Friday, December 31, 2010

pro-claim


From practicing AcroYoga you may find yourself:
  • experiencing more joy
  • practicing compassionate communication skills
  • cultivating loving kindness (metta)
  • taking more risks in your daily life
  • making new friends
  • building community
  • feeling centered
  • expanding the full spectrum of your being
  • enjoying life as play
  • releasing fear
  • emabracing the unknown
  • surpassing the limitations of the mind
  • communing with the divine
-From my new AcroYoga Flight Manual DVD!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

hot pink


Love the adorable chunkalunka, but I really dig the styling of mama's tights! I think the last time I work my hot pink tights was New Years 2010...


found: dear baby

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Chyawanprash


Chyawanprash is a comprehensive herbal tonic with multiple health benefits, prepared according to an ancient Ayurvedic formula. Used by people around the world today, and especially in India, it is a proven energizer, immunity booster and pre-emptive tonic.

This unique ‘jam’ is a mix of 49 powerful ayurvedic herbs with ‘amla’ (Indian gooseberry) or Emblica officinalis as the base. The other ingredients in this traditional recipe include ashwaganda, pippali, cardamom, nutmeg and cinnamon in a base of clarified butter and honey. This 'elixir' is good for all, irrespective of age and gender, and creates a harmonious synergy in the body leading to better metabolism. Here’re some specific health benefits of Chyawanprash.

Digestive and Immune System
Chaywanprash's basic ingredient amla has 30 times more vitamin C than orange and helps in strengthening the immune system and expediting the healing process. Regular intake of chyawanprash strengthens digestion, absorption and assimilation of food and balances stomach acids.

Heart and Brain
The perfect blend of Ayurvedic herbs acts as a cardiac stimulant and helps in smooth functioning of the heart. Chyawanprash nourishes the brain cells by supporting the nervous system and enhances co-ordination and memory power. The tonic is good for students as it increases retention and recall.

Lung, Liver and Kidneys
The smooth functioning of the lungs is facilitated by the regular intake of chyawanprash. Moisture balance is maintained in the lungs and gives new energy to respiratory system. Chyawanprash helps purify blood and invigorates the liver and helps to eliminate toxins. It helps the downward flow of energy in the body and eases constipation. Apart from these, the herbal jam eliminates wastes from the body without overworking the urinary system.

Other Benefits
The holistic traditional formula of chyawanprash improves skin complexion, glow and fights dermal bacterial infection. It promotes hair growth and helps absorption of calcium resulting in strong bones and teeth. It is especially good for alleviating cough and asthma. The anti-oxidant properties of the tonic act against the ageing process and maintain youthfulness. Chyawanprash enhances fertility, keeps menstruation regular and helps to overcome difficulties in conception. It also improves muscle tone by enhancing protein synthesis effectively.

i found this one at New Seasons 

Monday, December 20, 2010

lbd






however this one is in my price range

Saturday, December 18, 2010

acro goddesses

lovely acro yoginis
Rachel Plies , Sujata Shyam, Lila Donnolo
Saraswati, Kali, Lakshmi

{link}

planning a fireside yoga class... wishing for acro. ruminating about thai massage, herbalism...

knitting, planning knitting, procrastinating. my dad converted nearly 100 hours of family video to DVD... watching sister and i jump and ham for the camera in oklahoma, missouri, with family, birthdays, roller skate parties...

fun yoga class this morning. blessings!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Fueling my addiction



I signed up for my very first sock knitting class for 2011. From what I hear, they are where the addiction truly sets in. The ultimate in portability and functionality, who doesn't love a squishy, soft pair of socks, eh?
*above images from the Yarn Harlot

The Harlot herself, Stephanie Pearl McPhee rants about the kind of crazy I can only dream of. She hired an assistant to organize her fiber ROOM. She giggles about border crossings with spindles and laps full of wool. (She frequents the US with her Canadian posse of yarn spinning, knitting cohorts)

For those of you who don't know, my current life plan is to end up on a farm with a goat, sheep, and all the berries I can eat! (raspberries, blackberries, salmon berries, huckleberries... they all grow completely wild up here.) So fleecing, spinning, plying, knitting, crocheting.... all of that is in my big plan. Of course the farm would have to be close to Portland so I can manage my yoga/cafe next door to Trav's brewery/bike shop. Oh the places we'll go.

