TOLT: But I Won’t Do That!

You all remember the Meatloaf jam from back in your middle school days…..I will do anything for love…..but I won’t do that!

Well, welcome to another TOLT hosted by Amanda at Running With Spoons. Today I want to expand off of my post from Monday and continue with a series on my own Happiness Project: MY BEST BODY.

I’ve spent a little more time considering my post and my goal and what I will do moving forward and I’ve come up with only three things so far that I promise not to do:

  1. Take before and after photos
  2. Go on a diet
  3. Use exercise as punishment or food as a reward

These are three things that align pretty well with my own living principles as well as some of the tenets of yoga.

Ahimsa – Cause no harm

I, as a fitness professional, know that dieting is harmful to the body. I hate the fact that this simple little four letter word that means all of the food you eat has become something so vile and negative that I have to make a statement about how I won’t go on one. Technically we’re all on a diet…..we all eat. I decided not to harm myself in other ways during this adventure by being mindful of my workouts, checking in with myself on the regular through meditation, and keeping in mind that this is a journey of my whole body getting well….not just trying to get thin.

Santosha – Contentment

I need to remain content as I travel this path. It’s okay that right now I am battling my body, this too will get better. It’s okay that I will never again be a size 2 Juniors. I’m 36 and have two children and care more about being able to someday do a pull-up than to bare my midriff for attention. This is a project and a process, I have to be ready each day to face the challenges with an air of contentment: I AM.

Svadhyaya/Satya: Self-Study and Honesty

I paired these two together because they both also encompass the idea of non-judgement of myself and others by living who I am and by learning about that. This is why I don’t need before and after photos…..I have before and during and after blog posts. I have my meditation journals. I can track my fitness and all of the other measurements I will use along the way. However, as I track I need to go back to Santosha and remember to be content with the progress that does and doesn’t come.

NUMBER THREE

On a side note, I found myself trying to do number three a lot this week. Yesterday I ate a snack with my little guy. I had a super hungry moment (most likely fueled by the Prednisone) in which I ate the snack so mindlessly and then had the thought pop into my head “Thank goodness I’m going for a run now”. Bad me! But I also need to be kind with myself in my thoughts…..I need to avoid falling into the disordered eating traps of rewards and punishments that come with food and exercise. This project needs to be about me being well and functioning.

I can’t guarantee that this is going to work and I’m still in the process of defining my plan, but this was the next step.

Have you ever entered into a Happiness Project?

How do you incorporate the yoga principles into your life challenges?

What won’t you do?

Meditation Monday #25 -Positive Energy and the Authentic Self

I am siting in the airport on Sunday night and writing this on my phone. The airline took my bag and my laptop with it. I guess it was too big for my flight.

I was traveling for NETA again this weekend and taught a Yoga Foundations course to a small group of people in Manheim, Pennsylvania at a fitness center located inside of a retirement community. They were beautiful people who inspired my post for this Monday.

Each time I travel I fear, but only slightly, that the workshop will not go well….that I will not connect with the participants and therefore struggle to present. However,  this was one of the great weekends in which I felt my authentic self shine through and a connection established. Not only does that mean that I am more easily able to deliver the material,  but also that I gain a sense of self satisfaction in fulfilling my Dharma. I have most definitely been called in life to be a teacher. And recently I have been teaching a lot about the Yamas and Niyamas as well as studying them in my personal meditation practice. I have been re-reading Do Your OM Thing and keep resonating on the final Niyama: Surrender or Devotion to a Higher Power (Isvara pranidhana).

Pacheco highlights in her book that a) Yoga is not a religion and b) that the higher power can also be one’s Best Self. I have always reiterated the first of those things, but tend to seek something outside of myself such as the good of all humankind. This weekend I did a free writing exercise meditation to clear some negative thoughts from my mind. In doing so I came to one major conclusion: I really like my authentic self. However, something else struck me in my writing and that was that I think my authentic self is hiding in parts of my life where I need it to be expressed most.

