Hildegard

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  1. KristiSmithYoga liked a post in a topic by Hildegard in Processing My Yoga vs Social Media Yoga   
    While I appreciate that social media can be a huge positive influence in many people's practice, it just doesn't work for me. I'm super self-conscious and avoid having my picture taken even under the best of circumstances. I tried sharing a few images during one of Candace's earlier challenges and while it helped (I wasn't where I thought I was with a certain pose), I can get the benefits from having an external perspective on my practice without sharing it with the rest of the world. It doesn't help that I love photography and thus would end up stressing out over the quality of the photo, the untidy background and so on.
    I sometimes get tempted to make a video of certain poses every now and then, but I can't find a decent angle to capture myself doing the pose and I'm not going to break out the tripod just to see if that would help, nor do I want to ask other people in the room to take my picture. I don't want to feel like I'm performing yoga rather than just doing yoga, if that makes any sense.
    I'm with Robbie and Robert here. As Robbie suggests, what pictures I take of myself live on my tablet and tablet alone. And like Robbie, I'm best friends with the floor: lots of kissy times between me and the floor
     
    At the end of the day, we have to do what's most helpful to us.
  2. KristiSmithYoga liked a post in a topic by Hildegard in Processing My Yoga vs Social Media Yoga   
    While I appreciate that social media can be a huge positive influence in many people's practice, it just doesn't work for me. I'm super self-conscious and avoid having my picture taken even under the best of circumstances. I tried sharing a few images during one of Candace's earlier challenges and while it helped (I wasn't where I thought I was with a certain pose), I can get the benefits from having an external perspective on my practice without sharing it with the rest of the world. It doesn't help that I love photography and thus would end up stressing out over the quality of the photo, the untidy background and so on.
    I sometimes get tempted to make a video of certain poses every now and then, but I can't find a decent angle to capture myself doing the pose and I'm not going to break out the tripod just to see if that would help, nor do I want to ask other people in the room to take my picture. I don't want to feel like I'm performing yoga rather than just doing yoga, if that makes any sense.
    I'm with Robbie and Robert here. As Robbie suggests, what pictures I take of myself live on my tablet and tablet alone. And like Robbie, I'm best friends with the floor: lots of kissy times between me and the floor
     
    At the end of the day, we have to do what's most helpful to us.
  3. KristiSmithYoga liked a post in a topic by Hildegard in Processing My Yoga vs Social Media Yoga   
    While I appreciate that social media can be a huge positive influence in many people's practice, it just doesn't work for me. I'm super self-conscious and avoid having my picture taken even under the best of circumstances. I tried sharing a few images during one of Candace's earlier challenges and while it helped (I wasn't where I thought I was with a certain pose), I can get the benefits from having an external perspective on my practice without sharing it with the rest of the world. It doesn't help that I love photography and thus would end up stressing out over the quality of the photo, the untidy background and so on.
    I sometimes get tempted to make a video of certain poses every now and then, but I can't find a decent angle to capture myself doing the pose and I'm not going to break out the tripod just to see if that would help, nor do I want to ask other people in the room to take my picture. I don't want to feel like I'm performing yoga rather than just doing yoga, if that makes any sense.
    I'm with Robbie and Robert here. As Robbie suggests, what pictures I take of myself live on my tablet and tablet alone. And like Robbie, I'm best friends with the floor: lots of kissy times between me and the floor
     
    At the end of the day, we have to do what's most helpful to us.
  4. Hildegard liked a post in a topic by Robbie in Processing My Yoga vs Social Media Yoga   
    I echo this sentiment SJP42. I get a lot of motivation from watching, but I am not compelled to share either.
    I am also someone who regularly makes kissy friends with the floor. Sometimes the floor and I have to get a room 
  5. yogafire liked a post in a topic by Hildegard in Best Yoga to Lose Weight   
    I'm with Robbie here. Cutting out entire food groups seems too extreme for my taste and not all that sustainable in the long term. I love food, and the wider range of things I eat, the happier I am. A time eventually comes when you truly look forward to your pasta (or quinoa) with sautéed Brussel sprouts.
    Also, I'd take my focus away from losing X amount of weight. I don't weight myself. Instead, I focus on making sure my clothing fits right (I still have clothes I used to wear some fifteen years ago when I know for a fact I was thinner), on how my body feels, how much exercise I'm able to do before getting too tired to move*, how much stronger I'm becoming. Maybe working with a doctor to have an idea as to what your blood pressure, cholesterol levels, etc. are like will give you an idea as to how healthy you are at this moment and what goals you want to reach as far as your health and overall well being.
    Vinyasa, ashtanga and power yoga have all helped me lose weight, but hatha and yin yoga have also helped me stay on healthy levels. I see a lot more muscle definition on my legs than before I started a daily, consistent yoga practice and it's not a super demanding program either. I try to alternate days with a strong, physical practice with days that are more about subtle details. That way I don't get overwhelmed or bored.
    _____________________
    * Not really because I have severe anaemia and I get tired way more easily than I'd like, but you get the idea.
  6. Hildegard liked a post in a topic by SJP42 in Yoga fails   
    Recently, I knew I was going into class extremely stressed out.  I made myself go to this class, when what I really wanted was to go home and cry.
    I promised myself that I needed to go to this class, I needed to take care of myself.   You can't pour from an empty cup, right?

