Sunday, July 7, 2013

Odd and wondrous in wonderland

I awoke with a purpose... Run the entire 3.5 mile route I had been running except had been sick for 4 days so was cutting it short and walking some.   So I made it thru but still can't run the whole hill and great training hurdle for races to come.

The music tracks that arbitrarily came on had simple reflective lyrics but this morning I heard them clearer to the point of feeling the need to write them down and frame them, stare at them and loose myself in the meaning.

I begin to clean up, pack to visit the queen of hearts on the Eastside of town, do laundry and go to my fun winery job.  After 4 days of being sick my head felt clearer and I was renewed with a deeper appreciation for the mundane.

I load up my car and am on my way.  It's a 20-30 min drive but I hardly remember it.  About 5 minutes in as I'm smoothly staying with traffic my chest caves and contracts and I feel a deep ache in my gut powered by worry.  I began to see flashes of my death.

I saw myself sick.  The queen of hearts caring for me and even after I died and her and the white rabbit finding this will I wrote a while back amongst my belongings.  I pulled out of the trance to jot down in my memory perhaps I should reread and update that.  

And next my current life choices flashed before my eyes as if I was just told I won't live much longer.  Would I change anything?  Who would I want to spend time with?  What would I have time for?

My first answer to these questions clear as day is that I wouldn't change a thing.  I would go to my busy stressful job and continue everything as it is and I justified this choice by saying I didn't want to let people down that I made some what of a promise too and that I'd grown to appreciate.

Suddenly I was at the queen of hearts palace and as always the house smells of bacon and other delightful breakfast foods.  We chat small chat catching up and head to our pedicure appointments I had scheduled and promised to her for months ago.  

Things appeared crisper visually but I still couldn't hear out of my left ear left over residuals from being sick.  The pedi was perfect I hadn't gotten one in a while and was so in need of the nurturance.

I get black nail polish cause I always get either black, dark blue or gray on my toes.  But then I had her put a light coat of these rainbow line fleck sparkles over. I thought they looked like "warp speed."  The place was great a new favorite pedi place.

While getting my nails done I'm texting the mad hatter who is inspiring deep contemplating questions by using scifi movie quotes and references.  It sparks a contemplation of the day challenge:  what emotion is the stickiest for you?  Like hulk and his anger or magneto and his rage...  Further more, what's the balancer to that and how do u find the "sweet spot" of all experiencing and all powerful control of it?

The queen of hearts dropped me off at work, which flew by with small talk all day except this one couple who kept talking over each other. I was amazed at how well they could finish each others thoughts and literally talk at the same time saying the exactly same thing different ways... So tweedledee and tweedledum of them.

While at work the mad hatter popped in unannounced and startled me.  He was dashing as ever and could tell he would have loved to whisk me away for some tea time.  This left me completely frazzled and unable to think straight.  So I pushed thru the fluttering heart beats, the shortness of breath, the scattered thoughts, like he had control over the puppet strings of my emotions.

I didn't want the mad hatter to know or anyone for that matter that I felt some sort of odd and wondrous feeling toward him.  He dashes off almost as quick and he popped in and I was relieved after some conscious and steady breathing and a person pep talk.

When I finished work the queen of hearts, the most glorious of lovers in the land picks me up and chariots me to my massage.  After 2 really bad massages from this place I was expecting the worst and hoping for anything better.  As soon as the therapist laid her hands on me I fell into a state of serenity.  She twirled and swirled her strokes all over my body and I had only wished that it didn't have to end.

My eyes were glazed over and I was relaxed into a state of "mush."  Like imagine yourself bathing in perfect temperature mash potatoes only without all the mess.   The queen of hearts suggest we get get a boba, which is tapioca and frozen yogurt, she knows exactly how to make my heart swell. We head back to her palace for a real dinner and I catch a nap while its being prepared.

Dinner was simple and elegant.  Coconut crusted black cod with a raspberry pecan salad.  We dive deep into expansive conversation with the contemplation...  What emotion is the one that gets u stuck the most?  What's the balancing emotion?  And where is the sweet spot?  The very question the mad hatter and I were pondering earlier.

The white rabbit stopped over for dinner as well who confessed insecurity.  The queen of hearts humbly admitted fear.  I responded with frustration and impatience.  We responded to each others trying to assist in discovering the other side to that sticky emotion on the coin.  For the queen of hearts we said her love and passion could help guide her.   For the white rabbit she needed to be brave, bold and remember what really matters isn't what others think its how she feels.  And in response to mine they suggested patience and relaxing.

We sit down to watch a movie the queen of hearts choose for our evening.  By the title the movie misaligned with the very nature of the queen of hearts, "Warm Bodies," a zombie movie.  Zombies are dead and don't usually have functioning hearts so we thought it was going to be a train wreck movie.  But being the queen of hearts guests, we respected her selection, got cozy and watched it.  

