Yoga is the perfect opportunity to be curious about who you are.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Healing Heart Energy

I am feeling so much better than I was last week. Seriously, for a while, I thought I was never going to get better. I felt like that plague-like flu was going to slowly deteriorate every ounce of me and leave me bed ridden forever. Okay, a little over dramatic, but you get it. What was the miracle cure, you ask? Was it the Cold Fx, the Tylenol Cold and Flu, the pint of blueberries, the perpetual rest, mom’s homemade vegetable puree soup, the warm almond milk with turmeric, the freshly squeezed daily glass of grapefruit juice, the cup of boiled water with cinnamon and honey, Roxanne’s snuggles, The Beverly Hills 90210 season 8 marathon, Vinny’s homemade pancakes? My conclusion: it was a mix of all of this, PLUS my Yoga Teacher Training.

I didn’t think I was going to make it to my training last weekend. While the flu got the best of me on the Friday night, it didn’t keep me from enjoying my Saturday and Sunday surrounded by good people and good karma. I wasn’t feeling 100% when I showed up to the studio at 8am Saturday morning, so I sat for the first hour and a half as I watched my fellow YTT friends perform their early morning practice. As much as I longed to go into Downward Facing Dog and Warrior I, I knew my body still needed to rest- it was not yet ready to over exert itself. So I sat, quietly with my legs crossed and a blanket draped over my lap, and observed those 15 ladies in all their glory. It was beautiful, like watching stone statues move slowly and gracefully. And you know what? By 10am, I started feeling a little bit better. My eyes weren’t as glossy, my sinuses weren’t as stuffy, and my energy level began to rise slowly. That’s when it hit me: these ladies all had a hand in helping me feel better. It was as though I could feel their healing and heartfelt energy directing itself straight for me. I began feeding on this collective liveliness that unmistakably filled the room. I thanked everyone after the practice for their generous exchange of energies. I imagined to myself that they had some secret communal agreement to have their healthy vibes cultivate and direct themselves from their hearts to mine. It really was quite remarkable. The power of the heart is just so significant.

Lady Lotus

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Under the Weather

For the last 2 days I have been bed ridden with a plague-like flu.  I haven't been this sick in a long time.  My brother, father, boss and a few friends have been hit by this bug as well, so I suppose it was only a matter of time before my immune system decided to succumb to the pressure and take a much needed vacation.  Thanks, immune system, no really, I appreciate it.

Well, rather than complain about being sick, I decided to do all that I can to help my immune system gain back its forces!

Step 1: Cuddle with Roxanne.  She has been a superb nurse throughout all of this.

Step 2: Try a new home remedy to easy my aching throat.  Boil a cup of water and stir in a teaspoon of cinnamon, a teaspoon of honey and a bit of lemon.  Though it didn't quite cure anything, it definitely soothed my throat for a bit.  It was actually quite tasty, too.

Step 3: Rest.  I have not moved from my bed since Monday night, other than to use the washroom and make toast.  I have been fortunate enough not to fall behind on my work since Vinny picked up my work laptop for me at the office.  I know, I know, I shouldn't be working, but simply relaxing.  Well, I've been able to accomplish a few small things while in bed.  It has been nothing too strenuous or stressful at all, so I am happy to do it.

Step 4: Succumb to over the counter drugs.  I always try to cure any ailment naturally, but this time, it was unfortunately beyond me.  I have befriended Advil and Contac C, and they have left me feeling a little bit better.  For 6 hours at a time anyways...

Step 5: Mommy.  Yeap, my mom showed up at my door with homemade soup and a tasty looking pasta dish.  Made me wonder, maybe I should have the flu more often? ;)

And the final step, which I just couldn't wait to share with you, and actually to try myself as I have not yet, is this:

Yoga Journal had a great article on poses to practice if you have a cold or the flu.  I am hoping that these asanas will be my guiding light back to health.  If you feel flu or cold symptoms creeping up on you, please take a gander at this article.

This upcoming weekend is my 6th Yoga Teacher Training, so I am keeping my fingers crossed that I will be flu-free!  You are all welcomed to send me positive and healing vibes (and tip!)

Lady Lotus

Monday, February 14, 2011

Love Love Love

Happy Valentine's Day, my lovely bloga friends.  I'm a fond believer that V-Day is not only meant to be celebrated amongst lovers, but to be celebrated with those we LOVE, and that means family and friends, too.  It should be recognized as a day to tell everyone that you hold dear that you love them.  But unfortunately, not enough people see it this way.  Many people in my surroundings mumble angrily under their breath when this day rolls around.  At first sight of this, I stop them mid-mumble and wrap them in my arms to let them know that they are, in fact, loved.

