took my 1 day off for this week (too busy with work)

Wednesday:
Asana 45 min
Seated Neck rools
Cat/Cow
Down Dog with kapalabhati breathing
3 Sun Salutes - 1 moving into Prayer Twist (Parsvakonasana)
In between sun salutes I did a vinysasa incoporating Shalabasana (this is my assigned pose)
Squat 6 breaths
Trikonasana
Parivritta Trikonasana
Vrikasana (Tree)
Vinyasa into Bow 2 times
Paschimottansana (forward fold)
Janu A
Ardha Matsyendrasana
Gomukasana to Navasana
Urdhva Dahnuransana 3 times
Forward fold then Baddhakonasna
Shoulder Stand
I worked on Sirsasana and Pincha

Meditation 10 min. mediation in easy sitting pose counting breaths from 50 to 1.

Notes from today: Upper back was very tight and tense. Did not allow for me to move into Plow Pose. Forward folds were rough.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Yoga Teacher Training- Weekend 1

Well this weekend was the 1st weekend of the 9 month Yoga Teacher Training in Asheville.
It was...well amazing. I could go into detail about each workshop and everything that took place; but I seriously doubt any of my descriptions would really portray how truly amazing the whole weekend was.

The weather was cold but not so harsh you couldn't enjoy how beautiful Ahseville was. I had a really awesome roommate- who I believe I will be rooming with for the remainder of the training.
There were several asana clinics and I learned a lot about yin, anatomy, adjustments, & 8 limbs of yoga according to Patanjali. We did a lot of seated meditation as well as journaling about the meditations.

We went over our papers and reports that are due during the training. The reading list is endless. :)
It was wonderful to see my teacher Stephanie. She was the first face I saw when I walked into the Yoga Center. She got up and gave me the warmest hug and I knew at that very moment this was where I needed to be for my training.
Shala taught a great hip opener class. I heard a lot of wonderful things about Shala and her classes; she is such a calm and kind teacher. She also lead us through the meditations on Saturday.
I could keep going but that may bore you. I am just so happy...and it was weekend one! I have a lot of work to do for the training. Including daily asana & meditation practice (we must journal about them as well to turn in at the end of the training) plus I have to evaluate 1 yoga class between each weekend. It must different levels and different teachers.
Looks like I need to start searching out the local schedules! :)

Regarding my job; granted I had some added stress from work this weekend due to, trining part of the week in North Ga. then my computer crashing Thursday night before I was supposed to head to Asheville.
That did add some additional stress.

I am doing the best I can with my new job. Trying to learn the system and also get quick at everything. It is a challenge but one I think I can overcome. I am liking it so far; I just want to get faster and more productive!
Luckily I am working from home; which allows me to work longer hours and not get as irritated. I can get up and walk Chai, stretch a bit, make lunch. I am putting in a lot of hours; but the breaks keep it manageable for sure!
Plus who wouldn't love to work in Yoga pants all day?

Okay--off to bed!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Headed to Asheville


Tomorrow I head to Asheville!
I embark upon my 230 hour- 9 month long- teacher training.
I am very excited and looking forward to a nice road trip and being completly open to the experience. I will be staying at the cutest little home in Asheville with other teacher trainees as well. Looking forward to what awaits!!!!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Yoga stuff....

Today was my first day at my new job. I am getting used to the software. I will be traveling to North Georgia tomorrow to meet the underwriters and the team members and to get a little more insight on the software.
All in all I think I can handle this pretty well!

It was nice to be at home, practice, shower on my lunch break. Make lunch, and I put in over 8 hours :)
Then I made chili and headed to meet with Anne about the Studio. I hope things work out for her studio!!
We went over a few things and I hope she is okay with taking on some classes. Because there is no way I can teach everyday.
I am getting very excited about my training!!!

