I’ve just recently come across this word, this way of life, this Greek Goddess. It perfectly sums up why I roll out of bed at 7:00 AM twice a week and bow and greet the sun. It’s the reason yoga allows me to become a better person, it’s that honest inward looking at oneself in order to reach peace and live contently and joyfully day to day. I think achieving this is why so many people meditate, and go to therapy, and write blog entries to sort out what’s in their head. It’s the drive and the inspiration, to acknowledge, admit, work through, and let go of things in order to truly know inner peace and true happiness.
Thanksgiving 2014. What I’m thankful for.
I’m thankful for the abundance of family and friends in my life. I’m thankful that I grew up comfortably, and that my parents never discouraged me thinking for myself. I’m thankful that my parents paid for thirteen years of dance classes, and my first car, and that my Mom loaned me the money to go to massage school. I’m thankful that my family accepts me as the loud, quirky lesbian that I am.
I’m thankful for my body and my health. I’m grateful that I can take several yoga classes a week, massage full-time, and still feel energetic. I’m grateful that I have two legs to walk on, I’m thankful for the air in my lungs. I’m grateful for all the directions in which my spine can bend, I’m thankful that I love my body.
I’m thankful that I’ve found love. I’m thankful that Alana and I found each other on the vastness of the internet. I’m thankful that we’re still happy as we go into our fourth year together, and I’m thankful that we’re paying for our own wedding, because that means that we’re comfortable and that we have everything we need.
I’m thankful my Mom signed me up for driving school before I ever asked about it. I’m thankful my Dad took all that time teaching me how to drive an automatic car, and then how to drive a stick shift six years later. I’m grateful that my brothers played with me so much as I was growing up.
I’m thankful that kind souls exist, that belly laughs feel the way that they do, and I’m grateful that I’ve known so much love and laughter in my life.
I’m grateful for who I’m becoming. I’m thankful for the internet.
I’m grateful that the world of blogging is a thing, and that I have some place to dump all of these thoughts and emotions.
Namaste, everyone. I hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving as well.
I haven’t written in a while, but things have mostly been going extremely well. Everything except one thing in my life has been close to perfect since October turned into November, and the weather has gotten colder.
This one thing has kind of been a “thing” for a while. But I’ve been ignoring it, and coming up with excuses as to why I don’t need to change it. It’s a habit, and something that I’ve done daily for some time now. And, something that has no longer been serving me for a while, even though it use to bring me happiness in my past and serve me greatly.
So I decided yesterday that I was going to slow down/cut out this habit completely, so that I could feel good about everything in my life, and not just almost everything.
This morning was a little rough for me. My body was sweating. My mind was growing more and more anxious. I didn’t feel good, and it was hard, and challenging, and I needed to throw myself into something.
So I got onto YouTube and watched yoga tutorial videos of how to get into crow pose, and then I went to my living room and proceeded to practice crow pose. And then I started practicing tripod headstands, and then went onto practice my handstands and forearm balances.
For the first time ever today I took a tripod headstand. I took several of them, and held them for long lengths of time. I didn’t even know that I could do this pose. Before today, I’ve only done classical bound headstand.
For the first time ever today I also held a few crow poses! I’ve never really been in that pose, not like I was today!
And it just all blew my mind! What I was capable of, and what my body was capable of, when I stopped a habit that was no longer serving me and threw myself into something that serves me greatly (my yoga practice.)
After close to an hour of practicing these inversions my body was no longer sweating and shaking. My head felt clearer. My heart was pumping, and I felt great. Ecstatic. Proud. More confident
So I decided to continue this trend and head to a yoga class that I’ve been putting off going to for over a month because I’ve been too busy lazing around at home and feeding my habit.
I invited a yogi friend to go with me, and I’m so glad that I did. I told him in the car about my addiction, about my weening, and about how it’s no longer serving me. Sometimes just talking with someone, and getting the words out, and getting it all out into the universe helps. It definitely helped tonight, and taking that yoga class tonight cleared my head even further.
Now I can say that I’m finally working with crow pose. Now I can say that I can do two types of headstands instead of one. Now I’ve just spent a day doing great things with my body and my mind, instead of curled up on my couch in the fetal position crying, sweating, and shaking.
Wow. What a beautiful day this turned out to be.
Thank you for reading if you read to the end, but I needed to get that all out. I need to get this habit, this dependency, out of my system, but I’ve got a strong headstart on it by making some good choices today.
I haven’t taken a yoga class in ten days. I’m going to take one tomorrow morning before work, and it can’t come soon enough.
My yoga journey started thirteen months ago, and within those thirteen months I’ve definitely noticed patterns. One of the biggest patters I’ve noticed is how terrible I start to feel on the rare occasions when I go a week or longer without taking a yoga class.
