Despite hearing a lot about him over the years, I had never truly given him much time. He speaks to living our truth, believing in ourselves, and being in the present moment. I looking forward to discovering more about him and his wise words!
— Ingrid Greene (@IngridWellness) May 21, 2015
I have a new set of Sentley Flow headphones that I’m looking forward to trying out!
Today it rained in LA and I decided not to venture out for yoga. The traffic is even worse when it rains here and I preferred to catch up on things at home. Around 2pm though I realized I had been sitting all day and needed to stretch.
It was still raining so I couldn’t go for a walk. I decided to pull out a yoga dvd instead and it was great. I was feeling very limber after just a few minutes and I was still in my office.
I like to have a few dvds at home although I don’t often play them. I much prefer getting out to a studio with other energy to complete my practice, but having the flexibility to do things at home is great.
As a yoga teacher, I also am able to design my own practice, but very often I enjoy not thinking about what pose is next and just following someone else’s sequence.
Here’s to rainy days!
Then, one day I realized that it was a time only for myself. No one came to interrupt me because they could see I was busy. I also didn’t look at my phone or email the entire time because my hands were always wet. I quickly saw that it was an opportunity to get some “me” time. I would come away from the experience feeling grounded, calm, and clear.
I think there are often tasks in life that we look at as burdensome, but really can be opportunities to quiet the mind. Washing the dishes has often been a favorite pastime for me and I think it’s similar to washing the car. Because I’ve noticed this, I often try to turn a boring situation around. For example, when I am called to do a repetitive action like stamping envelopes or clearing out an excel spreadsheet, I think of it as a moving mediation. It’s mindless, but I try and make it mindful. I try and not think about when the task will end, but instead just focus on each physical movement.
When I do things like this, I often come out of the experience clearer, more grounded, and certainly happier than when I went in. This week, I got some new microfiber dust cloths for cleaning my car. Not only do they look like a great quality, but for the meditation sake, I can’t wait to start using them!
This week I got some wall hangings that I think are just the coolest. They say “You got this” and “Good vibes only”. They also include pretty pictures. I’m going to bring them to the yoga studio where I teach and put them up on the wall. I think it will be great to see them when we walk into the room and get on our mat.
These inspirational posters have become very popular over the last twenty years and I think it’s a good thing. People need some uplifting when they walk into a yoga studio, a conference room, or a private office. It reminds us to be our best selves and think positively.
Fortunately, the hangings that I received are modern and chic. Some of the posters from when the trend began in the late 1980’s are starting to look dated, but I appreciate their message. It may be time to update them, but it’s great that they are still hanging nonetheless.
The next time you see one of these inspirational messages perhaps it’s an opportunity to see what it’s saying to you, despite it’s sometimes dated appearance. Often we walk right past them, but their job is to be there for us.
I’ve been teaching yoga for over eight years and I feel that I teach a very similar class today compared with the class I taught in 2007. I include basic stretches that I like and that I practice. I feel that practicing these movements on a regular basis creates clarity and thus I don’t add new movements very often to my sequence.
But, I do like adding little side “attractions” to my classes on a regular basis. Sometimes it’s handing out chocolate at the end of class and sometimes it’s providing foot rubs. My latest trend is massaging student shoulders with a small amount of lavender oil on my hands to provide some aromatherapy.
Who doesn’t love lavender oil? It’s like walking through the fields in Provence. It’s relaxing, peaceful, and calming.
Last week, I asked the students what they like best about my class. I’m not going to lie and say that chocolate wasn’t their first choice. I’m sure though that lavender was the next thing they were going to say and in the meantime, I love smelling it when I apply it.
Last month, I received a pair of gel insoles in the mail and it made me very happy. I’m not one to sit around the house and thus I also need a good pair of walking shoes. This is not to say that I don’t spend lots of quiet time alone, but very often I am out walking my dog, hoping around town to teach yoga, and doing errands as a new wife.
Every couple of months, I try and look at my schedule to see if I’m getting a good balance of all important items. Am I eating right? Am I getting enough exercise? Am I spending enough time with my loved ones? I feel this self-evaluation is important because it makes me aware of something I am missing and/or something that I am overdoing. Everything in moderation, they say.
Last December, I could see that I was working long hours on a consulting project, spending lots of time taking care of pre-Christmas tasks, and not getting enough time for my personal yoga practice. In January, I took out a one-month membership at one of my favorite studios and I went every day. I loved it. I discovered new teachers and I felt stretched, fit, and more like myself.
At the end of the month, I decided that this part of my life was satiated and I didn’t have to go everyday. I still loved to teach, as well as practice, but I was happy to prioritize my personal practice less and let something else fill it’s place. Since then, I’ve been walking my dog more, going on vacation with my husband, and blogging more.
