Goodbye Ordinary

Today is day 30! Another MSY Yoga challenge in the books!

I’ve made the intention to do yoga every day from not until the wedding (under 60 days to go), so it’s just the beginning of my “challenge” and the hard part starts tomorrow.

Tonight we had a wonderful class, Sandy led us through a few warm ups and a couple of suns and then just let us flow on our own. I mostly just did suns, but I threw in some wild-things… which led to wheels. Then I felt like wide angle forward fold was a good idea… and a bit later seated wide angle forward fold. It all ended with a delicious savasana. And then we partied.

My fiancé and little monsters came for the party this year and that was great. The kids played with a sweet little toddler that the whole town loves (and she wore them out!) and the mister finally got to meet all the people I’ve been talking about for a month (or for some of them– the entire time he’s known me, which is almost 3 years).

The party–which isn’t only celebrating the challenge, but also the anniversary of MSY– is always one of my favorite events of the year. You actually have time to sit and chat with these amazing people that show up and practice alongside you. You realize how little you know about them, yet you feel like they are family. It’s a hard feeling to put into words… But even without really “knowing” them… These are my people. You know? They fill my cup. I see one of them in the real world and it brightens my day.

it’s also amazing how just being in that space has a similar effect. I open that heavy wooden door and immediately can smell the varnish/paint in the stairwell. Breathing that in (mmm chemicals) is just like when I go into my grandmothers basement.. It doesn’t necessarily smell “good” but the smell just evokes this feeling of security. I’m home. (I’ve talked about this many times).

Tonight Kath talked some, and opened the floor to others, but all I could do was sit there and not cry. I’m ridiculous I know, but I am a very emotional person (see last post lol)  and there is no way I could have said anything without crying. I just love MSY. I love Kath (and Shelly and Sandy). There’s just a lot of love.

I wish that everyone had some version of a place like that. Somewhere to go, let go of the world, and just feel the love.

Rolling up my mat was such a bittersweet moment. We did it! We did 30 days–30 hours of yoga. But damn, I don’t ever want to leave. If/when we move from Mansfield, I know that MSY (and it’s tribe) are going to be one of the few things I will terribly miss, and never ever be able to replace.

And with that, here’s to tomorrow. The real day one.

Emotions.

Posted on: April 29, 2015

Today is day 29 of the Elite Yoga Challenge. It’s been a breeze this year. The hardest part has been juggling the kids and traveling for childcare on days that my wonderful fiancé can’t make it home from work in time.

I haven’t blogged daily this year (obviously) about the challenge. At first, I meant to. But then I came to the realization that I didn’t need the accountability like in past years. I simply NEEDED the yoga and the companionship from my yoga tribe. So I decided to be intentionally selfish and soak it ALL up myself instead of sharing it. “Be selfish to be selfless”. That sort of thing.

Now that it’s almost over I’ll admit that my (almost ever-present) anxiety is starting to flair up. I have issues. There are 59 days until my wedding. My to-do list for said wedding is still pretty long (though I should actually recompile it so I can start checking things off). I’m dreading being photographed for the wedding because my self esteem is pretty low lately, despite the media push for “body love”. I’m just not there right now.

I have never cried in yoga, though I’ve experienced some fellow yogis have those moments. Yesterday in savasana I did get a little teary eyed. It wasn’t until last night after yoga that I realized just how emotional I was. Unfortunately, it made for an uncomfortable evening.

Today I just feel…. emotional. Kind of drained. Cry-ee if you will. I don’t know what my deal is. The current events unfolding here in the US are probably adding to this feeling. I don’t pretend to understand how any one else feels about the situation, but I just know that it effects everyone, all of our children, and their children.

Every day this month I’ve thought about why I do yoga. The exercise. The friendship. The feeling of safety/ “home” at the studio. The ease of tension. The gratitude. The openness.  The strength. The positivity. The balance. The patience. The courage. The self awareness. The acceptance.

All of these things are why (and countless more).

I’m so thankful that I stepped out of my comfort zone 4.5 years ago and attended my first class at MSY. Shaking like a leaf, walking through that door changed my life.

“Clarity of the mind, Kindness of the words, Compassion of the heart”. <<That is my prayer for ALL human beings today and everyday.

Alright, so once again I’ve been MIA. I think most of my blog posts start that way.

