200 YTT – Day 10-13 – Week 3 Complete

Coming into Week 3, I seriously did not want to go back to work. Teacher training for 8 hours was a dream and I was surrounded lovely ladies with good vibes. It was tough to carry-on my teachers mantra this week, “everything is temporary.” I tried to tell myself that work eventually ends…that it’s only temporary. I rode my bike home and went to mat for practice. We have 4 weeks left of practice and I need to figure how to live yoga at work. THINKING CAPS ON!

With 4 weeks left of the training, I have attained sooooo much information. Muscles, sanskrit, directional cues, speaking with clarity, and just started hands-on adjustments. There is just so much to learn and I am loving it!

Day 12 we were introduced to the crystal bowl meditation workshop with Emma Kupu Mitchell. Meditations aren’t as still and focused as I would like to experiments them, but this time the vibrations of the crystal bowls took effect and I had a moment where I felt like floating.  The long mid-tone vibrations softened my ear drums and my body laid still. Unfortunately ,the pressure on my head from laying on the mat kept me from feeling elevated. Though, my body was relaxed.  I actually felt like I was sitting up right while I was simply laying on the ground. My mind was playing games with me as I tried to stay present! 

One of the special parts of this workshop was the practice of the crystal bowl vibrations energizing  our personal items and a bottle of water. Emma offered us to put items in the center of the room on a silk cloth. She mentioned silk heightens the vibrations. I placed my wedding ring and Tahitian pearl, two pieces of jewelry that I wear every day. The bottle of water is another reminder of the experience. In the beginning of class we wrote down an intention or a mantra. I chose to wrote “strength” on my bottle. It took me a long time to find a word to cover the emotional, physical and mental challenges that I’ve been facing and will face. Strength will cover all that. 

200 YTT – Day 6 – Walking Meditation

Kapilina Beach was my distraction today. Believe or not during a walking meditation you should only be focused on your breath and your step. So it was challenging to walk along the shoreline and not notice the ocean washing over my feet. The sand was like a foot massage so that slowly helped me to just focus on my step and enjoying the step. Looking down on my feet and breathing brought me to a meditative state but I was cautious about my timing (15 minutes). This was the fastest 15 minutes of all the meditative practices we did this week. 

The rest YTT today was open for modification because I wanted to take care of body especially my runners knee. By mid-practice I realized my knee was calm and relaxed. It could’ve been the ibuprofen that assisted but I like to think that I breathed into my knee and exhaled all the bad stuff. I’m expecting future uncomfortable joint and muscles but I’ll try not to get all wrapped up in it. The important thing, and it should be most important to everyone, is that we take care of our body. Realize what makes you stronger. Realize what’s makes you a less stronger. Continue making those realizations and you can love yourself. If you love yourself then you can love others. 

Measuring strength and progress

20130830-072931.jpgTo be honest, I’m scared of scales and tape measures. Sometimes I’m even scared to go shopping, especially for jeans because I dread the sizes. I’m always told I have a lot of junk in trunk too. Not words I like to hear; I’m sure no one likes to hear. The words are unavoidable, but what you can avoid are the negative feelings that go with it.
Yoga sure has taught me to find happiness within my body. Since I don’t like numbers to measure my progress I notice how much stronger I get since yesterday’s practice. I could barely do two push-ups in a row. Now, I’m dishing out about ten with ease. The mirror helps me see progress too. Just a little more definition in my back and arms brings a smile and a mental “oh-ya.”
Naturally, through my yoga journey I got use to my beginner’s tension and now I cam advance the tension just a little more. Sinking deeper into warrior poses or holding a v-up just a little tighter (no matter how large the earthquake =P.)
I’m most proud of my splits progress. It’s been about two months of practice and refining the practicing too. Both legs are different though. My right is more flexible than my left, so I just try not to force my left to catch up. Only strained muscles come out of forcing the stretch. Just keep breathing deep. It feels like my body is listening to my heart and takes me closer to my goal. Inhale elongate the muscles and exhale the deeper I go into the stretch. My mind can be in the moment.

Splits-Aug27

 

Additional Stretch for splits

20130823-223823.jpgWhile evaluating my splits progress I tried to pinpoint which muscles needed a little more attention. I’ve stretched in pigeon pose, butterflies, and straddle, but I just felt like the stretches needed more help. So, I included the crescent lunge or anjaneyasana. Then, I felt I could take it deeper into the stretch and bent the back knee where I onto my ankle. I’ve mentioned before I have knee problems, but I guess with the shape of my knee it works out in this pose. The low lunge rolls to the top my knee I stead of under (which is where I usually feel pain).

