san diego free yoga

Off The Mat - Today I Choose To Observe

When we prepare to head to bed at night we often have a routine. Brush our teeth, lay out the clothes for the next day, set our alarms. And when we wake up, the same is true. Shut off the alarm (or hit snooze one, two, or ten times - be honest),  drink a glass of water, go pee, brush teeth, get dressed, head out for a run, have coffee and breakfast, shower, change, go to work, etc etc etc.

And we go and we do all day long. Until the going and doing are done and we're ready to re-do the nighttime routine and head to bed.

But many of us never stop to just be. To ask ourselves a simple question: How am I feeling today? How does my physical body feel? How's my energy level? What is going on inside my brain?

We don't pause to observe ourselves. Instead we become our thoughts and actions. 

When we take a yoga class it's an opportunity to pause for 60 or 75 minutes. To ignore what is going on externally and to breathe and move. 

It's a great time to check in. To notice those things about how you are truly feeling. When you take note you allow yourself time to decide how to think and act moving forward. Instead of just doing and going you can decide what you need to do and where you need to go to improve upon what you've observed.

This week we explore stopping to observe, without judgement, where we are when we step on our mat, during our practice, and after practice. And we work on how to take that off of our mat and into our every day.

xoxo

LP

Off The Mat - You ARE A Badass.

Many of you know that I theme my months with regards to my yoga sequencing. Each month follows some overarching theme or arc, ranging from an idea, to a musical theme, to a group of postures, to something to learn, to working up to a specific peak pose. 

This month my theme came from a request from a student who wanted to work towards single leg crow pose (eka pada bakasana). We've spent the month of April working through core strengthening, improving our upper body strength and alignment, and getting comfortable with playing, trying, sometimes failing, and enjoying the challenges that come along with the process.

And here we are, in the last week of April, with a sequence geared towards that ultimate peak pose. Here's the bottom line for this (and all poses): the pose does not matter. The ability to get into eka pada bakasana means nothing. It is not the goal of the yoga practice. It does not make you a good or bad yogi, one way or the other. Our yoga practice is about exploration of our bodies, our minds, our spirits. About exploring how they work together, challenging our self imposed beliefs and limitations, learning acceptance of self, experiencing love. 

So as we play this week with a very physically challenging posture, our intention is to feel empowered. Feel empowered in your physical abilities as they lie today. Feel empowered in your mental strength. Empowerment, a sense of pride in oneself and one's strength, is sometimes looked upon negatively in the yoga world and can be confused with excess ego. 

Don't shun it. Embrace it. You ARE already a badass. It doesn't matter what postures you can and cannot do. You show up on your mat (and off) for yourself and for those around you. 

And this week, we celebrate that.

xoxo

LP

Off The Mat - Let's Have Fun, Ok?

For many of us, our days are filled with "adulting". We have work obligations, family obligations, kids, pets, volunteer opportunities, healthy eating, and exercise needs to focus on. 

And while we may enjoy these activities and the people that we do them with, they might not all be fun.

Can you remember back to being a kid on the playground? You had no cares in the world. No sense of time. No worries about where else you could (or should) be or what else you could (or should) be doing. You did things purely because they were fun. And you skipped the things that weren't. And if you saw someone do something that looked cool, you tried it out. Without stopping to think or wonder what might happen or to worry about what would happen if you failed.

When you were a kid on the playground you were in the moment. You truly were present. 

Stepping onto your yoga mat gives you that same opportunity. Your yoga mat, your yoga studio, can be your playground. Can you allow yourself to take your practice less seriously - in a good way? To approach it with a sense of playfulness, with a sense of fearlessness, to do things simply because they are fun. And stop doing things when they stop becoming fun (hello, 100th chaturanga of class). 

Let yourself be present in your body for your time on your mat and set an intention to experience joy. In this week's flow we practice baby crow and (what has been dubbed) teenage crow. They're goofy names and goofy variations of postures. They beg to be taken lightheartedly.

And when you move off of your mat after your practice can that sense of playfulness come with you? 

Even just for today, let's have fun. Ok?

xoxo

LP