FULL MOON SALUTE: 18.6 YEARS TO REVEAL SELF
April 28, 2010 Today is a full moon! The moon as you know is a reflection of the sun. The moon's trajectory is very complicated. It follows the Sun's trajectory, only 6 months later; the full moon in winter comes as high as the Sun in the summer. And it takes the Moon 18.6 YEARS TO FULFILL ONE COMPLETE ORBIT!
Gosh if we were only so patient with ourselves.
We all have stuff hidden inside us. Who are we to think we are going to reveal this all in one yoga class or two or 10 or even 100. Heck the moon takes 18.6 years! But yet often we come to the mat as the quick fix. It's not going to work like that. Heed the words of Tantric scholar Christopher Tompkins, "Don't try to fix shit during yoga, just try to be with how you are now."
There is plenty of stuff to uncover by the time we start yoga. There is stuff of the past we need to heal and let go of, there are the future plans or goals we are afraid to actually speak out loud, there is actually being yourself as you are today. There is so much that I strongly encourage you to take your time. Allow what is embedded or hidden to be reflected as you feel comfortable doing. And believe me if you stay with this practice it will come out...it just takes time my friends. Quite frankly, let's all agree right now to give it 18.6 years at least.
Love and light, Silvia
PARADOX OF YOGA 4/13/10
April 13, 2010: Yoga is funny in that it is a great paradox. We feel this in the physical sense in the juncture point of the waistline where pelvic loop and kidney loops originate. Both draw back the side bodies but the the energy splits up. The pelvic loop draws waist back and DOWN and kidney loop draws the waist back and UP. Yoga helps us to explore how to live with what the world is offering us and receive it gracefully while at the same time figuring out how to turn what is being offered into an empowered experience. But this isn't the cliché of lemons into lemonade which is just plain annoying isn't it?
Nope this is about staying centered within ourselves to a place of great depth and tranquility and remain steady no matter what life has served you today - when you most want to shut down, to remain open hearted by holding onto to that calm center. And at the same time this is in no way apathetic. We are meant to action our lives and keep evolving towards greater and greater happiness.
So we have to create an alignment between our desires and aspirations and what's really possible for us today, in this moment. If what we want and what we do and what we think are out of alignment then suffering ensues. This life of ours is asking that we learn how to hold and release and reach and expand all at the same time.
Today, how are you doing? Can you live with what the world is offering you? Peace in all ways, Silvia
IN THE FACE OF FEAR: WISDOM FOR CHALLENGING TIMES
April 11th, 2010: This week's book I am basing my classes on is called "In the Face of Fear". This book is described as showing us how to *remain open, joyful and caring, even when life is stressful; *avoid old behavior patterns that only make things worse; *turn difficult time into opportunities for spiritual development; *discover that our true nature is always awake, wise and good - no matter what is happening.
April 11th Theme: How to Keep Ourselves Present (Ezra Bayda)
April 12th Theme: Happiness Training - Joy and Happiness are born out of concentration (Thich Nhat Hahn)
April 13th Theme: Getting the Bottom of Our Stress (John Loori)
April 14th Theme: It would be a pity to waste a good Crisis (John Tarrant)
April 15-18: I'll be conducting a Yoga and Mountain Biking Retreat in Moab, Utah!
FOURTH AGREEMENT DO YOUR BEST TO ENJOY LIFE
APRIL 9, 2010: The fourth agreement is ALWAYS DO YOUR BEST. Don Miguel Ruiz says, "Under any circumstance, always do your best, no more and no less. But keep in mind that your best is never going to be the same from one moment to the next. Everything is alive and changing all the time, so your best will sometimes be high quality and other times it will not be as good. When you wake up refreshed and energized in the morning , your best will be better than when you are tired. Regardless of the quality keep doing your best."
That's the part I love the most that our best requires a constant sensitive adjustment. That it is different moment to moment. This also correlates to yoga sutra of:
Sthira Sukum Asanam. (Effortless effort)
This fundamental Yoga Sutra of Pantanjali has many interpretations one of which is that the asana/poses should be steady and comfortable. That we find an effortless in life whereby the pose we take (walking, talking, sitting, driving) be so elegant that the body is made more easy and attractive to the flow of prana/breath. This practice of graceful effort means that some days it might be more difficult and some days it's easy, just like life is filled with joyousness and setbacks. But the point is to keep going. Ruiz puts it like this, "If you try too hard to do more than your best, you will spend more energy than is needed and in the end your best will not be enough. When you overdo, you deplete your body and go against yourself and it will take longer to accomplish your goal. But if you do less than your best, you subject yourself to frustrations, self-judgement, guilt and regret."
