Happy New Year of Yoga

”The thinking brain, the neo cortex, is the seed of our freewill and allows us to have a choice and opinion. The one thing I noticed about people who had changes in health had changed their thinking. If they changed their thinking, was the effect in the brain sending a new signal to their body? The answer is yes… Our thoughts have a direct connection to our direct level of health. Thoughts make a chemical. If you have happy thoughts then you’re producing chemicals that make you feel happy. It you have negative thoughts, angry thoughts or insecure thoughts, those thoughts make chemicals to make you feel how you’re thinking… There is sound evidence that our thoughts do matter. We always replace those old patterns with a greater ideal of ourselves. If rehearsed mentally, we will grow new circuits in the brain, the platform in which we stand on to execute a new level of self.”

– Dr. Joseph Dispenza from Physics, the Brain and Your Reality

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Just let that settle in. Isn’t it amazing how our thoughts can make or break us?  Now, onto the post.

I am sure that everyone has been thinking about what they want to do with this new year.  Most people make goals or resolutions at the beginning of the year and put them on the shelf.  If you want to read a good blog post about where the name January comes from, read this.  I love the imagery of looking forward and backward, because that is what I tend to do.

Two years ago I made it a goal to exercise more.  I signed up for a program called Great in 8, where you were paired with a team, had daily accountability in regards to food, water intake, and exercise and had to report back weekly.  To be truthful, my perfectionist me was having anxiety over the whole thing.  Seriously, I thought about getting out and going to eat my tub of cookie dough with a helping of brownies and a tall glass of milk.  But, I didn’t.  I pushed through those 8 weeks and looked forward to treat day!  But you know what, I didn’t lose any weight, and I actually didn’t want to eat very much because on the program you got points for each veggie you ate, so I was eating more.  And I didn’t feel as awesome as I thought I was going to. But mentally, I felt like a champion.  I didn’t give up and I made it through all 8 weeks, with an awesome team (and made some amazing friends!). Besides that 8 weeks though, I was not too into exercising.  At the time I was mom to three busy active kids under 5, my husband was in graduate school and working his full time job and I just couldn’t keep it up.  I tried getting up early to exercise but then I turned into a mom basket case.

Last year I made a goal to exercise 4-5 times a week.  I was motivated and I was determined but I changed my goal in April to 2-3 times a week.  I still wasn’t doing that and then I noticed my body changing.  On my downhill slide to 40, I started seeing my metabolism slow down and I didn’t like that.  So in August I recommitted myself to 3 days a week.  I started off just being more mindful of exercise and doing my favorite workout DVD’s.  It started out great, but I hit a plateau.  So I went on You Tube, yep I did, and I started doing some yoga.  I had done some yoga before but not consistently or whatever.  Well, I found a channel that I love and it had just want I needed.  30 days of yoga…now I love a challenge, so in October I started my at home practice with Yoga with Adriene.  I bumped my goal up and I have been doing yoga 4-5 times a week since October of last year.  I feel great.  I can’t say I have lost a ton of weight, but I haven’t gained.  So I like to say that I exercise to support my food habit!  Haha.

Any who….one aspect of yoga that Adriene mixes into her practice is the practice of being kind to self and of working with you, not just pretzeling into a shape and holding your breath, but accepting where you are and that each day is a gift.  It has been amazing for my physical and mental health.  My favorite so far has been Yoga Revolution. It was 31 days of awesome!  I can’t wait to do this year’s challenge which is called True, but I have been finishing up another series.  So, you probably won’t see me in a public class, but my at home practice is amazing, for me.  Another bonus…my sciatica pain is pretty much gone.  I get a flare up every now and then, but it is amazing to not be in pain all the time!!!  Hip openers are my friend, forever!  So, go out on a limb, try something new and do some yoga!

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Two for One Time

Okay, I wrote this post in early December and I totally forgot to post it.  So I am going to post it (pretend it is still December) and then tack on my next post.  It is going to be a little long, but I hope you will stick around til the end! So two for one, aren’t you excited!

#1-Winter is Here

Fall is usually my favorite time of year.  I love how the trees magically change color and how everything looks at us from a different eye.  I love the mountain dashed with brilliant colors and the weather changing to cool down. But this year has felt different. This year I just feel like everything is dying and I don’t like the barren trees.  It makes me feel exposed I guess and I am really not looking forward to driving in the snow. I haven’t been looking forward to the change of the leaves, I have dreaded the chill of winter coming and have missed the green grass and flowers in delicate colors.  A Sarah McLachlan song keeps rolling through my head;

“The winter here is cold and bitter
It’s chilled us to the bone
I haven’t seen the sun for weeks
Too long, too far from home.”

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I guess I have just not been ready to be freezing all the time and never be able to get warm.  I also had a hard time sending my kids off to school this fall.  I love my kiddos and it is hard to not spend more time with them and to hear their laughter and see them all play together.  Now, the nights are full of homework, piano practice and reading minutes.  My kids complain about not having time to “just play” and I am totally with them.  So, I am not ready for this year to be gone.  Where did the year go anyway?  I feel like it was just April, but it is December.  Seriously, time does go faster when you are older.  I just want time to slow down a little.  I want to continue to enjoy snuggles with all of my kids before they don’t hug me or they are bigger than me.

So now I am trying to get into the Christmas spirit but I keep dragging my feet, pretending that it is Spring.

One thing for sure is that I realize I like all the seasons for different reasons.  I don’t really have a favorite anymore, but I am sure looking forward to spring!

#2 Shine On

I play the piano, I don’t claim to be the best piano player but I can mostly hold my own when I have some time to practice.  A couple of weeks ago I played the piano for a musical number at church.  I was pretty excited they asked me to, because it was all the men in a family I think the world of.  So, the music was brought over and I was like..yep, lots of practice time for this one! It has always been a challenge to get all the practice time I need with my kids.  It was hard though to get through all 11 pages of the piece in one sitting without one child needing help, or someone screaming, or you know just life here!  It was a beautiful song though and it was a fun challenge to up my game for this quartet, because they are all amazingly good singers.

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When I accompany anyone or any group my goal is to go unnoticed and have the singer(s) be center stage.  Basically I am letting them shine!  When I was preparing this last time it just reminded me that accompanying people is a lot like life.  There are many people behind the scenes helping us shine and look good.  Do we thank those people enough?  Do you think about those people?  Do you thank them for their “practice” time.  It is a lot like being a parent!  But my mind also turned to my Savior.  He is always there behind the scenes for me.  He has put in a lot of work for me, and continues to always uplift, inspire and strengthen me.  What a blessing to have just had the Christmas Season upon us.

Our Christmas was simple and relaxed and we did a lot to help focus not just ourselves, but our children toward Christ.  Did you remember Christ at Christmas?  I hope you thought about how that little baby born long ago is not a baby anymore, but is your brother and friend and is doing His best to make you shine.  Look for those people that help you and allow you to shine, thank them.  Then, look for people that you can help and let them shine!