Archive for September, 2011

My Garden and Twists



I WISH. I love this dude’s garden but it must be a gnome garden or professionals come over once a week because I have never seen a soul out there weeding in all the years I have admired this yard. Although I tend to lean to the gnome side since things grown here that are not normal in Wisconsin. I don’t see a lot of this type of flowers anywhere else.

My yoga theme for the next few days is TWISTING.

I used to cheat at twists and didn’t think they were interesting enough but as I get older I find I need them even to keep my upper back supple and to keep my spine upright. In addition, they can help you open the hips up in some poses. Last night I did a deep twisting session at home and it felt great.

The great thing about twisting is that they can go so deep and are way beyond a more visual superficial physical level pose. The twist should start from deep within. It the magic of yoga that you touch the internal world that is not seen.


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Hawk Encounter






And dead rar

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I have always been interested in yoga as therapy and pursued Ayurvedic Yoga Therapy in my 500 hour training. Yoga therapy allows a teacher to give specific practices for students suffering illness, pain, recovery, or just about anything you can think of.

Yoga has been therapy for my knees for me. I have two meniscus tears from running. Actually I got the second one from WALKING on a treadmill. I was fine running on it, but when I walked, I tore it up. I had practiced yoga prior to this injury but was irregular and on and off. My first classes were Ashtanga and then I started Bikram yoga. When I tore my knee up, I was DONE with the treadmill for sure. They wanted to take all the meniscus out but I decided to rehabilitate it myself. I had really NO mobility and a LOT of swelling. When I started healing, I went back to Bikram and this was my goal:

Bending that deep in the knee was problematic to say the least. So was hero’s pose:

Through diligent practice and absolute obstinancy and SHEER STUBBORNESS, I got a lot of mobility back. I have gotten into toe stand like TWICE and on a good day can work on Virasana. I did a LOT of healing in my knee but have not gotten back full mobility. Besides my tight hips, I am sure my knees are keeping me from padmasana pose:

I started refining my practice and now at the end of my practice I do some modifications of all of these and it is working. BUT it is TEDIOUS. You have to be very patient and consistent in yoga to benefit from a therapeutic perspective. I used to do a LOT of privates and kind of gave it up, because I found people wanted to KEEP doing what they were doing and DIDN’T want to do the prescriptive.

People are stubborn like that. What I am doing for my knees is not GLAMOROUS or a lot of fun. Think about being injured and going to a physical therapist and they give you stuff do at home. Most people DON’T want to do it.

Even if I NEVER do padmasana I still want to keep my knees as healthy as possible as I meander into old age. Lately at my gym (I elliptical there) I must be on the senior citizen schedule and I notice how HARD it is to be vibrant and have healthy joints even for the elderly that actually work out!

I have been have tempted to ask them if they are interested in senior yoga but the people who work there are SO GYM RATTY and they have a yoga teacher (with what credentials) plus I don’t have time.

It is never too late. I am sure it won’t be long that no one will WANT me to teach them except for elderly (I am an AARP member) and I know the need will be there so there is job security and a definite need for yoga as therapy and it will more than likely be a need that GROWS as our base gets OLDER.

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I have to apologize if you were in my six am today and I seemed FLAKED out. I was. I taught a restorative workshop at Inner Fire yesterday and it bended my brain around a bit. It was a great session. A lot of people fell asleep! That means it worked. You SHOULD allow your body to rest when it wants to and be aware of those signals. You feel asleep because you NEEDED to.

I hope the students were able to take something away from this practice. You can do it at home with minimal props or blankets and pillows around the house. I LOVE the wedges in the pic. I might need some of those. I have traditional bolsters of all sizes, blankets, blocks, and straps. This is a very supported practice and NOT AT ALL about getting flexible. If you are holding on to chronic stress in your body, letting it go will ALLOW you to go into harder poses in your more vigorous asana classes. If you are ill or recovering from illness, you can use this practice as a therapeutic tool.

I had an exciting bird siting last night. Right about dark, the female cardinal was at the feeder with a smaller female and feeding it. We knew they had babies a while back and the babies are coming out now, but we weren’t sure how to identify the male and female babies. In the bird book, they just look like the female. My husband said he wasn’t sure if the baby was male or female but then he looked down on the ground and there was the baby male! He was a thoroughly dark pink to red cardinal, a little smaller than Screech Screech. Baby Screech! He is actually quite large in comparision to the other songbirds, but GORGEOUS bird.

