All-Over Adjustment

All-Over Adjustment

  By Laura Mills

   My adulthood so far has consisted of two phases: “Before Yoga” and “With Yoga.” In the first phase I worked a fine job and maintained my home life and body in the way I thought best for me. The plan worked, for a while, but by my late-twenties I had wedged myself into a meltdown between grief and confusion. In its midst, yoga seemed like something worth trying…and thus began the second phase. Since then, I’ve learned what changes to make and how to make them, as well as how to coexist with all aspects of my life (even those that didn’t turn out the way I originally wanted). I’ve also learned to honor myself ALWAYS as a unique and beautiful being. 
   Whether or not a yogi’s story involves major life alterations, at some level the practice changes all of us. Even if we only try yoga because it looks fun, or we want to someday balance on our hands, the practice leaves us in a place different from the one in which we began. I consider all the yogi stories I’ve heard since I started my own practice: among many others, stories involving stress reduction and recovery from tragedy or illness; stories of yoga as a hobby, as cross-training for other sports, as a component of an overall fitness program; stories about yoga feeling good, teaching people about themselves, and enabling them to meet their spirituality. I love yogi stories. To me they represent the tremendous spectrum of human experience and the fact that, no matter who we are or where we come from, we all revolve around the same amazing center. 

8/27/2011   Tags:  Yoga, before and with, grief, confusion, phase, honor myself, trying yoga, stress reduction, recovery, balance life, fitness, learning, spirituality Direct Link

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

ARE YOU GROWING? A TEST OF SPIRITUAL GROWTH

March 20, 2011.  I often ask myself what is the true test of my Spiritual Growth? Or more simply put I meditate on the question "Am I still growing?"  When I was little my Mom measured us (me and my brother) against the door in our house and marked the little lines proving I was actually growing physically.  You did that too, right? Well, I loved that.  I was sad the day she stopped doing it and I stopped growing.

Well that's speaking to physical growth.  I am as tall as I'm going to be (although to be honest by practicing yoga I've gotten a little taller, just a quarter inch but that's pretty cool).

However what I'm speaking about is emotional and spiritual growth.  My aspiration continues to be that I grow into the BEST version of myself.  And that's what I hope for you too. 

Or as True Nobility is defined: it is not about being better than anyone else, it is about being better than you used to be, much better.  This is the barometer of our ability to raise our spiritual energy. Are you better than you used to be?  Are you growing?

"The only difference between a flower that is alive and one that is dead is that the live flower is still growing."  - Dr Wayne Dyer

For me I received so much nourishment, like a flower, from my daily yoga practice that I wanted more. That's when I started taking yoga workshops: first they were the 2 hour kind, then the half day, then the full day, finally entire weekends both locally and eventually I started traveling all over the U.S to attend 2-3 day trainings and workshops until I went all the way by signing up for a one week yoga retreat in Italy with Sadie Nardini.  Well that did it for me. I could experience for myself that to keep growing I had to keep investing in myself and more time dedicated to evolving my consciousness was required to do that.  And traveling to new places and exploring new territories externally matched the growth I was making internally.  They went hand in hand.

And that's when I made the commitment to start leading yoga retreats combined with other ways to express one's yoga and vitality like cycling and hiking. I want to give everyone a chance to really invest in your own growth and raise your energy by visiting places that support your evolution.

You see, until the last breath, I don't buy into wellness as defined by the AMA as the "absence of illness". I believe in the potential for radiant health (shakti) as the World Health Organization defines wellness.  I am growing! And I am learning. And the higher my vibration the softer I get on the outside. I am kinder, more patient, nicer and easily more loving.  I think we all are when we're growing.  So make that commitment to yourself keep affirming your life! Love yourself, love your day, love your life, Silvia

 

In the words of Lao Tzu, 

"At birth all people are soft and yielding

At death they are hard and stiff

All green plants are tender and yielding

At death they are brittle and dry

When hard and rigid we consort with death

When soft and flexible we Affirm Greater Life."

3/20/2011   Tags:  Spiritual growth, alchemy tours, yoga retreats, growing, true nobility, best, alive, learning, wellness, expansion, self-love, sadie nardini, radiance, shakti Direct Link

TRUST AND SURRENDER AS SPIRITUAL ALCHEMY

March 11, 2011.  There is this spiritual alchemy where we move beyond wanting life to be different and begin to feel the surrender that allows what is being offered.  We practice ishvara pranidhana as we trust the universal intelligence that hugs us from all directions to know what it's doing.  And once we find this trust we begin to believe that beauty and goodness are within us flowing nonstop and there is no reason to stop this flow for its natural current is to align with the current of grace that is everywhere outside us.  

Beauty becomes our way of life.  Happiness becomes our natural spiritual alchemy when we practice ishvara pranidhana. 

You see when we come to the mat we are like the Alchemist in his laboratory mixing ingredients.  For us as yogis our laboratory is our mat and the ingredents are our bodies, our poses, our breath, our thoughts and the mixing it all together creates a result every time.  For me the hardest practice is wanting to rewrite the past instead of just letting it go.  I waste time wishing things had been different which pulls me out of the present.  And when we are not living in the present there is No trust for other people or the universal energies that support us.  This really messes with my people relationships and so I come to the mat to get beyond this.

 "Sometimes in order to be happy in the present moment you have to be willing to give up all hope for a better past."

Can we practice our life in a way that if something doesn’t work out the way you want it to we don’t fall apart? Can you endeavor to life your best life without attachment to the outcome but instead a trust for what is?  Or as Judith Lasater puts it, “The best practice is that that asks us to believe without proof of the future, without confirmation that the outcome will be what we want it to be. It just is, it is a state of being. A place of being present and allowing the next thing to unfold. Yoga teaches us that place of not knowing.”

This is the idea that we can practice experiencing each moment not needing it to be different but to trust what is unfolding and enjoying it fully in that state of trusting a greater energy, Ishvara Pranidhana. Love yourself, love your day, love your life! Silvia

Join me on a yoga retreat www.alchemytours.com stay connected on facebook friend ME! 

