Month: April 2014

What Is Your Purpose?

Posted on

20140430-114555.jpg

What is your purpose? You don’t know? Don’t worry you’re not alone. If many of us are honest with ourselves it’s a tough thing to figure out. I’ve  had several conversations with people, including professionals established in their careers that say, “I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up.” I personally have never had an epiphany on a career. Even in college I remember changing my major at least 5 times in one semester. The advisor signing off made me take a career exam after I changed my major the 3rd time. I couldn’t blame him. I was always coming up with a new idea or career. Which come to think of it, isn’t much different than today.

20140430-113223.jpg

Fast forward fifteen years later, I have a better idea of the things I love to do but I’m not sure if they are my calling or my purpose. I show up every day and do what I love when I can. I have a career but my passion lies within my hobbies which include teaching yoga, writing songs and writing anything for that matter. I haven’t been able to make a living on my hobbies as of yet but I’m working on it. 🙂

20140430-113400.jpg

I love life. I love that we have so many choices, so many opportunities but I still wonder, will there come a time that I ‘know that I know’ beyond a shadow of a doubt this is it? I’m not certain of that. What I am sure of, is that I love dreaming and I will continue to do that no matter what I’m doing or where I’m at. If some of those dreams come true, great! If none of them do, I’m pretty sure I’ll just find a new dream because I’m flexible like that. 🙂 That’s the beauty of recreating yourself and doing what you love. Nothing is ever final. You have choices. You have the ability to dream.
20140430-120341.jpg

I’m also finding out that maybe just maybe, we don’t have just one purpose, maybe we have many. Maybe our purpose is to help others by doing what we love, in that season, in that moment.
20140430-121748.jpg

So I’m curious, have you ever had an epiphany or a moment when you just knew this was what you were put on this earth to do?

Are you more like me, doing what you love and taking it one day, one dream at a time?

Comment and chime in. I’d love to know.

Here’s where you can find me: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Be-PresentYoga/336705043142303 and on twitter:@bepresent100 

20140430-113119.jpg

HOW TO PREVENT SHIN SPLINTS WITH YOGA

Posted on Updated on

20140428-145223.jpg

Aching, throbbing and debilitating are just a few ways to describe shin splints. Once you have them, ice and rest are the best remedies. Being a runner, myself, I know all to well the pain they can inflict. In today’s post, you will find yoga pose variations that will help to prevent shin splints by both strengthening and stretching your legs and feet. First, I must say thank you to Rob! He has a blog http://weight2lose2013.wordpress.com and recently asked me if there were any yoga poses to prevent shin splints? Great question and thank you for the inspiration for this post!

STRENGTHEN

Chair Pose variation with heel lift (Utkatasana)

20140428-145442.jpg

Begin standing with your feet hip width apart, squat back, keeping the knees lined up. Lift one heel up off the mat. Now, see if you can lift both heels up off the mat, placing the weight onto the balls of the feet. Lift your heels up and down by alternating between them or lifting both at the same time. Try 3 sets of 10-15 reps.

Chair Pose variation one leg lift (Utkatasana)

20140428-145830.jpg

In this variation instead of lifting the heel, stay in the squat position and lift the entire foot. Hold for 10-15 seconds and switch sides. 2 set of 10-15 reps per each side.

Standing Toe Lift

20140428-202329.jpg

Lift the toes and try to spread them apart. This may prove challenging in the beginning but this will strengthen your feet and the overall stability in your foot. Try 2 sets of 10-15 reps. Be consistent. Keep practicing.  🙂

STRETCHES

Warrior 1 (Virabhadrasana I)

20140428-150146.jpg

Right foot in front, knee over ankle, hips squared, turn your back foot slightly to the left and press down through both feet. Hold for 60-90 seconds and switch sides. Repeat 2-3 times per side.

Half Monkey Pose (Hanumanasana) 

20140428-200552.jpg

Begin on your knees, walk the right foot in front and stretch your leg out. Heel on the mat as your toes point up. Option 1: Keep the left knee under the hip. Option 2: Begin to walk the left knee back deeper into the splits. Hold for 60-90 seconds, 2-3 times per side. Be mindful and do what you can. That’s where you will reap the most benefits from your yoga poses.

Seated Flex/Point Toes

20140428-201736.jpg

Seated position with legs stretched out in front. Begin by pointing and flexing the feet back and forth. A simple stretch for your calves and shins.

Find out more on shin splints from the links below:

http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/shin-splints

http://www.runnersworld.com/tag/shin-splints

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/shin-splints/basics/definition/con-20023428

If you have questions or something that your interested in seeing in my blog posts, please ask! If you want more yoga and motivation, here’s where you can find me! @ https://www.facebook.com/pages/Be-PresentYoga/336705043142303 and on twitter:@bepresent100 

 

Hiking & Yoga on House Mountain

Posted on Updated on

20140427-121531.jpg

House Mountain, nestled away in Corryton, Tennessee, a hiking trail with amazing views and challenging terrain. Our hiking group tackled this short (4 mile) hike this past weekend.  They indulged me while I took numerous photos of every wild flower along the trail. They also put up with my many attempts to capture the perfect group photo, so this post is dedicated to Amanda, Daniel and Curtis! So proud of Daniel and Amanda they completed a 5k the morning of this hike! Kudos to you both!

