Thursday, April 30, 2009

It has those Deep Scrubbing Bubbles...

Wow! Busy week. The new job is a bit busier then my last one. It’s a nice change. I’m starting Yin yoga teacher training this weekend and starting my own new class officially next week. I’m excited about the Yin teacher training because it’s more of a slow and deep yoga that really takes you to a place that meets the built up stress and tightness in our bodies and lives. In Yin yoga you hold postures for long periods of time using as much gravity to stretch you out as possible. Instead of stretching muscle this type of yoga focuses on fascia (that connective tissues that surrounds all kinds of things in our bodies) as well as ligaments, tendons and scar tissues. On an emotional and mental level this practice helps you get to the deeper issues that have been stuffed down into your body and mind. It’s interesting that some of the poses remain the same as you would use in Hatha yoga but by holding them for extended periods you get to open up all this tightness and stress you’ve pushed down into your body. And a lot of the time the things that come up for you, the sadness or anger or frustration weren’t even emotions you were aware you had locked down inside.
So Hatha yoga is sort of like a quick clean you do to get all the surface pains and issues cleared out and when you take time to do some Yin yoga you really get to scrub out the corners and clean out the closets.
In this way Yin yoga becomes a practice of Shaucha (Purity) and we work to keep ourselves cleaned out and as light as possible.
Cleaning isn’t always fun but feeling clean is pretty nice.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Hello, HAL do you read me, HAL?

Sometimes it’s hard to ignore the signs. Adam and I have been trying to figure out whether to buy a Mac computer or get a little Hp notebook because both our laptops are so big that they don’t travel well and we’d be better off selling one and getting something smaller. Last night the answer to our question came when our second Hp just stopped working for no reason at all. It just won’t turn on. A few weeks before our 1st Hp did the exact same thing and we bought them a year apart. So I guess the Gods are Mac computer fans or something and once we get our computers back from Futureshop (say Yay! for extended warranties), we’ll look into getting something a little more durable.
I think it’s really neat how some answers to questions come to us. I had the same type of thing happen to me last week when I was teaching yoga. I can never decide if I want to teach to music. I usually never practice to music on my own because I think our mind is just looking for a distraction from the present and yoga is all about bringing yourself into the moment. On top of that a lot of yoga music can get a bit repetitive (not that I don’t enjoy a good mantra once in a while). So I decided last week not to bring music when I taught and I quickly found out a few good reasons to have some music during your lesson. The yoga class at The Preston Yoga Centre is a small one and while I was waiting for class to start the students came in and sat a meter from me, cross-legged, and it was hard not to feel the awkward silence as the clock ticked away the time until class started. If I had met them before I might have been able to think of a conversation to start but as it was it became a bit of a lesson in sitting in our own discomfort. Now I think learning to sit in situations that make us uncomfortable is really, really good for us because these situations teach us things about ourselves we often decide not to know, but I don’t know if my students feel the same way. By not having the music I run the risk of the discomfort being too much and students not wanting to return and continue their yoga practice. Another benefit I thought of is for people who have trouble relaxing, without any music to distract them they may not be able to let go of their thoughts for the day and may hold their stress through the poses as they would hold their thoughts in their head.
So I took the message I had been given and downloaded a unannoying yoga CD off iTunes and I’m going to compromise by playing the music in the beginning and through the standing postures. Hopefully by then they will be relaxed enough to have it off so they can practice some silence.
But I plan to offer this challenge to my students and to you out there too. Take ten minutes and sit with no music or TV on, no one talking to you, with out the computer or your phone updating you on every little thing. Just sit and try to be silent. If you become uncomfortable ask yourself why. Why can’t you just be with you?
I start teaching officially next week! I’ll try to keep blogging with out a home computer.
Happy sunny days!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Life Changes

Wow! It's a crazy day and I'm still finding time to blog, this is awesome.
I'm at my last day of my casual position out in Carleton Place and I had my last day at the hospital on Sunday. I get to teach yoga tonight for a trial run at the Preston Yoga Centre and I start my new day job in Ottawa on Thursday. So everything is a bit crazy and every now and then I get the butterfly waves in my stomach.
Appropriately enough I'm reading this book called Life Changes by Ambika Wauters about Chakras and such and very interestingly it's whole first chapter talks about conserving energy during times when things are changing. I don't think I ever considered how much energy we just let slip out of us while we try to cope with change. Between all the things we worry about and all the activities we have to undertake to insure the change goes well it can be really draining. And yet at the same time the activities we could be doing to replenish our energy are exactly the opposite of what we end up doing. Usually during times of great upheaval we sleep less, eat worse, forget to exercise and don't spend anytime with the people we love and care about. And these are all activities that would make the changes we go through easier to handle. So I'll try to keep these activities in mind while I travel through all these changes and I'll do my best to do the things that will make all these changes go as smoothly as possible.
Happy rainy Tuesday!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Genghis Khan

My cat passed away unexpectedly 2 nights ago after being hit by a car. Adam and I took the day after it happened to go up to Almonte and lay Genghis to rest on the property his parents own in the country. It was a pretty devastating blow for both of us. I think if we had had kids it would have been different but when it's just you and your husband your cat can take on a much bigger role in your life. Sometimes when we'd have quiet mornings in the cat would curl up between us and just purr and purr and we'd say that this was our little family, and that's truly how it felt. So right now our family feels a little broken and it's hard not to notice the added silence at the house, but I know we will mend from this and I can always hope we will be stronger for it.

