Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Bring your attention DOWN

After our mountain bike ride today in Flagstaff, AZ (which is a really great town BTW!), the first thing I needed was to stretch my calves.

So often, in yoga or other movement and exercise forms, people focus on stretching their hamstrings (upper, backs of legs). In my years of teaching, I often, instead, give students the "homework" of stretching their calves. They're overlooked and under appreciated! Here are two simple ways to stretch your achilles, soleus and gastrocnemius (the main tendon and two muscles that make up the lower, backs of your legs). When you stretch your calves, you'll help to release your hamstrings (backs of your legs), and move with more ease throughout your day. Try it. We ALL need it.

(These two stretches are especially good before your yoga practice. Your first Forward Fold and Downward Facing Dog will feel different)

Achilles and Soleus Stretch - feet about a foot apart, both feet straight ahead, both knees bent and heels on the ground - hold for about ten slow, deep breaths

Achilles, Soleus and Gastrocnemius Stretch - front knee bent, back leg and knee straight and heel down - if you need more stretch, step your back foot further back - hold about ten, slow deep breaths (most people will feel this stretch more than the one above)

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Our 4th Annual Mexico Retreat!

It was a pleasure, once again, to be with you all last week in Mexico! Thank you ALL for making it the wonderful week that it was. Here are some highlight pictures....
(Save the date for next year - end of February, 2015)

Jamie with Julie, the master retreat coordinator!

Last morning Royal Dancer

One of our many beautiful sunsets

Dennis and Ken enjoying their hip opening!

Villa Ananda front

Group photo - next time we'll all have a photogenic moment at the same time!

Savasana in the sun

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Jamie's latest blog and pics from traveling in Baja, Mexico

*To read blog posts older than November, 2013, please visit www.jamieelmer.wordpress.com. Thanks!


From our Baja trip, I left with a few things crystal clear -
  1. I have more of a soft spot in my heart for dogs than I ever thought imagineable.
  2. A lime or two a day, especially from Baja, where they have a ton of juice in them, is good for me.
  3. I don’t ever want to use plastic again.
We expected to stay in Baja longer, but decided last week, we were done. In our last few days there, we camped at Agua Caliente. Agua Caliente is a natural hot springs. One of the best camp sites we were at on our trip. There were more trees, grass and greenery than we saw anywhere else. A short walk from our campsite was the trickling hot water. When we arrived, the once pool, built with found rocks, was no longer a pool. Tobin took an hour and built the pool up again to keep the hot water trickling from the rocks contained. 

Agua Caliente View from campsite

Tobin, beginning to build hot springs rock pool

Pool complete!

We didn’t have the sound of the waves and ocean keeping us awake in this campsite, but instead the sound of the bull’s bells and donkeys. Love these little guys -

Campsite hosts - around most of the time

Neighbor's great rig and their host passing through in the morning
 The weather was perfect, and the ground was relatively flat for an afternoon practice. Needed it! After San Juanico, and “trying” to surf, I hurt my shoulder. Down dog and going upside down in to handstand felt the best. I’m pretty resiliant, or so I like to think. But, I must admit, I really did a number on my rotator cuff. So happy to be able to go upside down. Its the best medicine for me!


Afternoon practice - thank god for getting upside down!

We had to do one, stereotypical picture on this trip, didn't we? 

Sea of Cortez, headed north towards the border - a day we drove 17 hours

*For more pics and interesting commentary, visit Tobin's site at www.velomountain.com









Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Jamie's blog on Yoga, Life and Travel

Scorpions, Goats and new Friends in Baja

*If you’d like to read blog posts prior to November, 2013, please visit my past blog site at www.jamieelmer.wordpress.com. Thanks!

*This post written over a week ago....

Last week we had an unexpected, and fun turn of events. We were camping just for one night in Ciudad Constitution after leaving San Juanico/Scorpion Bay, and the only other people at the camp site were a couple we had met in Loreto. We got all set up for the night, the wi-fi didn’t work, so the four of us got to talking. Hours passed with our new friends, Lesley and Yves. From there, we traveled together for a number of days down the west coast of Baja. Having two rigs we felt safe to travel off road in to a couple of camp sites that aren’t “official” or on a map. We all had some fun times…...one memorable night in particular, as we were sitting around the campfire, Lesley was bit by a scorpion. Yes, a scorpion. Afterwards, we joked about the next person who had a scorpion on them couldn’t move until one of us was able to get a picture. Well, about 20 minutes later, Yves had a scorpion on his leg! He DID move fast, brushed it off and killed it. Sorry scorpion - and unfortunately, no picture of either scorpion was taken that night.

