One of the best things about yoga (if not THE best), is that after each practice, you really do grow and you really do transcend into a higher self. You become enlightened by your own abilities and the miracles of your amazing body. You learn, you discover a lot about yourself, and you gain a great deal of humility. When all of this radiates from ourselves, we put peace into our lives and into the lives of those around us.
I’m so heartbroken. My beloved dog, Apples, of 17 years, has passed away early this morning. She has tenaciously fought for her life for about a year and today, her little body stopped struggling and decided to rest. I love you so much, Apples. You were a little dog who thought she was a Great Dane. I miss you already, but I know you are having the time of your next life in doggy heaven.
So this is love…strawberry “ice cream” made with frozen banana, topped with coconut and organic coconut sugar. What’s uuuuuuppppp?! :)
Dinner- kale and garbanzo bean soup, with Field Roast’s Mexican Chipotle vegan sausage for a kick. Serve with sprinkled nutritional yeast and maybe some garlic bread :D
So many “side poses”/twists in practice this morning :D Oh, and I have strawberry hair…so Jay calls it :P
There is no doubt that, in our yoga asana practice, struggle exists. We have to struggle to become stronger. We have to struggle to realize our physical limits. Sure, struggle can suck, but struggle is a good thing- it’s our teacher.
When I first started practicing yoga, one of my teachers said, “Struggle is not an option. You have to struggle to get there.” He said this often during class. It confused me so much. I thought, What? Yoga is not meant to make you struggle. Yoga is about stillness and peace, isn’t it? Why do I have to struggle in postures?
Yoga is hard. ass. work. Sometimes, it takes a lot to show up and get on the mat…and then we have to do push ups, balance on one leg, hold postures? Holy shit. So why is struggle necessary in yoga asana practice? We struggle to discover the Amrita, the nectar. It’s the sweet spot where struggle meets stillness; it’s not necessarily stillness in posture, but stillness in the mind. It is the place in asana where, even when our knees are shaking, our arms are tired, and the sweat is like a gentle waterfall, we find that we can let go of expectations- the place where we can accept and appreciate what our bodies can do and continue to do for us. It is the sweet, sweet nectar, the Amrita, that keeps us coming back to the mat every time.
Yoga is never about perfection and that’s why we call it a practice. Yoga is the belief that through movement of the body, through movement of the Prana, the life force, we can achieve stillness in the mind- such a beautiful union.
Where you are in your practice is exactly where you should be. You are enough.
Drank it up…that nectar, I mean :)
Mmmm…acai with all the goodness :)
I really want some pancakes right now.
AFRICA YOGA PROJECT:
Africa Yoga Project is a grassroots 501c3 Not-For-Profit Organization that has introduced thousands of students in Kenya to the practice of yoga, as well provides educational scholarships, job training, food stipends, temporary housing and health services.
The project offers financial support to 38 teachers in exchange for teaching yoga in the communities of Nairobi providing a healthy, motivational venue for young adults to engage with their community, build support systems and change lives.