Kimi Marin Yoga

Honor limitations. Transcend Boundaries.

Dancing With Transformation

We each have a masculine and a feminine aspect to ourselves. Scientifically, we are here because of the uniting of a male and female chromosomes to make a whole new being. In Hindu mythology, each god is powerless without the goddess who is divine force of creation and transformation. The female power is referred to as Shakti. Shakti is considered everything that is perceivable through the senses and the mind – the “powerful, active, dynamic” energy that “creates, pervades, governs, and protects the universe” (Kinsley). Every breath we take, move we make, thought we create is considered Shakti energy. Shakti is around us, within us, and is us. We are all the face of this amazing goddess energy. Shakti is the power to transform and move forward. What better time than January to tap into the transformational energy within you, as you, metaphorically speaking, die and are reborn with resolutions to steer your life differently?

“The contemporary philosopher Yasuhiko Kimura defines transformation as a dance between Being and Becoming” (Kempton). Being is the changeless source of what is beyond the reach of everyday senses, speech and mind.  Becoming is the ever-changing and growing Shakti life force within you. Becoming is a process of transformation. Transformation is a bumpy process that requires turning ourselves inside out and is rarely pleasant. In alchemy it is believed you can turn lead into gold – a  metaphor for releasing our true nature from the heavy illusions of our mind. We are releasing what we know of ourselves. Changing our identity and how an aspect of ourselves relates to the world. This requires heat to burn the old, stability of earth in the midst of uncertainty, air of our breath to find focus, and fluidity of water to move and change.

The first step of transformation requires a crisis point. Something happens in your life that makes you aware that a change is needed. Whether  a death, a breakup, a medical problem, financial crisis, or weight issue, you are aware that your life needs to transform because you are no longer able to stay static in the manner you are presently living. To change things you need heat to burn the old.

In alchemy, a solid is burned  to ash. In your own life heat is the discipline of moving past our egos and into the  realm of uncertainty and discomfort. Go to a place that requires you look at yourself; you are to open not only your eyes but all your senses to what you need to do and then do it. Fueled by the fire of your belly, the discipline of will,  get up and go for a run, pack up the pictures of your ex-lover, or take a shower. What is required you do today to transform? Sitting in your uncertainty, in a place of limbo, use to force of heat to move  forward and burn out what no longer serves you.

In this time of uncertainty, when your emotions are turbulent, life is chaotic, and possibly your self-esteem is low, you can be easily swept away toward temptations not conducive to your growth. You will benefit most from the grounding to the earth. This is a great time to tap into a creative outlet, meditate, hike, and/or join a group of interest. Do something that keeps you present to the moment.

As life is uncertain, as days turn into night, the air of your breath will always guide you truthfully. Your breath is a connection between your mind and body. As your mind or body begins stressed, depressed, over or under-extended, your breath will become choppy, ragged, and shallow. Begin to pay attention to your breath. Notice the cadence and rhythm of your breath when you walk, run, talk with a friend, wash dishes, watch television, at all and any time! Your breath is the best indicator of what is happening within you. Consciously continue to take long, deep breaths to even out your nervous system and work to maintain a calmness throughout your whole body. To maintain mind/body calmness is  especially important if everything around you is chaotic.

Remember, change is always occurring within and around us. We are not in the same mind-frame that we were when we woke up this morning and we will evolve and change emotions, preferences, and maybe even opinions before we go to bed tonight. Our ability to move and change is the fluidity of our core self. Water, the ultimate shape shifter, moves, modifies, melts, freezes, or vaporizes depending on the circumstances and environment. Each cell in your body consists of 65-90% of water. Tap into this element that makes of the majority of your physical self and recognize your own adaptability in each circumstance.

Recognize that the hardness of earth is great to ground down and stabilize in order to grow, to adapt, to change but not to stay fixed in a way of life. Use the fire of discipline to move forward. Follow the air of your breath to find your true self-awareness. And move, sway, and adapt with the fluidity of water that makes-up each of your cells. Transform as you follow your own beat in the dance between becoming and being.

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Kempton, Sally. “Waking Life.” Yoga Journal. Cruz Bay Publishing Inc, March 2008. Web. 3 Jan 2013.
Kinsley, David. Hindu Goddess.Berkeley:University of California Press, 1986. Print.

