“The art of love is largely the art of persistence.”

– Albert Ellis

Awareness

About a year ago I had the honor of spending the first night of my adventure to Maine with teacher and inspirational leader Seane Corne (My son, Liam was arriving the next day to celebrate being 11) . I had been wanting to take a class with Seane for quite some time after I read about her work. As luck would have it I got an email two days before my trip saying that she would be in New Haven, 10 minutes from where I was staying. She was teaching the “Yoga of Awakening” and it was calling my name. After teaching for over 17 years, I was struggling with letting the practice on the mat go. Somewhere along the way I was losing the meaning; all the vinyasas were running together. Was there some other kind of movement that could spark my creativity, joy, passion, peace… all the things I sought when I originally came to the mat many years ago? 

I knew I would find answers with Seane’s inspiration, so I booked my cozy Airbnb one night early. What I found at this workshop created the shift I was looking for. Seane so beautifully made us hold the poses. As emotions (i.e. energy) came up, we were asked to just be with it all; to see how long we could be present and persistent in doing this work. When we move our bodies, as in a yoga practice, energy moves and things come to the surface, things that we have pressed down for a very long time. We no longer have the option of pushing them down, we need to let them come up so we can process and release. And this takes persistence. 

It’s easier to deny getting to know our true selves; but the rewards from living a life that is filled with love and truth are immeasurable. 

Explore: Channel Energy by Nathalie Croix


Movement

Now that we mastered strength in Mountain Pose, enthusiastically scattered joy in creating mindful movements, found our dristi and presence in Warrior II, we will continue to build strength and persist in a Plank challenge. Below is how you will practice Plank; but the real challenge is to see how long you can hold it. My recommendation, like anything else you want to persist in, is to add on a little more each day. For example on day one you may be able to hold for 15 seconds; by week two perhaps 45 seconds; and by one month 3 to 5 minutes. This is something I practice at night with my kids (way more fun to do as team), but if you are doing it on your own, put on some tunes and dance your Plank!

Kumbhakasana (koom-bahk-AHS-uh-nuh) – Plank Pose 

Plank Pose is all about core strength and persistence. It is about feeling grounded and stable. Its name comes from the Sanskrit words “kumbhak,” which means “breath retention,” and “asana,” which means “pose.” Plank is an essential component of Sun Salutations and is often used as a transitional pose. It can also be practiced on its own to build strength and stamina. 

Benefits:

• Strengthens the arms, wrists, and spine 

• Tones the abdomen 

-Benefits from Yogajournal.com

Directions:

1. Begin on your hands and knees, with your wrists directly under your shoulders. 

2. Spread your fingers and press down through your forearms and hands. Do not let your chest collapse. 

3. Gaze down between your hands, lengthening the back of your neck and draw your abdominal muscles toward your spine. (Draw your navel to your spine) 

4. Tuck your toes and lift hips, bringing your body and head into one straight line. 

5. Keep your thighs lifted and do not to let your hips sink. If your butt sticks up in the air, realign your body so your shoulders are directly above your wrists. 

6. Broaden across your shoulder blades and across your collarbones. 

7. Draw down through the bases of your index fingers – do not let your hands roll open toward the pinkie fingers. 

8. Press the front of your thighs (quadriceps) up toward the ceiling while lengthening your tailbone toward your heels. 

9. Hold the pose while breathing for five breaths. If you are using the pose to build strength and stamina, hold for up to five minutes. To release, slowly lower onto your knees, then press back into Child’s Pose and rest. Those practicing Sun Salutations should move directly from Plank into Chaturanga or Knees-Chest-Chin Pose. 

Variations:

• Lift one leg 

• Lift one leg and one arm 

• Chaturanga push ups to plank 

• Forearm plank 

Modifications:

• Lower the knees to the floor for Modified Plank or Half Plank Pose 

• Lower the elbows to the floor for wrist issues or come to fists 

• For beginners- practice with a strap around the upper arms 


Nutrition

21 Day Challenge

When it comes to making changes in your diet, it usually takes about 21 days of consistency to make a new habit. The good news is that after 21 days, you can go back to anything you were doing before you started something new. But chances are, if this new healthy add-in is a good fit for you and your goals, you will feel great and you won’t want to go back. The not so good news, depending on the way you look at it, is that it is 21 days. And so we need to be persistent. 

PQ: What new healthy eating habit do you feel called to start?

Ex-reduce caffeine, cut our dairy, sugar, alcohol etc.  

PQ: What support do you need to make this happen?

Ex- weekly meetings with a friend, signing up with a group, etc. 

If you need a template, especially when it comes to detoxing, I really like Kris Carr’s Crazy Sexy Diet – 21 days. Pick up her book, which is packed with all kinds of inspiration, recipes and great nutrition know how. 

Here this is the outline for the 21 days:

  • Liquids til noon.
  • Whole foods like soups and veggie dishes the rest of the day.
  • Every 7th day you juice all day. 
  • Repeat for 21 days

As with any detox of major dietary change, consult with your doctor and follow your gut. 

Mantra:

I will … keep swimming!

+ Spiraling Tools

Playlist: NS Persistance

Recommended Books:

What’s Cooking: