Yoga, Practice, and getting to know your Self.

The “S Word.” We throw it around a lot.

Self esteem, self worth, self confident, self conscious….but do we really know who we are underneath? Aren’t we all just trying to figure that out? The discovery of the Elusive “S” all begins with a choice. It’s up to us. Are we ready to move towards our Self or shall we continue to cloud our feelings with dogma, theory, and adjectives without actually seeing whats underneath the practice of these things?
When the decision is made to be real and see ourselves it shows up in our yoga. In the way we move, the way we breathe, the way we fill up a room. It starts to shine out in to other things- how we interact with family, friends, acquaintances, challenging people. How we treat the earth, the dietary decisions we make, the way in which we honor our needs and the needs of others. It shows up…and the realization that all is well and always has been is clear.

But…

This takes work…

It takes, staring down those selves in the face. Yes multiple selves. All gritty, hazy, overwhelming, erratic, imbalanced, joyful, open, closed, excited, numb….whatever they are…without allowing “judgement” to cloud the truth. Seeing each self for what it is- purposeful or not, true or not- necessary or not. At times this may mean a sweaty, strong and powerful Vinyasa practice by the end of which we feel as if they layers of holding have just slipped off the skin with the drops of sweat on our mat; other times it may take a quite, long, slow, deep yin practice of connective tissue stretches that cause us to confront the deeply threaded feelings stored by the bodies internal memory system; still others it is simply sitting, breathing, noticing…but one thing is for certain. The theory of these things will get you only so far. The practice of them regularly and intently with complete honesty is what causes the shift. It is also important to approach the practice with an element of compassion. As the Yoga Sutras (1.33) state:
“In relationships, the mind becomes purified by cultivating feelings of friendliness towards those who are happy, compassion for those who are suffering, goodwill towards those who are virtuous, and neutrality towards those we perceive as non-virtuous.” The relationship with yourself and your practice is no different. Don’t forget to challenge your perspective.

YOGA ISN’T EASY, it is moving towards ease (sometimes through things that are hard). So ask yourself. Are you ready to make the choice? If not, keep practicing to the capacity you have right now. Even if it’s only doing ONE thing regularly, to hone your awareness of yourself in that circumstance, you are doing the work. When that choice is ready to be made you’ll have some legwork underway. :)
You can struggle and learn how to do things the hard way or you can settle and allow yourself to unfold with ease.

Namaste,

Jennifer

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Beat, Burn, Bliss- Vino Vinyasa March 2013

A blend of beat, burn, and bliss

A blend of beat, burn, and bliss

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Living Breathing Flow


Anything that is un-rooted in beauty, grace and love….let it go

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Super Stretchy Spinal Flow

It’s been a lovely, crazy, fulfilling, and this-life altering summer. This poor little blog has been neglected and I can’t promise that will change drastically with the months to come. I thought that in penance I should offer you a little gift so I hopped on my mac today and started to move. No plans but this came out so I hope you enjoy…

30 minutes of juicy, slow, stretchy spinal flow.
Shout Out to your upper back- the container for the other side of your heart.

(full disclaimer, my big fur-baby Olive decided she needed to be part of the show so there are some “hair ball in the throat” sounds and a few guest appearances of a furry black mug. Just go with it ;-)  Also my breathing is much more exaggerated than it usually would be but sound isn’t the greatest in this room so I wanted you to be able to hear the rhythm as much as possible. Typically it’s strong but more subtle and in/out primarily through the nose )

For those of you in the Raleigh-Durham area i’m directing a new and amazing studio in Brier Creek under the name BURN Athletic. We’ll offer Yoga, Circuit Training, Cycling and BURNBlends (fusion/cross-modality classes). We’ll also have a few the Ballet Burn classes on our schedule. I really can’t express how grateful I am for this opportunity to gather an amazing community of instructors and students together in one space. I’ve come to realize even more through this journey that there is more than enough for everyone…and i’ve loved every minute, continuing to support the existing yoga and fitness community while integrating our vision into the mix. Wild Crazy Beautiful ride indeed!

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“The only thing i’ll ever learn, is just to Love…”

So it’s the end of Valentines Day 2012. Whether it is a joyous event for you and yours or a seemingly pre-apocalyptic cry fest, it’s still here and not changing…the day where sugary treats, mass farmed roses, and goofy grins are seen everywhere, and even if all you want to do is curl up in a ball on the couch with your new beaus “Ben and Jerry” the love fest is unavoidable.

But that’s the thing isn’t it. Continue reading

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My new little light

We’ve all had them. Those ‘drop you off the edge of your world and right into another’ type of moments. Everything goes from black and white with subtle hues to psychadelic colors, unforseen landscapes of fuscias and emeralds, shots of gold, and streaks of lime. You know…one minute your comfortable and content and the next minute you are thrown for a loop and loving every minute. Continue reading

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Heather Tiddens: On the motivation to teach and learn

So if you are a Facebook friend you have seen my enthusiasm about this weekend’s workshop series with Heather Tiddens. Her yin-yang approach to yoga is always a special treat and every session I leave feeling that much more connected to my body, my breath, and my purpose as a teacher and as a student of life. Continue reading

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Aligning your chakras for awareness

Just a quick post today…but something that, while not super entertaining, is definitely useful…

Many yogis (yours truly included) are guilty of denying their practices two things: sufficient centering at the beginning of practice and pranayama (yogic breathing exercises). This easy to incorporate exercise takes no longer than 5 minutes and not only will it get you centered, but it will also align your energetic channels.

Here are the steps:

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Soundtrack to a happy life

If you know me you know that, while I love a contemplative sans-music practice, if you are coming to my class there will usually be tunes involved. Lots and lots of tunes. In fact, I think Spotify, yogitunes, yoganonymix etc. have only enhanced my addiction to creating playlists. I can spend hours sitting on the computer of my iPhone creating these little mixes. There are worse things right?

Out of my obsession I bequeath unto you, dear reader, the must have tunes for a happy practice and a happy life from the past years playlist shenanigans (OK there are so many more but I’m giving myself a 10 minute time limit to choose)…Here goes.

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2011’s greatest hits from Cafe Ganesha

A quick wrap up of this past year’s favorite posts…you know, just in case you missed one ;) Continue reading

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