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|Living Joyfully 7/8/12
Practicing Yoga takes courage. If you’ve gotten to know yourself over the years, you’ve probably discovered at one time or another that you are an almost impossible person to be with. In spite of your best efforts, you are very human. This is a humbling realization. And if you have been practicing for a while, chances are you have come to your mat at one time or another enraged, heart-broken, desperate, distracted, disgraced, bankrupt, curious, cautious, excited, preoccupied, agitated, saucy, sexy, high as a kite, down-in-the-dumps, blah, confused, you name it. So t
This week as I have been working to plan a fall horse-therapy-yoga retreat, juggling the competing needs of my family, gearing up to complete our 2012 teacher training and setting plans in motion for next year’s training, spending time with a little herd of wild horses, singing kirtan, dreaming of a Hawaiian vacation, I think I have experienced a sampling of just about every emotion and mood known to humankind. All of us ride a similar whirlwind. And each time we come to our mat, we take stock of where we are, and how we are, in the exact moment we are in. This takes courage. I remember one woman in our teacher training this year asking, in tears, “what if I look deep inside – and it isn’t beautiful?” An easy response is to reject the question and say, of course its beautiful honey; you are beautiful. Which is true. A harder response is to say is that of course it isn’t beautiful when you look inside – it is human, and part of our practice is accepting ourselves and getting beyond our ideas of beautiful or not beautiful. Which is also true. On a deeper level, we might say that facing the ugliness is the beauty, the beauty of the practice. Which is why it takes courage. And it will only be beautiful in this sense if you do it; if you rise to the occasion of your practice, if you actually look within with total honesty and presence and take stock of whatever that looks like in the moment. There is no Yoga prop you can buy to help with that practice. The most uncomfortable place to be in is the place where you see that you want to change. The most Yogic place to be is where you see you are okay and indeed perfect with where you are – and that this is the exact same place. The complete union of comfort and discomfort. This place is either the dissolution of the ego or the springboard of courage – where we are strong enough to say yes, I am okay with where I am – yet also passionate enough to open up to change and take action toward it anyway. For the western Yogi who cares about the world, the practice almost needs to be the latter. Few of us have the luxury of dissolving our ego – it would leave our children with too many debts! So we come to the mat, accepting where we are in the moment, noticing it, working with it, facing up to it with total honesty. In doing so, we strengthen that part of ourselves that is real, that is beyond the flux of emotions, that can witness everything from a place of peace, that has no need to be the center of any drama – that place where our deepest taproot of connection with nature resides. This is also the home of our courage. Like Yoga, courage is both a practice and a state of being. It comes where it is invited.
Living Joyfully 7/1/12
What does it really mean to be a Yogi? In the Heart of Yoga, Desikachar comments that those who embark on the path of Yoga often suffer more than other people, at least at first. Anyone who chooses to be a seeker – to look more deeply at life, to improve or change in some way – is almost certainly beginning that process from a state of dissatisfaction. If you step onto the path of change, something urged you or pushed you into doing so, moving you out of your comfort zone. This motivating factor could be dissatisfaction with the usual, trite answers to hard questions, or something more upsetting – dissatisfaction with yourself. So you might buy a bigger house, or dump your boyfriend, or move to a new town – or any number of things. But once you learn how to start to get quiet on the inside, these superficial changes fail to satisfy.
So maybe you begin to cultivate a Yogic way of seeing the world. Wouldn’t it be nice if you suffered less after that? Alas, the path of Yoga is not for the faint of heart. Whereas in the past, you could blithely blame other people for making you angry, or sad, or whatever, once you begin to learn how to get quiet inside, none of these responses seem fair anymore. This is not to say that you fail to hold people accountable for their actions. You do, and your Yoga will urge you to speak your truth, from a grounded place of inner integrity. Which is really dangerous and often makes waves, outside and inside your consciousness (if that distinction can be made). And worse, the holding accountable circles back to yourself in ever more profound ways.
At such times, the Yoga Sutras offer a wealth of useful advice, from the simple to the profound. They remind us that when we are suffering on the path of mindfulness, we have likely forgotten something, or lost balance in some way. When you are upset with someone, for example, you have forgotten or are ignoring their noble qualities, and are choosing to focus instead on the qualities that you find irritating. I know this, because I do it myself! And then I irritate myself more by choosing to focus on how far from the Yogic path I am wandering. Ooohh. Yet through this whole misguided process, we (you, me, all of us) are agitating the mind even more by consciously or unconsciously forgetting our power of choice in stilling or stirring the mind.
