Yoga

Yoga this week!

I’ll be teaching twice this week- on Wednesday 11/16 at noon and Saturday 11/19 at 2:30pm. Please click on either date for additional details. I would love to see you there!

Peaceॐ

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Happiness is…

You are here in this lifetime because there was a need on Earth for you. Exactly you. Just as you are and who you are. The universe called you forth because there was a part that only you could play. That’s how important your life is.

As a 5th grader, I played Patty in my school’s production of “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown.” She’s not one of the more well-known Peanuts. And she’s not Peppermint Patty. She’s just Patty. In the big final song, Patty has one solo line to sing… “Happiness is playing the drum in your own school band.” Trust me when I tell you that I stepped into the spotlight and belted it with all my little heart.

This life is your moment in the sun, and the song you sing is you. If you really feel like belting it so that it resonates in every corner, be the fullest and most authentic expression of you that you can possibly be.

I mentioned before that Ahimsa (the Yama that I’m focusing on currently) is commonly interpreted as ‘non-violence.’ Sooo… I don’t yell at anyone or punch them in the face and I’m cool, right? Done and done.

Not so fast there, tiger…

Donna Farhi expands on the definition (very usefully, I think) by saying that Ahimsa is refraining from any act that would inhibit a being from growing to its fullest potential. Ground floor of that establishment, for me, is letting go of judgment. Judgment is not my business. It’s The Judge’s business. And guess what? The Judge loves all and forgives all, so it really must be none of my business to find someone guilty for being who they are.

I tend to have some unconventional ideas from time to time- not so much ‘mainstream.’ One of the most important lessons I’ve picked up along the way is that I don’t need everyone to agree with me. I don’t need to convert everyone to my way of thinking. I simply need to respect others’ right to be themselves and pray that they return the favor.

Sounds great, right? Easy enough… I’ll do that. But wait!! I kinda sorta left something out. Something that I find to be the most challenging part of the whole exercise. Unconditional acceptance has to begin within. You have to grow the seed before you can give away the tomatoes.

Unconditional acceptance is so critical to me as I evolve that I practice sending it to each of my trillions of cells. I meditate and pray to find guidance to my fullest potential and to master the Divine art of acceptance. To know my Self so that I may realize my purpose.

Letting go of the limitations and restrictions of my ‘reality,’ I’ve come to see the big picture- ie, we are all cells in the body of Source. Source sends unconditional acceptance to each of us. How crucial is it that the nerve cells in your body don’t wake up tomorrow and feel pressure to become bone cells? How important is it that the skin cells don’t decide they’re threatened by the muscle cells and need to eradicate them? Thank goodness they don’t. They each have their part to play and they play it.

That is just how important your life is.

Om Shanti.

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Read this… slowly

The universe has an amazing way of providing me with every lesson I need. But often, the noise of my own wheels turning keeps me from paying attention. Thank goodness that the cosmic professor is not one to throw her hands up easily. (You’re her favorite student, by the way. You. Are.)

In the Summer of 2010, I was on a hot streak with my reading list. I had been praying for guidance and I was led to three books that changed my life [Paramahansa Yogananda’s Autobiography of a Yogi, Eckhart Tolle’s A New Earth, and Stephen Mitchell’s translation of the Bhagavad Gita]. I was tremendously inspired. I saw creation though new eyes (or perhaps a single eye), yet I hadn’t given myself a chance to sit with what I was learning and absorb it.

So, she sat back and looked at my effort and said, “I’m very proud of you. You’ve been working very hard. You’re doing well on your homework and tests, but I still get the feeling that you’re not fully getting it. Try this.”

I skinned my knee nearly to the bone, and I couldn’t bend it. I had almost zero range of motion in my right shoulder. All the things I do in a day that I take for granted suddenly required great attention- if I could do them at all. Talk about humbling… I couldn’t walk. I could only shuffle and limp. I’m right-handed. I had to do everything one-handed with my left hand. Still, I stayed committed to meditating and practicing (the most gentle) yoga every day. In fact, almost everything but that had stopped.

In the stillness, I could hear the message loud and clear, “Slow down! You don’t have to rush. Everything you need is right here, right now.” I had to bring my full attention to the present moment… and it was awesome. It required such presence and inspired such gratitude and humility that every action became a ceremony. I had read that this moment is not just a bridge to some point in the future. Finally, I understood the power of that on every level of my being.

