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me runningin the spring, i went for a run and put up a wee post about it. as it happens, i have continued to not be a runner on a consistent basis since then.

this morning’s run was under grey skies, as seems to have been the mornings of late.  it was also later than i prefer to run as i waited for both daylight and coffee to happen first.

crickets and cicadas provided the universal heartbeat backdrop to the run.  starlings and70735714_1659574990843496_1696513074057445376_n.jpg mourning doves hung like garlands in trees.  the shoulder of the road was still littered with fallen trees, though power lines that had been broken and were hanging just a few mornings ago, all remnants of last weekend’s hurricane dorian, are now repaired, explaining the power outage yesterday.

i have been contemplating entering the pei marathon’s 10k event this year. i have done it twice before, once shod, once barefoot. i have even flirted with the idea of the half marathon. thankfully, my common sense and self care instincts kick in before i get further than a furtive wink with the 21 km demand.

i am not a distance runner, not being well suited to endurance events, except perhaps birthing labour.

years ago, when i first began training for a half marathon, i gradually added more kilometres to my week on a schedule slightly on the conservative side of most recommendations.  weeks in, somewhere around the 13/14km mark, a wisdom deep inside my right hip flexor began to arise.  i dropped back my weekly distance for a couple of weeks and then slowly began to increase it again.  this inner wisdom was not to be denied.

i am not the sort to ‘work your way through that pain’ and, observing the ultimate outcome for those who do,  i am grateful for the kindnesses, including abandoning the thoughts of half marathon training, i have offered my body as i age.

so, i continue to run. short distances which fill my senses and clear my heartmind.  having nothing to prove to myself, these runs serve me well.

onward, then.  headlamp and safety vest season is upon me.

learning to treat ourselves lovingly may at first feel like a dangerous experiment.    sharon salzberg

 

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it has been quite a while since my soles spent time communing with asphalt.

beginner’s mind.

the sky was grey above, the damp asphalt grey below. crows were repelled by my approach and bluejays screeched like clothesline reels. the return of gold finches was heralded with their singing.

the lichens hung, winter weary, from tree limbs. the fields were waiting on sunshine to green their blankets. pussy willows had already pushed from their sleepy sleeves.

beginner’s mind.

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enjoy a 60 minute practice geared toward maintaining joint health and body strength as we age; also suitable for people with stress-related soft-tissue tension, arthritis, and a variety of joint injuries. a gentle flow warm-up sets the tone for stretches, basic postures, warm laughter, and a rejuvenating final relaxation.

no yoga experience is necessary for this class.

classes are on fridays and mondays at 10:30am

in the upton room at west royalty community centre.

classes begin on november 2 and end on december 21 (no classes november 9, 12, 23, 26)
11 classes $88
any 8 classes $68

*add’l drop in for package participants $10
general drop in $12

join us. we welcome new energies.

yoga is not about touching your toes. it is what you learn on the way down.  ~ jigar gor

i have stared at this blank screen for a while and have not found a gentle, tender way to share this news.

the whole way health & fitness studio is closing. march 31, 2018 is the day.

ideally, i would like to share this news in a personal, face-to-face conversation with every single one of you who come to the studio.  that desire is not feasible.

most of you know that my life has changed quite a bit recently; there are new other  aspects of my day-to-day that I want to spend more time with. closing the studio made the most sense whenever i dared entertain the thought. the last few weeks have brought me to a place of peace with the thought.

the studio has always been about you. about each and every clientfriend friendclient who has created a space for themselves and, in the process, crafted an amazing communal space. i have had the gift and the immense pleasure of being the steward of that space.

i will not say good-bye to the collective energy of the studio quite yet. there are still kettlebells to swing and clubbells to swipe; lebarre class squats to do and so much yummy yoga to practice. there is a final a.m. ready session to grace our early morning alarms.

i look forward to spending sweaty. sweet time with you in these next months.

thank you.

closestudiopic

i recently spent a few days camping with my partner.

annually we spend 4 or 5 nights at a particular island campground. we head to the northside of up east, to a cozy place called Campbell’s Cove (if you are not familiar with the geographical directional lexicon of prince edward island, you need only know it is island-centric and, though i can say the words, it remains a mystery to me).

DCIM100SPORTour day of arrival was steely gray, blustery and wet. the ocean was churning red waves upon the shore. the clouds were low, dancing a chaos of squalls. it was pretty much perfect.

the next morning dawned drier and slight bit more calm. clouds scampered along the early morning sky and the beach seemed to invite us down for a post-coffee stroll. it was the thrice daily ritual of ours days.

DSCN4624the way the sands allowed the waves to insistently rock ‘n’ roll, build and surrender, as the horizon shifted grey then blue then cloud then sky, seduced me into the landscape. i stopped being there and began projecting myself upon/into this mirific backdrop. the outcroppings of rocks, upon which the waves released, the uptakes of the stiff breezes, the passage of time with the skuddle of clouds . . . i wanted to place myself into this beauty. i wanted to strike a yoga pose on the edge of the ocean and have it captured with the camera so i could put it on my facebook page.

only seconds after this desire came upon me, my awareness of how ego-based the desire was crashed across my mind, much like the surf upon the boulders. and i let it go.

no.

i did not.

let it go.

the next day, on one of those lovely beach strolls, i capitulated to ego and handed the camera to udo. i was heading out onto that outcropping of rocks, there, i said, and i was going to stand in vrksasana – tree pose – and would he please snap a picture.

there was still a stiff breeze arriving on shore from the atlantic ocean  and coupled with some recent inflammation in my knee, a gradual growing into tree was required. there was a measure of challenge to holding the asana under these conditions.  after i had felt one with the universe long enough for it to be captured for social media, i climbed back over the rocks toward him, asking if he had gotten the shot.

no. he did not.

what??!

and so, i repeated the above process. this time he declared his part, solicited as it was, of my ego escapade a photographic success.