Anyway, here are a few photos from today. I think they will be putting them up on the website





Yin/Yang - Me backbending/Anne Meditating









Saturday, October 10, 2009

Work & Yoga

So much is going on! Many good things and tryign to get my head around them all.
Friday was my last day at the office. It was a ghost town. It was very hard to tell my close friends and co-workers bye. But we will all cross paths again.
I received many sweet hugs, some yummy cookies from my boss' wife and we went to lunch.

What else. I went to Ashtanga class on Friday night after work. It was wonderful. My practice was rusty but being back at Balance was lovely and seeing my teacher just gave me the extra energy and inspiration I needed. I am so lucky to have an amazing teacher. I am also lucky to have my BFFL Nicole.
I've been going through some rough times and my teacher is helping me through practice and Listening. Nicole is helping me by being there and talking with me and just being my amazing friend.

I am just filled with love.

OH yes....teacher training next week! NEXT WEEK! I will be traveling to Asheville and loving the fall weather and new beginnings and learning soo much!

Also, I am set up and ready to roll on my new job. I am doing some online training and have to go up to North Georgia later this week to meet the team.

I am also helping out a fellow friend as she begins to open Newnan's very first and only Yoga & Meditation Studio!!
I was very blessed because she has asked me to teach a few classes at the studio. The studio is lovely and has wonderful charm. It is in the perfect part of Newnan and she is giving the place a wonderful feel.
The grand opening of Lotus Yoga & Meditation is October 29th! The first classes begin November 1st. We are trying to iron out the schedule. But please if you are in the area come by for the opening or a class!
It is less than 15 min. from my home and I am so happy for her. She is going to make it a wonderful place to practice yoga and meditation!!


Anyway! Here are a few photos from the studio. More to come!
It is a very old building on the Square in Downtown Historic Newnan.

Looking towards the front of the Yoga/Meditation Room


Corner of the front of the room (where you would be teaching from)


One of the alters

Sunday, October 4, 2009

A Challenge


So..I thought I would participate in this 31 day yoga challenge via Cyndi Lee's Blog
Considering I start my teacher training in less than 2 weeks I figured why not join in. I am trying to get on my mat daily and with the recent changes with my job now is the best time to start new healthy habits.

Over the last 3 weeks with the stress from work and the unstable feelings I've had; well it took a toll on me physcially, emotionally and affected my practice. Pretty much...I haven't practiced. I've fit in maybe 1 practice a week.
I needed yoga these last few weeks but just couldn't seem to get on my mat. So many other things were pressing and unsure and just left my mind numb.

So. New job, Teacher Training, New perspective on a lot of things.

So here is the recap of my last fews days on my mat.

Using some of the sequences from the back of Yoga Body/Buddha Mind and incorporating the fundamental poses reviewed in Erich Schfifmans Book Yoga: the Spirit and Practice of Moving into Stillness

Thursday October 1st:
I arrived to the gym about 20 min. prior to teaching my class. I turned on one of my relaxing playlists and flowed. I did a very basic beginners sequence. At the end I added in some hip openers for good measure.

Friday October 2nd:
I was pressed for time really. I was able to fit in just 15 min. I did 3 sun salutes, Warrior I & II and headstand.

Saturday October 3rd:
I slept in on Saturday so I opted for an evening practice. I went with Erich's book going over some of his fundamental poses: Standing Forward Fold, Standing Side Stretch, Down Dog, Bridge and Sage Twist.

Today--I haven't practice yet. I spent the morning cleaning my house which really needed it. Remember I was super stressed these past few weeks...the house suffered during that time. But the house is spick and span and I am showered and feeling okay. Feeling like things are falling into place.
So tonight I intend to get on my mat in full gratitude for what has unfolded these past few days. I intend to do the fundamental poses from Erich's book (since his book is part of my teacher training I want to focus on that)

I will do my best to post my daily practice. But if you are joining in on this challenge best of luck!

I hope everyone is having a wonderful weekened.
I am off to eat home made salsa and chips while reading.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Asana--Flowing with the practice.

