December Yoga Experience: Day 1

Yoga is invigoration in relaxation.  Freedom in routine.
Confidence through self control.  Energy within and energy without.
~Ymber Delecto

December 2010 marks the nine-year anniversary of my yoga practice. To honor my journey, I purchased the December Holiday Pass at Inner Bliss Yoga Studio, which enables me to one class every day (except Christmas) for the month.

I’m really looking forward to practicing every day–I’m even going to practice yoga on Christmas morning–because I know how amazing I’ll feel, both mentally and physically. I just finished a three-week Experience guided by Tammy Lyons, the lovely owner of Inner Bliss, where we cleansed ourselves by eating whole foods, drinking plenty of water, and practicing yoga five days a week, among other activities. During the Experience, I remember feeling so wonderful after doing yoga two days in a row, so when the opportunity came for a daily experience, I saw the gift before me.

To enhance my daily practice, I’m also committing to many of the new habits I formed after the Experience, including eating whole foods, drinking a half gallon of water daily, giving gratitude before eating, cleansing with a fruit fast, listening to my body, and journaling.

I’m especially excited to write about my daily practice and the changes I see in myself. Though a writer for years, this will be my first time expressing about yoga so intently. I also welcome a deeper, richer practice, where I am fearless on my mat, open to meaningful conversations with myself, and more aware of the world around me. As in yoga, I will take this experience one day at a time, and cherish every moment.

Today was my first class, and Kimberly was the teacher. She asked us to set an intention for the class, and she gave out some recommendations, including the one I chose: “soften your heart.” What a beautiful image to invision while I practiced. Thank you, Kimberly! I flowed smoothly through the class, noticing my strength; feeling my heart lifted and free; leaving behind the thoughts that did not serve me. When it came time to rest in savasana, my mind felt  at ease.

After one yoga class, and at least 29 more to go, I am excited for the journey ahead. Tomorrow is a new day, a different class, a unique experience. I invite you to join me on this journey to bliss, one day at a time.

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You can still sign up for Inner Bliss’ December Holiday Pass:

  1. Go to www.innerblissyogastudio.com
  2. Select “Schedule of Classes” in the top navigation
  3. Select “Online Store” in the top-left navigation
  4. Select “Classes” for “What kind of Series or Membership would you like?”
  5. Select “Daily Holiday Pass for December from 12/1-12/31 at $149” for “Which Series or Membership would you like?”
  6. Select “Make Purchase”
  7. Log in to or create a new Inner Bliss account

The Experience: Week 1

I have been doing the experience for an entire week now, and I am feeling great. I really think it takes a week to let my body adjust to the changes and notice how good I feel…and how not great I feel when I eat something not whole.

Case in point: Dan, Jim and I went out for Chinese food yesterday. I ordered tofu and broccoli in a szechuan sauce, and I felt OK but not as good as if I would have made it at home. Plus, I didn’t miss the white rice at all! And I am also noticing that I don’t need to eat that much to feel full.

The yoga has been inspiring, especially Dawn’s class yesterday. It was my first class with her, and the way she lead it made me feel strong yet balanced and full of energy. I welcomed child’s pose; I forgot how wonderful cat and cow pose are; we got to fly as crows.

I am forgiving myself a little this weekend with Jim’s visit as I am doing the best that I can while still being social. I am also noticing that place where I usually get pizza (we went to Bar Cento on Friday night) also has lovely scallops and broccoli rabe–which is what I had, and it was delicious!

I truly don’t miss alcohol at all. I do love having a glass of wine with friends or Dan, but I am thankful that neither Dan or I are big drinkers. We enjoy it now and then, but we definitely don’t need it to have a good time.

Last night, we went to the Brite Winter Festival in the Flats. While the website promised so much, what we walked into was a bunch of people standing around, some by the two roaring hobo fires, drinking in the cold and snow while a rock band (for lack of a better word) played inside a glowing cube (we think, anyway, as we couldn’t really see them, and not for the huge crowd but for the lack of desire to wander any closer). Dan and I are pretty sure this is the same festival we went to when we first moved here, but that one had snowboarders and was located with a better view of the river. Anyways, it was something to check out–you never know what you’ll get in Cleveland.

Today I will head to Kristin’s class in the afternoon, which is always a nice way to ease into Sunday evening.

What’s for lunch?

Angelina and I went to Good ‘n Raw for lunch today and got the “Tuna” salad, made with a mix of nuts, spices, celery and red onion, and Two Moms in the Raw Pesto Sea Cracker, made from a seed mix. Both are really tasty!

So far, the Experience is going well. I had red meat last night and could definitely feel is sitting in my stomach all night long. I have thought about giving up meat altogether, and last night made a good case for it.

Tonight, I am going to yoga and there will be a DJ spinning music. So much fun!!!

First evening of the Inner Biss Yoga Experience

Tonight I am starting a 3-week journey to get to know myself better. I will be doing lots of yoga, nourishing and hydrating myself, taking time to listen to my body and gain a deeper understanding and a brighter clarity about the world.

I am going to use the blog to post about my experiences as well as journal my body listening. Plus, I will share photos and recipes of food I make and any other musings that come along. 🙂

Tonight, after a deep meditation about where I want to be after this whole experience, I came home to a clean home and made some apples and peanut butter as a snack. For dinner, some roasted butternut squash and green tea.

My motto for this journey: just enough. And to invest in myself so that I can have more of myself to give. So beautiful!