And because I  can't resist sharing some of my other blog obsessions...





Sunday, December 12, 2010

Keeping Busy

I have felt quite... busy these days. When I sit down to knit, I start 3 different projects, making little to no progress on each. When I revel in a quite night at home, I find blogs to read, internet TV to watch, things to clean. And while this cleaning and catching up on life is necessary, I am finding it increasingly difficult to just BE. STILL. Its not surprising to observe that my daily sitting practice (whether it is a mantra, mudra, or pranayama) isn't happening. Yoga asana is a constant, but being that my favorite pose is handstand, perhaps I need a bit more grounding. I am also sick again. I am very aware of the positive effect sickness has on my meditation practice. So I try to be thankful when I feel like a booger factory, and spend some time observing the loftier thoughts that cross my mind. Reflecting on eternity, God and such.

The article below from Zen Habits popped up on my Google Reader (since I was impatient with the loading time on another website, and my default multi tasking brain auto piloted and opened up mail/reader/facebook almost before I could blink.

This Christmas, I think its time for a technology fast.



From Darkness to Light
We are experts at denying our experience. Take any habit that doesn’t serve you – compulsively shopping or staying busy, self-judgment, jealousy. If you trace it back to its root, you will find an expectation or feeling you have been avoiding.
These hidden aspects of ourselves thrive when we ignore them, leaving fear, desire, and lack to unconsciously drive our behavior. Once they are illuminated by becoming aware, we see how they operate, and we can make a different choice. No more conflict. No more confusion. Finally, peace.
Unearthing our inner experiences is like treasure hunting. Each one is a breadcrumb leading us out of the wilderness of discontent and into the light of a simple, conscious, lovely way of being. Suffering ends and freedom begins, leaving us available to happiness, wonder, enjoyment, and creativity.
The How-To
Exploring your triggers takes courage and openness. Prepare yourself for the journey by being willing:
  • To be honest
  • To feel pain but not wallow in it
  • To let go of the old and change
  • To contemplate a new kind of inner life not beset by distress and disturbance
  • To be happy and peaceful
Now, begin to explore. Showing up as a loving presence to yourself is one of the most sane and compassionate things you could ever do.
  1. When you are triggered, rather than playing it out in the usual way, stop and breathe.
  2. Simply notice the thought patterns, feelings, and bodily sensations that are present. Don’t freak out – just be curious. What are you thinking? What is the energy behind the thoughts? What feelings and physical sensations are present? These questions allow you to become familiar with how your habits work so they no longer control you.
  3. Find the most loving place inside you – the soft spot that melts when you encounter puppies, babies, or those most dear to you. Pour this love into the tension and painful feelings. This is the healing balm that untangles the knot.
  4. Rinse and repeat every time you are struggling.
  5. Move forward in a way that supports your clarity, happiness, and well being.
Example #1: Holding a Grudge
Say that you have been carrying around a grudge for a decade or two. To keep this grudge alive, you must be telling yourself a story about what should and shouldn’t have happened. You feel churned up inside, and your reaction is activated every time you face a person or situation that triggers the memories. This is no way to live.
Your thoughts about what happened are keeping you stuck. Release yourself by letting go of the story and feeling right into the pain. Break it down into its elements – thoughts and physical sensations. This is the experience that’s been plaguing you all along. Love those tender feelings, then go forth with fresh eyes.
This process doesn’t condone what happened, and it has nothing to do with the other person. It’s a choice you make for your peace and happiness.
Example #2: Relationship Problems
How many of us blame the other person for struggles in our relationships? We get caught in the trap of “if only” – if only the other would change, then I will feel more peaceful. This mindset will never solve the problem because you are making your peace dependent on something you can’t control – what other people say and do.
If your relationships bring you stress, make peace with your own reactions. Turn your attention inward to lovingly meet the frustration, disappointment, or fear that is triggered in you. Even though you may not like what you realize, when you accept things as they are, you are at peace. And seeing your role in the problem unlocks the possibility of experimenting with new and compassionate solutions.
Example #3: Habits and Addictions
Maybe you engage in a compulsive pattern that involves your actions, thoughts, or feelings. All challenging habits mask an unexplored emotion, usually fear or sadness.
Do you want to bring ease to your inner world? Stop, breathe, and move your kind attention into the feeling you’ve been avoiding. Love it every time it arises. Then follow Leo’s advice on changing habits, and you are well on your way to freeing yourself.
Can you see the value of becoming aware? Any inner knot can be untangled when you pay attention to it. Start with whatever is troubling you right now, and know that every moment of awareness simplifies.
The process of becoming aware is not a panacea that instantly cures all your ills. But you will notice some changes – space, ease, and, a depth of peace you never knew was possible.
Gail Brenner, Ph.D. is a psychologist who blogs at A Flourishing Life

