Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Day 37, and still going!

Day 37.  Still moving right along!  How are you all?

It's been a few days since I last posted, sorry about that!  Life got a little hectic, and priorities were food and making it to work and class and school on time.  The blog got pushed to the side.

But!  I need to let you know what's going on with the next leg of the challenge!  We're going to officially start this on March 1st, to make it fit between now and the April Yoga Challenge...  but that's right around the corner!  So, here goes.

Do Something Challenge, Phase 2:  Giving Back.

In addition to your 15 minutes a day for yourself, to make good choices and continue good habits, I challenge you to find something, every day, that you can do for the good of others.

It could be taking time to make a healthy meal or snack for your kids.  Taking them on a walk to explore the emerging spring or late winter world.  Taking a moment to help an elderly person cross the street or load their car with groceries.  Finding a shell to offer to a child building a sand castle.  A kind word, offered to someone who needs a smile today.

Anything is fine.  Just offer it with intention.  With the good of others in mind.

We can focus on ourselves a lot when we are trying to make life changes, like getting back in the habit of working out.  But after we have turned so much attention within, it is good to turn our gaze outward again.  See this world through our new eyes, and find a way to offer back whatever it is that we can.

So.  March 1st, officially.  You can start now if you like, of course!  And remember, it is going while continuing our daily 15 minute challenge.  As always, more is fine, but you can ALWAYS find 15 minutes to do something, every day.  Always.

Happy Tuesday, all!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Day 30, Do Something!!

Here we are, on our last official day of this first month!  We come down our little path to the fork in the road, and are faced with our choice of where to go from here.

Will you fall into your old habits again?  Or will you stick it out with me, and see if we can make this a permanent change?  I sure do hope you'll join me!

I'm achy from my double practice Monday (morning and afternoon class!), my joints are upset with me, and my muscles groan.  But I know the best thing for them is to get out there and move again tonight.  So that's what I'm going to do.

Between tomorrow and the first of March, I'll continue the typical Do Something challenge, without the days involved, offering encouragement and support...  but, March will be dedicated to a little something more.

Do Something, but not just for yourself.  Do something for yourself, yes, but also do something for others.

I mentioned it in passing the other day, and will go into details tomorrow, but know this is not the end.

And as last year, April will be set aside for a 30 day yoga challenge.  I'd love to see you join me!  :)

As always, I hope you've had a wonderful day, and make good choices for yourself and your family tonight.

Much love!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Do Something, Day 29

Gentleness.  That was the focus of this morning's practice.  Gentleness.  To yourself, and to others.

As we flowed from one pose to the next, the focus for the day helped me let go when I couldn't do something "just right".  It's okay to not be perfect.  It's okay to make mistakes, or be weak sometimes.

We work on it, sure, but when those moments of weakness hit, when we make those mistakes?  We need to take a breath, and accept our humanity.  Allow ourselves a little slack, and move on.

So today, I give you permission.  Give yourself a break when you can't get something just right.  Be kind to others today.  Put yourself in their shoes, take a breath, step back, and treat them with gentleness.  With kindness.  With love.  You might just be surprised how the mindset changes you.

Do Something, Day 28

Finding your place of peace.  It's not always easy.  Especially when you arrive to a class and discover it's your least favorite instructor.

There is always a choice.  Turn around and walk out that door, or stick it out, and discover...  your least favorite?  Still not all that bad.

There is a place of peace, a silver lining, in every situation.  Today, I encourage you to find it, as you find your "something" to do.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Do something, day 27

Challenges.  We all face them, every single day.  To make yourself get out of bed and go to the gym.  Whether or not to get angry with the elderly driver in front of you for being slow.  To take a moment and be kind to someone in need, whether you know them or not.

We look at the task ahead and decide if it is worth it or not.  Make our choice.  And move on.

May we take the time to make the good choices.  To look at the challenge before us and rise to the occasion.  Do the right thing.  Be a better person.

And when we've done just that, and life continues on...  look back, and see just how far you've come.

There is a beautiful soul within each and every one of us.  Let us realize the potential within.  And inspire others to discover their own.  Namaste.

Do something, Day 26

Transformation.  Do you feel it?  The shift, within?  I do, on several levels.

