CONNECTION, COMPASSION, COMMUNITY

March 10, 2011.  Dedicated to all those finding their best courage in connecting to each other in a time of serious challenge.  And love to those digging out from the incredible Earthquake in Japan. Einstein said it like this, “A human being is a part of a whole, called by us 'universe', a part limited in time and space. But he experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest... a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us. Our task must be to free ourselves by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty.”

So today as we offer support around the world we also recognize internally how important it is for each of us to feel supported.  It is as Earon Davis says, “It takes community to maintain a human.”  Community, communion, compassion all of these and more that the practice teaches us through the vehicle of ourselves and trying to experience democracy and connection there first before taking it into relationship with others.  One of my personal meditations I use is where I ask myself as much as I reach out to others, “can I be reached?”  

So I ask you, “CAN YOU BE REACHED?”   How easily do you accept support from your breath, from the earth, from your friends, from those that are trying to make your life easier?  If its not so easy then come to the mat even more until you feel it possible within your body and heart and this will ignite the trust to connect with others. 

Quite frankly it's easy to disconnect from ourselves and what we are feeling. Yoga brings us back into a state of connection.On the mat we begin the pose with the mind first and then the breath and body follow.  This is why the sophistication in cuing is so remarkable as a way to "work out" our mind muscle and make it less flabby.  How can we even begin to see the connections between ourselves and the world if our mind muscle isn't strong enough to see the communion or connection within our own body?  And really what are we talking about here?  Why bother at all?  Because a strong mind muscle is what keeps us living lovingly and fully!  It is always about LOVE.  Jack Kornfield says it like this:

"Love creates a communion with life. Love expands us, connects us, sweetens us, ennobles us. Love springs up in tender concern, it blossoms into caring action.  It makes beauty out of all we touch.  In any moment we can step beyond our small self and embrace each other as beloved parts of the whole."

So today, know the more you connect to yourself the more you are able to connect to others. The more you share compassion with yourself, the more you have compassion for others.  And once you find this communion with life then everything becomes about love.  Love yourself, love your day, love your life! Silvia

PS Join me on a yoga retreat www.alchemytours.com and stay in touch www.silviamordini.com

3/10/2011   Tags:  connection, community, compassion, love, courage, human, universe, einstein, mind, yoga, union, beauty, communion Direct Link

POSSIBILITIES FOR YOUR LIFE

SEPTEMBER 14, 2010.  "The moment when you first wake up in the morning is the most wonderful of the twenty-four hours.  No matter how weary or dreary you may feel, you possess the certainty that, during the day that lies before you, absolutely anything may happen. The possibility is always there.  ~Monica Baldwin

Nothing has expanded, bloomed or grown from contemplating the impossibility of things.  If you tell yourself something is impossible the law of attraction will deliver this to you.  This practice reminds us to be careful for what we ask for in our thoughts and even more fundamentally that you are responsible for the quality of your life, the quality of your intentions.  This currency of believing in the impossibility of things sets humans apart from other creatures.  And the fact that all in all we don't have that long in this earthly body is a pretty solid boundary. Robert Braul says it like this, "Life is short, God's way of encouraging a bit of focus."

"Waste not the smallest thing created, for grains of sand make mountains, and atomies infinity.  Waste not the smallest time in imbecile infirmity, for well thou knowest that seconds form eternity."  ~E. Knight

When we practice breathing and moving through the poses we start from small and simple movement to larger and more complex recognizing how we can create art, movement, sensation, and emotion by our own efforts. And the more heart and practice we put in the more we expand and we see the changes within us.  The back of our eyes start to see the external world as filled with potential.  For how we experience the world is based on how we see it on the inside first. And then all of our breaths become yoga whether on the mat or off.  And then from there the eyes of our hearts open slowing and we proudly stand up in the world with heart wide open to the possibilities that exist to "make a new happy ending."  

I used to say I could never bend my knee parallel to the ground in Warrior poses.  Then the universal intelligence that is embracing us had me see that I was doing it. And just like that my disbelief vanished!  

