Archive | August, 2007

Detox or practice?

31 Aug

I’m fascinated by the way people approach yoga. I love to watch students who get uncomfortable with all that hippie talk of love and light, and those who soak it up. It’s fun to see students jump in and out of their mind while practicing, and it’s really a joy to see them find that sweet connection of body, breath and spirit.

In terms of energy work, yoga is the most powerful spiritual detox I’ve ever experienced. I’ve been to church almost every Sunday from the day I was born. I know in my mind and heart that those powerful lessons Jesus taught are true: love each other, forgive each other, make peace in the world. We’re told to do it, we know we should, but we just aren’t always taught exactly how. That’s where yoga came into my life as a vehicle for transcendence and release… literally, spiritually and emotionally. Yoga as a metaphor for life, literally moves the pain of the past out of our bodies. That’s why my favorite word to describe yoga is: “freedom”.

With that said, how many of us are detoxing during class and then just creating more pain in the world as we walk out the door? To me, the yoga mat is merely practice for the real world, and the minute you step off of it the real yoga experience starts. And moving gracefully through the world is a lot more challenging than moving gracefully on the mat. It’s a lot more rewarding too.

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Mystical or Mundane?

27 Aug

Ok, I have to admit it. Lately my life has included much more of the mundane than the mystical. I’m talking toilet cleaning, bill paying, and school registration. I’ve caught myself worrying about the kids starting at new schools and felt a bit of anxiety about the future. At this point in our move I’m working out those nitty gritty details about the new house and really wanting it to all be settled. I hate to admit that it’s been at least a week since I’ve had a chance to even read anything remotely spiritual. Don’t get me started on the weird stomach virus I got that doesn’t seem to want to go away.

But then again…

I was sitting on the front porch with Drew (2 years old) and she said, “Hey mom, you wanna go to da beach?” and pretended to make a sand castle. I’ve been relating Drew at this age to a little ball and chain… always underfoot and getting into trouble. (think sharpie pen all over the kitchen appliances and cabinets.) But I have to remember that never again will I have someone who actually wants to be around me 24/7. Someone who out of the blue will squish my cheeks with her little chubby hands and give me a kiss. Now that’s love you can only get from your kids.

Let’s think. There was also that bitchy looking woman at Safeway who surprised me by being so gracious and letting me and my two items step in front of her in line. And my three sisters who have showed up the past two weekends to spend time with my family at the beach and camping at the mountains. There’s my husband who kept the kids quiet so I could sleep in on Sunday. There have been a few sweet adjustments in yoga class last week that felt sooo good.

I still don’t know if I’m feeling the mystical. But mundane is sounding better already…

Monkey Mom

17 Aug

I treked out to Oakland on Wednesday for a Monkey Yoga class with Laura Camp. Totally worth the drive. It’s this combination of sweaty, hot Ashtanga-influenced yoga and Laura’s light-hearted approach to the whole event that keeps me working at my max. I’m able to just flow through class there as if it were the easiest thing ever. I don’t know why it seems so easy because it’s definitely a challenge, but I end up feeling so good afterward. I’m able to actually sweat and move deeper so that I feel the detox and joint opening at the same time. Love the pushups, love the handstands. It’s Friday now and I’m still high from it.

Zen Potty-Training

13 Aug

C’mon little girlfriend… just be zen about it! My soon-to-be 3 year old daughter just won’t use that potty. Being a recovering type-A perfectionist, I’m avoiding the full court press and thought I would take a casual approach so she could figure it out naturally!

Hmmm, I don’t think that’s going to work. So far all she wants to do is be naked and read her potty book. I mean she really wants to be naked.  All of the time, everywhere. I can’t keep her in clothes! She’s not even tempted by the Dora big girl panties. I have to admit that I need to dig deep and find that type-A part of me again.

Of course, being a yogini I’m trying to use my yoga. My awareness is telling me that I secretly want her to stay a baby and am avoiding confrontation. My spirit is telling me to approach it softly and patiently. My husband is telling me to stop eating her M&M incentive rewards, and my little girl just keeps telling me “no!”

I’m putting my commitment on the calendar for tomorrow. Diapers gone, choices removed. Wish me luck and send me some good zen vibes. I’m going to manifest some dry pants!

Being Still

7 Aug

I just got back from Danelle’s Monday night class at The Yoga Co. and it was amazing. When I take her class I find myself working so hard that I am completely focused on breath and staying calm. There is no way to make it through those long, deep holds without practicing Ishvarapranadana… surrender to God! Once I give in, stop my thinking mind and just follow Danelle’s voice, there is this amazing liberation in the act of just holding still. I don’t think there is anything in the yoga practice that has taught me more than just being still. And, there’s nothing better than that wave of joy that’s underneath the combination of working out my karma and stilling the mind. Ahhh…

Who’s that yogini?

6 Aug

Sometimes I swear that there are two of me. There’s one awkward, pain-ridden and lazy yogini who practices in the morning, and a different girl who’s ready to kick-ass in the evening. No matter what, I just can’t make peace with my dislike for morning practice. I just thought that complaining a bit would help me feel better!

The truth is, these 108 days are really changing me. I’m learning to train my mind during home practice and sit through the pain of tight joints. I have much more empathy for my beginning students now and I’m personally gaining a huge amount of will and patience. More than all of that though, is a bigger transformation. I find myself less distracted by the “to-do” list and more fascinated by the symbolic yoga world around me.

How are your 30 days going?

Soft Landing

3 Aug

Last night I went to teach at the Yoga Company and was greated with a big hug from Audrey and Illiana. Kim and Heather were there and it was amazing to jump right back into teaching. What a peaceful haven from all of my frustrations with Be Well… a beautiful room full of students and a loving, supportive yoga community. So many of my teacher friends work there and I am really looking forward to taking a lot more classes during my newly-found free time.

Now that I’m living in Danville, I decided it was time to check out World Yoga. I’ve heard a lot about World Yoga over the years, but never quite made it for classes. What a treat! The studio is blessed with big windows overlooking trees and foliage. I was literally standing in Tree Pose, watching a butterfly go about her business. The other thing I really like about the studio is that it has that authentic yoga vibe. It’s not a shi-shi spa place, which I like. It smells like yoga and sounds like yoga and there is that wonderful sense of community in the foyer.  

Throughout it all, I’m realizing how important it is to keep moving forward. And at the end of the day, I’m really grateful to have a soft place to land.