20140427-121600.jpg
This trail proved to be rocky, challenging and refreshing. The hike was fairly short but provided a good workout. We were feeling fairly accomplished on our way down when we saw a man hiking up barefoot going twice as fast uphill as we were downhill. I was impressed!

20140427-193609.jpg
The trail was plentiful with wildflowers. Top left: Fire Pink, Top Right: Wild Geranium and Woodland Stonecrop on the bottom.

20140427-193840.jpg
The views from the top are worth the hike! There are gorgeous rock formations throughout the trail and on top of House Mountain. So pack a lunch or a snack and enjoy the scenery.

20140427-194102.jpg
And lastly, I had to get some yoga in! What did you expect? Here’s me attempting crow pose a few times. This was a beautiful day for a hike. We enjoyed the outdoors, exercise and several good laughs. Good times with good friends! Perfect Day!

20140427-194227.jpg

Runners & Desk Junkies: 4 Yoga Poses You Need In Your Life

Posted on

20140423-232403.jpg

What do runners and desk junkies have in common? Tight hips! Use these juicy yoga stretches to open your hips and stay injury free. In order to get the most benefit from these hip openers, I suggest using a timer and holding each pose for 90 seconds. This will ensure you stay in the pose long enough to start allowing the tension and tightness to release. Let’s get started.

Bound Angle Pose (Baddha Konasana)

20140423-232327.jpg

Begin seated, bringing the soles of your feet together. Keep the spine long and hinge forward from the hips. Allow your hips to open and your knees to fall closer to the floor without pushing them. Just allowing them the space they need. If it’s only a thought for today, that’s perfectly okay. Work where you are.  Close your eyes and begin to breathe.

Lizard Pose (Utthan Pristhasana)

20140423-232336.jpg

Starting in a kneeling lunge position, (left foot in front) walk both hands to the inside of the knee/foot. Leave the arms extended or bring the forearms to the mat or block. Deepen the pose by lifting the back knee up off of the mat. Allow the knee to open up a little more to the left, lifting up through the arch of the foot to open the hips a little more.

Pigeon Pose (Eka Pada Rajakapotasana)

20140423-232345.jpg

There are a number of ways to come into pigeon pose. We will begin from the Lizard pose. One hand on each side, placing them underneath the shoulders, but not exact. You may walk your hands out in front as the photo demonstrates.  Beginning with the left foot in front, we walk the foot over as close as we can toward the right hand and the left knee will stay close to the left hand.  The back leg stretches all the way out behind us. Draw the navel in and keep the hips centered by not leaning to either side.  Imagine your tail bone curling slightly forward. You now have the option to fold forward and reach the arms out in front or stay upright. Yogi choice. 🙂

Fire Log Pose (Agnistambhasana)

20140423-232319.jpg

This is an intense hip opener and it may take some time for your hips to release to the full version of this pose. Be patient, do your best and listen to your body. Option 1: Start in a seated position, legs stretched out. Keep the left leg stretched out and bring the right foot in and place it on top of the left leg right above your knee. If this is enough, keep it here, allow yourself to sink into the stretch. Option 2: Deepen this pose further by bringing the left leg in. You will then be stacking your legs like fire logs demonstrated in the photo above. Shin over shin, knee over ankle on one side and ankle over knee on the other. In either option above, you may fold forward from the hips to intensify the stretch.

Hope you enjoyed these 4 hip opening yoga poses. Do them daily for the best results and try to incorporate a short warm-up before stretching which will help deepen your pose. If you have questions, send them to me!

Find more yoga and inspiration at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Be-PresentYoga/336705043142303 and on twitter:@bepresent100 

 

 

Mindful Yoga, Mindful Life: How to Avoid and Prevent Injuries in Your Yoga Practice.

Posted on Updated on

20140422-145930.jpg

As I was demonstrating proper alignment for chaturanga several months ago, I tweaked my shoulder. One wrong move is all it takes to compromise our alignment, even when were careful and even when were teacher’s :). It still frustrates me thinking about it but such is life. So here are the facts, whether you’ve been practicing yoga a week or several years, there aren’t any fool proof ways to guarantee injury will never happen to you. Injuries can happen even while walking down the stairs. Yes, that’s right I fell down the stairs a little over a year ago and broke my elbow. Yes, I’m a little embarrassed to admit that, and yes, I was completely sober. So it doesn’t really matter whether you’re doing yoga or walking there is a risk there apparently for some like me. However, I’m aware of the title of my post and I have some good news! There are ways that we can be more mindful in our practice which will help us to avoid and prevent injuries. (I count every step now) See my tips below for creating more mindfulness in your practice.

1) Stacking Your Joints. This helps to properly align your muscles, joints and bones. For example, stacking your joints while on your hands and knees consists of placing your knees under your hips and your wrists under your shoulders. Now obviously, we are not stacking the joints in every pose, the downward facing dog is a perfect example where we are stretching and lengthening our spine as opposed to stacking.

