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Yogi Cats

Posted on: February 16th, 2017 By:
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RIGHT MEOW

On the spectrum of crazy cat lady and happily married, I fall somewhat in the middle. I work to build healthy habits including yoga at home, where my cat will join me on the mat. So for now, I share my home with one loving yogi cat. My life isn’t taken over by yogi cats. For meow.

THE CAT AND THE MAT

At home I have a bright green yoga mat by my bed. Sometimes my cat claims it as his scratching post and even naps on it. I don’t mind. When I use it, he curiously joins in, and walks under my downward dog. On all fours with my hips high, and head low, my view of the wall behind me becomes an upside down cat. While I wait for him to move so I do not hurt him, I wonder, what yoga poses can I nickname after cats?

yogi cat rests his paws over my hands as I type.

Yogi Cat assists with the creative process.

 

PAWS FOR A MOMENT

It is fool proof that if I am working on a yogi blog post from home, my cat is in my lap. His paws stretch over my wrists, onto the track pad, like he know’s it’s a mouse. I know this is one way cats seek attention, but when he does this, I call him my editor. So what would he have to say about yoga? He doesn’t like the names.

WHAT’S IN A NAME?

Yoga poses have peculiar names. Where do they come from? Not cats. These names have intrigued me since I first began my practice. I am still learning the names for poses in both English and Sanskrit, let alone how to do them.

CAT PHRASES

Picky Eater: Similar to Cat Cow. This is already named after a cat, but from the perspective of the motions of two animals. Renamed from the same motions my cat makes of standing on all fours, with his head facing down at his bowl, then lifting upward. Without the arching of his back, the picky eater is known to look up and down, and may even rotate their neck.

Trusting Belly: Also known as Savasana. Lay on your back with your eyes closed, arms and legs comfortably at your sides falling where they may (your cat’s limbs may be in the air). It is considered a sign of trust when a cat exposes their belly.

Hiding Place: Also known as Child’s Pose. At any time you feel you need to slow down during your practice, this position is considered the comfort zone, a go to pose to reset yourself. Sit on your knees   with them close together touching or spread wide. Fold forward to lower your upper body over your knees or between the thighs to the mat. Keep your face parallel to the floor (it will be dark like your cat’s hiding place). Reach your arms forward or back to deepen the stretch.

Dead Pigeon: This one is a gift (If your cat brings you a dead animal it is considered a token of love). This pose provides a very deep stretch. From Downward Dog(or cat), bring your right knee to your right wrist, right ankle to left wrist ( as close and comfortably as possible). Lower your body to the ground or sit with your torso upright. Extend your arms forward along the floor. Depending on individual accommodations or how deep your rest is in this pose, your pigeon may appear merely wounded, not dead.

Face it, these names are cute and all, but when it comes down to it, my cat is far more flexible than I am. Yogi cats have moves I do not have names for.

Do you have yogi cats? What poses do you have cat nicknames for?

A cat napping on a notebook and pen because he is worn out from editing yogi blogs.

Editor in chief taking a cat nap.

Parking Spaces

Posted on: February 10th, 2017 By:
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Recently, I was on queue  in line to get a parking space at one of my favorite eating places. The driver behind me decided to ‘skip’ the line in order to get the next available parking space.  I parked behind the ‘skipper.’   I felt annoyed.  Then anger.

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Neither of us had kind eyes.

The ‘line cutter’ now had two options.  Drive ahead to let the parked car driver out.  Or, remain there to get the parking space making it a bit more difficult for the parked car driver to get out.  I too had choices.

She chose to stay and the driver maneuvered successfully out of the parking space.  When she got out of the car, our eyes met.  Neither of us had kind eyes.  I laughed later.  Yeah! I laughed!   It took a while, but laugh I did.

I didn’t get the parking space.  There was no escalation into a verbal confrontation.  Her tactics worked.  I accepted the outcome and moved on.  What I got instead, was something unexpected.

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“Wow!” I thought.   What happened is great material for Laughter Yoga.

During Laughter Yoga, participants when asked,  relive scenarios that explore all types of life events that elicit different feelings and emotions.

