In case you missed some of the meditative musings or the instructions on how to give yourself a hug…here’s the archive of March 2010 Daily Downward Dogs!
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
The winter snow has melted away, the weather is getting warmer, my daffodils are blooming, and it’s time to get outside for some outdoor meditation. Breathe in the fresh air, listen to the sound of the birds, notice the smells and grow your awareness. Get outside today (or this week) and reconnect with nature.
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
While sitting at your desk today, give yourself a HUG! Not only will you feel better, it will help you stretch your neck and shoulders and relieve tension.
First, breath deep a few times and then extend your arms out in front of you at shoulder height. Relax your shoulders down. Bring your right arm across your chest and grab onto your left shoulder and then bring your left arm over top the right arm to grab onto your right shoulder (like your giving yourself a big bear hug). Drop your chin down to your chest. Take a long breath in and out and then extend your arms out. Repeat at least 3-5 times, alternating which arm is on top and keep going as long as you like – you can never have too many self administered hugs!
For more exercises to help with Neck and Shoulder pain, check out this book by Carol Krucoff
Healing Yoga for Neck & Shoulder Pain: Easy, Effective Practices for Releasing Tension and Relieving Pain
Monday, March 29, 2010
I’m watching my ten year old niece today and having so much fun, I forgot to enter the D.D.D. this morning. So I guess my message today is sometimes you just gotta stop, smell the tulips, make pancakes and play with the kids.
Friday, March 26, 2010
The fullness of my life –
The sweet wine of autumn days and summer nights,
My little hoard gleaned through the years,
And hours rich with living.
That will be my gift
When death knocks at my door.
–Deepak Chopra from The Book of Secrets
Thursday, March 25, 2010
On several occasions when I’ve been in yoga class and in a certain pose, the instructor will ask us the class to dedicate their practice or send their love to someone that day. I really love this concept of taking the focus off yourself and transferring love and kind thoughts to others. Sometimes I think it’s just a way of getting the class to not think about how hard the pose is, but I know better. When I go to yoga today, I’ll be sending out some yoga love rays to many people in my life.
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Yoga sheds the fear, insecurity, and worry that collects like dust. The more you practice the more YOU shine through.
This was a tweet from Tara Stiles that I retweeted last night. Thanks Tara!
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Lokah samasta sukhino bhavantu
Translated: May all beings everywhere be happy and free, and may the thoughts, words, and actions of my own life contribute in some way to that happiness and to that freedom for all.
Monday, March 22, 2010
Over the weekend I contemplated changing the name of this page to the Downward Dog Digest. I was feeling a little overwhelmed with keeping up the daily content along with the other work I do to support myself and thought I would just shoot for a few times a week. I was just about to change it and thought, wait a minute Maria, this is totally counter to what you are supposed to be doing with your life right now. You can’t cut out yoga and meditation and the things that relax and heal you. If anything, you should be doing more of it. It’s time to get that balance back. So Jai to everyone – the D.D.D. is here to stay! (p.s. Jai means – Right on! I celebrate it!).
Friday, March 19, 2010
I have a very tight back, neck and shoulders and frequently experience pain in my lower back. About a month ago, I started directing my breath into my lower back during yoga (primarily during savasana) and have noticed a difference, but I wondered if it was just in my head. While doing research on meditation yesterday, I got really excited when I read that if you allow your mind to focus on a particular part of the body, the blood flow to that part increases and the cells receive more oxygen and other nutrients in abundance. Wow – it wasn’t all in my head. Watch out back, neck and shoulders, I’ll be focusing on you.
Thursday, March 18, 2010
My outdoor meditation experiment on Wednesday was great. As I meditated, the sun kissed my face, I breathed in fresh mountain air, and it left me feeling relaxed and at peace. Too bad the meditation is not helping my tired legs feel any better.
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Today I’m going to try some outdoor meditation. I’m going skiing, the sun is going to be shining, and I’m going to use those long lift rides up to breathe in fresh air, clear my mind and move into a Zen like state! I hope I don’t get too deep into a state of consciousness that I forget to get off the lift at the top!
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
My biggest challenge in my meditation practice will always be the ability to quiet and clear my mind. Let’s just say there’s a lot going on up there. But when I do manage to let go of the chaos, stress, and sense of myself it becomes easier to focus and enter into a deeper state of meditation. Getting there can take some time and patience, but when you get there it is blissful!
Monday, March 15, 2010
I’m going to focus on starting my meditation practice this week – wanna come along for the ride? How often should we meditate? According to the Dali Lama, if possible, we should meditate four times a day – at dawn, morning, afternoon and evening. For most of us, that is not going to be possible, so the most important thing is to establish your own regular schedule of daily meditation. I’m going to shoot for early morning and right before bed. Until I get used to this practice, I’m going to start out with just a few minutes and slowly lengthen the amount of time.
Friday, March 12, 2010
I just heard about a new form of exercise – Yoga Spinning! It’s a combination of a spinning class with yoga. At first I thought it sounded absurd to try and mix something intense and aerobic with the calm stretching and breathing of yoga, but then I started reading about it, and it sounds pretty cool. Check out this article about Yoga Spinning from Yoga Journal.
Thursday, March 11, 2010
“Whatever joy there is in the world arises from wishing for others’ happiness. Whatever suffering there is in the world arises from wishing for your own happiness.”
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
I can almost touch the floor now when I do triangle pose. That is pretty darn exciting, because when I first started back to classes this summer, I could only get my hand just past my knee. I am getting more flexible every day!
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Note to self – Don’t stay up until 3 AM and then get up the next day to go skiing when you are over 40. It’s fun, but wipes you out the next day and keeps you from posting your D.D.D.!
Monday, March 8, 2010
The sun is shining, I’m going skiing today with my best friend and it’s my b-day! Life is Good!
Friday, March 5, 2010
You don’t have to be flexible to do yoga, you get flexible by practicing yoga. It is a gradual change, but your body will change as you are able to reach farther, stretch longer, and begin to feel more flexible, and when it does your confidence will grow and it feels GREAT!
Thursday, March 4, 2010
Why don’t I feel like a goddess when I’m in goddess pose? Instead I feel awkward, my butt is sticking out, and it’s not the most comfortable of poses. I’m gonna have to work on feeling more goddess like!
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Typically at the end of yoga class, the teacher will say “Namaste” and the class will repeat “Namaste” back to the teacher. I took yoga for a really long time, and never really knew the meaning of Namaste. So here it is, in case you were wondering.
Namaste: I recognize the Divine Light that is within you. It is the same Divine Light that is with me.
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
It’s no fun going through life only doing the things you’re good at. Try something new, play around with it and have some fun!
Monday, March 1, 2010
It is amazing how within minutes, mediation can temporarily reduce the impacts that stress can have on your body. While meditating you’re blood pressure lowers, breathing regulates, muscle tension reduces – it’s a beautiful thing that you can do for your body!