Learning to CHILL.

October 26, 2014

Chillshop™ was conceived while I lay in a hospital bed recovering from a vicious altercation with exhaustion because no other prescription could manage my urges to “do more” be more”, “get more”, and “prove more”.

 

Of course that wasn’t the “official” diagnosis. The real one had a bunch more letters.

 

But I knew.

 

I knew that I’d been running myself to ragged pieces cause somewhere along the line I’d internalized that my greatest value was what I could “do”, how hard I could and would work, how far I’d live up to the legacy of super women I come from even if it left me faded and perpetually empty.

 

I knew that’d I’d been giving ‘good ole sit down and rest’ the stiff middle finger!

 

I knew I’d been overspending, which created the real need to work harder, hustle more, yada yada.

 

I knew that busy-ness had just become a way for me not to see me, not to be with me, thus— you got it— I ain’t got to deal with me.

 

I knew that I DID actually have  time to meditate, to maintain the yin and restorative yoga practices that truly nourished me, but crossfit, power, and hot yoga burned more calories and summer was coming and…

 In that dreary gray room I realized this “sometimes it takes more courage to stop than to keep going.”

 

I’ve been studying, learning, and practicing how to pause via restorative and yin yoga, meditation, yoga nidra, soul listening, and writing since then.

 

CHILLshop encompasses all of that and more.

 

CHILL means a lot of different things to a lot of different folk.

For me it means rest, “hold up”, pause, be easy, get quiet, listen ma, simmer down-now, let’s be together, it’s okay.

 

Be still for a spell.

Now.

Vision power

October 21, 2014

We are continually becoming/being who we actually are.

 

This is what I mean. I found an old ‘thumb’drive (remember those) and came across this passage I’d written from my yoga teacher training application back in 2007:

 

“I want to cultivate the kind of centeredness and stillness that will allow me to move through the world with grace and consciousness in a sometimes loud and unconscious world. I want to create space for others to recognize and appreciate the softer edges of yoga. I get it. For many folk, we enter this practice through the body-but that’s that- the entry point. There’s more to the practice than moving, though that’s a powerful place to start. I’m learning to trust stillness as powerful medicine. I want to know how to share that with others.”

 

 I didn’t remember writing that.

 

Yet, I’m here.

 

Kneading my hard places- soft, leaning into stillness, trusting that rest is a part of every balanced equation and as essential as movement.

 

And I’m teaching just that at CHILLshop™.

 

 Here I was thinking it was a new idea, I vision-ed up last year!  And Ha!

 

It was written and dreamed long before that!

 

 

 

Meditate.

September 30, 2014

Asana is like a house protecting one from the heat of the sun. – Peg Mulqueen

That’s all asana is – a house protecting you from pain, suffering, and from contrary forces. It’s like the supporting tortoise for those who are constantly devoted to the practice of yoga.  Asana is not yoga. –David Garrigues   From Conference notes with DG.

I’d practiced asana (poses) five years before I began to meditate. I am grateful to asana. For me, it was a doorway to the transformative, healing, and real practice that is yoga. I reached a point where I knew there was something else to the practice other than asana, yet,  I didn’t know what it was.

Once I discovered meditation, I realized we move the body  through asana to prepare it for the stillness of meditation.

Though asana felt good to my physical body, it was when I began a regular sitting meditation practice that I sensed a deeper sense of harmony from within.

For me, 10-20 minutes of meditation a day created  more peace, calm, and space in my mind and body than a 90 minute asana yoga practice did.

Meditation is  THAT powerful.

It’s essential to the yogic practice and path.

Don’t know where to start? Here’s an article that I wrote that outlines a simple way to begin meditating now.

Want the guidance of a teacher? I’m super excited that Meryl Arnett will be teaching and leading meditation every Tuesday at 6:30pm at Atlanta Hot Yoga.

What’s Your Message?

