Good Monday All!
Phew - what a weekend I had.
My man and I went away (without baby for the first time) to Deerhurst Resort with a few of our close friends and had some good, serious - F U N.
Lots of food, lots of drinks, lots of love - all the good stuff.
I had to come clean with my fellow yogi's at the Twisted Fish and tell all that I fell off the 30 day challenge wagon ... no 30 minute practice for me Friday or Saturday. My yoga was a long bath meditation, drinking afternoon mimosas with my best and playing around with partner yoga poses :)
I will admit - it would have been POSSIBLE to fit in a 30 minute practice - for sure, most anything is.
But, it just didn't happen - and in light of Ahisma (the first yama) and Be Here Now - I will say that I beat up on myself for a little while, I stewed on my decision making - and then I said, oh well.
It's done. All I can do now is recognize that I had a great weekend, and now that I am home, I must get back up and on my mat.And I did. Sunday evening 30 minute winding down practice and this morning did 30 minutes (of what I hoped would be a sweaty 75 minute practice but baby Nash had his own ideas about that) and later will try to fit in a few more minutes.
NOW - were you waiting for it?
The last nibble from the yoga philosophy appetizer, the final of the five Yamas.
Non-Grasping/ Non- Possessing
Aparigraha is a yama, a teaching, that many of us can benefit from as we become subject to the trappings of our minds.
Aparigraha is about greed based desire that is rooted in jealousy: to inhabit what someone else is, or has or where they are in life. It is looking at someone else and saying " I want that".
I think we all encounter this type of thinking A LOT.
Walking down the street, we see someones outfit or hair or skin and think "I want".
We see those awesome yoga pants that cost the same as a months worth of groceries and think, " I want".
In yoga class we look at a posture someone else can do and think "I want".
I didn't write a lot of my own words for this post as I found what some others had to say to speak really true to me - and I couldn't have said it better.
Check out these thoughts on Aparigraha
I really liked what Davidji @ myyogaonline, had to say:
"As we move throughout the day, we often judge the world around us; we
compare ourselves to other people, their successes, their ah-ha moments
and their celebrations. We ooh and aah over someone else’s bag, shoes,
car, boyfriend, girlfriend, spouse, status, success, money, or
happiness. And then we feel less than.
There are eight billion
people on planet Earth and if we try to compare ourselves to eight
billion other people, it’s like comparing bananas to oranges to grapes
to cotton balls to geodes to leaves to birds – how can you compare
those? You can’t. Just like those you might covet, there may be those
who covet you and what you have. The cycle of jealousy is infinite,
unless you choose to step into your grace and step beyond it."
When you feel these thoughts of wanting, coveting, jealousy come up for you try this:
"Stop for a moment and recognize something you do have that is amazing or
something that could use some work.
Celebrate the other person and what
they have…and when you can merge with their excitement, that’s yoga,
that’s union, that’s one-ness.
Practicing aparigraha is more
than not coveting others. It’s celebrating what is ours and reminding us
to reach for the stars rather than gazing at someone else’s. In that
process, there is no coveting; there is no jealousy—only the excitement
of the miracles in our life yet to unfold."
Yes. Love that so much.
I think we can all benefit from trying to train our brains to move towards recognizing all the things we already have and if there is something that we desire, how can we do the WORK to come into whatever that thing is that we desire - without obsessing over it.
Even more, we need to train our brains to celebrate the gifts and talents of others - to look at the things, the talents, the asana that another person practices and think
"Wow, I really admire that person" or whatever the appropriate celebratory phrase may be - without letting a negative emotion or response take over.
We need to not see others with thinking
"I want that"
"I'm mad because they can do that and I can't"
"what's wrong with me"
"I'll never be able to do that"
No negative responses to yourself or to the other.
See the light.
Remski's remix of this yama is: "Self-Possession"
I agree with Remski as he says that wanting and grasping at the things you don't have or that you aspire to have is, "an intrinsic catalyst of growth and learning, but gently limit the scope to the field of self-responsibility.
The kind of grasping we would most discourage would be that which arises from compensatory psychological need. Grasping at socio-economic justice, however, may be highly ethical. Of course, my translation foes not even address the grasping that constitutes the basis of our consumer culture. My assumption in not directly engaging this most basic level of non-grasping is that a critical or intrinsic attitude towards consumerism would be the natural prerequisite to yoga training."
So as you go forward into this day or week, into your asana class, or your workplace - keep Aparigaha in mind. When your brain turns to thinking in its usual ways or turns to thinking negative or coveting thoughts -
instead just tell your brain to think the opposite.
Think the other.
Celebrate yourself and those around you.
Work hard in order to move towards the talents, things, whatever it is that you desire.
Move forward with grace, determination and ease.
You've got all the goods to come into whatever you desire.
That sums up this little Yama bite of yoga philosophy, I hope it was tasty!
I encourage you to dive into this and more yoga philosophy topics as your practice expands, you will undoubtedly be sparked to know more about the tradition behind what you are practicing.
Think of all the Yamas this week and how you can bring in these teachings to nurture and light up your self, your life, your practice and your relationships.
The final 7 days of the Twisted Fish 30 day challenge are upon us!
All you twisted fishes are doing OUTSTANDING!
Can you believe you have only a week left?!?
