Yoga book club anyone?

Looking over my shelves, isn’t it like a joke that one of the books is titled,

The Life-Changing Magic of Tiding Up” the Japanese art

of decluttering and organizing ?!!!  (in original Japanese and the English version)

Tiding up as the year end approaches – and having completed the 800 hrs., I can devote my time to do what I had not kept up.  The house, the “other” matters, relationships to tend to, to reconnect, family and friends …

More shelves to redo and make …to find order.  The trouble is each time, I end up re-reading… I can re-read over and over and never get bored – taking way way more time than I currently feel I have.  Make time. Find the time.  Life is short.

Book recommendations?

It’s been challenging to teach corporate yoga classes and yoga at a “gym” like setting. I try my best to bring in elements of what I think is yoga – in some form or shape to serve as a reminder. At some level, I think yoga is meant to be spiritual and shamanic/medicinal – spiritual in a sense that we feel more connected, inter-connected to the web of life and universe than how each of us may sometimes feel in these modern times  – with tweets, Instagram and facebook, feeling ever more divided from those with different opinions, disconnected, isolated … disenfranchised – no matter how successful or powerful, I think we all have those moments, a phase … that time we feel vulnerable.  I don’t want to sound woo-woo-hippie but I really think that we lost touch with the aspects of our true nature sometimes and yoga helps to get back in touch.

We can treat yoga as a  purely a physical practice, sure  – but why impoverish yourself when the practice can offer so much more.  For me,  it’s not about checking myself out in the mirror with critical eyes. It’s not about judgement. Critiquing a little on where your body parts may be all done through your divine given preconception.  It’s a little different from exercise and dance which I love.  If it’s all about the body and what it can do vs what it cannot do in poses, then, you’ve missed yoga – might as well just go run some fields and trails. Anyway, to ME, unless there’s some aspects of spirituality (not the same as religion), it does not hold the appeal and hold on me.  That’s what makes it special and apart from “fitness”.

I don’t mean to lecture but I had to blurt out the other day – Yoga is not to just strike some poses. That’s only 1/8,  that’s right just one eighth of yoga, what most of us are practicing per Yoga Sutra of Patanjeli. Other key element are the breath and techniques of centering …then finally we get to the crust of the whole practice.  Some may need one kind of yoga more than another – one can emphasize or focus on just one area … but as Niroga’s teacher BK Bose repeated, there should be A for Asana; B for Breath; and C for Centering – the “ABC”‘ in every yoga practice we engage in.  Most classes tend to be all A … but let’s check out some B’s here:

Breathwork or Pranayama is key practice in any yoga and there are some fascinating techniques- while it actually need not be fancy, it requires practice for one to reap the benefits – I can’t go over all but why don’t we try each in the coming posts:

– alternate nostril breathing : why and how to do it and the variations.

– Ujai Breath or Victorious breath – some call the Ocean Breath – how to do it and why do it? That is, what’s the intention to engage in such audible breath some have even called the Dark Vader Breath!

Will try to go over them when appropriate:) as I notice I need to bring about some order in these ever growing book shelves – this would be half the stuff and another set of books in Japanese – haha  – Realizing that here is a need for a more “zen” like neatness.  Time to index and re-shelve these disorderly shelves to make space for …  more !!??… there are more books on yoga stacked on night stands and elsewhere looking for space – time to organize these shelves – it’s a messy library in need of transformation !  Let’s call the above the BEFORE photos haha:)

Pigeon on dirt

Don’t need no mat !?

Mat is a luxury for these tough athletes… stretching into various yoga poses before the race.  Dirt, some even on concrete, seeing yoga being done … wherever when you need to warm up, you just do it – You are out for the season if your knees are hurt so would exercise self-care. A well calibrated practice is sometimes much harder than just going through the poses – check – kind of a thing. Staying mindful – cultivating a razor pointed focus –  Yoga anywhere is about harnessing energy and joy. Not meant to be a performance or a contest. But, still. I am not going to lie. Enhanced performance in all things non-yoga off the mat in our lives would also be nice !