Yoga~Me~Healthy

One Ballsey Gal.com site

Snakes and Ladders October 3, 2013

Filed under: Health Hopes,Nutrition,Yoga — Working From Bed Productions @ 5:11 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Tremendously hard to type/write and get out of my mind right now. I have seething anger pumping through at this moment and clearly thinking outside my current internal turmoil state, seems very much like I’m making it all worse. By beginning to blog, is my attempt at trying to find some sort of rhythmn again. I once was lost than I was found and then I got fucking lost again, pretty much sums up where life is at for me these days. Sometime ago I had purpose in healing myself through yoga. It happened in a beautiful and natural way, which is always a sign for me that I am on a right and proper path.

Recently I began to question, what happened, exactly? How did I leave a practice and a state of health and wind up in this my here and now of miserableness? It was by no means due to a lack of love, ironically as it turns out it was percisely for this reason, except the love wasn’t for me.  I reached a point in my practice that had far surpassed what I ever thought I could do, so what was it?  Well the truth is that inspite of ultimately being the one who fell off, I didn’t do so consciously. My eldest child was officially moving out ( at 17 not 23, makes a difference in this story I believe ) and with this decision some obscure, from left field emotional chinook, took me over and out. I went into planning mode for him, his needs etc.. remembering at one point thinking “shit, I haven’t been at yoga for two days, it’s o.k I’ll go Friday”. Within this time I lost a little part- time gig which helped to subsidize my yoga cost as well as this this big move out West. Due to this sudden unemployment and utter frustration and anger towards the person who hired me (unrealistically financially speaking, it turns out..gee thanks), I began going inwards. Pretty much from May till now October 3rd, I have done very little yoga, gained back at least 15 pounds and wake up and deal with a litany of pains throughout my entire body everyday. I literally am unable to hold a coffee cup for the first few hours of the morning. Part of the RA are flaring up in my body where they never had before….I illustrate this due to the sheer amazement on what one can experience doing Yoga with chronic pain and what can happen when you don’t.

Lastly, I consume more red wine than I ever have in my life, so not overly shocking that I’m a tad pissed off right now at myslef. I went last week to do my practice for the first time in months. it felt weird of course but emotionally I basically felt good, not having any anxiety or huge expectations. After attempting to ‘slide in’ and pretty much hide out in the back of studio, my ever knowning teacher sensed this and called me up to join the rest of the flock in the front of the room, instructing me to do what I could do, so I did. I was initially happy, for my little body memory bank seemed to re-open and off I went. I stopped a few times, looking around for some help in what to do next, but alas no one came. Shrugging it off I continued as best I could. The first sign that it had been awhile was the weakness I felt in my arms. Other than feeling little to no pain for good periods of time, what I LOVED about Yoga was the strength that it gave me and the confidence to do activities I hadn’t done in many moons. Never have I felt that physically strong before, even  in my youth, never liked that..So I adjusted, doing less chaturangas, concentrating more on finishing the practice than remembering each bit. I finished, changed and went home, not feeling anything either way. During the wee hours of the next day into early morning + three more days, I experienced pain like nothing else. Someone recently described RA pain like having a hot ‘poker’ jammed into your joints creating unbelievable amounts of searing pain.

What this attempt of mine, to re-start my yoga practice left me with at that time was this little diddy. “Ya, so your fucked and gonna have to pay a price”. Jesus, really do I always have to pay the fucking price? Must I go back with my tail wedged between my legs, head down in shame and deal with the punishment of leaving yoga? For who walks AWAY from a positive state of health? 

I know I never made the choice to walk away from my health, it just kinda happened for I was so distracted with this being who I love and worry about more than anything or anyone in life ( see problem #1, I know hindsight ). When a good chunk of time had passed and I could see the light of my practice becoming dim to my sight, I felt it was a sacrafice that I had to make (WRONG…20/20). It also showed that I was not as far ahead in my emotional growthas I had thought, for if I had being than I most likely could have kept up both, carrying for myself and child….simultaneously. I also probably wouldn’t have being so distraught and full of fear after he left.

I’ve had some positive thoughts and revelations about where to go next, knowning that I can find a much better state of mind and body to live in. My relationship with my former ex, a.k.a depression, sits not too far away smiling, enticing me to come and hang out, which I must admit I have done from time to time in the last while, but for now I share a rude gesture and perform an-about-face, looking towards the future, no longer in the past.