You are a Badass Unicorn. Yup, That's Right.
Looking forward to seeing you all in the studio this week!
I'll be teaching my last Power PLAY yoga of this month - it may be a fun way to taper off your 30 days of yoga with some yoga play time, exploration, some challenging poses and some (fun) homework to keep the growth going!
Until Next Time,
Sending out Peace,
Good Day Twisted Yogis :)
Hope all you 30 day challengers are doing great.
It seems like everyone is doing awesome! Coming to the mat everyday is not an easy task and it seems like everyone is dealing with the roadblocks and the "I don't wanna's" really well by just sucking it up and finding a practice that bodies and minds need.
I see people exploring what yoga means for them, learning to practice with their breath, letting go and finding some organic ways of moving - straight from the heart, straight from the flow of the breath.
I am having a temper-mental yogi moment myself.
I have injured my arm in a way that I can't describe - possibly a pinched nerve -
The name I put on this injury doesn't matter.
It is forcing me to take it slow - so I can react before I move into pain
and this actually makes me ..... grrrrrrrrrr.
I was planning on really amping up into some serious sweat for the next two weeks before I go to Costa Rica, so I can get all bikini ready and svelte.
I want, I want, I want.
Alas, I cannot have.
These are the lessons.
I need forget about my expectations and my wants to listen to my body and move how is needed right now.
No matter how much my ego and my brain are like, WTF.
Anyways, enough whining!
On with the YAMAS.
Today's nibble - we are almost done this course of yoga philosophy
(keep in mind this is like the pre-appetizer of the yoga philosophy dinner, like the dinner roll maybe)
SEXUAL RESPONSIBILITY (REMSKI)
This is an interesting Yama.
No physical pleasure of the intimate nature.
Some of us may be practicing this Yama already - not by choice necessarily
So if you are doing "without" right now - just be like, I"m practicing Brahmacharya - It's a yoga thing :)
But in ALL seriousness
Sexual restraint in the yogic tradition as described in the Yoga Sutras "teaches us that pleasure can be obtained from within, from
the divine. By attaining this level of commitment, the devoted yogi can be sure that their happiness is genuine. Although this yama does not claim that sex is inherently evil, it warns against a path towards hedonism" (http://www.swamij.com/yoga-sutras-23545.htm).
I really like Remki's remix on this Sutra
He remixes as "Sexual Responsibility"
He acknowledges that we need HEALTHY intimacy in our relationship.
This Yama does not speak to us and how we function in our lives and our relationships in 2013.
Remski says this on Brahmacharya:
"Our contemporary expressions and meanings of sexuality are polymorphously perverse and intertwined with our intersubjective evolution. We are slowly peeling away later upon layer of puritanism. Dogmatic restriction from sexual contact - unless it is necessary for the process of recovering from addiction or abuse- cannot offer a balanced experience of intimacy or this central drive of flesh". (Remski, p. 109)
2.38-Sexual Responsibility Enables Intimacy-
"Here I reject the numerous problems of the original and most translations: bodily distrust, the privileging of asceticism over house holding, and the archaic naturopath belief that orgasm is necessarily devitalizing. Whether we are partnered or not, conventional or not, heteronormative or not: intimacy is a fundamental need.
Intimacy allows us to pacify the often-traumatizing oscillation between union and individuation. To take interest in and responsibility for each other's sexual integrity makes intimacy safe." (Remski, p.139)
So, as you begin to digest this Yama, Brahmacharya - think of how you can take responsibility for your own sexual integrity -
how you can be present and intimate in the best way for you -
and the best way for whomever your partner may be.
Practice safe and responsible sex.
& Most definitely, enjoy intimacy, enjoy sex - let it be expressive, fun, wonderful, amazing, exploration - freeing.
I've also seen others remix this as "everything in moderation". This idea that we don't need to be constantly doing what is pleasurable - in excess.
I really like what the BROGA blog has to say:
"we need to begin noticing where we focus and use all our energy, and see if it is doing us good... or harm
We live in a very consumerist, capitalist society and are actually
encouraged to do the opposite of Brahmachayra at every turn; spend,
spend, spend, obsess, desire, want!
in Brahmachayra means we have control over our impulses of excess,
whether that's in shopping, food, sex, drugs, tv... anything. Whatever
it is that we like to indulge in, lose ourselves in or obsess over...
gone (The Yoga Lunchbox)
I have a little saying I use to help me practice Brahmachayra and keep
excess and obsession at bay (can you tell this is a big one for me!)
Whenever I feel myself about to fall into habits that would take me away
from the path of moderation I ask myself
"What do I get in exchange?"
sugary treats: in exchange for doing this I get increased health, more
energy later, feeling better without sugar and other toxins in my body,
nice un-zitty skin... etc etc
that unneeded new pair of shoes, just because: in exchange I get more
money to spend on cool things I really want, like holidays or a new
(Check out the BROGA blog for more on this and other Yamas - this is a blog for male yogis - but I like to read it too :)
Tomorrow is the final Yama!
Have a beautiful day.
Oh, and its Hump-Day today (Wednesday)
Isn't it funny how that worked out! ;)
Until Next Time,
Sending Out Peace,
First thing's first Twisted Yogis -
stay tuned this week for an INSTAGRAM challenge within the 30 day challenge.
