Insignificantly Significant 


Your life.  No prior experience. Each day is an improv. Upon conception, the action sign snaps and the show begins. Amazing you got a role in the first place. A man ejaculates 40 million to 1.2 billion sperm cells per shot. All in timing and connections. 

You start breathless at birth and as the exquisite heart closes one chamber to open another…your first inhale of life is taken. The time and date is recorded. Life on Earth has officially begun.

You’re with people you don’t know. You, the newest member of a tribe. You don’t have hopes or expectations. Everything is a first. Your in a body unfamiliar with its senses, except one. The first sense to develop is touch…in utero. It’s no wonder we cry to be held. My theory is touch is the last sense to leave before death. It’s said to be hearing; but, I believe we feel better than we hear. And, Nature is very consistent in her circadian rhythm of full circle.

Without past landmarks,  your mind is creating neural maps with every observation, sight, sensation, sound and response in your presence. You don’t recall taking your first step, but memories embed at a cellular level. Repetition got you running. Muscle memory syncs with neurons in the brain and gut.

 The brain and body are not separate entities. They are intradependent. Societal expectations divide them. Most don’t question because performance is rated early. I wonder if the next generation will have a slice of time to be a kid without a schedule to keep.

As a child, my primary concern was to watch Saturday cartoons until American Bandstand came on. After that, played outside until lunch. Meandered in about a 2 mile radius of home in the neighborhood. Ate a pbj and chips midday quick and ran back out til sunset. Went to the creek, walked barefoot in the grass, climbed trees and gazed into the blue skies with wonder. Imagined being on the plane flying over. Going somewhere cool. Loved how the engine’s sound entered my ears before the plane came in sight. The brief space before the two senses intersected was hypnotic. Still is.

When the day shifted to evening, brushed off dirt and went home. Watched The Waltons, ate dinner, took a bath, read a story, wrote in diary and went to bed. A lot of experiences happened between those personal bookmarks of unedited happiness. It was the freest I’ve ever felt. 

With experiences and age, we change. Freedom is not free. Opinions formulate. Perceptions are narrowed. Expectations expand. And, most of us are trying to figure out what makes us happy…all the time. We hope to find the perfect partner, the perfect friend, the perfect life. It’s tremendous work with no end in sight. We work hoping to retire early so we can live the life of that kid. No schedule. Do what you want, when you want. I never thought I’d say this…ever…but, I hope to feel like I did in the ‘good ole days’. Free to do whatever. Whenever. And without thinking success vs. failure. Too many restrictions in those two words.

I am my worst enemy. Most of us are.  The pressure to outperform your last show is self- imposed. The list gets longer and the clock’s ticking faster. Never knew what I wanted to be when I grow up. Now, at 52, want to be a doctor, a yoga therapist, a fundraiser for good causes, an international bestseller author and live in a house on the beach. 

Oh, and I don’t want to live by the calendar. It doesn’t matter if it’s Monday or Sunday. The day’s name doesn’t motivate me; the purpose of the day does.

The rush of first time experiences shortens as the heartbeat odometer rolls over a billion beats. (Average heartbeat is 60-90 a minute/100,00 a day/35 million a year/2.5 billion by age 70). Spending time wiser synchronizes with how you spend money. ‘Waste not, want not’ makes sense. Keep the interest

You wade through mundane routine. Somewhere along the way, life gets in your way. And, you want a vacation from realities entangled with yours. Haven’t met a person yet who doesn’t go through this. 

Welcome to the mid life reassessment. Typical age range is 45-55. Women are peri-menopause and men are having a dip of testosterone. Moods are turbulent. Both, if honest, miss the energy of their younger bodies. The thrill is missing, but not the craving. Hormonal tsunamis are unpredictable.

Like going through puberty without rules. It’s a profound time of change and growth. Relationship challenges surface. Some marriages reach an impasse and change roads. Some get quiet and let time walk them to the grave. And, a few reacquaint with the friend they chose. It takes work, patience, compassion and a sense of humor. That’s what family does. 

Family is not blood. It’s who you commit your love to. Love gives life to everything. From relationships to dreams. Like the body and mind are intraconnected, so is love and life. Your life is significant to yourself because its your life. It is significant to a close circle and less significant the wider you go. But, how you live it, how you love, what you do with your time can and does touch lives beyond your awareness. You may never be famous. Don’t base your significance on the temporary. There’s always someone right behind anxious to steal your place. 

