UNITY…and finding my words

September 13, 2010

This morning I woke up and read a beautiful chapter on Connectedness in Judith Lasater’s “Living Your Yoga”. I decided to make my mantra today, “I am focusing on how we are connected, not how we are separate”. This is something else I am working on. I don’t want to focus on what separates me from others, I want to pour out acceptance and create unity with all those around me. I know I am very sensitive when I feel ignored, judged, and pushed to the side because I don’t fit in, or don’t say the right things, and I want to make it my intention to NEVER do this to others. I want to make others feel connected to me Even if it’s with a warm smile, or the acknowledgment that they are in the room.

I posted this video for two reasons. One because I just love this song, and every time I hear it on my iPod in the morning, it just starts my day off right. And the second reason is because this video is so real. I love how Matisyahu forgets the lyrics and is just so there, in that moment, in front of all those people, and just has the space to be himself, without his words. I have these moments too often, it seems, and I want to feel that peace when I can’t find my words, and have confidence that it’s o.k., I will find them even if I have to hum a little.

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Being able to let go…

September 13, 2010

Being able to let go

Granting myself the space to grow

To accept the things I cannot change

Realizing there’s no time restraint during this stage

Not needing to scream at myself in order to feel

Creating a song instead of a squeal

Dwelling on what’s real instead of the made-up drama

Showing more love and making that my mantra

Surrender to the higher knowing that I am o.k.

Letting go of tomorrow and being in the moment, today

The Work

September 9, 2010

Ever since the Chakra workshop almost a month ago, I have had all these happenings surrounding my Root Chakra. I’ve been going through a lot internally that I have a hard time explaining, and this weekend I came into contact with a few people including one amazing woman while I was hanging out with my friends from Alma Desnuda. The woman’s name is Denise, and she was giving body work to my four amazing friends in the middle of McKinley park on Saturday after they played a concert for yogis. They were all talking about this Cranial-Sacral type of work she’s been giving them.  I was immediately drawn to it since it had something to do with the sacrum-root chakra. After she worked for about 5 hours, giving each one a massage along with this special body work, she still had the energy to come hang out at my pool with everyone including her 3 kids and husband-talk about an energetic woman. We got to talk a little about my experiences in the past few weeks, in addition to the yoga training, and she asked me if she could work on me. Now, I recognize this part of me that felt like I couldn’t accept this as a gift, but she insisted and I felt a push from the universe to accept her offer. I was so excited. She came over to my house and simply laid her hands on certain places on my body for an hour. I felt tingles, heat, wrapped up in a magical blanket, and pressure on places she wasn’t even touching. It was very real. Afterwards we talked about my experience and then about hers.  She said that the right energy side of me is dominant, and that it completely takes over in a masculine way(that’s not good, and I see how that is true-I am very creative, sensitive and emotional, but my logical side is lacking a lot). She said she couldn’t feel anything in my left side-she was ‘stumped'(which is just as bad as when a dentist says “Uh-Oh”, but it was almost good to hear that something was out of whack, and can be fixed-thank GOD). I also felt some pressure around my neck when her hands were on my sacral area, and she said that was probably associated with having a umbelical cord wrapped around my neck when I was born. This part brought back the visions and conversations I had during the chakra workshop when I saw navy blue too. She agreed with me that this may be why I stumble over my words, and have fear around speaking at times…especially if criticism is involved. This is a BIG deal to me, and something I have felt stumped with working on.

After that I ended up having another syncretistic conversation with a friend about my voice, and using it to sing again. I have been singing since I was 5, on stage, and/or acting till I was 18. I have been in 2 bands for over 3 years, and during a sudden change at 18, all that ended when I left the church I attended, along with the religion. Music has always been a passion of mine, and I have this feeling that singing may be a healing answer for me, but I am still wondering how…when…

My Thoracic Spine

September 1, 2010

My Thoracic Spine…coming out
Ever since Sunday’s mind blowing adjustment of my cobra, I have been dedicated (with ahimsa)to overcome my slouchy posture.The past few mornings, I have woken up and practiced lying in constructive rest with a pillow under my upper back between my shoulder-blades, like I read in the article to do to help with the thoracic spine. I stayed there for about 5 minutes, not completely still, but comfortable. I also have been practicing low cobra like I was taught by Lisa in Anatomy class. I still can’t believe what a difference all my poses have been since this course, and learning that my Cobra was all wrong was CrAzY!. I know that my posture could use work, so I am doing some things to hopefully correct that in my practice and daily life. Having good posture is important to me. I feel like it exudes a certain confidence and grace.
Throughout the day, I have also been pulling an imaginary string up from my heart to open my back up. I am remembering what all the women in my YTT said along with Lisa about not tucking my tail, but reaching through the top of my head, releasing my shoulders out and down and opening up my upper back, leaving my lower back alone. I am trying to use these cues in all my poses, and when I am just walking around. I wonder what the women at work think sometimes because I am sure they see me and think I am a little kooky. Oh well! Im more than happy to explain it.

