Thursday, 25 September 2014

Rare Qualities

Last week my daughter and I were reading about ballerinas and as we were reading about Anna Pavlova, a Russian ballerina during the late 19th century, we came across a powerful quote. This quote was from her teacher Pavel Gerdt while he was enraged with Anna for trying something that was not physically suited to her.

"... leave acrobatics to others. It is positively more than I can bear to see the pressure such steps put on your delicate muscles and the severe arch of your foot. I beg you to never again try to imitate those who are physically stronger than you. You must realize that your daintiness and fragility are your greatest assets. You should always do the kind of dancing which brings out your own rare qualities instead of trying to win praise by mere acrobatic tricks."

"You must always do the kind of dancing that brings out your own rare qualities instead of trying to win praise by mere acrobatic tricks."

It can be difficult both on and off our mats to not look around at others and try to move or behave in the ways that we see others moving and behaving, even if it feels unnatural, we still sometimes push against our own grain. But we are all different, we all have our own unique and rare qualities and if we don't embrace this uniqueness then we are not living in that place of who we truly are.
 
Embrace each others own rare qualities and please do the kind of dancing that brings out all of yours.

Namaste,
CJ


Thursday, 18 September 2014

Get grounded

It's mid September now (wow!). A transitional time of year, as we close the metaphorical doors of summer and move gingerly into Fall. Similar to our asana (posture) practice, transitions can be complex and full of air (Vata as we call it in yoga) energy that can inspire creativity and insight, however also increase anxiety and instability.

One of the powerful aspects of Yoga is that it helps balance the prana (energy) within all the layers of our Self, which in turn affects in creating more ease within life. It does mean that you have to be aware of where you're out of balance or just simply where you are in the current of life. Perspective you could say. Once you understand where you are in the flow of things, than you can look to your yoga practice as an opportunity to counterbalance any misalignment.

For instance, I'm finding I need more grounding postures and practices right now to help balance out all this Air (Vata) energy I'm experiencing. So in honour of that I've made a very quick video for you to use in helping you ground yourself. It's a simple practice made up of 3 basic yoga postures, that I would like you to hold each posture for 30 secs - 2mins (build up if this is challenging). Transition keeping your head down the whole time and your eyes gazing at the floor, all actions that assist in grounding our energy and creating balance. Don't worry to much about your physical alignment, just stay deeply connected to your breath (long even inhales and exhales) and root firmly into your foundation(hands and feet).


Here's to creating balanced harmony in all aspects of our Self.
With you on this path,
Lauren







Thursday, 11 September 2014

Katy


Last night my friend and I took our girls to go see Katy Perry and I know one thing for sure………......
I want to be a rock star.

But I will save that post for another day.

There were so many things I enjoyed about the show, hanging with three people I adore, watching the faces of the girls as Katy walked on stage and feeling the energy in the space as well as singing my lungs out. The show itself was incredible. But one thing that stands out for me is something that Katy said.

She said “I may not always have number one hits" (then she softly said, "I hate even saying that")  followed by… “But I will ALWAYS put my best foot forward.”

That’s how she does it. That’s how she gets thousands of people singing and cheering and laughing and crying, she puts her best foot forward. Always. She is without a doubt talented at what she does but what takes her from being a beautiful singer to a pop star sensation is that way of thinking. She loves what she does, it is clear and she gives it 110 percent, also clear.

Now thankfully we don’t all want to be pop stars, but regardless of what we do in life, our career choices or our choices on how we play, serve, or relax if we always put our best foot forward in each moment our lives can be that much fuller.  It seems almost wasteful to not do our best at all times. What are we waiting for? We are all meant to be stars in our own personal way, we are all meant to shine as bright as we can, and feel the energy of what we can create. We are all sensational. So love what you do and do it with love and put your best foot forward, you deserve it.


Waiting to be signed…….
Katycat CJ

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Marriage, friendship and yoga

My parents divorced when I was 6yrs old. My mom remarried not long after and my dad is happily married to his 3rd wife. So to say that I've been haunted by unsuccessful marriages in my life is an understatement. The hardships I saw my parents go through along with the pain and challenges my sister and I overcame because of divorce, definitely contributed to my fear of abandonment and fuelled my desire to have a successful marriage with my husband, Cam. A marriage we both stepped into, agreeing that growth and a commitment to work on our relationship came as a priority. Because of this, I have read many different books on marriage and gone to a variety of different relationship weekend retreats, masculine and feminine type of seminars to assist in the growth of our marriage. All were beneficial, however it wasn't until I came across John Gottman's work that things really started to shift for me. Particularly what John Gottman says in his book, Seven principles for making a marriage work; "you must strengthen the friendship that is at the heart of every marriage".

Friendship, hmmmmm. Now that got me thinking. It wasn't that I needed to be sexier, or let go of my personal ambitions. It wasn't about tending more to his needs, or sacrificing my yoga time for more "couple" time. It's about building a strong friendship. This was something I could do. This actually sounded like something I wanted to do.

So I've been thinking a lot about friendship. What does it mean to be a "good" friend? What characteristics do you look for in friends?

What else do you do when you have a question like this? Post it on Facebook, of course. Which is exactly what I did. The posting got a ton of hits and I heard people describe characteristics of a good friend as, honest, trustworthy, respectful, authentic, able to be vulnerable, be supportive and love unconditionally. 

Working on my friendship with my husband seems easier and more accessible because John Gottman is right, there's already a foundation there to pull on. That's why we got married in the first place. When I remember my husband is my friend, instead of another person I'm responsible for, or another person I have to cater to, I find myself naturally more generous, kind and loving. I find myself sincerely curious how his day was or what he wants to do over the weekend. When I remember that my husband is first my friend, I remember how excited I am to live life so closely with him. That our friendship is the bond to our family and the teacher to our daughter. Gets me excited about our relationship and motivated to deepen our friendship.

By no means am I a relationship counsellor, teacher or expert and am not claiming to be, however I do know that when I'm reminded why I've made the choices I've made, whether it's my commitment to my husband or dedicated to my yoga practice, I re-ignited a fire within me that confirms that decision. 

So whether you're working to strengthen your marriage or stay committed to your yoga practice, may you come back to the reasons why you began in the first place. Come back to the foundation of that relationship and work from there. When I return to the essence of why, I'm filled with the drive to stay on this path, whatever path that may be. 

From my heart to yours,
Lauren