A gorgeous day at the beach (in Plentzia, Spain) creates so much healing for the body, mind and soul. Our family soaks all of it in, sight, sound, touch and taste trying to be silent a little more so as not to miss the gift of what we can receive. What ever powers came together to bring this day to us I am eternally grateful. Namaste!
My asana practice today was a sweet 15 minute pre-surf stress from YogaGlo…http://www.yogaglo.com/online-class-1585-Pre-Surf-Stretch.html
Is there anything more wonderful than the smell of bonfire in your hair? OR, Is there anything more wonderful than the sound of a an ocean lapping the shore while being warmed by a bonfire. To my delight I’ve been lucky to have both this week…It must be summer in Northern Spain! It has been a true delight of the senses as we celebrated Noche de San Juan (June 23/24) and the beginning of summer vacation. For the next few months with a house full of children and the beach tempting us, it will be hard to stay focused on a daily mat practice. Just this week I have found my yoga drifting outdoors including a sporadic session of balance poses while touring our town with my son “the photographer”, and while kayaking on the river that threads it’s way through Bilbao working on some arm and core building poses. Yoga is all around us and the mat is just only one place to find it. Don’t let a mat stand in your way is my mantra this week.
This day ends a year abroad for the first of my immediate family. Our daughter is returning home to the US after completing a year in Europe as a prospective student. It takes a tremendous amount of courage for a young adult to step out of their comfortable place in the nest of a family and face the road ahead somewhat alone. Our daughter entered in to a program she knew little about and had to summon up a ton of strength, balance, effort and courage to face the unknown. In not having a big safety net of support she had to evaluate whether this year would determine whether she could commit or even enjoy a college experience that would lead to a demanding lifestyle and career path. She is a winner for seeing it through, giving herself the time to really think about it and even in her choice to determine that in fact, that was not where she wanted to be. She can not see how she has made this year a success yet by it’s my hope that when she is further down her path, or even advising a friend or child of her own, that this year will be a marked memory of learning, growing and succeeding.
As we send her back and remain in our own location fro the next 4 weeks I am determined to grow my own strength of courage and tackle some of the asanas of yoga I falsely fear.
Today’s asana practice was this video by Tiffany Cruikshank on YogaGlo, a strenuous vinyasa flow titled “Be Courageous” http://www.yogaglo.com/video_2939_l.html.
The photo above is by me taken out our front window of a sweet little bird on a roof top in Getxo, Spain. She is alone, yet part of a group that has already taken flight.
“Once a year, go places you’ve never been before.”- Dalai Lama
The road to compassion is built on love, humility and grace. These three characteristics are not easily acquired and just like fear they can be manipulated by surroundings, teachings, and experiences. It takes effort and willingness to incorporate them into a life and yet the benefits of doing so are so enriching and calming to the spirit. There are so many opportunities to separate ourselves by differences, but it takes guts to unite us by seeing through those differences and realizing our common factor, humanity.
My asana practice today focused on the profit we can make spiritually, emotionally, mentally and physically when we spend time on our mats.
Let Your practice Empower Your Path, by Darren Rhodes on YogaGlo.
(The photo is by me in the OMA Forest of Basque Country, Norther Spain)
It is a sunny afternoon in Northern Spain today and I am happy to have the warmth and healing light in my life. My spirit has felt so exhausted with worry for my child as that sweet soul regains strength from a recent traumatic event. May the rays of sun so plentiful here today find their way across the sea to my lovely kid. My prayer is that this event will not define or limit my child from living a big and beautiful wandering life.
This photo was taken by me in Las Arenas, Getxo, Spain….a mid spring bloom!
Todays yoga practice was an Asana by Jo Tasla on YogaGlo and readings from The Yoga Sutras regarding meditation.
The most difficult time of a sabbatical is when our children or family back home are wishing for us to be at home. It’s like a tide of energy moving forcefully, determined to knock us down one by one. With a family of 6 the odds of one of us getting toppled is a given, but the thing I have noticed and find comfort in, is the strength of the others to not lose sight of the floundering soul. With my 2 oldest children away from us & attending schools in other parts of the EU the opportunity to sink is so much greater because their daily strength is not fed by the family. Yet when they start to waiver or have a set back, they know from experience that the life preserver is just a small throw, or phone call away. As parents we are trying very hard to let them work through life so that integrity, hard work and responsibility can be the corner stones of our children’s lives.
Today we experienced a new homesickness rooted in a traumatic event. One of our children was seriously hurt and we realized that the support network of local friends was not what it seemed. Like a small child entering the ocean and being tackled by the waves, our kid is entering the wave of adulthood and not quite sure how to negotiate the force that is more experienced and stronger. For me, parenting a young adult is a whole new world and I am trying not to let the waves take me down either. While I reach toward my child with strength and a firm foundation, my yoga practice reminds me that compassion is the guide, life will eb and flo, and love will pull us through. We may miss the place that reminds us of effortless friendships, extended family and the memories of a gentler and safer time. But ultimately our home is within us, regardless of the pins position on the map. My children will have a journey that will include suffering and safety. They will have a journey full of travel and times at home. They will have a life that will eb and flow, and I will too.
Today’s asana practice Seane Corn’s “Elements of Flow” on YogaGlo followed by a 20 minute home practice of hip openers and yoga bicycles. I often store my anxiety in my hips and core. By combining a slow flowing practice that is centered in a solid foundation, and working on the places I store my anxiety (hips and core), I may be able to stay more grounded in my emotions.
It’s day 22 of 108 days of yoga practice and study and I am dog tired.
The photo below is a dog sunning at a cafe in Plentzia, Spain that I took this week while showing guests around. Seldom do you see a dog without an owner here so this one must belong to the shop/cafe. I love this type of dog which is kind of terrier, kind of “annie”esque and ALL Basque.
Having guests and touring around is wearing me out. It hasn’t helped either that the weather in northern Spain the last week has been rainy and cold. I need lots of sun and some good relaxing days on the beach to reboot. While I’m waiting for the weather God to answer that small wish I will take advantage of a good nights sleep, with a little help from my yoga fave Tara Stiles.