Posts by Yogi Marcia Beckford

Soften the Edges and Use Your Breath! Yoga with Emily Farr

Posted on: November 10th, 2017
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Emily Farr trained as a classical ballet dancer, a singer, and actress.  As a yogi, she teaches yoga and meditation at Sanctuary Yoga.  Every yoga teacher brings their own unique gifts and all of her training is apparent in the yoga classes that she teaches.  Emily feels extremely grateful and honored to be part of the Amala Foundation as she shares her love of yoga and meditation with people from all walks of life.

A fan of Brené Brown, the author of The Gifts of Imperfection, Emily’s intention is to help yogis let go of the need to perfect, perform and please.  During class you will hear “Soften the edges!” and “Use your breath!”  Enjoy a few of Emily’s gifts.

 

sOFTEN, Find Your Breath and Take up Space

In her classes, she seeks to offer a sense of lightness and love through the physical, mental, and spiritual practices of yoga and meditation.This fun yoga sequence was created for anyone who is feeling a little tight and constricted.

With this gentle flow, Emily helps anyone dealing with upper body tension to focus on the breath.  Softening upper body tension makes breathing easier.  Where ever you are, there is always a softer place.  Emily invites you to gently play, stretch, twist, ground as you notice where you hold the tension.  Using the breath to release stress and anxiety.  At the end you will feel more centered and at ease as you ready for the day.

 

 

 

Soften Your Edges with Meditation

One of the classes that Emily teaches is the morning Yoga and Meditation class.  A sample of what to expect in class can be found in this recorded 10 minute guided meditation.  It is a gift for those who take her class or those unable to attend.  Those seeking to create a space of stillness, peace and to encourage freedom from stress, fear, anxiety.

In the meditation, Emily guides readers to:

fully embrace our feelings and discomforts without judgement

to reconnect with our breath

spend time noticing the quality and rhythm of breath

Use of the breath to gently invite a bit of ease

Using imagination to direct the breath

Embrace the freedom that comes with the practice

 

uNLIMITED AND free

One of Emily Farr‘s many roles is as a film writer and director.   Her short film, Who Am I? softens our edges by promoting freedom and self-acceptance.   The film review the labels we use to define ourselves and lets the viewer  know that we are more than our body, more than what we do for a living, more than our failures.

Ask yourself this question. Who am I? The answer may not be so easy to find. It may take a little uncovering to find the answer.   It may take a lifetime to find out who we are and who we are not. This is the journey we are all on.

 

Yoga and Finances with Megan Rutherford

Posted on: September 27th, 2017
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What about those recent hurricanes and floods in Austin?  Authorities gave us ample warnings.  There were graphs, charts, maps, lists and answers to frequently asked questions to help Austinites prepare.

The hurricane came at the end of the month.   For many, it was at the end of their paycheck. Some felt the stress on their physical body, emotional body, mental body and finances.

Would you have been prepared financially if your property were affected?  Thanks to yoga teacher, Megan Rutherford, students will have an  opportunity to improve their  financial life.

 

Create a better relationship with your finances

These are some of the scenarios to discuss with a financial counselor.  Megan Rutherford is a yoga teacher and a financial counselor with Northwestern Mutual, a brokerage company in Austin.

She is happy for the opportunity to help you create a better relationship with your finances.  Megan offers Financial Flow Workshop at Sanctuary Yoga.  The workshops offer an interactive group experience.  With mindfulness techniques, participants learn how to live a healthier lifestyle and improve their financial health.    During the workshops, the topics unfold to include  the needs of the attendees.  Topics may include:

The conversations you have with money.

Your relationship with money.

Mindful budgeting.

Investments.

Planning.

Your questions and feedback about the financial industry.

A Marriage of Techniques

Megan teaches different types of yoga at Sanctuary Yoga.  The different techniques help students in their journey.  The goal is a place where they are in the present moment.  These include Hatha Flow Yoga.  Also, mindfulness techniques paired with meditation.  The meditation could be seated and/or walking meditation, silent and guided meditation.

To get students started for the day, Megan teaches the faster-paced  Morning Flow Yoga.  The upbeat music and faster movements will get your blood flowing.  You will feel increased energy.

Creating New Habits

In this section, Megan explains why she teaches to create new habits.

