The Home Practice

yoga5

This is not a photo of me. I am usually in pajamas doing yoga with my cats.

I was always the last one to be chosen for a team.  It was disappointing for kids to see my height and seemingly athletic limbs then to witness my ability.  I can dance, that is about it.  I get a stomach cramp running, hurt my wrist weight lifting, daydream enough to get hit by a ball, and couldn’t catch one to save my life.  I do notice though that if I do not do any exercise my back starts to hurt, I am more fatigued, and long intervals between workouts cause any good work I did to unravel.

I am brilliant at creating ideas and medicines and magic but having so many ideas at the same time does tend to make me flighty.  A personality trait I doubt will leave me.  I need a workout that will keep me focused.  I also need a workout that I can tailor if my old knee injury or sciatica flares up, or the nerve damage in my toe from ballet kicks in, or I slept wrong and my neck is out of whack.  I also do not need to compare myself to fit twenty year olds.  I also don’t particularly like leaving the house if I don’t have to.  So, the very best practice for me (and I don’t wonder for you too) is a home practice.

We know exercise is absolutely imperative to cardiovascular, lymphatic, and skeletal health.  Hormones are improved, mood is improved, and a good booty are all reasons to get our cute selves into the living room!

I am a huge advocate of yoga.  There are many types of yoga and lots of videos that can be checked out a week at a time from the library.  I love all types of yoga.  I never feel like I want a serious, back breaking, sweat inducing workout.  Yoga makes me focus so I don’t fall on my head, effectively clearing my mind and making me feel calm, but I also get a much better workout than I think I am because I like the feel of stretching, dance motions, and the feeling that I am connected to nature though movement.  I stand up straighter, feel stronger, and am more flexible.

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This is me, I would LOVE to be able to do yoga on a beach each day. I guess the back yard works too.

Yoga also encourages you to slow your mind, meditate and send out your prayers for the day.  Breathing regulation and the body moving in natural ways seems to me to be the very best and a very natural form of exercise.  It can be done anywhere and can be done with or without a video, and can be altered to the body’s desires for the day.

Walks in the park and swimming, hiking in the mountains or a quick jog are all lovely but when the desire to stay in one’s jammies hits (every day) we can always roll out the yoga mat in the living room and get an effective and invigorating workout.

 

Setting Yourself Free (Part 2- Strength and Balance in 20 minutes)

Yesterday we learned how to help the mind and the heart release, consciously choosing happiness.  Today we will remember to send people off in bubbles, slam file drawers, and walk out of imaginary rooms.  To add to that today we will strengthen our body, our physical core, the outer vessel of our spirit.

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I have no desire to go to the gym.  Doug and I did that for years with nary a change.  We also like staying near the house.  We keep in pretty good shape from hauling wood, water, and farming but now we are moving to the city and will need to find new ways to keep our bodies strong.  We are not talking body building strong, just strong enough to carry around our spirit and let us do the things we want to do.  The steep hills and walking trails of Manitou will be delightful to explore.  There is yoga taught there seven days a week and I can hardly wait!

My favorite video.

My favorite video.

I started doing yoga when we became engaged.  I wanted to be strong and beautiful.  I am not a natural!  I cannot stand on my head or do any of the extensive moves but everything I can do makes me feel rooted and strong and gorgeous and connected to the world around me.  I have muscle definition and flexibility for everything I want to do, in 20 minutes a day.  I can either pop in a video and do yoga with the cats in the living room or remember many moves and practice yoga outside in front of the owls and the vast prairie.

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Yoga can be done by anyone, however slight or advanced.  I do not own yoga pants or even have a yoga mat!  It is a wonderful way to keep balanced in 20 minutes a day, or every other day!  When you are practicing yoga, feel your feet connect to the earth.  Feel the top of your head connect to the sky and Creator.  Pull yourself up as you do moves.  Feel beautiful.  For you are a beautiful creation.