Participants when asked,  dramatize scenarios while making sounds and/or laughing.  This is one, albeit, controversial way to learn acceptance of many events in life that elicit different emotions. No need to act on the emotion.  No need to judge, no need to blame, no need to fix.

For a while during that day, while driving , I noticed other hurried drivers cutting in front of me.  This is one aspect of driving in Austin during certain times. I took time to notice the changes in how I felt.

 

All of this happened before a yoga class.  Speaking of parking spaces, yoga classes are great places to park when looking for emotional balance.

(1)  Just the fact that you stop and take time to set an intention before the class.

(2) Keep the intention in mind during the practice.

(3)Take sanctuary in the room and on the mat during practice.

(3) End the practice with thanking yourself for taking time to for the practice.

(5) Let’s not forget the breath with the intention in mind during practice.

Speaking of laughter, there’s a really funny video that shows that cutting in line successfully is a skill that deserves respect.  Even if you don’t agree, you’ll laugh at the notion.  Enjoy!

If laughter and yoga isn’t enough, there is always Mr. Rogers.

What do you do with the mad that you feel? 

when you feel so mad you could bite.

Know that there’s something deep inside

that helps us become what we can.

Getting on Your Knees

Posted on: January 25th, 2017 By:
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In life, as in yoga, getting on your knees can help.

It’s allergy season in Austin.   Austin will have varying amounts of  cedar, mold, cottonwood, oak, ragweed, ash, pine, mulberry, elm, poplar.  The allergen-tested folks  remain informed by closely watching the website that give the latest allergy count.   Many anticipate and prepare before-hand.  Others use traditional/alternative medications during the season.  When experiencing the effects of allergies, I find it best to get on  my knees.  To kneel is be in or assume a position in which the body is supported, as when praying or showing submission. There are many benefits to getting on your knees.

During yoga class, there are different reasons for getting on your knees.  A yogi may get on their knees to transition from standing yoga to sitting yoga.  They may get on their knees to pause and rest from a series of poses.  They may get on their knees to realign their hands, fingers, torso and change the positions of their feet and toes.

Getting on your knees: pause and slow down

“It is your practice!”  – yoga teacher reminding us to use our inner guidance.

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Pause to get on your knees for the ‘rabbit pose.’

During this allergy season it’s hard not to marvel at the body’s ability to produce mucus. It’s a great time to pause and support the body by hydrating with water, soups, steam and other liquids to help thin the mucus.

Taking time to support the body with movement  that matches the body’s level of energy and helps any fluid flow easily in the body.

 

 

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A favorite blanket.

Pausing  to support the body with extra rest never seems like a bad idea.  Snuggling with a favorite blanket adds comfort to this type of pause.  My favorite blanket is a Simply Shabby Chic  2-ply with roses and pink satin trim that feels weighted.

As in life, yoga asks that you get on your knees.   When your body asks for a slower pace, getting on your knees  as the class continues with a pose, is a perfect position to offer a pause.  It may also be that getting on your knee is part of the pose.    In class, The rabbit pose felt restful and helped relieve congestion.

Getting on your knees: pause and realign

“We are all born from a place of infinite love, peace and bliss.” A yoga teacher reminder.

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A visit to Zilker Park to pause and re-align

During a yoga class, there are lots of decisions  made.  Do I have the energy level to complete the pose?  Are my arms, hands and fingers in a right alignment.  How about the toes, the feet, the legs, the hips?  Do I need to pause and re-align before moving on with the pose?  Do I need to pause and re-align the movements with the breath?   It’s a good use of time to get on my knees to realign with breath and body before continuing the pose.

As in yoga, life asks that you re-align.  Even with allergies, it feels good to   take time for 10 to 20  minutes of sitting on the grass in the sun in the park.  Breathing fresh air, watching people and animals can feel relaxing.  Also using the time to just breathe, realign and connect.  “I love this.”  “I love that.”

A yoga sequence may include what I call “the reverse push up”. Ugh! ” I love this pose.”  “I  love this pose.”   With lengthy limbs, long arms especially, the distance to travel seems far to go up and seems far to go down gracefully.  This sequence feels easier by getting on the knees.  It feels easier to realign the arms closer to the body and to move the body forward before moving downward.

