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Living a Yoga way of life - Page 2

post #21 of 116
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mudhugger View Post

 

Thought I'd share this awesome quote I found recently-- I love it so much I painted it across my kitchen :) 

"Peace.  It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble, or hard work.  It means to be in the midst of these things, and still be calm in your heart."  ~anon

Pretty appropriate for those of us trying to balance a yogic way of life with the adventure of the family way of life. 



That really is an awesome quote!

 

As for food, that is rather challenging for us but it helps that dd1 has been really taking an interest in putting the right things into her body. We don't make any foods off-limits here, but I am really encouraging the habit of going for nutritious snacks -- and especially something high in protein -- first when we are hungry.

 

My protein focus comes from when I was pregnant with dd2. I didn't see a doctor at all. I finally met my midwife in the 7th month, and when she had me pee on  the strips, I showed high glucose and key tones in my urine. My midwife said that this problem was totally fixable, even this far into my pregnancy. She advised me to start eating about 6-7 times per day and always have something high in protein with every snack or meal. And, of course, to eat my fruit rather than drinking it.

 

She said that I didn't need to cut out sweets or fruit juice 100% -- but, when I wanted a sweet, to just consume it with a full-course meal. I followed her advice and quickly discovered that, whereas I'd been constantly craving sugar before, I was now feeling much more satisfied. My sugar and protein levels went back to normal and I dropped a bunch of weight; the midwife said the weight loss so late in pregnancy would normally concern her, but in this case she felt that it was mostly water-loss (my body had been breaking down my tissues to get the protein it needed). I felt great!

 

What I learned during that time has come back to me now that I am working (from home, but still quite busy) and my girls are often getting their own snacks. I've been explaining that when we are really hungry, our bodies crave sugar because of the fast energy. So it's really important to try to eat before we are literally starving, and also to go for the foods that give us healthy sugars plus the other things our bodies need.

 

By the way, mudhugger, I had an unexpected break today and I got to go through the whole Kundalini video! It is absolutely wonderful! Parts of it were very challenging; for example, I am not yet able to do the standing and sitting ritual. I mean, I was able to get up and down without using my hands but I had to move forward and get up on one knee first, whereas those other adults were able to just stand straight up from a cross-legged position! It's exciting to visualise myself being able to do this eventually!

 

I loved the rapid fire-breath and also the different kinds exercises where I went around in a circular motion.

 

Thank you, again, for telling me about it!

 

 

post #22 of 116
Quote:View Post

I think I have it much easier than you overall-- ds is only two...It's a whole different ball game with older ones, huh?  What do you find most challenging? 


My oldest is the easiest to feed because she has celiacs and realizes how processed food really can be toxic. Our family is blended, I remarried in 06', years after my first marriage fell apart. So my soon to be 16 year old has the hardest time.His experience at his dads is the large portion, processed, cheap, soda all day nightmare. Jared feels very loyal to him, and it is hard for him to embrace my contrary point of view and not feel like he is taking sides. I have faith in my son, he is more willing to adapt every year. The little ones love junk too if they can get their hands on it. Like fruit snacks and chips at birthday parties.But, like with everything else eventually they have to decide for themselves that they are the kind of people that take care of themselves and avoid ______. I am always looking for new ideas. 

 

As for reverent eating, I was refering to some things I have been reading which assert "our true sustenance is the life force of the food itself, and the foods with the most intense life-enhancing energy are those that come from plants and trees. The true alchemy of digestion is not the combustion of chemical substances but the absorption by the pranic body of the vital spark that is life itself. Of course, we obtain prana with every breath of fresh air, but when we sit down to eat we should bear in mind that we have the opportunity to feed not only the physical body but the pranic body as well."

That is so Beautiful!


I love that quote dh gave me a birthday card with it on it last year, it's still hanging in the kitchen.

