ONE

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I delved into my yoga course work on my three days off last week.  It sparked some action on my part, I actually practiced yoga at home!  My last monthly yoga pass had run out and with H’s birthday I hadn’t made another commitment yet.  I did about an hour each time and while taking H on walks I would go through a sequence in my head on how I would teach and what I would say.  I recently was talking to my yoga teaching friend and she was telling me how she mirrors the movements, so when she says, “right side,” or “place your right foot,” she is really placing her left side or her left foot.  I immediately thought that was stupid and I wouldn’t do it!  How silly of me, it won’t be about what I want, it will be about what’s best for teaching.  Soon I will be taking off the individual yoga hat and putting on the teacher yoga hat.

The studying kept opening up new pathways in my brain.  At one point I was searching the internet, how old is the earth?  Don’t ask me why.  4 and a half billion, in case you were wondering.  Here are my books:

  • Yoga Sutras of Pantanjali, Translation by Sri Swami Satchidananda
  • The Bhagavad Gita: Krisha’s Counsel in Time of War translation by Barbara Stoler Miller
  • Yoga Anatomy by Leslie Kaminoff, 2nd Edition

Specifically I’ve been focusing on Yoga Sutras, my teacher instructed to read each one (about a sentence long) first, and then go back and read the translations.  Me being me and not getting that instruction at first just started reading it like I would any other book.  So far it’s mostly about meditation, or that’s what I’ve gleaned the most from it.

I also started flash cards for the poses and their names found in Yoga Anatomy, truly an amazing book full of beautiful illustrations.  There are even sound-it-out examples of the poses which helps to pronounce them.  It’s exciting to think that I have the opportunity to study the proper alignments of poses, and not just guess about them anymore.

So, meditation.  I learned a lot, I was drawn to the 32rd Sutra:

  The practice of concentration on a single subject is the best way to prevent the obstacles and their accompaniment.

Obstacles and their accompaniment being mental distractions that cause distress and despair.  Whatever your ‘subject’ or ‘thing’ is, the interpreter, Sri Swami Satchidananda says to stay with it.  Also, to not judge other people’s ‘things.’  I worked this sutra into my sequence while I walked.  I practiced it while I did yoga at home.  This is what I learned:

I worry a lot!  90% of my ‘obstacles’ were worry, worry, worry.  Worry about the past, that I did and said the wrong thing.  Worry about relationships, that they aren’t what I want them to be.  Worry about the future.  Lots of worry.  This practice of refocusing upon my ‘thing,’ my ‘place,’ really helped me to gain a peace with all of this worry.  Instead of becoming attached to it I thought, perhaps this relationship is how it should be.  What or how can I act to help the better good in this or that situation?  How can I find a peace with my past?  I was able to step outside of the middle of the thought, and to watch and study it before it gave root.

I had a great three days in that my mind was in a very peaceful place.  I meditated while I drove around and while I did other stuff.  If you would have said to me this time last year that I would be back to meditating and doing yoga on my own, I would have given you a very hearty high five.  Yoga has proven again to be such a positive and good force in my life.

Work is in a good place too.  I had some anxiety built up about coming back after those good three days, and it completely dissipated within the first hour I was there.  Just show up, my good friend from LB would say.  My boss and I are communicating well and the office has a pleasant glow.  Truly a miracle.  I had been getting stressed about thinking of working all day on Thursdays and Fridays and then going straight to Portland at night for training.  Leaving H, mostly made me sad.  Now I believe it is manageable.  It’s only for about 5 weeks.

The new Wednesday meeting was great again this past week!  I am very happy about that.  I realized that piece of my sobriety was what I had been searching for since I arrived here.  A decent mixed meeting.  I found you!  I made a friend there, too.  Another woman invited me to ice cream after.  “I can’t.”  I immediately said.  I listed off a couple of reasons.  I didn’t even blink on that response.  One, it shows me that I’ve grown, I don’t just say okay or yes to everyone.  Two, it shows me how antisocial and scared I can be.  If there were just women going I may have gone but the idea that there may be both sexes there?  I don’t want to deal with having male AA friends just yet.  More work still needs to be done!  It takes what it takes?

