Thursday, 30 August 2012

Wanderlust

Last weekend I had the amazing experience of heading up to Whistler with Lauren for Wanderlust -- a live music and yoga festival. Whistler transformed itself, along with many of the people that were there, I imagine. The already beautiful village in the mountains was full of smiling people wandering from one class to another, lots of long embraces as familiar faces showed up, live music in classes and acro yogis flying high in the middle of the square.

I had many moments of pure yoga bliss this weekend but this is the moment I want to share... 

It was outside just nearing sunset, with a full view of the mountains surrounding us, hundreds of yoga mats filled the space. Seane Corn led us in a tear-filled, awe-inspiring class as Michael Franti played equally inspiring music. In between yoga and dancing I stopped to take it all in. The energy of this class was so strong I can’t find the words. We danced together, sang together, saluted and prayed for people we know and some we have never met. After it was over we all sat still, palms at the heart and released the sound of OM together. The sound must have carried itself miles. I came away from this class with so much inspiration but the thing that I was reminded of most is how we are a part of something so much bigger and by coming together we can do so much more. 

This class was led by two people. It took only two people to start the butterfly effect that is still carrying on as I am writing about it a week later. Two people came together to start and in the blink of an eye there were hundreds and with the gathering of people there was something so powerful, so motivating and an amazing feeling of oneness. The vibration was huge, the sound carried and the feeling of one was spread. 

We are stronger than we think. We can make big changes and move this world into a place of peace and freedom for everyone. 

We all have dreams, we have hopes and we are all capable of making them come true. No one is too small to begin. Start, go for it, believe and then look up and see...you may be surprised to see how many people have joined you. 

“If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito.”  - Dalai Lama 

OM
CJ

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

STOP IT!

"Through out the years, I have noticed the tendency in myself and others to think that we must practice Boot-camp yoga, that is, the poses must be difficult, even painful, to be beneficial and worthwhile. Sadly, we do not practice to find the comfortable, but to overcome ourselves and conquer the pose. In reality, our thoughts about the poses reflect our thoughts about ourselves. It is not uncommon for students to berate themselves with self-judging internal dialogue during practice. " Judith Lasater, from the book"Living your yoga"
Not only do I agree with this statement but I see it both in my students and even in my self. Using our yoga practice as a way to measure our self worth. Comparing ourselves to other students in the room. Judging our ability or in ability.

When you examine what it means to be an "advanced" yoga practitioner (especially when you dive deep into ancient texts like the Bhagavad Gita or Patanjali's yoga sutras) it's not about how well you can bend your body or balance on your hands. It's about your attitude. How you choose to show up on your mat.

Will it be another opportunity for self judgement or will you acknowledge your tendencies to do this and choose to respond differently. To be kind and compassionate with your self for that day.

Will you choose to see that another students accomplishments is not a reflection of your failures, yet a reflection of your potential. The un bound beauty behind this practice is that the more you soften and let go, the deeper you will see that you're already right where you're supposed to be.

"The only real success in life is living with an open loving heart" Judith Lasater, from the book"Living your yoga" 

Let yoga be a practice of SELF LOVE!

Lauren

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Go Fish



Tonight my husband, two kids and I headed down to the pier for a bullhead fishing derby. When we arrived the pier was buzzing with excitement. We quickly found a spot and baited our hooks together. My daughter was so excited her hands were flying all over and my son was jumping up and down. Parents, grandparents and friends, were all gathered at the edges of the dock waiting for the start bell. As soon as it rang the lines were dropping and fish were biting. Kids were screaming in pure happiness and cheering each other on. Adults were all laughing and encouraging their kids. Each time we caught a fish my kids would scream and jump and then, very proudly, walk the fish down to the table where it was measured, recorded and then released.


The thing that I found so amazing about this evening was how so many families participated. Some volunteered, some came to cheer, some came to fish. Some families have been doing this for years and some it was their first time. I am inspired by how many people just come out and went for it. In the end it didn’t matter who caught the most fish, the biggest fish or the most unusual fish. It mattered that a community came together and had fun. Pure and simple. Participated, went for it and had fun. Imagine if we all just got out there, threw our lines in more often, cheered each on and waited to see what we caught.

