Being Bound

Warning:  this article is not sexual in nature.

The practice of Yoga imparts many parallels with the process of life.  While trying to get myself into a “pretzel,” I recognized a metaphor.  In reality, we don’t actually try to get ourselves into binds, we just do it, and then wonder how we are going to get ourselves out of them.  For example: like spending more money then we have in our bank account or quitting a job without having another one lined up. These two examples are easier getting into than getting out of.  Contrary to life, it’s more of a challenge getting into a yoga bind then to extricate yourself out of one.

The bind is never the goal of your pose or your state of affairs. The goal is learning to assess, discern, and respect where you are, and choosing to go no further then where you are capable of going in that given moment.  It’s a mental balance of learning how to “tame the ego.”  If you chose to be preemptive,  physical injury and mental anguish can be alleviated.  Getting “into a bind” has its benefits and so does getting out of one.

Physically, the twisting of the body aids in massaging your organs and digestive tract.  It also helps with flexibility.  Off the mat, being able to ask yourself questions as to what led you “into the bind” can give you insight into preventing another reoccurrence.  It helps you to see an alternative perspective.

 

Day # 30 A Healthy Relationship

Cheers                          Let’s Toast!

So this is what a healthy relationship looks like.

have run into each other on many occasions but I never welcomed you into my life to stay. 

Thank you, my friend. You have humbled me, supported my growth, made me more aware of what I am capable of, and you have helped me set the groundwork to build other healthy relationships.  Thank you for this clarity. 

Today is day 30.  

It may be the end of my initial commitment but it’s the beginning of a new friendship.

Welcome home.

 

Day # 26 From My Heart to Yours

Before my mom became sick I had a solid yoga practice going.  I was also doing other things to help support my physical, and mental well-being.

Our mental, physical and emotional consciousness will shift to make room for what we feel takes precedence in our lives.

When I got the call that my mom was diagnosed with stage 3 Esophageal cancer, my life shifted.  I was grateful I had been taking care of myself.  I was physically, and mentally strong enough to be there for my mother.

We often give so much of ourselves away, thinking very little about the vessel we need to support our caregiving, our work, and our relationships.

Give yourself the love you need so you have the love you need to give away.

Day # 25 Feel It With Your Whole Being.

759C9D92-3FC2-4004-9F7A-964D5FCC4C82.jpegSukshma is a Yoga term used to describe the subtle mind. Where the importance, and the effect of something is felt.

There is a message you are hanging onto, and you are the only person cabable of reading it.

We can want success, we can ask for success, and we can take action towards being successful. But, if you are feeling, and telling yourself is; I won’t make it.  I have never followed through. I have not succeeded in the past, why try again?

These messages will keep you from having long term success.

How do you get there, if you don’t feel it?

One way is to try and phych yourself into feeling you can. This is what I do… I just keep standing in front of the goal I wish to achieve, and be the best I can be in that moment.  Some days all I can do is just show up, and the next day I showed up again and interestingly enough, I felt motivated.  One day of success leads to another.  There is no need to beat yourself up, if all you can muster is your presence.  Trust me,  it does nothing for you but throw you backwards.

The key is to show up everyday, and give the BEST you have within you.

Because I have shown up everyday, I am  creating the feeling of success, which is leading  to the importance of my goals, and motivation to continue. It’s like Apoptosis, otherwise known as cell death. Past beliefs cannot be fed in an environment where the feeling of success is present. Past beliefs will starve to death.

 

 

 

Day # 23 Take The Challenge

 

There are four parts to a yoga pose. Getting into, aligning, holding and coming out of the pose.

I use to think I was “all that, and a bag of chips,” when I thought I mastered the pose. Until one day, the instructor tried to adjust my alignment, and I lost my balance.

I was comfortable with holding the posture as is. Introducing proper alignment felt like starting all over again.

How many times have you felt like you mastered something, only to find out you have returned to the baby Bhudda stage of enlightenment?

Alignment gave me new insight. I gained energy because my muscles were being used more efficiently, and I prevented possible injury.

What doesn’t challenge you, won’t change you.

 

 

 

 

 

Day # 19 Celebrate Every Moment, It Bears a Gift.

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When you bring attention to anything, your awareness and sensitivity heightens.

I am more alert to when I am holding my breath or when I have diverted my attention away from my practice. I notice when I am just hanging out in the pose or actively engaged.

I am not just showing up to class any more because I NEED some exercise.  I WANT to be there because I am more alert and more actively involved. I enjoy being present to the process.

I cannot help but smile. A change is taking place and I am not sleeping through it.

 

Day # 13. Hocus Pocus I Have Focus

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Balancing postures have always been my biggest challenge.  I used to get so frustrated.

In this posture, I wobbled just raising one foot off the ground. If I could successfully get past the wobble, I hurried through the forward bend, and landed in a yoga pose called “Balancing Stick.” I was lucky if I could hold this pose for one to two seconds.

Learning to apply focus with each move was the key to locating a sense of balance. Standing on two feet, raising both arms above the head, and behind the ears, then bending at the hips while raising one leg behind you, and keeping the standing leg Quadracept and abdomen engaged, and continually coming forward until both the arms and the leg are parallel with the ground. Viola! . Never breaking focus is the magic! I am now able to hold this pose a good 30 seconds.

Focus is the key to success, not only on the mat, but off the mat too.

Center your attention on focus and watch the magic unfold.

 

 

 

 

 

Day # 7 Never Underestimate The Power of Your Commitment

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I could have easily told myself that I will be too busy the next three days working, planning for an event, and pet sitting to follow through with my 30-day challenge.

Whatever you label as a distraction is only a perception

Have you ever noticed that when you TRULY commit to something, others will do what they can to support you, and some will even join you? 

The only thing that will break your commitment are the thoughts you tell yourself. 

Meet Daisy on the left who is taking a break between postures, and Lucky on the right, who is practicing Sphinx pose.

When I was done with my practice, I joined them in their practice, a walk with occasional leg lifts.

Day # 6 I’ll take your Xanax and raise you bliss

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The second MOST important posture is Savasana 

Savasana, also known as “corpse pose” is lying flat on your back while resting your arms and legs at 45 degrees.  

The benefit of this pose teaches you to surrender and relax your muscles.

I know, for me, it’s a constant practice to surrender and relax without thinking about a gazillion other things I feel I “should be doing.” 

These three to fives minutes may be the only time in the day you consciously practice letting go of stress.  Take the gamble.

The only side effect is bliss

 

Day # 5 Setting Yourself up for Success

 

4C653EF2-8E82-4248-9554-CD0784FB8A83.jpegThe lotus pose is THE most important posture.

In this posture, I set my intention, solidifying the foundation for the rest of the class.

After I set my intention, there is a party of monkeys jumping in my head, all wanting a piece of my attention.

Applying the Ujjayi breath. A Sanskrit word meaning “victorious breath” will help bring your concentration back to your practice. 

Its a constricted breath, breathing in an out of the nostrils. Some call it the “Darth Vader” breath or the “ocean” breath.

(Try whispering really loud. This will give you an idea of what the constriction feels like in the back of your throat.)

This style of breathing allows you to hear your breath and helps to calm the mind, bringing your attention within. It also helps to warm your body’s core, and prepare you for your asana practice.