DOES YOGA MAKE YOU SEXY? PASSION & PEACE MAKE YOU BEAUTIFUL!
February 12, 2011 Day 3 of Love Blogging 21 days in 2011. Does yoga make you sexy? Yes it can: when we feel peaceful our faces do look prettier. And when we are kinder we are more approachable. And when we move more gracefully we are more attractive.
Practicing yoga also helps us remember to celebrate life. During class we burn off, sweat off, twist off the spiritual amnesia (forgetting what fires you up!) In a nutshell it reminds us about what we love about our life: Dancing, hiking, playing piano, running, cycling, painting, traveling. Forgetting what you love to do is a form of self-sabotage. If you can forget about your dreams, then you never have to risk failure. But just because you've decided to ignore your passions doesn't mean they no longer exist. Besides life is too short to stop doing what you love.
So today we invoked the Fire Element. Fire in Sanskrit is AGNI.
“Fire is not seen until one firestick rubs against another, though the fire remains hidden in the firestick. Let your body be the lower firestick; Let the heart be the upper. Rub them against each other in yoga and meditation.” (ancient writing)
Fire is the energy of transformation or change. If you think about the power (Shakti) of fire it can take metal and change it into a beautiful gold ring. Fire is also symbolic of rebirth. It cleanses, burns off the negative and energizes one to light the path forward. Then we move confidently in the direction of what we love with great PASSION. And that enthusiasm and confidence is SEXY!
It is visible to everyone. You can see it. For instance if Leonardo DaVinci would paint your portrait would he see that fire of passion in your eyes? Are you living life with enthusiasm? In the words of Philosopher Hebbel, “Nothing great in the world has ever been accomplished without passion.” And no one else can tell you what fires you up, only you can decide “how to set your life on fire” (Rumi).
"Don't ask yourself what the world needs;?ask yourself what makes you come alive.
And then go and do that.
Because what the?world needs is people who have come alive."~ Harold Whitman
Find your passion, whatever it may be. Become it and hold true to your biggest dreams! "Let no doubt into your dreams and intentions. The dreamers are the saviors of the world. Be one of those dreamers." (Dr Wayne Dyer)
This is the time to empower yourself towards transforming your life! Let's make today THE BEST DAY EVER! Now that's sexy….Love yourself, love your day, love your life! Silvia
HIP HOP INSPIRED YOGA PLAYLIST
Fire, Coco De Mer
Hate It Or Love It (Remix), 50 Cent & G Unit
No Rest for the Weary, Blue Scholars
The Fire, The Roots Feat. John Legend
BIG BANK HANK [Main], Blue Scholars
Xoxoxo, The Black Eyed Peas
Just You & I, Dzihan & Kamien
Free Tibet, Hilight Tribe
Strong Will Continue, Nas & Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley
Coming Home, Diddy - Dirty Money & Skylar Grey
I Will Be Light, Matisyahu
One Of These Mornings, Moby
Lakshmi, Girish, Donna Delory, Greg Leisz & Georges Lamman
Beyond Time [ambient edit], Blank & Jones
BONUS: I’m Too Sexy, Right Said Fred
WARNING ADULT LANGUAGE: If you are still reading. I came upon this quote today from Bikram “With this one you are fucking until you are 90! You have seven orgasms in a row!” – referring to eagle pose, which he considers the best pose for good sex. (Yeah we did that one in class today)
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
POWER OF ATTRACTION
JANUARY 11, 2011: Everything is energy according to quantum physics. The whole universe is energy: Water, air, soil, light, the stars, even you. And the most powerful form of energy we have, that makes us different than all other living creatures is our THOUGHTS. Our thoughts are made of energy as well. This is how quantum physics puts it "the object is influenced by the observer". After all, what we call reality is in essence our brain’s interpretations to the data gathered by the sensory cells in our eyes, ears, nose, tongue and skin. Without you, there will be no reality, so to speak. We co-create our reality. Our physical universe is ‘shapeable’.
When you have a thought, it carries (or rather is) energy and goes out all the way to the universe. This energy contains the contents of your thoughts and the Universe starts to manifest it. Yoga is for the mind and is our means of organizing the energy of our thoughts.
“In a plain piece of metal, all the molecules are in chaos facing every which way. A magnet is a similar piece of metal in which all the molecules are perfectly aligned – the north poles facing one way, and the south poles facing in the opposite direction. Because of this alignment, the magnet gains the power to attract and hold other objects. If you stroke the ordinary metal and the magnet together in one direction only, the magnet will align all the molecules in the plain metal with itself, causing a second magnet to emerge. The power to attract and hold has been transmitted from one to the other, while amazingly enough the initial magnet retains its full strength. As we align our energies this way through regulating our breath with movement we maintain calm through the ordinary emotional roller coaster rides we encounter each day. We find that when we are upset, everything around us reflects the same disturbance, as if it is somehow contagious. When tranquility prevails, it magnetizes everything with the same sense of calmness.” (Story from The Secret Power Of Yoga.)
I teach yoga to be a magnet for all my students. I pass on to them what has been shared with me by my teachers who served as my magnet. I want all that come to my classes to feel the power they hold within themselves to attract their best life ever. We accomplish this by organizing our breathing, our thoughts in a way that designs the future that serves our truest potential.
Even after just one class together you become a magnet for positive thought and experience in your life! And then you share this with your families and friends and the yoga works through you to make the world a better place based on the energy of Love. Love yourself, love your day, love your life! Silvia
*Join me magnetize yourself more on yoga retreat www.silviamordini.com or www.alchemytours.com
January 11, 2011. I cry at movies and commercials and youtube videos and people hugging at the airport and puppies playing and...well you get the picture. Even though I am not part of the action or in the movie to the brain it doesn't matter. The mind will fool us because our brains don't really work with the concept of reality. That's why we can upset ourselves just by demoralizing thoughts or catastrophizing what can go wrong.
