Friday, July 29, 2011

Practice and all is coming

Practice and all is coming was often said by K. Patthbi Jois

I am not going to whine or complain here.  I am going to practice.  The best thing that I can do is take it to the mat.  I have more yoga anatomy books than I can shake a stick at right now.  I am delving into anatomy and trying to make sure that I have a firm grasp on it.  Yes I'm a massage therapist so I do know anatomy but there's a lot that I've forgotten. These yoga anatomy books are certainly refreshing my memory!  But what helps the most is getting in the postures and letting my body speak to me. What feels right, what feels wrong.  What takes me deeper into the posture (the breath) and what makes me want to get out of the posture sooner (not breathing).  In any given posture I focus on expanding the chest, elongate the spine, open the hips, keep my shoulders away from my ears and pull my should blades together and and and.....................
There are so many subtle things that are happening in asana practice that anything else should be the least of my worries.

So my motto right now is practice because all is coming!

This is yoga on the mat!

Monday, July 25, 2011


Sometimes things fall apart.  Life seems to come undone without any warning and all you can do is brace yourself for the ride.   In my life it seems that things want to come unglued all at the same time.  Yoga teacher training is something that I've wanted to do for years.  It finally happened and I am on this yogic journey that I've wanted for so long.  Over the holiday weekend, without warning there was a shake up and our guiding yoga teacher is no longer with us.  We have two new teachers who will be team teaching us through the rest of the program.  This is the point where I start to think about the lessons learned in the Bhagavad Gita and The Yoga Sutras.  The key thing here is Non-Attachment.  Losing my guiding yoga teacher felt like a breakup with no closure.  I felt very connected to my teacher.  I enjoyed her teaching style, the way she made us stay focused on what we are learning at the moment and not get sidetracked.  I appreciated how well she seemed to know us, what we were capable of and how she pushed us just to that edge.  I liked our study of philosophy together and how her own personal experience would be interwoven into the class in a way that helped us to get in touch with our own experiences so that we could see that Yoga is a living breathing practice something that we truly carried off the mat with us.  And I truly appreciated personal words of wisdom. So this break up of sorts has me looking at attachments in my life.  Are there healthy and unhealthy attachments?

A more indepth exposition on non-attachment

Monday, July 11, 2011

Pearl Jam and the Bhagavad Gita.... (messages in music)

 I was reading the Bhagavad Gita while listening to a song by Pearl Jam called Immortality. At the exact same time that I was reading the word "immortality" in the Gita, Eddie Vedder belted out the word "immortality".  It became one of those moments where I said to myself,  "what is the message for me here?" The verse about immortality reads: "One who is unmoved by circumstances. One who accepts pleasure and pain with equanimity is fit for immortality!" I am struggling with this reality (it is more than a mere concept!
I am told that I obsess about things, and it is true, whether good or bad I have a tendency to obsess.  How can one with obsessive characteristics be equanimous? I don't have an answer for that.  All I know is that I keep practicing yoga and at times the worries just melt away.  The thoughts are there, but they are beneath the surface and I am not constantly focused on them.  Yoga does help me to create new avenues or patterns of thought in place of the obsessive thought train that keeps stuck on a broken record.  There are times when my mind gets the best of me and I just can't seem to get unstuck.  Am I discouraged?  No.  I know that I have to continue to practice until it becomes second nature.  In time with assiduous practice the realization will come that whatever will be will be and it is truly all good.  It already comes now in glimpses, but one day it will be an ever present knowing.  For now I guess I will just have to fake it until I make it or rather assume the virtue until it has become me.

~This is yoga off the mat!