Updated swim bike run life to a sleeker, simpler format. Cheers to change! :)
Updated swim bike run life to a sleeker, simpler format. Cheers to change! :)
this post is, in the nick of time, that is...not yoga. Yoga in the physical, on-your-mat sense. Life called today and practicing yoga was a sacrifice to the needs of the day. That's OK though, I happily did what I needed to do, moved where I needed to move, took a deep breath and a stretch here and there to get through it all at a healthy pace. Maybe that's my yoga lesson for today, that when we practice yoga devotedly, completely, its gift back to us is not only on the mat (although that is a-mazing), but also when we can't get to the mat on any given day.
I will, for sure, do this "7 Days of Yoga" endeavor again, and one day I will do 7 days (maybe more?) in a row...but right here, right now, what have I learned? I've learned an up dog, up dog to down dog with the toe rollover (it's crazy to me that I did it any other way!), wild thing, b r e a t h e, finding my center, my voice, my strength. I carry these things with me into each new dawn. Hold on to the pieces you will take with you into the future, let go what needs to be left behind.
There is more awesomeness in a Thursday 6pm yoga class at om time than I could ever even attempt to capture in words. It is a sweaty, melty, letting go, holding on, losing yourself, finding yourself, diving in, wobbling, twisting, strengthening, challenging, absolutely beautifully amazing opportunity to practice and be inspired. Tonight I kind of held on to the instructor's expressions about "finding your voice," about tapping into that innermost part of you and finding a true strength and sound that is distinctly YOU, or ME rather :) At one point she offered "What is it that you need to say when you leave this room?" Exactly what I needed to hear today. I'm finding strength in the wobble, finding my voice in noise of the world, finding my faith in perceived fear. So grateful for this...
Also, I was incredibly happy to get back on my mat! It felt like it had been a week since my last downward dog, when really it was just a mere 48 hours. This "7 Days of Yoga" endeavor is growing on me, teaching me things. More to come for sure.
Training Log 1.20.11
Yoga Om Flow - 2
om flow This integrative Vinyasa style marries the skill and strength of an alignment based practice with the spirit of vinyasa flow. Classes are taught in a progression of key actions and movement patterns towards peak asana and are often taught to inspiring soundtracks and leave the practitioner with a bright glow to the skin! The classes are perfect for those who like to both find and lose themselves in the context of evolving their self-awareness on the mat!
So my "7 Days of Yoga" project/endeavor had a little hiccup today with a snowstorm moving in around 2pm and dumping 3-4" of snow all Colorado-style. My 6pm yoga class was cancelled (even though I was planning to trek through the white stuff to get there!) and well, I've had a lot going on back at the ranch so a home practice today didn't really work out.
Am I a little annoyed that my "7 Days of Yoga" is now "3-3 Days of Yoga?" Maybe, but that doesn't feel all heart-opening and ommie-like to me, so instead I'll just take it as a sign from the univerise that maybe I needed a day off, a day to organize a bit, a day to get to bed (relatively) early...a day to send a big shout out to my friend Mary Amanda and her gorgeous son Logan (above) instead of stumbling through some rambling thoughts on how yoga practice embodies the complete mind-body-soul connectedness for me.
So, for when MA checks this at Logan's 4am feeding: "Welcome to the world baby Logan! You are SO loved. Can't wait to meet you in person one day soon. ♥" And MA, give that boy a hug for me! Miss you! xo
Alright people, thanks for putting up with me. Time to head to bed in this winter wonderland. Namaste.
Training Log 1.19.11
Practicing yoga today pushed me out of my comfort zone a little bit. At one point during a balancing pose the instructor reminded us to "find your tipping point" as most of us were playing it safe on the first attempt. She encouraged us to stretch into the pose, creating opposing forces that perhaps looked and maybe initially felt unstable, but are actually more balancing and centering if you can commit to full expression. On the next try I did give more and I reached the first hints of how the pose is actually supposed to feel. Yes, I "tipped" over--but I also found my tipping point. Better to go to the edge, to know where the cliff's edge exists, than to never ventue out of my safety zone.
In other news...I did an assisted handstand! I had two ommies helping/guiding me and it was amazing. I have a ways to go before I even attempt one on my own, but I did start to feel how my arms, shoulders, torso, legs will need to be aligned to do it properly. I'll also need to build my strength for sure, but hey...little by little! By the way, this is not my most eloquent entry by any means...but I'm going with a "presence not perfection" theory for tonight! Be well.
Training Log 1.18.11
Yoga Anusara - All Levels
Anusara Yoga literally means, “stepping in to the flow of grace.” By opening up to the possibility that one can do and be anything, one can experience the beauty of the world – one just needs to step into the flow! Based on the universal principles of alignment, as created by Anusara’s founder, John Friend, the practice offers structural awareness and heart-centered movement. via om time
Ah, day 2. Practicing yoga this morning seems like a full day ago as I sit here after a totally fun night of pick-up basektball at the Boulder Rec Center. I love playing basketball. However, this is all about "7 Days of Yoga" so...on we go!
I enjoyed a GREAT Anusara yoga class earlier today where I did an upward dog (above right) for the first time and transitioned it into downward dog with a toe rollover maneuver that I had never done before. Before today I never really understood upward dog pose and had just been doing cobra (they are interchangeable), but Erin, the instructor, guided us into the pose in a reverse way and I totally got it. Very cool and nice early progression for my little "7 Days" commitment.
