Sunday, 23 October 2011

Link Love

It's been a while since my last post. As is true in life, there are ebbs and flows of energy and motivation, and I have been lacking in the inspiration department over the last month or so. Anyway, I found my way back to my mat last week, and it felt good. My husband and I had a discussion about the whole thing and he (observantly) noted: "You're way happier when you're doing yoga twice a week!" I can't be offended, since it's true :) So, last weekend was my 2nd Yoga Teacher Training weekend, and we focused on Anatomy. We also had a talk from Registered Holistic Nutritionist, Donna Wiggers, who is also a student in the program. I have been thinking a lot about proper nutrition lately, especially about finding the energy and fuel my body needs to be at it's best, both mentally and physically. I came across this article today and it combines a few simple but important practices that we could all use more of in our lives. Read and enjoy: The 5 Keys to Good Health

Namaste, ERIN

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Link Love

This article came to me today at a time when I really needed a reminder to breathe. I have found it hard to find any time for yoga over the last two weeks and my body can tell. I feel tight and stressed... and while you do have to have a bit of free time to roll out your mat, this article reminded me that I don't need any free time to just relax and breathe. I can do it while I'm standing in line at the grocery store, while I'm brushing my teeth and while I'm lying in bed trying to fall asleep. Have a read, and then give it a try yourself.

On a side note: My brother- and sister-in-law welcomed their second child into the world today. A cute little baby girl named Maicie. My second niece, and little sister to Makhyla. Everyone is happy and healthy, and so excited to finally meet her!

Namaste, ERIN

Monday, 12 September 2011

Om-ing with Elton

I'm doing a 2-part post today. Here goes...

Part One:
I did the second day of my Teacher Training on Sunday. It started off with a 90 min Power Vinyasa class. At 9:30 in the morning. Before I'd had time to sufficiently wake up. Fun? But of course :) After that, we worked on more alignment, and that basically took up the rest of the day. I have come to a number of conclusions during my first weekend, and the main one is that I need to do more yoga! I have been trying to make it out to a studio twice a week, but that's not enough. I have to increase my home practice, hopefully to four or five times a week. In the summer, I did yoga a few times out in my backyard, and it was possibly the most freeing thing I've ever done. The poses take on a whole new meaning when the sun is shining on you and the breeze is blowing through your hair. Unfortunately, I won't be able to practice outside for much longer (Oh, Canada...) but that doesn't mean I can't work on my home practice in my home. The next Training weekend is in October and we'll be focusing on anatomy. I'm not sure if that's up my alley or not, but I guess I'll find out soon enough!

Part Two:
I am taking an 8-week class with Eva (whom I met at Eternal Hot Yoga) on Monday nights. Tonight was the first night and it was so much fun! It was like a little yoga slumber party with all the girls and the laughter. We had a great time trying out supported headstand, and crow, and also some pose where you make an upside down L-shape with your hands on the floor, and your feet up on a wall (don't know the name, can't hold it very long!) She also has the best music... hence the name of the post. We were listening to Rocket Man when it came time to OM. During her classes, we work through the book The Four Agreements, and she has everyone choose an intention from a set of cards that are based on the book. I got the perfect one tonight: "Honor the woman that you are. Take the risk to express your dream. Taking action is about living fully and expressing what you are." Love it. This will be my intention for the rest of the week, and needless to say, I can't wait until next week's class!

Namaste, ERIN

Saturday, 10 September 2011

First Day of School

So, I survived my very first day of Teacher Training... and I am exhausted! We got started at 10am today, and I met lots of lovely ladies who I will be training with. We got a lot of information today. My thoughts ran the gamut from "This is definitely for me!" to "There's no way I can do this!" It's going to be a challenging 10 weekends, that is for sure. But, like Sheree said today: Whatever you do, do it to the best of your abilities and you will reap the rewards. I am so excited to learn more and practice more... Starting at 9:30am tomorrow with a 90min Vinyasa class. But for now, I'm going to bed!

Namaste, ERIN

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Vampires and Quinoa

That's pretty much what my weekend consisted of.

I got a new cookbook called Quinoa 365, and I am in love! I've been looking for healthy recipes so I can make a change in my eating habits, and quinoa is one of the healthiest things you can eat. Check out this page to see why - Why Quinoa? There are over 150 recipes in this book for all 3 meals, plus snacks and even baby food! I have made 4 quinoa recipes so far, and have many more bookmarks sticking out of the pages waiting for me. The recipes are easy to follow, and don't require lots of complicated or fancy ingredients. I feel so much better when I eat well. My body feels lighter and I feel happier knowing I am treating my body with the respect it deserves. Throw in a yoga session and it doesn't get much better than that!

And in last-to-jump-on-the-bandwagon news, I am hooked on Twilight! (I know, I know. I may be the last person on Earth who hasn't already chosen sides in the Team Edward/Team Jacob debate!)  I have read the first book, and spent a large chunk of the last 5 days devouring the second installment. I am "unconditionally and irrevocably in love" with this series. Two of my girlfriends have read all the books and have seen all the movies, and they have given me a deadline. I am to finish all four books before November, when the first part of Breaking Dawn comes to theatres. The way things are going, that won't be a problem ;)

It's small things like these that I am making a point to be grateful for. Small things that let you focus on the simpler things in life, and realize maybe life ain't so bad. It's when we forget those things that our everyday stresses get out of hand. So, while I'm cooking and reading this week, I'm also taking a moment to stop and smile. And relax.

