Yogi Blogs


Why do you meditate? And how?

Posted on: December 11th, 2017 By:
No Comments
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Last week’s Thought Box question calling to community was, “Why do you meditate? And how? “This question is inspired by a special new morning class offered on Mondays: Meditation with Leticia Alvarez at 0900-0945 AM.

Maybe you meditate. Maybe you don’t. Maybe you are curious to learn more but don’t know where to start. Today we are dipping our toes into this topic by sharing your answers to this question.

The Thought Box , the question of the week is Why do You meditate? And how?

Question of the Week: Why do you meditate? And how?

 

Your Thoughts

Your Thoughts/ responses to question of the week: Why do you meditate? And how?

Your thoughts/ responses to question of the week: Why do you meditate? And how?

“To calm the swirling of the snow globe mind.” -Nadia

“Laying down with music for clarity.”

“Harmony and walking.”

“I meditate to find peace, calm, grounding, and my center in all situations.”

“Grounding the mind and sitting upright.”

“Outside for sunshine.”

 

 

 

*If you would still like to share your thoughts on this question, feel free to share in the comment section at the end of this post.

Question of the Week

Every week a new question will be posted. This week’s question: “If your favorite pose didn’t have a name, what would you call it?”

If your favorite yoga pose didn't have a name, what would you call it?

If your favorite yoga pose didn’t have a name, what would you call it?

*This question was inspired by yoga instructor Angelena Stokes-Wickersham, who playfully invited our class to try variations of postures, including the all familiar action yet lesser known term “watchasana”, watching your neighbor.”

*When submitting your thoughts, you may keep your name anonymous or use a real name or nickname if preferred.

 

Do you have a question you would like our community to share thoughts on? Comment below with your question!

 

Learn more about the Thought Box HERE:

 

What songs make you unconditionally happy?

Posted on: December 6th, 2017 By:
No Comments
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Last week’s Thought Box question calling to community was, “What songs make you unconditionally happy?”

During the holiday season we often here heavily rotated commercial music. While not all holiday music falls into that category, I still find myself going out of my way to find new music. Because this time of year is also statistically the most depressing time of year, a little extra cheer is warmly welcomed.

So, what songs make you unconditionally happy?

Your Thoughts (SONGS)

"Beauty in The World" by Macy Gray

“Beauty in The World” by Macy Gray

“anything by Jimi Hendrix”

“The Way I am” by Ingrid Michaelson

“Alone” by Cody Jinks

“Here Comes the Sun” by The Beatles

“Walking On Sunshine” by Katrina and The Waves

“La Femme D’argent” by Air

"Don't Worry" by The Beach Boys

“Don’t Worry” by The Beach Boys

“Bailando” by Enrique Iglesias

“What a Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong

“Free Life” by Dan Wilson

“The Luckiest” by Ben Folds

“Anyway You Want It” by Journey

“Puff The Magic Dragon” by Peter Paul and Mary

“anything by the Shins”

“Your Love” by The Outfield

“Happy” by Pharrell

*If you would still like to share your thoughts on this question, feel free to in the comment section at the end of this post.

Question of the Week

Every week a new question will be posted. This week’s question(s): “Why do you meditate? And how?” 

The Thought Box , the question of the week is Why do You meditate? And how?

Question of the Week: Why do you meditate? And how?

*When submitting your thoughts, you may keep your name anonymous or use a real name or nickname if preferred.

 

Do you have a question you would like our community to share thoughts on? Comment below with your question!

 

Learn more about the Thought Box HERE:

 

What Are You Grateful For?

Posted on: November 20th, 2017 By:
No Comments
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Last week’s question calling to community was, “What are you grateful for?”

QUESTION OF THE WEEK O NA CHALKBOARD HEART, ASKS WHAT ARE YOU GRATEFUL FOR?

WHAT ARE YOU GRATEFUL FOR?

Approaching Thanksgiving, this question is often asked during November. Ultimately this is a healthy question for us all to revisit often.

It is with great pleasure and gratitude to explore this question together. The question was written outside on the chalkboard heart, as well as inside the studio space on the Thought Box. So, how did our community at Sanctuary Yoga respond to last week’s question?

