Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Ten things that made me smile today

Okay nothing deep, nothing esoteric, just ten things that made me smile today. I make lists like this in my head sometimes to help me remember how it really is the simple things that make life the sweetest.


1) a silly dog named mingus






2)An adorable boy with beet juice all over his face








3) Realizing that when all of the Dr. Bronners in the bathroom ran out, that I actually had more to refill the  dispenser because I finally broke down and bought a gallon of the stuff. (BTW- Dr. Bronners is the SHIT! I use it to wash dishes, hair, skin, clean toilets and kitchens...this year I actually had it do my taxes for me. There is NOTHING it can't do!)


4) Picking the last of the peonies in the garden






5) A sweet man who desperately needs a haircut, but looks like such a cute overgrown kid that I just don't have the heart to ask him to cut it....


6) My studio Shambhala Yoga Center




7)Hearing  from a neighbor about my cat Charlie who loves to casually walk into other people's houses in the middle of the night so he can sleep on their beds and spoon with them.


8) The vegetarian meatloaf I made for dinner along with greens from the garden.




9) Ruth Stout. I love this woman and am using her gardening method. I wish you could see interviews with her, but they have all been removed. She died ages ago, but still lives on in her amazing book "Gardening Without Work" you can read more about her mulching system here


10) Holding and feeding a baby for a new mom while I taught yoga and she took my class. A challenge to multitask like that, but OH- that new baby smell......

Monday, May 17, 2010

SEVA- why can't can't live without it, and can never give too much of it

What is SEVA? Super Enthusiastic Vegetarian Aviators? Stop Endless Verbiage Alltogether? Sunrise Encounters Visiting Australia? Though those do seem like wonderful and completely fun possibilities- SEVA is nothing so complicated...
Seva is... love in action. 
Seva is.... the spiritual practice of selfless service. 
To assign a dictionary definition here it is:
"Seva, a Sanskrit word, springs from two forms of yoga, Karma Yoga which is yoga of action and Bhakti Yoga, the yoga of worship inspired by divine love. Seva is one of the simplest and yet most profound and life changing ways that we can put our spiritual knowledge into action. Seva is asking “How may I serve you?” Or ask “Can I help you?” Another way of doing service is to roll up your sleeves and help where you notice that you are needed."
Service-  love that word.... used to seem so powerless to me when I was younger (to get a little bit better picture of what younger me was- think pissed off, black wearing, Bikini Kill listenen' to WOMAN...cause girl is so pejorative, thank you very much). But now with a few more miles under the hood- the word Service seems so powerful.  To be able to serve people, to give of myself just because I love....woah that is some radical stuff. We have been given the gift of being able to serve, help, reach out.
SEVA doesn't have to be these crazy, grandiose acts of love and devotion..."Did you hear about Angela? She sold everything she owns to pay for 12 orphans to have shoes for their entire life and is now living in Mozambique, digging wells for villagers with her bare hands because she used all of her money to buy orphans shoes and doesn't even have enough money to buy a shovel."  Seva can be small acts...Picking up someone's child from school when they can't, paying that extra dollar for the person in front in line of you who doesn't quite have enough to cover their bill, helping someone with a heavy load of bags at the grocery store. Those bigger acts are great too....starting a non for profit, volunteering on a weekly basis at a soup kitchen, taking a hot meal to your elderly neighbor every day...but all these acts are all the same in that they come from LOVE. They come from a place of devotion to the world you live in. So SEVA doesn't ask to be huge....as a matter of fact we all practice SEVA every day in  small powerful ways. Ultimately we will all arrive to the same place as we are all on the path of love. Some people just choose to take a thousand small steps on their way there...and some people just two or three big ones. All just as important, all acts of devotion, all humble  moments of service.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Inspiration

