Monday, December 31, 2012

and a Happy New Year

We have all head the song at New Year eve "Auld Lang Syne"  which loosely translates into "for old times sake" or "days gone by".  For a lot of us the New Year means making resolutions that will help make us happy, healthier people in the year to come by letting go of the past.

Our studio, as well as other yoga studio's, fitness centers, gyms, etc., get busier this time of year with everyone trying to follow through with their well meaning resolutions. But then life gets in the way, kids, know the rest of the story.

So I am going to make a suggestion that you start from the inside out this year. You don't have to go anywhere or buy any equipment to make these changes happen.  And you can practice them every waking hour and not even get a least bit tired.  In fact you may find that these actually increase your energy.

But there is one thing you have to do before you start this journey.  You need to buy the book "The Four Agreements" by Don Miquel Ruiz . Don Miquel was born into a family of healers while being raised in rural Mexico.  Distracted by modern life, Miguel  chose to attend medical school and become a surgeon. A near death experience changed his life and he began an intensive practice of self-inquiry.  After you get his book you have to read it.

That's it. You don't have to make it hard because it's not.  Did I forget to mention that you have to follow the four agreements.  I know, I know, there is always a catch.

I am going to briefly share the agreements with you really should read the book.  Here they are:
1. Be impeccable with your words (speak with integrity and say what you mean). 
2. Don't take anything personally (nothing others do or say is because of you).
3. Don't make assumptions (find the courage to ask questions and express what you really want).
4. Always do your best (your best will change from moment to moment).
They aren't hard to remember, simple and to the point but will take some getting used to.  The first time I read the book, the four agreements reminded me of how my parents raised me to treat other people.  Again going back to Karma!
So if you are going to make one change this new year that will be a permanent change in your life, try these 4 simple mantra's and of course don't forget to breath.....

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Aloha Spirit....

Well we survived the end of the world, there is some snow on the ground so it seems more like Christmas, I am officially done with my shopping and the average current temperature in the Hawaiian Islands is around 70 degrees.  And you needed to know that why....?

One of the Santosha students is from this area but lives in Hawaii.  When ever she is in town to visit her family she comes here for classes.  She said that she is used to taking classes on the beach every day but we are the next best thing.

She was here for 12 days over the Thanksgiving holiday and it was a joy to catch up with her.  As she left the studio after her last class before heading back home, as she said goodbye she told me that Santosha Yoga has the Aloha Spirit.  I thanked her and wished her a safe trip back.  I had no idea what the Aloha Spirit was so through the miracle of the Internet, I googled it.  After reading up on it, I realized that she gave us a wonderful compliment.

First of all did you know that the word "aloha" means so much more than hello and goodbye?  I didn't either. In the Hawaiian language, the deeper meaning is "the joyful (oha) sharing (alo) of life energy (ha) in the present (alo)." The joyful sharing of life energy in the present moment. My first thought was how yoga-ish that is. Being in the present moment. Being content (santosha) for the life that we have. Sharing that contentment, that positive energy with everyone around us.

As we share this aloha spirit we become attuned to the Universal Power that the Hawaiians call mana. And the loving use of this incredible Power is the secret for attaining true health, happiness, prosperity and success. To attain these wonderful gifts there is a secret, a simple but powerful secret. Are you ready? Bless everyone and everything that represents what you want! Karma!! I know right! So if you want something you first have to bless someone else to have it. The website The Aloha Spirit goes into much greater detail as to how this process works. They even talk about a breathing process that increases our personal energy which allows us to be in a better balance to bless others which in turn changes our life. Again back to our teachings in yoga.

I was sharing this with one of my students yesterday (Kyle) and we both agreed that isn't it amazing how the need for this spirit crosses over all cultures, religions, classes....we all want the same thing....happiness for ourselves and others.  

In the next week or so most of us will be seeing more of our family and friends than usual as we celebrate the holiday season which gives us even more of a opportunity to bless everyone and everything.  I am not saying we should walk around and wish everyone Aloha Spirit,we might be accused of dipping too much in the eggnog. But have the meaning and intention in your heart and watch the magic unfold.

Blessings to all of you this holiday season...and don't forget to breathe.

Namaste and Aloha 

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Straight from the Dalai Lama....

A few students and teachers from Santosha Yoga had the great pleasure of going to see Deepak Chopra when he was in town last week.  For those of you who may not know of him, he is a physician, writer, a world-renowned mind-body healing pioneer and the founder of the Chopra Center for Wellbeing in Carlsbad, California.
All that went came back excited sharing was they had learned.  But one thing that they all shared was a quote that Deepak attributed to the Dalai Lama.  So what I am sharing with you, came from Cindy, Randy & Stacey who learned it from Deepak Chopra who learned it from the Dalai Lama.  See how that works! is it:
S - Stop what your doing.
T - Take 3 breaths and smile.
O - Observe your body from head to toe.
P - Proceed with a smile.
 That's it, short and sweet but very powerful.  So here is it straight from the Dalai Lama, the importance of our breath, the importance of taking time to center. No wonder he always has a smile on his face.
Remember this when the craziness of the holiday season starts to get the best of you, just S.T.O.P.....and just breathe.