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Showing posts from July, 2011

Yoga Sutra challenge day #3 Asteya

Yoga Sutra challenge day #3 Asteya -- Non-stealing. Not taking that which is not given.

Before we talk about Asteya let's check in and see how we did with Satya(Truthfulness).   I thought
this one would be the easiest but again, there were some challenges.   Mostly because I felt like if I told the truth about how I was feeling it might be hurtful to others.  So I felt like I was left holding these feelings/emotions in my lap and didn't know exactly what to do with them.  I know that we are suppose to acknowledge them and then let them go.  It's the letting them go part I need to figure out how to do.

I noticed how difficult it is to be completely honest.  Someone asks you, "how are you doing?"  You smile and say "I'm okay. How are you?"  When you really want to say "I'm doing terrible, this happened....that happened......" but we don't.  We smile and say "I'm ok".   We might even be dishonest with ourselves.  We t…

Yoga Sutras Challenge: Day2 - Satya

Day 2 of our Yoga Sutra challenge. The theme of the day is Satya: Truthfulness. But first a word about day#1:


I'd like to tell you that yesterday's practice with ahimsa was wonderful and that I have mastered that yama but I'd be lying. In the spirit of truthfulness I'm going to tell you the ugly truth about my practice of ahimsa. It was quite a challenge. I found myself wanting to smack the person giving me an attitude for no good reason. Let's not even talk about the temper tantrum I had in the car when the idiot (ahem... excuse me) the guy
was driving too close to me or the car that didn't signal before coming into my lane.  When someone spoke harshly to me I found myself lashing back with my words before I even realized what I was saying. The good news about the experiment was that I was more aware. Simply by setting the intention that I was going to do my best to cause no harm to anyone, including myself, I believe helped me to think before I reacted. List…

Yoga Sutras Challenge, Day 1: Ahimsa

"OMG! You are such a yoga dork" This is what my friend, Val said to me once when I told her I was going to my teacher's house to study the Upanishads one Friday evening. I admit it, I am a dork. I can remember being kid and locking myself in my room and spending hours on my red bean bag chair reading book after book while the other neighborhood kids were outside. I guess I've always been a dork so why would I expect that to change now.

I am probably the only person I know who actually spends time - nearly every day - thinking and contemplating the Yamas and Niyamas. Remember those? They are the personal and social ethics that we yogis should be living by? (Val, you were right - I am a dork) I can't say that I've mastered them in any way but they are usually not far from my mind. My inner control freak likes the clear, straight forward way that Patanjali set down these guidelines for us.

I am curious, though, why does it seem that so few yogis actually follo…

And the challenges continue......

"Ask and you shall receive".   I asked, Am I enough? What I received was opportunities to practice will power and discipline.  I know I should be feeling grateful for the opportunities to prove that I am enough but what I'm feeling instead is that I should be careful what I ask for.


It's been about 108 degrees the last few days and it's expected to be even hotter today. Tempers are flaring and my A/C broke last night.   Needless to say, I didn't sleep well.  Since I can't sleep anyway I decided to practice.   Before I can practice I have some obstacles to get over.


* I'm too tired to practice
* It's way too hot to move
* kid sleeping in the space I use for practice
* Did I mention, it's so damn hot?
* I'm too cranky to practice


Where's my motivation right now?  I have none. 

This is the beginning of a post I started on Friday morning.......I was just about to delete it but I decided not too.  The reality is that being a yogi is not always …

Am I enough?

It's official, I am a yoga junkie.  I have decided that now is the time for me to give up my twice weekly yoga class.  Last night was the first class I missed and I can honestly say that I was totally having withdrawal symptoms!!  This is crazy.  It was so freakin hard to stay away!!  I've often wondered and now I can say for sure that yoga is simply another addiction for me. 

Here I am, after a 16 year love affair with yoga, I find myself a yoga orphan.  This is the first time that I do not have a regular class to "belong" to.  The Universe has put me in this unsettling position which means, of course, there is a lesson to be learned.  I better learn it quickly because I am not liking how this feels!!

What could this lesson be? Here's my initial thoughts:

*  All addictions are attachments and attachments lead to suffering.... even good attachments are still attachments.  Suffer is inevitable because nothing lasts forever.

*  Trusting and following my inner guid…

Catch me I'm falling Part 2

I can't help but wonder what the little bird thinks when he's shoved out of the nest. What is the momma bird thinking? I suppose the momma bird knows when the time is right and she knows that it's the natural process of things.  But what about baby bird? What thought crosses it's mind at the moment when he realizes he's no longer safe in the nest but now in mid-air without the nest beneath him?