So sometimes I hear people talking about how everyone sucks...okay so sometimes talk about how everyone sucks. I mean really sucks. I started talking about how everyone sucks just today as I was taking Harrison to the train station and I got cut off- people stopped in the middle of the road to have conversations with a driver in the opposite lane (hmmmm- never crossed your mind that there are people behind you trying to make the train?nice)and people beeped at me because I din't have the foresight and driving skills to fly over the car in front me that is stopped in the middle of the road to have a conversation with a driver in the opposite lane. AAARRRRRGGGGGG- thoughtless, selfish, self involved!!!!!!!! (WOW- I am really applying that compassion I talked about) 

Then I think about all of the people that I work with at The Center for Growth and Development . The Center provides verbal behavior based ABA services to children with Autism and related disorders. The services that the center offers are so needed-yes, but more importantly it is staffed by the most giving, generous, tireless, people that I have ever met. These people deal with things every day that most people would not be able to deal with for an hour. They don't ask for applause, for accolades, even for attention for what they do. They just DO it. They do it because they are mothers. They do it because they love the amazing children they work with. They do it because it is who they are.

Then I think about Kate Perna.  Kate has started an organization called Bent on Change . Here is the  Mission Statement and vision statement.......

To bring hope, possibility, and peace to individuals and their communities

We will improve communities by extending holistic care and the physical, psychological, and emotional benefits of yoga practices to underserved and at-risk populations as a means of reducing violence, facilitating empowerment, and increasing overall wellness . We will serve all community members equally regardless of economic and personal circumstances . We will utilize the practices of Yoga Therapy as a complement to traditional medicine in an effort to improve patient quality of life and to provide holistic care.

Bent on Change is focusing on the town of Newburgh (read more about the cities stats here ). Kate wants to make a difference in a place that most people have given up on. She has faith and love that is overwhelming. She doesn't ask for applause, for accolades or even for attention for she does. She just DOES it.  She does it because it's who she is.

Then I think about Michelle and Kim. Michelle is a yogini and mother I know. She is also a nurse practitioner who works in pediatrics. A few weeks ago she met Kim....
Let me tell you about Kim. 
Kim is a single mom. 
She works as a CT tech. 
She's older than I am. She has two kids. 
Matthew is 15 and Judy is 9
They're both adopted... They both have Down syndrome. 
Kim adopted one baby with Down Syndrome and then 5 years later she adopted another
Oh, and did I say she's a single mom?
There you go

Michelle met Kim- who loves these children. Kim- who has so much love in her heart that she also works to make the wishes of other children with Down's Syndrome come true...here are just two of the wishes she has granted with her cell phone, time and love.

 Wish....
A 7 year old with leukemia who has just gone through 2 years of chemo needs a new bed. Mom had put a bed on layaway at a store in Michigan, but can't afford to pay the balance. Kim gets on the phone. When she's done, the wisher has a complete bedroom set and a bedroom makeover. And her brother has a new bedroom too. And the family has 2 new couches and new wall to wall carpeting. In time for Christmas

Wish.....
A young man, who lives in Texas, wants to arrive at his 30th birthday party in a limo. He wants to wear a tux. Kim gets on the phone, and talks to the mom who has been unemployed for a while and says there is no party. When Kim is done, they have a banquet hall, a limo, a tux, a DJ, a videographer, food and drink from Panera and Pepsi for 50 guests , a limo shaped cake, and paper and plastic wear from Target. Kim also gets Delta to donate a plane ticket to fly his sister in from Washington. And Marriott to donate a hotel room for sis and transportation to and from the airport. So when the wisher steps into the limo, his most favorite sister is waiting for him. Surprise!
 (Thanks Michelle for letting me steal this from your blog

Kim wants to go to Down's a conference in Fla. She has no money. Michelle decides she is going to make that happen for her since she has done so much for so many others.... Make HER wish come true. (read more about Kim and her work, and Michelle's fundraising efforts 
 They don't do it to be GOOD. They don't do it for the applause or accolades. They do it because it is who they are. They do it without thinking about it. They do it because they love.

