Tuesday, June 6, 2017

From My Hand to Gods Eye? Or Gods Eye to My Hand?

Hand-eye coordination. It's connection. Connecting insides to outsides. The eye sees something and then the hand moves through time and space to connect with it. My internal connects with the external.

Which is another way of connecting the physical and the non-physical. Or matter and spirit. Or little s self to Big S Self. Or personality to the divine. It's another way we bridge.

So let's play ball! However that looks. And whether it's my eye to God's hand, or God's eye to my hand is probably a chicken/egg thing, or me just trying to squeeze yet another metaphor from a colloquialism.  The desire to connect is everywhere.  Just sayin...

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Safety in Numbers?

Really? I don't know.

But this I do know. Yoga isn't about safety. Yoga is about transformation, and from where I sit, that may not always feel safe. It may not even be safe.

Starting from the poses themselves, the asanas:

You are basically putting your body into positions that are unfamiliar. That may not feel safe, and for some, there are poses that aren't safe for a particular body. This whole discussion started last week in class when I asked the class to do a variation of rotated triangle pose that involved a bent knee. A student asked me if the pose was safe for the knees and suggested turning the foot out instead of tracking in parallel. That's when I dropped the bomb:

"Yoga isn't about safety. It's about transformation."  I went on to say (paraphrased and elaborated on):

"There is nothing inherently wrong with what I'm asking you and your body to do in this position. The knee is fully capable of doing this movement, and it often occurs in daily life. The bones of the knee joint are rounded, and the soft tissue allows this squishy flexion. It's what makes us human, organic, instead of metallic or wooden, robot-like. That being said, if a person has "knee issues" or an injury, there are some things that may aggravate that issue/injury, and if that's the case, I encourage every person to modify based on your own body limitations. Focus on what you CAN do, not what you can't, and do that. It's ok with me. When I instruct a public class, I'm assuming "normal, healthy" joints, bodies, minds. If you've got an injury, take care of it. It's not my job to keep you safe. It's my job to present opportunities for growth, and if part of that growing is observing that the teacher is giving a pose that doesn't feel "safe" or "healthy" for my body, then what does the student do about it? Do they do it anyway? If so, why? To check in with their healing process? Am we there yet? Can I, the student, do this pose without damaging myself? Or is it to please the teacher? To not be different? To not draw attention to myself, the student? That in and of itself is a huge opportunity for growth, to see what you do with that information. You chose to ask me about it. Great question. And this answer can be applied to any pose, any class, even in your everyday life. Is someone asking you to do something that is in your capability? Something you can do without damaging yourself? And how do I (the student) feel about working on it? Am I ok with not "nailing it" right away? It goes back to the breath that's right for you. Knowing what's right for you. Knowing You. That is the yoga. Getting to know yourself - that is the tapas, the transformation."

It's not my job as a teacher to keep you safe. It's your job to figure it out. Yoga teachers are not doctors or physical therapists. Some have more expertise and experience than others in certain areas, and that will become evident to the student with continued study and practice. Practice that isn't all about just following directions. Most of us have plenty of practice with that already. Safety in numbers? Following directions to keep us "safe?" Yes, when exiting a flaming building, absolutely. Unless you are at the back of the line. I digress of course. Not following my own directions is part of my charm.  :-)

But wait, there's more! What's "safe" in meditation? Looking at your own mind? Who ever said that was a good idea???

Transformation isn't always pretty. Have you ever re-modeled anything? People try yoga for many reasons: curiosity, FOMO, or pain, be it physical, mental, emotional, spiritual.

If you want to stay safe, stay home. Bunker yourself in. Let me know if it actually keeps you safe. And then the question is, safe from what? And getting back to safety in numbers, how many people do you feel safe with at home? But that, my friends, is another story...

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Is More Better?

Is it best to always do the max? Is it best to go for the most? To always push your capacity? There is a big value system out there that if we are doing more, we are less than. So is always doing more the best for us?

What about eating? If I eat the most that I can at every meal, I'd feel gross. So maybe there are times when leaving some room in there, some space, might feel better, whether it be food, yoga, work, play etc...How much is enough? How much is too much? How much is not enough?  You know it's right when you feel a sense of ease and flow, no matter what it looks like on the outside. 

