Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu

“MAY ALL BEINGS EVERYWHERE BE HAPPY AND FREE, AND MAY THE THOUGHTS, WORDS AND ACTIONS OF MY OWN LIFE CONTRIBUTE IN SOME WAY TO THAT HAPPINESS AND TO THAT FREEDOM FOR ALL.”

Happiness and freedom are incredible and, we’d hope, intrinsic gifts/rights provided to us all. This mantra reminds us that If we are lucky enough to have happiness and freedom – or perhaps – if we are lucky enough to recognize we have happiness and freedom – they are not to be taken lightly, for granted or enjoyed at the expense of the happiness or freedom of others. They are not to be miserly hidden away in our “happiness and freedom” vault, rather it is incumbent upon us to share, spread and work for this same happiness and freedom for others through our thoughts, intentions, words and actions. The Dalai Lama, when asked why we’re here on earth, replied, “To be happy and to make others happy.” To that, some may say “If it were only that simple.” And to that we’d have to ask, “Isn’t it?”

Namaste

Namaste, the light in me bows to the light in you. We often say this at the end of practice, but it should not end there. Namaste is a call to honor, respect, protect, support and love one another – in our words, thoughts and actions, on and especially off our mat. Namaste.

Artwork by Amy Tanathorn (@amytanathron on Insta)

Blended Days

When the days seem to blend together, let’s not forget to breathe, to explore, to wake up and to shake things up. Sometimes we need to make an actual change, like flipping our schedule or trying something new, others we need to change our mindset, to see things in a new or different way. Sometimes it’s simply slowing down to inhale, to exhale, and to explore the space between the two.

Alone Together

Yoga is ultimately an “alone” practice – it’s just you within the four corners of your mat – but it’s a “together” practice – we take a class with others in a studio or online, share our breath, energy and community. In a home practice we consistently invite others into our hearts and minds – family, friends & loved ones; those that inspire us; those that frustrate us; all beings, everywhere.

Our alone time on the mat translates directly to our together time off of it- these are times to put ourselves out there, to reach out to others and make ourselves available – to family, friends, and our broader community – and with technology we can extend that community globally! We are in this and will get through this alone together, friends, namaste! 

The Super-Power of Laughter

“Slow, steady ujjayi breath in every asana,
More powerful heart than ego,
Able to leap to the top of her mat in a single bound,
Look, out on her mat,
It’s a yogini!
It’s a confident, Self-assured woman!
It’s Demo Dena!”

Dena lightened the mood last Friday as “Demo Girl” – providing much needed laughs and reminded us it’s okay to do so, in fact, necessary to do so in the world right now. During the dark days of the Civil War, when Abraham Lincoln was reprimanded for his unseemly levity, he turned to his critic and replied, “I laugh because I must not cry: That’s all— that’s all.”

In a similar vein, it’s been said “If I wasn’t laughing, I’d be crying.” Just as yoga is about balance, we invite the laughter and the tears, on and off your mat – there is an appropriate time and room for both. Tears are most definitely a powerful and necessary release, and ultimately it’s the laughter and lightheartedness that lifts us. They are indeed a dynamic duo!

Ayurveda & Vinyasa

Ayurveda or “The Science of Life” originated in India more than 5,000 years ago. Ayurveda identifies 3 basic energies or Doshas within us-Vata, Pitta and Kapha. It’s the Doshas we look to bring into balance to maximize “health” on all levels. With the transition to spring we are emphasizing Vinyasa or movement through the poses (asanas) with the breath. Spring is a season of revitalization and overcoming sluggishness (a Kapha quality when out of balance). It’s with that in mind, we invite you to “Get Up & Flow” into the Season!

What’s Your Dosha?

We’ve set up space just outside Studio 1 with information on each of the Doshas – Vata, Pitta and Kapha. The three doshas are in each of us with the proportion with which they appear – typically one or sometimes two, being dominant – making us uniquely who we are. Understanding our dosha(s) and the diet, actions and other lifestyle choices that help to bring them into balance can be extremely beneficial for health, well being and quality of our life. Feel free to make observations from the information we’ve posted, or it’s easy enough to find a “dosha quiz” or an Ayurvedic health practitioner through an online search.

A Clean Slate – The Breath

We’re kicking off the new year with a clean slate, fresh starts and while not necessarily forgetting our past, moving past our past! And what better to pair with clean slates and fresh starts than The Breath, which isn’t just where our yoga practice begins, but where our very lives begin- 2020 fresh starts powered by your breath!

Gratitude

Happy thanks giving, yogis and yoginis! No typo there, while we celebrate Thanksgiving later this month, why save all that thanks for the fourth Thursday of November??? The opportunity to approach every day with gratitude, to be thankful for everything we are granted while not take anything for granted, is well within our reach. A simple breath, food on the table, a table, our connection with family and community, these make up our thanks giving feast. And rather than falling into a food coma by mid-afternoon, we find ourselves more aware, more awake and more alive. So dig in, friends, happy thanks giving!

Reflection and Ardha Chandrasana

 

Welcome October and with it a new theme and pose for the month – Reflection and Ardha Chandrasana. Between self-reflection, reflecting (not dwelling) on our past actions and experiences, the change of season or anything that merits further contemplation, reflection is a rich, rich theme that is worthy of, well, reflection. Ardha Chandrasana (half-moon pose)is a fabulous balancing posture, that invites in both strengthening and deep opening through the entirety of the leg, hip, upper torso, chest and shoulders. Perhaps it’s in half-moon that we can appreciate our journey toward wholeness and, upon further reflection, see that we’re already there – the half-moon is more than enough to light up the night sky. Namaste! “The moon was so beautiful that the ocean held up a mirror” @anidifranco
Big thanks and gratitude to Melissa for an amazing board this month!

Inversions ~ Clarity

This month it’s all about INVERSIONS* at Yoga Life. Whether that be physically turning ourselves upside down or looking at the world through a different lens, this change in perspective liberates us from conditioned thoughts and habit. We see and in turn experience life with a freshness, a newness, a sense of CLARITY.

So embrace turning things on their head, bask in the less familiar and make time to play – in your yoga practice and life practice – and see, really see, what comes of it!

*Do not fear, we can all do inversions! Remember, an inversion is any posture that gets your head lower than your heart – downdog and half-downdog, forward bends, legs up the wall with a slightly elevated seat, as well as all the classic inversions – headstand, handstand, forearm stand and all the “prep” options!