I got the house clean today, gave Chai a bath and actually got on my mat for over an hour! Much much needed.
I went to my mat with the intention to do Primary Series...however once I got started it took a different turn working with the "flow" I really enjoyed my practice.

Handstanding (Took from a video I was taking) I can hold the handstand for all of 2 seconds :)
But hey it is the courage I am working on--on trusting myself to hold myself up!


Reverse Warrior


Utthita Hasta Padangustasana


Ustrasana- Camel Pose

Ashtangi's Post



"As much as you give to your practice; it gives to you as well"- Kino MacGregor

Are you looking for some yoga inspiration or perhaps guided mediations?
Kino MacGregor has revamped her personal website and has added a Free Podcast page. They are very interesting and require now downloading; which I like. The Podcast on the very bottom of the page: Yoga Talk Q&A and Chanting Ireland Sept 2009 by Kino MacGregor- is really a good one to start with :) Kino is an amazing Ashtanga Yoga Teacher. I've taken a workshop from her and mysore classes as well.

Some Ashtangi events coming up in Atlanta (thanks to the Amazing Ashtanga & Vinyasa School-Balance Yoga)

Paul Dallaghan is conducting an Ashtanga Workshop
Kino is coming to Atlanta in 2010 to Balance Yoga. Plan ahead Ashtangi's!





Utthita Trikonasana (Old photo of my Ashtanga Practice)

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Imperfect Yoga= I'm Perfect

Below is a video by Cora Wen of Yogabloom
I've yet to practice with Cora. However, she is inspiring to me. She teaches workshop at AYC for the 500 hour training
I really enjoyed the video. The concept "Imperfect Yoga"
Nicole and I were just talking about this last night on the phone. That Yoga Journal (although a good source of yoga resources and some interesting articles) the yoga they depict in their photos and such is not what I personally consider the everyday yogi.

I would love to see a Yoga magazine/publication that emobidies curvy women/men, tattooed women/men, every shape size color and gender.
But for now all we can do is bring this to our mats, classrooms and communities. That it doesn't matter what you look like, or if you will ever touch your toes.



In other Yoga related materials, I am still reading away in Erich Schiffmann's "Yoga- The Spirit and practice of Moving into Stillness"
Part of our teacher training reading assignments.
I started a chapter called "The Wind through the Instrument" I thought to myself "this is going to be a dull chapter"
However it ended up being one of the most interesting ones yet. I highlighted pretty much the entire thing.
Here are some bits and pieces that really stuck out to me and gave me a few "Ah-ha" moments:

  • Pushing is an active force that moves the body further and deeper into the posture, gently exploring areas of tightness. Yielding is a passive force with which you wait and listen to that moment-to-moment feedback from your body; it's a letting go of resistance that allows the active force to be successful without being aggressive.
    The pushing & yielding elements occur simultaneously, as in a dance. Done propery, therefore, yoga is a matter of pushing and yielding, of "doing" and "not doing" at the same time.
    Skill in yoga invovles orchestrating these two forces with the breath.
  • Merging the pose with the breath will also increase your sensitivity. You'll feel what's happening with more clarity. You'll notice how holding the breath dulls your feeling- sensitivity; and how letting the breath flow freely and deeply increases it.
    The idea is to increase your sensitivity to the inner feeling of your body and let it guide you into appropriate action for that patricular moment.
  • If your mind is elsewhere while your body is doing the pose, you are not actually doing yoga. You are not in "union" with what is happening.
    The practice here is that merging & becoming one with what you are doing. You're practicing yoga, yoking "or joining with"
    You're learning to merge, to yoke your conciousness/awareness with your now- experience.
    You're training yourself to keep your attention immersed in what's happening.
    You're learning to stay with the flow of the breath in order to stay with the feeling of the pose. The inner feeling will then guide you and tell you what to do.
    You will have learned to do yoga when you've become willing to be guided from within.
  • What it means to live a yogic life, the idea is to continue this awareness all day long- not just in poses.
    During the day, practice this same kind of listening to your inner guidance by paying attention to how you feel then allow yourself to do and be as you are prompted.
    Asana and meditation practice make it easier to listen and follow your inner voice during the rest of your life.
    They strengthen your ability to meditate constantly, always to be listening inwardly for guidance.
These quotes all mean something to me. Either they are reminders of what I am missing in my personal practice or they great tips that I want to share with those around me.
This book seems to be a great starting point for new Yogi's as well. The Asana and meditation practices are great building blocks for people new to yoga and meditation.