I'm sure my friends at work cut people off in traffic. I can imagine Kate stops and talks to people in the middle of main street. Michelle probably beeps at the person who is trapped behind Kate. Hmmmm- they don't suck. Maybe all of these people who make us feel so angry at times are people just like Michelle, my friends at work, Kate. People who are full of love- people who just DO. Maybe not in such measureable ways like the people above...but in meaningful ways nonetheless.  I think we are allowed moments to be human (hell to even say people suck).  The same humanity that makes people steal your parking place, is the same humanity that allows people to love so fully and deeply.

Thank you to all of the amazing people I have the honor of knowing and learning from. You are a constant inspiration. Thank you also to Amma . My Guru, my ultimate inspiration.
 

 

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Compassion through non-attchment....man it's hard!

Therefore, do not judge people:
Do not make assumptions about others.
A person is destroyed
By judging others

adapted from the  Anguttura Nikaya

So in the not too distant past someone really hurt me. Deeply. One of those wind gets knocked out of you hurts. I quickly went through the stages of dealing with that kind of hurt....sadness, denial, depression, blah blah blah. Very quickly I came to the space that I have always felt the most comfortable in..."THE PLACE OF COMPASSION". Good place to be, right? I can be in that space- talk in a very magninomous way about everything- I have it all figured out. I feel so good about how BIG I am being about everything. Strong, brave, COMPASSIONATE, Shannon.

So there I am, talking about how I feel about this person who hurt me so deeply to a friend, when she says"Wow Shan, you are so COMPASSIONATE".  Hearing those words from someone else mouth instead of having them rattle around in my brain made something in me click...."but I don't feel compassionate right now. I just feel shitty."  Hmmmm- wait- isn't compassion er about ending suffering?  Hmmmm- isn't the only way to end that suffering is to realize that you yourself are suffering? Hmmmm- so up to this minute I was FINE (or so I was obviously trying to tell myself) so I hadn't been able to even identify with that suffering. Heeeyyyy wait a minute- now that I really think about it, my COMPASSION feels a whole lot like JUDGEMENT!  I feel a lot better about things when I can hold onto my hurt and pile it up, standing on top of it after I have wrapped it in the pretty trappings of compassion. So EASY to look DOWN on the person who hurt me by feeling sorry for them. "Sigh, it's just so sad how lost they are."
So I ahem, guess I haven't been feeling compassionate....I have instead been attached to the hurt. Holding onto it for dear life. It just feels so much safer in that space.

So what is true compassion? True compassion is wanting others to be free from suffering. So compassion is the definition of the highest scope of motivation. It is said that to generate genuine compassion, one needs to realise that oneself is suffering, that an end to suffering is possible, and that other beings similarly want to be free from suffering.
 To  make this whole compassion business even more challenging- I am going to throw in a quote by his holiness the Dalai Llama "Compassion without attachment is possible. Therefore, we need to clarify the distinctions between compassion and attachment. True compassion is not just an emotional response but a firm commitment founded on reason. Because of this firm foundation, a truly compassionate attitude toward others does not change even if they behave negatively. Genuine compassion is based not on our own projections and expectations, but rather on the needs of the other: irrespective of whether another person is a close friend or an enemy, as long as that person wishes for peace and happiness and wishes to overcome suffering, then on that basis we develop genuine concern for their problem. This is genuine compassion."
Oy! This is getting harder and harder! Ah, but I know the loophole you are looking for in this one..."Ha! I have no idea if this person really wishes for peace and happiness and wishes to overcome suffering...how can I develop a genuine concern for them?" Sorry, that argument doesn't work. Truly, is there anyone on this earth who does not want to be happy? Want to be loved?  Nope, didn't think so.

  So I realized with stunning clarity, that what I had been labeling as compassion, was really attachment and judgement in fancy wrapping.  I realized I had to LET GO of that emotional response and understand that this person wants the same thing that I want in life-  they are hurt, they are doing the best they can, they don't want to hurt anyone else, they are doing what they think is right- SO THEY CAN BE HAPPY...i know that THAT IS ME. I am not living their reality, but I understand their truths.....THAT IS ME.