What are you grateful for?

What are you grateful for?

Your Thoughts

“My family.”

“Sanctuary Yoga.”

“Trees and puppies.”

"I am grateful to be surrounded by wonderful people."

“I am grateful to be surrounded by wonderful people.”

“New beginnings.”

“Ballet, family, friends, music.”

“For all that I have and for all that I don’t.”

"All of the cork blocks here!"

“All of the cork blocks here!”

“The Conscious Gifter’s Bazaar happening here Wednesday at 6-10 pm.”

“Life, nature, yoga.”

“My cat.”

“My dog.”

"The ebs and flows of life; Challenges/mistakes; every chaotic moment that lead you to where you are now."

“The ebs and flows of life; Challenges/mistakes; every chaotic moment that lead you to where you are now.”

“This studio.”

“Community.”

“The tree.”

"For my teachers and the time and resources to practice."

“For my teachers and the time and resources to practice.”

*If you would still like to share your thoughts on this question, feel free to in the comment section at the end of this post.

 

Question of the Week

Each Monday a new question will be posted. This week’s question is, “What song makes you unconditionally happy?” 

*When submitting your thoughts, you may keep your name anonymous or use a real name or nickname if preferred.

 

Do you have a question you would like our community to share thoughts on? Comment below with your question!

 

MORE THOUGHTS HERE:

Last week, the debut question asked was, “What does love and respect mean to you?”  

Learn more about the Thought Box, and see your thoughts in response to last week’s question here. 

The Thought Box

Posted on: November 6th, 2017 By:
No Comments
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

You may have noticed something new in the studio space. It’s called the Thought Box and it looks like this:

The Thought Box. put a little Soul into it. A box to share community thoughts at Sanctuary Yoga.

The Thought Box. Put a little soul into it.

Calling Community

Kicking off the week with a soulful start, every Monday a question will be posted on the Thought Box. The questions serve as a call to our community at Sanctuary Yoga to share ideas, perspective, wisdom, compassion, inspiration and more. Your responses will be posted on the blog the following Monday along with the new question of the week. Let’s keep it going! Put a little soul into it.

 

LasT Week’s Debut Question

Last week, the debut question asked was, “What does love and respect mean to you?”

Debut question of the week: What does love and respect mean to you?

Debut question of the week: What does love and respect mean to you?

It is a wide question, one I could write about all day long. It is also one of many that I feel is best answered by community. Specifically, I chose to ask this question as the debut Thought Box question because love and respect are two key values of the Amala Foundation, the nonprofit organization directly supported by Sanctuary Yoga. The Amala Foundation unites and empowers youth of all walks of life and inspires them to grow as individuals and as leaders in service to humanity.

Your Thoughts

Answering last week’s question, “What does love and respect mean to you?”, only one thought was received. This may be because someone moved the Thought Box into a cabinet at some point. It remains unknown how long it was hidden. I apologize for the lack of opportunity to participate. If you do not see the Thought Box on the table outside by the door, or inside on the counter, please ask the instructor to check inside the cabinet for you. Markers and paper are also in the cabinet for you if they are not on the counter.

So what was the one response?

In only one word, and one response, I couldn’t have summed it up any more beautifully.

*If you would still like to share your thoughts on this question, feel free to in the comment section at the end of this post.

Question of the Week

This week’s question comes from Yoga Instructor Kim Humphreys. She asks, “What are you grateful for?”

*When submitting your thoughts, you may keep your name anonymous or use a real name or nickname if preferred.

Do you have a question you would like our community to share thoughts on? Comment below with your question!

 

Yoga class, workshop, 3rd chakra and painting

Posted on: August 1st, 2017 By:
No Comments
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

3rd Chakra support

Sanctuary Yoga offers yoga classes and workshops and much more.  Recently, a workshops offered by Yoga teacher Leticia Alvarez featured the 3rd chakra.  Balancing Your 3rd Chakra Through Yoga and Painting to be exact. The workshop, offered on a Saturday, began with yoga poses to support and open the 3rd Chakra.  Free form painting followed.  There was no need for drawing or painting lessons.

