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.

Wellness Wednesday #7 – Changing My Mind

I haven’t been as successful as I had hoped with posting weekly Wellness Wednesday posts, but I feel like I have been better about reflecting upon these elements of wellness. When last we “talked” we were discussing Feelings. Today I chose to combat some of my negative attitudes and emotions toward chiropractors and I went to one to have my shoulder evaluated. If you follow my training on Map My Run you will have seen many posts this past week about my shoulder clicking and popping. I may have an injury, but… Continue reading “Wellness Wednesday #7 – Changing My Mind”

Wellness Wednesday #6 – Under Pressure!

It’s been 15 days since my last post. However, I’m not too bummed about it. I’m still being far more regular than I was last fall and that is an improvement by anyone’s measure. The last Wellness Wednesday post was about Eating. That can cause a lot of stress for anyone to handle in the best cases. For me, my eating of late has been all over the place. I find myself choosing and wanting to choose more things that I consider “healthy”….although I hate using that word.

Recently I read a post on Fit is a Feminist Issue about tracking the variety of foods you eat. We are kind of in a rut at our house with meals and produce and other plant based foods. Tonight will be one of our favorites….burrito bowls. This usually consists of rice and beans and avocados and salsa and whatever else we dream to put into the bowl. I know, I know….the last post was about EATING, so why am I still talking about it? Well, because Eating tends to lead to stress for some people and stress is one of our FEELINGS, and that’s the main focus of our discussion today… Continue reading “Wellness Wednesday #6 – Under Pressure!”

The Word “DOWN”

I searched my old posts for the word “DOWN” today and found a fair amount for the past few years. Why? Because (although not currently formally diagnosed) I suffer from depression from time to time. It’s something I sought treatment for once in my life. Treatment that was offered didn’t work for me. It was a combination of medications and therapy. I found neither to be helpful. I’ve found exercise to be helpful and journaling to be helpful, but both are sometimes just patches on a gaping whole in my heart. Today the patch isn’t holding. Today I am down.

I decided to get on here and write instead of continuing to lay in bed and feel depressed. I can feel depressed and hopeless while not laying in bed. I also feel sad, scared, and angry. The anger is usually what motivates me to start moving. And then when I think about being angry and how it hurts to feel angry, I get sad again. And then I start crying and trying to figure out what would help. Time. That’s about it. I just need time to move from this state of being to the next state of being.

I read an interesting article on NBCNews.com the other day:

How Being Angry Can (Sometimes) Be Good for You

but I’m not interested in being angry right now. I want to feel good and good seems a million miles away, but getting out of bed is one of the first steps in the right direction. Writing here is my second step. This tells me a little more about how to be me:

I take little steps.

This was really evident in the way that I approached running awhile back. I wanted to get more consistent and faster, so I started running the shortest course I had and added on a little at a time. I need to remember that it’s not big steps that motivate me, it’s little ones.  And

I’m a marathoner.

When I work on a project, like myself or work, I take a long time to do it. Everything in life takes me time. And sometimes that means I have to step away from the work in order to better assess if I’m headed in the right direction. Today I needed to get in bed and just be for a minute….I needed to get away from life for a minute to reassess…and then start back up again. Even this far into writing and I’m already feeling a little more “normal”. Finally,

Sometimes I just can’t decide who I am.

When thinking about the promotion vs. prevention focused personalities I’d say I’m pretty much a split down the middle. Promotion focused individuals are looking for achievement; something I’m always seeking….to feel like I’ve finished something and done it successfully. Prevention focused people are seeking to avoid consequences like loss and punishment; this is also me. I am a health and fitness professional partly because I want to avoid the health problems that have been prevalent in my family members. I budget because I’m afraid of being in debt. I had a speeding ticket and am now terrified of getting another. Yet, I’m always looking for gains. Sometimes….I’m just not one or the other.

More of what I’ve learned about myself today is that it’s okay to be me, even when me is not who I want to be.

Please share a few of your thoughts and join me tomorrow as I finish exploring this portion of Rubin’s book.

Meditation Monday #42 – How to Meditate: The 5 Koshas (Manomaya)

I swear….I sit down to the computer to write on Monday and what happens? The skies open and the rain falls down! This is the third Monday in a row in which it is raining as I’m writing. Odd since I write at different times of day, but it keeps our theme congruent.

Did you have a great weekend? I have been a little under the weather and went to see the Nurse Practitioner this morning. Nothing major, but it made me want to lay around all day Saturday. I think we’re supposed to have days like that sometimes. However, it makes me bored with my life because I’m so used to doing.

And today is Monday and I’m doing what I can.

I like that phrase and use it often….doing what I can. Why do I like it so much? Because it tells me that I don’t always need to do it all. Hopefully I’ll have a little more of a post on that for you tomorrow. But, for today, what I can and want to do is to talk about Manomaya. Manomaya is the third layer of the body in yoga. Manas is a term often used for the mind, so some people translate Manomaya to be the mental sheath. Others consider the many functions of the mind and split it between the intellectual sheath, which I’ll write about next week, and the emotional sheath.

I found this heat map of the body during different emotions and it made me think about how all parts of you are connected when it comes to emotions. Think about the emotion of anger. Even when I just think of anger my teeth clench and my jaw hurts. My eyes feel like they narrow and my face scowls. I feel hot….red hot.

Now let’s flip the coin and think about love. When I think about love my face relaxes into a state of serenity. My breath heaves in my chest as if I’m full of life. If I think about love for my children I feel warm and relaxed. If I think about love and passion for my husband I feel my stomach a flutter.

Pacheco’s book asks the following questions of Manomaya:

  • How do I want to feel?
  • Which people, places, and activities nurture and balance my emotional life?
  • What does emotional balance feel like in my body?
  • How do I stand, sit, move, and breathe?

I especially like the first and last questions for today. How do I want to feel? It says that we have somewhat of a choice. Think about the exercise I just did with thinking about anger and love. Try it for yourself….think about fear. Think about envy. Think about surprise. What revelations do you have by just thinking an emotion?

How do I stand, sit, move, and breathe? Well, that last exercise can tell me how to answer this question. When I think about pride I smile, I sit a little taller, I move and stand with confidence….my head held high. I suppose if I felt pride I would breathe a little easier. In Chinese medicine and other practices we see that the body is connected. Even if you look at the body from a purely mechanical standpoint you see that there is a kinetic chain and that when one part is broken it effects the efficiency of the other parts.

So, consider this, if I can choose how I feel and in doing so choose how I live, why would I not choose happiness? Obviously it goes deeper than simple choice in some instances, but it’s a jumping off point. For me, today, I choose to look out the window in awe of the rain instead of in gloom. I choose to smile. I choose to sit tall. I choose to breathe easily.

Take a moment to choose an emotion.

Let me know how you live in that emotion.