Tag Archives: Life
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Fallen Angel Pose

1 Apr

Fallen Angel Pose

You can be anything you want to be. That’s a good starting place. Anything else and you sell yourself short and compromise your dreams. Your dreams have wings but no feet, no ground, until you put yourself in them and give them life.
You will never achieve anything you don’t decide you want to try to reach. That’s a reality.
You must decide to become who you want to be. Then you can make plans to become that person– to learn the skills, meet the challenges, overcome the obstacles and focus the energy necessary to achieve your success.
Rob Kall

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A Meditation

24 Feb

 The Lord has blessed me with a beautiful talent.  Yet I am not told how to use it.  I must put forth the effort and time to understand the nature of it, listen with an open heart, not a busy mind, and be at peace.  God will allow it to unfold within me, as I am able to accept, and receive his gift.

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Balance

28 Feb

In my adventures becoming a Yoga Instructor, I have done a lot of personal research, not just to become a better teacher but a better person as well.  So much I have learned through yoga echos what I believe in religiously and has really opened my mind with clarity on certain areas of life.  The effects have been quite amazing and for this I am grateful.  I can see myself becoming calmer, less panic attacks (or freak outs as I like to call them) and, while becoming more hands on with the positive choices, things that can cause stress and drama I have become more detached.  The joy of becoming more detached with the chaotic aspects of life is that I am finding more time for myself and for my loved ones.  Time to work on projects, time to spend out walking with my dog, time for more baking!  Its astounding the amount of time we spend on a daily basis worrying about things that really don’t need a second thought!

I wrote this little piece to tie in with one of my classes, a sort of meditation piece to open with and give students something to reflect on while they are working through their asana’s.  It is based on some of the teachings of the famous yogis, B.K.S Iyengar.  Now you don’t have to be a yogis to reap the benefits of yoga practice, a lot of it is mental well-being.  I believe God has many tools and platforms with to which he can reach His children in a way befitting their unique minds, Yoga is that tool for me and maybe it can be yours as well.

Balance
 
  Balance is something we all struggle with, whether in our physical yoga practice or simply in our everyday lives.  Every living thing around us strives for balance.  However, change is what disturbs balance and of course life being the curious thing that it is, change is the one thing that is constant in this world.  Do not fret though, without imperfection or imbalance, life would be dull.  It would be meaningless!  The struggle for balance is a dance that is essential to Life!
 
Imagine a tree.  A tree is  strong, the trunk is hard and dense, giving it a good foundation from which to grow.  Yet it is flexible, able to sway in the wind.  If the wind counts as change and the tree wasn’t able to move with it or, “go with the flow”, the dense foundation would mean nothing.  The tree would eventually break and fall.  So to be flexible or, “dynamic” adds to the density of the tree, making it that much stronger and amazing.  However a tree wants more from life than to be strong and sway in the breeze.  It wants to grow, to reach for the sun, produce leaves and fruit.  It loves to give shade and protection, to be a home.  This is what gives a tree luminosity.  With its protective quality, the tree is tranquil.  The gift of leaves and fruit is a quality of alertness.  The continuing quest to reach for the sun, is clarity.
 
Using a tree as an example in the strive for balance is the perfect example.  As we go through life or work through our asana’s, we want to be as strong in our foundation as the tree, but we also want to be dynamic and flexible.  For us, using the breath as a tool for this is much the same how the tree uses the earth, drawing in what we need for our minds and bodies.  Lastly, in our quest for balance, we involve our minds, to stay alert, yet more importantly, calm and accepting. 
 
It is a struggle, a dance we will forever be learning, but enormously rewarding.  We may never find perfect balance but isn’t it said that the journey, not the destination, is what matters most?

Keep Breathing

1 Feb

When I was little all I dreamed about was becoming a ballerina, chased that dream till I was 24 and finally realized after I graduated college, it was never gonna happen.  From the moment you have understanding of words, people fill your head with notions that you can do anything you want to, be anyone you want to.  In a very broad, pure sense it is true.  Why then couldn’t little Bethany grow up and be that ballerina?  I tried my heart out.  I auditioned, trained, did everything I was supposed to, really put myself out there.   Real life limitations happened, my body’s limitations.  I have scoliosis.  That is something I can’t ever change no matter how hard I try.  I couldn’t become a Ballerina because my shoulders are permanently hunched, because my hips aren’t even and when I bend forward you can actually see where my spine curves.  I was a good dancer but I was never going to be “great” because my body just wasn’t made in the image if a ballerina.  God made me perfect though, yes I have limitations, but he has taught me how to use them, and accept them.  He gave me Yoga.

Yoga, pure and simple, is a beautiful art form.  It is slow and focused, stimulating mind, body, and soul.  Technique is key but if yours isn’t perfect, you aren’t moved to stand in the back of the class, you are encouraged, welcomed with open arms.  Even with yoga I am constantly challenged.  My scoliosis doesn’t take it easy on me here either.  I have a harder time rolling my shoulders back, opening up my chest, lengthening my spine, than your average learner.  This doesn’t mean I am bad at Yoga though.  In fact it has taught me to stop beating myself up, have patience, work with my body instead of trying to force it.  I embrace my weakness because it has shown me my strength.  I am graceful, strong, and determined.  I may have rounded shoulders but I have long straight legs that are powerful and amazing.  My feet are built perfectly for balancing, I have long toes and a beautiful arch, my ankles are sturdy and flexible.  My arms are beautifully shaped and graceful.  The fact that I have something to work for just makes it all the more worthwhile.

No matter how much joy filled my heart when I was dancing, I always felt I was on trial, that I had to prove that I belonged.   Maybe I never did.  God gave me the want to be in motion.  I want to move, leap, dance, balance, stretch.  Yet dance was judgmental, it wanted something I could never give, it wanted perfection and I was just….me. 

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Which is why I feel Yoga is such a gift.  It gives me the challenge of mastering a pose or movement yet it doesn’t judge.  I am not less because of my disability.  I am more, I have more to offer.  I understand so much now about how the spine works in our bodies, and how to protect it, care for it.  I have a better grasp on it then probably someone who has a perfect spine and lovely straight shoulders.  Now when I start teaching I will be able to help my students that much more.  I have learned that I am amazing at the balancing poses, or the stretching poses.  While my back may be curved, it is strong and I will master back bends.

Before, when I was a dancer, if there was something I didn’t know how to do, I would berate myself and force myself to do it whether my body was ready and capable or not.  I probably caused some damage that I will definitely experience in my golden years.  Heck, I already get achy joints when it is going to rain.  Through Yoga I have become excited when I see something I don’t know how to do yet, or I don’t have the strength yet.  Because this isn’t a race, I have all the time in the world to master the Inverted Locust pose.  I am not competing against anyone else.  I will be able to do it when my body is ready, and my body is becoming stronger everyday!

I will always have a special spot in my heart for dancing, when ever I hear an awesome song my body starts twitching, just aching to be let loose.  But dancing and being a dancer are two entirely different things and I finally learned that.  Yoga is Yoga.  God gave me Yoga.  God is Good.