Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Change In the House of Flies

So just to start...Primary Series was the shit last night!!!! Sometimes I wonder if the phrase "the shit" is translatable into Sanskrit!! I hear a new tattoo idea...Ha!!
But seriously (eyebrows drop), primary is spectacular. So refreshing, so detoxifying. I'm actually dealing with slight sciatic irritation and an SI joint issue right now. It's really helping my practice a lot. Cultivating Ahimsa comes truly shining through and helps to balance my Pitta. Although it is difficult trying to undue 28 years of conditioning in less than a year... patience, contentment...I am where I am no where to go but here. aaahhhhhh....

A friend of mine said to me the other night (we were chillin' the other night watching skateboarding videos and chatting) that when her Dad always asks her what time it is, she says..."Right now!!"
That is awesome...Truer words were never spoken!! I told her that I'm stealing it. When you are living moment to moment, the time is NOW!! That is one of the reasons that I like righting this Blog. It's a spontaneous action at this point...I just feel as though I have some thoughts that I'm connecting with and I want to get them out. (sigh) Aaahhhh life.

So now for my intention for this say that people are wonderful!! Certainly in this world there are personality conflicts happening all around us. But when you truly make a connection or difference in this world it feels spectacular. Not necessarily because you were the cause or had some part in this glorious moment but because it makes you feel happy to see someone else so happy. It's like that feeling of warmth when you see two people in love. You think to yourself "Good for them for finding love!!" I feel that way about Adele and me...she is amazing!! I won't go on saying all the cliched things that I could say about her... but she is all of them.

In particular, one of the women in my class today (which was my first class as a certified Yoga Teacher) is wonderful. She said that she has finally realized that she loves herself for the first time. "Good for her for finding love!!" Nothing is more important than a love for yourself. To actually love who you are and where you're headed. She knows now that she needs not please everyone around at the sake of hating herself.

Haaaaaa!! It's funny how coincidences work....I just remembered that this was actually the intention set for last nights Primary Series....My's blowing....steaming!!!

Being a part of this thing called Yoga is outstanding...this enigmatic beauty that is the means and the end...the journey and the destination...This shit does still blow my mind sometimes!!! As it probably will for lifetimes to come.

To all...enjoy life...enjoy love...bask in them both...they are the same source of light.


Tuesday, January 29, 2008

99% Practice, 1% Theory

Tonight...7:15 pm...Primary Series!!!

For those of you who are not familiar with Primary Series, it is a sequence of poses from the Ashtanga Yoga practice. I am in love with Ashtanga.

I am in love with all styles of Yoga but Ashtanga really speaks to me....Perhaps it is because my natural Ayurvedic constitution is Pitta...But there's more to it than that.

It is a beautiful practice (not only to do but to watch)!! It is so fluid, so meaningful, so expressive...and it resonates with every piece of my soul. I have actually only been doing Ashtanga Yoga for maybe 6 months...My Yoga experience is actually not even a year yet.

I can't deny it's effect on me...Coming from a weight training back ground I feel that one of the drawing factors is that it is such a physically demanding practice. But it is mentally demanding!!

It makes you keep your cool and calm down in the face of difficult situations. I remember when I first tried Primary Series. I had recently joined a new studio (not really knowing anything about the Ashtanga practice other than that Bryan Kest DVD that I bought on Amazon). I walked into class @ De La Sol and set up my mat, when the man beside me (who has actually become a friend) said, "You know this is Primary Series right?" I replied, "Yes!!" (Not even knowing what the hell Primary even was). He continues with, "This is a level 3 class you know?" I saw that on the schedule but had no idea what to expect. I was in for the shock of my life. I've been hooked ever since.

A lot of people ask, "Isn't Ashtanga just about the poses?" God NO!!!!! Like any Yoga... there is the breath, the surrender of effort to spirit, the relaxation and the philosophy behind it.

It's just that rather than holding poses for extended periods of time you move through the Primary poses in a systematic and slightly faster way. At the beginning of class there is still an invocation (to pay tribute to all Yogis who have paved the way and to seer Patanjali) and there is still surrendering at the end.

However, Ashtanga does tend to draw in very athletic types that think of it as nothing but a work out... and that's cool too. They'll probably find out for themselves (as I did) that there is more to the style than just sweating and breathing. Ashtanga is meditation in movement.

Seane Corn said that Ashtanga is actually very ritualistic...From the way you breath to the way you position your hands (like a beautifully performed tea drinking ceremony). The whole practice becomes an offering to Spirit. Effort soon becomes effortless. That's what I'm beginning to realize.

I do however love going to other types of classes. Heather Greaves, who was my Teacher Trainer, comes from a Kundalini background and I've come to love that practice as well.

I love chanting!!!! For some reason chanting really resonates with me as well!!! Give me a few rounds of the Gayatri any day.

And every now and again when I feel that I need some relaxation, and a less physical practice, I'll do a more restorative practice. I was once told that a sadhaka (student) should pick one particular practice and stick with it. I don't necessarily agree with that. I feel that every type of Yoga from Pre-natal to Anusara to Kundalini to Iyengar all have something wonderful to offer.
And as a Yoga Teacher, having so many sources to draw from is amazing.

I will say this...Yoga has something for everyone!!

The wonderful thing is that the world is finally realizing it
(I'm glad that it didn't take me that long).


Monday, January 28, 2008

Another Day At the Office

Monday, Monday, Monday!!!