In body, I feel stronger.  I have more confidence, and was able to do things in class yesterday that I wouldn't have thought possible.

In mind, I feel more in control of things.  I can decide how to respond to my situations.  I have choices.  I can remain calm, even in the midst of the storms in life.

In spirit, I feel like I'm finally becoming "me".  I am finally being true to myself.  To what I want, to what I need.

That's not to say things are easy, choices are easy, or continuing down this path is easy.  But I can tell you it is worthwhile.

As this challenge finds its way to a close, I have been asked if I am continuing with another challenge.  April is set aside for yoga challenge, as it was last year, but when this is done, up until then, I think we will continue.

Doing something, but not just something good for our bodies and our health.  But trying to find ways to do something good for the world around us.  I saw a challenge in an article, 30 days of giving.  It can be whatever you are able to give.  A seashell to a child on the beach, building a sand castle.  A kind word to a friend.  Taking time to declutter your home/a room, for your family.  You choose what you are doing each day, as we continue doing things for ourselves...  but give back while we are at it.

It just seems like a fitting place to move, from here.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Do Something!! Day 25

Thursday.  Surprise day off.  Was going to have to do yet another home practice this week...  I've not made it to the gym since Sunday, but I have done a home practice every single day since then.  But, because I'm off today, I can make the evening class that work would have forced me to miss.

It will be nice, getting into a crowded room of people again.  It is surprising to me how little I liked the idea of sharing my practice, before, and how I look forward to it now.

Was it really only 25 days ago that this started?  It feels like a lifetime.

Take time today to absorb the affects of your hard work this last few weeks.  These last 25 days.  Appreciate the changes you have made in your body.  Be grateful you are healthy and able to make those changes.  And give thanks.

Today will be a practice of gratitude.  I am thankful for the insurance to cover my daughter's upcoming surgery.  I am thankful for my job, even on the days I don't want to go.  I am thankful my body is healing, even though it tweaks sometimes and I have to back off of things to support the shoulder.  I am thankful for my car, and my house, my family and their overall health.

There may be bad things going on.  There is always something.  But there is more to be grateful for.  Make that your focus.  Namaste.

Day 24, Do something. Even when you really don't want to.

Bad news.  The girl needs surgery.  Those bright shiny eyes of hers?  They don't work together, and the muscles need correction.  No other options.  Patches won't work.  Lowering her glasses strength doesn't work.  So.  Surgery.

That was my news first thing yesterday.  It tainted everything.  I know this is routine stuff.  I know it will be fine.  But I don't want my daughter's eyes cut into.  I don't want her to be vision impaired (more than she already is) for a few days.  But, this is what needs to happen so she can see.  She's excited about maybe not seeing double anymore...  but I'm not excited about how it has to happen.

So, when 10pm hit, kids were in bed, I still wasn't terribly thrilled with life...  I really did NOT want to get up and change and do my practice.  I wanted to sit around, mope, go to bed early, and maybe eat some ice cream.

But I did not allow it.  This is not how we handle things.  Suck it up, Harris.

So I grudgingly got out on that mat.  I turned on some music, and just started to move.  Breathing.  Flowing, not thinking about what I was doing too much.  Just do it.

And I fell asleep on the mat during savasana, woke up and meditated for a bit.

You know what?  I feel a lot better.  My perspective changed, there, on that purple mat of mine.  This is an investment.  For future depth perception injuries, like her fractured teeth and broken foot were.  This is a good thing.  This will be fine.

So.  If today is a day when you really just don't want to?  I feel your pain.  But I offer no excuses.  Just do it.  You'll thank me later.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Do Something, Day 23

Day 23.  Down to the last week.  We move, we breathe, we struggle, we feel.  Push ourselves, find new limits, and discover truths about ourselves.

This has been a great little experiment, eh?

The kid just went to bed, so I'm going to go get ready for my practice tonight...  with plans to hopefully hit class in the morning.  There's an early appointment for a kiddo, though, so I might need to do home practice tomorrow too.  A reply from the man should let me know what to plan.

In any case, on I move.  Time to warm the muscles up and breathe.  That's what it's all about in the end.  Breathe.  Take time out.  Just be.

It's harder than it sounds.  And easier than you know.

