Demystifying Yoga and Why You Need to Try it.

I remember the first moment I walked into a class known as “hot yoga”.  Yes, it was hotter than hell or so I imagined.  The class was heated to around 102 degrees with about 40% humidity.  I managed to last, but honestly wondered how many people passed out, threw up or went to the bathroom and never came back.

I pondered all of those things in the space of 5 minutes.  The people were all slim, seriously.  There was a mirror on the wall in front of me and I wondered why, whyyyy, would they do that to people wearing next to nothing.  And to top it off, a man walked in wearing what seriously was the smallest erm covering ever and put his mat in front of me (More on that later if you want to click the link).

Here’s the thing.  I was brand new and it wasn’t about any of these things, but if this was my first experience, I had nothing else to compare it to.  So, for those of you who are either nodding your heads, or wondering what happened next, I will help clear some things up.

This particular studio caters to the college students.  I didn’t realize that when I signed up as it was close to me and I wanted to see what all the “fuss” was about.  The people were very serious in this class and very much unforgiving that particular day.  It is not like this everywhere and just to be clear, it is not like this in every class there.  The phrase that I later discovered “your vibe attracts your tribe” is also true for yoga studios. 

Since I was a beginner, I didn’t know what I didn’t know.  I tried it again years later at this studio and found that it still seemed not quite the right fit for me personally.  I wanted to connect with my body and my breath and I personally couldn’t do that while staring at a mirror.  It was way too distracting in this class.

I didn’t want the mirror to be my focus and I found the students body language as well as the instructors seemed to imply that if I didn’t do the pose a certain way, that I was less than somehow and the mirror was just confirmation.

The next place I tried offered Restorative Yoga Well, the few times I went I really enjoyed it…until I took a friend who couldn’t sit still at all, but that’s another story that I linked here.  You have to understand that I was mentally and physically in pain at the time, but I had come to the conclusion that it absolutely couldn’t get any worse (which was actually half right) and that to do nothing was insane (which was 100% correct).  So, the art of restoring my body back to the original factory settings appealed to me highly. 

We got to use bolsters, which are like pillows, blankets, blocks, straps and pretty much anything we had available to us at the time.  I felt very good about the process.  After a while of finding my place in this class, I finally decided to take what would become my greatest passion.

The Vinyasa “flow” Class.  What fresh hell was this my body whispered?  Why are we doing this?  My wrists said to me.  My brain said “Aww F-this.  No.  Noooo.”  But I sat on the mat with no mirror in front of me and listened as the teacher centered us.  I began to move and thought that if I needed a rest surely yoga was the place to find it, right?  Well, again.  Not all classes are created the same and they shouldn’t be.  So, in this flow, it was exactly that.  We literally flowed from pose to pose to pose, and I felt like we never stopped.

Again, my body was in the greatest pain it had ever been in at this time anyway, so I felt as if I had nothing to lose and everything to gain…if I could last.  It was literally like being on Survivor I thought.  I had to pace my thoughts so that I could make it 60 minutes.  Could I do this?

The first few weeks, were hard.  Down Dog was not my favorite.  I actually secretly despised it.  Planking.  WHY was that ever created in the first place when you could plop down on the damn mat.  Why did I want to actually hold myself up?  Why?  Anyway, all this moaning was only in my head.  At least for the most part.  I might have told my husband I wasn’t cut out for it.

Then the day happened when my wrists didn’t hurt quite as much, and in a moment of weakness I said yes to signing up for Yoga Teacher Training.  So, the truth is, I get it.  I really do.

I am not slim…I am curvy, but prefer not to put that label on my style of teaching as that’s just ridiculous.  I want to teach yoga that is truly available to every body.  Every size, shape, color or anything else you think is holding you back.  Are you in pain?  I understand.  Do you think you are too big busted?  I got you covered with modifications and ways to move those girls out-of-the-way.  Don’t want to wear yoga pants?  Fine, then wear what makes you happy…and ermm covered.

