Friday, April 29, 2011

Love and acceptance

For the past few weeks I have been thinking a ton about love and acceptance. It is human nature to want to be accepted and loved. Every person (unless maybe a psychopath) wants this, even “bad guys” want to be loved and accepted by their fellow “bad guys”. We put so much energy, time, effort, money, mind chatter…to find this love and acceptance…from others. However in my experience I did not put enough if any effort into HONESTLY accepting myself and having compassion for myself.

“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” Rumi

One of the huge barriers is that what we so desperately want from others, we don’t have for our self. I am learning that if I don’t love and accept myself I can’t fully love and accept anyone else. I am learning the more I cultivate these qualities in myself the more I can connect with others in such a more meaning full way.

Practicing on our matt is a wonderful place to show acceptance and compassion to our self. We can fall in the habit of trying so so so hard to get out body into the shape of a pose and get frustrated that we aren’t doing it right. I suggest you try the pose! Work hard, but also try really really really hard at accepting where you are in the pose, and loving who you are genuinely.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

peresonal philosophy

I am writing my personal philsophy for a job interweiv and I thought I would share this tid bit:

Yoga has been a divine light at the end of the tunnel during times of great struggle for me; when I broke my back and the recovery process from disordered eating. Both of these experiences have improved the relationship I have with myself, my body, my spirituality, my friends, my family, and even strangers. Before these challenges I was a confused, sad, angry, lying, anxious and not present person but the process of healing helped shift my views about myself and others. It helped me become happy, compassionate, not judgmental, not competitive, patient, giving, and caring. These events that I thought were the worst things ever turned out to be such opportunities for growth!  

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Reflecting/homework Day 1: PAUSE

I am doing Elena Brower’s Approaching Acceptence 5 day course the first day is pause. We were supposed to become aware of contractions, pause, and use the breath to shift from contraction to attentive expansion.

This is the second time I have done this course. I remember the first time I did this I had such a hard time noticing contractions I was almost frustrated that I couldn’t identify many. Now I see that I didn’t notice contractions because I was in denial to the fact that I was in a constant state of contraction. I am so happy to have compassion for myself and allow myself to surrender to life that I can expand and now learning to notice when I do start to contract so I can soften and be open to how that changes things maybe it moves me back to expansion, maybe I stay contracted but at least I am aware.

Homework, Day 1

1. Write down at least 3 occasions when you noticed a contraction, what preceded it? Where it was in your body? Were you were able to transform it into an expansion using the breathing? What did that feel like?

1. I really want to work at this eco friendly landscaping job for the summer and I was getting ready to talk to the owner. I was so excited and then I started doubting myself and my ability. Thinking I wouldn’t be good enough. I could feel the contraction start with just doubting myself thinking, am I good enough to get this awesome job? As this contraction started I felt my skin getting tighter like I was actually contracting into myself and I also felt something in my heart like a sucking feeling. From here I had a choice I could feed my doubting mind and continued to contract. But instead I paused and said out loud to myself what was happening that I was contracting because I was doubting if I was good enough and then out loud I reassured myself. I have no experience but I am passionate, a hard worker, and a fast learner. I am good enough and I accept myself. This self acceptance allowed me to expand and I felt like my skin went from tight in a state of contraction to soft in a state of expansion. My heart also felt buoyant.

2. I was planning on taking Adams yoga class and plans changed and I ended up going to a community class at avenues yoga studio (where I just picked up a weekly class Tuesday 8:30-9:45am). I was looking forward to moving my body. I knew the class was not advanced but I was excited to be able to work on the anusara principles of alignment. Lately I have enjoyed taking other styles of yoga classes and applying the anusara alignment. When I went into the class the women teaching said that today she was going to do a yoga nidra instead of an asana practice and that she hoped that was ok. I smiled and said that was just fine. But as I sat at my mat and shut my eyes I could feel the contraction start in my brain. Like my brain was mad that what it had planned to do wasn’t going to happen. Again I had a choice as to how I would respond. I could make the contraction worse by feeding it getting worked up either complaining, leaving the class early, or pouting through the whole class. Instead I paused and breathed. Every exhale I was letting go of the attachment of what I expected and as I inhaled I filled myself with acceptance. I acknowledged that is what was happening and I turned it into a positive thing in my mind. I smiled thinking the universe is funny I have been running around all day and I still have a few more things to do after class and I didn’t get much sleep last night. This is the universes way of getting me to slow down. With this I felt myself expand. First the head thing went away and then my skin felt soft and I felt like I was glowing. I felt compassion for myself for not feeding the negativity and choosing to switch my attitude so I could I enjoy myself and accept the present moment. I also felt compassion for the teacher. I went from being a little frustrated to feeling lots of love for her for offering this to me and having the bravery to do that as a teacher. The class was wonderful I left thinking that is just what I needed.