Namaste

 

Anew August 6, 2013

Filed under: Health Hopes — Working From Bed Productions @ 10:08 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

During these last few months I have learned that it is much more difficult to begin anew with something that has already been tried. Make sense? Just as I was stretching along doing my daily practice, learning about Ayurveda, organics etc…I fell out of sight. To be honest I really can’t think of some specific episode that occurred which threw me back and away from the place where I had found health and peace.? Having said that, back in May my son (17yrs) decided to accept an offer to play football in another province, which meant he would be leaving, moving out of our home and away from me. I do remember receiving his text saying “I’ve committed” ( meaning he made an official decision as to where he would be going). A violent rush swept threw me in an instant, causing the need to get up and go to the ladies room ( of course I had to be in a restaurant). I was focused and determined to make it to whichever stall caught my eye first. Once i found one, not ‘in service’ and clean, I closed and latched it the door, sat down and began to weep…uncontrollably. I won’t get into specifics,  but let’s just say my experience raising my son, specifically during the last 5 years, has not being an easy one. I was relieved, scared, proud and from that moment on, out of my body. In spite of this momentous day, I continued with my daily practice, just as I had for the last year and a bit; So really this big shift that was about to take place in my life, wasn’t the root of my soon to be yoga-woes, at least I don’t think it was?

As the weeks of his departure began edging nearer, I began feeling tired, REALLY tired. I weirdly strained my hands gardening.. I know. I was embarrassed explaining to my far and constantly away husband,  about this strange pain I woke up feeling in both my hands, an ache so achy I began feeling nervous. Suffice to say I felt I couldn’t manage doing my practice that day, so I didn’t. One goofy yet real pain led to another. I started to panic, “I CANNOT GO BACK, I CANNOT”, meaning to the days of carrying too much weight, sadness and pain.  Fear started to brew, bubbling thickly in my gut. The next day was a led Ashtanga class, so I jumped at the chance and went for it, fully determined to nip this ‘yoga pause’ in the bud. By this point, I had not done my regular practice in a week, a life time for me at this point.

I arrived to the familiar comforting smells of the studio, down to the Hot ( or in this case warm ) room and found my place on the mat. From the moment the class began, I felt weak, dizzy and out of sorts. I pressed on, determined to finish, though knowing all along it was pointless. I was not present, I was afraid and doomed…

I can’t honestly tell you exactly how long i went without doing any form of Yoga after this episode, probably two and half months? Reason being was because I slithered down onto the couch, where I remained, other than during the times that loved ones were around me. My family suffered a lot during my pre-yoga years, having to deal with the effects of my never-ending pain, injections and much grumpiness. Just like that everything I had taken on, food, proper sleep etc.., all of which massively helped to Yoga Me healthier than I had been in years, slipped away. I began feeling the weight sneak back on, my beloved wine becoming to frequent a guest and worst of all…the beginings of disdain for this person I was morphing back into. How in Buddha’s name can this be happening? I thought to myself more than once. Didn’t matter, it was happening and regardless of what I did, I couldn’t get out from beneath it. I no longer slept, which in turn made it impossible to do my practice in the morning or at all, for my body ‘shuts down’ if it becomes too fatigued. By the time afternoon came and went, I was so sluggish or too wired from drinking coffee, so as to function as a mother, that doing any form of self-care seemed completely unrealistic.

My body began craving those items I had learned to live with in balance, in a way that was aggressive, bully like. Indulgence, never a good sign when one has falling WAY off track. I literally found myself unable to figure my way out, which for me is rare, since its kinda what I do..inately, so with this kernel of truth…I let go. I let go of the pressure to do what I was doing before, of what I would do or not do in the future, simply said I surrendered.

I managed to get my son off to B.C with all that he needed, leaving us broker than broke, but satisfied that in this gesture of massive love and support for him, maybe now,  possibly I may just be able to help myself again. The weeks since he has been gone, didn’t produce any spontaneous jumpstart to my self-care routine, but it did produce peace in my home and loads of quiet for the first time in a longtime.  I stopped looking in the mirror and judging what supposedly had “happened to me”, what I had done to this body that has given me so much during this last year.

I rekindled my interest and love for Deepak and Ayurveda and slowly, through watching a few documentaries and dabbling here and there with some guided meditation a la YouTube, began slowly finding my way forward. Due to finances I have not been able to resume my Yoga membership, though I was gifted a pass for the month, which I took advantage of yesterday, by attending a Hot Yin class. Yin is where it all started for me, as well as with my first Yoga teacher Monica. I had asked her out for coffee to discuss the anger and resentment I had experienced after not doing my practice regularly. “WTF, I said, how could this practice I devoted myself to practically daily for over a year turn on me, *snap* just like that”? We spoke more on this and at length and I began to realize, with M’s help, that the life of Yoga on all levels has its peaks and valleys. I opened up this blog and began to re-read some of my past posts. THEN, I started getting a tad excited at the prospect of beginning anew, yet this time with a good bit of experience ( for a novice yogi anyways ). I made a commitment  to try and so I have.

