Main Photo Credit - Michael Neville

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Looking To Yoga When I'm Down

Today more then ever I need to gather the strength from my yoga practice. Personal problems have me down, but this is the time I need to delve into my practice that much deeper in order to find the will to persevere. More then ever I need the courage of the Warrior poses to see me through and give me the fighting spirit I need, coupled with the calm to move ahead with reason. And more then ever I'm incorporated the ancient Hawaiian prayer of Ho'oponopono and saying to myself, " I'm sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you. I love you. This has helped me more then I can say. They are best words in the human language. They help me to go through the process of healing myself and others. Namaste.

Friday, June 17, 2011

The Importance Of Breath

Proper breathing is probably the single most vital element to a regular yoga practice. I not only keeps you grounded and focused, but it moderates your heart rate, drives oxygen to the muscles and ligaments for greater extension, and to the brain to increase it's cellular activity, but it also calms the spirit and energizes all the chakras and meridians of your body. Oxygen is literally your life-force. Without it you cannot survive and increasing your ability to take it in and your control over it will help you in many other areas besides your yoga practice. It's essential that you don't forget to breath during transitions from asana to asana. Try if at all possible to abstain from inhaling through the mouth, and instead take in air through the nose. It's OK to let it out through the mouth however. This takes repetition to master and can be a challenge, especially if you are a shallow breather. Don't be discouraged, as with yoga and with everything else, practice makes imperfect. Happy breathing!

Photo Credits: Nuttakit

Thursday, June 16, 2011

A Refresh From Over-Work

Dealing with the hectic pace of running my own business is exhausting and overwhelming... well, most of the time. I am often forced to fit my yoga into 30 minutes during lunch or after the day as ended. This is all the more reason for me to make sure that I do dedicate time to my yoga practice. The end of the day can be a time when I just want to collapse on the couch and just chill. That would be the easy solution, but I know that after 30 minutes of yoga, my feet that are swollen from standing on them for 12 hours and my joints which are stiff from over-use could take the pampering of a Downward Facing Dog or a Cobra Pose. And my mind could calm to the sounds of my measured and even breathing. My soul and spirit could take time to unwind and heal just as much as the vessel I dwell within and my weary psyche. And somewhere in the middle of my practice, usually between Warrior 2 and Standing Forward Bend, I have found the reason why I keep dedicating myself day after day and re-affirm its purpose.

Photo Credits: Exsodus

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Back On The Wagon

It's the truth that for a while there I fell off the yogic wagon. But I dusted myself off again; a little worse for wear, and got back in the saddle again. And boy have I missed it. Now that I've know what it's like to relax into Child's Pose or stretch out luxuriantly in Reclined Cobbler's Pose, I can't give it up and feel completely whole. If this is what an addiction feels like, then I am hands down a yoga-head. The more I practice, the more I feel like yoga is a part of my existence. I was off my game without it, when I let the mundane get in the way of my personal and spiritual growth. Now I'm back online and ready for action.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


Meditation not only lowers your stress level and gives you perspective on our life, but it also enriches your imagination. It's sort of like constructive daydreaming in the sense that you envision how your life is going to be as if it's already a reality. This sort mental exercise heals you at the core and nourishes your soul. When times look particularly tough, you now have a picture in mind to see you through, and when things are going great, you push that much harder to achieve your goal. In my yoga practice I see myself as infinitely graceful, limber, agile as a cat and strong of mind and purpose. And that is what I am becoming, because I can feel it as if the hope has already been attained. I'm keeping this state of mind in my head because in doing so there's no limit to what I can accomplish!

