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 :)