The class was the perfect tone and level for me to feel all worked out and yoga-melty, but still strong enough to play baskeball tonight and have enough energy to be competitive (even hitting a couple 3's :)
Thoughts from class: at times when we were entering a new balance pose Erin would remind us to "find your strength, find your stability." And I would. This principle is true in yoga as it is in life. In yoga, I wobble at times. In life, I wobble at times. The whole point is not to back off or give up when I wobble, but to find my breath, root down where my body hits the mat/earth, and find my stability and strength. They're there. They're always there, just waiting to be called to the surface and be engaged. Yes, I may tremble, wobble and need to reset my grounding. I may fall. But with every fall I am one reset closer to doing the pose without falling. It may take weeks or months or years for me to "get" it, but that's the whole beauty of practicing. Feel the wobble and do it anyway.
That's the thing about life too. Most (worthwhile) endeavors won't come easy for me, but am I willing to wobble? Am I willing to be unsteady? To show up without knowing that I'll be successful? To stand on new ground and find my balance time and again?
This quote has been on my mind today as we celebrate the life and legacy of Marting Luther King Jr.:
“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”
Through yoga I am learning how I "stand" through moments of challenge and controversy, how I build strength and understanding as I go, and how the most important part of practicing is to simply show up and be willing to wobble--to be present and find strength and stability--even in, especially in, the moments where I am tested.
Training Log 1.17.11
Yoga Om Flow - All Levels
Basketball 1:15 hours
Om Flow Flow Integrating skill in action is our linking theme for the eclectic experience all of our teachers of the flow bring to their unique flow practices at om time yoga. All of our flow teachers are dedicated to a constant interweaving of bodily strength and awareness into a fluid expression of the breath. These flows offer excellent sequencing, strength, and grace to evolve a body in a meaningful pattern towards a peak posture. These classes are often taught to inspiring soundtracks and leave the practitioner with a bright glow to the skin! The classes are perfect for those who like to both find and lose themselves in the context of evolving their self-awareness on the mat!. via om time
Day one of my "7 Days of Yoga" commitment (rest of the week's schedule, at right). I started off with an "Anjali Restorative" yoga practice this evening--it was both incredibly therapeutic and a wonderful way for me to kind of center and set my intentions and approach for this week. I am realizing that part of this personal challenge will be finding the words to capture it, capture 1/100th of it, here. I waited too long to really write while in that gorgeous post-practice glow, but I'll do my best, learn and move forward. A couple thoughts from tonight:
--525,600 minutes ~ seasons of love // Rent theme, how do you measure a year?
--as the breath warms, the mind cools // letting go of the constant train of thought that swirls around my head
--"Live so that those you love know when you have entered a room." // Embodying and resonating love, the love you have for someone so much that they feel it when you enter a room?
The guided meditiations were a calm, consistent reminder to focus on the breath and heart-opening; mindfully moving toward love, embodying love, showing love, living in love, acting in love, sharing love, giving love, being love. How will I spend my lifetime? The years, months, days, minutes of my life? My deepest hope and prayer is that my life is a living testimony, a constant movement toward love and grace.
Training Log 1.16.11
Yoga Anjali Restorative - Level 1
Anjali Restorative Yoga was created by om time yoga’s founder, Shannon Paige Schneider in 2004. Anjali Restorative Yoga is a deeply restful practice wherein the practitioner is guided through a series of meditations and thoughtful visualizations while the body is held and supported by bolsters, pillows, and blankets. By resting deeply, the body engages its natural ability to heal and rest. The effect is profoundly nurturing, thoughtful, and balancing.
Needed to get out for a run this evening, even with snow and ice on the ground. Fortunately I could see the ice patches by the reflection of the moonlight and only had one near fall! Very thankful for the run and safe return home.
Training Log 1.5.11
Run 17:41 (due to icy road conditions!), about 1.65 miles
The New Year's Eve yoga practice carried me from 2010 to 2011 in a meaningful way. I wobbled, balanced, flexed, aligned and heart-centered my way into the New Year. I also experienced the taste of chocolate like never before, and toasted 2011 with a cup of coconut water in a room ful of radical ommies at midnight. Better than any ball drop I've seen on TV (you'd have to be insane or a tourist to endure the Times Square ball drop in person!) and I most definitely could not have asked for a better way to seal this significant ending/beginning in my life. Today I rode that yoga high into an afternoon class and tomorrow I'm going to try Anjali Restorative Yoga for the first time.
I was SO READY to say "thank you and SEE YA" to 2010 and "WELCOME, let's rock this thing!" to 2011. This year is already better than last year and it's just the first day! I am a better person 1.1.11 than I was 1.1.10 and I cannot wait to see what adventures these next 12 months have in store for me. Lots of hiking, biking, running, swimming, tris and...YOGA for sure. So much more to discover and share, but the hour is late and I must get some rest.
Wishing you ALL THE BEST in the coming year!
My thought for the new year: Go after your dreams with reckless abandon, live in radical love, embody compassion and grace with those around you and be fully, completely and unapologetically WHO YOU ARE.
Training Log 1.1.11
Yoga Anusara 1
-5 degrees forecasted for tonight with several inches of snow still on the ground, ha! I am calling an audible and changing plans from a NYE run to a NYE amazing yoga class at om time. Thoughtful yoga practice was an important part of this incredible year of change, challenge and transformation. Ending 2010 and welcoming 2011 with yoga to live music and a special chocolate tasting (so rad, right?!) sounds just about perfect.
Wishing you all more awesomess (and health) in 2011 than you could ever plan or imagine!
current blog www.swimbikerunlife.com // www.alison.me I'm living and working in Denver, Colorado, hiking, biking, running, training for triathlons and soaking up life in this beautiful communty.