After 200 hours, and days I almost cried from the pain, I graduated from my yoga teacher training.  I couldn’t hold myself up at first.  Seriously, and had to modify by coming to my knees in down dog, one of the most used poses there seemed to be ever.  I had such poor wrists that I couldn’t side plank.  And I tried for a year to hold myself up in a pose called crow.  I want you to believe me when I say “trust the process”.  I additionally became certified in teaching yoga for arthritis and pain.  I am now a mindful coach who specializes in getting through this minute to the next, and the next and the next and learning to let go of the things that are holding you back.

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I would love to be able to help you with getting control of your thoughts, practicing visualization techniques, and creating affirmations that can help you move ahead with your life.

Available to you here >> Head|Heart|Health Club <<

Body Image and Yoga…3 Reasons to Ignore the Mirror!

Happy International Day of Yoga my friends.  After one full year of teaching yoga, wow, I can honestly say that my body image has changed, but I still work on it daily!  In 2010, you are welcome to use the side search on the blog and read all about that year, but that was the year that everything started to attack me.  Autoimmune changed my life…and I don’t know if I will ever really accept it, but I have learned how to control it and that was a huge relief.

That being said, several changes happened to my body during the last 5 years that were not there before.  I found out I had fibrocystic breasts, and while it’s never a fun topic, I am linking it to my blog post on what happened that year and how I found out.  So I am going to be honest, my body image was not good around the time I came back to yoga due to pain, years of invisible diseases playing a game with me, plus more.  In some of my previous posts, I honestly thought I was writing in a positive way as I always laughed at myself; however, going back and reading now, I see that I was not fooling anyone.

I was in severe pain for so long that it was a deep path I had carved into my brain.  It was well-worn, so naturally I didn’t notice when my self-esteem went down the same path.  Why is it that your friends don’t say the things you need to hear?  Don’t be that friend who just lets your friend continue down this path.  Set the path on fire so they have to find a new way.

My new path was yoga.  Yoga became my saving grace.  When my anxiety from the countless doctor’s appointments was high as I waited on new tests, I would go to yoga.  At first, I cared what people thought of me in my yoga clothes.  I was not able to do all the things other people could…but I went to restorative yoga anyway.

What did I learn from this class?  I will tell you lessons that I learned which can’t be taught from a mirror.

3 Reasons to Ignore the Mirror:

  1. The mirror doesn’t tell you how beautiful you are to other people.  This is serious.  It reflects back your insecurities.  When you look in the mirror, you might see tired eyes, lines, and saggy skin.  When your friend sees you do a pose in yoga class for the first time that you have working on for a few months, they see your natural inner beauty.  I am telling you I know this to be true.  I have witnessed it in my friends who were afraid to come to yoga.  You might not even see how you glow, but I do.  As your teacher, I send you so much love and light during class.  Never once thinking of what you can’t do at all.  I have been there my friend.
  2. The mirror is actually supposed to be a tool.  Yup.  Just a thing to use for alignment in postures.  It is not there to judge us as that’s our job.  Do you ever stop in mid-thought and think to yourself “What if my daughter, sister, friend does this to herself?”  Would you allow others to speak so badly about themselves as you do in your head?  No matter the woman, no matter how you talk to yourself in your head, the answer is always I would never want anyone else to talk to themselves like this.  Seriously.  Ask a friend.  My group of sisters, not related, but from all cultures, meet regularly and we have said this many times.
  3. The mirror reflects the light around us, but not inside us.  Remember that the next time you are not going to yoga class because of how you “look” in the mirror or in yoga clothes or in blah, blah or until you lose x number of pounds.  Seriously remember this.  Because through yoga, I have learned to steady my mind, open my heart and come back to the breath.  If I miss yoga for too long, or don’t go for myself as I am the teacher, ha, if I don’t have that time to do the inner reflection, yes, hell yes, the outer reflection can look ugly to me.  I absorb others energy at times and if I don’t get it out through the experience of yoking myself back to the present moment, this breath, this body as Rolf Gates would say, “The real payoff of a yoga practice, I came to see, is not a perfect handstand or a deeper forward bend—it is the newly born self that each day steps off the yoga mat and back into life.”   

Each time I leave practice I am whole again my friends.  I have then collected all the pieces of my soul that seemed scattered and I feel new again.  Come to yoga my friends.  The mirror can’t possibly tell you how it feels.