Crescent lunge may look like a simple stretch but I still break a sweat. It opens up all my problem areas like my hips and hamstrings; as well as, quads, shoulders, back, and chest. Pretty much sounds like everything. You’d think that with a lower center of gravity it feel easy. Guess not!

I feel it will help me with strength, flexibility, and balance. Crescent lunge really get me thinking about those three things because right now my body feels stiff in the pose, like I’m truly sweating to reach stability. Hopefully, with persistence and dedication, I’ll fall deep into the pose with some new light.

Remember to believe in yourself.

The Fit Way of Life…try it

I’m slowly trying to explore a more healthy lifestyle. The fitness part is no problem because I love sweating it in yoga. I love it so much I do it twice a day most times. And I do listen to my body, unfortunately I haven’t treated it very well. The junk food and chocolate has been making its way down my throat. And my face shows it too because I’ve been breaking out like one after the other. There’s only me to blame. I just don’t want to go grocery shopping alone. After a week of eating until the fridge and pantry was empty my fiance and I finally made it to a grocery store. I’m looking forward to eating fruits and veggies. I even bought a blender so I can make a few fresh smoothies to fuel the fitness.

If you have any recipe suggestions (dishes and smoothies) please share!

Splitting Dreams…in progress

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From the beginning I did not expect to do the splits in two weeks; which a routine I found on Pinterest said I’ll be doing the splits within two weeks if I do the series twice a day. That just wasn’t realistic for me. I strained my hamstrings pushing myself into the poses and not warming up. I guess you could say I was ill guided. My fault for practicing on my own. That’s why I had to really think back to my athletic roots and remind myself that I don’t have my teenaged body anymore.
So as I dive into my yoga practice I feel the difference in my stretching from various routines. I found that heating up the core will definitely assist you to melt deep into the pose. From touching your toes or going straight into the split firing the core is key.
Now, there may be some confusion with abs and core. They’re two different things. Well, abs are you four packs, six packs, or kegs and its also a section of the core. Core also includes thighs, hips, quads, hamstrings, and lower back. By performing exercises that work all those muscles you can feel the difference in how far you stretch. This could be bow-ups, backbend thrusts, and Russian twists.
TIP: always warm-up before you stretch (please) I would not want anyone to feel the pain of strained muscles.

Better to do something than relaxing in pain

There will be times when you feel down…mentally, physically, and sometimes both. First thing you do is slouch on the couch. That’s how I felt in the beginning of the week. My right eye was in pain from I don’t know what, but it seemed to have scratched my eye; my stomach was all bubbly after a hot pocket breakfast (probably not a good idea), and huge cystic pimples (never fun). I grew totally frustrated by all these physical ailments. It all caught me by surprise. There were no solutions, nothing that eased the pain. Yet, yoga was on my side.
I’m not going to say yoga is the solution to all my pains. If not physical pain, it’s to ease the mental pain. The first challenge, really, is to decide that you’re ready to practice. I didn’t want to follow any routines, no videos or YouTube instructors, just freestyle it. Taking what I’ve learned in the past two months and listening to my body I’d reach short moments where the pain subsided, sometimes vanished all together. My mind dives deep into the different poses like my favorite crow pose and other problems are put aside. Freestyle really makes you feel free. I was comfortable in my discomfort. I accepted that I could not control my itchy eye, my bloated stomach, or acne. Ultimately it’s your chance to step back and remember to breathe.
On the same note, I realized that practicing the poses you could do will ease frustration and make you feel accomplished. It’s a great sensation. Breathing through the pose and elongating the muscles so pain leaves the body, leaves the mind. I’m not sure what the pose (below) is called, but Julian Michaels Yoga Meltdown Level 2 practices the pose and I like it.

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Julian Michaels Yoga Meltdown DVD is actually on sale now at Wal-Mart if you’re interested. It comes with two 30-minute yoga workout routines. You’ll get pretty sweat. But if you don’t want to sweat to the store you can also download the DVD on iTunes.  Also, the Level 1 routine is available on YouTube. I’ve posted the video before and here it is again! =)