Remember the Story of guy that goes to a Master asks about how long must he meditate to "transcend" or become happier, more enlightened. The most important lesson from this was when Ruiz writes, "You are not here to sacrifice your joy or your life. You are here to live, to be happy and to love. If you can do your best in two hours of meditation, but you spend 8 instead you will grow tired miss the point and won't enjoy your life."
You see how yogic this is, that we manage our energies all to cultivate our own best happiness right now, right here in the present moment. And as part of this we go easy on ourselves never to a point of exhaustion whereby we might "miss the point" of life. Some say the highest practice of yoga is this form of radical self-acceptance, "When you do your best you learn to accept yourself. Learning from your mistakes means you practice, look honestly at the results and keep practicing."
"The best way to say thank you God is be letting go of the past and living in the present moment, right here and now. When you let go of the past you allow yourself to be fully alive in the present moment. Letting go of the past means you can enjoy the dream that is happening right now." Embrace your life. Let yoga help you learn how to surrender to the happiest life ever!
"You were born with the right to be happy. You were born with the right to love, to enjoy and to share your love. You are alive, so take your life and enjoy it. We don't need to know or prove anything. Just to be, to take a risk and enjoy your life, is all that matters." Love to you all. Courage to you all to JUST BE, Silvia
THE FOUR AGREEMENTS
APRIL 5, 2010: This week in all my classes our focus will be the book the best selling book The Four Agreements where don Miguel Ruiz gives four principles to practice in order to create love and happiness in your life. Totally very Yogic.
The Four Agreements are:
1. Be Impeccable with your Word: Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the Word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your Word in the direction of truth and love. (SATYA is yogic principle April 5th)
2. Don’t Take Anything Personally
Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.
3. Don’t Make Assumptions
Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.
4. Always Do Your Best
Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, and regret.
CLASS PLAN LEVEL 2 DROP BACK BACKBENDS FROM SILVIA
SECOND AGREEMENT DON'T TAKE THINGS PERSONALLY
APRIL 6, 2010: The second agreement is not to take anything personally. Don Miguel Ruiz explains this, "Nothing other people do is because of you. It is because of themselves. All people live in their own mind; they are in a completely different world from the one we live in. When we take something personally, we make the assumption that they know what is in our world, and we try to impose our world on their world. If someone gives you an opinion don't take it personally, because the truth is that this person is dealing with his or her own feelings, beliefs and opinions. That person tried to send poison to you and if you take it personally, then you take that poison and it becomes yours. Taking things personally makes you easy prey for these predators. They can hook you easily with one little opinion and feed you whatever poison they want, and because you take it personally, you eat it up. You eat all their emotional garbage, and not it becomes your garbage. But if you do not take it personally, you are immune to it."
This is one level of understanding so on the mat we let everyone do their own yoga. We don't worry about whether someone next to us can do a deeper variation of a pose, it's not about us. They are practicing their own yoga and we should focus on our own yoga. Now the other level of this experience is as Ruiz says so well, "even the opinions you have about yourself are not necessarily truth; therefore, you don't need to take whatever you hear in your own mind personally. We have a CHOICE whether or not to believe the voices we hear within our minds. The mind can also talk and listen to itself." So be careful and choosy about what you listen to in your own mind. Let go of the old stories that don't serve you that hurt you that keep you from being more of your potential.
What we experience if we Don't Take Things Personally is, "you avoid many upsets in your life. Your anger, jealousy, and envy will disappear, and even your sadness will simply disappear if you don't take things personally. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won't be the victim of needless suffering."