My authentic self is naturally positive and caring and happy. I am happy with my children, my work, my friends, my yoga practice, but I don’t always live as if I am happy with those things. I don’t always devote myself or give over to my best and authentic self. This negates a few more of the yamas and niyamas.

First, your authentic self is living your truth (Satya). Second, the opposite of a happy and positive person is a negative one. When I exude this negative energy into the world around me I am leaving reverberations for others and infecting them with this negativity  (Himsa – causing harm). Finally, I hoard these negative thoughts and feelings (violating Aparigraha) and pollute my mind, body, and soul (negating Saucha).

I could go further yet and find that this leaves me ill content  (not experiencing Santosha) and this steals my own happiness as well as that which belongs to those around me (Asteya). But I have decided that I want always to make ripples of positive energy in my world because I felt them this weekend in my workshop. I felt them leave me and enter others and I felt them rebound back in a way that brought me peace and joy and fortified my spirit of myself.

How would you describe your authentic self?

Do you keep him/her hidden away?

What are the reverberations of your thoughts, words, and actions on the world?

How are you doing with the Yamas and Niyamas these days?

Five Yamas Friday #5 – Living Them

Another Friday, another reflection on my Yoga Life…..

How has your week been? Mine has felt like catch-up due to late flights and sick kids. I have skipped all of my workouts so far and this has added to a feeling of unease and chaos.

What’s going well? I’ve been on task this week when it has come to work, I feel a little bit better about my future, and I am starting to live the Yamas so well that they feel like part of me instead of just something I’m having to make a conscious effort to exude.

Nonviolence

Honesty

Nonstealing 

Moderation

Nonhoarding

This week I had two moments that bookended my week of Yamas. They were moments in which I felt like I lived my true self and maintained an authentic practice of the Yamas.

The first was during an argument when I realized and stated outloud that one of the worst things I have been doing in life is spouting angry words toward others during fights as a defense mechanism. I don’t like to say hurtful things, it hurts me to say them and it doesn’t feel like me at all. If I am mad, I want to be heard for the honest expression of my feelings instead of feeling forced into a corner and made to fight like an animal with words as my claws. I am a nonviolent person; I feel that in my soul. I am choosing from now on to practice the nonviolence that my heart aims for.

The second time was during class today. I was expressing honesty to my students and told them that it is easy for me to be kindhearted toward and accepting of others far more than myself. I know, because we’ve all heard it before, that the hard work is supposed to come from inside first. It just hasn’t worked this way for me. For me, it’s been easier to find ways to be more accepting of others and then, slowly, turning those skills inward.

I am trying hard not to hoard, any longer, ideals about myself that do not fit who I am. I am trying hard to shed those same images that others may have of me. I am embracing aging this week as a tactic to stop judging myself. I haven’t pulled a single gray hair out all week. That might seem superficial to someone else, but it’s one way that I can accept who I am and how I am in this moment. By doing this I am not stealing the experience of life….of the present.

My yamas are becoming more and more a part of my daily life….

How are they doing in yours?

5 Yamas Friday #4 – A Difficult Week

I am writing this post very late on a Friday night, in my hotel room in Columbia ,  MD , on my phone. My computer is having WiFi connectivity issues at the hotel and it’s just one more thing this week that has put me out of sync with my life.

I don’t know if it’s the strep throat recovery? I don’t know if it is traveling two weekends in a row? I don’t know if it is the time change? I do know that part of it is the fact that I’ve only run once this week. I do know that part of it has been this election coming to a head. And I do know that yoga has helped me again this week to be a better and stronger person.

I have tried my hardest with the Yamas this week than I have at any point in my life. I have considered others and avoided the protests that are taking a turn from peaceful to violent. I have chosen my words wisely so as to be both truthful and nonharming. I have been respectful of the values of others around me so as not to steal away their rights of expression , their right to their own beliefs, their right to choose. And I have worked hard to let go of anxiety, sadness ,  regret, and fear.

