Harness the Power of Veggies

Here are some recipes for you from a recent dinner.  Cooking healthy is fun!!!

Yummy Beet Tomato salad:

  • Roasted beets diced – (bake in the oven covered at 400 F for 1 hour, the outside just peels right off)
  • Tomatoes diced
  • Basil – lots
  • Cucumber diced
  • Feta cheese
  • Olive oil and balsamic vinegar to taste
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Sprouts are good in there too!

Veggie Stir-fry:

  • Brocoli
  • Portobello mushrooms
  • Vidalia onion
  • Carrots
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Teriaki sauce (optional)
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Coconut oil and ghee

Melt coconut oil and ghee (clarified butter – see video on how to make it here) in the frying pan, add onions and any spices you like (i often use curry spices like turmeric, ginger, cumin, and coriander)  and of course salt and pepper. Add the mushrooms and carrots next for 5 min.  and then add the brocoli.  Teriaki is a big hit with kids as it has a nice sweet taste.  It only takes a little.  Add Pumpkin seeds at the end!  Enjoy!!!

Tempe:

This is a delicious fermented form of soy that is a lot better for us than tofu.  It is less processed and has more texture and flavor too.

Slice the tempe and put copious amounts of melted coconut oil and ghee on the tempe with salt, pepper, and nutritional yeast (loaded with B vitamins and delicious).  Get it at the health food store in bulk or in spice section.

Bake the Tempe at 400 F for 10 min.  Then flip and bake 10 more min.  Make sure it has enough oil not to dry out!  Delicious!!!

 

Sweet potatoes:

Cook in microwave for 6 min wrapped in paper towel that is damp, or in the oven wrapped in aluminum foil for 45 min at 400 F with your beets.

Add melted coconut oil and ghee, salt and pepper and cinnamon!

Notice how I cook with the coconut oil and ghee (clarified butter)!  These oils are so good and they do well with high heat.  Olive oil should not be heated.  It is good on salads, but it denatures with high heat.

 

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Big Heart Space

IMG_0111-2I call this practice, Big Heart Space:

When my son is crying and my shoulders round in, my heart begins to ache and I want to make it better.  Then I remind myself to hold a big heart space for him.  So I take a deep breath and I open my shoulders and I open my heart.  I hold him tight and send him lots of love.  I don’t try to fix it,  I just allow space for him to have his experience and I hold a state of openness,  calmness, peace and love.  I open MY HEART in a BIG way!  Then I give him a loving smile of compassion.  So much better than caving in my shoulders, closing my heart and trying to fix it all.   Enjoy this Big Heart Practice!  It can work with anyone.

This is a mindfulness practice that brings me back to the present moment.  The only moment we really have.  I like to practice mindfulness as many times throughout the day as I can remember.  When I find myself tense while doing dishes and thinking about what I would rather be doing, then I look out the window, take a deep breath, and try to relax and deeply enjoy the process.  Same when cooking.  I often get in a rush and I will feel tension in my mid back, drop things, bang myself, etc.  These are all signs to me that I need to slow things way way down.  A learning process that is well worth the journey.

5 reasons to avoid carbonated beverages!!!

Here are five reasons to avoid carbonated beverages.

  1.  Carbonic acid Nuetralizes your Hydrocloric acid in your stomach.  HCL acid is responsible for killed off bad bacteria, fungus and yeast that come in on our foods.  It also causes a PH change that signals your pancrease to release enzymes to help break down the food.  So if the PH change is nuetralized then you get no enzymes.
  2. It eats away at your stomach lining.  This causes cracks in your stomach lining and then bad bacteria and un digested foods can leak out.  Cracks can lead to ulcers.  Unwanted stuff leaking out leads to asthma, allergies, and food sensitivities.
  3. It destoys enzymes on any raw food you have eaten.  All raw food has the enzymes necessary to break itself down and some have enough to break down other foods as well.  The CO2 will kill off these enzymes though.
  4. CO2 is poison to our bodies.  Your body wants to get rid of CO2 not take it in.  That is why you burp it up.  If we get buried under an avalanche, its the CO2 build up that causes someone to suffocate.  Why would we add that bake into our bodies.  Truth is we probably won’t once we understand why not to.
  5. Sugar 1 soda = 45lb of sugar/yr.  When we use up our amylase enzymes we will become diabetic.  Processed sugar is a drug and a poison.  It is so bad for our bodies and our blood and not easily digested.  Read your labels and avoid it!!!

