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!

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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!

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.

The beginning of a new journey

Tomorrow is the beginning of a new journey that I have set out for myself.  Three weeks ago I successfully reached out to a group of co-workers about reorganizing our yoga group we had last year.  Tomorrow will be our first “class”.  I volunteered to organize and lead the class.  As far as I know tomorrow’s class will be myself and one other lady.

I was nervous about being in charge of this group, but I figure with a little bit of help from MyYogaOnline  we can’t go wrong.  I came home this evening and thought about what type of video to play.  I went through the library and settled on three different videos of varying lengths.  I am hoping tomorrow’s class will be a success and we can grow our little group to a larger number.  I want to share my passion with others.

Wish me luck tomorrow!

Grand ideas

At work today I had a grand idea and I have started putting it in motion. Approximately a year ago we had a small group of individuals that got together on Thursday evenings for a yoga class. The organizer of the group passed away earlier this year from colon cancer. Since he has been gone our little yoga groups fell apart along with our work wellness committee. Today I was thinking how it is so hard for me to stay motivated in my practice. I believe it is because I have no accountability. I am not letting anyone down but myself and as history show I am apparently okay with that. So I touched out to the six or seven individuals who were in the yoga group to see if they were interested in starting back up at no or very minimal expense. Explaining I have a membership to a yoga website and would be willing to share it a couple of days a week. So far two have mentioned interest in it. Which makes me excited.

But this also got me thinking, why don’t I get in touch with our HR representative and volunteer to do a monthly wellness newsletter. I have enough resources at my finger tips to get this done. And if any of my blog followers feel so inclined to volunteer I wouldn’t turn down the help 😉

Here’s to good luck on this new adventure!

Back at it

Sunday I attempted to get back to my yoga fitness challenge.  I had been too hard on myself missing daily practices, which I realize misses the point of suspending judgement on the mat.  Sometimes I have been known to bite off more than I can chew.  I realize that attempting a daily practice might have been too much with other events and activities going on in my life right now.  I recently brought two baby ferrets into my home, which  take a lot of time to care for as they need a lot of interaction to get them used to people and we are preparing to move.  While the yoga practice is wonderful for the stress relief, I was putting to much pressure on myself to make sure to get to it. 

Now since my shoulder has not been bothering me as much after the new pillow purchase, I have slowly started a new practice plan, coming in with a new attitude.  I have come to realize that I might not get to everything I want to in a day, after all I am only one person.  I am hoping to get to a practice at least every other day and if I happened to get one in daily that will be wonderful.

Sunday my practice included a video from Sura (www.myyogaonline.com)  it was a seated flow exercise.  I was mildly disappointed with it as I didn’t feel it stretched as well as I would have liked, so at the completion of her routine I added what I thought I needed along with a longer meditation at the end.  Surprisingly yesterday at work I noticed my lower back was a little sore.  Not in a painful manner, but in the manner of muscles being worked that normally get ignored. At first I wasn’t sure what had caused it then I realized one of the movements I had done the day before would have worked the lower back.  So I took back my prior criticism of it being a so so workout to it was a great lower back workout.

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