Meditation Monday #37 – How to Meditate: The 5 Kleshas

Ugh! What a weekend! I arrived home….to my house….around 4am and got the minimum 3 hours of sleep before my day started as usual. This is one trip that I’m not all that excited to write about. Instead I’ve decided to leave it in the past and move right back into Meditation Monday!

How is meditation going for you these days? Mine is a little strained. I started thinking about how hard meditation can be for some people. For some it’s the sitting still, for others the quiet, for yet others the being alone with their thoughts that gets them. If you read back to the first four posts on How to Meditate you learn a lot about how easy it can be to start small. But, what happens when we’ve been working at it for awhile and we can’t seem to find the answers we’re seeking?

In the last few segments of this series we’ve talked about the Four Aims of Life, but there’s something that can get in the way of understanding and living your path and that is a Klesha. Continue reading “Meditation Monday #37 – How to Meditate: The 5 Kleshas”

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?

New Foods

We’re now on the backside of National Eating Disorder Awareness Week. It’s something that I think a lot of people I know struggle with from time to time and I thought it pertinent to mention. Also of importance is this great post I read over the weekend:

I was looking at my calendar the other day and planning out meals through the end of March and into April. I like to rotate things, especially our staples: Mexican food, something grilled, something seafood, something pasta, and breakfast for dinner. We usually eat something from each category each week because I try to bring a balance of what my kids will already eat to exposing them to a little something new and also a dash of what I WANT from time to time. Continue reading “New Foods”

Meditation Monday #29 – The Best Laid Plans

About a week and a half ago I had a private discussion with one of my yoga students who has been with me for over a year now. She said somethings that really stuck with me about my weight, which is something that I’ve been struggling with for a little bit now. She asked some of the usual questions like, “Are you just eating too much?” These are questions that I sometimes avoid being honest about because I like to believe that I know the right balance for my body. However, I haven’t run hardly any in 2017 and I knew this was a big part of the problem. So, I resolved to get things back in gear and started thinking hard about what changes I wanted to make for myself.

Out of My Hands

Then the weekend came. I was already being more mindful of what I was eating and I had gotten active that Saturday walking my kids to the park near us. We played, we hiked through the disc golf course in the woods and walked back home. Sunday morning, though, I woke up with some spots on my neck. I thought nothing of it and my husband and I went out for our date day. We shared an appetizer and a pizza and opted out of snacks at the movie. The spots got worse in the afternoon after I moved a tree in our yard. I figured I’d gotten into something, but didn’t think much of it as I’d spent a good part of the weekend working inside. See, I was on this medication for the cyst in my leg and didn’t want to risk sunburn.

By Monday I was in full blown hives! I started Googling hives and joint pain because my hands had started to hurt, then my feet, then one ankle became unable to bear weight. I ended up in the doctor’s office again on Tuesday.

Health Comes First

I was taken off of the antibiotic and placed on Prednisone this past week. This plus a combination of Benadryl to help me sleep. It made doing most things very hard for me for much of the week. I skipped out on teaching yoga in the early morning both days and didn’t exercise much at all. The hives kept coming back, so I limited my teaching even during my one day at CFCC. I was able to get out and walk again on Friday with some friends and have been struggling with the eating this week.

Two things I have learned about Prednisone are that it makes you want to eat….everything….and it makes you very angry.

Angry Sleep

Angry and agitated during my day is not the only hindrance to my yoga outlook this past week. I am also dreaming angry. I woke up this morning angry at all of the people in my dream. I fought and yelled the whole night in my head. I feel like I am fighting a person inside of me right now that isn’t me. While the hives and joint pain have subsided, I still feel like there is something not quite right inside of me. I have 3 more weeks of Prednisone treatment and I’m hoping that as the medicine dosage tapers off, so too do the side effects.

Moving Forward in Yoga

So, for today I am waiting for a chance to go for a run, alone, because I need that space in my head today. I need to meditate with activity. I need to eat to fuel and to fuel happiness. While my plan is to focus a lot on being more mindful and getting back on the road (I mean, it’s been almost 80F here lately!), I realize that being mindful is knowing that the best laid plans can sometimes be interrupted. This is a temporary state of being and I’ll look for my contentment in the time being, knowing that things will be different soon.