The Asana practice has 14 fundamental poses for you to build upon as you learn them inside and out you will being to build upon them with more and more poses.

Well enough yoga talk for now.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Let Go and Let Flow

I read today's Daily Om and really enjoyed it.(See below)
I wanted to say thank you for all the kind words regarding my new haircolor. Never thought I'd get that response.

I've been really lazy lately; not practicing the way I like (4-6 times a week) more like 2-3 times a week- slacking on Asana. I am trying trying to get myself out of bed and on the mat before work. It requires getting up between 4:30-5:00 am. What do you do to get on your mat (for those early risers). It seems to be the one area I want to change...but just hit snooze instead. I really want to get up and get on the mat. But as a famous yoga quote states "Lazy people can't do yoga"
Tonight I teach yoga and then going to Vipassana Meditation Center. I get to meet Bhanti- a monk my husband speeks highly. They will lead us in a guided mediation practice then discussion.

Daily Om

September 24, 2009
Let Go and Let Flow
Taking a Leap of Faith

Many people, in heeding the guidance of their souls, find themselves contemplating goals that seem outrageous or unattainable. In the mind’s eye, these individuals stand at the edge of a precipice and look out over the abyss at the fruit of their ambition. Some resist the urge to jump, paralyzed by the gap between their current circumstances and the life of their dreams. Others make a leap of faith into the unknown, unsure of what they will encounter but certain that they will gain more in their attempts than they would bowing to self-protective instincts. This leap can be exceedingly difficult for individuals with control issues because the act of embracing uncertainty requires them to trust that surrender will net them the rewards they seek. Yet when you make a leap of faith, believing without a doubt that you will land safely on the other side, you can accomplish almost anything you set out to do.

There have no doubt been times in your life when you chose to go where the universal flow took you. Yet you may encounter instances in which your objectives require you to step outside of the boundaries of your established comfort zone so that you may freely and actively jettison yourself into a new phase of your life. While you may fear what seems to be the inevitable fall, consider that in all likelihood you will find yourself flying. A successful leap of faith requires your attention, as it is the quiet and often indistinct voice of your inner self that will point you toward your ultimate destination. Understand that the leap across the chasm of ambiguity may challenge you in unforeseen ways but you will make it across if you trust yourself.

If your mind and heart resist, you can dampen this resistance by building a bridge of knowledge. The more you know about the leap you are poised to take, the smaller the gap between "here" and "there" will appear to be. Your courageous leap of faith can lead you into uncharted territory, enabling you to build a new, more adventurous life. Though you may anticipate that fear will be your guide on your journey across the abyss, you will likely discover that exhilaration is your constant companion


What I take away from this: “Just Trust” as my teacher Stephanie Keach reminds us in class often

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Yoga Happenings in Atlanta this weekend!

This weekend is jammed full of yoga-related events in Atlanta. I would love to attend each event; however with finances and with my teacher training I must refrain from spending money. :(
However, if you can go to any of these following events I highly encourage it! Wonderful teachers, studios and a great yoga community building in the Metro-Atlanta area!


Click on the photos for links to the events.
Arm balances, inversions and core power with KATHRYN BUDIG At Balance Yoga Atlanta. A great local yoga studio run by some awesome yogis. In a fun environment you will play with arm balances & inversions. This sounds like a really fun workshop and I've heard wonderful things about Kathryn.


The Atlanta Yoga Conference is this weekend. I've gone 2 years in a row and have enjoyed myself each time. This year they've upped the event a bit more to include more yoga-related shopping and food during your lunch break. So many wonderful local teachers. Go out and support the Atlanta Yoga Community!