I've been thinking a lot about friends lately and I think pets always seem to be the best friends and some people would say that this is because they are such good listeners or because they never expect much from us, but I think the real reason they are such good friends is because we can just be ourselves around them and they can just be their-selves, because that seems to be what animals do best, and without all this posing, posturing or drama it's that much easier to connect and feel the love that sits with in all of us for all things, if we can just get out of our own way and experience it.
So if you have these kind of friends in your life remember to give thanks for the opportunity they give us to experience such peace and oneness.

If you don't have someone like that set and intention and make a space with in yourself to receive such a blessing. And I hope you can find something in the everyday to be grateful for.


Saturday, April 11, 2009

Easter Enlightenment

So it's a slow holiday weekend at the hospital and I'm reading through some of my old posts that needed tagging and catching up with my past self but it's such an odd experience to read over writings that occurred over a year ago. It's kinda like when you leave a message on your own voicemail and your end up listening to it one day and at first you're thinking "Who the heck is that?!" That's what my old blogs are a bit like, I feel a little embarrassed and at the same time there's a part of me that definitely sounds like me.

I think it's amazing that no matter how much we grow and change there's always this part of us that's still us, that still feels like home. I have this friend who used to fight with me over whether people could change or not. Some days he'd say you can reinvent yourself and nothing's permanent and other days he would argue that we're all stuck in out habits and we will never change. Playing the devil's advocate I'd always argue the opposite depending on the position he was taking that day but the truth was at that time I didn't know which was true.

Along comes yoga teacher training and a little Eckhart Tolle and I found out both are true. We have our permanent self which goes by so many names true Self, Atman, the observer, our higher consciousness... And that's our touch-stone with the deeper truth that connects all of us. A lot of people don't even recognize this part of ourselves with all the hectic noise our lives create. When we lose touch with our true Self we feel lonely and separated from the world and the people around us. We often believe that no one can understand what we're going through and we'll never be happy. When we sit quietly and meditate or go for walks in nature or take time to wind down this piece of ourselves because more visable. The other part that does change is our Ego self or small 's' self. This is the part of us that our minds create from history carried in our genetics, our past karmas, our childhood experiences. our parental upbringings and all kinds of information we gather from society and the world around us. Our Ego self is much louder then our true Self. And in times of stress it's not uncommon for it to shout and raise up a fuss to the point where we begin to feel lost and alone. Once the dust settles though our true Self still remains as it did the whole time, whether we knew it or not.

I guess I could be stressed to find out that my Ego self is causing all these problems but I don't really mind because I know my true Self is still there behind it all.
I think it's kind of neat to have the opportunity to change and yet stay the same as well. A kind of security with the option for adventure and exploration.

Today's not much of a day for personal exploration. It's my last full weekend and the hospital. It's really queit here, just us and the patients. I hope every one's getting some family time in and enjoying the drama that comes with hanging out with people that have known you since you were poopin' in your diapers.
Gandhi said if you think you are enlightened try spending a week with your family.
Good luck and Happy Easter!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Everytime it rains it rains pennies from heaven...

So I was thinking about change today. I'm out in Carleton Place working for a few and yesterday I stopped by the Starbucks for a tea and ended up having no cash on me so I interacted it. A two dollar debit and I thought that was rather silly of me to do, the service charges will be higher than the amount I charged. So today I stopped by the bank and got out money before I went for my tea. So I handed the coffee lady and $20 and of course I got back a handful of coins. So then I'm thinking well this is too much change! Now I'll have to think of ways to get rid of it... I paused a moment... Then I laughed at myself.

I was thinking money change is a lot like life changes when you compare the two. Either you have no change and you feel stuck. "What do I do? I have no change. I'm stuck." You start thinking you need change otherwise you're stagnant. So you start to look for ways to make change. Then you get change and it feels like it's too much. "Whoa! What am I going to do with all this change?? It's too much. I can't handle it all." And we choose to be unhappy again.

I'm pretty sure the lesson here is that there is no such thing as too much or too little change it's all how you perceive it. I mean everything is changing all the time but we don't even notice most of it. The snow melts, our cells age, our shoes get scuffed... It's all change, but it's only a bad thing if you think of it that way. Weird....

So the change I'm focused on right now is that I'm returning to my job in community care. I took a job in the hospital last summer and kept my community job as a casual position but I recently applied to work in the Ottawa Community Care office full time and got the job. So that's my big change. I'll be switching from working crazy shifts around the clock to a Monday to Friday job during the days. And the funny thing is my first reaction was "This is too much change!" But that was just the initial perspective I took. My second worry was that I was moving backwards going back to the same kind of job. But I've decided that it's not really the same job if I make it my goal to go into this position and do my best at it (A goal I definitely didn't have the first time I worked in the community). I think I owe it to myself to prove that I can live to my full potential in this new position because in the past my half attempt at the job left me feeling uncomfortable with myself.

So needless to say change is coming and I am working to have an open mind that all change brings growth, no matter how nerve-racking the change may be.

My plan once I start my new job in two weeks into become a regular blogger again since I should be a little more awake. And hopefully I can let you know all the things I've learned in the past 9 months while I've been neglecting the Internet.

I also am working to convince myself to find a regular yoga class to teach to inspire me to continue my yoga growth.

As always wish me luck.