Shvasana

Today. Another day of yoga. (I’m still going). I did my sun salutations, some stretching, then laid in shvasana. After a while I just began going through poses I felt moved some painful or stuck muscles. This lasted a while till I ended up sitting and massaging my own shoulders. Brian seeing this began using his foot from the chair he sat on to help me. Then I laid down face first while he continued massaging my back with his feet. Long after he was done I stayed in my puddle. Ahhh relaxing. November evenings are such a wonderful time of quiet.
Blessings

Primal Yoga

Day 23

Wow, that seems like something.  23 Days of yoga.  I’d like to say that I’m different in some profound way.  However, I’m not sure that I am.  I guess it’s like water flowing over a rock here, it is doing something profound, I just can’t see it yet.  🙂

Yesterday was tough.  If it weren’t for Brian saying, “Just do your sun salutations and see how you feel,” I might not have made it.

I’m also doing some other workouts and yesterday especially I did a pretty tough WOW (workout of the week) from marksdailyapple.com and then walked w/ Brian and Ella for about 40 minutes.   After dinner it was yoga time and I was beat.

Today I’m wondering if tomorrow I can do that extra workout again.  I feel the need for speed!

I have changed to eating “primal” as per The Primal Blueprint–just to try it.  I’ll update here on how that’s going too.  I need to eat a bit more locally and probably keep track of carbs so I know how it’s going.  I live in Central PA where there are tons of farms and I just need to find some that are open and nearby to shop from on my Wednesday shopping circuit!  Most farmer’s markets are open on the weekend–not a great time for me to shop.

I’ve found and made some great (yummy) recipes on this journey.  They also are recipes my 1.5 year old daughter loved! Check them out at Paleo Plan:

No Oat “Oatmeal”

Carrot Banana Muffins

Prana

Day 17

prana /pra·na/ (prah´nah) [Sanskrit] in ayurvedic tradition, the life force or vital energy, which permeates the body and is especially concentrated along the midline in the chakras.

I am kicking mad!  I should not watch or listen to too much news!  The things people do?!  I felt the anger driving my yoga poses, squeezing me tighter and longer.  I could feel the same fire that keeps me up at night sometimes, the fire I try to ignore that makes me want to drive too fast, or argue just to argue and win.  That fire drenched me in sweat and strengthened my muscles and wore me out!  What a good feeling.  I topped it off with another sprint and plyometrics workout!  Grrr!

I have avoided this fire at times in my life b/c I feel it’s the fire that makes me walk on people and not slow down and listen, to myself or others.  Today I see it also as the driving force in my life that makes me get up and do the hard work and finish the job.  I have this fire in spades and I’ve been trying to ignore it or push it away.  I don’t have to do that.  I don’t have to fear it will burn me out or run over others, instead I can just put it to good use in completing projects and hard work outs.  Then I can go back to sleeping at night!  🙂

Mystery

Today I stopped in the middle of the day to stand at the top of my mat, hands in prayer position, eyes just closed, about to begin yoga when I noticed me all fluttering and alive in contrast to the very non-living stillness around me. Being alive is so unique.

I love all the custom made biological descriptions of life: i.e. these are the things we can say about things that live: Blah blah blah. Holy mackerel, that does NOT explain this. I’m not even meaning the spirituality stuff–Is it explained by biology? etc. I mean just the biology. This is a WAY incredible design! I’m humming along, pushing blood, filtering this, digesting that, shooting neurotransmitters across synapses all while standing there. Standing! What a a feat of mechanics in itself! — essentially a tower that folds and bends and reaches without falling over – usually. And this tower is not permanently affixed to the ground. The simplest thing, is monumentally impressive compared to what we can build. The ideas in the tiny cell are more complex and capable of creating feats of construction (not to mention life) than we can create collectively. Life really is a mystery. A respect-worthy mystery. Not like, “Wow! Look at that life thing,” but like, the tiny chick in your hand, or a butterfly wing compared to the non-living stuff. We are so fragile bombing through here.

Today’s practice went well. I got on the mat at lunchtime after drinking a chia kombucha. Yum! I am a bit more slowed down. A bit more focused. I noticed that being slower and gentle has made me get into the poses more deeply while respecting what my body can do without pain. I notice the bad habits, like overextending my shoulders in down dog beyond where my heels are flat is unnecessary and painful. With attention, I am breaking old habits. I can feel my body open and go to the poses, extended and full.

The yoga workshop I signed up for this weekend was canceled, not enough participants. I’m sure this is a gift, a gift to not push it.

Do Nothing Extra

I have been waking up sore and feeling exhausted the past two days.  I am feeling really sore and the sore throat returned last night.  I got right on the mat mid-day though, thinking I’d breeze through.  Instead, I had a lot of trouble with balance.  I actually stubbed my toe–very hard–in one of the sun salutations.  Ouch!  Then in standing forward fold, while standing on my own hands (so I could never catch myself) I almost fell forward crashing into our entertainment center.

I sort of slinked softly through the rest of the poses trying not to disturb my equilibrium.  Something about the practice being my prayer, I think, threw me.  If this was to be my prayer, I could no longer zip through, rushing, and pounding.  I HAD TO SLOW DOWN.  I had to be present.  My thoughts can wander a million different ways.  This was becoming physically precarious.  I gently allowed my body to feel its way through the rest of the poses.  I lay in shavasana (corpse pose) once before the end of the practice.  I finished the practice and promptly fell asleep in shavasana.

I feel whole.  I connected some inner circle.  Patient, on the earth.  I remember reading in a Tai Chi book :  “Breath, feel the earth, do nothing extra.” Yes.

Pranayama

Tonight, once again, I thought, “Not gonna do it today.”  I made it through the whole day and when we were about to watch LOST I said, I haven’t done yoga today.  Brian said, no TV, go do yoga.  Ugh.  He was right.  I think the idea here too is to understand it’s my version of prayer.  I live in my body.  This is what I do to pray.  This is not exercise or a to do list.  This is peace.

So much has changed.  In the very beginning, this summer on my first attempt at yoga everyday, I really got the breathing going w/ each pose, moving with breath.  This sustains me.  Today I really got the ujjayi pranayama –slowing down the breath by making an H sound in a whisper at the back of your throat w/ mouth closed — slows down me rushing through my practice.  Not that I take more breaths or even, I don’t think, that each breath is longer…but somehow I got way more grounded, way more out of my head and into my body, and way more slowed down (though as I said, at the same pace) through focus on ujjayi breath.  This also activates the diaphragm, strengthening the core but also giving a very strong center to each pose.

I also really noticed tonight my feet were on the mat.  Like poured out of a glass and spread out!  I was touching ground in a way I never feel in the morning.  This suction cup-like feel to the earth gave me that deepening strength in my core, I believe, like leaning back and slouching a little into your chair, relaxed and immovable.

Gentleness.  Seeping into me.  Gentleness washing over me.

Good-night.