“The longer I live, the more beautiful life becomes.” -Frank Lloyd Wright

I stopped backing off from life and realized how precious it is to have this one chance.  And that being human like this, right now may never come again.  And every time I step on the mat I am reminded of this gift.  I hold to the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson "Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year."  And how do I translate this yoga into the yoga of life?  I kiss more, I hug more, I enjoy the beauty of food more, I explore more and I say I love you more.  I keep expanding....and the thing is I want that for you too.  So what are you waiting for? Start now. Believe in the endless possibilities for living the life of your dreams! It is possible. Anything is.  Love yourself, love your day, love your life! Silvia        (PS Read the book A Year to Live by Stephen Levine)

9/14/2010   Tags:  possibilities, beauty, love, choices, intention, mortality, focus, potential, disbelief, heart, loving your day videos, Direct Link

YOU ARE LIKE A DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH

May 22, 2010, The pressure life brings us gets a bum rap.  It’s not all bad. Actually, that’s the way diamonds are formed.  They become refined through really intense pressure and heat.  The end result is magnificent!  In yoga the same thing takes place with our physical selves and energetic selves as well. This process of cleansing through the letting go old pain brings us back to our most beautiful.  We engage some pressure to create the heat to transform the old heaviness into radiant strength. 

We move from being a diamond in the rough where we are cut up in limited self-belief to a state of being diamond like where we believe in our highest potentiality, we believe in the impossibility of things! This achieved lovingly and safely through the asana and pranayama.  It is known as ORVAJRA DEHA, or “diamond body.”

Every pose, every breath connects us to who we really are. We feel more, understand better and think more clearly. It helps us to be our real selves, our best selves.  The light is shed from the inside out to see that we were limiting our perceptions of who we are by doing things like feeling ashamed, embarrassed, jealous, angry, stressed.  And as each pose progresses to take us deeper we create heat and the old stories drop away and we find ourselves shining out.  Some of the best ways to polish the diamond in the rough that we are is to practice forgiveness and compassion towards ourselves, remembering that at the heart of yoga the highest practice leads to ultimate self-acceptance.

And the more you radiate the brighter you are then the more light you bring into the world to those around you.  Your luminescent quality inspires all others to shine out and discover their best diamond selves too!  Can you imagine a world where we all get to be ourselves and radiate love and happiness?  Well, yoga teaches that day is now, that world is here inside each and every one of us!  May you come to see all your challenges as means to reveal your true beauty.  Love to you, Silvia

5/22/2010   Tags:  love, self-acceptance, diamond body, pressure, limitation, beauty, strength, reveal Direct Link

SHRI IS CONTAGIOUS! LAST DAY TO VOTE LOVE FOR TBY BEST YOGA STUDIO

  May 7, 2010:  When I started this studio many years ago I built it upon Shri.  I would look for the good in every student, celebrate my teaching team and find the best about myself.  Well today is the last day to vote for TBY as best yoga studio and so much more! And I have to say I think the Shri, this celebration of inner beauty and goodness has worked out amazingly well!   

To think that we are even nominated for Best Yoga Studio by Mindful Metropolis is such a true honor. It shows the power of Shri, that it is contagious beauty and by its nature abundant, ever expanding and growing!  This outward expansion inspires, vibes with others so they begin to feel and express Shri from the inside out too. So today think of your most powerful intentions, those things that you want to see blossom and grow (even the most unbelievable!) and dedicate yourself to them.  I promise if you in the words of John O'Donohue allow "the breath of light to awaken color, the dawn will anoint your eyes with wonder."  

Believe in the impossibility of things, look for the good in you, in your potential, in others and the viral expression of Shri will help you manifest the best life ever. It has for me and I love all of you for voting for us.  We will find out May 21st if we won but we have already won in celebrating the coming together in a community of the heart. Love to you all in all ways, Silvia

5/7/2010   Tags:  shri, beauty, goodness, positivity, best yoga studio, mindful metropolis, possibilities Direct Link

SIMPLICITY

MARCH 30, 2010:  “Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.” -Dr. Seuss

 

Dr Seuss is a stud for sure. As you know I’ve been selling my house. I have bombarded myself with ever more complicated questions related to why no one comes to see my house, why I can’t sell it, why did I pour a gazillion extra dollars in this last year to prepare it, why did I list it lower than I wanted to…and on and on. Well bottom line is that complicating my life with too many why’s and questions is only hurting me. The answer here is simple.

 

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.  ~Leonardo DaVinci

 

I am now trying to learn from this whole thing as it has been a really challenging form of yoga for me. I have come to realize that just like collecting poses doesn’t make you happy, well collecting too many chairs, tables, and “stuff” hasn’t made me happy either.  So now I am simplifying.  I am learning what Vernon Howard means “You have succeeded in life when all you really want is only what you really need.”

