Verbal Flow

Our Moment to Exhale

When I first met Carolyn Channel, a lovely and experienced teacher who's come to offer her classes with Jala, she told me about the first time she laid down in Savasana. "I thought, Finally. This is my moment to exhale. Everyone should get to exhale like that." Yes, Carolyn, I agree. Everyone should get to exhale like that.

Shifting Form

Kim reminded me of something from the cadaver lab: that under the skin there is a remarkable whole unit working together. A whole that is very difficult to separate one piece from another. It is difficult to separate the bicep from the triceps or the muscle from the fascia. Under our skin we are whole. The pieces that we call 'us' don't make us whole. We just are.

A Fearless Fosbury

I want to be a "Fearless Fosbury." I am learning that old patterns don't always work and that sometimes new techniques must be developed in life. I am reminding myself during this season--literally, a season in which all of nature is slowing down and going inward--that I must practice looking for the balance between knowing when to work harder for change and when to slow down and find peace within that I can not alter.

On the Path of Effort

I have thirsted for more--more strength, knowledge, unity--and have wanted visible, measurable results from the work I do. Even if I don’t name that while I’m participating in asana, in reading, in action after action, it is often the truth. What if I could be an empty container, something that could magnify the experience of love?

Perfect Practice

I am thinking back over the love yourself challenge, and about perfection. Today I planned a strong physical practice to start my day--badly wanted to wake and move for 90 minutes of asana. But waking, a recurring hip problem had flared up, making it possible to put only partial weight on my left leg. The internal voices started right away: "Don't be lazy--push through." "Why, body, are you failing me?" "I am healthy and strong--this shouldn't be a problem." And not least--"I hate feeling old."

Remembering Yourself

What is the knowledge we’ve forgotten? I believe we all long for connection and stillness, to ourselves and to each other. When we lie in savasana or meditation or prayer and feel a sense of weightlessness and deep presence to something more vast than our small physical self, we are “remembering our self” and in that moment we become like a clear, still lake that is able to reflect a deep state of love.

Masterpiece

if we remember what Patanjalis teaches in the Yoga Sutras, we will remember that the practice of yoga begins now, and that now happens every second of the day, each day, all year long. Begin your practice with the intention of watching it grow and of staying present for it and for yourself now, and let now happen over and again, with each new breath. Intend to layer your practice with brush strokes that refine and make you stronger , more nourished, and balanced year after year. Start slow, build a base of poses and understanding, learn about what works for you now, and continue to ask yourself that question day after day. And remember that the loveliest works of art take time.

Ring Out, Wild Bells

Find your traditions--the ones that allow you connection and allow you to complete this year before starting fresh. Time is a continuum and yet is also portioned into moments that allow us periods of rebirth and renewal. Now is a wonderful time to ring out all that is a false distraction to the truth of you. Let this new year ring in a commitment to knowing yourself completely; to becoming mentally still enough to make wise and aware decisions; to learning to respond with grace and honesty. Let your commitment to your yoga practice be a daily exploration of all this and more.

Love Yourself Challenge

Somewhere along the line, maybe you, too, forgot to love yourself completely and so now doing so really is a challenge. How little we value our own precious life shows up in how little time we make to take care of our own needs, or the guilt we feel when we do allot this time; it shows up in the ways we sabotage our health in numerous ways; it shows up in the feelings of anger and regret we carry in our bodies and hearts; it shows up in the blocked hearts we carry around that keep us from trusting and adventuring fully. It shows up again and again. Intend to give yourself this brief period of days--it's a small chunk of time to give yourself and endeavor to notice what you bear forth in your own life.