Summer snapshots

While my summer has had some ups and downs, it is definitely still my favorite time of year. I started the season with a bout of Pneumonia, which knocked me out more than I expected. My goal of training for the half marathon was delayed, but the good news is that the Women Rock race event includes a 10K distance which I can switch to! Race day is August 31 and I can’t wait!

Here is a snapshot of my summer according to my Instagram account:

1-3. Fun summer nails, fresh watermelon on our newly stained deck (thanks, Dan!), quality time with Max (check out the size of that stick he lugged around on our walk!)

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4-6. Coconut flour blueberry pancakes I made on my birthday, Bend it at Brits with Swan (525 yogis participated that night!), beautiful walks in downtown Minneapolis during lunch breaks.

7-9. Ice cream truck hit our neighborhood (who knew they would have kosher options?!), I teach outdoor yoga classes at Lake of the Isles every Monday, quality time with Dad and Ari kicking a ball around on our road trip to Okoboji, IA

YTT Week 2 (Part 2) – Yoga is a way of life, not just a workout

The practice of yoga is to create a connection between the body and mind. Its goal is to use the breath and body to create an awareness of ourselves as individual beings closely connected to all other living beings. With that knowledge, yoga can help one live in peace, good health and harmony with all other beings.

Sounds powerful, right?

Yoga is a way of life, not just a workout.

Believe it or not, yoga is much more than just the physical poses (Asanas) that you practice at your local gym or yoga studio. There are seven other limbs that you can practice without breaking a sweat.

The foundations of yoga philosophy were written in The Yoga Sutra of Patanjali, approximately 200 AD. The core of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra is the eight-limbed path. Because we are all uniquely individual, a person can focus on different limbs, one at a time (in any order), as they start to understand each one.

Eight-Limbed Path of Yoga

Yama Ethical standards for how you treat others, this is also known as the Golden Rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” There are five Yama’s:

Ahimsa – Non Violence Practice non-harming on all beings. A fun one to practice this one with is bugs. The less you swat at them, the less they will bother you. Try it.

Satya – Truthfulness

Asteya – Non-Stealing This can be applied for physical and non physical belongings, such as time. Respect people’s time, try not to be late to commitments or take up someone’s time when others are vying for it as well.

Brahmacharya – Self-Restraint Prevent yourself from being over indulgent, or over sensual. Includes sexual activities, food, smells, touch, etc.

Aparighara - Noncovetousness Also known as, don’t envy your neighbor’s belongings. Take only what is necessary, don’t hoard or become greedy.

Niyama  Personal observances, self-discipline. As Yamas guide us on how to treat others, there are five Niyamas of how to treat oneself:

SauchaCleanliness Practice a regular personal hygiene routine, keep your house tidy, clean up after yourself in public places, etc.

Samtosa – Contentment Feeling of being content with what we have.

Tapas – Heat This was described as the heat we feel when we are experiencing personal growth or change.

Svadhaya – Self Study Be present and notice what makes you react to situations in an agitated manner. Reflect on it and use that self-study to help yourself react in a calmer manner the next time a similar situation arises.

Isvara pranidhana – Surrender to God Whoever your God is, let them take care of the rest when you have tried your best. Sometimes things go wrong and there is nothing you can do anymore to help the situation. Have faith.

Asanas  Body postures

Pranayama  Breathing exercises, and control of prana (life force)

Pratyahara  Control of the senses

Dharana  Cultivating inner perceptual awareness

Dhyana  Devotion, Meditation on the Divine/God

Samadhi  Union with the Divine/God

I think the Yamas and Niyamas would be a beautiful DIY project to hang them up as artwork in your home, don’t you? Maybe I should check out if someone beat me to it… Pinterest,  here I come!

YTT Week 1 – A new yoga community

On the first day of class, a new community was created. Twenty or so individuals came together as one in this yoga teacher training program. We all said “yes”‘ and made sacrifices to commit to the intense schedule. Not to mention, during the precious Minnesota summer months!

Ready or not, we are in it together for the next eight weeks, approximately 14 hours a week. All for one goal – 200 hour yoga teacher certification.   

We met in studio one. All resting in ‘back jacks’ that we will learn to love (or hate?)  I am in awe of all the different types of people who have come together in this training: students (high school and college), educators, attorneys, marketing professionals, estheticians, dancers, and the list goes on!

Regardless of our different backgrounds, a sense of community was felt from day one.

The first day of class included an ice breaker to help us get to know each other. I was overcome with thoughts of,

“What if I don’t fit in?”

“What is their first impression of me?”

“Am I yogi enough?”

Looking back, it seems silly that those were my initial thoughts. I am usually not so unsure of myself, especially in social situations.

Little did I know that this was foreshadowing what this training was really all about – learning about myself.