    The one thing I can count on in class is that my mat is always right where I put it.   Under my feet and on top of the very dependable floor. 
    (You can always trust that the floor is going to hold up, it's end of the bargain)

    Early in class, we had just finished gentle  passes through Cat and Cow.  The first balance challenged comes up.  
    Extending opposite arm and leg.
    I'm there...  I feel wobbly so I extend both a little more... reaching higher.... and the next thing I know...  I am over on my side.
    Still stressed out, but improving....  while laying on the floor, I "mooo'd".....   
    My class mates all tip over like dominoes and laughing.... our instructor laughed.... and said " When we fall over, sometimes it is like cow tipping"
     It took a good few minutes before we were all back on our mats
     
  7. Hildegard liked a post in a topic by SJP42 in Processing My Yoga vs Social Media Yoga   
    I needed a place to put this...  and this seemed the best place.
     
    I know that there are a lot of topics of Yoga in Social Media... and they aren't wrong, they just aren't for me.
    Maybe, in my previoius practice...  maybe.

    I love seeing all of the various  "challenges"..  a whole month or two weeks of balance, strength and other poses that might help to shake up a practice out of a rut. 
    Because we are all in danger of "ruts" in our practices and hobbies.
    I really enjoy watching people experience yoga....  from the very beginner to the most advanced instructor. 

    I have been invited to join in several of the "pose a day" challenges and I constantly drag my feet  to join...  I watch... but almost never do you see me in a photo or a "selfie".

    Maybe I am at a place where my practice is truly between my mat and I.......  not between me and anyone else.
    My mat knows that I am struggling to get back to the most basic of head/hand stands....  I am not compelled to share it with anyone.

    I'm okay with talking about my practice, the physical challenges I am expereincing and where the world me and the mat me join to move through the world together.

    I love watching...  but I am just not compelled to share. 
    I'm alright with this, honoring the place where my pratice is....   I suppose I need to spend some more time letting go, of the things that don't serve me or my practice.