SITES OF INTEREST:
“The Breath as a Mind-Body ‘Guage'”
Alchemy – Seven Stages of Alchemical Transformation

The Scarcity Fear

Prosperity_On_RockWeekly Mantra: “I release my belief in scarcity. I release my need to worry. I embrace the grace, peace, and abundance I am”

The other day,  I had coffee with a girlfriend whose business is organizing people’s homes and removing clutter from their lives. I told her that I have a kitchen cupboard so full of stuff that I don’t even open it. She replied that our homes are often reflective of the emotional and mental clutter we store in our bodies. Many of us get so bogged down, so crammed full of baggage that we no longer open up parts of ourselves.

In the fear of scarcity, we hoard. We hoard our emotions, our food, and our friends. We hold on in fear that if we give them away we will have nothing. We panic when we are out of food, low on money, or not successful by society’s definition. In his book The Psychology of Influence of Persuasion, Robert B. Cialdini claims  “…people seem to be more motivated by the thought of losing something than by the thought of gaining something of equal value” (238). We don’t clean out our fridge, cupboards, closets, or hearts because we believe that the fullness makes us feel safe, content, or complete. Yet many of us don’t feel safe, content, or complete.

Global activist Lynne Twist says there are three toxic myths which perpetuate the fear of scarcity:

1) “There isn’t enough”

  • You don’t have enough sleep, not enough sex, exercise or money. This is a very limiting view that forces us to focus on everything we don’t have exacerbating a feeling of inadequacy, helpless, and a culture of blaming – of projecting our circumstances on an outside object. Instead of focusing your attention where there isn’t enough, ask yourself: Where do you have enough? What is satisfying in your life?

2) “More is better”

  • When we believe more is better, we constantly push ourselves to make more, get more, be more. We can always think how great things would be with more sleep, more money, more friends…yet, with the “more is better” attitude we will never be happy. There will always be “more” of something. Instead, find what is perfect in your life as it is now. Where in your life is abundance?

3) “That’s just the way it is”

  • This myth creates feelings of helplessness and hopelessness which lead people to feel resigned to the current situation. Lynne Twist reminds us that this myth ignores the fact that economic and social systems are the way they are because people created them this way. What you have created, you can recreate.

In order to let go of the fear of scarcity, we must understand that collaboration creates prosperity: “The more compassion we generate, the bigger our mind becomes. Since compassion brings joy, it makes us happy” (Mipham 110). Through compassion, giving, opening up ourselves we begin to grow outside our preconceived limits. We can transcend the boundaries we have created. We can open our hearts and our minds. When we act selflessly we are moving with the belief that there is enough, recognizing the abundance already present in our lives, and creating a world that brings more joy into our lives.

References:
Caldini, Robert. B. Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion. HarpersCollins, 2006. Online.
Mipham, Sakyong. Ruling Your World. New York: Doubleday, 2005. Print.
Twist, Lynne. The Soul of Money. New York: Norton & Co., 2003. Online.

SITES OF INTEREST:
Lynne Twist’s website: www.soulofmoney.org
Click here: A great site explaining the yoga sutras
Article “Deepak Chopra on Abundance: How to Cultivate the Feeling that You Have ‘Enough'”

The Blame Game

In my last post I touched upon the concepts of steady effort, abhyasa, and letting go, vairagya, and how yoga is the practice of finding a balance between these two concepts. The second sutra defines yoga as the ability to focus the mind towards an object without distraction. The object is our intention, our dharma (path), our true nature and distractions are all the sensations, dramas and joys of our life. One of these distractions is the act of ‘blame’.

How many times have you blamed someone else for your mistakes? How many times have you used the blame game as an excuse: The other driver was slow? If I was younger…? If I was older…? If my boss wasn’t such a jerk?  When we blame, we lose authority over our own mind, we give over are confidence, compassion, and power. We become the victim. When we blame we lose confidence that we are intrinsically full of goodness and replace it with an outward projection of jealousy, anger, and insecurity. By blaming we attach our irritation and negativity to an outside source and as like attracts like, negativity breeds negativity.

When we blame others for our own suffering, inconveniences, or emotions, we are “creating narrow perimeters into which everything must fit” (Mipham, 95). We are making our world and ourselves smaller. Instead of redirecting the blame to ourselves, we can use these strong emotions to become self-aware. In a situation where blame may arise, with self-awareness, we can begin to notice what we attach blame to, how our mind immediately starts to criticize, and begin to notice how we participate in our circumstances.