 

 

 

post #23 of 116



 

 "our true sustenance is the life force of the food itself, and the foods with the most intense life-enhancing energy are those that come from plants and trees. The true alchemy of digestion is not the combustion of chemical substances but the absorption by the pranic body of the vital spark that is life itself. Of course, we obtain prana with every breath of fresh air, but when we sit down to eat we should bear in mind that we have the opportunity to feed not only the physical body but the pranic body as well."


That is beautiful!  Now I getcha :)  I think reverent eating for us shows up in organic, fresh/local, home-produced food.  There is this amazing documentary type video on Netflix about pranic consumption...I wish I could remember the name of it.  I believe that's where I took the concept of "making food with love" as being just as important as the food itself.  So-- strife, bickering, stress, etc contaminates our meals.  We try to make meal prep a happy family time, and DS can leave the table at any point-- no power struggles or food battles is an important decision we made when he was about 14months.  We also always say one thing we're grateful for or that made us happy that day and then click our forks together...kind of like to seal in gratefulness.  Our friends know our ritual, and nobody ever asks to stay silent...I love that!   One thing I struggle with is slowing down.  Before have ds I was really good about eating slowly and mindfully...somewhere along the way, I started wolfing down my food-- I think as a survival mechanism!  It's hard, and I have to remind myself constantly to eat mindfully.  An exercise I often do in my family workshops is the grape meditation.  Everyone takes a grape and sits on their mat.  I invite them to look at it closely.  Roll it between their fingers.  Smell it.  Touch it to their forehead, their eyelids, their lips.  When they finally put it in their mouths I ask them to roll it around.  When they bite into it-- bite slowly, noticing how it breaks and what that feels like.  Savor the taste.  Chew it slowly.  Experience everything that one grape has to offer.  When they swallow-- feel the grape descend into the belly.  Notice the body's reactions.  Then just sit.  Notice everything...The grape is still offering it's self even after it left the mouth.  It takes up to 10 minutes to eat one grape, and comments afterward always include something about that being the best grape they've ever eaten.  So cool.  As ds gets older I'd really like to teach that kind of mindful eating to him.

 

post #24 of 116
Thread Starter 

I really love everything you guys are saying about reverent eating. This is an area where I want to grow as well. Honestly, the more aware I become that every other living thing -- plant, animal, person, or what-have-you -- is really and truly just another form of me (I got this idea from an article on Yoga), the less I am able to see food as "other." The more I see all of life as sacred, the more I can see myself and the food I eat, which becomes the building blocks of my body and part of my energy field, as sacred. Instead of giving thanks "for" the food, maybe I need to give thanks "to" the food and express my love for it.

 

January is a slow month as far as English lessons go, so I've been blessed with some extra time. This is really the perfect time for me to learn as much as I can about Kundalini. I got to go through that entire video again today, and this time both my girls joined me. It is both very wonderful and very stretching and challenging.

 

When my work picks up again in February, it's going to be a lot less frequent for me to have 50-minute chunks of time to follow the Kundalini video, or 40-minute chunks of time to do the Hatha Yoga easy floor workout. I think the best plan is for me to continue with the Five Tibetan Rites, followed by meditation, as my core practice that I do every morning, and then add in Kundalini and Hatha later on in the day as I am able to and as the Spirit leads.

 

Right now, I want to get to know the Kundalini rituals (I can't remember the word for those off the top of my head) from the video as well as I can, so that I'll be able to take 5 or 10 minutes here and there to just immerse myself in one or two of them at a time. I know that I won't always be able to do a 40 or 50-minute session every day, especially since it's also important for me to take our dear, big, energetic dog for a good long walk at least 3 or 4 times per week.

 

It's all about balance, right? And, of course, being fully present in the here and now.

 

post #25 of 116

Hi all,

 

I'm so glad to have found this thread!

 

I have a 4 month old, and I've found that my yoga and meditation practices have been severely lacking ever since late pregnancy. Pre-baby, I diligently practiced hatha yoga and Kundalini. I got into Kundalini through my husband, and I've found the exercises to be very transformative for me. Hatha was (and still is, to some extent) a nearly everyday ritual, and I often would go outside to practice. Meditation is very important in my life, and I spent years reading about different methods and practicing on my own. Actually, I was on a 10 vipassana meditation retreat when I was about 6 weeks pregnant -- I didn't know that was the case for a few weeks after, though!

