Upcycled/Recycled – Portable Ganesha Altar Kit

X-posted from my Creative Space.

Sometimes I like to challenge myself and do something new. Think outside the box and step outside of my zone of familiarity, and my zone of comfort. Kind of like the saying, do something new or something that scares you everyday. Not necessarily just by creating this piece, but also by sharing more about myself at the end.

I looked through my stash of art supplies and I decided to craft this portable altar kit. It could also be described as a mini-shrine, and mine is made of upcycled, repurposed and recycled materials. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on something like this. Honestly most things I acquired for free, already had on hand, or made. I gave a few examples of what I gathered the products from to give you your own ideas. On how you can upcycle things into a meaningful craft.

If you’re unfamiliar with what a shrine or altar is, here’s a brief description. While The dictionary talks about them being a receptacle for sacred relics, or a place considered sacred because of its relationship to a holy person or event, they can also be for other reasons. You could have one for political, humorous, satirical, one’s family, travel, nature, basically anything that is of interest of the artist creating the piece, or  imbibed with intentions for the person it’s being designed for.

 

IMG_0796

Materials used:
The “box” was made from an old altoids [mints] tin I had lying around.
The covering is a combination of papers from old kannada calendars, printer paper, cardstock, and scrapbook paper.
The sacred objects are items that hold value and have meaning to me. Things I have picked up during my travels.
-A red rock from a vortex in Sedona, Az.
-Incense
-Rudraksha seed/bead from a spiritual retreat.
-Thread from a puja in India.
-Mini-ganesha idol/murti.
-Sacred symbols, quotes, yantra, shloka book, mantras etc… I made using scrap paper and my printer.
-Auspicious paper marigolds.
– Battery powered candle.
-Bag to wrap everything in. [from a spare velvet gift bag, originally given to me with a birthday gift inside]

IMG_0795

I never feel like it’s 100% finished, because I add special items from my journeys, and because I keep adding items from a personal wish list of items I originally wanted to add to the little altar that I came up with as I was creating it.  Portable altars come in handy for those who travel, someone living in a small space, someone going off to college, and I am sure there are other examples.

IMG_0797

Taking a deep breathing and just diving in. Since I don’t always talk about myself on here, as some of you may not know I celebrate an amalgamation of holidays and this craft honors the cultures that resonate with me. I honor Hindu culture and customs, as well as the standard American / Catholic Holidays that are common such as Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter etc… The next Hindu holiday upcoming is Ganesha Chaturthi, and since I will likely be out of town this little altar will come in handy for me. I do not consider myself to be a religious person, but a person who is spiritual.

I previously haven’t written many personal details on my blog  due to the need in the professional world to have keep details of my personal life withheld. Keep my cards held close to my chest and keep myself out of the limelight.  I am now at a new path in my life where I can share more, not be so closed off or guarded. After not having done this for so long I feel really vulnerable to open up. Sometimes it can be freeing to write to a world of strangers, to write to no one you know in particular, but today alas is just one of those days I just feel more susceptible to judgement. Anyway I hope you enjoy hearing about me and getting to know more about me from time to time. I also hope this post maybe taught you something new or inspired you to do something new today as well.

Advertisements

Looking toward yoga to stay positive when things look bleak

In the face of adversity the possibilities are limitless. Its the time for monumental changes, and what lies ahead is the opportunity to look at each obstacle we face not with despair but with the knowledge that each has a purpose. Each obstacle offers us the chance to become stronger, gain more patience, and to be persistent.  The road is limitless and its up to us to stay positive until we can see our way through the obstacles or barriers to all the possibilities beyond. Everything happens for a reason, so I look at it as its the universes way of conspiring to improve us and to make us better.

Autumn in the white mountains

Yogaverse

After performing my practice I find it easier to think more clearly and realize that the world isn’t against me like it may seem. While tonight is another night of feeling down, at least there is hope for me yet… I just have to tell my self to breathe deep and use these opportunities that I am faced with to soak up the knowledge I am being offered to learn from the situation, whatever it may be. The possibilities are endless, the road may be rocky, but at least its there and not a cliff looming in front of me.

Autumnal Equinox

Yogaverse…Life and what not…

Mixing it up a bit this time by starting out with life first to explain my unplanned absence, and then onward and upward to yoga! Everyone’s favorite prominent topic in this blog.

