NewYorkiversary Reflections

 

FB_IMG_1533136320692

First night out dancing in NYC, August 2013, at S.O.B.’s with Jane

 

FB_IMG_1532486672795

Feeling the drums with Anjel at NYC Central Park Drumming Circle, 2018

IMG_20180601_174954905

Communing with Nature at Barnegat Light Beach in NJ, 2018

 

Friends,

I return to blog-land after a lengthy hiatus!  It has been a journey since my last post and has taken me some time to find the headspace to write another one.  But, as we practice on the mat: each breath, each pose, each moment and each day is a new beginning. No matter what came before, now is the perfect chance to begin again!  Applying the concept that Yoga is the Union of All, I would like to share with you some reflections that represent the coming together of pieces of my Journey of Life, as I celebrate my NewYorkiversary.

Today marks five years since I arrived in this city, full of anxiety but also  anticipation of mysterious adventures to unfold. I thought I was staying for a month, to investigate options, network, and hopefully return to Baton Rouge with inspiration for how to possibly make a life for myself in the Big Apple down the road.  During my first couple weeks here, my friend Jane helped me realize that I had permission to stay here indefinitely, if I wanted to, and that I didn’t have to go back to Baton Rouge. I stayed.

As expressed by Paulo Coelho in The Alchemist,  “…Making a decision was only the beginning of things.  When someone makes a decision, he is really diving into a strong current that will carry him to places he had never dreamed of when he first made the decision.”  This book was one of my guiding lights throughout my transition into my new life and into my next few years here. And its words speak such truth:

This journey has been full of challenges, soul searching, doubt, fear, frustration, periods of feeling stuck and lost, weariness, disappointment and tears.  But it has also been full of adventure, phenomenal community, support, growth, discovery, inspiration, beauty, cultivation of my voice, friendship, exquisite art, bountiful fun, increased awareness, cultural exploration, diversity, opportunities to explore movement in many forms, to speak my truth, to shed stigmas, to come to terms with myself and my worth, to take risks, to be brave, to deepen and expand, and to give and receive love.

What have I learned?

Some of the fears I had before coming here did indeed manifest.  But I survived. And I learned valuable lessons from them. I also realized I don’t have to let them stop me from continuing along my path.  My soul has the power to rise above. My body has the power to heal. I have the power to change my life and recreate, over and over again. Moments when I have felt the most broken and the most vulnerable, have served as guiding forces showing me what patterns to work to release, what shifts to begin to make.  They have been powerful reminders shouting so loudly that I have had no choice but to listen, and remember where I want to go, how I want to spend my time and energy, who I want to spend it with, and what I want to move toward. They have pushed me to connect more with my Purpose. The painful experiences have helped me better understand the human condition, as well perceive myself more deeply as a Spiritual Being.  They have helped me develop more compassion and empathy, release judgment, relate to others more, and continue to flow with and sculpt this ever evolving work in progress called Life.

I have learned not to put anyone on a pedestal, that no one is above me, and I am above no one.  While humility is essential, so is having confidence in my own truth. Although I may look up to someone tremendously, I recognize that we are all working through our “stuff” and figuring things out.  I must listen to my intuition and not hold anyone’s truth above my own.

I have realized how adaptable I am.  I have learned how to let myself be more vulnerable for the sake of healing, growth and deeper connection with others.  I have learned how to be more independent, as well as truly live in community. I have realized that it is ok to ask for help, and that when I allow myself to do so, my village comes together in support and amazing miracles happen.

I have learned that it is truly never too late to begin again. Never. While windows of opportunity do pass when we don’t take them, today is always a  chance to make a positive shift. I realized that I have to constantly release criticism of my past in order to set myself free to embrace my now.
I have learned that my body never lies, and always speaks volumes about what is going on in every area of my life.  My physical body, emotions, energy, mind and spirit are inextricably connected and I must heed the messages my body offers me.  
I have learned that it is ABSOLUTELY  ESSENTIAL that I do what makes me happy. PERIOD. The illusion that only some folks get to do that, or that I must  have permission to do so, or that I have to wait “until the conditions are right” is a lie. Following these suffocating ideas opens the door to gradual death of the spirit, body and mind. Accepting my REQUIREMENT to DO ME —-TODAY — opens the door to new life and to the conspiring of the Universe in my favor.  It’s a huge challenge to navigate this, and by no means have I mastered it. Rather, it is a truth that I come back to time and time again.