My guess is that he's thinking.... "OH HELL! I HOPE THESE WINGS WORK!!!"

I suppose at some point we all get that little shove from the universe. What we do next is up to us. We can do nothing and crash head first into the earth or we can flap our wings as hard as we can and hope for the best. After all, isn't this what we've been preparing for all along?

We ask the Divine for what we want but then we let fear hold us back from what we want. We humans are so strange. Haven't we realized yet that life is too short to sit in the nest day-dreaming ab…

Catch me I'm falling.......

"There are so few things in life you can trust".......Really?........ This is the crazy thought that hijacked my mind this morning.  Apparently, meditation is working to unearth these crazy false belief patterns that are stuck in my consciousness.  You would think that since I have been meditating regularly, systematically and with sustained enthusiasm for the past 10 years that I wouldn't have anything left to 'unearth'.  There is obviously more work to be done.

The difference today was that as the thought came up I immediately saw it for what it was...... Completely false.   Although I know in my head that this belief "there are so few things in life you can trust" is false there is still a part of me, deep down that operates from this false belief.   We unconsciously look for circumstances in our life that support this false belief and then we tell ourselves "see this is why I can't trust anyone".   We don't open our hearts fully, …

Guru Purnima - 2011, who knew?

Until 2 days ago I had no idea that there was such a thing as Guru Purnima.  Well, to be perfectly honest I don't really know anything except that it is a day to honor and pay homage to your guru.  It's celebrated on the full moon in July.  I'm always looking for a reason to have a celebration so honoring the guru is just as good as any.   I know I'm a day late but what the hell...... Let's celebrate the Guru!!

I'm always lamenting about not having an "official" guru so I was surprised when I first read about Guru Purnima that I knew exactly who I wanted to acknowledge.   In reality (okay well in the maya that I refer to as my reality) I have been blessed with an abundance of gurus.

Many teachers have crossed my path over the years.  Each one planting a few seeds.  Some seeds were clearly marked while others were planted and I didn't know what the seed was until it bloomed.   Some teachers planted seeds while others help me recognize the weeds f…

Fire! Fire!

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This..... is how I felt all day today.  It started after yoga last night.  Strange isn't it?  Have you ever felt like you could shoot fire out your mouth after yoga?  Not exactly the result I had been hoping for but that was the result just the same.  Every practice offers an opportunity to learn something. 
Yesterday was super busy all day.  I felt like I was running at 100 mph.  I was rushing from one thing to the next.  The temperature outside was 100 degrees, hot and humid.  I get to class and there's no a/c.  The windows don't open and the doors are closed.  I was sweating just sitting for the opening meditation.  The practice increased the fire both physically and mentally.  By the time we got to savasana the tension in my body was so intense and there was so much pressure in my head.  Besides feeling like fire was shooting out of my ears I had a pounding headache that lasted until ...... well it's still there.
I tried not to let myself feel disappointed that I …

Swing to the right.....Swing to the left......

I'm always telling the students to listen to their bodies. I remind them that our bodies tell us exactly what it needs and all we have to do is listen. It's so easy to see when people are pushing themselves. It's so obvious what other people need to do to bring themselves back into balance. It's a totally different story when it comes to ourselves.

I know I know but sometimes I forget. When I remember, then I know.
Yesterday, I remembered. I listened and paid attention to what my body was asking for. It needed simple, nourishing food and rest. I listened, I paid attention and I feel the effects. Of course I do; so why the hell don't I listen more often?

We often override our intuition and our instincts and then wonder why we don't feel 100%.
We read and learn all about Ayurveda and yoga yet we allow ourselves to get out of balance. How many times have we heard - Everything in moderation? Even the yoga sutras tell us that.

It seems to me that most of us get …

Nicholson, party of 6... Your darshan is now ready.

Our little group of 6 made the pilgrimage to New York to receive darshan from Amma today.   Last year went so smoothly that I didn't give it much thought as I planned the trip this year.  Lucky for me that Amma's grace was on my side or else our little group of 6 would have had to make the trip home without a hug from Amma.

If you are going to take a pilgrimage anywhere I would highly recommend that you take a couple Italian moms with you.   I arrive to pick up my mom and my zia for the trip and my mother promptly makes me take off my flip flops and hands me socks and sneakers - the first blessing of the day.   She also insisted that we each take a sweater and an umbrella - blessing #2.  

We arrive at the Manhattan Center and we soon receive our "tokens" I note that we are letter Q and I tuck them into my pocket.  We have plenty of time, I thought.  We eventually make our way downstairs to the dinning hall where blessing #3 takes place.  The only thing my Tayler wa…