Yesterday I did my pre-morning prep for Day I of some pretty cool Ayurvedic a.m rituals. It is now mid afternoon, I’ve been up since 5am, basic Yoga asanas, breathing and meditation with my 12yr. old daughter, PLUS I just am about to finish my first Yoga Me Healthy Blog in quite a while. Taking this day for what it has become…that’s it.

Namaste

 

Plan A…Retreat For Two <3 March 29, 2013

Filed under: Health Hopes,Nutrition — Working From Bed Productions @ 9:53 pm
Tags: , , , , , , ,

organic

Part One

Before leaving for our stay up north, I wrote about my quest for healthy living, as it pertains to food. Prior to our departure I carefully planned what my daughter and I would be eating for 16 days. Come to think of it “planned” maybe too strong of a word, it was more like “strongly thought about”. 

While entering the store I felt initially anxious; “How do I do this? I have no idea what kind of cookware etc. is up there?” I quickly stopped, found a corner, squatted down and made note of the ‘absolutes’, beginning with my bodium and coffee grinder ( I will be working for 16 days in a row….till 2am~my current schedule, up at 6am, bed at 10pm…) I began with the equipment and then ‘filled in the blanks’ with food; juicer, blender to start. Despite the super sized square footage of the store, I have over the last few months orientated myself to the small area where the ‘good stuff’ is located, a.k.a  the organic isles. The beauty of this is that I no longer have to go up and down aisles, one by one, sucking up the time I’d rather spend doing….just about anything else. I wouldn’t mind shopping, if I could do so while in a lovely open aired market. For now I hit the two isles mentioned, then meander thru the veggie and fruit section.

The thing about switching over to organics is that price does play a part, as does convenience, though I do not want to ‘carry over’ my old lame habits, like only going to the big superstores purely for convenience.  My ultimate shopping goal is to create a food buying club with family and friends, which is currently in its infancy stage, and purchase primarily seasonal, local food. As it stands I am purchasing grass-fed organic meat and poultry from local farmers thru a website called  Harvest Moon.

The shopping went well. I figured, ‘keep it easy and basic’ as I had no clue at the time what kind of environment I would be entering. Not only am I trying to purchase ‘happy meat’, as we like to call it (  animals who have been raised and slaughtered, ethically ) I am also attempting to purchase foods that are good for those of us with Rheumatoid Arthritis. Lastly, I am somewhat ‘hijacking’ my daughter food-wise. I know there is a store where we are going, but I also know it is very expensive due to location, so I am hoping that by ‘immersing’ ourselves in what I’ve bought, we will continue onwards with our move into healthier, purer eating.  What we have is what we have…period.

“It’s like going to a foreign country, I explained to my daughter, unable to speak the language, and in the end your fluent! So, this means I can eat both the old food I used to and the new organic stuff? ….Umm, no”.

Keeping with the simplistic theme, I created a daily menu, here’s an example:

Breakfast: Smoothie~frozen fruit, organic yogurt, org. coconut oil, org. flax-seed oil.

Lunch: org.greens, avocado, chicken, balsamic vinegar/olive oil.

Snack: fruit, granola

Dinner: egg pasta, veggies, org. ground beef, salad w/org.apples  

&

Lots of water

~ Daily Yoga & Meditation

In spite of our pending location, my goal was to create for my daughter and I our VERY own retreat

….this was the plan

Namaste

 

Reservations…..No More March 21, 2013

Filed under: Health Hopes — Working From Bed Productions @ 5:43 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

So here I sit typing away, nearly a week now gone by since my daughter and I drove up north….WAY up North. As I entered into the larger than large 4×4 early last Friday morning, packed to the roof ( and then some ) full of stuff for this northern adventure, I remembered something; Before shifting into “DRIVE”, I heard my husband’s voice~ “Check your mirrors, make sure you have complete visibility”. “Right, o.k, side left mirror good, right one, nice and clear, rear view…not so much.  What I did see however was our Yoga Mats standing upright, like excited children going on vacation, smiling  I got out, opened up the back and”settled”them down. THIS had me feeling happiness, in that moment, for I knew that Yoga really is part of my life and will go with me wherever and whenever, always.

