Sunday, October 30, 2011

Gearing up for November

Okay, I am joining the November BlogHer challenge to blog every day in November! I am very excited and will do my best to come up with interesting, relevant blog topics as much as possible. But, I can't promise there won't be any randoms thrown in there. :) I am a variety girl.

Click here to join the blogging festivities!

I am currently exhausted but was completely high on yoga all day today. Literally, I've never been an exercise buff and today I felt something that I have never experienced. It was a breakthrough moment for me. Exhausted, sore but incredibly happy to be doing more yoga. Strange.

I wish a yoga mat and a peaceful heart to everyone out there in the Universe. It has helped me immensely.


Saturday, October 29, 2011

Yoga brainfreeze

I am so tired. I can hardly think words let alone type them...

Isn't this when good things are supposed to happen? When you push yourself beyond where you've gone before? This is definitely a year of firsts with working out in general, and now yoga in specific.

I actually did a handstand today for maybe two seconds. But, seriously? A handstand? It seems beyond anything I thought I could do...actually, I wouldn't have even considered it 5 months ago. Thanks to Studio Oxygen and now Sid Mcnairy's yoga bootcamp weekend it's a goal.

I love evolving. Holla if ya hear me...

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Worrying World

It seems like we are all worrying these days.

The economy, education, immigration, the food that we are feeding our bodies, war, saving the environment, animal rights, illnesses, not being true to ourselves...

What is going right, it is easy to wonder.

My mother in law and my husband's cousin recently came to America from Greece. They recount stories of new homelessness and violence which they have never seen before. Greece is a country with strong family values and it is surprising when things like this happen there. Where are their people that they can be on the street or hurt another's mother, grandmother or brother, traditional Greeks wonder? How could there be homelessness at all?  Where is their family?

I've long admired the close, if sometimes messy, family values of my husband's culture. Even when you are not family, if you are friends, if you are practically a stranger, they will invite you in no matter the condition of their homes, have you sit, feed you and offer you something to drink. Most times, they will hold your hand, look at you lovingly and say things that it seems hard to say sometimes to those we are closest to in America. Greece definitely warms the heart as well as the belly with all of their wonderful food.

I truly hope that Greece can hold on through this tough economic time and hold true to their values. It would be wonderful to see a new vibrant Greece with a strong work ethic and smart politics but still with that warm and fuzzy heart that they so beautifully beat out to the world.

For the rest of us, take a yoga class, try to breathe, hug yourself and your loved ones a little tighter and take pleasure in the small things! Check out Lavender Luz's monthly post, Perfect Moment Mondays.

Dancing at a Taverna in Greece.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

First Class Today!

So, I'm leaving to go teach my first yoga class and I have a strange mixture of tiny bit of nerves with more excitement than I anticipated! I think I am going to do well, which is odd, because I never think that!! We will see what transpires...

I'll check back in about it later tonight.


I'm back! Had a surprise visit from my old roommate, Jordin! She ended up staying over and she's all tucked in upstairs with my pup, Spencer. :) Very nice to see her!

Class went really well! I could have done better, of course, but for my first time teaching a real class I'll take it! So sleepy...have to sign off! Good night.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Purpose, where for art thou?

In my book report for yoga teacher training last week I talked about the fact that:
"while you are perhaps still waiting for something significant to happen in your life, you may not realize that the most significant thing[...] already happened within you: the beginning of the separation process of thinking and awareness.” (261,2) Eckhart Tolle

This morning I came across this quote:

"Success begins the moment we understand that life is about growing, it is about acquiring the knowledge and skills to live more fully and effectively. Life is meant to be a never-ending education and when this is fully appreciated we are no longer survivors, but adventurors. Life becomes a journey of discovery, an exploration into our potential. Any joy and exuberance we experience in living are the fruits of our willingness to risk, our openness to change and our ability to create what we want for our lives." David McNally

These two seemingly different quotes both inspired me. One is talking about the fact that you have it already. Just be present. The other is saying, get out there and do it! Explore!

Which one is correct? They both are. They both get down to the nitty gritty of being present. 

1. You already do have it within you. And always have. Like Dorothy, in the Wizard of Oz, all you had to do was click your heels together and you will be taken to where you need to be. Right where you are and right where you have always been. "How do you know that this is the experience that you need? Because this is the experience you're having." Baron Baptiste

2. Just because you already have it in you doesn't mean you should lock yourself in a room and be snug about it! Taking that knowledge into the world, sharing it and growing with it is the key. We should be like children with curiosities and excitement still pulling at us to do things we didn't think we could or would ever do. Jim Merhaut, a national faith speaker, said to our yoga class that when we were babies, we never thought we were too fat, or too bald, or too loud. We just experienced life as it was. 