I know. More old lady banter.

Still flaked today. So the rest of the week wll be VIGOROUS and HARD yoga.

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Seasons End





Produce from the garden, Badass Cutco, result.

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Got Him


Screech Screech!

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My blog has been way more nature than yoga lately. Actually I am watching a stunning sunrise over the preserve as I type this blog. I have a beautiful view from my office which I am soon going to lose. Another story.

Just one hawk story. They have been very active outside my window here but at home last night I had another hawk run in. I live in a residential area but we have seen this hawk in our backyard several times. About a month ago my husband and I were having a glass out on the deck when we saw it zoom into the big tree in our back yard, grab a small bird, and then go to another tree and proceed to tear it apart tossing feathers all over the ground during the feast.

Last night I was watching the birds, about ten, in our very popular feeder having a great time, fighting for space, throwing seed all over the ground, and being generally noisy, when I saw said hawk zoom in across several backyards and into our tree.

The birds DISAPPEARED for about twenty minutes and the hawk was up in the tree hopping from branch to branch. I am not sure what it caught or if it did but it was there quite a while. It was VERY close to the feeder and house. Anyway, didn’t get a picture but it is also an amazing creature to be living in our backyard area.

My hips arew VERY TIGHT this week. WE did a pretty long hip sequence on Sunday, think very LONG HALF PIGEON and I am still feeling it. I could barely sit in practice last night. One thing I have learned is that when that happens, usually there is an opening that is going to come soon. Last year when I was at Ana Forrest training my body was getting STRONG with all of the Core and deep leg work and my body got bound up as far as flexibility. It just wasn’t there. Then a few weeks after it started opening up again. Of course I lost some of that strength too. 3.5 hours of advanced yoga a day. I know I can’t sustain that right now. I was going to hit the gym today but really needed to sleep in.

Later this afternoon, I can do a long practice. Think it will be backbends. And up side downing.

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Damn.  hawk.  Been trying to take his pic all week

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Been thinking about a yoga theme for class tonight all day.

Got nothing.

Going to ballroom dancing class tonight.

Go Chaz!

My mind is in Vatta land today. Crazy and all over the place. So flow will probably be like that. Must be the change in the seasons. I am in early hibernation and it is already September. I did not even get up for yoga this morning. I slept in because it is dark.

I will get used to it and I practiced early all last winter and usually get to work, when it is still dark in the deep winter.

Will return tomorrow with a better yoga post.

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Review. LOVED IT. I had seen Ashley in a longer Chakra workshop at Moksha last year so was anxious for her to come to Inner Fire.

Oftentimes teachers will touch on the chakra system in class, but unless the student is interested in researching on their own, it may be difficult to grasp their meaning and how to apply the chakras into asana practice. The subtle energy system is the center, literally and figuratively of the yoga philosophy and practice.

Ashley is able to apply it to the vinyasa practice in a way accessible to students and teachers since she has a background in Western psychology and is a practicing therapist. Great two for one! Most of us can relate to psychology even if we struggle with yoga philosophy.

She is a great vinyasa teacher. We LOVE vinyasa at Inner Fire Yoga. She weaved in the teaching of the elements of the chakras into a lovely Flow class that we all enjoyed.

In the afternoon session she talked about the keys to HAPPINESS and the afflictions (kleshas per the yoga sutras) that inhibit happiness. The flow was slower and interesting and had some nice long holds in this:

And this:

I love a long frog pose. Ahhhh. Ashley has a new book out on Aroma and Yoga and I can’t wait to get my hands on it.

I did realize during that long half pigeon that I haven’t incorporated much (ANY) Yin in my practice for a while. I can really feel it even today and since I want to work into this pose:

I need to suck it up and get into some long half pigeon holds.

Here is the pose of the week:


I need to find some Duncan Wong training. Maybe I will go to Japan next year. I want to do something REALLY BIG next year. Haven’t decided yet but have a few ideas…..

Sunny on the roof:

Sunny is Dar’s dog. LOL

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