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later in the day i had time to check out the pictures. there were a few of me prepping for the pose, which explained the missed shot the first time around. the second time, the frame was zoomed in, so much so that the perspective, of my lovely self in this beautiful seascape, was lost.

all this to say, my ego was defeated. not by me, but by him. he has been my ego-eradicator from the beginning.

these photos. the ones where we place ourselves into landscapes and then share them — often multiple versions of them; the ones where we take multiple shots, looking for angles on our faces, the slant of light, the one that has that feel of serenity or excitement or pensiveness or unawareness or accomplishment. our lashes, our hair, the tilt of our head, the turn of the body, the shadow defining a muscle, that oh-so-horrible duck-face evolution of lips pursed so awkwardly … the entire process, from idea to selection to adding effects to captioning … these are important. they are important as our teachers. they tell us about how attached we are to our egos and give us more stuff to work with.

he recognized my ego and he deflated it. i am so very thankful for his gurudity in my life. i have so much more work to do. i am constantly amused by and curious about it all.

all

I am not this hair, I am not this skin, I am the soul that lies within ~ Rumi

 

 

DCIM100SPORTi step sweet gingerly

on the carpet of wild strawberry blossoms

strewn alongside the driveway

mourning doves scatter as i advance

they lift and spiral outward upward

like the dance of dandelion seeds on the wind

i run awkward

the soles of my feet

have softened in the dewy grass

and have awakened

to the richness of the textures

that is the asphalt

i run solely

my ears fill with the succession of cars passing

and then

they empty of the roar

the kirtan of birdsong rises all around me

and settles venticularly

vibrating

i do not know if it is internal or external

i run blurry

the air sits heavy humid

DCIM100SPORT

DCIM100SPORT

immediately sticky on my skin

my fingers tingle with the coolness of early

the sweet scenty aura

of apple blossoms warms me

and slugs hieroglyph

messages of love I leap over

i run hearty

practice3i unfurl my mat on the deck amidst intoxicants

of barely blossomed lilacs

with just out fragrances

bumbling bees

as they buzz the sound of the universe

morning practice

for_peace

the asphalt warm as it caresses the underbelly of my foot

a gentle south breeze slowly watlzing the laundry on the line

mating and nesting songs being passed in a stand of trees

foliage escaping once tight buds.

running. receiving. rejoicing.

hold fast to the mother

 

runhome

at the end of the run

i am not a runner.

yet every spring, song birds beckon me outside, to be their audience as they are mine. it is the same universal energy which led teenage me to cut high school classes in april and, for a short while in my adult life, led me to believe that ‘spring cleaning’ was actually a thing.

i generally wait until the morning temperatures reach 7°C; the encumberances of cold weather running do not suit me well.

today it was 14°C when i got up. and humid. go time!

the asphalt under foot was warm and the shoulder of the road was spring time soft; so pleasant to run on. the warm breeze from the south, the sweat gathering along my hairline, the birdsong.

running with the mind of meditation.

yoga for cool down.

a great start to friday.

may we all be happy just the way we are.

 

 

 

6am sun

6am sun

i ran outside this morning for the first time since forever.

i did not run far or fast, but i ran fresh, with the heavy morning dew collecting along my hairline, alongside corduroy fields and amidst a veritable symphony of morning song birds.

i was grateful to be there.

the 12 students of chair ytt

the 12 students of chair ytt

the weekend before last, i attended a chair yoga teacher training course. getting to the program was a bit of vehicular adventure, but the mishaps and setbacks were well worth it.

the course was held in the very special space of Fall River Yoga Centre and offered by Julie Palmer of Yoga4All in the Annapolis Valley.  Julie has a depth and breadth of presence, knowledge and skill. the eleven other students in the course brought an abundant diversity to the experience; the centre quickly opened into a sharing, practice, exploring and learning space.

chair yoga is an adaptive form of yoga, well-suited to any body with ambulatory or joint mobility challenges, concerns with balance, and a variety of issues often associated with aging, though not necessarily so.

the course started each day with a master class, in which Julie opened the class with a meditation/centering practice. this was followed by pranayama (breathing exercises) and warm up movements.  seated yoga poses and standing yoga poses followed. and then optional resistance training or hand/finger mobility with neurological patterning, self massage and another meditation. the master classes were all wrapped up, of course, in a luscious silky ribbon of relaxation.

chair yoga, in case you’re wondering, can be plenty challenging if that is where your practice is. it is also a mat/chair time which begins right where you are. (yeah, the cape bretoner in me wanted to say: right where you’re at)

over the weekend, we explored seated yoga postures and standing postures using the chair. there was a good deal of fun and creativity in the room, and all manner of learned lessons and tips from the participants.

a variety of pranayama techniques, hand mudras, and do-in self-massage were shared and learned along with some very fun silly shakers offered up by one of the other students.

issues of concern when working with an older adult population were covered quite well. from hearing to blood pressure, from arthritis to osteoporosis. the information was just meaty enough for someone new/er to working with this population to have confidence in themselves and fingertip access to a fantastic reference source.

i had been eyeing this program for a couple of years now and am so glad i had the opportunity to attend. i’ll be using so much of this in the programming i already offer seniors.

i am grateful to Julie, for creating such a wonderful container for our learning and curiosity and to all the other participants who filled the room with comfort and creative energy.

namaste.

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