Monday, March 12, 2012

Alpine Desire Satisfied! Snow! New Insight!

Almost full...
Finally some snow!  It just took a 5-hour drive to Killington, VT since we have barely had any in New York.  We were so lucky and had amazing snow as well as sun shine.  As per the reports of the inn owner it had been a very bad season until about two weeks before we were there (the first week of March) as well as during our first night there.  The skiing was bliss although, don't get me wrong - skiing does make me a little nervous these days because I do it only once a year.  The thought of ice for example and practically vertical slopes I nevertheless let myself talk myself into going down on; of course, there is something of a baby daredevil in me.
Appalachian Trail(Mt Pico)
I brought some fresh juices and a bottle of fresh almond milk along since I was invited to join a Wellness Support Group at YCT Foundation.  The dried mangoes I also brought Mowgli feasted on while we went to get some tea at my favorite diner at the Taconic Parkway.  He left a piece on my seat and was literally sitting on one.  My guess is that we either surprised him or it was getting too sweet for him; so no mangoes to munch.  
With members of the support group I have been doing a cleanse this spring and have been eliminating items such as coffee, wheat, dairy, red meats, sugars, etc. and replace them with more veggies, juices,  whole grains, seeds ...  sugar is not an issue, neither are red meats, alcohol, nicotine (although it's time to confess that I smoke a cigarette then and again).  For me it's mostly about adding more vegetables and dropping wheat (I am very curious about possible changes); I may revisit this subject and may share some of my recipes shared with the group.  
My 2-day VT routine was: Dien Cham Basic Session in bed, morning hike on the Appalachian Trail with Mowgli who was ecstatic, Chi Gong, some yoga stretches before or after breakfast (oatmeal with fresh almond milk and fruit), then a few hours of skiing interrupted by lunch, tea/bathroom breaks, back to the trail with Mowgli, hot tub, dinner, a bit more of Chi Gong/yoga/breathwork/listening to mantras, bed - no nonsense. 

Goofing off after a fall...
My self care routine gave me confidence.  As there was virgin snow and there was no ice I got to work on my technique and I realized that I collapsed my chest ever so slightly especially going down moguls; it all started with my decision to work on NOT dragging my poles which I had been aware of for a long time... ah (light bulb), not keeping the upper arms close enough was supporting this dragging which of course resulted in some tension; so standing atop a mogul slope that I could not say no to but did not feel that comfortable about either, made me pay attention to my breath; I was having a little conversation with myself, "yoga off the mat, calming down, you want to do it gracefully and most of all you want to be safe."  From then on I applied my newly gained insight and mastered the moguls so much better, wow what a difference!  I felt I made a big leap.
What led me to this eye opening moment was my basic routine that supported me "off the mat", beginner's mind, checking in with the body, my emotions, taking a few deep breaths to ground, observation, revelation!
At one point I had to make a sharp turn to avoid a jump which resulted in a pull in my left knee, no!  So I took it very easy getting to the base; once on the chairlift I did slow knee extensions/flexions.  My knees' tracking is not very well supported - they have never caused me much problems, as I fortunately have been aware of it for a very long time (one of the benefits of yoga is that you become aware of your problem areas).  In some yoga poses I feel some strange tension so I am very proactive in dealing with every bit of funk going on there - have been for a long time.  I also cupped my knee and worked the knee reflexes on the face, which are just outside the corners of the mouth, I think the hiking strengthened my knees as well; both mornings I sniffled which made me add that sniffle protocol!

What a lovely two days in the country, fresh air, sun shine, hiking. It all started with an incredible sunset over the Taconic Mountains; it's still all with me and the new insight keeps on nurturing me.