Showing posts from 2011


One day in mid-July, I stood outside Body & Soul Yoga in Brookside for our weekly evening pre-natal class. It was warm, I felt relatively good considering I was about 8 months pregnant, did I mention the mid-July part, ick. A woman walked up and I thought that she was new to our class because I didn't recall seeing her there before. We chatted a bit, she was pretty early in her second pregnancy. What are the odds that this woman would be present at my child's birth? Low you would think, I didn't even know her name. Turns out she was the back-up doula for my original doula who ended up having health complications and couldn't be there (which I found out about the week before the event I think, it's a little blurry now).

Life is pretty amazing. That is actually the only time we met in person, until said birth, although we had a great chat or two. Many other things about the birth did not go quite according to what I had envisioned, however, I am proud to say I fe…

pre-natal yoga ponderings

How does one do yoga with a baby on board? About the same as pre-bebe for me. Common sense should prevail of course, but in general avoid major twists, long stints on your back, and anything that doesn't feel right, as usual. My own yoga experience during pregnancy has been interesting. In the nauseated days when I was still teaching class, I had a constant fear of tossing my yogi cookies in front of potentially horrified participants, but thank goodness it never happened! As I progressed I could do most stuff and some things even felt more stable, surprisingly tree, half moon and down dog were highly doable.

As I enter the last couple weeks of this unique approximately 266 day experience, some issues have arisen and are fine, but new to me. Potty break before, during and after class was necessary last week, ha ha, listen to your body is never more unignorable than during pregnancy. The body is practically shouting its messages, take it easy, rest those feet, EAT. I shortened my do…

Yoga Mama

As I sit here, the baby is kicking quite a lot, most often in the right ribs, simmer down sweet pea, we'll meet soon :) This has been quite a journey over the last 34 weeks and counting, around 6 to go! Those early and long couple of months of wretched nausea gave way to relative normalcy. Okay, it's been different but not too bad - nighttime jaunts to the restroom and kitchen, more doctors visits than I've had in my whole life to name a couple. Of course the ever present reminder is the central-level expansion right around my root chakra, on a costant mission to grow a baby. In the meantime I have felt pretty good, but a little more tired, more popping of the knees, more food-focus, less shoe-lace competence, and a host of emotional experiences that are fine but can also be overwhelming at times.

Through this trip I've come to realize a few things from yoga apply now more than ever. Number ONE (which takes care of all others, really): Find the present moment. Having a…

A Perfect Storm

I was at work a few weeks ago chatting with a gentleman with a really positive and energetic take on life. It was a breath of fresh air so to speak and got me thinking about the difficulties in life and how we survive them. Often on this blog, I enjoy the lessons we can draw from the parallels of nature and human experience, and at no time is this more relevant than now, with the extreme flooding taking place around our country. Of course we do not wish for this misfortune, but neither can we change it or prevent it completely. We cannot always control the world around us, but rather we can regulate our reaction to it, whether that be people we encounter, or the whims of the atmosphere.

If you have ever watched the plants during a terrible downpour, it can be unsettling. Limbs droop, stems and branches sway almost wretchedly, and yes even some damage can occur. However these very flora would not last without the life-sustaining water trickling down to awaiting roots. They are soaking …

Bring the Farm to You.

I know a lot of homeowners that have gardens, but not too many that grow veggies to eat. I'm not sure why, but maybe it's a little daunting. I've dabbled in growing my own food, and it can be tough at times. You have to consider location, materials, your time committment and of course, will the squirrels attack?

I've grown mostly tomatoes, and red peppers. Ed and I tried to branch out one year, with some corn, pumpkins and beans, but not much luck, could be not enough sun, or poor soil prep. Our front yard tree is gone now though, we might have a better shot this year!

I recently bought a box of Triscuits and they had a free pack of seeds right there, some sort of basil. I've had good luck with herbs in containers so that is started outside now. I discovered their very cool web page with lots of tips for the mini-farmer. You can plan your plot, get recommendations on plants and best planting times through a personalized farm plan, and sign up to win $1000 towards the…

Here we are.

Ever wonder how to best soak up the present moment? Sometimes its easier when the "right now" is enjoyable. A sunny day, a relaxing book on the sofa, or talking with a good friend and we don't want it to ever end. However, yoga doesn't ask us to just stay in the pleasant moments. Sometimes we go through those tough times too. Feeling sick, a migraine, and loss or injury of someone dear, or simple a time in life when we feel a little unsure or overwhelmed. It's far easier to try and escape these un-fun epochs. I say, those difficult moments absorbed may make the delightful times all the more sweet. So, please make hay while the sun shines but also try to see the bright side of a dark time or maybe just let the dark play out. All moments will pass, eventually, and the highs and lows give depth to the opposites.


