Monthly Archives: June 2011

Slowing down

Enjoying a Snail’s Pace
Doing Things Slowly
Take time to slow down, rushing never gets you anywhere but on to the next activity or goal.

(http://www.dailyom.com/articles/2011/28446.html)

Some faculty members took time to slow down and connect with breath and movement.

The semester whizzes by so fast and we find ourselves overwhelmed by tons of work that gets laid on our desk.  The benefits of yoga can be felt by anyone, in any rank.

Our University Registrar

A novice faculty

Taking time allows us to explore our bodies…our abilities… our limitations.

Slowing down gives us time to look into possibilities and prospects…

Slowing down gives us time to rest our bodies, our minds and allow us to feel our spirits…

Om. Namaste.

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Pasasana

(image from clases-de-yoga.com)

Just to officially document it, my teacher taught me pasasana last night.  The first asana for the second series.  It has been quite some time since I have been taught a new asana; I can’t believe the feeling is back; excitement, fear, frustration and hope.

The journey continues…

Moonday Meditation

“And when the body is in silent steadiness, breathe rhythmically through the nostrils with a peaceful ebbing and flowing of breath.  The chariot of the mind is drawn by wild horses, and those wild horses have to be tamed” – Svetasvatara Upanishad

(image from jhalderm.com)

I have always believed that meditation is a practice of yoga that I will have a hard time “learning” and “doing”.  In the few instances that I was able to participate in meditation, I had found it to be light and relaxing.  I would like to practice meditation regularly.

Today being a moon day, Stillpoint Manila hosted a chakra meditation. I wanted to experience it and learn how to do it.  Becky oriented me on the technique before the “voice” took over the session.  It’s amazing how wild the mind can get! These are the thoughts that came to me which I shut down:

A horror movie: Shake, Rattle & Roll; being without a yoga teacher; discussing a patient with an intern; marinading my husband’s steak for dinner tonight! 

Those were the “wild horses” that I tried to tame by visualizing the chakras. I finally surrendered to the “voice”.  Surprisingly, my physical body held me up through the 30 minutes without feeling much pain or discomfort (Becky made sure I was sitting comfortably before we started)! My mind became empty by the time we got to the third eye (is that the 6th chakra?). I was so relaxed during savasana! It’s a good thing that we were lying on the floor otherwise I would have taken a nap!

This is definitely an activity I would like to repeat.  I will attempt it on my own but will definitely attend again. I hope my schedule would match the next moon day!

Namaste.

Theme for today: Gratitude

I received an e-mail from a former student expressing her gratitude – it made my day and influenced the rest of it.

Our opening chant exuded with gratitude for the teachers who passed on the wonderful practice of ashtanga yoga.

I am grateful for my…
…yoga teacher
…living and caring parents
…hardworking help Mary
…precocious niece Sam
…playful bichon frise Fluffy
…loving hubby and my,
…2nd floor condo unit (I don’t have to carry Fluffy higher than 3 flights of stairs!)

So much to be grateful for!
Om.

Work on Urdhva Dhanurasana

A follower of this blog (my hubby who I obligated to read my blog…) expressed that I haven’t blogged for quite some time…this is peak time for my duties at the College; preparing for enrollment, classrooms, new faculty, new courses! What keeps me adrift? The practice of yoga of course! I have been diligently doing my pranayama and a regular asana practice despite this busy sched.

This summer, I have been focusing on improving my backbends and learning how to do drop backs.  After setu bandhasana I embark on this “workout” by doing a lot of preparations to strengthen my psoas and quadriceps muscles, stretch my shoulder joint; strengthen my back muscles.

Then I slowly work on by backbends by

1. Doing half backbends 3x

(images from http://www.yoga journal.com)

2. Backbends with the wall as my assist 3x

(images from http://www.yoga journal.com)

3. Backbends without the wall 3x

4. Standing drop backs using the wall 3x

(Photo from: http://www.ehow.com/how_4423817_do-urdhva-dhanurasana-drop-back.html)

5. And finally drop backs with the teacher 3x (if there is a teacher or a teacher friend practicing with me)

Whew! As with other hard asanas, I initially dreaded working on the pose. I dread the feeling of pain on my back and feeling of panic when I get down and back up again.  But in recent practices (a week or two ago…) I have been looking forward to working on it. I could feel the right muscles working, meaning my psoas and my quadriceps. My back would ache but it is much less, maybe because I am using a different set of muscles.

In rare occasions when I am by myself, I would let myself drop once but not get up anymore. But today!…with my friends and teacher as my cheering squad and witnesses; I was able to dropback 3x! I needed help to get up but I got up using my leg muscles which really felt right.

I’m attending a class again tomorrow, I don’t know if I can do it again. Each day is different. But I am looking forward to it!