Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Inspirational Quote of the Day


The other day I discovered this amazing lady named Karen Salmansohn - quite by accident (but we all know that when you're meant to learn something, the Universe puts people in your path to teach you - so it really isn't an accident, is it?)  Karen is a best selling author of several books, and a motivational speaker.  Her words/posters really struck a chord within me, and I hope you find them helpful and inspiring too.  You can find Karen at her website http://notsalmon.com/



“…What if I told you 10 years from now your life would be exactly the same?  Doubt you'd be happy.  So, why are you afraid of change?”


– Karen Salmansohn


 


Thursday, 19 April 2012

Bird Talk....and Furry Invaders

I'm sitting here at my keyboard.  The full length glass doors are open, allowing me a *ahem* bird's eye view (see what I did there? LOL) of the birds and a front row seat at the Concert of Bird Song.  Birds, in varying shapes and sizes, colours and personalities dance in front of my eyes.  Happily diving into the feeders, providing me with endless entertainment and filling me with gratitude. If you follow me on Twitter, you'll probably have noted that I'm often yammering on about the birds at the feeders.  Can you tell it's something that brings me peace and joy?  I am completely, head-over-heels in love with birds.  It truly is like my own little bird sanctuary here. To hear nothing but birdsong is a pleasure for the ears, heart and soul.  It renews my faith, lifts my spirits and watching them flittering around, doing their bird thing, makes me smile.  Such a simple thing really.  As my gramma would say, "it warms the cockles of my heart"  ;) 

One of the pleasures I take is providing lots of bird feeders in different places with different types of feed, so that I can have all types of birds come and visit.  I have 4 different types of food that I use all the time, and a few extras every so often.  People often ask how I get so many birds to come 'round my place, and I think just having lots of food options and some water is a good way to get them to swing by (and will encourage them to tell their birdy friends)  I guess the biggest thing is to have patience, and they do eventually show up.  Stick a feeder in your yard, and see how many birds you can attract.  I love to be able to tick off another bird in the Peterson's Field guide that has visited.  It's a fun game, and a rewarding one too.  Just make sure you keep a camera handy, so you can get a snapshot of your latest visitor.  :)

My biggest nemesis are the squirrels or as I like to refer to them as Furry Invaders (as the squirrels shall be known henceforth).  We have a lot.  And boy, do they like to take over.  As often as I try to distract them, they always seem to go after my feeders.  I have a couple of squirrel proof feeders, which in itself is great fun to watch the squirrel try every trick in the book to get at the food, to be foiled at every turn.  I do have a number of other feeders that need some more baffling and perhaps relocation to discourage the four legged invaders.  I'm often heard bemoaning, "why can't you all get along and share???" in my frustrated-as-hell voice, when the Furry Invaders arrive on the scene and birds are scattering.  As annoying as they can be at times, they sure do provide me with much amusement.  I try to dump some extra seed on the ground away from the feeders in hopes that Furry Invaders will not bother the feeders.  It works for a short while, but there are just so many of them, that sooner than later, they're climbing all over the feeders trying to get at the treasure inside.  Ah well, what can I say, I actually don't mind the furry little buggers.  They make me laugh.  When they're not scaring my birds.  ;)

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Yoga DVDs


Do you practice yoga regularly? Do you go to a studio, and practice with a teacher or do you practice at home,  using some sort of media - be it a podcast, audio, or dvd instruction? Or do you skip that altogether and just do your own thing?

I have a lot of yoga dvds, from many different styles and methods.  I've got some really gentle, restorative ones, as well as more athletic, power type dvds, and a variety of in-between.  My favs are by Kino MacGregor of Miami Life Center  (www.kinoyoga.com  and www.miamilifecenter.com ) - if you're into Ashtanga, I highly recommend her dvds.  Kino is an amazing teacher, and her dvds are very well done.

If you're not an Ashtanga practitioner, but are looking for some others to try, some of my other dvds that I enjoy include titles by:  Shiva Rea, Eoin Finn, Rodney Yee, Zyrka Landwujt, Seane Corne, Bryan Kest, Ravi Singh & Ana Brett, Maya Fiennes and Litsa Kapantais.  Yoga Journal also has many good dvds too.   I have so many dvds, and there are some more obscure ones that are just excellent too.  Just because they don't have a big name yogi starring in them, do not assume they aren't as good.

