Wednesday, October 27, 2010

An addition to my small yoga library

Latest yoga book for my collection: Shambhala Encyclopedia of Yoga

Build Your Yoga Library-
 From Daily Insight newsletter from Yoga Yournal

If you've been taking asana classes for a while, you've probably realized just how much there is to know about the practice of yoga. There's yoga philosophy, yoga history, Sanskrit, and seemingly a million different modern styles and lineages. So many other things have come together to make yoga what it is today that it's close to impossible to know it all. And with the recent rise in yoga's popularity, there are so many yoga books, CDs, and DVDs available that it can be overwhelming to start delving deeper into the yoga topics you yearn to know more about. Take heart: We've done the legwork for you.

Yoga teacher and scholar Richard Rosen has studied yoga—and collected books about yoga—for more than 20 years. He recommends that beginning students start with books such as B.K.S. Iyengar's The Tree of Yoga to get a crash course, that intermediate students reach for the Bhagavad Gita, and that more advanced students might appreciate the first known text about yoga, the Yoga Sutra. Thankfully, there's a book or video out there for every kind of yoga practitioner. Whether you're just starting or you're a seasoned practitioner, there's always room to grow.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Just because I like it!

I love advertisements from Kripalu because they choose multicultural and multi-size "models". Plus this is one of my favorite asanas.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Yoga in the park...where are you?

I was looking forward to yoga in the park this morning but I couldn’t find the park. After driving around for about 25 minutes, I had to give up the idea of practicing with a new group. Oh well, maybe next time.

The great kale

I am still flabbergasted at the $9.00 bag of kale at the studio. I found a recipe for kale chips on Vegetarian Times. No expensive ingredients, only kale, salt and olive oil. Packaging? Hardly. The studio is just trying to make a huge profit on kale chips.

My experiment says I can make my own kale ships for less than $1.00. Yes, less than $1.00. A bundle of kale costs .89 cents and I already have the salt and olive oil.
This article in the New York Times sums up kale and it's greatness. Kale sounds as powerful as blueberries when it comes to antioxidants. Go kale!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Fun filled Friday!

I started out with a yoga class at the rec. center. It was such a great class and the teacher, Linda, was awesome! After the class she came up and asked if I had any questions (I did) and she spent a few minutes explaining the chants, the six branches of yoga (a condensed version) and about the Texas Yoga Retreat (where she was an instructor for two years). I got a very good vibe from Linda and the class in general. Coincidently, she lives in Killeen! Small world.

After that I headed to southwest Austin for a foot massage at Yoga Yoga. It was heaven! Too bad the location is an hour drive from homeL. I’ll have to find something closer. They had a nice library of reading material. Bought a yoga dictionary, now I won’t be completely lost when I read articles.

Time for some lunch at Whole Foods. Sushi hit the spot. It was nice to be there when it was less crowded. I tasted kale for the first time and it was surprisingly tasty.  I tasted it prepared three different ways: sautéed in teriyaki sesame sauce, in a salad with spinach, strawberries and cashews, and mixed with avocado and onions.  Why the sudden interest in kale? Well, at the yoga studio I saw a bag of kale chips for sale: $9.00! What?!?! At this price I had to investigate this thing called kale.

The last stop was Book People. I only bought some incense but I know where I’ll be doing the majority of my Christmas shopping, (even though I hate the consumerism of the holiday, I do it for the family).

Eight hours later, I arrived back home. Pooped out! It was a night of TV for me, too tired to do much else.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Complete Guide to Home Yoga Practice

This morning I practiced with the DVD Complete Guide to Home Yoga Practice from Yoga Journal. I really enjoyed this DVD as it provided guidance to correct pose positioning, a modified version of the poses and the instructor had pleasant energy. It also included an interview with a doctor who explained the medical benefits of doing yoga and provided a commentary on each pose.

We went through the poses for sun salutations A and B. The instructor encouraged proper breathing and alignment. All and all I really liked this DVD!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Just because I like it!