I would love to say that when I realized these things, the hurt went away and I became this great enlightened being who upon seeing this person will give them an honest hug and only wish them joy and happiness. But it didn't, am I'm not. I am however, more aware and on the road to compassion. It is a great a challenging journey. But i know I will get there. Someday.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Abundance

Ahhhhh- the first iconic days of spring....blisters on the hands from clearing out the garden.

So many children on the front porch it seems like they are multiplying by the second.
 (I came out  5 minutes after this picture was taken and there were four more added to this collection of kids)



First official gathering on the deck- wearing short sleeves and sandals even though you have goosebumps.

Looking out onto Mt. Beacon, the snow has finally lost its battle with the sun.


Eggs from our neighbor..... milk, cheese,vegetables from local farms.






A beautiful bottle of Morgon.



Sun kissing my forehead as I move through my salute to it.....abundance.

thank You Universe for most this amazing
day:for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes

(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun's birthday; this is the birth
day of life and love and wings: and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)

how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any--lifted from the no
of all nothing--human merely being
doubt unimaginably You?
(now the ears of my ears awake and now the eyes of my eyes are opened)

- e.e.cummings

Happy Spring.  Simple blessings are beyond measure.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Thoughts on love, life and other things....

I am often inspired by these thoughts and quotes....I wanted to share! Om Shantih...
Shan

On love......
"Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built."
Rumi

Have only love in your heart for others.
The more you see the good in them,
the more you will establish good in yourself... 
Paramahansa Yogananda

The important thing is not to think much,
but to love much; and so,
do that which best stirs you to love.
Saint Teresa of Avila

Light
Will someday split you open
Even if your life is now a cage...
Love will surely bust you wide open
Into an unfettered blooming new galaxy...
A life-giving radiance will come...
O look again within yourself,
For I know you were once the elegant host
To all the marvels in creation...
From a sacred crevice in your body
A bow rises each night
And shoots your soul into God...
Hafiz

Om Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu
May all beings everywhere be happy and free from suffering!!!!! 


On the One-ness of the universe....
Who you are is absolutely unimaginable.
When you stop imagining yourself in any form,
there is a revelation that has never been spoken,
but is directly experienced.
Gangaji

True communication is communion―the realization of oneness, which is love.
Eckhart Tolle : Gaia Explorer
The first peace, which is the most important, is that which comes within the souls of people when they realize their relationship, their oneness with the universe and all its powers, and when they realize that at the center of the universe dwells the Great Spirit, and that this center is really everywhere, it is within each of us
 

Monday, March 8, 2010

WAMC: Yoga: Should The State Be Certifying Instructors? (2010-03-08)

I was interviewed for WAMC! I have to say hearing your voice in the radio or online is er.... not the most wonderful thing. I think I kind of sound like a 13 year old muppet. It was a super cool though.
WAMC: Yoga: Should The State Be Certifying Instructors? (2010-03-08)

