Sunday, December 1, 2013
Hello fellow Yogis -
It's been awhile - I guess that's putting it mildly! I've struggled for the past few years with my practice, but I feel I'm turning the corner and coming back to my mat. Slowly but surely. My intention for December is to practice every day and take that momentum into 2014. I feel confident and excited about this challenge. I plan to document my ups and downs as I turn and face the difficult emotions that I know will come up during the next 30 days. I look forward to sharing this journey with you!
Posted by Enlighten at 7:12 PM
Saturday, August 6, 2011
Hello All -
I had the pleasure of coming home to this DVD on my doorstep yesterday. And to say I needed it after the day (actually the week) I'd had is an understatement. Hala soothed my poor soul and gave me a wonderful boost of energy that got going when I honestly thought I was going to be a couch potato for the rest of the day.
Her calming and compassionate voice is just what I needed after a week of pressure in cube prison! She has you really focus on your breath and moving your body in slow rhythmic ways that immediately calm your entire being. And then there's the move and groove portion where you just listen to your body and get your groove on. Loved it!!
Here's the information so you too can have a sweet surprise on your doorstep just when you need it.
Enjoy your weekend!
Saturday, July 30, 2011
My Yin practice is like a yummy meditation. When I can finally settle my mind, and relax into the sensations of my body opening up, it is bliss! After a busy day at work there's really nothing better for me.
The following is a practice from a 2008 Yoga Journal. Allow yourself a few minutes in each pose and I guarantee this practice will change your day! Check out Yoga Journal online here for descriptions and images of the poses.
- Reclining Twist
- Happy Baby
This practice was created by Sarah Powers (pictured above). In the article she also includes the 4 tenants of Yin Yoga. I found that by being mindful of these my practice is enhanced.
- Find an appropriate edge
- Be still
- Hold for awhile
- Release with care
If you usually practice Vinyasa, Power or Ashtanga, I encourage you to try Yin. Settle into the stillness and see what happens!
Saturday, July 23, 2011
A HOT day in Virginia - again! I didn't realize we'd been transported to the Sun. That's honestly what it feels like when you step out the door. YUCK!
But it's nice in cool on my lovely green mat shown above. A perfect birthday present from my wonderful boyfriend!
I would like to recommend the following podcast on iTunes: Yoga Flo with Jennifer. I did her 40 minute class this afternoon and it rocked. I downloaded the others and will try them over the next week or so. Love - love - love finding new teachers.
I hope you're staying COOL wherever you are.
I wanted to share a great recipe from the book Clean Food by Terry Walters. They are super yummy Raisin Nut Bars. Very yogi friendly and a great energy boost before practice!
Here's what ya need:
- 1 1/2 cups raisins
- 1 cup brown rice flour
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1 cup toasted walnuts, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- Apple juice as needed
Here's what ya do:
Preheat oven to 350F
Place raisins in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Let sit 10 minutes or until soft. Drain and press out excess water. Chop softened raisins and set aside.
In large bowl, combine flour, oats, walnuts and salt. In separate bowl, whisk together oil and syrup. Pour wet ingredients over dry ingredients, add raisins and mix until blended. You want the dough to be moist enough to just stick together. Add apple juice if needed to achieve this consistency.
Oil 6x9-inch glass casserole and press batter so it sticks together and is consistently thick throughout. Pre-cut into squares and bake 25 minutes Remove from heat and let cool completely before removing from pan. Store in airtight container.
Friday, July 22, 2011
How many times have you heard or read that question? What is Yoga? Probably a lot. Until recently I don't think I had considered what yoga is to ME. In the past when I thought of yoga a textbook definition popped into my head and I associated it with the physical vinyasa flow style. I'm realizing now that doing that has caused me some suffering. Suffering in terms of not being able to look outside my self-constructed limits and missing the bigger picture. If I didn't practice vinyasa flow then obviously I didn't do a "real" yoga practice. Well I can safely say with a great deal of certainty that that's a bunch of crap!
I have a problem with perfection. Always have. I find it to be one of the uglier side effects of having a Type-A Personality. I realize I'm being overly critical of myself, things, other people and I just can't seem to stop. Until recently. I have been meditating regularly now for several months. I have even incorporated a short practice before work. And I've also introduced some pranayama. I really believe that these two things are helping me get out of my own way! I cause myself so much suffering it's stupid! I'm learning to stop, step back and analyze what's happening and then respond. I'm learning to look at things differently.
So what does this have to do with me and yoga? Well I've not been practicing much lately and when I stopped and asked myself why I realized it was because I either didn't have enough time or an interest in doing a vinyasa practice. And since there's no other yoga (insert sarcasm here) then what was the point of getting on the mat. Thanks to the book I mentioned in my last post, Yoga for Emotional Balance, and the time I've spent sitting, I can now see how distorted this thought process is and how much I've been missing. Bo Forbes makes a wonderful observation when she says, "To relax, you need to let go of perfection." My need for things to be perfect and for my practice to look a certain way wasn't allowing me the space I needed to relax. Ms. Forbes goes on to instruct us to let go of the idea of either doing well at your practice or failing, of being good or bad at yoga. This was an "aha" moment for me. With the clarity I've developed through meditation, reading this was like finding the missing piece to the puzzle. The puzzle of course being "what's been wrong with my practice!"
My hope is to have this mark a turning point in my practice. I'm going to try and let go of the need to turn my practice into a good performance, but instead just see where it takes me.
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
I wanted to share this wonderful book with everyone. I can't recommend it enough. Bo Forbes does an amazing job of breaking down anxiety and depression into bite-sized nuggets and providing practical solutions to these pesky emotional imbalances. Thanks to this book I have been able to stop taking sleep aids and use nothing but my breath to calm my mind and body so I can sleep. This is HUGE for me. I've been taking some sort of sleep aid for more than seven years. And the practices she suggests are fantastic. Read this book. Share it with others and then read it again! You can get it here: Yoga For Emotional Balance.