I am always reminded how much better I feel on all levels--physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually--when I practice yoga in the morning. I do not have to do it first thing, but if I do a full yoga practice within an hour or so of awakening, the day begins positively. Whether I carry out a long or short practice, it doesn't matter. A short practice could be one round of a sun salution, which takes less than 2 minutes. A long practice may include a sun salution and other poses, followed by pranayama and short awareness meditation, but I can still keep that to 10 minutes. Today, I completed two rounds of Surya Namaskar, followed by Pranayama (Kapalabhati, Bhastrika, Nadi Shodanham, 3-part diaphragmatic breathing, and 1:2 breathing), and ending with a few minutes of breath awareness and body awareness meditation. All of this took only 30 minutes. The point is, I do not currently have any major commitments, so I can certainly commit 10-30 minutes each morning to yoga practice. It's so worth it and my body is grateful. Then I can move into an upward spiral instead of falling down the black hole I keep tripping into.
A slight edit to the sign, but hey why not!
I feel grateful today, not only for the yoga practice, but for a few other items that streamed through my mind during asanas. I am so proud of myself (and grateful) for starting piano practice. The thought of it excites me! When I review the elementary pieces I was playing just last week, they are so easy! Even a chords that were difficult and caused frustration are simple today! I love expressing myself creatively and I am so grateful that the house where I am staying not only has a piano, but is situated with a mountain view! I did yoga out on the upper level porch this morning, glancing into trees near and far, listening to bird calls. Now as I plunk away upstairs in the office with the same view, birds course across the valley and their chirps and sqawks arrest my attention from writing, but pleasantly. I am grateful for this opportunity. The thought that I have started playing piano at age 51 led me to other endeavors I started when other people are looking forward to retirement or settling down at the same age: climbing, trekking, flying. Yes, flying! I am going to take flight lessons and learn how to fly! Whoo Hoo! That's on my list, thank you Groupon! I started learning how to climb in Korea, in 2014, at age 46. This past summer, I started trekking solo for the first time, right around my birthday! I learned fire-making skills and other camping techniques that I had not used before; I haven't done "real camping" utilizing actual backcountry skills since I was a kid.
This week I am learning "broken chords"! It is such a challenge to get each hand to play independently! And fun!
A lot of newness has caused a lot of stress, even though I am living in a dream-world of taking a sabbatical from teaching while I live in Australia! In trying to become a full-time, paid writer, I have internalized a massive amount of fear of failure. Lack of structure has made me inconsisent and undisciplined. And thus begins the downward spiral. But as always, I keep trying, and I will. I need to re-pattern and reform the nerve centers in my brain to help get me out of the funks and habits that cause more downward movement. And as always, I look to books and research to help me take action and remind me that some neural grooves in my mind cause some of these actions; it is not that I am lazy, unmotivated, or depressed (well, maybe a little bit!), but rather, many of the actions and thoughts that I spin on dig those grooves deeper. It takes me a while to realize this, and so I have to work harder to fill them up with positive action and positive thoughts. One of those vital actions is yoga practice. Others include: getting out into the sunshine, being around people in social situations, moving my body more, exercise, and creative expression through music and writing. All of those stimulate me intellectually, emotionally, phyically, and spiritually, and I really need the energy that comes from that! And the weekly shiatsu massage followed by acupuncture treatment I am getting at AcuFitz is really helping move the stagnation in my body and get my energy going! https://www.acufitz.com.au/
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... needs radical self-care! Getting a start on 2019 early, with a new self-care plan!