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.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Day 361 - Working around the pain

Finally started doing camel pose.  My knee does not give me problems, and I feel good in the pose.

Today I am taking my final day off.  I realized if I do not take my final day off I would do 309 days of yoga.  God forbid I do one day extra or one day less.  I have learned a lot from yoga.  One of the biggest things I have learned is to cut myself some slack.  Some things just take time, and the more you push it the more you will just go in the wrong direction.

Look at the camel pose above.  When I first stared yoga my knee was giving me issues.  Instead of ignoring the pain and getting into the pose I listened to the pain and refused to get into the pose.  Instead I did something that I felt comfortable stretching out my knee.  After about 6 months of doing this I do not feel any pain getting into the camel pose.  I have been doing this pose for about 1 month now.  

I did not work through the pain.  I worked around the pain.  I accepted that I could not get into the pose.  My work in other areas opened my muscles and body up to be more flexible.  These other openings allowed me to eventually allow my knee to open up without pain.  I then felt comfortable getting in this pose.

I have learned that accepting who I am and not pushing myself through life is sometimes a great answer in my life.  It is a hard concept for me to learn, but I like this type of direction I am taking with my life.

I am off to enjoy my day off.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Day 360 - Changing the short shallow inhale breath

Slight difference in the triangle pose.  I really do like that my shoulders and chest have opened more.

I am at 360 days!!! This is very exciting to me.  I took a hot yoga class with Greg Duke at Orlando Power Yoga this morning.  This was another class where I suddenly felt muscles I never knew I had before.

I am in midst of 30 days of my Vegan raw diet.  I remember this for last time I did this diet, but I feel lighter.  That is the best description I can give for my current feeling.  You know how you feel heavy after you eat a pizza or cheeseburger?  Well this is the opposite feeling, but after about the third day I feel even lighter.

Today during class I was concentrating a lot on my breath.  I have been told several times to relax on my exhale.  I was noticing I was doing this today during my practice.  My inhale is much quicker and shorter then my exhale.  It seems that my exhale is also more powerful and almost expressive.

We all know that a sigh is a way we release our stress.  Have I been releasing my stress through this type of breathing practice?  What am I missing by not inhaling the same manner?  It would make sense that if we are exhaling negative stress and energy the inhale must be bringing in this stress.  What happens when we see something shocking?  We first inhale or gasp with a sense of surprise or shock.

Is my short shallow inhale just telling me that I cannot take in any more?  What happens when I get to a point where I want to take on more?  Does my breath automatically change, or do I need to teach my breath that I want to take on more?  Since I feel like I have been at a point to take on more, I am going to make a point during my practice to take in deeper and longer breaths then I am used to.  I wonder where this will lead me.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Day 359 - Finding out who I am


Tonight I went to Ashtanga yoga with Steve Rubin at Full Circle Yoga.  I had a really cool experience during savasana today.  I was in a deep meditation, but could feel a shift in my brain.  I know this sounds really weird (and it is hard to explain), but I could actually feel the difference between my left side of my brain and the right side.  The left felt very free flowing while the right felt very solid.  OK, so that is my crazy moment of the day.

The other day I wrote down everything that I try to accomplish in one day.  Besides the obvious of eating, work, and sleeping, I have a lot going through my head these days.  Blogging, yoga, painting, gardening, my dog, and spending time with others.  How could I possibly go through all of my ideas and thoughts that go through my head.

Life gets frustrating when my ideas do not get the attention I hope to give them.  The reality is there are only 24 hours in the day.  These were the times I could really use a drink.  It helped numb the fact that I could not possibly do all that I wanted to do.  There are days when I have the drive to try to get everything accomplished.  Then there are days when I want to lay around and numb my brain with TV or video games.  I realize now that at one point numbing my thoughts was a routine in my life.  I really did not want to face myself or my ideas.  I hid from myself and substituted  it with someone else or something else.  That was the old me.

Yoga, painting, writing, traveling, and gardening are the tools I use to find who I am.  It is when I truly feel like myself.  It is where I feel like I am moving in a forward direction.  I have started to question what this forward direction is.  I know in my heart that I am doing the right thing.  I am just wondering why it is I need to express my life to the universe.  I am at least coming to grips that this is who I am.  I just do not quite understand why.  Maybe I hope that my words or painting will effect someone just enough to see the good in life, that life is simple, and we all have love in our heart that is waiting to explode out of us.  Maybe it is just that simple.

Life is in front of us every day.  I see a beautiful life.  I hope that everyone can figure out their path and steps to find beauty in life too.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Day 358 - Work on your life's yoga posture today


I am down to my last week.  Crazy!!!  I did yoga at home today.  It was an hour session with simple postures and stretching.  The hardest thing was there was a thunderstorm rolling in, and my dog is scared of thunderstorms.  Most of the time Orion was sitting right next to my mat.  This yoga session became a lot of petting and comforting stretching.

The picture above show the difference between my side crow 10 months ago and where it is now.  There is a slight difference between the two. You can see my back and shoulders starting to square off.  This is what 10 months gets you.  I do not see a giant change.  This is one thing that I have learned through yoga 308.

Life is not about luck.  Life is about working hard and changing our lives one day at a time.  We can have an end goal that we believe in.  The only way to get to that goal is to make stride towards it.  If we look at the picture above some people might say that I am done with the posture on the left.  Some might say I am done with the posture on the right.  The truth is this posture is never finished.  This posture leads to another posture, which leads to the next posture, which leads to the next posture.  I do not have enough time to get to the "End Goal."

Everyone wants that "Final posture."  We want it right now.  The joy and the happiness in life is striving towards that goal.  Finding others that strive towards this goal with you, and doing what we believe in.  Do not rely on others to bring you towards your happiness and goals, but rather work with them to find your true happiness, love, and internal peace.

Work on your posture today :)

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Day 357 - Eating Raw food day 3

Sill trying to get downward dog right.  I am still being schooled by the puppy Boomer.

