From Guide to Teacher #NamasteTuesday

I became a yoga teacher a little over a year ago. And I know that even though I am not certified, I am still a teacher. But when I tell people that I teach I sometimes use the word “guide” rather than teacher because I am not certified. I tend to get self-conscious about using the word “teacher” because I have never been formally trained. I have attended classes, but I am mostly self-taught. I have never been taught how to teach, I just gave it a try and found out I am pretty darn good at it. And while I feel confident as a teacher/guide, there are still some aspects of teaching a class that I could use a bit more confidence. Well…the time has finally arrived.

I am going to officially get my 200 hour yoga certification next month! WOOO!!!!

I have been talking about doing it for a while. Not only to be more confident when I teach, but mostly for myself. There is only so much that you can teach yourself. And there is sooooooo much more that I have to learn. But there have always been obstacles. First of course is money. It ain’t cheap to get your certification. The second obstacle has been scheduling. Although I don’t work and you would think I have all the time in the world, I don’t. Especially on the weekends. And yoga cert classes are not on YOUR schedule. Most of them are only one weekend a month; Friday evening, all day Saturday, and all day Sunday. Even though that’s only one weekend a month we have to work around, that’s a lot of work. And we only have one car and a kid. So making sure my husband is going to be home on time for me to drive for an hour and make it to class, and then if my daughter had somewhere to be on the weekend…you get it. One weekend can really mess things up. We were, of course, going to make it work, but it was going to be tough. Until the Kula Kamala Foundation popped up on our search.

One other quick thing that was going to be tough with the other classes, a lot of them required that you go to their studios at least once a week to attend a class. Again, I would have to really rework my schedule to be able to do this. Oh, another thing, it seemed to me that a lot of the classes are also geared towards getting your certification so you can turn around the find a job as a teacher. I don’t need that. Sure, in the future my certification will make it easier to get a job, but at this point I am not looking for ways to market myself. So….

There were a couple classes that I was going to settle for. We were going to make it work. And then Kula Kamala came up. I don’t even know how my husband found it because it isn’t local. But this was THE one. This one has everything I was looking for and more. First, it’s not as expensive, and let’s be honest, that is always a plus. Second, it’s all done in one month. One super long, intense month, but no big schedule changes. Including not having to find child care because my daughter is on her own vacation until school starts. Double win! Third, and this is the pretty cool part, I am going to live and be fed at the school for the entire time, and that’s part of the tuition. And four, this class seems to be more about the spiritual side of yoga, while also teaching you how to guide others. This is going to be so crazy and awesome!

I have never done something like this. I have never lived on my own. I have never done something like this where I leave the family for an extended period of time. And I’ve never imagined I’d go off to live in Pennsylvania with a bunch of other yogi weirdos (I’m definitely one of those so I am not making fun of anyone) for a month. It’s going to be fantastic. I am going to be mingling with my people. I am going to be completely immersed in yoga for a month. And I get to experience a ton of things I have never had the chance to before.

I am also going to be vegan for the month. The food served is all local or homegrown at the school and it’s all vegan or vegetarian. I am honestly not sure what there will be that is vegetarian, (milk?) so I am going to assume that it will be almost 100% vegan. I am pretty excited about this too. When I think about eating a vegan diet I always say, “That would be great…if someone else made the food for me.” You want to cook vegan for me? Perfect. I have to prepare everything and buy new things and learn new recipes? No thanks. So the fact that I will be eating this way because it’s what is being put in front of me is going to make it a helluva lot easier to try. Not like I’ll have a choice, LOL! But I am honestly excited. I have not, until now, realized that most of the yogis I know or follow online are all vegan. So it will be interesting to see what it does for my mind. I am very eager to see what it does for my skin, if anything. I suffer from acne and cannot figure out what the hell causes it. Maybe it is something in animal products. I have read about it being caused by dairy but I do not eat a ton of dairy. But you never know.

You won’t see a blog from me in a while since I’ll be very busy, but I will definitely find time to journal and blog when I return.

The next time you see me, I should will be able to say with confidence, “I am a yoga TEACHER.”

And for fun, here’s me smiling while inverted. 🙂

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Winner! Winner!!

