FAITH IS A VERB AN ACTION

April 7, 2011.  Spiritual practice doesn't mean we don't ever face self doubt or worry.  We do.  The difference for me in my life is that when this happens I know better questions to ask myself.  Then it’s a matter of believing, trusting, having pure faith.  We are destined to rise to life’s highest ideal if we just keep the faith and trust in ourselves.  This is like a promise we make to ourselves, an example of the most important kind of active faith for it’s the promise of believing in our best happiness.  Now what I like most about Faith is best offered in the words of Sharon Salzberg who writes, “In Pali, faith is a verb, an ACTION, as it is also in Latin and Hebrew.  Faith is not a singular state that we either have or don’t have , but is something that we do.  We ‘faithe”.  It is the willingness to take the next step, to see the unknown as an adventure, to launch a journey.  Faith is what gets us out of bed, opens us to the possibility that our lives can be different.  Though we may repeatedly stumble, afraid to move forward in the dark, we have the strength to take that magnitude of risk because of faith.” 

Through FAITH we can see that although heartache or hurt exists in the world with Faith we will recover.  Helen Keller says it like this, “Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it.”  How do we action our faith? First we must accept that Faith is active, it’s something we have to take responsibility in doing.  We can’t expect our healing to happen if we aren’t most interested in our own healings.  I believe Jon Kabat Zinn who defines trust as “spiritual and emotional maturity”.  It takes faith to have confidence in our potential for evolving in our maturity (physically, emotionally, emotionally). In yoga this is the most advanced pose, loving ourselves. 

As Rumi writes, We are the mirror as well as the face in it.  We are pain and what cures pain both.  He encourages us to be the catalyst for faith healing our own wounds. How do we do this? Rumi puts it most simply when he writes:

I love myself...I love you.

I love you...I love myself.

So join me and let's faithe everyday, without fail and watch ourselves and the world grow in love. Love yourself, love your day, love your life! Silvia

PS Here are the two Salutations we learned and practiced in backbending class this day.

 

4th Chakra Namaskar Hridaya Namaskar (Heart Salutation)

INHALE – Urdva Bhujangasana (Standing Backbend)

EXHALE— Uttanasana (Forward Fold-Hands Down Thighs)

INHALE – Eka Pada Prasarita Padottanasana (Standing Splits)

EXHALE - Ardha Anjaneyasana Right (Low Lunge) Prep

INHALE/EXHALE – Ardha Anjaneyasana Flow Side to Side

INHALE -- Ardha Anjaneyasana (Low Lunge)-Back Bend full expression!

EXHALE –Anahatasana (Quarter Dog)

INHALE – Bhujapidasana (Cobra)

EXHALE – (Lay on Belly)           

INHALE -- Urdhva Mukha Svanasana  (Up Dog)

EXHALE – Adho Mukha Svanasana (Down Dog)

INHALE - Eka Pada Adho Mukha Svanasana Left Leg (1 Leg Dog)

EXHALE - Ardha Anjaneyasana Right (Low Lunge) Prep

INHALE/EXHALE – Ardha Anjaneyasana Flow Side to Side

INHALE - Ardha Anjaneyasana (Low Lunge)-Back Bend full expression!

EXHALE - Eka Pada Prasarita Padottanasana (Standing Splits)

INHALE/EXHALE – Uttanasana (Forward Fold-Hands Down Thighs)

INHALE – Urdva Bhujangasana (Standing Backbend)

*Repeat again but stand on left leg this time, step back right

 

5th Chakra Namaskar

INHALE - Upward Plank

EXHALE - Lower Hips

INHALE - Boat

EXHALE - Plow

INHALE - Tip Toe Pose Urdva Hasta Arm Position

EXHALE - Forward Fold Arms Fly Back Chin to Chest           

INHALE - Tip Toe Pose to Camel

EXHALE - Camel backbend

INHALE - Place hands prepare

EXHALE - Plank to floor

INHALE – Cobra Low

EXHALE – Locust

INHALE – Bow no hands

EXHALE - Rest

INHALE – Cobra High

EXHALE - Downward Dog

INHALE - Jump to Sukhasana

4/7/2011   Tags:  faith, self-doubt, action, faithe, tapas, risk, helen keller, emotional maturity, spiritual maturity, rumi, love, backbending, salutations, 4th chakra, 5th chakra Direct Link

7TH CHAKRA SPRINGTIME ROYAL INVERSIONS HEADSTAND AND SHOULDERSTAND

April 6, 2011.  Springtime is the perfect time to strengthen our 7th Crown Chakra because it is related to our personal development moving forward in the direction of our greater purpose. When we focus our efforts on this chakra we engage a dialogue related to believing in our place in the world.  This requires Faith.  Caroline Myss, in Invisible Acts of Power, writes "Faith is the power of the 7th chakra. It’s the circuit to the divine and a porthole to our intuitive resources. Miracles abound. The acts of service of the 7th chakra include the faith you convey to others through your own beliefs, actions and prayers."

Faith is a hopeful positive expectation for life. “The present moment is always full of inifinite treasure.  It contains far more than you can possibly grasp.  Faith is the measure of its riches: what you find in the present moment is according to the measure of your faith. Love also is the measure: the more the heart loves, the more it rejoices in what God provides.  The will of spirit presents itself at each moment like an immense ocean that the desire of your heart cannot empty; yet you will drink from that ocean according to your faith and love.”  --Jean Pierre de Caussade (1675-1751) France.

Practicing inversions literally turns our world upside down.  No matter how many times we've been upside down it is an act of faith to keep listening to the Royalty of yoga poses like the King of poses: headstand and the Queen of poses: Shoulderstand Rumi writes "Since in order to speak, one must first listen, learn to speak by listening."

While we practice asana we take apart these more complicated royal family of poses so we can take a step at a time (and gaining a new perspective as we change our vantage point).  As Sharon Salzburg says, “No matter what is happening, whenever we see the inevitability of change the facts of our lives can become alive with prospect. We see that a self-image we’ve been holding doesn’t need to define us forever, the next step is not the last step, what life was is not what it is now, and certainly not what it might yet be.” So make time this Spring to work on yourself, go upside down! Love yourself, love your day, love your life, Silvia

CROWN CHAKRA

Sahasrara is the Sanskrit word for "thousandfold." The crown chakra is the seventh main energy centre in the human body. 

Fundamentals of the Crown Chakra

  • Name: Crown chakra
  • Element: White light, thought
  • Sanskrit name: Sahasrara
  • Colour: Violet/white
  • Position in the body: Top of the head
  • Associated endocrine gland: Pituitary gland
  • Physiological form and functions: Muscular system, skeletal system, skin and central nervous system
  • Emotional or spiritual functions: Spiritual search for meaning, issues of karma and grace, spiritual awakening, divine discontent
  • Linked to: God/goddess, the creator, search for purpose and meaning in life, discovering ethics, unconditional love, symbolic vision, ultimate liberation
  • Affirmations: Thy will be done. Love surrounds, nourishes and protects me.
  • Asanas: Head stand, meditation
  • Gifts connected to the crown chakra: These gifts are of the spirit. They come in the form of angels in disguise and simple acts of kindness. They can be embodied in moments of seeing the "truth." 
  • Level of relationship: Our relationship to our life’s true purpose, relationship between the ego and the higher self, relationship to god and spirit. Also connected to emotional and spiritual issues with regard to service to others. Humanitarian activities.
  • Identification of weak crown chakra: the ‘long dark night of the soul’, feeling
  • disconnected from God, meaning or purpose, migraines, chronic exhaustion, sensitivity to light and sound, greed and dominance.
  • Negative thinking traits: There is no point in life. Why should I, I’m going to die anyway and none of this matters. Who cares, we’re just food for worms. I don’t see the point in any of it. There’s no hope.
  • Questions to help chakra consciousness:
  1. ‘Who am I?’
  2. ‘What do I believe about the universe?
4/6/2011   Tags:  7TH CHAKRA, HEADSTAND, SHOULDERSTAND, FAITH, PURPOSE, DHARMA, INVERSIONS, LOVE, LISTENING, RUMI, WAVE THEORY, SILVIA MORDINI Direct Link

SOFT ON THE OUTSIDE, STRONG ON THE INSIDE

February 11, 2011.  Here on Day 2 of blogging about love for 21 days in 2011 I guess I should explain why I am embracing the Year of the Rabbit.  I met someone.  And when you meet someone you really want to spend time with in one place then the quiet concept of "Love is Patient" takes on a whole new meaning.  My yoga on the mat has served to make me strong enough now so that I want to practice the Yoga of Home and Yoga of Relationship more than ever.  To me after the hardest pose of being ourselves then the next hardest yoga pose is making a relationship with another human being that is calm and content.  What the ancient yogis call Santosha.  Not the New Years Eve fireworks crazy amped up experience but the gentle force of kindness. "Love is Kind" in action. I recently did a cyber interview for Xinalani Resort where I'll be leading a yoga retreat February 26-March 5th.  Part of that interview is here: 

Xinalani: How did the two of you meet?

Jacob: We met on a train in Italy...yes, it was one of those romantic things you read about in books, and yes, we get asked every trip about it. Perhaps that is one of the incentives for coming on one of our trips?

Silvia: The way Jacob tells the story makes everyone cry every single time. It was exactly as Rumi writes, “Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” In that moment of meeting I was returning from a Yoga Retreat in Tuscany where I had found much healing and growth. I had ever more fully let go of the barriers to loving myself. I was truly awake and more openhearted than ever before.  And that is when Jacob found me.

Through this yogic practice I have been able to get stronger on the inside so I didn't feel like I had to maintain the walls and barriers up on the outside. As a result I got softer on the outside.  In that softness love felt more welcomed.  Although I hesitate I feel I should caution you a bit here: When you arrive at that place where you are willing to be open to grace and be more gentle outwardly you will get hurt.  Some will take advantage of you.  You might wonder so how many times has my heart been broken? Well, more than most.  But would I trade this letting go of barriers to have it any other way? No I would not.  Once you start the practice of yoga the process takes over and what you thought was important before evolves to a whole new level.  You put your energy on creating and deepening the poses of your life and away from holding back or closing off.  It is in that receptivity that the yoga of relationship love will find you as it did me.  So today sweat off the old hardness, knock down the walls and welcome LOVE! Love yourself, love your day, love your life! Silvia

*Join me on a yoga retreat www.alchemytours.com

2/11/2011   Tags:  barriers, walls, open, receptive, romance, santosha, hardest yoga pose, yoga of love, patience, kindness, love, rumi, closing down, creating Direct Link

STOKING THE FIRE: YOGA FOR ENERGY!

February 11, 2011. 

Set your life on fire.

Seek those who fan your flames. - RUMI

I read somewhere that “no one is born with healthy self-esteem” we must learn this quality as we face our challenges.  In the energy system this is the work of the 3rdchakra, the solar plexus, or Manipura.  The energies of this chakra have at their heart the intention to help us mature in our self-understanding like how we feel and take care of ourselves. This spiritual quality is about self-respect.  How we feel about ourselves, whether we have a strong sense of self-esteem determines our quality of life, our capacity to succeed in relationships, and our overall vitality.  

The spiritual truth here is that if we don’t like ourselves our energy sags.  And the lower our energy the less able we are to attract healthy relationships and job situations. To know if your 3rd Chakra is in balance take a moment and honestly ask yourself: are you choosing situations, people, & things that drain your energy or grow your energy? 

For meditation ask yourself these questions:

·         Where were you last February 2010?

·         Where are you now?

·         Do you have more energy today?

·         Where do you see yourself February 2012?

