I had a friend once say to me once, “When you’re going through hell... keep going!”
It makes total sense… I mean, why would anyone linger in a hot, troll infested swamp lurking in every corner to jump out and eat you alive (If you didn’t get that reference: The Princess Bride, tonight, you need to catch up on your cult classics!)
What is the center of your life?
In yoga we have a practice called the Uddiyana bandha. It’s the engagement of the core area, sometimes called “The flying up lock.” To engage Uddiyana bandha you draw the navel center inward and upward on the exhale. You can practice this all throughout the asana practice, and let it go in the end during meditation and savasana.
Cleaning the Unconscious
Yogi’s, this month our theme is power forgiving. I mean it like I mean sit and sweat in utkatasana for fifteen breaths, because this is not easy, and don’t I know it. This kind of forgiveness isn’t the floppy, hippy, one-love forgiveness that makes you feel weak like you just got walked all over like a doormat in the name of being spiritually enlightened. This is the forgiveness that takes all the wrong you feel in how things went and recycles the hell out of it. It’s a heat filled churning, burning process that alchemizes the hurt, the anger, the feelings of betrayal, and shines them into exquisite diamonds. Diamonds that are strong, powerful and radiate light.
How to get through "Hard". Yoga’s Answer: From the many to One.
We have different allocations to how and when to clean things. It’s probably pretty rare that you leave the house without having showered or brushed your teeth. But it could have been a couple of weeks since you swiffered under that bed. And you know the dust bunnies are getting busy under there. ;)
So what’s your cleaning schedule for your mind?...
Life Principle Mantras
Hard is hard because it’s complex. There’s no getting around the massive amount of process around getting through something hard. It’s hard because its big and has so many moving parts, we struggle to hold the whole weight of it in our hands at one time.
But hard is the very thing that yoga aims to get us through. How does it do this? By bringing the many into one. No matter how complicated something is, it has one through line, it has one thread, and can be gotten through one breath at a time.
Staying Open Minded to Big Leaps
Mantras are a form of meditation practice in which one chants the same phrase over and over again. The words or phrases are of a high spiritual vibration. This practice steadies the mind, giving the person space to breath, and look past all the “vrittis,” which is yoga’s way of saying junk, worries, anxieties, memories etc. Once these are out of the way, the practitioner can begin to know their true Self.
I think Big Leaps come easy and are fun when we are young (teenage/early twenties). A lot of big leaps are happening naturally, and are even expected from young people(choosing career, moving out of the parents’ place, going to college in a new town, traveling,trying new things, hobbies, sports). I had my probably biggest leap when I moved to US when I was 19, all by myself. I didn’t think much of it, enjoyed my life and took one day at a time. I never even considered it to be The Biggest Leap of my life until people who heard my story were making comments on how brave that was.
The Big Leap! Hanumanasana
Hanumanasana is a very beautiful yet intimidating pose that I find myself rarely attempting. It is one of those poses I put in the "I could do that when I was little" category, as if I now have completely different hamstrings that won't budge now that I am twenty-five. However, because of a consistent yoga practice, I am currently flexible, so I have been attempting more since the announcement of this theme. And I am much closer than I thought!
Halloween! The Fear Factor
...powering through all the circumstance that seems to clog the way forward. We simply fly over all the doubt, and the complex landscape of many moving parts that make decision making, and big actions hard. The way forward becomes clear as you take the leap itself, and are already in the air stretching yourself beyond what you thought were your limits. You’ll be letting go of fear and elongating your stride to it’s absolute maximum capacity. It is cathartic, cleansing, and the results manifest in your life as well as your inner constitution.
Passion and Patience (October 2017 Theme)
Halloween is a time where we have fun with fear! We actively seek out ways to scare ourselves, and indulge in images of death, which is supposedly our greatest fear. It’s said in the pagan wisdom that fall is the time when the portal between the worlds of the living and the spirits is the most open. This openness can play on our anxiety of the unknown, but with a playful willingness to entertain the mystery of life and beyond we can build boldness in living in the here and now...
