April 9, 2013

10 Poses

I have been talking about 10 poses that a person can practice everyday. Caveat: Inversions are not recommended if you have high or low blood pressure and or are on female holiday.  It is important to have prior and or current instruction from a certified teacher where you have learned proper alignment. Please do not practice head stand or shoulder stand if you have never done it before or are unsure of how to do it as these poses with improper alignment can be dangerous, in my educated opinion.

For those of my students I promised this a while back I am sincerely sorry for my memory lapse (thanks Kim for your commitment to keeping on task).  I hope you enjoy and I look forward to your discoveries and insights.  Please share as you know I love this stuff!  See you in class soon :)

Each pose is timed for 1 minute to create a focus
Siddhasana: (comfortable seat) Set a one word intention
Balasana: (child's pose)
Cat Cow
Adho Mukha Svanasana: (downward facing dog)
Uttanasana: (forward fold)
Prasarita Padottanasana (feet wide forward fold head moving towards floor) OR Sirsasana 1: (head stand)
Child's Pose (again)
Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (bridge pose) / OR Salamba Sarvangasana (shoulder stand)
Twist: (on your back which ever version you enjoy)
Savasana: (final resting pose) 6 minutes here would be lovely

March 27, 2013

Temper Tantrums, Puffer Fish and Insight

A former co-worker of mine once said to me that she thought inspirational quotes and pictures of clouds are cheesy.  I can still fee how embarrassed I was that I loved that kind of stuff.  I am a sucker for good inspirational writing, an underdog story, or pretty much anything that gives a warm fuzzy.  What's more embarrassing than feeling ashamed that I liked that stuff was I let her words become my own.  Let me tell you, her world, with no inspirational reading was so NOT my world.  I realized then that I AM cheesy.  I live for inspirational quotes and stories (ok live is a bit dramatic but you get the gist.) Yesterday, it rained inspirational messages and ahhhhh moments. Do you ever wonder why some days are filled with an abundance of insight while others have nada?

I was at the Orthodontist yesterday morning with my lil blueberry who was about to get an expander...ouch!  When I looked over at her she was smiling so brightly with those big blue eyes radiating a love for life.  Throughout the procedure she embraced a smile while she happily conversed with the Dr. She never once complained or let on that she was scared.  It wasn't until we were in the car that she fully expressed how scared she was. She followed that by saying,  "I have to step on fear to get more braver!"  Seriously *wise* lil blueberry! Do you step on fear or let it dictate?

One of my favorite parts of a Dr.'s office is all the good magazines I never get to read.  This months Real Simple had an amazing article written by Adrienne Starr.  She talks about her singing career and how fortunate she was to be gifted this kind of talent.  She one day just gave up on singing.  Later down the road she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Her cancer therapy left her without the voice she always had available to her.  It was then that she realized how much she regretted giving it all up. She writes...
"Allow for the possibility of failure. Give yourself room for disappointment. It will never compare with the sense of loss you feel when you no longer have a choice....I would tell her not to stop - don't stop - because you never know if this is the last time...." I have been struggling with whether or not to keep training for a triathlon knowing my knees may or may not be cooperative.  My knees feel fine and I wonder if some of my angst isn't me living in fear.  This article really hit home for me - my paraphrasing does not do it justice. Give it a read. Do we give up? Stop because of fear? or ? because we truly can't move forward?

Third piece of inspiration was another article talking about temper tantrums.  The article spoke to kids, teenagers and adults (I know, adults!).  Of course adults throw fits so its not like I was shocked that it happens more that the writer was actually calling it a temper tantrum.  I realized then this was a direct message from God.  Just that morning I had a temper tantrum in my car taking the blueberries to school.  I am alwyas asking / praying for compassion.  Well, I got a dose of it when after my temper tantrum I felt embarrased and remorseful.  I decided to take the advice of the author of this article (I'm sorry I can't find where I wrote down the name of the author - it too was in the Real Simple from this month) and apologize to my children. Explain that however I am not saying there behavior or lack of listening is ok, I did not need to have a temper tantrum.  Both girls were so sweet - full of grace and accountability. My oldest said "mama if I had just listened to your words you wouldn't of had to get so upset, I would have been upset too!" I am so proud of them.  I will say, ever since my daughter pointed out that I can look like a puffer fish when I loose it - it has really helped me see myself and my temper tantrums in a new light.  This article was a lovely reminder to keep up the work.  With kiddos I will have lots of chances to practice.

This puffer fish is off to teach some yoga!
All love and breathing (so I don't have a puffer fish flair up),

March 18, 2013

Let the SUN shine in!

