Yoga diversified

This is sometimes what I want to call my style of yoga. Even the way I practice off the mat because that takes more of the form of a seat these days than a bunch of down dogs. Yes I still practice asana since I teach asana, but I also think that meditation will rock your world (in a safe and good way) faster than any down dog or pigeon pose. Yet, the asana, the physical is the entry point. Those whose practice contains a lot of sweat and spacing out are doing more than the people who never try it and the physical brings a level of awareness and confidence in thinking positively about themselves. So as a student I know what I like, or what is of best service for myself, mainly cause I’ve tried it all out. Except I can’t keep up with the times. I saw a video of an old friend’s class that it appeared they did the ‘train’ during class…more power to her and everyone for waking up more of their creative flow. So I guess I haven’t tried out everything.

As a teacher, I feel that if I am going to teach yoga I can’t just know a script and ask everyone else to fit the mold. That I have to continue to diversify the way I offer a class so an advanced yoga still is challenged to expand and a newby can feel enough trust to explore ~ especially if they are in the same class. For about 8 years straight I was doing about 3 major trainings a year. It was almost habit to be running off learning more, but I was teaching in environments that weren’t just upper middle class (this is the non-diversified side of yoga in my public classes currently which makes me sad). I was in settings that required me to be able to work with a woman that is 250 pounds that was in the same class as a male athlete training for the boston marathon. This is just one example of the diverse nature of physicality that has entered the room. In order though to help facilitate a connection to caring for themselves, for cultivating self compassion, worth and serenity, my own skills have to be diversified.

There are so many styles of yoga ~ but that isn’t exactly what I am talking about ~ instead it’s being able to be draw from a variety of methods of connecting with individuals. Sure the context is yoga, but holding space so that each person can feel valued and be supported in their efforts, (and even practice meditation) means for me, my style of yoga has to expand beyond just one approach, method, or style. Yoga Full of Grace, a diversified approach to awakening the wellspring of your own heart.

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Calling of your heart

When I was little, it was difficult for me to see differences, but at the same time I remember that things would get blurry if I didn’t understand. (Now as an adult I should ware glasses as things really do get blurry the further away they are, but I choose not to ware them unless I am driving). But I have thought on this idea in relationship to my heart’s vision. What I am able to see clearly and what is still a little foggy.

Do I know exactly what my heart wants and or cares for, yes and no. There are parts that I know are not satisfying like violent movies and guns. (I get people hunting, but I don’t get people killing from fear or hate). There are also things I don’t do well with like awkward humor. That is when you make someone else feel small for a laugh ~ it’s just not worth it to me. I also know that my heart wants every being to realize that it is totally worth it and that this life is completely worth it and that all God, the Divine, the Universe, whatever you call it, wants you to LOVE. Recently I have wondered if really it’s about an inward love, peace and joy rather than an outward one. (By the way – I am not talking about the love we see on TV but rather unconditional love).

We could have a conversation about do you have to love out in the world to know love on the inside or do you have to first love yourself to love others, but I think it is both, you can’t have one without the other and well, it’s your life that is going to influence where it begins ~ not mine. So just think on where you are coming from and respect where others may begin.

Me, I am a pleaser and am surrounded by a ton of pleasers, but I am learning that being a pleaser isn’t honoring my own heart’s call or anyone else’s around me. This is a real hard thing to swallow so I am getting some help and am also expanding my ways of helping others. One thing I am doing is looking at how others are saying the same thing, whether it is in the texts of yoga (which are really really old), teachings from when I was a child, or modern day perspective on timeless considerations. (I mentioned this a while back). One spot I found myself to was Maston’s ‘The Daily Love” who is doing a free week long online course that is doing just what I mentioned above…yes I love the cosmic secretary and there is no way I will be able to listen to everyone, but I am working hard on listening to my heart and my heart is looking for the dots of connection to the universal love that helps each of us feel connected, fulfilled and completely worthy. Perhaps, honoring our heart’s song is the ultimate purpose even if it is scary, blurry or crystal clear.

Learning to Believe

If our heart, as I firmly believe, contains a full spectrum of feelings from pity to contentment, anger to ultimate love, terror to ultimate delight, then one could consider turning our heart to the highest good…that which there is none higher… This means when we turn to our highest good we turn to and participate fully with the divine’s intention. We begin to take a seat in our truest self and meet the divine there. This is the power in knowledge and experience coming together, taking the form of ourself.

If we make a connection, to our feet, legs, hips, spine, heart arms, hands and head, we start to connect to our container, the vessel in which we take on this journey called life. It’s, let’s say, an entry point to understanding that we contain something great. Then we start to think about ourselves, our relationship to each other to the life we are living, the many dimensions of ourselves. If you haven’t been sad, you haven’t lived, if you haven’t laughed spontaneously and out of control, you haven’t lived, if you haven’t felt isolated or rejected, you haven’t lived, if you haven’t felt like you belong to something greater…we should talk.

