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Open hand

Your hand opens and closes, opens and closes.If it were always a fist or always stretched open you would be paralysed.Your deepest presence is in every small contracting and expanding the two as beautifully balanced and coordinated as birds wings. ― Rumi

sunny 35 °F

The goal of yoga is adaptability not flexibility. Many students come to asana in order to be more flexible but what's more important is to be more adaptable and let life flow through you without resistance.

Today's super bowl Sunday class was about being yielding to the flow of life.
The super bowl is a big moment for all these professional athletes. But for me, someone who hasn't watched a patriot game all year, I've missed all of their little moments.
In fact there were thousands of little moments, leading up to this big moment for these men. From throwing the ball around with dad as a kid, to college, to every practice, leading up to this big moment.
Similarly in our practice for every handstand, there were thousands of lift and leans, hamstring stretches, shoulder strengthener and fails. They say the master has failed more times than you have even tried. And so we see that life is about all of these moments, big and small. When we can appreciate these little moments rather than always waiting for the future for that big moment, we can find presence and peace.

Often we are forcing and grasping . Keeping in our mind the way we think things are supposed to be. I'll be happy when I get my handstand, when I find the right girl, when I get a job. And then when we get there we are trying to hold onto things and own them as 'ours'.
Whether it is in a pose in our yoga practice or a person in our life, you usually cannot hold onto these things forever.
Yesterday I did full dancer for the first time ever. (Big moment) but there were thousands of bridges, pigions, wheels and practices (little moments) before that. And then today I couldn't do dancer, non attachment. Our body and practice teaches us this lesson of non attachment. In the same way we cannot own a pose, we cannot own another. We as humans can be measured by our ability to let things go gracefully.
Every day is different in our practice and in our life. Which is a huge complex for the humanimd. We always want to own to HAVE ,people, poses. Whatever it is.
Like Osho says; If you love a flower, let it be. If you pick it it dies and ceases to be what you once loved. Love is about appreciation not possession.
But the more we let things come to us with an open palm without trying to close it, the longer they will stay.
When we realize life is just these little series of moments , well stop worrying about the big moment.

Most of today's class was played to an artists who's songs resonate with me especially recently as I contemplate Nonattachment.
Hozier. He's so amazingly talented. This is the point when if Nellie is reading she will roll her eyes at me about how I'm six months late on this obsession. If you are reading, I'm sorry my musically informed friend. One day I will be as artsy and different and hip as you but for now I always appreciate your guidance and suggestions even if I don't listen for about three months . ❤️
Every song speaks to me but I think my favorite will have to be cherry wine about appreciating what you have when you have it and letting it go with an open hand.

"It looks ugly, but it's clean
Oh mamma, don't fuss over me
The way she tells me I'm hers and she is mine
Open hand or closed fist would be fine
The blood is rare and sweet as cherry wine
Calls of guilty thrown at me
All while she stains
The sheets of some other
Thrown at me so powerfully
Just like she throws with the arm of her brother
But I want it, it's a crime
That she's not around most of the time
And it's worth it, it's divine
I have this some of the time"

So when we learn to live in the present moment and enjoy the journey, we realize the absolutely rarity of every moment and appreciate it. There will never be another moment like the one you are in right now. This helps us to enjoy love when we have it, enjoy solitude wen we have it. Enjoy days our body wants to work hard, and enjoy days our body needs a rest.
Stop trying to make things the way you want them to be , stop resisting, stop trying to control, stop trying to make the world turn your way, and instead flow with life and the way things are.


Posted by rachaelob 19:30 Archived in USA Tagged yoga health open spirit new_jersey gratitude rumi zen_den Comments (0)


Universal Force

sunny 57 °F

There's some moments in which I can just feel god.

(First let me add a disclaimer; I have never been a religious person, ever. I went to church on Christmas and Easter. God is the word I am using here to refer to the universal spirit whatever it is you may believe in any kind of higher power, I do not mean to promote or offend any type of organized religion here. Hell I still don't classify myself as anything or really know for sure what I believe in, But I do believe in something, something bigger than myself, and so for now I will refer to that something as god, because to me it feels most personal. )

There's some moments in which i can just feel god. I feel signs, I feel that there are absolutely without a doubt no coincidences in the world. I trust that the troubles I am put through are a part of the greater plan. I trust that there is some universal force working in my favor. The way that I happen to find a flight at less than 1/2 of the average flight to Indonesia as I got accepted into a world renown Acro Yoga program, not a coincidence. Now I seem to be just making it by with enough to make this trip really happen, even with all my indulging this year in celebrating, eating, Chicago, Florida, Vermont ect.

