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Yoga this week!!

What time is it? You know what time it is…

Yoga time!

Tomorrow, Monday at 10am, we will be rocking it in the yoga garden.

Word of the week: self-expression. How do we get things off of our chest? How do we express our unique gifts and talents to the world? Let’s explore it on our mats!

Sound interesting? Join us! It’s the full moon. It’s nearly Halloween (or already has been Halloween for nearly a week… depending if you live in my house). You know there will be magic happening!

Costumes optional πŸ˜‰

Kamelien loves you!

β€œSelf-esteem is at the core of healing. Because of the connectedness of mind and body, our sense of self-esteem is our cells’ sense of self-esteem. This is because, according to Ayurveda, every cell is a center of intelligence and awareness. Every cell carries the sense of self for its own survival. It is the sense of self in the cell that maintains the size and shape of the cell. Self-esteem, self-confidence, and self-respect promote cellular intelligence, which is necessary for proper cell function and immunity.”

~Dr. Vasant Lad, from The Complete Book of Ayurvedic Home Remedies

The yamas: Thoughts on aparigraha

Hi there, yoga lovers! I’m reposting this reflection on aparigraha from my “Yama Studies” during Teacher Training. Aparigraha is one of the five yamas. It is often translated as ‘non-grasping,’ ‘non-clinging,’ or ‘non-hoarding.’ It came up in class this week, and I thought it would be better to re-post it rather than trying to remember what I had written. πŸ˜‰

Enjoy!

Working on Aparigraha, for me, puts great emphasis on transitioning from an ego-bound identity to identifying primarily as Self. I find that trying to verbalize my experiences with the yamas often conflicts with truly experiencing them. If I practice aparigraha with the thought in mind that I will have to say something coherent about it soon, getting the words right can take over the process. I end up trying to narrate my life rather than live it. This has actually been a very strong attachment in my life- my attachment to words. As I attempt to take a ‘living’ approach to aparigraha, I see that my virtual hoarding of words and stories is indicative of a larger pattern for me. I see that this attachment is only part of my ego’s attempt to build a sense of permanence and security around it. “All these things, all these words- maybe if I can just arrange them in the right way, I will finally know who I am and where I stand. Then, I can tell everyone about it and be a happy, functioning individual,” or so says my ego.

Attachment or hoarding create the cushion that encases my fragile ego. Still, it never achieves the perfect permanence and completeness that it ‘requires’ to feel stable. It needs new things, new descriptions, more!! to gather around it before it can finally feel whole. The trouble is that the more the ego hoards and the larger the cushion grows, the more insulated I become against feeling connected to Life. Ironically, this effort to know who I am keeps me from knowing who I AM. Ego and attachment keep me locked in a limited sense of identity. They keep me from knowing my own eternal nature. So, the practice of aparigraha for me is fundamentally about telling my ego, “It’s not you, it’s me… but I hope we can stay friends,” and letting my Higher Self be my guide. Coming from that perspective, letting go is a much simpler process.

Namaste!

Weekly wisdom from Doreen Virtue

Wow! Doreen’s oracle card reading for this week resonates very deeply with me.

I received my Reiki II attunements on Sunday (yay!), and I am already experiencing some fairly profound shifting and cleansing. In fact, I’m a little delayed in posting this because I’ve been following her wise guidance to “nurture myself” even though I hadn’t watched her reading for this week yet. It was what my body, mind,… everything was requiring.

And she doesn’t stop ringing bells for me there! Her entire reading this week feels as if she is speaking directly to me.

She what she has to say about the week of October 22-28 and see if you feel the same way!

I’d love to hear what you think/feel!

Yoga this week!!

What’s up, yoga people?! What’s the word from the mat?

If you are interested in hearing about what is inspiring me now, I will be teaching on Monday at 10am.

This week, we will use our practice together to examine aparigraha and expectations.

Tune in this week to see what to expect when you’re… expecting. Oh geez. What are we getting ourselves into now?

Can’t wait to see!

Dear Angels and Guides

Journaling is one of the most effective tools in my bag for keeping me on my path. The slower, more deliberate flow of thought that takes over when I am writing allows me to notice patterns and to see through illusions more easily. If I hear myself getting whiny or going down a negative path, I am more likely to stop and be mindful of what I am doing. When I hear a thought veering off into ‘woe is me’ territory, I often stop mid-sentence because the “story” I’m telling no longer seems worth the time and effort to write it down.

I am able to see that it is not the story I want to tell. I am not a victim. That is not the truth of who I am. I only remain stuck under the thumb of that illusion so long as I am willing to tell that story.

So, I stop mid-sentence and begin telling a different story.

I am strong.
I am powerful.
I am blessed.
I am grateful.

Ong Namo Gurudev Namo
I bow to the Divine Teacher within.

The more I practice this exercise of being mindful of the “story” I’m telling, the more I am able to hear a higher truth. A truth that has been present all along, though it is easy to miss with the volume of my “story” cranked up to 11.

Its nature is simple, humble, patient, eternal.

I was writing the other day:

Dear Holy Mother, Father, angels, spirit guides, all beings of light, the Source of this truth-

I’m sending it out in all directions that I need help. I need strength. I need wisdom. I need you to show me the way.

And then I hear that Voice of truth rise up as plain as day… “You already have everything you need. It is already given. The rest is up to you now.

I am blessed.
I am grateful.
I am blessed.