Today was my day off from yoga and a very lazy day.  I did get a chance to write down a lot of my ideas and thoughts, and structure some of my future plans.  Thank you Marianne for listening to all these thoughts. 

This is day 3 of the 30 day raw diet.  I am still rolling through this pretty easily.  I am pretty much doing this one solo, but it does help to have Marianne guide me through it.  I purchssed a lot of things at Whole Foods that were already prepared, I am borrowing a juicer and juicing, and I have learned how to make raw chocolate.  The raw chocolate will be the key to making it through my month.

I think it is crazy how much money I spent on raw food.  I spent good over $200 to prepare for this.  The best foods we could put in our bodies cost much more then the fast food crap that is constantly being marketed to us.  There really is something wrong with our society.  It makes sense for a commercialism society to make food as cheap as we can and sell it at a low price.  I do not blame giant corporations from doing this.  This is ultimately the American dream.  The original Mcdonalds had this American dream, and figured out a way to make a lot of money.  I do not think they intended to contribute to the death and diseases they brought onto the U.S. and the rest of the world.

What I blame is us.  Each one of us including me for accepting this.  For continuing to justify that fast food and processed food is OK to put in our body.  We can always come up with a reason to continue to eat crap, but come on people.  We put the blame on fast food as if we have no control over eating it.  We all know how to make this change.  Simply stop eating crap and start eating good food.

I have come up with a way to justify my $200 spending.  This is not only an investment in myself, but also I will not be going out to eat much at all over the next 30 days.   The dollar value meal is one more reason to live an unhealthy life.  Make the switch today.  Look back at the older blogs.  I started with one or two days changing my diet from what I thought was unhealthy to something I believe is a healthy diet.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Day 356 - Shifting from unhealthy to healthy

Today I went to a Yin Yoga class with Steve Rubin at Orlando Power Yoga.

I was talking yesterday on how I have made a giant leap from where I was 10 years ago.  10 years ago I am sure I was at one of my favorite bars in West Palm Beach.  I know I would have probably been a little bit stoned and sipping on a Margarita.  I would be eating a cheeseburger and fries or a slice of pizza.  I would meet up with my friends and head down to the clubs to drink a white russian followed by a few more beers.  This was my typical Friday night.  I did get exercise walking to downtown so I did not have to worry about driving home, but that was pretty much my exercise.  I was hiding from the REAL Danny

I remember my main thoughts were where I was going to go drink and party.  My justifications would be based on whether or not I was going to drink one more drink.  "If I only have 2 or 3 I am being healthy."  "I used to drink 10 in college and go out way more so I am being healther then I was back in college."  "The guy next to me is wasted so I am not like him, I can have one more drink."  The thing I realize now is how unhealthy all of that scene is in sooooo many ways.  I am not sure what I ever thought I was trying to accomplish.

Flip it around 10 years later and my addiction has shift towards the healthy path.  No drinking, no smoking, no drugs, no meat, no chicken, now no processed chemicals are entering my body.  I am still the same person, but I do not drink Pepsi, eat chips, do cocaine, or sip on a beer.  What changed?

I used to drink 3-4 Pepsi's a day.  Then one day I said "I am not going to drink Pepsi anymore."  Then I stopped for awhile and started to drink it again.  Just 1 a day, then 2, then back to 3-4.  Then one day I said "I am not going to drink Pepsi anymore."  This time I just stopped cold turkey.  This time it worked.  I decided I did not want that unhealthy thing in my life anymore.  It is something that I know in my heart is not healthy for me.  This was the beginning of quitting an unhealthy lifestyle.

There is a time frame in all of our lives.  Some people need to make dramatic shifts right away to move towards a healthy lifestyle or their time frame will become that much shorter.  Everyone including me has some great excuses on why we do things that are unhealthy, but that's all they are, excuses.  Stop the excuses on why you should maintain an unhealthy lifestyle, stop saying "I live a pretty healthy lifestyle" and look at ways that you can improve your life and shift towards a HEALTHY lifestyle.

We are all human, and we all have our faults.  Accept this and stay honest with who you are and who you want to become.  Start to shift towards an EVEN MORE healthy person today.

Day 355 - Rawmaste everyone!

It is always harder to do downward dog while a dog thinks it means you want to play.  

Today I went to Full Circle Yoga to do a hot yoga class with Kristen Schneider.  I have been in a real good mood over the last couple days.  I am definitely on an emotional high.  Things may not be running as smooth as I would like, but I continue to feel like each day is a new opportunity.  I am seeing that life is not about making my life run smooth, but rather how I choose to see the external world.  I can always see the life that is not working out for me, or the lessons that have led me to move throughout my life.  The real answer is just keep moving forward and go out to the world with an open heart.

Today is day 1 of my vegan raw diet for the next 30 days. I have my fridge stocked and I am ready to go.  I did a 7 day raw diet about 1 month ago.  I did not feel a giant effect during the diet, but after I went off the raw diet I felt much more heavy and in a way more unhealthy.  I decided that I wanted to do this the right way and take some tests both before and after the raw diet.  I have heard so many health benefits that can happen just by changing your diet.  I went to a doctor today and got my pretest levels.  I am pretty excited to see what happens,

I was talking to my friend yesterday who has recently decided to become sober.  We were pointing out how some people tend to point out your issue that you recently started to overcome.  Rather then be proud of the fact that he has chosen to live a healthy and sober lifestyle, people turn to point out that they feel sorry for him because his problem is so big that he no longer can control his drinking.  It is really ridiculous.  He is becoming healthy, why would you feel sorry for him?  Same thing happened and still happens to me.

I was talking to my doctor today about how I have been 9 year sober, I have changed my diet, and I have been doing yoga 6 days a week for the last year.  It made me feel really good how I feel like I have switched my lifestyle from an unhealthy individual to what I feel, see, and know is a healthy person.  I will write more about this tomorrow.  For now here is a video blog of me starting my Raw diet.  (You cannot view this on emails, but rather you will need to go to the actual webpage)


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Day 354 - Learning and breathing through the frustration.