Rolf GatesWant to learn new yoga poses in 3 different ways?  A break-down of poses for your body?  Check out the Head|Heart|Health Club

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3 Simple Exercises to Keep You Fit

I know that everyone is always excited in January and ready to change themselves.  By February, you are slightly less excited.  And usually, by March, most people have fizzled out.  What about if you could just improve on 3 exercises?  That’s it.  Just 3 things to do to keep you going.

3 Simple Exercises to Keep You Fit:

  1. Plank pose, which is called kumbhakasana in Sanskrit, can help you to engage your core.  When I first started yoga, mind you, I could not hold much weight on my wrists, so I assumed it was my wrists, typing, etc.  Just all around bad posture that made it difficult.  I will not forget how difficult the variation of side plank was for me.  I could not do it.  So in order to get better with a plank, here is what you need to do.  Begin on all fours, and make sure your hands are under your shoulders.  The key is the breath as this is the start of a push-up.  So in order to show you what I mean, here is a photo.  The best thing about learning to plank is that you WILL get better the more you practice it.
  2. Using a Kettlebell.  I read this article about 4 years ago in a magazine on the benefits of a kettlebell and I just had to try it.  I did the kettle bell swings, and I combined it with squats.  It was better for my back, but the kettlebell did take some getting used to.  All in all it was easy to do at home whenever I needed to just get a few sets in.  But make sure to link breathing with it.  Always, always link your breath to your routine.
  3. Boat pose.  In my yoga classes, my students always groan during my core section.  But they have groaned less and less and been more focused as I told them I had a C-SECTION and ALL my stomach muscles were cut and I couldn’t even do one boat to yacht…as a friend called it, at first.  I am not kidding.  When I started my journey over 2 years ago, everything was just out of whack.  I can now start in boat pose, and use a block between my ankles and hike up to touch it.  That is my boat to yacht variation.  If you want to start out slow, use your sitz bones and lean back, but keep your hands under your knees on the back of your thighs and lean back.  Keep your hands there until you can extend your legs.  It’s okay to stay at the beginning of the pose.  I did for a long time.

Side-plank variation as mentioned above:

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If you want to know more about my 4 Weeks to Wellness, check out this link.  Or if you are interested in my other coaching offerings, you can read more under “Work with Me”.

 

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5 ways to find your zen.

Zen habits

There are times in your life when you need to just breathe…or scream.  Screaming is not appropriate at work though, so we need to find other ways to manage our stress.  This is always easier said than done.  We worry, fret, and work ourselves into a tizzy over something that might happen.  We ponder, speculate, and look for hidden meanings in the words of everyone around us.  Life would be much easier if people just said what they meant…well, maybe.  I know I work better that way, but perhaps not everyone does.  In the meantime, we need to work with what we are given.  This applies to all aspects of life, not just work.

5 ways to find your zen:

  1. Focus on the task at hand.  I realize this is easier said than done, but if you really work to train your mind on the task at hand, we can get into our flow.  We actually can shift the way we think and remove the obstacles we place in our minds.  We are moving away from distractions and really focusing on what’s in front of us.
  2. All in.  Are you all in or only sort of here?  Be present.  In order to be in the present moment, you have to really pull your thoughts back.  Think of your thoughts moving continuously like a river.  That is the basis of flow.  The ego falls away and you are in the moment.  It is almost like timelessness.  The end of the day comes and you got so much done that you didn’t even realize you were in flow.  That’s how I feel in yoga.  I am in my flow.  Flow experiences can occur in different way for different people, but we have strong concentration during the task.
  3.   Rest.  Sometimes, you need a break after a long stretch of working on things.  This is something I have a problem with and I am learning to let go.  After being in my flow, I know that if I stop, it takes me longer to recover than most people.  I learned I need to set a timer since I work from home.  In an office setting, you can get up and stretch your legs.  Get a coffee.  At home, I tend to just get back to work.  It’s very important to remember everyone needs a break too…even if you are the boss.
  4. Simplify your workspace.  Do you every find yourself looking for things and they were under piles of paper?  Do you not know important dates because you have a calendar system that’s messy and difficult?  Work to simplify things.  Don’t over book yourself.  Keep meetings to the point.  Keep your desk neat and tidy.  Work on diving up your task into smaller, easier to handle chunks.  If you work from home, do the same thing.  Keep an orderly space.  It helps clear the mind.
  5. Let go of that which does not serve you.  This is my favorite one.  Gossip?  Does not serve you in any way shape or form.  Let it go.  Truthfulness?  Yes.  It serves to make your life easier.  Weigh your responses before answering.  Jealousy over what others have?  Does not serve you again.  Gratitude for what you have serves you much better and brings about more happiness.  Too many possessions?  Clutter?  Thank the items and give them to someone who needs them.  This is way we create space for things we need to come into our lives.  Remember, if it doesn’t do you any good, you don’t need to focus on it in your life.  Period.

