Let’s Get Physical

Posted on Feb 6, 2013 | 0 comments

Let’s Get Physical

February is the month of love and I am focusing on loving our bodies, not the body you want and not a body you see in magazines – Your Body – just as it is today – all of it. We want to change our bodies – we want them to LOOK better.  But have you given much thought to their actual function?  This month I am asking you to turn your perspective from the surface appearance of your body to the physical function and begin to appreciate just how wonderful your body is and all it accomplishes every single day. Our bodies are wonderful works of art that are so complex that science has barely scratched the surface of how it works.  There are so many functions that your body completes every second without an active thought from you, like breathing. Consider how the complex interaction of blood, bone and muscle allows for your every movement. Look at your hand and instead of seeing the flaws you would usually see, acknowledge the wonder of what it can do and how it works.  Now turn that same perspective to a part of your body that you would like to change and notice how it alters your feelings about any other part of your body you would like to change.  This new perspective is especially important if you are facing health challenges.  Our mental attitude toward our body is key to how we take care of ourselves. This isn’t about specific parts of your body or being complacent with where you are physically.  This is about shifting your attention from the surface APPEARANCE of your body to the amazing FUNCTION of your body. This is about accepting where you are today and appreciating the physical form that enables you to be present in the world.  When you begin to appreciate your body for the miracle it is – a transformation to love can begin.  When we love something we take good care of it and keep it safe.  This is not a magic wand that changes your body, but it can change how you look at yourself in the...

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When the World is Falling Apart

Posted on Apr 5, 2011 | 0 comments

It seems like there is nothing but bad news everywhere right now and it can really start to affect your outlook on life.  Between the tragic events in Japan, the state of the global economy and frustration with our political/economic situation, how does a Yogi/Yogini keep perspective and frankly how do we keep Hope alive? Something very interesting happens when we begin to practice Yoga.  The very essence of Yoga is to reconnect to the Divine in ourselves and others.  The result is that like the Grinch our heart grows three sizes.  We find that we FEEL others pain much more acutely.  It goes past knowing or understanding, these take place in the head.  But when we FEEL with others – that takes place in our Soul and our Heart.  It is much deeper and more profound.  As a result we may find that the pain of people a world away makes our chest ache. Don’t forget that there is Divine in each of us and since Divine is universal – we are ALL connected at a level that can not be explained away.  So it makes sense that we can physically hurt for people we don’t even know.  But this burden can be very hard to bear.  So how does a Yogi/Yogini protect their sanity and keep Hope alive? The answer is in Loving/Kindness on the mat and off.  Remember that when we practice Loving/Kindness meditation it is like ripples in a pond.  It doesn’t matter what words you use – it is the power behind the thoughts that makes the difference.  So when everything seems overwhelming take a few minutes to do the following: 1.  Send YOURSELF love and kindness 2.  Send your Family love and kindness 3.  Send your Friends love and kindness 4.  Send your ENEMIES love and kindness (VERY important) 5.  Send ALL beings, born and to be born, love and kindness The very action of concentrating on love and kindness will help you, the Yogi/Yogini, to feel more balanced and positive.  And by the way, there is science now to back this up.  Scientist have used functional MRI’s to map brain activity, and when the subject focused on positive thoughts the portion of the brain that drives positive emotions activated and stayed activated.   I have always said it is easy to be a Yogi/Yogini on the mat, in class or on retreat, the real test comes after.  The real work of a Yogi/Yogini happens off the mat.  This is where the rubber meets the road. Send love and kindness to EVERYONE you meet.  Yes even that person who cuts you off in Houston traffic.  Yes even the person at Starbucks who is complaining.  Yes even to your boss or co-worker who is on your last nerve.  No exceptions – Everyone.  This is tough.  Remember I don’t ask you to do the easy thing – it is the hard stuff that transforms your life and the life of others. When you respond to ugliness with love and kindness you take the wind out of the sails of the situation.  I am not talking about being a push over – remember a Yogi/Yogini is strong in body/mind/soul.  But you do not have to buy into the hype and perpetuate the negative.  So how does that help someone a world away you ask.  Well like the ripples in a pond you never know how far reaching your action is.  Someone you smile at today may be on the phone with someone in Japan and that positivity will transmit over a phone line.  It really does –...

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