First, a quick word to my fellow Boston morning commuters before I get down to business (And my very first video!): When people are trying to get off the T and you happen to be standing in the door, GET THE HELL OUT OF THE WAY. You can get back on when everyone that needs to get off is off. A door is an ENTRANCE and EXIT. And no, don’t try to flatten yourself against the side of the door- I’m looking at YOU, crazy lady with the backpack. Seriously, were you en route to hike the Himalayas? I seriously doubt it. I don’t think they wear argyle socks in the Himalayas.
So: to sum up: Get off the train to let people off. It’ll go a lot smoother and next time I won’t hit you with my bag. Thanks!
Anyway, please pardon the rant. I’m actually less frazzled than I usually am when I have a nasty commute and that’s probably thanks to the challenge I am doing with my lovely friend Christie, over at Honor my Health. Christie sent me this mini inspiration board, which sits in a shelf in my room where I can see it whenever I come home. Isn’t this awesome? I was so moved when I opened up the box to reveal this. I got this at a time when I really needed it and I absolutely love it!
Anyway, Christie wrote about doing a personal challenge in which she would read a 365 day devotional containing writings on a personal yoga practice. The idea was for her to commit to reading each day for 365 days and then to do whatever she felt lead to do- whether it be yoga, meditation, writing, etc. after each reading. In the post (“Un-Stuck”) she talked about how she had felt on the verge of great things, but stuck- and that she knew yoga was the key, but she needed guidance for a practice at home.
I’m new to yoga and I, too, am starting to find that yoga is essential to my well-being as I practice more and more. It’s helping my body with Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia symptoms, as well, and THAT is priceless. I need guidance so that I can grow in my practice. One of the concepts that Baron Baptiste writes about in “Journey to Power” is the idea that “Everything we need is already in us” and that we just have to unlock it. Well, I want the key, damnit! So, I asked Christie if I could do the challenge with her and I ordered the book “Meditations from the Mat,” by Rolf Gates. The book was waiting for me when I returned from NH and I immediately tore into the package and read the introduction. I am SO EXCITED! Christie is much further along in her abilities and her knowledge, so I think that sometimes we will get different things out of the readings, but we can discuss and share ideas, which is so motivating and helps us both get more out of the challenge.
You can see Christie’s take at her blog, but Day 3 this morning was really interesting for me (although i’m just a beginner and I really dig the basics). I rolled out my yoga mat, and put my awesome new Yogitoes yoga towel down and sat to read.
Rolf spoke of the yoga mat as a “laboratory” and as soon as I finished the passage, I knew what I wanted to do. Downward dog is NOT my favorite pose. I rather be in child’s or dancer’s or wheel. I’m very awkward in downward dog and in all honesty it bothers me to feel like I am failure at something that other people seem to find so basic and easy. So, I figured, this is the time to “experiment in the lab” and I went up into downward dog.
You know what? It really wasn’t terrible. I actually held it for a bit and went back to it between asanas. I don’t know if I’ll ever really love it, or even like it, but I think it’s an important enough pose that I do need to work on it. I think it’s telling that I am finally willing to try. I also realized in the first few readings how much I have to learn- I need to fully grasp the eight limbs of yoga- these are the building blocks. So, I’ll be focusing on that in the coming days, as well as doing my daily reading.
I have some exciting news (um, and this is relative): On my last day of skiing (Sunday) I had a really rough morning. My symptoms were out of control and I had to keep coming in after every run to rest. In the past, I have become very frustrated and disheartened, before just throwing in the towel. However, somehow, I found the patience and will to keep trying and by the afternoon, I not only felt better, but had one of the best skiing afternoons of my life thus far- no joke. It was wonderful. It was just a matter of listening to my body and giving it what it needs.
I also want to say how surprised and appreciative I am that my mom and step-dad (the biggest meat eaters I know) are so supportive of my foray into Vegetarianism. I was expecting looks of disgust, potential heart attacks (ironic, I know), and maybe even arguments. What I got, though, was encouragement and really kind words. Thanks, Mama and Frank! I’m currently reading “Eating Animals” by Jonathan Safran Foer on the advice (actually she said I MUST read it 😉 ) of my awesome friend Dori. It’s a terrific book and I can’t wait to share it with you.
I haven’t done all that much cooking lately, which is a shame, and I’ll be returning to my usual cooking Thursday. I have a couple of potential recipes in mind… Tonight is my first night of Grad School classes and tomorrow I teach a class, so life is a little hectic this week. However, I did cook up a little something last night- my very first video! Lucky for you, I didn’t include the five minutes I spent just making faces at the camera, which, while hilarious, were probably a little frightening. I’m nervous, so be kind! I never in a million years thought that I would post a video, but here I am- unapologetically me (I’m a huge goofball, as you will see here). Thanks for watching!
I want to close by saying thank you to my friend Kat for the amazing Christmas/Birthday gifts she sent me. Kat is absolutely awesome and you should read her blog if you haven’t. She’s hysterical. And a wonderful friend. So, thanks, Kat!