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Filtering by Category: yoga

LESSON # 2

Cindy Maddera

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The Facebook events that prompted this entry couldn't have come at a better time. I think it planted a seed and the sessions I attended at BlogHer acted as the water to make it grow. Sitting in on the International Activist Scholarship Winners session really makes me appreciate the freedoms I have. This years scholarship winners were Reem Amir Abbas, Simone Leid and Yoani Sanchez and the session was moderated by Cheryl Contee. Cheryl Contee is one cool chic. Check out the work she does. All of these women are remarkable , blogging in unsafe territory. Yoani Sanchez could only speak to us through a video she had sent. The Cuban government refused to let her leave the country and she is currently under house arrest. For her blog. Now this is were you stop and let that sink in. No matter what your gripes are towards our government, you at least have the freedoms to write and post what ever it is you want to say for who ever wants to read it.

I also sat in on the Owning Your Beauty session moderated by Rita Arens. Panelist were Karen Walrond, Jess Weiner, Kate Harding and Stephanie Nielson. I intentionally went to see Karen and I had met Rita the night before. She's a KC girl and she swept me into her gaggle of fellow KC bloggers. But the woman I related to the most was Kate. Her blog focuses on being healthy at any size and learning to be comfortable in your present skin. I can't tell you how long it took me to get to that place in my life.

So how do these two tie together for my second lesson. Well, there was a lot a talk about changing the language. Changing how we talk and think about differences. I have the freedom to and the power to do just that. But just not with my words. I've decided that once we get the house settled, I'll start teaching yoga again. On a volunteer basis. I see a class of underprivileged girls or women of low income families. I see myself teaching these women that they are beautiful and they are worthy through yoga. That's what I want.

OK...just one more lesson, but that's for another day.

SALT THE EARTH

Cindy Maddera

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Monday was one of those cliched kind of days. I had slept poorly, having dreams where I argued with my mother, so that when I woke up, I woke up bleary and cranky. I went to work and had a long mentally exhausting day. I didn't do my yoga practice. I worried about the house. I mumbled in my head about my fat tired body. I whined about the heat. And all of this I did internally, trying hard to not sound snappish when I talked to Chris. Then, that evening, while I was moping on the couch, Chris came out and said he wanted to water the garden and spray the yard. I grumbled and put on my shoes and headed out to help. I watered the garden and pulled some weeds while Chris sprayed a salt brine around the perimeter of the house and yard. And we were swarmed by mosquitoes. Masses of them. We came in covered in bites and Chris immediately jumped in the shower. I flopped down on the couch thinking I would not shower. I would just sit and itch and grumble. But Chris finished and I decided at the last minute to grab a tub of salt and jump into the shower and scrub myself with salt. Then, a funny thing happened. I stopped itching. I felt cooler. I felt less cranky. In fact, I didn't feel cranky at all.

We learned about energy cleansing with salt in yoga teacher training. It's best to soak in a tub of salt water for twenty minutes, but in a pinch (punny) you can just pour it over yourself and use it like a soap. I realized last night that this is something I don't do often enough. My body was hot, sweaty and itchy and could have done with a good scrub. But really the part that needed to be cleansed the most, was my soul. It's odd. I clean the house once a week. I wash clothes once a week. I shower daily, but I have a hard time remembering to clean my spirit. Perhaps salt baths should be added to the weekly chore list.

FORGIVENESS

Cindy Maddera

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My sister posted a link to this article from yoga Journal on her Facebook page. Maybe it's something she's been struggling with lately and the article spoke to her or maybe she just thought it was a good read. I don't know; she didn't say. But I read the article and it is a good one and it did make me pause and question forgiveness. Often times I feel I've forgiven someone for some transgression or another only to have the memory of that anger and hurt rear it's ugly head again during my meditation practice. I start to rerun the event wondering if there were ways I could have made it better. This is of course a distraction during my practice. Or it could be a way for my subconscious to actually deal with the issue. I've come to realize that often times I forgive (maybe too easily), but I don't really forget. I distance myself from the transgressor, because I no longer trust that person not to do it again. It's safe. It's easy. But does my inability to forget mean I've really forgiven?