Srivatsa Ramaswami will be doing a weekend event in Atlanta. Including the following: Vinyasakrama Yoga practice & Basic Tenets of Yoga Sutras, Varied Teachings of Krishnamacharya and Essentials of Vinyasakrama Yoga & Yoga for the Internal Organs . I've heard amazing things in regards to this teacher and after all Srivatsa Ramaswami is the longest standing student of the legendary Shri T. Krishnamacharya, outside of the teacher's immediate family. I hope I am not missing out on the only opportunity to practice with such a teacher. If I wasn't being extremly careful with my budget I would fork over the $215 for the entire weekend. Since I can't perhaps youw will?
If you go to any these events report back!? :)
I would love to hear all about your experience.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Water Logged....

Well if you've watched the news you know that Georgia is a little waterlogged. All the roads around my office are closed down and underwater. Lots of damage and it was a little crazy on Monday. It took me 2 hours to get to the office. It gradually got worse so today I stayed home and tried to get some work done. There were some kinks with my work laptop and DSL. My personal laptop has a built in wireless card and it is so much faster. I am trying to work out some details in order to work from home once a week on and off to help with the cost of my hour long commute.

Anyway, the city is pretty damaged and they are tryign to dry out. My home is fine; however most people in the area I work need your thoughts.

On a lighter note, I've been reading and practicing yoga when I can get on my mat. Trying to prepare for training which is fast approaching.
I am trying not to stress out. However, the finances are tight right now. With some changes at work and such we are having to really look at our home budget and look at making cuts.

The Erich Schiffmann book is really making an impression on me so far. I am 1/2 way through and really enjoy his approach. In the beginning it took some getting used to. But I am really opening up to it.

What else...Oh I dyed my hair. I was bored, Denver said why not go red (he loves red hair) so I did...


it's a little daker than I like. However, I know reds fade quickly and I will soon be back to a light strawberryish blond... :)
Anyway, not much else to really talk about. Just being and trying to stay positive and focused.
Trying. :)

Monday, September 7, 2009

Experience yourself in stillness

"Where there is great doubt, there will be great awakening; small doubt, small awakening; no doubt, no awakening." ZenProverb

That inspires me-I've had so many doubts in my practice recently and fighting my internal "voice...teacher...guidance"
Accepting, relaxing, and being in it..in the present is very rewarding. It is becoming a sweet time in my day. To get on my mat even if it is a few moments of mediation or a few sun salutations. This gives me the guideance to carry that calm and acceptance throughout my day.

It is the glue tbinds me to this moment. In Deep Claity and love.

A quick quote from the book I am reading "The Spirit and the Pracitce of moing into Stillness" by Erich Schiffman.
Yep...I am still reading it :)
Here are a few lines that I really enjoyed:

"Yoga will make you sensitive to the stillness, the presence, the hush, the peace of God. This deep inner stillness is at the core of your being. It is the ground, the joy of your being. The radiant peace you'll experience is what happens naturally when the creative energy of God is allwoed to flow through you unobstructed. "

"You can actually bring the suppleness of youth back into yoru life and be more flexible, durable, and stronger than you were as a child. You can learn to focus your physical and mental energy more effectively and thereby be more vital, creative, and efficient in all your activies."

"As you free your body and become more flexible, you not only restore lost movement, you actually erase all the tensions and internal conflicts that would otherwise accumulate and eventually erupt as pain. The more flexible you are, the harder it is for pain to lodge in your body"

"When you experience yourself in stillness and feel the peace within you, you will come upon a new awareness of who you are."


I love all of these. This book is very insightful and relaxing to read. I am enjoying it so far. The next chapter is on Asana then meditation.
It is part of my Teacher Training and one of the first books to read; outside of Light on Yoga, The Heart of Yoga and Stephanie Keach's Yoga Handbook. I've gotten through those and now onto this one. After this book I move onto the Bhagavad Gita.