The world is going to be what it is going to be and I have no control over Internet connections, the seasons, and other people. I do have the ability to be the best me that I can be, perpetuate the values that are important to me by raising my children to be open minded and caring individuals , and to practice respect for those around me while working for a better tomorrow . Each moment is here and gone….I am contented to be able to be in it.

What have you done with the Yamas this week?

Five Yamas Friday #3 – Back to 530am

So, it’s happening, I’m going back to working out at 530am and I started this morning. Why? Because I’ve been unsatisfied in the way things are going with my schedule of late. This month, so far, I have skipped 6 runs, 5 meditations, and have practiced Garland pose more in my classes than on my own. So, 530am time is coming for ME as a gift to myself. A way to celebrate each day as a present (at least Monday through Friday).

So, now that that’s out there, How has your week been? Are you ready to talk about the Yamas again? I am!

Nonviolence – I haven’t really considered a way to be less harmful this week except for continuing to try and be patient in my interactions. I had midterms to grade this last weekend and I extended some leeway to a few of my students who failed to accept. This was disconcerting for a few reasons, but did not deter my positive attitude toward the students themselves. They are adults and will make their own choices, I just have to trust their judgment is the right thing for them.

Honesty – Owning up to my lack of ability to commit to the goals for this month is about as honest as it gets. It’s also about being realistic with myself and realizing that my heart may not be in some things from time to time and therefore I need to prioritize the things in my life that truly make me happy.

Nonstealing – We are currently under a water usage restriction in my town due to the flooding in NC from Hurricane Matthew. I know that this means that every time I choose to use more water than I need I am stealing from those most in need. It also means I run the risk of a $500/day fine, so we’ve been taking quick showers (even when I feel like I need to stand in the water longer) and flushing our toilet less. I know that sounds kind of gross to some people, but imagine those without the option to shower at the moment! I can stink a little more for their sake.

Moderation – I’ve been trying to sleep a little more this week because I feel like I don’t need as much tv time at night and I need more rest instead. Moderating the way I’m spending my time also provides me with more energy which means I’m not stealing from myself and I’m being honest about what I need and not harming my body.

Nonhoarding – Honestly (again) I haven’t gotten rid of one thing I need to at the moment. I’m not intentionally holding on to anything, but I just haven’t gotten to the point of clearing out spaces at this time. Trying to keep tackling that list that I am slowly crossing off and feeling, little by little, the weight lifting from my shoulders.

How did you do with the Yamas this week?

Do you have any tricks/tips to help me get better at my practice and/or organize my life?

What do you think of 530am exercise?

Five Yamas Friday #2

How has your week been? I know it’s only been since Wednesday, but it feels like I’ve been away from the blog for so long….and yoga, although I taught this morning. Something has had to give this week and for the next three days I have “CATCH UP” written on my schedule so that I can clear my lists. That and grade midterms. This is always one of my favorite times of the semester because I get to know my students a little better through their midterms.

The main theme of the midterm is to reflect on their yoga journey thus far this semester. I do this on the regular with meditation, the blog, and my teaching. I even wrote a whole series this spring about my yoga journey (12 Years of Yoga). But today I’m here to reflect on the week past and specifically the 5 Yamas.