    I don't expect a response.... but I did need to share this with other people on the mat....  because you might get it more than someone who doesn't make kissy friends with the floor.
  8. YogaByCandace liked a post in a topic by Hildegard in 30 Day September Program   
    For this program my focus was on strengthening my headstand, as I have an unfortunate tendency to flip over more often than I'd like. I decided to switch my approach and try to do the pose with my knees close to my chest and from there lift them up, to make sure I was engaging my core properly.
    Now that the month of mindfulness is over, I'm delighted to say that the experiment worked. I'm back to my usual approach (one leg up, then the other either straight up or with my knee close to my chest) and I truly felt the difference. I'm much stronger and I really feel my forearms pressing on the map. And just yesterday I felt I was about to trip over - too many thoughts racing through my mind - and immediately, instinctively, my core tightened and I was able to regain control and slowly come out of the pose.
    I still have more work to do in the pose to perfect it, but I'm getting there. It's nice to feel and see some substantial progress for once.
  9. Hildegard liked a post in a topic by Anahata in After many years I still find new ‘spots’ Halasana   
    I think pointing or flexing depends on the pose and what you want to get out of it. In this pose I was trying to get a stretch on the tops of the feet and ankles. I have bad feet and need this. Flexing would be a stretch on the bottom. Sometimes pointing gets the energy to travel through the center of the legs and outward. Flexing contains it. Flexing the feet brings strength into the legs for seated postures and standing postures as well. Other times we point or flex the toes to protect the knees in hip opening poses. I don’t think that one should be taken too far. What happens if we lose the engagement/protection of the muscles and put a sudden strain on the knee. Different muscles strengthen for each one. Maybe it just looks or feels nicer to us. Probably many more reasons as well. “The toes are part of the pose” Haha
  10. Hildegard liked a post in a topic by Anahata in After many years I still find new ‘spots’ Halasana   
    I always knew Halasana with the toes tucked under. I was following one of my videos the other day. When I get to Halasana I obviously never see the teacher. For some reason I happened to notice that she practiced with the tops of her feet flat on the mat. If you try it maybe be careful, it was really intense on the tops of the feet for me. I also looked and this is the ‘proper’ way it is taught in Ashtanga. Has anyone else practiced or tried this way? Did your feet survive? 
  11. Hildegard liked a post in a topic by robert in Blocks and binds   
    This topic has been in active discussion on Security Now recently (an in-depth tech-y computer security podcast). If anyone is interested, here is the podcast: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dB9zKOJJYaI.
    I do see the issues involved, however I would much rather have a means of sporting content producers directly without having to deal with the noise of advertising.
    The big point which was raised on Security Now was that the owners of websites who display ads have little to no control over what those ads are, they could be obnoxious or utterly irreverent, the owner has no control.
    Google contributor (https://www.google.com/contributor/welcome/) seems like a good idea, it allows you to pay directly to google who then pays to sites when you would see an ad. However it pays directly without you seeing the ad.
    My point of view is that I'm hyper-sensitive to moving content, if there is any animated content at all on a text based page this makes the text unreadable as it's constantly detracting me. Because of which I use multiple layers of blocking, and use NoScript to disable JavaScript (as it's what runs most animated content). Without these measures the web today is un-useable.
    As above, I'd love to have a means of supporting sites directly. For example If there was a visible donation option at the beginning/end of posts, or mentioned by Candace in the videos, that would be great.
    I will not sign up for any kind of repeat-payment subscription period, no exceptions. The reason is that these can VERY easily become 'financial leaks' if you stop using something but forget about it. Also said services frequently aim to lock you in, and make it hard to get out. It is much easier to just not go there at all.
    My finances are limited, which is a chosen lifestyle as I value time over money, and use that to do volunteering in the local community. This is only possible as I'm extremity careful to avoid non-functional drains, and basically don't buy anything unless it serves an immediate, non superfluous, function to me. Website content may, and often does, fall into this category.
    The world would be a better place if things where based on trust instead of force, i.e. truing that people will donate/pay for something they find useful/interesting. It's a paradigm shift, and I feel lack of infrastructure is probably the big issue here.
  12. Hildegard liked a post in a topic by KristiSmithYoga in getting back into yoga and meditation   
    Hi Lauri! I'm sorry you are struggling, and the changes you mentioned are massive! Wow.
    I'm glad you found this forum. I'm the person yogafire mentioned earlier, and I've been there. We all have, in our own way, of course. But I was a signal mom...a (newly) single pregnant woman, so I can relate intimately to that. Things were so overwhelming in so many ways.
    Oh, I absolutely agree 100% with what everyone else wrote.
    Just to put it a Law of Attraction sort of thing out there...by the beginning of my 2nd trimester in 2002 I was earning just over minimum wage at an organic grocery store when I wandered into my first yoga class, which happened to be a prenatal class. The teacher was an incredible woman who studied under the late BKS Iyengar, and she ended up not charging me for my classes (she was also my doula - for free - at Sage's birth)! I don't know where you are at or what the local resources are, but you never know who may want to take you under her wing. It happened to me without me seeking it out. I'm not sure what advice I'm giving to you here in this regard, aside from just allowing your spirit to be open to opportunities that may arise. Because they do.
    Candace's videos are amazing and are of great quality. Also, at this point in time, you might benefit greatly from a restorative practice, especially if you are fatigued. In the Chicago area, several studios that offer teacher training programs also offer free community yoga classes to give their newly minted teachers an opportunity to practice teaching. Perhaps your area has those types of classes as well. But, don't pressure yourself to do yoga! If you want to try to sneak a little in when you aren't in the mood to do it, try telling yourself that all you are going to do is a short series of sun salutations...like three rounds of surya namaskar As. That will take you maybe two minutes. Do it in your pajamas and then allow yourself to go back to bed. If you find yourself wanting more after those three rounds, you can always do some more or pop in a YBC video. Just sayin'.
    Finally, yoga is so much more than the physical practice and maybe exploring Patanjali's sutras or other yogic teachings would help your spirit during these times. Seriously, yoga changed my life radically (yogafire already linked to part of my story in my yoga blog), and that was three years before I ever did a down dog. I'd be really game to chat/email or whatever my contact info (including cell phone) is on my yoga website in my profile and/or signature. Sending big hugs your way...I know this is a challenging time, but I can also promise you that there is a beautiful path just waiting to be discovered...
    Namaste.
     
