February 2007


I’ve been working on an R&B CD for Power Yoga class – you know, some good groove tunes.  I’ve been getting tired of all that drumming in some of the other music I’ve been using.  I’ve had the urge for something more soulful.  Here are a few I’ve added that work well:

- “Til it happens to you” and “Like a Star” – Corinne Bailey Rae

- The karaoke version of “Sexual Healing” (the song has a great groove, but no one needs to hear those come-on lyrics during yoga) – Marvin Gaye

- “Come Home” – Angie Stone

- “I’ll fly away” – Kanye West

- “Flow” – Sade

I purchased all from iTunes, except Corinne Bailey Rae, I have on CD.

 

I just love articles by Phillip Moffit (Yo Phillip! When’s the book coming out?).  Did you catch the one in the latest Yoga Journal?  It must be the February issue, about Starting Again.  I’ve had the opportunity to use that one a lot lately. 

It’s about noticing that you’re stuck in your mental patterns or whatever useless activity you expend your energy on when you’re stuck.  And you try to stop and notice. And Start Again.  You Start Again by coming back to the present and doing the next small doable task that gets you back on the road toward your goal.

I love that.

It’s great on the yoga mat.  We all forget to breath and can Start Again every time we notice.  We all have poses we dislike and what a perfect strategy for that.  How can I Start Again with this pose and take a fresh perspective?  Instead of just diving into it full of grumblies like a sullen teenager. 

And of course it’s great off the mat too.  My big lesson these days is in letting go and these two ideas go hand-in-hand.  I’m embarking on a big project with my Honeybunny – the details don’t matter.  But it’s an in-for-a-penny-in-for-a-pound kinda thing. 

And I Want. It. Bad. 

I can see it, taste it and smell it.  You know the kind right?  And we reached a roadblock.  Not just a road sign, but a mountain of boulders in the middle of the road.  And I crashed.  I went through anger, victimy stuff and all the emotions that patchwork together to form my own stuck patterns. 

And when I was able to get my head on a little straighter I asked myself – what do I need to let go of here to move forward?  How can I Start Again with this one? 

It’s a lot bigger task when it’s something you really care about.  But I found out it’s also a lot bigger relief.  It’s like finding and using that “letting go” muscle.  And when I pulled it off it was like stumbling out of the dark cave.  And with that fresh perspective I felt like I could get creative with my roadblock.

What else can I Start Again with?

 

I added this routine to the Sun Salutations we did in class this week and it was a good warm-up.

We worked in Chair pose and variations on it after the first Forward Bend.  It worked well with half Salutations (just the standing poses) as well as full (adding in Plank etc.).  

1. Chair – From Halfway Lift or the ‘look up’ or whatever you want to call it – check that your feet are hip width apart and the insides are parallel, then stretch up into Chair.  Hold for 3-5 breaths and then finish the Sun Salutation.

2. Half Chair – I saw this in Yoga Journal, it’s a cool variation.  Your lower body is in Chair, but you fold deeper at the hips, reaching forward with your arms so that the line of your body and arms are more parallel to the floor.  If you go deep into the pose your torso will become parallel.  Hold this for 3-5 breaths and finish the Sun Salutation.

3. Chair with an easy twist – Come back into Chair, bring your left hand to the outside of your right thigh, bring your torso a little closer to your thighs as you reach up with your right hand, bringing yourself into a twist.  Make sure your hips stay even.  Do both sides at once, or finish the Sun Salute before doing the other side.

I found this routine helped warm up our legs and hips more for standing poses like Warrior 1 and 2 than usual.  But try it for yourself!

So I want to set my intention today to be good to *myself*.  I’ll skip the bucket-loads of waxy chocolates and smarmy cards.  I’ll just choose to be kind to myself.

I read a quote the other day (from a Glamour magazine while i was in the check-out line) saying that we don’t compare our intelligence to Einstein’s, why do we compare our bodies to Gisele Bundchen?  I’m not focused on Gisele as much as comparing my current weigh-scale reading to that of a certain pre-holiday timeframe.  I’m a tad freaked that the winter weight that’s clinging to to my behind will become a permanent fixture.  

But I think being kind to myself means, knowing and reminding myself continuously that it’s winter.  As much as I want to hibernate and eat – it’s natural - it’s winter.  And spring will come.  Really.

So here are my commitments, the things I will do to be kind to myself:

Not train for a marathon – it’s been pretty cold and tough to get my butt outside to run.  But I  commit to do the things that will make it easier to start up again soon.  And that includes doing enough Sun Salutations in my personal practice so when I get to a 6:30 a.m. Ashtanga class (likely when it’s light out at that time) it won’t kill me.  I know I’ll have more energy in the spring, this is not the time to fake it, it’s the time to prepare where I can.

