Friday, October 21, 2011

Days 3, 4, & 5

Day 3:

Wednesday was another busy day and led to an evening practice but this time I made it up as I went along.  This is a fun test to keep your mind in action, always thinking a few steps ahead.  The beauty of attending an instructed class is allowing your mind to completely focus on the moment and what you are doing with your body.  When practicing from memory or knowledge, I found myself hesitating slightly between poses but mostly focusing on what my next couple of moves might be.  This lessened my ability to make any micro-adjustments needed, but I discovered I know individual poses and some of their sanskrit by heart, AND I know series of poses; this was helpful to let my mind skip ahead.  It may not have been the most beautiful flow and I was a little all over the place (especially with Jack kisses and playtime mixed in), but I was able to get a great practice in and play around with some arm balances that I don't always get to in taught classes.  Learned a lot about myself and where I am in my experience and ability!


Day 4:

Thursday evening was spent with Simon and Jack.  We had Indian take away for dinner and shared a bottle of wine – I was sure I was going to fail on day 4.  We went for a nice, long walk and somehow I found my motivation and way out of the curry and wine daze.  The only thing I was capable of was a bedtime series and wow did it feel great!  I googled evening yoga and discovered a fantastic resource for home practice on youtube: Yogatic.  A woman that lives in Cork, Ireland has a channel completely dedicated to yoga practice.  She is very thoughtful with her instruction and has uploaded a large variety of videos.  Tonight's practice was exactly what I needed.


Day 5:

Friday.  I decided that since I had such a light practice the night before and I knew it would probably be a repeat of an evening, I would take advantage of my natural morning energy and do a video on Yogatic before work.  I did three, in fact.  The first was a morning flow – awakening and energizing the body.  Fantastic!  Next up I wanted to practice headstands so I first did her headstand prep video which focused on shoulder opening poses.  Finally, I set up against the wall and called Simon in to spot me.  Low and behold, I was able to get my feet up into a half-headstand almost effortlessly!  All I needed was Simon's hand touching my leg so that I could have peace of mind and have a feel for my bearings.  I held it for a few breaths, feeling the strength and centering myself and then began to lift one leg straight up and felt for the wall.  Once I moved my other foot I froze.  Emotionally hit a wall of "I can't do it" and came out of the pose.  I enabled myself only to go half way and told myself it was okay – I can't.  But really I COULD!  Next time, I don't want to hold myself back.  I want to encourage myself rather than be okay with part way.


In these last 5 days I have already learned so much and can see that this is an amazing journey to go on.  Battling fears, building dedication, patience, and strength, exploring and discovering mental, emotional, and physical abilities and inabilities.  A common dialogue I have with myself is instinctually thinking that to "practice yoga everyday" means I have to practice an hour long power flow.  While that would put me into incredible shape, I am realizing it is not a truth and in essence not what I set out to accomplish.  Yoga is a practice of honoring your body and it is naïve of me to think that I will be able, emotionally or physically, to dedicate a full hour of power yoga every single day.  Ultimately, I want to learn about the practice and myself.  Looking forward to more!

Sent from my iPhone

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Yoga Challenge Day 2

What a day! I woke up around 6:30 & did my regular routine of put on
the coffee, feed Jack, put together breakfast and get ready for work.
Came home for lunch and made salads for Simon and myself, went back to
work until 5:15, then a closing shift at BBW, home by 9 pm - took Jack
to the dog park, home by 10.

Whew! Only time for yoga was first thing in the morning or evening and
I opted for an evening practice. So just after 10, I plugged my iPhone
into the dock and hit play on a Lunar flow from The
iPhone app. This app is so handy! It provides free streaming or
downloads of 20 minute sessions ranging from beginner to advanced and
focusing on a variety of intentions. If you have an iAnything - get
it! If not, you can download sessions directly from their website;
they just ask for donations here and there to keep it free.

The Lunar Flow episode consisted of a cycle of crescents (with dropped
knees), cobras, down dogs, and child's pose. I have to admit just
about when she was sending us into our final crescent I was over it.
I think I did about 6 cycles and it got old fast. But it did open up
my hips!

Once it was time for sweet, sweet chavasana Jack just couldn't stand
being outside any new so I let him in and he attacke me with kisses on
floor. Thankfully Simon came home to distract him :)

So day 2 is complete! Onward I go with my eyes on the horizon. Namaste.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Yoga 30-day Challenge

Just for fun, I am challenging myself to 30 consecutive days of yoga practice.

I have shared with a handful of my close friends my ambition to pursue
Yoga Teacher Training after my wedding, and have received so much
support and encouragement! I am now putting that dream out into the
universe and starting to prepare myself. One of the requirements of
YTT is to do an unassisted headstand in the middle of the room. I am
practically there physically but my fears definitely hold me back. I
so badly want to be strong, focused, and fearless to get into the
amazing advanced poses out there. They look so fun and I know how
rewarding it is to find yourself in a pose you never thought your body
could do!

When the 30 days is through, I hope to have built up my core & upper
body strength but mostly to have worked passed those hindering fears.

So here I go. Day one. I could count yesterday's home practice but
the intention wasn't present yet.

Practice scheduled for 7:15pm at my local gym, Club SAR. Tonight's
instructor teaches a basic flow, good for beginner to intermediate.
Class will be sure to provide a solid workout and bring me through all
the expected ashtanga poses. There usually isn't a lot of challenge
presented by this instructor but that is just fine considering I have
a bum foot and still have stitches in it. Will have to take it easy
on some of the standing poses!