 

With a baby, I barely meditate anymore. And due to pregnancy (my ab muscles separated and have not come back together completely yet), there are many yoga positions that I cannot currently do. I do stretch everyday, and I have been trying to start and end each day with a very brief meditation to myself. Since I have created such a foundation for mindfulness in my life, I feel as though much of my day to day is informed with mindfulness and lovingkindness; however, I've been feeling very lacking in continuity of practice.

 

Anyway, that's where I am at. Thanks so much to everyone for their sharing!

 

 

post #26 of 116

Kriyas...is that the word you were looking for?

 

I am so happy to see you all talking about yoga, especially kundalini yoga, as I'm a teacher.

 

As for finding the time to do it with kids...just do it, put it in your mind that the energy manifesting from your practice is for you and your daughters.  No matter what happens the energy is building a foundation in your household, in your environment to evolve.  You may get only 5 minutes today, but if you allow your practice to become regular you and your kids will settle into a comfortable path of expectance.  They may join you or they may sit blissfully bathing in the energy.  Prepare them for the idea of the sacred space you move into when you practice yoga and see how they take to it. 

 

I've seen so many babies and children in classes with mothers and with my first daughter I always did yoga with her, she was quickly very accustomed to what it meant when I did yoga and made herself very comfortable in the energy.  Now with my second daughter, life has been more hectic, but I am taking my own advice and just allowing her to get used to the flow and allowing myself to model the acknowledgement of the yoga space...they learn by our example, right? :)

post #27 of 116
Thread Starter 

Sweetserene and featherstory, I am so glad that you are both here! Yes, kriyas is the word I was looking for! And I totally agree with you, featherstory, that me doing Yoga is something wonderful for my whole family. I'm actually looking forward to learning how to make the kriyas of Kundalini part of my regular, busy, everyday life. I often have five or ten minutes here and there where I can allow myself to be reenergized and uplifted doing Kundalini, all throughout the day. I'm also very excited about all that my girls are learning at such a young age. Sweetserene, your baby will be learning at at even younger age; I'm so happy for you both!

post #28 of 116

Sweetserene-- the same thing happened to me.  I took the approach of trying to fit mindfulness in edges...like when I was nursing I'd do a counting meditation (inhale, exhale, one...inhale, exhale, two..) and then things like brushing my teeth and washing my face became very intentional for me.  I'd do walking meditations while carrying DS, and I'd do energizing breathwork to help with the ridiculous tiredness.  I think it's important to remember that asana is only a small part of yoga.  One of my favorite routines was for me to do baby massage on DS and incorporate Itsy Bitsy Baby Yoga into that, and then while he laid on the floor I would do some gentle yoga beside him-- so sweet.  I focused a ton on the yamas and niyamas...that fit so well with wanting to be the best person I could be for my child.  Finally I got to the point where I felt I could start integrating asana back into my practice, and now I am able to do flows by myself and more static poses with DS...it's awesome.  Another fun thing we do... I sit cross legged with ds on my lap facing me-- I lift his arms up as I inhale and then press my forehead against his and put his hands on my chest as I AUM....he giggles and shrieks and asks me to do it again and again.  I love that.  If you haven't looked into mom and baby yoga classes in your area, I'd totally recommend them.  I'm biased-- I teach for ChildLight Yoga-- but it's a nice way to feel connected to yoga and bring your child into "the fold".  :)

 

Featherstory-- I love the way you write...Your advice is so perfect, and beautifully worded.  I think having that sacred space in a family is so important, and I've been forgetting that lately...so thank you for the reminder. 

post #29 of 116
Thread Starter 

It's just a fact that Yoga is going to be different at different times in our lives. I just started learning Yoga last summer, and my girls are 11 and 6, so I honestly don't know what it's like doing Yoga with babies and very small children. I kind of wish I did -- mainly because of how wonderful it would have been for us to have had this in our family so much sooner, but of course I'm just happy to have it now. And I'm very happy for the Yogis with very little ones who can give advice about that aspect. mudhugger, I just did the thing you do with your son with dd2 and we really enjoyed it!