Monday, February 13, 2017

February - month of love


Did I love myself today? Newsletter excerpt - blogworthy I think:
It's February. Valentine's Day is upon us. I just want to remind you of that cornerstone teaching of self love- the unconditional kind. How can I love myself a little more today? How can I acknowledge those acts/decisions/thoughts that have come from a place of love, no matter who dished it out, what it looked like, and where it happened? Am I willing to appreciate my existence as a vital part of creation?

So this Valentine's week, here are some ways to give yourself the gift of self love.

1) Hydrate yourself and become more willing. Tell your water you love it and that you are willing to receive love from it.
2) Nourish yourself and replenish. Look at your food as divine, and love it before you eat it. Are you willing to become One with it?
3) Bathe and detoxify. Let the water change your electromagnetic field to help you shift your attitude, and to clean off any physical, mental, emotional, psychic residue that you may have picked up.
4) Breathe. Find the breath that's right for you. Not too fast, not too slow. Just the right amount at just the right tempo. Let that help you find a little more present moment.
5) Breathe. If you're feeling overwhelmed or crowded, try lengthening your exhale, or chant or sing, or just let out a few big sighs. If you're feeling apathetic or lethargic, inhale - pause the breath and feel the light, the nourishment, the act of breathing as an act of self love, then exhale releasing heaviness into the planet (the Earth is fine with heaviness).

And if you need more support, clarification, or repetition on practices around self love, book a privatecome to class, and/or check out some of these upcoming events! And even if you've taken them before, remember "repetition, repetition, repetition." They are never the same because we are never the same. 
 Do I love myself a little more after doing ___________________?

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Groundhog Day

6 weeks more of winter or an early spring? Does Phil the Groundhog see his shadow? Why does seeing his shadow, "scare him" and send him back into the hole? What if we consider that seeing our shadows as a sign of being willing to acknowledge the presence of light? For without light, there is no shadow.
And what is seeing our shadow? #gettinghonestfaster

just sayin....


So bring on the seasons. Whenever. 

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Loopholes

It seems like many of us love to find loopholes. Some of us actually make it our business. The more loopholes, the better. The more loopholes, the more we can get away with.

Have we thought that as we strengthen the consciousness around loopholes, we may be weakening the fabric of that which contains the hole? Kind of like a hole in a sweater that keeps getting bigger and bigger. At what point do we no longer have a sweater we can wear? And if we don't respect the sweater in the first place, then why not get honest faster and find another one instead of slowly ripping the old one? Unless poking holes is a bubble-wrap thing. Then I get it. It's just for fun. And I'm not saying 'No" to holes. I like my sweaters to have some holes. Then the sweater is breathable. But I still want them to be able to keep me warm.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

This isn't helping

In response to yesterday's blog about everything being fake news, I got a message from a person who I respect. This person said, "This isn't helping. Please never forward any of these to me again on this service."

"This isn't helping."

Wow.

What IS helping? I honestly don't have the answers.

What I know:
If you feed the beast, it will grow.
What beast do we want to feed?

I don't have answers, but I have questions:
By not feeding the beast, will it die and go away?
By choosing a side, are we helping?

I'm not really an expert on much. I'm just a person working it out here on planet paradise with everyone else. Tell me what will help. Is there a universal salve that will help?

I've thought about this, and in the current climate, I will most likely continue to explore the parts of me that are marching, polarizing, separating. The parts of me that don't want to hear what the other side is saying. The parts of me that want it to be my way or the highway. The parts of me that just want things to be easy "again." Whatever that means in the present. Cuz from where I sit now, there's not a lot of present moment in any of those statements.

So what helps? I don't know if I have a universal answer. Clearly, as pointed out to me by my friend. What I choose to do is keep testing the teachings and see how they hold up. Keep testing the teachings and see how I hold up. Testing, not because I want to find fault, but because I seek Truth. Truth that is not about politics, opinions, circumstances. Truth that is timeless. As Pandit Rajmani Tigunait of the Himalayan Institute says (paraphrasing), "History and politics rise and fall. Focus on the teachings that are timeless." (he said it way more eloquently than that paraphrase).

So no matter what side I find myself on, I'm still moving towards the center. And doing what I need to do in the present so I don't wake up with regret. So onward we march, hopefully listening to our internal Beat. Our internal Voice of Truth. And if we can't hear it, we keep marching until we can.

And person I respect, if you get this, no disrespect intended. Thank you for your response. It actually did help. And feel free to block me or delete me from Google+.