Sunday, November 22, 2009

God chose to embody as you

One of the philosophical teachings of Anusara is that we are intrinsically good. Something in me yearns to believe this. I think it is one of the things that drew me to Anusara as a philosophy. The yoga practice should help the practitioner feel good about him or herself; to see the beauty that shines from within.

The creation story from a tantric perspective (this is VERY simplified)is that God chose to manifest as you and me. We are each purposeful creations of the One so that the One can experience Itself through us. Kinda cool huh? God DELIGHTS in you and me. Right now. Just as we are! Notice there is not anything in there about messing up or not doing "it" right. The tantra teaches that our worthiness is not earned, nor does it have to be repaid or "kept" by certain duties. It just is. Period.

Recently I have become aware of many of my dreams coming true. Often, actually always, these dreams are coming true in a bigger and better way than I could have ever imagined on my own. I am spending time in gratitude for all these gifts and have also noticed this twinge of doubt coming up. It plays something like this: "Ahh, this is just a fluke. Don't get too comfortable." And, to my horror, "You are not really good enough to deserve this. Soon everyone will realize this and "it" will end."

Simply being who we are is of delight to the One who made us. How cool would it be if, instead of trying to be someone, something else that I think I should be, I relished in knowing more fully who I am? If I spent time just knowing myself more fully? It is my belief that by celebrating my intrinsic worth that I am participating in a worshipful activity. If the Divine created me then why would I, how could I, want to diminish myself?

As I write this I see that God has given me my resolution. It is time to know my worth. It is time to stand in my goodness and truly soak up the abundance that Grace offers all of us. Wanna join me?

"Coincidentally" I cam across this sight,, and read the following:

You have only to allow yourself to connect to the worth you are, that you may then know all of the infinite ways your value to life truly contributes to the spiritual collective. Believe your worth is infinite just by being who you are, and life will provide you with an abundance of resources, and in that you will know in every way that the physical world has heard your claim that you are a priceless being and you will stand for no less in life than complete and total abundance in every way that will provide complete happiness for you. See the value you are, know it, feel it, believe it.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

this precious breath

My friend's husband lost his best friend last night. I am washed with the tenderness of remembering mortality. My heart hurts for my friend's loss. There is joy here too. For the bitter sweetness that comes with opening my heart and knowing love.

I have been thinking all day about this precious breath that you and I are breathing in and out. We are not guaranteed the next.

Here is my prayer, my invocation, for my life and to honor the life that ended early:
may I soak up each jeweled ray of the sweet moon
may I rejoice at the beguiling scent of the gardenia
may my heart dance with delight as I listen to my fiancee "talk" to our fat cat Mazzy
may I relish, truly drink up all the goodness that abounds in my life-the treasured friends, family, teachers and students that Grace me with their presence.

May I remember to kiss the earth as I bow in gratitude for the gift of this precious breath.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Playin' Big and 2 special birthdays

First, a big shout out to two of my fav students: Carolyn H and Henry P celebrated birthdays yesterday. What a wonderful year this will be!

Yesterday's, 7.30 a.m., mixed levels class was awesome. It is so exciting to see this group grow! I feel like we are really making progress with the principles of alignment and it shows in the beauty of practice. It is so fun to watch people's practices grow and change. Lia is on the cusp of Adho Mukha Vrksasana (handstand), Eric's hamstrings are opening. So exciting and such a joy to share in the sweetness of connecting with one's Self.

One of the main tenants of the Tantra is that we are all Shiva. God chose to manifest itself as each of us so that he/she could delight in him/herself. How cool is that?!?! I love that each of us is here as an expression of the divine One. The great dance of consciousness is ours to partake in.

We can each rejoice in the beauty of life. We create beauty by consciously choosing to know ourselves more fully.

For many years I was terrified that I would never know what the deepest desires of my heart were. However, as we know :-), prana follows intention, and the desires of my heart, my soul's work here did reveal itself. Now, the big work is choosing to step into that which is revealed to us.

A benevolent Source supports us in living big. The 1st universal principle of alignment in Anusara Yoga is Open to Grace. This means we step into the flow. We set foundation and we tap into and nourish the Light that lives within us. When we pay attention to and nourish the Light of the One that lives within us we begin the journey of co-creating with the Great One Heart. As the great hip/hop artist Nelly says, "Do you wanna go and take a ride wit me" (yes, I think I am funny :-)), so the One invites us to move into the flow and live Big. Let's Go!

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.

Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us.

We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous,

talented and fabulous?

Actually, who are you not to be?

You are a child of God.

Your playing small does not serve the world.

There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other

people won’t feel insecure around you.

We were born to make manifest the glory of

God that is within us.

It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone.

And as we let our own light shine,

we unconsciously give other people

permission to do the same.

As we are liberated from our own fear,

Our presence automatically liberates others.”

—Marianne Williamson

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Prana follows attention

The idea that prana follows where our attention is directed is a profound and powerful yogic teaching. This truth was brought to the forefront of my mind the other day when I was reading Anusara teacher, Christina Sell's fab blog. In it she says, As far as I can tell, all yoga has ever been about is harnessing attention, about managing energy and about consciously choosing what we are going to do with our energy, with our vital force, once we gain access to it.

So, here is the deal: we are all given the power to harness the life force and direct it towards that which we desire to manifest. My teacher, John Friend, says one of the reasons we practice asana is to cultivate a strong vessel (our bodies) to contain more prana.

Think about what happens with the news all the time. Fear sells. We get scared and then we focus our attention on all the bad stuff that could happen and then we are ruled by fear. Often there are people who benefit from our fear, we plug into them so we can stay "safe", to find out more about what we need to do to protect ourselves, what bad stuff is coming.

Now, what if, through becoming intimate friends with ourselves, and by making space for the truest desires of our hearts and souls to show themselves to us, we purposefully focus our energy and attention? Can you imagine? What if this is what all parents taught their children when they began to share their hopes and dreams?

Setting a sankalpa (an intention) is a practice that helps us consciously step into the flow of Life. What, at this time in your life, do you wish to plant and nourish with your attention?

"You are what your deep driving desire is; as your desire is, so is your will." - The Brihadaranyaka Upanishad

Monday, November 2, 2009


John was speaking to a class this weekend while they were in a balance pose. He told them something one of his teachers, Gurumayi Chidvilasananda, told him. Gurumayi said, "John, to find balance why don't you look within your heart to the place that is unwavering."

I love this. Anusara suggests that within each of us is EVERYTHING. We must look within our own hearts to find what we are looking for. Isn't it amusing how much we get busy, stay crazy with work, etc. and forget the fertile garden that lives within us? Yoga practice is a powerful way to begin to enter the space of the heart. It is my experience that we must also feel deeply, pay attention to these sensations and spend time in quiet meditation in order to truly enter into this space.

What if every human being spent a few moments every day bowing inward to the altar of their own heart? What if each of us, YOU AND ME, made it our top priority to have a relationship with the unwavering space in our hearts?

On the scale of yogis throughout time I am a baby beginner yogi and meditator. And still, the small bit that I have spent time listening, really listening to my heart has brought amazing results. Not only am I generally more satisfied with my life, but life seems to offer itself with such beauty and delight to me. It doesn't mean that I don't have painful feelings and experiences, it doesn't mean that I don't get angry and say stuff that I regret. It does mean that all those things are lessening because I am more conscious of them, and I am willing to step into the feeling so that I can find a new way and continue to heal and grow. Mostly, and this is the part I always doubted, it does mean that the true desires of my heart are coming and have come to me. I do have to be willing to take risks, but I find that if my attention is directed to this "still, small voice" within my own heart all comes.