On the mat we look for ways to conserve energy, to become more efficient and simple or subtle in the practice of asana. Therein lies its beauty or Shri.  And the more we practice simplicity in class the more clear headed we become to recognize and seek that off the mat. We certainly don’t come to yoga to practice being more complicated!  Which I looked up means Thorny, Dense, Convoluted, Intricate, Difficult, Problematic

Ugh. That’s not anything I want. I aspire to Lao Tzu description “Be content with what you have, rejoice in the way things are.  When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.” That is true abundance.

The reality is that life is simple. We can see the Shri in the world around us more easily with less stuff in the way! So may we all be satiated with what we have, not over stuffed and with courage may we will simplify those areas of our lives that feel thorny, dense or difficult.  Peace in all ways, Silvia

PS THE ANSWER?  It is love. 

3/30/2010   Tags:  love, simplicity, complicated, challenges, abundance, shri, beauty Direct Link

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.

I had 10 buckets from the Santa Monica Red Cross all over the studio, and donated wine from OneHope Wine set up on a bar in back. The sun was shining, the weather was sweet, to quote Bob Marley.

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.

3/29/2010   Tags:  law of attraction, positive energy, give good, beauty, simple Direct Link

BEAUTY GRACE AND COURAGE

March 11, 2010:

"Be water my friend" says Bruce Lee http://www.wimp.com/brucelee/  

With all the rain we've had we allowed water and the flow of surrender to inspire our practice today.  When we have the courage to surrender we find our highest potential reveals itself.  Like water cleanses us, and washes away the dirt we wash away through breath and asana the outer labels of limitation. We put aside the self limiting beliefs and go beyond limiting perceptions and old stories.  

Chapter 2 Verse 1 of the Yoga Sutras: Tapas svadhaya isvara pranidanah kriyah yogah.  

The translation of this sutra means: "This letting go focuses us on the process of practice rather than the goals of practice."  

May this practice help you practice how you want to live your life.  If you aspire to live a life of beauty, graceful and courageous then your life becomes that. Like the Bruce Lee clip suggests that water takes the form of the container it is in.  If you want the container of yourself to be beauty you then embody beauty. If you want to live in love then move like love, breath like love, flow like love.  Be like water my friend! Become that which you want and the process of experiencing yourself courageously is the life practice.  Love yourself, your your day, love your life! Silvia

3/11/2010   Tags:  yoga sutras, flow, water, love, beauty, courage, vinyasa flow, svadhaya, isvara pranidanah Direct Link

I LOVE THEE WITH THE BREATH: MY FAVORITE POEM

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of everyday's
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with a passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints, --- I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life! --- and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

 Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861)

 

FEBRUARY 14, 2010 This above is my favorite poem so I share it with you this Valentines Day.  It honors the breath!  The theme today was about being our own valentine and that yoga helps us see every day as valentine’s day not just once per year as we come to the mat to Fall in love with ourselves.  When we are spiritual babies we tend to look outward for love but eventually as we mature into spiritual adulthood we look inwards for love. We are born as physical beings but at some point through this or any spiritual practice we are born as spiritual beings.  We wait until that point when we wake up to love, for when our soul which may be asleep awakens. At that point as Gabrielle Roth writes in a favorite book of mine, Sweat Your Prayers, “When your soul is in charge, your life becomes a LOVE STORY. A love story between you and yourself.”

May this practice help you make the beautiful discovery of how great you really are, not because someone else tells you so but because you think so. You see yourself as unique and wonderful and through self-care you nurture all the qualities that you admire most about you.  And in loving yourself, you are acknowledging that you are special.  This process on the mat and in our life Sadhana takes time.  It is a personal process (just like learning handstand that we practiced today). Take your time, be kind and loving to yourself and all will blossom from the inside out!  Thank you to all who shared part of your day with me you made my valentines one I’ll never forget! Love in all ways,  Silvia

2/14/2010   Tags:  love, I love thee with the breath, love story, breath, soul, beauty, self-care, discovery, self-love, valentines Direct Link

THE IMPOSSIBLE IMPOSSIBLE: THE UPSIDE OF FEAR

JANUARY 28, 2010:  Yoga helps us to believe in the impossibility of things.  That nothing is impossible.  This practices helps us to expand beyond our preconceived limitations into limitless possibility.  We do this every time we meet the sensations in our bodies and the associated emotions. So tonight we focused on inversions (the upside down pose family).  We faced our fears going upside down and if we can do that, gosh we can do anything!

