We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses ~ Abraham Lincoln
Wow. It’s been 100 days since I started this Yoga Teacher Training journey! It has flown by. I have learned so much since day 1. I’ve learned to appreciate to be at one with myself, during my pranayama and meditation practices , and i’ve grown to really love and appreciate my daily meditation practice – being mindful, observing my breath, observing my body, just BEING, not DOING. I’ve also learned to appreciate my yoga practice more, since I’ve had the opportunity recently to create my own sequences which I really enjoy and find really fun – like piecing together a puzzle and making sure everything fits and flows and does what I want to do – what I want to get out of the practice – whether a relaxing restorative practice or a more energetic practice with lots of strong postures like balancing.
This morning I woke up to snow (which was forecast). And I helped to wake myself up by doing this great 20 minute gentle morning yoga practice video by Yoga With Adriene. It’s one of my favourites and perfect to do on a quiet snowy Sunday!
And then I waited anxiously to find out if our make up yoga class was cancelled (it did end up being cancelled – and which we will have to make up on January 29th). Which means our teaching mid-term practicum has been pushed back, and instead of it being the first weekend of January, we’re going to have our practicum review session we were going to do today during that first weekend, and have our mid-term teaching practicum the 21st/22nd weekend.
But I am planning on getting together with members of our little Element Group over the next few weeks of the holiday season to do some practicing and practice teaching – most likely during a work week evening.
So because class was cancelled, and because my husband is hosting a pod cast session at our place today with some soccer fan buddies (where I was supposed to be out of the house at my class and Christmas shopping today!), I’ve sequestered myself to the upstairs where I did a great 50 minute ayurvedic snowy day yoga practice. Check it out here . It included some pranayama breathing (kapala bhati, or skull shining) and some back bends and twists.
After the video I looked out my yoga room window at the snow falling, and I saw a hummingbird flying (fluttering? humming? buzzing?) up and down next to the trunk of a pine tree. I stood watching it for a minute or so, wondering what it was doing – i’m assuming it was staying dry out of the snow! Then I watched it land on a snowy branch and sit looking around for a few seconds, before zooming off in the direction of our hummingbird feeder at the front of the house (which thankfully because it has warmed up to above freezing today, the hummingbird food hasn’t frozen solid today! For which I am grateful.
After our yoga class was cancelled today, we were told by one of the instructors to have a reflective practice today. And we were told to journal about what a reflective practice means to us and also any intentions or mantras we might have for the new year.
A reflective practice to me is one of gratitude. To turn inward and remind/ask myself what I’m grateful for. And to be gentle with myself. Especially on a cold, beautiful snowy day like today. Which is why I did the gentle morning practice this morning, and the other gentle practice as forms of self care – to take it easy, not be hard on myself – physically or mentally. Today’s reflection for me also involves reading about mindfulness and how we can be more mindful in our everyday lives.
As for a mantra/intentions for the new year, mine is to be more easy going and less stressed and just ‘go with the flow’. Which should also help me become more confident in my yoga teaching practice as well! The teacher included a mantra from SoundCloud about Releasing Control, which is exactly my intention for the new year! Listen to it here
Speaking of gratitude, I followed the video up with my own daily pranayama practice and then I did a 10 minute guided meditation about gratitude. I’m grateful for being safe and warm in my house. I’m grateful for having spent all day yesterday cleaning the house (for husband’s podcast guests and for the purpose of decorating the house for Christmas). I’m grateful for all the beautiful Christmas decorations around our house now and our pretty Christmas tree.
And I’m grateful that my husband gets to spend a fun day with his friends (and I get to eat some of the yummy food he’s doing – mainly cooking pizzas, but still, I haven’t had pizza in awhile so I’m grateful for that!)
And now i’m going to do some more reading of Donna Farhi’s Teaching Yoga and Jon Kabat-Zinn’s Wherever You Go, There You Are, and keep my eye out for snowy hummingbirds!