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156 weeks ago @ elephant journal: Yoga... - The Emotional Warehous... · 0 replies · +1 points

yes, fat madness. it's so interesting to watch our bodies change, and what deeper wisdom might be in that change. i love Forrest Yoga for giving us the space, time, and context in which to let this stuff unwind on its own time.

211 weeks ago @ elephant journal: Yoga... - Dear Yoga Teachers, Pl... · 0 replies · +1 points

Right on! This is really it, and exposes to us as teachers and students when we are in disconnect with our practice (share that!), when we are in full ecstatic love with it (share that too!). I'm learning this. Knowing that who I am as a teacher (and student) is the practice I embody, it exposes my own insecurity about my practice, that I am not dedicated enough, not courageous enough, not strong enough etc. But these are exactly the insights that will lead us to healing. It takes a long time. It has ups & downs. A practice is a highly personal thing and sometimes difficult to put into words. But without a doubt, yoga has opened my life to healing, love, beauty, possibility, complexity, fun, deep fulfilling is a practice and a relationship and I love it. Thank you.

247 weeks ago @ elephant journal: Yoga... - 2 Wisdom Warriors on t... · 0 replies · +1 points

Thanks for the insight. I often wonder what the lifestyle of the pro/travelling yoga teacher is like, especially as we get older. I think this is realistic: as we age, we have to find a way to maintain lean muscle tissue. But it is still so much pressure "looking" a certain way and also having the physical ability to teach poses to a varied audience. This modern living is juggling many balls at once. Thanks for the honesty on what you really have to do to maintain.

297 weeks ago @ elephant journal: Yoga... - The Shiny, Happy Peopl... · 3 replies · +5 points

Hi Erica, great piece about the "shiny happy [STUCK] place." The "sunny coat of arms" is how I refer to it and I've perceived it from the yoga culture, communities of color, New short, probably just about every community who learned how to find something to be proud of then turned this pride into a calcified weapon. Weapon, because it can be very difficult to find holistic balance when dealing with people or institutions stuck in "shiny happy." I love that you wrote the "middle way" because this is one of my dearest phrases...walk the middle way. Walk the edge. Be with a foot in both shadow and light because this is the only way we can know truth. And put away the sunny coat of arms. Just because I may have my dark nights of the soul doesn't mean I'll infect you because I KNOW you've had them there ;) ("you" spoken generally here of course)

311 weeks ago @ elephant journal: Yoga... - Embracing Personal Lon... · 0 replies · +1 points

practical and pragmatic, as Buddhism is...thank you.

312 weeks ago @ elephant journal: Yoga... - The Power of Introvert... · 1 reply · +4 points

From one introvert to another, THANK YOU! I'm a teacher too, and the whole "network/meet people/social network/spread your word" part of expanding my reach as a teacher has been fraught with anxiety. I too turn down invites to dinner or lunch. The phone rings and 9 out of 10 times I won't answer it because my energy is too worn down from a day of work and I just...can't. I need that time to reconnect to myself.

Some weekends, if I'm not particularly busy, I love not speaking for 48 hours. I remember in my early days, attending class at Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Center in NYC, one of the ideas we were introduced to was QUIET, that observing quiet was an important part of sadhana. That early validation was very significant: it made me feel I had found a natural place for yoga.

I find that while teaching I have a lot to say. I feel I am channeling information from my own experience, my teachers, my teachers' teachers. I sometimes surprise myself, like wow, did I really say that? But those flashes where I feel I've contributed something really juicy in my teaching are in direct correlation to how much time, space, and quiet I've given myself to thoroughly digest and experience the things I'm talking about. In this respect (well, in many), I love being an introvert because I feel everything has been thru a very rigorous review process in the quiet laboratory of my mind, soul and body. What comes out only comes out after it's been put thru the sieve of my awareness.

Extroverts fascinate and inspire me too, but I can't deny who and what I am. Thank you so much for this piece. Namaste.

323 weeks ago @ elephant journal: Yoga... - Are You a Yoga Show Of... · 0 replies · +1 points

My teacher says that "advanced" is not about the shape of the pose itself, but the quality of awareness the yogi brings to it. That said, any pose can become an advanced pose the more subtlety is applied to feeling/experiencing the asana (no matter how it looks). I love this idea of "advanced" because it takes us out of external/ego-based validation (I'm doing an "advanced" pose!) and makes the practice about connecting to the Self, and beyond.

329 weeks ago @ elephant journal: Yoga... - An Argument Against "L... · 1 reply · +1 points

Oh, and one more comment: compassion. I guess on your wheel, that would be somewhere between Divine and Abstract? We can love someone we've never met if we resonate with whatever it is they're offering. We can resonate with the homeless man on the corner and love him for a moment (love noun probably more than love verb for most of us). This blog post just generates more and more questions :)

348 weeks ago @ Michele Knight - The spiritual gifts of... · 0 replies · +1 points

I learned this lesson very clearly about 3 years ago and my life and perspective is forever changed. I am absolutely, 100% aware I had to have this experience to get real with where I was deceiving myself about what love really is, how it manifests, and how its energy travels (and is received). I now have a loose grasp on love, and let it come and go...I don't know how long this perspective will last, I hope this is a new behavior and understanding that allows me to truly love without expectation. Whenever I feel pain or sadness due to someone else not doing what I want, I never waste the trigger and I look to see what I am being asked to learn from the situation. Unrequited love leaves us at the doorstep of soft heart, like Pema Chodoron says, having your heart broken is an incredible gift, as it brings us directly to the soft-hearted nature of ourselves and all other living creatures, awakening compassion. Great article, thank you!

348 weeks ago @ elephant journal: Yoga... - Confessions of a recov... · 1 reply · +2 points

very funny blog post...and I sooooo know what you mean. I would bet all those toe-busting, eyeball sweating moments helped you reach Ice Cream-eating Enlightenment. I used to TRY. SO. HARD! Then I met my teacher, who with one arch look and one perfectly-timed comment, asked me "what is driving you to push yourself so hard?" I would injure myself, or be in constant competition with myself and who I thought I should be or how I should look (and of course, would sneak looks at the other practitioners). My ego was well entrenched. Occasionally this part of me still pops out. I am now a Yoga Alliance-certified yoga teacher and it still pops out. I was in a continuing education workshop for teachers, doing something sweaty and requiring flexibility and strength. I was sweating from my eyeballs and the teacher asked me, in that perfectly-timed way, "what would happen if you stopped trying so hard and just had fun?"

The part of me that likes to break my toe and sweat from the eyeballs still lives...she has mostly accepted her place in the back of the room and only pipes up if I am being REALLY unkind to myself. Now when she comes out, I am the one able to give her an arch look and well-timed comment.