06 January 2009

Yoga is...

sometimes dancing like a total nerd to yoga music and calling it a yoga practice for that day.

Sure, traditional practice is cool, can't live without it. But sometimes I set out to practice, and start out solid, but somehow feel like REALLY moving around. So I admit, I love some of that yoga music that some people might think quite silly, and when I want to move around, DANCE around and do yoga-like things, I have no problem calling that my yoga practice, and do! What's nice is that I get good and tired and hot and limber and then can enjoy all the spoils of that warm limberness by taking long yin yoga poses and bringing myself back down to earth again. Hmmmm....yogarobics?
Just kidding. That sounds horrible.

22 December 2008

May I Recommend...

Two of my new favorites for yoga are these cool yoga practice pants from Yoga Hyde, a new company making some nice organic practice and chill clothes. I am at this very moment sporting the Engineered Seam pant as I have just practiced in them. So soft, but not too soft and flapper, you know what I mean, like they hold you in, but let you move around to your yoga heart's desire. Get this, Deepak Chopra digs their yoga clothes!

If you go to their website and order, right now they are offering 15% off with the discount code: ASANA.
Word up!

17 December 2008

There's Alway Something For Me

After learning I have one seriously tweeked back and starting weekly physical therapy to rectify it, I have had to alter my yoga practice in a major way. My physical therapist advised me to do no forward bending that does not keep the spine neutral (oh, yeah, that's like 67% of the ashtanga practice) nor to twist (like the REST of the ashtanga practice!). At first I was very despondent, I mean, I could not envision yoga practice without these two movements. I felt angry at my back and then angry at Barb, the physical therapist. I mean, how could she even SAY those two things are bad at ALL! It was against all that I felt I had learned about the physical aspect of yoga. But through Barb, I have learned some interesting things about the anatomy of our backs, and that it seems that bending forward isn't inherently bad at all. I won't get into the boring details of my back issues, but I will say that I will be bending forward once I work on strengthening the areas that are aggravated by such action. Same with twisting, although Barb frowns much upon twisting if it is generated from the lumbar region which she claims is not fashioned to perform such action.

The bad news is that it seems yoga may have played a part in my injuries. And I take responsibility for it, by not practicing asteya and ahimsa, I had been, for years, taking too much, going too far and not being humble enough to listen to what my body was really saying it could do. My back developed TOO much flexibility and the muscles in it were not matching that level of flexibility. However, I was informed that to some extent our flexibility is genetic and perhaps I was bending myself around because I just could. Also doing me a great disservice was sitting in my work chair with my leg tucked under my butt, for like, years. My spine is slowly curving to the right...which is totally bizarre to see on an X-ray, let me tell you.

All this blather leads me to what I really wanted to say and that is that yoga is there for me again, and not as I usually experience it being there for me. I realize there are a myriad poses I can do without bending myself in two and without twisting. In fact, I have discovered the joy of so many poses I otherwise didn't focus on that much. And I have also come to love Pilates. A form of exercise I once thought people did because they were too lazy and chicken to do yoga.But Pilates is excellent for keeping the spine neutral and there is almost no twisting and it promotes excellent posture, so I am all about it right now. I feel long and graceful doing it and it blends almost seemlessly into my yoga practice.

My lesson is that we relay so much on habits and ideas about the things we do that when those habits and ideas are forced to change, we sort of tweek out, and I tweeked out, mentally. But once I stopped tweeking out and adapted I discovered something I can really sink my teeth into!

18 November 2008

I just realized (yes just today) WHY practicing yoga puts me (and most people) in such a super-content (santosh-ic!) good mood! To practice yoga is to become one with the Divine, which resides WITHIN US.

Therefore, when practicing yoga you are doing something very special, you are connecting with something so much greater than the YOU you usually consider. And it's so amazing that that YOU, that DIVINITY is within you and you have access to it, anytime.

I spent my lunch hour practicing in my office and then came home to a longer home practice with the heat cranked up in the house. When finished I was just dancing around the house making a salad and listening to Wah! (I am such a yoga nerd sometimes), and that is when this revelation, that really isn't a relevation, but something very simple, hit me!

Then I heard a loud THUD!
Having no idea what it was, I inspected from whence it came and lo and behold my kitty cat, Ella, had knocked my mat down from it's resting upright position andhad it rolled out whereupon she was seated on it like the freaking Queen of Sheba. Oh Ella, you too can connect with your divinity!

05 November 2008


02 November 2008

Today I did a long intuative vinyasa practice at my house, focusing slightly on the hips and sacrum. I was hungry when I started my practice and thought I might cut it short to eat something, but that hunger faded and I ended up having a nice very long meditative flow. Afterward I sat in meditation and chanted:
Om Namah Shivaya Gurave
Nishprapancaya Shantaya
Niralambaya Tejase

which translates into:
I bow to the goodness within myself,
known as the Lord Shiva, who is the true teacher.
This essence inside takes the form of truth, consciousness, and bliss.
Always present and full of peace, this essence inside is completely dree, and sparkles with a divine luster.

How can one go wrong with that!?
While chanting my thoughts came to two of my friends that have passed away, one a month ago today. He was someone I would "go to the mountain" with, meaning we would have deep spiritual discussions that sometimes lasted late into the night. Consequently, the other friend that past away nearly two years ago was also a "go to the mountain" friend. I miss them both intensely, and while in meditation I almost cried for the loss of them, but then, I recalled a poem that I used to comfort me after Audrey's death. It's too long to type here, but it in sense presented death as a very beautiful passage - a drop of water reentering the ocean. When I remembered the poem I then pictured the souls of my two friends meeting somewhere beyond and although they never met in this life, they were kindred spirits and I like to think of them connecting somewhere.

27 October 2008

Someone reads this blog!

Downward Deegs was included in a Top 100 Yoga and Meditation Blogs. I am very happy to be recognized as such!