3. I took a stone wrapping class and it was wonderful. The man Vern who taught it was so patient with me. He demonstrated a few times and it was so beautiful to watch I was so aware of what he was doing in the moment and I felt this happiness to be taking this fun class. This is something I would have never spontaneously done before when I was in the eating disorder. There was so much beauty as Vern dances the wire beautifully around the stone. Then it was my turn. I had watched and thought I understood but then my hands just couldn’t do some movement. The two other students seemed to get it quicker then I was and again I started to doubt myself: I don’t think I can do this. I good enough to do this? This contraction felt like my skin was getting tight and I felt anxiety and anxiousness. I paused and instead of making the contraction worse by continuing to judge, critique, and compare myself to other I choose to pause and breath. I said to myself that I don’t need to be perfect at stone wrapping. This is my first time doing this and I am doing this purely to have fun. I choose to accept that my twists are a little funny but I had fun and I accept myself and my effort.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Approaching Acceptence: Day 1: PAUSE

For the first day of Elena Brower’s 5 day approaching acceptance course we are told to pause and focus on the breath. I am learning that life is about relationships and the interaction that happens within that relationship results in either expansion or contraction. Life/ or the universe is either expanding or contracting we can see this as the seasons change, a heart beats, the ocean moves….

We are in so many relationships and all of these facilitate either expansion or contraction. One of the most important relationships we have is with our self and another important relationship we have is with Spirit/Divine/God/science. I believe practicing acceptance toward our self we can experience Spirit/Divine/God/science.

The idea with the day pause (as I understand) is that we are co participating in our experience with God. Yes there are going to be times when we contract that is part of the pulsation of life because everything in is relationship. One big way I contract is through judging my self, others, and pretty much everything. Rushing and doubting also cause contraction. Often when we feel a contraction we don’t like it and resist life even more causing a bigger contraction. Elena suggests that when we feel the contraction we pause. In that pause we accept what is happening this softens us and we expand!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Approaching Acceptance

I am doing Elena Brower’s five day Yoga a Course in living “Approaching Acceptance”. This is the second time that I am doing this course and I am very thrilled because I have made tremendous shifts in my life regarding acceptance. Before acceptance was a topic that I could only understand with my mind. Before when I went through this course I was very open to the idea of acceptance however I was also very much in my eating disorder. I thought if I could control my body and get it to a place I liked then I could accept myself, but until then I can still accept others.

Through my experience I now know that I have to be proactively nourishing myself and choosing more appropriate coping mechanisms and in this process I have to remain soft with acceptance and compassion for myself. But acceptance, for me, is not like flipping a switch it took and continues to take lots of work to stay soft, patient, compassionate, and optimistic. I know see how huge a barrier the eating disorder was for my ability to accept anything. I have heard the saying before “if you can not show compassion to yourself you can not show compassion to anyone else.” Before I tried to accept all the things around me but I continued to feel shame and guilt about the person I was.

Through hard work and support from others I am starting to understand acceptance and softness in a new way, I no longer understand it mentally but I can feel it with my whole being. I am learning to accept who I am. This means embracing my whole self including my past struggles and my shame and my guilt. When I fully accept myself in this way I feel a softness inside along with peace, joy and love.

I used to love the way I felt during and after in Elena Brower’s yoga classes (thank you yogaglo) yet she talks about softening a lot and softening was something I could just grasp mentally. Now through this opportunity that the eating disorder has provided for me I now see that softness is acceptance and acceptance is an approach of softness. Now as I take her class I love them to such a deeper level because every down dog and pose I do is an opportunity to soften and learn to accept myself. I can tell you the old saying is right now that I have acceptance for myself I am actually able to accept others too.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Thank You

I have been reflecting on my experience in yoga. I have been practicing for 7ish years, I have been teaching for 6ish year (I started my teacher training so quickly after finding the practice and I always used to be embarrassed about that but I am learning to embrace my shame).

6 months ago I decided to take a break from all my teaching jobs because I felt like I wasn't in an appropriate space to serve my students. I had a "breakdown" and admitted the truth to my self and my loved ones that i had an eating disorder and started working with a treatment team. Since all that I have been really resistant to my blog. I wasn't ready to tell the truth about the situation thinking maybe I would tell "the world" in a few years down recover.