Do Something, Day 22

I woke to snow.  Beautiful lovely snow.  That makes everyone on the roads crazy.  Which meant I couldn't go to my class before the day started.  There was no way I would make it back in time.  Sigh.  So I will do a home practice tonight.  Back to sleep.  Acceptance.

When it was time to get up and get kids ready, we did so.  I got the car warming up so the windows scraped easy, and scooped the drive and walk way.  Kids joined me at the car and we left.  E light came on.  Of course.  I don't have time for this.  Acceptance.

Kids dropped off with instructions for after school, and up to the gas station.  Cars blocking the road so I couldn't turn.  Deep breaths.  I am leaving early.  It will be okay.  Acceptance.

The road opened up and I made it through to the pump.  Standing outside on a cold snowy day to fill your tank is not the best thing ever.  But it must be done.  Acceptance.

Made it to work early, because the streets were not as bad as I'd envisioned.  I grew up in Nebraska and they have a whole different level of snow than Colorado does.  I was expecting Nebraska bad.  Not so.  Good stuff.  I sat and read an old Yoga Journal until it was time to go in.  Chose not to be irritated that I'd rushed there and wasted time I could have spent cleaning my kitchen.  Acceptance.

Monday is busy at work, and the morning flew by until it was time for lunch.  And I realized my lunch, purchased before my return to vegetarian ways, had chicken stock in it.  I had already opened it.  Couldn't take it home with me.  It was either give it away, but nobody wanted it, or throw it away and be wasteful, or accept that I made a mistake, eat what I brought with me, and not kick myself over the label ignorance that morning.  Acceptance.

And after I got home and made dinner, we had bedtime, and I took a long hot bath to soak away the cold of the day...  I started thinking about that yoga practice I was planning.  Would I follow a disc?  Do my own thing?  But above all, what was my focus going to be?  And it hit me.  Of course.  It's been coming to me all day.  Acceptance.

I was having one of those days where everything feels wrong.  I was feeling huge and gross, was being hormonal and easily irritated.  But feeling like this happens sometimes, and I can either get upset at myself over it, or accept my imperfections and move on.

I am not perfect.  You are not perfect.  We all have our crappy days.  And that's okay.  We have extra squish.  Can't hold that pose as long as we wanted.  Our routines got messed up.  We forget to post the day's blog post until the next morning.  But that's okay.  Accept it.  And move forward.

I will leave you with this wonderful quote I saw this morning.  It just is so fitting, and is what spurred me here to make my post from yesterday.  I wish you acceptance today.  Of the flaws in your life.  And peace will come to fill the space that is left behind.  Namaste.

For every unexpected bump, turn, or squiggle on the path of life, you pretty much have two choices:
~Accept it as if you yourself had meticulously planned it and as if you're being watched by 10,000 cheering angels who love you so much, you're pretty much all they ever sing about. 
~Or, accept it, kicking and screaming, as if it were some freak accident or random mistake that had befallen you by chance. 

I know which I would choose,
The Universe

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Do Something Challenge, Day 21~ The golden rule.

(click to see full size)

During my challenge so far, I have been trying to tap into my mindsets more, and watch how I view things.  Change that view or attitude when it's not a good one.

For example, just following a nice relaxing class where I want to be calm and slow and meander home, but I really do have to get going for the rest of the day...  someone being slow on the road can irritate me.  But just following a peaceful class?  Where should my mind be?  Not irritated with the other driver, who could very well be terrified driving on the interstate, and is therefore driving slowly....  but on how I can accommodate that other person.  Go around them rather than getting too close for comfort.  Wish them a good day, as I pass, because they're just another human, and they are no more perfect than I am.

It was shocking to me how often things like this happened and I had to change my outlook.   And it made me realize just how often I was allowing people to affect me and how I feel about my day.

It is not slow driver's fault I am in a hurry.  It is not coupon lady's fault I took too long at the store and need to rush this part of my trip.  It is not the little girl counting her pennies' fault that school is almost out, and I need to get there...

Always in a rush.  Always in a hurry.  Always somewhere to be.

I'm beginning to understand how people in a calmer more relaxed society see how we are, and it's a little sad.

Now, this doesn't mean I don't have places to be, and can be late to work or late picking kids up.  It means I need to be more mindful and watch my times better while I'm out, rather than trying to rush the end of that time to get somewhere.  That's just our society, and how things run.  It's rude to be late, can get you fired, etc.  But we don't have to push negative energy on other people for MAKING us late...  that is our own fault, not theirs.

