By Laura Mills
This summer I’ve done all kinds of neat things—like attend a yoga retreat, spend a weekend downtown as a Chicago “tourist,” install granite countertops in my kitchen, reorganize my basement, master Mandarin Chinese, learn to play the banjo, and drive across the country—in my mind. That is to say I’ve daydreamed over and over that I made these things happen. Some of these things I’ve even wistfully discussed with friends, making them all the more delicious. Yet as of this moment each remains, well…unfinished. Some even remain un-attempted.
Yep, I dream big. I make lists with lofty headings like “Things I Want To Do This Year” and “What I Want to Accomplish.” Yet more often than not the items on my list remain on my list. Even the small steps towards accomplishing those items remain. And when I look at or think about my list, I feel sad and silly for being all talk and no action.
It’s not that I’m lazy or unmotivated…far from it. But I am intimidated.
After all, dreams and goals are scary. Not only do they represent the unknown that lies ahead, but also they require that we muster our abilities to act and follow through. And acting on a dream or goal is hard—it requires energy and acceptance of whatever changes the acting sets off. Following through is even harder—it requires loyalty to the dream or goal, even when circumstances get tough and the desired outcome seems impossible. Frankly, for me, these days I feel quite unenergetic and definitely unwilling to persevere with anything that’s not absolutely necessary.
I don’t believe the solution is to dream less or to dream smaller. Rather, the solution is a rethinking of what’s really necessary. Not a cross-country vacation or the mastering of a new language…but dreaming, itself, is necessary. The wish to do more, see more, be more, know more. As long as we have dreams—even unattainable or unrealistic ones—every breath we take brings more hope to the world. Realistically I may never learn to play the banjo, for example, yet my dreams about it cause the opening of doors in my mind that I didn’t know existed and that very well may lead somewhere amazing. Any open door is hope. And hope never, ever hurts.
By Laura Mills
I’ve never been very active in conservation or environmental activism. Sure, I recycle, I try not to waste paper, I only turn on the washing machine and dishwasher when they’re full…but I’ve never done anything out of the ordinary to lessen my impact on the planet. This summer, though, as the hotter-than-usual temperatures kept appearing on the weather outlook, I started to think more and more about my impact.
I know if I really wanted, I could take any of a number of actions like joining an environmental group or “greening” my daily routine as much as possible. But I wanted to do something IMMEDIATE, like in the ten minutes before I left for class one particular afternoon. So, remembering a few suggestions from a magazine, I closed all curtains to keep the house cooler and unplugged all unnecessary appliances and electronics to conserve energy.
No, I’m not congratulating myself on single-handedly ending climate change; I didn’t for a minute believe I would save the planet by darkening my living room or unplugging my bedside lamp. But I did survive just fine without conveniences ready at a moment’s notice, which as a human being today IS a very big deal. The planet may not be better off from my efforts, but I am, as I added just a little more simplicity—not to mention what I believe is good karma—to the world around me.
And besides, first steps are often pretty small, anyway.
Don't Expect Anything
Don't Expect Anything
By Laura Mills
One of the first things my husband and I wanted to do upon arriving at our vacation destination was a sight-seeing river cruise. We found the correct pier, bought tickets, and boarded the boat for a 1-hour river tour. We were supposed to return to the same pier at the tour's end, but we noticed at that time that the bodn't stop. A few moments later, one of the guides told us over the intercom that our pier and others nearby had been closed in the last hour due to a rowing race, the participants of which would pass that way along their route. In the meantime, our boat had to wait on the opposite side of the river for however long it took all the race participants to row past.
This occurred at 4pm on the first day of our trip. My husband and I had landed in the city at 7:30 that morning and hadn't had a significant sleep or meal since early the day before. By then, all we wanted to do was disembark, freshen up, and find a restaurant. Then the boats started passing. I had never seen a rowing race before; suddenly, there we were on a boat near the south bank of a river in the middle of a beautiful city watching this race. And better than even front-row seats, we were watching the action from the level of the race itself.
It wound up being very, very, very cool, not a bad way to start a vacation after all, and another reminder that sometimes we just literally have to go with the flow
FAITH IS A VERB AN ACTION
April 7, 2011. Spiritual practice doesn't mean we don't ever face self doubt or worry. We do. The difference for me in my life is that when this happens I know better questions to ask myself. Then it’s a matter of believing, trusting, having pure faith. We are destined to rise to life’s highest ideal if we just keep the faith and trust in ourselves. This is like a promise we make to ourselves, an example of the most important kind of active faith for it’s the promise of believing in our best happiness. Now what I like most about Faith is best offered in the words of Sharon Salzberg who writes, “In Pali, faith is a verb, an ACTION, as it is also in Latin and Hebrew. Faith is not a singular state that we either have or don’t have , but is something that we do. We ‘faithe”. It is the willingness to take the next step, to see the unknown as an adventure, to launch a journey. Faith is what gets us out of bed, opens us to the possibility that our lives can be different. Though we may repeatedly stumble, afraid to move forward in the dark, we have the strength to take that magnitude of risk because of faith.”
Through FAITH we can see that although heartache or hurt exists in the world with Faith we will recover. Helen Keller says it like this, “Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it.” How do we action our faith? First we must accept that Faith is active, it’s something we have to take responsibility in doing. We can’t expect our healing to happen if we aren’t most interested in our own healings. I believe Jon Kabat Zinn who defines trust as “spiritual and emotional maturity”. It takes faith to have confidence in our potential for evolving in our maturity (physically, emotionally, emotionally). In yoga this is the most advanced pose, loving ourselves.
As Rumi writes, We are the mirror as well as the face in it. We are pain and what cures pain both. He encourages us to be the catalyst for faith healing our own wounds. How do we do this? Rumi puts it most simply when he writes:
I love myself...I love you.
I love you...I love myself.
So join me and let's faithe everyday, without fail and watch ourselves and the world grow in love. Love yourself, love your day, love your life! Silvia
PS Here are the two Salutations we learned and practiced in backbending class this day.
4th Chakra Namaskar Hridaya Namaskar (Heart Salutation)
INHALE – Urdva Bhujangasana (Standing Backbend)
EXHALE— Uttanasana (Forward Fold-Hands Down Thighs)
INHALE – Eka Pada Prasarita Padottanasana (Standing Splits)
EXHALE - Ardha Anjaneyasana Right (Low Lunge) Prep
INHALE/EXHALE – Ardha Anjaneyasana Flow Side to Side
INHALE -- Ardha Anjaneyasana (Low Lunge)-Back Bend full expression!
EXHALE –Anahatasana (Quarter Dog)
INHALE – Bhujapidasana (Cobra)
EXHALE – (Lay on Belly)
INHALE -- Urdhva Mukha Svanasana (Up Dog)
EXHALE – Adho Mukha Svanasana (Down Dog)
INHALE - Eka Pada Adho Mukha Svanasana Left Leg (1 Leg Dog)
EXHALE - Ardha Anjaneyasana Right (Low Lunge) Prep
INHALE/EXHALE – Ardha Anjaneyasana Flow Side to Side
INHALE - Ardha Anjaneyasana (Low Lunge)-Back Bend full expression!
EXHALE - Eka Pada Prasarita Padottanasana (Standing Splits)
INHALE/EXHALE – Uttanasana (Forward Fold-Hands Down Thighs)
INHALE – Urdva Bhujangasana (Standing Backbend)
*Repeat again but stand on left leg this time, step back right
5th Chakra Namaskar
INHALE - Upward Plank
EXHALE - Lower Hips
INHALE - Boat
EXHALE - Plow
INHALE - Tip Toe Pose Urdva Hasta Arm Position
EXHALE - Forward Fold Arms Fly Back Chin to Chest
INHALE - Tip Toe Pose to Camel
EXHALE - Camel backbend
INHALE - Place hands prepare
EXHALE - Plank to floor
INHALE – Cobra Low
EXHALE – Locust
INHALE – Bow no hands
EXHALE - Rest
INHALE – Cobra High
EXHALE - Downward Dog
INHALE - Jump to Sukhasana
WHY ARE YOGIS MORE ATTRACTIVE
February 13, 2011. Day 4 of Love Blogging 21 days in 2011. Here is a super simple fact about energy: It is attracted to the same kind of energy. Like energy attracts like energy. When we breath, feel, live from our heart energy we attract more of the same. And I can prove it. (Science supports this too.) This is otherwise known as the law of attraction. And interesting enough when you feel good you are more attractive. Yoga teaches us that our natural state is one of happiness. We are born that way and meant to live that way. There is nothing wrong with enjoying life!
