Monthly Archives: August 2013

Happiness is Already There

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Perspective is everything.  It’s well known within the yoga world that five minutes in a headstand will shake up your bad day and improve your mood.  Yoga inversions move the physical body up side down, sending our feet reaching towards the sky and our heads rooting towards the earth.  This change in our physical bodies gets our blood flowing to the heart, drains the lymph system, and invigorates our energetic body.  It also uproots the emotional and thought bodies, subtly shifting persistent thought patterns to allow us to see through the illusion that is unhappiness and connect to shri, the true joy of the present moment.

EmYoga-headstand-200

Moving to Central America has created a change in how I define happiness.  Our Western culture often teaches us that happiness equates to acquisition.  Read:  get happy by chasing your desires.  I spoke here about how corporations launched a successful campaign on the public to convince them to buy what they don’t need.  The reason that campaign had so much impact is that jumping from desire to desire is part of the One Human Condition.   Read the rest of this entry

Mat Revelations

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A practice I find myself constantly refining is a return to the present moment.  The more I learn about this world and people, the more I believe that the secret to happiness is moving our consciousness away from the constant chatter of the mind and into the here and now.

I know I’m not revolutionary for thinking so.  All of my inspirations essentially say the same.  Whether it’s Patanjali saying “yoga chitta vritti nirodha,” yoga is the cessation of the fluctuations of the mind, or it’s Ram Das reminding us to “Be Here Now,” this simple teaching is oft repeated by teachers throughout the ages.

This is a good an helpful thing.  Because of the fluctuations of the monkey mind and the strong distraction from the present moment, we often need to hear something said multiple times in different ways before it sinks in and we can integrate it as truth.

I had this realization in the middle of a yoga class when a teacher was offering a refinement cue for Warrior Two. As I worked to ground my back heal into the earth and inner spiral my back thigh, it suddenly hit me that *this* is what my other yoga teachers had been trying to correct.  It just took a different combination of sound bites and a mind unclouded by what to buy for dinner for the wisdom to sink past the thought bubble and into my body.

Virabhabdrasana II

It’s no accident that I consistently return to the practice of yoga.  Revelations like this on the mat reflect right back to life experiences.   Read the rest of this entry

Manipura Chakra – Sit In Your Power

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The third chakra is a ball of vibrating fire that sits behind the navel.  The Manimpura chakra vibrates to the color yellow and is tied up with issues of personal identity, ego, self-esteem, and will power.  Because of it’s location at the solar plexus, this chakra is relates to digestive issues and how we are able to nourish ourselves physically and psychically.

Manipura

A person with a healthy third chakra radiates confidence, has a resonant voice, good posture, and can make ideas happen.  Also called the “lustrous jewel,” this chakra gives you the confidence to put yourself out there, showing your authentic self in a risk to achieve your dreams and make them a reality.

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Making the Case for Slowing it Down

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Teaching yoga in Central America means that I have few regular students. Most students are tourists in town for a week or two who decide to pop in for some yoga classes.  I’ll ask people a little about their practice prior to our first class together to gauge their experience.  I’ve found that I’m often then surprised by what I see on the yoga mat.

Many students tell me they’ve got a regular practice in power yoga or hot yoga and then appear to be beginner students as we move through our flow.  My yoga background includes lots of viniyoga and anusara yoga, which are both practices with a strong focus on alignment and on keeping the body safe.

Photo from The New York Times

Photo from The New York Times

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Leaving Behind Consumerism

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I like to think that American society is finally moving on from the culture of consumerism.  I’d like to think we’ve come a long way since George W. Bush told Americans after the disaster that was 9/11 that the solution to our problem was to spend the weekend shopping.

Corporate American Flag

Corporate American Flag

 

I was recently gifted with a number of higher-conciousness movies, programs, and snippits of technology that help drive people to be a part of the solution.  One of these programs, The Century of the Self, speaks about how American corporations and politicians worked to use Freudian theory and analysis to control by convincing them they didn’t have enough.

It’s interesting listening to the description of how most people lived their lives before this psychological campaign started.   Read the rest of this entry

Svadhisthana Chakra – Movement in Creativity

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The second chakra, Svadhisthana, is located between the pubis and the belly button.  Also known as the Sacral Chakra, the sanskrit name can be translated as “one’s own abode.”  This chakra governs sexuality, creativity and our relationship with others.  The second chakra is associated with the color naranja, or orange.

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