New Year Yoga – Don’t Change

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The end of last year was well, quite glorious. I had two weeks to do nothing but massage clients, teach yoga and take classes. Going to school full-time was the smartest thing I’ve done but still a commitment and shit ton of work. And while I am grateful for all of the good stuff happening, I was feeling a little overwhelmed and tired.

I wanted to spend my time off doing all the yoga. My friend Kathleen and I strolled to Jivamukti to take a class with Julie Kirkpatrick on Christmas Day. Class was like wrestling a cuddly grizzly bear. When you move pose after pose after pose after pose you have choices- try to hang on for dear life or surrender to the moment. In savasana I felt myself let go.

Listen, I know that as yoga teachers we talk about letting go (and sometimes we even mean it), but in that moment if the lights went out, and I mean forever- I would have been okay. That may seem like a heavy statement but it’s true. Savasana prepares us for the biggest unhooking of all.

In a Sunday class with Cassandra Rigney at Jivamukti she talked about watching Time of Death, a miniseries that follows terminally ill patients during their last weeks. Seems grim, I know. But Cassandra said it was a powerful testament to how in the end we forget all the bad shit that people have done and only see the good. Why not live like that now? Why not indeed I wondered as I walked home. Fresh off a Serial and Marking of Murderer binge Cassandra’s mention of ToD seemed like a good move. I was wrong.

I wasn’t just a good move. It was yoga. I was riveted watching these stories of life and death. Some of the families graciously let us watch their loved ones transition on camera. Some didn’t and that’s a beautiful and noble choice as well. It got me thinking.

This is yoga. This is life.

Yoga doesn’t only prepare me for living life in the now, it’s also practice for the ultimate letting go. What stuck me most was my reaction. You can’t help but reflect when you watch people die. But instead of thinking about what I would change I found myself thinking about what I wouldn’t. I wouldn’t change a lot.

I wouldn’t change the way I love the time I spend with my family.  Or seeing my brother’s face at Thanksgiving. Or cracking up with my parents and sister at Christmas dinner. I wouldn’t change the way I laugh at Dakota’s spring in her step when she smells the air during her morning walk. I wouldn’t change what I’m doing with my life. I want to do more of what I’m already doing now.

Forget about what you would change. What are you doing right? What’s working?

Do that.

So when I think about 2016 I’m not challenging myself to rock the shit out of the new year. I’m going to fucking be more present than ever in the now.

That’s working. Namaste y’all.

 

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Thursday Yoga -Change

 

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Change is always happening. Staying the same is really, really hard.

-David Life

And there ya go.
There were many truth bombs that David Life dropped in class Sunday. But this is the one that made me sit up and take notice. I can be so damn obtuse when I want to be, blaming some aspect of my personality for the way that something is or has turned out. As if my being is fixed in one place and acting like I have no control over my own actions/reactions.
I love hot yoga because the heat and the mirrors are a way for me to square off with me/myself/I. But what moves me about the Jivamukti practice is the Focus of the Month. 30 days to explore a topic mentally, physically and spiritually. After a month it’s safely under my skin and in my soul.
It seems appropriate that I think about change and my willingness to be with the discomfort of moving through transition in autumn. Even as a kid I was nostalgic before I knew what it was… Who knows, maybe the person I was before had a yearning to look back.
What I do know is that with the constant motion of life,  change is inevitable. But if you can keep your intention and clarity clear you’ll never get too lost.
Namaste y’all.

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.