A great way to test this out for yourself is to practice SMILING MORE. This was #11 on my list of 11 Things to Say Yes to in 2011 (an earlier blog posting). Develyn Steele says, "Smiling changes your attitude, raises your confidence, and makes you more attractive." Whether you believe it or not smiling changes how you feel. If you doubt this then start smiling and thinking positive thoughts and see what develops. You will find that you can't help but have a more elevated attitude (Pratipaksha Bhavana) when you smile or even think about when you were last smiling. Today we practiced a guided visualization with our left side to experience what it feels like physically to smile with each part of our body. Then we could sense for ourselves how the right and left sides of our bodies felt differently from one another. From there we used different types of movement (both jala water influenced flow and fire agni) to see what impact both had on our feeling state as well as how planting a smile here in there influenced the poses like plank.
You see smiling affects our emotions because of a body-brain connection. It triggers scientifically measurable activity in the left frontal cortex of the brain where happiness is registered. And what is even more fascinating to support this theory of the law of attraction or how we attract similar energy is that of the 44 muscles of the face that allow us to create more than 5000 different types of expressions, each of those expressions will have a unique affect on the way you feel and how OTHERS feel about you.
When you smile with your heart and with your thoughts you cultivate a naturalness towards positive thinking at the same time. Here's a real life example: I didn't always believe in green lights. Then I practiced smiling more both on the mat and off. All of a sudden I started to believe in the possibility of green lights. From there through the power of positive thinking I started to believe I should receive Green Lights everyday, not just sometimes. And eventually I grew even more confident and started putting out to the universe that I deserved to Green Light my LIFE.
That is how profound an impact this practice can have on your life. I know because it's had this amazing impact on changing my life for the better and best. I smile more and I laugh all the time and truly I do get green lights. And you can too! Love yourself, love your day, love your life! Silvia
PS Join me on retreat this year www.alchemytours.com
11 WAYS TO SAY YES IN 2011!
JANUARY 31, 2011. MORE YES! Here we are in the beginning of the year. Eleven months more to go which means there is still plenty of time to set the foundation of YES in your life in 2011. Let's start by saying YES to a little quiz. First question to ask yourself is (1) are you conscious and alert to your Yes choices? (2) Do you say Yes more than you say No? (3) What do you say YES to?
In Tantric philosophy we start with "yes". It is our first choice. We say yes to opening, softening, receiving and lay the way in understanding that YES IS DOING! Or as is written in the Alchemist, "There is only one way to learn, it's through action. Everything you need to know you have learned through your journey." You see Yoga is learning to align with nature rather than resisting it or trying to over control it by saying No all the time. This spiritual practice is about saying YES as the immediate response to life. Wayne Gretzky is so right on "You miss 100% of the shots you don't take." Yes means taking the chance, risking it all for love, for a happier life, for a happier YOU. Will you get hurt? Maybe. Is it worth it? YES! So join me in aligning 11 INTENTIONS to 2011, in these eleven remaining months of the year.
So here are 11 things to say YES to in 2011
- Yoga, Cycling, Culture and Wine in Tuscany, Italy June 19-26, 2011 or October 16-22, 2011
- 10 minutes of meditation 5 in the morning and 5 in the evening
- Practicing patience with the one person you love
- Walk or ride a bike for 15 min a day
- Yoga, Mountain Biking and Adventure in Moab, Utah April 16-19, 2011 or Oct 27-30, 2011
- Take a Private Yoga Session
- Taking a few deep breaths before sending an email, text, or phone call. What is your intention for communication and does it come from love?
- Start reading the Yoga Sutras (Secret Power of Yoga is one of my favorites!)
- Get some Beach Therapy. Yoga in Xinalani Mexico Feb 26-March 5, 2011 or Big Island Hawaii Dec 18-23, 2011
- Practice gratitude daily. Write or think of 3 things you are grateful for each morning or before bed.
- SMILE more!
Take to heart that doing something is the Yes. And when you decide you are clear on what you say YES to, then everything is there to support you. It is as is written in the Alchemist "When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it." At the end of the day what you say YES to isn't even as important as just doing it! Love yourself, love your day, love your life, Silvia
PS - Join me on retreat www.alchemytours.com or www.silviamordini.com
POWER OF ATTRACTION
JANUARY 11, 2011: Everything is energy according to quantum physics. The whole universe is energy: Water, air, soil, light, the stars, even you. And the most powerful form of energy we have, that makes us different than all other living creatures is our THOUGHTS. Our thoughts are made of energy as well. This is how quantum physics puts it "the object is influenced by the observer". After all, what we call reality is in essence our brain’s interpretations to the data gathered by the sensory cells in our eyes, ears, nose, tongue and skin. Without you, there will be no reality, so to speak. We co-create our reality. Our physical universe is ‘shapeable’.
When you have a thought, it carries (or rather is) energy and goes out all the way to the universe. This energy contains the contents of your thoughts and the Universe starts to manifest it. Yoga is for the mind and is our means of organizing the energy of our thoughts.
“In a plain piece of metal, all the molecules are in chaos facing every which way. A magnet is a similar piece of metal in which all the molecules are perfectly aligned – the north poles facing one way, and the south poles facing in the opposite direction. Because of this alignment, the magnet gains the power to attract and hold other objects. If you stroke the ordinary metal and the magnet together in one direction only, the magnet will align all the molecules in the plain metal with itself, causing a second magnet to emerge. The power to attract and hold has been transmitted from one to the other, while amazingly enough the initial magnet retains its full strength. As we align our energies this way through regulating our breath with movement we maintain calm through the ordinary emotional roller coaster rides we encounter each day. We find that when we are upset, everything around us reflects the same disturbance, as if it is somehow contagious. When tranquility prevails, it magnetizes everything with the same sense of calmness.” (Story from The Secret Power Of Yoga.)
I teach yoga to be a magnet for all my students. I pass on to them what has been shared with me by my teachers who served as my magnet. I want all that come to my classes to feel the power they hold within themselves to attract their best life ever. We accomplish this by organizing our breathing, our thoughts in a way that designs the future that serves our truest potential.
Even after just one class together you become a magnet for positive thought and experience in your life! And then you share this with your families and friends and the yoga works through you to make the world a better place based on the energy of Love. Love yourself, love your day, love your life! Silvia
*Join me magnetize yourself more on yoga retreat www.silviamordini.com or www.alchemytours.com
EMOTIONAL SPLINTERS, PIMPLES AND HANGNAILS
Have you ever had a hangnail? What about a pimple? A splinter?
This weekend I broke a nail. Tragic!! Oooh the pain, the challenge, the distraction! Yeah, I know its not that big a deal. But at the time it hurt. But to add insult to injury as life has a sense of humor, long past being a teenager I still get pimples. Terrible stuff. And that too, if I let it, creates a little drama inside my head. But enough about me, what about you? Do you lets little things like pimples, broken nails, splinters fully absorb all your attention?
It's funny that way isn't it? Here are these small inconveniences and yet we can get totally distracted where everything else seems to lose significance. All we think about is that one small thing!
One of my favorite writings puts it like this, "Negative emotions are like splinters. They pierce our consciousness grab hold of our minds and consume our thoughts to the point that we can lose sight of our desire for contentment compassion and deeper awareness. Most of us can recall the times we have felt hurt or angered by harsh words or actions of others and how we have held on to our pain processing it over and over in our minds like a never ending one sided argument. We often hold on to these emotional splinters for weeks months and even years. Holding onto negative thoughts always increases our pain, causing us to be distracted, dysfunctional and even depressed."
So what are your emotional broken nails? Do you have emotional splinters overriding your life right now? I'll tell you day 1 of broken nail my mind kept going back to it, I saw this was a problem and by day 2 I was already able to retrain my mind to be more present, by day 3 I only thought about my broken nail 4 times, by day 4 I only let it absorb my attention twice. You see yoga is for the mind. There is an answer to our emotional hangnails. Just like getting a splinter out of the body, once we decide we don't want to replay the negative or hurtful thoughts over and over can we begin to heal.
