What did you learn is 2018 and what are your hopes for 2019?
It’s so beautiful to see our amazing yoga community grow into this gigantic family of practitioners from all styles! Encouraging each other’s growth on whatever path they choose is the true heart of a Yogi. As we roll into our roles of 2019, remember to be kind to yourself.
I’ve become a huge fan of podcasts lately. One, in particular, is this Mindful Strength holiday special with Kathryn-Bruni Young. This podcast pretty much played the foundation for the reflections, evaluations, and applications of 2018 moving forward into 2019!!!
Love. Teach. Breathe. Learn. Grow.
The yoga sutras of Patanjali speak about svadhyaya (self study) as a way to take a deep hard look at ourselves. Observing ourself brings out the truth of our patterns as well as attune to our inner awareness which makes our external senses more acute. By this simple act alone, we are posed here with a great question…What do I want from My Yoga Practice? Or better yet, What do YOU want from Your Yoga Practice? When I present this to students I get a rainbow of answers…
I want to be better at yoga
I want more discipline
I want to increase my flexibility
I would like to get stronger
I want to get healthier
I want a good workout
I want to get out of my head
I want to relax
I want to know more about myself
I want to drink the nectar
I want to become enlightened (jk)
I want to feel good
Well, these are all great answers and totally worth the effort to investigate. But in order to achieve any of this you have to put in the actual work. That work is tapas (discipline), one of the Niyamas of the Eight Limbed Path of Yoga. Tapas if required for the yoga to do it’s magic. In retrospect, discipline can be such a turn off. It’s really not that bad though. How you perceive it makes all the difference in the world. The kind of tapas I’m talking about starts by our individual presence! If you want to be better at yoga, first thing you have to do is show up! And by that I mean, actually show up physically to practice and be mentally present. If you are seeking more discipline, ask yourself why? What is it about me or my life that lacks stucture and how can it improve my flow? When you discover an honest answer, show up. Keep in mind that excuses have a limited capacity until they’re burned up…by the end of the day if you haven’t made an attempt to change that, it’s just words/thoughts floating in the air. Our bodies are so malleable by nature. It’s wants to move, shift, transform and become unstuck for résiduel patterns. The flexibility you want comes with continuous practice. You can start by becoming flexible in the mind and soon the body will follow. This shit is hard work! I know! Who said stretching your body was going to be easy??! It’s taken me years to arrive at the seat of an asana. I’ve had to struggle walking through the mud many times. I’m still treading thick in some places, but I know that if I keep at it, it will be far more rewarding at the end. Ah, and then there lies the beauty of strength…who doesn’t want to be stronger all around?! Challenge yourself to not give in to those places where you feel weak or defeated! Put in a little more effort than what you came in with. It doesn’t have to be full throttle throughout your entire practice. Focus on what part of you wants to be stronger, dig deeper, and let go of the outcome. What’s it worth if you don’t at least try? This where that inner awareness begins to flourish. If you want to get healthier start by looking at what you put into your body, what lives in you refrigerator and in your pantry. Better yet, do some introspection on your environment, social settings and outside energies that could be influencing you to step into the dark side. Take a big wide-eyed view at it all and then ask yourself this “does this make me feel good?”, and by that I mean, do you feel energized to last throughout the day? Do you get good sleep and wake up charged or do you crash and burn and wake up groggy? Do you feel good in your heart about the choices you’ve made? I’m not saying hibernate in your closet or buy into some bullshit fad. Does it serve you? If not, observe and shift. So what if you fall off…get up, own it, and get back to doing the work that needs to be done. It’s okay if you want a good workout from your practice. I get that in just about every practice, but the workouts have shifted from focusing on the physical part to mental, spiritual and mindfulness practices. It brings me to a place of inner peace and rest. This didn’t happen overnight, let alone in a few months either. So, if you want to truly get the most from your yoga practice then be significant with effort and practice continuously for a some time, with purpose and nix the excuses. I’m off the soapbox now 🙂
It’s the “Why” that matters
- My physical practice has a direct impact on my mental state. It’s challenging as fuck, but it brings this sense of peace over my entire being when I’m done. It’s the only time of the day that I have with myself…and that in itself is important enough.
- Sometimes I think I have the answer as to why I choose to do a practice that asks me to do the same things over and over again daily, but I don’t. I do realize that the actions in the method are not always the same. They have to change from time to time and this teaches me not to attach to what “I think is correct”, but more along the lines as to how it applies to me today. What I do know is that those things that the practice asks of me is the sole reason why I keep showing up. Life ain’t easy peeps! If you’re not being challenged on a daily, then you may want to do a little check in. Because when shit gets rough, you’ll need the tools to get you through it! And that might be the answer to the “why” I keep doing the things I do I the mat.
- Chanting is soothing to the soul. It has virtuous meaning to every word spoken. When I chant, I’m sure to take a moment before and after to ground, to set an intention for this moment, and to give thanks to those who share the gifts of yoga to the world. By doing this, I believe it brings more life to the words rather than spitting out a bunch of jargon that you have no idea as to what it means. Do your homework!
- This one’s important! To be honest with you, I think this is the first year that I’ve ever sat down to make a list of things I’d like to accomplish this year. Why? Let’s just say that I’m real good at procrastination!! lol! Everything eventually gets done, but I realize that it’s not efficient. So, I took some time at the end of 2018 to Reflect, Evaluate, and Apply. I made a promise to myself to be more consistent with my word! That means I hold myself accountable for everything that I do and the direction that I intend to move in. It’s hard to put that much responsibility on myself, but that’s how dreams come to fruition!
Study and Play with Jade – Workshops 2019
Yoga Teacher Training + Retreats 2019 2019
- Day 1 – Opening Ceremony
- Day 2 – Climbing Lambs Knoll
- Day 3 – Water Canyon
- Day 4 – Choose Your Path
- Day 5 – Closing Ceremony