Friday, March 30, 2012

Art Game from All About Lemon

Hey All! Here's another game by the gal that had the Haiku on her blog. Now, add to her picture, post to your blog, then add a link from her blog on your site like this:

And always at all time link the ART GAME page to your post:

I added the angel, now you do the same! Post to your own blog and post on her blog that you have added to the picture. Have fun!!!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Haiku and All About Lemon

All of creation
Together in one moment
Peace and love abound

This great website is a fun-filled website that is interactive. The gal who authors this blog posted a picture that people added to, then asked for people to write haikus describing the picture. The above haiku is the one I posted on her blog. You can do it too!
Copy and paste this picture to your own webpage, but first you will need to visit the link below and submit a haiki. Please make sure you give credit to the blogger who started this! Have Fun!
To read more, or to post your own, visit

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

"Showing" Up For Life

It seems that life is just a series of showing up--day after day. Some days seem like you know the script perfectly, others--not so much.

Today, I will be taking my National Boards for Professional Teaching Standards exam. This will be the third attempt to get it right. Granted, my score has improved (and thank God those are "banked") and all I have to do is show up, be present, and do the best I know how to do.

On Facebook, I had posted on my status for everyone to wish me luck and say prayers for me today when I take my test. The outpouring of good wishes made me feel beyond wonderful. I know I can do this. But one post made more sense to me than ever. My friend (and fellow actor and stage manager) had posted this: "Take a deep breath and focus .... concentrate only on the "show" ... not the "audience" ... you got this role down cold!"   THAT is the key! It seems I focus so much on the outcome, but forget that there's a process. So taking the test will be like a play: I've rehearsed and rehearsed, and now everything I know is coming together for a spot-on performance. I will carry this with me today and shine!
"It Runs in the Family"
"Heaven Can Wait"
Courtroom scene in "To Kill a Mockingbird"

Friday, March 23, 2012

The Lasting Effects of a Good Yoga Practice

Since last Saturday, I have felt absolutely wonderful. My muscles feel strong, and I definitely feel more mindful and confident. I honestly never thought I could sustain the long yoga practices like the ones I experienced at Rod Stryker's workshop. Truth be told, I can't seem to get enough yoga practice lately.

I am spending more time being mindful of my breathing and my body in space. Before it took such effort being so mindful of my breath and my body, but I think something finally clicked with me. My mindfulness is starting to feel very natural and effortless.

I think for me, the most surprising thing is that my body responded to demanding postures. For instance, I was able to get to step three of the Peacock Pose. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I'd be able to do any arm balances. I obviously had the strength, but I just needed confidence. With the confidence came the balance.

It really is true what they say about yoga. The benefits are far reaching and long lasting. I have also noticed that having a shift in perspective can open many doors to possibilities I never thought possible.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Para Yoga with Rod Stryker

Yesterday, March 17 on St. Patrick's Day, my friend, Mary K. and I went to the Para Yoga Conference with Rod Stryker. The conference was held in downtown Chicago. We got there early so as to avoid the St. Patrick's Day party goers on their way to the city.

We parked and got to the Loyola building. The conference was held on the 13th floor (I loved that!) in a beautifully ornate conference room with vaulted ceilings and windows. The atmosphere was light and relaxed. Just what I needed to counteract the excitement outside.

Rod started with an hour lecture, which really peaked my interest. Having brought no paper, I took notes on the last few blank pages in his book The Four Desires which I've mentioned in previous postings.

The rest of the morning was filled with beautiful asanas to get our muscles warmed up for deep stretching. I was amazed that my body was so in tune with his instruction. I felt alive and strong!

After lunch we continued with more lecture and asanas with just the right balance...Rod would take his cues from the group: He allowed time for us to ask him questions, and he graciously agreed to sign my book, even when the ink ran out of my pen. He seemed to want to give all of us as much attention as we needed.

Other than the fact that Chicago and I are not friends--the hustle and bustle is definitely not for me--I'd gladly return there to visit Rod Styker and Mia Park.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Reading The Benefits of Yoga: The Risks and the Rewards

I've been reading, The Science of Yoga: The Risks and the Rewards, by William Broad, and have found it utterly fascinating! I am only 1/3 of the way through it, but it is really engrossing. William Broad has taken a look at all the "claims" that yoga has made over the decades and has held them up to scientific studies.  His research has been quite diverse covering "not-so-scientific" claims, scientific claims with a slant (researchers were yogis themselves, and pure scientific studies with all the parameters that are included in sound, research-based studies. (I am no science geek, and my terminology may be way off, so if you're interested, pick up the book for a more sophisticated explanation.)

But what I've come away with is a more down-to-earth opinion of it all. Mr. Broad challenges the claims that the yoga community has made: One needs no other exercise than yoga. One of yoga's claims say that yoga is all you need for a complete exercise regimen. The claims have included that it is also an excellent cardio-vascular workout as well.

According to the science behind it, it is not. However, it does rank one of the best exercises for flexibility, social, emotional, and spiritual health, and reduces depression, pain, and cholesterol within the body. (I am only briefly touching on the benefits.)

But here's my question? WHY does yoga have to fit the bill for everything? WHY? Don't we need a variety of exercise to complete our cross-training needs? I take such claims with a grain of salt. In fact, I wish I had more time (or made more time) to have a more diversified workout, rather than yoga only.

To me, making these sorts of claims automatically holds oneself up to scrutiny. For example, fad diets that claim they are the perfect way to lose weight and keep it off, I feel, are short sighted. We need moderation in all types of foods, exercise, and medicines that we use. To me that just makes sense.

I really respect the way Willam Broad broaches this topic. He does so very respectfully and with humility. He, by the way, is a yogi himself! That to me is even more impressive. Having an open mind when doing or trying anything new, I think, is the safest way all the way around.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

What to Wear to Yoga Class

In exactly two weeks, I will be going to a ParaYoga workshop in Chicago featuring Rod Stryker. Ever since reading his book The Four Desires...   I have made a promise to myself that I would attend one of his workshops when he came to the Chicago area. Well my day has come.

But here was my dilemma! What to wear? So I did a bit of research and found this site: Yoga 101--What to Wear    in which Deb, the blogger, gives tips on the best clothes to wear.  I sure found this very helpful. I already have wonderfully comfortable yoga pants, and well-worn tops...I love the feel of these against my body when I do yoga. Buying a new top is out of the question. I just want to be comfortable, and comfortable I will be. Oh, I am excited! Namaste.