And yoga does heal. It has healed me, it has healed hundreds of students I've seen through the years, it has healed the teacher trainees I've had the privilege of working with for 9 sessions. Yoga can offer you healing too. This philosophy comes from the Yoga Sutras, Chapter 2.33 Pratipaksha Bhavana. Where when we are faced with something hurtful we cultivate an elevated attitude, we move our mind away from the petty distraction and dramas. In other words WE DO NOT FREAK OUT. Do not Panic. All the stuff that is flying around outside us we call life is just external agitation. Yoga helps us to quiet the mind through concentrated focus on breath, movement, sensation to move away from the external pimples and to the place deep inside our hearts where peace always exists. Where there is no drama.
This comes as a result in great part simply by bringing awareness to the small stuff and often just laughing at ourselves and our humanness and what silly creatures we are. We learn to shift from a splinter to the important experiences of loving ourselves, loving others, living honestly and with total commitment to our overall happiness.
"Any of us in deep hurt know that shifting our feelings is much easier said than done. We actually become pyschologically and nuerologically habituated to sharp toxic emotions to that point we we often find ourselves over-responding making the tiniest splinter of perceived negative experience feel like shrapnel piercing our hearts. As we perpetuate this response it becomes such an ingrained habit that we often feel unable to control our behavior." So the firs step to healing your emotional broken nails is to know it is possible to change the habits of your mind. Every yoga class you experience will help you do that. And through this process of practice "we can transform our splinters to salve, anger into compassion, hate into love, fear into courage and yes even pain into joy!" Love yourself, love your day, love your life! Silvia
Join me with alchemy tours in 2011 www.alchemytours.com
WHAT DO YOU SAY YES TO?
NOVEMBER 20, 2010. What do you say YES to? Are you conscious and alert to your Yes choices? Do you say Yes more than you say No? Or do you just pick the stuff that is the most convenient?
We are in many ways organisms of convenience so what Pema Chodran writes hits home, “when you hear some teachings that ring true to you and feel some trust in its being a worthwhile way to live then you’re in for a lot inconvenience. From an everyday perspective it seems good to do things that are kind of convenient; there is no problem with that. It’s just that when you really start to take the warrior’s journey – which is to say, when you start to want to live your LIFE FULLY, when you begin to feel this passion for life and for growth, when discovery and exploration and curiosity become your path – then basically, it you follow your heart, you’re going to find that it’s often extremely inconvenient.”
"There is only one way to learn," the alchemist answered. "It's through action. Everything you need to know you have learned through your journey." (The Alchemist To Santiago.) In Tantric philosophy we start with "yes". It is our first response. We say yes to opening, softening, receiving and...
YES IS DOING!
Take to heart this blessing: "You miss 100% of the shots you don't take." Wayne Gretzky is so right on. Doing something is the Yes. And when you decide you are clear on what you say YES to, then everything is there to support you. It is as is written in the Alchemist "When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it." At the end of the day what you say YES to isn't even as important as just doing something, saying YES is your commitment to living the moment full blast! Love yourself, love your day, love your life, Silvia
Join me on retreat www.alchemytours.com or www.silviamordini.com
GROUPON FEATURING TOTAL BODY YOGA!
NOVEMBER 12, 2010. So great to have our Groupon friends CHOOSE US for the deal today and tomorrow! Tell your friends $30 for 11 classes, 70% OFF regular price. Or if you have been away from the practice then take advantage of this deal and come back.
I know the the world has been full of financial CONTRACTION. Well this is our way of putting energy into the world of ABUNDANCE! We want everyone to practice yoga, we want this in our way to contribute to the world's greater happiness. Love to all! Silvia
GROUPON LINK: Or go to our facebook page to click therehttp://firstname.lastname@example.org&utm_content=standard
PS - Great Holiday, Christmas Gift!!!
DROP IN TUNE IN BE PRESENT
NOVEMBER 11, 2010. Sit down, DROP IN, TUNE IN, BE PRESENT. That's it. This is yoga! And this yoga can be practiced anytime, without any warm-up, anywhere, with anyone or by yourself. I know you were probably thinking it would be harder or more complicated? But nah, Yoga teaches us that when we are not present our minds become totally distracted and our thoughts are all over the place, starting stopping, wandering from one thing to the other at often break neck speed. If we pay attention we harness the power of our thoughts. As a human being this is what distinguishes us from other creatures and is our GREATEST STRENGTH.
Forgetting to pay attention happens to the best of us.
The Yoga Sutras say “enjoyment is the sweetness of noticing your life right now – smell, taste, feeling, sensation” You see in times of doubt the key thing to know is that there is a point to it all. Even when we don’t understand why things are happening in our life we can rest assured as Sadie Nardini says, “alongside positive change, challenge appears.” This is why the greater point to spiritual practice is simply to drop in, tune in and PAY ATTENTION.
My teacher Shiva Rea says, "All beings have their yoga. This insight comes from a profound contemplation by Abhinavagupta. [He was] a prolific 12th-century scholar. He has this great axiom about yoga which is “tuning ourselves into our essential vibration.” We are learning how to tune ourselves into being present. This is why we go a yoga class. We feel out of tune. We start to feel in tune after the practice. I think only human beings distort ourselves to be something that we already are, our essential selves. For instance, a tiger essentially knows its nature; where as human beings have this incredible capacity to forget who we are and then have to search for ourselves."
Or as one of my favorite quotes reads "When you come to the edge and are about to drop off into the unknown, one of two things will happen: There will be something solide to stand on or You will be taught to fly."
I know from my own practice that the most powerful thing we can do is just be present to whatever is happening, tune in and trust that ability to focus one's thoughts will be enough to bring the clarity you need for the next moment. And we only live one breath, one moment at a time. Love yourself, love your day, love your life! Silvia
PS Join me on a Yoga retreat with Alchemy Tours and without distraction really tune in to what you want for your life!
NOVEMBER 10, 2010. Jon Kabat Zinn says, "too often our lives cease working because we cease working at life."
Yoga teaches us that when we are not present our minds become totally distracted and our thoughts are all over the place, starting stopping, wandering from one thing to the other at often break neck speed. If we pay attention we harness the power of our thoughts. As a human being this is what distinguishes us from other creatures and is our GREATEST STRENGTH! Yet our least utilized. When we start the practice first thing we do is remind everyone to be conscious of their breathing, to pay attention to the breath: anapana sati breathing technique. Not being bossy just watching it. For as Gabrielle Roth writes in the book Sweat your Prayers, "the breath is promiscuous, and if you don't pay it attention it will find another lover."
Consider how tuned in to your breath you have to be to experience this from Pieree Teilhard De Chardin “The inhale and the exhale. Breathing out carbon dioxide to the trees and breathing in their fresh exudations. Oxygen kissing each cell awake, atoms dancing in orderly metabolism, interpenetrating. That dance of the air cycle, breathing the universe in and out again, is what you are, is what I am.” Wow! All he is talking about is paying attention to the breath.
Then by paying attention to the breath the breath reveals your state of mind and heart. “If you want to know the past, to know what has caused you, look at yourself in the present, for that is the past’s effect. If you want to know your future, then look at yourself in the present, for that is the cause of the future.” Majihima Nikaya
And as we pay attention to breath, we then pay attention to aligning our movements or poses with the breath. There is this really on purpose experience of where we put our hands and feet and energy without judgement, just observation. For what we know and don't know eventually become one. Rumi says it like this:
why are you so busy
with this or that or good or bad
pay attention to how things blend
why talk about all
the known and the unknown
see how unknown merges into the known
All that you know, all that you don't know are no longer things to be feared or apologized for or worried about. Just by paying attention the universal intelligence that loves and supports us all is working on our behalf. All we have to do is pay attention and the rest works itself out for our greater happiness. Love yourself, love your day, love your life! Silvia
PS And if you need a way to re-establish the ability to pay attention without distraction come on retreat with me. Stretch your mental and physical boundaries! Alchemy tours. Facebook us, facebook me anytime, visit our website www.alchemytours.com or www.silviamordini.com
DISTRACTION MOAB MUSINGS FROM ALCHEMY TOURS
NOVEMBER 8, 2010. As I returned from Moab Sunday evening with Carol and Rich we left behind the undistracted energy of the rocks and desert and mountains and as soon as we got off the plane in Denver were hit with the reality of distraction once again. The lights! The noise! The volume of people! The buzz in the air! It hit me with such force I felt a little sick to my stomach for a moment. And a lot confused. I thought hmmmm so that's what we live in day in and day out?
