Sunday, July 24, 2011

Saturday, July 23

Usually I will think about the theme for the class I will be teaching the day or night before the class.  For my Saturday class, I had been thinking of "gratitude."  

Our 40 days challenge is coming in to the final week.  I have heard many stories of people experiencing such a change in their bodies and their minds after spending so much time on their mat.  I have also heard students say that while they have enjoyed the challenge it has also helped them put certain things in their life into perspective.  Choosing between seeing a friend who is in town for one day and the challenge and choosing the friend over a yoga class.  So much gratitude for each and every experience of the past 5 weeks.  

On my way in to teach, I stopped at a gas station.  I couldn't ignore the blaring newspaper headlines:  Gunman kills 92 in Norway.  Before class I read the article that the gunman set off bombs in downtown Oslo and then went to an island and for at least 45 minutes he killed teenagers who were at a retreat.  He wore police garb and beckoned them to him as if he was going to help them and then would shoot them.  How could this happen?  Why did this happen?   I teach a great deal about the concept of trusting life, trusting the process.  Being grateful for what is placed on our path.  That everything happens for a reason.  But there is still the why?  And the gunman obviously has his reasons.  

As I began the class without trying to make sense of this event - I asked the 45 people in class to dedicate their practice to the people of Norway and to anyone who has been affected by what happened.  To offer up love, peace, compassion, and hope and to hold these people in our hearts during the practice.  While we may not be able to console them or physically reach out to them.  We can certainly think of them in this time of sadness and hold space in our hearts for their grief.  Without speaking about gratitude I certainly felt grateful for having the opportunity to feel connected through our space, through our hearts as we connected to something more than ourselves. 

"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other."
Mother Teresa

Much peace and love,


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

20 Things you may not know about Amanda Hale

1. I have lived in 8 states and travelled to 11 countries (favorite so far..Turkey).

2. I have a sweet collection of heart shaped stones from many places I have travelled or visited.

3. My first car was a 68 Mustang convertible, yellow with a white top..yes, I definitely thought I was a badass.

4. My dad played football at Auburn University and was a former high school football coach...I learned to throw a perfect spiral at a very young age.

5. My birth announcements were pink footballs (see #4).

6. I was a serious tomboy through middle school, and was proud to rock my favorite shirt..a #10 Minnesota Vikings football jersey autographed by QB Fran Tarkenton.(see 4 &5)

7. I have an undergraduate degree from Auburn University in nursing (remember #4?) and a Masters in Nursing as a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner from UNC.

8. I met my husband my senior year in college while rock climbing.

9. My most epic climb... Half Dome in Yosemite.

10. My husband and I were married in the botanical gardens inside the Opryland Hotel, possibly the worlds cheesiest hotel. 

11. I gave birth to 5 beautiful children by natural childbirth, 4 who are still with me, and they are without a doubt my greatest teachers. 

12. My husband is in a band and I am lead groupie...a job I take very seriously.

13. I might actually be able to survive on a diet of avocados and dark chocolate. OK, maybe a little red wine too. 

14. I rarely watch TV, and have to ask my 7 year old to help me work the remote. 

15. My parents mom ran her first marathon at 59, jumped out of a plane at 65, and climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro at 67; My dad was in the Olympic trials for the 440 sprint, and if you ask him how he's doing, the only answer he has ever given is, "Outstanding, every day's a great day!"

16. My dad often quoted Winston Churchill when I was growing up, saying in a very deep voice..."Never, never, never give up." 

17. When I was 3, I was the angel in the church Christmas play, and recited the entire Christmas story from the book of Luke.

18. At the beginning of my first yoga class, the teacher said..."do what you can do, take care of your body, and keep breathing." It really is as simple as that, and I still say those words to myself at the beginning of every practice. 

19. My favorite yoga pose is a toss up between chaturanga dandasana and handstand.

20. I really do believe that gratitude is the most powerful practice, not in a don't worry be happy sort of way, but that we can choose to focus on the good, the joy, the abundance, and keep our faces towards the light which is always present.