From this practice of yoga I want us all to keep stoking the fire! I want for you to feel energized and excited about your life. And if you aren't feeling that way then the time is now to set an expectation for yourself – to your own growth and evolution – and surround yourself with those that seek to fan your flames. You are all amazing and as we continue paying attention to the health of our 3rdchakra please know you have all come a very long way already and let's take it to that next level.  SET YOUR LIFE ON FIRE!  Love yourself, love your day, love your life!  Silvia

*Join me with Alchemy Tours www.alchemytours.com to set the fire ablaze full blast!

2/11/2011   Tags:  SELF-ESTEEM, SELF-LOVE, SELF-RESPECT, solar plexus, hip hop yoga, CENTERING, love, energy, rumi, fire, BALANCED, INTENTION, 3RD CHAKRA Direct Link

PAY ATTENTION

NOVEMBER 10, 2010.  Jon Kabat Zinn says, "too often our lives cease working because we cease working at life."  

Yoga teaches us that when we are not present our minds become totally distracted and our thoughts are all over the place, starting stopping, wandering from one thing to the other at often break neck speed.  If we pay attention we harness the power of our thoughts.  As a human being this is what distinguishes us from other creatures and is our GREATEST STRENGTH!  Yet our least utilized.  When we start the practice first thing we do is remind everyone to be conscious of their breathing, to pay attention to the breath: anapana sati breathing technique.  Not being bossy just watching it. For as Gabrielle Roth writes in the book Sweat your Prayers, "the breath is promiscuous, and if you don't pay it attention it will find another lover."  

Consider how tuned in to your breath you have to be to experience this from Pieree Teilhard De Chardin “The inhale and the exhale. Breathing out carbon dioxide to the trees and breathing in their fresh exudations. Oxygen kissing each cell awake, atoms dancing in orderly metabolism, interpenetrating. That dance of the air cycle, breathing the universe in and out again, is what you are, is what I am.”  Wow!  All he is talking about is paying attention to the breath. 

 Then by paying attention to the breath the breath reveals your state of mind and heart.  “If you want to know the past, to know what has caused you, look at yourself in the present, for that is the past’s effect. If you want to know your future, then look at yourself in the present, for that is the cause of the future.”  Majihima Nikaya

And as we pay attention to breath, we then pay attention to aligning our movements or poses with the breath.  There is this really on purpose experience of where we put our hands and feet and energy without judgement, just observation.  For what we know and don't know eventually become one.  Rumi says it like this: 

why are you so busy

with this or that or good or bad

pay attention to how things blend

 

why talk about all 

the known and the unknown

see how unknown merges into the known

 

All that you know, all that you don't know are no longer things to be feared or apologized for or worried about.  Just by paying attention the universal intelligence that loves and supports us all is working on our behalf.  All we have to do is pay attention and the rest works itself out for our greater happiness.  Love yourself, love your day, love your life! Silvia 

PS And if you need a way to re-establish the ability to pay attention without distraction come on retreat with me. Stretch your mental and physical boundaries! Alchemy tours. Facebook us, facebook me anytime, visit our website www.alchemytours.com or www.silviamordini.com

11/10/2010   Tags:  attention, focus, breath, pay attention, alignment, observation, judgement, rumi, distraction, alchemy tours, silvia mordini Direct Link

DOWN WITH PROCRASTINATION ASK FOR WHAT YOU WANT

SEPTEMBER 4, 2010:  From the teachings of yoga a teacher shared with a teacher that shared with a teacher that shared with teacher Pamela Bliss who shared with me, "One of the most profound bits of wisdom shared with me in a teaching yoga is that procrastination is severely detrimental to one's development on the spiritual path."  For me the truth of Yoga is that if you practice regularly you see swift changes mentally, emotionally and physically.  And if you step away from your practice chances are inertia takes over and it is epically difficult to get back on the mat again. Or as Jon Kabat Zinn says, "not practicing is a form of practice."  And the follow up from my friend Dr. Gregg "so how's that working for you?"

"The fault is in the one who blames. Spirit sees nothing to criticize." RUMI

This is not about blaming ourselves for our shortcomings. Not at all. Instead just think of yoga as TRUTH SERUM (SATYA SERUM).  The body doesn't lie.  When you are on one leg balancing and your mind is in a million places you will fall out of that 1 legged balance for sure.  If you are in a warrior pose and your leg is shaking after not practicing yoga all summer well, not doing something has resulted in your muscles responding by shaking when they didn't do that when you took action and came to class 3 times per week.  On the other hand your life is not a dress rehearsal so be happy you are pushing all your poses to that point you call the soft edge.

To me there are 2 kinds of procrastinators: (1) those that have gotten off the couch and attempted and (2) those that have never fully tried.  Interestingly, just because you might fall into category #1 of procrastinators doesn't guarantee you momentum.  For that you have to stay engaged.  So whether you've tried a little, a lot, or not at all procrastination in any of its forms will stunt your spiritual development.  You will forever stay a Spiritual Baby and never evolved towards spiritual toddlerhood or adolescence or adulthood.  The path is sequential.  

I have healed myself of procrastination is through yoga and my spiritual practices that support my yoga, because I grew up enough to ask for help from the universe.  The reason I would often get paralyzed by procrastination was I was afraid of having to do everything by myself, I even felt like I had to always offer my prayers for others but never for me.  "Where did you get that idea you aren't allowed to petition the universe with prayer? You are part of this universe. You're a constituent - you have every entitlement to participate in the actions of the universe, and to let your feelings be known. So put your opinion out there. Make your case. Believe me - it will at least be taken into consideration."  -Elizabeth Gilbert from Eat, Pray, Love

So start now or reboot, or restart today. Stop blaming, stop waiting for everything to be perfect, stop postponing your happiness and just ASK FOR WHAT YOU WANT!  And keep asking, continue the momentum. And if you want a really easy way to to keep up with yourself and your intentions well then make regular, consistent appointments with your yoga mat and I promise you will see your life blossom beyond your wildest intentions!  Love yourself, love your day, love your life!  Silvia
PS if you need a quicker kick off then join me on Retreat for a 4 day adventure in Moab, Utah or Pagosa Springs, Colorado this Fall come November and December. www.alchemytours.com

9/4/2010   Tags:  Rumi, procrastination, truth, satya, prayer, elizabeth gilbert, ask, intention, www. spirituality, jon kabat zinn, pamela bliss, Direct Link

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

9/2/2010   Tags:  Rumi, Emerson, Silence, Meditation, Attitude, Alignment, Anusara Yoga, Mindfulnesstalking, blaming, gossiping Direct Link

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

9/1/2010   Tags:  Happiness, rumi, elizabeth gilbert, self-development, trinurti, practice, mindfulness, patterns, personal growth, journey, yoga retreats, italy yoga, moab yoga, yoga vacations, Direct Link

THE IMPOSSIBLE IMPOSSIBLE: THE UPSIDE OF FEAR

JANUARY 28, 2010:  Yoga helps us to believe in the impossibility of things.  That nothing is impossible.  This practices helps us to expand beyond our preconceived limitations into limitless possibility.  We do this every time we meet the sensations in our bodies and the associated emotions. So tonight we focused on inversions (the upside down pose family).  We faced our fears going upside down and if we can do that, gosh we can do anything!

“Don’t worry about making a mistake, you definitely will.  Nothing bad will happen to you.”  -Rimpoche

So the pressure is off.  The upside of facing our fears is that there is nothing left to be afraid of.  Once we dissolve the barriers to ourselves our potential is tuned into forever.  This is written about in Chapter 2 of the Yoga Sutras that speaks to how dissolving the 5 Kleshas or veils brings forth the radiance of our most beautiful self.”

  1. Avidya – our forgetting, because we are forgetting we start to identify with things ever changing rather than the stillness of our HEART.  We want stuff and then we get it and these are like snowflakes that melt when they hit the ground instead of finding that inside at our center is stillness and peace always
  2. Asmita –our self esteem is based on things outside ourselves and other reactions
  3. Raga – excessive fondness for fleeting pleasures
  4. Dvesa – excessive avoidance of unpleasant experiences causes disdain
  5. Abhinivesah – elusive awareness of immortality – instead live in the now.

 

Your task is not to seek for love,
but merely to seek and find
all the barriers within yourself
that you have built against it.

--RUMI


1/28/2010   Tags:  rumi, potential, rimpoche, impossible, fear, beauty, yoga sutras, kleshas, obstacles Direct Link

HOME PRACTICE HOW IT HELPS TO REVISE OUR MYTHS

FIRST THINGS FIRST. Think of some myth about yourself you’ve bought into?  Like “I’m not strong enough, I don’t have enough time, I’m not old enough, I’m not young enough, I don’t have enough money, I’m not flexible enough,  I’m not ____________________________.  This practice helps us to unfold our own myth (Rumi).  It has us bump up against the myths or self-limiting beliefs we have about ourselves.  But as Yogananda writes, “What you are is much greater than anything or anyone else you have ever yearned for.  Spirit is manifest in you in a way that Spirit is not manifest in any other human being.  Your face is unlike anyone elses’s, your soul is unlike anyone else’s, you are sufficient unto yourself; for within your soul likes the greatest treasure of all – Spirit.” 

You seeWe no longer have a choice about including practices in our daily lives that create health and spiritual growth. If we want a world worth living in today, as well as one worth leaving to future generations, we must take responsibility to create health in our lives, as well as to support others as they choose healthier lives for themselves. It is up to each of each of us to lovingly transform the world simply by first transforming ourselves.” (Judith Lasater)

But we have to see the myths that hold us back for what they really are.  “We are responsible for what we are and whatever we wish ourselves to be, we have the power to make ourselves.” (Swami Vivekananda)  Practicing even 5-7 minutes of yoga helps us to not remain victims of old habits, we begin to do the work of washing away the myths. What is required is that we work harder than our pain or made-up limitations. 

“Mines of power lie unexplored within you. You use this power unconsciously in all things you do, and you achieve certain results; but, if you learn how to consciously control and use the power within you, you can accomplish much more.” (Yogananda)  When it comes to picking out what poses to do you have to begin by asking yourself what you need: self-reflection creates self-awareness and reinforces self-love.  Tonight’s class will teach you a (1) Hip Opening Flow, (2) Backbend Flow, (3) Sun Salutation C, (4) Forward Fold/Twist Flow so you have 4 sequences to work on at home when you need them most.  Love and light! Silvia

FORWARD FOLDS.  These are calming, quieting in their impact.  They are restful poses to calm you down when you feel agitated or hyper and restful when you are fatigued. 

SUN SALUTATIONS. Energizing for your emotional body and can help lift you out of lethargy, depression, mental fatigue.

STANDING POSES.  These are very grounding as well as energizing.  They immediately engage your body-mind connection and bring you into the present moment.  They are good to do when worried, distracted or agitated.

BACKBENDS.  These are energizing, uplifting poses.  They create more energy when you are tired.  If you are already nervous they can make you over stimulated if they are difficult so you can also practice passive backbends.  These poses also open you up emotionally which may cause strong emotions to arise.

TWISTS.  Cleansing and balancing.  They help release stress from your body-mind. 

HIP OPENERS.  These are very grounding and balancing.  They help release tension and bring you into the present moment. 

INVERSIONS.  These are soothing, balancing and centering.  

1/27/2010   Tags:  vinyasa yoga, yoga sequences, home practice, self-love, rumi, love, responsibility, action Direct Link

CHECK YOURSELF OUT EARN A PhD IN YOUR LIFE

JANUARY 21, 2010:  This is the year and decade we stop analyzing everyone else around us trying to figure out who WE are by what other people do or don't do.  The first chapter, first verse of the Yoga Sutras: “With humility and an open heart and mind we begin the study of Yoga. This study is using the Self to study ourselves first.” 

