Handstand365: Days 114-227

Another hundred plus handstands, and many more life lessons learned since my last post about my progress. I’m almost two-thirds the way done with the #handstand365 challenge, and I am learning more and more every day with this fun practice.

I learned a whole lot about technique when I went to Aruba for a week in August and did a yoga retreat with yoga girl Rachel Brathen. I learned to exhale when I kick up (sometimes I would hold my breath in the past). I learned to make sure my shoulders are directly above my wrists. I learned to put most of the pressure in my hands on the thumb knuckle and first two finger knuckles. Doing this is difficult, but it makes a difference in doing handstands as well as in other yoga poses that use your hands on the ground. I learned to squeeze my legs together and to squeeze in my core. It’s hard to keep track of all these things and to perform a handstand, but I practice almost every day, and I think I am improving little by little.

I have an amazing boyfriend who does handstands with me, and together we’ve learned how to balance together and share fun times doing yoga! We’ve tried back to back handstands as well as front to front kissing handstands. We want to pursue some acro-yoga where we can do other poses together too. It’s so fun to share yoga with someone you love.

I’ve literally learned to find my plumb-line when upside down. I’ve started to be able to hold my handstands for a bit longer than a split second, and it’s a weird feeling, something that is hard to describe. But I get a balanced feeling. And then I have to focus on my core and squeezing my legs together and then usually I have to come down. I look forward to the day when I can hold it longer with complete control.

Also, I’ve learned the importance of symmetry. Whatever I do on one side of my body, I do on the other side of my body. For the first hundred or so handstands I mainly led with one leg. Once I spent time in Aruba, I learned to try it on both sides. Surprisingly I was able to balance pretty well right away on the other side. So, every time I do a handstand, I make sure to practice it on both sides now.

I’ve experimented with some other forms of handstands also like hollow-back handstands, forearm handstands, and handstand scorpion. These poses build on the basic foundations with more difficult variations.

I’ve learned to incorporate this sense of balance, challenge, and persistence in my personal life as well. When upsetting things happen, I try not to take it personally, feel whatever I am feeling, let go of the negative and return to a centered place mentally. I’ve learned to keep trying when things are difficult because that’s when the change takes place. We don’t get stronger when things are easy. So if I fail at something, I try again. I don’t let setbacks set me back. I keep going with a smile and face the challenge again and again….with a sense of calm confidence that all I can do is do my best and that is enough in every situation. I gave up on caring what other people think of me and I focus on me and what I want to do regardless of others’ opinions. (Think what it’s like to do handstands in public places…it really does teach you not to care what people think). I’m self assured and look for joy in every day. I laugh every time I’m done doing a handstand!

My sense of inner peace is strong. My sense of self is strong. My sense of adventure is strong. I am ready for what each day has to offer and I appreciate each day because I know that’s all we really have. I have confidence and a zest for life that was missing for a long time.

Thanks for reading this entry. Peace out!

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Tattoo You

Do you have tattoos? When did you get them? Why did you get them?

I waited until I was in my forties to get my first tattoo because I wanted to be sure of any artwork I chose to place permanently on my body. My first tattoo was of my (now ex) husband’s name with Korean symbols for love and family next to it. Likewise, he got the same Korean symbols and my name in the middle. We thought this was a good idea at the time.

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A year later I got a yin/yang with all four of our kids’ names all around it. We both had older kids from previous relationships and we had two together. There was balance.

About a year after that I got a heart with wings and a halo on my upper back. I did that with my father and some friends in mind whom I’ve lost over the years. It’s a way of reminding myself that love is eternal.

Now that I’m divorced, I decided to cover up my ex’s name. He’s removing mine from his body, but I decided to leave his there and to grow on top of it much like I am doing in real life. He’s still a part of me and my life but plays a much different role now in the background. On top of all of that, a new me is growing and my new relationship is growing. Something old is evolving into something new and beautiful. Just like my new tattoo on top if the old one.

My artist went back over his name with white first and then redid the symbols so they would be just as black as my new piece. It’s ironic that in getting rid of the old tattoo, I had it completely traced over again essentially. It’s like the universe saying to me, ‘look you’re starting over but don’t forget where you came from.’

I had the outline done first and just went back today for the colors and shading. I’m super happy with my new piece!

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Thanks for reading this entry. Peace out!