With self-awareness, you see the choices and options available to you, you become your own ruler.  You are “breaking free” from limited boundaries and the “preconception of how things ought to be” (97). With self-awareness, as feelings of discomfort first begin to arise consider it direct communication with your highest Self (Kempton, pars. 1).  Before you begin to blame or find fault see if you can recognize the feelings that are arising and dig to the root of the situation. Use this as  a time of self-empowerment and a reconnection to your authentic, powerful, compassionate Self.

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Kempton, Sally. “Judgment Calls.” Yoga Journal., n.d.  Cruz Bay Publishing. Web.

Mipham, Sakyong. Ruling Your World. New York: Doubleday, 2005. Print.

Softening the Hard Edges

“Practice leads you in the right direction, while non-attachment allows you to continue the inner journey without getting sidetracked into the pains and pleasures along the way” – Swami J

Nohoch Mol, Mexico 2007

Nohoch Mol, Mexico 2007. Afraid of heights, this  climb brought many mental “distractions” to the surface.

In my practice, I am working to soften – to let go of the push of trying so hard. I began this in my asana practice and have found, like most things that start on the mat, to be leaking into different aspects of my life. Maybe you, too, have noticed that what you practice on the mat begins to infiltrate into different aspects of your life. To yield into the poses is to let go of the need to have to do them correctly, or have to be perfect. To yield and soften into the poses, is to trust that I am alright as I am. For each of us, to surrender to the moment and to place trust in the universe can be frightening and difficult.

The word yoga has several different interpretations: to unite, to yoke, to tie the strands of the mind together. In the second sutra, yoga is defined as “the ability to direct the mind exclusively toward an object and sustain that duration without any distraction” (Heart of Yoga, 149). The object is our intention, our sankalpa, our desire or goal. The distractions are life: our sorrows, our joys, whether someone likes us, whether we get positive or negative feedback from a friend, co-worker, boss, or stanger. The distractions are life experiences that we often, mistakenly, wrap our feelings of self-worth around. We are happy when someone likes us and want to hide from the world when someone doesn’t.

Yoga is a way to be completely engaged in the action of your present moment knowing that life experiences are only experiences and not a reflection of your self-value. Yoga teaches us to move steadily in the direction we want to go but without the attachment to our desire or expected outcome. This is the balance between steady effort, abhyasa, and letting go, vairagya.

I am a strong believer in persistent, patience, and consistency. To reach our dreams and goals is not an all or nothing experience but a steady climb that we achieve over time. As we pay attention to our actions, as with move with steady effort, abhyasa, we see our path, where we are going and how to get to our desired end. When we see where we are going, when we take the time to notice the present moment no longer are we caught up with the pains, the joys, the sorrows of each of our experience. We can see embrace our experience as the changing opportunity for growth without attaching our worth to the outcome. This allows us to move without gripping, with detachment, with vairagya – this allows us to soften.

Nohoch Mol at the top — steady effort and letting go

Finding Light in Dark: The Greed and Beauty in Us

In my classes this month, I am touching upon different aspects of the mythic deity Lakshmi, Goddess of Prosperity. I find talking about Lakshmi fun: she is beauty, wealth, and abundance. Yet, I can’t talk about Lakshmi without mentioning her sister Alakshmi, Goddess of Misfortune. Lakshmi is everything benevolent and Alakshmi is everything corrupt. The two are halves of the same whole.

In mythology, Lakshmi does not make judgments nor does she play favorites. What is good for one person is also good for another. No matter your class, gender, sexual orientation, whether rich, poor, black, or white – we all get hungry,  get cold, want love, and want to be understood. As long as you are virtuous and hardworking, Lakshmi will give you her blessings. Yet, Lakshmi is almost always accompanied by her sister and Alakshmi represents the negative energy that comes with wealth and prosperity. Alakshmi is the jealousy, greed, and malice that arises from another’s success or wealth. She is what tears people apart; what incites gossip, slander and corruption.

To weaken Alakshmi, is to acknowledge her strength and residence in each of us. Alakshmi’s power comes from her ability to ride our emotions, to play on the weakness of ego and the hurts of our past. She plays on fears: of being inadequate, of not being good enough, of others success, and fear of not being loved. Often our reactions to experiences are not based on the present experience but rooted in our past. How many times have you gotten mad at a remark a lover made because they brought up an old feeling of inadequacy that may have been instilled by another person entirely? How about arguing with a co-worker over an issue built on months of unresolved tension?

