Thursday, August 30, 2012

Last Days of Summer

If it could only be like this always - 
always summer, always alone, 
fruit always ripe... 
Evelyn Waugh

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Book Review

This is the second in a series of nine books called the Ringing Cedars of Russia.  I read the first book and am half way through the second.  This is a series of books by Vladimer Megre about his encounter with a woman he met in the Tiaga Forest, a remote area of Siberia.  Through the course of several brief stays he had two children with her and she in return, "revealed her philosophy on Man's relationship to Nature, the Universe and God, as well as lifestyle, education, nutrition, spirituality, love, family, sexual relations and other plants." 

This series of books have had a stunning effect, selling millions and widely popular in Russia and gaining popularity in the rest of the world.  There are currently over 200 natural settlements - a back to the land movement of simple living - in Russia, as well as others communities that have sprouted up worldwide.  These settlements use her advise on how humans relate to the living world and how we should live and conduct ourselves.  A huge gardening advocate, she has very definite views on how one should plant a garden for maximum health benefits.  She calls the modern world a technocratic system, and found it highly destructive and counterproductive to a healthy lifestyle.  

I have absolutely no idea if these books are fact or fiction, or a combination.  I have no idea if this woman (Anastasia) is a projective fantasy, an actual person, or inspired from a combination of fact and rich imagination.  Sound advise for natural living is intermingled with the preposterous.  Sharing her living quarters ( a cave) with a bear, while spending most of her time with few if any clothes in the Siberian Forest doesn't seem altogether realistic or plausible.  From what I can gather no one has ever met Anastassia and she herself stated in the first book, " I exist for those who believe me."

The books were written in the 90's and whether fact or fiction, the advice she gives on living a healthy lifestyle harmoniously in the natural world is a timeless important message which we can all gain something from.  

If you've read any of the books or the series I'd love to hear your thoughts. 

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Say Yes!

Yes! You CAN fly!

When I did the Yoga for Kids Teacher Training this past Spring our instructor Amanda said to always say yes to children.  No matter how ridiculous the request say Yes! You can make the request happen without compromising safety and meeting your objectives.  I thought about this and it sounded like solid good advice, so I started using it. Yes! Yes! Yes!  I found inventive ways to satisfy the yes and what I needed the child to try, complete or finish.  Recently I found a note on my car written in marker, exclaiming, Enjoy Life!  With a drawing of the planet earth.  Delighted I took this as another sign from the universe to continue saying yes in my life. Finally, in my yoga class the other day the teacher burst out, " say yes!"   This stopped me in my tracks.  I am a firm believer the universe gives us messages, we just have to listen and try to follow through.  So I am saying yes, yes to a glorious happy life.  Yes!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

From the Depth of the Sea

Feeling much gratitude
Gorgeous beach day..........
Enjoy and feel the love

Friday, August 24, 2012

Don't follow the Herd!

 Free Class in Central Park, NYC aka Sardine Class

The article,  What I learned from giving up, by Anne Kreamer discusses the authors disenchantment and eventual abandonment of a yoga practice. 

Yoga has entered the fitness industry in America and with some of these classes I am reminded of aerobic classes in the 80's. There are some really physically challenging classes out there, which will confound just about any yoga practitioner and should be practiced by a select few, and then there are also some really moronic classes that are making money off of the masses by pin pricking the ego.  These are not really yoga classes, the teacher will move on to a new fad when yoga becomes unprofitable and the students will pack up their sexy yoga gear and herd off as well.  For the love of all things sane, just bypass this bullshit, get what you want out of your life, be happy, and go take a Zumba class!  

Yoga improves mental and physical health while working out karma and evolving the soul.  Yoga, real yoga, is rubbish when your aiming to drop three dress sizes and get back that A list body.  Unfortunately there is a great deal of money to be made, so there are a lot of yoga offerings which are  sub par on a good day.  It appears Kreamer had one too many classes which were meant to " give a really good work out."  The result; dissatisfaction, disappointment and injury. 

There was a power studio in my area which gave an excellent restorative class once a week.  It was the least popular class in a highly populated studio.  My friend giggled upon finding I took the class,  and told me it was for old ladies.  After the teacher relocated to become a yoga therapist, I dropped the studio completely.  That old lady class changed my perspective entirely.  I still use a great deal of what she did in my own teaching. 

I take really GOOD yoga classes from teachers with an incredibly high level of expertise.  Finding good teachers and a solid practice is an ongoing project. Some folks can't be so picky, they live in an area with very little on offer.  This is a good time to start diving into DVD's, books, pod casts, and a field trip or two a couple of towns over, or a weekend away to an ashram or health and wellness center ( Kripalu, Omega etc...) .  You would be surprised how many are out there nestled in the woods someplace.  I wish this writer had explored a bit more, I think she knew and had experienced real yoga and with time would have found something more suited to her taste and style.  

Its OK to keep looking till you find the right fit.  I don't do power or other popular styles, and you will never find me taking a free class in Central Park. I did walk out of a class once,  but for the most part I try to be respectful and stay, even when I know I'll never be back.  That said I won't participate in what I find ridiculous and unsafe for my body.  Yeah that's me in the back, modifying all your poses.  You don't like it, no worries we won't be running into each other anytime soon.  If your not getting what you need. keep looking till you find what works for you.  If its not yoga, don't try to make it yoga go for what you really want.  If it is yoga, follow your heart and listen to your body, only you know which practice is going to benefit you and nourish your soul.

