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DOSTS-Days On Skates This Summer

Published on September 25, 2014 by in Fitness

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In the words of Seals & Croft (yes, I am that old and kind of a hippy) “Summer breeze makes me feel fine…”

But as usual, it has come and gone way too fast.

As always, I am sad to see it  go but I can say that when it came to skating, I certainly made the most out of this summer.

From the beginning to the end I managed 32 DOSTS (Days On Skates This Summer).  For someone who usually laments about not making enough time to skate, I can finally say that I skated as much as I wanted to.  Keeping a pair of skates by the door at home and one in my car, I was always ready when the opportunity presented itself, and by my calculations, it was just about 1 out of 3 days!

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It has been such a pleasure to skate from “wherever” knowing that while I am doing it I am not only having a chance to explore “my world” in a unique way, but that I am also getting an unparalleled workout on my hips, glutes, and thighs. Sure, I could go to the gym and do bunch of squats and nautilus for similar results but why would I want to do that when skating does the same thing with fresh air and much better view!

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My favorite skates this summer by far have been with my daughter.  Visiting friends, getting ice cream,  joining in a parade, or just skating with no destination in mind, I am completely impressed with her ability to negotiate the sidewalks and streets.  Since a  majority of her skating  has been in the confines of an ice rink it is amazing how easily she has transferred her ability to defy gravity on ice blades to defying gravity on 8 wheels!

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Although the weather is starting to turn and  I will have to wait another 9 months for the “Sweet days of summer.. .”   I am still hopeful to accumulate some DOSTF (Days On Skates This Fall).  So far, so good as I am 2 out of 4 days!

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A special thanks to my good friend and skating instructor Franc Pirc from Slovenia who served as my DOSTS inspiration!  Dreaming of a seaside skate with you soon!

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30 Yoga Nidras in 30 days

Shavasana Beach
We have finished the second week of classes at Cleveland State University and the yoga classes I am teaching this semester are in full swing. My experience this week has been “Watch for what you wish for” in that I gave up all health/wellness and other physical education classes at the university to concentrate on teaching only yoga and skating.  So this semester I am teaching 9 hours a week of yoga in 2 days;  4 hours of back to back classes on Monday and 5 hours of back to back classes on Wednesday. As I said, “Watch what you wish for.”

Group of Students During  Yoga Nidra

While it is pretty intense teaching so  many classes in a row,  I cannot help but feel a tremendous sense of gratitude for being given this opportunity. The classes are full, the students are eager to learn, and I am fortunate to be an ambassador of yoga to so many.  Knowing that this is a very big responsibility; representing the Satyananda lineage, my obligation to the university, etc. I understand that to successfully meet my obligations, I need to keep up with my own practice.  If that suffers, my delivery will suffer, and so will my students.

Hence the “30 Yoga Nidras in 30 days” challenge that I am self imposing.

There are different guided mediations that are called “yoga nidra” out there, but the one that I will be doing is specific to the Satyanada tradition.

Satyananda Yoga Nidra™ is a guided meditation practice devised by Sri Swami Satyananda Saraswati. It is a systematic practice that guides the practitioner into a state of complete physical and mental rest.  It is often called “physic sleep” because the body rests fully, the mind rests, but the practitioner stays conscious throughout, unlike normal sleep where we are unconscious.

Among numerous benefits, it is believed that 20 minutes of this practice is worth about 2 hours of sleep! For those of you who are like the 100 college students, faculty, and staff that take my classes, you are most likely sleep deprived.  If  this is true for you,  then this practices is a “must do” and it is why I include it in my lesson plans a minimum of once per week for each class.

When it comes to being a yoga teacher it is important to practice what you preach.  So I have decided that yoga nidra will be my constant.  I have practiced yoga nidra regularly for over 14 years, but have never practiced daily, and certainly not 30 days in a  row.

You can join in with this challenge by going to the following link Yoga Nidra Downloads and scroll down the page and you will find a few Yoga Nidra recordings as well as other breathing and meditation exercises.  You can also find additional recordings through the Atma Center.

In our hectic fast paced lives we truly need to carve out time daily to relax our body and mind.  It is a “must do” for me, it will be a “must do” for my classes (at least once per week!)  and should be a “must do” for you!

Experience the physical and mental benefits of yoga nidra by starting today!

Let me know how it is going by checking in on the Mobile Yoga Workout page on Facebook.

Hari Om Tat Sat

 
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Guru Poornima

Published on July 14, 2014 by in Religion, Yoga
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Paramahamsa Satyananda Saraswati & Paramahamsa Niranjanananda Saraswati

On July 12th at the Atma Center, where I study and teach yoga, we celebrated Guru Poornima. Guru (teacher) Poornima (full moon) is considered a very auspicious time for Hindus and yoga aspirants.  It falls in the months of June or July during the full moon and is a time for us to give thanks to our teachers (not just in yoga but in life) for their enlightened teachings by which the darkness of our ignorance is dispelled.

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Traditionally, a Puju (prayer ritual) and Havan (fire ritual) are performed.  Offerings such as lit candles, flowers, or fruit are placed in front and around the pictures for the puja and mantra chanting, kirtan (call and response chanting), etc.take place to assist in making the connection between teacher and student.   For our celebration, and to keep compliant with the city’s fire code, we conducted  a flower Havan instead of a fire Havan  where we offered our gratitude for the untiring work of the guru.

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My Teacher of 15 years and owner of the Atma Center, Swami Atmarupa Saraswati.

Guru Poornima serves as an opportunity to reset our course as yoga aspirants.   Offering thanks to all our teachers during Guru Poornima reminds us that we are not alone on this journey.  There are teachers all around.  We just need to be ready to receive.

So thank you to all my teachers, near and far, in yoga and in life.  May I be open to your teachings and guidance and allow it to strengthen my own inner light, “or guru within” so that I may have the chance to awaken that light in others.

Hari Om Tat Sat

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With my friend and fellow teacher Sue following the celebration.

All  Photos Courtesy of Judy Evans (Jyostna)

 

 

 

 
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