“Don’t worry about making a mistake, you definitely will.  Nothing bad will happen to you.”  -Rimpoche

So the pressure is off.  The upside of facing our fears is that there is nothing left to be afraid of.  Once we dissolve the barriers to ourselves our potential is tuned into forever.  This is written about in Chapter 2 of the Yoga Sutras that speaks to how dissolving the 5 Kleshas or veils brings forth the radiance of our most beautiful self.”

  1. Avidya – our forgetting, because we are forgetting we start to identify with things ever changing rather than the stillness of our HEART.  We want stuff and then we get it and these are like snowflakes that melt when they hit the ground instead of finding that inside at our center is stillness and peace always
  2. Asmita –our self esteem is based on things outside ourselves and other reactions
  3. Raga – excessive fondness for fleeting pleasures
  4. Dvesa – excessive avoidance of unpleasant experiences causes disdain
  5. Abhinivesah – elusive awareness of immortality – instead live in the now.

 

Your task is not to seek for love,
but merely to seek and find
all the barriers within yourself
that you have built against it.

--RUMI


1/28/2010   Tags:  rumi, potential, rimpoche, impossible, fear, beauty, yoga sutras, kleshas, obstacles Direct Link

JOY AND FREEDOM BEAUTY IS EVERYWHERE!

AUGUST 16TH, 2009:  Beauty is everywhere!  Meditating today on Yoga Sutra 2.18 this idea that “if we trust our intuitive wisdom of our hearts the truth is that everything can be enjoyable because we have found the MAGIC WAND to convert everything that life brings into joy.” 

 

I was at the Chicago Art Institute yesterday and so inspired by the beauty of the art, the people looking at the art, the kindness and respect of folks enjoying this sharing together.  Just amazing.  But what touched me most was outside the art institute in Millenium Park the tons of folks with an old blanket, bread, cheese, drinks just kicking back and making their experience a feast!  That to me speaks to this sutra that we all have the magic wand to free ourselves from suffering by changing the way we think about what is being presented to us in each moment.  Hmmm I can change the way I think about something? Yes, that’s it.

 

No different than invoking “wonder twin powers” to change the form of yourself into something else but in this case the change is mentally how we think about a person, situation or thing. You wave your wand and presto!! The way you think about it changes your response, your emotions and your reality.  The sutra reads formally “when understood as illusory (Maya), nature (seen) and her attributes the gunas exist to serve the Divine Self (seer) with both enjoyment and liberation.”  Our nature in other words is to be happy.  This is our way of being. The illusion is to delude ourselves into believing that we want things to be different all the time and are in this state of stuckness.  Nope, no need to preoccupy ourselves like that. Instead be with what is and wave your wand turn all things into joy. Turn some bread and cheese into a party!  See that beauty is everywhere inside you, outside you and in all things (difficult or sweet).  Love your day! Silvia

 

8/16/2009   Tags:  BEAUTY, NATURE, JOY, FREEDOM, YOGA SUTRAS, PANTANJALI, MAGIC WAND Direct Link

FEEL WHAT YOU FEEL: STAY HUMAN

AUGUST 4th, 2009:  Don't forget Michael Franti plays Ravinia August 27th 7:30pm, join TBY Friends in lawn for yoga on grass, drinks, food, fun before and after show.  Franti inspired me with his song, STAY HUMAN for tonight's class.

“It is not easy to keep your heart open in the face of the trials of being human.  Life can so often be difficult, disappointing; our dreams are so easily broken.  How precious, then, those shafts of sunlight that sometimes break through our daily preoccupations, our anxieties, and reveal the beauty that was there all along. 

Neither beauty nor love – for the eyes that see beauty are the eyes of love – need the absence of pain or suffering to exist.  Sometimes we know the grace of sheer joy…when the phone call comes that seems to break our world apart, does it mean that the love we once knew has gone away? 

 

No, say the poets, this is not what it means.  Even in the midst of our suffering, love can bloom.  Our weeping as well as our laughing, can open our heart to a deeper stream. 

 

When we finally stop struggling with life, stop wanting it to be anything but what it is now – not giving up but giving it over – then our heart will indeed fall open, and we shall know beyond all doubt that, however dark the night, all is already well.

