relax

The Turtle Wins The Race

I’ve been feeling very flexible as of late. In fact, I’m finding it difficult to really feel the basic poses anymore unless I go into class feeling sore to begin with! It’s pushing me to work harder, which is good.

My yoga instructor noticed the ease with which I took a backbend last week and gently encouraged me to take one of my feet off the mat. I appreciate these little tips since they help me put everything in perspective – I may be able to do step 1, but that’s just the beginning! Yoga is a constant growth process,Β there is no end goal. There are tiny goals to advance your practice along the way (this year I resolved to do a handstand, for instance), but once achieved you don’t stop there – you keep going. πŸ™‚

The backbend I took was Wheel, and I absolutely collapsed without being rooted by both feet. It was humbling for me, but I will continue to work on it. Here is what it would look like if I could do it perfectly:

Extended Wheel

…or something to that effect. As much as I encourage everyone to try something new and by all means to stretch as much as possible, I do not recommend just popping into wheel without warming up first. It is usually at the end of a hot class when your body is relaxed and nimble that we take our backbends and inversions. If you try this at home, please do some spinal warm-ups first!

In yoga, if something feels easy, we slow down. Slowing down and continuing to move with fluidity and grace is actually WAY HARDER than moving rapidly from pose to pose. Sometimes we need to slow down to feel it, so challenge yourself by moving with *intention* instead of powering through it, in some area of your life this week.

I do believe I am happy with this sketch.

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I’m just a beach bum

I did some traveling at the beginning of March which postponed a few sketches. However, my second trip of the month was to Vero Beach, Florida to visit my grandparents. It was a fantastic vacation away from the busy-ness of life, and I welcomed the warm weather.

Life on the beach is slow – which I can appreciate – so I was very grateful I had chosen to bring along my sketchbook. πŸ™‚ Whilst getting the first tan of the year I sat in the sun wondering how I was supposed to draw something without a subject. Note that I’m usually googling images and using them as my subject. Without my laptop I was sort of at a loss. So I decided to give it my best shot and try to IMAGINE my skeleton. I simply drew what I felt, and, being fairly familiar with the skeletal structure by now, it really wasn’t as bad as I thought it’d be!

This is my first “blind” sketch (a self-portrait, if you will) titled “Beach Bum“. You’ll catch me in this position 90% of the time. πŸ˜‰
Beach bum

Juxtapose this with the correct posture one should have when one is sitting about doing nothing:

Lotus

That’s Lotus pose, or seated pose, or whatever you decide to call it. Very straight, but settled. Nearly every yoga practice begins with this pose while you concentrate on breathing. I start every morning this way, too, and it works wonders. I force everything but a prayer out of my mind and begin the day with deep breaths of gratefulness. It’s good to focus on positive thoughts first thing in the morning, rather than the natural negativity that comes with early mornings [especially following late nights].

I highly recommend implementing something similar into your own routine. I do believe I am very happy with this one. πŸ˜€