Yesterday was a great hike on Camel's Hump, but the fog and freezing winds kept us from any views at the top. Today was the exact opposite. It was sunny and beautiful on our Cliff Trail to Mt. Mansfield Summit, following to the Subway Trail and then the Long Trail along the ridge to the chin. I was able to sit for about 10 minutes and just meditate on the beauty and energy. Thanks to my family for sharing this great adventure and the most spectacular rock scrambling.
Today I had planned to do my meditation at the summit of Camel's Hump but it ended up to be freezing and fogged over so that wasn't possible. I tried to sit for a few minutes which was fine. I then tried on the way down to have a walking meditation which was beautiful. My asana practice included a lot of forward bends to relieve some of the stress on my back during the 4 hour hike. I also added a few twists, squats which I find relieves some back pain and threw in a cobra which seemed to realign the spine.
Today I worked on a core series in Yoga. Yoga can be meditative with Yoga Nidra or extremely physical in a power yoga or power vinyasa class. It can be restorative or anything in between. I really need to work on strengthening my core, so I'd like to develop a few "core" poses to work in my asana practice every day.
The following is a list of many of the books that I have read or listened to on audio. Many of these were an amazing help in showing me new and alternative ways of thinking. I think Self-Compassion was one of the most transforming. We beat ourselves up so much, only adding more pain to our fragile selves. I now can make mistakes, sometimes huge one, and recite the mantra, "I'm only human. People make mistakes and it's ok." After repeating this thousands of times, it finally starts to sink in. And now it's easy to recognize others in this pattern of self-punishment and how destructive it is. Everyone is so tough on everyone else to be perfect, never make mistakes and it has a real toll on self-esteem. Try to replace this negative thought pattern with positive self-talk and see just how kind you can be to yourself. Daring Greatly Brene Brown The Power of Now Eckhat Tolle Thrive Arianna Huffington What are you Hungry For? Deepak Chopra The Best Advice I ever Got Katie Couric Unlimited Jillian Michaels Search Inside Yourself [...]
Wow, it was so beautiful at the top of the gondola on Mount Mansfield I decided to do my mediation there. I usually meditate with my eyes closed, but wanted to keep them open, yet still get into my meditative state. As soon as my meditation timer bell went off, my body and mind knew what to do. I did an awareness meditation and watched the subtle movement of the swaying vegetation and the shadows on the trees. Pretty cool! I hope to feature some stunning places to meditate. I will be on the lookout.
Today I focused my practice on Tadasana and Adho Mukha Svanasa. I'm really trying to use the Sanskrit names, but if you are reading this and don't know them, the poses are Mountain and Downward Dog. It's amazing the difference of spending 10 minutes on each pose and going through all the alignment cues and energy movement cues. In a fast-paced vinyasa class, you just don't have the time, though I'm thinking that the more time you individually practice each pose, the quicker you are able to get into it correctly. I felt really great in each of the poses.
Can yoga help? I did some research on poses for sinus congestion and exercise if you are feeling sick. It's very interesting that inversions are recommended as that is the opposite of what you would think. The idea behind is that with inversions you are loosening up and getting moving what is stuck. I followed a practice I found through Yoga Journal and thoroughly enjoyed the practice. It was nice to "get things moving" though the first few moments were tough.
And what better gift then to give myself alignment. I worked on Tadasana today, trying to correct some serious misalignment in my legs. I just stood for about 10 minutes, with an external rotation in my thighs so that if the outside of my feet are parallel to the mat, my knees wouldn't go in. I think this will take about 6 months just to work on the alignment standing to even see any change. I will try to work on this every time that I am standing during the day.
I did it. I committed to a daily home asana and meditation practice. Though I usually do a 20 minute meditation, I have to admit it was a bit sporadic. I am very comfortable meditating now and my body and mind actually look forward to it. It’s exciting that when I sit down, my body and mind “know what to do.” And I am able to relax into it much easier and much earlier. First day of home asana. Wow, that 20 minutes went by really fast. Just working on alignment in Tadasana and – Adho Mukha Svanasana Mountain Pose and Downward Dog. I was also working on aligning my breath with my movements. It’s nice to go at your own pace and spend some time in each posture or each action