I truly and unironically adore the DIY craze, so much so that I have a Pinterest board dedicated to it.
Making your own stuff is fun and creative. I personally find it really satisfying and empowering to do projects around my home. In a world of “buy, buy, buy!”, it feels good to actually make instead. I think the rise in urban gardening is a great example of this. I love that I can live in an apartment in the city but easily grow my own greens and herbs for abundant salads and smoothies.
There are a number of good reasons to DIY. It can be more cost efficient and more environmentally-friendly sometimes. It’s also a nice way to personalize something in your home/life.
Here are a few of my most successful and favorite recent DIY projects:
Yogi Bhajan, the great master of Kundalini Yoga, was a man of many wise aphorisms. You know them if you drink Yogi Tea undoubtedly.
One of my favorite lessons from Yogi Bhajan comes in his words about patience. This affirmation, or prayer, is sometimes used in Kundalini meditations and kriyas. It is mesmerizing and soothing to me. It is a comforting reminder, an order even, to trust in Grace, to embody myself fully, connect in with my best self and be receptive to the blessings. This requires surrender and pure faith.
Recently I’ve not been feeling so embodied, patient or happy with my day-to-day life. The process of looking for work has been challenging. Dealing with all the rejection from different shops and companies has been frustrating, to say the least. I really want to work, to be a part of a creative group environment, but it’s taking time to get there.
I adore Ashtanga. It’s awesome. There is no other yoga style that I would prefer to start my day with.
That said, Ashtanga is freakin’ hard sometimes! It can take years to get a pose. It’s a practice of balancing your frustration with patience and acceptance.
Like most people, I have some poses that really challenge me. Often I laugh and just move on, other days I brood over them, and sometimes I deplore the practice and come up with an excuse about why I can’t “do” that pose.
This quote by the great master of Aikido, Morihei Ueshiba, is a perfect, succinct and exact description of why we engage in practice. Practice, whether this be martial arts training, qi gong, tai chi, yoga asana, or some other discipline, is all about coming to center. Aligned in the central axis, we practice to elevate and sharpen our awareness so we can then discern and act with precise compassionate consciousness.
In Kundalini Yoga, there is this exercise called “ego eradicator.” It basically consists of sitting upright with the arms extended in a wide V overhead, finger tucked into the palms, thumbs stretched out as if they could draw an arc over the head, eyes closed and rolled up at the brow point while you do 3 minutes of vigorous Breath of Fire. It’s a great way to open the lungs for pranayama and to clear the sinuses. It takes a little bit of effort to maintain the arm position properly for 3 minutes, but like most things, it’s really mind over matter!
I’ve never quite understood the name though. I’ve been doing this little practice for a few years and my ego is fully in tact. But, thank heavens, I’ve found something else that seems to be doing the trick in terms of ego annihilation and it is that pesky Intermediate Series pose, dwi pada sirsasana.
The other night, in a melancholy mood, I bought myself ten stems of red peonies. They brought a smile to my face and then I discovered this perfect Mary Oliver poem so I had to share it with you.
Blessings for a beautiful, joyful weekend, dear readers.
When I excitedly began planning my own wedding at the end of 2011, I had a dirty little secret: I was thrilled that I finally had the perfect excuse to get really skinny again.
I don’t think I’m alone here; many women work very hard to lose weight for their wedding, it’s almost expected that you do nowadays. Why?
After a very fun winter of bopping around Colorado and the jaunt to India, we are now really getting settled in Denver. It feels so nice to nest, to decorate and to make this place feel like “home.” Thad has started acupuncture school and I’m networking up the wazoo with florists and other wedding industry folks, getting ready to start working on some pretty pretty events this summer! Our puppy Artemis is still painfully cute and her nippy teeth are even more painful, but she’s potty trained and walking well on the leash, so let’s celebrate the small victories!
As a yoga teacher, practitioner and massage therapist, I fully appreciate, advocate and depend on good bodywork in order to live and work from a place of balance and wellness. Acupuncture, chiropractic, massage, cranio-sacral therapy: these modalities, among others, have assisted me in healing from concussions, infections, sprains, strains, popped-out ribs, headaches, depression and more.
That said, sometimes I forget to take care of myself. Sometimes I don’t want to spend that money, even if I know it will make me feel better faster. Sometimes I just hope that if I ignore the problem, it will disappear. Indeed, time can heal many wounds, but giving the body a little extra TLC certainly expedites that process.
I’m not super into the whole popular modern yoga look. I don’t wear the neon luon nor the flowy Ganesha shirts and the many layers of malas. But…if I looked and lived like Christy Turlington, I would always do Second Series in a satin jumpsuit. Anyways, that’s besides the point. Despite my dislike of both the hippy-dippy yoga flow look and the obnoxiously bright and sporty spandex route, I don’t do my asana practice naked.
Clothes are part of the deal and having the right clothes for my practice helps. I learned the lesson the hard way. In my naive, pre-Ashtanga days, I bought these two overpriced (but very pretty!) yoga tops that just didn’t cut it when you’re a C cup and actually doing repeated vinyasas. Pop! Yea, that’s a bit distracting. As is the tugging and readjusting of ill-fitting tights or straps in the middle of an asana.
The Bhakti Boy!
My friend Joy Marzec is making a movie. She’s a yogi, an artist, a musician and so much more. This movie is her dream child. It’s about devotion, seeking purpose, overcoming challenges and discovering who you really are. It’s punk. It’s practice. It’s awesome.