my first year growing bush pickles, better known as cucumbers. can you see it on the right, all prickly next to the flower? so cute!
Wow, June flew by like that horny cardinal that's been screaming for a mate by my back porch. As much as I try to stay in the moment and, so ironically, the more I do (& do I do a lot), the faster time whizzes by. Whoosh, there went the glorious month of June.
We handled lots of elements in June: super storms, hot humidity, chilly chills. The elements in June remind me of the 7 chakras we each have (some schools say we have 5). The chakras are made of elements (tattwa), mind fluctuation (chitta) and energy (prana). There are different combinations of elements with prana and chitta that create the different chakra and each chakra has it's own element.
Traditionally, laya yoga is the yoga of dissolving that which doesn't serve us. Our goal is supposed to be to dissolve the chakras, not build them up or focus on just one to make that element stronger. We gots to get rid of 'em!
When the elements of earth, water, fire, air and space fluctuate outdoors, I think about how these elements are a part of me and how they fluctuate in me, as well. And then I wonder why I stopped dissolving these elements in my chakras when I discontinued doing the "bhutta shuddhi" meditation, which is all about dissolving the elements. And now I contemplate the commitment to start this kriya meditation again. I did it for 30 days years ago. And will start it again, tomorrow. I will!...and blog about it. Get ready to rumble, elements!
Thanks for the inspiration, dear June.
Here's the June issue of the BRIGHT & BEAUTIFUL e-newsletter. I've had this newsletter since 1997 (or was it 1998?). It used to be called, "Kick Ass", but I now want to be bright & beautiful (my Korean name means this) more than I want to kick ass. Ha!
To see all the fancy pictures, view it in your browser.
Welcome to the
Bright & Beautiful Newsletter
June is treating us well with warm, sunny weather in Chicago. The thrill of summer is in the air and with this excitement comes the desire for change. We want to change into short pants, change from hot soup to gazpacho (good gawd, do I love gazpacho), change from being a hot head to a cool head. I do especially suggest that last part. Hot heads do not prevail when it comes to sustainable action. Cool heads, arise! Be cool.
Goodman Theatre presents the world premiere of Chinglish by Tony Award winner David Henry Hwang SAVE 50% ON THE FOLLOWING PREVIEW PERFORMANCES*:
June 26 @ 2pm
June 22 & 23 @ 7:30pm
June 24 & 25 @ 8pm
Use promo code HWANG when purchasing tickets to receive the discount! *Not valid on previously purchased tickets or in combination with other offers. Expires 6/26/2011.
Nowadays, everyone wants to do business with China—especially Daniel, a Midwestern American businessman who’s desperately looking to score a lucrative contract for his family’s sign-making firm. With high hopes, he travels to the provincial capital of Guiyang only to learn how much he doesn’t understand: his translators are unreliable, his consultant may be a fraud, and he is captivated by Xu, the beautiful, seemingly supportive government official who talks the talk—but what is she
saying, anyway? See it now before it heads to New York!
For tickets or more information go toGoodmanTheatre.org or call 312.443.3800
Chic-A-Go-Go Taping! Saturday, June 25. 3-6PM
Chic-A-Go-Go, Chicago’s favorite dance show for kids of all ages, is extremely excited to invite you to our next taping. I co-host this show with puppet Ratso and we're looking forward to dancing with you!
The taping takes place at the Chicago Access Network Studios, located at 322 S. Green St. (one block west of Halsted, half block north of Van Buren).
There is free and metered street parking and some low cost lots in the neighborhood, but we are also very accessible by public transportation, as the Halsted bus stops near us and the Blue Line’s UIC-Halsted stop is only a block and half from the studio.
Dress casual or wear a costume, it's up to you! No invitations or reservations needed, everyone is welcome, bring your friends! Bring kids! Bring your friends’ kids!
ASCII 2 Open Call
Chicago School of Thai Massage
FREE event: Taste of Thai. FREE Thai massages and FREE Thai food. Your payment is to attend this with an open mind. 7/6/11.
Here are wonderful film projects that you should check out. There are many, many talented film makers out there. Probe on and support. Thanks.
Art of Love: trailer! An indie film my friend, Masahiro Sugano, made. Here is that website & here is his film that I acted in.
DONATE! EVEN FIVE BUCKS HELPS!
Support the arts, friends. Even a few bucks will make a difference and make you feel gooder:
The Catastrophe is a dark comedy about a cigar salesman who stumbles on what may or may not be a murder plot.
I'm acting in this GREAT short film by the great film maker, Michael Smith. Help out an independent artist help us actors and crew.
PARALLAX SOUNDS documentary I'm supposed to be interviewed for this *gorgeous* documentary about Chicago music and architecture.
And, as always...
I frikkin' dig Groupons. Lookie here.
Half price theater and spa tickets for everywhere found here.
Micro-lend to hard working folks here.
Yoga and ParaYoga®
Photos by Jim Newberry Featured Teacher Creature
That's me! I'm currently the Featured Teacher at Moksha Yoga Center in Chicago for June. Your first class with me this month is free. Dearest Michael at Heartbeest made the nicest promo video of me.
