Yoga

State of Savasana

Tonight I attended my hot yoga class for the first time in almost a month. It was hard to get out of the house. The longer I go without leaving the girls the harder it is for me to leave them.

I set up my mat in the front row and let the 105 degree heat wash over my body.

As class began I set my intention. I pictured Clara’s beautiful smile and her compassionate blue eyes. I saw Ceci laughing and showing her two new front teeth. I created some space in my heart for my husband. And then I didn’t think of them another time for 90 minutes.

It is unnerving what a few weeks away from taking time to push, and sweat, and be can do to my outlook.

It is amazing that after a season of relative neglect that my body can remember how to move, how to breathe, how to remain strong.

In standing deep breathing I could feel the tension that had taken residence in my neck and back.

I breathed through three weeks of sick babies and sick mommy and sick daddy.

Half moon is a strong posture for me, but I could feel the weakness in my core muscles as I stretched long and didn’t collapse. I relished the stretch up the back of my legs as I stood on my hands and pulled my torso parallel with my legs.

The room felt extra hot and extra wet tonight. I breathed through the postures. I let them twist me and cleanse me and heal me.

I love the balancing postures- their challenge is great, but accessible to me.

Standing Head to Knee, first set-  Standing leg was strong and I was able to completely extend my right leg. Hands webbed around foot, heel pushing forward. I picked my “drishti”(a focal point to help with balance), my forehead touched my knee. I pulled strong of my foot. My forehead rested soundly on my knee, I could feel my biceps engage, my elbows bent. Every fiber and sinew of my body and mind were working together. I was able to repeat on the other side and hold this posture firm for the entire second set.

I gave everything to the balancing series and had to lie in corpse pose for the second set of Standing Separate Leg Head to Knee. This was disappointing for me because I know how amazing this posture is for restoration and stimulation. I listened to my body. I let it go.

I felt the weakness in my core muscles ( two pregnancies will do that) again in Triangle pose. I rooted into both feet and found some extra stability there.

From Tree I took my Toe Stand. I was remarkably stable and centered considering how this class was challenging me and didn’t lose my balance until the last few seconds.

I did not push myself on the floor poses tonight, but did give them all an honest effort.

Fixed Firm was awesome tonight.

I took a Bridge on the first set of Camel, but was able to do Camel on the second set.

Before I knew it we were in our final Savasana.

I think tonight was my second best Savasana ever!

I worked my body so hard that I just let it fade away.  My body was in complete rest and complete peace.

My mind also was at rest and peace.

My heart swelled within me with gratitude, love, hope, and praise.

I prayed for my children, my husband, my marriage.

The Holy Spirit helped me pray my hearts desires to the Father.

Desires for rainbows and peace and love.

The desire to begin each day with purposeful and praiseworthy action.

The desire to “let me be singing when the evening comes.”

The desire for a God that is everywhere and in everything.

The Great I AM is!!!

He really IS.

He is every movement and word and reflection.

He is everything that is beautiful and true.

He is the breath of life.

It is amazing that this union and power in accessible to me to live a victorious life and yet I so seldom access it.

I hope someday, sooner rather than later, that I will be able to have the posture of heart and the discipline of spirit that will allow me to exist in a state of Savasana.

I will always do the 26 poses because I love how they make me feel and what they do to my body, but someday I will not need them to get to that clear place where life makes sense because the only thing worthy of any single breath is giving praise to God!

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Yoga and Me

I began my journey with Bikram yoga about five years ago. I had casually done a bit of yoga here and there, mostly of the home dvd variety, before beginning hot yoga. My husband and I were living in Mexico at the time and would be visiting family in the states for Christmas, so I decided I would take some hot yoga classes while in Cali to learn the proper way to do this style of yoga in hopes that I would continue once returning to Guadalajara.

Before my first class at a Bikram studio in Costa Mesa I purchased and completely read, Bikram’s Beginning Yoga Class. I highly recommend this book. The in depth knowledge and advice it gives on each posture made a huge impact on my practice right from the beginning.

During our week-long stay I participated in 5 hot yoga classes. I loved this no non-sense style of yoga! No self-actualization speeches or inner-light mumbo jumbo- just me, my mat, 105 degress, 90 awesome minutes, and 26 rejuvenating postures.

I did continue hot yoga in our little casita in Las Fuentes. We had a little spare room and a space heater- so early when the morning was still quiet I went into my little room heated it up and worked in front of a mirror with my Bikram’s Beginning Yoga Class.

I continued this for about 9 months until I was 3 month pregnant with my first child and then switched to Jennifer Wolf’s Prenatal Vinyasa Yoga for the duration of my pregnancy. I think my yoga practice was the primary factor in both my first and second all-natural labor and deliveries.

I love to write about yoga because it is relatively new to me and besides my painting I don’t believe I have internalized something so deeply as I have it. That being said, I must  always be working through and evaluating its role in my life and how it affects my beliefs and actions-making sure I am taking each thought captive for Christ and not allowing false truths to inadvertently become apart of my mantra, so to speak=).

I have found the practice of yoga to be a great gateway for worshiping my Creative God! I am so amazed by our bodies he created and the “unreal” things they are quite capable of. I love the quiet surrender at the end of an intense practice where I can let go of my thoughts and stresses and just let my heart, soul, and mind praise God with no obstructions. I receive wonderful blessings and pictures of beauty and hope in these moments that strengthen my devotion to the Creator of all things.

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