Thursday, February 25, 2010

Golden California - mustard in bloom

This time of the year in California is really stunning - when the mustard flowers are in full bloom.

I've lived in the San Francisco Bay Area most of my life so to me seeing the yellow flowers blanketing vineyards and orchards is the signal that Spring has arrived.

Every year I pull over on the side of the road of a beautiful mustard flower field and take a few photos. But my point-and-shoot camera can never capture the beauty that I see with my eyes. But luckily there are many talented photographers on who share their beautiful photos, including the one here by canbalci.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Half Moon pose in yoga class

In yoga class today we practiced Ardha Chandrasana, also known as Half Moon pose.

This is the one pose where I feel the imbalance of my body because I usually have trouble staying in this pose on one side of my body only.

But today was a great day for Ardha Chandrasana because I moved into it with relative ease (though I'm still improving on the grace) on BOTH SIDES! Perhaps  my consistent practice (at least twice a week) is finally paying off. My lower back felt strong and my overall energy level was high throughout the entire 90-minute vinyasa class. The physical balance gave me a sense of balance in my mind which was part of why it was so rewarding.

Yoga Journal's web site provides more information about this pose, including the following:

The moon has a rich symbolic significance in yoga mythology. In hatha yoga, for example, the sun and the moon represent the two polar energies of the human body. In fact, the word hatha itself is often divided into its two constituent syllables, "ha" and "tha", which are then esoterically interpreted as signifying the solar and lunar energies respectively.

(are-dah chan-DRAHS-anna)
ardha = half
candra = glittering, shining, having the brilliancy or hue of light (said of the gods); usually translated as "moon"

- Strengthens the abdomen, ankles, thighs, buttocks, and spine
- Stretches the groins, hamstrings and calves, shoulders, chest, and spine
- Improves coordination and sense of balance
- Helps relieve stress
- Improves digestion


P.S. No, the photo is not of me - I wish! I need a yoga block to aid me in this pose so that's how you can tell it's not me - she's not holding a block. Otherwise, everything else about her looks like me - NOT! I grabbed the photo from