Uh Oh, Here Come the Holidays
It's the time of year when I start thinking about holiday gifts. While I love the holidays, spirit and overall festiveness, I confess I really dislike the commotion about gifts. Shopping is so automatic for so many of us; we talk about starting shopping, putting off shopping, finishing shopping, spending too much on shopping. We breathlessly announce things like, I;ve done my in-laws, now I just have to do the kids. To be fair, I know people who holiday shop with a great deal of festive spirit, but I canít help but feel sour about it because I know many others who go about it in the same spirit with which they gas up their snow blowers.
I propose we at least reassess our own gift-giving processes this year. Unfortunately, in my experience gift-giving has often boiled down to merely an exchange of a particular dollar amount (Well, so-and-so spent this much on me, so Iíd better spend this much on her). And if thatís really the case, what's the point?
I challenge us all to leave the auto-pilot holiday shopper at home this year and instead take along that part of ourselves that truly values the people we buy for. We need to ask ourselves what is special about each particular person and how we might honor him or her with a gift. It will be an interesting experiment. And no matter how much or little we spend, more than just another holiday gift, our gifts this year may enable our recipients to sense that we actually do care.
Putting the Party Away
Putting the Party Away
By Laura Mills
So TBYís Grand Re-opening is coming up on Sunday, September 18, and certainly it will be an amazing day that we long remember. But what will happen after that? We all know the expression, ìThe honeymoonís over; we've all experienced the day after our birthday or favorite holiday. And each one of us has at one time or another helped a friend clean up after a celebration, wistfully remarking at some point, Well, that was fun. Now what?î
Happily, the day after let-down shouldn't affect any of us here at TBY (students, staff and teachers) too badly. We share a unique perspective on life, for our practice of yoga includes celebrating every moment of every day. And while, somehow, celebrating every moment seems more difficult than handling difficulties as they arise, we remember that the purpose of yoga isn't to make life easy but rather to teach us appropriate strength and softness so that, when tested, we don't break.
So on the morning of Monday, September 19, be glad for the fun of the day before and more than excited to inhale and exhale, stretch, eventually set your feet on the ground and stand. Regardless of what the day holds for you, itís party time.
BE A DREAMER
January 1, 2011 Yesterday I posted my last blog of 2010. I have included it at the bottom of this final newsletter of the year in hopes it inspires your own dreams. And really that is my invitation to you: "dream a dream with me." Time on the mat helps us stay connected to what inspires us. So here are some of my favorite quotes from a book given to me by my sweet friend Anne titled Dream by Susan Bosak. May they connect you to spirit so you can awaken your greatest dreams ever in 2011!
Love yourself, love your day, love your life, Silvia
"Whoever would one day learn to fly must first learn to stand and walk and run and climb and dance; one cannot fly into flying." - Nietzsche
"The Possible's slow fuse is lit by the Imagination." - Emily Dickinson
"A hundred million miracles are happening every day." - Oscar Hammerstein
"The difficulty in life is the choice." - George Moore
"Hold fast to dreams for if dreams die life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly." -Langston Hughes
"You cannot hope to build a better world without improving the individuals. To that end, each of us must work for our own improvement and, at the same time, share a general responsibility for all humanity." - Marie Curie
New Years Day Schedule:
5am-7am Sadhana Kundalini (FREE)
10am Level 1 with Wendy
11:30am Level 1-2 with Wendy
1:30pm Restorative Yoga with Samantha
PS - Join me January 14-15 Living Your Yoga Workshops
December 31, 2010 Blog by Silvia Mordini: Adventure, Remembrance, Victory!
As I reflect on this past year, which was one of intense personal change one of the things I am most proud of is making a pilgrimage to Moab, Utah twice. Both times to help nourish my spirit and connect to the quiet sense of adventure that exists for all that visit Moab. For a while I forgot what it was like to make adventure. This was the year I remembered again.
And that is really at the heart of yoga. This practice helps us remember to remember. We all sometimes experience spiritual amnesia. Getting on the mat is that reminder of celebrating life and enjoying this time in this body on this earth right now.
