Rox Does Yoga

Yoga, Wellness, and Life

Yoga Link Round-Up August 1, 2014

I’ve been collecting links for a while, so here’s a link round-up!

  • Mother and 4-Year-Old Daughter Take Impressive Pictures Of Their Yoga Poses: I linked this in a¬†recent post about practicing yoga with YB, but I just can’t get over this. It makes me a little teary, actually. I love these photos: I love the joyful looks on their faces, I love the little girl’s obvious commitment to each pose, I love their matching pants. I would love to do a photo shoot like this with my YB someday, but clearly I need to step up my game because there are some arm balances here that I just can’t pull off. ūüôā
  • A Selection from the Hammer Museum at UCLA’s Contemporary Collection: Katie Grinnan’s Mirage: To create this fascinating sculpture, Grinnan “cast multiple molds of her body executing a sun salutation”. I find the piece exhilarating, exciting, and also a little creepy.
  • The Strength-Building Yoga Pose That Tons of People Do Wrong: Related to sun salutations, I love this informative video from superstar yogini Kathryn Budig on how to chaturanga properly without hurting yourself.
  • Bending the Rules to Offer Yoga With a Beer Chaser: My father-in-law sent me the link to this NYT article about yoga classes in breweries, offering a beer tasting after class. While I love both yoga and craft beer, I’m really not sure how I feel about this. I find that yoga, like running or dancing or working out, makes me feel fresh and healthy and connected to my body; afterwards I typically want a glass of water, a banana, a salad, a smoothie. I just don’t feel like beer would taste¬†right after a yoga practice – but believe me, I’d try it! And I think it’s fantastic that classes like this are leading people to yoga and helping them build a practice that can extend beyond the brewery.
  • Yoga Every Damn Day: My husband sent me the link to this piece about how, when we’re dealing with other issues in our lives and can’t make it to the yoga mat, we’re still practicing yoga every damn day. I don’t know Angela Arnett but I admire her strength and calm in this piece.
  • Pope Francis Reveals Secrets of Happiness: Can I tell you how much I love Pope Francis? He seems to be so full of kindness and peace, focused on loving and helping and supporting people. Everything he lists here is also discussed by Matthieu Ricard, former scientist and Buddhist monk, in his book Happiness, and seems to be in agreement with everything I’ve ever heard or read from the Dalai Lama, including the concepts discussed in The Art of Happiness. When the Catholic Pope and the Dalai Lama¬†agree about how you should live your life, I feel like there’s something right happening.
  • And finally, for your giggle for the day:¬†Men in Yoga Pants.
 

Starting Over Again: Springtime Edition March 25, 2014

Filed under: checking in,yoga lifestyle — R. H. Ward @ 10:06 am
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This has been a hard winter. A really, really hard winter: snow, cold temperatures, more snow, daycare closings, illnesses, more snow and more daycare closings, coughing and snot, a fire at daycare, a stomach bug that necessitated four changes of crib sheets in one night and sanitizing the entire bathroom. Probably more that I can’t remember. It was a season of hunkering down and waiting for… not even spring, just not-winter. F and I have been so tired it’s been hard to do anything except keep going: feed the toddler, wash the dishes, fall into bed at 9 pm and do it all again tomorrow. I’ve said no both to plans with friends and creative opportunities because I just didn’t have it in me to do anything extra.

And I lost my yoga practice. So did everyone else, apparently – no one has come to to my Tuesday night yoga class for almost two full months, so I can only guess that everyone is feeling as worn out as I am. I’ve been wanting to get back to my practice; I’m achy and sore, my hips and calves are tight, my arms feel weak, and I get winded running up the stairs. Worse, my mood has been affected: sure, anybody would be grouchy after this much winter, but I’m less patient, more prone to be cynical and depressed, more likely to throw up my hands and say I just can’t deal with this. I don’t like myself when I’m feeling this way, and I’m not a good person to be around, as a mom or a colleague or a friend. But the thought of starting over – of waking up early, of finding time to focus on something just for me – was overwhelming.

And then I read this infographic, which states (among other things) that a mom’s satisfaction with her life has more impact on the development of a child’s social and emotional skills than a variety of other factors, including the mom’s education level, income, employment status, or how much time the child spends in daycare. If mom is happy, then the child is more likely to be well adjusted. Now not only my own physical and emotional well-being depend on restarting my yoga practice – now it’s integral to my daughter’s healthy development too? Great. No pressure or anything.

