This Week: Reverence

In all my classes: Saturday, Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday

Everything in you and around you is made of the same stuff as the Universe. Pure Consciousness in endless different forms. Which means that everything is sacred, and everyone can be your teacher.

Keeping this in mind can inspire you to treat everything and everyone with reverence, bringing compassion and patience to all situations and all beings. This is easier said than done, but the practice of yoga can help: it helps to connect you to your own blissful and whole nature. As you get more in touch with that nature, the practice of yoga supports the cultivation of the kind of compassion and patience required to meet all of life’s situations with a sense of openness to the journey and a deep sense of gratitude for the blessings.

All things, all people can be welcomed and received with a spirit of wonder and adventure since they truly offer you greater insight into your own profound self. You can face unknown situations, or people who are totally unlike you, with a sense of grateful familiarity as you look for and see in them that which is present in you. Everyone has a piece of the truth. The more you are willing to open yourself to the different truths and perspectives that fill this world, the greater your ability to honor yourself and your own nature. To treat yourself and others and all beings with the kind of reverence we all deserve.

This is an especially important time to reflect on the intrinsic value and inherit importance of every single being in existence given the horrific genocide unfolding in Gaza and the humanitarian and political crisis occurring with the thousands of political refugee children on the US southern border. If we truly believe in the reverence of all beings, we must pay attention to this reality and act in every way we can to transform it.

 

GSO: Not Goodbye but Until Soon…

Dearest GSO Queers and Misfits,

It is with much sadness that I sit down to write this: some of you heard this last week in class, but I am reaching out here and now to let you know that I have to say “hasta pronto/until soon…” to you all for the time being!

I start a full-time graduate program in just over a month, and I am doing my best to establish a steady foundation for this new undertaking. Part of that work includes the need to let go of some existing commitments, and I am sad to say that this class is one of them. I just don’t see myself having the time and energy to offer you my best in the context of the many new commitments that graduate school will bring.

Therefore, after July, I will not be offering weekly Yoga for Queers and Misfits classes in Greensboro. I am hopeful that I will be able to offer perhaps a monthly workshop or master class, and if it becomes clear that I have more space and time than I expect, know that re-instating this class is at the top of my list.

I consider it a tremendous gift and honor to have spent these last 17 months exploring embodiment, community, and radical self-acceptance in a supportive and joyful environment alongside all of you. I have learned so much from you by way of your devotion, your adventurousness, your commitment to holding space for each other, and the incredible support you’ve offered by way of spreading the word to bring in more and more Queers and Misfits.

I cannot express to you how sad this makes me… I can only say that I prefer to think of this as an “hasta luego” (until later…) and not a goodbyeforever.

Y’all are the reason I do what I do and the reason I am who I am.

In the meantime, there’s still THREE MORE WEEKS of class so please come on out and continue to explore all the amazing things your community has to offer you. Thursdays 5:30-7 at Greensboro Community Yoga.

Until soon,

Patty aka Patoi Roja

This Week: The Balance

In all my classes
Saturday, Monday, Wednesday and Thursday
7/12 – 7/17

Abhyasa and Vairagya are Sanskrit words that are often taken as the supreme or most essential teachings that come from out of the Yoga Sutras, some of the first texts to codify yoga as a physical and spiritual path.

There are many ways to interpret these terms, and they are often loosely rendered as practice and non-attachment, respectively. Striking a balance between these two is a bit like finding the sweet spot in the middle between “Never giving up” and “Always letting go.”

Abhyasa is persistent, devoted practice. An unfailing commitment to singing the song of your own heart, to consciously and consistently choosing to line up with Something Greater, to always weigh your options in the context of what will serve you on your higher path. Making the choice again and again to choose yourself.

Vairagya is non-attachment to the outcome of your efforts. In some traditions, this is understood as non-attachment from people, corporal sensations like pleasure and security, and even from desire itself. In my tradition, non-attachment is understood more in relationship to one’s work: the way that you undertake efforts, make the fullest offering in every moment, without attachment to the fruits or the outcome. In this, deeper and more nuanced understandings of non-attachment may emerge, such as non-attachment from limiting ideas of self and illusions of permanence.

You can see perhaps how these two teachings can support and affirm each other: through consistent and devoted commitment to knowing and singing the song of your own heart, you get clearer and clearer about your purpose in this life and about the spirit in which you want to undertake your life’s work. In this, there is Ultimate Freedom. It’s not that you cease to care about the impacts of your actions, its just that you get better at tuning in to what your heart is moving you to do and be in this world…and in that you are doing infinite service to the world. When you are following your heart and choosing skillfully and steadily to line up with something greater, you can experience a sense of true liberation. The ability to let go, to not cling, to detach (with love!) from the illusion of control.

