I’m working on a new website and it has me going through some of my old posts, both here and on what I have saved from my Yoga Betty days! And what I have learned is, damn I have written some awesome pieces. Here are two old posts, unedited, unchanged from when I listed them. Hopefully it will hold you over for the weekend!
The new site will be up on December 21, the new moon and solstice! I can’t wait to share it with you 🙂 also, I’ll be starting a monthly newsletter beginning December 1, don’t miss out! I’ll be sharing some fun gift ideas and poses to keep you steady this holiday season. Next week will be fun and busy, but I hope to get a few posts in before the day if thanks.
Highest and Brightest in Me..
Originally Posted on October 7, 2011
“Let the beauty we love be what we do. There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.” — Rumi
If your time to you Is worth savin’ Then you better start swimmin’ Or you’ll sink like a stone For the times they are a-changin’.
There’s a lot going on these days, we mourned the 10th anniversary of 9/11, there’s people camping out to protest #Occupy Wall Street, a innovator lost his battle with cancer and passed away way too early. Maybe these haven’t affected your day to day directly, but perhaps the trickle down has hit you in one way or another. Now to be clear, I have no desire to discuss these things, I bring them up because individually they can bring up stress, fear, an array of other emotions which can lead to that little negative nancy in your head. Doubter Debbie can make any sunny day turn into fret of skin cancer, birds pooping on you and the sky falling, but there is a way to get passed it… and if you guessed yoga, you’d be right!
I was talking with my brother last night and amongst other things, I asked if he wanted to do some yoga when i see him soon. Like many others, his response was “i can’t touch my toes, so no i’m not doing that.” As a big sister of course i have to tease “what you can’t bend your knees?” Finally, after some other witty banter, I said to him “you can breathe can’t you? well you’re doing yoga then.” Now that may be the simplest form of yoga, paying attention to your breath, mindfully drawing air into the lungs, and then purposefully pressing all the air out of the lungs. Yes, sometimes we sync movement with that breath, but in a very simple (but lovely) truth yoga is about being in the present moment and that is exactly what the breath is.
The point (yes there is one in this whole round about side story action), in times of stress and fear we focus on things that we’ve done in the past that we can no longer change or things that may (or may not) happen in the future, but hardly ever are we in the present moment. This is where the inhale and exhale come in. So let’s try something. Cop a squat (or sit down)… on the floor, in a chair, where ever and breathe. When your mind starting wandering, change the focus back to the breath. Try taking FIVE inhales and exhales without distraction. Start over if you chase a thought. If that’s too hard, try inhaling to the count of five, exhale to the count of seven…. or three and five..( four and six?) slow down.. Feel better?
The times they are a changin’, Bob was never more correct that when he said this in 1964, but the time we spend on the mat can help you handle it all. One breath at a time!
Hips don’t lie..
Originally Posted on September 27, 2011
I’m a crier. Not the overly loud, sobbing uncontrollably kind of crier, but the person in pigeon pose that sheds a tear or five while peeling off the tension held in my hips (i have very open shoulders and upper body, but my hips.. geez louise the are like a screw tightened WAY too tight). I have always been proud that I can let go of my emotions in public, that when i am letting go in a public class it’s not just a matter of sinking in, but possibly a letting go of self-doubt, fear, worry, or the ever popular self-critism. I recently took a class and for the first time in, well I’d say years, I didn’t cry. Not even a well up, no misty eyes for me.
Now this could be that I went to yoga with a friend and we laughed a lot, whispered teasingly about our rock star yoga action (it’s a sweaty yoga class, don’t judge it was our way of working out some tension). It could also be that i had taught 2 heavy classes already and while I really wanted to cry, laughing had already done the job, but when I folded over my front leg I waited for the release. Both in my hip and in my heart, the hip release came, but (and I hate to admit this) nothing came from my heart. Not that I felt empty, but I just didn’t feel emotional. Those of you with tight hips may know this, but that’s just crazy talk, no emotions in my hips is like having a cookie jar with no cookies. Kinda rude maybe even a little odd.
At the end of class, drenched in sweat, I held hands with my girlfriend in savasana, my body sunk down into the floor like i was in a sand trap, but I couldn’t shake the feeling like something was missing. As I drove home, I couldn’t help but ask myself if the emotional well that I believed lived in my hips had dried up, if i had shed so much that now it just felt good to be in my hips? In some ways the answer is yes, but I think only time will tell if i will have the sweet release of tears in pigeon pose again.
There are plenty of poses to cry in, heart openers like camel or wheel sometime have that affect on me, but none give me that satisfying cry as hip openers like pigeon pose does. Time and practice will tell me if I have indeed grown and let go of the (pardon my language) shit I store in my hips. After all I have been doing yoga for over ten years now, maybe I have just grown and sorted out the things I carried from youth. Hopefully, I have learned to let go and not store as much in my body. In all honesty, I feel that it’s just time to smile more, laugh harder, and give up the reigns and control.
p.s. I know this isn’t the usual kind of stuff i blog about (my personal practice or how i transform), but this particular topic is good to open up… while i very rarely teach a class that is focused on the emotional (or spiritual) part of yoga, it IS always there and I want to give space for you to find what you need or what is in your own body. I can tell you we hold family stuff or “foundation” stuff in our hips, but that doesn’t mean that is why YOUR hips are tight. Only you can recognize what you find in YOUR body, but I can tell you this, if you focus on your breathing and start to come inside your body to see what’s happening, you can and will let go of what ever it is.. what ever it is that is in your hips or your heart, eh, what ever is in your body! Like Shakira sang “my hips don’t lie” and neither will yours!
pps… as always, you know what you can and can not do, maybe pigeon pose isn’t in your repertoire yet, that is ok, there are plenty of hip openers (and a shameless plug, but there is a video for hip openers that will demo some pigeon, along with some other great poses to get in there!!)