I didn’t eat my chicken for dinner!!! LOL!!! This is not a farm post; it’s a yoga post! I am a yoga winner!!

You know how I am always blogging about the yoga challenges on Instagram? Previously I always thought that the point of these challenges was just to promote, network, and work on yoga. I think I even wrote once that there was really no end game, this was just a way for me to practice poses I may not usually do. And I’ve made a lot of new “friends” and learned a lot from watching all kinds of different people do their own variations of the poses. Anyway…turns out there are winner of these challenges! What?! And guess who won? Yours truly!! Gah!! It was so awesome!

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That’s me up there in the right hand corner!!! Of course as soon as I won I text Isis! Then my husband! I was happy with just being recognized! How awesome! Out of however many different people from all over the world who participated, they chose me as a winner! Awesome!! Then it got better. I learned that I would get a prize! I was totally expecting a gift certificate or a coupon. But no. I won a yoga wheel! No questions asked. (Well, they asked for my address. LOL!!) WHAT?!?!

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This thing is awesome! I had never tried a wheel but had seen them used in various ways. This one is from https://www.shaktiyogawheel.com/ and it’s amazeballs! It’s super strong and durable and has yoga mat all the way around for comfort and stability.

I didn’t even warm up before I used it. I just hopped right into a backbend and ohhhh emmmmm geeee!! It felt soooooooo good! I sighed the longest sigh of comfort!! I never knew I needed this wheel until today.

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Currently doing two more yoga challenges this month. It’s making for a very well-rounded practice having to try all new things. And again, it is so rewarding just to participate, try new things, push myself, and have a blast with other yogis.

And I totally forgot,  I was gifted a new shirt yesterday.  It’s kinda the most perfect shirt ever. #hippiesoul

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The Most Epic Yoga Transformation

Guys!!! This is going to be awesome! I hope you feel even just a little tiny bit of what I am feeling after accomplishing something in the yoga world today! I am so excited! But I also want to tell you guys how long it took me to get here.

You know when you’re browsing Instagram (and other various sites but a lot on that one), you see people in these super difficult yoga poses and they make it look so easy. You know what you don’t see? YEARS of practice leading up to that point. Yes, some people are more flexible than others and just have a naturally bendy back. Yes, some people have incredible arm strength without lifting weights. But most of them, most of us, have been practicing over, and over, and over, and not always posting the fails or mistakes.

I am guilty of posting all the “good” stuff but I have also posted quite a few fails or work-in-progress photos. So you shouldn’t be too surprised to know that I have put in the work. I have practiced the same poses over and over and thought that there were some I would never be able to do. Let’s look back at one of those.

April 14, 2015. I was hanging out with Isis and doing fun yoga stuff. She had just mastered “flying lizard” and asked me to try it. Look at this train wreck…

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We joked that we should have a safe word in case I got stuck. I used the safe word!!! LOL!! I was so stuck and didn’t even know how I managed to get into this half-eaten pretzel predicament. We even made a collage of she and I to show off our “skills.”

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Since then I have tried this countless times and was never able to get it. A few things…I could never get my bottom foot around my arm and off the floor. I SWORE that my calves must be too big and I’d never get it because I couldn’t wrap my leg around. I also couldn’t ever get my back foot off the ground without my head being on the ground. This takes so much strength in so many places. Even though I was 100% sure I’d never get it, I stuck it out. I kept trying. In the meantime, I also worked on other arm balances to fill the hole of flying lizard.

So here we are. 2 whole years later. That’s a long time. I have been able to stick some other arm balances and so I thought I’d try this again. Well, today was the day. 2 effing years later. Scroll up to look at the fail photo again just so you can really appreciate the transformation…go ahead….I’ll wait….

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Here it is! In all it’s flying glory!

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AHHHHHH!!! I DID IT!!!!! OMG OMG OMG!!!! Seriously!!! I can’t even!!!!

Basically, guys, don’t give up! Practice makes progress!!! Keep going! Practice til your arms fall off!! DON’T STOP!!!

Namaste. 🙂

Overflowing with Joy #NamasteTuesday

A quick post before I go to bed because my heart is seriously swelled up so big!

