Kat: Posted on August-11-13 9:44 PM
A little play on the beach @ long point
-Today is the 40th Day-
If you’ve been reading along with me over the past few months you might remember the 40 day personal yogasana practice I committed to doing as part of the Atlas Studio/Twisted Fish Yoga Teacher Training (YTT).
In case you weren’t following along, or you need a refresh:
The commitment was for all the teachers in training to design a practice for ourselves based on our “body reading”. We learned how to identify the misalignments in our posture and bodies and also used the joint freeing series (Structural Yoga Therapy book by Mukunda Stiles) to identify specific areas of our bodies where we need to stretch the tight bits and strengthen the weak bits. We could then identify the yoga postures that would work these parts of our bodies the ways that we needed.
So, the challenge was to do this sequence of postures, that maybe we don’t usually do – but we really need – and to challenge “tapas” or the discipline it takes to get to the mat – and practice the same sequence of not our favouirte postures– every day for 40- days.
This postures and sequence we built followed the Ashtanga style and the primary series (which I wasn’t too familiar with prior to this training). Ashtanga is a challenging style with postures ordered particularly.Typically each posture flows with an inhale and an exhale.
In my practice I was specifically focusing on correcting a slight ‘knock knee’, tension in the right side of my neck, and weakness in the fronts of my thighs.
For the knock knees, I needed to
stretch the adductors (specifically the gracilis – a muscle on the inner-most thigh)
strengthen the gluteus medius (or abductors, internal hip rotators)
stretch &strengthen the popliteus*
(this one took us awhile to figure out – it is not a common place to work!)
For the neck I needed to stretch the right SCM muscle and strengthen the left ( the muscle that runs along the side of the neck – the one you feel when you tilt your head toward your shoulder)
for the thigh I needed to stretch the Psoas and strengthen the gluteus maximus and hamstrings
There is more! But, that could be a lot of boring anatomy ramblings!
So, all the postures were selected to work on these specific areas that need work!
Yoga in Action!
My personal practice ran at around 40 minutes – some days it was a little longer, some days a little shorter.
And TODAY is the 40 day of that practice commitment – a milestone of sorts – I DID IT!
I actually can’t believe it has been 40 days. I’ve practiced a lot, noticed a lot, learned and experienced a lot through this practice.
Here are the “STATS”:
- Out of 40 days I did my personal practice 36 days – (1 of those days I practiced just not the personal practice) –which is pretty OK, considering in classic ashtanga teachings, yoga asana should not be practiced on full or new moons – and there were those!
- I struggled most with keeping my mind from wandering without another teacher to lead me through the sequence.
- I found my edge in practicing the same sequence everyday – spoiled yogi moment – I missed just doing whatever I want in the time I had.
- Favourite Music Mixes for my practice (I use 8 tracks a lot):
o “Yoga Mix Flowering” http://8tracks.com/rita-dertkin/yoga-mix-flowering
§ Great for a morning or evening practice, instrumental, flowy.
§ One of my very favourites – some traditional Indian beats revved up! Great for when you need to get amped up. Good for power.
o “Zen Sunrise” http://8tracks.com/m23/zen-sunrise
§ If you can handle a few lyrics in your yoga tunes – this is a really good one, some cool tunes to flow to!
o “Yoga Mix 1” – Move to this http://8tracks.com/lanahawaii/yoga-mix-i
§ Nice beats to flow to – not to fast, not to slow – not too upbeat not too down tempo – juuuuussst right J
- Most transformed postures from the first day of practice to the last:
o Warrior I (Virabhadrasana I)
o Upward Facing Dog (Ardo Mukha Svanasana)
o Big Toe Pose & Variations (Utthita Hasta Padangustasana)
- SAVASANA is still one of my most CHALLENGING postures – I always come out TOO soon.
- I most commonly would practice between 9 and 11 when Nash usually goes down for his morning nap. It’s best to practice first thing – but Nash does not get up predictably so that was difficult.
- I usually find aversion practicing in the evening. However, a few times I had to in order to get the daily practice in and I found I really liked the evening, after dinner, before bed practice. Easier to focus and great prep for relaxed sleep.