 

Doing Kundalini on a break this morning has really energized me. I did have to make some modifications for myself, though. I'd hurt my knee attempting to do the standing and sitting Kriya a few days ago, so I've decided that during that part (at least for now while I'm so heavy), I'll do more of a Kriya where you sit cross-legged, holding your ankles, and lean forward, arching the spine, and then lean back, curving the spine inward. I also decided, at least for the time being, that I won't try to speed up while doing the frog; and it worked out really nicely today to just do the frog very slowly the whole time.

 

 

post #30 of 116

Hi, I am wondering if you any of you practice chanting? I am trying to get over my shyness. Even when I'm quiet, I feel like I am drawing attention to myself,because it is usually late in the night when I meditate. What might help?

post #31 of 116
Thread Starter 

I'm not sure if it qualifies as chanting, but I do sometimes meditate on the syllable "om." I also still sometimes speak what some Christians call a prayer language -- or speaking in tongues.

 

Years ago, when I was still in the Baptist church and had never even attended a pentecostal church, I had been going through a period of praying and fasting and seeking God's direction about some issues in my life. And one night when I knelt by my bed to pray, I suddenly got this feeling that if I continued praying, the words that were about to come out of my mouth were going to be gibberish; I think I actually said a couple of syllables before I stopped myself. I decided that I just needed to go to sleep and I basically quenched this weird and unfamiliar feeling.

 

Several years later when I was in a pentecostal church, I started learning about speaking in tongues and I recalled this experience and realized that I had quenched the Spirit. Through prayer and active seeking, it came back to me, and it was a means of moving beyond my mind and just experiencing spiritual communion without having to think about it or analyze anything.

 

And that's what it still is to me -- even now, all these years later, when I no longer see God as a separate entity, but, rather, as the universal soul that is the source of everything and everybody...the soul that lives in each of us and everywhere (I got this idea from Deepak Chopra). I see now that, all those years ago, the Universe was trying to give me the gift of stillness and quietness, of being able to experience my being-ness and my connection to life and awareness. I'm so glad I finally accepted it!

 

I've also started doing toning from time to time -- something Deepak Chopra also talks about, where, throughout an entire exhalation, you simply release your emotions by letting them flow out of you on a tone, whatever tone you feel led to make. But I just do toning at times of the day when no one else is sleeping, which rules out my early morning meditation time. During this early morning time, I do sometimes pray in my prayer language, or meditate on "om" -- but I pretty much just do it in a whisper so as not to wake anyone.

 

That said, I realize that chanting is probably something completely different. I look forward to learning more about it from those of you who know about it!

post #32 of 116

I love chanting :)  You could start with just a silent mantra, like Sat Hung to get used to the idea.  My favorite chant is the Gayatri Mantra (Ohm Bhur Bhuva Svaha...) Do you know it?  The version I learned is very sing-song.  Also, the ubiquitous Om Mani Padme Hum.  If you haven't heard them, I'm sure they're on youtube.  You could get some Krishna Das music-- kirtan is great for learning chants and intonation-- plus it's very moving.    If you don't already listen to yoga "pop stars" like Deval Pemal, maybe you could...then the chants and whatnot feel more familiar-- not so weird in the mouth, you know?

 

post #33 of 116

Hi everyone. I was looking for suggestions. I am finding that the only time I really can practice yoga is after the kids go to bed. I have been doing dvd's but I would really like to look into a book or whatever to remind me of familiar poses as opposed to the screen time. I think a silent visual cue would be less disruptive for me.

post #34 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by tri31 View Post

Hi everyone. I was looking for suggestions. I am finding that the only time I really can practice yoga is after the kids go to bed. I have been doing dvd's but I would really like to look into a book or whatever to remind me of familiar poses as opposed to the screen time. I think a silent visual cue would be less disruptive for me.