So as Dr Dyer says, "as you think, so shall you be." You become what you think, in yogic terms you create your own reality from the inside. In other words, the world is not created "out there" and then experienced internally.You can tell yourself what you want to believe and this in and of itself fools your mind into wanting it and believing it to be real. And your mind will find a way to make it happen (because it thinks it has). As Einstein says, the predecessor to every action is a thought.
Affirmations work! Pick one of these each day for the rest of the month and just say it to yourself all day long, write it down, email it to yourself, post it up. Surround yourself with it for one day, each at a time. And see for yourself that Affirmations are what yoga talks about in harnessing the power of minds, or our intentions and directing them in the direction of our best selves. Love your day, love yourself, love your life! Silvia
* I am a radiant being filled with light and love.
* I love and accept myself exactly as I am.
* I now express love to all those I meet.
* I am radiating love.
* I bathe in unconditional love
* Love radiates from me at all times.
* I love myself completely.
* Love comes to me easily and effortlessly.
* I give and receive love easily and joyfully.
* Others love me easily and joyfully.
* I now feel loved and appreciated by my parents, my friends.
* I express love freely
* As I give love, I am instantly supplied with more.
* I radiate love to all persons and places and things.
* People are just waiting to love me, and I allow them.
* I breathe in universal love.
* I attract loving, beautiful people into my life.
* I always deserve love.
* I am attracting loving relationships into my life.
* I project love to everyone I meet.
* I love and approve of myself.
www.silviamordini.com and www.alchemytours.com to join me and work on the power of intention while on retreat with me in 2011!
NEW SERIES IN THE WORDS OF A TEACHER TRAINEE JULIA JONSON COHN TELLS ALL
By Julia Jonson Cohn
Sure yoga’s a “feel good” kind of discipline, but anyone who practices regularly will tell you it goes so much deeper than that. As I go through teacher training I feel as if am drinking yoga by the gallon-ful… gulping down more classes and home practice, pouring over books, exploring places to observe classes and consuming web casts and DVD’s about yoga. I can best describe my current state of studentship by declaring I feel mighty!
I dusted off my circa 1985, three-inch thick, Webster’s Dictionary and looked up the word. It defines mighty as “great and powerful.” Another definition I found read “having or showing great power, skill, strength, or force.” Yes! I feel all of these things. But I’ve discovered that it is okay to feel weak and have obstacles that need to be conquered in order to keep feeling strong.
Our teacher Silvia had big things planned for last weekend‘s training. On Friday we would tackle handstands and Saturday would be all about arm balances. The sessions were challenging, fun and -- at for me at times -- frustrating. In my own practice, I had shied away from such poses… yet, I found I was being hard on myself for not being able to execute them. As I struggled to pull my feet off the ground in Astavakrasana (Eight Angle Pose) and sweat dripped from my brow, I muttered under my breath in irritation. My fellow classmate LeAnn Lockhart says she also experienced self doubt, but “(I learned to) just let go and realize some things take time, that I just needed to love myself for trying.”
As I scanned the room watching my classmates in, what seemed to be, slow motion -- it hit me that my inner strife had the potential to bring them down. Another reminder of how yoga reveals the effects our actions can have on one another. Then I watched in amazement at other students flying and felt exhilarated to watch them soar. Especially Ric Saguil who says “Through Silvia’s guidance I was able to reach a spiritual and physical place I only envisioned previously.”
So for me, being mighty means always remembering that every challenge I face represents a choice to either shine or wilt. I choose to shine and in doing so, have a subtly good impact on others by diligently practicing what scares me. For now I am taking baby steps by working on Bakasana (Crow or Crane), Parsva Bakasana and Pincha Mayurasana (Forearm Balance). Guess what? I’m almost there. And I really do love myself for trying.
IN THE WORDS OF A TEACHER TRAINEE JULIA JONSON COHN TELLS ALL RIGHT HERE RIGHT NOW
Right Here, Right Now
By Julia Jonson Cohn
Remember the lyrics to that 90‘s tune by Jesus Jones? “Right here, right now, there is no other place I wanna be.” That has been my mantra lately as I’m experiencing an abundance of “now” moments. I’m certain that delving deeper into yoga through teacher training has everything to do with helping me to remain present. I am consistently able to fully accept every moment as fulfilling -- and neither cling to the past nor stress about the future -- even when my “now” seems unsatisfying. I guess you could say I’ve become more accepting of whatever the Universe dishes out.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m certainly not exempt from having days when I feel bad, down or angry. I’m just constantly reminded that spending more time practicing and learning about yoga gives me what I need to pull out of a slump -- or, more importantly, to accept those slumps in life and learn from them. God knows I’ve had my fair share!
A recent physical slump involved a major bout with lower back pain. And if I wasn’t already a firm believer in the power of yoga to awaken the body’s own healing process, I certainly am after last weekend’s training with our guru, Silvia. We spent the better part of a day perfecting Ustrasana (camel), Dhanurasana (bow), Urdhva Dhanurasana (wheel) and other backbends. My back pain is not only gone, but I feel freer to experience even deeper backbends.
The physical openness I’ve been experiencing has led me to a greater understanding of the spiritual benefits of the heart-opening backbends and many other poses we‘ve been studying. I guess my “right here, right now” mantra comes from aligning with Grace and experiencing my True Nature. Author Tim Hansel says it best: “Life becomes precious and more special to us when we look for the little everyday miracles and get excited about the privileges of simply being human.”
DO SOMETHING JUST FOR YOU BECAUSE IT FEELS GREAT!
