Hey, I think that squirrel just took my picture

Squirrel . . . Brit Squirrel

One of my closest friends has three of the most beautiful children on earth.  The two girls are the oldest, and have beautifully innocent, and hilarious perspectives on life.  Today, during my daily meditation outside, I was reminded of one of their most comical observations.

I was surrounded by birds, chipmunks, and squirrels, and at one point, a chipmunk ran right up to me, stopped in his tracks as if to say, “Oh crap, you’re not who I was looking for,” and made an abrupt about face to run the other way.  The look on his face was priceless; almost human. I was so tickled, I laughed for about five minutes, and every time I think about it, my heart smiles at the experience.

It reminded me of the story my friend told be about a time her and the girls were on their way somewhere in the car.  At one point, the younger of the two turns to the older and says, “Hey did you see that?  I think that squirrel just took my picture.”  The statement actually started a debate between the two on how and where a squirrel would get a hold of a camera.  Not that a squirrel couldn’t take a picture, but that he might not have the means with which to do so.

I peeled in laughter for days at the story, but I was more in love with how their conversation represented endless possibilities.  Through the eyes of a child, we can relive newness; limitlessness.  Through the eyes of a child, we can experience excitement over EVERYTHING.   Look at everything today as if it’s the first time you’ve ever seen it.  Embrace every moment as if you’ve just stepped onto the playground for the first time.

“It’s never too late to have a happy childhood.”  ― Tom Robbins, Still Life with Woodpecker

Namaste.

– Your Charmed Yogi

My dad’s favorite poem

In honor of my dad on this Father’s Day, I thought I’d post is favorite poem, “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening,” by Robert Frost.

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village, though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.My little horse must think it queer 5
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake. 10
The only other sounds the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep, 15
And miles to go before I sleep.

Happy Father’s Day, Dad.  I love you.

-Your Kid (and Charmed Yogi)

Photo Credit: Poetik Line Sense

Smile it up, yogi

Source: Pinterest

It’s said that laughter is the best medicine, and I agree wholeheartedly.  Like crying, laughter is an emotional release that can have lasting benefits.  Laughing reduces stress, relieves pain and even boosts the immune system.  Plus, a good hearty laugh can be a good ab workout.   Studies show that smiling releases endorphins, natural pain killers, and seratonin.  The sad truth is, however, we don’t laugh nearly enough. Continue reading

What is Your Heart Opening Yoga Practice?

As a yogini and a teacher, I always bring my practice back to opening the heart as a way to end suffering.  Everyday, we may not even be consciously aware of what we’re doing to sabotage our own happiness.  Things like attachment, aversion, and fear creep into our lives when we aren’t even looking.

Opening the heart happens off the mat and on through asana, spiritual practice, meditation, and nurturing our creativity.    During my classes, I often end class by reading an excerpt from a meditation book I’m reading, or poem by Rumi or Hafiz, or something I’ve written myself that speaks to the moment. Continue reading

when the yoga honeymoon’s over…

We’ve all experienced yoga burn out at one point or another, and it’s nothing to be ashamed of.  You just may need to renew the spark in your yoga marriage.  Here’s a great article by Stephanie Carter, “when the honeymoon’s over…”

I’ve had a long, tumultuous relationship with yoga.  We first met in the early 90s and were inseparable, until a misguided physical therapist told me yoga was bad for my neck (boy was he wrong).  After going our separate ways, we reunited several years later and had a series of torrid on-again off-again affairs until about 10 years ago, when we finally settled down.  Like any relationship, we’ve had our share of ups and downs, but things have improved since I learned to navigate the ‘downs.’  Perhaps the trickiest part of a relationship is when the initial burst of bliss and excitement is over and the mundane sets in – that is, when the honeymoon’s over.

Maybe you’ve experienced this yourself.  You discover (or re-discover) yoga and it makes you feel good.  You wonder  – where has yoga been all my life?  You fall in love with the practice, the lifestyle – maybe you fantasize about becoming a teacher (or actually become one!).  All you want to do is yoga.  You commit to practicing X times a week, and you do it, happily.  You resent things like work that get in the way of practice. Then one day when nothing in particular is wrong, you don’t really feel like practicing.  Maybe you talk yourself into it – and maybe it turns out to be a great practice, or maybe it doesn’t.  Even your favorite teacher starts to seem a bit stale.  You’ve hit a wall – the honeymoon is over. At this point in the relationship, many people bail out in search of greener pastures (pilates anyone?).  But if you can steer through this tricky period you will be rewarded with a deeper, more rewarding relationship.

Read the full article, “when the honeymoon’s over,” on Stephanie Carter’s Yoga Blog.

If you’re happy and you know it, just sit there

woman happy yoga

“You are already happy. The reason you don’t experience it is that it’s covered up by layers of suppressed emotions and negative thoughts. Shift your attention and your inherent happiness flashes forth.” – Steve Ross The other day, I had … Continue reading