yoga

open your HEART

gentle warriorIn all my years of dabbling with yoga, I have struggled to “open my heart” in any variation of warrior pose. Attempts to stretch up tall through the crown of my head while maintaining proper posture in the warrior lunge have always made my upper body feel brittle and, well, closed.

Yesterday for the first time I was able to properly open my heart, thanks to PEACEFUL WARRIOR, a pose I discovered in Yoga with Adriene‘s 2017 Revolution, Day 21: Practice Strength. The image above (created by Yours Truly, Violet Lemay) illustrates the key: while the front arm stretches up, the back arm is bent and rests on the hips. This simple adjustment allowed my chest to completely open. In my imagination, love hearts poured out, filling the room. It was an awesome yoga moment.

This victory may seem small, but to me it was gigantic. At the age of fifty I can still learn, grow, and conquer obstacles—even physical ones. After less than a month, my  new yoga practice is already helping me feel younger and happier, more supple, more limber, more grounded and strong. More OPEN.

#grateful ❤

yoga

breathing LOVE

love in

“Lots of love in, lots of love out.” ~ Adriene Mishler, Yoga With Adriene

For me, the benefits of this simple instruction to breathe in / breathe out LOVE extend well beyond the yoga mat.

I struggle to love myself. The older I get, the more clearly I see how this affects my ability to love others—which in turn can make it difficult for them to love me. It’s a reciprocal thing.

How wonderful to associate this profound life lesson with the simplicity of breathing. No matter where I am or what I’m doing, I can take a moment to focus on my breath.

Lots of love in, lots of love out.

Love is patient and kind.  ~ 1 Corinthians 13:4

 

 

yoga

heal that sweet HEAD

yoga

As a busy free-lance artist, exercise has always helped me cope with stress. Whether I belong to a gym or not, I rarely miss a day. In the past few years, injuries have slowed me down and forced me to change my pursuits. Now I can’t run, so I walk. A lot. And I’ve started doing yoga.

Because of the unpredictablility of my schedule I’ve given up trying to join a class, at least for now. Thank goodness there are millions of free yoga videos on-line. My favorite are the offering of Austin-based Adriene Mishler. The image above was inspired by her “Yoga for Migraines” sequence—which, for me, was nothing short of a miraculous cure. If you are a fellow migraine sufferer, I highly recommend that you bookmark her video so you can find it easily when you need it. Also: drink your water, dear ones!