Thoughts

September 2, 2016 – Past to Present…

When I started practicing yoga I was living in Sunnyvale, California and had just been diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder. I felt ill often. Yoga (asana) was different than any other physical activity I’d ever done. And over the years, Yoga brought my body back to a state of wholeness. This month marks 17 years of Yoga practice and much of the time these days I don’t even know I have an autoimmune disorder.

Two years into my Yoga practice, I was well aware of the magical benefits one could receive with this practice. Right around this time, I started reading books on Buddhism… and I started noticing this huge mental shift. I began to see a bigger picture that I never knew existed. It felt new and big. LIKE REALLY HUGE. it felt like an awakening. This is when I realized I wanted to be a Yoga Teacher.

Also around this time, while living in the Dallas area, I “stumbled upon” the teachings of Yoga Master, Vanda Scaravelli. Right away my body was resistant. It wasn’t Iyengar Yoga… or Anusara Yoga… or Ashtanga Yoga… or any other type of Yoga with which I was familiar. This was an entirely new way of working with the body. There was a letting go… a surrendering to gravity. There was no “muscling” into the pose. It wasn’t mechanical. The body was not rigid…. or forced. All of this softness and yet there was a rebound energy that was VERY powerful. My body was alive. I truly began to feel the “wave” that Vanda speaks of in her book “Awakening the Spine.” It didn’t take long to know that this would be my first teacher training.

Today I am still in love with this softer, slower, and deeper way of working with the body. So many people need to slow down and tune in. It is a way of making friends with the body… embracing it… and loving it. Although I adore sharing my Yoga with people everywhere, there has been resistance from others. It isn’t trendy. It isn’t Vinyasa Flow… Or Hot Yoga… or Aerial Yoga. It’s new, it’s different, and it involves going deeper. Sometimes that may seem daunting or even fearful because we never know what we’re going to find.

Having said that, it seems people are becoming more and more interested in this approach to Yoga (thankfully). For those of you who have asked me to share my Yoga with you and your students… thank you. Thank you for being open to learning about these important teachings. I am grateful and humbled that I’ve been able to travel to many beautiful places to teach Yoga. I’ve met so many lovely people along the way. My heart is full.

 

February 29, 2016 – Small Talk

One thing i’ve never been fond of is “small talk.” exchanging pleasantries isn’t difficult or uncomfortable, necessarily, and it is definitely a courteous thing to do… but I find it lacks in human emotion.

If you are merely an acquaintance, I guess I can get by talking about the weather.  However, if I consider you a friend, that means I respect you, and it’s going to go deeper.  If you ask me how I am, I will tell you, and often times in detail.  And I want to know how you are too… how you really are.  What is lighting up your life lately?  What are you passionate about?  What are your struggles and conflicts?

Life is about relationships.  And not only am I interested in deepening my relationships, I also want to learn from them as well as have them inspire me.

If you are my friend, I want an emotional connection.

Please don’t deny me that part of you.

 

January 27, 2016 – Letting Go To Fully Experience the Feeling of You

I’ve been working on meditation being a bigger and more involved part of my yoga practice.  Lately, I find myself wanting to sit more and I’ve noticed that my meditation is much more relaxed and focused after my asana practice versus meditating without having practiced asana.  Tonight I sat for 20 minutes after my asana practice and I was truly in the “zone.”  The last 10 minutes or so were profound for me.  I felt spacious, free, and rhythmic.  I also saw different shades of blue.  It was almost hypnotic… my expanding body with my breath, the freedom, and the colors.  Every now and then I felt like nothing but a heartbeat.  I forgot about everything… things I had to do, upcoming events, internal struggles, questioning my path, people, labels, heartache, even the thought of who I am and where I am going.  The best I can explain it is… it was an experience of bigness and expansion.  It was nothing but a feeling of pure consciousness.  there was nothing else.  In, my humble opinion, I think that is what we are supposed to learn from this practice… the ability to let go of all the labels and feelings about who we think we are… and instead truly embody and experience our own presence.

January 28, 2016 addition:  It is somewhat difficult to articulate clearly.  It’s about removing facades… peeling away all of the layers of what we have created in our minds (of who we think we are).  All of that dissolves.  And for a moment, you come to the realization that you are not those layers.  Letting go of the layers allows us to experience the “realness” of what we are.  We’re left with a presence, a feeling, an energy, an awareness.

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The Wisdom of Vanda Scaravelli Revealed, by Darlene Bink

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8 steps for an emotional cleanse

Emotional cleanse tip #1: be a giver of love. And don’t underestimate the need to FEEL loved…because we all need to feel loved.

Emotional cleanse tip #2: remember, your feelings are not insignificant. There is always someone who is willing to listen.

Emotional cleanse tip #3:  learn to let go of the past…and things that no longer serve you.  be mindful of the here and now.

Emotional cleanse tip #4:  learn to forgive.

Emotional cleanse tip #5:  find ways to bring joy into your life.

Emotional cleanse tip #6:  what is your passion?  figure it out and find a way to make it a part of your life.

Emotional cleanse tip #7:  let go of negative habitual thinking.  learn to replace the negative habit with another, more useful habit.

Emotional cleanse tip #8:  BELIEVE in yourself.  it all begins with you.

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