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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.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Dropbacks

Today was super busy at work. I made it through.
I taught yoga and it was a fun mixed group. Some new students and some of my weekly students.
It was alot of fun. Some of them are even getting into full backbends and one of the students was able to get into forearm with my support.
But it was all her; she was almost into it before I walked over to help.
I even had a student bring me a DVD to review and let him know what I thought. AND a new student that is doing weight training and said he really enjoyed the class. He was very built and in good shape and he said "this is harder than weight trainging" He said he would be back.
It makes me feel so lucky to even share the little I do know about this practice.
<3 much love!
I came home and did my own practice. I decided to practice drop-backs (into backbends) I had to get over my fear of hitting my head. I can see some things that need worked on after looking at the video. It is pretty good to watch video from time to time...it helps to see how you are doing things.
I also hope to eventually get back up from drop-backing...One day :)
I took 2 little videow.

video

Monday, June 29, 2009

Pain in my neck.

Last night I watched True Blood. Sometimes that show is beyond cheesey but I like it anyway...

I didn't want to get up this morning...I didn't want to practice. Well I did but my body wanted to lay in bed.
However, I did a short vinyasa practice followed by 10 min. of meditation before leaving for work.

Oh my...my neck is killing me today.
I think I've been sleeping in odd shapes lately. I've been waking up with a tense neck or minor pain. This morning I woke up around 3:00 with it hurting pretty bad.
I heated up one of my homemade lavender eye pillows in the microwave and used it as a heating pad on my way to work. It helped with the tense muscles.
I am thinking of going to taget at lunch to see about investing in a more supportive pillow. I think it might be time. My pillows have no support and are very lumpy. Any suggestions?
Also any suggestions on how to reduce the tense muscle and pain? I took an Advil because it was hurting pretty bad.

This week my co-worker/team mate is on vacation. She is out until 7/7 so it will be a little bit heavier of a work load.
I will make it though. We are closed on Friday. I may go to the 9:30 Power yoga class on Friday with Marsha.
That would be a good way to spend my day off right?
Tonight I plan to go home (Not going to the 6 week workshop--I didn't make it home until almost midnight last week...that is wayyy too late for me)
So tonight I hope to go home, do a yin sequence from the DVD, meditation, reading and hanging out. I understand now why they say that Light on Yoga is sometimes considered the Bible of Yoga. It really does go over the concept and summarizes yoga as a practice.

Okay...time to get some work done.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Unwind

How is your weekend?
Mine has been relaxing and I got a lot done. So it was exactly what I needed.
Friday we went to see Transformers2. It was good. Just long and I was trying to not throw up because I was kind of sick. But we already bought tickets. I made it through.
Teaching yoga class on Saturday was lots of fun. After class I came home and Denver & I flopped on the sofa. We watched movies and read and I took a really late nap.
Today we have been lazy. Well, I did give Chai a bath, cleaned the house and made A Tofurky, Potato Salad and Lima Beans.
We are about to watch another movie and chill out until True Blood.

For my teacher training:
I am almost done reading Light on yoga (the first part, the asanas will take several years to absorb I am sure)
I am also almost through the reading assignment forMoving Into Stillness. It was only 2 chapters before we meet in October.
I am also reading a bit of Insight yoga. Just bits a pieces before bed. I really love the DVD so far.
I know I am reading several books at once. But for me it works that way somehow.

Tomorrow I hope to start the day with a Vinyasa Sequence and meditation and maybe a yin practice before dinner. **just hoping**
I have to evalute 2 yoga classes before October. Shouldn't be a problem. I am thinking of evalutating one of Jennifer's Flow Classes at Balance Yoga and maybe an Intermediate class at Peachtree Yoga.

I took some yoga photos this weekend to:




Some updated photos of our home alter with new flowers


Friday, June 26, 2009

Insight

Today at work we are having a "Stress Free Friday" where they grill out and such.
I brought Veggie Dogs (Smart Dogs) and a fruit bowl.

Tonight we are going to see the Transformers 2...and I am actually not against going to see it. This weekend we are not doing much! YAY!!!I teach on Saturday and we may go to one of our Favorite book stores and grab lunch. Besides that I need to clean the house, clean Chai and chill out!

I am VERY excited because my order arrived yesterday. It included the Sarah Powers DVD & Book on Insight Yoga.

This was recommended to me by my teacher; Stephanie.I flipped through the book and it will be a very useful tool. I also watched 2 parts of the DVD and I am very happy I purchased it. It is going to be so useful!

