Thursday, April 3, 2014

DO YOU EVER DRIVE TO THE STORE AND WONDER HOW YOU GOT THERE?

Habits are good, right? We are constantly bombarded with the idea that we should create good habits in our life. But aren't habits just a way of building dirt ruts in the map of our brain where we can let our mental driving fall into auto pilot? Have you ever driven to the store or home or school and realized you weren't aware of the drive? This is because driving to these places has become a habit. We allow ourselves to become unconscious during our conscious hours!

So, ask yourself this: if you only do good things our of habit, are you a good person or a habitual person? Is there a difference? YES! Life is way too short to give up any precious moments to unconsciousness. This doesn't mean we shouldn't have good skill in life, it means we should MINDFULLY and CONSCIOUSLY be choosing to engage those skills when appropriate.

I get upset when people recommend that we make a choice early in our life and then develop it into a habit so we never have question that choice again. This might be suggested about things like using drugs, what type of person we want to marry, etc. Wow, doesn't that rob us of the experience of each day mindfully choosing who we are and reaffirming our choices every chance we get?

It's the battle between the parent and the three-year-old within us. We should ask ourselves "why" more often and take the time to answer ourselves honestly and mindfully, rather than just saying "because". Become more like a little child - what a concept!

As we move into a new spring, make yourself a promise to become more mindful and natural. When we have skills which we want to incorporate often, allow yourself to be present while those skills are being performed. A good place to practice is while taking a shower. Instead of letting your mind wander to everything you have to do or everything you forgot to do, stay present and be aware of taking care of your physical body. Now instead of showering by habit, you will be naturally showering - it has become a natural part of you!

Would you like to be naturally kind, compassionate, and caring? Or are you simply habitually kind, compassionate, and caring? There is a big difference - our mindful presence in the act. Remember: "As a man thinketh......".

SO, GO MINDFULLY THINKING THROUGH YOUR DAY!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

WHO ARE YOU WHEN IT'S QUIET?

Life is about change and growth. Wow, aren't we in a growth stage right now with changes to our local class schedule. What a wonderful opportunity to shake out our wings from the habitual place we have been flying and find a different way to embrace the sky!

In the past few weeks since we dropped one of our local classes, I have received many emails stating how hard it is to practice yoga alone. Many people have shared that "it's just not the same without the class setting". I agree - it's not the same. The good news is - it's not meant to be the same! We are creatures of together and alone; of give and take; of with and without; of society and silence. Life is opposition on all levels, from every angle, in all things. Isn't it wonderful!

Ask yourself - who are you in a group? Then ask - who are you when it's quiet? How do we continue to be our true selves when it is only us watching? Are our thoughts, actions, beliefs and goals still the same when no one else is looking? What a challenge to be authentic, if only for ourselves!

So, how can we begin to feel comfortable within our own skin regardless of the surroundings? By recognizing that one-size doesn't fit all circumstances. If you have a great time doing yoga in a class setting, but struggle to do the same practice on your own - DON'T DO THE SAME PRACTICE! Who said our self-directed practice had to be just like the class? Probably, someone who liked to do it that way! Next time you are on your own for an asana practice (that means postures on the mat), just sit for a minute and listen to what your body wants to do today. Then do it!

Does it matter if you hold the postures shorter or longer than in a class - NO! Does it matter if we practice for a shorter or longer time than in a class - NO! Does it matter if our intensity is the same as class - NO! All these things come with time and patience. Why should we be good at doing self practice if we have never done it? Just like it took time to learn yoga in a class setting, now we need to give ourselves time to learn in our new setting.

Remember, there are no rules to what makes up a personal asana practice. As you sit on your mat and listen to what your body wants to do, also listen to what your mind and spirit want to do. Maybe today, your personal practice will be to simply absorb the music as you allow yourself to remain still. Maybe it will be to invite friends to explore practice together. Maybe the day will be warm and your practice will be a walk in nature. Don't limit yourself to "putting your foot around your head"! It doesn't really come in handy in day-to-day life and it's really embarrassing if you get stuck there!

Finally, embrace this new challenge just as you embraced the challenge of beginning yoga - with anxiousness, nervousness, and excitement for what is to come! And realize - you are still "you" when it's quiet.

Namaste, LeAnne

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

LIFE IS GOOD!

      LIFE IS GOOD!

Isn't it funny how life gets away from you in the effort to become more committed to life!  I have finally realized it is time to get back to the moments I simply watch going by.  Life is what happens while you are waiting for life to "get back to normal".  What is normal anyway?  Merely the average of all our abnormalities.  There is never going to be a normal day, only MY day.  So lift up your eyes, lift up your arms, lift up you voice and embrace the day!  As I prepare to post this, I realize the font style is "normal"!  Doesn't that just make you smile!