Thursday, December 9, 2010

I'm Just a Dreamer





Enjoy!

Friday, November 19, 2010

fireside

*

Sitting by the fireside, tonight was the first time in a long time (it seems...) that I haven't had somewhere to go, something to fix, someone to watch, someone to teach, something to cook... you know the drill. "Its always something", right? And even as I hear myself saying those words to people in my life dealing with challenges, struggles, failures, or even the price of success, the acute nature of personal experience leads us to the  somewhat unstoppable feeling that... "I am the only one that feels this way. There is nobody out there like me.**

So... sitting by the fireside, I have every ball of yarn ever purchased surrounding me, a chubby old cat curled around my legs, and several patterns printed out to occupy my evening! Bliss! Joy! Extreme satisfaction. Nancy Ricci's  Getting Purly With It website is the primary provider of entertainment tonight. 

This week in yoga class I spoke about Santosha, or the yogic concept of contentment. I feel that as a byproduct of gratitude, contentment is an effortless state of being. Gratitude inherently requires a bit of effort, we are asked to "Cultivate gratitude", or "Bow the head and find a sense of gratitude." Contentment is just IS. And isn't that all we really want? Just to BE?

*knitwear by Yokoo
**quote by Paul Grilley,  exposer of individuality

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Video killed the Photographer


I love how this video captures the feel of stop animation, which I love dearly, but has a few extended pauses where you see the inimitable Miranda July blink, and sway slightly. So creative. Music by Blonde Redhead.

I haven't been very active on the blogs lately, as my new job with Street Yoga takes up quite a bit of my time! Its a labor of love, as the mission is something I believe strongly in, with all of my soul.

Speaking of soul, have you read Care of the Soul by Thomas Moore? I picked it for my book club, and this month we all met to discuss it. It wasn't quite as fun as I anticipated. But as with any book that asks you to take a deeper look into your personality and interpersonal relationships, including the relationship with God, eternity, or consciousness, its bound to bring up widely differing perspectives. I loved how we all shared something about ourselves, but my intention for the reading was to take the quest for introspection personally, not spend half the time debating the existence of a soul. However, I feel like what we experienced was exactly appropriate, and it has made me a little more sensitive to the fact that everyone's journey with faith and spirituality is completely unique. But I think many of our personal problems in daily life could be solved by "cultivating sacredness in everyday life".

video found here: the prettiest thistles

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Saraswati

saraswati

roots

red leaves

wild thing

Its back to rain jackets and waterproof boots, but I can't help but fall in love with Portland in the fall all over again. Saturdays after teaching a class at noon, I usually have some time for a leisurely ride home, camera handy for a yoga photo-op or candy colored leaf pile.

Friday for Halloween at my work, the kids all dressed up, as well as most of the teachers. When I was asked why I had a red dot between my eyebrows, I responded that I was a "Yogi!" They asked what is that? I stood in tree pose, held gyan mudra and closed my eyes as I chanted: OMmmmmmm

Before leaving for work, Travis shot some pics of me in the backyard (on the sunniest day we had this week) and I photoshopped the bloody bones out of it!

Sarasvati (Sanskrit: सरस्वती sarasvatī) is the goddess of knowledge, music and the arts.  Saraswati is considered to be the "mother of the Vedas.
Saraswati, the goddess of knowledge and arts, represents the free flow of wisdom and consciousness. She is the mother of the Vedas, and chants to her, called the 'Saraswati Vandana' often begin and end Vedic lessons.
Saraswati is the daughter of Lord Shiva and Goddess Durga. It is believed that goddess Saraswati endows human beings with the powers of speech, wisdom and learning. She has four hands representing four aspects of human personality in learning: mind, intellect, alertness and ego. She has sacred scriptures in one hand and a lotus – the symbol of true knowledge – in the second.
With her other two hands she plays the music of love and life on a string instrument called the veena. She is dressed in white – the symbol of purity – and rides on a white swan – symbolizing Sattwa Guna or purity and discrimination.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Night Flight

Uhhhh.... want to know what's fun?





