What is Yoga 308

Life is a constant struggle of balancing our body on both a physical and emotional side. Through yoga I have learned several life lessons. Yoga 308 is a goal I set for myself to do at least 60 minutes of yoga for 6 days a week for the next year. I invite anyone to join me on this adventure as I blog about some of my daily experiences. This is not intended to show that I have found peace and tranquility, but rather give my honest feelings of my journey. Enjoy.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Day 56 - Inspire

Today is my day off.  I am sitting on the back porch listening to birds and watching my dog lay on the floor getting attacked by gnats.  I was waiting for inspiration.  Something great to write about.  Do you ever have the days when you just inspire for greatness.  When you want to have the best idea in the world and wait for that idea to enter your head.  If only I could just grasp an idea to help change the world.  You know what I am talking about.

What if that idea is already in your head though.  What if you just aren't listening to it.  I think we get caught up in a lot of the negative thoughts that come along with these great ideas that help stop us moving forward.  We want immediate answers or gratification.  The most important factor I think with some of the best ideas is patience.

Ideas are not instant.  They are like yoga postures.  First you have your idea and then you continue to grow with it by practicing with it, stretching it into new ideas, and finding patience.  For some of us in yoga we start with our leg wrapped around our head.  For most of us though it takes years of patience and practice.  Some of the postures we get into because we have unlocked something else in another posture.  The same thing can happen with our ideas.  We can start off with one idea and then it can unlock another idea that grows into another idea.

There is only one way we can grow with our ideas and that is practice.  You cannot get further into your postures without practice.  The other thing to remember is that there is no one GREAT idea.  If you have discovered something amazing does that mean you are the ultimate human?  To me that is like saying someone is the best at yoga because they have the best forward bend.  It is one idea in life.  Stay humble, listen, learn. Too many times I have seen people jump into their ideas and they immediately think they have discovered gold.  Their ego grows into something that is bigger then life and they belittle people.  They stop practicing with their idea and they stop growing.  So again stay humble, listen, and learn.

Take into account your surroundings.  Today I was searching for an idea to write about.  I was sitting in bliss.  I was enjoying the feeling of nothing.  There was stillness.  My mind was trying to ignore this sense of peace.  I really wanted to write about something life changing today.  I was not listening to what my mind was telling me to do.  Everything around me was still, but that subject was not what I wanted to write about.  What was I waiting for?  A plane crash?  A fire?  Something someone did?  If I wanted chaos to write about I can just turn on the news.  Yet I choose to sit on the back porch in stillness and tried to ignore it. 

How many times do we try to ignore the ideas all around us?  How many times do we stifle an idea with negative thoughts.  How many times do we not allow our ideas to grow?  Stay humble, listen, and learn. 

What is the inspiration you already have?  Send me an email or leave a comment.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Day 55 - Cool Breeze

Old school photo from 2005.  My favorite Banyan Tree in West Palm

I took a morning class with Christine Northcotte at Full Circle Yoga.  It was a hot class and fast paced.  I later realized that I took a lot of hot yoga classes this week, and not one yin or gentle class.  Maybe my body is getting used to more of the vigorous pace classes.  My knee feels good, and my hamstring is a little tense on my right side.  I am thinking this next week I should give myself more of a break.  Take 2 - 3 gentle classes.  My $40 pass for 40 days pass at Orlando Power Yoga is up so I am going to venture off and looking for new classes.

Today I am still in a great mood.  At the end of the hot class Christine opened the door.  My mind has shifted from thinking it is really hot in the room to aprretiating the soothing and relaxing feeling of the cool breeze.  The uncomfortable feelings of life seem to be opening up more to new opportunities.  I am looking at things that frustrate me and looking more into why they frustrate me.  Can I find joy out of these frustrations and uncomfortable feelings?

I have been planning a lot of upcoming trips to find out more about yoga.  I have found a great retreat in Thailand and was planning on doing it in December.  As I planned my trip nothing seemed to fall into place.  The airline tickets were not available or the retreat was not available on the dates I was trying to get.  I started off getting frustrated, but switched to the idea that maybe it was not time for me to go there.  Maybe the universe was telling me Thailand is not where I belong at this time.  

Sometimes when my gut is telling me one thing the universe might be smacking me in the face saying "no, no".   Sometimes I listen, other times I ignore it.   I know that sometimes the universe has smacked me in the face several times.  Each time I ignored it.  Eventually I listen though.

I started to switch my thoughts to the many other opportunities that I have in December.  I have been thinking that maybe I will stay in the U.S. and go to several locations to practice with some of the great guru's that are here in the United States.  

Travel is a great adventure for me, but I do not do it to escape life.  Relaxation, love, worry free, letting go.  These are all things we can do at home.  We choose to clutter our lives with worries, craziness, stress.  We can be in any state we choose.  Vacation is just the act of taking yourself out of the daily norm.  The everyday comfort zone.  You can make this switch in your own backyard.

In a hot room it is possible to find a cool breeze.  If your kids are crying can you find a place and peace in your heart.  Can you find 10 minutes to take for yourself.  Peace is in your heart even in the most stressful environments.  It is up to you to turn on the switch and make it happen.  Find that place.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Day 54 - Gratitude

I ventured into Altamonte Springs Yoga for a class with Marilyn Parker.  It was a good paced class with a lot of sweat and breathing going on.  I felt really good this morning.  At one of the points of the class she asked us to think of three things we were grateful.  I started to laugh, because at the moment I was grateful for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. 

I completed my first ever three day cleanse, diet, fast.  Whatever you want to call, it I finished it.  I was still wanting to quit last night.  Justifying things like, it's been three days so I can eat dinner tonight, or maybe we should make a big meal tonight at midnight.  I even thought about setting my alarm at 6:00 a.m. cooking breakfast and then going back to bed.

There were so many chances to give up.  I am happy I didn't though.  This morning I cooked a nice breakfast with eggs and sat out on the porch.  The sun was rising and I felt the warmth.  It was one of my favorite meals in my life.  It was just like I was saying yesterday, it was almost like taking my first breath.

Yoga gives you every opportunity to give up.  It is a great opportunity to push yourself in a healthy way.   First it is getting there.  If you get this far then this is a great accomplishment.  You have now devoted at least one hour to yourself.  Next it comes down to what you do on the mat.  What do you want to do for yourself that day.  Find peace?  Push yourself?  Become more flexible?  Take a nap?  It is really up to you.  It is the lessons you want to learn.  If you choose to push yourself to the limit, if you find comfort in postures that make you uncomfortable can you use this off the mat?  Was it the lessons I learned that gave me strength to do the cleanse (something I had never accomplished before?)  Will the strength I learned in the the cleanse allow me to grow in another way?

People look into yoga for a growth in a physical way.  I feel like yoga has aloud me to grow so much more in a mental way.  The growth on the mat has brought me more strength off the mat.  I have so much more to learn in life.  I am very excited to continue my mental growth.  To continue the lessons of life.  I feel great today! 

Today I am very grateful for the simple things in life.  Breath, food, the Sun,  my dog, sounds of nature, my banana tree, ME :)

Do you have a chance to take on something new?  Are you grateful for what you have done?  Are you grateful for the simple things in life?  Email me or leave a comment.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Day 53 - Yoga Brain

Ummm still hungry.  It is the final night of the juice cleanse.  At this point I am thinking of doing a cheeseburger cleanse now.  Maybe 3 days of pizza milk shakes?  I am pretty much over this cleanse.  I was in it for the pshcological part of it, but also lost 6 pounds in three days.  I know this weekend though I will be eating a lot because of the fact that I deprived myself from food.  I am sure this weight will come back over this weekend.

OK back to yoga.  Yoga was pretty difficult last night.  I went to Orlando Power yoga with Michelle Coutinho.  I felt pretty weak and unmotivated all day (due to the cleanse).  So going into it I knew I had to be gentle to myself.  This seemed to come easy to me tonight and I started to find a comfort with my mind and body throughout the practice.   I think it came easy because I could justify it.  Since I was not eating food I must be weak, so I can take it easy.  I am going to have to work on just being gentle with myself more without any justification.

