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Awakening the inner artist

tummy-yoga-400I love a challenge. I love giving myself a clear deadline, daily or weekly goals, and going for it. I love the feeling of accomplishment that comes with checking that task off my list. And if you follow me on social media, you know I also love yoga.

So when my studio asked me if I wanted to participate in their 30-day challenge — a daily yoga class, thirty days in a row, I didn’t have to think before I said yes. Finally! A valid excuse to wear spandex and Uggs every day.

Studies show that yoga boosts creativity, and I can attest that it’s true. Without getting all new-agey on you, yoga helps me to focus, to quieten my mind from all the millions of distractions I encounter every day. It opens me up for new ideas and thoughts and lets my subconscious takes over. An hour on the mat unknots my plot knots in a way a gym class can’t. It’s the reason I was able to pound out book number three — all ninety thousand words of it — in five short months.

But #yogaeverydamnday?

It sounds great in theory, but I also have a life. I have a family and a job and girlfriends I love spending time with. Can I really commit? Can I really haul my sore and tired bones into the studio every single day for a whole month?

Ask me in thirty days.

A LITTLE YOGA BREAK

I love yoga. I love the flexibility, the deep breathing, and the peace it brings me. For the hour I practice the poses, my mind is focused on the singular task of performing the routines, which helps enhance my focus when I’m at the computer working.

maya-fiennesA couple of years ago, I discovered Maya Fiennes book, Yoga for Real Life, and her Kundalini Yoga to Detox and Destress DVD, and these quickly became part of my exercise program. Maya teaches Kundalini Yoga which “awakens awareness”. It is the oldest form of yoga and uses meditative focus, breath work, and chanting.

Recently I found this DVD available on YouTube, along with a couple of other cool features from this yoga teacher. Turn on your sound and enjoy the background music. It’s written and performed by Maya, who is also a classical pianist and performer. If you’re interested in trying it, this program runs about sixty minutes.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=THX9jKPEMGs

However, if you want a quick routine to energize you, Maya also offers something different, a free style five minute routine that will totally get you moving and make you smile. If you don’t have time to check out the other links, make sure you check out this one because it’s super cool and fun!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zI0q1nG7BN4

Or if you just want to lie back and relax, here is one of her songs.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V05RKa1ohf4

Visit Maya’s website where you can learn more about Kundalini yoga.

Have you ever considered doing yoga or meditation? What about the practices appeals or doesn’t appeal to you?

Yoga

I’ve been doing yoga on and off for about seven years now.  Originally I started yoga to reduce my stress level, but I quickly found that what it did for me was make me extremely limber AND fixed my back.  I have had occasional back spasms that are fairly debilitating. Many of you may have experienced lower back pain, so you know what I’m talking about.  I can’t sneeze without almost screaming, can’t tie my shoes, can’t roll over in bed at night without waking up, can hardly drive a car because I can’t turn my head in either direction.

So, what I discovered was, if I did yoga, even on an erratic schedule, my back spasms ceased.  And the limberness helped me in riding my horse as well. The yoga I do is not the twisty yoga that you see sometimes.  Don’t envision someone looking like a human pretzel.  The poses I use are so easy, anyone can do them.  And as the instructor, Rodney Yee, says on the dvd, it may seem that these exercises are small and won’t make a difference but within a short amount of time, you will see the benefits.

I’ve included some pictures of the poses I use.

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