Funstuff. Now that is what I am talking about!
After I get a couple sessions in, I'll bring a camera.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Fancy That

{giant turnip}

I harvested my final root vegetable. (I think there are some carrots sprinkled under the swiss chard canopy with no hope for sunlight.) The end of summer turnip became a kashmir curry. Now the kale remains to accompany the brussel sprouts and broccoli into early winter. Fall is drizzling through Portland, allowing bright shiny moments to pop in here and there. Green tomatoes still hang in wild bundles, poking out of orderly fences, crying for help! For sun! For summer!

My life is settling into routine, with a new addition! This week I will begin a part time office job with Street Yoga, an organization I have volunteered with for a couple years now. I look forward to this new chapter in my career, focusing on yoga with my professional skills being put to use for a great cause.

Starting a kids yoga program is one of my new dreams, as with all things, I just need to make it happen. Plan the plans, keep dreaming the dreams, making contacts and putting myself out there. I love working with pre-school and younger kids, and "playing" yoga with them would just be the best.

I am gearing up for my fall cleanse, trying to find a combination of days that don't coincide with my yoga teacher moving to Bali (!) or a monthly book club meeting with the promise of cookies, or my darling Trav's birthday!

 Here is where I get my info. Ayurvedic science recommends a simple cleanse using the detoxifying powers of ghee, combined with whole seeds and healing spices, split mung beans and rice for fast elimination which allows the digestive system to rest, renew, and restore.


The guiding principle of Ayurveda is that each person has the power to heal themselves. Now that my life is beginning to find some cohesion professionally and personally, I will be combining my loves for health, nature and life all together on this blog! Want some yoga sequences? You got it! I take requests.

love!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Happy Weekend!

I have been hard at work all week!
Ok not really. But I made this.
At least I am trying to work everyday. Its hard with this adventure junkie making the most delicious breakfasts, and planning hiking trips every other day... But just sitting down, doing some work for myself, freelance gigs, and helping out a friend or two. Then I go to my other job and play with dinosaurs, monkey bars, and daydreams.

My portfolio site is getting all buggered-out (meaning I am finally putting all the pieces together), and growing truly enthusiastic about putting myself out there and finding some truly inspiring work.



The kiddos at my day care school are AWESOME. They are truly changing me. Their unabashed honesty, uncensored level of communication... so inspiring. Adults always say "Think before you speak" but for an over-thinker like me, I need to let go! Just say what is on my mind, and not worry what people will think of me. I recently ordered a Kids Yoga flash card deck and I can't wait to start playing around with the little buddies! Lots of big dreams swimming around in this head...

Hope your weekend is fantastic, mine is filled with yoga. And some more yoga.

Recent work:



*click the images to see the websites! All customized by ME!

Monday, September 13, 2010

A Life Worth Living

yellow heirloom
{heirloom tomato from montavilla farmer's market}

Thank you sunshine! Summer tried to pretend it was over, making us think that the Pacific Northwest would officially have the shortest summer EVER. July 4 to Labor Day? Is that even possible? Fortunately this week has been gorgeous, however... I spent it all indoors! But if its for yoga, you know I don't mind :) Just head home and collapse into the hammock and thank my lucky stars that I have such amazing people in my life.

This was the last weekend of my yoga teacher training, and although we still have a few things to wrap up, it's sad not to have that 3 day weekend of yoga yoga yoga to look forward to. But it has completely changed my life, as you might have read about. This summer created a complete intolerance to staying indoors, chained to a desk for 8 hours at a time. My heart spoke so clearly, and through the journaling that my teacher recommended to track our meditations, reflections, etc. I was completely unable to ignore my true path any more.