Yogaverse

Recently was the first day of the fall season, and she has made her self apparent, at least here in New England anyway.  The squirrels are gathering acorns, and the leaves are either falling off the trees to crunch under our feet, or creating vibrant colors for us to enjoy.

Time to gather acorn’s!

It’s been a while since I’ve posted. I started writing this post awhile ago,  but just haven’t been able to bring my self to finish it. I’ve been in and out of a little funk, and found it really hard to do much of anything actually. To be honest, this unfortunate lack of motivation, most likely is stemming from a combination of long work days, tiredness, family issues, change in season / weather rut [lots of rain and overcast weather], allergies, and at one point even PMS.  I’ve had a few days where I started the day off in a good mood, but then things turned sour for what ever reason.

Feeling blue

I at least feel more grounded today but otherwise I haven’t felt like I’ve had much to look forward to, not like I usually would if my circumstances were different [read living back in my home town]. I’m feeling an immense homesickness, and feel like I lost a part of myself by moving here. Sometimes we make sacrifices for a number of reasons, I did knowingly and consciously I wasn’t tricked by any means. It can be hard to make the best of it, but I’m trying…even if I don’t like it here. I tell my self things could be worse and I am thankful they are not. Sometimes these sacrifices are a necessary means to get ahead in this life, nay this world.

So back to this business of feeling dejected or “down in the dumps”  as they say. I’ve had a hard time motivating myself to do any sort of writing, blogging, email or otherwise. I’ve been feeling the need to turn inward, and by inward I mean spending time in my head, reading, listening to music [kirtan / sacred chanting / sound healing/ambient & nature soundscapes…. If your curious for music examples I’d be happy to share.]

I’m pushing hard and really digging deep. I am forcing myself to sit here and write this. Its important that I keep track of my life, my feelings  and my progress, so here I sit on a crisp autumn evening playing catch up…

Fall in New England

To fight against this funk in September, I am proud to say that I kept up with the national yoga month offerings from Ekhart Yoga. The classes were really great to be honest, and gave me something to look forward to everyday. I would excitedly wake up and practice the asanas before having to rush out the door to sit in traffic for 1.5 hours to drive 8 miles to work. Now that’s some noteworthy New England traffic!

Things aren’t all bad I suppose. I have at least been productive in the kitchen and produced some tasty concoctions. I made several  things from scratch, Vegetarian Shepard’s pie, pumpkin spice lattes, kesari bath, pumpkin butterscotch scones, pongal, samosa’s, pudina bath, banana bread and I’m sure a few other things I’m forgetting about. Now I’ve never been a horrible cook, [not trying to toot my own horn if you will but never had any complaints when I cook or bake. I’ve even had special requests or was given praise] but the points is I always feel we can improve our selves in one way or another. I am glad to say that with practice and determination I can often even just throw things together like I watched my mum do when I was a wee one and wished that I could one day do the same. Progress, all in the name of making progress.

Indian Spices

I suppose that with age and knowledge that time finally came with in the last few years and I never really took the time to properly acknowledge that. I digress, the back story is that I guess I was always too busy with work and school. For several yrs I was going to school full time and working 50 hour weeks if you can believe it. Hard work, hard hard work can really pay off, and I don’t mean necessarily myself but for us all. I was determined to put my self thru school, but I still had to work. I’ll tell you all a secret, and I really hope I don’t sound like a nutter. This is something I’ve never really put out there but I am being honest here, so here goes nothing [or something rather]…Some how by the grace of guruji, on that guru poornima back in 2007 when were were told we could make one wish…I made my wish to become successful  [let me first clarify that by successful I don’t mean rich, but I mean partially with knowledge in terms of at least a BS degree, but also possessing the ability to put food on my table, and a roof over my head, to be a least some what financially stable] and promised that I was willing to work hard and make sacrifices to get there. I think I was granted that. Sticking with honesty, the road was not paved, it was bumpy, it was difficult. I ran into several potholes even, at one point I lost my job and almost my home, but eventually I found two part time jobs and ran myself ragged in order to complete college which I did back in 2011. Somehow I even managed to get straight A’s and end up graduating with distinction [Honors / Summa Cum Laude].