I forgive those who have trespassed against me. I forgive and forget the trespasses. It's an easy thing to say (or type). But if I live a life where I believe that words matter, then I should make this an easy thing to do.

Namaste Y'all.

LOVE THURSDAY

Cindy Maddera

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I came home the other day and noticed a package from A Complaint Free World sitting on our credenza. Chris had decided to order some bracelets as a practice to be more mindful. He had forgotten about my assignment I had had for yoga teacher training a few years ago. We had to go complaint free for 24hrs. It took me two days. The rules are simple. You wear a bracelet and every time you voice a complaint or criticism you have to move the bracelet to the other wrist. The idea is to not have to move the bracelet for 21 days. It's difficult and humbling. You realize very early on just how much you complain and or criticize. Last year, I put the bracelet back on because I felt myself slipping back into that cycle. I was at a job I didn't really care for and not in a place where it was easy to be happy. I had to work to bring happy into my life and some days were harder than others. But one day, I went to work with the bracelet on and come home with no bracelet. Some where in my day, I had lost the bracelet.

Chris and I each put on a bracelet that night. We started talking about this and that and suddenly we both realized that we needed to move our bracelets. Afterward Chris would say "Now this is not a complaint, it's just an observation, but ...". It made me laugh. I told him we may have to change the rules to include his "observations". The next day, I wore my bracelet. It stayed put on one wrist all day. I really don't have all that much to complain about.

And today for Love Thursday, I am doing my very first give-a-way. The first eight people to leave a comment, will be sent their very own complaint free bracelet. Happy Love Thursday!

Check out A Complaint Free Revolution on YouTube.

Or the book, A Complaint Free World: How to Stop Complaining and Start Enjoying the Life You Always Wanted.

LOVE THURSDAY

Cindy Maddera

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Yesterday, I went to yoga class and it was the first time I'd been on my mat in four days. By the time I got home I was exhausted and had to take a nap while Chris made dinner. My nightly chore list seemed to be impossible even though the chore list is designed to give me only one task a night (clean the bathroom, vacuum, etc). I dragged myself through each one, but skipped my morning practice to sleep in an extra hour. The whole time, I've had this part of my brain that keeps telling me to "get up! you lazy bitch!". Some of you may remember when I did the Yoga Body Diet back in January and had to figure out my Dosha and how all these years I'd thought of myself as a Kapha. To compensate for the belief that I have a tendency to be lazy (Kapha), I've become a bit of an overachiever (also known as Vata). So while I've had that nag sitting on one side of my brain, there's the other side of my brain telling me it's OK to slow down a bit. I know I have some things going on with my body this week that requires me to get a little extra rest. I think the real struggle is being OK with being...OK.

At what point did we learn that no matter what we were doing, it just wasn't enough? Because this is what it all really comes down to, knowing that we are enough. It's not like any of us just do nothing all day. I work, I exercise thirty minutes every day, I cook dinner (usually), I do a chore, feed the dog and take him out for his front yard patrol. Why should I feel like I should be doing more? Isn't this enough? I say it is. I say that we are all enough. I say that we cut ourselves a bit of slack and stop being our own worse critics. Because no matter what, even on our lazy days, we are still loved.

Happy Love Thursday.

I THINK I MIGHT BE ALLERGIC TO TEQUILA

Cindy Maddera

Friday evening, Chris and I finally made it home from a long day at work (long week really) and we started right into making our dinner of left over potato soup and grilled cheese sandwich. While the soup warmed up on the stove I made us up some margaritas with clever margarita kit my pal Robin gave me for my birthday. Robin's recipe is 3 parts tequila, 1 part water, 1 part lime juice, and 1 part agave nectar. Robin is an alcoholic (I say that with love). They are very tasty and very potent margaritas. Any way, we're eating and drinking and watching Red and folding clothes. And I realize that the more margarita I drink, the more my eyes get itchy and my sinuses get stuffy, but I ignore it all because did I mention that the margaritas are tasty? And potent? So I spent the weekend battling with my nose and a nice little allergy attack. And today? Today I woke up with a canker soar the size of Texas on my tongue. I'm thinking it's either the agave or the tequila and I'm leaning towards the tequila, because that's a new alcohol to us.

So I guess this means that tequila goes on the list with avocados. That means I will still consume it, but that I am aware that my body doesn't like it. My yoga teacher used to tell us that every thing is about choice, just be aware of all the consequences of that choice. Meh. I can live with the canker soar.

WEEK THREE OR SOMETHING

Cindy Maddera

OK, I realize that today should be an update on the Yoga Body Diet. Things are going well. I eat whole lot of food at lunch and I'm not ready to eat my fingers off by the time I get home in the evenings. This is actually the most important thing. Usually, I am starving, as in Chris Farley starving, by the end of my work day (after teaching class and what not). I'm usually so hungry that I don't want to cook; I just want to eat and consume it in two point six minutes. It also leads to me eating way too much food right before my bedtime. The new plan is working out a bit better. I'm not as hungry by the time I get home and cooking supper is easier. Plus I make enough to put away for lunch the next day. I still feel like I'm eating way too much food at lunch time, but I don't feel like I need to eat something between lunch and supper any more. I plan on sticking to this way of eating even when the four weeks is up.

So week three....Yeah, through the chaos of putting together a surprise birthday party for my mom, I never managed to read up on what is expected of us in week three. I think this the part where they expect us to do lots of yoga and do poses that benefit your dosha. I think this is the part of the diet where we start to slide a bit. I already do lots of yoga and I know that my personal practice is just savasana. I also know that I need to be squeezing in this practice more than twice a week. If only we could add an hour to the day.

WEEK TWO

Cindy Maddera

Chris and I begin week two of the Yoga Body Diet today. To prepare for week two, we had to take a quiz to determine our dosha. As I mentioned before, there are three types of doshas and they reflect your mind/body type. The quiz is pretty straight forward. If you want, you can take one here. Describing the different doshas could be an entry all by itself, so I'll spare you the details and just say that after taking the quiz Chris turned out to be very much Vata with a little bit Kapha and a tiny bit Pitta. I was another story. I ended up scoring 18 points for Pitta, 17 for Pitta and 16 for Kapha. Pretty balanced. I have read about doshas before and have always thought I was Kapha. In fact, if you read the Kapha description, it sounds like me. But, when I read through the Pitta section, Chris and I both went "Oh". Yeah, I'm Pitta. The next step is to design meal plans based on your dosha type. The book contains a list of foods that are best suited to your dosha. The book also stresses the importance of eating three meals a day, no snacking in between meals. Breakfast looks like this: fruit, hot cereal, toast, and herbal tea. Lunch is meant to be your biggest meal of the day with soup or salad, vegetables, meat or tofu, dessert and herbal tea. Supper is the lightest with soup or salad, a sandwich, dessert and herbal tea.

As we started figuring out the grocery list, I started to freak out a little bit trying to figure out how to plan meals for the two of us with out breaking the bank. The Pitta in me wanted to be strict and really stick to the food list, but it seemed so daunting that the Kapha in me wanted to just chuck it all and forget it. I compromised with myself and decided to not get so hung up on the list. Super is just a lighter version of lunch. I designed meals that I could make extras of to bleed over into my lunch like quasadillas, tacos, grilled sandwiches. Things that we could put different fillings in and wouldn't be a big deal to make up separately.

One of the things that I really like about the book is how much it emphasizes how important it is to not stress. I had to remind myself that the no stress applies to the diet as well. We're keeping things simple. We've decided that making lunch the biggest meal of the day with a lighter super is more important than sticking to the list. The biggest problem will be getting Chris to not graze through the day. Vattas are known grazers.

