Rox Does Yoga

Musings on Everything Yoga

How Yoga Changes Your Body October 31, 2013

I’m loving this roundup of information from HuffPo on how yoga improves health and well-being. Click on the infographic for more information!


yoga infographic

 

WTH, Toys R Us? October 28, 2013

Filed under: Miscellaneous,yoga lifestyle — R. H. Ward @ 8:31 pm
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So there I was on Sunday evening, relaxing and watching a little TV with my husband, when this commercial comes on:

At the beginning of the commercial, there’s no indication of what exactly this is an ad for. Based on the setup, I thought this guy was taking a busful of children to a forest someplace, where, although they didn’t know it yet, they would learn about how wonderful nature is and it would be the best field trip ever. I believed him. I got a little excited for the heartwarming goodness that was sure to follow.

And then they went to Toys R Us. Cue scenes of running up and down the aisles in a frenzy of joyous commercialism. I was furious and horrified, and I obviously still can’t stop thinking about it.

Raz Godelnik, who wrote about this commercial for TriplePundit.com, agrees with me:

I find this ad irritating because it tries to communicate a message that is inherently unsustainable to both children and their parents. To children it says that true happiness lies in buying new toys and the subtext is that their wishes should be focused on asking their parents for new toys. To parents, it says that if they want to make their children happy they should buy them toys because this is what they wish for. This ad perpetuates everything that is wrong with the current unsustainable economy – from the notion that more stuff means more happiness to the idea that the holidays are about shopping to the idea that learning about and interacting with the environment is tedious and unimportant. I was even more irritated that this ad portrays a field trip to the forest as a boring experience for children that has nothing to do with fun or joy.

Here’s the thing, Toys R Us. Forests are way, way more fun than whatever you’ve got. Forests are fun for everyone, and if kids start liking forests when they’re kids, they can keep on liking forests for their whole lives, unlike Barbies and Elmos and whatever else you’re showing in this commercial that I refuse to rewatch and break my heart over again. Forests are not just about “what kind of leaf is this, oh it’s not an oak it’s a maple”. Forests are about growing and listening and being quiet, and forests let you learn about something much larger than yourself. My one-year-old knows that outside is way better than inside, and I’m going to do everything I can to help her keep that worldview.

 

Body Image, Body Love, Part 2 October 22, 2013

Filed under: wellness,yoga lifestyle — R. H. Ward @ 5:06 pm
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I recently saw some articles responding to this photo by Maria Kang. If you google “Maria Kang What’s Your Excuse” you’ll see quite a few articles on the subject, but here are the two I read:

I really like the first article by Jule Ann because she doesn’t lecture Maria Kang and finds a way to turn off blaming and really think about how she views her body, and she comes to some positive conclusions. And I like the second article because the writer looks at the issue from several different angles. I like her application of the “no excuses” concept to other things like tuba playing and her analysis of how the body image issue is different, is internalized, is something we are made to feel guilty about. And I like her recognition that Kang’s photo was posted for a specific community and has been taken out of context and applied to a wider audience.

Overall, I think the dust-up over this photo points to a lot of different issues, but here’s what I want to highlight: Maria Kang is a mom and is beautiful and she makes fitness a priority in her life, and that’s fine. Jule Ann is a mom and is beautiful and doesn’t make fitness a priority right now, and that’s also fine. Different things work for different people, and no one way is applicable to every person.

 

Links: How to Meditate Daily October 8, 2013

Filed under: meditation,yoga — R. H. Ward @ 12:39 pm
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A few weeks back, a friend of mine shared this link: How to Meditate Daily. My friend was excited to find instructions for meditation that didn’t make it sound overly complicated. This is what I keep trying to tell people about meditation – it’s not complicated! Also, if you think thoughts while you’re meditating, you are not doing it wrong! Thoughts happen. It doesn’t have to be complicated. Just sit and breathe.

(Just a reminder: yoga class tonight! 7:30 pm, Wellness on Park, hope to see you there!)