3/11/2011   Tags:  trust, surrender, spiritual alchemy, alchemy tours, silvia mordini, ishvara pranidhana, yoga sutras, be present, past, present, future, unknown Direct Link

MY FATHER MY FIRST TEACHER AND WHY I LOVE TRAVELING THE WORLD

January 9, 2011.  I have often been asked "who was my first yoga teacher".  Well that's easy, it was my Father.  And as he really was a professor that makes sense and doesn't. My father was teaching me the Yoga of Life.  Yoga of Adventure. Yoga of Experiencing the world!

You see my Father, Enrico, was at heart a pure adventurer and my Mother's parents were serious spiritual seekers.  I grew up traveling all over the world with my brother and parents from the time I was an infant.  I guess the fact that I love to show other people the beauty of the world through Yoga Retreats and Active Vacations shouldn't surprise anyone since I was born in Ecuador, South America and my Father is from Northern Italy near Modena, and English was my third language.  One could say being a citizen of the world is in my blood.  And I learned from my Father, this spirit of Don Quixote, Man of La Mancha, to dream the impossible.  I saw with my own eyes, touched and tasted new flavors, experienced new landscapes and as a result I learned about myself.  Every time I traveled somewhere I came back different, I was changed and knew that anything was possible.  

As  teacher of yoga and as a guide for international yoga trips: I want to inspire in you what my family inspired in me: To see with the eyes of my heart by transforming the ecology of mind that happens naturally when you change the routine pattern of daily life.  And to not apologize for being different and wanting to learn more about how big the universe is.  You see, I am not fearless, I haven't climbed Mount Everest or even Mount Rainer or cycled 100 miles in one day (my co-guide Jacob Young has though!) but I am willing to try anything.  I practice yoga every day to go on an internal adventure, to meet new people and push the boundaries of learning others ideas.  Yoga stokes my Rebel Spirit.  

It's funny (not haha, but funny weird) how yoga revealed itself to me. Yoga has been my faithful companion since a car ran me over more than a decade ago. My doctor prescribed yoga as part of my recovery routine, and my body and spirit began to transform. From my first class, I dedicated myself to live more fully. My loving Anusara-inspired Vinyasa Flow teaching style is influenced by more than 10 years of Hatha yoga study and I am gratefully committed to my three primary teachers: Shiva ReaJohn Friend, and my students.

 My teaching style is upbeat and fun, serious and informative, supportive and authentic. I use my own intuition and demonstrations along with people's questions and past experiences to deepen the learning process.  My teaching intention is that while connected to their breath, students might feel each pose with an open heart and a quiet mind. Yoga then becomes a means to explore oneself more deeply in order to better face life’s challenges and open to the endless possibilities that exist for all of us.

 Less interesting but somewhat important: While in the corporate world, I worked as the HR Director for both Inc 500 and Fortune 500 companies, specializing in Training & Development. This parlayed well into opening my own Yoga studio in 2002 and teaching full-time. With over 7,500 hours of yoga teaching experience and the founder of a nationally recognized RYT 200 Yoga Certified Teacher Training Program in it's 10th cycle, I bring inspiration, enthusiasm and playfulness through creative, flowing sequencing and a delightful combination of yoga philosophy and healthy physical alignment all supported by inspiring music.  My life has a soundtrack, my yoga does too.

Just like music nurtures my spirit I want to support you to be more curious about your life.  One things for sure, going on a trip together will stoke the fire of creativity inside you, you will regain trust like what the Alchemist says "the universe is on your side" and you will learn to embrace uncertainty. You will become part of our tribe of Alchemy Adventure Seekers, or at the very least, you won't be afraid to try new stuff. To send me a personal email, write alchemytours@gmail.com. I'd LOVE to hear from you.

 

WWW.SILVIAMORDINI.COM OR WWW.ALCHEMYTOURS.COM

1/9/2011   Tags:  spiritual adventure, dreams, fear, Alchemist, teacher training, yoga teacher, curiosity, silvia mordini, alchemy tours, trust Direct Link

ADVENTURE REMEMBRANCE AND VICTORY

December 31, 2010.  As I reflect on this past year, which was one of intense personal change one of the things I am most proud of is making a pilgrimage to Moab, Utah twice.  Both times to help nourish my spirit and connect to the quiet sense of adventure that exists for all that visit Moab.  For a while I forgot what it was like to make adventure.  This was the year I remembered again.

And that is really at the heart of yoga.  This practice helps us remember to remember.  We all sometimes experience spiritual amnesia.  Getting on the mat is that reminder of celebrating life and enjoying this time in this body on this earth right now. 

Edward Abbey writes in one of my favorite books about Moab titled Desert Solitaire "Do not burn yourselves out. Be as I am - a reluctant enthusiast....a part-time crusader, a half-hearted fanatic. Save the other half of yourselves and your lives for pleasure and adventure. It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it. While you can. While it’s still here. So get out there and mess around with your friends, ramble out yonder and explore the forests, climb the mountains, bag the peaks, run the rivers, breathe deep of that yet sweet and lucid air, sit quietly for a while and contemplate the precious stillness, the lovely, mysterious, and awesome space. Enjoy yourselves, keep your brain in your head and your head firmly attached to the body, the body active and alive, and I promise you this much; I promise you this one sweet victory over our enemies, over those desk-bound men and women with their hearts in a safe deposit box, and their eyes hypnotized by desk calculators. I promise you this; You will outlive the bastards." 

I will never again put my heart in a safe deposit box, I'd rather take chances in love, in life, in traveling and even in my poses so I can be a more active participant in driving my best life forward rather than sitting in the backseat waiting for it to happen.  I will until my last breath run and cycle and yoga and explore and discover the small victories that exist in taking pleasure in life! And I hope if you have learned anything from your yoga that you will find this true for yourself as well.  Love yourself, love your day, love your life!  Happy New Year, Silvia

PS Join me on an adventure with Alchemy Tours www.alchemytours.com or visit my website to keep up with upcoming retreats www.silviamordini.com

12/31/2010   Tags:  alchemy tours, yoga vacations, physical alchemy, mental alchemy, spiritual alchemy, self-study, adventure, remembering, exploration Direct Link

WHY PRACTICE YOGA?

