To all the brave spirits who live or have lived with injuries and/or chronic pain, my greatest amount of compassion to you. I've been challenged with most things in my daily life recently due to a wrist injury that I've had for sometime, but has worsened, disabling the use of my right wrist for most things right now. I'm unable to work for a bit, drum, do any yoga that uses my right hand, it affects opening things, typing, picking things up, etc. It's incredible to have the greatest of things that feed my soul affected by one injury in a place in the body I never realized I use for almost everything.
This is when the true practice of yoga comes into action; non-attachment, non-judgment, rather truly understanding we are not the body. Responding to these challenges that come our way with as much grace and mindfulness as we can to decrease pain and eliminate suffering. Responding vs. reacting is the biggest challenge. I'm human so it affects that part of me daily, but it's also an experiment to see how much joy and creativity I can cultivate through this. Also feeling like I'm 3 years old again, learning to train my left hand to be the dominate one is rather humorous. We truly do create our own suffering and our own joy. This life is a practice in how we show up to our challenges, learning and growing, continuously being better than our previous selves. With love.
How is it that we can hold so much admiration for those we see being brave, as if we have some radically different make up? We recognize the braveness because it is a desirable feeling that breaks bonds. Imagine what we would do to fear if we sat nice and close with it, snuggle it up, and let it be apart of the journey of being brave...see what happens.
I recently began my own version of a Puja ritual each morning. Puja essentially, is a ritual of daily devotion, offering food, drink and prayers to a deity, historically stemming from the Hindu and Buddhist traditions.
I was in a class recently, performing this ritual where, we, ourselves were our own deity, offering these things to the divine within each of us. Some may say this is not the tradition, some may have, and are entitled to their own beliefs of what the divine is, or which deity to praise, be it God, Allah, Jehovah, Haile Selassie, Buddha, etc. There are varying ways that symbols are used to create rituals that can be very healing, regardless of your spiritual background. It is my true belief that we are all spiritual beings, seeking the same thing, through different sources. No better, no worse, just...different. As I began this ritual, using actual food as my symbol for nourishment, I meditated with each bite, truly feeling myself being of the earth, as I ate fruits and vegetables that came from the earth. I am not Vegan, but in that moment, I truly had a depth of understanding that I am what I eat, and if I want to nourish myself as much as I can, how important it is to mindfully eat, understanding where my food is coming from.
This lead my thoughts into emotional eating. It makes sense that emotional eating usually contains food that is anything but nourishing. When we get sad, angry, depressed, or don't feel good about who we are, we eat chips, chocolate, soda, super size, extra sauce on the side, sub fries for salad, extra cheese, extra, extra, extra. This matches perhaps, not always, but much of the time, how we feel about ourselves in that moment. So we are literally feeding our emotions. If we are eating, coming from a place of value for ourselves, we eat much differently, and more often then not, our eating patterns shift. This life isn't about us, it is about serving, supporting and nurturing one another in this life. If we aren't able to honor and nourish ourselves as our own deity if you will, how are we able to truly do that for others? How are we able to show up in the healthiest of ways for this life, and the community that we are all apart of, each one, playing a significant role.
We are all, exactly where we are supposed to be, learning and growing, discovering and transcending in our own, unique way. I only desire to offer differed perspectives, as I grow and learn on this journey myself. - With Love, Katie
We so often identify ourselves with our thoughts as if it were the absolute truth. I know personally, the mind stands in its own way, challenging me to see the purity within itself often times. It is a practice to allow the observation of the mind to take place.
Yogiraj Achala tells a story that so brilliantly simplifies analogously, the truth of thought. "Yogiraj takes his youngest son to the Mississippi River. The son, looking into the river, asked his dad if the river was polluted. Yogirij resonded that no, the river is only carrying the pollution, the river iteself is pure. Our minds are like the river carrying things in it. If we identify with what the mind is carrying-thoughts, stories, beliefs-then we will think we are those things. However, if we identify with the Divine within us (the pure river) and merely watch the thoughts float by, we will know we are simply carrying the thoughts, stories, and beliefs; they are not who we are."
Kelly McGonigal is a profound leader in the field of science, weaving mindfulness and compassion into her work. Always inspired with great admiration for what she embodies. I offer this video as a way to shift your perspective on stress. Perhaps just learning a few new things about how our brain and body connect. -Peace and light
The shadow self. The self that most of us want to avoid. The self that creates insecurities, self-doubt, anger, hurt, pain, ego. It is a part of all of us, a crucial, beautiful aspect that has so much to offer us, if we embrace it and listen to what it is teaching us. What lessons we can learn from sitting with our shadow selves, allowing us to have an open relationship. One that is nurtured and cared for, not avoided or ignored, not abused or neglected.
I offer to you, the embrace of your shadow self. It is there no matter what, so we might as well love it for all of its beauty and knowledge. It's amazing what darkness will fall away when you shed light onto it. -Love and Peace
Yoga Therapy has a multitude of therapeutic benefits and continues to grow in its scientific recognition. The article below gives an insight into some personal stories of its positive affects, and its impact on people living with different challenges. -Om Shanti
How many times do we let fear take the wheel and steer, even when we don't want to admit it? We are all so powerful, all so capable of greatness and living exactly as we would like. Perhaps it doesn't come as we originally envisioned, but our presence and attitude in our relationships, jobs, interactions with others and with ourselves is where we have choice. The power of vulnerability as Brene Brown so brilliantly suggests, creates more openness and allows for us to live with ourselves more authentically.
I offer to you, being present with your fear, not moving away, not pushing it aside, but to move through it, discomfort and all. The discomfort is only temporary but the repercussions of what's on the other side of that fear is a freedom that everyone has access to. I move through this great challenge daily, much of the time with frustration as the humanness of emotion likes to seep through. We're all in this together. Much love!
I had the pleasure of spending the afternoon with a friend over tea today. Slowing down to connect and be fully present seems to be rather challenging for myself and many people I know. As we perused the shop we were in, I noticed a beautiful Korean book about tea and its relation to life. As I read the back, and the authors words describing his relationship to tea, I couldn't help but take every word in as quite a profound way of perceiving tea. He uses tea as a way to show us the differences and similarities between East and West. The teacup is the cup of humanity, the essence of humanity, meant to be savored slowly and deliberately. I'll never sip my tea the same way again. How simple it is to be more deliberate. I offer you the same. -Peace
Over the years, yoga has saturated most cities in America with boundless yoga studios, websites, magazines and social media, the majority highlighting yoga postures or physical practice (Asana). Asana is a profound way for the body to find expression through physical form, each person finding their unique way of expressing themselves. The postures are one of many avenues to create transformation in ones body, finding balance, strength, discovering ones edge, releasing, opening, and of course relying on breath to unite with movement to create the fullest expression. There are countless more, and most of the time, we aren't even aware that they are transforming us daily.
2014, the year of perception shifts. Yoga is Unity, to yoke, to unite ourselves with our highest nature. Everyone unites with their highest nature countless times without even recognizing or noticing. Connecting with another human being is yoga, looking up at the moonlight, listening to ocean waves, feeling love, laughing with friends, holding hands, running, reading the perfect quote, eating a healthy meal, playing, listening, crying, hugging, all of these things unite us differently, and just like Asana, we all have our own expressions of yoga and what it is that unites us to our highest nature. I offer you to listen more to the things that do just that, recognize them, embrace them, notice...that is yoga and it will change your life. -Peace