Sunday Yoga

wind-power-clothesline

 

Someone shared this story this morning and it made me think of Ahisma and Satya.

 

A young couple moves into a new neighborhood. The next morning while they are eating breakfast, the young woman sees her neighbor hanging the wash outside. “That laundry is not very clean; she doesn’t know how to wash correctly. Perhaps she needs better laundry soap.” Her husband looks on, remaining silent. Every time her neighbor hangs her wash to dry, the young woman makes the same comments. A month later, the woman is surprised to see a nice clean wash on the line and says to her husband: “Look, she’s finally learned how to wash correctly. I wonder who taught her this? ” The husband replies, “I got up early this morning and cleaned our windows.” And so it is with life… What we see when watching others depends on the clarity of the window through which we look….

 

We can be quick to judge others when we are uncomfortable in our own skin. It’s said that we see our own flaws in others. Fortunately, every passing minute is another chance to turn it all around.

 

Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu

May all beings be happy and free (This includes you)

Namaste y’all.

Advertisements

Non-Attachment is a Mo-Fo, Yo

practicing-non-attachment_compressed

Patanjali says that we can meditate on anything that our heart desires. The important thing is not what we meditate on, but more that we meditate. And then gradually to meditate more and more on what corresponds to the innermost longing of our heart. The practice of meditation . . . gradually works its magic in stilling the mind. (42)”
Ravi Ravindra, The Wisdom of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras: A New Translation and Guide by Ravi Ravindra

My bike was stolen.

And I’m fucking mad.

Mad because I only had it for two weeks.

Mad because it was my mode of transportation.

Mad because I was still editing a post on the joys of bike riding and said bike is gone.

And worst of all, I’m mad at myself for being mad.

It’s not right, yo.

I’m trying to rise above it.

There’s so much trouble in the world…

It’s not a big deal. There are real problems. Real issues. Real concerns.

It’s gone.

I feel like a baby being upset.

Then the thoughts come…Was I enjoying it too much? Should I have been less excited? Maybe I shouldn’t have said anything to anyone.

I spent the better part of two years watching the other shoe drop. My last post was about exhaling.

It’s not a big deal I whisper to myself. Grow up.

But quiet as it’s kept, I’m feeling a lil’ jumpy.

Just because you’re paranoid…

I’m telling myself- To. Just. Let. It. Go.

Emotion hasn’t caught up with my intellect.

It’s icky to face these feelings, to feel robbed of peace. Typing that last sentence I realize, there’s the rub.

I can’t let anything steal my peace; not a bad day, a bad practice or any other unresolved bullshit.

Someone told me that when her son’s new bike was stolen they discussed how someone else must have really needed it. Those words made their way to my heart.

let it go…let it go…let it go…let it go…

I talk about non-attachment a lot. The real tests of non-attachment happen in the living of life and not the talking about it.

It’s a hard drug to give up, desire. Craving seems perfectly natural and most of the time perfectly harmless.

Sometimes, I think I am because I crave.

Even my need to evolve is craving in a new outfit.

Let it go.

Let it go.

Let it go.

Namaste y’all.

Adventures in Yoga Teacher Training – Blissed Out

Thai Yoga Massage

Over the weekend we did a Thai Yoga massage workshop. It was an introduction to Thai yoga as well as a basic exploration of energy and its affect on the body and mind. This kind of massage relies on a trusting partnership between the giver and receiver. It also leaves both parties exposed and vulnerable as this exchange takes place. We pressed and twisted each other until we were loosey goosey. I mention this because someone described us as looking blissed out after it was all over.

Bliss was not a word I used very often. And I love to wear a word out.

I don’t think I used the word bliss because it was something that I didn’t think was attainable. Bliss was more a location than a state of mind.

Bliss was a beach in St. Martin. And now that I’m thinking about it, if I visualized my blissful place I wasn’t even in the picture.

Yoga teacher training has rearranged all that nonsense. Yoga is an exercise in addition by subtraction. Removing attachments adds love to my life and makes it more peaceful. Eliminating negative thinking leaves room for acceptance of the impossible.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the first Yoga Sutra lately, which loosely translates to ‘and now the discourse on yoga begins’. My practice is the jumping off point for me to begin meditation.

