why you should be proud when you lose your balance in yoga class…

3 May

balance

there you are in tree, or dancer, or half moon, or any other pose you do perfectly at home, when it happens…you lose your balance; you fall out of the pose.  you look around, maybe with a nervous giggle, maybe with frustration, feeling awkward, embarrassed, judged…who saw that?

let it go; as a matter of fact, congratulate yourself, be proud; you have found your edge!  you pushed yourself outside of your comfort zone, you allowed yourself to go to that point- where your legs shook, your ankles wobbled, the intensity was taking over…and you didn’t back off, you just kept going anyway.  you let go of your ego, and you became a seeker.  you were determined to maximize this moment and you realized that sometimes that means putting yourself out on the edge, out where you feel vulnerable, and out where you are completely unsure of what is going to happen next.  and when you fall, you know, for that split second right before you fell, you experienced the deepest possible expression of that pose…how AWESOME!  lucky you!

not everyone gets that experience.  not everyone who enters a class leaves their comfort zone.  the ‘front-row-bent-into-a-pretzle-yogi’ may look like they are posing for a magazine photo shoot, but in their ease, do they have just a little more in them??  they may never know, if just once, they don’t push themselves over that edge, if they don’t allow themselves to go beyond their comfort zone and into a place where they just might fall.

and not everyone who enters life gets to experience that either.  in yoga class, and in life, be proud of your falls…take a risk, dare yourself to go a little further, maybe fall over the edge every now and then, and experience the beauty of being caught, the power in realizing that it doesn’t hurt that bad, and the triumphant charm that comes with dusting yourself off and trying again.

namaste

im possible

26 Apr

ROGER BANNISTER

your beliefs create your world.

what you see, hear, think, feel, taste, and know are all, simply, because of your thoughts and expectations.  there is no universal reality; we each have our own.  we each view the outside world through our own eyes, our own individual experiences, and our own unique thoughts, a filter that no one else can ever share.  our stream of vision must first flow from heart to mind, before it can flow through our eyes.  what we see in our lives cannot separate from the burdens, joys, fears, and loves that live within us.

and i don’t just mean ‘woo woo’ positive thinking here, im talking about the real stuff.  the stuff that feels so real you scoff at the mere suggestion that it is not; the sourness of a lime, the warmth of the sun, and the pain after a fall. im talking about everything…

in 2002, a study was conducted to evaluate 180 patients who were said to “need” arthroscopy of the knee for osteoarthritis.  Without knowing which group they were in, half of the patients received the complete corrective surgery, while the other half received a placebo surgery (an incision was made, but no corrective procedure was performed).  Patients were then assessed in both pain and function for the next two years. the two groups, wether they received the actual corrective surgery or not, experienced NO DIFFERENCE in pain or function of their knee.

in 1999, Japanese researchers tested 57 high school boys for their sensitivity to allergens. The boys filled out questionnaires about past experiences with lacquer trees.  Boys who reported having severe allergic reactions to the poisonous trees were blindfolded. Researchers brushed one arm with leaves from a lacquer tree but told the boys they were chestnut tree leaves. The scientists stroked the other arm with chestnut tree leaves but said the foliage came from a lacquer tree. Within minutes the arm the boys believed to have been exposed to the poisonous tree began to react, turning red and developing a bumpy, itchy rash. In most cases the arm that had contact with the actual poison did not react. (Morse 1999)

The stories like these go on and on.  In the 1970′s a man was told he had liver cancer with only a few months to live.  a few months later, true to form, he passed away.  however, an autopsy revealed that the man had been misdiagnosed and, besides being dead, was otherwise healthy enough to be alive.  in the UK, a group of cancer patients who thought they were receiving chemotherapy, when in fact, were merely being injected with a inert saline solution, promptly began experiencing the universally expected side effects of chemotherapy, including headaches, violent vomiting, and even hair loss.

your beliefs can limit you or they can serve you…

in 1954, Roger Bannister also held a belief; he believed he could prove everyone wrong.  he believed “the impossible,” was possible.  up until this point, doctors, physiologists, and every other easily influenced member of society believed that it was, not only impossible, but also downright dangerous for any human being to run a mile in under four minutes.  ‘it could not be done,’ they said; and so far, they had been right.  until Roger bannister toed the line and choose to believe they were wrong.  3 minutes and 59.4 seconds later he had done it.  49 days after that, another runner clocked in at 3:57.9, and by the end of 1957 16 more runners busted through the ribbon in under four minutes.  When the world believed a four minute mile was the ceiling, it was; when Roger Bannister showed them differently, those limiting beliefs dissipated and possibility itself, quickly created a new reality.

good or bad, up or down, left or right, you do have the power to control the direction of your life.  challenge any limiting beliefs you hold, challenge everything you have ever been told, challenge the media and the guys in white coats.  no one can possibly know for certain what you are capable of, not even you.  open your mind to all that is possible for you, and be prepared, changing your thoughts may cause you to experience miracles.