  • Nonviolence – I have been careful with my body this weeks as I have still been suffering from allergies. With that mostly in check I tackled my Wednesday run like nobody’s business and dropped time and felt free. The run went great and even better was the workout after. However, my knees spoke to me the rest of the day and into Thursday’s teaching. I went back to my knee stretches and did some more supported deep squats and that took care of the pain for me. I was able to teach this morning pain free. I feel like my patience with others has also been high on the nonviolence scale this week. I’ve just been trying not to let too many things get to me and being as calm and understanding as I can in my interactions. Sometimes that means just shutting my mouth and walking away from a situation and other times I’ve lost my temper a bit in order to “Set the record straight”.
  • Honesty – If I’m truly being honest though, the “record” is subjective to the person speaking it. Things don’t always happen the way that you feel or remember them. I think that part of honest is realizing that your truth is only yours.
  • Nonstealing – I have tried to stay on top of my 30 minute work cycles this week so that I am not wasting my time. However, it has stolen a few other things from my schedule and this has not made me feel as satisfied with what I have accomplished as I had hoped. I stole away yesterday, twice, to take my kids to the park…..I mean it’s almost 80 degrees here in OCTOBER! Why wouldn’t we celebrate a cool 80 degree day at the park?
  • Moderation – I have tried to spend less time sitting down this week so that I feel like I’m getting stuff done, but it’s also led to a few early bed times. Moderation doesn’t mean go, go, go all the time….it also means I need to rest and I’ve been glad to recognize that going to bed before 10am once in awhile is not the end of the world.
  • Nonhoarding – I had to let go of the idea, this week, that I had some things figured out. I read a great thing in the Gates’ book about clutter in our physical lives and our emotional lives. I put a few things in the donation bag when I cleaned my room this week, stopped myself from adding more things to the schedule until after other things are completed, and let go of the idea that I have to have it all.
I feel like this painting today, but when I try to go to the blogspot that it was posted on I end up on spam, so don’t click on it.

Overall I have felt like this week has exemplified a lot of what it means to me to be yoga.

How did you live your Yamas this week?

Five Yamas Friday #1 – Delayed by Hurricane Matthew

I’m writing this post on Saturday instead of Friday for the simple fact that I decided to move my children out of the direct path of the hurricane yesterday. It’s “only” a Category 1 storm now, but I didn’t want them to have to sit in the dark for hours on end and wonder about if the water was going to come inside. So, we traveled north and west to family and are now just sitting through rain. It’s a horribly gloomy day.

But, time for reflection on the week past and the 5 Yamas that I am trying to live a little better each day….

  • Nonviolence
    • I did some good things for myself specifically this week. If you check in on my runs this week I had a great plan for going the distance. However, Wednesday afternoon my tonsils and sinuses revolted as a part of this impending storm and allergies. I ended up not running that day. I thought I could teach yoga on Thursday, but chose to rest instead. By Thursday night I thought maybe I could run, but listened to the fact that things were still not clear in my head and waited until Saturday (because of travel yesterday). My run this morning was also strained and I’m still living on allergy meds, getting green stuff out, and feeling the pressure in my face. Have you ever had your upper teeth hurt with each bite?
    • For others I have been trying to be more patient and to continue to choose good things to think about the choices that others make and to say nice things about them and to them as well.
  • Honesty
    • I can’t think of anything specifically in regards to living an honest life, but I have been more honest about myself with myself. Understanding the things that are important to me and making sure that I prioritize those. Sometimes what you want is more important than what you think you should do.
  • Nonstealing
    • I’m trying very hard not to get distracted by other things and not allow myself to steal from my own time. I wrote earlier this week about distractions and mostly I’m sticking to not allowing things to take all of my time and to staying focused on one thing at a time.
  • Moderation
    • This is a big one for me in so many ways. I’m watching my calendar fill up and trying to make sure that I’m choosing to be more moderate as it goes. I am getting done with projects and not taking on more. This is also something that goes in regards to the way that I eat and exercise. Having a plan has been helpful in allowing me to remember that I don’t have to do it all each day. I can choose to eat mindfully (I don’t always remember to do this) and know that it’s okay not to eat the M&M’s just because they’re sitting on the counter…..but man that sounds good to eat right now. 😉
  • Nonhoarding
    • Letting go has always been my biggest struggle and this week I would love to finally get rid of a few things on my plate. I had to remind myself at a meeting this week that I am not responsible for everyone. Let go of that need to take charge of everything, to put everything on my plate, let go of control.

