"I hope everyone will allow themselves to be really crappy today, to walk away from being perfect. The real yoga isn't in the perfect pose; it's in the crappy pose that you are really feeling."
~the red-haired yoga teacher as quoted by Claire Dederer, author; Poser: my life in twenty-three yoga poses
Thursday, August 28, 2014
When I bought my Prius, I was making a conscientious decision to be a better global citizen. Me, myself, and I. No judgements. My neighbors are great people despite their taste in automobiles, and they are far from the only people here in NASCAR country that jack their vehicles ten feet off the ground.
Since buying my environmentally friendly vehicle in May, I have watched with pure delight as my miles per gallon have climbed to it's current reading of 43.5 MPG. With each new tenth of a mile, I clap and cheer with downright giddiness. Estimating a savings of $200/month, "This car is paying for itself!" I exclaim to whoever will listen.
If I'm being totally honest, I never gave much thought to the cost of gas BP (Before Prius), but then my neighbor's monster truck rambled down the road and I began to think about it. It's Economics 101: supply and demand. While I'm getting over 40 MPG, my neighbor is probably getting south of 10 MPG.
I know, I know. It's his money, right? But is it?
The more gas his monster truck guzzles, the less gas there is to go around. The more gas one person uses, the more we ALL pay at the pump. Supply and demand. So while I'm saving myself money by using less gas to go from Point A to Point B, I'm saving you money too.
My Prius is not glamorous. It's not sexy. People don't do a double-take with envy. But it is the smartest designed car I've ever owned, with storage, cargo space, and leg room that can rival sexy any day.
And if saving money while saving the planet isn't sexy, I don't know what is!
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Before Patanjali transcribed the Yoga Sutras in 400 AD, laying the groundwork for modern day yoga, yoga was taught one on one, wisdom passing from guru (teacher) to student. Not unlike Martin Luther who translated the Bible from Latin to German to spread the word of God to a larger audience.
A lot of yogis interpret AHIMSA to include all animals and animal by-products resulting in the participation of veganism or vegetarianism. AHIMSA is similar to the 5th commandment, “Thou shalt not kill.” However, in 1280 B.C. in the land of Exodus and Deuteronomy, the books of the Bible where the Ten Commandments appear, God was still demanding the slaughter of innocent farm animals as a temporary covering of sins. His intention with the Fifth Commandment was not to create a world of herbivores.
While I can never see myself converting to veganism, I have found myself being more conscientious toward all living creatures. I no longer mindlessly swat insects and as far as violent thoughts are concerned, I am judging less and viewing all beings including myself with compassionate eyes more. Whether or not AHIMSA was intended to extend to all living creatures or just mankind is up for interpretation, similar to many passages in the Bible.
In The Small Catechism by Martin Luther, the explanation of the 8th commandment is expanded to read, “We should fear and love God that we may not deceitfully, belie, betray, slander or defame our neighbor, but defend him, think and speak well of him, and put the best construction on everything. I believe “neighbor” is a broad term and can be expanded to include all people with whom you come into contact. Because our truth(s) are filtered through our own experiences and beliefs--our perception is our reality—we have a better chance of achieving SATYA if we speak with the intention of not harming others.
Pastor Westendorf explained that it was okay to drink alcohol and use tobacco products as long as it wasn't done in excess—as long as we didn’t harm our bodies, which were the temples of God. When I told my Grandma what the pastor had said, she scoffed. “That’s just his justification for smoking cigars!”
I'm still working to discover what God truly means to me, but I'm open and that's the first step. Being open to all possibilities means I have a greater chance of receiving whatever messages the Universe sends my way. I don't know if I'm correct. I'm not a theologian--just a yogi who has experienced a power greater than herself.
But now that I've published it on the internet--it must be true!
Friday, August 8, 2014
Thank you to everyone for the encouragement and sharing your own experiences with me last week when I announced my desire to end my more than two decade love affair with soda. I'll keep you posted on my progress and am looking forward to sharing any changes or improvements I observe once my body is no longer dependent on the bubbly, artificially flavored and sweetened, caramel colored syrup.
Friday, August 1, 2014
|Olive Oyl in Lotus Pose|
Hollace Stephenson, senior student of Rod Stryker and owner of Yoga Shala in Charlotte, NC states, “The quickest way to change your mood is through your breath.” I could not agree more. Once I learned I could calm my nervous, anxious, impatient, easily angered, quick to judge, unbalanced mind with long, slow breaths, my world changed. I became a better mom. I became a better wife. I became a better all-around
|Bakasana aka Crow Pose|
So there you have it. The red-headed yoga teacher said it best. It’s not just about the poses. But, it’s also not just about the breath. Remember, there are eight limbs of yoga.
Well played Universe. Message received.