Regression Rather Than Progression

I follow many, many yogis on social media.  I am inspired and encouraged by their posts, especially progress pics.  It’s amazing to see the space and skills that come with consistent practice!  Like a progress post showing a backbend that goes from looking like a broken Barbie doll to a fluid acrobat over the course months or even years.  Or a post showing the progress of Monkey Pose – also known as good ol’ fashioned splits – that begins as a kneel but becomes the stuff of ballerinas.

This is not that kind of post.

You’ve surely heard the saying, “Use it, or lose it…”

After a limited practice since last March and absolutely no practice for 6 weeks and 3 days, my yoga postures, my balance, and the space in my poses has done the opposite of progress in a very big way.

And that’s okay, because as of yesterday, I am excited to Begin Again. Again.

Like I mentioned last night, I created this class back in 2016, right after completing my Yoga Teacher Training and RYT200 Certification…at a time when I had been spending 5 hours, 5 days a week on my yoga mat.  But I want to be open and honest, so I am sharing my regression from then to now.  I am putting each picture from 2016 right next to a photo from tonight.

It ain’t pretty.

My hamstrings are screaming, my IT-bands won’t allow my feet to rest flat on the ground, my neck is crazy stiff, my hips are creaking, my shoulders are tight, my arms are shaking, there’s no bend in my back, and my core is like a bowl full of jelly.

I have a long, long way to go to get back to my better self.

But that’s okay as well.

It’s okay to digress, to stumble, to fall.  It’s the getting back up, finding your footing, and moving forward again that is most important!!

And that is exactly what I intend to do.

Last night we learned Easy Pose.

Here is the next part of my Begin Again yoga flow: Surya Namaskara A or Sun A.

Google “Sun A” and you will receive “about 2,590,000,000 in 0.48 seconds.”

It’s the first thing I teach my football boys and volleyball girls at TU, and I nag them regularly about making time to roll through a few Sun Salutations each and every day.

These 11 poses and the flow from posture to posture can change your life:

1. Samasthiti – Stand Upright with Hands at Heart Center

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2. Urdhva Vrikshasana – Upward Tree Position

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3. Uttanasana A – Forward Fold (bend knees as much as needed)

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4. Uttanasana B – 1/2 Lift

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5. Chaturanga Dandasana – Tricep Push Up Down

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6. Urdhva Mukha Shvanasana – Updog

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7.  Adho Mukha Shvanasana – Downdog

* HOLD FOR 3-5 DEEP BREATHS *

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8. Uttanasana B – 1/2 Lift

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9. Uttanasana A – Forward Fold

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10. Urdhva Vrikshasana – Upward Tree

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11. Samasthiti – Hands at Heart Center

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I hope you’ll give it a try…it’s never too late to begin!

With love and hugs,

Ashli

*  PS: please click here if you would like to support my efforts to #END ALZ –

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!  A.

Begin Again. Again.

On January 1, 2016, I wrote a post about beginning again, specifically about starting the new year with purpose and intention.  I chose the word “self-directed” as my Word of the Year.  And I began a new yoga flow with the big idea of sharing it with the world.

Today – August 26, 2018 – I find myself needing to begin again.  Again.

I am 6 weeks and 3 days post-surgery, and I am pseudo-released from my restrictions.  I am missing my yoga practice.  I am stiff and tight in all the wrong places.  I am ready to hit my mat.

I am ready to begin again.  Again.

I love my Begin Again playlist and flow from way back in 2016, so I figure it’s as good a place as any to get started.

The first posture is Easy Pose (Sukhasana)…one of my favorite ways to begin a yoga workout.

Sit in an easy position.

You might like your legs criss-cross, or you might prefer them out straight.

You should try sitting on a pillow or folded blanket if the ground is not comfortable.

You can shift your bum cheeks to root through your sits bones.

And then lift through your spine, your ribs, your heart, and your shoulders until you feel a nice, long length from crown to ground.

From here, just breathe.

And now you have mastered Sukhasana.

It’s a pretty great way to begin again.  Again.

With love and hugs,

Ashli

*  PS: please click here if you would like to support my efforts to #END ALZ –

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!  A.

A Kiss from Momma Monty

I have a fabulous habit of over-thinking, over-doing, and over-explaining.

So, today I am going to…

#1.  Save the Date: SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 2018 is all about busting our butts to save our brains…

#2.  You need to register for the Tulsa Walk to End Alzheimer’s, so click here or go to www.TulsaWalk.org – email, call, or text me if you need help.