Be well and make smart personal choices.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

A Walk in The Woods

Keep close to Nature's heart, yourself; 
and break clear away, once in a while, 
and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. 
Wash your spirit clean ...
 John Muir 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Auditory Stimulation

I stumbled upon this podcast while looking to download something else in i tunes.  The Happy Guru podcast is a good soul vibration about everything from how to peel an egg to Eco freindly suggestions to decrease your carbon footprint.  I listened to one, then two, then all 38 podcasts available.  I searched for more but the makers of this feel good production, Simon and Duncan, appeared to stop producing them a couple of years ago, which is too bad because they really are a few minutes of feel good vibration.  They also have a blog, an online store, and a brick and mortar store in Sydney Australia.  All 38 are available on i tunes for free.  There fun and they'll make you smile.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Fresh Air

 Good memories here!

These shoes are chock full of wonderful memories, particular those old ratty ones in the front. The half boot and the funky shoes I got in Paris many, many years ago.   The big rain-boots I got at Dunn's in Dublin and stomped around grassy fields in Ireland before landing back in the states.  I love these shoes dearly and have worn them literally to pieces.  As I turn the page on a new chapter and clear the way for things yet to come I have been sweeping through every room in the house with a two large bags, one for garbage and one for give away. 

I haven't worn the half boots or funky ones in longer than I'm willing to admit.  It's time to salute and say goodbye.  I've loved each of these shoes dearly, but now they are no longer usable and sadly they can only be classified as clutter.  Clutter is disruptive to the growth process and prevents us from moving forward. Clutter is loud, visual and and emotional, it disrupts our ability to fully engage in life. There is a belief that the state of our home is a clue to how our chakras are running.  The rooms in our home each represent different chalkras.  If you have a room or section of your home that needs attention, its an indicator that the chalkra that corresponds to that room or section is blocked. 

Rooms and living spaces that typically represent the major chakras are:
  • Crown Chakra: Attic, Roof, Rain Gutters;  Feeling disconnected, misunderstood, anxious,
  • Brow Chakra: Den, Home Office, Windows: Difficulty making decisions, following your inner feelings, tapping into creativity.
  • Throat Chakra: Living Room, Family Room:  Difficulty communicating effectively.
  • Heart Chakra: Kitchen, Dining Areas:  Irritation, guilt, hatred, self,pity.
  • Solar Plexus Chakra: Bathrooms, Personal Spaces: Difficulty completing routine tasks, lack of will power, energy.
  • Sacral Chakra: Master Bedroom:  Difficulty with  emotions, sex, manifestation, trusting the universe, and feeling enough.
  • Root Chakra: Basement, Crawl Space: Tired, cautious, afraid of change.
  • Aura: Porches, Decks, Landscaping, Garages:  clean this area for a lighter happier aura.
Getting rid of unwanted, unused or unusable items is very liberating.  There are always items that are particularity difficulty to part with even if there use as long since passed. (ie:  baby and toddler toys and clothes.) but in doing so we create space, new energy and breathing room.  So here's to breathing new life into the day!

Be well and prosper in simplicity.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Summer Happiness

Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.

 Henry James 

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Swinging to the Groove

I've had the same playlist for my yoga classes for a while now. I've needed to change up the music for a while.  It's good to have a variety if you play music in your classes but its also a little tricky because it needs to jive with the sequence of the class. All the classes I teach are gentle so the music needs to align with the feeling of the class while managing to motivate but relax at the same time. So here it is, some I kept, some new.   Do you have a sequence that's hard to part with?  Any staple music in your class you always like to play?

Bhajelo-Ji Hanuman- Krishna Das -  Krishna Das: Greatest Hits Of The Kali Yuga 
Madrid To Barcelona -Wayne Cobham    Surfing Medicine: Volume II    
Banks of the Avonmore- Steve Gordon    The Celtic Lounge   
Teardrop- Massive Attack    Mezzanine    
Inaudible Melodies- Jack Johnson    Brushfire Fairytales    
Over The Rainbow- Israel Kamakawiwo'ole    Facing Future           
Diamond In Your Mind- Tom Waits & Kronos Quartet   Healing the Divide

The Guy That Says Goodbye to You Is Out of His Mind- Griffin House  Flying Upside Down  
Be the Change -MC Yogi   Jamtse - Love & Compassion          
Will the Circle Be Unbroken - Mavis Staples    Have a Little Faith   
Love Is My Religion (Acoustic)- Ziggy Marley    Love Is My Religion   
With My Own Two Hands-Ben Harper    Diamonds On the Inside  
La Femme Chocolat- Olivia Ruiz    La Femme Chocolat    
Shalom Salaam - Ziggy Marley    Dragonfly    
Poem Without Words-Shammi Pithia    Cinema for the Ears     

As a side note I got poem without words off of I tunes which warns of explicit lyrics.  For the life of me I cant figure out why they labeled it explicit.  Gentle music and a nice way to end a class, go figure.......