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.

 

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In-Flight Yoga & Life in India

Two posts in 1!

Since I last wrote I made it unceremoniously and safely from the United States of America to India, where I am currently writing this post from. I have been able to gain internet access for a short time and felt like writing. Before I begin a post about yoga, I thought I might also include a few tidbits about my experiences in India also. [A more complete version of my trip will be posted in a travel blog with some accompanying photos at a later date. I will post that link later once I am back in the United States.]

Life In India:

India is not unlike how I thought it would be, no culture shock for me either, not that I anticipated that I would have any. I am pretty well versed on India, her people’s, and the Indian culture, therefore I knew what to expect. I have been told that I must have been Indian in another life or that I am “more Indian than some of my friends back home”, (as I am American and not of Indian Origin). Such a nice complement! Now back to India, the land of knowledge, ancient culture, and spices among other things. I have spent most of my time in Puja ceremonies, visiting historic sites, Hindu temples, and practicing solitary yoga. I have running water and a western toilet, but take my shower with a bucket and a mug. Not all would be able to handle life in India, but it’s important to realize that a lot of the “luxuries” we have in developed countries aren’t always necessary for us to survive.

Tomorrow, April 10th, is my birthday, and I get to spend it here in India! What an exciting new way to spend a birthday! There is a lot of poverty in some parts of India and I only wish I could help bring everyone out of that. I wanted to do some volunteer work this trip and attend some classes but neither worked out, so instead of being disappointed or feeling bad I look onward and upward to the future. I know I will be back here in South India in the not too distant future. At that time perhaps the stars will align and things would fall into place at that time if it is meant to be. Every journey is an opportunity for knowledge and growth. It can be a like a pilgrimage (a journey to a sacred spot). A journey to transcending our own limitations, and experiencing a cross-cultural union.

And now on with the show!

In Flight Yoga:

In my last post I mentioned airplane yoga so I thought I would pick up again  from there. I was all set to do some stretches in my seat and was pleasantly surprised that Lufthansa airlines has added “flyrobics” / “airobics” to the inflight entertainment and informational systems for all passengers. Using a computer animated model, the aim of the 10 min or so video is to relax, stimulate, and improves circulation to keep the blood flowing. All from the comfort of your seat with your safety belt fastened or slightly loosened if need be. The movement prevents tight muscles, swelling and fluid build up in our lower extremities.  Sure getting up and walking around the cabin would provide the same effect, but perhaps you don’t want to climb over your fellow passengers again or just plainly don’t want to be in the way in a crowded narrow aisle. You can do these exercises not only on an intercontinental flight, but domestic flights as well. For a twist you actually could even perform the movements from a chair in  your house while you watch t.v : “Chairobics“.

I will include a few links and PDFs that you can either save or print out for examples of exercises you can do in addition to a few tips:

PDF’S:

Airplane Yoga or How to look like a real weirdo to fellow passengers:

yoga_card

Flying Pilates / Yoga:

pilates_card

Inflight Comfort Tips:

inflight-comfort

Links:

Inflight Well Being Tips

http://www.pacificislands.airnewzealand.com/inflight-wellbeing

Tip: While in flight in addition to plenty of water you can moisturize your face to reduce the effects of drying cabin air.

Sources:Image 1: by dshanley retrieved on April 09 2012 from http://www.sxc.hu/photo/199293