This weekend has been relaxing. I cleaned the house. We watched movies. And today I cleaned out my clothes!!!
I have 5 trash bags full! Going to drop them off this week. I can now see my clothing clearly in the closet and in my drawers.
Next week will be the hall closet. Next....the Kitchen!
But getting through all those clothes I never wear was refreshing! I kept only things I've worn in the last year and kept some winter clothes.

This week will be busy. Next weekend we are headed back to the race track. Denver is back riding in Alabama.
Okay..Have a great week!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Zen-Like

This weekend is a long weekend. I have a plan. A small one but it is a start.
I have been complaining about all the "stuff" we've accumulated since being in this house 7 years. It is starting to close in.
I walk into the kitchen and the bathroom and just feel like there is too much to look at and to Clean!
So I am going to work on making my home more "zen-like" to me that means minimalistic and clean.
It will take time...because my husband is a collector. He finds tons of reasons to keep things and then makes me 2nd guess myself on if I should donate this sweater or this Picture.
But, There is too much STUFF everywhere.

So my plan this weekend is just cleaning out my clothes. I can't find anything in my tiny closet and dresser.
I have limited room but really need to pair down. I have in my closest that I haven't worn in years.
Time to pass them onto someone else who may get more use of it.
I would do a garage sale, but there is no parking at my home and I live in the country! :)
So the long term plan is to really clean up the clutter then just a few items around the house need a small face lift like paint and new curtains. That is a bit down the road. And then there are things that need HUGE facelifts like our deck and painting the house.

There are some great ideas I have for my yoga room as well. That is MUCH further away. Things like installing a floating bamboo floor and painting the room. But little victories and small goals will get me closer to the goal. Right now my goal is to feel comfortable and not overwhelmed by the stuff in my home.

Each week I am going to make a goal to tackle one room at a time. Getting rid of the things I can see. Then working my way into the drawers of the kitchen, the cabinets and then all the closests. Might take a month or so. But one room/item a week I plan to tackle. How about you? Want to join in??

I really like this site: Zen Habits
This artile is what reminded me mit was time to just start: Guide to Creating a Minimalist Home

Another great article is this one in regards to early rising: 10 Benefits to Rising Early
I've been slacking on getting up early enough to do my morning Asana and Meditation practice and also to eat! I've been running aorund and out of the house in a haze. So reading this reminded me how much I enjoy my morning and the peace of the day...but I have to actually leave my bed in order to do that :)

Just thought I would pass some of this on.
Now off to eat dinner and read.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Curve balls

I had to go back to my doctor today. So I am on a stronger antibiotic; Ciproflaxin which is noted to cause tendon rupture. It even warns you on the bottle/paper.
Of course the internet is a evil place because I started reading reports that some patients experienced rupture even 6 months after the treatment. Mind you this is the 2nd time I've been on this antibiotic for an infection.

So I am being careful and paranoid I am sure...but I am not going to push myself in Mysore right now. I am not sure why this is happening right when I intended to start my Mysore practice again. But...I can't change it and I need to make sure I do what is right for the long run.

Also...My toe is still not healed. I talked with my podiatrist and she has scheduled me for a Pre-Op appointment. She decided that after 3 treatements it is time for surgery. So, I should have the out patient procedure next week hopefully. I also hope that gives me close to 4 weeks to heal prior to teacher training.
So if anything...this is reminding me to not have attachment to my practice. Also, it reminded me that asana practice is a part of the yoga path/lifestyle. I can still do a gentle flow practice followed with meditation and pranayama.

See, I found when I think I have things figured out...when I think I am on "my path" life throws you curve balls and all I can do is be open to them and willing to listen, learn and move forward.

Perhaps I am being over-cautious. Perhaps.
But, what else can I do? I could really push it in my practice and regret it. Or just listen to what my inner teacher is saying and go a bit slower.

Wait...people my husband not only cooked us dinner...BUT he is doing the dishes right now. He must feel bad for me being in this crappy mood and pain for the last week. He is awesome.

