May 8, 2013 § 4 Comments
For the first time in my life I understand what it feels like to be a woman classified as difficult, when if I was a man I’d be considered tough.
Thanks to pranayama (yoga breathing), my roar has softened.
But my fire might not be gone until sleep.
I was on fire.
Have you experienced this?
*wall mural available @ wordybirdstudio on Etsy
May 3, 2013 § 6 Comments
As my bio states, “I’m wild about words.”
So when one of my yoga teachers shared this video explaining the common mispronunciation of the word yogini (the “super common way” to reference a practitioner of yoga, which I consider myself to be) I watched and listened with that ooey gooey feeling only word nerds get from lessons on language.
I won’t try to recap, because Ina does such a good job explaining the Sanskrit definitions and meanings, specifically the foundation of the words yoga and yogini (you must wear your thinking cap or forget it).
But the highlight of the video is the shocking realization that the word yogini is in fact not pronounced like linguine or ballerini, but actually sounds more like guinea.
Like, as in guinea pig.
This might be the one word rule where I choose rebellion over rightness.
I’d much rather be a yogini linguine ballerini over a yoguinea pig.
March 16, 2013 § 4 Comments
Reason number 5,234,22 to practice yoga.
Spontaneous eruption of joyful tears prior to a hot rocking, fire inducing kriya led by the most open and divine of river guides.
One round of hand stand kick-ups to Prince’s Gett Off, followed by free flow movement to Groove Armada’s House/Electronica Lovebox Sessions, and I wept from inside the cocoon if my child’s pose.
Happiness thumped itself free (panting, thankful, sweaty), and hours later it lingers.
Ever experienced a Kriya? Ever cried during yoga?
February 26, 2013 § 6 Comments
Everything is keeping me from yoga this morning.
1. Two workmen are supposed to call me at 10:30. I told them I’d be available to talk to them at 10:30, but I was mistaken, as I’d gotten confused about my classes start time and said, “9:00,” instead of,”9:30.” Right about the time I should be balancing in tree or warrior or something, I’ll be worried about angry, burly workmen instead of focusing on a point and staying upright on one leg. This is the worst, and enough to keep me from class altogether.
2. I haven’t showered in two days. I never don’t shower for two days, but having signed with the realtor on Sunday, I am in “get the house together pack, pack, pack” mode, and neglecting to showering on Sunday was a mindful decision (she was coming, I showered the night before…it was alright). Neglecting to shower yesterday was a complete brain burp. I should get up and shower right now, but I’d rather write about it. I also feel better sharing that despite the lack of showering, I did manage to brush my teeth morning and night. I’m disgusting, but not that disgusting.
3. It’s raining again. Yesterday was the coldest 52 degrees you’d ever felt. The day before was the most glorious 63. We can thanks this flip-floppy weather for the massive illnesses that every poor Raleigh child has fought this winter, as well as the confused red budding trees outside my front door. Is the rain really keeping me from yoga? No, not really, but it sure isn’t acting as motivation, either.
4. Grace is still asleep, which is unusual, because we travel in a pack and when one wakes up, so do the other two. This can only mean two things. She’s either going to be a whiner, angry that we left her, or she’s coming down with something. In that case, there will be no school, which definitely ixnaes any yoga.
5. I am getting up now. Going to make lunch and shower and brush teeth and dress the kid who’s up. I’ll see what’s up with the other kid and assess her situation.
What are the chances I’ll make it to class?
Om shanti shanti. Your guess is as good as mine.
How’s your morning going? Any tug of wars happening in your life?
February 13, 2013 § 9 Comments
After this year I’ve had, a yoga retreat might be the answer.
Back bending on top of a mountain.
Warrior, a little closer to heaven.
Finagling would be required, and friends would need to be gathered.
But wouldn’t it be nice.
February 8, 2013 § 8 Comments
Nothing more than a 56″ x 27″ piece of “rulu” (soft, stretchy, wicking fabric), the scarf is connected by a row of snaps along its length, creating a circular piece of wonderful that can be wrapped and swathed, layered and draped, twirled and (though I haven’t been moved enough to try to figure it out) unsnapped and worn around the waist, pulled up over the shoulders as a shrug.
Most of the time I hang it over my shoulders for an extra layer of warmth, but it works great double twisted around the neck when the winter air is fighting mad. During savasana it earns its name by serving as the perfect blanket to cover the upper body prone to shivers after sweet and sweaty vinyasa.
A few weeks ago my (awesome, say it like she sees it) friend, Emily, came over to play and asked straight out to, “Explain that thing.”
She added, “It looks like you could be carrying a baby in there.”
And she’s right. I probably could.
Next baby I see is going for a ride.
Do you own a Vinyasa Scarf? How do you like to wear yours?
January 19, 2013 § 4 Comments
Om, also spelled ohm and aum, and sounded out in three syllables (phenomes a, o, and m) is the mystical sound made at the beginning and end of most yoga classes and always at the start and finish of Hindu work days, writings and prayers. Hindi babies are ushered into the world to the sound of om and it is believed that if it’s sung properly can cleanse and penetrate the soul. The sound itself is believed to be the universal music of the world; the music of every world noise being sung at the exact same time.
For those of us not born into rooms full of om’s, the tone can take some time to get used to, especially if you’ve never done it (sung it or heard it) before.
Beginning strong and deep in the lungs with the AAAAAAaaaaaaa, moving into the OOOoooo, and finishing with pressed lips together in MMMMmmmmmm, the sound radiates in the chest and as I discovered this morning, makes the sounds of whining children disappear into the vibration of the chant.
If you didn’t know them, you’d think that my kids absolutely hate each other.