Watch online and listen up in classes to hear more about this
Just have fun with it :) Take some pics - share your own unique awesome yoga-ness :)
And second thing second,
Here is another little nibble of yoga philosophy to start off the week!
The Third Yama:
Non-stealing - seems pretty straight forward, and for a lot of us a fairly attainable and golden rule. Don't steal from people - from stores - from restaurants - from cars - from your friends - just don't steal any things - at all.
This Yama goes deeper than physical, material things that we can physically pick up and take or sneak into our bags of pockets -
This teaching includes noticing our actions and words so that we don't steal non-material things.
Thoughts, ideas, energy, love, credit for hard work/good work, thunder - these are all non-material things that we often steal.
Many times, without really realizing that we are stealing or how this type of stealing may affect the person we are taking from.
In our relationships to those around us, our friends, co-workers, family - we can be guilty of stealing, energy, thunder - stealing credit - downplaying or dis empowering moments for others.
We swoop in and take recognition and a sense of accomplishment from the person or people who deserve it - we drain others energy - to fill ourselves up in some way.
I think we are often guilty of this more often than we notice, or more often than we would like to admit.
maybe aren't so aware of this type of stealing and really how hurtful
and dis empowering it can be .
Stealing these non "things" from others is us striving to fill ourselves up in some way.
an idea that we wished we had dreamed up or created, taking credit for a
project or task we wish we accomplished. Stealing the thunder of
someone else's day or moment because we see how much this lights
them up - and we want that light.
Like I said - we are often not aware - not noticing - and continue to act unconsciously.
we need to find what stokes our own fire, our creativity or drive - whatever it is
that lights us up so that we can earn our own empowerment, praise &
Figure out why you are draining another person - what is missing, what is blocked
Figure out how to fill our selves up.
And even more, we can go beyond these ideas above and bring in Remski's re-mix of "Fair Trade", which I believe to be so important and timely right now.
It is a translation that is beginning to really simmer in the consciousness of more and more people,
""Fair-trade" is a timely broadening of asteya (commonly translated as "non-stealing"), to account for the complexities of global economy, in which laying claim to property itself might be considered a form of stealing, and in which wage and resource disparities constitute gross violations of human rights. The letter of current law is insufficient when it comes to the ethics of economy. We must go further, and ask:
-What are my relationships to food, shelter, labour and information worth to my life?
-Does money accurately reflect and compensate effort and relationship?
-What am I really giving of myself to live in the developed world?
-Is my time and lifeblood worth as much as the time and lifeblood of the man who picked my vegetables?
-Should knowledge be proprietary?"
(Remski, page 109)
Remski p 139
The book of practices 2.37:
*WHEN YOU PRACTICE FAIR TRADE, YOUR FEELING OF WEALTH IS ENHANCED.*
These questions invite us to ask ourselves how our way of living in this modern, developed and privileged world, "works" - how we relate and value the things that we have - and what the consequences of having the "things" that we have - (groceries, property, clothing, houses, property) -are.
This invites us to think about where our clothing or groceries are coming from -
Are our choices contributing to a form of stealing?
These are hard questions to ask ourselves because it is so so so so difficult (and often more expensive) to avoid this form of stealing.
Clothing, food, etc. are more expensive if they are made or grown or picked by people who are getting paid a fair wage or price for their product.
Think about these things to next time you go shopping or get coffee
Is there a fair-trade option?
Is there an option where I know that I am contributing positively - rather than supporting large corporations who pay low wages to sell a low-price product?
Look around online and discover the brands or stores or local shops where you can purchase goods that allow you to be a part of Fair-trading.
This is a big topic.
Just ask yourself those questions.
Maybe you don't care to think of these things at all.
Observe why that might be.
This week try to think about Asteya in all your relationships - with people, with food, economy.
Do one thing each day that embodies Asteya
It could be as simple as
buying a fair trade coffee or
refraining from taking your frustrations out on a loved one (because you know they will always be there) or
not thinking of your grocery list during savasana (energy stealing!) or
anything that came up for you as you read this post - any aha! moments - where you thought , yeah - I do that. This time don't do it :)
Until Next Time,
Sending out Peace,
Hey Twisted Yogi Fishes :)
Well, It is Sunday Eve and I am wiped right out - totally done.
I had a long weekend with a sleepless,restless baby, a few very long drives, 2 hours sleep, too much thinking and obsessing, not enough water or greens and a flaming deltoid that is really cramping my practice :/ siggggh.
I know these little kinks are ALL temporary and relatively insignificant, my life is blessed and beautiful -
though it is the kind of night where I just wanted to cocoon in a blanket with a sign "NO VACANCY" ... "STAY OUT" orrrr .. snuggle on the couch with some chocolate almonds and watch Wayne's World ... either way ;p
I wanted to continue my yoga philosophy nibbles with Asteya - the third Yama - but I rambled a bunch of stuff and I just had no gusto left.
I want to post about these Yamas responsibly - in the right way :)
SO Instead here is a laugh to cap off your Sunday evening - or start off your Monday morning depending on when you see this.
This video makes me smile and laugh a little
And be like, "Ohhhh yeah, us yogi's do say this shit" ...
Well, some of us do.