The weather that morning wasn’t great, so I felt a little uneasy, though I reminded myself I am in the BEST possible vehicle for highway driving, especially winter highway driving. When I say the best vehicle this couldn’t be truer. My daughter was equipt in the backseat with her own entertainment unit, complete with a fold down DVD movie screen and headphones, while I had multiple hours of audio books to enjoy up front. Never wanting to shy away from doing ‘stuff’ together, my daughter suggested we ‘watch’ the movie together…so that we did. She provided all the visual descriptions, while I caught bits and pieces of dialogue, and I mean bits. Not the most relaxing way to experience a movie, but it was interesting.

The last time I drove 10 hours was when I was 23 yrs. old, yup that’d be 20 years ago. I remember it been exhausting  and somewhat freaky. Probably shouldn’t have remembered this little diddy, for then I knew where I was going, this time not so much. I did have a map my employer/family friend drew for me, including locations of where I can let my fully freaked out beagle out for a pee and where I can’t? “How come?”, I inquired….”Wild dogs”, he replied. “Ahh….eesh”. I began to visualize wild dogs running out of the forest, a la Twilight movie, straight at us,  while I’m running frantically trying with all my might to ‘swing’ into my arms my ever chubby beagle, Yo Yo style~ OR would I just run…solo, you see, we have MAJOR beagle issues, but that’s a whole other blog..

I snapped my mind back, its fine, it will be fine….my least favourite word btw.

By hour 4 I began feeling funky, but not in a good way. This happened back and forth throughout the trip, but you know what? For every ‘moment’ I had of the negative persuasion, NATURE popped up in my visual and said” LOOK AT ME, LOOK AT ME!”  I cannot tell you how beautiful it is up in this part of the province ( Manitoba) Yes I’ve seen trees and yes I’ve seen sky, but not like this~There it was again, I realized, this gentle nudge, a reminder of what really was important, what to focus on, and this was in a word beauty, specifically the beauty of nature.  Driving with this state of consciousness was yet another example of doing Yoga. I have learnt to focus on my breath, but outside the studio….this was something new, and I liked it!

We arrived late, survived close to 2 hours of ‘off off ‘roading’ en route to the Cross Lake Reservation. I prayed hard during these last bits of road warrioring that a) I would know what a “buggy” was ( a construction worker stopped to advise me to  “watch out for these machines, which would zip onto the ‘highway’ at random”). These ‘buggies’, which sounded like they would be small, actually turned out to be mammoth road scrapers. I nearly peed my pants during a few of these encounters, which isn’t hard to do, especially if one has experienced multiple pregnancies. My next prayer b) that we wouldn’t arrive at night. I don’t like to drive at night, vision issues. As we were trekking down this God awful road, seemingly taking forever ( at this point in time, due to tiredness and foggy brain syndrome, Yoga took a backseat and watched a movie with my daughter).  I began to sense the light diminishing. “How in the heck am I going to find where we are staying etc..in the friggin black of blackness? Again, just like before, PoP! there it was… another amazing distraction; the most beautiful sunset sky I’d ever seen….ever. It took up what seemed like the ENTIRE sky!  

I was transported for a moment outside myself, witnessing us travelling on this long, bumpy, dusty road with no other vehicles in sight, all the while being enveloped by this protecting heavenly sky…Moments later, a small sign that read Cross Lake appeared, we had arrived

After I reflected later on in the evening, after our quick offload was complete ( quick due to some seriously cold arctic winds), while enjoying a beautiful glass of Malbec, I came to appreciate the ongoing gifts of Yoga, in all its many many forms.

Namaste

 

Northern Exposure March 14, 2013

Filed under: Health Hopes — Working From Bed Productions @ 3:58 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

LotusSo since I finished my first year of blogging about my Yoga efforts I wondered, what’s next? Without a second thought I heard my mind or self scream FOOD! Over the last few months I have slowly started exploring foods, even did a 10 day cleanse, back last spring. I’ve gone back and forth with food and my weight. I’ve juiced, still do actually just not as often as I would like plus I’ve even switched over to probably 80% organic. I thought it would be interesting to carry on my blog, with bits about Yoga as I continue to evolve with it, but really start reading and learning about food basics. My theory is that if I read as much as I can, within reason, then build what makes sense to me ( instinctually ) I may just find what it is I have been searching for….a healthy, realistic diet.

Food I believe is really ‘where its at’, that and breathing. I’m not looking to be anything but me, tho I would like to evolve on all aspects into what I feel is my ultimate. By having certain aspects ‘in place’ I feel I will be able to enjoy other areas of life and not feel like I’m constantly being pushed and pulled. My health was number one on the list. I have established a strong Yoga practice now, so from here I am looking towards food and balance with it. 

