Monday, September 15, 2014

Kathryn Budig on Self Discovery

 Photo via YogaJournal.

This month’s Yoga Journal feature on Kathryn Budig is rad. In the interview, she speaks about self-discovery, and her approach to yoga and to life, which is her mantra “Aim True.”

I love love LOVE Kathryn Budig’s perspective, and the way she invites balance into her life. She talks about how she eats based on what her body needs and what she’s craving, not based on a strict set of ‘rules’ associated with a particular diet. Life is to be enjoyed, she says. That includes chocolate chip cookies and a glass of wine sometimes. And there is no ‘ideal’ yoga body—and nothing wrong with cellulite.

Photo by Robert Sturman via YogaJournal.

She says:

“In our media, we airbrush it out and people think we are supposed to have these super-smooth bodies. My fiancĂ© was like, ‘Who is the person who said that cellulite is not attractive?’ It is so true—why is that not OK? It’s easy to go onto social media and look at a picture of a smiling, pretty person and think they have it all. I think that is when social media gets really, really dangerous. We want to have the lives of other people we don’t even know. But they could be going home and crying every single night. 

Photo by Jeff Nelson via Yoga Journal.

And, on aging gracefully:

“…It has been a challenge to watch my 25-year-old body turn into a 32-year-old body. It is not depressing; it is the evolution of a woman. This body, whether it is 10 pounds skinnier or 10 pounds heavier, can still do those postures because it is strong. I stay focused on what I feel, on the results. I have a lot of love in my life, and I didn’t have that when I was 25. If I get hung up on what my body looks like, I am losing track of my goal, of my aim.

Beautifully said… and thank you. This is a message I certainly can’t hear enough!


PS An awesome documentary about the ‘body image movement,’ which encourages women to love their bodies more, and let go of cultural ideals of what’s considered beautiful.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Gratitude and Abundance


This week, my heart feels full. I feel at peace.

I have been experiencing a big shift…


Settling in. Meditating. Eating healthier. Expressing my emotions more.

There is so much abundance in my life! And it feels really good to take time to notice it, and to be grateful.


How are you, dear reader? What do you have going on in your Yoga practice?

I hope you have a fun weekend, and I encourage you to start it off by taking the five deepest breaths you’ve taken all day :)


XO

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Morning Routines

Photos via Pinterest and Free People. 

What do you do first thing in the morning?


For a long time, my mornings have looked like this:
  • wake up to phone alarm
  • snooze 2-3 times (10 minutes each)
  • quickly check notifications – mostly Facebook and emails
  • roll out of bed, get dressed, wash face
  • start pot of boiling water for French press coffee
  • sometimes spend 5 minutes putting on makeup or styling my hair
  • make coffee, and sometimes breakfast (egg and toast, yogurt, smoothie, or juice)
  • pack a lunch 
  • drive to work, singing in the car on the way

While I do love that I have a low-maintenance morning routine, I often find that I start the day feeling frazzled because I’m in a rush. Instead of starting off the day in a mindful way, I hurry to work.


Today, instead of rushing out the door, I managed to wake up a little early to give myself time to make a fresh juice. I sat on my patio to drink it, and a feeling of such peace came over me. It was an open-eyed meditation: just noticing the air, the sunlight, any noises around me, my breath, the feeling of calm in my body. 

I also took a little extra time putting on my mascara and styling my hair, which always makes me feel good about myself. I try to approach this not from a place of ego, but of general self care and having confidence about my appearance – being an empowered woman! :)

 

I’m hoping to shift my morning routine in the next few months, implementing these changes:
  • buy an alarm clock, so the first thing I experience isn’t a screen, and so I have a chance to connect with myself before I get pulled into conversations (detaching from my smartphone, woohoo!)
  • get up after the first alarm, instead of snoozing (getting to bed earlier would help with this)
  • start the day with 2-3 minutes of writing; this could be setting an intention or doing my gratitude list
  • do at least 3 sun salutations every morning
  • add a juice or smoothie to my daily routine (alongside the coffee)
  • download new music every week or so I can mix it up while I’m driving
Are you a 'morning person?' What is your morning routine? 



