By Laura Mills
A sunny morning; your favorite song on the radio; the perfect dress in just the right size; a corner slice of the yummiest birthday cake; your first cartwheel; a glass of lemonade with ice on a hot day; your child’s laugh; a purring kitten snuggled on your lap; the music of rain on your roof; a cozy fireplace on a January night; the hand of your partner, held tight in yours; holiday songs; bed sheets just out of the dryer; the smell of a new car; really juicy peaches; giving someone a present; your favorite team winning the game at the last second; a sip of your favorite wine; a visit with a friend you haven’t seen in many years; newly-bloomed roses; a day off; rainbows; fresh-baked bread; a compliment from your mentor; the first time you lift your feet off the ground in Headstand; cooking a meal for someone you care about; a get-together with friends on a Thursday night, for no reason other than just to catch up….
We know the list; we’ve seen lists like this before. And we know they go on.
Life has always been, and will always be, full of amazing moments. At the same time, the majority of us are old enough to clearly remember life before September 11, 2001….
No matter how many times we’ve seen or heard it before, let’s never take any single moment for granted. Ever.
ADVENTURE REMEMBRANCE AND VICTORY
December 31, 2010. As I reflect on this past year, which was one of intense personal change one of the things I am most proud of is making a pilgrimage to Moab, Utah twice. Both times to help nourish my spirit and connect to the quiet sense of adventure that exists for all that visit Moab. For a while I forgot what it was like to make adventure. This was the year I remembered again.
And that is really at the heart of yoga. This practice helps us remember to remember. We all sometimes experience spiritual amnesia. Getting on the mat is that reminder of celebrating life and enjoying this time in this body on this earth right now.
Edward Abbey writes in one of my favorite books about Moab titled Desert Solitaire "Do not burn yourselves out. Be as I am - a reluctant enthusiast....a part-time crusader, a half-hearted fanatic. Save the other half of yourselves and your lives for pleasure and adventure. It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it. While you can. While it’s still here. So get out there and mess around with your friends, ramble out yonder and explore the forests, climb the mountains, bag the peaks, run the rivers, breathe deep of that yet sweet and lucid air, sit quietly for a while and contemplate the precious stillness, the lovely, mysterious, and awesome space. Enjoy yourselves, keep your brain in your head and your head firmly attached to the body, the body active and alive, and I promise you this much; I promise you this one sweet victory over our enemies, over those desk-bound men and women with their hearts in a safe deposit box, and their eyes hypnotized by desk calculators. I promise you this; You will outlive the bastards."
I will never again put my heart in a safe deposit box, I'd rather take chances in love, in life, in traveling and even in my poses so I can be a more active participant in driving my best life forward rather than sitting in the backseat waiting for it to happen. I will until my last breath run and cycle and yoga and explore and discover the small victories that exist in taking pleasure in life! And I hope if you have learned anything from your yoga that you will find this true for yourself as well. Love yourself, love your day, love your life! Happy New Year, Silvia
PS Join me on an adventure with Alchemy Tours www.alchemytours.com or visit my website to keep up with upcoming retreats www.silviamordini.com
JANUARY 9, 2010: Today we talked about the body as a container. There is a boundary of who we physically are and the truth of who we are spiritually. Recently when I saw Jersey Boys for the first time I saw that they allow beverages into the actual theater during the performance, as long as you put a lid on it. So you see folks walking around with cups of wine and lids, beer and lids, soda and lids....like adult sippy cups. I get it. The lid is helping to keep a healthy boundary so the beverage doesn't spill on you or anyone else. It informs us of what is really inside. On the mat we use this practice to turn inwards to restore emotional equilibrium. We examine our breath for its beginning, middle, end noticing that even the breath has a boundary of when it starts and when it ends and that every ending is making way for a new beginning. There lies the premise behind why bother setting healthy boundaries to begin with. The body serves as a container to hold our spirit, and energies of thought and emotions. If we can learn on the mat that even our emotions can be contained with beginning, middle and ending we rediscover our balance.
