All posts by paula

The Goal

Doing the yoga is a pretty straightforward simple act.  When you make the choice to come, you come and take the class, working on the physical act of moving your body, and coordinating your breath at the same time.  The whole time you are moving, breathing, the channels inside are you are opening up, circulation is increasing, dead cells are carried away, and new cells are being rebuilt, before you enter your car for the ride home.  These channels connect to every tissue, organ, and gland in your body.  Slowly overtime, the yoga starts to build and work in your body, with every practice, every day.  The effects are so subtle, one hardly notices them, until you stop for a time, maybe even months, and realize the yoga was working at a very deep cellular level, keeping illness at bay, keeping you in a good mood, more days than not. 

It is hard to stay focused to the goal of yoga.  You may climb up the ladder very quickly, achieving many difficult poses, only to slide back down again, losing your progress.  At this point, you might question if the yoga is working, especially when you hit a slow progress, even slipping backwards.  This is when you need to keep on practicing.  It’s very important at this time.  If you ask yogi’s, some will mention, they have practiced on and off again, for many years, but never steadily for a time.  They have never hit a difficult period in their practice. 

Like life, practicing yoga can be a struggle to fit in.  Those difficult times or when we face uphill battles are crucial periods in our practice where the yoga can really make huge strides.  Achieving postures here are not the goal but just showing up for you;  your physical body, mental body, and spiritual  body. 

This is not something I can tell you, you have to experience it for yourself.  You have to feel inside the storm, and when the sunshine comes out in your body, through the practice;  You have to feel this.  Yoga will make you flexible, but that is not the goal.  Yoga will increase your strength, and stress resilience, but that is not the goal.  Yoga will do many things, to keep you healthy, but the goal of yoga is to open your mind.  When you are working on those tight hips, or inflexible hamstrings, yoga  is opening energy channels in your mind that allow you to accept new ideas, new ways of thinking and doing things. 

This is a lofty goal.  Great thinkers and achievers sat back and allowed “What if?” and started to dream the impossible.  Imagine if the whole world practiced yoga.  I dare say new inventions, different ways of helping humanity would unfold for the greater good of society. 

So next time you are on your mat, breathing, moving, think about those energy channels.  Carrying away the bad and replacing it with good.  Yes, the yoga works, even in our worst practice on our ugliest day, when we simply show up and do the practice. 

See you on the mat,

Paula

Keep on keeping on…….Don’t stop until you know you are at the top!

Look Within to find the answers

Does anything ever annoy you? Wow, this could was a loaded question to me years ago, because EVERYTHING annoyed me….let me tell you……

Things that annoyed me:

  • People who ate with their mouth open, or crunched loudly
  • or dragged their fork through their teeth with bite fulls of food
  • People who drove slowly
  • People who didn’t step up to the line, waiting
  • smelly smells , heavy perfume
  • basically at some point, everything annoyed me

What I’m saying is this. I spent a lot of time before a regular yoga practiced thinking about how annoying different people are….slowly, as I practiced yoga,, these thoughts, along with others began to slowly disappear. It didn’t happen over night, but with a regular yoga practice, my thoughts tend to be much more positive and hardly ever annoying. This is due to the simple fact on how yoga works in your body. With your breath and movement these “annoying things” were removed, that previously had been stored somewhere in my body.

Your nervous system works like that. You take in information that might be beneficial, and store it in nervous system. The very physical practice of yoga is to heal the nervous system, meaning we are in a hyper state, or a sleepy state. Left untreated and unbalanced the nervous system can bring about a host of problems that you will have to treat, ie: high blood pressure, heart disease, cancer, kidney/organ problems . That is why it is upmost importance to practice yoga. The cooling sensation of a forward fold stimulates the rest and digest state or parasympathetic nervous system, and raising your hands overhead, leaning back, or backbends stimulate the sympathetic nervous system. We need both to be in a balanced state.

Being annoyed is just another state of anger or frustration. We think we have to control our surroundings, when really we can control the way we think. People have told me, well that is just the way I am, that’s how I think. Well just imagine a world where everyone had a more positive outlook on life…….

Because when you are positive, your body is most likely healthy.

See you on the mat,

Paula

That extra Little Hmmmmm….