Now

23 Apr

can-i-call-you-back-ed-i-m-in-the-moment-here-new-yorker-cartoonyoga reminds me that there is only one place where life really exists

…right here, right now.

as i move through postures in class, i learn not to be attached to what i am experiencing, whether it feels incredible -or agonizing, i know that it will pass – just allowing the sensation to be a teacher while it is here.  no judgement of good or bad, just a moment to savor, to absorb, to obtain benefits from.  i get the most out of these classes, these moments where i fully detach from what is coming next and just lose myself in the precision of my every movement.

when i leave my mat and enter the real world, i try to take this wisdom with me.  when the immediate moment is everything; i believe this is when life gets good.  when the past is obsolete and the desire to control what is coming next is abandoned.  when this breath is all that matters, and this moment is the only truth.  each inhale feels like a lifetime, and each exhale is noticed, appreciated, memorized, and imprinted…each sensation cascades through my veins and each sight is vivid…each leaf on the tree astounds me, and each touch is felt inside my bones…i allow it, absorb it, and then, with grace, allow it to pass, with an understanding that i did everything i could to maximize that moment, no attachment to recreating it or preventing it, just on to letting the next moment, the next posture, the next wave, the next teacher… move through me fully and completely.  trusting that each moment is exactly where i need to be, learning exactly what i need to learn, in order to evolve into the me that i was born to be.

Your Song

19 Apr

singyoursong

“Don’t Die With Your Music Inside You”
-Wayne Dyer

In the Greek Language, the word “sin” comes from an archery term that literally translates into ‘missing your mark.’  In this context, ‘sinning’ has nothing to do with “crime,” or stealing, or even God, really, it merely speaks to fulfilling your life’s purpose; having the courage to be who you are and to serve the universe with this one human life that you have been gifted.  -Removing the obstacles, letting go of the stories that hold you back, moving away from entitlement, surrendering your ego, and moving into a place of service.  -Deemphasizing possessions and achievements, focusing less on what you have or what you do, and more on who you are at your core.  What is it that only you have to offer this world?  What is the reason that you are right here, right now?

The real sin is to walk through life never ‘hitting your mark,’ never realizing or actualizing your purpose, never repaying the universe for the gift of human life; never allowing your actions to be guided by something much larger than you.  -and never getting to that place where you are no longer trying to ‘get somewhere’ else.

There is an original song inside of each of us; it would be unfair to hold it in, to deprive the world of all we have to offer.  It may take a lifetime, a lot of wrong notes, a courageous amount of patience, and a lot of hard listening, but never give up, commit to playing your song for all the world to hear, before it’s too late.

Namaste

Your Guide to “What is Paleo?”

2 Feb

Image

Paleo-

  1. Ancient; prehistoric; old.
  2. Early; primitive.

Notice, nowhere in the definition does it mention anything about a diet or a certain food.  Of course there are certainly foods that were more likely to be available in ancient, pre-agriculture, pre-monocrop farming society, however, “Paleo” itself, is much more all-encompassing.  Paleo is a particular moment in time, an era;  a way of life that we can never exactly recreate or replicate.  We cannot de-volve. We can only live in the present moment.  We can only strive to use the tools we have today to let our lights shine as bright as they are meant to shine.

To me, being ‘Paleo’ isn’t about trying to go backwards or search for the answer by trying to recreate something from the past.  To me, it’s about tapping into our primitive instincts, those ancient guides that live deep within us; digging deep and getting in tune with what our bodies are really asking for.  I believe our Paleo ancestors were more apt to be in tune with their health-promoting ‘drives’ because their earth, and their environment was pure, abundant, and unharmed by the modern-day lifestyle.  It was very easy for our ancestors of Paleo time to sleep on the earth, rely on their tribes for support, eat grass-fed, wild-caught animals and vegetation without pesticides, get plenty of sunshine, tell stories for entertainment, and move and stretch their bodies in a manner that felt awesome; aka: yoga.

Now, we have modern-day-life confusing our natural drives.  We have high-rise buildings, smog, shopping malls, GMO’s, sunscreen, ‘pill-popping’ standards, TV screens, couches, Facebook, food ‘science,’  and treadmills.  We ignore our instincts, let time get the best of us, and do what is easy, conveniently packaged, and laid out right at our fingertips.  We go searching for a magic pill, procedure, or cream, all the while, losing sight of the real answer that lies simply, within us.  our own inner guru, our own Paleo DNA that is begging us to eat fresh, wild kale and do a backbend.

To me Paleo is not about asking the google search bar, “is this Paleo?” or “is that Paleo?”  It’s about asking yourself, “will this nourish me?”, “will this make me a healthier, stronger person?”, “will this make me more valuable to my tribe?”, and most importantly, “will this make me shine?”