When I entered savasana I was in a bliss.  When I closed my eyes I felt as if I was floating.  I felt really good and in a calm state.  I felt like nothing was around me for miles, but ocean.  It made me think of a story I had once written about a creature coming up from the sea.  The creature lived in the depth of darkness in the ocean.  One day he slowly made his way out of the darkness to the ocean surface.  When he broke the surface he took his first breath ever, saw the sun, and felt it's warmth for the first time ever.  The story continues as he floats in the ocean.

I began to think of what it would be like to enjoy your first breath and feel the warmth of the sun for the first time.  This vision filled me with a warmth.  I felt at ease.  I felt very grateful for the people around me.  I felt warmth.  When I got up to leave I was out of it.  I had yoga brain.  This is a hard thing to explain.  It is a big high, almost like you are on some type of drug.  In fact it is the closest feeling I get to drugs without doing them.  I guess you might be able to compare it to a runners high.  I seem to find more of the Yoga brain when I do slower, gentler classes.  When I spend my time focusing on the breath.  If I can combine the breath with postures this is the ultimate high for me.  I am sure this is different depending on who you are.

I feel like I have been demanding a lot on myself.  I have had great discipline over the last 53 days.  I keep adding more and more.  I am beginning to wonder why I am being so demanding to myself.  What is it that I am battling with.  Next week I am not going to have any diet goals.  I am going to look for the pleasures of life.  Eating food again will be like taking my first breath again. 

Do you have any good yoga brain stories?  Email me or leave a comment.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Day 52 - Inner Peace

Thank you for all the love and support you have been sending me.  It makes me smile :)

Someone asked in an open house the other day "What is this yoga good for?"  That has been on my mind throughout all of the yoga 308 experience.  For me it is a constantly changing answer.   I am on day 2 of my juice cleanse. This really does not have anything to do with yoga, but what I am finding is yoga has everything to do with the cleanse.  In yoga we cannot force our body to get into a back bend if it is not ready for it.  Rather we stretch in several different postures and as we do muscles seem to fall into the right place.  Things start to open up to us and eventually we might get into the back bend.  Sometimes there are postures that we are so far away from, and the truth is we may never get there.  We may never get what we have worked so hard for to accomplish.

I can apply lessons learned through yoga into life like this cleanse.  If I want instant gratification or I feel like I can eat whatever I want to, I can easily do this.  I am depriving myself of something that I want and not something I need.  The patience I am learning in yoga is allowing me to learn patience in this cleanse.  Maybe the lessons I learn in the cleanse will allow me to learn another lesson in life.  Maybe I will get nothing out of this.  I am keeping open to new experiences and trying new things.  This to me is the best way to continue to grow as an individual.

The above quote has been on my wall for the last year.  It is a reminder for me to keep my life in balance.  To learn from the bad times and enjoy the good.  There was a time that I would sacrifice things that were important to my inner peace in order to please others.  My happiness was more based on making sure others were happy.  There is not a problem making other people happy, but you have to make sure it is not at the expense of your inner peace.  Keep yourself in balance.  Find the love you deserve.  This is not to say your life will not sometimes fall into complete chaos, or you will occasionally have to give up a couple things. 

If the only way you are making yourself happy is by guiding others to their dreams and completing their goals then you probably are not focusing on your own dreams and goals.  If you are doing this, ask yourself why your dreams are less important then others?  Keep yourself balanced.  Do not be selfish, but at the same time do not keep yourself from your dreams.  Find the balance.  If you are on the selfish side practice being unselfish.  If you are lost in others dreams start shifting that time into yourself.

Do you think it is easier to be selfish or unselfish?  Email me or leave a comment.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Day 51 - The need

My thoughts are on cheeseburgers, sandwiches, cereal, and anything that is edible.  I am on Day 1 of my juice fast.  Oh my god, what was I thinking.  What have I gotten myself into.  I have never done anything like this before in my life.  It is quite extreme.  My mind is telling me to go eat, but I am trying to keep the discipline to not do it. I am doing it with Marianne which makes things a lot easier.  It would take that much more of a strong mind to do it on my own.  My mind is already trying to get me to quit.  This really is more about will power and mind control more then anything.  I have been sticking to my guns, so I will keep my mind disciplined for two more days.  But god I am hungry.

Tonight I went to yoga at Orlando Power Yoga with Janelle Pochintesta.  It was a pretty intense class tonight.  I was being pushed to my edge.  It may have been the discipline I am learning on the fast, but I did feel myself being more demanding on my postures.  My mind wondered quite a lot towards food during the practice.  It was difficult to keep a focus when I felt hungry.  This is a true test for me.  It seems like our minds play tricks on us.  We can dwell and linger on things that we do not have, or do not need.  Let it be some type of food, something from our past, people from our past.  We can dive down deep inside ourselves and get blocked from the now and stay focused on the future or the past.

Do we look towards others in our yoga class with a need to be like that person.  Maybe he or she is more flexible.  Maybe it is the nicest person you have every met.  I have said this a few times.  It is important to strive towards your own personal goals.  You may look up to someone, but do not give up your own personal goals and dreams in order to please that person.

I have wasted a lot of my moments in life with past relationships trying to keep that person happy.  I have given up some of my own personal beliefs, ideas, love, and disciplines in order to ensure that that the other person would stay happy.  Why are we less important then that other person?  Why are we less deserving?  Is there something or someone in your life that is keeping you from moving forward.  Why do you keep going back?  Make this world your world.  You deserves it.

I am really tired.  I am off to bed.  Thanks yoga308.com  Night.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Day 50 - Balance of the positive and the negative

I changed things up again with my routine.  I went to yoga first thing in the morning.  I went to my first hot yoga class at Full Circle with Marilyn Glasser.  Yoga is typically different in the morning compared to later in the evening.  My body typically is more stiff and not ready to go.  I have not been paying much attention too it, but this morning I did not have any stiff muscles or aches going into it.  It may had been the day off yesterday.  

Marilyn Glasser's class was very fun.  It was not as hot as Orlando Power Yoga which made things a bit more baring for me.  The class was very powerful and I liked the overall music and vibe in the studio.  Maybe it was the mood I was in this morning.

Yesterday was one of my off days.  I found myself looking for negative things to worry about or harp on.  I have had such a great last couple of months.  Everything is going my way.  When things get this positive I notice I start trying to mentally beat myself down.  All this talk about balance over the last week has made me feel a bit normal on doing this.  We cannot have a positive universe without some knowledge of negativity.  There has to be some type of balance.  2011 was a pretty dark year for me.  I harbored in this darkness for a long while.  Lots of emotions flowed through me (sadness, hatred, anger, depression).  1 year later I am on the other side of my state of mind.  I think I may have forgotten how these emotions felt.  I feel like my mind may have been going to this space to check in.  To see if I was still able to feel sad, angry, or any of these "negative" emotions.  How often is it our minds that carry us into a negative space in our lives.

I still feel like my goal in life is to find a happy balance between positivity and negativity.  I was brought up in a very positive environment.  I call it the Brady Bunch scenario.  Everything seemed perfect.  Everything was in a happy bubble.  I think this positive influence made me curious of the negative sides of life.  I wanted to understand people who came from the other side of what I understood.  I did not understand how negativity can be a major part of a persons life.

Too much positivity can make me feel uncomfortable and cause me to beat myself down a bit so I feel normal.  A person who is brought up in a negative environment may feel completely comfortable in a negative environment.  When positivity is introduced to them they have to find a way back to the negative side of things so they once again feel the comfort of negativity.  So the fight for balance is on both sides.  I am not saying either of these ways are healthy, but I am not going to deny that they exist.  Are you beating yourself up or down?

I do not think I will ever understand the complete negative side of life.  Areas where constant fighting, anger, jealousy, dishonesty, and abuse occur.  Where striving to exit this negative life is a constant struggle.  I prefer my fight to remain positive, to stay happy, loving, and sometimes play head games with myself.  I am starting to recognize these head games of mine.  I am realizing these are the major flaws that keep me from a truly positive life.

