SalmonBerry

Posts Tagged ‘vulnerable’

Breathe

In Mindfulness, Yoga on December 2, 2014 at 8:09 pm
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Daily practice

If you can breathe, then yoga is for you. Yes, that does mean absolutely everyone.

Avoiding yoga by saying it’s not your thing or you tried it once is like saying that you’ve tried food and it just didn’t work out for you so you’ve decided not to eat.

Yoga is merely connecting to your breath, and, as a result, your body, wholeheartedly. Every single day. Every single vulnerable minute. Every single exposed nanosecond.

In a simple, yet constraining, seated twist or in a challenging, open-hearted backbend. Finding the place in a pose – and in your life – where you can truly breath, with depth and ease, is no mere feat. How you get to that place will be different for everyone. The magic of asanas is that they are designed to take you to this place of connection. To unlock the mystery of what is holding you back. To release the pent up emotions. The ones that are much more subtle then the overt twins of anger and anxiety that can usually be fended off by a good, long run. Emotions like shame, self-doubt, and contempt.

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Beauty in the struggle

No wonder you avoid yoga practice. It can feel super icky.

And it’s not the hurts-so-good burn of lactic acid build-up during a spin class. This is down-and-dirty, how-can-I-ever-look-someone-in-the-eye-again, kind-of hurt. But then you stay with it, you don’t avoid it, you breathe through it, and suddenly you have moved into a different pose/place/time and all is effortless. You feel light and shining and powerful and graceful and humbled and grateful.

Yoga is not balancing on your forearms while touching your toes to the top of your head. Yoga is not sitting in lotus for hours without moving a muscle. Yoga is not folding your sweaty self in half in a heated room. And, yet, if that is the yoga that works for you, then it is. Yoga is about viciously carving out time for yourself to work on the “you” that is outside the physical plane. It is the time you take to connect your body, mind, and spirit. The practice you do in order to sit with your self and your breath in silence without wanting to bolt from the situation. Without wanting your current reality to be different.

Yoga works on you energetically, emotionally, and spiritually. If you don’t buy that, it doesn’t mean that yoga is not for you, it only means you haven’t done enough yoga. You haven’t fully surrendered to the possibilities, to the potentiality, of really practicing yoga. This is a phenomenon that you can feel. It very visibly shows up in your life through the intensely radical as well as the softly subtle changes that occur once you commit to your practice.

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Freedom and peace is revealed

I used to run a lot. I still do. Just not as much. Running felt wonderful and cathartic and afterwards, for awhile, I was at peace. But it was never sustainable. Quite easily I would find myself jolted out of the flow and into reactive mode. Practicing more asanas, more often, allowed me to finally sit in mediation and actually capture that sustainable peace – for, like, days and weeks.

I am moving toward longer stretches of peaceful bliss and I always will be…

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Cleanse – Day 3

In Mindfulness on May 6, 2013 at 5:39 am

roses and workWork is not always required. There is such a thing as sacred idleness.” ~George MacDonald

I woke up feeling fabulous on Day 3 despite having agreed to teach an early morning vinyasa class (not my specialty).  At 730am, I head to La Jolla Yoga Center after green juice and a smallish bowl of soup. The class was a bit awkward because my playlist would get stuck on a song eliciting exasperated you’re-wasting-my-$20-and-75-minutes stares while I tried to simultaneously instruct and manage the music. It seems that my tech savviness is rapidly decreasing as I approach 40. Becoming a yoga teacher has been a test of my willingness to continually expose myself as I lead a group to some unspoken place that is unique to each individual. I’m guessing and I’m doing my best and feeling my way through it but on some days it’s just not all that neat and tidy. This is a vulnerable place to be but I much prefer this place rather than hiding behind the possibilities and potentialities of my life.

As part of my cleanse I had decided to hire someone to spring clean my house – something I haven’t been able to do since I was separated – and get a facial. These decisions felt so indulgent that I didn’t even care as I ate my 10th bowl of soup in 3 days (I’m not really counting). I was probably drinking juice too…I can’t remember…anyway, Day 3 was more about pampering myself and my home and letting others do the work for me.

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Organic, locally-roasted, caffeinated coffee.

When I’m on a cleanse, my senses are heightened and everything around me looks so much more vibrant  and defined. I see more, I smell more, I hear more. It makes walking around town on a busy, sunny day like a marvelous adventure. While running errands, I managed to buy a decaf coffee without purchasing a scone but then the coffee tasted quite flat. My tastebuds were so sensitive that I couldn’t deny the badness of decaf. I really love coffee and will be going right back to drinking it after this cleanse but I have to admit that it feels empowering to not NEED the coffee each morning. I’ve discovered I actually can handle my mornings without the caffeine crutch (hats off to all of you who do it everyday). Coffee is a soothing morning ritual for me. It’s also one of the smells of my childhood (coffee, sawdust, and salt air). As a child my parents were often building, finishing, or remodeling the houses we lived in – and we lived on the bay – and there was always a pot of coffee brewing while they were up late staining hardwood floors or painting trim and listening to the Beatles or Bob Dylan. To make up for the flat decaf, I treated myself to an orange-carrot-ginger juice which was like candy to my all-veggies-all-day-tongue and headed to back to the house to get some more work done.

It’s important to take care of yourself inside and out during a cleanse as your physical body and your surroundings are a reflection of what is going on inside you on an emotional level. And having the abundance to get a facial as well as spring-clean my home felt absolutely in alignment with all the cleansing I was doing internally. With physical cleanses come emotional cleanses and before I got into the salon, I broke down sobbing. I was painfully aware of the thoughts and emotions associated with my crying but I was not aware of what triggered these thoughts and emotions. It wasn’t anything I had just heard or saw and, worse, it wasn’t a new emotion about a new issue. It was a recycled emotion or issue that I thought I was long past. Clearly, I wasn’t past it and had to let it move through me. So I did. And I felt lighter. Exactly what I had been aiming for on this cleanse.