Archive | February, 2008

poor, sad, barefootbhakti

23 Feb

My little beloved blog is waning! Never fear, I’m phantom writing in my head, working feverishly to birth Cosmic Dog Yoga. I’ll try to breathe more life into this blog in the meantime.

Run…

18 Feb

do not walk to the bookstore and pick up a copy of Eckhart Tolle’s newest book, A New Earth. It’s a transformative piece of work.

moving deeper

18 Feb

During class I usually find a place of aversion. The way the teacher is cueing, the sequence, a pose I don’t like. Once in a while I fight the instinct to just leave during class.

 I found myself really enjoying class this morning, breathing deep and working hard. Somewhere though, I just wanted my beloved teacher to shut up. At that moment, the pose was so hard and I noticed my mind creating a big story around how I really needed quiet right then. The minute I noticed the story, it was gone. Rather than having an aversion, I just went deeper into the teacher’s voice and of course, the poses seemed lighter and easier. Then, as if a little gift from our connectedness in the universe I received the most delicious adjustment from the teacher as if he was thanking me for shifting my stinking thinking.

I’ve been experiencing this a lot more lately. Catching my thoughts more quickly, watching them dissolve. It’s so powerful and so easy.

I’m not happy

7 Feb

My daughter had a rare grumpy day. She threw a tantrum at preschool because she didn’t want to leave. I hope that doesn’t refer to her experiences at home with me! When I finally did get her grumpy little buns home, she ran about the house doing a little dance and song complete with arms movements and booty shaking. The song went something like this: “I’m not happy, I’m not happy, I’m not happy.”

 It just goes to prove that even though her mind told her she wasn’t happy, her natural state of joy came screaming through in song and dance!

attachment

6 Feb

Non-attachment is such an enlightening aspect of yoga that I could probably write a new post every day about it. Today though, I’m working on not getting attached to my thoughts about how or where the new yoga studio should be.

Once again, I’m stepping back and watching my mind get attached to the way things should be. And again, whenever I notice that attachment, I notice that’s right where my suffering comes from.

The type of faith that I had as a child has been replaced with the concept of reality. Somehow, I have to find alignment and acceptance with the fact that things are the way thy are. From that place, comes a new kind of faith, that – that as an integral part of the universe, I can handle whatever comes my way with grace and love.

There is such a peace in knowing that we are all really one of the same piece of consciousness. What’s best for me, is best for you and vice versa. That way of looking at the world keeps me sane, and give me so much more compassion. Being human though, seems to be the process of trying to remember our connectedness instead of getting caught up in the fear around us.

The body as a commodity

4 Feb

I’ve learned over the years to step back and watch myself go through experiences as an observer instead of getting engulfed by them. That put me in an interesting situation today, watching my own emotions. Sometimes I’m shocked by what goes through my mind!

 (warning: if you’re squeamish, stop reading!) At church today, I was in the library, in a hurry to teach my tiny sunday schoolers and I slammed my left index finger between a door and a sharp ledge. It smarted and I was in such a hurry that I ran down the hall with my supplies, not checking it out. The pain was pretty intense and I noticed my that my own unconsciousness surfaced as the word “shit” came out of my mouth. (I know, at church… now there’s a first and I’m not joking) I looked down and saw blood dripping off of my hand, and a huge dent under my nuckle. The cut was pretty deep, all of the way through the skin, and had it not been on my nuckle I would have gone in for a stitch or two.

 Here’s the interesting part. By this point in time, I was back in observer mode and noticed my own crazy thoughts. My first thought wasn’t the pain, or the fact that I’m spending hours on the computer preparing to open a new yoga studio/how was I going to type without my index finger (and I’m left handed) but “gasp – how bad is it? How am I going to do yoga without my hand? No arm balances? No handstands?” Panic started to set in.

 My second scary thought was, “how am I going to teach without my hand?” which brought up a lot of issues for me. Until my bout with poison oak this fall, I had never thought about my body as a commodity before. But it’s true. How do I work without it? It’s brought up a lot of awareness as I think about the different levels of relationship that I have with my own body.

Should a yoga teacher teach what they cannot practice? Temporary setbacks are a different issue, but I’ve been thinking about this one a lot. Where is our responsibility as teachers? If I don’t know a pose well enough to do it, should I teach it? I tend to teach what I know and be the student as much as possible.

How attached am I to my own practice? Today I was experiencing the ugly end of attachment to yoga as I faced the fear of not practicing. For me, underneath that attachment is the fear of falling into depression without yoga.

 The biggest awareness though, is that I’m not grateful for the small quiet favors I receive from my body all day long. One index finger damaged and I saw my whole life flash before my eyes! Thank you little fingers, toes, eyes, intestines, everything! What an amazing space I have to live in.

 Guess what? I’m fine. My finger is a mess but I can still type and I’ve already done a handstand. Nothing like a couple of band-aids to make it all better.

I find life full of facing fears, raising awareness and constantly learning more grace, love and compassion. Even for a little finger. It’s been a great day for lessons at church.

hot stuff

2 Feb

I love, love, love a hot class. I don’t believe that it’s even safe for me personally to do yoga at the level I am practicing, in a cold room. It’s also pretty pointless, my muscles just don’t open in the cold. My most important reason? Because if it’s cold I hurt. My body aches and refuses to cooperate. Heat is the magical component for me that creates the possible out of the impossible. It also creates that tapas within to help me burn through any of the emotional baggage I need to dissolve.

 I was on the treadmill yesterday kicking my own butt with sprints, creating that juicy heat within my own body and I actually turned the fans on. I realized that most of us are conditioned to be cool. I remember at the beginning of my yoga journey how awkward it felt to be hot. It was all I could think about – how hot I was. I think most people need an adjustment period of hanging tough to learn to adjust and accept the heat.

 I had one student at the Livermore lab a couple of years ago though who helped me re-think the heat. She was the only student I’ve ever seen that actually got more flexible in the cold. She was such a classic pitta, and she taught me a lot. Dosha has a lot to do with yoga style and temperature.

As a teacher I hear two things: “Please turn the heat UP”, “will there be heat at the new studio… PLEASE?”, and “not everyone likes it so hot”, “I would come to your classes, but it’s WAY too HOT!” There is so much passion behind it! It’s definitely a love or hate relationship.

 At the end of the day, I have to stay true to what I love. Power yoga to me, should be very, very warm. I agree that there are variations to that theme, but for the most part I believe that if you’re going to find that yoga edge of where your body will take you, it is safer and more effective for the majority of us to be warm. If there are more beginners in class, I keep it cooler. It’s so hard to lose beloved friends to a cooler room, but it’s impossible to please everyone.

 What does your body say? Hot or cool?