Feeling Yummy and The Fcuk it Bucket

I took a yoga class tonight at Moksha. The teacher, Alie, told us to feel yummy in our bodies as we stretched and let go of the day. I like that idea—feeling yummy in your body.

What does feeling yummy in your body mean? It means getting the yuckyness—the stress, the negativity— out of your body and mind so you can let the yummyness—that peaceful easy feeling— in. Ultimate yummyness for me is the aaahhhh moment when it all gets let go, when my breath flows freely through me.

A pig getting his/her inner yummy on:

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I guess this is a gender not-specific pig!

Where does it all go? All of the crap? All of the stress? All of the yuckyness? All of it goes in the fcuk it bucket (another phrase I’m stealing from Alie tonight).

So try throwing all of the yuckyness in your life into the fcuk it bucket to let the yummyness in. Feel yummy inside and out.

Namaste,

Sarathlete

Flip It Upside Down

My world was flipped upside down, quite literally, when I did my first headstand in yoga class last Monday evening.

I’ve been doing yoga regularly for a year. Last Monday evening was the first time I kicked up into headstand on my own. It took me a year of doing yoga consistently to build up the core strength to support my body in that upside down position.

I’ve been in assisted and spotted headstand, but today was the day I took my first steps on my own. It has taken me baby steps to get there.

My biggest fear of this pose was going upside down. It took me a year of courage building to face my fear and just let go. I realized tonight that I had the physical and spiritual strength to grow and let go of my fear of going upside down.

Flipping my world upside down has happened so many times to me since I lost my job in May 2014. Losing my job was the best thing that could’ve happened to me. The six weeks I spent without a job was a hard time because I had to face my fears and find the strength to kick up into life. I had to be willing to go upside down in order to find peace and new life.

There’s a beautiful, glorious and joyous life out there people! Flip your life upside down. Bend over into a forward fold and see how fabulous you feel. Let the blood rush to your head and enjoy whatever feelings bubble up. They will be new feelings perhaps. New is good. New is fabulous. New can be scary too. If we take baby steps we can build courage overtime to face our fears and eventually kick our fears in the face.

BOOM…..I just blew up my fears. I’m walking away from the fire to go do more headstand to get more head rushes and feel inspired and empowered to give, love and create.

My world was turned upside down today was amazing. Newness is fabulous! Keep learning and doing whatever it is that makes you uniquely you! You are fabulous and glorious, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

Life turned upside down is a beautiful thing!

Namaste,
Sarathlete

Project Prius C: Pranayama–Huh?

Before we hit the road with yogic driving, I want to teach you how to meditate. Meditation is a part of yoga that we are going to be applying to driving. Meditation will teach you how to breathe in a way that will calm the body and clear the mind. Remember my theory: the calmest driver makes the best driver.

Yoga references many words in Sanskrit. In the title of this post I refer to the word “Pranayama” which is Sanskrit for “extension of the breath”. In Sanskrit the word “prana” means “life force”, specifically meaning “the breath”. Breathing is how our bodies survive—we draw in oxygen and breathe out carbon dioxide. In Sanskrit, “ayama” means “to draw or extend out”. At the beginning of a meditation practice the breaths are short and brisk, in the middle the breaths are medium length and by the end of the practice the breath will be long and deep. The longer and more drawn out the breath, the calmer driver.

Here’s what you need to meditate:

  • A quiet place with no distractions—yes the back seat of your minivan parked in the garage where your kids cannot find you definitely counts!
  • A soft surface to sit on where you can sit up tall with your legs crossed in front of your body—I recommend a pillow to sit atop on your floor.
  • Music (optional)—I highly recommend the Soundscapes Music Channel #743 on the Comcast Cable Network (for more about this see below). Music is a great transitional tool to use to help you sit still when you first start to meditate.

Explanation of Soundscapes

Soundscapes is a combination of sounds from nature like waves crashing, thunder, or birds chirping with a peaceful melody played by a pianist, flautist or violinist. I find the combination of sounds from nature and music creates a relaxing background for my meditation practice.

Here’s a great way to start using music and meditation together: sit and meditate to just one song. Then work your way up to two. Perhaps you will start to find that you need more than two songs to feel calmer—you want to go deeper. Try three songs and so on!