 

Let us end with Rumi, and with these lines from his poem Zero Circle:

 

Be helpless, dumbfounded, unable to say yes or not.

Then a stretcher will come from grace and gather us up.

 

That will be the moment when we let go and feel the motions of tenderness that have been around us all along.”   (ten poems to open your heart by Roger Housden)

 

 

8/4/2009   Tags:  Michael Franti, anger, breath, grace, rumi, beauty, love, hurt Direct Link

POWER OF INTENTION

JULY 7TH, 2009: 

“Watch your thoughts, for they become words.
Watch your words, for they become actions.
Watch your actions, for they become habits.
Watch your habits, for they become character.
Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.”

                                                  

It is great to spend time in self-reflection looking back at our lives but equally as important is looking forward. And it is through the Power of Intention we realize our dreams!  It all starts with a thought.  Here are four key elements in forming strong intention for yourself.  To begin just bring your hands together in SANKALPA MUDRA (a Mudra of commitment with everything that goes into it as the intention).  So just begin to breath here and as you breath in setting this intention know in some sense you are setting an expectation for yourself  - an expectation to your own growth and evolution.  As you deepen your breath really deepen your connection to the promise you are making to yourself.

 

FIRST – DEFINE YOUR INTENTION.  Use the time in Yoga to go inside yourself and explore the hidden chambers of your heart to find your TRUE self. This is really the 1st step in yoga. From there the next step is bringing forth from within our highest potential our best self that we discovered within and sharing it with the world. So right now through your attention and breathing do the following no matter where you are:

·         Give your heart attention

·         Give your heart nourishment

·         Give your heart energy

           

SECOND – EXPECT BEAUTY. Show reverence for all life by expecting kindness and love along with beauty in your life. This is different than habitually looking for ways to be hurt, angry or offended.  You can’t access your intention if you’re thinking about the impossibility of what you want to manifest. 

  

THIRD – MEDITATE ON APPRECIATION. Cherish your body, your breath. Really acknowledge that you were chosen to breath today and having another day to be alive means another chance to focus on our intentions.  Take a moment to appreciate your life and use this practice to deepen your commitment to promise to grow.

 

FOURTH – BANISH DOUBT.  Doubt diminishes our creativity and potential.  Shakespeare said, “our doubts are traitors and make us lose the good we oft might win by fearing to attempt.” 

 

 

7/7/2009   Tags:  SANKALPA MUDRA, TRUTH, INTENTION, SELF-DOUBT, APPRECIATION, BEAUTY Direct Link

HUGGING AND KISSING: CONNECTING INTO ONE WORLD

JUNE 16, 2009:  One of the key observations I had while in Tuscany was how much everyone touched each other.  Whether it was the double kiss or real hugging or walking hand in hand or arm in arm down the street.  The best of humanity was ever present for all the world to see!  I loved it. I come from a family of huggers and kissers (both the Italian side and my Latino side too).  I had forgotten how homesick I was for this visible appreciation of connection, human to human.  Really we are all brothers and sisters, partners and lovers in this world.  There is an interdependence that exists between all things. We need each other to survive.  But not only to survive, to thrive!

We as Americans spend so much time in our “heads” that we could benefit greatly from more touch, more massage, more time being in the body.  That’s why yoga is so healing.  It does that for us.  We walk in fragmented, disconnected, awkward and by the end of class our humpty dumpty self is put back together again. Then whether we want to or not we glide out of the practice room inspired to connect more with other people as we now ourselves feel more connected to our own spirits. 

 

When I sit on the mat I feel that embrace of the universal love that exists when we breath the universal breath.  To me truly there is nothing more beautiful than people coming together in a compassionate, gentle way.  So thank you to classes last night for opening your hearts and practicing kissing each other with the double kiss, and breathing as partners and accepting massage when I offer it to you. This I can promise you, my teaching experience will only include more and more massage and therapeutic healing touch.  Grow with me and let’s build a community that thrives on more hugging more love!  Jai! Silvia

WITH JOY AND GRATITUDE, MAY I SEE THE BEAUTY OF MYSELF AND OF OTHERS, AS WE REFLECT AND ARE REFLECTED, IN THE RADIANCE OF EACH OTHER - ONE WORLD TOGETHER.