My husband teases me that I sleep for amazingly long periods of time. In reality, I think I sleep an average number of hours, but I never skimp. If I can’t get my eight hours, then I adjust my schedule so that I can get as close as I can.
Since we’ve been married, I have convinced him to turn off the television one to two hours earlier than he used to in his bachelor days. In my opinion, good rest is better than what we hear in the media. Or when we travel and the room isn’t completely dark as the sun rises, I always ensure I have a quality sleeping mask so I stay asleep. This one is one of my favorites because it doesn’t let even one ray of sun in: https://www.dreamessentials.com/product-48/sweet-dreams-sleep-mask-wcarry-pouch-and-earplugs.
One day, I meditated on why I like going to bed early and why I highly prioritize it. What came to me was that when I am asleep, good things happen. I receive the mental nourishment I need to go out during the day to complete my tasks with kindness and compassion. It makes me more genuine in my interactions and it allows me to think creatively.
To me, this made sense because in the few times that I didn’t get enough sleep, I was not so aware of others or able to pick up on subliminal messages. My mother and I use the saying “we are so out of it” or “walking zombies” when we don’t get enough rest and I feel that explains it perfectly. I can function and complete tasks by being on automatic pilot, but I certainly can’t come up with unique solutions and I often will create minor accidents in my path.
As my husband and I think about creating a family over the next year, I am not sure how I am going to adjust to being woken up multiple times during the night and living off “minimal sleep,” as my parent friends call it. I will just have to take it one day at time. All I know now is that late-night television creates a zombie out of me.
For the past few months, I have been getting back into listening to audiobooks while I walk my dog. Sometimes, though, during the year, I feel that I could use the silence more than anything while I walk. There are times that I am continuously taking in information during the day so that the time spent walking is an opportunity to clear my head and have some peace.
Since the holidays, my consulting schedule has slowed down and I’ve felt fortunate to get into a few good books. Most recently, I finished Wild by Cheryl Strayed, which has been turned into a movie with Reese Witherspoon. It’s nominated for a few Oscars and I’m happy to say that I now know the plot. Cheryl is a talented writer and although it wasn’t what I thought it would be about, I still found it very insightful, entertaining, and very much worth the time.
I think that listening to books while I walk is greatly satisfying. Not only am I being opened up to new perspectives, but I’m able to move the body and still fully concentrate on the subject. Moving gives us a fresh outlook which I find is very powerful. Maggie and I walk on quiet trails by the beach or by the nearby marsh, trails which also allow for concentrated focus.
This being said, I’d like to share with you something that I’ve taken away from this book so far. It is a meditation technique that the main character uses in Wild when she is hiking the Pacific Coast Trail (PCT). She spends many days by herself and often on tough, rigorous hiking paths. To keep her mind focused, she starts counting her steps. When the trail is easy, she is able to count to 100. When it gets more difficult, she can only make it to 50. After some time, the uphill challenge only allows her mind to count to ten.
When we try and keep our mind still and count to ten, it’s almost impossible before the mind wanders. Although we are not being physically challenged, our busy minds are continuously on the go and/or something interrupts us. The character in Wild most often was uninterrupted when she was counting, but when the body was stressed, she could not count very far.
Our physical bodies are not often stressed, but our mental ones are. We often don’t realize how exhausting it is to have the mind jumping from topic to topic throughout the day. When we go on retreat or on vacation, it’s much easier to achieve these goals.
I liked this example because it shows us how the exhaustion stops us from moving forward. When you have some time, see if you can quiet the mind enough to get to a higher number.
Today I got a pair of SPF 50 sun-protection sleeves in the mail and I couldn’t be more excited. Despite my trying to avoid sun, wear sunscreen, and put on long-sleeved shirts, I still continue to get more color than I think is healthy. I know that Vitamin D is important, but here in California, the sun is so strong that even after fifteen minutes, I often get burnt.
Last week, I took Maggie for a walk and I discovered again how great it is to walk outdoors. She takes me on these adventures where we wander through our community, meet neighbors, and listen to books on tape (ok, just I listen while she walks).
When I return from our outings, I am always calmer, feeling physically better, and I always have a different perspective on things. When I sit at home, I circle around and around about decisions or projects that move through my brain, where often I end up at the same dead-end conclusions. When I move, however, new ideas consistently spring into my mind.
For example, today I had completely forgotten to email a friend with some information. Yesterday, I was so excited to connect with her and I told myself to write her as soon as I was back at my computer. With the Monday rush of things to do, it completely slipped my mind. Then, just as Maggie and I were walking back from our outing, I remembered. I quickly sat down and sent her the important note.
Contrarily, sometimes I feel reluctant to take her because it feels like so much effort, but it’s never as much as I think. As soon as we start walking, I quickly catch fresh energy and feel myself stepping with vigor more and more in each step. With my new sun-protection sleeves, I can’t wait to continue listening, to create clarity, and to live life to the fullest.