By Laura Mills
The other day, while driving to an appointment for which I was nearly late, I found myself coasting behind a car traveling way under the speed limit. While I normally would have switched lanes and passed, on this day a police car traveled immediately behind me...so I stayed in my lane, squeezing the wheel, gritting my teeth and watching the clock.
Something that surprises people—including me, when I first began my practice—is that yogis still get stressed. And we get stressed about more than only life’s greatest challenges. The simplest, everyday things like running late, needing to drive more slowly than desired, misplacing keys, realizing the cat avoided the litter box again…no matter how advanced in yoga our practice, by virtue of our humanness we still experience stressful moments. And for me, such moments include the rise in blood pressure and quickening of the heart that I used to believe I practiced yoga to eliminate. In fact, in the wake of such moments I used to think, “What kind of yogi am I? What’s going on?”
Thankfully, today I know a lot more about what yoga really is…most definitely not a collection of poses and breathing exercises that automatically fortifies one against stress. Rather, yoga is a method of opening body and mind, both on the mat and off, to make space within for the present. Yoga won’t keep me from experiencing stressful moments, but the space yoga creates frees up my awareness and reveals that I will survive regardless of them. Processing stress is, I believe, a practice as much as taking any series of asanas. And while even the most physically capable yogi can always go deeper, so can even the most stressed-out.
Remembering that—eventually—I relax my grip and enjoy the ride.
A Wish for the Skeptics
By Laura Mills
This past weekend my husband swam in another meet. He’s been swimming his whole life—club team, high school, college, and now Masters. He’s also been running and core strengthening to help balance his training and keep him all-over fit. But he only recently began practicing yoga.
I’ve met many people skeptical about yoga as a complement to an exercise program. Most commonly, they cite the fact that yoga’s “not active enough” or “not really a workout” as the reason they’re just not interested. And I’ve found it’s nearly impossible to convince a non-believer of yoga’s benefits if that non-believer doesn’t at first see beyond stationary pretzel poses and chanted “Ohms.”
With regards to swimming, my husband—who started out as a curious half-believer—says yoga’s greatest help has been in enabling him to calm himself before a race, to better control rapid breathing into something that serves, and to guide him into a focused mindset for the mental and physical efforts ahead. But he also now understands that yoga’s benefits reach far beyond the starting block. Stronger shoulders, hips and ankles; greater flexibility; higher confidence…with time, little by little the effects of his yoga practice have positively revealed themselves in the nuances of his other activities.
My hope is that at least some of the non-believers out there will glimpse yoga’s positive effects in others. And whether or not that encourages them to venture a little further into the practice, they might at least embrace the process of opening their minds, the first step in ANY program that leads us closer to where we want to be.
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.
WHAT DO YOU SAY YES TO?
NOVEMBER 20, 2010. What do you say YES to? Are you conscious and alert to your Yes choices? Do you say Yes more than you say No? Or do you just pick the stuff that is the most convenient?
We are in many ways organisms of convenience so what Pema Chodran writes hits home, “when you hear some teachings that ring true to you and feel some trust in its being a worthwhile way to live then you’re in for a lot inconvenience. From an everyday perspective it seems good to do things that are kind of convenient; there is no problem with that. It’s just that when you really start to take the warrior’s journey – which is to say, when you start to want to live your LIFE FULLY, when you begin to feel this passion for life and for growth, when discovery and exploration and curiosity become your path – then basically, it you follow your heart, you’re going to find that it’s often extremely inconvenient.”
"There is only one way to learn," the alchemist answered. "It's through action. Everything you need to know you have learned through your journey." (The Alchemist To Santiago.) In Tantric philosophy we start with "yes". It is our first response. We say yes to opening, softening, receiving and...
YES IS DOING!