"The proper study of mankind is man." (Alexander Pope) from my new book News of the Universe (Poems of Twofold Consciousness chosen and introduced by Robert Bly). That's what we do in yoga.  We are when we come to the practice essentially making a commitment to get a PhD in our own Humanness.  Nischala Joy Devi says "As students of life we often need to look at where we have come freom to see where we are going. Our present position has been determined by the past - all those crossroads where we made decisions, each path we've taken that brought us to our life as it is."

Blaming other people for the choices we've made or how we came to be what we are won't help us evolve towards greater happiness. We have to accept accountability and just look inside.  Rumi writes:

"If you're lugging a heavy bag,

don't fail to look inside it

to see whether what is inside is

bitter or sweet.

If it's really worth bringing along,

bring it;

otherwise, empty your sack

and redeem yourself from

fruitless effort.

Only put into your sack

that which is worth bringing."

When you think about it what do you keep lugging around that is weighing your life down?  Unless you start looking inward and stop blaming others for the quality of your life, it won’t change for the better. Maybe in the past you thought “I'm not something enough” to do this important work of self-exploration and self-discovery. BUT NO MORE. Be honest with yourself: you are young enough, old enough, smart enough, rich enough and you have enough time.  If it is really important to you to set positive intentions for yourself you have to slow down enough to look inside.  Take to heart the words of Rumi:  "There is a life-force within your soul, seek that life. There is a gem in the mountain of your body, seek that mine. O traveler, if you are in search of That don't look outside, look inside yourself and seek That.”  Yes, SEEK THAT.  In the new year, a time of setting intentions just remember this – it is near impossible to set an intention for your life until you study yourself and where you’ve come from first.  Otherwise it’s like trying to get a PhD when you haven’t finished First Grade yet.  And in this PhD program, there are no grades, it is simply pass/fail.  And this subject (YOU) is not one you want to fail at.  Life is too short to fail at being you.  So starting today get real, look at your life, study yourself as you really are and ignite the beauty of who you are yet meant to be! Love in all ways, Silvia

 

1/21/2010   Tags:  rumi, honesty, self-study, yoga sutras, PHD IN LIFE, self-exploration, choices, happiness Direct Link

REBEL SPIRIT MANIFESTO 2010

JANUARY 5TH:  A reminder of my personal manifesto I've made the focus of my new years intentions every year since it first formed.  I hope it inspires you to try to life your life more fully this year!  Love, Silvia

MANIFESTO "There is no such thing as failure.  Please trust this. You can’t really fail at anything. If you go up to bat and miss the ball it’s not a big deal. You produced a result so then act upon that result and try again.  This is why I love Vinyasa Yoga, (1) anyone can do it and (2) you can’t do it wrong.  There is no failure. Now that’s a big shift coming from a reformed perfectionist.  This goes to show the yoga works to inspire a REBEL SPIRIT in all of us and reduce our fear because through this practice the self-abuse of perfectionism is diminished. 

There is no failure.  Maybe there are some happy mistakes? But as the song by Teitur goes, “All my mistakes have become masterpieces.” 

Now you’re probably asking how do I engage my REBEL SPIRIT? Well lift your heart up and shift your mind down (let it rest). Don’t think but feel. If we convince ourselves to decide only with our minds we will talk ourselves out of the best experiences of life.  It is possible to over analyze any situation or decision all the way into procrastination or fear. However, if we let our heart consciousness take an active role we’ll find we become more decisive and present.

I know this is scary. Feeling is always more vulnerable than thinking. But making decisions from the inside is the only way. Rumi says “If you want to find the greatest treasure, don't look outside, Look within, and SEEK THAT."  We can collect opinions from others but they will always be only opinions. No one can decide for us what actions to take in our lives. We can try to give up our choices to others but this will only lead to frustration in the end. No one else knows our hearts the way we do so know its ok to be afraid. Susan Jeffers writes, “Feel the fear and do it anyway!’ 

So get started on your life now with a Rebel Spirit. "All glory comes from daring to begin." (Eugene Ware) The key to raising your vibration to this level is to stop worrying about the outcome.  Just try to be patient and trust that life keeps flowing and keep going up to bat!  Don’t be afraid to keep going “dream like you will live forever, live like you might die today.” (James Dean)

Flow, flow, flow!  And remember on the mat and off. “It is you who must raise your sails – the winds of grace are blowing.” (Tagore)  May this inspire you to find your own Rebel Spirit so you love yourself more, so you love your day more, so you love your life more!" 

1/5/2010   Tags:  REBEL SPIRIT MANIFESTO, silvia mordini, rumi, fear, mistakes, failure Direct Link

WHO AM I? WHAT IS MY DHARMA? WHY AM I HERE?

JANUARY 3, 2010: So today we started in Vajrasana where after some initial acknowledge of where we are in this moment, like looking at a chalkboard in front of us we rubbed our hands together like two sticks of wood to create friction/heat and then cupped our eyes. We used this as an opportunity to open our eyes and imagine our hands as a mirror. Asking ourselves in our OUTWARD reflection what did we see? Who is the person staring back at us? Then we closed our eyes in the warmth of our hands and turned our gaze INWARDS to view the inner reflection and ask what is our purpose, our Dharma? WHO AM I?

And this means it is something more than the role we play at work, the labels we wear like son, daughter, partner, parent. When we get onto the mat it is a special time to rediscover ourselves. Or for many of us, to discover ourselves for the first time. Through these poses and conscious breathing we learn to gain control of our emotions and harness the power of our mind to direct our 60,000 daily thoughts towards our great purpose. But first we have to know WHO WE ARE before we are able to give direction. It’s like using the GPS on the car, you have to know the destination. This practice breaths life back into us or as Rumi writes, “I was dead, then alive, weeping then laughing. The power of love came into me!” With every physical sensation we feel our humanity. As Stephen Covey puts it, “We are not human beings on a spiritual journey. We are spiritual beings on a human journey.” So as a human being what is your Life’s Purpose or Dharma?

So right now say to yourself, “I AM THE CREATOR OF MY LIFE. I will listen with total attention to my experience, I will relish each sensation, I will love every minute of being with myself today.” You see the poses are the QUESTIONS. They are not the answers. They help us to be aware of our attitudinal alignment. For instance they ask us the fundamental question of whether or not we are focusing on our limitations or on our DREAMS, are we expecting the worst from life or the best from life? To co-create with the universe means we are taking responsibility to know who we are and are actively sharing our unique contribution with the world. Woodrow Wilson, the 28th President of the United States said it like this, “You are not here merely to make a living. You are here in order to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world.” So how do we do this? We get to work on the mat, anchored in our body to try to peal back the layers to look inside where all the answers already exist. As the Buddha says, “Your work is to discover your world and then with all your heart give yourself to it.”

It is not always easy. But we have to work harder than our fear, we have to work harder than our pain to make the truest discovery of WHO AM I. And the answer only comes from within, no one else can tell us who we are and why we are here. I know it’s sometimes scary (like doing a handstand against the wall) but through the poses we break down the self-doubt and grow more determined to live as who we really are. Eventually by the end of the practice we meet ourselves or as Derek Walcott puts it, “The time will come when, with elation you will greet yourself arriving at your own door, in your own mirror and each will smile at the others welcome, and say, sit here. You will love again the stranger who was your self. Give back your heart to itself, to the stranger who has loved you all your life.”

So this year face your fears, do not let them stand in the way of discovering the answer to WHO AM I. Best put by Earl Nightingale who says, “Don’t let fear of the time it will take to accomplish something stand in the way of your doing it. The time will pass anyway; we might as well put that passing time to the best possible use.” Love to all, Peace to All, Courage to all! Silvia

1/3/2010   Tags:  dharma, who am I, inward, discovery, rumi, creating, dreams, self-doubt Direct Link

FALLING IN LOVE WITH LOVE BHAKTI YOGA

December 30th, 2009: This is what inspires our practice today. Love to you all!

Buoyancy by Rumi
Love had taken away my practices
and filled me with poetry.

I tried to keep quietly repeating,
No strength but yours,
but I couldn't.

I had to clap and sing.
I used to be respectable and chaste and stable,
but who can stand in this strong wind
and remember those things?

A mountain keeps an echo deep inside itself.
That's how I hold your voice.

I am scrap wood thrown in your fire,
and quickly reduced to smoke.

I saw you and became empty.
This emptiness, more beautiful than existence,
it obliterates existence, and yet when it comes,
existence thrives and creates more existence!

The sky is blue. The world is a blind man
squatting on the road.

But whomever sees your emptiness
sees beyond blue and beyond the blind man.

A great soul hides,
moving through a crowd in a city
where no one knows him.

To praise is to praise
how one surrenders
to the emptiness.

To praise the sun is to praise your own eyes.
Praise, the ocean. What we say, a little ship.

So the sea-journey goes on, and who knows where?
Just to be held by the ocean is the best luck
we could have. It's a total waking up!

Why should we grieve that we've been sleeping?
It doesn't matter how long we've been unconscious.

We're groggy, but let the guilt go.
Feel the motions of tenderness
around you, the buoyancy.

~ RUMI

12/30/2009   Tags:  love, bhakti, yoga, rumi Direct Link

NEW YEARS DAY YOGA!

10am-11:15am Level 1 with Silvia
11:30am—1pm Level 1-2 Detox Flow with Silvia
Come celebrate with your Yogi Friends! Festive Vinyasa Flows, breathing techniques and mudras have been designed to improve your circulation, stimulate your digestion, and help you let go of any of the old stories and non life-affirming thought patterns that have held you back. You will leave feeling refreshed and totally excited about your life! So join me to get fired up about your greatest as of yet untapped potentiality! This is the most important decade of our lives so take time today to detox, clear space and set a powerful intention for yourself for 2010 and beyond.

"Pilgrim, pilgrimage, and road - it was but myself toward my SELF, and your arrival was but myself at my own door." - RUMI


1:30pm-3pm Restorative Yoga and Live Music with Mara

12/27/2009   Tags:  New Years Day, rumi, vinyasa Direct Link

DISCOVER YOURSELF

DECEMBER 8TH, 2009: When we get on the mat it is that special time to rediscover ourselves. Or for many of us, myself included, when we first start practicing it is a FIRST time discovery of who we really are. What a great surprise to find that no matter what age you are currently you can still give birth to your spirit. Through yoga you learn to tell what your soul needs.

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
12/8/2009   Tags:  rumi, self-love, self-acceptance, self-discovery, breath, mindfulness, love, soul Direct Link

FOLLOW LOVE BACKWARDS TO YOU

OCTOBER 9, 2009:  Do you want to be in love with your life?  What kind of life do you deserve?  The answer of how much love we think deserve comes from us and us only.  Yogic teachings tell us that to think another person is the source of all your joy is the greatest delusion.  To find love you must follow it backwards to you. It’s like the little card that sits on my desk that I see everyday says “Most of all love yourself!”  So we use the practice time on the mat to go inside to seek that inside us, following sensations like bread crumbs as in the story of Hansel and Gretel. 

 

There is a force within that gives you life---

            Seek That.

In your body there lies a priceless jewel---

            Seek That.

If you want to find the greatest treasure,

           Don't look outside,

Look within,

and seek That.

 — Rumi

What I found most interesting is that we attract to us the kind of relationships that reflect the one we are having with ourselves.  If we can’t go inside ourselves and experience self-love then no one else can do that for us.  We must follow love backwards and from there once we KNOW love then we become the love that we think we deserve to receive from others.  So today, move of all LOVE YOURSELF! All love all ways, Silvia

 

Coming Home to Yourself

May all that is unforgiven in you

Be released

May your fears yield

Their deepest tranquilities.

May all that is unlived in you

Blossom into a future

Graced with love.

