By Laura Mills
“Time” just doesn’t mean what it used to in my house; every spare moment during which I can wipe the kitchen counter or (on the best days) sip some tea has dramatically increased in value. These days, I compose my classes and write my blogs during my daughter’s naptime—when she naps, that is—so of course I usually find myself trying to take advantage of every minute.
One day shortly after Thanksgiving festivities had upset our usual routine, my daughter started crying as soon as I put her down and didn’t stop as usual. I waited a few minutes outside her door; I went downstairs and set up my computer; optimistically, I even filled my teapot. But the crying intensified, so I returned to her room to check in. Suffice it to say she did NOT want to nap in her crib that day; half an hour later I was sitting in the middle of her floor, rocking her as she sniffled and snuggled into me. Finally, she fell asleep, and not knowing how to return her to her crib without waking her and beginning the process over again, I stayed put.
My mind wandered, but before long my back hurt and my legs numbed, which drew my attention to my body. I knew my options for changing position were limited, but I was able to pull my belly in, extend my spine, and draw my shoulders slowly up and then back and down. I lengthened the crown of my head to the ceiling, tucked my chin a little more, and then begun to coordinate my body’s rocking with slow and measured breaths. After a little while my daughter’s breaths seemed to synch with mine, and for over an hour that afternoon she slept while I held her…both of us at peace.
Yoga doesn’t get much better than that.
OPRAH FAVORITE THINGS, TOTAL BODY YOGA GROUPON
NOVEMBER 19, 2010. Dreams do come true!! Kathy Harold just told me on TBY facebook that TBY was featured (briefly) on Oprah's Favorite Things show today. When she showed the Groupon site TBY coupon was on it! I am just stunned and amazed! I always wanted to be on Oprah. I love her and of all the things we've done this made it! Yup only 1,040 TBY Groupons SOLD, and sold out!
Why did we do it? Well, really after giving away $141,000 of free classes in 8 years we thought what else can we do? All of us at TBY want everyone to practice yoga. No kidding. Everyone. And this was our contribution to helping make the yoga more accessible for every "body" And once you start changing someone's life with yoga it never stops.
Thank you all for your love and energy! Stay stoked! Love yourself, love your day, love your life! Silvia
LIVE AN HONORABLE LIFE
OCTOBER 31, 2010. During some Yoga class you will hear these words from your teacher, "honor your body" or "honor yourself." But what does that mean exactly? When I went to military school during high school years I had a very well-defined idea of honor because of the honor code that was part of the school's commitments. Then in college I was in a sorority and we too made a serious pledge to an honor code of sisterhood.
As we mature no one is giving us a written honor code and we have to define and refine it for ourselves. Time on the mat is where I practice honoring what I think and feel and how my actions are a result of that. Do I make sensitive adjustments? Am I respectful of myself when I'm tired? How do I appreciate and thank myself for trying my best? Am I consistent in integrating the practice in my body? Am I reverential towards the blessing it is to move and breath? Come to think of it, isn't to honor part of what Namaste means? So when it comes down to it, am I living my Namaste? And in honoring myself and do I honor, respect, appreciate all those I meet? If you are practicing yoga you are holding yourself gently and aspiring to live an honorable life. You are Dignified and Noble. Bring that today as you love yourself, love your day, love your life, Silvia
"Though it may be difficult to find the words for what you feel,
May you find ease in that awkwardness until gradually from beneath the gravel of stuttered sounds the pure flow of you emerges.
Be gentle with yourself,
Learn to integrate the negative,
Harnessing its force
To cross the boundaries
That would confine you.
Love the life of your mind
Furnishing it ever with new thought
So that your countenance glows
With the joy of being alive.
And true to an inner honor
That will not allow
Anger or resentment
To make you captive
Always have the courage
To change, welcoming those voices
That call you beyond yourself
Beyond your work and action
Remain faithful to your heart,
For you to deepen and grow
Into a person of dignity and nobility."
By John Donohue
THE IMPORTANCE OF RITUALS
SEPTEMBER 27, 2010 Yoga is one of my most important Rituals. Actually the first time I understood what the word "practice" really meant the lightbulb went off and I realized oh yeah, "something I practice repeatedly over a long period of time". Well that is a ritual too.