Life, like yoga is a work in progress made easier by getting on the knees to pause, rest, slow down and realign.

A dog as a reminder of a conquered fear

Posted on: January 15th, 2017 By:
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…thinking about situations that bring up …fear

Let’s me tell you about an fear-filled situation.    Our lovable pet dog turned vicious one day and bit my sister and I when we were children.   The dog chased us around the house.  It was foaming at the mouth.  My sister and I  ran and screamed in fear.  Our little legs did not outrun the dog.  One by one the dog caught us  and bit us.  The fear, the bite, the rabid dog.

Bending the needle in fear

What happened next, were actions steeped in fear and justifiably so.  A bite from a rabid dog requires a series of rabies shot around the navel.  I remember that first visit for shots well.  Why?   Because my dear sister fought the providers  to avoid the injection.  Her struggles and the determination of the providers caused the needle to bend.  The needle bent in her stomach.  Everyone felt more fear.  My sister and I got our series of injections.

Why did that memory come up? I was thinking about situations  real or imagined that bring up a feeling of fear.

Of course every time I saw a dog after that experience, I held my breath and made decisions. The decision to stand my ground or to run in fear.  Or,  to pet or not to pet.  A decision to ignore the dog or to look directly at the dog. The decision that helped me the most was my decision was to breathe!

Just because you feel the fear doesn’t mean you can’t do it.  Do it afraid.~Joyce Meyer.

Pillow: a reminder of less fear

My two children are animal lovers and dog owners.  I’m glad that I didn’t waste any time passing down a fear of dogs.   The fear was short-lived and  did not become a phobia.  My dog’s name is Pillow.

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What was there to fear? With matted hair, filled with burrs.

Pillow walked into the school with matted hair.  Her coat filled with burrs.  She “peed” in the classroom. Not many wanted to touch her.  As soon as I saw her I knew she was the perfect dog.  Staff members helped to make that a reality by helping us avoid the ‘dog police’ when they came to pick her up.

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I was able to overcome a fear of dogs.

 

 

 

Some funny things about Pillow.  She pauses to stretch when called.  You have to wait for her to do the downward dog first.  She eats salads, cooked vegetables and nuts.  Pillow shows no fear near large dogs.

Pillow does show fear and may trembles if you blow in her face.  If you make weird noises. If you try to kiss her.  She has trained me to pet her when she nudges my hand.

Pillow is an important reminder of a time that I was able to overcome a fear.  This is important to me because of any current fears, imagined or real.

Compassion and Less fear

Try having compassion to reduce your fears.  Have compassion for yourself as a fearful person.  Try to have compassion for whatever you fear.

Increase your compassionate thoughts by using affirmations.  Watch videos and read uplifing books to change your fearful thoughts and feelings.   Exercise by walking or doing yoga.  See a counselor.

Get a dog to walk with, talk to and watch their silly antics.

“Why does watching a dog be a dog fill one with happiness?”~Jonathan Safran Foer

 

The Smell of Yoga

Posted on: January 5th, 2017 By:
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No one can argue with wanting a good smelling yoga area.

“You smell nice!” The words heard as I walked into a favorite class,  Yoga and Meditation.  A yogi to the right of me commented on the pleasant smell that came from my direction.  A compliment, well received.  The pleasant scent might have come from the use of an  essential oil.  Or,  the use of scented hand wipes provided at Whole Foods.

Yoga studios, at best, may smell of incense or the wood floor. That’s because yogis often, but not always, take steps before class to not smell.   Take a shower.  Wear clean clothing.  Use deodorant.  Avoid wearing strong-smelling perfumes.

Not long ago, I made an effort to keep the surrounding space smelling nice.  What effort did I take to keep a pleasant smelling space?  Well, one thing I did was to tighten my butt sphincter muscles to keep the fart(s) in.  A well-practiced skill learned as an elementary school teacher.  We hold our pee and farts.

 

SILENT OR LOUD

Is holding a fart a good practice?  Maybe yes or maybe no.  Few would even want to spend time discussing that point.  No one can argue, though, with wanting a non-offensive smelling yoga area.  No need to stress!  There are a few ways to maintain the good yoga studio smell.  Let’s talk about ways around the need to fart.

EATING!

