Wednesday, April 16, 2014

It's hard to be humble - Dealing with Hamstring Tendon Injury

I suffered a hamstring tendon tear last September while teaching a class.  As of today, though better, I still have a few months to go before being healed completely.  And along the road to recovery, I think I re-injured it a couple months back on top of that.

It has been a truly humbling experience.

This type of injury is very common in yogis and the most common hamstring injury in yogis.  Even an article on talking about it:

When I first read the article and saw "3. Strengthen and lengthen during the remodeling phase (up to a year or more).", I was very disheartened and couldn't imagine giving up my practice as it stood before the injury for "up to a year or more."  But here I am, April, and I can see how a year is possible.  At this point I have had to completely layoff any straight-leg stretching.  Anything where my knee is bent seems to be fine, no pain.

I found another article about hamstring tendon injuries and only found it recently, I wished I had found it right away!

I have had a "come-to-jesus" with that "Pusher" inside me (Tias Little coined that "Pusher" moniker and heard it during my teacher training with Prajna Yoga).  I am very competitive, even with myself.  Always pushing always wanting to be the best especially with something I really, truly love, like yoga.

To have your limitations hit you in the face with each and every practice has been something new to me.  Before it was because I wasn't quite strong or flexible enough.  Now, that gained strength and flexibility could be a detriment if I allow The Pusher to do what she does.  It has taught me to accept that limitation and all my limitations for that matter.  Strengthening my wisdom practice by learning to accept the things I CAN do and not concentrate on the things I cannot do.  Practice gratitude for the practice I can do on that day.

I have had several other teachers tell me they also suffered a similar injury and seeing that they are fully back to their regular practice brings hope to me but knowing I am definitely looking at a full year or so recovery is disheartening.

However, yoga is a lifelong practice and keeping that in mind makes this one year seem small in comparison.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

My Mala Adventure

I recently learned how to make malas, or prayer/meditation beads, from a wonderful, spiritual lady.  I completed one in the class she taught, for myself.  After that, I made one for a friend, one for my sister, and two for my favorite yoga teachers.  I looked up just the right gemstone for each person, making it specifically to fit their situation and personality.  I enjoyed finding out about the metaphysical properties of each stone and finding the right one for that person.

What is a mala? (pronounced mah-lah)
Check out Wikipedia ...

From there, I decided I wanted to be able to make more and more so I decided to start a little mini-business from this new love.

I find making them to be so relaxing and meditation in itself.

I started my own Etsy shop,Mountain Malas and also started a Facebook page for updates.  I then also bought the domain which redirects users to my Facebook page.

It is just like me to take something I love and go with it 200%.  I have already found a place, locally to sell them.  A yoga studio I frequent and the same lady has offered to help me connect with other establishments in order to sell them.  How exciting!  I can pay for my habit.  Another habit good for my soul.

I have had so much fun making them.  Check out some of my handy work.

Carnelian beads with antique copper buddha guru bead and pumpkin cotton tassel.

Blue Haze Fire Agate beads with blue haze fire agate guru bead and ocean cotton tassel.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Goodbye scale

This year marks a significant change for me.  I am, forever, done weighing myself.

It seemed to me that over the years, no matter how much I restricted, no matter how much I denied myself to get to a particular, will-remain-unnamed ideal weight, I could not get there and was staying in a 5-7 lb range of that weight.  I would get within 3 lbs of that weight but could never stay there.

WHY TORTURE MYSELF over 5 - 7 lbs when I am already at a healthy weight and should be happy where I am.  What is the point?

I have battled my body my entire life.  I'm DONE.  I have been in perpetual diet-mode since I was probably 21 years-old and lost that "Freshman 30" (no, I one-upped the 'Freshman 15" by doubling it).

Not to say that I will not be mindful of what I put into my mouth.  I know how much to eat to not gain weight, FINALLY, without having to record every piece of food that goes into my mouth (which I did for years).  I can judge by the way my clothes fit and the size I am wearing.  I am a smaller size right now than I was in high school.  I am the size now as when I was at my smallest when I was 21.  I reached that will-remain-unnamed weight unhealthily twice, when I was miserable both times.  So why the constant reaching, the constant striving for something that is not worth it?

Here's a concept: Eat when I am hungry.  A concept that seems so very simple, so very easy.  However, I had ignored my hunger for so many years that I didn't really know what that was supposed to feel like.  I also think it has to do with my gastrointestinal issues (not absorbing nutrients properly and eating junk) that caused me to ALWAYS be hungry unless I was stuffed.  I have gotten to the point of finally repairing my insides to the point that I actually feel satisfied most of the time and am not constantly pre-occupied with food.  Eating nutrient-dense, whole, plant-based foods and knowing what my food sensitivities are has been a life-changer for me.

I can also thank my yoga practice for bringing me here.  How?

Of the Yamas, the first of the eight rungs of Yoga which has to do with training your actions, speech, and thoughts, I applied Ahimsa and Aparigraha.

Of the Niyamas, the second of the eight rungs of Yoga which have to do with your relationship within yourself, I used Santosha and Svadhyaya.

Ahimsa, which means 'to do no harm', I will be applying by doing no more harm to myself with the constant dieting.

Aparigraha, which is the concept of non-possessiveness, non-greed, non-grasping, is something I will be applying by not constantly striving for that ideal weight.  To stop comparing myself to others who I view as having a better body.  This, I think, is the hardest of all the yamas and niyamas to accomplish.  It is daily work.

Santosha, which is an attitude of contentment, is something that will come naturally from all this.  Finally allowing myself to be happy with my body.

Svadhyaya, or self-study, is what I have used to come to this decision.

How liberating to finally be at peace with my body!  It took me 41 years to get here but thankfully I AM FINALLY here.  I think about all the wasted time and effort, sweat and tears that I could have put to better use.

I have cleared another major roadblock to enlightenment.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Update: Biweekly Juice and Raw Food Cleanse/Fast - Bought a Juicer

After successfully doing the biweekly juice and raw food cleanse for a few weeks, I decided to purchase a juicer.

I purchased an entry-level juicer from Breville based on the recommendation from this site, Best Budget Juicers For $100 And Below and from many other online reviews.

I got the Breville BJE200XL Compact Juice Fountain 700-Watt Juice Extractor on Amazon for $99.95.  Comes highly recommended.  It isn't as good as the $200+ juicers but it will suit my biweekly purposes just fine.

I can see it paying for itself shortly as I would consume more fresh green vegetable juice than I have on my cleanse days if I had a juicer.  On top of that, my husband has gotten on the health bandwagon with me and has been pleasantly surprised with how much he liked the fresh, cold-pressed juices I brought home from Whole Foods and Starbucks.  "Wow!  That is really good."  And knowing how hard it is to get him to eat his veggies it would be great to get some of the green juice in him if he will have it.

I receive the juicer in the next week and will see how it goes.  I will post an update here after I have had it a couple of weeks after I have some actual progress to report.  It will be nice to be able to make the exact juice recipe that I want instead of depending on what I can purchase.

I will have to get busy looking up some green juice recipes!