TOLT #? – Starting Anew

I couldn’t be more excited to announce that Amanda at Running With Spoons magically appeared back in the blogosphere about 10 days ago! I am hoping that means that she will bring back her Think Out Loud Thursday groups because I truly enjoyed reading everyone’s posts and the community that it brought. TOLT groups was her last post before disappearing….so in honor of her return and the start of a new semester, here’s my random thoughts of late:

  1. This is a photo I snapped myself to show my husband what I was looking like.

    I tried branching out recently. I went to a girls’ nite in party a couple of weeks ago that was make-over themed. I am not the type of person who usually spends a lot of effort on my looks. I don’t do make-up much any more, don’t style my hair, don’t really go outside of the box for my clothes. So, a make-over party is not up my alley, but I’m also open to new things and meeting new people. This party was hosted by The Busy Budgeter  who was also my make-over artist for the evening. I tried new food, new drinks, a face mask, had my make-up done, and took pics with a fancy halo light. You can see those photos on her website as well as many tips for a great girls’ nite in!

  2. The semester is off to a great start! This semester I am teaching solely at one place and it has helped in so many ways. While I am now teaching 4 days/week, being on campus so often helps me to be more in touch with the campus community and leads me to the rec center more. Today I taught 2 classes, biked, and swam. The semester has also presented me with a new vision of success that I hope to achieve. Here’s the visual I made for my class as an example to show just three of the many areas I plan to work on this semester to keep the ball rolling!
  3. I’ve got new GEAR! Unfortunately Agnes has seen better days. She has started to shred and so I’m replacing her with two new bras that I got off of Amazon Prime Wardrobe. They’re Champion brand, which is a brand I used to wear a million years ago when I was still in college, but thought I would give them a go again. They’re certainly more cost effective than the Under Armour bras I’ve been buying the last few years. The Under Armour ones have been amazing to me, except something has started to go awry with the front zip closure. One time I was teaching yoga and the bra unzipped itself and I had to figure out how to redo it while still having 20 students doing sun salutations. And most recently I was running on the track and had it unzip when I took a deep breath. The new bras are back closure, so hoping that that helps. They’re also very adjustable and are supposed to be able to cross in the back. However, I find it hard enough to do back hook sports bras that I’m not sure I want to mess with a criss-cross at this time.
  4. My oldest is turning 9!
    We look a little different now, but the love is the same!

    Yep, I’m that mom who cannot believe she’s been a mom for 9 years now. I still remember a lot of what it was like to push that child out of my body, discussions we had when I was trying to get him to tell me if he was a he or a she in the womb, and the moment I found out I was pregnant. I remember the sweet noises he used to make when he was little and what it felt like to hold his little hand. I love going back to seeing the videos I’ve made of him over the years to watch his personality develop. I don’t write a whole lot (anymore) about my kids on the blog, but Happy Birthday Tank Monkey! Mama loves you!

  5. And finally, because all I have energy for today is 5, I need your advice. I need to come up with some music for my classes this semester and I need to find a new streaming service. I was seriously still using cds until recently! I used to have a subscription to Yes Go! music when I worked for NETA, but that was only a one year deal and at the time I wasn’t financially able to maintain a subscription based service. And before you go throwing ideas out…..I don’t have an iPhone or Apple Music. Ideally I’d love something I can pull up on the computers at work instead of using my phone so that it doesn’t die or get interrupted every time I get a notification. So, thoughts are welcomed!

What’s on your mind today?

Walk in the Clouds by Rebekah Johnson – Guest Post

Testimonials are all that it takes for some people to jump on a bandwagon. What’s your excuse for not trying yoga this year? If this account of the effects of practicing aren’t enough for you to at least consider it…..I don’t know what would be.

I was really excited to get into this class and am leaving the class with so much more knowledge about yoga than what I had entering. Every Monday after leaving class, I walked out feeling like I was walking on clouds. There is a lightness that comes with my steps after a good practice and that lightness continues on with me throughout my days.