This disorder which I was so angry about and disappointed in myself actually has become a blessing. Fir the past 6 years I have been really studying yoga and trying to understand the teaching, but through this recovery process I have learned so much about myself, life, and God. Before I could just barely comprehend some of the teachings of yoga and through this weird invitation I am learning to feel the teaching of yoga through my body and heart.

In a few posts ago I was so scared to do my "quick summary" of some of these big events in my life and I haven't received much feedback, but all of the feedback has been supportive and I am so thankful to all of you.

I am learning we all have shame and things we arnt proud of but the more we are secretive about our shame the more it can grow and stop some of the wonderful invitations life has to offer.  I am thankful for me (few :)) readers and my loving and supirotive family and treatment team

Monday, April 18, 2011

why practice yoga? a section I love from Anusara Teacher Training Manual

I am teaching a class at Avenues Yoga tomorrow! 8:30-10:00am I am very excited I have been wanting to teach at this beautiful studio for so long but told myself when the time is right it will happen. And it did my good friend and teacher Jen Hech suggested me to take over her class and I am so grateful for this :). I was looking through the Anusara manual as I gather my ideas for the class and I was reading this and it made me smile so I thought I would share it.

"there are two central spiritual purposes of hatha yoga:
  1. Co-participating with God in making a spiritual art with the body.
  2. Realizing our divine nature through the temple of the body.
The main intention of class is derived from these purposes. For example:
  • Experiencing our innate goodness, joy, love, worthiness, or divine power through the poses.
  • Doing the poses as artistic expressions or celebrations of one's spirit.
  • Purifying the body/mind through hatha yoga in order to create a better vessel for god's love and grace.
  • Preparing the body to sit more easily for meditation.
  • Practicing hatha yoga just for the fun and enjoyment of it"
(Anusara Yoga Teacher Training Manual By John Friend pg60)

meditate 2x 20mins a day

Meditate 2x a day for 20 mins (min). Dont use any techniques. Just allow yourself to sit and be still. My meditation teacher told me this 4 months ago and I was very hesitant. Dont use any techniques I love pranayama, and mantra... I have decided through to surrender any resistance so I did this. It is hard to just sit and not use a technique because using a technique gives you some control and it is scary giving up control but when you do it is really amazing. My meditation teacher also reminded me that the first 3 levels of meditation are active mind really active, active, less active hehe i love this. Almost always when I sit to meditate my mind is active but I still just sit still and try not to engage the active mind more. Then I have started to experience really wonderful states of being when I allow myself to give up my control. I feel so much energy within myself sometimes i feel like joy is being poured upon me as if my body was a cup and there is so much joy it is overflowing the cup. Sometimes I feel so much love expesically on my chest and face. Sometimes I feel like I an submerged fully in an ocean of peace and surrender.

I have been going through some ruff times as I work with my treatment team to help me recovery from disordered eating. But I truly believe that because I have been taking the time to just be still and feel the divine energy in me, I really think it is shifting my attitude and I think that has made so much difference on my success in recovery. The more I sit and I feel that joy, love, surrender, acceptance however I feel the divine in that meditation session when get up from mediation and go about my life I still keep some of this yumminess knowing that I am full of this energy. No matter how the pulsation of life is going there is still intrinsic goodness with in my being

off to see the dietitian

Thursday, April 14, 2011

update on me as a learn to let go of unhealthy habits

I haven’t blogged in a very long time and thought I would do a really quick update and there will be more to come. If you have read my blogs you might have noticing I was skirting around an "issue" of mine. Over a year ago I wrote one of my first blog entries about letting go of habits that don’t serve your higher self ( When I said that I was also talking to myself. A few months ago I told my husband and family that I have been struggling with an disordered eating. Since then I have been working with a treatment team and things are getting much better.

I think we all have habits or patterns that we particularly struggle with and I think in facing those problems and shifting them is such an invitation and opportunity to get to know our self more and to engage life more fully. I think that is what yoga is. It is about learning how to respond to life situations in ways that connect us to our heart instead of reacting with a habit/pattern in my case engaging in my eating disorder because that does not connect me to my heart.
wow it is so nice to share this and not have it be a secret. Bad habits and patterns thrive when we keep them to our self.

Intention and Testimonials

Testimonials & My Intention

My Intention It is my intention as a yoga teacher to help you bring more health and vibrancy to your body, ease and alertness to your mind...