Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Decisions, decisions….

My hip is hurting a little bit today.  Should I practice and work through it?  Or should I take a day off?

Generally this wouldn’t be a question—I’d get home tonight, have dinner, maybe take a nice hot bath, then kick my feet up.  But my other half is going to be out so I’ve got the house to myself for a while—a nice opportunity to practice.  Plus, I know that I won’t get much, if any, mat time next week while we’re on vacation.

Decisions, decisions….

I had a nice restorative class last night focusing on unwinding those of us that are heavy computer users.  Nice arm and hand stretches; upper back openers; ending with a wonderfully long seated forward fold. 

Every class offers something:  “Remember how to be at ease in your body.”

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Yoga Glow

I’m learning the meaning of yoga glow.

Saturday morning I went to my regular class.  Morning yoga for me is much much different than practicing in the afternoon.  It’s more difficult and requires much more patience and concentration.  I don’t have the range of motion or the flexibility first thing in the morning that I do after I’ve spent the day moving around.  Because of this, I try to be more kind to myself when a posture isn’t quite what I expect it to be.

All of that said, after class Saturday my teacher came over and asked about my recent injury.  First—how caring and professional of her to remember and follow up!  Second—her next statement made my day.  She said that my stretches were nice and deep and looking good.  Nice and deep!  Practicing more than once or twice a week is making a difference.  There’s no doubt I was glowing.

It was a tough Sunday—frustrations abounded.  Thanks, full moon, for making everyone annoying.  Those frustrations followed me to Monday.  By the time I got home last night all I wanted to do was sink into my comfort zones—eating and sleeping.  I indulged myself in both, but with responsibility.  I had a nice light dinner and a quick nap.  Then off to yoga!  Something I NEVER thought I would say: busting a good sweat really wiped my slate clean.  I went home feeling much lighter and cleaner, both physically and emotionally.  Again, I was glowing!

Every class offers something:  Patience begins with me.  If I can be patient and tolerant with myself then I can carry that forward to the world.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Aahhh.... Friday....


It’s been quite a week, but it’s going out on a high note.

I had two different yoga classes from which to choose Monday evening.  But I just couldn’t get going.  I didn’t feel physically bad—I just felt blah (again).  So I chose to skip both.  Tuesday evening I was going to meet a friend for an outdoor yoga class but the instructor was ill and the practice was cancelled at the last minute.  My friend and I spent the time walking around a beautiful park and solving the world’s problems.  I needed that—it might have been more restorative than a practice.  Sometimes life brings us what we need.

Wednesday I followed a yin/restorative/ayurvedic class at home.  It was soft and relaxing but not 100% fulfilling for some reason.  I never felt like I got deep into any pose and thus never found my edge.  I don’t regret the time I spent on the mat, though.

Now I find myself glowing from a wonderful home practice last night.  The class started with a flow that didn’t seem incredibly strenuous and I was surprised to find that I had broken quite a sweat.  It was followed by a fun sequence of standing balance poses—tree, dancer, and Eka Pada Utkatasana (Figure Four—I had to look that up).  I was pleased that I was able to hold the poses pretty well as standing balance poses are a challenge for me.

I followed Savasana with a nice long hot bath.  I’ll say it again:  ahhhhhh! 

As much as I didn’t want to wake up this morning, I got out of bed feeling very rested and very relaxed; open and (dare I say it?  It sounds kind of hokey….) joyful. 

Today I will honor my body by nourishing it well.  I will break my cycle of grabbing M&Ms in the afternoon.  They’re not even peanut M&Ms, so what’s the point????  ; )

Every class offers something:  During my Wednesday practice I found myself melting into a seated forward fold.  I was comfortable and loose—it felt great.  Then it hit me—I was in a pain-free forward fold!  How thankful I am for that.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Did it! (and cute cat picture)

I did it.  I did the 90 minute practice that I got in my mind last week.  Actually, I even out-did it.  The class I had in mind was a yin session—nice and quiet and juicy.  I stepped it up a notch and did a class that was yin/yang.  So one half was relaxing and calming and one half kicked my rear!  The biggest challenge for me is to move into child’s pose while everyone else is moving.  By moving into child’s pose I was able to reset—but I was also able to fully focus on what the teacher was doing.  Now, I know that popping from down dog straight into a handstand isn’t on my horizon (at least my near horizon!), but –oh!—it’s fun to watch!  It’s amazing to watch what a highly trained and strong body can do.  Beautiful.

Speaking of strong bodies....

There’s a teacher who is featured in many online yoga classes that I take.  She has an amazing body—lush, full, capable….  STRONG.  I’ve admired it since I first saw her.  It took me a few times watching her to figure out that her body is not that unsimilar to mine.  But here’s the deal—I would never have thought of using such positive words to describe myself.  Yoga is helping with this.  I finally put a word to it this weekend—accomplishment.  I can see my progress and that leads to a feeling of accomplishment with every class I take.

Every class offers something:  Savasana with my buddies is better than savasana without.

Thursday, June 13, 2013


When I got home last night I was STARVING.  And aware enough to know that it would be a distraction through practice.  So I grilled some chicken and made a nice salad.  Watched a little TV and didn’t leave myself time enough for 90 minutes of anything. 

So I didn’t do 90 minutes of yin.  Because I’m trying to be more forgiving with myself, I feel good about doing a nice 60-minute class.  But because I’m not 100% successful in forgetting what I said I’d do I’ve made a deal with myself to do 90 minutes soon—this weekend, maybe.

As expected the class was juicy and wonderful and I felt great after.  During one of the first forward bends I might have actually dozed off.  Is that possible?  The teacher quit talking and sat quietly in the pose.  And I was just that comfortable.  It’s definitely a pose that I’ll do randomly and often.

I’m tired today.  No coffee this morning and I haven’t made up for it.  To yoga or not to yoga, that is the question.

Every class offers something:  supported Head-to-Knee Forward Bend, Janu Sirsasana, is an amazing lower back opener.  I thought it would be a great stretch for my hamstrings but by using support under the body forehead the lower back has the chance to leeeengthen.  Yum.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Deliciously Achy

Last night I practiced at home.  I have a hard time being motivated to do anything—especially when the couch and kitties are calling my name.  But I laid my mat down and practiced.  Not only do I have a hard time getting going, I also have a hard time keeping moving.  The first down dog of the night almost did me in.  Not because I was tired or because I was uncomfortable, but because I was blah.

Fast forward 45 minutes and the last down dog of the class felt amazing!  My hamstrings were loose, my arms were strong, my back was wide….  It just felt right and for that I’m so glad I focused on each pose as it came and worked through my (lack of) attitude.

Today I’m deliciously achy.  I know I’ve done my body good and it’s done good things for me: a partnership.  Hmmmm….  Isn’t that a yoga thing?  The meeting of mind, body, and spirit?  Hey—check me out--sometimes I think I might just be getting this!

Tonight I think something good and juicy is in order.  Yin yoga.  The Other Half’s out of town so the night is mine (and the kitties).  Maybe 90 minutes?  That’s pushing my limit and I don’t know if I can—but why not try, right?

Every class offers something:  I don’t like wearing shorts while practicing.  I don’t like that behind my knees sweat and I can feel it.  It’s a distraction.  Cute yoga capris from now on!