Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Mandalasana + Tic-Toc from Sirsasana

Yesterday morning after teaching at Avenues yoga I had a fun two our heart opening side bending practice on my back porch. My apex was mandalasana and tic tocs from sirsasana. It was the first time I have attempted to jump back and forth over my head. It was quite fun and definitely required me to work hard and use effort but meet that effort with surrender so I could stay melted in my heart. After this I did some restorative held poses. Including rooting my thigh bones using some weights to help them stay grounded, bound supta baddha konasana with two blankets + strap + two blocks, supported twist with a bolster + block... It was fun

Friday, August 24, 2012

Shiva Sutra 1.1

I am still contemplating the fist sutra from Shiva Sutra's

1.1 caitanyamatma

The independent state of supreme consciousness is the reality of everything.
I am using this as my theme tomorrow morning at Sugar Space. We are going to work strong expanding spiral in the arms and the legs. When I am feeling really closed off to the world and closed of to supreme consciousness my body will contract and I will tuck my tailbone under and round and narrow my shoulders. This physically shows that I do not feel connected or a part of supreme consciousness. This sutra is telling me that supreme consciousness is everywhere and is constantly flowing through me and is me! But since I have freedom of choice I can choice to close my self off and disconnect. But by broadening my sit bones, my collarbones and creating space in my torso I am expressing my wanting to participate in the flow of supreme consciousness. This posture also makes me feel more confident, worthy and helps me trust that I am part of something bigger then my finite self.

We are going to do lots of hip openers tomorrow and play with the chair so we can work on some of the refinement's of inner spiral.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Lymphatic Drainage

This weekend I took a 20 hour Lymphatic Drainage massage seminar. It was really interesting to feel the lymph flow in my body and in fellow students.

Lymph is part of the lymphatic system, it is similar to blood in the cardiovascular system. Although there are some differences for example blood is pumped by the heart and as a result is able to pump around 8,000 litters of blood a day. Lymph has no pump and passively flows through the body and has a much lower volume of 1.5-3 litters a day. Blood is responsible for collecting and distributing oxygen, nutrients and hormones to the entire body where lymph is responsible for collecting and removing waste products left behind in the tissues. Because the lymphatic system has no pump this massage modality can be very helpful to improve the health of the body by removing accumulate toxins. This modality is incredibly helpful dealing with problems with the lymph system for example, lymphedema.

The main purpose of the lymphatic system is to move excess fluid away from the cells that the blood system cannot reclaim, to detoxify the tissues, helping the connective tissue retain its function and integrity, regulate fluid volume and pressure in the tissues and transport immune cells and other substances such as hormones.

Benefits of Lymphatic Drainage:
  1. Activates fluid circulation and assists in the re balancing of tissue fluids.
  2. Calms the sympathetic nervous system while stimulating the parasympathetic system, diminishing the "flight or fight" response and promoting deep relaxation.
  3. Improves digestion of fats.
  4. Drains toxins, macromolecules, proteins, and fats away from the tissues.
  5. Stimulates the immune system by increasing antibodies and antigens.
  6. Reduces pain and muscles spasms.

Sometimes in meditation I will focus on the flow of my blood. Now after this class I've been experimenting with being sensitive to the flow my lymphatic system.

Siva Sutras 1.1

I am going through my Siva Sutras again and I am in awe how each sentense carries so much wisdom. I have to pause and re-read as I try to understand something my heart already knows but my mind gets confused. The ideas expressed sound like familiar truths yet my mind tries to complicate it. I plan one studing one sutra a week.

1.1 caitanyamatma
The independent state of supreme consciousness is the reality of everything.
"The first sutra of the Siva Sutras explains that the reality of the universe is the real self. This self is not false. This is contrary to the theories of those philosophers who argue that the individual being is always individual being and universal being is always universal being. For these philosophers, universal being will never be united with individual being and individual being will never be united with universal being. This first sutra, on the other hand, states that individual being is one with universal being. The reality of this whole universe is God consciousness. It is filled with God consciousness."

To me this paragraph nicely describes the difference between dual and non-dual traditions. I have written about this before in this blog. In the beginning of my meditation practice I was taught basically that I was the individual being that I would never be united with the universal being and the closest I could get is through stilling my mind enough and withdrawing and renouncing my individual being enough that I might be able to comprehend the universal being. This was so challenging and seemingly impossible for me to do.

I love what this first sutra is saying. That everything is God. That when I sit to meditate and my mind isn't still, I am still in the pulsation of the divine. When I move in to to yoga postures I get to experience the physicality of God that comes in this Kim package. And that everything I experience from a honking car to a colorful butterfly...everything in this world is within the pulsation of supreme consciousness.  

"This universe, which is a world of consciousness, is filled with and is one with the supreme state of God consciousness. God consciousness is spanda, a unique reality of supreme movement filled with nectar and an outpouring of the supreme bliss of independence"

Quotes from: Siva Sutras The Supreme Awakening Revealed by Swami Lakshimanjoo

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Thankfull....Two Milestones

Last week was terrific. I hit two milestones on my yoga teaching path.
1) My teacher Adam Ballenger submitted my Anusara Inspired paper work. I have been working toward that for almost four years. So this makes me SMILE BRIGHTLY.

2) I track my teaching hours on an excel spreadsheet and as of today I have taught 1003 hours of yoga asana. I am a registered yoga teacher (RYT) through yoga alliance at the 200 level. Now (I still need to submit my paper work) but I will be an Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher (ERYT). Which makes my heart feel so full. With the ERYT I can also lead and assist teacher training which is super exciting.

