Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Root Down to Lift Up

Bandhas, Koshas, Chakras.

Rotate your arms out. Rotate your legs in and push out like a Pez dispenser. Root down to lift up. 

Lately its all about the foundation.

I forgot how much I like to be in school. It makes me want to take more classes about everything and anything that interests me. 

The more it sinks into my head, it sinks into my practice and eventually slinks into my everyday life. 
"You change your patterns and you change your life" my instructor always says. Its true.

That can start out with holding your body in an uncomfortable position without even knowing it until you find the right alignment. Then it clicks. And it changes your whole movement.

Open. Free. Flow. No pain.

And it has. After a discussion of how we need to be balanced when rooting down, the teachers evaluated our downward dog the next day.

"What happened?" my two instructors said in unison. "You look... good" as they reviewed my stance looking for holes. First thought is this feels much better. Second thought, how bad was it before???"

"I listened yesterday." I replied with a smile

Biggest thing I think about these days is: Am I planted properly on this earth so I can rise up. 

Went to a gentle class and realized with my foot up in the air that it turns in which puts pressure on my hips. My hips are already tight. Hips hold a lot of emotion too. Been working that stuff out one stretch at a time. 

"Did you know you did that with your foot?" my teacher asked. 

No, I didn't. 

I left class thinking about applying equal pressure all over my feet. Thought about it so much I probably left the studio looking like a bowlegged cowboy.

How do I set my foundation for the day? Do I apply equal pressure in all areas of our life?

I've had to ponder this in two concrete ways. My jobs. 

First standing my ground in a difficult conversation initiated by my manager about the energetic drain and negativity that is affecting all of us at the restaurant. Oh and getting a personal attack in the process.

It exhausted me after in a way I haven't felt in a while. It felt bad but you know what, it got it out and released it.

Later realizing that this conversation and clamp down is his way of blowing off steam. And unfortunately the way he deals with stress in his life at the moment. 

I decided I will not let myself be used in this way anymore. An energetic release or balance for someone else's personal issues. I've done it so much in the past. I want no more of it in the present. 

Hand planted.

Add in a sort of hellish paddle board tour last week with eleven paddle boarders and one kayaker ranging in age from 11 to 80. 

Nice enough group but after one paddle board channel marker flip; two kayak tippings and rescues (one of which was not even on my tour); paddling my board at a 45 degree angle while trying my best to keep an 80 year old man who crawled up on the back of it, on it. 

And finally watching him ignore all my instructions and suggestions of how to get back in the kayak easier without sinking it all whilst being devoured by a fire ant in 100+ degree heat. 

I started to wonder back on shore…Do I really want to teach yoga? And are these tours really that much fun anymore?

Honestly I'm not sure I could have survived that tour without the go with the flow mentality and breathing I had to do to get to the end of it. Thanks yoga!

So the learning right now is just for me. What happens with all the information I receive and use will just be a part of the process. A process I'm really enjoying and am getting a lot out of at the moment. Who knows where it will lead?

Foot planted.

I guzzle water, food and have a 15 minute disco nap all in the measly little hour before I have to go wait tables. Rolled in asking for an easy night and getting one was a relief. 

The restaurant had reverted back to the light hearted place I remembered after the conversation with my manager and his subsequent departure for vacation. Woot. Woot.

My last table ended up being a part of my paddle board tour from earlier in the day which I didn't realize until one of the guys screamed out my name as I approached the table. "PENNNNYYYY!"

We recalled the mini adventures we had for the day. They apologized for having to continue on without me as I helped them choose food and a good Spanish Rioja for the end of it. 

Full circle and a thank you from the group along with a nice comment about how much they enjoyed spending time with me today.

Hey, this isn't so bad. In fact its pretty crazy what I get to do in one normal day.

How much we can control our own energy with intention, posture and breath is amazing. We all have this ability and the right to find that power within ourselves.

Rise up.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Yoga Teacher Training

I took the plunge.

Holy first weekend of information. Woah.

Lots to learn. Lots to read. Lots of crazy words to pronounce. 

Funny how things I've been interested in the over last 10 years have come together in Yoga.

Did a couple of meditations this weekend that calmed me so. One was a sound nada yoga that I had the opportunity to hear the whole city and world OM. Images of North Roosevelt traffic and Publix shoppers flooded my head all vibrating to one sound - go figure.