Each participant named  some pretty good reasons for attending.  Listen as an out-of-town visitor, gives her reasons.  (sorry about the sound).  It’s not unusual to find out that the folks visiting from  out of town magically find their way to Sanctuary Yoga because of the variety of classes.

 

There are good reasons for focusing on the 3rd Chakra.  Known as the Solar Plexus Chakra, the manipura in Sanskript, the Yellow Chakra.    Leticia Alvarez, the yoga teacher facilitated the workshop as a way to help herself and those in need:

I selected the 3rd Chakra (the solar plexus chakra), the manipura in Sanskript to help those in a transition phase of their life.  Many feel that they need help with will-power and self-confidence and esteem to move.forward in their life and to complete projects.

Support and self-assurance through creativity

The next phase involved drawing and paining.  Participants were asked to trust their judgement in their decision to create their art. Some titled their art right away.  Others like me, decided to spend some time with the drawing.

It was really helpful to take it home and spend time just noticing what decision was made in choosing the colors and/or shapes.  By looking at the artistic rendition right side up, upside down, sideways, a theme and characteristics became apparent.  This enabled me as participant to name my drawing.  At the end of the workshop,  it felt as if the art supported you, your decisions and beliefs.  Very 3rd chakra!

Yoga poses, painting and drawing all helped to open and support the 3rd chakra.

 

 

 

Meet Yoga Teacher Kim Humphreys: The Joyfulness of Effort

Posted on: July 1st, 2017 By:
No Comments
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

 

an invitation to come into yourself

“Take a moment to come into yourself.”  Kim often begins her class with this invitation.  On the mat, to the right lies, The Book of Awakening.  On the left is a ‘singing bowl’.   Kim Humpreys sits in the middle.  Kim will use one or both of these tools to gift her students with the power of words and sounds during their yoga and meditation journey.

Breath into your left hips as if it had gills or a lung.

Make a sound.

(Hu-u-u-u-u-u-u-u-u-u!) 
Notice.

Can you feel it in your hips?

Guiding Students

Kim speaks about the rewards of helping to guide students to  find their sense of wholeness and noticing a sense of accomplishment and joy within themselves.  Kim teaches Yoga Nidra

As a teacher I find it so rewarding when students are able to go inside and find something that they didn’t know was there.

In an Asana Class that might be discovering that they’re able to get into a pose that just seemed impossible at one point.

In a Yoga Nidra Class that might be opening up to that internal world of sensation and the joy that comes from tapping into their sense of wholeness, their sense of awareness that is always there.

Yoga heals

“My number one reason for becoming a yoga teacher was to share and pass on the teachings and practices that helped me heal from injuries and medical trauma. Yoga was prescribed to me in 1999 after a series of injuries and procedures in high school.   My yoga journey has been one of healing and strengthening.

Over the years, I found and studied Hatha yoga, yin yoga, meditation, iRest Yoga Nidra, vibrational sound therapy, ayurveda and other practices.  Each had profound effects on my body, mind and overall health and well-being.

As I recognized the effects of these practices in my own life, I became passionate about sharing them with others and decided to start teaching.”

nourish at sanctuary yoga

I first heard about Sanctuary Yoga and the Amala Foundation through a fellow teacher, Ann Pidcock. She was visiting from London.  We were both in a yoga training class. Ann shared that she was donating her time and teaching a few classes at Sanctuary Yoga while in Austin.  She told me about the studio and the amazing work of the Amala Foundation.

The first time I came for a class at Sanctuary, I was just smitten with the garden and the live oaks. It smelled like earth and flowers and rain. I knew I wanted this special place to be part of my life and my routine. As I started taking classes at Sanctuary, I found that the classes had the same feel as the gardens.  The classes felt nourishing.  Teaching at Sanctuary just felt really right. 