My good friend said to me “What other people think of me is none of my business.”  I loved that line and made her repeat it.  I instantly thought of ways to apply that to my life.  The next time someone says something snippy to me, I will breathe in and out and maybe even make the “ohmmm” sound in my mind as they are speaking.  Knowing me, I might even say it out loud until it annoys them.  Zen is the practice of “not doing”.  You are not reacting to things around you when the world might be in chaos.  You need to still the thoughts that are going on in your head and think about the bigger picture.

 “Life is short.  Time is fleeting.  Realize the self.  Purity of heart is the gateway to God.  Aspire.  Renounce.  Meditate.  Be good; do good.  Be kind; be compassionate.  Inquire, know Thyself.”

~Swami Sivananda

Top 10 yoga tips for beginners.

downdog

Starting a yoga practice?  Read on.

If you are reading this because you are about to start a new yoga practice, welcome.  Before you run out and buy a new mat, have a look at a few of my suggestions.  I have been “practicing” yoga for years, but until this year, I was not serious about my practice…if that makes sense.  I am completing my 200 hour Vinyasa yoga teacher training in June, and I wanted to pass on some tips that can really motivate and help you stick to your practice.

  1. Buy a good mat.  If you are looking for a yoga mat, there are literally thousands out there.  Before you buy one, see if you can use the ones at the studio to get comfortable with them, then ask what thickness or brand they use.  I prefer a thicker mat, like this one << unless you like hot yoga, and I have this one.
  2. Find a good studio.  If you are uncomfortable when you go there the first time, give it another chance.  If you are not comfortable again, try another studio.  You want the vibe of the studio to be completely welcoming.  They should show you around, tell you where things are located, and basically be helpful from the moment you walk in.  My studio is awesome about that.  It really is the little things that mean a great deal to me.
  3. Respect your body’s knowledge.  If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t.  Don’t be afraid to tell the teacher before class if a particular area is causing you some discomfort.  That way the teacher will know ahead of time and can give you a few modifications.
  4. Don’t compare yourself to others.  This might seem like a no brainer, but sadly, it’s not.  You constantly have to re-align yourself to focus on you and you alone.  What Mr. Yoga Guru at the front of the class can do has no bearing on your life whatsoever.  Great, he can fold in half like a pretzel and then stand up with his hands.  Enjoy the moments that you have with your progress.  Where you are is very important.  It’s the start of a great practice. 
  5. Buy comfortable, not see through, clothes.  Please don’t feel you have to clothe yourself in head to toe designer yoga wear.  But at the same time, do a quick mirror check to make sure it’s not thin as tracing paper when you bend over.  As lovely as your under garments might be, heck as lovely as mine might be, I prefer my underoos to stay hidden.  I don’t spend a lot, but I make sure my tank tops stay in place and my leggings are not sheer. Note: I use the Yoga Club.  Seriously.  You can’t go wrong with how cool the clothes are, and a box comes to you for 60% off retail!!
  6. Don’t take yourself too seriously.  My friends would say this is pretty easy for me, but if you step out of a pose, or erm fall off the surf board during SurfSet, as long as you aren’t hurt, just smile and get back up.  We are lifelong learners and it’s important to find an inner sense of humor with this process.
  7. Breathe.  Sometimes, I feel like I am breathing the loudest in the room.  I take the phrase “ocean breath” seriously when my teachers taught me how to breathe.  It has steadied my entire practice.  Ujjayi breath is a 3 part breath and I find it very calming.  Whatever kind of breathing you use, just remember to listen for your breath as you steady yourself.
  8. Make your practice a habit.  If you make a regular practice of yoga at least three times a week, it will be more beneficial to you in the long run.  You will become more flexible as the weeks progress and you will be able to flow into the poses without thinking about it.  You can even do 15 minutes of Sun Salutations at home in the mornings. 
  9. Communicate with your teacher.  Stay after class for a second if you think you didn’t catch just how to do a pose or if something didn’t feel right.  You can ask them to watch you do downward facing dog for a minute and ask them to go over the most important tips for really getting into that pose.  It seems so simple, but if you don’t press into the knuckle mounds of your hand evenly you might walk away with sore wrists.  Take the time to ask.  It’s really okay.  You can also read my pin about how to avoid wrist pain.
  10. Don’t rush.  Take time to really slow down for yoga.  Be present.  Stay for Savasana…the resting time.  Focus on your breathing.  Check in with your body.  And of course, it’s fine to congratulate yourself for doing the best that you can.  You did it!  Repeat Namaste when your teacher says it at the end as a form of respectful closing to thank your teacher for sharing their energy with you. 