JOIN ME DECEMBER 8-12, 2010 FOR A 5-DAY YOGA RETREAT DESIGNED TO HELP YOU REDISCOVER YOUR BLISS. JUST YOGA, YOU, ME, BEACH, LUXURY, PRIVACY, TIME.
TAKE $250 OFF!! AS MY STUDENT.
- Integrate Spirit and Nature as you practice yoga, hike, swim, lounge at Haramara private beach, enjoy meditation beach walks with a group dedicated to doing the same.
- Fully discover (or rediscover!) the Joy of Yoga.
- Experience a place filled with serenity for those looking to reestablish balance.
- Enjoy exceptional yoga, hiking, eco-adventures and camaraderie, connecting with pristine beaches, gourmet vegetarian meals, relaxing jungle spa treatments.
- Take advantage of opportunities to experience epic surfing, fun zip lining, horseback riding, whale watching, snorkeling and more!
- Recharge, refresh and renew, leaving totally more inspired about your life!
WHERE IS HARAMARA?
Haramara (a sacred Huichol word for "Grandmother Sea") is located amid the mountains in the most beautiful coastal region of the state of Nayarit in Mexico. Nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the Sierra Madre mountains, perched on a pristine natural beach, Haramara is an idyllic retreat offering outstanding serenity, stunning beaches and awe-inspiring scenery. The surroundings are marked by volcanic highlands, lakes and rivers, as well as innumerable beaches, many of which still remain untouched. The Pacific breeze keeps the climate deliciously mild.
ACCOMODATIONS AT HARAMARA
Breathtaking views and untouched tropical vegetation embrace the charming and cozy palm-thatched "cabañas" (bungalows). There are some beautiful photos on the resort’s website Each cabaña has been carefully designed to subtly merge the internal and external environments while meeting strict ecological standards. The cabañas feature comfortable beds, with hand woven sheets, and carefully designed bathrooms. The folks at the retreat center have graciously arranged for two lodging choices. All lodging choices are inclusive of tax, gratuity, meals and use of the facilities.
HEALTHY NATURAL CUISINE
Enjoy delicious gourmet meals served in a spacious open air palapa roofed restaurant overlooking the jungle and ocean. Meals are tastefully prepared and served with beautiful and artistic presentations. Our wait staff is friendly, well trained, and attentive to your needs.Haramara acknowledges that good nutrition and well balanced meals are an integral part of yoga, meditation, a good mind-body learning experience, and overall health and well being. You will be served 3 complete gourmet vegetarian meals per day.
Come and enjoy the beautiful 1,300 sq ft yoga deck set uphill amidst the deep jungle vegetation. It can comfortably hold up to 40 students. Practice and learn with a panoramic view to the jungle and ocean, ideal for group practices.
An array of treatments, massages and facials will help you relax, detox, heal, and reach a greater sense of mind- body balance through your stay.
$700 for Dorm shared
$850 for a double room
$1200 for a single room
WHAT IS INCLUDED IN YOUR INVESTMENT?
- 4 nights of accommodationat Haramara Retreat
- 3 complete gourmet vegetarian meals per day.
- A social hour on select evenings
- 8Yoga classes with Silvia Mordini
- Yoga clinics and mini workshops with Silvia Mordini
- Sunset Yoga Ceremonies
- Private Dharma talks facilitated by your Guides
- A special goodie bag with loving gifts
Airfare to and from the trip, transfers, gratuities for your guides, and spa services.
Deposit: A $500 dollar deposit will reserve your space. Balance must be received by TBD
TIPS AND GRATUITIES
Gratuities for your guides may be given at your discretion in response to their leadership and professionalism throughout the trip. We suggest 5-10% of the trip price per individual to be divided between the guiding team as an industry standard.
TO REGISTER AND SAVE YOUR SPOT:
You can pay with check, direct bank deposit, or credit card or Paypal on line but we most prefer checks. Please send checks to Alchemy Tours c/o Total Body Yoga, 210 Terrace Drive, Mundelein, IL 60061.
For more information contact: email@example.com or visithttp://silviamordini.com/yoga-retreats.asp (530) 408-6877.
REDISCOVER YOUR BLISS HARAMARA DAILY AGENDA
8:00am - 9:00am Breakfast
9:30am - 11am Vinyasa flow yoga
11am – 12pm Yoga clinics, mini workshops
12:00pm - 1:00pm Lunch
1:30pm - 5:30pm Daytime Fun (Beach, Spa, Hiking, & More)
6:00pm - 7:00pm Vinyasa flow yoga and meditation
9:00pm Dharma talks
WHAT IS YOUR MOST COMMON KNEE JERK REACTION
October 3, 2010:
What is your most common knee-jerk reaction? Is it impatience, anger, gossip, worry, self-cricism? Well through the mindfulness practice of yoga I want to help you replace all that by choosing happiness as your automatic reaction, response to all things, situations and people. How do we do this? The Yoga Sutras tell us. They actually give us the keys to happiness. The Yogic model proposes that the four keys to an open happy heart are to nurture these attitudes:
- Kindness and friendliness to those who are happy
- Compassion for those that are suffering or less fortunate
- Respect and honor for those that who embody noble qualities
- Equanimity for those whose actions oppose our values
At first these four keys to help enable us to retain our inner peace in all circumstances seem easy. But applying these in day to day life is more challenging than we think. We often fool ourselves into believing we are kinder than we really are and can use this practice to really see where our actions are not aligned with what we believe ourselves to be. Most of all this teaches us that we are responsible for co-creating our life. We have the four keys to our happiness. Love in all ways, Silvia
So first step is to create some space. Here at the start of a new month let's just empty and let go of all the grievances, grudges we kept up with throughout September. As the bible says Love keeps no records of wrongs.
