blissfully tired…

what a week…and still a few days to go. all week has been yoga yoga yoga and now the omega conference with the most inspiring speakers and the most delightful people all communing here in new york city…i’m still processing it all but have so much to share once i do get my head around it.

i’ve had the opportunity to listen to mia farrow speak about darfur, and caroline myss spoke about st. teresa of avila. rev. michael beckwith spoke about spiritual evolution, andrew harvey read rumi poems passionately, valerie plame wilson shared her strength in speaking your truth… and that’s not all…and would you believe i still have another day?

my head is spinning…

downstairs from deanna’s pad a party is in full motion…latino music and laughter pulsing through the floor. and  just one street over there is an exquisite courtyard filled with daffodils and the most artistically shaped trees in full springtime bloom, the delicate pink and white petals being lifted on the warm evening breeze and drifting through the soft muted yellow of the street lamp to layer the path like snow.

i am so thankful to be bearing witness to all of this, this evening. but it’s time for me to go to sleep…and so good night to all of you, and good night, moon…

i really heart new york…

here i am in the big apple!

i’ve journeyed into the chilly north (ok. to all you northerners. i get it. it’s really cold. you weren’t kidding) and i’m enjoying a mini yoga-tribe & city culture retreat. my bff from college, the divine beauty ms. deanna on the left below (and yup, that’s me on the right) lives in the east village and her cozy little pad is my home base for the week! We took the pic with my mac photobooth right before hitting the town on saturday evening for a delicious dinner of wine and ravioli at a basque restaurant nearby. i am in heaven.

little sis/big sis

i’ll be touching in as often as i can to talk to you about what i’ve learned here, i’ve already experienced two heavenly yoga classes that i’m still digesting on so many levels. physically, they were VERY demanding, emotionally cleansing, and intellectually…wow… i’m so inspired already. in addition to the omega yoga conference, i’m signed up to take a class with yogasweri, a gifted instructor at jivamukti that i’ve been reading about. she was featured briefly in the crazy, sexy, cancer documentary about chris karr and her amazing journey of celebrating love and health… (check that out too).

ta for now…off for coffee and exploring!

much love and many om shantis!

when i know that i am the ocean, i am not afraid of the waves…

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isn’t this just beautiful? i loved it instantly, but then the artists inspiration for it really took my breath away…

“when i know that i am the ocean, i am not afraid of the waves.”

penelope dullaghan is one of my newest heroes, and i’ve been reading her blog for a little bit now. i discovered that she will be teaching at the squam art workshop that i’m eagerly anticipating this fall. her “earth project” workshop is my first choice! she is selling a limited edition of these prints on her website today…for an amazingly fair price. if you are so moved…you should get one for yourself and support her.

“when i know that i am the ocean, i am not afraid of the waves.”

such a poetic and elegant way to express that ultimate knowing of the unity with all things that is the lesson inherent in the practice of yoga and meditation. and too, as a surfer-girl-in-constant-lifelong-training, i am always having to overcome my deep-seated, primal fear of the ocean, it has eased over time, and in fact my personal revolution time in yoga training was a period of evolution in my surfing as well, and i was lucky enough to do my training in nosara, costa rica, an amazing surfing village on the pacific coast.

but our girl here…graced with this knowledge that she is one with the ocean, lifts her calm, serene gaze out toward the swell that is heading her way, knowing exactly what she’ll need to do in order to ride that wave all the way to the beach.

she is an inspiration…and so are you penelope…thank you, for bringing her into our world!

love!

a visible sign of invisible grace…

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some more inspiration from john o’donahue in his book anam cara.

the body is the mirror of the soul

the body is a sacrament. the old, traditional definition of sacrament captures this beautifully.

a sacrament is a visible sign of invisible grace.