Your insignificance provides unlimited space to fly. As you stretch all the senses, they start to intersect and it makes you pause in wonder…with yourself. Your life. You realize your significance.  And, in a way, you start with a clean slate like you did from the beginning. Only this time, you have an idea of how true love, freedom and unedited living feels like. There’s no going back. That’s aging gracefully.

Wisdom births the insignificant into significant. And, all without a script. Now that’s a story. 

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Life of No Regrets-Touch of Metta

https://valgoodman11.wordpress.com/2017/04/28/life-of-no-regrets-touch-of-metta/

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Life of No Regrets-Touch of Metta



Touch records time.

Imagine holding the hand of someone you share love. Can be someone who’s no longer present. Love doesn’t die. 

You reach because you need to feel them. They need to feel you. While in our bodies, maybe our energy wants to maximize this sense we take for granted. Can you feel the size of their hand? Do you feel the unspoken adjustments made to fit? Notice how body temperature is mutually merged? Superficial surface radiates from visceral. Touch can feel as vital as breathing. So your body’s intellect saves physical memories for mental replays.

 Love is more than a person, a song theme, a justification, a scripture to read. Love is what we never seem to have enough of. here. As babies, our crying is often silenced by a pair of loving arms holding our small body. As adults, a gap of separation is filled by the loving touch of another. 

Once touched, forever etched. 

Touch is therapeutic. 

Imagine touching someone’s sad cheeks with tenderness.  Sadness sprouts from a space of vacancy. We try to erase it in many ways. But, how do you erase a hole that housed a cherished guest?  Healing is misunderstood. It depends on what is broken. Physical is mechanics. We’ve got fabricated replacements. But, emotional…that’s as vast as space. 

Your fingertips absorb warm teardrops as your palm cups the cheek. Your hands provide the oldest form of healing to humanity. Your heartfelt desire to pull out sorrow is therapeutic emotional gardening. A loving and kind presence nourishes depleted ground. It is a means of mixing old dirt with new soil; fertilizing it with magical ingredients and opening space for the energy to grow. 

We were born to touch. Nature is the periodic chart. No touch, no nurture. No nurture, nocebo. 

Try it. It’s not just for sadness or sex. If you focus on the first sense you were given, maybe the others can be used better and more wisely. 

Touch is restorative.

Imagine being hugged with love. Not your customary quick hug. (They still matter. Touch is connection) It can be friend, family, lover or stranger. Both bodies embracing without an agenda. A silent message expressing gratitude of the other’s presence.  Feel the warmth. The safety. The boost of confidence. The confirmation that your matter matters. 

You can touch someone with your smile. By saying hello. By locking eyes longer than your mind’s fear based response to stop. Those extra few seconds is what touches you. Records good notes of time. 

It restores your mojo, minimizes  worries and levels multiple scales of checks and balances in the mind’s OCD world of responsibilities. In the end, all that goes away. The good stuff…how you made others feel loved…how others made you feel loved…that’s worthy of extending and widening Memory Lane. 

Touch is a language.

We understand it from the beginning. It either feels right or wrong. There is no gray area. Some ‘speak’ it with loving-kindness (metta) and some don’t give it much thought. Like all languages, you must practice it. And, touch is a love language of many dialects. But, the heart of the message is understood. 

The most misinterpreted messages are often the unsaid. Our physicalized energy bodies core communication is touch. What you see, hear, taste or smell can make you feel a certain way. Feelings are energetic touch.

You listen to music; but, notes resonate beyond the ear’s sound engineering system. You read a text and your mind quickly tries to interpret the tone. We can get technical and talk about the brain’s neurological design or the chemistry of the endocrine system or psychological reasoning. But, the language of your life experiences is what you know. Most of us need to polish up on our vocabulary. Or, just learn a whole new language. The root words of worth will stay. Much like Latin.

Practice the language with yourself. Practice it with those close to you. Practice it wherever you go. By expanding your vocabulary, you will touch more than you know. And, you just might understand and appreciate there are no coincidences…but rather, cowinkydinks. 

Smile…it’s only a word. How it touches you, that’s the story. 