 

6/16/2009   Tags:  Joy, ONENESS, beauty, hugging, touch, love, hope Direct Link

LIFE IS BEAUTY! BEAUTY IS LOVE, LOVE IS EVERYWHERE

THEME JUNE 14TH, 2009:  I wrote to a friend while in Italy (and thank you for letting me share this part with everyone) I wrote "Life here is all beauty!" This inspired me to meditate and bring this more to life in class today.  I do want to say the most beautiful part of Italy was the 10 other pilgrims on the path of love that were with me. They started as strangers and we ended up as friends.  108 hugs and kisses to each of you!

What I learned from trip: life is beauty, beauty is love, love is everywhere.  In what we eat, drink, do, say, feel.  It is as Kahlil Gibran says, "When you reach the heart of life you shall find beauty in all things.

 

Join me in offering this day or this hour or this month to the alchemy of love and beauty.  Let this promise help you further ignite the fire element of summer, associated with the heart meridian promoting joy and celebration and light!  Bow in to your own heart so you might be more present to the treasure chest of beauty found inside you. From this awareness we then see more clearly the beauty all around us.  As Rumi writes, “Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.

 

I know taking down the walls or reducing your guard is not easy. Believe me I get that. But we must acknowledge that we have a choice. We can choose to see the beauty in all things.  This is especially healing when the fire element is weak and fear of connecting to others has set in.  I promise you this, if you make even the most difficult person or circumstance part of your practice saying to them “I believe in the beauty and good in this troubling person or difficult situation and I know by doing so more beauty will be revealed to me.” You will shift into your best VIBRATION.  This comes about as our minds quiet and our hearts open and we begin to better see our true most beautiful reflection mirrored back to us in the world!

 

May we all let beauty from inside be revealed for beauty is love, love is everywhere!  With lovingkindness, Silvia

 

6/14/2009   Tags:  LOVE, BEAUTY, RUMI, vibration, Kahlil Gibran, light Direct Link

RESISTANCE IS FUTILE: LOVE INSTEAD OF FEAR

MAY 14TH, 2009: When you think about it doing what feels good should be pretty easy.  Two of my friends at dinner last night were sharing stories of their kids: 1) her son was on stage in second grade and front and center put his hands down his pants until he caught his Mom’s eye and realized I probably shouldn’t do that here. But he had a point, it felt good to him so why resist. 2) Another friend’s daughter as a tiny tot at dance recitals liked to lift her dress all the way up over her head. No fear, no doubt, just felt good to do it so why resist. 

Yet as adults if feeling good is natural then why do we stay in hurtful relationships, jobs we hate, drive commutes that make us nuts, live where we don’t like the weather, edit who we really are for the sake of our neighbors?  Why do we resist life’s natural inclination to move us towards happiness?


Can you imagine the energy you’d have if you stopped resisting life and lived without apology, without any embarrassment whatsoever?  So when you come to the yoga mat I urge you to stop over thinking and begin feeling more.  For if we are to live more authentic lives and begin to realize how Futile Resistance really is it has to happen from the inside out.  Have the courage to acknowledge the person standing in our way is ourselves. 

 

A friend recently gave me the book “The War of Art” by Steven Pressfield and the author starts off by talking about those activities that elicit Resistance including but not limited to: “Any health regimen; any program of spiritual advancement; any program designed to overcome an unwholesome habit; Any act of ethical courage – including the decision to change for the better some unworthy patter of thought or conduct in ourselves; any act that entails commitment of the heart.” Well, if you look at the list that’s pretty much what yoga touches upon in every class. 

 

So for me the question is then what is resistance?  Sadie Nardini writes “Resistance happens any time we stand in the way of our own forward momentum. We block ourselves from real happiness, love and fulfillment in countless ways.  There are the obvious ones, such as self-doubt, but also the more covert, including procrastinating, rationalizing and engaging in drama.  Resistance is the destroyer of dreams. And we must weaken its power over us or it will paralyze us.” 

 

How do we address our resistance?  It is the first principle of Anusara yoga, to open to grace.  We soften, we say Yes, we expand into the flow of love.  Otherwise when we resist or fight life we stop ourselves from LOVE, we stop the flow of all good things coming into our lives and instead build up walls.  This spiritual practice takes down the walls so we can align again with love.  Through love each and every one of us has the power to TRIUMPH over resistance!

 

What is resistance?

