Tomorrow: Strength in Struggle

In my class on Saturday 8/29.

Note: I will likely be starting a new series next week (fingers crossed), but for now am teaching on this theme that is very close to my heart. I hope to see you tomorrow – I have truly missed y’all!


Struggle...Growth...Light

Struggle is significant to me; be it personal or political, struggle is the place where the most growth, revelation, and transformation happens. In the tradition that I practice and teach, we view struggle and conflict as opportunities to deepen awareness and relationship.

The idea is: you know that a life worth living (well, really life in general) will be full of the unexpected, the unknown, the unforeseen. There is no way you can stop this or control it. It is part of the nature of the Universe. What you can control, where you have agency and choice, is how you engage with the Unknown. You get to choose the extent to which you will welcome the unexpected gifts and unforeseen miracles that Grace offers you. Struggle is an opportunity to challenge your preconceived ideas, your prejudice and your desire to control or predict the future. All of life is just a dance with the Divine. And the Divine is not bound by the limitations that you are—the Divine can move in realms and ways that you cannot possibly predict.

In the midst of struggle is the possibility for unparalleled growth. But it can’t come easily, and it won’t come without some strife and sacrifice. You will have to learn not to fear the dark. You will have to learn to stay steady in the center of the storm. And the practice can help.

And, as intersectional southern liberation organization Southerners on New Ground reminds us, there is dignity in the work. If we are to have the wherewithal to stand up to racism and white supremacy, to cisheteropatriarchy, sexism and misogyny, to the war on the poor and the epidemic of mass incarceration…then we must accept that struggle is a part of life. There is honor in the work of knowing how you respond to struggle and doing what you can to master that. There is honor in practicing compassion and radical honesty with yourself so that you can offer them out in the spaces you are in. There is honor in taking damn good care of yourself so you can be in this work for the long haul.

Earlier this month marked the one year commemoration of Michael Brown’s murder by a white police officer in my home town of St. Louis, Missouri. Since then, the folks in Ferguson, in Baltimore, and throughout the country under the banner of #BlackLivesMatter, have helped open many eyes and awaken many hearts to the pervasive and pernicious reality of white supremacy and the war on black and brown bodies. Additionally, we also honor the 10 year commemoration of Hurricane Katrina, and take time to hold space for the absolute devastation that it continues to wreak on the lives of the folks of color who lived there.

Today is a good today to ask yourself which side of that struggle you are on.

Let us ask that question together, in community. And let us ask for the help to stand up in the ways we are called to, to say yes to the struggle for collective liberation and transformative justice. There is dignity in that yes. There is dignity in this, the greatest of all Struggles.

Two week hiatus!!

Friends!

I am taking two weeks off. Gasp. It is *hard* for me to do…I miss you so much!
But what’s even harder is getting back in to the school groove. But alas the time has come.

Please note the following class/schedule changes:

Saturday, August 15 – Align and Shine – class with sub Anne Seeley

Wednesday, August 19 – Yoga for Queers and Misfits – NO CLASS

Saturday, August 22 – Align and Shine – class with sub Lindsey Alexander

Wednesday, August 26 – Yoga for Queers and Misfits – NO CLASS

Saturday August 29 – Align and Shine with YOURS TRULY – back in action!

Wednesday, September 2 – Yoga for Queers and Misfits with YOURS TRULY – back in action!

For those of you Yoga for Queers and Misfits regulars (or those of you interested in coming back), please fill out this SHORT SURVEY re class times. I am thinking of tweaking them again just a bit come Fall. Let your voice be heard here. Thanks and toodles.

Strength in Struggle

In my classes on Wednesday 8/12.
Please note: I am not teaching this Saturday or next, nor for the next two Wednesdays.
I am taking the next two weeks off from teaching as my semester starts back up and I settle in to that rhythm – So No Yoga for Queers and Misfits til September 3rd! So come out tonight and get your fix for the next few weeks.

ALSO – I am considering tweaking the Wednesday class schedule again, just a bit. Please take 1 minute to vote for your favorite options. Let your voice be heard here!


Struggle...Growth...LightStruggle is significant to me; be it personal or political, struggle is the place where the most growth, revelation, and transformation happens. In the tradition that I practice and teach, we view struggle and conflict as opportunities to deepen awareness and relationship.

The idea is: you know that a life worth living (well, really life in general) will be full of the unexpected, the unknown, the unforeseen. There is no way you can stop this or control it. It is part of the nature of the Universe. What you can control, where you have agency and choice, is how you engage with the Unknown. You get to choose the extent to which you will welcome the unexpected gifts and unforeseen miracles that Grace offers you. Struggle is an opportunity to challenge your preconceived ideas, your prejudice and your desire to control or predict the future. All of life is just a dance with the Divine. And the Divine is not bound by the limitations that you are—the Divine can move in realms and ways that you cannot possibly predict.