 

10/9/2009   Tags:  love, self-love, rumi, follow love backwards, joy, meditation Direct Link

UNFOLD THE MYTH OF YOUR OWN STORY

SEPTEMBER 27, 2009:   This practice helps us to unfold our own myth (Rumi).  It has us but up against the myths or limitations we have about ourselves like “I’m not flexible enough, I’m not old enough, I’m not strong enough, I’m not young enough.”  We can even use the poses sometimes when too much focused on the literagy of the alignment to limit us and strengthen the old myths rather than enhance and expand us.  So we take use the alignment as the outline of our story but the detail is the real deal.  That’s where we make ourselves or as Swami Vivekananda says, WE ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR WHAT WE ARE AND WHATEVER WE WISH OURSELVES TO BE, WE HAVE THE POWER TO MAKE OURSELVES.”

 

 

To help us find where we might see ourselves through the eyes of myth rather than reality we used the “Double Basic Vinyasa” inspired by a friend of mine for double the fun. And a whole lot of core cultivation!  But this served to ignite 3rd chakra more and in the words of Rumi “Set your life on fire.”  So this was about coming home…making the inner form the work of our soul selves the real story and not just the outer form. And as always it is all about LOVE.  So wishing you all the best love, the best lovers, the best life, Silvia

 

"You that love lovers,

This is your home. Welcome.

 

In the midst of making form, 

love made this form that melts form,

with love for the door

and soul for the vestibule.

 

Their dance is our dance.

You are the soul, the universe,

and what animates the universe.

 

Human beings, you have a great value

inside your form, a seed. Be led 

by the rose inside the rose.”

-Rumi

 

9/27/2009   Tags:  Rumi, myth, limitations, expansion, dance, 3rd chakra, reality Direct Link

WAKING UP TO MORE LOVE IN YOUR LIFE: CREATE YOUR OWN REALITY

SEPTEMBER 23, 2009:   I don’t remember the exact day that I learned through spiritual practice that the world is not created outside of us but that we create the world first on the inside.  WOW!  I had no idea that what we think is reflected back to us through what we see.  The fact that we have 60,000 thoughts that are “trainable” and that by managing the energy of these thoughts multiplied by 7 days/per week and the days in the month we influence the quality of our lives blew my mind.  I really believed that other people or situations put thoughts in my head and I had no control of that.  You can apply this knowledge to all aspects of your life.  The learning on the mat is transportable.  Maybe it’s something little like the fact today was a bit overcast does not mean it is a bad day. It is all in our perspective.  I CREATE MY REALITY.

Keep this mantra or affirmation in mind as an all time favorite!  One of the most inspiring things I keep going back to are the words of Jack Kornfield, "in the beginning of our spiritual journey, we become aware that much of what we do is a way of seeking to love and to be loved. Perhaps the enlightenment of intimacy is the same as love.” To me this is speaking to the fact that if we are loving creatures then we CREATE THE REALITY OF A LOVING WORLD, within us and then this becomes our experience.   

Love is mysterious. 

“We don't know what it is, but we know when it is present. If we seek love, we must ask where it is to be found. It is here only in THIS MOMENT. To love in the past is simply a memory. To love in the future is a fantasy. There is only one place where love can be found, where intimacy and awakening can be found, and that is in the PRESENT." (Kornfield)

The most difficult part of being responsible for ourselves and our thoughts is to remain present. To let go of the way we wanted things to be in the past and instead focus on the beauty that is here now in front of us. Equal to that is the pitfall of trying to get all the answers about what we want for the future before we love fully so as not to get hurt.  But we will never know the future outcome all we can do is influence it by staying true and loving now, planting seeds for then but surrendering to something greater.  This is a challenging degree of intimacy to have with oneself (let alone another person) but totally necessary to in order to awaken to the depth of love available to us.  WE CREATE OUR REALITY but this means now, not yesterday.

"To learn intimacy is not an easy thing. Growing up in a divided culture, marked by our wounds and longing, it is hard to be present." (Kornfield)  Use this practice to love yourself more, to stop holding back. Through this we learn how not to hold back our love from others and the more we wake up to all that is being offered to us the more it grows!  Rumi writes, "Today is like every other day, we wake up empty and frightened. Don't open the door to the study and begin reading. Take down the dulcimer. Let the beauty we love be what we do."

May yoga wake you up to the beauty of your love so you love yourself more, you love your day more, you love your life more!  Create your reality.  Love in all ways, Silvia

 

9/23/2009   Tags:  love, awake, be present, rumi, mantra, creation, responsibility Direct Link

MONDAY MIND I AM READY FOR CHANGE

SEPTEMBER 21, 2009:   Dear Friends Happy Namaste!

Ok, it’s Monday.  So my question to you is can we get out of our “Monday Mind”.  You know, that mind that says to us this is going to be the same week as last week and feelings of boredom, worry get all stirred.  So to get out of the Monday mind join me tonight at 6:15pm or 7:30pm for yoga to cut through the crap and get to the Truth of your experience. That truth is ours to face and then influence to evolve so we don’t replay this same pattern of Monday Mind every week.

 

So as meditation today try saying to yourself:

 

I AM READY FOR CHANGE

 

This is very 3rd chakra work and being on the mat will reveal what is necessary for us to allow our evolution to unfold.  We get to see where we have resistance to change.  Or where we doubt ourselves or hesitate which are forms of resistance.  We all know what we want, what we need, what we are ready for and often replaying Monday Mind only serves to “hold us back”. 

 

So today start the week off in a positive way by saying I AM READY FOR CHANGE.  I don’t want any of us to hold ourselves back from life.  Why?  Because who are we to think that we can be ecstatic LATER if not now?  What we get later is what we DO now.  We set the tone through our dreams and intentions for what we want for our life.

 

Now I know this is challenging.  I have faced the fear of making positive changes in my life many times over (both work related and personal).  I have tried the avoidance of making a healthy change and sat on the razors edge for far too long.  And that’s not a good or comfortable way to live life.  It all begins with a dream, some call this the power of intention, I AM READY FOR CHANGE. 

 

With the courage that comes from the strength of your heart can you speak to yourself of your SECRET HOPES AND DREAMS?  Make a list of your dreams, add to it.  We just don’t make enough time for dreaming. Mark Twain said, Optimist means Day-dreamer more elegantly spelled.  I know it seems kind of silly at first, but believe me until you start actually writing out your dreams you aren’t fully admitting them not even to yourself. 

 

A friend asked me if we are limited in the number of dreams we have and what happens when they come true?  I said to them our dreams know no bounds, they are limitless.  There is no stop to the flow.  I know this because as I said to another friend (and I hope you don’t mind my sharing my thoughts here):  “For me as a lover of nature I look at mother earth and I see her dream of change in seasons, colors of leaves changing, she dreams of rebirth in the Spring, of being comforted and blanketed in the winter, of children playing in the waters of the oceans of winds blowing and reaching amazing heights to the tallest mountains.  If the earth is in a constant state of fantastical dreaming then I can be too.  She doesn’t seem to stop dreaming, manifesting and hatching new dreams.  So I believe I can live the rest of my life (a day, a year, 60+ years) always dreaming, planting new seeds, believing in them, seeing them come to fruition and making new dreams my realities.”

 

I would love for you to understand that YOU CREATE YOUR REALITY.  Your Monday Mind can influence the week in a dark way or change it out and dream big and each day of your life becomes as Rumi writes “a day of festival!”  Yes, it really will if you allow yourself to keep evolving in the direction of happiness which the yoga sutras say is our natural state.

 

Start now…I AM READY FOR CHANGE.           

 

Love to you, courage to all of us! Silvia

 

9/21/2009   Tags:  MANTRA, CHANGE, RESISTANCE, TRUTH, 3RD CHAKRA, rumi Direct Link

FAITH

AUGUST 8, 2009:  What I meditate about today is FAITH. Faith in the unknown and what comes next, a hopeful positive expectation for life.  Life is funny, it offers us a constant stream of challenges so we have an endless opportunity to demonstrate Faith in the flow of grace. Fundamentally the truism is that change is inevitable so that even the greatest challenges won’t last forever.  As Sharon Salzburg says, “No matter what is happening, whenever we see the inevitability of change, the ordinary, or even oppressive, facts of our lives can become alive with prospect. We see that a self-image we’ve been holding doesn’t need to define us forever, the next step is not the last step, what life was is not what it is now, and certainly not what it might yet be.”

 

“It is not easy to keep your heart open in the face of the trials of being human.  Life can so often be difficult, disappointing; our dreams are so easily broken.  How precious, then, those shafts of sunlight that sometimes break through our daily preoccupations, our anxieties, and reveal the beauty that was there all along.”  - Roger Housden 

                                                                            

The next step is not the last step…

 

“When we finally stop struggling with life, stop wanting it to be anything but what it is now – not giving up but giving it over – then our heart will indeed fall open, and we shall know beyond all doubt that, however dark the night, all is already well.” – Roger Housden

 

And the moment we let go of fear or the darkness of lost hope or peace of mind the sooner we find ourselves immersed in the journey of Faith once more.  She will always take us back all we have to do is say “I choose life, I align myself with the potential inherent in life, I give myself over to that potential.” It means being present.  That is what Sharon Salzberg in her book titled Faith speaks to when she writes, “With faith we can draw near to the truth of the present moment, which is dissolving into the unknown even as we meet it. We open up to what is happening right now in all its mutability and evanescence. A pain in our body, a heartache, and unjust treatment may seem inert, impermeable, unchanging. It may appear to be all that is, all that ever will be. But when we look closely, instead of solidity, we see porousness, fluidity, motion. We begin to see gaps between the moments of suffering. We see the small changes that are happening all the time in the texture, the intensity, the contours of our pain.”

 

During the course of our practice on the mat we flow and breath to remind us that faith in change is right there all the time inside our breath. One inhale leads us to the exhale and on into the next breath.  Faith in our own breath reconnects us to trust in our lives. 

 

“No matter what is happening, whenever we see the inevitability of change, the ordinary, or even oppressive, facts of our lives can become alive with prospect. We see that a self-image we’ve been holding doesn’t need to define us forever, the next step is not the last step, what life was is not what it is now, and certainly not what it might yet be.  Without faith in change we would be compelled to repeat patterns of suffering at least reassured by being able to predict mortification and pain. Without a sense of possibility, we would be stuck—isolated, hopeless, and unspeakably sad. No matter what is happening, whenever we see the inevitability of change, the ordinary, or even oppressive, facts of our lives can become alive with prospect. We see that a self-image we’ve been holding doesn’t need to define us forever, the next step is not the last step, what life was is not what it is now, and certainly not what it might yet be.  Without faith in change we would be compelled to repeat patterns of suffering at least reassured by being able to predict mortification and pain. Without a sense of possibility, we would be stuck—isolated, hopeless, and unspeakably sad.”

 

So I hope this inspires you all to step into the flow of grace.  Believe that grace is always there the current gentle to swoop us up in our most challenging moments or as Rumi writes, Be helpless, dumbfounded, unable to say yes or no. Then a stretcher will come from grace and gather us up.

 

Hope you can join me at 9:15am this morning for a sweet quiet practice of Faith.  Love, Light, Peace and Hope, Silvia

 

8/8/2009   Tags:  faith, trust, rumi, suffering, hope, grace, choice, change, heart Direct Link

CARING FOR OUR FEELINGS

AUGUST 6, 2009: 

It’s good to leave each day behind,
like flowing water, free of sadness.
Yesterday is gone and its tale told.
Today new seeds are growing.
~Rumi

 

This practice of poses and breath brings about an awareness of what we are feeling.  For most of us when we start yoga we haven’t made time to even ask ourselves this simple question. We’re either too busy going faster and faster or really good at avoiding what we are feeling.  Denial or argument with our feelings has become a way of life. But also a formula for suffering. 

