Yoga Dreamin’

December 9, 2014

The other night I had this tripped out dream-
I was some place teachin yoga to like 500 people. That wasn’t NECESSARILY the scary part, just a part. Anyhow at one point I was walking around, giving instructions, tryna teach, and share what I came to share.

I looked around and noticed that folks had body parts hanging off and stuff oozing outta the body parts. I wondered when that started happening and why I was just noticing it.
Despite all of that, they were still flowin, movin, and jumpin in and out of poses. At some point, one side of the room broke out into a dance off of some kind!

Lawd!

There was a small core group in the center who just sat down and began to meditate, amidst all of the other noise.

Out of the corner of my eye, I spotted one woman going into wheel pose in a hella wild way. I could see her heart about to break and fall out of her chest. Mind you, this was not “shinin” out y’all, but breakin and fallin out!

That was it.
I yelled STOP as loud as I could!

Slowly, folks began to stop. I asked them to gather around the woman whose heart was about to fall out. I asked her did she want to work on the steps to get to the back bend, to support her body and heart, or just to be held where she was. She shrugged, rolled her eyes, and said “not really”.

We all sat there for a while. Some people laughed. Some people played with their hair or toes. Others looked away or reached for their phones to text, take pictures or otherwise capture, but not feel, the weight of the moment.

The “heart fallin” woman began to cry. First quietly, then loudly, then sobs filled the room from all directions.
Those meditating just sat. Their eyes were still closed. They cried silently.

Then I woke up. Just like that. No resolution inside the dream though it was quite the synthesis of ways I’ve practiced and been with myself. It called to mind what I have both witnessed and experienced as a student and teacher of yoga over the past 12 years.

Today I went to Gina Minyard’s  class and the closing message was essentially this:
“ Our practices have to be more powerful than our habits. Otherwise we are just stirring up our sh!t and sitting (asana-ing) all fancy like up. in. it that mess.

Dear Yoga peeps, come get me. Clearly, I/we need to talk!
ha!

Gratitude.

December 1, 2014

There were people here. They walked this land before it was called “country” “united” “states” or any other such possessive thing.
We sometimes remember them in feathers, magic, dreams, and flutes; they are so much more than that. We are all standing on their bones and shoulders.
For the Indigenous of this land, I am grateful.

There are folk who survived a passage called Middle. Who, when pressed down, rose up again, and again, and again. They still rise every morning, when I do. I hear their chants, stories, and prayers in trees and rivers, open fields, street corners, and church pews. The fabric of my being is woven from their blood.
For my Ancestors, I am grateful.

There is a man in our kitchen. He is cooking. He knows how to sew and grow green things. He can fix broken cars, doors, and hearts, to. His breath is my favorite song. For his love and partnership, I am grateful.

There is a short brown woman who can make a dollar out of two cents. She has Jesus on the mainline (all the time). She loved me before I existed. She can comb out the tangles in my hair and mind. For my mama, I am grateful.

There’s a lady who tucks my dreams under her heart and carries them everywhere. She used to let me steal her clothes and her cool back in high school. She taught me how to look fear square in the eyes and cuss fear and nem’ the f@ck out, then move on. For my big sister, I am grateful.

That’s a whole lotta words to say, I am grateful for what holds me: truth and love.

What are you grateful for?

In my life, many things have kept me up at night.

Lately, I stay awake long after the high moon to dream:
To walk through the hallways of my vision
To touch all of the images, ideas, and wild things there
To feel what I’m creating from the raw cells of my heart/soul
To taste the grit and sweetness of the day
To listen beneath the chatter of my noisy past
To see beyond what is in front of me
To sing gratitude for all this
To meditate on my purpose

And to bow to this simple question that rocked my life a few years ago, shifted the course of my journey then , and continues to drive me now:

“What would you do if you weren’t afraid?”

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.

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