Let me just say, orienting ourselves to our greatness isn’t easy. Making choices to get there is tough stuff, but when we do it, when we believe in ourselves, we actually believe in the divine, the greater cosmic connection. Since you are going to get into an argument, you are going to find yourself in deep sadness. Find ways to believe in a greater goodness about yourself, helps you believe in the greater good of humanity.

you’ll be fine

if you do what’s in your heart.

Sense of belonging

People have a fundamental need for positive and lasting relationships – DeWall, Deckman, Pond & Bonser

Owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing we will ever do – Brown

The self is a consistent pattern, an organized whole – Schultz & Schultz

What does this have to do with anything…it’s everything. Yes I am in graduate school and have been teaching yoga for 10 years, there is a collision of an ancient practice meeting academic standards in my own life currently.  If you were to step onto your yoga mat right now – and if I see you in the next 48 hours this is where I will be teaching from – can you, assuming you have all limbs in tack and if not then there is probably a cellular remembrance of what has gone missing, separate your heart from the whole? Can you separate your mind from the whole? Can you separate your physical, arms legs, hands, head from the whole? You could probably be on your mat mindlessly, but I wonder if it will offer a positive relationship with yourself or others later in the day. You could probable separate your heart, but I doubt you would be very successful loving yourself or others later in the day. And really, could you separate your body, the physical from the mental?

Often the concept of our heart and our mind get left out of the bigger picture. In cases of physical abuse or eating disorder, the body or positive regard of the body gets left. Yoga, as I have said before is a practice of uniting, connecting, allowing all parts of oneself to belong, to make a connection to the whole. Interestingly enough, the lack of satisfaction in our lives is seeing everyone else as separate. Isolating cultures, race, religion, sexual preference, politics, yet we all share the same breath, live on this planet together and everyone, as Paul Tournier puts it, “holds a sense of being lovable without having to qualify for that acceptance”. The success of our human race depends on having connections with others…yet we are still at war, and the biggest battle is probably within yourself. I am most definitely the hardest person on myself and tend to be the first one to get in my own way and tend to be the last one to put myself first…but I am working on it and refining little patterns that pull me from the collective love of myself. Working on creating a sense of belonging within in order to reflect it back out in to the wild world in which we participate.

We’ve heard it many times before and I wonder if he was ever hard on himself …

Be the change that you want to see – Gandhi

Yesterday’s post, just as you are, refers to the idea that you contain an unimaginable magnificence as Paul Muller-Ortega has taught me. Yes there are the layers that grip us into the non-loving expressions of our humanness, but we also contain the ability to belong, connect and the potential as well as the encouragement to bring forward your best self. What more is there?

Sidetrack

Yes, I wandered off track. Honestly, I haven’t been in front of a computer since Thursday. But it’s good you know. You make a commitment, then you step away for a moment, gain a new perspective.  Really you get out and live a little.

You refuel your heart, connect to the people you share this life with, and most importantly, you don’t freak out because it didn’t go according to plan.

Just like this post…there are typos because I’m still not on my computer, but I choose to confess to it not all being just right but rather recognize my imperfect participation. Though it’s just right and as it should be.

Yoga…all natural

This first entry may not be very pretty. There are no preservatives, added hormones or artificial flavoring. Please be kind if the appearance isn’t always ‘picture perfect’ I’m trying to be totally organic. An all natural offering from my heart. Sure there is a little ego, how else would these words appear for all the world to see. And of course the mind is responsible for organizing and arranging the flow of words, but that’s what makes it organic. All parts fitting together harmoniously as necessary parts of the whole.

When I mention the word heart, I really should say, essence, spirit, or soul. Yes, on the gross level, the physical heart beats blood through our system. Carrying oxygen throughout the body so that we can BE humans. But on a more subtle, less tangible level, I refer to the heart as the place in which we connect to the source, the essence of our existence.  A center within the body that we can experience the divine nature of life, where the spirit of the individual connects back to the absolute, the ultimate, that which there is none higher.

When our offering comes straight from the heart, it’s a living, pulsating, radiating gesture of consciousness. Yes…an expression of God. Each day I am blown away that I have been given the opportunity to be me. Each day you are given the opportunity to be you.  A great way to honor this divine opportunity, is a yoga practice, a sadhana.

Yoga is a method that helps unite our individual self with the absolute. Reminding us that we don’t suck, we are part of something great, and contain more than we could ever imagine.  My sadhana includes not only the physical practice but also the practice of meditating. Sitting with the divine and awakening to the currents of Grace.  My sadhana has revealed that Grace is ever present. Though the divine can’t always be seen, touched or understood I’ve come to recognize that all parts are necessary and ultimately fit within the whole.

As I step deeper into the path of yoga, constantly opening to grace, deepening my connection to the divine, to that which there is none higher, I’m reminded of the many creative forms in which the spirit manifests.  Thus this new offering straight from my heart, yoga all natural… Yoga Full of Grace.