Time Travel

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caroline m

To seek with the genuine intention (sankalpa) of breaking repetitive patterns (samskaras)

means being able to look back while still moving forward. As opposed to time traveling and

opening the wounds over and over and over again, never relieving the pain just reliving it.

Om Shanti

Cheryl

This Gym Rat’s opinion

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Its time people. Its time to lay to rest the myths of the “gym rat Yoga teacher”

This is one of my favorite misconceptions about yoga, that a Gym Rat’s yoga isn’t real yoga..

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Let’s look at the myths themselves…..

Myth #1  If you teach yoga in a gym you must not be certified or you’re not qualified to teach yoga……. I have been in the fitness industry for almost 30 years (15 teaching yoga) and I have always worked where certifications were mandatory whether you are teaching jazzercise, Tabata, Zumba or Yoga. If you go to a gym and ask about the qualifications of all its instructors and if they can’t say where their Zumba instructor or Yoga teacher are certified through go somewhere else. And let me also say that there are some teachers in Yoga studio settings that are terrible teachers, some good some bad. Location doesn’t have anything to do with ability.

Myth #2… If you teach yoga in a gym you must not be teaching ‘real’ yoga….What the hell?! Seriously what is ‘real yoga’? What does that even mean? Are we talking about the philosophy of yoga? The full 8 limbs as presented by Pantajoli? Is real yoga an asana class where everyone can stand on their hands? What is real yoga? When you can answer that question I will tell you how it relates to what I teach.

Myth #3… If you teach in a gym you are a ‘gym rat’ and gym rats couldn’t possibly understand the depths of what yoga is or can be and you probably only teach the poses so it’s ‘just’ an exercise class. …And to that I say ‘So what!!? So Fucking what!….Asana (one of the 8 limbs of Yoga) is exercise, physical exercise & is probably the best possible exercise for your body….. As well as your mind and spirit.

OK so why am I making a big deal about this now, well I was watching Super Soul Sunday (I Love that show) and Oprah was interviewing Ali McGraw (Love Story) and Oprah asked her how she started her day and Ms McGraw was talking about her cat (or was it a dog?), getting up early and reading and then she mentioned that she did yoga every day and not the hot powerful yoga but her practice was about meditation, the asana to her was meditation prep. It was a lovely conversation…until……. She said she tries to take classes when she can and that where she lives there are wonderful teachers “who have been studying for years not like the gym rat who just decided to do yoga”.  Yep she said it, on national TV, on the Oprah show, Damn. And that’s where she lost me. Actually she kinda pissed me off.

So what really makes a good yoga teacher?

Is it someone who has been studying at the feet of great yogis for decades? Maybe, it is certainly a good start. But being good at studying doesn’t mean you are good at teaching.

Is it someone who has been practicing yoga for many many years, of course it doesn’t hurt to have a long held practice of your own. But a good teacher doesn’t teach what they ‘do’ they teach what is ‘needed’ by the students in front of them. My personal practice often times looks very different from my classes.

I have known some wonderful yoga teachers over the years and some have only been teaching a short time & some for decades. Some teach in Yoga studios & some in gyms. Some teach in church basements or in community centers.

The location doesn’t matter, but the journey does.

A good yoga teacher takes you on a journey of understanding, of body awareness, of slowing down the mind while strengthening the body. A journey of self-discovery that may begin with the body but also uplifts the spirit.

Om Shanti

Cheryl

So here is the link to the full interview, ’cause it was a good show and I enjoyed watching it until she misspoke about us gym rats.

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http://www.oprah.com/own-super-soul-sunday/Full-Episode-Ali-MacGraw-Video

Sunday Haiku…..August 3 2014

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I was laying in the hammock today, the sky was bright blue with big puffy white clouds. The sun was brilliant and warm. There was a gentle but constant breeze. This has not been the typical ‘southern’ summer with low humidity and temps only in the high 80’s. I not complaining, usually by August the air is so heavy you cant breathe outside. No this was a beautiful day spent swaying and contemplating many things.

