The Poetry of Yoga
This is a GREAT interview with my main yoga man, Rod Stryker, the mighty Sianna Sherman and more. It's nice to hear yoga teachers read their poetry.
I've been a bad blogger. I'm so good with helping others with their social media that I am lacking on my blogs, but in my heart, I'm blogging every day! Now, just to translate what's in my heart onto the screen. Right now, I'm at the Yoga Journal Conference in Estes Park, CO with my teacher, Rod Stryker...you know it! More on this great event, soon. Thanks for reading!
I'm in the Chicago Reader
Here is an article in this week's Chicago Reader that I'm in. Guess what I'm talking about? What else? My yoga teacher's kick ass, life changing book, The Four Desires. I'm a focused kinda gal, what can I say?
One of Many - We Are Important
A tree following it's dharma at Wanderlust Yoga & Music festival, 2011. (I wonder whose standing under the tree looking up at it...)
I've been teaching my yoga classes with a bhavana, or theme, taken from my teacher Rod Stryker's book, The Four Desires. Here is this week's theme:
We are each a single cell in the greater body of this world, with a unique role to play in the service of sustaining and advancing the whole of which we are a part.
I love this idea! I wrote a song years ago with lyrics that reflect this. The last line of the 2nd verse is "In the end, the whole is bigger than its parts" and to me, this line is saying the same thing as Rod's quote...from the other side.
It's nice to think of our whole of everything as bigger than the sum of it's parts. I wrote that song lyric to minimize my contribution to the whole of everything because I felt small and sad. I shared that my unique role wasn't important.
Now, I have the attitude that Rod writes about. My participation in the world and my unique role in it IS important, as is everyone else's. Everything we do counts, even if we don't feel it. Every vibration is felt, every contribution we make counts, every thing we do sustains or advances our whole.
Now that we're clear on that...let's do more than sustain. Let's ADVANCE.
The Four Desires is here!
The big arrival is here. My teacher's book is released and I'm *so* excited! Rod Stryker is an amazing teacher - he translates ancient yogic theory and application into modern speech. It's through yogarupa (that means "essence of yoga" and is Rod's spiritual name. Also, another name for Ganesha!) that these yogic ideas from the Vedas will change lives.
This sounds like a big claim, but I speak from experience when I say that if you follow the procedures in this book, your life will change. For the better. For the best.
Here, in the form of a hardback book, is a system to become completely joyful, truly happy, and to become
Do it. Buy this book and the accompanying practice CD's. Challenge yourself to become the best you. YOU CAN BE THE BEST YOU ALL THE TIME! No dream. Reality. Ready for this fulfilling hard work? Let's go.
Honoring Teachers Today
Today is a very auspicious day, Guru Purnima. It's the full moon in July and a day where we honor our spiritual teachers, including our internal teachers.
Thank you, Rod Stryker, for your practical and spiritual guidance. You have the right amount of oomph to inspire me to continue my studies and enough understanding and compassion to make me feel comforted and not judged.
Through your guidance and inspiration, I am becoming the person I should be. A person who honors and respects the divine spark of life inside of me, who is filled with gratitude and joy, and who wants to help others become the persons they should be.
Gush, gush, gush...so much to be grateful for. I could write for so long. Words really can't express the love and thanks in my heart for my all my teachers, from my family to my cat to my guru to you. Deepest, deepest thanks.
Yoga Sleep & Deep Resolutions
Yoga nidra means yoga sleep and, woah - is this a powerful and effective practice. Pictured is my teacher Rod Stryker's version of this practice of deep relaxation.
Yoga nidra is sleep with a sense of consciousness. I've certainly passed out and snored my way through yoga nidra practices, for sure, but this is best practiced with out falling asleep. 30 minutes of yoga nidra is like getting 2 hours of sleep, and, believe me, I use yoga nidra instead of napping often to not only deeply rest, but to work on my sankalpa, my resolution.
So, how do you practice this magical relaxation practice and what's up with the resolution hub bub, you may wonder? Well, practicing is easy peasy - you lay on your back, hit the play button on your preferred media player and give your self permission to relax. I even bought an acupuncture-style pad to practice yoga nidra on to get some extra mojo going. By mojo, I mean prana - life force, chi, breathe, energy. You know...get your mojo rising! (I don't recommend using the bed of nails pad like I am unless you're used to doing yoga nidra often. You can relax so deeply that your body may feel uncomfortable on the pad, defeating the purpose of yoga nidra.)
The sankalpa, the resolution, is a super important part of this practice. When you're in the process of deeply relaxing, you cultivate the feeling of gratitude and in this fertile soil, plant the seed of your sankalpa or focused intention. This is a positive goal towards your health and well being that you want to achieve in the next 6 months. For example, three years ago, my previous sankalpa was to attract 10 students to every yoga class. I was still anxious about teaching to as many people as I could so I would have better job security, more income, and feel like I was getting the yoga message really out there.
The sankalpa eventually worked to where the classes where I had lower attendance (the 7AM gym classes) started to be populated by the coolest group of yogis around and there are often 10 or more students in these classes. Another great result was that by seeding my sankalpa while deeply relaxing, the anxiety I had around it started to fade. Sure, it's fun to have a full class but this is not as important to me. I'm now more focused on teaching a better quality class to any number of students. The sankalpa and yoga nidra worked for me in many great ways.
Yoga nidra, yoga nidra, yoga nidra. Do this as often as you can, at least twice a week, to deeply relax, set and fulfill your sankulpa, and to replenish your vitality.
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.