Watch this informative video

to understand better!!!

If you are interested in feeling better, upleveling your health, having more energy, sleeping better, and having your body function at it’s highest level then check out my program that is starting February 14th.  It is all online and easily fits into a busy life.  We focus on time management, habit changes, aligning with nature, and easeful living.  As well as nutrition, exercise, and meditation.  It is so fun and life changing.

https://winslowpassey.com/vibrant-health-evolution/

Please go to this page for more information.  Don’t miss out on this amazing journey.  It is so fascinating and I wonder how I did not know this before.  It just makes so much sense and feels so much better to the body and mind.

Morning Routine

Come to my workshop Monday morning in December from 6-7am at We Are Yoga!!!  I also teach Monday and Wednesday nights at 7 pm.  

We are creatures of habit.  So let’s develop a habit that rocks our world. As a yoga instructor and a person who wants to be healthy, I have wanted to develop a consistent meditation practice, workout and do yoga daily for years.  Often I could not time to fit it into the day.  Or I would spend a good part of the day anxious about how I was going to get in my exercise, relaxing only after I finally did.  And my meditation was sporadic. When I intentionally followed this formula, I found so much peace and joy from starting my day off with this sequence.  It feels nice to have a set pattern of what to do when I wake up and I look forward to getting up a little earlier to make it happen.

1.  Cleanse and Eliminate (10-20 min)

  • Scrap the tongue – The tongue is a filter for removing toxins so get it clean straight away.  You can find a scrapper at the health food store or online.  Go for the metal one.  The thicker the gunk the more toxins in your body. You can also clean your tongue with your toothbrush.
  • Drink warm water 1-1.5L  to flush out your system.  This will clean out the intestinal track.  Any waste left in there will allow toxins to be reabsorbed throughout the day.  You will feel better getting it all out.  I just use warm tap water.
  • While waiting for the flush, brush teeth, use netti pot if nostrils are clogged, and do some reading of inspiration or intention.

2.  Meditate (5-15min)

  • 5-15 minutes is great.  Check out my blog on meditation for tips on this and references to online tools I like.
  • Be kind to yourself.  This practice is a lifelong tool that helps your memory, your attitude and your ability to think clearly and be happy.

3.  Exercise (10-60 min)

  • You want an energetic practice in the morning to stimulate your metabolism and boost your energy for the whole day.  This can be yoga, circuit type training, or sprints.
  • You can get this in a fast hit in as few as 10-20 minutes.

Here are some suggestions:

1.  20-30 min of Yoga in a fashion that is intense and upbeat

2.  10-30 circuit training

3.  Sprints:  this can be on a stationary bike, on a hill running, in a grassy field, In a swimming pool running or swimming, elipticle, etc.  I like 1 min hard and 1 min rest.  Repeat 5-10 times.  ( 10 min for 5 sprints)
Example of a circuit training:

2 min of abdominal work

1 min of push-ups

1-2 min of legs   Which can be wall sits, leg lifts, squats, squat jumps, single leg squats, or bridge pose with one leg lifted. Different each round or multiple of each per round.

***Repeat for 3 rounds!   This could take as little as 9 min and kick your butt especially if you do squat jumps.

So it doesn’t take much time, it is just about setting a routine that becomes a habit.  Your trigger (what reminds you to get started)  is easy because it’s when you wake up.  The reward is….(you decide).   Can be just saying to yourself , ‘Awesome job!!!’ Or you can come up with some other healthy reward for you.  Stars on a chart work too, but you need to not forget the reward.  Maybe you say ‘when I do 30 days in a row I can buy that … I have been wanting’.  It’s crucial to come up with something to keep you coming back for more.