To our surprise, 10 minutes into it we were enthralled by the complexity of this so called zombie movie.  Spoiler alert:  the movie cleverly utilized the zombie apocalypse scenario to help demonstrate, enlighten, enrich and bring conscious to the mundane choices that affect our daily lives.

Praise the queen of hearts for her brilliant selection that was not only enjoyable but congruent to our dinner conversation.  Without feelings and emotions you are just a zombie.  The movie further catapulted me down the rabbit hole of contemplation.  

I wrote on a page the following sticky emotions to trance how they connect thru the experiences I've had; forgiveness, impatience, anger, frustration, gripping, pride, fear, hate and contentment.  A cluster of emotions... How do they connect?   Pride!

I have a strong sense of pride, it propels me in all that I do and keeps me honest and task oriented.  But the shadow is it's hard for me to let things go.  Like the visions I received earlier in the day.  Would my life end soon?  Really it doesn't matter as long as the days to come are spent like today with my wondrous curiosity to harness if only for a moment at a time the complex intrinsic beauty of life.  May the rabbit hole be ever deeper than my imagination...

The final adventured was into the darkness of dreams where I'm sure deaths grips will fight for my soul but hopefully I'll win another day of odd and wondrousness in wonderland.

Friday, March 8, 2013


HOT YOGA.... functional?
After years of judging this style of yoga an opportunity to presented itself for me to take 1 month of hot yoga for only $20.  This was a new studio that offered both Power Vinyasa as well as Hatha classes.  The hatha classes seemed pretty close if not exactly like what I have read about bikrams sequences and style.  The power vinyasa had some of the hatha influence but with sun sals, some arm balances and a more diverse flow.  The room was at least 108 every class and sometimes felt like more or less due to humidity.  I stayed on the cooler (supposedly) side but honestly it was all so hot and uncomfortable.

The first week of classes I just went through the motions.  Show up, bring water, bring extra hand/face towel for wiping the sweat from my eyes and of course my mat which is the prAna Synergy Towel Mat.  Sweat my balls (or whatever the female version of that phrase is) off!

Taken hot yoga was like taking my first yoga classes... I thought the same 2 things every class...

"How did I get myself into this?"  and  "I can't believe I am doing this!"

After a week of this hot yoga agony I realized some truths...
1.  Hot yoga really taught me to let go in the moment... I was hoping that it would help me forgive and let go of some traumas that I am still working on but NO such luck... not yet at least

Many believe Hot Yoga is the bee's knees for these reasons:
1.  the fat just melts off their body
2.  where they live it is cold and it feel's so good to be warm
3.  they don't feel like they are getting a workout unless they are sweating
4.  it's closer to what it would be like doing yoga in India
5.  cleansing properties
6.  i feel more flexible
7.  everything is better when its moist... haha!  I made that one up!  ;)

Arguments against Hot Yoga:
1.  practicing in such a harsh environment can dump too many toxins into ones system at once and can cause organ failure
2.  can destabilize joints due to heat warming up the softer tissues (muscles) before the inflexible tissues (ligaments)
3.  when you are sweaty all over you tend to slide making it difficult to hold alignment
4.  heat can cause dizziness and goes against cultivating focus
5.  even metal will bend if it is hot enough
6.  the heat inhibits ones ability to expand ones postural vocabulary because they are too difficult to practice in extreme heat
7.  the term 'locking out knees' without explanation sounds like 'hyper-extend your knees' which causes the base of the patella to rub and reduce the healthy cartilage in ones knee\
8.  only 26 poses
9.  same sequence every class boring!
10.  why so serious?
11.  what's with the "pull pull pull"
12.  I could probably go on and on.... BUT I believe if you are going to poke fun at something you should say you have at least given it a try first... otherwise you are being ignorant!

So I set out for some new Hot Yoga Comedy material and signed up at this Hot Yoga Studio close to my house that just happened to be offering a $20/month special.  30 days should give me a great sense of what the world of Hot Yoga really is all about... Are there any benefits that can out weigh the disadvantages?

