Archive | January 2018

Accountability

Last week my family and I watched a movie called Circle.  It was a thought provoking movie where Mae Holland (played by Emma Watson from the Harry Potter series) got her dream job with the world’s most powerful tech and social media company.  Encouraged by the company’s founder (played by Tom Hanks) to participate in a ground breaking social experiment. She became “totally transparent” where she was on live web feed during her daily life. It showed the world with real time feedback from her “followers” of her daily interactions under the premise that a person inherently behaves better for themselves and with others within society if they know someone is watching. I totally recommend watching this as she took the social experiment and ran with it, and in my opinion, we could do with some of this transparency in Washington and in the world in general. (I am sure several would agree!) I won’t spoil the movie any further than that. But I liked it alot even though the rotten tomatoes rating wasn’t great.

 The Circle 

I know that to some reading this, I may have just described an anxiety trigger for you.  I apologize if this is the reaction you had.  I know that a lot of people are very anti- “big brother” and they are entitled to their reasons and opinions, but please stick with me a bit longer.  Everyone is wired differently and have different life experiences that shape them into the people they are.  Some people self-reflect and know their behavior patterns and some people are oblivious to how they act toward themselves and with others. I fall more in the first group.  No talkingNow, that is not to say that I haven’t had to eat my fair share of crow in my lifetime.
There have been times that I spoke before I engaged the brain into gear. I can’t tell you the number of times that I was berated as a child to think before I spoke. Or the times that I was told that I should not speak unless spoken to. 

 

After much reflecting on my life (as one my age tends to do from time to time) I have noted that I generally fall into the category that I prefer to live my life out loud.  After all, if something I do, either for someone or to someone or visa versa, and if someone could benefit from my example, so be it! I have always been a “helper” in this sense. Even when there are tasks on the hubby’s “honey do” list, I generally will help if I am able, that way this will make the task/job go by faster, so we can move on to a more fun thing to do. I think that this quality about me is what set me apart and was a quality that some of my fellow Yoga Teacher Trainees told me after graduation that they wish they could do.  They told me that I was not afraid to just come right out with – whatever.  They told me that they could never be like that.  My question to them, why not?    If I can help you, we can all benefit in the long run.  Right?

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I would like to do an experiment of my own and try some of what Mae Holland did in the movie. I won’t record all the time, but I will post brief recorded bits here, and on my Instagram accountFacebook page and Twitter account of my daily practice, whether it be yoga, meditation or on the subject of meditation or perhaps some of me thinking out loud about day to day topics as they relate to yoga, body positivity, workplace wellness, etc.   I will probably mix it up and put a little here, a little there just to keep you on your toes.

My reason for doing this is  to help offset some of mainstream media & the internet’s tidal waves full of images of thin, hyper-flexible yogis that tend to intimidate a lot of people. I understand that is a source of inspiration for some, but that tends to have the opposite effect to those persons who would like to try yoga. They talk themselves out of trying yoga before they even get on a mat because they think their bodies could never attain what the image projects to the viewer.  SO, I am here to do my part in breaking the cycle.  Yoga is for EVERYONE! 20160330_123104

I am really inspired to step outside my comfort zone for the greater good of the evolution of our Yoga community thanks to trailblazers Anna Guest-Jelley, Dianne Bondy, Amber Karnes, Melanie Klein and many others-

I have broken out my inner Warrior!

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Yoga is not all just Asana*

*(Those seemingly impossible “let’s bend our bodies into a pretzel” poses)

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You may see, or may not see all over the internet, “Yoga is not just Asana” Do you ever wonder what all that is about? I used to not think anything of it. Until I decided to make an (a small, but growing) adjustment to my life and mindset. I don’t know if it was even a conscious decision or if it came with age or a point in my practice where I started to self-examine more. I’ve never been much of an inquisitive person, I pretty much would go with the flow. I just let my gut/heart lead the way.  When I went to Yoga Teacher Training (YTT) I had NO CLUE what I was getting into! Instead of walking into a situation with my “eyes wide open”; I committed myself to this program with “eyes really shut”! I just let my soul guide me through the experience. And boy what an experience it was!! Talk about an eye-opening, mind-blowing experience! There really is more to yoga than just the physical stuff on the yoga mat!!
Now, first I should preface this to say that I came to yoga relatively late in life and didn’t take the plunge to become a Yoga teacher until I was past 50. So, you could say that I was deeply rooted in my ways and came to this experience with over half a century of baggage! Really old dilapidated baggage. Deeply rooted mental and physical scars (otherwise known in Yoga speak as Samskaras)
I learned a lot throughout the course. I must admit though that I was overly critical of myself and judging myself by others’ experiences (one of the things you are NOT supposed to do). There were other yoga teacher trainees that were having a lot of epiphanies and profound changes in their mindsets while going through the course. I would witness other trainee’s breakdown in tears while explaining the shift within themselves. They were having profound life changing experiences. I thought of myself as “broken” in a way because I was not having these profound “a-ha moments” like others in my class. It wasn’t until years later (now) that I am realizing (the information is still sinking in) that I perhaps already went through similar life altering experiences, but in different ways earlier in my life and that my reaction to it them was different, as we all are different. Or it very well could be that I just haven’t “arrived” to that point of self-examination yet.  Time will only tell and living life is all a learning experience.
Anyway, getting back to the Yoga is not just Asana, or Yoga is not just the poses on the mat. Yoga is big and profound, or it can be subtle. Just taking a moment to smell the proverbial roses is a yogic act. Taking a few moments to take a few long slow breaths before walking into a meeting to settle your nerves is practicing yoga. Thinking before you speak and choosing your words wisely is a mindful, yogic act. I know that I am being overly simplistic, but why not just start there? It’s Just like dipping your toes into the water so to speak.

In the coming weeks, I hope to be posting more of my thought processes and learning experience in the coming weeks so perhaps lift some of the mystery of Practicing Yoga as a mid-lifer in a fixer-upper body.  I would love to hear from you too.  Let’s make this a dialogue.

Namaste’ Y’all

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