Sunday Haiku…..August 3 2014

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I was laying in the hammock today, the sky was bright blue with big puffy white clouds. The sun was brilliant and warm. There was a gentle but constant breeze. This has not been the typical ‘southern’ summer with low humidity and temps only in the high 80’s. I not complaining, usually by August the air is so heavy you cant breathe outside. No this was a beautiful day spent swaying and contemplating many things.

As I lay there listening to the hoot of an owl, and wondering what has him so stirred up in the middle of the day, I notice 2 hawks circling above the trees. Floating in the breeze and riding the warm air trapped in their wings. I love to watch them play, to float like that. I have read that penguins ‘fly’ in the water instead of swim. Well hawks do the opposite in the air. While riding the thermals they ‘swim’, like you floating on a raft at the beach. They ride the waves of warm air.

There are worse ways to spend a Sunday afternoon.

My Sunday Haiku….
 
Riding the thermals 
red tail Hawks swim in the sky
Gentle hammock sways
 
hawks
 
Om Shanti
 
Cheryl

Nothing to do with Yoga….well everything is a little yogi-like

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Nothing to do with Yoga….well everything is a little yogi-like

Great article and all I have to say is…

Well DUH!……. Children learn how to use their bodies by USING THEM! Why in the name of all that is holy do we think it is ok to imprison kids behind desks all day long. I raised 3 boys (+1) the biggest argument I had with teachers who wanted to have all of them tested (none of them were and they are all fine thank you very much!) was why don’t they have more time to play. It is through play that children learn healthy interaction with others, through play we learn leadership skills ( and ‘follower’ skills equally as important), through play we make our bodies fit & healthy enough to take on the shit that adulthood throws at us.   I chose to homeschool my 3 boys for about 2 years and it was amazing and I wished I could have done it longer (got divorced ect ect ). My middle son would take his books, climb the tree in the front yard and do his reading assignments.  And we took chalk and did math on the sidewalk. We would go to the parks and museums. We were very active and I still made sure they all had a ‘recess’ even my teenager. Bring back recess! Dear God bring back their childhood! Bring back play it is as necessary to their growth as breathing….and folks I can preach about breathin’, yes I can!

Parents set a time everyday for a controlled Blackout…turn off all electronics and kick their sweet, darling little butts outside.

OK my rant for the day is over Now go play in the Yard! And go read the article that prompted my rant.

Om Shanti!

Cheryl

WHY CHILDREN FIDGET

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What is meditation to you?

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A dear friend is just beginning her Yoga journey and she asked a question about meditation. She wondered if listening to music could be meditation. It’s a great question. Don’t we all wondered at the beginning of our journey how the hell we are ever going to be able to ‘sit here’ in meditation. The mind wanders away, off to ‘God knows where’ and you can actually feel your eyes looking around (even with closed eye lids) and you desperately want to tap your fingers or wiggle your toes, it’s all you can think about! OK maybe that was me, but you get my point. Meditation is hard! But I also believe that it doesn’t have to be that way.

Meditation comes in many forms.

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We always picture it as a guru sitting in lotus, fingers in a mudra, being completely still and totally quiet – Well that’s one way.

Dance (asana practice) is meditative, singing (mantra), breathing (pranayama), walking a labyrinth. All can have meditation like results – You have to ask yourself “what is meditation”. Meditation is the practice of ‘stilling’ the mind, allowing the mind a deep, quiet space where nothing distracts us. Meditation is about relaxing, but relaxing so that you can hear what is being said; To you, from within you. Pretty powerful stuff.

Swami Rama says….” In meditation, the mind is clear, relaxed, and inwardly focused. When you meditate, you are fully awake and alert, but your mind is not focused on the external world or on the events taking place around you. Meditation requires an inner state that is still and one-pointed so that the mind becomes silent. When the mind is silent and no longer distracts you, meditation deepens.”……. I believe that we can be ‘doing’ and still be in a meditative practice. If we are singing, dancing, ect ect and that is our single focus, the only focus of our mind, is it not then an inward focus? Are we not fully engaged and alert to that one thing we are doing, not focused on the outside world? Well then that is a kind of meditation. And in our world we find it very difficult to completely quiet the mind, at least when we are beginning a meditation practice. So these other ways to practice meditation are a good beginning, the beginning of learning to cultivate stillness.

