Showing posts from June, 2010

A Borrowed Angel

I could not sleep last night. I tossed and turned, embraced by deep sadness... In the first, almost feeble light of day, I heard a choir of birds sing triumphantly, and once more, I believed in the resurrection of the soul, and of love... Yesterday, my dear friend AJ McIntyre , a wonderful Anusara yoga teacher, lost the miracle baby she was expecting, giving birth months before her intended due date. This child was born in the sign of Cancer, but was supposed to have been born a Scorpio - like me. I call this a miracle baby, because she came to be against all odds, and so many of us who are "elders" within the Anusara community, embraced this welcome child into our lives and hearts as if she were our own precious grandchild or niece. We "mothered" AJ like a pack of hens. This one child brought together a whole community all over the world, both in life, and in her graceful transition into eternity, but not before she was given a beautiful name, Harper Grace Mc

Anusara, Art, Culture, and Shradda

I know this title seems like a mouthful. Bear with me - and we will make some sense out of it... Yesterday, I had the opportunity to experience taking class with a budding teacher by the name of Rick, whom I encouraged to go for his Anusara Inspired status. Humbly, he told me he wanted to improve in all the ways he could, and he enthusiastically asked me for any suggestions I might have for him, and, really, there were very few to give! He deftly wove his theme of " shradda " - which means faith - in a very nuanced but powerful way in his sequencing, duly connecting it to his action. I went for a paddle this morning in the Potomac River , which as many of you know, is about a mile from my house. It was very hot out there, but the water was perfectly still. I paddled all the way to the Maryland shore and almost collided with a magnificent blue heron. We surveyed each other for a while. Then, we traveled upstream in tandem - I, in Grace, my kayak, and he, walking gracefully

Solstice Blessings

Today, we celebrate the Summer Solstice - as so many of our ancestors did. The word "Solstice" comes from two Latin words - one meaning the "sun" - and the other "to stand still." It is the longest day of the year, and the shortest night as well. After today, we begin our journey back to the darkness of winter, and the longest night. Today, the earth offers her inhale, into her exhale - and pauses (kumbhaka) in sacred space (sundi). It is this pause between the inbreath and the outbreath that yogis and ancient mystics believed was so impregnated with the presence of the Divine. Today is also the long culmination of a journey towards the lengthening of the days after winter. This is a great time to set your intentions for the energies of the day are very powerful. Ideally, this would have been done with the rising of the sun, the highpoint of the noon day, and again, as the sun slowly descends on this longest day. Take time today to review the las

Women Food and God

Did the title of this blog entry catch you? When I saw this book on a shelf at Border's - I couldn't resist buying it. And, it is certainly no Eat, Pray, Love ! The author of this book, Geneen Roth , has gained and lost about 1,000 pounds over a lifetime. Once, she gained 80 lbs. in two months! (HOW does one do that?) At another time in her life, she weighed 80 lbs. for two whole years. This sounded down-right bizarre to me. The basic premise of her book is that weight issues are never about weight per sae . From the inside jacket of her book, Women Food and God , Geneen Roth writes: "If you suffer about your relationship with food - you eat too much or too little, think about what you will eat constantly or try not to think about it at all - you can be free. Just look down at your plate. The answers are there. Don't run. Look. Because when we welcome what we most want to avoid, we contact the part of ourselves that is fresh and alive. We touch the life we truly wan

Soaking Up the Sun on the River

Last night, I met dear friends at Wolf Trap again, for the Colbie Caillat and Sheryl Crow concert. I am definitely into the summer concert mode this year! The night was exquisitely delightful spent in the company of friends, as we enjoyed a pre-show picnic on the lawn, in perfect weather, with lots of wine, followed by incredible performances, and lots of bantering back and forth with my dear friend and her daughter, who is most special to me. It was a magical night and totally delicious as we enjoyed hits and new material by these two fine songwriters. This morning, after I got a good night's sleep, I headed down to the river. I had my new camera in tow, which I broke out last night at the concert. Luckily, when I got to the river, a couple that was hanging around the boat launch area agreed to take a series of pictures with me and Grace, my trusty kayak. I am still under the weather, sleeping a lot, nursing a cough - but no fever or anything else. Still, I paddled all the way