We all live with hurts and injustices yet when we carry the past around with us we hinder our ability to bring abundance, Lakshmi, into our lives. We may fundamentally know we are worthy of good things, but our own reactions to circumstances or deep rooted doubts about ourselves can obstruct  growth. Deepak Chopra says “Understanding that you have choice in how you respond and interpret experiences is the key to healing the emotional body.” We cannot allow our own emotional state be reliant on other people’s words or actions.

When confronted with aspects of myself that I do not I like, I find I want to hide them away – stuff them in a dark corner of my body and hope they vanish. But, the more we ignore aspects of who we are, the more we give strength to these undesirable parts of us. As you go through your day, recognize your emotional reactions to people, places, and situations. When you are on your mat, notice when you get angry or joyful and how those emotions resonate throughout your body.  When we acknowledge these unsavory emotions, we process why we feel threatened by anothers’ success, beauty or social standing  and can dig to the root of these feelings. Only by excavating the deeper landscape and uncovering our core emotion can we release Alakshmi’s negative energies and open space where abundance can flow through freely.

 

Breaking Wind: Yoga and Gas

Gas.  Farts. Toots. Whatever way you want to say it, we all pass gas and most of us pretend we don’t.  In yoga, we bend, twist, and contort our bodies in various directions and, sometimes, flatulence is a result. Passing gas is a topic that we all have an opinion on but rarely talk about. Especially in yoga class.

I spent years practicing yoga in hot power classes.  During those years, I strongly objected to anyone farting. My thought was “if I can hold it, you can too.” Mainly this was because in a hot class, the gas seemed to linger in the air and in 100 degree heat breathing was already a challenge.  As a yoga teacher my viewpoint is different.

As a teacher, I applaud the body’s natural process. If we think in terms of Prana, our vital life force, there is apana vayu, the downward flow of energy.  Apana, the life force that governs the lower abdomen, is responsible for the elimination of bodily waste products as well as creating grounding forces that allow for stability. As anyone who has ever tried to stand up knows, we must push down to rise up. We need apana, and elimination, for our bodies to work efficiently and pranic energy to flow freely. Yoga even has a pose for this natural bodily function: apanasana, wind-relieving pose. What a nice way to put it.

Although, flatulence is a normal occurrence, when done in the presence of others, it almost always causes embarrassment.  We all know what goes in must go out and, often, beginning students are more likely to have to let loose in class than the advanced student. This is not because the beginning student has more gas, but because their body may be detoxing not accustomed to the pressure put on the internal organs in various poses.  But even the most advanced students may find their bodies expelling air more on some days than others — anybody who teaches a class the day after Thanksgiving or Super Bowl Sunday can attest to this.

When it comes to the etiquette of relieving wind in class I have two ways of thinking – neither is right, neither is wrong. As a student, my mind thinks “please, just don’t.” As a teacher, I believe to hold gas is neither healthy nor comfortable. Often gas is caused by eating certain foods, drinking carbonated beverages, and not chewing thoroughly. If flatulence is a problem think about coming to class on an empty stomach – after about 2-3 hours after eating. Also, a cup of peppermint or fennel tea after a meal supposedly helps to improve digestion and reduce flatulence.  Ultimately, if you pass gas in class, own it and accept that we are all adults in a yoga class or, like most yogis, pretend it wasn’t you. If someone near you lets one slip, just ignore it. We have all passed gas in class and we will all do it again.

 

 

 

Tapas: The Fire of Flow

Dancers at Burning Man, Temple Burn 2011 photo by David Frank

My favorite Hindu myth involving the sages Vasistha and Vishvamitra entails a lesson in tapas, “inner heat.” In my simplified version of the story, Vasistha gets mad and curses Vishvamitra to become a heron. Vishvamitra retaliates by cursing Vasistha into a crane. As a heron and a crane these sages began to fight. Tearing at each others’ throats and flapping their wings, they topple down mountains, destroy living creatures, and knock the earth over.  The Hindu god, Brahma, witnesses the devastation these two are causing and strips them of their bird natures.  When they calm down, Brahma chastises the sages and exclaims “You are both creating obstacles to your tapas by your passionate anger, so give it up!” The two sages, ashamed, hug each other in forgiveness. 

