Catching up with the letters Q and R

I got a little behind there for a couple of days. Sorry about that! Today I’m going to catch up with the April A-Z blogging challenge with the letters Q and R. 🙂

QQuotes

Honestly…I could not find a single pose that starts with the letter Q! But there are some lovely quotes floating around out there in cyber space, so I thought I’d apply a couple of them to my own thoughts around my home practice.

th2I admit it…yoga doesn’t meet the usual definition of working out. We aren’t racing our bicycles down the highway or dancing in a zumba class or running on a treadmill in a gym. We’re in our bare feet, doing what looks, to the uninitiated, like a lot of stretching. We’re sweating lightly instead of moping it off our faces with a towel. We’re slightly out of breath instead of gasping for air. When our practice is over, we lay down on the floor like we’re all taking naps together in kindergarten. We’re smiling and looking peaceful and trusting. We’re breathing with the effort, softening, looking inward, setting intention and releasing what doesn’t serve us.

 

th7I practice yoga for a lot of reasons. One of the main reasons is that I want to be strong. And happily, what I’ve have found since I’ve been practicing  two to three times each week is that it’s working. I’ve been getting stronger. Physically stronger. Poses are easier to get into. I can stay in them longer. I can bend into them deeper.

Let me say it right out: Yoga builds physical strength.

Because we move through the poses using our own body weight, the muscles develop in a natural way … following the natural movements of the body.

This feels so much more natural to me than going to the gym and lifting weights, listening to the clank and clatter of the metal disks and the loud pumping music.

th1What I enjoy about building strength through yoga is that my brain feels just as refreshed as my body does when I’m finished.

I always feel as though the day has slowed down and I’ve slipped those 30 or 60 minutes into it, like a love letter into the envelope of my day. ♥

*  *  *

RAnd for the letter R… the Rag Doll pose

 

 

 

rag-doll-300x240

th5If the small of your back doesn’t care to have the entire weight of your upper body hanging off those few vertebra, go ahead and do a forward bend.

 

If you can’t touch your fingers to the floor, bend your knees, or use a block or a book or even a couple of soup cans to raise the floor closer to your hands. Whatever it takes.

 

 

th6Or do it sitting on a chair.

Perfection! …and some poses that start with the letter P

This morning I decided to finally sew the borders onto a quilt top that I made a few years ago. (Yes, yes, I’m a very s.l.o.w. sewer. You knew that, right?)

quilt6

the sun was so bright, the picture is a bit washed out!

Anyway, as I was ironing the top, I got to thinking that maybe it was a bit clownish looking with all the bright colours. I mean…I like bright colours. I like them a lot! But maybe the person who I want to give this quilt to won’t like them so much.

quilt2

the tulips opened this morning!

But then I remembered how much she loves spring.

quilt3

And then I remembered the pictures I  included in yesterday`s blog post.
And hey!
The colours are exactly the same!
Exactly!

quilt4

Dilemma solved, I spent the afternoon on my hands and knees basting top, backing and batting together.

quilt5

This one will be hand quilted as it is for a Very Important Person who is long overdue for some quilty love from me. ♥ It’s a nice lap size…perfect for snuggling up with a cup of cocoa and a good book.

quilt1

 

PAnd now for your yoga pose of the day.

Oh my gosh, there are a lot of poses that begin with the letter P. Which one to choose???

 

 

PeacockThere’s the Peacock pose…there’s no way I can do this, but what a fabulous name it has! I love peacocks. Except they sure don’t sound as pretty as they look.

I would give my eye teeth to be able to do this. Doing arm balances some day is my goal. Maybe not this particular one, though…

plowposeAnd then there’s the Plow…I used to do this but I never liked it. Now that I’m older, I’m too afraid of taking risks with my neck.

So here’s a yoga tip from me:There are NO YOGA POLICE telling you that you have to do something that you don’t feel secure trying. Like standing on your head. Or doing the plow. Listen to your gut and work with your own personal abilities.

plankHow about Plank? This is one I can do. In fact, I do it in every single yoga practice! I love plank! I can’t hold it for very long, but I love how it makes me feel strong. It’s great for getting strong all over. Arms, back, legs, and especially the middle. I don’t know about you, but I can use all the help I can get in the middle…

 

A few thoughts on blogging… and OM for the letter O

As I said to a friend in an email conversation today, reading blogs is like eating vegetables. You either love ’em or you hate ’em.

tulips in the front rock garden

tulips in the front rock garden

We were talking about blogging as a means of communication. For the people who love me, reading my blog isn’t necessarily a good method of connecting because unless you leave a comment and start a conversation, it’s one-way communication. There’s no intimacy. It’s me communicating something to the entire rest of the world about what’s going on in my life. It’s hard to be lumped in with the rest of the world. I get it.

rock cress

rock cress

With a couple of exceptions, people who comment on my blog and have a short little off-line conversation with me (because I do answer comments!) are people I’ve never met in person.

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the strawberries are starting to bloom already!

I thought the blog might be a nice bonus…a way for family and friends to have an extra little window on my life outside of regular correspondence…which isn’t always as regular as it should be.

pic1

Maybe for me, blogging is sort of like being that annoying person who sends those sappy emails around, just to let everyone know they’re still alive.

OOm

Om is the sound that you often hear made at the beginning and end of a yoga session. In the classroom, it says “let everything outside go and be in the moment. this is your time and space for being on the mat.”

omOm represents mind, body and spirit.

It is said that Om was the first sound at the beginning of time, that the sound Om contains the entire universe.

Om written in Sanskrit has become the symbol of yoga practice. It is pronounced in three syllables: a, u and m.

Om is a powerful meditation tool. Spending a few moments of quiet contemplation with the sound of om is very restful. Listening almost immediately puts me at peace.