Ten poses to relieve stress & anxiety

Like last week, this week’s inspiration for class came from lessons learned along the way to manifesting change in my life. I’m currently holding the threads of several projects in my hands and meditating, praying, working, envisioning… anything available to weave them into the life I wish to create. Each of them is dear to my heart. I am fully committed to seeing each of them through- all of them tied in some way to yoga, this ancient, transformative science that I love. I want to guide, help, and inspire others through yoga. I want to help them realize the infinite brilliance within themselves by walking the walk and leading by example.

The dedication I feel in my heart to doing what I believe is my life’s work will not rest, and it will not take ‘no!’ for an answer. Even if you don’t have an entirely clear vision of what that “work” looks like for you, you may still feel the pull of your heart’s knowledge that you are, in fact, here for a reason. That your life has meaning. Your heart’s longing to reconnect with that purpose may feel as urgent as the burning dedication I feel to willing my yoga “career” into existence.

So, the time to do something about it is now, right?

In the interest of doing this as expeditiously as possible, I’ve honed in on the tremendous time-suck that is stress and anxiety. They can deplete you on every level… often needlessly. I mean… can you ever remember worrying your way to a positive solution? When was the last time you sat back and marveled at how constructive your stress is? Know why? Because it’s not.

We need all of our time and energy to be available for this mission of ours- correct, Captain? So, stress and anxiety. MUST. GO.

As I was beginning to build this ‘relieving stress and anxiety’ asana sequence, it occurred to me that idea is a bit redundant. Greater calm, peace of mind, and present awareness are benefits of every yoga practice I can think of. I found, however, that certain asanas and categories of asanas are linked more strongly with producing changes in the body that soothe feelings of stress and anxiety. Inversions, for example, are well-known stress and anxiety busters, along with any poses that get the heart elevated above the head. The increased blood flow to the brain can change your whole outlook on things.

Postures that stimulate and engage emotional centers in our body soothe stress and anxiety as well, such as backbends (for the heart center) or hip-openers (for the hips and the sacral chakra).

Here are ten of the stress-and-anxiety-relieving yoga postures that made the final cut for class this week:

1. Cat/Cow (Marjaryasana)
2. Downward-Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
3. Pigeon Pose (Eka Pada Rajkapotasana)
4. Locust Pose (Salabhasana)
5. Wide-Angle Seated Forward Bend (Upavistha Konasana)
6. Half Lord of the Fishes Pose (Ardha Matsyendrasana)
7. Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)
8. Legs-Up-the-Wall Pose (Viparita Karani)
9. Reclining Bound Angle Pose (Supta Baddha Konasana)
10. Corpse Pose (Savasana)

Of course, I would be remiss not to acknowledge that stress and anxiety often have such a powerful hold because we are not always fully conscious of the ways they are working. They can become a kind of default response that happens without our conscious mind offering any say in the matter. If we override that pattern of defaulting to stress and anxiety whenever a challenge arises, the power of our conscious presence opens up a multitude of positive possibilities for dealing with life.

We brought this onto the mat by “making it conscious,” using our practice to anchor our consciousness in the present moment. Making the breath conscious, silently repeating, “the breath is going in – the breath is going out.” Making the postures conscious, paying close attention to the unique physical sensations of each one. Making movement conscious, moving with integrity and intention.

“Making it conscious” can transform any challenge or situation by bringing your awareness to the resources available to you right now. And, let me tell you, they are far beyond anything you realize when burdened by stress. I play the “making it conscious” game while making dinner, cleaning the shower, eating, driving, working… the list goes on and on.

If there is one thing that I gained, personally, from this week’s adventures on the mat, it is a greater sense of power over stress and anxiety. By shining a conscious light on them, I feel more able to see and accept them for what they are. From that place, I have the upper hand in deciding what role they will play in my life- whether I will let them interfere with my dreams or meet them courageously/consciously like any other challenge. Guess which one I pick, mes amis?

We concluded class this week with a guided meditation using the San Kalpa sutra. It is an ancient Sanskrit sutra that amplifies the power of your intentions.

My intentions could sure use a little amplification right about now. How about yours? Try it and see!

Namaste!

Kamelien loves you!

“The chakras are the seven vital energy centers of the body, where the subtle life forces are most concentrated. The flow of energy means life; stagnation means aging and disease.”

~Pratima Raichur, Absolute Beauty

Weekly wisdom from Doreen Virtue

Wow! I absolutely cannot believe this is already the week of October 15-21, 2012. Time is just flying.

It could have something to do with that ‘Max’s 4th birthday’ time warp I found myself in last week. It felt that the entire week was one, long 4th birthday party. And today, we spent most of the afternoon putting up Halloween decorations. Things are moving quickly now. This year will be over in the blink of an eye.

Today is also the new moon, so it is a time for making plans, setting intentions, and manifesting. Doreen addresses this energy of ‘change’ that is swirling all around us now. Using the Archangel Michael oracle deck, she channels the wisdom of Archangel Michael for today and the upcoming week.

I hope it is a week of growth and positive change for each and every one of you!

Yoga this week!!

Uh oh! I will be teaching this week on Monday at 10am.

Monday comes after Sunday, and Sunday is lil man’s 4th birthday party. Apologies in advance for leading our class with a wicked birthday cake hangover. πŸ˜‰

No, that’s totally not true. It will just make me… sweeter.

Join us to find out the exciting conclusion to our story!

Topic of the week: Relieving stress and anxiety with yoga

See you on the mat!

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