In the midst of struggle is the possibility for unparalleled growth. But it can’t come easily, and it won’t come without some strife and sacrifice. You will have to learn not to fear the dark. You will have to learn to stay steady in the center of the storm. And the practice can help.

And, as intersectional southern liberation organization Southerners on New Ground reminds us, there is dignity in the work. If we are to have the wherewithal to stand up to racism and white supremacy, to cisheteropatriarchy, sexism and misogyny, to the war on the poor and the epidemic of mass incarceration…then we must accept that struggle is a part of life. There is honor in the work of knowing how you respond to struggle and doing what you can to master that. There is honor in practicing compassion and radical honesty with yourself so that you can offer them out in the spaces you are in. There is honor in taking damn good care of yourself so you can be in this work for the long haul.

This past Sunday marked the one year commemoration of Michael Brown’s murder by a white police officer in my home town of St. Louis, Missouri. Since then, the folks in Ferguson, in Baltimore, and throughout the country under the banner of #BlackLivesMatter, have helped open many eyes and awaken many hearts to the pervasive and pernicious reality of white supremacy and the war on black and brown bodies. Today is a good today to ask yourself which side of that struggle you are on.

Let us ask that question together, in community. And let us ask for the help to stand up in the ways we are called to, to say yes to the struggle for collective liberation and transformative justice. There is dignity in that yes. There is dignity in that, the greatest of all Struggles.


REMINDER I am considering tweaking the Wednesday class schedule again, just a bit. Please take 1 minute to vote for your favorite options. Let your voice be heard here!

ALSO : I am taking the next two weeks off from teaching as my semester starts back up and I settle in to that rhythm – So No Yoga for Queers and Misfits til September 3rd! So come out tonight and get your fix for the next few weeks.

**

Keeping Your Cool

In my classes this week: Wednesday 8/5 and Saturday 8/8.
Note that I am subbing for Mira this Saturday, so will be teaching both the 9am and 10:30am classes at Durham Yoga Co.

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 a few days of milder weather here and there, 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” – i.e. has a lot of Pitta (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…or the equally harmful possibility of turning that heat on others.

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.

Doing Your Work.

“How we feel about ourselves, whether we respect ourselves, determines the quality of our life – our capacity to succeed in relationships, healing, intuitive skills and business. Self-understanding and acceptance, the bond we form with ourselves, is in many ways the most crucial spiritual challenge we face. In truth, if we do not like ourselves, we will be incapable of making healthy decisions. Instead, we will direct all of our personal power for decision-making into the hands of someone else: someone whom we want to impress, or someone before whom we think we must weaken ourselves to gain physical security.” ~ Caroline Myss (thanks to Vivette Jeffries-Logan for sharing this on Facebook today and inspiring this theme).

In my classes this week: Wednesday 7/29 and Saturday 8/1.

“It is better to die doing your svadharma [life’s work] imperfectly, than to live forever doing someone else’s perfectly.” –The Bhagavad Gita

It sounds intense, right: must you die in the process of doing your work? But think about the bigger picture behind the message: your invitation in this life is to be your best self, to create the fullest expression of your pose on the mat—and the fullest expression of your life in the world. This also means letting others do the same for themselves as well.

The message is ultimately freeing. It frees you from the confines of other people’s definitions of success, of other people’s expectations of how you should live your life. It also frees you from spending your time and energy attempting to “help” others in the ways you think they need.

While you might not consciously be living your life by someone else’s rules, you may ask yourself if you are consciously living by your own. Whose dreams are you working to create? Whose healing are you trying to facilitate? Whose freedom are you working towards? In whom are you investing the potent energy of your life? If you are not at the center of your work, then who is?

Finding and pursuing your svadharma—your unique life’s work, that path which the Universe created you to traverse—is the most liberating practice there is.  It is listening to the song of your heart—composed by the Universe and infused into you—and letting that song inspire you to live your life to the fullest.

This is the greatest gift you can give to yourself and the world: to know yourself deeply and honor yourself fully enough to embody your heart’s song, which is the will of the Universe. By honoring your deepest desires you are contributing to more freedom, fullness, and beauty in the world.

You are, after all, the only one who can do it—the only one who can offer the fullest expression of your heart’s desire to the world. And when you honor yourself by following your path and not someone else’s, you give the rest of the world the space and freedom to do so as well.