I taught an eight hour Core Strength Immersion in Vancouver this weekend, and two
day worth of workshops before that. Suffice it to say, becoming a student again
and taking a yoga class this morning was a sweet relief. Today I get to relax
and recharge before heading to The Yoga Conference in Toronto tomorrow. Then
it's 18 more hours of teaching in four days for good old Sadie. And I will rise
to the challenge.
But today: hot chocolate, yoga, lunch, a stroll by the
water, and then whatever the heck I feel like for the rest of the day. Don't
get me wrong, I love what I do. But I give everything I have while I'm leading
my intensives. So after that, I need to simply be.
After a strong, sweaty Anusara class with my friend and
fabulous instructor Christine Price Clark, she blessed me with a foot massage
in Savasana. Tears came to my eyes--a total surprise to me, since I wasn't
emotional before that at all. I realized that I wasn't sad, but rather, my cup
of happiness had runneth over and begun to come out of my eyes. I was full.
As I walked home from class, gingerly, as if to keep the cup
from sloshing around and spilling my bliss, I thought of you, the community I
adore. I wanted to remind you, as I was reminded by the humble gesture from my
teacher, that the practice of ahimsa, or nonviolence, also applies directly to
the relationship between you and your Self.
If you don't regularly pause along the cycle of giving to
nourish yourself properly, it begins another cycle: one of fatigue, resentment
and an existence characterized by just barely getting by, instead of living
large from your inner reservoir of prana.
Yes, ahimsa is a yama, which means that we're encouraged to
participate with the world around us in a loving way. But one thing we must not
forget is that each of us is also part
of the world to which we're supposed to be offering!
As a yogi, you can absolutely include yourself in the
relationships you have to navigate every day and practice brightening. In addition to filling other people's
cups through respectful actions, it's perfectly appropriate, and in fact
crucial, that you take the time to regularly pour goodness into your own.
If I was dating someone who said to me ,"Wow--you're so fat!
I can't believe you're eating more of that birthday cake. Make room for Queen
I'd break up with them.
However, on a more regular basis than I'd care to admit,
that same old critical voice creeps in again, trying to tip my hand and dump my
self-esteem down the drain. Often as yogis, we seek the light, striving to
offer positivity towards those around us, but we neglect and hurt the
longest-term partner we'll ever have: ourselves.
Today, look within yourself. How is your Core Connection? Is
it a love match, or so dysfunctional you'd be perfect for the Jerry Springer
Show? In this moment, I invite you to become your own soul mate again, and
start acting, thinking, speaking and acting in ways that reflect your newfound
Core Question: Is
your cup full or empty? Have hurtful inner voices and outer actions caused you
to exist in a state of depletion? If so, what actions will you take to pour the
energy, life and self-love back inside?
Core Pose -- Waterfall
Pigeon: This pose lets you experience the fluid balance between giving out,
and giving in.
From Down Dog, come into Pigeon with your right knee behind
the right wrist, and foot forward somewhere between the left hip crease and
left wrist where your knee is comfortable. Stretch your back leg out long
Maintain the level sit bones and hips centered in space.
Walk your hands back beside your hips as you ground the legs
down for support. Inhale, move your spine, shoulders and head back and up as
you offer your heart higher.
Exhale, cascade your spine forward as you lower your
forehead towards the earth.
Support the low back with your low abdominals as you inhale
and wave back up again. Repeat
the flow 5-10 times, then rest in Low Pigeon with head on your hands or a block
for one minute. Breathe and
receive the new energy you're unlocking!
Move to Down Dog and repeat Waterfall and Low Pigeon on the