Monday, July 29, 2013

Yoga for Anxiety and Depression at Kripalu: Day One

So, considering that it's been ten days since my experience at Kripalu and a really long time since I updated this blog, I've decided that I need to start sharing here tonight before I try to get some sleep.

First off, let me just say that the day I left for Kripalu, I was a big ball o' nerves. Someone had posted something on my Facebook page about her experience at Kripalu, which apparently wasn't a very good one, and after looking up a couple of reviews of the place online, I set myself up for a major freakout. A few of the reviews talked about rooms that were full of overpowering body odor, filthy lobby restrooms, and just a generally unkempt place. So, of course, I started wondering if I wasn't about to make a $500 mistake.

As I drove up the drive to Kripalu, I had to fight down the nausea. It was about 96 degrees, and thankfully, I had driven the whole way down to the Berkshires in the relatively luxurious comfort of the air conditioned minivan. But as soon as I stepped out of the van, that hot air hit me like a ton of bricks. Between that and the nerves, I felt like a cat in a Chinese restaurant.

The other thing that made me nervous was a review I had read complaining about the lack of air conditioning. I don't do well in the heat. If it gets warmer than 80 degrees, I'm in the pool with a cold cloth across the back of my neck. HOW was I going to survive two nights in a room without air conditioning?! (To clarify: the newer Annex building at Kripalu does have air conditioning. The main building, however, does not. I was staying in the main building.)

I got myself checked in, and, fighting off the feeling of being faint from the heat and the anxiety, I hauled my bags up to my room.

Before I got my bags from my car, I had to pop into the ladies' room. I was thrilled to see that it was pretty much spotless - so that gave me my first indication that things had changed significantly at Kripalu since those online reviews were written.

Once I got into my room, I was happy to see that at least there was a sink in the room. I spent the next two hours alternating between standing with my head in that sink, dousing myself with water as cold as I could stand it, and lying on the bed in savasana with cold, wet washcloths on every part of my body I could reach.

I was nervous about my roommate. I was nervous about the program. How was I going to do yoga in 96 degrees without air conditioning? My room was on the 3rd floor - would I be able to sleep in this heat? Would I get sick from the heat? (Which has happened to me before.)

Since I had a sandwich with me, I decided to skip dinner. Yes, my food anxiety was hitting me hard, probably because of the insane heat. At one point, I put on a light coverup over my tank top and shorts, grabbed my journal, and went out in search of a room that was air conditioned. I walked all over the third floor and found nothing, but as I walked past certain banks of offices, I could feel ice cold air blowing against my feet from underneath the door. I resisted the temptation to lay down on the floor so that I could feel that cold air blowing on my face, too.

My program, Yoga for Emotional Balance: Healing Anxiety and Depression, had a 7:30 p.m. session, so I trudged down one floor at 7:25 to the Main Hall.

I was in good company: there were around 75 people in this class. Apparently, a lot of us wanted help using yoga to heal our anxiety and depression.

The air in the room was stifling. It was almost unbearable. There were stations set up around the huge room with ice water and large tubs of washcloths submerged in ice water. But it was so hot that the washcloths only really stayed cool for a few minutes before they were just hot and wet.

We did a couple of breathing exercises, and then did what the instructor called an "ice savasana" where we laid in a very supported savasana with ice cold washcloths on the head or neck.

I could not relax in that heat. Even with the cold washcloth. I was suffering. I was nervous. I was anxious. As soon as we started to come out of savasana, I popped up, ditched my washcloth in the basket with the rest of the used cloths, and went back to my room.

I took a shower as cold as I could stand it in an effort to just lower my body temperature. I was panicked by the heat. Since there was no one else in the bathroom, I let myself cry. I was scared, but at the same time, I felt as though this was a therapeutic release of some kind - the more I cried, the better I felt. It felt as though I was letting go of 30 years of fear and anxiety.

I had a chat with my roommate, and then we tried to sleep.

It was hard. I laid awake, reading on my iPad in an effort to distract myself from my discomfort in the heat, my pounding heart, and my fear, bubbling just below the surface.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Yogini Fashionista?

I have a lot to get caught up on with this blog, including my experience last weekend at Kripalu in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, but today, I want to talk about something that affects everyone who practices yoga (unless, of course, you practice yoga in the nude)...

Yoga clothes.

Oh, yes. Once you get into yoga and start getting Yoga Journal and Vegetarian Times and checking out all those great yoga conferences, you can't help but notice what everybody's WEARING.