Bring it on week two!

RESOLUTION TO NOT RESOLUTE

Cindy Maddera

I never make resolutions. I might go as far as to say "I'll try", but really, I make no promises (something that is also prone to get broken). I do have some tentative plans for the New Year, like crossing a couple of things off the Life List. Speaking of which, I need to go in and make some edits on that thing. I'm pretty sure I can find something else to replace "run a marathon". I just don't like running. There. I've said it. One thing for sure that's happening in the New Year is getting back on track with the food. Chris and I have gotten a little out of control (particularly around the Holidays). We're still sticking to 90% organic, it's just that we're eating so much of it. Like gobs and gobs of food in one sitting, inhaled in minutes. Not good. So I've talked Chris into doing 4 weeks of the Yoga Body Diet. Actually, it turned out to not be much of a hard sell. He usually says no to my cleansing diet schemes.

Today starts week one, which turns out to be pretty simple. You start with mindful eating, devoting at least 20 min three times a day to your meal. No multitasking while eating. No reading, no TV, no internet and no sound. Next step is drinking water. If you feel hungry between meals, drink two cups of warm water. The ideas in the book are based on an ayurvedic diet. Warm water is supposed to help flush out the system where as cold water causes blood vessels to constrict restricting things like digestion. The next thing on the list for week one is mindful breathing. I teach it to my students as three part yoga breathing, filling the belly, the ribs, the chest and then emptying belly, ribs, chest. Again, this is simple because I do it everyday. I just need to start applying to times when I'm not teaching or doing my own practice.

I thought it would bother me this morning to not have the TV on, or the iPad at my side while eating breakfast and lunch. But it wasn't that bad. I was conscious of every bite and at lunch I even had leftover crackers to snack on before teaching my evening class. I can't say that we'll be following the four weeks exactly. I've looked ahead to week four where they expect 3 hours of yoga a day from you. Sure, if I didn't have a day job and taught yoga one to two times a day already. And I will have to have that 3 or 4 o'clock snack if I'm going to make it through my classes. Snacking will just have to happen, but I promise that it will be smart snacking.

Next week has us eating to benefit our Doshas. The topic of Dosha is a blog entry for a later day. Also, I promise that I have an entry planned about my 365 day project. It's in pieces in my brain and I need a bit more time to put it all together. But the most important thing is that I finished it and I don't have to take a picture of myself today.

DREAM, DREAM, DREAM

Cindy Maddera

Last night I dreamed that Oprah stole one of my blog entries to use on her blog as one of her own. Actually, it wasn't really Oprah, but one of the people in charge of her blog. They plagiarized me right down to my Deviled Sham recipe (which is odd because I haven't actually written down a recipe for that, it's more of a made up thing). I was so mad and let Mrs. Oprah know exactly what I thought of the whole thing. She had know idea that her employee had done this. She told me that she doesn't even read her blog and that she was very disappointed that one of her employees would stoop to that level. I told her that I didn't care as long as they just gave me credit for the article. And I woke up. Do I have a fear of being plagiarized or having my words stolen? Nah. Maybe on some level, I worry about not getting credit, but this is just in general and not just related to my blogging. 'Cause, really? What do I need to get credit for exactly? I think we all have a need to be validated for our deeds. But would we all together stop doing the things that we do if no one ever said "thank you" or "good job"? I can think of one area of my life where it never seems to matter and that's when I'm teaching yoga. I can start a class in the worst mood, but by the time the end rolls around, every thing is better. I feel better. It's an added bonus at the end of class to have students tell my just how much they enjoyed the class. This is what I think about when I start thinking about dropping one my classes.

So what does the dream mean? Am I going to stop blogging because I have five readers and I have nothing much to say any way? It means I once again ate too many beans for dinner. It means that I know that I've done a good job and that I can give myself credit for the things that I do.

Take that Dr. Phil.