I give thanks for the many threads that have become a part of my tapestry over the past five years, in NYC, Louisiana, Brazil, Guam, across the country, and across the globe.  I celebrate the fact that I made it this far here, and all of the growth I have experienced along the way. I cherish all who have become part of my Tribe, who have communed with me, held me, wiped the tears from my eyes, encouraged me, made me laugh, lifted me up, helped me lift myself up, inspired me, provided me a home, helped me to see myself and realize my worth, taught me valuable lessons, challenged me, listened, expanded my awareness, trusted, shared, opened doors of possibility, and enriched my life in countless ways.  I celebrate all Forces that serve the Highest Good who have had my back, even when I didn’t know it, including my Ancestors, Deities, Guardian Angels, Ascended Masters, and the Universe at large. I celebrate my Body, my sacred temple, and everything that it has been able to do, as well as all that it teaches me. I celebrate the hunger still present in my heart to keep striving to realize my dreams, and that the flame of desire never became extinguished.

Thank you for reading. May you find encouragement as you navigate your journey, especially as challenges arise. I wish you clarity, passion, motivation, hope, self love, supportive and stimulating community, a sense of permission to Do You, opportunities to live your dreams, an abundance of food for the soul, and a deep knowing of your tremendous worth.

Advertisements

Reclaiming What Is Yours: Embracing New Beginnings

IMG_20170521_113935121

Thalia, Me, Hazel

Welcome, Friends!

I recently led yoga and meditation for a women’s renewal retreat at an exquisite bed and breakfast called Minerva’s By The Sea. This island jewel is located in Barnegat Light, Long Beach Island, New Jersey. Emma Lapsansky, who runs the space, created an incredible sense of home for us all, joining us for delicious meals that she cooked with love, guiding us through conversation to help us all get to know one another, sharing her beautiful stories with us, organizing a mix of massage therapy, manicures, psychic readings and art projects, as well as making the house itself delightfully comfortable with whimsical, colorful decor, extremely lovely and relaxing rooms with names (my room was Anemone), puzzles, bikes, books and everything you could possibly need to feel completely at ease and at home.

During the retreat I met ten unique, beautiful, powerful women, each of whom shined her light to help create a special sisterhood. I was honored and blessed to get to know them, learn from them, and to hold space for them to connect more with themselves through a mix of meditation, restorative yoga and chair yoga. I was inspired and touched to encounter a mother, daughter and grandmother trio, a mother and daughter duo, three friends who had roomed together in college many years ago, and two friends who had decided to take a trip together.

In the latter duo was Thalia: an energetic, hilarious, amazing, inspiring, beautiful woman who has been on this planet for almost 91 years. When we met, she expressed her hesitation about participating in the yoga sessions, explaining that she sometimes gets dizzy and was concerned that the classes might not be accessible to her. Thalia shared that when she tried yoga in her twenties, the instructor told her that yoga wasn’t for her, that she shouldn’t do it because of an issue with her equilibrium. In that moment Thalia became convinced that she should never practice yoga asana (poses) again, and never did for over 60 years. I explained that yoga is about connecting with yourself; that the physical postures are just one tool to aid in the holistic union of mind, body, soul and Universe; that a physical yoga practice could be as simple as breathing with intention; and that every exercise could be modified to meet the capabilities and needs of the practitioner. She agreed to give it a shot.

Thalia blew me away in chair yoga! Her enthusiasm, playfulness, commitment to trying everything and finding her edge, her openness and the delightful feedback she gave throughout the session, enlivened the entire room. After the session, she expressed frustration for not having revisited yoga sooner; however, she was hooked and was determined to make yoga a regular practice for the rest of her life.  Here is a video  of her sharing her story.  😊

I learned so much from Thalia. Perhaps the biggest take away was the importance of embracing and celebrating our new beginnings, and that it is truly NEVER too late to make a positive change in our lives. How often have you told yourself that it’s too late to change [fill in the blank]? How many times have you felt ashamed, frustrated, angry or disappointed in yourself for the steps you have taken along your path that have led up to now? Perhaps in moments when you have decided to make a shift you have simultaneously felt upset that it took this long to get here. I’ve certainly experienced all of the above countless times. What if, instead, we choose to CELEBRATE the fact that we have arrived at a point in our awareness where we are finally ready to bravely change course? There are limitless ways that this can play out in our lives.

