Saturday, August 31, 2013

No doubt about it!

There is a thought that continues to nag at me. The thought of getting a PhD. It's been in here rattling around for awhile. And every time it comes up, I immediately see all the barriers. I am a single parent pretty much 24/7. I have a mortgage to maintain. I have a full time job and a very part time job teaching Yoga. And I am still studying Yoga. Not to mention the cost of going back to school. I would never be able to retire. And can my mind even focus that much anymore. And the work. It would be a lot of work.

But when I see myself teaching, writing and reading, it seems so joy-filled. So fulfilling. Not chaotic, not reactionary like my life is now, but methodical and efficient.

Clearly it is what I want. Probably the biggest thing holding me back... ME.

And yet, as I have learned through Yoga, take the steps that follow your heart, work with sankalpa shakti, and in time, all that you desire will manifest.

Here's to a new sankalpa. I am working toward my PhD in Sport psychology and Spirituality. Whew... that's scary in a good way!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013


A - Alignment
S - Stable
A - Awake
N - Non attachment
A - Awareness

Asana is not about the deepness of the back bend or the forward. It is not about the ability to stand on the hands or to demonstrate the perfection of a pose. It is about the ability to rest in awareness of the where energy i most vibrant, to build on that awareness and energy. It about shaping the experience, not letting the experience shape you.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Settling in

My son has just returned from 8 weeks away. One would think that if you've had this child for 12 years, it would be pretty simple to slip back into the routine again. But I find sitting for meditation is more challenging, even getting to bed when I normally do is more challenging. It's not that my day has more in it, it is something else tugging at my attention.

As I attempt to get on my mat, I notice this energy pushing me to move quickly and not hold poses. When I do hold, I feel restless, as if I need to hurry on to the next one. It gets harder to settle in. It takes more time to find my way into my body because so much of my awareness is listening for his next need or action.

My solution is to go to a forward fold and twist practice. These movements naturally draw the prana in, grounding it and focusing it. Then I can really practice.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Purpose of Asana

Asana offers the opportunity to practice mindfulness. It's pretty simple really. It's not about how deeply into a pose you can go, that is the ego trying to win the game. Yoga is the process of being present with the experience in the moment and yet not attached to the performance. Yoga is watching the experience of the body with the objectivity to allow the experience to be what it is, the awareness focused in the moment of the experience and lastly, being kind and compassionate in the process of the experience.

The tricky part is how you get to this degree of acceptance. The first step is to gather awareness. Drawing the mind to the task of watching the breath helps to cultivate the experience of observing. As the mind becomes more tranquil, flowing with the movement of breath, the body becomes more relaxed, one's Prana (life force) becomes collected and shaped by the pose. The ego is lulled into a state of calmness and receptivity, gradually allowing for the unfolding of smarana, or remembrance, openness and freedom.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

The Little Voice in my Head

This morning as I moved from one task to the next, I recognized this underlying need to get this done, then that. No don't sit until all of these things are taken care of. This subtle message seems to be continuously with me. It seems to drive my life. It berates me when I want coffee before meditation or a glass of wine at night. This morning I was too tired to listen to it. Too many hours in the hot sun yesterday roofing was perhaps the straw, but I just wanted to sit in bed and read a book. There between the pages of Sharon Salzberg's book entitled Faith, was just the right sentence. In Buddhism, the distinction between faith and beliefs lies in testing what we are told. "Put it into practice," the Buddha said,"and if you find that it leads to a kind of wisdom that is like looking at a wall, and then the wall breaks open and you see in a much more unbounded way, then you can trust it." This is the philosophy behind Tantra as well. The intention is to examine ones life and through examination, follow the path and values that allow you to thrive, to love openly and to be fearless.

Feeling fearless ;)