Today I started my new job as an assistant teacher for an afterschool program! Its right in my neighborhood, the kids are adorable, and I love to be there. I also worked on my portfolio redesign this morning. I'm not ready for summer to end, but winter brings the space for hard work and that is exactly what I am ready for! Travis and I spent the last 2 years dreaming of our escape, to Thailand, India, farms and oceans, but eventually came to the conclusion: A live worth living must begin at home. We quit our desk jobs and started dreaming in our daily lives. Who knows what adventures await us! Its only when you open your life to opportunity, that fate can lift you up and carry you away.

bolted endive
{my bolted endive rises above the leafy goodness}


how my zucchini vines
{can you believe this zucchini vine?}

massaged kale salad
{massaged kale salad}


pink sprite
{pink sprite. a clear winner in the shade garden bed}

Ahhh Jenny just brought me a tequila sunrise to cap off a long day's work in the hammock.
Thank YOU.
For we are all connected. We are never alone. We are never forgotten.
Namaste.

*As always, click on any image for more details!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Nom Nom Nom

Raspberry Bush
The raspberries have been eaten.*

sunflowers are coming!
But the sunflowers have arrived.

*My pictures of our berries did not turn out so well, so enjoy this alaskan's capture of what a berry bush should look like in high season!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Lovely Summer

Acro Yoga Jam

I {obviously} haven't been able to find the words to bring to this space. I've been lingering, limbo-ing, searching, working, and praying for my path to unfold. As I work with this guidance as it helps me find the way, some pushes in the wrong direction have actually made things much clearer. (Accepting a job I thought I really really wanted, then crying for 24 hours straight before declining the job...) After a melodramatic day I discovered a job posting for a part time teaching assistant at a Montessori inspired school. More specifically a small scale day care center for 2 year olds with a backyard garden, chickens, and art projects galore. Although my inquiries have not borne fruit, similar job postings have popped up on craigslist and I am determined to find the training to support my new goals!

My favorite job in college was at the First English Lutheran Child Day Care Center. The hardest part for me was understanding their policy of not drawing "with" the children, because they then want/need you to replicate your "better" drawing for them over and over again. The one time I did break the rules, I immediately regretted it after drawing about 14 angels. The best part of working with children is imagination. We would spend hours constructing adventure tales, usually based around toys or objects in the garden or play area. Tigers would fly across oceans, Dump trucks would make best friends with race cars in desert sand dunes and everyone would share, develop and make an epic tale. Together.

Learning about the Montessori and other play-based education methods has reignited a passion for the welfare of America's children. Naturally I am concerned for all the children of the world, but my work is here, in America (where I am legally bound to pay student loans for a long, long time...) and I really feel that there is a change sweeping our culture, a realization that allowing children to discover rather than conform is the healthiest way to create kind, well adapted adults to lead this country out of its abscess of the myriad chronic health problems we face.

Clearly I am not spending the same hours on the internet, reading your stories, sharing beautiful images. But since I am living life much more fully, I will try my best to document the highlights, and share my reflections on the low times.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

while you are reading this

learning:
how to plant bearded iris
a picture of an iris i can doodle in my notes

choosing:

intending:
river procurement
designinga new portfolio. a new flow. shifting boundaries

om

Friday, August 6, 2010

while you are reading this

My feet are pedaling through the backroads of outer southeast Portland
The sun is shining (perhaps behind a few clouds, keeping the temperatures down, near, oh I  don't know... 65?)

I am on my way to...



Camping, dancing, hammocking, harmonica-ing, drinking brews, hula hooping, brewing tea, chomping on trail mix (with  copious chocolate chips and dried fruit, naturally)

Pickathon!

the woods watching you

Shire Yogi

Namaste!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Hard Work

my poppies

We've dug up dead grass clods, escaped armies of ants, cuddled with a furry friend, spoiled some feathered fatties rotten. I am working on my disc golf throw, tasting summer rye micro brews, practicing yoga in the dappled shade and loving every minute of my dreamy escape.

can you see her?

Today I actually sent out a couple resumes, designed some custom invitations, signed up for a new street yoga gig, harvested some vegetables, cleared way for the winter crop of cruciferous vegetables.

front yard bed

Perhaps my roommates just want to pay me to garden, cook and clean? Think of all the delicious, healthy meals we would feast upon in the verdant garden...

Wednesday, July 28, 2010