First on the list, after Thursday’s yoga class one of the ladies asked who was teaching Saturday’s class.  I told her me and she said she’d be sure to come. She came because I was leading.

Second, I  had 6 ladies in my Saturday class! Wooohooo!!! After class, one of my chair regulars was double checking which Thursday’s I’m teaching so she can make sure to come. Again,  she’s coming because of me. 

Third, my first online class with a friend was perfect!  We’re planning to do it every Wednesday!

And last, the super terrific reason I’m overflowing with joy and love…. remember that guy that came to my Saturday class last month?  Well, that was his first yoga class. He was visiting his sister,  a chair regular,  and then headed back home.  The first thing he did back in his hometown was join the Y yoga class! Ahhh!!! So awesome!  But wait,  there’s more. He met a lady in class and they are now dating.  All because he tried my class!! His sister told me that story tonight during class and I about broke down.  I haven’t smiled that big in ages. That story seriously warmed my heart and made me incredibly happy and proud.  That took an insane amount of confidence to join a class and then approach someone in that class. Gah!! So much love!

Good night,  lovelies!! 😚

Happy Yogaversary to Me!!

The last time I blogged about yoga I was broken. That was a rough two-ish weeks. I didn’t write about it all during that time because I could feel myself slipping into a bit of a depression and I knew that if I wrote about it it wouldn’t be good. There was even one day when I thought I would never bend over again. It was that bad. I’ll sum up… (edit: once i started I couldn’t stop. So if you want to just read about the title, skip down some)

I broke myself by sitting. I kept joking, “Remember that time I broke my butt by sitting on it?” For real. I had a muscle spasm in my muscles surrounding my tailbone. On a Friday night, I watched a bunch of movies and sat with my butt sunk down into my couch for hours. I woke up the next morning sore but not worried. By Monday I couldn’t bend forward at all. By Wednesday I couldn’t sit. I trained myself to squat down to do everything. On top of that I had a cough and was sneezing. Let me tell you this… sneezing and coughing with a muscle spasm is the absolute worst shit ever. I don’t wish that on anyone. It’s crippling. I had to hold onto a wall or else my knees would buckle and I’d fall on the floor. I’m not exaggerating. I went to the ER Thursday and was put on pain meds, steroids, and a muscle relaxer. They said it was both good and bad that I was a healthy and active person. Good because I would recover just fine. Bad because I would have to rest. HA! Being a mom and wife, I don’t know what rest is. By the next Monday, I really didn’t think I was going to get any better. So I doped myself up on the pain meds and prescribed myself bed rest. I basically slept for two days. And I felt a little bit better. I could at least sit down to pee without dying. But it wouldn’t be until that Friday that I could do some sort of yoga again. It was devastating. Like I said, I was getting depressed. But Friday came, and by accident I bent forward. But it didn’t hurt. Hallelujah!!

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I posted that photo to my Instagram talking about how this was the one thing that was keeping me from doing what I loved. And although I wasn’t 100% healed, my soul was on the mend.

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I posted the above photo to show me bending forward again. It’s funny because I have seen people post photos like this one and I always thought, “Why?” And then I folded forward and it hit me. Now I understand. This was something I could not do while I was broken. And this meant I was back.

Not doing any sort of exercise for 2 weeks really weakened me. There are still, now almost a month later, several things in yoga I cannot do. I try, and then my back reminds me that it isn’t quite healed yet. It’s weird. One thing I lost was pincha. I lost the strength. But I was determined to get it back.  And then I did.

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At this point I’d say I’m 90% back to normal. At least I can teach again… which brings me to the main idea of this blog post.

Today, one year ago, I taught my first yoga class!! Happy Yoga-versary to Me!!!

I never knew I would be a yoga teacher. That was never ever in my mind. Then one day during a class, the instructor said she would need a sub at some point. I asked if there were any qualifications needed, and she said, “Nope, just yoga knowledge.” So I volunteered to be her sub. In the weeks leading up to it I was nervous because I had never taught yoga. But the day came and it was awesome! Flash forward to now, I teach a beginner/chair yoga class every Tuesday and teach regular yoga every other Thursday. I also teach a Saturday class once in a while.

