persevere (verb) - to persist in anything undertaken, maintain a purpose in spite of difficulty, obstacles or discouragement; continue steadfastly.
Well, hello! It seems that after 11 years of sending out a monthly newsletter pretty much every month, I just stopped. Yes, my life got a little busy with big move and family stuff, but really I just fell out of the routine and once I let it go...it was easy to not think about it and not do it. The newsletter has always been important to me. It serves as a way for our yoga community to stay in touch as to what is happening at the studio and gives me a way to reach out to many students I don't see regularly. I was faithfully cranking out a newsletter for all that time and then I wasn't. I've see a similar thing happen in many other areas of my life, and maybe you have too: healthy eating, regular exercise, taking supplements, commitment to studying something. It feels great while I am doing it, I know it is good for me, I may even be enjoying it, but for some reason I stop.
Maybe this has happened with your yoga practice. When beginning a practice we almost all experience a real awakening, small or large, in body and maybe mind and spirit as well. It feels good. It may get to the place where you start to see some real change in how you feel in your body and you may even notice that you navigate the ups and downs of life a little more smoothly. Then one day you skip your regular class, and you feel okay. Next thing you know, a few weeks have passed and you forget how it felt to have a regular practice.
The Patanjali Yoga Sutras actually predict this very thing, even breaking it into 9 different obstacles you will encounter on the path of yoga. Very roughly summarized, they are injury, apathy, doubt, disinterest, burnout, discouragement, misinformation, perceived failure and Netflix. (Just kidding, diversion.) I have met each and every one of these obstacles more than once in my years of practice, and they continue to pop up, usually in different forms, just to keep me guessing. The key seems to be to recognize them when they arise and acknowledge them as an expected part of the path and continue on. There is also, sometimes, the expectation that your practice will be thrilling and revelatory every time you step on the mat. It won't. Some days, even weeks, it will just be hard and it may be challenging to get back into the flow, but oh so worth it if you can.
I will admit, the words didn't flow so smoothly this time. You might notice the change of the newsletter title from "monthly" to "occasional" as I still harbor some doubt that I am fully committed to the old schedule. And if you have fallen away from your practice, you don't have to jump in with both feet, practicing #yogaeverydamnday (can we please let that hashtag go?). Just roll out your mat, or head to a class, or sit and meditate for 5 minutes. This practice is worth it. You are worth it.
Come Practice With Us!
" I long so much to make beautiful things. But beautiful things require effort and disappointment and perseverance."
~ Vincent van Gogh~
Events and News from the Studio
A new beginner's series...
Foundations of Yoga
w/ Lisa Murphy
Many of you will remember Lisa from a few years ago when she taught with us at the Yoga Gallery. We are thrilled to have her return to offer this 4 week series for beginners (or experienced practitioners who want to revisit the foundations of a great yoga practice)
In this course you will be introduced to the foundations of a yoga practice. You will learn safe alignment principles for the poses practiced, simple breathing exercises, mindfulness and relaxation techniques and basic yoga concepts.
Week 1: Sun Salutations and Standing Poses
Week 2: Side Opening and Twists
Week 3: Balancing Postures and Hip Openers
Week 4: Shoulder Opening and Back Bending
The series runs for 4 weeks, meeting on Sunday afternoon from 1-2:15 p.m.
Cost is $80 for the four classes.
Dates are 10/27, 11/3, 11/10 and 11/16
"Introducing students to the practice of yoga is one of the most rewarding jobs I can do; yoga has the power to transform lives and heal people."
Mantra Yoga Workshop
Join us for an exciting new workshop weaving the beauty of Sanskrit and Mantra to enhance and deepen your yoga practice.
Mantra simply means "mind tool". You can use these mantras to enhance your meditation practice, or to illuminate your contemplation of yoga philosophy.
Students will learn the correct pronunciation of Sanskrit sounds and there will be time for group chanting using the newly published Mantra Yoga Chanting book which provides guidance on translations as well as pronunciation.
Sunday, November 10th, 5-7 p.m.
Cost: $35 (which includes the 108 page Mantra Yoga Book -$30 value)
Led by Geeta Tiwari and Mary Kirkendoll
Participants will leave with an appreciation and understanding of the mantras taught. This experiential workshop will deeply impact a seeker's connection to this great mother language.
No Sanskrit experience necessary, and all levels are welcome.
Geeta and Mary have a Sanskrit certification from the Shri Aurobindo Society in Pondicherry, India, studying with renowned Sanskrit scholar Sampadananda Mishra. Mary is the owner of the Eudora Yoga Center, where she and Geeta offer regular classes in Sanskrit, Mantra Yoga, Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga, yoga philosophy, pranayama, mudra, and meditation.
Just for Inspiration
a beautiful bit of writing.
You don't have to go to Paris...
August 26, 2019 ~ Eve Marko
Many lifetimes ago, on a planet far, far away, I fell in love with France. I had divorced after an early marriage and decided to fall in love with a country instead. I upped my high school and college French by dating Frenchmen and made a point of getting to France at least once, and often twice, a year. I could do that even on a low income because there were some cheap airfares back then. I flew Pakistan Air to Paris in the middle of one summer for $150.
Met the man of my dreams, lived with him a short while, and one rainy summer day knew it was all over. Not just my relationship with him, but also my relationship with Paris. And not just the relationship with Paris, but with the beautiful things outside that we clutch at because we think that there's nothing inside.
I remember well how it all ended. It was a Sunday twilight, around 8 or 9 in the evening (it gets dark very late in Paris summers), and it was raining. I left our apartment and walked far till somewhere around Montparnasse a young man began to walk by my side. We maintained a companionable silence in the rain till he finally said, "Vous êtes triste, Madame?" ["Are you sad?] "Oui, Je suis triste," I said back.
Without any further ado he told me his story. He was Hungarian living in Paris and several days earlier came back to find his furniture gone, his money gone from the bank, and his girlfriend gone, all now belonging to his best friend, a fellow Hungarian also living in Paris.
It was the oldest story in the world, and he told it to me in French as we walked through Jardin du Luxembourg in the Paris mist. No one was feeding the pigeons, no raucous children or couples in love, just a Hungarian expatriate living in Paris who had lost his reason to live, as he earnestly told me, and an American woman who lost her taste for Paris. We walked like this for a long time, he so deeply engrossed in his story that I don't think he guessed that I wasn't French.
Two days later I left France and didn't come back for many years.
The page turned. I realized that there was no escaping my own skin. When I began to sit, or meditate, a couple of years later I realized that there was also a way of living in my own skin, maybe even finding refuge there.
Yesterday I returned home from our summer sesshin, or Zen retreat. I came back to two gorgeous dahlias in what had been till now a dahlia-less summer, to a home that, in the fall and winter, had felt caved-in upon itself but that was now enjoying the warm yellow sun and whose grass was thick and green. Aussie had broken through the fence again but broke right back and rushed to greet me when I yelled out her name, and Harry the dog mewled like a kitten when he saw me come out of the car.
I felt that I had rarely sat with so much in my heart as I had in this retreat. Episodes from the past popped up without surcease; I finally gave up pushing them away and let them wash over me, as did tears. I read aloud some of my notes from my Greyston Journal and I gave a talk about how to save a ghost.
You learn to take up all the space that life has given you. You dance with the afternoon sun as it frolics on the grass and much later you walk unafraid towards the night that lies deep in the garden, beyond the Kwan-Yin. You know that what makes a desert beautiful is that it hides a well somewhere and what makes the water come alive is the parched, indecipherable vastness that surrounds it.
You don't have to go to Paris.