Cool pants with little slits up the side near the ankles. Bright, graphic t-shirts featuring Ganesha and the Om symbol, with little sparkly things sewn onto them. Headbands, jewelry, socks...even, ugh, a yoga thong?!

Now, let's be realistic for a moment. I'm a working mom on a budget. I would love to be able to blow $90 on a single pair of cool yoga pants that have a little lotus symbol embroidered on the back just above my buttcrack, but it's not gonna happen. I have bills to pay.

When I was at Kripalu last weekend, I of course made a trip to the gift shop. The newly-expanded gift shop, according to some repeat visitors. As expected, they had a HUGE selection of yoga clothing. T-shirts, tank tops, workout gear, headbands, skirts, dresses, hoodies. (Although, thankfully, I did not see any of the aforementioned thongs.)

After I had finished browsing the book selection (which was really tough - I'm a book junkie, and I could have taken home one copy of each yoga practice book they had on the shelf), I took a cruise through the clothing. A particularly cool pair of yoga capris caught my eye - they were made from some lovely-feeling organic fabric, they were the right length (because being 5' 3" means that most "regular" length pants come down well below my ankles and under my heels), and they had that lovely little symbol embroidered on the back above the buttcrack.

The price: $78.

For a pair of capris.

At first I thought, hey, I'm on a little vacation here. Why shouldn't I splurge on one nice pair of yoga pants for myself?

But my inner skinflint just started adding up my monthly bills, expenses, and the fact that I'm going to be coming up on two big trips in the next eight weeks.

That's when it hit me: I really don't need those $78 yoga capris, and neither do you.

The way I figure it, yoga is about what's going on inside, and not so much on what it looks like on the outside. Just like when you're in an asana, it doesn't matter if you can't do a perfect Warrior II or if you wobble out of Tree every time you pick up your opposite leg.

And anyway, yoga is supposed to be about building individuality, discovering about what's so special about being uniquely YOU, isn't it?

That made it easier to walk away from the $53 tank tops and those $78 yoga pants. I realized that one of the things I cherish about myself is my ability to pull together a cool, funky, and eclectic style from finds at the local thrift shop and resale shop. That's who I am. Why should I be someone different when I step onto my yoga mat?

Answer: I shouldn't.

So, go ahead and drool over the tie-dyed yoga pants with lace cutouts, or the burnout t-shirts with pictures of the Buddha. And if you have the money and want to buy one for yourself, go for it. But nobody ever reached enlightenment because they bought a t-shirt with a lotus flower on it. (However, if those $78 yoga capris would have helped me with my forward bends, I would have bought them in a heartbeat.)

I was much happier spending that $100 on three new yoga books and a restorative yoga CD recommended by a fellow workshop attendee. No matter how much weight I gain (or lose), I can use those books and that CD. They give me concrete practices to add to my sessions on the mat, and tools that I can use to keep my stress levels low and my anxiety at bay. I doubt that a new pair of yoga pants would have given me so much.

For now, I'm going to stick to my $20 athletic pants and $6 tank tops from Target. And I'll keep my eyes open for cool clothes at the thrift shop. Because that's who I am, and I want to be able to remain authentic, both on and off my mat.


Sunday, July 14, 2013

The Journey

"It is good to have an end to journey toward, but it is the journey that matters in the end." ~Ursula K. Le Guin

Yes, yoga is most definitely a journey.

Sometimes when I look at my schedule or the day and there's no yoga class over at the studio, I start to panic: what if I can't fit it in at home? What if all I can do is ten or fifteen minutes?

For some reason, I seem to believe that yoga is only useful if I can do it for at least an hour. But that's just not the case.

As much as you want to, there are times when you just can't find ninety minutes a day to do yoga. But does that mean you shouldn't do it at all? Of course not.

Take five minutes before going to bed. Or ten minutes before you eat dinner. Or even just a few seconds in front of your computer to listen to the sound of your inhale and your exhale, and to feel the energy flowing through your body as you breathe.

That's yoga. You can take it anywhere, anytime.

So, even if your day is packed with work and PTA meetings and dinner and baths and bedtime and housecleaning... Just take five minutes. Roll out your mat (or not), and in whatever you're wearing, feel the strength of Mountain Pose. Do a simple standing forward bend. Push back into Downward Dog, if you can.

And then get up, and get on with your day.


