So I am on Vancouver Island, sitting by the OCEAN, blogging.  I decided that I am going to attempt to blog my Summer Adventure.  Hopefully the attempt will result in success.

I am at Sydney By The Sea, waiting to check in at the Bed and Breakfast I chose. Quite interesting carrying luggage around all day, this is a time that I am jumping with joy  at my stubborn necessity to travel, even for weeks at a time, with only carry on luggage.  Works 

I know, I know, this may seem at first that sitting by the ocean has nothing to do with my yoga project. Well it actually has everything to do with it.

I started the Yoga project with tomorrow in mind ..... the start of Yoga Teacher Training at Salt Spring  Island. First I have to get to the ferry.  Then to the Yoga Centre.  Then all will be well:)

But must wrap up - I think it's going to rain.

Namaste

 
 
10 years ago was the start of a love affair.  Although  I had not yet stepped on a yoga mat, it was my desire for endurance running that started the story. What brought me to yoga was essentially my desire to continue running after I was in a car accident.  If I had not started running, and if I had not been involved in a MVA, who knows when I would have found my mat. It was 10 years ago today that I ran my first Half Marathon.

 I ran my first half Marathon - Race The Twilight on June 22, 2002.  It was not love at first sight.  Those of us involved in  endurance running at this time all  have stories of that race in June in Edmonton.  With the amazing light that we have in June in Edmonton, a Marathon and a Half Marathon starting at 5:00 PM is not unrealistic.  The sun is setting at 10 PM this time of year. What was a total suprise is the temperature that day.  Who would have guessed the temperatures would be soaring above the sweltering +30 celcius mark.  I wasn't truly prepared for the tropical temperature race in Edmonton.  But I did not puke, did not pass out and got drunk off of half a strongbow (post race that is).  I crossed the finish line swearing I was never running an endurance race again.  NEVER.

Well 4 Marathons and >20 Half Marathons later I think I was wrong. To keep going I started yoga to keep my damaged back happy as I pounded the pavement. I then fell in love with Yoga.  Truly in love.  Happy  anniversary endurance running.  May we see many more years together. Thank You for leading me to my true love, Yoga.
 
 
 I HAVE FALLEN IN LOVE.  

With Inversions. 

GASP. 

Yes the one who NEVER as a child managed handstands or headstands, has fallen in love with being upside down. It is a new love and I still need assistance from a wall, a teacher or a fellow yogi, but the first steps have been taken. I suspect that this is true love and it will only continue to grow as I become stronger. And more confident.

Amazing what can happen in a week.  This time last week I cringed when a teacher would mention headstands or hand stands. CRINGED. What changed?  I was brave and took an inversions workshop.   Workshops still scare me, and well an Inversion workshop......oh my. So I descided to face my fear and signed up for a couple of workshops this past weekend with Ryan Leier and yes one was on inversions. You do not want to know what was going through my head when I pressed register.

As I was doing the very beginner prep poses, the wonderful woman I was partnered with (who also happened to be a yoga teacher),turned to me and kindly told me, in not so many words, that I did not need these beginner poses, that I was strong enough to do the full pose against the wall. GULP. Ah what the hell.  And she was right! 

So this week when teachers mentioned headstands or handstands, no fear passed over me. I conquered the fear and ..... although it takes effort to get my heels above my head, once I am up..... I LOVE IT!

I am just beginning the journey with inversions and it may take me months or years to effortlessly get into these poses.  But now instead of looking at this journey with dread and fear I look at it with love. The inversion road ahead is beautiful.

NAMASTE



 
 
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Due to various reasons, mostly that life happens,  I have been neglectful of my 2012 goal of blogging.  The Yoga Project continued in real life and I have more to come as so much as happened in the last  few months.  I feel amazingly strong as I am weeks away from taking my YTT at Salt Spring Yoga Centre. Staytuned!

 
 
As the temperatures got to the balmy side of -40 this week, I appreciated my love of Hot Yoga.  Sometimes during a cold Prairie winter there is sometimes nothing better than stepping into a wonderful Hot room to get your Yoga sweat on.

