Posts

Showing posts from August, 2014

The Land of Not Enough

Image
Have you ever felt like you lived in the "Land of Not Enough?"
I believe that people sometimes portray that message to us either on purpose or out of their own self importance. "Not enough this and not enough that...;" where you imagine that no matter how hard you try; you just never quite measure up. When I read this excerpt from Elephant Journal today, I thought, "Yes, I am enough."

"Today in yoga, standing splits came easier on the right side.
Today in yoga, I fell out of warrior-three… several times.
Today in yoga, I skipped vinyasas and went straight to downward-facing dog.
Today in yoga, I skipped vinyasas and took child’s pose.
Today in yoga, I modified downward-dog with dolphin, when my wrist hurt.
Today in yoga, I wiped sweat off the bridge of my nose, with my pants leg.
Today in yoga, my arms felt tired and strong at the same time.
Today in yoga, I kept breathing.
Today in yoga, I transitioned from warrior-three to half-moon.
Today in yoga, I chuckl…

In Loving Silence - Meditation Benefits

Image
Every morning at Kripalu, we arrived to practice yoga at 6:20 because the Sadhana or class began at 6:30 a.m.  The room was totally silent, and the lights were low.  The weather in the Berkshire Mountains of Massachusetts is cool, and we often dressed in layers because of it.  The moment we walked in the outer area, we removed our shoes, turned off our cell phones, and quietly placed our mats on the floor with any props necessary.  The teacher was usually already in place, meditating, and the whole area seemed filled with this beauty of peace.

The early morning classes were my favorite time.  Our teacher would guide us through our meditation, our breath practice, and start our movement phase.  There was this gentle hush throughout the room, and yet, it was friendly and compassionate.  After class was over at 8:00 a.m., I took a vow of silence and wore my badge "In Loving Silence" as I moved towards the breakfast area.  55 people were in this dim lit room plus the teacher an…

"Don't Sh....t On Yourself." (Oh, the last full day at Kripalu and the things I have learned.)

Image
This is the last day of my first module of training at Kripalu Institute.  I have met so many wonderful people, have grown by leaps and bounds in my practice, learned more than I ever thought I could, and felt some important life moments were achieved here. Here are my reflections: The first day I at Kripalu Institute I was mainly silent and became a people watcher.  I went to meditation classes, yoga practices, and our initial meeting.  I ate by myself.  I tried to get used to dorm living (it has been a long time since OSU).  I smiled a lot, but I kept to myself.The second day we were assigned to small groups of four (there are 55 of us in my module of training), and the ladies in my quad asked me to eat with them on the lawn for dinner.  I asked a lot of questions especially to the ones who had been here previously or were trained here for the 200 hr RYT.  But, I must admit, I made a poor judgment call; and in our conversation I voiced a critical remark about someone."Sorry,&qu…
Image
I love teaching.  In fact, I felt called to a be a teacher as a young girl at church camp.  There is this passion or flame in my soul to share knowledge, wisdom, and instruction with others, and I believe it is my dharma, God's path for my life.  As an elementary teacher, principal, or adjunct professor, I sensed it and lived it.  On the yoga mat, I feel as if I have come home to my place of harmony and peace as I begin a class.  No matter how many classes each week I teach, I study, I prepare, I memorize in my head how to present it with just the right frame for the students to receive.  It is my gift that comes from my soul and spirit, but it is acted out through my body.
Our teacher yesterday gave us her interpretation of teaching.  It resonated with my soul.  She called it the Seven Stages of Yoga Instruction. UpadeshaPreparation of the instructionIntroduction to the class of the theme for the practiceDiksaInitiation on the yoga mat, like the settling in for receivingMeditation…

Journey on and Release the Destination; There Is None. We Are Building!

Image
Yesterday, in class, one of my fellow students asked the teacher, "What do you think about death?" Our classroom became suddenly silent. This statement had become very real to my teacher due to his wife's recent passing.  He simply said, "I don't know."  There was more discussion about different belief systems, and I listened very intuitively and quietly.

I have thought about the whole scenario all night and this morning.  I feel very peaceful about death.  In my personal spiritual walk, I believe that there is a passing into a better, more excellent place.  I call it Heaven.  I know that once I arrive, all of my questions will be answered, and I will know as I have never known before. This life is a journey with no destination in sight.  I feel content knowing that I am journeying towards the Light, and that when I pass on, I will be happier, more complete, and see the face of my Savior.