 

Tantric practice encourages us to embrace all of who we are.  The sadness and the joy, the tiredness and the vigor, the fear and the love.  This is a nondualistic approach to see that there is not a winner/loser or bad/good that we don’t have to battle our emotions, thoughts or feelings any longer.  Running away from what we feel will only prolong it.  And all of our feelings can be put into 3 buckets: pleasant, unpleasant and neutral.  So as hard as it might be to heal and remain in a state of being healed we are taught through yoga to embrace your feelings, care for them like you would look after a younger sibling.

 

A great meditation from Thich Nhat Hanh suggest we take a feeling, let’s say sadness, and talk to your feeling: say to your sadness “breathe – I am taking care of you now.”  Acknowledge this feeling is you and as you breath out, let it go.  Then allow for the next moment to unfold and the next feeling. Breath into that one.  Take one at a time and stay with the flow. 

 

Most importantly know that whatever you’re feeling is part of your humanness, love and hurt co-exist, one is the compliment to the other so to prevent staying in a state of suffering it helps to embrace all you feel and care for yourself.  This practice of being human is put into poetry by the poet Kahlil Gibran who wrote, “all these things shall love do unto you that you may know the secrets of your heart.”  We literally learn about ourselves as we experience emotion, feeling and thought.  We also become expert through this in the human experience. We can by caring for our own feelings learn how to care and offer compassion towards how others feel. 

“In that calmness we begin to understand that peace is not the opposite of challenge and hardship. We understand that the presence of light is not a result of darkness ending. Peace is found not in the absence of challenge but in our own capacity to be with hardship without judgment, prejudice, and resistance. We discover that we have the energy and the faith to heal ourselves, and the world, through openheartedness.” (From book All About Love)  So may you all take away from your time on the mat the courage to “CARE FOR YOUR FEELINGS” as they arise, holding them gently and then surrendering them to the next moment. Love in all ways, Silvia

 

8/6/2009   Tags:  Caring, love, feelings, hardship, sadness, breath, meditation, rumi, thich nhat hanh, kahlil gibran Direct Link

FEEL WHAT YOU FEEL: STAY HUMAN

AUGUST 4th, 2009:  Don't forget Michael Franti plays Ravinia August 27th 7:30pm, join TBY Friends in lawn for yoga on grass, drinks, food, fun before and after show.  Franti inspired me with his song, STAY HUMAN for tonight's class.

“It is not easy to keep your heart open in the face of the trials of being human.  Life can so often be difficult, disappointing; our dreams are so easily broken.  How precious, then, those shafts of sunlight that sometimes break through our daily preoccupations, our anxieties, and reveal the beauty that was there all along. 

Neither beauty nor love – for the eyes that see beauty are the eyes of love – need the absence of pain or suffering to exist.  Sometimes we know the grace of sheer joy…when the phone call comes that seems to break our world apart, does it mean that the love we once knew has gone away? 

 

No, say the poets, this is not what it means.  Even in the midst of our suffering, love can bloom.  Our weeping as well as our laughing, can open our heart to a deeper stream. 

 

When we finally stop struggling with life, stop wanting it to be anything but what it is now – not giving up but giving it over – then our heart will indeed fall open, and we shall know beyond all doubt that, however dark the night, all is already well.

 

Let us end with Rumi, and with these lines from his poem Zero Circle:

 

Be helpless, dumbfounded, unable to say yes or not.

Then a stretcher will come from grace and gather us up.

 

That will be the moment when we let go and feel the motions of tenderness that have been around us all along.”   (ten poems to open your heart by Roger Housden)

 

 

8/4/2009   Tags:  Michael Franti, anger, breath, grace, rumi, beauty, love, hurt Direct Link

YOGA IS SACRED FUN!

AUGUST 1, 2009: 

My Dear Yogi Friends,

I have been focused on SACRED FUN all week! Inspired by friends on a daily basis who make me laugh while we are on the mat sweating our bums's off and breathing big.  Interesting enough, children laugh 300 times or more per day while adults laugh an average of 17 times per day.  This shows we clearly have lots of catching up to do.  When it comes to yoga it is as my idol Judith Lasater who says, "yoga practice is important but not serious. Practice is too important to be serious."  RIGHT ON!

So today may you feel the shakti power of being present for the many blessings in your life so that you can know greater happiness. Or as Rumi says, "hear blessings dropping their blossoms around you."  Take from this that the way you practice your yoga is exactly how you can practice your life: with joyfulness and lightheartedness! 

Time on the mat is where we have the opportunity to recognize our capacity for happiness (SACRED FUN). This is really the first step in yoga. It reminds us that the universe intended for us to have a joyous experience on this earth right now, no waiting.  And although we come together in class as friends each of us has individual responsibility for our fun. We enjoy the poses for ourselves.  Dr Wayne Dyer brings this point home when he says, "You can’t go around being what everyone wants you to be, living your life through other peoples rules and expect to be happy and have inner peace." So make the daily commitment to yourself to create time for SACRED FUN.  That space to remember that happiness knows no bounds! Love yourself, love your day, love your life!  Silvia   

 

8/1/2009   Tags:  sacred fun, rumi, dr wayne dywer Direct Link

ACCEPTING OURSELVES

JULY 20TH, 2009:  Why do I come to the mat each and every day?  I return because I want to make and keep peace with who I am.  I practice in the safety of class radical self-acceptance.  Through that practice I stay present to life and what it is offering me breath to breath, email by email, thought to action to observation. We are all a work in progress but that awareness of letting ourselves be who we are is vital to positive mental, emotional and spiritual health.

 

Think about it you can come to class at any time without having to meet any single prerequisite.  You just come as you are and the power and beauty of yoga embraces you.  I can tell you during times of challenge the mat was the only place I felt like I could be myself. And I mean my real self (not the pretending we do for our neighbors, colleagues, even sometime our family members).  Eckhart Tolle in the book A New Earth says it like this on page 184:

 

"Accepting means you allow yourself to feel whatever it is you are feeling at that moment. It is part of the isness of the Now. You can't argue with what is. Well, you can, but if you do, you suffer."

 

Finding peace inside through compassionate self-acceptance is not that easy, but the thing is only when we find peace within can we become the kind of people who can live at peace with others.  It is a straightforward spiritual law.  You cannot offer to others what you don’t practice for yourself.  If you don’t have peace you can’t make peace, if you don’t love yourself you can’t really love someone else, if you don’t fully accept how amazing you are, you WILL NEVER accept others.  This is why when I’ve encountered the most critical or judgmental person I feel compassion for them because I know they are only treating me like that because they are first criticizing and belittling themselves.  I don’t want that to be the way of energy exchange for any of us. This is why I want the world to practice yoga.

 

“Some people confuse acceptance with apathy, but there`s all the difference in the world. Apathy fails to distinguish between what can and what cannot be helped; acceptance makes that distinction. Apathy paralyzes the will-to-action; acceptance frees it.” Says Anne Covey

 

And perhaps the greatest misunderstanding of acceptance is that it is apathetic. This is not the case.  Yoga is at its core learning how to accept ourselves in this moment not staying stuck in apologizing who were in the past or hyperventilating about who we might be in the future. As Fulton Oursler puts it, ‘Many of us crucify ourselves between two thieves - regret for the past and fear of the future.”  When we are allowing ourselves to accept our innate goodness we can learn how to ask ourselves better questions and to listen to the answers (i.e., What do I want? What do I feel? What do I need? How can I give myself what I need right now?) In other words we aren’t trying to fix ourselves as if we were broken we nourish ourselves with self-love.  This leads to a sense of feeling light, freer and healthier.  So today make the choice not to keep yourself in a prison of your own making through self-criticism and harsh self-judgement but instead as Rumi says, “only from the heart can you touch the sky!”  Accept yourself, lover your day, love your life! Silvia

 

 

"You do not become good by trying to be good, but by finding the goodness that is already within you, and allowing that goodness to emerge. But it can only emerge if something fundamental changes in your state of consciousness." - Page 13 Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth

 

7/20/2009   Tags:  Accepting, Self-Acceptance, Self-Love, A New Earth, Be Present, Peace, Compassion, Rumi Direct Link

TRUST IN YOUR LIFE AND THE UNKNOWN

JULY 19TH, 2009:  So I’ve been meditating on these two questions that have arisen as a result of conversations with friends.  I owe to them this inspiration and further growth.
  1. If you knew what was going to happen to your life would you trust it to be the right thing for you?
  2. If you know what’s good for you do you take that action or avoid it

If someone told you this is exactly what will take place in your life even then would have so much fundamental trust in the goodness of life and the desire of the universe to work on your behalf that you’d ride the ride? Or if some of the stuff wasn’t what you had envisioned for your life would you rebel towards it? Because the thing is either you TRUST the universe and see all as good that will unfold in your life or you see it as an enemy not trusting spirit.  These are mutually exclusive. 

 

 "Through my inner trust for my life I choose to embrace the unfolding of my future."

 

And it’s ok right not as you think about this to say I don’t know if I trust in the good.  Trust is so much about the future and those things we don’t know.  All we can do is try and open our minds and hearts to the potential for life to evolve in the direction of happiness. To believe that the universe really is working on our behalf (even if it doesn’t make sense).  Mahatma Gandhi said it like this, “Glory lies in the attempt to reach one's goal and not in reaching it.”  So just trying and making an effort is TRUST (no matter the outcome).

 

So if you take the second question, if you know what’s good for your life why do we so often look the other way? Why do we avoid the TRUTH? I mean it’s ok to go through the vetting process and get others opinions but ultimately we have to TRUST our own truth of what we know to be the way.  Shakespeare said, “Learning to trust ourselves is a worthy practice, the practice of authenticity. This is the work of aligning the standards we have for ourselves with our deepest passions and dreams. It’s the work of making promises to ourselves and keeping them. It’s the work of creating and discovering the kind of resources that can and will support our success. It’s the work of knowing who we are without judgment.”  We have to look inside, we can’t approach our lives from the outside.  As Rumi says, Knock and you shall find you have been inside all the time."  I just wish it was easier to look inwards when we’re so good at the external stuff.

 

Ultimately trust is about LOVE.  Dr Joyce Brothers says the best proof of Love is trust.  Yeah I see that, feel that, live that.  Life wants us to love more but loving more means first we must trust more.  The tough part is that there is no guarantee that we won’t get hurt (well actually of course we will).  But we must trust that as Cheryl Richardson writes in Unmistakable Touch of Grace,Every event we experience and every person we meet has intentionally been put in our path to help raise our level of consciousness.  When we awaken to this fundamental truth, life becomes a true adventure, a spiritual adventure.  The failed relationship that left you broken hearted is no longer a source of bitterness and pain.  Instead it’s seen as a blessing in disguise, a gift that makes you stronger, more conscious, and ultimately, more alive.”  No matter what you relationship with trust today, let’s strengthen the love and peace in our hearts.  Let’s start with making love a new way of life, so that we may live in love and trust the unfolding of the rest of our lives.  Be love, Silvia

7/19/2009   Tags:  TRUST, LOVE, RUMI, UNKNOWN, FEAR, RELATIONSHIPS, SPIRITUAL Direct Link

THE UNIVERSALITY OF LOVE: WHAT I LEARNED ABOUT LOVE IN ITALY 2009

JUNE 17, 2009:  I consider myself a LOVE ANTHROPOLOGIST.  I have been studying love all my life.  While I was in Tuscany last week through mere observation I gained even further insight into LOVE.  I was surrounded by it!  The way people casually touch each other in conversation, the way folks eat and make love to their food, the way folks talk about their romance with wine and even how folks are in relationship to the earth herself.  You feel that there is less self-criticism I never got that vibe from any woman “I shouldn’t eat that, this will make my but look big” Essentially I observed no declaration of self-abuse or withholding.