I was offered a lucrative gig way up Northern Manitoba on a reserve called Cross Lake. I am filling in for the brother of our family friend. Quite nervous as it is a 8-10 hour trek on a highway I’ve never been on, and a road that when looking at it on the map, shows checker marks describing its terrain….yikes. It pays very well and lord knows we need extra funds whenever possible. Whereas my daughter’s friends are all going to Disneyland or the Caribbean, we’re going to a remote reserve! I really like the idea of an adventure, a new experience unlike anything we have ever done before. My daughter is concerned, after all she’s only 12 and has only heard bad things about reservations. My plan is for us to carry on with our Yoga practice and begin a meditation as well. I’m thinking of  putting up an ad for anyone interested in doing Yoga, never know right?

Lastly, concerning Yoga, yesterday when finishing up with my practice my teacher Jonathan sat down and helped me get into the lotus position……and to my massive amazement I did it! It was weird I’ll admit, but VERY VERY empowering. 

 Bless this body of mine, so grateful

Namaste

 

Yoga Me Healthy…Yup I Sure Did!!! One Year Done and Done:) March 4, 2013

Filed under: Health Hopes — Working From Bed Productions @ 3:35 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

e9ab02_5bf89ac553822809c55de647caf1a9fc[1]

Today has been a great day. I celebrated with family and friends my daughters 12th birthday, all the while smiling to myself in recognition that today was also the day 12 months ago that I decided to make a change and commitment to my health, and self. I did so by choosing to bring all aspects of Yoga into my life. 

I still have health struggles, but nothing even close to what I endured prior to beginning Yoga. My mental health is by far the most improved aspect from this last year, which really has been crucial for me and my family.  My sense of self has strengthened along with an amazing spiritual surge that has enabled me to handle the negative days in such a way that I am no longer in fear of being broken. I have inspired my young daughter to take on this daily  and worthwhile challenge, with the hope that she continues onwards and upwards in her practice, building her own foundation, one in which she can stand upon on throughout her life.  My seventeen year old son now works on the weekends where I practice (Yoga Public), and has recently begun taking classes prior starting his shifts, including nightly Hot Yin classes. He sleeps better and finds that his breathing and endurance has greatly improved, especially during his football camps and conditioning sessions.

I began with the initial goal of practicing Yoga everyday for 365 days. I did not understand what Yoga meant then and to a certain extent I still don’t….completely. What matters to me at this point is that I have found an amazing means in which to better myself and life and for this I am, and will forever be, grateful.

Heres to all the blessings I have received from this ever amazing body of mine and the people who have supported me throughout this last year. I am so looking forward to the future and the continuous goal of improving my body, mind and spirit. Again to my family, friends and teachers at Yoga Public I love and thank you so very much.

Namaste

 

Found It February 11, 2013

Filed under: Health Hopes — Working From Bed Productions @ 5:05 pm
Tags: , , ,

“I took a deep breath and listened to the old brag of my heart. I am, I am, I am.”  

luke-art

Recently returned from a trip to Quebec with my son. I rarely travel, though no experience is ever greater than that of a rare one. Giddy; I love everything about the word and the experience of feeling it. We were in Montreal for only a day and a half before heading south to check out a school. I was hoping to find a place to do my  Yoga practice. While owning only a “dumb” phone, I asked my son to google “Ashtanga  Montreal” on his intelligent one. “Well look at that, there’s an actual Yoga Studio called Ashtanga Montreal, that was easy”.            

The following day, after a tad too much sake, I got up and braved the frigid winds and temps ( -35) and began walking in the direction of where I believed the studio was located. After a few wrong turns and  much eye rolling from bustling busy bodies, due to my standard opening question, parle-vous anglais?”, I found it.  A very friendly lady greeted me and after a quick exchange and mat rental, there I was alone, in a large open space with a wall of huge windows, separating me and Rue de Sainte Catherine….nice.  I wasn’t sure where to place my mat, since I saw no Guru imagery anywhere. I stood for a moment and found my direction.  It felt a tad strange at first, since I am used to seeing and hearing bodies around me. Ironic considering that when I began my practice, trying to focus on anything BUT the people and noises around me was my main goal, finding myself having to re-adjust to the quiet was interesting. The good news? I began to hear my breath and nothing else.

I was able to fully focus on the breath, the movement of the asanas just came and went, they were no longer that which I had paid so much attention to; Practicing the same bits over and over gave my body the ability to do them on its own, seemingly without the aid of my mind…..uber uber cool. I finished feeling great, bid adieu to the studio and made my way down to the cafe that I spotted on my way in; “Here I will visit afterwards”, I promised myself, for a strong café latte and croissant. I bravely placed my order in french receiving minimal eye rolling from the barista. Happily I strolled back to the hotel feeling complete. Lucky lucky moi.

Namaste