Blooming Where You are Planted

I concluded a wonderful weekend workshop yesterday, with Betsey Downing, an Anusara Yoga senior certified teacher. The theme of her second class was "bloom where you are planted," and we did this by calling forth and embodying our best, and most authentic self.

Throughout the course of the weekend, Betsey shared many gems and insights, not only in terms of our practice of asana, but in regards to how to live our lives as well. It was a weekend that brought together many certified, and inspired Anusara instructors, and even many more students. The sessions were filled to capacity, and the kula, or community there present - helped each another into poses and assists.

Betsey acknowledged the reality of something that I have felt for a long time - that is - the incredible gift that Willow Street Yoga provides in the quality of its instruction and the community that exists there. It is something that every visiting Anusara yoga teacher notes. I am fortunate to study there myself. What makes Willow Street Yoga unique is that it is the only studio in the world that has about 13 certified teachers and a few more in the pipeline. All of its instructors are actively engaged in on-going study. I frequently see the teachers - from the director on down - taking each other's classes.

I always tell my students not to study with someone who is not engaged in taking classes or regularly attending workshops or trainings or some sort. As someone who was an educator for two and half decades, I regularly witnessed teachers who felt they knew all there was to know about their discipline and would not engage in further study or self-improvement. This of course, affects the quality of the instruction imparted.

I wish to share some of the insights that came from Betsey this weekend...

"Argue with reality - and you're wrong 100% of the time. If you engage in this practice - it dis-empowers you.

You always need to make the best out of a situation for it will shift your energy, and ultimately, everything is about energy...

We are not always aware of how beautiful we are...

Meditation gives you the chance to look at yourself without judgment and just accept yourself. Yoga reveals the thorns in our lives - and enables us to remove them so that we can truly reveal our light. Don't get so identified with the cloakings in your life...

When you meditate, use this simple mantra if you have none as you breathe in and out: 'Namaha,' that is 'I honor and embrace everything that comes to me as a manifestation of Divine Consciousness.'

Always strive to become your highest self - define yourself in the highest way that you can - in compassionate and joyful awareness. Today - make a commitment to see yurself in the highest way that you can...

Accept what you did today - and honor yourself for trying. The sequence deliberately included a couple of poses that were not accessible to most to stretch your understanding. Know, that whatever you could not do - you were not supposed to do..."

And I would add, there is a time for everything, and a lesson in every experience as well...

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