A Lovely Day

A Lovely Day

Hello everyone!

It’s been a while.

I am in an extremely good mood today. I’m in such a good mood that I felt compelled to make today the day that I would return to the blogosphere after yet another hiatus.

Today is light-filled. But, more than that it is joy-filled for many.

I didn’t expect to see what I observed this morning, which was exactly how much joy is being pushed and rebirthed into the universe until I walked into my family room this morning, turned on the television, and watched the news as people from all walks of life danced and sang in the streets all across America.

It didn’t take long for me to begin dancing and singing along with them with happy tears pouring from my eyes and down my cheeks. It was a beautiful sight to see. It was definitely one of the most wonderful feelings I’ve ever felt.

I am probably not the only person who may have felt the stagnation depart from the soul of the United States of America, ( extra special emphasis on the word “united”), because isn’t that the promise of our nation? Isn’t that what we love about it so much even though we have our left and right sides?

Unity is what results when sagacity, impartiality, and the sweetness of empathy are honored and practiced.

And here we have it. Unity wins. Goodness and love prevail. Hope is restored and those who have may have felt as though the sky was falling can feel comfortable enough once again to just close their eyes, take a long deep breath inward, exhale the past and allow their hearts to become lighter again.

Let’s sit with with this feeling for just a moment,

and be grateful for this precious day,

smile,

and let the healing begin.


With love and light,

Until the next post,

Take care.


Happy National Yoga Awareness Month!

Happy National Yoga Awareness Month!

I’m excited this month because September is the anniversary month of my yoga journey. I am also excited because it is also National Yoga Awareness Month. National Yoga Awareness Month is an annual campaign that was created in 2008, by the Department of Health and Human Services that was designed to acknowledge and share the many health benefits of yoga.

During the month of September, there are often an abundance of offerings involving yoga related activities that can be found. As a result, it is a good time to find discounts and promotions on yoga classes, equipment, supplies, clothing, and the like.

Some of my favorite ways to celebrate National Yoga Awareness Month include:

  • Participating in a yoga challenge.
  • Trying a new style of yoga.
  • Making a commitment to your yoga practice.
  • Taking a yoga class. (Many of which, now, can be taken virtually).
  • Purchasing a new item to help you in your yoga practice.
  • Getting to know more about yoga by reading a book covering the topic of yoga.
  • Practicing an asana that you find challenging.
  • Sharing the benefits of yoga with others.
  • Taking or sharing photos of your yoga asana progress.
  • Strengthening the non-asana part of your yoga practice.
  • Practicing yoga with a friend.

For anyone looking to begin a healthier lifestyle that includes implementing a yoga practice, this is a great month to begin.

I hope that one or more of the ideas that I have presented help inspire you to try yoga, if you have never done so.

Or, perhaps assist you in finding ways to strengthen your yoga practice. Namaste.

Thank you for reading.

Until the next post…

Take Care.

How I Fell In Love With Yoga

My yoga journey began in 2013. It started with an exercise video that included several ashtanga based yoga sequences that were designed to build strength and increase flexibility. I truly enjoyed those yoga sequences, and remember performing them with so much ease. Later, I attended classes at a yoga studio and at a fitness center. My interest in yoga eventually waned with each passing year, and I began pursuing other interests; such as hiking. I know now, in retrospect, that those ashtanga asanas weren’t designed for anyone just beginning a yoga practice. So, when I look back at that time I feel extremely fortunate for that experience.

It wasn’t until the end 2019 that I would rediscover yoga, and learn that I didn’t know as much about it as I thought I did. Never, in a million years did I ever expect to be as intrigued with yoga as I am today; after making the decision to pick it up again and deepen my practice. My decision to do so arose from my intent to find a way to manage the grief that I was feeling after losing my son. That led me to begin taking courses that would help me learn about the foundations and fundamentals of yoga . It turns out that was one of the best decisions that I have ever made for myself.

There was a time when I once thought that yoga only consisted of performing complex asanas (poses), maintaining a “certain look”, or living a specific way. For some, it may be just that, but that is not all that it is. Yoga is so much more.

Besides asanas (poses), yoga is also comprised of meditation and pranayama (breathing). In fact, the word yoga means “to yoke” or join together in Sanskrit. Moreover, according to Pantanjali, the father of yoga, it is about mastering the stillness of the mind, understanding the nature of reality and the true nature of self.

The asanas (poses) are actually just one part of what makes yoga… well…yoga. They are the part that assists in the creation of strength, flexibility and balance. The other components of yoga are related to mental focus, personal and spiritual ethics, and using the breath as a life force. All of which, once practiced daily help increase resilience, compassion and a connection to your higher self and source.

A lot has changed for me personally since 2013 including my levels of physical activity and flexibility. But thankfully, yoga is very forgiving. It doesn’t demand perfection. It only asks that you continue to show up on your mat daily, and when you do show up, that you meet yourself wherever you are, and create space for where you are trying to go. I love that so much.

Thank you for reading.

Until the next post..

Please take care.


References:

Satchidananda, Swami, Sri. (2018). The Yoga Sutras of Pantanjali . Integral Yoga Publications.

Easwaran, Eknath. (2007). The Bhagavad Gita. Nilgiri Press.

On Meditating

On Meditating

Meditation is one of those things that, when thought of, is often considered to be something that is rather easy to do. Yet, some people may find that once they get into position, (which is usually some variation of the lotus position, but can be just about any position that you find comfortable), they tend to have difficulty maintaining their posture, maintaining a still mind or both.

I used to be one of those people, until I attended a yoga class, one of which meditation was a part of; and I quickly discovered that it’s actually quite common to lose focus while meditating. It was my instructor who, ever so graciously, helped to put my mind at ease and made me feel less uncomfortable about my ability to meditate – and to do so in a way that I could actually benefit and grow in my meditation practice.

I learned that meditation doesn’t have to feel as initially intimidating as it often does for many. Nor does it require that you clear your mind of your thoughts. Instead, it is more important that you learn to work with the thoughts that come through your mind. Why should you do this? Well, because your thoughts are likely going to keep coming. So, in lieu of fighting your thoughts, it would be better to accept that they are there and say to yourself, (mentally, of course, especially if you are meditating in a class with others), “I am in control of my thoughts” and then simply practice controlling them.

One way to do this is to continue to relax, close your eyes, try stilling your mind, (you can do it!), and then pretend that your thoughts are on imaginary clouds. Place your thoughts on clouds that are floating by, in your mind while your eyes are closed, and while maintaining your focus on the task of meditating. Lastly, observe each thought as they float away – far away.

Another similar option would be to put your thoughts in imaginary balloons and observe each thought as they are being released into a sunset filled sky and then – just let go.

I have tried both methods and they have worked well for me. I found that they keep me from being distracted by any thoughts or concerns of the day to where it makes getting through a complete meditation session much easier and without feeling as thought I am clearly focused one minute; and then losing my concentration the next.

So, it is considered acceptable if you find that you have to keep trying again and again to maintain your focus while meditating until you are able to get to a point where your mind no longer feels the need to wander. With a regular meditation practice you will likely find yourself becoming less of a meditation amateur just like I did.

One of my favorite things about yoga and meditation is the philosophy behind the practice; and how they offer so much in way of self-compassion. My holistic living journey over the past several months has been quite the eye-opener and I am excited to see where else it takes me. Thank you for reading.

Until the next post…

With love. Take Care.