Thursday, May 23, 2013

Thankful Thursdays: A gratitude practice

Thank you sun!

Thank you warmth!

Thank you students, thank you practice, thank you authenticity.

Thank you thawing earth, thank you fallen trees!

Thank you husband, thank you mother, thank you sister, thank you friends.

Thank you Dad for bags of delightful green tea and fresh fresh cinnamon!

Thank you universe, for manifesting.  Thank you light for dancing.  Thank you life for living.

*Thankful Thursdays are my weekly gratitude practice.  They follow the gratitude meditation which ends my Thursday night Kripalu Yoga class.  A gratitude practice, positive thinking, an abundance mindset.  All of these are practices which increase vitality, invite positive transformation, and allow happiness and fulfillment to exist in the here and now rather than in the someday-when.
(Always cross-posted to BunchberryFarm)

What are you grateful for???

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Thankful Thursdays: A Gratitude Practice

Today I am thankful for body and breath.

I am thankful for change.

I am thankful for the way life is manifesting oh-so-rightly for someone very dear to me.

I am thankful for new paths unfolding.

I am thankful for friendship, for love.

I am thankful for sunshine on frozen earth.

And as ever, I am thankful for my students, and for my teachers.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

I teach people, not pretzels.

Several times recently, I've been told by different people that "oh, I can't come to a yoga class, I'm so not flexible," or "I want to come to yoga, maybe once I can touch my toes, I can go to a yoga class."

I hear this, and I get it.  But it makes me sad.

It makes me sad because, for years, I took yoga classes and could not ever touch my toes.  I'd be holding onto my knee or my shin and looking around me and being maybe a little jealous of the all the toe touching going on around me.  I'd ask teacher's after class, "how can I work on my hamstrings flexibility?"  But there's no magic ticket to any kind of flexibility.  And if I'd waited to take yoga until I had that flexibility, I surely would not now be teaching. 

I now tell my students that forward folds teach patience.  And patience is its own kind of flexibility.

It makes me sad because it speaks to the way our culture views 'yoga' as being that magazine cover photograph of a superstar yogini with seemingly no physical limitations.  Yoga may very well get you to that pose one day.  But this perspective misses the whole point of yoga as a practice.  The practice that is yoga is an internal one, slowly unfolding moment to moment, breath to breath, over the course of years.  Yoga is a bringing-into-balance, not a getting-to-extremes-quickly.

It makes me sad because maybe these people don't actually want to come to a yoga class.  It could very well be that for whatever reason (they've heard so much about the health benefits and think they *should do yoga or they just don't want to insult me) they're just saying that they would come to a yoga class if it weren't for their inflexibility as a nice way of saying "I don't like yoga."  Maybe they DONT ACTUALLY WANT to do yoga or come to a yoga class. And that means that they are hiding thier own truth, they are habitually lying to self and to others.  I would rather hear that yoga sucks than see someone hiding from their own experience in this way.

It makes me sad because if these people do actually want to come to yoga, and really do feel they can't until x y or z; then they are missing out.  Not only are they missing out on time on the mat right now, chances are they are missing out on life.  Our daily responses are manifestations of our habits.  So if I put up barriers and reasons why-not against this one thing I really want to do; its likely I am doing exactly that in other aspects of my life.  What else is this person saying no to when they could be saying yes?

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Thankful Thursdays: A gratitude practice

Today I am thankful for inspiration. For vision - both in the sense of envisioning and as eyesight.

I am thankful for the sight of grass next to slowly melting snowbanks in town. And I am grateful for the hope that sight lends me, the hope that the snow at our home on its northern hill will melt to make way for green growing things.

I am thankful for found and re-found communities and people.

I am thankful for my beloved man, that he follows his heart and that even when so far away in remote communities reached only by plane and dogsled, he is still so near, here in my heart.

I am thankful for my ability to catalyze healing, however incremental.

I am thankful for the return of late night platinum skies behind white birches, and for this grace of time to see them stark and subtle against each other before the trees fill the spaces between branches with leaves.

I am thankful for mud puddles!