Archive for the ‘Yoga’ Category

Building My Wings On The Way Down

A friend/client messaged me earlier this week asking what I had planned for her personal training session. My response?

“IDK.”

Yep. Twenty four hours prior to her arrival for her personal training session, and I honestly had no idea what I was going to do with her or for her. Now, before you freak about how unprofessional this was, keep in mind I’m doing it for free. She’s my guinea pig for a personal training class I am taking…er…uh…I mean….teaching myself. I’ve sorta been dreading it because I feel so unprepared, and since the instructor is requiring it, yet has refused to prepare us with anything other than “read the book”, I have few options besides “winging” it.

It seems like I am doing a lot of “winging” it lately. I don’t know that I ever feel fully prepared for anything anymore.

I have lots of good information to share, and I know I can lead/guide in lots of situations, yet I am really hesitant to jump into something when I feel inadequate.

Lately, however, it seems as though I need to lose the control freak thing about being fully prepared and just jump. I need to trust that the knowledge and skills I already possess, combined with the ones I am continuing to acquire are sufficient to meet the needs of the people who are choosing to be served by me.

Teachers always have to live through being a dreaded “first-year” teacher. There is always the “newbie” stage at a new job during which time “lost and confused” seem to reign supreme.

And now, I find that after months of talking about what I’d like to do, and after a few attempts to prepare myself to do it, it is time for me to jump off this cliff and build my wings on the way down.

So, Thursday evening, October 7th, you are invited to watch me do some cliff diving. After months of talking about it, I have actually decided to open up my space to all who are interested so that we can begin to explore the benefits of a yoga-type class. I say “yoga-type” because I am no expert in yoga, yet I have lots of good information to share, lots of great feel-good stretches, and oodles of awesome energy exercises. We are going to throw it all together in a big pot of togetherness and see what kind of gentle deliciousness we get.

I trust you will join me if your schedule permits. I also trust you’ll throw me a life jacket if I get in over my head.

It will be fabulous, because my mid-air wing construction projects always are.

Up, up, and away!

The Prayer is the Feeling, Not the Words

When I was a kid, say about ages 6 through….oh….37, I had a relationship with prayer that was….uhm…..less than spiritual. Actually, me and a girlfriend would usually sit together during church and (forgive me Father for I knew not what I do-ed) <embarrassment ensues> time them….with a watch….with a second hand, which wasn’t necessary because they were never seconds. They were eons. Brother X held the record during my timing career for the longest prayers ever. He was followed closely in second by Brother Y.

We had sermons shorter than those prayers….at least after Brother Z retired (who by the way was quite capable of challenging Brother X on the time thing, but since he was preaching, he only occasionally shared his prayer prowess with us….usually right before a fellowship dinner when my tummy was ready to reach up and rip out his vocal chords. :-). (God bless you for coming to us, Trey.)

Needless to say, I never really got the whole prayer thing. To them, I am certain it was a deeply moving spiritual link up to the Big Hard Drive in the sky. To me it was a contest to see who could cover every last sick, poor, aching, tragic person, situation, or sin the world has ever known, while thanking the Almighty for every good, right, law-abiding, finance-boosting event that had ever or would ever occur. Nope, I never got it. All I could see were the precious minutes of the last day of my two day weekly vacation slipping ever-so-slowing out of my grasp…er…watch.

To make matters worse, I had this screwed up belief that I was some how not Christian enough because, a. I timed prayers, and b. I couldn’t (or more like wouldn’t) spend a good three hours a day on my knees in a closet running down the list in hushed whisper tones, and c. if Iclosed my eyes and sat in a closet, I might miss what little social action was going on around me a gillion miles out in the boonies.

All I have to say to about that is I don’t think it was very nice of God to torture me like that for most of 40 years waiting on my slow, but trouble-making self to figure out how that prayer thing really works. Seriously? He could have enlightened me a LITTLE sooner and saved me all that horrible stress and guilt and grief that I spent three hours every day acknowledging on my knees in my closet. (Just kidding on that last part. See paragraph above, item c.)