In turn for my wish Guruji told me “be a guru to someone else“. I really wanted to give back, and do just that. I thought how can I when I am quite remote and far from people… So I sat and had a think. I believe in paying it forward, I have access to the internet and a penchant for writing, thus this blog was born. I created this blog with the sincere hope that one day my words would reach an audience who could benefit from them or share them with someone who could. I’d hate for any one to have to suffer in life and go thru all the things I have been thru. That’s another conversation for another time.

Guruji – Sri Sri Ravi Shanker

Circling back to food, since that’s what I was talking on before ADD got the best of me…  I am forcing myself to be social and attend a pot luck being thrown by a co-worker for the “peoples of India” clique if you will at the office. They invited along me along as an “honorary Indian”, since I’m practically an Indian [ Kannidiga ] anyway according to them. I’ll drag the Mr. with me, and even cook a dish or two to bring along.

Yoga!

Yogawise, after practicing yoga for so many years now some I’ve made progress in the form of receiving the guidance from teachers. I wasn’t ignoring it before so I don’t want that to be what my words are conveying, but instead it makes more sense now. Things just “click”, I’ve had a few “a-ha moments” and I can actually do what they are describing. These suggestions are an integral part of a practice I feel but unfortunately not all teachers provide this. I’ll give and example in just a moment so you can further understand what I mean, but first want to say the rest of my thought before it disappears which is that unless you practice yoga on a somewhat consistent basis, the gentle steering from your beloved teacher or guru will most likely not make as much sense which is what happened to me anyway. It’s like the saying “practice  makes perfect”.  For me it’s the continued repetition of poses, even after all these years, that added guidance from a guru makes a difference and deepens my practice. I’m not an expert by any means, and not a yoga snob so I am okay being humble and admitting that there is always more to learn. Even though I can do more intermediate and even a few advanced poses I still feel that the knowledge one gains come through to us in a life long learning process. Even poses [asanas] such that can be found in a beginner classes / flow/ routine such as Utthita Trikonasana [Extended Triangle Pose] that can be in some instances deceptively easy for some,  can still offer us knowledge through our practice and repetition.

Utthita Trikonasana – Extended Triangle pose

Now as an example  [I bet you wondered when I was finally going to get to that] in the asanaUtthita Trikonasana if you don’t take into account the guidance directing one to make such small adjustments such as move your right hip or left hip back [depending which direction you are facing / and which leg leads], or move x hip out, or square the hips, elongate the trunk, draw the thighs up, to deepen the practice if you are flexible place your “x” hand on the outside of “x” leg if less flexible keep on the inside of “x” leg/foot or on “x” leg or “x” ankle, use a block, ground into the feet to come up…There’s different ones for different poses, but you get the drift. Some even carry over to many asanas, but its little adjustments like this than can make a difference between being in correct alignment and causing your self unnecessary pain. No matter how small they can seem, they really are not only helpful tips but key to proper alignment and posture.  These type of “tips” are therefore really worth taking into account, listening to, and performing the action. Not only does it really make a difference for the aforementioned physical reasons but additionally it will also help you deepen in your  practice by what can seem like leaps and bounds even from something as small as squaring your hips. You will feel like your making great strides, and soaring on cloud9.

Soaring on Cloud 9

Another key item [that I can not iterate enough]  in a practice is the  importance of listening to your body, no matter how long you have been practicing yoga.  As an example just because I can do Urdhva Dhanurasana [Wheel Pose], if I am experiencing back pain, I am going to hold off that asana in a practice and instead do a modification [a different asana]. This mindfulness happened recently to me as a matter of fact. During national yoga month [September] in the week that I was performing heart opening practices, on one or two days I was having some lower back pain. While the class was doing wheel pose, for the safety of my back that day I performed a modified Setu Bandha Sarvangasana [Bridge pose] and placed a yoga block directly under my sacrum for support.

setu bandha sarvangasana – Supported Bridge Pose with block

I know for some we don’t like to admit when we are in pain, or hate not being able to do certain poses at times, or sometimes if at all perhaps due to health conditions but trust me its better to listen to your body, your doctors and or teachers. Its okay to do modified poses, no one will think any less of you. they are too busy tuning into their own breath to care and are not there to judge you. if I saw someone performing modification, the first thoughts that come to my mind are: wow that person is being mindful, the are grounded and practicing with awareness. They are listening to their body and doing what is best for them. A good teacher will show modifications, if they don’t just ask and remind them. No need to feel embarrassed.

