NEED BALANCE IN YOUR LIFE?
February 9, 2011. Wendell Barry said, “The earth is what we have in common.” I’d add that our ability to lose our balance and allow over-worrying to make us feel ungrounded is also what we have in common. You know, that feeling of being disconnected and just off center.
So we devoted today’s practice to getting grounded into the earth, our common ground. Grounding serves us as a simplifying force, one which helps us plug back into ourselves and allows us to be fully present and balanced. Once centered we feel empowered and stable to see the circumstances of our lives with increased clarity. We no longer over-respond or over-worry.
Just like building a yoga pose from the ground up, we need stability to form a strong foundation for our lives. On the yoga mat we used a long series of standing poses to help us achieve the security that comes from connecting our nervous system to the earth. In Sanskrit this is known as Sthira. As a result we all left the practice with our inner stillness intact once more ready to be the rooted influence amongst our families and friends. May you stay grounded and keep coming home to balance.
And if you are looking to do even more in depth work on balance and grounding join me for the two places in the world that always make me feel more centered: Moab, Utah and Tuscany Italy. Check out www.alchemytours.com to join me April, June, or October 2011. In the meantime let’s stay in touch, the earth is what we have in common. Love yourself, love your day, love your life! Silvia
PLAYLIST FEBRUARY 9, 2011
Very balanced chill 60 minutes to invoke the earth element and promote grounding, trust and calm. Perfect for those times you need to quiet the anxious mind or impatient heart.
Shiva Invocation, Shantala
Assyrian Women Mourners, Anja Lechner & Vassilis Tsabropoulos
Realms, Sigal Brier
Duduki, Anja Lechner & Vassilis Tsabropoulos
Pluznick, Raphael & Steve Kindler
Kerala Dream, Shaman's Dream
Trois morceaux après des hymnes byzantins I, Anja Lechner & Vassilis Tsabropoulos
Trois morceaux après des hymnes byzantins III, Anja Lechner & Vassilis Tsabropoulos
Night Song, Bill Dougrlas / Ty Burhoe / Kai Eckhardt / Steve Smith
Stars (Instrumental), John De Kadt
PARADOX OF YOGA 4/13/10
April 13, 2010: Yoga is funny in that it is a great paradox. We feel this in the physical sense in the juncture point of the waistline where pelvic loop and kidney loops originate. Both draw back the side bodies but the the energy splits up. The pelvic loop draws waist back and DOWN and kidney loop draws the waist back and UP. Yoga helps us to explore how to live with what the world is offering us and receive it gracefully while at the same time figuring out how to turn what is being offered into an empowered experience. But this isn't the cliché of lemons into lemonade which is just plain annoying isn't it?
Nope this is about staying centered within ourselves to a place of great depth and tranquility and remain steady no matter what life has served you today - when you most want to shut down, to remain open hearted by holding onto to that calm center. And at the same time this is in no way apathetic. We are meant to action our lives and keep evolving towards greater and greater happiness.
So we have to create an alignment between our desires and aspirations and what's really possible for us today, in this moment. If what we want and what we do and what we think are out of alignment then suffering ensues. This life of ours is asking that we learn how to hold and release and reach and expand all at the same time.
Today, how are you doing? Can you live with what the world is offering you? Peace in all ways, Silvia
FEELING CENTERED 9 LIFE LESSONS YOU LEARN FROM CLIMBING (AND YOGA)
MARCH 3, 2010: What does CENTERED mean to you? To me it means balance, peace, happiness, patience, a oneness with others instead of a tug of war, and most of all BEING PRESENT. It is that “isness” of now that Echkart Tolle writes of in A New Earth. When we practice yoga we are actively seeking to make the adjustments necessary to be more present to keep returning to our center by studying ourselves or as Socrates says, "To know thyself."
The third chakra, often called the solar plexus, is our personal power centre, the magnetic core of the personality and ego. The Sacred Truth of the third chakra is ~Honor One-self~. The energies that come together in this chakra have but one spiritual goal; to help us mature in our self understanding - the relationship we have with others, and where we stand on our own and take care of ourselves. The spiritual quality is self-respect. We have all faced or will face an experience that reveals to us our own internal strengths and weaknesses and hence is what throws us OFF balance. Here below is a beautiful summary of 3rd Chakra key learning points we went over in class together. And one of my FAVORITE TED CLIPS about the 9 life lessons rock climbing (which is so much like yoga!). Enjoy!! Love and light,
Primary strengths – IN BALANCE: Self-esteem, self respect, and self discipline, ambition, the ability to generate action, and the ability to handle a crisis; the courage to take risks, generosity, ethics and strength of character.
Primary Fears – OUT OF BALANCE: Fears of rejection, criticism, looking foolish and failing to meet ones responsibilities, all fears relating to physical appearance, such as fear of obesity, baldness or ageing, fears that others will discover our secrets.
How we feel about ourselves, whether we respect ourselves, determines the quality of our life, our capacity to succeed in business, relationships, healing and intuitive skills. Self understanding and acceptance, the bond we form with ourselves, is in many ways the most critical spiritual challenge we face. In truth, if we do not like ourselves, we will be incapable of making healthy decisions. Instead, we will direct all of our personal the hands of someone else; someone whom we want to impress, or someone before whom we think we must weaken ourselves to gain physical security. People who have a low sense of self esteem attract relationships and occupational situations that reflect and reinforce this weakness. Nobody is born with healthy self esteem. We must earn this quality in the process of living as we face our challenges one at a time.
