Sunday, December 27, 2009

Amazing Grace.....

***Karen Sprute-Francovich in Parsavakonasana***

sunday morning sitting here listening to Krishna Das Pilgrim Heart.....I so love this cd...the whole thing....current song playing is Jaya Jagatambe and I find myself singing my heart out in this wonderful kirtan with him......."Jaya Jagatambe...Jagatambe Ma Durga"
I woke up on my "sleep in day" at 7 am with an aching to do an asana practice to this cd and make some steel cut oats and quinoa with some stewed apples and sit down and journal about my gratitude for the practice of yoga in my life and for Karen Sprute-Francovich and the Kula of Garden Street Yoga.

something has happened to me!

before yoga entered my life over 8 years ago in September of 2001, I was not kind to myself. I did have a wonderful job as a preschool teacher and I had two amazing kids that got to come be with me at this preschool while I worked. It was our sanctuary from the not so kind life I had created for myself and my children at home. I was an almost lost soul had it not been for that amazing job at that amazing building that eventually led Karen Sprute-Francovich to the same place to teach yoga.

I have backtracked to my favorite song on cd now......Mountain Hare's my favorite because at the end he takes a break from the sanscrit kirtan and breaks into Amazing Grace to the same beat and tune that he was singing before. He makes one change....instead of singing "that saved a wretch like me" he sings "that saved a soul like me".....and tears enter my eyes everytime I hear this song....this morning it happened while i was in a pretty heart opening variation of Trikonasana during my practice, and I had to break my Ujiyia breath to sing with him while I was moving from Trikonasana to Ardha Chandrasana......and in harmony because that's what came out of my heart. Amazing Grace sprung from the heart of my very patient and compassionate teacher Karen and this amazing Kula she has nurtured all these years...and it has saved a soul like me.

and home practice has been something I have had to do to try to create the has not been easy.....99% of the time I have just done it.....don't get me wrong though....I'm always glad that I have done it......and like I've mentioned before, a lot of it has been restorative in nature because my life almost demanded it. But this morning I ACHED for a strong heart opening practice that actually woke me up on my sleep in day.....and I LONGED for a nurturing Ayurvedic breakfast of steel-cut oats, quinoa and stewed apples.....and on my break from my double shift at work today I am looking forward to a nice 20 minute meditation and a nice cup of spice tea. This was not something that happened to me in the past. This is a groove established, and for once in my life, I am establishing grooves that are nurturing and loving and compassionate to myself. And this gives me the capasity to actually pass this on to others and have more to give. I am overwhelmed with gratitude. It has been a slow process and I have so far to go, but I am sitting in the sunlight of the spirit of Grace this wonderful Sunday morning and I'm right where I need to be. I have so much more I could write about how I got here, but this is enough for now.

I am HERE!

Thank you Karen and the Garden Street Kula!

Thank you Amazing Grace!

off for shower and then work!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

the Heart of the Matter of gift giving.....

good morning.....sitting here with my cup of coffee at the computer and this morning is nice because a beam of sunlight is warming me as I type, and it's warming my grumpy holiday heart right now, lol. It's no secret to those that know me well that Christmas is not my favorite holiday, mostly because I feel like I can never celebrate it in a way that feels like who I am. Maybe that's because I'm still figuring out who I am. I do know one thing. NOT a big fan of shopping in holiday chaos, not a big fan of buying stuff because everybody is buying stuff in holiday hoopla. sighhhhhhh.......

so what about the "heart" of the matter of gift giving? These pictures above were taken at Christina Sell's workshop. The second one is Cami Cote from Missoula, Montana who was kind enough to demo her shining heart in a demo with Christina. I guess I wanted to share this picture because here sitting in the sunlight beam coming through the window, and here pondering the whole gift giving thing during Christmas, this picture reminds me of the best gifts I've ever received in my life, and they are gifts that can't be never know when you are going to receive them.

They are when teachers or fellow students help you open your heart like this. This is such a great thing about yoga demos. Christina called it "come-n-watch-asana"......and I love that because I know it's a cue that someone is going to get a gift that could potentially give them an "ah-ha" moment in their body and ultimately in their heart. Now this gift is usually not something that is easy to receive either, lol. Sometimes its downright challenging your edge's edge!! And then there is that wrapping paper of this gift, and that is the loving energy of everyone watching....also not easy to receive!! But there is somthing about this gift of come-n-watch-asana that makes any wrapped up gift under the tree just pale in comparison. And the cool thing is, everyone benefits. I get "ah-ha" moments watching someone receive this gift. I get ah-ha moments giving these gifts as a teacher. i get "ah-ha" moments being the lucky demo yogi. It's like the gift that keeps on giving, and I mean really!!

Funny, as I'm typing this, I am realizing that I sometimes shy away from giving them sometimes because I don't want to make someone uncomfortable. But that's the whole point. We need to get out of our comfort zone to really be able to open the heart. My fear is that the discomfort will make someone not want to come back to yoga ever again. But if it weren't for that "discomfort", I wouldn't be who I am today, and I'm so grateful for every "ah-ha" gift of out of my comfort zone I've ever received in yoga. It has changed my life!

I was reading on Cami's facebook page about the gift she received at a Desiree' Rumbaugh workshop in 2008. She was definitely taken out of her comfort zone at the thought of doing inversions and arm balances, and then doing them the best she could. She said she was so inspired that she made some pretty big changes in her life. Since then, she has taken an Anusara Immersion with Karen at Garden Street Yoga, changed her diet and lost 100 pounds (wow!) and is now teaching Gentle Yoga in Missoula. Desiree' is going to be here for a workshop on January 8th and 9th, and I bet this will be a full circle feeling of the real Heart of the Matter for Cami because of the spark of inspiration she received from her to begin with. I love that about Anusara Yoga. This is a great gift giving story to me. And it reminds me that we shouldn't be afraid to give it, or recieve it, and we absolutely should participate in it at all levels of it. Because looks how it's affected Cami!! I don't even know her that well, and yet I really know her because I recognize the gifts received on this journey of Anusara Yoga. I feel like I really know her heart, and the many other hearts that have been transformed by the gifts of yoga.
Anyway, that's my gift giving thoughts for today. It's pulled me out of my funk a bit. I know when I'm in one, I need to journal and get to the Heart of the Matter, and I'm so glad for the gifts I have received that bring me there when I need to!!

Merry Gift Giving every day of your life!!!!