You Will Fall in Yoga

So, Readers, let’s all be honest. We have all watched those yoga videos from yogis trying to stand on their heads and fall over usually scaring the cat half to death . We might have even laughed at it. I will admit it, I have laughed before. Then I went to my usual yoga class and it changed my view.

My yoga instructors usually say it’s fine to fall since it’s just yoga. And I believe this as well, but I never really understood the meaning of “falling in yoga”. One of my favorite instructors explained it in class. She stated,” If you don’t fall, you won’t learn. When you were little and you were learning how to walk, you fell. And you got back up, and fell again. It’s a process.”

That really clicked with me, and I thought about it. I asked myself what sport or activity did I ever master without falling? I can ride a bike, roller blade, ice skate, ski, skateboard and they all have one thing in common: I fell (a lot). I wasn’t afraid to fall as a kid, so why would I care now? I have been practicing for years, but I have lost the child-like quality of falling. Certain poses that I would love to master, I  have been stopping myself.

So, I have decided to let myself fall. I’m strong enough to catch myself, so what’s the worst that can happen? Click on this video to view me trying to achieve Pincha Mayurasana https://youtu.be/ifVNXbBljrI.

Readers, I would love to hear your thoughts!

~Namaste

Scrappy Yogi

 

 

Practicing Yoga with your Significant Other

My fiance and I are getting ready for our wedding. Now starts the ceremonial “shredding for the wedding” diets and workouts. My fiance S. had mentioned that he might want to try some yoga. Since I am always willing to have him join in any class, I was excited to show him what yoga was all about.

I brought him to a Saturday class at Just Breathe Yoga at Rivermark. It’s a 75 minute class, and I knew it would be a great introduction. I gave him one of my old mats and a towel, and we positioned ourselves in the back of the class. What I have learned over the years from people is that everyone is different when approached with a community class. I have always been a person not afraid to try classes alone and I usually position myself near the front. S. wanted to be in the back so I joined him.  We sat there giggling for a little while, just enjoying the quiet until class started.

The class started to get into our first Vinyasa sequence, and I knew this class was going to be hard. S. was holding up like an experienced yogi, modifying when he needed and drinking water. We got through the class, sweating together. Even some laughter.

When we walked out of the class, we were both on endorphin rushes. We had enjoyed our time together, and it was a lot of fun to practice with a significant other. As the yoga instructor said,” It’s fun to practice with someone you love”. As I sat in reflection of the class, I was happy that we enjoyed the experience together so much. Being an only child, I always tried classes or anything new by myself. I finally have someone to share my experiences with.

Readers, what are your experiences with community classes?

~Namaste

Scrappy Yogi

 

 

 

 

The Quest for the Best Yoga Clothes

All opinions are my own and was not paid to write my content

I have been a work out clothes hoarder for years now. I always felt that to get into a sport or an activity, I needed to look the part. I’m sure I have spent thousands of dollars in that last ten years on running, biking, and yoga clothes. Most of the time, I would buy clothes that weren’t perfect, and I would hate them in a couple of months. This is how I got so much clothing. I have always been searching for the best yoga clothes.

In the last couple of years, I made the conscience decision to cut back and practice yoga in the clothes that I have, not run out to get new apparel all the time. Well, the time came that my yoga clothes started to fall apart, and then I remembered Fabletics.

We have all seen the commercials, and Kate Hudson looks fabulous in all the clothes. I thought is might be just a joke that the clothes were of high quality at affordable prices. So, I thought I would give it a try.

The first thing that happened when I signed up is I received an offer for an outfit for only $25. I was in heaven! I was so excited. I chose the Oceanside Pullover and the Salar Capri Pant. Then, I decided to sign up to be a VIP. Here is the catch, a VIP member receives selections each month to purchase. The VIP member needs to skip the month to not get a charge. As long as you are on top of your account, this shouldn’t be a problem. This time I ordered a whole yoga outfit called the Girabaldi. It consisted of the Aviana Top, Salar Legging and Maya Sports Bra.

Everyday I watched the package tracker online. I was so excited to finally try this brand. The day finally arrived to get my clothes, and guess what? They were amazing! Everything I always wanted in clothes. They are figure flattering, soft and was great in yoga class. I’m very impressed, and cannot stop telling all my yogi friends about them.

What other brands of yoga clothing do you love Readers? I would love to know!

~Namaste

Scrappy Yogi

The Oakland Athletics (Yoga Edition)

I know what you are thinking Reader. You are saying to yourself, ” Isn’t this a blog about yoga and balance?” Well, it is about yoga and balance, but this Scrappy Yogi also happens to be a huge Oakland A’s fan. And this week opened baseball season, so naturally I have to post about it: in my own Scrappy Yogi way.

In yoga, my instructors always talk about how your practice is a journey. Each day your practice can and will be different. You will be able to do handstand one day, but completely fall the next day. As I was practicing yoga on Saturday, I was not able to get into Crow Pose, a pose I have been able to do for a while now. I reflected on the journey my instructors talk about, and then I thought about my Oakland A’s.

A little background if you do not know about the Oakland A’s. They are the small market baseball team in the Bay Area. According to SportTrac, The 2016 Oakland A’s have $76, 278,732 to spend on players this year. Now, compare that to the San Francisco Giants amount of $170,414, 943 and you will see the problem. You can also read Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game by Michael Lewis for more historical context. 