Satya

August 25, 2010

After thinking more about ‘satya’ and reading some more about it, I realized 2 areas in my life where I could use more truth. The first one popped up quickly. It’s not that I tell lies to people or hold back the truth, but sometimes I can be too honest. Sometimes it’s an eruption. I really enjoy the guidelines Alicia mentioned about “Is it appropriate? Is is kind? Is it true”. I have heard this before, but never truly made it a habit. I am now making it an intention. I tend to give people advice, and there are times when I feel like it’s being channeled, but other times I am moreover speaking directly to myself. And I usually always let the person know that that’s why I am so passionate about it; because I am or have been working on it too. Someone brought up a good point though, about where am I coming from? Am I coming from a place of “Look, I know all the answers!” or “Wow, I can see your struggle, and I have some insight if you want to hear it.” I think I have both sides, but I would like to veer towards the latter as much as possible. With this I think I will connect more deeply with my friend, family and new aquaintances.

The second truth (I don’t like to admit I fall short of) is keeping my commitments. Most importantly and more commonly those commitments I make to myself. I think I have gotten a lot better over the past few years of following through with others, but I have a long way to go when it comes to myself. I have a lot of great ideas and am presented with a lot of opportunities, but somehow talk myself out of doing it. With art, “I don’t have time”. With making jewelry, “I have to clean the kitchen”. And even with yoga (which I have greatly improved on doing no matter what the little voice says lately), I would find some reason not to go, even though every time I do, I meet someone who inspires me, I hear something meaningful, I grow through my focus, or I just end class bowing to my decision to come every time.

So, I think for me being true to myself is the biggest challenge for me. Yes, I want to be more cautious of the things I say to others, and I don’t see that being too difficult if I keep in mind the 3 major guidelines of is it necessary? kind? and true? I am going to become a better listener in implementing this tool into my communication, that’s for sure. But, as far as what I do with my personal commitments, I need to really step up and talk back to my mind to say, “I am driving this car, and I know what is best, so Shhhhh!(to the egoic mind) We are doing this because it’s good for me, and all your excuses aren’t holding me back anymore.” I hope in doing this I will be more productive and more fulfilled.

Do As One…breathing site

August 15, 2010

Do As One is this site I found a few years ago that is SUPER cool. It has several breathing rooms, a laughing room and even a newly added Om room that you can meditate to or practice your pranayama with. I tried out the Om room today for the first time. You can change the color of the screen, set an intention of your choice, and it’s free.

After the second day of our 2nd weekend in teacher training, I am feeling very sensitive and emotional. I feel like I have taken on a cleaning expedition and am standing in the dusty aftermath, coughing, and wheezing from the swept up dust and dirt. It’s amazing what arises! This evening I felt like I had a dam in my throat and a whole lake of tears, words, and emotions building up, waiting to release…needing to release, somehow. Why? Here’s some possible answers. The past month I have made some changes, have been reading a lot of soul-searching material, and have been working on setting worthy intentions on a daily basis. I have also been putting a lot of pressure on myself (ahimsa??), and wanting these results NOW! Patience is another thing I am working on. But, in asking for it, I receive opportunities to instill it. It’s unfortunately not something I can order on Amazon. 😦 So tonight I needed someone. I needed to cry on someone’s shoulder, to be on the same page, to feel connected to, and receive attention, and interest from someone in particular. I needed to share my experiences, and feel important, and be heard. I didn’t  realize how badly I needed this interaction until an hour ago, after I had a break down. I literally felt like a wreck inside, a hungry, tired wreck, and I felt very alone! I was able to find a grounding cord all the way over in Hawaii, with my dear friend Nichole, who gently patched me up and made me feel whole and understood. The power of this women is truly amazing. She shared a similar experience during a time when she was first practicing Kundalini yoga. She helped me see that this time I am dedicating to make positive changes in my life is going to fiddle with, and stir up stuff inside, and that it can be uncomfortable. But it’s going to be O.K. WHEW! I can’t explain what a relief it is to have someone tell me that I am not crazy, and that my feelings are valid,  and that I am allowed and encouraged to express them truthfully despite what anyone says. So, to anyone else feeling emotional…I feel you.

On a side note, but coincidentally, I found this article that put my mind a bit more at ease. This article gave me perspective on something we have been talking about it class, being authentic. When I become a yoga teacher, this is something I sill strive for. I don’t have a hard time being myself, but I have had these preconceived ideas of what a “yoga teacher” does and does not do. I feel like this article was just what I needed to read tonight to clear the air in my mind a little more. ACHoooo! sigh…

Atha- To begin Yoga

August 13, 2010

The very first Sutra of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra’s. “Atha yoga anusasanum” Now the inquiry of yoga.

