BLOGGING ABOUT YOGA

Lessons from an injury:

You are fully capable, self sufficient, sure of yourself and the next minute,  things change!

A fluke in landing from a jump!!!    not slope defying wile skiing    or skate boarding,    just a fluke.

How to teach Yoga now? how to practice?

 

When Yoga is an important part of your life and your guide when dark...you momentarily want to give up on the possibilities      but then,  you remember that yoga is also....     breathing..... exploring.... discovering.

so, what better exercise but to practice letting go of some things and working on others.

Many of my students had gotten into yoga just to find out they needed to look into an old injury or an ongoing ailment and they temporarily leave in order to tend to them.

That is the very thing we want to achieve in yoga: self awareness, and of course, Ahimsa: non violence, no hurt and kindness..

Every muscle, every cell in our bodies continuously providing us with the best working vessel possible; needing just the time and effort to heal. 

our health is our most valuable possession and, we don't realize this but until we take the time to breathe and connect with the self, or when something interrupts the flow.

 

So, I'm now doing yoga with my chair prop, floor work, pranayama and restoratives at the end of the day.

Certain imbalanceswere established in my body the moment the injury occurred. the body in all of its wisdom, initiated a series of adjustments in order to keep me going.

in my teaching: My demos not being perfect, have not impeded the flow of classes my students expect and want.

It has allowed me to explore verbal cues to better express myself.

The pride of having accomplished difficult poses with lots of effort, replaced by the notion of non-attachment. 

more importantly, this space has helped me to grieve my recent deep losses. After a devastating divorce and the death of my mom, I have been able to let go of more unwanted feelings and to find the joy in the amazing memories that were shared before.

 

I was able to put together a book about my mother and my personal experiences with her. Each photo brought tears and sadness and laughter and one by one I was able to imprint those in my heart where she now lives.

 

Yoga is many things...... for me it sure is a precious gift.   

Mr. Rogers:

being from Mexico,  I didn't grow up watching Mr. Rogers. it was my son, who first shared with me about this remarkable man so, when I heard of the release of a documentary about him, I was eager to see it.

I didn't cried tears of remembrance from a childhood made sweet by him or an appreciation for the honesty and peaceful approach,  nor  so much for the gratitude for the validation and comfort offered to kids but, I cried in awe of the way this amazing man, implemented spirituality in a fun, rewarding and entertaining way.

The pauses between vignettes, his talk about silence and the importance of it; the fact that he'd remind the kids to breathe deeply ......... 

Some of these being Yogic notions: inner peace, pondering, inclusiveness regardless of color, believes or orientation. The joy of being...yourself!!

In this dark times we are going through, one needs to remember his teachings about love, the world we live in, our inner child and the power of just being alive!!

The inspiration I drew from watching this has grown deep in my heart and seeing him present his case for PBS funding; his eyes firm and true, conveying ideas stemming from a spirituality practiced not preached; was simply mesmerizing!

Mr. Rogers was someone who knew his true self,   and that informed his behavior and that shined out and gave direction to children and adults alike.

Viewing this film renewed my faith in people of substance and the effect they can have in other's lives.

Namaste Mr. Rogers!! 

WHY "Ahimsa"....

When I left the world of pushing to the limit, competition and forceful movement I just wanted to learn more and offer something truly valuable to my students in a responsible way. 

The more I learned, the more I realized the enormous responsibility put in my hands when teaching.  Many things needed to be considered and incorporated to make it a lifelong desire for transformation and better quality of life for my students!

When thinking of a name for my new venture, I thought of the Yoga Phylosophy and the beautiful concepts it contains and right away, the first YAMA (Guidelines as to how to behave outwards) spoke to me: "Ahimsa"

The name was soft, the concept gentle and inclusive.

Life can be coarse and harsh and one thing we need more of is: kindness and respect, and I love how it explicitly says: non-violence, non-injury, no-harm.

This says it all simply and clearly. And it doesn't only talk about being kind towards others but it encompasses ourselves, the environment, the whole universe!!

There are many interpretations of the meaning of Ahimsa but one of my favorites is the "disarming" one.

In this one, it is said that when we truly think ahimsa, feel ahimsa, act ahimsa, our mere presence dissolves any hostility and harm.

Now a days, we are surrounded by differences instead of similes and when we don't agree with someone we feel a level of aggressiveness toward the other. How hard it would be when even if in reason, even when the facts are supported, we would try to act ahimsa and withhold the negative. 

Something to ponder and challenge ourselves with.

I am just thrilled to have chosen this lovely mantra for my Yoga teaching. Every time I think of the name, it's a renewal and a reminder of the commitment I have made to create safety, inclusion and peace in my classes.

Namaste.

THE YAMAS

The beautiful tree of Yoga, embodies the elements for a life well lived.

The Yamas guide us as to how to navigate amongst other human beings as we all travel through this time on earth doing the best that we can.

Complementary to any belief system, and with enhancing wisdom like a Shakespeare play or a Rumi poem.

These are tools to live our lives more cleanly!

Ahimsa, my favorite, reminds us to be kind to others and not to forget ourselves. It helps us ponder how we say things and how we move in the world. It is the foundation for all other yamas, the rock in which they lie and I particularly like it because it stops us on our tracks and brings our awareness to our forefront; so we can act in a better, less hurtful way the next time. And, invites us to include kindness as part of the things we simply do!

Satvia. Granted we all believe that we never lie but the truth is that we all do, at different levels but, we simply do. This yama however helps us go deeper and really think about how can we act our beliefs! How to walk the talk and express what is there inside our hearts. It helps us figure out the discrepancies in our behavior and challenges us to live with intention and put that into action.

Asteya, not stealing sounds even more far removed from us but, is it? Is it possible that we may be stealing ideas, or not letting someone else shine because we have to be first or the center of attention? Could we be robbing ourselves of time well spent in an enriching nurturing activity vs. vegetating in front of something unworthy. Could we be putting walls around us and taking away the possibility of closer more meaningful relationships?

Bramacharia....moderation always sounds boring but science tells us that we can experience as many things in life as we want as long as we do it with moderation. Bon vivant! say people as if eating, drinking and experiencing a lot of things constituted a good well lived life. But we really don't need a lot. Minimalism is the trend and for good reason! It allows us to create spaces to think and rest the mind in all of our surrounding areas.

Aparigraha, this yama of non-attachment, I believe is truly rooted in fear. Fear of not being enough, or having enough. We cling to people, places or experiences when we had success and love and we don't allow ourselves to clearly look at the present and to create new wonderful things that nurture our lives. Or to stay in the moment and go through the tough times that undoubtedly will teach us a lesson that will serve us around the corner.

In our practice, Ahimsa guides us through our healthy-edge so we don't over-do and it provides us the patience to heal. Satvia, allows us to see our possibilities as they appear and helps us be honest when we under-do. Asteya shines the light as to how to be respectful of other people's space and greatness without envy or ill will. Bramacharia teaches us that even in Yoga, we can be excessive and compulsive, and we can then recognize when we are coveting too much. We can then realize we are growing at the pace we are supposed to. Aparigraha releases us from the attachment to our accomplishments in our practice for fear of losing an ability or recognition.

The Yamas accompany us in our every day challenges and assist us to walk the life path with more clarity.

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