All quiet on the blog front

And mind you, not because nothing is going on. A whole lot of shit is taking place behind the scenes, contributing to a chronic case of not-enough-time. Especially not-enough-time for blogging, which  must be a terrible disappointment for my 3 readers.
Things are looking up though. One house sold, another one bought. Closings to happen this week. House 1 mostly packed up and stuffed into a pod. House 2 will have the gnarly carpets ripped out minutes after closing and wood floors installed a couple of days later. After that, we will unload and set about digging the new digs.

I’m excited. It will be great to put this chapter of my life behind me and start a fresh one. We were able to cull a whole lot of our earthly possessions (aka junk) and will be starting fresh with a lot less baggage. It’s not quite minimalistic yet, but at least showing some strong tendencies in the right direction. I had really hoped to hit up the flea market or do a garage sale to make money to pay down debt, but in the end a couple of things conspired to not make that feasible, so Goodwill got the lot.

In the middle of all that, I also taught my first proper community class at the Yoga-Shed. It was pretty scary to be on that side of the yoga studio for a change and I had a lot of butterflies in my stomach. Went pretty well though, probably because most of my students were all seasoned yogis. Class was over a bit too quick – I had anticipated a couple of beginners and thought we’d spend a bit more time on demos and corrections than we did. Live and learn – so glad that I survived the first one and  kind of can’t wait to do it again :)

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Space between the breaths

A pranayama expert that I ran into the other day.

According to many yogis and sages, that is where it’s at. Between the breaths. In – space – out – space.

I have tried on a few occasions to meditate, to become one with the candle, quiet the mind, get some of the monkeys under control. So far, a herd of monkeys laughs in my face every time I try to sit still, and before you know it I’m making an alphabetized list of the knick-knacks I need to dust RIGHT NOW. And if you know me, you’d know that I don’t dust.  Well, I do, but only when absolutely necessary.

It’s frustrated me a bit, that I can’t seem to sit still, and therefore all those lovely benefits of meditation have been out of my reach.  And there are a LOT of benefits. An ambitious blogger even rattled off a list of 100 different benefits, ranging from reducing PMS (hey honey!) to lightning focus to reduced road rage and of course enlightenment. Fat lot of good that stuff does me, as I can’t sit on my ass (or a pillow) for more than 40 seconds before losing the plot. And if I try to meditate laying down, I’m off to la-la land before the back of my head meets my yoga mat.

During one of the weekends of my yoga teacher training, we went through a workshop with Betty Larsen and John Charping. As a part of that weekend, John taught us about pranayama. He showed us several ways of setting ourselves up, spoke about the difference between laying down and sitting up, and instructed us in the different techniques.
Before I know it, I’m on my back, set up comfortably on my blankets and lo and behold, kind of doing that “being one with the breath” thing.  Nothing forced, just letting it happen as I am being instructed. Ever since, I’ve spent a good deal of time being with the breath, appreciating the space between the breaths and just letting whatever is happening happen.

As soon as I’m done with my homework of anatomy, class sequencing, sutra studying combined with a shitload of personal practice, I’m totally going to read up on Iyengar’s “Light on Pranayama“.  To quote the guru himself: “The mind is the king of the senses,  and the breath is the king of the mind”.

If you are keen on exploring the awesomeness of breathing, I say go for it. Just do it slowly and start with the basics.  Ideally a pranayama practice follows a good solid foundation in asana practice (aka doing yoga), which serves to prepare the body as well as the mind for the flow of the prana – which can be quite powerful. Us westerners are sometimes wound so tight that something as simple as few deep breaths into your belly can bring on a stress response, making the experience anything but lovely. Our breath is intrinsically connected to our nervous system and that bears respecting. Always goes back to ahimsa, the first of the yamas.  Non-violence. Be kind to yourself. And breathe :)

Sitting still feels so good

Back home, for a bit. Phew. I had a great trip to South Carolina, experienced Southern Hospitality at its finest and was able to catch up with some old buddies at Carolinafest. You know that you are road weary when Florida in the summertime sounds like a great place to be.

But, in a way it is. Especially now that all my friends are getting kayak’d up and I have high hopes they might invite me with on their excursions. That’s one way to make the summer go by nicely, plenty of cool water to dip your toes in around here. Or the beach, always nice to get some sand between your toes. Why is it always about the toes? Even yoga has a light obsession with toes.

Other than that, it’s yoga teacher training on my mind. We have a full weekend coming up, with plenty of anatomy and physical asana studies, but I’m also really starting to enjoy exploring the philosophy. The western translations differ WILDLY, so the more I read, the more I start to get my own fledgling understanding, but more reading and pondering is certainly in order.

On on, with the summer of 2012.  Let’s make it a fun one.

Around the world in a wooshhh

View down the not so official path we used to clamber up after landing on the beach. Best view in all of Denmark.

For the past couple of weeks I have been on a plane, train and automobiles kick. In 2 short weeks it’s been Denmark, Sweden and Amsterdam – back to Florida only to drive my happy ass to the Georgia mountains, back home to Florida again to swap out cars and tomorrow drive to the northern part of South Carolina. If I had my own travel-miles program, I’d be a double platinum diamond studded medallion member already.

It’s been nice, to see the family, pig out on delicious Scandinavian bread and cheese, even got to do a nice little sledder off a dune in northern Denmark thanks to Niklas from Speedfly.dk and had an awesome day in Amsterdam with the husband.

The Georgia road trip was brilliant too,  but now I’m kind of ready to settle down a bit. I need to get some study time in for the yoga teacher training, and get my practice back on track. Then it’s that little detail of packing up the house for the impending move – but since I’m not entirely sure where or when I’m moving, that seems like it can wait. Because first there is another road trip to Carolinafest, where I’ll be promoting my magazine, hanging out with old friends and hopefully making some new – all whilst sweating buckets in South Carolina.

On on.