SHIT YOGIS SAY (BY.Lululemon)
Until Next Time,
Namaste ... Motha F^#$&@'s :)
(said with the MOST LOVE )
Sending Out Peace
Happy Half-way Through the 30 day Challenge Yogis
You've made it through the hardest part - starting and committing - now you've found your groove and can flow your way through the rest of the challenge, exploring as you go.
There are still going to be days when it is a joy to come to your mat and days where it is a challenge - but coming this far you KNOW you can do it.
I don't believe that to be my opinion
- I believe that to be the Truth.
Today's little nibble of yoga philosophy is the second bite of the Yamas - "Satya" -
Patanjali's second Yama is Satya - translated as Truthfullness and remixed by Remski as Honesty.
Satya teaches us to live truth - big truths, little ones, internal and external truths. This is the yama that begins to let go of illusions, stories and opinions and brings us towards real consciousness and understanding the truth of our insides, outsides and all things swirling around us.
This means to tell the truth to others and to yourself, to act truthfully, to write truthfully and to think truthfully - and to begin to know the difference between truth and opinion.
However, this does not mean that you tell ALL truths ALL the time
(often young children tell ALL the truths all the time - because they call em as they see em :)
Even if you think something is the truth you do
not need to tell the truth to the degree that it will hurt someone else.
While sometimes the truth that NEEDS to be told to others or to ourselves cannot be pleasant - it need not be malicious.
Satya does NOT
mean that if you have betrayed someone (i.e., if you were unfaithful in a relationship) you don't tell them because it will hurt them - this is necessary truth.
BUT it might mean you do
not tell someone you absolutely HATE the meal they just cooked or the outfit they are wearing (even if
you do) - because this is probably your opinion and not a truth - so button up and keep that to yourself.
Often the hardest truths are those that we have to tell ourselves. When we have to see a situation in our life or a relationship for what it truly is - and stop telling ourselves untrue stories so we don't have to deal.
It is hard. It can be painful, but often necessary to move towards our full potential - our greatest good - our HIGHEST TRUTH.
Think about how can you be more honest in your day to day life, in all of your relationships, to yourself-and move towards your highest truth - an existence without illusion... hmmm
Here's a cute little comic from Ashtanag Yoga Library, about Satya:
"Many times on our walks, complete strangers
will come up to us, scoop up Maple, and kiss her on the mouth... Maple
will lick their lips and they love it! I think it is so gross because I
know exactly where her mouth has been... her privates,
cat poop, garbage, dead birds. I don't encourage the kissing and I
think about stopping them, but they are just so happy sharing the love.
Satya -- speak the truth but only if it is sweet.
Satya means "to speak the truth," yet it is not always desirable to
speak the truth if it harms someone unnecessarily. If speaking the truth
has negative consequences for another, then it is better to say
nothing. The Mahabharata says: "Speak the truth which is pleasant.""
Story by: Elise Espat
Edited by: Jessica Walden
Cartoonist: Boonchu Tanti,
Notice the difference between the truth - and opinions.
Set the intention to bring Satya into your life - or onto your yoga mat.
Set the intention to be true to yourself.
Set an intention - to speak the truth - but only if it is sweet :)
P.S. There is a Yogi I admire: Ashley Albrand - she has a sweet daughter, named Satya :)
If you want to, check her out - because she is a creative goddess yogini women
and the pics and videos of her daughter is super sweet
Until Next Time
Sending Out Peace,
So, lets venture down the road of yoga philosophy a little bit - take a detour- a back road if you will :)
One of the most revered yoga texts is Patanjali's "Yoga Sutras".
This is thee classic yoga text where Patanjali describes the 8 limbs of yoga -
the ashtanga -
(the philosophy not the series of yoga postures)
The 8 limbs are:
These eight limbs are essentially a detailed road map on how to life a meaningful and purposeful life; a life that is moral and ethical, disciplined, healthy and spiritual - a life lived in harmony with all of your surroundings and yourself.
Classically, the end of this map would lead a practitioner to a state of enlightenment or liberation from the earthly world and earthly body and relationships (say what?!) - - -
but I'm not sure that today any of us really strive for that.
In reading Matthew Remski's own remix of the classic Yoga Sutras - "Threads of Yoga", I have found the Sutras and their teachings much more accessible and realistic to how most of us live in our world today - as opposed to how Patanjali and other like minded yogis were living and thinking in India 200 BCE.
Our perceptions of the world and day to day lives are obviously much different here and now then they were there and then.
Regardless, many of the ideas outlined in the Yoga Sutras do still speak true - especially with a little remix (as Matthew Remski has done).
So, as we work through some of these ideas, I will often pull in Remski's translations as I feel they speak to me - here & now- as I touch on these subjects, branch out, google it up! see how others translate Patanjalis teachings and how that all translates best for You.
Let's go with one tasty bite of the Sutras per day:
The Yamas are 5 ethical principles which bring us towards good relationship with everything around us and inside us - people, animals, the cosmos, our own spirit/self- ALLLLL living everything - all the time.
(Remski: Fair Trade)
(Remski: Sexual responsibility)
On the most basic level Ahisma is the practice of non-violence towards
all other beings, and towards oneself. Non-violence includes inflicting no injury, no harm - in THOUGHTS, WORDS or ACTIONS. When we accept all ways of life, all people all living beings - we can approach all situations with grace and understanding.