I hope this stuff makes sense.  I have struggled to gain self respect and self love.  I appreciate everyone who has helped me see this in my heart, and hope people can find the same in their mind and heart and we can all grow together.  Balance is found while standing on one leg, but it is also found when we admit we hate as well as also love.  Find the balance between the negative and the positive.

Email me or leave a comment.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Day 49 - Yoga Self promotion

Today is my day off, and I have been contemplating the reasoning of blogging about this experience again.  I wrote down my mission a week ago so I can keep on track.  "My reason for blogging is to document my journey, thoughts, and honest emotions through yoga for the next year."  I feel like blogging has helped me keep to my discipline of doing yoga everyday.  If I put it out to the world then I can be held accounted for.   Why do I feel the need to market my blog on Facebook?  I am going to stop promoting this site for awhile and look into reasoning behind it.

We all want to feel important.  We all want to be noticed in one way or another.  I am also an artist and I love to express myself.  There is a small part of me where I express myself through painting in hopes that others will notice me, but the bigger part is I paint to get the thoughts out of my head to keep me balanced and sane? I need to keep this in mind when it comes to blogging.  Yes there is probably a part of me that wants to get noticed, but I know the main reason I am doing these blogs is for me.

Do we go to work everyday so we can make money so more people will notice us, or do we truly love what we are doing?  I remember in 2001 when I had a nice comfy job with all the benefits and was making some nice cash.  But I did not love it.  It was not me.  So I quit and decided I was going to take backpack in Europe.  When I quit one of my co-workers told me that I was making the worst mistake in my life.  I look back at that moment as one of my best decisions I ever made.   I jumped out into the unknown.  I had a great time exploring 8 countries for 2 1/2 months before running out of money.  I owe that trip of giving up everything and creating what I wanted in life.  When I returned a lifetime friend and I created an online business so we can travel more.  After 11 years that business is still booming and bringing in more opportunities.  Imagine if I did not listen to my gut.  Imagine if I listened to my co-worker. 

Back in 2001 I listened to my gut feeling.  It is here again telling me to blog, telling me to go to yoga, telling me to look for new opportunities.  I am not doing anything new.  I am basically regurgitating all the lessons I have learned from other people.  There are thousands of people that take a chance.  Thousands that do yoga religiously.  There are 2.5 million blog pages out there.

Social media gives us a chance to say "hey look how cool I am"  Instead of doing things we now feel it necessary to promote what we do.  I am not sure why I am addicted to it.  Think of all the time I could actually accomplish if I do not spend it looking on Facebook.  So for now I am not going to promote on Facebook.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Day 48 - Balance on and off the mat

I have a lot on my mind today.  First off sorry if you received last nights blog through email.  I have made a mental note not to blog that late while I am half asleep.  I published the blog without editing it and when I read it.. wow what a mess.  I did some edits this morning.  Onto the next day though right?

This morning I went to yoga with my dad at Southwest Orlando Yoga with Gerry Lishin.  My dad is 69 and has never been to a yoga class in his life.  I have been showing him a few poses and he has been practicing for about 30 minutes a day doing it 6 days a week taking Sunday off (following my same schedule).  I am extremely proud of my dad for doing this.  He has been very tight in his upper back and may be dealing with arthritis.  He is looking to loosen some things up with yoga and see what other benefits may come.   After about 3 weeks of doing these postures he is telling me he already is feeling more mobility in his shoulders. 

The class was a perfect introduction.  We happened to walk into the studio during an open house, so it was not really a structured class.  Gerry was able to give my dad a one on one brief introduction to yoga and give him proper adjustments.  I think it will be a great place for my dad to learn some more about yoga.  So for everyone saying they are too old, out of shape, or not flexible enough to do yoga please contact my dad.  Did I mention I am so proud of him.  I look forward to hearing his stories and the next class I can go with him.  I was trying to get him to blog about it because I think he would have so many stories to tell.  Anyone else interested in this?  Also any teachers interested in a one on one with my dad let me know.

I also was able to go to the basics.  This helped me out in many ways.  I feel like I have grown quite a bit in my practice, but it helped to step back and concentrate on things like the breath, on planting your feet, where my knee is, etc.  It was not about handstands or where I am going, but rather realignment and thoughts of what am I doing wrong.  If I was to have a one on one practice I may be able to correct so many more things.  This was a great lesson to get me back to the gentle side and try to keep me in balance.  A great reminder that yoga is about a lifetime not immediate results.

Speaking of balance.   This week I gave up coffee, Powerade, and dessert.  I have to admit I do not feel any different from before, but I still feel like overall a lack of these things is overall better for me.  I survived this week, so now I am in celebrate mode.  I am on my second cup of coffee.  I have an addictive personality so I already have my mind justifing how I deserve coffee back in my life.  "I gave it up for a whole week."  "I only had one cup last Saturday, so this Saturday I can do 2 cups."  If I keep falling into this momentum I will be back to where I started.  These weekly rules have been helping me keep me on track though so I am going to make another one now.

This week I am going to keep a balance on the things I recently gave up.  If I used to have coffee 7 days a week.  I am going to allow coffee 3 days this week,  I will only have 3 Powerade's this week, and I will only have desert 3 days this week.  On top of that I am going to do a juice fast on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.  My new healthy challenge of the week.

Are you still justifying not doing something?  Maybe you have been putting something off?  It does not have to be about your diet.  Have you justified reasons not to find your dream job?  Are you not finding time for your kids?  Not finding time for yourself?  Are you justifying not exercising?  Our minds are tricky ones.  What is your own mind stopping you from doing today?  Email me or leave a comment.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Day 47 - Postive versus Negative

Today I went to A Yin Class with Kristen Schneider at Full Circle.  My body is a bit aching after this week.  I feel like I pushed myself pretty hard.  I started back up in Camel and Back Bends again so my knee is not feeling that great.  I also tweaked something in my neck / shoulder area.  Nothing too bad, but I really need to back off on the physical part of yoga and not go so deep.  Yin yoga classes are perfect for finding that gentle side.

I am starting to focus more and more on the yin and the yang.  It is such a simple philosophy, but I am feel like I am just now started to grasp it.  So many of us understand the concept that we want all beings to be happy, but I do not want to live in a world with only happiness.  We all want to feel love, but again without hatred and violence how could love exist.  I am not searching for hatred, but I am willing to accept that it is in the world.  I do not pretend that life is only going to find peace and happiness.  I do not believe that there are only good people out there.

I do believe that life's hardships have made me who I am today.  I have learned that there are soul suckers in this world, that will use and abuse me so they can try to find their happiness.  I try to steer away from these people, but also learn from them.   Soul Suckers tend to be on one side or the other.  Either they are positive or negative. We are all no doubt selfish at times in our life.  We are all also generous in our lives at time.  I am looking to find the happy balance.  I am good enough to provide things to myself yet provide for others.

Do not find a world where there is only negativity, but on the same token do not find a world where there is only positivity.  If you are truly to stay on your path you will need both the positive along with the negative.  These are two things that you should not let you fall off your path.  Use the negative to motivate you and boost you to the next level.  Use the positive to help calm your life and find the gentle side, the forgiving side, the modest side.  If you stay on one side I feel like personal growth is not happening, rather find that middle ground.

Life is full of these.  No simplicity without negativity,  No fun without work, no love without hatred. etc.  All we need to do is learn to listen to our heart and body,   Find the perfect balance between the positive and the negative,

I have been really tired the last couple of nights.  I feel like I am sleeping great, so I am not 100% sure why my eyes currently cannot stay open, but I am going to bed.  Email me or comment :)

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Day 46 - Penis

Anybody paying attention?  So I am continuing on with my week of no desert, no Powerade, and no coffee.  I am doing good not really craving any of it, but also do not feel any different.  I really do not think you have this crazy breakthrough though.  Where all of a sudden I feel ten times better then I did the day before for not drinking coffee.  More then likely it is a connection between not drinking alcohol, not drinking coffee, exercising, and doing healthy things in your lives.  It is a slow gradual change that you probably do not even notice.