The practices we have learned in class are now incorporated into my daily routine. Although I have a very busy life and schedule, I make time for yoga whether it be 30 minutes or an hour plus. The meditation practices, particularly yoga nidra, have also been brought into my routine every other day if not daily. Taking the time to practice and learn has impacted me far more than just physically. The spiritual up lifting I have been experiencing is incredible. This class has truly changed my life for the better and i am excited to continue on with my yoga journey.

 

Have a yoga story you’d like to share?

Contact me to do a Guest Post of your own.

Wellness Wednesday #13 – What’d You Say?

I just spent the last 30 minutes sending emails to students. I had to let them know what’s going to happen in class tomorrow so that they come prepared. I had to remind some of them to complete the work they were supposed to do in class on Tuesday. I had to welcome some of them who added my class late. I had to ask students to delete themselves from the online platform of the course if they have dropped my section. Emails are a tricky thing to write, but they’re a perfect topic for today’s Dimension of Wellness: Communication! Continue reading “Wellness Wednesday #13 – What’d You Say?”

A Peaceful Place in the Mind by Melissa – Guest Post

Students come in to my class from all different walks of life. Today I will start a new yoga class, not at CFCC. I will meet 30 new faces with stories I’ve yet to hear. Each student brings something different to the yoga experience and each student is touched in a different way by yoga. Thankfully most of them are positive and yoga brings them relief from back pain, a mental break, or even lifts a little of their grief.

Previous to this semester, I had only ever taken a few yoga classes, mostly just basic classes through the YMCA near where I worked. To be completely honest, I had always thought of yoga as a sort of soft exercise and somehow not as worthy of my time as more obviously physically-intensive practices such as Pilates, cardio, or lifting. Three years ago this week, I went through an immense emotional trauma when my boyfriend of eight months passed away suddenly and without much explanation. To say the least, the loss and the lack of closure messed me up, and I had trouble finding peace in my thoughts when I was by myself. After several months of therapy and dabbling with occasional yoga classes at the YMCA, I felt soothed. Despite the fact that the instructor mostly just guided us through the poses and didn’t really teach us much about breathing, the best part about these classes was the rest that it gave my mind to just focus on moving my body and nothing else, to simply relax in the nothingness when we spent the last few minutes of class in a relaxation pose.

Since moving to Wilmington, I have felt that I have been caught in an endless cycle of a full course load at school, a 35-hour work week, and trying to find sleep in between. I didn’t have the time to devote to exercise and I certainly didn’t have the money to join a yoga studio, so I just gave up on working out. Stuck in what seemed to be an endless cycle of stress and mounting cynicism and frustration, I decided that this semester I should take yoga and get back to that quiet place in my mind that I loved so much when I was healing. What surprised me the most about this class was what I learned about how to breathe in different ways and how the breath is supposed to properly line up with your physical movements during your yoga poses.

I had hoped to come to some sort of self-revelation this semester, but I found it more difficult than ever to free my mind of the stress and frustration and quiet the noise. When discussing the Eight-Limb path and focusing on not having violent thoughts towards others or to oneself, I had to be introspective and I realized that my mind was an angrier place than it used to be. I am still working through this part of my yoga practice, and I think an important part of freeing myself of these dark frustrations will be distancing myself from as many people who are sources of negativity as possible. Physically, I have loved learning the restorative poses and different ways to stretch my back out, I feel that these movements will continue to be useful when my body is feeling the strain from waitressing and bartending in the coming months.

I hope that I will have the time and the money to join some sort of yoga practice in the near future, mostly because I like the structure of someone leading me through the poses. Because of this class, however, I feel more confident in practicing the poses specific to my body’s immediate needs and the breathing and meditation techniques that will help me find that peaceful place in my mind once again.

 

Have a yoga story you’d like to share?

