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23.1.17

Yoga is So Easily Accessible and For Everyone!

I took an intro class for my very first yoga practice. It's crucial to your yoga practice to do this, to have a certified instructor guide you through the poses and breathing. The entire premise of yoga is breathing and understanding the mechanisms of each pose. That's where the benefit lies. I can't stress enough how critical it is to first have that understanding from an expert.

However, it's not cheap. Each class is $12-20 (depending on how many classes you purchase, the more you buy the less you pay per class. The most expensive is drop-in). A gym membership will run you anywhere from $30 to $60 a month. Yoga is $90 to $150! Wow! Quite the difference. That's for one person. For a whole family, that's just too much 😕 That's also not including child care if you need it. Thankfully, currently I can work around my husbands schedule, so he can watch little itty bitty. Though it means we can't do a practice it together.

However, it's genius to be able to do it at home while my little one is just beside me playing. Or I can do it when she's sleeping, but that doesn't usually happen. When she sleeps I usually take time for my own R & R. As relaxing as Yoga is, it doesn't beat just chillin on the couch with a book and tea hehe.

It's unfortunate it's so much of a cost, but I assume it's genuinely due to lower numbers compared to a gym. Oh if only more people did Yoga! Haha ... well I guess they need to get past the stigma like I did. That's why I'm here with this blog though 👍



Ok, moving on ... !

YouTube! What a great resource it's been! I'm doing Yoga at home using YouTube. There are a great many practitioners out there, who have Yoga practices on their channels. You can find whatever you're looking for! I like the strength aspect, so I always search 'Yoga Strength'. The video's number in the thousands. I haven't even scratched the surface. You do have to watch the video (while practising is probably a good idea 😉 ) to know if you like the sequence or the practitioner's guidance, but it's worth it. I started with shorter practices, that way if I didn't feel I got enough of a benefit from one, I would do another one. This way I've learned many poses already. I don't find a lot of them play music, so I also search 'yoga music' on my alternate device and play music via that. Sometimes they've asked for a donation, and I certainly don't see any issue with that. Beats paying $150 a month if you can't afford that. They're doing a wonderful service, providing Yoga classes to everyone! (If you find that they're a good teacher and benefiting you).

Right now I'm hooked on 'Yoga with Tim'. He's really fantastic. He explains each pose in vivid  detail, yet he's not boring. He gives a good visual to help you understand where your limbs should be. His voice is calming. He really helps you learn. He has long and short vids, and all sorts. He really has everything. I don't want to necessarily recommend one guru over another, because I haven't even touched on so many, but I have to recommend him. He's truly a wonderful teacher.

Then there's subscription sites. There are quite a few sites that offer a yearly subscription for a variety of Yoga practices. Similiar to YouTube, you would watch this via the device you use to connect online. These range at about $100 annually. Not too bad. Also, even better, I discovered a bunch of Groupons for these sites at a discount of about 75%! I haven't tried these yet, but it's a great idea I think.

Not only does Groupon have coupons for those, but there are discounted coupons for Yoga studios as well! That's another avenue to pursue.

There are ways to save money, you just have to try. Know that the universe is providing for you! 

There you have it! Anyone can do Yoga for any price! If you can afford a studio, that's clearly the best option (unless you genuinely suffer from social anxiety). You meet like-minded people, you register so you have to be there (you can't just forgo it, if that's a concern for you then this is a viable option to get you doing it), and you have your teacher right there with you, guiding you. However, it's so easy to do it in the comfort of your own home! There's no pressure, it's so simple, you don't have to dress in fancy Yoga wear, and no one is around to hear if you pass some gas (which you will!).  😁 Both have their benefit. If you do suffer from social anxieties, you need to know that Yoga is about non-judgement and acceptance. It's intended to be a wholly inviting atmosphere. If you feel judged or uncomfortable, they're doing it wrong, find yourself another studio pronto! And as with anything, remember, everyone had to start somewhere.

There are a few new studios where I live, and I'm thinking of trying those out. I shall update on my progress when I do. Until then ... peace my friends.  💕

Today's Focus Pose: Childs Pose / Balasana

Alike the name implies, we're resting/feeling like a child. Legs down and bent or folded over each other, with our chest laid atop them, head down, arms stretched out in front, hands resting on the floor. This is a resting post. A retreating pose. It's a good post to go to if the practice gets a bit tough, or you just need a little release. We can also start in this pose. This will stretch the back, neck, and arms. And legs if you're a little tight there.

Today's Yoga For Thought

I actually took this from Martin Luther King Jr (I was reading up on him, what an incredible person he was!). So it's not Yoga per-say, but it still fits. 

"I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right temporarily defeated is stronger than evil triumphant."

16.1.17

Peace Be With You (but not in a religious way, sorry)

I've been doing Yoga now for a few weeks. It's been great. I feel happier, and more alive. How is it that Yoga so remarkably achieves this?! It's quite fantastic. Now I get it, the soccer Yoga Moms. My God, I'm one on them. What's happening?! Well, I'm in it now. Over my head. This. Is. Happening. While I'm discriminating, let's not forget there are also Yoga Dads too. Bless their hearts, we're all wonderful.




