the art of transitions

There are some images that just resonate so deeply, they never fade. This 3 and 1/2 minute video is one such image. Once the senses move past the the scantily clad woman, the stunning cityscape, and the soft sultry music, what is left is asana that is so captivating…it steals the breath. On my mat, I want to move like this woman. Not (just) because she is sleek and strong, but because there is not a singular pose visible in any of this. Rather it is a river of transformations, inhales and exhales that do not just move the body from one Read More

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present in the pain

Sometimes the stars align so that the same message is being whispered over and over into your ear, at just the right time. A divine echo. Saturday morning’s yoga class was one of those whispers. Led by a pregnant woman whose roundness in her belly was only rivaled by the curve of her carved biceps, she started class with the intention of being present. She shared that being in her second pregnancy lends itself to the tendency to want the carrying and labor part to be over to get to the “best part”–life with the child. But she explored the irony, that even Read More

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mind minefields and mantras

At a class I attended this month, the yoga instructor compared self-talk to shopping for clothes. We take a bunch of clothes into the fitting room, and the ones that fit us and serve us and make us feel good go home with us. The ones that don’t stay behind, crumpled on the floor for the unlucky and underpaid attendant to clean and restock. She asked: Why don’t we do that with our self-talk? We take all kinds of self-talk with us into the dressing room of our minds, and we try it on, the good and the bad, and Read More

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the space of hospitality

***This post is part of the June synchroblog that invited bloggers to write about hospitality.*** When I think of hospitality, I think of my mother-in-law: or Mom as I call her and know her. Upon arriving to her house, it is clear she has taken the time to lovingly designate space for us to be, comfortably and naturally. Furniture is moved so that our bed is accessible. Sheets and pillows are purchased and placed so that our skin is greeted warmly. Cups and beverages, with the appropriate spoon, are laid out on the counter so that our morning is seamless. Read More

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the yogi’s creed

Breath is the worship of this blessed moment, in this blessed moment, in this present heartbeat where the Sacred and the Mundane dance together, until the boundaries between them blissfully blur–until all boundaries and dichotomies and binaries blur. It is life inspired, in the literal etymological sense–breath into; into breath. Inhale. Exhale. Breath is the surgeon’s scalpel, piercing into my deepest parts, dissevering what does not serve, even when the curtain of anesthesia is drawn over the mind’s eye. It is surgery for the soul, severing what is toxic and sewing new wholeness in its place. Inhale. Exhale. Breath is the three-time click of Read More

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will the real yogis please shut up!?: on the gift of silence

Every so often, I visit the Sacred Heart Jesuit Retreat House to escape the demanding distractions of American life and meet God in silence. I remember my first time there noticing that on all their publications, they had a slogan that went something like: We give each other the gift of silence. Such an expression both surprised me and touched me deeply; I’ve never thought of silence as a gift to others… a gift to myself. But it is. And it is the gift I long to get and give every time I walk into a yoga studio to practice present breathing and mindful Read More

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yoga as right relationship

This afternoon, as I settled into space on my mat, I read this from Meditations from the Mat: The yamas and niyamas bring us into right relationship with ourselves, others, and the spirit of the universe. For the next 60 minutes, as I flowed through 108 delicious salutations on this winter solstice, my mind chewed on that intention and my heart lingered in that prayer: right relationship. Yoga creates the space for right relationship…first on the mat, then like the aroma of fresh-baked bread, it permeates beyond the mat into my daily life, nourishing all the hard postures that this messy life Read More

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let it go: it’s not as easy as the pop ballad sings

For those of you who have had even the shortest tidbit serving in restaurants, you know–like I do–that no dining out experience can go uncritiqued. The same is true now that I’m a certified yoga teacher. Yesterday Dave and I went to a level 1 class…and let’s just say I gave up about halfway through listening and following the instructor and finished my own practice in Shavasana. Everything about the instructor was off: the setting of intention was sloppy; she taught from the back corner of the room with a mousy voice; her assists were not grounded; her cues were weak Read More

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let it go: it's not as easy as the pop ballad sings

For those of you who have had even the shortest tidbit serving in restaurants, you know–like I do–that no dining out experience can go uncritiqued. The same is true now that I’m a certified yoga teacher. Yesterday Dave and I went to a level 1 class…and let’s just say I gave up about halfway through listening and following the instructor and finished my own practice in Shavasana. Everything about the instructor was off: the setting of intention was sloppy; she taught from the back corner of the room with a mousy voice; her assists were not grounded; her cues were weak Read More

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present. thankful.

Early in the lonely darkness, I wake this morning with a heavy heart; how can the absence of Something, Someone weigh so much? As in yoga, I will not fight this pain’s strain; I will lean into it. I will stay present in the sorrow, to the grief. And even in this, I will give thanks. Yes because it’s a holiday, but also because it’s a holy way. Though I don’t understand it fully nor embrace it completely, grace is more powerful than condemnation, compassion truer than judgment. The Divine, at the deepest core and at the wildest edges, is Love. For Read More