Tag Archives: yoga

Nighttime Self-Pity

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I’m feeling crazy and tired.
Kids are whimpering,
arguing,
resisting going to bed.
There is a mountain of laundry
waiting on my bed,
beckoning me
in a way I don’t want to be beckoned.
And their dad
is at a yoga class.
I ask why
he didn’t want to go to yoga
until he wanted a divorce.
Maybe he’ll find
another yoga teacher
to marry.

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Happy, Complete, Rested, Refreshed, and Ready

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Just who do you think you are,
taking time for yourself,
resting,
doing things you love?
Well, if I don’t make time for this,
no one will hand this time to me.
Why should you deserve to rest
when others are working so hard?
If I don’t rest,
how will I have the energy to give to others?
How is it fair that you should have this easy life
when so many people are suffering?
I look to the suffering of others
and see my joy as the antidote.
I look to the anger of others
and see my peace as the medicine.
Looking deep within myself,
I see that the most beautiful
gift I can give to the world
is to show up with my whole self,
happy, complete, rested, refreshed,
and ready.

 

By the way, I have had the great fortune of attending and teaching at a yoga/knitting/t’ai chi retreat with an amazing group of women this weekend.  It feels so good to share in this time of rejuvenation. I see myself returning to my family, my work, and my daily life with renewed vigor and enthusiasm. When was the last time you retreated from the daily grind and gave yourself some much needed self-care and quiet time?

The Universe Opens

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Valentine’s Day is coming
and I want to teach a class
on heart opening.
So I research this and that pose
that helps to open the heart…
backbends, twists, forward folds,
lunges…
And I don’t have time
to practice a sequence.
And I want to be more prepared.
And I worry that I’m not good enough
as a yoga teacher, as a mother…
And it strikes me
I’m missing the point.
How can we open our hearts
to the world
if we haven’t opened our hearts
to ourselves?
So I start to open my heart
to myself.
I let myself feel compassion
for this woman
who tries so hard to be good,
this woman
who worries that
she never quiet measures up,
who compares herself to others,
who dreams about
being far away from the noise
somewhere in nature
somewhere quiet
and peaceful
and beautiful.
Now let me keep my heart open.
Let the compassion
continue to flow.
If I can help my students
reach this place
the postures really won’t matter.
What our bodies are doing
seems far less important
when seen from a perspective
of limitless connection
with all that is.
When the heart opens
the whole universe opens.

Hacked…and Wondering

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My LorienYoga website was somehow hacked
And I was unable to log in,
unable to update my workshop information,
and wondering if my content has been replaced
by porn or performance enhancing drug adverts.
And I wonder,
Who are these hackers,
and why do they do what they do?
I mean, come on…
It’s a yoga website for God’s sake…
you take down my attempts at teaching people
about this ancient system of self-realization–
what kind of crap karma is that?
This is another opportunity for non-attachment,
I suppose.
But really…
Who are these hackers,
and why do they do what they do?

Like a Dewdrop

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Asana in the woods
hot summer day
reaching for strength
diving deep to find my breath
I remember how simple it all is.
Just this moment,
this body,
this breath.
This little puff of wind,
the chorus of bullfrogs,
clouds drifting by,
everything constantly changing.
I remember the impermanence,
how I am,
how existence is
like a dewdrop in a blade of grass.*

*Still loving the Tokmé Zongpo quote featured in my last post.

Not So Big

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Looking up through the tall trees
to see clouds drifting
in an immense blue sky,
I realize how truly small I am.
I breathe and move from pose to pose,
remembering the impermanence of this life
in which the only constant is change.
I take pleasure in the sensations
of breathing
and moving,
in the sound of a bullfrog chuckling nearby,
in the feeling of a gentle, warm wind
kissing my face.
No human has ever grown to the height
of the black walnut and the tulip poplars
that grace me with their cooling shade
as I dive deeper inwards and face my own fire.
Practicing beside these towering giants
I am humbled.
Suddenly my problems
don’t seem so big after all.

NaPoWriMo Day 17: Dictionary Poetry

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Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt…find a specialized dictionary and write a poem using ten words from the dictionary. Guess what kind of dictionary I searched for online? Dictionary of yoga terms, of course.

I love so many of the yogic terms–beautiful sanskrit words that are musical and poetic by themselves. As I started to scan down the list of words,  I could’ve just hung out in the A’s and gotten a poem there…but is that too easy? Eh, whatever. I’ll just grab the first ten words I love and that’s that.

I got the words from here. It’s a glossary of 200 sanskrit terms.

Advaita (“nonduality”): the truth and teaching that there is only One Reality (Atman, Brahman), especially as found in the Upanishads; see also Vedanta

Ahamkara (“I-maker”): the individuation principle, or ego, which must be transcended; cf. asmita; see also buddhi, manas

Ahimsa (“nonharming”): the single most important moral discipline (yama)

Akasha (“ether/space”): the first of the five material elements of which the physical universe is composed; also used to designate “inner” space, that is, the space of consciousness (called cid-akasha)

Amrita (“immortal/immortality”): a designation of the deathless Spirit (atman, purusha); also the nectar of immortality that oozes from the psychoenergetic center at the crown of the head (see sahasrara-cakra) when it is activated and transforms the body into a “divine body” (divya-deha)

Ananda (“bliss”): the condition of utter joy, which is an essential quality of the ultimate Reality (tattva)

Atman (“self”): the transcendental Self, or Spirit, which is eternal and superconscious; our true nature or identity;

Kaivalya (“isolation”): the state of absolute freedom from conditioned existence, as explained in ashta-anga-yoga; in the nondualistic (advaita) traditions of India, this is usually called moksha or mukti (meaning “release” from the fetters of ignorance, or avidya)

Karma Yoga (“Yoga of action”): the liberating path of self-transcending action

Om: the original mantra symbolizing the ultimate Reality, which is prefixed to many mantric utterances

*******
Om.
In this seeking of ananda
I must look not for what I can get,
but ask “What can I give?”
This path of karma yoga purifies
the mind and leads to kaivalya–
and as a snake sheds its skin,
so I shed my habit of self-absorption.
The great paradox here:
as my heart expands outwards
the doorway to the innermost self opens and widens
and the path to Atman is made clear.
As I turn to face the dualistic trickster Ahamkara
and become absorbed in advaita’s all inclusive embrace
I relax and remember that it all begins with akasha–
the space of consciousness where all is born
and all passes away.
This journey is not for the faint of heart.
It is easy to become frustrated, discouraged,
to want to give up.
A strong ahimsa practice is key,
honoring the self that I am,
meeting this self with kindness,
even as I struggle in the bonds
of conditioned existence…
I can remember the amrita
that flows from all of us,
the nectar of immortality,
the gift of our own awakened destiny.