Edward Abbey writes in one of my favorite books about Moab titled Desert Solitaire "Do not burn yourselves out. Be as I am - a reluctant enthusiast....a part-time crusader, a half-hearted fanatic. Save the other half of yourselves and your lives for pleasure and adventure. It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it. While you can. While it's still here. So get out there and mess around with your friends, ramble out yonder and explore the forests, climb the mountains, bag the peaks, run the rivers, breathe deep of that yet sweet and lucid air, sit quietly for a while and contemplate the precious stillness, the lovely, mysterious, and awesome space. Enjoy yourselves, keep your brain in your head and your head firmly attached to the body, the body active and alive, and I promise you this much; I promise you this one sweet victory over our enemies, over those desk-bound men and women with their hearts in a safe deposit box, and their eyes hypnotized by desk calculators. I promise you this; You will outlive the bastards."
I will never again put my heart in a safe deposit box, I'd rather take chances in love, in life, in traveling and even in my poses so I can be a more active participant in driving my best life forward rather than sitting in the backseat waiting for it to happen. I will until my last breath run and cycle and yoga and explore and discover the small victories that exist in taking pleasure in life! And I hope if you have learned anything from your yoga that you will find this true for yourself as well. Love yourself, love your day, love your life! Happy New Year, Silvia
PS Join me on an adventure with Alchemy Tours www.alchemytours.com or visit my website to keep up with upcoming retreats www.silviamordini.com
THANKSGIVING YOGA JOIN RACHEL DEWAN AND LAURA MILLS
HERE IS A PERSONAL MESSAGE FROM MY FRIEND RACHEL DEWAN INVITING YOU AND YOU AND YOU TOO TO THANKSGIVING DAY YOGA AT TOTAL BODY YOGA! GET ON THE MAT, BREATH, LOVE, PEACE TO ALL, LOVE TO ALL! SILVIA
Dear Grateful Yogis,
My teacher John Friend says that there are 2 main reasons to practice yoga:
Remembrance - when we forgot our divinity and we come to the mat to reconnect and to remember our connection to something bigger than ourselves
Celebration - when we already remember our connection and simply want to celebrate being alive and part of this grand universe
Thanksgiving is the start of the holiday season, which should be about celebration but for many of us holds a mixed bag of emotions. Whether you need help remembering or just want to celebrate I hope you can join me for a special class Thanksgiving Day morning from 9:15 - 10:30am to set our collective and personal intentions to celebrating our lives to the fullest, through the holidays and beyond. And if that wasn't enough to get you there, as an additional incentive I will come bearing gifts!
I hope to see you next Thursday for a joyful, devotional practice to remind us of our own awesome-ness, and to celebrate it the best way we know how! I guarantee it will be a holistic preparation for the holiday season: set the tone for interactions with family & friends, prepare the body for some well-deserved indulging, and open your heart to the real gift of the season - YOU, just as you are. See you there!
Infinite love & gratitude,
Anusara Inspired RYT Teacher
HAPPY BIRTHDAY GANESHA REMOVER OF OBSTACLES! GUEST BLOGGER RACHEL DEWAN
SEPTEMBER 21, 2010 FROM GUEST BLOGGER RACHEL DEWAN
Dear Peaceful Yoga Warriors,
It's Ganesh's birthday, so I hope you can join me on the mat this week to celebrate. Ganesh is the sweet, gentle elephant-headed deity of Hindu mythology. He is the bearer of auspicious beginnings, and he has much to teach us. Generally referred to as the "remover of obstacles" (join me in class to find out WHY...and how he got his elephant head!), the Tantric twist on the teaching is that he represents the obstacle itself. He is the reminder that challenges come up, that life is often hard, but that WE have the power to transcend and grow. When we actively engage with the challenges we face, rather than looking for someone (real or myth) to take them away, we live an awakened life of intention.
