Sunday, February 27, 2011


At the Amy Weintraub workshop in Asheville, my chosen sankalpa was that I would be (am) "independent and content."

I'm changing that.

I chose those words because I struggle to be happy with myself. With my own life. Independent of how people feel about me...whether they want to spend time with me...whether they like who I am. I want to be content with who I am.

But I think a lot of that is the depression talking. As I get healthier and wake up to life more, I think my new sankalpa is what I've been repeating to myself these past couple of days:

I am calm, positive energy.

Friday, February 25, 2011

asana & yoga nidra

So I could tell I was starting to feel well enough to go back to getting up early again. But whenever I set the alarm to get up at 4:30, I'd wake up, advance it an hour, and then go back to sleep.

I refuse to feel guilty about this. What makes early morning yoga, or any commitment like that work is that I won't feel guilty if I break the commitment. Or tweak it. I'm a pretty disciplined person. If my body or mind wants to change something I've previously decided on, I figure there is a reason. And I allow myself to go with it. If it's important enough, I'll go back to it. Or some form of it, anyway.

But I wanted to get up at 4:30 again. I wanted to wake refreshed, do some asana, some meditation, walk my dog and start my day clear-headed and content. So I just lay in my bed Tuesday night and said, "God, I'd really like to wake up refreshed at 4:30 in the morning. But I'd like to just wake up without an alarm. I'm going to let you and my body tell me when it's time to get up."

And so I did. 4:22 a.m. And the next day too. And the next day. And I've had some really nice, calming mornings.

I've been doing some Yoga Nidra in the morning to cap off the practice instead of meditation or svasana. I'm rotating through several practices I have on my ipod. And I'm getting ideas from Do Restorative Yoga, a blog by a yoga teacher in Duluth, Minnesota. She's on a 40-day Relaxation quest. Read about it. It's good.

Monday, February 21, 2011

It's been a long month

since I last posted.
I've gotten myself caught in a spiral of depression and have lost my meditation practice. You know how that works: you skip a day and sleep in a day. Then the next. And the next. But my depression symptoms worsened and that made the skipping even more significant.

I could kind of feel it coming on. Paranoia starts to ramp up and then the ruminative thoughts. Finally I discussed it with my prayer partner, who also suffers from depression.

"I wonder if I should increase my medication?" I asked.

"Well how long has it been going on?" she asked.

I told her I didn't want to answer. It'd been 3 weeks. And so she gently walked me through the same conversation she and I had had last year about her. And so I decided to increase by half that very night.

The ruminative tape turned off overnight. I was overjoyed by the silence in my brain! I've gotten better and better over the last couple of weeks and then went to a workshop at Asheville Yoga Center. Led by Amy Weintraub, founder of LifeForce Yoga, the workshop touched on many techniques for using yoga, pranayama, and meditation for treating depression. It was a good workshop and I came away with the conviction that I need to do more yoga nidra.

The days are also getting longer and warmer here. Today it hit 75 degrees. That always does a lot to alleviate my symptoms.

I'll be writing more about this and other things.