• Challenges in Yoga mirror challenges in life

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    Sheryl Checkman in Firefly pose

    Firefly pose side view

    Yoga is a never-ending practice of self-exploration. Each practice is different. What I can do one day, I may not be able to to the next. On the other hand, what was once difficult can also become obtainable. The same is true in life. My yoga practice allows me to check-in with my body and mind for 75-90 minutes and explore the possibilities and boundaries for the day. Being a somewhat “type-A” personality, I like to challenge myself, working on guiding my body into new, often difficult poses – preferably without hurting myself. The key here is to listen to my body’s signals, and know when to stop. I may not be ready to get there today, but maybe next time.

    Headstand is one of those yoga poses that I thought I would never be able to do. It just looked too scary to me to even try. But I did try it and thanks to my wonderful yoga instructor Suzanne and the intention that I set for myself to overcome my fears, I now can do it with very little effort, and no fear. I don’t even need the wall (most of the time!).

    Next, I challenged myself to learn Firefly, or Tittibhasana, as it is known in sanskrit. This is an arm balance pose that requires a lot of core strength. My instructor told me how to start out using blocks to get into the pose at first I then looked at some pictures and videos online showing the full pose and little by little I have been able to accomplish it. No longer using the blocks,  I can now hold the pose longer and get my legs out straighter at each new attempt. If I fall out of the pose, I just try again. No judgement. I found this video online that gives a good explanation of the pose. Next up: Side Crow!

    Firefly pose front view

    Firefly pose front view

    What I have learned through challenging myself in yoga is that whether or not I am able to do the full pose is irrelevant, it is that I keep trying, accepting each days’ accomplishments for what they are, without judging myself. I may never achieve the full pose, and that’s ok. It’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey. Now the biggest challenge is to take this into my life off the mat.

    What challenges are you working on?

  • I could have swam with Diana Nyad!

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    Diana Nyad swims 48 hours in Herald Square

    How many times do you find yourself saying, “If only…”? For me the latest version came when I walked over to Herald Square a couple of week nights ago and saw Diana Nyad at about the 12 hour mark of her 48 hour swim to benefit the New York victims of Hurricane Sandy. Being a swimmer myself, I thought how cool it would be to swim beside her for a few laps. I walked over to one of the security guards and asked how one would get to join her in the pool. Alas, I would have had to sign up weeks ago! If only I had found out about this opportunity to swim beside Diana Nyad in time to sign up, I would have had an experience of a lifetime! But, just standing along the edge of the pool, so close to the water that I could have touched it was still an amazing experience!

    Diana Nyad is an inspiration! After 30  years she finally realized her life-long dream to swim 103 miles from Cuba to Key West this past September. Her failed attempts over the years never caused her to give up that dream. While the thought of all those hours in the water makes my skin prune, I admire her determination and I applaud her success. It just makes me want to keep on striving to achieve my dreams. After all, anything is possible if you keep going after it!

    Life is Balance "Take a breath" inspirational t-shirt

    Maybe I’ll send Diana one of my Life is Balance® “Take a breath” inspirational t-shirts!

  • Life

    Posted on September 13th, 2013

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    Reflecting on the Past Year, Looking Forward to a New One

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    Jewish New Year AppleTonight at sundown Jews around the world (myself included) will observe Kol Nidre, the start of the holiest day of the year… Yom Kippur. During the following 24+ hours we ask for forgiveness and atone  for our sins and transgressions of the previous year. And in the new year, Yamim Nora’im, 5774 we once again can start fresh.

    I like this concept of getting a new start, a do-over, so to speak. It is particularly meaningful for me this year. Tomorrow I will reflect on the past year, the things I did and the things I didn’t do, the people I may have inadvertently hurt and things that I am not proud of. I will ask forgiveness, I will atone, and then I will set an intention to do better this year. This New Year brings with it the hope for a fresh start, new beginnings and limitless possibilities. I am going to embrace this new year with hope – for myself, for my family, for my friends, and for the world. I am choosing to be optimistic that this New Year will be a sweet one! Shana Tova!

  • Older Posts Yeah! There are more posts, check them out.

    Newer Posts Yeah! There are more posts, check them out.