So, anyway...not much else. I did do a 45 min. practice when I got in tonight. It helped to loosen up my sore muscles. My first Chattarunga was PAINFUL...but after a few more my muscles really warmed up and no longer ached the way they did before.
So that is a positive.
Well I hope you have a great night. I am headed to watch So you think you can dance.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Mysore----I'm Sore

So. I went to my first mysore class in what I think has been 6-7 months?
I went to a class a month ago thinking it was mysore but was recently changed to Primary Led Series.
So, I sucked up my nerves and reviewed the Practice Card I purchased at Moksha last year when I went to a workshop with Kino MacGregor.
I went to the mysore class taught through Ashtanga Yoga Atlanta. Balance only offers Mysore classes in the morning (and they don't have a shower...actually no studios in Atlanta that offer mysore classes have showers) so I can't practice, shower and head to work. Instead I have to do my practice after work.
Anyway, I went yesterday and mind you I was very worried for no real good reason; other than being a little worried about my body and how it would hold through the very demanding primary series. I talked to the teacher before class and let him know I hadn't practiced in some time. So I practiced up to Navasana. Thank goodness, my body was shaking by that point.
Plus my toe is not completly healed and made jumping back painful, so I opted to simply step back for each vinyasa.

So my practice was a wake up call. It reminded me how demading the Ashtanga practice is. It also reminded me to do more twists because my back was in shock when I went into Marichasana C.

All in all I enjoyed practice. When I was leaving I noticed my arms and legs were still shaky. Must be the muscle fatigue. I do intent to try and get to one mysore class a week to incorporate into my daily practice.

Let me tell you...today I am more sore thany I've been in so long. I hope it takes only a few weeks to get used to it again. Feels like I started yoga all over again for some reason...

Tonight..I teach vinyasa flow at the gym.
Now...Lunch.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Back in action...

Wow!
I've been away for a while. Between a trip home (To Louisiana to visit my family) work picking up with so much to do and my laptop needing to be reformatted...I've been away!
But with no help from Dell I did wipe my laptop clean and reinstall all the Operating Systems and Drivers and we are back up and working. I am kind of impressed with that. I have done it with Dell on the phone a few times before. But they make it very complicated.
Regardless...I am working.
My trip home was short and sweet. It was filled with different emotions. Love, happiness, sadness, and disappointment.
I really don't fell like I fit in there too much anymore. But going home is always cleansing.
It was amazing to see my sister and her boys and my oldest Niece & nephew. That alone was worth the little to no sleep we got!

Work has been changing, rearranging and lots of training. But I am hopeful.

I can't believe it is September (this week) a little over one month from Yoga Teacher Training. I have come across some doubts and second guessing and rethinking and worries. But it is all part of it.
I am reading the material required. I am practicing at least 5 days a week (might not be a long hour practice but I am getting on my mat)
This month I have a plan and hope to stick with it. It should help me gear up for the training. I am also going to take some mysore classes. I know...I go back and forth. I like the balance between a structured Ashtanga practice and mixing in a few times a week with some fun flow sequences. I think that is what makes me the happiest (for the moment)

Here are some photos from Louisiana:
Me & The sister. This is my baby sister. She is a baby to me...Only 16 months younger and seriously we've been through ups and downs; but overall she is pretty awesome and a great mommy!


Momma


Daddy & Brady


Me & Brady (and his robots)


Me & William


Getting beat by the HULK


Brady built Chai a "Clubhouse" Chai loved the attention:


Finishing Touches on Bailey's birthday cake


My oldest Nephew (Bailey) breakdancing...Future Yogi?


My oldest Niece Kelsey...she is so funny and really refreshing to be around.


Kelsey & I doing backbends. We also helped each other with dropbacks :)


Too Much sugar and no sleep...then DANCE PARTY. Bringing back the runningman!


I love my family and very lucky to have some amazing children around to remind me of what truly matters.
Miss everyone already!