DECEMBER 4, 2010.  We have lots of new friends in yoga class which I'm totally stoked about! And one of the greatest things about new students is how they teach us to really think about Why we practice yoga?  Taking a step back lets just explain how cool it is that yoga is something we "practice".   We are not trying to conquer it or complete it or perfect the crap out of it, we just show up and practice. That's all.  And what is yoga really? Donna Farhi, Master yoga teacher and author says, “In its broadest sense yoga is a return to wholeness. There is an uncompromising belief in yoga philosophy that wholeness is our implicit birthright.  But most of us forget our wholeness, or in yogic terms we forget our true nature, and we live in a kind of illusion that we are alone."   

As a result we end up suffering from a kind of SPIRITUAL AMNESIA that makes us feel separate from our authentic selves, separate from others, separate from feeling better. Yoga is any practice that restores this original wholeness and sense of connection with the world.” And really the reason you practice or I practice is both the same and different. On the one hand we all practice yoga to feel better.  

And how we go about it is unique and special to each of us.  It could be we practice today for physical reasons (to lose 10 pounds), to relieve physical pain, to alleviate mental stress, to process our emotions or even to practice being more spiritual.  All reasons are welcomed and all are good.  Yoga is exactly what you need it to be for you.  It's like taking a field trip to the ocean and we will all focus on one aspect more than another (the sun, the heat, the sand, the sound, the smell, the water).

My all time favorite definition of yoga that I take on as my own as well is by David Frawley, Yoga and Ayurveda:

“Yoga is one of the most extraordinary spiritual sciences that mankind has discovered.  It is like a gem of great proportions, containing many facets whose light can illume the whole of our lives with great meaning. Yogic methods cover the entire field of our existence – from the physical, sensory, emotional, mental, and spiritual to the highest Self-realization.  It includes all methods of higher evolution in humanity – physical postures, ethical postures, breath control, sensory methods, affirmations and visualizations, prayer and mantra, and complex meditative disciplines.  Yoga understands the nature and interrelationships of the physical, subtle and formless universes into the boundless infinite beyond time and space, and shows us how these also exist within each human individual.” 

So why you show up to practice is yours to cherish and my hope is that by the end of class everyone feels better.  That the yoga works to helps us all feel more comfortable being ourselves.  Love yourself, love your day, love your life! Silvia

 

Join me on a spiritual adventure www.alchemytours.com or www.silviamordini.com

12/4/2010   Tags:  spiritual amnesia, wholeness, why yoga, what is yoga, spiritual science, comfortable, self-love, alchemy tours, Direct Link

MATURITY IS NOT CHRONOLOGICAL

OCTOBER 19, 2010 When I learned that we all don»t mature at the same rate in all aspects of our lives at the same time a huge weight was lifted from my shoulders! Up until that point I believed that everything was supposed to mature at the same exact rate. And I felt some sense of failure that I couldn»t be like everyone else. Earlier in my career while in the corporate world I had financial maturity but was physically immature (poor eating, sleeping habits, workaholism) and I was in adolescent spiritual maturity and emotionally in grade school. Then yoga found me and I took a breath and asked myself "what is maturity?" And does maturity mean the same thing as perfect?

"We do not grow absolutely, chronologically. We grow sometimes in one dimension, and not in another; unevenly. We grow partially. We are relative. We are mature in one realm, childish in another. The past, present, and future mingle and pull us backward, forward, or fix us in the present." - Anais Nin

This whole time, up until that point, I was expecting that my physical, mental and emotional maturing was meant to be the same everywhere. And I thought life was often moving backwards. But life doesn»t move backwards. The sun that rises today will not be the same sun that rises again tomorrow. Even when we feel like we aren»t making progress we are always maturing on some level, just not everywhere at the same time. To exist is to change, to change is to mature, to mature is to go on creating oneself endlessly. - Henri Bergson

So what does it mean to mature? I believe that this means when we are aware of our physical, emotional,and spiritual needs and can make the sensitive adjustments to determine what is necessary to maintain a healthy balance in our lives. Now this is like an umbrella definition but maturity the yoga sutras tells us are like layers working on multiple dimensions. These are the layers or koshas of ourselves. Think of Russian dolls, our physical layer or kosha is the outer most one, then we travel through our breath layer pranamayakosha and keep going inside deep into our hearts and spiritual maturity.

    Three of these layers can be thought of as:
  1. Physical Maturity

  2. Emotional Maturity/Mental Maturity

  3. Spiritual Maturity

What is Physical Maturity? Do you know what your body needs to be healthy in terms of oxygen, food, sleep, quiet time away from the tv? If yes then these are like a sort of destination and therefore physical maturity is the easiest to measure our progress. On my annual physical where I score 99% I know with proof how I am doing. Do you understand your physical nature and use your humanness in a positive way? Treating your body like a temple.

What is Emotional/Mental Maturity? Well there are two levels: with yourself and with others. That saying where instead of saying "it got lost" we evolve to that place where we take responsibility and say "i lost it." We no longer blame other people for how we feel. As yoga teaches we create our world from the inside out. And as we mature we tame our own thoughts and take responsibility for living from love and moving away from fear. Emotional maturity is where we want to self-heal and self-comfort rather than waiting for someone (knight in shining armor) or something (alcohol or chocolate) do it for us. We start to do the work of becoming more expert in our own humanness and as a result have healthier more honest relationships with others.

What is Spiritual Maturity? To be inspired is to be "in spirit" with the blessings around us. It is something we can see exactly. So what do you mean to "progress spiritually?" What does spiritual maturity look like? Is there a destination or goal to spiritual maturity? To me to mature spiritually is to ask better questions. Not that we get all the answers but we are wiser and more grown up in the questions we pose ourselves. We are willing to SEEK. Or maybe that»s it, spiritual maturity is to embrace your role as a seeker. And you won»t see the result, it is like all great things something beyond the mind...things like faith, hope, love.

