Tag Archives: yoga

Entitled

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I’m feeling entertained.
What was meant as an insult
has provided endless laughter.
This means progress.
I was told that the body part upon which I sit
is entitled.
I was told to get off this particularly entitled body part
and get a job.
I have two things to say:
1. I have a job. Actually two jobs. Actually three.
I have been mothering for 9 years
and teaching yoga for 14
and it is a full time job being me,
it’s a tough job but someone’s gotta do it
and I’m the most qualified for it—
AND I AM DAMN GOOD AT WHAT I DO,
AND I WILL KEEP DOING IT, THANK YOU.
2. Yes, I am entitled,
and not just the body part on which I sit.
All of me is entitled.
All of me is entitled to:
love
respect
joy
beauty
care
kindness
compassion
understanding
abundance
and gratitude
(among other things, but the list is getting too long, so I’ll stop there. For now).
I am entitled to these things,
because this is what I give out.
Oh wait, there is a third thing I have to say:
3. YOU CAN’T HURT ME ANYMORE.
If you have any questions, comments or concerns,
just talk to the aforementioned entitled body part on which I sit.
I’m sure it will make itself very clear,
in one way or another.

Try Surrender

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The abandoned one (A0)
and the yoga teacher (YT)
have a conversation:
AO: I can’t do this. I’m too hurt. I’m too scared.
YT: Just breathe. In this moment you are safe.
AO: I hate him. I am so angry at him
for doing this to me.
YT: Breathe. Slow down. You are safe.
AO: I will never be happy again.
YT: You can only be happy now.
AO: I am broken. No one will ever want me.
YT: You are inherently whole and complete,
just as you are. Feel this. Feel this breath.

AO: I am depressed and anxious. I want to die.
YT: This is temporary, like the weather.
You will live, and this will change.

AO: I am worthless. I am so ashamed of my choices.
YT: You are alive! How fortunate. Breathe into
the center of this hurt, this sadness. Give it room.

Feel it, and then let this feeling go.
AO: This is too much work. It isn’t fair.
YT: This moment. This breath. Feel your body.
Feel your heart beating. What a miracle!

AO: I’m about to be homeless. I’m terrified.
No one is going to rescue me. I don’t know what to do.
YT: Slow down. Breathe. You are going to be just fine.
There is a roof over your head right now.
Love this moment. This moment is all you have.

AO: I’m just so tired. I feel so beaten down, unwanted.
YT: Put your hands over your heart. Close your eyes.
Breathe deeply. You are infinite awareness.

AO: Why me? Why this? Why now? It isn’t fair.
YT: That’s only one part of your mind talking.
Listen to the part that is grateful for change.
Listen to the part that loves you.
Listen to the part that knows you are powerful.

AO: This is too much work.
YT: Yes. Struggling is a lot of work. Why not try surrender?

A Terrible Patient

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I give the good medicine that heals.
My voice carries magic
that soothes, uplifts and restores.
My touch brings life and renewal.
I watch as tension melts away
and peace returns to those
who come seeking the healing I offer.
I instruct them to remain present.
I remind them that we only have this now.
I can articulate perfectly
how our brains are hardwired
to remember negative information,
and how there is so much hope
in neuroplasticity,
our brain’s capacity to be reshaped.
I marvel at this ability
to give my students what they need,
to instruct poses that strengthen,
balance, reshape and empower,
to guide their breathing,
slow their heart rates
and allow the present moment
to blossom like a flower within them.
But when it’s time for me
to take my own medicine—
well, let’s just say
that I’m a wonderful doctor
but a terrible patient.

The Space Between Terror and Peace

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When faced with imminent homelessness
and being met with obstacle after obstacle
to securing a home for myself and my kids—
what real choice is there?
I can choose to be present and experience peace,
or I can choose to focus on the future
and feel terror.
The choice seems so easy, doesn’t it?
Just stay present. Just choose peace.
But then there is the reality of being human,
having been trained to avoid the present moment
for most of my life.
Yes, even as a yoga teacher,
even with my daily meditation practice
(over seven years now of daily meditation)
I still find it extraordinarily difficult
just to remain present.
There are so many ways I’ve learned
to just not be here. To just not feel.
I see that my body has been terrified for a long time,
perhaps since childhood…
perhaps I carry the terror of ancestors
struggling to survive,
a terror encoded in my genes
that no amount of therapy could cure.
My task becomes a reconditioning
of this body-mind,
to retrain my nervous system to udnerstand
that in this moment, I am safe.
In this moment, all is well.
Until I am able to gain more footing
on this path of peace,
I’ll need to be content with the space
between peace and terror,
and reconcile the one who is afraid
with the one who soothes, reassures, calms and holds.
God, let me find the One within me
that knows just what to do and what to say
to always bring me back home to the ground of being,
this moment where PEACE IS within me,
despite the chaos the swirls around on the outside.

Somewhere Around 3am

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I awoke in terror
in the middle of the night.
I tried to sleep,
but eventually got up.
It was 3am.
I sat, breathed,
forced myself to smile.
I read from my daily devotionals
(nine in all),
ate some breakfast,
went back to bed.
It was 5am.
Then my son woke me up.
It was 6:30am.
I asked him
to get himself some cereal.
At 7 years old,
he can do that
(thank God).
I tried to sleep.
I did, for a little while.
Then I got up. Again.
It was 8:42am.
I made it through final preparations
for teaching a yoga class
and leading a training.
The sitter came to watch my kids,
I drove to the studio
and found myself
in front of a room full of students.
It was 11:45 am.
I taught my class,
drove to another studio
and found myself
in front of a room full of teachers.
It was 2pm.
I led a four hour training,
drove back home,
took care of my kids,
got them showered,
settled down here at my desk.
It was 8:51pm.
Now I’m feeling crazy.
It’s 9:08 pm.
I have no idea where my mind is.
Probably wandering
somewhere around 3am.

Forever Student

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Today I was a student*,
and I felt so grateful
that for once
I didn’t have to prepare the lesson.
I love it when my only job
is to be open to new learning.
I think I’ll be a student
forever.

*Today was Day 1 of Nikki Myers weekend-long Y12SR training. I am so grateful to spend the next two days with other yoga teachers who are interested in learning about sustainable recovery from addiction, and who want to apply this learning to bring value to countless beings walking the path of recovery.

Ode To My Body

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Dear Body,
I love you.
I’m sorry for taking you for granted.
I know you’ve worked really hard
to keep me alive all these years.
I’m sorry for judging you as inadequate.
I love you.
I am so grateful for all of your sensations
and the wonderful way
all of your systems work together
to maintain radiant health.
I love how elegant you are,
how nimble, how graceful.
I love how you breathe,
how you walk,
how you climb and run and dance.
I love how you rest.
Dear Body,
forgive me for all those times
I didn’t understand
and blamed you for my illness.
I know you are doing the best you can.
You are brave and noble
and I’m glad you’re mine.