Thursday, March 25, 2010

not wanting anything to be different

Something that I've been practicing lately.
Santosha in Sanskrit.
A part of yoga philosophy that I enjoy so much.

It's such a common theme that I hear. Especially among women. Last fall during our annual yoga retreat to NC, so many of us spoke of this. Wondered what it looks like, feels like, tastes like. Is it something elusive, or something we can wrap our arms around. Is it a thought or an idea.

Lately I've been trying to think of it a little differently. This idea of simply not wanting anything to be different than what it currently is is resonating with me. But it's not easy. Not easy for a girl like me always wondering "what's next"?

So instead of dwelling on the extra pounds that I'd love to lose
instead of hating this cold (as in icky sicky cold) away
instead of wanting to be anywhere different
instead of running away from sadness....

I am accepting it all. It's a different sort of happiness.
But one that feels familiar nonetheless.

So may you too want what you got.
And find more love in the life you're livin'.

May we always remind ourselves that underneath all the problems, stresses, anxieties associated with this sweet life lies a place of stillness and calm. An inner reservoir of goodness. Of godness.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

a whole lotta uproar

I'm hearing so many people share their thoughts and opinions about the recent passing of the health bill. Some joyous, some scared. I'll spare you my thoughts on the bill and share a yoga sutra that I find really helpful much of the time. I think this could be one of those times.

Yoga Sutra 1.33
In daily life we see people around who are happier than we are, people who are less happy. Some may be doing praiseworthy things and others causing problems. Whatever may be our usual attitude toward such people and their actions, if we can be pleased with others who are happier than ourselves, compassionate toward those who are unhappy, joyful with those doing those praiseworthy things, and remain undisturbed by the errors of others, our mind will be very tranquil.

Translation by T.K.V. Desikachar, found in “The Heart of Yoga”

This is my most favorite of the yogs sutras. I see such wisdom in this statement and I love it because we're offered a practical (and healthy) way to deal with people and relationships.

Happy Happy Tuesday!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

what's dying to be born?

That's the question posed over on this website (along with a really great little free ebook).

It's a question I've been mulling over myself and sharing in class the last couple of days.

What's dying to be born? What is it that you need to let go of in order to birth something greater, something bigger?

In yoga we experience this death and birth even within the cycle of one single breath. We practice letting go at the end of class in corpse pose, savasana.

I've recently birthed a mondo beyondo dream of mine....planning a 200 hour yoga teacher training in Mexico. It's only now in hindsight that I see what died (if anything) in order to birth this dream.

I've given up some yoga classes over the last year and a half.
I've given up the idea that although leading a teacher training is probably the most fulfilling part of my job, I still need and want help.
I've given up the belief that a gal from Appalachia couldn't or shouldn't teach people to teach yoga in Mexico.
I've given up the idea that there will be a "perfect time" to do this.

Some of these "deaths" created physical space.
Some mental space.
Some emotional space.

Each equally important as I really strive to create and manifest the things that are most aligned with my heart. And my soul.

So I pose the question for you, one more time....
What's dying to be born?

I can rest assured tonight that once you birth that "thing" of yours we'll all be better off. For the world is begging each and every one of us to share our gift.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

find a better job

Find A Better Job

All your worry
Has proved such an
Find a better

I'm feeling inspired by some lovely, strong, open minded females these days. Been basking in the presence of such women this week. Sharing stories, beliefs, thoughts, aha's, frustrations, and such.

Been lots of talk about jobs, purposes, relationships, risks, and such.
Good juicy stuff.

Does the above poem resonate with you?
How about if you substitute "job" with any other word or thing that's feeling your mind with funk these days?

Happy Happy Saint Patty's Day. I had my first picnic of the year today! Yep, it was very good.

Monday, March 15, 2010

*bringing me joy*

yoga teaching training
and the trainees
march madness
reading together over breakfast with andy
patty griffin
excitement of a last second shot that tied a game
planning for yoga teacher training in mexico
studying ayurveda
indian food
chats over coffee
smoothies of all sorts
thinking about what the year holds
cozy days spent in jammies
that spring is truly in the air
longer days of sun
cuddling with my dogs
and my husband
how good my bed feels
getting back to walks in the cemetery
reading seane corn on
mantra meditation
hearing about wedding details
long baths with a good read
working from bed
planning for a trip to see Bon Jovi
white chocolate

Sunday, March 14, 2010

does your daily schedule rejuvenate you?

