Sunday, January 29, 2012

Reflections on Dolphin Pose

I found this terrific youtube clip that really gets your shoulders ready for the dolphin pose and the forearm balance. This gal, Esther, shows an easy (really it is!) step-by-step sequence to do the dolphin pose safely. Then at the end she beautifully demonstrates how to hop up into a forearm balance.

I found all the sequences leading up to the dolphin pose really invigorating. My legs and arms were shaking by the time that part of the sequence was over, but it really gave me the confidence that someday I will be able to hop up into a forearm pose. Try it out--you may just like it!!! Namaste

Saturday, January 28, 2012

What's the Difference between Cobra and Upward Facing Dog

A couple of days ago, my friend asked me what the difference was between these poses: Cobra and Upward Dog. My knee-jerk response was to tell her that it's all in the hand positioning. But, I am not a yoga teacher, and actually wanted to see if there was more to it than I thought. Holy cats, yes there is! OK, kudos to me for knowing that the hand position was indeed different, but there was so much more to these poses that they are truly different poses, even though on the outside they look the same.

Cobra Pose

Upward Dog Pose

This youtube video is so succinct in explaining the difference. I felt that I had to share with everyone. Those of you who thought the same thing as me--this video is for you. Enjoy!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Mindbody Connection

I am so fascinated with the mindbody connection. I grab everything I can on the subject and read it. I'm waiting for this book from the library: Mindfulness: An Eight-Week Plan for Finding Peace in a Frantic World, by co-author Mark Williams. I heard Mark William's interview on Science Friday and was completely fascinated. What really grabbed my attention in this interview was the discussion on what happens in our brain when we are frantically trying to fit everything into a 24 hour day and what it does to our body and mind. For people who live like that (hand raised here) we are actually in a fight or flight response. Because of this, adrenaline and cortisol are released into our systems to help us escape danger. One can only imagine the adverse affects this has on the mind and body over time.

What I have found is that through meditation, I am more quickly entering into meditative, peaceful state as compared to last year. Makes me wonder how much meditation and yoga I will need to do to reverse the bad effects of these biochemicals on my system.

I would like to add my thoughts on this when I begin reading the book. If you have read this book (or have read another book discussing mindbody connection)  please contribute to this blog.  We each have different and unique perspectives and I welcome as many views as possible. Namaste.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Reflections on Rod Stryker's Meditations

Since December, I've made it a point to meditate more. Rod Stryker's meditations have helped me move my hurried mind into a more calm peaceful place.

In one of his meditations he has one visualize a flame in the midbrain. This is coordinated with the breath. His instructions say to feel the presence in the brain. I felt a tingle in the first few tries of this meditation, but now it feels like a football helmet of energy encompassing my brain and head. I can actually feel an aura radiating from my head. Wow...never thought that could happen. This "helmet" actually moves my head in almost imperceptible ways which releases tension in my neck.

I'm not sure if everyone experiences this "presence" this way, but I would welcome any insights you have on this. Wow!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Fibromyalgia: Is it all in the head?

Interesting new brain research compares brain scans of people with fibromyalgia and those without. Very Interesting!

Monday, January 16, 2012

My Husband's Unusual Journey at 19

I've heard this story so many times, but there's nothing like reading it. The beauty he demonstrates in his writing is so fresh. I could go on and on, but really, there's nothing like reading it. So here it is!

MLK and Yoga

My son had a project over the weekend that required him to develop a poster of The Bill of Rights and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. On the poster, he showed how MLK fought (non-violently, of course) to create equality among all people, all races, and maintaining dignity while standing up for civil rights. He had to show (using pictures) the right way for people to stand up for their civil rights, and how, even though protests were peaceful, their civil rights were violated.

This made me think, was MLK a yogi? I would have to say yes! He was able to promote non-violence, and access his soul's desire beautifully. Anyone who hasn't seen Dr. MLK's "I Have a Dream Speech", needs to rectify this immediately. I cannot watch this without crying and feeling enlightened. The beauty in his voice could only be expressed by accessing his soul and breathing in light and inspiration. Today, let's live in equanimity and light. Namaste.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Monday, January 9, 2012

Choosing the Right Yoga for the Right Time

I struggle with how much or how well I do yoga at any given time. This past weekend I was sick and couldn't muster the strength I needed to do yoga. At times like these I feel guilty for at least not trying. If my friend were sick, I'd tell her to take it easy and be good to herself--I would tell her to rest because that's what her body needs. Why, then, is it so hard to heed my own advice? I could either interpret that to mean that I am stronger and need to be better than the other or I'm just uncaring when it comes to my own body and health.

Neither of those choices ring true for me, so why DO I make myself feel guilty. Is it my upbringing? I needed to be responsible always so that transends into my yoga practice? hmmm...can't figure that one out.

I did, however, listen to my body this morning and did a very slow vinyasa flow yoga with a few regenerative poses to get the aches and pains in my muscles to release. Although I'm still under the weather, I went to work today and actually got quite a bit accomplished--I think I may be making up for my lack of yoga this weekend.

Just for today, I will be gentle with myself and allow my body to dictate what it needs. Namaste.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Speaking From the Heart

Ever have one of those moments where you take a chance and shared what is in your heart? Maybe it's something that makes you look childish?

Well, I did that this morning with my hubby. I became very insecure about a situation and told him how I felt. I didn't understand the rational reason for the way I was feeling. I could feel that deep inside was the answer to the insecurity, but it just wouldn't seem to surface.

After a bit of frustration, and yeah, some tears, the reason popped out! I was amazed! It was basically a fear of loss! Such a base human emotion. Funny, I sometimes feel that I'm above this very visceral emotion, but BAM! it just goes to show that we all are really, truly human right down to the core. You know what felt good tho'? The release! And, of course, having a wonderfully compassionate husband who allows me to be a childish tantruming child when I need to and still loves me unconditionally. I am truly blessed.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

New Year, New Yoga

I received the February 2012 edition of Yoga Journal about a week ago. In one of the articles it talked about different styles of yoga and cardiovascular workout. It is a general belief that yoga does not fit into the realm of cardo. A few of the views expressed agree with this, but others challenge that yoga can be really intense.

I agree! Starting today with my morning yoga, I added 10 minutes of cardio exercises (mostly done via sun salutations), and found that I had sweat more and had more energy than I've had in a while. My goal is to incorporate 10 minutes of cardo for at least 4 days a week. I do hope that I find my energy continues to increase and my well being to be sunny and light. Namaste!