Within my yoga life the ritual I have especially on Monday's is to do a balancing of my energies related to the elements. Before I believed in Chakras, I did believe in Earth, Water, Air, Fire. Then eventually I started to understand that all of the elements are within and outside us. And even beyond that the concept of Doshas and Chakras. And all of it got less intimidating. Two easy ways for me to stay connected to the elements and through that discover where I am excessive or deficient and do something about it are:
1. Each finger represents an element so I pray, meditate, focus on bringing my thumb to each finger.
2. I sing a song to the elements (I know lots of them but this one was the focus tonight). And in Spanish to my Latin roots (my Mom's side as my Dad's side is the Italian part)
Tierra mi Cuerpo
Agua mi Sangre
Aire mi Viento
Y Fuego mi Espiritu.
Hey even if you don't understand Spanish you might pick up a word here or there. So this is translated as: Earth my Body, Water my Blood, Air my Breath, and Fire my Spirit.
What does this have to do with Rituals? Well when we disconnect from our rituals we lose touch with what Louise Hay calls our "inner ding" or intuition or good old fashion gut feel. So this practice was meant to bring our awareness to the four elements and feel that connection of each to ourselves, the micro experience, and to the world at large, our macro experience. All of this reminds us that we are in Yoga at every moment of our lives. There is this primordial power or universal intelligence that draws us together in balance, in union. And this goes beyond us to our ancestors and to the legacy we leave beyond this earthly body. Perhaps this inspires you to create your own Ritual around the elements, or even a single element, and I hope so. Love yourself, love your day, love your life! Silvia
PS For the full blog, part of which I shared in class, of Dr. Enrique Saguil, TBY Teacher Trainee, click here: http://herbal411.blogspot.com/2010/09/lack-of-disease-doesnt-equal-good.html
OVERCOMING FEAR WITH DAVID ROMANELLI
Super Duper Namaste! I hope you can join me October 2 and 3 for some wonderful inspiration from my friend David Romanelli, author, yogi, all around good guy. He brings new topics and chocolate. What's not to like. Can't wait to see you next to me in class. Peace! Silvia
Yoga for Overcoming Fear (with special guests: chocolate by Vosges, and tunes by Sinatra)
"Think of life as a terminal illness, because, if you do, you will live it with joy and passion, as it ought to be lived." -- Anna Quindlen
Would you rather 100 bland bites of mediocre chocolate or 1 deliciously amazing bite of an exotic truffle? Would you rather live for 80 years of so-so happiness or 57 years of ecstatic joy? Would you rather 10 so-so Savasanas or 1 deep, yummy, soul-scintillating Savasana that stays with you for weeks to come? This workshop will encourage you to stop stroking yourself with promises about what may or may not happen tomorrow. Pack all of your flavor and all of your love into one tiny little moment. This one. As goes the Chinese proverb, "Enjoy yourself. It's later than you think." David's vinyasa flow yoga class set to great music (from Sinatra to Sublime) will be followed by a tasting of exotic Vosges Haut-Chocolat truffles. You will finish meditating on the gentle reminder: life is short...we best slow down and savor it.
Pre-registration is required by email email@example.com or call 847-266-9642 (YOGA)
TIME: 4:30 - 6:30pm
SEPT 18, 2-4PM PARTNER YOGA WITH LIZ LEFFERT
In this workshop you and your partner will support each through a simple sequence of postures focused on breathing and gentle stretching while cultivating a deeper connection with your loved one through the give and take of partner yoga. We will also spend time learning some basic techniques from the Ancient Art of Traditional Thai Massage, including palm pressure, rhythmic rocking, and passive stretching, to relax and restore balance to the body.
This light-hearted practice will help us to be present and focus on each other. We will listen quietly, tuning into our partner as we give the compassion and healing energy that we ourselves would like to receive.
Help to strengthen your connection while having fun together at the same time. There is absolutely no experience necessary.
Liz Leffert has been an avid student of yoga since 2003. Her interest in natural therapies led her to a career as Registered Yoga Instructor and Massage therapist. She has studied various western massage modalities and has in addition, over 220 hours of study at the Thai Bodywork School in Evanston with Chuck Duff. Liz recently realized a longtime dream of going to Thailand, where she spent two months, including one month of study with various Thai Massage teachers in the Northern Province of Chiang Mai.
Pre-registration is required by email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 847-266-9642
SEPT 17, 6:30PM-9PM EAT, PRAY, LOVE WORKSHOP WITH SANDRA COYNER
EAT PRAY LOVE at Total Body Yoga!
Embark on a 2 1/2 hour "Restorative Reading" Yoga Workshop based on the best seller Eat, Pray, Love!
EAT! Discussion of the 1st portion of the book and the savoring of organic chocolates with vinyasa mixed in!
PRAY! Discussing the "Pray" section, we will learn mantras and chants using our new mala beads.
LOVE! We will exemplify "Love" as we practice restorative yoga during book discussion and finish with a special svasana.