Some days when I hadn’t yet done my practice, I longed for it – some days I loathed it and wanted to avoid it as much as possible – but I didn’t.
I missed playing with all the postures I really love and am good at J I missed practicing headstands and arm balances, practicing with Meghan Currie & Kathryn Budig and trying out new practices online …
but some days I got to fit in some time with them – when I had the time.
I still kept my weekly date with Christie @ the Twisted Fish – I need a dose of her magic every week POWER FLOW class is my favourite – always different and always a challenge. You never know what you are going to get – but you know you will work hard and that Christie will bring something to the class, whether its her words or actions and it will be just what you needed.
There is always so much work to be done. I had to check my ego at the door a few times.
I recorded myself doing my practice on this the 40 day –
I don’t use a mirror, so I never get to see myself practice, I only depend on my own ability to notice when my body is not quite in alignment or remind myself to extend through my neck or the crown of my head, or align my knee or my arm.
When I watched my practiced I noticed lots of room for improvement – but it was good for me to see.
I noticed a need to extend the cervical spine (back of neck) in my pikes from Uttanasana (Forward bend).
I need to work on engaging my arms and keeping the shoulder, elbows and wrists in line.
I still need to focus of those damn knees!
I am so inspired my Meghan Currie – I love to watch her videos of her practice. If you have ever watched one of her videos you know what I mean – and if you haven’t I will put a link to her YouTube channel Here:
I really encourage you to explore her videos and you will see she has an amazing presence.
She has made these videos just chilling in her apartment & in locations all around the world – she is magical.
I would like to record a video of me playing around somewhere cool sometime too – and I will.
But I wanted to record and share this milestone practice, the 40 day – with no extra postures or little gems that I am particularly good at (leaving the ego out of it) – just the exact sequence I practiced every day for the past 40.
I thought of neat places where I could record a practice for today, but instead I decided to be honest – to record my practice where I do this practice 98% of the time – to leave my hair a just woke up mess – to wear whatever I woke up in (which would be what I practice in usually).
Note too that I’ve never set this up before – so next time I will know better to put the camera much further away – because you can’t see the lower part of my legs or feet :/ which is too bad – but you can see my head – a lot of the time anyways Next time in a few weeks I’ll make a better thought out attempt – I’m not re-doing this one – because, that would be a little fake – this was the 40 day, and the practice that happened in those moments.
So here I am sharing it with you all, some realness – no illusions – messy hair, dirty feet and all!
I wish I would have recorded my practice on the first day to compare, but I know how far I have come.
Oh YEAH and this happened too:
Yoga Teacher Training round TWO
I can’t believe it was LAST weekend already that we had the second round of teacher training.
Again, it was four days (Friday-Monday) from 6am till 630 pm- some early, long, full days of learning invaluable life lessons. You learn fairly quickly, I think, that yoga lessons are life lessons. The weekend began Friday morning at 6 am at the BEACH with Christie.
The YTT’s and a few other yogis joined the beach session. I have never done yoga in the sand on the beach – 6 am at the beach is a pretty awesome time & place. I love the colours and the quiet sounds of the waves and the gulls pure sweetness.
Christie led us through an Ashtanga practice – classic postures, without frills.
It was HARD to do yoga in the sand – the sand is moving around as you are moving around – a new challenge. And you better not have an aversion to a sandy mat if you are practicing on the beach!
Practice followed by the necessary COFFEE and check in.
We then were able to observe and/or play during Christie’s GENTLE YOGA class.
I used to take this class twice a week when I was pregnant. It is an awesome class, makes you feel really good and it is obvious from the FULL studio, that others think so as well. It made me realize I need a little more gentle in my life – instead of being a power junkie!
Anatomy was the focus of this weekend – learning alllll about the human body- all about all the bones, muscles, bodily structures and functions and systems (nervous, digestive) and how they work together, how they work with us, our lives and with yoga. Anyone who has studied human anatomy knows how wide this subject spans – I mean the human body is a pretty intense working of some complex systems that have very different structures and functions that seem to work together in just the right way to enable us to be and move in the incredible ways that we do.