 

vinyasa class sequence October 4, 2013

Filed under: yoga — R. H. Ward @ 1:19 pm
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My first class at Wellness on Park on Tuesday was a lot of fun! My favorite massage therapist Sarah and her lovely daughter came out to share their practice with me. They both really seemed to enjoy the class (and Sarah wrote such a kind note on her Facebook page!). It was also great getting to know the new studio space! Next time I’ll remember to bring my own music. :)

My class on Tuesdays is an all-levels vinyasa class. Before I started going to East Eagle, vinyasa was the main form of yoga I practiced, but since starting my teacher training, I’ve stuck pretty strongly with a classical hatha practice. I feel a little rusty in my vinyasa practice – I don’t feel like I can freestyle it the way I can with hatha – so I’m going to try to make a plan or road map for class every week. This week’s class ended up being, basically, a hatha class with a bunch of vinyasas thrown in, which was perfect for the students I had. Here’s the sequence we did:

Warm-up:

  • childs pose
  • cat/cow
  • tabletop balance
  • down dog
  • fwd fold

sun salutes:

  • 2-4 half salutes
  • one full salute, low lunges
  • one full salute, high lunges
  • 2 standard sun salutes
  • chair
  • forward fold/gorilla pose

standing work:

  • warrior 1
  • warrior 2
  • vinyasa
  • warriors other side
  • vinyasa
  • triangle
  • revolved triangle
  • vinyasa
  • triangles other side
  • vinyasa
  • prasarita
  • goddess

balance: tree pose

cool down:

  • squat
  • cobbler
  • upward plank
  • forward fold
  • upward table
  • boat
  • seated twist

reclining/inversion:

  • knees to chest
  • bridge
  • savasana

I’ll probably riff off this basic outline for a while until I get a bit more confidence with vinyasa style. I’m hoping to get to a vinyasa class in my area sometime soon to experience a class from another teacher’s perspective; I’m also going to do some more research over the next few weeks to explore more sequencing possibilities.

Resources for further reference:

Come out to my Tuesday night class and see what I come up with next time!

 

Link Round-up: Body Image, Body Love September 12, 2013

Filed under: wellness,yoga lifestyle — R. H. Ward @ 1:59 pm
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I’ve read some really excellent articles this week, all somehow revolving around the concept of body image, and the recognition that there’s a human person living in that body you’re looking at:

  • What People Really Look Like: A look at bodies from the perspective of a massage therapist. I love this because I don’t get to see what my body looks like on a massage table. I love this writer’s sense of reverence and joy in his work.
  • These Are the Lines of a Story: This piece about a woman’s body after giving birth brought me close to tears twice (the part with the hair, and then the story she tells to her son). For the first time, instead of feeling thankful and proud that I have no stretch marks, I feel a little sad that I have no visible marks to share with my daughter when she’s older.
  • To Me, Mean Pictures Aren’t Funny (Even the Really Funny Ones): A nice reflection on kindness and compassion to reflect on the next time you get one of those email forwards with photos of people at Walmart in horrible outfits.

Here’s another one  that I didn’t read this week, but that I’ve been thinking about all week as the other articles above came across my screen:

  • When Your Mother Says She’s Fat: I love, love, love this piece and I think about it often. I remember how beautiful my mom was when I was little – I mean to say, she’s still beautiful, but I remember sitting on her bed and watching her and just knowing with little-kid certainty that she was the most beautiful mom there ever was. My heart breaks for the little girl this writer was, seeing her beautiful mom in that suddenly  harsh light; my heart breaks to think about YB having a realization like this. I am consciously trying, even now while YB is so little, to be careful about what I say to her about my appearance. If I practice now, it will come more naturally later on when she starts to understand more. When I’m feeling particularly down, I tell her, “Doesn’t Mama look so pretty today?” It makes me feel better, because it reminds me that to her, I am what beautiful is.
 

Glennon Melton’s Beautiful Heart June 28, 2013

Filed under: yoga lifestyle — R. H. Ward @ 1:06 pm
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I recently read a couple of absolutely beautiful blog posts and wanted to share them with you:

A Mountain I’m Willing to Die On

I Love Gay People and I Love Christians. I Choose All.

These two posts by Glennon Melton made me so happy. I wish that all Christians had an attitude like hers. This is the sort of Christianity that I talk about and wish for here on the yoga blog, and the sort of loving kindness and openness that I think the yogic scriptures advocate.  A lot of people are saying nasty things about gay people in the name of Christianity, especially this week in light of the recent SCOTUS rulings, instead of remembering that Jesus said to love everyone. Thank you, Mrs. Melton, for sharing your heart with us, and thank you for being a voice of Christian love and acceptance. I’m not a Christian, but I’d be proud to be your friend.

 

 
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