Monthly Archives: September 2012

Structural Alignment…an observation from acting class to yoga class…

Good morning out there!!

I was just reading an article “Five Myths About Your Body” on Elephant Journal (do you read Elephant Journal? There are often some great/entertaining/silly/fun/educational/make you think articles on there and it’s cheap for a year’s subscription! Check it out www.elephantjournal.com). In the article one of the “myths” is that many people believe that they have one leg shorter than the other (the myth is not that there are these people out there but that they believe it to be true)…mostly because of a diagnosis from a chiropractor or some other structural doctor along the way. What she says in this article is that this is not the case for 99% of the people…rather one leg may seem shorter than the other due to posture and how we use our bodies!! Yup, I have to agree. I have been seeing a chiropractor most of my life…actually, to be correct, I first saw a chiropractor when I was quite young and was going to the chiro fairly regularly through the years until almost 3 years ago…then I stopped…cold turkey…decided I wanted to figure out why I needed to go so often and why I was not able to, through my mindfulness of my yoga practice and with the help of meditation and massage, re-structure and re-align my own body. So, that’s what I’ve been working on over the past few years…well, when I think about it, it’s been my whole life 😉

Reading this article made me remember during one of my classes in university-my voice class in 3rd year I think (I have a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting) we did an exercise where one person would stand in the middle of the circle, just stand as he or she normally would…you know, if waiting for a bus or in a line up or what have you…and we would all stand the same way, emulating the position of the body. From there we talked about how the body felt in the position…we connected with the sensations of the body, where we felt uneven pressure, tightness, pulling, weight etc. It was fascinating to be the one being analyzed because for most of us (I think it was probably ALL of us) this weird (and what seemed totally un-natural) way of standing in a relaxed and neutral position was creating so much stress and undue mis-alignment in the body!!

The exercise was about connecting with the physical body, becoming aware of the sensations of the body, but also it was used to make us aware of what is a neutral position so that we were able to start from neutral in order to create the stature and body language of any given character. I always remember this exercise when I find myself standing leaning out onto one hip or kinked in some way. I often catch myself when I’m teaching doing some weird body position and mindfully correct my posture.

So…that is that. In yoga class we always return to a neutral position between postures. In the standing series we return to a neutral standing position, feet together and arms by the side. In the floor series we return to savasana, arms and legs by the side and head straight, shoulders relaxed. these neutral positions might feel awkward and uncomfortable in the beginning for you…don’t fret, it will get more comfortable as you go forward and learn to relax tight areas of your body. It’s amazing how this yoga practice is working on the body and alignment (and lets me honest, the monkey mind predominantly!!) IN the postures and IN BETWEEN the postures!! How amazing 😉

Alright, on that note, I need to go straighten out and neutralize…

Have a fab day, everyone! Drink some green juice and do a backbend…you’ll be happy you did.
Love,
Ida

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Movies, Youtube, Steve Jobs, nerds…lots to cover!

hello!!

I have been enjoying some down time the past couple days…some alone time, sunshine time, body of water time…not that I don’t love to be with my favourite people, but sometimes it’s nice to be alone, isn’t it? Time for whatever you like…meditation, contemplation, breathing, cooking, walking, reading, tv…anything you like to do and not have anyone talking to you…or whatever…you get what I mean.

sunday by the river

nothing better than the givers of life…

So, yesterday I stumbled upon a link to a Steve Jobs presentation…maybe THE Steve Jobs presentation of all time…on FB and got enthralled with it and then found the second part on Youtube to finish watching. It is the presentation he did when unveiling the iPhone…for the first time…in 2007. Watching the presentation I was overcome with how amazing of an innovation it was (and still is, of course). He was such a great speaker and was genuinely excited to present it! It was very cool…and, in fact, I learned a few things about my iPhone 4S!! I only became an iPhone user about 8 months ago so in many ways I am still such a novice!! ha.

After watching it, I was so inspired by nerds…a cute crush on all the CEO’s of various companies that he brought up on stage to talk…long live the nerd!! I set off for some sunshine and ended up down by the Truckee River in a patch of pebbles and decided to listen to my audio book of the Steve Jobs book (the biography)…so, lets just say I got so inspired by the innovation and imagination of people in the world (namely Steve Jobs…and to an extent Steve Wozniak as well!)…made me remember my goal to at some point invent something really cool!! I’ll keep you posted 😉

Then lastnight I watched a movie called “Fat Sick and Nearly Dead”….wow, what a movie! I am already a kale juice lover so maybe it was easier for me to understand the use of green juice to heal a junk body-but on that same account, I have never had a junk body to the extent that the two characters from the movie had…seriously overweight, riddled with disease and breakdown of the body inside and out and taking a slew of prescription medications. I won’t get too deep into telling you about the movie, I highly recommend it for you to watch for yourself…but I will tell you that I was so taken and inspired by the willingness to take control of one’s life, no matter how bad it seems or how hopeless one feels…Bikram always says it, “..never too old, never to sick…to start from scratch and begin again”. It’s so true and the two guys from this movie are a testament to that!!

