Posts tagged ‘water’

Dreams: Water, Rainbows, and Clouds

photo(2)This comic, just tickled my fancy.  On the one hand you have Lucy, complaining about Snoopy stealing her shoe and being nasty and negative the entire strip, and then you have the innocent and playful response from Charlie Brown at the end when he tickles her shoeless foot.  How do you look at the world?  Who have you been this week?  Lucy?  Charlie Brown? . . .  Snoopy?

And now to tie this into my dreams. . .  hmm . . .  Maybe I can tie it into my visualization dream below.  Our thoughts create our reality.  We have to be focused and keep our visualizations directed toward the positive.  Have fun with life!

This morning I struggled to get up and almost lost my dreams, but I stuck with them.  I would like to touch on my dreams from today and then go back to my dreams from yesterday.

Part I: This Morning

Dream 1: One of my old friends popped up in my dream a few times this morning.  She has come up every so often, and usually we are reconciling or reconciled.  I’m not sure if this dream is talking about reconciling with the actual person or with some part of myself, but I think possibly both.  I feel like I may not have taken in the learning from that situation.  (We attract certain people into our life for a reason!)

Dream 2: I also remember looking into my fish tank and realizing there were 3 fish instead of our two.  When I looked closely at the new fish, I noticed its head looked like a rat’s head, like a tadpole with a rat’s head.  Fish = a compulsive thinking, perhaps particularly related to spirituality.  The rat is an unattractive animal, so I think that adds a dimension.  I am having some mixed up, unpleasant, compulsive thought forms involving spirituality.  I’m not sure what connects from yesterday, but I did struggled to get my exercises done, and I haven’t had that issue in a while.  Perhaps the dream is suggesting that I need to look at my exercises in a different way (not so much as a chore), as my teacher has suggested before. And maybe not be so perfectionistic about the new one I’m learning.

Dream 3: Finally, I dreamt I was drawing on the large off-white drawing paper that I have. One of the things that I drew was Ellen (DeGeneres).  This one is an easy interpretation for me.  Drawing is visualizing, and I’m visualizing things I desire.  I wish I could see what else I drew in the picture because I struggle with clarity about what I want.  The School of Metaphysics is interested in involving Ellen in our Dream Awareness Weekend in April, and I think about it and her a lot.  In fact, someone at my workplace has been putting her show on during lunch time, ever since this past weekend.  The thought form is out there!

Part II: Yesterday’s Dreams

I had 5 dreams yesterday.  I’m not going to interpret them all, but I wanted to share them all because they are a bit wack-a-doodle.  I do want to focus on the second dream because it has some interesting symbols.

Dream 1:

Crazy wave (tsunami) coming.  I was warned.  Knew it was going to wash over me.  I was outside in an unknown place by the water.  I had something in my hands (my lesson?)  I knew there was no place to put it down in time.

Dream 2:

Strange happenings and unknown people talking about it.  Odd rainbow somehow.  And clouds touching down into the water.  Falling as if dripping into it.

unknown people — unknown aspects of myself

rainbow — signifies identification of levels of awareness in conscious experience

clouds — represent the separation between the subconscious and superconscious parts of mind

water — conscious life experiences

Summary: This dream seems to suggest that I am becoming more aware.  There is an oddness to it, in that the rainbow is off somehow, and the clouds are dripping into the water.  Perhaps I need to have clarity in my awareness.  More distinction.  OR perhaps some awareness of merging of the parts of mind is happening.

Dream 3:

I am with a group of people, male and female.  A guy is threatening his partner and making to hit her with a plastic bag (with something in it).  I get up and tell him not even to make like he is going to hit her or I will beat the crap out of him.  (I had been silent and still up until this point.)  I got up and was right in his face when I said this.  I retreated to my seat and was silent afterwards.

Dream 4:

A mystery to be solved.  At a theater.  I end up bumping into the Mentalist there.  I am hesitant to ask him for help because I figure he must be busy.  He has a brief exchange with a guy who he thinks is a fan but turns out not really even pay attention to him.  I know the Mentalist will be able to solve the mystery.  We are outdoors now.  There are buildings overhead like connected treehouses.  There is some running around as the Mentalist sets up his plan.  (He is running?)  He gives some guy his physical report before the guy (young) goes up in the clubhouse.

Dream 5:

(I am surrounded by water, like in a large tub or small pool?)  There is a lamb.  Maybe some other animals, too, like insects.  Yes, one is an insect, and it gets close to me.  Someone with me (Dad?) thinks it’s dead, but it’s not.  I ask what will happen to the lamb that is there.  I am worried it will be killed.  Dad assures me it won’t.  It is soaking wet. 