What does Atha mean to me?

Atha traditionally means a’ blessing at the beginning of an undertaking’, but essentially he is telling us that you must be present and that this requires my full commitment-attention. I love that I have already been blessed to do this. Atha marks the official and auspisious opening of my worthy journey into becoming a true student of yoga. To begin yoga. Atha implies a readiness, a commitment to embrace yoga as a whole with literally every cell in the body. A readiness?? Man, that has been the thing that has held me back for the past few years of taking a training course. I didn’t feel ready at all. I hope I am ready now. Everything about this so far has been very fluid and, not easy, but smooth.

Atha to me is a sacred self-honoring commitment towards whole body awareness and wellness. Atha reminds me of how much I love yoga and how precious it is to me in my life. Its almost like a vow in a way to myself. It makes me feel like I am in for an adventure and have no idea whats in store.Yoga, union…commitment, devotion…sounds like a marriage!
The other meaning is ‘being in the moment, in the now’.  I am still working on this. I have a hard time getting out of my head sometimes which I hope will improve during this training. I notice that when I incorporate breathing into an asana flow, I can become the most focused, but I feel like I have ADHD all the time..even right now.

Sanskrit

August 8, 2010

I just found a neat website that translates commonly used Sanskrit words and phrases. I really enjoy seeing the actual text since it is so beautiful, and I thought since we are to learn the true asana names this might be a fun tool to possibly go deeper.

Two words that I felt drawn to were anuraaga अनुराग which translates to love, devotion, passion, devotion and loyalty. And the other was ‘muktiमुक्ति which translates to freedom, liberation and release. I have been thinking about getting a tattoo of a meaningful Sanskrit word or prayer around an ankle, so this was perfect if I ever actually do that.

After a long weekend of being under the weather, but literally on top of the world in terms of atmosphere and location, I have been thinking a lot about making some lifestyle changes. After the first weekend of Teacher Training I was really having a difficult time trying to figure out how I was going to balance in my social life (including drinking alcohol), and my yoga life (including purity, clarity, mindfulness, and healthy living). My thoughts went like this, “This is what I have been waiting for, something to use as an reason NOT to drink”, (the little voice that sounds like a bratty little teenager that doesn’t like authority) “but I enjoy it,  I what hurts in a glass of wine with dinner?, and the walks through town at happy hour?, and lounging on the weekend at the river with a beer or two?, and celebrating stuff with champagne??…”, “yes, but I  don’t have to have a glass every night, or drink every time alcohol is on the menu do I?”, “No, but if something tells me I can’t, I am going to come up with reasons why I want to, and why I shouldn’t deprive myself of pleasure…I deserve a drink after work…!”, “Yes, but my life would be so much more energetic and productive, if not more abundant (with all the money I’d save) if I just made this one teak of habit. Imagine all the stuff I would do if I only indulged a little on special occasions?  I would feel better, look younger, and indulge in more healthy activities with a clearer mind.”, “So,  I can drink on special occassions? like holidays, weddings, and birthdays still?”, “If that’s what I want. But can I control myself? Can I become a more disciplined person? It really all comes down to control, Do I have control over myself? Can I make an intention to be ok SOBER? Can I focus on the bigger picture instead of instant gratification? Will I miss out on the fun? Will I get stressed? Will I still be a fun person?”.…. Yep, you just got a taste of what it’s like to have split personalities (undiagnosed). But to change this habit is what I need, and its what I want. I am beginning to take a hard look at my actions to see what is working, and what is making me work slower, or not at all. Now, as I write this, and I realize a lot of people may read this, and I do not think I have a drinking problem, but I have a problem with how often I drink, even if it’s just a glass of wine each night. Alcoholism runs in my family and I am very aware of the costly outcomes of not having control. I believe that since it’s on my mind so much, that it is something I MUST control. And in a book I am reading called   In Donna Farhi’s book Bringing Yoga to Life, I found a beautiful and grounding intention to live by.  She asks what would happen if we began to channel our energy by asking ourselves daily, “Are my choices supporting what is deeply satisfying in my life? And are my choices leading to long-term freedom or short lived pleasure?” I know if I went though my day using this as a mantra for each decision I made I would be a much different person. I think it’s such a fascinating way to evaluate my life and my actions. She also ads, These kinds of questions lead us to evaluate what is important to us and to choose what purpose we will devote our time and energy.” Well I personally wish to devote my time and energy to healthy choices, to my yoga practice and to having passionate and loving relationships with myself and the world around me. So here’s to celebrating a new page, a new leaf, and new commitment to my health and my well-being.