“One of my favorite teachers here in Austin, Texas is Shawn Kent.  He has shared this idea with me and I love to share it in my classes.  And that is that we are a conditioned bundle of energy. 

A conditioned bundle of habit energy.   And, we have the right to choose. 

So we are a conditioned bundle of habit energy with a choice.  And, the choice is our responsibility. 

Responsibility is actually the ability to respond to our circumstances.  To our situations.  And so even though we are a conditioned bundle of habit energy, we are able to change that by mindfulness techniques, by meditation and just choosing to interrupt the story that we normally live.”

MEGAN’S TIP for CENTERING Into the Body

 

“During yoga, there is no reason to have your mind all over the place.

When your mind is floating out in space, focus on your hands to pull you into the present moment.  This helps by centering you back into the body.”

  1.  Bring your hand into prayer
  2.  Set your gaze just right out in front of the tip of your nose
  3.  Reach your hands up high and follow your hands with your gaze
  4.  Draw your hands back down the center line following the hands with your gaze

 

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yoga students discover Austin’s Yoga Scene

Sentha is  from New York.  She chose to attend Megan’s midday Yoga and Meditation class.  Sentha wanted to check out the yoga scene.  She also wanted to help her friend Blanca discover yoga.  She felt that yoga is one thing to do to survive in a big city like  Austin.  This was Blanca’s first yoga class.

Why do people choose to visit Sanctuary Yoga?  Austin offers a variety of yoga studios. But here, Sentha shares her  three key reasons for choosing Sanctuary Yoga:
“The name itself.”
“The beautiful space.”
“The fact that it was a nonprofit.”

 

 

 

The Yoga of listening with compassion

Posted on: August 29th, 2017
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There are benefits to listening with compassion.  What happens as the news about the clashes between groups with different ideologies reach us? Those clashes lead to the death of protesters and first responders.  Many suffered multiple injuries.

I felt emotionally, spiritually and mentally affected by these events.  These injuries lead to intricate, delicate feelings and sometimes judgments begging for compassion. They wanted out, to be allowed, accepted.  They begged for my compassion.

Most people do not listen

with the intent to understand.  

Most people listen

with the intent to reply.

–Stephen R. Covey

 

Listening to understand

A group of people, hosted by IACT, met recently to discuss compassion. These meetings are an exercise in listening.  Listening, while learning not to be in a hurry to respond.  Many would agree that listening with a group that is willing to follow basic rules of courtesy offers a less challenging experience.

Like minded people easily show courtesy. Even so challenges may pop up.  You may hear comments that evoke a twinge, a pang, a sweetness, a strong opinion, an agreement, a disagreement.  We learn to deal with our own reactions.

One problem I experience is when a speaker tries to insist that you agree with what they are saying before continuing.  What’s your pet peeve?

The hope is that the practice will help you notice your reactions to the speaker with compassion. There are no guarantees.  It is a practice.

 

SIX LISTENING TIPS

 

 

Yoga, compassioNATE listening

Yoga is another practice in listening.  That is, if you show compassion for yourself and want to prevent injuries.. During almost every yoga class, the teacher may ask

“What moves does your body want you to make?

“How are you feeling today?

“Is you energy high or low?”

“Are there any requests?

These are all ways of listening and addressing the needs of the body with the body. It’s a practice.

 

Compassion for self

What’s most important to remember about compassion is that it starts with our own selves.  During a discussion you may experience ease or unease.  Depending on how you feel and think about what you’ve heard coming our of your mouth or from the other person’s mouth.

Can you feel compassion for yourself when you feel uneasy?  Do you feel that you are loosing something because of the uneasiness?

 

 

No act of kindness is ever wasted. – aesop

It’s feels good to accept that there is a range to compassionate acts.  You may not be willing to participate in a compassionate act that makes you feel as if you are suffering.  You may only be willing to perform a small act of compassion.  Why not make it ok to start with something small.

A nod, a smile, acknowledgment of another through eye contact, give a dime or a quarter, a hug, a pat. Perhaps a friendly gaze.

If you’re up to it, compassion may involve a significant act.  One person spoke about allowing a homeless person to live in the yard in a tent

Keeping a focus on compassion during these difficult times will not only benefit you but may benefit those with whom you interact.  It’s o.k. to take small steps.  If the practice doesn’t benefit you in the way that you would hope or if you feel that you are not making progress fast enough, have even more compassion for yourself.