I signed up to chair on my AA birthday in April, I’m already getting nervous about it, but I know it will be good for me.  My friend from LB is flying up after that, she’ll be able to hang out with my family and H, and to come to my women’s meeting.

Here are the pictures from H’s birthday, the lighter, more professional looking ones were taken by my step-sister, I was so grateful she took a bunch of pictures while I did other stuff:

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My step-dad found these pieces of wood on the side of the rode and brought them home one day a couple weeks before the party.
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You can see by the blurry chalk marks we decided to flip the last two activities to prevent a melt down! But H was great the whole time.
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Photo booth.
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This was a kind of carry over from an idea from my baby shower where I strung up pictures of my various stages of pregnancy. Here, 0-11 months of babyhood. I also posted pictures of some of his ‘firsts’ around the house.
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My other step-sister made these for my step-dad’s 60th. They are both so uber-creative!
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Woodland creatures, mustachios, a beard, hats, and flannels for photo booth.
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The finished product. H is for…?

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This cake stole the show. I asked a local baker if she could recreate on a text one night. She got it absolutely perfect. It tasted amazing too!

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Last minute idea from my mom who decided to add bacon to these donuts. We cooked the bacon right before the party started so that the house would smell like bacon. Me being a vegetarian and not liking so much to eat pigs, just stood by and let it roll in true Lumberjack spirit.

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My mom glue-gunned this guy together one night so we wouldn’t have to worry about assembling or it toppling over.
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Sadly more pigs fell by the wayside. I happily munched on veggie corn dogs.

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Just to prove it really was a cake!

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* S I G H *  Such a fun party to spend months obsessing about and then do my best to create.  Thank goodness for Pinterest, Etsy, & Amazon!

*The tablecloth, photo booth props, fried gummi eggs, straws, plates, cupcake liners, H’s suspenders, lantern, & ect. as I’m sure I left something out were all ordered on Amazon.

*I ordered the happy birthday banner, bear print, name banner & table tents, felted s’more set all from Etsy.  The s’mores set was so incredibly detailed and arrived quickly, I was very impressed.  H can keep playing with it as he gets bigger.  His cousins like playing with it too!

*My step-sister loaned all of the stands, wooden bowl, and plate, my parents have a ‘tree house’ bedroom upstairs so woodland creatures abounded, and I ordered the buffalo print fabric from fabric.com.

Wishing you a worry free life today!

~Namaste

Published by Liz Brower

I've practiced yoga since 2006, I stumbled into a class at my local gym. I didn't really "get" yoga, I wanted to do all of the poses to the max, I didn't focus on breathing, and I was very competitive. A year later I quit smoking and my mom purchased a three month unlimited to a local studio. I fell in love with yoga! Plus the metaphor was strong, my lungs began to repair, I could take really deep inhales without coughing! I later began to go to a free outdoor yoga classes in downtown Long Beach, CA that was also affiliated with a donation based studio. Yoga was fun, affordable, accessible, and outside! I loved it. I started practicing at home by myself. I started meditating. Right after I found the classes at the gym stopped drinking alchohol. My sobriety and yoga have intertwined ever since. They compliment each other amazingly and I am so grateful for them both. I stopped practicing yoga after getting pregnant and being caught up with the taking care of a newborn in 2013/2014. When he was 9 months old I realized that I really wanted to redirect myself back to yoga. I also had the seed planted in my mind while driving home from Christmas break, why don't you go do a yoga teacher training?! I started practicing yoga at a local studio and began scouring the internet for a teacher training program. I found Three Sisters Yoga, a lovely program, based out of NY & PDX. I was more than motivated to teach, I started teaching some free yoga in the summer of 2015 at a local park. I continued after that with an internship at the same studio I had signed back up with at the beginning of the year. I quit my day job. I hit the pavement, scouring for yoga gigs that would hire a newbie. I found a job and began to teach! Now I am navigating the great balance of being a single mom, a yoga teacher, and doing my best to trust my higher power with my future. I love to teach and practice vinyasa, but also know what it's like to be drawn to slower types of yoga due to injury or body type. I feel a special affinity for yoga new comers and like to teach practice at all different levels. Thank you for taking time to read a little more about me and I wish all of you the best in your own individual yoga practice. ~Namaste!

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