So I’m going to use this blog and write out a list of just how unbalanced and icky I start to feel when I’ve gone a week without breathing through my thighs, bending, and twisting.
When I go a week or longer without taking a yoga class:
- I start to lose the huge sense of gratefulness and thankfulness that yoga teaches and gives to me. I’m not saying that I become completely ungrateful, but the level of gratitude and overall thankfulness that I have for my life, my friends, my car, etc, starts to diminish. Because of this, the mundanity of life starts to become more apparent. The reality of things like constantly paying bills and working for forty to fifty years starts to cave in more.
- I start to feel more sluggish, more sleepy, and my digestion slows down. Yoga wakes me up, it wakes my mind up. I feel the most rested, energetic, and high-spirited on the weeks that I take two or more yoga classes. Yoga improves my sleep, and the constant twisting and rinsing of the digestive muscles allows for optimal digestion. My practice gives me a sense of euphoria and accomplishment, giving me the feeling of a “natural high”, and chasing away both fatigue and sleepiness from my mind and body.
- I start to become less honest with myself. My yoga practice gives me myself. I can’t hide from myself in certain yoga poses. My practice inspires me to be honest with myself, and to recognize the negative feelings, thoughts, and emotions tucked away into the crevices of my mind. When I go a week or longer without taking a yoga class I’ve noticed that I’m less likely to admit to myself when I’m feeling negative, undesirable emotions such as fear, jealousy, frustration, and bitterness. I lie to myself, I make excuses to and for myself. I feel less genuine, less authentic, and this shows up everywhere, such as in my work, in my thoughts, and in my reactions to things and people.
- I don’t feel as calm, cool, and collected. I become frustrated more easily. I’m more likely to get into tiffs or arguments. I second guess myself more, and I start to become more aware of others judgements of me. I sometimes feel less connected to the people around me. I become more impatient with ordinary things, such as traffic and long lines. I stay upset about things longer, and I’m not able to “let go” and move on from a frustrating situation or annoyance as quickly.
- I don’t feel as plugged into the Earth, as present, and as grounded. I start lose the ache of ab muscle or the feeling of tight hamstrings and quads being stretched out through asana. I’m less aware of the breath in my lungs, and the aches and cues that my body gives me to signal when it’s in want or need of something. I type on my phone more and listen to the conversation around me less. I lose the amazing anatomically corrected-ness feeling that yoga gives me, of my tailbone being tucked and my shoulders sitting perfectly on top of my hips. I’m more likely to withdraw and to not reach out to people. I start to think about myself and my problems more, and less of (the problems of) the world around me.
All of this being said, when my alarm goes off at 7:00 tomorrow morning I’m making a straight beeline for the shower. I’m ready to unroll my mat. I’m ready to spread my toes and plug my hands into the Earth.
I shudder to think about where my life would be if I hadn’t found yoga thirteen months ago. I know that both my life and I would be in a very different place right now.
It feels like so many things have happened since my last post on September 25th, and all of those things are positive. This Fall has honestly been just a series of good moments, followed by awesome moments, followed by even more amazing moments. The good just keeps piling up, the laughter and excitement just keeps rolling in, and I’m honestly living in that glow that happens when everything in your life is well balanced and you just feel good.
Alana and I reached that three year milestone in our relationship last week, which means that our wedding is less than a year away! After already being engaged for a year and a half, after almost a year of her not having a permanent job and us being unsure of any short or long term future for us, we are finally under that year mark.
Last weekend, to celebrate, we took a yoga class together, went shopping for our engagement shoot, and then went to dinner and a movie. We saw The Maze Runner, and we both really liked it. My birthday is on Tuesday, and this weekend my Mom is having the entire family over to celebrate, and she’s making homemade Indian food! On my actual birthday next Tuesday Alana and I both took the day off. She’s going to take me to Spa World all day before taking me to dinner at my favorite restaurant (which is not cheap).
Our engagement shoot is going to be happening sometime within the next three weeks. We’re not exactly sure when because our photographer is judging the changing color of the leaves week by week so that we shoot on a weekend when the leaves are perfect. My yoga practice is on fire right now. The 2-3 classes I’ve been making weekly have been so easy to get to. I jump out of bed when my alarm goes off at 7:00 AM, ready to face traffic and get on my mat. My body is still changing. My shoulders sit on top of my hips more, my sacrum is more tucked, my pelvis less tilted. My arms and back are getting stronger. My headstands are unlike they ever have been, strong, effortless, and I hold them for longer than three minute periods. (Longer than I’ve ever held them before).