Anyway that’s about all I have to offer forth from my heart currently. I feel a bit better after sitting down and sharing my thoughts and progress. Thank you for listening, with an open heart I will leave you with a beautiful Apache blessing from an ombre colored birthday card I sent my Mum:

Image Sources:
http://www.yogajournal.com.au/wp-content/uploads/295×198-lift-on-up-7.jpg
http://derbyimages.woot.com/ramyb/On_Cloud_9-kxqj1m-d.jpg
http://img.surfing-waves.com/images/ex-triangle-posture.jpg
http://www.allaccessboston.com/blog/files/2010/10/Boston-Fall-Leaves-300×199.jpg
http://www.massvacation.com/fallfoliage/images/fall2012/animate/driving-squirrel.png
http://bawandinesh.name/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/Guruji-on-Guru-Poornima-2010.jpg
http://www.aboutdepressionfacts.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Am-I-Depressed-Quiz.jpg?9d7bd4
http://2.imimg.com/data2/XS/FC/IMFCP-2412716/indian-spices-250×250.jpg

September is National Yoga Month

Its labor day weekend, the start of a new month [September], and last night was the full “Blue” moon. It’s time for change in many of our lives, the kids everywhere are going back to school, and soon with the earth as well in the form of starting a new season. The fall equinox is on the 22nd.

August 2012 Full “Blue” Moon

In the world of yoga it’s National Yoga Month, a month dedicated to inspiring you to lead a healthy life style and to educate you about the health benefits of yoga, in which there are many. The department of health and human services came up with the idea. Since I live for yoga it was something for me to look forward to. Studios in many cities offer up a free week of classes for everyone. Taking things a step further in the digital age, one of my favorite teachers Esther Ekhart, [who just recently launched a new site] is offering three Yoga classes each week for free. This is not only a great opportunity if you don’t have a studio near you or you prefer to practice in your home, but also is a “green” way to take advantage of National Yoga Month. She and the other teachers we have come to know and love from her youtube site , will post the classes on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. This program will help you become healthier, happier, fitter and stronger. “Try and repeat the classes once, so you practice 6 days a week”.

This week’s theme is Standing poses, and I took advantage of the first class this morning to kick off my weekend on the right foot.

Standing Poses Class 1

The other weeks themes are as follows: Week 2: Twists. Week 3: Hips and Hamstrings, and Week 4: Heart opening postures. “The last class of the month will be your 90 minute Time for Yoga class. Enjoy the connection of practicing yoga as a global group during Time For Yoga on September 30th at 7PM. your local time.”

Yogaverse

I can see fall starting to creep in already and I am not ready to let go of summer.  As much as I love the colors, scents, and tastes of fall, I know what comes next and that’s a brutal winter. Before we know it the leaves will be crunching under our shoes. It’s depressing so I try to find things to get excited over so life won’t be as gloomy. I mean really if your winter lasted 6 months out of the year and then you had cool weather for 2 more and only received 2-3 months of warm weather, I think it would affect you too. I look forward to the day I can escape from here, even though there is not currently an end in sight.

I am looking forward to the annual Pumpkin festival in October, and for Ganesh Chaturthi on September 19th.

Fall is Creeping in

Today is one of those days I am feeling grateful for a good nights rest, sunshine, a day off, a cuppa tea, and a morning of yoga.

Liebster Award!

I feel so humbled and blessed to have been nominated for this award by the lovely Steph from  A Peacock In A Robbins Nest , thank you!!

If you must be wondering, what does Liebster mean? Or what is a Liebster award? Liebster is German and means “sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome.”

Here are the RULES:

  • You have to answer the questions that the tagger set for you plus create 11 questions for the people you’ve tagged to answer.
  • Choose 11 bloggers and link them in your post.
  • Go to their page and tell them.

QUESTIONS:

Favorite book? What did you learn from that book?

The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom (A Toltec Wisdom Book). By Don Miguel Ruiz. Here’s what I took away from book: The agreements are not only mantra’s but agreements you make with your self.