Difficult yoga postures, problems sitting still in meditation, issues w…

"I Am the Sky, But I Don't Control the Weather."

Image
If I am the sky, why can't I control the weather?  That's just it!  I am not in control.  In fact, it feels like a relief in the very depths of my heart.  The "letting go" and the "holding on" create weather.  When I let go of those feelings, emotions, monkey mindedness, my sky looks blue with a few puffy clouds as if you could see forever.  When I hold onto the thoughts of controlling, competing, comparing, and coveting, my weather becomes quite stormy, my sky becomes dark with angry, rolling thunderheads.

When I practice back bending postures in yoga, my sky does not look so blue and happy.  In fact, it can appear pretty stormy.  However, I have friends who find back bending to be simply lovely.  You can see my beautiful friend and co-teacher at Tranquility, Sheri, below.

Yesterday in class, we had to think of our most difficult pose and practice with a new friend.  My beautiful new friend Rhomdoul (from Cambodia) has the most elegant nature and the kind…

Who's Got the Time?

Image
Are you stressed?  Do you sometimes have days where you don't drink enough water?  How are you sleeping?  What is your organic vegetables and fresh fruit intake look like?  Would you consider yourself - very active physically, somewhat, or have a sedentary lifestyle?  If you do exercise, compare your stretch time to your cardio time.  How is that working for you?

If you struggle with one or more of the above indicators, your myo-fascial lines will feel like and look like "GLUE."   Yes, you know the kind we used in elementary school -- pasty, white, and sticky.  Here is what is so interesting about this anatomical information.  It will affect everything you do.  Every move you make.  Every breath you breathe.  Every waking hour.  Even your sleep quality.

I know.  I have heard it so many times.  You don't have the time to exercise, do yoga, and stretch properly for the length of time it takes to create a difference.  John, in class yesterday, sarcastically said, "…

The Edge....What It Can Do for You!

Image
Many people find the edge in arm balancing!
Other people find their edge in revolved standing postures. Standing balances are often another edge that people find themselves in during yoga.
I found my "edge" yesterday.   Believe it or not, it was in a lunge. (Now my friend, Mark Owens, would be so surprised because he thinks that I teach only lunges while he is in class.) Frankly, I don't remember how many lunges (also called Warrior I here at Kripalu) we had done, I don't remember what time it was in the afternoon, but what I do remember is the voice that came up inside of my head.  It was not friendly.  It was not kind.  It was not very "yoga-like."  It sounded something like this... You are not good. You are not flexible. You cannot balance. You think you are a teacher. You are too old. You cannot do this pose. Your knee hurts. Your body aches. You are a failure. You are overweight. You are embarrassing. You are a curse. These are things that have been said to me or that I…

Saturday, August 9th, First Full Day of Classes - Learning How to Meditate More!

Image
I like to meditate.  Now, I even enjoy it more!  Meditation, or the cultivation of stillness, has become something that I do frequently throughout the day.  Yesterday, at Kripalu, I learned that there are basically two types of seated meditation, Yanta, where your mind makes this loop, and Mantra meditation where you only focus on one word or phrase.

Mantra meditation is what I am accustomed to incorporating into my day.  I start off with an intention and create my word or phrase, "Peace in, calm out."  Often, I tap with my mantra, "Comforter, Counselor, Helper, Advocate, Intercessor, Strengthener, Standby, Spirit of Truth."  I must admit that counting does not work for me.  My mind thinks, "One."  Then, it strays to One something, like one banana or one more thing to do.  "Two."  Two more people to call.  "Three."  Three is the number of my Jennifer, Jay, and Jeff.  As you can see, my mind is fascinated by numbers and their associatio…

Never Too Old or Too Young to Dream Big Dreams!

Image
"Someone's got to dream the big dreams. Why shouldn't it be you?" "The world needs those gorgeous ideas brewing in your mind, or who else will make them happen? The world needs all of that passion that goes along with the burning desire in your heart to make things better and to fix what is wrong, or who else is going to do it? And, honey, all of those hard things you are learning, those lessons, those trials, ALL OF THEM, those are the things that will bring the wisdom and the experience that is so needed in the world. Because, if not YOU, who else will have it?

In case you are wondering...let me remind you that you're qualified, you're deserving, you have a 'right' to be the one with the huge dreams or the beautiful wisdom. YOU.

Get ready, sister. There are big things planned for you. Keep dreaming, keep fixing, keep helping, keep learning, keep sharing."
Brave Girls Club
I begin my training today at Kripalu Institute.  So many people have aske…