 

Instead it was all open armed embracing. You can sense folks love themselves.  So right now bring your right hand to your belly and your left hand to your higher heart.  We all have within us two hearts, the beating heart and the intuitive heart.  So feel right now the energy of these two hearts with your hands.  Through that connection and self embrace feel the flow of love first for yourself and all the beautiful things you love about yourself, then expand that love for others until everyone is hugged in. 

 

Swami Satchidananda says, “Real love is possible only when you see everything as yourself.”

 

This is supported in the yoga sutras Chapter 1 verse 23, “Boundless love and devotion unite us with consciousness.”  Yoga unifies, it brings us into embrace with all the world.  Love begets more love.  Or as Neem Karoli Baba says, “love everyone, serve everyone.”  This has been my mission.  But in Tuscany I could see that it was everyone’s mission!  Even some scientists are now labeling the heart as an organ of perception EQUAL to the brain.  Spiritual leaders have always known this and shared it.  You see the universe intended for us to have a joyous loving experience on earth.  This is the state from which we are created – It is our natural state of being.  There is nothing natural about living a life filled with stress and anxiety, having feelings of aloneness or despair. 


Two key learnings I gained from Tuscany were that sharing this awareness of universal love, just like our breath is universal, doesn’t mean that life is without some ups and downs or the unexpected.  A spiritually mature consciousness addresses these waves with compassion.  Nischala Joy Devi writes, “The word compassion is such a beautiful word, soft and gentle.  It is comprised of two parts: “com” meaning with and “passion” meaning any intense emotion either pleasurable or painful.  Compassion is a form of infinite love, in that nothing can affect it or limit it.” 

 

So as we ride the waves or windstorms of life if we face it from the heart of compassion we will see others as ourselves or as the Dalai Lama suggests, “Through compassion you find that all human beings are just like you” When I had my heart broken once I remember my friend David saying to me, just know that there are people all over the world same as you having this exact experience of heart break.  They too are in what he calls “the pain chamber”.  Just being reminded that I was not alone in my human experience made my time in the pain chamber less hard to bear.    

 

Join me in living with more compassion to face the windstorms:

“To love means never to be afraid of the windstorms of life;

Should you shield the canyons from the windstorms you would

Never see the beauty of the carvings.”  Elisabeth Kubler Ross

 

Please above all else wake up to the love that surrounds you everywhere!  Listen with your heart to Rumi’s suggested self-observation: 

What happens when your soul

Begins to awaken
Your eyes
And your heart
And the cells of your body
To the great Journey of Love?

 

What happens indeed?  I love myself, I love you all, I serve with my whole heart.  Silvia

 

 

6/17/2009   Tags:  love, hope, love anthropologist, self-love, SWAMI SATCHIDANANDA, Neem Karoli Baba, ELISABETH KUBLER ROSS, RUMI Direct Link

THE ART OF ENJOYING LIFE: IL BEL FAI NIENTE!

JUNE 15TH, 2009:  In Tuscany I felt this great sigh of relief, delight, joy and peace all at the same time.  From this ahhh feeling I focused my intention on learning or relearning the art of enjoyment. Now I thought I was pretty good at it already but being there showed me I still have a long way to go on my Masters degree in Pleasure. Just like yoga, practice helps. I found bliss in celebrating simple but amazing meals without hurry. I became more present to the quiet beautiful moments: I joined others as we applauded the rising of the moon at night. And isn't this what life is all about? (Read guest blogger Chance's views on Being Present below). 

 

Now you should know my Father was born in Italy so I know firsthand that the Italian people have a deep respect for the philosophy of enjoyment. This is the idea of IL BEL FAI NIENTE which means "the beauty of doing nothing."  Remember this passage from Elizabeth Gilbert in Eat, Pray, Love "Generally speaking, Americans have an inability to relax into sheer pleasure.  Ours is an entertainment-seeking nation, but not necessarily a pleasure-seeking one.  Americans spend billions to keep themselves amused but that's not exactly the same thing as quiet enjoyment.  Americans work harder and longer and more stressful hours than anyone in the world today.  Of course we all inevitably work too hard, then we get burned out and have to spend the whole weekend in our pajamas staring at the TV in a mild coma (which is the opposite of working, yes, but not exactly the same thing as pleasure.) Americans don't really know how to do nothing. 

 

But against the backdrop of hard work, il bel fai niente, has always been a cherished Italian ideal. The beauty of doing nothing is the goal of all your work, the final accomplishment for which you are most highly congratulated. You don't necessarily have to be rich in order to experience this, either.  Anyone with a talent for happiness can do this, not only the rich."

 

So ask yourself how do you define pleasure? Enjoyment? Joy?  Are you living life “self-specific” or still making everyone elses opinions more important than your own?  For when you live life on your terms you find the flow. You step into the currents of grace.  Rumi says, “When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy.”  For many of us Savasana is that first experience of il bel fai niente.  It is as Sarah Powers described her first savasana, “naptime, that she experienced an unusual peace, which she pinpointed to an absence of longing, it was clarity with joy underneath, and she decided she had to come back to yoga, that it would be hard but hard didn’t mean bad.”  So I hope you join me on the mat to find the clarity of heart that will move your spirit to enjoying your life more!  Love in all ways, Silvia

 

 

6/15/2009   Tags:  joy, enjoyment, pleasure, il bel fai niente, rumi, happiness Direct Link

LIFE IS BEAUTY! BEAUTY IS LOVE, LOVE IS EVERYWHERE

THEME JUNE 14TH, 2009:  I wrote to a friend while in Italy (and thank you for letting me share this part with everyone) I wrote "Life here is all beauty!" This inspired me to meditate and bring this more to life in class today.  I do want to say the most beautiful part of Italy was the 10 other pilgrims on the path of love that were with me. They started as strangers and we ended up as friends.  108 hugs and kisses to each of you!

What I learned from trip: life is beauty, beauty is love, love is everywhere.  In what we eat, drink, do, say, feel.  It is as Kahlil Gibran says, "When you reach the heart of life you shall find beauty in all things.

 

Join me in offering this day or this hour or this month to the alchemy of love and beauty.  Let this promise help you further ignite the fire element of summer, associated with the heart meridian promoting joy and celebration and light!  Bow in to your own heart so you might be more present to the treasure chest of beauty found inside you. From this awareness we then see more clearly the beauty all around us.  As Rumi writes, “Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.

 

I know taking down the walls or reducing your guard is not easy. Believe me I get that. But we must acknowledge that we have a choice. We can choose to see the beauty in all things.  This is especially healing when the fire element is weak and fear of connecting to others has set in.  I promise you this, if you make even the most difficult person or circumstance part of your practice saying to them “I believe in the beauty and good in this troubling person or difficult situation and I know by doing so more beauty will be revealed to me.” You will shift into your best VIBRATION.  This comes about as our minds quiet and our hearts open and we begin to better see our true most beautiful reflection mirrored back to us in the world!

 

May we all let beauty from inside be revealed for beauty is love, love is everywhere!  With lovingkindness, Silvia

 

6/14/2009   Tags:  LOVE, BEAUTY, RUMI, vibration, Kahlil Gibran, light Direct Link

DECISIVENESS

MAY 21, 2009:  Where do we make decisions from?  The heart put the mind down tonight, let it rest. Don’t think but feel.  If we convince ourselves to decide only with our minds we will talk ourselves out of the best experiences of life.  It is possible to over analyze any situation or decision all the way into procrastination.  However, if we let our heart consciousness take an active role we’ll find we become more decisive and present.  Vanna Bonta puts it like this, she says “heart needs only its own voice to do what is right.”

 

I know this is scary.  Feeling is always more vulnerable than thinking.  But making decisions from the inside is the only way.  Rumi says “If you want to find the greatest treasure, don't look outside, Look within, and SEEK THAT."  We can collect opinions from others but they will always be only opinions.  No one can decide for us what actions to take in our lives.  We can try to give up our choices to others but this will only lead to frustration in the end. No one else knows our hearts the way we do, not even our partners.  So be afraid but be real.  Susan Jeffers writes, Feel the fear and do it anyway!’

 

Most of all BE DECISIVE!  In the fortune 200 corporate world the greatest push back I would receive having come from an entrepreneurial background (worked for two Inc 500 companies) was about making decisions. I would advise we do something and if it didn’t work, we could always make a different decision. The “we’ve always done it this way” but it’s not working didn’t play with me.  If it is not working then change it. Try something, for goodness sake try anything!

 

Do this practice on the mat. Practice here so you can be more decisive in your life decisions.

 

Another area where we lose ground in being decisive is obsessing about why others make decisions the way they do.  We cannot control the choices others make so analyzing it to pieces won’t help. All we can do is make decisions for ourselves in spite of what others do or don’t do.  You are the only one that decides your actions!  What I am invoking here is that we see ourselves as INVENTORS, CREATORS.  Creative in how we choose to live life.  Being in charge of our lives is the ultimate form of creative expression!  So embody the TBY Rebel Spirit Manifesto.  Own your own life - start today, be decisive.  Love life and it will love you back! Silvia     

 

TBY Rebel Spirit Manifesto:

Be FREE

Break out of the box

LOVE Fiercely

Throw OUT the rules

Take a  RISK

Say I CAN

Say I WILL

 

 

 

5/21/2009   Tags:  DECISIVENESS, fear, rumi, love, rebel spirit, heart Direct Link

STOP THE NOISE: COURAGE TO CHANGE

MAY 12, 2009:  I had this illuminating conversation with an old returning client this morning.  They had been away from yoga for 6 months and were coming back today to take one class.  I bow to their quiet courage to begin again. The first step towards changing your life is the most difficult. I know this.

 

At the same time you guys I asked why not make a bolder decision and see themselves of deserving of one hour per week from this day forward, whether it’s yoga class or a cup of tea or reading a book. From my heart I tried to encourage them to see that they are deserving of at least this I am sure they didn’t believe me (yet).  Because the gosh honest truth is that if you want to STOP THE NOISE in your head and find clarity, more importantly MAINTAIN mental and emotional clarity well you need to make a commitment of more than one hour every 6 months. 

 

It does take courage to change your life.  And no matter how badly I want it for you. You have to do it yourself. You must take action.  This is karma.

 

You must stand up for your rights as Bob & Ziggy Marley sing. If there is anything worth committing to it is your right to be peaceful and happy.  It is your choice.  Rascal Flats in this utube clip below puts it like this, “I hope the day comes easy and the moments pass slow and each road leads you to where you want to go and if you're faced with the choice and you have to choose I hope you choose the one that means the most to you.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R_zi4OxJpY0&feature=related

 

The key thing here is to make the commitment to yourself to turn inside so you can stop all the EXTERNAL NOISE long enough to realize what changes we want, which choices, which roads mean the most to us.  I truly hope we can all find the courage within ourselves to heed the advice of the Yoga Sutras that ask us to observe within our hearts are we  “running away from the life we’re afraid of or are we running towards the changes that bring about the peace and health we want instead.”  STOP THE NOISE, get on the mat. Make healthier choices through your courage to change! Love yourself, Silvia

**Rumi says STOP THE NOISE**

5/12/2009   Tags:  CHANGE, RUMI, HAPPINESS, courage, choices, commitment Direct Link

LOVEFIRE: BURN OFF NEGATIVE - IGNITE LOVE!

MAY 5th, 2009:  I dedicate today's class to my Father Enrico's whose birthday is today even though he is not of this earth any longer.  I also wish happiest birthday's to Judy, Janet, Reid, Lisa.