We all want enough energy to work, love, learn, and enjoy life. As human beings wanting to fully participate in life, this is a quest for us. Yet more and more of us are tired, burnt out, and depleted of energy.

Does your daily routine rejuvenate or drain you?

In Ayurveda (considered the sister science of yoga) an ideal daily routine is known as dinacharya and is considered vital for healthy living.

Ask yourself the following questions:
1. Do I have enough energy to sustain me throughout the day?
2. How does my body feel throughout the day as I work, play, and participate in activities of daily life?
3. Do I sleep sound at night and wake up feeling well rested?
4. Do I eat heathy foods throughout the day that nourish me?
5. Do I feel a sense of passion and purpose for my job?
6. Are my immediate relationships healthy or toxic?

If you answered the previous questions, or even scanned over them and felt an inner knowing that your current schedule and/or way of living is not conducive to a vibrant and healthy life, you may want to consider some changes.

Some of us are so driven by our work that we spend hours upon hours sitting at a desk and working. Some full time mothers can't find the time in their busy day to do something to nourish themselves. Some of us feel so disconnected from life that we just want to numb ourselves throughout the day.

We spend the majority of our day indoors, connected to computers, phones and televisions. We spend a lot of our day in the car driving.

If we can make it to the yoga mat for a little "me" time, it's a good day. I believe that we all deserve more that just making it through the day.

The ancient yogis felt that when we harmonized our internal rhythms with those of our environment that we would experience greater harmony in all aspects of life.

How to apply ancient wisdom to a modern day world.

I think it's important that we look at and study principles from the past, but that we do do so in a way that meets the needs of our current life. I believe this can be done.

I'm inviting you to commit to following an ideal daily routine for a week. Look at your current schedule and see how you can do the following:

1. Awaken 20 minutes earlier than usual in the morning.
2. Use these extra 20 minutes for yoga and meditation. For meditation make sure you can sit (on the floor or in a chair) comfortably. Close your eyes and commit to following your breath or a mantra (you can use the mantra "so hum") for 10 minutes.
3. Eat breakfast when you're hungry. Eat when your body says it's time to eat, not a clock.
4. Eat a healthy lunch. Ayurveda maintains that this should be your largest meal of the day.
5. Take a walk after eating.
6. Take 20 minutes in the early evening for yoga and meditation. Or come in for a class at Barefoot Works.
7. Eat a lighter dinner.
8. Go to bed by 10:30 p.m.

Need a little help hitting the "reset" button?

I believe in the power of taking time daily, seasonally, and yearly to tune into the rhythm of your body and the rhythm of nature. But it's not always easy. There are always other things happening that seem more urgent, more pressing than connecting to one's Self.

I have found one of the best things I do for myself (and my business, and my marriage, and my livelihood) is taking time to retreat. Now that I've moved beyond the place of justifying taking retreats (and I spent quite a bit of time justifying it) I see them as one of the most important things I do for myself.

Many people know that Tulum, Mexico has a special place in my heart. Tulum is located on the tip of Mexico's sacred Yucatan Peninsula. It's my favorite go to destination for fueling my body, releasing depleting emotions, nourishing my soul, reconnecting to my purpose, and moving to nature's beat.

It is without a doubt paradise for me. I'm so excited to offer two trips to Tulum this year...our annual weeklong yoga retreat AND a two week 200 hour yoga teacher training this fall.

I invite you to take a chance on yourself and choose to join me, to tune in to the wisdom of life, get to know yourself on a more intimate level, envision a fulfilling life, and choose to make it a reality.

For the retreat we'll be staying at Maya Tulum Resort & Spa, voted one of the Top Ten Resorts to Go Barefoot and one of the Top Ten Spas by Travel & Leisure. It sits right on the beach and every time I step foot onto the property I am transported away to peace and bliss.

