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Showing posts from May, 2010

Comedy Lila - Act #2

Have you ever  been in a yoga class where you wondered if you could sneak out without anyone noticing?
If you have, did you sneak out or did you stay and why?

This morning I didn't have a lot of time but felt like I needed a yoga class.  I decided to try a new class close to my home.  The instructor begins her class with what I would consider an intention.  She says that we should try to look for the good in everything.  She said something to the effect that even when there's a new student in the class rather than seeing all the things he/she can't do we should  find something good - like "I like her shirt". 

She takes requests from the students.  (there were 6 regulars and me)  Handstand, someone suggests.  Great idea she says, we'll do inversions!  Oh God ....... this must be act 2 of  the comedy lila (Divine play) called my life.

The class begins immediately with standing poses and it's not long before I realize that this is going to be acrobatic y…

God has quite a sense of humor!

Today's lila (Divine play) is a comedy that began at 5am.  Center stage....... Me!  Have you ever had one of those days where everything that could go wrong, goes wrong?  Yeah.... It used to frustrate me to the point of tears.  Now, I try to practice acceptance. 

My sadhana this past week as been difficult.  This morning was no different.  With my mind and heart racing I finally give up trying to meditate.  I'm teaching for Shiva Das this morning so I figure I'd get to the studio a little earlier and perhaps I'll have a little time for meditation before class. 

Rememeber the saying "Man plans and God laughs?"  Once I finally find my other flip flop, I get into my car. I didn't even make it out of the driveway. Check engine light is on and it feels like the car is going to fall apart!  (in the words of Frank Barrone - Everyone loves Raymond) HOLY CRAP!  -- I remind myself - acceptance and gratitude are my bhavanas this week -- okay, I'm not taking my…

The heat is on!

"Our biological existence is a dance of the three doshas of vata, pitta, and kapha.  Life is a multi-colored tapestry of their movement in various plays of balance and imbalance, coming together and going apart.  These three powers color and determine our conditions of growth and aging, health and disease." - Yoga and Ayurveda, David Frawley

**Disclaimer - once again I remind the readers of this blog that I am in no way an expert **

Each of us have some portion of each of these doshas.  Our constitution is determined at birth but it fluctuates and become imbalanced at times.  Here's a quick over-view of each dosha.

Vata                                                  Pitta                                          
ether &  air                                  fire &  water                                 
"that which moves things"         "that which digests things"       
space, light, cold, dry                oily, hot, penetrating����������…

For my lovely daughter, Amanda.....

Frustration! That's what I'm feeling.  Frustration that I can't find the words to verbally express myself freely.
Is it possible that some things can't be expressed in words?  Words are so limited.  For example, the word love.  Those of you who know me know that I love Doritos.  In my opinion that are the most perfect snack.
I also use this same word, love, to express how I feel about my children.  Obviously, my love for my children is not exactly the same love I feel for Doritos yet it's the same word we use.   I feel like there must be a better word but I can't figure out what that is.

In yoga terms, this difficulty I have with verbal expression is probably caused by a major blockage in my
Vishudhi chakra (throat chakra).   I actually feel a physical lump in my throat.  Whenever I feel like I want to say something I almost immediately feel a constriction in my throat.  I've been exploring this for quite some time.   Although, yoga has helped me a great de…

Important reminders......

I took a yoga workshop today with my pal, YogaLu.   YogaLu and I car pooled for most of the 5 months of our teacher training.   One thing is for sure, when Lu is in charge, I don't have to worry about anything. She always has everything under control.  I love that!

Anyway, this workshop on sequencing a yoga class was pretty basic.  Teacher Training material really but I'm glad I went.  It was nice to have a refresher.  The instructor was very likable.  I was expecting to learn some creative new sequences that I could take back to my classes.  Unfortunately, I didn't.  What I did take away were some really important reminders. 

1. That it's impossible to please everyone - therefore, all  I can do is teach from my heart.  The students who
    like my teaching style will find their way to my class.  Those who are looking for something else will find
    other classes and that's okay.

2.  It's extremely important to hold the space with compassion and empathy for …

Jai Ma!

Yesterday, on my way home from work I get a call from my mother, "The  BVM carnival is tonight"
(I hate carnivals) but I say "Okay, I'll bring the kids".  After a quick dinner and homework, my two
younger children and I go to my mother's house.  My aunt and cousin and most of my nieces and nephews
are waiting.  We pile everyone into the car.  "I hate carnivals" I say.  My mother replies "When you're a mother you have to suffer a little for your kids"   What??  Really? 

Being a mother is the most wonderful and the hardest job in the world.  When you are holding your beautiful new baby in your arms you imagine your life being like living in "Candyland".  You're not going to make the mistakes you perceive your mother made.  You're going to do everything right and your child is going to  be
perfect, and she will love you as much as you love her. 

The problem with this idea is that it's a BIG FAT EXPECTATION!  I t…

Are you up for a challenge?

When I bought my first house I was so excited.  I set out one spring morning to clear the tiny front yard for planting.  For weeks I cleared out weeds and tended to the seeds I had planted.  My elderly neighbor was
a expert gardener.  Her front yard was so beautiful.  I, on the other hand, was 19 years old and didn't know a damn thing.  So imagine my excitement when I saw the first signs of growth!!  I carefully tended my first little flower.  I watered it, weeded around it, checked on it every day.   One day, my elderly neighbor was working in her garden as I lovely tended to my flower.  "How much longer are you going to let that weed grow before you pull it out?"  Gasp!  Weed..... no, no,  it's not a weed.  It's a flower.  I planted the seeds here!  LOL.  I can laugh now but I could not believe then, that she watched me tend to this "flower" for weeks before she told me it was a weed. 

