Monday, January 31, 2011

Weekly Challenge #7

First of all - a few house keeping items:

  • if you haven't seen the slideshow for Week #6 - you can see it here
  • Please grab the button for the Weekly Challenge (on the right sidebar) to display on your blogs! 
  • and i want to say a very extra special big heart felt thank you to everyone who donated funds last week.  I continue to be amazed by the generosity of spirit of this wonderful community.  HUGS!
I went to a hot yoga class this week with a friend of mine.  I've never been to a Hot Yoga class before - and they're not lying when they say it's hot in there.  They keep the room at a constant 38℃ (that's a balmy 100.4 ℉ for my American friends) and the humidity is high.

I have gone to regular yoga classes before, but nothing as intense as this one.  The poses were tough, and i'm not going to lie, i was pretty sore for the next couple of days.

I took a few things away from the class, but what stuck with me the most was how much i depended on Pranayama, or Yoga Breathing.   When practicing poses in such an intense environment, it's not unusual to feel light headed or hallucinate a bit, or to feel nauseous.  When this happens, we are advised to lay on our mats in Savasana (Dead Man's Pose) and breathe until we feel able to continue.  What surprised me in this class was doing an Active Savasana.

Generally, Savasana is done at the end of a yoga sequence as you prepare to end your practice, and you let your body sink into the mat, your eyes to soften and close and your breathing to become relaxed.

In my Hot Yoga class, in Active Savasana, the eyes are kept open with a soft focus - and you don't allow yourself to relax, just to rest.

With all of this, we practice Sama Vritti Breathing - which translates roughly into Equal Moving.

Each breath is equal and focused.

In our sedentary lives where we spend much of our time hunched over desks or computers, or 'lounging' on the couch, as a race humans generally breathe shallow and light.  I found this to be a real challenge for me as i struggled to find the balance of breath so that i could keep moving through the poses.

Laying there on the mat, breathing, i thought to myself - i really don't take the time to breathe in my life.

Isn't there something about breathing with Zentangle®?

;)

yes.  Yes there is.
 Create a Ceremony - relax, breathe, smile.

(you know where i'm going with this, don't you - you clever folks, you)


This week's Challenge is: BREATHE!

When the Breath wanders, the mind is unsteady, but when the Breath is still, so is the mind still." - Hatha Yoga Pradipika

If you've taken a class with a CZT®, you may have heard this: Relax. Breathe. Smile.

If you've taken any kind of class or seminar from Rick or Maria i KNOW you've heard this before.

i wanted to see where Zentangle would take me if i consciously made the decision to Relax.  To breathe.  To smile.

wanna know what happened??

I struggled.

...did i EVER struggle!  This has been, without a doubt, the most challenging of all my challenges...

...for me.

Trying to remember to make the choice to steady my breath and not worry about the outcome, this was tricky...

but i did it.



Y'know, it's not bad. It was hard - and i really worked at slowing the breath to an even deliberance... and i like the tile, but it didn't really portray the feeling of "breathe" i was trying to capture - so i did another one which i think captured it a little better...


Your challenge, should you choose to accept it - is to create a tile or piece using conscious, even breath. To Relax. Breathe. Smile.

before the small print, a quick note:
A few people have emailed or sent message on facebook or through comments during the week looking for the slideshow.  As the deadline to have your entry in the slideshow is Saturday at midnight, i won't be putting the slideshow up until sometime on Sunday.  I was putting it up halfway through the week, then adding to it as more people joined, but there were 70 images in the last slideshow.  It gets too confusing, so i do it all at once on Sunday.  :)
If you have a blog, add the site-specific URL where your tile is posted to the linkey machine below! Don't forget to link back here so that others can join in the fun! (if you don't know how to find this, you can see my half assed tutorial here)

If you don't have a blog but still want to participate, you can email your tile to me and i will post it here. (See the contact tab above for my email address)

The deadline for each weekly challenge is Saturday night so that i can round everyone up by Sunday. What this means is that i will stop adding tiles to the slideshow on Sunday. You're still more than welcome to do the challenges and add your name to the linkey machine.

I will be more diligent with the linkey machine - by editing out the ones that don't work, the doubles, the links that lead to nowhere, the links that go just to blog home pages (this is why we need those site specific urls), and the spam. And there is some spam. :(

Have a great week everyone!

62 comments:

  1. Ah, this post comes at the perfect time - I will take time to To Relax. Breathe. Smile. today!

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  2. As for every morning - relax... breathe... smile - repeat. And so much better for the environment than lather rinse, etc.! Hehehehee - and better for us and our art, too! Great one, Laura - how are your babies today?

