Yoga

I get by with a little help

It’s been nearly a month now that I’ve been focusing on the practice of Ahimsa. From the beginning, I was aware that observing non-violence goes beyond peacefulness in my words and actions toward others. I had mentioned Donna Farhi’s more inclusive description, which basically says that any thought, word, or deed that inhibits a being from growing to their fullest potential is a violation of Ahimsa.

The challenge of practicing Ahimsa in that way was rolling around in my head as I began my observance. It required attention not only to interpersonal interactions, but attention to my treatment of myself- in my habits, my thoughts, my reactions, on every level, really. I had to bring a high degree of mindfulness to what I do and how I do it in order to better understand the ways I could be inhibiting my own personal growth and the growth of others.

Within a very short time, I began seeing all the signs that my habits, my diet, my care of myself and my body are shaped by my well-being on an emotional and spiritual level. If I am to allow myself to evolve into the highest and best version of me, I must begin my observance of Ahimsa on an emotional and spiritual level. Slightly daunting, I must say.

So, I began meditating and asking for guidance and doing what I do… and then the Angels arrived. Last week, everywhere I turned, it was emotional health, emotional health, emotional health. I got the message, but I was still experiencing just a little panic about the prospect. I mean, seriously… emotional health. Dealing with my emotions. Putting my foot behind my head? Yes, I can do that. Drinking kale juice? No problem. Sitting in silent meditation daily? Yes, PLEASE! But dealing with my emotions? Shouldn’t I have a doctor or some tranquilizers or something for that??

Thankfully, I am not the do-er. I need simply to allow, and I am not alone as I move forward on my path. See, this week, everywhere I turned, it was Angels, Angels, Angels. They are here, and they want nothing more than to be of aid. Already, two amazing, healing Angel meditations have fallen into my lap. The first is a guided meditation video with Doreen Virtue. The second is an Angel meditation for overcoming anxiety. It can be found here.

Try introducing these meditations into your practice if you feel you could use a little help from your Angels. I am so grateful for both of them, and I had to share.

Thank you, Angels! ♥

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Daily reminder

“Yoga is a light, which once lit, will never dim. The better your practice, the brighter the flame.”

~B.K.S. Iyengar

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Yoga this week!!

This week, I will be teaching on Wednesday, November 30 at 10:00am. It’s the last day of November, and we will be focusing on creating an oasis within as we launch into the busy holiday season. I would love to see you there!

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Update on 40-day Global Sadhana

More info on the 40-day Global Sadhana honoring the Divine Feminine… it begins Thursday, December 1st. Please watch if you are interested in joining this global community with me.

You can visit Spirit Voyage for additional details.

Sat Nam!

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THIS is the movement

3…2…1. Try to fight the urge to move. No, don’t, actually. Shiva Rea is a teacher and personal hero of mine. She’s a Shakti warrior and an originator of what I call Shakti dancing.

Today’s gratitude list: Shiva Rea and free expression.

Women throughout history were burned at the stake for self-expression like this, both literally and metaphorically. Many thanks to Shiva for leading the way. Now… Get up. Release your fear. Embrace Shakti. Embody the shift.

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Gotta love the ‘fuzz’ guy

While I was teaching a class this morning, my beautiful students reminded me that it’s kinda incredible how the back of my head can touch my knee without much strain. I responded, “Oh yeah, thanks. I take responsibility for my fuzz.”

I first watched this video during my yoga teacher training. This man (Gil Hedley) is priceless and unforgettable. See what he has to say about the value of doing your stretches and paying attention to your body on a daily basis.

Today, I’m grateful for: wonderful students and teachers.

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Practicing gratitude

When I began considering the class I’m teaching this week, I knew right away that I wanted to structure it around the theme of gratitude. Giving thanks.

As I said before, I have recently had a growing awareness of the fundamental importance of maintaining emotional and spiritual health. Since I wrote the post stating my intention to tend to my emotional health and its energetic consequences, I’ve either discovered or re-discovered a multitude of ways to align and balance. One signpost after another pointed to the chakras and the rest of the energetic body as the classroom where I could learn about better health on every level.