Saturday, July 13, 2013

Smile: It's Only Yoga

Boy, if there's one thing I'm guilty of, both in yoga class and in life, it's of taking things too seriously. Yes, I have a sly and sometimes wicked, warped, or twisted sense of humor, I fall back over and over again into the trap of taking myself too seriously.

During my self-practice the other day, I realized about fifteen minutes in that I was actually frowning as I stood in Tree pose. Woa, I thought! What's going on here? It's a beautiful summer day, it's not too hot, it's not raining, there's a lovely breeze blowing, and I'm on my beautiful back porch, standing with ease and grace on my yoga mat.

What gives?

I've noticed it in class, too. When Robin suggests a pose that's a little challenging, I can almost hear the folks around me grunting their way into it. And then holding it? The entire room is charged with the struggle to concentrate and hold the body still in this pose.

And that's when Robin reminds us: give a little smile. Laugh. It's okay if you fall over.

It's only yoga, right?

Friday, July 12, 2013

Why I Do Yoga: Trust

At one of my very first Reiki sessions earlier this year, I told the healer that what I wanted to do in that session was to release my fear of getting sick when I ate. I wanted to just let go of that fear.

And what do you want to replace it with? she asked.

Strength, was the first thing that I replied.

How about trust, she suggested.

I didn't understand what she meant by that, at first. It's taken me four months to finally grasp why she suggested trust instead of strength, and that brings me to yet another installment of Why I Do Yoga: Trust.

To understand this, you have to understand what I grew up with at home: my mother spent most of my childhood convinced that if she ate something, pretty much anything, that her body would have an allergic reaction and that she would shut down and die. Over the years, she gradually excluded pretty much every kind of food until she was subsisting on a diet of stew beef (with as much of the fat cut out as she possibly could manage), frozen broccoli, carrot baby food, and just one particular brand of bottled water. Her last few weeks in the hospital are an almost unbearable memory to me now, as I saw her eating things like sweet potatoes and hamburgers - things that she had previously been convinced would kill her. Things that she could have and should have been eating all along.

My mother did not trust her body.

Back in 2011 when I was really, really sick with pain, nausea, vomiting, and a bunch of other nasty GI symptoms I won't list here, my anxiety mind became convinced that I actually had pancreatic cancer, and that the doctors just couldn't find it or were missing it. The final diagnosis was some sort of gallbladder disorder, which was never properly diagnosed, because my doctor decided that since every single damn imaging test and blood test they ran on me came back perfectly normal, she didn't want to put me through an endoscopy when she didn't think they would find anything, anyway.

So, I went back home and found myself afraid of food.

Just like my mother.

I just didn't trust my body to behave itself when I ate. I became convinced that no matter what I ate, I was going to experience another bout of nausea and/or vomiting whenever I had a meal or a snack. It got to the point where it was negatively impacting my life, making it impossible for my husband and I to go out and enjoy a nice dinner together, and causing stress whenever we were invited to eat with friends.

But when I started up my yoga practice again last November after hurting my back, something amazing happened in my very first class: I felt strong again.

The feeling didn't last very long, because shortly after I started my practice again, I had another attack of anxiety that lasted for several weeks and required several trips to several doctors and a shot in my ass. (Literally.)

I started back up again at the end of January after I was given the all-clear, and again, I started to notice some things in class. Like the fact that I felt strong in a lot of the standing poses. That even when I thought I was going to fall apart from an anxiety attack at the beginning of class, if I could just hold on until we pushed back into our first downward dog, the tears would come, and the feeling would pass, and I would be fine.

I started to trust my body again.

I found that I was capable of amazing things, both on the mat and off. I started eating foods that I hadn't touched in almost three years - things like onions and garlic and bread and Starbucks.

And then just a couple of weeks ago in a particularly rigorous Ashtanga-inspired yoga class, I suddenly realized that I trust my body.

Yes, sometimes the anxiety creeps back in when it's time to eat, or when it's time for me to travel and I worry about what I'll eat or getting sick from something that I eat. But the mindfulness training and my "yoga mind", as I call it, steps in and says, "No. Not now. Listen to your breath. There's nothing wrong with you, and you can't let yourself worry about the future when it's something that you're imagining might happen."

And I move on.

Yoga has taught me to trust my body again. Now, at the end of every session at the studio when Robin reminds us to thank our body, I bend forward in deepest gratitude.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Self Practice: Moving Toward Balance

I'm on Day 4 of the first week of Moving Toward Balance, and this morning as I went through the series of standing poses outlined in the book, I started to feel...angry. Insecure. Anxious. All of the above.

