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6 Things a Serious Yogi Still Does

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Endings

My brothers and I after graduation

My brothers and I after graduation.

So I graduated college yesterday. I managed not to fall in my five inch heels or cry off my meticulously applied makeup, and I had a great day with my friends and family. I graduated summa cum laude with distinguished honors, an academic excellence award and a member of Alpha Chi College Honor Society. The past four years have been great and I’m sad to see them go, but I’m also excited for the future.

Endings are funny. Whether its high school, a relationship, a marriage, a school year, an assignment or even a vacation, we close the book on a chapter of our lives that we will never be able to get back. Along with that, time is funny too. I remember cutting my hair off three and a half years ago, wondering how I’d ever learn my way around the city and make friends in a place where I knew nobody. Today, Pittsburgh is my city. It’s my home. And I’ll leave it sooner rather than later to embark on the next journey of my life.

My degree in photojournalism will take me to many places and to do many things. I will always relish in the road trip to wherever I go, the new adventures I’ll find there and the home I’ll make there. Just like I did with Pittsburgh. 

Namaste.

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The sunset last night at my favorite Pittsburgh view spot.

 

Quiet Surrender

Video

This video is long overdue (and not the video I teased about yesterday either). With a lot of technical difficulties, I finally got it finished, uploaded and converted for you all to enjoy. This semester you’ve all been hearing about the benefits of yoga, how my teacher is basically my hero (and my friend), and how I feel about yoga. In this video, I gave a voice to both her and I. I had another interview, but I decided that this piece deserved a piece of me in it, as it is personal and sensitive and near and dear to me. I could go on and on, but I’ll let you just watch it!

Sometimes, you have to look back at where you’ve been and remember why you went, where you’re going and how far you’ve come. With the explosion of yoga in the past ten years, yoga has gone from a purely spiritual practice to a commercial venture in some ways. In a lot of ways the real meaning of yoga is kindled, but like my instructor said when I interviewed her, “you can go get ‘the mat’ and ‘the pants’ at the store, but you don’t need any of that crap to practice.”
One of the great things about yoga becoming popular though is that it enables people like me to practice; young, overworked college kids who need to destress in a different way than going to the gym or running or classes like zumba. Yoga adds another option to getting fit, in every single way imaginable. It’s a game changer.

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Yoga survey

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/YQMQXMD

Hey readers,
As you have noticed, I’ve been working with data lately (graphs, maps, timelines, etc.). 
So, it’s now time to ask you all to participate!
It’s a short ten-question survey about you and yoga, if you have the time please please fill it out, eventually there will be sweet data illustrations to match it!

Thanks everyone, namaste.

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A scientific approach to our yoga practice

I know I post a lot of articles on this blog, but being a resource for yoga stuff is one of the things this blog is all about! 

That being said, this article is AWESOME. Have you ever wondered what it is about yoga that makes us so connected to our bodies, revives our minds and really helps so many aspects of our physical health and mental health? 

Please read, and thanks to author Nina Mel for sharing this article on Elephant Journal!

Today, I’m thankful for my feet.

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My favorite shoes: Vibram Five Fingers, the alternative to bare feet.

My niece will be one-year-old this month, and she’s on the cusp of walking. It’s adorable. She can pull herself up and stand and walk around holding on to something, but when she’s up without anything to hold on to, plop! she’s down on her butt, looking pouty and, to be honest, completely heart-meltingly cute. But when she stands, she’s got this look in her eye like “look at me, I’m up on my own two feet!”

Sometimes, we forget about our feet; after all, they’re all the way down there. We shove our feet into sneakers, boots, and if you’re like me, five-inch heels. We keep our feet cooked up in socks and shoes for hours a day. We let our feet get calluses, we forget to cut our toenails, we let the pretty polish on our toes get chipped. But our feet… They’re really kind of everything, aren’t they?

They carry us through life. Literally.

Currently, my laptop is resting on the insides of my feet (I’m sitting in a loose butterfly pose). To get out of bed in the morning and start our day, the first thing that touches the ground is our feet. When we jump, hop, skip or run, we land feet first. Even the ever-popular saying for someone motivated and starting something successfully is “hitting the ground running.”

Often times when I’m practicing I connect my mind to my feet by simply thinking “strong feet.” They’re the basis of balancing poses, where we find our mountain, and the other half of our down dogs. Our feet are where we root into the earth.

So have gratitude for your feet; without them, we’d have no independence. They carry us through life. And every once in a while, give ‘em a pampering. They deserve it. You deserve it too.