Once you have your meditation spot and (optional) music you are ready to meditate:

  1. Sit in a comfortable cross-legged position.
  2. Turn your music on.
  3. Take a deep breath in.
  4. Straighten your spine by rolling your shoulders down the back, lift your chest towards the sky, keep your chin parallel with the floor and pull your belly button in towards your spine. Do not lie on your back because you might fall asleep.
  5. Close your eyes.
  6. Place the palms of your hands on your knees with palms facing up.
  7. Start to breathe in and out.
  8. Be present. Be in the moment without thinking of what you did in the yesterday or what you have to do afterwards.
  9. Once you feel you’re finished (perhaps after a song or two), stand up and go back to your day.
  10. Notice how you feel afterwards. If you felt good today then you will feel good after meditating tomorrow too. Make meditation a part of your daily routine.

Here’s how you will look just before you’re done meditating:

Keep calm, stay strong and keep driving on!

Namaste,

Sara

Project Prius C – The Future is Coming!

The future is coming. Driving hybrid cars, like my husband’s Prius C, now offer a glimpse of what the future holds—the electric-powered vehicle. Hybrid automobiles also hang onto a part of their past—gasoline-powered vehicles.

Think of it this way: Past, Present and Future.

The past is represented by gasoline-powered vehicles. These vehicles are so yesterday! Pollution from gasoline-powered vehicles have contributed to today’s global warming crisis. Fifteen years ago, when driving a gasoline-powered vehicle was all the rage, there were one or two hybrid cars being invented and available on the market—specifically, the Toyota Prius and Honda Insight.

Today there are so many hybrid versions of some of people’s favorite gasoline powered-cars (like the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, and Ford Fusion) and SUVs (like the Toyota Highlander, Ford Escape and Chevy Tahoe). Not too worry—the Prius and Insight are still here too!

Hybrid vehicles are powered by two engines. One is gas. The other is electric. The driving conditions determine which engine burns energy, which determines the overall carbon footprint of the vehicle. For instance, accelerating and braking quickly and driving at high speeds cause the gasoline engine to have to work more, which means lower miles per gallon and more fill ups. Driving at lower speeds, generally 35mph and lower, along with slower acceleration and braking mean that the vehicle will run off the electric battery as much as possible. The two engines work together recycling energy for the electric battery when the gasoline engine is running. An example of this is slowly coming to a stop—the battery recharges from the energy created from the gasoline engine as you stop. is are cool because they use the battery recharges when you’re braking utilizing braking energy. Recycling energy is what we need right now. But only recycling won’t be enough to cut the mustard going forward.

The future is coming! Purely electric powered cars (no SUVs yet) are out there right now and have been available for the last couple of years. There are also cars like the Chevy Volt which feature a mostly electric motor with a very small gasoline engine for backup just in case. Currently, purely electric-powered cars, like the Nissan Leaf, are on the market but are expensive for the size of the car and how far it can go before needing to be recharged. But as the technology gets better, the price will drop and the performance will improve, and the carbon footprint left behind will get smaller.

Hopefully, 15 years from now, there will be less hybrids and more cars like the Leaf and Volt on the road, making a carbon footprint that looks like just your big toe touched the sand. And I’d like to see gasoline-powered vehicles in museums and maybe one or two at a local antique car show—and that’s about it!

Much like how a hybrid engine works, I’m going to take two things and combine them: yoga practice and my husband’s 2012 Toyota Prius C. I’m going to teach you how yoga can be incorporated it into your driving. My theory is a calmer, balanced driver makes the best driver. And the best driver creates an awesome driving experience.

You don’t need to have a hybrid vehicle to follow along with me, although I wish you had one. Heck, I wish I had one and didn’t need to borrow my husband’s.

Welcome to Project Prius C—Yogic Driving. The future is coming!

Namaste!

Sara and her husband Pete’s Prius C (as pictured below—the husband and the car)

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Namaste–A Beautiful Greeting

Namaste is a greeting used in yoga.

“Namas” means “bow” in Sanskrit. “Te” means “to you” in Sanskrit.

Namaste means “I bow to you”. Other ways to say it are “I greet you” or “I welcome you” or “I honor you”.

With that, I hope you have a wonderful Wednesday!

Namaste,

Sara