Posts In: atlanta hot yoga

Gentle is strong.

April 23, 2015

The gentle overcomes the strong.

I am looking at a river flow; a steady, slow, stream. There are heavy rocks anchored beneath the pulsing  river. I lean forward to sense the depth and touch the movement of this moment. Up close, I see the rocks worn, clearly effected, transformed even– by the ambling unhurried dance of water passing eternity after eternity over them.
In this instance I am reminded of the Tao Ching:
“Тhe gentle overcomes the rigid. The slow overcomes the fast. Everyone knows that the yielding overcomes the stiff,
and the soft overcomes the hard. Yet few apply this knowledge.”

I look to the river for the wisdom and courage to apply this knowledge.
River speaks to me in whispers and slow rhymes. River says, “Watch me. I am unhurried, and I have been for millions of years. I know my rhythm and the very drum beat of life.  I am soft and fluid, yet I change every thing I touch. I am changed by every thing that touches me. I resist nothing. Most years, I am gentle.”

childs bow

Photo by: Thu Tran

Here I am. By my river. Being changed. Effecting change. When I left my previous career to teach yoga full time and “see” what else I’m here to see I was literally known as the “power sweat hard core yoga teacher lady” in my town. Acknowledging a series of personal and relentless truths and real deep healing experiences via yin, restorative, and alignment based yoga with one of my teachers in Atlanta- Gina Minyard–my flow changed. The course of my river is following a new bend. As I’ve become a different yoga student, I’ve become a different yoga teacher.

The shift has resonated with some. Others have scratched their heads.  Some days I want to pretend that nothing is changing or has changed about my practice, teaching, learning: me.

I have gained and lost both teachers and students.

I offer my past to the river.

I stand here in the present being washed over, yet fully participating in the shift.  As I am cleansed. I am worn.

For tomorrow, I carry both the wisdom of the river and the soul of the rock in my heart.
Honestly, I am afraid.
Truthfully, I am still brave.
There ain’t no turnin’ round.

Lazy Yoga?

January 25, 2015

I once had a student refer to yin as “lazy” yoga. Then when I explained the difference between yin and restorative yoga he said, “Oh, so it’s even lazier than yin.” I have to admit, I laughed!
My response was two words- intentional- commitment.
I appreciate my student’s perspective. It invited me to think even more about what is often a misperception of the restorative yogic arts- that it’s a whole lot of nothing and just kind of idling around.

Ultimately cultivating awareness and presence takes great discipline and commitment. And most of us work so dang on hard that we don’t know how to rest. In order to learn or remember how, then, would mean we need to practice, show up, and decide to actually stay present.
That’s the opposite of lazy.

What we do at a CHILLshop®yoga session, a practice grounded in both yin and restorative yoga is best summed up by Danna Faulds:

“Go in and in. Be the space between two cells, the vast, resounding
Silence in which spirit dwells. Dive in and in, as deep as you can dive.
Be infinite, ecstatic truth.
Be exactly what you seek.”

‪#‎bestillandknow‬

Welcome 2015

January 2, 2015

“There is a river near where I live. It meanders slowly, peacefully. It doesn’t ask itself why it isn’t an ocean, or a raging river, or some other thing. It just surrenders to what it is. Maybe we just need to surrender more to who we are. I think I will lie down tomorrow beside the river. And take a rest. And sweet surrender.”- Jeff Brown

These words inspired me to turn my phone & computer off, head to the North Georgia mountains, and CHILL.
I was sleeping when the clock struck 12:00am Jan. 1 2015 and woke up early the next day to go for a hike with my husband.

On long hikes I feel like I’m walking around barefoot through God’s big living room: That vastness takes me through all the seasons of being;
the necessary cold and isolation of winter,
the wildin energy of spring crawlin out the mud and dirt,
the raw- the ripeness- the untamed hot sweetness of summer,
the shakin loose- the rich harvest-then quiet undressed time-the season of my birth- autumn.

I went through some “stuff”-every season and emotion on that journey/hike yesterday.
And came out with this:
Here’s to a year of putting one foot in front of the other, to awakening more fully, to resting when we need to, to building the muscles of deep love, faith, and surrender.

To a year of feeling and being with every season and emotion as we walk {with each other} through God’s big ole living room.

Welcome- 2015.

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.

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