Thursday, May 29, 2008

7 Random Things About Me

I was tagged for this so long ago, I don’t remember who tagged me! (Sorry)! It is a fun one, though, so I thought I would put it out there now.

Here are the rules:

- Link to the person who tagged you and post the rules on your blog. (If you can remember who tagged you that is...)
- Share 7 random or weird things about yourself.
- Tag people at the end of your post, and include links to their blogs
- Let each person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

Here they are!
o I am a closet Rocker. It is true! I can hardly sit still when I hear Bruce Springsteen or the Steve Miller band.
o I also love Lionel Richie. I got tickets for a concert in high school and even my boyfriend wouldn’t come with me! My science lab partner said he would love to go and my boyfriend was relieved! ☺ (On a bright note – that same lab partner then took my to Billy Joel as a thank you!) (And did I mention I am a “Fanillow” too! )
o I really do not enjoy shopping. I can hardly even go into a mall for a “quickie”. Even catalog shopping isn’t fun because I often have to return it for another size and returning something feels so inconvenient. My friends often give me hand-me-downs and I love them for it! Pre-washed, I know they won’t shrink, and I never set foot in a store.
o My favorite movie of all time: True Lies. (I think it has to do with the fact that I wanted to be James Bond when I was little. Never a teacher or a mom or a nurse, just a spy!)
o I love to sweat when I am exercising! I love the feeling of working my body that way.
o I cannot figure out lyrics to songs. It can be quite amusing to listen to what I say. (I thought “Midnight toker” was a “Midnight talker” – which makes sense if you know me – I talk a lot!)
o I studied at the London School of Economics. Go figure! ☺
o “Louie” (pronounced Lou – ee) is my family’s nickname for me and has been for as long as I can remember. My middle name is Louise and apparently when I was learning to talk I called myself “La La Louie”. It was used so exclusively when I was young that I thought it was my name. When I went to study in Italy, it became “Luigi”.

Now I want to here from you! and especially: Karen, Marya, Beth, Tammy

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Samskaras: Part II

To take the analogy a bit further from Part I, when we drive through such deep ruts, aren’t you completely fixated on the ruts? It can be a bit scary to go through them and you are focused on the work involved. Ironically, if you were to look up, not only would you see that you are actually in a vast Africa Savannah and can see for miles, you would also find that driving through the ruts is easier as well when you are focused on where you are going.

Ruts keep us stuck in our old consciousness with our limited perspective. Look up! There is an infinite array of things you can do!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Samskaras: Part I

There is this wonderful Sanskrit word I just love: Samskaras. It actually has around 20 meanings (almost literally, check the The Shambhala Encyclopedia of Yoga by Georg Feuerstein). My favorite translation is “mental permeations”. It refers to having a set mental pattern. In other words, we think the same way every time the same thing happens. You always feel annoyed when your Dad tells that story from when you were young. You always feel irritated when the person in the cube next door begins to talk loudly on the phone. You always feel stress and tension when you see traffic ahead. Interestingly, in studies done on the brain, researchers have found that the more we think something, the stronger that thought pattern becomes. Our brain literally builds more connections for that path! The stronger the pattern becomes, the easier it is to go down the same path.

I like to see a samskara as an African mudhole. You know when you drive through mud, ruts appear. The more you drive through the mud, the deeper the ruts become. Once the ruts dry, it can be incredibly difficult to choose a different path.

If you do choose a different path and try to come out of the rut, you may fall right back into the track, but you have shaved a bit of the rut away in the attempt which makes the next attempt a bit easier. Each time you choose a new thought, a bit more gets shaved away as a new track forms. Interestingly, that is just what brain researchers have found. When you choose a new path, a few links of the old are broken, weakening the old pattern a bit.

I use this analogy frequently with coaching clients and my yoga students. It can feel frustrating when you think you have “failed” at changing thought patterns. Success is not evaluated by completely letting go of the old thought pattern and using the new one, success is each time you are conscious of the old pattern and changed it a bit. Each time it changes, you have weakened the old thought pattern.

Monday, May 19, 2008

What's for Dinner: Spinach Balls

I love this recipe! They are good hot, cold and even frozen. Incredibly versatile and yummy, too!

  • 1-10 ounce package frozen spinach

  • 1 cup oat flour

  • 3 eggs

  • ¼ nutritional yeast or parmesan cheese

  • large chopped onion

  • ¼ cup olive oil

  • ½ t garlic powder

  • 1 t salt

  • ½ t thyme (maybe more)

  • ½ sage

  1. 350 degrees

  2. Mix half the spinach and the rest of the ingredients into a food processor and process until smooth. Add the rest of the spinach and pulse until mixed. Be sure to keep the spinach “chunky”.

  3. Use an ice cream scoop to scoop out “balls” (they are a bit runny) onto a cookie sheet. I make small cookie sized, but feel free to make them any size you want.

  4. Bake for 10-25 minutes (depending on size)

Spinach Balls @ Group Recipes

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Yoga in the French Alps

Yoga in the French Alps
Originally uploaded by kajo55

I found this photo so inspiring! Both the pose and the location...just wanted to share.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Seated Forward Folds

I have been studying seated forward folds for the year in my study of Ishvara Pranidhana (surrender). Since forward folds are the pose of surrender, this seemed appropriate. I just realized I grip the tops of my feet to “pull” myself into my pose! (So much for surrender!) Check it out. Do you do it?

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Aligning with the Intention of Tadasana (Mountain Pose)

Tadasana (Mountain Pose) is a very powerful pose. Or, at least, that is its intention. To fully engage the energy of the pose, you must have a balance between grounding and lifting. Often, the balance is tipped one way or the other. If you are overly grounded, the pose is heavy and lacks the expansion. If you are overly lifted, the pose is too light and lacks grounding. The intention of the opse is to be like a mountain, grounded and open to whatever comes. What are you?

Too grounded: Do you have a hard time lifting your chest? Do you feel as if you are standing in a hole? Do you tend to ruminate about the past?

Too lifted: Do you feel your weight in the soles of your feet? Do you grip the tops of your feet? Does your ribcage come forward? Do you tend to spend time thinking about the future?

Monday, May 05, 2008

Musasana: A New Blog

I want to introduce a new blog I have created with the women with whom I am beginning a new company. On this blog we investigate one yoga pose in-depth each month. We share our thoughts and experiences as we study this one pose. Please join us! We would love your comments as well. Musasana