Tag Archives: asana

Perfect Moment Monday: Vitamin D’asana

Views from my yoga mat this week:

 

The floors of the gym I go to were being resurfaced so the yoga class was kicked outside. Fortunately, the weather cooperated and during a mid-morning of perfect temperatures, we saluted the sun and the earth as we honored ourselves.

It was in the low 60s — normally too cold for me, but not when I’m doing chaturangas and sun warriors. It was too early in the season for mosquitos, and there was just a slight breeze — perfect conditions. And so much color! The emerald green of the astroturf (OK, grass might have been better), the cornflower blue sky, and the citrus-y orange and yellow of my mat. Plus the patchwork of color from the mats of my fellow yoginis.

The sunlight warmed our muscles in a way that indoor yoga doesn’t (unless you’re in a hot yoga studio). And being outside felt incredibly grounding. In fact, I finally did my first free-standing headstand. Yay, me! Salamba sirasana, you are mine.

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Now here’s the backstory.

There might as well have been a neon sign flashing as I walked up and saw the class setting up outside. PERFECT MOMENT ALERT: YOU ARE ABOUT TO HAVE ONE. And a tour-director voice in my head saying, “In the event of a perfect moment, please make sure to have your camera ready for emerging photo ops.”

So while it was nice of the Universe to hand a perfect moment to me on a silver plate, the way I received it was not so perfect. I spent the hour not reining in my thoughts to the confines of my mat, not opening my heart, not focusing on the here and now —  but thinking about documenting the moment.

And in doing so, I missed it. The narrative above is accurate, but it is devoid of the awareness that is the essence of a perfect moment. With awareness, one could have a perfect moment shackled in a dungeon sitting in one’s own excrement; without it, blessings galore cannot compensate.

During the yoga class my thoughts were all over the place, my heart was unengaged, my focus was in some time in the future when I would write and publish this post. In fact, I took those photos while the others were enjoying savasana, the meditative pose that closes the practice, the capstone of relaxation and letting go and sealing in the benefits of the practice.

This episode is part of a bigger issue for me. Remember how Perfect Moment Monday is “about noticing a perfect moment rather than creating one”? I feel as if lately I’ve been seeking them, even forcing them, sometimes just to check something off my ToDo list — the writing of my weekly PMM post.

Posting a perfect moment every week (because I’m the host and feel I cannot bow out once in awhile) has become a chore, an antithesis of itself.

In addition, I have a summer to spend with my children. I intend, for awhile, to let the perfect moments flow without trying to catch them. For these reasons, I am putting Perfect Moment Mondays on hiatus. Expect to see it back sometime in the Fall.

Don’t be surprised, through, if you see me talking here about perfect moments. I reserve the right to do that when they arise (and I notice them) organically. But I’m feeling like summer is the time for me to turn off the alarm clock of a weekly post.

May we all, in the meantime, practice awareness and being present. I encourage you to continue to post your perfect moments when you observe one. And I do hope that you’ll join me again in linking when I’ve refreshed myself and am able to reclaim the original intent of Perfect Moment Mondays.

Let the summer begin!

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Perfect Moment Monday is about noticing a perfect moment rather than creating one. Perfect moments can be momentous or ordinary or somewhere in between.

Once a week we engage in mindfulness about something that is right with our world. Everyone is welcome to join. [EDITED: Perfect Moment Mondays is going on summer hiatus.]

To participate in Perfect Moment Monday:

  1. Follow this blog.
  2. Between Sunday night and Tuesday night, write up your own Perfect Moment.
  3. Use LinkyTools below to enter your name (or your site/blog name) and the URL of your Perfect Moment.
  4. Visit the Perfect Moments of others and let the writers know you were there with some comment currency.

Once you make a Perfect Moment post , you may place this button on your blog.What Perfect Moment have you recently been aware of? Visit these moments of others and share your comment love.

Perfect Moment Monday: Changing my mind

For over a year, I’ve been making a conscious effort to re-examine thoughts I have about myself, and to ease up on locking my limited self in boxes.

I did so last January when I morphed from the woman who couldn’t bear to think about LASIK to the woman who sees clearly now.

My recent perfect moment has to do with salamba sirsasana, more commonly known as headstand. And no, I didn’t do one.

One thing to know about salamba sirasana is that you don’t really stand on your head. The top of your head barely touches the ground. You’re supposed to balance instead on your forearms, so the pose requires shoulder and core strength. Like other inversion poses, headstand is terrific for circulation, for brain function, for digestion, and for seeing with a new perspective.

The box I had myself in?

  • I hate being upside down.
  • I couldn’t do a headstand even if I wanted to, which I don’t.
  • I’m not strong enough.
  • The pose is always going to be way beyond me.

I would watch enviously as my fellow yoginis (I’m looking at you!) would ease into salamba sirasana in the middle of the room as if it were no.big.deal. Watching them generated decidedly un-compassionate and un-yogic thoughts.

I spent 4 years practicing yoga before I peeked out of the box. About 6 months ago I ventured to try salamba sirasana against a wall. The first time I did so for about eight-tenths of a second. From one of the next 25 times I tried against the wall — each time getting a little longer — I ended up with a small burst blood vessel in my eye.

See? I said to my scared self. Safer to stay in the box.

But my brave self prevailed, and about 2 weeks ago I was able to not only maintain a headstand for several breaths against the wall, but also to move my feet away from the wall.

This was huge.  I could now sense in my body what the pose feels like. I’ve got some muscle memory.

This week in a yoga class, I attempted salamba sirasana in the middle of the room. I didn’t get all the way up, but I was able to hoist both sets of toes off the mat, poised to pike up. It lasted eight-tenths of a second, but made the crack in the box that much bigger.

The goal is in sight. I know that someday soon I will add salamba sirasana to the list of asanas I can do.

This sense of progress and of mind over matter gave me a perfect moment.

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Perfect Moment Monday is about noticing a perfect moment rather than creating one. Perfect moments can be momentous or ordinary or somewhere in between.

Once a week we engage in mindfulness about something that is right with our world. Everyone is welcome to join.

To participate in Perfect Moment Monday:

  1. Follow this blog.
  2. Between Sunday night and Tuesday night, write up your own Perfect Moment.
  3. Use LinkyTools below to enter your name (or your site/blog name) and the URL of your Perfect Moment.
  4. Visit the Perfect Moments of others and let the writers know you were there with some comment currency.

Once you make a Perfect Moment post , you may place this button on your blog.What Perfect Moment have you recently been aware of? Visit these moments of others and share your comment love.