Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Chaturanga : Motivation

Not too much new to talk about. Except I'm starting to feel better about my chaturanga. I've always kind of struggled with it, mostly with the pushing back up once half way down. So what I decided to do a few weeks ago is to just focus on slowly lowering myself to the ground completely with control. That way I will build up the strength eventually and hopefully be able to push myself back up. I've found that the lowering down in chaturanga has become easier the past two practices. Yay!! Success :) Hahaha.

Oh yeah! I went to this store called Bhavana in Halifax. It's a yoga stuff store. I absolutely love it, especially the book selection. The only problem I had was that everything I liked was really expensive. I really want to start getting some nice, quality jewelry. I was looking at the Sonja Picard collection that they had there. But the necklace I liked the most was $70 ish. Ouchie! Dave was with me and we were talking about it afterward and came up with the idea that maybe I'll make it like a goal. I'll put $1 in my piggy bank for every hour of yoga that I practice until I save up enough money to buy it or something else. I think it'll be a good way to keep me motivated to practice and also to reward myself for the dedication. What do you think?

And to keep you entertained here is a video of an amazing artist, Paul Dateh. I absolutely adore his music. His voice is creamy like butter. :)

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Yoga Sutras

Did the same yogaglo routine last night with a friend and now I am SO sore. I think before bed I'm going to do a simple set of sun salutations to help my sore muscles but I don't know if I'll be able to do a regular practice until Saturday at the earliest I think. All is well though. Just taking it easy. It is about non harm/injury to the body right? I forget the sanskrit name for that.

I have started reading the book The Secret Power of Yoga by Nischala Joy Devi. I really want to take my time with this book and do all of the activities it suggests. It suggests and activity for every chapter or every sutra I believe. It is pretty much a guide to the yoga sutras from a feminine perspective. The yoga sutras are defined by Wikipedia as "..a Hindu scripture and foundational text of Yoga.". I don't really know much about the sutras so I'm hoping this will help me understand them better. I will post here at the end of each activity of the sutras as a reflection of what I've learned.

On a kind of fun note, about 3 years ago I got a tattoo of a heart on my wrist. I hate it now. I really do not like the way that it looks. For a while I have been thinking about what I could get as a cover-up tattoo/adding onto it. Well yesterday I found that the symbol for om works really really well. I drew it on my arm and fell in love with it! I have re-drawn it today and I'm about 99% sure that I'm going to get it. A friend of mine knows a fantastic tattoo artist and I really want him to do it. Originally I was thinking about getting it this weekend but that would hinder my Christmas vacation in the Dominican as you shouldn't let your new tattoo see sunlight for 1 month. So we have made an appointment for Tuesday at 5pm as a consultation. Hopefully I will be getting it in January. Exciting! Here is a photo of the symbol in case you didn't know.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

YogaGlo With Friends

Last night was so much fun. I got the chance to go to EcoYogini's home to do some yoga with some other yogis. We did one of Jo's routines from yogaglo and it was great!! Such a great practice. I'm pretty sore today surprisingly but I think I'm going to do the same routine tonight with a friend I liked it that much.

I love this thing that EcoYogini has got going on with coffee and yoga and YogaGlo with friends. I have a few friends that are into yoga as well but I find they aren't into it as much as I am. They just kind of do it whenever they get around to it. It's nice to hang out with people in Halifax that have the same attitude/love for yoga as I do. I've already put it in my schedule for every Tuesday night that there is not coffee and yoga. Exciting :) I really hope it pushes my practice that much more.

Thought I would share this little video as well. Stumbled upon it somewhere and I love it. My favorite part is the people in the subway station that do a few poses.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Routine : Eco Friendly

I've done the routine mentioned in my last post twice now and I really like it. It's quick and easy. The poses flow together really well. But I still get a decent work out. I think what I'll do from now on though is at the end of the sequence add in a few poses that I might be needing that day. Like today I did pigeon and handstand after. I'm hoping to get a lot of yoga done this way and maybe get more bikini friendly for Christmas. I haven't mentioned this but the family and I are going to the Dominican on the 24th!! So excited :) Hoping to get lots of relaxation done. Maybe even some yoga and meditation. We'll see though.