So what does it really mean to be a Yogi? If even Yogis get caught up in this forgetting? It is the humble desire to remember. It is the continual calling of ourselves back toward that state of stillness. It is being willing to look at the ways we ourselves have been responsible for the suffering we feel, and take action – through Yoga, pranayama, meditation, or a mindful change of course, to make amends.
|Living Joyfully: Asteya 1/30/10|
Hi Everyone!This week in the SLCC Yoga teacher training group, we spent a long time on the topic of asteya. Asteya is one of the “Yamas” of Yoga – a practice for living wisely in community with others. It is traditionally translated as ‘not stealing,’ but some translations render it as ‘living in generosity:’
“Abiding in generosity and honesty (asteya) material and spiritual prosperity is bestowed.” Yoga Sutra 2:37
In other words, when we live from a spirit of abundance, rather than grasping, prosperity flows toward us naturally.
As I pondered the idea, an opportunity arose to put it to the test while standing in line at Office Max. It was a long line. By the time the man in front of me reached the counter, I was not cultivating a feeling of abundance in terms of my precious time! Then, to make matters worse, the customer wanted to use some kind of coupon to get a $15 rebate on his expensive purchase, while the clerk insisted that he didn’t qualify for it because he wasn’t an Office Max member (and didn’t want to be). It was then that the situation finally percolated through my selfishness and impatience. I decided to practice generosity, even though it surely meant prolonging my wait. I intervened. I asked the clerk if the man could use my membership to get the money back. Both the customer and the clerk looked at me in surprise – I think we slip into our own little world sometimes in our interactions and forget the bystanders. My intervention snapped them out of their haggling (already an improvement!) but the clerk informed me that only I could use my membership, so if I gave my number, I would get the rebate. I told the man I was sorry I couldn’t help him. And then it happened: he told me to give the membership number anyway: “Somebody might as well benefit from the money back” he said! So although it was not my intention, abundance came my way. I now have a credit for $15 dollars off my next purchase, and the things I bought that day cost $14.95. My order was basically free. More importantly, I felt good about my actions, rather than exasperated with the wait, and the other customer also walked away feeling generous and abundant – he knew he was giving something, rather than losing. Who knows how that went on to change his day!
“Abiding in generosity and honesty (asteya) material and spiritual prosperity is bestowed.” Yoga Sutra 2:37
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Comment from Susan:
What a beautiful example for all of us. It reminded me of a story about a woman who was in a long long at the toll booth. When she got up to the booth she told the attendant, “I am paying for the next 5 people behind me as a random act of kindness.” It made her feel so good. She shared her feeling of “abundance” with a friend who happened to be a local TV reporter. The reporter was able to track down the toll booth attendant and asked her if she remembered that day, as she wondered what the recipients; response was. The attendant said that the next passenger in line responded “Well then I’ll pay for the 5 people behind last 5.” The abundance continued all day as many people followed with their generosity and abundance in succession.
Once when I was at Smith’s a woman was holding up the line. She had food stamps and coupons and when she checked out, her purchases exceeded her ability to pay for the items. It was taking time for the customer and the checker to sort out what items she couldn’t afford. It was just a few items, so I told the checker to put them on my account. The woman seemed a little mentally handicapped and I don’t’ think she understood what transpired. When I was out the door and almost to the point of crossing 6th Ave, a gentleman came running after me with a little posy. He said “I’d like to pass on your good, as it makes me feel good to see someone doing good.” What beautiful lessons come our waY! Thank you for sharing your experience.
Happy September Everyone! Fall is here, and the beautiful crisp weather beckons us back to ourselves after the extravagant fun and energy of summer. It is literally harvest time.
In my martial arts training in Moo Gong Do, each time we advanced to a new belt level, the founder would remind us to enjoy the harvest. Harvest time means an invitation to reflect on our progress, whether in a literal sense in the case of a new belt, new promotion, or new phase of life, or in a more spiritual sense as we grow through our practice in wisdom and understanding. Often we spend time chasing after our goals, setting new ones the moment the old are achieved. This pace leaves us little time to enjoy what we already have accomplished.
Harvest time means taking the time to consider our journey and to notice how easily some things come to us now that were difficult in the past. Maybe there is an asana that seemed insurmountable at first that we can do now, or maybe we notice that we’ve been meditating without thoughts for several minutes – in peace and without the concentration we formerly required. Whatever they may be, each of us experiences daily milestones that we can choose to ignore or celebrate. Our life’s journey is richer in understanding and joy when we allow ourselves time to do the latter – when we allow ourselves to celebrate the harvest.
