It’s “snowing” here on WordPress and I’m downing goat cheese like there’s no tomorrow. Ugh, the holidays. Don’t get me wrong… I like the lights and family/friend gatherings. But the stress and the hustle, I could totally do without. That’s one reason why I’m craving yoga like a mofo. It’s chilly and dreary (more days than supposed to be…it’s Florida, for god’s sake!) and I can’t get warm enough for yoga or Pilates here at home. I’m grouchy. I need yoga.
I am also quite affected by what’s happened at Sea World recently. Cetaceans don’t always follow the rules – especially when they are stressed, frustrated and demoralized, as captives tend to be…It’s important to note that very few, if any cases exist of wild dolphins harming humans. Quite the contrary – there are thousands of stories and accounts of dolphins actually helping people. We are not returning the favor by keeping dolphins in these captive situations. We, as a society, do not keep juvenile elephants, great apes, big cats, or any other large-brained mammal captive AND hungry just to satisfy our need to be in direct contact with a wild animal. These are WILD animals – not domestic animals. They will never be domestic animals, nor is it right to domesticate them. Have you seen the “Dolphin Nursery” (as they call it) at Sea World? It’s sickening and heartbreaking. These are sentient beings. They are self-aware, just as you and I are. Let me repeat…”We are not returning the favor by keeping [cetaceans] in these captive situations.”
I can do my best to advocate and educate, but there’s only so much I can do. At some point, I must accept my limitations and appreciate how far “we” have come. I still have hope.
After this past weekend, I only have 4 more weekends (4 more months) to go before I complete my 200-hr. I am SO grateful for the experience and for all I’ve learned thus far. But I’m halfway there…I want to savor every bit of what’s left, for I know it will fly by.
This past weekend, I went into my first class with a very stressed body and mind. In fact, I felt a very contemplative air in the room from others as well. Perhaps it’s the stress of the season. Isn’t it funny how it’s supposed to be a season of peace and love – yet we’re all so stressed and hurried? Anyway, the lovely instructor began by saying, “Give yourself the gift of release”. And I did. Straight into my mat. Straight into the floor. It actually felt more comfortable to be in downward-facing dog than up-right. And I thought, I know why babies like to be upside-down…it’s FUN and liberating!
Yoga is defined as the union of body, mind, and spirit. Where the content of the mind and the seer of the content come together. A present consciousness. The more yoga moments I have, the more yoga moments I need. Just like air, I need yoga to breathe. And it’s not just about power and sweat and stretching and movement for me. It’s about those moments when I’m on my mat and I feel all is okay. Those moments when I’ve tapped into something and see it in a brighter light. I had a lovely and very informative weekend of yoga study. And even though I learned so much that I can’t wait to share, one moment stands out. One moment when my body, mind, and spirit were all rolled into one – figuratively and literally. And that moment, for now, I will keep to myself. But I do hope that you have those moments as well. For they are special.
So much of the time we’re walking around numb. Numb to our feelings deep inside. Numb to the world around us. Or perhaps, as in my case, we feel too much from both inside and the world outside that we, in a way, shut it all out. Perhaps it’s too stressful. Perhaps it’s too much to think about. Perhaps it pulls on our heart just a little too hard. We are bombarded with news and images of things gone wrong all the time. We are conditioned to see it, hear it, and deal with it in a very processed manner. But it’s okay to feel. Be mad. Be sad. Have empathy. Hell, it’s okay to be SO happy you want to do cartwheels down the hall! You are the observer of your body, your mind, your spirit. You are the only one who is living the subjective experience of your life. Do what feels subjectively right for you and your body. Give yourself the gift of release. And feel. And don’t be afraid.
So this weekend, we studied arm balances and inversions. Super FuN!! More of what I love. And I did firefly! Well, kinda… without straight legs. And I learned for a lot of the arm balances, I have to get side crow down. That’s a tough one for me. It’s finding that sweet spot of balance…I’ll keep trying. Then we had an introduction to anatomy, and boy am I glad that all of my nerves, muscles, tendons, and ligaments work well. It’s such a complicated system and boggles my mind to think of how it all works. I’m just thankful mine does, and I’m HAPPY to help others with theirs. On my way to work this morning, I couldn’t stop myself from practicing the new breathing beat yoga sequences I learned. Bhakti Flow. I love it! Our body is the only body we’ll have… unless you believe in reincarnation – and even then, you could have a completely different body… like a dolphin, say… oh, the fun I could have with a tail! Anyway, you must take care of your body. It houses your soul.
Our instructor recently came back from her 500-hr certification. She told us that they were exposed to and learned from all the different traditions of yoga. And what she brought back from her experience, what she gathered from each of the different traditions, is that we must do what is right for us. We must do what feels right for our body at this specific time, in this specific place. Feel better. Breathe fluidly. And let your prana flow. Create space. In your body, your mind, and your spirit.
Namaste, loves. Swaha.