When we practice outdoors, it is easier to fall into the moment. There is something tangible to grasp, and it allows our senses to awaken, to become fully engaged.
We feel the warmth and brightness of the sun or the comfort and stillness of a grey day.
We observe our surroundings and notice the details: a hawk flying overhead, an ant walking across the mat, the way the wind moves through the trees.
Feeling the movement of the air, we are reminded and encouraged to breathe easily, freely, and deeply.
As we inhale, we become aware of scents: fresh cut grass, food cooking, autumn leaves, a bonfire, or something particular to a place and time.
We lean in and listen closely to Mother Nature and hear life moving through time and space.
We are mindful in the way we move. The unevenness of the earth makes us think precisely where we want to place our footing to maintain balance.
Throughout the practice, hearts lift to the endless sky, and feet sink into the earth. We become engaged and are no longer thinking about the past or the future. When we are fully present, stress falls away. Tapping into the energy of the earth, we feel renewed.
Letting go of the expectation of where a yoga class should be, the outdoor practice offers a deep experience in nature and time.
I have been offering outdoor classes. If you would like to practice or have an outdoor location you would like to practice in; please reach out.
Day lilies bloom for one day.
At the end of the day,
I like to pick them, holding on to the day.
Thinking of the beautiful parts of a day,
before the day is done.
Some days there is abundance,
and other days,
I need to look carefully,
finding the little things that are both beautiful and right,
and shine the light on them.
Summertime is a time to grow.
Seeds are planted, and buds bloom with fruits, flowers and vegetables bursting with flavor and color. The end result of nurturing, pampering and care throughout the growing season.
As humans, we are always growing. This summer we are growing in different directions, possibly uprooted and in conditions that are not ideal. It is a time to be gentle with ourselves. We may need patience, understanding and a extra nurturing as we are faced with so many unknowns.
Take that time, and look for the light in the darkness.
In August, I will begin the Level 4 training to steep in the practice for four full days adding nutrients, flavor, understanding and growth to this practice that has a beginning and no end. I am doing this with the uncertainty of where, when and how I will be teaching but I welcome the change the training will bring.
I hope you are all well. Stretching and doing yoga in everyday places- like tree pose while washing dishes, or goddess pose while brushing your teeth! It’s an everyday, everywhere practice for everybody.
Miss you lots!
Today, my yoga practice was off mat and on the sand at Salisbury Beach.
As I put my toes in the sand and went through my practice, I learned a few things…
Those tiny grains of sand, always shifting and moving, are also grounding and supportive. Just as sand holds the beach umbrella in place, sinking a foot into the sand helps with standing balance. Lifting and spreading the toes and then lifting the heal, leads to finding a solid foundation to stand.
Sand provides resistance. It builds strength and engages the core as hands and feet push and pull through the sand in the transitions of the practice.
Sand makes a great prop, like a block, but better, because it is so easily adjustable and movable.
In forward folds the sand can be piled to a height to assist with tight hamstrings and a neutral spine. Sand can be gripped in downward facing dog. In pigeon, sand can be used to elevate the hips; and there is no better place to work towards splits.
The next time you are at the beach, I encourage you to engage with the sand. Sit in it, stand it, move in it, interact with it, play with it. Try a pose. On the towel, or off. Take the opportunity to experience yoga off mat, with the sand below, the sky above and the ocean in sight.
Let go of your expectation of what the practice should be.
I hope you are all well, staying safe and taking care of that deep spring cleaning and projects that have been pushed aside.
Coffee, Then Yoga FB group is going well.
I’m adjusting to teaching to a class that I can’t see or interact with. The format is challenging when I make a mistake, or something does not go as smoothly as it should, but it provides many lessons: the lesson in letting go of perfection; the lesson in patience, when my right and left cues get mixed up (my right is actually my left in the video); the lesson in letting go of competition as I am aware of the many professional videos out there; and lastly, the lesson in staying in the moment- even if it feels uncomfortable!
Meghan has been teaching yoga via zoom to raise money to those financially affected by the pandemic. I donated and took a class last week, and will do so again this week. I like the flow of the sequencing and the detail of her cueing. If you are interested, she announces on her IG account meghancurrieyoga.
Anatomy and Alignment
I recently took an Anatomy and Alignment class through YogaFit. Great content of the muscle and bone structures of the body in relation to the physical aspect of the practice. Originally to be held in Pittsfield, MA, the two day class was held via zoom in the comfort of home.
MyPenAndPost, Etsy Shop
The Drawing A Day Postcards hold an official place in MyPenAndPost Etsy shop. I hope to offer note cards and original work as time goes on.
The days are challenging, but there is always something to be thankful for.
Our senses combined with a breath that is slow, steady and full, allow us to enjoy a moment.
Often found in simple things: the warmth of the sun, the sound of rain, the sip of coffee, the smell of bread baking, the sight of the ocean or a starry night.
Look, listen, feel, taste and breathe.
Enjoy the moment.
My house has taken on the additional role of yoga studio where yogis are invited into my kitchen, not for coffee or wine, but for FB live classes as we strive to keep a familiar routine to our days.
Our homes have become daycare centers, schools, gyms and offices all under one roof.
As for that place to unwind and relax? We may need to find it elsewhere… like getting outside for a walk, or carving out a space in the kitchen for the yoga mat.
Coffee or wine, optional.
When we practice yoga, there is talk about being present in the moment, on the mat and off. I have had some interesting off the mat moments this past January that have kept me fully present.
The first was a trip to MASS MoCA, located in North Adams, MA. It is a contemporary art museum housed in converted factory buildings. Rooms, spacious with high ceilings are filled with natural light as well as views of the landscape.
Combine that with art, often quite large in scale, highly imaginative and often interactive. Curiosity takes over and there is no choice but to become immersed in the space and fall into the moment as you explore the museum room by room.
The second was a trip to see a friend. It has taken me many years to commit to this. Life has been busy, and there always seemed to be a reason why the time wasn’t right.
I visited Charleston, SC and found the city to be colorful and charming. Seeing new sights and enjoying new foods with an old friend, one can’t help but be in the moment.
The third was bringing back a family tradition. Taking time to honor and remember the past, to begin again and carry on with new variations and twists. Traditions bridge the past to the present moment. They remind us of what was then and what is now.
If there is something you’ve always wanted to do, consider this your nudge. Life is short and time goes by quickly.
Enjoy every moment.
The days are getting shorter and darker and busier and brighter as we begin to prepare for the upcoming holidays. Yoga and meditiation can help to keep one organized, efficient and focused. They allow time to relax, renew and focus on what’s most important.
For me it’s also a time for taking continuing education classes. Yoga Props is coming up at the end of the month and I look forward to offering new modifications for my students.
And, it’s a time for the seasonal art challenges of Inktober and Free Art as they become part of October and November in addition to the yearly challenge of a Drawing a Day. These challenges and others can be seen here- Art Video.
Enjoy every moment.
The world is a beautiful place when we look in the right direction.
But we need to not only find the beauty in the world, but also in our hearts. For when we shine, someone else sees the world as a beautiful place,
…and it goes around and has a wonderful impact.