I used to shy away from this aspect of yoga, it felt too uncomfortable. This is embarrassing to admit, but I didn’t want to be accountable to the spiritual. I wanted the physical benefits without having to look deeper. So much of my life before yoga was this way.

Shedding that person has been easy in private and difficult in public. I still have work to do regarding attachment to ego and public expectations. But I’m hoping because I see this, there’s a chance I’m headed in the right direction. These revelations leave me feeling naked.

Previous thinking whispers that I should be wiser than I am at this age.

This is yoga. Is this bliss? I don’t know, but I do love it.

Namaste.

Yoga Blues – When Your Practice is Just ‘Meh’

rainy

It’s been grey, damp and cold the past few days. Makes me wanna spend time alone. The weather is even depressed, bitter cold is too much effort so instead we get a blasé shrug of dampness that’s not freezing and not warm. Tuesday just wasn’t productive, I spun my wheels all day and then found myself rushing to class (how does that happen?). With teacher training happening right after, I wasn’t really feelin’ it.

Not the right attitude but no one said that this yoga life was going to be peachy every day.

hero-pose-

To add insult to injury we started class in virasana (seated hero’s pose). Bitchy laughter started to rise from deep inside, but I stopped it from coming out.  I hate this pose. I know, it seems silly to say that I hate a pose, but I do. Virasana brings up all sorts of crap whenever I do it. My IT bands are tight but not so tight that I can’t do the pose, it simply makes me uncomfortable.

Very uncomfortable.

In addition, there was a flourescent light on which is usually turned off during practice. I couldn’t stop thinking about it. Thankfully, K picked up on my pyschic vibes that I was having a mild freak out and turned off the lights.

Why was I being such a baby? Why was my monkey mind getting the best of me? The flip side of deepening a yoga practice is that you see everything more clearly, the good and the bad. I need to become more comfortable with being uncomfortable.

And guess what? Sometimes, it’s just a bad day. Like they say, sometimes the only way over is through.

Through I went, grudgingly. My practice was meh. Everything felt creaky and cranky. We had a fantastic lecturer but I had to force myself to stay in the moment.

But I didn’t run from it, I just grabbed myself by the ears and pulled myself back to now. In the past I would have found a way to distract myself from the blech of it all. I reflected on this as I took a shower. With my PJs on and a cup of tea in my hand, I had to admit that all in all, because I stayed in the now- it was a damn good day.

Oneika – 1   Bad day – 0

This is yoga. And I absolutely friggin’ love it- even when I’m grumpy.

Namaste.

Adventures in Teacher Training – Practice Class (It’s Never as Good as the First Time)

yoga studio

I smile a lot these days. Even when I’m feeling anxious a grin manages to envelop me.

Why, you wonder?

I taught my first 30 minute yoga class. Yoga teacher training has been an amazing experience whether I’m reading the Yoga Sutras or breaking down a pose. I’m learning things about myself. At 40, this seems like quite a feat. We’re always growing and changing blah, blah and I believe that as much as the next person.

Seriously, I believe the platitudes I spout and not in some ironic way. Yet, since I started teacher training I feel like I’ve started to become who I’m supposed to be. I hope this revelation never gets old.

So back to my class- here’s how it went down:

False start. I relied too much on my music. With my phone accidentally on shuffle I skipped a section. I inadvertently attached poses to songs rather than having the songs keep pace for class. I guess that’s the danger of music. No worries, because I started again. What I needed to remember was that it may have been the first time that I was teaching a yoga class it wasn’t my first yoga class or my first time teaching a group of people.

It was better than I could have imagined! I relaxed and started to be me. When the class started to move through the flow I stopped thinking. Moving from pose to pose felt good. I got some technical corrections and some solid feedback.

I also had a chance to practice with my teacher one-on-one. It was spur of the moment. Having structure and the ability to go with the flow are equally important. As I learn and add postures to my yoga ‘repertoire’, I’ll be able to color outside of the lines a bit more. I think that’s more of a function of how I learn more than yoga itself. And oddly enough, taking my teacher through a practice one-on-one wasn’t nearly as intense as I thought.

My biggest takeaway from both experiences is that if you are passionate and study your students will feel that. When you relax and let go the flow comes.

I almost wish that I could go back in time to appreciate what I was doing a bit more, but c’est la vie. There will be plenty of other firsts.

yoga
yoga (Photo credit: GO INTERACTIVE WELLNESS)