observations.

There is a beautiful connection between movement and breath. Inner thoughts occur. Worry. Faith. Doubt. Belief. Strength. Weakness. Fear. Fearlessness.

Day seven has arrived in what has already felt like a month of time here, yet has only felt like one day has gone by. There are so many vibrations going through my mind. The fear of being authentically myself on arrival and being accepted. We got delayed on our journey so we arrived a day late. Our first day started off with 4 hours of silence. First off if you know me personally you are probably thinking how on earth did you stay quiet that one. It was tough. I met 15 new people via silence. We connected just by a simple smile and movement. There was a lot of curiosity on both ends, who are these people? Will they like me? We meditated in each other’s presence, we flowed in a two hour vinyasa class and then the silence was broke and we met. I immediately felt a connection with many of these people if not all of them. That is just the beginning. 

We are all here on a different journey. We are here with a different story. We are here to find our own path. Yet we are all connected as one and we are all facing different fears. What I truly love about the practice of yoga is that it comes in all forms. It doesn’t matter the success or the struggle that you bring to the mat. What matters is that you show up and you grow from the experience. A lot of people fear yoga. I think it’s because you know you’ll have to stop and listen to yourself, you’ll have to feel movement in your body and you’ll have to listen to your mind and the chatter that exists within. I relate it to how I feel about writing. This scares the crap out of me. I was told once I need to blog because I have good stuff to say. But I constantly doubt my abilities to do it. I was also told to never go back and read it, cause I’ll over analyze, correct and not actually say what I mean. They were right…about that last part anyway.

I am finding this experience is a lot like the volcano that erupted just a short seventeen miles away from us. We expect by nature of a volcano at some point it will erupt. I came in full of expectations of what an advanced teacher training could hold, yet I was ready to dive into the unknown. The people that had to evacuate didn’t know what to expect. They knew that the eruption could be life changing, but how life changing was unknown. This training is opening several doors of thought and life changing experiences. In just seven days my mind has been filled with so many new ideas, dreams, goals and it has also allowed me to let go of a a few things that I have been hanging on to.  I have noticed things that I need to change and it feels good to acknowledge. Twenty five days left and I’m sure we’ve barely scratched the surface.

Pause in the moments of unknown. And breathe. Don’t think of what’s next. Think of what is now. – Cailee

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Intention

Intentions. We all have them. Good ones, bad ones and sometimes we don’t even really acknowledge what our intention is right away. I never really thought about intentions until I was told to in yoga class. “Close your eyes, take a moment to set your intention for your practice.”  I also never knew how powerful this moment was until I really started to set intentions for my practice. I remember the first time I really felt an effect from it. I was in a class where the teacher told us to set our intention, generally the cue is to set it for someone who needs extra energy, even if that person is you. This time the teacher told us to set our intention towards someone that we thought negatively about, or someone we were mad at. In the 2 seconds I had to process that, I thought, “this is interesting.” I did it though. I set my intention for someone who was constantly on my mind, but not in a positive way. Someone who often made me upset. I set my energy towards that person in class, I was surprised by the results. After sixty minutes of sun A’s, sun B’s, standing, balancing, twisting, inverting and stretching I found myself completely light in my final savasana.

What I thought was sweat dripping down my face were tears. I was letting go. I felt so light and not angry at this person anymore. I felt content. It was the most amazing feeling. I kept with this trend my next few practices and each time I felt lighter and lighter, I let go more and more. I repeat, It was the most amazing feeling. I started to focus on my intentions more after this.

Not only did I set my intentions with greater focus, but I started making every movement with intention too. I started actually using my breath to guide my practice. The connection with intention became a big part of my practice. I had already completed sculpt teacher training, and my intention going into that training was to teach. I found after sculpt training I had a deeper connection with my practice, not necessarily ready to teach, but I loved what I was discovering about myself. This is when I had my moment of actually setting an intention in my class. It made me hungry for more self discovery, I finally saw the power of my yoga practice, not just the physical side of it. That is when I stepped into 200 hour power teacher training. This time my intention was different. I went into power training to learn more about the practice itself, more about who I am in this world and just maybe I would come out a teacher, but teaching was not my intent going in this time.

This training was emotional. It stirred up a lot of past feelings that have been burrowed for so long. Training allowed me to connect with other people that had similar pain, it allowed me/us to let go and be free of the past. We were able to make a connection with the present and move forward with intent.