Plant a seed.

How do big life shifts and "goals accomplished" start? With the little steps of course. Lately we've been considering cutting down a large and ailing tree in our front yard. I image how this maple tree started long ago, perhaps it was planted by a person or squirrel, beginning to thrive just a millimeter at a time, creeping and warming and growing in the sun. At any point very early, it could have been thwarted, altered, removed. And yet now it stands 75 feet tall, rigid and imposing. It has been a source of beauty, CO2 removal, cooling shade, and home for some. But now it's a cause of concern as well, given that it has dropped some large branches, as you can see in the photo.

Do we allow our life path to grow this way sometimes? YES. Those small steps, both good and bad can lead to something flourishing in our lives until it has grown to very large proportions. We must be careful to maintain, nourish and nurture those small steps that work us towards our goals. If a…

Boost that Mood! The Dr. says so!

Thanks to my friend Erin G. (M.D.) for sharing the following continued research about yoga and its benefits to mood, and anxiety is possibly better than walking!

"Exercise has been linked to improvements in mood and anxiety, but it is unclear if certain types of physical activity are more effective than others. A new study suggests that yoga may be more effective than walking.
The recent trial included 34 health adults who did not have significant medical or psychiatric disorders. The participants were randomly assigned to practice yoga or walk for 60 minutes, three times a week for 12 weeks.
The participants' mood and anxiety levels were measured at the start of the study and again at week four, eight and 12. Magnetic resonance spectroscopy scans were also performed throughout the study.
Greater improvements in mood and anxiety were reported in the yoga group compared to the walking group. The researchers suggest that these beneficial effects may be related to the in…

Are you what you EAT???

Have you noticed how our diets can run amuck so easily? For emphasis, I just looked up the word amuck so as to better clarify my thoughts. Surprisingly and perhaps profoundly it stated, "a murderous frenzy". That truly could describe the typical fast food joint on a Saturday around noon. Wall to wall people glaring, children riled up in anticipation, cell phoning, impatiently inching their way forward towards something that satisfies our oh so tapped-into primal urges for salt, fat, and heh heh "taste" in our food. Ironically, on a cellular level, the awaiting meal is like a clutch of biochemical daggers, traipsing down the gullet ready to maime, possibly silently over a few decades.

Perhaps the fact that I'm pregnant (and have been sick to my stomach at times) is what is causing me to question more and more just exactly what the heck I'm ingesting lately either out of desperation, convenience or simply lack of culinary know-how. "Corn syrup" okay…

Are you out of your senses???

My sister recently lent me an excellent book and it has got me thinking about how we go through this life, sniffing, caressing, glancing, harking, and savoring. In A Natural History of the Senses, by Diane Ackerman, you start with the nose and move along through our 5 fabulous perception options.

It has me thinking about sensory deprivation. So far, a couple of people that lost their sense of smell in the book feel lost from their own lives, homes, spouses, and that's not to mention the difficulties of trying to actually enjoy food without olfactory assistance. Helen Keller is brought up a few times. Any time I thought of her before reading this I sort of felt sorry for her, but in this book I learn the other side. Her sense of taste, touch, and smell are so enhanced that you might argue she lived a life more sensual and rich than most!

I am thinking of my own nose and a few special scents that are indeed complexly and inexorably linked to my memories. I have a certain conditioner…

Are you on the D List???

You may have heard discussion lately over one of the hottest vitamins around: the Big D! Some recent research has shown that a chunk of us don't have enough D. Vitamin D is a fat soluble secosteriod and is produced in your skin upon exposure to you guessed it: sunlight! While you don't want to give up sunscreen and avoiding our solar friend at his strongest is still wise, a few minutes of sun per day DOES give you enough D to be healthy. Once generated, Vit D heads to the liver and other areas and helps regulate calcium metabolism and bone health, and may even aid healthier hair too!

So...the big question is where do you get Vitamin D in hazy shade of winter? Well even mild sun exposure is not a bad idea if you can get out for a walk on a sunny day here and there. In your diet be sure to examine labels, and to cover all the bases a multivitamin is a great idea. If you look to your diet for sources of D, consider drinking fortified milk, fatty fish, mushrooms, eggs and meat. To …