30 Days of Yoga

Many many years ago, I tried yoga. I had a VHS tape. There was a woman with a very calm voice, who wore all white, talking about Iyengar yoga. She emphasized form as we moved from posture to posture. Things like Proud Warrior, Triangle Pose, Downward Facing Dog, Legs up the Wall, and finally ending in Corpse Pose (don’t think she called it that) falling into blissful relaxation. I liked it, but I didn’t “get it.” I didn’t get that deep connection you’re supposed to feel, so I eventually got bored and moved on. Later, through other workouts, I learned about sun salutations, but yoga in general remain a bit of a mystery.

Cue May 2015. Lots of things are changing. I’m changing. I’ve been reading about living a cleaner, active lifestyle, so I decided to give yoga another shot. I searched on You Tube for 30dayscalendarvideos I could follow. I found Adriene Mishler and her channel/website¬†Yoga with Adriene. I liked her vibe, and she had a free 30 days of yoga program, which seemed like the perfect way to get myself started. I printed up the calendar and was off to the yoga races.

I’ve remained pretty flexible in my old age, but my strength and stamina have definitely been waning. We eased in with fairly well known postures. She explained things so clearly, talking about rooting into the earth through all ten fingers and the tops of your feet to create a stable tabletop position to work from. When standing she reminds us to connect to all four corners of the feet, rooting into the earth. She said things like “find what feels good” and “no yoga robots,” encouraging organic movement with the postures if that was what feels good. She gave breathing cues, which helped immensely. She used the sanskrit and common names for poses, encouraged setting intentions. I was enjoying it so much, some days I would do two videos. Eventually I added in a bedtime routine to help calm down and stretch out at the end of the day.

My 30 days just ended yesterday, and I feel so much stronger already! Breaking out that yoga mat I’d had for years was one of the smartest things I have done in a long time, and I fully plan to continue practicing! My intentions are balance, strength, flexibility, and grace, things that I can apply to yoga and life. Yoga is making me happier and more mindful. I find myself wanting healthy food, lots of vegetables, fruit, and avocado toast. Ohhh, how I love avocado toast. I haven’t had alcohol in over two weeks and don’t miss it. I’m more active around the house, and my outlook and disposition have changed drastically. Most importantly, I finally “get” yoga. I understand the mind/body/breath/spirit connection, and the benefits that come from it.

So here’s what I think you should know:

  • Yoga is not an exercise program. Yes, its exercise, but at the heart it is a practice. You will not be able to hold some poses in the beginning, you might not even be able to get into them, but don’t get discouraged and give up! Keep working and it will come to you. If you fall down, get up and try again, making any necessary adjustments.
  • If yoga is completely new to you, take some time to learn fundamentals, like alignment, so you don’t hurt yourself.
  • Breath, or pranayama, is SO important. Take some time to learn about it. Adrienne has videos on that, too. Lion’s breath is pretty fun, especially if you have kids.
  • You don’t need yoga pants. Wear whats comfortable and won’t get in the way. I do my bedtime practice in my pajamas.
  • You do need a yoga mat. I think its worth investing in a good, sturdy, sweat proof mat, but don’t break the bank. Other props like blocks are nice, but you can find substitutes. Yoga straps are nice, but you could use a mens tie, or something like that.
  • Don’t do yoga on a full stomach. Give your food a few hours to digest, especially if you’re going to be bending over, going into downward dog, or inverting yourself in any way. This is self explanatory.
  • Pay attention to what your body is telling you. If you’re in a pose and a muscle or joint is screaming at you, stop what you’re doing, adjust the pose, or take a rest.
  • Savor savasana. Seriously.

If you’re thinking about yoga, I say GO FOR IT! If you want a yoga buddy, just let me know, I’d love to have some! Namaste.

Love and light to all! (Man I am turning into such a hippie).




2011 in review-blog stats

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 3,000 times in 2011. If it were a cable car, it would take about 50 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

25 years

That looks like any old picture, and really, it is. Its a view to the east from my driveway. This is where I watch shuttle launches from. When they first started we were able to watch them from he back yard, but trees have grown and now we have to go out front, which is where the neighbors are too.

I didn’t live here when Challenger exploded. I was in fifth grade in Alabama. We were learning a lot about space that year, and our teacher had us in the Young Astronauts program. Shuttle launches were always a big deal to her, and we watched every one. That day we had a substitute who didn’t know to put the shuttle launch on. We got to lunch and other kids were telling us what happened. We thought they were kidding. The substitute must have gotten word during lunch as well because when we got back to the room the tv was turned on so we could see the news. It was surreal. Things like that weren’t supposed to happen in my 11-year-old world. NASA was perfect and the shuttles were super. They weren’t suppose to blow up. I think we talked about it a bit for the rest of the afternoon, but it still just seems so unreal in my mind. It still does.

Like many have said, that’s my generations JFK.

game, set, dunk

Tonight Zach and I went to the Orlando Magic game. They played the Milwaukee Bucks. Orlando won.

Why yes, I did take that picture. That’s Dwight Howard going for the rebound. ¬†Zach had won the tickets in a trivia contest. They were 6th row near the basket. Not bad seats at all. Of course, I took my little point and shoot because I didn’t think they would let me take Big Daddy in. Turns out I could have taken Big Daddy. Dammit. I could have gotten some amazing pictures with it.

The new Amway Center is amazing. Its so spacious, and there are bathrooms and stores and food places everywhere. There’s a lot of steps, though, and the steps that go down to the seat are big, like taller than normal steps in some places. That’s not fun. But the game was fun. It was a pretty good game. JJ Redick played a lot. I like him. Here he is shooting a free throw.

I always enjoy going to Magic games. I haven’t been to one in a few years, so this was a treat. Getting home late isn’t though. My age is really starts showing when we go to things like this and get home late. I don’t handle it like I used to. I feel all destroyed.

Speaking of destroyed, the house is in disarray still from taking down Christmas, plus it needs to be cleaned. I guess that’s what I’ll be doing tomorrow. Not really looking forward to that. I think I’m going to end up running a couple of errands as well. Did a few today. Plus I need to visit the mother. Oh, on that note, my dad is doing worse again. If you could keep him in your prayers I’d appreciate it.

Well, dear readers. I’m going to call it a night. Enjoy yours.