Friday, July 22, 2011

No Coincidences

Two weeks ago, before my yoga class began, one of my regular students brought in 12 copies of Yoga Journal. She was giving them away to anyone who wanted them. I kept two of them. One was the May 2011 issue. That night, as I was reading the magazine, I stopped on the"Beneath the Surface" article. I'm into re-building my core strength, so the article was right on time.

I didn't notice who wrote it until the very end: Doug Keller. "Oh my goodness! It's Doug!" Doug Keller and Betsey Downing led my first teacher training in 1999. Betsey was the founder and director of Health Advantage Yoga in Herndon, VA. Doug is an amazing yogi dedicated to the bio mechanics of the body and yoga therapy.

I got down on the floor, that night, and did all of the moves in his article. The lovely by-product was that my recurring right groin pain disappeared. The more I did the moves, the better I felt. I emailed Doug a few days later and told him.

I know there are no coincidences. I'd been intending for the perfect way to strengthen my core muscles (I learned so much from that article. I tracked it down on the Internet. Here it is in .pdf format: Beneath the Surface.) Jenny brings in a stack of magazines. My subscription to Yoga Journal lapsed in April. That's why I took the May issue. And there is Doug, who wrote the one article I wanted to read.

There are NO coincidences.


So if you are wondering where the raw food is, it's still here. I've been eating sushi (cauliflower, carrots, avocados), seaweed soup, salads, and a LOT of vanilla milkshakes (looks like we had triple-digit degree weather this time last really want to make this milkshake. Thank me later!).

My mom has been asking me for years, "Are you exercising?" No, was always my answer. I am now.

So Gratitude Friday will be Gratitude Saturday tomorrow. I'm excited about this weekend. Raymond and I are going on an "Herb Walk" on Saturday to learn about edible and medicinal plants. And on Sunday, Master Raw Chef Aris Latham is in DC. Myself and Amaadi are attending his "Royale Feast." If you're interested in attending, click here: Aris Latham.
I'll take lots of pictures. :-)


Mocha Angel message:
Spirit can never leave you, nor can you ever leave Spirit. But it's easy not to be aware that you are never, ever alone. No matter how bad it gets, say, "Angels, come to me now!" Invoke the loving angels to help you and create opportunities and miracles in your life!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Chi Walking: A Review

Picture it: Reston, Virgina 1998. An impressionable, but over-worked twenty-something goes to see How Stella Got Her Groove Back. The fictionalized version of Terry MacMillian’s real life love-affair was entertaining. (But seriously Terry, how could you not know? But I digress.) The women in the audience went wild for Taye Diggs, who is a gorgeous man, for certain. I was more impressed with not only Angela Bassett’s body, but her running style. The woman ran like a gazelle. Her form. Her grace. All I could say was “Wow!”

I called my now-husband, and said, “Rom, I’m going to start running!” I put on my white sweatpants, white t-shirt, white shoes, and hit the pavement. It’s running…no problem, right? I lasted all of two blocks before I said, “To hell with this!” I walked home defeated.

In the 13 years since, each time I’ve tried to walk or jog for fitness, I always felt like I was missing something. It didn’t matter if it I was on a treadmill or outside. Time didn’t matter either: 10 minutes or 30 minutes. Each walk ended the same way: I was tired. My legs hurt. I felt depleted. And I cursed. A lot. :-)

I never gave up hope I would learn to run. Watching people run with ease always fascinated me. To have such a high level of cardiovascular fitness was my goal.

Last month, I began working with my friend Shaymali, who is a personal trainer and a fellow yoga teacher. She asked me about my goals. One of them is to run a 5-K race this year. Shaymali said to me, “If your goal is to run a 5-K, then you MUST get this book called Chi Running. I wish someone had put this book in my hand before I started running. I had to re-learn how to run. I want you to start off the right way.” She has completed half-marathons, so I bought Chi Running the next day.

I figured I must learn to walk before I run, so I got Chi Walking from the library and read that first. I practiced all the moves in my own house before I went outside. The first time I Chi Walked, it lasted 4 minutes because I witnessed the tail end of a nasty hit-and-run accident. (No one was visibly hurt. The car that was hit was empty. I was the first person on the scene and had to tell the owner what happened, and of course, the police. That, as they say, is a whole ‘nother story….)

The last 3 times were a REVELATION. I LIKE walking! I’m noticing nature. I come home in a positive mood. Even before I end with the stretches, I feel good. And even more wild, I look forward to walking and I enjoy myself!

Chi Walking: The Five Mindful Steps for Lifelong Health and Energy by Danny Dreyer and Katherine Dreyer is a MUST-HAVE if you want to walk for fitness. Danny is a long-time student of Tai Chi. The Tai Chi principles of working with nature, rather than against it, is the root of Chi Walking. I appreciate the focus on mindful living, not simply good walking form.

Those 5 mindful steps are:
  • Get aligned
  • Engaged your core
  • Create balance
  • Make a choice
  • Move forward
Those steps are bigger than walking. They are 5 mindful steps for life.

Shaymali knew I would like the book because we’re both yoga teachers. I like holistic approaches to health. We are mind-body-spirit beings; and all parts of us must be nurtured. Chi Walking is a holistic fitness program that you can use for the rest of your life. I am reading Chi Running now, and review that one soon. I plan on doing both as I train for the Baltimore Running Festival in October!

Rating: 10+ out of 10 Mocha Angels


Friday, July 1, 2011

July 1st...The Happiest Day of My Life

No disrespect to the Ancestors, but I am as happy as a runaway slave! Whoo, child!

Today was my last day at Raw Mom, and I could not possibly be happier. Hallelujah, it's over.

The Raw Mocha Angel is BACK, BABIES!

Gratitude Friday will return in earnest on July 8th.

I am truly grateful for the experience. I really am. I'll go into more detail soon.

I am taking a short break on Saturday. But I'll be back blogging at least on a Monday/Wednesday/Friday schedule.

One thing I learned: if I can work as hard as I did to build up someone else's business, I can certainly do the same for myself.

Eat Raw. Live Long....and prosper.


Mocha Angel message for today: Never pass up on an opportunity to experience joy.


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