Have a great week everyone!
|Living Joyfully: Sensation strategies|
|Hi everyone!I’ve been studying up lately on strategies for pain management in some very non-Yogic contexts. Of course, in Yoga, we call pain “sensation” – a good all-purpose word that leaves us more room to explore just what it is that we’re feeling without judging it beforehand. So maybe I should say I’ve been reading up on “sensation strategies.” I’ve been delighted to discover that many of the most revered coping mechanisms of modern times are actually ancient Yoga techniques cloaked in western names. For example, one book recommends dispersing awareness to loosen focus on pain – this technique is a form of pratyahara practice called “there is” observation, in which we detach from the immediately gripping object of our attention in order to broaden the senses to every sensation (touch, smell, sight, taste, sound) we can perceive.It makes sense that Yoga would have a wealth of “sensation strategies” to offer – after all, the Rishis (the seekers, the first Yogis) often detached themselves from the ease of companionship and material abundance and withdrew to the high mountains in order to explore the more intimate, inner landscape of the mind-body. They endured years of exposure to the elements, learning how to observe and control their senses, their body temperature, their breathing – even the beating of their hearts.Lives are unpredictable; the challenges we face today are wearing very different disguises from those the Rishis braved in their icy Himalayan caves. But are the challenges we humans face so different in the inner world? Surely our modern minds and bodies are much the same as those the Rishis explored. I find comfort in knowing that many of the strategies we need today to cope with and sail through life’s stresses are things we already experience in our Yoga practice.Happy sailing everyone! Namaste,~ErinDo you have a story about how Yoga has helped you through a challenging time? Click here & scroll down to add a comment to our Blog page and share your experience.|
|Living Joyfully: Tasting the sweet things of life…|
Summer is in full swing now, and I hope you’re all staying cool and enjoying the beautiful greenery. Last month’s rain has transformed the valley, and we’re having one of the greenest July’s I can remember. Summer’s abundance is cause for celebration, and I’m reminded of an experience I had while practicing Yoga Nidra a few years ago. During guided meditation, I met a bear with a honey pot who invited me to share, saying, “It’s time for you to taste the sweet things of life.” Recalling the sweet taste of that honey always makes me smile. And since that time, I’ve been more willing to take time out of my business to enjoy the sweet things life has to offer. What a gift it is that our senses offer us a gateway to bliss – samadhi – connection – Yoga. And summer’s lush colors, the scent of fruit ripening on the trees, the feel of the grass under our feel, offer countless opportunities every moment to quiet the mind and simply take it all in. This week, I invite us all to open our senses to the sweet abundance that surrounds us. Enjoy! ~Erin
|Living Joyfully: Yin or Yang?|
I remember being surprised when my Chinese acupuncturist told me Yoga was “Yang.” But it’s so introspective, I thought to myself – how can Yoga be Yang? What does that mean?This week I had the opportunity to sub the new Yin Yoga class, which meets on Thursdays, 5:45-7, and is taught by Reina, who specializes in the practice. To prepare, I needed to learn a lot more about Yin and Yang, and how they relate to Yoga. What I found was fascinating. As you might expect, Yin and Yang are not static concepts; rather, they are completely relative to each other, and may shift in relation to the quality being considered. For example, a Power Yoga class may be Yang compared to Zen sitting meditation, but Yin compared to Jai Alai. And a lot naturally depends on how you play the game.
Every well-rounded Yoga class has Yin and Yang aspects – when we move and flow, testing the muscles and breathing actively, we’re in Yang mode. When we release into a resting posture and let go of the breath, we’re moving into Yin territory. The two work together, like inhale and exhale, giving and taking, in dynamic relation. But many of us, including myself, are at times more comfortable with one side of the equation than the other. That’s why it was a treat to experience a class centering on Yin. Yin Yoga reaches deep below and through our muscles, gently stretching and toning the body’s connective tissue, the joints, the ligaments, even the bones. These tissues are alive and malleable, just like our muscles, although they take more patience & gentleness to work into, which is why Yin postures are held so loosely and so long.A quotation from Paul Grilley’s book on Yin Yoga sticks in my mind. To paraphrase, he wrote: athletes don’t retire because their muscles get tired, they retire because their bones get injured, their joints give out. Yin Yoga provides a way to go deep down, both physically and mentally, and to care for mind and body on a deeper level.
