Monday, September 21, 2015

Rained Out...and Apps to Help You Meditate

For the first time ever since I arrived in Greece nearly a month ago, rain was in the forecast! L and I really wanted a Monday morning latte though, so we made our way down to Daily Coffee (Lagonissi's answer to Starbucks). The skies were dark and cloudy and I had a "brolly" (umbrella, I'm talking like my yoga girls now), but we stayed dry for the entire trip. Not so for the yoga studio today though....
Look what I found in the kitchen! I think someone accidentally bought us cereal with....chocolate in it! So excited.
It is a big week in yogaland. To graduate as registered yoga teachers (certified by Yoga Alliance International, a global governing body for yoga), we have to teach a 90 minute class all by ourselves and write a test. Each of us has to take a turn this week, and A went first this morning. It thundered and lightning flashed, and midway through her class, the heavens opened up. The rain created some nice atmosphere until the roof and windows started to leak in the yoga studio. Soon water was pooling on the floor and our upturned faces were being dripped on. A managed to finish her class though, and we raced upstairs in the driving rain to my apartment for theory. 
The rain abated this afternoon and it looked promising for our afternoon class. J began teaching her class, but after the first hour or so, it was raining so heavily that we were in danger of being flooded out of the studio. Michelle suggested that we cut to savasana (yay for savasana) and move our mats into L and A's apartment just off the yoga studio. We quickly stacked up the soggy props and got squished into the little apartment and then the power went off! Candles were soon lit, and J led us in a beautifully relaxing savasana, even though she had to read her meditation notes from the light of A's cell phone. Yogis are flexible in more ways than one!

A grey sea and cloudy skies today
Yoga philosophy with Leonardo, Michelle's husband
After our relaxing candlelight savasana, we went upstairs to my apartment for supper and discovered the sun room was flooded. J and L sopped up water with tea towels!
And L swept out the water with a broom. She's resourceful like that.
Cream of Broccoli soup and fresh whole wheat bread was the perfect rainy day meal

Yoga Tip of the Day: Connecting to Help You Disconnect

It seems kind of ironic to use technology to help you meditate, doesn't it? I was determined to go it alone, and this resulted in zero progress in my meditation (or very little anyway). So I decided to tackle it like I do most things in my life--with a little technology infusion. First of all, why does meditation matter so much? Read this article from the Mayo Clinic to learn more.

So I've found two great apps for my iPad that I'm really impressed with so far. One is a free app with in-app purchases (you get a few tracks for free with the option to buy more meditation tracks) and one costs $5.49 in the Canadian iTunes store. Have a look at both.

Omvana: Watch this video to learn more about this great app! Omvana provides some terrific guided meditation--probably with more support than Buddhify has, but in the end the in-app purchases will cost you more than buying Buddhify.

Buddhify: I love this app. It's a paid app, but worth every cent in my opinion. It has a beautiful interface, and many meditations for a variety of activities, ranging from 5 minutes to half an hour. It also give you the option to meditate unsupported with a timer, and tracks your meditation statistics (motivating for some of us).
And it's a short blog post tonight. I'm teaching my 90 minute class tomorrow as Michelle evaluates each of us. I thought that I was done with teacher evaluations but I guess not! Off to do some more prep work--wish me luck tomorrow morning! 


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