I am guessing it should
say "Be" but you get it!
 So yesterday, Vinny and I enjoyed our third experience with partner yoga.  We had tried it twice last year, and jumped on the occasion to lay our mats side by side again as my FabTeach taught a class of nearly 30 people eager to experience Tree Pose and Downward Facing Dog with someone they love.  Of course, every pose felt inexplicably special because I was performing them with Vinny, but there was another factor at play that made it feel so unique.  Our mats were surround by 6 other mats, and on those 6 mats were friends.  There was PetiteK and Dji behind us, who had actually accompanied us at a previous partner yoga session.  There was BMan and his lovely fiancée beside us dipping their toes in their first partner yoga experience.  And diagonal to us was my YTT partner in crime LovelyLau who had convinced her husband to try it out.  If his first-time experience was anything like Vinny's, it's hook line and sinker from here on in and he'll be joining her for every other partner yoga workshop.  Being surrounded by friends made the whole experience feel even more playful.  We helped each other and we let ourselves giggle in between asanas and sometimes during.  Of course, it was equally amazing to see those who had never really dabbled in yoga before enjoy their experience with an ear to ear smile.

The combination of having tmy main squeeze and friends present made this particular partner yoga experience unforgettable.  Not only were Vinny and I celebrating our love for each other, but we were sharing this loving experience with friends.  And that, in my most humble opnion, is what Valentine's Day is all about.

Lady Lotus

Monday, February 7, 2011

Yoga with the Youngsters

Vinny and I had a lovely weekend hanging out with two of our favorite tater-tots: our niece LilM and nephew LilC.  A good chunk of our weekend was dedicated to the following:

1. Watching Go Diego Go.  I am told he is Dora's cousin.  I now know how to say the following in Spanish: agitar (shake) and donde esta la piñata (where is the pinata?).  LilM helped me out with some of the pronunciation.

2. Art and Crafts.  We made a cow, a pig and two dogs out of little pom-poms, felt and pipe cleaners.  My dog is named Brownie, LilM's is Spot (though I was clearly told that I can call him Pongo if I prefer), LilC's cow was named Sam, and Vinny's pig was named Mr. Stinker (then changed to Pinky).

3. Tabogganing.  After making a hill in our backyard, the kids just had to check out the one across the street that was about 10 times bigger.  We brought them to Farmer's Hill, an unofficial landmark in our little burbs of a town.  Vinny and I would slide there as kids, and now further generations continue.  It looked a lot smaller than we remembered- we figure it's either because we got bigger, or the hill is eroding.  Either way, it was a blast!  We even went down backwards- yeah, we're risky like that.

4. Baking Cookies.  LilM read out the ingredients (for a 6-year old she is incredibly smart), I would grab them from the top shelf, and LilC would bring them to the counter.  We all took turns pourring in the ingredients and stirring.  The best part?  Eating them, duh.

5. Wrestling.  Uncle Vinny has officially taught them how to body slam.  Bad influence? Nahh.

6. Homemade pizza.  Vinny and I got a bare pizza dough and donned it with any and all toppings the kiddies desired!  Their pizza of choice: they chose the simple route, tomato sauce and cheese.  They did however love sprinkling the cheese on, and helping us clad our half with lots of veggies.

And what else did we do?  Well, the kids gave me my very own yoga lesson.  Here are some of the poses they taught me:

LilC demonstrating Bumblebee Pose.  If I could add a sound clip you would hear his adorable little voice go Bzz Bzz Bzzzzz.

LilC in Bird Pose.

LilM giving me her best Cobra Pose- all the way up to the hip bones, well done!

One of her favorites: Downward Facing Dog.

LilM testing her balance in Tree Pose, one of my personal favorites.

Of course you can all imagine how proud this yoga-loving Auntie is of her little tykes!  I find it so fantastic that they are discovering yoga at a young age, and just falling in love with it.  Next time we have a slumber party extravaganza with them, I'll roll out the mats and learn some more.

Lady Lotus 

Friday, February 4, 2011

A Much Needed Nudge

Hello. Is it me you’re looking for? How I manage to insert a Lionel Richie reference is beyond me, but there, I did it.

It’s been a while, has it not? January and February have been extremely busy (professionally speaking). Most of you who read this know me as a passionate yoga student and teacher-to-be, but on the flip side of my life I am a Communications Coordinator for an extraordinary organization that has one BIG goal: to eradicate cancer. My days have been filled from 9am to 5pm, and sometimes earlier and later, with a very busy yet extremely rewarding work-load. Much of my energy was placed towards my work, that when I got home, the last thing I wanted to do was sit in front of a computer again. But now, something has changed…

My boss (who I full-heartedly believe should be nominated for boss of the year) and I had a discussion about blogging. BossMan is he himself an avid blogger, and an aficionado of all media related aspects of the world. When I admitted to him that I had not blogged since January 4th (a symbolical way of showing how busy and hard at work I have been!) he strongly encouraged me to not let my blog slip between the cracks. It is easy to fall off the horse (like when you don’t go to yoga for a week, and a week becomes two weeks…don’t fall off the yoga mat of life!) So being the naturally good employee that I am, I am taking BossMan’s advice and will blog more frequently! It’s not like I don’t have anything to write about. For those of you who know me more personally you know I can talk anyone’s ear off, especially when it comes to yoga!

So keep your peepers peeled in the next few days because I will have some fun stuff to tell you about, like Vince and I’s weekend babysitting extravaganza. Yes, my niece LilM and my nepewh LilC are having a slumber party at our house. And they just can’t wait to show me the new yoga poses they learned…notably BumbleBee Pose. Intrigued? Me too. Expect pictures!

