Skipping off to happiness
This morning I saw my neighbors little girl making her way down the street in the general mode that girls who are about 7 or 8 get around, that is by skipping. Walking is not acceptable at that age, it is too slow and morose. Watching her I was sent backwards in time to the sweet era when my children skipped, or sometimes sashayed, to get where they needed to go. As soon as I got back home, I roused my sleepy teens for a bike ride. There was some grumbling, but after the promise of a doughnut, they agreed. On the trip back I was treated to the above scene; my 19 year old slammed (or rather squeezed) the brakes because he saw ripe black raspberries out of the corner of his eye. The two dropped their bikes and started grazing, just like they did when they were skippers. I am almost sure they sashayed back to collect their bikes for the return trip.
A few days ago I was listening to a lecture by Tom Myers that was so very compelling, and dismaying. He was saying how for the first time we are in an age where technology makes it unnecessary for anyone to actually move. Tom emphasized that it is imperative for movement specialists to figure out how to keep people in this new age moving. Just now I was listening to a news story about how services that deliver cooked meals to your door are exploding in value. These kinds of delivery services are most popular with the millenials. Much of this generation works remotely, communicates with friends via video calls or texting platforms, and shops online.
It is distressing to think that movement is going the way of dial phones. You have probably heard that sitting is the new smoking. The counter to sitting is not just to stand up. This proclamation points to our level of sedentariness.
Your prana is directly affected by movement. Your mind is directly affected by your prana. You body is affected by prana, and your mind. Movement affects your joy-muscle. It heightens your senses, especially when you are out in nature. If riding a bike can make a 19 year old tech-head introvert like my son, who would rather sit in an airconditioned room surrounded by his 2 computers and 3 phones, joyfully munch berries and skip (ok, maybe that is an exaggeration- better to say "he moved lightly") imagine what it could do for you!
Of course if you are reading this, you probably already have a proclivity to do yoga or something like that. So consider this- what can you do to help encourage movement in your friends and family, neighbors and co-workers? Sharing early morning or moonlight walks, going dancing, gardening together, all of these are great communal activities that keep us moving. Flea markets, antique and arts & crafts shows will give you plenty of walking opportunities. Invite people to join you in what you like to do. And of course, shopping local is a great way to stay moving! But watch those times that you engage in the dreaded sitting for too long. What gets you going again? Observing this in yourself may help you to change someone's life by inspiring them to get going too.
I can't always help myself from doing this, its shameless and I am sure very annoying. I almost always ask my family, after dragging them biking, walking, or to the gym in the wee hours of the morning "See now, don't you feel better?". And while they hate to admit it, they usually do.
Summer Special- For each person brand new to Yoga Loka enjoy a gift certificate for a drop in class. You can use that for yourself or give it as a gift to a friend. Offer ends 8/31.
A "True" Story
When I first considered doing yoga teacher training, I wrote it off as mostly impossible. I had long ago adopted the narrative that I was much too needed at home to take any time for myself on weekends. I had a high maintenance daughter with special needs, and a husband easily stressed out by domestic management. Time went on, another child joined the team, and my story was cemented. A six month program that involved plenty of weekends? I might as well just forget about it. I didn’t even have the right to consider taking that much time for myself.
However, the idea wouldn’t let go. I had been practicing yoga for some time and especially loved the philosophy and self-study aspect of yoga covered in the many meditation and Yoga Sutras workshops I had taken at Yoga Loka. In our self-study practices, I had observed this story of mine about being indispensable and I recognized it as both a trap and a comfort. Part of me wasn’t ready to give up the control of the household, to lose the identity as the one who keeps it all together. The real fear wasn’t “what will they do without me on a Saturday from 12-6?” it was “What if they are just fine without me?” Then I knew that there was so much more to learn about my mind, my body, and this ancient philosophy, and that something important was waiting for me on this path. I didn’t know that I would teach yoga and really wasn’t sure I was capable, but I wanted to at least see where the immersion would lead me.
Flash forward to three years later, and my story has evolved. Not only did my family survive without me during training weekends, but they developed their own rhythm and dynamic, and wound up closer for it. In the yoga immersion portion of the training, I found answers to mysteries regarding my body, mind, and place in the universe, and these answers have changed my parenting style and relationships. I formed lasting deep friendships with my fellow students and teachers, never before realizing how badly I was missing these authentic connections in my everyday life. And in the end, I discovered my passion for teaching yoga, which is almost a lesser benefit when compared with the others. In short, practicing yoga changed the direction of my life, but the Yoga Immersion/Teacher Training program gave me the vehicle, the road, and the map to travel that path well.
So what’s your “true” story? What is holding you back from taking steps forward towards a deepened experience of the Self? If you are considering the program, share your questions, concerns, and story with us this Sunday the 9th (11:45 am) at our practice session and Q&A. Graduates and teachers will be on hand to talk about the program and training experiences. Email [email protected] to RSVP. Thanks for reading! - Laura
Learn all about this September's Yoga Immersion/Teacher Training program by CLICKING HERE!