What are the barriers to Ahisma?
Sometimes it is difficult to be kind.
Sometimes we think terrible thoughts in our minds.
That shit is going to happen.
BUT notice those thoughts when they come up - observe the nastiness, cattiness or gossip -
What is it that is causing you to think that way?
What is reallllly at the root of those thoughts?
Observing and considering the who why what where and when of negative or harming words, thoughts and actions is how we can break free of those patterns, change how we think or react next time and embody this teaching.
A big barrier to living the fullness of this teaching for many of us is how we eat.
If you are a vegan or a vegetarian - this is truly non violence towards living creatures.
If you are not - and could never consider being vegan or vegetarian, I suggest buying meat, dairy and other animal products that are cruelty free.
Yes - there is cruelty because these animals are being killed for our consumption -
BUT I believe if you purchase animals from someone whose treatment of their animals you can see and or trust to be as kind as possible - this is a good step. Or if you are a hunter and have some ceremony and gratitude and use every piece of this animals offering - that is pretty righteous too.
Remski says this about his translation of Ahisma - Non-Violence to PROTECTION:
"There is no living world- from geology to the food chain to the immune system - that is devoid of violence. Nor is there any human posture within the livingworld that does not involve at least some violent activity. We trade life and flesh and calories back and forth, without mutual consent. The relationships between species oscillate between symbiosis and parasitism. we exist in a web of predator prey relationships (Jensen, 2006), and although this fact is masked by contemporary agriculture and food distribution systems, it is disingenuous not to admit our painful, joyful bloody participation." (Remski, p. 107).
"The question becomes not "Am I non-violent?" - for no one can be. It becomes "Do I offer protection to the lives of others, and thereby reduce cruelty?" "Protection" implies a choice of who and what to protect in the given circumstances, giving flexibility between self-protection, other-protection, culture-protection, and world-protection". (Remski, p. 108).
For a lot of people - the most challenging aspect of Ahisma is being kind to yourself.
So many of us beat ourselves up all the time - constant self-harming chatter.
"I'm not good enough" "I'm not pretty enough ... slim enough .. not a good enough mother or friend or yogi ..."
It can go on and on and on.
So... STOP IT.
Try setting your intention the next time you practice for ahisma - to be kind to yourself - to not think harming/destructive thoughts - to not speak harming words - anything that means something to you in this lesson.
Take a photo or write a sentence or two showing how you incorporate AHISMA into your life. Possibly a pose that you feel embodies Ahisma.
If you are on instagram, hashtag it up!
#thetwistedfish #dailynibble #ahisma @katlilymarie & @thetwistedyogimama
( I will post mine on insta when my phone charger is found ;p)
Or if you are like, oh shit, I am so NOT embodying ahisma-
then what could you start doing today to bring in AHISMA.
Here is my pic:
My Cat Zeppelin and I
He really likes to slither around me when I practice - and usually it really pisses me off - and I push the cat and say something mean :/ - today I realized the cat is just feeling the yoga vibes and wants to play - So today was a little kinder and we played in side plank- open and receptive to all the vibes :)
SPEAK NO EVIL
-if you can't see that's what the little paper I am holding says-
I am getting so much better at not gossiping or lashing out and saying things I don't mean.
Until Tomorrow my fellow Twisted Yogis,
BE KIND TO YOURSELF
YOU ARE INCREDIBLE.
and as my YogiTea bag said this morning:
"May you have kindness and compassion for all living things"
Sending out Peace
Oh Twisted Fish Yogis - You are Incredible.
Over the past 13 days of the 30 day challenge I have been like - this yoga community ROCKS.
I mean, I knew that before - but seeing so many faces out to so many classes, checking in on the facebook page and sharing their experiences so far -
it is really helllllla good stuff.
So, 13 days in, eh?
How does it feel?
Doing the first automatically does the second
You are all AWESOME.
I got so much out of the 30 day challenge when I did it last year.
I began the 30 day challenge when I was 7 months pregnant - and it was so good for me.
This was the first time that my home practice really took off
Where I cultivated the drive, the discipline or what we call "TAPAS" - the burning fire- to come to my mat every day.
I really learned the true value of a daily practice for both my body and my mind - and that daily practice has kept on keeping on ever since.
There are some days when you will be like "No."
Where you will say " I don't have time for this".
OR "I am TOO tired for this".
Yoga can meet you wherever you are. That is the beauty of it.
Tired? Pissed off? Excited?
You are allowed to be tired, you are allowed to be grumpy, annoyed, excited.
You are allowed to feel how ever you feel (all of the time).
The important part is to let your emotions be your emotions and not define YOU.
& Find your practice space - find a practice that will serve you best.
Try to observe your thoughts and feelings as they come up - and then let them drift by like clouds - noticing but not attaching yourself to them.
See what is coming up for you, where are your aversions?
Where can you physically feeeeeeeel your aversions in your body?
Think about it
Now is the time to really let yoga meet you where you are at - to give your body and mind what is needed- to SUPPORT you.
(what you really need and not necessarily what you think you need)
You could do power or gentle yoga for 30 days straight, I'm sure. But Why?
Your body needs power, it needs a gentle touch, it needs to restore, it needs to play.
Give your body the experience at least - try out as many classes and as many teachers as you can at the Twisted Fish - explore online classes and teachers too.