10/19/2010   Tags:  TAGS maturity, change, seeking, love, physical maturity, emotional maturity, spiritual maturity, progress, responsibility Direct Link

SERIOUS FUN THE UNIVERSE HAS A SENSE OF HUMOR

OCTOBER 18, 2010.  The Universe has a great sense of humor!  The humor is often wacky, weird, unexpected.  And our human being job as the divine manages making things funny, is to laugh.  

I just spent weekend laughing with our most amazing new teacher trainees!  And we talked about the importance of elevating our attitude to unlock our happiness in yoga.  And even how laughing relaxes your diaphragm.  

Laughing for 3 days straight reminds me I find humor everywhere.  In college my favorite thing to teach was ab work during group fitness classes.  Working our abs makes me giggle! So we did some seriously unserious core cultivation and I got to play some awesome hip hop tunes, which makes me feel great that anything that wakes us up to who we are is yoga.  Yea for Michael Franti and Blue Scholars!

In this performance of life there are plenty of scripts (almost on a daily basis) that are humorous (sometimes a bit dark comedy) but still funny nonetheless.  And as we go out on stage we can shine out recognizing the choice we have in every moment to see the good, the funny, the beauty or to contract.  We can either light up or lessen the energy of our own aliveness.  This is something of the inside. Yoga teaches us that how we see the world is from the inside out.  We look for humor and it is there.  It is always there beneath the surface.  And as Jeff Brown writes, "below the surface we are all sacred dynamite."

When I laugh that's exactly how I feel.  Dynamite! Fantastic! Energized! Bright! Light! Strong.  It is from and to that inner strength of our own unlimited potential that this practice taps into. So pratipaksha bhavana dudes.  Cultivate that spiritual dynamite and show up to your life with a full blast effort!  We don't get to do today over again, so we might as well find it funny (funny weird, funny wacky, or just plain funny!)  Love yourself, love your day, love your life! Silvia

 

PS you know what's funny? Doing yoga in you swimsuit December 8-12 with me in Haramara Resort (well swimsuit part is optional...I mean you can wear your normal yoga clothes too!) Friend me Alchemy Tours www.silviamordini.com

10/18/2010   Tags:  funny, humor, michael franti, blue scholars, aliveness, energy, spiritual dynamite, choices, alchemy tours, haramara resort Direct Link

ALCHEMY OF YOGA

OCTOBER 16, 2010.  I along with my partner named our company Alchemy Tours because of the combined influence of the book The Alchemist and the practice of Yoga.  Really Yoga is about taking the personal growth we experience on the mat as a result of this unique alchemy of yoga into making the changes we want in our lives, in our bodies, in our minds, in our hearts.  Anytime you want to transform and move beyond your limitations to me this is the Alchemy of Yoga.  And this what I call the life coaching work I do through yoga.  

Chapter 2 verse 1 of the Yoga Sutras sets forth how the Alchemy of Yoga actually works.  "Tapas svadhyaya ishvara pranidhana kriya yoga."  Translated to mean that yoga helps us transforms ourselves on three levels:

1. Physical Alchemy - Tapas 

2. Mental Alchemy - Svadhaya

3. Spiritual Alchemy - ishvara pranidahana

 

PHYSICAL ALCHEMY

Tapas helps us ignite the changes we want to make in our lives.  It is about the getting fired up, literally heating the body through moving and breathing in the vinyasa

 

MENTAL ALCHEMY

While we are following the discipline of tapas and engaging in physical practice to help move our stuck energy we are watching ourselves.  In yoga we study the self to learn about the self.  (Different than studying what other people to do to try to learn about you, which many of us have tried in other modalities).  Here the mental alchemy is through self-observation.  We witness what is going on in our thoughts, what are we thinking, why are we thinking that (but without over analysis) more like an older brother would look after a little sister.  In this way we are the actor on the stage starring in our life story as well as sitting front row center as the audience.  

 

SPIRITUAL ALCHEMY

As we are doing and watching we let go of the ego of judgment.  We move beyond wanting life to be different and begin to feel the surrender that allows what is being offered to mix together and marinate.  We practice ishvara pranidhana as we trust the universal intelligence that hugs us from all directions to know what it's doing.  And once we find this trust we begin to believe that beauty and goodness are within us flowing nonstop and there is no reason to stop this flow for its natural current is to align with the current of grace that is everywhere outisde us.  Beauty becomes our way of life.  Happiness becomes our natural alchemy.

You see when we come to the mat we are like the Alchemist in his laboratory mixing ingredients.  For us as yogis our laboratory is our mat and the ingredients are our bodies, our poses, our breath, our thoughts and the mixing it all together creates a result every time.  We are always different from the beginning of class to the end.  Whether we want to be or not, we are changed, we are free.  In that freedom is love. Love yourself, love your day, love your life! Silvia

 

PS This is why and what lies at the heart of leading Yoga Retreats around the world. I want to help facilitate the Alchemy of Yoga, the changes that YOU want in your life.  And I am convinced we can make amazing transformations in a long weekend, a week with the right facilitation and life coaching.  Join me! Facebook Alchemy Tours.  Set intention for 2011 this December 8-12 Haramara Retreat Mexico.

10/16/2010   Tags:  alchemy tours, yoga vacations, physical alchemy, mental alchemy, spiritual alchemy, self-study, observation, tapas, svadhaya, surrender, letting go, happiness, love, Direct Link

DOES WORK INTERFERE WITH YOUR YOGA?

Dear Beautiful Friends,

Why is it so hard to get to yoga class this Fall? No really I'm asking... I've had a harder time than ever building a routine, a regular yoga schedule for myself. 

Every day has been so different and unexpected. And if I was really honest with myself the real culprit to consistently getting to group classes is staying at the computer (aka work). Now I had a great summer yoga schedule, really I did! But now? It is all over the board.  And doing two classes in one day is no replacement for spreading those out in different days. 

