May You Bloom and Grow…..Forever – Guest Post by Lauralaine Thiers

 

Through this class I have gained skills that I will carry on with me long after I leave Cape Fear. I think I’ve learned a lot about my physical capabilities like balance and strength as well as opening my mind and exploring things like patience and compassion. I believe I’ve grown since beginning this class in that I notice myself more often being mindful of my words and actions and how they affect others as well as being mindful of my place in the universe and continuously trying to only put out good energy and good karma. I’ve learned that yoga goes beyond stretching and posing on a mat. Yoga is a way of life and practicing yoga only paves the way to manifest a more peaceful lifestyle. 

I plan to continue to practice yoga on my own in a self-taught manor and push my boundaries as I explore new poses and meditations. Hand-in-hand with yoga, I have found meditating incredibly useful especially in stressful times to collect myself and stay grounded. A combination of continuous yoga practice and meditation will only continue to move me closer to true enlightenment, the ultimate goal. Although at the moment I have no set destination, yoga has proved to be a practice that has rightfully gained a spot in my life indefinitely. I plan on utilizing yoga as I do now, and hope to blossom through practice just as I hope to blossom as an individual.

 

Have a yoga story you’d like to share?

Contact me to do a Guest Post of your own.

And Then March Happened

Sixteen days ago I was Thinking Out Loud about how excited I was to be on Spring Break and getting time to recover from bronchitis and get back to life as usual. But, we all know how that has turned out. So, now I am sitting here on a Saturday evening prepping for my first week of teaching online and my second week of homeschooling. We are all healthy and somewhat happy at our house, but mostly just thankful.

Choosing Peace Instead of Panic

I saw an interview the other day with a minister in Italy who is American. She and her husband and their two children are in the lock down there. She said something really profound, that they’re “…choosing peace over panic…”. I loved that saying so much that I have been using it as a personal mantra this week. I have not panicked when:

  • I learned that I would be teaching online for the WHOLE rest of the semester
  • I realized that my kids may not go back to school this school year
  • I gave up on the hope of completing my half marathon this spring
  • Technology fails have happened
  • We made a beautiful dinner and then the kids only ate half of it
  • All of the toilet paper disappeared from stores
  • The school science experiment called for heavy whipping cream and all I could find was half and half
  • I heard my neighbor outside on the phone which seemed like she’s talking to a doctor…..

Adjusting to Temporary Normal

I am thankful that my kids and I are adjusting to this temporary normal quite well. We have talked about what is going on, why it’s not time to panic, why we are staying home and how we don’t know what comes next. We’ve talked about what everyone needs and created a way to communicate that is factual but not scary. Emphasizing the reality and severity of the situation, but not over dramatizing it.

Our temporary normal means that right now we can go out in our backyard and play, we can video chat with our family, we can watch a little more tv, we can cook more food and bake more things because we’re home more. Our temporary normal means that the kids don’t have to go to the grocery store any more and that we have more time in our day because we’re not traveling around town. Our temporary normal means no play dates and no baseball practices and no trivia nites out. Our temporary normal is just that….temporary.

Maintaining a Schedule

One of the things I’ve learned over the years is that schedule is key. It’s key for me completing my work, maintaining my fitness, and when I keep a blog writing schedule, it’s key to that success as well. So, even though it’s only been a week so far, we’re maintaining bed time and get up time. We start homeschooling at 815am and take snack and lunch and recess and finish school around 3pm. We’re making up “specials” work. And this coming week, when my students “come back to class”, I will be holding a Zoom meeting for each course section at regular class time to start to create some kind of consistency for them.

A tiny Bit of Anger

I have to admit that things aren’t all unicorns and rainbows over here. Life is real and I have a little bit of anger about this situation. The things I’m angriest about are those who are judging others. I have written about this topic before (see here). I just can’t stand people who can’t respect other people’s choices.

Two areas that have irked me are people who are upset with others who are wearing masks. While I believe that the masks should be reserved for those who need it and especially medical personnel, I can’t stop you from wearing your mask. I don’t know who you are or what your situation is. I am not judging you and I won’t; but I am sure as hell judging those who “can’t stand you wearing your mask”. UGH!

