Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Day 30

Well today is finally here, day 30 of the 30 Day  Challenge.  I got up very early this morning to go to Airlie’s 615am Moksha Music class. As tough as it was to get up that early after an evening class last night, I didn’t seem to notice as I jumped right up as soon as my alarm went off…wish I could do that every day ;)

It was an amazing class and Airlie read some inspirational quotes throughout. She talked about stability of our body and our mind through yoga, and with our practice we can weather through the “perfect storms” in our lives and remain connected and rooted with our strength and determination.

At the end of class she congratulated those that were doing the 30 day challenge as well as those who may have been there for the first time, (or many times) as every class is an accomplishment.  She said “This is just the beginning”.  I couldn’t agree with her more. I know this is just the beginning for me, I made it through my challenge but now the hard part will be to keep challenging myself to go often  and keep motivated every day.

I learned a lot from this challenge. I pushed myself, met lots of wonderful people, and reinforced that I can do anything I put my mind to…I also wrote 30 blog posts in 30 days…that was almost as much of a challenge as the yoga itself ;)  So happy I signed up for this, it by far exceeded my expectations from when I set out on this “physical, mental and spiritual journey”. Thanks to everyone @mokshachtown for being so encouraging and supportive to all of us challengers :)

My Manager surprised me today with this little poster she made and she gave me an “Island Salt Scrub and Soak” from my favourite store Moon Snail. What a sweetheart, so kind of her :)

Congrats to all of you who participated in the Challenge. Can’t wait for the big celebration party @mokshachtown on November 1st!!

Day 30 complete! :)

Monday, October 29, 2012

Day 29

Tonight I went to Kenny’s 730pm Moksha Music class. I was so relaxed, I felt like I was at the spa Nordik in the steam room and was just going through the motions in my mind.  I can hardly believe that was my last evening class of the challenge, I really savoured every moment in the poses, especially final savasana.  My mind just let go tonight and went with it, no tension, no thoughts - just breath.

Favourite pose of the evening:

Thread the Needle / Sucirandhrasana:

Picked up this yoga book at the grocery store, great read so far...lots of useful tips.

I feel like a kid on Christmas Eve – very excited to finish the challenge, one more day to go. I am going to try to end the 30 day challenge with Airlie’s 615am class tomorrow morning...wish me luck getting up that early after an evening class :)

Ending my post tonight with a quote that I love:

"When a great moment knocks on the door of your life, it is often no louder than the beating of your heart, and it is very easy to miss it. Be mindful- don't miss those moments."

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Day 28

Today I was on the waiting list for Airlie’s 10am Yin class. Unfortunately there were no "no shows" so they didn't get to fit anyone in from the waiting list. Luckily there was Kenny’s Moksha Lite class at 10am as well so I went to his class instead.

I have never been to a Moksha Lite class before, it is the same as Moksha class but it isn't quite as hot. So instead of 114 degrees it is 104. I couldn't really notice a difference, it still felt hot to me but I was dressed a bit “warmer” as I thought I would be at the Yin class. I also don’t think I sweated quite as much as usual but it was hard to tell. It was a great class, not too crowded and as always Kenny never disappoints, he is such a fabulous instructor.

I met a girl today that already finished two classes and was coming back at 2pm. She said in order to get the 30 days she had to also double up on Monday and Tuesday. Now that is dedication...7 hot yoga classes in 3 days!

Favourite pose of the day:

Pigeon pose / Eka Pada Rajakapotsana: (3 variations shown below)

I found a daily insight on “Laughter Yoga” - in which people meet regularly just to laugh—worldwide. Sounds fun, it would be great to try a class like that @mokshachtown someday :)

Today I am grateful for my incredible family - celebrating Christmas today while my brother is home from Regina and before my parents leave for Florida for the winter.  

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Day 27

Today I went to Karma class at 4pm with Brendan. I didn’t have a lot to eat or drink today and had very little energy before the class. I had some Ultima Replenisher and it seemed to perk me up before the class and I was able to push through it. I instantly felt great after and was so glad I went.

I really like Brendan’s classes, he is a very sincere and genuine in his instruction and also does hands-on adjustments to make sure we are pushing to our edge in the poses and are in the proper form. He had a bit of music in the background today which made the class fly by.

Favourite pose of the day:

Standing backbend / Anyvittasana:

I really enjoyed the Karma class, and it is nice to be able to donate a bit of $ to charity (Karma classes are by donation only – no class fee).

"What you put out into the world comes back to you. 
How you live your life determines 
what kind of life you will have"

Friday, October 26, 2012

Day 26

Today I went to Guided Meditation at 1pm with Airlie. This is my second class as part of the challenge and I really love how it breaks up my day and the way I feel all afternoon when I return to work. I don’t know if it was because I was a bit tired or because I was able to get in such a deep state of relaxation from the Nidra class the other day but today I started to drift off sitting up, cross legged. I jolted a few times no matter how hard I tried to concentrate on Airlie’s voice.

Airlie asked us to clear our mind of any thoughts we had. She then said for us to let the thoughts in and focus on one, a negative thought in particular. She asked us to think of how we felt when we focused on this feeling, how are facial expressions were, what our body was feeling inside, maybe even a colour that came to mind. She then asked us to think if we felt any different from when the thought came into our mind, and then after we did the sensory exercise. We then did the same thing with a positive thought and then compared the differences we felt from when we did the exercise with the negative thought. She said if only everyone would do this exercise before responding to a negative situation, and take the time to think about it before reacting.

