Wednesday, September 28, 2011


I first heard this idea of sankulpa when doing a meditation CD about two years ago. It made so much sense, and I continued it for a while. But then, as with so many things, I forgot about it and moved onto other ideas. Yesterday as I was reading my Yoga Journal (October issue) the word sankulpa came up again. Oh yeah I remember this!

Funny thing, is that seed had been planted two years ago, and I've been using it without realizing it. So what is sankulpa? My understanding is that it is a conscious intention about what you want for your life. Trick is, you are not asking for it, you are acting as if you already have it. So my sankulpa for this morning went something like this: I am receiving peace, acceptance, healing, and abundance everyday of my life.

Try it. See what happens. It really is amazing.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Putting My Faith in Others

For the past few years, I have given over my health and well-being to doctors, chiropractors, and any new age therapy that can heal my chronic back pain.

In June, I had an experience that really made me see things clearly, I believe, for the first time. I was at my chiropractors office getting cupping, acupuncture, and adjustments. For a few months, this chiropractor sold me on the idea that if I bought all of these homeopathic herbs from him, I'd be just about healed. I did start to feel better, and I told him I wanted to wean off of them (as he told me that I could do). He started telling me that I was looking at this all wrong! That if I just continued, I'd be just about healed. I told him, no, I was feeling better and I was going off of them. He stood up and stormed out of the office, leaving his assistant with me. He didn't return, and neither did I.

I feel better than I have felt in a long time. I am eating healthy (as I've done for most of my life), do my daily yoga practice, talk with friends, see my therapist, and I have to tell you this: I decided what was best for me. I have to buy into my own plan of healing that is right for me. Spending $75 weekly on appointment and herbs was killing my serenity and my pocket book.

My body knows what it needs, and if I just listen quietly, it will always tell me.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Reading Yoga Bitch

I am in the middle of reading Yoga Bitch. I really enjoy how open and uninhibited Suzanne Morrison is when describing her life at a yoga retreat/teacher training in Bali, Indonesia. I realize I have a lot to explore in myself that I may ignore.

It makes me laugh when she writes about feeling superior (not in those words) to a classmate. I am laughing because I can identify with that. How many times have I looked at someone and their situation and felt just a bit superior because I am ENLIGHTENED! Whoa, talk about getting a dose of reality.

For example, before I had kids, I would comment on the way parents would raise their kids and say, "I would NEVER allow my kids to do that." All I have to say is be careful what you judge, because it will come back and bite you in the ass ten times over.

So my goal, at least for today, is to see everyone as an equal no matter where they are in their own journey. No part of anyone's journey is pointless or useless. It may just not be part of my journey. Thank you Suzanne Morrison! Namaste

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Growing Pains

Why is it hindsight is 20/20? Why can't I see what's in front of me when I'm plugging along day-after-day? Twice today I've run across sayings that hit me right between the eyes. It's as if Spirit had to post it to my forehead just so's I'd get it! The one quote was at a school: You cannot expect to achieve new goals or move beyond your present circumstances unless you change.-- Les Brown
The second was from the Seane Corn interview I mentioned earlier in this blog. Krista Tippett asked her about change and how the mindbody has to deal with sadness, grief, anger, etc...when your body opens in yoga, ie: muscles, bones, mind, spirit

I've been struggling with pain again these past two weeks. I tend to fight it, deny it, rationalize it, then, when all else fails, medicate it. Also during this time period, my husband and I have been doing side jobs for a friend. It's a lot of physical labor and the pay is good. I have been changing in many positive ways and it's no wonder I'm having difficulty. Change, good or bad, has effects on the body.

I guess this was a mini wake-up call to be gentle with myself and embrace all the positive changes--especially when they manifest in my mindbody.

Saturday, September 17, 2011


In the October 2011, Issue 241, of Yoga Journal, Cyndi Lee talks about vinyasa. From what I understand after reading her article, vinyasa means "a style of yogic sequencing that involves dynamic movements corrdinated with rhythmic breathing." She discusses that although vinyasa yoga appears to be an extremely intense form of yoga, it doesn't have to be. By creating intention with your daily movements and coordinating breath, you can use vinyasa by doing everyday things: getting up from a seated position, walking, doing housework, etc...

I was so happy to read this article, because for years I have been using intention in my movements. What I have found is that I am less clumsy, I stop to think about what I am doing in the current moment, and also choose my words more carefully.

She also discussed that sometimes you will get up, go the kitchen, then forget why you went there. I can sure relate to that. When this happens, I realize that I have lost my focus and my autopilot has engaged. Thank God for autopilot, but being in this state of unawareness, can be frustrating.

It is not always easy to create intention. I find that it takes a lot of work to focus exactly on what I'm doing--especially if I'm tired or just going through the motions. But what I have noticed, is that every opportunity, every movement, every thought can be a vinyasa moment, and when I focus on that moment, I am living in the now. The past is gone, and the future is not here.

Having done yoga for only four years, I am continually stunned at how far I have come. I used to never be flexible, ate more than I needed to, had put-my-foot-in-my-mouth moments way too often, but now my body is more flexible, my attention is better, and I'm more aware of my interactions with the people around me.

Reading Cyndi Lee's article just reaffirms for me that intention and breath can make all the difference. The trick is to remember to do this when I'm not feeling well or tired. Instead of looking at the times I don't do this well, I will find gratitude in the moments when I remember to use intention and breathe--that way, I will channel a more positive attitude and be grateful for what I have now at this very moment.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Practicing Patience

This past week has been tough physically. It seems that about one week out of the month, I can count on muscle pain, crankiness, and quite frankly, the blahs...

I have a difficult time practicing patience during these times. I want to feel better NOW, and it seems I'm pulling out my hair just to get a sense of relief.

Today is the start of the upward cycle, so I know that I can depend on feeling good in all aspects of my life. It is so much easier to practice patience when I feel terrific than when I feel out of sorts.

I did not succeed perfectly through the doldrums, but next month...I'll do better--I will practice more patience, breathing, and acceptance.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Bits of Yoga

I dream often of going to India to experience life in an ashram--even if just for a week. With the publication of Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert and the new book, Yoga Bitch by Suzanne Morrison (which I've yet to read, though will very soon), it's no wonder I want to experience the benefits that an intense yoga immersion can offer my body and soul.

But, I tell myself often: "When the kids move out and have families of their own." or "When we finally are financially stable." I know that it is not feasible to do that at the present time, but there are things that I can do to prepare myself for this eventual journey.

This morning, I meditated on these words: Health, peace, love, abundance. I spent about 7 minutes sitting quietly breathing in and out deeply saying these words in my mind with each inhale and exhale. These bits of yoga help to center me and relax my inner nervousness.

I may not have an hour each day to practice yoga, but I do bits of yoga each day. For example, every weekday morning, I do my yoga practice for 15 minutes. During the day, I may have a private moment in the bathroom to grab onto the sink and do a variation of downward dog. On the way home in the car, I grab my headrest and stretch my shoulders and breathe deeply.

I have found that these yoga bits can help me to regain my focus on good posture, health, peace, and abundance. I may not have extended periods of time to devote to my yoga practice, but I do have time each day to do just a bit of yoga to refresh myself.