So anyway...  just a random thought, and when I came across the poster above, it just seemed fitting.

If we are running low on gas and driving slowly to conserve it, I bet that bothers other people.  We have been in the slow driver's shoes before.  We have lost our card, or had to fish for cash at the register before, and I'm sure that bothered the people behind us.  We have been in slow consumer's shoes before.  We have been that little kid, counting out the change to buy something with our very own money.

Try and remember that we are all human.  We all make mistakes.  Give each other a break.  Check that attitude, that mindset.  And if it were you in those shoes, how would you want someone to react?  To treat you?  To think toward you?  Act accordingly.

This is an easy thing, when it comes to not saying mean things to each other, or not hitting, like we teach our kids.  The mindset side is decidedly more difficult.  But absolutely worth striving for.

(and since this also fits...  a definition of that word for you, if you are not familiar:)
namaste' heading
namaste' defined
"I honor the place in you where Spirit lives.
I honor the place in you which is
of Love, of Truth, of Light, of Peace.
When you are in that place in you,
and I am in that place in me,
then we are One."

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Do Something, Day 20

Hitting the home stretch now.  End is in sight, if 30 days is your goal.  :)

So, how do you feel?  Do you think you will keep this up, most days, if not all?  Have you met your goals you set for yourself?

I know I am feeling great, other than my sore muscles from an intense class yesterday.  They are sore and tight, but that's not unusual, and it doesn't really *hurt*.  It just is that achy feeling.  So I took it easy today and that is good.

In any case, it's time to start thinking about your future plans and goals.  I know I plan to continue with this.  I feel too good not to.  I'm so grateful for a healthy body that can handle the movement, and am taking advantage of that.

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!  :)

Friday, February 8, 2013

Do Something, Day 19

That which is worth doing?  It comes with a price.  That might be time.  It might be pain or discomfort.  It might be money.  Or something else.  But anything worth doing will not be easy.  It will come with it's own personal catch.

Priorities is what it's all about.  What is important to you?  You will find time for it.  You will get up early or stay up late to make it happen.  It's all about re-setting our priorities to accommodate our good habits we want to cultivate.

It might be harder at first, and that's both normal and totally okay.  But it will get easier the longer you keep it up.  Just like our little Do Something challenge has showed us.  It's a little easier every day to get up and do what we need to do, eh?

For me and the yoga classes, getting to and from, takes time.  2 hours a class, most days.  Half an hour to get ready and get there, an hour there, and half an hour to get home and on with the rest of the day.  It also costs money, for the membership to the Y...  but mostly, time.  Especially if kids come along to swim or play.  That takes more like 3 hours per day, and not every day is equipped with an extra 3 hours.

The clothes to work out in take money.  The laundry those clothes create take time to clean.  And the discomfort from strengthening muscles makes for interesting days sometimes.

But is it worth it?  You bet your cinnamon buns it is!

I'm only 19 days into this thing, but I can't see an end in sight.  I don't want to stop when I hit day 30.  I might add swimming in on some days where it fits the schedule better than a yoga class...  and when my foot stops cramping up on me randomly.  That's no fun, and I'd really rather avoid it.  But I can see continuing this challenge into the unforeseen future.

In fact, in April, I plan to host another 30 day yoga challenge!  That's only a few weeks away, and at this rate, it will be here before we know it!  :)  Consider joining me!  This yoga thing is contagious...  can you tell?  :)  

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Do something, day 18

Up too late last night.  Wanted to do a 90 minute home practice this morning, but only had time for 60, and barely that.  Can tell I'm strengthening up, as many things that would simply have been too hard to hold before are getting easier, so that's something.

I find that since I am focusing on health and strength this time around, rather than skinniness or fitting into a certain size, or weighing a certain amount, I am actually reaching my goals, more and more.

Hold that pose for 3 breaths this time.  Hold this other one for 15.  Lift up into supported head stand with core strength instead of kicking up and hoping for momentum to get me there.

I definitely  need to work on core strength, and am doing that as much as I can.  But I still need to be careful not to overdo it, so I don't strain the shoulder or something else again.  It's a fun balance to find, and not always easy.

