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!

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.

Where does the time go?

It seems like just yesterday I sitting outside enjoying the sunshine eating my lunches.  Today I wake up to a dusting of snow and frost on my windshield.  Perhaps its just me, but the days have been flying by.  This year is coming to an end and a new beginning is just around the corner.  Hopefully all of you have accomplished some goals this year or at least started the ball rolling.

Normally I would reserve this sort of post for after Christmas in preparation for the new year, but recently I have been in a reflective mood.  I have not been dwelling on the past nor the future, but merely observing the paths I am on and where they will lead.  I am attempting to just observe and not cast any judgment.  This is actually more difficult than it seems.  I can see a course I have unintentionally set out upon and am glad I started that small journey.   I have been attempting to be more aware or mindful of the present.

I hesitate in using the term Mindfulness as it seems to be the ‘hottest’ new catch phrase.  mindfulness is defined as being completely in touch with and aware of the present moment, as well as taking a non-evaluative and non-judgmental approach to your inner experience.  It seems everything is tagged with being mindful these days.  What I considering being mindful is when I am in tune with my surroundings.  I have a sense of what is going on around me.  I am aware of what I am currently doing and how my actions affect things around me.  I have also been on a mission of sorts to be aware of my emotions and the causes behind them to attempt to correct any misconceptions I may have.

Probably one of my favorite things to do in the morning is to watch the sunrise while driving to work.  The hues are the most beautiful and it seems to start the day off right.  I have found solace in the small things in life.  It seems looking back on the things that make me the happiest are often the simplest things in life.

I have been noticing a more dramatic shift in this direction in the past several months.  During those months I have started a meditating more often and committed to a more regular yoga practice.

What I invite you to do is think about the times you are the happiest, what are you doing?  And how can you replicate that effect into everything you do?  Start thinking of some goals to make for the coming year, the new beginning is just around the corner!

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!

Forget the 5 hour energy

Forget the 5 hour energy supplement or the vitamin water with all those B vitamins! While meditating during my lunch break for the past few days I have noticed I haven’t been getting that midday slump. Just a quick five minute breathing meditation is like hitting the reset button. I feel relaxed, calm and recharged.

Monday after I finished eating my lunch I got on my go to site and found a five minute grounding meditation by Sura. It starts in an easy sitting position. Since I was outside at the picnic bench I just sat in an upright position. After less than a minute I discovered I was not comfortable. So I moved from the picnic bench to the sidewalk. I felt kind of silly sitting on the sidewalk by the parking lot meditating, but I wanted and needed to do it. Lucky for me the west parking lot is not very busy when I take my lunches.

Tuesday again I was sitting at the picnic benches in the parking lot for lunch. I attempted to complete a longer 11 minute meditation practice. I was half way through then the area was way too distracting. I quit five minutes in and took my dish back into my office grabbed a bottle of water and pulled up my Enya station on Pandora. With my earphones in I walked out the building towards the “fire” side (the building is split between the police department and the fire department).  The back of the building on their side has a little pond with a dock and benches. I laid on one of the benches closed my eyes and focused on my breath. I laid there for an additional twenty minutes just relaxing and coming back to present when my mind wandered. It was wonderful.

Wednesday and Thursdays there was nothing notable about my meditation practice as I did it at home.

Friday after I finished my lunch I wanted to find a shade tree to sit under. I recalled there was a patch of a half dozen tree towards the front of the property, but still blocked from the view of the highway. I put on my Enya station again and sat under a small tulip tree finishing this post. As I sat there I felt the urge to meditate. It was quiet with crickets chirping, the sun shining on my faces and a warm breeze. It would seem it was the perfect environment.  I sat in an easy sitting position with my eyes closed listening to some sound-scape music.  The sun was shining on my face and the wind was blowing gently across my face.  I felt as if the wind was carrying away all my troubles and the sun was pouring positive energy into me.  It was absolutely blissful.

30 day Yoga Challenge

I decided I was going to commit to 30 days of yoga.  I have my membership at My Yoga Online.  I might as well use it.

Starting this past Monday I started my own personal challenge.  I did a 27-30 minute video on spinal twists and release.  My back felt a little compressed since I hadn’t done e any yoga over the weekend.  I was a bit disappointed in the video, but it was alright.  Needless to say I did not mark it as a favorite.

Last night (Tuesday) I did 20 minute active flow.  I really enjoyed the work out, though the twenty minutes seemed a little short, but we had gone into town and by the time I was ready to start my workout it was after 9:30 and I didn’t want to commit to an hour-long practice.  Since I get up about 5:45am, I go to sleep pretty early.

After two consecutive days of yoga, I feel good.  I have decided to do a different video every night.  The best part about My Yoga Online is not only to they have tons of yoga videos they have varying times from 7 minutes to 108 minutes and varying skill levels.  And there might be longer or shorter times those are just the extremes I noticed.

This evening when I get off work I will put up a page on my before stats, weight, inches, etc. and after the thirty days I will put my after stats.  I will also let you know of other physical activities I have during that timeframe, such as fitness walking, weight lifting, etc.

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