Time is Not on My Side

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Time is not on my side.

 

On New Year’s Day I took a 3-hour class with co-founder and master teacher David Life at Jivamukti NYC. Being with 80-100 yogis at the start of the new year was special but hearing David Life talk about time resonated with me.  It stirred up a lot of ‘stuff’ that had been hanging around for the past six months or so.

 

The notion of time can be overwhelming and disconcerting. I realized that I’ve been racing against a clock. Freaking as time ticked on, chastising myself for not getting certain things done. But rather than sweating the passing minutes, hours and days, I should be breathing and acting. It’s the small steps that make progress.

 

I felt this as I practiced. We started class extending our inhalations and exhalations to 30 seconds each. This made time seem deep rather than long. Working with breath and movement I become more aware how I felt in certain poses and more importantly how I can look for depth. Because let’s face it, that’s where magic happens. Changes happen when you reach into the unknown. And it can happen in a moment, but the trick is, you have to do something. David said the origin of time is in stillness. But my growth occurs when I reach deep down pulling out the weeds, my exhales letting go of fear, embracing anxiety and opening my heart up to the possibility of whatever is to happen next.

Inhale.

Exhale.

 

Time is not on my side. No, it isn’t. But knowing that- I have every ability to make the best of it.

 

Namaste y’all.

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Wednesday Yoga- Things Change

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As the year comes to an end I’m astonished at how much has changed. I’ve transitioned to teaching yoga therapy, discovered a deep and passionate calling to teach meditation and realized that being a yoga teacher isn’t something I want to do, it’s what I am supposed to do. And yet, these discoveries didn’t jump out and slap me in the face. Day-by-day, week-by-week I plugged away and listened to my voice and made some practical choices. Let’s be real, I also jumped off a few cliffs without a net.

I’m where I’m supposed to be.  And happy. Happy with what I doing for a living. I’m feeling peaceful in my personal life. And lastly, I understand that while a plan is critical, I also need a little bit of faith. When I stay in the present I can hear myself and trust my instincts.

Mindfulness is my roadmap and breathing is my vehicle.

Inhale. Exhale. Stay present.

Namaste y’all.

Travel Yoga- On a Train At 2am

Listening to Tvarargen’a Everything Can Be Invented while taking the train to Providence. It’s 2:52 a.m. The guitar soundtracks this quiet moment. Most people are sleeping save for the two guys next to me
– chatting away not loudly, but in a way that’s oddly comforting despite them being strangers.

My mind wanders and as I listen. In the beginning of the song it feels like someone is leaving. Leaving. Leaving someone? Leaving something? I look out of the window and lonely streets roll by. For an instant I feel like crying- I’m swept up by this delicate moment and wish this I could capture it on film- just for me so I’d never forget it. And just as quickly I realize that if I don’t come back and enjoy it- it’ll be over sooner than I planned. 

And I listen. As the song comes to a close the leaving I felt at the beginning is gone. The end of the song sounds like a beginning- a sense of arrival…maybe it’s me.

Maybe I’m projecting. Maybe Everything can be invented I suppose. I stop worrying about preserving and I just watch the lights in the dark. It’s all happening right now- and I’m not missing a thing. 

This is yoga. 

Namaste y’all. 

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Adventures in Meditation – Learning to Stay

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My mama said
Baby don’t ride that crazy horse
And my mama said
You must push with much force
And my mama said
Go get all that you’re after
And my mama said
That love’s all that matters

But I’m always on the run,
Always on the run,
But I’m always on the run ( on the run )

– Lenny Kravitz ‘Always on the Run’

 

Sometimes meditation just- sucks.

It ain’t been so easy the past week. Sitting still has been a struggle. I’ve been grasping at frustration and physical pain. Added to that are the thoughts that I should be headed down a different path than the one I’m currently on.

But I’m sticking with it.

This morning while walking Dakota I was listening to Pema Chödrön (as I am wont to do when I am feeling a bit out of sorts). I pulled up any track. Pema was talking about learning to stay. My facetious face reared its snarky head. Oh great. I listened anyway.

In meditation there will be bad days. But if I can learn to be with the thoughts and stay compassionate with myself, it’ll be okay. On the days that I’m feeling growly is when I most need this. It’s on these days when seconds pass like hours that I learn the most. The space in between the seconds is my opportunity to open my heart a little more. Acknowledging feelings of hurt, frustration or fear during a sit helps me move beyond instead of running away.

Yes Meditation, you are a crafty vixen but I see you.

Namaste y’all.

 

Pranayama Yo – Things Can Only Get Better

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I have this thought that keeps turning right round like a record. It’s a grand idea, maybe even crazy but I can’t help it, when I’m inspired- look out.

To paraphrase the genius Howard Jones while I do feel scared, I won’t stop and falter. Things can only get better.

To be fair, I get lots of ideas- no delusions of grandeur or anything…Though one time someone asked me if I thought I was the Queen of Sheba. It was said in anger- actually it was said like ‘Who do you think you are? The Queen of Sheba?’

I was being pretty bitchy too so… That doesn’t count, does it?

Sorry. Ideas. Inspiration. Whatnot.

It’s no secret that I think that yoga can save the world. As I really reflect on these early months of teaching, I’ve come to understand that our breath is how we not only live, but prosper.

As yogis we talk about breathing so often breezing over its power can get caught in so many other things.

I took a class last week with a friend  who is a fellow teacher and her husband.

Of course we talked a lot about yoga.

I love that the studio where I teach offers community classes.

I love that Yoga to the People has an outstanding hot class for 8 smackers.

We talked about how folks who really could use yoga to change and save their lives don’t usually have easy access to a studio. Even more often yoga as a concept isn’t on the radar.

This has to change.

And while I do imagine all the people living life in peace, I know that it’s down the road a bit.

If you have talked to me for more than five minutes you have already heard this story, but I will ask you to tune in one more time because it’s worth hearing daily. This September I was listening to the This American Life podcast. There are few things that I enjoy more than TAL. I was walking Dakota and stopped when I heard the story about the kids living in Chicago’s South Side. The affects of consistent violence in a community can affect kids cortisol levels up to a year later. Do the math. If these kids are under a constant barrage of violence these cortisol levels never drop.

So what the hell to do in the meantime?

I want to teach the world to breathe.

I may not be able to find a way fix the violence. But I can teach people how to breathe.
I can show someone how to choose a better breath, one that will help be the calm in the center of the storm.
Inhale more peace. Exhale what’s not serving you….
This is what it’s all about. Teaching people to fish and all that. As yogis we know yoga happens off the mat.
So no more turning it round. Time to figure out a plan. Time to get people on board. Time to walk the walk, or breathe the breath as it were.
And I won’t stop and falter.

This is yoga, changing lives one breath at a time. Things can only get better.

Namaste y’all.

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