Last Tuesday morning I got up at 5:35 am and was on my mat at 5:42, in my bathrobe. I did some basic seated poses for 20 minutes. Afterwards I felt less like crap than I did before I started. I did it again on Thursday morning, and yesterday I worked from home and did 40 minutes of yoga on my lunch break. I’ll just aim for baby steps, making things a little bit better one day at a time.

 

Link Round-Up March 12, 2014

Filed under: yoga,yoga lifestyle — R. H. Ward @ 9:38 pm
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For today, here are some interesting recent links:

  • An Antidote for Mindlessness: I love seeing scientific evidence to support meditation and mindfulness practice – and this one is in the New Yorker!
  • A Happy Life May Not Be a Meaningful Life: This article looks at a recent study comparing people’s perceptions of a happy life with those of a meaningful one. People tend to perceive the expected sorts of things as bringing happiness: good health, a carefree lifestyle, having enough money. However, those things don’t give our lives meaning – things like spending time with loved ones, putting in effort even on mundane tasks, and giving to others make our lives meaningful.
  • Here‚Äôs Looking at You: Yoga, Fat & Fitness: I love this writer’s attitude about bodies practicing yoga! I’d love to take a class with her.
  • 20 Ludicrous Things Said by Yoga Teachers: This made me laugh SO HARD. There are some things yoga teachers say that no one else would ever think of. But I love the thighbones as rainbows spiraling outward, and I’m totally stealing “Shine your collarbones”.
  • 7 Things Your Yoga Teacher Wants to Tell You: I love these tips from yoga teacher Kathryn Budig – a fun quick read. My favorite is what she has to say to people who think they need to be flexible to do yoga – I’m totally stealing this response!
 

Raising a Kind Daughter January 29, 2014

Filed under: yoga lifestyle — R. H. Ward @ 4:50 pm
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The month of January has been crazy – snow, a double ear infection, a virus, a foot of snow, an out-of-town guest, more snow, and an electrical fire at our daycare (yes, seriously! everyone is fine) – but I wanted to share this great post: Raising a Kind Daughter. With a daughter to raise, I really enjoyed this writer’s perspective (and with all the various reasons my daughter has been unable to go to daycare this month, I needed the reminder!).

 

And this is why it’s awesome when ballet dancers do yoga. November 26, 2013

Filed under: Miscellaneous,yoga — R. H. Ward @ 1:22 pm
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This is really beautiful: Phillip Askew & Lydia Walker РVariations On Surya Namaskara:

(Reblogged from here.)

 

Kids’ Yoga Deck November 12, 2013

Filed under: yoga — R. H. Ward @ 3:00 pm
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The Kids' Yoga Deck: 50 Poses and GamesWell, this looks like fun for all the little yogis in our lives: The Kids’ Yoga Deck. It’s¬†a set of brightly colored, heavy duty cards featuring fifty yoga poses.¬†From A Mighty Girl’s Facebook Page:

Designed to teach kids the basics of yoga in a fun and engaging manner, each card features a pose named after things kids are familiar with such as cats, flowers, airplanes, and gorillas. The cards are color coded to make it simple for kids to select cards to create a string of poses, including a warm-up string, sleepy string, and friends string. With an emphasis on building strength, flexibility, balance, and mental focus, this set of cards is highly recommended for ages 3 to 10.

I’m definitely filing this away for future reference to check out when YB is a little older! (And honestly it sounds pretty useful for me too – color coded poses for easy sequencing? Yes please!)

 

Election Day Special: Please Go Meditate Before Voting November 5, 2013

Filed under: yoga lifestyle — R. H. Ward @ 1:04 pm
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In honor of Election Day, here’s some spiritual/political news that I’ve been meaning to share for a while (for once it worked out perfectly that I forgot to share a link!): Moments of Spirituality Can Induce Liberal Attitudes. Researchers in Toronto found that people express more politically liberal feelings after practicing a spiritual exercise like meditation. Richard Schiffman also shares some interesting commentary on this study over at HuffPost. I find the results of the study interesting but, like Schiffman, I think more research needs to be done to draw any real conclusions. And, humorous blog post titles aside, I appreciate the researchers’ conclusion: that both right and left are necessary in society. Conservative viewpoints are important for setting common rules and boundaries and preserving valuable traditions, while those with liberal viewpoints focus on equality and social justice. Both sides are needed, and while I know which candidates will be getting my vote at the polls today, hopefully I’ll remember that when I hear the election results tomorrow.