Saturday, March 29, 2008

'Being' is yoga too

I have to remind myself of that--on those days that I feel pressed to get "yoga" in--to fit it in among my other obligations. Right there, that's an indicator that I am not where I need to be with my practice.

Is it really just another obligation?

Furthermore, when I am trying to make my yoga window, it's for asansas--they are only a tiny fragment of yoga and I know this.

My commitment going forward is to realize that 'being' is yoga too--whether I'm being mindful while I make bread, dinner or play a game with my kids, whether I'm knee deep in a lesson with them or writing or whether I find my way to an easy seated position on the floor--I can be and that's yoga too.

I can breathe my way through stress or emotional surges and I can relish the sweetness and joy--this is my life and I set the pace.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Om Namah Shivaya

Om Nuh-muh Shee-vah-yuh

Sacred mantra meaning "Om. Reverence to Shiva" Shiva, referring, not to a god but to the power of consciousness, the basis and essence of all reality. For this, the mantra can be fairly translated to "Om. I bow to the divine within".

Paraphrased from Yoga Journal

So you want to do yoga?

Then today, make a point of sitting in the floor with your eyes closed, somewhere you like, in a way that is comfortable with your body, no strain, no pressure.

When you've found that blissful place, begin to notice your thoughts--they will come like a waterfall. Let them. Stand behind that waterfall and witness.

While those thoughts are streaming in and by, turn your attention to your breath, making no effort yet with the thoughts.

What is your breath doing? Can you slow it down? As you play with slowing down the breath, begin to count to yourself on each inhalation, then again on each exhalation. After noting the duration of each, try to make your exhalations twice as long as your inhalations. Be patient. Be loving.

Then notice where your thoughts are. Can you prioritize? Can you allow them to fade into the distance while you're immersed in breath awareness? They will still be there after your practice but you might have a different outlook on them--give yourself this time, you deserve it.

That's yoga man.

Well done.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Financial Yoga


A sanskrit term, meaning non-violence. The yogic principle of proceeding in peace, not causing harm to self or others.

Well, as of this morning, I am practicing ahimsa with my finances as I have allowed them to cause much harm to my mind and well-being for the last year.

My first step in my financial yoga was to ask for a rate reduction on ALL of my credit cards. Two companies complied, one with a more significant rate reduction than the other but they both came down. One credit card wouldn't budge--I had been with them for 10 years with a consistently good payment history. This response was unacceptable but it did solve the problem of which card to cut first. So I took a deep breath and I calmly asked the representative to close the card.

When I got off the phone, I cut the card into 4 pieces and I will place it in a box on my alter awaiting the others when their time comes. A reminder to myself that I have taken the first step to liberating my income, of making my money closer to mine again.

One down, two to go. Fortunately, I have not allowed myself to become drowned by credit debit and I am blissed to be acting on it early.

Financial yoga.


Sunday, March 23, 2008

Trikonasana (Triangle) Flow

Step back to:


Bring hands to down to foot and rise to:

Virabhadrasana I
Virabhadrasana II
Five Pointed Star

-Other Side-


Bring hands down to foot and rise to:

Virabhadrasana I
Virabhadrasana II
Five Pointed Star

This is a great mind/body sequence--for more power, you could incorporate the Three Point Balance Series between Trikonasana and Virabhadrasana. The 3-point sequence is:

Standing Split
Balancing Ardha Chandrasana
Revolved Ardha Chandrasana

As you bring the foot down from Revolved Half Moon, watch for placement to put you right into a steady base for Virabhadrasana I. Then, continue with flow.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Practice Teach

The following is the practice teach I delivered as my final stage of yoga training:

Began class with a centering on being a witness to the thoughts.

While sitting in easy seated position, had students explore movements of the neck--side to side, gentle rolling.



Down Dog: Adho Mukha Svanasana

Sun Salutation: Surya Namaskar w/Crescent Lunge

Mountain: Tadasana

Triangle: Trikonasana (both sides)

Five-Pointed Star

Wide Angle Fold

Tree: Vrkasana

Balancing on balls of both feet in Tadasana

[Transition to the floor w/partial Sun Salutation]

Cobra: Bhujangasana

Downward Facing Boat: Navasana

Child's Pose: Garbhasana

Head to Knee: Janu Shirsasana

Seated Spinal Twist: Matyendrasana

Bridge: Setu Bandhasana

Knee to Chest

Half Shoulder Stand: Ardha Sarvangasana

1/2 Knee to Chest: Ardha Pavana Muktasana*

Supine Twist: Supta Matsyendrasana*

Supine Tree: Supta Vrkasana*

*Do all three on one side and then alternate

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Yoga with Self-Love

When I delivered my personally designed class as part of my teacher training this past weekend, my instructor said that the tone of my voice, the theme of my practice and my aura conveyed a tone of self-love--she said people will heal themselves, will love themselves with my yoga.

Of course, I thought. That's the point. At least, that's the point for me. Self-love, that's what brought me to yoga. I needed to love myself. My body and my mind and my soul had existed on separate planes for most of my life. I suffered from eating disorders for several years in intervals throughout my life. It hits me now that I could have ended my life during those periods--my health was on the line and my view of myself was so distorted and out of touch that I never really saw me at all.

My pregnancy with my daughter helped--A LOT. Yet after her birth, I was still at odds, caught between my body image and reality.

After the birth of my son and having immersed myself in two wonderful and full pregnancies--periods of immense self-interest and self-love, I found yoga.

I think I thought it was hip at first, like "everyone" was doing 'it', so would I.

I bended, I flexed, I stretched, I chanted, I soaked up the love radiating from my heart--of myself, to myself. The merger was beginning. It was a gradual merging of my planes of existence--body with mind with soul.

I am still amidst the change, my yoga evolves ever more, every day and every time. If I can bring this to other people, my cup runneth over. It's never too late to love yourself and it's never too early to start.


While having coffee this morning, it occurred to me that I need a virtual thought pad for my yoga exploration. This comes after my final yoga teacher training weekend--I will be tested next month and then I'm official!

The purpose of this blog is to have a place for designing classes, meditations/centering practices, gathering links and general musings related to this yoga journey.