To learn we need to do the book work – the readings, the diagrams, etc. We also need to SEE and DO. To learn as yoga teachers, we do a posture and identify which muscles are working (stretching or strengthening) and the proper alignments of bones. We also learn how to modify postures for those who need it – maybe there is a back problem, an injury, high blood pressure – we need to know how we can make it accessible and safe for everyone.
In yoga we can stimulate the nervous system, circulatory system and digestive systems and stretch and/or strengthen nearly every part of the body – in just one practice. In a 75 minute practice you could manage to touch every part of your body, inside and out and do some extreme good. An added bonus – you will probably walk away from your mat with a smile on your face.
Throughout the weekend we were able to observe and partake in lots of yoga. On top of our every morning Ashtanga practice, we were able to observe and/or flow with Denise as she led both a gentle class and a power class on Saturday and the lovely Mandy led a class for beginners on Sunday. Christie led a community yoga class at the Simcoe Friendship Festival on Monday too – a nice outdoors class with some Twisted Yogi’s in attendance!
Check out the studio schedule (click), there is really something for every person in every body.
It was really good to both do and see yoga this weekend. It’s two different experiences to do yoga and to observe yoga. It was good as a prospective teacher to really see how detailed a class can be – I learned when I tried to write down all the cues Denise was giving during a class! Wow! & My body felt the work of all the different types of yoga each morning when I woke up (and the effects of sitting on the floor of the yoga studio day after day).
So, coming out of the weekend we learned A LOT about the human body and have the task of learning, understanding and applying all this new body knowledge.
This is how to make a really good yoga teacher – one that really understands all the bodies he/she will encounter. This makes safe, effective yoga. It’s a lot of work – but I am so happy to be in a program that emphasizes this part of being a yoga teacher the way it does.
Now I talked earlier about the culmination of my 40 day practice. WAIT, there is more.
We are still to practice daily – but we can change up our practice, while keeping those postures that we really need in order to work our bodies, but learning from our 40 days about what we should change and what we need more of.
AND NOW WE ADD… Dun-dadadadaaaaa
Pranayama & Meditation Challenge!
My next post I will get into Pranayama and Mediation more – and update on how I am doing on the challenge, but a quickie on pranayama and meditation:
Pranayama is the fourth limb in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra, and in the simplest terms it is the Breath –but it is a little more involved than that.
The word prana, literally means “primary or vital air”
Yes, we breathe all the time – constantly in fact, it IS OUR LIFE – without breathing, we would be dead. It is important.
In yoga we focus on breath a lot – “breath awareness”- we always move with the breath, come back to the breath and begin and end our practice with focused breathing. If you can do nothing else in a yoga class, JUST BREATHE (this is true when you find yourself in any situation in life – take a deep breath).
In a yoga class you will often be instructed to breathe into a certain part of your body, or to watch your breath. You might think it is intuitive – to know how to breath, but every person, every yogi must “learn” how to breath. ( and yes, there is an anatomy of breathing)
This is a very important teaching.
Check out this link on Pranayama:
There are many types and practices of pranayama, to name a few:
Diaphragmatic and abdominal breathing
Wave motion breathing ( i Love)
Complete yoga breath
Ujjaye Pranayama (that darth vader sounding breath)
I am working with the Kapalbhati breath – or the skull shining breath. This is a deep, sharp exhale out through the nose as the core contracts –you don’t actively inhale – it will just happen.
I am committing to do this breathing exercise for 3 minutes for now (which is around 6 cycles of 30 breaths at a moderate pace). It’s harder than you think. I find myself breaking a sweat – I know… breaking a sweat breathing seems strange…. or maybe just cool.
Part II is the MEDITATION practice. Meditation is really just a practice of calming and silencing the mind – and then it can get deeper with different meditation techniques. But to start – it is just calming and silencing that busy mind of yours! (and mine too!)
Meditation is difficult for me – obviously, if Savasana is one of my biggest challengers, meditation would be too.