Rewards and Challenges

I find it most challenging and rewarding to fit my classes to every students’ needs. Every body and every person’s day is different, so everyone comes to class needing a little something different from their practice.
It’s so rewarding, though, when I’m able to weave in students’ requests and everyone leaves with a regulated nervous system, having taken exactly the class they  needed!

lunges, twists and a wall

Kim chose a few ‘go to’ poses based on their benefits and how they make her feel.
Lunges

Lunges

“I love all variations of lunges.  Lunges  make me feel strong and stable while also stretching out my hip flexors. I find that hip flexors always need to be opened a bit for me before the rest of my body can move.”

 
supine twist

Supine twist

I love to end a practice with a supine twist. It feels like a big sigh for my whole body.  This pose allows the release of anything I’ve been holding in during practice.as I am held by the floor.

 
Vipariti Karini or 'legs up the wall'

Vipariti Karini or ‘legs up the wall’

Vipariti Karini or ‘legs up the wall’ pose is another favorite of mine.  This pose is the perfect pose because (1) it helps to put me back in balance (2) acts as a pick-me-up (3) acts as a re-set button in the middle of the day (4) helps me to chill out by helping me to sleep right before bed. 

 
 
 
 
Be where you are! When we can open to all aspects of where we are and cultivate gratitude, contentment will follow.  
I thanked my sweet lovely mind for doing what it is meant to do. Think. I thanked my sweet heart for doing what it is meant to do. Feel.

 

Adding to the Variety

Sanctuary Yoga offers a variety of yoga classes in its small studio.  Yoga Nidra, one of the newest additions as taught by Kim receives appreciative comments by yogis like Pilar.  “I feel like I’m brand new.”  Another student, visiting from Orange, Texas was “thrilled” to be able to find a Yoga Nidra class during her visit to Austin.

Glass Thoughts

Posted on: May 11th, 2017 By:
No Comments
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

For many years, it was thought that glass is always moving. I didn’t learn this in school. I don’t remember where I first heard this exactly, but this concept remained with me, because it was so strange. And just like that, it was shattered.

Shedding Light

The concept of glass moving fascinated me so much that yes, I decided to blog about it. Within an hour a friend who just so happens to be a former glass blower enlightened me that this theory has long been debunked. I admit I am more than slightly disappointed because this has reduced my fascination. Before that moment, I would look at everyday household items and buildings wondering, what’s really going on microscopically? It began to imagine all that’s moving in the universe, the light and energy that we may not understand or physically see.

shattered glass and glass ceramic

shattered glass and cracked ceramic

I have swept up my fair share of tiny shards and slivers from apartment floors, yet somehow I maintain a set of glass dishes and drink ware and several of those tiny hanging glass air terrariums that look like floating bubbles. Perhaps that isn’t enough to qualify as a My Strange Addiction level of obsession (I’m not eating it), but a fascination. Why? It isn’t just because glass is pretty. Or sustainable. What fascinated me, is that until a few years ago, it remained a debate whether or not glass is always moving.  And, until after that former glass blower friend enlightened me that this theory has intact been debunked, I had imagined this subtle movement, a force of nature quietly taking place as you sip your drink. As you slide your shower door. As your eyes glaze over staring at a red light out your car window, watching passersby behind foggy lenses.

Newton’s LaW

What’s in motion remains in motion… (I remind myself to get back to the basics when I don’t want to get out of bed.) When our dreams feel at a halt, what is the reason? Did an opportunity close? Was that the only door? Or, did you stop? Where did you shift your focus? What keeps you going? What keeps you in motion? The answer may not be obvious at first. We have to work our way through.

GAINING MOMENTUM

A yoga teacher once guided me to move my side body forward to the front of the room, while stepping my back leg further behind me to kick the back wall, as if I was moving through a pane of glass. As someone who daydreams about pizza, contracting my body through a window pane was quite the visual. Lengthening the body this way was unfamiliar to me, but has  transformed the alignment of my postures. When you stretch yourself in opposite directions, it is surprising where you find yourself grounded. Someone observing may say stretching this way looks very simple, like no work at all. Just like glass, appearing still, my body was solid yet fragile. What you don’t see is the abdominals firing up inside to maintain the posture. Stepping my leg back was critical to lengthen further and move forward.