It's frustrating to know I need to stick with knees down in plank, but the knees up makes for too much shoulder strain.  I remind myself I'm listening to my body, and am trying to call it "good".  I am accepting where I am, every day, and doing my best.  That's all anyone can hope for, eh?

Little victories tell me I'm on the right track.   I held wheel for 4 full breaths today.  I haven't even tried it in ages, because it scared me.  Last time I did it was day 3, I believe?  Running my own practice when the teacher was ill, in the room with the mirrors.  I didn't hold it for very long, and really it was just a test to see if I could.

One step at a time.  One pose at a time.  We will get where we want to go.  We can do this.  I wish you peace, and the courage to push yourself in appropriate ways, tomorrow.  Namaste.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Do Something, Day 17

There is no easy button.  Some days, it is HARD to just get up and get moving and do something, like we know we should.  We want to stay in bed, under the warm covers, in the dark, pretending to not hear that alarm going off.  We don't WANT to get up and move.  We don't WANT to go out into the cold morning air to get to the gym for that work out or class.

But.  When we do, when we make ourselves get up, silence that alarm, brush those teeth, and pull on those yoga pants, we know we are making the right call.  The cold air might slap us in the face on the way to the car.  We might think about taking a trip to a coffee shop and pretending we went to class like we were supposed to.  But when we pull into that parking lot and take the steps into the building and get moving?  So much better.

This morning was one of those mornings for me.  I had a foggy head, felt like I was coming down with a little cold, just didn't want to move.  Last night's practice left me creaky and tight this morning, but while it seems counter-productive, I knew another practice was just what I needed to get that worked out.  And I know Wednesday classes are restorative.  That isn't to say they're easy.  We have to hold poses for so much longer than I'm used to, and it challenges the body, but they are calm and relaxing, and I always leave feeling refreshed.

Today during class, our instructor, Brian, was talking about pushing ourselves in the right way.  The mind sometimes says, "No, I don't want to, I can't do this anymore, I want to quit!" in the middle of a difficult pose, or after holding one for a a while.  That is something to push through.  Push those thoughts away, and DO it.  Do it as long as you can, and then for another couple breaths.  Because we have longer boundaries than we think, and we really can do it.

But when it is the body saying, "Ouch!!!", that is a different sort of thing, and it is something to listen to.  We need to be able to tell the difference between our minds and our bodies, and figure out if it's time to continue pushing, or time to ease back into something more accessible to us today.

Something they like to talk about in yoga is "finding your edge."  It means to find that place where you are getting a good stretch, are pushing yourself, up to the edge of pain, but not over it.  You want a little discomfort if you are trying to push your limits.  Discomfort is okay, but pain is not.  You need to find that place where it isn't easy anymore, and hold it there.  As long as you can.  And then two more breaths.

Sometimes in a pose, when you've settled into it for a bit, that edge changes, so we change with it.  That is good.  That is listening to the body, and that's exactly what you want to be doing.

Inhale, lift the spine long, exhale relax into a deeper fold, inhale lift, exhale relax.  Longer and deeper with each breath.  This goes for forward folds, and twists are a similar feeling.  Inhale, lift, and exhale, twist.  But listening to your body all the while, and not taking it further than is safe for you.

And that might change from one day to the next.  From morning to night.  That's fine.  Our bodies are always changing.  We need to be willing to listen to them, and change accordingly.  Our bodies are very smart things, and they know what they can handle.   All we have to do is tap into them, listen, and respond accordingly.

Today, I wish for you peace, calmness in the midst of your hardest moments, and for the courage to press through to the other side.  No easy button.  This is your pose.  Breathe through it.  Namaste.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Do Something Challenge, Day 16

I keep coming back to this picture.  Be the change.  I want our family to be healthy and happy and well rounded.  I am the place that must start.  I must be the change.

I am taking several classes a week now, and taking kids to all the evening ones while my husband works, because that's how the schedule works out.  But it also means the kids are in the pool or playing basketball several days a week.

Now, we have never been people to laze around eating bad foods and watching tv or playing video games.  Sure, we do those things sometimes, but that is not the whole of our lives.  The kids are both at healthy weights and are well rounded little people.

