I’ve lost count of the number of times that my patients have cancelled their appointment due to illness. If you woke up feeling ill on the day you already had a doctors appointment scheduled, would you cancel the appointment? My guess is no, you wouldn’t, you would think it was a fortunate coincidence that you’d be able to be seen and treated right away. I think it’s just the way we are raised in this country, Western medicine is considered “real” medicine and Eastern or Traditional Chinese medicine is … not. Here are some facts that you may be unaware of:
Eastern medicine IS medicine. Same thing as calling fries French, well maybe it’s not the same, but you get my point; in France they are fries, actually that’s not even true, they are frites. But I digress … In China, which by the way, inhabits the majority of the world’s population (nearing 1.5 BILLION!) and other Asian countries, Eastern medicine, is their primary form of medicine. Japan has the highest life expectancy in the world, at 84 years old. And in China it is not uncommon for people to live well past 100. A coincidence? I think not. You might say, I don’t want to live that long, but you would if you felt like you did in your 20’s or 30’s; and they do. Or if all your friends and family were still alive and kicking too; theirs are! Practically until they die, they are active and engaged socially, eating vegetables for breakfast, having tea parties into the evening; not a walker or C-pap machine in sight.
Studies have shown that longevity is affected more significantly by lifestyle than by genetics; 75:25. That means …
Things that are within your control can make ALL the difference in your lifespan.
The moral of the story is; make your health a priority. Show up on time. 🙂
i·ro·ny /ˈīrənē/ noun the expression of one’s meaning by using language that normally signifies the opposite, typically for humorous or emphatic effect. “Yoga class really stresses me out” she said, oblivious to the irony. Example: “It makes me so mad when someone is in my spot at yoga! How am I supposed to get all zen if I can’t have things exactly the way I want them?!”
If You’re Not EnJOYing your Yoga practice, you’re Doing it Wrong
As I learn, grow and evolve, so too does my style of teaching. If you attend my classes regularly you will find that no two are ever the same, like snowflakes ❄ However, the foundation of all classes will remain consistent; prioritizing breath, moving with intention, and not taking yourself too seriously! If you’re not enjoying your practice, you’re missing out on a majority of the benefit. If your yoga practice is stressing you out, you’re doing it wrong! Yoga should be a joyful experience that makes your heart smile and your insides feel sparkly, not something to just be checked off your to-do list.
Every class will be challenging, yet accessible to students of all levels. How is this possible? Simple. Not easy. Simple. By making breath the focus, we detach from our egos; and when that happens, you naturally start approaching your practice from a place of mindfulness, presence and compassion for yourself. Isn’t that the goal? To be compassionate, empathetic creatures, who lift each other up instead of tear each other down? Somehow we forget, that everything we require, to be able to conduct ourselves with grace, integrity, strength and patience; it’s inside of us. Our overthinking, dramatic, self serving egos, highjack nearly every moment of our lives … because we let it. Mindful breathing is the bridge between our body and mind, it creates moments of clarity and awareness. As we string these moments together into minutes, that clarity expands as well. The active, emotional, thinking brain is no longer driving the crazy train; your yoga practice is now yours. Now you get to choose what kind of experience you will have, and not just in that moment or that class; you get to choose your whole life … or at least be aware that you ARE choosing.
This awareness of, and connection to your breath changes everything. The physical postures are your teachers, they are not the goal. Once you downshift away from your ego, the saying, “its not about the destination, it’s about the journey”, becomes much more than a cliche. You’ll never truly arrive anywhere if you ignore everything you’re meant to learn and notice and appreciate on the way there. And what the hell is the goddamn rush anyway?? Standing Bow in a full split? The “Perfect Triangle”? Who gives a &#%!@??? There will not be a parade and confetti when you master the One Handed Sparkly Seahorse. What will happen is that you will keep going to class, fixating on your new nemesis; reclined Lotus Pretzel perhaps??
I am not saying you shouldn’t want to master postures. You should! Goals are necessary, they propel us forward and give us something to work towards; goals help give our lives purpose. What I am saying is this; the next time you need to drive somewhere far away, try getting there with just the address … and a very strong desire to arrive there.
I want you to be able to balance in Prancing Peacock, Three Fingered Gorilla and every other made up posture you can imagine, I really do; but I want you to enjoy every second of the time you spend trying.
When your breathe, real presence and pure joy are what delivers you into your posture; it won’t even matter because your whole life will have changed. Every single thing you need to feel proud, worthy, capable and accomplished; you will have already discovered inside of you. Majestic Mountain Goat will just be icing on the cake.
This is it, these kids, totally immersed in the joy of the moment, not taking themselves seriously … that’s joy.
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” – Marianne Williamson