Threats like “BE NICE TO YOUR SISTER!!!!!!!” and, “Stop that noise or you’re GOING TO YOUR ROOM!” do not work.
This morning I’ve been chanting “om” at every whine and moan.
Grace just said, “I’m sick of that noise,” and so I did it again.
They’re playing nicely now, and I’m on my way out the door to om with my Saturday morning yoga tribe (probably there to escape their whining children, too).
Using hindu prayer chants to control annoying children?
In parenting, building a disciplining arsenal that doesn’t involve violence or spoiling is what it’s all about!
Do your kids whine? What do you do to stop it?
December 30, 2012 § 10 Comments
It’s been a while since I last visited Lululemon. Being responsible et al.; saving my pennies for less fun things like post divorce salvation.
Still, I love a good trip through the North Raleigh store and I was greeted by a hug from Ms. Jami, new mama whom I hadn’t seen since her gorgeous baby girl was still cooking in her belly.
The hug alone was worth the visit.
I haven’t been all that jazzed by the offerings on recent Lulu racks (have they seemed to be geared younger lately or is it me?), so I didn’t expect to fall in love with a nondescript, non-pulse raising pair of pants that ended up in my dressing room.
The Pleasing Pant didn’t look so pleasing, really, but after wiggling out of my often worn New Slim Grooves, it was instant love.
True to size, softer than soft, shaped like an un-embarrasing harem pant with zippers at the legs; they are the perfect cozy pant (cozy does not mean you have to look like a slob). I didn’t despise my rear end in them, either. A true testament to greatness!
Made from four-way stretch terry, I am not sure I’d ever submit them to sweaty vinyasa, but thrown on with a tee to pick up kids at school or to hit the grocery store or some other typical mommy business, they are just right.
I didn’t buy them the other day and I’m glad, as they are now marked down again; from $88.00 to $69.00, now listed at $49.00.
Since I’m sharing my lemony love, I should mention that for my last three yoga classes I wore the (still available) Skinny Will Pant; black, adjustable waist that folds up or down, pockets, and a skinny leg.
I’m not usually a big fan of tights (thigh issues) and the Wills have been sitting in my closet for months. But with the cooler weather, I pulled them out to give them a chance and happily, they performed (stayed put, wicked well). The ability to raise or lower the waistband is a great plus. There’s nothing worse than purchasing a pair of yoga pants that fall and slide during what’s meant to be a time of focus and freedom of movement.
The Will Pants I have are still full price, but the beaming blue pair are currently waiting in “We Made Too Much.” It’s a pretty blue. Worth another look.
Fallen in love with anything at Lulu lately?
December 28, 2012 § 5 Comments
This past summer a friend of mine introduced me to a company called Jewelry for a Cause that sells 52 inch strands of “Gratitude Beads” (each 108 beads long). Made by (and for) Ugandan women, these newspaper and barkcloth beads were my first introduction to “malas.” I bought two strands, pink and yellow, which I treasure and wear often. At the time, I had no idea that they were anything more than pretty, and that wearing them meant that I was grateful.
A few weeks ago at the yoga studio I came across a shelf of beautiful beaded strands made from shiny stones, coiled and placed in silk bags waiting to be sold and bought. Deascribed as malas, I looked the beads over, held them in my hands, and wrapped them on my wrist. Their weight made them feel too cluttered for a bracelet; I was unsure if I’d wear them as a necklace. Putting them back in their bowl (on their shelf) I went off to class, but thought about those strands many times over the next couple of days.
Then, last week I stumbled into a Tibetan shop in downtown Raleigh on the hunt for a Buddha for mother’s Christmas present (a Buddha for my Episcopalian mother you ask?).
Inside the shop were many, many singing bowls, beautiful woven garments, shelves of Hindu and Buddhist deities, and rows and rows of hanging malas.
I found my Buddha; a smiling happy little guy made of green stone and holding a good luck bowl above his head. He was perfect and smelled of incense that had been burning along side he and his fellow statues. I rubbed his smooth belly as I wandered, happy to have had achieved my gift giving mission, but thinking, too, that it was time to investigate the meaning of the malas (once and for all).
A mala is a strand of 16, 27, 54 or 108 prayer beads (or garland) that are used by Hindus and Buddhists (typically Buddhist beads are 108) during the practice of meditation. Much like a rosary, each bead represents a prayer or a thought. Through my research I learned that when using a 108 beaded mala, the first 100 are the prayers and the extra eight are added to “amend mistakes” (thank you Wikpedia). Interesting, too, was learning that certain stones work well with certain mantras; sounds that are repeated that help attune the mind. This interests me, as I am certain I’d have more success with a meditative practice if I had simple mantras to remember, repeat, and keep me focused. My wandering mind causes internal strife and I hang up my mat in defeat every time.
Feeling inspired by new knowledge and once again intrigued by something else related to Buddhism (I have far to go before I understand completely), I decided that this was a sign to participate in a New Year’s Mala at Evolve Movement at Cameron Village on Monday January 31st.
Since vinyasa (done right) is technically a moving meditation, a yoga mala is a moving meditation of 108 sun salutations, each salutation representing a prayer, a hope or a thought.
This will be a first for me and my worry over the probable inability of completing the expected amount was put to rest when I was advised that I will not need to complete all 108 myself, but that between those of us in the room, 108 sun salutations will be completed within the community.
Community and prayer, planting new intentions for the new year with movement of the body (and for free, btw)!
Could there a better way to ring in 2013?
Ever done a yoga mala? If you are in Raleigh this Monday and interested in joining me, I fully expect to spend a lot of time in child’s pose with my mat at it’s happy place along the back wall.