Yoga Sutras

 

 

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Motivational Monday…right action

So what do I mean by “right action”?  I want to start out with this little introduction:

Ethics (or Moral Philosophy) is concerned with questions of how people ought to act, and the search for a definition of right conduct (identified as the one causing the greatest good) and the good life (in the sense of a life worth living or a life that is satisfying or happy).            The word “ethics” is derived from the Greek “ethos” (meaning “custom” or “habit”). Ethics differs from morals and morality in that ethics denotes the theory of right action and the greater good, while morals indicate their practice.

In yoga, when we have discussed “right action”, it allows us to make the right choice for now.  In that moment.  I am quite literally doing what feels agreeable to myself in that moment.  Whether it is to hold a pose longer, to try the harder variations when the teacher says to move on, or to listen to my body if I feel I am not quite ready to move forward.

The other night, I was reminded of how far I have progressed in 5 months.  During class, I didn’t take a certain pose to the last possible variation.  I was afraid to try it because I wasn’t quite sure of the placement of my arms and shoulders…and how people were moving forward.  There are times people appear to flow effortlessly into the final pose.  You know how the teacher says “You are in the pose now, but if you want to move forward…”, well I do want to move forward.  So, after class I asked how the pose looks as you are moving into it.  Two of my friends were there and are able to move on so they showed me this pose Bird of Paradise.  I was quite surprised when one said to take the washcloth, and try it, and I actually got my shoulders right.

Well, let me remind you if you are new, way back in the past blog archives here, you will read about months I couldn’t move my shoulder and how manipulating my shoulder-blade at all was almost impossible.  So when I am in yoga, I don’t exactly always allow my right action to move forward as I am somewhat blocked by memories of pain.  Whether that pain was brought on by the flare up of Epstein-Barr Virus, Hashimoto’s, or fibromyalgia, I no longer care.  My “habit” if you will, was to stop because of intense pain, but the memory of it is still there.  My new habit, or right action, that really aligns with my practice now, is to stay after yoga, ask about that “hard” pose, see how it’s done, and move forward at my own pace.

Live it

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The Law of Pure Potentiality…

I need to clear up some common misconceptions.  Yoga is a practice.  Not a religion.  Just like how Buddhism is a way of life…a practice or philosophy.  If you come from another religion or way of life can you take these philosophies with you back to your religion or way of life?  Yes.  But people fear what they do not know or understand.  So they are afraid to go deeper into the world of “stillness”.  Therein lies the problem.  At the beginning of my yoga practice yesterday, the teacher said “Be still, and know that I am God.”  When we are practicing our stillness…or just being, we are closer to who we are really meant to be.