We have had a very busy couple of weeks since my mom was here to visit. We went on a wedding crafting marathon and knocked a bunch of stuff off of our to do list for the wedding! It’s getting closer! 2.5 months to go!

In addition to the craziness of wedding planning/crafting, April is Yoga challenge month at the studio I practice at (though I’ve been a stranger to it for over a year now.. which is sad).

I keep meaning to get there on a regular basis but life happens and I fail. So, when I got the email last month about this years yoga challenge, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to get my practice AT the studio back on track, and get my family to realize once a week really wouldn’t be a hardship… especially after 30 consecutive days figuring it out.

Last night (Day 9) was probably one of the top 3 practices of my life. It was amazing. There were only 3 students in the evening class, and we’re all at similar levels, so our wonderful yogamama decided to shake it up, face us in a circle, and practice with us! It was empowering.

Thursday’s are “Sunsational Yoga” where we do variations of sun salutations, so that’s what we did last night, among some other fun stuff. It was especially exciting when we were deeply in a set of 5 Surya namaskara B’s and with my eyes closed I saw a bright flash of light (I assumed from a camera), and then as I was in a chatturanga-low pushup… BOOM. A building shaking boom. It was pretty scary. I think we all lost our breath at that moment and had to take a second to get back in the flow of that Surya B! Funny thing is, it didn’t thunder or lightning again the whole night.

I left that practice feeling fantastic.  All week I’ve had this overflowing feeling of happiness. “My cup runneth over” sort of feeling. It’s been a culmination of the wedding, my mom being in town, my awesome kids, and spending time with my yoga family at the studio. It makes me wonder how I survived the past year and a half only going sporadically.

I had planned to recap each day individually but to be honest I cant remember which day was what anymore, so I’ll just say that I’m loving the challenge, loving my life, and I’m looking forward to the future!

Oh: the other most notable moment from the challenge this far was last Thursday, during Sandy’s Sunsational class. Her granddaughter was here on a visit and practiced next to me. We had a few moments during the practice where our gazes met, we shared smiles, and even a giggle at my point. There are two things I just couldn’t help but feeling during that practice with young M next to me: Hope– because she reminded me of my kids and I hope they love yoga like she does someday, and because it’s the kids like her and my own children that will carry on all of our values and practices, hopefully including yoga! And the other thing… Joy. Pure joy. I just kept noticing during the practice (and well after) that I was just simply elated. I couldn’t help but to smile. I have been that way every since. I feel lighter. I am happy.❤

Namaste!

Spring is upon us and the dreadful cold of winter is hopefully just a memory. It’s been marginally warmer the past few days (finally), and the snow has been melting! We’re finally starting to see glimpses of greenery popping up!

As happy as I am that all of that is happening, I have to admit that I’m not much a fan of this time of the year. I hate mud almost as much as I hate the freezing cold. It’s such an ugly blah dull brown out, the only thing that makes it better is knowing that each day will get greener and warmer (I hope) than the last.

Today I was feeling noticeably better than the rest of this week and with it being 40ish I really wanted to get the kids out of the house. We decided to go to the bike trail after school. It was still frozen over in spots, which made it interesting, but overall it was a success. We went until just shy of the overpass (as it was frozen for as far as we could see, so we decided it was time to turn around). I was kicking myself for not finding my fit bit (and charger) before we left so I could count that as a workout.

The fresh air did wonders for my head and my mood! I’m hoping tomorrow is another nice day and I can get a real workout in, and maybe another walk. Though tomorrow there is a tour coming to check out Grandpa’s maple operation, so Little Miss and I get to help out with that:)

I can’t wait for it to be warm enough for short sleeves!

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Let me first say: I hate being sick.

I am a complainer. and I am miserable.

This sickness just seems to be dragging. It started (slowly) last Monday, was worst Monday & Tuesday, and is a tiny bit better today, but I’m not quite there yet.

It really annoys me because I have the mindset of being back on track with exercise, but I just am not physically ready to do it in this shape. I fear my head may explode if it’s inverted. lol Seriously though, it hurts.

Today, my package from Young Living arrived. I’ve been a Melaleuca user since I was a Freshman in highschool and my mom joined, so I’m not completely new to essential oils or their uses, but I haven’t used anything except Melaleuca and Peppermint so far.

