Archive for April, 2013|Monthly archive page

Peace Amid Bombs

lotusdrawing-purchased1.jpgLast week was quite a week if you lived in Boston or were tuning into the news. The devastation wrought by bombs brought death, chaos, uncertainty, fear, grief, anger, worry, and finally, some relief on Friday night that maybe that chapter was now written and finished. There seem to be many more such chapters than there used to be, and so I ponder how to live well and thrive with such things as the backdrop.

When everything around you is chaotic, how do you find peace? Meditation takes you within yourself, communing with God, remembering that you are always supported. Being outside enjoying nature, can invite a sense of freedom and gratitude. Letting your beliefs truly be your guiding light, holding them close and finding the practices that really nourish your spirit, elevates the day and lightens your heart. Keeping it simple whenever you can is just good, solid advice.

In yoga we stabilize and then lengthen & soften, add breath and relax. We stay steadily engaged, but relaxed. Being steady in your strength with a practice that grounds you physically engenders a spiritual steadiness that provides peace within. You can step off the mat and into your life with genuine, active good will toward others. You might even find more compassion for others, seeking to do what’s best for them. And if more of us lived this way, there would be a lot less chaos.

View my complete schedule of classes at the Yoga Center of Columbia!

It’s a Yoga Practice, Not a Perfect

LotusDrawing.purchasedWhen I was young, I played the flute. I practiced every day, even the boring stuff, like scales. I was thrilled when, after years of practice, I could play the Telemann Suite in A Minor, and it actually sounded like, well, the Telemann Suite in A Minor. When we love what we do, we want to do more of it, right? The practicing becomes the journey, the goals fall away, and we enjoy the ride.

Yoga is just the same. Getting “good” at yoga is a problematic idea that I’ll write about another day. For now, suffice to say that the practice is the whole point. If you can practice with a teacher every week and then take a bit from that practice home with you, it’s gold. If you have the space, leave a yoga mat unfurled in your home…if it’s staring you in the face, you’re more likely to step on it and do something. Five minutes on your own every day will do wonders for your physical and mental well-being. Trust me, I’ve learned by doing. The days that I practice I’m not just nicer (ask my family), but I have more mental clarity, focus and I’m better able to be present. My body feels lighter, and I move with ease.

The main thing is to show up to your mat every day. It almost doesn’t matter what you do. If you’re feeling a bit off, you could lay there on your mat and breathe. That’s yoga. You could step on your mat, do a few poses, and then go walk the dog or make breakfast or throw in a load of laundry. Maybe later in the day, you’d walk by your lonely yoga mat and step back on for a pose or two! Let go of the idea of “not doing it right” and just DO it.

“A big shot is a little shot that kept shooting.” — Anonymous

View my complete schedule of classes at the Yoga Center of Columbia!