  • *Side note; when I say year I am referring to my birthday July 18th on. I've realized that my brain thinks of a year differently than Jan-Dec. because to me the whole winter is kind of the same.

Today I was thinking about how I set three goals for myself this "year" ; 1.To spread my teaching of yoga and message to more than one studio.
2. To travel to a country outside the US with a different language by myself.
And 3. To complete another teacher training or certification of some sort while I am not in school to show something for my year, preferably in Holistic health or yoga of some sort.
For the record, I am traveling to Indonesia on my own, completing an acro yoga certification 100hrs. ( I know,I know, I'm getting repetitive and you already know this if anyone's reading, forgive me I'm just very excited. ) and over the past year I have taught at The Zen Den, on the beach, to the ac high swim team, ItsWell Yoga in Wildwood, The JCC, Yoga Dog in Linwood, LivingWell Crossfit Northfield and Sunday I will be teaching a Yin Yoga Workshop at Stone Harbour Yoga!! **NOT TO LATE TO SIGN UP =)
Now allot of this is thanks to the 'SaltWater Yoginis' group started by myself, Lindsey Westcott, and Lindsey Salerno. I am eternally grateful for the birth of this trio for it has given me the confidence to branch out with two best friends by my side.
(Feel free to follow us on Instagram ; Saltwateryoginis and on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/SWYoginis )

Back to those goals. So I'm not sure exactly when I set them, if it was your typical January- December new year goal setting I would have missed the cut off since Indonesia is happening in February. Plus, last spring I was still in school, completing my training, and had no idea what I wanted this winter. I think I consider a year more like July to July. Or even just September to June. Where I live in Southern New Jersey, life sort of pauses during the summer time, well actually it speeds up incredibly. But what I mean is that there's not as much growth and change for me. It's always the same, we work, allot, and party, allot during our tourist season. I come back every summer to the beach patrol and people ask "how was your year?". They don't mean January to now, they haven't seen me since September. They don't give a shit about June, July and August, they were there for all of that. When they ask how was your year? They mean September -June. So I suppose that is the mindset I adopted. And in that sense, a year being September - June I am going to complete all of those goals.

For the entire fall I thought that my country I will travel to alone would be Costa Rica. At first I considered returning to Puerto Rico, Rin Con to be exact, and spending a winter there. But there were some cons to that plan, too many people from New Jersey, many connections, and Dad's friends, plus it is considered still in the US. You would think having connection would be a good thing, but to me, PR felt like settling and wasn't going to give me the experience I need to one day goto India alone, which is a plan for the future and part of the reason for this goal. Then I had my heart set on Costa Rica, so long story short all fall I've been studying Spanish. Which of course won't be helpful in Indonesia. Now, rather I will start learning one word a day in Indonesian Hoping that will help once I'm there. Today's word; taksu. Which is what the Balinese call gods energy. Known to Christians as the Holy Spirit, the Chinese as chi. The life force or energy. TAKSU.

So, Tonight my example of Taksu. I showed up to swim practice. Helping out with the AC High swim team since my old coach billy has been sick has been an enjoyable and rewarding experience. The girls invited me to their team dinner in brigantine . Now I love team dinners, so of course I accept. (Hoping that I would stick to more salad than pasta and skip the brownies and garlic bread. Kiiiind of worked ) We are tapering for a big meet Saturday and got done practice fairly early, so in the mean time I have two hours to kill in Atlantic City or Brigantine. Luckily I have brought my book I am currently reading, Eat Pray Love. I just got to the 'Pray' section last night where main character Liz goes to India to stay in an ashram and participate in hours of daily meditation. This inspired me to restart my own meditation practice which has fallen off a bit lately. Last fall, winter and spring I was quite diligent, but in summer I fell off with the fast paced tourism season, and this the fall picked back up again a bit but the holidays intervened with all the parties and sleeping out and what not .
So this morning I clear out my almost dusty meditation space, reorganize, burn some sage to clear the energy. Choose a daily yoga mantra. And sit. Although I had a bit of unconditioned monkey mind as you may call it, it felt good to take this time to myself before my day and get used to sitting again so that I hopefully keep up this practice while traveling.
I used to avoid restarting my meditation practice because I felt guilty for ever stopping it, it brought me shame looking at that unused altar. But today I thought to myself. One more day with meditation is better than nothing, and I don't think god ever closes his door on you. No in fact, he's very happy to have me back knocking at his door and will always open for me. And so I sat.
And here I am again sitting in my car In Brigantine. While driving here I had noticed a side street with a beautiful view of the bay with the casinos in the background and some marshes, snow, and boats. So I parked my car there as I saw the sun slowly start to dip and thought, I have an hour until sunset this will be there perfect place to watch it. I took a picture with my I phone then laid in my back seat reading more about Liz in India. All of a sudden about an hour later I heard a knocking on my car door, like someone was playing a trick on me. I thought maybe it was stones hitting my car or an animal but felt alarmed and got up to check, just then I saw the sky. The most beautiful Sunset I have watched in a while, filling in the sky around the casinos with pink, orange, blue , yellow. I had caught it just in time. The pictures do it no justice, but here they are anyway.