Sometimes we don't know what we don't know until we know something different. To be in Moab on a Yoga retreat with Alchemy Tours (www.alchemytours.com) mountain biking, hiking, bouldering is to be in a new world devoid of all distractions apart from our little tribe. The spiritual progress we make in this situation far surpasses what is allowable on most "normal" days when surrounded by noise, people, business, worry, speed, and anxiety. There in Moab on the rocks, there is quiet and we can all finish the conversations we start with ourselves but never seem to finish while at home because something comes up and distracts us.
"I have wandered all my life, and I have also traveled; the difference between the two being this, that we wander for distraction, but we travel for fulfillment." --Hilaire Belloc
Going on a yoga retreat is an experience of fulfillment. It is done with purpose and the guidance we offer is focused whether on a mountain bike or hike or practicing yoga. Whereas distraction is that feeling of being lost. And we've all felt lost before. Using this practice to help concentrate allows us to organize the energies around us, inside us and turn them into undistracted energy which is quite powerful. We need that laser like focus to accomplish our intentions. On the mat we take one part, one stage (krama) at a time to help achieve amazing experiences. We place our hands, lay our foundation in a downward dog, direct our energy from the focal point of our hearts to our legs and arms, feet and hands. It is bringing the macro of our life into the micro of full detailed attention.
While in Moab Geology Joel, our personal friend and ranger, guided us in Arches National Park Fiery Furnace. He had us at the end stop and look at the vista of beauty before us and passionately implored us to not just see the bigness but to get down there and touch feel be part of the detail. And that in and of itself will help us be less distracted or overwhelmed.
Today, do something that draws your energy back to you. Take time to calm the chaos and move from distraction to center. And in that center is love. So love yourself, love your day, love your life! Silvia
FOR FUTURE TRIPS TO MOAB WITH ALCHEMY TOURS PLEASE VISIT www.alchemytours.com or www.silviamordini.com save the date of April 16-19 2011 Moab, Mountain Biking, Hiking, Yoga Adventure or Oct 27-30, 2011 Moab Mountain Biking, Hiking, Yoga Adventure
EXTENDED FOCUS LAW OF ATTRACTION
SEPTEMBER 29, 2010. I am talking tonight in class about "radical affirmation of the fullness of experience" and how growth results from challenge and makes our hearts grow. This has everything to do with the law of attraction which simply states that like attracts like. This means what you think about your challenges is either an opportunity to grow positive energy which attracts more positive energy or negative energy which builds inertia. The challenge is not the problem, the way we think about it is. (The resistance to the disturbance is the disturbance.)
When you think about it, there is never any reason compelling enough to hold onto a single negative thought. Not even one. Why? Because we don't have time to waste our energy on negativity which only produces more negative energy. Life is too short to live like that. We will all experience challenge, it comes in countless forms just this week I have friends and students who have received a diagnosis, lost their jobs, are separated from their partner, kids acting out, are being harassed at work and the list goes on. However, we only get to live today once. And to focus on anger, fear or disappointment will only cause you to leak energy, the very energy you long for to make each moment count and help you meet the challenge with grace.
The key things to know about the LAW OF ATTRACTION are:
1. you don't focus your thoughts they will end up scattered in all directions. They will be circus like ping pong's stopping and starting and running about.
2. if you make no effort in directing your thoughts towards something positive they will tend towards the negative and catastrophic (known as our hard wiring the "catastrophic brain")
We practice yoga to focus our thoughts. We practice these poses and breathing to see our habitual pattern of thinking and where we tend to be auto pilot negative. We practice yoga to apply the law of attraction on the mat so we know how all day long. What you say to yourself holding a poses is either positive or negative, rarely is it neutral. And if you can direct your thoughts to be positive in an uncomfortable or difficult pose then you can certainly do that when you encounter challenges in your life.
Finally, what I'd love for you to commit to memory about the law of attraction and keep forever and share with someone you love is the following:
1. The energy of your thoughts are like a magnet. The more focused your thoughts are then the bigger your magnet and the more powerful they become at attracting similar thoughts.
2. The longer you are able to hold a positive thought in your mind, the more powerful the positive energy becomes around you.
And brain science proves that eventually by holding positive thoughts longer and longer we don't need to try so hard and control so much of what we are thinking because we are constantly surrounded by the positive vibrations that draws more of what we want to us. With positive energy hugging us in we find an easeful effort to remain positive. It becomes our way, in spite of life's challenges. So today love yourself, love your day, love your life! Silvia, ERYT and ANUSARA INSPIRED teacher
(For more yoga inspiration, life coaching while on yoga retreat or teacher trainings please visit my website www.silviamordini.com or friend me on Alchemy Tours facebook)
TODAY'S PLAYLIST: Les Enfants Qui S'aiment, Amoureux De Paris, La Serenissima, Loreena McKennitt, Fire, Coco De Mer, Elusinian Blue, Gabrielle Roth, Believer, M.I.A. MAYA, Nobody's Perfect, Madonna, Il Pescivendolo, Matteo Salvatore, I'm Outta Love, Anastacia, Prayer to Rudra, Krishna Das, That I Would Be Good, Alanis Morissette, Dedication, Kirby Shelstad, Silent Wings, Lifescapes
*1008 humble bows to the opening quote from John Friend at the Anusara Grand Gathering 2010
DOES YOGA MAKE YOU SEXY?
SEPTEMBER 11, 2010 NEWSLETTER
Salutations Friends on the Path!
This week the hot yoga topic in some circles has been about the marketing of yoga to make you slim and sexy. My first concern as a yoga instructor is not so much about sexiness as it is teaching folks that yoga is really about the Science of Happiness. I know that with consistent, regular practice you will reconnect with what you're feeling, learn healthy stress-reducing techniques (like breathing on purpose), appreciate your life more and generally engage the world in a kinder way.
As yoga teacher Donna Farhi says, "What the world needs are kinder, more compassionate, generous people." The time on the mat is our opportunity to cleanse the mind of all its distractions that make us less attractive. And as I often say in class, the biggest obstacle to a happier life is our own busy mind, and yoga is for the mind (which we access through the vehicle of the body).
Does yoga make you sexy? Well I guess so. When we are feeling peaceful and centered our faces do look prettier. And when we are kinder and move more fluidly we are more attractive. And the yoga does slow us down to make more heartfelt connections to other people. So if you come to yoga for the mental or physical reasons it doesn't matter you are a complete package as a human being and you will receive ALL the benefits: happiness, sexiness, calm. And most importantly you will naturally engage more unconditional love into your life! So love yourself, love your day, love your life, Silvia
PS Don't forget sign up now for Moab Nov 4-7th, get $500 OFF and next person who registers gets FREE Private with me1
FOCUS YOUR ENERGY USING LAW OF ATTRACTION
May 25, 2010. The law of attraction simply states that like attracts like. This includes all form of energy, including our thoughts. One of our greatest strengths as human beings is our power to focus our thoughts. And key things to know are (1) if you don’t focus your thoughts they will end up scattered in all directions starting and stopping and running about. (2) if we make no effort at all in directing our thoughts to something positive they will tend towards the negative or catastrophic. A philosopher said, “in a civilized world, if our strength are not determined to be valuable, we spend our life shoring up our weaknesses.”
When we practice yoga we practice focusing our thoughts (which then determine our actions). We on purpose set up our hands flat and wide fingers spread in table or plank or downward dog. And we stay focused on them otherwise if we don’t check in with the placement of our hands or feet they will get away from us like our thoughts if left unattended. On the mat we apply our minds to performing the poses and controlling our breath as a means to focus our attention. Yoga is all about the mind. We just happen to use the body as the technique to gather this energy.