I’m a believer in trying to have fun in life. I hope most people are. Oakland A’s games are so much fun for me. I love going to The Coliseum, and being part of the game. And as an Oakland A’s fan, you are definitely part of the game. Whether it’s witnessing Reddick being Spider-Man, to booing the rival pitcher to throw off their concentration, or Ron Washington throwing foul balls into the stands, you are part of it. And every fan is different. Here is a list of my fandom rituals:

  1. Must attend Fanfest
  2. All non-work attire is some sort of A’s T-Shirt/Sweatshirt
  3. ESPN app is always notifying me with team updates
  4. Must watch the movie Moneyball before season starts
  5. Social media logos are Oakland A’s logos
  6. Watch or attend as many games as humanly possible
  7. Re-tweet @Athletics or players tweets

When I sat in reflection, I started to understand why I am such a big fan of the Oakland A’s. Every season is a new journey. We start in April ready to play, along the way, there will always be bumps in the road. In yoga, some weeks are better than others. Players get hurt, some days you get on base, hit home runs, and your defense is stellar. Sometimes, you fall over in yoga class. It’s a journey, so enjoy it.

~Namaste

Scrappy Yogi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Practicing Yoga Daily

Just breathe. Days can be unpredictable and full of frenetic energy.  Within the four corners of my yoga mat, I am free to decompress from my day, rid the energy from my body and finally breathe. I will be honest though. I have never really practiced daily yoga, and I never have been good at home practice. My yoga schedule would usually consist of Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, depending on the week. In short, I wasn’t consistent with my schedule. To add, I would have an excuse not to increase my practice more than four times a week. Below are my list of excuses:

  • My day is too busy
  • I’m too sore ( I never risk injury but you can modify in yoga)
  • Discovery Channel’s Naked and Afraid marathons
  • Video Games-mainly Mario Kart or Bubble Witch Saga
  • Too tired from my day
  • I already practiced 4 days this week, and that’s good enough

Tired of my own excuses and wanting to commit to daily practice, I challenged myself to practice yoga daily. I would go to my yoga studio 6 days out the week and 1 day of home practice. And being a one studio type of yogi, ( I’m a student at Just Breathe Yoga at Rivermark)  practicing six days a week at a studio would be simple. I wanted to find out if I would see any type of difference. It didn’t matter what type, could be spiritual or physical, I just wanted a difference.

The first couple of days of practice were normal for my original routine so I didn’t necessarily see a difference. It was not until Thursday of my week, that I started to feel a change. I felt more connected to my body and mind. My spirit felt lighter and I was generally happier. I was starting to visualize poses I wanted to achieve, and thought about my intentions for each day. I was connecting better to my breath throughout my practice, and brought my breath into my day. I was becoming more balanced, everything I have always wanted in my daily life.

On Friday after yoga class, I made the conscience decision to practice forearm balance. Now, I did clasp my hands for more stability, but don’t hold it against me. I could finally visualize what my body and my mind needed to do in order to achieve this pose. I decided to ask my fiance S. to spot me, and I took my mat against the wall. All of a sudden I found myself upside down in my forearm balance. I released from the wall and took a child’s pose.

I haven’t been able to achieve a true daily yoga practice since, but it is something I’m striving for. It’s important to remember that every week is different and to not beat yourself up if you can’t make each yoga class. It’s more about the journey, and always remember to just breathe.

~Namaste

Scrappy Yogi

 

 

 

The Creation of Scrappy Yoga and the Scrappy Yogi

I am the Scrappy Yogi, but I have had many other “Scrappy” forms before. Let me explain. A long, long time ago ( about 20 years ) with the creation of the Internet came the invention of the screen name or SN. You wanted your SN to be personal, clever and different from the other people on the Internet. When I was my creating my SN, I was into scrapbooking. So, I took “scrappy” and my initials “H.A.”, and I  combined the two parts to make ScrappyHA. It was personal, clever, and different just like I wanted. I used my name for everything: Neopets, AIM, and e-mail. It was my SN and it stuck.

In the years after the creation of my SN, I wasn’t prepared for the amount of questions a simple screen name would create. For example, the number one comment I always received was that I must be a “Scrappy-Doo” fan. Sure, I was obsessed with Scooby-Doo as a kid, but my name had nothing to do with that. Another common misconception of “ScrappyHA” was its pronunciation. Regular Internet folk pronounced it “ScrappyHA”, when in actuality it was supposed to be “ScrappyH.A.”. I didn’t add the periods in my SN (not even sure you could back then). I found myself angry when other people didn’t understand the relevance of my name, but then again who would? I was always careful not giving out my birth name, so who would even know what “HA” stood for.

Fast forward to through the invention of Google, professional emails and SNs, and ScrappyHA was still owned by me, but never used. It’s not exactly the most professional name for a potential employer, but I still thought of my SN from time to time. And yes, I had changed to. I am now a working professional and a practicing yogi, who still is trying to figure out that balanced life thing. But ScrappyHA was and is still part of my identity.

When I was figuring out what I wanted to call this blog, I was playfully brainstorming ideas with my fiance. We will call him “S”. We were going back and forth with random names, until S. said, ” What about Scrappy Yoga?”. I paused for a second. I had never thought to mold my ScrappyHA identity into something else entirely. I rushed onto Google and typed in “scrapppy” into the engine. This is what come up: adjective – determined, argumentative, pugnacious. I thought to myself, I’n not argumentative or pugnacious, but I am definitely determined. I have been practicing yoga for ten years and been trying to balance life, well, for most of my life. So that was that, this blog became Scrappy Yoga.I will share with you stories of my unwavering spirit, and well, some yoga pictures. My new SN is now: Scrappy Yogi.

~Namaste

Scrappy Yogi