Key points about the Third Chakra:
- When our thoughts are scattered in several directions at once and we are no longer conscious of what we are doing or why, it is time to center ourselves.
- When we center ourselves, we begin by acknowledging that we have become spread too thin and we are no longer unified inside.
- Our thoughts might be out of sync with our feelings, and our actions may be out of sync with both. The main signs that we need to center ourselves are scattered thoughts and a feeling of disconnection or numbness, as if we are no longer able to take anything in. In addition, we may feel unfocused and not present in our bodies. Centering ourselves is a way of coming to terms with all the different energies within us and drawing them back into ourselves.
- Centering yourself means that you are working from or being aware of the core of your being in the solar plexus area of your body. We naturally know how to center ourselves when we take a deep breath, for example, before making a big announcement or doing something big. Another way to center ourselves is to sit down and engage in breath meditation. We can start by simply getting into a comfortable upright position and noticing as our breath enters and leaves our bodies. Our breath flows into our center and out from our center, and this process can serve as a template for all of our interactions in the world. In conversations, we can take what our friends are saying into the center of our beings and respond from the center. Our whole lives mirror this ebb and flow of energy that begins and ends at the center of ourselves. If we follow this ebb and flow, we are in harmony with the universe, and when we find we are out of harmony, we can always come back into balance by sitting down and observing our breath.
- When we center ourselves we can imagine that we are gathering our straying thoughts and energies back into ourselves, the way a mother duck gathers her babies around her. We can also visualize ourselves casting a net and pulling all the disparate parts of ourselves back to the center of our being, creating a sense of fluid integration. From this place of centeredness, we can begin again, directing ourselves outward in a more intentional way.
Matthew Childs' 9 life lessons from rock climbing (6 minutes)
- Don't let go (you think about letting go way before your body does, hang in there, watch for creative solutions)
- Hesitation is bad
- Have a plan (plan ahead to get to the top but you can't forget you have to complete each individual move)
- The move is the end
- Know how to rest (best climbers know to to get themselves into a position where they can regroup, calm themselves)
- Fear sucks (you are focusing not on what you're doing but on the consequences of FAILING at what you're doing, anything effective requires you focus on what you're doing)
- Opposites are good
- Strength doesn't always equal success (pull up example guys and girls)
- Know how to let go (once you get to that point where you know its going to happen, think about how you are going to fall, that's how you won't get hurt, fall in a way that you can control the fall, don't just hang on until the bitter end)
REMEDY TO ANXIETY
Well through my practice what anxiety feels like to me is going to pieces. The remedy has been reconnecting to my center so that I can again find Peace. Peace is bringing the pieces back together. Now for a long time I looked outside myself for the answer to anxiety. After I was attacked over 15 years ago I suffered from anxiety attacks, panic attacks and I was afraid of everything. I felt like I was going to pieces. I lost my center and this is no way to live.
I would have paid any amount of money, done anything, gone anywhere to find a relief. But through yoga this last 15 years I discovered no one can relieve anxiety for us. Peace is the opposite of anxiety. And we ourselves have peace within us at all times. This seems almost impossible to believe at first because the last thing you want to do is sit with yourself when anxious.
In yoga we can go into the quiet of our own stillness and healing, facing the fear of anxiety. Or it will overtake us. Anxiety is only the surface of the mind, we must go deeper through our tissues, into our heart and we DISAPPEAR IT FROM THE INSIDE OUT. We can vanish it like light being shed in a dark room. In yogic terms Asmita are the outer layers that we remove to reveal the inner wisdom from our heart.
Anxiety is of the head
Peace is of the heart
There is no greater expression of happiness than peace.
I am here to say that if I can do this you can too. Your life is a work of art waiting to reveal itself! “In yoga we are both the masterpiece and the artist painstakingly working to uncover the hidden work of art that is within all of us.” (Secret Power of Yoga book) If you are experiencing anxiety in your life please give this practice a chance to help you look within to pull back to your center. May you peaceful, may all beings everywhere be peaceful and FREE! Love you, Silvia
CORE GRACE, COORDINATION AND BALANCE
Hatha yoga increases energy by aligning our phsycial and subtle energy bodies, through physical poses (asana) and enhancing our life force through breath practices (pranayama) and encouraging our sense inward through deep relaxation. (Pratyahara). The word Hatha means Ha (sun, solar qualities, doing) and Tha (moon, lunar qualities, being). We need both and they come together in our center.
Chapter 2.46 in the yoga sutras talks about sthira and sukha this balance between effort and letting go, doing and being, stability and freedom, steadiness and sweetness. To find our center we need to move otherwise we remain distracted when it comes time to rest. As a result we use rhythmic breathing coordinated with movement to help release blockages and allow our life energy to flow.
If you take one thing away from this practice it is to breath into and from your center on purpose. Holding the breath gives our nervous system a distress signal. Allowing our breath to flow evenly makes us more relaxed. Yoga teaches that our mental state effects our breathing but breathing can impact our mental state. So today practice Alternate Nostril Breathing like we’ve been doing in class to promote a return to your center to live in grace with improved coordination and life balance. Love the day! Silvia