Friday, May 20, 2011

Before Yoga, After Yoga

I generally think of my life and my Self in two eras or phases: Before Yoga and After Yoga. They starkly contrast one another. For this, I am grateful.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Yoga Journal Conference 2011: Seane Corn - Each Moment Conspires to Reveal The Higher Self

On Sunday, I took a workshop with Seane Corn "Everyday Miracles" at the Yoga Journal Conference NYC. I thoroughly enjoyed her discussion on how symbolic each moment, each encounter, each event, and each relationship is to our spiritual growth. Everything in your life, Seane said, you've chosen. I have heard this before from my teacher Mokshapriya, and have come to believe in it. We choose -- most of the time unconsciously -- the conditions and circumstances of our lives in order to gain insight, to learn about ourselves, and ultimately, to improve ourselves. The instances that are you most challenged by, in fact, are the greatest occasions for learning. This is especially applicable to the people in your family... because they are best at pushing your buttons and you cannot easily get away from them. They are there to do just that, to irritate you, to challenge you, to make you change. They will not stop testing you and behaving in the way that they do until you come to realize this and learn from it. Once you do learn from it, you can feel liberated knowing that they probably will stop pressing you or the conflict you were once stressed by will magically disappear.
To put it simply, each and every moment conspires to reveal the higher self to you. This is why when you are in a rush, you are frantic, impatient, unmindful, and in a panic because you are running late and just need to get to where you are going, you will almost always end up stuck behind the slowest-moving vehicle on the road, you are unfailingly detoured and delayed further, because that is the way the universe works. The universe will smack you down when you are living from a place of ego and attachment and will test you to try and set you straight, teach you patience, love, compassion, acceptance, and nonattachment. 
So the next time you find yourself in a dilemma, profoundly irritated by someone right in front of you, ask yourself what it is they are mirroring to you about yourself. What is it that they are trying to reveal to you for you to work upon? Open yourself up to this, be willing to explore these questions, and in fact, embrace these questions because we are so lucky to be in the position to ask them.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Yoga Journal Conference New York 2011

I have so much to say about this. First of all, I am still in the thick of it. I have another day to witness.

Perhaps the most beautiful is the way it has unfolded in front of me thus far. Centuries and centuries of knowledge and wisdom and love and light sparkles all around the hotel like neon glitter. You can hear, feel, and see this energy all around, through walls, through ceilings, and through floors. It feels like there are little outbursts and uproars of Oms all along 6th Avenue, but realistically it is only confined to the walls of the Hilton: the walls we have chosen, the walls we push up against, the walls we kick up against, the walls we rest against, the walls that separate us, or the walls that unite us...

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

With Passion & Compassion

The other day I unexpectedly had a friend show up to one of my classes. Because I've known this friend for a long time and personally know of specific physical and emotional troubles, it strongly influenced how I led the class and what I was inspired to share with the class on an emotional or spiritual level. I became even more passionate about my teaching about was instilled with a deeper kind of compassion that we generally reserve only for those we know well.

It made me think, why don't I teach with that kind of passion and compassion each and every class I lead? Why don't we all do our jobs and our duties -- whether professional, familial, or personal -- with the same kind of fervor and kindness that can manifest seemingly in only special circumstances? We can do that, and it motivated me to make the conscious effort to treat every person, every student, every stranger with the same kind of care and love and inspiration that seems to arise naturally with someone we have stronger bonds with.