The second area that has rubbed me the wrong way is people demanding free things. Look, it is WONDERFUL (in my opinion) that the utility companies have canceled disconnections and that internet providers are offering connections for students who need it to maintain school, but people…..these people need to get paid sometime too. I get it. We’re all under a lot of stress right now. Some of you may not have income at this time, some of you are suffering from anxiety of all sorts. I hear you, I see you, I feel you. However, that’s no reason to deserve something for nothing.

I guess this area hits hard for me because my brother works for a utility company. He is still out there doing his job with the mask, gloves, and hand sanitizer that his company gave him to protect himself. Does he not deserve a pay check too? So, when your disconnection happens in a few more months when all of this lifts and you can’t pay your bill because you didn’t work, I AM SORRY and I hope that there is a way for you to find the assistance that you need to get back on your feet. However, I don’t think that the utility companies shouldn’t charge during this time. They need to pay their employees who went in to work and came into your homes and provided you with the service that you needed to make it through this time…..however long it may be.

YOGA

In all of this YOGA keeps floating into my mind…..

Yoga means to yoke, join, or unite. It’s what we all need right now; to come together while staying apart.

Check out this Coping Calendar from Action for Happiness:

Colorful calendar from Action for Happiness with daily tips for how to cope with this public health crisis

One of the first things it suggests is to make a plan for how to stay calm and connected. So, here’s my plan:

  • Keep going as I am while following all of the guidance and rules out there right now
  • Keep active and start retraining for my half marathon which may not happen in 2020 depending on how things turn out
  • Keep in contact with my friends and family via text and video chats and phone calls at least once a week
  • Try to get back to this blog because someday it will serve as a record for how we all came through this…..together

I sincerely hope that you and all of yours are safe and well during this time of uncertainty. Keep checking back in as I hope to have more videos of yoga practice, fitness in the home, and ideas for keeping ourselves together throughout all of this!

Namaste

TOLT #? – Bronchitis, Allergies, and Other Crap

Amidst all of the coronavirus hub-bub I’ve gone and gotten sick to the point that it has wiped me out of EVERYTHING! If you life in the south you know all about how allergies are a thing almost all year round….well, things are blooming and I’ve got them kicked up. But it’s not just allergies that have me down.

Nope!

My students are coming to school sick and sharing their germs with me. Magically my kiddos have escaped the bugs this year (mostly because I am keeping them at arms length from me at the time being), but I have not. I have been on and off sick now for almost two weeks and now officially have bronchitis.

On top of that, I’ve had two….count them TWO UTIs in the past month from all of the AMAZING running I was doing up until the point I got sick.

 

All that being said….I just wanted to check in on this wet and miserable Thursday to say I am now on

So that means time for me to recuperate and catch up on life and blogging.

What’s on your mind today?

Have you been sick and/or worried about a pandemic?

Check back next week for some real posts!

What Was, Is Again – Guest Post

I especially identify with students who are coming to yoga for the first time in their twenties. That’s when I was first exposed to it. I wasn’t the kid whose parents did yoga or who did it through gymnastics or dance. It’s something that I needed back then, but didn’t know a thing about. I like when students who have had it once can find their way back onto the yoga path….

At the beginning of the semester, I was kind of skeptical about taking a yoga course. It wasn’t needed for any credentials, but I had taken yoga classes years ago out of high school, and remembered just how therapeutic they could be. The difference now of course, is about 50 lbs and 17 years!

That being said, I am so glad I went through with this class. It has helped me focus on my breathing, which is huge because I am an asthmatic. This class has helped me to be able to relax to the point of meditation, which was really surprising to me. It didn’t come right away, but I got there. I’m thankful that Mrs. P is so patient with us, because one of the fears that I had going in was that the pacing would be too fast, but that wasn’t the case. I was able to keep up and I actually learned about myself in the process. I surprised myself at how flexible (and NOT flexible) I actually was.

Being encouraged to do yoga, at least a few moments a day, has had a positive impact on me. I find myself taking opportunities to do more stretches throughout the day and since we also covered different breathing techniques, I’ve learned how deal with stress a little better as well.

All in all I enjoyed my time in this class, and I have definitely been given tools that I will continue to practice. Thanks for a great experience!

 

Have a yoga story you’d like to share?

Contact me to do a Guest Post of your own.