I hope you can join me for a life changing trip! If a trip to Mexico this year is out of the question, I hope that you can make a few small changes in your daily schedule to put you back on the path of feeling full of life and energy.

With Love,

Details about the yoga retreat in Tulum, Mexico here.

Details about the 200 hour yoga teacher training in Tulum, Mexico here.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

what are the benefits of your yoga practice?

Last night as I was leaving the studio Beth was beginning her class. She had the students go around the room, introduce themselves and say why they came to yoga.

There were a variety of answers....
"To stretch"
"To learn about the philosophy."
"Because of my boyfriend (sitting next to her)."
"I've had a terrible day."
"For stress relief."
and so on.

Which of course got me to thinking. In looking at each of these reasons for doing yoga, and hearing from tons of other people about why they practice yoga....

Is there an underlying reason to each of these? Most often yes.
Do people want to spill it in front of a class? Probably not.
Do I blame them? Um, no.

But it's something that each of us practicing yoga can certainly investigate. If you are coming to yoga "to stretch", is it because your body is achy from being tight, it it because it makes you a better athlete, it is because it makes your body feel better and that makes you feel better in general?

If you are doing yoga for stress relief, what are the stressors in your life? And how does the practice help deal with these stressors? Are you less anxious, are you a more patient mom, are you better able to deal with your boss, do you get less upset when stuck in traffic or in line at a grocery store?

We can take any of our reasons for practicing yoga, begin to peel back the layers, and see what we discover.

When we can really begin to identify the benefits of our practice (and not just what we read or hear from others) it becomes more real.
Even more valuable.
Dare I say, life changing?
Yep I will.

When you can identify the real benefits of your practice you are more inclined to stick with it. And if you aren't getting any real benefit from the practice then give something else a go. Work with your body, your mind, your emotions in a different way.

Cause ultimately life is way too short to waste on people, places, and things that don't bring us inner joy.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

kundalini workshop

a dear dear friend + 18 beautiful yogis + energy work + chanting + meditation + lovefest = BLISS

A big thank you to everyone that came out today!
I loved every minute of being a student next to you, with you!!
Each of you are truly amazing. :)

Friday, March 05, 2010

inverted nightmares

Ahh, the thrill of balancing on your hands...And crashing onto your face....hehe. Now lets move on. ;)

Just got this is in my inbox from Yoga Journal....

"In a culture that emphasizes competition and achievement, some students are clearly flinging themselves into inversions too soon. Add to that the desultory nature of many people's practices—one class a week at best, on a drop-in basis—and classes that are too large for the teacher to see everyone in a given pose, and you have the recipe for a potential disaster.

Sirsasana (Headstand) and Sarvangasana (Shoulderstand) are seductive poses—physically challenging, visually dramatic, and exhilarating. They are also surprisingly accessible. Despite the limitations of a tight lower back or hamstrings, most yoga practitioners can move into an inversion relatively easily.

But beginning and veteran yoga students alike are showing up in the offices of bodyworkers, chiropractors, and medical professionals with compression of the upper spine and impaired mobility in the neck, presumably from the practice of inversions.

Luckily, you don't have to become a yoga casualty by jumping into inversions before you're ready. If you are new to yoga, take your time before inverting—a year (or even three) is not too long. Work closely with an observant and knowledgeable teacher. Attend class regularly. Learn the fundamentals: Find the extension of the spine, open the shoulders, and develop balance, clarity, and strength within beginner poses first."

It's been months since I've regularly practiced headstand or shoulderstand. And I've found myself teaching inversions much less in classes.

What? Teaching the "king" and "queen" asanas less often? Yep. I completely agree with the article that most of us can get ourselves into an inversion, but that doesn't necessarily mean we should be there.

I was a bit reluctant to give up my oh so loved headstand. I liked it. It's kinda cool to stand on your head as an adult. Much like standing on your hands.

But a sore neck, tight shoulders and back, physical therapist (that would be Tracy) and medical based yoga therapy teacher that only teaches "non weight bearing headstands" has taught me to think a little bit differently about going upside down.