  1. BE IMPECCABLE WITH YOUR WORD
  2. DON’T TAKE ANYTHING PERSONALLY
  3. DON’T MAKE ASSUMPTIONS
  4. ALWAYS DO YOUR BEST

The Four Agreements slowly helps us to recover our authentic selves, and the real “you” starts to awaken. The complete acceptance of oneself just the way we are, and additionally the complete acceptance of everybody else just the way they are. The reward is your eternal happiness. #4 hit home the most, as living with depression ones personal best can change from moment to moment. if I am doing well I can move through life faster and complete my tasks in a timely manner, however if i am in that manic/ bi-polar states it might take me a whole week just to clean a room due to lack of focus and energy. I have learned not to beat myself up over it. If I am doing my best in that moment, then I am indeed doing my best.

If you get nervous when you talk to someone, what do you do?

I might find myself nibbling on my lower lip, fidgeting, or looking away.

What is the meaning of life to you?

To enrich your life thru the wisdom of teachings, to be humble and learn to be enlightened. We live through the cycle of life to learn and grow from our mistakes. When we are reborn if we have not learned from these mistakes that are our opportunities to learn and grown, then we must experience these things in our next life to attain that wisdom, learn and grow from the opportunity we are presented with.

If you were to get a tattoo, what and where would it be?

well I have 2 already, but if I were to get another one, I would get the AUM symbol, what most know as “OM”.

What do you do in your spare time?

I practice yoga. I read, I draw, I cook & bake, take photos, and write. I enjoy traveling and seeing new things, experiencing new adventures, looking at life from a different perspective. I have many interests, so I’m sure I am forgetting something.

How are you challenging yourself right now?

Learning how to cook new things from a different country [India] & I am also working on a fictional novelette.

If you were to go back in time, what would you tell the 20 year old you?

I think there are many pearls of wisdom my younger self really could have benefited from. I would have benefited from doing more yoga, learning to let go and looking at the bigger picture. I could have benefited more from discovering the art of living.

What’s the first thing you notice about the opposite sex or same sex, whatever you are attracted to?

The first thing I tend to notice is someone’s confidence. I’m also a sucker for warm eyes and a carefree smile.

Define passion, do you have one?

I am an Aries, and like most of us born under the Aries Zodiac sign, when I like something, I really become quite passionate about it. I love becoming encompassed in a good book. if the story captures my attention I can not put it down. Having OCD, also means if I am passionate about something I go all out…for example if I happen to like an author, then I will want to read all their books. I am passionate about all things India, the food, the culture, the people, etc…So I did all I could to learn all I could and continue to do so by broadening my horizons, expanding my knowledge and learning all I can.

I am passionate about my hobbies and interests,  my past times, things like writing. I find it so much easier to express my self in words than speaking face to face or on the phone.

Do you want to be a cat or a dog? Why?

I would want to be a dog. They often seem so footloose and fancy free. Sitting in the warm sunshine and waggling my little happy tail as I frolic in the yard.

Favorite food?

Indian food hands down. Being a vegetarian, Indian food cuisine offers so many great tastes and flavours. Its the one type of food I never get sick of!

I’m still discovering new blogs…so I’m a few short but in time I will have longer lists!

PEOPLE I’VE TAGGED/ NOMINATED:

Yoginoms

Myforwardpath

selfblossoming

Fictionforanewage

Love,Swapnil…..

No pressure but if you choose to participate here are your questions:

YOUR TAG QUESTIONS:

  1. Favorite book? What did you learn from that book?
  2. If you get nervous when you talk to someone, what do you do?
  3. What is the meaning of life to you?
  4. If you were to get a tattoo, what and where would it be?
  5. What do you do in your spare time?
  6. Give a goal you would like to achieve within the next year.
  7. If you were to go back in time, what would you tell the 20 year old you?
  8. What’s the first thing you notice about the opposite sex or same sex, whatever you are attracted to?
  9. Define passion, do you have one?
  10. If you could live anywhere, where would it be?
  11. Favorite food?

Beautiful Blogger Award!