Making ourselves a priority is the Yoga of real life.  And as a real person first thing I recognize is how much I need yoga.  We all need yoga.  And the beauty is that it is a practice, we do what we can in any given class and there are never any pre-requisites to be met.  Yoga loves us unconditionally. So fire up your Yoga, get the calendar out and make yourself some "yoga dates" and as always I am happy to be your yoga buddy. Invite me along to take a class and I'll be there because I'm first and foremost a student. And if you go I'll go. Heck even Oprah talks about having workout buddies.  So why not have a Spiritual Workout Buddy?

Love yourself, love your day, love your life! Silvia

PS. And I love learning from all our teachers at TBY!

9/25/2010   Tags:  yoga schedule, yoga for real life, priority, overstressed, overworked, yoga dates, spiritual workout, silvia mordini, silvia mordini blog Direct Link

AFRAID OF BEING AFRAID

SEPTEMBER 12, 2010.  Some years back I as talking about how yoga helps us to face our fears (remember that first time doing crow pose or kicking up into a handstand or feeling the sensation of pigeon or even just standing still in mountain pose).  After class a student came up and told me I should never talk about fear and if I do she will never come back to class.  Guess how that made me feel?  Yup, I was totally afraid of her. I was afraid of what she'd say or do or tell people and I was afraid of what if one day I forget and she was in class and I said the word what would she do.  I resolved not to talk about Fear at that point because I WAS AFRAID OF BEING AFRAID.  That went on for over a year.  Then the more spiritual reading I did and the more Anusara Yoga became part of my life I realized there was something inauthentic about denying fear.  Anusara teaches us to embrace the full spectrum of who we are, even when we are afraid.

Mariann Williamson says, "Love is what we are born with. Fear is what we learn. The spiritual journey is the unlearning of fear and prejudices and the acceptance of love back in our hearts." So first thing we do when we come to class is as Baron Baptiste says, "drop everything you know."  From there we heed the sage advice of Yoda in Star Wars, "YOU MUST UNLEARN WHAT YOU HAVE LEARNED." 

Interesting enough this works hand in hand with what positive psychologist (and favorite Harvard professor) Tal Ben-Shahar's lectures talk about that drills down into this: "to be a happier person give yourself permission to be HUMAN."  Otherwise when we suppress what we feel it creates more problems.  This is what "he refers to as ironic processing, which promises that suppressing an emotion will only ensure its clear announcement later."  Yoga is the science of happiness and encourages us to practice unconditional love for ourselves and what we practice on our own lives we know how to share with others.  You can't teach what you don't know.  You can't live what you don't know.  In great part the reason I teach is to be that spark to explain how yoga works so you too don't stay stuck in non-life affirming qualities of your humanness and realize that once you accept who you are, you can unlearn what you know and expand into your happiest life ever.  I want that for me, and I really want that for you.  Love yourself, love your day, lover your life! Silvia

9/12/2010   Tags:  fear, happiness, ironic processing, expansion, love, humanness, acceptance, Yoda, unlearning, learning, Tal Ben-Shahar, Anusara, Baron Baptiste, spirituality 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

IS YOGA SPIRITUAL

May 18, 2010, I have this conversation with someone or many folks quite frankly every week without fail.  Is Yoga Spiritual?  And the first thing I do when I receive this question is ask (as I am doing here with you), What does it mean to you to be Spiritual?

What yoga is and what it isn’t is often hotly debated.  My best friend just sent me a link to a movie called Yoga, Inc which also includes this topic.  Our 6th chakra Ajna sensibility is really about perception. The encyclopedia of events in your life influence how you define the circumstances and attitudes of your life.  To me the key point is that you get to decide what your thoughts are and you are responsible for managing your view of your life.  It’s that old saying:

“Watch your thoughts for they become words

Watch your words for they become actions

Watch your actions for they become habits

Watch your habits for they become character

Watch your character for it becomes your destiny!”

 

My all time favorite definition of yoga that I take on as my own as well is by David Frawley, Yoga and Ayurveda:

“Yoga is one of the most extraordinary spiritual sciences that mankind has discovered.  It is like a gem of great proportions, containing many facets whose light can illume the whole of our lives with great meaning. Yogic methods cover the entire field of our existence – from the physical, sensory, emotional, mental, and spiritual to the highest Self-realization.  It includes all methods of higher evolution in humanity – physical postures, ethical postures, breath control, sensory methods, affirmations and visualizations, prayer and mantra, and complex meditative disciplines.  Yoga understands the nature and interrelationships of the physical, subtle and formless universes into the boundless infinite beyond time and space, and shows us how these also exist within each human individual.” 

So I guess there you have it. You now know for sure I believe this is a spiritual practice, or at least it is for me, and can be for you if you want to make it such.  And if you don’t believe yoga is spiritual you gain all these amazing benefits anyway.  So I say, let everyone do their own yoga. And if it makes us all nicer and kinder than regardless of anything more, we have succeeded in making the world a better place right now.  Love to you all, Silvia

5/18/2010   Tags:  spiritual, self-study, freedom, ayurveda, yoga, practice, what is yoga, destiny Direct Link

THE CURE FOR UNHAPPINESS IS HAPPINESS

Namaste Beautiful Friends,

To be happy is DEEP WORK, it is not surface stuff.  And the reality of  yoga is that it helps us explore ourselves to find out as Anthony DeMello writes, "there is not a single moment in our life when we do not have everything we need to be happy."  As we study ourselves the yoga helps us explore through movement a freedom in our bodies and a kind of flowing meditation where we can find peace and tranquility in our minds. This in turn allows our hearts to open to our own best adventure. 

"Exploration really is the essence of the human spirit!"

There is this great story in the book "How We Choose to Be Happy" and the individual being studied for why they are happier than everyone else says this, "I tried my hand at a lot of things. Some of these I liked, some I didn't.  And I have no regrets. The point is, I kept moving. Any one of these choices was far less important than the fact that I just kept choosing. 