Fight through the overwhelming normalcy of McDonalds, antidepressants, late night TV, and cement ….and just listen.  Your guide is already within you, trust that your true instincts ARE ‘Paleo,’ and all you need to do is listen and recognize that everything you need is a free gift from the earth; food, Sunshine, water, and space to do yoga.  Your one true guide to Paleo is YOU!

Namaste

Ready to Live…

15 Jan

savasana

To me, Corpse Pose, or Savasana, is the pose with the most depth of them all.  On the surface it looks simple, luxurious, maybe even like a waste of time to some.  However, I have come to recognize Savasana as the most vital piece of my practice.

It is with much embarrassment that I admit this, but I used to skip it.  Yes, I was one of those loudly rolling up my mat and scurrying out of the class as everyone else was settling in to their corpse pose.  ‘I had things to do people!’ …even worse was my home practice; I dedicated an hour to yoga, and to me that meant one full hour of “real yoga,” none of this “laying-around-and-calling-it-yoga” business for me- thank you very much!

However, in time, my yoga practice grew into something much more and I began to appreciate “real yoga” and to really open my heart to the benefits of Savasana.  At first, I think I just kind of started to allow myself to enjoy the rest.  Even though it was only a few minutes, I rarely allowed myself to enjoy stillness back then.  In time, it became more; it became my lifeforce, my source of renewed energy and determination, and it sparked for me the 3 most influential lessons I have learned from yoga so far.

1. Finish what you start.  Boom!

2. The real reason it is called Corpse pose. It’s the moment you come face to face with death and I think it is just like what you see in the movies; you ask yourself the tough questions, your regrets and shortcoming flash before your eyes, the relationships you want to fix become crystal clear, the people you have yet to forgive stand before you, the hugs you still want to give today are painfully tugging at your heart – you plead and you beg and you vow to not take any more breaths for granted and to always make the most of your precious moments left here on earth.  Coming this close to death, helps bring your life, your values, and your real purpose into the spotlight.

3.  Yet, in Savasana, luckily we don’t ‘stay dead’ – we wiggle our fingers and our toes, roll into a fetal position- we are signifying a rebirth…a new chance…a fresh start…a clean slate….you are rinsed, detoxed, and reborn into a new moment,  regrets are gone and completely meaningless in that moment – In essence, we are allowing ourselves to unite with the prospect of death at the end of each yoga practice in order to seal in our intentions, and really start living.

So, if you ask me…ill be in the corner doing Savasana…getting ready to live :)

Side Angle Pain

12 Nov

Image

 

i am so happy to have yoga in my life.  i am not surprised i was so lost without it.  i used to cringe at the thought of “wasting” an hour on yoga – uncomfortable stretching, basically.  i believed that if i was taking time to exercise, then i should be doing something vigorous, something that made me sweat, burn calories, and lose weight.  little did i realize, yoga offers me something much more valuable.  yoga teaches me about my body, my spirit, and my life.  yoga teaches me that when you connect these elements, when you appreciate and honor them, you organically settle into a place of genuine health and wellbeing.  its not purely about the tension you place on your muscles, but more so the tension on your mind that will create the most dramatic and beautiful transformations.

most recently, in power flow, as i was struggling through side angle, wondering when the #@&! the teacher was going to release us from the pose, i had another moment of clarity about life.  i said to myself, “you got this,” and instead of channeling the panting, quivering hyena that i felt like, i imagined i looked like a beautiful goddess.  i imagined that everyone in class was amazed by the beauty and grace that was radiating from my brilliantly solid pose.  i shined my heart even higher to the sky, sank deeper into the pose, and wrapped my bind even tighter.  i still felt the pain, but i embraced it and i got through the duration of the pose.  i had to get out of my mind, get out of the story, and really feel the pain, feel the tension, and convince myself that there was nothing more beautiful than the strength that i had to rally, in that moment, to endure that amount of discomfort.  

i realized that not only on my mat, but also in life, i CAN sit with the pain.  i can work through the discomfort.  i do not need an escape.  pushing through the pain is what provokes greatness.  it is easy, and very often the default, to quit, or give up, or give in, or cover up, or mask, or escape, or intoxicate, or starve the pain – but when pain and discomfort feel almost unbearable, and you say to yourself “you got this,” then that’s when you really fall in love with yourself as you begin to realize your own greatness.  

maybe its a craving you are desperate not to give in to, or a habit you are determined to break, or a feeling you are longing to share . . . it’s okay if you are scared, it’s okay if it hurts or feels really, really uncomfortable . . . “you got this” . . . the greatness is already inside of you.  imagine your beauty as you find the strength to feel pain and not let it stop you from continuing to put one foot in front of the other.

namaste

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.