There are all types of meditation techniques one can use. Anything from breath awareness exercises (bringing in that pranayama I mentioned above) to candle gazing, visualizations, again, I will get into these next post – you can learn alllll about it, as I do.
It really is JUST BEING for a few minutes a day – why is this so difficult? Just to turn it all off for a few moments?
If you think of how much TV you watch, or time you spend on facebook – you probably have ten or even just five short minutes of time to sit and breathe and think of … nothing at all. It would probably be good for all of us just to take this time, just to learn how to create calmness internally.
This came up on my Facebook feed yesterday – and I clicked it – Love this:
“6 Lazy Ways to Get Happier, Sexier, Healthier, Richer”
(you know you would have clicked it too! )
So, I have been meditating for 6 minutes after my morning practice since last weekend I am working on using the complete yoga breath meditation – some days I’ve been focused, and actually meditating (perhaps)- but the journey will continue – I’m figuring it out.
So to sum it up – I finished my 40 day personal practice commitment and we had a great second yoga teacher training weekend at Twisted Fish with Denise! – learned so much, over filling with information. Getting to know the human body and the yoga body is a cool little trip – getting to know yourself and the people you are with 13 hours a day is even cooler A few more weeks and lots more work and we will be back at it again!
Next week I will post more about Pranayama and Meditation, I’m looking forward to learning more as I look into writing this post!
Oh, and here is my little recipe for this post – I ate this every morning for breakfast during the YTT weekend 2:
Chia Banana Porridge
This delicious little mash is great for when you have to be somewhere early in the morning and need something to take on the go.
- Mason Jar (I used a 500 mL)
- 1 mashed banana
- 2 tbsp chia seed
- big scoop of plain 0% greek yogurt
- Unsweetened almond milk (I don’t know how much I used, maybe 1 cup, use less if you want it really thick )
**Optionals: cinnamon, honey, pumpkin seeds, strawberries, blueberries, peaches (whatever fruit you choose)
Just toss the mashed banana in the mason jar, in goes the chia seeds, yogurt, almond milk and shake shake shake!
I threw some fresh strawberries from our garden on top one day, some cinnamon and blueberries another.
Leave it in the fridge overnight and in the morning the chia seeds will have expanded and you will have a nice cool porridge that is sweet and delicious – not to mention AMAZING for you.
Try out different variations of this and see what you like!
So there it is! My little contribution for this time around! Now, I’m working on a display about the benefits of yoga for the twisted fish window (Nash and I playing with bristol board … he likes the crumpled up pieces!
! Next time will be all about Pranayama and Mediation – - – It should be good – read along!
I encourage all you yogi’s out there to challenge yourself like we did in the 40 day asana challenge and now with pranayama and meditation!
Take part in a 30 day challenge at a studio maybe – have the support of a group – do it with a friend. Try and see what happens.
Or maybe yoga every day doesn’t work for you
10 minutes is do able for everyone – just breath – or meditate – or sit and smile, that works too.
Until Next Time,
Sending out Peace,
Kat: Posted on July-28-13 12:17 PM
It’s late evening, Nash has gone to bed and I’ve just been reading my book report book for yoga teacher training (Anatomy of the Spirit by Caroline Myss) and I started to think up ideas for this posting – in doing so I have been thinking of when I last posted and the things that have happened since the dates I last posted about.
I posted about our camping trip and the tapas lessons that I experienced – that was around July 5 – this post will come up on the 27th …. 22 days will have passed – 22 days!!
All I can think is WTF?!? (Pardon the acronym profanity) …
WHERE did those days go, is time really passing by so quickly??!