Putting limitations on ourselves is easy to do. Taking them off, seemingly hard and maybe even scary. But I bet you won't regret it! 

Hope your day is full of love and excitement! 

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Meaning of Letting Go...

Why did I choose this name for my blog, you may ask? Well, first let me say that this is now my third blog and that this is the first blog I did without the aid of a song lyric for my title. Which I kind of like that this title just came to me.

Yoga helped me with my new blog and I thought, you know, we are constantly having to learn to let go. Letting go of ideas, of relationships, of beliefs, of a job, of bad or un-useful habits... So, I'm not really sure that any of us ever "get" there. Which is perfect because I can keep this blog through all the stages of my life. What a great name for the whole life process and also for right now in this moment with my yoga journey.

I have been on a journey of letting go for some time now. I would say about five years or so... I was always open minded but had a lot of bad mental habits. A lot of my religion classes at YSU subsequently opened the door for Eckhart Tolle to then blow my mind with his book, A New Earth, which I've previously mentioned in this blog.

I was attached to my identity for a long time as being the victim. The victim of not feeling loved, the victim of not feeling good enough, the victim of not feeling like I had a strong foundation. A lot of that was not my fault when I was young but when we get older, it can be because we are just reliving the patterns of our minds. But we've got to learn to let it go! Because if we don't....we're just the victims of ourselves.

The path is right in front of us if we just take that first step...

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Mudras for balancing energy

Need a little balance? I sure do. And I kept wondering why you see different people touching different fingers to their thumbs in meditation practice. Here's what it means...


It's funny how things hit you all at once. Like you think about a friend you haven't talked to in awhile and then they call you?

I just started listening to that Krishna Das song and becoming really interested in the meaning and last night our talk was given by Marni Task, who shared with us the meaning of some Sanskrit chants. And she had us chant with her. She was really amazing. I loved last night's lecture and didn't know the full extent of how much I loved it until I was sharing it with my husband this morning. He loved it, too.

It's funny. Even though I still have my bad days, I really am trying to be a more positive individual. And the more I become positive, the more I realize how many wonderful people there are around me. Coincidence?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Hare Krishna

When I think of these two words together, I think of what most Americans think of. Crazy people on the corner in New York City chanting and waving their arms.

But are they crazy? And what does it all mean? I don't really know any Hare Krishnas personally. Is that even what they call themselves?

I got onto this topic because one of my yoga teachers recommended a song for yoga called Baba Hanuman by Krishna Das. The only way that you could get that song was by buying the album. The song is amazing and so I bought the album, hook, line and sinker.

The song that comes after that is Kainchi Hare Krishna, and I also became obsessed with this song. It's such a happy song and I kept feeling like I had heard it before on Eat, Pray, Love. But I looked up the soundtrack and it's not on there. Regardless, I started to wonder what it was that they were talking about! So, I googled it. "Hare", Wikipedia says, can be interpreted to mean "the energy of God while Krishna and Rama refer to God himself."

I think it is interesting that there are different names for God. They have different gods, yes, but at times they almost seem interchangeable. I did a little more digging and found that this is due to the Hindu belief of incarnations. Depending on your sect, there is a different god who is the Supreme Being. Vishnu seems to be the most widely known as the Supreme Being but Shiva and Shakti are also known as this in their own sects of the Hindu religion. These Supreme Beings come down to earth to help us as different identities. Krishna and Rama are god but we know them while they are here on earth as Krishna and Rama until they reveal to us their true identity.

To me, is seems like it all goes back to the belief that God is everywhere, in everything, and everyone. Which isn't such a bad belief. If God is in your enemy, then you can't really be enemies...can you? If God is that rude person in the car beside you, then it's not so easy to think they are an ass and YOU would NEVER act that way. Life is hard enough as it is without having people to hate and revenge to enact.

There are few people that I truly dislike, and really, only two come to mind. I'm trying to let it go and think instead, what are they here to teach me and others? It might not be easy but if I can let that part of me that is hateful go, maybe others can too and maybe the world would be a better place. What do you say we try?

Finding Focus

I have realized how hard it is for me to do one thing at a time. I love multi-tasking. Let me take that back. I loooooooooooooove multi-tasking and have always prided myself on the fact that I can do five things at once. My husband (who I call the turtle to my rabbit) is a single tasker. And though I think the world of him, his single tasking slowness sometimes drives me a bit nuts. It feels like you get more done if you multi-task and hurry...

