Showing posts from August, 2011

Establishing home base.

I wanted to title this post "The ways yoga has saved my life" but I thought that sounded a bit dramatic. Although I do feel like it did just that.... Saved my life. I shutter to think what I would be like had I not discovered yoga.

Remember when you were a kid and you used to play tag? Whoever was "it" would chase the others who were running around trying to avoid getting tagged (touched by the person who was it).   The first thing you would do before you start  is decide who was "it" and establish where home base would be. This is the spot you could go to if you had to tie your sneakers or needed to catch your breath.  You could not be tagged while on home base.  The yoga mat is my home base. It's where I go when I need to catch my breath.

Each time I choose to go  to home base I feel grateful for the reprieve.  I feel grateful for making the right choice.  Who knew that such a simply practice of moving my body with the rhythm of my breath could ha…

Yoga Sutras Challenge Day #7: Santosha

Yoga Sutras Challenge Day #7: Santosha ~ Contentment

Definition of CONTENTMENT:
1: the quality or state of being contented :  feeling or showing satisfaction with one's possessions, status, or situation.

Interesting definition, feeling satisfaction with one's possessions? That doesn't sound like yoga. Or does it? At first glance is sounds like it's suggesting that we need possessions in order to be content.  But it says feeling satisfaction with ONE'S possessions.  Be satisfied with what we already HAVE and not be grasping always for more. 

Feeling satisfaction for one's status, Doing your work or service for the benefit of others; in service to the Divine, and not being attached to the fruits of your labor.  This one seems to be challenging me at the moment.  My ego is hard at work trying to keep me from santosha, contentment.  My 40th birthday was this past Friday and all day I kept thinking......"I really thought that by the time I was 40 years old that…

Got sraddhaa? Got Faith?

Unless you've been living under a rock or in Yoga-land, you already know the turmoil our world is in.   Everywhere you look, everyone you talk to there is some drama. The words that come to my mind are upheaval, chaotic, unsettling - just to name a few.  Changes are unavoidable (believe me, I've tried)

Some days it's too scary to even get out of bed because God only knows what's waiting for us when we do. Don't dare turn on the T.V. news!  The newspapers are only good for lining the bottom of your pet's crate.  In yoga class we hear all these fluffy, idealist things about everything being perfect and how all problems are solved with love.  It all sounds so lovely and then you leave the class and the world comes rushing at you.

Yesterday, a client was crying about the current state of her life. Her story was sad but not unlike my own or anyone else's I've heard.  I hear myself telling her "We just have to have faith the things will get better"…

Yoga Sutras Challenge Day#6 - Sauca (Cleanliness)

I should mention here that there are actually 10 yamas and 10 niyamas but for whatever reason most books only mention 5 of each.  I'm doing the same since I don't really know what the others are and can't really speak to them.  I'll do a little research and then post them another time for your consideration. 

Today we begin the niyamas: "personal disciplines" -  Day#6 of the Yoga Sutra challenge.

"Sauca -- Cleanliness. Not only external cleanliness of the body, but attending to internal cleanliness such as avoiding the impurities of anger and egoism. Moderation in diet"

External cleanliness of the body goes without saying.  Do we really need a sacred text to tell us that?? I hope not.  Avoiding the impurities of anger and egoism.... Now THERE is a challenge.  Honestly, I don't know how to avoid anger because I feel like it's not something I can control.  It controls me.   I can't figure out the difference between avoiding and suppress…

Yoga Sutras challenge: Day#5: Aparigraha

We are half way through our Yoga Sutras challenge: Day#5:  Aparigraha - non-possessiveness or non-greed.   Hummm.... What can say about Aparigraha? 

One of my pet peeves is when people refer to others as "my wife, my husband, my kids, my this or my that....."  It makes me nuts.  It makes me feel like the other person is a possession instead of an individual. 
I'm reading a book right now called "The Help".  It's about how the help, as in the maids in the South, were treated by the white families they worked for.  It's rather shocking when I read about the fact that people actually believed that it was okay for other human beings to be considered their property!!  This is an extreme example but in subtle ways some people still consider their loved ones as their possession.  Pay attention today to how many times you refer to someone as MY this or MY that. 

Non-greed is about not taking more than you need.  Have you seen the new TLC program called "…

Yoga Sutras challenge - Day#4 - Brahmacharya

Brahmacharya. I've been hesitating to post about this yama as I don't want to offend anyone or cause any "feathers to be ruffled".  Let me begin with a disclaimer:  This post is for informational purposes only!  I am not suggestion anything.  As my teacher says "All we can ever do is follow our own inner guidance".  That goes without saying with this particular yama.

Okay, here we are at day#4 of our challenge.  Brahmacharya is translated as "Right use of sexual energy".
Another translation of the yoga sutras called it: non-excess and still another referred to Bramhacharya as personal restraint.   (Don't worry, this will not be an X-rate post)

I suppose I should start by giving you a definition of Ojas from David Frawley's book: Yoga and Ayurveda
"Ojas-primal vigor: the subtle energy of water as the stored up vital reserve, the basis for physical and mental endurance; the internalized essence of digested food, water, air, impressio…

SpongeBob's yoga lesson

Anyone recognize this guy?  For those of you who don't have children, that's Plankton.  He's one of the characters on the cartoon SpongeBob.  For years he's been trying to steal the secret crabby patty recipe.  He believes that with the secret recipe he'll be able to control the world.  (insert crazy Plankton laugh here)
One day, there I was, just minding my own business.  Watching my crazy monkey mind when suddenly, the thought of Plankton comes to mind.  HOLY HELL!!!  That's me.  Just like Planton, all I want is to control the world.  At least my world.  I want everything to be exactly the way I want them to be.  If only I can get my hands on the secret recipe!!
My inner control freak is being challenged right now to the extreme.  I can't even control my own mind and my own emotions.  How the heck do I think I can control what someone else thinks or feels?  That's so ridiculous and yet that's what  I do.  I want to orchestrate the world around me.…