The other main thing to really commit to memory is that applying the law of attraction means that our thoughts (and all energy) is like a magnet. The less distracted our thoughts the more powerful they become at attracting similar thoughts. Undistracted thought energy is highly potent. It works like this, the longer we are able to hold a positive thought in our mind the more powerful the positive energy becomes around us. And eventually brain science proves that we don’t need to focus on the action and controlling so much because we are already surrounded by the positive vibrations that draws more of what we want to us.
Like attracts like.
When you think about it there is never any reason compelling enough to hold onto a single negative thought. Not even one. Why? Because we don’t have time to waste our energy on negativity which only produces more negative energy. Life is too short to live like that. There is never any reason to focus on anger, fear or disappointment. Instead you are in charge of your life, your best life and responsible for making each moment count. As Deepak Chopra says it so simply, “happy thoughts create happy cells.” I get that. I apply it, And my life is forever changed for the positive and I want yours to be too! Love yourself, Love your day, Love your life! Silvia
LOVE IS THE ANSWER
May 10, 2010 Nischala Joy Devi puts it like this, “We miss life if we allow others to dictate the direction of our thoughts and feelings. But when our heart guides the focus of our consciousness, love is ever present in our life.” So whatever the question you are struggling with is in your life the answer yoga teaches us is simple. LOVE IS THE ANSWER.
If you can accept and embrace that our true nature is joy beyond the ups and downs and complexities of our humanity we are meant to live in love. In yoga Bhakti means love. Bhakti is love in ACTION. Love is active.
Right now you could be living more in love with your life. There is no reason to wait for your life to be better when it can be better right now. So why delay? Well what often happens is we start to identify with our grumpy selves or sad or angry or critical selves and even come to believe that it us. It is not us. Those are just some fluctuations. To get back to our true nature we have to do something. Love is active. (Chapter 1 Verse 4)
The Yoga Sutra this is based on is Chapter 1 Verse 3 United in the heart, consciousness is steadied, then we abide in our true nature, joy. The expansion of this joy is infinite LOVE, which encompasses and then transforms everything it touches. Everywhere we look, we see the reflection of our joyful nature.
Make the practice of Bhakti of actively living in love your experience this week and see what happens, I know what happens…for that’s how I’ve chosen to live every day I have in this earthly body. I don’t want to waste a moment and hope you won’t any longer either. Love yourself, love your day, love your life! Silvia
GIVE GOOD, GET GOOD
MARCH 29 2010: Positive energy attracts positive energy. You give good and you get good. So simple! But not easy.
I talked about how I read about a California bride yoga teacher who raised $2,300 at her wedding and donated it to Haiti. This is yet another of the daily examples in my life and in others of the law of attraction. We can change the world we live in from the inside out. All we need to do is give good and equally through yoga we learn how to be sweet in receiving. For that too came out in this article this cool girl was so gracious in receiving the kindness that folks gave her. So let’s try it for one week. Join me and everyday this week just GIVE GOOD and humbly GET GOOD back. I love you all and wish you your own best beauty! Silvia
California Bride Raises $2,300 at her wedding, donates 100% of would-be wedding expenses to relief for Haiti.
My wedding was perfect. I still believe it may have been a dream if it weren’t for the photos.
If you read the first article I wrote for elephantjournal.com, you’ll remember how I described myself as not being “the wedding type.” I decided to have my wedding at Yogaco, where I teach yoga in Santa Monica by donation. I gave up my Sunday slot and turned it into my wedding. I asked that all the guests bring money for Haiti instead of towels, pots and sheets for my new husband Robert and me.
I planned this big hoopla and made it public on Facebook (assuming everyone was on Facebook). I did receive some flack after from people who missed the event because they are not on Facebook. I am still stunned. Not on Facebook? Apparently there are a few people out there who still rely on phone calls rather than texts, on actual communication rather than social networking. Hmm.
I was a bit nervous as to how it would all work out, but I kept reminding myself of the life lesson proven time and time again: It Always Works Out. And It did.
Emmy award winning stylist Brenda Cooper styled me in an amazing gown and jewels and my student Hilla Peer did my makeup.
Second lesson I have been re-learning lately: You attract what you are, or, likes attract. I must be doing something right because I have been attracting the most wonderful people and students into my life. At no other point in my life have I had such kind, generous, loving, and spiritual people surrounding me. Nobody would take money from me. I looked like a movie star and yet I did not pay one cent.
Another example of this Law of Attraction is the angel that showed up right before I got married and healed me.
My back went out before I was to wed. Yes, it sounds cliche, but it’s true. And I teach yoga. All around bad situation. I literally could not move or teach. How was I to get married? I tried doctors, heating pads, ice, rest, no rest, bath, massage, chiropractor. Nothing seemed to alleviate my pain. I finally managed to crawl out of bed to teach my Saturday evening class, where I announced my back was injured and I would not be demonstrating any poses. After class, a woman came up to me who I had never seen before and said that she wanted to help me. She would open her office for me the next day, a Sunday morning, because she was leaving for Japan on Monday. To make a long story short, this woman whom I had never met opened her heart and her doors to me on her day off and cured me. She gave me acupuncture and helped me release whatever it was I was holding onto, physically and otherwise. Mostly otherwise. She would not take money from me. It was as if she showed up just to help me and then disappeared.
I had a professional photographer at my wedding who also would not take money. It was as if all these people were conspiring with the Universe to help me pull this off. And did we ever!
As the people arrived, they brought home-cooked food and champagne. The children took the Red Cross buckets and began walking around to collect donations. Of course no one could resist them so we owe quite a bit to their charm.
Samadhi Bishop sang, I want to hold your Hand with a voice so powerful that people actually started weeping. Erica Rhodes was on cello and proceeded to mesmerize the audience. We had a didgeridoo player and drummer and people got up and said prayers and poems. One woman got on stage and asked everyone if they had seen the movie Avatar. We all nodded. That is like asking if everyone is on Facebook, isn’t it? She had us all gather and touch the person next to us, so the whole room was touching and we could all feel each other. It was a profound experience, much like the film. The energy in the room was palpable, as if it was a living breathing thing, which indeed it was.
One of my students brought tears to my eyes when I saw that he wrote a check to the Red Cross for $1,000. This is the type of person who comes to my class. I feel so blessed to even know this kind of person, let alone be their teacher. All in all, we raised over $2,300 for Haiti. It felt so good counting all that money knowing how far it would go.
I did register at Target because all my friends kept saying that I ” had to.” (I am human and there are a few things that I want. If you recall I mentioned a wok in my last article. Well, I have received seven woks.) After a while however, as you browse the pages of Target registries, all the stuff starts to look the same. I realized: It is Just Stuff. Whereas this $2,300 is going to go very very far in saving lives and helping people with basic necessities such as water. The stuff of life, rather than just stuff.
I figure that if this law of attraction stuff keeps up I won’t ever have to register for anything ever again because amazing things and people will just keep Showing Up in my Life. This is how it works. Going back to How may I serve?
When you give with a pure heart, the pure heart in others reveals itself to you. Case in point: my wedding and all the events surrounding it.
All in all, it was a huge success. I know my father was there in spirit as I felt his presence in the room and it was his spirit which helped me in all of this. It was truly a spectacular celebration with people I knew and people I didn’t know alike, singing and dancing and eating and raising a ton of money.
p.s. Not one person wore shoes!
Jennifer Pastiloff is a yoga teacher based in Santa Monica, Ca, who spends too much time on Facebook, Twitter, and elephantjournal.com. She tries to balance it out with writing poems and being the So Cal Director of Yoga teachers forYogabear, a non-profit that provides free yoga to cancer survivors.
REALLY LOVE YOUR DAY
JANUARY 27, 2010: I was re-reading a favorite writing from George Carlin and want to share it with you. Tonight we are focusing on building a home practice. I will teach some slow flows you can memorize and use at home so when we lose track of what's important you can practice yoga for 7 minutes and regain clarity and positive perspective. This life we have is a blessing! Love yourself, love your day, love your life! Silvia
The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider Freeways , but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less, we buy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgment, more experts, yet more problems, more medicine, but less wellness.
- We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom.
- We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often.
