Sunday, January 02, 2011

the month of intention: the journey to bliss begins

This is the very first blog post I'm writing for our year long exploration of themes at the studio. Each week I'll be writing one post specific to our theme for the month. Rather than jumping straight into intentions/goals/resolutions/hopes/dreams/visions I wanted to give you a little map of where we're heading.

At the end of 2009 I traveled to Tulum with by good friend Debra. We spent a whole week exploring what brings us most alive. We charted our values. We thought about how to bring those values to life. We talked our businesses and what was most important to us. It was a phenomenal week in so many ways. At the end of the week we each had chosen one word that we wanted to move forward with. Mine was spirit. Here I am writing it in the sand:

I wasn't sure how this word would guide me. I couldn't put my finger on why it was so important. I just knew that it rang really true for me. I came home and put that image on my vision board and got on with my life.

Over the course of this year I referred back to that trip and back to that word numerous times. It's now that it's a year later that I can get some perspective on it and see how the idea of spirit guided me throughout the year. Here is what I've come up with:

1. I attempted (attempted being key word) to live my life day to day feeling connected to my own heart, my spirit.
2. I attempted to share teachings that came from my heart, that were guided by spirit.
3. More so than ever before, I've started writing in a way that reveals more of who I am.
4. I made more decisions from my heart (which was pretty hard at times).

As I navigated the year I was particularly drawn to the koshas (Sanskrit word for "sheath" or "veil"). The koshic model for yoga tells us that we are comprised of five layers. As we peel back these layers we move from the gross to the subtle, we move from the obvious to hidden. The five layers are:

1. Physical Body (annamaya kosha)
2. Breath/Energetic Body (pranamaya kosha)
3. Mental/Emotional Body (manomaya koshs)
4. Intellectual Body (vijanamaya kosha)
5. Bliss Body (anandamaya kosha)

It is the koshic framework that shows us why yoga is considered a body-mind practice. It is this framework that shows us how to integrate body, mind, and spirit.

I began thinking in these terms daily. In a discreet way I began teaching to these layers in my classes. Both my summer and fall retreats that I led were guided by the koshas. During the yoga teacher training in Mexico I used this model to plan out the days sessions, making sure we had a balance in all five areas.

When I look back at the year I can see that the times I was feeling reallly good was when I was most balanced in all those areas (what I will refer to as physical, mental/emotional/ intellectual, and spiritual). Rather that viewing the "bliss body" as a final destination or somewhere to reach, I started asking myself day to day how I could let my heart (which is the place of spirit and bliss) guide me.

As we set intentions and travel through the year together these koshas will be a light that will guide us. I don't expect all of this to make total sense to you if this is something new to you (and I expect it's new to most of you). No worries, I've written about all of this much more in depth. This information should be ready for you on Wedneday. Yay!

I'm so excited to share this year with all of you. I'm hoping this will be a great way to learn, grow, and share together.

PS - We still have space for the day long retreat this Saturday. I promise that it is a super powerful way to begin your year. If you are interested in creating and living your life with more intention then this is for you.

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