A Peak Between the Lines of “Vulnerability” from Kait Quinn’s A Time for Winter

Yoga influenced a lot of the poetry in the last section of my book, A Time for Winter, including the “Vulnerable,” a poem in which I detail the struggle between wanting to unfold and fold in.

Over the past two years, yoga has taught me focus, stillness, and how powerful the breath is. In the past year, during deep waves of depression and social anxiety, yoga has helped me get out of the house as I graduated from at-home practice to public classes.

It was in public classes that I really felt the vulnerability that comes with yoga—the vulnerability of closing my eyes in front of strangers, of breathing loud ocean waves in front of strangers, of lying flat on my back and kicking my feet up to the sky in front of strangers, of rising out of forward fold and shouting “Lumos!” in front of strangers (hello, Hogwarts Yoga!).

Continue reading A Peak Between the Lines of “Vulnerability” from Kait Quinn’s A Time for Winter

30 Days of Yoga, Day 6: Fueling the Fire

As usual in 30 Days of Yoga, Day 6 is all about core, core, CORE!

Fueling the Core Muscles

I LOVE core day. It’s always a good reminder to bring awareness to my core, to recognize how strong it is or that it needs tending. This year’s core day was especially exciting because Adriene added some new moves to the mix. My personal favorite was the three-legged knee hover. I love trying new workout moves and yoga poses to hit my muscles in a new way and keep fitness fun and fresh, so those new poses were a delicious treat and welcomed challenge.

I’m really proud of how well I did during today’s practice. I’ve been feeling like my core needs A LOT of work—and it does. But it’s actually much stronger than I thought it was. As is my third chakra… Continue reading 30 Days of Yoga, Day 6: Fueling the Fire

30 Days of Yoga, Day 2: Building a Foundation

Wow. What an amazing, transformative practice today!

I have to admit, I was a little impatient during yesterday’s practice. But I reaped the benefits of sticking with it in today’s practice. And while that impatience creeped up once or twice during today’s practice, I felt much more mindful, patient, and aware. I surprised myself by sinking deep into poses like Downward Dog and Child’s Pose—deeper than I’m normally able to. My body was r e l a x e d and open to it. My mind was hyper present and aware but not overthinking every movement.

I think that’s what they call letting go.

Day 2’s theme is Foundation. I practiced bringing awareness to my own yogic foundation. I found that it is surprisingly strong but definitely needs some tending to. Today’s practice added a solid layer to that foundation. I also stepped off the mat feeling completely blissed out, both physically and mentally. Ah, the rewards of yoga! Continue reading 30 Days of Yoga, Day 2: Building a Foundation

Setting Intentions for 30 Days of Yoga: Dedicate

While one side of the heart empties, the other fills. When one breath runs out, another begins.

– Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Women Who Run with the Wolves

 

Another year, another 30 Days of Yoga.

I’m so excited to dive into another 30 day journey through which I can build strength, increase flexibility, open my heart, expand my mind, and nourish and grow the seeds I’ve been planting in my soul over the past year. A year in which I’ve focused on my mental health and healing through therapy, self-care, and learning to love every dark, sticky, soft, glowing inch of myself.

Today is Day 0. A day to rest, take a breath, set an intention, prepare. My intention for Dedicate is to rebuild my at-home yoga practice; reconnect with my mind, body, heart, and soul; practice self-care; and continue falling in love with myself.

My intention is to show up for myself every day on that mat so that I may learn to show up for myself every day off the mat.

Are you also embarking on a 30 day yoga journey? If so, what are your intentions? What are you choosing to dedicate yourself toward?

Namaste, my friends!

Preparing for 2019’s 30 Days of Yoga (with Adriene): Dedicate

2018 is coming to a close. FINALLY. (Raise ya hand if you’re ready to shed your 2018 skin and bask in the promising glow of 2019!)

And with the end of one year comes a new year. A time for new beginnings. A time for setting goals. A time to spiral inward and shed light on the darkness we’ve been sitting with, face to face. A time for one of my favorite times of year: 30 Days of Yoga!

If you’ve never done yoga with Yoga With Adriene before, I invite you to join the Find What Feels Good community in January 2019 for 30 Days of self-care, self-love, change, growth, mindfulness, and YOGA.