Oh right the "penis" thing.  Last night I went to a meditation singing with crystal bowls.  Have you ever gone to something and then return to it a second time and it just wasn't the same.  There were a lot of differences between the first time I went to this meditation and the second time.   These differences caused me to not be able to appreciate or concentrate as I did before.

Last night I meditated for about 20 minutes out of the hour and then my mind was interupted and I fell into my thoughts.  I opened my eyes and stared around the room.  There were chants going back and forth through out the room.  They were very spiritual chants of loving words like "thank you", "We love you", "I'm awesome."  I have been diving so deep inside myself that I really could not do it last night.  I needed to come up for some air.

While these chants reverberated throughout the room I thought of the movie "500 Days of Summer"  There is a scene in the movie where a couple plays a game trying to out speak each other saying the word "penis" louder and louder.  It really is a great movie, if you haven't seen it you should.

The thought of the movie some how came in my head 20 minutes into the class, and I started to wonder what the people in the room would do if I started to sing or chant the word "penis".  Would the room stop?  Would the room laugh?  Would I be kicked out of the yoga community?  I am not one to ruin someone's spiritual moments (and there were people finding peace) so I did not say anything, but I really wanted to.  The more I thought about it the more I wanted to do it.  Then I had to figure out a way not to crack myself up.  I was in a room full of chanting people trying to stop myself from laughing and thinking about yelling the word "penis." 

My thoughts last night were telling me not to take this life so seriously.  Life is fun,  Life is a journey, and you have your entire life to try to grow.  Sometimes we all need to back down.  Sometimes we probably should all yell out the word "penis."  Do we take our lives too seriously?  I had to at least take the chance and throw the word out  in my blog to see how the world responds.  Do not insult people, but figure out a way to lighten up.

Thank you Kelly Senn at Orlando Power yoga for an excellent Dharma 2 class.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Day 45 - It's in my head

Thank you for all the grammar edits.  If you know me, you know my spelling, grammar, and all that good stuff is not that great (or is it well?)  The thing is, I am still going to blog, and probably going to make a lot of mistakes.  If you are the type that hates bad grammar I apologies, but I am trying.  I have always had the personality where I throw down my thoughts and ideas, and then move on.  I feel like if I stop to review things I am not moving in a positive direction.  So I think this is my real issue of not being able to properly edit my work or look into what is the proper grammar for something.  No worries though if you want to still point out my grammar mistakes.

I am going to a late night Orlando Power Yoga class with Greg Duke.  This is followed by a meditation at Shine on Yoga.  The meditation is with the Beutiful Chorus.  It is a cool event with crystal bowls and a bunch of women chanting and singing in a very meditative trance like harmony.  This is the second time I will be going there so I am excited to be heading back.  This is why I am once again writing my blog before yoga.  Although, I have to say it is nice to not have to think about writing it at night and just relax.  I might start to juggle the time I write these around.

If you have read my last couple blogs you have noticed a battle I have been having with frustration and simplicity.  Today was no different from yesterday.  I was doing the same thing that I was doing yesterday.  The main difference was that today I was not frustrated.  So why was I frustrated yesterday and not today?

If I read back at what I said yesterday I think I began to figure out why I was frustrated in the first place.  I admitted that I had a lot going on.  I admitted I was frustrated.  I excepted the frustration, and I did not force it back down.  I went to yoga with the idea that I had another day to practice not being frustrated and woke up with a new fresh mind.  I felt in balance today.  Things went well today.  I knew what to expect, and had got some of the emotional blocks out of my way.  I have once again found the idea of just being in the moment.  It was a better atmosphere both inside my head and what I felt in the people around me.

I thought of all these thought and emotions in my head.  How can I conquer all of these?  Why do I want to conquer all of these thoughts and emotions?  What is it inside of me that drives me to think that thoughts need to be conquered?  What is my driving force?  Why can't I just sit on a couch, be lazy, drink beer, smoke pot, do nothing, think nothing, and accomplish nothing?  My mind does not want to sit, it wants to accomplish, it wants to dream, it wants to stay sober, not clogged with beer or pot.  I want to run, I want to build, I want to create, I want to learn, I want to travel, I want to BE.

It is really fun when I can just BE like I did today.  It is a true yoga day.  Accepting, being, doing, feeling, the good with the bad.  

Life is pretty interesting don't you think?  Email me or leave a comment.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Day 44 - OK Really, Think Simple!

So I am going to yoga hear in a bit.  I am going to Orlando Power Yoga with Jannelle Pochintesta.  I wanted to write before class today so I can relax tonight and just chill.  I was very frustrated today.  After yesterday's blog, life threw some tests at me.  Today was not much out of the norm. All the frustration was all in my head, but it was still a good test.

I woke up knowing I had to go to work and do something that I was not looking forward to doing.   I started off fine, but the closer I got to work the more frustrated I became.  There are days when I feel overwhelmed and this was one of them.  I felt like what I was doing was not making the best of my time, and thought about all the other things I could be working on rather then where I was.  It was my own mind complicating the matter, and I was doing this the day after I wrote a blog trying to keep life simple.  So why?  Why was I letting into the frustration?

Frustration is a necessity of life.  It is how you grow.  I think frustration for me helps me learn my boundaries or my edge of where my patience is.  My overwhelming feeling was due to the open heart that I am having, and the discovery of so many new ideas and things.  Work is growing and my business partner and I are taking on new avenues of our company.  I am moving into a new home October 1st.  I am looking into a lot of travel ideas.  Yoga is consuming a lot of my free time.  Blogging, I want to paint more, I want to paint in a studio, my dog is always begging me to throw the tennis ball.  I also am having a lot of fun in my social life.

 So why is today a frustrating day?  Why am I letting life get to me?  Why am I dwelling in the fact that I am frustrated?  How can I get out of it?  The answer I formulated was to look at my yoga practice.  There are many postures I cannot get in today.  How will I get into that posture?  Keep coming back to the mat.  Keep practicing.  I do not sit in the posture for hours and dwell on the fact that I cannot do the posture.  I get in the posture, get out, and move on.

The frustration I am feeling is just that.  A feeling.  It can stay as long as I want it to or I can recognize it, say to myself "huh isn't that interesting" and move on.  I do not sit in it for hours and dwell on the fact that I am frustrated.  Tomorrow I have the same type of day ahead of me.  How will I learn from today and move on?

How do you feel today?  Are you dwelling on the emotion?  Email me or leave a comment.

Well I am off to yoga.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Day 43 - Think Simple

I am heading back to my roots today with Steve Rubin and Ashtanga at Full Circle Yoga.  I have also been trying to go back to my roots over the last couple days with my mantra.  I painted the above picture a few months ago to help me keep focused on what I feel complicates many of our lives.

It seems like the world spends most of their lives worrying about things that complicate their lives.  For instance people who have no money worry about getting more money.  People who have money worry about how to spend their money, or they own more things to worry about.  People often make the mistake that the more money they have, or the more things they have that they will worry less and be happier.  It is not what we have, but who we are.  Our society builds this worry into our brains.

Life can be as simple or crazy as you make it.  When you wake up in the morning it is where it starts.  How many of us wake up like a Maxwell commercial?  I think the majority of us wake up to an annoying buzzing sound.  Anxious, gotta go, and not wanting to get out of bed.  This is where you can start to make a change.  Find the balance and the peace inside of you before you get out of bed.  Start your day right.  Find something to be excited about.  Do you find peace in your bed or in your dreams?  Why can't you bring this out to your waking life.

How many of us feel so much at peace after a yoga class?  The yoga high is a great feeling?  What takes this high away?  If we are annoyed during class we can drop it.  If we do not get into a pose we accept it.  We find balance in our poses and in ourselves.  We leave the yoga class feeling great.  What happens off the mat?

