Friday, January 22, 2010

Detoxing Body and Soul

My partner and I have been immersed in a week of detox.  Inspired by other family members and a will to cleanse and find joy in that...we embarked on this weeklong adventure.  No caffeine, no sugar, no dairy, no alcohol, and only non-gluten grains.  We've been making lots of fresh veggie home-made soups, quinoa with steamed kale, garlic, & beans, homemade hummus, and lots of herbal teas.  
I realized that I did the same thing around this time last year, just before heading off to Dominica for my yoga adventure.  It must be in the air at the start of a new year to feel pure!  ;) I miss the Caribbean this time around, and with all that's happening in Haiti right now, I send my purest intentions from my detox week to the island. 
In a non-physical sense, it's also a great time to detox the mind and emotions.  Last week, with the new moon, I found myself becoming over-emotional and a bit overwhelmed with expectations on myself and others.  Why do we do this?  We can't help it.  As Pema Chodron says, we must "not resist, grasp, or get caught up in hope and in fear, in good and in bad, but actually live completely. "  This means, embracing it all.  The ups and downs and the challenges in our path, as well as the fabulous and fun times.  Physically detoxing has allowed me to remember how easily we can become addicted to habits.  And then how these habits lead us to emotional addictions as well.  We all deal with them.  And yet we all learn at some point in life that it's okay not to have things turn out our way.  
I see it in my students this time of year, too.  Everyone wants to reach a new ideal in their practice.  Physical perfection of the poses.  Straining every day to come to the mat and "fit it in."  All the while, worrying about the semester ahead, or the new work schedule, or those pesky resolutions that we so urgently want to achieve.  But what we forget is that each time we step on the mat is time for renewal.  For letting go of all that stuff and just to be.  There.  At that moment.  Imperfect and all.  

More Pema Chodron wisdom and encouragement to keep practicing your yoga and meditation...
"You can also realize that, at a time like this, when there's so much chaos and crisis and suffering in the world, we are actually needed.  Individuals who are willing to wake up and make friends with themselves are going to be very beneficial, because they can work with others, they can hear what people are saying to them, and they can come from the heart and be of use."  

*There are tons of options around to give some support to Haiti.  Tomorrow, Jan. 23rd there are 2 Yoga opportunities:
-My friend, Checka, is teaching a benefit class at Yoga in the Square in Somerville (Davis Sq., above The Burren) from 1-2:15pm.  It will be an all levels vinyasa class for only $5, in which all proceeds go to Haiti.  
-Also tomorrow, Exhale (in Boston, green line to Arlington) will be donating all of their class proceeds to Haiti through the Red Cross.  

-At Karma Yoga Studio, we're planning something for the near future to step in as well.  I'll keep ya posted!  

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

New Year, Fun Happenings

*My schedule this month stays the same.  
My Bring your Baby class on Monday afternoons is slowing accumulating tiny yogis, so keep spreading the word to those moms & dads around who want an hour of yoga with baby in tow.  Karma Yoga Studio 2-3pm on Mondays.  

If you want some warm 90-min. vinyasa with me, then come check out Bow Street Yoga in Union Sq. on Thursday's at 9:30am.  

*Sunday, Jan. 17th -- I will be teaching a FREE class for the new Lululemon store in Cambridge!  
Located down the outdoor "hallway" next to Brattle Theatre and Algiers in Harvard Sq.
Just come by a little before 11 am.  We'll meet and then go to a tba location to swing some Sunday yoga love, and then be able to browse the yoga clothes and shop together.  Pretty fun way to spend a Sunday late morning if you ask me!  ;)  
There are lots of fun yoga apparel and accessories for both men and women.  And the lululemon ladies are so warm and friendly.  

Finally, a bit of yoga etiquette reminder for the New Year:
-try your best to arrive to class on time, preferably even 5-10 min. ahead of time.  If you get in a parking jam or the like and happen to be a little late, then please try to respect the start of class and enter quietly.  
-Welcome everyone to class, and be aware of the people, things, and space around you.  Try to accommodate for crowded classes by helping to create space for another mat.  Say hello to the yogi next to you.  Wipe the studio mat you used for class with the cleaning spray.  Keep it all light and respectful.  
-Please try not to leave class in the middle of savasana.  This is an important/sacred moment for most people and if you must leave early, do so before we all get settled into our stillness.  

"Practicing yoga, in a very real sense, is practicing moksha (freedom)."