Avoid eating one hour before class; two hours if your digestion is slow. If you have to eat before class, then eat what your body digests easily.  Eat non-gas producing foods.  You alone know what that means for your body.   But, if you don’t?  Google is your friend.

TOO LATE, YOU ATE!

There is always water at the table outside of most studio entrance door.  Use that as a nice excuse to go outside, to free your fart, to get some water, and then return to class.

PRIVACY!

Not enough privacy?  Then, the bathroom is convenient and offers more privacy.

RELEASE THE KRAKEN!

Not enough time?  Can’t hold it in?  Don’t want to disturb the flow of the class by leaving the room?  Too late, the pose is Downward Dog?   Or, Wide-Legged Forward Bend?  Happy Baby? Easy Pose? The fart is coming.  Just ‘release the kraken!’  Farting is a natural process.  Silent or loud, many fart in a class. All know about farts. Take care of yourself. No one will single you out.  They may laugh to themselves and may think “better you than me.”

PRACTICE!

Did you know that three are some, for medical reasons, bloating and/or gas, have an actual need to fart.  There are a few yoga asanas  that actually help you to release the wind.   Practice those and let your private studio space smell as it may.

Citizens shall be allowed to pass gas whenever necessary. –  Emperor Claudius

BREATH WORK

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Breathe in the sweet smell of nature.

This advice may not seem to add to the smell of yoga.   I have often said things that sound like farts and then comes regret. Regret breeds stress.   Whether your farts are verbal or actual,  the one activity  that always helps with the decision to not stress is breathing.  Breathing as if you’re in nature.

What ever you decide to do with your farts, focus on the breath.  You are in a yoga class where every, and I do mean every, teacher emphasizes breath work.  Every asana uses the  breath:  nose breathing or combination nose and open mouth; before, during and/or after.

Inhale – (Fill the chest cavity, the lungs, rib cage, and diaphragm)

Hold – Kumbhaka Pranayama (Breath Retention)

Exhale – (Empty the diaphragm, the  rib cage, the lungs, and chest cavity)

Love the smell of yoga!

Setting intentions for the new year.

Posted on: January 5th, 2017 By:
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Setting intentions for the new year.

 

Setting intentions for the new year

Last year seems like a blur. So many decisions, transitions and newness tumbled into one. I remember that I knew “this was the year, this was the time,” but being scared to death to leap into the unknown. And now, BOOM. 2017, a new year. I did it, it happened. Now, I am ready to dive into those seemingly murky waters that I find hope in. Hope in knowing that what I envision beginning this year will align with who I am and how I am meant to serve. I am not much for resolutions. So, I decided to share in a communal gathering instead. This allowed me to celebrate the new, let go of the old, and set my truest intention to begin again. Although, we can begin again every day, with every breath, I wanted to be clear as I start this new year. Clear with my intentions for this new journey I am on and to share in the vibration of those trying to do the same.

Communal gathering

It was perfect timing when I saw the post inviting everyone to the Amala Foundation for a New Years meditation ceremony. My partner, Clay and I walked in and quickly found a spot to share among the almost full circle. As I looked around, my heart warmed knowing that everyone there had the same calling to share in this together. The new year brings out so many emotions and to have this supportive space and fellowship led by Jeremy I knew would be amazing. As it began, everyone shared their intentions. What is so amazing is that even though it can feel fearful to open your heart and be that vulnerable, this felt safe. I was safe in knowing that within each sharing, I could relate or understand in some way. No one judging. No longer branded by race, religion or gender, but sharing in this experience. Sharing community with new and old to build the foundation for a better world.

Setting my intentions

Resolutions never work for me. They always lose their luster about two months in. I knew I wanted to set a true intention. One that I could live by, refer to and let be my mantra to guide me into the next 365 days. I had discussed many with Clay on a long drive home in December and I knew he had set his own. But, it wasn’t until it was my turn to share with the circle that the words flowed out of mouth. My heart. {My friend had even asked me earlier that morning and I couldn’t articulate it.} But, at that moment, I knew. I knew what intention I needed to set to continue my growth on this journey and what stood in my way. It was such a relief to say it aloud and to feel embraced by everyone around. I think this process of sharing with others helps you feel it, understand it and live it much more authentically. How beautiful this new year will be, I can feel it!!