Add movement into your Day!  

Get up and move every 60-90 minutes through out the day!

Walk around the office, jump up and down, do some jumping jacks, pushups, dance, go to the roof top with hand weights an throw some kick boxing punches into the air, do some sun salutations, run a sprint, jump on a trampoline, get creative and have fun.

Move when you feel tired or distracted, or when you want to increase your productivity and focus.

I do a 3 minute workout of pushups, sit-ups and squat jumps that I love.  It totally energizes me.  Then I sit and meditate for a few minutes, after I catch my breath, and I feel like a new person!!!!

Try it out!!!

 

How to Eat? THIS IS THE MEDICINE!!!

I just listened to a great talk from Cate Stillman at Yoga Healer and Dr. Mary Jo Cravatta with Awaken Within Yoga.  I also learn so much from Cate’s sharings with the world.  I think I have listened to it 5 times or more now to deeply grasp the concepts, and I am enthusiastic to share with you some of the main points that I find so helpful!

Here’s How to EAT:

  1.  Sit Down!!!     Get grounded before eating with a moment of silence, some deep breathing, or a prayer.  This allowing the sympathetic nervous system to turn off and the parasympathetic nervous system to turn on.  This is essential for proper digestion.  If we are in fight or flight then the blood goes to the extremities not to the belly.
  2. Eat quietly!!!    If someone ask you a question just after you take a bite, then you have 3 choices.  a) chew fast and shallow  b) chew slow and be rude c) talk with a mouth full.    None are good options and two produce AMA or toxins in the body!  See below.  Don’t talk while eating.
  3. Eat consciously!!!   Truly and deeply taste and enjoy your food.  Then you are in tune with what your body needs and when to stop.  Overeating is toxic leaving the body no room for the digestive enzymes to mix in and do their job.
  4. Sit for 10 minutes after eating before getting up!  This is the time to talk and enjoy your company.  If we stand up right away it brings the air up and we lose our digestive fire.

I would like to introduce two terms that are fun and informative in Ayurveda:  

AMA & OJAS

What is AMA?

Wikipedia: In ayurvedaama is the concept of anything that exists in a state of incomplete transformation. In particular, it is claimed to be a toxic byproduct generated due to improper or incomplete digestion.[1][2][3] The concept does not have a direct equivalent in standard medicine.

“Ama” is a Sanskrit word literally meaning “uncooked” or “undigested”.

Ama creates toxins that build up in the cellular tissue of our bodies.  It blocks the flow of energy and conciousness in the cells.

Here are some ways we produce AMA:

  1. Overeating or Unconscious eating
  2. Negative Thoughts
  3. Inhale Poor air quality
  4. Processed Foods – altered, unnatural, GMO’s, Pesticides, Chemicals
  5. Chemicals – on the skin In lotions and everyday products that are not natural and unhealthy for the body

What is OJAS?

Ojas is a Sanskit word that means “Vitality or Vigor”.  It is the life force energy that builds after 30 days of the digestive cycle and is responsible for improving health, energy, healing, strength and happiness.  It is what prevents disease and heals the body.  Ojas is described as our essential life energy.  For Ojas to form we need complete and proper digestion.  It circulates through the body and tissues to nourish all the cells and bring the body into balance as well as the mind.  With no AMA and lots of Ojas we can reach a state of BLISS and tap into the Universe!   Ojas is what gives us drive and enthusiasm.  Ojas is the Light of Life and one with Ojas GLOWS!  It is the most refined level of manifest creation.  Ojas is consciousness becoming physical.  Consciousness is what does the healing in a person.

In the Charka Samhita Ayurvedic text it compares Ojas and an alcoholic as opposites.  The alcoholic who is living on the streets has a mind that is not clear, skin that does not shin, dull eyes, not functioning well, and different systems in the body are shutting down.  They has lost their OJAS.

Without it we can see what happens.  This example is extreme but on a day to day basis we may think things like,

“I am getting old so that is why I am tired, sluggish, have joint pain.”

