Sunday, March 18, 2012

29 February 2012

My last day in Utopia

I dislike the feelings that swell up like a tide pool when I have to leave the beach. Regardless, I do have to thank my lucky stars (and planets) for my time in this little paradise: no flight delays getting here, no inclement weather and memorable experiences. 
My morning walk on the beach was bright and communal, just enough other folks with the same idea sharing a beautiful moment in time. The ocean was mirror smooth in a cool hue of aquamarine and the air was practically still-just an occasional light breeze.
The ocean invited me to sit for a while, 
So I knelt down into virasana posture to...I don’t know, 
But I closed my eyes and        sat.  
The ocean spoke slightly above a whisper:
Draw in
Draw within 
Rest your awareness 
In the first moment 
When The Spirit
Hovered over the water
And I did
And it became so quiet
Like I had slowly submerged under the water
But I still felt bright and warm from the sun
I felt like my spirit and my body temporarily separated
Experiencing calm and wonder 
Then the ocean asked me to breathe with her
And I did

Thursday, March 8, 2012

28 February 2012

Surfing the Vinyasa Wave
Yes, I told myself to not fixate on asana for a while and look deeper in the meaning and relationship of my yoga. But, I can’t help it...the Power Yoga at Bala Vinyasa Naples was mind blowing! Feeling the energy of the Bala tribe this morning just set my practice into motion and I hovered and floated through class. I realized that it is not very often that I get to practice at a Baptiste affiliate studio, so my time on the mat seemed more sacred. 
Paddle boarding the day before set my perspective and attitude in such a positive tilt. I only wish I was able to jump into the ocean every 10 minutes to wash the enormous amount of sweat off of my body, I was really getting nasty from lotions and moisturizers on my sunburned skin. Self, make a mental note to rinse off in the shower right before a HOT yoga class and things will flow smoother for yourself, ok?
Bala Vinyasa is about to open another location in Coral Gables, Florida, so here they go into my contact files--in case I happen to visit Miami or come back to Naples, a gal has to stay on top of things, you know? The vacation getaway is nearing it’s end and with it, the sadness of have to leave this little piece of paradise.
 It’s late in the evening, but I still have the Bala shatki pulsing through my body.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

27 February 2012

Pada Bannnndha Baby!
Pada= foot
Bandha= lock 
Bandha is usually translated as a lock, it also implies a "binding" or "harness". To create this effect in the foot, stretch and lengthen the foot. Spread those toes, baby! Don’t forget to plug in the front of the heel, base of the little toe, and the base of the big toe.  These pressure placements help the arch to lift upward. If you visualize a suction cup, you kinda get an idea of the engagement of the feet. This Bandha is used in standing poses to increase stability, balance and a sense of grounding.
Don’t waste this tool-take it off the mat and have fun with it, i.e. experience life! The Pada Bandha was quite handy in my first try at SUP (stand up paddle boarding). Spending the afternoon of the Gulf of Mexico with me and my board was incredibly fun and relaxing. Paddling with a canoe paddle will give you an abdominal and upper body workout; staying on the board is where alignment principles and Pada Bandha come into play and challenge you even further. 
Once I found my ‘sea legs’ and Pada Bandha, the time on the water started to feel like time on the mat- it was all mine. Free from life’s distractions and responsibilities, the dipping of the paddle, the bright sun and smooth breeze soothed my soul. My breath started to match the flow of my strokes... it just felt familiar and friendly.
Living my yoga.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

25 February 2012

Day Two
Witnessing Mother Nature’s creation from the balcony is a truly inspiring way to start the day.  While overlooking the Gulf of Mexico, I watched the sky light up over the gorgeous water, the tropical landscape glowed, and the faint sound of the surf touched my ears.
The second chakra is associated with water and is located in the sacral plexus or abdomen.This chakra is also known as Svadhisthana-which translates as “one’s own place”. Anodea Judith writes that we should stand in our own place within this chakra and define our sexual and emotional issues in a way that is suitable to our individual character. 
I feel great peace, pleasure and fulfillment in the presence of an ocean or a large scenic lake. It should not  surprise me that water affects me in this way as pleasure is the motivating principle in the second chakra. Calm, content emotions start to consume me as I walk along the shore. The tide summons me to jump into the surf so it can wash away worries and fears. 
I’m thinking that my last stop (or home) on this Earth will need to be close to beautiful, swim-able water. 

Thursday, March 1, 2012

24 February 2012

My first day of our getaway long weekend started the night before with an unexpected round of food illness (or poisoning-I won’t be ordering the Jimmy John’s lettuce wrap tuna salad ever again.) When I woke up this morning, I felt like I had been drugged and then thrown in front of a bus. Along with a 32 ounce bottle of water, Pranayama (breathwork) kept me sane and calm as I boarded the plane. I sipped, snoozed and meditated my way through Atlanta; my focus: So Ham. 
So Ham in its English translation means “I am that”. It is such a breathy mantra to me, your body practically makes the sound ‘soooooo’ on the inhale and ‘huuummmmm’ on the exhale. This mantra keeps me on a peaceful, non-reactive course in a way that nothing else has in quite some time. There is no memory, image or other type of attachment to these two words to distract me in any way. 
I continued with my game plan all they way into Fort Myers Airport, the deep breaths helped soothe my aching ribs and the continual H2O IV drip of the water bottle slowly revived me.  I enjoyed a leisurely tour of Naples and a relaxing afternoon by the hotel pool...lots of Vitamin D!
Feeling well enough to consider dinner, the hubby and I had a spectacular meal at Sea Salt in Old Naples; fresh fish does not get any better and the eclectic recipes were stunning. I have to admit that the crowning moment to our first day on vacay was the universe’s cosmic display: Jupiter, Venus and a Cheshire Cat shaped moon. The universe does not disappoint, neither does South Florida.
So Ham