Look at what is included on the DVD:

Over 4 hours of practice material2 unique
1-hour Yin yoga sequences with commentaries on Buddhadharma and Chinese medicinea
1 hour vigourous Vinyasa sequencea
40-minute Sun Salutation sequencea
10-minute guided Sivasana relaxation practicea
30-minute guided meditation practice
Programmable sequences for a variety of practice combinations
Detailed menus guide you through a wealth of informationsuitable for all levels of yoga and meditation practitioners

This weekend I intend to mix a vinyasa sequence one day and counter with a long yin practice and the buided Sivasana. :)

That should be a balanced weekend :)

Oh yes...today is a pretty awesome day for an awesome person I know!
Happy Birthday Nicole!!!!!!



One of my favorite photos; our first trip together and the first weekend we ever hung out together! At Kripalu for a weekend workshop with Manju Jois.

Hope you have a great birthday weekend!!!!

Monday, June 22, 2009

The Bhagavad Gita

So there is a new series tonight that is at Jai Shanti.
It is called Yoga through the Bhagavad Gita. I've been debating on going and it is only $16 a class for drop-ins. It is also reviewing the version of the Bhagavad Gita that I am to study for my teacher training. Plus I still want to get to one yoga class a week. So...I believe I am going to make this the class I attend for the next 6 weeks. It will be a change in my practice but pretty nice. I will get to sleep in on Mondays since I won' t practice before work and I will home in time for my "bedtime" :)

So...I believe I am going to go!
Here is a brief description:

The Bhagavad Gita was written as part of the Mahabharata, a spiritual epic attributed to Vyasa, between the 5th and 2nd century BC. The Bhagavad Gita is widely considered one of the most important spiritual texts ever written, offering a practical, self-directed guide to Hindu spirituality. It was described by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi as “the lighthouse of eternal wisdom that has the ability to inspire any man or woman to supreme accomplishment and enlightenment.” The teacher in the Bhagavad Gita is Krishna as he explains to Arjuna his duties as a warrior and a prince as an analogy of the path toward liberation. Throughout the text, Krishna appears as a manifestation of Divine Consciousness as he guides Arjuna and the other characters through their roles before, during, and beyond the battle that begins Kali Yuga (one of the four stages of the world's development cycle).

In this seven-week series, our yoga practice will be guided by passages and themes from the Bhagavad Gita. The class each week will build on topics that delve into the philosophy of yoga, including energy, non-attachment, building witness-consciousness, karma and dharma, sacrifice, and Divine Grace. Our practice will include a brief reading and teaching, seated meditation and breathwork, asana practice followed by guided yoga nidra, and time for discussion at the end. Familiarity with the Bhagavad Gita is helpful, but not required. We will use the translations of the Bhagavad Gita by both Winthrop Sargent and Stephen Mitchell for the readings. You are welcome to purchase a copy of either version, but having your own copy is not required.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Foundations

Today I was back up at 5:00 am and on my mat trying to figure out this thing I call a body. Apparently before 8:00 AM my body refuses to bend.

But after some encouragement it did start to move. I didn't have a very long practice, about 40 min. But it was what I could manage. Followed by 10 min. meditation. My mental frame of mind was much happier this morning and it wasn't as difficult to actually get out of bed. I am also journaling my daily practice to help me see patterns and so on. I am playing around with the idea of following with a DVD a few times a week. But then that would require me to hook up my laptop in my yoga room and so on.
I used to hate just flowing with my own internal teacher, maybe because it forced me listen to my body rather than someone telling what to do.
I love a class setting too! I love being taught new ways to get into/out of a pose and adjustments are yummy!
But sometimes the sacred space that you create in your own home practice is just amazing. It is kind of like this friend that is unwavering and always there to give you a hug.
Am I cheesey or what!? :)

Anyway, I am still playing around with headstand away from the wall. I fell once so that was my ego check. I needed it!

So I re-arranged my reading schedule of books. Right now I am starting Light on Yoga and reading a few Chapters of Moving into Stillness by Erich Schiffmann.

I really feel for the first time in a long time I am in the right place. I mean I have ups and downs.

Yesterday was a down for sure. I was very emotional and really grumpy. So I am not saying I am on this blissful plane where nothing sucks...because at times things do.
I mean budgeting for training, dealing with Denver's physical issues, my family issues and so on.
But for the first time I feel that I am okay. I can actually be happy with my life.

