Just show up!

Today I had the most glorious yoga class! Now let me explain that for the past year the first six months my mat was neglected and the last six months I have been practicing at home. I made this decision for financial reasons as well there are no real close studios at my new location. Now the downside to this you have to have motivation, and I miss the community and energy from practicing in a studio. But alas I found some help, Yogaglo.com. This is such a great site, for the price of one regular class you can enjoy a month of unlimited yoga classes from various teachers. This is how I stumbled on to some great teachers I now try to follow.

My new found love is for Ashtanga yoga. I was introduced a year ago to Ashtanga and fell in love with it. The problem is that it is very challenging and not easy to take up as a home practice. However because it is challenging it is what makes the practice intriguing. One of the basic principles is the pick up and jump back. When done well it is beautiful, the show of strength and commitment is apparent. The idea is that you can go from sitting pick yourself up, swing like a cradle your legs back into chatarunga. Easier said than done, and the first few times let me tell you your ego takes a kicking. Here is where I get to the basis of my story. I have been addicted to Kathryn Budig’s classes on Yogaglo, so feeling ambitious I decided to tackle the class with the breakdown of the pick up, jump back. This in of itself is daunting, however Kathryn has this ability to being a lightness to everything she teaches. Hey I am at home and I feel this! During this class she says two things that resonate with me. “just show up, this practice is a discipline and the mainly you have to show up”. Okay this is not ground breaking, however, take this into your life. Everything in life is a challenge. Getting out of bed to go to work everyday is a challenge. Sometimes we are so hard on ourselves that instead of being proud we attempted something, we focus on the negative. Nothing comes in the first attempt, we all know this. So why, do we constantly beat ourselves up, pick yourself up and take the experience for what it is and move on. But u still have to show up! How typical is it that we get home we are disappointed we didn’t do our yoga, go to the gym, get the cleaning done, etc that we park ourselves on the couch and enjoy in a treat and say to,or row will be different. Then two weeks later we are still sitting on the couch feeling sorry for ourselves. We have to show up, not only to practice but to our lives. But then be proud in it! You don’t need to get it perfect, maybe you don’t run those 10 miles today or get into that arm balance in your yoga practice. But you tried, you showed up, that 90% of the battle right there! Maybe tomorrow will be different, chances are your practice will be different every day. Okay so I didn’t get the pick up jump back today, however I got a little closer, I was proud of what I did do, and I enjoyed every minute if it with a big smile on my face.

Thank you Kathryn Budig for reminding me even though I’m not nearly as agile and strong in my practice as i would love to be, that every day will get me there, and to enjoy it in the meantime. Instead of beating myself up, I found the excitement and joy in it, and that is something I can take into my life. This week just show up, and be proud you got on your mat, it’s the only way to get somewhere.

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Let it be

In the past week or two there is this common phrase that keeps reappearing “let it be” in my life. I always wonder if this is the universe trying to tell me something. In the past six months I have found a man I love, moved, lost my yoga, found my yoga, been more hormonal than a 16 year old due to my thyroid, and now transitioning careers. That’s right, tomorrow I sign papers to become part of a new community. It is my transition into the yoga community officially. I committed weeks ago to finally jump back into my yoga teaching and within weeks i had several places wanting me to teach. It didn’t really work out how I wanted, however it will be a great transition. I am so happy, and on the same note scared. I keep questioning how I am going to carry two jobs, keep sane, still have a yoga practice, eat healthy, and most of all what is it going to do to my relationship? Innately this transition is what I want, but fear and questions keep arising. I know I have a wonderful man who keeps supporting me through all of this and I am sure will be there all the way. It will be tough but for a short time.

So back to “let it be”, I keep hearing this lately. I truly believe that if you listen and pay attention the universe will show you the way. It’s this idea of non-attachment, which prevalent in yoga philosophy. The idea that everything changes, that we suffer when we cling to something even though inherently everything changes. Which I am clinging to my life as I know it, safe, secure, but unhappy. If I let it be, and keep my positive energy things will work out. Instead of creating all this fear and anxiety, I need to just let it be. Like the cliche phrase, ” life is not about where you end up, it is the journey that counts”. I should be enjoying all these moments, I can not make time stand still. Life becomes the thoughts you put out there, and through my fear I am putting out all these negative thoughts. Let it be, for life will be what it may, but I might as well enjoy every step of the way, appreciate the ones who are there for me, for what I may learn, for within being “uncomfortable” is when the work really happens. In being so caught up in my thoughts and i fears i am more likely to self sabotage or cause myself more pain than i need to. I do not know what may happen but I am very excited for the future. It is a whole new chapter starting and it is only through my yoga that I have the tools to do what I need to. This weeks lesson, do not be so caught up in our internal dialogue, spend more time enjoying the moments than worrying what is to come.

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Loving the best in people.

Why is it we always assume the worst in people? I always envy the people that lovingly take everyone in openly on the first meeting. Where does this come from? I blame to many years in corporate society, where everyone is willing to do anything to get somewhere. This can turn many people into a bitter, jaded, seemingly heartless human. After emptying the last bit of soft serve ice cream in my fridge this is what I am contemplating. We see this everyday, once I helped a lady in a wheelchair in the supermarket who dropped her purse to pick it up, only to be looked at like I was trying to steal it. So where does this instinct come from? This is not even towards strangers, our friends, family, significant others sometimes do this to us or vice versa. Like the most of our anxiety I believe this comes from fear. Fear of being hurt, physically or emotionally. Somewhere along the way we have been let down by this person so when given the chance, revert back to our old patterns of thought. One of my yoga instructors once explained our thoughts are like records, we keep repeating them over and over is some way until we consciously change them. We can not change our patterns until we are aware of them. Being present in the moment, when a feeling comes up, sit with it. It is in these moments that we have the choice and opportunity to change our patterns. Realize your thoughts and emotions, acknowledge them and then let them go. Consciously make a decision without sitting in the fear.

Tomorrow when someone you know says or physically does something that makes you doubt them, ask why and maybe just give them the benefit of the doubt. If we are working to change why can’t someone else? Maybe we are doubting them due to experiences with someone else, choose to leave that in the past, live in today.

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