Learning how important it is to clear the mind and body so we can see things as they really are. Learning the words of what I've been feeling when going through poses in and after class.

Above is the cover to the manual by our teacher and one of my fave yoga instructors Marlene. One of the best yoga teachers and artists I have ever met.

Finding a lot of kindred spirits in this yoga stuff. Amazing people doing all kinds of things in life. Lots o artists which I enjoy a lot.

Today I thought about how I wished I would have had this tool in my 20's. Most specifically beginning with the time I was with my grandmother when she died. Was on a bit of an emotional roller coaster back then.

But don't think I would have really appreciated how important this information is without all the experiences I've had up till now.

Good stuff. First week philosophies and histories. Next week chakras. Yoga classes in between…


Monday, July 7, 2014

Let Go and Live

"You're so calm. I want to be like you."

Something I heard twice last week on tour while I was working myself into a tizzy trying hard not to think of my Dad going through thyroid surgery to remove a cancerous growth.

I always get a little upset when something is going to have to be removed from my family. In this case Dad's entire thyroid. That also included having to reattach vocal chords which scared me even more. 

My dad has a very strong voice. At times its enraged me. I've had to scream over it in an attempt to be heard. Now I might lose it? Fear.

While I was on my trip in Bali and right after I had a host of things going on. My Tio in Spain had a stroke. My Dad found this growth. Coming back I got a good dose of restaurant drama, termite tenting and jury duty was the cherry on top.

All I thought of was, just breathe. Just go with the flow. I didn't resist. And yoga worked out the kinks where the fear wanted to hide. 

You gotta have your outlets. I have mine. Do you have yours?

After the experience of two cancers in my family and the giant hotel like cancer center I saw in St. Louis, it got me to thinking… Why is there so much cancer?

Cancer is a scary word. It brings fear into people so much they won't even speak its name. But what if cancer wasn't our enemy it was our friend?

The last time mom had it and I saw her go through chemo trying to eradicate it, I thought it was so extreme. Here we are trying to eliminate something our body is trying to tell us. Is there another way to look at it?

I think cancer is an imbalance. Something you tuck away from your emotional body when you don't want to deal and it eventually forms something physical to make you acknowledge it. 

Of course there are a lot of different things to compliment that. Processed foods, chemicals, the destruction of our earthly environment which provides us with sustenance. 

The United States has a lot of fear. The United States has a lot of cancer. 

What if we didn't fear but supported each other? Instead of pitting ourselves against the world what if we opened our arms to it? What would that look like?

To me its community. A shared happiness in taking care of ourselves and others. When we separate, we get fearful. If everyone accepted one another and their differences the world would not be you against me. It would be us. 

Part of the reason even with its bumps and bruises, I still like it down here. 

A friend of mine just moved back recently and she described the first walk she took with her young daughters. They were reveling in all the beauty of nature around them until a cab pulled up with an elderly couple wobbly and convulsing. She thought the lady was having a stroke until she started projectile vomiting out of the cab. Drunk.

That's probably the best description I can give of this place these days. A nurturing nature wonderland peppered with wildly intoxicated people trying to let go. Yin and Yang.

There are places in this world that people come to release and reboot. Key West is one of those places. So is Bali.

Maybe we need to let go a bit more. Move past the fear. What's there really to be fearful of if you know you have the support you need. 

Could you live your life the way you really wanted to? Could you really be happy?

Watched Gravity last night and that seemed to be the main gist while Sandra Bullock was escaping one space shit storm after another. She liked space cause it was quiet and no one could hurt her but she also didn't want to be out there alone.

At one point in her final escape she decided to give up and started deleting all her oxygen so she could pass out when a friend came to her and spoke the words she needed to hear to finally wake up.

As she attempted her re-entry she said "Either I make it down there in one piece and have one hell of a story to tell or I burn up in the next ten minutes."

That's a good way to put it, Sandy and I think I'll use it. Let go and live.

Oh and while you're at it, enjoy the ride.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Independence Day

When I asked dad this morning about his scheduled noon release time from the hospital, he informs me that he is leaving at 10 am cause he wants to catch the soccer game. 

That stubborn Spanish streak cannot be tamed. And that's how I know its all gonna be ok :)

Happy Independence Day Daddio. Love ya mucho.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Stand By...

Please stand by for more cancer.

Ground and let go. Its all you can do. 

Waiting is the hardest part.