Yoga citta vritta nirodha

It’s good to invest in yourself.  It’s not about consumerism and materialism but … it’s about how much you value your health.  When you have the mat, props and whatever investments into the practice, it’s harder to walk away.  We are basically frugal beings and not wasteful.  So to avoid being wasteful, once we invest in the basics of good quality mat (equivalent to quality shoes for runners) and your comfortable yoga wear, we are more committed.  More committed, more invested we are in … ourselves.  So for that reason, I wish I had a yoga wall installed by Jason Cull in our home !  But next best thing might be that we can just run over to the local yoga studio with friendly staff and teachers who warmly welcomes you.

The Great Wall at Yoga Health Center – just hanging out !

Great Wall is Great for our Backs (& mind:)

Did you know the heart health – (gentle) yoga link?  Here are some articles by reputable Universities:

John Hopkins Medical – Click Here;

Harvard Medical School – Click Here;

Niroga Institute – an article co-written by Kaiser researcher MD Ai Kubo who is also a well known yoga teacher in East Bay – Click Here:)

There are counter-indications with some yoga poses and also some styles of yoga are not suitable for those living with a heart disease as the yoga referred to here are more gentle in nature.  Again, yoga is NOT a cure of course but the practice is beneficial in that it awakens and boosts the healing powers that resides within each of us.  At least, that’s my belief from witnessing the befores and afters.

Taught 3 classes yesterday – First class, mostly vinyasa; second, a Yoga Wall class where I served as a sub for a Iyengar style teacher I highly respect. ; then third class, a gentle combo yin class.  Seemed like an ideal day where different styles of yoga addressed what needed attention in each.   I especially appreciated a student in the vinyasa class who shared with me how much she missed her yoga teacher of 10 years who moved to Hawaii and how excellent this teacher was.  She raved about this teacher from her past – and while probably no-one likes to be compared as that pokes at our insecurities, I actually felt happy that she shared her thoughts.  All I had was gratitude for her past teacher I don’t even know who no longer teaches locally … as this student’s first yoga teacher, this teacher implanted this student’s seeds – this love for this practice.  How cool is that !??? I felt this responsibility to not let this student down.  Still, I cannot teach what I don’t practice so … back to the mat.  Maybe one of the teachings should be that of “impertinence” and acceptance of stages in one’s timeline and how to best adapt, learn and grow.

Trying to get away from saying such ??? things as …

I used to be able to do this or that (insert – yoga pose).

I often hear that from students but I myself caught myself saying the above – such a losing statement.  So you used to be able to bring your toes behind your head and bind this and that.  That’s nice.  How good was that really for your body? And mind?  Did it lead to quieting the chatters in your mind or did it lead to elevating your ego? (or to a massage table and a doctor’s office?)  It’s one thing to challenge ourselves and feel joy in achieving our goals … it feels great to witness our own transformations.  So we set those intentions and vow our affirmations to lead us to our higher self … but it’s another to lament the lost or past glories or be stuck and attached to past laurels.  What’s past is past; what’s lost is lost … or is it?  Today is a new day.

So today, it’s about today.  It’s about now.

 

Clearing the obstructions

Whether you believe in the Chakra system or not, understanding that imbalance is when your body, mind and your spirit is perhaps taken over by toxins and impurities that does not allow for free flow of ENERGY.  Some of our yoga practice allows the opening of blockages and narrowing of paths and nadis and/or meridians to clear … restoring our energy to increase for our optimal health. For that to happen, we need our mind to be fully conscious and clear;  dualities embraced, all emotions are accepted in which negative emotions are not denied but worked through, our body to rediscover and harness that innate energy; and connect with the source inside and out. It’s work.   It takes … practice.

And then, only then, we can find that pure child like JOY that’s birthright for each of us who did the work of clearing.  That work of clearing, cleansing, de-cluttering, and cleaning out to find that sparkle  … that’s the spark – the yoga I hope to share.

What’s Golden

 

In Japan, there’s a vacation week called the “Golden Week”.  The series of holidays – 4/29th was Emperors Birthday; 5/3rd was Constitution Memorial Day; 5/4th was Citizen’s Holiday and the new Green Day; then there’s 5/5th, National Children’s Day.  This year in particular, the Golden week was especially auspicious with with the ascent of the current Emperor May first.  With the retirement of his father, the crown prince Naruhito was crowned new emperor.  Thus, May First  marked the dawn of new Era named “Reiwa” as each Emperor’s rule calls for a new calendar, a new “era”.  For example, the last 31 years was Heisei Era, the years before were Showa Era and so on into the antiquity.  The latest, Reiwa meaning can be interpreted to something like beautiful, orderly … refined harmony … peace.  Is it not wonderful when a whole nation state celebrates that – harmony & peace – as an intention and purpose of a new Era? When one can align with the greater community in their intentions – and when all those singular intentions are expressed into one wholesome birthing and naming of an Era … that’s truly beautiful.  So this year is year 2019 and that’s just a number right?  But what if this year was “Reiwa” … time to refine harmonious living in all of us for … peace. It’s a state of mind we all aspire to:)

We all grow attached to certain things and places … and it becomes harder to let go of those attachments – the regularity, the routines, the comforts or even the anxieties and stress we could be attached to … I had been teaching a certain class for five years and as of May first, I let it go …it was almost symbolic as I thought about what I can personally usher in as a new “era” for my own personal growth that is in better alignment with my own values and intentions.  I saw it as the best timing with sapped energy during the tax season over, I too suffered the level of energy that needed a re-boot and re-boost.  As every student in a class should feel that they are each valued by a teacher and certainly if the teacher is a yogi, most definitely.  Each is valued and cared for as another fellow soul on a journey, to return to that common shared source – that oneness.  I love each one even if they don’t care or know of my attachment to them … so all the more in all fairness – A teacher also need to give with freshness, and in turn feel the respect and the value … for all the dedication, training and skills and that happens in a yogic environment where yoga is actually practiced on and off the mat.  May First marked the start of a new Era for my own personal growth as well – started off with “strength” to really know one’s value and not just doing things because it’s easy or comfortable.

Women have to take the time to focus on our mental health — take time for self, for the spiritual, without feeling guilty or selfish. – Byonce

Where have I been to not know who is is – I never cared about Byonce or really heard her songs or anything  – still don’t care for her music to be honest -thought of her as just another pop star, yet another celebrity brand –  BUT just saw her Formation documentary. She is amazing. A human – Here’s another of her quotes:

“My biggest thing is to teach not to focus on the aesthetic. It’s really about who you are, and the human being, that makes you beautiful.”

Restoration of confidence – restoration of self-esteem is what yoga can do for anyone.  That is what I hope we can practice together.  That’s what’s golden about yoga … to come to know who you are, full of confidence and purpose, while embracing our imperfections at the same time.

“We all have our imperfections. But I’m human and you know, it’s important to concentrate on other qualities besides outer beauty.” -Byonce

Next post … Yoga and Internal Organs:)