Thursday, January 28, 2010
The birth of Charleston Karma Yoga! After the success of our first benefit for Partners in Health on January 20th, We have decided to go big! Last night over a wonderful dinner we decided on our next event which will be on Wed. Feb 17th. from 6-8. This time it will be benefiting Water Mission and we will be adding an additional teacher as well, Kim Benintendo. We are all very excited with all of the energy and outpouring of love and encouragement that we have received. To check out our fan page and more details about us, check us out on Facebook.
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Over the weekend I usually read though lots of books and search online for a little piece of inspiration for my classes for the week. I found this one last weekend just in time for my Sunday afternoon class. I worked on opening the hips, inner thighs and groin muscles all leading up to my pinnacle pose, Hamunasana...Monkey pose. Or better known as *GASP* a full split.
Lots of blocks, smiles, sweat later...we were done. The room was thick with the energy we had all created and a sense of accomplishment was plain on everyone's faces. For years I have played it safe in my classes, pretty much taking care of everyone and their comfort zones. In the last couple of months, however, I have really realized what that quote above is all about. In order to move forward to the next phase of life, you have to let go of the past. In doing so freedom can be had, that great space between the branches where there is nothing...just air. Just BEING. I started to think how by protecting my students so much, I may be stifling that freedom. Yes, they still get a good class, but are they encouraged to grow?
So, out of this whole meditation on moksha, or freedom, comes letting go a little. Losening up the reigns...Like letting your childeren start to make mistakes on their own so that they can learn by themselves. What an awakening on my part...here I was thinking that I was opening up the students, and in doing so opened up myself.
PS. If you find any spelling errors, I'm sorry...with this new layout I can't find spell check :( anyone?
Thursday, January 21, 2010
~ Master Baek, In Polishing the Diamond
Put together by a recent graduate of yoga teacher training Matthew, (this was his first class ever, around 50 people!) was a yoga event for Haiti. He chose a great venue downtown Charleston at the Avery Research Center, which was an amazingly open space. It even had a DJ booth, where his friend Anwar put together some awesome music to go with the flow. Matthew started the class with centering and sun salutations and then turned the class over to Jess for standing and balance poses. I then started in on backbends, core work and ended by partnering up and leading everyone in handstands (which received some gasps) but eveyone enjoyed. Then lastly, another friend and teacher from the Loft, Marlene, who happens to be Haitian, finished with great hip openers, forward bends and twists. It turned out to be a successful evening and not only did we do great yoga, we raised around $650 for Partners in Health, a Haitian non-profit to assist those in need.
We are already discussing making this a monthly event raising money for different causes. I was just so honored to be asked and amazed at all of the love and great energy in the room. My energy has been on target all day and I am just ready to channel it into my class this evening. Seva, is doing yoga off of the mat, donating your time and whatever you have to give. If you don't already, I highly encourage you to find a cause that you feel strongly about and either support finacially or even more rewarding, support with your presence. Peace and Love to all,
Sunday, January 17, 2010
~Padmasambhava, Natural Liberation
Meditating is such a wonderful time for me, easeful, happy and relaxing. I love the feeling of my zafu* pillow and how just BE-ing feels so right. I love how afterward I feel as if I have done something so good for myself and just have that inner smile that lasts for hours. So, why is it then that meditating is such a CHORE? Well, because like any other pleasure I bypass it more than I want to in lieu of dishes or laundry. How can I just "sit" for 20 minutes, when I have a sink full of dishes, or I can't "sit" comfortably with dirty clothes piled on the floor.
This is why I have made my intention for 2010 that I will make and keep up with my yucky chores, so I can't use those as an excuse not to do my fun chores. I have been doing a surprisingly good job so far. The cleaner and more open my space externally, the easier to clean and work on my inner space. The outer is really not that important but it really does help me to sit and fully relax. I can ease my wiggles with some asana and ease my head wiggles with having nothing on my "to do" list. Then, like in the quote above, I can sit with the full virtuous intention of awakening my own spirit to it's fullest delight.
For great meditation find:
a great pillow (I love my zafu)
a little alter with your favorite things
a quiet place
a mantra or favorite phrase
patience with yourself and even expectations
peace with yourself and others
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
I got it!!! So far I have been using it about 4-5 times a day...making dressings, soups, smoothies, nut mylks and cheezes... It has been working overtime and My hubby has been so shocked at my sudden kitchen prowess.. Some of my favorite recipes have been Cashew nut cheeze from Carmella at the Raw Freedom Community, green smoothies (frozen bananas and whatever green you have in the fridge) and my new obsession...banana smoothies. I freeze bananas right when they are ripening and then pull them out when frozen. Add to that homemade nut mylk (I've been using almond; soak almonds overnight, blend and strain through a cheesecloth or nut mylk bag) a handful of cashews and some carob powder...It tastes like a banana choccie shake and even my kiddies like it! It is a little high in fat, but it is so hardy it serves as a meal...don't go drinking it with a burger :( If you have a favorite that you make please share!