My Father used to tell me , “If you want to make god laugh, make plans.” Because more often than not, life dishes up the unexpected, changing our precious plans.
Planning is good in the sense that having direction and feeling prepared is valuable. Some personalities need to plan more than others. Yet, ironically, the persons that are dependent on having a plan are the ones that are most negatively affected when their plan doesn’t go accordingly. Hence why I felt compelled to write about it. We can create a plan and do everything necessary to see it is executed just how we foresee it too, but the reality is that things can change in a matter of seconds, thats just the law of the universe. Nothing is really guaranteed (Except for math, but thats another blog. Entirely). I think what we all need to do, is focus more on letting go of the outcome in our plans, but still stay driven in our integrity as if things were all going to work out in the end. Because they do once we learn to let go of what we think is concrete, and focus more on being present with that which is right in front of us now. If we think too far ahead into the future, then we create stories, that may or may not even be likely to happen. With the creation of those stories can come excitement, stress, worries, fear, or doubt. Whereas if we were all to focus on working hard today, being the best person, friend, relative, lover, partner, sister, brother, parent, or child we possibly can, letting go of those stories because they should have no bearing on this day, on this moment. Take a deep breath and treat this moment, each moment with good intention, and an open heart for what may come. One day at a time. Then we can free ourselves of great disappointment, jealousy, fear, and all the other negative things we let govern us at times.
I know that some reading this may think to themselves ” Its not that easy.” You’re right, its not. If if were easy then everyone would already be practicing these values. Thats why its work, and thats why its important to be reminded of it.
Join me at your convenience in my 91 square foot practice space for personalized yoga Sessions. For those of you who need some more one on one time in your practice, or don’t prefer a heated environment to begin on your yoga path, or you can’t afford a regular yoga practice. Whether you are wanting to build strength and flexibility, or are seeking meditation and therapeutics in your practice, I would love to help you incorporate more yoga into your daily life. Contact me with any concerns or questions. My prices are extremely reasonable and will vary depending on what you are looking for and how often you wish to practice.
Three years ago, if I had looked out my window this morning to see the soggy grey sky, I would have let that determine more of how I felt internally. This piece is focused around “Santosa.” Santosa (Contentment) is the second Nyama (personal ethics), the second limb in the 8 fold path of Astanga yoga. Santosa is one of the greatest gifts my yoga practice has brought me. And the deeper into my practice I reach, the more content I become. I am able to observe areas of my life, such as seasonal affective disorder, or so I thought I had, and see it from a new perspective. Our happiness and contentment seems far too dependent on outside factors such as the weather or what other people are and are not doing. Santosa allows us to be okay with the current condition of where we are, who we are with, and what is unfolding in the present. To not play the victim or blame anyone else for our situation. It teaches us to grasp the moment and realize the reality that the moment is it, and we must make the most of it. That doesn’t mean always observing our experiences as sunshine and flowers when they clearly are not such, but more so to accept our current state of being and find some peace in it, to find the lesson, to reach deeper into our own hearts and psyche and see the lesson, see how we are able to grow and let go.
My yoga practice has taught me to find the joy when its not obvious or presented for me. To do the work to make things what I want, and to let go of control when I don’t have that control. This is one of our greatest obstacles, and the root of the obstacle is our own self. to realize its not so much what unfolds for you in life, but how you choose to work with what unfolds in your life. We always have a choice.
Some times you find yourself in a yoga pose you aren’t thrilled about being in. You have the choice to not do the pose, and then realizing that you will always come back to that pose with the same attitude and frustration or fear. You also have the choice to explore the pose and find a way to make it work for you without force or afflicting pain. By accepting you can’t always have your way or gain control, finding your own unique balance. If you approach your asana practice in that manner, you will find there is always a practice and the pose is never done. The same approach goes for your approach towards your daily life experiences off the yoga mat.
