A Painful Experience

painI received a very intriguing and insightful text this morning and on reading it, I knew I needed to write about it for two reasons.  First, I had more to say than a text reply would allow.  Second and more importantly, the insights in this text are important for us to understand.  Here’s some quick background.  This student had been experiencing shoulder pain.  So much pain that she went to the doctor about it.  Doctor said no more Yoga until you’ve been to physical therapy and they give the OK.  She went to PT, experienced no real relief, had other choice things to say about the experience and returned to the Community Yoga class yesterday morning.  She immediately let me know that she would be slow and gentle with all of the postures.  Here’s her text:

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Detour Ahead

Ramdas1eSlight detour today.  I had planned to write about PataƱjali’s tools but I received an email this morning that gives me reason to go a slightly different way today.  Let me share a couple of important points from that email and then I will gives some practical and easy ways to begin to incorporate a yogic practice into a jam packed schedule.

As you read these excerpts, see if any of them sound like what you are experiencing in your own life.  Here’s part of what E wrote to me this morning:

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That’s Not Yoga

Not Yoga

As Wasatch School of Yoga’s Year of Yoga begins Staurday, a post on what Yoga is and is not would be helpful about now.  None of what you see in the image above is Yoga.

Most of us have been taught that all of what you see above is Yoga, nope.  Now, before you run to grab the pitchforks, torches, tar and feathers to run me out of town think about this:  Yoga cannot be seen.  What?!

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Who Are You?

alice-caterpillarYesterday I shared my plans for my birthday:  108 rounds of sun salutation, Surya Namaskar, and a start to a year of yoga.  I know that it’s a bit brash of me to ask people to give me a birthday present and especially one that will take a fully year to complete.  I do have some very good reasons for asking you to give me this.  If you’ve seen through the smoke screen—excuse the smoking caterpillar reference—then you clearly realize that I am really asking you to give something to yourself.

What is it that I really want, what is the gift I want you to give yourself?  Well, to learn that you have to play a little game with me first.  This all started with me asking for birthday presents and a birthday party isn’t really a party without games, right?

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What I Want.

Birthday-Cake-CandlesWhat do I want?  What do I really, really want?  I want a birthday present from you.  My birthday is this Saturday, March 21st, and I would love for you to give me a gift.  Not any old gift but something, actually two things, very special and very specific.

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Buying a Mat

Slick-Yoga-MatThe perennial question came up at the end of practice this morning:  What kind of mat should I buy and where?  Mats are rather personal things, they often define our space when we practice and are even sometimes seen as status symbols.  Isn’t it odd that a tool we use to practice Yoga, Union, can so easily also be used as a tool to create separation?  This post, however, is not about the philosophy of Yoga mats.  It is about finding a good mat for your practice.


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A Peaceful Sadness

One week ago this morning, my grandmother died and I wept.  Tonight was her viewing and, at times, I shook with tears as I held family in my arms.  I was told, “Be joyful, this isn’t a time to be sad.”  Another said, “This isn’t like you.”  Before I go on, I am so thankful to them, they gave me their very best when they saw me with tears streaming down my face.  I could never ask for more.

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