I'm going to start reviewing products on here. I've been doing more reading on beauty products and a lot of them are made with some pretty gross chemicals. So in an attempt to be more healthy and to be more Earth friendly, I'm going to start switching over my products. Now the hard part about this is that I can't just do it all at once. So I'll be doing it in steps over the next who knows how long. On Saturday I bought the Lafes natural and organic deodorant stick. It is just a stick of potassium alum (natural mineral salts). You get it wet and then apply it like a regular deodorant. It doesn't have a smell but so far it has made me not smell as well. I really want to give it a good try though before I really review it. Another product I'm trying is the Diva Cup. Now I know this is going to be TMI for most readers but oh well. This is me, I don't have a filter. So far it has been working really well. It was weird to get used to but I really like this option better as long as I keep having good experiences with it. In some of the reviews I read people said that they had issues getting it to "pop" open once it is inside but I haven't had that problem. And no leaks so far! Even when doing yoga it has been fine. Again, I'll give a more in depth review after I have tried it out more.

Off to bed I go though. Starting to fall asleep as it is.

Friday, December 3, 2010


Slept in. As usual. I think a boot camp would be needed in order to whip me into shape to get up that early. Maybe even if I just went to bed super early. That could work.

I have been feeling off the last few days. Like just something isn't right. I don't know if it's hormonal, a chemical imbalance or what. This week some ghosts from my past have kind of peeped their heads up into my life. Is that what is causing me to feel so weird? Maybe it's a lack of vitamin D. Sunshine has always been important to me. Maybe I'm just not getting enough of it... I have no idea.

I was just thinking though and maybe I should have a solid foundation routine that I can do. Something that I know I can do, I know works, and my body will feel comfortable doing it. Similar to why I think people practice Ashtanga yoga, the consistency, the predictability. That way when there is something going on in my life that upsets it, I can just do this foundation routine and it will bring me back to a place of inner peace.

What would be included in this routine though? How about the 5 Tibetan Rites? That is a quick and easy workout. It would by pass my current frustration with chaturanga. Or maybe just a variation on the sun salutations. Here is a sample routine that I think would be easy enough:

Tadasana - Mountain Pose
Uttanasana - Standing Forward Bend
Ardha Uttanasana - Standing Half Forward
Uttanasana - Standing Forward Bend
Adho Mukha Svanasana - Down Dog
Plank Pose
Chaturanga Dandasana - Four Limbed Staff Pose
Urdhva Mukha Svanasana - Upward Facing Dog
Adho Mukha Svanasana - Down Dog
Anjaneyasana - Low Lunge (right leg back)
High Lunge (right leg back)
Itthita Parsvakonasana - Extended Side Angle Pose (right leg back)
Virabhadrasana 2 - Warrior 2 (right leg back)
Utthita Trikonasana - Extended Triangle Pose (right leg back)
Prasarita Padottanasana - Wide Legged Forward Bend
Adho Mukha Svanasana - Down Dog
Plank Pose
Vasisthasana - Side Plank Pose (right leg on bottom)
Camatkarasana - Wild Thing
Plank Pose
Chaturanga Dandasana - Four Limbed Staff Pose
Urdhva Mukha Svanasana - Upward Facing Dog
Adho Mukha Svanasana - Down Dog
Uttanasana - Standing Forward Bend
Ardha Uttanasana - Standing Half Forward
Uttanasana - Standing Forward Bend
Tadasana - Mountain Pose
*repeat left side*

I think I'm going to try this tonight or tomorrow.


