Tag: yogini

Learning How To Find Stillness

Learning How To Find Stillness

Dancer PoseThis pose has always given me a sense of euphoria , and of flying.  This, unlike so many poses, I loved from the start of my yoga journey.  This pose makes me feel confident, capable, and ambitious.  It gives me the feeling that hard work will have amazing results.

Reverse Prayer Pose   When I first started my yoga journey my hands could not make complete contact in this pose, from palm to fingertip.

Classical Bound Headstand  Never in my life did I ever think I would be in a headstand, or any other inversion.  I reached classical bound headstand seven months into my yoga journey, blowing my own mind.  I take this pose just to enjoy the childhood glee it brings, or when I’m feeling anxious, or I’m looking to feel grounded.  This pose brings me calmness and returns me to a sense of myself.

Headstand Play  Lately I’ve started to play around some in the pose, and it’s been fun and frightening (in a good way!) all at once.

Bow Pose  This pose has always been, and still is, a challenge for me.  Both physically and mentally this pose brings up resistance for me.  I currently need to take a few calming breaths before kicking up into it, searching for the will, searching for the strength.  Me and this pose still have a lot of work to do together.

Side Plank  The first six months or so of my yoga journey found me hating this pose.  It was hard for my body at first and seemed very unavailable to me.  I wobbled a lot and constantly came out of it before grudgingly sliding back into it again.  That is no longer the case, and I’ve come to enjoy this pose and the sense of strength and control it gives me.

Upward Bow  Just like dancer pose, I’ve always enjoyed this pose.  I feel that this pose is a “yoga nemesis” for a lot of yoga-doers, but it’s never been for me.  I feel a sense of rush, joy, and excitement every time I push up into it.  It makes me feel happy, playful, free, and it gives me a lot of space in my imagination, as well as between my shoulder blades.

Sugar Cane  I’ve got a lot of work to do in this pose.  My hips are entirely in the wrong place, but this is a pose that I enjoy.  It makes me feel light, friendly, and playful.

Bird of Paradise  I got lazy with my shoulders when this was taken, but when I started my yoga journey I did not have a full bind.  My fingertips on each hand merely grazed each other, but over time they got closer and closer…until my hands clasped! A few months later I began being able to ground my back leg and swing up into this pose.  It still needs a lot of work, but even just being here is improvement, and this pose gives me a sense of joy and grace whenever I find it.

Standing Leg Raise

I did ballet for 13 years, yet I was never able to grab my foot and straighten my legs.  17 months of yoga has given me flexibility and strength I was convinced my body didn’t have in it.

Gorilla PoseWhen I first started my yoga journey my fingertips only just touched the ground on a forward fold. Now they can flatten all the way to the Earth, and I can even stand on my hands.  Forward folds are one of my very favorite asana practices in yoga.   They give me a sense of unloading, like a weight is dropping.  Off of my body, off of my mind, off of everything in my entire being.  When I take a forward fold, anxiety immediately quiets.  Depression starts to lift, the planet starts to feel more aligned.

Falling Out  Yoga is practice.  There are so many times I fall out of poses, and it’s okay.  In fact, it’s amazing every time.  We’ve got to fall and stumble until we get it right.  In our yoga practice, just like in life.

Bikram Yoga, Brunch, and A Bunch of Amazing Gifts

Bikram Yoga, Brunch, and A Bunch of Amazing Gifts

Yesterday my friend Elliot and I took a bikram yoga class and it kicked both our butts.  This was only my 5th or 6th bikram yoga class in 17 months that I’ve been doing yoga, but I have to say that I’m not a huge fan.  The 105 degrees is just so hot, and I just feel so drained and empty for the rest of the day.  Elliot and I were feeling quite drained when we left class so we stopped at a really cute place to grab brunch.

We talked about his love life, and his recent trip to Mexico, and all my adventures and journeys of wedding planning.  We caught up, and laughed, and had a grand time.  When we got back to his place he gave me an incredible gift.

He gave me a barely used massage table, all the accessories for it, a huge tub of lotion, two small lotion bottles, and a holster….completely free of charge! I tried to offer him money a few times, but he just wouldn’t take it.  All of these things he gave me are such an enormous gift.

He gave me tools to go out into the world with and make money with.  He’s given me opportunity and a way to do something I’ve wanted to do since I got my massage license.  (Three and a half years ago, so this is long overdue!)