“Getting old means : I can’t feel as good, I will have to take medicines, things fall apart”

“Digestion just doesn’t work so well as I get older”

“Old age makes my mind foggy”

NO! NO! NO!!!!  We can feel GREAT well into old age!  We can have clear thoughts, positive nature, healthy nervous system, vitality and vigor, a body that can heal itself, and happiness.  It is our birthright to feel GOOD!  Just like it is our right to breath deeply, feel deeply rested and deeply energized in life.

In Ayurveda,

Nutrition = anything we Can Digest

Poison = anything we Can Not Digest

Medicine = anything that Helps Digestion

Digestion plays a BIG ROLE!  This including digestion of emotions and information as well.

WHAT?  DIGESTING EMOTIONS?

Yes, If we have a:

  1. Mind – that is busy, unsettled, distracted, restless then we can not digest our food
  2. Heart – that is lonely, upset, lacks stillness, is sad, disappointed, angry, bored or has a general lack of wholeness, wellness, and peace then we get a build  up of AMA and the digestive system can not relax to have the enzymes break down the food and absorb the nutrients.  So then the food becomes toxic in our cell.

If we are standing, driving, talking or watching a movie while eating then:

  • the Parasympathetic system is not turned on
  • Enzymes to break down and absorb are not functioning properly
  • We produce AMA and it travels to anywhere in the body especially weak places like the joints causing arthritis, or we may end up with liver problems, arthritis, ulcers, colitis, or any number of physical aliments.

It is so important to get grounded before eating, be in the body, settle and deeply listen and feel.  This is the MEDICINE!!!

Ama is one of the main reason people are overweight!

This can be from an imbalance of the mind and heart.  Such eating like emotional eating then comes up.  We are not focused and don’t know when to stop.  Then we overeat, eat when we are not hungry, and are unaware of what our body really needs.

For Health, weight lose and overall wellness –  Avoid these things:

  1.  Overeating – we need air/space for the enzymes to move around and for oxygen to stoke the fire of digestion.  Just like a fire need air to burn.  If we smoother the fire it goes out.  When we blow on it burns well.  Leave space for digestion to happen.  Ayurveda recommends 1/3 water, 1/3 food, 1/3 space.
  2. Eating when not Hungry –  If I am not hungry then that means I do not have enough digestive fire to break down the food.  If I can’t break it down then it becomes AMA.
  3. Eating too late – Eat an ealier lighter dinner.  Our bile is highest in the middle of the day so it is best to eat your bigger meal in the middle of the day and have soup or salad for Supper (“supplement”).  Ideally eat before 6pm.

The Liver?  How is it affected by Digestion?

After the food goes through the belly and small intestines everything but the fiber that is getting excreted goes to the Liver via the Potal vein.  The liver is a filter, it detoxifies everything.  It will hang onto toxins.  Which is why in Ayurveda it is recommended to do a cleanse in the spirng and fall to reset the system.  So you can see how important it is to eat properly, avoid pesticides, chemicals, and things like MSG.  It all goes immediately to the liver depletes our OJAS!

ACID REFLUX?

Acid Reflux is generally related to inflammation and excess heat in the naval chakra area.  Digestive fire can be too hot, the liver can be too hot, or the intestines can be too hot.  This can lead to ulcers, colitis, or many different problems with digestion.  

Anything, anything, anything!!!!  that goes into the body relates back to what goes on emotionally, mentally and spiritually.   Any undigested experience, emotion, or information can effect digestion.  So as a kid if we don’t have the tools to digest an experience then it can get stuck in the ethereal body (energy body) for us to process later.  I read an article fro mmindvalley where he talked about a meditation class he took where they hook the brain up to messure the brain waves and meditate.  What was found is that forgiveness was the fastest way to enlightenment.  Going back through ones life and forgiving the self and others helped raise the brain waves more than anything else.  A lightness comes from forgiving and healing.

Bottom line:  How do we increase the flow of conscoiusness in ourselves?