Find Your Groove.
Find your good vibrations.
Now is an AWESOME time, actually the PERFECT time to begin to explore your yoga - to discover your body and your breath.
Use this challenge to explore what yoga means for you!
Try out teachers, classes, try out just exploring your own body without a teacher, without a video.
Try out meditation.
(Elephant Journal, Yoga Journal, MindBodyGreen - google them - these are great places to start reading and learning)
Figure out what yoga is really all about for YOU.
If you are coming to your mat at home - EXPLORE - learn about the movements of your body and breath - the natural and organic movements- without forcing or trying.
Turn on some tunes, your very favourite tunes and just move.
It might take awhile to figure out but before you know it you will just get caught up - tranced by your movements.
Psychedelic movements ;) , if you will.
Begin to let your body ride on your breath.
Move in the ways that feel amazing for you.
Challenge your body.
Move towards or straight into the postures that you avoid (because those are the ones you need the most).
Explore the postures, the transitions. All that good stuff.
The past two weeks I have felt BLISSSED OUT while teaching class. I am so grateful for this opportunity to lead all the amazing twisted yogis and yoginis through their practices.
The vibes in the room at times have been, "Like, Woah" :)
(Yup, that's my best description :)
Sharing the vibes and the breath and the movements and watching you all working your unique flow - has been truly inspiring...
So, After a brief blog hiatus I am back in full swing.
I have been practicing every day with you all
(and haven't checked in on FB - but I'm going to start - catch up with you all)
But I am going to challenge myself in a different yoga way.
I am going to challenge myself to post a blog post every day for the remainder of the challenge.
Short, Sweet Yoga Posts, E'ryday.
I want to post things that will inspire and motivate and enhance all you yogis and your 30 day challenge experience & your yoga experience in general.
And you know what you all could do to help keep me motivated?
I will post some challenges, ask some questions.
Want to deepen your understanding of something? Post a question -
I hope you tune in and read up
& most of all give your 2 cents twisted fishes.
This is me checking in and catching up.
Talk to you tomorrow!
Have a beautiful practice today yogis.
Sending out Peace & Love,
"Gratitude Turns What We Have Into Enough"
this is my backyard ... seriously ... how lucky am I?
-fog clearing off the valley-
I love, love, love this time of the year.
kaleidoscope'd landscapes changing with the leaves
cool autumn breezes
the Norfolk County Fair/Elephant ears :)
oh yeah and it's Thanksgiving Weekend too!
A good a weekend as any I'd say - usually just with a lot more food, maybe a nap, perhaps good times with friends and family, and hopefully a little extra dose of thanks ... or as we yoga types like to call it GRATITUDE.
A lot of times in yoga classes the word 'gratitude' appears.
Our teachers invite us perhaps to set an intention of gratitude,or perhaps remind us to bring gratitude into our life if we have forgotten all we really have to be thankful for:
A morning coffee or tea
A loved one
Living in a space in the world with so much bounty and freedom
We often get in negative ruts where we grumble and moan and 'woe is me' and think things are so bad and we have nothing going for us
- this is when you need to remember what you have.
And remembering if nothing else you woke up on the other side of the dirt this morning and that in itself is a reason to rejoice - to extend gratitude.
When we say Namaste it is really is an outward acknowledgment honouring and thanking the light (&the magic) beaming from ourselves and the others in the room - the universe and all beings - thanking all for existing - for doing nothing but being in that very moment.
The definition of gratitude is:
"The quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness"
Are you Ready?
In the spirit of this weekend, maybe it's time to amp up your gratitude, dole out a big ol' dose.
First I think it is a good time to just simmer - with a cup of tea - or a glass of wine - or maybe just with your breath - and really dig around and remind yourself of all those little and big things you have gratitude for.
Doing this also reminds you that - you've got a pretty amazing existence.You have a reason to
Smile - Right Now.
Send someone you know, who may be feeling a little low ... or that you think could use a little dose of gratitude - a message, a phone call, a Facebook status dedication .. just to say "Thank you for just being you - you are amazing! I love you-"
It doesn't have to say exactly that, but you catch my drift. It can change someones day, create a smile.
Up for a Challenge?
Make a deal with yourself.
30 - 60 - perhaps 100 days of Gratitude.
Every day, make a point to write down one thing you are grateful for.
Maybe make it your Facebook status - maybe tag someone - let them know!
Put it all out there into the universe.
One day it might just be coffee .. or chocolate - and those totally, 100% important - and count :)
Today, I am thankful for hot coffee and cinnamon honey, for sweet Nash's smiles, for waking up and having a warm body beside me, for looking out into my backyard into a kaleidoscope of changing colours and bountiful trees, for the squash soup I am able to cook up later, for every movement my body is able to make, for the time to practice yoga this morning, for the roof over my head, the cozy couch to snuggle on -
and above all else for all of the amazing people who have ever been in my life - those who light me up and inspire me, encourage me, make me laugh, help me learn, those who listen, those who talk, those who are so kind and loving my child -
-You see how if you look around you - there is so much.
I could have gone on the more I simmered on gratitude-
Hey, Gratitude is Good for your health too!
This weekend drink it all in - ALL that you've got to be thankful for
Maybe send a little "OM" out there - vibrate with the universe in thanks!