Anyway, to make a long story longer and more tortuous (I learned it from those praying dudes), I think I am finally on the road to recovery. I have been reading about yogis lately, and I keep stumbling on quotes that say things like, “The prayer isn’t about what I say or chant or dance or whatever. Those are just the actions I take to get to the feeling that is the prayer.” Oh, and in case you hadn’t noticed, that was an exact quote from a really spiritual yogi dude exactly like he said it, complete with the “whatever” part. (Ok, maybe it isn’t a DIRECT quote, but one of ’em did say something sorta kinda like that.)

And of course, I still hadn’t figured out how to get to the FEELING part of prayer. But at least I sort of knew what I was looking for.

Then I read this woman’s Harlequin Romance Meets Green Acres: High Heels to Tractor Wheels story. Then I read most everything else on her blog…(except the cooking stuff….I’m just not ready to embrace the cooking thing right now. We’re dealing with spirit matters currently, and that’s all I can handle). But yeah……can you say STALKER??? I’d be really scared of people like me if I were her.

Anyways….I pretty much stalked the chaps off of her website (you gotta read it to figure out what that one is referencing), had some…ahem….special time with my farm boy (he loves it when I read/watch romance stuff), and then realized how calm and happy and giddy I was feeling having been reminded of my own love story and the back-to-the-land direction my life is taking.

And then it hit me…….that un-drug induced high I was on…..that stress-free-peaceful-easy-feelin’, the-sun-loves-me-and-the-moon-does-too, I-can-have-be-do-conquer-anything-in-or-out-of-this-world, (I could probably add “runners-high” here, but that does not and may not ever apply to me) feeling is what the yogi was talking about. Because in that state of being, thinking, feeling, every ounce of negativity, every speck of what-the-hell-have-I-done panic, every thought of not enough was gone. Only a peaceful gratitude remained.

Then it hit me….THAT is prayer.

People spend their whole lives searching for it. Some get addicted to drugs to experience it. I just stalked The Pioneer Woman for two days straight to get mine.

Okay Ree, you can add that to your list of expertise you didn’t know you had.



PS: For the record, Brothers X, Y, and Z were some awesome men who loved their Jesus with all their hearts. No disrespect is intended whatsoever in referencing them in this post. They taught me much in my lifetime, for which I am truly grateful.

The Woman with the Bleeding Issue

Five years ago, somethings begin to shift inside me. At the time, I had no idea just how much shifting there would be, but suffice to say it has been a lot.

I had begun to learn about the energy that flows in our bodies, and that information, combined with the extensive collection of Biblical information I had acquired over the years, started coming together in a way that pushed out some old beliefs and ushered in some new perceptions.

The story of the woman with the bleeding issue in Mark 5 fascinated me. I was new to the concept of the body’s energy system, but I had seen the evidence that it existed. As I read through that story over and over, the sentence where Jesus felt the power (some versions say energy) leave his body when she touched–not his skin, arm, leg, etc., –his cloak. She reached into his aura and didn’t even touch HIM, yet the healing energy transferred from his body to hers. That’s the part that really got me thinking.

Having grown up believing that all miraculous healing power of touch had passed away with the deaths of Jesus’ apostles, this was a bit of a stretch for me. Yet I reasoned that if HE did it, and if WE have that energy running through OUR bodies, why wouldn’t this still be possible? Could it be that through the ages of various oppressive religious regimes, we simply disconnected from the source of that healing energy? Could it be that we have excused ourselves from this responsibility to help others heal by claiming that it “passed away”? We are so willing to pray for one another, which is certainly a good thing, but is it enough for people who claim to be children of God?

Jesus spent HOURS with the Divine source of his power. Many Christians believe he WAS the source of the power, but I contend that he simply knew how to plug into and become one with the Source to recharge his own energy…..and so can we.