One area that I am applying this philosophy is in my decision to start studying Japanese again and to connect more with my roots. My father is from Okinawa, Japan. His father was from Lubang, Philippines, and his mother, my Grandma, is from Kohama, Japan. After encountering racism as a preschooler, I refused to speak Japanese with my Dad anymore. I wanted to fit in. I stopped learning what was inherently mine and missed out on opportunities to connect with my own heritage as well as to be able to have deep, fluent conversations with my Japanese relatives (particularly Grandma), as most of them are not fluent in English. I later realized how important it was to reclaim my language. In college I studied Japanese but gradually stopped practicing once I stopped taking the course, and have since forgotten much of what I studied. For years I felt guilty calling Grandma at all, out of shame for my limited language skills. I felt that I had fallen off track and that perhaps I would just give up talking to her until I had started studying again.

I have had Japanese on my list for years, thinking, “I’ll pick it back up when I have time.” But I realized that unless I decide to commit to it and carve out the study space in my schedule, I will never have time. Though I beat myself up over the years for rejecting my language and for not making it a priority to continue my studies, I realized that I could stop judging myself and embrace this new beginning. I realized that what mattered was that I reach out to Grandma, even if the conversations were very basic for a while. The heart can communicate beyond verbal language barriers. And I realized that it’s not too late to pick the language back up! It doesn’t matter what came before.

I am going to buy a language program this week and start studying Japanese regularly again, with the goal of being able to speak with Grandma on a deeper level by the time I visit her this December in Guam, where she now lives.

Thalia had the right to have a yoga practice. I had the right to learn and speak my language with pride. Both of us are reclaiming what is ours, NOW.

What are you ready to reclaim? What new beginnings are you ready to embrace? Is it a career, a relationship, a hobby, a habit, a new schedule that serves you more, a new way of expressing yourself, or something else?  Today is truly the first day of the rest of your life!  In yoga we practice embracing each new beginning (each new breath, each new pose, each new day of practicing, each new thought) and then letting go to make space for yet another beginning. Such is the beauty of Life.

May you experience gratitude toward Life, the Divine and yourself for each milestone of awareness and positive change along your path.

“Don’t let the past stifle your progress. Let it empower you.”

-Suguru Nakamichi Tangi (my Dad)

Namaste, じゃあまたね (jaa mata ne)

Anne

FB_IMG_1496024296156

Grandma Takiko Tangi and me in Guam, 2008

IMG_20170521_110119042

Art project at Minerva’s By The Sea Bed and Breakfast

IMG_20170521_114427874

With Emma, Innkeeper and Primary Owner of Minerva’s

Come out and play!

Hey Friends!

Picture yourself as a young child.  What do you look like?  What brings you delight?  What brings you fear?  What do you crave more than anything?

Now imagine this child residing in a cave inside your heart.  It longs to express itself, to be loved, to be accepted, to connect, to be seen.  The child draws a picture to give to someone you care about.  It is so excited to share this artwork.  But you, as an adult, don’t think the picture is good enough, so you say, “It’d be better to throw this picture away.  Once you’ve cultivated your drawing skills more, then we can show others your picture.”  Immediately the little child gets shoved deeper into the cave.   It feels hurt, inadequate, ashamed, small, and repressed.

As people, each time we label ourselves as inadequate, unworthy, or we tell ourselves that we should be achieving more than we already have, we harm the tiny child within us.  When we shrug off our challenges and say, “Well, that’s nothing compared to what other people have experienced,” we are shoving the little child deeper into the cave, telling it that its experiences are not valid, that it doesn’t really matter.

But when we speak lovingly to the child within us, with words of appreciation and affirmation, celebrating our successes every step of the way, we encourage the child to come out and play, to speak, dance, sing, shout, and create with abandon.  We teach ourselves that we are worthy, we allow healing to occur, and from this place, only good can come.

I invite you to take a walk with your inner child, give it space to shine, listen to what it is telling you, and treat yourself with compassion throughout your day.  Just as we would want our own children to feel safe, encouraged, affirmed and supported, our own inner children need just that.

Come connect with your inner child at a playful yoga class this weekend/next week at Emerge Boutique Wellness Studio (with Urban Yoga Foundation) and at Area Yoga Brooklyn.

IG:@annetangi@biteablelife @urbanyogafoundation_ @areayogabrooklyn

Wonder, splendor, imagination, healing, connection and freedom await you!