What is meditation to you?

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Om Shanti

 

Cheryl

Monday Haiku May 12 2014

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I guess I need a new category – Monday Haiku – since I can’t seem to get any writing done on Sundays any more.

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Honeysuckle Haiku

 
A gentle spring night
Sweet smell of honey suckle
I walk with my dog
 
Fresh cut spring grasses
The wild roses in bloom
My dog walks with me
 
Still evening air wafts
Scents only summer can bring
We walk together
 
~C~
 
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5 Poses to Do Every Day

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Sthira Sukham Asanam     Patanjali  Yoga Sutra 2.46  

5 Poses to do Every Day!

Oh come on, it wont take you that long.
I know it’s hard to schedule 90 minutes in your day for a yoga class, trust me I know! But we all have 10 minutes for a few yogic things to do at home and remember your home practice doesn’t have to be a complicated 90 min Hot class.

Just roll out your mat & spend a few minute’s in each pose listed, focus on your breathing, on being comfortable in the pose & remember try to feel a sense of freedom in the pose. Don’t get caught up in how it looks, but instead bring your awareness to how it feels. The important thing is to move and articulate the spine in all directions allowing for energy movement and to help with back pain & stiffness. Remember our teaching of Sthira (stability) & Sukha (ease, freedom). Take time in each pose to notice where is the balance between being grounded and stable (Sthira) and being free, physically and mentally?

1st pose is Mountain (Tadasana) –Mountain pose is about taking the time to ‘come to your mat’, in the physical sense as well as a mental & emotional sense. Stand in Mountain pose and turn your attention in. Start to make a connection with your breath and just focus on the quality of your breathing. Tadasana is about rooting and grounding your practice with your intention for coming to the mat. This is the time to reflect on your body (how do you feel, how much energy do you have & what does your body need). Draw energy up from the ground into your feet (Sthira), feel that relaxed energy filling your core body (Sukha). Take 5 breaths.

2nd Pose Forward Fold – Forward Fold from an anatomical perspective is about folding from the hips, stretching your hamstrings and lengthening your low back. It’s always a good thing to relax your back body, but your mind and emotions benefit too. A forward Fold relaxes the mind, soothes the central nervous system and calms the senses. While in your Forward Fold look for the Sukha & the Sthira. Where do you find stability and freedom?

3rd is modified crescent lunge – Why modified instead of full crescent lunge? Because most of us will be doing this sequence either first thing in the morning or right after we get home from work, so we are dealing with cold, tight hip flexors. Although if you want to do the full version all the same principles apply. Raise your arms only after you have drawn up the front body, being careful not to thrust the ribs forward, but rolling the body up one vertebra at a time. Play with shifting the Sthira between the Left foot in front and the Right knee behind, find a balance between those 2 points of contact with the mat. The Sukha in the pose might be in maintaining a calm easiness in the arms overhead, so relax those shoulders. Repeat on the other side.

4th is Twists seated or supine – If you aren’t comfortable (sukha) in seated twists please lay on your back for supine twists. Sitting in Sukhasana (simple crossed legged position) Inhale drawing the arms over head lengthening the body then rotate to the right and bring the arms down. Stay for 5 breaths and come to the center and repeat on the other side. It really is that simple. If laying on your back, draw your knees over your body on the inhale then exhale as you lower them to the right, keeping the left shoulder on the mat. Then repeat on the other side.

5 is Sphinx or Cobra  – Spinal extension (back bend) is an important thing to do every day. Most of us are desk jockeys or at least we sit a lot, so it is necessary to length out the front body. Maybe start with baby cobra and move with your breath. Inhale as you lift up (Sukha) and exhale as you lower down. Keep the hips, legs and feet connected to the mat (Sthira).

6 is savasana –  Yep, Savasana. Taking the time for stillness, even just a few minutes, each day is the most important thing we can do for ourselves. Corpse pose requires a stillness of mind as well as your body. It gives your body a chance to return to normal, helping you to reap the benefits of your practice. Corpse pose is the bridge between your practice time and the rest of your life. Take the time to cross that bridge and take the calm, restorative, energetic properties of your practice into the rest of your life.

 

Om Shanti

~C