Wednesday, February 22, 2012


...How it seems like yesterday I never thought I would ever be able to practice a pose like Eka Pada Rajakapotasana. Yoga is funny like that, you practice and practice and practice and then one day...your body says, ok- I'm ready, let's do this...

When you understand who and what you are, your radiance projects into the universal radiance and everything around you becomes creative and full of opportunity.

Yogi Bhajan 

Sunday, February 5, 2012

What If...

What if our religion was each other
If our practice was our life
If prayer, our words

What if the temple was the earth
If forests were our church
If holy water- the rivers, lakes, and oceans

What if meditation was our relationships
If the Teacher was life
If wisdom was self-knowledge
If love was the center of our being.

~Ganga White

for the Rainforest Benefit
NYC April 1998

Friday, February 3, 2012

Yoga Teacher Training

Finally! A moment to breathe, meditate and reflect on the adventure that is yoga teacher training thus far, these are some of the notes I've taken from the first week...

Day 1: 

Exhilarating, exciting and a little scary. Didn't realize how much time, effort, and commitment (aka- discipline- an area I tend to fall short in) this would take... but I need this challenge. Having never been able to finish anything in my life- I am diving into this journey head first, acknowledging that it will be tough at times, knowing that I will want to quit but committing to staying present throughout and meeting the trials with honesty and awareness.

Day 2/3:

Wondering...can I do this? We've already started "practice teaching" each other in class and it is incredibly intimidating. I don't know what I was expecting but it appears as if I am not a "natural"- if there even is such a thing. I start giggling, laughing and apologizing when I get the cues wrong and/or completely forget the instructions altogether. It's more difficult than I imagined to coordinate the breath with movement and to remember what posture comes next (let alone which side of the body) when I'm not actually performing the sequence myself.

I find myself feeling uncomfortable when attempting to do adjustments (helping people correct their alignment by putting my hands on them to guide them into the best way to hold a posture to accomodate their individual bodies) but realize how healing and important they are for students, myself included- I love adjustments. I'm afraid of doing something wrong, hurting someone or knocking them over (something I almost did while adjusting another trainee).

Fear, it's all just fear...which only exists in my mind and is not real. I need to remember to tune in to my intuition, tune in to what the student needs. Let God guide me rather than my fearful ego.

Day 4:

I am humbly reminded of how important breath is in the Vinyasa yoga practice- of course I've always known this but putting it into practice and fully utilizing my Ujjayi breathing throughout the entire class is a different story. It's all goes back to mindfulness and discipline once again.

"Vinyasa" means combining breath with movement, so for every inhale and exhale there is a movement that follows- a chaturanga, upward facing dog, downward facing dog, etc., unless holding a particular posture for several breaths. This sounds easy in theory but in practice, if I am not mindful, I find myself breathing completely out of sequence and getting out of breath because I'm actually holding my breath when I don't even realize it or attempting to do a pose that I want to do but probably shouldn't because my breathing is labored. The breath should be slow, even and steady throughout.

Lesson learned- in order to get the most out of my yoga practice (and this teacher training for that matter), my ego is going to have to take a backseat. Once again, I'm reminded that slow and steady wins the race...or in this case, gets to practice a lifetime of healthy yoga without injury.

A quote from one of my textbooks that pretty much sums it up for me..."Yoga is an ancient science of health for the physical body and balance for the mind and emotions that provides the foundation for the spiritual journey whose destination is self-knowledge."

Let the spiritual journey continue...

via Google Images