I’m delighted that we can now offer Yin Yoga as an ongoing practice, a complement to our more “Yang” classes. But don’t take my word for it! I encourage you to experience the balance and the benefits of Yin Yoga for yourself.
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Have a great week Everyone!
|Living Joyfully: week of July 29 , 2010|
|I’m not sure how I feel about Michael Jackson. He was a great performer, and amazing dancer and singer, someone with an innate talent on the level of genius. From the time he was a child, the media zoomed in on him. Their message today is tributary - only a few years ago they condemned him. Always, they scrutinized. I can’t even imagine the pressure of that intent gaze. How many of us could hold up to it?Jackson’s death saddens me most because of the sense that, quite literally, he never felt safe in his own skin. As Pati mentioned in Moving Meditation on the day of his death, truly feeling safe in one’s own skin is such a treasure – not feeling safe in that way is an incredible burden.Still, I keep coming back to Jackson’s song, “Man in the Mirror.” Listening to these heartfelt lyrics, each one recognizing with compassion the suffering of others, each one renouncing “a selfish kind of love” and committing to taking personal responsibility for one’s self, to making the world a better place for all, I feel certain that there was a greatness to this man’s soul that few people ever recognized. I think he was struggling with the question, the big question, of who we really are, literally seeing himself in others, and others in him. “A willow deeply scarred, somebody’s broken heart…” To put the question in a Yoga context, What does it mean to be an individual person, if we’re all one with the cosmos? How do we get to the joy of that connection, without ignoring or papering over the deep suffering of the world? What is the purpose of living in the unique body-mind we’re each given? What are we supposed to do with this gift, this responsibility?These questions can feel overwhelming. Opening up to them, especially without the support of a peaceful practice, or others who can relate, can be a scary thing. Yet despite Jackson’s isolation, and his troubled life, his answer to these questions in his song rings with the simplicity of truth. We are all connected, we each have the power to make a change, and that change has a tremendous ripple effect: “That’s why I’m starting with me… I’m starting with the man in the mirror/ I’m asking him to change his ways/ No message could’ve been any clearer:/If you want to make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and make a change.”To listen, click here.Om Shanti Michael, Om shanti everyone,Peace, peace, peace.Love,ErinTo join the conversation, visit our homepage by clickinghere. Then scroll down to post.|
|Living Joyfully: Week of June 22, 2009|
Do you have any idea who you really are? Do you have any idea of your effect on others? Do you know what it is like to be touched by you? To be held in your glance? To be smiled upon by you? Do you even know what it’s like to brush up along side you in the streets? To see you from a distance? Up close? Do you know what it’s like to see you approaching? Do you know what it’s like to watch you walk away? Do you know what it does for someone when they realize you’ve been thinking of them?
No, you don’t. Your insights, beauty, strength, courage and humility change lives every day, and you don’t even know it. It’s especially sad, because those you touch think you know, so they might not remind you. Well, since you don’t know it, and since others may not tell you, let me. You are a light in the darkness. A bringer of the dawn. your touch heals, your gaze inspires, and your smile is like cool water to parched lips. The sight of you stirs confidence, and your shadow even, comfort. Your arrival quickens one’s spirit, and your departure is always too soon. Your profoundly unique journey has been one-of-a-kind, and it has yielded compassion and insights as rare as yourself – gifts that sparkle like diamonds in the sun.
You are a pillar, an icon, and a champion to those who know you, and to those who wish they did. Your effect on the world, today, as you are, is awesome. Shine your light,because while your significance may sometimes escape you… it changes others forever.
Living Joyfully ~ June 8, 2009
Reprogramming the Mind
This past week I found myself talking with a friend about the delight I was finding in participating in the Feldenkrais program we offer at the studio on Monday nights. After describing some of the odd little movements we do, and their surprisingly beneficial results, she asked me, “what do you see as the essence of Feldenkrais?” And I found myself responding, “we’re reprogramming the mind.”
My friend was suitably impressed, but I wasn’t trying to say anything impressive – partly because the practice *is* so simple. Yet after several days of consideration, I’m sticking with my response. (In fact, it gives an elegant answer to one of the questions Deepak Chopra poses in his book, Quantum Healing – but that is a bigger topic!)