For a small example I can go a few days with out obsessivly cleaning my home. I don't have to run to the sink each time Denver puts a plate in it.
I can also chill out about the thigns that used to make me soo stressed out!

Basically I no longer feel compelled to control every aspect of my life. That for me is.....beautiful.

So I am embracing this experience and truly hope to build a foundation in which to live the rest of my life upon.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Patterns

So I got up this morning and practiced!!! I can't believe it...wait yes I can because it was so hard! My alarm went off at 4:45 and I finally got on my mat at 5:00.
I was in no mood for it but as I read in my training packet it takes 2-3 weeks to set a new “pattern” so stick with it. I keep repeating that trying to ease my discomfort.

Speaking of training. I received my training materials in the mail!! Which means it is official. It is going to happen. I paid the deposit for my lodging and already have homework to complete before the first weekend. Lots of reading, evaluating a few yoga classes, keeping up a daily asana and meditation practice and a bunch of other things as well.

Along with some suggestions such as cutting out caffeine and alcohol and other items from your lifestyle in order to live off of your own vital energy.

I liked the sentence she said: “this is not an attempt to cause you suffering. It is an attempt to help you survive on your own vital energy and how to work with that. Maybe for the very first time.”

I have no issue cutting out Alcohol. I can't even tell you the last time I had an alcoholic beverage. However, the caffeine is the issue. It is such a vice for me. Something I know I need to overcome because it only contributes to this monkey mind that keeps me in a tailspin. But breaking habits are sometimes difficult, painful and needed. :) Wish me luck on that one.

Work today has been a test…the whole day. I am on some weird emotional plane today. Very sensitive and easily stressed out and I don’t like that one bit!

I got a call that the gym is shut down due to a water main break. So no teaching tonight. I was looking forward to it.

Instead I am going to go home and practice and just unwind on my mat. Denver is going to meditation but I am going to skip it. I am feeling so emotional I think I should practice and meditate at home. Then curl up with a book and dinner.

Sounds much more calming for me. He understands too.:)

Well much more to do at the office then I am heading out.

How is your week so far?

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Headstand

Today while doing my practice I decided to videotape my headstand. It is only the 2nd time I've ever been able to go into headstand without kicking up to the wall. I wanted to see how I was doing it; because actually doing it and seeing how your body moves is 2 different things.
This has been one of my biggest obstacles; over coming the attachment to the wall.
Now if I could get over my fear with drop-backs and forearm stand. One thing at a time :)

video

Music by Michael Franti (off of my Yoga playlist)

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Security Blanket

Today I got up and taught yoga at the gym. Then ran some errands and came home. Chai & I had a relaxing day!
I did a 45 min. asana practice followed by meditation.
I have to say my practice was moderate but I was excited because for the FIRST time ever I got into headstand without the wall!!
I consider myself an advanced beginner/intermediate level if you had to label it. (just to give you an idea of my practice)
Most of my practice is pretty comfortable but I've been struggling with headstands since I started yoga over 4 years ago. It was like my security blanket--using the wall. So today I moved away from the wall and tried on my own. Sure enough I got up! I have to tuck in the raise my legs. But it did make smile!

After practice I showered, ate and started to read the most recent Shambala Sun. There were some interesting articles on Yoga and interweaving Buddhism.
Here are just a few excerpts from the articles I read:

"With gentleness & mindfulness we can appreciate what we have. We are enormously capable & free, and if we begin to develop appreciation, our mind doesn't dwell on what we do not have or on what we have lost"

"If we bring mindfulness to our feelings, we can experience pure pleasure, untainted by clinging or grasping. But in order to be able to experience pure pleasure, we must be willing to experience pure pain or pure discomfort, free from aversion & resistance.
The most pain-avoidant people have the least joy in their lives. In trying to armor ourselves against pain; we numb ourselves to all experience. In opening ourselves to live fully, not caught in habitual patterns of reactivity. Rather than conditionally reacting to experience. We can choose to respond creatively. The doorway to this freedom is in bringing mindfulness to our feelings before they condition our reactivity."

"If we are attached to strong ideas of what we need to be happy & free; the attachment to those very ideas becomes an obstacle to happiness & freedom."

"To appreciate & be firm in our commitment to a practice is one thing, but if we become overly attached & obsessive with the form, we can all too easily lose the liberating spirit of the practice"


I enjoyed what I read. Now onto reading more stuf! Then off to bed soon.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Dig Deep

This week has been nuts-o at work. Good stuff; just busy. So I am taking a few moments while Chai is snoring...to update.
I need to get to bed soon though.