I was pretty excited to get my starter kit, since I’m sick I figured it’d be the perfect opportunity. I set up the diffuser & put some lavender oil in the water and within minutes I could breathe through my nose for the first time since Sunday. (Except for at night when I took Nyquil to not keep the mister up all night).

I also tried lemon oil in my water today, which I was a bit hesitant to try because I don’t really like lemon, but it’s actually rather tasty. I’m hoping it helps to boost my immune system so I can kick this crap to the curb and get back to my practice!

I’m looking forward to finding many other uses for the oils and sharing the love!

:) Hopefully I’ll be back on the mat tomorrow! In the mean time, I’ll continue binge watching Downton Abbey.

Namaste

21 day Fix

Posted on: March 2, 2015

So, over the past year, I’ve been trying other exercise programs (both yoga and not) to try to figure out what “works” for me. My problem with ANY workout program is I’m fantastic at committing to it for the first 2 weeks. Then Boom. I suck.

The only time that wasn’t the case was with MSY’s “April Challenge” years ago, where we could go all 30 days to the studio. Somehow THAT kept me on track. (I think it was partly the socializing of it).

Anyway, over the course of the past year, I tried a few of the beach body workouts: T25, Piyo, and 21 Day Fix. In doing so, I got a “coach”, Jessica, who is a wonderful woman and a super mom! Her “challenge groups” on facebook were always so fun and kept me accountable (whether many other people participated or not) and it seemed to help me stay on track.

Today we started a 21 Day Fix challenge group. It’ll be my first time actually doing the program as it was made to do. Last time, I did it as a mix of piyo and 21 day fix, and I had good results but I didn’t get to try all of the 21 day fix workouts because of the mashed schedule with piyo.

Tonight the kids and I put the first disc in and did Total Body Cardio Fix. It was a first for me, because on the modified schedule, Monday’s were a Piyo day. It kicked my butt. I hate Cardio. At least in yoga you’re focused on your breath and not the exercise so you don’t realize how hard it actually is (at least for me). All I have to say is I’m SO glad that the workouts are in 60 second increments, because if they were any longer, I’d probably have a heart attack.

My favorite part of the 21 Day Fix is definitely the food side. It really opens your eyes to portion sizes and what we SHOULD be eating. I thought I ate “so many fruits and veggies” until I ate according to the meal plan. Then I was like wow… What DO I eat?!

Those little containers are deceiving bc I was worried I’d starve to death and most days I could barely finish all of my containers!

I’m also planning to actually start “coaching”, so if anyone is interested, get in touch with me!

Namaste

Props.

Posted on: February 26, 2015

Today I finally made it to MSY to practice. It was one of my fellow yogi’s who is now a yoga teacher that was teaching class. I was amped. There’s nothing like watching someone you love do something they love and are great at!

The class was “Slow Flow: Balance” and it was dreamy.

My muscles are tight and sore from not used to being worked and the work I put them through the past two days. I needed a nice long stretch and that’s exactly what this class gave me. And boy, did an hour FLY by!

I have a block at home, but my practice space is the middle of the living room and I don’t ever use the wall, though occasionally I grab on to the couch or entertainment center if I need some extra help and the block doesn’t suffice.

Today though, we made a point to use props (the wall & 2 blocks) to help access some poses that may be out of reach… or atleast pretty darn uncomfortable and fulllll of turbulence.

One of those poses was half moon. While I usually love most balance poses, I typically hate half moon. I shake like a tree in a hurricane and I just cannot find the openness in my chest to put my arm actually toward the sky without falling… even with a block.

Tonight though, Sandy opened up a new world to me using the wall. By placing my foot against the wall, I could actually extended my arm to the sky and feel that amazing stretch. It was great! THEN we did a vinyasa using half moon and wouldn’t you know… I did it unassisted (well, with the block!) Who knew?

I know sometimes props feel like “crutches” and they don’t typically showcase them in Yoga Journal or any of those “pro” photos, but let me tell you something… Props are rad!

I sweat like crazy in tonights class and my new Manduka Pro mat is soo slippery (3rd time use today) so that was a challenge, but I walked out of class feeling so refreshed and those sore muscles? They’re completely relaxed and happy right now. (Shh don’t tell my fiancé, he had promised me a massage bc I was so sore yesterday).

Yoga really is amazing. Everyone should try it. lol

Namaste

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