SENSE OF ADVENTURE INTO EVERY MOMENT BY GUEST BLOGGER CHRISTINE STOCK
I am back from Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon with a new spark to live life to the fullest, and to bring a sense of adventure into every moment. Adventure is the willingness to commit to an uncertain outcome with an open heart & open mind. It's the ability to take a leap into the unknown with mindfulness and grace. It's the ability to think big about who you are, how you live, and what you can do in the world, whether it's climbing to the ridge of the Grand Canyon, putting all your $ on red, or flowing through asanas. Please come on an adventure with me tomorrow at 9:15 am. I will have a new playlist from The Beatles to Barry Manilow :)
Life is uncertain! Being adventurous means seeing that uncertainty as the gift of possibility!
Peace & Namaste,
*Don't forget this month refer a friend and they get 30 days unlimited yoga for $30!! And you get entered to win 2 FREE months of yoga
DOES YOGA MAKE YOU SEXY?
SEPTEMBER 11, 2010 NEWSLETTER
Salutations Friends on the Path!
This week the hot yoga topic in some circles has been about the marketing of yoga to make you slim and sexy. My first concern as a yoga instructor is not so much about sexiness as it is teaching folks that yoga is really about the Science of Happiness. I know that with consistent, regular practice you will reconnect with what you're feeling, learn healthy stress-reducing techniques (like breathing on purpose), appreciate your life more and generally engage the world in a kinder way.
As yoga teacher Donna Farhi says, "What the world needs are kinder, more compassionate, generous people." The time on the mat is our opportunity to cleanse the mind of all its distractions that make us less attractive. And as I often say in class, the biggest obstacle to a happier life is our own busy mind, and yoga is for the mind (which we access through the vehicle of the body).
Does yoga make you sexy? Well I guess so. When we are feeling peaceful and centered our faces do look prettier. And when we are kinder and move more fluidly we are more attractive. And the yoga does slow us down to make more heartfelt connections to other people. So if you come to yoga for the mental or physical reasons it doesn't matter you are a complete package as a human being and you will receive ALL the benefits: happiness, sexiness, calm. And most importantly you will naturally engage more unconditional love into your life! So love yourself, love your day, love your life, Silvia
PS Don't forget sign up now for Moab Nov 4-7th, get $500 OFF and next person who registers gets FREE Private with me1
WHY DO YOU DO THE THINGS YOU DO
SEPTEMBER 6, 2010. Why do we do the things we do? Why do you think the things you do? Why do you feel the way you feel? All of these most essential human questions. Yet to be honest, before stepping fully into spiritual practice I had either not thought about these questions or I certainly didn't spend much time thinking about them on a day to day basis. Through the cognitive behavioural therapy that is Yoga that all changed. Even if you don't want to at some point while breathing on purpose and practicing the poses these questions get so loud that you have to address them heart first.
Senior Yoga Teacher and a personal hero of mine Donna Farhi has said “In truth, it matters less what we do in practice than how we do it and why we do it. The same posture, the same sequence, the same meditation with a different intention takes on an entirely new meaning and will have entirely different outcomes.”
Whatever habits of the mind, that lead to actions, that establish our feeling state bubble to the surface of our consciousness during yogic practice and only then can we start to be honest with ourselves about why we are doing the things we are doing. This is what is behind then the idea of INTENTION.
So right now ask yourself, WHAT IS THE QUALITY OF YOUR INTENT?
It doesn't matter if you are eating, drinking, reading, kissing, working, breathing what is the quality of your intention behind doing what you are doing?
Thurgood Marshall said, "Certain people have a way os saying things that shake us at the core. Even when the words do not seem harsh or offensive, the impact is shattering. What we could be experiencing is the INTENT behind the words. When we intend to do good, we do. When we intend to do harm, it happens. What each of us must come to realize is that our intent always comes through. We cannot sugarcoat the feelings in our heart of hearts. The emotion is the energy that motivates. We cannot ignore what we really want to create. We should be honest and do it the way we feel it. What we owe to ourselves and everyone around is to examine the reasons of our true intent. My intent will be evident in the results." Renew your commitment this Fall to pay attention of the quality of your intent (is it honest, is it authentic, how does it feel) and stay mindful of your intent in all you do! Love yourself, love your day, love your life! Silvia
ARE YOU TALKING TOO MUCH?
Silence is an ocean.
Speech is a river.