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

5000 miles

Did you know that Maui Hawaii is roughly 5000 miles away from Beacon NY? I know that because I feel that distance every day in my heart. My sister  Melissa lives in Maui and has lived there for over 15 years. Though I grew up with my sister around me, I spent most of my life feeling completely separate from her....she- blonde, freckles, cheerleader, perky...adorable... me- black hair, olive skin, screw school, pissed off....hard to take. I always thought we were so different " we will NEVER see eye to eye." So when my sister left for Maui I was a little sad sure, but completely fine. We would see each other when she would come home...nice to visit- I even lived with her for a bit in Maui when I was in college (my parents thought that shipping me off to a rock in the middle of the pacific ocean would make me change my partying ways....didn't work- sorry Mom and Dad, people are crazy in Hawaii too).  But then something changed- my sister got pregnant. Something in me clicked- this is my sister. My sister is having a baby. My sister- the one person who could always make me laugh so hard I peed a little in my pants. My sister- the coolest person I knew when I was 8 that always let me tag along with her and her friends. My sister- the person who put up with my crap and opened her heart and home to me when I was completely lost in college. My SOUL SISTER.  I started calling my sister almost every day when she was pregnant with Annie. When she went into labor I could barely eat or sleep. It was killing me to be in NY. Those 5000 miles had become so real to me. Soon after Melissa had Annie, I got pregnant...I will never forget the first time we were together with our children- it was the most wonderful thing I have ever experienced.  My sister, my soul sister, my inspiration- sorry it took me almost 30 years to realize this- is not different from me at all. We are the same, we are bonded by more than blood and circumstance....we are family.
I talk to Melissa as often as I can now- though not as often as I like. In those moments 5000 miles can seem so close....I can picture her in her kitchen, smells of upcountry blowing through the windows...Annie and Miles, laughing and running in the backyard barefoot and brown. We talk about our yoga practice, life and missing each other. Sometimes I get mad at her...sometimes she gets frustrated with me- and through it all I feel blessed that I found the sister I had always wished I had....that was there all along.
Yep we come from the same parents!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Advaita Vedanta: We are all pretty great...you just have to accept how great that really is!


I have been thinking a lot about the perception of energy. The universe is energy...we are made of the stuff of the universe- the universe is pretty amazing.....hhhmmmmm- that must mean that we are too! Pretty easy on paper right? So where does it start getting muddied? It is when we start projecting ourselves-our perceptions onto that energy. The energy is there. It IS......kind of like the hot guy vs the kind of er- less hot guy hitting on a woman at a bar- woman thinks with hot guy-"oh, he's so great, seems like a good person- now he's going to buy me a drink- I want to talk to him!" woman thinks with average guy "oohh just leave me alone- I just want to hang out here with my friends...creepy!" So both guys put out the same amount of energy-it's the perception of that energy that makes all the difference. So it is actually is that easy...everything is and will always be. We are all a part of that IS...that I AM. We just make that IS personal in order to understand it. So maybe instead if trying to change the certainty (the energy) instead we can change the perception of the certainty.  Instead of "aaaarrrrgggggg idiot! He cut me off! People need to learn how to drive!!!!"....maybe try" woah- I am so glad I avoided an accident! great reminder to be more mindful when I am driving" the IS of the moment the same....just your perception that has shifted. Sometimes the smallest shifts make all the difference. Cause really since we are all made from the same stuff....we are all pretty great. Cause the universe is who we are, we are all pretty great.  Cause being happy is a CHOICE and not a priviledge...we are all pretty great. Cause happiness is a perception of energy it is a choice. It is that simple. Cause most importantly it is all subjective, it is all an illusion of our creation. The only reality is the energy. Pretty easy on paper- pretty easy in life.
read more about this philosohpy- Advaita Vedanta

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Emotions and heart openers and the brain...oh my!

So my favorite podcast EVER is Radio Lab on WYNC...I get a little flat hand clappy every time I hear  one (this is the program that I learned about the link between the domestication of cats and the sharp rise in schizophrenia in western society...Brilliant!!!!!!). If you have been in my class this week you have heard me talk about the fascinating story I  heard about the link of emotions and  physical response...theorizing that the physical response (racing heart, pupil dialation,  rise in blood pressure etc...) is what triggers the emotional response in the brain (ie, the translation of the physical manifestation of these responses). That begs the question to be asked "then what happens to the people who lose the ability to feel their body?" This question along with many others is answered in this article from the NY Times.....This made me think- if people who lose  all sense of feeling in their bodies suffer a profound dulling of the senses, to what extent of "emotional numbness" do those of us who are out of touch with  our bodies experience? It make sense why many people have profound emotional repsonses on their mats when they open up to the sensations of the body in hip openers and backbends.  Ah yoga- you never cease to rock my existence!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

So hot today.....

