I invite you to take a yoga challenge with me every day for one month. No I don't mean the physical practice, I mean much more than that.
I've decided to challenge myself by working through the 8 limbs of yoga this Spring in honor of change. That one small word has and will knock us around mentally, physically and emotionally if we continue to fight it and demand same.
Change as we know is the only thing we can truly count on. But we are such curious creatures who want things to stay the same yet get better. This is where the suffering begins.
We are change. We are made up of every element on this planet. We are the fire that burns the rubbish, the rain that washes the debris away, the wind which is a powerful source of energy and the Earth which creates nutrients for new roots and opportunities to grow. To fight change is to fight our own nature of being
This past year was an overload of change which brings me to my own practice. I'm going back to the basics in order to break those habits I've attached to in my attempt to control the way I think things should go.
I invite you to join me in this Spring time practice to shake things up a bit.
1* Work through the Yamas & the Niyamas. Doing the inner work to see where we may be leaking prana/ energy is extremely beneficial. Maybe start with Ahimsa (non-violence) or Aparigraha (non-hoarding, freedom from grasping). The one thing about this yoga practice is it only works if we do the work. This is the practice of becoming whole.
2* Changing our morning routine every morning. What if we invite change in at the start of the day and offer it coffee or tea. After my meditation this morning I went outside and swung on my swing and whistled along with the birds. (I do terrible bird impersonations btw). Shake up your morning routine so it's not routine. Breaking small habits strengthens the mind and helps build momentum for healthy change.
3* Letting go of some modifications on the mat. By now we all know how to modify the postures in order to work intelligently around an injury or issue but are we modifying too much? Not all postures are made to feel comfortable. If you always use blocks try working without them. If you always modify the arms in warrior 1, try to bring the traditional prayer hands overhead instead. Breath around the sensations in your body and work to still the mind in the process. Patanjali's Yoga Sutra 1.2 chitta vritti nirodha – Yoga is the stilling of the fluctuations of the mind.
4* Do some physical practice 5 days a week. Since the lockdown I've been practicing 6 days a week and I have to tell you I feel better than ever. Aim to move your body on a regular basis. Join me for a yoga session, take a fun dance class on Youtube, go for a hike or move on your own. It will boost your mood, energy and immune system.
5* After the physical asana practice, turn off the phone/ computer and sit for meditation.
All the things we learn in class are merely techniques offered to help us settle, focus and concentrate so we can cultivate a meditation practice. Start with 5 minutes and grow from there. There are so many benefits of this practice, stress reduction, emotional balance, inner peace... Give this practice a month and see how you feel.
You won't find greatness in yourself by reading a book, or scrolling through social media or by listening to me. Someone may give you a spark but you need to light your own flame and tend to the light inside regularly to keep it going.
I thank you so much for sharing your light and your smile with me through our practice.
A true spiritual scientist. Jill Bolte Taylor's TED talk is a true inspiration.
Check out her book; My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist's Personal Journey
Joe Dispenza, D.C., is the best-selling author of Evolve Your Brain: The Science of Changing Your Mind (2007) and Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself: How to Lose Your Mind and Create a New One (2012), both of which detail the neuroscience of change and epigenetics.
After Skool is one of my favorite YouTube sites. A weekly dose of fun and interesting science, ideas, stories, education and more!
Dr. Bruce Lipton, PhD is an internationally recognized leader in bridging science and spirit. Stem cell biologist, bestselling author of The Biology of Belief and recipient of the 2009 Goi Peace Award, he has been a guest speaker on hundreds of TV and radio shows, as well as keynote presenter for national and international conferences.
“SHAKE IT OFF NATURALLY” the latest publication by Dr. David Berceli.
This book contains a self-help, stress reduction exercise technique whose central aspect is the activation of a mild shaking response of the nervous system.
The Wim Hof Method is a combination of meditation, breathing exercises, and exposure to cold that can help you regulate your stress levels.
Annie Borgenicht who has offered Feldenkrais workshops at our studio is currently offering Feldenkrais classes on line.
Classes are on a donation basis.
Please contact Annie at firstname.lastname@example.org.
She will send you times and links.
Private Sessions are also available on Zoom.
One of my all time favorite TED talks by Elizabeth Gilbert.
A very eloquent way to describe the creative genius.
This is a Youtube practice with the teacher I took my training with, Beryl Bender Birch. This is a modified version of the Primary series 1.5 hrs. Take your inner teacher with you and start out well hydrated.
She also offers daily meditations on her face book page.
A phrase Nicole uttered in class one morning during the early days of lockdown 2020, Jimmy McNicholas wrote a song called “And Then There’s This.” Listen on his SoundCloud page.
Beth Rennig Has a wonderful Meditation on Youtube.
In addition to this guided meditation, she is offering phone sessions and distance Reiki sessions.
During these difficult times, she's adjusting payment to a sliding scale basis. Healing is vital and is to be accessible to everyone!
When your brain won't stop the thinking game this may help. There are many sleep meditation apps and Youtube videos out there. Here's one of my favorites by Kim Carmen Walsh.
Go Placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexatious to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment, it is as perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be. And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.
By Max Ehrmann © 1927
"Universe, Put me in the places you want me to be⠀ With the people you want me to be with⠀ Doing the things you want me to do⠀ Thank you for the joys and challenges of my life.⠀ Amen.⠀ Sat Nam. ⠀ Namaste".
Tommy Rosen is the founder and host of the Recovery 2.0: Beyond Addiction Online Conference Series.
I’m here to share a secret;
I am not who I’ve always been,
The world that lies outstretched before me,
Is not the only one I’ve seen,
I’ve traveled on the tails of comets,
I’ve burned up in the hearts of stars,
I’ve been spat out of supernovas,
That left me scattered near and far,
I have dined in distant galaxies,
And taught the birds to sing,
I’ve danced for a whole lifetime,
Upon Saturn’s dusty rings,
I’ve been here for long enough,
To learn what makes the willow weep,
I’ve sung celestial lullabies,
That sent the moon to sleep,
I’ve been both the flowing water,
And the stone that blocks its way,
I’ve been frozen, I’ve been molten,
And I’ll be again someday,
Though I’ve been a billion things,
This is the first one that can smile,
I’m pieces of the universe,
Living as human for a while.
“There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique, and if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium; and be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is, not how it compares with other expression. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep open and aware directly to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open. No artist is pleased. There is no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is only a queer, divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others.”