Monday, July 25, 2011

Lean on Me

This past week I had the pleasure of spending time with some of my most treasured friends.  For many of them, it had been years since we had seen each other.  However it seemed like no time had passed.  We settled back into that familiarity of a strong friendship.  We all had so much to catch up on sometimes conversation moved very swiftly.  During those conversations it was clear to me how much our lives continue to intertwine and support each other.  

Even though the things that we support each other on have changed many times over the years and even though there have been times when we've each overstepped the boundaries, we still maintain that unbreakable connection.  We have each taken a turn providing the strength to hold another up when they are facing problems that might otherwise beat them down.  Likewise we've each had to be humble when we were the ones needing that shoulder to cry on.

This week in honor of ALL my friends the pose is Stacking Downward Dog.  Adho Mukha Svanasana ( Yoga Journal, 2011) is paired with Ardha Adho Mukha Vrksasana (half handstand).  The person doing downward dog becomes deeply grounded with the weight and direction of energy when the person doing the half handstand takes position.  The person doing half handstand must concur the fear of being upside down and having all of their weight in their own hands ( Yoga Journal, 2011).  Clearly given that this is a partner pose the two individuals must support each other physically but there must also be trust and communication. It's not surprising that these two things are the foundation for long lasting friendship.

Last week while my friends and I confided in each other, reminisced about past follies, and contemplated what our individual futures hold I was reminded how blessed I am to have the friends I do.  Whether they are near or far each friend has taken a turn holding me up when my legs felt as if they may buckle with the weight of life, encouraged me to reach for my goals, helped me sift through the rubble to find the treasures beneath and have been a shining light to bring happiness and fulfillment to my life.  I can only hope that I was able to return the favor.

Thank you all and I love you dearly!!! 

A special thank you to Tina Molloy for modeling the pose with me.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Putting Down Roots

Week 2 in Park City is coming to a close.  We have gone exploring a bit deeper into the surrounding area and have found reservoirs to swim in, lots of great trails to hike, a sweet new thrift store to shop at and a new favorite ice cream joint.  Each day we're taking a new adventure and finding new and exciting places to visit and explore.  In some ways it already seems like we've been here longer.

The one thing I have yet to do is make it to a yoga studio.  Without my "village" I don't have anyone to watch the girls while I take a class.  My husband is gone most of the time to work and when he's home on the weekends it's family time, same as when he comes home in the evenings.  Normally I wouldn't think twice about skipping out on the evenings or weekends and leaving him with the girls but given the fact that we were apart for the better part of the last year while he was here and we were in MD I can't justify doing that just yet.  Instead I guess I'm subconsciously opting to reestablish the roots of this family.  Right now I feel I need to put more thought and effort into the family tree.

This week I will focus on Vrksasana or tree pose ( Yoga Journal, 2011).  Vrksasana is all about the balance.  Before moving my scale was rather one sided.  I taught lots of classes and did tons of volunteer work but my time spent just with my husband and kids was limited.  I was always go, go, going and not often enough just being.  Now with the move I find that it's the opposite.  I'm doing a whole lot of nothing and that makes me feel antsy and interestingly enough, anxious.  As we are learning our way around and slowly making our way into this community it is my goal to bring those two opposing aspects into balance.  Not just for myself but for our family as a whole.  Can we stay firmly planted to the ground spreading our roots while reaching endlessly toward the sky?  I think we can.  The one thing that I feel needs to happen is rather than me being the one to always be in motion I need to slow down a bit and let the girls and Mark catch up.  We need to do things as a family instead of as individuals.   When I do start teaching again I need to take it down a notch and not throw myself so headlong into it that my balance is lost.

When I take tree pose this week I will bring added balance to the posture by holding my arms out like a scale.  In one hand I'll hold my family and all of their needs and wants, in the other I'll hold my own.  I will stay rooted firmly into the ground while continuing to grow tall toward the heavens and yet reaching evenly out toward each side.  I'll be a bit like a compass bearing each of the four directions, N, E, S & W.  I may sway in the wind like a tree but I won't topple.  My limbs will have the strength and integrity to support my family and myself without compromising either. 

Now that we're reconnecting with each other as a family we can each slowly begin to spread our limbs.  Gently latching onto things we each enjoy, for me that is yoga.  I will figure out a way to get to the local studios, check them out and take classes.  I won't force it but let it happen naturally.  This may mean that I don't teach again until after school starts back up.  I have decided I'm OK with that.  After all it's all about the balance and this summer balance means hanging out with my family.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Mountains out of Mole Hills

We moved into our house on Friday.  It's a sweet little mountain house complete with Lodge Pine.  It's in a nice neighborhood and the girls have already made friends.  We've mostly unpacked, except for the boxes hiding out downstairs in the guest room.  We took in the local 4th of July festivities and had a great time.  We went to the farmers market and the local artisan market.  We've made it to the library to get our card and checked out our first books there.  We have explored some trails behind our house and made steps toward becoming "locals".  Considering how hard the lead up to the move was the aftermath has been relatively easy.

The past couple of weeks have found me doing limited yoga.  Not only due to the busy-ness of the move but also because my knee has been bothering me.  Some how, unbeknownst to me, I injured it before the move  and have been dealing with the swelling, lack of mobility and sometimes pain that have been the result of this injury for the last few weeks.   The swelling has ceased but the overall discomfort has not.  I have been babying it and trying to keep from moving it in any way that is bothersome.  Last week pretty much all I did was headstand while trying to right my world which, by the way, helped. 

This week, with my world feeling more normal, I will be looking at things from the perspective of Tadasana or mountain pose ( Yoga Journal, 2011).  Now that I'm surrounded on all sides by mountains it only seems right that this should be the pose of the week.  I'm in the valley of Park City and in every direction I look the skyline is above me.  Mountains by nature are strong, sturdy and wild.  My life here without a doubt will come to mirror that.  Given that the foundation of my body is compromised right now by my knee I need to take a lesson from the hills that surround me.  I need to broaden my foundation energetically and draw my life breath from the ground below my feet and carry it upward to the peak of my being or the crown of my head.  While in Tadasana I will focus on aligning my chakra system ( Wikipedia, 2011).  Tadasana itself is a bit of a static posture.  One doesn't move the body in the sense of limbs lifting, extending or flexing.  Instead one moves the energy within the body.  I find that when I am in Tadasana and I close my eyes I am able to feel the energy rise from the ground below my feet and slowly sweep it's way upward touching each and every cell before gently releasing from the crown of my head.  I will focus on this movement of prana (life energy) as it moves through me.  I will pay more attention to it than I normally do and I will stay in this posture feeling this energy vibrate within in me as will as beyond my skin into the space around me.  Most importantly I will allow this flow of energy to meld my body, mind, and spirit into the mountains that surround me as they become not only a passing aspect of my life but an integral part of it.