On the random times that I do try for a forearm stand or even a handstand, I’m there. I always reach the pose, even if I only hold them for a moment or two. I’m ready to get serious about my inversion practice this Fall and really try to master forearm stand and handstand before our wedding next Fall. The strength required of my body for these poses is almost there, or possibly, there. Every season I grow more acquainted with the feeling of finding my center of gravity while my body is upside down. I reach it more quickly then ever now, my head reaching the floor only a few seconds before my toes leave it.
My schedule at work is busy, full, and full of personality. The clinic constantly gets complaints about how full my schedule is and how hard it is to book an appointment with me. I’ve been getting more sleep, drinking one soda or less a week, and Alana and I have been getting along shiningly.
Like I said, things are great. I’m looking forward to all my birthday celebrations and our upcoming engagement shoot.
I hope this Fall is treating you all well as well as it’s treating me. Peace, love, and light. =)
Alright, guys. It’s happened. It’s come. My hours have been complete and my yoga teacher certificate arrived this past weekend in the mail!
To say that I’m thrilled is an understatement. It was a really long Fall, Winter, and Spring as I trekked through eight months of yoga teacher training. It was one of the most profound experiences of my life, but it came with a lot of work. And I don’t mean the constant study of asanas, and breaths, and learning how to sequence yoga poses. I mean the delving into myself, the work I had to do when ego, fear, and anything dark came up. If starting yoga set me on a path to truly start discovering myself, than starting yoga teacher training set me on a path to mastering myself.
I’m proud of myself. This is the third holistic trade certification that I’ve gotten in three years, adding on to my Reiki Master certificate and my massage license. I’m excited to see what I’ll do from here. And where I’ll go with these three trades under my belt.
Only the future can tell, yeah?
This week has felt like an absolute dream. It seemed like a piece of cake, and it passed by so calmly. It’s like I barely felt the work days, the hours upon hours of labor, and the wishing of it all to just be over.
Having Monday off all day with the love of my life helped, I’m sure. Tuesday was fun and joyous. Wednesday morning, on my day off, I decided to practice forearm stands and handstands. I almost never practice any yoga at home. 97% of my practice happens in a yoga studio, and only about 3% at home. I especially never work on my inversions or challenging poses that I’m trying to master.
So I was extremely surprised and bewildered to find that I was able to hold both a forearm stand and a handstand…for several moments at at time! It was a first for both, and I felt elated and strong. My body, going into them, felt like a different body from the one I had this past winter when I was practicing my headstands at home. Both of these inversions were just so much more….available to me. It wasn’t hard to find the strength. Because of this it was easy to trust myself to hold my body upside down while playing around with finding that balance…that precious balance where your body is perfectly aligned, hips over shoulders, belly engaged, head below heart, mind free and wild.
This experience showed me that I need to practice at home this Fall. My body has changed over the Summer with all the yoga classes I’ve attended weekly, and its time to get playful. And to set new goals for myself.
Afterwards I trekked over to Ayanna’s and we exchanged massages. I haven’t seen her since she went on maternity leave in March (and never came back to work!) Her baby is beautiful, just like her older son. We hadn’t traded massages in probably a year, and it was nice to catch up and laugh while we rubbed out each others knots.
Afterwards I traveled far North to have dinner with one of my very best friends, Jesse, who is in town from Georgia for a wedding. She only comes to town 2-3 times a year, and so it’s only then that we get to see each other. She’s going to be our second bridesmaid when we get married next Fall, and her daughter is going to be one of our flower girls. We had dinner with a few of her other friends, and we all ordered drinks and laughed and stuffed ourselves silly. It was an amazing evening to an already amazing day.
I lost my car keys for the second time in two weeks at work last night, and at first I was upset, and panicked, and frustrated. But, Alana picked me up from work last night and dropped me back off again this morning (I keep a spare key at home). My car didn’t get stolen, broken into, or ticketed. Everything ended up okay, and now the weekend is here.
Alana and I have plans to start it out with a restorative yoga class tomorrow morning before celebrating the birthdays of three of our family members this weekend! All these birthday festivities are going to require lots of money and lots of driving, but it’ll come with family, love, and laughter. I’m feeling grateful for friends, especially long distance ones. Or ones that I haven’t seen since there was snow on the ground.
I’m feeling grateful for the strength of my body, and for it’s healthiness and it’s progress. As I am every week, I’m grateful that I found yoga last Fall.
I’m grateful for my fiancé, and for her willingness to pick me up from/drop me off at my job when my scatter-brained self lost my keys once again.
I’m grateful for both our families. I’m grateful that it’s the weekend.
I’m grateful that I survived another week, and for my ability to find bliss in the small, everyday things.