Elliot, who reads this blog, thank you so much! You’ve made my weekend, and I’m so grateful and thankful for both your presence in my life and your generous heart.

What Happens When I Go A Week Or Longer Without Taking a Yoga Class

What Happens When I Go A Week Or Longer Without Taking a Yoga Class

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:

  1.  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.
  2.   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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.


I Am Now Officially A Certified Yoga Instructor!

I Am Now Officially A Certified Yoga Instructor!

  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? 


I Wish There Was A Written Guide To Same-Sex Parent Family Planning

I went to hot yoga on Tuesday morning before work, which is nothing new.  I always go to hot yoga on Tuesday mornings before work.  There are times I miss my Friday practices, and times I miss my Saturday practices….but never my Tuesday ones.  It’s like something in the universe calls my body to breathe, bow, and rise to greet the sun every Tuesday morning.

Anyway, class this Tuesday was more amazing than it usually was.  After the yin/yang class I took on Sunday the Baptiste power flow felt so dramatic and dynamic.  But in the best way possible.  My hamstrings feel more stretched out than they have in months, and I, just in general, feel more loose than I have in months.

I’m going to take N’s yoga class on Saturday morning.  She considers her yoga classes to be “restorative” yoga, so it’s quite different from both Baptiste power flow and yin yoga.  I have a feeling that I’m to feel blissed out after taking a third type of yoga for the week.

I’m starting to wonder if my “yoga lesson” for the Summer is to consistently take different types of yoga classes.  I’m still less than one full year into my yoga journey, so I’m still finding out what types suit me and what mixture of yoga classes allows me to feel my best.  It’s definitely one of the deepest journeys I’ve ever taken inside myself.  =)

Tomorrow morning I have an appointment with an OBGYN to discuss, well, getting a fertility test/getting a referral to the fertility center near us that offers LGBT family planning.  I’ve got so many little nerves and apprehensions making my body tingle right now just thinking about the appointment!

What if the doctor is against gay marriage? What if she is absolutely disgusted that I’m looking to find “the doctor for us” as we start the journey of starting our own family?

I can’t possibly be the first lesbian lady to have these fears.  I’m not even quite sure what to say to her when I first see her.

But I guess all I can do is show up tomorrow and just take it from there, yeah?

I wish there was a written guide to same-sex parent family planning.

Though I suppose the journey is going to be a lot more interesting without one, yeah?


Art Museum-Hopping And Yin/Yang Yoga Dates

Art Museum-Hopping And Yin/Yang Yoga Dates

Today Alana and I took a yin/yang yoga class at a yoga studio close to our home.  This was the first yoga class I’ve taken in over ten weeks that wasn’t hot yoga.  I normally take two hot yoga classes during the week and one restorative yoga class on Saturday mornings.  Because I’ve had to “adjust” five of those restorative yoga classes on Saturday mornings to complete my hours for yoga teacher training I haven’t actually taken the class since mid May.

I don’t think I realized just how long I was going without non hot yoga.  I was aware of it, of course, but I didn’t realize it was nearing the two month mark .  It honestly didn’t matter.  I was getting all that I needed to get out of yoga.  My practice was changing, I was experiencing new things, and I was challenging myself in new ways.  My body has gotten more flexible and stronger this summer.   I’m aware of the changes in so many ways, both inside and outside of my yoga practice.

The yin portion of class today was absolutely amazing.  It was such a change from the fast-paced power yoga I normally do in ninety-five degree heat.  I enjoyed holding poses for five minutes at a time, letting my body round and letting gravity push me to the Earth as I breathed and let go.  My friend Natalie met Alana and I for class and the energy around my practice was calm and comforting as the two of them practiced around my mat.

Alana and I went to D.C. with a few of her friends yesterday and we museum-hopped through different art and sculpture museums. It was nice to be out and about and I thoroughly enjoyed the art.

All in all it was an amazing weekend.  I’m not quite sure what the point of this post was.  Maybe it was just to say that yoga constantly amazes me, whether I’m doing it in heat or out of it.  Maybe it was to express wonder and gratitude that I’ve found an amazing woman who loves to trample around to art museums and take yoga classes with me.

Either way I hope you all have an amazing week.  Namaste.