Yoga Still Rocks!

I am on Day 7 of Yoga Journal’s Yoga Rocks! 14-day challenge with Eric Paskell and it’s going quite well! Last night, I was able to do the 45-minute practice in the evening, which I was so grateful for. I’ve commented before on how challenging it is to do a       ful(filled) yoga practice amidst a bustling household, but I was able to make the time and space for it. The boys were even so nice as to wait until I was done in the family room before coming upstairs to play X-Box. (I trained them well.)

It’s taking me longer than 14 consecutive days to complete this challenge, which I knew going in, as I didn’t want to put too much stress on my body by doing these dynamic classes on the same days that I go to boot camp.

I think going forward, I’ll switch between active yoga and Pilates on non-gym days, while maintaining a gentle daily practice to keep my mind and body in check.

This sounds like the beginning of another spring opening! And so this humble blog of mine comes full circle…

Have a lovely spring day, y’all (ignoring the fact that it’s -20whateveroutside.)

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Staying in Check

or… “Check Yo’self Before you Wreck Yo’Self” (and yes, I am quoting Ice Cube on a yoga post.)

I have not been practicing my yoga asanas much lately, other than a short flow first thing in the morning or after a Blogilates session, but I have been connecting with my practice off the mat.

Today’s lesson: mindfulness.

For the past month, I’ve been having a laissez-faire attitude about housework. I began to feel less motivated to do my regular up-keep, telling myself it wasn’t fair that I did everything, while the rest of the family did nothing. I wanted them to adopt my habits of clearing up clutter, keeping the kitchen counter clean and sink free of dirty dishes, and wiping the dining table clean. I thought to myself, “If they know how important it is for me to have a clean and tidy house, why can’t they get off their butts and clean up, for me?” When I couldn’t take it anymore and did some cleaning up, I did it with bitterness and anger. “Doesn’t anyone else notice what I’m doing? Why don’t they appreciate how much I take care of this house?!” All the while, I did not verbalize any of these annoyances with my family.

However, I started to get sick of walking around with a frown on my face and furrowed brow. I hated entering a room in a bad mood, when those around me did nothing personally to put me there.

I began to do what I wanted to do to clean-up, and tried to approach each moment experiencing the joy I’d feel when I was done that task, like fakin’ it till I was makin’ it!

It totally started to work. I remembered that I actually like cleaning up. Not the gross parts during the cleaning, but more the process of getting things organized, and the result of a clean room. I remembered that I was really cleaning for myself, and the family benefited from those actions as a bonus. I know no one else cares about the crumbs on the kitchen floor or how messy the throw pillows and blankets get in the living room as much as I do.

Now what does housecleaning have to do with yoga? By keeping my expectations of myself and the family in check, recognizing where negative thoughts are coming from, and taking the appropriate action (or not take!) to react in a positive and open way, I am connecting with my practice on mindfulness. (It’s also a bit o’ seva, as my actions become a service to my family, of me taking care of them and our home.)

Update:

After my lesson above on mindfulness, I actual found myself humming and enjoying myself while I cleaned all 3 bathrooms yesterday. BOOM.

Yoga Rocks! (Tell me Something I Don’t Know)

I’m still trying to figure out how to compliment my regular boot camp classes, whether I amp up my yoga practice with more regular sessions of asanas, or if I want to commit to more Pilates .

yoga rocks

Trying to feel things through to make that decision, I signed up for Yoga Journal’s “Yoga Rocks!” 14-day challenge with Eric Paskell, founder of Yoga Shelter. I was a little nervous about starting it out after seeing the chatter on Twitter about this challenge (e.g., “Day1 #YJYogaRocks completed. Clothes are wet and I’m sweating. but feeling great…”), but I knew I had to start somewhere! I woke up this morning and crawled on to my mat for Day 1…

WOW. After getting over a 4-day migraine, of which the first 2 days allowed no physical activity (other than some headstands to soothe the brain pain), this dynamic and invigorating practice was just what the doctor ordered! Deep lunges followed by scissor kicks, balanced twists and single-legged squats were just what my body was craving – I’m used to this type of movement in boot camp at the gym, so I was very happy to incorporate with some yoga. I was definitely glistening by the end.

I also really enjoyed his style. Rooted in traditional asanas but with a playful, carefree way to transition and move through the poses made it a very fun, and challenging practice. I am eagerly looking forward to the what else Eric’s got in store for us!

To join in the fun, register at www.yogajournal.com/yogarocks.