One yogini sharing her path of discovery

Posts tagged ‘compassion’

Unbending

a;ex grey

Unbending

How did this beauty

Come so swiftly my way

When hope had been lost

My heart decayed

He spoke “why do you do this

Let them take your power

You are a Goddess of love

The queen of the hours”

My reply was weak

and completely unknowing

Already given in

To the loneliness growing

Then with a voice

As strong as the tides

He thrust “You are beautiful

You are divine”

As the stranger left

A new sensation arrived

I was worth more than that

I was worth love in this life

Let go of the sadness

and the role that I spoke

To fix all the men

That appeared to be broke

It was my turn to feel

Without pain or doubt

My turn to learn

What this love was all about

And than there you were

Right out of the blue

With your zest of life

Brightly shining through

There was no guessing

and only trust

And soon we went

From you and I to us

Now you are mine

and I am yours

My spirit awakened

Discarding the unsure

Our unbending hearts

stay strong, stay true

There is no replacement

for the wonder that is you

May Goddess, Part 2

mahamudra-metta

Wow, what an eye-opener this month has been.

If you weren’t here for the beginning of May, my resolution for this month is to appreciate my fellow Goddess’ more instead of participating in gossip, shaming, jealousies, and other women against women behavior. My issues with other women and my relationships with them runs deeper than I imagined. First off, having this awareness made it suddenly so obvious how often I do these things and that it actually (however temporary) feels good in the moment. I have grown up where its been taught that this is “bad” form but everyone does it and that’s that. End of lesson. I have habitual thought patterns when it comes to the way I think about women. I have also come to realize that I have a very specific requirements in a female that I take on as a friend. After a few toxic female friendships I seem to have made the decision to limit even my interactions with women and only attempting friendships when I am sure that the particular individual is going to appreciate my effort.

So after, basically, my whole life of worshiping some women while ripping apart others I am attempting to adapt my thought pattern to appreciate and love every girl and women and her own inner Goddess.

SOooo how the heck do I do this?

 

Practice:

1. Cultivating new friendships free of expectations – one of the main reasons I think I have ended up on the bitter side of friendship is because of my own high expectations within them. I abandoned expectations in my romantic relationship and it has resulted in the most spectacular love and appreciation for one another. So my friendships have followed suit. It seems so simple but giving up control in any relationship can be challenging.

 

2. Smiling – Women are not going to all get along all the time. We have different personalities and interests but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t appreciate and respect one another. Just because an individual doesn’t share my view on life or acts a particular way doesn’t mean they aren’t worthy of my love. So as a  simple gesture I have decided to give every women I come into contact with a smile. A real one! A nice side-effect is that this practice has also filtered outward to everyone … men, dogs, cats, and trees. Smiles for everyone!

 

3. Metta Meditation- The cultivation of loving-kindness (mettā bhāvanā). In the Buddhist tradition, this practice begins with the meditator cultivating loving-kindness towards themselves and/or sending it out to one’s loved ones, friends, teachers, strangers, enemies, and finally towards all beings. I have chosen to utilize this meditation on my own loving quest with women either  by visualizing a particular female friend, family member, co-worker, or sending out a blanket of loving-kindness to the women of the world. If you choose to practice this as well you can also recite loving words to send to yourself or others (example: ” I send loving-kindness to all beings” )

 

I am feeling hopeful and happy about these new outlooks and changes. Also very lucky to be surrounded by fearless females that inspire me to be better and love more. Gratitude!

Namaste

xo carly

Compliments Continue

you are amazing

Already half-way through March and I am most definitely feel the benefits of this months resolution to give at least 5 genuine compliments a day. It may be the weather getting warmer, longer daylight hours, or the excitement of up-coming events that has got me beaming but I would also like to salute the compliments of this month.

The first few days required a bit of thought. Looking towards others across my desk or in line beside me at the coffee shop and finding something to admire. That came surprisingly easy and made me realize that I am thinking nice things about people all the time. The hard part was actually saying it out loud. How silly it is that I have a tough time telling a stranger that I think they are beautiful or a co-worker that I admire their work ethic. I like to think of myself as an open and honest individual that can cut through the barriers that society has chosen to put up – but I am still very much a product of my environment.

But after those first few compliments to friends and strangers the words began to flow with ease free of strings. I was also happy to observe that most people excepted the compliments gracefully and I think it even helped bring me closer to someone I work with that in the past had not kept her dislike of me much of a secret.

The area in which I have a ways to go, however, is complimenting myself. Either I forget to do all together or if I remember I then don’t even compliment anything and instead end up getting hung up on something I feel like I need to work on. I don’t consider myself as someone with an abundance of self-hate but I am most certainly not allowing myself to truly self-love.

I am so grateful for the awareness that this last resolution has brought me and I look forward to working on my self-LOVE and forming new relationships with the amazing people that are all around.

xoxoxox

Carly

Finding Your Winter Heart

winter heart

While at a class the other morning I was reminded of the importance of opening our heart centers during the colder months. Here in Vancouver with these heavy clouds and lack of sun the desire to close inwards is oh so appealing. But when we completely draw in during the winter our heart center can suffer. You may notice shallower breathe, disconnection with others, less people smiling at one another on the street and more tension in the chest, shoulders, neck, and arms.

The phrase “open your heart” is uttered a lot in yoga classes. I know I say it when I am guiding and thinking it when I am practicing. The first time I ever heard it in a class it was something that resonated deep within. Even now after years of practice its still something I return to. But what does it really mean and what can we do to cultivate it during the winter when we just want to get cozy?

