Tuesday, June 23, 2015

GOTD #3

(GOTD #2 is still in progress, but it is ALSO yoga-based, and expresses gratitude for yoga teacher, Miranda...but she whipped our butts last night and my body is still working on allowing my brain to catch up and write about all of the wonderful benefits of practicing hot vinyasa with her!) 

Okay, on with GOTD #3!
 
I'm feeling very "Om," post-yin yoga . . . Kinda like my Munchkin doing a tree pose, as she tried on the new dress that I finished making last night (more pics of that in a future post):

Why?  Because it's hard not to be absolutely amazed and grateful for what the body can do - on its own, and then, with a bit of helpful guidance.  Sometime last year, Stephen suggested using the yoga block to "teeter-totter" my head closer to the ground during seated wide-legged straddle.  And ever since then, I've been able to comfortably lay my forehead down in front of me, as we hold that position for 5 minutes.  It feels amazing to reach that point, where you can just s-t-r-e-t-c-h forward and RELEASE. And rest the head on ground in front of you.  Feeling the stretch of the legs, back, arms.

Think on that.  Stretching.  Releasing.  Relaxing.  But finding "your edge."  Slight discomfort in pushing yourself.  But strength and growth and pride in doing so.  This is yoga.  This is life.

Gratitude for patience, guidance, and for my body.  Gratitude for my yoga practice.

Namaste.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Soul Work

Soul work, in light of the Charleston incident and how we can learn, grow, and hopefully, progress as a country...

This started out as a paraphrased interpretation of Aaron White's powerful sermon this morning at church, that was to be a simple Facebook post.  However, as often the case, my thoughts lacked brevity that is usually preferred in that social medium.  And so, here we go...

I wanted to share - and hopefully, inspire others to think about their own soul work, as it is something that each of us can work on in ways that can make a meaningful, positive impact on the variety of communities that make up our country.

We have much soul work to do as we aim to be responsibly and joyfully human.  Admission of participation in a problem allows us to have power to change an issue.  Each of us accepting this responsibility is necessary so that we may ALL experience what it means to be joyfully human.

Aaron's sermon was so moving that as Jillian and I drove home from church, I felt the need to share this past week's events with her and to have a discussion about what our role in that is/might be, what it can and needs to be, and that although it may seem daunting and frustratingly overwhelming, we have to redirect those feelings into action.  That action can be both big and small - within and outside of us.  Action is important, as fear, frustration, hopelessness, concern, worry, etc. - all those feelings - if we do not adopt the mindset to be part of the change, sitting on those feelings just promotes a stagnant, unproductively frustrating state of being within ourselves and our community and country.  Action and being a part of social justice promotes breaking out of a problem that is not limited to our country's history, but is very much a part of our country's current struggle.

Then, since Jillian was seeming especially patient and receptive, I was able to tie-in some of this past week's yoga teachings regarding the importance of recognizing and letting go of attachments and how that concept might relate to learning mindfully do the soul work Aaron spoke of this morning.

Lots to think about.  Even more to do, with mindful, responsible action. 

Friday, June 19, 2015

Gratitude of the Day, #1

GOTD:  the practice of yin yoga under Stephen Bison's mindful direction.  

Yin is about so much more than just holding a pose for longer than usual.  It's more meditative, encourages reflexion, contemplation, and working within oneself to grow and transform within the mind and spirit.  

Stephen has a gift - to be able to effectively convey, inspire, and nurture these ideas through his calming, authentic personality and interesting analogies and metaphors shared during practice.

Today, I want to make note of his crab and monkey stories, illustrating the importance of letting go of attachments.  I hope that I'll be able to remember them when I feel discomfort in releasing my own, internal attachments that weigh down my spirit.  Thank you, Stephen, for being a lighthouse for your yogis.

If you'd like to read more about Stephen, his yoga practice, and his inspiring words, check out his blog here:  http://busybuffalos.com/

Namaste, y'all.

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