It’s a Saturday afternoon in India and I am sitting in a health clinic waiting out the mandatory observation time after receiving the second dose of the covid vaccine. There are about 3 dozen other people here as well. I am in my own thoughts as I sit here with my breath. I am managing my pain, not from the shot but from a different health issue I am working through. The pain is intense. I am uncomfortable. I focus again on my breath. In my view I can see the nurse who is administering the vaccine doses…Read more
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If Namaste means "Hello" then why do we say it at the end of a Yoga Class?
Have you ever wondered about the meaning of "Namaste" and its use in the yoga community? Perhaps you have heard others discussing why we should or shouldn't use this word as part of our yoga classes. I would like to offer you my own unique perspective on this topic, as a white, American Yoga teacher living in India with my Indian husband. But first, let's take a look at the literal meaning of this word and its modern day usage. Then…Read more
Recently I was giving a private yoga session to a gentleman via video call. During the session I noticed that he was pushing his stretch further than what his body could reasonably accommodate. I gently reminded him not to force a stretch. He made a joking reference to the well known motto; "No Pain, No Gain." I told him that my yogic philosophy does not include that belief. Then he asked me, "How can I make progress if I don't push myself?" This was my reply;
You don't push. You hold. When you feel that…Read more
On Sunday evenings or Monday mornings is when I look to the week ahead. I review my schedule, which changes from week to week, and I review my enormous to-do list. I mentally prepare myself for the week ahead and for the tasks I need to accomplish.
At the start of this week while I was looking at my list of tasks, and categorizing them, and prioritizing them, it occurred to me that in all this planning and everything I hope to achieve, I haven't planned out how I want to FEEL. This is a very important…
Visualize a starry sky, on a clear night with every corner of the sky as far as you can see, sparkling with countless diamonds in red, silver and blue. I hope you've seen such a sky at least once in your life. Bring that image into your mind with as much clarity as you can envision. Feel a sense of peace wash over your body and mind. The stars remind us that this world is bigger than our struggles. Stars live for billions of years. Our little drama will play out in a handful of decades. 100 years from now…Read more
Growth is a continual process of death and rebirth. We shed old ideas and beliefs. We shed old relationships and ways of being. We shed former versions of ourselves. It's painful. Its exhausting. And yet, let's be honest, there is a part of us still expects, or desires, a smoother path.....maybe lit with rainbows and shooting stars and constant signs and encouragement from spirit/divine/universe that we are on the right path. (but for real, that would be awesome!) After we did the difficult inner-work…Read more
It may be true that suffering is a part of life. It may even be true that we need a certain degree of suffering to help us grow into a compassionate human being. But one thing I know for sure, we can greatly reduce our suffering when we understand how the mind works and something that is called "the suffering of suffering"
"The Suffering of Suffering" is when we encounter suffering and then the mind itself behaves in such a way that compounds our suffering. In other words, your own thoughts take a situation…Read more
Let me tell you a story of falling and flying, of bleeding and becoming.
It began small and wholly unnoticed at first. I was being nudged towards the edge for years though little neglectful actions and small unkind words. Contained within the tiniest of moments the disregard for me had crept in like a cancer. But the moment of falling began with a note. Left there carelessly, was a note addressed to the one I loved that read, "Thank you for a wonderful weekend" and signed by a name that wasn't mine. This…Read more
"Yes, you really understand the process. We need that vulnerability and humility to let go. We feel that wave of release and a lightness comes over our being. But it is never once and done, is it? Even when the clarity and realization is strong, there always seems to be a deeper level,... more letting go,... more clarity.... more vulnerability. Like flowing water can, over time, carve into and reshape rocks and stones, so are we having our rough edges smoothed, little by little, as these waves of…Read more