Lady Lotus

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Blogging Around the Christmas Tree

Friends, the holidays are officially over. I took the last two weeks to rest and rejuvenate…well, I tried! While the holidays are probably the most joyful time in my life, it is also the busiest. I have always been a huge Christmas nut. When it comes to finding gifts, I’m that person that will spend more on a gift than I expected to if I think the person I’m shopping for will reallllllly like it. But most importantly, I’ve always spent the holidays with those I love, and this year was no exception. I got to see friends I hadn’t seen in a long time, and got to spend some much needed quality time with my family. Christmas itself has been even more special in the last few years as my family now has 3 little rugrats. With my niece and nephews around, the magic of Christmas seems to blossom even more profoundly. Their smiles and excitement are absolutely priceless. I think that’s my favourite part of Christmas- living vicariously through my little kiddies, and just feeling so happy to be surrounded by so much love.

Now other than spending time with those we love and gift giving and receiving, the holidays also bring something else: food. My goodness. So much food. I really outdid myself this year. It was as though I was testing my insides to see how much food I could stuff in. Have you ever been to the Teddy Bear Factory, where you stuff your own bears? That’s kind of what I felt like. I just couldn’t resist the urge to taste a little bit of everything, and with about 6 dinner parties on my schedule, my tummy got quite he beating. My first Jazzercise class was yesterday, and I thought I was going to pass out on my step. I could literally feel and smell the Tofurky roast oozing out of my pores. However, I felt like a million bucks afterwards. And my first yoga class today since the holidays? Mind-blowing. Triangle pose never felt so good. Oh and that side plank with tree pose intertwined in it? Magical. I woke up this morning feeling a little bummed since I had to return to my desk at work after a two week hiatus, but yoga brought my mind back to its regal place and now I am welcoming all of my daily work’s challenges with a smile.

The holiday season winded down with New Year’s Eve. And that evening was spent with close friends, in our pyjamas, playing Partini, eating finger food (of course, more food), and watching that ball drop. In my own expert opinion, there is nothing that can beat that. Oh wait, yes there is: seeing New Kids on the Block performing live with The Backstreet Boys right before the ball dropped? Yeah, I giggled like a school girl, I’m not gonna lie. And what comes along with NYE? Ah yes, that fear-provoking resolution. It creeps up on you, and you can’t ignore it, because everyone will ask you: What’s your resolution for 2011? So let me share my 2011 projects with you.

1. To continue to fuel my body with the most positive of energies. Yoga, jazzercise, family, friends, Roxanne, smiling…all these things will help.
2. To be more crafty and creative. Rather than going out and buying things, I am going to first ask myself: can I make these? And if I think I can, then I will try. Example: I needed curtains for my kitchen. Rather than going out and buying pre-maid curtains, I turned a lovely table cloth into lovely curtains. Not bad for someone who has never really handled fabric- I still tape my pants at the bottom when they’re too long rather than hem them- oops, embarrassing confession!
3. To be more confident. I have a nasty habit of convincing myself that I can’t do anything as grand as I hope to. Well, that needs to change, and it will! I think number 1 and 2 will help with that.

I hope that you all had the happiest of holidays. May 2011 bring you much deserved happiness and hugs.

Lady Lotus

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Happy 26th

Well, my birthday has come and gone! Yes, on the 14th of December I celebrated my 26th birthday.

I don’t like to make a big fuss out of my birthday. Everyone asked me “What will you be doing? Going out? A bar? A club?” For the last three years, I have enjoyed celebrating my birthday with friends in a quiet and intimate way. Whether it’s a small dinner at a cozy restaurant, or even at home, or going out to a movie. This year, I celebrated in a few ways:

1. I spent the day with my best blonde friend K, going to Bulk Barn (my new obsession, really), cooking, baking (improvised coconut macaroons, yum!) and watching Christmas movies.
2. I enjoyed a tasty pizza party with the family at mom and dad’s!
3. Vinny prepared me a tasty Indian-style dinner. He is quite the chef, I may add.
4. I indulged in the glory of a wonderful yoga class. Nothing better to offer yourself on your birthday than that!

I am always left so dumfounded at how wonderful the people in my life are. Yes, there was about eleventy zillion facebooks messages on my wall, and I loved reading every one of them. And there were also the phone calls from friends, some whom I hadn’t heard from in a little while, which made it even more special. And I received hugs and gifts from so many people, I felt ridiculously spoiled. I especially loved all those hugs- those are my favourite!  And the cards...those wonderful cards.  I have kept every card that has ever been given to me since I was 18 years old.  They are so lovely to go through every now and then.  My grandpa's cards always make me teary, and this year was so exception.  Vinny's card was bigger than I am.  And my Big Bro and Sista in Law got me a great yoga themed card actually- how à propos!

I guess what I’m really getting do is that when my birthday rolls around every year, it acts as a constant reminder of how fortunate I am so have so many people in my life who love me, and that I love back. In the end, there really is no better gift. Oh, and when it’s your birthday, treat yourself to a little yoga class, it really is a lovely way to celebrate.

Lady Lotus