resilienceMarch 24, 2022 in Blog
Grief and resilience live together. -Michelle Obama
Our theme for April is resilience. It’s the central topic in our Immersion program, the subject for April’s Best of Blue video collection and the theme for my Thursday Movement + Rest series. It feels appropriate to talk about, cultivate and practice resilience after a time of so much grief— as they do, indeed, live together. Sometimes when we are faced with grief, we find we are more resilient than we could have imagined. Other times, we recognize our resilience has waned and we are without the resources to cope.
So, what is resilience?… Read the rest
who am I, really?February 28, 2022 in Blog
A few times each year, I offer a multi-week series on foundational philosophical tenets of yoga. It’s work that I love. It feels like sharing the truth of what yoga really is, and though I’ve taught it all before many times, it bears teaching— and learning— over and over and over again. Some of these teachings I return to for the reminders that are always needed and others because they help us push through another layer of the question, “who am I, really?” A question that each of us will (hopefully) never be done with until we take our last breath.… Read the rest
We have, most all of us, been in survival mode for a long time and this way of being has exacted tolls I’m not sure we will ever fully grasp. We have learned to live in new ways and work in new ways. We’ve made changes, course corrections and sacrifices. We’ve gotten creative even when our patience has been taxed to the max. We have figured out how to endure because there’s not much of an alternative. One of many questions that’s been growing and tumbling around inside me on multiple fronts over these past two years is what is sustainable?… Read the rest
If I know a single thing about yoga, it’s that no matter the state of the world or the state of one’s inner landscape, finding any semblance of okayness begins and ends with daily practice. Feeling great? Get on your mat. Feeling sad? Get on your mat. Feeling steady and centered? Take a seat. Feeling distracted or lost? Take a seat. While any one practice taken in isolation may not be especially interesting, provocative, inspirational, calming, steadying, or anything else, there’s a special magic when you add up the cumulative benefits of all of the practices day after day after day.… Read the rest
decisionsJuly 30, 2021 in Blog
Redirect to the September 2021 post This is What Love Feels Like here.
I need to set the tone by telling you that I was going to name this post “hard decisions” but quickly recognized that would be pretty redundant at this time in history. Perhaps we can just categorize them all into hard decisions and impossible decisions. We’ve been faced with so many- personally and collectively- in the past year that most of us have become accustomed to a level of inner reeling that might be the “new normal” to which we are adjusting. Freedom of choice is a whole lot more complicated than we once believed it to be.… Read the rest
I am preparing to lead my first in-person retreat since the Before Times. The focus of our time away is around the practice of vichara, or self-inquiry. It’s a combination of unwinding the story of your past and keys to unfolding the life you want. I always hesitate to call it a retreat, because that word conjures up lazy days of rest, exotic locations, and a vacation from work of all kinds. It is decidedly not that. Training is also not the right word, as that implies I’ll be imparting information that can be learned and studied. I suppose what I am preparing to do is guide a vigil, an inner journey, a pilgrimage of sorts where the destination is the Self.… Read the rest
One day last week (we will call it “one day” for the sake of conversation) I was feeling unproductive, weary and heavy, and while I continued to press through the day, it was with the near constant question/mantra “Why am I so tired?” I wandered from task to task, unable to muster much energy or enthusiasm all the way into the early evening- when I was simply waiting for it to be late enough that I could call it bedtime.
The amount of energy I put into the self-interrogation about my tiredness, combined with the effort of pushing against what was with full resistance could likely have been better directed.… Read the rest
The WitnessApril 4, 2021 in Blog
Cultivating the witness. It’s an integral part of the practice. On the mat and on the cushion, one of the aims of yoga is to increase our capacity to take a step away from the intensity of our immediate experience— whatever that may be— and shift to observer mode. Over time, we learn that there is always a part of us that is neutral and steady, detached from the drama of the moment and able to see clearly. While I’ve devoted years to this practice, as of late I’ve been catching myself in the swirl of the storm, outside the center of calm abiding.… Read the rest
We finished our group study of the yamas before the holiday with the fifth of the restraints. There’s always a lot to think and talk about when it comes to aparigraha, and the timing was ideal to consider the ways we grasp at everything, everywhere, all the time. Breaking it down:
pari– on all sides
graha– to take or grab
Aparigraha is the practice of non-hoarding, non-attachment, of taking no more than you need. It is the practice of choosing faith. It is the practice of letting go.
2020 has provided no shortage of opportunities to practice this foundational principle of yoga.… Read the rest
Tapas: austerity, discipline, fire, the heat necessary for birth or transformation. To practice tapas is to intentionally put ourselves into discomfort in the service of our own growth and transformation. Decidedly not the delicious Spanish snacks. Tapas is the intentional practice of getting out of our comfort zones to be stretched; to consciously step into the fire which creates change. This might sound crazy when the outside world already has us in a pressure cooker, but if it’s true “as within, so without,” the discord, unrest and anger we see at every turn must also have root within us. We need to put it in the fire.… Read the rest