50,000-59,999 SparkPoints 58,935

Hatha yoga, so important for my health and peace of mind.

THANK YOU Chris Downie, the VeryMerrySparkGuy, for this incomparable wellness site! (9/26/09)

With Emily Dickinson, "I dwell in possibility." --Photo by Quang Le




Foam Roller

VALERIEMAHA is a SparkPeople Motivator!

See All SparkPeople Motivators
Shared Food & Fitness Trackers
Interact with VALERIEMAHA
Add as SparkFriend Send Private Message Leave Comment Recent Message
Board Posts

I have picked up almost 40 lbs. since my return from Ecuador three years ago, in large part due to the med I'm on, prednisone, treating Giant Cell, or Temporal, Arteritis, which came on strong and suddenly in May, 2017. It is an inflammation of the lining of the arteries of the head, especially those in the temples and the most dangerous outcome, if not treated promptly, is blindness.

So, last November 19, I began the journey back to wellness, vowing to do a weekly weigh-in and record weight and thoughts in a weekly blog. I have been consistent about it since then, although I haven't been consistent about nutrition tracking, which is also a part of the formula for success. In any case, I finally reached one of my milestones, a 10-pound weight loss, on February 13, 2018. And the beat goes on.

"The trouble is, you think you have time," said the Buddha. And although I know the importance of daily meditation,
pranayama (breathing practices), exercise/movement, and moderate daily food intake, sadly I haven't been consistent. I am, though, committed to optimal body-mind-spirit health,and will start over as many times as it takes.

I intend to "have patience with everything unresolved in my heart, and try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language, not searching for the answers, which could not be given to me now because I would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now." (Rainer Maria Rilke)

The shape my life will morph into in the foreseeable future is a mystery -- I'm trying to "live the questions now" with grace, letting go of anxiety about the future. Oh, and anyway T. S. Eliot tells us,
"We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time."

Bottom line in all of this is, "Don't take life too serious -- it's all just so mysterious!" (George Gershwin)

And a bit more kitchen table wisdom:

In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert's there are few. ----Shunryu Suzuki, Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind

Everything that happens to me is my teacher. The trick is to sit at the feet of my own life and let myself be taught by it. --Unknown

An always useful tool for me -- The Seven Habits of Mindful Eating:

Member Since: 6/2/2006

Fitness Minutes: 52,878

My Goals:

~ know joy

~ no judgment

Reshape yourself by the power of your will; never let yourself be degraded by self-will. The will is the only friend of the Self, and the will is the only enemy of the Self.

To those who have conquered themselves, the will is a friend. But it is the enemy of those who have not found the Self within them.
--Bhagavad Gita 6:5-6

My Program:


~ Daily meditation
and pranayama practice

~ Daily gratitudes journaling

~ Exercise at least 10 min./day

~ 20 min. strength training every-other day

Personal Information:

I'm a California native, and I have lived primarily in northern CA/San Francisco Bay Area when not traveling or living out-of-state or internationally.

I currently live near Little Rock, AR. I returned to school to pick up another undergrad degree, in Spanish, and finished it in Dec, 2013.

I've been a volunteer in a services project for women prisoners. I also volunteer and have worked for El Zocalo Immigrant Resources Center.

I am a Yogic-Buddhist-Sufi-Christian mystic -- heh heh. Swami Satchidananda is my root teacher (Diksha Guru)..

As a lacto-ovo vegetarian I have eaten a whole, mostly organic, plant-based diet since 1980. I enjoy cooking delicious food with *attitude.*

Other Information:

I love a good movie (e.g., The Visitor; Iris; The Man Who Sued God; Bella) or read (authors Mary Catherine Bateson and Jill Ker Conway are current favorites). I also read sacred texts and other spiritual books, and Swami Satchidananda, Pema Chodron, and Thich Nhat Hanh are among favorite wisdom writers.

As a wimpy Pisces swimming around in the cosmic ocean with lots of air influence, I don't like books or movies too negative, or intense or horrific. My delicate sensibility is easily thrown off-balance. Really.

Mary Oliver, Naomi Shihab Nye, David Whyte, John O'Donohue, Pablo Neruda and Rumi are favorite poets. And music! From Angelique Kidjo and Amadeus Mozart to Diana Krall and Krishna Das...and a world in-between!

Read More About VALERIEMAHA - Profile Information moved here. (Updated February 13)

Shown if member clicks "Read More"
My Goals:

My Program:

Personal Information:

Other Information:

Personal Signature: (Shown after Message Board Posts)
Add a Link
Save Changes
Current Status:
ThanksGiving Community          
My Ticker:
 current weight: 150.8 
Login to Leave Comment
    I think you live a fairly healthy lifestyle and are not that overweight. So I think that makes it harder usually to lose weight. The more obese you are the more that small changes yield big results. Our bodies have a place where they like it and it isn't always where we like it. The weight charts were not designed for mature adults either and most doctors know this. You are doing okay. Hugs.
    20 days ago
    And I posted the "what a concept," just to give you a poke! I'm well aware that you're well aware of tracking benefits!! Ha! emoticon

    We're in it together, my friend. It seems you're stuck with me! emoticon emoticon emoticon

    43 days ago
    Thank so much for the info about Swami Satchidananda. This looks like something I could get into.
    43 days ago
    ...stuck in the past or fretting about the future...come back to the breath & simply be present in the now!
    44 days ago
    i finally read it cover to cover this weekend, and it dovetails with pema. i like that you're just really taking time to get to the core of you & get out of your own way create your reality...why waste another moment of now being...
    44 days ago
Member Comments (4724):  123Next >Last >>