I have started getting into a little bit of a routine before I practice at home. Kind of like Colden's bedtime routine, it gives my body the signals that it's time to become aware, be present, and get ready for some yoga.

I roll up the rug from the living room floor and put it in the corner. I sweep the floor, then light two candles and a stick of incense (if it's not terribly muggy in the house). I turn on some music and roll out my mat, open my book and lay it out on the table behind my desk so that I can see what I'm going to be working on.

The first couple of days that I followed the poses laid out in the book, I found myself feeling positively lightheaded after going into a standing forward bend for a minute. I started to feel frustrated at my body that I couldn't fold very deeply without bending my knees deeply. When I tried using blocks, I felt tense AND frustrated.

Then I started moving through the sequences. My emotions were all mixed up: first I was bored, then frustrated, then I wondered why I kept fidgeting during the poses. I kept thinking to myself, you KNOW these poses - why do you insist on making microadjustments every time you take a breath? Can't you just settle in and enjoy it?

Today's practice, I found myself adding a vinyasa in between each pose to keep my focus, because my mind would not stop wandering. I found myself trying to count the seconds for holding the poses as instructed in the book by listening to the clock ticking in the corner of the living room.

Then I started questioning my motives for taking the teacher training in October. Am I really strong enough to be a yoga teacher? It certainly didn't feel that way today. Is this just another flaky thing I'm doing?

Questions, questions, questions, with a side of anxiety over my upcoming bead retreat to Colorado in September: how am I going to pay for it all, how am I going to get out there and back without having an anxiety attack? What if I get sick in Colorado? What if I get sick on the plane again? What if, what if, what if?

I started to feel like none of the yoga was working, and that I was almost right back to where I was back in January when I couldn't leave the house for a haircut without getting the dry heaves.

Meditation was, as expected, something close to a disaster. It was just constant Monkey Mind, going in every which direction... I started to wonder just what the hell I was doing with this practice, this book, and what it all meant.

And then...and then...

I opened up my email, and there was something from Yoga Journal about how to go deeper in standing forward bends. Curious, I clicked on it, and read:

"Forward bends teach patience. It takes a long time to enter them deeply. Enlightenment doesn't necessarily occur when the head reaches the legs, so there's no need to get it there soon, if ever. The realization of yoga is to be fully conscious, present, and content at whatever stage of the practice you have attained. Paradoxically, when you are truly satisfied right where you are, your pose often opens up and you can easily move forward.
If you're in good physical condition and your alignment is good, one way to progress in forward bends is to vigorously practice standing postures, with a strong Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend) between each posture. Standing postures such as Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose), Utthita Parsvakonasana (Extended Side Angle Pose), and Virabhadrasana I, II, and III (Warrior Poses I, II, and III) work well. Do each standing posture twice on each side. Hold each pose for 30 seconds to one minute, and you'll find a deeper stretch and a greater sense of awareness."

Which is exactly what I have been doing in this practice for the last few days.


So, not to think too deeply about everything, I think it's time to call it quits with work and writing and go hang out with my kid before it starts raining again. 


Elvis Does Yoga?

No words.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Challenge: Home Practice

So, this is the week that there are a limited number of yoga classes at the studio while Robin is in Vermont at a teacher training with David Swenson. While I'll still be attending a few classes at the studio taught by some of the new teachers (yay!), my original plan was to travel around to some other studios and experience yoga in a new place taught by more new voices.

Well, financially, that plan isn't going to work out this week. While I'm a little bummed out that my finances won't allow me to travel this week, I've turned my attention to using this week to starting a home practice.

Now, it's easy for me to do yoga at the studio. Probably for anyone else, too. You get there, you arrive, you change into your yoga clothes, unroll your mat, and you're there. Not quite the same at home, where there's a five-year-old clamoring for attention, telephones ringing, visitors dropping by, dirty dishes and laundry to do, housecleaning, a 103-lb dog who wants to lie across the middle of your mat...

You get the idea.

The first hurdle that I have to overcome in establishing my home practice is finding a space to practice.

We live in a tiny house. I mean, tiny. The top floor is about 1,000 square feet, and while we have a semi-finished basement, it's always chilly down there, and the ceilings are so low that I can't raise my hands above my head.

We have a lovely back porch, which is a little on the small side, but still great for the summer and warmer days, but in the winter (which is 7 months out of the year), it's just not practical. No heat, and the temperature out there averages around 20 degrees F.