Get Grounded before eating!!!  We have a choice, we have free will.  Once we have the knowledge then it is our responsibility to choose.  What will hold us back is our old cellular memory.  It is deep and draws us back in to our old patterns.  If we conciously choose and put attention on it then we can shift.  At first we will have to constantly remind ourselves.  Come at it from a place of compassion.  Notice what pulls you off!  Interestingly! Be Super Curious and Forgiving!!!

Digestion inertwines so many parts of our existence.  Having the body be well means healing the heart, and healing the mind too!!!

So enjoy your next meal like you never have before!!!  THIS IS THE MEDICINE!!!

Enjoy your next meal like you never have before.  Close your eyes and truely taste your food!

6 Tips to Avoid Colds this Fall!!

With the changes of the seasons here let’s boost our immune system, stay healthy and avoid colds.  Here are some signs to look for and pointers along the way:

Netti Pot Video Here!!        Self Massage with Oil Video here!

Netti Pot and oil for your nose
Netti Pot and oil for your nose
  1.  Catch a Snotty nose quick!!!– Snot is a breading ground for bateria and virus.  Use a netti pot with warm salt water as soon as you get snotty to clean out the nasal passage and eliminate germs.  Then gargle with warm salt water to clear the throat area too.  If you ac  re snotty you probably missed a clue already like dryness, fatigue, white coated tongue or stinky breath.  Look for these clues and jump on the steps below!
  2.   Prevent and Eliminate dryness!!!  OIl Massage is the best!!!Oil Massage is the BEST!!!   If your skin is dry, this is a sign that your lymph system is dry which lowers your bodies potential to fight off invaders.  We need to stay well lubed outside and inside.  Use an oil like seaseme, coconut, or sunflower oil and put some in your nostrils and ears.  Sounds odd I know, but this is powerful preventative medicine and will save you a lot of grief.  You are lubricating the areas of your body that are exposed to the outside world, offering you protection you and lubricating you.  Also do self massage with oil before or after showering.  Very powerful for relaxing your central nervous system and boosting your immune system.  The skin is our largest organ, protect it well and avoid chemicals found in lotions and some soaps and shampoos.  Oiling will prevent dryness which will soon be followed by snottyness.  Dryness comes before the cold.  You can also use a humidifier at night.

If you want to have a deep conversation about your health goals to get some guidance on where you are and how to get to where you want to be, then email me to set up a time!    winslowpassey@gmail.com

Or Check out my upcoming course:                                           Vibrant Health Evolution

3.  Warm it and spice it!  go for warmer foods as it gets colder out and use spices like turmeric, cinnamon, cardamon and nutmeg.  I add all of these to my oats.  I add tumeric root in smoothies (which I make at room temperature), and tumeric powder to most everything like roasted veggies, rice, and eggs.  Ginger is great too in smoothies and with cooking

4.  Sleep well with these tips!!!  Go to sleep before 10.  These are the best hours of sleep and you will be more in align with nature.  If we didn’t live in boxes with electricity then we would naturally do this.  This is what your body wants and needs.  Have an early light dinner around 5 or 6pm, create a relaxing evening with some movement (like a walk withyour family), and some relaxation.  Avoid the screens at night as they stimulate your brain and make falling asleep hard.  Feel when you get tired and follow it down!  Warm milk with ghee, cinnamon, cardamon and nutmeg (tumeric too) is yummy and helps get you to sleep.  (If you are snotty you may want to avoid dairy).  You will wake up refresh and energized with this routine

5.  Hydrate!!  Drink water between meals and cut down or eliminate caffiene, alcohol and sugary drinks.  First thing in the morning drink warm water until you fully eliminate.  Then you won’t reabsorb the toxins back into the body.  Flush out your system so it can work well.

6.  Lower Stress!!!  Stress puts us into fight or flight.  The blood then goes to the periphery and the body will not be able to fight off battery and viruses in the gut or elsewhere because it is preoccupied with fighting or fleeing.  This is true even if we are not moving but have the stress response.    Meditating daily is a great tool for learning how to better calm the brain.