If you're going to be practicing at night, maybe some restorative poses would be nice for you...?  There's a site...I think it's actually called restorativeyogaposes and it has pretty good photos and descriptions on it.  It's a good way to get back to asana if you haven't been practicing for a while too-- you know, really remembering the poses and how they feel for your body rather than pushing yourself into through a routine or whatnot (not that you would-- I know it's just easy to do that inadvertently.)  Yin yoga also has a great online resource, and a wonderful before bedtime practice.  If you'd really rather find books instead of web stuff, I bet your interlibrary loan would be able to get you something.  hth

post #35 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by mudhugger View Post



If you're going to be practicing at night, maybe some restorative poses would be nice for you...?  There's a site...I think it's actually called restorativeyogaposes and it has pretty good photos and descriptions on it.  It's a good way to get back to asana if you haven't been practicing for a while too-- you know, really remembering the poses and how they feel for your body rather than pushing yourself into through a routine or whatnot (not that you would-- I know it's just easy to do that inadvertently.)  Yin yoga also has a great online resource, and a wonderful before bedtime practice.  If you'd really rather find books instead of web stuff, I bet your interlibrary loan would be able to get you something.  hth

I have never heard of yin yoga, and from what I just read, I think I am in love! I am so glad I asked because I live in a dying community that is quite superficial in what it makes available. B&N is the only book store left (the cool independent ones starved to death years ago).The library,is full of "for general consumption" surface interests, KWIM? I really appreciate the guidance, thanks so much. Internet links are great, I have searched for information like this for a while, but usually the stupid filters lead you to crap.

 

 

post #36 of 116

Hello, I try to live a very ayurvedic lifestyle. Upon waking up I splash water on my face and drink lemon juice. Sometimes I inhale salt water and other days I do an oil pull. I do yoga every morning for as long as I can (sometimes 15 mins sometimes 1.5 hours) depending on when my kids wake up and what they want to do. On the best mornings they play yogi with me and I do some simple ansans with them. I try to eat according to our doshas, however we are vegan so we do not eat ghee. After breakfast we chant to Krishna then go for a walk.

On the days I only get a brief yoga session in at morning I will try to make up for it if my kids are napping or otherwise occupied. However I don't meditate nearly as much as I would like to. If my kids go to sleep before I do I will usually meditate before bed.

post #37 of 116

hi! i just wanted to chime in and say thanks for all the great suggestions. i 've wrote down a bunch of them & am finding them really helpful. yesterday, i tried the hatha easy floor excersizes 40 min (or so) session on youtube & really enjoyed it! this morning, i'm excited to experience some some Kundalini.  seriously, lots of energizing, fresh info here on this thread-- thanks mamas & keep it comin'! nod.gif

post #38 of 116
Thread Starter 

Hi mamayogibear and SweetTooth! I'm very happy to see both of you here! mamayogibear, I love reading Deepak Chopra and I was very interested to see, when I googled "ayurvedic," that this seems to be something he promotes in his wellness center.

 

SweetTooth, I'm so happy you enjoyed the easy floor workout, and also that you're going to give Kundalini a try! Both Hatha and Kundalini are awesome in their own ways.

 

I'm afraid that I've slowed down somewhat since the weather change. A few weeks ago, I suffered through the worst cold I had since beginning Yoga last summer. And I feel much better now but I seem to be more in a mode of wanting to meditae, read, and think than of wanting to be physically active. For a while there, it seemed like everytime I had a little space, I wanted to do Yoga. After getting sick, I shifted to just wanting to lie down and rest every chance I got...and when I got bettter, I just started wanting to do things at a very relaxed pace.