I have been thinking about writing a lot lately.  My intention was to do some really solid blog writing over the winter break. You can see how that turned out (or didn't).  I was checking email when this lovely lady commented on one of my post.  It was so kind and exciting all at the same time.  Thank you if your reading this - you put a smile on my face and prompted me to write.  When I started writing I was looking to muse.chat.therapize. I think after receiving a comment from someone I did not know it made it very clear I would like an online community who discusses common interest: compassion, life lessons, kids, food, kindness, yoga, you know sTuFF.

I feel so very fortunate! I was walking to pick up the girls at the bus stop and I was breathing in this weather.  Gorgeous stunning weather that I know is not always available for long here.  I sat in the sun and soaked up it's healing powers and light.  It felt good I even felt myself getting giddy.  Do I take the time to really absorb the light - or - do I let the minutia of life suck me in? How do you take in the light?

All love and rays,

November 16, 2012

Fall from fall

OK so the title says it all.  So much meaning for such a small word. Fall by loosing balance, fall meaning accidentally being drawn into, fall like the season and fall like fall off the face of the blogosphere world (does anyone really read this anyway :))!

Summer was amazing. Here in the land of 'its so hot all you want to do is sit in air conditioning or a pool and not move in fear of heat exhaustion' Texas - it was not so bad.  This summer we had a lot to be thankful for.  As part of my practice, I am finding gratitude in all things, even in a few degrees cooler weather and rain!!! It was an amazing summer that flew by very fast.  Now on to the hustle and bustle of Fall.

I was reading with my little chicken the other night (let it be known it can be a challenge -most polite way to say it- of listening to my little one read). She gets terribly frustrated and then I get frustrated and then it usually ends in tears or well me passing the buck to my husband.  I know, totally crappy mother thing to do.  There for a while, I was excusing myself as I told myself that I was hindering not helping. Then my yoga practice reminded me that running or passing the buck is not the way to work through something and it is not the message I want to send.  So I sat and centered myself first before even bringing up reading.  Side note: I center by sitting and breathing very deeply and mindfully for 20 rounds or so...if you have questions send me a note in the comments and I can help.

"My dearest most loveliest chicken (a term of endearment) would you care to read to mommy?" She takes a deep breath - I'm guessing in response to my deep breath while asking.  Here is where mimicking is a good thing! "Ok mommy!" she says cheerfully.  I can already tell this is going to be a good time (psyching myself up)! She runs and picks a book that we have read a million (not exaggerating here!) times.  Between you and me I really do not like this boring book! This is the practice I remind myself.  It is really good for kids to feel confident and redundancy gives them that (so I am told)...ie) suck it up and listen to this book as if it where the best book ever!!! I place my hands in the compassion mudra to remind myself how hard it is to read and how hard it is to have confidence in something that feels foreign. Keeping my fingers in the compassion mudra the entire time it was a reminder to soften.  I wanted to enjoy, to be fully present for this amazing child and her abilities. Not where I think those abilities should be but where they perfectly are!

I am happy to report there was no shortness of deep breathes. There was a whole lot more enjoyment.  At one point when she got really frustrated with the book we paused and I told her the truth.  "There are times when things are going to be hard and frustrating but I know you can do hard things.  I know you can overcome what is given to you.  I know you are caring and compassionate towards others it is one of your biggest strengths! It is just as important to share that caring and compassion with yourself and your heart."  Wait...what? Pause to ingest those very words. I must lead by example and thus we have the practice :). Life is so much more fun when you lead with compassion!  Compassion to all and to all a goodnight!

Let's discuss, chat, debate or simply commiserate - drop me a line...

November 1, 2012

Treat me to Optimal Wellness

The optimal wellness conundrum.  I have been thinking lately about the choices I make (I know you are all shocked). We often times know something is not going to support our optimal wellness and yet we go ahead with whatever indulgence / lie we tell ourselves and then further that by saying it's a treat.  I have spent time listening to the lies or unconscious choices I tell myself or even practice.  It is interesting the ways that I can convince myself to move as far away from optimal wellness as possible.  I am not beating myself up here - I am really trying to observe and have an honest conversation.  Why do we eat the way we do?  Why have we let ourselves become an obese nation that is sick...really really ill? Why do we continue to feed our children toxic crap and call it a treat? Why do we puff trash into our lungs or gorge ourselves with food that doesn't even taste like food and then go sit on the sofa and watch television that puts horrifying images into our heads?

