Tag Archives: yoga

Handstands

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Live Light Practice:
 
Find a new perspective! Try a handstand or a downward dog and notice the shift.

 

Jan30

Double Down

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In order to stay warm this winter I have found that wearing two jackets is extremely helpful. Although, I look bulky in my extra layers it has allowed me to take long walks outside with my dog Cosmo. In the past I have had a less than positive relationship with winter. Basically, I hate the cold. This year I have decided to not run away from the cold and change my attitude about the winter season.

As the days start getting shorter and the cold weather begins I usually think to myself, why am I not living in Hawaii? Instead of lamenting over why I didn’t move to a warmer climate I have decided that I will like winter this year. I changed my relationship with the winter season by changing my thoughts about it. Instead of complaining I have chosen to find the beauty in the season.

What I have learned to love about the winter is the quiet down time. The joys of sipping hot tea under a cozy blanket. The light and fluffy snow that my dog Cosmo loves prancing around in for hours. Also, I have always loved knitting, and what better time to knit than in the dead of winter?

Not only have I changed my thoughts about winter, but I have made sure I am fully prepared (ie wearing two down coats when I walk outside). Taking Vitamin D supplements helps my mood immensely. Again I have my dog to thank for getting me out of the house to walk outside and enjoy the crisp beauty of winter and not fall into a slump. Trying to reach 10,000 steps in a day may feel hard in the winter, but by taking a few walks in the sun during the day can really help your mood and health.

A home practice of asana (yoga postures) and meditation is also extremely helpful in keeping the winter blues away. Let’s be real, some days are just too cold out to make it to a yoga studio. So it is important to keep yourself warm from in the inside out through meditation and yoga postures. Keeping it to the same time each day can help it become a habit in your life. The yoga postures at home do not have to be crazy arm balances and inversions. I’d recommend trying more gentle and restorative yoga postures.

Live Light Practice:

Take a walk outside after lunch each day. Bundle up so you won’t be cold. As you walk keep your phone at home or in your pocket and be aware of the nature around you.

Shanti,

Liza

 

Jan20

Dazed and Confused

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Being present is a conscious and active approach to life. Being dazed and confused is an unconscious and non-active approach. I try to be present as much as I can, but there are times where I am spaced out and not in the moment. This could be due to something bothering me, an upsetting situation, or my thoughts just being elsewhere.

The other day I was in a yoga class, and I had arrived a few minutes late. Adjusting to the slow pace of class took a little time, but I thought I was relaxed and present by 15 minutes in. At that time, we were to told to get an extra prop from the back of the room. So as quietly and efficiently as I could, I walked to the prop area and back to my mat, setting myself up and waiting for the rest of the class. I was oblivious to the others and just zoning out for a moment – at least until I heard a small voice behind me say “that is my mat”. I turned around with eyes wide open and my jaw dropped! Louder than intended, I belted out “oh I’m so sorry!”. Embarrassed and uncomfortable, but fully present now, I moved over to where my actual mat awaited me. This has never happened to me before, and I’ve never actually seen it happen to anyone else. The lesson I learned was that I wasn’t really there, and it brought me back to the present moment.

 

Live Light Practice:

Ask yourself are you present? Are your mind and body in the same place right now? What do you need to do in order to be here now?

 

Mar27

Keep Your Eye On The Ball

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yoga has been helping me with tennis lately. I recently started playing again after 10 years being off the court, and yoga is keeping me present and grounded while in the game. As the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali say: Yogas citta vrtti nirodihah (yoga is the controlling of the fluctuations on the mind), and tennis has become a yoga practice of quieting my mind.
 
At times during the tennis game I’ll think of something I need to do later or something I want to tell my opponent and I miss the shot because I was distracted. When that happens I pause, bring my attention back and tell myself to just hit the ball. All of the excess chatter of my mind disturbs the peace of the game.
 
In a yoga posture we can use the dristhi (gaze) to focus our mind. When our eyes are focused on one point our minds narrow to ekagraha (a one pointed focus). The same can be applied to a tennis game. I find I’m loving playing the game now that I clear my head of the excess chatter and keep my focus on the present moments. In the past I would get so frustrated by a missed shot that I would throw set after set. Now I use the tennis ball as a concentration point and let it cancel out the excess thoughts. Of course I still get a little upset when I loose points, but overall I’m having fun and enjoying the game!
 
Live Light Practice:
 
Candle gazing meditation will help to hone in the skills and practice of ekagraha (one pointed focus). Tratak or candle gazing meditation brings the mind to a one pointed focus. Where the eyes go the mind follows, so as you bring your eyes to fix on one point your mind also fixes on one point. For this meditation you will need a candle, matches, and blankets. Seat yourself onto two blanks in suhkasana (easy posture) or a chair. Have the candle lit in front of you. This candle gazing meditation is inviting in ekagraha (single pointed focus). Allow your eyes to have a soft gaze on the candle flame, with your attention guided to that one point allow the breath to flow evening in and our your nose. Practice this meditation every evening for one week for 5-10 minutes.

Feb23