Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Great mid-week practices continue

Today's practice was good. A full practice sans egg timer is so luxurious. I really put my all into it. You know that is true when your last downward facing dog ends up collapsing into a puddle-like balasana. Finishing started out with a supported bridge so I could recuperate for inversions. Juicy savasana, complete with a pup snuggled up to my side. It really is too bad that now I must go to school...

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Wonderful Wednesdays

This quarter I have long days...7:30-5:30 most days. To fit in practice I have started rising at 4 AM. It has required coffee and an earlier bedtime, but is well worth it. Two days and I feel more at peace and more like myself. I hope to continue! Wednesday I have a 9:30 start and the boyfriend and dog don't make their way out of bed until 6:30 most days. This all adds up to an extra hour of sleep tomorrow!!! I'm hoping to adjust to earlier days soon, perhaps a few more weeks?

Friday, April 8, 2011

Polishing off the rust

The past month has been very trying on my practice. Finals, boards, exhaustion. Now I have recovered from that. Something Manorama said stuck hard: You can't willpower your way through yoga, just hold steady with a formal practice that fits. I have one that fits, but not always. I just can't say I'm going back to a full on 6 day practice that I did before Portland. It's too much, too soon and I'll burn out and not practice at all. My new idea is to polish off this rusty practice in a more natural way for myself. Everyday I will set the intention to practice. If my intended morning practice doesn't happen because I hit snooze for too long I won't be upset because my body needed sleep. Instead I will do at least one sun salute in my pajamas before getting ready. It takes no time and will keep a steady habit of morning practice. Hopefully the small regular effort will be able to grow into a steady habit of real morning practices. "Do SOMETHING every day." -Manorama

Saturday, April 2, 2011

An Evening with Manorma, Reflections on the point of yoga

  • Last night I was blessed in many ways to spend time with Manorma, an amazing teacher, at the BhaktiShop. Blessed in one way because yogis trust one another. My wallet was stolen on Thursday. I had to cancel all my cards and thus, have no access to my money until the bank sends me a new ATM card. The very sweet BhaktiShop received and e-mail from me explaining the situation and immediately extended the offer to pay them when I could. I don't practice here and don't know these people, but yogis CAN trust one another because yogis are bound by ahimsa, satya, and asteya to not harm each other, not lie, and not steal; we can trust each other. I will send them the money AND a thank you card when I can.
  • On the greater level, I am blessed that Manorma (which translates as charming to the heart, delight to the mind), comes to Portland from New York at all. Here is some of what I took away from just two hours. I highly recommend that you go see Ma even if you have little interest in Sanskrit at all. Her spiritual knowledge is the best. Check out
  • Manorma talked about the point of yoga: Yogas citta vrtti nirodhah. (Sutra 1.2) Stop fueling the spinning of the mind. Without giving it energy it can't keep turning. Asana, chanting, meditation pranayama-these are all tools we are given to achieve this task. Eventually you will drop all tools. The mind and the body are also tools. We should use them to play, but remember that they too are merely tools for this lifetime. DON'T do anything that doesn't come naturally-the point is not to be crazy. The point of yoga is to come closer to answering the question "who am I?", not loose yourself. How to do this? Have some formal practice using the tool(s) of your choice-go all the way with that particular tool. Manorma highly recommends meditation. I really should do more of that. No one likes meditation, especially me! This is because it is the height of intimacy and you might get TMI from yourself. The point of meditation is to cultivate witness consciousness. this witness helps you function in the world without becoming controlled by your mind and body, but rather control them. The best way to answer the question "Who am I?" and stop the spinning of the mind is two-fold:

1. Have a formal practice of some kind. Do this every day. Why? YOU are different every day. If this is true, then you need to expose every piece of yourself to the practice to learn more about YOU.

2. Be conscious in your life. Notice what your mind does in every waking moment and don't let it carry you, you carry it in its like/don't like duality. Use it as the tool that it is. Meditation helps with this.

  • Always keep your rhythm. It will hold you steady. The rhythm is breath, mantra, heartbeat.