Oregon... back where I started an amazing journey last summer. Staying with a fellow yogini, Tami, in an amazing area of downtown Portland. I could really get into city life: walking everywhere, great food, shops, fab yoga, and what seems to be a cool art scene as well.
Took a Yin Yoga class (long, slow stretching of connective tissues around the joints) at the Pearl (Yoga) yesterday. Wow, it took tremendous patience and concentration for me me to hold each posture (only 7 different poses: ardha konasana (half straddle), parighasana (gate pose), marjarasana (cat/cow), sukasana (seated cross leg), eka pada raja kopotasana (pigeon), balasana (child's pose), and savasana (relaxation), in 75 minutes) for a lengthy time. My mind just could not quiet. Finally in balasana, I gave it up, yielding and allowed my breath to swell into my body and surrender to it. If you've ever held resistance in a pose and then when it finally clicked to let go... fully allowing it to envelop you... then you know where I was. If you haven't, no worries, ahh- there is so much more yet to experience (for all of us!).
What is so amazing about yoga to me is it can be the best instructor or even the worst, and I can still find a nugget of beauty. Because it's really not about their skills but what I bring with me (baggage, tension, fear....), and what I'm able to be free from. (Elizabeth Gilbert has a great article on discovering yoga, and touches on this topic beautifully, in the March Yoga Journal (pg. 41 for you grocery store line flippers.))
I find that it's my attitude that shapes my experience. 90% of what we perceive comes from our past experiences. Just when you think everyone is looking at you or notices when you fall... they are actually wondering the same thing -- did they see me do that, say that, walk around with that giant gob of food in my teeth? Probably not. Our egos tell us one thing but reality is so much less dramatic.
"When we see clearly that every single human being, regardless of fame or fortune or age or brains or beauty, shares the same ordinary foibles, a strange thing happens. We begin to cheer up, to loosen up... and as we ramble along the potholed road of life, we find ourselves among frineds." Elizabeth Lesser
Looking forward to a great day of teaching at Flow in the Hood today! Life really is good.
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