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Archive for June, 2013

Journeys

For those of you that are familiar with yoga, you know that one is often asked to set an intention at the beginning of class…to focus on what they want to accomplish with their practice…bring energy to what they wish to manifest in their lives…cultivate awareness for what is truly going on within.   For those of you not familiar with yoga, read the above sentence.  That’s the kind of cool stuff we do in yoga.

                I had a friend in town that was on a bike tour all over the US doing a ‘listening tour’ for her self-founded project called “The Plenty Project.”  She wanted to talk to people about their ‘American Dreams.’  She is incorporating environmental responsibility and mindfulness into her mission for this tour.  All cool stuff.  I set her up with a few contacts who then gave her a few more contacts and I did the only other thing I felt I could offer besides my couch: free yoga.

                So I had this idea about a theme for class revolving around taking journeys, in honor of her visit to my town.  And the more I thought about it, the more I began to realize that we are all taking journeys every single day of our lives.  Every time we resolve to approach a matter in a slightly different way, we are taking a journey.  Every time we set out to accomplish a goal, be it large or small, we are taking a journey.  Heck, every time we take a yoga class, we are going on a journey.  I thought of a current situation in my life that I was dealing with.  Again, my dating life is currently outlawed on this blog but the situation involves a man/boy (yet to be determined) and the possible start of a new relationship.  And oh boy, do I have a ways to journey in this realm in my life.

                And the thing about these yoga intentions is that sometimes they really hit home more than others.  Sometimes, you wonder if the instructor has been reading your mind or your journal because that class seemed to speak directly to you.  As a teacher, one of the most amazing wonderful things about my profession is when people come up to me after class, often with tears in their eyes, and thank me for that particular intention of the day.  “How did you know I needed to hear that?” they ask.  “Just luck,” I say.  I’m good..but I’m not THAT good.

                So today, I asked the class to set an intention for class revolving around the theme of journeys.  What journeys are you currently undertaking in your life?  Where do you want to go?  How do you want to begin?  What do you want to learn along the way?  How will you get there?

                We moved through our yoga class with grace and strength and lots of inhaling and exhaling and at the end of class, we ended as always in  savasana (a final resting pose otherwise referred to as ‘just lying there’ that is blissful beyond all words and perhaps the other reason all of you non-yogis should check out yoga).  But I digress.  So there we were in savasana and I asked the class to revisit the intention that they had set for class.  And sometimes, as the teacher, I often get so wrapped up in leading the class that I neglect my own intentions.  But that day, I settled in and focused on this journey that I was undertaking.

                Where do I want to go?  To a place where I find a relationship in which I am loved for who I am and respected and where I will not compromise my strength or independence for anyone else.  What do I wish to see along the way?  Laughter, more self-confidence, grace, ease.  How will I get there?  With lots of mindfulness, help from friends, positive mantras and most likely, some red wine.

                As I thought about all of this, tears started forming in my eyes and my voice shook a little as I guided the class out of savasana and into a seated position.  I wished them all safe travels in their journeys and ended the class with ‘namaste.’  It turns out that my intention was just what I needed to hear.  There was something about viewing my new little challenge as a journey.  It allowed me to bring a little bit of wonderment to the situation, and at the same time, it added a sense of adventure.  It gave me confidence that I would get there, even if I wasn’t quite sure where there was yet….the important part was that I was starting from here.

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