This part of the site is dedicated to the preservation of self. Much of my life my body has been a tool for progression. Sprints, 15 mile runs, dieting (and not the lean, free of fat dieting but rather the protein enriched, carbo-load diets)- my body was not my body. Now, in life post-soccer, I have allowed myself to explore alternate routes of athletic articulation. I have found yoga, marathons, triathlons, and surfing. All in which I have been able to take on a meditative practice combining breath with step, breath with motion, and breath with stroke. Sustaining thyself… a new journey that will guide me to a happier self. In a few months I will be completing my second marathon, training for my first triathlon, surfing more and challenging myself in my yoga adventures. I am nothing but excited… thrilled beyond belief.

Yoga Challenge 2010

This February, post marathon, I will be treating myself to a nice, little gift. Yoga for 20 days in the short month of February. I am on day 3 right now and couldn’t be a happier soul. My body has begun to open up and relieve itself of the pangs the Marathon had left just a week earlier. My hips are opening, my quads have almost stopped shaking, and my mind is clearing… slowly. Baby steps.

For quite some time now, I have put off my practice. Soccer was either in the way or I wasnt willing to pay the seemingly hefty fare. I’ve realized now, however, that now is the time to nourish that which I have neglected in the past, feed what I have starved so vehemently, and pay notice to the vehicle to which will explore this new life ahead of me–Yoga will sustain this body.

Follow me, be it a few days past, in my new Yoga practice at this month’s featured studio: Bird Rock Yoga

1 Week Under My Belt
One week and seven classes later, I am surviving. On my second week of yoga I am feeling refreshed. The instructors have been extremely welcoming and open to my anything-but-usual practice. In Saturday’s class, I was able to take a flow with one of the newer instructors to the BRY center- Zoe. She was completely refreshing and I most enjoyed her music selection of Sia and Kings of Convenience. Music is a large portion of my practice and I almost always relate my breathe to the rhythm of the music. If I ever failed to mention this in earlier passages, I am a rather large music snob, and although I try to adhere to a personal policy of not judging people by their music choices, I often cast this metaphorical gray cloud over my peers. In saying that, after attending V’s Monday morning class, the fear of never achieving balance to the beat of a truly approved beat was cast far away from me. Morcheeba, Sia, Thievery Corporation, you name it! V had a rocking playlist and I thank her for the prana it provided me.

Tonight, I hope the music matches for another round of me vs. the mat.

One week to go…

So, as of right now, I have one more week left in my yoga challenge. Scared? No, that’s silly. Anxious? Probably. So what’s the big deal? Time. I believe (I should probably check my yoga calendar) that I only have 5 more official days of the challenge, but knowing me–if I payed for a month of yoga, by all means, I will go to a full week of yoga. I love it. I feel awkward if I dont go. I need yoga now. If I dont spend an hour a day stretching, I feel that all of my focus, flexibility (still highly limited!), and strength will melt away. I have made great strides in the last few weeks. I have mastered bakasana and have even successfully held side crow. I have sequenced from crow pose into Sirshasana back to crow pose. I have lengths to go, no doubt, but my what lengths have been reached. I am forever thankful for my practice. I wish everyone could experience this spiritual high…

Moments of Meditation

A few years ago, while exploring all that Berkeley had to offer as far as classes and experiences went, I decided to take a Meditation class. Knowing that I would be stepping out of my element I was excited to embark. At the time, I was dealing with pressing family issues and a relationship that was at its ending point. Through meditation, I was able to detach from thought and be present; focusing on the self and the present rather than dwelling on the past or trying to control the future. Mediation, independent of any current troubling personal or physical situation, is a means to regain thy self. Whether you are searching for oneness with thought and body, nirvana, inner peace, whatever it may be, meditation is a means for simply…being.

Though I am once again delving back into meditation, usually practicing once in the morning through sound meditation, there are many forms that I have practiced. My favorites included tapping into your smelling sense and focus on a particular scent, be it eucalyptus, lavender, citrus, etc and drawing everything you can from the sense, isolating thought from being. Walking meditation connects movement with breath and thought with each step, each thought escapes you. Smelling the flowers around you and moving at a pace that fits breath, this is a concious-being method of meditation that incorporates both the body and mind. Food meditation is also an interesting manner of practicing mindfulness. To concentrate on the energy that feeds you is one of the most powerful sensations when fully achieved–feeling and involving yourself in the entire process from mastication to following the food down the human body is process of true concentration and mindfulness. Practice with a Hershey’s kiss to make the process even more sweet!

Medidation, for me, has been a presence of mind. Through life-turbulence, meditation has allowed me to gather my thoughts and drop them by the wayside one by one, clearing any concerns, doubts, stressors, tensions, apprehensions, and allowing me to get used to living in the present. The past few months, admittedly, I had been living with the fear of the future in my heart. Pressuring myself with what may lie ahead 6 months, 6 years, 6 decades ahead of myself, I was not able to enjoy myself in the now. Meditation is grounding me, moment by moment, allowing me to connect myself and enjoy happiness in the present. I find complete solace in my meditation spot. Complete bliss.

Seperate your thoughts from reality...

A New Form of Thought
In my meditations, I have usually allowedmy thoughts to take form of clouds, or drops of water drifting down a creek (most notably, Strawberry Canyon Creek in Berkeley, where i first took to meditation); however, as I sat yesterday in deep thought, or lackthereof, I found my focus elsewhere. I was having a hard time letting go of my surroundings– the girls next to me had seemingly just plopped themselves into a yoga class post sorority meeting and were nothing but giggles; a rather sweaty San Diego tourist was next to me fidgeting with something on his pants; and so forth and so on. I literally- figuratively had to pack my thoughts up. I wanted to share with you my newest technique for meditation: if a thought pops up as you are trying to attain stillness, think of yourself packing that thought up into a balloon and letting the balloon drift up and beyond your physical control. Let go. When i was younger and threatened to run away (be it for 20 minutes only to show up famished at the dinner table), I would take my blankie and pack all of the essentials (pudding cup, nicely folded underwear, tic-tacs, and a Beyer horse for company) wrapping all contents tightly into a small bundle, later to be secured to the end of a long stick. Simple in nature yes, but, yesterday in meditation, i carefully packed my thoughts and placed them in the center of my blankie, wrapping them up, corner by corner, as i secured the weightless bundle to the end of a string. Off my thoughts float…