Wednesday, October 27, 2010
So yoga. It's awesome. Monday and today we did a lot of Vinyasa yoga, which is the flow yoga. Wonderful bits of stretchy fun. We also did some Pranic (energy) exercises to help calm and ground the mind and body. It was definitely weird at first because I am a pretty pragmatic person for the most part and I think there is a rational explanation for everything that happens in the world. So having to focus my energy and my mind on something i don't necessarily believe in was difficult. However after pushing my thoughts away from the part of me that wanted to make fun of the entire experience it really was very calming and soothing. It was one of the most effective methods I have come across so far to shut down the endless litany that is my brain and reach for a sense of solidarity with my surroundings. Yay for zen Jenn!
Posted by Jenn at 2:05 PM
Thursday, October 14, 2010
Yesterday we focused on Vinyasa yoga which is a very flow centered yoga style. You move between poses with your breath and it is fantastic! You feel like you are really incorporating the breathing with your movement and for me, it helps my poses if we are constantly flowing from one to the next. I have found when I hold a yoga pose for awhile, I end up losing my posture and form and just concentrating on keeping my balance. With vinyasa yoga there is no time to worry about your balance because you are totally focused on your form and breathing. I think that if I continue with yoga, (which I will) Vinyasa will be my form of choice.
In other news, I am pretty sure I broke my right ass cheek yesterday. I got a cramp in my right leg during practice and now for some reason my butt hurts. You try explaining to people why you are hobbling around, they look at you funny when you say my ass is sore. Trust me. I know.
Posted by Jenn at 8:07 AM
Monday, October 11, 2010
I used to do the shoulder stand or Sarvangasana all the time as a kid. I used to pretend I was a ballerina and point my toes to the air and pretend to dance. Sarvangasana is known as the high queen of asanas and I LOVE it. For some reason it makes me feel more relaxed and centered. Class today was challenging, we were working on upper body strength, not my strong suit. So imagine my shock when we were doing push ups that my arms didn't just give out on me and say "NO! you can't make me!" like a spoiled whiny 3 year old.
After class I was thinking about how much stronger I am feeling physically compared to a few months ago. When I remember a few years ago when I was first released from the hospital, I remember the shock of not being physically capable of walking very far or climbing up a hill. It took months of pushing myself and moving to get my body OK with normal everyday activities, much less a sport or form of exercise.
My body is now in the best shape of my life and I can't think of a single insecurity I feel with it. I am amazed by the human body and the things that will power and strength can do for the body and for the soul. Maybe this sounds cocky or arrogant but after my brush with death, I thought I would never feel about my body the way I felt at 19. I was terrified after I got out of the hospital that no one would ever think I was beautiful ever again. I felt like something inside me was hurt and ugly, and while my body healed many of the hurts, my soul held onto the pain of being marked by chance. Vain? Definitely, but you try being a woman in today's society with 75% of her body covered in scars. It's hard. Sam, my boyfriend; was and still is amazing and thinks I am beautiful no matter what I think I look like. But it wasn't until earlier today that I realized that I finally think I am beautiful again, and that pain that I have kept inside is gone. Maybe it was the passage of time, and I am sure that definitely helped, but I feel like it was yoga, and the practice of "no harm" thinking. Silly as it sounds, but the mental clarity and the physical changes can't be ignored. At least not by me.
Posted by Jenn at 2:37 PM
Friday, October 8, 2010
So I was sick with the flu on Wednesday in yoga. Luckily everyone else in class was wanting a really mellow class so I went and was on my back all class. It was great to stretch my sick and weak muscles. I told Stephanie I was sick before class started and she was so amazing about it. She just said "Listen to your body and take care of it. You can stay in Savasana (corpse pose) all class if you need to. " Savasana is our meditation pose for the class and it is wonderful to go within yourself and actually spend time with no one but yourself. I did the stretches with the class but it was the extra time we spent in Savasana Wednesday that was amazing. I worked really hard to stay present through my stomach churning with unabated rage at life and my limbs alternately sweating and chilling with my fever. Obviously maintaining the meditation was difficult, looking back I shouldn't have gone to class but I am glad I did if for nothing but the extra meditation time. I keep myself pretty good company. :)
Posted by Jenn at 5:17 PM
Monday, October 4, 2010
So as one would imagine, today we were doing Shirshasana, or a head stand. It is known as the high king of asanas, with the shoulder stand or Sarvangasana as the high queen. Shoulder stands are awesome and I always feel so relaxed and energetic after I do one. However, based on my copious falling over this morning I am pretty sure people were not meant to stand of their heads. Although if you read about how good this pose, along with the other asanas are for you, one would think that humans have been walking upside down forever. The inverted stance relives pressure on your heart and helps the cardiovascular system, the lymphatic system the nervous system and the endocrine system. Weird right? Look it up, I am not lying.
Stephanie gave us an interesting instruction today. She said to remain in the present. I don't know about anyone else but I am rarely in the present, I am constantly thinking about last week, next week or even 5 minuets ago. How often do you spend exactly in the present? Even in conversation I sometimes catch myself in my own thoughts and have to snap back to reality. I personally always get a little weirded out by this, especially when I am driving somewhere. I suddenly am there and I don't remember driving there with any particular detail. Everyone goes on autopilot occasionally but I wonder what I would be like if I was consistently in the present. Would I be a better listener? A better coworker, friend, girlfriend or student? In this world of high tech distractions I wonder if any of us are ever in the present for any length of time.
Posted by Jenn at 10:27 PM