Yoga Vita

Musings on Yoga, Life, and the Yoga Life

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A Break

I’m thinking of officially retiring this blog, or at least taking a long break.  I started it a couple years ago when I was settling into my new life after school, travel, and a really awesome yoga teacher training.  This was a period of great growth and exploration for me, and I felt like I had a lot to write about, especially when it came to yoga.  Now I find I’m settling into a phase where yoga is in the daily background of my life, which is nice in its own way, but it speaks to me more quietly now.  I’m switching back to old-fashioned paper journaling right now.  Creating an archive to keep on a dusty bookshelf rather than to broadcast across the vast, dazzling interwebs.

I’m still reading other yogis’ blogs — it’s so nice to hear other perspectives and approaches to practice, and it’s helpful to be reminded there are people across the world practicing away every day, especially as I am going solo for the time being.  Thanks to all the passionate bloggers out there.  I may want to start blogging again when I start my intense professional training in a few months because my thoughts and emotions will certainly be flying, but then this will be a student-nurse blog, quite a different thing.  Or maybe not such a different thing.  I’m open to the possibilities!


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Radiator Salutations

First, an apology to anyone who cares but mostly to myself: sorry for disappearing from the blogosphere for months without comment nor explanation! I have a tendency to occasionally disappear from people or things in real life too- – a real immature habit, but that’s a whole ‘nother book.  The main issue this time was that I was feeling terribly overwhelmed with grad school applications (on top of work, classes, volunteering at the hospital, community organizing, holiday-making, and trying to maintain a home yoga practice), and something had to go.  I was up to my ears in internal self-reflection, so I just couldn’t bring myself to blog on top of it all.  Alas.  I miss it.

Anyway, my radiator:


Oh, glorious radiator, my neopagan yuletide bonfire harkening the distant sun!  (I’m feeling . . . Shakespearian today.)  Seriously though, this radiator more than perhaps anything else has enabled my home practice to be reasonably successful, or at least extant.  I set the timer to have it on from 5 am to 7 am, so when I wake up and stumble into my yoga room (usually after making/drinking a cup of coffee), the room is at least over 60 F, unlike the rest of the house.  Then I turn on a lamp and light 5 candles (decadent, I know) to brighten the room in lieu of a rising sun, and yoga begins.  I keep the radiator ON, and by the time I get to floor poses, the temperature is pretty good.  I love you, programmable radiator.

I guess having a yoga room is pretty handy, too.  Our appartment just happened to have an extra room, and we didn’t need an office, we didn’t need a guest room, thus I established a yoga room.  Of course the living room would have worked fine, but there’s something really wonderful about having a dedicated space.


It’s obscured in this photo, but I have my ‘graduation gift’ from the Yoga Thailand teacher training up in the window- – a red and yellow silk scarf imprinted with a large unbroken OM and the Gayatri mantra.  ❤


Yoga Keeps Me Sane

Ah, yes, so that’s why I do yoga.  Daily.  It keeps me sane.  Or I suppose a better word is grounded– – more calm and connected to reality.  Less neurotic.  Unfortunately, I had to have a couple months of somewhat sporadic yogaing and increasing crazy-going to remind myself of that.  Bleh.  That’s over, thank goodness.  I’m back on the mat and feeling MUCH BETTER.

Now I just need to find a way to stop over-committing myself to things I don’t want to do and under-committing myself to things I do want to do in general.


Gold Stars, Weird Yoga Injuries, and Snoopy Squirrels

To help keep me on track with my yoga in the absence of a teacher, Mr. Z devised a gold star system to reward me for good yogi behavior.  Just like a little kid’s chore chart–you know, brush your teeth every morning and evening without putting up a fuss and you get a dinosaur sticker on Saturday,  clean your bedroom four weekends in a row and get an ice cream sundae, that kind of thing.  For me, I have to do my full practice three times a week and at least partial practice three times a week to get one gold star.  I then accumulate gold stars, which I can exchange for dinner dates, back rubs, and the like.  I think it’s a pretty good deal.  So what if it’s completely ridiculous- – I like it!  Don’t hate on the inner preschooler.

So last week, week one, I got a gold star for doing full practice three days and partial practice three days, as planned.  This week . . . too bad there’s not a silver star option.  But it’s not too late!  My week ends on Saturday, so there’s still a chance to do one more full practice and earn my gold star.  Then I’m that much closer to an on-demand back rub.

I just hope my newest Weird Yoga Injury doesn’t hold me back tomorrow.  I stubbed my second toe on my schmancy Maduka Eko mat pretty hard whilst attempting a yoga photo shoot for my other blog and now blood is welling up at the nail bed.  God, I hope my toenail doesn’t fall off.  Methinks yoga and photography might just not go together. . .

And as long as I have my camera out,  for your viewing pleasure, a charming photo  of our resident squirrelly troublemaker:

Isn’t he cute?  Here he is again:

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Thanks, Mr. Iyengar

In Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, BKS Iyengar posits in his explanation of the sutras on pranayama that “the implication here is clear [clear as mud] that the sadhaka who had to struggle initially to cultivate a yogic way of life by self-discipline and study, now [after the practice of pranayama] finds his efforts transformed into a natural zeal to proceed in his sadhana.” So there’s hope for those of us who are dunces at self-discipline. I came across that juicy tidbit last night. (I got about half way through the second pada last summer when I set the book down, not to be touched again for a year. . . I’m all out of novels at the moment.) So this morning I did my full pranayama practice (which really only takes about 15 minutes) before asana, and it was fantastic. I felt motivated, I felt – – could it be? – – zeal! Thank you, Mr. Iyengar. I’ll be doing my pranayama regularly from now on.