The struggle

Sometimes it is a struggle to stay on the right path.  I like to believe I walk close to the right path, but my yoga practice has made me aware of things I never noticed before.  I know I stray from the path, but lately I wonder if I  am not on the wrong path all together.

In aspects of my life I once thought I was happy I find myself wanting.  I feel myself coming to a crossroad in my life.  At this point in time the view is not clear enough to tell what this crossroad is or where the roads leads.  I just feel there is a change that needs to take place just around the corner, so to speak.

I began a weekly yoga practice nearly a year ago, I must admit I don’t spend as much time on the mat as I should or would like to even, but I dedicate some time every Tuesday. I never realized I was changing. I could feel my body growing stronger and a bit more balanced, but that all I thought was changing. I have recently realized a change in my thoughts. Sometimes I frustrate very easily typically when others around me are obsessing over things that won’t really matter in the grand scheme of their lives. I have attributed this to realizing we are not traveling the same paths, which is okay. Once I recognize it’s just a difference of where we are in our emotional lives the frustration dissipates. I am now beginning to understand why most literature says you should clear your mind of expectations of what yoga or meditation will do. I always thought the practice of meditation and yoga would help clear my mind not muddy the waters further.

Continuing in my noticed changes, the past few months I have found my satisfaction in my employment wanting. Where I once found enjoyment and nuance, I now find routine and frustration. When I started this position, I believed I had found my dream job. Now I daydream about being somewhere else during the work day or long to be outside enjoying life instead of cooped up in an office. Many days at lunch I sit outdoors under a tree and write, when its time to return I long to stay out. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy my job and I love my coworkers, but there is something missing. A sense of fulfillment. I know what I do keeps the department moving smoothly and I know I am needed and appreciated. It’s something internal. I feel drawn to do something different, I am just not sure what yet.

I have decided yoga and meditation has made me much more aware. Aware of my feelings, surroundings and balance. I do not claim my dissatisfaction was not there before I started yoga, it was merely unnoticed. I am much more aware of the balance in my life or when something becomes unbalanced.

Most of my noticed changes are a positive thing, even if they do not sound like it. I am glad I have noticed the irritation some people cause me that way I can mentally prepare myself when I have to be in contact with them. I am also glad I noticed my dissatisfaction in my job. I noticed it before the downward spiral of job performance issues that soon follow. I am still in a position to change.

But best of all I have noticed the quality of my relationships. The intimacy shared between two true friends or your significant other. I have noticed in the past few months the bond of my relationship with my fiancé grow stronger.  We are closer and more open with one another.

I love what my yoga practice has done for my life!

Power Yoga

Last Thursday’s class I introduced us all to power yoga. I had been interested in it trying it, but I just hadn’t managed to fit one of those videos into my home workout. I typically do the yoga at home that I know I would get a little negative feedback from the group. It tend to do a faster vinyasa flow at an intermediate level or I do restorative and slower hatha yoga.

Since we had been meeting twice weekly since January, some of us since November, I decided we were ready to give power yoga a shot. I loved it! It was the best yoga work out I had gotten in a while. Unfortunately we only got halfway through the video before the network crash and we lost our internet connection. We had done tree pose on only one side. So I decided to actually lead the class and finish out the tree pose for the opposite leg. After we balanced our bodies back out, I found some meditation music on my Kindle, thank goodness I carry it everywhere! I found a peaceful song by Shaman’s Dream that lasted about 10 minutes. It was a great way to finish out in savasana.

Needless we will be revisiting that video again to get the full use out of it, possibly as early as Tuesday. I was sad we didn’t get to do the second half which was mostly balancing poses, but I was happy I got a workout from it. The next day my shoulders and triceps were a bit sore, but not too achy.

This evening is another yoga night, I think we will be doing a fusion yoga / Pilates video.  But tonight will be a little different from my average Thursday night, not only do I have tomorrow off, but this evening after I return home I will have another yoga practice to do.  My fiancé has requested to do yoga with me if it wouldn’t be too much for me.  He has watched my excitement and passion for yoga grow and he wants to try it for himself.  So of course I could never tell him no to that!

Bikini Body

It’s never too early to start thinking of your summer beach body. Last week I started a new workout site. (If you haven’t noticed I am not a big fan of gyms. The gyms near my house are not very good on only have weights and treadmills; no classes. So I have resorted to making my own classes with a variety of workouts.)

As we all know I have been facilitating a yoga class on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Lately I have noticed my body aching for more. I have been adding at least one extra yoga practice a week, but it’s just not enough.

A couple of Sundays ago I was listening to Pandora and for the first time ever they fed me an ad that I was actually interested in. It was an ad for a new workout site, Daily Burn. Right now they have an introductory special for a free month, after the promotion is over it’s a $10 monthly charge.  They also have a nutrion progam (I haven’t started that yet).

I started the Daily Burn 15. It’s a 15 day program with videos only lasting 15 minutes of mainly cardio, but also core work and a bit of strengthening exercises. It says for all fitness levels, but be careful! I sweat like a wild boar when I do the videos.

I do have a few little grievances with the website, and it might be just the program I have selected. If I miss a video it continues my day count instead of waiting for me to complete that workout. I know it is designed for 15 straight days, but I have discovered the days I have yoga I am normally to exhausted to do the 15 minute workout.