They enjoy reading and going for walks, playing games, riding bikes, climbing trees.  They sure love tv and video games too, but those things are kept at a minimum as much as I can.  But even then, I was feeling like we weren't doing quite enough.

As the long cold part of winter hits for us here in the mountains (our winter extends well into spring), I was starting to really feel the cabin fever thing.  Our Y membership hit at the perfect time for that, and going to move our bodies every few days (or every day, in my case) has really helped with the "blah"s that we all tend to get when we're cooped up indoors for too long.

So our ability to go and do something regularly has been a good thing.  Not just for myself, but for the kids as well.  They are getting stronger.  More confident.  They are eager to go, even though it means taking a shower.  (Blonde kids and chlorine don't really mix without special shampoo!)

I am being that change, at least in part.  Now to get my husband on board!  LOL

Do Something, Day 15!

Happy Hump Day!!  :)  Camel?  

Day 15, for me, started with a morning yoga class, wake up nice, try a few harder things, but mostly just get moving.  Good stuff.

Smoothie time, kids to school, and time for work.

Then I went to work and was tossed into the window, the hardest place to be on a Monday morning.  I was a little bitter, I'll admit, but I took a few deep breaths.  This is my pose.  And I did it.  Calmly and fairly efficiently, if I do say so myself.

Lunch was tasty vegan chili with an amazing pink navel orange.  Yummy!

After lunch I had an hour of work before I got to go home to kids who like to race me to the house.  We decided to go back to the Y for another hour class.  Kids wanted to play basketball and just hang out on a video game handheld for a while.  I ran there, chose the easier class because, well, I was already feeling the morning's practice hitting me.  The harder class did not sound like a great idea.

And the teacher was the same one from Friday, where I'd made that wonderful intention for Preston, the sick little boy.  He was in surgery while we flowed from one pose to the next, and this morning I found out he's doing REALLY well.  He was up and moving, wanting to eat, to feed himself.  Nothing short of a miracle.  So today, I decided to say thank you.  Just happy that he is doing well, that things have gone so smoothly in such a terrible situation.  And it was another beautiful practice.

A practice of thanks is a wonderful thing.  :)  Give it a try!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Do Something!! Day 14

Really!?  Day 14 already?  Is it just me, or has the time flown by?  Doesn't feel like we're almost half way there already.  I suppose that is a good thing!

Today the plan is to go to brunch with the in-laws, and since I'm also doing the veg-head thing again, I'm really hoping I don't end up stuck with plain oatmeal and half a grapefruit for my choices.  But I really really might.  I was looking at the menu online and there is nothing that is vegan.  I might do vegetarian for this meal, and just make sure the hash browns aren't cooked in lard or something strange like that...  because plain oatmeal just sounds awful.

Later on, after the hubby goes to work for his Monday of the week shift, the kids and I are going to the yoga class that's being held at the Y today.  It happens to be a family yoga class, so kids will be joining me and trying it out.

They're not thrilled, but I think they'll have fun if they give it a try.  Worst case, we don't go back for that class again.  But I'm excited and think it will be fun, so we are going.  Might have to make it up to the short people afterward, somehow, if they really do hate it.

But, I'm not convinced that will happen.  We used to have some kid yoga dvd's and played around with them and they loved them.  That was years ago, but they really liked it, and Anna has joined me in a home practice on occasion.  An adult level one.  She gives up about half way through, but she has tried!  :)

So, I suppose we'll see.  Anyway, time to go get some coffee with coconut milk creamer, and decide if I'm really going to wear yoga pants to breakfast or not.  I'm tempted.

Do Something, day 13

Home practice.  It was once my favorite thing, being the only way I could get a practice in.  Now, I find myself wanting the community feel of a group setting.  I don't have the same drive at home that I have when I'm among others.

I didn't take the time to set it up like I get to in a formal class, today.  By the time I dragged my sore bum out of bed, kids were already up and I only had 1 hour.  So I jumped right in.  While they were watching some tween show about dancers.  It was distracting, but I got a little warm up in, tried to hold poses for a solid minute at least, but it's hard to see the clock some times...

And I ended up giving up at 45 minutes, because I really did need to get ready for work.  Mind you, I had plenty of time and could have kept going, but I just couldn't get relaxed enough to really get anywhere.  So it ended up being a light day, just stretching out the tightness from the hard Thursday Night Brett class.  Still with me.  Those repetitive flowing squat lifts really got my legs, let me tell you.