*** You receive a FREE FOOTBALL GAME TICKET just for registering to participate, so be sure to register your kids and family, too.

#3.  Next you need to order your game t-shirt TODAY.  Again, TODAY IS THE LAST DAY TO ORDER so click here or go to epiapparel.com/tul022 and ignore the “student/homeroom” part on the order page.  Shirts are only $10, and we NEED YOUR HELP PAINTING THE STADIUM PURPLE, so please go get one (or two or several).

#4.  SELF-DONATE or RAISE $10 (or more!!) to EARN a TAILGATING TICKET WHICH INCLUDES FREE BREAKFAST AND FREE LUNCH.  If you need help, please reach out – I would LOVE to help you make a difference in the fight to #ENDALZ

#5.  Be at the University of Tulsa, Chapman Commons by 9 am on September 15th…be part of the Walk to End Alzheimer’s…eat a free breakfast…learn about how we can create a world without ALZ…play a bunch of games…let the kids run through the fountains and hop through the inflatables…hangout and tailgate with friends and family…eat a free lunch…listen to awesome bands with the “Cain’s on Chapman” concert series…put on your purple TU shirt…use your free game ticket…watch pre-game…be ready for kickoff at 6 pm…and cheer our Golden Hurricane on to victory!!

As my Angel Girl likes to say, “easy-peasy, lemon-squeezy” 😉

Holler with any questions – I am here to help: MrsMommaMonty@gmail.com

With love and hugs and a KISS,

Ashli

2018 TU ALZ Game Shirt (front)

2018 TU ALZ Game Shirt (back)

My New Favorite Book

I wasn’t always slated for Alzheimer’s advocacy.

In fact, back in 2008 – after watching a CSI: New York marathon on TV…for ten school days straight…and doing very, very little else – I went back to school for my master’s degree.

In 2010, I graduated from the University of North Texas with a Master of Science in Information Sciences (a.k.a., a librarian’s degree) with graduate certificates in Youth Librarianship and Storytelling.

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I chose these areas of study because I wanted to gain some expertise in something I love.

You see, I knew that Coach hoped to someday be a head football coach at the college level which provides a small, yet potentially impactful platform to create positive change in the team’s community.  And then, when I looked inside my heart and my pretend crystal ball, I saw a deep passion for children and an obsessive love for reading.

Since that decision, Alzheimer’s Disease has attacked our family.  Because we refuse to go down quietly, my public platform has taken on a life of its own.

Don’t get me wrong…I’m happy and proud and honored to shout “WE ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY MUST END ALZHEIMER’S” from the rooftops every singe day.  You see, me and Coach, we are determined to help create a world without this horrific disease.

But I do still love children, I do still read obsessively, and putting it all together, I do still adore children’s books!!

Today, at Reasor’s (the Oklahoma version of HEB for all my Texas peeps), I bought my new favorite book:

Daisy-Head Mayzie by Dr. Seuss

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The title and it’s similarity to my Angel Girl, Maci, grabbed my attention.  On top of that, I could not understand how I have never heard of this Dr. Seuss tale.  Obviously, I had to have it.

And now I love it!

The story is precious, about a beautiful little girl who discovers something different about herself, has to deal with the fallout when everyone panics over her being different, and then realizes that she’s lovable and valued and proud to be herself [and grow daisies on her head] after all.

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But the main reason that it’s my new favorite is because just before bed my Coach and my Angel Girl stood by my side and looked over my shoulder while I read this book aloud to them.  No phones in the room to distract, no TV’s with which to compete, just the three of us standing in the kitchen while I read Dr. Seuss out loud.

For me, that was a perfect moment.

The icing on the cake is the historical information about Mayzie and Dr. Seuss at the end of the book…which explains why I had not ever heard of this treasure.

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The sprinkles on top of the icing on top of the cake?  I get to read it all over again.

To my SonShine!

The next time he is home 🙂

Yes, he is now 20 years old.

Yes, he’s a big, strong, rough and tough football player.

Yes, he’s an uber-busy college student.

But he’s listened to me read 100’s of books out loud, and he’s a good sport, and he’s the world’s best son, so I know – just as Coach and Angel Girl did tonight – he will indulge me with this one: my new favorite book!

Love and hugs,

Ashli

*  PS: please click here if you would like to support my efforts to #END ALZ –

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!  A.