Please feel free to share yours!  And if you want any feedback, let me know!

 

 

So, You’ve Decided to Do Yoga: 12 Tips for Newbies

Image courtesy of [image creator name] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

“Girl Doing Yoga” courtesy of digitalart / FreeDigitalPhotos.net 

I don’t think people can truly appreciate yoga until they come back for class after a long holiday break.  I feel amazing after today.  And yoga is pretty amazing.  It’s helped me feel better, and I have friends who have really felt the difference, too.  I hope to keep doing it for the rest of my life.

Well, today was the first day back and also the first class of a new session, so, at the first class, there were some new folks.  Inevitably there are some things that they don’t know yet, and some get scared off and never come back.   Below are some tips I’ve learned from yoga over time.

1. Know Your Body. Make sure you tell the yoga instructor if you have any medical issues that may make some of the moves difficult; i.e. major surgeries or injuries.  Just like in any other physical activity, you can hurt yourself in yoga if you don’t take care of your body.  Your yoga instructor should have suggested modifications ready for you for moves that involve those sensitive body parts.  And if the instructor offers you any kind of modification, and you think you might need it, take it!  The first time I took yoga, the instructor offered a neck modification for one of the poses, and I didn’t take it because I didn’t want to be different from everyone else (see #4 below).  The next day my neck was messed up, and I blamed it on yoga.  It took me years to come back.

2. Figure out the difference between discomfort and pain. You’re going to feel uncomfortable during yoga — it means you’re working hard!  (A particularly uncomfortable sitting pose comes to mind — it stretches back the feet and the toes and is the more uncomfortable than getting caught snooping through someone’s medicine cabinet.)  But nothing you do should be hurting you.   Yoga should feel more like a good workout and less like a rhino sat back on you and crushed all your bones.  Ok, I’m exaggerating.  But, the point is, listen to your body.  You’ll figure out what’s good “hurt” and what’s pain.  And if you’re not sure, don’t risk it.  And on the other hand, once you’re pretty comfortable, feel free to push it if you know you can.  Not too fast — but gradually push it.  The more you can safely stretch and push your body, the better for you.

3. Don’t forget to breathe. This is particularly important during balancing moves or very difficult poses.  Don’t concentrate so hard that you start to turn blue, and anyway, breathing during yoga is just as important as keeping that oxygen flowing during any type of exercise.   Truly, breathing is the most important part of yoga.  Our instructor likes to remind the class that nothing is as important during that class as breathing.  If we just breathed the whole time, we would still benefit.

4. Try to focus.  Be in the moment.  Focus on the pose.  Better yet, focus on the breathing: deep breath in, deep breath out.  But if you can’t, don’t sweat it.  Just like in other types of meditation, if you catch yourself drifting, bring yourself back.  If you’re completely distracted, try again next time.  My mind was all over the place today, but I wasn’t too worried about it because I know I’ve had better days, and I will have better days again.

5. Recognize that everyone’s body is different and everyone’s experience level is different. This is a particularly hard one for me and can be a particularly hard one for newbies.  Someone like me might get frustrated easily because I’m still considered fairly young, and I’ve been doing yoga on-and-off for about 3 years now.  So, I sometimes think that I should be able to do any of the poses.  This is clearly not the case.  Even though I have a particularly flexible torso, arms, shoulders, and hips; I’m equally inflexible in my legs, lower back, and feet.  I also have fairly awful balance.  And unless I continue practicing balancing poses and leg stretches,  I’m probably not going to see any dramatic results any time soon.  That’s where I am right now.  And that’s ok.  Remember #3: Breathe.  Also, some yoga days are better for you than others.  You might find you can’t stretch as far or hold your balance as long as you did the weak before.  Don’t panic; that’s perfectly normal.  One session you might feel fantastic, and the next week you might feel like you can’t do anything.  Any number of factors from sleep to diet to stress level to weather changes, etc may have changed your body, and your body will change again. Again, remember #3.  Breathe.

"Silhouette Girl Doing Yoga" courtesy of ponsuwan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

“Silhouette Girl Doing Yoga” courtesy of ponsuwan / FreeDigitalPhotos.netDon’t worry. This is NOT a pose we do in the beginner yoga class. . .

6. Bring a mat.  Brian and I have missed yoga once or twice because we realized we had forgotten our mat, so we turned around and went back home.  People have attempted the class without the mat, but I wouldn’t recommend it.  It’s uncomfortable doing some of that stuff on the floor.  Also, you might want to bring a towel or block to go under your bum or your knees  — your bum for some of the exercises if your lower back/legs/hips are tight, and your knees if you’ve got bad knees.  I bring a towel because I have super tight legs and lower back, and it gives me a lift during the leg stretches so that gravity can help me get past my block.  You also might want to bring a yoga strap (to help with various stretches, especially shoulders or legs).