The Neurological Magic That Happens When We Slow Down
Lately, I’ve been recognizing my tendency to thrive in a state of passion, and get a little depressed when I’m confronted with the time for patience. Driven for my creative endeavors and deeply searching for love, I launch into projects with complete focus and high drive intensity, and then become depleted and sad when they are finished, subside, or seems stalled in some way. I’ve realized I need to develop a taste for the interludes where I might have less control or direct effect, but instead I can wait for the earth to respond to seeds I’ve planted. Sitting in the waiting room of your dreams, may seem passive. But if patience is a counter to falling into a state of disappointed drudgery, then it becomes the stealth secret force beneath the ocean tide that’s always moving all of us in the right direction.
Ascending the Summit
A few weeks ago, an old knee injury started acting up again. I was in a great deal of pain.
The only way I could avoid aggravating it was by not going anywhere (not an option), or walking really really slowly. Slower than a senior citizen living in Alabama on the hottest day of the year. Yeah, that slow.
You can imagine what an odd thing it was to slow down that much. As a New Yorker, I was careful to move out of the way of the typical Ferrari-paced person as they revved up behind me and needed to pass.
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Communication - The Throat Chakra
One day when I was rock climbing, I found my way to a large ledge just a few yards from the top.
I tried to get over it or around it for several minutes. Finally, exhausted, I yelled down to my belay partner “Coming down!”
He said, “Nah, you’re almost there!”
“Yes,” I said, “but I can’t get past it, and I’m exhausted and just done.” I said this in complete satisfaction of the height I’d reached, it being the highest I’d reached yet. As a yogi, I lack a competitive nature. Well, actually, I was born that way—there’s not a competitive bone in my body, not even with myself.
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The Throat Chakra
The fifth chakra is our seat of communication. The reason the quality of our voice is the best way to know our practice is progressing, is because the fifth chakra is the last and highest of the chakras that manifest on a physical plane. All the work we do to balance ourselves out from the first chakra on up will be reflected on the top level. Just as a top blanket will be only as smooth as the sheets and other blankets beneath it. When the top is smooth, we know the under layers are smooth as well.
Bhav, or Bhaaaaav means just like how it sounds, a delicious yogic mood. It’s the quality of living in a divine state. We often think of our mood as something we have little control over. Like the weather, we are subject to the things around us, what happens to us, how much sleep we get, hormonal fluctuations and well, yes, the weather itself.
Three Poses for INNER STRENGTH
From “Should” to “sweet desire…”
Most of us have no problem indulging in things. Come on… What’s your vice? Mid-afternoon latte? After dinner chocolate? Happy hour drink? Yet, what people often report to me about their yoga or meditation practice is that they “should be better about it.” I try as best I can to shift the mindset from “should” to one of sweet desire
Inner Strength (June Theme)
I've been on this one diet for over 10 years, and it's kept my body hot, sexy, and fabulous. I regularly get mistaken for between 5-15 years younger than I am. My diet has nothing to do with carbs or fats. This one key ingredient will surprise and inspire you.
Inner strength grows when you start to believe whole heartedly that absolutely no one or nothing has the power over your happiness but you.
When life feels off balance in some way, it's natural to look at our external circumstances and check to see if any change needs to be made. While it's true, making changes to our external lives can reflect intuitive direction toward continued growth, what happens when you've tried all the changes you could, externally, and something just still feels wrong?
"My research revealed that lucky people generate
their own good fortune via four basic principles.
They are skilled at creating and noticing chance opportunities,
make lucky decisions by listening to
their intuition, create self-fulfilling prophesies via
positive expectations, and adopt a resilient attitude
that transforms bad luck into good.
I remember resisting gps navigation when first came out. I was used to taking a moment to looking at a map before I started my route, capturing a picture of it in my mind, plotting the turns and imagining the intersections. Giving myself a "feeling" of how long certain portions of the drive would be, and what landmarks to look out for that would precede turns.
With gps, an external guide, there was something that felt strange about not carrying the bigger picture in my head.