There are different kinds of hot yoga to get your sweat on but today I am going to chat about  Bikram and Moksha.
Bikram Yoga is a series of 26 postures (asanas) and two breathing exercises (pranayamas).  Classes are a standard 90 minutes in a heated room of 40 c and humity of about 40%.  I found the work out amazing but the only option of 90 min classes often makes it difficult to add to my schedule.
Moksha Yoga is hot and humid (though less than Bikram).  There is a sequence but teachers are not required to stick to a dialogue and there is some diversity in each class.  Class run in 60  , 75 and 90 min lengths, which allows you to fit it into your schedule.  Most Moksha studios offer other styles including Power Flow and Yin.  One the many cool aspects of these studios  - Karma Yoga (a lower rate with money being donated to charity) and trade for yoga (exchange your energy maintaining the studio for yoga classes).Regardless of style, yoga is about being rather than doing.Namaste
 
 
Welcome to 20-12.  As we all remember 2011 and make our resolutions for 2012 it is time for my 3 most loved yoga poses in 2012. 

Tree Pose
http://www.yogajournal.com/poses/496

Not surprising with its therapeutic application for sciatica that this is one of my favorites.  I enjoy hanging out on one length and enjoying being.  One thing better than tree pose is hanging out in tree pose with your eyes closed.

Downward Facing Dog
http://www.yogajournal.com/poses/491

Many new Yogi’s will disagree with me but I do love to get my downward dog on. This is one of my favorite resting poses - yes I said resting!  The therapeutic applications include asthma, flat feet, sciatica and sinusitis.

Eagle
www.yogajournal.com/poses/785

Strength. Balance. Concentration.  This is the beauty and challenge of eagle pose. Therapeutic applications include asthma, low back and sciatica.  Striving for concentration while twisting, squatting and balancing is an amazing.

What are your favorite yoga poses?




 
 
As 2011 comes to a close and we begin to welcome in a new year, tendency is to reflect on the best and the worst and what was loved and what was hated in 2011. This is my listing of 2011's most loved and most hated poses. Well 3 of each at least.

The first yoga class I ever took, the teacher left me with inspiration that I carry with me even today. Take 3 poses that you love.  Build them into your practice everyday because they are loved and bring you joy.  Take the three poses that you dislike the most and practice those everyday because you dislike them for a reason, and usually your body needs these poses.  Do the ones you hate because they will be good for you; your body needs them.

Of course the list is not concrete and as a practice develops poses will be added the list and poses will leave the list. So to say goodbye to 2011 here are my current most hated poses.

Reclining Bound Angle Pose
http://www.yogajournal.com/poses/663

My dislike of this pose is huge - the mention of this pose in a YIN or restorative class makes me want to curl up in a ball. But because I dislike it so much it is part of my practice.  According to information on freretstreetyoga.com, 
  • Calms the nervous system and relieves stress
  • Promotes healthy digestion by creating space in the abdomen
  • Enhances respiration by freeing the diaphragm
  • Improves circulation to the pelvic organ
Triangle Pose
http://www.yogajournal.com/poses/494

This is one of the original most hated poses.
According to Yoga Journal Triangle Pose:
  • Stretches and strengthens the thighs, knees, and ankles
  • Stretches the hips, groins, hamstrings, and calves; shoulders, chest, and spine
  • Stimulates the abdominal organs
  • Helps relieve stress
  • Improves digestion
  • Helps relieve the symptoms of menopause
  • Relieves backache, especially through second trimester of pregnancy
  • Therapeutic for anxiety, flat feet, infertility, neck pain, osteoporosis, and sciatica
Warrior II

http://www.yogajournal.com/poses/495

According to YogaBasics.com, Warrior II strengthens the legs, opens the hips and chest . Warrior II develops concentration, balance and groundedness. This pose improves circulation and respiration and energizes the entire body.

Stay tuned.  I will be bringing in 2012 with my favourite poses of 2011.

What are 3 yoga poses that you dislike the most?