Law of Attraction

Our thoughts generate our worlds. What we think is what we become. What we think about is what happens all around us. When I went to Aruba for a yoga retreat with Rachel Brathen, Yoga Girl, we spent our first session together introducing ourselves and then drAwing angels cards to set the intention for the week. Here’s the card I drew:

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I believe in this concept. It’s energy and science. Whatever you put out there into the universe comes back to you like echoes of karma. You reap
what you sow. What goes around comes around.

The main thing to remember is we all drive our own ships. We are our own captains in life so to speak. We direct our paths by our thoughts and create our realities by our choices.

So what are you thinking about?

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Think about love and light. Think about the positive things in your life.

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Thanks for reading this entry. Peace out!

21 Day Yoga Girl Challenge Day 21: Self Love

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What makes me happy? 70 minute reflexology sessions! Got one tonight after having a nice day taking care of myself (went to the gym, practiced handstands and forearm stands, did a little shopping and took myself out to eat a healthy dinner at Pei Wei).

Click here to learn more about reflexology. It’s like massage but different, and I love it!

I think the concept of self love is super important and have been working hard in this area over the past several years. I blog about it under the category Self Care Sunday

Ever heard of the golden rule? You know, ‘treat others as you want to be treated’? I like that idea, but it could use some extension. How about treating ourselves the way we want to be treated? How about being nice to ourselves, doing things we enjoy, doing things that are healthy for us? If we don’t take care of ourselves, we are not really any good to other people. If we aren’t happy and whole being ourselves, we don’t have much to offer others. On the flip side, if we continue through life without making ourselves a priority, it not only affects us and our overall health, it can also get in the way of healthy happy relationships with others.

If you haven’t seen this video yet, please take a few minutes to watch. It’s worth it. Ben Smythe has a way with words and expresses it better than I can. Just watch and listen. Watch it and listen to it a few times. He makes several excellent points and he is hilarious!

Click here – Ben Smythe on Attracting Unfulfilling Relationships

I just want to say thank you to Rachel Brathen for this fun challenge! Some days were easier than others. My favorites that I don’t already do often and want to keep doing more are: get creative, Mother Nature, start a new routine, something new, and sweat. The hardest one for me was rise and shine. I only did it that one morning! My chiropractor says my adrenal glands are not happy and I need more sleep, so for now I won’t be rising too early. Overall, I already try to do some yoga and meditation every day (even if it’s brief), be grateful, say I love you, and get shit done.

I also focus hard every day on self love. It’s what’s helped me grow through a lot of pain and difficult times. Loving myself and taking care of myself has helped me be happy being myself. Once I found some inner peace I think things started to fall into place in my life. I also think taking care of myself is a good role model for my kids.

Thanks for reading this entry. Peace out!

21 Day Yoga Girl Challenge Day 20: Something New #yogagirlchallenge

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Took my dogs, Marley and Daisy, to the new dog park in town. We’ve never been there before. They met new doggies and people, and I even incorporated a couple of the other days of the challenge by sweating outside enjoying Mother Nature, being grateful for the time to do it and for the beautiful day and for my two dogs, and I also did some yoga handstands and reclined on a bench and meditated for about five minutes. After the dog park, we took a walk and then came home to cool off. It was a fun little adventure, and I am interested in finding some other new things to do.

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Here is the handstand I did at the dog park and posted in the #handstand365 challenge.

If you could do something new, what would it be? I was surprised by how few ideas I had.

Thanks for reading this entry. Peace out!

21 Day Yoga Girl Challenge Day 19: Random Act of Kindness #yogagirlchallenge

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Happy to support my friend’s project, 31 Days of Urban Agriculture, using her art to educate people about urban farming. Everybody eats food, so this is something everyone can benefit from learning about.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/lindsaycurren/31-days-of-urban-agriculture to check out and support the project.

I’m especially interested because of all my issues with food allergies, I try to eat mostly a whole foods diet. I avoid processed foods as much as possible and like the least amount of additives possible in my foods. I’ve had so much food allergy testing and every time I have more positive results.

