Posts Tagged yoga
I had a recent conversation with a new friend about my journey into yoga. Nearly ten years ago I started my own practice as a way to supplement all the physical work I was putting my body through training for triathlons. My muscles were tight, my posture was compromised and my mind was a bit chaotic. Through yoga, much of that changed.
Fast forward a few years, I attended my first 200 hour training. Here I learned much more in-depth about philosophy, the eight limbs, meditation, sequencing, anatomy and the asanas (the physical practice). This training set a strong foundation in what I do and how I approach my own practice and as an instructor.
We tend to over stretch where we are bendy and collapse where we are dense. Finding correct alignment rather than always taking the path of least resistance is a challenge. So this is where we set the foundations for future poses. Simple doesn’t always mean easy. Learning to breathe. Creating space. Taking time. Allowing ourselves to really explore. Instead of using the body to get into a pose, use the pose to get into our body….
During the conversation I had with my friend, I said that I still was not super flexible and that’s why I teach beginners. I love teaching to students who come to their mat for the very first time and can be in the same room as someone who has been practicing for 20 years. Taking a basics yoga class is something we all need.
I think it’s great that people try to challenge themselves with new and more difficult poses. But at the end of the day, a true yogi will say, “Great if I can, Great if I can’t.”
The pics below are me exploring off the mat at Mt.Chocorua in New Hampshire.
Over the last several weeks, I have seen many social and media websites slam programs like Crossfit. Their claims are that too many people are getting injured, therefore, the risk is greater than reward.
I would like to say, EVERYTHING we do has risk and reward. It is true that injuries occur in programs such as Crossfit. But they also exist in yoga practice, marathon races, functional movement classes. Rewards come in all shapes and forms; improved strength, increased endurance, decreased stressed, more mindfulness. A reward can also be a lesson learned. Maybe we need more instruction, better focus.
When I first came into the fitness industry, I remember being in our group exercise studio with a few other trainers. We started playing around on the stability balls, looking for something challenging to do. I had a thought to try to stand on the ball. After a few ill attempts, I was able to find that sweet spot, standing atop of the ball. While this was fun and boosted the ego a bit, the risk was much greater than the reward.
During my yoga teacher training, one thing that stuck in my mind was, “leave the ego at the door.” I try to use this mantra when working out myself or training my clients. Limiting the distractions and decreasing the risk of injury is high on my priority list. There is a fine line between going far enough and having gone too far.
No two people are built the same way, move the same way or learn the same way. Crossfit, Pilates, marathon running, obstacle courses all have their place. Allow people to gravitate to works for them and let them figure out the risk and reward.
Come back to center, that place in you that is still, calm, quiet, and connected.
Your center is a place you can trust. It connects the body, mind, heart and soul. It connects truth, your inner voice, and the Divine. Your best work comes from there. Your most loving times come from there, at that place. Your best decisions and finest moments come from that place.
Your center is a place that is quietly confident, unassuming, spontaneous, and free. It is gentle and kind, but it has the power to defend instinctively against attack.
Your center is a place that is naturally joyful and at peace. It is accepting, nonjudgmental, and it channels the voice of your heart. It knows perfect timing. It knows the rhythm of the universe, the rhythm of all creation, and it delights in its connection to that rhythm.
If you must leave your center to learn a lesson, feel a feeling, or experience something new, do that. Take all the side trips you are called to. But come back to center when you’re done.
And go to your center first, before you go anywhere else.
This is a reading from Melody Beattie’s Journey to the Heart that I read in class last night. I find it important in today’s fast lane society, we take time and come back to our center. As I was talking about grounding and finding your center during class, I gave examples of taking a yoga class or going for a run, which are a couple of my go to places. Spending time in nature, surrounding yourself with candles, taking a bath, repeating a prayer or mantra all help create a sense of grounding. And then I mentioned, “maybe it’s spending time with a loved one.” At that point, two sets of husband/wife couples extended their arms, reaching for the other’s hand.
Below are just a few things that help me feel center-
I encourage you to think about what helps you feel grounded or centered you when feeling disconnected and out of sorts. What can you do to feel centered more often….
Last week I had the great fortune to attend a week-long intensive teacher training with Seane Corn. I feel that as someone in the health and wellness industry, it is extremely important to study, read and learn from as many sources as I can. One of the greatest assets to the yoga and fitness world is the plethora of information available via teachers, workshops, seminars, books, blogs, etc.
Being that tomorrow is the first of July, that means a new goal to reach for. During July, I will dedicate a portion of the day to adding to my toolbox of knowledge by reading articles, books or blogs, listening to podcasts, revisiting notes from seminars taken in years past. All of this will only strengthen me professionally and personally.
Below are some pictures and videos of various types of continuing education I’ve taken part in:
I know there are many industries that encourage, if not, require continuing education. Are you doing your part to keep your toolbox full?
This spring will be four years since I began my journey with yoga and the recovery community. I attended a Yoga Journal Conference and Nikki Myers, creator of Yoga of 12 Step Recovery (Y12SR), was one of the presenters for a three-day immersion class. Just a few months earlier I had completed my 200 hour teacher training and my friend Mary and I were about to embark on bringing yoga to the 12 Step community in Boston. This immersion class was our first step.
Mary and I bring different perspectives to the recovery community. Our goal was to help others use yoga as a tool, an adjunct to recovery, instead of a replacement for a meeting or sponsor. Nikki has been our primary teacher along the journey. And I am excited to share that Nikki along with several others are offering a four-day FREE online conference from March 17-21, called Recovery 2.0 Beyond Addiction.
We are surrounded by addition all the time. Look around and see the growing epidemic of childhood obesity and Type II diabetes. These are preventable diseases caused by addiction. The top five addictions people focus on are drugs, alcohol, sex, money, and food.
One in one thousand make it to long-term sobriety, meaning 20 years. Experts in the field of addiction and recovery will be sharing their tools to help you have a successful recovery and successful life. Just to name a few of the experts presenting:
- Tommy Rosen (host of conference)
- Nikki Myers
- Rolf Gates
- Richard Branson
- Noah Levine
- Sukhdev Jackson
- Trudy Goodman
- Guru Prem
Any person affected by addiction- AA, Al-anon, NA, OA, gambling, sex or any other, this conference is for you! There is no other resource that offers such a diverse, yet connected community than what Tommy Rosen has put together. I invite you to join me and countless others as we move along our journey.
Click here to join the conference (for FREE)- http://www.entheos.com/Recovery2point0/