September 29, 2014

We all have a message to bring forth- that no one-

(not our partners, mamas, sisters, brothers, teachers, preachers, homegirls, “enemies”, alternate ego selves) no one can bring the world our personal and purposed message—

but we can
hide
ignore
pretend
conform
fear
hate
reject
worry
“I’m not enough”
IT away-

I could go on (cause I’ve been stuck in all these soul-message sucking tactics +some)

I’m still decoding my message, but know that “live, free, create, divine feminine, love, wild, ahhhh, mmmm”  are all part of my message.

Ha!

And er’day I wake up and remember this: “If you bring forth what is within you, it will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, it will destroy you.”

What’s your message? and how are you bringin’ it?

‪#‎erdayimholyhustlin

 

I used to think Bikram yoga was the only yoga worth doing so much so I called it “the yoga.” Thing is, I hadn’t ever done any other yoga.hell bent

Then I went to a non-heated vinyasa based class and the teacher started by reading about a Niyama. I thought to myself “what is this, yoga church?”  She guided us through a series of Sun Salutations. None of the famous/infamous 26 postures of Bikram could be teased into or out of that reverent, but confused first sun salutation of mine. (Okay, maybe one, that forward fold). Though I had been practicing Bikram six times a week for four years at that point, I signed up for a beginner’s series at this unbranded studio. A few sessions in, I started to question my devotion to 105 plus degrees, scripted dialogue, booty shorts, and those 26 postures.

Don’t get me wrong. I have an inexplicable respect for this first yoga that I ever practiced and those early teachers in Boston and Phoenix who guided me toward building an actual reality based relationship with my body. Those teachers and that practice taught me to anchor myself to the present through gaze, breath, and asana.

I am grateful. It’s just that once I experienced something else, well, I knew there was something more.

As I packed my sweaty bag and got off the Bikram train, I wondered if perhaps I would explore and come back. Maybe I would explore and leave behind that middle of the mat, lock your knee, don’t move practice all together.

Turns out, I didn’t leave, not completely, but I no longer preach the gospel of 26. I practice strict Bikram probably once a season. Mostly out of a sense of nostalgia and because I miss one of the best yoga teachers, who happened to be Bikram (and other yoga) trained that I have ever met, Brooke Sterling.

Recently I came across a book that brought back so many of my early Bikram/Yoga memories. Hell Bent by Benjamin Lorr is raw, honest, profoundly human, hilarious, edgy, and insightful like “the yoga.”

In one reading, I experienced 1,000 Bikram classes. Somehow Lorr tapped into the sheer insanity and outright genius of “the yoga” in his book.

Though my path has led me to 1,008 other asanas, a series of salutations to the moon, sun, and back, to chanted and tranced- out classes, to tongue curling, and candle gazing meditations- Lorr’s book brought me home to that very first time I stood, toes and heels together, eyes fixed on my own vulnerable image in the mirror, knuckles locked underneath my chin, inhaling stale, burning, freedom laced air.

 

 

I finished The Great Work of Your Life by Stephen Cope about a month ago.

It was a long slow read because I savored every single word and to be honest, I was so inspired by it that I didn’t want to finish it. Since the book was so soul affirming and nourishing I have decided to read it again.

In the book Stephen asserts that in order to have a fulfthe great work bookcoverilling life you must discover the deep purpose hidden at the very core of yourself. In this book he describes the process of unlocking the unique possibility harbored within each soul.

He uses the 2,000-year-old Bhagavad Gita as the cornerstone to share his reflections and revelations on finding one’s purpose. In addition to this sacred and ancient text he highlights every day people as well as known luminaries such as Thoreau, Walt Whitman, Harriet Tubman, and Ghandi whose life path’s were pure and sometimes wild expressions of what is means for one to honor their calling, gifts, and paths.

There are many passages that stood out to me. So many that I feared I would highlight the whole book. Here is one about faith and the practice of acting from a place of trust that resonated with me. “One of the most difficult aspects of faith is the suspension of one’s own preconceived ideas about how to proceed. The willing suspension of preconceived plans and schemes is absolutely required, as Harriet Tubman discovered. These plans-our plans- are gradually replaced by a growing trust in moment-by-moment guidance.”

Subscribe to our mailing list

Studio Updates & News

Subscribe to our mailing list

Sign-up to be the first to know about new retreats, trainings and classes.

* indicates required