Take to heart this blessing: "You miss 100% of the shots you don't take." Wayne Gretzky is so right on. Doing something is the Yes. And when you decide you are clear on what you say YES to, then everything is there to support you. It is as is written in the Alchemist "When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it." At the end of the day what you say YES to isn't even as important as just doing something, saying YES is your commitment to living the moment full blast! Love yourself, love your day, love your life, Silvia
Join me on retreat www.alchemytours.com or www.silviamordini.com
INTUITION POWER OF INTENTION AND VISUALIZATION
May 14, 2010, “It is dark. Eyes closed, we lie as if asleep, dreamless, ignorant of all around us. Floating in a sea of emptimenss, we are cradled in darkness – unseeing, unknowing, at peace. We breath slowly, in and out, in and out, stretching and relaxing our bodes as we settle into the warm, peaceful darkness inside. We are home. We are safe. We are deep within ourselves, feeling, hearing, being – but not seeing.
Somewhere in the darkness, we hear a sounds a distant note, a voice, a scuffle of movement. We feel the flutter of a breeze upon our face, feel a warmth upon our shoulders, feel the pull to rise and flow and follow but we know not where. Our bodies cannot see and dare not move. They are dark and still. They call to use for direction, wisdom, guidance. They call to intelligence, they call to memory, they call for clarification of the pattern. They call to light.
We hear this call and our own mind hungry for answers, quests outward. We long to see, to know, to behold at once the wonders that surround to. To fill our minds with recognition, the certain steps of knowing, the safety and the peace that light, too, can bring.
WE OPEN OUR MIND. WE OPEN OUR EYES. WE LOOK ABOUT. THE MIND OPENS AND RECEIVES.
But there is too much and the light is blinding. We call to the dark to shade us, to temper, to bind the patterns into meaning. And the dark comes softly hand in hand and shadow to the light, defining, shading, intertwining, ordering. What do you wish to see? What do you call forth to your inner vision?
From inner vision, insight revealed, nothing can remain concealed. From inner vision reaching out, seeing truth, removing doubt. Inside we open, watch, and wait, while wisdom’s visions spin our fate. Illumination shows the way, our inner light turns night into day. Within our minds, we light the way!” --By Anodea Judith, Wheels of Life: A User’s Guide to the Chakra System (and one of my favorite books of all time)
If you take one thing away from this practice of Ajna is that once you start paying attention and honing the power of intuition, this inner seeing, then you understand how to influence your reality through creative visualizations and meditations. You create your reality. While holding a difficult pose you create a story in your mind of easeful power and then the pose becomes what you want it to be. And even taking this a step further. “To hold an image in our mind increases the possibility it will materialize.” Think about that. Say it aloud, write it down, repeat it. If you see something in your mind you will manifest it. But if you don’t know how to harness the power of your mind into that image and stay with it then you water down the opportunity to tap into your greatest potential. Today, tell yourself the story of the next chapter of your life, outline your intentions but then talk yourself through what that looks like in your life and see for yourself the magic of the 6th chakra at work! Love to you, Silvia
HEALING HAPPENS ONLY WHEN RELAXED
Think about this, 90% of all doctors visits are related to stress. Dude, that’s too much. We need yoga more now than ever. Take 5 minutes to feel this mantra and being your healing journey now. Love in all ways, Silvia
Healing is embracing what is most feared Healing is opening to what has been closed Softening to what has been hardened Healing is learning to trust life To experience healing we must relax.
And an open heart holds the key to our healing as an old Agni teaching says, “until we see with the eyes of the heart, listen to the roar of the world through the ears of the heart, and peer into the future with the comprehension of the heart, we can never know a thing, nor will we ever be whole. The Heart unites us all, regardless of our differences, in this common understanding, and brings compassion to our troubled world.”
“…to free the body to experience the power of being…your body is the ground metaphor of your life, the expression of your existence. It is your Bible, your encyclopedia, your lifestory. Everything that happens to you is stored and reflected in your body. Your body knows, your body tells. The relationship to your self to your body is indivisible, inescapable, unavoidable. In the marriage of flesh and spirit, divorce is IMPOSSIBLE, but that doesn’t mean That marriage is necessarily happy or successful. Only when you in truly inhabit your body can you begin the healing journey.”