Join me 4:00pm Tuesday or 10:45am Friday for an empowering practice, facing our challenges head on with a little wisdom from our elephant-headed friend. Learn the story of Ganesh, delve into the iconography, do a little chanting (kind of like "For He's a Jolly Good Fellow" in sanskrit :-), and have an all around rockin' birthday party!
Kisses & blessings,
Rachel Dewan, ERYT and Anusara Inspired
YOGA IS NOT BORING
I can't say this enough: Yoga is not boring! This practice is inspiring us to make each day memorable. It is as my teacher Shiva Rea says, "Celebrating being alive is the essence of a spiritual experience."
When we practice on the mat we are really cultivating the ability to see the sun inside ourselves. Especially as we practice Namaskars (Salutations). "One is offering salutation to the divine represented by the sun, as a source of light removing the darkness of a clouded mind and as a source of vitality removing the diseases of the body. (Mohan) Or as an unknown author writes, "Darkness isn't the absence of light... it's the absence of you." Yoga helps us to find ourselves in spite of the darkness of challenges and hardships in life. With every breath we remove the kleshas, which are like 5 lampshades covering up our inner brightness. This brings us back to LIFE! With every breath linked movement we allow our mind and hearts to integrate this basic quality of celebration or joy into our very being. By the time we leave the mat we feel joy infused into every single cell! So please join me, keep making time to stoke the flame of celebration, make your own mini olympics for yourself each practice! Love yourself, love your day, love your life! Silvia
FEARING NOTHING DURGA BABY!
NOVEMBER 20, 2009: I know this much, Life is a celebration and it is our responsibility to enjoy it to its fullest! But I also know to enjoy life you must renounce your fear and anxiety. I spent a good portion of time being terribly afraid (afraid of not being perfect, afraid of what others might think, afraid of failing, afraid someone I loved would leave me if I didn’t do my life right according to them, afraid perhaps of really being fully happy, afraid of being myself). I don’t want that for you. I really don’t. Life is happening right now so stop waiting, stop wasting time, stop being afraid of living it on your terms because life is already here.
Next month I am learning how to surf. I have been doing my homework, reading up, talking to everyone I know that has surfed, watching DVD’s. It both energizes me and sometimes I get a little nervous. However because I feel free in my choices I am not frightened. In February I went skiing for the first time in ages and here at the end of the year I am again in water…why not? These are my soft spots. (Stay tuned next I go rock climbing!)
Rinpoche talked about how we all have a soft spot and that fear and fear like responses such as worry or resentment occur because we are trying to cover up that soft spot. We tend to hurry past pain but this hurrying causes more tension instead of healing. If we spend more time with what we fear we can look into that pain and release some of the tension. We practice vinyasa flow and enjoy the repetition to feel relationship between poses, we feel power of flow, becoming more confident, growing more fearless. Use this to heal and release fear.
When folks ask me how did I get past a way of fearful living I tell them I practiced a ton of yoga. I came to the mat, going upside down, trying holding a pose into sensation like bending my knee deeper in Warriors or balancing on one leg and by facing me fear on the mat I then was able to recognize that fear off the mat and do something about it. The Buddha says, if a person is struck by an arrow and is in a lot of pain there is that but what if a 2nd arrow hit the person in the same spot the pain would be 100 times more intense because he/she was already wounded. If you recognize pain and fear or worry then you can help STOP another arrow of fear or worry hitting you in that same spot.
The time on the mat helps me to prevent the 2nd arrow. I have slowly grown more confident and now I “practice with elegance and openness so as to open the body in a resplendent expression of my hearts inner luminosity.” You see you guys when we cultivate fearlessness we experience our hearts as more open. I also repeat this mantra to myself
I AM FREE
I AM NOT FRIGHTENED
I AM NOT HUMILITATED BY GUILT OR WORRY
I AM IN LOVE WITH THE MY LIFE!
So may we use today to notice our lives right now, facing them as they are, learning how to stop avoiding ourselves but instead BEING OURSELVES. This may be the most courageous challenge we can possible accept. Free yourself, be your own knight in shining armor. You need not be afraid of anything. Love and light, Silvia