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Change is bittersweet

It hit me today.  I've known it would happen but today the reality of it hit me.  Tomorrow morning will be the last yoga class I take in this space.  As I sat at the coffee shop sipping Chai I looked across the street.  Reminiscing  about the first class I took at Yoga on Main.  

It was a Saturday morning and the first person I met when I opened the door to Yoga on Main was a woman named Kate. She had long hair, almost down to her feet.  She greeted me with a smile and a hug as she said "I'm so glad you're here." In that moment I had no idea how much my life would change; how much I would change.
My love affair with yoga had begun many years before.  By the time I arrived at Yoga on Main I had established a home practice and I was meditating daily.  Actually, I was already teaching by then.  My regular yoga teacher had stopped teaching on Saturdays so I was just looking for a place to practice.  What I found was so much more.   
Yoga on Main is not just a yoga st…

The man with the conch shell

I recently ran into a man that I had met only once a couple of years ago.  I greeted him with "it's nice to see you again."  To which he replied "it's nice to be seen."   That simple statement "it's nice to be seen." has been rolling around in my head for a couple of weeks now.  It reminded me of Mrs. Greene, the principle at the elementary school.

Mrs. Greene and I didn't always see eye to eye when Tayler was at Overlook but the year Jake started I had a change of heart.  It was Mrs. Greene who introduced me, and the whole school, to an African word, "Ubantu".   Ubantu, she explained, was a way to say I see you.  You are because I am.  It is a reminder of our shared humanity.   When children are acting out  they are seeking attention.  When Mrs. Greene would notice students not getting along she would say "Ubantu" to remind the children of the Ubantu philosophy:  I see you.  You and I are one.  She felt that if the chi…

Compassion

"Where's the compassion?"  I've spent a lot time thinking about  compassion since that question was posed to me.   First thing I did was look up the definition of compassion.

Compassion; noun  (online dictionary)
"sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortune of others." 

This is the one I liked the best:
"compassion literally means to suffer together." (greatergood.berkeley.edu)

Then I read a bunch of online articles about what compassion is. I consulted the Bhagavad Gita and the Upanishads.   I watched some podcasts about it.  I had resolved to learn everything I could about compassion.

At the end of my week long search I can say, with a fair amount of certainty, that where compassion is not is in my head.   What I did find in my head was a lot of negative self-talk.  I kept telling myself that I am somehow deficient in the "compassion department".   How can I feel compassion for people who have hurt me?  That's cra…

The Yoga of Motherhood

At yoga this morning a woman said (about motherhood) "even though it was really hard I wouldn't have it any other way. "  Her daughter is grown and she has the 20/20 vision of hindsight on her side.  My initial thought was how lucky she is that she doesn't have any regrets.

My kids are mostly grown too. My vision, however, was not as clear at first.   For a second I missed the part where she said "It was really hard..."   I sometimes regret not having the option to be a stay at home mom.  I sometimes still worry that I could have done things better. I sometimes still feel somehow deficient.  Still.... I wouldn't have it any other way.   As we all know, motherhood takes us to the brink of insanity nearly every day but it also shows us our infinity capacity to love.

As I was reflecting on my experiences with motherhood I could see very clearly that it has provided plenty of  opportunities  to practice the teachings of yoga.

Things like "non-attachmen…

Good night to Swaha

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Tonight feels like a good night to swaha.  Swaha is what we say as we offer our intentions into the fire for transformation. 
Swaha is I offer, I release 
 I offer my gratitude  Swaha!  I release fear Swaha!  I offer myself in service Swaha! I release worry Swaha! I offer my heart with love and compassion Swaha! I release resentment  Swaha! I offer forgiveness to myself and others Swaha!  I release anger and frustration Swaha! I offer my home to anyone who needs a safe space Swaha! I release all that no longer services me  Swaha!  I offer kindness and understanding Swaha I release the heaviness in my heart Swaha! I offer my thoughts, words, and deeds as instruments of God's Divine Will. Swaha! I release my ego at the feet of the Divine Mother Swaha!

Moon magic

About 10 years ago my teacher asked me if I would represent our yoga studio at a women’s
conference.  My first thought upon hearing this request was “what do I know about being a woman?”.
That was a huge wake up call for me.  I had completely lost my connection to myself. At that time in
my life I was struggling in a very dysfunctional/abusive marriage.   I was working full time, teaching
yoga, trying to raise a family and run a household. The only way I could survive was to shut myself
off from my emotions. I fulfilled all my responsibilities. I worked very hard at maintaining the illusion
that I was strong and capable but on the inside, I was broken into a million little pieces.  I didn’t even
recognize myself.

I’m grateful for the strong solar energy in my nature that gave me the strength I needed to take care
of my family but something was missing.

As I furthered my study of yoga and Ayurveda I learned the axiom, Like increases like and opposites
cure.  A Vedic astrologer once told m…

What will you say to God?

So much of the news is so disturbing.  So much of it makes me feel sick to my stomach.  I know it's important to know what's going on in the world.  We can't stick our heads in the sand but how do we not fall into despair?  This morning I wanted to check the road conditions before leaving the house.  While waiting for the weather I listened to a story about a group of Catholic school kids tormenting a Native American man.  I'm not sure why, but it disturbed me even more knowing that these children were Catholic school children.  I was a Catholic school child.  I learned that God is everywhere, all the time.  I learned treat others with kindness.   
While waiting to hear about the road conditions I started to wonder....
What will that Catholic school boy say to God when God asks him why he turned his back on him when God came to him in the form of a Native American man? 
What will you say to God when he asks you why you turned your back on him when he came to you for hel…