DOOR OF HAPPINESS
The door of happiness does not open away from us:
We cannot rush at it to push it open.
It opens toward us and,
Therefore, nothing is required of us.
Soren Kierkegaard (1813-55)
I found yoga intriguing because it was like this. It was unconditional love. None of us have to meet any pre-requisites to practice. We just show up ready to expand. We open to grace and see that the door of happiness is constantly opening toward us. I shared in class a story of a student I had with a frozen shoulder as they lacked trust in others, in life, they find themselves in a state of contraction choosing not to open to healing from others. This only worsened a condition that if they had allowed the door of happiness to open towards them they would have seen many were standing there to help them. I want us to learn from that so we can make a better choice.
Fully Alive By Dawna Markova
I will not die an unlived life
I will not live in fear
of falling or catching fire.
I choose to inhabit my days,
to allow my living to open me,
to make me less afraid, more accessible,
to loosen my heart until it becomes a wing,
a torch, a promise.
I choose to risk my significance;
to live so that which came to me as seed
goes to the next as blossom
and that which came to be as blossom goes on as fruit.
Are you choosing to see the open doors available to you? Or do you look around your life and see yourself as a victim of the universe attracting further drama? Do you have an addiction to the closed doors which represents itself in life as inability to re-regulate? Let go of dramas of your life of the hurt feelings. Forgive and begin again to see the doors opening towards you! You see the thing is this is nothing we have to seek out. The door of life and love is always opening towards us. Love you all, Silvia
OPEN UP: BLOSSOM NOW NOT LATER
APRIL 6, 2009: Anais Nin writes, "and then one day the risk it took to remain tightly in a bud was more painful that the risk it took to blossom."
Think back to your original intention for starting yoga? How have you seen this intention blossom and evolve, what parts of it are still in today's intention for living and loving your life? It is essential we see where we came from to better appreciate how far we've come. And you have come very far. We keep awakening ourselves to ever more amazing inner radiance each day of our practice.
We are always evolving in the direction of happiness all that we need to do is not block the flow forward. So you see there is no reason to wait to be happy or more loved or more cheerful. BLOSSOM NOW NOT LATER. This isn't a rehearsal for your life. Spring doesn't say, ok let me hold back and I'll do this next year.Nope Spring goes for it NOW. Just like we must do too.
And so, keep making the soil of your heart and mind more and more fertile by practicing yoga each day. And take to heart the words of Jose Saramago who says, "every man has his own patch of earth to cultivate. What's important is that he dig deep."
Dig deep, blossom big, love your day! Silvia
OPENING UP WITH ENTHUSIASM
FEBRUARY 6TH, 2009: When I traveled as part of my life on a regular basis I had amazing “travel karma”. I’d get upgraded, flights would be on time, free stuff would come my way, rental cars would be easily available, really everything would always be smooth. I knew through the 15 years in the corporate world that I influenced this. If I traveled with an enthusiastic attitude and demeanor good things would open up. This is the first principle of alignment, opening to grace and stepping into the flow.
Flow is good!
Excitement for life is great!
Life is precious!
This speaks directly to a favorite quote from the Alchemist, “There was a language in the world that everyone understood. It was the language of enthusiasm, of things accomplished with love and purpose, and as part of a search for something believed in and desired." We are riding the wave when what we think and what we do are done from love with great enthusiasm and vigor. This happens when we are living in “the present.”
So make today a party! Find the flow of grace. Heed the advice of the Alchemist, “Because I don't live in either my past or my future. I'm interested only in the present. If you can concentrate always on the present, you'll be a happy man. .... Life will be a party for you, a grand festival, because life is the moment we're living right now.” I wish you bright sunshine, amazing energy and vitality to live life fueled by your passion for life! BIG LOVE!! Silvia
*Hope you enjoyed today's 70's and 80's inspired love songs!!!