You have a choice. You can say to yourself "I intend to allow more joy into my life" or "I choose to be happy." Just five words if you want to keep it really simple! And notice the power of intention is not placing prerequisites or conditions but just doing it right now. I know these four keys to happiness seem easy, but applying them to day to day life is pretty challenging because of that knee-jerk reaction, the old way of thinking and doing things. But you have a choice and can change. You are happiest when you think yourself happy. And ultimately you are responsible for co-creating your life. You have just this one lifetime and there are no do overs. So why not choose happiness starting right now? I know you can do it! Love yourself, love your day, love your life! Silvia
PS - We practice Mandala Namaskar 1 (Salutation) to help us see the power of our own choices!
Mandala Namaskar I
INHALE -- Eka Pada Adho Mukha Svanasana (1 Leg Downward Dog)
EXHALE – Anjaneyasana (Lunge)
INHALE – Parsva Anjaneyasana (Side Lunge)
EXHALE – Skandasana (Transverse Lunge)
INHALE – Ardha Anjaneyasana (Low Lunge)
EXHALE – hands down
INHALE – Ardha Plank (1 legged Plank)
EXHALE -- Chaturanga Dandasana
INHALE -- Urdhva Mukha Svanasana
EXHALE -- Chaturanga Dandasana
INHALE -- Plank
EXHALE -- Adho Mukha Svanasana
(To create circular pattern, Mandala, go through series right foot, right foot, left, left)
EMPOWERMENT BY GUEST BLOGGER MARA CAMPBELL
Have you ever thought in class or in life, "no I can't do this...this is too hard.. I am too old...my hamstrings are too tight..etc?" I know I have, especially when a yoga teacher makes something look so easy when I find it so hard. But my thoughts can either hinder or help my ability to move forward in my practice. I've realized the worst thing I can do is to not try. Please join me tomorrow when we will dive into ourselves to uncover our own power and potential through some core cultivation. Oh no, I just lost some of you...no this doesn't mean crunches...it means cultivating a connection to our source, enjoying our power all the while with a calm mind and open heart. It is through the trying, the laughing, and the believing in ourselves that our practice deepens in our bodies, minds and hearts.
In specific, we'll talk about Yoga Sutra 11.33: When presented with disquieting thoughts or feelings, cultivate an opposite, elevated attitude. I think about this sutra often when I find myself experiencing frustration, irritation and anxiety, on and off the mat. No longer can I tell myself that it is the situation at hand that is causing me to feel the way I feel. I now know that it is my reactions to life that are creating my experience. This sutra is telling us to cultivate feelings and actions that fill our hearts to combat the times we feel off. So when we experience frustration, this sutra is suggesting we try to focus on ease. If we are tied up in fear, we can elicit courage. And if we are filled with anger, the answer is always to fill with love. This is not to deny our feelings but to remember that we have the ability to change our attitude. This is what tantra philosophy is all about: EMPOWERMENT!
So whether you feel fantastic and want to celebrate your power or if you need a little action and empowerment to remember your own unlimited potential, please come join me for class tomorrow. Level 1 at 11:00 and Basics at 12:30. Also wonderful David Romanelli is back for a weekend of yoga fun at 4:30 on Saturday, all levels.
**Don't forget your October Special: Refer anyone new to TBY and they can receive 30 days unlimited yoga for $30 and YOU get entered into raffle for 2 months of Unlimited Yoga!
GREEN LIGHT YOUR LIFE, STORMS AND MAGNETS
SEPTEMBER 21, 2010 (the night the lights went out)
“In a plain piece of metal, all the molecules are in chaos facing every which way. A magnet is a similar piece of metal in which all the molecules are perfectly aligned – the north pol,es facing one way, and the south poles facing in the opposite direction. Because of this alignment, the magnet gains the power to attract and hold other objects. If you stroke the ordinary metal and the magnet together in one direction only, the magnet will align all the molecules in the plain metal with itself, causing a second magnet to emerge. The power to attract and hold has been transmitted from one to the other, while amazingly enough the initial magnet retains its full strength. As we align our energies this way through regulating our breath we maintain calm through the ordinary emotional rollercoaster rides we encounter each day. We find that when we are upset, everything around us reflects the same disturbance, as if it is somehow contagious. When tranquility prevails, it magnetizes everything with the same sense of calmness.” (Story from The Secret Power Of Yoga.)
I teach yoga to be a magnet for all my students. I pass on to them what has been shared with me by my teachers who served as my magnet. I want all that come to my classes to feel the power they hold within themselves to attract their best life ever. We accomplish this by organizing our breathing, our thoughts in a way that designs the future that serves our truest potential. In my classes you do NOT hide from who you really are or your untapped strength, courage or visions for your life. I don't teach a physically challenging class I teach a mentally and emotionally challenging coaching experience.
Is this for everyone? No, not everyone is ready. Some people in our lives will never be ready and will leave this earthly body thinking it was all just some rehearsal. Those are not my students. You are my student if something I say resonates with your most authentic self from my most authentic self. And you leave inspired to gain back your power to do good in this world, to live kindly, to be your most extraordinary self on even the most ordinary days. Yoga helps us harness the power of intention. Infinite love and gratitude as Dr Darren Weissman speaks about is universal energy. In other words as is written in the Alchemist, the universe is on our side. So as the wind blew a mighty storm this night and we practiced in candlelight, me and my 30 yogi friends tapped into what it means to be driving along in life and see up ahead of you a stop light and intend it to be green, then to drive further and see that one is green, and by golly if every single stop light you approach is green.
You know you are a magnet when you "green light" your life.
And no one wants that more for you than me. Love yourself, love your day, love your life! Silvia
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
FEAR OF GETTING WHAT YOU WANT
JULY 14, 2010: What if everything you wanted came true? Could you handle it, would you accept it, how would you know it's real. Are you still skeptical in your spiritual life so much so that when what you want is being handed to you, you still don't know how to be with so much grace?
