Thursday, February 10, 2011

Come join me!

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Are you eager to participate in a live Yokibics workshop?  I am grateful to offer the opportunity and happy to begin my "year of the road trip" as I embrace opportunities to flow and travel.  The offerings here and now are just the beginning - I'll keep you posted as we broaden our range!

offers information and easy registration in the

Florida, Pennsylvania and New York are on my schedule now.  California and the West Coast in the fall. Costa Rica after that with information coming soon.  Is there a special location you would like to see me create a training or an event? Come play...

Meanwhile, contemplate this from the wise one Rumi, who believed of the mystical path:
"In this journey, the seeker symbolically turns towards the truth, grows through love, abandons the ego, finds the truth, and arrives at the Perfect. The seeker then returns from this spiritual journey, with greater maturity, to love and to be of service to the whole of creation without discrimination with regard to beliefs, races, classes, and nations."

May this be so for all of us as we grow in wisdom and knowledge.  I greet you on the path.



Sunday, February 6, 2011


Recently a student asked me if yoga can help a person forgive toxic people - harmful events - the inadequacies of others - and ourselves.

I started teaching yoga in 1977, and if you simply count the years - and imagine, then you must know I have had plenty of opportunity to demonstrate through a lifetime of experience if yoga is even remotely helpful to such a heartfelt - or heart-breaking topic, and if, after all these years, I can say that the answer is yes. 

I do.

To me, since yoga embodies the essence of "yoking the powers of body, mind and spirit" it is a philosophy, a practice and a way of being.  I remember the intention "to yoke" each time I engage in any one of the practices, whether an asana, a breath, a yama or whatever. 

Here's a really good payoff - a wonderful result - and I'm relating it to forgiveness.  My body may not like the idea of forgiving one single bit.  After all, it naturally responds to stimuli ("What?? I'm gonna just walk away from this one? Where's that eye for my eye - that tooth for my tooth?") and so my body may be reactive, sick, queasy, humiliated, shamed... just awful. 

Now my mind may not be that much help on the forgiveness front either ("What??  {same initial reaction you will notice} - I'm gonna give in? Let go? Ease up? That's not fair! Not right! Not... not."

So what will save me from myself? spirit of course, that sits like a bird on the limb of the tree - the observer watching the observed, and says "look at you all wound up.  Remember who you are.  This cannot hurt you.  Remember who you are. Bliss of the blissful is your way of being.  Bliss of the blissful is what you strive to experience - and in yoking your powers, do you not want this for the "other" as well?" 

Right.  I forgot... :)

Then yes, for-give. Give to the other the ability to handle their own life consequences as you handle yours.  Give to yourself - and to the other -  the freedom from recurring karma.  Let us return to the desire at hand - to live the life of peaceful intention where holding out on forgiveness just doesn't work.

Well then!  Now I must go to my practice, which yokes my powers of BodyMindSpirit and Spirit informs Body and Mind through the routine.  Each asana demonstrates "you ACT as one with this intention." Each breath embraces "you LIVE as one with this intention." Each conscious thought says "release all that is not this intention."

And so it goes...

Now some of the practices I have found most valuable here might seem contrary to the state of peaceful zen I just described...but it is true that the kind of hurt that demands forgiveness is usually married to anger at the unforgiven, therefore addressing anger is numero uno on the list. 

The energy of it sits at the throat chakra and demands boundaries and proper alignment of will.  So then - go get upset - get in touch with it - safely and in a way that will not harm. Write it out, yell, pound that pillow, wail, scream, yell, throw yourself on the ground and pound if you need to!  Again and again RELEASE the energy into the field of all possibility!!

...then... breath... in...

Fill yourself with the blessing of new breath - new openness - new possibility - new freedom - sparkling energy - radiant prana - freedom from the demands of the anger itself.  This is the essence of non-attachment, not some round about saintly oblivion, but rather a straight beeline into and through the anger itself until we can get up and dust ourselves off on the other side.

Now get up and go to your mat and let BodyMindSpirit take care of the rest :)

A final reflection for this short post - there is a difference between simple and easy.  Simple means uncomplicated.  Easy means "it's a snap."  This may not be a snap.  The challenge of arriving at the place where you can actually BE the forgiveness you intend can be a long and arduous journey of self-discovery and self-care.  Yet knowing the territory and the pay-off is like having a light shine bright at the end of the tunnel.  You can.  You must. You will...succeed.

The simple part is don't get off the train.  Your practice will inform you again and again.

If you want to explore the eight limbs of yoga in a practical way, click the label "Simple Steps" on this blog. There are 40 of them in previous posts reaching out to you like little jewels for the taking.

If you would prefer the steps consolidated you can go to 40 Simple Steps on our website and you'll find the eBook version ready to download and able to print.

Blessings to you in your journey,