I have now been teaching for just over a year and I am about to dive into another 200 hour teacher training. This time for hot yoga. My intention is much different this time. It is inevitable that I will continue to have self discovery in this training, but I also want to soak up every ounce of information I can on postures and the connection to our body and how the posture influences change or detoxification for our body.  Coming into this training as a teacher and knowing the classroom environment will give me a much different perspective this time. My goal is to fully immerse myself in training and utilize my vinyasa teacher voice to make my hot teacher voice come through earlier than it did in past training.

Power teacher training changed my life. It changed my perspective on many aspects of life and has allowed me to grow spiritually, emotionally and physically. Throwing yourself into something challenging, something that you may even fear is how you allow yourself to grow. Going in with an intention gives you a guide of what your objective is. It may change slightly, but it keeps you on track and gives you purpose. Find your intention. Move forward with intent. Do all with intention.

I just got my butt kicked!! Boxing anyone?? Plus check out a new recipe below!

For the last two years I have been working on my yoga practice. I love the intensity of the vinyasa, hot and sculpt classes I take, not to mention I love the heat. Recently I have noticed boxing studios have been popping up everywhere. I have always wanted to box, mostly because I think i’m tough, but also because for as long as I can remember we have had a punching bag in my parents garage and I never really knew how to use it.

First off, I have learned in some yoga sculpt classes I have taken that I am not the most coordinated when it comes to punching/boxing. This is surprising as I was in tae kwon do through my younger years (Green belt, blue stripe….hold your applause please) so you would think I would find some sort of punching/kicking coordination, so not true!!! In order to find some coordination I have decided that I really want to seek out boxing and kickboxing classes because I love the cardio aspect and how something so simple (yea simple, ha) can increase your heart rate and burn some major calories.

I decided to peel myself out of bed at 5am and made myself go to the 6am boxing class. It was intense, sweaty, I swear it felt 3 hours long, but in just one short hour I can admit I just might be addicted to throwing on some gloves and punching the bag. Finally I might really get some use out of the one in my parents garage. So my challenge is to go do something different this week, something you’ve always wanted to do but you have let every excuse stop you. You might just find a new hobby.

On a yummy note…..

Sunday night I decided to get creative with the fresh basil I had from the farmers market. I originally got it to put in spaghetti and because it just smelled so good. I decided to make my own pesto with it.

I’ll admit it tastes way better than any store bought pesto I have had and it was SO simple to make!

Recipe

Handful of Almonds

2 cups Fresh Basil

3 medium sized garlic cloves

1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Salt and Pepper to taste

I used my ninja blender to make my pesto. First I put the almonds in and blended them until they were completely chopped, but not a paste. Then I added the basil leaves. This is when it started to look like pesto. I added in the garlic and blended a little more. Then I slowly added in the olive oil. I added half at first, blended, then added the other half. Last I added the Parmesan cheese. That was it. I did add a very small amount of salt and pepper. I think you could go with or without it.

To accompany the pesto I made some noodles (Market Pantry(Target) – gluten free) and added grilled shrimp!

A tasty and healthy dinner!!! Yum!

Yoga is Love

What I love about yoga….Every time you come to your mat it’s different. Some days your body can move into every posture with ease and grace, and others it feels like you are working extra hard to get there. Yesterday in the vinyasa power yoga class I took there was a lot of hip opening and boy did I need it! I also got into headstand for the first time that it actually felt completely right in my body. It’s amazing that one tiny adjustment like moving my elbows closer together can make a world of difference in finding your strength for the posture. I was pretty excited I got into the posture even though I did have some assistance from the instructor (she didn’t let me fall forward!), but I went home and tried it again and what do you know I popped right into it! This pose has been challenging me for quite some time. Getting into it finally just means, I’m on to the next inversion! Handstand maybe??

That’s the beauty of yoga. There is always somewhere new to go. Even the poses that you may have “perfected” can be challenging from time to time. Each day should just be taken for what it is. Each day will be different. But each day will bring a new calm to your mind, a new energy to your soul.  It gives you that feel good and happiness you crave in life. That is why so many people keep coming back to their mat.

Allow the challenge to consume you, allow your body to be stretched further. Come to your mat with santosha or contentment. Be satisfied with your practice each time, whether it’s your first time on the mat, or your 1,000th. Yoga is called a practice for a reason. You continue to come to your mat with non-judgement and a new result each day. I love yoga because I love the changes I see within myself daily because of my own practice. Every journey is different. Find your love for yoga 🙂