Ahhhhhh there is only 11 days left.  I am really excited to be getting so close to the completion of yoga 308.  The year has really flown on by, I have had a anxious feeling coming on lately.  The feeling of now what?  The great thing is I feel that I do not have to do anything.  The reality is I have so many ideas and excitement about life that I will be using this as another avenue to leap into something else.

Today started off with quite a lot of frustration.  Work has been tough as we seem to be at a standstill with something major.  We are all frustrated and trying our best to sort through the issue so we can move foreward.  The frustration lifted with the knowledge that I work with some really good people and that this speed bump is something that is a neccessity in order to grow into a better company.  The knowledge we have gathered in the last 4 months has been very valuable for the growth of the company.

I left work a bit drained, but with a really happy feeling.  I went to Full Circle Yoga and took a Flow 1 class with Christine Northcote.  I was in a really good mood when I got there.  It may have been the mocha I had before class.

Yes I had a mocha.  I am overindulging today and tonight as I am starting a 30 day Raw diet tomorrow.  So I ate my favorites today.  Mocha, Sushi, and Ice Cream.  Tomorrow I am going to get a physical done to see what type of results the Raw diet may have on my body.  I also measured my antioxidant levels yesterday and have been taking my blood pressure for the last week.  I am really excited to be doing this experiment on myself :)  I guess it does mean that I will not be enjoying any cake though on my official 365 day of yoga :(

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Day 353 - Flow with it and accept that I push myself

I took a hot yoga class this morning with Greg Duke at Orlando Power Yoga.

I was talking to Marianne yesterday about pushing myself in yoga.  We all have different personalities and different things to learn when we step on the mat.  I grew up as a football player where we were taught to push ourselves to the limit and give 110% at all times.  This determination stuck with me throughout my life.   I have found acceptance that I push myself, but I have also found this other acceptance that it's OK not to push myself.  I know I have mentioned this a few time throughout this year, but it is an ongoing lesson for me.

During class we are often given instructions to push it to the limit.  Hold the posture longer, go deeper, or breath through it.  I have always felt like the quote above is a dream of mine.  Just flow with it.  I am much more on the push it to the limit side of things.  What about the other side of things.  What if I just gave up.  What if I just got up in the middle of class and walked out.  What if I only did 307 days in yoga 308?  Would I be pushing myself to the other side?  Would I be ignoring who I am?

Flowing with it is not a dream.  Accepting my self pushiness is part of flowing with it.  I can make steps towards being less pushy, but overall I need to keep accepting my current personality.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Day 352 - I am moving in a positive direction


Today I went into my regular Monday night Ashtanga class with Steve Rubin at Full Circle Yoga.  I was really relaxed in class today.  I felt like things just worked for me.  Life is moving in a forward direction.  I feel good.

There is a lot of lessons to learn from yoga.  My lesson lately has been that I am moving in a positive directions.  Through patience, determination, and acceptance I feel as if I am unwrapping layers of myself and becoming someone new.  This new person has made needed changes to become who I always wanted to be.  I also realize the importance of keeping this patience, determination, and acceptance so I continue to evolve into a more healthy individual.  I look forward to learning more form the world around me, and will keep an open mind.

Over the past year I have been worried about self promotion.  I worried about feeding into my ego.  I have spent the last year expressing my honest emotions, feelings, and thoughts.  I have started to accept that I am a person that likes to express myself in a true and honest way.  Let it be through painting, blogging, or just talking to a friend, I feel the need to express who I am.  I am feeling that my self expression, along with my knowledge in online marketing can be used to help out others in need.

I am happy and excited for what I am planning after I am done with Yoga308.  It will take some courage and self promotion, but I believe I will be expressing ideas that may be needed in this world.  I am excited to be able to express my thoughts, but also excited that I have the knowledge that not everyone will share my same thoughts.

The above picture shows the slow transitions I have made over the year.  I did not wake up one day and suddenly I could do these headstands.  These came into my life because I practiced and believed that I was moving towards something.  The good news is this is only after 1 year.  I wonder what the next 5 years of yoga will bring me.

At any point in your life you have the option of believing your life is going in a positive or negative direction.  Looking back at our lives some of our rock bottoms were the start of something better.  Today I really do choose my life is moving in the right direction.  Where do you think you are today?

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Day 351 - Forgot about doing yoga

So it is 8:00 at night, and I just finished dinner.  I opened my computer to start my blog, and realized I completely forgot to do yoga today.  I am still up in the air with what to do.  I have one more mulligan day, but wanted to make sure I had an emergency day.  It would suck if I got the flu or something these last weeks where I cannot do yoga.  I am going to have to think about this. 

OK.  So I made a decision.  I want to keep my give me day, so I went ahead and closed my computer, rolled out a mat, and did some very gentle restorative yoga over at Marianne's house.  Here's the issue.  Boomer (shown above) is a 1 year old puppy in the house.  Whenever you sit on the floor he is taking it as it is time to play.  The picture above shows what my beginning of yoga consisted of.  Boomer got a lot of exercise today so he gave up pretty quickly.  Tonight's yoga was pretty much stretching on a full stomach.  There was not much of a mental connection just stretching.

Life is pretty good.  So good I forgot all about yoga today.  This is the first time throughout this whole yoga308 experience that I was so in the moment I forgot about yoga (which typically puts me in the moment).  Life is so sweet when you live in the now.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Day 350 - Always keep a proper yoga posture

Photo by Marianne Broadaway

Today is my day off.  Marianne and I decided to take some more yoga photos to see where my physical practice has taken me over the last year.  I have 15 days left so I will show the pictures throughout those days.  Overall, there is a very slight change in a lot of the practice.  I have been introduced to some new postures that I could not do back in August 2012.  Everything is still moving in a positive direction.  Yoga is however a lifetime practice.  Even after a year of practice there are some postures where I have not even began to scratch the surface.