Friday morning as the fog was dissipating from my mind, I happen to be checking my email when I noticed something unexpected. I was pleasantly surprised to see I had been nominated for the Beautiful Blogger Award. Thank you to dear Stephanie of  A Peacock In A Robbins Nest  for the kind nomination.

I must admit I am new to this whole blog award world so I felt quite honored. For those who like me aren’t clear on what the beautiful blogger award is about here’s some information. The Beautiful Blogger Award, is in a nutshell an honor bestowed upon us by our fellow bloggers. this award shows us essentially how much they love reading us and appreciate the beauty in our words.

There are rules that go along with the award which are as follows:

1. Pay it forward and nominate others deserving of this award. Let them know about the nomination.

2. Post seven interesting things about myself:

  • I like chocolate, but I dislike chocolate cake and white chocolate.
  • I enter the shower from one side but exit from the opposite side of the tub.
  • I have a difficult time swallowing pills so I take my vitamins in the adult gummy vitamin form.
  • I love coffee shops and cafés. I find them to be relaxing and comforting.
  • Very rarely will you find me chewing gum. It makes my jaw ache.
  • I used to be on a bowling league.
  • When I was 11 I managed to fall off a skateboard and promptly broke bones in both arms. I spent a few months with my arms in casts.

bonus number eight:

  • I love to travel but dislike the part where I have to pack.

And now on with the show:

In no particular order, I nominate the following beautiful blogs:

Yoginoms – Former ballerina turned college student and fellow yogini. Eating healthy and sharing heartfelt thoughts.

Myforwardpath – Fellow depression suffer who is open and honest. He share’s his experiences of trying to live a life with some semblance of normalcy. [I know first hand how hard this can be]. I applaud you sir!

Fictionforanewage – PJ reviews spiritual/metaphysical novels on her site. She also researches and write about the connection between neuroscience, psychology,  spirituality and enlightenment. She is a writer, dancer, and fellow yoga addict.

selfblossoming – This blog is all about Spirituality and Wellness, including the important aspects in this realization.

I wish I had more to nominate, however being still relatively new to wordpress I’m still discovering more blogs to follow.

If I nominated you, and you choose to participate (no pressure!) here’s what you do:

  1.  Write a post about the award and include the award picture.
  2. Thank the person who nominated you and link back to their blog.
  3. Nominate seven other blogs and include links as well as a quick statement about that blog.
  4.  Write a comment on each of the blogs to tell them you nominated them.
  5. Have fun & go read!

 

Yoga – Freestyle Friday

Being a self-professed yoga nerd, [and trying to keep my depression at bay] I do yoga everyday.  On a good number of days I do a specific practice based upon what I want out of the practice that day. Some days it might be that I want to open my heart more, or maybe I am feeling a bit haggard after a long day at the office [technical work and moving technical equipment is exhausting] and need a relaxing and restorative practice. The latter being my Thursday evening. On Friday morning it was a bit hard to get out of my nice comfy bed.  All this New England rain and overcast weather really affects my mood, how I long for my SoCal weather!

Once I got up and started moving around, I made my daily morning cuppa green tea. I like to make it before I start my practice so that it can cool on the counter a bit while I perform the asanas. I just hate burning my tongue/mouth on hot foods and drinks! I unfurled my lovely Gaiam ombre yoga mat, the one that reminds me of the aurora borealis [the northern lights]. I was feeling indecisive as to what type of practice I wanted to do especially since I didn’t have a lot of time prior to the trek into the office. I recalled watching the yoga mat unwind a moment ago and thought how free was, like the birds chirping outside my living room window. I decided then an there that I wanted to feel free, so I did what I call Freestyle Friday.

I threw on some relaxing music for and I padded over to my yoga mat. I just did whatever pleased my body, whatever poses my body naturally started doing or whatever happened to pop into my mind. I had a great practice, I felt free, content, and let my botherations and stress melt away with each breath.

Sunset in Sedona

Nerd Yoga, Comic-Con #SDCC,

In honor of last week’s SDCC [San Diego International ComicCon], I bring you Super Hero Yoga and Star Wars Yoga. How cool is this?! Artist Rob Osbourne has created what he calls a “Yoga Super Pop” collection. His collection is 11 x 17 signed posters of “Zombies. Superheroes. Ninjas. Robots. Pirates. Steampunk and Sci-Fi. Taking the world of geekdom by storm… with yoga!” I couldn’t have said it better myself!