When you align with nature, magic happens. And there is nothing more natural or magical than residing in…and moving from your heart. Join your community this week as we explore the balance of effort and ease.

This week – Keeping Your Cool

In all my classes: Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday

 

In the ancient healing tradition of Ayurveda, the seasons play an essential role in one’s own internal state of health and balance, and self-care rituals therefore have to change and adapt accordingly. Right now, despite the beautiful weather we had this past weekend (thank you Arthur!), it is important to recognize that the heat is really starting to build on all levels.

As heat builds externally, the Pitta (heat or fire) will tend to accumulate internally as well. This will impact everyone, but will have an especially potent impact on anyone who inherently “runs hot” – has a lot of Pitta or fire element in their system. All of us have Pitta, it’s what makes all metabolism and transformation possible in the body, but some of us have more than others. And those of us who naturally run hot can run the risk in these days of burning ourselves out.

This burnout can take many forms but is most obvious in its physical manifestations: overheating (including sun sensitivity, heat rash, and sun stroke), extremely high metabolism, and a generally lower threshold for physical labor/activity. Mentally it can lead to higher rates of irritability, impatience, anger and even violence/rage. There tend to be more arguments in the height of summer, and statistically there are more car accidents and even violent crimes as a result of the increased Pitta.

A leading Western Ayurvedic practitioner, Dr. Vasant Lad, goes so far as suggesting that you avoid serious conversations or making important decisions during the peak sun hours of the day, encouraging you to conduct them in the early morning or evening – or even better, put them off for the fall or winter! Other Pitta pacifying choices include wearing light colored clothing of natural material, avoiding overexertion of any kind, and staying hydrated with mint water and lime, coconut water, and cranberry or pomegranate juice.

If you find yourself with a shorter fuse than normal, or experiencing greater lethargy and increased appetite, all of these are typical impacts of increased Pitta. You’re not alone and it’s not you – blame it on the weather! And then do your part to minimize the heat that you are allowing to stay in your system by finding healthful ways of reducing it and moving it out.

This week’s class will be devoted to Pitta pacifying poses, mantras, and breath work to help you beat the heat and keep your cool. It is important to do your part to support and sustain all your relationships right now – first and foremost your relationships to Spirit and yourself. Take the time, get the support, and seek the cooling and pacifying practices you need to prevent burning yourself – or others! – out.

See you on the mat. Wear white or light colors if you like.

This week: (True) Freedom

In all my classes: Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday.

This week: (True) Freedom

As we prepare for the coming days of dangerous pyrotechnics and excessive consumption of food and alcohol, let’s reclaim this holiday, shall we? Instead of half-heartedly waving flags and extolling the virtues of a corrupt government and corrosive system, let’s consider embracing true freedom.

You embrace freedom for yourself and the world by changing yourself, then ultimately the world. Changing how you choose to perceive and receive the world around you—and how, what, and in what spirit you offer back. This is as simple and profound as can be. You get to choose how to hold yourself in the midst of challenge. You get to choose how to love yourself and others enough to expect the Highest and respond from the Highest. You get to choose to build community and connection with beings that support and lift you up, even as you choose radiant spaciousness from people and situations that don’t. You get to choose to engage in practices like yoga—and so many others—which give you the capacity to know yourself more, receive your whole self as a gift, and offer back from the Highest.

This is why many people see yoga as a spiritual practice: simply put, yoga helps you cultivate an intimate relationship with the Truth of who you are. Yoga helps you choose to see your fullness, your radiance, your ultimate freedom, your divine bliss. The choice does not lie in creating fullness, radiance, freedom or bliss—but rather in opening up to it, fully accepting it, and learning to live and love within it. And once you get a hit of your own greatness, it is only natural to want to share this with others: to choose to make of your life a work of heart which lifts everyone up, which supports freedom for all beings, which reflects the infinite expansion that is everyone’s nature.

You are made of the same stuff as the Universe. Out of Its infinite freedom, It chose to become you. Therefore you too are free, so free you get to choose. Choose to build practices and communities that uplift and support you on your path, and give you the chance to do the same for others. Choose radical self-knowing and self-care. Choose love over fear, connection over isolation.

You get to choose. Choose freedom.