Monday, February 20, 2012

Busy, Busy and more Busy!

Well, 2012 has started off with a BANG. Hard to believe it is already the 20th of February. We have been busy with our new company, PocketFuel and I have had less time to devote to yoga, apart from teaching. I do miss being able to catch up on all the blogs and videos and books but this is an exciting time for our new venture and I am truly "in the moment" of it all. We had a KickStarter campaign at the end of December until mid January and just got out all the packages of our product to our backers.... after manufacturing more blends. It is truly rewarding to see something go from concept to consumer and to see the fruits of your labour. Truly something different than teaching yoga. And I can tell you that I have NEEDED and APPRECIATED teaching the classes I am fortunate to teach over the last few months! Keeps me sane, balanced and connected to my peeps. :) I do believe that I have started to understand my yoga better now that I have so many things going on OUTside of yoga. I have really begun to take my practice "off the mat" when I've needed it most.

However, I do miss carving out the time for a personal practice and that is one of my goals for the next months. That and so make some new yoga play-lists... I do so love my music. In the meantime, I have announced to some of my classes that it will be "March-Madness" next month and I will take music requests and play some different music, especially if my students bring some in to class! I think a dose of the unexpected keeps us all humble.

Carpe Diem!
and Namaste....

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Happy New Year 2012 - New Year's Intentions

This morning, I've been sitting at my computer (will do some yoga right after this to counteract the computer slump and clicking wrist ache!). Reading through lots of blogs, checking friends on FB/Twitter and reading local & world news and seeing themes emerge about the New Year.

Lately it's been bothering me how we all rush to make those BIG New Year's Resolutions... Lose Weight, Stop Smoking, Make More Money, Get Rid Of Stress.

In the last few months, I've been setting small intentions for practice and thought the idea of setting New Year's Intentions was probably a better alternative, for me at least. Not that I have been big on resolutions ANYway... too easy to forget! But I guess I have always understood that it takes more that making a resolution. Change, real lasting personal change, takes time. Takes INTENTION. Takes thought... understanding that just saying: " I will lose weight or workout more or get rid of stress" does not address the underlying issues. What makes us eat that puts on weight, what makes us stressed etc? How can we reduce stress? Maybe we just need to learn to accept that some stress is a part of life. Just learn to sit with it for a bit.

Also a part of setting intentions, whatever they are, is reminding ourselves each and every day. Reaffirming those intentions. Accepting that some days those intentions will get no further than stating them. And knowing that some days we will live those intentions and feel the powerful happiness that comes with having lived those intentions.

At the beginning of class I often ask students to set an intention... maybe just a feeling, a word or a dedication of that day's practice to someone who needs their love. A New Year's Intention can be the same. An intention to be more grateful, more loving, or to take a moment every day to think of someone else. Perhaps to feel lightness or to walk around with open eyes or open heart. I saw a great video on FaceBook today that I'd like to share here... it is so simple and profound.

Also wanted to share this blog posting of the Yinsights newsletter that I read. It addresses how resolutions are Yang and the Yin is learning to accept. Read and let me know what you think, if you like! The Yinside of New Year's Resolutions

Here is an excerpt that stood out to me:

"This year, why not resolve to accept something about yourself that you will no longer try to change or improve! You may even decide that this is the year that you accept something about someone else and vow to no longer try to change him or her! Sure, go ahead and consciously make a yang resolution to do or not do something, but why not add a yin resolution this New Year's? What are you going to accept, allow and no longer try to change this year?"

Hmmmm. Makes you think!

SO Happy New Year 2012... live every day as if it were your first and your last!

And Namaste

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Happy Solstice

Just a little note to say Happy Solstice... Really just a Happy whatever it is that you celebrate. In our area, we have been so fortunate this year to have lots of sunshine during the day and clear nights (awesome stars & moon) so the shortest day of the year didn't feel as oppressive as it sometimes can. It is amazing what light does for our bodies, souls and minds...

But thinking about this time of year and what it can mean led me to something that I am focusing a lot on in classes this week: letting go of the old, or un-needed and making room for the new or needed. Letting go of old hurts, be they physical or spiritual and making room for new feelings and new experiences. We can ALL benefit from this. I know that I sometimes hold a physical "hurt" or injury and it takes a lot of conscious thought to let it go, to ease out of that scar-tissue zone and let the healing in. To let the new blood-flow and ease back in. And so it goes with the heart and with the spirit....

Namaste, my friends. Have a wonderful holiday season, hug your loved ones near and far. Appreciate each and every person for who they are; each and every day for what it is for you: a gift.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

What I'm Reading Now: 4 reasons pigeon pose makes you cry - Y is for Yogini

I just revisited this blog today and wanted to share with everyone what I am RE-reading! 4 reasons pigeon pose makes you cry - Y is for Yogini

It is amazing how we learn... well, I suppose I have to clarify that it is how I learn! Sometimes it seems that I make leaps and bounds and learn something new everyday. My brain can't contain it all, can't absorb it and I struggle to convey all that has made its way into my consciousness. At other times it seems that I am not keyed into what is out there for me. Maybe I am, just on a very subconscious level and it where all that I have absorbed is then integrated into me.

