Yoga with Mirella Nicholson

Yoga with Mirella Nicholson

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

What to do if you make a wrong turn

I've been wasting lots of time sitting in front of the tv lately. I know it's a waste of time but I can't help myself. I'm not sure what came first, the inertia or the depression.

I've been super busy the last 6 months so when this inertia began I told myself that it was because I was completely exhausted. That's how I justify it.

Is the inertia the reason for the depression or is the depression the reason for the inertia? Does it even matter which came first? There are so many reasons for which I feel the depression is justified but in reality there are just as many reasons to feel gratitude and joy. Why is it that I tend towards depression rather than joy?

Since my most favorite teacher seems to have abandoned the Tuesday evening class I usually take (just one of the many reasons I justify the depression) and I had already watched 4 episodes of The Big Bang Theory, I decided to do a little yoga research.

The subject of this little research project is myself. I want to use myself as a case study for my advanced teacher training. Maybe if I can better understand myself I can better understand others who have similar issues. I can't be the only person who gets stuck in the quicksand of inertia/depression.

Looking at ourselves from an objective viewpoint is quite a challenge. No one wants to acknowledge the fact that we create our own reality with our thoughts and deeds. It's so much easier to blame others for our misery. I do believe, however, that this objective self-examination is absolutely necessary if there's any hope of us changing the patterns of thought that torment us.

When we look at our behavior from our ego mind we can justify the negative patterns. But when we examine our behavior from our discerning mind without allowing emotions to color what we see we can then get a clearer picture. When we step back from the emotions and let go of our attachment to the justifications then we see what changes are required.

We've all had the experience of seeing a friend or loved one suffering with troubles of their own making. We can see their part in the drama and we can see the solution easily because we are not entangled in the emotions of the situation. It's from this perspective that I set out to "assess" my own pattern towards inertia and depression.

Filling out the assessment form for myself and then putting together recommendations based on the facts was helpful. It helped me to put aside my emotions and my justifications so that I can recognize the patterns which are the root cause of depression.

Once we recognize the pattern, we need to acknowledge the fact that the pattern is of our own making.... That's the good news. Since we created the pattern in the first place we can take the necessary action to change the pattern to a new, more positive pattern. Our life really is in our own hands or should I say thoughts? We create our reality with our intentions.

"You are what your deep, driving desire is. As your desire is, so is your will. As your will is, so is your deed. As your deed is, so is your destiny." ~ Upanishads

It is ultimately our choice to follow our thoughts down depression alley or to take the U-turn back to our true nature where we find pure joy.

What is your deep driving desire??

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Not my will but thy will be done......

There I was, sitting in the circle at the morning retreat, minding my own business when  all of a sudden I get a telegram from God!!  That's right.... I direct message!  No crazy yoga riddles for me to figure out.  No  suggestions... A direct order.   "Let go of the need to be heard!"  "Let go of the need for validation!".

What?  Are you kidding me?  Hasn't the message all along been about finding my voice?  Learning to step into my own power and be more assertive about what I need?  But the confusion only lasted a split second.   Who am I to question the wisdom of the Divine?

Okay, Lord..... I surrender.....I am letting  go of my need to be heard.  I am letting go of my need for validation. 

As we practiced kapalabhati this morning I was thinking about how much it resembles all of life.  kapalabhati focuses on the exhale while the inhale happens naturally.  The exhale is forceful while the inhale is passive.

"It is in giving that we receive".... I'm letting go of my need to be heard so that I can naturally be a better listener.   I'm letting go of my need to be validated so that I can naturally be more accepting of myself and others.

With clarity of mind I hear the whispers of the Divine.  With an open heart I accept the will of Divine.  With devotion and dedication to my practice I will follow the path the Divine has lead me to. 

Om Namah Shivaya!  Om Namah Shivaya!  Om Namah Shivaya!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Observations from an open heart....

Yesterday was all about inspiration. Today.....observation, without judgements.....simply observations.

After each round of kapalabhati, rapid, diaphragmatic breathing, we generally retain the inhale but today we were emphasizing the exhale in an effort to pacify pitta so we were instructed to retain the exhale.

Observation #1: I am really comfortable with retaining the inhale. I can hold me breath until the cows come home but ask me to hold the exhale and panic sets in. Is it because I have more practice with retention of the in breath or is it my resistance to letting go?

Observation #2: The theme today was the heart chakra so we did a lot of back-bends. I love, love, love back-bends. I like the energizing effect. I like that they make me feel powerful and strong. When we counter posed with forward folds I was again, experiencing resistance to letting go.

Observation #3: Meditation is effortless after a great yoga practice. Soaking in the incredibly powerful vibrations in yoga-land and spending some time outside afterwards soaking in the powerful vibrations of the sun equals a happy yogini. I acknowledge that there is work to do.....learning to be more comfortable with the idea of letting go but feeling confident.

Remembering yesterday's inspiration...... The light has been shined into the darkness.... I see the resistance.
I have cultivated the strength and internal power needed to change the old patterns. I will use the inspiration to create new patterns. Starting with letting go of patterns that no longer serve my higher purpose.

Om Namah Shivaya!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

What I did on my summer vacation.......

I'm on vacation from work this week.  So why the heck am I getting up at 4am you might ask.  Well, because it's a yoga vacation.  That's right, some people spend their vacation in Disney-land and I spend it in
yoga-land.  I don't think there's anything else in the world that would get my kapha-butt out of bed before the crack of dawn except Shiva Das' morning retreat week.   The morning retreat week always inspires me.

It's only the second day of the retreat and I'm already inspired.....

The second day focuses on the Manipura chakra, our power center.  We worked on stoking our inner fire, connecting with our power.  I love this day of the retreat.  It leaves me feeling empowered. Because we are at the beginning of  pitta season (summer) and to honor the full moon that greeted us this morning, SD balanced the solar energy of the manipura chakra postures with some cooling lunar postures. 

It was this beautiful balance of the solar, masculine energy and the lunar, feminine energy that reminded me of the Venus transit that's happening in a few hours. 

Times....they are a changing......

Have you guys been reading about this astrological event called "Venus transit" that's happening today? ( I don't know a thing about astrology so I included a link.) Last night was also a full moon. The beautiful full moon was lighting the way to yoga-land for me this morning. I also received an email from someone about a new film coming out about this transition into feminine solar power.

As we were flowing through the yoga practice this morning feeling my internal power center revving up I started to wonder what I was going to do with all the energy that I was building. It's the same thing I wonder when I do a Gayatri mantra sadhana.  I certainly feel the power from the practice but how I use it constructively is what I need to figure out. 

By the light of the moon......

It was during the cooling moon poses that I realized that I need to use all this solar energy that I've got to cultivate a stronger connection to the feminine, lunar energy.  Venus is about art and beauty and love.  These are the qualities that I want to cultivate.  The lunar, feminine energy is our creative potential. 

What kind of life do I want to create for myself?  With clarity of mind I have planted the seeds with my intentions.  Now all I need to do is  nurture them and feed them until they bloom beautifully.

What do I find beautiful?  Leading a group of women through moon salutation and witnessing the synchronicity of their movements feeling them move as one....I see beauty.  The beauty of oneness. 

Where are we going on tomorrow's adventure?   The heart center.... Where love is....