Posts Tagged ‘yoga’



June 7, 2009

It’s been a long time since I’ve written.  I think about it all the time and I’m fully aware I’ve stared nearly all the blog posts in the last year that way.  Life is too sweet to stop living long enough to write about it.

Duck turned 9!  I’m not sure how that happened, but it did.  He is a joy, a light, a puzzle, a mystery, a wonder, a yogi, a Comedy Central special.   Happy Birthday, Duck.  I love you!

Duckred,white, and blueTree

I’ve been doing a lot of inner work.  It’s changing my life, living yoga.  I’m really growing and living and breathing and having a great time getting to know me and my place in this world – and actually, the blessed emptiness (impermanence) of it all.  I’m finding a lot of wisdom in 24/7 Dharma.  Every day I spend an hour or so reading from it and a couple of CAL daily readers and journaling.  I sit in my favorite chair, I light a candle, I listen to inspiring music, and I dive into myself.  This practice alone has enriched my life beyond explanation and is one of my favorite parts of my day.

fav table

Yoga has changed my focus.  I no long focus on the status of my butt, hips, thighs, and belly and, instead, no focus on the status of my mind, breath, spirit, and soul.  It’s incredibly transformative!  Of course, that’s not to say that things haven’t changed physically.  I have Swami toes, my shoulders and arms are sculpted like you wouldn’t believe, and my legs are thick and strong.  One would think that spending all this time on the mat would lead to an incredibly tight and flat belly.  Not so much!  My belly is firm and strong and long, but it is also round!  All that breathing and control!  When I think of it, it makes perfect sense – the soul needs a vessel, the breath needs a home, the fire needs a pit.  It’s a part of me, it keeps my secrets.  Hi, Belly!

I rely on the use of a drishti a lot in my yoga practice.  A drishti helps me focus and keep my balance.  I realized yesterday that, although I don’t plan what I use as a drishti ahead of time, I almost always focus on nail heads.  They are plentiful on my deck, my favorite studio, but I can also find them (or a mark on the hardwood floor that covers a nail head) in an actual yoga studio.  They work so well for me – small point on which to put all my concentration and focus.  Once I saw this trend of mine, I realized the deep symbolism in it.  Nails are sharp, small, with one intention.  They keep things together, the withstand huge changes in pressure and environment and weather.  They are strong and necessary.  They are a very simple, modest, and yet essential thing.  Once you open your eyes, you cannot not see.


Yummy Sunday

May 3, 2009

Sundays are good days.  It’s almost like the Universe just says, “Okay, folks, let’s all just take a deep breath together.”  Many folks are off work on Sundays and the world just seems to kind of settle down together.  I doubt many people chose Sunday to wage war.

Sunday usually is a day of gratitude for me.  I get to spend a lot of time with the ones I love doing what I love.  It’s very hard to live in MO during Spring and stay indoors, even when it rains.  Everything is just too beautiful.  Lush, green, abundant.  The world just seems to be happy to have us in it.  Right back atcha, world!  In appreciation, I’m going to share some of the things I’m grateful for right here, right now…

I have made connections with many folks all over the country who are involved in yoga.  One thing I learned very early on in my doula career is how important it is to make and keep good, strong, professional affiliations.  In yoga, it’s important to know folks so you can learn new and wonderful things from each other, share tips and trends, and also bounce off questions and suggestions.  Most importantly, though, it’s the sharing of the energy, of the juju as it were, that becomes a necessity.  It’s powerful stuff to surround yourself with like minded folk – the energy is electric whether you are sharing your vision in person or via the big ol’ internet.  Being a part of this community pleases me to no end and I’m so grateful.

One of the lovely members of this yoga community recently held a “contest” on Twitter.  Katy Downey (@lotuspad) owns Lotus Pad Yoga Mats, a company that makes wonderfully beautiful, incredibly affordable, and amazingly useful Eco yoga mats.  Entirely biodegradable, recyclable, these mats are latex free, PVC free, lead free, and are sweat, fungus, and bacteria resistant.  For her contest, folks were to submit their favorite yoga pose and the reason why it is their favorite (140 characters or less) and the winner would receive a Lavender Eco Mat.  Great contest, huh?  I’m so happy to say that I won!  And it’s PURPLE!  I cannot wait to use my new mat.  Thanks, Katy.  Every0ne, please stop by Lotus Pad and check out all the wonderful goodies there and pick up a thing or two.  Your body, your Karma, and the Earth will thank you (probably Katy, too!)  THANK YOU, Lotus Pad Yoga Mats!