If I look at both the pictures above there are areas where I can improve on my posture.  I love this about yoga, because there will never be an ending point.  There is a point where you try to push yourself further, and perhaps you end up loosing some of the proper alignment in the posture.  My knee in the July 2013 picture is a little too far past my ankle.  An easy fix is to back off on my right hand that is flat on the ground.

There are several postures where I am in between going deeper and loosing the proper position in the posture.  This is a tough thing for me.  There is the part of me that automatically wants to push myself to go further.  The other side is probably the more healthy and safer way to be.  Let yourself fall into the posture over time.  There should be no rush.  This more then likely will result in less injuries if you do not push yourself.

While no teacher will ever tell you to go into a posture improperly, I have heard both sides of whether or not to push yourself into the posture or let time put you in the posture.  This debate is both on and off the mat.  Do we constantly push ourselves day in and day out, or do we wait until the world falls into alignment with the knowledge that we are heading in the right direction.  For me I think I am a little of both.  Some days I need to push myself while others a surrender and let life just happen.  I am still not completely sure, but part of me thinks I should focus more on surrendering to the world, and learn to be with it as it takes me on my journey.

What are your thoughts on all of this?  Send me an email or leave a comment.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Day 349 - The man behind the man

Wouldn't it be great if everyone was not ashamed of putting everything out there.  If we all did not worry about others seeing that zit on the end of our nose or scared of what others may behave if we put out a certain emotion?  What if you could just walk into a job interview and spill your beans?  What is it that you are not being honest to others about?  Why are you not being honest with others?  What if everyone just showed the man behind the man?

Yesterday a friend of mine was talking about masks.  We have somehow learned to hide behind masks throughout our lives.  Maybe we wear one mask amongst friends, another at work, or another with our family.  Why do we do this?

I really do not have much to hide in this world.  If someone was to ask me a question I would give them the true and honest answer.  I do not live a life I am ashamed of, and I will tell you every story of the path that got me where I am.  I am the same amongst friends, work, and family.

What stops us from being honest?  While I was using drugs I would not tell people I smoked pot or anything else.  I remember when the doctor asked if I smoked I always responded no (because pot does not count right?)  Is there a point in our adulescent years where we felt the need to hide who we really are to fit in with the rest of society.  Did I lie when I was young and tell other kids that I did not collect Star Wars figures because I thought they might make fun of me.  We somehow learn this dishonesty at a young age.

Becoming OK and happy with yourself starts to become a part of growing up.  Some of us never get there.  We never start to figure out who we are.  We continue to try to fit in or be ashamed of who we are throughout our whole life.  Maybe I never examined who I was because I was hiding behind drugs and alcohol. 

How do we start becoming honest?  It starts with you.  Become honest about yourself.  Maybe you are ashamed with things you have done or are doing in your life.  You can start by telling someone.  When you express that you are ashamed of your past you are being honest.  Are there things around you or people around you that make you unhealthy?  Finding this honesty will help begin a healthy mind, body, and soul.

Thank you to Kristen Schneider for a a terrific yin yoga class at Full Circle Yoga.



Thursday, July 18, 2013

Day 348 - Take it to the limit, One more time


OK, so now that you have the Eagles song stuck in your head, let me tell you why I was singing it all day.   It came into my head when I was doing yoga this morning with Janelle Pochintesta at Orlando Power Yoga.  I realized that pushing it to the limit is an important part for me in yoga.  There is a point in our practice where most postures make us feel uncomfortable.  It is at this point that we start to learn about ourselves.

Certain postures unleash certain emotions which also trigger certain reactions.  Do we back off from the discomfort because we only want to feel comfortable?  Do we lay perfectly still and just wait until the discomfort is over?  Do we push even futher forcing on even more discomfort?

For example when I am in pigeon pose I cannot stand still.  I know from my past that I hold a lot of emotions in my hips.  I am pretty fidgety in most of thee type of postures.  I am not one that can stand still throughout my practice.  I've seen other's lieing perfectly still in pigeon, but this is not who I am.  I constantly seem to be moving something throughout this pose.

Am I fidgety because I am uncomfortable, or am I uncomfortable because I have pushed myself past my limit?  I feel like pushing myself to the point of an uncomfortable feeling will help me in several ways.  Eventually this uncomfortable feeling will not be uncomfortable.  I will learn to deal with emotions that come up as I push myself.  Off the mat I will learn how to live my life while uncomfortable events are presented to me.  I will be able to live my life and stay in a centered state while life presents itself to me.  Life really is that simple.

Take it to the limit, and see what you find out about yourself.  Let me know how long you have the song stuck in your head.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Day 347 - Don't Super Size Me, Down Size Me

Nothing like puppy kisses

I felt very productive today.  Had a great day at work which followed by an at home yoga session.  I went through a lot of the Ashtanga primary series today.

I keep mentioning how I am very excited for the things I am doing in my life and the things that keep coming into my life.  The adventure really is what is going to be around the corner next.  This excitement is sometimes what keeps me from living in the now.

I was thinking today about the documentary "Super Size Me."  I am sure you are familiar with Morgan Spurlock's experiment of eating Mcdonald's every day for 30 days.  It showed the catastrophic effects of what Fast Food is doing to our bodies and our mind.  After watching it I think many of us decided to stay away from fast food.  Why is it though that we know in our hearts that if we did the opposite and ate healthy for 30 days we could better and maybe even save our lives.  Why are we not interested in this movie?  We continue to eat fast food or also justify that we are eating the healthy way.

I am my number one experiment.  I am planning on doing a lot more experiments with my eating habits to see what happens to me and how I feel.  I feel like the only thing that can happen is that I could gain some health benefits.  Next week I will start a 30 day Raw diet.  I am excited to see how I feel after 30 days.