Aaaaahhhh- It was one of those days- sweat pouring off me as I come into crow and slide off my arms. Dry off- better. Sweat coming out of my pores almost with force. Mat drenched, towel drenched, body saying "thank you". Air around me like soup- swimming through the air, breathing the moisture. The sweat dries on my skin during savasana , get up- slide into my sandals...perhaps a swim at the waterfall?
Oh wait. February 17th. snow. snow. snow. studio never over 72 degrees. cold. Okay- so I'm not dripping in the sweat, swimming in the soup,  a human sprinkler- not as bendy, rubber band-y in my practice as I am when summer is in full swing, my body is always warm, loose, willing. Instead my body is creaky, a little angry at me when I come to my mat- oh god not today- too cold...wait noooooo don't take off the socks! sob, sob, really-bind? right now? 5 minutes in? Oh come on Shan. So my practice changes with the seasons....Siff in winter, a little more brittle, heavy like slabs of ice. But like winter- times of profound stillness, quiet beauty, deep introspection. So different than my summer practice....pliable like green branches, light from toxins moving out of me, exhuberent like sunflowers. I love this time...i look forward to these moments of effortlessness...my body doesn't fight me Yes! let's get on that mat! of course take that bind, float forward, face on shins...let's do this for hours Shan!
But though summer is the time I day dream about in my practice, I think that it is in those dark, heavy moments in the heart of winter that I learn some of the greatest lessons on my mat....the times I am forced to be more patient, more understanding, more humble with my body. Hard lessons to learn, even harder to apply, harder still to work through day after day....and I make it through-and I breathe.  I know that the ice will thaw, having given the ground time to rest, and renew. Green shoots appearing in the fertile soil, made fertile by the slow, quiet, release of the winter water deep into the crust.
So though I know these are necessary moments- I still daydream about by summer practice. Tank tops and sweat seem so far away . I know that it will get here though- one day.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Oh yeah- I'm a yoga geek...and you may be too.

I have a LONG drive to work where I am a therapist. I get to sit in the car for an  hour and a half each way three days a week. The other day when I was driving to work while engaging in my happiest car past time, I realized with startling clarity... "I AM A YOGA GEEK."  "Uh yeah" you might be thinking right now- "you have a yoga blog and ALWAYS talk to me about yoga every time I see you.....GEEK!" It was not so clear to me however, until this lightening bolt realization hit me while driving and I was engaging in my happiest car past time. Okay, I will let in in on my car past time secret....I do yoga in my head while I drive. Yup- I sure do.....for an entire hour and a half on the way to CT. I put on my favorite play lists on my ipod, and have the most radical, amazing asana practice ever (you would not BELIEVE the things I can do- Handstand into scorpion?...uh yeah)! "NO WAY am I that GEEKY!" you may be thinking- but perhaps you are....I have devised  quite a sophisticated test to tell you....
IF YOU ARE A YOGA GEEK
1) Do you do yoga in your head when driving?
2) You discuss the merits of Muhla Bhanda with your friends (sorry M.A. :)
3)You no longer snicker a little bit when your yoga teacher tells you to take Titibhasana 
4)You understand question #3 (for all you non yoga geeks I'll enlighten you..."hee hee, she said titty")
5)You wear yoga clothes more than street clothes...and or also- have more yoga pants than jeans.
6) You think of your yoga mat as "your precious" and hiss at someone who touches it.
7) You start signing all of your emails and correspondences with  Peace and love or Shanti even when you're emailing your accountant (just like I did today).
8)You won't go out on a Friday night because you "don't want to be too tired for yoga tomorrow morning"
9) If you laugh out loud AND understand all of the references for the following pictures.......
 