in that definition there is a fine acknowledgement of how the unseen world comes to expression in the visible world. all our inner life and intimacy of soul longs to find an outer mirror. it longs for a form in which it can be seen, felt, and touched. the body is the mirror where the secret world of the soul comes to expression. the body is a sacred threshold; and it deserve to be respected, minded, and understood it its spiritual nature.

~~~

i’ve been reading this in my classes this week, and each time something new bubbles up. the idea of the body as this moving, breathing, work of art that is an expression of invisible grace, of the divine. that we ourselves are art in all our movements, our expressions. the idea that we can live a life of art (rather than an artistic life). the countless ways we can move and be still. the millions of ways we can express the invisible grace.

think of the possibilities of each moment… move in wonder!

love.

(& many thanks to swirlygirl & her sparkletopia for sending some new friends my way xOx!)

revolutionary love…

found on shiva rea‘s website…

“At the risk of sounding ridiculous, I say all true revolutionaries are guided by great feelings of love.” ~ Che Guevara

What is your revolutionary love?

i love…

…that eddie vedder has become the beat poet of our generation (listen to the into the wild soundtrack).

…that the first words on the back of a box of annie’s organic mac n’ cheese are *thank you*!

…that {we} have created the sort of life where a friend can stop over any time and visit for hours and throw off all our plans, but that makes the day better than it would have been.

… the interweb :) and how it connects countless soul sisters, and like minds and hearts through words and pictures over thousands of miles and dozens of countries.

…digital photography and the way you can capture a moment and share it with everyone so quickly and how it has opened up so many people creatively to share the vignettes of their lives.

…the sound of the mandolin.

…the deep stutter-breath sigh of duncan when he finally gets everything just right and can relax…meaning…both bryan and i are sitting still (preferably one of us is rubbing his ears) and he doesn’t have to worry about being left behind – whether we are going downstairs or to costa rica doesn’t matter to his little brain

…candlelight and how it makes even the mundane feel special.

…organic tomatoes.

…words and putting them together just so.

…cafe’s and cafe latte’s and belgian waffles with fresh fruit.

…saturday night and sunday morning and…

…yoga…

…and you :).

love!

bathe deeply…

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Bathe deeply in that ocean of sound
which is even now vibrating within you,
resonating softly,
permeating the space of the heart.

The ear that is tuned by rapt listening
learns to hear the song of creation.

First like a hand bell,
then subtler like a flute,
then subtler still as a stringed instrument,
eventually as the buzz of a bee.
Entering this current of sound, the Listening One
forgets the external world, and becomes
absorbed into internal sound,
and then absorbed in vastness
like the song of the stars as they shine.

(from…the radiance sutras…an as yet to be published collection of the tantric sutras that has found expression in an underground movement of yoga instructors.)

love!

photo courtesy of gypsygirl with much love and gratitude…

mula bandha…

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this blog began not so long ago, because i was asked by some students/friends to expand a bit…to reach out and share more about yoga and to personalize the studio experience on the web. and over the past few weeks i’ve noticed i don’t talk much about *yoga* as in the asanas, or teaching, or insights gleaned on the mat but rather, what seems to bubble out of me is more about my yoga life… off the mat. the lessons i learn each day. creativity (and yoga to me is a creative process). this has been so interesting to me, to watch what appears, to see what i feel inspired to share. today i feel like talking about yoga on the mat…

i’ve been struggling with an injury for the past few months. something in my illio-sacral joint on the left side. a sharp point of pain, a tightening of a ligament that reaches to my hip. it doesn’t bother me in practice, but i wake up the next morning sore, a bit hobbled. my practice has suffered, i sense fear as i go into certain poses (not because of immediate pain, but because of a delayed pain i may trigger). this has made it a little difficult to figure out exactly what i’m doing wrong…since there is no immediate sharp indicator or twinge or zing of pain, i’m not sure which postures are the problem. so i’ve gone inside…trying to figure it out on my own. listening to my body. i was sensing that my hips had become so open that they were too open, and that maybe i had actually weakend them. searching for how to resolve this i found an article in yoga journal about the illios-sacral joint slipping out of alignment and the pain it causes…this was exactly it and my body was right. i’m too open, and the surrounding muscles and ligaments are too loose, no longer supporting my pelvis.

at last an answer.

the solution? mula-bandha…so simple and yet so profound (i love yoga!). the mula-bandha is the root lock. this is something we talked about in yoga training…but i have found that it is rarely mentioned in any of the classes i’ve taken before or since, and in my own practice i hardly think about it. embarrassing to admit. but therein lies the problem. perhaps because the anatomy of discussing the root lock is embarassing, teachers hesitate teaching it…but as i’ve discovered this lock is the key to everything ;).

mula-bandha is a physical and energetic practice of drawing inward. the bandha is located at the base of the pelvis, technically the perineum. to engage it you would lift the pelvic floor (pretty deeply), for women it feels like doing a kegel exercise, drawing all the muscles of the surrounding area (bum, etc) in and up. i’m starting to think of it as a bit like drawing energy up a straw. in a physical sense it engages all those muscles that protect the pelvis, and the lower chakras. in an energetic sense it connects you to the circuit of energy moving up and down your spine (and more broadly of course the energy of the universe). metaphysically it draws your attention inward. over time it gets easier, and takes less effort and attention, but like anything you need to practice.

try it…

throughout your day, engage that lock and notice how it changes your awareness of your body, your posture, observe how you feel. do it standing at the sink rinsing dishes. do it when you are sitting at a red light. do it in your yoga classes, find the posture in a general way, engage that bandha, and then go deeper. do it when you are sitting in meditation and breathe with your mula-bandha. notice how it changes the breath and how the breath changes the lock.

just be with your bandha for a few days. this is your root. tap into it’s energy and see what happens…i’ll be sharing my experience with you, but i’d love to hear what you think, too…

love!

p.s. thanks swirlygirl for the picture ;)