Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Try turning your senses inward

Staying present in Yoga is sometimes super easy. It's probably why we all come to class. We drop in, we automatically let go of whatever else is going on and we just do our sun salutations and give ourselves a break from life. If only for 90 minutes. It can change everything. This is why I love starting my day with Yoga. Because if nothing goes right that day, at least the Yoga happened. But we do all have those days where your outside life just invades your practice. OR you just can't let go of what happened at work, you hate the teacher's playlist or voice, and your hands keep slipping on the crappy mat that you rented. UGH. It happens to all of us! The more we practice, the more we can prevent these challenging moments. More importantly the more we practice, the more we can incorporate staying present into our regular life when we need it. This is why I believe, I've always sought out Yoga. And the more I practice the more I really feel like I can use it as a tool when I am feeling anxious or stressed. I can just get into a place where I can imagine being in class and holding and chair pose twist for 5 breathes. Then the 5 breathes are over and I am so much calmer because I stayed with it!

Practicing being in the present moment can do so much good for us! We're so often caught up in what's going around that are senses are constantly "reacting". When we turn ourselves inward we can allow our senses to instead, notice what's going on within ourselves which is the important part! We don't often notice how we feel internally until our body is setting off red flags like pain, discomfort, panic, etc. If we can notice these things before they happen it can become preventative.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Phalli or Sea Lions? Possibly potatoes....

The Yayoi Kusama exhibit at the Whitney is amazing! I have been waiting years to see a show of hers. Obsessive art is so fascinating and awesome to me.

Saw this in 2006 when I visited Singapore
At the Whitney you will see a range of her work from the 1960's until now. Even cooler are the documentations of her 'Happenings'. 

There are several of her pieces of things covered in "Phalli" like a couch and a row boat...also some shoes. I tend to think they mostly look like potatoes. A little girl checking the show out with her mom thought they looked like sea lions. They actually do! 

These are some of my favorite images and works of hers
This is what you do with your silly Whitney Museum sticker after leaving the museum.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Pretty things found in Dallas, TX

Sculpture installation at the DMA

A view from the DMA cafe

Installation at the Nasher Sculpture Museum

Pretty wallpaper at the Stoneleigh
Interactive Installation at the Nasher Sculpture Museum  



Couples that breath together part 2

Couples that practice Yoga together are awesome. On some of my Ananda trips I've seen women who get their husbands/BF's who agree to go with them and they're such good sports about taking the Yoga classes and everything. Some of my fellow teacher's have bf's that can be often found in attendance in their classes in the back corner. Its super sweet. But really the most sweetest thing ever was a couple that held hands during savasana in one of my classes. AND during seated meditation! I mean...can I just die already? I know...its supposed to be an inward journey and they were likely not trying to get into meditation but seriously, folks. I don't make these things up. Couples that breath together, stay together. #Truestory

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Monday, August 13, 2012

Enjoying the Present Moment

We always talk about being "present" in Yoga. Being in the moment and letting go of past and future. The brain is so amazing in that it helps us remember things, think and also controls our physiological processes. The brain juggles all these important tasks and is constantly multi-tasking. This is why its important to stay present. In order to give our minds a break from the juggling. Getting stuck or being heavy in our past is a common issue. Or anticipating the future to the point that it creates anxiety or stress. These are things we all commonly do and while our brains are trying to manage these thoughts, we might be putting a little less energy into our important physiological processes like digestion or resting and healing.

Sometimes when we get caught up in worrying or dwelling, we forget to live in the present and be in the moment. More importantly we forget to enjoy that present moment. Our lives are a process. Our Yoga practice is a journey. There are difficult times and bumps in the road but its all part of the work to bring you forward. We have to go through these things anyway, we can only make it easier on ourselves if we decide to find joy in that. Next time someone asks you told hold utkatasana/chair pose for 5 breaths...just curl up the corners of your mouth and find the joy in it. You will find that the 5 breaths will be over much faster than you think!

Take it from Deepak

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Rooftop Yoga=sports bra tan

But its worth it. It doesn't matter if there's a great view or not. When you take a downward facing dog and you look up between your legs and see sky, it doesn't matter that there is construction going on below it. When the teacher says look up towards the sky...and there really is sky and not a ceiling...it just doesn't matter. Rooftop yoga...do it!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

More of Shivananda

So many pretty flowers on the grounds of Shivananda

Best tree to read a book under

Furry bug

Furrier and prettier bug

More pretty flowers

Biggest hibiscus ever!

Living in the city I just don't get to see these colors!

The lake

Fresh air!


You really can't take pics of all the flowers but I tried

The view where we ate our meals

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Portland, Casco Bay, Peaks Island

I once designed layouts for Golf Guides...
I remember looking at photos of these incredible looking places in New England! And finally got to visit when my childhood friend got married there just a few weeks ago! Here are some photos...
Street Art

Crab Cakes

Casco Bay

Bride and Groom

Just Married

The lost art of snail mail

When I was a kid my friends and I used to mail letters to each other. Like with stamps and envelopes. We used to say things like "send it to me" which meant it would be received a few days later via US Post. I especially did this with my international friends and cousins. Sometimes I'd keep the letters. Much like text messages, my friends and I in school, used to write notes to each other on loose leaf paper...fold them up and put them in each other lockers. Or hide them in classrooms if we know we'd be in the same classroom on the same day...or just pass them to each other during class. To me, this was an art. We had different hand writings, would fold up notes in different ways, decorate envelopes and leave little drawings or doodles on the edges of the paper. Now we send text messages and emails to each other so often we lose the tactile sense in our friendships. We rarely have physical things that we exchange between each other, especially if we don't get to see each other. I try to keep my friendships as real as possible...by real I mean there having physical evidence like objects, cards and letters exchanged. As a form of communication I really believe in STILL sending people thank you cards/notes. And p.s. THEY WORK! After job interviews, meetings or even just one time gigs, I always try to send a little hand written thank you note. And to be H.S. about it, I draw a little doodle or flower on it so its like they get a unique piece of "art" along with the thank you. I will tell you that if nothing I will always get a nice email in return saying that they will keep my name on file. Sometimes months later they will contact me offering more work, etc. In December during the holidays, I still send real cards in the mail too. I get a 30% return on my holiday cards. Even if its just an email in response, but many people actually will give me a call too. The 30% is totally worth it!

The more we sit in front of computers and type away, or look at our tiny smart phone screens and text away, the more we lose that tactile sense of our relationships. As people it is important to be able to connect with each other. I truly believe this is a huge factor in maintaining good health!

A thank you I received!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Ashram weekend

This was me studying the last 3 weeks.
Passing all my finals with the help of my lucky Hello Kitty pen.

So I decided to take a weekend away to meditate at Shivananda Yoga Ranch Ashram.

A much different experience from Ananda Ashram that I've been to in the past. Shivananda really stuck to the Ashram way of life. They wake you up at 5:30 am with a gong and then you're expected to show up at Satsang, meditation and Kirtan at 6. Yoga is at 8am and 4pm. Only 2 meals a day at 10am and 6pm. Satsang again at 8 and in the middle of the day you're expected to do Karma Yoga for an hour and there is an optional lecture or yoga class...and yes, free time! I found the schedule to be pretty easy going despite how it initially sounded. Waking up at 5:30am is not so bad since I typically wake up at 6:30 anyways. Lights out at 10pm was probably the more difficult part, but it worked itself out. The other guests were from all over the world, which was amazing to be around.

Peppermint candy flowers
View of the Krisha temple and the area where they served meals

My favorite Buddha

Tallest sunflowers EVER!