Thursday, 28 March 2013

Namaste



Namaste is a powerful word commonly used in yoga and if you are new to yoga you may not know the meaning behind the word or the gesture. If you know the word I hope you find it a lovely reminder of a word that has such meaning.

Namaste is a Sanskrit word that combines two words. The first is “Namah” which means adoration, salutation or bow and “te” means to you. Salutations to you, adoration to you or I bow to you.

The gesture of Namaste is simply putting the hands together in front of the heart. Or heart chakra. You may close your eyes and bow your head. With the hands on the head it is a form of worship or with much respect.

I love that Namaste quickly brings two people together, there is a connection and a moment of oneness. It is a movement that holds respect and gratitude.

There is such beauty behind Namaste and this poem explains the power of the gesture and the word.

Namaste Poem

I honour the place in you in which the entire universe dwells.
I honour the place in you which is one of Love, of Truth, of Light and of Peace.
When you are in that place in you and I am in that place in me,
We are One.

Namaste,
CJ




Thursday, 21 March 2013

Where's the separation?

There's a lot of talk in the yoga world about connection. How yoga is about the mind,body, soul connection.

Connection or to connect something means that two separate objects/entities are joined, linked, or united together.  Which would mean the above statement is intending to say that the body, the mind, and the soul are separate things in which we need to connect together through the practice of yoga.

Well, there are many times in my life when I've felt disconnected from my body or my heart. But what I know now after years of self discovery & yoga study is that there is NO separation between the body, mind and soul. That we are ONE.

So then the yoga practice becomes less about connecting and more about REMEMBERING. Remembering that how we move, and what we say, and how we feel matters in all aspects of our practice and life. That the conversations with ourselves are just as powerful as the exercises we chose or the food we eat. That the big, universal energy that made my body and speaks to my heart, lives auspiciously within me and that I don't need to do anything other than remember who I am, to feel apart of it all.

As one of my teachers, Christina Sell would say, "We are not just humans seeking a spiritual experience, we are spiritual beings having a human experience."

May you Remember!
Love,
Lauren

Thursday, 14 March 2013

That's my spot.



I ran into a friend today that practices yoga at a place that I often go to. I hadn’t been this week so I asked her how her classes were. Her face got stretched, her arms shot right over her head and she looked like she was going to scream. She replied. “Someone was in MY spot!!! Both times I went!” She went on to explain to me very intensely that there are two girls that also like her spot and if they beat her there they fill the entire space around her spot so she can’t even get close. Can you believe them? So she decided that she would go an hour early to get her spot, which would have been fine if it wasn’t for the man next to her, breathing. She continued to tell me how her practice was completely ruined due to either not being in her spot or to getting there early only to get her spot but being beside a man who breaths. Oh and he also sweats, in this HOT yoga class. I asked her why she didn’t just try a different spot? (I think the breathing and sweating in hot yoga is not even something I could reply to with a straight face.) But why not try a new spot?

I get it. I have spots I like, teachers I like, styles I like and then when I am expecting that spot or teacher and I get a surprise it can throw me. It also over and over has proven to be the unexpected surprises where I have found the most amazing practices. Teachers I may not have tried or styles I wouldn’t have tried or a even a new spot.

Just like life. We plan to go one way and then sometimes the road opens in the opposite direction. We have a choice, take the adventure and go with it or try to bush wack our way through the path we planned just because we planned it. Sometimes the path unplanned leads to most amazing journey.

Let's enjoy the path and the practice wherever it leads, even if it has led us to a new adventure, an unexpected change or a new spot in our yoga class.

With gratitude,
CJ
   

Thursday, 7 March 2013

What's with AUM!

AUM also known as OM, is the unstruck sound of the universe. If everything were to turn off (how amazing would that be) than what would be left is this gentle hum........A gentle AUM, emulating from every living thing, just like a computer fan hums once it's been running for awhile.

When we chant the sound of AUM in a yoga class (or anywhere) we tap into this ancient and universal sound. A sound that is millions of years old, an energy that is a wise and sacred stream from which we can envelope that moment in. Making that moment special, even sacred.

I remember the first time I heard the sound of AUM. The yoga teacher started without cue and his voice was loud and confident. I felt overwhelmed by the sound and ultimately uncomfortable in the experience. It took a number of yoga classes before I felt courageous enough to try. Courageous enough to chant the sound of AUM with my fellow yogi's.

When I did, I felt a sense of community. A sense of gathering with the people in the class, like bonding over a unique experience. I now find it weird when I don't chant the sound of AUM before or after a yoga practice.

It's very normal to feel uncomfortable when trying new things, especially when it asks you to be vulnerable and do something that may be out of the norm for you. What I hope to explain to you here is that the sound of Aum makes things sacred or special. It envelopes the space or practice you are doing like an orchestra does at a symphony and it connects you to the bigger energy stream that runs within each person (every living thing).

So when you chant the sound of AUM at the beginning (and end) of a yoga class you are connecting to this universal energy that reminds you how important you are. That this time you spend on your yoga mat, moving, connecting, breathing is sacred time just for you. Time to remember the larger than life universe from which you are apart of.

So why not, give it a try!

Here's a great YouTube video that you can use as a guide when practicing AUM (OM) at home.
*Disclaimer, she does refer to GOD, in this video, so if that word freaks you out, than please consider replacing that word with universe or nature. God in my opinion is a word. Words have power, words also have different meaning. Yoga is NOT religious, however it is spiritual and spirituality to me, means living with an open heart.

With you on this path,
Lauren