Meditative mantra chants and potent breathing of focused yogis was last night’s soundtrack ...
Thank you to all who engaged in a beautiful 75-minute practice last night at Anthea Yoga. The free-flowing sun salutations were aspiring and the sight of upside down bodies in headstands was completely meditative and serene.
Trust your breath; never lose it during your practice and savor the lightness and strength you attain via your prana.
My peeps at Anthea...
See you next week!
On Tuesday night, the vibe and energy at Earth Yoga was just REAL!
I had the pleasure of leading a power hot vinyasa class that just kept me buzzing days later. There is nothing like seeing a community of asana practitioners cultivating high levels of awareness, smiling and taking themselves to their limits with great recognition and profound focus.
Was it hot? Yup. Was it sweaty? Absolutely. Did any of that take these yogis away from their "atha," their NOW? Nope. With every inhale and ensuing exhale, I felt the power of breathing and absorbed their intensity.
Earth yogis… as I told you after class, there's no other place I would rather have been than there with you. Thank you.
Hope is not a prediction of the future, it's a declaration of what is possible.
Arm balancing… YIKES. The dreaded point in the class where many of us just sit around and watch and get down on ourselves, or don't stay within our own practice for whatever the reason.
Listen, sometimes… bakasana (crow pose) just isn't for me. And that's part of our daily practice. So you know what? Just stay in malasana and enjoy the benefits of that asana. We are not in class to show-off, nor to get down on ourselves for not being able to do whatever our neighbor is doing.
I truly feel that the fear of getting into an arm-balance or the perception that you "can't do it" is the biggest hindrance to someone actually working their way to a particular pose.
Here are some tips that will hopefully help you in your journey:
I invite you to post any prior experiences and approaches in hopes of empowering others. We are all students and one way we attain knowledge is via other people's journeys.
See you soon…
Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.
Two things I love in life… yoga and art.
The above quote by Thomas Merton rings very true to me. When I'm completely immersed in a sequence, a flow, a progression of poses and just feeling the rhythm of my own breath… I always likened it to losing myself in a beautiful painting or just being alive and gazing mesmerized at a mural.
At the same time, my asana practice just brings me back to who I am. Clarity… being in a lucid state of profound consciousness. Art in that same way is an ultimate form of expression and applying who you are in a creative way to facilitate emotional power.
When you're in an asana and breathing… you become art. When you see your body and the life you live as a conscious way of bringing forth beauty into your life and those of others… you are yoga.
A smile is a curve that sets everything straight.
We've been there before… we are engaged in a pose with great intensity, maybe shrugging our shoulders, tight at the hips, but mainly, scrunched up in the face. I've heard teachers many times say that the most advanced variation of any pose is just being in it, finding stillness and accentuating it with a smile. This is very true.
“Yoga isn’t just about showing up on the mat. It’s about showing up in your life, in your day; it’s about opening your heart while standing firm and strong and believing in yourself.”
Standing firm in what you believe in... opening your heart. Two concepts that can be burdensome for many. I'm finding it a lot easier to find belief and open-up while practicing asana on the mat. For others, it's the other way around.
Away from the mat ... boy, that's tough for me. On your mat, your dealing with your own shit, independently and you are cultivating awareness from within. When you transition, away from that, relating that consciousness to day-to-day happenings and relationships is the true test and when the yoga - the union - really begins.
One of my all-time favorite teachers, Marko Galjasevic, said… "We are all aspiring yogis." People such as Mother Teresa, the Dalai Lama and Ghandi… those are the true yogis. Many of us are taking a yogic journey and living a lifestyle to cultivate awareness, provide devotional service to those in need and are committed to being positive and nurturing positivity to all those you come in contact with. Those are attributes in a yogi.
Being a yogi is not doing handstand in the middle of a room, or getting into a full split with ease. Nor is it just becoming a yoga teacher and having a class full of admiring students.
It's about the life you lead and how you enrich the life of others.
A great man sets an example by his actions.
Forget your perfect offering. There is a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in.
Remember this when you step onto your mat. Asana practice is not about the ideal form. Nor is it about mimicking what's on a cover of a magazine. Or, what droves of people think is beautiful on Instagram or Facebook.
It's about feeling, which is individual and each one of us owns it -- that is beautiful.
Falling out of pose, trying to get into the next one, holding onto the frustration and making-up for the last pose… let it go. Move onto the next "atha." The next now. As I stated in another blog post, those are the necessary "cracks" that let the light in. Every breathe is a now. Every pose is a now. You fall trying to get into Bakasana… you move on.
The cracks are necessary. The light truly illuminates once it penetrates complete darkness. So embrace the falling, the toppling over, or the times where you perceive the "perfect offering" is not attainable.
Smile. Laugh. And then go towards your next "now" and remember that cracks truly let the light in. Why be in darkness?
If I'm doing it, I'll be talking about it. Yoga chatter & more.