A regular consistent yoga practice will help you dodge bullets of life, and let me share a story that proves this point. This past weekend I went on a yoga retreat to Mexico, and met many wonderful yogi’s; some who have practiced over 17 years, others just starting, and most in the middle.

Often we don’t think how we are feeling, unless we are feeling ill. Yoga helps move the energy, and keep you feeling great most day’s. A guy mentioned on retreat, they went out to a bar, and had some tequila shots; sounds like maybe one too many. The next day of retreat was the last day, and practice was early at 7 am. This guy woke up feeling pretty hung over, and decided to give the practice a try, and sleep on the plane ride home. He was really surprised that in the middle of practice he realized, headache gone, nausea gone, and feeling really good!

As we go about life, how many days are we really thriving and feeling great? Our yoga practice can be started early in life, or for those more reluctant later in life, when forced to do “yoga type exercises” at physical therapy. Yes! many things done in physical therapy have some of the same goals of yoga, and are similar movements.

Yoga helps. It helps you stay positive and outgoing. It helps you balance the body. Yoga helps you if you are addictive to substances. Now after many years of consistent practice, if I drink one beer, my body feels like crap the next day. Since I don’t like to feel like crap, I find no need to touch it, nor either the over the counter drugs a lot take to get through the day, ie: pain killers, aspirins, or even allergies. I just don’t have any of that at the house, because we just don’t need it.

At the end of the day, Yoga practice gives us that little extra humm of satisfaction, and relaxation that no alcohol or drugs can do, without the bad side effects. Yoga does work, and often slowly, like water hitting a stone. But everyone knows that eventually, the stone will take the shape that the water dictates.

I dare you to prove me wrong!

See you on the mat yogi’s,

Paula

How Yoga Works

You might think that this has been the only life your body has lived….But just like that recycled soda can, we have had many lives; that is how our body remembers things. When my daughter was very little, I found it so cute that she packed a purse where ever we went. I mentioned this to someone else, and they thought it was because I carried a purse; aka, like mother like daughter, but at that time in my life, I did not carry a purse. I believed she remembered from another life, that is what you do.

It’s best described like this. Your body remembers everything, EVERYTHING that has happened to it. Hurtful discussions, old injuries, death of oneself, and unending sorrow of losing others. Let’s say each and every act is recorded on a piece of paper in a big room. Some things are not that hard to get “over”, like classmates calling you names. Other things, big items, like losing friends, your death, family members are recorded on big scrolls, because they are big “events” that are body will remember. Lately, I’ve noticed that my husband only likes to use one hand. He favors that when lifting, or really doing anything. Why is that? The other hand is perfect, in fact a very useful tool. It’s not hard to imagine, that in a past life, the unused hand/arm might have been injured, or hurt. His body is remembering that, and favoring his other hand.

So when we come to yoga, we are really working on that mind and body. Those recordings of events are logged into our fascia ( or connective tissue) and muscles, bones, ligaments, organs and glands. That is why sometimes with yoga practice, we cry, we laugh, we let go of those emotions that have built up. With the physical practice of yoga, it is very balanced; what we do on the right, we do on the left. We start a new recording, and in my husbands mind, after a yoga practice of working your right arm, we do the left arm, and the brain or tissues can release that previous arm injury and realize that I can use both arms, and can forget about that “old injury”.

This is how yoga heals us. Our families pass down different beliefs and emotions, and their bad shoulders, become our bad shoulders, but it is a proven scientific fact that is not always the case. We are choosing to believe what they did; remember those pieces of paper in that room? Well, each and every practice we are able to remove a piece or two of paper, and begin to rewrite our body’s past, and change the chemistry of the body down to a molecular level. Other modalities, such as meditation, right balanced movement, awareness therapy among other do some of the same things. As our body lets go of the past, we become lighter, happier. especially when we first start yoga practice. However, ask any long time yoga practitioner, and sometimes it takes awhile to rid the body of knee, hip, shoulder or any kind of pain, so persistence, joy, and being kind to oneself, along with a good teacher to guide you is essential to yoga.

So, smile when practicing yoga. Enjoy each and every time of letting go, releasing, and becoming a better, healthier you, down to a molecular level.

Cheers to rewriting the past, Cheers to a new body!!

See you on the mat,

Paula