  13. yogafire liked a post in a topic by Hildegard in getting back into yoga and meditation   
    I hope you don't mind an internet stranger giving you internet hugs, but it sure seems like you could use some. *hugs*
    You have a lot going on, so my main advice would be to try to avoid adding a new source of stress to your life. By this I mean that you should try to lower your expectations when it comes to yoga and meditation, not because I don't believe they can help you feel better and deal with all that stress (they absolutely can!), but because you want yoga to help you and not become a burden. The less you focus on what you want from yoga the more you can focus in the moment and what your practice is like.  This way you'll able to enjoy and appreciate your practice for what it is and the sense of peace it can bring. Let it be what it is on any given day without pushing yourself or mentally beating yourself up because your practice used to be different some time ago. Just do your best to be present in the moment, let your movements and your breath be your focus. Allow yourself a moment of not thinking and not worrying about your very real concerns and your stress levels will come down in time.
    When I'm stressed out I find guided meditations easier to follow, as they take some of the burden of what to do, what not to think about off my brain. A website like Rainy Mood can provide some non-intrusive background noise to help you focus in the moment.
    Also, what I like to do when my mind is racing and can't focus is to tell myself "that was a thought; let it go" as many times as necessary. Eventually my mind slows down.
    Good luck with everything.
  14. Hildegard liked a post in a topic by Robbie in Best Yoga to Lose Weight   
    Now there's a tune we can all dance to, and no block capitals either. 
  15. Hildegard liked a post in a topic by yogafire in getting back into yoga and meditation   
    That does sound crazy stressful, but the good news is that you've been surviving it already - getting the support from your therapist, others, and even coming here!
    I completely agree with Hildegard about avoiding a new source of stress in your life. I tried to force myself to maintain a routine, but I would stress out more to try to meet the "designated" schedule, and I would further beat myself up more for not meeting the schedule - a horrible cycle that I still struggle sometimes to just... let it go.
    Do you normally have a home practice or go to a class? If you went to classes before, are those teachers still around that you can reconnect with?  Don't worry if you break down on the mat - you're finally allowing some time and feeling for yourself, and just be in the moment. You might feel more comfortable doing that at home than in class, but, a pre-natal class night be helpful to go to so you know what modifications to make at home.
    If it's too much time commitment, you can start out small, and just do some 10 min or 15 min warmups on Candace's channel.  And, if you want to reawaken what you liked about yoga (for me, it's interesting flows), then, you can follow some of Candace's sequences and slowly build to do longer practices.  And, if you want more structure after you feel better, try the 30 day mindful challenge - it's the first one I participated in just because it was less goal oriented but more focused on reflecting and being present.  There are more built in meditations, too, in the schedule than other challenges.  And, don't worry about strictly following the schedule - I just matched the calendar date with the day number, took self-proclaimed rest days when things got away from me, and just moved on.
    If you still don't feel very inspired to do yoga, what about reading about other people's practices and thinking back about your old practice and how it may have motivated you then?  There's one thread that started here, and other bloggers who talk about tough life changes (some similar to yours in fact, she's a fellow forum member here, Kristi Smith) - again, everyone's path is different, but, it might offer some motivation.
    Lastly, to build on Hildegard's guided meditation recommendation - this may seem cheesy, but I find Deepak's voice soothing. I think this one is a good guided meditation (he lectures for the first 5 min, then it's silence for 10) to think more about yourself, appreciate and love yourself, and how you can affect others.
  16. Hildegard liked a post in a topic by laurismasfuerte in getting back into yoga and meditation   
