Monday, 30 January 2012

Grateful.

Thirty days. 


Over the past thirty days I have attended a yoga class, everyday. This mini-journey has been beautiful, challenging, and rewarding. I have enjoyed much reflection and meditation upon the things which I am grateful for in my lovely life. Sharing these with my blog followers at the end of my challenge seemed fitting ...

Breath. This one little word, for which it's meaning we take for granted everyday. When we focus on this one thing, we can be still, open, and mindful. Keith. My wonderful husband, partner in crime, and best friend. Without him, I do not know where I would be. I love you. Family. My parents, siblings, grand-parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and extended family, you are are all so very lovely and I am grateful for each of you. Friends. I know that everyone thinks they have the best friends in the world. Well, sorry followers. You are wrong. I have the very best of the best. From those whom I have known for too many years to those I met most recently. You make me want to be a better person. Body. I am grateful for the ability to move my body and to watch it transform as I challenge it to new extremes. Mind. The ability to challenge my mind through work and continuous learning, I am thankful. Also, to still my mind through breath and beautiful postures. Water. To refresh and re-energize my body and mind throughout the day, my workouts, and the night. Patience and Forgiveness. For these gifts towards myself and others. To challenge ourselves and each other to strive for new limits, while enjoying the bumps along the road. By taking inhaling deep, then exhaling it all away, we learn to accept ourselves and others for our humanly ways and to grow in this acceptance. Sweat. I love to sweat. I am grateful for these beads dripping down my face and legs as I hold my postures and breathe through the shaking. Sweat invigorates the skin and gives our bodies a healthy glow. Wine. It is true. I enjoy a glass of wine to celebrate. Red, white, or bubbly I am not picky as long as it is shared with good company, or a good book. Coffee. Another delicious drink I enjoy after waking up, after a beautiful yoga practice, and as I begin my shift. Black please! My mat. I purchased my yoga mat after trying one beautiful yoga class in 2008. I walked down the street to Lululemon and made a life changing investment. On this mat I have cried, laughed, been still, bent, twisted, and moved, fallen, and most importantly, I have returned to the posture. I am grateful for what my mat has taught me and allowed me to express on and off of it. My God. Without Him, I would be nothing. I am forever grateful for the love He shows me, and has given me to show others. 

It amazes me how one thirty-day challenge, which was intended to push my physical body to new limits, has shaped my emotional and spiritual bodies more than I imagined. Take some time to reflect on the things and people for which you are grateful. 


Namaste. 

Thursday, 19 January 2012

My intention to attend ...

Hello followers! Day 16 :) I am loving this challenge and the wonderful changes I am feeling in my body and mind. 

Yesterday and today I had some difficulty arriving to the practices I had intended to attend. I have a couple days off in between sets of night shifts and am determined to "switch back" my schedule as to be a part of the non-nocturnal society. However, this transition helped me to sleep through one alarm yesterday and forget to re-set one today. Frustration and anxiety developed, as my plan had been shifted. With small changes made, I found classes to attend both days. 

Looking back, somehow, I think I was meant to attend these two classes despite pre-planning otherwise. Yesterday's Hot Flow Yoga, led by the wonderful Meaghan, was challenging and sweaty, but I felt the strongest I have all week. Such an energizing feeling of liberation and seeking new boundaries and depths within my postures. I left yesterday's classes feeling strong and at peace with what I had accomplished on my mat. 

Today, my intent was to attend a hot flow practice and push my body to its limits once again. However, I was forced to change my schedule, as I slept past both hot flow practices which worked with my day today. So, instead, I attended a Hatha Morning Flow class led by Emily. Although I have attend many Hatha classes at Yoga Life, I have never met Emily. What an amazing class this was! As we breathed, and moved, she challenged us to tolerate even more in each posture, to accept the discomfort, and perhaps push a littler further. I left this class feeling released and relaxed. 

I love that how through this 30-day challenge, I am finding more time in my life. I planned to attend certain classes, then slept through those. Despite having full days planned over both days, I created time and space for these practices which were so beautiful. I am grateful for that. 