I am not proposing that we all live on some island where all there is to eat is fruit and the main activity is fishing for survival (however appealing that sounds some days). Why does it have to be one extreme or the other?  Maybe for you this is not a problem or even a blip on your radar.  I however, have been practicing shifting my thinking.  Letting myself have fake potatoes fried in who knows what is NOT a treat.  Telling my kids if they are good we will go get ice cream that may or may not be actual ice cream is NOT a treat.  What if a treat was something that I made from wholesome "real" ingredients that I put love into or could trust that if I went somewhere it would be the same?  What if I chose a treat that was actually moving towards optimal wellness? What if I didn't deny myself treats because the treats I am consuming are harmonizing with my overall health? There is no doubt it is way easier to pull into a fast food joint and say "insert a convincing story we tell ourselves".

I am interested in the conversation of caring for the wellbeing of humans. For making it more affordable to buy and apple than it is to buy a bag of chips. I am interested in taking responsibility for the things I put in my body and in my families body.  I am interested in the food industry taking responsibility for there actions. Every time, I spend my money on something that is not good for me or my family I am saying it is ok for the food industry to continue to act the way they are. Sometimes the fight is easy and I have time and money to go the farmers market. Other times, time is nonexistent  and money is not plentiful. Does that mean I let myself off the hook?

I just found out that a very young friend of the family passed away a few days ago.  He died of a heart attack at the age of 31.  31! Please know if you are close to me and find my venture towards optimal wellness exhausting it's because I love and care for you deeply.  I want to share the knowledge that I have to help in anyway I can on the wellness crusade.  I thank you for listening when you don't want to hear it anymore.  I thank you for listening to the countless rants however passionate and well intended they are.  Please know that I am not judging how anyone else chooses to live. Also know, I am going to keep spouting my knowledge about this because I truly care that much for your health!  Ok, so I hope you have the very best day filled with all things yummy (like kale and a freshly peeled orange that is juicy and sweet and or organic strawberries that are sweet and refreshing)! Happy nourishing!

May 8, 2012

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words ? aRe they Positive Words?

Have you ever starred at a picture and criticized it so much if you looked at it one more stink-in second your retinas would for sure be ruined forever.  Ok, so that is a bit dramatic but I began this awful awful practice and then I shut the computer so fast that if your hand had been in there it would have been chopped off.  I then proceeded to be disappointed that I was about to engage in yet another poor ugly me session when I thought, wait a minute, what if this too became a practice.  What if I opened this computer and only looked for the beauty.  Would that help me look at things in the seat of the compassionate observer vs the seat of the critical almighty judger? Ok, so I sorta cheated because the picture that happen to pop up was of my whole family.  Let me be honest here I think my husband is HOT. He has beautiful blue eyes and in this picture his eyes are open...ha! Then there is my stunningly gorgeous girls!  One with her edgy hair and cutting edge trendiness and the other with her old hollywood glam amplified.  I thought this is easy.  Then I got to my picture.  Surely there is something positive I can squeeze out of this judge mcjudgenstein (it is too a word).  Wait for it, wait for it. I was smiling...YES.  This may not seem like much but its a start.  I think this is a practice I am going to engage in more often.  Encourage myself to be in more pictures and then compassionately observe them and well find the good stuff, be honest about the other stuff.  Wait am I being honest or critical? I will have to sort that out later.  Maybe just maybe I'll quit hiding behind the camera and get in the phOtO?

I challenge you to look at yourself with admiration and love.  To see yourself in a different light. Share would ya - I'm lonely!


April 24, 2012

Love ThY body enjoY ThY health

The gift of health.  I feel like every morning I awake to a different guest or mood.  Somedays getting out of bed presents a sense of happiness. Other days I may feel anxious, calm, tired, full of energy, sad, or drained.  Each day I am greeted by one or more of those guests.  What I have taken for granted though is the simple gift of being able to swing both legs over the bed and stand.  The gift of just coming out of a warm bed, that for the most part gave me a restful sleep.  Sometimes,  I am so tuned in to the guests arrival I forget the gift of health. Recently, I hurt my back and was elated that it wasn't too bad but just bad enough to bring awareness to how fortunate I am to have a body that allows me to do all of activities I enjoy and even some that I do not.  I was able to rehab my back pretty quickly with a whole lot of love and attention.  Then today I woke up coughing feeling as if I didn't even have the energy to swing my legs out of bed.  My chest felt tight, my head was a dead painful weight, and my eyes did not want to open.  I had an obligation so I got up and realized my body was putting up a fight for rest.  There it is...my body is telling me to rest in a way that I am unable to argue.  Tears fill my eyes (probably because I feel like crap) and I am overwhelmed with gratitude for this body whom calibrates for me daily.  Whom allows me to experience life with a steady cadence and who reminds me that I must recharge even if the list is long and the ambition is much.  Today, I yield to you body and I thank you for all that you do.  You deserve to be treated well :).

How often do you take for granted the simplicity of being able to get out of bed?