Tapas, often translated to mean “inner heat,” or “fiery discipline” is a tool to achieve personal and spiritual enlightenment.  Tapas is sometimes considered a rigid practice of castigation and severe discipline, yet, according to T.K.V. Desikachar in The Heart of Yoga, tapas is not penance but “the process of inner cleansing” by building heat through asanas (poses)  and pranayama (breathwork).  Like Desikachar, when I hear the word tapas I do not associate it with austere, strict, and rigid behavior. Rather, I connect tapas with the consistent flow of energy generated through our thoughts, the beat of our heart, and the intention of our actions.  I believe tapas to be the perseverance and faith we dedicate to our path.

As humans, we have wishes, we create goals, we dream of desired outcomes, and from these dreams we brew the energy needed to transition our dreams into reality. Yet, as humans, in one way or form, we also experience mesmerizing enchantments that tempt us away from our path. In the story of Vasistha and Vishvamitra these two sages fall from their path. Like us, they get seduced by emotion and thoughts.  We all get swept away and tapas is the energetic force that helps us realign our focus with our heart.

We can spend so much of our life being angry, blaming others, and all this external focus will only result in destroying ourselves. As fire burns things up,our energy can burn us up, burn us out, or fuel us; we need to harness our energy and direct it in a mindful manner.  We must speak, listen, and act as if everything we do has significance. We must act as if our hearts are beams of light and what we direct into the world, good or bad, will be absorbed by the people meet, the trees we see, and the air we breathe. When Brahma scolded the two sages, he scolded them for generating such heat in negativity: what we think, we can become.  Our own energy is the power that can steer us. Like Vasistha and Vishvamitra, we can allow it to overpower us in devastating ways or we can open ourselves up to the bright potential that lies within us.

Desikachar, T.K.V.. The Heart of Yoga: Developing A Personal Practice. Rochester: Inner Traditions, 1995. Print.

**Previously published at www.yogabhoga.com**

7 Days, 7 Love Stories

We are told that love is all around us, all the time. I spend so much time in my head, dwelling on a crude remark or a selfish act (usually my own), that I often fail to see that beauty, compassion, and heart-opening gratitude around me. Realizing that our reality is dependent upon our perspective, I opened my eyes, heart, and mind, and here is a very-condensed list of what I saw:

Sunday: My cousin’s wife was hit by a car while riding her bike and has a brain injury. Being in the hospital and witnessing how my cousin spoke softly to his wife, fed her ice cubes, and held her stable when she sat up was a lesson in quiet, committed love.

Monday:  The most confident, or dumbest, cat followed his dog friend to the park. This courageous feline strutted onto the grass and sat down among running dogs and ball tossing to watch, and be with, his canine friend.

Tuesday: A woman left yoga class to be surprised by her partner and their two kids waiting outside. They brought her a box of pastries and coffee to say good morning. Her smile enveloped the four of them as they walked down the street together.

Wednesday: On a hot evening at the country fair, just when I thought my thin cotton dress was too heavy, I saw two large pigs sleeping and “spooning” each other.  All the other pigs kept to themselves.

Thursday: A man working diligently in his yard, carefully tending to all his plants. He bent down and inspected each tomato, mindfully moved the water hose to his sunflower plant, and nimbly maneuvered between plants to weed.  Each plant had the essence of a small child under his care.

Friday:  A smile from a stranger.  It lit up my heart.

Saturday: Teenagers stealing glances at each other at a city festival. The jut of a hip, the puff of a chest, as teenagers circled each other, embarrassed blushes when eyes met. Ah, the game of love and courtship.

I felt better, lighter on my feet when I began to see that I am part of a glorious world. I realized that my own contributions of compassion and love were not for me but to make the world better for everyone I share this time with. Being a part of the positive, cheesy as it sounds, makes me a happier person.

What do you see when you look around?  Shadows dancing, a sunset, two people holding hands? I would love to hear what you have to share. Whatever or however you see and feel love, breathe it in and allow the sensations to enhance who you are.

The Perpetual Bodhi Tree

” Awareness is empowering” – Rita Wilson

I am tired. Exhausted to be more specific. I like to point my weary finger at caffeine withdrawals but the truth is my Being is in withdrawal. I am a believer in signs. Recently on a trip out to the Oregon Coast I stopped at a bookstore where I saw a book of answers. “Well, I have a question!” I thought as I took the book off the shelf and placed it between my hands. With my eyes closed, I asked my question. This book of answers told me to relax, have faith, and lay low for a bit.