This is where Deepak Chopra’s The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success come into my practice.  One of the absolute hardest steps for me to apply to my life is to take time each day just being silent.  Some people who know me are laughing…my parents I’m sure.  But what this really means is that I have to work at just being.  That seems like such a small thing…to just be.  To sit alone in silent meditation actually means that you clear your mind.  As thoughts come and go you focus on the moments between the thoughts.  Not the thought itself.  Pretty soon you are focusing on those in between moments for even longer and one day, you will come to realize that your thoughts have finally stilled.

And therein lies my problem.  One thought produces one more like it, then it spirals, and so on and so forth.  So I am working on this ability to carry stillness with me.  Chopra writes “Through silence, through meditation, and through non-judgement, you will access the first law, the Law of Pure Potentiality.”  Many times people say “Oh I’m not judging…but blah, blah, blah.”  If you have to say you are not judging, here’s a hint, you might be.  But that’s okay for now.  Work on letting that thought go and focusing on something positive you learned from that situation.  If your mind is constantly on re-wind and you are judge, jury and executioner of your thoughts and you can’t let the negative go from a situation, you need meditation in your life.  You know it costs less than therapy…it does.

Here is an introduction for you to watch:

problem

 

Releasing the outcome…

So I had a post all ready to go yesterday in my head…but here’s the thing.  I feel like the only motivational thing I did yesterday was pry myself up off the couch, take a shower and say to myself, self, get out the door to yoga…ignore that it is cold and rainy and extremely dark.  JUST go.  Then I said to my husband, “If I tell you I don’t feel like going to yoga because I ache/hurt, tell me to go anyway.  No matter what I say.”  I am positively sure this will come back to haunt me.

So I knew I made the right decision when I started to release the pain in my neck, shoulders, lower back and hips.  I absolutely love restorative yoga for my aches and the slow, no pressure, use as many props as you need to hold the pose feeling goes with fibromyalgia.  I am encouraging as many people who need healing to go to this type of class.  By healing I mean any kind of healing.  Seriously.  But you have to go all in.  You can’t try to fool yourself.  You can’t make excuses.  It doesn’t work that way.

So I have my calendar set up with my appointments.  I have my yoga nights on there…and soon my yoga weekends.  I can’t let my mind stop me from doing something I know is good for my body.  I can’t let weather, aches, pains, and any other excuses stop me.  I have made a decision and I have a goal.  I have to release the outcome as I have done my part.  Small steps people.  Small. Steps.

ReleaseAuthor’s note:  This post was the start of my yoga journey, and I have now recovered almost full mobility and have gained much strength and knowledge.  I took all of my resources and created a course just for you, even if this post is where you are right now.  Please note, that for the life of the course, I will be adding extra resources and you only pay the price it is right now when you sign up.  You only have to decide if you want the bonus pack.  Much love to you!  ~Aimee

Restorative Yoga…finding my place

Coming to yoga from a place of pain…Aimee’s perspective:

I was afraid my body was not ready for this class.  In fact, after taking the beginner yoga class, I waited weeks before coming back in to give it another go.  You see, the ego whispers to me “That was too hard, you must give up now.”  It is coming from a place of pain.  Pain I have lived with for the last 5 years since developing the symptoms and ultimately the diagnosis of fibromyalgia.  But last night on my mat, as I held the pose for a little bit longer, my mind tried to scream at me again to register and focus on my pain.  I then shushed it, and focused on my breathing instead.  And guess what happened?  It worked.

What is restorative yoga anyway?  Basically it’s the best thing ever for your body if you are new to yoga and trying to come at it from a place of pain and/or needing healing postures.  Click the above link to find out more.

Three weeks ago as I was getting ready to take the first class, an acquaintance called me, but I said I had to go get ready for yoga.  She asked if she could go; however, she is not known for her patience, so I explained this was not like traditional yoga.  She said she was fine with it…haha.  We arrived and were told to get bolsters, a blanket, a block and a belt.  She kept asking me questions about what we were going to do.  I did mention I had not taken this class before.  Throughout class, she fidgeted.  She whispered.  She twitched.  She complained under her breath.  I was NOT happy.  Yoga is MY place for peace.  If you invite yourself to come with me, you need to respect that this is already hard for me, and I like to relax.