What is Yoga? – Guest Post

I truly never know what a student will write about when I give them the opportunity to reflect on a semester of yoga. Sometimes they tell about how little they connected with the practice of yoga. Other times they tell about how much they get out of it. It’s really only discovered when one delves deeply into their own honesty about what the practice really means….

Taking yoga for the first time, I was not sure what to expect at first because I have no experience in yoga. Ever since I was a little kid, I always had a general idea of what yoga was supposed to look like, and whenever I tried learning yoga, it never worked out in the end. In all honesty, I thought yoga would be a lot easier than having to take walking for fitness or health class. I assumed yoga would be less work to do, but I was wrong. To my surprise, yoga is very challenging. It takes hard work to learn, especially for me, because you must put a lot of physical and mental energy into recreating all the different types of yoga poses.

During this semester, I have learned that yoga is physical but mental as well. Also, when practicing yoga, you must remember that your mind and body must stay connected with the movements to keep yourself balanced. In taking this course, I have grown a lot more physically and mentally by trying my best to learn the yoga poses and getting myself out of my comfort zone. After this class is over, I intend to use yoga by teaching my close friends and family at home. I plan to keep yoga alive by regular attending yoga classes around the Wilmington area. Overall, I had an enjoyable experience while taking this course. I want to say a big thanks to Mrs. P. for being a yoga instructor at Cape Fear and for being able to teach us life lessons through this enjoyable experience. Thanks to her, I have learned lots of new things in this class, and I hope to continue practicing yoga.

Have a yoga story you’d like to share?

Contact me to do a Guest Post of your own.

Letting Go – Guest Post

Sometimes a student is so quiet that you’re not sure that they’re engaged in learning what you’re presenting. But for many of my students they experience the same themes. I think that we need yoga more than ever in the world. We need to get rid of the anxiety and stress that comes with every day life and get back to letting go of the things we cannot control…..

I am glad I choose to take Yoga my first year of college. Yoga has helped me deal with my stress. I have anxiety and depression and can get stressed over things that are not in my control.Yoga has taught me to live more in the moment. I understand now that things take time, it’s a process and the process/development can be a beautiful journey. My favorite discussion topic was the Yamas and Niyamas. My top three were Ahimsa, Asteya and Isvara Pranidhana. When learning about the Yamas and Niyamas, it made me question myself a lot like asking myself “Am I happy?” “Am I satisfed?” “What’s next?”. All things we ask ourselves when we get older.  

My overall Yoga experience was a good one. I will continue to practice Yoga more at home. Before starting Yoga I thought it would be just sitting in silence for a long time and clearing your mind and thoughts but it’s more than that. I was not expecting to do deep stretches that began to really test my body, but I liked it. My favorite part of Yoga is the spiritual side of it. I love the feeling I have after I do Yoga, it’s the same feeling I have when I leave the gym. The feeling of letting go and taking your mind off things that stress you. I really enjoyed taking Yoga this semester. 

 

 

Have a yoga story you’d like to share?

Contact me to do a Guest Post of your own.

Throwback Thursday: February 6th

I want to remain consistent with the blog this year. So far, I have been regularly posting 3x/week. So, in that fashion, here’s a post that just includes old posts of mine from this same day years past. It’s interesting to look back and watch the blog evolve like this and see the various days/topics I cover on this day in history: February 6th…..

February 6, 2015 – Fast Friday: What am I running for?

February 6, 2016 – Satya: What is your Truth?

February 6, 2017 – Meditation Monday #27 – What the world needs now….

 

Which is your favorite?

What have you written on February 6th?

Training Plan Tuesday #13 – February 2020

It is warm out here…..I mean really warm for February! Yesterday, at the track, it was almost 70F! I think that a mild winter has helped me to be more on top of my training than I ever have before. However, I’ve also being trying to be mindful in my consistency and that means that I skipped a total of 8 days of exercise last month. I am now 5 days behind on my training plan that was revamped to include all of the workouts I had skipped last fall. REALLY, I’m still doing workouts from the beginning of January, so you choose…..5 days or 5 weeks behind, I’m still behind! Continue reading “Training Plan Tuesday #13 – February 2020”

Opening the Bottle – Guest Post

Have you been there? Were you the type of person who was too tough for yoga? I was. Sometimes my students resist yoga because they believe that it’s too easy. Others come to the practice hoping for that ease and learn a lot more about their strength. Sometimes the strength is not in the body itself….