I find myself listening with compassion as I hear words that bring a feeling of unease in the media.  I hope that you will too.  It’s a practice. There are no guarantees.

Yoga class, workshop, 3rd chakra and painting

Posted on: August 1st, 2017 By:
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3rd Chakra support

Sanctuary Yoga offers yoga classes and workshops and much more.  Recently, a workshops offered by Yoga teacher Leticia Alvarez featured the 3rd chakra.  Balancing Your 3rd Chakra Through Yoga and Painting to be exact. The workshop, offered on a Saturday, began with yoga poses to support and open the 3rd Chakra.  Free form painting followed.  There was no need for drawing or painting lessons.

Each participant named  some pretty good reasons for attending.  Listen as an out-of-town visitor, gives her reasons.  (sorry about the sound).  It’s not unusual to find out that the folks visiting from  out of town magically find their way to Sanctuary Yoga because of the variety of classes.

 

There are good reasons for focusing on the 3rd Chakra.  Known as the Solar Plexus Chakra, the manipura in Sanskript, the Yellow Chakra.    Leticia Alvarez, the yoga teacher facilitated the workshop as a way to help herself and those in need:

I selected the 3rd Chakra (the solar plexus chakra), the manipura in Sanskript to help those in a transition phase of their life.  Many feel that they need help with will-power and self-confidence and esteem to move.forward in their life and to complete projects.

Support and self-assurance through creativity

The next phase involved drawing and paining.  Participants were asked to trust their judgement in their decision to create their art. Some titled their art right away.  Others like me, decided to spend some time with the drawing.

It was really helpful to take it home and spend time just noticing what decision was made in choosing the colors and/or shapes.  By looking at the artistic rendition right side up, upside down, sideways, a theme and characteristics became apparent.  This enabled me as participant to name my drawing.  At the end of the workshop,  it felt as if the art supported you, your decisions and beliefs.  Very 3rd chakra!

Yoga poses, painting and drawing all helped to open and support the 3rd chakra.

 

 

 

Meet Yoga Teacher Kim Humphreys: The Joyfulness of Effort

Posted on: July 1st, 2017 By:
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an invitation to come into yourself

“Take a moment to come into yourself.”  Kim often begins her class with this invitation.  On the mat, to the right lies, The Book of Awakening.  On the left is a ‘singing bowl’.   Kim Humpreys sits in the middle.  Kim will use one or both of these tools to gift her students with the power of words and sounds during their yoga and meditation journey.

Breath into your left hips as if it had gills or a lung.

Make a sound.

(Hu-u-u-u-u-u-u-u-u-u!) 
Notice.

Can you feel it in your hips?

Guiding Students

Kim speaks about the rewards of helping to guide students to  find their sense of wholeness and noticing a sense of accomplishment and joy within themselves.  Kim teaches Yoga Nidra

As a teacher I find it so rewarding when students are able to go inside and find something that they didn’t know was there.

In an Asana Class that might be discovering that they’re able to get into a pose that just seemed impossible at one point.

In a Yoga Nidra Class that might be opening up to that internal world of sensation and the joy that comes from tapping into their sense of wholeness, their sense of awareness that is always there.

Yoga heals

“My number one reason for becoming a yoga teacher was to share and pass on the teachings and practices that helped me heal from injuries and medical trauma. Yoga was prescribed to me in 1999 after a series of injuries and procedures in high school.   My yoga journey has been one of healing and strengthening.

Over the years, I found and studied Hatha yoga, yin yoga, meditation, iRest Yoga Nidra, vibrational sound therapy, ayurveda and other practices.  Each had profound effects on my body, mind and overall health and well-being.

As I recognized the effects of these practices in my own life, I became passionate about sharing them with others and decided to start teaching.”

nourish at sanctuary yoga

I first heard about Sanctuary Yoga and the Amala Foundation through a fellow teacher, Ann Pidcock. She was visiting from London.  We were both in a yoga training class. Ann shared that she was donating her time and teaching a few classes at Sanctuary Yoga while in Austin.  She told me about the studio and the amazing work of the Amala Foundation.