I know off the mat that so many things can happen in life.  Kids cry, people leave us, our bosses yell, soul suckers beat us down.  We have too much on our plate or too little.  We are too sad or too happy.  This is life,  it is part of the balance we need.  We need to find that gentle side or more love for ourselves, or we need to push ourselves a little more.

If all else fails, if life somehow finds a way to complicate things,  Stop and Breathe.  Ask yourself if it is going to matter in the long run.  Are you creating the worry in your head?  Is the outside world giving you this worry?  Are you so used to having this worry in your head that you do not know what life is like without this worry.  Look inside yourself and try to drop one of worry's now.  Know that life will be OK if you stop worrying about this thing that you do not need to worry about.

Keep life simple!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Day 42 - Weekly Recap

I survived a week of no coffee!!!  I celebrated with a Mocha yesterday, but decided that I wanted to do another challenge this week with my diet.  I am going to go with no coffee again this week and then also cut out my Powerade and dinner desert.  This is what I decided would be my challenge of the week.  The Mocha tasted so good after waiting it for a week.  I am looking forward to rewarding myself again next week.

Giving up coffee got me thinking.  When I talk to people about doing yoga 6 days a week for 1 year I get a lot of responses.  They tell me, "Your job allows you time to do this."  "You are lucky you have no kids."  There are a lot of statements that have been said to me, but these statements are not about me.  They are justifications for that person to make them feel better.  At the studio I meet people with three jobs.  I know women with kids.  So why are we different?  The big difference in people trying to make a change is they do it.  I do not think there is much more to it.  Why do we not at least attempt to make these healthy changes? 

I am asking the readers of this to take a chance and make one simple change this week.  Make a change for yourself.  You know in your heart what is healthy and what is not.  Drop the justifications for one week.  It does not have to be to join yoga.  Go for a walk, cut out chips, meditate for 10 minutes.  Take the first step and try.  YOU deserve it.

This week I tried a new studio and class with Missy White.  It seems that the more I stay out of a weekly routine the more my mind opens up to more ideas.  I pushed myself a bit more this week and felt good about the postures I am in and the challenges ahead.  I also am concentrating on my tight ham strings.  I am backing off in postures and letting go of my ego in hopes that I can loosen them up sometime in my lifetime. 

I also decided two weeks ago that the camel posture may not be good for my knees.  I was able to stay out of that posture for a total of two weeks and sit and breath while everyone else did this posture.  This is all part of finding my gentle side, so I am happy I was able to accomplish this.  It is so easy to compare our lives to others and strive to be something that we currently our not.  I want to be able to bend over backwards in this posture, but doing so would have injured my knee. I am slowly learning a nice balance between pushing myself and being gentle to my body, mind, and soul.  I will be trying camel again this week to see how my knee feels.

Today is your day to start.  Try something simple, try something hard.  Just do it today.  Email me or leave a comment.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Day 41 - What is yoga

I have been thinking a lot this whole time and discussing with several people on the topic of what is yoga.  If you have read my blog you can already see that it can be difficult to define exactly what yoga is.  The deeper I go the more I find out how it seems that yoga is unique to the individual that is going through this.  There is no right or wrong yoga.  There is no true yoga. I watched a great documentary, "Enlighten Up" a little while ago.  If you have not seen it, you should.  It is a bit on this subject.

We all have some reason on why we started yoga here in the west.  I do not know a lot of people that have been brought up doing yoga.  For many of us it is almost a sanctuary that saved us from some type of hardship in life.  For me I came to yoga both when I stopped drinking and second when I went through my divorce.  It seems yoga can help us with the bad times in life, but I am experiencing the good times in life.  It is also opening up a whole new level for me when I come to the mat.

I have been noticing my teachers in the last couple weeks.  They each have their own individual personality and their personality will show through the way that they teach yoga.   I feel that yoga saved their lives in some way and I can sense they want to share it with the rest of the world.  They want us to feel the happiness that they have discovered through yoga.

The west is known to take traditions and put a spin on it and make it their own.  This concept use to bug me, but now I am embracing it as part of our culture. Something I am now learning from.  My teachers take their knowledge they have learned and put their personal touch to it.  I am in their class to gain their knowledge that they are spilling my way.  I also feel they can gain knowledge from us the students and feel this is what makes a teacher a good teacher.  If they come in acting like they know what "yoga" is, I am turned off by this.  If they come in with an open heart and mind wanting to learn from their students, this to me is considered a great teacher.

Yoga means so much to each individual.  One could be in yoga to try to get out of their head from a traumatic event.  One could be there to get in shape.  One could be there to find balance between their body and mind.  I can go on and on.  The thing is we are all there in that room together.  We are all bringing "our yoga" to the studio, and we are all learning from one another.

When we closed the class with the sound of ohm this week, I noticed that we were all present.  I worked so hard to try to balance myself throughout the class.  When we chant ohm it reminds me that there are other people in the room and in the world.  Here is my opportunity to balance with each other and for maybe a brief moment be one with each other.

What is yoga to you?  Please email me or leave a comment.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Day 40 - Imperfection

I went into a new studio and class today.  I took a class with Missy White at Altamonte Springs Yoga.  The class was named Funky Flow.  It was a very fast moving class that had a little booty bounce in it.  It was pretty entertaining and fun as we moved really fast, and kind of danced.  I started off the class giving up on the breath, and just leaning towards just going through the postures.  I stopped about 10 minutes into it, and instead I opened up to a new thought process for myself.

I was thinking that in the middle of life's most chaotic moments I would love to always have a way to stay balanced.  When I started jumping around in the class today and bending this way and that, I started to see if I could find my breath.  Even if it was for just a moment.  Then continue on with the practice.  I started to wonder if I was to keep practicing this way if I could keep my breath throughout any chaotic moment.  If I could keep my pose,  keep my balance.  What a perfect place to find this.

I was also thinking about imperfections.  I choose the picture on the top of my blog today because it represents a posture which I have (in my mind) bad form.  My standing knee is bent, my back is hunched over, and my other leg is also bent.  At some point we all have to realize we are flawed.  It is what you do with the flaw that makes you unique.  Some people want to hide in the back of the room, others want to correct the flaw in 2 hours.  The perfect thing about yoga is we are all flawed.  We might spend our entire lives trying to perfect these flaws and never get there.  So why not be ok with your flaw.  Except your flaw and continue down your path of life.  The picture represents me.  Where I am RIGHT NOW.  There is nothing wrong with it.

Another thought that came to me today is to find that perfect balance between pushing yourself and being gentle.  Only I know what this is for myself.  Today I felt like I was pushing myself.  I feel like I am moving back to the pushing myself again, and I feel good and ready for it.  Do you notice how my mind is shifting back and forth throughout these blogs?

The last thing that I thought that was kind of cool today was that during savasana I had a vision of a bright purple star.  There wasn't much to it except for that it was really bright and cool looking.  I thought it was something that I would share with everyone today.  Anyone know what a vision of a purple star may represent?  Anyone have any random visions today?

Email me or leave a comment about your imperfections.  It feels good to just admit them and not hide them.  So feel free to share.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Day 39 - The Now

I realized something today. I think it started back on the Costa Rica yoga retreat at Anamaya.  I am living in the now.  Not that I am saying that I am never thinking about the past or the future, but maybe about 60% of the time I am in the now. I am just enjoying where I am.

This is a new experience for me.  For the last year I have been struggling trying to get out of the past.  Before that I think I was very future oriented.  My mind was fixed on trying to save money for a new home, girlfriend, wife, children.   As long as I was looking ahead, things were moving in a positive direction.  I am not sure why I did this.  It seems like more worry comes from that.  Same thing if you are stuck on the past.  And the scariest thing when you worry about the past so much you actually repeat it into your future.