The greatest fear is not of what we don't have or of suffering or of pain but of actually being happy. Of getting what we want as a result of living a spiritual life. It is not easy to grow into spiritual adulthood and live the life of our dreams for then what will we have to complain about?
If addicted to drama and the voices of complaint or seeing the world as lacking abundance and then one day the results of your efforts of living life as a good person get rewarded then what? Are you so stuck in the old mental habit of seeing what you don't have that when you get what you want and need you still don't know it and contract? Only you can grow up. No one else can do this for you. Only you can handle the truth (Satya) and know and receive the gifts the universe is offering you. It is all right here, right now.
I AM EMPOWERED TO APPRECIATE MY LIFE!
Enjoy this mantra and see what is. Be your beauty today. Love, Silvia
I CAN DO ANYTHING GOOD, THE POWER OF POSITIVE AFFIRMATION AND INTENTION
May 24, 2010. I started class by showing this youtube clip of advanced Yogini Jessica starting out her morning with her own affirmation ritual. She explempifies the power of intention! She clearly is setting a high expectation for her day, herself, and her life. You can’t help but be inspired by her. The Yoga practice teaches us that YOU ARE ASKING FOR WHAT YOU WANT THROUGH YOUR DOING. This life we are living right now is NOT as mere participants. This is not a passive endeavor where life is being done to us. Instead it requires active living where life is being done FOR US. If you start the day and intend for it to be amazing, you offer gratitude for everyone in your life and say to yourself I CAN DO ANYTHING GOOD, well that is you telling the universe what you want and because your message is so clear the universe will deliver. Here is what Jessica had to say:
I CAN DO ANYTHING!
I LIKE MY HOUSE!
I LIKE MY MOM!
I LIKE MY DAD!
I LIKE MY COUSINS!
I LIKE MY SISTERS!
I LIKE MY HAIR!
I LIKE MY HAIRCUTS!
I LIKE MY PAJAMAS!
I LIKE MY ROOM!
I LIKE MY HOUSE!
MY WHOLE HOUSE IS GREAT!
I CAN DO ANYTHING GOOD, YEAH YEAH YEAH
I CAN DO ANYTHING GOOD!!!
Dr Wane Dyer says, “Change your expectations for yourself: Expect the best, expect your fortunes to change, expect a miracle. Reacquaint yourself with that vision." So today how did your thoughts and actions and THIS YOGA CLASS INSPIRE YOU TO BE MOVING TOWARDS MEETING YOUR EXPECTATIONS?
This is behind the idea in yoga of Tapas. Tapas helps us to take action to fully participate and be awake to our lives. To be active means we must articulate our intentions and practice with a solid determination to hold true to our dreams and visions for ourselves. Through yoga which is a system for mental, physical, and spiritual health we have full, democratic participation. On the mat we don’t even have to push ourselves to excel, all we have to do is show up and do the practice as best we can with full hearted effort. Just take part in your life make it active, keep it active and forget about over perfecting it. Remember YOU CAN DO ANYTHING GOOD! Love yourself, love your day, love your life! Silvia
FIRST AGREEMENT TRUTH LOVE INTEGRITY
APRIL 5, 2110: This is according to the author the most important one and most difficult to honor. It is to be impeccable with your word. He writes, "through the word you express your creative power. It is through the word you manifest everything. Regardless of what language you speech, your intent manifests through the word. What you dream, what you feel and what you really are, will all be manifested through the word."
What I want to point out is that we are not talking about just verbal language here. Although it is curious that of all animals on earth we are the only one who speaks. But think of internal dialogue that becomes external expression.
"The word is not just a sound or a written symbol. The words is a force; it is the power you have to express and communicate, to think and thereby to create the events of your life." "The word is the most powerful tool you have as a human; it is a tool of magic. But like a sword with two edges your word can create the most beautiful dream or your word can destroy everything around you. Being impeccable with your word is not using the word against yourself. If I love myself I will express that love in my interactions with you, and then I am being impeccable with the word, because that action will produce a like reaction. If I love you, then you will love me. If I have gratitude for you, you will have gratitude for me."
"Being impeccable with your word is the correct use of your energy; it means to use your energy in the direction of TRUTH and LOVE for yourself."
In yoga this concept is known as Satya. When we are able to live with integrity always speaking with loving truth to ourselves and to others we will immediately realize an experience of lightness and ease. Every pose on the mat is a chance to practice being honest with ourselves. The power to live in truth is the same as the power to live in love. So may you be happy, may you be peaceful, may you be loved! Sat Nam, Silvia (In Truth and Light)
OUR BRAINS ARE TOO BIG
February 12, 2010: “The more critical reason dominates, the more impoverished life becomes.” Carl Jung
How can we learn to use our brains better? To shut it off when appropriate, to turn the volume down when healthy, to stop the endless repetition all so we can stop tiring ourselves out, stop hurting ourselves and stop annoying other people. When you think about it seriously Our Brains Are Just TOO BIG!
For what we have to accomplish each day we have way too much brain power. Think of the constant state of mental diarrhea that takes place in any given hour and you have your proof. Combine this with how easily we regurgitate all this brain stuff into constant verbal chatter and the case is made. Our brains really are more than we need and certainly Yoga is necessary to help us manage them better.
Kurt Vonnegut claims that thinking is ineffective not because it is obsolete but because it is OVERDEVELOPED and possibly too advanced. In Galapagos, he looks back from the future to find:
“The mass of men was quietly desperate a million years ago because the internal computers inside their skulls were incapable of restraint or idleness; were forever demanding more serious problems….”