Nicole & I had a lot of fun. On Saturday we went to ICE, meet friends for dinner at Green Sprout & then to see Elighten Up!

Sunday we went to meditation and then headed towards Chattanooga. The drive there was super nice and once we got into town, we went straight to Country Life which is a vegetarian restaurant run by Seventh Day Adventists. The food was massive and the people were so nice.
I have to say besides the food and Stephanie...I have no reason to return to Chattanooga. Nicole & I just kept saying that the place was...well kind of dead and not really my taste.

Class was wonderful. Nicole & I got there early and were up front. I was able to say hi to Stephanie before class. She gave me a hug and I can't tell you the amount of inspiration and happiness that comes over me when I practice with her.
The class was fun and Nicole & I got to partner up for some Forearm stand fun.

After that we headed over the local park to eat our left overs from Countrylife. It was great to hang out with Nicole.

Monday Chai & I had to say good-bye. And let me tell you...I've NEVER seen my dog attached to someone like she was with Nicole. She literally laid down on her feet when Nicole was trying to get out the door.
So after seeing Nicole off to the windy city it was back to work.

Here are some photos of the weekend:


A little yoga break on our road trip



Nicole is awesomeness!




Stephanie & I

So the work week has been intense and productive. I've worked late a lot this week; but I am blessed to still be employed and do what I can everyday.
I am also lucky because I just finalized everything for Teacher Training in Asheville in October of this year!!!!!
I am so grateful! I just need to finalize everything with my lodging. I have verbally booked my room at the same house I stayed at before. She was so happy that I decided to do the training and said I was a good renter for the 5 day workshop.
People.........I can't believe I am really doing this! Really!

Now I have 8 books to read and absorb over the next 4 months before training.

I am also making a plan and sticking it to it. In hopes that the routine becomes the ground work for a new lifestyle.
I went to the grocery today and purchase a lot of raw and fresh veggies and fruit. I am going to do my best to eat fresh foods. Juicing as well. I am going to work towards avoiding frozen and pre-packaged foods. Of course it will be a transition. But it is a goal.
I am also trying to get up 1 hour earlier than I am now. This way I can spend a little time with Chai and walk her. Then do a 45 min. Asana practice and 20 min meditation/pranayama.
Which this means I need to get my butt in bed at a decent time!

These are my intentions. I will see how well I can cultivate a new mindset and routine. I feel that this routine will help best keep me grounded and focused on my studies. I don't want to become complacent and procrastinate! Which in the past I've been known to do.
Denver is fully supporting me in this and I know I can call Nicole if I feel stuck or unmotivated.
Also, Stephanie has corresponded with me via email so far and has helped me with a few questions I've raised. I am so incredibly grateful for all of this.

So before I head to bed I wanted to share a part of what I read of the yoga sutras today:
32. The practice of concentration on a single subject is the best way to prevent the obstacles and there accompaniments.
And a brief elaboration:
We should not keep changing our object of concentration. When we decide on one thing, stick to it whatever happens. There's no value in digging shallow wells in a hundred places. Decide on one place and dig deep. Even if you encournter a rock, use dynamite and keep going down. If you leave that to dig another well, all the first effort is wasted and there is no proof you wont hit rock again.

For me this rings so incredibly true. If you read my journal/blog or if you know me...you know I've jumped around from style to style and place to place. But it is time to settle in and dig down deep. There is much more to the translation of this one sutra. You can read more if you would like: Yoga Sutras of Ptanjali. Sri Swami Satchidananda Translation.

Okay off to bed!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Friends & Yoga <3

I had a wonderful weekend with a truly wonderful friend. I will post more in detail later this week when I have some time.
I have pictures to share.
I miss Nicole already! Having her around is so uplifting and she is awesome!

I am grateful for true friends and for this practice that has given me so many amazing things in my life thus far!
Plus I am 100% certain I want to do my teacher training with Stephanie Keach. The Master Class was fun. I just enjoy her energy.

I will not be doing the training in Chattanooga though; the town just wasn't for me.
I really loved Asheville 1000 times more. Much more my pace. The setting in Asheville just seems to cultivate a more compassionate and calm mind within myself. Perhaps because in that town I found my teacher. :)
Regardless the weekend rocked, the weather was perfect and I was in amazing company.

Much to do at the office.
Have a great week!