Really quick post. I'm really trying to honestly document this journey of mine so I figured I would put in the good with the bad. I got frustrated today. I don't know if it's because it's that time of the month or because I sat in a chair all day at work but I couldn't finish my practice. I came home, was hungry and tried to do an hour long YogaGlo class. About 15 minutes in my legs were not in good shape at all, tired already, and I was losing patience. I'm used to feeling almost like bliss when practicing yoga but this was anything but bliss. I stopped the video, found and easier, shorter one to try. And about half way through it I decided to call it quits. I am glad that I gave it a second try but frustrated with myself for getting frustrated and for not finishing either of the videos. Does anyone else ever have experiences like this? I set my alarm clock a bit earlier than normal tomorrow and I'm going to try to do a nice easy set of sun salutations with maybe some warrior poses before I get to work. I hate leaving something on a bad note. Oh well.

Lets just hope I wake up to my alarm! :P

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Yoga and Coffee December 2010

Last night I went to my second ever yoga and coffee night. It was so much fun. A few of my friends practice yoga but we don't really ever talk about it. It's really nice to be around people that share something that is so important to me. I love talking about the different poses, the meditation, the stories from studios, the philosophy, all of it. We tend to kind of do like a round table where someone will bring up a topic and we all kind of provide our own input.

I ended up asking if anyone else does meditation with their practice. I find that yoga has become so westernized and I was curious if by that happening, it has lost it's original purpose. They say yoga is 1% practice, the rest of it is theory/meditation. The asana's (postures) were designed to physically prepare your body for sitting still for hours on end to meditate. I would say at least half of the group on Tuesday still uses yoga to meditate. Which I found fascinating! I told them that I've been having a really hard time with meditation. Like I can't turn off my head. And they all reiterated what other people have told me about meditating; it's not about turning off your thoughts, it's about acknowledging them for what they are, just thoughts. They do not define you anymore than your physical actions. I still find this hard to do though. I understand what they are saying but I don't know how to do it. One of the guys in the group recommended a book called "Turning The Mind Into An Ally" by Sakyong Mipham. He said it has helped him to understand meditation better and to actually meditate better. I went to Chapters right after our meeting but the one I went to didn't have it in stock. I'll have to wait until I go to one of the other stores.

While at Chapters though I did get a book on yoga. It stuck out to me because one of the authors/the person that put it all together is a guest speaker at the Atlantic Yoga Conference in 2011. I didn't know about this until the other day when surfing the yoga/blogger community in Halifax. I'm seriously considering going. From the minute or two I spent on the site it didn't sound like it was much about the physical practice, more focused on the theory practice. I'll have to sit down and take a long look around though. But I digress. The book is called "Freeing the Body, Freeing the Mind: Writings on the Connections Between Yoga and Buddhism". The editor is Michael Stone (the guest speaker mentioned above). I'm really excited to read it because people keep telling me that a lot of the principles in yoga are based off of Buddhist beliefs. I'm curious to learn more about both.

Onto the last thing I wanted to mention. In the coffee and yoga meeting someone brought up the term grounding/earthing asking if anyone had heard of it. Personally, I had not but some of the others did. I don't know much about it but it seems that there is a theory out there saying that people will actually soak up negative ions and free electrons from the earth simply by spending time outside, in nature, in the grass in our bare feet. That we soak up these things by coming into real physical contact with the ground, how we were originally meant to be. I found this interesting video on the technique/theory. I also mentioned it to Dave and he seemed to like the idea. Too bad we're going into winter right now :( We said that it would be fun to go camping sometime next spring/summer and make it kind of like our own little camping/meditation/yoga retreat. I LOVE the idea :)


Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Meditation/Practice Props

I read the book Eat, Pray, Love this summer and absolutely adored it. I was going through a breakup myself and I really felt like the words in the book were coming right from my heart. Something that I was introduced to in this book are japa mala beads. These are Hindu or Buddhist meditation/prayer beads. Traditionally they have 108 beads on what looks like a necklace. From my readings monks would sit and pray/meditate with these beads in their hand. They would pull one bead between their fingers for every prayer/mantra they repeated in their head.

Typically, I have a hard time meditating. It is something I have always struggled with because I am always thinking at least 5 thoughts at once. I have tried repeating different mantra's which has helped but I always end up thinking about something else as I'm repeating the mantra. Yes, you do not want to get in my head while I'm trying to meditate. I'm hoping that maybe by using these beads, since it will give me a physical point of reference it will help me to concentrate better. We'll see. I am going to go to a few local stores looking for a set. If I can't find any I have found a great website where you can order them. I think I would want the Rosewood ones they make.