Those are the first thoughts in my mind, the second cluster of thoughts is the to-do list that is racking up- the hours of YTT, Twisted Fish and Atlas Studio work I wanted to get done this week, the weekly schedule I wanted to set for this blog and all my other “to-do’s”- including dealing with the camping stuff I still haven’t put away from LAST weekend- SIGH – but as I begin to beat myself up about allll that –
In comes a quickie YOGA LESSON (beyond the Asana practice)
–The first limb of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras is the Yamas, the first lesson within Yama is: Ahimsa- on the most basic level Ahisma is the practice of non-violence towards all other beings, and towards oneself. So, time to practice the teachings – non-violence towards myself; trying to be kind to myself and know that I have made a great effort in all of these endeavors, made a weekly blog posting (even though there is a bit of a lag in the dates) and I have done my best and am catching up on everything on my list – it will all get done! I need to remind myself that I do my best everyday to get the priorities, and most of all to take good care of my sweet baby.
There’s a quickie yoga lesson for anyone that needs that one – Be kind to yourself-practice non violence- We all need that one a lot I think. Use it.
Anyways, a general day for me looks something like this:
6-7: Wake up with Nash
Feed Nash & Lemon Water & Coffee Me
Chores – Feed & water chickens, turkeys, ducks, sheep & saucy the pig.
Hang with Nash – hopefully Nap time
Getting Ready And whatever laundry, sweeping, dishes, YTT work– I can fit in before..
Nash, Nash, Nash
This is where groceries, dishes, laundry, WORK, things like that fit in
Back out to feed and water animals
730 pm : Nash to Bed
Reading, YTT work, BREATHING, snuggling, Maybe personal practice if it didn’t happen earlier n the day.
Now, that’s as typical as a day gets – and day to day things change, and this schedule gets all mixed around.
The Nash naps don’t happen, or a commitment comes up, or a friend comes over, a camping trip happens, spontaneity happens – LIFE happens.
My day-to-day life generally has an element of chaos – or maybe it is just busyness (and I’m not even working full time right now … I don’t even want to think about/go there yet).
I am sure a lot of you out there deal with the same kind of day to day busyness, to-dos, and maybe even border the line that crosses to chaos. It’s not that I resent all these things I need to do in my life, I love them all, – but I tend to get so many things on the go that stress and anxiety begin to creep in to my mind and body and more often then not it will release in a burst all at once (which isn’t pretty).
I’m starting to feel a bit of this creeping stress and tension coming around now as I have a new bunch of to-dos and priorities related to yoga teacher training and my personal practice commitment. There is a LOT to learn on the path to becoming a yoga teacher – SO much to read and absorb. Learning the workings of the human body and the human yoga body is a big task -
These new commitments have been added into the priorities for the days and weeks– and some of you know, with a 6.5 month old baby – it is really hard to “schedule” anything into a day (this is all a new learning experience for me).
Though I love this wonderful season of summer, it takes trying to get things accomplished to a new level - what with all the sunshine, gardens, friends, bbq’ing, beach, patios, camping, cottaging, boating – whatever you do. I know summer seems to enhance my level of busy, but in the best way because it usually involves sun, friends, gorgeous places & delicious food. However, I still need to make sure I get things done, no matter how much I would just like to lounge in the sunshine (and we all need to make time to do just that too!).
Nash & I like to lounge in the front yard on sunny days
To stay on track and try to minimize the anxiety in my mind and shoulders – every-single-day- I write things down – many things.
In lieu of a “schedule” (that I will never be able to adhere to) I start with a list of things that need to get done – the “to do”. The simple to do lists everything I want to get done; laundry, reading a chapter of a YTT book, responding to emails, yoga, vacuuming, groceries, paying bills, calling a friend, washing eggs, showering (I hope I’m not the only mom out there who actual has to put that on the “to do” list).
These lists are important in order to:
a) remember what I have to do (or else I WILL certainly forget)
b) see how much I have to accomplish in a day or week
c) prioritize and ensure commitments to others are fulfilled
d) get all that clutter OUT OF MY head and create some clarity in there
e) Make sure there is room for fun (where-ever possible )
Beyond the actual “to do” list I like to jot things down throughout the day. What I ate, little thoughts that pop into my head and what I have accomplished (whether it be on the to do list or not).
