This quote is pretty self explanatory but it completely makes sense. I remember before I found yoga really feeling bad about my body. Not that I was overweight but at times I just felt this heaviness and stiffness that just kind of just lived in me. It wasn’t until several classes into Bikram that I noticed most of those feelings disappear. In a sense I had not taken care of my “garden” and definitely had some “weeding” to do. I remember at times thinking that if I would just eat “healthier” maybe things would change, and maybe they would. But the feelings and challenges I discovered with exercise could not be generated through diet alone. You must move the body. As Shakespeare’s quote says “our wills are our gardeners”. So easy to comprehend but much harder to live by. Happy weekend!
First of all I’m not talking about the popcorn you get at the movie theatres with all of the butter on it. Secondly, certainly not GMO’d. But homemade popcorn with a little bit of nutritional yeast sprinkled on it can be a very healthy snack.
1. Popcorn is high in fiber. Most Americans, when it comes to fiber, only consume half of their daily intake. Fiber is known to help you stay regular and lower your risk of cardiovascular disease.
2. Popcorn is a good source of protein. Just 3 ounces of popcorn will provide you with 1/6 of your daily requirement.
3. Popcorn contains 0 sodium. For those of you out there who need to watch your sodium intake. You don’t have to think twice with this lovely snack!
4. Popcorn is a fat-free treat. As long as you don’t smother your popcorn with butter…this snack is completely fat-free!
5. Popcorn has no sugar. No low crashes when you indulge in this little treat. Need something to substitute that dessert cake for? Try a bowl of popcorn.
Sometimes our failure to grow and blossom is a source of great pain. During times of adversity, often we adapt to survive. These adaptations can be neurosis, rigidity, panic attacks, eating disorders. Every behavior that we do has served us in some way at some time. Children growing up in unsafe homes, may suffer from panic attacks later in life because of their body’s increased sense of arousal (this arousal may have been the child’s way of staying alert to danger). Often, however we hold onto these adaptations long after they have stopped serving us, and they, in turn, cause us pain. If you watch Mad Men (Matt and I are Mad Men junkies) you will know that in the final episode of the last season, Don Draper finally began changing. He could no longer stay the same because it was too painful, he had to begin talking about his real past. This quote applies to this situation perfectly. What is causing you pain? Are you too controlling, are you stressed out, do you take on too much work and are thus constantly busy? What isn’t serving you? What is causing you pain? And can you let go and blossom? Happy Weekend : )
This theme continues to pop up in my life over and over again. You can’t give 100% for 100% of the time. You need to create space because space is necessary for creativity, spontaneity, connection, and peace. Those of you who read this blog regularly know that I recently read Hell-Bent by Benjamin Lorr, and I have randomly been posting thoughts that arose from this book. In Hell-Bent, Lorr describes a yoga experience he had while taking a teacher training class from Tony Sanchez. Tony asks Lorr to back off of his practice, not to give 100 %. He explains that you cannot give 100% all of the time; that 100% is an illusion. Tony is quoted explaining “One hundred or even ninety percent is impossible to maintain. You will become exhausted. Mentally if not physically. Terrified of practicing the yoga you love because it is draining you not replenishing you…But even if you could practice at that intensity-even if you were so strong, you would never become exhausted-it would be undesirable. You can’t make adjustments at your edge. You can’t listen to your body. For regular practice, seventy-five percent is fine-you will never tire out and in the long run you will grow much stronger”. Tony tells Ben that many people have a beautiful practice in the Bikram world and then burn out because of this accepted belief that you should give 100% in every class.
This idea is true not only in the yoga studio, but also for life. If you are too busy, if your day is too full, and if you are giving 100% of your energy, there is nothing left for reflection. There is no time to make adjustments, to improve, learn, transform. Yoga is a practice. Life is a practice. Practices are meant to be practiced everyday, forever. They aren’t destinations that you arrive to. This is true for health as well. Americans look at health as a destination, a place that you get to, and then you get to relax, but health is really a practice that must be done everyday through lifestyle choices.
If Tony Sanchez is right, then slowing down, backing off, giving a little less each time, and creating space will actually make you stronger in the long run. In the yoga studio, it means you have more space to make adjustments, to improve postures, to focus on your breath and your mind. In life, it means you have more space to reflect, to improve, to make changes in your thinking, or behavior patterns, or the way that you relate to others. Or, the way you relate to yourself.
“You can’t make adjustments at your edge. You can’t listen to you body. For regular practice seventy-five percent is fine-you will never tire out and in the long run you will grow much stronger”
On Labor Day the weather was beautiful. In the morning I opened the door to see what it felt like outside, only to discover that it was a perfect morning. Have you ever noticed how special morning is? There’s something wonderfully still and quiet about this time of day. The light is prettier, the earth is quieter and stiller (especially on a weekend morning) and your mind is fresh, still warming up after the night’s hibernation. There was something about this particular morning that gave me the urge to go outside. I filled up my cup of coffee and walked down to Lover’s Point (a point on the Pacific Grove, Ca coast). I sat there, on the wall with my coffee and just enjoyed the sound of the ocean, the solitude, and the stillness of this time of day. I felt a calm come over me. I watched the ocean ebb and flow along the sand and it was definitely a simple pleasure.
Apparently I’m doing everything possible to avoid working on my graduate school writing assignment for the week. Enjoy the fruits of my procrastination. I just thought this was a beautiful image.