Saturday May 6 – Area Yoga Brooklyn (103 1st Place)
9:20 – Open
10:50 – Basics
12:20 – Open

Tuesday May 9 – Emerge Boutique Wellness Studio (with Urban Yoga Foundation) – 380 MacDonough
7:30 pm – Basic Hatha

#wellness #innerchild #yoga #brookkynyoga #playfulness #healing #freedom #wonder #creativity #imagination #emergewellness #urbanyogafoundation #areayogabrooklyn #tangiyoga

0a51f7e942ee6a3d09b3476244bf3f30

Spring Inspiration

IMG_20170416_160242713

IMG_20170415_162232543

IMG_20170411_135422192

IMG_20170416_151601768

 

Good Day, All!

Here are some bursts of spring inspiration I encountered during my walks this week.  May the warmth and sun of the season give you new life, as it has been doing for me.  Enjoy some more inspiration this week at a yoga class:

Monday April 17: Area Yoga (429 Bergen St.)
4:00 PM Open Level
7:00 PM Open Level

Tuesday April 18: Emerge Boutique Wellness Studio (with Urban Yoga Foundation)
7:30 PM Basic Hatha

Wednesday April 19: Area Yoga (Court St.)
5:45 PM Open Level

Check out my calendar on my blog: TangiYoga.wordpress.com for the most up-to-date class schedule.

May you find the chance to be out in nature this week!

 

Peace,

Anne

 

 

Rekindling The Flame

“At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.”

Albert Schweitzer – French-German theologian, organist, philosopher, and physician.

Dear Friends,

It’s been a while!  I am happy to be back in action with teaching and blogging.  Here is my offering to you today…

Imagine a dark night. You are with a community of others, families, friends, and strangers, all making a trek on foot toward a beautiful destination that is full of light, peace, abundance and beauty. You start out with lanterns to light your path. As you move forward, you begin to hear sounds around you that are frightening, as you cannot see where they come from. Sometimes you stumble for the same reason. The flames in your lanterns begin to grow weak. Children begin to cry, as the sounds of the night grow into monsters in their young minds. You know that the dangers of the night are real, and you also known that you cannot let the darkness consume you, or else you will not make it to your destination. You decide to play games with the children, to sing, to dance. Soon others join you. As your inner light begins to shine more brightly, you notice that the flames in the lanterns begin to strengthen, as well.

The darkness is ever present, but the more brightly these lights shine, the more expansive this realm of light becomes. Little by little your community develops into a city of jewels twinkling in the night, and then a bright fire offering warmth, energy, light, strength.

In our lives and world, as chaos and darkness can seemingly take over, sometimes we forget the importance of self-care, rest, fun, and celebration. Sometimes we get caught up in the illusion that we don’t have permission to relax, go spend time with loved ones, or do something we really want to do, until the chaos has calmed and the situation has been resolved. We may even feel guilty, or that we are dishonoring the hardship of a situation by choosing to focus on light– thereby selfishly taking attention away from the dire state of this world.  In fact, taking time to celebrate is what will enable us to keep us going!  It is what will rekindle our flames. Life is NOW. Every moment is precious.

As your light shines more brightly, you will help others to shine, as well. And when all of our light shines, it will become so radiant, so powerful, that we will be able to make it through the Dark Night, together.

This doesn’t mean that we should deny the Darkness, ignore it, downplay it, or pretend that everything is okay when clearly is not. Rather– this is a time to be present in the darkness, a time to acknowledge it, walk through it, feel it, recognize how it is affecting our world and the worlds of others in our midst. As we are present we can take steps to shine more light, to answer the voices we hear crying out for help, to evaluate what our best access points to the Cause are and consider how we can make the most positive impact.

As we take those extremely vital steps toward healing, justice, freedom, equality, and peace, let’s remember that we are able to offer the most to others when we are healthy.  Let’s celebrate all along the way!  Let’s give ourselves permission to take child’s pose, to do something we really want, to go out with that friend, to take that mini-vacation, to laugh. Let’s celebrate life every day, in the midst of our daily challenges. Let’s tap into peace, joy and light in the midst of the chaos, hard times and darkness.

In your yoga practice, I invite you to tap into your inner flame, your inner light, and to honor Life with every breath.  During the asanas, or physical poses, every moment is an opportunity to celebrate. Notice the ability of the breath to help you find peace right here, right now. The breath offers a foundation: When we breathe fully, we can experience greater joy in every pose. Holding the poses can be challenging. Choose joy!  I am happy that I am invigorating and strengthening my body! I am happy that I am able to practice this posture. I am happy that this pose offers me the chance to grow.  At other moments, we need to modify the poses.  I am happy that I have a space where I am reminded and encouraged to listen to my body and my breath. I am happy that I am connecting with myself today. I am happy that I am practicing being a good listener.  As we practice celebrating with breath and movement, we are training ourselves to live this way throughout our daily experiences.  May we carry this with us through all of the darkness that we encounter along our journeys.