I am sensitive to/intolerant of:

gluten
corn/sugar
rice
oats
white potatoes and nightshade vegetables
tuna
chicken
beef
pork
walnuts
strawberries
lima beans

21 Day Yoga Girl Challenge Day 18: Mother Nature #yogagirlchallenge

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Today I did yoga with bare feet on the grass at a local park. Yes some people saw me, but I didn’t really care. It felt great to sweat, like an outdoor version of hot yoga. I turned off my phone and enjoyed the sounds of nature while I practiced for about 45 minutes followed by about five minutes of meditation under a tree. It was a beautiful blue sky sun shiny day! Loved my view of the pretty trees while I practiced (lower left).

Since I also participate in the #handstand365 challenge, I did my daily handstand and posted that picture too. Besides my feet getting itchy from the grass, it was overall an excellent experience. I’ve never tried doing yoga outside on the grass before. It felt great to do it in a different setting like that.

I am a huge fan of Mother Nature! It started when I did a 95 day semester in the Rockies in 1989. Then, I worked for Greenpeace for a while and became an avid rock climber and mountain biker. I’ve been known to hug trees frequently! As I’ve gotten older, I’ve moved away from the outdoor adventure sports but not my connection with the environment. I still feel at my best when I am in nature somewhere. The beach is my favorite, but living in Texas that’s not always an option!

Thanks for reading this entry. Peace out!

21 Day yoga Girl Challenge Day 17: I Love You #yogagirlchallenge

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There is so much love overflowing from my heart for these people: my three amazing kids and my best friend/boyfriend Bill. See that big happy smile on my face? That’s because loving these people makes me so happy! I try to tell them every single day how much I love them and how much I appreciate them in my life.

I’ve been a mom for 21 years now. Loving my kids has been the most rewarding thing I’ve done in my whole life. It’s an unconditional love that weathers the storms and celebrates the good times and fills in all the spaces in between. l tell them I love them, and I also show them with my actions, being there every day for them, holding their hands, giving them big hugs and kisses, giving encouraging words when they need them, and so many more ways.

Bill and I are in a new relationship, but the love is strong and based on 34 years of friendship and history. I love him with all my heart, and he gives it right back to me. People tell us we ooze positive, loving vibrations when they are around us. We can’t help it; we glow with love.

I also took some time to let other people know I love them. I contacted my mom and told her. I posted some messages on people’s Facebook timelines. I try to be open and loving to people on a daily basis, but it did feel good to consciously make a point of saying those three words together.

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Thanks for reading this entry. Peace out!

21 Day Yoga Girl Challenge Day 16: The Altar #yogagirlchallenge

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This is where the Buddha sits in my bathroom under the leafy plant with the flower, mermaid, candles, and incense holder. I don’t technically meditate in the bathroom, but I do stretch in some yoga poses and I do spend quiet time alone. My meditation mostly takes place on my yoga mat. Because of the challenge, I added more things that connect me to spirit: some seashells my kids brought me from Florida, another candle for more light, a lucky bamboo plant, a picture of me and my man who lives 1,000 miles away, and a reminder that I am loved.

This is a place that helps me find my center. These small symbols of things that matter most to me are a beautiful reminder every day that I have so much to be grateful for. I appreciate taking some time every day to reflect on these things, to be still and calm.

Thanks for reading this entry. Peace out!

21 Day Yoga Challenge Day 15: Sweat #yogagirlchallenge

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I spent about an hour sweating in the sauna, in the sun, and in the steam room at my gym. It feels so good to sweat out toxins and to relax in the heat! The sauna is a dry heat. I usually lie down on my back on top of a towel, and the heated wooden bench feels amazing, like a big heating pad. It helps my back muscles relax. The steam room is a wet heat as steam is pumped into the room in regular intervals. There is a eucalyptus smell in the air that clears out the sinuses. I also lie down on my back on a towel and enjoy the skin cleaning benefits of the steam opening up my pores.

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This is the way I usually end my workouts at the gym. The only thing missing this time was soaking in the jacuzzi and swimming in the pool. I like to alternate between being super hot and cold! It’s good for the circulation! I didn’t get in the water this time because I have a new tattoo and can’t submerge it until it’s healed.

My other favorite place to sweat is hot vinyasa yoga class! Talk about sweating, holy cow I learned the hard way to bring a full size towel into class to put on the mat. Otherwise, the mat gets dangerously slippery from all the sweat that pours all over it. It’s a very cleansing feeling to sweat that much while doing yoga.

Thanks for reading this entry. Peace out!