RECIPE BOO CANDY

Here is a recipe from Cate Stillman with Yoga Healer for ‘Boo Candy’ which prevents colds!!!

Use a cutting board and knife

  • Add 1/2 cup raw honey to the cutting board.
  • Add 3 tbsp. turmeric powder (you can dry roast it first in a skillet for added benefit).
  • Add 2 tsp. ginger powder
  • Add 1/2 tsp. cloves

Cut the spices into the honey with the knife until you have a smooth texture. Add more spices for desired taste. Store in a small tin or small glass jar. Put on the kitchen table in reach for all ages. Little ones like to roll it into pea-sized balls.

If you want to have a deep conversation about your health goals to get some guidance on where you are and how to get to where you want to be, then email me to set up a time!    winslowpassey@gmail.com

Or Check out my upcoming course:                                           Vibrant Health Evolution

5 reasons to practice Yoga!

Meditating with Bodhi1.  Gain more flexibility! –  Did you know if your muscles are flexible even the arteries in your heart are more flexible.  Literally you can decrease your risk of heart disease if you can touch your toes.  And it is a welcome freedom I have found when I can step high, squat, touch my toes and move freely in my own body!

2.  Calm your mind !–  Yoga helps teach us how to calm our monkey minds and sub sequently our entire nervous system.  This helps us in numerous ways from increase our digestive power, decreasing stress and disease related illness.

3.  Learn to listen, Avoid Burn Out & Injury!! – Often we hammer through life and get proficient at ignoring pain.  This however only leads to burn out or injury as far as I can tell.  Listening is key!!!

4.  Increase your strength and balance!!– This helps us in everything we do and prevents injuries as well.  Not to mention that we feel better afterward!

5.  Connect deeper to your own purpose!  – When get open up our hearts to growth and learning we get clear on our gifts and our path!

Most of us, that love yoga and make it a part of our everyday lives, get into it for a variety of  reasons yet may stick with it for totally different reasons.  It seems to infiltrate ones life enriching it in ways we could not have imagined.

When I first started yoga I think it was around 2004.  As a mountain guide I found that my shoulders were rounding forward from carrying heavy backpacks and climbing.  My low back did not have any mobility especially by the end of a summer season of running up and down peaks like Mt. Baker and Rainier in the Cascades.  My hips were solid and tight making sitting cross legged impossible. However I was strong and fit, and thought myself capable.  I went into my first class with gusto thinking I could do it all.  The instructor told me in that class that I needed to “relax my muscles before I could get any movement in my body”.  He gently encouraged me to relax and breath, and I began to hear an emphasis on the importance of listening to my body.  The physical challenge I was looking for was met, but something much deeper as well, which was this desire to listen to my body for once and not just run it down!  In my opinion, a skillful teacher is one who can keep me present in my body with good aligment and a bit of challenge, and also weave in deeper themes that stimulate my mind and soul to perhaps see things in a different way.  I got this in my classes and slowly over time found a much deeper meaning in my practice than just the physical aspects.  Learning to breath well, calm my central nervous system, and tame my busy mind a bit were a few of the things I was learning.

Have you ever noticed in life how the same lesson will present itself over and over again until we perhaps learn to behave differently?  Sometimes it seems it takes me 20 times before I learn a lesson.  I have come to see the obstacles as gifts (a yoga philosophy I picked up on) that help guide me in the direction that I need to go.

Here are a few stories and the lessons that have presented themselves to me over time.

Stories of Deep Learning from my life!