"That which you put your attention on grows stronger in your…

Could Dr. Seuss have been a yogi??

Most days, on my way to and from work I see a man riding his bicycle.  On the handle bars of his bike he has a stuffed Spider Man doll.  On the back, sits a milk crate holding a baby doll, dressed in pink.  I can't help but wonder what his story is.  Why does he have those dolls tied to his bike? Where is he headed to as I'm headed to work?  What is going on in his mind?

I giggle to myself as I remember the Dr. Seuss book that I read a million times to my kids,  "And To Think that I saw it Mulberry Street".   In the book a little boy imagines all these wonderful things he'll see while he's walking home from school. As the boy rushed home he thinks "For I had a story that no one could beat! and to think that I saw it on Mulberry Street".  The boy's father quite calmly says " Just draw up your stool and tell me the sights on the way home from school.."  The father knows that Marco is "telling outlandish tales and turning minnows int…

Happiness.......

Happiness is defined as : a state of mind or feeling characterized by contentment, love, satisfaction, pleasure, or joy.

Seems pretty straight forward to me.  Take a minute here, close your eyes, try to remember a time when you felt content, love, satisfied.   Did any of those moments that came to mind have anything to do with gaining material stuff?  How about, gaining money?  Ummm.... probably not.  

When I closed my eyes and thought about times when I felt content, love, or satisfied, what came to mind were moments spent with my family and close friends.  Moments when I was totally engaged in doing something that I love. 

A friend recently reminded me that happiness is different for everyone.  That may be true but, in my humble opinion, there are some basic things that make all of us happy.  Love, security, close relationships, contentment.  We all know that don't we?  We know that when we are doing something we love we're happy. 

Can you feel happy when you are dealing …

mirror, mirror, on the wall.......

Let me ask you a question.  Be honest. Do you ever feel like throwing a temper tantrum when you don't get your way? --- Well, you are about to get a glimpse of my mental temper tantrum. Sometimes when I see a child having a tantrum I envy their freedom of expression.  Admit it, wouldn't it feel good to stomp your feet and yell at the top of your lungs when you don't get your way?  Don't you ever feel like just saying exactly what you think without feeling like you have to censor yourself for fear that others will think badly of you?

I want things my way for once!! Tonight I expressed my opinion about something hoping the other person would agree but, of course, he didn't.  This has been a recurring theme in my life, disappointment.  You would think that since I've been carrying it around on my shoulders for so long that I'd be used to it by now.  Well, I'm not.   Feeling disappointed sucks. Especially when it's over something that really doesn'…

More discoveries about myself

I think my love of traditions and rituals is just my control issues in disguise!  Let's see if you agree by the time you finish reading this blog.

I remember being probably 9 or 10 years old and sitting on my pink huffy bike in the back driveway of our house.  My mother and aunt sitting around our blue wading pool that is filled with tomatoes!  My most favorite tradition; which is very much filled with ritual, is making jars of fresh tomato sauce and roasting peppers for the winter.   I remember that day, sitting on my bike (which I never really learned how to ride) thinking that all was right with the world because the most important people in my life were all gathered there that day. 
Washing the tomatoes, smelling them to make sure they weren't spoiled, cutting them in half......
The process of making sauce and roasting the peppers has to be done exactly right or you risk spoiling the entire batch.   That's where the ritual comes in.  From boiling the jars and lids to…

Death as teacher

Today was my aunt's funeral.
If there was any doubt about the fact that we are not our bodies before, the doubt is gone.

My mom and my zia were standing there saying how great see looked. How she looks the same, like she's
sleeping. I'm sorry I didn't see any signs of Aunt Vera at all. It was obvious to me that Aunt Vera
was gone and all that was left was the container.

I was also struck by the passages that were read by the grandchildren and the priest. There were so many
similarities to the yoga texts I've been reading. 

Anyway.... We are not our bodies.... We are not our minds..... So what are we?? 

Katha Upanishad:  "Hidden in the heart of every creature exists the Self, subtler than the subtlest, greater than the greatest. They go beyond sorrow who extinguish their self-will and behold the glory of the Self through the grace of the Lord of Love"

Yogini one minute - Dog catcher the next!

Yesterday morning, with the smell of incense from my alter still in the air and sound of the Gayatri mantra still swirling around in my head I'm getting ready for the day ahead.  I go out to the backyard to bring the dog in and notice, with a sinking feeling in my stomach, that someone (we don't know who, another Nicholson family mystery) had left the gate open and yes.... Pumpkin is on the loose!

One minute I'm a yogini meditating on my cushion and the next I'm a dog catcher!  My how quickly things change! 

So there I am,  I'm dressed for work and trampling through my neighbors swampy yards with chicken nuggets in one hand and the leash in the other. My son following behind crying because he's afraid something bad is going to happen to his dog. 

I hear him before I actually see him.  He's a beagle so just imagine his howls as he gets his sights on a neighborhood cat!  The cat gives him a good whack and runs up the tree.  I'm thinking I got him now b…

I have a question.......

I really thought that everything I ever wanted to know could be found in between the covers of a book.
Holy Hell was I wrong!!  I spent years and God only knows how much money buying book that promised
to solve all my problems. 

With each new situation I found myself struggling with I turned to a book for the answers.  There must be an expert somewhere who could answer my questions, I just have to find him/her.  When I was pregnant with my first child I read every baby book and baby magazine I could get my hands on.  Nothing I read prepared me for the experience of being a mother.  Remember Dr. Brazelton?  He was my favorite expert.  He became my parenting guru.  Well, for those of you with children, you know how well that worked out.

Some of my friends in the yoga teacher training used to tease me because I always had questions for the teachers.  Sometimes I'd get an answer, sometimes not so I'd turn to my training manual.  I'm sure the answers are there somewhere.  Oka…