Tag Archives: intention

2014 Lunar New Year: Setting Intentions Worksheet

Representing primordial femininity, reflecting the light of the sun, the Moon is our mirror. No one is immune to its magic- just as the waves of the ocean willingly abide to it, human behavior patterns have been shown to be influenced by the moon’s fluctuations. The Moon’s regular cycles have been honored by countless people throughout time, helping us measure the passage of time and being a constant muse and source of creative energy.

Although we experienced  a BIG moon at the beginning of the month, the official Lunar New Year arrives January 31! Even if you stated your intentions on the first of the year, it’s always good to reaffirm those intentions so their importance doesn’t fade away. But it doesn’t stop there! As my teacher Silvia often says, “if you want something to change, you have to change something.” I think where I tend to go wrong with resolutions is getting a little vague and fuzzy about the details. I need a what and a how to go with it. It’s the daily actions that allow the undercover miracles of this year to unfold.

Let it be like a rebirth of your self, beginning at the beginning with the conception of your wildest dreams and intentions. Write them down, say them aloud, tell people about them! While studying for my photography degree, one of my professors would tell us to introduce and describe ourselves as artists. You have to become comfortable with that reality to make it a part of you.

Then move on to the growth and development phase, the phase where you nurture that wild intention and it becomes stronger and more tangible. This stage could be like the growth of a newborn to a toddler, rapid, noticeable changes that are immense and exciting. But it could also be subtle, less dramatic changes like the development of a human after 19 or 20. Be patient, everything is a process. But in many cases, the more successful you are at nurturing your baby intention with the new habits and actions it needs to manifest, the faster and more significantly it will grow.

Step three: Manifesting. It could be this year, it could be in twenty years. That doesn’t really matter, as long as you’re moving in the right direction.

I’ve created a worksheet for you to really get clear about your own intentions for 2014. It’s really simple, I didn’t want it to remind anyone of a school assignment(I hated those). This document includes some affirmations, a mantra, and some prompts to get you thinking about the year ahead. I highly encourage you to print a couple of these out and fill them out for each individual goal. Then, put them somewhere you will see them! Taped to your bathroom mirror, next to your bed, etc. I really hope this is helpful to you!

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Download PDF here: 2014 Intentions Worksheet

What’s in store for you in 2014? Stay tuned, I’ll be posting my 2014 goals this week!

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Alexander the Great Meets a Yogi

The Yogi

The Yogi

“When Alexander the Great was busy conquering the world far and wide, he came at last to India.

When he was about to return to his country, he remembered that his
people had asked him to bring to them an Indian yogi. They had heard
a lot about yogis and were very desirous of seeing one, meeting him,
hearing him speak and receiving his blessings. Alexander was told
that the yogis dwelt in the forest.

In quest of a yogi he went to a forest. Sure enough, he found one
sitting underneath a tree, in deep meditation. He waited patiently
until the yogi opened his eyes. They shone with a strange, mystic
light.

Reverently, Alexander requested the yogi to accompany him to Greece,
saying.

“I will give you everything you need or ask for. But, pray, do come
with me. My people would love to meet you!”

The yogi quietly answered, “I need nothing, I am happy where I am.”

This was the first time that anyone had turned down Alexander’s
request. He could not control himself. He flew into a rage.

And unsheathing his sword, he thundered, “Do you know who is
speaking to you? I am the great king Alexander. If you will not listen to me. I shall
kill you- cut you into pieces!”

Unperturbed, the yogi answered. “You cannot kill me. You can only
kill my body. And the body is but a garment I have worn. I am not
the body. I am that which dwells within the body.”

The yogi continued, “You say you are a king. May I tell you, who you
are? You are a slave of my slave!”

Stunned. Alexander asked. “How am I a slave of your slave?”

In a voice tender with compassion, the yogi explained. “I have
mastered anger. Anger is my slave. See, how easily you gave way to anger. You are a
slave of anger, and, therefore, a slave of my slave!”

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This delightful story reminds me to never become a slave to my negative emotions, and most of all my temper. Pain and difficulty will always try to spark a reaction from you, but it’s up to you to respond as an ‘Alexander,’ or a ‘Yogi.’ The more we stoke the fires of anger, sadness, and struggle in our lives the more power we give them. In this case, Alexander may not have seen his anger as a weakness, but the yogi shed light on the strong influence that it had over Alexander’s life. As yogis, our practice is a bulletproof armor to stop the external forces that persuade us to define ourselves by these negative emotions. And that is truly powerful.

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Don’t just do something, sit there

“Practicing meditation means learning how to get out of this current, sit by its banks and listen to it, learn from it, and then use its energies to guide us.”

I am currently reading the book Wherever You Go, There You Are by Jon Kabat-Zinn as required by my teacher training program. It’s wonderful, I love the snippets of inspiration I get from it without it being corny. Props to the author on writing a book teaching you about meditation, if there’s one thing that’s difficult to describe, its not thinking. As a person who’s mind is endlessly jumping from thought to thought, slowing down seems near impossible. I am determined to try meditating outside of yoga class, but I’m honestly afraid I will fail or ‘do it wrong.’ Like most people I recognize progress by creating a bar graph style system in my brain. The book addresses these things-

“You might get caught up in wanting a ‘special experience’ or in looking for signs of pregress, and if you don’t feel something special pretty quickly, you may start to doubt the path you have chosen, or to wonder whether you are ‘doing it right.’ Meditation is different. From the perspective of meditation, every state is a special state, every moment a special moment.”

While the author does a good job of describing techniques for meditation, it seems for the most part that you don’t really get it until you experience it. I feel that there is a buzz, something I haven’t tapped into yet. Some state of non-judgemental, peaceful stillness that can make you feel more clearly in this very moment.