Awareness, like anything else, takes time. Just today, I told my dearest friend “wherever you are, create the life you want to live.” Yet, like most people, I dish out the good to others, dream about the life I want, and then stumble when it comes time to mold my dreams with the clay in my hands. In the shower today, I not only realized I was procrastinating writing this piece,  I became acutely aware that I was doing everything in my power to avoid the life I want. With the sudden knowledge that comes from awareness, I was faced with a decision 1) do something about it or 2) let me dreams dry out as I continue to live my life as it is now.

Does this sound familiar to you? Do you avoid the life you want by eating, fidgeting, cleaning, fill in the blank? We all do it but through awareness we become cognizant of the small ways we self-sabotage. Yet, what is the point of awareness if we do nothing to change our situation? In my experience I never experience awareness without a degree of turbulence. For me, the two co-exist. Even in yoga class, we come into a pose and as we draw our attention and focus to parts of our body, those parts come alive. For example, when I become aware that in trkonasana, triangle pose, that despite my steadiness, I am actually locking my knee and hanging in my joints. To counter this, I soften my knee, engage my quadriceps and suddenly my front legs shakes, my breath wobbles, turbulence has come in as I re-adjust to develop a steady mind and body in this new, aligned trkonasana.

Awareness and turbulence propel us into action. When we realize we are not happy in a relationship, job, or in our current life situation, we usually become hyper-aware of our feelings toward the particular situation until either 1) we change it or 2) it is change for us. When we become aware of who we are, our desires, our boundaries, we gain clarity, Clarity creats an openness in our minds to see without the obscure veil. We clearly can evolve to focus and through focus we funnel into action. When we act with full clarity focus and awareness, we evolve from heart into the life we want.

Yoga: Reigniting Former Flames

For years, I have heard stories about people who have not only benefited from yoga but have had a phenomenal transformation due to their yoga practice: yoga helped them walk again, or touch their toes, or find balance, or lose weight, or get off medication…the list goes on. I have read the anatomy books and articles on which poses strengthen which parts of the body or how different poses alleviate different health conditions. I instruct students on pranayama, breath control, and balance. On the street, I speak of the wonders of yoga. Yet, I never had my own real yoga story to tell.

Until now.

At age seven I started running. At age twelve running was something I did. At age sixteen running was how I found adventure. At age twenty running was my meditation.  At age twenty-four running was in my soul. At age thirty-one my knees gave out.

During my early thirties I made excuses (none made sense) as to why I didn’t run: no nearby trails (I was a trail runner), too much graduate school, I rode a bike, I had a dog. The reason I was not running was simple: I could no longer run. My knees hurt. I tried to run through the pain, I tried to lose weight, I tried different shoes. I just could not run. Over the last six years, every few months I put on my running shoes, ran out the door only to return hobbling — the pain was too much.

During this time I discovered yoga.  More precisely, I discovered power yoga. The transition from running to yoga was almost painless as I sweated out toxins, frustration, and stress in a hot room with other A-type personalities. But, at times, I missed my first love: the sound of my breath as my feet hit the ground, running along mountain trails, stumbling over roots and rocks. The excitement before a race and the medal afterwards. The runners high.

Over the years I became serious about my yoga practice.  I went deeper within myself. I began teaching. I left power yoga and discovered the vast array of yoga styles offered. I stopped flowing so much and started to concentrate more on muscle engagement and alignment. I began to let go of the ego, and start over with the fundamentals of each pose.  I let myself experiment, fall, and find out what happens with my body in each pose. How the lift of  my quadriceps, an inner thigh spiral, or engaging my core affected my entire body…mind included. I played with my breath and how that could take me deeper into shapes.  I began to move beyond the physical and into the different koshas, or bodily layers, to find a mind, body, and spirit connection.

Something happened. Not overnight. Not suddenly. A few months ago I went for a run, no pain. I kept at it, no pain. I increased mileage, no pain. I picked up my pace, no pain. I felt like Garuda, the mythical bird, shinning brighter than the sun and soaring through the heavens.

At one time I ran six days a week, I now rejoice I run three days a week. I am thinking of running a race. Ideally, I would love to win a medal like I could years ago and here is where my yoga practice serves me. Not the asana practice, but the practice of mindfulness, compassion, and non-attachment. The part of my practice where I notice when my ego gets in the way. At those times, I remind myself, I am simply content that I am running.

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