I took my yoga practice out to the deck again today.  Again, if you have the chance, please consider doing a session or two out in nature.  The air is just perfect this time of year and you will be filled with sweet smells while you do your Ujjayi breathing.  I’m so thankful that I have a yard with lots of trees.  Lots of trees means lots of birds who sing to me while I practice.  A perfect accompaniment is Music for OM Yoga.  I just Googled for it and I’m not sure it’s available anymore, but there is a lot of OM music out there, I’m sure it’s all yummy good.

My friend, Megan, has a great site that she’s building for her business, Emerge Yoga Style. Please take a moment to visit and read her blog.  The song you will hear on the Welcome page is The Gayatri Mantra by Deva Premal.  It is so beautiful and meaningful.  I’m copying a bit of her write up about it here, but to get the really neat story she tells, again, visit her blog on the site.  Here’s what The Gayatri Mantra says

“We contemplate the glory of Light illumination the three worlds:  gross, subtle, and casual.  I am that vivifying power, love, radiant illumination, and divine grace of universal intelligence.  We pray for the divine light to illumine our minds.”

Yeah, pretty beautiful, huh?  Thank you, Megan, for sharing it.  If you like the song my Deval Premal, you can download it from iTunes.

We don’t go away much.  It’s hard to get schedules to coordinate and find the resources to take off, etc.  It’s not that we don’t need it, we all do, but like most folks, we tend to put our relaxation needs on the back burner.  Fortunately, someone stepped in on our behalf.  My in-laws have a condo right on the water of the Big Ol’ Lake this week and asked us to please come spend some time with them.  We could not pass up that opportunity, so we’re taking off two days and maybe two nights to unwind and breathe.  I’m so grateful for this time together to renew ourselves, our spirit, and to get a little break from day to day life.

I never thought I’d ever love Near Beer (non-alcoholic beer.)  I used to make fun of folks who drank it.  Yeah, I was pretty slimy in other ways, too.  Thank Elvis for personal growth, eh?  Anyway, I have totally changed my tune.  I love my sobriety, as I have said, but there are times when I really miss having a beer.  Fortunately there are several non-alcoholic beers out there now that really and truly are very good.  Who knew?!?

I haven’t wanted to say it because it’s really his journey, not mine, but I’m REALLY grateful that my darling husband, B, is 6 weeks smoke free today!!!  Thank you, B, for making the choice to be healthier so we can enjoy you longer in this world.  I love you.

Speaking of my main man, he just took my two little men on a hike.  So many children don’t have fathers who will drop everything to spend some time with them.  How blessed we are!  Since they are out doing their thing, however, I have the house to myself.  AHHHHHHHHH… gonna get offa here and spend some time soaking up the peace.

Let’s all take a few more minutes today to be grateful.  Practice an attitude of gratitude.  Be yummy.  Happy Sunday!


My favorite studio

April 25, 2009

I took my practice to my favorite studio (my deck)  this morning.  You just cannot beat doing yoga outside and, if it’s an option for you, I highly suggest you try it.  This morning was just so beautiful I couldn’t help myself.  The sky was the perfect blue and there were soft, gorgeous clouds slowly drifting by.  The sun was warm and inviting and the breeze carried the perfume of the lilacs straight to me.  It was all I could do to get myself out of Savasana and go about my day – it was pure bliss.

Step into the Sunlight
Feel the pain wash away
Enter in the Soul-light
Just BE in today.

Forget all emotion
Put your trust in the day
Let the past rush on by you
Put your Self in THE WAY.

one & infinite – lynne milum – universal light

If you’re looking for music to add to your outdoors practice, YogaZone has a great 2 disc set available at Amazon or, if you’re lucky as I am, at your local library.



I am that I am

April 8, 2009

Soham Soham Soham Soham
Om Om Om Om Om Om Om Om Om Om
I am neither mind nor body, immortal Self I am
I am witness of three states,
I am knowledge absolute
I am fragrance in jasmine, beauty in flowers
I am coolness in the ice, flavour in the coffee
I am greenness in the leaf, hue in the rainbow
I am taste bud in the tongue, essence in the orange
I am mind of all minds, Prana of all Pranas
I am Soul of all souls, Self of all selves
I am Atman in all beings, apple of all eyes
I am Sun of all suns, Light of all lights.
I am that I am, I am that I am,
I am that I am, I am that I am.

song of vibhuti yoga – sri swami sivananda
adapted from – the bhagavad gita – 10:19-42

The right thing

March 7, 2009

A little known fact about me is that I pray. A lot.  I find myself praying all day to my higher power.  I pray while driving, I pray while cooking, I pray while showering, I pray while falling asleep.  Sometimes my prayer is for the well being for others.   Sometimes my prayer is for clarity and good health.  Sometimes my prayer is for peace amongst whatever war, internal or external, I’m facing at the moment.  Always, however, my prayer is to do The Next Right Thing, whatever that might be.

