Been doing yoga off and on since Cal Berkeley days – my first class must have been the generic Hatha Yoga class at the YMCA off University Avenue. For the last 15 years, been rather hooked on yoga and have tried all kinds of classes and styles and instructors … to find out more about myself. There are many superb teachers along this path and whenever I teach, all those teachers I had the honor to learn from have influenced and shaped the way I approach this work. In that sense, I count my blessings with how I fell in love with intelligence and the wisdom imparted by Judith Hanson Lasater, teachers’ teachers’ teacher? Quite easily into the third generation as she put it as far as yoga history in America goes. Then there are other teachers who appear when you are ready all on this journey of “svadhyaya” I embarked. All teachers are gifted and they are each a gift to this yogi.
While I still engage in Vinyasa flow dance-like style yoga for fitness in the mornings reflective of Vinyasa Krama (“intelligent sequencing” in vinyasa flow) learned from my initial 200 hrs. Yoga Alliance certification; since then, my practice has shifted and evolved. Love the sweaty fitness aspects (Yang/solar style) that upps the happiness quotient releasing endorphin – like all great exercise program, AND the meditative juicy stretchy Hahhhh- pleasure in releasing tension kind of practice (Yin/lunar style) BOTH. In the seeming dichotomy, there’s that wholeness … oneness when you embrace both and all. Balanced yoga practice brings about alertness…AND You are clear-headed while relaxed. To not be agitated or anxious in any way and feeling the power and confidence within. Just what you need living the today’s world, right? Then you enable yourself to live fully a more enriched world of today. Yesterday, it was more about surviving it, dragging through stress paved path of thorns. With yoga philosophy as a guide, we can find the beautiful path, smelling the roses along the way. That’s the yoga that I live. Today.
Just …” working-in”, ever more inward, easing into homeostatic state of being. Finding the child-like … joy …of having no purpose or agenda but living that moment. Blissful.
Summer 2015 at UBC Botanical Garden in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Here – sharing a gem found on the internet – more people should see this – I love this footage below of Maty whose intensive week I had the honor of attending. While her other footage of her doing Ashtanga with the boys in the past is awesome, she is one of grace and power even more today – whatever the change over one’s “rented” body over this life’s journey … it’s the blips on our timeline and best not to get too obsessive over what your body can or cannot do. It’s all about gratitude and kindness as we bow in reverence. So humbled.
So this is my motto taught by Maty Ezraty, another revered, legendary teacher seemingly diametrically different from Judith but …shared philosophy and wisdom for sure. That is, see many of her utube footage she freely makes available so unlike many other well known teachers – Here it is: Click here:)
Maty Ezraty on “Advance” or “Sophisticated” student – that I aspire to.
“One who knows what to do to take care of herself”
with Harmony NOT Chaos. One who knows how to use the yoga practice to bring about relaxed state and mind at peace. “Relaxed” not in a Western way of thinking Relaxed = Lazy & Idle … no, no, Relaxed as in “Contentment” or “Sattvic” state living in pure awareness that comes with serenity… peace of mind and CLARITY. It’s not easy – As Gary Kraftsow says in his lecture, “Contentment…” (“SANTOSHA” Niyama #2)”it’s hard work” to master your mind. Overcome your persona shaped by ego(greed), thoughts, mood and … to find the original pure source. It takes practice to gain mastery as with any language or great art or music.
Lotus covering the mud but …no flowers? In time, in time – it’s not the season. Lots of mud; Lots of roots, green lotus – but no flowers? Wrong season – the right season will come. Lotus will blossom again.
Native American beauty at the botanical garden… carved out of wood. So woodsy here in Vancouver. This land is rich with Native American peoples – many tribes represented at First Nations in British Columbia. A reminder of what true beauty means…
Gratitude for the miracles taking place all around us.