The first time I came for a class at Sanctuary, I was just smitten with the garden and the live oaks. It smelled like earth and flowers and rain. I knew I wanted this special place to be part of my life and my routine. As I started taking classes at Sanctuary, I found that the classes had the same feel as the gardens.  The classes felt nourishing.  Teaching at Sanctuary just felt really right. 

Rewards and Challenges

I find it most challenging and rewarding to fit my classes to every students’ needs. Every body and every person’s day is different, so everyone comes to class needing a little something different from their practice.
It’s so rewarding, though, when I’m able to weave in students’ requests and everyone leaves with a regulated nervous system, having taken exactly the class they  needed!

lunges, twists and a wall

Kim chose a few ‘go to’ poses based on their benefits and how they make her feel.
Lunges

Lunges

“I love all variations of lunges.  Lunges  make me feel strong and stable while also stretching out my hip flexors. I find that hip flexors always need to be opened a bit for me before the rest of my body can move.”

 
supine twist

Supine twist

I love to end a practice with a supine twist. It feels like a big sigh for my whole body.  This pose allows the release of anything I’ve been holding in during practice.as I am held by the floor.

 
Vipariti Karini or 'legs up the wall'

Vipariti Karini or ‘legs up the wall’

Vipariti Karini or ‘legs up the wall’ pose is another favorite of mine.  This pose is the perfect pose because (1) it helps to put me back in balance (2) acts as a pick-me-up (3) acts as a re-set button in the middle of the day (4) helps me to chill out by helping me to sleep right before bed. 

 
 
 
 
Be where you are! When we can open to all aspects of where we are and cultivate gratitude, contentment will follow.  
I thanked my sweet lovely mind for doing what it is meant to do. Think. I thanked my sweet heart for doing what it is meant to do. Feel.

 

Adding to the Variety

Sanctuary Yoga offers a variety of yoga classes in its small studio.  Yoga Nidra, one of the newest additions as taught by Kim receives appreciative comments by yogis like Pilar.  “I feel like I’m brand new.”  Another student, visiting from Orange, Texas was “thrilled” to be able to find a Yoga Nidra class during her visit to Austin.

Place iRest Yoga Nidra Under Your Self-Care Umbrella

Posted on: April 2nd, 2017 By:
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“Yoga Nidra is a systematic method that inspires physical, mental and emotional relaxation. This class begins with gentle movements, then a long period spent reclined on the back, where you are guided through a specific form of meditation. Through bringing awareness throughout the body, Yoga Nidra will leave you with a sense of deep calm, quiet and clarity. All levels are welcome!  Kim Humphrey

Why Am I Doing YOGA NIDRA?

As with most classes at Sanctuary Yoga where the emphasis is on building community, there was an invitation to  introduce ourselves and state what we hope to experience or receive from participation in the class.  This class was just the right speed for my energy level at that time.  The word meditation as part of the description was one of the main attraction.  My stated intention for attending the Yoga Nidra class was to practice self-care and receive inspiration.  Other intentions were to relax, practice meditation, deal with insomnia, pain and more.  As I heard others state their intentions, all I could say is “Oh yeah! That too!”

Our teacher, Kim Humphrey, has experience working with special populations as a speech language pathologist and as a trained level One iRest Yoga Nidra Teacher  Kim .spoke about being part of a cohort group as she continues her advanced studies.  She introduced iRest Yoga Nidra as benefiting anyone wanting to make improvements with whatever was contributing to our suffering.  Stress, PTSD, anxiety, depression, mental/physical/emotional pain cause suffering.

and so, we begin

Another invitation with some suggestions followed the introduction of Yoga Nidra.  The invitation was to move our body in a way that our body wanted to move.  There was a suggestion to begin with Child Pose.  From there, we listened to our body.  I’m not sure what anyone else did, but I did some  Cat Cow Pose to relieve tension in my torso; Downward-Facing Dog just because I always want to check to see if it’s felling like a restful pose (not yet); Forward Bend to hang my head, stretch my lower back and release tension in my shoulder;  and moving hips side to side.

Mat, bolster, blanket, block and whatever else makes you feel comfortable.

Mat, bolster, blanket, block and whatever else makes you feel comfortable.

