How We Live Our Yoga

So, I’m reading this book called How We Live Our Yoga which is edited by Valerie Jeremijenko. I picked it up a few weeks ago because it’s been on my reading list at the library for some time now. But, honestly it’s not been that enjoyable. The stories are supposed to be about teacher and practioners’ journey into yoga, but they haven’t been inspiring to me. I haven’t learned anything. So, I didn’t bother saving this book for a Fave Reads Friday post. I’m tempted to give it up altogether, but I’ve only got 70 pages left. So, I will finish it out.

Today was my first yoga class in awhile. I’m back at CFCC and sooooo entirely thrilled about it! I had a few bumps in the road today because I haven’t been there in a year and I forgot to do a few things in prep for the semester. There was the usual cleaning up of the storage closet (aka moving Brazilian Ju Jitsu Club’s stuff out of my way), setting up mats (forgot the cleaning wipes and am missing mats and and blocks), and the awkward quiet as students filter in to my insanely warm room (either I sweat a lot more now or it’s just that I forgot to put in the work order for the temp to be low). But I got through two classes and I had a few smiles by the time everyone left. Continue reading “How We Live Our Yoga”

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Reacquainting Myself with Regular Yoga Practice

Can you believe it’s almost Fall? Where did Summer go?!

I start teaching yoga again one week from today, so I’m in preparation/panic mode this week. But, not totally panic mode because (ever the planner) I started preparing myself for teaching yoga again two weeks ago. I started by trying to schedule daily breathing time. Continue reading “Reacquainting Myself with Regular Yoga Practice”

WOW is Coming Back

It’s Wednesday of this week already and the rain is keeping me down. We’re watching our friend’s dog, hosting a meal train for a friend who had a baby, and preschool starts this week. On top of all of that I traveled last weekend to Asheville for a NETA Yoga Foundations workshop with a wonderful group of women and I’m all out of whack on my training. Oh, and did I mention that my dryer is currently out of commission?

One thing that has also been lacking on the blog lately (and I know I skipped Meditation Monday this week) is WORKOUT WEDNESDAY! It’s been a hot minute since I posted a video or information on a yoga pose (since April!) and part of the reason has been SUMMER and job transition and life.

This week in particular is bad because of everything I listed above, plus my training partner is out of town and it’s hard for me to stay motivated to workout in the rain when I don’t have anyone to run with…..I’m an Obliger. But, the drive is still there, deep inside of me, wanting to come out. And because I’m switching jobs and won’t be teaching yoga on the regular, Workout Wednesday posts are going to help me maintain my rhythm in that practice. Starting next week I will be posting a small series of poses each week and eventually building up to a longer class. It’s going to be sort of the same way that I was teaching Yoga I and Yoga II at CFCC.

Next Wednesday we’ll be starting at the beginning….Awakening Poses. If you’ve done them before, it’ll be review and a great way to wake up for the day. If you’ve never done them before, come check them out! I promise you won’t be disappointed!

Other things to look for from the blog include the return of Guest Yoga Stories on Thursdays (starting tomorrow), continued Meditation Monday (back on Monday), more Fave Reads Friday (working on my Gretchen), and the random thoughts I have popping in from time to time. So, take a deep breath, keep calm, and OM!

Meditation Monday #43 – How to Meditate: The 5 Koshas (Vijnanamaya)

Who am I?

What is my purpose?

These are two of the questions that Pacheco’s book addresses when it comes to the Vijnanamaya layer of the 5 Koshas. The Jnana path of yoga is the path of knowledge and that makes sense as the Vijnanamaya layer is the intellectual layer.

In the practice of Jnana yoga we seek to understand deeper who we are and why we are here. This is a practice I have described before using the Dharmachakra Mudra. Asking, “What comes next?” “Why am I here?” and “How do I serve?” are all part of that deeper exploration and the path toward enlightenment.

The third question that Pacheco asks is

When does my intellectual layer thrive?

This is more important to me at this moment than the first two questions. Tomorrow is my last day teaching at CFCC for awhile. I don’t know for sure if I will return there, but I hope to. I have been teaching yoga there for the past 3 years and with each successive semester I have learned a little more about myself and about yoga. I have been growing intellectually through my practice and through teaching. That will be going away this fall as I transition to teaching a different type of curriculum at UNCW.

Does that mean that I won’t be learning anything new or anything new about myself? Not at all, but it won’t be yoga driven and I worry that I will lose a lot of that deep and meaningful self-study. I have new things to learn in order to teach these new classes and I will be challenging myself in a different physical way. I will also have access to a pool, so I will be challenging myself to relearn how to swim for fitness.

The Wellness Inventory program that I’ve been working through this summer has been a new learning experience and it has encouraged me to set new goals for connecting to the many different aspects of my own wellness. One thing that I have been motivated to do is meditate more and to spend time breathing and playing with my kids. I’m not as successful at these elements (so far) as I had hoped, but I hope that teaching this will also help affirm these practices outside of yoga for me. Remember, I’m an Obliger and it may help me to commit to changes by committing to my students.