I have given some thought to getting up earlier in the morning and getting my workout in before work or just to continue skipping those Tuesdays and Thursdays and pick my yoga videos a bit more carefully to insure I am not working the exact muscle groups two days in a row.

I updated my measurements page and will do so ago after this program is done. Now is the perfect time to start working on that swimsuit body!

Approaching tomorrow with apprehension

Tomorrow is yoga day.  Though since Monday was a holiday I am hoping that my cohorts will remember and show up.  I have done my pre-yoga homework and have selected a routine for class.  I think this one will be agreeable.  It’s a thirty-five minute fire flow.  It moves at a medium pace.  Last week I choose one that was too fast and the week before one that was too slow, so I think this one will be the balance between. 

I am not worried about the actual yoga routine being met with criticism, but more the guided meditation I have picked.  I have found myself wanting to add a ten to fifteen minute mediation into my yoga practice, but the other gals don’t always seem as receptive to it.  I have gotten questions like what’s the point of mediation, what am I supposed to be doing because I keep falling asleep.  I listened to the full mediation audio this evening.  It is a mediation on mindful living, it is a fantastic practice by Bernie Clark.  My apprehension lies in it ‘s deep Buddhist origins, but most of my participants are devout Christians.  I think the message is fantastic, but I don’t know if they will approach it with open arms.  Here is to broadening horizons and hoping for the best.  I hope my apprehensions are misplaced!

Yoga and Patience

If yoga has taught me anything it has taught me patience.  Patience with myself, patience moving into and out of a pose, patience with my flexibility, patience with breath.  Just patience.

This week I have learned I need to have more patience with my group.  The group has grown from three to seven.  I am impressed with their motivation and determination.  I need to have patience with them to learn what to expect and what not to expect from Yoga.  Lately I have been getting complaints the video is too slow, then when I attempt to pick it up a bit they quit early and sit and watch or complain.  I just have to have patience.

I have to learn to teach them the benefits of slower more restorative yoga a long with the fast pace flow or kundalini yoga.  And that yoga isn’t always and aerobic exercise, but sometimes it’s good to reset your batteries.

My lesson for this week will be patience.

Interest is growing

As the days get shorter and the nights get longer, interest in indoor activities increase, or at least they seem to be with my little yoga group. After last weeks practice I realized we should do a short segment on proper alignment and modifications. During our practice I like to place my mat in the middle so I can watch the movements of the other two women who are practicing with me. This way I can gauge any corrections that might be addressed and skill level. If they are struggling with any particular pose or routine I can make sure not to exceed their skill level for the upcoming practices. I don’t want to see any one get injured.

After our sessions we have a short conversation about the practice while we are putting the conference room back in order. I will share any insights I have learned from my practice, such as the realization of what “relax into a pose” actually meant and how to achieve that or any posture corrections (not that my postures are perfect by any means). We also talk about what we liked or didn’t like about the session in order for me to plan the next set of videos. Last Tuesday I noticed one of the gals having to look back at the screen a lot in order to know what pose we were in along with her stance in Warrior II not being quite wide enough. That particular video was using a lot of the Sanskrit names and she hasn’t taken classes at a studio before. So I approached her on the way to her car and asked if she would find it beneficial to have a video on proper alignment and modifications of common poses. She thought it would be a great idea, so I approached the other woman on Thursday and she also thought it would be nice.

I decided this Tuesday’s practice would be a very basic class on poses and modifications. I thought it might welcome others into our group that might be a little scared of yoga due to misconceptions about what it means to practice yoga. In my best sales voice (I used to be a membership representative with Nielsen TV Ratings), I constructed an email and sent it to several individuals who had expressed interest, but had yet to make time in their schedule to join us. I let them know it was a truly beginner class and no experience was necessary. I also added a line in it attempting to convince them to take time out of their busy holiday schedule and do something for themselves and join us for 30-40 minutes on the mat. I also gave them the standing schedule and an approximate amount of time each session lasted. I am hoping to grow the group by a couple of people, but if it remains the three of us I am alright with that as well.

Yoga Update

Week three on my little yoga group experiment….  I am amazed at how little motivation people have.  I am hoping that it is because of the holidays.  This week being a short work week and everyone is so stressed for Thanksgiving preparations and don’t feel they have the time to commit to 20 – 40 minutes on the mat.

The first week there were two of us, we enjoyed it and decided it didn’t matter if anyone else joined us that we were going to continue.  Last week we got another participant who has committed to joining us.  This week it is back to two of us, but only because one is on vacation.

I have had many people say they were interested, but to get them to stay after work is like pulling teeth.  But I am hoping the first of the year there will be a real drive for people to stay later.  There isn’t much more that I can do.  I have already shouldered the cost of the website membership, arranged the time a little later than I would prefer (a half hour after I get off work), so the majority of the “interested” people would be off work, and I have scheduled on days that are convenient to them, and using all level or beginner level videos instead of the intermediate I would do at home.  So now I get to play the wait game.

Even though there are only a few of us taking advantage of this opportunity, I still look forward to “leading” the group every week and consider it a success.  I think sometime in the future I might actually want to take yoga instruction courses.

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