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Hardening against the uncomfortable

December 2, 2014 in Blog

Hardening against the uncomfortable

by Jill Sockman

This morning I suited up to take Padma for a walk just as I have for the past week or so: sevevteen layers, complete with ski socks and a hat. By the time I got back to the house, I was sweating (profusely) and cursing my inability to gauge the outdoor temperature with more — or any — skill. It made me realize just how much I’ve been bracing against the cold.

I grew up on the north shore of Ohio. (I know, you didn’t realize Ohio had a shore, right?) For all of the things you might or might not know about that part of the country, perhaps you’ve heard of something called Lake Effect Snow.… Read the rest

Practice Gratitude Every Day

November 26, 2014 in Blog

Practice Gratitude Every Day

by Jill Furgurson

Gratitude-is-the-hearts-memory-a-French-proverb1-2Gratitude connects us to presence. Even the simplest expression of gratitude connects us to others. Today, choose something that you are grateful for and then consider who it is around you that makes it possible. Maybe it’s the barista who makes your latte, or the sister who cares for your parents. Or maybe it’s the friend who makes you smile, or the coworker who hears you out. Whomever it is, find a way to let them know you are grateful they exist.

 

As we lift up those around us, we too, rise up.… Read the rest

Fear or Faith?

November 21, 2014 in Blog

Fear or Faith?

by Jill Sockman

As you start each new part of your ongoing journey, (om gum ganapatayei namaha!) consider the road before you. Ultimately, I’d say there are only two options: The Path of Fear and The Path of Faith.two paths

The Path of Fear is haunted by our regrets and worries. It is laden with the obstacles of indecision and doubt. Its winding way distracts us, and leaves us with feelings of unworthiness and discontent. The Path of Faith is no less haunted. There are no fewer obstacles. It is every bit as windy and steep. The paths, I believe, look exactly the same.… Read the rest

Unplug to Connect

October 31, 2014 in Blog

Unplug to Connect

by Jill Sockman

As I’m writing this, I’m in the process of getting ready to leave for Pinehurst for a weekend of teaching some of my favorite material. I love Pinehurst, our host, the deep-diving nature of the work I’ll share there, getting away, great food, intimate community… But one of the things I am looking forward to the most is getting unplugged.

We live in a world where we can “stay connected” not only in bustling urban centers, but in tiny villages, beaches and jungles in most distant places. Our “staying connected” to news, to home, to work and to all the many distractions of a smartphone or computer often gets very much in the way of being connected to what is in the here and now, of every moment, wherever we are.… Read the rest

Ahimsa on the Inside

October 2, 2014 in Blog

Ahimsa on the Inside

by Jill Sockman

If you’ve hung around a yoga studio with any regularity, you’ve probably heard the word ahimsa before — usually translated as non-violence or non-harming. Seems pretty simple, as the “thou shalt not kill” of the yoga world. And that’s not incorrect, of course. Killing is pretty much off the menu for any spiritual tradition that I know of, and the notion of doing the least amount of harm seems to fall right in line with a kindly “love thy neighbor” approach to life.

Unlike the Niyamas (observances), which are more personal and address how you treat yourself and till the inner soil, ahimsa is one of the Yamas (social restraints) in the Yoga Sutras. … Read the rest

Create your reality

September 2, 2014 in Blog

Create your reality

by Jill Sockman

I change my mind about as much as the next person. At least as far as I know. Sometimes my opinion or viewpoint shifts from experience or new information, but other times it is a random change of perspective that feels as unmanaged as the weather.

A number of years ago, I wrote about this idea in regard to a student in class. She was a long-time student of mine, and one evening I watched her struggling with her body (mind) in a pose, and I offered the question, “What would happen if you decided that you liked it?” As I recall, the question was received with hissing and thorns and perhaps expletives.Read the rest

Operating in the Present, Committing to Change

August 1, 2014 in Blog

Operating in the Present, Committing to Change

by Jill Sockman

I’ve heard over and over again from students, teachers, strangers, and the voices in my own head: it’s been a rough year. Whether it’s in the stars, in our karma, or in our minds, I believe there is something in the collective human experience driving us to make changes. Big changes.

We are out of alignment with the rhythms of nature, with the communities around us, and with the deepest callings of our own souls. If in fact the world outside is a reflection of what is inside of us, it’s no real surprise we’re in quite a mess.… Read the rest

Deadlines, Timelines & Processes

July 7, 2014 in Blog

Deadlines, Timelines & Processes

by Jill Sockman

I got some good advice a while back about timelines.  And I am not talking about work deadlines where others are relying on you to complete one part of a whole, but rather the self-imposed “I should be X by Y date/time/age.”

The advice was this: if YOU are the one making the timeline, then be sure you aren’t using it as a measuring stick to determine your worth as a human being.  Whether it’s sending out a newsletter, getting out of an unhealthy job situation, breaking or creating a habit — really anything that elicits the “I should be xxxxx by now” followed by feelings of remorse, regret, abject failure, whatever.… Read the rest

Refine your practice: understanding sthira and sukha

June 27, 2014 in Blog

Refine your practice: understanding sthira and sukha

by Kathleen Yount

Explore yoga’s “yin and yang” concept the next time you’re on the mat

One of the fundamental concepts behind good yoga practice comes from the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, a source text for many of today’s popular styles of yoga. In the Yoga Sutras, the sage Patanjali defines the physical postures of yoga (called yoga asana) this way: Sthira sukham asanam (2.46), which is commonly translated from Sanskrit to read “Asana is a steady, comfortable posture.

bl_mg_9527_reduced”In other words, every yoga pose should be done with the qualities of both steadiness (sthira) and comfort (sukha), effort and ease.… Read the rest

Get clear on why you are here

June 3, 2014 in Blog

Get clear on why you are here

by Jill Sockman

padma life vestLooking at a photo of Padma recently, I was reminded about how much time has passed so very quickly. (And I am wildly grateful that it isn’t a picture of me as I enjoy the compare-contrast.)  The Boo’s coat is lighter now, her face is mostly white, and the goofy puppy expression is something I only see from time to time instead of every day.  Where has the time gone?

I’m doing some new work these days around better understanding samskara (our patterns), recognizing where I am on the blueprint my soul arrived with, and making one active step closer to being in alignment with who I was meant to be.… Read the rest