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Showing posts from June, 2011

The Yoga of Waiting

It has been nearly a week since I made an entry here. In this time, I have been engaged very quietly in the yoga of waiting...

Yoga is a practice, and thus, the yoga of waiting is simply, the practice of waiting...

The practice of waiting invites us and draws us more deeply into the present moment. At such times, we are able to notice things that might have escaped our attention or awareness at other moments in our lives.

As often happens, a lot of what I read or contemplate is precisely what I need to reflect upon.

In these last couple of weeks before undergoing surgery, I am taking time to slow down, prepare, and simply be. I've slept in a bit here and there, taken an occasional nap, gone for long walks, and I do whatever little yoga I can do at the moment, and focus on enjoying the simple things: doing a dog pose with as much devotion as I can, instead of a long held inversion or a really deep backbend... Going for a walk - rather than a two hour practice... Reading the newspaper s…

Stepping into the Sacredness of the Solstice

This morning, I went for a walk, then hoisted Grace, my kayak, into my truck, to go down to the river. It seemed fitting to step into the healing and cleansing waters of the river, on this day of the Summer Solstice.

We are in the midst of a most incredible time. On this day, the earth pauses for a moment, offering her inhale, into her exhale, and the sun seems to pause on the horizon. There is a still point that we can access and experience, that allows us to open to grace more fully, and enables us to step more deeply into the sacred, and to be bathed in its healing energies.

This year, the solstice follows the longest lunar eclipse in a decade, sandwiched in between two partial solar eclipses - one which transpired on June 1, and the other to occur on July 1st. In addition to all of this, we are experiencing a conjunction of planets known as a Cardinal Grand Cross. I am incapable of explaining all the technicality relating to these astrological events, but suffice it to say, that is …

Reflections on the Art of Teaching Yoga

Last weekend at this time, I was just concluding a workshop with Christina Sell on sequencing and using themes in the teaching of yoga. All week, I have been reflecting on some of her insights and the art of teaching in general.

Christina, a gifted certified Anusara Yoga teacher, was witty and inspirational at the same time, and just what I needed, as I face surgery next month, and a subsequent hiatus from teaching during the summer.

Every teacher finds him - or herself - fresh out of ideas, and perhaps needing to take a break at some point in time. And, in 14 years of teaching yoga, I have not taken a break of more than a couple of weeks, at the end of a session. So, while I focus on physical healing, I am hoping to also "reclaim" some inspiration, and come back "refreshed."

I have been having difficulty coming up with themes lately. Ironically, this has always been the easiest part of lesson planning for me! In fact, just today, someone wrote me asking me about a t…

You Are the Love

This morning, as I sat in meditation, on this day of a lunar eclipse, sandwiched in between two partial solar eclipses - the first occurring on June 1, and the next on July 1, I heard these words deep inside:

"You are the love that you need.
Shine it out, and then see that love
reflected in others - in their eyes.
Everything you need is inside.
Anything else is limiting and unfulfilling..."

I was surprised by this insight arising within, but then later on, I read a metaphysical interpretation of these three eclipses and the coming Summer Solstice, and found that they were about releasing and letting go, about healing and restructuring relationships, facing challenges, and taking decisive actions to move forward. And really, who doesn't find all of this relevant on some level?

Later in the day, I spoke to a dear friend experiencing a great loss, and she shared with me the wisdom and tools one of her teachers had given her to deal with her situation. He too, reminded my friend…

What I Know

Late yesterday afternoon, as I was tackling the grueling traffic on the beltway, here in the Washington DC area, on my way to teach my weekly yoga class at Willow Street Yoga Center, I asked myself, "What do I know?"

In other words, what have I learned that has shifted my consciousness, or my perspective recently - or what I have learned or practiced that has enabled me to deal with life's circumstances or curve balls.

Earlier this week, I read the article "Who Do You Think You Are?" by Sally Kempton on the site: Patheos.com

In this article, Sally discusses how to work with "avidya," a Sanskrit word which describes the basic ignorance of who we are, and she cites Sutra 2.5, of Patanjali's Yoga Sutra. This is what Sally has to say:

"'Avidya,' the sutra says, 'is to mistake what is perishable for the eternal, what is impure for the pure, what is sorrow for what is happiness, and the not-Self for the True Self.'"

I've read an…

The Body Speaks

In 1998, I read two books that significantly shifted my perspective about the body and my understanding of consciousness. These books were, Hands of Life: An Energy Healer Reveals the Secrets of Using Your Body's Own Energy Medicine for Healing, Recovery, and Transformation, by Julie Motz, and The Heart's Code: Tapping the Wisdom and Power of Our Heart Energy, by Paul Pearsall, PhD.

Let me explain why these books have remained seminal works on the shelf where I keep the books I consider most influential.

Julie Motz is an intuitive healer who worked with Dr. Mehmet Oz, back in the day when he was just a heart transplant surgeon and Oprah had not "discovered" him. At that time, Motz worked closely with Dr. Oz, in the operating room, "dialoguing" with both the "exiting" organ, and the new one being received. Motz reveals in her book, how the "out-going organ" and the body are saddened at their parting of the ways so to speak, and the "i…

Sacred Love

I continue to savor parts of Adyashanti'sEmptiness Dancing, in addition to several other books I am reading simultaneously. Within this book, there is an exquisite chapter on the nature of real love, and I have taken time to reflect on certain passages and sentences, and have posted them as Facebook and Twitter updates as well.

Adya notes that without love there is no truth, and without truth, there is no love. There are many different kinds of love, and the love that we are at our essence is real, and transcends all experiences and emotions. He also points out, that if we stay connected at the heart, it is very difficult to lie or even tell a half-truth. This love is indiscriminate, and doesn't know how to turn itself on and off. Furthermore, love isn't something we fall in and out of. Love simply is. Period.

Here are a couple of passages, slighted edited, that I resonated with:

"[Real love] is pre-existing... Possibly the only fear greater than death is love, real love…

Teaching (Yoga) as a Calling

Do you have a calling?

Do you know what that calling is?

Don't think you do? Well guess what! We all have one, and some of us take a while to find out what it is. For some, it takes a whole life time...

As a child, I remember being asked what I wanted to do when I grew up. I would often respond, that I wanted to help people. I really had no idea what that meant, but somewhere along the way, I thought studying psychology would be the way to live out my calling. And then I studied theology in the early 70's, when so much change was in the air, and thought this would be my route.

The one thing I said I would never do is teach. Yes, really... Seriously! It was the one thing I was bound and determined NOT to do...

But God, the Universe, or whatever, had other plans for me, and through a series of circumstances, I wound up teaching high school one year while I was finishing my Master's degree, because I needed a job. Desperately. I was offered a job on the spot and I took it. That sh…