Yoga with Mirella Nicholson

Yoga with Mirella Nicholson

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Another adventure in yoga-land

Here's the thing....In order to make room for new and exciting things we have to get rid of the old things that are no longer useful. I know that and you know that, at least on an intellectual level. So why the hell do we resist letting go of things that no longer serve us?

We will either willingly surrender or the universe will rip it from us, painfully. Intellectually, willingly surrendering seems like the logical option. We know it's for our own good but still we resist.

Last week I was talking to a mom who was weaning her little one off the binky (pacifier). Having been through the trauma of weaning little ones myself I listened sympathetically. Remembering the sleepless nights listening to my own children crying for the security and comfort of their binky. It's a heart wrenching experience as the mother taking away your child's binky or blankie. First we encourage our babies to sooth themselves with these things. Our babies feel safe and secure when they have them. Then one day, we rip them away. We know it's for their own good but HOLY HELL it's torture!

After this conversation I began thinking about how much I relate to the situation. This time not from the perspective of the mom doing what's best for the child but from the perspective of the child. Yes... right now, I feel like a baby crying for my blankie.

It's been about six months now since my Divine Mother felt that it was time to rip my blankie away from me. I'm sure from her perspective it was for my own good. From my perspective as the baby....It sucks! First I was encouraged to use my weekly yoga class to sooth myself. There I felt safe and secure. Whenever I was feeling upset I knew that being there in class I'd find the comfort I needed. Just like when you give your crying baby her blankie or binky. With the blankie in hand the world doesn't seem quite so scary and cruel.

Seems that I'm a bigger baby than my children were. They figured out another way to self-sooth a lot quicker than me. It's been six months and I'm still searching for my lost blankie.

Like the baby, I have no choice. I have to trust that the Divine Mother has my best interest in mind. I stand before the Divine Mother with an open heart..... I surrender.... Not my will but thy will be done. Like the baby who has finally given up..... I find another way...

And so....the Zen Den is born and a new yoga adventure begins.....

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Lost with no direction

I'm not a fan of places where big crowds of people gather... aka: state fairs, amusement parks, etc.
Kids, on the other hand, love chaos.  Naturally, state fairs, amusement parks, (the dreaded) Chuck e. Cheeses are inevitable when you have kids.   As soon as we'd arrive at one of these places I'd feel myself starting to panic.  OMG!  What if the kids get lost.  What if someone steals them.  What if one of the tigers gets loose and eats them.  As my lovely daughter pointed out recently.... I'm paranoid.

I've been practicing Svadhyaya -- Self-study.  What I've been most challenged with lately is my attachment to people and my desire to control.   They seem to go hand in hand for me.  

The love I have for my kids is so great that I would die for them without a moment's hesitation.  I am without a doubt attached to them.  Show me a mother that isn't.   My control freak nature plays out in my wanting to control their lives in an effort to keep them safe.   You see, I'm attached. 

Okay.... fine.... they want to go to one of these horrible places where lots of things are out of my control.
I quickly formulate a plan.  You see, having a plan gives me the illusion of some control.  I tell my kids "if you get lost, don't wander around.  Stay in one place and I'll find you." 

I learned very early on in my role as mom that children never follow the script that I've written in my head. 
(That doesn't stop me from mentally trying to control the universe.) With so much to look at in the park how could a little kid resist the urge to wander around and see the sights?  Children are driven by their senses.

God tells us...."when you get lost, stay in one place and I'll find you" translation:  be still, meditate, and in the stillness we find God.  But with so many desires that pull us in so many directions how can we resist the urge?  We are driven by our senses. 

We have the illusion of control but ultimately it is just an illusion.  We become attached to the people in our lives... my children, my wife, my husband, my parents.  This too is an illusion.  These people who we love more than life itself do not belong to us.  They were placed in our lives for a reason.  When their work in our lives is done, when we have learned what they were meant to teach us, they move on.   

From our limited human perspective we suffer when things and people aren't the way we want them to be.
The only way out of the suffering is to remember God.  Remember that the script of our lives has been written by God and every details was perfectly planned. 

In the midst of the chaos and confusion that is our lives, God tells us "if you get lost, stay in one place and I'll find you".    Will you listen or will you be distracted by your desires?

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Practice what you preach!

"Oh God!  I would rather the world be coming to an end right now than to have to go to work."

That's how I started my day yesterday.  I wish I could tell you that the feeling didn't last but it sort of did.
Now, don't get me wrong I am grateful to have a job.  I recognize that I am very fortunate to have a job that offers me decent pay for respectable work.  I get that.   However, it's getting harder and harder to show up every day to sit behind a desk and push papers for 8 hours. 

"Holy Crap!  I hope the Universe didn't hear that!"

That was the next thought.  I have experienced the amazing phenomenon of the Universe providing exactly what you asked for.  Well.....Not EXACTLY what you wish for.

Perhaps Monday was made more challenging by the fact that I had the privilege of spending the week-end teaching a new group of yoga teacher trainees.  Sharing my passion for yoga makes me feel alive.  It's what feeds my soul.  It's where I feel most connected to my purpose.  Sharing my passion for yoga not just in the scope of teaching a class but in my day to day life.  That's what I want to spend my time doing.

So imagine my dismay when I begin to question if everything I've learned about yoga is actually just a farce.
The imagine of a beautiful fluffy cupcake comes to mind.   I've been experiencing this feeling that what I've been served was a huge cupcake with fluffy icing. Only to find that when I bite into it it's only the sweet fluffy icing and no cupcake. 

Yes, Yes.... I know we should have no expectations.  Unfortunately, in yoga-land  having no expectations is so important because that's what yogis hide behind. They tell you to practice acceptance and have no expectations so that when their behavior is less than ideal they can hide behind those masks so they don't have to take responsibility for their actions (or lack of action). 

The sweet, delicious icing on the cupcake is lovely.  There's no doubt about it.  However there needs to be some substance to it. There has be something under it to hold it up.   There needs to be a foundation. Without it the fluffy icing will melt into a sticky pile of goo.

I accept the fact that I cannot change other people's behavior.  I accept the fact that some people are content with licking the sweet icing and leaving the rest.  I accept the fact that some yogis prefer to hide behind masks.  Far be it from me to destroy their delusions.  I no longer expect that all "yogis" are interested in living yoga.

Licking the icing isn't enough for me.  I want the whole cupcake! 

Since I have been given the privilege of teaching yoga, I feel it's my responsibility to build the foundation.  The foundation of living yoga is abiding by the principles of  the yamas and niyamas.  I intend to do my best to live by the principles. (here's where the Universe will provide me with an opportunity to practice)

To get to the cupcake we have to peel away the paper covering it first.  It's the same with living yoga.  We need to peel away the mask that is covering our Divine nature.   That peeling away is the practice of self-inquiry.  Recognizing when we are hiding behind yoga babble so that we don't have to take action. 

Today's yoga lesson:  Shifting my perspective.....sitting behind a desk for 8 hours gives me an opportunity to practice concentration, 3-part yogic breath, patience and tolerance.  Seems my day job is giving me an opportunity to practice what I preach.  Living yoga in my day to day life includes living yoga while pushing papers.