Sunday, 23 October 2016

Week 1 - homework

Self Care

Often we leave ourselves last. I'll do this if I have any time left. Left after what?  Do self care first. It's like in the airplane. If the oxygen masks drop down, you put one on yourself first before you help others. Even your own child. No matter what. You can't help anyone when you are depleted. We have to learn this because we weren't often taught to do this and it may seem selfish. These two things are small steps but powerful steps. So go forth and do your homework.

Here is your homework for this week:

1 - Take a most luxurious bath.
Clean the bathtub first. Get some scents or salts for your bath. Take it slow. Take an hour for the whole experience. Be aware of your body and how it feels to step out of your clothes, how it feels to step into hot water, how water feels, how warmth feels, and how it is to take this time for yourself. Light a candle. Have a lovely glass of juice to drink. Do this at least once this week.

2 - Dance to your favourite music:
For five minutes or however long your music is, dance wildly in your kitchen. Do this every day for a week. It's a guaranteed energy boost.

Friday, 21 October 2016

Week 1 - a home practice

This past week I asked the yoga students what prevents them from doing yoga at home.
Here are the answers:

I don't remember to do it
I think I will do it tomorrow
I'm too tired - I just don't have the energy
I don't have enough room - no space - or space isn't clean enough
I haven't made it a habit - no routine in place
I'm too distracted with other things to do
I'm too distracted in my mind to focus
My dog is in the way
My boyfriend is in the way
My time isn't my own
I get easily sidetracked
I'm lazy
I don't have the time
I'm too anxious
I need someone to tell me what to do
No one encourages me to do it
I'm not in enough discomfort
I'm in too much pain
I have lots of things I want to do - yoga isn't on top of list
I don't know what to do

This list makes me feel tired. No wonder the mat doesn't come out.
Look. All these are excuses. Sounds harsh, I know.
At one time or another I've used all of these excuses. Just chuck 'em!

I have mostly women students and I have watched us all put others ahead of ourselves. Everyone gets our attention except ourselves. This is what we've been taught. Either someone told us or we learned from watching how the society works around us. We all want to be good. But you know, I think deep down we all want to be happy first. How can we help or take care of anyone else if we aren't at ease with ourselves? If we aren't happy? If we aren't healthy? If we aren't whole and thriving?

Take some time and answer this question:
Why would you want to do a personal home practice of yoga?
You won't be motivated if it's a vague "should". The motivation has to come from you. Only personal reasons can sustain your practice.
My motivation is feeling light, joyful, free after doing yoga and meditation. I feel GOOD! And I generally get more done during the day because I put myself first.
The best thing you can do for your relationships, your work, your life, is to put yourself first. First. Me first. Say it - I put myself first.

Find a place in your home. I live in an almost real tiny home. It's just over 600 sq. feet. I live with a man and a dog. I looked around and I have room for a yoga mat in 4 places. In the living room, in the kitchen, in the hallway, and in front of the washer and dryer. They are not ideal but that's what I've got. The hallway is great because I can't see the dishes or other stuff to put away. So what if my man and dog have to jump over me to go past. I let them. I keep my eyes closed and relax into my space. My space is really inside me. It's like coming home. I carry my home with me - always.

No time? We all have 24 hours in a day. Make time for you and it will seem like you actually have more time in the day. Even if you have to get up 15 minutes earlier every day. It's so worth it.

Anxiety, distraction? This will fall away in time and sooner than your think.

Don't know what to do? I can help. Some previous blogs have short routines and I will have more.

And I will encourage you to do it. Right now. Take 3 deep and gentle breaths. And come home to yourself. You are worth it!

Nothing is worth more than being yourself. We are all here to be free. This is our birthright.

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Vision Practice

Vision Practice (slightly adapted) from Jacob Liberman's book Take off Your Glasses and See

Take off your glasses if you wear them. Be comfortable.
Bring your attention inward. Allow your attention to wander if it wanders. Notice what you notice.
Allow your breathing to become soft and gentle. Gently close your eyes.

Bring your attention to your eye sockets and notice any feelings of 'holding on' or 'grabbing' there. Don't try to make it better, just spend a few moments feeling that tension. Imagine that you are breathing in and out through your eyes. As you breathe, allow a feeling of softness and gentleness to gradually seep into your eye sockets. Notice how the grabbing begins to shift by itself.

When you next exhale, very gently and slowly allow your eyes to open. As you open them, don't look at anything, or worry about whether you will see clearly. Allow the room to look at you.
When your eyes are open, start to inhale and allow them to effortlessly close again. There's no need to squint: keep your eye muscles very soft and easy the whole time. Continue to gently open and close your eyes along with your breath.

Now notice a kind of movement or wobble that seems to occur just as your eyes are opening. Become fascinated by this movement. Notice how things are different at this moment. Notice how the room may be shifting or moving as you open your eyes. Notice how vision is different in that instant that you open them compare to the stability that comes. Continue for a few minutes.

Practice daily. Remember not to strain.