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Save The Last Practice For Us


“The only constant is change.” “Nothing stays the same.” “Change is good.” “Be the change you want to see.” “If you’re not living on the edge, you’re taking up too much space.” And, change quotes are endless.

I get it. You get it. Living life to the richest, deepest, highest, freestyle, authentic, no take backs, no regrets means jumping off the train riding the same route. Some find the ride that suits them best. Some seek or need change to grow. No right or wrong. Very personal. Save the books of advice on how to live and feel what your heart is saying. Just remember to thank the people who participated in your self exploration and growth.

Without others, we become less than possible.

So, I write this love letter of gratitude to my yoga students of the past nine years. You stuck with me from my beginnings as a  teacher. I was a rookie. I was petrified hours before each class. I spent hours planning moves and making song lists to match the flow…only to discover whatever I planned had to be set aside. It didn’t feel right for you. I learned it was more than poses, themes and music. We were writing a story together. And, a great story takes time.

So, I practiced listening to my heart, intuition and collective professional training tools. You, the student, taught me how to teach and inspired me to learn more. You, without words, motivated me to be more than traditional. You, my teacher, dared me to dare myself.

We shared sacred space. Beautiful, really, when you feel the energy of love in a room full of people who were strangers before class. There was an understanding of vulnerability.

Expectations faded and a willingness to change and grow together at individual paces emerged. Together, we felt safe. I felt safe, secure, needed, kind of important and loved. You supported my maverick nature to break mainstream boundaries.

Because of you, I changed. Because of you, I dared myself to try more. Because of you, I dreamed more. Because of you, I had to move forward. Because of past experiences, I know the consequences of not changing. Because of you, tears soak my cheeks with mixed emotions. Salty tears are my reminder of the ocean’s beauty. It’s waters always have silently beckoned me to go further since I was a kid. You were my ocean away from the ocean.

I thank you for being the waves pushing me beyond my comfort zone.

It would be easy to stay in the familiar. You’re a family in my heart. But, just like we reach the time to leave home as young adults, we know when the time has come. To not go deeper keeps you in shallow waters. What is going to happen is a projected guess. You go from being the lead focus, feeling like another’s rock, to rolling on unleveleved ground. It might be bumpy. It might scratch you. But, to wade in the same pool is energy stagnation.

My last official class with lovng individuals of 9 years has been an emotional, bittersweet day. As I write, I listen to old songs of the 70’s, drink beer and cry to the beloved past. I read a card one gave me that says, “thank you for sharing your heart all these years”. I am grateful for this new kind of grief. It is good grief.

Grief is a reflection of how much you filled up your senses. To not shed a tear would mean i didn’t care…or, felt love. You stood by me. We stood together. We smiled together. We moved through life together. Even if it was only 75 minutes a week, 75 rich minutes, of united energies without ulterior motives. All love. Not one wasted moment. We were cool with being real; redefining fitness; trying new ways to do yoga; playing old songs; recognizing and respecting anatomical boundaries; feeling touched by the gracious sound of silence.

We were a church without a cross to bear.

This day felt like breaking up with someone you love; but knowing that you’re not meant to spend your entire life together. You won’t forget them. You won’t unlove them. You will smile when you hear an old song and totally turn it up to feel and hear every word. You sometimes wonder, ‘what if..’?

And, when life is said and done, we will meet again. The classic songs stay for a reason. They touch the heart. And, of all the organs we are composed of, the heart is the heart of everything.

So, if I never told you, I love you. Really. You made me better at becoming me. Because of you, others will be touched by what I’ve uncovered and practiced. I don’t leave with ease. It’s not money. It’s not fame. It’s a deepening of my practice of yoga, life and love. Know that when I touch another with a healing touch, it is because of you. We are truly interconnected. The energy I pull from to salve another’s pain is from loving energy you shared with your presence.

So, maybe…just maybe, we can save our last practice together. And, like all practices, they don’t ever end. We laugh, cry, smile and find our comfort in this perpetual practice of expanding the beloved circle of Us.

A lover of quotes, I themed my last class with the quote I used in my first class 9 years ago…”The most beautiful things cannot be seen or touched. They can only be felt in the heart.” (Helen Keller)

Oh, the wondrous heart. It can feel so much love, sadness, grief, joy, bliss…and more love. Without the sadness and grief, we couldn’t be embraced by the bliss of love. It is the muscle I use the most.  My heart has been tenderized by each one that has touched it.

