Meditation Monday #28 – Muscles Gotta Eat

I spent the weekend in Delaware, Ohio presenting the NETA PT Workshop to the fabulous people at Get Fit LLC. My room at the “Quality” Inn left much to be desired…..

Crooked lights, random things in my sink, a shower curtain that wasn't installed correctly the first time, a drain that fell apart, curtains that don't close around the heater....and VALUE!
Crooked lights, random things in my sink, a shower curtain that wasn’t installed correctly the first time, a drain that fell apart, curtains that don’t close around the heater….and VALUE!

Not only did I manage to book myself, essentially, in a trucker motel, but I overlooked the fact that there was no fitness center. This weekend was meant to be my slow foray back into working out after being ill the last two weeks. Instead I opted for my current HIIT routine and only had one person come up to the third floor to knock…..squat jumps are not 3rd floor friendly in a trucker motel.

Maybe we should have more fitness themed hotels?

My favorite statement from the weekend was “Muscles Gotta Eat” because they do….they eat carbs and protein and fat….they are what eats when we’re burning calories. But, more on that later….

I thought about writing today about Gratitude Meditation, but decided instead to go back to the Gates’ book. The Day 74 reading was the last one on Santosha and I felt I needed to explore that theme a little further today. However, I was disappointed. Continue reading “Meditation Monday #28 – Muscles Gotta Eat”

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….”

Meditation Monday #26 – Reflections on Parenting

I plan to meditate on something else as well this afternoon, but lately I’ve been reflecting on my parenting and being the parent I want to be. I have made mistakes already along the way; I think we all have and all do at some point. So, I have two choices:

  1. Keep going and flying by the seat of my pants as I have been doing lately….or
  2. Go back to what was working when things were good

I’m sure you can guess which option seems more appealing to me at the moment. This is kind of like a pro’s/con’s list when it comes to changing your yoga/fitness/lifestyle routine in any sense. What’s easiest? Usually the answer to that is to stay the course we’re currently on. What’s best? That one is a little harder to answer.

For me, what’s best is to go back and re-institute the parenting techniques that were working for me when I had the best relationship with my children. Right now there’s a lot of fear of time-out and having things taken away and of other “punishments” in our house. Fear is not the place that I want to live from and I don’t want my children to live from a place of fear either.

Some people have told me that children are not little people and I’ve wrestled with this idea a lot over the years…..what is it that they’re truly lacking that doesn’t make them as “human” as adults? When doe we develop it? And lately I’ve been watching a documentary series on Netflix called The Beginning of Life: The Series. Image result for the beginning of life the seriesIt’s six different episodes and each one breaks down a different element of the young human child (including loss of childhood due to other circumstances). In watching this series there are a wide variety of experts in the field of child development who are interviewed; including teachers in Montessori schools. My oldest son currently attends a Montessori school and he went to a Montessori preschool last year that my youngest will attend this fall. So, I started thinking about Montessori and all the other things that were being presented in this series and a light-bulb came on for me. It was an AHA! moment…..enlightenment in yoga.

At my son’s school he treats his teacher’s with respect and they do the same. He is taught how to express his emotions and thoughts verbally. He is taught to talk it out when things are not going his way. At home he is a much different person and it is a much different environment. At home, recently, respect has been demanded and consequences many. This is not how it always was and now I see more defiance in his attitude toward me. I see him physically getting upset and jumping up and down when I let the shark music take over and I refuse to listen to him. We are in a struggle for power when truly, if I were to respect him I would have the power I feel I need. He would cooperate if I would listen and show him he is heard. I used to do that…..

When my son was first learning how to speak I did not demand that it was perfect. I helped and I listened and I tried to communicate with him in many ways so as to understand what he wanted and needed. I think we forget that part of parenting once language is developed, as children become more and more self-sufficient. But, I need to remind myself of all of the ways in which his self is still developing, his brain is still developing, his happiness is still developing. At almost 6 he is not self-sufficient and he has needs for love and attention and to explore his world just as he did at 6 months. He still needs protection and patience.

So, be it wrong or right, I plan to turn back to my old way of parenting….of talking….of showing respect and patience for a journey that is nowhere near complete. It will be hard to break these habits, but anything worth doing is worth doing right. We all have our struggles in life and currently mine is understanding how to be a better parent to my children. As I meditate, I cultivate patience and understanding of who I am, how I am, what I want out of this life with them….what I want out of life for them…

If you’re looking for some good books to read on this subject, check out my post here

Meditation Monday #8: Relations

and other books by the same authors!

Have you checked in lately on your parenting?

Do you think that children are little people or not?

What is your meditation for this week?

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?

Meditation Monday # 23 – January 2nd and Finding Contentment

Happy 2017! Today I decided to stick to my plan of just doing what I can do each day. I put a minimal amount of things on my schedule for today and I’m slowly taking care of each of them. One was to try and get this post in and that meant also doing a meditation today. It couldn’t have been a better one!

Gates’ Day 72 post opens with:

Gates asks, “What else is there, after all, than the stuff of our daily lives?” (p.98) So, I too asked myself that same question. Today I had alone time with my oldest at breakfast and as I drove him to school. I love how smart and kind he is in the way he sees the world. Today my youngest asked me to watch him as he did ABC Mouse, then helped me with my workout. He and I had a tickle fight over whether or not he’s wearing pants today. I love that he is crazy and sweet in his interactions. And today I ate food that tasted great without concern for what it was; I wrote and meditated; I worked and exercised and cleaned and organized…..I did my regular daily tasks, but truth be told….I’m happy to be back to the mundane from the holiday season.

It may be raining here today, but I am enjoying my work, my life, my days that I have been given.

How has your 2017 started out?

