Head on back to http://www.wafelenbak.wordpress.com for general updates.


I am feeling worlds better thanks to some adjustments of the medicines I take, and the fatigue is gone.  In fact, Thursday and Friday I worked out after work and even stayed up past 10pm!  Amazing!
I am hitting the books again but I’m a little stuck right now on the “spiritual science of yoga” (subtitle of the textbook I am reading at the moment).  Particularly, the concept of chakras.
Chakras are “energy pathways” that the life force travels in and out and through.   Different chakras affect different ways of thought and feeling. Or something.  Honestly, I really have never bought into the chakra thing and am struggling to accept it as a concept.
If I take it out of the really spiritual sense, it kind of works.  I mean, higher level chakras have a better affect on our thoughts and feelings (heart, brain or “third eye”) and lower ones (lower gut, reproductive organs) have a more base effect.  To me that’s just a bunch of symoblism though, not something I think really conducts energy through my body.
Oh well.  I only have to memorize it and know it for the test.  I was doing a lot better with the bones of the foot, though.

You’ve probably noticed I’m posting less frequently and with less enthusiasm, and yes, there is kind of a reason.
I’ve been dealing with some really bad fatigue issues recently.  Like, cardio is almost impossible and I’m sleeping 14 hours at a stretch more often than I should.  I went to the doctor today to get my blood worked up but mostly we are playing with some of the medicine I take and hoping it improves in a week.  Initially my doc thought that my blood pressure was too low, but that proved not to be the case. (it’s low, but no lower than usual)
So everything outside of work and sleep and social activity is exhausting me (and those except for sleep to some degree as well).  I have been studying, mostly the review questions because I got so far ahead on the reading.  But I have not made much time for the lectures.  It’s okay, I am still ahead for the month but I need to make the time. I am hoping to spend more time with the teaching lecture tonight.  So that’s what’s going on.
My enthusiasm for the practice has not waned, but my ability to express my enthusiasm, physically or otherwise, has taken a huge drop.  I am still hitting the yoga, and I think last week I made it about 4 days which was actually pretty good.  My goal is more though, and to get the cardio back up to speed (pun intended) Let’s hope a week of playing fast and loose with medicine gets me back on track like the doctor hopes it will…

Hello Hello Hi


Sorry I’ve been AWOL. It’s not for lack of practice, interest, or studying.   I just haven’t had enough time or energy to stop by and update.
These days I am learning about how to teach, which is cool and interesting.  And my practice is going well–I am feeling differences in each pose and in my body just based on the few critical alignment specs I’m gaining from the guided plan. 
I need to carve out time this weekend for terms review. I noticed I lacked a little when looking over the study questions.  But the reading is pretty much ahead of schedule just need to take some time to review.
I am waiting to hear from my advisor and requested the time off for the July 16th retreat!  I don’t know the specifics, but I want to make the time for it b/c I think it is important this early in the game.
Hopefully a more insightful post is on its way!

What You Need


One of the latest revelations I’ve had in my yoga studies is that part of being a yoga instructor is about tuning in to what your students need.  I never really thought too much about this.  I mean, I notice when I take classes that the instructor will usually ask about any injuries or special requests from the class.   But my teacher training talks specifically about scanning your class, noticing things like age, gender, whether the individual seems tight or loose in the class, and what kind of emotional state people are bringing into the room.  Is someone carrying themselves in a sad, slouchy posture?  Or a tense, upright one?  Or maybe just a happy and relaxed way?  One of the exercises for my “homework” is to think of a person in my life and reflect on what I perceive they need from a mind, body, and spirit perspective.
This was super freaking cool to me.
I’ve often wondered what the heck kind of job I could do (other than what I do) that would apply my skills for scanning and analyzing people (which makes me sound like a cyborg, btw).  What could I possibly do to put my ridiculous and sometimes exhausting empathy to good use?  I never thought I could manage as a psychologist or counselor because I also get too emotionally invested in people.  I would go home miserable in a job like that every single night, I think.
But, I think it’s pretty safe to say that tuning myself into my yoga students (when the day comes) is going to be pretty awesome, life-affirming, and re-energizing.   It’s only been a week, but I am learning a lot–about yoga, and about myself.
(Also I keep dreaming about caring for a baby that is not my own, which apparently means you need to either nurture your inner child or you have found your hidden inner potential. Hmmmm…)

First of all, I learned that I will, in fact, get up at 6:00 in the morning to do yoga.  I did just that today.  Wow and Yay!

A lot of people have asked me, half-jokingly I think, what I have learned so far.  And so far I have learned that two functions of the body are very, very important:  digestion and breathing.

Both are things we take for granted, right?  But I never realized exactly how convoluted and how extensive the digestive process is.  And it’s linked to the respiratory process, because once we take in oxygen it helps move the nutrients around the blood stream and then we release waste in the form of carbon dioxide.  You knew this already, right?   Yeah, me too, but I sort of forgot.

All of this is very important and BREATHING is something we do wrong all the darn time.  One of the books I am reading is talking about how when we are babies, we pretty much breathe perfectly.  Because mostly what we do is breathe and cry and eat and nap.  As adults, we wear restrictive clothing and sit in restrictive postures and we breathe too fast when we are stressed out or angry or overly emotional in any form.  We have to make a conscience effort to do something we once did naturally–breathing calmly.  Not breathing calmly or correctly has been shown to create strain on our heart, increase our blood pressure, and create a wealth of other health-related issues.

So when people ask me what I’ve learned so far, it’s that yoga is going to help me breathe better and digest better and that is going to help me live and feel better.

This is exactly what has been happening.
Friday I was sick, yesterday I was sick, today I am going hiking and tomorrow I’ve been invited to go play beach volleyball (yay!).  I don’t want to overdo it coming off this cold so the soonest I envision myself doing yoga is tomorrow and that’s still a maybe.  Boo.
Tuesday  night I have a birthday party, Thursday a theater show, Friday a party…which leaves Wednesday and Saturday.  Um, no.   I can’t start my serious yoga practice like this.
So I am going to try getting up early and doing yoga in the morning.  We’ll see how THAT goes. I am notoriously NOT a morning exerciser, but maybe getting up to do yoga will be more appealing than…oh, getting up to do most things before I actually have to be up.
This month’s poses are mostly warmups, so I figure I will do those first and then my regular yoga dvd’s or class.  Which means about 1.5 to 2 hours I should plan for yoga.  This is not going to be easy.  But at least I am getting my cardio in on the front end of the week this week!