I feel like the path that I am on has built me into a healthier me.  I am thankful for everything that has put me on this path and have several ideas to share in the near future. 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Day 346 - Simply accept who you are and start your yoga practice

I woke up tired this morning and went to Orlando Power Yoga.  I took a class with Greg Duke.

I was thinking about people coming to yoga for the first time.  When I first came I saw others who could touch there toes and do a ton of cool bending tricks.  I listened to instructors who seemed to be enlightened and have everything together.  I wish I knew the first day what I know now.

As long as each one of us is on this planet we will be fighting to keep our lives in balance.  When I first stepped on the mat I had a lot of thoughts.  That first day my competitive personality showed up.  I wanted to be a true yogi.  I thought I had so far to go in order to twist like the others in a pretzel.  I thought I needed to learn to breathe better and become a meditating monk.  I was going to push myself to my limit.  The one thing I wish I knew was that I just needed to be and accept who I am.  I heard it through out my yoga practice, but I do not think I ever grasped it.  The truth is as soon as you step on that mat your are a yogi.

The same people I looked up to were also working on their own issues.  It seems that even the people that have practiced yoga for 10 to 20 years still were working on their problems.  For example my friend who does yoga everyday needs to constantly move around.  The thing she needs to work on is trying to sit still.  Her true meditative state is when she is in constant movement, but when she is still her mind starts to race.  She is working on that balance.  If you look at her in the yoga room she is busting out into handstands and has complete control over her physical body.  The physical side is just one part of yoga. 

If you are new to yoga and afraid to come into the studio in fear of what other might think, don't be.  80% of us are too busy trying to figure out our own issues.  The other 20% are worried about what you think of them.  Yoga is a great place to learn about life and who you are.  The first step is to show up.

The biggest lesson I can give to anyone both on and off the mat is to be yourself.  Accept who you are.  When you first step on that mat be grateful that you can step on that mat in the first place.  Be patient with your life.  The sooner you accept who you are, the sooner you will start to find and maintain your balance.  You will begin to find out the purpose on why you are here on this earth.

When we simply accept who we are, we start to begin our yoga practice.  We are aloud to be an angry yogi, a smart ass yogi, or a Doritos eating yogi.  We are all practicing and learning with each other.  Be proud of your uniqueness and embrace who you are.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Day 345 - I farted in yoga class today!

This is my 10 year old lab who has arthritis in his back hips.

I cannot believe I am down to 20 days left in my year of Yoga 308.  I flew on a red eye last night and maybe got 3 hours of good old airplane seat sleep.  I wanted to try to get my normal sleep patterns back so I decided not to take a nap.  I was looking forward to getting back into a yoga studio, so I decided to go to Full Circle Yoga.  I took an Ashtanga class with Steve Rubin.

After doing yoga in the hotel room for the last week it was good to be amongst other yogis and do the primary ashtanga series.  Here is the fun part.  So the pressure of the airplane sometimes does a big number on my stomach.  Gasses somehow get caught all up in there.  Eventually it decided that it wanted to escape.  Why not try to escape in the middle of class today.  The fart was not a quiet silent squeeze, but rather a fart that could be heard across the classroom.  I of course played it off and went on with the class.  Part of me wanted to just yell out "Yeah that was me."

I think there should be a requirement for everyone to make an obnoxious noise during a yoga class at some point in their life.  It causes us to allow ourselves to be imperfect.  I do not do these things during class so not to offend anyone, but I am glad I did today.  Yes I farted and I am not ashamed :)  Sorry to anyone in the class if I disrupted their concentration or breathing.

I also came home to my dog today.  (check out the above picture).  He surprises me how well he moves around for a dog that had ACL surgery and has arthritis in his hips.  When the tennis ball is involved he becomes a whole different being.  He does not feel pain, but rather he just feels excitement, joy, and desire.  He reminded me today on how we need excitement in our world.  We need dreams, determination, and desire for the things that are important to us.  These will keep us from falling into our "negative" emotions or sense of pain.
 
I am grateful for today for my dog teaching me that we need to focus on fulfilling our dreams.  Oh and also for farting today in class.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Day 344 - Stop the demands and find the gratitude

Today is my last day in Alaska.  I am catching a red eye later tonight.  I wanted to get this blog written first thing this morning, but I am running out of time so I will do the best I can.  Today is my day off from yoga.  I have felt like the last week I have been very gentle on my yoga practice, I have been very gentle with my mind, and I have been very gentle with my soul.  Alaska is a breathtaking experience.  It is hard not to find this gentle side.

This morning I was thinking about the demands I put upon myself.  I am very grateful to have so much to be excited about in my life.  The hours of my days are filled with trying to do these things.  Yoga 308 has helped me balance these things.  I am able to spend the amount of time that helps me be who I am.  There are times where I feel out of balance, but today I feel in check.

All of us struggle with this.  I was noticing about a month ago that when I paint, I feel like I have everything under control and I can then sit down and paint.  Painting is the thing that I try to get everything else done so I can sit down and paint.  So I do my work, go to yoga, write my blog, hang out with my friends, hang out with my family, walk my dog, go to the grocery, fix up some dinner, clean up the house, and then sit down and paint.  If I do all these things then it is a perfect day.  That is a lot in 24 hours or even a week.  Then I get excited about things.  I will travel to Alaska, create a garden, do a bonsai, play some video games, watch a movie, or start a new business adventure.  Then there is the outside people that make me feel guilty.  I should spend more time with the family, walk the dog more, or spend more time with friends.  I have painted once this month :(

I have so much fun doing all of it.  I just get frustrated that I cannot do all of it.  This is the demanding part of my life.  If I get to the point where I can sit down and paint every day, chances are I will find something else that I no longer have time to do.  It is all about a proper balance.  I could easily wake up and paint first thing in the morning.  Yes I should find more time for painting, and I also should have time for everything else.  I just need to keep in my mind that I am a mear mortal that only has 24 hours in the day.

I am still feeling really grateful for so many things in my life.  The gratitude can easily take place of the demands I put on myself.  What are you grateful for today?