What makes you most content in the world?

Meditation Monday #22 – Love that Moves the Sun

The publication of this post was delayed due to my poor scheduling habits and stomach flu suffered by my children. I’m behind again, but I’m taking a different stab at it this time around….I’m not stressing and I’m moving through my list as it was written instead of jumping around and falling further behind.  Without further ado…..Expanded Meditation Monday, this time on Thursday!

I’ve been trying to figure out what to write about my meditation on Santosha this month, and then the thing happened last week and I wrote something and my meditation changed. It changed in two ways. First it stopped and then my perspective shifted. Continue reading “Meditation Monday #22 – Love that Moves the Sun”

Training Plan Tuesday #2- 3 Part November and 30 MORE Days of Yoga

Is anyone else confused about why it’s almost 80 degrees on the first of NOVEMBER?! Well, I guess I have to keep the shorts and t-shirts in the rotation for awhile longer and with that in mind, let’s talk about the new month. It’s TURKEY TIME and here is my 3 part training plan for this month and a third stab at 30 Days of Yoga. If you read my recap yesterday, you’ll see that October didn’t quite hit the mark….. Continue reading “Training Plan Tuesday #2- 3 Part November and 30 MORE Days of Yoga”

Currently October 2016 – HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Tonight we will Trick or Treat and grill hotdogs/brats out in our backyard. The kids will get to eat some of their candy and the rest will be left for The Great Pumpkin! I love this time of year, because I feel like Halloween officially marks the start of Fall Holiday Season! I’ve got so many things planned in the next few weeks that I just want today to be about fun! But, in the tradition of “holiday season” let’s take a quick recap of the month and my 30 Days resolutions before we get all spooky and go into a candy corn coma!

  1. See the world – I did very little traveling this month due to Hurricane Matthew that came through at the beginning of October and screwed up a lot of my plans. However, this coming weekend I will be headed to Columbia, SC for a NETA Personal Trainer workshop and there’s more travel in the future.
  2. Follow through and finish what I start – I am happy to say that I completed my one project that I wanted to get done this month…..and on time. However, my calendar still had some holes in it as far as being all crossed off. I have some online training to complete this week for one of my many jobs and tomorrow I start in on some new projects. You should also come back tomorrow to read about the gaps in my training plan and what I’ll be doing in November.
  3. Face my fears
  4. Get some more education/professional development – I have decided to register for a yoga training in January and I’ve been scrounging up work in order to make that happen.
  5. Accept responsibility for my mistakes, take ownership and ask for forgiveness when necessary
  6. Embrace my love of the scale
  7. Compete – I’ve been thinking about when a good date to set for the 8K would be…..do you have a suggestion for one?
  8. Reconnect – This is an area in which I have failed miserably over the course of this month and therefore, as soon as I am done with this post…..I will be making an important phone call.
  9. Prepare
  10. Write more – This month (including today) I only managed 12 posts and over 15 last month. Hopefully November has more PREPARATION that allows for better posting…..because there’s things I want to write about. However, I did a lot more writing as far as work goes this month.
  11. Read – I have a book waiting for me at the library! More about that next month.
  12. Make new things to eat – I tried my hands at scones this month…..and it didn’t go well; hence no post about it. But I did try making some Gluten Free pumpkin muffins with a mix by Namaste and that did go surprisingly well! So well so that I am making a non-gluten free from scratch recipe with a twist later today. I also made some other great muffins that I will share when I bake them again.
  13. Ask “Why?”
  14. Bump up the mileage – I have been running more consistently (and earlier) and trying to complete these 5 mile runs. My plan tomorrow will tell you how close I am to running the whole distance.
  15. Get the photos under control
  16. Go pro!
  17. Rest
  18. Get wet!
  19. Relish sweetness
  20. Treat myself to gear – Waiting to get paid today to purchase this!
  21. Awareness – Gifts of Yoga to enjoy and cultivate – My work on meditation is helping me to get through this hectic time in my life.
  22. Strength – Gifts of Yoga to enjoy and cultivate
  23. Flexibility – Gifts of Yoga to enjoy and cultivate
  24. Balance – Gifts of Yoga to enjoy and cultivate
  25. 3 better yoga poses – My focus on Garland pose this month suffered greatly….more on that tomorrow.
  26. Clean out the friendship fridge
  27. Fitness measures outside of running and yoga
  28. Just Say No!
  29. Be someone – I was requested for a workshop in March!
  30. Check in! – And that leaves me here…..each month I find it hard to hit all of the markers I have set out for the year, but I’m still working on it. I told a friend/boss this afternoon that I really want to check off the boxes so that I can start fresh again in January. Much of this will carry over to that time and for the rest of my life because that’s what living a Yoga Life is all about…..being in the present and looking to the future.

One of my students took some photos in my class last Friday. This being in the moment, recognizing the past, and looking to the future is the perfect description of Warrior II pose. teaching-warrior-iiI don’t know why I look so serious in this photo, but I do know that I am looking forward to tomorrow and a new day, a new month, a new challenge to be completed.

What happened to you in October?

(feel free to post a link to your monthly recap below)

What is coming for you in November?

What are you doing for Halloween today?

Meditation Monday #21 – Not Ready for Santosha

Santosha is one of the Niyamas (observances) in yoga. It really means being content with our lives as they are in this moment. This contentment asks us to play on other aspects of our yoga practice, but for me, today, I am not ready for Santosha.

Why?

Although the 8 Limb Path of Raja Yoga is not a step by step path in which you master one element before you move on, there is something that I do need to do before I can move on to contentment. That is to deal more thoroughly with the first of the Niyamas – Saucha (cleanliness). Continue reading “Meditation Monday #21 – Not Ready for Santosha”