Confessions of a Yoga Practitioner

I admit it: I started practicing yoga not for some highly evolved, spiritual-sounding reason, but because I was desperate for peace and quiet.

Five years ago, I was working as a live-in caregiver for adults with special needs.

I loved my job, but as an introvert living and working in a house with 13 other people, I craved solitude.

My housemates’ needs filled my thoughts when their voices weren’t filling my ears.

It was then that I found sanctuary, in the form of the yoga studio down the street. And yoga didn’t just give me an escape; it helped make me a better caregiver.

Here are three lessons that my yoga practice (and caregiving commitments) taught me:

1. The unavoidable truth: Persistence precedes mastery.

My first experience with yoga came courtesy of my mother, an instructor who encouraged me to practice with her. When I first started, I couldn’t stay in downward dog for more than a few seconds. My upper body lacked strength, and postures like plank made me tremble. As such, I’d get discouraged, making witty comments like, “Plank sucks!”

But to her credit, my mom didn’t give up on me. She kept sharing her love of yoga, and I kept trying. And gradually, I noticed: I was getting stronger. Postures that had seemed impossible were now doable. I could stay in plank. Then side plank. Then side plank with my leg extended.

And when I started working as a caregiver, I saw how valuable those early sessions had been. My mother didn’t just teach me poses; she taught me that faithful practice can yield major changes over time. As such, I persisted at my new job, even though my caregiving routines seemed incredibly challenging at first. Yet I knew that if I could build enough muscle to maintain a strong plank pose, I could build my knowledge and learn a complex morning routine, too. Soon, I felt a sense of flow in my work; I started moving through routines as though they were sun salutations, one building upon the next.

Fast-forward several years, and I’m considering yoga teacher training. Arm balances are my favorite type of pose, and so it’s only fair to acknowledge another truth: My mother knew best.

2. The decision to show up is the one that matters.

Yoga rewards those who show up. If you keep coming to your mat, your practice will deepen. Likewise, as a caregiver, I discovered that a commitment to showing up for my housemates allowed our relationships to grow. It was freeing not to give myself an option to ‘skip out’. Unless I was physically unwell, I performed my caregiving duties, and I kept up with my yoga practice as well. True, I didn’t always feel like going down the stairs to set up breakfast (or getting myself out the door for yoga), but I knew that once I showed up, that would change.

Furthermore, taking time out to go to my yoga practice empowered me get more done when I returned home. The energy I gained from my practice was priceless, especially considering my responsibilities as a caregiver. Thanks to yoga, I had the stamina to lift wheelchairs, haul laundry, and cook dinner for dozens … and then crash into bed. (I’m only human.)

3. Tending the body can also tend the soul.

Sometimes, the best way to heal the soul is to care for the body. When I’d do spinal twists after a long day of sitting in a waiting room, those postures nourished my body and my spirit. Doing yoga gave me a sense that my body was worth listening to, that it had wisdom to share. And in extending care and attention to my own body, I learned to care for the bodies of others as well.

For example, during my time as a caregiver, part of my routine involved cleaning an older gentleman’s feet. Sometimes we’d banter as I held his feet in my gloved hands, and sometimes we’d just smile at one another. Either way, this small, intimate task became a favorite for me.

And then one day, I participated in a spiritual service that involved a foot-washing ceremony. And who should be my partner but the man whose feet I cleaned every day? As I later wrote, “During that ceremony, as I touched the feet I knew so well, I felt the sacred and the ordinary collide. And I realized that there is no separation; that the ordinary things we do out of love for one another are sacred.”

Borrowed from: Mind.Body.Green

Wal-Mart vs. The Morons

Yes, Yes, I know this is horribly far, far away from blogging territory, but I want to post this, anyways. If you like it, PLEASE show it by re-blogging this!! Thanks!  





Wal-Mart vs. The Morons

1. Americans spend $36,000,000 at Wal-Mart Every hour of every day.

2. This works out to $20,928 profit every minute!

3. Wal-Mart will sell more from January 1 to St. Patrick’s Day (March 17th) than Target sells all year.

4. Wal-Mart is bigger than Home Depot + Kroger + Target +Sears + Costco + K-Mart combined.

5. Wal-Mart employs 1.6 million people, is the world’s largest private employer, and most speak English.

6. Wal-Mart is the largest company in the history of the world.

7. Wal-Mart now sells more food than Kroger and Safeway combined, and keep in mind they did this in only fifteen years.

8. During this same period, 31 big supermarket chains sought bankruptcy.

9. Wal-Mart now sells more food than any other store in the world.

10. Wal-Mart has approx 3,900 stores in the USA of which 1,906 are Super Centers; this is 1,000 more than it had five years ago.

11. This year 7.2 billion different purchasing experiences will occur at Wal-Mart stores. (Earth’s population is approximately 6.5 Billion.)

12. 90% of all Americans live within fifteen miles of a Wal-Mart.
You may think that I am complaining, but I am really laying the ground work for suggesting that MAYBE we should hire the guys who run Wal-Mart to fix the economy.

This should be read and understood by all Americans… Democrats, Republicans, EVERYONE!!

To President Obama and all 535 voting members of the Legislature

It is now official that the majority of you are corrupt morons:

a.. The U.S.Postal Service was established in 1775.  You have had 234 years to get it right and it is broke.

b.. Social Security was established in 1935.  You have had 74 years to get it right and it is broke.

c.. Fannie Mae was established in 1938.You have had 71 years to get it right and it is broke.

d.. War on Poverty started in 1964.  You have had 45 years to get it right; $1 trillion of our money is confiscated each year and transferred to “the poor” and they only want more.

e.. Medicare and Medicaid were established in 1965.  You have had 44 years to get it right and they are broke.

f.. Freddie Mac was established in 1970.You have had 39 years to get it right and it is broke.

g.. The Department of Energy was created in 1977 to lessen our dependence on foreign oil.It has ballooned to 16,000 employees with a budget of $24 billion a year and we import more oil than ever before.  You had 32 years to get it right and it is an abysmal failure.
You have FAILED in every “government service” you have shoved down our throats while overspending our tax dollars.
Folks, keep this circulating.It is very well stated.  Maybe it will end up in the e-mails of some of our “duly elected’ (they never read anything) and their staff will clue them in on how Americans feel.


I know what’s wrong.  We have lost our minds to “Political Correctness” !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Someone please tell me what the HELL’s wrong with all the people that run this country!!!!!!
We’re “broke” & can’t help our own Seniors, Veterans, Orphans, Homeless etc.,???????????
In the last months we have provided aid to Haiti , Chile, and Turkey..And now Pakistan ……..previous home of bin Laden. Literally, BILLIONS of DOLLARS!!!

Our retired seniors living on a ‘fixed income’ receive no aid nor do they get any breaks…
AMERICA: a country where we have homeless without shelter, children going to bed hungry, elderly going without ‘needed’ meds, and mentally ill without treatment -etc,etc.
Imagine if the *GOVERNMENT* gave ‘US’ the same support they give to other countries. Sad isn’t it?
99% of people won’t have the guts to forward this.

I’m one of the 1% — I Just Did