Throughout the rest of your summer, I invite you to be present with the experiences and circumstances that arise.  I invite you to connect with your communities and feel with others who are suffering, to listen to the need and examine how your gifts can best be used to help.  Meanwhile, remember how medicinal and nourishing laughter, fun, rest and play can be for the Soul, Body and Mind.  As the night reaches its darkest moment, may your light shine the most brightly, for we are Radiant Beings.

Come join me in Harlem at my newest teaching venue, Urban Yoga Foundation and let’s celebrate life together!

Thursdays 12:30 – 1:30 – Hatha Yoga Basics

And to my teacher friends/friends with kids: I am working to complete my Children’s Yoga Certification this summer (also through Urban Yoga Foundation) and would LOVE to come work with your kids at school!  Please let me know if you are interested.

As always, I am available for private classes and am looking for additional regular teaching venues.  Just shoot me an email at annetangi909@gmail.com and we can set something up. 😉

Until we meet, here are some tunes to help keep the party going and also remind us how connected we are:

“Celebration” — Kool and the Gang
“504” — Soul Rebels
“Virgo Clown” — Van Morrison
“We Are Here” — Alicia Keys

In Light,

Anne

Nocturnal Illumination

dark night in motion

Happy Summer, Friends!

I hope you are finding chances to enjoy the season, regardless of the heat (if you’re in my neck of the woods) or other challenges that arise.  I hope that you are finding time to embrace what this season has to offer you.  On that note…

Picture a dark night. You are driving a car down a road with no street lights toward a destination that is full of light, joy and promise.  You can only see two hundred feet ahead of you with the help of your headlights.  While you cannot see far, you are still able to behold colorful flowers and plants along the side of the road as you pass them.  You stop the car in order to take in the view of some particularly vibrant flowers. Once you exit the car, you realize that the darkness actually allows you to see the stars much more vividly than if you were in the midst of the city lights. After witnessing the beauty of the foliage around you and the night sky, you get back behind the wheel, refreshed, and you continue toward your destination.

As we move through challenges each day on the road to our goals and dreams, sometimes we feel anxious about the fact that we can’t see all the way to the end of the dark road.  We may fear that if we slow down we will lose momentum and will miss the chance to fulfill our mission, or arrive at our destination.  Maybe it’s a job you are after, or reaching a certain milestone in your education, or maybe you are waiting for an answer to a question that is really important to you.  At times, in pursuit of our dreams, we forget how important it is to let ourselves celebrate the here and now.  We can develop the illusion that we don’t have permission to relax, or to experience pleasure, or to celebrate, until we have arrived at our destination.

But what if it takes years before you land that job, or before you receive the answer you seek? Does that mean you’re not going to enjoy life for the next several years? Life is NOW. We need to be present, to embrace THIS moment. Joy is here. Peace is now.

Of course, we need to take steps each day that lead toward whatever it is we seek. Maybe you really need that solid job and having it will truly help to reduce your anxiety and will enable you to focus more of your energy on other areas of life that might currently feel neglected.  But as we take those steps, let’s celebrate all along the way!  Let’s give ourselves permission to take chlid’s pose, to do something we really want, to go out with that friend, to take that mini-vacation, to read that book. Let’s celebrate life every day, in the midst of our daily challenges.  Let’s tap into peace, joy and light in the midst of the chaos, hard times and darkness.

During your asana practice, every moment is an opportunity to celebrate life.  Notice the ability of the breath to help you find peace right here, right now.  The breath offers a foundation: When we breathe fully, we can experience greater joy in every pose.  Holding the poses can be challenging. Choose joy!  I am happy that I am invigorating and strengthening my body!  I am happy that I am able to practice this posture. I am happy that this pose offers me the chance to grow.  At other moments, we need to modify the pose.  I am happy that I have a space where I am reminded and encouraged to listen to my body and my breath. I am happy that I am connecting with myself today. I am happy that I am practicing being a good listener.

Throughout the rest of your summer, I invite you to celebrate life each day and to take the time to appreciate what each experience offers you.

Here are some tunes to help keep the party going:

“Celebrate Good Times” — Kool and the Gang
“504” — Soul Rebels

I hope to see you soon!  Come join me for a class at Area Yoga, or if you are interested in having yoga at your work space, or private lessons, let’s talk!

Off to look at the moon,

Anne