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October 9, 2016

Thinking a lot about the change in weather and the challenges and opportunities thsee colder Seasons bring. Soon I will be taking in the outdoor furniture, raking the leaves and switching out my flip flops for some cold weather footwear. Also, putting some thought into how my yoga practice might look as we head into the darker, chillier days. During the fall, a Vatta time of year according to Ayurveda, there is a tendency to feel a bit flighty, a little frantic and discombobulated. (Just watch the squirrels racing around in the yard gathering up all the nuts they buried over the summer! Does this look familiar?) A way to mitigate this frenzy of activity, whether physical or emotional, is to begin adjusting my asana sequence to include more grounding poses, spend more time close to the ground and maybe less time in flight with arm and standing balances, (though I will not abandon my attempt to progress in Adho Mukha Vrksasana.) Off the mat, engaging in some first chakra activities such as knitting, drumming (and don't forget planting spring bulbs!) are ways to maintain balance as the winds of change move our way. Starting to switch up the menu to some yummy soups and casseroles are ways of staying in tune with the changing season and savoring the soon to arrive feeling of "hunkering down", rooting in and appreciating the beauty of the changing seasons.


November 3, 2016

"Atha Yoganusasanam". Perhaps you have heard this in yoga class or read it somewhere along your yoga journey. This is the first sutra of Patanjali's yoga sutras. Sanskrit for "thread", the sutras are a collection of brief statements, the collection of which describe the purpose and practice of yoga. Translated to English, "Now, the study and practice of yoga begins.", the wording gives rise to the question of what was completed prior to the beginning of the sutras..if we are about to embark on something now, what was going on then to make now the now? What was in the past that gave context to the present, or the new now. Confused? With these brief aphorisms, a lot is left up to interpretation, which was most likely purposeful, as we know yoga is a personal journey for which there are many roads. Depending on who's doing the traveling and their destination, the road signs can mean different things. For me, I like to think of the now in this sutra a way of waking us up to the notion that everything is happening in the now, that we can only practice the principles of yoga in the now. The moment we begin to get ahead of ourselves or stay stuck in the past, gives the klesas ( ignorance, ego, avoidance, clinging, fear of death) an opportunity to take hold and throw us off course. I think this was Patanjalis way of saying, stay in the moment. Now is where the truth lives. Now is where peace of mind exists and where yoga happens. Now is the only vantage point from which we can get a clear view of reality, free from expectation or fear, and with that clarity, do the next right thing which will take us into a new now...kind of like our asana practice..we can only be in one pose at a time. As well we can only think only one thought at a time, take one breath at a time. An interesting exercise would be to start every thought with, "Now...". "Now I am making the bed, now I am drinking tea, etc." At the risk of driving ourselves nuts, that one word has the power to consistently place us with awareness in the present, which is generally an okay place to be. Now, I will stop typing!

Namaste! (Now, I will stop, I mean it now!).

June 16, 2017

Where does the time go?! Seems like we just celebrated the New Year and now 2017 is half over. It has been a busy spring and the change of season brings even more activity...so much for the lazy days of summer! Just wanted to wish everyone a Happy International Yoga Day, which by the way is June 21st..also the summer solstice. I hope you plan to take advantage of any special yoga events happening in your area that day. (Also check out online resources if there's no local action.)

This is a great time to give yoga a try as many yoga centers tend to offer intro classes this time of year. (Check out WarwickYoga Centers Intro to Yoga Series with Paul) It's here you will learn the basic poses and concepts of yoga in the comfort and company of other yoga "newbies", which can take the pressure off of the apprehension we feel dropping into a class with little idea of what to expect. Terms like "all levels", "gentle" and "easy" which are used to describe class offerings can be subjective at best. One person's version of easy can be another's hour of hell, depending on what's going on in your body. No fears of that happening in a true beginners class, where the students are taken step by step through a practice designed to give you the skills and confidence to go forward on your yoga journey, so that this time next year, you can look back with a sense of wonder at how far you have come and how much you have learned about the amazing practice of yoga! Namaste!

September 2017

“Iron rusts from disuse, stagnant water loses its purity, and in cold weather becomes frozen; even so does inaction sap the vigors of the mind.” -- Leonardo da Vinci