Until our next practice….namaste’ soul friends

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Bee Gees: Staying Alive with Love

Source: Bee Gees: Staying Alive with Love

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Bee Gees: Staying Alive with Love

disco

1977. First junior high dance. School’s basketball wooden gym bleachers pushed in. The iconic  ball with thousands of mirrors reflecting light twirling over center court. Decorated paper on the walls defining the theme. Teachers in the background to chaperone us quasi-scared/thrilled, building confidence novices at love. Guys acting indifferent while girls giggled, shared lip glosses and compared outfits.

Music was the one thing we all had in common. Still is. Saturday Night Fever sparked a fire. It got us moving from the inside out.

BeeGee’s forever hit, Staying Alive, makes the body move with the spirit. Seems like all their songs united forces.

Couldn’t resist.  It was electrifying. Disco was not just dance music. It was an energetic refuge from the multi-layered growing pains of the era.

The emotional aftermath of Vietnam fading; women, ERA and officially in the workforce; civil rights and slow desegregation of old thinking, fluctuating choice of sexual partners/preference; cocaine -the power powder dusting noses; Jimmy Carter, human rights and the hell bent quest to catch and eat the elusive carrot stick called the American dream.

Disco got us moving forward. It was like the entire country was battling preteen hormones. Disco music was therapy. Still is if you want a break from the repetitive political jive talking. An awesome anti-depressant. No prescription required. We were desperate to move.

Anyway, while dancing with girlfriends, my eagle eyes scoped for my guy’s location.  Even while laughing and singing along, my ulterior hope juiced me. Always a dreamer of love.

Had to have that sacred dance with him. Didn’t matter if he was the most popular guy in class…I had to slow dance with him. Having our arms wrapped around each other, bodies touching, moving to music full of love…specks of light touching the dark and us…it would be a tragedy if it didn’t happen. Somehow, the BeeGees sang what I felt.

Me, along with millions of others, have loved the Bee Gee’s for decades. It was like they felt our needs. Hearing Andy sing he wanted to be my everything gave hope. Barry’s unequivocally renowned voice felt like a tender hand holding my heart for safe keeping. The heaven sent trio of harmonizing brothers’ voices stirred deep waters in still places.

Halfway into the evening, I had danced with girlfriends and a guy friend or two. Yet, still couldn’t take my eyes off him. Tony, the band’s drummer, the cool guy everyone liked. Good looking with his thick, black hair and bright post-braces smile. And, a nice guy to boot. I sighed when our eyes connected for a moment.

Walking around the court, Tony’s friend came to me.  “Tony wants you to do him a favor.” I saw Tony smile from across the floor. “If you dance with George, Tony will slow dance with you. No one dances with George and he has a crush on you. Tony wants to help a dream come true for him.”

I couldn’t believe it. Dance with who is crushing on me so I can dance with my crush? Without hesitation, I said yes. But, added…”just tell Tony to be sure to pick the best song.”

He ran over, whispered in Tony’s ear. He grinned and nodded his head agreeing to my request. I was beyond excited! It was going to happen! I ran to the girls bathroom to brush my hair and roll on perhaps my 20th coat of clear lip gloss. Tasted sweeter than ever.

Big inhale and exhale. I walked back tall on my quest. Found George standing by the punch bowl table and asked him to dance.

He blushed, lowered his head to hide his smile and nodded, yes. I took his hand and led him to the floor. It was a slow song. We danced and when it was over, Tony, watching, motioned his fingers the number two to get me to dance with George again. Abba started singing Dancing Queen…the perfect blend of slow and fast. Oblivious to the awkward moves George made to be in sync with me, I had my eyes on my next partner.

After the second dance, I thanked him and excused myself. I walked to my friends wondering if I had been tricked. George looked happy, so I guess it didn’t matter.

Looking up at the round diamond ball spinning, I wondered.  And, as if it was scripted in a movie, the speakers rolled out the red carpet. The song, How Deep Is Your Love began and Tony appeared to take my hand.

On the dance floor, beneath the flickering ball, he put his arms around me and I laid my head on his shoulder. Our bodies hot from dancing, hormones and youth. When the Bee Gee’s blended voices touched my ears, singing how I felt, I was in bliss. The arms of the guy I was crazy about had his body next to mine! I could feel his heartbeat. And, Too Much Heaven was played next and our dance continued. I really was in heaven.