To learn the lessons I needed to learn about healing, I had to have it broken down like that. I had to experience that time of healing my physical body so that that energy could begin to ripple into other areas. As I’m focusing on Ahimsa now, I’m reminded that growth does not require ‘go, go, go.’ Sometimes it requires just the opposite.

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The Yamas: Ahimsa and the ants

Donna Farhi explains Ahimsa (non-violence) as not doing anything that will inhibit the growth of any being. I acknowledge that I inhibit my own spiritual growth with negative thinking and habits. Those are all acts of violence against myself. I vow to be mindful of practicing Ahimsa inward and outward.

If anything, my practice of Ahimsa served to reinforce that all great things must begin in the present moment. Even if I have no bad intentions whatsoever, my actions can still create chaos when they don’t come from a place of mindfulness. This message has been brought to you by my roommates, the ants.

During my yoga teacher training, I gave myself permission to ignore housework entirely. Yay, me! Then, I came home to find that the ants had taken over. Up until then, I went about getting rid of the ants like it was just plain bad housekeeping if there was an ant. Anywhere. Ever. Even though for every one I killed, ten seemed to pop up in its place.

But during this week, I stopped to watch the ants marching six-deep across my countertop, and I decided to let the ants be the ants. They reminded me very much of videos I had seen of blood circulating in the human body. I cleaned up what was necessary, and the ants retreated somewhat. Miracle of miracles!

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Hanging in Patanjali’s yoga tree

“Just as each limb is essential for the optimal functioning of your body, every limb of yoga practice is important.”
~Donna Farhi, from Yoga: Mind Body and Spirit

In the Yoga Sutras, Patanjali describes eight aspects of yoga that mark the path to enlightenment. He call them the Eight-fold Path of yoga: Yamas (restraints), Niyamas (qualities), Asana (physical postures), Pranayama (control of breath), Pratyahara (drawing attention inward/away from the senses), Dharana (focused attention), Dhyana (meditation/concentration), and Samadhi (bliss).

Although Asana is the most familiar branch to most Westerners, I share Donna Farhi‘s sentiment that all of the limbs are necessary to achieve balance. The first steps, yama and niyama, are a lot like the yoga ten commandments.

During my Yoga Teacher Training, I devoted one week to each of the yamas and niyamas. It built a foundation that brought new depth and understanding to my asana practice. So much so that I’m going to have another go at it. I’m not giving myself any time parameters this time, though. If it takes six months to be ready to move on from Ahimsa, then so be it. Also, I’ll be sharing my original experiences with each yama from this Summer.

Get ready for Ahimsa in 3…2…1…

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Notes on Shakti [act 1, scene 1]

So, I was on the phone the other day with my mother, Kathy Ann… the Alpha & Omega of Kamelien (or K & …n, at least). She was very confused about several things- the most bell-ringing of which was… who’s Shakti??

Whoa there, Kath… who’s Shakti?!!

Where I am, right now geographically, is thousands of miles away from anything that was familiar to me growing up. And that’s just the beginning. I am such a blessed, forgetful little bunny that I even take ‘Shakti’ for granted sometimes (wrist slap…gently).

Please begin here if you would like to learn more. ॐ

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Namaste, yoga lovers!

I’m a busy little bee trying to get everything assembled and packaged here. Please standby…. ♥

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Upcoming Events

May
26
Fri
12:00 pm Moms & Babies Yoga @ Soul of Yoga
Moms & Babies Yoga @ Soul of Yoga
May 26 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
6 weeks to walking.
May
27
Sat
12:00 pm Yoga @ VeraVia
Yoga @ VeraVia
May 27 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
VeraVia is an all-inclusive, luxury health and wellness retreat, located within the Park Hyatt Aviara Resort in Carlsbad, CA. Please visit VeraViaFit.com to learn more.
May
28
Sun
9:30 am Prenatal Yoga Flow @ Cap Wellness Center
Prenatal Yoga Flow @ Cap Wellness Center
May 28 @ 9:30 am – 10:45 am
A 75-minute yoga flow, appropriate for all stages of pregnancy.
May
29
Mon
9:30 am Baby & Me Yoga @ Babies in Bloom
Baby & Me Yoga @ Babies in Bloom
May 29 @ 9:30 am – 10:30 am
This class combines a gentle, postnatal appropriate yoga flow with yoga for baby and postures mama and baby do together. Appropriate for 6 weeks to crawling.

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