Each little step in the right direction is like a drop of water falling into the pond…..the ripples reach outward to making bigger and bigger changes in my life.

How did you live your Yamas this week?

I am not INSANE, but….

I’m a little behind (almost two weeks) in writing this post, so THANK YOU to Amanda at Running With Spoons for hosing her regular Think Out Loud Thursday so that I can share this with you as a nice little photo dump.

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Happy Turkey Day 2015!

I am not INSANE, but…I did drive all the way from NC to IA with two kids under the age of 5; by myself for Thanksgiving.

We left on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving….1200 miles ahead of us (supposed to take 17.5 hours). We were all smiles and ready to go!

IOWA! Here we come!
IOWA! Here we come!

Luckily, the kids fell asleep shortly after this photo was taken and I was able to drive for awhile uninterrupted. I had already been up since 5:30am and had taught 5 hours worth of yoga. I knew I was in for an adventure as the hotel we had booked was an 8 hour drive away on a good day.

We stopped….a lot, because the little guy decided that he’s now potty training. Yep, on the way to Iowa. We finally got to dinner, somewhere barely inside of West Virginia, at the fabulous Applebee’s. The kids were excited for swirly straws! We did their appetizer

Have you ever been so happy to drink water?
Have you ever been so happy to drink water?

special so that dinner was cheap. I had tolls to pay for! Then, it was back into the car for another couple of hours. The kids were sooo tired by the time we stopped at our hotel (still in West Virginia), that they didn’t really notice me carrying them in or putting their pajamas on.

Sleeping like a baby!
Sleeping like a baby!

I too crashed for a few hours and then it was time for the start of day two! Continental breakfast isn’t what I remember it to be…either that or I’ve been spoiled by hotels that give free HOT breakfast, but the boys didn’t mind. They were just excited to get to Iowa!

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Yum….some sort of “danish”. There wasn’t even any fruit at this place!

As soon as we got on the road, my hip seized up on me! It’s been a recurring problem that I’ve had since birth, but that’s a story for a different day…..There’s only so much stretching you can do while driving a car, so I improvised a make shift “foam roller” out of my water bottle. I had used cold cans of soda (something I rarely drink but brought along for a sugar boost) the day before to keep any inflammation down, but needed something a little deeper this time. 20151125_083631Setting it right into my piriformis did the trick! I can’t tell you the hours that I drove like this off and on in both the trip to Iowa and back again! The states were flying by on day two…. Kentucky (we saw hardly any horses, much to the disappointment of the boys),

Needing to stretch the legs!
Needing to stretch the legs!

Indiana (why is this state so long?), and then finally into Illinois for the cheapest gas of the trip and LUNCH! We went with Panera, because although they have priced me out on trips for work….the three of us can easily share a You Pick Two  and a chocolate chip cookie for a decent price. We went with a Sierra Turkey and Mac and Cheese. 20151125_135145They were both a big hit! We had not all that much further to go (Illinois is kind of slow driving) and we started to hit some rain, so I encouraged the boys to close their eyes and we’d be there before you know it! We pulled in around 6:15 that evening to everyone’s relief. The adventures were varied and many that week. I didn’t take enough pictures (I was living the moment instead of recording it).

The new haircut....
The new haircut….
The last cut with my hairstylist before she moves to Colorado....so envious!
The last cut with my hairstylist before she moves to Colorado….so envious!
Bowling night with Grandma and my nephews, brother, and sister in law.
Bowling night with Grandma and my nephews, brother, and sister in law.
Certain people in our family have a habit of letting loose in the wrong direction.
Certain people in our family have a habit of letting loose in the wrong direction.

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I swear he grew into a real little boy on this trip!
I swear he grew into a real little boy on this trip!
Saying good bye to Grandma. Do I have a teenager on my hands?
Saying good bye to Grandma. Do I have a teenager on my hands?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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After dinner they snoozed to the second hotel.