In fact, I find that over time I am backing more out of poses that I did in my younger years. Rather than feeling like I'm regressing, I feel like I'm progressing because I'm listening more intently to my body and paying close attention to my needs.

I haven't sworn off headstand forever. I'm pretty certain they'll be incorporated back into my practice. But in the meantime there are other ways to get the benefits of inverting.

Hello legs up the wall. It's so nice to meet you again. :)

**Want to read more about headstand? Check it out here. And if you're not certain if headstand or shoulderstand is right for you, talk to your teacher before or after class.**

hola hola

I don’t need a passport to walk on this earth
Anywhere I go ’cause I was made of this earth
I'm born of this earth, I breathe of this earth
And even with the pain I believe in this earth
so I wake up every mornin' and I'm steppin' on the floor
I wake up every mornin' and I'm steppin' out the door
I got faith in the sky, faith in the one
faith in the people rockin' underneath the sun

'cause every bit of land is a holy land
and every drop of water is a holy water
and every single child is a son or a daughter
of the one earth mama and the one earth papa, so
don’t tell a man that he can’t come here 'cause he got brown eyes and a wavy kind of hair,
And don’t tell a woman that she can’t go there
because she prays a little different to a god up there,

You say you’re a Christian ’cause God made you,
You say you’re a Muslim ’cause God made you,
You say you’re a Hindu and the next man a Jew
And we all kill each other 'cause god told us to? NAW!

Hello, hello! (Hello, hello)
Bonjour, bonjour! (Bonjour, bonjour)
Hola, hola! (Hola, hola)
Konnichiwa, konnichiwa wa!
Hello, hello! (Hello, hello)
Bonjour, bonjour! (Bonjour, bonjour)
Hola, hola! (Hola, hola)
Konnichiwa, konnichiwa wa!

Amen Brother Michael.
Love it....makes such sense

Thursday, March 04, 2010

care for your happiness in these five areas

Deepak Chopra presented this while we were in Arizona and I was happy to find a short video here. Check it out! So interesting.....

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

quiet as a mouse

Hola All!

Just me peeking in to say "hi"!
It's been quiet over here in blogland.
Since traveling to Arizona and getting back I've been spending more time...

writing on paper, less on the blog
more time seated meditating, less time on asana
more time reading, less time online.

Going to bed earlier
and reading poetry (yay for Hafiz.
Rising earlier.
Starting the day with 30 minute meditation.
Ending the day with 30 minute meditation.

It all feels good at the moment.
And right, it a subtle sorta way.

Listening a little bit more closely.
Trying to honor what I'm needing at the moment.

May you too
tune in
chill out.

Hibernate for a tiny bit longer.

Soak up the last bit of winter.
Spring is well on it's way.

**chirp chirp**

spring into yoga!

I attended an ayurvedic immersion a couple weeks ago in Arizona and was in the company of many great teachers. Students have asked me what the biggest thing I took away was.

It was a hard question. There were so many great ayurvedic sessions, the yoga classes were inspiring, and the twice daily meditation sessions were like medicine for my soul.

Pinning it down to one big Aha seems impossible. Put the following are some highlights

I really enjoyed the idea of what David Simon calls the Inner Pharmacy (click here to hear David talk about it). I find it so valuable to learn how I can make better decisions about the types of foods I eat daily. I love how ayurveda views the environment as an extension of our physical body. So simple, yet so brilliant. And simply being in the presence of all different types of people and professionals....everything from doctors to yogis to energy healers left me feeling hopeful about the future of our society's health.

The poem above by Hafiz was shared during a session. I quickly remembered why I love it so. To me it sums up what I strive for daily, as often as I can.

To give of myself to others in a way that I hope makes a teeny tiny difference. I teach yoga because I love how it encourages us to physically and emotionally open our hearts to accept ourselves more fully. To embrace those that have different thoughts and beliefs. To bring intimacy to our relationships. To look a stranger in the eye and see them as an extension of ourselves. To bridge the disconnect that so many of us feel.

For us as yogis and human beings, to give without expecting anything in return is a beautiful thought. To give like the sun, light up our own world, and be a light to others. That's powerful.

May the sun warm your face and shine light into your soul. :)

Happy Spring,