Saturday, June 28, 2014

Yogi or Yogini?

If I'm correct, the answer to all this is Yogin.

This isn't really a big deal, but what do you consider yourself? A Yogi or a Yogini? Is it because of your gender or simply your sex? Do you consider how you like to practice?

Yogi is for masculine energy, and Yogini is for the feminine energy:

Yin is characterized as slow, soft, yielding, diffuse, cold, wet, and passive; and is associated with water, earth, the moon, femininity and nighttime. 
Yang, by contrast, is fast, hard, solid, focused, hot, dry, and aggressive; and is associated with fire, sky, the sun, masculinity and daytime. 
(via Wikipedia)

What's not to say a practice can't evolve. I would've definitely called myself a Yogi last year, but this year I'm more a Yin, Yogini. I love watching Meghan Currie videos (if you haven't YouTubed her, do it now!), and that lovely woman is defintiely a Yogini, but she remixes (fast-forwards) her practice into one with Yang energy.

What would you classify yourself as?

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Living the Yogic Lifestyle

I am not perfect.

I am nowhere near perfect.

I drink. I smoke. I own and wear leather. I have Emu (sheepskin) boots. I enjoy sex.

Well, that's really it. I guess it comes down to the yogic principal of ahimsa. The hardest thing for me is smoking. With yoga being a practice of focusing on your breath, I can't help but feel like a hypocrite when I light up. (Although, I go a little easier on myself, since it's pure tobacco.) It doesn't help when all your friends have been doing it with you for years with no intention of quitting.

Admittedly, this all began before the idea of "yogi" became a bit of an aspiration. I've always had an inner hippie, but due to lack of time and education, that languished. But here I am now. I have the time to become a conscientious consumer. I want to become more eco-friendly and eco-conscientious. I want to consume less. I definitely have a shopping problem. How I plan on fixing that is by only shopping at thrift stores. I love leather, but now, I will try to only buy secondhand. The book, Wear No Evil has made being an eco-conscious fashionista a tangible reality.

I still apply chemicals to my body almost everyday in the form of makeup and perfumes. I have moved on to Simple face wash with simpler, hopefully less toxic (to myself and the environment) ingredients.

I want to eat healthier. Slowly, I have begun -eating raw avocados with seasoning. Grocery shopping more, eating fast food a little less.

The philosophy of Jainism holds a fascination in my heart, but it is so ascetic, it's not really tangible for myself here and now.

Yoga has brightened my life, and in turn has caused me to think about ahimsa more and more. I think just the word non-injury could be a great focus of my practice.


Thursday, June 19, 2014

Wear No Evil by Greta Eagan

I recently read the book Wear No Evil by Greta Eagan.

This is a great starter book for someone looking to be more eco-conscious with their clothing choices.

In short, Eagan lists out an "integrity index" of sixteen factors to be wary of when purchasing clothing. She says to focus on 3-5 aspects in order to be realistic, style being the first factor to consider.

For me, I personally like reduced water usage, biodegradable, local, and secondhand. If there are causes I would like to support, the first one that would come to mind is Charity: Water, or any other organization dedicated to clean water, and reducing water usage. It turns out a single, cotton t-shirt can use massive amounts of water to create and dye. I will now look for vegan leather that is a byproduct of the meat industry or at least is secondhand. For one, it's biodegradable, and two, pleather contains myraid chemicals. I would much rather see a trashed leather jacket naturally wearing out, than a pleather one living indefinitely in a dumpster. In general, I mostly shop at thrift stores, and try to support Made in the USA items. Even more locally, I would also like to support Chicago artists and companies. And I love thrifting. It's the thrill of the hunt. I've found some great things while thrifting. It's just an added bonus that I'm giving these items a second lifecycle.

In short, it's not that hard to be SOMEWHAT eco-conscientious after reading this book:

You're eschewing fashion for the sake of fashion, but that doesn't mean you sacrifice it.

For more check out:

And buy the book!

Monday, June 16, 2014

All things yoga related, today.

Ahh. Today is a blogging day, so here's a general updatement of anything yoga:

Been doing good on the Down Dog Days of Summer Challenge. I'm at 15/16 classes, with a class I'm going to tonight, so 16/16 really. Not bad. When it comes down to it, you can miss 20 classes or do a class every weekday and skip the weekends. This challenge has really got my motivation up to go to class. Can't wait for Core Restore -the restorative, Yin class- tomorrow!

Went to my first Level 3 due to a double sticker day. Really liked it. It was very well paced for it being a 75 minute class. I was exhausted for the rest of my day though -perhaps also due to lack of sleep?

I stumbled upon a fun little book called, Yoga Bitch by Suzanne Morrison. It was in the Yoga non-fiction section of the library (it's definitely fiction, but if it wasn't, it would've had to be the greatest yoga book out there). But I was glad I found it anyway.

Downloaded the Yoga Sutras and re-checked out the Bhagavad Gita. I've already read the Bhagavad Gita, but the version I currently have is more what I was looking for.

AHH! Can't wait for class tonight! Might go to the library, too!

Friday, June 6, 2014

Book Recommendations

I swear by these books:

Total Yoga by Tara Fraser
The Yoga Bible by Christina Brown

No, they're not philosophy books, they're asana books.

Total Yoga really is total yoga. This was the book I got when I first started, and pretty much started it all for me. It provides a great general overview of yoga as a whole, from drinking water to meditation to, of course, the asanas.

After working with Total Yoga, I was ready for more asanas. The Yoga Bible has a short overview and includes an overview of the Sutras, but I was really going for advanced postures.

Now, in terms of philosophy, I've read the Bhagavad Gita, and would like to move on to Patanjali's Sutras. I'm actually going to go download it on my Kindle right now... (!)


Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Wanderlust, among other things.

How I feel right now:

Didn't start my CPY 40 Class Summer Challenge off to a running start this Sunday, but I'd like to think I have a steady burning flame versus short-lived zeal.

I wish I could handle hot classes better, but at least I don't push myself past my limits. That's what I love about yoga. It's accepting where you are in your practice.

Anyway, enough with what you could've read on another yoga blog. No updates on progress... well, I guess my wheel is looking better. Also, I've started to get off my knees during Chaturunga... I would really like/LOVE to build strength.

As you could probably tell, I've been out of the groove for a bit. Doing more at home, but it's nothing to brag about. The CPY Challenge is just what I need to break out of this rut.

OH! And how could I forget about Wanderlust?!

Well, went to the first class. Got in a little late due to the Blue Line being closed. It was a little too hot, and I was hoping there'd be more vendors there. I kinda expected there to be local artists. (Obviously, my first time.) But all-in-all it was great. I would have LOVED to do every class, but it was just too hot. And then my brown mat was absorbing all the rays.

I'd go again, but maybe for the later classes, when it's hopefully cooled down a bit.

Off to a restorative class, but I did manage to get some pics this Saturday!: