Monday, February 25, 2013

Look at Me Ma!

I used to teach chair yoga where my 88 year old mother lives, a community for "active seniors" and if you call it a nursing home she will most definitely take you down, all 4'10"of her.  But I am getting off my topic of choice. I  loved seeing all the little ladies come into class all styled out, heavily dosed in Chanel No. 5.  Hats, broaches ( decorative pins for those of you in a younger age group), scarves, they were adorable. There were a few men here and there, but just like other yoga class, the ladies dominated.  And if you think you can't work up a sweat doing chair yoga, you my friend are sadly mistaken. try it sometimes.  Again I am getting off the topic.

Truth be told, the only reason my mom would attend the class was because I was teaching it.  She loved to show me off to her lady friends, just busting with pride. There were times when she wouldn't let me start class until I showed the students how I could do head stand.  She and I would argue but of course she would win and up (or upside down) I went.  She would just gush and everyone would clap.  Only then was I allowed to start class.

I thought of this recently when I was trying to remind someone yet again that the true essence of yoga isn't about getting up into handstand, even if your mom makes you.  It's about the breath, it's about practicing Seva (selfless service), it's about being there when someone reaches out.  It's so much more than the physical practice.  If you have read my blog in the past, you know that I bring this up time and time again.  But it needs to be.  We get so caught up about the "what about me" mantra that we forget where true happiness comes from. Not happy in your current life, good chance that it's all about you.  All about  showing off in handstand, headstand or what ever advanced pose that you can do. Here is a simple formula for you to follow: you + Seva = happiness.  Get it? Got it? Good!

If your ego is attaching your happiness to the pose of the month, what happens when you find yourself in a chair yoga class. Don't think that's going to happen to you, guess again people  I guarantee neither did any of the lovely ladies in the class that I taught.  

Moral of the story, stay active, move, eat right, practice yoga, but most importantly practice Seva....and don't forget to breath.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day

“Without love,
all worship is a burden,
all dancing is a chore,
all music is mere noise.
All the rain of heaven may fall into the sea.
Without love, 
not one drop could become a pearl.”
~ Rumi ~

Happy Valentine's Day!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Yoga for One Please!

I remember when I was first interested in wanting to start a yoga practice..  I tried to talk everyone I knew into taking it with me.  Good Lord I didn't want to go alone, way too crazy.  Sisters, girlfriends, cousins, spouse, I couldn't fine any takers.  Years went by and the more I read about it the more I wanted to take it and one day I just put my big girl pants on and went all by myself.
I was reminded of this the other day when two new students came in for class and a third friend who was suppose to join them didn't.  Of the remaining two, one looked at the other and said "boy aren't you glad I came or you would have been all by yourself". Alone in a yoga studio?  Highly unlikely.  She said it has if it was such a bad thing, even though I am sure that she didn't mean it that way but that's how we perceive it.  What is so bad about being alone with yourself.  First of all most anywhere you go you really aren't by yourself.  You are surrounded by countless others, you may not know them but you truly aren't alone.
Why are we afraid to venture out on our own? To try a new experience, meet new friends, to put our big girl (or boy) pants on and embrace the world.  What is on your "to do" list that hasn't been done because you can't find anyone to do it with.  What if you never find someone to do it with, if you continue on the path that you are on you will miss out on it.
A few weeks ago I was to meet a friend for lunch, we got our signals crossed and I ended up eating lunch alone and enjoyed my own company. I was tempted to go to the car and get a book, but I didn't.  My neighbor went to the show by herself the other day to see a movie and enjoyed her own company.  Of course taking a break from 2 active sons was an added bonus. And please explain to me why some women need a bathroom buddy?  I have never understood that one.
Most often we aren't afraid to be physically alone but internally alone.  That means we will have to have a conversation with our own thoughts.  Horrors! What is so bad about being by yourself.  What are you afraid of. Yoga and meditation is a discovery of self realization. Learning about our body and our mind, what makes us move and what makes us tick.  No one else can do that for us or with us .
If I eventually didn't pursue my journey of yoga by myself I wouldn't have the wonderful full life that have today. There are no do overs in life. So listen up everyone, put your big girl or boy pants on and take that leap of faith....and just breathe.