Friday, January 30, 2009

Thank goodness it's not just me...

I've recently begun reading the blogs of yoga teachers at a California studio. First of all, what an amazing idea on SO many levels. For the students to feel a sense of connection with their instructor and to glimpse their (ahem) human-ness, for the teachers to explore their path and ideally make self-discoveries or even whine, and for others, like me, to sneak little peeks into their windows and breathe a great big yogic sigh of relief because 'it's not just me!'

Some teachers have written that a particular class they taught seemed 'off', no real reason or maybe too many to list, but 'off'. Well, hell--me too! I have those days of 'off' teaching where I'm certain when I leave the studio that no other student will EVER come to my class again. Why would they when I suck so bad, when I talk too much or not enough, when I stay too long in a pose or not long enough, when I have no words of inspiration for meditation, when my music is not just right, when I, when I, when I.

Others have written about their minds being cluttered with garbage--past relationships, body image, family baggage or various to-do's in life. Me too! My mind is akin to a 2 year old cracked out on too many Twinkies, a bottle full of red-bull and 2 hours off schedule with nap time. You get the ain't pretty.

Others have written about their practice suffering, their creative outlets falling by the wayside, self-doubt, self-criticism, good days, bad days--me too, me too, me too!

Hmmm...could it be that yoga teachers are, dare I say it aloud...


Could it be that this is the practice--off the mat, in and out of your head, in and out of the world, in and out of composure and sense and order. This is the practice--the stuff worth showing up for.


Thursday, January 29, 2009

What exactly is 'seva'?

This definition is taken from

SEVA: (lit., service) Selfless service; work offered to God, performed without attachment and with the attitude that one is not the doer. In Siddha Yoga ashrams, Guruseva is a spiritual practice, and students seek to perform all of their tasks in this spirit of selfless offering.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Seva Challenge 2009"Bare Witness: African Humanitarian Tour"

It's official--I have submitted by application of intention to participate in the 'Off the Mat, Into the World' SEVA challenge (for more info visit: I have given my participation a lot of thought and finally decided to leap...and submit. If nothing else, I will be one step closer to where I want to be in the name of service to children.

If you want to and are able to contribute to the challenge, please click the donate now link on the right and be sure to select my name from the drop-down menu as all donations are linked with the individuals collecting them and count toward the needed total.

I commit to taking the 2009 Off the Mat, Into the World® Seva Challenge because I want to be a leader for change in my community and in the world.

I intend to raise $20,000 or more for the purpose of building schools and farms in Uganda, and to journey with OTM to Uganda in February of 2010 to make a difference in the lives of children and to change my life.

The reason this journey is important for me is:

The 'journey' is bigger than just raising money and just expanding myself beyond the limits I normally 'think' myself to be limited by--this journey takes me into the heart of service, beyond my local scope, asks me to connect with others finding their own spirit of service as we put forth energy and resources toward the call of those in need. Through my yoga practice, I have come to recently realize that my longing to have another child was a distortion of something deeper that was being conveyed to me--I don't need to 'have', by adoption or birthing, another child when children, in general, can have me through service--they are already here and I want to move closer to their needs, I want to step outside of my box and answer a call that has been muffled by a lifetime's worth of fear. If I learn more about myself, if my path becomes clearer and my purpose explored--golden.

My personal hope for the year is:

Building off the importance of this journey, I hope that this challenge will inspire and prepare me to begin service projects for children in my local community. Obviously, I want to reach my goal but more than and beyond that, I want to stay open to the experience rather than distracted by the end result, to know that even if I don't raise the $20,000 in full that I will have tapped into and realized something of my potential and my path, something of the potential and heart of my community and will have created a bond, a network that will grow and serve beyond this particular challenge, face-to-face with the next.

I will step forth into this challenge in act of SEVA, with the highest intention of making a permanent difference.

I will rise up as a leader, with the support of my community, educating those around me and emerging from this experience as a more loving individual committed to taking action and creating positive change.

Quote for the day...

Perhaps all the dragons in our lives are
princesses who are only waiting to see us act,
just once, with beauty and courage.
Perhaps everything that frightens us is,
in it's deepest essence, something
helpless that wants our love.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Chocolate Yoga

I love chocolate--*good* chocolate.

I like to savor the taste and feel of it on my tongue as it melts into softness, to breathe the sweetness and the depth of the flavor.

I like to process my chocolate like yoga--with awareness.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Infusion Yoga

In my practice today, I 'infused' each sun salutation with an intention--something I want to manifest in my life, in my being: Patience, mindfulness, compassion, love, get the idea.

For me, it was a great way to raise my awareness to the seed of each that I have within me just waiting to be tapped into, just waiting to be called forth.

When saluting peace, I took my mind to a peaceful center, imagined what peace felt like in the body, how peace might move, how peace might breathe--I became peace.

When saluting compassion, I invited it into my being--I imagined two individuals who have hurt me recently. Both represent periods I'm trying to resolve within me so that I may forgive and move forward. It's trickier than I thought it might be but I'm really open to the lesson here. So I took my mind to compassion--I saw their humanness, their fallibility and recognized the 'them' in me.

I've been very frazzled lately and my practice today was a welcome alignment of mind, body and spirit.

To 'infuse' your practice is to summon forth the seeds of potential inside of you and birth them into reality, into presence.


Sunday, January 4, 2009


There are 8 limbs of yoga--typically my practice involves only asana (postures), pranayama (breath affecting mind) and dhyana (meditation), but as my practice unfolds, I seek more--ways of moving my practice from the mat, from merely the personal.

This month's issue of Yoga Journal explores the yamas and niyamas, the ethical precepts or core values. According to the article, these precepts are the starting place of the practice, "meant to be practiced before your first sun salutation".

The yamas are the restraints and they include:




Energy Moderation


The niyamas are observances and they include:



Right Effort or Self Discipline

Self Study

Dedication to the highest...if not "God" than the highest in you.

This week I am focusing on ahimsa--nonviolence, nonharming or peacefulness.

For me, the opportunities to practice ahimsa are abundant. Nonviolence in my words, in my interactions with others, the environment, small living things and larger living things, nonviolence with myself--the thoughts that consume me, the regard I give myself, the way I push through a day, a feeling, a situation, my practice...


May there be peace on your path, in your heart, in your mind and held above all else.