Monday, February 14, 2011


Why is it so hard to remember how awesome we are? I saw a post today that I loved, because it was in-your-face awesomeness! (CLICK HERE!)

As I was pondering my own and my friends' forgetfulness as to our awesomeness levels, I was thinking about how easy it is to get sucked into all the things going on around us: the media messages, the emails, the jobs we take on, etc. If I lived in a small, transient community, 2000 years ago, would I get sucked into those dynamics and forget myself? Somehow, I doubt it. 

So far I've had a beautiful, though not typical Valentine's Day. I connected to my sister living abroad via a Skype yoga session this morning, I chatted with a few friends that I've been missing on Skype and gchat this afternoon, and I saw a friend tonight before my yoga class, who gave me a lovely flower. where's my husband in all of this? Stuck in bed, sick. We celebrate our love often, so I'm not too upset about missing a dinner this one day of the year. But I do plan on pampering him whenever he is awake enough for it. 

In my yoga class tonight, I focused on loving ourselves. And I think there could not have been a more perfect audience. Most of the people who attended class tonight were single, and most of them came to yoga to be kind to themselves. The response I got from the self-love focus was amazing; I could see people brightening and warming throughout the practice.

It's on a day where we celebrate love where we should reflect on our own self-love (and, before you ask, no, I don't mean that self-love... this time). We don't have a specific day dedicated to expressing our own awesomeness, but it should be part if our daily to-do list. So go ahead, give yourself a hug, and a smile, and maybe even a little treat. You deserve it! xo

Thursday, February 10, 2011


Our bodies are so freaking amazing. I wasn't feeling that way earlier today, but then I started thinking about my heart, and how I wanted to strengthen it: for me, for those I love.

Then I made this heart. This heart is a heart that is flexing its muscle. The lines, colors, and cord in it are the growing strength. The whiteness in the center is the openness within the heart. And the glitter is highlighting that space, because that space within the strength is something that I value so much.

Thinking about my heart and making this heart started me thinking about the rest of the insides of my body. Even when I connect to my body, I often forget about everything else that is going on inside. Skin, muscles, and even bones are relatively easy to connect to, especially in yoga.

But there are all these crazy organs and blood vessels and veins and nerves and hormones and neurotransmitters... et cetera! And somehow they all balance each other and continue to work to support us, even when they're ignored. That's my body loving me from the inside.

My body is loving me from the inside out. Even when I forget to love it, I know it's loving me.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Retreating into my Heart Space

Retreating is a funny word. People often think of running away, hiding, giving up, and defeat. And yet, we also go on retreats to relax, have fun, and enjoy ourselves. To retreat or to go on retreat? It seems like an odd question, one that isn't part of our every day lives. But, in reality, it's a question we're constantly faced with: to fear or embrace? To surrender to someone else or to surrender to our own needs? It's so hard to remember, but we always have the choice.

I went on a yoga retreat this past weekend in beautiful wilderness where I got to spend time with lovely people and a fantastic teacher, do about 10 hours of yoga, watch my husband deepen his practice, and remember to feel the strength in my own. I relaxed. I had fun. I enjoyed myself.

But, I also panicked a little here and there. Surrendering to my body's needs and giving it a chance to grow, recover, and balance was hard. Mainly because I have trained myself for several years to ignore everything my body tells me. Foot hurts? Keep running! Stress fracture from running too much? Swim every day! Tired from so much time on crutches and in the water? Don't give up teaching fitness classes! Perhaps you can imagine how my crazy mind gets slightly more insane when it is put out of its comfort zone. When I listen to my body instead of ignoring it, I sometimes get uncomfortable with what it tells me.

But it is a lesson that I desperately want to learn. When I think of that higher, brighter, best version of myself, I visualize a loving person who shows compassion to everyone around her, but, most of all, to herself. Practicing compassion on the mat is becoming easier and easier. I don't feel the need to bind every time I do a twist, or to do a long exhausting practice when I'm already feeling overly tired. Showing compassion toward myself in the rest of my life is way freaking hard, though.

So I went on retreat and focused on practicing that compassion. I practiced and practiced and practiced. When I went for a run in 100 degree heat, I stopped after 15 minutes because it was too hot. Compassion, right? Sure, maybe the best-me wouldn't have forced herself outside in the first place, but it's better than before (I promise, it is). Baby steps into my heart. Baby steps into surrender. Baby steps retreating.