Pottstown’s High Street Yoga; Room to Stretch, Quiet to Reflect

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Living Mindfully ~ Hello Now

Walking to the bus this morning listening to my middle son talk about his day ahead I was suddenly struck with an overwhelming feeling of love and warmth. This happens often in parenting but this time was different. Thousands of memories flooded before me; the memory of my boys as newborns and other parents saying “I don’t even remember what it was like when my kids were newborns” My strong conviction to never say that or feel that; My vow to enjoy every single moment with them as infants and through each stage of their lives.

My next thought was immediately followed by the memory of a conversation yesterday morning with a yoga student soon to turn 69. She asked how old my boys are and I said 8, 10 and 12 and she said “oh you are in the thick of things” I nodded and my mind immediately thought of the night before when I had to do a 4-5 massage, have a friend pick up my middle son from an after school activity at 4:15, the oldest needed to be picked up at 5:30 from orchestra and the youngest needed to get to soccer at 5:45 and me to yoga by 7 and everyone needed to eat in the space of that. Sigh…… Our life is on full speed ahead! But while my mind was churning with these thoughts she immediately said “enjoy every minute of it, because before you know it they will be grown up and on their own” All these thoughts sped through my brain in the moment of listening to my son talk about his day.

I struggle to find balance in our lives and to enjoy the chaos of three kids and three schedules. In the time to walk to the bus I remembered that yoga encourages us to consciously observe our experience; to live each moment in the present; to allow the mind to slow down, take a seat and be in the moment. Not to look ahead, but to simply be.

I teach ‘yoga’ every week. In class we move, breathe and relax. These techniques in and of themselves are transformative. However, to commit to yoga fully is to look at life inwardly. In class I often give the analogy of unpeeling the layers of an onion; little by little we find the center. By living mindfully we peel away everything that is not of essence to the true self. By living with an open heart and with attention to the details of our daily life the true self can shine.

Continuing on my journey through life with family, schedules, work and commitments I will keep in mind what is important to me in living my yoga. I will remember that life is a work in progress and will continue to unpeel each layer. I will repeat the mantras "I will commit to living my life fully in the present" and "all the answers are within me" and I will remember my conviction of the newborn days and enjoy each moment of life with family despite the chaos!

I stumbled on this poem that spoke to me called Hello Now. The first line felt like the conversation I had in my head this morning.

Today I returned
to the present moment
after a long train
of images and thoughts
and as if once again
encountering an old friend
I said out loud "Hello Now"
self-encouraging all
entrances into this,
the present

Say hello to your self, your moment and your truth.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Half Moon Pose ~ Ardha Chandrasana

The moon holds significance in yogic philosophy. The word Hatha means Ha – sun and tha – Moon. I try to do all the ‘moon’ poses during the full moon. One of my favorite poses to do on the full moon is Ardha Chanrasana, the name means half moon pose. I feel a sense of flying and freedom when my back foot is reaching. Some balancing poses can feel intimidating or wobbly. With the support of the back against the wall this pose is appropriate for all levels. The benefits, physically and emotionally are immeasurable.

Half Moon improves balance, focus, concentration and confidence. Confidence is gained from learning to balance and open at the same time. On a physical level half moon stretches hamstrings, quadriceps and back and increases flexibility in the hip joints.

Directions for coming into the Pose

From Extended Triangle on the Right

Hinge forward reaching with your right arm, when you can’t reach any further, drop your right fingertips to the floor or a block placed at 1:00 o’clock.

Inhale and Exhale as you straighten your right leg and lift your left leg so that it is horizontal to the floor. Think of the back leg as your stability. Breathe naturally and lift the chest. Stretch out in both directions through both arms and legs.

Continue breathing for several breaths and to come out of the pose bend the front knee and drop the back leg. Straighten into Triangle Pose and come up on an inhalation to standing. This pose can be modified with the back against the wall.

“Aim for the Moon, if you miss you might hit a star” ~ W. Clement Stone

Happy Full Moon and Namaste’

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Yoga Teachers who Blog

High Street Yoga was featured on a blog titled "100 Incredible Yoga Teachers who Blog" Check out the link