Starting off in the class, I thought that it was just going to be easy and something that I could easily breeze through. I believed that coming to this class would relax my inner mind and calm my soul. But oh was I wrong. I found out that yoga connects your mind and soul and it kinda made me take a deeper look into my life and into the things I needed to change. It helped me grow with not only my flexibility but as a person that is now in touch with the outside world. I thought that yoga would just have helped me with being able to touch my toes but it did more than that when it showed me another part of the world. I have learned multiple things about myself in yoga. One of the largest things is that I need to listen to myself. So many times I have pushed through pain and suffering mentally and physically and that made me in a worse state than I already was. Yoga really showed me that it’s okay to hurt and it’s okay to let those feelings free. It taught me not to keep things so bottled up and on my chest.

In the future I will probably not practice yoga on a daily basis. Mostly because it makes my joint hurt. But I think I am going to keep in my mind the practices that I learned about connecting with my inner body. I have become more aware of myself and the people around me. The most important thing to me is that I have become more happier with myself and learned not to be so upset all time. Yoga has made me grow and taught me new things that I would have never imagined. I am so forever grateful for the experience I got to have with my friends of feeling the opening and connection of the heart and soul but also seeing them perform ridiculous poses. Until next time, Namaste.

 

Have a yoga story you’d like to share?

Contact me to do a Guest Post of your own.

Heavy Lifting

I just finished lifting packages that said “Unassisted lift can result in injury”. It’s pouring down rain and they were delivered while I was out getting my kids from school. When I got back they were just sitting there, in front of the garage, soaking up the rain. I knew they needed to get inside the garage, but we don’t have a garage door like other garages. We have barn doors that we built and that have to be manually unlocked and then unlatched and then latched and locked shut again. It would have taken more time to open and close the doors than to work around them.

So, why am I telling you this very detailed story about moving packages?

Well, today I had planned to do a track run and then swim. I am about 5 days behind in my training; which means that I’m actually about a month behind in my training. Hence all of the two-a-days. I got up, did what I needed to do to get out of the house. Dropped the kids at school and ran two errands. After being almost an hour behind I ran a third errand. Then, I looked at my schedule for the day and it was basically blank. I just had a few easy computer things to do…..no serious commitments.

And then I thought about how my legs ached and it was kind of chilly and gloomy out. It wasn’t raining right then, but it had been and more was coming. I thought about a lot of things…..

I thought about how I haven’t spent much time with friends lately, not even talking because I’m not in a sharing mood.

I thought about how my relationship is going through a rough patch and I feel like everything I do to calm it doesn’t work but everything I do to fight for things makes it worse as well.

I thought about how upset I am with my sister and how our relationship is bad right now too.

I thought about how helpless I feel to change my current situation and how helpless I feel to help my family through some tough times they’re having.

I thought about my grandmother who is currently in the hospital with CHF far away in Iowa.

I admitted out loud, to myself, that I AM DOWN.

And then, I got in my car, ran one more errand and went home. I skipped working out today because I can. I did my computer work and then got some water, crawled under a blanket on the couch, and watched a little HULU. I took a me day, not to be sad and wallow, but to take care of myself. Today was not my day for working out, but tomorrow will be…..or so I thought.

And then the boxes arrived…..in the rain.

I tell you this story because I have one main goal behind this blog: Honesty. I am a fitness professional who sometimes struggles to exercise. I am not perfect and it doesn’t always come easily for me. And because I can be honest about this struggle, hopefully you too can be honest about the days when you struggle. And when we can be honest, we can also be compassionate. Today I took all of my heavy heart and let it sit and rest. I treated myself well and honestly recognized that today was not a good day to push any more than what I had.

A lot of bloggers I read write about the spoons…..about running out of them by the time they get dressed. I didn’t run out of spoons today. I still had enough left to lift those boxes and drag them into the garage through the rain that was pouring inside and out. I have enough left to parent my children and to be an active participant in my life. I am strong and not just physically.

Tomorrow will be another day and I will be out there running the streets with a smile on my face as wide as it will reach. But, for now, I’m going to go and dry off and get back to my snugly blanket + two kids.

 

What do you do when it’s a heavy lifting day for you?

How much honesty and compassion have you given yourself today?