Finally, my intellectual layer thrives when I’m reading. I’ve started a new Gretchen Rubin book and I hope to find more and more time to read. I have some introspection going on with that reading as well and I’m learning more about myself and how to be the best version of me I can be. So, now I ask

What is it that helps you grow intellectually?

Books? Meditation?

How do you learn?

Meditation Monday #33 – How to Meditate: The Four Aims of Life (Dharma)

Last week I started back up with the How to Meditate series on the blog. I’m giving you a little insight into the deeper content of Yoga that we cover in my Yoga II course at CFCC. So, for the next four weeks we’ll be talking about Purusharthas or the Four Aims of Life. Some will translate this Sanskrit word to mean the soul’s purpose or the goals of human existence….so we’re going to take them one by one in meditation as they hold so much weight.

How do you have a successful, satisfying, and balanced existence in this world?

Our first signpost on this path to human fulfillment is Aredharma (more commonly referred to as Dharma) or our DUTY in life. This element of our study also refers to our ethics, our truth, and our responsibilities in life. This ties in nicely with our third chakra and our power to choose and to stand up for what we believe in…..but that’s a discussion for another day. Continue reading “Meditation Monday #33 – How to Meditate: The Four Aims of Life (Dharma)”

Workout Wednesday #4 – Beginners’ Yoga Sequence

So, this morning I did it…..I got up when I heard my kids up; I got ready; I committed to running before the rain; and I did it! Now it’s rainy and gloomy here and my body feels awful because I haven’t slept well and I’ve been terrible about exercise.

It’s been 5 weeks since my last run and I’ve only done 3 all year, but running is not my only measure of success. I’ve snuck in a few walks, I’ve been HIITing, and Yoga has been there for me A LOT lately!

For today I’m sharing with a you a video I made today, by request, of the yoga sequence that I did last week with my CFCC ConEd Beginner’s Yoga class. Ann and Kelly…..here’s to you! Enjoy!

No modifications are offered in this video, so remember that you should only work within the limits of what your body can reasonably do without being guided directly by an instructor. Hope you enjoy and Namaste!

Meditation Monday #27 – What the world needs now….

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You know that song “What the World Needs Now is Love” ? I feel like that song pertains to our country these days. So many negative things going on and yet we overlook the beauty of the things around us.

Last week I had a great meditation experience with my Yoga II class. We were working with Japa Meditation which is a form of meditation in which you repeat a mantra over and over again much like praying the rosary. I gave my students a few options including the one you see in the image above. They were very struck by the meaning of the Sanskrit mantra: Continue reading “Meditation Monday #27 – What the world needs now….”

Workout Wednesday #2 – Breath of Joy

Last Thursday my classes at CFCC started the semester with breathing exercises. We end that first day with the Breath of Joy which I mentioned back in my 30 Days of Yoga post. They leave to start the new semester feeling awake, energized, and smiling big (mostly because it’s one of their first silly things I ask them to do in class).

Last night I was struggling with what to share today for my second Workout Wednesday post/video and during the Farewell Address by President Obama, it came to me: Breath of Joy! Why? Because it makes you happy and this week for me has been about being happy. See Monday’s post for more on that…..and without further ado:

What makes you happy right now?

Day 2 – Hermine Stole My Run and Yoga Cures

Good afternoon….it’s raining here. Yep…..rain…..like lots of it.

I woke up to thunder and lightning at 3:15am this morning and my first thought was:

THE KITCHEN RUG!

Which sadly had been set outside yesterday afternoon to dry and was now drenched. It has since been moved under our covered patio to get less wet until it can dry out.

My second thought was:

Turn off the run alarm…

Because I knew I had a busy day ahead of me so I was getting up 30 minutes earlier to run, but Hermine stole my run today. I may brave the dark and random leaves that roll across my path and scare me to death. I may run blind sometimes and worry that every sound is an animal coming to eat me and every person is about to stab me. But, I don’t mess with lightning.

But on to the real reason for today’s post…..Day 2 of my 30 Days of Yoga Challenge.

Today I taught yoga at CFCC and we covered the Half Series and also talked more about the Yamas and the Niyamas and how they fit into our lives. The entire time I was teaching I was having a problem with my back….not to mention that it started raining in my class during the second section! 😦

My hamstrings were also cramping up on me and my legs kept falling asleep when I was cross legged. This are all problems I’ve dealt with individually before, but never all at once. I started to panic internally and think that maybe something ominous was going on because that’s where my brain has been of late. However, I decided to Eventually I decided on two things:

  1. I am probably sore and stiff because I run on Friday mornings and I didn’t today, so I need to adjust my practice for this afternoon to include some poses that will work on these areas.
  2. My practice this weekend needs to be self-study focused.

So, today my 5 minutes will be spent doing a little series of poses I love that includes Lizard, Half Monkey, Gate, Side Plank, Pigeon, Down Dog, and repeat opposite side. And this weekend I will pick up the Gates book for each of the next three days and get back to a little inward focus.

Is your fitness routine suffering from Hermine?

What does your practice look like today?

Have you ever had a minor panic attack while teaching and kept it to yourself?

Does it rain in your house?

Did you read that Yoga helps back pain?

Review Examines Clinical Trial Evidence on Complementary Approaches for Five Painful Conditions