I've focused on strength Yoga. That's just my gig, I like strength and I like keeping it interesting. I also like feats of muscle strength (alike being the first among all my gal-pals to do full, unassisted chin up and pull ups. That kind of stuff just rocks my world). I haven't experienced extreme muscle soreness (like with the weight lifting), yet I have noticed my muscle tone (definition) improving. I should note that I've started magnesium supplements, and those are probably helping a great amount with my DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness). I've also gone down a size. While I don't weigh myself, or focus on the mirror too long - which is absolutely an exercise in futility, but more on that another day - I just know that my clothes are fitting a bit loose. Well, my pregnancy pants haha. I actually can not wear them any more! Yay! 

WHAT I'VE LEARNED
 
Yoga, as we know it in North America, is derived from the 8 Limbs. What I'm practising at the moment is Asana, meaning poses. But Yoga is actually a heck of a lot more than mere poses. The 8 Limbs of Yoga delves much deeper, and this is only a part of it. It takes much dedication, practice, and natural strength of spirit to become a master of the 8 Limbs. This is the basis for my blog name. The 8 Limbs of Yoga -> Out on a Limb -> Owl on a Limb. (I like owls and they like me. So I utilized a little play on words. Your trivia for today!).

Yoga sessions are called 'practices'. That's weird, but whatever. I guess it helps differentiate it from a typical, average work out. And not all practices are workouts either. But the stretching ... oh the stretching. You haven't lived until you've stretched every inch of your body.
 


Today's Focus Pose: Corpse Pose / Savasana

I think this name is humorous. But then again, so is downward dog. Ah well. This pose is quite literally like it sounds. Lay flat on the ground, like the dead. This is a very important pose. At the end of your practice, it's important to relax. This is the true essence of yoga. The 'peace'. This is where you zone out after a good practice, and let all your cares float away. If at least for 5 minutes. It's alike the cooling down phase of vigorous exercise.Except you close your eyes, act like a dead weight, and feel comprehensive peace.

Yoga for Thought
"When you find peace within yourself, you become the kind of person who can live at peace with others." ~ Peace Pilgrim

14.1.17

Welcome to Owl on a Limb, my adventures in Yoga.



So ... hello there! How are ya?

2016 ... what a year. Am I right?! It was a terrible, awful year for some. Not for me though. I had a great year. 2016, the year of the monkey, saw the birth of my beautiful baby girl, and one heck of a change in me. My daughter and I also happen to be monkeys. So, it was a good year for us, if only us alone 😉. This post may be a little long, I apologize in advance, but it's the first one. They may not all be so detailed.

So this change happened ... how do I describe it? I went from being a disorganized, chronically absent-minded, thriving on chaos, A type personality; To a calm, organized, B type personality obsessed with clarity and order. I also started to love myself as I am. Really love myself, not just force it. I went from being obsessed with my physical appearance, to wanting to just be me and to not live according to other people's rules. Now, pregnancy does do this to a person- it certainly changes you. This is my second child, and each pregnancy has changed me immensely. Always for the better. But the strangest part .... 

YOGA! I tried Yoga. Now this may not seem that strange. I used to be a body builder. I had to stop while pregnant, due to forces beyond my control (namely this little human alien taking over my body and causing me much physical stress. Bed rest was in order). I was NOT the Yoga type. I laughed at yogi's. What was the soccer Mom is now the 'Yoga Mom'. No thanks. I like strength, I liked to push my body to extremes, and I like to run hard. Yoga was not for me. But I can't explain it, not at all. I started changing my life. I reorganized my house, I got rid of so much useless stuff in my house (of which I could never part with before). I cleaned up my house, I cleaned up my act ... it's been amazing. I tried getting back into weight lifting, but I don't have energy to keep up with it as truly required (and that hurts my motivation to keep at it) and I also was suffering from it. Great pain in my muscular and skeletal system. I can't say why, but I'm assuming it's that this little gal is sucking up my much needed nutrients. It's ok, she needs them more.  But I'm not the type who can just rest on my laurels. I did need something. I still run, but running was causing me to hurt also. And, well, it's so hard to get out some days when you've got a newborn. I am honestly lucky if I've gotten out 3 times a week for a run. Most weeks it's twice, many times it's been once. Oye! It's ok, I haven't been interested in beating myself up about these things any more. But I needed something ...

Then, I went to a Yoga class. Something in me was definitively altered and I wanted to try it.

And .... I liked it. I liked it a LOT. I'm surprised. What I discovered was not a bunch of sitting around 'oommmming', rather it was this calming, yet tough routine. (Or rather, what is called a 'practice'). It made me feel like heaven, invigorated and revived. The feeling I had during that introductory yoga class, was unlike anything else. It was empowering. And I wanted more! I had no idea this was what yoga was. It's not just stretching, and some weird ass poses. And there's no chanting. LOL, not that I thought there was 😁. It's so much more. 

Thus, I decided to start a blog, chronicling my adventures in yoga! And maybe, I can cause some anti-yogi's out there to give it a shot. Because, you *probably* won't regret it. It doesn't have to be your only routine or exercise, it can add to everything else you do. But it also can be your only exercise. I'm going to tell you all about it in the coming posts. And, I even bought a mat. This is fo' real friends. I'm doing yoga, and I love it.  ❤

And I'm going to take you on that journey with me. I still have much to learn. It's been a few weeks now. I'm reading a lot on it, and I'm doing a practice every other day. My primary goal is strength, but I get so much more out of it than that. Stayed tuned hey?

Namaste

Ok, maybe not. I'm not ready to start 'namasteying' just yet ... Maybe I'll get there? Or maybe I'll always think it's silly. But yoga is not silly, like I used to think it.