Last Saturday I had 7 people in my class! And a guy! That was a first! It was sooooo amazing! The fact that I can share yoga with people brings me so much joy! But right behind that, these people are coming to class because I teach it. They keep coming back because I’m there. And then they bring more people!! They’re telling more people to come to MY class. Man, that is a cool feeling.

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We cancelled Tuesday’s class this week because there was a special program at the community center, but one lady said she was going to try my Thursday class instead. One lady said she’d come, but she bought 3 others. And those are my beginner ladies coming to my other class. Gah!! I cannot explain how awesome this is! And it makes me soooooo incredibly proud of these ladies for going way out of their comfort zone when they come to my class.

Like I’ve said before, I never ever saw this road coming on my journey I call life. Yoga Road detoured me when I needed it, not even knowing I needed it. And then Teacher Avenue appeared out of nowhere but I took that road without even thinking about it. Life is weird. Life is crazy. And I’m having a ball!!

So what’s next in the yoga journey for me? Online teaching! A TON, like literally a good 10 people have asked me to teach online. I have always been hesitant because of data issues (we live in the middle of nowhere). But, the stars have aligned and Verizon is now offering unlimited data again. So…..March 1st I will video chat with a friend and for the first time I will teach via internet! I am also thinking of making cd’s with videos but I haven’t started that yet. How weird right? To go from student to exercise video host? LOL!!! Again, life is weird.

I’ll end with this photo of me doing pincha in my jeans from last week. Happy Saturday!

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I’m Broken. #NamasteTuesday

My back is injured. This has seriously got to be one of the stupidest, most embarrassing injuries ever. I didn’t have bad form during a workout. I didn’t bend too far during yoga. I didn’t fall. I hurt my lower back from being a lazy ass and lounging on the couch. I am not joking.

About a month ago we bought a new couch. It’s one of those that has the chaise on one side. This last weekend my daughter had a birthday party and I spent quite a lot of time watching movies while she and her little friends stayed up all night. I wasn’t always laying on the chaise. A lot of the time I was sitting and the spot I chose to sit in made my butt kinda sink down into the couch. Imagine my body in a little bit of a V shape. Just enough to cause strain on my lower back. Only problem is that I had no idea I was injuring myself until it was too late.

Let me tell you, this is no laughing matter. I cannot do normal stuff. I can’t bend forward, I have to squat. I can’t lean at all. You should see me trying to go to the bathroom; I have to sort of lean to the side and lift my feet up just so that I can reach my underwear. In the shower I have to have one hand on the wall to hold me up while I try to reach down to dry off. If there was any one thing worse than all this… I can’t do yoga. This could possibly be the most frustrating thing ever and it’s totally driving me crazy.

I think what is frustrating me the most is that yoga SHOULD be something I can do to stretch out and heal myself. But I think I did something to my bones not my muscles. I try so hard to breathe and fold a little deeper but I get to a certain point and I can’t breathe anymore because I am in pain. I can’t reach down to touch my toes, and if I do try to slowly make my way down, I have to squat and put my hands on my knees to get back up. Basically, I cannot use my back. It’s really terrible.

So why am I telling you all this? One, I am just being real and venting a bit. But second, I am telling you because it’s important to know how critical posture is to your everyday well being. If I had just sat up straight, or even decided to lie down, this post would not be titled “I’m Broken” and I wouldn’t be mad that I can’t do yoga. My advice to you today….sit up straight, stretch, be active. Enjoy yourself but don’t get too lazy.

Ugh, enough bad crap. Here’s some good yoga stuff.
First, I got a new tapestry in the mail yesterday for my yoga room. This will surprise you…doing that backbend didn’t hurt one bit.

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You guys know I was doing a pincha instagram challenge this month. It was so much fun. I learned all kinds of things and tried sooooo many new things. I have a ton of new goals to work towards this year. Below is me doing the splits while inverted (with a Georgie cameo). I need to work on my splits while sitting. I actually had a dream last night about being able to do the splits.