I began my attendance on February 16th and with only 8 days left here is where I am at with my 

Saturday, December 15, 2012

My Daily Asana: Twister

Theme:  Twister!
Intention:  Strengthen center, clear nadis and dance and play outside the lines of the yoga mat
Pinnacle Pose:  Mandalasana
Sequence:  *Vinyasa whenever
  • Lunge > Parvrita Parsvakonasana (both sides & repeat 3 times deepening the twist and lunge)
  • Parsvakonasana > W2 > Trikonasana (both sides)
  • W2 > W1.5 > Ardha Chandrasana > Parvritta Ardha Chandrasana
  • DD Twist (both sides)
  • DD opposite eka hasta eka pada (both sides)
  • DD same side eka hasta eka pada (both sides)
  • Air Bridgetts cross > side plank padagustasana > wild thing > parsvottanasana (both sides all linked together)
  • Pigeon > forearm plank > forearm stand > pigeon w/thigh stretch (both sides)
  • Air Bridgetts cross > wild trikonasana > wishvamirtrasana (leg infront of arm) > knee to chest plank > through side plank and DD > vishvamitrasana leg behind arm (both sides)
  • Danurasana > thigh stretch (both sides) > Danurasana hands on inside (shoulder stretch) > thigh stretch w/up dog arm (both sides) > Bekasana 
  • Air Bridetts cross > side plank > baby kapinjalasana > wild thing > urdhva danurasana > dwipadaviparittidandasana > back through back bend and side plank > eka pada rajakapotasana (both sides)
  • All three dancer poses (both sides)
  • Hastasana (both sides)
  • Air Bridgetts cross > side plank kapinjalasana > urdhva danurasana > dwi pada viparitti dandasana > tic toc into headstand 1 min > tic all the way over > Malasana (3 rotations each direction) (both sides)
  • Hero
  • Shoulder stand 3 min (I typically do the ashtanga sequence) > fish
  • Supine easy twist (both sides)
  • Supine badhakonasana > happy baby
Meditation 20 min

Notes:  I spontaneously burst into giggles after malasana and my meditation was super steady and centered... mission accomplished!  Felt super energized and alert afterward.  Enjoy!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Greatness through service...

We all have a potential for Greatness within us.  Martin Luther King, Jr. said, "Everyone has the power for greatness, not for fame but greatness, because greatness is determined by service."  It is our dharma or purpose to unveil our greatness and so what better way to do that than to fuel our will with the love for others. 

When we think of those people or beings that have managed to burrow their way into our hearts they naturally invigorate our hearts will.  This can make us be more steady, focused and ambitious.  What a gift it is to have these powerful sources in our lives.  If we used this technique in our regular practice we realize that its the essence of gratitude for the love we have received that really helps us to make things happen and manifest our days.

I imagine the beautiful faces of you all and from this I feel more empowered and greater than ever because I just love to serve you!

Commitment to being yourself...

Any sort of commitment is difficult and for good reason.  At our essence is a free soul!  It wants to play, dance and just be in space/time.  So to bind ourselves to anything takes discipline.  Though it is difficult we receive so many benefits from binding ourselves to this world, especially if it makes us happy or we benefit others, ideally both!

But to truly commit to something we must know that its a double edged sword.  For it would be a disservice to ourselves if we lost ourselves in the process.  There fore no matter what we commit to we must first and foremost commit to being ourselves again and again.  What we gain from this extra effort is an unveiling and understanding of who we are.  We actually can become more of ourselves through the obstacles of binding and committing.  Like any friction it tends to have a polishing effect and in this case the commitment can polish ourselves to be brighter versions.

One more thing I realized about this dynamic that strikes me as interesting is that to be ourselves should mean that its No effort at all.  We shouldn't have to try to be ourselves.  This makes it difficult because we are trying to be ourselves even as we bind and commit to other things.  So the sharpness strikes back at us asking us to not only remain ourselves but to be steady, content and non-wavered through the process without any effort.  This reminds me of a Yoda quote... "There is no TRY there is only Do or Do not."

So imagine greater through commitment and cultivating yourself but ultimately its just another way to cultivate the "being-ness" of yourself and do just enough to achieve it.

Saturday, January 14, 2012


Recently someone close to me expressed worry that I was not proud of them... First of all, who would ever put me on that pedestal to have that sort of opinion may not have the right person for the job and Secondly, I have learned that to make anyone proud of you one has to first be proud of themselves.

I always wanted my Mother to be proud of me and remember fondly these conversations of how I become this person she would be proud of. It was never what you thought the answer would be it wasn't a certain figure that I needed to make or live a certain way or even have a certain job it was always a reflection of my own happiness. To my mom my own happiness was the key to her being proud of me.

At first seems simpler than achieving a certain figure, job title or lifestyle but yet how easy is it to be happy? It changes for me day to day. Some days I am super happy and others I am sad. Overall though I am in a state of happiness a majority of time. I didn't even have the guts to ask my mom the question are you proud of me UNTIL I actually felt proud of myself or even some what accomplished in my goals. Yes, my mother was determined to have me finish my degree and if I hadn't have ever asked her I may have thought that would do the trick but it wasn't until I was actually some what happy that she said she was proud of me.

Now I look at myself being asked this very question about someone I love and I find myself muddling with what would make me proud of someone. Again hard for me to even put myself in that peer role but if I had to I guess resilience, grace and poise are the qualities that I think come from accomplishment. And for some reason pride and proud-fulness are words that are mini finish lines along our life's journey.

