Game On.

Long time, no post! Apologies if you’ve noticed; I’ve been abroad. I knew that when I was in Poland for 10 days that my meditation practice would pause. It did when I went to Scandinavia last year and I made the decision to change my expectations and not to beat myself up over it. The last time I meditated was the morning was on the flight from Frankfurt to Krakow and I was OK with that. I was a little anxious that I would have trouble sleeping without meditation. But aside from that one day when I drank three cappuccinos (damn you, caffeine), I had zero trouble sleeping thanks to walking 12 hours a day (and the mulled wine, and pierogi, etc).

I started meditating again yesterday morning and it feels totally easy to slip back into my two 20 minute meditations a day. Six to seven AM are my time to meditate, check my email, and pet my cat again.

I’ll get more posts and photos up about my travels, but if you need to see photos in the meantime, you can head over to my Instagram

(Photo is of a church in Gdansk, Poland.)

Rolfing Virgin No More

While I was away on the yoga retreat, my teacher Chrissy recommended that I go see a person name Maya Ray to help with the muscles in my neck and back, as well as my 24/7 cracking of my neck. She told me she was a Rolfer and I was all, “Huh?” Rolfing is basically like a chiropractor session for my muscles, as opposed to your bones. Chrissy noticed that while lying in shavasana, my collarbones looked uneven, perhaps contributing to my neck pain.

I made an appointment right after I returned from Catskills for a consultation. Maya was incredibly knowledgable and looked at me and said she thought she could help. I had the means and the time, and nothing to lose, so I made an appointment for last Wednesday. I knew it would hurt and be a little uncomfortable, but it actually wasn’t as bad as I was anticipating (cue Christian Grey: the pain is in your mind).

I had to wear a bra and boy shorts for the session so she could get a good look at my alignment. I’d told her that I’d fractured two ribs as a child and she thought this might be the reason for my very slightly misaligned collarbones, since you can’t really set your ribs to heal how you want them to when you fracture or break them.

She worked on my back, neck, the muscles on top of my rib cage, and my hips. Why my hips? All this stuff is connected and if my hips are tight, it could make my back tight (which she said my entire back was tight, 100%). 

She also noticed how I breathe could be the culprit. I grew up taking voice lessons where we learned to breathe through our diaphragms and the correct way to breathe, apparently, is into all four sides of our body. People usually breathe only into the top part of our lungs, which isn’t good for our necks either.

So, her prescription was this: use therapy balls to loosen up the muscles in my back now and then, pay attention to how I’m breathing, and call her in two weeks. Rolfers usually require 10 sessions to see any improvement but for whatever reason, she’s not strict like that (probably because it’s cost prohibitive). 

It was like a more intense and painful massage that included mild movement. It was an awesome 75 minutes. I’ll likely go back for one or two sessions more as I’ve noticed some slight improvement since going last week.

I haven’t used the therapy balls as much as I should have so I have to get better about that. They’re so painful but so useful as far as tight muscles go. Have any of you tried rolfing? 

Epic Battle: Meditation vs. Anxiety

My spiritual guru Gabby Bernstein always says that when people tell her they don’t have time to meditate, she asks them if they have time to feel like shit. I think this is a pretty good way (although somewhat forceful) to convince people to meditate. 

I noticed as soon as I got into the office yesterday that I felt different and very anxious. I devolved into that hyper-paranoid person that I was (and still am, sometimes, just rarely) in previous years and it took a while to get back down to normalcy (what normalcy means to me, anyways). 

I spent a large part of the weekend with my dude and when I do that my meditation schedule usually hits the fan. I was still meditating for the last four days in my yoga classes but the morning and evening sessions weren’t happening. It’s not his fault; I usually just forget. Sometimes, and I’m trying to be better about this, I will sit for a session while he’s in the shower. 

Because J is great, he took note of my anxiety and ended up surprising me with a flower delivery yesterday afternoon. It was completely unexpected and immediately brightened up my Monday. 

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But incase a flower delivery isn’t an option for you, you can always turn back to your breath and sit in silence for a few minutes, coming back to a state of calm that’s always hiding somewhere inside of you. 

Slow down and breathe.

I’m going up to Woodstock for the day with Kirsten today (just happens that it’s the 45th anniversary of the concert – we had no idea when we picked this day!) and I woke up before my alarm and just sort of got up

I sat up, turned my phone on, and then turned my computer on. And then I sat looking at both as they turned on and I felt a little shaky. 

I’m used to waking up to my alarm, turning my phone on, and sitting in seated meditation for 15 minutes before doing ANYTHING else. This was different and I can see the immediate effect it had on my waking up.

So before logging into my computer, I sat in my chair and concentrated on my breath for about two minutes (breathing in and out for five, six, etc. up to ten, and back down). I felt much better.

I also probably should’ve stretched, but hey, at least my mind is calmer now.