I was also just featured atTejas Studio and on theParaYoga Facebook page,where I answered some specific yoga questions, like how to sequence a tamasic sattwic yoga practice. I love it!
Check out my yoga website, MiaParkYoga.com and my yoga blog. I just wrote about different types of fear and how I handle them. It ain't pretty, but it's real. The "Basic Yoga for Advanced Misfits" class is still in the works. I'm really looking forward to these on-going classes. This will be a class for folks who don't want to practice around physically fancy people in expensive clothes. Nothing wrong with that, but that flavor ain't for everyone. Stay tuned, misfits.
Next, I'll shoot a yoga variety TV show this August called, "Yoga Park: Yoga with Mia Park". The director and camera guy are currently scouting places to shoot. The show will explain that there are many different types of yoga besides doing the poses we're familiar with. I'm really EXCITED.
I teach private yoga classes!Go deeper with your personal yoga practice physically, energetically, and mentally. I offer mindful private yoga instruction to individuals and groups. You'll receive a custom catered practice that will benefit you greatly. Group discounts and gift certificates available. Email Mia@MiaPark.com for details. I have new props to assist in bringing your practice to deeper levels for the body and mind. Intrigued? Email me.
My public yoga classes:
@ Moksha Yoga
Tuesdays, 8-9:30PM, Intro
@ Tejas Yoga
I currently teach only two public classes. What to do? Be my guest to any of my gym classes. Just email me.
I also teach at LPAC, LVAC, WAC, Act One Studios, Akal Yoga and to private clients. My full teaching schedule is here.
PARAYOGA CERTIFICATION: YUP!
I'm proud to be a certified ParaYoga Level I teacher.This certification is the culmination of studying with Rod Stryker for over five years, having taken ten 40 hour ParaYoga Master Trainings and several workshops. I'm thankful to be certified in this lineage that is so powerful and genuine. ParaYoga changes lives for the best. Through these techniques, you can be the person you want to be. It's work. Hard work, but ultimately rewarding in the best way possible. Big promises? Yes. All that and a stick of butter. Ok, a jar of ghee.
This year, I assisted Yogarupa Rod Stryker in Minneapolis, Chicago and Mexico. I studied with him in New York City and, ohmygoodness, I'm going to the Wanderlust Festival in CA to support him. Eeek, Wanderlust kinda freaks me out because it seems like a pot-smoky, hippy dippy party and that ain't my bag. I'll go with an open mind and heart. Adventure time. Hook me up with your balanced friends who are going.
Friend ParaYoga on Facebook.
PRODUCT AMBASSADOR PARK
Eggs! Three minutes of them!
I'm a product ambassador for the Three Minute Egg, a terribly clever yoga prop. This year, I worked with Three Minute Egg creator, Jason, in New York and Illinois. Order your eggs online and use code 3MEAMP to receive 10% off on retail sales and 5% on wholesale/studio sales. Egg on!
I do love me some Manduka and am aproduct ambassador for Manduka mats. They are a great company with great intentions. Check them out.
Here I am shooting a grocery store commercial with some good friends.
Acting is going great this season! I play a 70 year old Chinese grandmom in David Henry Hwang's play, Family Devotions, withHalcyon Theatre. We run in August and September. I actually quit the union, Actor's Equity, to do this show & to act on stage when I want to. I'd rather have this kind of control over my acting carer rather then be limited to union politics. I made the right decision!
I'm grateful to act in three episodes of the TV series, BOSS, which is filming right now in Chicago. I play a volunteer at Kelsey Grammer's daughter's clinic. This show is scheduled to air on the Starz cable channel in October . What a great experience. Very , very nice crew and cast.
I'll act in the short film The Catastophe and be featured in the documentary in Parrallax Soundsthis summer. Check out more about these films to your left.
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“all journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.”
– martin buber
I'm studying this weekend with yoga master, Gary Kratsow, at Moksha Yoga Center in Chicago. Gary's been on the yoga scene for almost 40 years. He's a living yoga teacher...like breathing and walking this ancient science. He spoke this morning about how he was a yogi from previous lives. I believe him. His depth of knowledge of ancient yoga is academic. His modern take on using yoga for therapeutics is amazing. I'm excited to study with him this weekend and in the future. He's next on my list after I finish Rod's ParaYoga training course (although studying with Rod is never done).
This weekend I'm learning Yoga for Anxiety, Yoga for Depression and Emotion Healing. I hope to be able to teach some of this great stuff after this weekend, although this is sensitive material that I want to get right.
I think I'll best use these new tools teaching my yoga private clients, where I can really take my time working with each client and treat them. As Gary says, we treat the patient not the disease. I hope to also treat myself with Gary's teaching, as well. Cuz the anxiety I have to be a great yoga teacher may not be serving me or my students!
Yoga Therapy to the rescue. That...& practice practice practice.
Here is Eastern State Penitentiary, in my hometown, Philly. Every cell in this prison was a solitary confinement. Each prisoner had their own teeny backyard and a little slit to allow a sliver of sunlight, but never saw or touched another person their entire sentence. Yikes!