From the September 2010 issue of Yoga Journal.

Qi Gong Five Treasures Workshop

I'm not familiar with Qi Gong but today I attended a workshop lead by Kay Hutchinson. She is the founder of the Aiki Healing. I met Kay at the kick-off for the Free Day of Yoga event at Whole Foods. Kay performed a mini Qi-Gong bodywork session on me. It felt great and it was so different. This piqued my interest and I signed up for a workshop to learn more about Qi Gong.

About a week later, I received an email from Kay saying that my entry at Whole Foods was picked and I won a free Qi Gong bodywork massage. Oh boy!  It was heaven. At the session we also discussed ways certain food and herbs can affect the body and Kay taught me a couple of Qi Gong techniques I could perform on myself.

So today was the workshop. Kay’s country cottage was adorable and Japanese inspired in décor. I completely loved the peacefulness inside and outside of the cottage. There were about ten of us there to learn about Qi Gong. We learned many techniques and discussed the benefits of the practice on our bodies. It was very relaxing and very different from yoga. Afterwards, we enjoyed a vegetarian snack, similar to onigiri, and hummus with vegetables.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Day of resistance...said in a French accent please

It's day of resistance number four. This is the fourth day someone at work has brought donuts and I have not even been tempted to take a bite. I shocked myself by resisting a donut, yet alone a free one. To tell the truth, I am not even tempted to have a taste. Yayy!

Today also landed me in a soap making workshop. It was so much fun and the smell of the oils was delicious! I can't wait to use the soap I made. I should yield eight bars of soap from this batch. The soap making process was easy and it sounds like a possible project in my future.

Some interesting facts about manufactured soap according to the soap master. The oils used to produce bars of soap are kitchen grease taken from restaurants. The oil is poor quality, cheap and has fried a range of food, mostly french fries. It's one of the only ways manufacturers’ can make a profit on the product.

Friday, October 1, 2010

This blog begins on...

the first day of Yoga Yoga's 40 Day Challenge. Which is coincidently is also the first day of  Vegetarian Awareness Month. I've been making an effort to lead a vegetarian lifestyle for almost a month now. Vegetarian Month has certainly helped me stay focused vegetarianism, but it's not too difficult.

As for yoga. I’ve been practicing for almost two years, give or take a few months that I stopped exercising. I started with free yoga classes at a library. I did this weekly for almost a year. I had a fabulous instructor, Sharon Hughes, and hated giving that up but I wasn’t able to make it to the classes anymore. So I sign up for Hatha Yoga classes at a community center near my home. I wasn’t sure what to think of the class. The instructor didn’t give much guidance or instruction. Actually, she had her eyes closed most of the time! I stopped attending after a while. I practiced at home with videos, magazines and the poses I learned in class with Sharon.
I moved to a new city and continued my home practice sporadically. The Austin Free Day of Yoga (2010) was the event that brought me back to yoga.  Since then I have regained my dedication to yoga. I’ve been reading everything I can get my hands on regarding yoga. I’ve also been interested in the anatomy of yoga. While trying to find a class about yoga anatomy, I discovered the Living Yoga Program. It’s something to think about for the future…
Recently, I’ve taken a Vinyasa Flow class at a local athletic store. I must say it was much more advanced than any class I have ever taken but it was great! The instructor challenged me and I was able to do a full-on back bend (!), with the help of spotters. What a great feeling! Needless to say I was not able to do one at home, rats. I learned my weak points, well I knew what they were but always neglected to work on those areas, shame on me. The class forced me to practice poses that will strengthen my arms and core. I still have a long way to go but it’s a start. Did I mention that this class was full of runners? They were cross training athletes. I look forward to returning to that class.  
I also found a class that meets in the park and I am really looking forward to that class. I’ve practiced in the backyard before but never with other people. This should be interesting, plus the weather is getting cooler so it should make for a pleasant practice.