Meditation and the tibetan singing bowls

Meditation is now a part of my life, but a community meditating accompanied by the Tibetan singing bowls is something in its own realm. The vibration is higher, you are more clairvoyant, and you are in tune with your body in a different way. At least this has been my experience. Jeremy has a true gift for setting this space and helping to guide it and I am truly blessed to have been a witness and participant. Setting my intentions for the new year helped me find ease and comfort on what to focus on. There were moments that I thought I was the only one in the room, but could feel an energy all around me. The sound of the bowls is indescribable as it pierces every cell of your body. Eyes closed, I was immersed in all of the good intentions in the room and collectively felt as one.

This is how I decided to do it, but I know there are so many other powerful ways to set intentions for anything new. This gave me time to pause, reflect and breathe. I am clear about so many things. If you would like to join Jeremy and this community for other gatherings, here is the link:

Home

 

 

How presence is the greatest gift.

Posted on: December 29th, 2016 By:
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How presence is the greatest gift.

How presence is the greatest gift.

Gifts are wonderful, but I really struggled with what to do this year. What to give, who to give to and how to make it more than just another unused item cluttering space. For some, I made items or baked, but for others it was the same old obligatory “stuff.” It is hard to see the wrapping paper flying, mass chaos at times with no one remembering just what happened. All a blur. But, really…what is the reason for the season? If it is about love and giving, don’t I have the most amazing gift within me? I realized after this weekend, being present IS the greatest gift I have to share. This was a big lesson and I wanted to share some special moments since they were fresh. Hey, it is also free and we can all do it. Simple little gestures if we are aware.

 electronic device down

I know, I know. You, like me, just want to check it. Real quick. I torture myself with this one!! Let me just scroll and check out what is happening. It is a compulsive disorder I believe, lol. What is it that I think I am missing out there in cyber world that is more precious than the life in front of me? I know I can’t nor want to multitask, but I certainly know that I am not sharing the gift of presence when I am reading posts. I looked around at times and I took a mental picture of everyone {including me,} on some sort of device, even the littlest. We just keep saying, “this is the new world we live in, right?” No, we have a choice, I have a choice. From then on, I really tried to hide my phone or turn it off. I failed many times, but I tried. I tried so hard to be present and share this gift. And when someone would look me in the eye and talk to me, I listened and received their greatest gift just the same. Their presence, my presence just being in the here and now.

Coffee on the hilltop

My husband’s family home is on this breathtaking hilltop among tall pine trees. It is where the fields and sky merge and become one. New bones with an old soul. We felt his grandmother’s spirit in every leaf passing by. Every morning, we would sit outside, swing on the porch and have our coffee and talk. No devices, just being fully present with those around us. Being fully present with nature. This was the greatest gift. You learn so much about each other, you share so many beautiful stories that could not otherwise be told when you are hustling and bustling. {We did this with my family on Thanksgiving in the backyard and oh, how I learned so much family history I never knew!} If I could rewind our holiday moments, it would be here. Sometimes, it was quiet, so silent you could hear the squirrels rustling around. We just smiled. Just smiled and relished in what we may not have been aware that we were receiving. But we felt something special that no store bought gift {no matter the value,} could ever give. Those tiny moments. Such a testament of how presence is truly the greatest gift.

presence on my mat

I came back full but exhausted from our trip. I would have loved to have spent the next day lounging, but I knew I needed to be present for myself as well. My mind was spinning with lists in my head for future things I needed to do and it took me quite awhile to rest. Being present for myself is just as important to me {if not the most important,} thing there is. I finally found my space and gave myself this great gift on my mat that evening. Showing up for myself fills my spirit so that I can be more present for those around me. The slow flow and meditation was exactly what my body needed to refuel. I thanked myself and those around me at Sanctuary for this priceless time. Time to realize that within me, I hold the greatest gift of all. Before I left, I gave gratitude for the wonderful life I have and for everyone that did take time to pick out a gift for me, so thoughtful. Maybe next year, the struggle for what to give will arise or maybe it won’t. Either way, I know what do. Be. Here. Now. What a beautiful present.

