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This would have normally been a day I skip yoga. Too much going on. My professional obligations, personal commitments and poor time management combine to make Friday a challenging day to practice.

But, 28 practices in 28 days… It is on my mind a lot. I believe in this concept and am dedicated to this effort. I only had a few moments to practice, (lesson learned, get up earlier.) Centering, Cat Cow, 2 Sun Salutations, Child’s Pose, Intense Western Stretch, Navasana, Half Shoulder stand and Shavasana. Ahhhhhh.

Second lesson learned today: Even if you only have a few minutes, yoga can alter your mindset and better your day.

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It has been a few days since I last meditated. This morning I rose with the intention of doing so, and got caught up in the workings of starting the day.  These include kissing my husband who has been up for at least an hour and going over our dreams etc, delightful greetings to the pets and making sure they have food and water, coffee or tea and making the bed together.

Then I sat down to meditate. I was already so stimulated from the morning goings on that I found it difficult to concentrate. My mind was on the day ahead, my husband’s day, my new free yoga pants from twitter (fun!) and I really struggled to clear my mind.

It was a struggle and there is a good lesson. I forgot to let the thoughts flow in and out rather than fight them. Last, at least initially, I think it is best to try to meditate first thing, before the pets and the chats and maybe, gulp, even  before coffee.

This morning marks my return to work after 2 weeks off! What a whirlwind. I was sure I would meditate every morning, practice yoga daily and generally catapult my practice to a new level.

Well, let’s just say that didn’t exactly happen :). This idea of carving out time for your practice, for meditation, etc is a reality. In some ways, work is an excuse to tune out of our bodies, out of ourselves, and throw our beings into the modern cacophony. These last two weeks, however, holidays, family, etc took the place of work as reasons to skip practice or jump into the day rather than ease into it with a morning meditation…

These are just excuses. Development of that internal dialogue requires discipline.

I type this after completing my third seated meditation. Using Ujjayi breathing to focus my thoughts, I sat for 7 minutes. We have devoted a bedroom in the house to yoga now, and with the door closed, no animals and a candle burning, it was a bit easier now. I could still hear NPR in the kitchen, my husband and I are addicted, and I practiced dis-attachment to the sound. For the most part it worked. Tomorrow I will remember to turn it off before :).

The breathing definitely helped focus my thoughts, and towards the end I discovered I could let the sound fill my ears and truly tune in. This is what I will focus on tomorrow. For today, practicing compassion and kindness at work will be my focus.

I showed up for our second teacher training weekend Saturday morning worried I would be late. Flying down 295 I kept checking the clock, “7:45,” ohhhhkay, “7:50,” gulp, then ” 7:55, oh but wait it’s 7 minutes fast which means I actually have 12, no 17 no, shoot, 12 that’s right 12 minutes. I’m good.”

I park, fly up the stairs and Alyson, zenned out behind the desk says “Oh Shae! You’re early! Are you going to do the power class too?” Ummm what? And that started the weekend. 90 minutes of intense power, that is a great class by the way, the 90 minute Sun Power on Saturday mornings. Those people like to sweat! Then a full Yogalates class with Wendy, who I secretly think with her amazing strength and stamina must be a super heroine of some kind. With her cape in the car for emergencies and her mat and Pilates ball she battles evil, weak abs and inflexibility all across Jacksonville. I stumbled out of class, soaking wet and kind of buzzed, and immediately changed clothes.

We did our circle and talked about the month, and it struck me how much people deal with on a day to day basis and why something like yoga is so important in life. In our society there is not room for mediation, quiet and self examination. We literally carve time from our busy day to make these things happen. For me, it has come in the form of waking up at 5:30 or 6 in the mornings on the weekdays for time to center. 

In our group we have had serious life changing events in the last 3 months, and these people are making time for yoga. And that is really the point of this post- making time. In my last post I made a commitment to increase my practice and work on diet in order to have a stronger practice. This post is about a commitment to carving the time out to meditate, study the history of this tradition, and build the karmic side of my yoga practice.

I loved practicing outside in the gentle rain, until my mat got too slippery. Moving into the patio, the cat became very interested in what I was doing, and during handstand Ginger, our greyhound, just stared. I am sure she was thinking something like, “Gosh, she’s all mixed up. I hope she doesn’t hurt herself.”

Also, it is time to sweep the patio. It took only one DirghaPersonal Practice Day 1 (2) breath to realize that!

Rewarding, yes. I will learn quite a bit by going through a flow unguided several times a week. I hope to be able to have enough discipline to do a few one hour sessions by myself. Today’s was a half hour. I will have to create a special place for it, however. Or just sweep the patio.

Jack and Jill went down the hill, their water buckets ready to fill. Jill’s was empty, Jack’s half full, and he had water to drink on the way. In no time Jack was ready to start back up, while Jill took twice as long. In fact, she got tired of the work and stopped halfway. Jack told her she wouldn’t have enough for the journey, but she liked not having a bucket so heavy and started back up anyway.

In this clumsy story, the buckets symbolize our souls and the water our spiritual resources.  When we don’t take time to nourish our spirit, we will draw on it and use it up. Then it becomes very hard to DO anything that will serve to rebuild our being. Also, we turn into a bunch of lightweights, having gotten used to a diminished capacity for energy and spirituality. we become satisfied with a lesser engagement with life.

This all occurred to me in Savasana, or corpse pose last night: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Savasana

A time for complete stillness, obviously my mind was roaming.

Bottom line, we must take time to nourish our spirit. This may be yoga, church or meditiation.  But the harder it is to make time for it and actually do it, the more we probably need it.

Welcome to Salutations from Anjali. My wish is for this to be a journal of sorts, documenting my initial yoga teacher training with Alyson Foracre at Yoga Den in Jacksonville, Florida http://www.yoga-den.com/ . This is a 9 month program and I am excited and nervous, and after my first weekendled about the possibilities.

Our program is made up of all types of people. We have very fit bodies, looking for a way to avoid injury and hopefully pass that knowledge on, to people engaged in their own quest for peace, and those that are truly turning over a new leaf. For me, I hope to have the courage to continue to ask questions- however minute they might be, about postures I have been practicing for quite a while. I also hope to cultivate a daily practice of both deliberate Karmic Yoga and Hatha Yoga. This can only be done through a deeper understanding of the practice’s metaphysical aspects, I understand.

This journey will not end in 9 months, when the training is over. It will continue my whole life. This blog will likely take on different names and forms. However, at the beginning, Salutations from Anjai is symbolic of my hopes for future direction. Salutations in homage to Surya Namaskar, the Sun Salutation, the beginning of most vigorous flows and a wonderful way to open one’s heart and thank the universe for all that is. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surya_Namaskara

And Anjali, an ancient Sanskrit word meaning a divine blessing or offering, is what I hope to call my own roving Yoga practice, and possible my studio someday. Daily Anjali, or daily blessings, my tiny contribution to the universal vibe. I hope that I put out as much positive energy as I seem to receive every day. And that is today’s intention.

Salutations from Twitter

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