Summer 2012 Newsletter
Hope you are having enjoyed a chill summer, a bit of slow down to accompany the beautiful weather and heat! That slow down has been literal in my completion of this email – originally June, then July, now July/August. And you will likely hear from me sooner than later as I continue to update my schedule as this summer has presented many changes, opportunities and developments to share. I truly hope this finds you well!
One thing I value greatly about our practice is that it teaches us that we can overcome. Very tangibly, through regular right practice, we may learn that certain physical challenges can be overcome. And often as practice deepens with breath and meditation, we may learn these may be tied to mental, emotional or belief limitations, which affect how much right effort is made.
Back in June I was incorporating more Astavakrasana (8 crook or 8 bends pose) by request and as Father’s day themed pose. This is a pose I’ve grown to, and story of triumph that I LOVE. Back in December I called this my Hanukkah pose, as 8 bends…8 nights…and a parallel story of misjudging and disqualifying someone’s capabilities based on external factors – more than our bodies get stretched in practice. In class I’ve made attempts, to recall and share the story, with varying degrees of success. (There are a lot of great versions of the story online, here’s a link to a Yoga Journal article that discusses a few other poses as well!: “Heroes, Saints, and Sages” By Colleen Morton Busch http://www.yogajournal.com/wisdom/1245?page=3)
Some of us are quick to limit and misjudge our own capabilities – (it literally goes on and on for me). As I am really hard on myself, and growing up with a worriers mind…doubt, self-doubt and criticism come easy. I used to just look at these “crazy arm balances” like Astavakrasana and just shake my head like “no f-n-way,” until I made real effort. However, as I began to make efforts, sometimes futile, sometimes in the direction of the pose – learning to ignore the doubts, and strengthen and reinforce right actions– aspects of the pose began to present themselves. And the big recurring lesson was the impossible IS possible.
As a yoga teacher, I’ve learned lessons in misjudging others abilities and situations as well…I’ve been guilty of making assumptions about someone’s capabilities only to be pleasantly surprised and impressed. One of my favorite parts of teaching are these moment’s of elation, when we get out of our heads and something clicks that allows us to get to the next level of practice – mental or physical. For many it’s learning to actually step back, slow down and for others it’s learning not to hold back in certain areas.
I imagine all of you, having been brought to your mats and to me for any number of reasons, have very likely experienced the end of your worlds as you knew them…and very likely felt you would never be whole or right again. It can be challenging to see the light, especially when you’re in the middle of “it,” and overwhelmed by fear and doubt – the sufferings of our minds. These challenging situations serve as opportunities to go inside and shed the unnecessary suffering along the way. Life has taught us that these challenging situations, help grow our spirits/connect to our divinity. It can help to remember we’ve been there, we’ve faced the seemingly impossible, only to overcome. And likely you’ve developed, grown and arrived at a place that is different, but “better than you may have imagined…as the challenges continue.
Outside my own negative self-talk, I have been especially working this practice with my niece Alicia. Her first post radiation MRI showed no signs of tumor or additional fluid retention – all beautiful!! Then about a month ago, she was back in the hospital having spinal surgery to fuse her cervical spine from C1 to C6, completely limiting any range-of-motion. Over the next few months, she will continue to wear a halo of screws around her head with 4 poles attached to a lambs-wool vest to help stabilize the head position. This beautiful little girl has been through a lot over the last 7 months (more than a third of her life to date has been challenged by the brain tumor). And all along, my family has been challenged in our faith and hope for what is possible. I am sooo grateful for your continued support, well wishes and prayers – deeply appreciated!!!
So let’s continue to inspire and impress each other and ourselves. And for many of us, the actions that are most impressive are the simplest and most overlooked acts of kindness we can bestow on ourselves and others.
Happy Healthy Summer!!!!!
Pace e amore,