In any case, it kind of put me off for the beginning of the day.  Not being able to do what I really wanted.  But because I was too lazy to make it happen.  So I was a little irritated with myself.

All at once, I didn't want to do anything, and I wanted to do more.  Odd, eh?  I suppose you could say I was disappointed in myself.  And after my "blah" feeling of the morning faded some, I found myself doing structured folds to get things from the printer, careful squats (not the pants-tearing kind, hahaha) and the like.

So I suppose, in the end, I made the whole day my practice.  Being calm during moments of craziness in the work day.  Finding ways to work in mountain pose, tree, standing folds, and breathing into my normal day.  And in the end, it was not half bad.

Our days are what we make them.  We can take our poopy moods and turn them into something better.  We have the power.  It's all in how we look at things.  :)

Do Something Challenge, Day 12

Day 12.  Day off.  Woke up and dragged a lovely friend along with me to practice in the morning.  We decided on the gentler style of the sunrise class over the harder working 5:15 class, because it's been many moons since her last practice.  She's been running instead and is not quite as bendy as she once was.

But it's not fair, because I work at it and am not as bendy as she is naturally, LOL.  Ah well, such is life.

In any case, it was a lovely calm and quiet class, working hard alternating with relaxing hard.  We were committing fully to whichever we were doing, and it was interesting seeing how quickly the mind and body can snap back and forth from powerful movements to calm melting into the floor.

I was a little shocked when the class was over already, because it didn't feel like an hour.  I could have kept going for another hour, and been just fine.  Go figure, a few weeks ago, a 30 minute class was almost daunting, with the shoulder, and now I can go for 2?  It's a really nice shift, I have to tell you.  Amazing how a little time can make such a different change.

It was a lovely practice, ran home to get kids to school, and the two of us went out for breakfast and a lovely long chat.  We need days like this more often.  And I'm beginning to really think the early morning classes are my favorites.  I love the afternoon ones after a long day at work, though...

Maybe I'll petition for more morning ones and keep doing both?  LOL  I'm having too much fun with this.

Do Something, Day 11

Day 11, I worked in the morning and went to yoga in the evening.  Brett's class.  He tends to be more of a moving active teacher with a spice of spirit thrown in there.  He makes us work for it.  Push harder, but at your own pace.  Seems like an odd combination, but I'm always the most sore after his classes, I find.

It was a good class, and I dedicated the class to a little boy whose aunt I work with.  He has stage 3 Wilm's Disease, a kidney cancer that spreads quickly as a tumor.  The tumor was beginning to invade his heart when they found it, and he'd done at least one round of chemo and radiation, but had started another round of chemo, I believe.  It had only been weeks since his diagnoses, but he was being treated aggressively due to the nature of the disease.

In any case, he was getting ready for surgery in the morning, and was all I could think of, so I decided to dedicate the practice to him, and his family, to healing and peace, whatever that ended up meaning for the moment.  You could say it was body prayer, or intention, whatever you want to call it...  but it changed the whole practice.

Yes, it was still hard, and my limbs began to shake from holding poses for a long time, as they will do in Brett's class...  but I found I did not notice so much, or really care.  It wasn't the point this time.  The intention I set at the beginning of the practice was the focus, and I was able to keep that in sight rather than the rest of it.

Afterward, I felt drained and quiet, didn't really want to talk.  Got the kids from the pool and just sat quietly while waiting for them.  It is such a difference from my usual practice just focusing on the things happening in the body and the room.  I feel energized and happy after those.  I was somber and sad, this time.  

If you have never dedicated a practice to another person, who is hurting or ill or in a bad place in their lives, I would encourage you to do so.  It brought my practice to a whole new level, and I will definitely continue to do this.  This practice is a more mental one, for sure, but it also translated to very sore muscles the following day.  I pushed myself harder than I have done lately, for a purpose.  For someone else.  And it was beautiful.

(The little boy, Preston, had his surgery the following morning.  That practice was also dedicated to him, and happened as he was going into the room.  Last I heard, the tumor was totally removed, and he was heading into the recovery room.  Updates later as I have them.)