Talk about fear. This kind of solitary confinement frightens me because I am such such such a social creature. The thought of solitary confinement and not speaking to another person for years scares me, but if I were confined, I might be able to fall into the grace of silence and embrace its gifts through meditation.
My cat has massive oral action right now, two teeth removed and an abscessed lip. I was scared to take him to the vet because I didn't want him to be sicker than he actually is. I feared loosing this 13 year old chubby kitty of mine after so much time together. The night I had to leave him at the vet, I almost wept, feeling guilty about letting him get so sick and imaging my home with out him. I mediated that night and the fear and guilt slipped into acceptance and appreciation for knowing this furball. (Kitty's fine, still fat, now on antibiotics.)
I also fear the raw power of true spirit. You know how freaky it is to glimpse of your absolute true potential? If you've seen this part of you, you may have been frightened to the bone. I am. To *really* grow into my fullest shining is frikking scary. Today, I thought about turning the fear into anticipation...anticipation for the greatest transformation and change. I gotta turn that fear around180 degrees in order to allow myself to truly follow my dharma and fulfill my highest goals. My fear comes partially from conditioning, partially from low self confidence and feeling like I don't deserve to be my fullest. These are *deeeep* seated fears. I'm gonna killit with a skillet and turn that frown unpaid down.
Fear can be a great, protective energy. Right now, it's not serving me and the best way to combat this tamasic (lethargic) fear, is to do the most radical thing I can think of: sit on my meditation cushion and embrace it. See ya on the flip side, glowing and growing.
it's show time! i'm shooting a yoga TV show pilot episode. here are the details:
show name: Yoga Park: Yoga with Mia Park
shoot date: august, 2011
length: 22 minutes
distribution: online - youtube, vimeo, FB, etc. will be shopped to producers to acquire funding to produce more episodes in order to get sponsors.
Yoga is a popular form of exercise in the Western world, with about 15,000,000 practicing in America, alone. The most popular form of yoga is Hatha Yoga, which includes physical postures, yoga sticky mats and yoga props. There are actually many different types of yoga that aren't physical exercise and Yoga Park will focus on the different
types of yoga in each episode. Yoga Park is part education, part entertainment. "Edutainment" at it's best, this TV show features perky Chicago yoga teacher, Mia Park, teaching hatha yoga postures, interviewing yoga personalities, and showcasing yoga talent such as
musicians, dancers, and painters. For more information on the different kinds of yoga, see here:
i'm EXCITED! wish me luck. got any good suggestions for the show? thanks!
My good friend Paul Fowler (left in the photo) is owner of the Chicago School for Thai Massage. He is a wise man, a great healer and a good musician, to boot! He and Paul Weitz, his business partner and friend, studied in Thailand earlier this year and learned many wonderful things.
The most important thing Paul F shared with me is the idea that when we heal others, we need to also be healed. So, I've been more open to letting the benefits of yoga effect me as I teach. This sounds simple and obvious, but it's actually tricky to do this!
When I'm teaching, I'm in my head. I'm constantly scanning the room to see which students need physical help, help with breathing, or need a kind word or touch. I'm sequencing the class in an intelligent, safe way and have to keep my mind on that, as well. I'm also thinking about how I'm speaking - am I loud enough? Clear enough? Articulate enough? So, there are many things that go through my head as I teach.
I'm better at being in the moment (see previous post!) and relaxing while teaching because of my growing experience as a teacher (five years and hundreds of classes, by now). I am more and more welcoming the prana (energy) of teaching and from the students into my heart. I, too, should be transformed as a teacher while I'm teaching.
Many thanks, Paul F!
(Everyone, make sure to get the best Thai massage ever from this guy!)
Ugh, time management is the most important thing a yoga teacher can do to get "everything" done. If I'm not on top of my schedule, my insides feel like an old sneaker cemented into a wall top with broken glass. No calmness or stillness to attract cute little birds or anything else to land safely.
Sometimes I can feel more in the moment, even when I'm busy. I had a moment like that fifteen minutes ago, as I sit on my gorgeous back porch, typing furiously away on my laptop. A little green bug landed on the inside of my glasses. I took them off and blew as hard as I could to remove him, but he held fast. I blew again and saw his teeny wings flutter with my breathe.
I stared at him as close as I could (without wearing my glasses, it was kind of hard!) and noticed his microscopic head with the littlest pair of antennae on them. He was vibrant green and beautiful. I'm so glad he landed on my glasses or else I wouldn't be able to enjoy Mother Nature at her finest.
When I'm super busy (and when ain't I?), I love it when Mother Nature or a person interrupts me. I'm reminded of how nice it is to pay attention to who I'm talking to and to where I am, regardless of how important I think what I'm doing is.
I can make myself sooo busy that the moments run into each other and then a day is gone without me noticing the zillions of wonderful things that zip by. I do try to embrace gratitude for all the moments of the day inside my heart and sometimes forget that being in the moment means being filled with joy. And we all deserve joy. We're made of it!
Mia Park is a ParaYoga teacher in Chicago, IL, specializing in teaching Basic Yoga for Advanced Misfits, as well as teaching people how to cut through the junk to shine on.