Choice in Posture

We were given a choice in posture to use during the meditation portion of the Yoga Nidra class, along with a recommendation.  We could stand, we could sit, we could rest on bolsters, blankets and blocks (recommended).   After you took care of placing bolsters, blankets, and blocks for maximum relaxation we than began scanning the body.

I did not listen to the suggestion to use a blanket as a pillow.  But I think it’s a good suggestion because I had to readjust my body a couple of times

What's under your self-care umbrella?

What’s under your self-care umbrella?

MEDITATION: Scanning and Breathing

Begining with a focus on the left side balanced with a focus on the right side of all body parts.  I particularly remember feeling grateful for the attention I gave my gum and mouth.  Or, maybe my mouth and gum felt grateful for the attention I gave them during the scan.  It’s sort of blurry.

There was a sense of accepting whatever I was feeling and sensing.  Breathing into the body part added to the sense of loving attention that was given to that body part.  Breathing into the body parts added to the physical relaxation.

When there were parts of my body that felt tense. I just adjusted my body for maximum relaxation.

The directions seemed so intricate.  I can’t think of an example, but I remember thinking “what precise and intricate directions.”  These directions helped me stay awake and aware of thoughts and feelings  that came and went as we scanned the body.

At the end of the Integrated Restoration Yoga Nidra class, it felt the class offered  more movement than what’s offered in restorative yoga classes.  There was less teacher directed movement than what’s offered in a regular yoga class.  And Yoga Nidra offered more meditation time than what’s offered in the other yoga meditation classes.  This meditation reminded me of the small group meditation classes I’d been taking with Lynne Silver.

I left the class feeling relaxed, loved and as a practitioner of self-care. My favorite part was scanning the body and breathing into that body part. I saw the class as a great addition under the self-care umbrella.

Spending Time in Nature

Posted on: March 11th, 2017 By:
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Spending time in nature feeds your spiritual side, slow things down and to help you realize the connection between everything. In the past, my time in nature included hikes with the Sierra Club.  There were hour-long walks around  what’s now known as Lady Bird Lake Hike and Bike Trail after work and on weekends.  The meetup group, Creative in Nature, (possibly inactive now) also provided leisurely walks in nature and allowed time for creative endeavours from participants.

Encouraging a slower pace and a smile

slow-down-enjoy-the-beautyNature encourages a slower pace.  Have you noticed?  Is this true when walking  The Lady Bird Lake Hike and Bike Trail?  Or have you noticed instead that lots of folks are in a hurry.  Joggers pushing their babies in walkers.  Runners some with serene looks others wincing and with heavy breathing as they pass you by.   Being in nature slows some but not everyone down.  On the other hand these are the same people who may offer you a smile.  So maybe they’re not meant to slow down but to smile more often.

occasionally, you may luck out to see a family strolling along the trail.  It’s a true gift to catch a glimpse of the leisurely strollers.  They seem out-of-place with the fast paced walkers, joggers and runners.  You may see adults walking at a leisurely pace that their elderly parents  or very children may keep pace and enjoy.  The conversations and laughter serve as clues.  If you’re lucky, you become the leisurely stroller on the trail.

Unstructured playtime

There a lots of pit stops that encourage the slow down on the trial.  There is the off-leash dog section.  This is a great place to watch the dogs frolicking on land and in the water.  Dogs trying to climb trees to catch birds or squirrels.

Pausing on the fixed platforms gives a great view of  water fowls like ducks and swans.  It’s incredible to see them move fast across the water.  They always seem to travel as a family.  If you see a large super large swan, it’s not a real swan.  That one is for rent.

These platforms allow  you to throw balls for the dog to fetch.  Spend time looking for the water ripples.  Or, better yet throw a line to catch a fish with the other fisher people.  Are the fishes edible?  Is fishing allowed?

Encourage the young into nature

“In the end we will conserve only what we love;

we will love only what we understand;

and we will understand only what we are taught.” (Baba Dioum)

Some of what we hear about the need to care for our environment is driven by groups that   want to build a love of nature.  By regularly connecting families to nature Outdoor Afro and Families in Nature hope to build genuine love with hands on education in the outdoors. Taking steps to simplify the process so that participants don’t spend time worrying about equipment and gear.  This may include basic everyday steps or longer more complicated trips.  Yet another group is Austin-Texas Children in Nature .