The quality of awareness with which we approach the movements of the body, and the attentiveness with which we perform them during practice, leave traces in the neuro-pathways of the mind. Simply put, as the body’s ease in movement increases, the mind appreciates the greater facility of the body. It remembers the new way of doing, selects it as preferable, and begins to shed the body’s old, less efficient, less comfortable ways. And this rapid communication between body & mind, mind & body shouldn’t be all that surprising either: eastern thinking generally holds that mind & body are not separate. And western science has recognized since at least the 1980s that the same neuro-transmitters and neuro chemicals found in the brain are actually found throughout the body, both in localized organs, such as the heart, kidneys, and lungs, and in the body’s fluid systems circulating everywhere – most notably the immune system. In other words, the body thinks.
I believe that both Yoga and Feldenkrais share the ability to bring practitioners to this place of transformation. The key is to practice with a quality of awareness that is always searching for new ways of being in the asana, new ways of performing the movement with more ease, and more delight. And what a fun task! I see no reason not to bring it into practice everywhere. ~ Erin
Photo: The Avenues Yoga Garden entrance just after sunrise
|Living Joyfully ~ June 1, 2009|
|“Art is whatever you can get away with.” – Lee DeffebachAs some of you know, the beautiful Avenues Yoga studio was once the home and working art studio of Utah artist Lee Deffebach. Visitors to the studio who remember Lee have spoken of her unique vision, her artistic independence, and her strength. Lee lived in the space that is now our studio entry room, and did her creative work in the space where we now come together to practice the art of Yoga.The more I learn about Lee, the more I admire her. I like her combination of playfulness and serious commitment to her work. I like knowing that our practice space has long been a studio, a place where creativity flows, and artful study takes place. It seems so appropriate, since Yoga too is a form of artful study. A process, rather than a product, Yoga taps into our creative energies, involving the whole body and mind in the crucible of fleeting transformation. And, like other artistic practices, Yoga takes us deeper into ourselves. Self-study, svadyaya, is central to the Yoga tradition, and a crucial element at work in the best art. As the famous writer Virginia Woolf once said, “if you can’t tell the truth about yourself, you can’t tell it about anyone else either.” I believe that Yoga helps us tell the truth about ourselves, whether it be in the quietness of our own hearts, or in the company of our neighbors. Yet it doesn’t have to be serious! In fact, the art of Yoga has something liberating about it, just like the finest expressions of art. It gets us to see ourselves, and to see life, in a different way.I’m looking to “get away with” some great moments in my Yoga practice this week. How about you?Photos: The Avenues Yoga Garden entranceLee Deffebach swimming in TuscaroraTo learn more about Lee Deffebach and her life, visithttp://www.artistsofutah.org/15bytes/06may/page5.html|
This week, we celebrate Memorial Day, a day of remembrance. In the Yoga Sutras, “remembering the self” (vairagya) is an essential key in the process of detaching from the ups and downs of life’s changes, and elevating our spiritual consciousness. Vairagya is the process of becoming like clear water. My teacher, Nischala Devi, emphasized this teaching: “Remember you are like clear water all the time, appearing to take on the color of what you are with, but truly remaining clear. Remember.”
As we get caught up in our work, our emotions, the drama of life, this teaching of remembrance aids us in remaining centered. It reminds us to come back again and again to that place of clarity.
When we return to that clear water of self-remembrance, we become better friends to ourselves. We have a better sense of how to relate to one another. We are more able to let go of anger, hurt, and pride. From that place of clarity, we stand better able to appreciate those around us, a practice encouraged by the sutras, and celebrated on Memorial Day:
“To preserve openness of heart and calmness of mind, nurture these attitudes:Kindness to those who are happy
Compassion for those who are less fortunate
Honor for those who embody noble qualities
Equanimity to those whose actions oppose your values.”
This Memorial Day, remember the self. Return to that clear water. Drink deep from the well. And Be.
This week, I was listening to a radio discussion on “the future of the American Dream.” The participants were commenting about how many Americans seem to have lost faith in this dream, and they questioned whether it would continue to have value, and what kind of value it might have, as our society continues to evolve. I took a moment to ask myself, what is the American Dream, really? What does it mean to me? For many of us, the idea of prosperity, imagined as the big house with a white picket fence and a two car garage, may spring to mind. I felt troubled that this image sprang to my mind first. Surely the American Dream doesn’t need to be linked to a particular kind of consumerism. As I thought more deeply about it, I came back to the core values of our culture. The ideas and ideals of democracy, equality and liberty, of the value of hard work. The idea that each one of us, no matter how humble our beginnings, can enjoy the benefits of a society built on these principles. To me, that idea seemed to capture the essence of the American dream. But is it just American?