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This was my favorite from the challenge. The last day’s pose was “yogi’s choice” and I chose scorpion. I tried a number of times to get it where I wanted but I just wasn’t satisfied. I read a post from one of the hosts that said, “Give it all you got today.” That was all I needed. I switched to the front-facing camera so that I could see myself and BOOM! Best scorpion ever!!

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I even felt a little piece of my hair on my toe.

And just to connect this with the title…how did this not break me but my effing couch did? GAH! Can you tell I’m frustrated?

Tonight I teach my chair yoga class but I think it will be a lot more talking and a lot less actual yoga. I’m thinking also that tonight will be the last time we do our regular routine. I have been sticking with the same routine each week to get everyone comfortable with yoga, most are newbies, but I think it’s time to add in more stuff. I think it’s getting close to the time where we may be able to stop using the chair as an actual chair and more of just a crutch. We shall see.

Happy Tuesday!!

Aspire to Inspire #NamasteTuesday

A couple days ago in my health support group, a friend posted a fill in the blank status that said, “I am inspired by________. I aspire to__________.” The answer came to me easily…

I am inspired by other yogis and their journeys. I aspire to be as inspiring.

I think I am in the right track. I get so much positive feedback from my IG posts and the people that come to my yoga classes. I am also getting a bunch of friends and family members asking me how to get started with yoga. They all tell me that I inspire them to get started and that I am very encouraging. And that all makes me so happy. Seeing other people discover the beauty of yoga is inspiring!

I got this message from my cousin last week…

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The Mexican angry is the best part! One, I totally get that, and two, it’s such a yoga thing to become less reactive. I continued the conversation telling her about a recent Facebook post I commented on and how not reacting was something I was so proud of. The post was political and while everyone else stomped on me and told me how wrong I was, I stood my ground while being positive and never getting mad or speaking down to the other commenters. A couple years ago I would have started a “Facebook War” and definitely would have gotten Mexican angry. I eventually left the conversation quietly because I “let things go.” That really made some of the commenters mad, lol.

My most favorite philosophy in yoga is “Practice make progress.” I love to teach that idea to others. I love when people tell me that they can see differences in their balance, posture, poses, and mood. That all comes from practice. Here’s one of my most recent progress posts.

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The bottom photo was a neat morning. I was just doing my yoga thing, not planning to practice kapotasana (full pigeon), but it happened in my flow and it felt right.

I am doing another IG challenge. This one is called #PinchaQueens. A couple weeks full of all kinds of forearm stand prep and actual pincha. Today is pincha with bow and arrow legs.

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A couple days ago was pincha with a prop. Most people used a yoga wheel but since I didn’t have one I decided this was a great time to do some yoga with my chickens. (Watch my video here or check the side bar for the video on my IG.) It was a great morning. I tried so many times to get a good take but my balance was way off and Hagrid was just over it. The video was around take 5 and it still didn’t work. Hagrid was a great sport though so she got lots of cuddles.

That evening my daughter found my farmer Barbie and said, “Look, mom. I made you!” She is really my number one fan with yoga stuff. She makes fun of me and likes to tell me I’m showing off, but I know one day she’ll understand it all.

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While so much of my yoga is for me, I do hope to continue to teach others and inspire. It really does bring my happiness.


 

My Health Journey: Progress Report

I am writing this post for a few reasons. I am going to explain why I don’t ever weigh myself (except for this morning for the purpose of this post). I am going to tell you what exactly I do on my journey. And I am going to explain why I think being healthy doesn’t work out for everyone. Here we go.

If you follow me you know that this journey started out about weight loss and morphed into all around health. I used to think that weighing less meant I was healthy. Boy, was I wrong. In this first photo, taken on January 5, 2013, I was 128 pounds and wearing a size 6 pants. This was the first time I had ever felt thin.

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What was I doing to be this size? I shall tell you. I was eating lower carb; Not cutting carbs totally but not stuffing my face with sandwiches everyday either. I was running about 4 times a week. I ate sugar on occasion. I was drinking diet sodas. I did not pay attention to the types of food I was eating as far as ingredients.