Sanctuary Yoga offers Greenbelt Yoga at Barton Springs on Saturdays.  The location of the studio itself encourages a love of nature because it provides yoga with a view of a tree in the middle of the yard.  Check with the instructor to see if children are allowed during Greenbelt Yoga.

One simple way to enjoy nature is as close as your backyard.  Just bend down and look at the plants and their inhabitants for a few minutes. It’s quite a view and a mystery to see them coming and going about their business while they walk on your plants.

Engaging in Conversations

Posted on: February 24th, 2017
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Have you ever had to attend an event that you felt was far, far away.  Many, who live in south Austin, may consider events held in north Austin as being far.  This meeting was held in Pflugerville.  The purpose was to engage in conversation with others, some of different cultures, nationalities and faith, as if sitting on  The Red Bench.  We discussed the topic of Grace.  These conversations help us share our perspective and, if we’re lucky, give us a better understanding of another person’s perspective.   According to Interfaith Austin, the red bench is a symbol of a place for conversations that “cultivate peace and respect.”

 

Conversations with Others

“No one is more influential in your life than you are.”  Yoga teacher

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Before the verbal conversations began, there are nonverbal cues.  There are smiles. Nods.  Waves.  Claiming space by placing personal items.  I sat at the top of the table and got non verbal cues that I was in another’s personal space.  It didn’t seem so at first until I moved across from the person and recognized different boundary lines.  Moving helped change my perspective.

During verbal conversations, there were interesting perspectives about the meaning of the word.  Each definition flavored by the person’s life experience.  All definitions including the Divine.  The benefit of this group is that there are some basic ‘rules’ to follow that allow everyone to freely speak.  I’ve often left there thinking “I’ve never heard anyone say that!”  Or, “I can’t believe they said that.” or ” What an interesting or controversial or unique way of thinking.”

It turns out that in these conversation groups, the act of listening by far exceeds talking in  importance.  My intention when participating in these types of conversations as a  practice, is that the practice will carry over into the other conversations I have outside the group.

 

Conversations with Self

gentlefoothappyfeetConversations before  and after class are part of the yoga experience.  You may hear a few conversations  between friends before class and after class.  During class, you may hear quick conversations between students and the teacher.  The most important conversations happen during class between you and your body parts.

I have to admit I talk to my body parts.  Most of my conversations are of the friendly variety.  Letting body parts know that I am their friend and will do my best to help them complete the asana.  No exercise is worth a scream.  No body parts need to yell either.  But, a few parts have yelled.

The ankle may scream during a balance pose  “Hey, that’s enough!”  I sometimes listen or I may cajole it by saying, “Just a few seconds longer and I promise to give you a massage.”

The thighs may yell,”I don’t want to go lower” during a squat.  I let it know that it will naturally go down during the exhale.  “We will use the breath to help us.”

“Acknowledge yourself for the work you’ve done on the mat.” Yoga teacher

 

If you see me walking you may catch me patting my back.  It’s because I’m telling myself “Good job, Marcia!”

Parking Spaces

Posted on: February 10th, 2017 By:
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Recently, I was on queue  in line to get a parking space at one of my favorite eating places. The driver behind me decided to ‘skip’ the line in order to get the next available parking space.  I parked behind the ‘skipper.’   I felt annoyed.  Then anger.

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Neither of us had kind eyes.

The ‘line cutter’ now had two options.  Drive ahead to let the parked car driver out.  Or, remain there to get the parking space making it a bit more difficult for the parked car driver to get out.  I too had choices.

She chose to stay and the driver maneuvered successfully out of the parking space.  When she got out of the car, our eyes met.  Neither of us had kind eyes.  I laughed later.  Yeah! I laughed!   It took a while, but laugh I did.

I didn’t get the parking space.  There was no escalation into a verbal confrontation.  Her tactics worked.  I accepted the outcome and moved on.  What I got instead, was something unexpected.

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“Wow!” I thought.   What happened is great material for Laughter Yoga.

During Laughter Yoga, participants when asked,  relive scenarios that explore all types of life events that elicit different feelings and emotions.

