Yoga with Mirella Nicholson

Yoga with Mirella Nicholson

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Synchronicity strikes again.....

Driving to class this morning I was sort of marveling at the power of the body to heal itself. I was feeling grateful that my hand was healing. I was feeling grateful to the lovely lady who so kindly offered me her burn cream. I was feeling grateful for the effectiveness of the burn cream. Despite the cold winds, the sun was shinning brightly this morning and for that I was also grateful.

I was swimming in a sea of gratitude so when my teacher started his class with the theme of gratitude I was reminded of the synchronicity of life. Just another confirmation that I am exactly where I'm suppose to be.  Because of this injury to my hand I haven't practiced asana all week. Yes, I know, I probably could have done a modified practice but I didn't. The point is that I was grateful that I was able to practice this morning.  My body was missing the practice.

I so rarely feel gratitude towards my body. I'm usually hating it for not looking like I think it should or for not doing what I want it do. This morning was different. After all, I was witnessing first hand (no pun intended) how the body can heal itself and by the end of the practice it felt like every cell in my body was also swimming in a sea of gratitude.  My body was thanking me for the practice.

SD is right, it is easy to feel grateful for the good things in life.  The real gift, however, is learning to be grateful for the difficulties and challenges of life.  That's were the real magic happens.   This injury has made me appreciate not only the healing power of the body but also my hand.  All week I kept thinking....You really don't appreciate your hand until you can't use it.   This injury also made me grateful for the kindness and caring of the people around me. 

I'm also grateful for this challenge because it has reminded me that I need to be more conscious and present in everything I do, whether it's practicing yoga or pouring hot water.   Right now, I'm conscious of the warm cozy feeling I'm getting from sitting next to the space heater and I'm grateful that I don't have anything to do for the next couple of hours.  In about 5 minutes I'll be grateful for nap time.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

With new glasses everything is more clear

My daughter wants to know why I haven't been blogging. What can I say? When the inspiration is there the time isn't. When the time is there, the inspiration isn't. Here I am with time, hoping for the inspiration.

I feel inspired to share a few things I learned. Actually, a few things that I remembered this week-end.

* No matter how tired and cranky I am spending time at Yoga on Main always makes me happy.
* The parking authority makes me cranky -- even after a day immersed in yoga.
* Boiling water is HOT and should be handled with caution.
* Some days my brain hurts from thinking too much.
* Nothing quiets my mind better than mantra.

I had the great joy of spending most of the week-end in class as part of the advanced yoga teacher training program. The topic was Mantra meditation. We learned about the energetic effects of mantra and we spend time chanting and meditating. It was awesome. I slept so good all week-end even with the 2nd degree burn on my hand.

But I have this nagging question rattling around in my head...."Is enlightenment possible while living as a householder?" As my teacher prepares for his annual pilgrimage to India I can't help but feel a bit of envy. I daydream about immersing myself in spiritual practices while I'm washing the dishes or folding the laundry. As I sweep the floors my mind wanders off and I imagine myself visiting all the beautiful temples from my teacher's photos.

The daydream is interrupted by "Mom, can you take me to the mall?" "Mom, I'm hungry. What's for dinner?" "Mom, I need you to fill out my FASA application". Suddenly I'm thrown back into reality. The imaginary spiritual pilgrimage will have to wait....I'm too busy. Here are a few more things I remembered:

* It’s better to do your own duty than to try to do someone else's. Right now, my duty is as a householder.
* Every moment can be a spiritual practice if I set the intention of making it one.
* I cannot control my external circumstances but I can control how they affect me and how I respond.
* Whatever I look for is exactly what I'll find. Now, I need to start looking for opportunities to practice
   the real yoga in my daily life rather than looking for excuses for not practicing.
* Every breath is an opportunity to remember the mantra.
* Every interaction with another is an opportunity to practice seeing God in everyone.
* Every day is an opportunity to love and serve.

So for now, I will consider myself on a spiritual pilgrimage every time I roll out my yoga mat or sit on my meditation cushion.  I will remind myself that yoga is a way of life.  It's about how I choose to live each moment to the fullest.  When I'm fully present in each moment -- that's yoga.

Oh... one last thing I'd like to share. Last night someone shared this saying “A wise man even takes instruction from a fool.” What that says to me is that instead of endlessly searching for a "real" guru, I need to remember to see every challenge I face as my guru. It is the challenges that teach me the most.

I'm thinking about this passage I read once about how a seed must break open before it can grow.
The next time you feel "broken" think about the little seed that breaks willingly knowing that something beautiful will come from the experience.

I hope that I have inspired you to perhaps shift your perspective to see each moment of your day as an opportunity to be in a state of yoga.....

Hari Om!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Walking without shoes

I woke up exhausted one morning.  All night long I had been walking. I don't know where I was going or where I was coming from. I was just walking, walking and walking. At one point, I was walking across a bridge. Maybe it wasn't a bridge but a ledge. On one side was a wall, on the other a sharp drop down to God only knows where.

Still I'm walking.....I'm half-way across this bridge and I'm afraid. Afraid of falling. I stop, frozen in fear. I see ahead of me solid ground but it's still a long way off. I look back but realize that I'm too far along to turn back now. Forward is the only option. I rush forward telling myself "just keep walking forward. Don't look back, don't look down...Just straight ahead."

Finally, the solid ground in the form of a patch of grass is within my reach. I run to safety and as my feet hit the patch of grass I feel my feet are wet. That's when I realized I didn't have shoes on!! I can't turn back now to go get my shoes. I have to continue walking. Where to, I have no idea. So the walking continues. Through all sorts of weird surroundings. The background changes but I'm still walking. I've been walking for so long now without shoes that my socks are full of holes. Still I keep walking......

It's no wonder I woke up so exhausted after all that walking I did in my dream!!

Anyone have any idea what this crazy dream is about and why it is still so vivid in my mind when it happened months ago?? The mind is such a strange place to visit. The yoga sutras tell us that our dreams are "remembering in our sleep". If that's the case, what was I remembering?

This past week-end I had the opportunity to teach a class on the yoga sutras. In the process of preparing for the class and in the process of teaching the class I discovered just how much I have learned during the past few years of study. I have come a long way, I have walked a long time on this yoga journey. Perhaps the dream was showing me how far (even without shoes) I have traveled. Perhaps the changing scenery in the dream signified my various experiences both in this lifetime and past lifetimes.

The scenery of our lives change but the essence of who we are stays the same. In the dream, it was "me" walking and everything else around me was changing. The truth of it is that the "me", my true nature, is always the same even when the external changes. The essence of "me" will remain the same even as the scenery of my life experiences change.

I continue walking this path. Walking, walking, walking. Forward but never back. Firm in the knowledge that the essence of who I am will always be the same. Firm in the knowledge that I am too far along on the journey to turn back now. When I find myself frozen in fear I will look ahead to the soft patch of grass ahead of me, that solid ground and continue to move forward. After all, what choice do I have? Even if I don't know where I'm going or where I'm coming from. The "I" that is my true nature knows everything. All I have to do is trust that I will one day awaken from this dream....... Then everything will be known and all my doubts will be removed.

Om Namah Shivaya!