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Finding your Focus, Festival of India, and Ready to Run Recap – Week 5 and the Week Ahead

Finding your Focus, Festival of India, and Ready to Run Recap – Week 5 and the Week Ahead

Trying to stay focused, while teaching yoga in the real world, and thinking up the next blog post   Sometimes we start seated, and sometimes we start lying down, and once in a while we even start in child’s pose, but I always start my classes with the same general message, to let go of everything outside, and to focus inward and on yourself. And once we begin to brea the, and have a few moments that are quiet, even for the busiest people, it seems possible. Unless they are faking it, which is also possible. But I really do get the sense that my students are engaged and very present. And I remind them that if thoughts do come into their heads, not to engage them, and come back to the breath. And we’ll begin to practice, being very centered and present. And then it will happen, I’ll think of a pose I really wanted to get to in this class, or the next thing that I should blog about, and despite teaching almost every day for quite a few years now, I’ll make a slip. I’ll mix up the left and the right (that one happens a lot, especially if the room has mirrors), or mix up a body part, and just for a moment, I’ve lost my focus. And to my students it has happened to, sorry! Since starting this website, it’s been very exciting to have a space to share all of these thoughts that I used to just be alone with. I’ve always been a bit of a thinker, and I’m old enough to...
Less is not More, the Pelvic Floor, and Ready to Run Recap – Week 4 and the Week Ahead

Less is not More, the Pelvic Floor, and Ready to Run Recap – Week 4 and the Week Ahead

Less is Not More More is more. My running program has built up to a lot more time running than walking. And, while I would love to be able to say that going for longer runs is adding lots of joy into my day, the reality is a 5 minute run is a lot more challenging. And to a novice runner, pretty damn hard. But there is more joy in finishing the runs and not giving in to the many excuses that I can come up during 5 minutes of running. Because 5 minutes, when you’re new to running, can be a pretty long time. And you can come up with a lot more excuses. So what are the excuses that I have come up against? Time, fatigue, shins, knees? Those are the ones that are easy to mention. Then there are the other ones that are a bit harder to discuss, like, I really should have worn a better sports bra! Or two! Let me know if you’ve found one you love, because so far none of the ones I have are feeling all that wonderful now that I’m trying to put more bounce in my step. And the other one is…I really need stop and go pee!   The Pelvic Floor Reader discretion advised. Many women of a certain age, especially those who have had some children (I’ve had 3) can relate to that worry that a little cough or a jump on a full bladder might cause a problem. Maybe I should have brought a change of clothes? Good thing these pants are black? After struggling...
Tapas – on the mat, and on the table, and Ready to Run Recap – Week 3 and the Week Ahead

Tapas – on the mat, and on the table, and Ready to Run Recap – Week 3 and the Week Ahead

Tapas on the Mat In yoga teacher training, as part of the study of the Eight Limbs of Yoga, we analyzed the Yamas and Niyamas, which are the first two limbs. These are essentially the 10 ethical characteristics of leading a yogic life. While I was doing my running this week, it got me to thinking about Tapas, not the small savory foods, but the third Niyama, which is translated as heat (tap is Sanskrit for burn), and also austerity, and also discipline. It takes a lot of discipline to develop a yoga practice, or a running practice, finding that fire within you to get past the excuses and challenges of discomfort, and of busy lives, and find the discipline to not cheat your workout, or cheat your practice.  Thinking of Tapas, the willingness to put in the effort and do the work, while I was running, actually did a lot to keep me focused on the running, and disciplined to not cheat, especially as the runs get a little harder and a little longer. Knowing that I had the internal fire, and that I could harness it, and use it, is so powerful. Finding the Tapas, the self-discipline, on the yoga mat, actually came fairly easily to me. I started practicing yoga fairly late in life, and I started it because my body was stiff and achy and I was having so much pain in my shoulders that it actually hurt to lift my arms. I had trouble holding a downward dog for 1 breath.  But as I began to develop my yoga practice, I started to feel...