- We've learned how to make a living, but not a life. We've added years to life not life to years. We've been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbour. We conquered outer space but not inner space. We've done larger things, but not better things.
- We've cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We've conquered the atom, but not our prejudice. We plan more, but accomplish less. We've learned to rush, but not to wait.
- These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion.
Remember, to say, 'I love you' to your loved ones, but most of all mean it.
Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment.
Give time to love! And give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind.
HOME PRACTICE HOW IT HELPS TO REVISE OUR MYTHS
FIRST THINGS FIRST. Think of some myth about yourself you’ve bought into? Like “I’m not strong enough, I don’t have enough time, I’m not old enough, I’m not young enough, I don’t have enough money, I’m not flexible enough, I’m not ____________________________. This practice helps us to unfold our own myth (Rumi). It has us bump up against the myths or self-limiting beliefs we have about ourselves. But as Yogananda writes, “What you are is much greater than anything or anyone else you have ever yearned for. Spirit is manifest in you in a way that Spirit is not manifest in any other human being. Your face is unlike anyone elses’s, your soul is unlike anyone else’s, you are sufficient unto yourself; for within your soul likes the greatest treasure of all – Spirit.”
You see “We no longer have a choice about including practices in our daily lives that create health and spiritual growth. If we want a world worth living in today, as well as one worth leaving to future generations, we must take responsibility to create health in our lives, as well as to support others as they choose healthier lives for themselves. It is up to each of each of us to lovingly transform the world simply by first transforming ourselves.” (Judith Lasater)
But we have to see the myths that hold us back for what they really are. “We are responsible for what we are and whatever we wish ourselves to be, we have the power to make ourselves.” (Swami Vivekananda) Practicing even 5-7 minutes of yoga helps us to not remain victims of old habits, we begin to do the work of washing away the myths. What is required is that we work harder than our pain or made-up limitations.
“Mines of power lie unexplored within you. You use this power unconsciously in all things you do, and you achieve certain results; but, if you learn how to consciously control and use the power within you, you can accomplish much more.” (Yogananda) When it comes to picking out what poses to do you have to begin by asking yourself what you need: self-reflection creates self-awareness and reinforces self-love. Tonight’s class will teach you a (1) Hip Opening Flow, (2) Backbend Flow, (3) Sun Salutation C, (4) Forward Fold/Twist Flow so you have 4 sequences to work on at home when you need them most. Love and light! Silvia
FORWARD FOLDS. These are calming, quieting in their impact. They are restful poses to calm you down when you feel agitated or hyper and restful when you are fatigued.
SUN SALUTATIONS. Energizing for your emotional body and can help lift you out of lethargy, depression, mental fatigue.
STANDING POSES. These are very grounding as well as energizing. They immediately engage your body-mind connection and bring you into the present moment. They are good to do when worried, distracted or agitated.
BACKBENDS. These are energizing, uplifting poses. They create more energy when you are tired. If you are already nervous they can make you over stimulated if they are difficult so you can also practice passive backbends. These poses also open you up emotionally which may cause strong emotions to arise.
TWISTS. Cleansing and balancing. They help release stress from your body-mind.
HIP OPENERS. These are very grounding and balancing. They help release tension and bring you into the present moment.
INVERSIONS. These are soothing, balancing and centering.
ENTHUSIASM IN THE WINTER: STOKE YOUR INNER FIRE
JANUARY 24, 2010: Gosh during the Winter it gets just a tiny bit more challenging to maintain the internal fire of enthusiasm. Ok to be honest it’s more than just a little hard. It is just out right challenging. I’m cold and surrounded by snow what is physically easiest is to CONTRACT. This is the exact reason why during this time of year here in the Midwest we must try harder to remain enthusiastic and light up our lives from the inside. By this I don’t mean reflect on how great summer was or day dream nonstop about Spring for those things take us out of the present. The only time we can be really happy is now. Heed the advice of the Alchemist, “Because I don't live in either my past or my future. I'm interested only in the present. If you can concentrate always on the present, you'll be a happy man.”
Happiness is a direct experience of enthusiasm. It is what we show on the outside to the world about how we feel inside.
This speaks directly to a favorite quote from the Alchemist, “There was a language in the world that everyone understood. It was the language of enthusiasm, of things accomplished with love and purpose, and as part of a search for something believed in and desired. We are riding the wave when what we think and what we do are done from love with great enthusiasm and vigor. This happens when we are living in “the present.”
So there is a way here to use the challenge of Winter to help ourselves feel more alive! It is in this way that the emotional challenges of life are an opportunity to feel more human. “Even sadness opens a hidden doorway into being more alive! Just as anger can be a doorway into strength, even sorrow can trigger humility, and other profound spiritual emotions.”
This is why I so strongly encourage us to gently attempt these postures. I know you might say to yourself I can't do them but I’d rather have us face the discomfort of experiencing ourselves as beginners then get stuck or trapped in endless repetition of what we already know whereby our enthusiasm for life diminishes. You see when we give up in the face of challenge, we cheat ourselves of the immense satisfaction that follows from building any skill into understanding. It is not how or when we accomplish something it is that sense during the process of enthusiasm in just trying our best. Today, don’t wait until Winter is over to radiate joy and become interested in your life. Do it now. Life is too short not to stay engaged with ourselves. Love yourself, love your day, love your life! Silvia
WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?
JANUARY 19, 2010: This is dedicated to Todd Bauschke, who suddenly passed away at the age of 56 years old on January 18th, 2010. Todd was a dedicated student at TBY and because he applied himself to the practice he got really good. In recent times he had to step off of the mat and do his yoga without the benefit of group classes because this last two years his health was suffering and he couldn't even breath. "He finally got his diagnosis in early November 2009. It’s a rare disease called Amyloidosis. It can attack different organs. It attacked Todds heart. The irony is that he was scheduled to have his stem cells harvested and transplanted next week. It was to be a three week hospital stay."
Yoga helps us all remember that our time here is brief even in the best of scenarios....and all to short for Yogi brother Todd. Please stop any all excuses for why you aren't living your best life. WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? Get to the mat, and free your heart so you can embrace the life you are meant to be living, right now.
"Your body is free but your heart is in prison. To release your heart, you simply reverse the process which locked it up. First you begin to listen for messages from your heart—messages you may have been ignoring since childhood. Next you must take the daring, risky step of expressing your heart in the outside world. . . . As you learn to live by heart, every choice you make will become another way of telling your story. . . . It is the way you were meant to exist. If you stop to listen, you’ll realize that your heart has been telling you so all along. (Martha Beck, "Finding Your Own North Star")
What do you plan to do with your one precious life?
If you can't hear your heart talking to you then consider your time on the mat a mini-retreat. A time to refresh your spirit, rekindle your passions, and cultivate balance in what you think, what you say and what you do with your life. This practice peels back the layers to help us move from self-doubt and uncertainty to a feeling of empowerment and a willingness to at least try at our lives. Like Todd, if we stay with it and practice moving in and out of these poses or shapes we create with our bodies you will achieve things you thought were impossible. This encourages us to see past our self-limiting beliefs and discover the power within us to realize that nothing is impossible!
But no one can do this for you, you have to take time for yourself. And if a yoga class isn't enough then do what I do go on a Spiritual Retreat. Take a time out for 4-7 days where you don't feel so rushed and you can step off the tread mill of your life to really feel and open up to the changes you want to make in your life. If you don't even know how to start then plan to join me in Moab in April or Tuscany in June or find enough space where you can tap into how to express your feelings and reconnect to your own inner wisdom. The insights are there and self-expression evolves to self-understanding. But really, DON'T WAIT. This is the year we have all run out of excuses. All you need to live the life of your dreams is a willingness to grow an open heart and a playful curiosity wouldn't hurt either. What do YOU plan to do with your precious life? Love in all ways, Silvia
RESISTANCE GETS A BAD RAP
JANUARY 8TH, 2010: I was feeling bad for resistance. I think it usually gets a really bad reputation when maybe we aren’t giving it enough credit. In chapter two of the Yoga Sutras there is all this talk of working towards balance and harmony in our lives. One example for instance of using the breath is that it has the same “effect as combing our energy” on the inside just like we have to comb our hair on the outside when we wake up. Nischala Joy Devi says “with rhythmical breathing we align and comb our energy, it becomes smoother, calmer, and more focused.”