I am not going to share a bunch of in between photos but lets just say that I fell off the wagon. I went back to eating whatever I wanted. But I was still running. So why did I gain all the weight back? I didn’t realize the impact of putting “shit” into my body. I thought I could run the carbs away. I had the mentality of, “I’ll just run an extra mile to make up for the Oreos.” I wasn’t thin and I definitely wasn’t healthy.

In 2015 my husband and I read the book “The Wild Diet” by Abel James and really learned a lot about what we were putting in our bodies. We cleared out our kitchen and pretty much started from scratch. We started eating clean. No more artificial ingredients. No added sugar (meaning, only naturally occurring sugar like in fruit). No white flour. No shit. We started shopping in the healthy section of the store. Why is there a healthy section? What the hell are they selling in the rest of the store? We started shopping at Whole Paycheck for specific items. No alcohol. And no soda.

I also started going to an exercise class at least once a week, was working out on my own at home, and doing yoga. I wasn’t running anymore because of the area we live in (no sidewalks).

Today, January 4, 2017, (almost to the day of that first photo which was totally by coincidence) here’s what I do. First, I still eat clean about 90% of the time. That 10% is saved for fun stuff because I still like to live and have fun, and I like dessert (like having a donut on New Years). I still shop in the healthy section and frequent Whole Foods. I still eat very low carb. I do eat bread but it’s healthy bread; no white flour, no sugar, and no artificial ingredients. I eat a lot of organic foods. I pay attention to ingredients!! If I buy mac n cheese it’s the expensive kind with 5 ingredients rather than 20 (seriously, I’ve counted and it’s insane). Speaking of ingredients, I still love to eat peanut butter but buy the 365 brand at WF that is only peanuts with a pinch of salt. Try eating Jif or Skippy after eating real peanut butter for a while. It’s HORRIBLE!!!!! I eat a TON of vegetables; broccoli, brussells, spinach, zucchini…the good green stuff. I don’t buy things with sugar like cookies; I only indulge if we’re out somewhere and decide to have ice cream, or if I’m at a birthday party and there’s cake because… cake. I go to exercise class 2 days a week where we use weights and do full body exercising, I exercise at home, and I do yoga almost every day. I very rarely drink. I enjoy mimosas but save those for special occasions. I gave up beer for about 2 years and just recently started having one if we are out with friends (which is rare). I get good sleep. I am usually in bed by 830pm. It’s amazing how much that helps. And the big one, I do NOT drink soda. I haven’t had a soda in just over 3 years. (You can read my post about that HERE)

So back to the beginning with the photo, 128lbs and size 6 jeans. Now here’s me on December 21st, 2016 wearing size 2 jeans and weighing 135lbs.

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Wait, what? I weigh more but wear 2 sizes smaller? How does that even make sense? It’s really insane. I really can’t even explain the feels from this. Which brings me to why I think people have a hard time getting healthy.

One, they focus on numbers on a scale. You really can’t do that. You have to be able to FEEL. If you feel good, keep going! If you feel like crap, makes some changes. Don’t obsess about what you weigh. Side story, the last time I weighed myself was at a physical a year ago. I weighed 130lbs and since I’m short, my BMI was 25. According to the super outdated BMI scale, I was overweight and had to be given a piece of paper with websites about weight loss. Wonder what my BMI would be today?

Two, you have to have a strong will. You can’t let yourself give up. You can’t let people push you into eating unhealthy which is extremely hard. People who don’t understand your journey will ALWAYS question what you’re doing and try to persuade you to go back to the old ways. “It’s just one cookie. It’s just one beer.” My most/least favorite phrase uttered by friends, “I don’t know how you do it. I couldn’t do it. I am just going to try to be happy with where I’m at.”

Which brings me to three, you have to want it. You can’t eat healthy in January and slack off all year until next January. You can’t give up soda and then decide to go right back to drinking it. You can’t say you’re going to eat clean and then scarf burritos every day. Yes, you’re sacrificing, but you won’t always see it that way. What you will see though, is results. You will not only fit into your clothes better, you will FEEL better. And the best thing that comes out of all this? You will be here on this Earth a lot longer.