About Sandra Coyner:
I received my 200 hr teacher certification through Silvia Mordini at TBY and am Yoga Alliance certified. I currently teach at three locations but teach the majority of my classes at Living Yoga in Aurora. I teach theme-oriented Vinyasa, Gentle, Restorative and Kid's Yoga classes. I am a Level 2 Reiki Practitioner and enjoy incorporating essential oils into my yoga classes. For more information, please visit my website at www.inspiredbyearth.com.
Pre-registration is required by email email@example.com or call 847-266-9642 (YOGA) Price includes workshop, mala beads and organic chocolates!
SEPT 11TH 2PM-4PM HEALING CRYSTAL BOWLS CONCERT WITH JAY SCHWERD
‘In the ancient lands of Atlantis and Egypt the healers believed that the way to facilitate healing is by opening the ‘high heart’ that connects all things together. This is represented by the musical note F# or commonly referred to as the Thymus Gland or the center for the immunity system.’
I incorporate sound, vibration, sound-infused aromatherapy mists, and healing color light therapy to bring this healing/meditation experience to a deeper and more profound level. Experience the Song of The Angels and learn the 3 Sacred tonal keys created in the Temples of King Solomon. Dolphin Spirit also brings forth a rebirthing of the magic.
ABOUT JAY SCHWERD: Jay Schwed, MsT, CHT, was born in Chicago, IL and was raised in Los Angeles, CA. In 1979 he got his degree in Agriculture and followed with a career with the USDA as an inspector, followed by years of work as a plant breeder’s assistant. In 1983 he took his first workshop in massage therapy at Esalen Institute. Immediately after the workshop he enrolled in a massage school in Carmel, CA. Jay has been a pioneer in this field and has worked in a variety of settings. In 1994, inspired by another Esalen workshop, he bought his first set of 'singing' Crystal Bowls. In the following years he has taught himself how to play. In 1995 Jay was trained as a Reiki Master and has been training many in this technique. In 1997 Jay added to his skills by attending a 750- hour training program in hypnotherapy. During the last 5 years Jay has been travelling throughout the United States giving performances, leading workshops and giving private sessions at nursing homes, healing centers, New Thought churches, yoga studios, recovery centers and a variety of other locations as he assists in raising the planets vibrational frequencies. He has performed at such notable places as The Deepok Chopra Center, The Edgar Cayce Center, A.R.E. , The Agape Cultural Center, and The Believe Center.
Pre-registration is required by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 847-266-9642 (YOGA)
TODAY TOTAL BODY YOGA IS 8 YEARS OLD!
Super Namaste and Happy 8 Year Birthday to TBY Today!
8 is my lucky number! I am delighted to be celebrating this milestone birthday together and am so grateful to see so many of your smiling faces in class this week! What an amazing month: to receive your visible support by way of choosing TBY Best Yoga Studio and now our birthday. WOW, WOW! Blessings are dropping like blossoms everywhere (to paraphrase Rumi).
And the greatest blessing is you! We needed every single student to ignite the flame, to stoke the fire and to sustain the amazing energy at TBY all this time. We've grown up together, we've seen many of you make some tremendous life changes and how great to know the best is yet to come! To make it 8 years is a visible demonstration that YOGA WORKS! Yoga is love, love is always the answer, love unites, love inspires, love is fierce, love is real, love is the way.
So dear students, thank you for bringing your best selves and creating such a loving environment for us to teach in. On behalf of all the teachers and supervisors and team at TBY. Gosh, we are deeply grateful and can't wait to begin another awesome year starting tomorrow!
Love yourself, love your day, love your life! Silvia
PS: I'll be guiding the Tuscany Yoga Retreat June 16th-July 1st with alchemytours.com, teaching pretty much until the moment I get on a plane. :-)
YOU ARE LIKE A DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH
May 22, 2010, The pressure life brings us gets a bum rap. It’s not all bad. Actually, that’s the way diamonds are formed. They become refined through really intense pressure and heat. The end result is magnificent! In yoga the same thing takes place with our physical selves and energetic selves as well. This process of cleansing through the letting go old pain brings us back to our most beautiful. We engage some pressure to create the heat to transform the old heaviness into radiant strength.
We move from being a diamond in the rough where we are cut up in limited self-belief to a state of being diamond like where we believe in our highest potentiality, we believe in the impossibility of things! This achieved lovingly and safely through the asana and pranayama. It is known as ORVAJRA DEHA, or “diamond body.”