I really enjoyed the meditation but when I unraveled my legs at the end of class both of my feet were asleep. It was such a pins and needle sensation that I had not experienced with doing meditation on my own before. 

I went back to work with a clear mind and felt so great the rest of the day. I wish this class was offered more than once a week, I would love to go more often.:)

 Found this article called “How to do Mindfulness Meditation”. I have really been making an effort to be mindful everyday.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Day 25

Tonight I went to Kenny’s Moksha Music class at 530. I am really enjoying the 530 classes, so it is worth getting to work early so I can leave a bit earlier at the end of the day and not be rushed to arrive on time. I loved tonight how the sun rays were beaming in the studio during the class and it got gradually darker in the room as the class went on – without Kenny having to adjust the lighting. It is nice to leave class without it being pitch dark out like it has been lately (before and) after the 730pm classes.

Calming but challenging class tonight, I love Kenny’s classes, especially the moksha music ones. I felt good tonight, pushed hard, sweated lots, felt a bit dizzy in rag doll pose but I pushed through. The music makes the class fly by, recently I find I push myself further in the poses during the music classes in comparison to the regular moksha classes. I guess it is like running on a treadmill, you always run a bit faster when you have music playing…at least I do anyways.

An uneventful class, nothing out of the ordinary/interesting happened tonight to blog about. Hmmm...well, I did find a loonie on the shelf in the girl’s locker room and donated it to the Karma fund. Everyone can always use lots of good Karma :)

Favourite pose of the evening:

Triangle Pose / Trikonasana

After this 30 day challenge I will be travelling for a week so I am sure I will go through yoga withdrawal. I have my iphone loaded up with some yoga apps. I also found this little infographic from Greatist called: “Yoga on the Road”  including "bathroom break" yoga stretches that you can apparently do in a miniature bathroom even on a plane. Quite funny but great tips..not sure if I will attempt to try it, I can only imagine getting stuck in a pose during turbulence...can’t be very safe.

Friday tomorrow already! I’m really looking forward to Airlie’s afternoon guided meditation class...I will have to work magic to arrange my schedule to get there but it will be worth it :)


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Day 24

Today I arranged my work day so I could go to Airlie’s Hot Hatha at 415pm. I am so glad I did, it was more than I could have imagined. I tried Hot Hatha about 8 months ago, it was actually my very first class I ever attended at Moksha Charlottetown, but I don’t remember it being like tonight. Apparently there is a theme for each month, last month was heart openers, this month is Savasana. Today the class was ½ hour Hatha and ½ hour Nidra.

Hatha Yoga aims to achieve balance between body and mind, as well as attempts to free the more subtle spiritual elements of the mind through physical poses or Asanas, Breathing Techniques or Pranayama, and Meditation. The first half of class was the Asana portion and we did lots of different poses including cow belly and angry cat (the names are adorable).

The second part of class was my favourite. I have never tried Yoga Nidra before but it was incredible. Airlie talked about Richard Miller one of the most prominent Nidra yoga teachers in the United States. His technique is based on moving through the five koshas, or sheaths, which are layered within the body, in order to reach the innermost layer, a place of innate joy and peacefulness.

Yoga Nidra is translated as "yogic sleep," however it is not meant for sleep in the traditional sense. The intent is to identify sensations throughout your body and focus on your breath, while (ideally) remaining in a state of relaxed awareness so that you may release deeply held tensions, some of which you may not even be aware you have.

Despite my intention to remain awake and really listen to every word Airlie said, I felt myself begin to drift off almost instantly. I heard her say a few times,” I am in Yoga Nidra and I am not asleep” …at least that is what I thought she said. Others seemed to be in a really deep sleep as I could hear snoring across the room at one point ;)

At the end of class Airlie answered some questions from the class. She asked if anyone was fully “present” throughout the Nidra and remembered every word she said.  She said even if we felt we didn't hear her, we actually did but were in such a state of relaxation that we felt like we were asleep.  Some could have been asleep but others may have had the sensation that they were asleep but they were actually in a state of relaxed awareness.

I instantly felt energized and happy after class. It was like having a power nap x 1000. No grogginess but a sensation that I had just done something wonderful. I was so relaxed when I left that I forgot my two yoga towels and my water cup. I didn't have a care in the world when I left, obviously :)

Favourite pose of the day: Corpse pose / Savasana 

I found a great article online called “Yoga Nidra: A Meditative Practice for Deep Relaxation and Healing” by Richard Miller, PhD. Here are a few points I particularly loved about the article. The first time Richard tried Yoga Nidra back in the 1970’s he said:

“I drove home that evening feeling totally relaxed and expansively present. For the first time in years, I felt free of all conflict, radiantly joyful, and attuned with the entire universe. I experienced life as being perfect just as it was and felt myself to be a spacious, non-localized presence. Instead of my usual experience of being in the world, I was having a non-mental experience of the world being in me; similar to experiences I had known as a child.”  He also went on to say:

“Yoga Nidra revealed to me the peace of Presence, Being, and Equanimity that remain steadfast and true during even the most intense and difficult times of physical pain, interpersonal conflict, and current events. It helps us investigate and dispel the roots of our conditioning that underlie our misperceptions of reality. It dissolves the obstacles that stand in the way of our leading an authentic life of purpose and meaning, and it can awaken us into living an enlightened life of self-realization.”

Tonight was a special night, and I am so glad I got to experience it, as Airlie does not offer Yoga Nidra as part of the regular Hot Hatha classes. I looked up Nidra on the appstore and there are lots of iphone apps, just need to experiment and find a good one. I can’t wait to try this again, it was very enlightening :)