And before we knew it, it was time to head back on the road. The trip home was a little harrier than the trip there. I overslept on waking the second morning.

Sharing a HOT breakfast...eggs!
Sharing a HOT breakfast…eggs!

We hit traffic, road construction, bad weather, accidents, and rerouted. The thing about the trip in general is this…..I tried to remind myself the entire way that my kids are kids. They are going to get tired of riding in a car, watching movies, seeing the same thing out the window, eating at restaurants, staying at someone else’s house, etc, etc, etc. This fall I have cultivated some serious patience that I needed for this trip. I kept my calm, took it in stride, and tried to be sensitive to their situation throughout the journey. And I’m proud to say, that I only snapped at them once: coming across the bridge into town because they were being so loud and yelling about how they wanted out of their car seats that I missed the turn and we had to go around and try again…..Man I hate driving into Wilmington!

Have you ever been so daring?

How do you travel as a family?

How is your patience holding up this holiday season?

Smells Like Team Spirit

I’m in Marion, NC for the weekend for another NETA workshop and luckily for me Fox is covering the Iowa State v. Iowa football game! You seriously cannot hear how giddy I am over this! The game was late to come on tv due to the Yankees v. Blue Jays game going into 11 innings, so I decided to head down to the ol’ fitness center and run on the treadmill (which I hate to do) and watch the game there. Just something to keep me from sitting in my room all night. I conquered 4.17 miles of running up to speeds of 7.5 mph. It was a good run. Check it out at MapMyRun!

So wish I were there! Picture courtesy of Wikipedia

However, while I was running my brain started thinking. ISU is My Team…in this game, but who is “My Team” in real life? You know that old saying, “It takes a village”? Well, I started considering all the ways that I depend on different people for different things. It’s kind of nice to know that I’m not alone in this big world and that I have go-to’s. On Sunday I wrote a little about Ahimsa and non-harming of myself so that I have enough to give to others. This week I have needed my teammates more than ever. Here is a little week in review:

Monday

Monday was the start of the walking group that I am leading as an inMotion coach for the local New Balance store. I plan to write a lot more about that and my new shoes in the future. Here I was gaining a whole new team in my life. So far it’s consisted of the three women signed up for the program and the two people who work full time at the store. Each of these people is bringing something new into my life and pushing me to be a better me. I feel like it’s a little piece of what I lost when I left the world of personal training and campus recreation. I am leading and creating a group training program while organizing special event sessions. I am a coach…that is my role on this team.

Tuesday

Back to my full day of yoga on Tuesday. Here I am part of several different teams. First there is the morning class of mostly retirees who are kind enough to share about themselves and ask many questions about my life and the practice of yoga. I feel like I can share with them about My Yoga Life. Here I am still the coach because I lead the sessions. I continue coaching as I move through my teams at CFCC and then into the night with more classes for the City of Wilmington. At each place I have a team manager who takes care of important business at the facility and the organization of the classes….I don’t have to do it all.

Also on Tuesday I have another team….on this team I am the team manager. It’s my family and we have a specifically coordinated schedule to run through that day. This is where Cote, our nanny, comes in. She is my Special Teams Coach. This Tuesday Ike had a little vomit incident in her car on the way to school. He missed school for the first time that day, but don’t worry, he wasn’t sick. She takes care of the most important part of my life for me when I’m not there and I have to rely on her to make the big decisions.

Wednesday

On Wednesday I took over with my home team again and we had dental appointments. Then there was tutoring that I do for my friend’s son. While I am his “tutor”, I count us more as teammates in this endeavor. I rely on him to provide me with the information about what he’s learning about and then also to give me the patience to remember how to do high school math 16 years later. The hubby and I also worked on some projects in the back and other than saying that we’re “co-owners” of the team, I can’t think of a better title for him. He is always there when I can’t be and supports my efforts to be the scheduler, financial officer, concessions and janitor.

