Today marks day 7 of the rest of life without Padma. I feel like I’m wearing someone else’s skin, in someone else’s life. 17 years- more than half my adult life- is a long time to have a constant companion. I’m grateful for it all, and lucky, I realize that. At the same time, everything feels quite sideways and probably will for a while. I’m sharing this with you because much in the same way that blue lotus was never really mine, it was the same with the Boo. Even before blue, she was the yoga dog: visiting, welcoming and ignoring in equal measure.… Read the rest
Last week I had porch coffee in the blazing heat with a dear friend. It had been a while since we’d caught up, so we were sharing all the latest events and feels when she asked, somewhat out of the blue, “what do you miss the most?” Without skipping a beat (or even weighing the context or the options) what came out of my mouth was “the illusion of certainty.” The idea hadn’t even crossed my mind before, so I’m pretty sure it was, straight up, a message from The Universe. The illusion of certainty. Pause for reflection.
If you’ve been on the planet long enough, I imagine that you, as I, have survived at least your share of life pulling the rug out from under you.… Read the rest
A couple of weeks ago, a longtime student, fellow teacher and dear friend sent a note to see how I was doing. This is, of course, a bizarre and difficult question for any of us to answer these days. I fumbled through a reply, trying to be as transparent as possible, while acknowledging the wild roller coaster of emotions that I move through in an hour’s time makes a clear answer unwieldy at best. Her response to me was, “you’ll get through this with your usual grit and grace.” Yes, I thought. This is the answer to this most impossible quandary I’ve been faced with since March 16: How will I ever get through this?… Read the rest
By the time you are reading this, I will be in India. It is my fourth visit to the subcontinent, and somewhat like the other trips, it just kind of happened. Over the course of several short weeks in the fall of 2018, I had a number of people ask- completely out of the blue- when I was taking a group to India, and that when I did, they were in. Clearly the plan was out there, I just hadn’t heard about it yet. Synchronicity, divine timing and spirit commingled, and I was again swept (with excitement and anxiety in equal measure) into a pilgrimage beyond my own making.… Read the rest
Back in April, after about six weeks of deep, aching back pain, I went for an MRI. Unlike most test results I’ve had in my life where I’m told “everything looks fine” I was given an actual diagnosis: a stress fracture at L4. It’s not a big deal. I was in a brace for a month and still have one month more of limited activity yet to go and everything should heal completely. It did provide fodder for a good laugh with a friend– that I’d been going on for such a long time about needing “a break” that I finally got one.… Read the rest
While I occasionally have a plan for what I’ll talk about in the opening meditation for class, most of the time it’s a surprise even to me what comes out. Sometimes, it’s what has been showing up in my own life and practice, what I’ve been reading about or what I am consistently hearing from students. Other times the message seems like it is arriving from the universe as a dharma lesson for me personally as much as it might be for anyone else in the room. Over the many years of teaching, I have come to trust the impulse of what rises whether planned or unplanned, comfortable or not.… Read the rest
by Jill Sockman
At the end of Patanjali’s list of niyamas (personal observances) is ishvara pranidhana. I tend to believe it was placed at the end for a reason — a culmination of sorts, and some great commentators on the Yoga Sutras argue if one can master this niyama, there is no need for anything else. No surprise then, that perhaps it’s the hardest to do.
As with everything else in Sanskrit — and yoga for that matter — there are many definitions and interpretations of ishvara pranidhana. To wrap them up, boil them down, titrate to the essence, I offer you this: to dedicate our efforts to present moment awareness without attachment; to be in a continual state of offering our actions to something bigger than ourselves; to ever surrender our small, individual will to that which is greater — whatever your personal interpretation of “greater” might be.… Read the rest
Honoring who you are
by Jill Sockman
I go on a lot about honoring where you are and the importance of in-the-moment acceptance of yourself at any given time. Whether acknowledging anger and disappointment or recognizing success, tiredness, overwhelm — the list is endless — there is value in shifting out of the ongoing internal dialogue we engage in about what is, and into feeling it in the moment and letting it go.
Alongside the development of mindfulness as a practice of self-care is the task of accepting yourself as who you are. I haven’t yet decided if one is easier or harder, or if one should come before the other.… Read the rest
Being happy where you are
by Jill Sockman
I’m spending a little time in Florida this week to celebrate my mom’s birthday. I’ve been coming here since I was a little girl and every time I’m here I’m reminded there are memories stored in every nook and cranny; ghosts and treasures are tucked away around every corner.
Days are lazy, and always begin with a walk along the Gulf of Mexico. I’ve been walking this stretch of perfect white sand pretty much my whole life. What I love about it is that while it’s always the same place, the beach is different every day.… Read the rest
Do your practice. All is coming.
by Jill Sockman
This came through my inbox this morning: “On the path of transformation, you will experience acceptance, which entails accepting your own inner condition exactly as it is, without reacting to it or defending against it.” Also in the inbox, from a different source: “You can have all good things – wealth, friends, kindness, love to give and love to receive – once you have learned not to be blinded by them, learned to escape from disappointment, and from repugnance at the idea that things are not as you want them to be.”… Read the rest