Okay, that leaves the kitchen (which is also usually pretty chilly, since we don't heat it when we have the wood stove burning), and the living room.

The living room is tiny, but a nice place to practice. As long as we don't have the clothes set out drying on the drying rack (we don't have a clothes dryer), and as long as the Christmas tree isn't up, and as long as Colden doesn't have his train tracks set out on the rug in the middle of the floor...

Do you see my problem here?

The bedrooms are too small - there's absolutely no room for me to spread out my mat in either of them. The dining room might work, since it's warm and the ceilings are higher than the basement and living room, but we have an enormous dining room table that takes up the whole space.

So what's a yogi momma to do? I'm just going to have to do some creative furniture arranging before I practice, I think.

The second hurdle is finding the time to practice, especially on the weekends.

Weekends around here are packed. We're trying to get caught up on housework, cook a few good meals, maybe take some time to spend together as a family and go to the Wild Center, or the VIC to go birding or for a hike, or take the canoe out for a paddle... There's grocery shopping to do be done, gardens that need tending, play dates, meals with family...

I usually go to a Sunday afternoon yoga class, but that's at the studio, and I leave the house so I can get some peace and quiet. If I tried to do an hour of yoga on the back porch at 4 p.m. on a Sunday afternoon at home? Yeah. I'd probably get 15 minutes in, and then Colden would come and want to talk or tell me to come play with him, and Moose would plop down in the center of my yoga mat, and our friends would stop by... It's like Grand Central Station here when everybody is at home.

My only options, it seems, will be to get up earlier than everyone else, which means waking up around 5 a.m., or doing yoga after everyone has gone to bed, around 8:30 at night. Neither one seems terribly attractive, but the early waking might be the best option for me.

Now, I just need to get an alarm clock...

Saturday, July 6, 2013

What NOT to Say to a Yogi Momma

If you had told me a year ago that I would become such a dedicated yogi, I would have told you that you were nuts. It seems to have happened so fast that even I have a hard time wrapping my mind around it.

Maybe it's just my personality, but I get the distinct impression that certain people around me are confused about my passion for yoga. That said, because I'm something of a sensitive person, there have been things said to me about my relatively new practice and my decision to take a yoga teacher training course that have left me feeling less than confident about my choices.

Listed below are five of my least favorite things that I have been asked since embarking on this new path of a daily yoga practice. Can you relate?

1. Doesn't it take time away from your family? Yes, I'm a working mom. And I have a somewhat demanding job that requires a lot of hours writing and creating and photographing and editing photos and... You get the idea. And since I can't go to the yoga studio in the early mornings, I go to the evening classes - when my son is home from preschool and my husband is home from work.

Asking someone if yoga takes time away from their family, for some of us, is like saying, "Don't you feel guilty about not spending time cooking, cleaning the house, or otherwise doing something useful for your family?" It's a good way to make someone feel like a bad person.

On the other hand, in my case, if I didn't go to yoga every night to help relieve my anxiety disorder, I'd most likely just be crumpled on the bed in a crying heap or sick as a dog from the medications I was on to relieve the anxiety disorder. So, I really wouldn't be functional, anyway, and on top of that, I'd be causing worry and distress to my family.

So, sure, taking a couple of hours every night to do yoga is time spent away from my family, but on the other hand, it makes the time I *do* spend with my family much better.

2. Do you really have time for that? There's a saying I've seen going around lately: I meditate for twenty minutes every day, unless I'm too busy, and then I meditate for an hour.

Yes, I'm a busy working mom. I carve out time for a lot of things: time for my son, time for my husband, time for my friends. And it's just as important to carve out time for myself, too.

In a world where a lot of people equate busy-ness with success, we are losing sight of things that are really important. Yes, some days it's really, really hard for me to shut down the computer, kiss my son good-bye, and get into the car to drive to the yoga studio. But at the end of class, my mind is clear, my body feels energized or relaxed or a combination of both, and I can go home and feel like my life is a little better under control.

3. Does doing yoga mean that you're a Hindu now? Just the act of doing yoga doesn't make me a Hindu any more than saying the rosary makes me a Catholic. That said, I am drawn to the spiritual side of yoga as much as the physical practice. The idea that I can get in touch with my spiritual self through a moving meditation is part of what makes my time spent practicing yoga very important for me.

Also, doing yoga does not mean that I am going to hell, consorting with the devil, or going to start sacrificing goats in the backyard at each full moon.

4. So, can you bend over backwards to touch your toes? The point of yoga is not just to be able to execute crazy bends and twists with your body. It's about building strength, both physically and mentally.

