Monday, January 18, 2010

desperately seeking balance...or the purusharthas

In this month's yoga journal there is a great article on the purusharthas, or yoga's four aims of life. I read this article while I was retreating at Snug Hollow Farm and it couldn't there couldn't have been a more perfect time. (Aint Sung Hollow sweet?)

At this time I was also reflecting on my theme, my word, and/or my focus for the year. Nothing was feeling right. I knew that I wanted to put more focus on my homelife, broaden my definition of adventure, practice the art of contentment, be giving, be happy and more. I knew I would need a big plate to fill all of these.

When I flipped to this article it really spoke to me. Again I love yoga for all of it's mystical, philosophical ways. But I also love it for it's use-fullness and good ol' fashion tools for life. I felt like the study of and living of the purusharthas was another mind boggling and useful tool. I did three collages at Snug Hollow. One was for the purusharthas:

Right away I went and decided that 2010 was to be the year of balance and happiness. And then I wanted to jazz it up...desperately seeking balance and happiness. It sounds a tiny bit dramatic, eh? But fun none the less.

The four areas for the purusharthas are:
1. Dharma, or duty
2. Artha, or prosperity
3. Kama, or pleasure
4. Moksha, or liberation

Each week I plan to spend some time reflecting on each area, with the hopes that I'm attending properly to each area. So here we go:

1. Dharma (duty) - What were my obligations and did I meet them with ease? This week is was all about the starting of yoga teacher training. I made a strong effort to get everything ready and doing the things I needed to be prepared physically, mentally and emotionally. I feel like I did meet this obligation with ease. The weekend went smoothly, thanks to the great new group we have, wonderful teachers to share their knowledge, and prep work to have it all in place. Yep, we're definately off to a good start!

2. Artha (prosperity) - What did I do for the sake of my livelihood? I made efforts in three different areas:
1. Studio
2. Students
3. Teachers

Studio - As far as the studio I went back to the honoring the importance of providing a safe and clean environment for students to practice yoga in. In an effort to clean the salty mess from the studio floor. The snow was certainly pretty. The salt in the studio not so much. I bought a steam mom (the shark, highly recommended) and cleaned the entire floor. Still have a little more work to do, but it's much better.

I'm also feeling the need to get the studio desk more organized and to keep the clutter clear as students can see it as they go the restroom. I've started taking some steps to fix this and with the help of Teresa, I'm sure it will all get de-cluttered.

Now I need to figure out the plants. I was certain that my thumb was turning green....but it appears that some plants and not doing well. No green thumb just yet. I'm certain I suck at this when I have students volunteering to come and take care of them. :)

2. Students - First off gratitude. In this past week I found myself feeling deep appreciation for the students at Barefoot Works. I took the time at the beginning and/or end of class to thank students for choosing to do yoga at BW's and for allowing me to do what I love the most, teach yoga. It's all because of you that I feel so darn lucky in the "work" department.

And secondly being flexible. We're getting a lot of new students at the studio. It's really quite exciting to see all the new faces come filing into the studio and take their place on the mat. We did have one gal that wanted to do our awesome new student special. Typically we only offer this package on the first visit in. But she was going to be moving and traveling. I decided that we would still offer her this package after she came back. She took Lisa's (phenomenal) class at noon and ended up buying a five class package. Since I was supporting her, she wanted to support me. Love when that happens. Take care of the student and the student will take care of you. :)

3. Teachers - It's been a couple of months since all the BW's yoga teachers have gathered. We've also added two new teachers since getting together last. Lisa and Beth. We now have six teachers! Clerly the teachers are super important to me, the studio, and our students. I try to make a true effort to show them how much I appreciate all they do. At the end of this month we're all gathering at Sarah's to watch the documentary "Enlighten Up", have a pizza party, and talk yoga. It's always a fun time to gather with them and get their feedback and suggestions concerning the studio.

**This post is turning out to be much longer than I had planned. I'll write on my happenings for the last two purusharthas tomorrow. I imagine this is enough for you to know tonight. ;) **

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