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  3. Ah! I'm first this time. An enjoyable change from being one of the last. Thank you for this challenge. I needed a reminder to relax, breathe and smile.

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  4. Mondays are now days I look forward to since Laura started these weekly challenges. I love viewing what everyody's done on the previous challenges.

    Laura, I noticed some participants entered more than one zentangle. There's no limit how many you can enter?

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  5. for now there's no limit... but let's not go overboard...
    ;)

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  6. Just another inspirational piece for you all. enjoy this from Amy Rosenthal Krause.
    http://www.donothingfor2minutes.com/

    As for me, I am still trying to catch up on the challenges and once I am caught up, I will seek out Mr. Linkey. Thank you, Laura. The challenges are wonderful and are encouraging me to try new things i wouldn't have gone to on my own.

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  7. @Heather, start with this challenge and post it - then work backwards from there.... this is how i manage scrapbooking when i feel i'm too far behind.

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  8. OK, Icandothis, Icandothis, Icandothis . . .

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  9. Hey, Laura - I'm lovin' these challenges! And as for you byrdie, dear, yesyoucan, yesyoucan, yesyoucan... a lesser known cold northern climate relative of the toucan. Heheheheee

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  10. My first try at a challenge! I hope you can see it via the link to my flickr. I'm new to tangling and LOVE IT! Thanks for doing the challenges. I am looking forward to doing more.

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  11. I haven't tried hot yoga but I do enjoy starting the day with my early morning yoga routine! I really like the swishiness of your 2nd tile great strokes!

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  12. just posted mine! off to look at everyone's awesomeness! :)

    @laura, the backdrops are just scrapbooking papers! :)

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  13. This challenge was not as difficult as I first thought. Thanks for another great challenge!

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  14. Hi Gang, and thanks, Laura for another fun challenge. I love your tiles for the week! Very flowy! They really set a nice tone.

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  15. Flowy! Perfect description! I like flowy! Like floating in the breeze.

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  16. I can't wait to see everyone else's!

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  17. Nice posting. Do you know about this edition of the Pradipika?

    http://www.YogaVidya.com/hyp.html

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  18. Awww..finished...thanks again Laura for each week getting us mentally exercising our art...and thanks everyone else for sharing the joy of zentangling...loving this

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  19. This is just the challenge I needed. Kids home from school so much because of snow days...I needed to remember to "Relax, Breathe, and Smile"

    Thank you again, Laura

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  20. Thanks Laura, It was a great challenge for Tangles and for life :)))

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  21. Perfect time to breathe: snow blizzarding outside, hot tea next to me. However, as I discovered in this challenge, it's hard to just breathe. Maybe more time this week to practice. Or just a good excuse to get that Wii Fit out of the box and onto the living room floor.

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  22. In Hawaii I learned about piko breaths. Piko means center. We breathe in with the focus on one center like the crown of our head and breathe out with our focus on another center like our navel. I chose to breathe in at one spiral and out at another. I continued this pattern of breath with the other lines. On one stroke of the pen ~ I breathed in and on another stroke ~ I exhaled. Thanks Laura for another expanding challenge.

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  23. A fantastic challenge, Laura - and great timing with the release of SandyB's Yoga for the Brain! I got a song in my head while I thought about this challenge (and have included the clip in my blog post)... but, as soon as I started to tangle, the song disappeared and it was just me, my pen, the paper, and every breath I took! I think I had the most fun with this one so far (even though the result looks a bit too 'psychedelic' for my taste [grin]).

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  24. Love this challenge Laura. Your first tile is beautiful and the second is inspirational! So light and airy. A-a-choo! Feather dusters make me sneeze. ;-)

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  25. I really like this theme Laura! I made sure to really take my time this week with thinking about the form of my drawing to try to capture where the thought of breathing takes me. I am quite pleased. Thank you for giving us all something to look forward to every week. This is such a great group of people!!!

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  26. Love the free flow of your second tile! Thanks again for the challenge.

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  27. Thank you again another great challenge, I am Relaxed, I breath deep, and I smile more often.

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  28. Trying to open up... lungs especially. Pesky "cold" turned out to be something more! I am sticking this tile where I can easily see it amd remind myself to throw back my shoulders and inhale/exhale. I like the idea of in through the top of my head, out through my belly button... I can do that.

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  29. I dreamed I did a fish and then spent hours and hours trying to find that fish. I did parts of that fish six and eight times, then I knew what he would look like. Why a Fish????idonotknow.