The dictionary says...
proud |proud|


1 feeling deep pleasure or satisfaction as a result of one's own achievements, qualities, or possessions or those of someone with whom one is closely associated : a proud grandma of three boys | she got nine As and he was so proud of her.

(of an event, achievement, etc.) causing someone to feel this way : we have a proud history of innovation.

having or showing a consciousness of one's own dignity : I was too proud to go home.

having or showing a high or excessively high opinion of oneself or one's importance : a proud, arrogant man.

imposing; splendid : bulrushes emerge tall and proud from the middle of the pond.

2 [ predic. ] Brit. slightly projecting from a surface : when the brake is engaged, the lever does not stand proud of the horizontal.

I love the relationship between dignity and proud-fulness in the definition. I think it takes dignity to even ask someone if they are proud of you. It shows you care to hear feedback and what a version of the universe thinks and feels about you. You must have a strong even center to even ask this question and to make yourself this vulnerable.

Pride when out of balance can move us towards detachment and not remember how much we are a part of everything that made us who we are but the shear will to ask if someone else is proud of you is a healthy dose of pride in my opinion.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Happy "Goodness" Friday!

One of the highest tantric teaching is to look for the intrinsic goodness in all things. It sounds so simple and it is and yet, so powerful!

Ask yourself the question: What do I love about myself most today?

Whatever your answer is, that is the key to unlocking an awakening of connection to yourself. You can harmonize yourself with this remembrance and thus do the same when you see others.

Whatever your purpose... to feel liberated, enlightened or happy... all the same this teaching is fundamental, intrinsic and a door to possibilities.

A practice for someone special...

Contrary to my last entry and class I taught... this time what if you practiced for someone special. Especially someone who really needs some extra love. Give it a try to see if you are able to surprise yourself and do more than you think you can?

We are meant to connect. There is a nerve bundle called the Vagus nerve and it fires when you see or experience connection. When it fires it releases a drug called oxcitocin, which is cleverly nicknamed the "love" hormone. Thus Science would say that we should feel happier if we seek to connect and cooperate.

Energetically we can use this in our practice since it really isn't the postures that are going to make us happier per say. They may make us happier in our bodies and relieve pain but it's the intention that we add to the practice that really makes for a great recipe. Say you practice for a specific friend, thus adding the magical ingredient of "love" or connection or meaning. Whoa meaning! love! connection!... I think my vagus nerve is firing... my chest is expanding and I'm feeling a little teary and excited. :)

Since it's also been Scientifically proven that the human race is connected then if you practice for someone else they will feel it and what a great gift to give a friend an energetic moment of pure love and specially delivered by universe.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

I am the most important...

"I am the most important..." I don't know about you but that phrase just doesn't quite feel right. How can it be true when there is such a huge world out there their has to be someone or something more important than me, right? Then I remembered the Tantric view and theory on why this world exists... to delight and be aware. So why wouldn't the universe want to delight and learn through me?

So what exactly should I do since I am the most important and why?

The first part of that question is easy, its bhavana or another question asking you what you want to create. Though it is cliche, love and beauty, are the first things that come to mind.

There was this guru who said to a student asking if Asana practice was a means to an end or necessary part of the yogic path in order to achieve happiness. The guru responded by saying, "you can make a meal for a loved one and you can make that same meal for a not so loved one. The meal is going to be the same on the outside but the energy within it will be different." So we can practice asanas and they may all look the same on the outside but that is not what matters its the inside.

This leads to the WHY? question. An advanced practitioner of life would ask why they are making the meal, practicing asana, taking the walk and for who perhaps? If you do what makes you happy its for you! This is where the universe's comic dance perfectly aligns within you and you sing a greater song, dance a bigger dance and shine bigger from the inside attracting more things that you will like.

Do what makes you happy, for who makes you happy and keep asking yourself why to make sure your heart is in everything you do. <3

Friday, January 14, 2011

Bad Dreams.... Good Day?

How are you supposed to have a good day after waking up from a horrific dream? Paralyzed by my dream I wondered how I was going to move but previous to that question I wondered WHY did I have that awful dream?

Good 'ole Google reminds me that bad dreams are a simple reminder that the universe and our subconscious are having to work over time while we are asleep because we hadn't been proactive in our life. In some way I hadn't be showing up enough in some aspect of my life.... so there was my solution... wake up and show up more today!

Leaders whether they are in public view or leaders by example are the ones who come up with solutions... they are not the ones who complain or tip toe by their problems. They face them with grace, honesty and dignity so that everything is resolved, moved through, faced and transformed when necessary.

So be the leaders we are meant to be... strong and open to discover the solutions!