So what’s next for me? I’m definitely not at the end of this journey. There are all kinds of paths I plan to journey down. My first turn is down the road of muscles. In class I use 10lb weights and I am finding that they are getting lighter with some of the moves. I also watched the Rousey fight the other night and might have gotten a bit excited by how strong that woman is. The next day I bought heavier weights. I will now use 15lbs in class (for just a couple things with the 10’s on standby for others) and 25lbs for a few things at home.

Here’s me today, day 1 down Muscle Road.

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Because it’s me and I have to critique the photo, I feel like I have to say that the angle is terrible when you look at my legs. My legs are not that skinny. I still have big, meaty calves.

And of course I will continue down Yoga Lane. I’m thinking that flopping between Muscle Road and Yoga Lane is going to do wonders for arm balances.

If you’re ever interested in starting a journey like mine and need some advice, guidance, or encouraging words, email me, message me on IG, comment on here. I also admin a healthy group on Facebook (the same one that started as a weight loss group early in my journey has also morphed just like it’s members) and we’re always open to fresh meat. 😉

12 Days of Yogamas #NamasteTuesday

Happy New Year, everyone!!! Welcome to the first blog post of 2017!!! Right back at it!

Over the holiday break I wanted to do something fun with yoga. I decided to do the #12DaysofYogamas where I did a pose that sort of went along with the “12 Days of Christmas” song. I cheated and looked online for help when I couldn’t figure out what to do but it ended up pretty awesome. The best part? My good friend Shari joined me! She’s a new yogi and is already embracing yoga and is doing awesome. I cannot wait to watch her journey. I think this must be what Isis feels like with me.

On the first day of Yogmas my true love gave to me, a partridge in a pear tree.

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On the second day…you know the song… turtle doves. We did pigeon for this one and like always I took the king variation. I love it too much.

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Our French hens look like crows. 😉

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For calling birds we did bird of paradise. This was only my second time trying this pose. I think I did fine but I did not stretch. Let me tell you how important warming up and stretching is when you’re doing yoga. I pinched something and had a knot in my back for a week. Not cool. Warm up, people!!!

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Fiiiiivvveeee golden rings!!! Wheel of course!

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Geese-a-laying was one of those hard ones where you can’t quite figure out what to do. I thought about doing a low squat so it would look like I was laying egg but went with child’s pose instead. Do I kind of look like a sleeping goose? LOL!!

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Swans-a-swimming! Swan is a neat pose. Lots of balance.

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The ONLY time it’s okay to associate milking a cow with a mom. Just sayin’.

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Dancing ladies!!

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For Lords-a-leaping I really had no clue what to do. I also got really busy this day and never posted or text Shari to tell her what the pose was. So she picked one and told ME what to do. So proud! And she picked a great pose!

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How do you do yoga to look like someone playing an instrument? You don’t. You just choose a pose like Warrior 1.

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For the 12th day, Christmas Day, I didn’t do yoga. But I did post a photo of Isis and I decorated as trees! (Hers is so much cuter than mine)

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Something I forgot about was this challenge that was floating around about a month ago called #WriteinPincha. You actually have to write something while in a forearm stand. Seems easy right? Not one bit! Holding a pen and focusing on writing rather than balancing totally throws you off, you guessed it, balance. I started by getting up and then grabbing the pen. Every time I grabbed the pen I’d fall. It didn’t even occur to me to hold the pen and then get up. But I did manage to put the pen to paper and smile. I didn’t actually write anything but I smiled.

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Right before the new year I did that #BestNine of 2016 on Instagram thingy. Not surprised that all 9 photos were yoga photos. 2016 was the year of backbends. I predict this year will be the year of arm balances. We shall see!!!

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Annnndddd….before I go…my first pose of 2017. Chair on a chair! This is a giant chair outside Duck Donuts where we enjoyed hot, fresh, custom donuts. MMMMMM!!!!!