  
  
  
 

Answer key:a)If you answered yes to one of the above you are an "APPRENTICE                              YOGA GEEK"  keep up the faith...you will be dorking it out in no time.
                      b) If you answered yes to two or more of the above questions...congratulations! you are a "YOGA GEEK!"
                     c) If you answered yes to two or more of the above questions, and one of them is #9, you are a "YOGA GEEK"and a "STAR WARS DORK".  
These unbelievably funny pics are from the website You will not believe us 

peace and love, fellow geeks. May the force be with you.
 

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Awareness and action

 Many people know about what is happening to the dolphins in Taiji Japan, and many people do not. For those of you who do not, please watch this video. It is brutally difficult to watch and heartbreaking. Awareness however, is power.


What we can we do......
write to our leaders about this attrocity
calculate your mercury
Learn more about dolphins in captivity
Help Save Japans Dolphins on the frontlines
Stop buying Japanese products

Take your awareness Off the mat and into the world....

Awareness is power. We have the power to make a change in the world. DO....that is all it takes. ACT with your heart, with your love. SEE with clarity what you want the world to be. NO act is too small. SPREAD the awareness to others...help them see that they have the power too!

 Om Shanti dear friends!
(and thank you to my sweet sister Melissa who is always helps me see more clearly)

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Second Chakra....be here now!


So this week we worked on our second chakra in class- a chakra of letting go...being in the moment, enjoying our bodies and all the physical pleasures of life...taste, smell, touch. Read more about the second chakra here....   Since I was so busy this week "being here now" I didn't have a chance to really compose my thoughts about the second chakra in blog form (sorry). I am getting ready for the third chakra this coming week- the chakra that is our "storage battery for personal power".  Here however, are some wonderful postures you can use to continue to your exploration of your second chakra (not a bad thing to do right before valentine's day!)
Upavistha Konasana
Gumukhasana
Baddha Konasana

Thursday, February 4, 2010

New song obsession

If you have been in any of my second chakra classes this week... we ended with an amazing chocolate meditation- this is the song I was playing. I just found out it was on a tv show. Sigh, I thought I had discovered this great original thing- oh well....I still adore it.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

First Chakra...root it down


So I have been working in classes and in my own practice on the first Chakra....The root chakra, the base, the origins of US. This is the chakra that holds us up and stabilizes us. This chakra taps into our feelings of needing to belong to a tribe (ie, family, community etc...). However, if we do not root down in the essence of ourselves first, feeling that stability and comfort from inside- we will look to our tribe to provide all of the groundedness in our lives. If the tribe becomes unstable, so do we. I think of it like this- if a tree cannot send it's roots down deep into the earth instead sending them out on the surface, with the first hard rain the tree will come crashing down. If however the tree sends roots down deep, the roots it spreads out closer the surface will make it stronger. If those surface roots are ever compromised the tree will remain standing. We are like that tree....if we find strength and power inside of us first- when a lover leaves, a family is compromised, a friend is sick, a parent is emotionally unavailable etc....we are still standing. Sad, challenged, angry, frustrated- perhaps. Rocked to the point that we can not function and shut down? No.
So breathe, dig deep.....root down.
Next week the second Chakra- we are working our way up the entire chakra system!


Asanas for the first Chakra
Warrior 1
Warrior 2
Extended Triangle
Garland Pose
Noose Pose

 

Friday, January 22, 2010

Friday Feelings (Just Breathe)

A dear yogi I know once told me that "The joy and pain in life is like peanut butter and jelly. They just go together." Simple....sweet...true.

I adore this song by Pearl Jam- it to me has all the feelings I get when I eat a peanut butter and jelly...sometimes a little sticky and hard to swallow, but sweet and gooey all at the same time.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Yoga? (Random Thursday musings)


Yesterday I wore my sandals to work. See, I have pictures to prove it....
Woke up, looked at my boots and thought "NO." That was really the only logic I have for that (well, I guess that is not logic, more than it is a declarative 1 word statemtent). It only got to 38 degrees, and I didn't care. People looked at me like I was crazy.... didn't care. It just felt so good to able to see and wiggle my toes. Reminded me that spring really will be here....someday. I think I will start wearing my sandals in winter on a regular basis.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Poetry Mondays

Ahhhhh- Already Poetry Monday? This is a poem by Pablo Neruda, an amazing poet and one of my favorites and also the favorite of a dear friend of mine. I hope you enjoy....his words paint the most lovely (and sometimes heartbreaking) pictures....