2) Navel to Spine. Drawing the naval toward the spine helps to keep our low back protected and engages our core muscles, including our abs. So it’s a win/win. It takes some time to develop navel to spine awareness but with practice you are on your way to a safer workout and fantastic abs!

3) Use Props. Props can deepen your pose and your practice. I have been teaching yoga for several years and I use them on a regular basis. They make you stronger and allow you to go deeper. They help strengthen your muscles and help you avoid compromising your alignment and risking injury. You may not need them for every pose but use them when you do.

4) Listen to your Body. This is the key to developing body awareness and learning your own limitations in each and every pose. When we are tired it’s okay to admit this and work with our body instead of against it. This may mean coming to child’s pose more throughout your practice or dropping to your knees in chaturanga. In other words, take it day by day, practice by practice.

5) Private Yoga Sessions. This will allow you to get personal attention and instruction for your body. You can also go over any lingering questions or concerns you have.

6) Ask questions. If you have a question, please ask your teacher.That’s why we are here and why we do what we do. We want to help you stay safe and grow in your yoga practice.

Comments? Questions? Send them to me!

Find more yoga and inspiration at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Be-PresentYoga/336705043142303 and on twitter:@bepresent100 

Liebster Award-Discovering New Bloggers

Posted on Updated on

20140421-215324.jpg

Thank you Anna at http://goingroguedotnet.com for nominating me for the Liebster award! I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to follow up on this. I was truly honored to receive this nomination. I am new to the blogging world but I have done my research and the Liebster Award is a way to discover new blogs and share some of your favorite bloggers with others. Once nominated for the Liebster award here is what you do:  (P.S. There isn’t a time limit on this that I’m aware of so take your time.)

1) Thank the blogger who gives it to you.

2) Answer the eleven questions he/she asks.

3) Nominate eleven bloggers with less than 500 followers.

4) Ask these eleven bloggers eleven questions.

5) Let these bloggers know that I have nominated them.

These are the eleven questions that I had to answer:

1) What is your favorite drink?

Water but I do love wine on occasion.

2) Do you consider yourself an optimist or a pessimist?

Optimist.

3) Who has been the most influential person in your life?

My grandmother.

4) Are you a loner or the life of the party in real life?

Loner. I’m not comfortable in crowds.

5) What is your favorite TV show if you watch TV?

This changes depending on my mood right now when time permits I’m watching reruns of the Cosby Show and the Andy Griffith show.

6) How much sleep do you get on average?

6-8 hours or I try at least.

7) What is your favorite music genre?

I love all music but I tend to lean more toward country.

8) Do you prefer a city environment or a remote area?

Both. I love living in the country but being close to the city.

9) What is the one THING you cannot do without out?

Dreams and goals. I cannot do with them!

10) What made you decide to become a blogger?

I love to write and also wanted to share yoga tips with others.

11) If you won the lottery, what would you do with the money?

I would make sure my family/friends had what they needed and then I would take a vacation to somewhere warm and relax and think about how best to invest/spend the money.

 My nominees are:  To all of my nominees, thank you for sharing your thoughts and inspirations with us!

1) http://thelightjourney928.tumblr.com/

2) http://littlehappyness.wordpress.com/

3) http://spiritsunshine.wordpress.com/

4) http://nylifesupply.com/

5) http://chloemayward.wordpress.com/

6) http://jjdevotionscafe.com/

7) http://aikidonosekai.wordpress.com/

8) http://atidecrem.com/

9) http://thechrishuntblog.wordpress.com/

10) http://acoursetothefinishline.wordpress.com/

11) http://followyourdesire.wordpress.com/

My eleven questions for my nominated bloggers:

1) If you could change careers and start a brand new one tomorrow. What would you do?

2) You win a 2 week vacation, all expenses paid. Where would you go?

3) You’ve been given one super power. What would you choose?

4 & 5) You have the opportunity to create a cure for one disease. What would it be and why?

6) You could have dinner and discussion with anyone living or dead. Who would you choose?

7) Favorite movie?

8) Favorite childhood memory?

9) If you could make a living writing on any topic. What topic would you choose?

10) Why did you start your blog?

11) You have the chance to guest star on your favorite tv show. Which show would you pick?

20140421-215343.jpg

8 Tips to Making Peace a Habit

Posted on

Beautiful words of wisdom and kindness.
I really enjoyed reading this post and wanted to share. 🙂

AIKIDO-NO-SEKAI

??????????????????????????????????????????????????? Why is peace so elusive? There is no one answer to this question; however, it is true that peace starts within ourselves. If each of us actively strive for peace, I think having peace in our lives isn’t such an impossible dream. Listed below are 8 of most practical tips to start living peacefully with ourselves and others. I am sure you feel lighter and more at peace by applying these tips in your everyday lives:

1. Say Thank you.

The attitude of gratitude. Most people today think they are entitled to certain privileges. Bosses barking orders to subordinates, customers ranting in stores and restaurants, children feeling they should have this or that toy because all their friends have them; the list can go on and on. Seldom do we hear even a “thank you“. How would you feel if after doing something for others they say thank…

View original post 776 more words