mindfullness

The Yoga of Generosity

The holiday season is a time to gather with family and friends and celebrate their meaning in our lives. Chances are that we spend hours shopping in stores or online for the perfect gift to give. Yet, we can make the commitment to give year round, by sharing our time, energy, and talents.

Yoga Sutra II.37 shares the principal of Asteya, or non-stealing, and invites us to live with integrity and reciprocity according to Deborah Adele. She reminds us that ancient Vedic scriptures speak of taking nothing without giving something back. Imagine being challenged to give something back each time we took something!

As Astheya encourages us not to steal causing our hearts grow, it encompasses not only generosity of money and giving of things, but also generosity of time and giving of ourselves. We remind our students yoga offers a practice where we take care of ourselves so that we can better serve others, challenging them to take what they learn from their practice into the world and their own lives. Read More…

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Meditation in Motion

flower-floral-blossom-natureWe sit down to meditate, or we go to yoga class. We reach a state of bliss and ecstasy…OK, maybe not. Maybe there is an experience of bliss, maybe deep peace or at least a sense of relaxation. Maybe we feel renewed, and we hope that nothing can touch the way we feel, because it is too good. And when that happens we may think that this time we have things figured out. Instead we stand up, go into the next room and get in a fight with our partner. Or we yell at the kids. Or we’re driving home from the yoga studio, and we get angry at the driver next to us. Why does this happen? Isn’t the whole point of mind-body practices so that we can be done with unsavory feelings? Well, maybe you didn’t read the fine print when you signed up…

It is a misunderstanding to think that meditation is about disconnecting from ourselves or our uncomfortable feelings. It certainly is possible to disconnect. The many people who do may have been on a path of disconnection for years in an effort to avoid one type of experienced pain or another, such as physical pain or emotional trauma, and for very good reasons at the time. What we as teachers are asking you to do, in meditation sessions or yoga classes, is to approach these patterns of disconnection in a new way: we ask you to be with whatever sensations you’re experiencing in your body, with whatever emotions may be arising, with whatever multitude of thoughts may be striving for your attention, and to practice observing those sensations, emotions, and thoughts from a more neutral perspective. Read More…

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Look again

nature-sunny-red-flowersYesterday was one of those days for me … not awful, not dramatic, just slightly off-kilter. I felt like a skipping record. I’d play, but only with a great deal of picking up and finding another groove. You know?

One of the day’s ‘symptoms’ was losing things, and then, not; that is, frantically searching for and then finding keys/papers/Altoids exactly where they should be, and where I had looked just minutes before. GAH.

So the day’s very practical practice was “Pause. Look again.” It was helpful for finding the ‘missing’ iPhone, but so much more meaningful in other ways.   Read More…

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