Day 343 - Again grateful for my life

This morning I woke up in Homer, Alaska and did yoga straight out of bed again.  The gentle stretching and breathing helped to wake me up and get my body moving.  I kind of wish I would wake up every morning like this.  Before rushing out of bed and starting my day I could just start off checking in and seeing what stretches feel good and checking out how I feel overall.

I am now in Anchorage Alaska.  The bear adventure has come to an end.  It was a great time.  I have been blessed in so many ways in my life, and I am still feeling very grateful for all of the moments I have experienced.   These bears are one of the many animals I have been able to photograph in the wild.  It is one of my favorite things in this world.  I have photographed monkeys, elephants, lemurs, elk, gorillas, bears, and a lot more.  I once sat under a tree for 3 hours waiting for a sloth to wake up and move.  Seeing these animals up close and in nature give me a strong feeling of connection.  It reminds me how we are all really the same at certain levels in life.  Life can all really be that simple if we can find a way.

It is really late and the sun is still up.  I have been running around enjoying Alaska.  I have let my guard down and enjoyed some great food (no meat or chicken :) and 2 mochas)  I really am enjoying myself.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Day 342 - Day 2 of Bears filled with gratitude

I am so grateful today for so much in my life.  What a great opportunity to be able to spend another day with these magnificent brown bears.  The bear above was probably close to 500 lbs.  I was about 15 feet away from the bear.  These are the moments I wonder, "How did I get here."

I've known my business partner since 3rd grade, and traveling on this trip has been outstanding for us on both a personal and business side of things.  I am grateful for his friendship and the work we put in to grow our business.  I am grateful for all of the employees that work with Patrick and I to help grow our company.  I am grateful for my family for always being supportive what I do.  I am grateful for my friends who help keep my life balanced and in perspective.  I am grateful for my dog who is back home with Marianne.  I am grateful for her watching my dog, and supporting who I am.  It feels good to be filled with so much gratitude.

I looked for a  yoga studio in Homer.  I ended up practicing in the hotel room again.  I feel really good about my practice.  I feel much stronger and a bit relaxed on the stretches.  I am trying to give my body a break.  There is a lot of this vacation where my body has been  asking to get back into a more demanding yoga.  I have continued to just do gentle stretches, and now the body seems to be screaming for attention.  I will be looking forward to getting back to the gym, but my mind needs to tell my body to stop harassing it. 

Right now my body is exhausted from waking up at 4 am the last two mornings.  Plus the sun never sits here.  So I am off to bed with the sun.


Thursday, July 11, 2013

Day 341 - Fear stops connections

Today was all about bears.  Patrick and I spent the morning in Katmai national park with several bears.  It was a top 10 experience.  The guide was Alaska Bear Adventures.  I was awake at 4:00 a.m. and finally got to yoga later in the night.  It was surprising how much energy I still had.  I ended up doing a portion of the Ashtanga series.  This whole week I decided to take it easier in my practice.  Today I was not demanding on myself for most of the poses.

Have you ever heard the saying never come between a mother bear and her cub.  Although this is very true in most circumstances today was not the same.  I got to hang out with two mother bears with their cubs.  I was taking the above picture on foot.  Not in a car, not in a boat, but by foot.  There was nothing to seperate the bear from attacking me.  I did not once feel any fear during this situation.  I knew that we both respected each others space.

How many experiences do we face in life that we do not do because of fear.  Now how many times does this fear come to us and we really do not know the true facts?  How much of our lives are fears that are actually false?  How much of these fears actually control our lives?

The momma bear and its cub both could have run away. The mom could have feared for it's cubs life.  The mom could have not trusted us and attacked.  The honest truth was that there were just us and the bears.  There was no fear between any of us.  It was a beautiful few hours.  So beautiful we are going back tomorrow.  It was a reminder that fear stops connections.

So I ask you, what do you fear that you really know nothing about.

Day 340 - Greetings from high above Alaska


I am currently writing from a plane leaving from Seattle to Anchorage, Alaska.  We are on our way to go hang out with some bears in Homer, Alaska for a few days.

I woke up earlier this morning, rolled out of bed, and immediately did yoga in the hotel room.  It was a slow moving, gentle, and nice way to wake up.  I have been concentrating on being gentle with my body over the last few days.

The last three days in Seattle has put a spark back into me.  I am excited about so many avenues in life.  It has put my life in perspective.  It has made me really grateful for who I am, the people in my life, and everything that has been presented to me.  I have been working in online marketing for 12 years now.  I have a lot of knowledge and a lot to give to the online world.

There is a lot of people who voice there opinion in this world.  Over the last year I have been trying to figure out a way to voice my opinion without growing my ego.  It is the one thing that I have struggled throughout this whole adventure in yoga308.   Since day one I did not want to sound as if I was in this to make me sound better then others.

Over the last year I have been playing with the act of giving.  I have kept this to myself, but am realizing that I can help out others now through online marketing. The reason I kept it to myself is I wanted to make sure that I was doing this to give to others rather then trying to build my ego.

I am realizing a great potential where I might be able to help others in the future.  I also came to a conclusion that a lot of this ego thought process is more of a fear for me to do something good in this world.  I now know how crazy it sounds to fear spreading a message of giving to others.

I am formulating a good plan on how to express my idea through giving.  I would like to do this right. Along with this plan I have formulated about 3 other marketing plans.  I do have a fear of taking on too much (as I often do), but at the moment I am very excited.

I am very happy that I have been doing yoga308.  I am still a firm believer in listening to my heart.  I do not always know what or why I am doing something, but I definitely see how going through the yoga308 process has lead to other discoveries both for myself and who I am.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Day 339 - Big auro, bringing focus, and solidfiying ideas

Do you ever have those days when you just feel more open.  As if there is a giant ora around you?  I was sitting in silence today during my in hotel yoga session.  I really did feel much more light, as if there was a force around me.  I could almost visualize this expanding force sitting in meditation.  There are days when I feel very shut in.  As if a force is squeezing me.  Today it was the opposite.  As if I was pushing away the world. 