These discussions have great value for our times. Having a dream provides incredible motivation for all of us to live more thoughtfully. I feel hopeful that, on a global scale, people are beginning to realize how much of these values we truly share. I think that we are learning the importance of living these values in our own hearts, with humility and hopefulness, rather than trying to impose them on others.
The ancient teachings of Yoga speak of a Golden Age, the “Sat Yuga,” when human beings lived in harmony and trust with one another. The term literally means “age of Truth.” Like many traditions, the ancient texts describe a gradual falling away from this golden age. They speak of increasing possessiveness, mistrust, disillusion, and pride. But unlike some traditions, which present human history as a slow decline, the Sanscrit epics describe time like a wheel. They indicate that the Sat Yuga will return. And in the meantime, they promise that we can achieve the age of Truth within ourselves, by recognizing those around us as our brothers and sisters, and by living in accordance with this recognition of each other, and our shared values, held in our hearts. To me, the “discovery” of universal values in what we thought were ‘values just for us, not them,’ is a huge step toward enlightenment on a very big scale. As Yogis, we know that our practice brings peace and well-being not just to the body, but to the mind and spirit as well. Tuning into our selves, and connecting to our own true nature, enables us to live in such a way that we realize the Sat Yuga in our hearts and minds more readily every day.
Avenues Yoga Newsletter Week of May 11, 2009
Avenues Yoga has been open for one full week, and we are all excited about the warm welcome our classes have received from our community: thank you! One of the gifts I have been enjoying most about teaching here are the wonderful people who come to class.
Last night after teaching Power Hour, I had the opportunity to connect with a new student. During our conversation we discovered that we had both been through a recovery experience, although at different times and in a different form. We agreed that the process of ‘getting your body back’ after an injury or an illness offers an unparalleled insight into the joy of being alive, and a poignant appreciation for the gift of life and movement.
Our talk brought me back to the car accident I had been in a couple of years ago. As my body recovered, I vividly remember the frustration of not being able to bend my knees, or move from room to room without pain – the frustration of not being able to take care of myself, my friends and and my home in the ways I had grown used to. I am still so thankful for all the loved ones who helped take care of me.
Because I could not practice Yoga physically in the same way, I learned a lot about Yoga’s techniques of breathing and meditation. Patience. Humility. More patience. During the process of that recovery I learned how to be a better friend to my body and mind; that journey has greatly enhanced my teaching of Yoga, and the insights I gained have been a gift that I am so blessed to be able to share with others.
This story is tied to the story of Avenues Yoga. After paying the hospital bills and finishing physical therapy, I had some settlement funds come in from the insurance company that I wasn’t sure what to do with. That happened just this Spring, about two months before the opportunity came to open the studio. When I saw the building we now know as Avenues Yoga, I knew just what to do.
The student I was sharing this story with last night told me there is a Chinese saying that expresses this kind of luck. He called it “gold from heaven,” and said it is the kind of gift that is meant to be shared with the community. I couldn’t agree more. It can sometimes be hard to see the ‘silver lining’ that lies behind the hardships that enter our lives. I’ve learned to have faith that there *is* some good in everything, even though it may take years, and even though we may never see it ourselves. Our studio is living proof that just as hard times sometimes come our way, the blessings are always there too. Like gold from heaven.
Avenues Yoga Newsletter Week of May 4, 2009
Avenues Yoga opened May 2. Hooray! We had a wonderful turn-out. To all those who came to enjoy the festivities, and those who sent well-wishes and support from afar, we appreciate it!
In the Yoga Sutras, the idea and experience of contentment, santosha, is prized as an important aspect of Yoga practice. Taking time to appreciate our blessings, to really feel them in the heart, and to show appreciation and gratitude for those who bring Joy and light to our lives, is one way to cultivate santosha on every level of our being.
As many of you know, this weekly email has been a forum for a meditation about an aspect of Yoga, and for info about my weekly Yoga classes for a long while. It is now time to let it blossom into a fuller expression. I will continue to write this column, “Living Joyfully,” and the name of the email as a whole will change to ‘Avenues Yoga Newsletter.’ That way, I can share all the news about the Studio and keep you updated about all the wonderful classes and workshops we are having here. The email will come from firstname.lastname@example.org instead of from my personal account. So please add that address to your contacts. Soon the newsletter content & this column will appear as a blog on the website, so more of a conversation can develop. The site is under construction, and can be viewed at www.avenuesyoga.com
For those of you who have been enjoying these emails, *thank you* for your great feedback and comments. For those who are joining this conversation for the first time, welcome.