Thursday

It was back to yoga in the early morning and then home to get Ike off to school. Eli and I spent the morning at the park where I took charge of my own fitness coaching again and then to the dentist once more. I had a Skype call with Sam on Thursday afternoon. She is my team owner at NETA. She schedules my weekends, gives me assignments, and has the final say on my work. I like having her as my team owner because I feel like she brings positive coaching aspects to her responsibilities. She’s not overbearing and a micro-manager; instead she’s very respectful of others’ ideas and talents and what each member of our NETA team brings to the field. That evening I was back with my New Balance team setting the pace and leading them through more walks.

Friday

As I traveled yesterday for work, it required me calling in part of our second string: the Grandparents. The boys are spending their weekend at their house while I am here in Marion and the hubby is at home working on projects around the house that are hard to do with kids around.

Now I am here in my room after my run feeling blessed to have so many others on my team. In yoga we talk about being part of something bigger than ourselves and uniting as part of one big yoga community. Who is part of your team? What role do you hold on your team?

Well, my team just lost….so…..Deep Breath together!

Living My Yoga Life

Hello All and Welcome to the New Site!

 

I apologize first and foremost as it is very messy! I will be changing and cleaning up a lot of stuff over the next few months. I hope to have all of the bugs worked out of the new site by the end of 2015 so as to start clean in 2016. Please bear with me during this time.

So, this is my first post on the new site and the reason it’s coming on the 6th day since I “moved” here is because life has happened. And it will always happen. I want to tell you about all of the amazing things that I have going on here, but this post should not be that long. So, instead I want to tell you about the new site a little more and why you should stick around and come around more often.

This site will be far more about how I am living my yoga life. What does that mean? Well, over the last year and a half of blogging I have spent more and more time thinking about how learning yoga and researching more about yoga has impacted the way that I live. I am first and foremost a fitness person, but yoga has changed the way that I approach life in all aspects….including fitness. I chose to move to my own site because I am a serious fitness professional and I wanted a place to direct those I teach to learn more about fitness and health, wellness and yoga. I wanted a place to write about how these things are an integral part of my every day life.

Each Tuesday I spend about 7 hours a day teaching yoga and Pilates. This past week in the classes at CFCC I began teaching about the different paths to enlightenment….that is the ultimate goal of all yoga practice. The path of knowledge is known as Jnana Yoga and is most often taken by studying of the scriptures of yoga practice. However, the yoga of thousands of years ago doesn’t necessarily apply to my life today. For one thing, I’m not a man living in India; and for another, I came from a postural practice first. However, I do love to study and learn about yoga and I do this mostly through reading all the books I can get my hands on.

Interestingly enough, a few weeks ago I checked out a book from the library entitled Do Your OM Thing by Rebecca Pacheco. I had failed to open this book for the entire three weeks that I had it checked out and then I moved my site with all of my intentions of living this new yoga life in my blog. I renewed the book, opened it up, and kicked myself a few times. Guess what her book is about? Living yoga in a modern society. So, needless to say, I am loving this book! Pacheco’s book provides suggested moments to “Do Your

OM Thing” and they have been helpful in defining my own yoga life further as well as giving me ideas for discussion questions for my classes to help them live their yoga more meaningfully. I hope to share with you some of these ideas as I write about my own experience. I have not yet checked out her blog, but you can find out more about Pacheco at OmGal.com.

The thing I am focusing on this week in regards to living my yoga is the very first Yamas of which I have discussed before: Ahimsa or Non-Harming. The first thing I need to do for myself (and for this blog) is to take care of myself. I need to make sure that I am not harming myself or others by over-scheduling myself and my family; by over-committing to others when I don’t have enough to give; and by not over-practicing the physical yoga as I get further into this semester. I encourage you to take a moment to think about what the word “Yoga” evokes in your mind when you think it or say it. Are you interested in living a more yoga life? Do you know what all that entails?

california trip 1
October 2008, My trip to LA as part of my new life

Join me and let’s take that next deep breath together!