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  30. This was the perfect week for this challenge Laura. I took a fall and sprained both feet. So all I have been able to do is breathe and doodle.
    Thanks again for a great challenge.

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  31. I had fun with this one. I didn't want to look at any others until I did mine, so I'm off to do that now!

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  32. This was fun, and I've enjoyed looking at all the wonderful challenge entries others have done. Hope little Artoo adjusts well to his new braces. Maybe Mom will make them extra special with some more zentangle designs on them.

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  33. Beautiful work. I especially like your second one. This was an interesting challenge.

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  34. Hi Laura, I love how your second tile is all tied up at the 'beginning' and then flows free and easy at the 'end'. Lovely representation of breath :~ (that's air coming out not spittle *hehe*)

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  35. I found this challenge not so easy. Tried a few tiles but thought to much about the theme first.Then i looked for some airy tangles first and filled them in the string without thinking and concentrating on my breathing. Perhaps my tile doesn't looks so great but I felt fine and relaxed afterwards.
    thanks to all who left a comment on my blog!

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  36. Okayyy... just caught up on looking at all of this week's entries (so far!) and commenting... and collecting new blogs. But it's bigger than Ben Hur (as the saying goes), so I'm going to just watch the slide shows from now on. I can't possibly keep up!! (Not and *do* the challenges too. )

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  37. I'm having issues with Blogspot.com. It's not letting me download my image in my blog for some strange reason. It could be the server having issues on the computer I'm using at work. I will try again from home.

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  38. Hi again, Linda
    I also posted the link right to my Weekly Challenge No. 7 in Flickr to see if that works. I hope so. You might want to check before you post the attachment I sent you.
    I will post from Flickr until I can get my Blog fixed.

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  39. My first zen posting ... and it is not a tile so maybe it is not eligible but for me it was a great chance to relax and breathe. I will be thinking of it tonight at yoga class when I am trying to take up that same pose.

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  40. Thank you Laura for giving us the opportunity to do these challenges.

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  41. I finally did it ;-) . I'm late this week – and this challenge made me sensitive for how few the moments are, when I just pay attention to my breathe… Thank you for waking me up, Laura!

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  42. Laura thank you for a great week of breathing. It has been really fun! You come up with the best challenges!

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  43. thank you.it was a really useful theme for my this days...your tiles are breathtaking,especially the second one.all the bests to you and yours!

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  44. Thought ya'll might like to see my original ZT with color added. It really is relaxing to color in a mandala- takes you way back to elementary school.

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  45. Thank You Laura for another great challenge!

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  46. This was really great & opened me up to accomplish some strange Stuff I hadn't been able to get to.

    Thanks! and hope Artoo is doing well with his new hardware!

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  47. I'm not sure I really followed the challenge instructions too closely this time, but I've shared my results.

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  48. Another great challenge and one that encouraged me to s-t-r-e-t-c-h justa bit as well as breathe with intention.

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  49. I'm late posting - and haven't had a chance to read all the great comments and admire all the zentangles yet, but I will this weekend. I never realized breathing was such a challenge!

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  50. apparently I should have gotten the tissue box before sitting down to go through everyone's tangles. . . {{{hugs}}}
    hope we all found some healing through our tangling this week!

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  51. Another wonderful challenge - probably too late for the slideshow. Looking forward to seeing all the entries as I haven't had a chance to see them yet this week - I'm sure they are spectacular - always are.

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  52. Laura...just a thought, maybe add a note to your intro about the challenge that it's cool to go to the other links in the challenge to see what others are doing and PLEASE leave feedback to the tanglers. We all love to know that people appreciate our sharing in the challenge! :)
    linky love people...linky love! :)

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  53. I decided to go ahead & post even though I'm late. I enjoyed drawing this & look forward to seeing what eveyrone else has done.

    Laura, my thoughts & prayers are with you & your precious one, as well as the rest of your family.

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  54. I too love visiting everyone's blogs and seeing the ways we all design differently. Thank you Laura for these challenges and I am keeping you and your family in my prayers.

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  55. This one was a bit difficult - not sur I liked it.

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  56. It was fun doing this one especially this week! :) Hope you like it. I did #5,6 and 7 this week and put them all in the same post.. Hope that's ok.
    Take care
    -genie

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  57. This one was fun. I was worried that it would look overworked, but once I took a deep breath and just let the patterns come out, I felt the worry fall away and was pleasantly surprised with the finished product.

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tangle me some zen, baby!!