Well, some know-it-alls want to tell me that I'm not doing anything 100% if I'm doing five things at once. Humph! So, these know-it-alls happen to be "experts." What do they know!? (hmmmm....) Check out this article and decide for yourself. There are plenty of good articles online but I "focused" in on this one. :)

Seriously, especially since I've begun my yoga journey, I've been trying to slow down, and sometimes I'm just naturally slowing down. Sometimes, that feels amazing. Sometimes, it feels like I'm swimming against the current. Today, my arms are exhausted from that swim. I really feel like I'm retraining my brain and I guess that is exactly the case. Yoga teaches you to come back to the breath. When you focus on the breath, your thoughts subside as you breathe in and out becoming one with it. I've needed a lot of breaths today.

It's funny, I think I've been so up on yoga (even though I have been sick or sick-like forever now) that I'm surprised to have a bad day! I guess I'm still human. The prize is in the process, the prize is in the process, the prize is in the process.... Say it with me.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


I'm rereading Eckhart Tolle's A New Earth; Awakening to Your Life's Purpose for my book report. Right now I'm reading about how we are all really mentally ill until we become awakened and realize that our mind is not WHO WE ARE.

This book saved me five years ago or so when I read it for the first time. I mean, literally, I would be in my head so much and so anxious about everything. And when I read this, for me, it was what Oprah calls an "aha moment."

He's also talking about how divisive religion can be "and yet [...] the Truth to which they point still shines at their core." This is getting back to what I was talking about the other day. I have always felt spiritual but not religious because, at a very young age, I found out how divisive religion really can be. People get divorced over it, stop talking to family members, become angry and aggressive in the names of their religions. AND YET.

I don't dislike religions. I used to be in that place where I blamed it for suffering. But now, I see that even in religion, we're still just humans getting caught up in our "selves." Where it becomes our identity and our need to prove "my religion is better than yours" and therefore proving our superiority in general. And that is what hurts us. It's not easy being a good human and letting go of all of our crap that makes us feel important. But what we don't realize is that we are the most important, without all of that "stuff" that we think defines us.

Glad to be reading this again. It is really an inspiring and healing book.

Sunday, October 2, 2011


I have my book report coming up in yoga teacher training...what should I talk about?

I've been reading so much that the information is swimming around my brain with no apparent port in the harbor. But I know that it is not swirling in vain.  I feel stronger in myself these days. "The prize is in the process," as Baron Baptiste says. Kind of loving that book of his, aren't I? But we're all reading that one so I probably need to pick another one.

I have to talk about this radio show that I heard today. I ran to lunch to get some peace and hopefully concentrate on this book that I ordered to do my report on...Spiritual Journeys Along the Yellow Brick Road by Darren John Main. I like the book but I kind of think it's not right for my book report.  But anyway, on the way home, I turned on the radio and this woman's voice came on talking about the death of her three daughters in a car accident two days before her son's wedding. Her voice completely drew me in. Something about it and of course the story she was telling mesmerized me.

Her and her husband were both talking about the tragic event and how their faith was basically able to save their lives. After they found out, she didn't know what to do so she went for a walk with her pastor's wife to just move instead of think. When they got back to the house, the pastor's wife grabbed her hands and started praying. During this, the woman looked at her mantle and saw pictures of her three girls who had all tried on her wedding dress at separate times and taken pictures in it. She said that the thought came to her (sounded like to her from the Divine) that they were now married to Christ. She said that at this moment she was able to find some peace.

I mean, they made it fully clear that every day they miss their daughters like mad. They get angry, they have their moments...but their faith is amazing. I've never experienced faith on this level. I've never had a religion that made me go to church every Sunday or that I believed in excluding all others. I'm not saying that these people do exclude all other religions but their particular belief system and faith was so strong. I was crying the whole way home. To lose your three children and be able to live, let alone inspire others after such a tragic loss is incredible and certainly beyond themselves. It definitely came from a place and a being much larger than them as individuals.

I believe in God. I just don't know what that means exactly or if there is a right religion out there. I have always felt like there are many paths to the Divine and judgement should not be one of them. I pray. I have had moments where I felt the presence of the Divine. I feel like I have angels watching over me during times of hardship. But these people just really touched me with how deeply they felt their religion.

My book report is nothing compared to the story I just told. If people can have faith through something as terrible as they went through, I can certainly have faith to get through a presentation and teaching a yoga class and whatever else that comes up. Living in the moment and living our best isn't easy but it has to be done. God bless us all!