Truth of the matter is I get to meet so many inspiring people every single day!! I cannot tell you how many people I have watched completely change their lives with the help of (but not restricted to) adding yoga to their daily routine. Just this morning I was talking with a student about the age difference people go through when they commit themselves to a regular Bikram practice…I would hazard a guess as to say that 75% of people I know look ten years younger from the first day they walked into a Bikram class to today. Don’t fret, yogis, if you don’t think you look different or if you have been stepping on the scale and don’t see the difference you were hoping to see…the changes occur for people as they need to…perhaps your clothes fit better or you have more energy or you don’t wake up with puffy eyes or you can breathe or don’t get headaches anymore…or maybe you find an old photo and compare it to a recent shot and see the brightness in your eyes now…I guarantee things are changing…just be patient and learn to love yourself from this moment on and forever…and you will see and feel the differences.

So, here is a link to the webpage for Fat Sick and Nearly Dead. I highly highly recommend it.

And, here is a link to Youtube for the first video of the two parts of Steve Jobs 2007 presentation unveiling the iPhone for the first time! I am really enjoying the book Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson as well…I’m listening to it on audiobooks on my iPhone.

OK…that’s my geeking out for now. I have a crush on the nerds now…not any nerd in particular but for the nerd population…never under estimate the power and genius of ANYONE you come across in your life…you just never know which eccentric smart slightly socially awkward or over the top person is going to be one of the biggest influences in your lifetime…!!

Happy exploring, puppies.
Love,
Ida x


Crossfit, Barre, Bikram…

Hello my puppies!!

I’ve just spent the past almost 2 hours on the internet…and honestly, it’s flown by! I’m having a day today where I am finding really amazing things on the internet and feeling amazed at what information we have at our fingertips so so so easily in such a short time!! I know it sounds corny, but WHAT DID WE EVER DO BEFORE THE INTERNET??!! Amazing, right?

So, one of the things I came across was an article on Crossfit…this new gym phenomenon (well, to be fair, I don’t really know how new or not new it is or how long it’s been around…as I am not one to visit a Gym ever, it could have been around for a while and I wouldn’t have known…I think the first time I heard about it was a little over a year ago). At this stage of my life-whatever stage it is-I just don’t want to work that hard…I have spent so many years now in the hot yoga room and doing countless hours of yoga and minding every little thing I ate and doing everything in my life based around when I would be taking class and how every little thing was going to make me feel…well, honestly, I don’t want to squat and lift and pull up and run around until I puke…just does not sound fun to me.

Don’t get me wrong, I have a lot of respect and a genuine fascination for people who do that kind of thing. I know that what I do is pretty intense. I’ve definitely “yoga-ed” until I’ve been sick and been so sore that I can hardly move or had weird injuries that have been incapacitating…I get the mentality to want to push yourself to see if you can and to really feel everything you are working for…I totally get that 100%…but I guess now that I have experienced that, I don’t feel the need to push myself to that degree. I still find myself doing it from time to time…over doing it, doing too much and then pushing myself over the edge and being way too dehydrated or something…it’s then that I get a message from the Universe (usually comes through my body in the form of it letting me know it doesn’t want to play that hard anymore-I’m talking a pulled muscle or a shoulder that won’t rotate or a neck that won’t turn or what have you), and then I check in with why I am doing it and take a step back and remind myself to be more mindful and remember that I have to take care of this body because it’s the only one I get in this life.

So, as I’m reading this article and reading all the “warnings” about Crossfit, I found myself thinking if it is the same kind of thing as for anything…any new trend or fad that comes along…I have read many articles about how bad Bikram yoga can be for you and how you can get so dehydrated that your body goes into shock, or how it’s so easy to pass out from heat exhaustion and go into seizures…and I wonder if it’s just someone playing devil’s advocate because that is the world we live in-ANY INFORMATION YOU WANT TO FIND YOU WILL FIND IT EASILY AND WITHOUT FAIL SOMEWHERE ON THE INTERNET!! You see, you can find anything to back up anything…it’s the modern day version of the debate club!! Ha…any opinion you find, you can easily and in moments find an equally well written voice of someone on the complete 180 degree angle different opinion!

So, yogis, first of all, take everything you read with a grain of salt (preferably himalayan pink salt!), be aware of yourself in what you do and take care of your body it is the only one you will get in this life! Always aqiure your own first hand information…stay with your instinct and gut feelings about things so you can always feel blissful and joyful in everything you do.

Here’s the article that sparked this post…
The Controversy Behind Crossfit

Love you pupps!
xx


SunSandYoga…dreamy…

Hello!!

I wanted to post a quickie about my upcoming yoga vacation with some info for you…

I went on a yoga vacation (when I say “went on” I mean I was teaching there but it was so wonderful to be there, teaching was so not even work!!) last spring (2011) just outside Manzanillo, Mx. The location is AH-MAZING and the resort is clean comfortable quiet beautiful…it is called the Punta Serena resort overlooking a beautiful bay called Tenacatita Bay. I wrote a post about it here on my blog

I won’t get into it all again, just read the previous blog…but I am going again!! October 13-20!! I’m super excited to get back there and enjoy the beauty that is this place. You get to do as much or as little yoga as you want…get massages, go to the beach or the pool…you can go do water sports and head to town or you can relax in the sun all week…it’s up to you. Seriously, why would you NOT do this??!!

Check out the website for more info here!!
http://www.hotyogavacations.com/#week-with-ida-ripley/cx6r

Peace out, Puppies…hope to see you all soon

Love,
Ida

Oh nothing, just drinking a coconut fresh from the tree…