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Connections – Guest Post

I finished teaching at CFCC this past month, but I still have several yoga stories to share from my students. I hope to post them each Monday for the weeks to come. This particular student reminded me that yoga is about community and that sharing our stories is an important part of that unity. I am glad that this class helped the student to join together her mind and body as well as herself to her yoga community and ultimately lead to connecting her yoga life into every day life.

Coming into the semester, I thought that I was entering a class that was just an easy ‘A’, however, I think I needed this class more than I had realized. This class has had a positive impact on my mindset. There have even been some things said in the sessions that I would recall back to during the day or even week. This included the sharing of personal stories or other tips for different topics. When personal stories were shared, it made the class become more relatable and it showed me how yoga can impact everyday life like stories about family, driving, events, and more. When we were given tips on yoga stretches at home, or different eating methods, I brought those tips home with me and practiced them. As a result, I learned to really listened to my body more and understood how it worked. At the beginning of yoga, it was hard for me to sit down and really focus on not thinking about anything. However, as the semester went on, I realized it was not about “silencing” the thoughts but to reflect on them instead.

In my other classes, I have struggled with sitting down in one spot for a longer amount of time, and paying attention to the topic that is being covered. Having a physical education class that deals on meditation and focusing has helped me immensely. This class keeps my attention by being hands on and interactive, so I found myself enjoying the class more and more each week. Yoga has taught me how to not only find out my limits physically, but mentally as well. I faced some hardships throughout the semester but having this yoga class during the day, helped me to have a sort of mental “break” and I could just focus on the class, instead of what was going on. I have really enjoyed this class and I would definitely recommend it to every student.

 

Have a yoga story you’d like to share?

Contact me to do a Guest Post of your own.

Little Surprises – Guest Post

I wish I had found yoga sooner in my life. I think that I would have been a better person for longer. I would have been far more grounded. I would have been happier and made different choices. However, part of the practice of yoga and self-discovery is not to look back and wish that things were different….they are to take what you have and what you learn and turn it into something good.

Because of where I find myself in life I am teaching yoga and have two amazing children. I am happy with what I do and who I am now. I am trying to be a good person and trying to give that same gift to my students. I always want them to walk away from these sessions feeling like they know who they are and what they need to do…..just as this student “unexpectedly” did.

During the course of Yoga 1 I have learned a lot about Yoga and myself. I first realized I was completely tensed up. I could feel it after the first few classes, at first I thought about it being soreness but then it hit me that all the stress or things piling up in my life were just sitting in a different place in my body instead of my head. I wanted to get more into yoga to help relieve that stress but halfway through the semester, my car broke down, that was the point were I wanted to give up. Unfortunately, I did give up for a bit. I’m not so sure I’ve managed to pull myself completely out but I’ll get there. What this in overall aspects has taught me about my self is that I need better personal reflection; I need to create my own space and schedule. No more pushing things off till the last minute (except this paper).

What I intend to do is take these Yoga skills and use them more and more in my daily life. I really did enjoy this class, especially for a 9am class. It helped me wake up and be ready for the day. I would like to take Yoga 2 in the fall but if not I will take it again at UNCW when I transfer. I hope to use the breathing exercises and the restorative poses the most because I do need to find a way to calm down and I enjoyed the many different ways we could breathe. Woman doing lion pose (simhasana)However the Lion pose happens to be my favorite in general. Its quite hard to be in a bad mood and force yourself to cross your eyes and make a growling/breathing sounds. Although my attendance may not reflect it, I did feel as if this class helped me get through this semester. Yoga isn’t easy but while feeling that sense of vulnerability I felt safe. I felt as if I had any issues or anything I needed to express I could. The affirmation card assignment to remind ourselves of something was a great one. It forced me to break through a few walls of my own to discover what I know, what I need and now I don’t have to mindlessly search in hopes I’ll find it. It feels good to have a sense of direction come from a class you wouldn’t have expected.

 

Have a yoga story you’d like to share?

Contact me to do a Guest Post of your own.