I am having a great time out here in Seattle.  I have been eating great meals.  I have yet to drink coffee.  I keep waiting to find a big fat milkshake coffee, but have yet to find one that I think I will like.  I figure if I am going to treat myself to a coffee might as well be something really tasty.  I really do not have a desire for a regular cup of coffee.

The conference I am at has been filling my head with so many ideas it is a bit overwhelming.  I have so much that I want to do, and the speakers have really got my mind thinking in a positive direction in many different types of avenues.  I feel very clear in my head, and I feel as if this place is solidifying a bunch of ideas that I want to accomplish.  There are some good things on the horizon for me.  Life is Good.

It is crazy that there are only 25 more days left.  I have felt as if my focus has been scattered in so many direction lately.  It is probably because this is coming to an end and I have new things I could work on.  This trip has helped regain a lot of this focus and bring in some new fresh ideas.  I am planning on writing down everything and helping to organize my thoughts so I can move forward with a lot of them.  I want to set some goals.

Day 338 - Feeling the energy of the crowd

There is something about doing yoga in a cramped hotel room that makes it more tough to get in the zone.  Today I went to a conference all day for work.  The conference is called Mozcon  (a marketing conference in Seattle).  My mind was so stimulated and excited from all the great speakers today.  I had about 90 minutes between the conference and leaving to the Mariners game.  It was very hard for me to settle my mind today.  I decided my best action was to do the Ashtanga series that would keep my body moving and try my best to calm my mind.

Tonight at the game I was brought back to my love of baseball when I was a kid.  I used to know and follow every player and every game of the Cincinnati Reds throughout the 80's.  I cannot watch much baseball on tv, but when I am there at the stadium there is something that gets me excited.  I can feel the energy in the air and it puts a big smile on my face.

Doing yoga alone in a hotel room is like watching baseball on TV.  I cannot feel the energy that come from other people.  I do not get the same outcome.  I would like to be able to sit on a mat alone and find the same type of zone that I do when I am around other yogis.  Maybe though it is that I just prefer to feel the energy of the crowd.

For a lot of us we will have days like I had today.  I ran around all day and had only 90 minutes to squeeze in yoga.  The only choice I had was to throw a yoga mat down on the floor.  I think if I got into the routine of doing this everyday I would eventually find my zone.  If this is your only choice it is where you start.

TV is where I first started to love baseball.  After seeing my first live game I always wanted to go back to feel that energy of the crowd.  I think this is how I am right now with yoga.



Sunday, July 7, 2013

Day 337 - Greetings from Seattle

Hello from Seattle, Washington.  I am out here doing some work stuff.  I think Seattle is an awesome town.  I have been lucky the last couple times I have been here.  I guess it rains a lot here, but I have seen mostly blue skies.  It is gorgeous weather here, and I am excited to eat some good food.

I am pretty tired  As you know I have been going and going all week.  By the time I sat down on my yoga mat in the hotel, I was exhausted.  My body however was really calling for some stretching after a long plane ride.  My mind was saying please chill while my body was saying please help.  It ended up being a very meditative practice with some very gentle stretches focusing on the low back.

I am planning on relaxing and getting a good nights sleep here in a bit.

I think it is funny how much I have been thinking about my diet and coffee while coming here.  I am having a debate about whether or not to let my guard down and enjoy some coffee this week or maybe even some meat.  I am going through so many different justifications on why I deserve a nice cup of coffee.  The other side of my brain is worried about picking up a few cups of coffee and continuing on with some old habits.

I will keep you posted on what I decide.  I am leaning towards having at least 2 cup of coffee.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Day 336 - You are only competing with yourself

Still running around like crazy.  I did however get a chance to sleep in today.  I was all over it.  I slept until 11:00.  I cannot remember the last time I did something like that.  It felt so nice :)

I ended up only finding the time to do yoga at home.  I did a lot of the Ashtanga series and threw in some postures that I wanted to work on.  It has been nice to be so busy and still be able to find comfort in myself through yoga.  Today was a 60 minute challenge I put on myself.  I was going through a strenuous workout, but also telling myself to take it easy on myself.  I concentrated on my breath and did not push myself to go deeper into my postures.  I have been so busy, and have been using yoga as a down time, not a time to be demanding on myself (pushing myself to the go further into a posture).

We bring to the mat whatever we want to, and leave with whatever we want to take with us.  Today I brought a busy mind to the mat.  I left with a relaxed mind ready to take on the busy world again.  The great thing about self practice is you only have yourself to compete with.  You can do whatever you want.  You can sit on the mat and do nothing, you can push yourself to the limit, or you can hold a posture for days.  It is all up to you.  You ultimately will be the deciding factor on whether you "succeed" in the practice you sat down and intended for yourself.  It is a great life lesson.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Day 335 - Far side of the social balance beam

Today I went to yoga with Steve Rubin at Orlando Power Yoga.  It was a real relaxing class today.  I was pretty much in a zone all day today.  Today was a fun day.  I really do enjoy the group of people that are in my life today.  I enjoy hanging out with everyone here in Orlando.

I have been running around hanging out with a lot of these friends over the last few nights.  This has distracted me from things like blogging, painting, or some of the things that keep me grounded, balanced, and happy.  I am having fun though.

I guess I am on the far side of the balance beam where I am just out and being social.  It is 1:15 am, and I am trying to come up with more stuff to write, but honestly I have not had much time to sit and think about things.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Day 334 - Justifications to do a quick fix to solve our issues

Happy 4th of July.  I ran out of time to do yoga today.  So I am going to take my day off today and do a class on Saturday instead.  Today was a very busy day.  Marianne and I were out until 3 am last night which caused a late start to plan for a 4th of July party.