 

I still do the Five Tibetan Rites most mornings (though I quit for nearly two weeks while sick) -- but now I only occationally do the full 21 of each, and most mornings I just do 7 or 11 of each, which just takes me 10 or 15 minutes instead of 30. Then I meditate...and I often spend the last 10 or so minutes of my meditation time in corpse pose. This morning, I did 7 each of the Rites, then did a few Kuindalini Kriyas before meditating.

 

I was wondering what everyone's views are regarding the "standard" advice that everyone needs to get at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise, such as what you get by briskly walking, at least three times per week. I just haven't felt motivated to do much walking at all, and DH and DD1 have been getting out there more with our dog so that's not such an urgent need anymore.

 

Lately, I've been feeling like I'm doing okay if I do the Rites for 10-30 minutes each morning, meditate, and do whatever Hatha or Kundalini I feel like doing -- usually just for a few minutes at at time here and there instead of a full workout. I wonder if I should give myself a nudge to do more, or just emnbrace this as a time where I'm being drawn to rest and spend more time in contemplation.

post #39 of 116
I'm so happy to have found this thread! And actually... hi Mudhugger and Tri31 - I think you are both in my DDC! We are getting bigger, aren't we...

I'm just subbing because this thread is inspirational for me. I was very actively practicing yoga when I got pregnant, but working full time, mothering and wife-ing full time, and growing a new person has really cramped my daily schedule. Lately yoga has really been on the back burner.

So I'm inspired to read all these ideas about incorporating mindfulness into everyday life - especially mindful eating and whatnot. Pregnancy takes a toll on my eating habits because I realize I need to eat and then go on autopilot - I'm not appreciative enough of the sustanance my body is being provided.

On the question of 30 mins of exercise daily - I think those recommendations are part of a conventional medicine mindset that views each body/mind system individually, rather than holistically. Meaning, I think if you get up every morning, do gentle activity with yoga/stretching, and meditation, you are getting far more benefit for your whole body and person than if you went to the gym, flipped on Jerry Springer, and rode an elliptical for 30 minutes. That said, more vigorous activity is good for you as well, but it's good when it's what's right at the time too, not just an obligation. Doing yoga in the mornings and then one or two days a week deciding to hike in nature with your spouse, or take the kids on a bike ride to the park, is a better balance (imo) than thinking "oh, I have to get my 30 mins in - better get to the gym/on the stationary bike/into my hamster wheel" just for the purpose of raising your heart rate for a prescribed amount of time.

I know that, as far as "living yoga lifestyle" I've been working on/thinking more and more about karma yoga - I'm typcially a very snarky, sarcastic person and while that can be fun and not a problem, sometimes my humor can border on the negative - and I would be a more whole and mindful person by taming those kinds of negative mental habits. I also struggle with negative thought cycles... So I'd really like to work on that mental aspect of peace and harmony.

Thanks for letting me join in!
post #40 of 116

Welcome to everyone (MovnMama it is really cool to see another June mama) . I love this thread! This may be common knowledge to all you enlightened ladies, but I wanted to share anyway because I found my awareness of it, has led to more regular practice. For months, I have been incorporating balance into every area of my life. Especially in my parenting.Taoism is fast becoming central to daily life in our busy nest. I am more personally mindful, I find my mental energy benefits from hatha as much as my physical form. Most especially since I am pregnant. Here is what I read. 

Balancing the energy poles

Conserving energy in this physical body is another important aspect of health which has been ignored by most of the healing sciences. We have given so much importance to nutrition, but we have missed the real source of energy which is inherent. This energy is something like positive and negative electrical charges pulsating throughout. The correct balance of these plus and minus forms of energy creates good health. Whenever these positive and negative flows are suppressed, blocked, dissipated or poorly distributed, disease inevitably results. The different organs and systems of the body do not merely subsist on food and vitamins. The main source of energy in life is these plus/minus or positive/negative charges. Therefore, the science 'of physical and mental harmony is known as hatha yoga. The meaning of hatha yoga is very clear. The letters 'ha' and, 'tha' are tantric bija mantras, representing the positive and negative poles of energy. Hatha yoga means the union or co-ordination between the positive and negative forces in the physical body.

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