 

 

Loving the self: Sharing with a friend

Posted on: December 23rd, 2016 By:
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 Sharing a meal with a new friend

Friendship is nothing more than sharing. Elie Wiesel

Friendship is nothing more than sharing. Elie Wiesel

Loving the self came with sharing a meal.  Sharing a meal with a stranger.  This happened at the tail end of  cooking and as I was serving the meal to my two children, Robert and Alycia. She knocked at my door selling insurance.  What stood out was the fact that she toted, Leona, her baby with her.  Buying insurance was not in my budget.  The budget included only health insurance for our family and car insurance.

Then she commented on the scent of the food.  I invited her to sit at the table.  We shared a meal and we have been friends ever since.  Her daughter is now 28.

 

 

I take time to love the me that invited a stranger for a meal.

sharing what we want to see

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…the type of bottle that invites you to save pennies…

It’s December and we have decided to meet for breakfast at Angie’s Mexican Restaurant.  You can pretty much get what you want to eat keeping in mind that it is a Mexican restaurant.

Walking after a meal aids digestion.   The neighborhood seemed to serve an invitation to walk with wider sidewalks.  We notice the condos and other changes.  Some call it gentrification others call it something else.

Treasure City Thrift Shop bustles with men and women rummaging through clothes, walking around touching, holding, assessing items.  Some children play with old toys.  The large bottle looked familiar.  You know the type of bottle that invites  you to save  pennies and other coins.  This particular bottle looked thicker.  The design and pattern lent some distinction.  We both agreed that $10 seemed reasonable until she took it to the counter and the cashier asked for $40.  I guess our eyes saw what we wanted to see.  We could now clearly see the $40.

I take time to love the me that saw what it wanted to see.

Sharing what I have to offer

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Restorative Yoga … to heal and relax

I regularly donate blood with the intention of keeping my iron levels balanced;  for getting information on my physical health; and, with the intention of helping others.  The needles always feel too big for my veins.  They bite and leave a mark.  My friend tells me that her daughter was recently hospitalized because of low iron levels.  Her condition was severe  and she needed two blood transfusions to elevate those levels.  Blood donation has always felt unpleasant until hearing this news.

My friend gladly takes the information about and recommendation for Restorative Yoga for her daughter to heal and relax in order to better figure out her next move.  The article 10 Benefits of Restorative Yoga  explains the importance of this type of yoga.  Here are the first two:

  1. Slows Down the Pace of Life:  disconnect from the frenetic activity of daily life and let your speedometer return to 0 mph.
  2. Soothing to the Nervous Systemoverall calming effect on the nervous system sets a deeply relaxing tone …that comforts your mind and body….

 

I take time to love the me that shares what I have to offer.

Accepting changes

We’ve walked for an hour.  Made one stop in the store.  At the tail end of the walk, twenty-eight years that have passed since we met is apparent in visible and invisible changes.

During our conversation we say ‘Yes’,  we are sexy and we know it!  We’re both wise enough to agree to disagree about Clinton and Trump because who the hell knows what’s really going on there.   We admire our gray hairs in the super short afro and the long dreadlocks.  We don’t speak about our slightly jiggly middle.  My ankles and feet hurt.  She has to run back to the restaurant to make it to the bathroom.

I take time to love these changes from years of living.

Sharing time with a friend helps me feel like a better friend to myself!

Feeding With the Emotion of Joy in Mind

Posted on: December 16th, 2016 By:
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Choose an activity that you enjoy.

It’s the holiday season and free food will be abundant.  New and old friends and family members will feed us.  Before taking a bite we may want to look at why we gravitate to certain foods. Gravitating towards sweets, as in my case, suggests other reasons besides a sweet tooth.  Better yet, along with eating the sweets, I found other ways to satisfy this urge.

Dr. Deanna Minich, a nutritionist, recommends  an activity you enjoy and can indulge in for just 30 minutes per day to better sate the real reason for the cravings for sweet foods.  The real reason, says Dr. Minich, is to experience the joy, the sweetness of life.  Apparently, no one recommends over indulgence in sweets.  So it seems best to  look at other ways to experience joy.  Let’s look at  the joy of food, yoga and dance.