I am new to the living in the now.  Not sure how to deal with it.  I honestly have a comfort now that I feel like life is going to be all right no matter what is thrown at me- both the positive and the negative.  I am feeling pretty comfortable with who I am, and I think this helps keep down the worries of where I am going.  Earlier this week I noticed myself trying to beat me in a downward spiral, but I noticed this and built myself back up.  I was having issues with what others would think about my blogs and started to go down that avenue.  I need to keep focused on what I am doing.  I am "documenting" my thoughts, emotions, and honest feelings so I can see where I am one year from now.  I am doing this for me, but you are welcome to read about it.

How do we live in the now?  Start with your breath.  Notice that you are breathing.  Follow your breath in and out.  Try to find yourself in these moments.  Whether it be 1 minute a day, 10 minutes a day, or an hour.  Try to find that moment.  Again I am not saying I sit down meditate and do yoga and zone everything out.  My mind is still racing all over the place.  "God I am sweating,"  "Look at that girl,"  "They are doing that pose better then me,"  These are common thoughts in our brains.  We are human.  But try to find that place.

I heard someone say in class that you should "try" a pose.  I thought about my hero Yoda.  "Do or Do not, there is no try."  I agree with Yoda.  If you try something you are doing it.  When you arrive to class you are doing yoga.  Trying and doing are one in the same.  I just wanted to add that tid bit of thought.  Or maybe I just wanted to quote Yoda.

Any Star Wars thoughts today?  Email me or leave a comment.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Day 38 - Bring back the balance

I felt really out of balance today.  You know how I have been very gentle in class lately.  Well that seemed to translate off the mat too.  When I start being gentle with myself I start doing more things.  When I start doing a lot more things I start feeling a bit frustrated because I cannot do all of them.  When I start getting frustrated I start being hard on myself.

The last few days I have been feeling like I do not deserve to write these words.  Thoughts started to enter my mind like "People are going to think I am arrogant."  "Why do I feel my words are important enough to share with everyone"  "I am not really doing anything special, there are a ton of people who do this much yoga."

This is a part of my personality.  It is something that I would love to hide and act like I am always strong, loving, and caring, but I am human and these are my honest thoughts.   I want to be able to express my honesty and keep true to myself throughout this experience.

I went into Orlando Power Yoga for a real hot session with Greg Duke.  I found myself in an opportunity to go strong.  Push myself to the limit.  The opposite of gentle (the reason why I am suddenly frustrated).  This was an opportunity to change my ways and push myself to make me feel like I am accomplishing things.  I am not sure if this is coming out right, but as a pushed myself through this class I stated to feel more balanced.  I regained self worth and tried new things. 

Yoga is a place where you can find a center.  If there is an emotion that is inside of you that day, bring it to the mat.  Do you want to focus on changing this emotions?  Do you want to stay in this emotion?  Or do you just want to be?

After I got off the mat I forgave myself for being hard on myself over the last few days.  I am living back in the moment. 

Where are your emotions?  Email me or leave a comment.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Day 37 - Honesty and Balance.

I went to Orlando Power Yoga to go to my second class of Budokon with Reider Howe.  It really is a lot of fun.  I kind of feel like a yoga ninja.  I feel like I have a lot to learn in this class and would like to continue with this practice.

I have had a lot of comments about being open and honest with my alcohol and drug use.  It seems to be the topic of the day today.  I wanted to talk a bit more about honesty.  I try to stay open and honest with my life.  I believe that we all have our ups and downs, so why do we find it necessary to hide so much.  Ridicule, embarrassment, or failure?  I am beginning to  wonder if these emotions will be less and less in our lives if we all are completely honest. Express these emotions of ridicule, be embarrassed, and fall on your ass a couple times.  Do not fear these emotions.

So Honestly, I do worry about the next 11 months in yoga.  Am I going to get bored with it?  Am I going to hurt myself?  Am I going to run out of time during the day to do yoga?  I was stuck on the negative side of things today.  Is it the lack of coffee??? What if I flipped it.  What if I only had positive thoughts today?  What if I said, Yoga is in my life forever.  I am being gentle to my body so I will not get hurt.  I will find balance with my time along with yoga.  Why do we get pulled to the negative side of life?  Again is it the negative emotions?  Am I fearing these emotions?

Life is about keeping a balance.  Balance on the mat and balance off the mat.  When the negative emotions come we have to learn from these emotions and keep them as part of our lessons of life.  Same with the positive emotions.  Keep the balance.  Just like the breath, life's emotions come in and out of the body.  This is the simplest form of balance in our lives.  For every breath that I have taken in throughout my life I have exhaled the same amount of air.  I am starting to feel that if I look more into my breath that I will find more balance in my life.

Are you hiding something?  Do you really want to tell someone?  Need to get it off your chest.  Email me or comment.  I'd be happy to talk to you about it.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Day 36 - Give it up

I WANT COFFEE!!! Well at least I did all day today.  It's funny how some of our habits can be so important to our lives.  Coffee is important to me.  It was what I turned to when I gave up drinking and drugs.   It is a good way for me to get out of the house and hang out.  Socially though I have been going to new places and meeting new people.  I haven't really had time to go to the coffee shop, but I still have been making a lot of coffee at home.

I wanted to see what my life would be like without coffee for a week.  Today I was pretty lackadaisical, and a bit down in the dumps.  I also ate a lot more food and drank a lot more water today.  Justifying that I could eat a pizza tonight because I did not drink any coffee.

Do you think it is coincidence that I am making changes in my life along side to seeking out new yoga and opening my mind to new yoga ideas?   Today I went to Ashtanga yoga at Full Circle.  Steve had a sub today, Daniela Ellis. so I had another new teacher.  It felt good to have a new teacher with my favorite type of yoga.

I have made a lot of changes over the last year and a half.  I fell into a deep hole when two of my friends past a way and then a deeper hole when I went through my divorce.  I feel like that was the beginning of the changes that starting leaning me into a positive direction.  Isolated up ontop of a mountain in Colorado I decided to come back to Orlando where I found yoga again.

Through therapy and yoga my deep darkness became lighter and lighter.  More opportunities fell into my lap, more love came into my life, more change.  When do you stop this change?  My latest belief is never stop.  Always evolve.  Keep your mind healthy and open.

Today it is coffee.  I am not promising it is out my life forever.  I am promising it is out of my life for this week.  A promise to me.  It seems like good healthy changes have been piling on in the last year. 

 I notice so many ways out of these opportunities that come up.  "I drink coffee because I do not drink alcohol."  "I need coffee to stay awake."  "I am bored at work."  What is the difference between this and going to yoga everyday?  What is it that makes us do unhealthy things?  What are the true healthy things?  

Are there healthy changes falling into our lap?  Are you justifying not making healthy changes?  Email me or leave a comment.  Have a Great day.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Day 35 - Reflecting

Today is my day off and a great opportunity to reflect.  I had an great week.  I had a lot of fun along with a lot of new yoga.  A "one on one" class, a new Budokon class, a new hot class in Tampa, my third Dharma class, a new yin class, followed up by three back to back to back classes yesterday.  WOW!

When I get into so many new experiences I find it best for me to take a break from the outside world and do something that is comforting to me.  Today I am painting and watching football.  It is a chance for my mind to catch up with everything that is going on around me.  I am pretty high on the introvert side and regain my energy when I am alone and doing what I like to do.

Looking back over the week, all of these new classes and experiences have opened my mind quite a bit.  I want to continue to venture into several different types of yoga and see where it takes my mind and body.  I want to look into old traditional yogis versus the new modern yogis.  I am thinking of interviewing people to find out what yoga means to them.  I want to learn.

I love the path this week alone has taken me.  I feel like I have found more of a gentle side for my body and soul.  I do not feel like I need to prove myself to other people. I feel appreciative for the people I have around me (both positive and negative).   I feel like life has so many opportunities.  I feel like I have nothing to hide in my life. 

I owe these new findings about myself to trying new things.  There are so many opportunities that we pass up in our lives.  If something is healthy and may be good for us why do we turn these opportunities down?  Our minds justify not to do things so easily.  Not enough time?  Not enough money?  Afraid of what someone else will think?  If you are looking to try a new yoga or want to start a yoga class, make time.  If you do not have the funds find a free class.

