Tuesday, January 26, 2016

What do the Sutras say about that?

Yoga Sutra 1.14 says "practice for a long time, with consistency & enthusiasm". (this is the translation that resonates most with me - there are other similar translations).  A practice like this sticks.  It's becomes a part of your everyday life & part of who you are.

Yoga Sutra 1.14 doesn't say "practice a whole lot in January & then forget about it the rest of the year".

If you've been practicing yoga & haven't heard of the Yoga Sutras, now's your chance to learn about them.  Look it up on Google or buy a good book on Amazon. 

Yoga Sutra 1.14: "practice for a long time, with consistency & enthusiasm".

We get alot of new students in my yoga studio every January.  It's awesome.  People committing or recommitting to taking care of themselves.

But...inevitably, there are those people who stop coming for class after January.

Stuff comes up, life happens & if you're one of those people, you just stop getting on your mat.  When I first started practicing, I was one of those people.

"practice for a long time"  As in, start now practice until you're 100 years old.

"with consistency" Make your practice a priority...make yourself a priority.  Commit to practicing 3 days a week, 5 days a week, 7 days a week.

"enthusiasm" Does getting on your mat feel like just something else you have to do? If you can get on your mat...if you have a body that you can move through a yoga practice...be excited about that!! If you can actually get into a studio to practice...be excited about that!! Seriously. Remember how lucky you are to have a body & a life that can support your yoga practice.

If you want to experience transformation this year, practice. Forget your resolutions & just practice.  Practice with consistency & enthusiasm & keep practicing for a very long time.  


Monday, January 18, 2016

New Year's Intentions

Intention: A thing intended; an aim or plan

Resolution: The act of solving a problem

New Year's Resolutions.  Do you have them?  It's mid-January.  Did you have them?

We start thinking about resolutions in December.  Move full-force into January with them.  And by this time each year, many have forgotten about them.

I can't remember the last time I made a New Year's resolution.  I think practicing yoga is at the root of that.  When I hear people talk about their resolutions, it seems that they are focusing on what they don't like about themselves or their lives.  As though there's a problem that needs to be fixed.

I operate as best I can using the Law of Attraction.  So if I want to create a shift or a change, I focus on what's going right & how to bring about more of that.  For example, if I want to eat better & feel better, instead of saying "I need to stop eating junk food", I say "I've been eating some healthy food lately - I'm going to eat more of that".

A resolution implies there's problem that needs to be fixed.  When it comes to New Year's resolutions, it implies that we are the problem.  We are too fat, we don't exercise enough, we've made poor choices in relationships. We want to change what we don't like in our life, but we operate from the premise that there is something wrong with us that needs to be fixed.

What if there's nothing wrong with us?  What if we're just focusing on the wrong thing?  What if we could shift our focus to what is working & going right & focus on attracting & creating more of that?

There's your intention. Aim for what you want more of.  Even if you hate your job, there must be something about it you like (Remember when adults asked you your favorite subject in school & you said "recess"?).  For anything that you want to change, start from a place of appreciating what you already have.  Then aim for attracting more of that.

Resolutions fade quickly. Intentions last.

If you feel like you "failed" at your resolutions, let them go.  Let go of the idea that somehow you failed.  If you were focused on what's wrong, it's simply that your focus was off.  Refocus.  Feel what's right about you & your life.  And then set your intentions.

Monday, January 4, 2016

7 ways to inner peace

Happy New Year! 
I was asked to write a piece for Unlocking Litchfield (unlockinglitchfield.com).  They requested my 7 top tips for finding inner piece.  I was eager point out that Inner Peace isn't something you can find outside of yourself...it's something that exist within each of us.  Still, the list is a nice reminder for us all (me included) of ways to practice reconnecting.
Wishing each of you an abundant & peaceful 2016! 
7 Ways to Inner Peace in 2016
1. Breathe. You might be thinking, "Really? That's her advice?" I know - cliché, overused by yoga teachers everywhere. But try it - right now, try it. Take a big breath in through your nose, and a long slow breath out through your mouth. Do it again. Now, close your eyes and take 3 breaths like that. Long full breaths in - and even, measured breaths out.  Just notice if anything has changed. If you did that thinking that it was just nonsense, guess what - nothing is going to happen. So try it again and really notice if anything...anything, has changed.  And that leads me to the next tip...

2. Be Present. Did you take those 3 deep breaths and notice each moment of the breath - how it felt in your body, in your lungs, did you hear it? If all of your attention was focused on it, if you looked for anything that had changed within you, then you were present - even if just for a moment.  And maybe you even felt it...a connection with yourself - a taste of inner peace.
3. Connect. Connect with yourself - through breath, through yoga, through running, or whatever it is that brings your joy.  Connect with your joy.
4. Connect with others.  Old fashioned connection - in person, face to face (connection through social media does not count!).  Look someone in the eyes.  Touch someone. Let them know that you see them, and then let them see you. Now notice how that feels - to see and be seen.  It doesn't even have to be someone you know. It works with a friend or a stranger.
5. Don't do anything. When you don't know what to do to find inner peace, don't do anything (except breathe).  Don't look to see what other people are doing on Facebook.  Don't search Google for answers.  I guarantee you; you will not find inner peace inside your mobile device.  When you take your phone or your iPad apart, all you are going to find is a bunch of hardware. 
6. Make a gratitude list.  Yup - a gratitude list. Simple, but it works.  Make it in your mind, or better yet, on paper.  What are you grateful for?  It can be a short or a long list, simple or complicated.  Now pause.  Don't do anything else (except breathe) and reflect on that list.  How do you feel?  Notice if you feel different.
7. Practice. Honestly, it's not magic.  It just takes practice.  It becomes a habit & then a state of being. Your Inner Peace.