On a similar note, Dave (what a sweet guy) got me some quartz. He got it for me with the intention of focusing my energy on it and pushing "positive energy/thoughts" to it when meditating. I did a little bit of research on quartz and have found some interesting information. Turns out it is one of the most abundant rocks in the world. I found this website that mentions a lot of the mythology around quartz such as "The strongest of Grandfather Dragon stones, Quartz is the master stone for bringing energy and light to all it encounters. I've found that one of its most potent attributes is to amplify, and that can be anything from mental activity to spiritual consciousness to emotional disposition." and "Quartz increases the power of anything that it is placed near to ... It can be used for healing, increasing physical vitality, enhancing all spellwork, or for anything you wish to amplify.".

Personally, I don't practice spellwork but I do think that using it during meditation might have some positive effects. Or at least I hope it will :) I'll try to update here if I find either the quartz or my japa mala beads (once I get them) help during my meditation practice.

Monday, November 22, 2010


In my last post I mentioned that I had done a yoga routine from Yoga Glo. One of the poses the focused on was vasisthasana. Before I started yoga I always hated doing side planks, which is what vasisthasana is essentially. Now I love it. There are so many poses I love to do that have vasisthasana as a foundational pose. Wild thing or camatkarasana is one. There are some others that Kathryn went through in that routine but I don't remember the name of them. After that class and finding the love for this pose I decided to do a quick 20 minute practice just on vasisthasana with the variations I know so far. Although it was a quick practice it was still great. I find no matter how long I do yoga I always feel relaxed and at peace afterwards.

One thing I did notice is that I have a lot more strength in my core during this pose that before. I can lift my top leg up when in the pose. Can grab my foot and even do a bit of a back bend. What I need to work on now is gaining more strength in my arms. I shake so bad when on one arm. Something to progress towards though. Have to have goals right?

Hoping to get in another practice tonight. Maybe a full 60 minute or 90 minute practice. We'll see. :)


Saturday, November 13, 2010

Love The Pain

I believe that there is good pain and bad pain. Right now I'm definitely experiencing the good pain. *phew*. I practiced yoga consistently from last January til about June. Then a lot of stuff happened in my life and I fell off the band wagon. I find once you get into the routine of doing something I'm pretty good at keeping it up. But once you get out of the routine it's so hard to get back into it.

I've been trying to get myself back into doing yoga but it hasn't really worked. Yesterday, in hopes to make that effort better I bought some new yoga pants. I can't do yoga in pants that are too long so I bought a pair of the capri style ones. And I love them! As lame as this sounds, I hope they are the thing that pushes me to get back into yoga. Once I start doing it a bunch I'll get into the habit again and keep it up. Well, lets hope so at least.

Last night I finally took advantage of my Yoga Glo membership. I took one of Kathryn Budig's classes and it was fabulous. It absolutely, 100% kicked my butt. And I loved it. We did some new poses. Some interesting back bends that I have never done before and don't know what they're called. But now I'm so sore. I was hoping to do at least some sun salutations today but I can't even do chatarunga so sun salutations are out of the picture. I am going to force myself to do something tomorrow morning though. Whether it is sun salutations or the 5 Tibetan Rites. *crossing fingers*

One thing that I did notice about the practice last night was that I could actually calm my mind when in savasana. I don't do a lot of yoga at home so I find it hard to focus sometimes on quieting my thoughts. Which is why I love going to a yoga studio because it helps for some reason. But after last night's practice I could almost go into a meditative state right away. I think it might be because I had such a good workout and I was so focused on doing the yoga that it maybe started the meditation process? I have no idea. We'll see next time though. I'm hoping that if yoga makes it easier to meditate then I'll want to do both more often.