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Naked Yoga (No Actual Nudity) #Nameste Tuesday

I have wanted to write about this for a while but wasn’t exactly sure if I could express my feelings, but I’m going to try anyway. Backstory…

I follow the a lot of yoga people on Instagram and a lot of them post naked yoga photos. They are unique and they really show a different side of yoga. One poster is Tattooedyogimama. Everything she posts is unique! And every single photo she posts, naked or not, has a positive message about body image and/or soul image. I look forward to her daily posts. That said, I don’t really understand some of the other nude or scantily clad yoga posters. Some are definitely beautiful and tasteful, but there are soooooo many other people who post wearing tiny shorts or underwear and I get the feeling that they just want to show their butt on IG and look sexy. Not all, but some. For me personally, not wearing a shirt or posting a photo in my bathing suit is a bit risqué. Maybe it’s the mom in me, maybe I’m just not comfortable, maybe I like to keep things to myself. Maybe it’s that I don’t see yoga as sexy. So the thought of ME doing yoga while naked never really occurred to me.

Flash forward to a couple weeks ago when I had an arm balance breakthrough!!

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That’s me doing EPK2 or Eka Pada Koundinyasana II. After I sent the photo to Isis I sent it to my husband who was away for work. Because he’s my husband he replied with, “You should do that naked.” So I got naked and did it again. I really did not expect what happened next.

You know how when you post photos online or even send one to your significant other, you always pick the best one. You edit it to make yourself look better. You highlight it to hide imperfections. And you ALWAYS add a filter. My husband has seen me naked a gazillion times, but I still make sure that I hide the zit on my chin and take a photo of the other side of my face when I want to share a smile with him or show him my new shirt or something. He has seen my imperfections and still loves me but I continue to edit photos and send him the best angle because that’s just what I do. Maybe I have some deep seeded model aspirations because I have always been too short to be a model. LOL! Point is, I/we are always striving to look our best in photos. Here’s where the naked yoga photo comes in. I sent it to my husband without a single edit. I didn’t lighten anything, I didn’t retake the photo, I just attached it and sent it on it’s way. And I didn’t even think of editing it. The thought never crossed my mind.

Of course afterwards I started to closely examine the photo and look for imperfections, but guess what? I didn’t find any. I saw nothing but beauty. I saw a strong woman. I saw muscles. I saw a mom. I saw myself doing something I love. I didn’t see someone sexy. Even though the initial thought was me being sexy for my husband, it ended up not being that at all. So a few days later I did it again.

This time I did a little naked flow first. Not wearing clothes during yoga feels so much less binding. You don’t have clothing getting in your way. That alone makes the whole flow better. You aren’t worried about your shirt moving up or your pants riding down. You can focus better and concentrate.

I took a photo of myself doing full dancer this time. I looked at it and my first thought was, “I look just like my painting!”

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The artist in me got giddy and excited. A few months ago I painted this figure doing full dancer. The figure isn’t necessarily naked, but it’s a depiction of the raw pose; no clothes, just the pose. This is what I saw of myself. Raw, free, unbound, exposed, gah!! I can’t really even describe it. I am sitting here trying to think of more words to describe the feels I was getting but I just can’t. It’s like I was saying in my Thankful for Yoga post… “it isn’t about using your body to learn a pose, it’s about using a pose to learn about your body.” Maybe that can help with understanding the feelings.

I sent this photo to my husband and I said, “isn’t it fantastic?” I then told him thank you for asking me for a naked yoga photo. It did more for me than I ever thought it would. It opened up a new door in my yoga world. Again, it wasn’t about being sexy. It became more about, look at my body! Look what I can do with this body! Look at what the mother of your child can do. I made a human with this body. I was an unhealthy girl and have become a strong, healthy woman.

Of course now I am trying to get Isis to try this so that see can experience the same feelings I have. She has a friend that only does naked yoga when she’s alone and has even gone to a naked yoga retreat. The thought of doing this in a group did in fact cross my mind. Not sure if I’d ever actually do it, but I know it would be life changing. I know that everyone there would be feeling the exact same way as me and it’s something we would spiritually share. Maybe that’s another way to try to describe this…spiritual. Maybe I should stop trying to explain it. Maybe I should just tell you that I recommend it. Don’t do it for the IG followers. Don’t do it because you want to be sexy. Don’t do it just because I tell you to. Do it for you. After all, one of my favorite things to tell people is “yoga is for you.”

Namaste.

 

 

 

 

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