Finding Light & Self-Love Through Yoga (With Adriene)

Every January, YWA kicks off the new year with a 30-day yoga journey. It was on one of these 30-day journeys that I found and fell in love with Yoga With Adriene. Continue reading Preparing for 2019’s 30 Days of Yoga (with Adriene): Dedicate

How Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow Helped Me Recognize My Personal Growth & Healing

I think you are having a different sort of heartbreak. Maybe a kind of heartbreak of being in the world when you don’t know how to be. […] Everyone has that moment, I think, that moment something so…momentous happens that it rips your very being into small pieces. And then you have to stop. For a long time, you gather your pieces. And it takes such a very long time, not to fit them back together, but to assemble them in a new way, not necessarily a better way. More, a way you can live with until you know for certain that this piece should go there, and that one there.

from Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow

 

Girl in Pieces was hard for me to read, but I couldn’t put it down. I related to Charlie—in small ways. She reminded me a lot of my younger self. Her mindset. How she felt about and treated herself. How she let other people treat her. The things she thought she deserved. I think that’s why I had overwhelming empathy for her. My heart broke for her. I cried every time I sat down to read this book. I wanted to dive into the page and help her in the same way I want to dive into my past and help my younger self.

I still feel like I have pieces of that younger self in me. But reading this made me realize how far I’ve come as I grow into a more confident, self-loving, self-respecting woman. Continue reading How Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow Helped Me Recognize My Personal Growth & Healing

Head Above Water: A Personal Snapshot of Coping with Depression

It’s like being at a zoo. And you’re in a cage. And people come up to you and they can see that you’re hurting and you’re sad. And they gather around the cage. They might even reach in and try and touch you, but it’s never an embrace, and it’s never full understanding. And then the zoo closes, and then they all go home. And I’m in a cage by myself. And it’s a very scary place to be.

This gut-wrenchingly accurate depiction of depression was spoken by a woman who chose to share her experience with depression anonymously for an episode of Sincerely, X, a TED podcast featuring talks from people who tell their stories behind hidden identities.

In the podcast’s seventh episode, “Mood Changer,” this anonymous woman talks about her depression using the most elegantly and accurately crafted metaphors. Every description she has for depression is spot on. I found myself screaming inside my head, “Yes! That’s exactly how I feel!”

For eighteen minutes, I was not alone. Someone else out there knew exactly how I felt.  Continue reading Head Above Water: A Personal Snapshot of Coping with Depression

Book Review: The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself by Michael A. Singer

You have to break the habit of thinking that the solution to your problems is to rearrange things outside. The only permanent solution to your problems is to go inside and let go of the part of you that seems to have so many problems with reality.

– Michael A. Singer, The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself

 

the untethered soul cover e-reader white hydrangea bushThe Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself by Michael A. Singer is a heart-opening, soul-awakening guide to freeing yourself from the boundaries and limitations your habitual thoughts, emotions, and energy patterns build inside of you. Drawing from awareness-creating techniques like meditation and mindfulness, Singer explores the path to consciousness, happiness, and inner peace through the practices of letting go, staying present, and pushing out of your comfort zone.

As a continuing explorer of the inner self and someone deep in the throes of battling her own fears, anxieties, negative thoughts, and sometimes skewed mindset, I thoroughly enjoyed my journey through this book. I found so many nuggets of wisdom and gentle reminders of what life can be like when I let go of that which does not serve, stay present, eschew judgement, and live outside of my comfort zone.

As much as I enjoyed The Untethered Soul, I did struggle with a few aspects of the book: Continue reading Book Review: The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself by Michael A. Singer

At-Home Yoga Retreat Series: “Reclaiming Your Center” Day 3

My experience during Yoga With Adriene’s “Reclaiming Your Center” At-Home Retreat continues with Day 3.

Photo via yogawithadriene.com.

Day 3

Two rounds of yoga and 12 minutes of meditation had me feeling focused, productive, and zenned out yesterday. I felt extra aware of my breath throughout the day (yay mindfulness!) and noticed that my breaths were smooth, deep, and steady. A true breath of fresh air for someone who often experiences shallow breathing and a tight chest (hello anxiety!).

That’s what a weekend full of yoga, meditation, nature, and introspective journaling will do for ya!

I ended my day with the most beautiful nature walk along Minnehaha Creek. I’m so blessed to live just steps away from so much green and all the life that blossoms along the creek. Continue reading At-Home Yoga Retreat Series: “Reclaiming Your Center” Day 3

At-Home Yoga Retreat Series: “Reclaiming Your Center” Day 2

My experience during Yoga With Adriene’s “Reclaiming Your Center” At-Home Retreat continues with Day 2.

Photo via yogawithadriene.com.

Day 2

View of Lake Nokomis from my yoga mat.

Started my day with a morning yoga class at Lake Nokomis. The instructor guided us into our morning flow by asking us to observe:

  • 3 Sounds: Lawn mowers, instructor’s voice, bare feet shuffling in grass
  • 3 Sights: Sun-soaked lake, glistening grass, dancing leaves
  • 3 Physical Sensations: Aching ankle, calm mind, open chest
  • 2 Smells: Wet grass…wet grass

Super fitting for Day 2’s activity!

I ended my day with Core Power Wake Up before zenning out in post-yoga meditation and journaling on Day 2’s prompt. Continue reading At-Home Yoga Retreat Series: “Reclaiming Your Center” Day 2