So it occurs to me in order to brush my hair I have to use some muscular energy in holding the brush and sometimes really work hard to get all the knots out and retame my long hair in the same direction. The use of the brush is an example of positive resistance. The chaos of the hair needs to be focused otherwise it is all over the place. We use the poses and the breath in the same way on the mat. They teach us there are consequences. Rolf Gates when visiting TBY last year said something like "if we avoid our consequences we won’t wake up and we wouldn’t love as well.” In life even difficult people serve as a form of positive resistance to help us align our energies in a more focused way towards love and peace.
Another great example comes from nature. You’ve heard or seen stuff about Biodomes right? (And not the movie with Pauly Shore). Well tree’s inside the biodome won’t stay upright without any wind. They NEED the wind to be held accountable. In a really great harmonious ecosystem there are consequences. Some negative resistance might serve as warnings while positive resistance serve as examples. This is like listening to someone who has a teaching story to tell about how they went wrong, we learn from this and better appreciate why it’s important to comb our energies in a loving way in order to avoid those same consequences.
I especially can relate to this story from The Secret Power Of Yoga. I hope you get as much out of it as I always do! Love and peace, Silvia
“In a plain piece of metal, all the molecules are in chaos facing every which way. A magnet is a similar piece of metal in which all the molecules are perfectly aligned – the north pol,es facing one way, and the south poles facing in the opposite direction. Because of this alignment, the magnet gains the power to attract and hold other objects. If you stroke the ordinary metal and the magnet together in one direction only, the magnet will align all the molecules in the plain metal with itself, causing a second magnet to emerge. The power to attract and hold has been transmitted from one to the other, while amazingly enough the initial magnet retains its full strength. If you now take the two magnets and stroke them so the repelling poles are facing each other, the strength of each will diminish. The power to attract and hold is gone. We can see the benefit of being with those that support us rather than neutralize our power (satsang). As we align our energies this way through regulating our breath we maintain calm through the ordinary emotional rollercoaster rides we encounter each day. We find that when we are upset, everything around us reflects the same disturbance, as if it is somehow contagious. When tranquility prevails, it magnetizes everything with the same sense of calmness.”
LAW OF ATTRACTION
OCTOBER 10, 2009: Today law of attraction: positive attracts positive. So no matter what the world is offering it is our choice to be happy. Sally Kempton says, "It is actually possible to feel happy regardless of how the world is treating you, or how horrible your childhood was or the fact that all your friends are more successful than you are, you can beven be happy when you’re failing something or when you’re sick.”
You see we create the world in our 60,000 thoughts per day. The world isn’t created out there and then experienced within it is experienced from the inside out. Einstein talks about the most important decision we make is whether we see the world as friendly or hostile. If you expect the worst you will attract that energy. If you have a positive expectation then positivity draws more things that are positive. So you choose! Love the day, Silvia
“The mind is its own place and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven.” - John Milton in
LIVING FROM YOUR HEART OPEN TO BLISS
YOGA SUTRAS FOR TODAY: 1.3 United in the heart, consciousness is steadied, then we abide in our true nature, joy. The expansion of this joy is infinite LOVE, which encompasses and then transforms everything it touches. Everywhere we look, we see the reflection of our Divine and joyful nature.
1.4 Sometimes we identify with the rays of consciousness which fluctuates and encourages our perceived suffering
This means that as we come to understand that our nature is joy and love suffering can’t take over our lives as easily. Now we will in our humanness continue to experience some fluctuations (ebb and flow, up and down). What this sutra is saying is that if we “identify with grumpy, negative, fearful, angry thoughts the mind BEAMS them outward to the universe and those same thoughts and grumpy, negative, fearful, angry people are attracted to us like a magnet.” (Translation from Secret Power of Yoga)
What is the answer?
Love is the answer.
Bhakti is love. Bhakti is love in action.
Love is active.
Yoga is active, yoga is love in action. Yoga is bhakti.
Ask yourself are you living from your heart? Are you actively living from love? Are you waiting before you listen to your heart? Well, there is no reason to wait when your life can be better right now. This is not a rehearsal. This is your life and each day we only ever get to do just once! Love yourself, love your day, love your life! Silvia
LOVE IS NOT LEISURE
Yoga teaches us that we can only share love to the degree we feel it for ourselves. So the question to ask ourselves first is “do we think we deserve to be loved?” It is a simple question and requires the utmost heroism to respond honestly. And if you say yes then we begin by practicing self-love. This is the most advanced practice of yoga. And I’ll tell you, it’s not easy at first. But the good news is the more you practice the less you’ll even remember the old ways. It will be like breathing. Oh yeah, we learn in yoga breathing takes work. (Thank goodness the body keeps us breathing even when we don’t pay attention) But the best quality of life means we are loving our breath, we appreciate it we PAY IT ATTENTION.
So on the mat we practice loving ourselves so we can love our live’s better. It takes effort, effort means taking some action. So we are reminded that love is not leisure. Managing our breath is one activity of self-love and another is being in charge of our own thoughts. As science tells us we know we have 60,000 thoughts per day and whenever we think a thought the brain sends chemicals through our body that produces a feeling based on that thought. If we think the same critical thoughts over and over, these repetitive thoughts and their repetitive chemical reactions will create a negative view of life. They will drain the life from our life. So ask yourself WHY DO YOU THINK THE THINGS YOU DO?
The thoughts you have today will go through a gestation period (short or long) and will eventually give birth to the quality of your life.
WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE BORN FROM YOUR LIFE?
Even making love to another requires some effort, some action (you don’t just lie there inactive, unresponsive) this is the same for what we want to be born in our lives for growth only takes place through love and kindness. And by actively generating love we organically open the doorway for the entry of people and experiences that are like the love we feel for ourselves. So engage your life more, actively love yourself in thoughts, words, and actions each day and let your heart shine out! Love in all ways, Silvia
Light, my light, the world-filling light, the eye-kissing light, heart-sweetening light!
Ah, the light dances, my darling, at the center of my life;
the light strikes, my darling, the chords of my love;
the sky opens, the wind runs wild, laughter passes over the earth. -Tagore
KARMA MAN, WHAT IS IT, HOW DO I GET SOME OF THAT?
APRIL 17TH, 2009: The most challenging way to live is in love. Talk about taking courageous action! Karma is the Sanskrit for action. The idea being this is that we have a choice about the actions we take each and every moment. Behind the action is what we call Tapas or determination. Something has to fuel the action, especially when choosing love over hate, or peace over anger, or flow over inertia. If we take action we are spiritually taking responsibility for our lives. The cool thing is that as we consciously look for opportunities to feel excited about life it answers back. This is a spiritual truth.
We can bring to life and make manifest our intentions if we do the work. One of my favorite African proverbs says, "When you pray, move your feet". YES! We can easily get bogged down in the heaviness of life and deaden out. This is no way to live. When we need to move and pray for the life we want then we just gotta do it!
So through this practice may you find your own strength to be a lover of life.
As Leo Buscaglia says, “to be a lover will require that you continually have the subtlety of the very wise, the flexibility of a child, the sensitivity of the artist, the understanding of the philosopher, the acceptance of the saint, the tolerance of the dedicated, the knowledge of the scholar, and the fortitude of the certain. All these qualities will grow in him who choose love for these are already part of his potential and will be realized through loving.” So that’s the boomerang effect of Karmic seeds that we action. If we love life, it will love us back! It’s just that easy, it “becomes then a matter of loving your way to love!”
So start now, without delay, get up stand up for your right to love and be loved! In truth and light, Silvia
DREAM WITHOUT LIMITS!
APRIL 16TH, 2009: Lately the dreams I have in meditation are getting BIGGER and BOLDER all the time. Many things I've put off thinking about doing I am going for and doing them this year. I feel this amazing YES inside that I want you to feel the vibration of so you too can say yes to life and DREAM WITHOUT LIMITS. Yup that's what the theme is tonight. A very special class from my heart.
And just so you know, next Thursday through Sunday April 23-26 I am out of town on a Spiritual Adventure pursuing one of my dreams. So if we don't have our regular Thurday night date together I won't see you for two weeks.
