Yoga for Scoliosis Support & Community Practice – Sunday July 24th

sideways over bolster kw

Inviting those in our yoga community with scoliosis in interested in scoliosis to come together in practice and support this Sunday from 1-4pm at It’s All Yoga Studio in midtown Sacramento.

These 3-hour workshop classes for yoga practitioners with scoliosis are designed to support those who want to deepen their awareness and understanding of their bodies and refine the practice to meet their specific and unique needs.

We’ll explore breath awareness, gentle and deep release work –
influenced by myso-fascial release and qi-gong, as well as a variety of
yoga postures that will support greater alignment and more physical ease in
the body with scoliosis. Practitioners will also learn modifications to
commonly practiced yoga poses that can limit rather than intensify the
conditions of scoliosis.

Sign up for the Sunday practice in JULY NOW at http://www.itsallyoga.com.

Cost is $25.

I look forward to being in the practice of self-care with you!

“Have you ever tried to enter the long black branches”

beautiful girl lying down of grass

“Have you ever tried to enter the long black branches of other lives-
tried to imagine what the crisp fringes, full of honey,
hanging from the branches of the young locust trees,
in early morning, feel like?

Do you think this world was only an entertainment for you?

Never to enter the sea and notice how the water divides
with perfect courtesy, to let you in!
Never to lie down on the grass, as though you were the grass!
Never to leap to the air as you open your wings over
the dark acorn of your heart!

No wonder we hear, in your mournful voice, the complaint
that something is missing from your life!

Who can open the door who does not reach for the latch?
Who can travel the miles who does not put one foot
in front of the other, all attentive to what presents itself continually?
Who will behold the inner chamber who has not observed
with admiration, even with rapture, the outer stone?

Well, there is time left –
fields everywhere invite you into them.
And who will care, who will chide you if you wander away
from wherever you are, to look for your soul?
Quickly, then, get up, put on your coat, leave your desk!

To put one’s foot into the door of the grass,
which is the mystery, which is death as well as life,
and not be afraid!
To set one’s foot in the door of death,
and be overcome with amazement!

To sit down in front of the weeds, and imagine
god the ten-fingered, sailing out of his house of straw,
nodding this way and that way, to the flowers of the present hour,
to the song falling out of the mockingbird’s pink mouth,
to the tippets of the honeysuckle, that have opened in the night,
To sit down, like a weed among weeds, and rustle in the wind!

Listen, are you breathing just a little, and calling it a life?

While the soul, after all, is only a window,
and the opening of the window no more difficult
than the wakening from a little sleep.

Only last week I went out among the thorns and said
to the wild roses: deny me not, but suffer my devotion.
Then, all afternoon, I sat among them.
Maybe I even heard a curl or tow of music, damp and rouge red,
hurrying from their stubby buds, from their delicate watery bodies.

For how long will you continue to listen to those dark shouters,
caution and prudence?
Fall in! Fall in!

A woman standing in the weeds.
A small boat flounders in the deep waves,
and what’s coming next is coming with its own heave and grace.

Meanwhile, once in a while, I have chanced, among the quick things,
upon the immutable.
What more could one ask?

And I would touch the faces of the daises,
and I would bow down to think about it.

That was then, which hasn’t ended yet.

Now the sun begins to swing down. Under the peach-light,
I cross the fields and the dunes, I follow the ocean’s edge.
I climb, I backtrack. I float.
I ramble my way home.”

~ Mary Oliver,
”West Wind: Poems and Prose Poems”

From: The Alchemist

Image

“When each day is just the same as the next, it’s because people fail to recognize the good things that happen in their lives every day that the sun rises.”

~ Paulo Coelho

Don’t Go Back To Sleep

hara chakra

The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.
Don’t go back to sleep.
You must ask for what you really want.
Don’t go back to sleep.
People are going back and forth across the doorsill
where the two worlds touch.
The door is round and open.
Don’t go back to sleep.

~Rumi

The Guest House

THE GUEST HOUSE

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.

Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

— Jelaluddin Rumi,
translation by Coleman Barks

Easier said than done, perhaps.  Welcoming joy, excitement, or serenity, seems a far more accessible prospect than welcoming feelings like shame, rage, or malice.  What if we could begin to connect with all of the pieces and parts that make up our whole selves.  What if we could begin to deeply know, care for, and accept our shadow side, the dark corners we most often avoid or reject?  Rumi speaks to inviting in what is most difficult, he asks us to experience fully what may arrive in any given moment, even when it’s hard, even though we’re used to running or reacting.  What would it be like to pause when we become aware that we are wanting to run away from fear or rage or when we feel we must burst into reaction, our bodies surging?   We see it arising, we feel in our bodies the tightening, the heat, the incoming wave, and then we stay with it, for a moment, stay in that yearning, that shaky place?  What a practice this becomes, indeed.  Acknowledging what is real, attending, as though an old and beloved friend privy to the darkest of secrets, in these moments, would seem to have a power, a transformation that reveals something underneath, something tender, vulnerable, someone who is loveable.  Connecting in this way changes our experience.  I wonder, does not a fearful or wounded part of myself lie at the heart of my rage, is she not in the heart of my shame?  When we practice this welcoming, an unconditional friendliness with what is arising, that gesture, that energy reverberates in and through us.  Think of how you feel when you’re welcomed by someone, and also how it is to be shunned and rejected.  What if in the midst of our most difficult situations, we could begin to experience some ease, as our experience is embraced, as we embrace ourselves?   In this way we cultivate a relationship with suffering, and can find some space to relax when we’re in the midst of its embrace.  It begins with a pause.

Tara Brach, Meditation Teacher and Ph.D offers this delightful audio meditation on the cultivation of unconditional friendliness.  Listen, and enjoy a smile.

Guided Smile Meditation by Tara Brach

Pausing

We’re wired to think we’re always on our way somewhere–the next thing to ask, say, or do. We frequently worry about what will go wrong. We can break this process once we learn to pause and bring a gentle, mindful attention to what’s happening inside us.

We need to reconnect with the life of our bodies, to feel our hearts. That’s the sacred pause. At any time, we can take a few breaths, relax, pay attention.

Most of us keep speeding up to drown out our anxiety. We may stay lost in thought, dissociated from the body. Being brave enough to pause entails feeling that anxiety in our bodies. But we also find some space of presence and kindness underneath it.

Try it now, close your eyes, and take a few deep breaths.  Then let the breath become natural and easy.  Notice your physical body, sensations in the body, where you feel them.  Notice where you feel your breath in your body.  Then inquire as to your feeling state, the emotions present.  Notice your mental state.  Rather than following emotions or thoughts along the story line path they present, stay focused rather on what you sense in your body, what emotions are present, what thoughts arise, and keep coming back to your breath.  Let the breath be an anchor to hold you tenderly in the present moment of your experience.

The psychologist Carl Rogers said, “The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change.” Acceptance means we’re accepting the actuality of what’s happening inside us–hurt, anger, fear, shame. Such honest presence with our experience is a precondition for healing and change. After it come wisdom and compassion.

The Sacred Pause

In the midst of so much busyness, offer  yourself the gift of 5 minutes, a pause, to close your eyes and listen…