About Me

Yoga changed my Life and it's just too good a thing to keep to myself! I have been practicing yoga since 1995 and am a certified yoga instructor. I teach a combination of classical Hatha, Ashtanga and Vinyasa Flow. My teaching style is safe, compassionate and challenging at the same time. I teach at a number of studios, and also offer private and group lessons!

In addition to my schedule, I post other writings here, about yoga and Life in general. For private or group lessons, contact me at: workofheartyoga@gmail.com .

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Finding balance, welcome to humble town!

Yes! I'm still alive!

At long last, my dear yogis and yoginis, I am back at the computer and writing a new blog. I know, I know, it's been a while. Sheesh, there's a lot going on!

First of all, it's spring. Can I get an "Amen!"???

As I write this blog, the scent of jasmine fills the air, and it is gorgeous outside. The evenness of the weather has made me realize just how up and down the world has been over the last few months.

We have a new President. Our country, and possibly world, is in financial crisis, the weather has changed, and it goes on and on.

Personally, I've experienced a number of other changes. Many of you know that I am pregnant, for those that didn't know, there you have it. I'm almost 21 weeks so far. So that's new. And every day is like a totally different world to me. My body feels different, my attitude is different, and it's not just automatic. I've worked at it.

I've slowed my own yoga practice down - not that you can't practice the same yoga you always have when you are pregnant, many women continue to practice challenging Flow-style yoga throughout all of their pregnancy- but inevitably, your practice changes somehow or in some way. Whether it's letting go of certain poses, realizing you can't do them the same way as before, or your pace may change, etc.

There are all kinds of surprises, some more welcomed than others. But even exploring the resistance I have felt, like letting go of a pose, for instance, or feeling frustrated in a pose that was normally not so challenging for me, are reminders that yoga is a wonderful reflection of Life in general.

Finding balance in my life is not easy. Balancing what I do for others with what I do for myself, balancing family with work, balancing needs with wants, etc. It's hard.

Some say that human suffering is caused by desire. Some say suffering is caused by attitude. I'd take a spin on those and say that a lot of suffering (maybe not all), at least for myself, is caused by creating preconceived expectations. In my own experience, that habit generally causes me to be less receptive to each moment, less receptive to what actually IS, as opposed to what I thought it ought to be, or want it to be.

Yoga and pregnancy are a lot alike in that sense. You can have as many expectations as you like, but whatever is happening, is what is happening, and you generally don't have ultimate control over it.

Does that mean that if something is happening that you don't like, you have to just take it? Not to me. I can still set my intention, I can still explore it, dig into it, or observe it more neutrally, and see what else comes up.

One day, while practicing at home, I realized that I can no longer do certain twists, even though I felt my spine begging for them. Then I realized, that certain inverted poses no longer feel safe or beneficial for me. Picture me trying to lay on my back, swing my feet over my head for halasana (plough pose) for shoulder stand, and realizing my belly was "in the way" and that I could no longer use my abdominal muscles the same way I had used to. I was so bummed that I had to slow down my pace, and then realized, that I wasn't listening to what my body was asking for, what it was TRULY asking for at that moment.

That has reminded me that while friends and family along with myself are struggling with the current economy and the many other changes that abound at this time, to check in with myself, check in with my breath, and FEEL what is most important to me in my life. To have as much patience and compassion as I can muster for myself and for others, and to be open to negotiating these changes with a sense of curiosity, openness and a humbled ego.

My center of balance is shifting, and I'm just gonna' go with it for now. Maybe the world's is too?

Any thoughts?


Anonymous said...

Welcome back.

I think the Stones got it right. The key to a good life is learning the difference between what you want and what you need.

by April KirkHart: said...

Spoken like a true yogi! Well, said Tony. I absolutely agree. It's easier said than done, particularly in our culture, but so worth it.

Oh, and Happy Anniversary again!

Unknown said...

I think you are on the right track here. There isn't any right or wrong in this instance. You really have to listen to your body. I learned that the hard way in my first pregnancy. Your body knows what to do. It was built for this. But patience is a virtue that I have yet to master myself so I don't have any advice for you there. I am sure you will do fantastically!