Namaste, ERIN

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Accidental Private Lesson

I went to yoga at Live With Spirit today (where I'll be taking the Yoga Teacher Training) for Sheree's Hatha Yoga class. A funny thing happened though... No one else showed up! It was so great to have the teacher all to myself. It was nice to have the personal attention to help correct my alignment. Also, half way through the class, she'd asked me if I had ever done a headstand before and my answer was no. I'd never been in a class where it was instructed. She asked if I was afraid and my answer was no. If I plan on being a teacher, I can't be afraid to try the poses! So, she proceeded to show me, and then spot me as I tried. My verdict - I am heavier than I thought! (haha) And I will need to practice it for a long time to come in order to really get it right. But it was so cool to get the one-on-one instruction needed for a potentially dangerous pose like headstand. I also got to thinking today about the misconceptions that some people have about yoga. It is a great physical exercise. All of the poses (when done with proper alignment) will tone one muscle group or another, or often a few at the same time. All the stretching and twisting also helps to create a leaner physique, by lengthening your muscles. The beauty of the practice however, is that it brings together your physical movements with your breath, helping to calm and quiet your mental muscles, which to me, is the best exercise of all. I wish that people placed as much importance on their mental health as they do on their physical health. I know one thing that scares people away from yoga in the first place, is the spiritual aspect, as many aren't comfortable with that. But you don't have to make it about a God or any specific spiritual being. I am still trying to work out the details of my own beliefs. What you can focus on, is quieting your mind and learning to bring the calmness and serenity of practice into your daily life. Learning to think before reacting, and finding the small things to be grateful for in the most mundane of days. The rest will follow.

Namaste, ERIN

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Link Love

I just read this amazing post on The Daily Love and wanted to share it with you. I am having one of those days of internal struggle, where my negative mind is trying to shoot down any positive thoughts and ideas I have today. I think I may re-read this over again... then go meditate on it! Hope this resonates with you today.

Love The Uncertainty

Namaste, ERIN

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Grateful Sundays

This morning I got up early to go to the free yoga class at my local Lululemon. At the time, all I wanted to do was stay in bed and be lazy, but sadly I have been lazy all week, and I promised myself that I would go today - no excuses, no questions asked. As I was getting ready to go, I could feel that my muscles were tight and sore. The thought of doing yoga really appealed to me at that moment, knowing the amazing feeling of the stretches. My body was craving yoga, and the class did not disappoint. Not too strenuous for first thing in the morning, but still challenging enough to feel like you're getting a bit of a workout. When savasana arrived, I felt so peaceful and relaxed. All day now I have been in a great mood. Even though it's a rainy day here, I am still finding small things to make me smile. That brings me to the name of the post. For the last couple of weeks, I've started keeping a list every Sunday in a notebook: "5 Things I Was Grateful for This Week." I thought it might be a nice way to look for the positive in everyday life (something I have trouble doing when the long mundane days start to add up!) Today, I sat outside under the cover of my big maple tree while it was raining and watched as the sun tried to peek through the clouds. It seems so magical when the sun shines during a rain, and it never fails to make me smile. So that will go on the list. Earlier this week, I had a single serving mini Hagen-Dazs (Dulce de Leche). So good, and it even came with it's own mini spoon. I didn't even know they made those! That will go on the list as well. I think it's all the little tiny things in life (that seem insignificant on their own) that add up to happiness when you take the time to pay attention. My intention this morning in class was to be present during the practice, and I think it's followed me through the rest of my day. I'm enjoying each little part of this Sunday, focusing on the present moment, and not wasting my time worrying about tomorrow. The only part of the future that has crept into my mind today? I'm having sushi for dinner. And I can promise you that it will definitely be going on the list!

Namaste, ERIN

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Decisions decisions...

So, here I am. I have been practicing yoga consistently since January 2010, when a good friend said "Hey. Why don't you come to hot yoga with me?" I went (terrified) and haven't looked back since. I fell in love. At first it was the exercise. The sweat freaked me out, but I quickly got used to it and loved the way I felt after a good class. But soon after, I started to realize there were more benefits than just a good workout. I began to come away from classes feeling inspired by something the teacher had said. I began to link breath to movement, which helped to quiet the hamster on the wheel (a.k.a. my brain!) I felt like all I wanted to do was more yoga! I read countless yoga blogs and websites. In fact, my husband can't understand how I can be on Facebook for hours at a time almost every night. I'm sure he thinks I'm creeping an ex-boyfriend or something, but in reality, I'm reading all the posts of all the yoga-related pages that I have "Liked". I take my inspiration in any form I can get it, as many times a day as I can get it. Yoga has fully engulfed me, and I wouldn't have it any other way. And that's kind of why I'm here. I have been wrestling with the decision of whether or not to take a Yoga Teacher Training course. I have explored my options and gone over and over the pros and cons in my head. Unfortunately, the hamster in my head is a bit strong-willed and he seems to only tell me the cons of my decisions, which is why I haven't made any decisions yet. However, I went to see "Friends With Benefits" yesterday. Mila Kunis and Justin Timberlake are awesome... and what does that have to do with yoga? Well, I told you, I take my inspiration as it comes. Who am I to argue? Anyway, I won't give away the story, but basically the part when Dylan's father tells him that life is too short, really got to me. I almost stood up in the theatre to give a resounding "Hell yeah!" (But the hamster wouldn't allow it.) Regardless, it spoke to me. And that's when I decided - I'm doin' it! Less emphasis on the mind (hamster) making all the important choices in my life and more emphasis on following the heart. I guess that's where the Sparrow part of it comes in. I have a bird thing. Ask my husband... there are figurines all over the house! I love those feathery little critters. And if I had to pick an animal to represent my heart, it would be the sweetest little one you can find - my sparrow. So that's that. I will be starting my Teacher Training in the fall, and I wanted to place to document my journey. And I think I've found it. I hope you can be a part of it :) Thanks for observing the first flight of the Sparrow Yogi.

Namaste, ERIN