I woke up with a headache.  It was probably because of the lack of sleep and the amount of smoke that was in the club.  I honestly felt like I was hung over.  I reverted to some old habits to help get rid of my headache.  I had a delicious coffee milkshake to kick some caffeine into my system, took an Advil for the headache, and used the neti pot.  It is a content reminder to me on how we live in a society the requires and wants quick fixes and instant gratification.

I was watching TV when a commercial came on for Humira.  It is an aid for arthritis, and a commercial to SELL it.  I love how they have smiling happy families running around and loving life again.  On the same commercial they of course put on the warnings.  Oh it may cause cancer or infections that may kill you.  It's amazing how most of us ignore the warning signs right in our face, and just see the smiling happy smiles on the TV.

Today I woke up feeling like my headache was going to ruin my fourth of July.  The reality of what I should have done was to take it easy and just let my headache move through my body.  Instead I wanted to ignore it and get a quick fix.  It is the way we are now taught to work through things.

The best thing is we always justify our issues to ignore the negative attributes of taking some type of drug to help us fix our issues.   These justifications can take over our lives and let us ignore any negative attribute.  As long as we are smiling who cares if what we are taking to keep this smile on our face does to us.  I wish they would show the real commercials.

I did enjoy my holiday and did enjoy my coffee milkshake.  I was just noticing these things earlier in the day.  I am learning that there are just days that I have to enjoy myself.  Today was one of those days.  At least that's my justification :)

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Day 333 - Climbing emotional steps

Today I went to Full Circle and did a hot flow class with Sam Forrest.  I felt very even and easy flowing today both during and after class.  Like I said yesterday I knew I would just have one down day and then I would be back to normal. 

I was once told that our emotions can be compared to stairs.  I feel like I have been climbing these stairs over the last couple years, as I have been happier then I have ever been.  These steps do not always go straight up.  They go both up and down.  The other day I was feeling on a real high kick.  The next day I dropped down a little bit under my norm.  It was however dramatic mood swing.  Typically, the bigger the step the more emotional I will feel.  So I did feel irritable and annoyed yesterday.  I ended up feeling all good when I ended up leveling out again I felt good.

Typically ,when I feel down I just need to find some space for myself and I get over whatever it was that was bothering me. 

I think some people worry about my moods when I start to talking so honest about them.  They are normal emotions, I just talk about them.  I do not think everyone talks as openly as I do.  My point is I am still a very happy person, yesterday was just a sad day for me.  No reason to worry people.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Day 332 Long day today

It is pretty late tonight, and I have had a very long day.  I did yoga at Marianne's house today.  I did not sleep well last night and woke up in irritated and a bit down.  It was a rainy day so I think it was partly that, but also I have a pattern where after I have a pretty big break through, I tend to have an off day the following day.  Read some of my blogs from my past, I have talked about this before.

It is a mind game I play with myself.  After yesterday's blog where I gave myself a lot of praise, I start to knock myself down a few pedestals.  God forbid I just live a life always believing I am a good person :) I know I do it, and I am slowly changing it.  It is just something I still do.  I know I will be better and treat myself well again tomorrow.

As of right now.  I am tired and would like to rest and go to sleep.  I will write more about this subject when I have more energy.

Have a great day :)

Monday, July 1, 2013

Day 331 - I am and have always been a good person

Tonight I went to Ashtanga yoga with Steve Rubin at Full Circle Yoga.  I like the classes when I am happy with my practice, not pushing myself, and not dragging all at the same time.  This class was one of those practices.  I did have some crazy memories come up today.  Things that I was wondering why they were coming up.  For instance, one memory was when my friend and I were denied to sit down in an empty restaurant in Prague back in 2001.  That was about it for that memory.  It was there and then it went away.  I had a ton of these go through my mind today.

Yoga308 has helped me express who I am.  There are some things I have been holding back on, but I do feel like this is a great place to let my voice be heard.  After years of walking on eggshells and worried about being portrayed as an evil person, this has been an outlet for my true voice.

I was talking about assholes yesterday.  Today I was thinking about how much I have strived to not be an asshole.  I never wanted anyone to see me as an asshole so I would live my life trying to provide for others so I would not be portrayed as an asshole.  One of the many things I learned from my marriage is that I am a good guy.  It may have taken me 36 years to figure that out, but I do know that I am a good person.   Everyone has their asshole moments, but overall I am a good person.

I spent my entire marriage trying to convince my x wife that I was a good person.  The truth is she never saw that.  She worried so much about me leaving or cheating on her.  It seemed that anything I tried was tied to this worry.  She tossed out pictures of my cousins thinking I was holding onto memories.  Yoga was out because of course I would find another woman.  Beaches or Vegas meant me looking at other women.  Even business trips she insisted on going.  If she didn't I would end up with someone or at a strip club.  The crazy thing is her own insecurity came up when she found another guy and left me for him.

It took my friend telling me that I have never cheated on anyone or done anything with ill intent to realize that I never thought any of this.  This was always in her head.  It was a matter of brain washing making me think I was doing something wrong whenever I tried to live.  Instead of finding people who appreciated me for who I was, I decided to make it my mission to show her that she deserved someone who is good.  I was to change her mind and show her that there are trust worthy guys in her world.  I was to be her knight.  The sad part is she only saw me as her jester or peasant that she could control.  It was all a very toxic marriage for both of us from the very beginning.

This illusion that I have put on myself was just another way for me to beat up on myself.  I was able to find someone else to help me in the act.  The worry of me becoming an asshole was such a giant fear it ended up controlling my life.  At the end of the marriage she ended up portraying me as an asshole because I finally stuck up for myself and took control of my life again.  So in the end both of our fears became our reality.

It is amazing the fears and illusions we put upon ourselves.  This subject has been on my mind for a long time, but I have been afraid to express it to the rest of the world.  Looking back it was a giant lesson for me.  I hope sharing this might help someone else out there.  My divorce has put me in a great place.  I am surrounded by people who appreciate and know I am a good person, and more importantly I now know I am and always have been that good person.