At the end of the day, I check off the things I have finished so I don’t have to carry them around anymore and I gain some sense of accomplishment. Some days a lot of things get checked off (that feels SWEET!) – those are the productive days. Other days maybe only one thing gets checked off – or none – so then things just shimmy on over to the next day. I also make sure that if there was a priority or a deadline (you know, that “to do” with a circle around it and star beside it and arrows pointing to it), or something that I told someone else I would have done for them, that it got done – even if everything else fell to the wayside.
To do lists, journaling, or just jotting notes down on a little piece of paper is not only a good tool for organizing your chaos, planning your days, releasing nagging thoughts that you need not to forget and checking in with your priorities- it is also a VERY useful tool for a yogi.
Yogis, you know when you sit down to your mat, close your eyes, and there is all that chatter and the to do’s floating around in your head? Yeah, you know. I have found that writing allll that stuff down even on a little piece of paper in your pocket – or keying them in your cellphone, means that when the mat is rolled out you can tell yourself, – “there is nothing to do about any of that stuff right now, the list and the reminder will be there when I’m done – so let’s do this now, and only this and see what happens”.
Try it out. You never know what will emerge out of your yoga if you ACTUALLY hit a space of ONLY BREATH, ONLY MOVEMENT – no grocery list, no to do list, no I shouldn’t have eaten that, no “after I’m done”.
This is easier said than done, but it helps, I promise. And if YOU made yoga a priority in your day – none of those other things should matter for that hour or 45, 75, or 30 minutes that you set aside for YOU.
Hey Yogi’s -to the left- look familiar?
HOWEVER – While I have found that what I described above works for me very well when I am out of my house, at the Twisted Fish (or another yoga studio) and taking part in a class – it is proving to be not as helpful as I am working on my 40 day personal practice for teacher training at home.
When I’m taking part in a class, I can really take myself away from all those things to do, away from distractions and I can apply what I have intended by writing the to-do’s and all the thoughts down – to just get with the yoga, get with the breath, get with the body.
Of even more significance in the class setting is that there is a teacher, a physical presence guiding my mind, body and energy to stay in the room and in the postures.
I am finding that it is much harder to dismiss and “Shhhhhhh” all that mind chatter that comes up when I am in my own house, often surrounded by the to-do’s and the priorities (or not far from them – especially the most important one (Nash) is usually sleeping in the next room while I practice).
That being said, I usually don’t have a problem staying present at home if I am using one of my favourite Meghan Currie or Kathryn Budig vids to practice with – so I have realized that it is less an issue of where I am physically and more that I am alone to internally guide my practice.
Other times when I have done a practice at home without a video, I just free-flow to some music – a little wild-thing here, some side plank, cat-cows – just what-ever I am feeling – with this practice, there is a certain sequence that has an order, a rhyme and a reason.
With this particular personal practice I have to think about the sequence of asana that I have committed to (it’s getting more natural towards the goal of moving meditation as time passes) and instruct and remind myself of what I am doing.
As I internally guide my breath and body through the practice, I have found that often my mind begins to wander and chatter.
Those to-do’s, those thoughts – come up, and it is really hard not having someone, a teacher, a voice – something external – reminding you to breathe, to focus, to relax the jaw, to move through Warrior now and not Surya Namaskar A-again, etc.
I have my inner teacher guiding me through my asana and breath, but then I have an almost internal dialogue between two “voices” (am I starting to sound crazy?).
One voice comes in butting the focused yogi out and trying to bring up all these other thoughts and ideas and forecasts and furrowed eyebrows because the dog barked or Nash whimpered or whatever else. Next thing I know, I’ve repeated the right side warrior twice or skipped extended side-angle, or have no idea what my breath is doing or how long I’ve been in a posture……..
It’s frustrating for me – this is a whole new challenge.
So, my exercise of writing things down and remembering the time I have set aside just for this focus- hasn’t worked so well for me when it’s just me and my internal dialogue.
Here’s what I have been working with as I have been struggling with all the mind chatter:
An Exercise in Imagination & Visualization
I always try and envision that in my practice I ride the breath like waves – so as thoughts come up I imagine that those thoughts get put into a bottle and I let them float around-contained by the bottle; knowing that these thoughts will float back to me when the waves calm down and I wash up on shore when my practice, my ride, is done.