If you are scared of what someone else may think, do it anyways.  I was scared to start yoga.  My mind was pretty worried about what other people thought about me during the class.  Now that I look back, I think yoga may have been the best thing for this.  At one point throughout my practice I no longer cared what anyone else thought of me in the class. Yoga was never about that.  It was all inside my head.

Oh by the way.  I am on day 2 of my week without coffee.  I am thinking that I may be better off without it, but am not convinced of it yet (or at least am justifying reasons not to do something healthy for myself).  It is was one of my vices that I still love, and drink about 1-2 cups a day.   I am not ready for it to be completely out of my life, just trying to see if it helps me in a few things.  Maybe I will write about this more later?

I look forward to the next months of reflecting, learning, growing, failing, and everything else that comes my way.  If you want to hear more about a subject or like something in this blog let me know.  Email me or send me a comment.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Day 34 - Endurance - The Triple Threat

This morning I participated in what a group of yogis called the Triple Threat. I am not sure how it came about, but we decided we were going to do three yoga classes in a row. The first two were a hour and a half and the third was an hour. Basically, 4 hours of yoga. It was in a hot studio. I do not know if any studios or teachers would recommend doing this, but for me it was a pretty neat experience.

When I started up I thought about when I ran a marathon. This was all about endurance and letting your mind take over the physical body. I knew I was physically in shape to do the triple threat, but was interested to see if my mind would tell me differently. All three of the classes were pretty physical, there was not much on the gentle meditation side. I knew that coming into it. Yesterday was about breathing and more of a mental relaxation. Today was about physical endurance with a different mental challenge.

It as a great group to do this triple threat with. I think this was one of the main thing that pushed me into doing all three. If it was just me I do not think I would do it. The group laughed a lot and had fun experiences this together. We all seemed to be in similar mind sets throughout the whole triple threat experience.

In the first class I my weekly test of being gentle to my body was put to a test. The teacher was trying to get us to go the edge, but I knew we had 2 more classes. I did not push myself. I did not try new poses, and even backed off on some poses.

The second class started to bring more of a challenge to my mind. When we got into poses like warrior 1, my mind was saying didn't I just do this? About half way through some of us starting laughing which seemed to actually ease the mind set and make things easier.

By the third class my body was worn out. My mind was saying "What are you doing? Warrior 1 again?" I was giving out. I had to sit back in child pose. My poses were pretty weak, but I had to remind myself that this was my third class. I tried to be more gentle to myself. My mind started to think about all of this. Was it good the fact that I showed up? Was it better that I endured all three classes? Was it the journey that was the best part?

My feeling is that it is the journey that is the most important thing in life. It is every posture we get in, good or bad. It is how our mind feels when we are in that posture. It is the question of if our mind stays on that emotion throughout the next posture. It is our mindset with the people around us. Do we do something different for ourselves or for those people? If the teacher says to do something is it better to do it or not do it? Life is about the journey. It is not the past of what you did. Not the future of how you are going to end up. It is where you are now.

Thank you for the journey that we all went on today. I do not think I could have done it without all the other great people around me.

Where are you right now? What is your mind telling you? What are the people around you telling you? Where are you RIGHT now? Email me or leave a comment.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Day 33 - Sit still

I really needed to sit still today. I didn't realize it until I actually sat still. Today I went to a Yin class with Michelle Coutinho at Orlando Power Yoga. It was exactly where I needed to be. Yin classes are very gentle classes where you hold postures for a long period of time. We started off with about a 10 minute of a sitting meditation. I haven't sat for a long meditation for a while, and while I did I started feel a bit of discomfort in my upper shoulders. I realized my body was aching.

I have spent the week going, going, and going some more. On the mat I felt like I was very gentle this week. Off the mat I had a lot of fun. I went to Tampa and celebrated my birthday. Thanks to everyone who celebrated, and special a special Thank you to Marianne!!! I had a great time, but it was hard to fit all that fun in with work and yoga. When I sat down and mediated it was as if my body said "THANK YOU!!!"

My body was sore. My hamstrings were so tight today. My body was yelling at me. I am preparing for a pretty big challenge tomorrow and it was a great day to be gentle.

There are so many types of yoga out there. I have experimented over the last month and have my favorites, but I have also found that sometimes my favorite yoga is not exactly what I need. Some times I need to concentrate more on my breath. Other days I want to push my body to the limit. There are so many more types of yoga to look into. I want to keep my mind open to new ideas that someday a new type of yoga might be exactly what my mind or body is asking for.

There are two questions that are on the front of my mind. Is it better to do one yoga like Ashtanga (my favorite) that does the same series over and over again? Or is it better to switch it up and be able to concentrate more on the breath some days and more on the physical side others? Life and yoga is about finding a good balance, but is it through discipline and tradition or an open mind and adventure?

Let me know what you think. Comment or email me.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Day 32 - I am here

Today I went into Orlando Power Yoga for another Dharma class with Kelly Senn. This was my 3rd time taking the Dharma class and the flow began to click for me. I felt very comfortable today. I did not feel hot or uncomfortable, I did not get lost in my head, I did begin to get in tune with my breath. Things clicked today. I felt balanced and ok with things today.

One thing that was stuck in my head today was something the Annette said yesterday in Tampa. I have heard this a million times, but today it seemed more of a focus. She was saying that we need to take what we do on the mat and apply it to our everyday life off the mat.

I sat in traffic for about 1 hours today on the beloved I-4. I do not really get bent out of shape anymore when I am late for something, sitting in traffic, or waiting in line. I feel bad if someone else is involved, but when it's just me I am ok with it. Life happens. I was thinking today that we are the ones that complicate things. I have been to a few third world countries where I met what I feel are some of the happiest people in the world. And they have nothing. So why do we get upset sitting in traffic on I-4, when a starving person in another nation can find complete peace with nothing?

There are a lot of things in my life that I can find to complicate things, but I choose a simple life. I choose to see a happy life. I do not expect people to see this simple life anymore, I can choose to live any life I want. I am the one that complicates my simple world.

On the mat I breath. I look for balance, simplicity, and a gentle soul. I push myself to the next level in the posture. I look at my faults and either get encouraged or discouraged. Guess what... I I do the same thing off the mat. I am constantly looking for a good balance.

Are you searching for something? What are your life lessons? Comment or Email me.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Day 31 – The edge

Today Marianne and I went to Tampa to do yoga at a new location. The place was called Yogani and the instructors name was Annette. It was a hot yoga probably over 100 degrees. It was great to once again continue out of the normal routine and experience something new.

The instructor came across very militant and continued to stress how she was going to push us to our edge. If you read some of my past blogs my mind set has been to start to back off and to be gentler to my body and thus my mindset. She did have a very interesting outlook and philosophy that stressed that if you can find breath in the most uncomfortable places on your may then you can also find this off the mat. She had a very interesting approach and you could tell that she loved yoga and that yoga had helped her out in many ways. She was a real instructor. The people I appreciate most in this world are the people that come to work and to the mat as themselves. So for this I enjoyed her personality and her class.

For some people yoga is about pushing themselves to the edge. At times this is me. For others it is a time to find peace and relaxation. For me right now it is a time for me to be more kind and gentle on myself. I feel like I have been very hard on myself over the last few years and yoga is an opportunity to ease this habit.

The curve ball I had during class today is that when I get into a new class I typically say to myself... “I have to prove to all these people that I am strong, flexible, and know what I am doing.” Today was a great opportunity to drop that and say, “No one knows anything about me, I can be as gentle as I want.” But the instructor was pushing to find the edge. So this was my test today.

In the class the first thing was the heat. I for some reason did not find it too hot today. Second was the breath. Today I could not find my breath, but did not look for a mental relaxation day. Then came the outward thoughts. “People are looking at me.” “I should show them that I am good.” “I am supposed to stay gentle though.” I was still fighting this today, but I found it more on the forefront of my mind. Overall I was much more gentle than I would have been in the past. Did I find complete gentle comfort? No, all in good time.