To gain momentum, we have to step back, right? I hear this all the time, and am learning to apply the concept. Does life feel stagnant? Or is it moving so fast you need to slow down? Are you stepping back? Or are you just on hold? Neither is wrong. Understanding where you are is simply helpful to know where you are going. Not everyone thrives off a plan, while not everyone is comfortable flying by the seat of their pants. Taking a step back to reflect on where you are and where you aim to be may just be the step to prepare you for a great leap.

So what gets you moving? For me? Music. Not dancing, but just out of my current thought pattern. Particularly for yoga, relaxation, and a boost in mood, music remains my go to.

Glass Humans

Glass Citizens, album by Dutch singer and songwriter Agnes Obel

Stunning and eerie all at once, I cannot think of a more appropriate album to share with you.

I was listening to World Cafe on NPR when I heard Danish artist Agnes Obel discuss her latest album Citizens of Glass. She got the idea from the German phrase glaserner mensch, or glass human, which she said, “is the term you use when an individual in a state has lost all his or her privacy.”

Maybe some of us already feel this way, but imagine every angle of your life is transparent. Technology is just the beginning. Your every step traced. What would that be like? How fragile and vulnerable can one feel? How terrifying would it be to do anything?

Glass Animals

In sharp contrast, how uninhibited can one feel? What is containing you? Where can you let loose? How good can one feel? If you were an animal, what would it be? Just something to think about.

Album titled Zaba by artist Glass Animals is on top of a pet rabbit belly for a cute photo

Zaba by Glass Animals is a favorite album of mine to unwind to, especially in airports.

(I can’t do a yogi post without building your playlists.) Do you have any music that gets you through creative blocks? Is there a style of music you prefer to practice yoga to? Let me know what you’re listening to in the comments below.

 

 

 

Power Within

Posted on: April 3rd, 2017 By:
No Comments
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

There is something innate about power. Everyone has power within. Especially this fist pumping baby.

For the full effect be sure to click here to see the on the fly video by local radio station KUTX 98.9 with music by Sweet Spirit.

Has your day significantly improved after seeing that? I know mine has.

Taking Refuge in The Self

I first heard this phrase attending a meditation workshop hosted by yoga instructor Jeremy Devens at Sanctuary Yoga at least a year ago or so. This phrase, “taking refuge in self” has remained with me. It gives me a sense of strength, of home in my life and spirit regardless of circumstance.

Do I have to do it all by myself?

Before going any further, I want to point out that taking refuge in self does not mean it is you vs. the world. This is about healthy self empowerment, not isolation.

Jeremy shared that this phrase is something his mentor taught him. And now this little bit of knowledge is something I want to share with you. Take refuge in self. Everyone has power within.

It may not seem obvious at first, but everything we need to succeed, we already have within ourselves. Instead of looking outward or comparing our lives to others, focusing within can allow us to face any compartmentalized emotions, feel what we ignore (deliberately or not) where to shift our energy to work for us, even reveal the baby steps to get to where we want to be. As weird as it sounds, you may realize where you are and not where you thought you were, what thought patterns hold you back, or what works for you. You may simply find gratitude for where you are. If you don’t know where you are, how do you know where you are going?

But what about money? What about that dream job? What about…? Sure, having more money may make something much easier, but how much power are you giving money in your life? Without an abundance of money, are you able to find happiness? Are you still able to work toward your dreams? Of course. Everything we need to grow is already within. Our own negativity, doubt, and fears may just be what’s in the way. Everyone has power within. To change how we use our inner power, we need to gain a better understanding of how to tap into it.

Tap into your inner power

If you are reading this, I assume you already practice yoga or meditation. Or, maybe you are curious. What other healing methods can you apply to your life to shift your energy in a positive powerful force? One example I will share today is called tapping.

Tapping is a lesser known healing technique I learned about from a friend  Jewell Siebert, founder of Life Upgraded.  As a mom, an Officer in the National Guard, and Success Coach, this woman wears many hats. Tapping is one tool she uses to get through mental blocks we create. It is a very gentle technique I like to call smacking some sense into yourself. I promise, it doesn’t hurt.