Practice:

A lot of people resonate in the same way I do with heart-opening but the mistake that is commonly made with this cue is that instead of simply lifting up through the collar bone, people will collapse in their lower back and push out the rib cage. To help prevent this the first step is awareness. In the next few poses keep the idea of trucking the tailbone under, pulling belly button intowards the spine, lengthening the sides of the body, and the rib cage in.

Warm up

I find heart-openers the juciest when I am super duper warmed up, especially in my spine. So before letting go in a heartful backbend get your inner fire buring mobilize the spine. *Also feel free to wear lots of layers.

– Start with some cat/cow (marjaryasana/bitilasana) linked with breath to start to cultivate a little bit of heat as well as movment in the spine. Begin by finding your neutral spine and on the next inhale allow the belly to drop and the tailbone and heart to lift. Gaze remains forward elongating the back of the neck. On the exhale let the chin lower intowards the chest and press into the palms to help open up in between the shoulder blades and arc like an angry cat. *Explore with the breath. It may feel more comfortable to switch the inhale and exhales along with the movement. There is no wrong way. cat:cow  marjaryasana:bitilasana

Twist it out

– Twists are one of my favorite ways to begin to open up the chest and pectoral muscles that can tighten up during colder spells or with sitting a lot at a desk. Begin this “threading the needle” twist on hands and knees. Inhale as you lift right arm off of the floor and exhale as you take it under the palm that continues to rest on the mat. You can make this is flowing movement with breath or remain here lifting the left arm up towards the sky.

kneeling twist part 1     kneeling twist part 2

Lunge to the heart

– Begin with a low lunge letting proper alignment be the motivation before heart-opening to insure the low back is supported. Make sure the knee doesn’t come past the toes, tuck the tailbone under, and let the hips sick down. When you have found your Anjaneyasana on an inhale allow the arms (not shoulders) to lift to the sky, on an exhale let the arms gentle float back down. Now imagine a pendant on your chest that gradually lifts higher and higher towards the sky without comprimising the stability in the back.

anjaneyasana

Restore the heart

– There are a few different options for restorative heart-openers but this is one of my favorites because you don’t need anything special. *Make sure you are warm enough with socks a sweater, blanket for the body, and even an eye pillow. Just a a couple towles or blankets. Roll up one blanket and place another folded under the head insuring that the head doesn’t feel like its hanging down. Line up the bottom of the shoulder blades with the edge of the blanket allowing the sholders to rest in between the two blankets. Legs can straight but if the back is really talking to you than feel free to place something beneth the knees. Stay for at least 5-10 minutes. Breathe. * A similar pose can also be done with a bolster if its okay for the back.

heart with blanket

After you are done you can take the props out from underneath and allow the knees to pull into the chest to release the lower back.

Savasana (corpse pose) can shortly follow integrating the information. If it serves you visulize the color green while you are in rest. *Savasana is always an important part of practice even it hasn’t been a long one.

The way is not in the sky. The way is in the heart

– Buddha

Happy heart everyone!

Namaste

xo carly

Creating Peace in the Workplace

The office place continues to boggle, challenge, and interest me. I have worked in a variety of workplace settings. Video store, large hotel, big rehab center, hospitals, small an larger private physio clinics. Each of these settings offer their own special kind of drama. I have always thought of myself as an observer and in each of these settings I could have started a tabloid magazine with the amount of  drama that occurs on a daily basis.

Every once in a while the story has included yours truly for which I have undoubtedly encouraged instead of letting it go. Of course I was always the good guy and the wronged individual and I took every opportunity to broadcast my story of woe to anyone that would listen. When I began to explore inward I noticed my dramatic pattern. Not necessarily looking for trouble but not stopping it should any kind of situation arise. I noticed that I even mildly reveled in someone treating me unkindly so that I could retell my story and get further retribution from others. What the what?!

Ultimately my reaction is less about other energy towards me and more to do with my perceptions of others energy as well as my insecurities regarding my work and emotional connection to how others see me. When I let go of my ego and tune into my unity with others the drama becomes very insignificant and the desire to create or maintain a peaceful state within myself and my office becomes the goal.

Practice:

Although I still catch myself in this pattern I am more conscious of it and don’t do it as much as I used to (hopefully). Something that has really aided me in letting go of workplace drama and most especially not taking it home with me is to balance my 7 chakras (most importantly the first 3) and having a work mantra when things are about to go sideways.

-In my experience and my body the most efficiant way to balance is with Surya Namaskara सूर्य नमस्कार or “Sun salutation”

I can pretty much do a sun salutation anytime and anywhere and is valueable tool to have in your kit of knowledge. *Keep in mind that everybody has a different body and take the time to explore what works right for you.

-Also, I am a firm believer in the transforming power of a mantra (A mantra मन्त्र is a sound, syllable, word, or group of words that is considered capable of “creating transformation” -Wiki) Just like asana practice each person has something that works for them. The same goes for mantra’s. We all have something that resinates within depending on whats going on around us or where we want to go.

When choosing your mantra you can find something that is already out there (Check out Deva Premal for some beautiful and uplifting mantras http://grooveshark.com/#!/devapremal) Or you can make up your own with sounds or words that resinate.

-Now that I am feeling more balanced I can start to creating real change in the workplace. I like to bring in flowers to brighten up the space, smile and laugh whenever possible and treat my team with respect dispite how they may be acting towards me or other co-workers.

***This is an ongoing practice, and I am most certainly not always perfect and have moments when I fall back into old stories and patterns. I feel blessed when I am reminded of my ego and have the tools to let it go and cultivate change for myself and hopefully others.

Namaste

Carly

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