A Lesson in Yoga

As I may have mentioned before, I’m a member of the Junior League of London, a service organization aimed at developing the potential of women and aiding those living in poverty. A few weeks ago was All Service Day for the Junior League. This is a day in which the league coordinates service opportunities with various organizations across London and encourages all of their members and their members’ friends to volunteer.

For All Service Day, my friend Jen and I decided to organize a wellness event at a local center that provides accommodation for homeless teenage girls. We arranged for the girls to partake in a yoga class, receive goodies bags, and brought in lunch donated by Whole Foods.

The yoga class was a really special experience to witness. It was mixed between Junior League members who had practiced yoga before and the center residents, most of whom had never been exposed to yoga.

Everyone started out a bit timid and tentative but as the hour progressed the dynamic in the room evolved. Each of the girls reacted to the class differently but those shared reactions slowly formed a communal vibe. At points during the practice the entire room would erupt in laughter as they tried to achieve a tricky pose. At other times the mood was more serious, everyone concentrating on challenging themselves.

Throughout the entire class there were distractions, though. It was unlike any yoga class I’ve ever witnessed. Instead of an attentive class focused on the teacher and themselves, there were distractions and interruptions and times when girls would drop out then rejoin. But somehow, amidst the chaos, the class continued. One pose continued to flow into another and there was a beautiful serenity that stayed in the room and was passed to whoever was practicing at that very moment.

Watching that class was such a wonderful lesson in many of the things practicing yoga can teach — endurance, acceptance, and finding your own way while being part of a whole. Overall the day was such a unique and special experience. Definitely one we’ll want to try to do again!

IMG_1772

 

The Rush

Back to the grind and boy did that 10 hour workday hit like a brick.

Last night I was cleaning up some papers and found a birthday card my dad wrote me in 2011. He starts off “Dearest Holly, the rush of the times is upon us and you’re in there with the best.” Couldn’t help thinking of those words throughout the day and smiling. The phrase just captures the frenzy of my day (and my attempts to control it!) so well.

This evening, a friend of mine shared the website 100 Happy Days on Facebook. Basically, you take a picture each day for the next 100 days of something that made you happy. I decided to have a little fun and sign up.

My inaugural “happy” moment is my dad’s card. Here’s to you Dad and to finding happiness in the rush of the times!

Image

Made My Monday

I’m writing this as I eat dinner at the end of a four day weekend. We didn’t have any plans this weekend so it was really go with the flow. That’s Peter’s favorite kind of weekend and the kind that I’m slowly learning to appreciate.

Even though I usually like to be out and about doing and seeing things, I do have to admit that it’s nice every now and then to have the space and time to take care of the things in your life. Today was a real “me” day. I went to the gym, treated myself to a few new things at Sweaty Betty, painted my nails, and had a nice pub lunch in the sunshine with Peter. I even had time to clean out my inbox and organize my yoga studio/office room. Yes, there’s definitely a bit of control freak in me because getting organized made my Monday!

I don’t have any pictures of today’s explorations in tidiness but I do have some snaps of our newly landscaped front lawn. We ripped out a few dead bushes and an overgrown tree on Friday and replaced them with some new ones.

Here’s a before picture from when the house was on the market about a year ago.

Front - 1

 

And the after…

Reigate Hill

This morning, we went on a new hike at Reigate Hill. It’s about 30 minutes from our house and I drove there (yay!).

The Reigate Hill area is maintained by the National Trust and contains a 3.3 mile circular route along a hilltop, down to the valley, and then back up again. Along the way, there are a few memorials and old military forts but the real sight is the view across the valley — it’s just stunning!

IMG_1828

 

 

 

Early Mornings

The sun rose at 5:58am this morning but it was light much earlier. We’re gradually making our way toward the height of summer when sunrise will happen at 4:42am. About this time every year, I dig out the ol’ eye mask just so I can sleep until my 6:15am alarm.

This year, though, I decided to go fancy and got a brand new eye mask. I figured since it becomes such a vital part of my springtime routine, I might as well splash out on a high quality one. Enter the Binchotan charcoal eye mask designed to relieve fatigue and stress.

Image

I have no idea whether the infrared rays are easing pressure on my optic nerve and promoting blood circulation, as advertised, but I am enjoying the upgrade to a really nice eye mask. Sure beats the free one I got on my last red-eye flight!

Even with my new toy to block out the light, the sun still got to me this morning and I was wide awake by 5:30am. Instead of fighting it, I decided to embrace the early start with a sunrise run. I love being out and about in the early morning when it’s quiet and you have the whole world to yourself. This morning was especially nice because everything was covered in a pinky glow from the sunrise.