Seriously. Every time I asked for guidance since writing that, it was like, ‘Chakras!’… I know but… ‘Chakras!’… but what if… ‘Chakras!’… Ok, ok, chakras!

So, I wasn’t even a little surprised when I asked for help in building my class and the answer was ‘chakras!’ Specifically, the solar plexus chakra (manipura). This is our power center. The center of self and personality. It is also the center of ego-based fear and resistance.

As I began exploring for inspiration and insight, I came across these words of wisdom from Kundalini-Teacher.com:

“The power chakra is fed by the energy of gratitude, which is a powerful kind of surrender. Gratitude is the opposite of fear and resistance. The heart opens to love, the power chakra responds to gratitude. Most karmic stuff will transmute as soon as you can manage to be genuinely grateful for it. Count your blessings, feed your power chakra.”

Not only was I able to build my gratitude class around that powerful idea, I’ve also been working to open and balance my solar plexus chakra each day by practicing gratitude. So, guess how I feel about teaching my class now? Grateful! Funny how that works…

Check out this article by Erica Rodefer for other ideas for expressing gratitude through yoga.

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Yoga this week!

I will be teaching this week on Wednesday, November 23rd before Thanksgiving. Practice gratitude!

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Honoring the Divine Feminine

I plan to take part in this 40-day Global Sadhana honoring the Divine Feminine. Uhhh… yeah, no-brainer. I’m in! Join me in this global community. It begins on December 1st.

If you are unfamiliar with Kundalini yoga, learn more here. It will change your life.

Sat Nam!

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Note to self: Keep it movin’

The coming and going from point A to point B and back again is observed from the atomic level to the galactic level and beyond. It’s universal. In the face of constant movement between polarities, yoga and ayurveda point the way to achieving balance while also embracing the flow. The flow is the way of earthly life, after all. Change can be beautiful and it can be scary, but above all, it is inevitable.

When we lose touch with natural rhythms for whatever reason, imbalance occurs. Stagnation. Ayurveda notes that in this place where the flow is excluded, disease can take hold. In the time that I’ve studied ayurveda, I’ve maintained an awareness of this principle with regard to my diet and the care of my body. It was only recently, however, that I began to comprehend its role in my emotional health.

It is important to experience emotions. They are a gift that makes the colors of my human experience more vivid and gives me insight that would not be available otherwise. But, like everything else, it is essential to let them keep moving or stagnation will occur. Stagnation creates the foothold for what, my dears? Dis-ease. The old must be released to make space for the new to enter.

So, I began paying particular attention to my emotions- observing them, acknowledging them, and letting them go on their merry way. Great lessons, all in all. Yet, I couldn’t shake this feeling. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it until… I allowed that it was time to face the monster- FEAR.

I couldn’t wrap my arms around it, or my mind. I just felt blank and numb. But this is FEAR we’re talking about! I should feel terrified, right? Then… BAM!! It hit me square in the face: Could it be that I’ve held on to so much fear and stuffed it in every fiber of my being for so long that it had become my new normal? Had I allowed myself to become so filled with fear that it pops up everywhere, all the time until it seems like the way it is?

I realized that YES! that was most likely true, and in so doing, I began to let go of it. I can’t say that I’m feeling all light and free these days, but I am aware. And awareness is the wormhole back to the present moment- the moment in which I can choose to go with the flow. I can observe the rhythm and the motion and be a part of it.

In my years of asana practice, I’ve heard over and over that hip-opening poses aid in the release of emotions (the hips are one place in the body where we hold our emotions). So, I’ve been following the yoga doctor’s orders and taking regular doses of hip openers. While I haven’t experienced a powerful emotional release like Julia Cohn describes in her recent article, the practice reaffirms my faith that yoga is a gateway back to balance.

Learn more about hip-opening poses here. What’s your favorite?

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