happy summer

summer came in with a bang.

literally.

we fell asleep to a thunderstorm last night, and woke up to thunder rolling again this morning.

unusual for portland.

not only is today the summer solstice, it is also international yoga day.

so, what better way to celebrate than to practice some yoga?!

i was able to go to my favorite yin yoga class this morning, which always helps me reset.

i, personally, needed a bit of a reset after this first week of the kids being home.

i love having them home.

it is such a blessing to be home with them all day long, but as they get older and they have their own ideas of what they want to do each day it gets harder to manage keeping everybody (including me) happy.

so, i came home from yoga with a better perspective than i left the house with.

happy international yoga day!


it was HOTyesterday, so we stayed in the house most of the day.

i have been fighting off a summer cold (not cool), and when i get sick i need to REST.

i do not like it when colds hang on, and i have found that rest is the main thing that helps me to get over a cold quickly.

after being cooped up in the house most of the day yesterday i was bound and determined to get us out of the house for a bit today.

i thought a visit to a local farm would be fun on the first day of summer!

we have never been to a local lavender farm and i knew there was one that i used to drive by all the time when i would get in the car and just drive to get the kids to nap when they were little.

i “searched it up” (this is what the kids always tell me to do) and we ventured out to Mountainside Lavender Farm.

we were greeted by kiefer, one of the family farm dogs, who lorelai instantly fell in love with.

with the cooler temperatures today, it was a perfect day to spend time cutting lavender.

 

although there were a few other people there, we really had the whole place to ourselves.

the english lavender is currently in bloom, so we each collected our own little bundle.

they also distill their own lavender essential oil at the farm!

how cool is that?!

stay tuned for more summer adventures!

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summer zen

today is the first day of summer break for my kiddos.

i love summer because i don’t always like a task list.

i like a bit of structure, but i don’t thrive with structure.

however, i do thrive in a calm environment, and without structure calm is sometimes elusive.

one of my favorite ways to find some calm is with yoga.

i have recently stepped up my home practice and my goal for the summer is to devote at least 20 minutes a day, at home, to yoga.

i hope to make it to 3 classes per week at our health club, but would love to practice everyday at home.

another way i love to add calm to our home is with essential oils and i plan to use both in my yoga practice this summer.


in fact, i found an awesome kit with roller bottle blend recipes, labels, bottles, and instructions for yoga and meditation roller and diffuser blends from Got Oil Supplies!

today, i put a few of the blends together…

the kit includes 1 recipe tear sheet, 1 label sheet and 10 glass rollerball bottles (oils, mala beads, and yoga props not included).

i am looking forward to using these blends during my at home yoga from some summer zen.

you can also get your own Yoga & Meditation Rollerball DIY Kit at Got Oil Supplies!

clarity is my word for the year, so the clarity blend happens to be my favorite so far!

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{mindful monday} each moment

mindful

[mahyndfuh l]

adjective
  1. attentive, aware, or careful
  2. noting or relating to the psychological technique of mindfulness

mindfulness

  1. the quality or state of being mindful
  2. the practice of maintaining a nonjudgemental state of heightened or complete awarenesss of one’s thoughts, emotions, or experiences on a moment-to-moment basis

through my yin yoga practice over the last few years i have truly learned mindfulness. in those minutes, in that hour, i can truly focus on my breath while thoughts come into and out of my mind without judgement of myself or others.

in those moments i feel whole, confident, and content.

when i miss those practices because i let other things get in the way i feel it in all aspects of my life.

however, i should not let missing those yoga classes affect my mindfulness practice…mindfulness can be practiced without yoga.

mindfulness can be practiced every day.

each moment.

as best you can.

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comfortable with the uncomfortable

i take a yin yoga class 2-4 times a week. if you are not familiar with yin yoga it is a slow-paced style of yoga with poses, or asanas, that are held for longer periods of time. for beginners this may range from 45 seconds to two minutes with more advanced practitioners holding poses for 5 minutes or more.

last thursday we held a pose for eight minutes.

EIGHT minutes.

eight minutes in paschimottanasana.

what is paschimottanasana you might ask? (and how do you pronounce it?!)

paschimottanasana (POSH-ee-moh-tan-AHS-anna) is a seated forward fold and can be used to help your distracted mind (and your hamstrings) unwind.

the benefits of paschimottanasana are as follows:

  • calms the brain and helps relieve stress and mild depression
  • stretches the spine, shoulders, hamstrings
  • stimulates the liver, kidneys, ovaries, and uterus
  • improves digestion
  • helps relieve the symptoms of menopause and menstrual discomfort
  • soothes headache and anxiety and reduces fatigue
  • therapeutic for high blood pressure, infertility, insomnia, and sinusitis
  • traditional texts say that Paschimottanasana increases appetite, reduces obesity, and cures diseases

our instructor said the hardest part of staying in the pose would be staying in the pose for EIGHT minutes because you start to feel uncomfortable about the TIME you are spending in the pose.

he said that by being focused on our breath, our body would relax, and our mind would follow allowing us to become comfortable with the uncomfortable task of holding the pose for eight minutes.

to tell you the truth, i would have liked to hold it even longer.

and, to be completely honest, i look nothing like the image above when i am in paschimottanasana.

in yin yoga we use all kinds of straps and props to support our poses so we can hold them for long periods of time. i probably had my head resting on blocks or a bolster, and maybe even a strap around my feet. my head was nowhere near my knees and my hands were not wrapped around my feet.

someday, maybe. someday.

i have really come to love my mornings with yin yoga and can really tell a difference when i have missed a class. it’s not necessarily that i become out of shape, or stiff, but i find myself becoming un-comfortable with the uncomfortable.

i don’t always want to be comfortable with the uncomfortable because there are some uncomfortable situations you should be uncomfortable with. however, i sure like being able to deal with uncomfortable situations with a clear mind and that is what yoga helps me do.

are you a yogi? if so, what style of yoga is your favorite and why?

{2012} completed

Yesterday I tried a new yoga class at our health club.

It was tough.

It was relaxing.

It was thoughtful.

My muscles are sore today, but more than that, I came away with a clear mind.

The instructor talked about COMPLETION.

com·ple·tion

/kəmˈplēSHən/

Noun
  1. The action or process of finishing something.
  2. The state of being finished.

She talked about looking back on everything that happened in 2012…good, bad, or indifferent…and consider it completed.

Shake hands with it, give it a high five, a hug, or whatever you need to do…and move forward.

I usually say, “Let it go,” but I really like this idea of COMPLETION.

We cannot change the past…it is completed.

Good, bad, or indifferent.

We CAN focus on NOW and look forward to the future.

I’m looking back at 2012 with COMPLETION.

Moving forward with ANTICIPATION.

Enjoying the NOW.

Happy 2013 to all of my friends, family, and those of you who are neither, but choose to read this blog because it offers some inspiration to you.

I hope to be more INSPIRING in 2013.

home is…2012 almost completed.