Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Flora-Cani Yoga

Not so long ago, if I didn't sweat, raise my heart rate, burn some calories or flood my brain with endorphins, I wasn't interested in participating. The meditative quality of yoga made me crazy. Unable to clear my mind during class, I resorted to filling the blanks by making mental grocery lists or counting to 100, then 1,000, like an out-of-control obsessive compulsive.

Even then, I realized that the more you hated it, the more you probably needed it.

But that was back in the BC (before cancer) days. Now I look forward to my weekly session with Yoga Deb. She comes to our Altadena home and garden every Saturday morning for an hour of Kundalini yoga. Debbi describes this gentle yoga as "a spiritual garden, complete with breathing, postures, meditation, mantras, and deep relaxation, all designed to integrate the mind, body, and spirit."

As you can see from the photographs, our garden and canine Betty play a vital role in the yoga session. I know it's Kundalini, but I like to call it "Flora-Cani Yoga." I think it could catch on. Betty frolicks. Bees buzz. Lavender sways in the breeze. The fountain splashes. The sweet scent of David Austin roses wafts through the air. It's a doggone therapeutic environment.

If you're interested in joining us, contact Debbi through her website or email me privately, and I'll give you the details. Hope to see you at Flora-Cani!

AND after readng Karen's clever comment about "Flora-Candy Yoga," I have to ask: Please describe YOUR fantasy yoga class.


Susan Carrier said...

I just realized that I inadvertently set to disallow comments. I'm posting this for Tara:

"That's awesome that you have found someone to come to your house, and that you have learned how to enjoy turning all that off. When Travis still had his motorcycle in our BC ( before crash) times, I would ride on the back with him and just let it all go. I could really clear my mind, relax and enjoy the astounding views. I haven't had that outlet in a long time. "

Karen said...

I like "Flora-Candy Yoga" myself. It goes like this: you get in corpse pose in a field of clover and, after lying quietly for twenty minutes, you sit up, close your eyes and, listening to the birds chirping and the bees buzzing, slowly eat some Teuscher champagne truffles to this chant:

Breathing in, I taste chocolate.
Breathing out, I smell chocolate.
Breathing in, I taste life's goodness.
Breathing out, I smell life's goodness.

I haven't yet reached Nirvana, but I have faith I'll get there before I get to 200 pounds.

Frankie said...

I took a class of yoga for couples years ago with my then boyfriend, it was wonderful. It really created an extra bond between us after the class. Poses that involved working with our partner are always good to check our ability to listen to each other.
It was rather magic.

Emmy said...

I've never been good at yoga. Too much QUIET, INNER PEACE, loads of time to REFLECT, and, there's always the flexibility aspect (I know, I know, I'm sad)... still, somewhere deep in my subconscious, I do REALIZE that "it" would be REALLY, really good for me. Insert curse word here. And now, thanks to your blog, I HAVE to give Y-O-G-A another try!!

Thanks Susan :-)

jeff said...

keep up the good work. As a counselor, my clients often get frustrated because I often give the advise "just don't think about it". Yes, it's incrediably hard but extremely beneficial. What we think has a direct effect on our reality, perception and physical being.
Love your blog and your insite. Namaste

Diane Fisher said...

Well, there's yoga, and then there's YOGA! I have found there are many different styles. I love the teacher at the Monrovia 24-hour Fitness, where I take two classes a week. It's very active and flowing. I usually drip sweat all over my mat. But with all the deep breathing and concentration, it's also very centering. Mmmm. Yoga. It's all wonderful.

Namaste, Susan

suzy keleher said...

My favorite yoga was when I did water yoga which I did in one of the pools with a wonderful instructor named Nancy at Los Caballeros in Fountain valley. I truly learned better balance, inner peace, and other things. She moved on and so I did not have the water yoga any more. Any one know a person trained in such? I am so happy you have this opportunity, Susan Love you, suze

Karen said...

Actually, my favorite kind of yoga is Iyengar. It appeals to my meticulous, perfectionistic side. It's also not aerobic, which I like because it's easier for me to still my thoughts when I'm not gasping for air and sweating like Niagara.

Cricket said...

Visiting Italy’s famous Leaning Tower in person provides a context you don’t see usually see on paper placemats in neighborhood Italian restaurants. The delicate tower poses precariously in a beautiful expanse of lush green called the Campo dei Miracoli or “Field of Miracles.”

Sorely outnumbered Pisans dedicated the space to the miracle of delivery from invading infidels on August 6, 1063 and residents still celebrate the anniversary today. An exquisite church and baptistery also share that serene field carved out of Pisa’s dense urban bustle, and bathed in the glow of sunlight in primavera (springtime), the beauty of the place is quietly staggering.

Invisible to visitors, though, is the team of scientists, architects and other assorted academia nuts working behind the scenes to preserve the tower and its cousins (also leaning in the sandy soil, but not as noticeably) from the ravages of time and gravity.

As I read this post, it occurred to me that you have created your own Field of Miracles. You have set aside for yourself and others a quiet, green place in the metropolitan sprawl that’s dedicated to meditation and contemplation in the warm spring sunshine. Behind the scenes, though, legions of medical researchers are fighting for you and your fellow lymphomanics, working tirelessly to defeat marauding infidel cells with advances like radioactive “smart bombs” and other innovations.

I’m looking forward to celebrating the anniversaries of your victory over the infidels! Gonna close here—I’m off to meditate on your personal miracolo. Ommmmmmmm…

JN said...

As someone with 11 years of yoga under my belt, I still consider myself a beginner -- more like 1 year of yoga repeated 11 times. It has changed my life. I need to write an essay to explain all the reasons why. I'd love to join you one Saturday morning in your garden fastness. Then I could also commune with your worms... Love, Jane

Jonathan Alter said...

Hi, Susan:
Sorry to see that we're in the same mantle cell lymphoma club, though you're in the middle and I'm three years post-diagnosis (two and a half years post-transplant). The bottom line is: It sucks.
Anyway, you write beautifully about what you're going through (I couldn't write at all about it until years later) and I look forward to visiting Cancer Banter often.
Did I mention that it sucks?