Seeing is believing for many people. When I began to raise these questions to spiritual leaders, I was asked if I had seen anyone healed…not the sneaky stuff that is subjective, but documented biggies like sight restored to the blind, paralyzed limbs regaining strength, cancer cured….which I had not. But there are those who claim they have seen and experienced exactly those types of healings. Obviously, theirs was not a circle in which I hung out, so the opportunity to “see” has been lacking. Interestingly enough, Jesus praised and called blessed those who believe without seeing.

I believe things are impossible because we believe they are impossible or non-existant. The first step to experiencing a miracle is believing one is possible. The woman with the bleeding issue had no doubt that all she needed was to reach into Jesus’ energy field. The second step is to find those modern day Jesuses who have plugged into the Divine source. They do exist. Maybe some day I will be one, too.

It’s certainly possible.

Bookstores, Health Food Stores, & Greenhouses

Everyone has at least one. I happen to have three of which I am aware. It’s my power place. Okay, in my case, PLACES.

It’s that place you can go where the world seems perfect, no harm can come, and time is irrelevant. It is a place that has a Zen-like serenity that nourishes your soul. It’s a place you may enjoy sharing with others. Me? Nah. If I’m going there, I’d rather go alone and just get lost….forever.

It’s that place where, if money were no object in your life, you would either work there for free, or just buy the whole organization. Yesterday, I had the privilege of experiencing all three of my power places.

I would have to say that my all-time favorite power place is a greenhouse in springtime. It’s the closest thing to a tropical rain forest I will likely experience in these parts. I love the foliage, the colors, the smell of jasmine and honeysuckle, and the protected environment that allows in the warming rays of the sun without the annoyance of our infamous winds.

I stopped by Lowe’s to check on a cabinet for the Wellness Center. As if drawn like a moth to a flame, the garden center beckoned me. Apparently they have snubbed their corporate noses at Mother Nature, because it was like an ocean of life, color, and fragrance. Beauty was everywhere. I just strolled along looking at it all, as if time had suddenly decided to extend my lunch break. There are other greenhouses that I like better, yet this one certainly filled the gap since I was already there for other things.

Reality finally kicked in, and I returned to my afternoon obligation, followed by my next power place. I had some time between the end of my workshop and the beginning of my yoga class (a power place in its own right), so I stopped in at the health food store. Yes, it’s another place in which I could stay for hours, spend a fortune, and stay some more. I think it’s the intention of such a place and what it represents that draws me in and keeps ahold of me. Energy is an amazing thing, and there’s just something special about the energy of a health food store.

Yoga class came and went. It was a nice experience: difficult, yet not; relaxing, yet requiring concentration. Since my brain has yet to figure out the concept of “shut up”, even in yoga class, I made plans to visit power place #3 to acquire a book on yoga basics. I am still feeling a bit lost and confused about the concepts, even though I work my way through the moves fairly well. Yep, a book on yoga was definitely needed. Oh darn! <sarcasm> That meant a trip to the bookstore and another dose of calm, peaceful energy. It was simply fabulous, and three great books plus a beautiful magazine found their way into my possession.

Just before heading home, I decided there were a couple more items I wanted to pick up from the grocery store. Hmmm….wally world or that other health food store down the street. Duh! No brainer! For the second time in one day, I cruised the aisles of a health food store. I actually like this place even better. The energy is just a little more flowing. It’s light and spacious, no crowds and very few “people of Walmart“, plus the selection is incredible for our area. Just an all-around nice place to be.

Yesterday really made me think about my life purpose and my potential new career. The recognition of which environments support me and allow me the space to experience peace and joy is a very cool thing. I thought about places I would love to work in each of these fields.

These three remain: bookstores, health food stores, and greenhouses. But the greatest of these is greenhouses. Now how do I roll them into one incredible career? Can we put a bookstore, yoga center, and a health food store here and pay me to hang out? I think I would be very happy with that arrangement.

