|photo credit: Lucy Lucille|
Saturday, July 27, 2013
Tuesday, July 23, 2013
Many years ago I use to do Shotokan karate. Here is just a brief background of what Shotokan actually is: Shotokan training is usually divided into three parts: kihon (basics), kata (forms or patterns of moves), and kumite (sparring). Techniques in kihon and kata are characterized by deep, long stances that provide stability, enable powerful movements, and strengthen the legs. Shotokan is often regarded as a 'hard' and 'external' martial art because it is taught that way to beginners and coloured belts to develop strong basic techniques and stances. Initially strength and power are demonstrated instead of slower, more flowing motions. Those who progress to brown and black belt level develop a much more fluid style that incorporates grappling and some aikido-like techniques, which can be found in the black belt katas. Kumite techniques mirror these stances and movements at a basic level, but are less structured, with a focus instead on speed and efficiency.
So the point behind all this is Martial Arts is so very similar to Yoga. I see many Yoga postures as Martial Arts moves. The warrior's way is a way of fight against the limitations and narrowness within oneself, and those external limitations. Sometimes I fight within myself everyday. The fight to win. "I AM going to get in this pose. I AM going WIN at this or that, whatever the battle might be in my head; when instead I should be accessing how best to get the destination with as little force as possible. Patience, persistence, humility, gentleness. The constant drip of water on a stone will eventually wear a depression into it. A consistent practice will get me into the pose I hunger for, rather than forcing it and causing self injury. Consistent meditation and prayer, will keep me better balanced and growing, then always asking for what I want or what I think I need. Though there are times when we do need to ask. Be MINDFUL. It's a phrase I use often.
I am not saying there is anything wrong with wanting to win. Being competitive is healthy, just evaluate the path to winning. Don't be ignorant in your journey.
Sunday, July 21, 2013
|photo credit: Lucy Lucille|
I want to be guided by older-ups. I want babies to be born where old people die. I want to be sandwiched in the middle of a messy togetherness.
I want to be warned before I do something stupid. I want to be forgiven when I do it anyway. I want wisdom to be tapped out on my eardrums and not Googled. I want transitions to be recognized by fire.
I want gifts to be educed from children and teenagers and adults and I want to mean something to my community. I want to get drunk on substance morning and night.
I want to hear your dreams. I want to raise a revolution for gentleness. I want to call out the bullshit on consensus reality. I want billboards along the highways with validations not some shit that society tries to sell you.
I don't want to be another faker. I don't want to show you my good side and hide my humanity and flaws. I don't want to dole you out my SELF in digestible status-chunks. I want to challenge you in long drawn-out rituals and still find you interested.
I want to feed you seventeen course meals made with spices I crushed. I want to recite you circular poems, each beginning cutting a deeper grasp. I want to make you feel something, even if it's awkward. I want to sing songs which are ancient and new.
I want to find places we've never been. And then, I want to return there, but backwards.
I want to shuffle up words so we don't sleep through them. I want to learn things and then be splashed into never forgetting. I want to make you feel seen. I want to hold your pounding heart in my gentlest of hands. I want to make your thing feel my thing.
I don't want to miss a moment. I want to dig at the bottom and find it false. I want to turn up unknown depths. I want to stand in this hurricane and sing the sweetest, most naked song you can bear.
I want to be alive with you.
|photo provided by: http://tayrawrdactyl.tumblr.com/|
As well someone else told me, "By telling the truth you are honoring the fidelity of the moment."
I haven't always been a truth teller and frankly I haven't always liked myself that much either. It is upon closer examination that the two go hand in hand. The less I liked myself, the more I lied. On the other hand, the more at peace I am, the more truthful I become.
I have lied since I was quite young. Kindergarten when someone in class mentioned I had slanty eyes and that I was different. So when the teasing began I made up things I thought would make others like me better and it grew from there.... literally. My parents use to quote the bible to me; such verses quoted from the holy text, "Be sure your sins will find you out," and, "the wages of sin is death". Yet it did nothing to deter me from my path. Who cares? I thought. No one will ever know. The lies get worse as I got older. I formed a habit and when faced with an unfamiliar situation there was always the comfort zone of a lie. After all people liked me better when I lied and I liked myself less and less. I had come to allow my lies to define me; without them I was boring, I was no one. Without them no one would ever believe me or love me.
The clutter that ran through my head was a constant buzz, unceasing and there was no peace no matter how much I tried to find it, I couldn't because everything was a lie. Then I hit the brick wall and I hit it hard.
I don't ask anymore, "Am I doing this right?" I don't search for validation from others and I speak with honesty. I have peace for the first time in my life.
Sam Harris in his essay on Lying, said the following, "To lie is to erect a boundary between the truth we are living and the perception others have of us. The temptation to do this is often born of an understanding that others will disapprove of our behavior. Often there are good reasons why they would." For us to experience true integrity we must not feel the need to lie about our personal lives. There is no vulnerability in being honest, in integrity itself, vulnerability comes in pretending to be something you are not.
Honesty is a gift we can give to others. It is also a source of power and an engine of simplicity. Knowing that we will attempt to tell the truth, whatever the circumstances, leaves us with little to prepare for. We can simply be ourselves. Recovery is a process but the road begins with one's self. Stop lying to yourself and you will stop lying to others and in that exchange you will find yourself and peace.
Sunday, July 7, 2013
"What does it mean to practice at home every day?
It means you move, mindfully.
It means you breathe, mindfully.
It means you simply be, mindfully.
The what of practice ceases to be important, as the how supersedes everything else. Because the how is the yoga."
You want a home yoga practice, but you don't have one. Why is that? Perhaps you think you don't have enough time or space, the people in your life don't support you, you don't know what to do or you feel guilty about spending time doing something just for yourself.
This book had me hooked after the review I read by Sara Foley.
You will find that Forty Days of Yoga teaches us that they are not reasons but excuses and those excuses stop us from from having the kind of practice we need, that we benefit from on all levels. If you are looking for that space you most desperately need on all levels, this is a book that would benefit you. It is a practical tool.
I know I am a bette person because of my practice. It has taught me discipline. It has taught me how to be mindful. I am more present. More aware. I love everything there is about yoga, and this book is a wonderful way to get started on your own. Enjoy the journey!
Friday, July 5, 2013
Yoga is NOT about being bendy.....
It's about showing up to your mat consistently not knowing what is going to happen and being okay with that. It's about rehabilitating yourself and not believing the "experts" when they say you are too injured or too old. It's about believing that you can do anything even if it's the most scariest impossible thing you could ever dream of. It's about uncovering who you really are. It's about being kind to yourself so that you can then be kind to others. Yoga is about discovering that most of the crazy thoughts in your head are not true. It's about being healthy without pushing yourself to your limit. It's about slowing down to get strong. It's about breathing and moving and smiling on the inside. It's the hardest thing I have ever done, but also the best....