* What do you look for in Yoga?

yoga in India and USA

I subscribe to the Yoga Journal magazine, and I must be honest here and let you know that it looks more like a fashion magazine and Bally’s commercial than a journal about yoga.

Why?

Because I come away feeling pressured to be younger, skinnier and more beautiful. There can be some great articles in between a bunch of marketing telling me to:

tune in
lift up
strive
be strong
aspire
be awesome
get toned
buy this
look cool
eat healthy
as you give to the world
radiate
you can do it
….  and relax!

It feels exhausting being around this vata energy and targeted marketing.

Don’t get me going about yoga clothes either … I’m looking for clothes that fit and feel comfortable and don’t fall over my head in downward facing dog! Pink neon pants … really?

In my 30’s and 40’s I really wanted to be fit and awesome and now I know that what we all yearn for is to feel centered and accepting of ourselves.

A part of me understands that it’s  connected with the stage of adult life that we find ourselves in. Yet the message of what yoga is really about is being lost.

Yoga isn’t about postures, fitness and looking good.

It is a spiritual path that brings our attention inwards in order to awaken to our true Self.  Its about bringing alignment and a strong foundation into our lives… and yes, our bodies too 😉

It feels wonderful and empowering to find this place without competition, looks, accessories and being seen … just to accept ourselves fully and find peace within. There is a lot of love here.

And to those of you who don’t get it yet, I know it may seem like being old and boring, but to me its pretty darn cool.

Namaste

* Happy Feet in Yoga and Life

Instead of trying to see what’s beyond the horizon, take a moment and look down at your feet.

This is where you are.Pair of feet

Your feet are your foundation and will keep you grounded in life.

They allow you stand tall and stay balanced.

Remember you’ll need your feet to take you in the direction you are heading in life.

You wil also need them in your senior years to be flexible enough to prevent falling and injury.

Check in with them regularly and they will bring you back to the present and to your middle ground.

oo0O0oo

(Pause for a moment of foot appreciation)

“Thank you for being there every day.

You do such a good job.

I really appreciate all that you do. Thank you!”

(They say thank you back)

oo0O0oo

Every day in class I pause to acknowledge our feet. We must take good care of them as they are the foundation for our yoga practice as well as in life.

To counteract years of tension, some preliminary exercises can help your feet come back to life. One good way to restore proper tone to the sole of the foot is to step onto a tennis ball. Roll the ball in circles under the broadest part of your feet. Then roll it up and down the length of the sole. Come back to step in it and notice how good it feels!

After waking up your feet with the tennis ball, stretch both the sole and the top of the foot. A simple way to stretch the underside of the foot is to kneel with the toes turned under. To stretch the top of the foot, Virasana (Hero Pose) is invaluable.

While standing in Tadasana (Mountain Pose) find your focal point and lift your toes off the ground. Notice the activation of connective tissue and muscles rising up the body. Its a great way to practice finding your balance on and off the mat.

Here’s an article from Yoga Journal  to keep your feet happy.

Namaste