Living Your Power

Handstand at Jangala in Peru

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our 3rd chakra is the manipura chakra. Manipura translates to ‘lustrous gem’, because it shines bright like the sun, it is our radiant power from the inside. The purpose of the manipura chakra is to overcome inertia and transformation.

Practices that bring balance to this chakra are kapalabhati breathing, meditation, writing in your journal, and overcoming inertia with asanas (yoga postures).

Take time to reflect on the following questions to ignite your inner fire:

– What am I passionate about?

– What type of life do I want to live?

– How can I be authentic?

– How can I follow my integrity?

Shanti,

Liza

Feb03

More Golden Loops

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I finally finished my golden loop scarf! It was a project that I started and restarted many times. Not because it was difficult but because I was having so much fun knitting the yarn and I kept changing the pattern. What I found was I kept on trying to make the pattern unique and complicated when really the yarn just needed a simple stockinette stitch to look beautiful as a loop scarf.

Even though I was enjoying the process of knitting the scarf I did find that each time I picked up the yarn I got all excited and I wanted to know what I would knit next. At times I would put the knitting down to look online at ravelry.com and purlsoho.com for future project ideas. Most knitters have a stash of yarn ready and waiting for them to knit, and I admit I have my own small one, but I am I’m trying to be disciplined this time and just knit this project and wait until its done before I start anything else. I began to focus on each stitch and my breathing in order to stop the distractions of what would come next.

It is human nature to want more, and it is the wanting that can cause unhappiness. When I first started my yoga practice I recall wanting to transition from bakasana (crow pose) to adho mukha vrksasana (handstand) as soon as possible. I wanted to within only a few weeks do something extremely advanced. Just as I was knitting this last project I wanted to create my own pattern and spin my own yarn. Really what I needed was santosa, not wanting or desiring more, and to accept the stage of knitting that I was at.

Santosa is the attitude we have towards our current state and activities. It is the acceptance and peace in the current moment. Santosa, is not wanting or desiring more, but being in the present. The more we make it our everyday practice to be content the easier it will be to be at peace in the center of all the chaos of life. No matter if it is through a knitting project or being with your asana (postures) or meditation practice. It is learning to accept where you are at each moment that can allow us to live in a balanced way.

Live Light Practice:

For three days in a row before bed write in your journal. Keep in mind santosa (contentment) and what it means for you. How can you feel santosa, not wanting or desiring more? Note what you are grateful for in your life at this very moment. Be present with what is happening for you at this stage in time.

Jan29

Go with the flow

Going with the flow is easier said than done sometimes. Being able to shift and adapt can be an art. In coaching we call it dancing in the moment, in yoga it’s being present, in phoenix rising yoga therapy there is no plan it’s just what’s happening now, and some may even think of it as flying by the seat of your pants. It’s something some people are born with, but you can learn it as well.

By nature I am a planner and I personally love being that way; it works for me. Before each class, retreat, and workshop, I make a plan. If I’m teaching an asana class, I like to know my theme and have a basic structure of some key poses to cover. The plan I make isn’t super detailed but rather a basic outline for me to keep in mind. Depending on who shows up in my classes that day, the plan I have made may go out the window. But since I have an understanding of the basic idea that I want to get across in class, I can dance in the moment and go with the flow.

Planning gives me the confidence to go with the flow depending on who I am that day and what types of students arrive in my classes, workshops, and coaching. Having a loose structure or theme or understanding allows me to flow naturally. The key I have found is not attaching to my plans. If I wrote down a full sequence and I forgot a pose or added a new one then I’m fine with that – I have to be because it often happens that I forget the sequence the moment I start teaching! I allow the classes to form themselves organically. In a restorative class the flow is slower, but no matter what the type or level of class, there is a structure to how the body, mind and breath are introduced to a theme.  The body is heated, the breath connects, and the mind calms as poses and concepts build on each other, stitching themselves together like a well-written story.

The same is true in life. We all plan our lives – each day, week, month and year has a plan and somehow we like to be able to tell a story about how it all fits together. But as we often encounter, sometimes life just happens independent of whatever idea we have in store for it, and our plans go out the window! The Guest House by Rumi illustrates this point quite nicely:

The Guest House

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

~ Rumi ~

(The Essential Rumi, versions by Coleman Barks)

I am a planner in classes and in life. Plans help us find comfort and security in our tasks – plans make the future seem less daunting and actually give us a starting point that makes it easier to go with the flow, just as long as we don’t get too caught up in the plan itself! So I often find that having a plan makes it is easier for me to let go and flow in the classroom. Resisting the changes that pop up only creates issues. Each day there is a new arrival and it is how we react to those arrivals that color our world. Welcome and entertain them all, because not everything can be planned.

Since going with the flow isn’t something that comes naturally to me I have adapted it to work for my personality. I plan, and then I am able to go with the flow. Eventually I believe I will truly go with the flow, but for now I work my flow this way. Some ways I invite this idea into my life are in my home asana practice, I give it the freedom to become whatever form it requires at the moment. I also try to plan nothing at least one day a week – no classes, no plans with friends, no tasks to complete. I find that this one-day of following what may come relaxes me.

Live Light Practice:

Take one day a week to do nothing. Make no plans. Don’t set an alarm, just wake up and let the day take you.
May we all live light, because everything is already okay.

Jan27

Get Rooted

Grounding is an important practice for a sense of balance and security. When we feel uprooted it can be unnerving and create fear based reactions. When we balance our selves and focus on the muladhara (root chakra) we move with greater skill because we are not thrown off so easily. No matter if we are in a yoga class balancing on one foot or are moving across the world we are able to adjust and adapt.

This week in the Online Studio you will find videos giving different practices of grounding. In the move section you will explore different standing poses that help build strong roots into the earth. Sit practices that build mental grounding strength, as well as breathing and Live Light practices.

Shanti,

Liza

Jan18