Photo Credits: M. Bartosch

Monday, June 13, 2011

Singular Mind

Sometimes during my meditations I find it hard to get to that space where I am of one mind. That peace of mind that comes from existing only in the here and now with an ultimate focus. If I push too hard to realize this mindset it seems to vanish. The key I've found is to let go all of my expectations and just let my thinking flow until my concentration becomes effortless. If relax and let my mind wander it discovers its only point of reference without any mental pushing or shoving. At this place I learn the most about myself and my relationship the people in my life comes sharply into my vision, my imagination soars to where all things are possible and I start to experience bliss. Every time I meditate I come closer to this place where nothing external can touch my serenity. It's taken a while, but I'm learning that such a destination does exist and it's right inside of your own mind. It's called my Nirvana.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Working On Standing Forward Bend

Uttanasana or Standing Forward Bend is a pose that I'm currently trying to achieve Nirvana in. It stimulates the kidneys and other digestive organs and helps relieve stress and fatigue. I love the deep stretch that it gives me in my hamstrings calves and hips and the fact that it strengthens my root chakra. In this pose it's important for me not to force it. Progress comes extremely slowly for me in this pose. It helped at first to practice it with me knees bent, my feet pointing straight ahead so as not to bow at the knee joints, endeavoring to rest my chest on the fronts of my legs. Then I lengthen the stress from there to gently expand into it even more using the measured inhale and exhale of my breath. The more I practice this, the more I learn to have patience with my body and mind. It's a great lesson to learn, one that keeps me focused and grounded in times of self-doubt and fear. I trust that everything will work out.

Monday, June 6, 2011


I will be the first to say in so many ways that yoga has freed me. It has taught my that I don't always need to try so hard, that perfection is like a white rabbit some people keep chasing and that boundaries are what we make them. We get trapped inside our perception of our minds and bodies; telling ourselves the "proper" ways to look, think, and feel. It can all get so overwhelmingly exhausting. In this self-made odyssey of mine, I've discovered the beauty of knowing that I am who I am unabashedly with no apologies. Layers of self-awareness are peeled back with each passing day and I realize that I am passionate about the things that make my life incredible, that I have a healthy appetite for life, and I'm not afraid of it in all it's angry, crazy, sad, sexual, moving, exciting, sensual, mentally stimulating and even horrible experiences. And I owe a lot of my personal acceptance to yoga. Every time I crease into an imperfect Standing Forward Bend, or turn into a flawed Warrior 1, I know that I'm creating unique parts of me that make me special and wonderful in my own way.

Friday, June 3, 2011

The Best Yoga Ever!

Today was one of my best yoga practices ever! I'm so excited about it truly. Taking a few days off has been great for me. I was able to more clearly assess the improvements I've made in my form, flexibility and endurance. I can envision certain poses that seemed unattainable as within my grasp and that gives me the heart to keep succeeding. It's amazing that as I relaxed into each of the asanas in a custom impromptu Vinyasa, I was moving with a certain seamlessness and grace that I don't remember possessing before. This is a real turning point for me. I can't explain it, but a pro instructor-worthy yoga practice seems so much more attainable. I can't wait to see where I'll be in a year!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Subject Of Improving

I'm getting better with each passing day at my yoga practice. I took some time off to reflect on the benefits my mind and body have gained. I would say they have both learned to soar beyond their boundaries equally well. When my spirits are down, and I feel alone, I turn inside myself to the place where my true strength resides. It's becoming easier and easier to do that even as the road seems to become harder and harder. I've found that one of the best ways to deal with trials in life is to just let them go. Deal with their experience, glean what you can from it and then move on.Today was particularly hard for me. It's the anniversary of my brother's death 4 years ago. I will say that I've found that even on the days where the road is the rockiest, looking back on his brief life gives me sadness as well as joy for the time that I was able to enjoy him in this world. So this day is dedicated to all the happiness that he brought into my existence. Rest in peace big brother.

Photo Credits: Dan

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

What I Learned

I've discovered in the past few days that it is important to stay focused. I'm striving to do that even though keeping my eye on the ball has proved to be more difficult then I previously thought. I've had to accept the curve balls that life has thrown my way and step out of the rubble stronger each time. I'm slowly but surely recovering from my anemia it seems and stepping back into the ring. While I got knocked out in the first round, the second has me ready to go with he best of them. Tripping and stumbling has failed to stop me.

Photo Credits: Xedos4