Don’t remember the rest of the night. Those two dances to The Bee Gees with the guy of my dreams had me on cloud nine for weeks. He even thanked me for making George’s night. Unbelievable. Still smile 40 years later. Strong emotions…rich memories.

It is common now; but in the 70’s, change was an edge we danced over.  We needed to shake ourselves and point our fingers up. Disco music raised the fever and got us into action. Bee Gees are infamous for disco; but, if you go deeper, you discover they gave so much more. Long after disco ‘died’, they sang to remind us what it takes to grow, to love, to be who we are even when alone. No telling how many hearts with no dreams they shined a little light on with their bright evening star.

Bottom line…it’s all love. Their music immortalized itself in hearts young and old. Now, Barry Gibb at 70 years, without his beloved brothers, and singing songs long after many would fade, teaches us what staying alive really is all about.

Maybe that is the mending of a broken heart…keep loving and living. With the pieces put together, you just might get your speckles of light turning to touch others.

 

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Time, Wisdom and Yoga


Nothing is a waste of time if you use the experience wisely.” ~Rodin (1840-1917)

I met a woman who was 100 years old. She was beautiful. Stood tall, no cane. Gracious demeanor. Totally present. White wavy hair, sparkling blue eyes, creamy soft skin creased near the eyes from a century of smiles. She radiated a vibrant energy people pay for, but can’t keep because its not real. I not only saw her beauty beneath the etchings of time; I felt it.

A hundred years of surfing the unpredictable, yet universal waves of emotions. One person holding thousands…millions, of experiences inside. Witnessed technology born and change the original idea of connection and convenience. Had her own challenges and heart aches like every one else.

Loved. Laughed. Cried. Hurt. Happy. Hoped. Dreamed. Touched. Listened. Talked. Lost some, gained more. Grew stronger in grief. Loved more. Let go of the past. Said hello to each day…knowing she wouldn’t say goodbye to her last.

In the twilight of her life, her eyes twinkled like a child’s. Lighting the room with her mere presence.

In awe, I asked, “what keeps you so young? What’s the secret?”.

She chuckled and she motioned me to come closer to hear her secret: “I may have snow on my head, but I have a fire in my heart. That is what keeps me warm.” She smiled as she tapped her heart. 

With gentleness, her fingers touched my chest. “Keep adding to it by sharing it. That’s keeps it lit.” 

Wow. I wanted to bow and kiss her hand for this gracious offering of life earned wisdom.

We think technology gives us time. The truth is, technology is a time thief. The faster things get done, the faster the clock ticks. The list gets longer and time gets shorter. We grasp on the latest craze for fitness, health, happiness….never satisfied for long. That’s why the cycle of history repeats.

With yoga, I’ve noticed how the practice changes the body and the mind changes the practice. What was once a novel pose becomes a familiar comfort. The secret is when you morph familiar into the unfamiliar. That takes practice on and off the mat.

As the practice sharpens all the senses, so does the relationships the yogi has with him/herself and others. You discover you had to stretch your muscles to stretch your consciousness.  Your rooted essence reaches out to feel beyond the physical.

You hear what resonates and deaf to what doesn’t.  That never changes.

I can say this…you care less about edges and more about energy. The older you get, the deeper you go. Wise are those who stop thinking they know so much. Liberated are those not standing knee high in the past. Sophomoric reaction replaced with a soft space. It takes experience and effort to attain senior status. The greatest don’t let go of the child’s hand that guided them from the beginning.

Perhaps that’s what it means to age gracefully. You may not have 100 years to learn this; so, I’m telling you now. Keep adding to your ring of fire….your smile will brighten every heart you meet.

 

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Inversions and Yoga

~Sometimes you need to look down to move yourself right side up~Val at Y_Nov 2011-149

Inversions are an integral component of not only a good yoga practice, but good health. As kids, we’s hang upside down from the jungle gym like monkeys, do somersaults, or swing as high as possible to get the sweet mojo of flying.

Our young bodies were getting some great internal benefits. Besides being fun and a sense of dare, we were giving our endocrine system a workout. Use your yoga practice to re-ignite the kid’s cells in you. You’ll smile easier.

