Wednesday, May 30, 2007

I blame the burgers

I could not get it together for class last night. My body felt tired and very sluggish which surprised me. I was feeling fine all day until I had to do some actual WORK. I couldn't do a handstand, I kept kicking and kicking and plopping back down. It was a good class but brawn beat out the brains I guess and it said "No more work, sleep!". I think coming back from a long weekend of not doing much, bbq, and tired calves from my trip to Wave Hill got the best of me. I hope to take another class tomorrow. I gotta get my energy back.

I haven't had much to write about lately, I've been kind of introspective as of late. Still reading Light On Yoga and absorbing what that entails. I will share a photo I took this past weekend..

They look like a pair of eyes looking back at you!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Heart Stuff

I don't really feel like doing the whole cut/paste thing again but here's the latest news I received from my doctor about my heart. I wrote about it in my livejournal.

This only motivates me to practice asana my life depended on it! Ok that's a bit dramatic but I like to think BIG.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

I get it

I was reading over my studio's newsletter for June and they had my teacher as the "Teacher Spotlight" for the month where she says:

Susan "Lip" Orem - on Overcoming Obstacles

Tight shoulders. Hamstrung hamstrings. Hopeless hips. Scoliosis. Depression. Aggression. Fear. Ego.

Ramanand Patel says, "Things that are easy for you are a gift from God. Everything else is a happy adventure." Facing a forward bend without a bend in it doesn't feel like a happy adventure unless we give up the idea that we have to OVERCOME it. We have to be brave to embrace our limitations. We don't have to be fearless. We only have to be willing to take a deep breath and be still. Listen for the sound of hitting our edge and back up until it is a whisper not a shout. Sit with the difficulty without judgment. Again. And again. And again. Get on the mat and be grateful we are able to get on the mat regardless of the conditions. Yoga is hard. Have courage.

This seems to be an ongoing theme lately in my life, embracing and respecting my limitations and not beat myself up if I can't go further in a pose. I admit I have come a long way. I don't think twice now reaching for a strap in Marichyasana I or getting up to grab a bolster for Supta Virasana<---most uncomfortable for me. Props are my friend. I took Lip's class last night and it was fun as always. The focus was keeping our hips aligned. Shoulders too, I don't know how many times I've caught my shoulders hunched in Warrior.

Oh oh oh speaking of shoulders!! I did discover something WONDERFUL in Shoulderstand though. I read in Fit Yoga that usually when prepping for this pose in Plow, we draw our shoulders away from our ears, I know I do. However, once I go up I find my throat feeling crunched in and breathing becomes a challege. This article says to do the opposite and bring them closer to your ears. I have to dig it up for the exact wording of the piece but I remembered this last night and tried it and by golly it worked! My neck felt sooo much better and I was able to focus more on my alignment. Ah ha!

Hey did you notice that Yoga Journal's site has changed the layout for the Poses Page? Not bad.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Oh don't mind me

A big thank you to those who left comments in my last entry. I was feeling in a bit of a funk when I wrote it. My weekend was pretty drab and boring and it left too much free time to reflect on what I felt I was lacking. What you did say made me feel better. Just this morning I was listening to a podcast from Ethan Nichtern from The ID Project and the topic? Being A Buddhist of course. He said some things that I was already thinking but it was nice to hear someone else say it and say "It's okay..." I'm gonna keep at it.

Today is also the start of a new way of eating. I recently discovered that 10 pounds just crept up on me and I am not happy about it. Instead of crying and feeling sorry for myself, I need to DO something. Since I'm still waiting to hear back from my CT scan last week, I can't think about too much aerobic exercises but I can control my eating and the choices I make in what I consume. I'm going to try to keep a food journal too(we'll see how long that last). I honestly don't think an actual diet is for me, I just need to lighten up on the portions and maybe tone down on the sweets. I'll still admire a pretty cupcake tho..

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Yoga Diversity

I grabbed the latest issue of Fit Yoga Magazine (July 2007) and it made me think of the issue that came up recently when I posted the Vanity Fair yoga images. Fit Yoga is what Yoga Journal is not. You will not see car ads in that magazine and I see that they do make an effort to show some diversity in their magazine. Even their sponsors aren't as shi-shi. Don't get me wrong, I still like YJ and I enjoy reading the articles, I just over look the ads. Click for larger view...

