If this were a year like all the ones before, I would open the February blog post with, “This month we celebrate fourteen years of community at 401 N. West Street.” I would proceed to go on and on about how the blue came to be, and what we have collectively created and accomplished in the past year. Full of emotion and gratitude, I would talk about the goodness and greatness experienced in those four walls and the enormous contributions made by all involved to create a yoga home for thousands of students since we opened back in 2007. But this was not a year like all the ones before.… Read the rest
As I sit down to write this month, I’m counting. We are 48 hours from Election Day. These few days hold the blue moon on All Hallows’ Eve, Samhain, All Saints Day, All Souls Day. It’s been 230 days since we closed the door after our last class at 401 N. West Street. It’s 25 days until Thanksgiving. It’s 61 days until we turn over the calendar to 2021— blessed be. It’s a time of remembrance, and hopefully a time for change. A movement toward kindness and truth.
Day to day reality has, for most of us, changed radically since last year at this time.… Read the rest
’Tis the season of excess. In all the ways. Too much doing, rushing, eating, whirling, spending, running, shopping. Too much of too much. Seems to me it’s the perfect time to get back to basics and revisit the foundations of yoga, which set the stage for a shift of consciousness from chaos toward freedom.
The fifth yama listed in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras is aparigraha. Breaking the word into its parts, you have: a- a prefix that changes the meaning of what it precedes to the opposite; pari- “on all sides”; graha- “to grab. To grab on all sides (or in every direction) would be parigraha, and that, in a word, sums up how we tend to move through the holidays.… Read the rest
Necessary next steps
by Jill Sockman
Several years ago I wrote a post about feeling like I was in a waiting room. I could then and still can visualize it with amazing clarity. I was sitting in a long hallway — not scary or interesting or noteworthy in any way. In fact it was devoid of detail and without emotional content. But that sensation around the necessity of waiting is still palpable. It was not a time when I felt stuck, frozen, paralyzed or indecisive. There was nothing at all to be DONE. That was the point, and what was being asked of me was to wait.… Read the rest
Celebrating the love that grows at the blue
by Jill Sockman
In the same way it’s hard not to write about gratitude in November, it’s nearly impossible for me not to wax nostalgic at this time of year. And somehow this February feels bigger than most. Celebrating our 9th birthday means we are headed into our 10th year of community at blue lotus. And when I look back to where I was 10 years ago, with the exception of a very few most precious near and dear (you know who you are) nothing about my life looks the same now as it did then.… Read the rest
Thanksgiving Continuum Practice
by Jill Sockman
I love Thanksgiving. For me, it’s the season of family, friends and food; decorated with gratitude, relaxation and ease.
And then there’s December. Which is decidedly NOT Thanksgiving.
For some reason, once we turn the calendar page, there’s an energetic downshift, coupled with jamming the accelerator to the floor. Why? Why do we do it? Why do we go from all the sweet being, enjoying, relaxing, all under the sunny sky of abundance and gratitude to a month of stormy all-out frenzy? I don’t want it. It’s not helpful. I’m going to try something else this year.… Read the rest
Your natural state of joy
When was the last time you reveled in a big belly laugh? When something was tears-running-down-your-face can’t-breathe funny? It always feels so good! And it truly is wonderful medicine.
For some of us, it just doesn’t happen often enough. We live in a culture that values hard work and seriousness, and that’s a familiar place for me. Yes, I’ve reaped many benefits from that place. I also envy people who have what seems to be more balance — you know, the fun people! Maybe they know a secret I’m just now catching onto — The Natural State of a Human Being is Joy!… Read the rest
‘Tis the Season to Slow Down
The language of our lives can oftentimes resemble that of a racetrack — especially this time of year. How many times a day do you find yourself uttering something that sounds like: I’ve got to run to the grocery store. I’m just going to jump in the shower. I’m going to grab something to eat. Do you have time for a quick call? I’ve got to squeeze in a workout. I’m running late. Hurry up!
Overcommitted schedules and distracted lives driven by checklists can stress us out like nobody’s business. We rush through our days, from one task to the next, and feel like, no matter how good we are at multitasking, there’s just never enough time.… Read the rest
Practice Gratitude Every Day
Gratitude 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
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