The body’s glands, or endocrine system, produce approximately 50 hormones. These hormones ignite the release of chemicals that send messages to your body and mind how to feel and function. Some hormones rev you up and others get you to chill out.  With yoga poses, you alchemize your chemistry.

Your glands reside from the top in your brain down to your reproductive zone and many places in between. It is not just glands releasing hormones we need to function. Your heart, besides circulating blood in the body 24/7, it’s also provides hormone (atriopeptin) to help regulate your blood pressure.

The pituitary gland, is the size of a pea and generates hormones that trigger other gland’s in the body to do their work. The hypothalamus, also in the brain, is a bridge linking the nervous system to the endocrine system. This almond size piece of the brain maintains your body temperature, circadian rhythm, thirst, hunger, sex drive and more. Perfect examples of power condensed in small units.

Enough of anatomy nuggets.

Yoga inversions. To be specific, an inversion is a pose that gets your head below the level of your heart. What inversions you do stimulate different hormone releases. Forward Fold ignites the parasympathetic nervous system to release hormones like dopamine and serotonin. Chemicals that give a sense of well-being. Just folding over to look at your toes. Child’s pose is another that relaxes the nervous system.

Other inversions rev you up. Headstand or handstand  raise your blood pressure, increase the heart rate, strengthen balance, and ignite a release of hormones that increase your energy levels. One of the hormones released in headstand is glucagon, which is produced in the liver. It ignites the production of glucose to get the body’s energy moving faster.

From a cosmetic perspective, inversions use gravity to help diminish the “fine” lines on the face that develop as we age. Gravity and increased oxygenated blood to the face is revitalizing for the cells. It doesn’t stop the process; but, it appears to slow it down for longterm yogis.

Inversions flip your organs upside down (kind of). To invert stirs up sediments so they can be more easily flushed out. Think about it. If you stir sand in water, it will eventually settle to the bottom. The body is no different. Granules of what you consume are broken down in the digestive system. The organs that receive and use what is shared with them can retain tiny remnants over time. Not moving much keeps things where they settle. Throw in an inversion and things get moved more.

We all grow a little older each moment and there is no stopping the clock. But, with a conscious yoga practice, you help maintain the health of the body and mind.  Do not worry about setting time expectations of results. Instead, there will be a day when you become aware of a change you did not see happening.

Life really does go full circle. Practice yoga with that precious sense of fun of the kid from earlier times. Only this time, you’ll know how to play with the truth, ‘what goes up, must come down’ at a deeper level.

 

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Yogi Under Construction

namaste

Consider practicing yoga with the mindset that your body is under a constant state of re-construction.  Any endeavor worthwhile takes time. Take the rush out of your mind while you’re on the mat. Your body will appreciate the way you think.

Muscles. We like them strong, tight, shaped just so and flexible. And, we want it to happen pretty quickly. Technology is atrophying the mind’s ability to be patient. Advanced technology is a time thief. Ganga White says it best: “Yoga doesn’t take time, it gives time.” Focusing on the sensations of muscle engagement, lengthening, balance, breathing, bone alignment, and energetic shifts are a few of the mental guideposts during the practice.

Motion is lotion for the body. Muscles, after warmed up, can extend one and a half the original length. The muscle’s fibers get micro tears; however, the healing process closes the gap and the message to get thicker, longer, and stronger is processed at the cellular level. Go too far, too fast and muscles, or worse, ligaments or tendons get pulled beyond their edge. Result: pain, inflammation, decreased mobility, and return to ground zero for healing.

Tendons connect muscle to bone. Ligaments connect tendon to muscle. It’s a blend of densities individually wrapped in fascia. Fascia is connective tissue that sheaths everything. Movement creates heat for malleability of muscle to increase. But, everything has limits.  Stretching ligaments is precarious. Once overstretched, they do not resume original length. The going range of permitted stretch is 4-7%. So, if you’re feeling your pose pull something at a joint, back off a bit.

Feeling a ‘burn’ in the muscle is not a good thing contrary to the “no pain, no gain” philosophy. The ‘burn’ is the body telling you it is being overworked and on the brink of damage. And, guess what, contrary to what you hear, it is not lactic acid taking residence in your muscles. Lactic acid is produced in the muscle cells and red blood cells as carbs are broken down for energy when oxygen levels are low. When the body’s muscles get anaerobic (out of O2), the Ph level gets acidic. As a ‘homeland security’ measure, multiple systems in the body slow down. Lactic acid is absorbed by the lymphatic system. Inflammation of overworked areas is the body’s way to slow you down. Inflammation causes pain in degrees of swelling. The more inflamed, the worse the pain. Pay attention.