Most of all have fun and smile!
And don't forget after a long weekend of delicious foods and drinks
Come back to your mat! Do a little detox yoga - add some twists get digestion moving!
Oh Yeah - and don't forget to say a quiet little thanks to that Turkey you might be eating this weekend ;)
Nash and I saying THANKS TURKEYS!!! - In turkey pose :) (well, it's crow, but for today it can be turkey)
Write us a note! What are you thankful for today?
Have a wonderful weekend
Until Next Time,
Sending Out Peace
Hey Twisted Yogis and Yoginis
A few weeks ago I posted some pictures that I had used as part of a yoga pose challenge I took part in on Instragram and asked for you to submit a picture of you in any pose, maybe a pose that has a story behind it.
Two of my very favourite yoginis responded with their pictures.
You might know them,
The lovely Christie Delahunt - Owner and Teacher at the Twisted Fish
Jill Finbow - Teacher @ the Twisted Fish
I learn so much from these ladies every time I am in their presence -
To be a great yoga teacher, you have to practice your yoga and get on your mat as much as you teach...Yoga becomes such a part of your life and such a part of YOU that it meets you anywhere and everywhere and enables you to show others how yoga can meet them.
Christie shared these words with me which are spiraling around my system this morning:
"As yoga teachers we have to practice as much as we teach in order for our
yoga to move off the mat and into the world"
How does your yoga move from your mat into the world?
Check out these teacher beauties sharing their yogic souls in their practice,
This is what Christie has to say about this pose:
The first time I tried this posture ( flying pigeon- btw, pigeons don't
fly!), my sister was teaching a class at the twisted fish, one of our
very first very large community classes. As we were moving through the
work I could see where it was going and I knew I was not going to back
away as each step toward the finished posture was making sense in my own
body. As she invited me to lift off I realized I was the only one in
the room that was going to even try. I tried and fell flat on my face! A
great lesson in learning to take myself lightly! Fall seven times, get
up eight.xo cd
Comfort - utthita balasana (extended child's pose)
No stretchy pants - chopasana in ardha chandrasana (sugarcane in half moon pose)
Natural Environment - adho mukha svanasana (downward facing dog) amongst children and chaos!
Until Next Time,
Sending Out Peace,
"Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever."
This is the very first September of my life (other than when I was a wee babe) that has not marked the beginning of another year of school.
September just has a certain smell and a certain feeling that reminds me of school.
I visited the University of Guelph the first week of September, and I felt a certain missing of all that back to school hustle, bustle, moving into houses, re-uniting with roommates after summer break and telling myself that "this year I won't procrastinate assignments- I'll start things early, no more all-nighters"......(p.s. never accomplished that one).
But, I didn't have to miss school - we had TWO yoga teacher training sessions this month. That's 100 HOURS OF YOGA TEACHER TRAINING OVER 8 DAYS!
(Which is probably the same way the bulk of my University career happened - condensed into few days of lots of work - wink wink.)
That's a lot of yoga learning - let. me. tell. you. It's wonderful, but it is a lot to take in.
You have to create space in your mind and body and be open to it all - allow it alllllllll to come in, so that one day it will really sink into you and you will experience it and truly learn it.
Though it would be nice to KNOW everything as you are exposed to it - I believe any knowledge and teachings we are exposed to take some time to simmer and experience before we "know them".
There has been a lot of teachings transmitted through the past four sessions of yoga teacher training.
We have explored everything from human anatomy and physiology, meditation, mantra, yoga philosophy and history, chakras, teaching yoga, expanding our personal practice - oh and so much more - those are just the key elements that we explored.
There were definitely times when I felt that things weren't sinking in, especially with human anatomy - do you know how complex we are?!
In YTT we learn how the muscles, fascia, bones, joints, nervous system, digestive system - allllll the amazing inner-workings of our bodies function - and then how yoga works with our human bodies.
(Images found on Christie's Pinterest Board)
We also learned how and why certain postures and certain diseases, injuries and conditions can be contra-indicative and how to help a student with sciatica or with knee issues, or a pregnant student.
We are a complex bunch with complex issues!
This portion of the learning can feel like a lot - because it is LOTS to know. The importance of learning this cannot be undermined either, because to competently and safely lead students (and ourselves) through practice we need to really understand how all bodies work and move.
I had a few moments where I knew some of these teachings, the reading, the practicing was settling in.
I found a yoga anatomy book (Key Muscles of Yoga, By. Ray Long) that I had bought a few years ago, and I recall that I didn't get much from the book, though beautifully artistically illustrated - I would look at it and be like... "whatttt the what?" I got nothing.
I opened it last weekend, and I was fascinated by this book suddenly - I was seeing and understanding what I saw on the page.
I saw a detailed picture of the structure of a muscle; the fascia and muscle fiber structure and I was totally nerding out on this.
All that we learned about human anatomy was sinking in.
At times it felt like SO much and that I wasn't getting it, but turns out I was.
Muscles - this is the picture I was nerding to :)
That's what your muscle is made of
I was teaching a friend of mine, and watching her move through asana. And I was thinking anatomically - I was understanding how her body, her muscles, bones and joints were moving through the postures, how to cue her to balance her hips, pelvis, to ground her feet - how to channel energy through her body, etc.