As I lay there listening to the hoot of an owl, and wondering what has him so stirred up in the middle of the day, I notice 2 hawks circling above the trees. Floating in the breeze and riding the warm air trapped in their wings. I love to watch them play, to float like that. I have read that penguins ‘fly’ in the water instead of swim. Well hawks do the opposite in the air. While riding the thermals they ‘swim’, like you floating on a raft at the beach. They ride the waves of warm air.

There are worse ways to spend a Sunday afternoon.

My Sunday Haiku….
 
Riding the thermals 
red tail Hawks swim in the sky
Gentle hammock sways
 
hawks
 
Om Shanti
 
Cheryl

Nothing to do with Yoga….well everything is a little yogi-like

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Nothing to do with Yoga….well everything is a little yogi-like

Great article and all I have to say is…

Well DUH!……. Children learn how to use their bodies by USING THEM! Why in the name of all that is holy do we think it is ok to imprison kids behind desks all day long. I raised 3 boys (+1) the biggest argument I had with teachers who wanted to have all of them tested (none of them were and they are all fine thank you very much!) was why don’t they have more time to play. It is through play that children learn healthy interaction with others, through play we learn leadership skills ( and ‘follower’ skills equally as important), through play we make our bodies fit & healthy enough to take on the shit that adulthood throws at us.   I chose to homeschool my 3 boys for about 2 years and it was amazing and I wished I could have done it longer (got divorced ect ect ). My middle son would take his books, climb the tree in the front yard and do his reading assignments.  And we took chalk and did math on the sidewalk. We would go to the parks and museums. We were very active and I still made sure they all had a ‘recess’ even my teenager. Bring back recess! Dear God bring back their childhood! Bring back play it is as necessary to their growth as breathing….and folks I can preach about breathin’, yes I can!

Parents set a time everyday for a controlled Blackout…turn off all electronics and kick their sweet, darling little butts outside.

OK my rant for the day is over Now go play in the Yard! And go read the article that prompted my rant.

Om Shanti!

Cheryl

WHY CHILDREN FIDGET

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What is meditation to you?

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A dear friend is just beginning her Yoga journey and she asked a question about meditation. She wondered if listening to music could be meditation. It’s a great question. Don’t we all wondered at the beginning of our journey how the hell we are ever going to be able to ‘sit here’ in meditation. The mind wanders away, off to ‘God knows where’ and you can actually feel your eyes looking around (even with closed eye lids) and you desperately want to tap your fingers or wiggle your toes, it’s all you can think about! OK maybe that was me, but you get my point. Meditation is hard! But I also believe that it doesn’t have to be that way.

Meditation comes in many forms.

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We always picture it as a guru sitting in lotus, fingers in a mudra, being completely still and totally quiet – Well that’s one way.

Dance (asana practice) is meditative, singing (mantra), breathing (pranayama), walking a labyrinth. All can have meditation like results – You have to ask yourself “what is meditation”. Meditation is the practice of ‘stilling’ the mind, allowing the mind a deep, quiet space where nothing distracts us. Meditation is about relaxing, but relaxing so that you can hear what is being said; To you, from within you. Pretty powerful stuff.

Swami Rama says….” In meditation, the mind is clear, relaxed, and inwardly focused. When you meditate, you are fully awake and alert, but your mind is not focused on the external world or on the events taking place around you. Meditation requires an inner state that is still and one-pointed so that the mind becomes silent. When the mind is silent and no longer distracts you, meditation deepens.”……. I believe that we can be ‘doing’ and still be in a meditative practice. If we are singing, dancing, ect ect and that is our single focus, the only focus of our mind, is it not then an inward focus? Are we not fully engaged and alert to that one thing we are doing, not focused on the outside world? Well then that is a kind of meditation. And in our world we find it very difficult to completely quiet the mind, at least when we are beginning a meditation practice. So these other ways to practice meditation are a good beginning, the beginning of learning to cultivate stillness.

What is meditation to you?

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Om Shanti

 

Cheryl