I got out and looked around my car but didn't see any stones, animals or people. So I snapped another picture of this beautiful sky canvas , and thanked god for knocking back.

Posted by rachaelob 19:10 Archived in USA Tagged landscapes sunset indonesia meditation god yoga faith believe new_jersey goals eat_pray_love stone_harbor_yoga Comments (0)

First Blog Entry

"It feels good to be lost in the right direction."

snow 57 °F

Well Hello Internet Humans.

I have always had the thought of starting a blog in the back of my mind. But thought that my travels weren’t ‘cool’ enough or my information wasn’t 'wise' enough. Today I have decided to start this not for others, but for me.
In the past two years I have traveled quite a bit.
North Carolina, Puerto Rico, The Poconos and Vermont numerous times to various mountains, Many towns in Florida, Chicago, helped out on a farm in IL and of course many nights spent in the cities of Philadelphia and NYC, as any Jersey Girl experiences at the drop of a 10$ bus fare.
I drove up and back the coast of California twice. Starting from shooting guns in the highest point in Mexico and getting stopped by border patrol, through San Diego which now feels like a home away from home, visited LA, Rolled around the rose gardens in the Santa Barbara Mission, Hiked through Big Sur, Muir Woods, San Francisco, and worked on a farm all the way up in Point Arena.

And I’ve collected many friends all along the way.
travelerspoint map 2013-2014

travelerspoint map 2013-2014

I made this map on Travelerspoint of my 2013-2014 adventures. To many, this may seem like amateur traveling, but for me it has been a blast. So I’ve decided that I do deserve a travel blog damn it! And Although I always keep travel journals and post on Instagram and Bookface. This blog will be a special way for me to look back on it all.

If anyone is reading this, I hope you enjoy it, but please do not judge or expect it to be as interesting as half the blogs on here. Mostly it will include my quirky ramblings and be extremely grammatically incorrect as I am much more of a speaker than a writer and probably never handed in a college paper without Nellie, Ashley or Kasey proof reading it . My intentions for this blog are to keep it for me to look back on and for my family to read while I am abroad if they wish.

For the next week I will be in New Jersey I will try to blog every few days and probably talk about teaching yoga and how cold it is here. In 6 days will start my expedition to Florida beginning with my family and then traveling around the sunshine state with a friend. Then Traveling to Bali for an Acro Yoga Teacher Training. If you told me any of this three years ago I would laugh in your face. If you told me a year ago about my plans for this spring 2015 my eyes would sparkle with happiness. So while most of my friends will be graduating from college or grad school this spring, I will be backpacking and surfing around Florida and Indonesia with no real plan. Many people from my town may say I need bit more direction. That I am lost and not quite living life correctly. That I need to finish school, find a job that supports me, get married, have children and be the President of some company by 30. But I believe life does not have to be this timeline of milestones, life is about enjoying it. I believe in taking my time, in finding out what really inspires me instead of rushing into a certain career, and that I can always backtrack. Maybe taking an AcroYoga training is a frivolous plan, but it is what the universe manifested for me this year. I may be lost, that is for sure, but I am very certain that I am traveling the right path for me and I am happy a good amount of the time.

I am not yet sure how private or public I will keep this blog. In fact I am feeling a bit lost with the entire blog thing. But I am happy to be starting it.

As my favorite Quote says; It feels good to be lost in the right direction.

(can you add emojis on this blog?? **Insert three sparkle emoji here**)

Posted by rachaelob 07:27 Archived in USA Tagged travel new_jersey travelmap first_blog Comments (0)

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