This is accomplished by remember the self, Vairagya chapter 1 verse 15. Enjoy this excerpt from my favorite book by Nischala Joy Devi, Secret Power of Yoga. "As our focus turns toward remember the true self we naturaly identify less and less with external desires or wants. This perspective reveals that we are merely the temporary caretakes of whatever we possess. With this attitude, nothing binds us. As life bestows gifts upon us, we are delighted. With their revocation, we may feel momentarily upset, but with the grace of remembering our self, our emotional equilibrium is quickly restored. Through remembering the self we become lucid and virbrant like a diamond. Millions of years of pressure on a simple lump of solid coal transforms it into a pure, transparetn diamond that reflects and refracts light. This prismatic effect showers rainbows of colors on everything without discrimination. The diamond also appears to take the color of any object nearby. But once removed, it is perfectly colorless again. Likewise, when our minds and hearts clearly reflect our true nature, we may acquire many things, but nothing permanently taints our clarity. With this lucidity, we enthusiastically adopt that which enhances the light, and redirect that which dims it. As we bcome free, we become more and more comfortable with the naturel flow of material things. Much of what we yearn for comes to us. We enjoy the treasures of the world while they are with us, knowing full well we will not bind to them, nor they to us. This concept has its greatest challenge when we are separated from our friends or loved ones, especially without our permission or when it seems permanent. Our heart feels a vast emptiness where it was once filled with love. At these times ti takes great strength to restore and sustain our equalibrium. By securing a place within our hearts to hold their love and by continuing our practice our balance is more easily restablished."
AWAKENING TO ONES DREAMS AND VISIONS OF LIFE
SEPTEMBER 28, 2009: I am inspired by this beautiful poem called The Awakening. It fits in perfectly with our dedication this week to the importance of dreaming and envisioning our lives as we really want them. All we have to do is stay the course with this amazing practice of yoga so we can see through the Kleshas or veils that build up and stop us from dreaming as big or bold as we did when we were in love with life with less complications. It can be that way again. May this time on the mat help you “remember everything!” Love and light, Silvia
"In the early dawn of happiness
You gave me three kisses
So that I would wake up
To this moment of love
I tried to remember in my heart
What I'd dreamt about
During the night
Before I became aware
Of this moving
I found my dreams
I saw how my heart had fallen
On your path
Singing a song
Between my love and my heart
Things were happening which
Made me recall everything"
NAMASTE: TO HONOR, APPRECIATE, REMEMBER
JULY 21ST, 2009: This class tonight is dedicated to our friend John Palmer whose participation in sailing team Intangible contributed greatly to their first place finish this weekend!
So we focus on Namaste, Nama, Namaha and all its variations to honor John’s accomplishment and use of yogic breathing and meditation as handy tools when needed most. To me Namaha is a remembrance and appreciation first and foremost. Voltaire said, “Appreciation is a wonderful thing. It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.” So John’s success is our success. Instead of seeking separation Namaste brings us into Yoga or union as one world, one people. We honor the sacredness of all.
Namaste is a blessing. It strikes the perfect chord. Having grown up in a musical family and having played piano and clarinet for 13 years I have always felt music was a blessing. Yoga like being in a chorus or a band or any sort of tribe helps us to work together as a beautiful symphony. We feel this symphony of the body when we practice poses (asanas). And just like playing a musical instrument the more yoga you practice the more efficient you get. Over time you feel the harmonies. No single player more important but everyone equally important. This is a nondualistic view of life. Where we acknowledge that everyone is valuable in their own way, that we all contribute to make wonderful music. This is why I always say in class you are like family to me. I see us as co-creating something amazing each time we come together. Just like in scriptures, “The diversity of the family should be a cause of love and harmony, as it is in music where many different notes blend together in the making of a perfect chord.”