Friends, Food and Joy

Feeding the sweet tooth.

Visiting old friends is the activity I chose for feeding the emotions with the joy of food.  The invitation  was for a “holiday Open House” at Morning Mist Retreats in Round Rock.  A place offering meditation and a variety of workshops.   The invitation was to celebrate the completion of the Japanese tea House.  And, so we did with the use of sage, drumming, singing and even some  dancing.

My joy-filled contributions to the group included the Laughter Yoga victory chant -“Very Good, Very Good! Yeah!  I also go to demonstrate “punta” the national dance from Honduras.  You need sturdy thighs and legs to dance this flat-footed-butt shaking dance for more than 1 minute.

The visit with old and new friends included feeding my emotions with actual food.  Yummy brownies, egg, scones, pudding, pies, crackers and fruit flavored cheese.  The variety of sweets partnered with proteins such as deviled eggs, mixed nuts definitely fed the sweet tooth.

Friends, Yoga and Joy

Yoga at Sanctuary Yoga is one of the activities I chose as part of feeding the emotion with the joy of yoga. The 8 a.m. Hatha class with new friend Leena Ladd offered many opportunities.  All instructors are friends.  My intention was to feel the joy in whatever arose in class.   And, I did!

I found myself feeding on the stretch of the Seated Forward Bend; and, feeding on the restfulness of the Child Pose ; and, feeding on the funny attempts at Tree Pose.  Any pose that brought attention to the feet, only reminds me of the healings offered to  my beloved ankles and  feet.

My favorite activity was feeding on the calming effect of the six counts on the inhale and six count on the exhale as suggested by Leena.  And, especially the time spent on Alternate Nostril Breath.  Breathing is one of the easiest things to do and most of us may not  even do that to our benefit.

To top things off, I took Restorative Yoga classes,  the “dessert of yoga.”  Yummy!

How community nourishes my soul.

Posted on: December 15th, 2016 By:
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How community nourishes my soul.

How community nourishes my soul.

Community.

I have come to realize that just as self care, yoga and meditation nourish my soul, so does community. Gathering with those who genuinely want to share their precious time with you and you with them. As I grow within my journey, I realize that I get to choose my community. Choosing to meet those that have similar passions and missions is so important to me on this path that I am on.  I am still transitioning out of my stagnant work environment from the past twenty years, but I have a precious few that I call”family.” For this I am grateful for. Sometimes as you let go of jobs and experiences, you have to let go of people to open space for new. This is how I feel about the community within Amala and being part of their weekly community lunches and yoga at Sanctuary. I have opened my heart to receive and through this, the community has been nourishing not only for my body, but for my soul.

Amala Community Lunches: Nourishing.

For the past few weeks, I have been taking part in Amala’s weekly lunches where the community proceeds benefit the Foundation. They have volunteers that cook, clean and put love into serving their community gathering. Many there, I feel may have been part of this community already but each smile lights up the room welcoming you as you walk in. Any feelings of “the first day of school” jitters quickly disappeared and I felt right at home. It amazes me that when you open up, are open and surround yourself with those that want to be there, what you leave with. Yes, I left satisfied. Yes, even a bit full. But, most of all, I left with this sense of community nourishing my soul. Each time I have visited, I am able to meet and share with those on a similar journey as myself. Seeking community, making changes in their life to benefit the better good, and sharing bravery. I left with supportive stories in just that short time and have been able to give my support and undivided attention while sipping my cup of warm nourishing soup. It is within this that I feel the warmth that these community lunches have nourished and wrapped its arms around my soul, deeper than I could imagine.

Yoga at sanctuary

In my short time practicing at Sanctuary, I already feel when I step in the room that I am part of something bigger. Something divine. This community at many of my mediation yoga classes share their space and hearts in a very deep way. I always feel that those four walls are safe for me. This yoga community and the teachers are always so inviting and I see a sense of welcoming to new and existing students that goes far beyond being nice. They want to be there. They want you to feel that and it is done so effortlessly that my soul is so satisfied, so nourished each time.

 

So, as I move toward my dreams of working with children and community through yoga and mediation, I know that the Amala Foundation and Sanctuary yoga will be part of my new home. If you want to join us, here is the link:

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