Sunday, September 27, 2009
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!
Utthita Hasta Padangustasana
Ustrasana- Camel Pose
"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
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.
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
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.
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
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
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.
Monday, September 7, 2009
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
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
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
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.