100 ways to be..

In a few days, I will be finishing up an educational endeavour that has taken up a lot of my time the last 12 months.  It has taken me far away from my yoga practice, where I found myself too often having to choose between conserving my energy for long study days or getting on my mat.  While I know that yoga gives you energy (etc etc etc), sometimes, we just have to make peace with our choices and prioritize.

I am happy that I am at a point in my practice where I am ok with not being able to make it to class as often as I am accustomed to.  Observe me a year ago and I’d have move heaven and earth to make it to a yoga class or practice at 2 am if needed.  These days, each rare class has become this sweet indulgence, where I could savour each posture because I knew it would probably be my only one that week.  My years of dedicated practice is helping me stay in decent physical and mental shape, for which I am grateful.

Surprisingly, my physical practice hasn’t changed much.  In fact, there were days when I was shocked at how much stronger I have gotten – maybe it’s a byproduct of that pure indulgence and savouring (or that I have extra reserves to use up ha!).

Now in a few days, my time will be mine again to do as I please.  I am so very excited to return, happy that I was not made into the prodigal daughter or made to suffer each time.  The yoga gives and gives in so many ways!

In celebration, I am dedicating myself to new goals and new heights.  I know that I am stronger, and am very curious to know where this will take me.  So, with the help of fellow yogis, I am committing myself to 100 classes with them from now until April 30th, 2014 (150+ days).

It isn’t quite a 30 day challenge (it’s a kinder, more forgiving).  It is more of time frame where I will set small, incremental goals and see where I find myself at class 100 (think SMART goals for your yoga practice).  My goals: I want to be stronger.   I want to get past my plateau in standing bow.  I want to be able to transfer all the energy I had studying books into studying more yoga.

I’ll be a little more honest:  sometimes I get lost when my time isn’t filled and well, in a few days, I’m nervous I might just get a little lost again.  I swear I’m not one of those people who glorify being busy (I like my sleep and rest much more) – it’s just that I get really, really lazy and gluttonous when I have too much freedom.  I also tend to have too much time with my own thoughts and that’s not always a good thing.  A decent structure helps me thrive.

If you feel up for it, come join me and other yogis to discover the 100 ways to grow, to be stronger, to be freer, to be anything that you set your goals to be.  Join us on Twitter by sharing your experiences using #100ways.

As my sweet friend Catherine says, let’s find 100 ways to be awesome.

Cheers and see you on the mat.

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Dusting off, yet again.

Ahh.  It’s been a very long time.  In between my last written words here and today, life has been happening.  A lot of hard work, a little less yoga, and a lot of steps towards a better future.  Details will come when they’re ready.

In the meantime, I will hang around here and get reacquainted with my space, and yours too.

I promise, I will share the stories that need to be told once the storm before the calm settles (all good things, no worries).

Here’s a beautiful story of a yogi to close off the night.

Excerpt from My Journey as an Overweight Yoga Practitioner. ~ Frank de la Cruz:

 
“What they don’t see is the nearly two and a half years of dedicated yoga practice that has taken me through Anusara, Kundalini, Kripalu, Integral, Yin, and Ashtanga.

They don’t see the getting up at 4:30 am to get to the Shala for 6:00 am Mysore. They don’t see the five classes per week that I teach and the Yoga Teacher Training program that I assist in. They don’t see the tears in the eyes of my students, that it was my story that gave them the courage to get on the mat and begin reconciling their body and breath.”

A Tale of Two Yogas

My fellow yogi and writer Marina had asked me to write about my ashtanga practice.  Head on over to her blog at Bikram Yoga Musings and say hello.

🙂

Dusting off

It’s been awhile since I’ve given a proper post.  I’ve been wordless, but I haven’t been absent.  I come every now and then, but no words would come.  So I lurked, read, liked, and absorbed behind the scenes.

I could’ve easily written about yoga or a recipe, but it didn’t feel honest enough.  So tonight, on a rainy Monday, I write once again.  This time, it feels right.

I’d like to say that my practice hasn’t been much to write about, but selfishly, I’ve kept it all to myself.  There came a point shortly after I started teaching when I just did not want to talk about my yoga.  Maybe because it was my turn to listen to others talk about their practice.  Maybe it’s all part of the teaching process.  Maybe I just needed a break from words, written and spoken, and just practice.  

I was also tired of the inspiring posts and quotes and trusting the process.  I didn’t want to see a picture of a yoga posture, no matter how beautiful.

I’ve been keeping a distance.  From the yoga community – both around me and online.  I’ve also been hiding – behind an injury, behind reasons insufficient in the past that have now become valid enough.  

But now, the time feels right to dip my toes again.  To really be on my mat.  Unroll the it wherever I can. and rebuild what had been lost.

So back to the yoga I go.  And hopefully, some words can be shared too.  

A Letter to Jane Doe 1 and Jane Doe 2

cazbaz

Dear Jane and Jane

I’m so very sorry for all that you are going through right now and over the past while and all the circumstances that have brought you to file a civil suit against you-know-who. I can’t imagine what you are going through but I’m pretty sure it’s hideous. Literally unimaginable.

Sitting in the midst of my relatively comfortable urban professional life in London I can’t even picture how things would change if I was put in your position. I’d probably lose it completely.

So, I wanted to say hi and I’m sorry and thank you and congratulations and be strong and I hope you find light somehow and please know that if I knew you personally I would do whatever was in my power to help. As it is, this may be all I can do.

Since I heard – via a twitter friend – two evenings…

View original post 781 more words

“Keep your steadiness.”

“The terrain keeps changing, it’s not smooth all the time. So, don’t get disturbed by these things. You keep your practice. Keep your steadiness in whatever terrain comes into your life. Keep on practicing yoga. Never leave practicing yoga. That is how we balance ourselves in whatever difficult times or happy times. So I want you to enjoy that, keep that steadiness until I see you again. May God bless you all with lots of happiness–and sorrow, sometimes…”

~ R. Sharath Jois, ashtanga master Sri K. Pattabhi Jois’ grandson

Article: How To Exercise Out Of Self-Love And Not Due To Fat-Shaming

I found this wonderful article that speaks volumes on women’s relationship with their bodies. It’s also heaps more eloquent that I could ever express my thoughts on the topic.

Thanks to Sarah Ogden (whom I don’t know personally) from Everyday Feminism.  Here’s an excerpt:

“Being a kind-of-curvy lady poses some challenges at the gym, where is where I do most of my exercising.  Most people assume that I’m there for the sole purpose of losing weight and would never consider that I might be there to take care of my body…

…The assumption that someone with curves would only exercise to lose weight is really harmful and hurtful.  It completely negates what we already know – that self care is a vital piece of survival and that bullying people into weight loss doesn’t work.

Study after study has shown that there are more effective ways to measure health than to just focus on someone’s weight and/or BMI.  And yet, when we talk about health, we usually discuss it in terms of these numbers.  But really, health and being healthy means so much more.  We need to move the conversation around exercise away from weight loss and shift the focus onto health and wellness.

Spot. Frigging. On.

“‎Our passion is always in pursuit of us.”

A busy bee this yogi is lately but I thought quickly I’d share a video I recently viewed. It’s worth a watch, I promise.

‘Turn towards those broken places and let those be the cracks that let the light in.’ – Stephanie Snyder