April 29 – I was convinced last night that I would be up before the sun and ready to approach the day. I had been waking so early recently that I figured it would be like all the others. However, I slept right up to my alarm and even then was not enthusiastic to peel myself off the sheets. I stumbled my way to work and parked my car. Sitting there I was reminded that in order to embrace this life and steer myself in a direction toward my goals and dreams, I would need to break habits of self doubt and negative energy.
I got out of my car and before I grabbed my bags or did anything else, I breathed. Several enormous gulps of fresh Spring air entered my body. I was then inspired to give the day some Sun Breaths right there in the parking lot. I said Yes to the day and brought myself into the light.
I remembered a recent commitment I made that involves a daily gesture of self care, self love, and a moment to deepen my practice. I put all my bags and work aside. Went to a locker and unrolled a yoga mat. In the new sun of this new day I greeted it with some gentle yoga. I spent some time examining my balance and where I am placing weight through my feet on the mat. It was liberating to reclaim work space as a place of love, healing, and spiritual practice.
May 8 – We only had 20 minutes to discover our stillness and find the light within ourselves. We began from a standing spiraling energy and gently took each breath to settle and go inside. We took care of our bodies. We took care of our hearts. I am so blessed to have this opportunity and doing my best to take it every time.
Tadasana and Utkatasana brought us swiftly into concentrated power. I am so proud to look out at the room full of young people taking the journey to be healthier and more mindful. It is in these moments of sustaining postures that I am no longer agitated by discomfort. I am finding ways to allow it to be there while also being appreciative that I can experience this. I enjoy reminding my students that they have control over their experience and can adjust accordingly. It is liberating.
Cobra today was transformative. We focused more on our alignment and less on how high we lifted and it became a new experience. I am hoping to show them that pushing through sometimes leaves you empty. That in yoga it is important to explore the stretch and sensation in the small movements and adjustments. My students took the time to allow their bodies to gradually rise and stayed present to what slight shifts could reveal.
When is came time for our closing mediation I encouraged my students to focus on recognizing their inner strength and power. With every inhale we invited thoughts of what we most want to become. We inhaled the strength and power we wish to possess. With every exhale we expanded and rejoiced that we are already what we wish to become. We celebrate the path and continue the cycle. I saw the light beam out from every face in front of me. These kids shine. Be the light.
April 17 – This week I wanted my yoga students to not only make strides in their personal practice of focus, stretch, strength, and balance; but I wanted them to know that anything was possible because they possess all the tools they need to be successful. I wanted them to believe that they hold their power. Our mediation was centered on the quote:
Everything you need, your courage, strength, compassion and love; everything you need is already within you.
I began class with that phrase and ended with it. I also told them:
There are only two mistakes someone can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting. -Buddha
I could feel them melt as they released into these ideas. When I said it at the beginning of class, it was something to think about and roll around in their brains. When I said it again at the end of class, I could feel the kids grow and get more powerful. It is the most amazing feeling in the world to feel that inner strength from someone radiate into the room. I am so thankful for this opportunity.
Then it flooded me like a fiery bubbling wave. I needed to hear this and say this. I needed to remind myself that I do not need to search anywhere but in my own self for all the courage, strength, compassion, and love I need. I have it. I have had it all along. So much of my upbringing has reinforced the American scheme of being dependent on commercialism, self doubt, and self deprecation in order to survive. I am reteaching myself to look within and like what is there. I am learning to be faithful in myself and capabilities.
“The is never a time in the future in which we will work out our salvation. The challenge is in the moment, the time is always now.” -James Baldwin DWCHS ’42
April 3 – This was our closing meditation in yoga this morning. We are reinforcing that we are control of our actions and how we focus our energy. I am never quite certain from where the quote or intention will come and yet every week as if by magic it happens. I am so blessed to be part of a group of young people that are using yoga and meditation to redirect their futures.
I have found this quote particularly helpful in warding off feelings of failure and doubt. I am always in the moment of creating my salvation. I am always in the opportunity of generating positive change and growth. It seems as though stress, deadlines, expectations, and frustrations have been consuming my thoughts. I am doing my best to remember that I can breathe and make better choices. I can enlist help when needed. I can believe in the power of now to release me from the mistakes I made before or the perception of myself that is not serving me well. I know that each breath I inhale, I can reflect all the things I am able to do in this moment to feel and be better. With every exhale I breathe out gratitude for the opportunity to be this amazing person with choices and love. This is what I encourage in my students. Go inside and bring in the celebration of self. Breathe out the appreciation and be thankful for the ability to be celebratory. It guarantees motivation and positive energy.
Each moment I take my salvation, my future into my own hands, I am empowering the inner warrior to love, celebrate, and give thanks. In this moment now I am beyond happy that I am bringing yoga into my life with a more focused and dedicated approach. I am grateful that I have students with which I can share my journey and together we learn and grow. Healing is a process. I am coming back stronger and more aware and I am thankful.
It’s day 2 of my “no Red Meat Week”. I don’t eat a lot of red meat. SO I decided that this was a great way to begin an experiment of a cleaner, leaner me.
I began my morning with Bikram Yoga at 8:30 am. 105 degrees and loved every moment. OK, maybe loved every moment is a inflation of the truth. There were some definite moments of struggle, despair and pain. Yet, in the end, it felt good. I got on the scale this morning as well. Facing the facts and moving forward.
Breakfast was quinoa and spinach salad with lots of water to drink. I feel good. Really good. We have spent most of this lovely afternoon outside in the garden. My daughter kept saying it is a beautiful day and she is right.
Tonight we are going out and I am determined to eat healthy and have a good time. I am blessed with a wonderful family and I am allowing myself to just enjoy life a lot more than I have done. It has a been a tough few months and I am realising that I have been very tough on myself.
Clean eating can lead to clean thinking. This is what I am going on for now.
There are little moments of bravery and selfishness in my life that are in dire need of celebrating. This morning included one of them. I took time to honor my body, mind, spirit and connection to others. I went to yoga class. I know this may sound silly – like – big deal, you went to yoga. Yet, it is a big deal. I didn’t stay home to take care of everyone there for three hours. Quite often I will give up plans so I can give all my focus to the family. If my husband’s schedule changes at the last minute and he is going to be home I normally would give yoga a miss and hang out with family time. However, I need to honor me as well. This is something I know, I preach but rarely practice. Today, I did it. Yay me. I also let myself be. I went into yoga class ready to just “do what I can”. I know I am not in the best shape of my life but I also know the key to making a change is loving the me that is inside. Funny thing was I discovered I could do more that just a few days prior. I didn’t push myself, I just got out of the way. This is an INCREDIBLY difficult concept for me. I have been reminded of it far too often and always feel defeated. Not today. Today, it’s alright. I also shared this day with a good friend. I didn’t feel that in order to meditate, concentrate or even work on me I needed to be alone. I brought a friend and we had our own experiences and we also had this joined experience. Now I can only speak for me but I really needed to juggle that ability to be in my own world and connect with others. Two separate experiences that overlap. It was good. I didn’t compete. I didn’t worry. I didn’t get distracted. I got out of the way. Sometimes it is difficult to share these journeys with others. I am vulnerable and so so so fragile in my vulnerability. This is something I have hidden. I think I am learning to let my vulnerability shine like another bright star in my personal sky. okay, that sounds silly. I am learning to be at peace with my little neurosis. I get self conscience at the drop of a hat and I have spent a lot of energy to hide that – no more. Today I begin to admit things…and it’s alright. Thanks yoga.
Original post 3Mar2013