Set your life on fire.
Seek those who fan your flames. - RUMI

 

We’re almost to that time of year that we soon will start to gather at our fire pits in the backyard like small tribes of suburbanites going back into our old ancestral collective.  To me this gathering together ritual over fire seems so natural.  In the philosophies of yoga it is said that the root cause of our suffering is aloneness, the feeling of being separated from others. This aloneness can lead to a buzz where as Sadie Nardini says, “being alone made the past too loud, my fears to amplified.”  

 

It is through uniting (yoga) together that we see this is not the case.  We are not alone. There are others on this same trip as us.  We are all gathered around a larger FIRE of humanity sharing everything in common.  So today we INVOKE the FIRE element to make room to IGNITE more LOVE.  Fire purifies, detoxifies turns so we meditate on what we can “surrender to the fire” that no longer serves the kind of life we want to live.  So say to yourself in this breath “I surrender to the fire….” And then let go of any destructive, negative beliefs, throw into the fire your emotional baggage, free your life of what you want to see burned away.  Offer even a forgiveness.

 

Now with greater confidence and space created we can use the burning off of past negativity as a bonfire to ignite bigger Love.  Love is this feeling of inner brightness that no matter what challenges have been met, lessons learned we use them as the kindling to build more loving, happier lives.  I you were to write a love letter to yourself right now what would it say?  I might write something like, “I love you because you are kind and generous. Your are gentle and want good things for all people. I love you because I like being with you during quiet moments as well as during great adventures! I love you and want you to be happy and peaceful.”  I encourage you to take 2 minutes and write a letter to yourself now.    

 

Just as the poets write about the passion of love there is heat to that experience.  It is the LOVEFIRE!  When we are in love with ourselves and our lives, doing what we love we spark greater and greater passion for life itself!  So use today to do your own fire ceremony in an effort to let go of the negative and do what interests you today. Do what makes you feel excited and inspired!  And then keep the spark lit up by remaining true to your passions.  Love yourself, love your day, love your life! Silvia

The day will come when we shall harness the energies of love. And, on that day, for the second time in the history of the world, the human being will have discovered fire. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1881 - 1955)

5/5/2009   Tags:  love, fire, rumi, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, agni, passion Direct Link

DRUNK ON LIFE: APPRECIATING WHAT'S IN FRONT OF YOU

APRIL 29TH, 2009:  I called today’s class DRUNK ON LIFE.  What I mean is “How do we stop trying so hard to control all outcomes and instead appreciate what life is offering.”  To be honest I have not been intoxicated on any sort of external substance for fifteen years.  When I started my spiritual practice I didn’t want it or need other stuff.  Don’t get me wrong, do I enjoy a chilly corona or nice glass of wine? Absolutely! But it means on occasion with awareness.

I don’t need anything more than being high on self-love to feel drunk on life.  Love is my drug.  

Is it easy to continuously self-generate love in what is an often chaotic sometimes mean world?  No it’s not really. But we must.  We have a choice: we can choose hate or we can choose love; we can choose anxiety or we can choose peace; we can deny happiness or we can choose to be happy; we can choose 4 beers or we can choose 1.  We can choose to be drunk on life or give up on seeing ourselves deserving of love.  We can choose to say "ok" is enough or we can choose to say YES! to life.

How do we do this?  Yup that’s always the question right.  Well as Rumi writes, “Sit be still and listen because your drunk.”  We come to the mat to remember to remember we are responsible for loving ourselves first and foremost.  The practice reminds us that we are already DRUNK, we have this amazing potential to be happy every single moment.  We can be in love with life drunk on our human experience WITHOUT external stimulants.  And when we send this message of love to the universe -- it answers back.  It's so simple:  Love life and Life will love you back!  So please join me tonight at 6:15pm.  Let’s get drunk together J  Love your day, Silvia

 
4/29/2009   Tags:  LOVE, Love is My Drug, SELF-LOVE, rumi, AWARENESS, WAKE-UP, HAPPINESS Direct Link

BELIEVE IT: LOVE HEALS

APRIL 20TH, 2009:  Spiritual practice doesn't mean we don't ever face self doubt or worry.  We do.  The difference for me in my life is that when this happens I know better questions to ask myself.  Then it’s a matter of believing, trusting, having pure faith.  In what?  It's easy, LOVE.

Love does heal, will heal, if you step into the currents of grace and allow it to flow into your life. 

What blocks the flow is fear, the enemy of love. Fear is any form of negativity. Don’t wait, remove the blocks of negativity that is slowing the flow of love into your life and you'll come to believe this yourself. 

In yoga we are the lover and the beloved:  As Rumi writes, We are the mirror as well as the face in it.  We are pain and what cures pain both.  He encourages you to, “Let yourself be silently drawn by the stronger pull of what you really love.”  He puts it most simply when he writes:

I love myself...I love you.

I love you...I love myself.

 

5 ELEMENTS MEDITATION: LOVE HEALS

Part of my healing took place as I practiced a technique based on the teachings of Swami Kaleshwar. You sit or lie down, holding your hands just above your shoulders. You repeat the mantra, "Oh God, my heart is open to you, please come sit in my heart". You say this once for each fingertip. Your thumb is the Earth, your index finger is the Fire, the middle is Sky, the ring finger is Water and the small finger is Air.

You say the mantra for each fingertip giving each one a little wiggle as you say it. You may feel heat or a tingling sensation after a few weeks or months of practice. Each fingertip contains a chakra for receiving energy that corresponds to the five elements energy. When you are asking God into your heart you are drawing natural energy in through your fingertips.   Performing this meditation technique for 15 minutes twice a day will open your heart to pull the divine energy in you. It will help dissolve your layers and problems in love. It is said that Shiva (Father energy), is flowing in the five elements. Shiva is said to be the Lord of five elements, Namashivaya. He is the pure consciousness, the highest person to reach in the universe. He's where you will find peace. Connecting to Shiva brings you the deepest peace and silence. This deep peace helps you transcend your problems and emotional blocks. When you are in a negative state of mind it helps you come back to your natural states of Love, confidence and happiness. It aligns you with divine peace, intelligence and creativity. This technique is for charging and aligning yourself with LOVE energy. Try it for yourself and see.  Big love, love, love to you all, Silvia

 

4/20/2009   Tags:  love, meditation, Shiva, spiritual practice, trust, faith, fear, Rumi Direct Link

LOVER OF LIFE - HAPPY SPRING!

MARCH 20TH, 2009:  On this beautiful first day of Spring I wish you love!  I am deeply inspired by my favorite poet Rumi.  "For Rumi, to be alive is to be a lover" and all great spiritual teachers say this same thing.  (Quoted from Washington Post 2008).  Yeah, that's right.  For me yoga opened the door to living life more fully.

This is that idea that  if you love life, life will love you back!  Rumi puts it like this, "Come to my side I will open the gate to your love."  Living life prior to fifteen years ago I dreamed of peaceful love but it was like I couldn't find the door or window to unlock to really experience it.  My yoga practice showed me that doors, windows, gates are open everywhere welcoming me to love more.  I was feelng like what Rumi writes, "I yearn for happiness, I ask for help."  Yoga helped me as I hope it helps you feel more, LOVE more.

But over the last fifteen years there have still been days where I have to be reminded not to contract but like the buds of Spring expand and grow.  Rumi's words hold great meaning when he writes, "Today, we wake up empty and frightened. Don't open the door to the study and begin reading.  Take down a musical instrument. Let the BEAUTY WE LOVE be what we do."  It is easy to face hardship and stop making music, stop making love with life but "we cannot go back to sleep, you must ask for what you really want." (Rumi)

I just wish someone would have told me that being a lover of life takes raw guts and quiet courage.  I know that now and I hope in every single class together I can inspire you to cultivate your greatest inner strength and courage to shine out.  I will tell it how it is, living happy, peaceful and loving will ask you to step in with both feet and make a full blast effort.  The great news is that this is the perfect time right now to fall madly in love with life!  So join me on the path and let's flow together!  BIG LOVE, Silvia

 "Wake up lovers, it is time to start the Journey!
Let us kiss the ground and flow like a river towards the Ocean.
It is best to travel with Companions on this Jouney.
Only love can lead the way."

 

3/20/2009   Tags:  Love, Rumi, Self-love, joy, happiness Direct Link

BLESSINGS

MARCH 10, 2009:  Inhaling we breath in the gift of the universe, life itself.  Exhaling with gratitude for this gift. 

By focusing on your body and the life giving air you breath into it, you will help to heal your life as a by-product. It is the easiest way to give thanks for our many blessings.  When we are worried our breathing changes and we often become short of breath, denying the most important blessing of all. Our life giving breath.  Today we won the lotto of life!  Not everyone was chosen to breath today so let us give thanks and really really mean it.

 

Emerson put it like this, “Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything that is beautiful; for beauty is God's handwriting - a wayside sacrament. Welcome it in every fair face, in every fair sky, in every fair flower, and thank God for it as a cup of blessing.

3/10/2009   Tags:  blessings, rumi, Emerson, Direct Link

REVEALING THE TRUE SELF

MARCH 4TH, 2009:  “Your teacher can open the door, but you must enter by yourself.”  -- Chinese Proverb 

Svadhyaya is the yogic term that means 'self-study'. It is one of yoga's five Niyamas and fundamental yogic philosophies.   Svadhyaya, as much of yoga is intended, is an effort to allow the sadhaka (practitioner) methods for greater insight into their own true nature.  While on the mat we realize things about ourselves.  If you break down the word 'realize' to 'real-ize', we see that it means to 'make real'. Svadhyaya is the practice of realizing that our life is really real; it is a practice, but not a dress rehearsal.

 

The process feels something like this:  1) time in quiet contemplation allows you to reflect on all that you’ve learned up to this point in your life.  Every event of your life has offered its lessons.  We see what has shaped us so that we stop being prisoners of our pasts and instead become architects of our futures! 2) Anchoring in our bodies helps us to be present to ourselves, to ask the right questions, to listen to the answers:  what do I want for my life? What do I need?  And this is what forms our intentions for making real what our dreams are.  "Everyone, when they are young, knows what their destiny is. At that point in their lives, everything is clear and everything is possible. They are not afraid to dream, and to yearn for everything they would like to see happen to them in their lives."

A wonderful Rumi writing to continue to inspire you to see yourself as you really are and not settle for less, not a moment more!   Love, Silvia

All day I think about it, then at night I say it.
Where did I come from, and what am I supposed to be doing?
My soul is from elsewhere, I'm sure of that,
And I intend to end up there.
This drunkenness began in some other tavern.
When I get back around to that place I'll be completely sober.
Meanwhile, I'm like a bird from another continent, sitting in this aviary.
The day is coming when I fly off,
But who is it now in my ear, who hears my voice?
Who says words with my mouth?
Who looks out with my eyes?
What is soul?
I cannot stop asking.
If I could taste one sip of an answer,
I could break out of this prison for drunks.
I didn't come here of my own accord, and I can't leave that way.
Whoever brought me here will have to take me home!"

 

3/4/2009   Tags:  SELF-LOVE, SELF-ACCEPTANCE, Rumi, realize, real, Svadhyaya Direct Link

WORDLESS MESSAGES

MARCH 1, 2009:  I’m Italian, we naturally speak in an animated style with lots of gestures and intonation.  It is in effort to be really heard amongst the chaos of other voices.  Maybe your family is like this too?  With Yoga practice it anchors us to our body so we don’t slip into constant chaos of mind.  This improves our ability to listen.  In each pose we ask ourselves how can I use this pose to be more: accepting of myself, to practice being less reactive, to respond appropriately to what I feel and hear.  Remembering always that the healthiest person is not the one who goes farthest in the pose but is the person whose mind is so quiet they can listen to what their body is saying and honor it. 

