21 Days of Yoga

On the return flight from visiting my family in Wisconsin I picked up the newest edition of Yoga Journal.  Inside was an article challenging the reader to a 21-day challenge.  Inspiring, to say the least!  The best part is I you don’t have to leave my house – that is the best part, I keep telling myself.  A home practice can be amazing.  It can be as long or as short as I have allotted time.  I don’t have to drive anywhere.  My savasana can be as long as it needs to be J  that is a wonderful idea.  Anytime I practice at home I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the practice.  I can be using my intuition and truly tuning in to my body or taking inspiration from a favorite DVD. 

Sitting on the plane I decided to begin early.  The YJ challenge doesn’t start until January 10th.  I’d be a step ahead if I start on the first of January.  Here’s the reality of a home practice for a strong Vata/Pitta combination:

  • Jan. 1st – enjoyed time with my family (husband and two smooth fox terriers) they didn’t make the trip.
  • Jan 2nd – Great practice at Yoga Kamala using a Groupon!
  • Jan 3rd – Another good practice at Yoga Kamala, reinforcing the practice of pratyahara.
  • Jan 4th – fighting a regular flu bug, by regular I mean that it usually knocks me on my butt by the first Saturday back to life as a high school teacher.  It’s a regular thing for me – let’s see how I can use yoga to chase that samskara from me J
  • Jan 5-7 – started teaching my yoga classes to my high school students once the lockers were assigned and other business taken care of.  Three classes daily – it felt good to start a regular practice teaching my love of yoga.
  • Jan 8th – track coaches clinic – no yoga 😦 but no flu either 🙂

I’ve signed up, made the commitment.  I’ll let you know how it goes!

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Improve your energy with yoga?

Once upon a time I seriously questioned the ability to improve my energy with yoga.  I thought all I needed was a good night of sleep, a healthy diet, managed stress, regular intense exercise, balanced social life and I was ready to face whatever the world threw my way.  So what if during my undergrad at UW LaCrosse in the early ‘80s I took a stress management class and practiced a lot of “relaxation” exercises that worked.  It’s irrelevant that the information had to be presented as relaxation exercises so that the term “meditation” wouldn’t scare all of us away!! 

Fast forward over 25 years later and I’m now teaching yoga to inner city high school kids that understand the obvious – yoga works – focusing inward gives us the ability to find our center, to stay balanced amidst the chaos, to see the bigger picture.  It gives us the energy to do everything we need to get done!  One of my high school students recently wrote in a final exam, “…I remember a time when I laughed at the idea that yoga would become an important part of my life.  I can’t imagine dealing with life (parents, teachers, boyfriend, friends, work) without it.  I used to be negative, I hated school.  I get that all I have to do is take a few deep breaths and realize I can deal with all of it.  Yoga is what recharges my battery.  After a few minutes nothing else matters…. I am so thankful for yoga.” 

She said it all – remember that regardless of what happens in life take time to breathe deeply and be present.

Namaste

Mary

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