Imagine a lotus plant as it floats peacefully on the surface of the water. Its beautiful petals extending wide open to receive the light. You can see its perfection, its radiance. What you cannot see is that its stem is tethered to dark, debris filled mud.Continue reading “Ascend into Beauty”
This phrase is a simple way to state that what you put into your body truly creates the individual you will become. What you eat (and drink) not only affects your physique but your outlook, your productivity and how you relate to those around you. It is especially significant when you are trying to establish a steady yoga practice.Continue reading “You Are What You Eat”
Some days you just need a good reason to get out of bed and onto your mat. Lately, our impending move is motivation enough to rise and shine but when I need incentive to honor my practice first, I turn to dedication. This is my way of easing into the day, especially if it’s going to be a busy one.
This week I began each practice with a special dedication to stay focused on my greater purpose. Here are the seven different themes I chose to reflect upon.Continue reading “7 Ways to Dedicate Your Yoga Practice”
Each morning I rise, the temptation to pick up my phone and check messages, the news, or the weather, gets in the way of rededicating myself to my yoga practice.
Checking in – really checking inward, involves detachment. Detachment from the distractions that separate me from what matters most – my connection to myself and my breath.Continue reading “Detach to Attach”
Over the last few weeks I have relaunched my yoga practice – choosing to begin as a new student and establish a fresh daily yoga routine. I have started simply with sitting with my breath first thing in the morning and reflecting on the true meaning of yoga.
As a word, yoga (or yuj) means to bind, join or yoke. I love this definition as it plainly specifies a very important concept – connection. The connection of our breath to our bodies and minds and the connection of our energies to the universe.
Now I am excited to begin each day and reconnect to my practice and the foundation of yoga. However, I have found that in order to acquire any new connections, I first have to clean my slate. I need to allow for a fresh perspective; one that isn’t influenced by a prior practice or of what I presume to know.
This week I have been reflecting on a quote from the poet/calligrapher Kohad:
I cast the brush aside
From here on
I’ll speak to the moon
Face to face.
By reflecting on these words, I can receive what it is I seek in this new phase of my yoga practice. Like the waning moon, I will slowly dissolve my old state so that I can begin anew.
I look forward to the journey ahead. Namasté.
As promised, I am now using this blog to supplement my new book, Yoga Posts: Building a Steady Yoga Practice One Day at a Time. This week’s post refers back to Chapter #3: Prepare Your Mind. If you wish to start at the beginning, please look to my first post.
Do you want to bring a daily yoga practice into your life? We are building a community of support for this very thing here on the blog each Sunday. Last week we began the process of inviting ourselves to stand open to receive. This week, we are choosing when and where we practice in order to establish a daily ritual.Continue reading “Yoga as a Daily Ritual”
Remember, there is a natural ebb and flow to everyone’s practice. B.K.S. Iyengar said, “a yoga practice waxes and wanes like the moon. Sometimes our work is bright and shiny, like the full moon, while at other times it feels dark as when the moon is new. Realize that the cycle of yoga practice is not 24 hours, weekly or even monthly but spread out over a lifetime.”
As you plan your practice this week, give yourself permission to ride with the tide. You may have a pattern of energy and strength one day and then you may need to drift closer to the shore and rest on the beach for the next day or so. Don’t be too hard on yourself as you commit to this daily routine. Continue reading “Establish A Steady Yoga Practice – Expect Nothing, Accept Everything”
“Yesterday is but a dream, tomorrow is only a vision, therefore look well to this day.” – Goswami Kriyananda
This week prepare your yoga days by designating a practice tag line for each day of the week. The labels not only provide a preset plan but also assure that during the week the practice will be variable and well rounded.
Here are my suggestions. Feel free to use these labels or tweak them to suit your own needs/preferences: Continue reading “Establish A Steady Yoga Practice – Label Your Days”
Dedicate this time to your well-being, for the opportunity to build strength and lightness, flexibility and balance.
“Yoga teaches us to cure what need not be endured and endure what cannot be cured.” – B.K.S. Iyengar
“What is the purpose of yoga practice? To open the heart. Measure your success in your postures not by how far you go but by how aware you are in each moment. What makes you feel most alive? Most present? Most whole?” -unknown source
Prior to the start of your practice, read a quote that is meaningful to you. The above passages have complemented my practice over time. Or, you may want to dedicate your session to a person that will benefit from your healthy and positive energy.
Providing yourself with gentle reminders of why you are taking time to practice will keep you motivated and devoted. Dedication is a profound way to start your day and can set the tone for the activities ahead.
May You Be A Blessing Unto Others!
“Yield to the flow. It is the most intelligent, fulfilling thing to do. Surrender your best sense of what to do or not to do and trust in the flow of Being.” – E. Schiffmann
Your challenge this week is to take 5 minutes each day to go with the flow by practicing what speaks to you.
You can simply sit and breathe, do one or two yoga poses that are familiar to you, or, if it’s a “down day”, enjoy a relaxation pose like Savasana (corpse pose). The important thing is to go to your dedicated space and set your timer for 5 minutes. Just 5 minutes – no more.
If you are a teacher, try this in class. Allow a few minutes for self-practice prior to the start of class.
Creating a home practice begins with honoring yourself. Continue reading “Establish A Steady Yoga Practice – Go With the Flow”