Crying on the Yoga Mat


“Mr. Duffy lived a short distance form his body.” – James Joyce

Lying on my yoga mat last night in class, between poses,  just grateful to be there even though I’m sweating like crazy and thinking I must really stink when the teacher, Jessica Young of Tejas Yoga in Chicago (also a friend and killer human being, writer, defender of rights of all beings) comes to adjust my posture. 

Jess is calling out the cues for postures and I’m following along like a dog, a grateful yoga dog, breathing (ok sometimes it sounds like feels more like panting,) and stretching as much as I can.

img_0867

I’m beginning to stop being such a border collie and going full out into what could be way too much for me on a given day and accepting the body as it is, day by day.

Striking that blessed balance between effort and ease.

I just love that I can come here and someone else will tell me what to do to help me heal my body and my spirit, my heart and my mind. An hour or more of asanas, one after the next after the next. Lots of sweating.

Finally, the rest pose, corpse pose, savasana. And I love that Jess clicks on the AC , “to take the edge off.” I pull a blanket over my body with deep gratitude. Savasana is often an emotional time for me. Whatever has been under the surface comes bubbling up.

kitty-savasana

I love that yoga class ends with this. Well it doesn’t “End” with it but it does marks the beginning of the end of each and every class.

Corpse pose, letting everything fall away and down, the brain resting in the back of the head, the eyeballs falling into the little craters in my face, the occipital orbits.

And the breath just happening on its own, letting go of all effort-fulness.

So last night, I’m lying there, suddenly my husband’s words about gentleness and living gently come to me and I’m crying; the tears leaking out of eyes and running into my ears. I don’t move but let them come. I let go even of worry and analysis.

I’m feeling grateful for his presence and what feels like a total softening of our whole thing together. I wonder if it’s all the Metta practice I’ve been up to lately or all the shit that’s come down in the last weeks or so, but I guess I don’t really have to know. I can tell you this: We have both lived our lives util we knew each other, under a great deal of duress and extremes which are next to the words in the dictionary: not gentle living. (if that was a real entry)

It feels good this gentleness. Like crazy good. Like we are finally relaxing into who we really are, deep inside. Healing the wounds. Developing the gifts. But that’s another idea for later.

After corpse pose, there’s the rolling over to the side into a fetal position and taking breaths there and when ready, allowing yourself to be born again, using the strength of the arms and the breath to press yourself up into a sitting posture. Then Om Shanti Shanti Shanti, and final gratitude and wishes for all beings to find peace. 

I love being reborn every time I unroll my mat. Where else can I get that?

I end class with this. So simple yet challenging to live out fully: Committing to being here each moment as it is, but really being here instead of a short distance away.

I wish you well.

Thank you so much for stopping by.

Hillary

Advertisements

You Can’t Un-See the Truth.


  
Once we see the truth we can’t un-see it. Once we see that we are doing things, or have habits that are unhealthy for us we cannot un-see that.
We can also see that when we are doing things and have habits that are beneficial for us, we know this is true and cannot un-see that either.  
It’s easy to know in our hearts when what we’re doing is right. And it is very difficult to turn away from that truth. If we turn away from the truth we only create suffering for ourselves.
I have discovered these things to be true in my very own experience. I know that Yoga makes my body feel great and also helps release my heart and my mind from stress.  
I set my intention to do my practice every day without expectation or grasping, but merely to see what it is that I’m working with today and my body, my heart and my mind.
What will you do today to support your truth and your best self, to move closer to your true calling?IMG_0141

The Eye of the Heart


  
I find this line of St. Augustine’s this morning while reading Liz Gilbert’s book, (long after everyone else has, but that’s another blog post) while drinking morning coffee.

But backing up a second.

First there was this line, which moved me to immediate tears in its urgency or risk of sentimentality, a quality for which creative work may be frequently derided, but which I value most highly, when it works. When it reaches inside the heart of experience and points THERE and we see something true, and sometimes our hearts break open a little, in recognition of this truth.

Here it is:

  

“…heartbreaking inability to sustain contentment.” ( well there’s the story of most of my life!)

Which followed by the St. Augustine, let’s us see very clearly how if we can “restore to health the eye of the heart,” we can solve our most pressing and poignant problem. We forget who we really are and feel sad and alone. 

We can through yoga or tai chi or kung fu or perhaps other physical practices ( I know runners who say running is like this for them, something I can barely wrap my mind around because running feels like agony to me, even for a single, measly mile) pursued not for their superficial, physical benefits but as spiritual practices per se, prepare ourselves for the work of still meditation which works to even further heal and open the eye of the heart, awaken our recognition of our true divine identity. 

But, I started this just wanting to say how grateful I was to find these lines and share them here with you. 

There is of course which could be said, but there is work to do, tests to study for, and moving plans to make. For me, further contemplation, further writing about this, will have to wait for another time a bit later.

May you all restore the eyes of your hearts to health. 

 

Thanks so much for stopping by. 

The Daily Intention


What’s your intention today?  

I love the idea of having intention. I picked this up as I’ve begun to practice yoga. The idea that we come to the match each day with some simple idea for our practice really appeals to me.

Perhaps because I’m such a terrific over-complicater. This means that when I try to set an intention for each day or for each session of practice, I find it very challenging to make it simple.

  
Do you have that challenge too?

So here’s my intention for today:

Stay present not panicked. Stay with each breath.

This is an especially busy time. So it’s very easy for the mind to go spiraling in various directions.

  
I’d love to hear from anyone out there who also works with intentions and might be willing to share how you do that and what kind of things are important to you as you form your intentions each day.

May all find peace.

  

Happiness Class


8-Week Mind Body Happiness Class

DSCF1729_2

Meet once a week for 2.5 hours to learn practices which will transform your life through learning how to support your authentic happiness and flourishing through positive psychology, meditation and mindfulness practices. This is a practical class which will show you how to apply the lessons learned in formal practice to everyday life. Includes all course materials and book, other support materials.

$500/8-week group class. (just $62.50/class) or Fly solo $750 by appt

Time: 1-3:30pm

Class Dates: June 28, July 12, 19, 26, Aug 2, 9, 16, 23

Place: 816 W 19th St. No. 2 Chicago, IL 60608

New Tai Chi Class Starts June 28


Tai Chi Basics

Think of tai chi as a kind of Chinese yoga (minus the specialised clothing and mats!) This 8-week course will introduce you to the basics of tai chi practice. Learn posture fundamentals, tai chi stepping and some of the underlying principles of tai chi. We’ll also focus on how to apply the lessons of tai chi to reducing stress and increasing flow in your every day life. No special gear required, just you and your body in some soft comfy clothing. Perfect for all ages. Advance registration and payment required to reserve your spot. Cash, check, PayPal or Square accepted.

$160/8-week course.

Time: 10-11:15am

Class Dates: June 28, July 12, 19, 26, Aug 2, 9, 16, 23

Place: 816 W 19th St. No. 2 Chicago, IL 60608

IMG_3447