My intention over the next six weeks is to create five blog posts per week. So far, I’ve only made two; however, I still have today.
Looking for a topic for this third post eluded me up until five minutes ago when I decided not to give up and write first thought that came to me, which was, “although I have very little time today, writing three posts is better than writing two.”
It was a gift to myself and to anyone who reads this to know that by taking action, we’re exerting some control over our destiny. Self-determination can be freeing, and it can give one a sense of peace. Why? Because we’re not giving in to apathy and defeat. It’s empowering to know that amid our crazy lives, where so many outcomes are out of our control, good things can happen as a result of sitting down and doing the work, getting on our yoga mats, or going for a run.
Having coffee on hand always helps!
When my feet hit the ground it signals the start of a new day. Immediately I slip them into a pair of slippers, flip flops or my Birkenstocks. My feet usually hit the ground at the same time, not one foot and then the other. This way I’m ready to face squarely whatever’s in front of me. Each foot feels each foot, and they feel the ground. I’m connected to the ground, and I draw energy from the earth. When I do morning yoga I plug into the ground with my knees, my arms, my hands and my feet. I try and build each pose as I anchor into the ground. I push down with the palms of my hands, squeeze the muscles in my legs and strengthen my core as I twist and turn and reach for the full extension of every asana. In this way, I know my body and I can feel the alignment between my hips and shoulders–it helps me to balance. I turn my head in different directions; sometimes I just release it let it drop down. The key is to engage only the muscles that you need for a particular position—relax the rest of the body.
And then there’s the breath. The breath is everything. You have to breathe through each posture. You never stop breathing. Especially when it gets hard–don’t hold your breath.
I used to hold my breath all of the time. It was the only way I could maintain the intensity of the groove when I was playing the drums. It also happened when it was my time to shine. I would so excited, that I would take short stuttering breaths, and I’d let the air out the same way. I still do this sometimes, but nearly as much as I used to. I’m learning to breath again.
This whole approach: my feet feeling the ground, my body drawing energy from the earth and my breath, keeping it all all in rhythm has become everything for me. It’s an approach that allows me to meditate while I’m doing everything.
Using percussion instruments such as tabla, frame drum, gong, woodblock, cowbell and rattles, I created a unique soundscape at last night’s vinyasa flow yoga class which was led by Mark Staley at Amazing Yoga in Shadyside in Pittsburgh, Pa.
It was an exciting experience as the music, instructor’s directions and the participant’s shifting through their various postures came together in such a way that it became like an ocean, ebbing and flowing. It was rhythm in motion.
The participant’s response was very positive, so I’m sure we’ll be continuing the collaboration in the coming year.