Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Cozy Orange: Perseverance

Monthly blog for cozy orange. Am awesome apparel company I support. Check them out cozyorange.com. I am in love the with new Juno skinny yoga pants I just got. 

 I have been re-reading The Hatha Yoga Pradipika by Swami Svatmarama, I love diving into classic texts again and again because each time I read them something new sticks out. This time in chapter one what stuck out was Swami Svatmarama insistence that perseverance is one of the traits needed to bring success to the yogi. I have found this true not only in my yoga practice but in all of my relationships.
Perseverance has been such a key role in my marriage. Being able to move through challenges, continue to show up for each other and strengthen our skills of communication, patience and compassion lets us come out of the challenge even stronger and more on fire for each other than before.
Perseverance has also been a key role in my relationship with my yoga practice. I am able to show up on my mat or my cushion (even when I am too busy or I don’t want to) and work on my skill of connecting to Grace, to my breathe, and to the innate goodness inside of me. Practicing my connection to these during hard times makes them easier to connect to during good times and helps me stay more centered during both. Making time to practice every day a priority has been so beneficial to every area of my life. I do a handstand almost every day. If nothing more flipping upside down makes me very happy and empowered. I also make a point to sit for at least 5 minutes in the morning or at night.

I practice and teach Anusara Yoga, a style of yoga with a big emphasis on alignment. An area I have been working on in my asana practice has been stability in my knee placement. Second toe, middle of the ankle, knee and hip socket should be held in one line. I am a pretty bendy person by nature and if I am not focused my feet will turn out and my knees will knock in. This is awesome if I want to wear out my knee joint and ligaments quickly. Which I don’t! Since this is not what I want I have to really use my awareness and discipline to watch my placement, use my muscles (especially gluteus) and track my knee in line with my second toe. Yes it is tedious (although I love nerding out on alignment) but boy does it make a difference in how my ankles, knees, hips and even my low back feel. Being able to notice that I am coming out of alignment and putting in the extra effort to hold myself in good alignment takes such perseverance and is so totally worth it, in my opinion.

I think one of the biggest “ah-ha’s” I have had over the past few years is that perseverance and discipline leads to freedom and happiness. That is ultimately always my hearts deepest yearning, however I didn’t understand in order to have that freedom and joy I had to cultivate steadfastness and discipline. It is that pulsation, we have to have both. Now I know that if my marriage, my practice, my work, whatever it is doesn’t have as much joy as I want I need to sit down and figure out how I can refine my discipline so I can experience the other side of that pulsation. I want to add, that life isn’t all joy, there are bad situations but if I use my disciple I can always make the situation better.

As I write this I am in my backyard looking at the beautiful flowers that are so vibrant as a result of the crazy rain storm we had last night. Another example of perseverance, the flowers made it through the storm and as a result of enduring that challenge are even more beautiful and vibrant. I hope if you are struggling in any area of your life you will remember that enduring a challenge while holding steady to your intentions will eventually lead your back to joy and freedom. Success on and off the matt is determined by your perseverance like Swami Svatmarama writes in The Hatha Yoga Pradipika.

Hope you have a terrific day.

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Intention and Testimonials

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