That's all of my fitness updates though. I'm re-doing my photography blog right now so I haven't gotten around to fixing this one up yet but it'll happen soon. I promise :)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Reiki Attunement #1

This is the first post where I am actually going to talk about Reiki. So I'll start by giving you a quote from Wikipedia:

Reiki (霊気?, English pronunciation: /ˈreɪkiː/) is a spiritual practice[1] developed in 1922 by Japanese Buddhist Mikao Usui. It uses a technique commonly called palm healing as a form of complementary and alternative medicine and is sometimes classified as oriental medicine by some professional bodies.[2] Through the use of this technique, practitioners transfer healing energy in the form of ki through the palms.

There are two main branches of Reiki, commonly referred to as Traditional Japanese Reiki and Western Reiki. Within both Traditional and Westernised forms of Reiki, there are three forms of degrees, commonly referred to as the First, Second, and Master/Teacher degree. According to Reiki practitioners and Masters, at First Degree, a Reiki practitioner is able to heal himself and others, at Second Degree is able to heal others distantly (commonly called distant healing) with the use of specialised symbols, and at Master level (specifically Master/Teacher level) is able to teach and attune others to Reiki.
Now from my research and from talking with my friend Dave about reiki, I have interpreted it as being a form of healing by using our energy source. You can use reiki to heal physical problems, emotional problems, mental problems, etc. My experience with it so far has been really interesting and I find that it does help a bit. Now there are going to be a lot of skeptics out there, and that is ok, but if you try this yourself, you have to keep an open mind. If you hold doubt in your heart when trying to practice reiki it puts up a barrier and it won't always work.

That being said, last night Dave performed my first level attunement. As the Wiki quote said, once the first attunement has been performed on you, you can then start practicing healing others. My main want for going through the attunements is to be able to meditate better myself. I have such a hard time meditating because I'm always thinking about something. I find it very difficult to quiet my mind, let thoughts pass through and not grab onto one and run with it.

The attunement itself wasn't very eventful for myself. It took roughly a half hour. There were 3 or 4 sections that needed to be completed and I pretty much just focused on trying to meditate and being open and accepting for whatever was being pushed to me. Afterward I didn't feel very different. Maybe a bit more relaxed but that's it. I'm going to try meditating for at least 15 minutes every day. I think it might be easiest to do either late at night when everyone in my house is sleeping or early in the morning before work, that way everyone has already gotten up and left and no noise is being made. We'll see though. I'm going to ask Dave if it's ok to meditate with music. If it is I'll get some ocean/nature sounds on my iPod and try using that to help drown out all other distractions.

Once thing Dave did say about the after effects of attunements is that your body will try to get rid of waste/toxins. The attunements are designed to try and help clear out the paths that energy takes in your body and the connection to the "higher being" and to do that your body needs to get rid of toxins that you may be holding onto. Just as he predicted, I woke up this morning and REALLY needed to poop. Hahaha. I know this is TMI for most people that might read this but it was a "larger than normal" kind of dump. LMAO. I'm going to focus on meditating and maybe try practicing healing on friends/family for the next month or so. Depending on how much I get done and how far I feel I have progressed I'll then do the second attunement.

If you have any questions about the experience just leave them in the comment box and I'll answer them in my next post.

And oh yeah! I'm sorry the blog is a little messy right now. I'm focusing on getting my photo blog looking the way I want it to, then I'll start updating this one so it looks better. Please be patient :)

Monday, November 1, 2010

Back Again


I have decided to activate this blog again and take a new route with it. I'm doing more now than just running. I'm pretty serious about yoga and reiki now as well. So to document the challenges, the progress and the fun times in all three areas I decided to activate this blog again. In the next week or so I will be tweaking the way it looks until I get it just right. Then I'll start posting about this lovely journey to a balanced life I am on.


Sunday, January 10, 2010


I really want to start 2010 with my priorities straight. As some of you may know I have a photography blog. This is my priority for 2010. I will be retiring this blog until I can get back into the routine of posting regularly on my photo blog. I really want to develop a stronger business and to do so I need to cut some things out of my life that are not necessary right now. Unfortunately this is one of those things. I hope everyone had an awesome holiday and started off the new year right. I will keep you updated with random posts if I can.