I have a philosophy: Any choice can be reversed, but not choosing at all is irreversible."  So this Winter please keep choosing to make time to explore yourself more deeply.  And if you can take a break join me for the Spiritual Adventure of a Lifetime in Moab April 15th (here I am at Arches National Park) or in Tuscany June 20th!! It would be so awesome to take this road trip together.  But no matter what keep finding your own best adventure! Big love in all ways, Silvia

"It's better to have traveled and gotten lost than to never have traveled at all."  -George Santayana

 

2/7/2010   Tags:  spiritual adventure, self-study, freedom, moab retreat, tuscany retreat, happiness, yoga retreats, Direct Link

SPIRITUAL HEADLINES OF YOUR MOST IMPORTANT JOY

SEPTEMBER 2ND, 2009:   I wake up in the morning and I journal in my mind or on paper. Either way I think about what is important to me on that day.  Then recently in the book Be Happy by Robert Holden I found a metaphor that best describes what I’ve been doing.  In the book he talks about a great daily spiritual practice to help us focus on what is most important to our happiness.  He describes, “The Spiritual Front Page”.  The idea is that each morning you visualize the front page headlines of what is truly most meaningful to you to living the most joyful day ever. This helps us figure out and articulate our Truth.  It gives positive intention to our actions. 

Instead of focusing on what is unimportant (our headlines would not read Do Laundry, Dishes Put Away) we’d share the real important stuff with not just ourselves but these front page headlines would like a newspaper be easier to distribute to our friends, colleagues and family members so they know our big news.  How often do you major in the minor stuff?  How much of your time is spent hiding the big headlines (focusing on what really matters) until the very end of the day when tired and out of juice?  I know I’ve been there.

 

So for me this time on the mat in yoga class helps me to make sure that the Spiritual Headlines I’ve chosen reflect the TRUE me. And once I’ve written them for the day I stick to them.  It’s too easy with technology these days to keep changing it up or giving up. Instead we maintain the discipline that once its in writing we will do our best on this day to follow through.

 

Equally, once the day is done, the newspaper gets recycled.  What’s done is done.  And tomorrow we have another “24 brand new hours” to live in JOY!  Love your day, Silvia

 

*Reference to Thich Nhat Hahn

 

9/2/2009   Tags:  spiritual headlines, intention, meditation, journaling, joy, truth 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

SPIRITUAL RENEWAL

MAY 22, 2009:  Some of us cannot afford to travel far away places for spiritual retreat but yoga class provides us the same benefits right here in our backyard.  So travel with me to a place where we can refresh from the events of this week. Ok?  So what does it mean to find renewal?  To better understand this we must first ask ourselves how do we define Health?  Do you have health? Do your work colleagues or family members have health?  If you know what Health is then what is WELLNESS?  Are they the same? 

The WHO (World Health Organization of the UN) defines health as “not only the lack of disease, but also the physical, social, spiritual, and mental well-being of the human.”  So to me this sense of renewal we realize from yoga is to move us not from disease only but toward radiant well-being. There is a continuum of wellness.  And it is on-going and in process.  We don’t just get it and stop because we’re done. 

 

This is why renewing our spirits, our sense of hope on the mat is vitally important. 

 

If we eat dinner on clean dishes and then tomorrow try to eat on those dirty dishes it wouldn’t make sense. We would understand that we have to wash them and we’re not done there, if we use them we’ll have to wash them again and again.  Same goes with keeping our spirit refreshed.  We have to work at it.  Each day we find ourselves making withdrawals from our spiritual reserves so each day it is crucial we make deposits and renew our commitments to our improved wellness.  So join me on the mat day in and day out for your own Spiritual Renewal so you can feel renewed enough to think more clearly and figure out the right course of actions to take next.  Love yourself, love your day, love your life! Silvia

“Dreams are renewable. No matter what our age or condition, there are still untapped possibilities within us and new beauty waiting to be born.” Dale Turner

 

5/22/2009   Tags:  spiritual renewal, renew, refresh, recharge, health, wellness Direct Link

THERE ARE NO DISASTERS

MAY 7TH, 2009:  When life is its most challenging we can feel darkness even on the sunniest of days.  What spiritual practice teaches us is that there is really no bad experience, it is all just experience.  So in a real sense there are NO DISASTERS.

Now don't get me wrong, is life sometimes dreadfully painful. Do we have those moments where we feel like we are surrounded by smooth sailing sailboats while we're treading water in a beat up, holded up dinghy? YES.  Even then we can see that we are becoming experts in the human condition which will help us be more compassionate and kind when we see someone that is a few steps behind us on the spiritual path, tripping and falling.

Have you ever felt that you get so stuck replaying the disaster that has just happened or rehearsing the what if this happens in my life to me that you get paralyzed and can't move from the catastrophe?  I have.  You know that the car has flipped over and you have to get out but you just can't move.  You don't want to stay in pain but you can't muster the energy or courage to GO TO YOGA CLASS. Even though you know it will help you, help yourself.  Ultimately yoga teaches us to save ourselves. We are the knight in shining armor.  And we have to save ourselves first before we can even possible help others. 

I think of this all like a Bruce Willis or Arnold movie where stuff just keeps blowing up all around. 

 

 

5/7/2009   Tags:  Spiritual Practice, Falling Direct Link

DISCOVER THE TRUTH OF WHO YOU ARE

May 3, 2009: 

Ok you guys, I’m a little embarrassed to admit I used to be one of those people that would take forever to order food at dinner. I’d be at the table waiting for everyone else to order first because I didn’t have the confidence in the truth of my first instinct in what to order for myself.  Now this may not be a big deal at dinner but it’s a tough way to go through life being indecisive or confused to the TRUTH of who we are (starting with what we want to eat).  Why didn’t I order what I wanted to?  I was too afraid of disappointing someone at the table because they wanted me to order something different than what I wanted or I felt guilty ordering something too expensive.  Really in all honesty I was just afraid of standing up and being myself, declaring to the world “Yes, this is what I want based on who I am.”  This is me remaining true to my truth.

