Effort vs.surrender: yoga’s tug-of-war

One of the most difficult parts of any yoga practice is cultivating the ability to find the perfect balance of effort and surrender.   I always loved when my teacher would remind us to, “go to your edge, but not past it.”   Aaaah, the edge.  That point in your practice where any less wouldn’t be enough, but any more would be too much.  Getting to the edge requires some effort — effort in body and focus.  Resisting the urge to go beyond requires surrender and faith — surrender to what your practice IS here and now.

If there’s one thing that yoga has taught me more than anything is acceptance of exactly where I am in my practice at any given moment; to let go of ego; and embrace the process. The next time you go to your mat, try to find your edge.  Go to it, and surrender to the moment. 

“If you surrender completely to the moments as they pass, you live more richly those moments.” – Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Namaste.

– Your Charmed Yogi

Photo credit: Pinterest


The Power of Expectation

Acceptance.

We talk a lot about letting go of expectation in yoga.  Expectation of others, and expectations of ourselves.  But, part of being human is recognizing that we do have certain expectations that we can either let go or learn to shift.  But here’s a different perspective on the power of acceptance for what is vs. expectation from ourselves and in relationships from one of my favorite bloggers, Janis Cohen, LCSW.  Expectations are a part of all relationships, including the relationship you have with yourself.  They are the deal breakers.

You expect others to be a certain way and, if you are intuitive enough, you get what you expect by expecting the right things from the right people.

Read the full post, “The Power of Expectation” on The Human Experience blog.

Namaste.

– Your Charmed Yogi

Photo credit: Pinterest

Dance in the rain

“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass…It’s about learning to dance in the rain.” ― Vivian Greene

Have an awesome day no matter what.

Namaste.

– Your Charmed Yogi

Photo credit: Pinterest

Don’t skip to the next song

I’m a huge music fan.  I love music of all kinds, and am always looking to discover more music to please my ears.  So, of course I’m a huge fan of Pandora and Spotify as a way to find long forgotten hits or to find that great new sound.  Even though I love finding new bands or songs to obsess about, I do have my favorites, so there’s always a temptation to skip over a song I don’t know to find the one I can sing along to.  I was doing this incessantly until my own personal playlist was just a repeat of the same five or ten songs; a perfect metaphor for how we often live our lives. We’re on autopilot, always skipping forward to the next weekend; the next holiday; the next something.  Skipping over the unknown for the comfortable.  So, I broke the cycle for fun. Continue reading

Downward Facing Hulk: Diffuse Your Anger with Yoga

hulk in meditationI’m a huge fan of comic book hero movies, so of course, I was one of the contributor’s to the $1B that the Avengers movie grossed over the weekend.   As much as I love the super powers that explode on screen thanks to computer generated imagery (CGI), I’ve always been fascinated by the back stories of the characters.   In Batman, Bruce Wayne becomes empowered by surrendering to his overwhelming fear of bats.  In the surrender, he conquers his fear.

And, then there’s the Hulk.   The emotionally volatile alter ego of Bruce Banner appears Bruce is exposed go gamma radiation.  When he becomes angry, Bruce transforms into a giant, green, uncontrollable rage monster.   The conflict between Bruce and his inner Hulk is something many people struggle with everyday. Continue reading

Practice Your Yoga Like No One is Watching

Heart Chakra Opening YogaHave you ever experienced the most beautiful, rock steady tree pose (Vrkasana) or headstand at home only to feel like you’re trying to balance during an earthquake during class?

Many yoga students experience “stage fright” (for lack of a better term) in which the ego takes over and begins to place worth on whether or not we can hold a pose longer or deeper than someone else, or even get into the pose at all.   Our ego loves competition,  and often times it’s only with ourselves.

At home, we feel as if we’re in a safe judgement-free environment and we have the freedom to try anything without consequence or embarrassment if we “don’t do it right.”  But, there really is no” right,” and that safe place that we feel we have at home is actually always with us; within us. Continue reading

Snuggle the Struggle and Be Free

child hugging herselfWhen I first began to practice yoga and meditate, I assumed that I would immediately realize a stress-free blissful existence in which my problems and struggles would no longer exist.  I’ll let you in on a secret, that didn’t happen.

What I learned from teacher after teacher was that yoga was about the present moment, and letting go.  But even that turned into a struggle as I felt some type of resistance to being still.  I felt frustrated that thoughts and feelings other than bliss snuck into my zen space.  I thought that my job as a good yogi was to push those ‘bad’ thoughts and emotions out and only have happy thoughts.  Wrong again.  What I was doing was creating a deeper resistance and suffering. Continue reading