 

 

Yogaverse

Comic-con was always in my own backyard, so aside from it being a big part of my life, how could I not go? For years and years I went. I worked in booths and dressed up in laborious costumes. Now that I am on the other side of the US, I feel nostalgic when I think of the event. I can’t help feel a bit sad and wistful that I am not there, but sometimes that is the sacrifice in life we must make in order to better ourselves.

 

 

Tea Quotes, Sedona, life in the Yogaverse

Your life is based on the capacity of energy in you, not outside of you.

Sedona, AZ, USA

 

Life in my Yogaverse, or why this Quote is Important to me:

I recently had the pleasure of taking a trip to one of my favorite places, Sedona, Arizona. Before I arrived I planned to wake up early and start my normal routine of daily yoga practice.

Sunrise in Sedona, AZ

I can’t emphasize enough, how much I had really been looking forward to starting my practice off with the sunrise, as I had my last visit. performing the asana’s in what to me is a magical place, is something I treasure. Performing the sun salutations [Surya Namaskar] with the sunrise and that fresh prana, really brings new meaning and clarity to those poses that warm my muscles up for the rest of the flow.

Due to the daily grind of a mentally exhausting job back home, I found it a bit difficult to get going with my normal routine, instead of relaxing and enjoying the peacefulness that Sedona promises and delivers. I found my self struggling with allowing my self to sit back and enjoy the respite, instead of performing my practice which in turn helps keep my depression at bay and keeps me off my meds. Now don’t get me wrong, I enjoy yoga, all that it encompasses, and how it makes me feel. The fact that it can keep me off anti-depressants is a major testaments to my mental health, however I sometimes dislike that I “have” to do it just as much as I “want” to do it. Sometimes I just want to be a normal person who can just get up and go, not someone who has to do something. If I just want to get up and go, I have to do this practice everyday like clock work, else those niggling feelings of depression start sinking in and its further down the spiral I go.

Since I had been feeling content, and was enjoying the respite from work, I decided I would take advantage of the spiritual cleanse from visiting vortex’s. I felt confident, brave, and daring. Like the saying “fortune favors the brave”, I took a chance. I slept in! I caught up on sleep for a change. If I woke up early, I read and disappeared into the depths of an alternate world we call books. I drank copious amounts of water as if it was going out of style, to stay hydrated in the high desert temps [100-112F/37c-44c]. After a while I waffled between reading my novel, and yoga news.

An article caught my eye. Now while the point of the article was discussing early morning yoga classes, vs doing what one feels best for their body. I thought okay let’s see where this goes. In my case the words of a yoga guru stood out in my mind. “The point of yoga,  is  more unlimited joy for you.” Yoga should make us happy it should be the thing, or one of the many things, we can look forward to most in our day. It should be something that can provide us  a break from our worries and woes, not something causing them. So then why was I feeling so torn. The article said, “why should yoga, of all things, drag us out of bed and make one miserable”? Well yoga certainly does not make me miserable, however I so wanted to just relax, and just be. I didn’t want to feel torn, and doing a practice because I had to vs because I want to vs should I allow my body to catch up on sleep and relaxation or do this other thing [yoga] that is always so beneficial for me.

Prior to reading the article, doing yoga later in the day as the temperatures rose was not as desirable, early morning it would be [70 F-80 F] so it was obviously a bit cooler and more tolerable for practicing. There wasn’t room in my hotel room for a practice, so I had to make a decision quick. To do yoga, or not to do yoga, that was the question. I decided to stick with my guns and my original decision, and relax, sleep if I felt tired, and read if it was too late for yoga. Glancing at the time and the rising temperatures, it was too late for practice today, and that’s how it happened the rest of the week. I did not scold myself, or allow myself to beat myself up over it. I saw that quote and allowed myself to feel the positive energy from within, to feel content and happy with my decision. I did not focus on the fact that there was a potential for spiraling down the rabbit hole later, I focused on the positives of my trip. I took advantage of the beautiful weather. I took a hike one day, and meditated later that evening, there was certainly room enough for that.

Sedona will always hold a magical place in my heart, one that I hope to visit again and again. If I could live there, I certainly would.