Here’s What I Do Know

I may be a neglectful blogger and have abandoned you all for a few months, but don’t let that discredit a few of the lessons I’ve been taking the time to absorb. We’ll be back to health, food, and fitness in no time but bear with me.

 

I do know:

  • It will take more than 24 years and 5 months to cultivate the savoir-fare and gumption needed for life’s constant waves
  • People love you and believe in you. And it never hurts to ask to hear that
  • Fresh sheets will change everything. That and a bouquet of pink peonies
  • Good friends and family are there through the good, the bad, and the ugly. Take the time to appreciate them
  • If all else fails, sit down with a cup of tea and a good book
  • Sundays are just as disheartening now as when you were a child
  • There’s nothing more wonderful than the morning, when it’s just you and the still world
  • Crying on your yoga mat will help more than you realize. And it will happen more than once…
  • No matter how perfect you think someone’s life is…it really isn’t
  • A lot of things will knock you on your butt. It’s okay to wallow, scream, and kick before getting back up
  • A bar of dark chocolate with crystallized ginger is an appropriate dinner
  • Love is the most powerful thing we will feel in our lives
  • A good surge of endorphins will transform your mood and perspective. Albeit maybe temporarily
  • If you really want to do something for yourself, take the time to meditate. It will change you
  • Where you are in this exact moment is exactly where you need to be. Trust in that

 

Sandwiched in between spin class and green smoothie blogging, there may be more rambling. More impulsive introspection. More altruistic encouragement. More of practicing grace.

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Practicing: Gratitude

Since beginning my Sadhana in October, I’ve been reflecting on my blessings and setting an intention for the day while I brush my teeth every morning. Two minutes of gratitude and clean teeth. I find that this keeps me accountable and present everyday rather than being consumed by the stress of the day. We all have so much to be grateful for each day, and it helps to practice our gratitude so that the beauty of our day doesn’t pass us by.

Given that Thanksgiving is approaching, I was inspired by a New York Times author’s list of some conventional and not-so-conventional gratitudes. So here I go…

“I’m thankful for my health, friends who make me laugh, and the colors of sunsets. I’m thankful for the smell of lavender and the feel of clean sheets. I’m thankful for the Shazam app and the ability to have any song at my finger tips. For memories. For spontaneous decisions. For the magic of mascara. I’m thankful for the relief that a good cry can bring. I’m thankful for those Sunday mornings with my family, for the Sunday funnies and banana pancakes we enjoyed together. For books that leave you speechless. For white goat cheddar. I’m thankful that I can’t read peoples’ minds, as much as I want to. I’m thankful middle school nights with AIM. I’m thankful my life is not like a Real Housewives of DC episode. I’m thankful for quiet morning runs, the warmth of cooking with others, and the zeal of advent calendars. For Whole Foods hot bar. For my long legs. I’m thankful for memories and the future.”

What are you grateful for today?

Practicing: Non-Judgment

It’s a difficult feat to not harbor judgment, and to many that’s a very general and overly expansive statement. Since beginning TT (teacher training), I’ve tried to keep this concept of judgment in my thoughts during every element of my day. Almost the very first assertion from my teacher was regarding the importance of allowing yourself to listen to others—without immediate judgments and critiques flooding your mind.  Tapas (patience) and Svadhyaya (mindfulness) are personal behaviors I try to remind myself of on and off of my mat.

Most people in a yoga class have witnessed someone prior to class going into Scorpion or jumping into a handstand, so rather than harboring resentment or envy (or mumbling “showoff”), allow for each individual to have their own practice. This individual may just rely on these poses to warm up his lower back, and in contrast you may need to rest in child’s pose in preparation for class. Allow yourself and others this time….without judgment.

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Trust me it takes practice, a lot of practice. Unfortunately, I am a very impatient person, and I immediately blame my Type A personality; however, then I wouldn’t be holding myself accountable now would I? This week I walked into one of my favorite evening classes at Flow Yoga Center, I was prepared for the fluid breathing and fast flow of the class. Basically I wanted my butt kicked. My teacher informed us that we would spend the beginning of the class on the floor, tapering our energy as we near the New Moon. I went through the motions, but not fully accepting my breath or the direction of the class. It was difficult to concentrate on the present, as I reflected on the usual sequences we were sadly not moving through.

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Needless to say, I was judging my teacher’s sequences and second guessing my decision to come to class. I did not have the Saucha (clarity) to focus on the movements and energy we were cultivating for the Waning Moon, and thus was astonished as the pose intensity and my breathing increased. The opening movements that I had been frustrated with had cultivated a palpable prana and flow of sweat. Lying on my mat exhausted, I was fully appreciative of the hybrid of asanas I had just experienced. With mindfulness of my thoughts, I concentrated on going into my next class this morning with complete non-judgment. Open to all possibilities from the Universe