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Story #1:

When I was in high school, I developed what doctors diagnosed as exercise induced asthma.  It presented itself like this:  whenever I would push myself in sports my throat would close up and I would not get enough oxygen.  So they tested my skin and said I was allergic to everything (cats, dogs, grass, dust, etc.) and I took inhalers a lot.  Funny enough it did not work.  Years later (I guess aproximately 15 yrs later) I blew my knee (the second ACL for me) which is another story, so I went to visit a friend at a healing center in California.  While at this place with massage, yoga, energy work, etc.  I was biking for my rehab, when I realized that if I keep my mind in a positive place, then I could keep my throat open.  I recognized that when my throat would close it was when I was trying to go hard and in my mind there was a record playing that said that I was not good enough.  I also recognized that I had been playing that tune since my dad died when I was 15 yr. old. Even though I had done a lot of forgiving and healing, I still had this underlying belief, and it was not serving me well.  So like I said, it took me a long time to figure this out, but better late than never.  It was my yoga practice that encouraged me to pay attention to my mind and the thoughts that pass through there.  I learned to observe them from a nonjudgmental place and ask myself how they serve me.  To reach my highest potential I wanted to align my body, mind and soul in the best way possible, and this meant identifying and letting go of limiting beliefs.  So I get on my bike and start to push my cardio, and concentrate on keeping a positive encouraging mind, and for the first time in years my throat stays open and I can breath well.  Brilliant!!  Yoga is more than just bending my body on the mat, it is something I take into my everyday life to embody so that my life becomes more vibrant.  This simple solution was never considered from any Dr. that tried to help me in high school.  They never asked me if I was stressed or what was going on in my life.  I began to understand that looking at the emotional side of things was essential to my physical wellbeing.

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Story # 2:

In yoga one often hears about this concept of being present in the moment!  Easier said than done.  One quote I love says,

” If you stand with one foot in the past and one foot in the future, you are going to piss all over today” -unknown.

Yet our monkey minds love to lament on the past and worry about the future, making it difficult to just be here now.  I will tell this story about how not being present was not working for me.   I had a series of injuries starting in college and reoccuring at fairly even intervals.  I broke my neck diving into home playing softball while hitting my head on the catchers leg, I had several stress fracture injuries in my leg from basketball, I blew my left ACL, then my right ACL, amoung many other smaller injuries.  So after the second knee I decided I better examine what was going on in my head during these injuries or else I was going to keep wrecking myself.  What I realized was that I was usually worried about what other people thought about me.  In other words, I was trying to show off or prove myself in some way.  I had lost focus on the task at hand, and my busy mind was running wild.  I later learned to recognize my “ego”, you could say, and then I could let it go and focus on my breath and stay present in the moment more fully.  Just by recognizing my ego it would start to dissolve a bit and I could bring more clarity to my mind.  I don’t know exactly how I have come to learn all this from yoga, but somehow these ancient philosophies have started to seep into my everyday being.

Story #3

I knew yoga was getting into my bones when I was driving down the road and I would sit up a little taller and pull my shoulders back.  Or when I washing dishes and I stretched my low back to get its natural curve, and then hugged my belly in for support as my arms reach over the sink.  And when out on a ski tour I began thinking about the alignment of my knee over my ankle and paid attention not to let my knee collaspse to the inside.  The principles of body alignment I was learning in class started to make sense in every sport and activity in which I was involved.  Even in the middle of the night when I wake up and stroll to the bathroom, I realize I have a choice to slouch or stand up tall.  But it goes deeper, how about when I wake up in the night or in the morning and off jets my busy mind.  I recognized this one day and wondered how to settle such an overflow of non sense coming from this great helpful brain that often is in overdrive.  So I decided to replaced my thoughts in these moments with two words.  On the inhale “Greatest” and on the exhale “Love”.  I figured if I could train my brain to think about the “Greatest Love” perhaps my whole being would be happier and calmer.  I do this all the time now, and it works wonders for my monkey mind.

During my pregnancy, I found meditation and yoga to be so fun and helpful in many ways.  Not only does it feel great physically and mentally, but also it is a powerful way for me to connect with the beautiful being growing in my belly.  While pregnant I recognize how everything that I put into my body, every thought that I have, and every emotion I experience effect this little being directly.  We are naming our son Bodhi, and he and I make an effort to stay relaxed and calm, to breath well, and keep our bodies as healthy as possible.  It worked, throughout my pregnancy, and I was active and full of energy and happiness.