Spring/Summer Yoga Schedule:
Yoga and meditation are tried and true gateways into the core of human experience.
At the end of the day, you’re the only one responsible for the way your life turns out. You’re the only person living inside your mind, choosing to place your attention into certain things over others. We keep waiting for someone to show us the way out of our insecurities, to drag us out of our slump, to convince us that we’re worth the effort. So much of our lives is just waiting for something or someone else to bring about our fulfillment and peace of mind.
Meanwhile, all the answers to our questions lie just beneath the surface of our habitually busy minds, and habitually busy bodies. All that wisdom just waiting for you to slow down and listen.
Spring/Summer Yoga Schedule:
We hope you’ve made the transition in one piece, and I bet we all left 2017 with a sigh of relief.
Every year, around this time people all over the world are busy making new intentions for the upcoming year. Most of these resolutions will focus on “doing” certain things ~ exercising more, eating better, spending more time with family, etc.
Take a look at your resolutions, does that seem right?
The underlying assumption is that once we DO those certain things, we’ll BE or FEEL better ~ there’s a hope that we’d finally achieve that sense of contentment and productivity through our actions. Ante and I are living our lives at a constant gallop, and admittedly, we often get too caught up in “doing” more.
But ultimately, all of humanity’s resolutions come down to our desire to FEEL a certain way (happy, relaxed, fulfilled, passionate, connected, etc.) ~ so why the roundabout approach?
Why don’t we set our resolutions around the way we’d like to BE?
The way we’d like to FEEL?
Wouldn’t that be the faster, easier way of getting there?
There’s definitely no need to abandon our productive motivations ~ they’re necessary. But imagine how much easier you can create from a place of passion, rather than obligation? How much nicer it would feel to do your chores while feeling light-hearted, rather than burdened?
When you focus on the way you want to feel, the quality of what you do becomes better. Your actions no longer define you or deplete you, but rather serve your desired state of being. Doesn’t that just feel like an easier way to get stuff done?
You’re so much more than your productivity. Your happiness matters. Your fulfillment matters. Your peace of mind matters. Your giggles are just as important as your to-do lists. Your laughter and light-heartedness are needed more in the world than your worry. ♥️
In a world that constantly demands our attention, we often give it to ourselves last. I hope that this year, you find a way to take care of you first ~ and only then send out your ripple out into the world.
In preparation for our Advanced Yoga Teacher Training, I’ve been feeling the need to re-establish the place that Yoga really has in my life. I stumbled upon an article I wrote for the Elephant Journal a couple months after finishing my first training (October 2013), and it truly reminded me of who I was when the practice first found me.
Here it is, perhaps you can relate.
Yoga found me stressed-out and drawn down by routine, uninspired and stagnant, going through the motions of day-to-day life.
She found me on the hamster wheel of compulsive worry and over-thinking, living in the fragile little glass dome of my mind, where intellect and rationality ruled over all else. She saw my reluctance to feel; my avoidance of messy, volatile emotions, as they rattled the cage my mind built so carefully and deliberately around my heart.
She found a raging atheist, clinging to facts, and science, and the 3D world out of insecurity and fear that maybe, there’s something unintelligible by the mind—such anarchy was not welcome.
She found me hurting; both for myself and for innumerable others, the mind falling behind on rationalizing the pain away. She found me strong; or rather in pretense of it, as I thought strength came from the ability to keep a straight face, to maintain that sturdy cage around the heart no matter how hard it beat, how much it hurt, how badly it needed to be let out and taken care of.
She found me independent: a product of cowardice, not confidence; barely handling the weight already on my shoulders, sharing my life with others could lighten the load—or, could result in me carrying theirs, too.
That wasn’t a chance I was willing to take.
She saw my pain, and cradled me through many a child’s pose, holding space for my tears. She helped me feel—really truly, feel—the texture of every breath, every effort of my muscles in chair pose, every escapist thought in warrior II, every bit of self-love and security in that fetal pose at the end of the class.
She taught me to balance big postures on small ground: one arm in the air, another holding my foot, back bending into Lord Shiva’s pose with grace, ease, yet strength—it’s possible, she said, as long as you’re grounded in integrity. She taught me that strength is in the vulnerable, raw, brave authenticity that comes through when I am unapologetically me, even when I come in the shape of a sobbing pigeon.
She enticed me in the magic of synchronicity, as every class was somehow crafted just for me, carrying the exact missing puzzle piece of my life, as the universe whispers the wisdom of the day through the lips of the teacher.
Being a person of the mind, I live in a world of ideas.
I love that I can interact with thoughts and writings of people all over the world, across time and space, and converse with a mind born a thousand years ago—like we just met for coffee. I find it endlessly fascinating, that an idea can be passed back and forth, molded into different shapes, and woven into a myriad others. And as it stops to be savored by yet another recipient, it transforms and takes on the colors and shapes that this person exudes.
Every brush stroke is painted by a hand so exquisitely creviced by a human life rich with experience.
But just as someone can give us the ‘right’ idea, they can just as easily give us a ‘wrong’ idea, and if taken without discernment, it can inspire a change of the same magnitude, but in the wrong direction.
All of a sudden, the colors of my world get murky, the shimmer of it no longer visible in the dark. The world of ideology is so vast and powerful, yet extremely fragile and volatile, that it demands an exhausting amount of presence and attention to keep it afloat and on the right course.
I practice to gain ground. I practice to get out of my mind, and into my body, so I know what a true feeling feels like: that of my foot on the ground, that of a bead of sweat running down my neck, that of my breath flowing in and out of my being.
I practice so that I have a frame of comparison, against which I measure true thoughts: do they feel as right and solid as my palms on the mat, as undeniable as my desire to get out of my warrior II?
The practice reminds me of my center, my core, my grounding stone ~ an authenticity so tangible that if I embody it often enough, I never have to doubt myself again.
So that no matter how well-presented, how craftily manipulated, how seamlessly a false thought is slipped to me (all too often by myself), it would be illuminated by my tangible knowledge of truth, and dismissed as unfitting. I have so much to say to the world, I just need to make sure that it’s true.
Originally posted on The Elephant Journal.
Over the weekend I cleaned out my closet. 30 pieces being donated, and another 18 “on probation”. I know that I’m not the only one who keeps a large chunk of my wardrobe for clothes that I’ll wear once my arms are more toned, or my belly’s less wobbly, or if I finally start going to fancier places, or if I find just the right kind of bottoms to wear with that shirt.
Why do we do that?
We literally PAY to be able to feel bad about ourselves a little more often.
The craziest thing is, most of the time, we know that those things won’t fit us the moment we try them on. Yet, we still buy them hoping that we’ll be… someone, anyone else by the time we wear them?
Some of these things I’ve taken ACROSS CONTINENTS with me, some of them I’ve had for literally 6 years, putting them on from time to time just to remind myself that I still don’t feel or look as I want to.
Well, screw that. With the summer starting we’re often eager to go out and “treat ourselves” to a new outfit or two, and too many of us will be shopping for the person we wish we were.
If any of this seems familiar to you, I implore you to please just be who you are. It’s hard enough to have acceptance and appreciation for ourselves without actively feeding our self-deprecating tendencies.
I guarantee you, a person who looks & feels comfortable in what they’re wearing will ALWAYS look shinier than the person feeling inadequate yet dressed to the nines. Happy people are always the most beautiful.
I’m giving myself till the end of June to go through my “probation” pile, and if I don’t find a way to wear those clothes and feel good in them – I’m donating those too.
P.S. I love you and you’re radiant. <3
UPDATE: June 30th – out of 18 probation items, 16 have now been donated:
Let us know what is on your mind.