The integration begins!
I really cannot understate how important everything I have learned has been and it has been multidimensional learning.
I have learned from reading books that have been recommended or required for this course. I have learned both teachings and ideas that work for me and lots that don't work for me (and that's part of it).
I have learned an incredible amount from being in this training program with Denise. she has immense amounts of personal experience, wisdom and knowledge to share. She emphasizes the importance of learning the anatomy, of learning the traditional teachings that the practice has grown from before you convey it through your own lens.
I loved being able to share this experience with Laura and Christie. Learning with them and having them there to offer their own unique perspective, expertise, personal wisdom and support has been- oh, so sweet.
And I also learned a lot from and about my self through this experience - and not just about yoga.
The experience of the training itself 12 hours a day, the commitment to 40 days of personal practice, mantra and meditation, opening up and sharing with the group and not to mention all the material that we explored really opened up some space for growth and deeper self-awareness.
It also forced me to say, "Hey, Fear - F*&^ You :)" - with a smile.
In yoga, you learn something new every time you practice. Whether you practice physical asana, mantra, meditation or you teach; each experience is ultimately unique from every other experience you have ever had.
Sometimes what you are doing may feel monotonous - like it's the same thing you have done a thousand times before.
It probably isn't.
When you are practicing or teaching yoga (or anything) and you feel that,
you are either
B-just going through the motions, again - acting out of habit
then you need to do one of two things (or both):
1- Tune In.
You may think you are tuning in, but a lot of times we are tuning out and we are not here right now.
Try and be conscious and tune in, pay attention, notice without attachment.
2- CHANGE IT UP!
If you are bored, if you aren't being challenged, if you are not engaged if you are not inspired then you'd better MIX IT UP!
And do you know how you mix it up .... you learn and try something new.
If it's your physical practice that seems a bore, perhaps you need to go to a different class, perhaps you need to find a video online that peaks your interest or challenges you in a new way.
Perhaps you need to pick up a book or read a blog or an article related to some things you'd like to try out.
Maybe you read something or watch something and still aren't inspired ....
then you'd better try something else
Find - Explore - Learn - Filllll Up!
because you are no longer a school student, doesn't mean you should stop
learning and expanding yourself! You are eternally a student.
There is always room to grow.
And if you are in school - learn something you won't learn in school, something outside your studies.
In the spirit of September (even though it is over tomorrow) I am going to put a challenge out there:
LEARN SOMETHING NEW - TODAY -
learn another something new in a few days
and another something new a few days after that.
Learn Three New Things THIS WEEK
These things don't have to be big missions
It could be reading an article on yoga journal about a posture - and maybe deepen your understanding and practice of that posture.
It could be learning how to paint a pumpkin, a meditation technique, how to check your oil, learning the constellations, how to make your own soap, what's happening with climate change, how to compost,- there are SO MANY THINGS TO LEARN.
Listen to a CBC podcast in your car or a TEDTALKS podcast - you can learn A LOT from these. I'm telling you, download some of these for your next long drive.
Who knows, maybe today you will read or hear something that sparks a fire in you - or maybe not - and then on to the next.
Now You Go:
POST A COMMENT -
LET US KNOW WHAT YOU LEARNED THIS WEEK!
Share the info or the link so that others can learn it too!
Maybe even post a picture demonstrating what you have learned.
(And bring any awesome food you learned to make to your next yoga class to share:) )
Below are my favourite websites for learning new stuff; just scrolling around and exploring a bunch of different topics - and not just about yoga -
Click on one RIGHT NOW -
Mind, Body, Green
Awesome site! This is my computer homepage- SOOOO many articles about wellness, health, yoga, clean eating. Lots of quick reads!
Mother Nature Network
Great site! Lots to explore for the environmental concious!
Daily environmental news, blog commentary, and advice on sustainable living, conservation and social responsibility.
Yoga Journal International
Fall is my very favourite time for cooking and baking! Yummy Fall Recipes on this site!Whole Foods!
I've used a bunch of the recipes from this site! Lots of very yummy vegan, raw and gluten free options!
Of course - the almighty pinterest! An awesome resouces for exploring everything - if you haven't tried it, you probably should. Good site to explore on a Sunday evening with a tea and a treat :)
Videos on a wide range of topics! Why Bees are disappearing? How does memory work? So many interesting talks .... I'm totally going to be watching some ted talks tonight.
A little upcoming yoga learning:
1- MATTHEW REMSKI will be at the TWISTED FISH on OCTOBER 19
for an INTRO TO YOGA PHILOSOPHY
have had the pleasure of learning from Matthew before at the Twisted
Fish - He is wonderful and easy to listen to and has a breadth of
knowledge about yoga and yoga philosophy to share -Matthew is a yoga
therapist, author or Threads of Yoga and an Ayurvedic educator and
This is a great opportunity to expand your yoga brain :)
Check out the twisted fish main page for more info. Follow Matthew Remski on Twitter or Facebook to see what he is about!
2- My next blog entry will be all about Mantra and what "Om" is all about.
Ever wondered why chant "OM"?
Frig, I didn't know either.
But I learned during training and now I will share :)
Until Next Time,
Sending Out Peace,
P.S - Sorry for the lack of pictures - My phone won't sync with my computer :/
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