Pressfield says its invisible yet it has the power to distract us, prevent us from doing our life’s work. He calls it the enemy within. You know the one that is obsessive, constantly worried, filled with anxiety, overthinking. It is fueled by fear and we feed it the more afraid we are of admitting our fears. I believe it is most often fear of being really happy that is at the heart of resistance – at least this is what I’ve found in my life.  Ask yourself, if everything you ever wanted came true tomorrow, how would your life be different?  How would you live?  Resistance is felt as UNHAPPINESS. This is why it is the enemy of love. If you are honest with yourself are you standing in your own way today of being happier, more peaceful more in love with life? 

 

To overcome resistance in the body we have to stop forcing, fighting or holding ourselves back.  Instead practice from softness, desire, gentle courage and resistance is futile in the face of you Being Love, Being Beauty, Being Happy! What am I suggesting?  At a minimum I am promoting you get RADICAL! That you start a revolution from inside to overthrow the invader of resistance because it is NOT YOU.  Will this be scary? Yes. Is that reason enough not to do it? You have to decide the life you want to live. For me the answer is easy, I want to be peaceful.  And by facing what scares me I am starting a revolution I’d like you to join within yourself.  Love to you all, Silvia

 

5/14/2009   Tags:  RESISTANCE, FEAR, HAPPINESS, LOVE, WAR OF ART, SADIE NARDINI, BEAUTY, TRUTH Direct Link

SEE THE BEAUTY IN LIFE

MARCH 29, 2009:  Namaste and happy Sunday to you!  Let me ask you guys what was your first reaction when you saw the snow today?  Were you filled with childlike delight of oohs and aahs or did you say to yourself holy CRAP I can’t believe this is being done to me?  Did you pick a fight with the snow?  Or did you see that nature itself is magnificent?  Did you see the beauty outside?  Because the thing is the Yoga Sutras say there are really 2 ways to see life.

 

One would be a darker view...that at any moment something could go wrong and the world is making war with you. The other would be a brighter view...what amazing miracle might take place today?!  This ability to choose to see the beauty is the practice of peace.  We come to the mat to recognize the splendour of life itself. 

*The seer dwells in his own true splendour. (Yoga Sutra 1.3)

*At other times, the seer identifies with the fluctuating consciousness (the negative). (Yoga Sutra 1.4)

 

In today’s turbulent times it is important to keep practicing to stay positive and peaceful, to see beauty.  From a peaceful center we can respond instead of react.  With a peaceful heart whatever happens can be met with wisdom.  It's a choice, we can view ourselves at war with life ("fluctuating consciousness.") Or we can practice the art of peaceful perception, the ability to see beauty and weave the feeling through the conflicts we face. Kahlil Gibran says it like this, "When you reach the heart of life you shall find beauty in all things, even in the eyes that are blind to beauty.

 

For me then the question is not about the choice in front of us, I get that. But it becomes then why don’t we always see beauty first?  Well we get bogged down by stress, negativity and worry (fluctuating consciousness) and this puts a layer of grime over how we view things.  The yoga on the mat helps us to clean off the mucky muck so we can reveal the beauty within us for how we see the world is not about what’s “out there” its always about our perspective and how beautiful we see things inside us.

 

If this morning at 9:15am you were enjoying the snow then join me at 4:30pm today for a really beautiful, rich practice (yes its Level 1-2 but don’t be afraid and get caught up in the darkness, its only a number). Think of yoga as philosophy in motion and today’s focus is beauty.  Be the beauty you wish to see in the world! Love, Silvia

 

 

PLAYLIST FOR TODAY MARCH 29TH, 2009:

Operator Toby Lightman
Talk to You  Tracy Chapman
I Don't Care About My Baby Jackie Greene
Promised Land Grateful Dead
Sita Ram Girish
Down on the Corner Creedance Clearwater Revival
Feeling Alright Joe Cocker
Domino Van Morrison
Stand By Me Various Artists
Let's Stay Together Al Green
Crazy Love, Vol. II Paul Simon
If you Want to Sing Out, Sing Out Cat Stevens
Like A Star Corinne Bailey Rae
Youve really got a hold on me Smokey Robinson
Misunderstood
Blind Willie McTell Bob Dylan
You Are So Beautiful Joe Cocker

 

 

3/29/2009   Tags:  beauty, positive, choices, yoga sutras, peace, yoga philosophy Direct Link

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