Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year!



"May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you're wonderful, and don't forget to make some art--write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself." --Neil Gaiman

Friday, December 27, 2013

The Next Few Days



I have a busy schedule between now and the new year; it occurs to me though, that this is a good time to be quiet, to allow insight for the new year to arise. In the midst of all my busy, I'm going to do my best to be open and relaxed. And I'm definitely going to take Marianne Williamson's advice, "Spend the next few days preparing for the year ahead: Forgive everyone, let go of everything, let God take charge." 

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

The Law of Giving




Say what you will about Christmas, but giving is good stuff. My friend Judith Lasater says, "Giving is the best game in town." Deepak Chopra says it's a law; "The Law of Giving: Today bring whoever you encounter a gift: a compliment or flower. Gratefully receive gifts. Keep wealth circulating by giving and receiving care, affection, appreciation and love. 

Happy giving dearest readers. 

xo,
Ash

Friday, December 20, 2013

Intense Stretch to the West



In yoga class the other day, I was feeling extremely irritable, and then the teacher taught my least favorite pose: paschimottanasana, also known as "intense stretch to the West" or "...of the West;" whatever it is, it gives the West a bad name. When we got into the pose she said, "Wherever you are is where you're meant to be, so drop your head and be grateful." I wanted to be pissed at her, really I did, but despite myself, I was reminded of another one of my favorite prayers from A Course in Miracles that says, "I am determined to see things differently." And pretty much, I melted.

I can't tell you how much that prayer has helped me. It has helped me the most in situations in life or stories in my head that I think about often (read: all the time). Give seeing something differently a try, or if you want to get really crazy, see that something from the other person's point of view.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Friday, December 13, 2013

We Saw a Fox



After my baby car accident, I felt like I might slippery slope down into funk. Sometimes, it seems like focusing on what's not working is easier than focusing on what is working; does that sound familiar? I had tea and tarot cards with my famous neighbor Lynne, and she and the cards reminded me not to dwell on the negative.

Focusing on the positive, I recalled that we saw a fox while we were driving up my street to dinner one night when my dad and step mom were in town. Feeling that fox medicine might have something to do with movement, I consulted Animal Speak, "The legs of the fox are adapted for running. Their favorite gait is a trot, and it is believed they can trot indefinitely without exhaustion or the appearance of such. Few animals of similar size can outrun a fox. Learning to establish a trotting pace is essential to those with a fox totem for their overall health and success. The fox also runs in such a way that the tracks look like a single line of footprints. During the trot the feet are placed almost directly one in front of the other." (Andrews 1993, 275).

You know me, for better or for worse, I can get down with a good old round of naval-gazing. These  days however, it's feeling much better is to just keep on keeping on.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Re-Minder





When I was teaching yoga on Thanksgiving, I shared one of my favorite quotes from Walt Whitman, "If anything is sacred, the human body is sacred." I then decided that I needed to read that quote everyday: I have been guilty of taking the practice of yoga for granted, when deep down, I know, it's magic.

The other day, I was in a baby car accident. Don't worry, there's no visible damage to me, my car, the other person, or the other person's car, and I went to the chiropractor less than 3 hours after the accident, so any symptoms I might have experienced from whiplash were averted. However, my nervous system did get pretty nervous, and thanks to good old fight or flight, my body was tight. That night, when I got to Shree to teach, I picked the Angel Card, "Purpose." Those Angels sure do know me well; I started doing yoga for reals back in 2001, thanks to an accident. And the reason I started to teach was to help people who were in pain because of accidents or because of other reasons. It's been so many years now, and sometimes I forget why I teach, and sometimes I am reminded. Re-minded, oh my gosh, cool word.

Dr. Morter, the gentlemen who created B.E.S.T. believes that "...your reactions to the experiences in your life hold the answers to your state of health." He also truly believes in the power of forgiveness, "Your feelings of forgiveness must be as strong to the positive side as your feelings towards the event which you are forgiving are to the negative side. In other words, you must actually balance or neutralize your negative feelings toward the situation by blanketing it with positive, loving feelings. This does not mean that you must now view the situation or person as good or that you agree with or condone his actions. What it means is that you must see the good in the situation as it relates to you."

The morning after the accident, the magic of yoga thoroughly restored me and I was truly grateful, even excited, to get over to class and teach some of the neato stuff I had just done that had made me feel so much better. I'm not trying to be a goody goody, I genuinely am grateful for the accident; it reconnected me with purpose. And hey, if I were you guys, I'd remember purpose too, and try to stay connected to it; that way some not-so-subtle-re-minder won't have to hit you.

Friday, December 6, 2013

"Problems"





"If you can fix it with money, it's not a problem." --Judith Hanson Lasater

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Hearing Silence




"...for the past several years, it seems I get everything I pray for, too. It has something to do with the way I've learned to pray, which is more about listening than demanding. Every day, if I can still my body and mind enough to hear Silence, I notice that my heart is yearning towards certain things, avoiding others. It's when I voice this deep yearning that my prayers are answered. And nothing else I might ask for really matters." --Martha Beck, Leaving the Saints: How I lost the Mormons and Found My Faith