 

This is how I was living life at the time.  I felt constant guilt over what everyone else wanted me to be.  So I tried desparertly to be who they wanted me to be by wearing that costume.  I never felt like myself inside the costume and the longer I wore it the more itchy and uncomfortable it became until I just couldn’t deny any more that the costume was NOT ME.  My soul was sweating and dying inside from not revealing the true me.  So my spiritual practice evolved and I stopped trying so hard to be who other people wanted me to be. 

 

I realized that I was trying to be a photocopy of someone else and as we all know photocopies are never as good as the originals.  I would only ever be the second best someone else.  The only person I could be the best at being was ME.  In Yoga that’s known as Satya, “Truth and authenticity” of acknowledging our unique humanness.  I don’t to want to be a PHOTOCOPY PERSON.  Do you?  Because take it from me, you don’t have to be.

 

In yoga we peel of these outer layers or costumes, masks we wear to rediscover our TRUE selves.  It’s not always easy work, there are tears, laughter, sweating, sometimes even a bit of pain.  But overall it’s a whole lot easier than trying to wear an ill fitting costume the rest of our lives.  And it makes ordering dinner much easier too!

 

So how do we maintain it?  Well what we are talking about here is a daily spiritual practice (known as Sadhana) where you make time to stay connected to your own truth otherwise the resistance monsters of fear, doubt, guilt come back.  And it is achieved through self-love, seeing who we are is just perfect (without condition) we are each vitally important to the world as we are true.  This is where we found ultimate freedom from mental torture and stress.

 

Does this seem a little self-centered? Of course, it should.  As Sadie Nardini says, “spiritual disciplines like yoga are built around this concept of moving into and from our center.”  The cool thing is by being more authentic we give everyone else around us permission to be themselves.  There is no pretending and relationships deepen.  It’s a neat way to live, really the only way to live.

 

The alternative it seems is to keep wearing the costumes, building really great “Life Resumes” as if you were trying to apply for the job of your own life.  I did that.  I put together a Silvia Resume (didn’t really feel totally like me because I was trying to impress everyone else).  Then through yoga funny thing happened.  As the true me was allowed to shine out I realized I already had the job of being Silvia.  And I was only going to get this one chance, this one lifetime to enjoy remaining true to my own truth. 

 

Today, even for a little while take off the costume, be your funky self!  So you’ll love yourself more, love your day more, love your life more! Silvia

 

5/3/2009   Tags:  truth, satya, love, fear, spiritual practice, sadhana, photocopy person, life resume 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

MAKE DEPOSITS INTO YOURSELF TODAY

MARCH 14, 2009:  Today we're going to the Bank.  The Spiritual Bank where we make deposits into ourselves and our capacity to love and appreciate who we are so we can life more fully.  How do we make these deposits?  The answer is simple - by meditating on GRATITUDE!

So you might ask, what is my role in this?  Well, in the words of Albert Schweitzer "sometimes our light goes out but is blown into flame by another human being. each of us owes our deepest thanks to those who have rekindled this light."  I have had the patient support of many friends through the years that in times of challenge where my deposits were low or I had overdrawn my spiritual account helped stoke the fire.  I pass this light to you when you need it most.

Today as you ground down lift your heart and align to making the commitment to breathing in a way that encourages you to expand. Be grateful for what is available in your body on this day and let it be enough.  This will help us make the deposits of love into ourselves that we take with us the rest of the week.  Or in the words that came to me in meditation last night, we leave the yoga mat with pockets full of love (like hundred dollar bills stuffed to overflowing).  That way we have a little extra to share with our friends and families.  Love in all ways! Silvia

Let us rise up and be thankful,
for if we didn't learn a lot today,
at least we learned a little,
and if we didn't learn a little,
at least we didn't get sick,
and if we got sick,
at least we didn't die;
so, let us be thankful.
-The Buddha  

3/14/2009   Tags:  spiritual seeking, meditation, gratitude, buddha Direct Link

SWEET WHOLENESS WITHIN US

MARCH 9TH, 2009:  Today we started by asking ourselves how would we describe our complete selves to someone that didn't know us in just a few words?  We silently told this to the person to our right, then our left.  For some of us this was easy, for others of us this idea of explaining our complete selves posed a difficulty.  We are often really good at describing a part of us, a body part, one aspect of our personality, just our role at work but when asked to describe the sweet WHOLENESS of us we get stumped.

When a hero of mine, Donna Farhi was asked "what is yoga"  she responded "In its broadest sense Yoga is a return to wholeness.  There is an uncomprimising belief in yoga philosophy that wholeness is our implicit birthright.  But most of us forget our wholeness, or in yogic terms we forget our true nature, and we live in a kind of illusion that we are alone.  We suffer from a kind of SPIRITUAL AMNESIA that makes us feel separate from our authentic selves, separate from others, separate from nature."

Now I've never had amnesia but I understand how it works I think.  And forgetting who we are or how our parts go together is like not remembering.  When we are on the mat coordinating the democracy of ourselves together into a pose we regain this connection, we practice remembering to remember wholeness is us.  The experience of wholeness is like a coming home after experiencing a lot of different things like a bee visiting flower to flower, a real sweetness (mudhurya) exists here.  My hope is that through anchoring our selves back into our body we can use the Yoga to restore this feeling of wholeness and ultimately our sense of connection to the world.  Give peace a chance, give your whole life a chance and help me seek to bring a sweet wholeness back to our families, communities and world!  Love to you all, Silvia

 

3/9/2009   Tags:  wholeness, Donna Farhi, madhurya, sweetness, spiritual amnesia Direct Link

SPIRITUAL SEEKING -> ROCKY MOUNTAIN HIGH!

See posting for January 28th below to explain where I am being.