    thank you so much ladies for all of these awesome tips!  I need to stop being so hard on myself, I think that's my biggest problem. I tend to tell myself "this weekend I will go back to my yoga mat!" then the weekend comes and I'm either burnt out from the military or school and sometimes I still do cry for what happened (my divorce and pregnancy all came along the same week of may) then I feel weak and its an endless cycle.  I need to remind myself that I am human, and all of these emotions are completely normal but most importantly OKAY!. Hildegard, Trust me I need as many hugs as I can now haha so thank you, and I will take your advice on "not expecting"  I seriously just need to incorporate that in all of my life, not just yoga.  I will also try and give the website you stated a look tonight after school, maybe it can help with my relaxing and sleeping. yogafire I normally did go to a class, however now with a baby on the way, becoming a single mom overnight and getting out of the military this December I cant afford to go anymore (although its just 10 per class, I'm trying to be as watchful with my spending so when my contract does end this year I have some good savings for a few months before school again)  I have really enjoyed the YouTube videos Candace does provide, so I will incorporate that into my routine.  I think I'm also going to go through first with the mindful challenge you mentioned.  I need it, and I need to ease myself into, instead of wanting to jump in when I'm still healing. Hahaha no Candace a hug wont weird me out, trust me I need hugs or good vibes, possibly both haha.You're completely right and the one day I did try savasana and I did break down, as I said in the beginning I need to be okay with breaking down for that's how we heal!  Thank you so much for these tips ladies, I greatly appreciate it.  I will try my best to accomplish this, its hard, but not impossible.  Instead if running form these feelings and emotions I need to understand and embrace them.  
  17. yogafire liked a post in a topic by Hildegard in getting back into yoga and meditation   
    I hope you don't mind an internet stranger giving you internet hugs, but it sure seems like you could use some. *hugs*
    You have a lot going on, so my main advice would be to try to avoid adding a new source of stress to your life. By this I mean that you should try to lower your expectations when it comes to yoga and meditation, not because I don't believe they can help you feel better and deal with all that stress (they absolutely can!), but because you want yoga to help you and not become a burden. The less you focus on what you want from yoga the more you can focus in the moment and what your practice is like.  This way you'll able to enjoy and appreciate your practice for what it is and the sense of peace it can bring. Let it be what it is on any given day without pushing yourself or mentally beating yourself up because your practice used to be different some time ago. Just do your best to be present in the moment, let your movements and your breath be your focus. Allow yourself a moment of not thinking and not worrying about your very real concerns and your stress levels will come down in time.
    When I'm stressed out I find guided meditations easier to follow, as they take some of the burden of what to do, what not to think about off my brain. A website like Rainy Mood can provide some non-intrusive background noise to help you focus in the moment.
    Also, what I like to do when my mind is racing and can't focus is to tell myself "that was a thought; let it go" as many times as necessary. Eventually my mind slows down.
    Good luck with everything.
  18. yogafire liked a post in a topic by Hildegard in Best Yoga to Lose Weight   
    I'm with Robbie here. Cutting out entire food groups seems too extreme for my taste and not all that sustainable in the long term. I love food, and the wider range of things I eat, the happier I am. A time eventually comes when you truly look forward to your pasta (or quinoa) with sautéed Brussel sprouts.
    Also, I'd take my focus away from losing X amount of weight. I don't weight myself. Instead, I focus on making sure my clothing fits right (I still have clothes I used to wear some fifteen years ago when I know for a fact I was thinner), on how my body feels, how much exercise I'm able to do before getting too tired to move*, how much stronger I'm becoming. Maybe working with a doctor to have an idea as to what your blood pressure, cholesterol levels, etc. are like will give you an idea as to how healthy you are at this moment and what goals you want to reach as far as your health and overall well being.
    Vinyasa, ashtanga and power yoga have all helped me lose weight, but hatha and yin yoga have also helped me stay on healthy levels. I see a lot more muscle definition on my legs than before I started a daily, consistent yoga practice and it's not a super demanding program either. I try to alternate days with a strong, physical practice with days that are more about subtle details. That way I don't get overwhelmed or bored.
    _____________________
    * Not really because I have severe anaemia and I get tired way more easily than I'd like, but you get the idea.
  19. yogafire liked a post in a topic by Hildegard in getting back into yoga and meditation   
    I hope you don't mind an internet stranger giving you internet hugs, but it sure seems like you could use some. *hugs*
    You have a lot going on, so my main advice would be to try to avoid adding a new source of stress to your life. By this I mean that you should try to lower your expectations when it comes to yoga and meditation, not because I don't believe they can help you feel better and deal with all that stress (they absolutely can!), but because you want yoga to help you and not become a burden. The less you focus on what you want from yoga the more you can focus in the moment and what your practice is like.  This way you'll able to enjoy and appreciate your practice for what it is and the sense of peace it can bring. Let it be what it is on any given day without pushing yourself or mentally beating yourself up because your practice used to be different some time ago. Just do your best to be present in the moment, let your movements and your breath be your focus. Allow yourself a moment of not thinking and not worrying about your very real concerns and your stress levels will come down in time.
