Posts tagged yoga philosophy
The Neurological Magic That Happens When We Slow Down

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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Ascending the Summit

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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Intuition

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.

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September Theme: Trust

Each time I think of trust, I end up traveling inward. One of the greatest gifts that my practice of yoga has given to me, is to find trust within myself, both on and off the mat. It took me many years of practice, with many wonderful teachers who repeatedly expressed this idea to me in a variety of ways, but for so long it didn't sink it. I seemed to unconsciously fight against the concept that nobody else knows me like I do. 
 

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August Theme: Slow

Okay, New Yorkers, admit it: yogi or not, we’ve all had evil thoughts about that unwitting tourist we end up walking behind down the subway stairs. Even if you’re not running to get somewhere on time, New York trains you to have a certain gait that outpaces most all other people on the planet. Yeah, we live in that city.  What’s cool about it is we get more done in a minute than many do in an hour, but that speed catches up with you when you get to the end of your day and you can’t slow down or shut down. So we come to yoga and meditation to balance it all out.

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Transitions

It's so easy to get wrapped up in our next step that we forget to enjoy the moment of taking that step. For me, my morning commute is a perfect example. I jump on the train, and all I am thinking about is getting to work. It's almost as if my mind is already at work and I'm just waiting for my body to arrive to join. I am not present in this moment.

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July Theme: Transitions

This month we are focused on the “In between space.” The little moments in between the glorious ones.  You might be going along in your practice focused on the postures themselves. You might focus on alignment, sensation, breath, and meditation while in the posture itself, but are you able to carry that through the transitions? Now, we’ll take our practice to the next level where we put energy into maintaining that meditative mind, qualitative breath and smooth body motion in the little moments between.

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February's Theme: Share and Receive

This month I invite you to deepen your participation in the dance of sharing and receiving. Whether you feel you are in a state where you need to reach out for support, or just in a place of quiet reflection. Open your mouth and talk on a very real level about what's up for you. Be willing to receive the wealth of care that is available through your fellow stumbling, flying, humble humans.

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Listen


It's been amazing to me as I've been practicing quieting down my mind just how much it's filled with. I thought it would just be the day to day, what I had to do later, that my leggings were too small for me, was I sitting too close to the person next to me. When I close my eyes and center before class, it's so much deeper. They are sounds have been filling myself with my whole life.

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Making Peace with the Past

The 'making peace with the past' theme could not have come at a more perfect, but also more difficult time for me. December 26th of 2015 marked 10 years since my best friend- my dad, had left my life and his physical body. I spent the entire month of December mentally and emotionally preparing myself for this day, somehow thinking that if I thought about it enough I would be able to control how I felt. But what I realized as that day came and passed, was that I have made peace with this past, and that I don't need to control whatever that feels like.

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September Theme: Dissolve

The world broke me and broke me open. There came this moment when all of my efforts of control and decisions were worthless. There was nothing I could do, nothing I could plan. No decision I could make. Lying in a clouded haze, disoriented and drained, I gave my life in this moment to only love. All at once, I gave up, gave in, and gave over. In a leap of full faith, I handed over control to that great sound wave that prevails in all of us. The One. The one pulse that moves us all. It is the most sacred holy thing that was once called God, but now has no name. I cannot explain it, but it is all of us. It is everything. Absorbed in love's ever burning purity. There is nothing I can do, but dissolve into you. 
 

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Vinyasa

Vinyasa links our breath to movement one doesn't not exist without the other they move side by side, intertwined. As we move with intent our minds start to settle, we tune in to our breath we create our own rhythm, we are present. Each breath peels away our past, thoughts, experiences, and the many roles we have to play to be part of this world. When the layers start to dissolve the light of our true nature starts to shine through. 
 

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August Theme - Vinyasa

Last month's theme “Who’s driving this thing?” really got me thinking about our movements through life and the connecting moments from place to place, person to person, role to role. In my life I'm a friend, yoga teacher, daughter, business owner… I'm in Brooklyn, Manhattan, traveling to teach places like Thailand and Costa Rica, trying to create a second home in Colorado.  All at once I'm in the past, present and future, I'm being here now, and laying seeds for being in places far away and in the future, as well as being in relationships with people some of whom I have not yet met, and some of whom don't even yet exist.
 

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"For the longest time fear was driving my life"

For the longest time fear was driving my life, primarily fear of the unknown and failure. I worked very hard to line everything up the way I thought it should be in order to live a secure and successful life. As the years went and my financial security grew, my fear didn't subside, instead, I began to fear that I would be stuck in a job and a life that didn't make me happy, that didn't excite me, that made me dread the beginning of the week. I didn't know how to get out of this world that I had created for myself, a world that I thought I truly wanted.

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"When I call to my mind the temple, I call to my mind the feelings..."

Every Sunday morning, even when we slept late at the sleepover the night before. Dad always woke us up in time to pray at our mandir (temple) in the bedroom. To this day my best friends and I remember it like it was yesterday.

My religion is my culture, in the essence of my being. Ask me to explain it and I struggle to find the words to describe the feelings.

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