Monthly Archives: December 2012

People Pleasing

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I’ve had cause to disappoint some people this week. This brings feelings of stress and tightness in my heart center, as I always want everybody to be happy in general, and especially not to associate disappointment or bad feelings with me.  There are a few good lessons to be learned from these situations.

One is that we are never ever responsible for anybody else’s feelings.  This is easy to say, but more difficult to remember when we are wrapped up in the moment.   It’s worth bearing in mind, though.  We are each our own little universe of experience, emotions, feelings, perceptions, thoughts, and memories.  That said, when one person has a reaction to another’s words or actions, there is no way to tell as an outside observer what was the root cause.  Read the rest of this entry

Palabras y Memorias

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One of the cool things about learning a new language is that I have all these little jewels of memories associated with my new vocabulary. Por ejamplo, I learned the word for “horse” from listening to a toddler repeat, “caballo, caballo,” as a work horse trotted by on the cobblestones.

I learned “por ejamplo” thanks to my patient first teacher in Spanish. Our lessons consisted of me trying to explain my day en español. A wonderful way to learn the vocabulary that fits your life!

Sideways glances quickly taught me that “me gusta” is not the way to express that you think an individual is nice. Read the rest of this entry

Feliz Navidad

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I’ve decided to rename Nicaragua from the land of lakes and volcanoes to the land of bombas and tubas.  The month of December has been a celebration of Purisima, the miracle of the Virgin birth, and has consisted of late night parades, juegos artificiales – firecrackers large and small, and music of all kinds.

The parades, which sometimes start at three or four am, are both in celebration of the Virgin Mary and to scare off bad spirits hiding on street corners.  They often included bombas, loud explosions, as well as various sound-making instruments from tubas, conch shells, animal horns or drums.

Christmas is celebrated here primarily on Christmas Eve with time spent with families and gathered in the streets.  As the sun set last night, there were large groups outside almost every door in town.  Older folks sat in folding chairs and the children ran circles setting off small firecrackers and dancing with sparklers. Read the rest of this entry

Finding the Thread of Yourself

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It’s hard sticking to your spiritual and/or health routine during the holidays. Family comes to you or you travel to them. There are late night parties filled with tasty, tasty munchies and lots of opportunities to revel in wine-soaked smiles.

That’s all a good thing, and, I’d argue, just another dimension of your practice. Tantric philosophy says that each moment offers it’s own opportunity for waking up. Read the rest of this entry

Holiday Reflections

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The world around us reflects the world within. We see what we expect to see, people reflect back to us our histories, habits, and ways of being. Alcoholics Anonymous has a saying, “water seeks its own level.” In life, we gravitate to people and situations vibrating at the same frequency as the energy within us.

When we gather together with family for the holidays, we are often faced with deeply ingrained habits and ways of being reflected back to us by our family members. Perhaps these habits are buried deep within our subconscious and we are unaware of them. Read the rest of this entry

Santosha

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Santosha is one of the niyamas, or self restraints, recommended by Patanjali in the yoga sutras.  Mastering the yamas and niyamas is an integral part of the practice of yoga, and so far, one that I find myself continually practicing time and again.  I’ve written before about Santosha, the practice of being satisfied with what one has, in my very first post.    Desire, though, is not an easy monkey to remove from one’s back nor one’s mind.

“I can resist everything but temptation”
~Oscar Wild

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Vishuddhi – the Chakra of Communication

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fifth chakra

I am constantly pulled back to work with the chakras in my asana and meditation practice.  I find that chakra work often comes off the mat, coloring food choices, what colors I incorporate into my outfits, and  which essential oils I wear.  Further, if I’m working with a particular chakra, I’ll keep work in the front of my conciousness as I’m having interactions with people throughout my day.  I’ll notice if a person may trigger some of the lessons I need to practice to balance a particular chakra, or perhaps I’ll notice that the somebody has a complementary chakra issue – where mine is depleted, perhaps their is showing in excess.

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El Esclavo, The Slave

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I did a card reading the other night to gain some clarity on issues of Abundance.  I’ve been working hard with prosperity meditations for a few months now, both to increase the flow of that energy in my own life and to prepare for an upcoming workshop I have on the topic here in Nicaragua.

I’ve seen a real increase in the energy of abundance, prosperity, and creativity since I committed to actively working the combination of  kriyas, meditations, and asana practice I’ve designed.  I’ve also experienced an increase in feelings of gratitude as well as an ability to recognize the energy of abundance when it does enter my life.  So often, I feel that this “plenty,” which really is a divine right for all, enters so stealthily into our lives that it’s very easy to take for granted unless you are practicing stillness, awareness, and gratitude.  Read the rest of this entry

What I did Today

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A slice of life in Nicaragua.

I woke early to squeeze in a short hatha yoga practice and meditation before an early morning private class date over at Hotel Spa Granada, site of my favorite pool in the city!  Walking there, I enjoyed the relative cool of the morning and the view of Volcan Mombacho shrouded in clouds.  After a poolside yoga  class followed by a delicious breakfast of fresh fruit and yogurt, I headed over to Hotel Dario for some sweet coffee and a meeting with some local yoga teachers who are working to open up a boutique hotel and yoga studio here in Granada.  I think we have some exciting retreat workshop collaborations in our future!!

Yoga chat is always fun, and we probably would have easily gotten lost in that conversation if it weren’t for the fun event we are planning.  Read the rest of this entry

Subtle Language

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Learning the Spanish language has been a sometimes illusive goal that I’ve  fiercely practiced for the last seven months.  I’ve had my ups and downs – my nights of frustration at not being able to follow the late night, beer laden jumble of conversation and the sudden clarity as the vendors sing-songy jingles and the calls of mothers to children become intelligible.  Each step on the long road to fluency is a joy, rewarded by further understanding and connection with the beautiful people I encounter along the way.

One part of language here is that it encompasses more than simply words.  Communication in Nicaragua is a full body experience.  Read the rest of this entry