I have been doing more reading lately about Yoga and the other limbs of yoga. I just want to have a better understanding of it all. I've also been downloading podcasts of Buddhist lectures to listen on the bus ride in to work. I really need to bring myself back to center again. It always got to me how a concept SO simple as Buddha's teachings can be soooo hard to apply. It makes me wonder if I'm mentally capable of following the teachings. The truth is I have a lot of anger still inside me and I'm almost afraid to let some of it go for fear of it making me weak. Crazy huh?

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Vanilla Butterscotch

Vanilla Butterscotch
Originally uploaded by Marilyn P. Sushi.
I treated myself to this yummy treat from The Cupcake Cafe. Naturally before I crammed this entire thing in my mouth, I took a picture of it first to share.

Their cupcakes are unlike any other I have tasted. I think they might use cornbread mix in their batter, whatever it is, it's friggin' good!!!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Grow like May Flowers

I've been meaning to share this, it's from the monthly e-newsletter from my studio. Here is the message we received for May:

The April showers are gone and it’s a great time to grow, expand, and flourish in May. But, unlike May flowers, sometimes we allow distractions to limit our growth. As we navigate our hectic city lives, we often are distracted by the small things - the person taking up two seats on the crowded train or talking loudly on a cell phone in a restaurant. It becomes easy to lose touch with our innate sense of compassion and momentarily forget our capacity to grow, expand, and become better people. Yoga can help us focus on what's important, tune out the distractions, and grow like May flowers in all aspects of our lives.

Yoga definitely tunes things out and I've definitely observed that this week in particular. It was a good Yoga Week. It is hard to explain, but I can tell you that throughout the day, I'll lose my focus and think about bills, what to do this weekend, moving, doctor's appointments, etc. For some reason, classes this week have been a mental escape. So this is what it's like to be present? :) It is such a wonderful feeling, like my brain said "Ok shut down" and I became mechanical-->I can't think of a better word without it sounding cold, it is not meant to.

I've been making more time for meditation and it has left me inspired spiritually. Om Shanti wrote an entry recently about mediation in the yoga studio or lack there of. It's a pretty good entry. I wish my classes used it more. I think this is why I enjoy going to Jivamukti because it does play a big role in the lesson. I try to do it in the morning for five minutes, I also do it before class as people are still showing up. Sure we all need it, but I really need the meditation practice just as much as an asana practice.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Yoga in Vanity Fair

Take a look at these gorgeous yoga images in Vanity Fair. Definitely puts me in the move to do...stuff. :)

I jumped in a Level 1 class last night and it was pretty refreshing. I'm not the type to say "I'm too good for a level 1 class!" because a practice is a practice. The numbers mean nothing to me as long as I get to move. I like taking, I hate to say "easier" class but maybe a less challenging class every now and then because it tunes me back in to some of the basics. Sometimes I'll let one hip drop in Warrior 1 because I'm not thinking about my hips, little things like that I'm reminded of.

There were a lot of people in class last night too. Usually the classes I take are 8-10 folks but I like being in a room that's tight with yogis with the same intention as you. It's a good vibe. Tonight is my regular L2 class with my zany instructor, who knows what she'll have us do.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007


Shiva in Full Lotus
Padmasana was the focus of last night's class. I struggle with this one even though I have pretty open hips, this one doesn't quite work out for me. I only go so far as tucking the bottom foot over the opposite knee. No matter because when that was announced I thought, "WOOHOO HIP OPENERS!" which I live for. Little did I know that some serious ab work was going to come into play as we also worked on full lotus standing on our heads and twisting left and right, brining the knees down and back up. I was getting a little wobbly at the end as I am not use to standing on my head for more than maybe 10 breaths. As far as the pose itself, I don't know if mechanically I can achieve this pose, honestly I'm not gonna sweat it too much.

I'm a little excited to plan a little one-day yoga get away in June out to The Hamptons...ooh la la! My studio has one day retreats during the summer out in the Hamptons and last year I didn't go to any but this year I will. Even though it's a two hour train ride out from Manhattan, I really want to go and just enjoy a day of poolside yoga. I should try to do more outdoor yoga this summer. I've never done it before. I hear it comes with different challenges to face (ie: wind blowing, sun in your face, um...birds chirping). It's gonna be pretty cool.