Archive | May, 2009

work in progress

23 May

Today after my morning yoga, I sat quietly. I felt connected, centered and peaceful. I vowed to go a whole day living from this place of peace and grace. I vowed to go a whole day without getting annoyed with my children or raising my voice. I meant it from my heart. That was at 6:45 AM.

At 7:45 AM I lost it. Voice raised, me exhasperated. 7:45 AM!!! My story was great, who is using magnets to draw and scrape black marks on the refrigerator? Again? (I’ve scrubbed the fridge of this ailment before. )

I wonder how much of my meditation, while well intentioned, is just living in fiction. I’m focused on my breath and feeling that place of peace that surpaseth understanding. Then I enter the real world and get lost in my frustrations. Interesting thing is though, that it’s the real world that’s the story, the delusion and the peaceful part that is real.

I would love to be more skilled at merging the two, this real world of meditation and being able to see past my frustrations and hot buttons throughout the day.



20 May

Pattabhi Jois, Guruji – left his body today at 94 years old.

“Yoga is possible for anybody who really wants it. Yoga is universal.
Yoga is not mine. But don’t approach yoga with a business mind –
looking for worldly gain. If you want to be near God, turn your mind
toward God, and practice yoga. As the scriptures say “without yoga
practice, how can knowledge give you moksha [liberation]?”

Sri K. Pattabhi Jois

I’m moved as I think about his life, and his influence on yoga in the west. Clayton was my first teacher, and he studied Astanga with Pattabhi and while I don’t adhere to the strict structure of the Astanga method, I feel as if it is my yoga lineage. Flow yoga, my beloved practice – stems directly from this intelligent sequence of meditative breathwork and asana, focus, and awareness. So I’m sitting here overwhelmed with gratitude for this man many respectfully call “Guruji”

Here is a rare instance of Mr. Jois speaking English:

“If we practice the science of yoga, which is useful to the entire human community and which yields happiness both here and hereafter – if we practice it without fail, we will then attain physical, mental, and spiritual happiness, and our minds will flood towards the Self.”

Sri K. Pattabhi Jois

And here is Clayton, quite the Ashtangi and my first astanga teacher, speaking about this practice….

The Beautiful David Swenson demonstrating the grace of Pattabhi’s beloved Astanga series …

I’m mindful today of Pattabhi’s most famous quote:

“Do your practice and all is coming.”

for laughs

12 May

I know it appears that I have an addiction to YouTube. Really though, I just have a 13-year old boy… and let me fill you in – good moms who have 13-year old computer-obsessed boys must embrace YouTube to really understand their kids.

Here’s what Brandon sent me yesterday for Mother’s Day. An E-mail this this attached to it:

Now, that’s love if I ever saw it.

Slackline Yoga

8 May

Should we do a slackline workshop at the Dog? Would anybody else join me as I fall gracefully on my face?

Bedtime Mantras

7 May

Dan and I try to train our kids well. They are not allowed in our bed unless the sun is up! Snuggling in the morning is great, but I do not do little feet in my face in the middle of the night. We have worked hard to train the kids to go to sleep on their own, to be confident and capable of enjoying their own beds. And, it works – about 90% of the time.

We’re in that other 10% right now. The little ones share a room and it’s proven to be a challenge. Bedtime goes on far too long and Dan and I are both so tired by the end of the night it’s hard to put on a brave face and tackle it head on. A while back, I decided I needed more ritual, and more routine in my sadhana, so when it’s my turn to do bedtime, I sit by Drew’s bed and sing her sanskrit chants. She loves them and hums herself to sleep. I stay patient and calm, get my mantra sadhana in, and even Kieran enjoys it.

Tonight, I asked Drew what song she wanted. She said, “The HEY song.” “What song?”, I asked. “The HEY song.” This went on and on until she said, “You know, Tryambakam PAJAMA-HEY…..”

So, the Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra will forever be known in our house as the Tryambakam, Pajama-HEY song.

Here are the words:

Om tryambakam yajamahe sugandhim pusti vardhanam
Urvarukamiva bandhanan mrtyor mukshiya mamritat

I found this excellent blog post over on 9dozen that translates and illuminates the mantra beautifully.

Now, closing in behind Tryamakam pajama-hey as her second-favorite song is: Book of Mormon Stories. Talk about culturally diverse! I don’t know if the kids are doomed to be confused, or enlightened, but I can’t wait to hear Drew’s version of Book of Mormon Stories in Sanskrit. Heaven help us…

whine flu

5 May

I’m always so proud of my students. They really work hard. Crazy hard. And, occasionally I see students make huge commitments to their practice. Like Courtney. It seems like Courtney has been in every single class I’ve taught lately. She’s in class in the morning, class in the evening, and she even takes meditation on Fridays. So, last week I was worried – Tuesday and Wednesdays classes came and went and – no Courtney. Strange, I thought – she must have the swine flu – hope she’s OK. I made a mental note to call Courtney. Then, there she was, back in class on Friday Morning.

“Are you OK? Did you survive the swine flu?” Turns out there’s a different type of pandemic going around Cosmic Dog… Courtney took Kelli’s class Sunday morning, and was so sore she had to take some time off. Wow – so sore she had to take time off? Sounds like Kelli’s on a roll, I totally want to go get my ASS-ana kicked.


Kelli is famous for being the unpredictable, creative teacher. Sometimes that means that even though her classes are  SUPER hard, I don’t always necessarily sweat. So, I woke up this morning at 6am and hit my spin bike for one intense 40 minute session. Then, jumped into Kelli’s Power Latte class. Well, I did sweat! It was simple, it was sweet, it was sweaty, and now all I want is  a nap. Just a little one. A little nap with a little person pre-occupied so I don’t end up with marker on the carpet, or a little naked girl wandering down the street like a neglected little orphan. PLEASE give me 20 minutes to close my eyes.

Wish me luck.

The Yoga Toilet

3 May

Mhmmm…. just what you always wanted. As Sean Corne would say it’s  time to get “off the mat and into the world.” The world of yoga toilets, that is. Maybe next time we do malasana, we’ll all take it a little more seriously.

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