Do you do that? Do you let your brain come up with another problem, another drama especially when you find things getting too “quiet” or happy? Why would we do this…In Wampeteres Foma, and Granfaloons Vonnegut also writes, “the human brain is too high powered to have many practical uses in this particular universe. There was no end to the evil schemes that a thought machine that oversized couldn’t imagine and execute.”
I know you know that ever powerful ability we have to form evil schemes, that somebody is mad at us, or the universe is out to get us, that everyone else has it easier. We learn from Yoga how to manage our thoughts, all 60,000 per day, and focus them on something productive. No longer giving away so much energy on the made up problems but actually time on the mat is that opportunity to listen and feel more. So today, practice some yoga…take back your thought machine and open your heart. Peace in all ways, Silvia
CHOICES ALL DRESSED UP AND SOMEPLACE TO GO
JANUARY 20TH, 2010: We have a CHOICE. What we tell ourselves is reflected back to us by the world. How we see ourselves in term of the quality of our thoughts and healthy choices determines how others see us. Our view of self sewn together thought by thought creates the sacred garment we are always wearing around. This garment then is what other people see. So ask yourself what does your garment look like today? Have you arrived into this day wearing something that is torn and beat up because that is the way you are talking to yourself through your inner dialogue? Or have you chosen thoughts and actions with meticulous care like you would choose the best quality fabrics, rich textures to sew together a beautiful costume?
Now I have to tell you when I first started practicing yoga some years ago I would wear to class my loosest crappiest stuff. I figured if I looked like I didn't care then the expectation would be lower from the teacher and other students since I didn't know what I was doing. I certainly didn't want to look like I cared or that I was trying my hardest and really wanted to get it. I know I had a choice but my choices were conflicted. I wanted to make my life a work of art (Thich Nhat Hahn) but I didn't want to admit that out loud. But deep inside was this quiet voice that insisted on trying to be my potential. The more I practiced yoga the louder that inner voice got and the wierdest thing happened...I changed what I was wearing to class. I know it seems trivial but it was indicative of a bigger choice and change going on within me. My self-confidence grew with my self-expression.
Today, I dress up for yoga class. I bling it out. I make the choice in my thoughts, in my actions, in my words to aspire to greatness. I am not afaid to reveal my choices and the world treats me differently because I treat myself better. Sadie Nardini wrote in her book Road Trip Guide to the Soul "Our biggest mistake as humans is to look at our destructive, habitual patterns adn think we cannot choose again, because we have fallen prey to the illusion that what we have chosen repeatedly is how we are stuck with being. You ALWAYS have the POWER - and the RIGHT - to CHOOSE again."
On the mat each pose is simply part of the creation (shakti) of the garment we are choosing to wear and represent ourselves with in the world. In Vinaysa Flow yoga the breath serves as the thread that sews each pose seamlessly to the next, stitch by stitch. The way we practice our yoga truly becomes the way we live our lives and how the universe is reflected back to us. And the more we take ownership of our choices the more beautiful this energetic garment we wear becomes and we get excited to wear it around. We have purpose. This practice in a real sense helps us get all dressed up AND have someplace to go! Loads of love, Silvia
WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?
JANUARY 19, 2010: This is dedicated to Todd Bauschke, who suddenly passed away at the age of 56 years old on January 18th, 2010. Todd was a dedicated student at TBY and because he applied himself to the practice he got really good. In recent times he had to step off of the mat and do his yoga without the benefit of group classes because this last two years his health was suffering and he couldn't even breath. "He finally got his diagnosis in early November 2009. It’s a rare disease called Amyloidosis. It can attack different organs. It attacked Todds heart. The irony is that he was scheduled to have his stem cells harvested and transplanted next week. It was to be a three week hospital stay."
Yoga helps us all remember that our time here is brief even in the best of scenarios....and all to short for Yogi brother Todd. Please stop any all excuses for why you aren't living your best life. WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? Get to the mat, and free your heart so you can embrace the life you are meant to be living, right now.
"Your body is free but your heart is in prison. To release your heart, you simply reverse the process which locked it up. First you begin to listen for messages from your heart—messages you may have been ignoring since childhood. Next you must take the daring, risky step of expressing your heart in the outside world. . . . As you learn to live by heart, every choice you make will become another way of telling your story. . . . It is the way you were meant to exist. If you stop to listen, you’ll realize that your heart has been telling you so all along. (Martha Beck, "Finding Your Own North Star")
What do you plan to do with your one precious life?
If you can't hear your heart talking to you then consider your time on the mat a mini-retreat. A time to refresh your spirit, rekindle your passions, and cultivate balance in what you think, what you say and what you do with your life. This practice peels back the layers to help us move from self-doubt and uncertainty to a feeling of empowerment and a willingness to at least try at our lives. Like Todd, if we stay with it and practice moving in and out of these poses or shapes we create with our bodies you will achieve things you thought were impossible. This encourages us to see past our self-limiting beliefs and discover the power within us to realize that nothing is impossible!
But no one can do this for you, you have to take time for yourself. And if a yoga class isn't enough then do what I do go on a Spiritual Retreat. Take a time out for 4-7 days where you don't feel so rushed and you can step off the tread mill of your life to really feel and open up to the changes you want to make in your life. If you don't even know how to start then plan to join me in Moab in April or Tuscany in June or find enough space where you can tap into how to express your feelings and reconnect to your own inner wisdom. The insights are there and self-expression evolves to self-understanding. But really, DON'T WAIT. This is the year we have all run out of excuses. All you need to live the life of your dreams is a willingness to grow an open heart and a playful curiosity wouldn't hurt either. What do YOU plan to do with your precious life? Love in all ways, Silvia
WAKE UP FROM LIVING HALF UNBORN
Yoga kisses us awake one way or the other.
