July 25, 2011

Monday Morning Meditation: Monday Doldrums

If you had the chance to look back on your weekend from someone else's eyes, what would you see?
Time spent or time wasted? Spontaneous moments, or anxiety-driven plans? The choice to spend hours with a hobby you love, or hours spent shining your kitchen floor?

I often go into a weekend with plans. Plans to get a menu made for the next week and groceries bought. Plans to clean my house top to bottom, and to diminish the loads of laundry sorted around my room. Plans to never sit and breathe from my week, but instead to keep running around at top speeds.

I make to-do lists for my weekend.

Yes. I am that kind of person.

July 21, 2011

Resources for Yoga Newbies

I often peruse the Athleta website and drool over their sports clothes.
I also often wish for my own secret Gringotts vault so I can have a shopping spree for aforementioned sports clothes.

Since I don't see that happening anytime soon, I do what I can and spend a lot of time on the Athleta Chi blog reading the helpful articles about sports and encouragement for women athletes.

I found this one for you yoga challengers today: Ask Hannah, Resources for Yoga Newbies

Hannah, Athleta Chi's regular yoga blogger, lists five basic tips for brand new yoginis as well as offering a dvd & audio resource, a list of books, and explanation of basic gear. I will definitely recommend you check out the yoga journal complete beginner's guide dvd as well as the athlete's guide to yoga. Even if you aren't an endurance athlete like me, it is a wonderful resource for more active people. You would be surprised how much a regular gym routine can tighten up your muscles. 

Question of the week: today is day 21, and it only takes 21 days to form a habit. How is your practice going?

I haven't progressed much beyond the ten minutes sequences, however, I do find myself waking up with yoga every morning, and even on most days, settling down with a restful routine before bed.

This is going better than I thought.

July 18, 2011

Monday Morning Meditation: The end of my childhood

I wouldn't necessarily say today is the end of my childhood because I often believe I have Peter Pan syndrome: I will never, ever fully grow up.
But this weekend marked the end of an era for not only me, but for the "Harry Potter  generation."

July 12, 2011

How to find restoration while the sun rises and sets

I am beginning to fall in love with yoga again.

I feel more energized, my back doesn't hurt as much when I wake up, and mostly, my mind is starting to calm down.

My peaceful place

July 11, 2011

Monday Morning Meditation: Literally

Yes, that's right.

Today's MMM is brought to you by actual meditation. 
Through this yoga challenge, my mind is starting to settle down, and sometimes it feels like I can literally feel the stress leaving my body. (Most of the time that is at work, when we get caught up in a super-crazy-mad-rush of people and I stop to breathe before trudging forward.)

So today: think about nothing.

Now, that might now work for you all day, but take a moment-whether at home or work or school or wherever you are-and simply breathe.

Clear your mind.

Find beauty.

Feel joy.

Embrace peace.

July 10, 2011

To carry a burden: How yoga can help us women

Time to be honest.
I've been keeping up with the yoga challenge guidelines everyday, but I'm only doing the bare minimum.

I still feel like a slacker.
I have GOT to find some motivation to jump start my fitness again. It's officially week two into the challenge, so it's time to add a little bit more time into my practice.

July 6, 2011

Keeping the accountability

That's right. I've been yoga-ing!

How is your practice going?

July 4, 2011

Monday Morning Meditation: Thank you

On this Monday morning, I just want to say thank you.

Thank you to all the military who serve so I can live freely.
Thank you to all military wives who stay at home, wondering and enduring, while their loves fight.
Thank you to all military families who make a year's worth of memories without a father, mother, brother, sister, son, or daughter.
Thank you to all the veterans who have served and made so many things possible.

And thank you to all of those who have given life, so that America can be the beautiful land it is.

July 3, 2011

Yoga while traveling? I think so.

My yoga routine has been slightly easy the last few days. I wake up. I drink a cup of coffee. I start my practice.
I've been excited.
This morning, though, was a little harder... I didn't want to wake up. But I reminded myself I'm on a challenge.
And I'm going to conquer it.
 So I woke up, drank my coffee, and set to yoga-ing. Nothing in particular this morning, just a set I put together from some poses I know. I focused mostly on my back and hamstrings, mainly because they are problem areas I really, really want to become flexible.

Being a runner has ruined my hamstrings. I can barely touch my toes.

It's discouraging, yes, because I just want to be able to bend down in a graceful manner. But then I'm also reminded of what my hamstrings can do while they are running. And though being tight is only a temptation for injury, I remember I'm a runner at heart.
And most of us cannot touch our toes.

However, healing my hamstrings is part of the journey. So I stretch on.

July 2, 2011

How do you feel today?

I woke up in more pain this morning than I have in a long time.
And it's not the regular, lower back pain I wake up to everyday.

My upper body and shoulders were aching!  And that from only 20 minutes of sun salutations yesterday.
Talk about humbling.

But also talk about excitement. I feel like my muscles have been sedentary for far too long. So for those of you who think yoga is all about stretching, and breathing, and oms, think again. There is strength and toning to be had! So if you woke up this morning a little bit sore like myself, embrace it.

Sore Muscles = Worked Muscles

July 1, 2011

Sun Salutations: A way to say good morning

Last night I stood at the counter and ate Nutella out of the jar with a spoon.
I had a bad day at work.

But no excuses. Today begins my journey to a more mindful life.
One of the reasons I'm really determined to do yoga for 30 days isn't just for the physical. It's for the mental. So far 2011 has been shaping up to be a very stressful year. I'm not sleeping. I have constant headaches. And I'm just not as joyful as I should be because my mind often takes over.
I'm an optimist. But I haven't been lately.

In my old way of thinking I would tell you that
Practicing at home = hard

But because I'm on my way back to being an optimist, know this:
I believe in me. I believe in you. One way to keep your at home yoga practice a constant practice is to remind yourself everyday of the benefits. One way to find out what those benefits are is to ask yourself, "what do you desire?"