So today, as I look out my window at the soggy grey sky, I wouldn’t rather be anywhere else but here. I have my yoga practice, I have great coffee, I am healthy and live in a beautiful part of the world, with a roof over my head. With a whole lotta love. And so so much more.
One of my favorites!
Kale, celery, green apple, cucumber, ginger and Lime!
If you don’t have a juicer make a smoothie with kale, banana, almond coconut milk, spirilina, cashews, a few carob nibs, and a touch of cinnamon.
The Holidays. A time to celebrate tradition, honor your beliefs, change, joy, gratitude, and grace. . . maybe break out your showy decorations, make or buy presents, But we all know what this time of year also has a tendency to bring with it; The stressfullness of getting everything done in time. The obligation to see family, even though it may be inconvenient. Feeling obligated to gift give, Navigating your way through a season of consumerism and noise. Pleasing others is a beautiful thing, but is it really that gratifying if all that effort leaves you feeling emotionally and mentally drained, and with a dry pocket book, wishing you were laying somewhere on a tropical beach with a cocktail in your hand?
Sadly, it seems with many holidays this day and age, the are far to many expectations to exceed. When did this become Christmas? Chanukah, or any of the other sacredly important Holidays celebrated this time of year? The hectic shopping crowds, the spending hundreds of dollars to travel somewhere you probably don’t really want to travel, when you could just be in the warm, comfort of your own home. I love my family, and have had many wonderful holidays with them, but I’m lucky that no one in my family makes me feel guilty if I don’t want to go out of my way to be there. They understand that Holidays can be overrated to a point of disappointment for a lot of people, so ultimately its about taking some time for yourself and doing what you need to do to get through the storm. Making an effort to be joyous, celebratory, and present with the ones you love daily opposed to reserving that kind of gratitude for one or two days out of the year.
Its a very American thing to save all your celebration and hard earned downtime and try to cram it into a few days. That can’t really be healthy. We should be taking more downtime on the regular, to take care of our own needs, and to also honor the needs of others. If we reserve only a short amount of time to relax, but also knowing that that short amount of time comes with agendas and expectations, then its not about sharing joy and quality time with your loved ones, its about putting in your dues, and thats not something anyone really looks forward to.
Remember to take time for yourself. Time to do exactly what you want and need to do, regardless of what kind of expectations anyone else has for you. Take time to be still, to be in solitude and silence, to take grounding, calming breaths. To laugh, and to cry if you need to cry. The Holidays put a lot of pressure on people to be happy and full of cheer, but for some, the Holidays bring up painful memories and past emotions. Be mindful of what others may be dealing with on a personal level and give them some of their own time to breath. If everyone takes that time to care for themselves, they can put more energy and care into giving those around them the love and support they want and hopefully have a legitimately pleasant Holiday season. free of expectations, free of stress, but full of cheer and light and gratitude. Ask yourself what the Holidays you celebrate truly mean to you and whom you share them with. No expectations, no judgement. Just honor whats important in your world. And remember not to sweat the small stuff.
Join me for an integrative, educational, playful workshop series as we deepen our practice and broaden our sense of what it means to take our yoga practice off the mat.
January 4, 11, 18, 25
11:30 – 1:30
Place: Sweat Hot Yoga
register under the “workshop” tab at: http://www.sweathotyoga.com
Glad to start my saturday mornings sharing my love of peacefullness and relaxation. Saturday Morning YIN YOGA is one of my most well attended classes. I’m glad to see that people are recognizing the impact of slowing down the mind and calming the heart.
So often, people tend to only pay attention to bodily sensations when in pain; when something is “wrong”. Our YIN practice allows to tap into the deep inner workings of the physical body no matter what. Teaches us to recognize GOOD sensation. When we hone in and meditate on feeling good, our self awareness becomes much stronger and we are able to prevent those ailments and injuries more than waiting until we are in discomfort to “fix” ourselves.
More blocks and straps are on their way to further enrich our YIN practice. I hope to see many of you soon on the mat for some good old fashion yummy RnR and meditation.