Legend tells us that the Sage Astavakra angered his father while he was still in his mother’s womb. In retaliation, his father cursed him and the result was being born into a body crooked in eight places.
The yoga pose dedicated to this sage, Astavakrasana or Eight-Angle Pose, does indeed seem to be an impossibly crooked position for the body at first glance. However, as Sage Astavakra tells us, “If you think you are free, You are free. If you think you are bound, You are bound.”
Let’s follow Astavakra’s sage advice and let go of whatever limitations we perceive in ourselves and find the freedom to soar into Eight-Angle pose! I’ll see you Friday at Towson Yoga Works from 2-3pm!
January 28, 2017 marks the first day of the Chinese New Year. The bird that lends it’s name to this year will also give 2017 some of it’s characteristics.In Chinese culture, the Rooster is considered ambitious, courageous, punctual and passionate. In this new year we will experience the Rooster’s enthusiasm and perseverance , especially regarding work. We will be braver than usual, not allowing difficulties and obstacles to stand in our way. On the other hand, the Rooster is considered very conservative and while, in moderation, this could be a virtue, if left unchecked this could lead to inflexibility. In 2017 it is up to us to temper the unbending ways the Year of the Rooster might bring our way with our own flexibility of body, mind and spirit to bring luck, health and happiness to this new year.
This Friday, on the eve of the Year of the Rooster, we will celebrate this year’s enthusiasm, perseverance and bravery with Kukkutasana. Rooster pose (as well as it’s variations) and it’s emphasis on strength and flexibility are a perfect way to ring in the new year. (Not quite ready for lift-off? No worries, beginner and intermediate variations will be offered!) I’ll see you at Towson Yoga Works from 2-3pm. Happy Chinese New Year!
Persistence and patience, two important virtues on and off of the mat. In my case, I was lucky enough to be born with enough persistence to last me several lifetimes. And patience? Well, with others I have tons. With myself? Let’s just say I’m (still!!!) working on it. And in case I lose sight of practicing patience toward myself, the Universe in all of it’s wisdom (and usually with a sense of humor!!) is right there to remind me.
Last week I mentioned that the yoga asanas or poses are teachers, showing us how we react in different circumstances. Like life, the practice of yoga requires both persistence and patience in equal amounts. Are we willing and able to try, fail, shake it off, and try again? Are we willing and able to be kind to ourselves as we brush ourselves off and prepare for our next attempt? Let’s practice our persistence and fine tune our patience with ourselves on the mat so when we are faced with challenges outside of the yoga studio we are ready to meet them. I’ll see you this Friday at Towson Yoga Works from 2-3pm!
For the past couple of weeks we’ve been working on Visvamitrasana in the classes that I have taught. I have also been working on this posture in my own practice. Many (myself included!) find this asana to be a very challenging pose. Even the beginner variations can be difficult. But that is okay and here’s why: Yoga asanas (poses) aren’t to be ‘achieved’. Doing them perfectly isn’t the grand prize that will send us on our way to enlightenment and peace. In fact, some of the most enlightened, peaceful people I know have never set foot on a yoga mat.
Instead, asanas are teachers that help us get to know ourselves a little bit better. Those that frustrate us illustrate our reaction to frustrating circumstances off of our mats. The same goes for the poses that we find simple, easy or boring- how do we react when these feelings arise? What is our reaction when we finally are able to do a pose that we have been working on for a long time? Practicing yoga postures on our mats bring to light our automatic reactions to circumstances we are confronted with in our lives off of our mat. This is one of the gifts the asanas give us. So forget picture perfect Yoga Journal cover/ Instagram/snapchat/facebook ready poses and join me this Friday from 2-3pm. During this community hot vinyasa yoga class at Towson Yoga Works we will revel in all of our perfect imperfection!
This poem written by Tara Sophia Mohr sums it up so eloquently and beautifully. Continue reading below and then meet me on the mat this Friday at Towson Yoga Works from 2-3pm where we will practice paying attention and being 100% in the moment.
In the End
By: Tara Sophia Mohr
In the end
you won’t be known
for the things you did,
or what you built,
or what you said.
You won’t even be known
for the love given
or the hearts saved,
because in the end you won’t be known.
You won’t be asked, by a vast creator full of light:
What did you do to be known?
You will be asked: Did you know it,
this place, this journey?
What there is to know can’t be written.
Something between the crispness of air
and the glint in her eye
and the texture of the orange peel.
What you’ll want a thousand years from now is this:
a memory that beats like a heart–
a travel memory, of what it was to walk here,
alive and warm and textured within.
Sweet brightness, aliveness, take-me-now-ness that is life.
You are here to pay attention. That is enough.