7. Make sure you are comfortable. Try to wear flexible clothing that is loose enough to move with you, but not so loose that your T-shirt collar has slipped over your face and is suffocating you during downward dog or so loose that your pants have fallen down or tripped you up and caused you to topple into your neighbor while you’re moving into warrior pose.   Also, figure out what to do with your hair.  If it’s short or super long, you’re golden.  If it’s somewhere in the middle — as mine has been while growing out — it gets a little trickier.  You may want to put it back in a headband if it’s fairly short and put it in a low ponytail if it’s fairly long.  You’ll want to have it out of your face for the poses where your head is hanging down, but you’ll want the ponytail low or high enough so that it doesn’t bother you in the poses where you’re lying down.  Finally, some people like to have a sweatshirt or blanket in the winter months for Savasana, the stationary meditative final pose in yoga.

8. Be prepared to get cozy.  If it’s a packed class with your mats staggered to conserve space, you may end up with someone’s head near your feet, and your hand near someone’s leg, so just be ready for it.  Going along with #6, you may want to make sure your legs are shaved and your toes are painted because your neighbor might be getting a bird’s eye view or accidental feel.  (If you are perfectly comfortable with yourself and care nothing about the opinion of others, bless you; I’m jealous and hope to someday aspire to your greatness.  If you care nothing about your toenails and leg hair because you are male, that doesn’t count.)

9.  Try not to eat too near class time.  And if you must eat, choose carefully.  (Refer to #7 again and think this through.)  I have a particularly rambunctious stomach, so this is a tricky one for me.  And at the same time, if you let one slip, don’t freak out about it.  It happens to the best of us, and people will forget (unless it happens every class, and you notice that people are starting to leave you and your mat a lot of extra space.)  I’ve done it; Brian’s done it; I’ve heard other people do it.  Life goes on. And besides all that talk about gas, other unpleasant side effects of yoga on a full stomach can be just as unpleasant:indigestion and nausea.  Something to think about.  Also, do not drink alcohol before yoga.  It relates to #9 below, but especially do not get tipsy or drunk before yoga.  It’s bad enough trying to do balancing poses when you’re tipsy, but trying to do any standing yoga poses or stomach poses are particularly awful when your head is spinning and your stomach is a little unsteady.

10. Drink lots of water.  All throughout the day.  Yes, it can make you have to go to the bathroom, but it will also make the poses easier for you, and it’s healthy for you anyway.  Dehydration leads to charlie horses, and nobody likes those.   Also, to avoid dehydration; avoid alcohol and  particularly salty or sugary food.

11. Do NOT vigorously exercise on the same day as yoga.  This includes weight-lifting, long-distance exercises, and very intense shorter exercises.  You will be dying during downward dog if you decided to weight-lift that same day, and you will be crying during the warrior poses if you just came back from a long bike ride.  Believe me, I’ve tried it.  Yoga is exercise.  Even I forget that.  Do you think my somewhat tight stomach and legs are from the elliptical or walking the dog?  Guess again.  It’s yoga.  You may not be moving too much, but you are working the whole time with every pose you hold, some of which you might hold for a long time (which is what some people are not prepared for and why they don’t come back).  Don’t underestimate it.  If you are really set on getting some extra exercise in, go for a walk or try some other low intensity activity.

12. Bring it home with you. You’ll get a lot more out of yoga if you do some every day.  Can’t hold that balancing pose?  You will after you practice!  The more you practice, the stronger and more flexible your body will become.  Can’t stretch down and touch those toes?  I can’t either!  And that’s why I’ve started stretching my legs every day.  I also practice posture poses in the car and when I’m walking around, in hopes that my back is more straight as an arrow and less curved as a rainbow when I get to be 106.

Happy yoga-ing!

"Woman Doing Exercise" courtesy of Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

“Woman Doing Exercise” courtesy of Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

Some day I will be able to do this!!

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Starved Rock

This post is an excuse to post some pictures. 🙂  I had a lovely time with two awesome teacher pals at Starved Rock National Park this week. We’ll begin with one of my favorite parts of nature —  water (and well-placed trees).


And another of my favorite parts of nature. . . rock.  Starved Rock is full of beautiful canyons. (And, of course, there’s another great tree!)

A gorgeous natural high rise that we discovered by accident.  (Some of the trails are a little confusing.)  Look for the blue jacket. . .

These wildflowers followed us throughout our long 7.5 mile hike.  This was the farthest we’d ever hiked.  I’m looking forward to our next visit!

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