For most, one of the worst days of the week...

Back to work, back to school, back to a schedule,

back to workin' for da Man!!!

I'm not really excited to be going back to work... I'm not jumping up and down or planning a huge fireworks display in celebration of a new work week. I do sometimes follow the "LoverBoy" ideal..."Everybody's workin' for the weekend!!" But I do love my job!!!

I am a personal trainer by career and also a new Yoga Teacher (having just completed my first of many Yoga Teacher Trainings).

I was admittedly lost for a while. When I got out of Highschool I really had no idea what I wanted to do with my life...Video game tester wasn't really an option. I ended up applying to 4 different colleges for 4 different things (mostly art realated). When it came time to decide I realized that I didn't want to do any of them. Soooo, like any other average dude in my area, I got a job in a factory. As much as I ended up hating my life for a couple years b/c of the job it really did lead me to my first real connection with myself.

I, for lack of a better term, got sick of it!!! I got sick of going to work when it was darkand getting out of work when it was dark. I was sick of working my ass off and only getting comments from my supervisor when I was messing up (never praise for my hard work).

It was at that time that I took my first step towards FREEDOM. I went back to school.

I chose to follow my passion and go to school for music (I'm a drummer by nature) because it was the only thing that had remained a constant joy of my life. I didn't get full support right away(sorry Mom...I just don't like working with computers) but my parents eventually saw how happy I was and helped me a lot in the end.

When you get out of music school you basically have 3 options...1.Starving musician. 2.Music as a side job. or 3.Teaching lessons full time and gigging on the side. Non of these options appealed to me. That, in turn, led me to think "What else do I really like to do?" Hey I like to work-out. And I've always had fun helping my friends at the gym. Giving advice and making training programs!!

So I became a Personal Trainer...which then lead me to Yoga....Funny thing...I don't even really touch weights anymore...What a great chain of events!!!

For anyone that reads these Blog entries....I have a tendeny to go off on tangents...But its all relavent.

Anyway, back to Mondays. I seriously feel that work is one of the best places to cultivate the Yogic values that I've been studying and implementing. I believe that I was meant to work where I do so that I could deal with the obstacles that have layed in path for years. I have never really handled high-strung people very well...I just wouldn't even waste my time with them.

My boss is the Webster's definition of high-strung. He is wound so tight that he might spontaeously combust at any moment. Excessive Vata and Pitta....EXCESSIVE!!!

He has really helped me to go inside myself and teach myself that there is no such thing as stressors...Its all in how you respond to it. Before I would go out of my way to avoid him so that I didn't get stressed out. Now...I breath...stay calm...he is who he is...I am who I am...I have 2 choices...stay and deal with it or quit my job. I chose "Calm".

Ahimsa, Satya, Asteya, Brahmacharya, Aparigraha!!

All come into play in day to day life....for those of you not familiar with the above Sanskrit terms,

Go to Google and type in Yamas.

We are faced with many things through out the day...

How do you deal with them?

I use Yoga!!!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

The Day I Tried To Live

I remember watching the Cosby Show as a kid. I used to love that show. I wasn't exactly sure why. But it seemed as though they were the coolest family on television. Every week a new story, a new joke and a new guest Jazz musician...being that Bill Cosby, not only a great spokes person for Kodak and Jell-o pudding, was also a famous Jazz producer. From time to time I hear a song on the radio or somewhere else and I associate it with the Cosby show. For instance, I was downloading some James Brown lately and I heard "Night and Day" and was transported back to the episode where the Huxtable clan celebrated Cliffs parents anniversary by lip syncing to this song. The memory is an amazing thing.

My girlfriend of nearly two years, Adele, is directly responsible for,
not only introducing me to Yoga, but also influenced my decision to write a Blog. She has recently started to right a brilliant blog called No Way Au Lait. Her stories of food and fun and all Dairy free. It is in her that I find undying compassion. I find unyielding support. She has supported my decision to become a Yoga Teacher and also supports my journey as a novice Yogi, trying to make sense out of the world. But I love that I am trying to make sense of it all and not just lagging by on the ride to who knows where.

Which brings me back to the Cosby story. (tangent: I think one of the funniest episodes was when the whole family tried to teach Theo about living in the "real world" so they pretended to be other people...Rudy was Mrs. Farnzworth, the banker. I laugh just thinking about it.). There was an episode that had a guest appearance by Jazz Vocalist Lena Horne. She sang these words "In this world of ordinary people, extra-ordinary people...I'm glad there is you. In this world of over rated pleasures, and under rated treasures...I'm glad there is you."

This first Blog entry is my dedication to Adele. They say that you are meant to meet people so that they may teach you something that you needed to know about yourself. Adele has not only taught me my way around a kitchen, but she has taught me that every time I say "I love you!" that I should mean it. She has also taught me that Love is not what I once thought it was...It's better!!

This is a Blog of My journey. A journey that happens moment by moment, breath by breath. This is the Blog of The ifree Yogi.

-Picture yourself as the sky... Of a brilliant shade of blue...From time to time in this spacious sky there are cloud formations...These clouds, consistantly passing...These clouds however slight or however large...However light and fluffy or however dark and ominous...these clouds do not make up the sky...We all know that when the clouds are gone there is always a crystal blue sky just waiting to be discovered again!!
We are all crystal blue and perfect.... just waiting to be discovered.