Riding the River of Grace

I am reminded how sometimes, all we can do is ride the river of grace... I thought of that this morning, as I nurtured a cough. I have been a little under the weather these last few days, generally feeling run down and tired, and even missed part of a workshop I was attending this weekend and had so looked forward to... This morning I read these words by Christina Sell, who is an exquisite Anusara Yoga certified teacher, in her blog - and they so resonated with me: "This thing called Grace is a moving stream and it will carry us in its currents, around blind corners, over rough rapids, into various eddies, and sometimes stagnant pools. There really is no way or no reason, as I see it, to get out of the river. Best that we learn how to paddle." And I thought to myself, how true! When we ride the river of grace, we do not know where it will take us, from moment to moment... (As I write this, I am also corresponding with my dear friend Unni in India, a talented graphics g

Back on the River-Musings on the Moment

"Your journey has molded you for greater good, and it was exactly what it needed to be. Don't think that you've lost time. There is no short-cutting to life. It took each, and every situation you have encountered to bring you to the now. And now is right on time." ~Asha Tyson "The next message you need is right where you are." ~ Ram Dass I read these words, right before going to out to paddle in the magnificence of this morning. The river is calling to me, and I take the essence and the message of these words with me. They are the right words, for me in the moment, as I reflect on where I am and where I am going, in this crossroad of sorts... I am physically and emotionally tired and spent, so much has been asked and required of me of late. So, I don't spend a lot of time paddling. Instead, I spend much of the hour on the water simply floating on the river - slowing down, listening, wondering, envisioning, reviewing, and re-hashing an infin

Shower the People You Love

Last night, was one of those magical nights and moments that arises like a phoenix out of the ashes of grief and sadness... I had the opportunity to hear my two life-long favorite songwriters - Carole King and James Taylor together in concert - only because a friend suffered a tragic loss. So, out of one person's sadness - two others received great joy - not unlike a common theme found in many of the songs written and sung by these two giants. I heard Carole King five years ago, in the company of a dear soul, on a night that was perhaps, one of the most magical of my life and it is forever etched in my heart as a true communion of souls and merging of stories and spirits. And I last heard James Taylor in graduate school, when he was married to Carly Simon , the late 70's... I invited a friend to attend with me, who has been a steadfast soul companion and is undergoing her own challenges - which she always manages to handle with such grace and refinement - that it is an ins

We Are Sufficient Unto Our Own Joy

Yesterday I had the pleasure, the honor, and the blessing to teach the Bhagavad Gita - the sacred love song that that Divine sings to us, at the Yoga Center of Columbia , in Maryland, to a group of dedicated and bright souls - mostly from the Anusara Yoga Immersion. The day was one of sheer magic and delight for me - to be in the midst of fellow Anusara certified teachers - Lucy, Cheryl, and Kathy. Together we explored the Gita from both a Vedantic and Tantric perspective. The Bhagavad Gita is a richly textured and poetic work that is packed with perennial truths and insights. It is framed within the context of an outer and inner conflict as well as an outer and inner and more intimate conversation exploring the most fundamental questions and concerns pertaining to existence: Who am I? What is my purpose in life? What is my duty? Who is the Divine? What is my relationship to the Divinity? This delicious work considers such fundamental issues and concerns such as love, action, th

Clarity is Freedom

"Clarity is freedom." ~ Teresa of Avila There are days that initially seem foggy, lost, dense - and then clarity is offered in a way that cannot be denied - and may come wrapped in brutal honesty... There are friends that hold up the mirror to where we continually need to do the work... There are issues we must address that keep re-surfacing again, and again, and again...Life is like that... Yesterday, a gifted craniosacral therapist and a dear soul friend both offered such opportunities to reflect, take stock, re-consider options, and re-set the course for deeper growth... For the first time, I found myself considering a surgical procedure that I had totally disregarded - even though it had been suggested so many times. I would not hear of it. I could not listen. I was not ready... My craniosacral therapist is a wise woman, and under her healing touch and guidance, my body undeniably expressed what it wanted, and I just simply, could no longer refuse to listen to t

Practice Peace

There are days that do not go as planned. This has been one of those days - and it is not over yet... I had to set my theme and my lesson plan aside in my yoga class this morning - shifting mid-stream to address some issues and concerns that arose - so that I could accommodate some restoratives, end a little early, and offer my students coffee and tea instead. This seemed like the perfect thing to with my little community... My regular monthly meditation group did not go as planned either. No one showed up on time. And the last person to show up, arrived two hours later, just as we were ending - due to traffic. However, I was able to talk for a bit with my first arrival - and we openly shared with each other some similar circumstances we were both experiencing. This would not have happened otherwise... I realized I am feeling overwhelmed, over-extended, and unable to sort through a few things - so when things didn't go as planned - I felt even more out of sorts. This was brought