I am happy to say though that throughout my practice the last few weeks and blogging it finally has sunk in today. “I need to be much more gentle to myself”

Are there thoughts that keep coming back to you? Why do they keep coming up in your mind? Are they telling you something? Email me or leave a comment.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Day 30 - Me day

I turned 37 today and celebrated it in a new class at OPY. I tried out a Budokon class with Reider Howe. It was a fun mix of martial arts meets yoga. Something new and refreshing. Something I had never experienced and I liked it :)

Today I am celebrating me. I am very excited with the journey that I have gone on. I thought back of where I was 1 year ago, 5 years ago, 15 years ago, 30 years ago. My life has changed so much in a life span. When I was 7 I was running around in my backyard chasing a Nerf football. When I was 22 I was in the bars in Athens, Ohio. When I was 32 I was in the mountains of Colorado. Last year I was greeted back to Orlando with open arms.

There were a lot of different thoughts, emotions, and ideas that were throughout these times. It was a constant growth in both a positive and negative direction that got me to where I am today. When I was 7 I did not sit and think I would be typing on a laptop blogging about yoga on my birthday. When I was 7 laptops were not even a thought in anyone's imagination. When I was 7 blogging, ummmm, what the hell is blogging? Think of all the new ideas and life changes that have come into our lives over these years.

The reason I bring this up. I feel like yoga has opened up a lot to me on the spiritual and emotional side. Change happens whether we want it to or not. It is how we embrace this change that effects our lives. When change does occur how does it affect our mind. Are we scared to do the next pose? Are we pushing ourselves too hard? Is it making us loose our balance? Practice facing the change with yoga. I believe over the next 37 years when I face change yoga will help me keep it in check and balanced.

Where were you 30 years ago? Do you expect change to happen more rapidly? Email me or comment.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Day 29 - Addiction

Photo by Marianne Broadaway

Oh no. My yoga class is canceled today because of Labor day. Some times you have to make some changes in your schedule. I am going to find a place to go through the Ashtanga primary series on my own. Most likely in my home.

My blog yesterday caused something to surface with me. I was talking about how happy and balanced I felt. About 20 minutes after the post I started to play mind games with myself trying to beat myself up. This is nothing new to me, and is an old habit.

I have been a sober addict now for the last 8 years. In my drug days I would drink or use to beat myself up. This would beat me both physically and mentally. Once I stopped drinking and using drugs the mind set of beating myself up was still there. I have figured it out over the last 8 years and am now very much aware when I do it. It still can sneak up on me though. This time I caught it really quick and it only lasted about 20 minutes.

Yoga means something different to everyone. Yoga to me is a place where I can dive deeper into myself, emotions, and physical body. The mat is so important to me because it is a place where I do the complete opposite of beat up myself. I find love and acceptance. When I quit drugs and drinking to me this was just the beginning. Once the haze of masking my problems lifted only then could I dive in deeper. Yoga is a perfect place to open up your mind and look deeper into your state of mind.

Yoga unlocks places on my body that have locked up emotions. This is a hard thing for me to describe, but the more flexible I become the more of these locks I seem to unlock. I have left class with so many different emotions. I have cried on the mat, been extremely happy, even angry. Other times my emotions feel completely balanced after I leave the mat. To me these are emotions that have been locked up in my body and released through yoga. I do not know how else I could explain it.

I am curious about my other addictions that I have. I still drink about 2-3 cups of coffee a day. I am looking into stopping this starting September 9th and seeing if I feel anything. This is a vice that has kept me content since I became sober so I am a bit hesitant. I am not willing to say I will give it up completely. Just going to experiment a little with it now. Maybe caffeine is holding onto something in my body.

I have talked to so many people about their addictions. I am determined that only you know what is healthy or not healthy for your body. Others will tell you that they believe. I would suggest to look into your soul and ask yourself what you think. If you know it is unhealthy what are the reasons why you are justifying that it is ok you do it. We all have something that we are addicted to. Some healthy and some not so healthy. There are several ways to stop these addictions.

I also know several addicts that have used yoga as a tool to help stay on a clean path. I of course recommend yoga, but also highly recommend another form of therapy to help dive into your emotional swings. Try to use professionals rather then family members as this can cause conflict.

Life is a great journey. Are you bringing pain and suffering to your body and mind? Or are you looking to bring love, simplicity, and joy into you life. Please comment or email me with your thoughts.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Day 28 - Reflection

Today was my day off. I spent the day relaxing and catching up on things that I wanted to do. I got some painting done which gave me some reflection time. Painting for me is a time where I can let my mind go and focus on one thing. It is another one of my outlets that allows me to relax and express myself.

I looked back at the last 28 days. They have flown by. I have been having so much fun I have not been able to stop and look back at the past month. I have learned so much. My life feels extremely balanced today. I feel like I could hold tree pose all day today. With this type of balance I feel like I can reflect more on my life.

I am very grateful for everyone in my life. I am feeling a lot of love today. There is a feeling of simplicity in the air today. There are so many areas in life that can get complicated I am grateful for this simple day. I start to wonder if the outside world is what complicates life or if it is my mind that cause the complication. Is it the people that are simple in my life or do I bring the simplicity into my world? The more I sit and think about it, what is it that takes a simple day like today and complicates it?

There are so many soul suckers in this world. I have had a pretty good tradition of seeking them out in my past. I use to seek them to show a life that is simple. Soul suckers typically cannot see a simple life. As life continues on I seem to have less and less of these soul suckers in my life. I am trying to keep my life in check by keeping good positive people in my life. People who are not afraid to be themselves, not afraid of who I am, and have growing souls that can grow with me not against me.

I am realistic about this world. The world is complicated. There are always going to be moments of complications. Life is complicated, but we can keep our life as simple as what is in our mind. Find peace in your heart and find moments to ensure that it stays there. For the people who have brought simplicity and kept simplicity in my life I thank you today. Keep the love and the simplicity in your heart and in your life.

I send out a little prayer at the end of each one of my yoga sessions. It is my silent time to thank these moments that I hold true in my heart.

Keep life simple! Much Love!.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Day 27 - Compassion

This morning I went to Orlando Power yoga where I went in for some more hot yoga with Reider Howe. It was a good class where I felt a decent work out along with a pretty good mental check in. The topic of the day seemed to be Compassion.

When I first started to do yoga 308 I felt very excited and found myself pushing myself to the extreme. The problem that I am finding is if I continue to push myself as hard as I did in week 1 there is no way I will last for a full year. My knee was pretty sore at the end of last week. I felt like it was time to take back off quite a bit and show some compassion to myself and my body.

I come from a background of playing high school football. The mental state that was engraved into our brains was go go go, push push push, and it did not matter if we had an injury. We seemed to endure the pain and we were actually made to feel like a wimp if we sat out to nurse an injury.

I still have a lot of this competitiveness in my brain. There are still times that I want to push myself further because I feel like I have to. As if someone is watching me and judging me for the pose I am in or not doing. This seems to happen more when I go to a new studio. I feel like I have to prove myself to these new people. I wish I did not think this way, but wanted to bring it up, because I am pretty sure I am not alone on this one.

Today I worked on keeping myself in check. My knee has been bothering me so I nursed it this entire week. I did not get into poses like camel pose, back bending, or anything that bent my knee in a position that may agrovate it. Instead I sat kneeling.

I have to admit, when I did this my first thoughts were "people think I am weak for not doing this" or "people are looking at me." I would love to say I was completely good with this, but hey I am human.

I have also noticed that I have been telling other people who are just starting up yoga to not feel competitive, or think that everyone is looking at them. The more and more people I told this to I realize that I am actually the one that worries about this. This is not only in yoga, but also in a few other aspects of life.

Finding compassion like this is not only going to save my body, but it is also going to allow me to find out much more about myself. I am going to continue this practice through next week. Do not push myself and instead enjoy how far I have come and where I am.

Are you afraid to show people you are weak? Do people actually think this fear is an actual weakness? Are you showing yourself the compassion you deserve? Tell me your story. Email me or comment.