And no, I can't bend over backwards to touch my toes. As a matter of fact, I still can't do a standing forward bend without having my knees bent. A lot.

5. I'll bet yoga is great for your sex life. If you mean that doing yoga makes me feel more confident and relaxed, yes, those things do contribute to improving my sex life.

If you mean getting myself into crazy sexual positions a la late night pay-per-view, then, no. That's not why you do yoga.

6. If you're just doing yoga to treat anxiety and depression, why can't you just take prescription drugs instead? For some people, that's an option. It's not for me. We tried the prescription drug route, and honestly, I felt worse from the side effects of the drugs than I did from the anxiety symptoms.

On top of that, the way I see it, the prescription drugs weren't actually fixing anything, anyway. They're just a Band-aid for whatever the real problem is. For me, yoga is my way of fixing the real problem - being able to relax and regain control over my mind when the anxiety kicks in.

Update, 7/8/2013 - 7. But yoga isn't "real" exercise. The next time someone tells me this, I'm going to have them work through a few Surya Namuskara B with me and see what happens to their heart rate.

Has a friend or family member ever said something to you about your yoga practice that just makes you cringe? 

Friday, July 5, 2013

What is Yoga All About?

You know, I look at a lot of yoga websites lately. There are websites for individual studios, websites like YogaDork, and websites like MyYogaOnline that offer dozens and dozens of individual yoga practice videos.

Most of these places show yogis doing incredible things with their bodies in poses like pigeon pose or even handstand or headstand. And the other day when I saw yet another ad with a naked picture of Kathryn Budig performing some feat of yoga (well, she WAS wearing her ToeSox, so I guess she wasn't completely naked), I started to wonder: what exactly is yoga all about?

Yeah, it's fun and a total rush when I find myself in headstand. (But that's not very often, and I'll talk about that in a future post.) And really, yoga was created as a way to strengthen the body in preparation for long stretches of sitting absolutely still in meditation.

But what's it all about?

The other night in class, Robin asked us, "Why do you practice yoga?" without expecting us to answer. Just to give us food for thought.

Is yoga really about just strengthening the body, and being able to do flashy moves like binds and headstands? Or is there something else, something lurking just below the surface?

What if when your spirit were just as strong as your body when you performed a headstand or bind? For me, that's what yoga is really all about.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Yoga Teacher Training: Creating Myself

I went and done it: applied to and was accepted into the Advanced Yoga Studies/200-hr Teacher Training course at True North Yoga down in Schroon Lake.

Beginning October 5, for one weekend plus one-half day per month for six months, I'll be traveling down to Schroon Lake to take my yoga practice deeper, learn more advanced techniques, and  eventually, earn my 200 Hour Teacher Training Certificate.

If you want the truth about the matter, I'm just as scared as I am excited about this new venture. It's never easy to learn new things about yourself, and I'm not sure what I'll discover or if I'll like what I discover.

But we are all works-in-progress, and if we don't seek out new experiences, challenge our beliefs and our bodies, and look for opportunities to grow, well, there's not much point in living a life like that, is there?

So, I'm heading down to Schroon Lake a couple of times when I can fit it into my schedule prior to October (I'll be traveling in July, August, and September) to learn the lay of the land, get to know the teachers, and get some more experience.

Between now and October, I'll also be working harder at developing a steady home practice, with the first step being trying to carve out a little sacred space in this teeny tiny house of ours.

Life should be an adventure!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Yoga On the Roof

We took the canoe out for a paddle on Sunday morning before it started raining (again - it's been raining for a week solid up here, with maybe a 12 hour break when the sun came out on Saturday afternoon), and I was thinking about a place to do a yoga pose outside.

Colden kept asking to go to this one lean-to that we saw from the middle of the lake because it had a ramp, so figuring that it was a good time for a snack, we pulled in and got out the food.

After the snacks, I went around to the back of the lean-to to see if I could scramble up on top. At first, I was a little nervous that my Tevas would slip around on the shingles, but once I got up there, it was all good.

Except for my balance. I had thought about jumping into extended side angle stretch (one of my favs), but I didn't feel like I could stand up on both feet without losing my balance, falling down, and breaking my neck out in the middle of nowhere, New York.

So, once I was comfortably seated, it was half lord of the fishes pose. Tom took the picture with my phone, and Colden was standing down below, showing off his muscles.

It's one of my favorite photos, ever.

Where do you take your yoga?