Also: a 3-minute morning yoga routine!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Trust Yourself


Push past your discomfort…

Stick to a habit, not listening to the negative self talk that normally holds you back.

 

Stick to it some more, and learn to trust yourself.


Learn through repeated experiments that you are stronger than you think, that you are more capable and more tolerant of discomfort than you think.



This post is excerpted from one of my favorite blogs, Zen Habits. Photos via My Morning Coffee on Tumblr.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Listening

 Photos via Yoga Dudes.

Quiet the mind for a moment. Go inward.




Notice, what’s happening now?


Wisdom is held in the body, and heard in the stillness.

Friday, September 5, 2014

What We Hold Onto


The last few weeks have been eventful, to say the least.

Several family members have been in the hospital. I am in the process of moving (just across town). I had my one-year anniversary at work (and got a raise!). I returned to my yoga mat and can feel my body building strength—it’s the strongest I’ve felt since my back issues this summer, and wow, I am grateful to feel great in my body again.

Soon, the dust will settle. And already, I’m reflecting on these experiences, noticing what wisdom they hold.

Photo by Justin Kral of Kral Studios.

Several questions keep resurfacing: what am I really holding onto? What are the things in my life worth clinging to?

When I really stop and think about it, I’m amazed by the amount of time I waste on some things that don’t really matter, but that feel good:
  • surfing the Internet and reading posts on social media
  • watching TV
  • eating unhealthy foods
I also waste time by:
  • making excuses
  • ignoring my emotions
  • hiding
  • letting guilt, fear or shame run the show
These are habits I've been working on changing, and I still have a long ways to go.

And I’m also amazed by the things I do that really matter, how rich and fulfilling those are:
  • spending time with the people I love
  • saying, ‘I love you,’ and giving hugs
  • practicing gratitude and awareness
  • teaching yoga from my heart
  • practicing yoga and leaving my ego aside
  • cooking and eating healthy foods
  • practicing reiki and taking an active role in my healing journey
  • writing blog posts and connecting with yogis who have been impacted by my story

I read a post recently about living a minimalist life (it was by Leo Babuata at Zen Habits). He was saying how, when you really break it down, happiness is as simple as this:

1. Decide what’s important.
2. Eliminate the rest.


Now is a good time to show up to my life, fully. It’s not always easy to be conscious, present, and to move through life with clear intention… but now is a good time to start.

I was going about my day and suddenly, everything changed. I found myself rushing to the hospital, sitting in an emergency room, knowing someone I love with my whole heart was suffering. I showed up. All the little stuff fell away… and I was left with this:

Now is the time to love others. Love freely, without attachment to the outcome. To give what I can, frequently. To be incredibly kind to those around me, and to thank my teachers. I choose to embody the love in my heart fully, using my words and my devotional practices.


I have an incredible support network. I have a beautiful family, incredible friends, a yoga community that inspires and amazes me, and people who constantly show me that they care. I am held up by these people, and quite honestly I would be nowhere without them. The most important thing I can do is acknowledge this, and treat all of the wonderful people in my life with kindness.

I have my body. I am more than my body, but it is a vital part of my experience here, and worth loving. Putting my health first allows me to do the things I love, and to serve others more fully. Now is a good time to love my body without exception, and to make choices that allow me to experience radiant health.

Now is a good time to show up to my life, fully. To let go of the things that I’m holding on to that aren't important. To love others, and to love myself. When it comes down to it, that’s what really matters.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Yoga for Living a Full Life

Photos via the lovely Amelia on Flickr.

True yoga is not about the shape of your body, but the shape of your life.

Yoga is not to be performed; yoga is to be lived.


Yoga doesn’t care about what you have been; yoga cares about the person you are becoming.


Yoga is designed for a vast and profound purpose and for it to be truly called yoga, its essence must be embodied.



Quote by Aadil Palkhivala; found via Julia Lee Yoga.

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