Its not every day that you can find people that you can travel with for days on end. We hope to meet up with them again, perhaps in Los Barilles.
We flew through Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo - too “big city” for us. Came up to Agua Caliente hot springs campground in the Sierra de la Laguna park yesterday. Its a massive park with a landscape that is very different from what we’ve seen so far in Baja. There are still cacti, but they’re bigger, and there are also many kinds of trees, shrubs and greenery than we haven’t seen any place else. We immediately had a good feeling about it as we approached. We arrived, and were the only ones camping. There is a hot springs, flowing down from rocks that pools in to a good size area with a little beach, and huge boulders and dry river beds around. There’s even a small zoo down the road. This is definitely one of our favorite camping spots so far. In addition, we can ride our mountain bikes in this terrain because it isn’t too sandy and there are a TON of natural trails made by the bulls, cows and donkeys here. Instead of the sound of waves to wake up to this morning as we’ve had often here, it was the sound of cow bells. It was a surprisngly nice change to be off the beach, in small mountains with foliage again.

*For more pics and writing, visit Tobin's site at www.velomountain.com
Goats on way to San Juanico

More goats!

This one was so photogenic....

River crossing - go Dakota!

Documenting the river crossing

Finally, some greenery near San Isidro

Our out of the way spot with new friends - note their rig - Yves made the entire things himself





Sunday, February 2, 2014

Last week's pics

Tobin at Scorpion Bay - hangin' five


The little athlete - loving being off leash


Goats everywhere for two days




With a little TLC, this could be our second car!

Tobin rescuing a puppy from the road



Wednesday, January 29, 2014

San Juanico!


*If you’d like to read blog posts prior to November, 2013, please visit my past blog site at www.jamieelmer.wordpress.com. Thanks!

(Internet here today was too slow to up load pictures - next time I'll include extras of San Juanico)

Its been almost two weeks since we left California, and it took a good week before the “effects” of traveling started to sink in. I’ve noticed the last couple of days, that I’m not thinking about, or worried about the same things that I was fixated on for the last few months before leaving for this trip. My mind feels more clear, and certainly more focused on the day, not the future or past. I feel a deeper sense of relaxation setting in - more than I’ve felt in a long while. I also feel incredibly sore since I’ve spent the last two days TRYING to surf! (new to it)

We arrived in San Juanico a few days ago. A place Tobin had traveled to for surfing years ago. We’ve camped here for three nights and were lucky enough to time the visit with a swell that is conducive for surfing. Since being here we’ve met some really nice people, and other travelers around our age. We came on this trip with one surf board, thinking we would share it, since I had only tried surfing one other time. After our first morning here, we knew we should each have our own board. We went in to town, went to the surf shop we had been instructed to go to. It was closed. There was a board sitting our front, propped up along the side of the building. Tobin said, “that would be perfect for you”. We walked around trying to find someone who knew when the shop would open. We were about to leave, and the owner came out. Longish story short, we got this used board, the one just sitting there, for a really excellent price, and it seems to be just my size! I didn’t become a pro over night, but it was really fun for the last two days to have my very own first surf board, with dings, sun discoloration and all! 

I’ve spent most of my evenings working on my continued education manual. Its form and content are all taking shape, slowly but slowly! My mind continues to doubt me doing this still, but I’m determined. I must get this material, and this vision thats in my mind on to paper and out there to work with others. Now is the time, now is the time, now is the time. 

For more pics and commentary on the trip, check out Tobin’s site at www.velomountain.com

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Pictures from our week south

    People traveling on bikes always have this way of making me feel VERY lazy!

Camping at Bahia Concepcion
Coco's - a well known watering hole for travelers and participants during the Baja 1,000 race
Two of the many local animals at Coco's. It will be a miracle if we leave here and I don't come home with more adopted pets!
Mission in Santa Rosalia