Congratulations to Alissa P. from Bloomington, IL for winning our Hang 9 Women's Surf Retreat! Thanks to everyone for all the inspiring words, photos and videos.More
It's ironic. My last post, a million years ago, was how I could not stop doing yoga, once I started a practice. And then, I stopped! Ha! And then, stopped blogging because since I stopped practicing regularly I couldn't really talk about THAT. Well I could, but I felt sort of ashamed. But nonetheless, I am BACK! When I say that I stopped practicing, I really mean I stopped my daily practice. I still did yoga, but it was much more infrequent. Summer took hold of me, new obsessions (estate sales & overall house projects) laid claim to my time. I knew, however, that that was impermanent. Ahhhhh, impermanence. There isn't a concept that gets me through life more than the idea of impermanence. As days went by without a practice I somehow knew in the back of my mind that I would eventually float back, and I did. I let go of the attachment I had to the idea that I HAD to practice and just let myself do whatever it was I felt to do. And without that judgement of myself I avoided suffering. When I did practice I allowed myself that same "kindness", I just did what felt right then, whatever poses I moved into were fine by me. And gradually, I moved into my practice of yore! My daily NEED to practice returned! My tendancy to start a practice and not want it to end, holing up in my yoga space for longer than I had intended returned. I am SO grateful that my practice is always there for me, whether I leave it for a day or a month, or more. It's always available to me. I just have to remember that it's not about progress, it's not about the poses and what I can accomplish. It's about that sweet sweet feeling AFTER any practice. Spring is the season of renewal, but I have always felt autumn was moreso - at least for me! Republished with permission from “Downward Deegs” blogspot.You can read more of Laurens’s blog at: http://downwarddeegs.blogspot.comMore
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So, what does courage tempered by wisdom look like? How is it different from the kind of courage that prompts our friends to say "You're so brave!" when what they're really thinking is "You're so out of your mind!" Yoga set me on a path of awareness and self-discovery. As I've walked along this path, I've learned the value of doing things that make me uncomfortable. When I am uncomfortable, and I push myself to be in the moment and experience the discomfort rather than run away from the uncomfortable experience, I grow. And I learn a little something about myself. This past weekend I threw myself into the uncomfortable end of the pond. I swam for all I was worth. My motto this weekend was, "Play big or go home." I watched others around me cringe in discomfort while others refused to participate and observed others removing themselves from the situation causing the discomfort. Through it all I was present. I did things that if you told me I would be doing a few years ago, I would have laughed and thought you (and me, for that matter) were crazy. Yet here I am feeling freer and better for my experiences (and all of the discomfort that went with them). As I read through an excellent article on Yoga Journal.com about bravery, the quote I excerpted above jumped out at me. I've heard the phrase "you're so brave" from quite a few friends over the years. Now I chuckle to think that perhaps what they really meant is that I am out of my mind. Of course being a yoga practitioner, my first reaction to that is -- and that's a good thing. For when I'm "in my mind," I tend to be a little more critical, a bit more fearful, a little less game to push my edge and be comfortable with being uncomfortable. As I'm learning through my studies of the Yoga Sutras, yoga's goal is to improve the quality of the mind. Cessation of thoughts is not what we're after. Rather it's controlling the thoughts that our mind conjures. Somewhere during my time on the mat, I came to replace the thought that new experiences are scary with new experiences are an opportunity for growth. The quality of my mind has improved, yes. Of course it still has quite aways to go. As I fully participated in my weekend experience, I found myself being grateful for my higher quality mind (basically, I upgraded through yoga). Yes, my mind did jump in bed with my ego to produce a few judgmental thoughts (a few being "this is crazy," "what would people think if they saw me doing this," or my favorite "I'm nuts.") but I ignored them and went about my business. The business of growth, of courage, of transformation. One of my favorite Melissa Etheridge songs is Brave and Crazy. Do the two go together? Or is it just that in order to be brave you have to be out of your mind, or, crazy? Crazy or not, I sure do enjoy being out of my mind. Namaste!More
Republished with permission from “It's all about Yoga” blogspot. You can read more of Diane’s blog at: http://www.itsallaboutyoga.com
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I took my first yoga class in college. It was the only class the pre-hubby and I could find that we could take together. Bowling? Nope. Bad time. Golf? Nope. Already filled. So, off to yoga we went. He was a trooper and did his best. However, I..... was hooked. One year later in Brooklyn, I found a yoga class where the instructor was everything a good granola yogic teacher should be. I took that class right up until my belly from my first pregnancy was about to pop. I had an awesome set of lungs by the end after all that 'Fire Breath' stuff. On and off since, I've been able to take some yoga classes, but never like that... Once a week, Every week, with NOTHING more important? But 3 kids later, fat droopy butt, and too many afterschool activities? In short. It's been years. And my 30-ish body has had enough. That, and we found a seriously affordable gym here in my new town, new life. Yesterday. Was the first day of my renewed love affair with my spurned lover. And it felt good. And I vow to be loyal. And I HURT all over! Namaste. All photos taken by hubby, Seth. Yes. That really is me. In all my glory...Ha!More
You can read more of Carissa’s blog at: http://goodandcrazypeople.blogspot.com
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