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Showing posts from May, 2012

Surrendering to Discomfort

Something that comes up a lot in yoga classes is the idea of settling into discomfort and being okay with it.  It'll most often come up in a challenging pose like utkatasana (chair pose or fierce pose).  As you breathe in the pose, quads and shoulders burning, sweat possibly beading on your forehead, your teacher leisurely walks around extolling the virtues of having your breath and mind stay as steady and calm as though you were in savasana.

It's always a good thing to cultivate - finding the comfort (or at least the tolerance) in discomfort.  It's one of the most easily transferable teachings to life off the mat as well.  This is also a lesson that I continually find myself needing to be retaught.

A quality I very much like about myself is that when something comes up - a disagreement, an offense, whatever it might be - my preferred way is to talk about it, deal with it, and move on as soon as possible.  I don't like to play games, draw things out, indulge in drama -…

Serenity

One of the main things that has drawn me so deeply to yoga at various points in my life is its ability to provide sanctuary.  It can feel as though it's this spirituality that I've been searching for for so long, as a non-religious person, to call my own.  A great yoga class can feel like having just spent a beautiful morning in church.  And it's something you can turn to in times of crisis.

I've been thinking a lot about the Serenity Prayer the last couple of days.  It's commonly associated with AA, and you've probably heard it before:

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change The courage to change the things I can And the wisdom to know the difference
I first saw this prayer as an embroidery at my grandmother's and when I was young, I thought it was a joke rather than an actual prayer - than the final line was a clever little punchline.  I'm not sure why I thought that, but I suppose it can be.  And who knows where a 6-year-old's…

Eyes Wide Open

Do you ever close your eyes in a yoga class?  If you have a meditation practice, do you keep your eyes closed or do you fix your gaze on something - a flame, a picture, an altar?

I used to think that closing my eyes in yoga was the best way to go inward, to go deeper.  I think sometimes that's true, and maybe it's true for some people.  Lately, though, as I've been struggling a little bit to connect with my practice (as I touched on in Reconnecting) I notice that when I close my eyes, I'm much more likely to start thinking about the classes that I have to teach, what I'm doing later, wedding planning or stressing, and any number of things under the sun besides what I'm actually doing at that present moment. 

It seems to make sense, this idea closing your eyes is a gateway to connecting more deeply with yourself, but if you have no focus to begin with, then closing your eyes just takes you away from the room, the other people, your teacher, and your own body.  A…

Joining the Circus!

Almost a month ago, days after Marc and I returned from our fabulous vacation, I dove headfirst into the Circus Yoga Ring One Immersion.  It's called an Immersion instead of a teacher training because that's exactly what it is.  More than a workshop, but not quite a teacher training.

It was a three day extravaganza devoted to throwing us all in the deep end of experiencing Circus Yoga for ourselves, and it was an absolute blast!  For those of you wondering what the heck Circus Yoga is, it's a fantastically fun blend of, "the consciousness of yoga with the communal ceremony and expression of circus," according to founders Erin Maile O'Keefe and Kevin O'Keefe.  Erin was our "ringmaster," so to speak, for the weekend and she was so much fun.

Circus Yoga is honestly something I probably would never have looked twice at if not for Karma Kids.  Aside from the fact that the two programs have a strong relationship, there is SO MUCH value to knowing Circ…

Reconnecting

Rereading last week's entry, I'm a little surprised I didn't add one more thing to my big ol' list of all the things I could have written about - especially because it's pretty significant to the topic of this whole blog.

I broke my 7 month streak of daily meditation.  I didn't even wait to get to Europe, either - it 100% slipped my mind the day of our departure and I just never got back to it until we were back home.  Even then, I wasn't consistent.

This wouldn't seem that unusual that on a vacation a meditation practice got interrupted, except for the fact that usually vacations or time spent out of town usually only serve to deepen my practice.  Whether it's having the absolute luxury of getting up early and going down to my grandma's beautiful dock, or just sitting on the floor of a little guest bedroom somewhere for 10 minutes, something about being somewhere else with the routine shaken up always does wonders for my meditation practice.  S…