Stephen Levine in the book Be Happy puts it like this: “Most of us live life half unborn” It is an in your face way to phrase this concept of what we call in the yoga sutras “remembering the self” Vairagya (Chapter 1.15 for reference). Remembering is waking up to who we really are and how we want to live our lives. And quite frankly you have to ask yourself don’t you want to complete your birth before this ride is over? As Gabrielle Roth writes about in the book Sweat Your Prayers we are giving birth to ourselves. YESSS! To see some folks that are totally awake check out this clip that inspired me today: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BpacvA_ZQQc
So right now in this moment what will it take to free up your life?
On a scale of 1-10 how resistance are you to life?
Are you afraid of what others will think of you if you start to live life on your terms?
Are you afraid of being happy?
Well it is not too late, as long as we are breathing to begin to remember it can be better. Even the Buddha said, “it doesn’t matter how long you have forgotten only how soon you remember.” And for how much you’ve forgotten well let the poses tell you that. As it says on page 26 in the book Secret Power of Yoga (a translation of the Yoga Sutras, “We are all in a constant state of grace, yet how often do we remember?”
Starting today let’s be more awake to every moment. You have the power to change your life! Love yourself, your life, you day! Silvia
AUGUST 9TH, 2009:
stands for all things,
even for those things that don’t flower,
for everything flowers, from within, of self-blessing;
though sometimes it is necessary
to reteach a thing its loveliness,
to put a hand on the brow
of the flower
and retell it in words and in touch
it is lovely
until it flowers again from within, of self-blessing” (By
I always keep close to my heart the words of Thich Nhat Hanh who says “each minute of our life is a work of art.” Through yoga and daily time spent on the mat this is exactly how I came to see my life as this beautiful canvas, each pose and each life experience: good, difficult, interesting, all adding colors to the artwork of my story. If you say to yourself the first two lines of this poem you get that same feeling or as Roger Housden puts it “you may find, as I have, that they give you the feeling of wanting to live large again on the canvas of your life. For we, too, are buds, you and I, full of life unfolding into flower.”
We all have this amazing opportunity in each minute to step onto our own spiritual path moved by an inner sense to find greatness of heart to choose our own path, or as Robert Frost says “take the road less traveled”. I also really love how this poem speaks to everyone no matter what, “even those that don’t flower externally can do so from within.” We all want to endeavor to fill the canvas of our lives with bold colors, the way is to look at our own hearts and see that everything we need to make a new beginning to give birth to some new venture lies within us already. Housden says ‘the flower of our life is already in bud even now.” Yes it is. Join me on the mat tomorrow at 7:45am Level 1-2 or 9:15am Level 1 or 4:30pm Level 1-2 to as Swami Vivekananda says to experience that “we are responsible for what we are and whatever we wish ourselves to be, we have the power to make ourselves!”
See you in the flow! Love in all ways, Silvia
PRECISION AND GENTLENESS FOR BACK PAIN
JULY 18TH, 2009: Good morning! So today I passed out a handout with the suggested foot alignment for all standing poses. We started by really talking about the detail and precision as well as precise modifications for all fundamental standing poses like Pyramid, Lunge, Warrior B, Triangle pose and Wide Standing Pose. With that said I wanted to make the point that if we only emphasize technical precision we can get overly self-critical, perfectionistic and even downright militant. The yoga practice can be used in an unhealthy way becoming way too constrictive and goal-oriented. So as we focus on the elegant principles of alignment we also emphasize gentleness. Otherwise the yoga can be a means to create more stress in our already stressful lives.
Our physical focus today was the psychological triggers of back pain. In the book The Mind Body Connection by Dr John Sarno he argues the cause of back pain is usually entirely psychological. He says back muscles go into spasm and cause pain because of mental tension and that if you can get to the root cause of the tension the pain will disappear. With yoga we can heal back pain by calming down our overactive stress response system. The greatest tool we have to do this is the breath which is why we link breath with movement leading to muscle relaxation and mental quiet. A personal favorite breathing mantra to practice in and out of class is this:
Breathing in, I am aware I am breathing in
Breathing out, I am aware I am breathing out
Breathing in, I calm my body.
Breathing out, I calm my mind.
Practicing slow deep breaths triggers the "relaxation response" the antidote to flight or flight response. The focus on all three parts of the lungs (especially deep abdominal focus on exhalations) helps bring in more oxygen. And the wave like undulation of deep inhales and exhales gently massage the spinal column which brings nutrients to our spinal disks.
The poses we practice today were specific to stretch all major muscle groups around the hip joints including adductors, quads, rotators, and hamstrings. What happens is that when our Hip rotators are tight they hold the pelvis too much and the force of movement transfers up to the low back putting strain from there on up the spine. It hurts! We held poses working on precision but then we also put a simple routine together you could practice at home for 5 minutes per day at a one breath per movement ratio, letting go of perfection. This way we improved overall circulation that brings nutrients to the intervertebral disks while removing toxins. The thing is that disks don't have an independent blood supply therefore they depend on movement of the surrounding structure to aid in the delivery of nutrients. Movement causes the disks to be compressed which squeezes out stale disk fluid and then to expand bringing in fresh supply. Judith Lasater says, “In the majority of cases back pain can be prevented. The majority have to do with how we use our bodies." We don’t hurt anymore!
Altogether we used this practice to learn how to manage addressing our mental and physical tensions so we could find stillness and gentleness by the end. The whole class intended to help us get to the final pose of Savasana where in the words of Eckhart Tolle in his power Practicing the Power of Now we experienced a feeling of letting go. I hope you find this background on healing back pain helpful and healing. Love the day! Silvia
When you surrender to what is
and so become fully present,
the past ceases to have any power.
Suddenly, a great stillness arises within you,
An unfathomable sense of peace.
And within that peace, there is great joy.