    When I'm stressed out I find guided meditations easier to follow, as they take some of the burden of what to do, what not to think about off my brain. A website like Rainy Mood can provide some non-intrusive background noise to help you focus in the moment.
    Also, what I like to do when my mind is racing and can't focus is to tell myself "that was a thought; let it go" as many times as necessary. Eventually my mind slows down.
    Good luck with everything.
  20. yogafire liked a post in a topic by Hildegard in getting back into yoga and meditation   
    I hope you don't mind an internet stranger giving you internet hugs, but it sure seems like you could use some. *hugs*
    You have a lot going on, so my main advice would be to try to avoid adding a new source of stress to your life. By this I mean that you should try to lower your expectations when it comes to yoga and meditation, not because I don't believe they can help you feel better and deal with all that stress (they absolutely can!), but because you want yoga to help you and not become a burden. The less you focus on what you want from yoga the more you can focus in the moment and what your practice is like.  This way you'll able to enjoy and appreciate your practice for what it is and the sense of peace it can bring. Let it be what it is on any given day without pushing yourself or mentally beating yourself up because your practice used to be different some time ago. Just do your best to be present in the moment, let your movements and your breath be your focus. Allow yourself a moment of not thinking and not worrying about your very real concerns and your stress levels will come down in time.
    When I'm stressed out I find guided meditations easier to follow, as they take some of the burden of what to do, what not to think about off my brain. A website like Rainy Mood can provide some non-intrusive background noise to help you focus in the moment.
    Also, what I like to do when my mind is racing and can't focus is to tell myself "that was a thought; let it go" as many times as necessary. Eventually my mind slows down.
    Good luck with everything.
  21. yogafire liked a post in a topic by Hildegard in Best Yoga to Lose Weight   
    I'm with Robbie here. Cutting out entire food groups seems too extreme for my taste and not all that sustainable in the long term. I love food, and the wider range of things I eat, the happier I am. A time eventually comes when you truly look forward to your pasta (or quinoa) with sautéed Brussel sprouts.
    Also, I'd take my focus away from losing X amount of weight. I don't weight myself. Instead, I focus on making sure my clothing fits right (I still have clothes I used to wear some fifteen years ago when I know for a fact I was thinner), on how my body feels, how much exercise I'm able to do before getting too tired to move*, how much stronger I'm becoming. Maybe working with a doctor to have an idea as to what your blood pressure, cholesterol levels, etc. are like will give you an idea as to how healthy you are at this moment and what goals you want to reach as far as your health and overall well being.
    Vinyasa, ashtanga and power yoga have all helped me lose weight, but hatha and yin yoga have also helped me stay on healthy levels. I see a lot more muscle definition on my legs than before I started a daily, consistent yoga practice and it's not a super demanding program either. I try to alternate days with a strong, physical practice with days that are more about subtle details. That way I don't get overwhelmed or bored.
    _____________________
    * Not really because I have severe anaemia and I get tired way more easily than I'd like, but you get the idea.
  22. yogafire liked a post in a topic by Hildegard in Best Yoga to Lose Weight   
    I'm with Robbie here. Cutting out entire food groups seems too extreme for my taste and not all that sustainable in the long term. I love food, and the wider range of things I eat, the happier I am. A time eventually comes when you truly look forward to your pasta (or quinoa) with sautéed Brussel sprouts.
    Also, I'd take my focus away from losing X amount of weight. I don't weight myself. Instead, I focus on making sure my clothing fits right (I still have clothes I used to wear some fifteen years ago when I know for a fact I was thinner), on how my body feels, how much exercise I'm able to do before getting too tired to move*, how much stronger I'm becoming. Maybe working with a doctor to have an idea as to what your blood pressure, cholesterol levels, etc. are like will give you an idea as to how healthy you are at this moment and what goals you want to reach as far as your health and overall well being.