And Because Love Battles
And because love battles
not only in its burning agricultures
but also in the mouth of men and women,
I will finish off by taking the path away
to those who between my chest and your fragrance
want to interpose their obscure plant.

About me, nothing worse
they will tell you, my love,
than what I told you.

I lived in the prairies
before I got to know you
and I did not wait love but I was
laying in wait for and I jumped on the rose.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Mark Whitwell? Yup, you pretty much rock.



Mark Whitwell- a constant source of inspiration in my life both on and off the mat. I would love to follow up this video with something completely brilliant but er....it's Mark Whitwell- can't follow that.


Thank you to all of you who came to the class on Saturday to support the relief efforts in Haiti. To those who couldn't make it- your support and love was felt though you weren't there in the studio. We will be having more fundraiser yoga classes for Haiti in the upcoming weeks and months. They will need our support more than ever in a few months when the world at large has moved on. Don't worry dear Haitian brothers and sisters, we will help hold you up when you need it the most. We are strong.

Love love love to you all!

Now you can know where I spend  a lot of my life if not on my mat....
(yep-behind my computer screen)

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Thoughts on love in a time of great sorrow....




Every blade of grass has an angel that bends over it and whispers,  "Grow, grow".
-The Talmud


The past few days have been heavy, hard. It's almost as if the collective cries of all of our brothers and sisters in Haiti have gathered in waves and moved across the ocean, washing over me continuously...until I feel completely pulled under. Of course that question that can't be answered or needs to be answered keeps running through my head...WHY?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Have a Little Faith ( in me).... (I'll have a LOT of faith in you:)

I love this song....Michael Franti and Spearhead...speaking love and truth!
(I hope this song lifts you up if you need it today)
Shanti-


Have a Little Faith  click on title to  listen to song




Monday, January 11, 2010

Poetry Mondays

Sigh....Mondays...can be uninspiring to say the least. I think that I will post my favorite poems every Monday- a tad bit of inspiration on a day that can be er....challenging.
Tonight I think I will work on heart openers in my fundamentals class.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Angry Vegetarian

Okay- I admit it...sometimes I want to eat meat. I mean really want to eat meat. I don't want the taste, really....that's not it. Something in my cells seems to be screaming out for it...almost primal. I don't eat it though, and I am left with that longing...the craving...and I'm HUNGRY-and being hungry all the time really makes me feel angry. Hence...THE ANGRY VEGETARIAN.

Friday, January 8, 2010

gratitude


Yesterday I had a lot to work out on my mat...A LOT to work out. When I woke up my first thought was"Ugh- I don't have it in me to teach....not today. Too much." I moved through my usual morning routines in a haze...get dressed, get Alden dressed, unload the dishwasher, pack lunch, make breakfast, feed dog, start car.... at 8:40 I found myself at the studio- my sweet Shambhala- welcoming as always. This morning though I didn't feel my usual Christmas morning thrill when I walked in and smelled the familiar, sweet smell of incense. The exhaustion was mounting "Oh I can't do this today...any day but today- maybe no one will come and I can practice a bit and go home.... Hide." Of course though as usual the universe had other plans, and people came.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

First time is the hardest?

So friends have been asking me to start a blog for what seems like forever....I have had a million VERY good reasons (I know watching reruns of Top Chef counts as a reason) not to do one. But I have been inspired by a few very cool ladies to just do it allready....so here I am. Yup....here I am...with my keyboard in front of me- waiting for pithy brilliance to trip out of my brain and onto the keyboard...First time is the hardest- right?
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