I’ve been doing a lot of Right Things lately:

I have been stressing quite a bit about how involved or uninvolved my children are in society and wondering if I’m giving them enough opportunities to experience life outside of our little world of homeschoolers.  Yes, I take them with me everywhere I go, but it’s not quite enough – I mean, you can learn a lot at Target and the Library, but shopping and reading does not a life make.  They each take outside classes once a week – Duck takes yoga and Stealth takes Kindermusik.  It’s good and wonderful, but it doesn’t scratch that Mama Intuition itch I’ve had.  I thought long and hard about what would be good for us and what we could feel good about doing and finally came to a decision – we will volunteer with The Central MO Humane Society. I signed us up and we were approved.  Training is the 28th of this month and then we will spend 5 hours a month for a minimum of 6 months taking care of the animals.  The kids cannot wait.  I think the responsibility will be good for them, the lessons in caring for animals who cannot care for themselves will be great for them, the understanding that we, as blessed citizens, need to give back will be crucial to their development, and let’s not forget the understanding of the word “commitment.”  This is definitely a Right Thing.  Now, fingers crossed that we only bring home one more dog and maybe a rabbit or something …

I’ve been going to my gym since May and had never taken a class, which is totally stupid because, unlike most gyms in the world, the classes come included with membership at my Mecca.  Thursday I took a yoga class.  Now, I’ve been doing yoga for about 13 years and I have to say that it is, by far, the closest thing to Utopia I have ever known.  I love yoga.  I love it more than bellydance, weights, cardio, chocolate, dogs, sushi, and sex combined.  Yes, I love it that much.  Unfortunately, I never found the *right* class for me… until Thursday.  This class I took rocked my little world like a baby in a cradle.  It was the perfect mix of slow and fast, modern words and Sanskrit terms, holistic healing and heart-pounding hard work.  It was a lark that I ended up in this class, but I’m certain it was The Next Right Thing.  The instructor also teaches on Tuesday mornings, so if I add Bellydance on Sundays and throw in some weights and cardio while I’m there, I’ve got 3 amazing workouts that I cannot wait to get to.  Feed the body, feed the soul.  Right Thing.

Things are so right between my kids and myself lately.  It’s been a long hard winter for us, but things are turning around.  I have finally found what makes my little Duck click and have finally convinced my powerhouse Stealth that he does NOT, in fact, rule the world.  We are full of love and light and laughter and peace and wonder and amazement and grace.  Things aren’t always easy for these guys.  Their mother is neurotic and their father has issues of his own, they have a dog who eats their toys, and a whole host of other things that torment the minds of little kids (I’m not so old that I don’t remember — being a kids is HARD!)  Somehow, however, they are doing better that fine – they are AMAZING.  I recently took some time and did one of those little FB Note Thingies – this one was asking your children questions about YOU.  I asked both of them and what came out of the their mouths melted my heart.  I’m not putting it all here, but the gist of it is that they KNOW that I love them.  It is something they don’t even question.  They are HAPPY.  They are EXCITED about life.  They are getting what they need.  Mothering is hard hard work, but I’ve been doing okay.  I’ve been doing The Right Thing.

I’ve been spending money lately.  I know I know, I have issues with this and I’m working on it, but I feel really great about all of my purchases.  They are thought out and planned and really quite responsible.  Today, however, I really spent some good money and voted with my dollars – today I shopped at The Peace Nook.  The Peace Nook is this amazing little basement shop that still is what it started out to be, unlike some other stores in town *coughcoolstuffcough.*  The Nook is all tax free, Earth friendly, and just juju positive.  Today I got a Nasopure (yeah, it REALLY is shooting salt water in one nostril and out the other,) some organic chocolate, some natural sodas, a few Luna bars, and some Free Trade clothing.  I’m stoked … and, frankly, will probably go back and buy more.  We MUST not only stimulate this economy, but we must do it WISELY.  It’s The Right Thing.

I’m human.  I’m not perfect. I make mistakes – a LOT of mistakes.  I’m trying.  It’s all I can do and it is enough.  I will not be perfect in this lifetime, but I can strive to be the best I can be, to always reach higher, to always look further, to always try harder to do The Next Right Thing.