By holding a pose for a few breaths, the muscle has time to get longer. Smooth, deep breathing provides the oxygen the muscles need. Plus, soreness is reduced by keeping the muscles’ chemistry scales balanced.

Muscles get strong fiber by fiber…layer by layer. It is a magnificent blend of body chemistry at play with physical components. How you move, what you fuel yourself with, and how you breathe are critical in constructing your yogi body.

Time is on your side when you stay present. And, maybe all you really needed was time for yourself. Yoga gives you that and a whole lot more.

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Why Yoga?

bliss

We exercise to stay fit, healthy, energized.We know it’s beneficial; but, most of us have to psych ourselves up to do it. Even the word exercise emanates a sense of duty vs. reward. “I have to exercise” sounds like an obligatory chore. Don’t recall anyone beaming and saying…”I get to exercise!”…ever.

Exercise morphed from the Latin word, exercitium,  meaning ‘training exercise for soldiers’ or ‘performing a disciplinary act’.  The why of exercitium was not personally rewarding. It was preparation to fight. The word over the centuries stayed in the lane of performing a duty or act of discipline. There are results in discipline. To exercise demands discipline. But, why not do something with results that provide more than a badge of discipline to wear?

Bliss. The energy of unbridled happiness. A sweet state of euphoria. 100% contentment. How one finds their bliss is a journey of self exploration. It’s not from discipline. You can pay for exercise training and maybe have a body to show off. But, does that make you happy?  Bliss can’t be bought. You have to loosen up to find your bliss. Yoga provides the trail and the yogi explores the terrain. You start on a mat above the surface; but, ultimately find riches between intrinsic layers deep within.

Yoga doesn’t lead you to a single treasure chest of priceless jewels to open. It helps you find golden nuggets to store in your personal treasure chest. That is what keeps you coming to the mat.

Yoga delivers superficial (physical) fitness and mental/emotional fitness. It helps keep all systems in balance. Better habits are ingrained. From deeper breathing to good posture to less restrictive perceptions of outside circumstances. You practice for yourself, but, somewhere along the way, your practice touches others. You learn to polish the nuggets you’ve found and become less concerned when you’ll find more.

If you have a scientific mindset, you like to know the specifics…how, what and why change happens, yoga provides unlimited facets to research. You’ll be amazed the more you learn about yourself and the community of cellular interconnection from head to toe.

If you have the mindset of an achiever, a goal setter, don’t stop til it’s done, yoga provides a space of personal refuge in between destinations. You might even slow down a bit to appreciate and be present in the process of manifesting your dreams.

If you have a mindset of ‘I don’t have time’; well, yoga has a sneaky way of slowing time. If something is important to us, we make time for it. After a good practice or two, you’ll find the time. Trust me.

It you still use the excuse, ‘I’m not flexible’, save it. That’s the first surface the practice peels off. Enough said.

If you think yoga is just for a certain age, certain genre, certain health status, certain anything…stop limiting yourself by structured thinking. That’s what needs to be stretched. Yoga can do that. Once you discard certain words from your vocabulary, better ones arrive. Augment your brain cells by gleaning new and unfamiliar words. Use it or lose it applies to everything. 

Why has the practice of yoga lasted for centuries while various methods of fitness come and go? Because it is real. It is integrous. It is personal. It is an ego balancer. It is loving. It is nourishing. It is unconfined. It strengthens you. It softens you. You find your bliss.

Bliss, in Hindu theology, comes from the Sanskrit word ananda. Ananda means joy, happiness, bliss. Go deeper in the word’s past, it branches out from the word, nandati, meaning “he rejoices”.

So, why yoga? Simple.

Your practice morphs into an energetic rejoice of bliss you manifested. It is an altered method of discipline.

It stretches physical moves  beyond exercise. Your body gets to move, strengthen and nourish from the inside out. And, unlike exercise, you bask in the knowledge you get a sweet nap  (Savasana) to absorb your efforts….;)

 

 

 

 

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