Participants when asked,  dramatize scenarios while making sounds and/or laughing.  This is one, albeit, controversial way to learn acceptance of many events in life that elicit different emotions. No need to act on the emotion.  No need to judge, no need to blame, no need to fix.

For a while during that day, while driving , I noticed other hurried drivers cutting in front of me.  This is one aspect of driving in Austin during certain times. I took time to notice the changes in how I felt.

 

All of this happened before a yoga class.  Speaking of parking spaces, yoga classes are great places to park when looking for emotional balance.

(1)  Just the fact that you stop and take time to set an intention before the class.

(2) Keep the intention in mind during the practice.

(3)Take sanctuary in the room and on the mat during practice.

(3) End the practice with thanking yourself for taking time to for the practice.

(5) Let’s not forget the breath with the intention in mind during practice.

Speaking of laughter, there’s a really funny video that shows that cutting in line successfully is a skill that deserves respect.  Even if you don’t agree, you’ll laugh at the notion.  Enjoy!

If laughter and yoga isn’t enough, there is always Mr. Rogers.

What do you do with the mad that you feel? 

when you feel so mad you could bite.

Know that there’s something deep inside

that helps us become what we can.

Getting on Your Knees

Posted on: January 25th, 2017 By:
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In life, as in yoga, getting on your knees can help.

It’s allergy season in Austin.   Austin will have varying amounts of  cedar, mold, cottonwood, oak, ragweed, ash, pine, mulberry, elm, poplar.  The allergen-tested folks  remain informed by closely watching the website that give the latest allergy count.   Many anticipate and prepare before-hand.  Others use traditional/alternative medications during the season.  When experiencing the effects of allergies, I find it best to get on  my knees.  To kneel is be in or assume a position in which the body is supported, as when praying or showing submission. There are many benefits to getting on your knees.

During yoga class, there are different reasons for getting on your knees.  A yogi may get on their knees to transition from standing yoga to sitting yoga.  They may get on their knees to pause and rest from a series of poses.  They may get on their knees to realign their hands, fingers, torso and change the positions of their feet and toes.

Getting on your knees: pause and slow down

“It is your practice!”  – yoga teacher reminding us to use our inner guidance.

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Pause to get on your knees for the ‘rabbit pose.’

During this allergy season it’s hard not to marvel at the body’s ability to produce mucus. It’s a great time to pause and support the body by hydrating with water, soups, steam and other liquids to help thin the mucus.

Taking time to support the body with movement  that matches the body’s level of energy and helps any fluid flow easily in the body.

 

 

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A favorite blanket.

Pausing  to support the body with extra rest never seems like a bad idea.  Snuggling with a favorite blanket adds comfort to this type of pause.  My favorite blanket is a Simply Shabby Chic  2-ply with roses and pink satin trim that feels weighted.

As in life, yoga asks that you get on your knees.   When your body asks for a slower pace, getting on your knees  as the class continues with a pose, is a perfect position to offer a pause.  It may also be that getting on your knee is part of the pose.    In class, The rabbit pose felt restful and helped relieve congestion.

Getting on your knees: pause and realign

“We are all born from a place of infinite love, peace and bliss.” A yoga teacher reminder.

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A visit to Zilker Park to pause and re-align

During a yoga class, there are lots of decisions  made.  Do I have the energy level to complete the pose?  Are my arms, hands and fingers in a right alignment.  How about the toes, the feet, the legs, the hips?  Do I need to pause and re-align before moving on with the pose?  Do I need to pause and re-align the movements with the breath?   It’s a good use of time to get on my knees to realign with breath and body before continuing the pose.

As in yoga, life asks that you re-align.  Even with allergies, it feels good to   take time for 10 to 20  minutes of sitting on the grass in the sun in the park.  Breathing fresh air, watching people and animals can feel relaxing.  Also using the time to just breathe, realign and connect.  “I love this.”  “I love that.”

A yoga sequence may include what I call “the reverse push up”. Ugh! ” I love this pose.”  “I  love this pose.”   With lengthy limbs, long arms especially, the distance to travel seems far to go up and seems far to go down gracefully.  This sequence feels easier by getting on the knees.  It feels easier to realign the arms closer to the body and to move the body forward before moving downward.

Life, like yoga is a work in progress made easier by getting on the knees to pause, rest, slow down and realign.