Tapping is the nickname for Emotional Freedom Techniques or EFT. EFT is similar to ancient Chinese acupuncture or acupressure, about without needles or electro stimulation. Instead, EFT combines tapping your fingers on your meridian points with positive mental focus. When combined with setting deep intention this has been useful to rewire thinking patterns, and ultimately our actions. One practice I love that Jewell leads is a live stream tapping session or private and one on one.  One of the coolest things is that there is no one telling you what to do, just exercises and guidance to find what works for you. Now, that is taking refuge in self.  When a client comes to Jewell with her own same challenges, they work on them together. Learn more about tapping here.

 

Sweet Spirit

Remember, be kind to yourself. Your spirit is sweet. And so is this band. Just ask the fist pumping baby.

Anyway, if I’m feeling down or stuck, music (and yoga) are my go-to tools to lift my spirit. Music helps me get a new perspective, for inspiration, a personal outlet, to get moving, or just to soothe the soul. I don’t even think about it too hard. I just put some music on, and let it flow.

Without local Austin radio station KUTX 98.9, it is highly unlikely I would have heard of the band Sweet Spirit. Explore the playlists in the links below to feel the power:

http://kutx.org/musicarchive/sweet-spirit-kutx-05-08-2015

http://kutx.org/wp-content/media_player_2/?kutx

Note* I am not paid, compensated, sponsored, endorsed, or coerced in any way to promote KUTX98.9, Sweet Spirit, or Jewell Siebert. I genuinely enjoy and respect  the people, organizations, products or practices I write about.

 

Place iRest Yoga Nidra Under Your Self-Care Umbrella

Posted on: April 2nd, 2017 By:
No Comments
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

“Yoga Nidra is a systematic method that inspires physical, mental and emotional relaxation. This class begins with gentle movements, then a long period spent reclined on the back, where you are guided through a specific form of meditation. Through bringing awareness throughout the body, Yoga Nidra will leave you with a sense of deep calm, quiet and clarity. All levels are welcome!  Kim Humphrey

Why Am I Doing YOGA NIDRA?

As with most classes at Sanctuary Yoga where the emphasis is on building community, there was an invitation to  introduce ourselves and state what we hope to experience or receive from participation in the class.  This class was just the right speed for my energy level at that time.  The word meditation as part of the description was one of the main attraction.  My stated intention for attending the Yoga Nidra class was to practice self-care and receive inspiration.  Other intentions were to relax, practice meditation, deal with insomnia, pain and more.  As I heard others state their intentions, all I could say is “Oh yeah! That too!”

Our teacher, Kim Humphrey, has experience working with special populations as a speech language pathologist and as a trained level One iRest Yoga Nidra Teacher  Kim .spoke about being part of a cohort group as she continues her advanced studies.  She introduced iRest Yoga Nidra as benefiting anyone wanting to make improvements with whatever was contributing to our suffering.  Stress, PTSD, anxiety, depression, mental/physical/emotional pain cause suffering.

and so, we begin

Another invitation with some suggestions followed the introduction of Yoga Nidra.  The invitation was to move our body in a way that our body wanted to move.  There was a suggestion to begin with Child Pose.  From there, we listened to our body.  I’m not sure what anyone else did, but I did some  Cat Cow Pose to relieve tension in my torso; Downward-Facing Dog just because I always want to check to see if it’s felling like a restful pose (not yet); Forward Bend to hang my head, stretch my lower back and release tension in my shoulder;  and moving hips side to side.

Mat, bolster, blanket, block and whatever else makes you feel comfortable.

Mat, bolster, blanket, block and whatever else makes you feel comfortable.

Choice in Posture

We were given a choice in posture to use during the meditation portion of the Yoga Nidra class, along with a recommendation.  We could stand, we could sit, we could rest on bolsters, blankets and blocks (recommended).   After you took care of placing bolsters, blankets, and blocks for maximum relaxation we than began scanning the body.

I did not listen to the suggestion to use a blanket as a pillow.  But I think it’s a good suggestion because I had to readjust my body a couple of times

What's under your self-care umbrella?

What’s under your self-care umbrella?

MEDITATION: Scanning and Breathing

Begining with a focus on the left side balanced with a focus on the right side of all body parts.  I particularly remember feeling grateful for the attention I gave my gum and mouth.  Or, maybe my mouth and gum felt grateful for the attention I gave them during the scan.  It’s sort of blurry.

