Sometimes life gets to be a bit heavy… Sleep is interrupted… Thoughts are cloudy… Routines get broken…
But with life’s challenges also come a refocusing of priorities. The most important thing to me is my family. I make all of my decisions with them in my mind. It helps that they are the most supportive, loving people I know :)
So, I’ve decided to take a little break from the blog. Even though I only post twice a week, it is a
commitment and with my attention being elsewhere, I would rather step back than
not put my soul into it.
One rule of thumb that I live by is to never have any regrets. If your heart is somewhere, be there 100%. Because when all is said and done, you will have more regret from the things you didn’t do over the things you did.
We’re headed back to Maryland tomorrow to celebrate my father-in-law’s birthday and visit him in the hospital. He’s still recovering from double pneumonia and we can’t wait to see him and the rest of the family. I’m also looking forward to escaping the 90+ degree weather. I’m totally envious of those feeling the nip in the air that suggests Autumn is near. But, I know that when winter comes around, and we’re experiencing beautiful weather while others are scraping ice from their windshields, I’ll be thanking my lucky stars for living here. As my father says “ya gotta take the good with the bad.”
Since I won’t be able to teach my Beginner’s Flow Yoga class tomorrow, I had to get someone to sub for me. Being a yoga teacher is unlike anything I’ve ever done before. The bonds that are formed with people are so genuine and intimate that when you have to miss a class, you feel like you are letting someone down. So, naturally when you are not able to teach, you want someone who will connect and give your class the best experience possible. Luckily for me, there are a bunch of instructors at Green Monkey to choose from but there is one in particular that is my go-to choice. Her name is Valentina and she is a newly minted yoga instructor with the sweetest personality. She’s committed to her craft and works toward being the best version of herself every day.
this Wednesday’s Random Act of Kindness, I decided to write Valentina a ‘Thank
You’ note and give her one of my favorite yoga books. I love
gifting books from my collection. What better act of kindness than to
give someone something that has had a positive impact on your life?
OM the moment for your soul this week and find something you can give away from one of your collections. Attach a card telling the person what they mean to you and how you hope they may benefit from the gift. It's a great way to connect and share a special moment.
A few years back, we visited Muir Woods, a redwood forest located just outside of San Francisco. It was our first taste of the west coast and what ultimately instilled in us a sense of adventure. Up until then, I never had a desire to hike or explore in nature. I was just as content going to a major city and touring museums, bookstores and restaurants. But Muir Woods changed all of that. Seeing the enormous redwood trees that appeared to reach up past the clouds was impressive. Some of them were battered and bruised, a product of environmental damage, but all stood tall and regal, with a sense of confidence and certainty. As if they knew they were on display for the world to admire.
This spirit of grace and strength is what I try to evoke each time I get into one of my favorite yoga poses: Tree. Just like its namesake implies, this pose requires you to be rooted and grounded. You must use your complete body to help you stand as tall and regal as those redwood trees. You have to quiet the storms brewing in your head to concentrate and focus. But once it clicks, and you feel the connection with your mind and body, this pose is addicting. I sometimes do it while brushing my teeth or cooking dinner because it instantly puts my mind at ease. Just try thinking of your grocery list or paying a bill when you are in this pose. You will quickly fall out of it.
Here are my tips for getting you into a beautiful Tree Pose.
- Begin standing tall with feet hip width apart.
- Fix your eyes on something in front of you that’s not moving. This will help with concentration and balance once you are fully in the pose.
- Starting with your left foot, lift your toes up and spread them wide, plant your foot down paying attention to all four corners of the foot.
- Bring your hands to your waist and swing your right leg back and forth until you feel all of the weight on your left leg.
- Slowly place your right foot in one of three places: heel to ankle, heel below knee or heel pressed into the side of your left thigh. (Please do not place your heel on your knee to avoid possible injury.)
- Tilt your hips forward and tuck in your belly.
- Keep your hips even (shoulders stacked over hips). Try not to tilt your body to the side.
- Bring your palms together in prayer low on your chest.
- Once you feel balanced, raise your hands above your head.
- Stay here for 5 breaths, inhaling through your nose, exhaling through your nose.
What's your favorite yoga pose? OM the moment for your body this week and practice Tree pose whenever you want to clear your mind or feel you need a little more balance in your day. Invoke the spirit of the redwood trees by standing tall with confidence, strength and grace.