Have you had a health set back? How did you deal with it?

TOLT – Why Numbers Matter Part 3

In the past I have been very upbeat about my weight. Part of this has been due to the privilege of being “thin” for most of my life. I didn’t come by being thin easily, but I have been thin for most of my life due to periods of restrictive eating and periods of taking care of my body. No matter what, I’ve always fallen at average or lower, so weight has not concerned me that much….until my recent doctor’s appointment.

This time around, for my yearly physical, I weighed in at 145lbs. I am about 5’8″ tall, so if you do my BMI that puts me in the average category….no biggie right? Well, normally I’d agree except this time it wasn’t a moment of normalcy for me.

Before I go any further, I want to state that I know that weight is a touchy subject for a lot of people and I am by no means overweight or obese, so the question will always come, “Why am I complaining?”. I’m not. I’m just taking notice of a few things. Continue reading “TOLT – Why Numbers Matter Part 3”

Currently December 2016

I’m back! Well, sort of. I’ve been away from my blog for a full month now. Why? By choice mostly….I’ve chosen to prioritize other things that I had going on. Also, because I’m pretty sure that I’m suffering from a little holiday depression. It’s almost the end of the year and a lot of people are looking back at their 2016 and reveling in the things they’ve accomplished. Others are looking forward to what will happen in 2017. I am in a third group…..somewhat less optimistic and trying to wrap my head around what comes next.

See, I didn’t accomplish everything I hoped to do as far as my 30 Days goals went. I even tried scaling back on numerous occasions. I tried to maintain a fitness streak through the holidays and had to abandon that due to my unwillingness to run in this cold this year. Yet, I don’t quite feel like a failure. I determined awhile back that this would be the year of self study….Svadhyaya. And I’ve learned a lot about myself this year, so check that off the list!

And the summary of it all is this….I am one girl, aged 36, on a mission to live the best life I can and to instill in my children the best confidence and values that I can while I am here. I am not perfect, nor do I aspire to be. I am a fitness professional who sometimes struggles to make exercise a priority. I am a yoga teacher who sometimes yells and loses it. I am me….I am still here….taking it one breath at a time; and I will be for some time more.

So, 2016, Thank you for your service. And as for 2017 I’ve decided this:

Each day I will arise and say not “what needs to be done today?”, but rather, “what can I do?” and then I will do what I can and be happy with the results. I will strive for a more minimalist approach to expectations, work, and things that don’t give me joy. I will stop looking around at all of the unfinished and feeling guilty, but instead look at what has been done and feel successful.

How will you live your 2017? Which are you: The kind that looks back, forward, or stuck in between?

Thank you to Amanda for allowing me a place to dump my thoughts!

TOLT – 3…2…1….Read!

I’m doing it! I’m going to start reading another book that is not on my 2016 Book List, but I haven’t read a book for me in a few months and it’s time!

Tuesday I was putting together our book list on my library mobile site and I came across this little gem and decided to throw it on hold. I picked it up later that afternoon and used some of my afternoon time yesterday to crack it open. I’ll write more about it when I get a little deeper in, but it spoke to me with all that I’ve been thinking about the last week (You can read about that in yesterday’s post The 300.) and the choice I made earlier this year as part of my 30 Days resolutions.

I wanted to write a little more today about my trip this weekend and some things I’m thinking about in a little TOLT fashion, so here’s my top 3 list for this Think Out Loud Thursday with a HUGE THANK YOU to Amanda for hosting! Continue reading “TOLT – 3…2…1….Read!”

Days 10-12: Fear of Letting Go

I spent a little more time on meditation with the Gates’ book this weekend. I am still in the section of the Yamas regarding Aparigraha and I’m coming to realize a few things about myself. Last weekend, at the end of my meditation, I wrote down:

I am not the hoarder you think I am….I am worse

Maybe not the most positive thing I’ve ever thought, said, or written about myself, but truth none the less. Why is this truth? Continue reading “Days 10-12: Fear of Letting Go”

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