power in the pause

The Three Most Powerful Ways to Feel Inspired

  • images-3Are you feeling lackluster and low on inspiration? Everybody has those days. In fact, it’s fair to say that we all have weeks, months, and maybe even years of time in which we feel uninspired.

    Thankfully, finding inspiration is often as easy as taking a few minutes of your day and truly observing reality. Though life is always tough, there are plenty of ways you can tap into your eternal source of inspiration.

    Here are the three most powerful.

    1. Staring Into Space

    When life presses down hard and stress shoots through the roof, a little perspective often helps clear the mind. Sometimes, just staring at a starry sky can help put your problems in their proper area.

    Just think about it: there are 100 thousand million stars in our galaxy alone. And our neck of the woods isn’t anything special, as there are billions and billions of stars spread out across the universe, around which circles a 100 thousand billion planets.

    Feeling the galactic scale for a moment can help you break through your stress and inspire you to achieve.

    2. Watching Nature Be Itself

    Pulling our focus away from the universal for a moment, its important to remember that one can still find plenty of inspiration in the smallest things. Sitting in nature is a glorious way to connect with your inner sense of inspiration.

    Watch that river flow across the land. It’s been there for hundreds, if not thousands of years. Chances are, it’ll still be there in a thousand years. See that ant hill flowing with busy workers? Those tiny and seemingly insignificant creatures are incredibly successful and are present on every continent, beyond Antarctica.

    The flow of nature is often its own reward and offers the observant dozens of way inspirational messages.

    3. Looking In

    After taking in nature, the next step is to look to your inner being and truly consider yourself as a source of inspiration. Hard to imagine? It’s not. You’ve likely accomplished a lot in your life that you take for granted.

    Just take stock of your accomplishments and write a list. Once you’ve got a lengthy list, consider goals you haven’t accomplished or dreams that haven’t been implemented and find ways to make them a reality.

    images-2Though life is hard, there’s no reason you can’t find inspiration every day. However, if you’re still struggling feel free to contact us for help.

Celebrating the International Day of Yoga

June 21st marks the first International Day of Yoga! This day of recognition was suggested by Narendra Modi, the prime minister of India, to celebrate the ancient art that begin in India. Yoga is a spiritual, mental and physical practice that can transform the mind and body of its practitioners.

Prime Minister Modi’s suggestion to create an international yoga day was part of his desire to focus on a global partnership of peace and prosperity. He cited the benefits of yoga as integral to achieving this goal. Actively practicing yoga focuses on man’s oneness with nature and embodies the unity of mind and body, restraint in thoughts and actions and achieving a balanced use of energy.

During his speech, the prime minister warned that, “we need to change our lifestyles. Energy not consumed is the cleanest energy,” We can achieve the same level of development, prosperity and well-being without necessarily going down the path of reckless consumption. It doesn’t mean that economies will suffer; it will mean that our economies will take on a different character.”

catspaw6Surprised that yoga is so powerful? Then, international yoga day might be the perfect time for you to adopt a new practice that changes the character of your life. Similar to its ability to bring balance to the world, yoga can do the same on a micro level for your life. Improve flexibility, posture and strength, reduce stress and even lower your blood pressure by striking a series of yoga poses designed to harness the power of your body.

Whether you are new to the practice or a seasoned practitioner looking to ascend to the next level, Catspaw Cushions has the tools you need to reach your goal. Contact us today and start your journey on the first International Day of Yoga!

Start A New Tradition On The Summer Solstice

In 2015, the summer solstice will occur on the 21st of June. This marks the official beginning of summer for the Northern Hemisphere. Many countries and cultures have age-old traditions for this special day. They are all celebrating the longest day of light and sunshine for the entire year. In the yoga tradition we salute the sun but all year around.  In Colorado I am grateful to say we enjoy the sun approximately 300 days a year, this year is probably and exception.

Celebrations of this day differ, especially with their distance from the equator. Countries within the arctic circle celebrate a day where the sun does not set or sets for only a short time. Cultures closer to the equator simply celebrate the first summer day where the sun is in the sky longer than any other day.

DianeWrightTraditions vary with each culture. In colder climates it is a celebration that summer has officially begun and swimming is the important order of the day. It is now warm enough to go into the water. Other cultures, where warmth is not such an issue, tend to celebrate with food as their focus. Many cultures have bonfires to capture that last bit of light and keep the daytime going.

Every tradition has its own beginning and history. Starting new traditions is a great way to celebrate this naturally occurring event. Beginning the longest day of the year with meditation is a great way to start the new season. It clears the mind and readies the body for a fun-filled summer.

Are you interested in beginning a meditation tradition or yoga for your summer?