Yesterday's class inspired my physical body and today's class inspired my emotional and intellectual body. Perhaps my subconscious knows something I do not ...

Namaste

Friday, 13 January 2012

Breathe Peace

Happy Friday everyone!

Although it is technically my Monday, I will wish all those who are not working this weekend, a happy one :)

I have completed Day 11 of my 30 Day Yoga Challenge! Over one third done!!!! It was a tough week, as I adjusted to a temporary alternate work schedule and finding time for my daily practice, along with everything else we have on our lists in a day. Some mornings I woke up and truly did not feel like going to the studio. It is amazing the excuses one's mind can come up with while laying in bed ... Nevertheless, I arrived at YogaLife each day, with a smile on my face and ready to breathe. 

This week I focussed much attention on my breath during class. Most instructors focus on breath throughout the class and this week it was my goal to internalize this. To actually imagine my muscles and connective tissue release and sinking deeper into each pose. I breathed deeper inhales and exhales when the lunges, warriors, squats, planks, and core work was making my body shake. I realized this week how powerful breath can be. 

This weekend, whatever you are doing, remember to breathe. I know this sounds ridiculous, as you will do these a million times this weekend with no thought. So, my challenge to you is to take a few moments. Breathe with intention. Breathe peace into those places in your body, mind, and soul that need it. 

Enjoy. Namaste. 

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Enough.

It has been a lovely week filled with four very different yoga practices. I began with Hatha, then Hot Flow, Warm Flow, and finished my Friday with a YinYang practice. They were all beautiful and challenging in their own way. 

Wednesday morning's Hot Flow was difficult to get out of bed for. Not because I was not excited to go, but the fact that our bed was so warm and leaving the house for the sole purpose of 6am yoga was difficult. However, I did it! Of course, once I was there, I was full of gratitude for the ability of my choice to attend the class and the ability of my body to work through the postures. Great way to start a Wednesday!

Yesterday was an emotionally tough day at work, and I was very much looking forward to the YingYang practice. In this class, you begin in restorative poses, using supports such as bolsters, and holding them for minutes. Very relaxing and opening. Lovely. As the practice goes on, we start to move through flows and other postures. Near the end of the practice, as we rested in savasana, the beautiful instructor mentioned this word - enough. "What you have done today. It is enough. No could haves would haves or should haves. You have done enough". After the difficult day at work, these words had more meaning than the 75 minutes that had just passed in the studio. 

Knowing that at the end of the day, if we can say we gave it our all, we have done enough. We should be at peace with this. Thank you to this wonderful instructor for reminding me of this simple ideal. 

As you go through your weekend, whether you are working or playing, remember - what you have done is enough. 

Namaste
The light in me sees the light in you

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Yoga Journal - Entry #1

Today  was the first day of my 30-day yoga challenge. I could not have been more excited to begin this month long journey by going to one of my favorite yoga instructor's classes! I started my day with a 75 minute Hatha Flow class, led by Cole.

My lesson of the day: if I focus on my breath, my mind will relax, and I can deepen my postures.

Although I am still on "days off", I find myself busy throughout the day with to do lists and errands. During my Hatha practice this morning, I did my best to focus all my attention on my breath and let all my other thoughts pass. It was glorious. I feel refreshed and ready to conquer my day, the week, and this month. Bring on the breathing.

Namaste

Self Challenge - 30 days of yoga

Merry Christmas! Happy New Year! 
I hope that 2012 is treating you & your loved ones well so far. 

We had a lovely Christmas, despite me working nights straight through, and a wonderful New Years in beautiful Jasper! During the drive home from our ski weekend getaway, I decided that I wanted to start 2012 off strong! So, today I bought a one-month unlimited pass for my yoga studio and I am challenging myself to 30 days of practice!

I am very excited! I plan to still do at-home workouts with Keith, go for the occasional jog, and enjoy some fresh air throughout the month. 

Please follow my journey as I post about my challenge, personal growth, and changes over the next 30 days. 
Enjoy!