Every pose, every breath connects us to who we really are. We feel more, understand better and think more clearly. It helps us to be our real selves, our best selves. The light is shed from the inside out to see that we were limiting our perceptions of who we are by doing things like feeling ashamed, embarrassed, jealous, angry, stressed. And as each pose progresses to take us deeper we create heat and the old stories drop away and we find ourselves shining out. Some of the best ways to polish the diamond in the rough that we are is to practice forgiveness and compassion towards ourselves, remembering that at the heart of yoga the highest practice leads to ultimate self-acceptance.
And the more you radiate the brighter you are then the more light you bring into the world to those around you. Your luminescent quality inspires all others to shine out and discover their best diamond selves too! Can you imagine a world where we all get to be ourselves and radiate love and happiness? Well, yoga teaches that day is now, that world is here inside each and every one of us! May you come to see all your challenges as means to reveal your true beauty. Love to you, Silvia
TRUTH ABOUT YOURSELF
What is the most truthful thing you’ve said today?
What have you lied about?
Which voice is more powerful within you?
I have been meditating a lot about Sayta, (Truth) and how when we are aligned with our own truth our hearts open up. In yogic terms Truth can be defined on three levels, the first deals with communication: that we tell the truth about what we see, what we feel and what we need. When we feel out of control it is usually where there is a conflict between what we think and what we feel. Then we suffer and our actions fall apart.
Chapter 2.36 presents to us that if we are “dedicated to the truth and integrity, our thoughts, words and actions gain the power to manifest.” (Translation Secret Power of Yoga). If we are founded in the truth then we actually “Change our relationship to relationship itself.” That is real Shakti! (power). What I love about this practice is that it uncovers our real truth whether we want it to or not. We put ourselves in these interesting poses and come face to face with all the stuff we’ve stored in our tissues. Without a doubt whatever we feel in our bodies is OUR TRUTH.
Judith Lasater says, “our bodies which are the storage unites for our feelings simply cannot lie.”
This awakens us to our own best courage to be honest and forthcoming. Dag Hammarskjold puts it like this, “Life only demands the strength you posses, Only one feat is possible – not to have run away.” So on the mat all we have to do is show up. Then as we experience the truth of the body we more fully realize what we feel and need in our lives off the mat. I wish you all your own best courage to not turn away from yourself but to remain true to your heart. Love the day, Silvia
FALLING IN LOVE WITH YOURSELF
FEBRUARY 24TH, 2009: "Love calls on parts of you that cannot speak." To me the highest practice of yoga is self-love. Time and again this is the purpose of practice. And just like loving another person we have to work at it. We must make an active effort to fall in love with ourselves on a day to day basis (or at the very least week to week).
The act of falling in love gets you centered to go to the next step in your spiritual journey!
This is Puja for your body. In India Pura is a ritual where they take idols that represent spirit and give their love to them, feed them, sing to them. Yoga poses (yoga asana) is like praying with our bodies in that the idea is that our bodies are temple. When you practice giving love to every part of your body through the nourishment of breath and movement you plant seeds of love and when they grow you will love, honor and respect your body even more. Life can be super easy when you LOVE yourself, when you LOVE your way of life, when you see everything through eyes of LOVE!
In the book Four Agreements a key section speaks to this, "in the search for self-love you will discover that its just a matter of time before you find what you are looking for. It's not about daydreaming or sitting hours in meditation. You have to stand up and be a HUMAN. You have to honor the man or woman that you are.
- Respect Your Body
- Enjoye Your Body
- Love Your Body
- Feed, clean, Heal Your Body
- Do what makes your body feel good
Today please repeat this Toltec prayer before bed and when you wake in the morning to promote this act of falling in love with yourself again and again: Today help me to keep the love and peace in my heart And to make that love a new way of life, that I may live in love the rest of my life." Be love, Silvia
AT HOME IN OUR BODIES
DECEMBER 5TH, 2008: If you’ve ever visited a topless beach there is a period of time where you get really self-conscious like folks are looking at you. Eventually you realize no one is looking at you and then you chill out. Doing yoga with other people is a little like that. At first you are totally self-conscious thinking it’s all about you and that everybody is checking you out: your hair, your body, your pose. Reality is, not really. What I want you to realize about yoga is that the hardest part is it asks us to BE OURSELVES, without reservation, without conditions.
This means it really is helping us be at home in our bodies and honest in our emotions. And until we get in contact with our true feelings – fear, upsetness, grief, joy, silliness we won’t be able to build healthy relationships. I’ve tried it the other way, it doesn’t work. So today I hope to inspire you to be true to yourself by really getting totally fascinated with your body, your sexiness, your playfulness, your heart and see what happens next in your relationships. I know they will blossom! Love in all ways, Silvia