Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Could we be in this together...?

I was just thinking about the theme of my Tuesday night Vinyasa Flow 1 for next week. It seems these days that Yoga is pointing me into another cliched prediction of the stages of my own evolution... What I mean is... As most Yogis can probably relate... There are certain Spiritual milestones that happen in everyone's practice. Say, the first time you really experience your body in an Asana class. Or the first time while sitting in meditation, you actually re-connect to the Ground of All Being and for a moment there was no notion of space or time and only Presence. And then, the point when you begin to realize that what you're doing is not even really for you... but for everyone else around you.

When I first became interested in Ayurveda and Yoga there was a self-consumed passion for them both. And even as I became a teacher, my earlier classes were more about me teaching AT my students rather than TO my students. My practice was harsh and contractile and all about perfecting Asana... Me, I, Mine!!! But now it's different. When I see someone walking down the road with a stuck hip and a resulting limp I just want to take them aside and help them reconnect with their ability to be healthy. Or now that I'm starting to recognize or theorize on peoples internal imbalances, I'm just giving all the info I have stored out for free... If what I have can help someone why would I withhold it?

So the theme for next Tuesday's Flow 1... Could we be in this together...? Knowing that it's all well and good for us to use our time in Asana to consistently internalize... But also knowing that, just as I influence my students while I teach, everyone in the room can begin to influence the person on the mat beside them. When the being beside you is obviously disconnected from the breath, briefly intensify or exaggerate your own as an example... If you see someone struggling with all they've got just to hold Down Dog, remind them that Child's Pose is always an option by taking one for yourself... even if you can hold Down Dog for 5 minutes...

I also learned a lesson not too long ago from Susi Hately that my intention cannot be everyone's intention. With all the information or true knowledge that I might have to share, I really need to come to terms with the fact that everyone is responsible for their own actions. And that some of the suggestions that I make to students in class will be resonant and some might fall on deaf or unwilling ears... And I'm slowly becoming ok with that:)

Namaste... Shanti, Shanti, Shantih

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Everywhere Is Direction

"The sweetest moment really occurs when you realize that you've been really into Ayurveda for a long time. But now, Ayurveda is really into you" ~Matthew Remski

This above quote from Toronto based Ayurvedic Therapist and Yoga Teacher, Matthew Remski, holds so true for me in this moment. Ever since my first introduction to Ayurveda in my Yoga Teacher Training I felt a deep connection to its Philosophy and its Science. The idea that everything in this known world, from the Gotu Kola plant to treated Mercury holds the potential to impact the health of the body.

There is a story of an ancient Ayurvedic sage, Jivakah. One day when he was teaching in Medical school he asked his students to go out into the environment around them and find something that had no medicinal value. After a few hours the students had all returned with their twig or their berry or sample of animal feces (I would guess that animal feces wouldn't have a lot of medicinal value but I don't really know). 3 or 4 hours the students waited but Jivakah had not yet returned. They waited until the end of the school day and still their guru had not shown up. The next day the students came back to the class room and yet still no Jivakah. Days past and the pupils were getting frustrated and angry with their teacher. Finally 4-5 days had past and finally Jivakah appeared, but he was empty handed. The students being angry asked him where he had been all this time and why was he wasting their time. Jivakah, demonstrating his understanding of Universal Knowledge and Life said, "I couldn't find anything, nothing that didn't have some influence on health. I looked at the rocks and realized that they contained minerals that could have an impact on our health. I looked at every weed and every plant. And as I stood and experienced those plants I realized that they too had something great to offer. I looked at every Mammal, every Reptile, every Insects and realized that no matter what I found had some impact on my state of being. I looked at the sun and the Moon and the Stars and knew that everything that I brought into my awareness somehow changed who I was and be metabolized into a new form of who I was. So I couldn't find anything that in some way or another didn't impact my health."

I have found my calling and my direction. Ayurveda is the paradox of sophisticated complexity found in the midst of the simple rhythms of Life. And after being into Ayurveda for some time now, as Matthew Remski said, Ayurveda has now taken an interest in me. I recently had a personal assessment and plan developed with Matthew and it was amazing. I found out that I'm not the constitution that I thought I was. Which makes sense since the patterns that I was trying to implement into my lifestyle weren't really working out for me. Since putting this new plan into action I'm feeling more vital than ever. Ayurveda really is a powerful science of life.

I have thus decided that I will pursue my Ayurvedic studies more formally with Matthew. He has his own Ayurvedic School in Toronto. I am extremely excited for this time in my journey. I am married to loving and support woman, I am finally discovering my Dharma and my place in this world. I am here to learn and to teach and share my knowledge and wisdom that I receive with all of those around me. I feel the true gift of knowledge is the ability to share it.

om sa ha navavatu / sa ha nau bhunaktu
sa ha viryam karavavahai / tejasvinavadhita mastu
ma vidvisavahai / om santi santi santih

May the Spirit indeed protect us both.
May the Spirit indeed nourish us both.
May we together rise up through study and understanding.
May our study shine.
May we not disrespect each other.
Om peace, peace, peace.

Shanti, shanti, shanti... Namaste

Steven Ferrell

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