So, depending on my mood and how my body feels, as well as what kind of backdrop and teacher I feel like, I can pick and choose.  Some teachers are more mellow, while some are more up-beat.  Some are in tropical locales, while others are in a minimalist studio.  Do you want a powerful, sweaty yoga workout, or a slow-flow, gentle practice to stretch and quiet your mind?  There truly is a dvd out there to meet all of your criteria, and having a variety does help keep things interesting, as well as adaptable to your current needs.

While there are so many amazing dvds available, which I think is awesome, I do strongly encourage people to find themselves a good teacher, and, if possible, attend a regular yoga class.  It's important to have an experienced teacher assist you with alignment, to ensure that you have the best possible experience, and to help avoid injuries.  I know that not everyone is able to attend a class, but it really does make a huge difference.  A teacher is there to nourish you, to encourage you and to guide you on your yoga journey.  They're there to provide modifications for poses, answer any questions you may have and to provide feedback - things that dvds just cannot do.  Plus, the human interaction is important.  We sometimes forget how important it is.

The other day, I lay down in Savasana.  I had worked hard, and I was pleased with my practice.  My teacher gently covered me with a blanket.  Tucked in my feet.  She came back to my head, and kneeled.  She cradled my head between her hands, and gave me Reiki.  It was bliss.


Monday, 12 March 2012

Inspirational Quote of the Day

Today's quote, I found when I was checking out David Robson's "Learn to Float" dvd, found here: http://learntofloat.com/products/learn-to-float-video-on-dvd

 David is an amazing Ashtanga teacher of Ashtanga Yoga Centre Toronto, which is home to Canada's largest Mysore program. (http://www.ashtangatoronto.com)  Be sure to check him out! :)


“…Yoga, as a way of life and as a philosophy, can be practiced by anyone with an inclination to under take it, for yoga belongs to humanity as a whole. It is not the property of any one group or any individual, but can be followed by any and all, in any corner ofthe globe, regardless of class, creed or religion.”


– Sri K. Pattabhi Jois

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Forced Hiatus and Being Gentle with Yourself

As you may have noticed, it's been a bit since I last posted.  Well, I landed myself a nasty bladder infection and a cold thingy and you know how you feel when you're sick, right? Yup, you don't feel up to doing anything.  As you can imagine, my practice suffered during this time.  I tried valiantly a few times to drag myself onto the mat, only to collapse in a sad-sack heap, waiting for the world to end.  Ok, it wasn't that bad, but there are times when you can try to push through your practice, and other times when you should just be in bed. Anything involving forward bends was killer on my bladder.  Hah! Not too much bending in yoga, eh? LOL So that cuts out an awful lot of practice. Hey! I could rock Savasana, right? Wrongo.  My bladder decided it didn't like me laying flat on my back.  Bummer.  So, the end result was that the Universe was telling me to take a wee break, and rest my body.  Quite frankly, I think it's rested enough, but what do I know? Who am I to question the great Universe in all its Infinite wisdom ;)


Friday, 13 January 2012

De-cluttering

My house looks like a bomb went off in it.  I like to think that after the holidays EVERYONE'S house looks a little like this - the profusion of decorations, once bright and merry, now dim and forlorn. The  general stuff that seems to accumulate during this time - dishes, remnants of presents, laundry, rows of empty booze bottles, Uncle Sam's toupee (that fell off when he was sleeping off the turkey after Christmas Dinner) - you know, the usual stuff.  Things don't get put back where they belong, and you say "meh, I'll get to it. It's the holidays! I can do whatevah I want!" So little by little, it builds up and before you know it: CLUTTER APOCALYPSE!  I can't be the only one, right?? *Pleeeeeease tell me I'm not alone ;) *...

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Holday eating and Recovery

It's hard to believe that the New Year is upon us already!  I don't know about you, but I enjoyed eating lots of great food, downing sugary drinks/alcohol, cookies and other delightful treats.  I ate A LOT of turkey, stuffing and gravy - Mmmmmm, gravy :))   I had finally eliminated soda from my diet, and was doing well with that, until New Year's Eve in which I imbibed heavily on the colas.  Ooops!

Do you want to know my food philosophy? It's an easy one.  If you're going to indulge, make sure you indulge in something you LOVE to eat. Something that you absolutely freaking adore.  Don't waste calories eating treats that taste so-so, just because they're right in front of you.  I have a friend who does this and it drives me nuts.  They'll eat it, because it's right there, but they complain that it doesn't taste good, or they don't like it.  I always tell them to stop eating it, immediately, and if they need a treat, get something they like.  No sense wasting perfectly good fat/calories on crap, right? :D   You'll enjoy the indulgence more, both physically and mentally.