Friday, December 9, 2011

Day 39-40 Completing the Challenge

This is my final post for the challenge.  I am preparing to leave for a weekend with my meditation group.  Each year we celebrate the birthday of our teacher, Ishwar Puri.  I am grateful that I have had a guide on my journey to my Self through meditation.  Listening is the key, listen within yourself.  When the noise has calmed down enough for you to listen, what will you find?  Only you can answer that for yourself.

I would love to hear from those of you who have been following this 40-day yoga challenge.  What has your experience been?  I am listening.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Day 37 Equanimity

As I reflect on the past 37 days, I ask myself, and you can ask your self...what has been your sustenance in this challenge? For me it is equanimity.  I like the word, I just learned it through yoga and meditation practice.  It is my commitment to myself - to notice when I drift away from my core Self, my equanimity.  The practice of noticing.  Practice.  It is becoming a deeper habit.  To notice when the anxiety and fear begin to creep into my mind.  Ahh, there it is and it is "not me", I can choose peace instead of that.  I choose, I breath, and now what pervades my mind more than not is equanimity.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Day 35, Take a Deep Breath Now

The power of now.  Take a moment, right now, to take a deep breath.  check out this video re-shared from Muselan.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Day 31 - Beginning of the End

How have you done with your yoga challenge?  Do you realize that there are only 9 days left?  What does that feel like?  Whatever you have done thus far, there is a whole 9 days left.  Creation of all there is happened in 7 days, in some circles...actually in 6.   We are supposed to have a day off too.

Take time out to nurture yourself today in any small way - if only for 30 minutes or better yet, give yourself an hour.  What can you do?  Take a warm bath, drink a cup of tea.  Sit and close your eyes, breathe & smile.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Day 29 - Already???

Just kidding.  This has been the longest yoga challenge I have ever experienced.  I am unable today to generate a positive attitude.  I am not optimistic today.  My mood sucks, my body hurts, I am frowning,. . . wait!  Okay, no - still nothing good showing up here.  Well - dang - whatever!!!!  I am going to go out and BE love, light, radiant smiling and inspiration anyway.  Deep breath in.  Ahhh...  Smiling now.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Day 27 Procrastination can be a good thing.

I procrastinate.  I put things in piles I will get to later.  Sometimes I don't get to it for a year, then it is something that no longer is something I can address, so it goes in the recycling or helps light a fire in the fireplace.  There are too many things in this world to do, to read.  This is the information age and there is TMI - too much information.  As human beings, we are not meant to be constantly doing.  We are meant to be "being".

Today we cleaned our home.  I saw all of the things, again, that I have put aside to deal with later.  So many things.  Once a year, it seems, I put things into bags, do mass recycling, give things away.  How does it all get there?  Where is it all coming from?

The office supplies I have - I helped my aunt & uncle move and they had those office supplies they didn't want to store to take with them to Washington.  The music CD's I have - a collection that has grown over the years.  I have been around for over 50 year now.  There are floppy discs from old computers, supplies for my daughter's wedding that she changed the plans over.  The books people gave me.  All of these things weigh on me, they fill up my head.  I will deal with that later.  It continues to accumulate in the attic.

After Christmas holidays or before, I'll have a give away.  I don't know yet when I'll do it.  I'll think about it later.  I take a deep breath.  Let it go.  Ahh, that's better.

Whenever I do deal with these things (once a year), I realize how abundant life is.  You see it in nature, you see it in your attic.  I am reminded how wealthy we are and don't even realize it.  I also realize how little we really do need.  I am also grateful - when I worry about not having enough or being enough, all I have to do is visit my attic space.  Then I stop worrying - because I can give away what I have - I do have enough - I am enough.

When practicing yoga and meditation, we see these things more clearly.  The practice opens our awareness and has us looking at our life, our thoughts, our relationships and gives us the motivation to clear out the stuff.  This is what yoga is :  Patanjali (in the yoga sutras) says “yoga is the restriction of the fluctuation of
consciousness” (yogash-citti-vrtti-nirodhah).  The goal of yoga - is ultimately stilling the mind, clearing out the junk (fluctuation).  There is nothing to do but "be".

Friday, November 25, 2011

Day 25 Boycotting "black Friday" - Aparigraha

Here is a challenge for me today.  Today is "Black Friday".  I am a business owner, and I am first a yogi.  I live my life through and from yoga.  I have said many times that yoga is not just exercise.  It is a way of life and a philosophy as well.  There are 8 limbs of yoga, 2 of the limbs: yamas and niyamas.  As a dedicated practitioner I make my choices in life based on these 10 observances.  When I feel a little flutter in my chest around something, all I have to do is look at the situation (that is causing the disturbance in the force within me) from one of these yamas or niyamas.

Today it is aparigraha.  Aparigraha challenges us to not accumulate things that we do not need.  Already I have too many things in my home.  Everyone I know says the same thing.  Greed - wanting more - wanting more for less - this has been the downfall of many a society.  I believe it can be found at the root of what is happening in our economy today.  I acknowledge the many thousands of people - worldwide - who have said and are saying "enough is enough".  Who make a stand for what they believe in.  There are "occupy" protests in many major cities because of this greed.  There are businesses failing, people losing their jobs, their homes.  But there is another way emerging.  Another voice.

I boycott black Friday for these reasons and more.  I do not need more things, I don't need to be out shopping in crowds, seeing greed with my own eyes, and I don't like to support events that do not support a sustainable local economy.  If things are being sold for 1/2 price all of the time, who is taking the loss?  You know it is not the large corporations best-paid people.  It is the people who are asked to show up to work at midnight, for a low hourly wage, they are losing sleep, their respect.  They show up to work not because they can't wait to see all of the shoppers at midnight.  They show up to work because they are afraid that they will lose their job if they do not show up. 

I am boycotting black friday because I must take a stand, now.  For a future that is sustainable.  I want a future where all people have access to what they need:  food, shelter, health care, freedom, a career they love, passion and freedom of self-expression.