There was a sense of accepting whatever I was feeling and sensing.  Breathing into the body part added to the sense of loving attention that was given to that body part.  Breathing into the body parts added to the physical relaxation.

When there were parts of my body that felt tense. I just adjusted my body for maximum relaxation.

The directions seemed so intricate.  I can’t think of an example, but I remember thinking “what precise and intricate directions.”  These directions helped me stay awake and aware of thoughts and feelings  that came and went as we scanned the body.

At the end of the Integrated Restoration Yoga Nidra class, it felt the class offered  more movement than what’s offered in restorative yoga classes.  There was less teacher directed movement than what’s offered in a regular yoga class.  And Yoga Nidra offered more meditation time than what’s offered in the other yoga meditation classes.  This meditation reminded me of the small group meditation classes I’d been taking with Lynne Silver.

I left the class feeling relaxed, loved and as a practitioner of self-care. My favorite part was scanning the body and breathing into that body part. I saw the class as a great addition under the self-care umbrella.

Spending Time in Nature

Posted on: March 11th, 2017 By:
No Comments
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Spending time in nature feeds your spiritual side, slow things down and to help you realize the connection between everything. In the past, my time in nature included hikes with the Sierra Club.  There were hour-long walks around  what’s now known as Lady Bird Lake Hike and Bike Trail after work and on weekends.  The meetup group, Creative in Nature, (possibly inactive now) also provided leisurely walks in nature and allowed time for creative endeavours from participants.

Encouraging a slower pace and a smile

slow-down-enjoy-the-beautyNature encourages a slower pace.  Have you noticed?  Is this true when walking  The Lady Bird Lake Hike and Bike Trail?  Or have you noticed instead that lots of folks are in a hurry.  Joggers pushing their babies in walkers.  Runners some with serene looks others wincing and with heavy breathing as they pass you by.   Being in nature slows some but not everyone down.  On the other hand these are the same people who may offer you a smile.  So maybe they’re not meant to slow down but to smile more often.

occasionally, you may luck out to see a family strolling along the trail.  It’s a true gift to catch a glimpse of the leisurely strollers.  They seem out-of-place with the fast paced walkers, joggers and runners.  You may see adults walking at a leisurely pace that their elderly parents  or very children may keep pace and enjoy.  The conversations and laughter serve as clues.  If you’re lucky, you become the leisurely stroller on the trail.

Unstructured playtime

There a lots of pit stops that encourage the slow down on the trial.  There is the off-leash dog section.  This is a great place to watch the dogs frolicking on land and in the water.  Dogs trying to climb trees to catch birds or squirrels.

Pausing on the fixed platforms gives a great view of  water fowls like ducks and swans.  It’s incredible to see them move fast across the water.  They always seem to travel as a family.  If you see a large super large swan, it’s not a real swan.  That one is for rent.

These platforms allow  you to throw balls for the dog to fetch.  Spend time looking for the water ripples.  Or, better yet throw a line to catch a fish with the other fisher people.  Are the fishes edible?  Is fishing allowed?

Encourage the young into nature

“In the end we will conserve only what we love;

we will love only what we understand;

and we will understand only what we are taught.” (Baba Dioum)

Some of what we hear about the need to care for our environment is driven by groups that   want to build a love of nature.  By regularly connecting families to nature Outdoor Afro and Families in Nature hope to build genuine love with hands on education in the outdoors. Taking steps to simplify the process so that participants don’t spend time worrying about equipment and gear.  This may include basic everyday steps or longer more complicated trips.  Yet another group is Austin-Texas Children in Nature .

Sanctuary Yoga offers Greenbelt Yoga at Barton Springs on Saturdays.  The location of the studio itself encourages a love of nature because it provides yoga with a view of a tree in the middle of the yard.  Check with the instructor to see if children are allowed during Greenbelt Yoga.

One simple way to enjoy nature is as close as your backyard.  Just bend down and look at the plants and their inhabitants for a few minutes. It’s quite a view and a mystery to see them coming and going about their business while they walk on your plants.