At the end, oh the end, I was mortified.  Tea was served, and I dearly love hot tea.  As it was being passed out, fidgety gal loudly says WHAT IS IT?  I stared at her.  It’s tea.  Well, what kind??  I need to know.  No you don’t.  Be quiet and drink the tea before I lose my calm on you and go off all Scorpio style in this nice place.  She then got out her PHONE.  Yes, her phone, and proceeds to play on it.  NUMBER one rule of yoga is there are NO cell phones in yoga.  Everyone knows this.  Everyone.  Except her.

Unfortunately, I left restorative yoga more tense than I should have.  I allowed another person’s behavior and energy to seep into my space.  I don’t have time for that in my life.  I just don’t.  So I went blessedly alone the next week.  And again last night.  What I learned was that each week, Lauren works on a different part of the body in the poses.  If I had given up because of my mind, body, or embarrassment of the above, I would not have known that.  I am working hard on shifting my focus.  There are things we can’t control, but when you get to your mat, control what you can.  Slow down you mind, focus on the breath, drop the chatter in your head, and let the others melt away.  It is your journey and yours alone.  No one can do this for you.

I truly appreciate this class as it feels like it goes at your own pace.  Some of us use more bolsters, blankets, or props to get in the pose and get the best benefits.  It does not matter.  This is truly a class to teach you to slow down.  Namaste.

 

Heart

A tribe…

Sometimes I have to mentally prepare myself for things.  As I mentioned, I was going back to yoga.  I looked up the benefits of yoga for fibromyalgia and decided the benefits far outweighed any residual pain I might feel.  I know that my body doesn’t cooperate like others, and I know I have to take it easy.

It felt good to pull out my old yoga pants…you know, the ones that most of us wear as “comfy” pants.  Well, I bought mine years ago for hot yoga, and haven’t worn them since November.  Anyway, I arrived a bit early to check out the scene.  I was apprehensive at first, because at my old studio, it was very quiet.  I walked in and saw some little tomatoes on the check-in desk.  The girl behind the counter said she didn’t know where they came from, but I could help myself.  Another woman arrived and took one and said hi to me.  She asked if I was new, and I said yes.  It felt welcoming.  No one said a word to me at the other place when they walked in.  It was almost like we couldn’t talk.

Anyway, I was given a little tour, told where things were, and I met the instructor.  It was a “HE” and not a she.  Side note…I looked him up before the class because I was almost thinking I couldn’t go to a “MAN” class.  hahaha.  Seriously.  I did.  I liked the look of him and what he said on the page, so off I went anyway.  How dumb is that?  It’s not.  It made perfect sense in my head.  Man class=harder to pretend that I can hold all the poses.  Not so.  Man class=no judgement.  Bingo!!

Where was I?  Oh the class.  The lady was already in there putting her mat down and a guy.  Wait a guy?  It’s ok.  We are not being judged.  There is no judgement.  Ohmmmm.  I started talking to the lady and somehow my business came up.  I mentioned I had fibromyalgia, did not open the bag of crazy to the other things, just the one, and said I was treating myself with all-natural supplements and heard yoga helped.  In reality, I am grateful my friend reached out to me.  She owns the studio and actually invited me to come in.  Anyway, the guy was there and somehow we brought him into our conversation.  It was nice.

When he mentioned he just had a cancerous tumor removed from his ummm brain, I was in shock.  We can ALL do the hard things as Glennon would say and I was glad he was there.  He looked a bit young, but I know cancer does NOT discriminate.  Old, young, whatever.  I felt less alone and more like I was definitely meant to be there.  I mentioned my research into all-natural supplements and he said his doctor didn’t say anything to him about that…yet.  I am adding the yet.  I mentioned my favorite thing, the greens, and at the end of the class three people asked me about it.

I am fortunate my friend reached out to me.  I felt connected to these people, her tribe, already.  She and her husband had a vision.  They called it Tribal Yoga.  A year has gone by since her husband passed in a small plane accident, and she is running a business, a full-time job, and being a mom to their beautiful baby boy.  She wears many hats just as we all do.  We have to make time for ourselves and come back to what’s important to us.  We have to be here for each other.

Tribe