October 22, 2010


1.  something that provides mirth or amusement: A picnic would be fun.
2.  enjoyment or playfulness: She's full of fun.

LW always says to me when I get up to go to yoga in the morning, "Have fun, (insert pet name here)!".

I can't decide if I would call my yoga, this yoga, fun.  

Some days are definitely not!  The moment I walk into the room I want to run away screaming, "No! I don't want to do this today!".   I suffer, I struggle, I drip with sweat and exhaustion.  My muscles ache, I fall out of poses continuously, my brain will not leave me alone, shut up and let me practice.  I leave class spent.  I am exhausted, my arms shake, my eyes won't focus and I have to sit in my puddle of sweat before I have the energy to struggle into my clothes and drag my exhausted ass home.

Other days I enjoy, I love.  The yoga is challenging, it brings me hope, it gives me confidence, it allows me to be me, 100% completely.  I stretch and pull my muscles to their maximum.  I have compassion for myself when I fall out of Standing Bow.  Spine Strengthening Series is fluid and I rejoice in what my spine is capable of.  Savasana is peaceful, quiet, just the way it should be.  I simply sip my water, just to wet my lips.  I walk out of class with a bounce in my step, a calmness about me, a slight smile on my lips, ready to conquer the world.

So fun?  Maybe not in the exact definition of the word.  But the yoga does amuse me, after the fact.  The way I ponder it, the way in which it often consumes the majority of my thoughts.  And I definitely get enjoyment from my practice.  Not necessarily during class, but there is undeniable pleasure after wards.  So yes!  Yes, I guess I must say that my yoga is fun! 

October 14, 2010

Yoga Talk

One of the best things about practicing yoga with my Mum is the amazing conversations we have about the yoga.

Today we were talking about waking up in the morning for that 6am class.  It's gotten a lot harder these days, as the days get colder and darker.

"I guess getting up for yoga in the morning is like Balancing Stick.  You have to make up your mind that you're going to do it immediately."

Have I mentioned how proud I am?                        

October 7, 2010

Throat Choked Feeling

You know that throat choked sensation you get in Standing Seperate Leg Forehead to Knee(Dandayamana-Bibhaktapada-Janushiransana) pose?  That feeling that makes you feel like you can't breathe?  That sensation that there is something wrapped tightly around your neck ready to choke every bit of life out of you?  Ok, maybe you don't.  But this is how I feel in this pose. 

I've had an issue with my neck and my throat for as long as I can remember.  I fall asleep with a hand up by my neck, just in case some psychopathic killer sneaks into my house in the middle of the night and tries to choke me.  I cannot fall asleep wearing necklaces.  Turtleneck sweaters freak me out and make me feel as though I'm going to suffocate.  Too much neck nuzzling makes me jumpy and ticklish.

When I first started practicing Iyengar yoga, 3 years ago, Savasana was the most difficult pose for me.  Lying still at the end of class for 5 minutes was nearly impossible.  I always felt as though some unseen force was pressing down on my throat.  It would get heavier and heavier until I would have to reach up with my hand and rub my throat.  One day I pushed through the feeling.  I lay there and concentrated on my breath and allowed the weight to come across my neck and just as I thought I was going to be suffacated by this unseen force, it melted off my skin like warm wax.  And from that point I rarely felt uncomfortable or panic when I lay in Savasana or went to sleep at night.

Until this week.

Suddenly, my favourite pose, Savasana, has become hell.  That feeling of creeping weight is back.  I stare at the ceiling and try to focus only on my breath.  It doesn't work.  I reach up and cup my hand around my neck just to make sure there is nothing there.

What the hell is this????

Does it have something to do with my throat chakra?  Some kind of connection with my growth in expressing myself since I've started Bikram yoga?  Is it to do with my thyroid gland and the fact that my metabolism and hormones are becoming more regular?  Is this the same kind of reaction that I go through with, for example, the Spine Strengthening Series?  Where for periods I love the poses, I am strong and willing and able and then this switches and I am in hate with every pose and I struggle both mentally and physically?

I really have no idea and am at a bit of a loss for why I have this affliction with my throat and my neck.  But as most of the yoga instructors say, "If you are struggling, that's a good thing!  It means your body is changing." So I'll take this in stride.  But if anyone has ever experienced this or has any opinion on why this would be happening, please share!

October 2, 2010


I walked into class this morning with doubt in my step.  I had taken 4 days out of my practice for our trip to Vancouver.  While my body was feeling great, my mind was suffering with the lack of yoga.  I'd been feeling sad, down in the dumps, insecure for the past day.  I had been having dreams where all of my friends found me highly annoying.

As I stood on my mat and stared back at my reflection, I felt ok.  At the first deep inhale of Pranayama, I started to feel like my self again.  My practice was strong, solid.  My mind remained calm and cool.  I relished the sweat that poured down my body.  I felt as though I was back.

I know I've said this before, but I really don't believe I could live without this practice in my life.  It grounds me, helps me find my peace and keeps me somewhat sane.

October 1, 2010

From The Outside In To The Inside Out

Our yoga poses, our yoga breath helps us to heal ourselves.  Physically, mentally, this is what we are doing when we walk into that hot room.  Whether it be a bad knee, a sore back or a broken heart.  We work from the outside with the asanas to heal our insides which then help fix and realize more that is going on on the outside.  When we stretch and breathe and grimace and sweat.  We are working our bodies 100% from the outside to the inside and back again.  Our organs are getting shifted around.  They are getting compressed, stretched and re organized inside our bodies.  Our muscles are getting the attention they deserve.  They are being pushed to their maximum.  They are changing, building, stretching.  Our mind is learning to be still.  To stay quiet, to find a peace it rarely gets to experience.

Last night I took this thought of fixing our insides to my closet and my dresser.

From the outside, most things in my house look relatively organized, tidy and clean.  This is not the case when you actually open my drawers and my closet.  Clothes, literally, spring out at you in a tangle of unfolded fabric. My winter sweaters topple from the top shelf of the closet and I have to shove them back in before they hit the floor.  The hangers in my closet are burdened, not by one shirt or blouse, but sometimes by two or three.  Yoga clothes spill out of a drawer.  There are t-shirts deeply buried and long forgotten.

I took a deep breath, gathered my strength and proceeded to sort, fold, discard and organize my clothes.  I found dresses I bought two years ago that have never been worn, a yoga top I thought I had lost, shirts that made me shake my head and wonder why I bought them to begin with.  I folded those lovely warm sweaters neatly, getting them ready to quickly pull out as the days get cooler.  I hung my summer dresses to the back of the closet and the fall dresses closer to the front.  I folded my pants neatly and made a pile that need to be mended.  And I got rid of a bag of clothes - clothes I had not worn in a year.

When I was finished I was not sweaty, I was not exhausted, I was not dying for a huge glass of cold water but I felt refreshed, I felt clean, I felt like I had just walked out of a yoga class with a great sense of accomplishment.

My goal is to keep those drawers tidy, to keep my closet organized, to keep the hidden nooks and crannies of my little sanctuary, clean and well looked after, just as I do with my body when I enter my yoga class.