Wednesday, November 30, 2011

This is challenging

The style of yoga I teach - heated power yoga - can be pretty challenging.  The room is heated to around 90 degrees, we move alot - it's a physically challenging practice, and you move your body in ways that are unusual & atypical in everyday life.  I usually don't play music, so there's no distraction.   It's just you, on your mat, in your body, with your breath.

At times, it can be uncomfortable.  New poses, new sequences of poses (class is never exactly the same twice), the heat, holding poses longer than you might like.  I remind seasoned students & new students alike to try walking their feet father apart, to sit their hips lower, to raise their arms higher.  In essence, I encourage them to move out of their comfort zone & try something different - dig a little deeper.  I also repeatedly remind students to rest when they feel it's needed.  For many, this is moving out of their comfort zone.

Even though this style of yoga is challenging, it's not about pushing & doing more.  It is about finding your strength. Your calm. Your center.  You learn (I've learned) that if you can find these things within in you as you hold a challenging pose, if you can take rest when everyone else is moving, then you just might be able to find these qualities I your life when things get uncomfortable.

It is about taking your practice off the mat.

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Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Thanksgiving is tomorrow & with it, the start of the holiday season for many.

Thanksgiving Day - a day for Giving Thanks.  A day of Peace & Grace.  Pretty simple.

And yet, in my visits to the grocery store & those "big box stores" this week, what I have seen has been anything but peaceful & graceful...people arguing over parking spaces & yelling at the cashiers.

And tomorrow night, many stores will open around midnight to give people a jump start on Black Friday shopping deals.  Pretty complicated, if you ask me.

It can be simple.  It can be a day spent with others - sharing time, perhaps a meal.  Giving thanks for what we have & sharing that with others.

It can be a day full of Peace & Grace.  A time to pause & enjoy life.  

And the thing about Thanksgiving, is that it doesn't have to be limited to a single day in the year.

Thanksgiving Day can be every day.  Every day can be a day to Give Thanks for who & what we have in our lives.  Every day can be a day of Peace & Grace.  And every day we can share this with others - people we know & love or complete strangers.

Every day can be simply a day of Thanksgiving.

May you enjoy your Thanksgiving Day - may it be full of Peace & Grace.  And may every day be Thanksgiving Day.

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Sunday, November 13, 2011


I missed posting for a couple weeks because, a couple weeks ago, our part of CT was hit by a massive snowstorm - a nor'easter, a blizzard.  Two feet of snow.  Record numbers without power.  No heat, hot water, electricity, cable, internet, phone service.  A real white out, if you will.

We are fortunate - we have a generator, so being without power was only a minor inconvenience.  We were still able to shower, cook & even watch TV (videos).  And our electricity was restored pretty quickly - after only 4 days.

Other folks weren't so lucky.  Many were without electricity for almost 2 weeks.  Many people woke up in cold, dark houses, went to work (if they were lucky - it was warm there) & came home to cold, dark houses.

For us, the good thing about the storm was spending more time with extended family & friends.  We invited people to eat with us & stay with us.  There was more time to connect & talk & enjoy one another because we weren't rushing off to check our email or watch TV.

And when power was restored, it was a huge relief.  Life is, obviously, so much easier with electricity - with heat, lights, hot water & phone service. 

Going without modern conveniences made me realize, once again, how fortunate we are for all that we have.  Being able to enjoy friends & family made me realize, once again, how fortunate I am to have these people in my life.

Gratitude is something I have written about before.  It's worth writing about again.  We get stuck in our heads & the challenges of our lives & forget about how much we really have & how lucky we really are.  It shouldn't take a snowstorm for us to remember this.

Gratitude is the highest vibration there is.  When you find it & feel it, everything shifts.  Within you & around you.  Try it.  Look at who & what you have in your life right now. Find & feel gratitude. 

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