YouYoga

YOGA THAT LETS YOU BE YOU

Sunday Inspiration 39 June 24, 2012

 “The major block to compassion is judgment in our minds.  Judgement is the mind’s primary tool of seperation.”

   Diane Berke

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Brene Brown: The Power of Vulneralbility June 21, 2012

Brene Brown, Ph.D, LMSW

Towards the end of today’s practice I asked each student to share one thing that they liked about themselves…..easy question, right?  Well, to my surprise not so much……there were puzzled looks, feelings of awkwardness, and a lot of silence.  So, I then decided to ask what it is one thing you don’t like about yourselves…….the room filled with laughter, and everyone in that instance realized how it’s become acceptable to  focus on,  and keep hold of the negative thoughts, perspectives, feelings, ideas, etc.  Why is that? 

One student, Susan, shared that she didn’t want others to think she was “stuck-up” by saying nice things about herself.  Other students admitted they just haven’t given it much thought.  What I heard was the concern about being judged from others, as well as having a lack of compassion for self.  So, I went around the room again asking what is the one thing you like about yourself?   With red cheeks, small smiles, and eyes that glanced towards the floor…….slowly they began to share what they felt was great about their individual selves.

Some liked physical things about their appearance, others liked qualities of their personality, and I enjoyed being a part of a moment sharing compassion without  judgement.  Mind you, I didn’t share my one thing, but I too had a list of things I could have shared that I didn’t like about me……..and it’s funny, we work so hard not to be judged by others, all the while we are constantly judging ourselves.  On that same thought…..while we have compassion for others, we practice little to none for ourselves.  Really, stop and think, when’s the last time you said to yourself, “Job well done!”   Maybe it’s time to make a shift in thinking.  To embrace ourselves for the good, the bad, the fun, the boring, the days of  looking fabulous, and the days of staying in our jammies.  All of it is us, so embrace it, love it and be glad that it’s yours.  

Today, I decided to purchase Brene Brown’s book, The Gifts of Imperfection: Let go of who you think you’re supposed to be, and embrace who you are.  She has done years of research, as well as her own soul searching on this topic of being vulnerable and loving self.  I invite you to view this 20 minute video clip…..it’s well worth your time, and it just might empower you to let go and feel good about you being you!  So, the next time you’re asked what it is that you like about yourself……without doubt, fear or hesitation you’ll have an answer, and feel wonderful sharing it.  By the way, I’ve given it some thought, and I like my neck and shoulders :).

please view and enjoy: http://www.ted.com/talks/brene_brown_on_vulnerability.html?source=facebook#.T-Hz_W53y_t.facebook

 

Sharing Yoga with Lululemon of Leawood, Ks June 20, 2012

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Well, awhile ago one of our students shared my name with the Lululemon store of Leawood, Ks.  They offer free yoga sessions to their clients on Saturday mornings, and they invite local yoga teachers to share thier practice.  What a wonderful idea, and concept!  I was contacted to share this coming Saturday, June 23 @ 9:00 a.m.  I’m looking forward to the opportunity, and feel grateful for being asked to be a part of the “morning squeeze.”  Maybe I’ll see some of you all there!

To find out more, follow this link: http://www.facebook.com/#!/lululemonLeawood

 

Starting kids off with good habits and preventing them from learning the bad ones… June 14, 2012

I picked up a copy of “Yoga Essentials” this week – an issue entitled “Back to Basics.” This got me thinking about how kids’ yoga is really all about providing the basics of a successful practice, which the students will hopefully continue to build on as they mature.  And hopefully, learning some yoga skills – calming the mind, non-competitiveness, honoring the body – will help prevent children from taking on the bad habits of our crazy, fast paced society that is riddled with ill-health and dis–eases. Or at the very least, kids who learn yoga, will have tools to combat the unhealthy habits of “success” that modern life instills.

Hillary Dowdle, the editor of “Yoga Essentials” notes that all that is essential to a thriving practice is the right intention and the commitment to show up on your mat regularly. But it sure does help to have a handle on the basics. There is nothing new or revolutionary or even terribly complicated in a successful yoga practice, she goes on to note, only good solid instruction. And how wonderful if we can start as kids with that good solid instruction! How much sooner, and with how much more ease then, will the asana and the yoga path off the mat, become second nature, a way of life.  Some of the questions Dowdle hopes to answer in her issue of “Yoga Essentials” are: “How can I better control back bends? How can I stop wriggling and freaking out in savasna?” (my pet question!) “What constitutes safe inversions?” “How can I heal/treat injuries with therapeutic yoga?”

Though, when teaching children, especially younger ones, we don’t generally give very specific corrections on alignment and physiology, kids’ yoga is a great place to start introducing answers to these concepts, or at least creating an awareness of the questions.