When the ocean is searching for you,
don't walk into the language-river.
Listen to the ocean,
and bring your talky business to an end -RUMI
SEPTEMBER 2, 2010. Are you talking too much? I'm just now coming out of a more silent period and one of the greatest learnings I've discovered is that most of us TALK TOO MUCH. And what happens when we are talking too much is that the subtle enemy of love, Talking too much about OTHER people, seeps into our life practice. This much I know, no one has gained personal insight or spiritual growth spending too much time talking about other people and what they are doing or not doing or how they are doing it. The antidote to healing this malady is to spend time in SILENCE which is why yoga, any yoga, is a form of silent meditation. When your mind is running rampant with over talking you know you are stuck in the language river and are at risk of drowning. So as Rumi writes, bring your talky business to an end. Go inside. Be Silent. Stop Talking. Realign with your attitudinal alignment. One of the vital elements of the elegant system of Anusara Yoga.
“The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, the education, the money, than circumstances, than failure, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company... a church... a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past... we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. And so it is with you... we are in charge of our Attitudes.” -James Swindoll
You are in charge of your attitude and what you are feeling and thinking inside is where truth lies. Where ultimate Santosha, happiness exist all the time.Now what if you know you are the subject of other people's talky business and they are stuck in the river of speech talking about you, then what? How do you get them to stop? Again, all you control are your attitudes you cannot change what others say or do. They must want to for themselves. Follow the advice of Virginia Satir who says "We must not allow other people's limited perceptions to define us.” Go beyond what others say about you and make time for silence in order to remain true to who you are. As Emerson says, "Stay at home in your mind. Don't recite other people's opinions.
Love yourself, love your day, love your life! Silvia
I AM SO HAPPY
"I am so happy, I cannot be contained in the world; If the foot of the trees were not tied to earth, they would be pursuing me;But like a spirit, I am hidden from the eyes of the world. For I have blossomed so much, I am the envy of the gardens." RUMI as translated by Keshavarz
SEPTEMBER 1, 2010. More than ever I aspire to this feeling of spirit day in and day out. I've tried looking outside myself for this experience, and through my yoga practice I've made time to look within. As you know, this last month I took it to a new level. I've had regular yoga teachers that took a month out for their own development every year whether it meant traveling to Thailand to be with their teacher or going on month long silent retreat or just taking a time out from teaching to more deeply commit themselves to the Yoga of Relationship. So I did all of that this last 31 days. And I am so happy I did! I attended an awesome yoga teacher training and practiced many styles of yoga with many, many teachers, I spent time in quiet contemplation/meditation in nature and most importantly I consistently practiced unconditional love for my best friend. I learned how to expand my capacity to be more fearless in loving someone and allowing myself to be loved in return. This is the trinurti (3-fold) nature of yogic practice like a tripod that needs all three legs to remain standing: study, practice, teach.
I have blossomed so much.
I went into this personal sabbatical with many questions and in some way as a spiritual seeker I was looking for answers. I return with more questions than I did when I took time off. What I do know is "I am so happy"! Making ourselves important and setting aside time to design our intentions is not easy. It is hard work to still the mind in order to get to that point of asking the questions, it is what Elizabeth Gilbert writes about in her book Eat, Pray, Love, "You cannot see your reflection in running water, only still water." I can see better who I am, what I want in my life and I am asking better harder questions of myself.
Why would I put myself through this? Because I want to keep evolving my happiness. A little happiness is not enough for me, I want a lot of happiness and I deserve that today be the best day of my life and I take this to a new edge tomorrow, just like we do in bending our knee in a warrior pose. And I realized my happiness would remain stunted if I kept repeating old patterns or ignoring what those patterns in my mind or actions are. As Miss Gilbert writes, "Take care of the problems now, or else you'll just have to suffer again later when you scew everything up the next time. And that repetition of suffering - that's hell. Moving out of that endless repetition to a new level of understand - there's where you'll find heaven." Fundamentally this is where Yoga holds our hands and encourages us to be happier than we ever thought we could be by quieting our minds, helping us see the old problems and moving beyond them to our best lives ever. So thank you dear students, friends, teachers for understanding my desire for personal growth and evolution and as you support me, please know with great passion and simple love I support you in your journey's as well. Love yourself, love your day, love your life! Silvia
If you need a break consider joining me on Yoga Retreat in Tuscany October 24-30 or Moab November 4-7, or in December either Pagosa Springs or Hawaii
POWER OF WORDS
AUGUST 12, 2010. I have a full library of books on communication. As a love anthropologist I am fascinated by why people use certain words versus others to convey the same thing. And this interest in words has grown ever more engaging as face to face communication has decreased. And quite frankly my desire to understand has increased as I receive really harsh sometimes downright mean emails on an almost daily basis. The proverbial "why" is there lingering in the background.(as in "why would someone say that and be so nasty for no reason?")
