Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A New Season

I have been away from writing for most of the season. I will be trying my hardest to make relevant updates soon.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

What yoga can do for you

In today's society, many many people are very stressed. They think that stress is just part of life and while they don't like it, they accept it. But accepting that stress is part of life means accepting minor illnesses like colds and flu's, insomnia, irritability, exhaustion and unexplained malaise. There doesn't seem to be enough time to enjoy things from the past because there is so much to do today to support your family. This doesn't make any sense does it. We are not on this planet to live this way. While it is important to support your family, you also have to show them that you know how to enjoy them and enjoy life in general. Otherwise what do they have to look forward to? It is as though tuning out is the only way to cope with it. Disconnecting our minds from our bodies. Living out of our heads as though our bodies were just something to carry our minds around. But one of these days, it will occur to you that something is not quite right. This is your true self tapping you on the shoulder.

One of the simplest ways to maintain a regular life but with less suffering (and I use that term lightly) is with yoga. Yoga is not a religion or a cult or a fitness regime. It is not turning yourself into a pretzel, unless you aspire to that. It is just a nice way to introduce your mind to your body and experience what it feels like. It is done through movement, postures and breathing.

The following is just a few of the benefits yoga can bring to your life.

1) improve circulation

2) reduce stress

3) bring blood to the brain

4) reduce back pain

5) reduce tendinitis

6) help you sleep better

7) make you aware of how wonderful your body is

8) help you realize you are not just your mind

9) improve posture

10) eliminate toxins from your body

There are as many benefits of yoga as there are complaints about our bodies. A regular practice (try 3 1 hour practices per week) can bring wonderful changes to your life. You will find this to be true after just one class.

Yoga is for every BODY. Children, seniors, underweight, overweight, short, tall, average, unwell, deaf, blind, happy, sad....

There is practice on the mat of asanas or postures like downward dog and tree and then there is yoga off the mat. This is the part of yoga that is not as well known as the postures. Of the 8 limbs of yoga, asanas are only 1. How we treat ourselves and others, how we live in our homes and in the world, how much we contemplate society and our own purpose, how we focus on what keeps us alive - our breath. These are some of the ways we live yoga that can also open our eyes to the life that we are living. Just being aware of them can cause us to feel uncomfortable, but at least we are feeling, and it won't last long.

Just for today, start yoga - practice paying attention to your breath. Watch as you inhale and as you exhale. Watch it for a few minutes. Pay only attention to the breath. You will see after only a few minutes - you feel a bit better. Maybe tomorrow you will think about doing more.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Blue potatoes!

In June, when I was graduating from my yoga teacher training I gave each participant a purple seed potato. I gave one to our teacher too. This is what she got from one seed.

I also harvested mine this weekend as the mosquitos have taken a break. I didn't get as many from one - probably the same amount from 6 plants. I didn't get out to weed often enough because of the bugs and it really shows in the lower volume.

Potatoes don't like competition and need space. Much like those on yoga mats. Although we should only use ourselves to compete with. Compairing ourselves to our mat partners can make us feel very insecure and lead to us forgetting why we practice in the first place. Each day with practice we get more flexible in our bodies and minds to as well. We need to create a space between our thoughts through meditation; on and off the mat. Sooner or later if you practice long enough you get a desire to eat better. More vegetables and less processed food. While it is recomemded for yogis to eat a vegetarian diet, some of us can't do that so eating local free range grass fed meat is a friendly compromise.

I have been a vegetable patch gardener most of my life. I developed a love for it from my father. He was young when he passed away 18 years ago and I feel less lonely without him when I am in the garden. We spent many weekends in the summer up at our cottage and when we returned home on Sunday evening, I would run from the car to the garden to see what changed. I still do that now. Each growing season I plant many different types of tomatoes; beef steak, early girl roma and 2 yellow varieties. My daughters and I planted cherry tomatoes seeds back in April on the day that my husbands father passed away. They are now red and producing such sweet tastes. It is a good way to connect them to him so maybe next year when we do it again, they will think of him.

After harvesting all afternoon, my back was quite stiff. Upward dog was not as smooth as normal but I softly persisted. I am thankfull this morning to have done so as there isn't a crick to be found.

Friday, August 21, 2009


I love coincidenses. Only about an hour after writing my very first post about how mosquitos can ruin a contemplative time in the garden, I read this.... by Liz Gilbert of Eat Pray Love in conversation with Oprah Winfrey.

After Italy it was on to India, where Liz says she was searching for inner peace. "There was something about that yoga path that really appealed to me—and you do that through silence and the discipline of meditation—and I really wanted to go pursue that full out."I did a little meditation test on myself one night. I said, 'I'm not moving from this place. I'm going to meditate.' And then came the mosquitoes. And I thought, I'm not going to slap at them because I've spent my life slapping away at every little reflexive thing that irritates me, and I'm going to sit through this to show I'm the master of myself and we'll start with the mosquito bites and work down to the soul—and it kind of worked."None of this works without stillness," Liz says. "One of the great teachings that I learned in India is that silence is the only true religion."

Even though I am a certified Yoga teacher, it doesn't mean I am wise. I am knowledgable about the safety of a yoga practice, about how yoga can heal and make you strong. I learn every day and some lessons I learn more than once. Each person we come across wether it is in person, on the radio, in print or on television, they are all teaching us something. Every mistake, accident or success is a lesson.

Coincidences are reminders of these lessons. I don't have a-ha! moments, I have oh ya, moments. I need to be reminded of many of lifes lessons. So before you can make a judgement about anything, you can stop and think - what is this moment teaching me?

Attack of the mosquitos

This summer has been quite complicated. The rain in July made everything an emerald green but it also provided delux breeding ground for mosquitos. August has been more summer like along with the amount of mosquitos that we usually get in May and June. More in fact. Each morning I go out to empty the compost, check the vegetables, pick some herbs and do a little weeding before work. This time is supposed to be contemplative. I am now smacking myself in the face, dropping the tomatoes and rushing. I make a run for the house and catch a glimps of myself in the mirrow. There are about 6 bites on my face and I look like I have chicken pox. The whole event seems rather Hunter/Gatherer just to get some fresh tomatos.