Tuesday, April 23, 2013

grace and yoga

Because grace is a beautiful thing. Thank you Misty Pittman, you are the picture of grace.

I found these words from yoga teacher, Jason Crandell, in my FaceBook newsfeed today, “The integrity of your movement is more important than your range of movement”, and I realized that this is exactly what I’ve been trying to speak to in recent classes.


How can we invite this into our yoga practice, and into our lives?  How can we show up in a way that is gentle?

And why is this even important?

When I think of grace, I think of ease, compassion, and humbleness.  I think of going with the flow.  When we are practicing these elements, we are living in a way that is harmonious and authentic. 

We begin to notice ourselves as kinder. 

With grace, there is less struggle and awkwardness.  We are not resisting or forcing.  We can loosen our grip on whatever it is we are fighting with and begin to accept.

The yoga mat is a perfect place to begin to explore this.  How often do we push ourselves into poses without paying attention to the transitions?  How many of us tell ourselves stories about how our limitations on the mat determine our worth?

What if we thought about our yoga practice as a dance and our breath the rhythm that carries us?  Moving slowly, stretching our bodies joyously, inhaling deeply as arms are swept overhead and exhaling fully as we float our upper body forward into a soft fold.

Take time to establish alignment, setting down hands and feet as if this was an honored ritual.  Breathe fully, creating expansion, without taking the breath to a place of rigidity.  Be gentle in your thoughts and words. 

These elements of grace soften us and make us whole.  We feel calmer.  Even if we lose our balance, we recover with a smile.

Start here, on the mat.  Feel alive and carry that into your daily life, bringing that quality of grace into your relationships and work.  Enjoy going with the flow, even you do have two left feet.

Monday, April 15, 2013

the heart of yoga: an online offering

In this wild, beautiful, crazy, precious life we need tools, ways of living and Being, which help us to stay connected to our center. 

Life is not inherently stressful, busy, and hard but it can feel that way to many of us. Yoga offers us a beautiful system that helps us to integrate body, mind, and spirit. It also offers us a powerful framework for not only living in accordance with our Self, but also how to live in harmony in our relationships.

The essence of Yoga is this integration of body, mind, and spirit through practices that enhance the mind-body-heart connection. These techniques awaken strength, poise, grace, and the development of centered awareness even in the midst of chaos and turmoil.

Who wouldn’t benefit from more of this?

Join me in this five week journey through the yamas. Don’t worry, that’s just a fancy Sanskrit word that basically means “restraint”. These so called restraints are not quite as limiting as they might first appear. They actually create the most awesome containers that encourage us to live and love in peace with ourselves and one another.

The focus of this online offering is about You + Your Relationships. After all, isn’t life one big relationship? Let us consider.  We have:

Our relationship to our Self.

Relationship to our family of origin, spouse or partner, friends, children, co-workers, community, the clerk, and yes, even your barista. And we must include our very own Mama Nature, the environment.

How about your relationship to passions, goals, dreams, intentions? Your relationship to your beliefs, habits, and the truths you have owned.

Friend, there is so much more.

Why is this exploration worthy of your time and attention?

Because if you are reading this, then you too feel the call to live life intentionally. To be awake and aware in this world. To love more fully and joyfully. You are devoted to a life of meaning and purpose. 

This doesn’t mean we are perfect, that we don’t slip and make mistakes. Oh no, this is not the place for judgments and righteousness. This is the place where we  each get to show up, turn towards our light, compassionately reflect, and consciously choose how we want to show up for ourselves and each other. 

Will you bring your strengths, your vulnerabilities, your joys, your hopes, your regrets, your sorrows and join me on this glorrrrrious adventure? 

I so hope you will. 

For five weeks you will receive an email from me three times per week… Monday, Wednesday & Friday. Each week we’ll journey through the five yamas, playing with one per week. You’ll have to digest, ponder, and play with the words, stories, and exercises presented. You can open and read each email at a time that feels convenient for you. We’ll also have a private Facebook forum for those of you wanting to connect in an online environment.

I’m also planning to teach my classes around the yamas during the five week course. Local yogis will have a chance to explore these practices on the yoga mat.

For those of you wanting to dive a step deeper I am offering a coaching session in addition to the class. This is for any of you wanting personal attention as it relates to the work we’ll be exploring and personal practices for you to engage in. 

The Details:

The Heart of Yoga: Five week online exploration through the yamas                                                       
When: May 20 - June 21                                                                                                                               Registration: $36 for online course, $100 for course + one coaching session

Please note there are two options, one for the course alone and one for course + coaching.

with love,