Category Archives: Yoga

The Artistic Yogi

Artistic expression has been a favored outlet of mine for many years. At various times, I have drawn, painted, made music, and written. And much of that artistic expression has been spontaneous. I didn’t sit and decide ‘Today I will write a poem or compose a song or paint a canvas’.

For the most part, art has always come to me in a flash: a sudden inspiration spawned by a memory or an occurrence or even just out of the blue. Often an idea comes to me full blown without any or very little work on my part.

There have been many times in the past when I would have a thought that I felt could be a true artistic expression but when it didn’t bloom into a fully developed entity, I didn’t pursue it. Recently I learned or maybe discovered that even with a tiny kernel of inspiration, I can make something out of almost nothing. It just takes work and a little discipline.

I also suffered under the self imposed rigidity of thinking that if a work was not perfect, whatever that was in my world view at the time, that it wasn’t worth the effort. If it didn’t feel right, it couldn’t possibly come to fruition. I have realized that much of that was born of my own insecurity about who I was and what I was capable of.

I have come to know that the creation of art, for me, is an end to itself. The end product, while important, is not the totality of art. I’ve learned that liking the end result doesn’t have to be of prime importance.

I have to believe that my new relationship with my artistic self is a byproduct of my yoga practice. If I show up and work at it, there is beauty in the path.


Your Brain on Yoga: A Blueprint for Transformation — Gabriel Axel

If you’re over a certain age, I’m pretty sure you’ve seen or heard those commercials or possibly the many parodies that go something like this.

‘This is your brain. This is your brain on drugs.’

It is usually accompanied by someone cracking an egg and dropping it into a heated fry pan. It is humorous and designed to make a point about drug use but the truth is one’s brain is an amazingly adaptable organ.

The simplest example of this is how a person learns. Whether it’s new ideas, new language, or new ways of doing things, the brain rewires itself to  perform in a new way. Another example is how someone can adapt after a life changing event such as an accident or loss of a limb or of a sensory organ. The brain adapts to compensate for the loss.

The good part is that yoga does much the same thing in as much as the brain is concerned.

Read this article by Gabriel Axel and you will be amazed. Unless you are a yogi, then you already knew this.

Your Brain on Yoga: A Blueprint for Transformation — Gabriel Axel

 


Strike a Pose + Call Me in the Morn: 5 Ways Yoga Changed Me | Sara Gottfried MD

Here’s a whole new take on ‘Take 2 aspirin and call me in the morning’. Do you want real change? Real relief without medication or chemicals? Read this article to find out what yoga has done for me and what it can do for you.

Strike a Pose + Call Me in the Morn: 5 Ways Yoga Changed Me | Sara Gottfried MD.


Breakthrough. | Rebelle Society

Absolutely wonderful piece written by Amber Shumake

Breakthrough. | Rebelle Society.


On The Mat

Almost two years ago I walked into my first yoga class.

I was ready, for what I didn’t know for certain, but I was ready. The previous fifteen years of my life had been, well … not exactly what I would call ideal. After a severe injury (I fractured the 4th, 5th, and 6th vertebra in my neck) which resulted in two surgeries, I spent a year or so re-learning how to walk properly and gaining back most of my fine motor skills. Then a few years after that I developed Meniere’s Disease which has caused me to lose practically all the hearing in my left ear and, oh yeah, there’s those attacks of vertigo which last for hours.

Fun stuff.

I’m not complaining; I’m alive and that’s a wonderful thing. But between the rehab and trying to cope with staying vertical while doing my best to be a functioning part of society, I also managed to gain nearly 40 pounds.

Damn, I was a mess!

I don’t remember exactly why I decided on yoga but I do remember thinking it might help with my balance. Did I mention that I had lost about 25% of my ability to balance. I’m talking close my eyes and fall over, bouncing off door jambs every time I went through a doorway loss of balance. Of course there’s that extra poundage I was hauling around which I wouldn’t have minded getting shed of since I felt like shit, had no energy, and was going down fast.

Ok, so first class I’m thinking ‘How hard can it be?’ I mean, don’t they just bend over, maybe stick out an arm or leg or something? After the first fifteen minutes, I’m like ‘Holy Fuck!! This shit is hard!’ Here I am arms and legs trembling just to stay erect, nevermind raising one foot else I would fall flat on my face, and there’s these little skinny women not even breaking a sweat.

Well, I stuck it out and made it through class, and then I made it through another one, and another one, and another one. Then an amazing thing started to happen … no, it was still hard as hell…I started feeling better as in my attitude, my outlook. Things seemed brighter, cleaner, clearer. I realized I was starting to feel happy … for no apparent reason.

It was then that I started to discover that yoga is about more than poses and breathing and standing on one leg. Yoga is about discovering yourself. For me, it has been about getting back to the me I knew many, many years ago. Probably childhood. It was a revelation to find I had lost myself so long ago and either had not realized it had slipped away or had forgotten how I once was when I was younger. Probably both.

And yes I have benefitted physically from yoga as well. My weight is down from a high of 195 to around the 160 I’ve maintained for the better part of the past year and my balance is much better. I don’t ricochet off doorways as I pass through them.

But that’s not the best part of this continuing yoga journey. The best part is that what I learn on the mat stays with me whether I’m on the mat. Or off the mat.

Namaste’


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