And within that joy, there is love.
POSITIVE EXPECTATIONS YIELDS POSITIVE OUTCOME
May 31, 2009:
It is a Fundamental spiritual belief yogic or otherwise that we are meant to enjoy ourselves in this lifetime, right now. Our natural state is to love and be loved.
So ask yourself what attitude do you have about your life? What does this attitude say about you? I think we all understand that without stop we have a running commentary in our head. This mindstuff reveals what beliefs we have about who we are, our attitudes about life. My friend Sadie Nardinin says “The biggest mistake we make as humans is to look at our destructive thought patterns and think we cannot choose again.” I’ve known that feeling of being stuck. The thing is you guys YOU are not stuck. Choose again. Take back your attitude. Give yourself permission to get back to your natural state.
We do this by having POSITIVE EXPECTATIONS for a POSITIVE OUTCOME.
We can check in with our attitude all day long: Are you focused on your limitations right now or on your dreams? Are you expecting the worst of best from life? Simply put, are your expectations positive or negative?
Through yoga learn how to live like life is not being done to you but for you. This is a gift with a limited shelf life so enjoy it! Transform your life by expecting the best. If you are in a downward spiral or just feeling “ok” there is no need for you accept a flat lined life. Your attitude is your POWER TO HEAL yourself. Our best feature as human beings is our super hero power of positive expectation: determination, living with integrity, strength of character, compassion in the face of suffering, creativity, growth, renewal. You create your life and no one else does it for you. Start today, start now. Life is fleeting don’t miss the pretty colors. Love your day, Silvia
“When we create something, we always create it first in a thought form. If we are basically positive in attitude, expecting and envisioning pleasure, satisfaction and happiness, we will attract and create people, situations, and events which conform to our positive expectations.” Shakti Gawain
DREAM WITHOUT LIMITS!
APRIL 16TH, 2009: Lately the dreams I have in meditation are getting BIGGER and BOLDER all the time. Many things I've put off thinking about doing I am going for and doing them this year. I feel this amazing YES inside that I want you to feel the vibration of so you too can say yes to life and DREAM WITHOUT LIMITS. Yup that's what the theme is tonight. A very special class from my heart.
And just so you know, next Thursday through Sunday April 23-26 I am out of town on a Spiritual Adventure pursuing one of my dreams. So if we don't have our regular Thurday night date together I won't see you for two weeks.
In preparation for tonight's class please watch this clip below (3 minutes long). I want to thank Ned Miller for sharing this clip with me yesterday and changing my life with the creation of our own inspiring video collection called "Loving Your Day". It helped me shift even more brightly towards dreaming without limits, it is NEVER TOO LATE. I know it will inspire you, make you laugh, make you cry, make you clap your hands like it did me! What we can take away from this clip is that it is never too late. You deserve to materialize your dreams. So "Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror. Just keep going." - Rainer Maria Rilke. Do not let the Kleshas, the veils that hide our true potential and beauty yoga tells us from speaking your dreams to yourself! Love you all, Silvia Mordini
EMPOWERMENT AND SELF RELIANCE
This being human is a guesthouse.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they're a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight …
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
EMPOWER YOURSELF! SELF RELIANCE
SEPTEMBER 12TH, 2008: Why do you practice yoga? Really everything we do brings us back to our own true nature which the yoga sutras says is joy! This is chapter 1 verse 3, United in the heart, consciousness is steadied, then we abide in our own true nature, joy.
In practical terms it means that we do the practice to help ourselves heal and come back into our own strength. This feeling of SELF RELIANCE. Anything is possible. It all really relates to self-empowerment. Four sweet quotes that are favorites of mine along this theme I share here for you to enjoy:
Empowering is achieved by encouraging self-reliance and providing education, discipline, and learning opportunities for the child. You are empowered to try, therefore to make mistakes and still be fully accepted. Your interests are met with enthusiasm; the importance and joy of hard work are recognized and encouraged. Failure is treated lightly, while curiosity and integrity are held in high regard.
God loves to help him who strives to help himself.
If it is to be, it is up to me.
POWER TO THE PEACEFUL: CHOOSE PEACE
SEPTEMBER 10TH, 2008: I know some folks reading this will say, Oh no not peace, again!?!" That's cool. I thought that a long time ago too. But somewhere between "it's not my job" and "I can't really make a difference" I changed my mind. So I will keep talking about peace until that day that all people everywhere live in peace. With all my heart, I hope that day is soon...
We’re not going to be perfect in this quest. In the words of the band Teitur, All my mistakes have become masterpieces.” Let’s just keep trying, ok? “If peace is really what you want, then you will choose peace. If peace mattered to you more than anything else you would remain nonreactive when confronted with challenging people or situations. From A New Earth, by Eckhart Tolle "It would be powerful and effective and would make no person or situation into an enemy."
Now I really do believe that most folks agree that a more peaceful world would be ideal. However, its been my experience that a lot of us seem stumped as to how to contribute peace and make the world better.
From a yogic view it is really kind of simple in theory and is known as AHIMSA:
“If we are to have true peace in this world, each one of us must find it in ourselves first. If we don’t like ourselves, for example, we probably won’t like those around us. If we are in a constant state of inner conflict, then we will probably bring conflict into the world. If we have fighting within our families, there can be no peace.”
When it comes to peace: Our job is to say yes!, not when, how or maybe. We must choose peace! Join me and others all over the world in being a Peaceful Warrior. As Michael Franti sings, “POWER TO THE PEACEFUL!” (Visit www.powertothepeaceful.com to learn more).
And take to heart these inspiring words: of the Dalai Lama who said, “Responsibility does not only lie with the leaders of our countries or with those who have been appointed or elected to do a particular job. It lies with each of us individually. Peace starts within each one of us.”