Lately I’ve been seeing so many photos of beautiful yogis in amazing poses that I can only dream of doing. I know it is my ego causing me to feel insecure and less than. I also know that yoga is so much more than a perfect body in a perfect pose. After all I teach yoga to many populations that will never be able to attempt, Eka Pada Sirsasana, yet, they and I are still yogis and yoginis (female). Yoga is more than the practice of asanas (postures). It is also meditation and pranayama(breath practices). I believe Yoga offers a set of tools to facilitate a life lived with presence and compassion. I love yoga and am so grateful for finding yoga in my late 20’s! I love how I feel after my practice and how yoga and meditation help me to be more present and joyful in my daily life. My hope is that if you have shied away from yoga because you are not fit, flexible, or are living with a disability, you give yoga a try. Find a studio near you that offers classes based on your needs and commit for at least 28 days and notice how your practice begins to affect you physically, mentally and spiritually. It may just open your heart to yourself and the world!
“The success of yoga does not lie in the ability to perform postures but in how it positively changes the way we live our life and our relationships.”
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Tagged asanas, change, compassion, gentle yoga, healthy-living, meditation, mindfulness, pranayama, TKV Desikachar, transformation, yoga, yoga for all
“We believe that it takes a strong back and a soft front to face the world.” Roshi Joan Halifax
Are you being called to serve? Do you have a passion to help your loved ones who may be living with terminal illness? Do you want to work with persons undergoing cancer treatment and be able to offer them comfort? You may have heard me mention Urban Zen here. Urban Zen is the calm in the chaos. Urban Zen Integrative Therapy is a very powerful yet simple way to help people that are dealing with pain, anxiety, nausea, insomnia, constipation and exhaustion. Let’s face it, all of us at one point or another have suffered from one of these issues. Urban Zen is being offered in hospitals, outpatient centers, rehab and hospice centers, universities, schools as well as, corporations and in other countries. Urban Zen Integrative Therapy is meant to serve as a compliment to modern medicine and it really works. For example, I have worked with patients suffering from nausea and pain at a level 8 on a scale of 1-10 and after 15 minutes of using the Urban Zen modalities, these levels dropped to a 4. The modalities used in Urban Zen are, gentle movements, Reiki, Essential oils, Body scan meditation, Breath awareness and simple breath practices and, Restorative yoga poses. I feel so blessed to have gone through this training and to be doing this work! UZ has changed my life in so many profound ways! I can nurture myself, my family and friends when they are not well. I have developed the ability to be present and, let’s face it, being present for others, to really listen and see someone, is a missing piece in our health care system and in our world. I’m so excited to share this with you as there will be an Urban Zen Integrative Therapy Training this year offered in Columbus, Ohio through Yoga on High. Here is the link to there site and more information about the training. There is an informational conference call on June 3.
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Tagged breath awareness, community, compassion, Essential oils, gentle yoga, health, health care, healthy-living, little inspiration, meditation, mindfulness, presence, reiki, restorative yoga, Roshi Joan Halifax, self-care, Urban Zen
According to the American Heritage Dictionary compassion is the deep feeling of sharing the suffering of another, together with the inclination to give aid or support or to show mercy. I worked many years in a homeless shelter and would often take on my clients pain and want to fix things for them, this never worked nor was it helpful. I have learned a valuable life skill from my Urban Zen Training, the practice of being a compassionate listener, no need to fix or take away others pain, simply be, be present for the person, knowing that part of our human condition is suffering. This act of listening and not sharing your own story or trying to fix the problem is a gift to the person suffering and to yourself. I will not lie, this is very challenging and can be even more challenging with family members. It is so powerful to felt heard, after all isn’t that what we all want, is to be seen and heard as we are. Some of the tools that help me stay present and to keep from getting overwhelmed by the other’s suffering is to feel my feet or my sit bones planted on a chair, and to notice my breath. According to Joan Halifax in Being with Dying, we create a strong back and open heart, to avoid getting carried away. I invite you to try really listening to a friend without offering feedback or advice, simply listen with an open heart and observe.