I try to show kids alternatives or modifications for unique bodies and for safety, in poses, and all life situations, in a way that is accessible to young minds and bodies. If a child is wobbling and falling over in tree pose, one might suggest a drishti or gazing point, or come out of the pose, work on understanding the concept of engaging the pelvic floor muscles and then try again. Or just a suggestion of having the hands at heart center rather than overhead, or tipping off a wall slightly, may plant the seed of, “It’s ok for me seek other options, to find a way that works for me, to modify to my unique body.” These insights will translate into a freer, more relaxed, less competitive child in all spheres of life.

I wonder how different my life would have been thus far, if I had internalized ideas on necessary relaxation, stilling my racing mind and managing anxiety through breath control, non-competitiveness and listening to my inner voice at an early age. I’d wager I probably would have had an easier time battling anxiety and depression, an over- achiever’s mindset and burn out.

I realized how ingrained the patterns of our pressing, fast paced modern life are in me, when I arrived at a yoga class this week, anxious, headachy and stressed after a day of sitting still and doing admin work and trying to catch up on mails. After two minutes of deep breathing, I felt like a different person, lighter, more joyous, calmer, rejuvenated.  How different would my day have been if I had heeded the quiet inner voice (which I didn’t even think to listen for) and stopped my work once or twice to connect with the most basic of life functions just breathing. How sad that I internalized so many negative patterns of modern life and not this simple, yet essential health habit.  And though I teach this stuff to others every day, I still battle to implement it myself.  Silly! And, if kept up non-stop, debilitating!

Another essential yoga lesson I see kids learn in little bite size pieces in yoga class, is one-pointedness. It is, in fact, something we all once knew how to do to some extent, but have unlearned. It is one of the eight limbs of yoga – dharana  – sometimes translated as concentration. It really means more than concentrating – it means being present in the moment you are in, alert and aware with all your faculties, and not scattering your energies outward every which way. Another bad habit of modern life I have internalized is to be constantly busy (or multi-tasking and efficient, as my ego likes to think of it,) always doing more than one thing at a time – “Just think of the time I’ll save and how much more I can cram into my day if I read my email while I eat breakfast or talk on the phone while I unpack the dishwasher (or drive!)” Yoga teaches us to be fully present in the present moment and harness all the powers of awareness, mind, body and spirit. B.K.S. Inyengar says, “The practice of asana, performed with the involvement of all the elements of our being, awakens and sharpens intelligence until it is integrated with our senses, our mind, our memory, our consciousness and our soul. All our bones, flesh, joints, fibers, ligaments, senses, mind and intelligence are harnessed.” And thus, yoga asana teach us to connect to our body intelligence, our intuition, our inner voice. What could be a more precious lesson?

May we teach all our kids yoga lessons with which to combat the ills of modern life, so that they grow up never doubting the strength of the stillness they have within, and are able to draw on it every day, truly saluting the light within themselves and each other in all ways. Namaste!

 

Introducing Danika Hanson June 11, 2012

We are happy to announce that Danika Hanson will be joining us over the next few months to help us keep our classes rolling as the summer can bring  changes in schedules for everyone.  She has a passion for yoga, and believes it is beneficial to all who are willing to try.  You can share in her practice on the following dates:

Thursdays, YOU in Flow @ 6:15 – 7:30 pm:

June 14 and 28

July 5, 12 and 26

August 2, 9 and 16

 

 

Danika in her own words:

I was first introduced to yoga through a friend encouraging me to try Bikram style. It was enlightening and empowering! I practiced off and on while living in Colorado, but my passion for yoga blossomed here in Kansas City.

I found a renewed love for spirituality and a closeness to God as I continued to practice. Yoga became more about mindfulness than about competitiveness. Thus, I realized I wanted to share my new-found passion with others! I received my teacher training at KCFitnessLink in Kansas City, Kansas in September 2011.

I feel that yoga is for Every Body! And, Any yoga is better than no yoga! I am blessed to have found this path of yoga and hope to continue to pass along the yoga love!

Namaste.

 

Sunday Inspiration 38 June 10, 2012

 

 

“The individual who no longer has a rigid mind has found freedom.  Life can be so easy.  Refuse to let go and you are a person drowning; the more you struggle, the faster you sink.”

George Ohsawa

 

The Four Agreements June 9, 2012

As I was browsing through my Facebook page I found this post, and it just made sense to pass this message forward.  Taking the simplest actions in life can bring us the greatest peace.  I invite you to read the following Four Agreements, and if they resinate with you as the did with me……please pass them forward, and we will share together the message of being, or becoming our best possible selves.  Helping us to find the peace, and the greatness that already lies within.

Namaste

The Four Agreements:

1. Be Impeccable With Your Word:

 Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in… the direction of truth and love.

2. Don’t Take Anything Personally:

 Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.

3. Don’t Make Assumptions:

 Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.

4. Always Do Your Best:

 Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse and regret.

Miguel Ruiz