And of course it always comes back to LOVE. "If you keep this agreement, you can travel around the world with your HEART completely OPEN and no one can hurt you. You can say, "I love you." without fear of being ridiculed or rejected. You can ask for what you need. You can say yes without guilt or self-judgement. You can choose to follow your heart always!" I love all of you and hope you can embrace this agreement to love yourself, love your day, love your life! Silvia
CLASS PLAN BASICS WITH SILVIA SHOULDER OPENERS
Sphinx - Cat/Puppy tilt Child's pose
Vajrasana or Camel with eagle arm flow open and close then pulse up and down flossing shoulders
Table Thread Needle dynamic then hold
Side 2 Vajrasana/Camel with eagle arm flow
Chair to Mountain with Eagle arm flow (open arms t in chair, eagle arms mountain backbend) Urdva Hastasana arms up over head Crane Warrior A with eagle arms Flow: 3 x's up and over with eagle arms to tap knee fold; Star pose; Prasarita with yoga mudra, Warrior B with eagle arms (other arm under) to Pose of Shiva hold Half moon A with leg lift progressive side to side Eagle pose full expression hold (first time right foot, second time stand on left foot) Step to front of mat Side 2
TRANSITION Tip Toe Pose Squat
WAVE 3 Broken Toe Pose
Ardha Matysendrasana Right
Side 2 Bharavajrasana Ardha Matysendrasana Left Bharavajrsana Twist
TRANSITION Lie on side
Open to Supine upward facing twist
Supine Cow Face pose (like eagle legs)
Core Cultivation Eagle legs with Eagle arms
Eagle Twist Side 2
Apanasana (Supine Child's Pose)
BENEFITS OF RESTORATIVE YOGA
APRIL 5, 2010: Each first Monday of the month our 10:45am and 7:30pm Basics classes are Restorative Yoga. The ultimate goal of Yoga is liberation, freedom from pain, stress, suffering. In the Hatha Yoga Pradpika it’s written, “Breath is the key to ultimate emancipation.” We use the breath while holding poses in a supported way in Restorative Yoga to help our brain’s relax. Our normal breathing pattern is brain initiated which creates tension. It’s a lot of work! But in conscious breathing our brains become more passive and relaxed. Here is more about the specific type of yoga known as Restorative Yoga. Love to you, Silvia
Yoga can work for many different types of bodies, many different stages in life, and for each person's many different moods. All yoga is healing. The restorative effects of yoga should never be over-looked, no matter what age, and sometimes slowing down the practice, going deeper in poses, and just feeling the restorative power of them does wonders for the body.
Benefits of Restorative Yoga
Restorative Yoga focuses on relaxing the body in restful postures. Rest provides the body an opportunity to renew and heal. Countless studies have proven the physical and emotional benefits of this.
Restorative yoga, as well as other forms of yoga, help to trigger the Parasympathetic nervous system also known as the PNS. The PNS is responsible for balancing the body and bringing its response system back into equalibrium. Stimulating the PNS helps to lower heart rate, blood pressure; it helps to healthily stimulate the immune system and keep the endocrine system operating healthily. When this system gets out of whack, or when the Sympathetic nervous system, SNS gets over-stimulated, the PNS helps to bring all back in balance. It is believed that is the PNS is tapped out or under-active, illness pervades. Thus, forms of relaxation, such as yoga and meditation, that help to stimulate the PNS are generally beneficial for overall body health.
David Spiegel, M.D., author of Living Beyond Limits, reports, "In medicine, we are learning that physical problems, such as high blood pressure and heart disease, can be influenced by psychological interventions, such as relaxation training. Indeed, the Food and Drug Administration issued a report recommending these non-drug approaches as the treatment of choice for milder forms of hypertension. Mind and body are connected and must work together, and this should be a powerful asset in treating medical illness."
FIRST AGREEMENT TRUTH LOVE INTEGRITY
APRIL 5, 2110: This is according to the author the most important one and most difficult to honor. It is to be impeccable with your word. He writes, "through the word you express your creative power. It is through the word you manifest everything. Regardless of what language you speech, your intent manifests through the word. What you dream, what you feel and what you really are, will all be manifested through the word."
What I want to point out is that we are not talking about just verbal language here. Although it is curious that of all animals on earth we are the only one who speaks. But think of internal dialogue that becomes external expression.
"The word is not just a sound or a written symbol. The words is a force; it is the power you have to express and communicate, to think and thereby to create the events of your life." "The word is the most powerful tool you have as a human; it is a tool of magic. But like a sword with two edges your word can create the most beautiful dream or your word can destroy everything around you. Being impeccable with your word is not using the word against yourself. If I love myself I will express that love in my interactions with you, and then I am being impeccable with the word, because that action will produce a like reaction. If I love you, then you will love me. If I have gratitude for you, you will have gratitude for me."
"Being impeccable with your word is the correct use of your energy; it means to use your energy in the direction of TRUTH and LOVE for yourself."
In yoga this concept is known as Satya. When we are able to live with integrity always speaking with loving truth to ourselves and to others we will immediately realize an experience of lightness and ease. Every pose on the mat is a chance to practice being honest with ourselves. The power to live in truth is the same as the power to live in love. So may you be happy, may you be peaceful, may you be loved! Sat Nam, Silvia (In Truth and Light)