Yoga is the greatest environment to quiet the mind and listen to yourself.  And undoubtedly whether you want it to or not when you practice stuff comes up, judgement, criticism, frustration, competitiviness  and it becomes this great opportunity to listen and let go of what you feel, reducing tensions that might poison our ability to communicate.  We take this ability to listen to the other languages of wordless messaging into our life.  Just think of how as human creatures we talk to each other with smiles, with handshakes, with hugs, with laughter, with eye contact, with touching, holding, enfolding, and a myriad of gestures.  These TOO are languages.  Some of which may speak louder than words.  Today witness the messages from your inner self through your breath moment to moment in order to become more responsive to your needs. Hear your unique gifts.  Or as RUMI says "Hear blessings dropping their blossoms around all."  Love in all ways! Silvia

3/1/2009   Tags:  communication, langauge, listening, mantra, rumi Direct Link

NEW BEGINNINGS

JANUARY 8, 2009:  I dedicate this day, this practice to one of my dear girlfriends, you know who you are!  I am deeply honored you consider me your friend and I hope this year brings the fulfillment of your most authentic self.  Namaste from my heart to yours: "the beauty in me recognizes and revels in the beauty of you and we are one!" 

 

Yoga helps us to appreciate endings and beginnings with equal enthusiasm.  Really every ending signifies a new beginning and even inside the breath there exists a beginning, middle and end.  For most of us we are better at initiating new stuff or completing tasks, there aren’t many of us that without trying are equally balanced in doing both.  So that’s where the yoga comes in handy.  If you have a million new ideas and new projects for the year but you look around you at home and have the million things from last year started but never finished then focus a little bit more on the compliment or completion phase this year. Or for those of us that are afraid of making new starts, trying new things then this is the year to boldly set our course for uncharted waters. 

 

Start where you are and commit to the new beginning you wish to experience in your life.  I want to thank our Thursday night Level 1 friends for honestly sharing what they would like to begin this year:  fly fishing, rock climbing, making breakfast for a partner, hip hop dancing, guitar lessons, snow shoeing, making new friends, working less, stripping class (and more!)  That’s awesome! 

 

Whatever you decide you need more of in your life I implore you not to just stand at the shore looking out onto the ocean but dive into the water, surf water, sail the water but get involved with your life. As Jon Kabat Zinn says, “when you cease working at life it ceases working for you.”  Aspire to live life more FULLY!  Big Love to each of you! Silvia

 

Rumi says, "Very little grows on jagged rock, be ground, be crumbled, so wild flowers will come up where you are. You've been stony for too many years.  Try something different."

1/8/2009   Tags:  Beginnings, Endings, Courage, Hope, Jon Kabat Zinn, Rumi Direct Link

COLD OUTSIDE: SUNNY ON THE INSIDE

DECEMBER 1, 2008:  As you close your eyes you turn into the darkness to see that inner light within the untouched place known as maja.  It is a place unblemished by sadness or meanness or anger.  It is the seat of wisdom known as our spiritual heart.  The yogis believe that each of us replicates the world at large, embodying "rivers, seas, mountains, fields...stars and planets...the sun and moon" (Shiva Samhita, II.1-3).  The outer sun, they asserted, is in reality a token of our own "inner sun," which corresponds to our subtle, or spiritual, heart.

So when we practice Surya Namaskar, which is a humble adoration of the insight of the self it namaskar stems from namas, which means "to adore." (The familiar phrase we use to close our yoga classes, namastete means "you"—also comes from this root.) Each Sun Salutation begins and ends with the joined-hands mudra (gesture) touched to the heart with the intention behind it of “I adore myself”.

So today no matter the cold, snow or emotional challenges outside you see it is always sunny and sweet deep inside.  Amidst the chaos of life there is an inner calm.  Or as the poet writes,  If the sun were not in love, he would have no brightness, the side of the hill no grass on it.

You light the fire of love
in earth and sky
in heart and soul
of every being.

Through your love
existence and nonexistence merge.
All opposites unite.
All that is profane
becomes sacred again. 
 

Keep stirring the sunny side my friends!  Love Big, Silvia

 

 

12/1/2008   Tags:  MAJA, SURYA, HEART, RUMI, Inspiration, courage Direct Link

THANKSGIVING 2008: HEART EXPANSION!

NOVEMBER 28, 2008:  I know we are a super brain focused society. I get that, having spent many years in the corporate world I lived that way too.  But I also remember having my brain feel overworked all the time.  Today (well maybe even a little bit every day) join me in focusing on expanding the heart, allow your brain to relax, put it on vacation.

My teacher Shiva said once, "our hearts emit an electromagnetic field of energy, which can be measured by scientists. Intererstingly enough, the heart's electromagnetic field measure much higher than the brain's."  Pretty cool huh?

So on this special Thanksgiving we moved and breathed as a community of the heart which we call a KULA.  We all showed up ready to give our personal best and taking to heart the words of Rumi,

"Wake up lovers, it is time to start the Journey!
Let us kiss the ground and flow like a river towards the Ocean.
It is best to travel with Companions on this Jouney.
Only love can lead the way."

11/27/2008   Tags:  Rumi, Heart, Love, Brain Down Direct Link

FESTIVAL OF HAPPINESS: TRAINING FOR HAPPINESS

NOVEMBER 25, 2008:  My favorite Rumi poem begins: "Come for today is a day of festival, Henceforward joy and pleasure are on the increase. Clap hands, say, 'Today is all happiness, from the beginning it was a manifestly fine day.”

If we were going to run a marathon we would likely do some training before the day of the race.  So it is with yoga, essentially it is HAPPINESS TRAINING.  We get to explore or get a taste of our best selves on the mat and having tried it out on the mat we then bring that best selve into the world.  It is a real awakening to our potential.  The training pays off in that yoga is a practice that than delivers results into our LIFE PRACTICE. 

The worst thing we could do is be couch potatoes from life living in what Donna Farhi calls a state of "spiritual amnesia".  The happiness training of yoga restores our sense of wholeness where we feel more awake and again live life with humble appreciation for its enormous gifts!  Yours, with blessings, Silvia

11/25/2008   Tags:  Happiness, Rumi, Awaken, Connection Direct Link

CLAP HANDS - TODAY IS A DAY OF FESTIVAL!

NOVEMBER 14TH, 2008:  My favorite Rumi poem begins: "Come for today is a day of festival, Henceforward joy and pleasure are on the increase. Clap hands, say, 'Today is all happiness, from the beginning it was a manifestly fine day.” It reminds me of when we were kids and we’d clap our hands together to celebrate ourselves spontaneously. How great was that!  To clap and celebrate ones own life is yoga!  The Dalai Lama puts it like this when he says “the roots of all goodness lie in the soul of appreciation for goodness.”  When we symbolically clap hands by saying nice things to ourselves through our thoughts we are appreciating our goodness.  Healthy self-esteem comes from seeing our own gifts, unabashedly celebrating them thus making today a day of happiness, a really fine day.

If we seek our happiness outside ourselves it sets us up for disappointment.  Or as Dr Wayne Dyer says "Every moment that you spend upset, in despair, in anguish, angry or hurt because of the behaviour of anybody else in your life is a moment in which you have given up control of your life."  So join me in clapping hands every day (even at the end of a yoga class!)  My hope is that if we can let go of our pretenses we will be able to more easily share the amazing beauty and humor of our real selves. Just try it, spontaneiously express your joy and appreciation for your life by clapping hands, I’m sure it will make you smile!  Love Big In All Ways, Silvia  

 

11/14/2008   Tags:  Rumi, happiness, self love, wayne dyer, dalai lama Direct Link

SQUEEZED, TESTED, CHALLENGED?

SEPTEMBER 25TH:  It is undisputable fact that one is always getting tested, squeezed, and challenged.  A meditative practice like yoga enables you to step back, catch a better view of your struggle and ask yourself this question:  When knocked down, do you crawl back to your feet, brush yourself off and stare the challenge in the eyes OR do you stay down for the count? Use your time on the mat to really face your inner strength.  Discover for yourself that you can face anything! And for further inspiration the words of Rumi:

 

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.  (RUMI)

9/25/2008   Tags:  Rumi, Strength Direct Link

ROCK YOUR BHAKTI: TRANSLATION (LOVE ROCKS!)

SEPTEMBER 23, 2008: This is what I've been meditating about...

Is it more important to be right or to be happy?

Is it more important to be right or to be in love with life?

Is it more important to be right or to be peaceful?

 

Tonight let’s stop being offended: by the body, by illness, by someone at work, by economic conditions. Let’s accept where we are at, start there and broaden into love.  As Eckhart Tolle writes, “Sometimes letting things go is an act of far greater power than defending or hanging on.”  So bring on the bhakti, make love bigger! Put down your weapons, step away from defending how right you are, how smart you are and trust in love.  As it is written in the bible 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always preserves.”

 

Each day is an opportunity to gather with our fellow human creatures not to do battle, not to document rights and wrongs but to make the time to love one another. Rumi says it like this:

 

This is a gathering of Lovers.
In this gathering
there is no high, no low,
no smart, no ignorant,
no special assembly,
no grand discourse,
no proper schooling required.
There is no master,
no disciple.
This gathering is more like a drunken party,
full of tricksters, fools,
mad men and mad women.
This is a gathering of Lovers. 
-Rumi

 

9/23/2008   Tags:  BHAKTI, LOVE, RUMI Direct Link

FACING OUR FEARS

JULY 18TH, 2008:  So this week I received an invitation to go somewhere that was out of my comfort zone and I found myself even as a grown up a little afraid.  Mostly afraid of the story I had made up in my mind about the potential judgement folks would have of me.  I had to really meditate on the future focused ILLUSION fear creates. 

"Open the window in the center of your chest and let spirit move in and out." --RUMI

So I asked myself as I often have when confronted with fear: IF I WASN'T AFRAID I WOULD....

Rumi says it best when we face our fears the windows to our hearts open wide.  Fear only separates us.  In class we use the asanas (poses) to help open our hearts, facing even the scary one's like going upside down with quiet courage.  It is sort of like when we wake up in a dark room and first open our eyes and we can't see anything, then slowly our eyes acclimate.  The same is for yoga.

There might be fear going inside our hearts where it might be dark or scary but with time and dedicated practice we learn to see clearly.  So take to heart the words of Mark Twain shared with me by student John P  ---  "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do.  So throw off the bowlnes. Sail away from safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. EXPLORE. DREAM. DISCOVER."    Jai Ma! Silvia

 

7/19/2008 3:41:53 PM   Tags:  rumi, mark twain, fear, darkness Direct Link

LISTENING - REALLY, REALLY LISTENING

JULY 11TH, 2008:  In Yoga we talk a lot about observing ourselves (sensations, thoughts, experiences). This is one of the Niyamas (philosophical suggestions for how to treat ourselves) known as Svadhyaya.  So in talking about Listening as our theme it is just another way of talking about the self-study of Svadhyaya.

The word "study" can be defined as the "unceasing, dedicated observation and investigation of whatever arises, be in pleasant or unpleasant" (from Heartwood of the Bodhi Tree).  Each practice is this opportunity to really, really listening to what is percolating and evolving inside us.  From this we develop an understanding that we can only really listen to another human being if we first practice and grow skilled listening to our own hearts first.

The take home practice is to choose one person we could related to better and for just one day commit to listening to them.  I mean really listening, asking yourself: did I observe their words, their intonation, their body language, did I notice what is not being said?

So feel free let me know how this suggestion worked for you.  Would love to hear your stories!

From Rumi, "What is deep listening? Sama is a greeting from the secret ones inside the heart, like a letter."

 

7/13/2008 6:30:19 PM   Tags:  Rumi, Bodhi Tree, Listening, Svadhyaya Direct Link

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