Eat as many fruits and veggies as possible.  Sure I want to eat spag and meatballs – it’s winter.  But I’m going to at least throw in as many veggies as I can get away with.  Breakfast cereal and fruit?  Same deal.  Not as a *diet* or a *detox* (that’s for spring) but do the extra work it takes to eat boring winter veggies to support my health and immune system.

Get my liquids.  Not ice cold water - it takes 3 hours to stop shivering – but something, anything to combat the dry house and dry office.

Lose the evening eating.  May the nights that I don’t eat after dinner outnumber the nights I do.  May the nights without a glass of wine, outnumber the nights I do. 

Do the things I love.  Try to balance the hibernating thing with seeing friends and doing something fun more often.  Hibernating alone makes Jill a dull girl and makes spring fever come something fierce. 

And what will you do to be kind to yourself?  Enjoy waxy chocolate, or not, while you think about it.

A follow-on from my last post about my loveable but annoying husband.  And needing to be right.

The biggest problem with needing to be right is that it can get in the way of your relationships.  When you not only need to be right about your stuff but theirs too.  And when you judge the people in your life it just doesn’t help the relationship any.

I saw this happen to a friend.  She didn’t approve of some of the choices her friend was making.  And it was like a wedge between them because it’s tough to feel close to someone when you’re stuck in a judgement about them and they’re not measuring up.  But I’m sure her friend felt the ‘vibe’ too.  They didn’t have a conversation about it and the friendship over time came to an end.

I think it’s one of those things you either need to let go of, or have the honest conversation with them about your concerns and then let go of it. 

I’ve had issues with this one too.  And it’s always so interesting to notice, because the things I judge are things I have some kind of issue about too.  It’s something I have a tough time with, or wish I did more or just discovered last week - but for whatever reason - it’s a little larger than life for me which makes it stand out in someone else.

I’m listening to a Caroline Myss book on CD and yesterday I heard something that gave me a Wow:

“The greatest act of generosity you can provide another person is to withhold judgement.”

Isn’t it the Dalai Lama who says ‘my enemy is my greatest teacher’?  I don’t need enemies, I have a husband. 

When you’re in a committed relationship – there are times you wish you weren’t.  Sure, there are the everyday habits and annoyances you’d prefer to do without.  But I’m talking about the times you seriously wish you had a naked ring finger.

It happened to me just the other day.  We’re talking about something serious and my Honeybunny reveals his belief that he can’t tell me anything.  I proceed to tell him why he’s mistaken (a fully logical rebuttal based on the issue at hand).  He has the nerve to shake his head and say “Just like I say, I can’t tell you anything”. 

Ouch!  No one would get in my face like this if I was single!  I could be telling humourous childhood stories to a hunky first date in a restaurant dressed in an attractive frock.  I could be happily prancing about in my own denial about being ‘easy to get along with’ or ‘laid back’. 

But no, instead I’ve got someone in my house who tells me the things I’d rather not hear. 

It’s unfair – I’d be happy to let him tell me something if say, the topic was one I was unfamiliar with.  But really, if I know anything about it, I’ve already formed a conclusion and, sorry sweety,  it’s probably the *right one*.

He took the air right out of me.  It’s like having a mirror held up to your face that no one else has the guts to even pick up.   And yeah OK, it was accurate.

Hello I’m Corilee and I have a need to be right.  And yeah it’s not the first time I’ve seen this one.  Here are my insights for any of you fellow sufferers.  If you stop needing to be right for just one lousy minute:

- You might find out there’s more useful information to be had out there.

- You can enjoy the silence. Silence is good.

- You give someone else a chance to be right too.  Wow what a gift, especially to the lucky person that lives with you.

Thankfully I have someone in my house I can regularly practice with.  Thank god he took up the task of being married to me.

I’ve had a few conversations recently with people complaining that they have so much to do but not enough energy to do it.  And it reminds me think that winter is *supposed* to be a time to hibernate and get our sleep and recharge for spring.  But we resist that urge and push through it. 

It made me think about white space.  Maybe because it’s snowing a little outside.  Graphic Designers use white space on a page to let your eye rest.  It helps you focus on what’s important.  It helps you take in information in a calm way which is better for retention.  Think of a Tiffany’s full page newspaper ad, compared to a Used car classifieds page.  The amount of information and the white space around it makes you take it in differently.  

The white space in our lives does the same thing. 

I was chatting with someone before Power Yoga class and she said she wished she could find time for more exercise.  She has a full-time job and two toddlers at home - I don’t know how she does it all.  I asked how she spends her lunchtimes and she said, “Lunchtimes are for me.  I go home, turn on the Young and Restless, eat lunch and make myself a cup of tea.  It’s the only time I have the house to myself.” 

I keep thinking about that – I’m so amazed.  I don’t know many women who would take a *full hour* for themselves every weekday.  Or if they did, they’d at least sneak in a load of laundry.  This woman is my hero. She’s a rock star.

And it’s not about the amount of time.  It’s about finding the white space you need.  The white space you can rest in.  The space that brings more meaning and focus to the rest of your life.