For now, I use yoga as my moving meditation. A dance that calms my mind and body. Lately I have been flowing through sun salutations with my eyes closed, it’s amazing the sensations you experience when one of your main senses is turned off. I think, like yoga, meditation will be a life long practice for me. It’s simply the choice to spend some quality time with myself. Oh boy.

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Satya

Feather of Truth

Dedicated to truth and integrity (Satya), our thoughts, words, and actions gain the power to manifest.

In teacher training I was given a ‘homework’ assignment for the next two weeks.

“Live your truth.”

Simple instructions, but it gets me thinking.

In day to day life, the line that separates truth from our interpretation of the truth can be very fuzzy. We justify our opinions because we are ‘being honest,’ no matter what the situation. We can consider only what we ourselves know and what we have experienced, and that’s how we form these beliefs that are ‘the truth.’

On the other hand, if we are to tell a white lie to save someone from hurt, you may feel like you have compromised the truth to spare this person. Swami Vivekanada says, “if in doubt whether to observe Ahimsa or Satya, always go with Ahimsa.” Not to say one Yama is more important than another, but sometimes situations require us to make a decision.

So how can I do this? Take Satya to a deeper level than just how I relate to others, really live my truth. Intention. While I walk through the world making my opinions based on what I have experienced, things I like and dislike, and the things that I have been taught; there is always the choice to tranform your intention moving forward. Looking inward, asking yourself what you would like to put out into the world. If we all lived our truth, what would the world be like?

Feel the truth reverberate in your body.

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Book Review: Bodies by Susie Orbach

I recently finished the book ‘Bodies.’ The writer Susie Orbach offers a unique perspective, one of a psychotherapist, psychoanalyst, and social critic. She describes different scenarios throughout the book from the common to the most extreme. Surprisingly, her writing doesn’t feel like a feminist disgusted with the body-image standards of today. She simply makes the point that our bodies are being shaped by forces beyond our control and these forces are destructive. It is difficult to pick our way through the paradoxes of the body. It’s hard to make sense of a world where some women are in burkas, while others are in tube tops. A world where some starve themselves for vanity, and others simply starve.

Throughout the book she uses examples of patients she has treated with various difficulties concerning their bodies. She gives examples of how feelings of bodily discontentment can be passed down from mother to child, generation to generation. In contrast she describes babies with the right amount of love and attention as “absorbing the will to live.” The storytelling was my favorite part, her vast experience in psychotherapy is fascinating.

GEMS:

“We are accustomed to thinking of our bodies as just existing; propelled to grow by reasonable nutrition and our genetic inheritance…Our bodies are a lot more than an executed blueprint given by our DNA.”

“The complex intertwined cocktail of physical engagement is what creates our personal idiosyncratic and unique body.”

If you get a chance to read this – let me know what you think.

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be part of it

“It’s the sense of touch. In any real city, you walk, you know? You brush past people, people bump into you. Here, nobody touches you. We’re always behind this metal and glass. I think we miss that touch so much, that we crash into each other, just so we can feel something.” – Crash

Everywhere in the world has a buzz, a flow, a heartbeat. Be part of it.

Have a wonderful sunday. Namaste.

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get out of your own way

I’m talking about hang-ups. Excuses you tell yourself so you can get out of things that make you uncomfortable. Yoga starts when things get uncomfortable.

My autumn goals:

Don’t ever be afraid of falling in class. Practice headstand, crow, and arm balances without worrying about falling on your face. Everyone falls.

Fuel correctly, get enough water. You know what’s good for you…fruit, vegetables, protein and lots of water.

Take care of yourself.

Don’t push it. Take out the struggle, take out the frustration and breathe, on and off the mat.

No day but today. No more ‘I’ll do it tomorrow’s.’ Nobody was ever proud about how long they procrastinated something.

If you don’t like something about your life, change it. Let g0 of what does not serve you and does not support your dreams.

Why I set goals:

“Happy people continuously change; and because they change they become more and more happy; and then more and more change is possible.” – Osho

On a different note- A big high five to everyone who participated in the 2012 Yoga Aide Challenge!

I’d love to hear some of your autumn goals! Feel free to share!

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This moment of clarity, this moment of honesty

practicing arm balances

There comes a moment when the dust settles and you can begin to prioritize. Choosing to focus on the things in your life that make your heart sing. Choosing to get rid of the things that don’t belong.

Relax with what is. This has been my mantra lately. Let go of how things were, how things might be. Just be okay with how things are right now.

My life feels more complicated every day. Returning to the simplicity of movement gives me the opportunity to go inward and see things with clarity, with honesty.

Sorry. There’s no “how to” or “tips” for this post. Each person has to figure their shit out in their own time, and that’s the beauty of it.

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we pray you would speak the names of your neighbors with love still wet on your lips

Sending many positive thoughts to the people of Puerto Rico, Cuba, Haiti, Jamaica, Louisiana, Miami, and all others affected by Tropical Storm Isaac. Set your intention for practice today on sending positive energy to some of the people who need it most right now. Namaste.

All photos from NPR

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Refresh

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“Take a deep breath, release stress, please rest-
Be blessed by a heartbeat and the essence of these texts
Peace kept with what the deity left: respect
And let the breeze lead me in these steps, we set
to reach the peak lest we meet death, terrestrial – at the
Sweet behest of the celestial decree-yes
Repeat “yes” we defeat weakness
Deep breath, feel the steez in effect, and let the breeze refresh…”

Common Market

Namaste everyone! We’ve made it to Friday…

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