Please contact us for more information on how to get started. Pause, to begin your new tradition.

mixed media by artist Diane Wright 2015 copyright

Transitions

The month of May,  seems to be full of transitions.
People graduate from school, the school year ends, you start a new job and the list goes on. There are all kinds of transitions, from seasons,  relationships, moving to a new city, home, school.  I can’t forget the big ones, birth, weddings and death. 

New Beginnings are often disguised as painful endings.” ― Lao Tzu

On this Memorial Day we will give pause to those that have transitioned from life to death in the broad sense,  we honor those who have died serving.
downdog
When I come to my yoga mat or teach a class we are practicing how to transition from one pose or asana to another, sometimes called flow or vinyasa.
We come to the top our mat and start with our hands at heart center then we reach up to the ceiling in a little back bend – transition, then coming to a forward fold – transition and then we find ourselves in down dog.  All of these little transitions we have made gracefully and with intention.
Looking at the definition of the word transition changing from one state or condition to another.
tran·si·tion
tranˈziSH(ə)n,tranˈsiSH(ə)n/
noun
plural noun: transitions
  1. 1.
    the process or a period of changing from one state or condition to another.
    “students in transition from one program to another”
verb
NORTH AMERICAN
3rd person present: transitions
  1. 1.
    undergo or cause to undergo a process or period of transition.
    “the network ought to be built by the federal government and then transitioned into private industry”

Change is hard for a lot of us, but if we look at it from the perspective of  when we are on our yoga mats it might not seem so challenging – I know easier said than done, because somedays the flow from one pose to another is smooth, balanced and gracefully with breath guiding the way and other days movements are stiff, heavy and not balance or gracefully and breathing is choppy . We keep coming back to our practice, because we know that everyday is different.

The flow of life can be easy or difficult but looking toward it as practice that we work on daily, just like keeping our body, mind and spirit flowing so we don’t become stiff and rigid and be without flow.

contact Catspaw Studio at catspawguru (at) gmail (dot) com

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Oh My Back!

Oh my back! Is the most common complaint I hear when my yoga class begins.
My back is really tight or my back hurts.

Each time I start a yoga class I ask, “is there anything in particular that you want to work on in today’s class?”

Most often I hear, my low back, middle back  or my neck is tight.  I do hear other issues but the back is the most often and usually the low back.

So starting on laying on your back, hug your knees to your chest – this should feel good, that you are getting some relief, when your are ready put your feet on the yoga mat, or floor and let your feet go a little wider that hip width, and let your knees act like wind shield wipes going slow and engage your abdomen.

There are a number of yoga postures that can help your back as well as your whole body, check out these articles from Everyday Health, Gaiam Life or Breaking Muscle.

DSC_0053

One of my all time favorites is Supta Padangusthasana – Reclining Big Toe Pose using a strap or belt.

We can also get relief from massage, chiropractor, acupuncture, soaking in epsom salts etc. But the point is as backs go we need to work on strength and flexibility on a daily basis.

 

 

The spinal is rich with symbolism and metaphor. So, just for fun here are a few saying and idioms: Thanks to the website Learn English Idioms and Saying

Back to backTo be close together and facing in opposite directions.

Behind someone’s back – To do something without them knowing, in a way which is unfair.

The shirt off someone’s back.  For example: He’s so generous he’d give you the shirt off his back, if you asked him. (The last thing that someone has left).

To break your back. For example: I don’t know why English teachers break their backs for so little financial reward. (To work extremely hard).

To get off someone’s back. For example: If you got off her back about studying she might do better. (To tell someone to stop criticizing).

To scratch someone’s back. For example: If I give you the planning permission you have to vote for me on the council. You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours. (To offer to help someone if they help you).

To stab someone in the back. For example: He thought they were his friends until they stabbed him in the back. (To say nasty things about someone when they are not there).

To turn your back on something/someone. For example: I had to turn my back on it before I became ill. (To stop being involved).

To have your back to the wall. For example: The CEO had his back to the wall, so he resigned. (To be in a difficult or desperate situation).

Water off a duck’s back. For example: The crowd was booing but he carried on anyway, it was water off a duck’s back to him.  (Criticisms of or warnings to a particular person that have no effect on that person).

To show a bit of backbone. For example: In the end she showed some backbone and she refused to pay for the course. (To show fortitude and determination).

Last but not least

the straw that broke the camel’s back

The final limit of capacity, including patience. An Arabian anecdote told of a camel whose owner loaded the beast ofburden with as much straw as possible. Not satisfied with the staggering load he had put on the camel, the owner added just one last piece of straw. Even that one wisp was too much, and the animal collapsed with a broken back,leaving the owner with no way to take his goods to the market. The story is a parable for all the times you’ve been repeatedly irked until you can’t take it anymore and you explode.(explanation by the website the free dictionary).

 

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