Namaste is a remembrance. Wolfgang Von Goethe writes, “Remembrance of what is good keeps us high in spirit. Remembrance of what is beautiful is the salvation of the mortal man. Remembrance of what is dear will be happiness, if it remains alive.” So we unite our hands or think to ourselves Namaste and remember how amazing life is. It is a respect for our breath, for life itself. When we share this with another we are saying that WE ARE ONE. That we are all love and truth, freedom and strength, light and peace. So to each of you from my heart, Namaste! Love and serve all ways, all days, Silvia
Namaste - The ancient Sanskrit blessing defined
We can perceive the unique thread that connects us all with the Universe, and all its Beings along with the source of that interconnection. Accepting Oneness, we are accordingly receptive to knowledge that comes to us in the form of examples, advice, and direct teaching. One may awake to the wisdom that opens our eyes to new worlds of possibilities.
When we assume everyone we meet is special and unique in its essence we should always show to all people the same generous level of kindness, care, compassion, and understanding without any thoughts of self-interest or ulterior motives above paying respects wholeheartedly, the way we live our daily lives has an enormous impact on those around us.
Instead of clinging to what separates us, Practicing Namaste enables us to feel less alone in the world. We begin to understand that we must treat all people for what they are, family. We are one with the cosmos whether we realize it or not. Practicing ONENESS we gain consciousness of the more subtle aspects of our being, with the ultimate outcome being a complete identification with the light body.
May all beings find and hold happiness. May they all be free from suffering and sickness. May we all look in the mirror see all others reflecting back. May we be all with one, living in oneness, one family, one heart, a glowing heart of the brightest light of compassion. NAMASTE
From Wikipedia, freely adapted and edited http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Namaste
RELEASE, REMEMBER, RECYCLE
MAY 6th, 2009: We are experts at Resistance. We are actually well trained in resistance, in fight or flight response. The thing is when feeling resistance to life due to fear or anxiety or stress we are not able to either release or remember. We just stay in this state of fighting and doing battle with everyone and everything. We make war with what we think we're supposed to be doing with our lives and from there resentment towards others builds even more strongly. We even get mad/angry at ourselves for making other people's opinions (or societies perceived opinions) more important than how we know we feel. For prolonged periods of time this will make us either dumb down, lose hope, flame out or give up. This is toxic. And no one need live like this.
This practice of yoga psychology can help us to put aside the old habit of Resistance and begin the focus on Releasing, Remembering and Recycling.
With this or any spiritual practice we can not do multiple things at the same time. Often energies are mutually exclusive, they play together but as counterparts not occupying the same space at the same time. It is just like the fact that constructive, healthy dialogue between adults means we can’t all TALK at the same time. Healthy conversation means one person talks at a time and the other person listens, with both people breathing. Once we put aside our resistance and fear monsters then we can begin to RELEASE and let go of those things that no longer serve our lives. Ask yourself right now what do you want to let go of that is not helping your life evolve? Can you use even the most challenging pose or moment or person in your life to release some of the crap that holds you back?
REMEMBER: Once we do Release the negative then we create clarity of mind and heart to remember those qualities of ourselves that have made our lives better. Think back on your 5 year old self – remember that ease of not having any burdens, think of your 10 year old self – remember the endurance you had to play for 8 hours in a row, think of your 13 year old self – remember that thirst for adventure, think of your 23 year old self – remember that desire for new experience. So take what qualities you remember from your life that you want to bring with you into the next chapter of your life.
Essentially what do you want to RECYCLE as part of a healthy life?
Bottom line is if we don’t stop RESISTING and continue to make war with life then we will Fall Apart. If there is no Release of pain or frustration we will remain Angry, if we remain angry we cannot have the clarity of mind to REMEMBER to choose love.
This and all spiritual seeking is not about seeking love and happiness but about seeking to REDISCOVER that happiness and peace exist within us already. We are seeking to remember to remember. Once you remember you can than decide the qualities you want to recycle into your next moment and keep making each and every consecutive moment more delicious, more amazing, more loving! I wish you all the courage to stop fighting (out of duty, out of fear, out of anger) and just start loving yourself more and life more, Silvia