A Yoga Sanctuary

As a mom to four beautiful girls, a tv-loving husband, two dogs, any number of cats, a few rabbits, my chicken-ladies, and a couple of horses, finding space for quiet solitude can be quite daunting. It used to be that I had the early morning hours to myself until the last minute hustle and bustle of getting ready for school kicked into high gear. Now with teenagers rising early to make the most of their youthful beauty, it seems the quiet time of peace has given way to the sound of showers, blow dryers, makeup clackity clack, and discussions along the lines of, “Where is my shirt? You borrowed it last. I was gonna wear that.” And so yeah…you get the picture. Peaceful solitude eludes me for the most part.

Fortunately, I have discovered that my new massage therapy business allows me the opportunity to experience that much needed peaceful solitude in the beautiful space that is my wellness center. Some have suggested that massage therapy is a physically demanding occupation requiring difficult strenuous labor. Instead, I am finding that it is a relaxing, peaceful space in which both giver and receiver are rewarded with calm serenity. It is proving to be my sactuary of sorts.

I am realistic enough to know that giving enough massages to maintain our current standard of living is probably not a good idea. It is somewhat taxing on the body, and there is always a certain amount of giving of oneself to the client. I want to be able to give my best to every client, and not just give what’s left over at the end of a long day. There are certain things I do, such as Energy Medicine routines, to help keep me at my best. However, my desire is to do more to benefit myself while also meeting the needs of my clients. I recognized this need in college when I decided to pursue a career in physical education and fitness. I knew that I would live my best life if I worked in a fitness related career field.

The vision and desire that has evolved from having recognized these priorities is to create a nature-centered space in which to practice and teach yoga. Of course, I know very little about yoga at this point, but I know enough to know I need it, I need what it represents, and my body will love and appreciate it very much. Input from others has indicated they would also appreciate having a space and the guidance to learn and practice yoga. I know from attending a yoga retreat last year that yoga in nature is food for the soul. Unfortunately, our West Texas “nature” is one of frequent winds, blowing dust, extreme heat and cold, and more variety than Baskin Robbins 31 Flavors. It isn’t exactly conducive to creating an outdoor yoga sanctuary.

Yet as always, once the intention is stated, the means begins to evolve. A couple of years ago, I began to study yurts as a possible structure for my wellness center. Their design has a spiritual and integrative quality that makes them ideal for a creative healing space. I released that idea once we decided to use the little two bedroom rent house for my wellness center. Ironically, the yurt idea did not release me.

Earlier this year, I publicly stated my intention to pursue yoga and an instructor certification. The question of where I would practice has been recurring in my mind ever since. Knowing how much I desire to experience yoga in nature, and knowing how much variety our weather gives us in this part of the country, I began to consider the idea of constructing a greenhouse for a yoga space. Shortly after, the yurt idea returned. Why couldn’t I use the structure of a yurt and the coverings of a greenhouse to create an almost perfect space to experience yoga in nature? Apparently I can. I contacted Spirit Mountain Yurts and presented them with my idea. They loved it and so the stage is set to create a beautiful plant filled space warmed by the sun, sheltered from wind and rain, carpeted with green grass and herbs in which to share the spiritual experience and wellness of yoga with friends and neighbors. It will be a yoga sanctuary.

Of course a few details remain. I intend to begin my yoga training this week, assuming our weather cooperates. I am most grateful for your prayers for safe travel as this will require a weekly trip to Amarillo. It will take approximately a year of training before I am eligible to pursue instructor certification. During that time, I would ask that you send your thoughts, prayers, and positive intentions toward this dream. I trust that you will help me make it a reality by seeing it in your mind’s eye as though it is already complete. I have no idea how it will be funded, yet I trust the way will become clear at some point.

Meanwhile, enjoy some images of yurts that were sent my way by Spirit Mountain Yurts in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and let me know what you think of my vision.

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