OM
CJ




Thursday, 9 August 2012

You CAN do it!

I went for a run yesterday on the beach.

I'm NOT a runner, to be honest unless someone is chasing me I tend to stay away from that kind of exercise all together. I prefer hikes, or cycling, aerobics class, Zumba or yoga of course. CJ's the runner between the two of us.

Either way, I was at the beach leading a yoga class and afterwards I just felt this desire to run along the walk way, get a little sweat on and feel my heart beat. So I tied my new running shoes on tight, wrapped my keys around my wrist and headed down the path.

It was a beautiful day, blue skies, warm sunshine and a soft breeze off the ocean. Perfect in my books.

It wasn't long before my heart was racing, legs were aching and lungs were burning. I realised a moment later that this was where I usually gave up and stopped running, a brisk walk in other words, usually resulting in a feeling of disappointment and self judgement or criticising how "out of shape" I am.

So as I noticed my old habits creeping up I made a decision, more out of curiosity than anything that I would keep going and be ok with the intense sensations my body was experiencing.

I steady out my pace, and started focusing on deep breathing, long inhale through my nose, long exhale out my mouth, (traditional in & out nose breathing wasn't going to happen in this moment). I made a decision that I was going to keep this pace and this breath for as long as I could until I reached the other side of the beach.

It really wasn't that far.

"I can do it" I repeated to myself over & over again.

Well, I did it. My heart rate still high but was ok, my lungs were working well and my legs started feeling strong and capable. I WAS JOGGING! In my world, this is amazing!

Our habitual tendencies usually drive our every day routines and thought patterns, sometimes leaving us feeling out of control or hopelessly defeated. There are times when our habits serve us and our lives and other times it inhibits us from trying or breaking out of old "I can't" and fearful beliefs of ourselves.

The reality is we're capable of doing ANYTHING we want to do. So next time you find yourself in an intense moment, maybe a moment you would normally give up, ask yourself why? And know that you have a choice in the matter. Even if your choice is to not do it.



Love and light,
Lauren

Thursday, 2 August 2012

My Thoughts....

Some people feel that if they hold a certain spiritual belief, yoga may not be for them. Yoga will ask you to question yourself and dig deep. To open your heart and look inside. But it will honour your beliefs and recognizes oneness is all of us regardless of what religion you may or may not follow.

I feel we all have a purpose here and although our beliefs may differ we are on the same path. Some practices I find interesting but are not for me and others give a name to beliefs I already hold. Even if you are born into a spiritual practice that serves you for life there is often work to be done to live along these beliefs. I am brought to tears when I see the dedication that some have for there spiritual leaders, when one believes so strongly to get down and give thanks, even when life has handed them hard, sometimes devastating times. I am also inspired by those searching for what feels right to them, changing their ideas as new ones come along that fit better so they themselves can find their truth.

I feel that we are all meant to be here regardless of whom you call God. The thing that is so amazing is that despite our different beliefs when it comes right down to it, we are all one. We cry when we are sad and laugh when things are funny. Your spiritual path may differ from mine but our paths may cross and it could change the trail a little.

Some of us sit, some pray, some give thanks, show kindness, show love. Some of us wear certain clothes, paint our faces, wear a symbol around our neck. We can take different ideas from different areas and make them our own or we can follow one idea or religion. There are no rules, at least none that I can see. By honouring each other’s practices we can come together and be stronger and make amazing positive changes.

I feel we should all be open, embrace our beliefs and differences, embrace our own personal changes and be confident, open and respectful. I love to get on my mat and make each movement an offering. I feel something bigger, a belonging. For me my yoga practice is often more than poses. I dream of a world regardless of differing faiths we can all move and breath together, as one. I hope you can open your arms to whatever guides you and feel gratitude for all this life has to offer you.

“My religion is simple. My religion is kindness” Dalai Lama.


OM,
CJ