    Vinyasa, ashtanga and power yoga have all helped me lose weight, but hatha and yin yoga have also helped me stay on healthy levels. I see a lot more muscle definition on my legs than before I started a daily, consistent yoga practice and it's not a super demanding program either. I try to alternate days with a strong, physical practice with days that are more about subtle details. That way I don't get overwhelmed or bored.
    _____________________
    * Not really because I have severe anaemia and I get tired way more easily than I'd like, but you get the idea.
  23. yogafire liked a post in a topic by Hildegard in getting back into yoga and meditation   
    I hope you don't mind an internet stranger giving you internet hugs, but it sure seems like you could use some. *hugs*
    You have a lot going on, so my main advice would be to try to avoid adding a new source of stress to your life. By this I mean that you should try to lower your expectations when it comes to yoga and meditation, not because I don't believe they can help you feel better and deal with all that stress (they absolutely can!), but because you want yoga to help you and not become a burden. The less you focus on what you want from yoga the more you can focus in the moment and what your practice is like.  This way you'll able to enjoy and appreciate your practice for what it is and the sense of peace it can bring. Let it be what it is on any given day without pushing yourself or mentally beating yourself up because your practice used to be different some time ago. Just do your best to be present in the moment, let your movements and your breath be your focus. Allow yourself a moment of not thinking and not worrying about your very real concerns and your stress levels will come down in time.
    When I'm stressed out I find guided meditations easier to follow, as they take some of the burden of what to do, what not to think about off my brain. A website like Rainy Mood can provide some non-intrusive background noise to help you focus in the moment.
    Also, what I like to do when my mind is racing and can't focus is to tell myself "that was a thought; let it go" as many times as necessary. Eventually my mind slows down.
    Good luck with everything.
  24. Hildegard liked a post in a topic by laurismasfuerte in getting back into yoga and meditation   
    I used to have a set yoga routine along with meditating a while back, however lately I just cant seem to focus at all.  I am stressed out, finding out I was pregnant, then finding out my husband was.. well not the person I thought he was, filing for divorce and then starting night school and working full time... not to mention I will be out of a job soon and having a baby right after.  You can say I'm stressed.  I have been taking positive steps!!, I have an amazing therapist and that is helping with all this madness.  However, I still cant focus and get back on my mat.  I'm a bit intimidated and scared as crazy as it sounds scared to get back on the mat.  I guess I think I might just break down and cry as crazy as it sounds.  I just its difficult for me to start again, my mats been collecting dust for a while now and I just I want to get back into it but it seems so hard.  I don't know if any of you have any advice at all? 
  25. Hildegard liked a post in a topic by ashtree in Mala Bead Meditation   
    You can never go wrong with Om!  Even if you choose another mantra to meditate on for your Japa Mala, I think it is lovely to sort of "activate" your mala by having Om be the first mantra you chant with it (all 108 times).  Om encompasses the entire Universe, and when you chant Om you acknowledge that you are not just a drop in the ocean, but you have that entire Divine ocean within you.  You are acknowledging that you are already complete in yourself, already in unity with all that is, and that any thoughts or beliefs contradicting that are simply illusion/maya.
    I would ask yourself, "What is my intention?"  My intention is to connect with the truth that is in my heart, which is divine bliss, love, and unity.  Some people have intentions of intelligence, abundance, peace, service, etc. etc.  Also another helpful thing for me was to start listening to Kirtan (I suggest Krishna Das, Ragani, and Bhagavan Das).  Kirtan has helped me with pronunciation, and has also helped me discover which mantras feel best in my heart energetically.
    Here are some wonderful mantras that you could explore:
    Om Shanti Shanti Shanti ~ Om Peace Peace Peace
    Om Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu ~ May all beings everywhere be happy and free, and may my thoughts, words, and actions contribute in some way to that happiness and freedom.
    Sat Nam ~ The True Name, or I am Truth, or The name of God is Truth
    So Hum ~ I am that.  Also that Universal sound of breath.  So is the inhalation, and Hum is the exhalation.
    Hari Om ~ All that is.  It is a heart opener that removes obstacles and awakens Prana.
    Om Namah Shivaya ~ I bow to Shiva, or I bow to my true self.
    Om Mane Padme Hum ~ The Jewel of the Lotus Heart
    Here is also a list of chants from Deepak Chopra for manifestation:
    http://www.chopra.com/ccl-meditation/21dmc/energy-of-attraction-mantras.html
    Good luck and many blessings on your journey! <3
    Ashley