On my journey teaching yoga I don't always get a lot of support from family, some times I will doubt my ability to teach, and often feel like things are at at a plateau. Not improving, and not getting worse. But this teaching me forbearance, which is patience over a period of time. I see now that I don't always see the changes because they are small but over a lot of days, months, and years and with lots of training and practice I am now a much stronger, confident, and compassionate teacher.

I remember when I was starting yoga and after a class that I loved I would be bubbling with joy and I would tell the teach just how amazing the class was and how grateful I am for them teaching. Now students will come up to me smiling and starry eyed and say thank you for the great class. That touches my heart deeply.

I am so grateful to my many teachers, students, friends, family and blog readers that have and continue to support me. I feel so blessed to be able to pass along these teaching of yoga that have touched my heart and transformed my life so powerfully.

With a full and happy heart
Thank you for reading,

Kimberly Achelis Hoppan

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


When I am stable in my truth I can be vulnerable which is a really expansive feeling to me, and it takes guts and courage. Part of being vulnerability is telling the truth. Which can be scary, we need to be brave enough to reveal our true self, without doing all those things we do to try to look good, to conceal our imperfections, to make ourselves seem like we have it all together. I have noticed when I read other writers/bloggers who are vulnerable in their share, I find myself incredibly drawn to them,my heart connects to the authenticity and honesty of others.

Class plan idea:

Theme: letting go of our perfectionist (thighs out) and finding courage, integrity and stability inside ourself (shins in).

Heart Quality: Purnatva = perfect fullness, which is separate from perfectionist rather it is the idea of being complete.

Antidote: I have struggled with perfectionism. Not to say that I was perfect but I did hold my self to such high standards. Perfectionism is thinking when all these things happen and my ducks are in a row my life will be perfect and I will feel complete. And when I am complete I wont have to face feelings like shame, guilt, vulnerability . This is a false belief. However I found that when I established stability in myself (shins in) then i could broaden (thighs out) and release some of those thoughts that were not serving me.

I think I got my addiction to wanting to be perfect when I was a kid. I equated being perfect with being loved… and I think I still confuse the two. I often find myself doing what Brene Brown calls “the hustle for worthiness.” That dance we do so that people don’t see how incredibly flawed and human we are. But I am learning life is messy and I cant and don't do it perfectly. But I show up and try my best (which looks different on different days). I see it in my yoga practice too. When I first started practicing yoga I thought I could perfect these poses but now I know there will always be refinements and I wont do it perfectly. I just honestly try my best and try to accept it and acknowledge that I am perfectly complete and worthy. Mess and all.


Putting the highest first is one of the teaching of anusara yoga.

Kindness is one of the highst heart intentions I have. To be kind to others and to be kind to myself. However I forget sometimes, fall back into old habbits and I find myself gossiping, being critical and judgmental about myself and others. My intention is to be kind tolerant and compassionate but if I do not continue to remind myself to put the highest first many times through out the day I forget. The more frequently I put the highest first the more space I create for compassion. Just like it can be easier to see the bad then the good. It can be easier to gossip, compare, judge, and shame.

But, as a teacher of mine says this doesnt "help us level up". Instead these actions keep us stuck in a rut. In sanskrit this is called a samskaras which are cycles that occur over and over again many times during our life. For example, you keep getting in trouble with the law or the same problem keeps coming up in your relationships. Repeating samskaras reinforces them, creating a deeper groove that is difficult to resist. A samskara can be rudeness to others or to youself.

Samskara is universal; it's one of the elements that define the human condition. We are, undeniably, creatures of habit, and the physical, mental, and emotional places we often gravitate toward are the well-navigated galaxies of negative samskara.

Here is a beautiful qoute from Elena Brower "Found out that every time I’m about to talk about someone else, I’m coming from a place of lack. I’m either scared, or I’m comparing myself to them in some subtle way, and it’s never beneficial for me. I am starting to be able to feel it in my cells. So let’s all stop gossiping and start saving our energy instead. Let’s shift the world."

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Orchid seedlings

I have been thinking about change lately and have been themeing on dedication, patience, forbearance, trust... On Friday morning I was happily surprised when I was reading about flowers in the garden and I stumbled upon the orchids. The general rule of is that orchids take 3-5 years to seed and sprout. However the stanphopoea orchid takes over 7 years of care to germinate and sprout.

I loved this. As I have been thinking about change I think of how much change can be happening without us noticing it until over time the change becomes so full it blossoms into our life and it becomes obvious to us and others.

I wrote about this a few posts back. But how many times have you felt stuck in yoga? you show up and practice but it doesn't feel like a ton is happening? I have had a few of these "plateaus" but it turns out that during these plateaus I didn't stop growing, instead the growth was happening on the inside and I continue to see new aspects in my life that are a direct result of my practice that I didn't have before (patience, wiliness, courage, openness).

This magnificent orchid may appear like nothing is happening on the outside, but that does not mean a TON isn't happening on the inside! All flowers to me are a visual reminder of grace. Grace is that force which reveals to us our true nature. This seedling just sits full of grace, although we might not think that at first since we can not see the insides, but it is always there, until one day years later it reveals its beauty to us and I connect with that beauty as grace and it helps me remember that the same beauty and grace in the flowers resides in my own heart. Grace is always there. It is a force that lives in us, that is us. We all experience it and we are all it.

Nameste to the flowers, to the people, and to you my friend.

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...