SO hips... they are a constant source of interest in class. We complain of tight hips and strain to release what we feel we need to. Pigeon, also knows as Eka Pada Rajakapotasana, is awesome and amazing, although not appropriate for all of us in the most common form. However, if you CAN ease into a pigeon it is amazing what it does for body and mind. I love how the layers of trying begin to melt away as I ease into the pose and feel the hip opening, and the muscles and fascia releasing. Mmmm, good! At times, what is also amazing is how the emotions start bubbling to the surface.

On that note, click on the link from Y is for Yogini, read her posting and let me know what you think!


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Yoga in the Wintertime.... and What I'm Reading Now

Went for a great training session this morning in our town. We are fortunate to have a great set of public stairs over-looking town and the awesome river. And at a count of 413, it means we have a great training area. I sprint down them and walk fast & jog (or do some interval training) up them for a total of 4 times round trip. That's a lot of stairs. And a lot of fun... now. Didn't used to be!

I'm about ready to up it to 5 rounds but am not sure when to make that call. Yoga has taught me to look for the balance between ease and effort... to walk the line and know where I am each and every day. As if by magic Sage Rountree's new blog posting arrived in my email in-box today to remind me that as an athlete, there are some traits that are plusses in sports can be a hindrance in yoga. If you are interested, here is her blog:

Click on the link, read the posting and let me know what you think.

Being that it is winter, I'm also enjoying downhill skiing again! Woot, woot. So that means that I'm adding a few different poses to my yoga classes. Yes, we are doing more Chair Pose - Utkatasana. But also more deep stretches and gentle poses to balance out the actions of skiing. We are spending more time in balances, and looking out for our knees in poses like Warrior 1 & 2 - Virabhadrasana I and II. We are concentrating a little more on our ankles and feet as they spend so much more time immobilized in boots.

I love the change of seasons, the change of sports and the change in my yoga practice. It helps us remember that the only constant in life is change. It helps us learn to embrace the impermanence that is our life and to perhaps appreciate what is now.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

What I'm EATING now: PocketFuel Naturals Almond Butter Blends!

Dang good stuff! You NEED to have some. OK, I have to admit I am biased; it is my husband's company but it is GOOD. It is tasty.... it is addicting. Yeah, it's also good for you. Each pouch packs a tremendous amount of nutrition.

What IS it, you ask? PocketFuel is Almond Butter blended with amazing goodness: seeds, dried fruits & honey and then packaged in re-sealable, re-useable pouches!

Take your WHOLE food (vegan & gluten-free) with you wherever you go. In the car, to work, to play.... to YOGA. I keep a pouch in my car for those days when I absolutely NEED a snack on the way from one thing to another. Stops me from munching on junk food, keeps my energy level high... Feeds my body with all the protein, vitamins & minerals as well as good fats. And for me, the pouch is the BEST. I don't eat a whole lot all at once and this way I can squeeze out what I want and save the rest for later....

Check out the website, like us on FaceBook and best of all: order some today and tell us how much you like it!

Use PocketFuel to power up your day!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

What I'm Reading Now: My 5 Favorite Kirtan Chants | Top Five Tuesdays | Yoga Blog | Yoga Journal

So I find that the blogs and newsletters that I love reading are piling up in my email inbox again. Time to sort through them and to share my favourites with you. There are so many. Sigh. What a problem, right? :)

The top of today's list is this one:

My 5 Favorite Kirtan Chants Top Five Tuesdays Yoga Blog Yoga Journal

I just love listening to Kirtan and especially artists, like Krishna Das. But really there almost too many to list them.... Prem Joshua, Girish, Wade Imre Morissette... But I also love singing myself (usually as I listen to them, sometimes as I practice) because I love the feel, the vibration of our voices.

The accompanying photo (courtesy is of a Harmonium one of the most common instruments used in Kirtan, Vaja Kirtan, Bhajan, and Qawwali Indian Music.

The various poems or chants are also so wonderful and thoughtful and speak to me. The ones that Erica Rodefer lists (and her rough translations) on her blog are:

1. Om Namah Shivaya. I bow to the Self.

2. Sita Ram. Sita and Rama are deities who are husband and wife--to chant Sita Ram is to unite with our own perfect masculine and feminine.

3. Shiva Shiva Shiva Shambho. Mahadeva Shambho. Shiva is the essence and source of joy. Lord, the bestower of good.

4. Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha. I offer my love and devotion to Sri Ganesha; please grant me success in my noble endeavor.

5. Lokah Samastah Sukino Bhavantu. (My favorite!) May all beings everywhere be happy and free.

As I was researching this I found SO many other chants that I have never heard and it's helping me to listen to the ones that I already know with new ears.

Always keeping a beginner's mind...