JANUARY 28TH:  I am out of town for four days (1/29-2/1) in Colorado "yogaing" and skiing and taking time towards looking within myself to seek a deeper spiritual meaning in my life.  The Sutra that inspires me is Chapter 1, Verse 3: the the seer abides in his/her own true nature which is JOY.

I am a spiritual person by nature. I seriously felt this even as a little girl and it took until I was 25 years old before I even began spiritual babyhood.  Before then I had not given birth yet to my Spirit.  I was really in a gestation period the first 25 years of my life.  As you know many circumstances that brought me pain took place during that gestation period to help reveal who I really am, that sense of wholeness that yoga teaches is within us if we just remove all the outer crap.  But with that said I want you to know that I have never experienced failure at life because there is no such thing, however I did get stuck many times along the way in a state of suffering.  Yoga tells us pain is part of life, YUP.  But suffering is optional.  REALLY?  Yes. Judith Lasater says, "suffering is caused by the emotional reaction we lay on top of our pain."

So I became a spiritual seeker and it wasn't until I was 30 years old that I started to say that out loud.  Before that I was too embarrassed to admit it for fear of what other people would think of me.  I really was afraid folks would think I was a freak or I'd lose "popularity" from more traditional friends.  Then another event happened in my life which resulted in FINALLY accepting responsibility for myself and I officially entered Spiritual Adolescence and finally Spiritual Adulthood where I've been for a while now. 

This trip, as my daily practice does as well, helps me stay connected to what is important to living spiritually.  Some mantras I speak to myself from my hero Judith Lasater are:

*I am my own authority

*All the answers are within me.

*Life is practice: practice is life

So this trip is my practice.  Hope to see you upon my return where together we will keep at this work in progress.  Please live in the moment, love life fully for this is the performance!  Silvia

2/1/2009   Tags:  spiritual seeking, yoga sutras Direct Link

SPIRITUAL SEEKING -> ROCKY MOUNTAIN HIGH!

JANUARY 28TH:  I am out of town for four days (1/29-2/1) in Colorado "yogaing" and skiing and taking time towards looking within myself to seek a deeper spiritual meaning in my life.  The Sutra that inspires me is Chapter 1, Verse 3: the the seer abides in his/her own true nature which is JOY.

I am a spiritual person by nature. I seriously felt this even as a little girl and it took until I was 25 years old before I even began spiritual babyhood.  Before then I had not given birth yet to my Spirit.  I was really in a gestation period the first 25 years of my life.  As you know many circumstances that brought me pain took place during that gestation period to help reveal who I really am, that sense of wholeness that yoga teaches is within us if we just remove all the outer crap.  But with that said I want you to know that I have never experienced failure at life because there is no such thing, however I did get stuck many times along the way in a state of suffering.  Yoga tells us pain is part of life, YUP.  But suffering is optional.  REALLY?  Yes. Judith Lasater says, "suffering is caused by the emotional reaction we lay on top of our pain."

So I became a spiritual seeker and it wasn't until I was 30 years old that I started to say that out loud.  Before that I was too embarrassed to admit it for fear of what other people would think of me.  I really was afraid folks would think I was a freak or I'd lose "popularity" from more traditional friends.  Then another event happened in my life which resulted in FINALLY accepting responsibility for myself and I officially entered Spiritual Adolescence and finally Spiritual Adulthood where I've been for a while now. 

This trip as my daily practice does as well helps me stay connected to what is important to living spiritually.  Some mantras I speak to myself from my hero Judith Lasater are:

*I am my own authority

*All the answers are within me.

*Life is practice: practice is life

So this trip is my practice.  Hope to see you upon my return where together we will keep at this work in progress we call life.  Please live in the moment, love life for this is the performance!  Silvia

 

1/29/2009   Tags:  Yoga Sutras, Joy, Spiritual Meaning, Spiritual Seeking, Birth, Direct Link

YOGA FOR BEING LESS TIRED

JANUARY 6TH, 2009:  We all get tired right?  But why?  Interesting enough when we are tired we are stagnant, it is not that we have expended too much energy but we have not been actively moving our bodies enough.  The yoga of moving and breathing moves our energy and flushes the body to remove the stuckness.  A key way to look at Yoga for being less tired is to focus on the 3rd Chakra.  This chakra often called the solar plexus, is our personal power center.  The magnetic core of our personality which wants to bubble up and radiate out.

 

When the 3rd charka is in balance we have strong Self-esteem, self respect, and self discipline.  When out of balance we get stagnant and run down as a result of fear of rejection, criticism, whether we’ll look foolish and worried about whether other people think we are meeting our responsibilities.  This drains us of energy.

 

How we feel about ourselves, whether we respect ourselves, determines the quality of our life, our capacity to succeed in business, and relationships. Self understanding and acceptance, the bond we form with ourselves, is in many ways the most critical spiritual challenge we face. This is really then the entry from spiritual babyhood or adolescence into spiritual adulthood.  Managing our energies is a big part of this.  From a spiritual perspective, in fact, the entire physical world is nothing more than our classroom, but the challenge to each of us in this classroom is: Given your particular body, environment, job, family, and beliefs, will you make choices that enhance your spirit or those that drain your spirit?  Will you be able to maintain your energy boundaries and sense of identity as part of your tribe but not based only upon it. 

 

A favorite meditation I have from my friend Constance Hart is this:   DRAW YOUR ENERGY BACK TO YOU - imagine that you are gathering your straying thoughts and energies back into yourself. Or visualize yourself casting a net and pulling all the disparate parts of yourself back to the center of your being, creating a sense of balanced energy. From this place of centeredness, we can begin again, directing ourselves outward in a more intentional way.

 

Life life on purpose, with purpose, maintaining the energy necessary to propel yourself towards your dreams!  Think big! Silvia

 

 "Time in life is short. Robert Bucco, Professor Colorado University says, "don’t spend it tired, spend it energized to live more fully, joy is healthy, happiness is yours to behold.  YOU DESERVE IT!"

1/6/2009   Tags:  energy, chakras, self-esteem, spiritual maturity, boundaries, center Direct Link

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