What I have realized through yogic and spiritual awakefulness is that much of what is behind the angry words chosen is a disconnect to their impact. I believe that when someone is intentionally hurtful in words they are not completely in tune with the long term impact of what that energy does to the world.
"If we are unconscious of the power of words, we run the risk of creating a noisy disturbance." - Unknown Author
Getting on the mat makes us more mindful of what we think, say and do. And when what we are thinking is in alignment with our actions we are in a state of natural happiness. So today, before you send an email reread it, take a lap, pause and be awake to what you are saying and how you are saying it. Yup the concern is whether this will take up more time? YES it will. But that extra 60 seconds will change the world. And its up to you.
Love yourself, love your day, love your ilfe! Silvia
SLOW DOWN FIND THE FLOW: THE ANTIDOTE TO IMPATIENCE
FEBRUARY 9, 2009: I love that it snowed all day today! It means that every single person in Chicagoland is practicing YOGA! I couldn’t be happier about that. Everywhere I went I saw folks SLOW DOWN and PAY ATTENTION. When we have nature asking us to practice patience we should listen.
So today my theme is Patience. From yogic teachings this means that we find equanimity towards all objects, situations or things - be they joyful or sorrowful or easy or hard, snowy or rainy. When we find our yoga we enter a state of calmness and clarity that reflects perfect presence within the chaos or tension, even a snowy day. It is that feeling where we are in sync with what is going on and don’t feel compelled to fight the situation.
Joan Baez said, “you can only decide how you are going to live.”
So when we are faced with the snow, we are reminded to slow down and be mindful. It is actually then that we realize the snow is just water and has no agenda for or against us. Yoga teaches us that the ANTIDOTE to impatience is "going with the flow". To be in sync with the way things are happening remembering that whatever the present situation we know "it will change." Snow is water, water is flow and it will eventually melt and move onto a different form.
If you need more patience instead of fighting or getting mad at the snow just slow down, keep breathing and enjoy. The time you spend in your car then becomes an oasis from the chaos of life instead of a prison. Make this the best Winter EVER! And remember, “love is patient, love is kind.” Love to you all, Silvia
All of this is accomplished through mindfulness and conscious breathing. When you use your breath on purpose and breath as you, you gain control of your emotions, your harness the power of your mind and direct your 60,000 daily thoughts towards what you need from the inside to live happier and more peacefully. Each pose then is an opportunity to listen to our body. We can ask ourselves in any pose “How can I use this pose to be more accepting of myself, How can I use this pose to practice being less reactive in difficult situations, How can I use this pose to celebrate my life, How can I use this pose to love myself more?”
When we live life trying to be what everyone else wants us to be we lose who we really are. Then the grumbling mind tends to get bogged down in its own weariness of trying to keep up. But if we discover ourselves our personal story shines out and through our acceptance and expansion of ourselves we give permission to everyone around us to be themselves. May this practice bring the inner yoga alive in you! As Rumi writes, “I was dead, then alive, weeping then laughing. The power of love came into me!” May you love yourself more, love your day more, love your life more! Silvia
SHANI MEANS SLOWING DOWN
I personally slowed down this week by making more space to let the story of my life unfold on its own without too much over organizing. I made my To Do List but then crossed off all but 3 things on it each day. I put down my IPHONE and stopped to breath more. I took more yoga classes, practiced more pranayama and hung out more. It has been a wonderful week as I slowed down enough to enjoy each moment!
One of my all time favorite ads for the lifestyle/yoga company prAna was where there was a picture of the middle of the woods and posted on a sign it said, "Slow Down, People Breathing." Think how different the world would be if from this point forward everytime you approached a stop sign there would be a sign underneath it saying this same thing, "slow down, people breathing." The thing is this signpost is in our mind.
So today enjoy the sunshine, stop multi-tasking so much, slow down and BREATH MORE! Love in all ways, Silvia