In preparation for tonight's class please watch this clip below (3 minutes long). I want to thank Ned Miller for sharing this clip with me yesterday and changing my life with the creation of our own inspiring video collection called "Loving Your Day". It helped me shift even more brightly towards dreaming without limits, it is NEVER TOO LATE. I know it will inspire you, make you laugh, make you cry, make you clap your hands like it did me! What we can take away from this clip is that it is never too late. You deserve to materialize your dreams. So "Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror. Just keep going." - Rainer Maria Rilke. Do not let the Kleshas, the veils that hide our true potential and beauty yoga tells us from speaking your dreams to yourself! Love you all, Silvia Mordini
LAW OF ABUNDANCE, LAW OF ATTRACTION
APRIL 13TH, 2009: This week join me in class to focus on a philosophy of living life BIG & BRIGHT, without limitations. Now of course we can't control everything that happens around us or the choices that others make but this need not limit us. You have in a sense a "magic wand' that can transmute even the greatest challenge into an opportunity for greatness. Ghandi said, "be the change you wish to see in the world." Through the energy of your thoughts, which demonstrates your perspective, you can experience your limitless potential for happiness, peace and most of all love.
The thing is you are already choosing moment by moment what you want your life to feel like, be like, look like. No one else is choosing your thoughts for you. Consider it like this, (1) your heart and mind create your reality so you must be able to create other views, (2) if you can create different perspectives (victim, martyr, champion, lover) then you must have more than just one choice so that means you can choose which perspective you want. Well then why not accept responsibility to see your life as limitless in passion, prosperity, and Love?
There are two simple universal laws to better appreciate this: The law of abundance simply put says you can't be resentful and receive abundance at the same time. They can't co-exist, you have to choose one or the other. You either think you're running out of stuff & are being picked on, victimized by the universe or you are grateful for your blessings. You either focus on what you don't have or acknowledge all that you do have. You see and say YES to opportunities surrounding you everywhere or you force limitations on yourself and say no to life at every turn. These are mutually exclusive. The law of attraction says Like attracts like. Positivity draws in more things that are positive. Negativity draws in more things that are negative.
What you put out there to the world comes back to you amplified. You can't look to someone else to manage your dreams or to highlight your potential to the world. You must do it yourself. A boss I had at PwC once said to me, "no one wants to see you promoted more than you do yourself". We can engage in negative self-talk, self-doubt and obsessive worry but these will only create negative energy and won't get you promoted or loved or anything else good. Instead, if you think of yourself as your own "brand" and everyday you have a choice to promote your brand to the world as amazing & brilliant you will attract to you the best life possible.
The world will give you back what you're sending out. So make this Spring a fresh start shift your perspective to one of INFINITE potential so you love yourself more, so you love your day more, so your love your life more! Silvia
THIS WEEK THEMES, LESSONS, INSPIRATIONS
This week our focus will be focused on living life WITHOUT LIMITATIONS.
Monday: Law of Attraction & Law of Abundance
Tuesday: Love & Surrender
Wednesday: What happens between Inhale and Exhale - Space of OM
Thursday: Dream without Limits
Friday: Action of Karma, Shiva/Shakti
YOGA TIME OUT
APRIL 8TH, 2009: I came to the practice because of pain in my body but what has kept me coming back for 15 years is the relief this practice gives my mind. I was always a good kid, so I never was given a forced time out but I like the idea. Maybe I didn’t have to get a time out because I gave them to myself. When I needed to I’d go chill out and rest. I like time outs.
So when you come to the mat, give your mind a TIME OUT from having to figure everything out. Tell yourself for this class or even just a few minutes “you are not going to solve any problems or think about anything stressful.” Even right now at your desk while you read this join me in a virtual TIME OUT.
Take a big breath, draw your shoulders back.
· Inhale Peace, Exhale “I am Worthy”
· Inhale Patience, Exhale “I am Great”
· Inhale Love, Exhale “I am Present”
We all need time out’s. Otherwise we can overwhelm ourselves on purpose with the vast amount of knowledge we take in every day. Knowledge is important but it is not enough. We can know everything and still be unhappy. You can know all the facts and still be miserable. Information is not sufficient for a happy life. If it was we’d all be blissed out all the time and no one would stressed out.
The answer is to take the time out, open your heart and feel the moment, feel your breath instead of only engaging your analytical mind. I want you to understand the practice but more importantly I want you to feel the energetics. Happiness, true happiness, is an inside job. It lies deep within us (regardless of whether or not all the surface stuff is going smoothly or falling apart). Take the TIME OUT and you’ll find you will love your life more! With great affection, joy to the world within you! Silvia
FAITH IN YOURSELF
MARCH 12, 2009: When you think about it we grow great by degrees. It’s the little wins, turning off the tv, eating well, getting enough sleep, surrounding ourselves with positive people that demonstrate our faith in making good choices. The big stuff falls into place pretty much from all the little day to day, moment to moment decisions that we make. This clearly reminds us that it is the quality of the journey not the place we arrive to that counts. For we will get there, ultimately we all end up at the same finish line anyway.
We are destined to rise to life’s highest ideal if we just keep the faith and trust in ourselves. This is like a promise we keep to ourselves, the most important kind of promise for it’s the promise of happiness. Now what I like most about Faith. Trust, Confidence in ourselves is best offered in the words of Sharon Salzberg a favorite author of mine who says, “In Pali, faith is a verb, an ACTION, as it is also in Latin and Hebrew. Faith is not a singular state that we either have or don’t have , but is something that we do. We ‘faithe”. It is the willingness to take the next step, to see the unknown as an adventure, to launch a journey. Faith is what gets us out of bed, opens us to the possibility that our lives can be different. Though we may repeatedly stumble, afraid to move forward in the dark, we have the strength to take that magnitude of risk because of faith.”
I have had this experience when I traveled all the time and woke up in strange hotel rooms at first afraid, then comforted myself that I was fine and this kept me calm while my eyes adjusted. I have had this experience in therapy, where all that was asked of me was that I show up. The showing up was sometimes kind of difficult for the journey towards continued healing can be ripe with challenges. But I believed in the possibilities of myself and kept going, kept healing. These life experiences as well as time spent on the mat in poses facing myself that as much as others want good things for us we have to trust in ourselves first. We have to want it, we have to believe in our own intuition based in love and all will be as it should. BELIEVE, TRUST, FAITH – make these active day to day! Big Love, Silvia
DO YOUR BEST
FEBRUARY 23, 2009: My teacher Shiva Rea says, "The teachings of yoga include a view called parinamavada, the idea that constant change is an inherent part of life. Therefore, to proceed skillfully with any action, we must first assess where we are starting from today; we can’t assume we are quite the same person we were yesterday." So when we step into the current of grace how can we manage to do our best – no more, no less, keeping in mind that doing our best is never going to be the same like our breath. The Yoga Sutras suggest each pose be Sthira Sukham Asanam, steady and pleasant. More importantly in the incessant changing stream of life can we just keep trying? The more you practice yoga the more you will respond YES!
The great thing is that when we DO OUR BEST then we give no reason for self-judgement, blame, guilt, negative self talk of any kind. There are no regrets.
To me doing our best is kind of scary. From a western view it pulls us into that “no pain, no gain” mentality that life must hurt. But that’s not it at all. Doing our best means we are living our lives fully, in the present moment with enormous intensity because we want to be good to ourselves. We want to make life all it can be aspiring to co-create with the universe for our optimal productivity. Doing our best makes us connect to our innate happiness! Why? Because it demonstrates our LOVE for life!
LOVE IS ACTIVE,
YES IS ACTIVE
DOING OUR BEST IS ACTIVE (INACTION IS THE WAY WE DENY LIFE)
Today we keep making the soil of our souls more fertile by contexualizing through asana practice the theme of "Always Doing Our Best.” I hope this inspires you to make sensitive adjustments as you enjoy each and every breath. All of this to make the space for the dreams you wish to hatch come the first day of Spring, March 20th! My dear friends you were born with the right to be happy and as Deepok Chopra suggests why not then make Happiness the Goal of ALL other goals, and just do our best with this. Please love your life, don’t let another breath pass without making it your best breath. Love to you all, Silvia