Category Archives: Svadhyaya
On October 29, 1998, John Glenn became the oldest person to fly in space at the age of 77. We have an interesting relationship with aging in our society: we’re often told to respect our elders and listen to their wisdom while at the same time we are bombarded with media and advertising that tells us 40 is over the hill.
Yoga teaches us to let go of attachment to these labels. We often let our labels define us. How often have we looked around and compared ourselves to others thinking things like, “I can’t do this pose as well as her because I’m too fat/old/inflexible…”? Too often, the ways we define ourselves limit us.
I invite you to observe your thought patterns this week and really examine how you label yourself. When we build awareness, we can let go of limiting thoughts and actions and let our true inner Self shine through.
The 3rd of three annual Emancipation Days of Respect, Dream Day Quest and Jubilee honors the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by promoting unity, respect and remembrance. Held on August 28th to mark the anniversary of King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. Delivered in 1963, the speech calls for the end of racism in the United States. You can read the full text here or listen to it here.
Unfortunately, racism is all too alive in America. We need to own up to that and we need to do what we can to fix it. Mindfulness can help us build self-awareness but should also help us be aware of others’ experiences. We are all in this together and we are all one.
I have a dream that someday MLK’s dream can be realized and that I will have the courage to help it come true.
In peace and unity,
On this beautiful Earth Day, I enjoyed a workshop with the wonderful Alie McManus. During our closing meditation, part of what we focused on was planting a seed for what we want to grow. Today is a perfect day to plant a seed for our future, both literally and metaphorically.
Take a moment today and imagine what you would most like to see happen in your life, in your world. Incorporate it into your meditation. Live like it is already a reality. See what happens.
With love and light,
You may be familiar with the expression, “The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.” The saying points out that we are often envious of what others have — or at least what we think they have. Perceptions are not always reality, especially when social media allows people to put forth the best version of their lives rather than the total picture. “The grass is always greener…” is a reminder to work at not being envious of others.
The Grass Is Always Browner on the Other Side of the Fence Day takes the idea a step further. On this day, we should try to stop comparison with others altogether and practice svadhyaya, or self-study. Today is a great day to see ourselves clearly and be content with who and where we are. Let today be about gratitude and contentment.
Here are some tips to celebrate:
- Keep a gratitude journal,
- Express gratitude to others,
- Meditate, or
- Repeat one of your favorite affirmations.
It’s Groundhog Day here in the U.S. — that weird holiday where we let a giant rodent predict how many more weeks of winter we will have. While I’m obviously a bit skeptical about the pretense of the day, I like the movie Groundhog Day.
For good or bad, our lives our not the like movies and we don’t get the chance to replay the same day over and over again until we gain insight into ourselves and what’s important in life. We have to do the hard work of self-study every day. Every day we get to make a choice about how to live to honor our true Self.
Be true to who you are, today and every day. Don’t be afraid to examine what’s in the light and what’s in the shadows.
Happy New Year!
I’m not one for doing much to celebrate New Year’s. More often than not, I’m sound asleep at midnight. While New Year’s is a time for many of us to take stock of our lives and make resolutions in hopes of improving ourselves, we can do that on any day. Practicing self-reflection and breaking bad habits is part of svadhyaya, or self-study, which we can and should do every day. So, if I’m going to make a resolution for this year, it will be to find something to celebrate every day.
If one of your resolutions is to start or improve your yoga practice, you can join me for the Yoga Basics series at Community Yoga starting 9:30 a.m., Sunday, January 8. It’s a 4-week series, but you are welcome to come to any or all of the classes. Yoga Basics is for anyone who is brand new to yoga or for anyone who has practiced before and wants to revisit and refine what they know. Each week, I’ll focus on different poses. This week, we’ll be breaking down Sun Salutations. Join me for the fun!
- 5:45 p.m., Classic Yoga (Community Yoga)
- 9:45 a.m., Gentle Yoga (Cancer Support Community – Central Indiana)
Looking forward to seeing some of you in the new year!
With peace and hope,
This week’s classes will focus on the fourth niyama, svadhyaya, or self-study.
This week will also feature my last workshop of the year. Playing with Props will be at 10 a.m. on Saturday, December 10. Investment is $20. Bring your questions, your curiosity, and your sense of humor as we explore the ways yoga props can deepen your practice.
- 10 a.m. Playing with Props workshop at Yoga Balance
- 2 p.m. Yin Yoga at Dragonfly 360