This works in my mind, I can see it clearly– though I may have to bottle and send those thoughts to float several times through the practice – I am getting better. Someday it won’t be difficult – practice, practice, practice.
In my favourite shape- wild-thing or flip your dog (I’ve hear it called many things).
This shape feels like the best de-tangler for me – where I can let everything fall away.
With around 24 days of this practice under my belt as I am writing this, it isn’t difficult to get to the mat most days- but I will admit – this same sequence every day is getting to me a little bit (how spoiled am I?!) – but that’s part of the commitment – observing what comes up for us as we practice these asana for 40 days – and obviously, things are coming up! (I think I’m learning some yoga teacher in training lessons here people!!!)
And I do manage to fit in a little extra time for a power class at Twisted Fish, or a serious Meghan Currie flowy play, or a sweaty core session with Miss Budig – but it is definitely not feasible to indulge in all these extra treats every day.
One other exercise that I have drawn from yoga and have since used daily to calm the chaos in my mind on the mat and in the day to bring some perspective out of bad moment- is INTENTION.
It took me awhile to figure out “Intention”.
I used to only set intentions when I was asked to at the beginning of a yoga class and it was usually “Be Here Now” or “Breathe” – because Christie said those might be good ones – and they ARE good ones, always! Those two intentions are simple and help me through the practice to stay in the room, in my body, in a tough posture.
Now I set intentions daily and I branch out from thinking of an intention only relating to my practice – though I may set it on my mat, the intention applies to my yoga practice and to all aspects of my life.
Here’s what works for me:
Think of the intention as you wake in the morning, or when you are in the shower, or driving to work, or if you practice asana early in the day – when you come to your mat.
Repeat it a few times in your mind – or aloud – whatever works for you.
Maybe it’s an intention you think will serve you through a tough day ahead, maybe it’s “Perseverance” or “Strength” or “Calm” or “Smile”
Breathe with it & in to it.
Common intentions I find myself setting in the morning are:
Patience, Sweetness, Love, Trust,
Understanding and “Guts”
I breath into it, I bring it up in my practice and/or I write it down and remind myself when I need to – like when I am uncomfortable in a posture or struggling with my chattering mind, I bring in the “Strength” or “Calm” or “SMILE” – at 3 o’clock when Nash hasn’t napped all day and its getting cranky and I haven’t been able to practice yoga or go to the grocery store or shower– I just remind myself, “Hey, remember?- “PATIENCE” – Life is good. There are countless times when remembering an intention could turn your day and your attitude around.
Try to write it down – make it real & remember it–
and don’t let it fade as the day wears on you
I used to get angry and bitter and grumble when things didn’t get done. And you know, sometimes I still do. Day by day I am getting better at organizing my chaos a little bit and remembering all I can do is try my best, focus on the priorities, and not beat myself up when things don’t go how I thought they would.
I hope this post hasn’t seemed like I am whining about how much I have to do – and maybe I am – not much though
Amidst everything that could come up – I remember my intention, I focus on the SWEETNESS and that life is wonderful and beautiful and I have every reason to smile – constantly.
But I am human and things get to me sometimes
If you struggle with this type of wandering, chattering mind while you practice –
How do you deal?
Do you notice a difference if you practice at home versus at a studio?
Would or does visualization like the one I described above work for you?
Do you set a daily intention? Does it pull you out of a rut in your day?
“Out of clutter, find simplicity. From discord, find harmony. In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.”
This isn’t a quote from an insightful yogi or Buddha, Lao Tzu, Osho or Iyengar– but Einstein is good in
my books. I’ve never heard tell of Einstein doing yoga- but I’m sure he could appreciate it.
I find this quote speaks to me and probably resonates with many other people. It is a good way to think about how we should approach resolution when we are amidst clutter, discord and difficulty in our lives –
which are aspects of every life, almost every day to some degree.
Until Next Time,
Sending out Peace,
Kat: Posted on July-20-13 1:05 PM
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